Weekend Pics

 Here's a shot of my sassy new kicks that my brother aka Secret Santa got me for Christmas. They're so comfy but my feet are swelling and thus I can't really wear them. BOOO!
 Had to work on Saturday for a bit so Casey and I swung by the Starbucks drive-thru for Mama but it turns out he can recognize that's where they sell the "hot sockwit" he has gotten merely twice before this. Silly, Ironman.
We braved the restaurant and had lunch with Miss AJ, Denise & Trevor on Sunday. Why is it 80 degrees in December? Why do East Winds exist? Why are AJ's eyes bigger than the moon? Good questions, all of these.


Haiku Friday

Outside lights are down
Indoor decorations next
I'm done with Christmas
Husband isn't though
And neither is the boy child
Too bad for them right?
New Years Eve and Day
Will be uneventful ones
Mama needs detox


Post-Christmas Wrap-Up

  • Yesterday I hit 32 weeks pregnant so only 8 weeks left! That shot of me in the sundress on Christmas with my sister Christine and our sons will represent the bump. Hehe. Sundress. On Christmas. Yeah, it was hot. Fetus is jicama-sized, about 3-3/4 lbs. and 16.7". She got lots of wee outfits from her Gaga yesterday. I guess I need to start shopping for her. Seems like a big reality check.
  • Christmas Eve, Husband made shepherds pie and we hosted my Gran and my mother for dinner. I had to work half the day so that was kind of crappy but oh well. It was very strange not having my dad with us but that goes without saying. Casey got to open one present as is tradition in our house. We put cookies and milk out for Santa and it was kind of a big deal.
  • Christmas morning Casey totally made note of the fact that Santa ate the cookies and saw his extra presents and was thrilled to open all of them. I wrapped them all in the same paper so he'd know just what Santa brought. It was really cute. Then we went to my brother's for breakfast and family gift opening. Unfortunately, the kids can only really play for about an hour before fights and crying happen. Hooray for Christmas meltdowns.
  • Christmas afternoon was spent skyping with the Michigan grandparents then napping. We visited Christine's family for a moment before we headed to my mom's for dinner. Gran, rapidly slipping into dementia, ruined most of our holiday with her complaining and "I just ate a piece of shit" face. The kids were burnt out. I think the adults were, too. At one point, my brother was sitting at the head of the table where my dad used to sit and he called me "babe" which is what my dad used to call me and it was simultaneously awesome and sad. 
  • I realized more than ever this year that Christmas really is about the children. For Husband & I both, we were more excited by the build up of it all: the decorations, the reindeer visit, the music, the lights, Santa visits, etc. The actual day was anticlimactic and kind of ... disappointing? And now it's done. We were very fortunate with the generous gifts we received and the time we spent with family, though. That shouldn't be underestimated.


My Crown Story

Recently I had some tooth pain that led to a root canal that was about four hours of drilling total. Two weeks after that, I got to go in for a crown. That was yesterday. They start by drilling your tooth down to a wee nubbin and then take a bunch of pictures around your tooth. Then they have you bite down to determine your bite ridges. Behold! Glorious photos of the process!
My nubbin. Please don't envy that gorgeous face.
 All those pictures create a 3-D image of my tooth. That image is sent to the back to a machine.
 That machine changes a cube of purple porcelain into the crown by using high pressure water jets. Crazy right?
 Boom! The purple tooth. The dentist then drilled that bad boy to fit over my nubbin. Once he determined it was the right fit, he put enamel over it and baked it into the faux white tooth I'm rocking now. Entire process? About 2.5 hours. Neat.


Five More Days Til Christmas Haiku Friday

Non-stop carols, kids.
At work and in the car, too.
Planting some ear bugs
Co-workers hate me
Find themselves singing at home
And cursing my name
I guess I'm a pro
At spreading Christmas Spirit
You're very welcome


Christmas Photo Extravaganza

 Took Casey to see Santa last night. He sat down and melted into Santa's chest. 
It was sheer perfection.
 This is just a tree outside Santa's little shack. Family. Sigh. 
Had to interrupt a make-out sesh to ask for someone to snap this.
Here's the boy under a giant candy cane. He wanted to eat it.
 Here's a picture of me from the ornament party. I brought this ornament. And left with it.
 This is what the Santa Float brigade looks like as it's driving down the street escorted by the OPD and a firetruck and city personnel.
 There's my son on Husband's shoulders. Taking it all in.
 This year they even made it snow with foamy soap. Casey wasn't a fan. I was.
Here's Casey whispering into the mic that Mrs. Claus is holding. 
Basically telling Santa he loves him. Of course.
And this is our pad all lit up. Goddamn I love this season.


31 Down 9 To Go

Scale said 218.2 today so that means I still haven't gained any weight. I had a vendor visit me yesterday that commented on how thin my face was looking and a friend of mine said I looked "skinny" considering how far along I was. These are neat things to hear because I was as big as a house when I was pregnant with Casey with a huge, fat moon face. Supposedly I am to gain a pound a week until the end of my pregnancy so that will literally mean I'll weigh only about 5 pounds more than my conception weight. Crazy town.
This week, the baby measures over 16 inches long and weighs about 3 1/3 pounds - a wee coconut. I'm taking comfort in how busy she is in my belly despite how much it hurts sometimes. She really is up at all hours of the night and quite busy during my meals. It's insane how much this belly has been shaking. She's a wee Kung Fu fighter. I requested that we have an ultrasound on the 30th just because I want to make sure there's really a vagina in there. And also I want to make sure her head isn't dented from the amount of times my son and my dog attack her.
Over the weekend I was at the park with Husband and Casey. Another giantly pregnant woman was there with her son so I asked her statistics. She was 36 weeks to my 30, her son 2-1/2 to my 3 year old, she 41 years old while I am 36. She looked exhausted and said she didn't care to know what gender her fetus was as long as it slept. That made me laugh. There should be support groups for older pregnant mothers of active children under the age of 5, I think. It also made me feel good to know that I wasn't the only big ol' whiner and comforted that my son slept like a damn champ for the most part. I hope this baby follows suit.
As a side note, BFF was giving me a hard time about my picture last week because all she could see was my big ass hand in the way and she asked if I had the reverse thing on the phone for picture taking. I decided to give it a whirl today and here's what I ended up with:
Not exactly what I was going for.


Movie Review

I mentioned last night that Husband and I went Christmas shopping on Friday night for the kiddos. Casey stayed with his Gaga so we could buy toys and fun things for him and my niece and nephew. Toys R Us? Horrifying. Target at the mall on a Friday night? Teenagers everywhere. Thank goodness we got to decompress afterward and have a nice cozy dinner at Marie Callender's all by our lonesome. Yup, that's right. I had quiche. We're elderly.
Anyhoo, Husband is big on holiday movies and Rise of the Guardians on sale at Target so we grabbed it. Husband and Casey were going to have a boy's night on Saturday while I attended the ornament exchange party so I think he just wanted something new and fun for the two of them to watch. We didn't get a chance to see this one in the theater so we were taking a chance just throwing money in the wind and hoping it sticks. Bonus was it came with a wind up toy elf. Because if there's one thing that Casey doesn't have enough of, it's toys.
Turns out this movie was pretty dope. The story is about the guardians of children: Santa, Easter Bunny, Sandman and Tooth Fairy. They're coming up to battle against the Boogie Man so they need a new recruit who just so happens to be Jack Frost. Jack isn't exactly heroic and is kind of a trouble maker so we have to go on his journey with him to find his "center" and realize how he is guardian worthy. Santa and the Easter Bunny are yoked and tattooed, tough guy warriors. It's a very boy movie. Casey has watched it twice a day since Saturday so I think he's sold. I really liked it. In case you're looking for something new to watch during the holidays, I'd go ahead and say you're safe with this one.


Two Weekend Pictures

Since I seem to be a bust at blogging on Mondays here are two photos I took over the weekend. Friday night and Saturday were spent Christmas shopping and Sunday was spent outdoors and resting. It was a very nice weekend that was both relaxing and productive. Rare to have one of those.
This is my mom's tree to the left, mantle to the right, reflection of her big ass wreath in the mirror. She had a professional decorator come to do her house this year. Usually my fancy gay uncle that works in retail does it but he loves Germany more than his family so there you go. Ha! I took this picture at her ornament exchange party on Saturday night, an intimate and fun affair of 9 ladies gossiping and eating good food. Best part? No Casey. No Husband. For four hours. Holler.
Here is a picture of my son, post-haircut. He didn't cry this time, you guys. It was a Christmas miracle. He is sitting there playing a wee guitar Husband had bought him in Hawaii. It's because we bought a Hallmark Keepsake ornament that is Kermit the Frog sitting on a log with a banjo and when you press the button, he sings Rainbow Connection. So Casey is doing that. Singing along with Kermit. And breaking my heart.


Haiku Friday The 13th

Crème brûlée latte
Such a lovely partner to
Protein Bistro Box
Ornament party
Tomorrow night at my mom's
Should be a good time
And nonstop shopping
Get it all done this weekend
And then just relax



I should have posted this on Monday but I actually have been quite busy training my maternity leave replacement so the blog is affected. Go figure. We finally got around to taking Casey to see Frozen on Sunday morning and boy am I glad we did. I cannot believe it has been two months since we've been to the theater. Unheard of.
Let me just state for the record that I went into this viewing as a pretty emotionally unstable train-wreck. The movie immediately dives into some pretty heavy themes of sibling-hood and losing one's parents so I was crying within minutes. Then we got to add to that the undeniably powerful voice of Idina Menzel (of Wicked fame) which any other time would have me welling up. Boom. Two for two. Also? There was a commercial for St. Judes right before the movie started and kids with cancer will get you any time. Jesus Christ.
Frozen is an absolutely beautiful movie. It made me wish I was able to sit through 3-D because the effects they used to make everything freeze over must have been a spectacular sight to see in three dimensions. The music is so good. The characters are likeable and fun. The story is great. The backdrops are gorgeous. I have zero complaints, honestly. Casey was kind of getting frustrated that it took so long for Olaf the snowman to show up but other than that, he was sold from start to finish. From a grown male standpoint, Husband said this movie was "pretty girly" but he laughed aloud on several occasions. A fantastic movie for the whole family, princess or otherwise.


30 Down, 10 to Go

This picture made me laugh. Look at that belly. Too much. I weighed in at 219.2 this morning. Still no gain. Baby is about 15" and 3 pounds, about the size of a large cabbage.
I went to see my OBGYN on Monday and he said everything looks like it's coming along just great. I asked him if my grief lately was screwing her up and he didn't think so but he'd be more than willing to refer me to someone if I needed professional help. I also told him about my root canal and he totally ok'd Vicodin which was very nice of him. Even wrote the prescription for it. When I told him I'd try not to take all 20 at once he told me I had good material. The root canal was completed yesterday and she sure was busy during it. I had my mouth open and she'd kick and it would force an involuntary gasp from me that the endodontist must have found highly amusing. Being pregnant kind of makes your mucus membranes swell up so breathing out of my nose while on my back was not an option. Talk about sexy.
Over the weekend I had kind of wondered aloud to Husband if it was normal that this baby kicked and moved so much. He turned to Google and it said that later-born children have a little more room and longer umbilical cords to play with. Who knew? She is also very much affected by anxiety - which I have plenty to spare - and stress that accompanies most pregnancies of working mothers so that causes her to be more active. And there you have it.


In Memory of My Dad

Our local paper ran this wee blurb today and it sure touched my heart:

Doug M. donated to Bellringer this year in memory of his friend Douglas B., who had a story and good joke to tell at every occasion.The Ventura man met Douglas B. when they were in Kiwanis together about 30 years ago. The two often played poker at the Player’s Casino in Ventura. Douglas B., 66, was a lifelong Dodger fan and owner and salesman at QPS in Oxnard. He loved his vendors and customers and never drew attention to himself, especially when he came down with Parkinson’s disease, Doug M. said. Despite his health issues, Douglas B. was considerate to everyone and strove to bring happiness to those around him, Doug M. said. “There’s not too many people in the world like him. He always had a positive attitude,” Doug M. said.

In memory of Doug B. It is very rare to meet a man who is always happy, considerate, nice and ready to share a joke and smile with everyone. Doug B. was that man. Even when he battled Parkinson’s disease, he kept it to himself while always striving to bring happiness to the people around him. He was a wonderful man and will be deeply missed. Doug M.: $100.


Haiku Friday

Just not feeling it
The blog has been neglected
Apathy, baby
Work Christmas party
The gifts have not arrived yet
And it's tomorrow
Normally I'd rage
But I'm more accepting now
Of my dark cloud curse

***it's really not that serious but yeah, can a bitch get a break?


29 Down, 11 to Go

Weighed in this morning at 219 with my shirt and jeans on. Not too bad. I'm a little concerned about the lack of weight gain but I guess there's no sense in stressing about it. Right now, baby is about 2.5 pounds and 15 inches - the size of a butternut squash. My mom gets furious when I tell her the vegetables. I think that's just like a weight estimator and not necessarily a weight and length because she insists she has never seen said vegetable said size.
This week's pregnant activity was a root canal yesterday. I can honestly say I'd rather have been unconscious during the procedure and I would very much like to have heavy drugs at my disposal right now rather than Tylenol which is essentially a joke of a pain killer. It's not a lot of fun to be super hungry all the time yet suffering with each chew. Also not fun? Lying on your back for hours at a time while pregnant. I already have trouble breathing out of my nose, but to be on my back with the fetal pressure and sinuses AND a plastic wrap over my mouth while my tooth was being worked on for hours. Yeah. I'm not thrilled.
Over the weekend I got to hold Christine's new baby on my bump. I had lots of people touch my bump at my dad's service. The bump is a big ol' icebreaker and while I don't think I look so huge, I guess I do. The assistant to the dentist was rubbing my tummy as we talked about my next appointment. The guy in the waiting room saw my bump and saw that as an opportunity to give me his entire life's story including telling me about marrying his high school sweetheart, his kids having type 1 diabetes and both he and his son spending time in jail. Awesome.


Black Haiku Friday (That's Racist)

Thanksgiving was good
The food and the company
Despite no daddy
My Gran is not well
Dementia plus depression
Getting old sure sucks
Today will be calm
We'll be putting out Christmas
Enjoying the rain


28 Down, 12 To Go

Baby is about 2-1/4 pounds and 14.8" or the size of an eggplant today. Start of the third trimester. Home stretch and what have you. Good times. I went for my glucose test yesterday so I'm just awaiting word on whether or not I have the diabeetus. I didn't have it with Casey so I'm not overly concerned. Weighed in yesterday at 219.8 so I'm still down a few from where I started but it looks like I could potentially gain about 11 pounds in the next few months.
This morning I put on and tied my sneakers and by the time I was through I was winded. I guess it might be time for slip-ons. I'll be leaning more toward Uggs this winter season whereas with Casey it was all flip-flops all the time. I keep thinking I should expand my maternity wardrobe but I doubt I will. I'm just stoked I haven't resorted to yoga pants every day. It's the little accomplishments.
My big fear right now is having a root canal on Monday because I am a pregnant sober person. My tooth hurts pretty bad right now so I can only imagine how it will feel once we all start digging around in there. Nice little punch in the pocket book right before Christmas, too, so that's awesome. Being pregnant and in mourning is exhausting. I wonder if I will ever stay up to see the double digits again. Just typing that is making me sleepy.


Thanksgiving Thirty Thankfuls

  1. My mom, brother and extended family. Though we may be dysfunctional at times, the recent loss of my dad reminded me just how close we all are.
  2. My dad. For molding me into who I am. For the memories he left me. 
  3. My husband. I tease him a lot and complain about petty things but really he is my rock, a great provider and father and my best friend. I don't know sometimes who I'd be without him.
  4. My son. No matter how much I would love to crawl into a dark hole right now, his beautiful attitude forces me to smile and carry on. Plus he's really, really cute.
  5. My daughter. She might have been a surprise but now she's something I look forward to daily and she also has done tons to keep me grounded during these hard times.
  6. My in-laws and Michigan folks. Lovely people that never fail to impress me. I'm so lucky to have married into such a rad group of people that I love like I've known them my whole life.
  7. My friends. Each and every one of them, near or far, new or old. When things are at their worst, they sure can come out of the woodwork to shower me with love.
  8. My job. They've been so understanding with me being a working mom and then most recently with my dad. They pay my bills and I'm grateful to be employed.
  9. My house. To have a yard and a garage and only one close neighbor is truly awesome.
  10. My car. We recently sold Vehicular and I was sad but I inherited my dad's car and I'm so grateful. Plus the Flex has been treating us all right.
  11. My pets. Betty's a big dumb animal that loves to destroy but last night she proved she could be a worthy guard dog so I will keep her. The Bun just makes me happy though he's useless.
  12. Oxnard. I can't think of a better place to have grown up or to raise my family. Everywhere we go we know someone and the sense of community here is tremendous. Plus? Weather. 
  13. For the assisted living home where Gran lives now and Alicia who was her caretaker. They are taking good care of my Gran who needs more than what any of us can give her. I'm so glad places and people like them exist.
  14. For my health thanks to great insurance and access to good doctors.
  15. For the savings accounts we have and 401Ks. Man, that makes me feel like a grownup. Extra cash in our checking account? How'd that happen?
  16. For my college education. I'll be paying it off for another eleven years but at least I'm kind of bilingual! And for husband's GI Bill too for paying him to get his degrees. Amazing.
  17. For Disney movies. They bring my son and I so much joy and The Lion King has given me a tool to describe Papa's passing to Casey. Mufasa and the stars, man. Who knew?
  18. For my camera. I take pictures all the time and sometimes take them for granted but to have a treasure trove of memories at my fingertips thanks to tools like flickr really is beyond awesome.
  19. For my phone because texting is rad and so is being able to access the world wide web anywhere I am. I guess for phone calls too but those are pretty rare.
  20. For DVR otherwise I would never see shows I really like. Even now I'm super far behind but those shows will be there for my maternity leave.
  21. For this blog. It's been my diary and introduced me to Andrea and Husband and countless other awesome friends while keeping me in touch with other friends who don't live close by.
  22. For Words With Friends because I'm addicted. It's sure a good distraction and I am going to believe it's keeping me from early onset dementia to justify how much I play.
  23. For Facebook because even though I kind of hate it I have been able to use it to spread news quickly as well keep in touch with lots and lots of lovely people I've met in my life.
  24. For music. I love Pandora at work. CDs in the car. XM radio. All of it. I love music more than anything right now. Britney to dance and be silly to. Garth to cry to. 
  25. For Starbucks coffee. Boy do I love their lattes and their protein bistro boxes. I just can't say that enough.
  26. That I married a man who cooks because I just am not a cook but I love eating. For this reason I am also thankful for restaurants.
  27. For my nice, big, soft bed and all the naps I take because really I love nothing more than sleeping. Well, maybe eating.
  28. For beer. Damn, do I miss drinking beer. I love it and it is so tasty and I can't wait to be able to have it again. 
  29. For my cleaning lady and my gardener for saving me so much time and keeping my home looking very nice.
  30. For my Los Angeles Dodgers. So close to the World Series! Chavez Ravine! Dodger Dogs. A lifetime of memories. GO BLUE!


Haiku Friday

Happy occasion
In-Law's anniversary
They'll be here so soon!
So glad it's Friday
This week has been way too long
And I'm just so tired
Friends coming over
On Saturday for dinner
A reason to smile


Bouquets of Love

 From BFF
From Miss Kitty
From my vendors at International Paper
 For my office from one of our vendors, RockTenn
 From Miss Jan aka Jangles
 From Chrissie's Folks
 From my brother-in-law and family
 From Beanie and her family
 From my office
From Bossman and his wife


27 Down, 13 To Go

"Mama, what are you doing in my bathroom?" were the words spoken by Casey when this picture was being taken this morning. Gotta love that kid. This is the last week of my second trimester. Baby's about two pounds and 14.5" long. She's still very active and now people can actually see my belly moving rather than just hear me talk about it. Yesterday Husband laid his head on my belly and was chatting with her and she kicked him in the face. He had that coming.
I feel gigantic but I know I'm only going to get bigger. The nurses at the hospital had no shame in just coming up to hold my belly when they would talk to me about my dad and I thought that was just so sweet. I was glad this bump could bring smiles to other people. I had one of them tell me "I've never seen a woman in your condition move that fast" one day when I was hustling to see my dad. My big ol' belly has been a pain in the butt but a source of levity too so I can't complain.
When my dad took his last breaths, I held his hand upon my stomach in the hopes that he would transfer some of his perfection to her in his final moments. This little girl may never know her Papa but she will definitely know of him and she will feel the impact he had on her entire life without even meeting her. I'm so grateful to have her to look forward to when all hope feels lost. It's strange how history repeats itself: while my mother's first son was dying of cancer, she was pregnant with me and I was a way to help her not get lost in grief. The girls in this family carry great responsibility on their shoulders from the jump it seems.


Goodbye, Dad

A great man passed away on Monday, November 18, 2013. He wasn't famous or a billionaire, he was simply a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend that no one had a single bad thing to say about. For forty-four years of marriage, Douglas Michael was a devoted, loving, supportive husband. As a father, he never missed any opportunity to be with his children and he always set a great example of what a real man should be. He had the same love and commitment to his three grandchildren and would have had even more to give for the second granddaughter he was expecting. He was a lifelong Dodger fan that frequented Chavez Ravine, loved hitting the poker tables and was always up for a vacation whether it be to a far off destination or simply a weekend away. He was very proud of the four years he served for his country overseas in the Navy during the Vietnam War and was very patriotic.
For twenty years, Doug loved his work at QPS in Oxnard as both an owner and a salesman. He truly enjoyed the people he worked with including his vendors and customers. Sales was his calling and he was great at it. He never met a single person he couldn't talk to and he was quick to make a friend. He had a story or a joke for every occasion. Everyone he met not only felt important to Doug's life, they were important. Doug was always willing to lend a hand in golf tournaments, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus and many local charities.  He will truly be missed by his wife Andrea, children Randi (Brad), Curtis (Frances), grandchildren Ethan and Alicia and Casey.
He was preceded in death by his son Christy, his mother Elsie and his father Ewald. He is survived by his three sisters: Sharon, Lynda and Paula as well as two nephews, a niece and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.There will be no funeral per Doug's last wishes, however, there will be a celebration of his life on a date to be determined.

A nice word from my friend Hung can be read here.
BFF also said some rad stuff here.


Mid-November Haiku Friday

Did you see that there?
That half the month is gone now?
Yeah. What in the hell?
Going hyper-drive
Hospitals and Grandma moves
Motherhood and work
I miss the old days
Of leisurely reading books
And drinking cold beer


Happy Birthday, Mom

I'm not sure when this photo of her was taken. It was found in a stack of old photos my Gran had in her hope chest. I assume Mom's in her late teens and just looking as stunning as can be. Some kids on facebook said I got some of her good looks and that's just such a nice thing to say. I see my features here when I look at this picture and I guess it really is true when they say we all turn into our parents.
My mom is quite possibly the strongest woman I know. She lost her first child and there is nothing more devastating than that but this last week has tried to come close with my dad being so close to dying. She could have just broken down but instead she has put on her brave face and stood guard by dad's side at almost every moment. Casey and I bought her a birthday card with The Avengers on the front that basically compared her to a superhero and I don't think any card could have been more appropriate than that one right now.
I won't mince words, there are times when this woman drives me as crazy as any person can. There are times she makes me want to scream when she has no patience for my Gran or my dad. She calls me more than she should and she's way too invested in my life. BUT, she's my best friend. She's the one who made me outspoken and independent. She has taught me tough life lessons and has been there for me when I have been at my lowest points. I'm proud to call this lady "Mom."


26 Down, 14 to Go

Another week, a new bathroom shot. I went to the OBGYN yesterday for a routine checkup. Everything looked good I guess because it was super quick. I'm at about 219.2 so still under from where I've started but totally gaining now. Next week I'll have to go in for a glucose test. Next checkup is in four weeks and I get to have a Rhogam shot. Husband is O positive and I'm O negative so we have to make sure that our blood doesn't mix or some craziness. Good times.
I'm currently fighting my first pregnant cold and that's just a joy. Between that and this whole situation with dad in the ICU, I find myself wondering how I manage to stay upright most days. Casey is continuing to be his active self and wants to play regardless of how sick and tired I might be feeling so the exhaustion at the end of the day has led to some good nights sleep for me. Only waking up one time to pee? I'll take it! 
Little Miss is certainly very active and now i can look down at my belly and actually see her poking around. ALIEN! Babycenter says she weighs about 1-2/3 pounds and measures 14 inches. Casey clearly thinks she is taking too long in there because he's constantly poking my belly button and asking to get her out of there. "The baby is still in you tummy, mama?" Yes, son. It takes a long time to make a baby. I'm as ready as he is to have her out yet in no rush to have her here. What a conundrum.



I'm going to do a bit of a timeline here just for my own purposes.
The other day my dad was vomiting but we thought it was a stomach flu so it wasn't too much of a concern. Then, yesterday, he complained of feeling short of breath and dizzy so my mom took him to the ER. They discovered a heart murmur and a stomach infection so they decided to keep him overnight. At 5 a.m. my mom got a call that he needed to be transferred to ICU because he was dizzy when he went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and they wanted him to be more closely monitored. At 7 a.m., they called to tell her that dad was going in for surgery for a bowel obstruction. His potassium levels were high so they were getting that stabilized before surgery. He's dehydrated so it's affecting his liver.
My dad is in terrible shape. His kidneys have failed and he is on a respirator because his lungs are failing. His intestines - where he had his surgery - have shut down. They are trying medicine but they only are giving him a 10% chance of survival. Curtis, Frances, Brad, Mom and I were just at the hospital and have all had a chance to tell him we love him. We are not optimistic. 

I called the ICU since I am up and the nurse said he has no fever and his blood pressure is improving. His kidneys seem to be responding well to the dialysis. He's still in critical condition and is sedated and using a breathing tube.  
He's produced urine
The dark bile has turned lighter.
They've almost weaned him off the blood pressure medicine.
He's still sedated.
The doctor is impressed by these improvements but things are still critical

I went to see dad this morning at about 10 and he is improving. We are "cautiously optimistic" but he still remains heavily sedated. They are moving a tube from his groin area to his chest and this will be used once (if) they decide to give him nutrients. There is less chance of infection in that spot, however, infection can happen anywhere.
His oxygen saturation is being lowered which is good but he still requires a respirator. They are weaning him off of the blood pressure meds because that is stabilizing. He has not had a fever today. The stuff they are pumping out of his stomach is now what you would normally get out of a healthy stomach instead of that black stuff. They are not getting much out of his lungs which is actually a good sign. They might lighten his sedation so he can hear us better when we visit with him. 

I went to see dad at 5 pm yesterday and he was only needing 25% oxygen whereas earlier he was at 60%. He had completely been weaned off the blood pressure medicine. He was still sedated but had at one point squeezed the nurse's hand and at another my mom spoke to him and he turned and opened his eyes.
My mom called just about a half hour ago and is there with him and he is off sedation. He is awake. His levels (like ph balance, etc) are good and his vitals are stable. They are hopeful they can remove his breathing tube today. Next step, getting out of ICU.
I never believed in miracles before today but now I do.

Well I've seen it with my own eyes. I went in shortly after this email and dad's eyes were open and he smiled at me. I got to kiss him and he told me he loved me and it's just the best thing ever. The doctor came in and said they'd try to move him out of the bed today to a chair. The breathing tube is out so dad wants to talk more but can't really but that is ok. He has NO IDEA how close he came to leaving us and had NO IDEA he has been sleeping for the last several days. This is a blessing in and of itself. If things continue on this path, he'll be out of the ICU within a day or two. We are still taking things ONE DAY AT A TIME but things are looking so much better than we were given hope to expect. We are so happy.

It's three o'clock here on Sunday afternoon and I realize I haven't updated you! Today dad has made even more progress. He got out of bed with assistance. They were waiting for his tummy to grumble, another milestone, and it did so they were thinking he might have some applesauce this evening. The doctor figures he'll be in the hospital another week at least and then probably will have to spend some time in a convalescent hospital recuperating and having therapy.
Hopefully tomorrow they will move him out of ICU. We saw him last night and he was able to lift his hands up off the bed on his own but not much more than that. He was irritated he couldn't reach the remote to turn off the tv. I guess he also made the nurses move him quite a bit so he could be comfortable. I take this surliness as a good sign.

As fun as this is, dad had a bowel movement. That means his intestines are working again. This is a very big improvement.

Dad had been steadily improving but had a minor setback this morning. He seems to have slight pneumonia which is not at all out of the ordinary. They're going to do a scope of his lungs at some point today and have put him back on the respirator. This means he's likely not getting out of the ICU as quickly as we had thought but that's ok. He's where he should be. He's on some good drugs so seems a little disoriented but is awake. I saw him this morning and fed him Jello and gave him some juice and we chatted a bit. His voice was shaky and he had a cough but he's still better than he was. We are all remaining positive and optimistic but obviously any setback is concerning.  
Dad is intubated again. Will have a bronchoscopy. Nurse said this setback is "not good but not as horrible as it can be." Doc sent mom home as there is not much she can do there.

Called the ICU this morning. Dad has internal bleeding in his abdomen and will require a transfusion today. He is sedated and comfortable. I will have more information after 11am. Hospital requested a break on visitors.
Mary at ICU said the bleeding has slowed and they are doing the transfusion. At 12:30 the gastro-person will come in to do a scope to make sure the bleeding stops. They may have to cauterize the wound. His blood pressure is low but she hopes the transfusion will help that. He is awake and alert but medicated. I should know more around 2.
He has an ischemia in the abdomen. A biopsy is being done.

Saw Dad last night at about 4pm and he had a ventilator in him but he was awake and alert. Mom, Curtis and I were all in the room together with him and it sure is nice to know our family is so close and being so strong. Dad wanted to talk but it's hard to do with a tube down your throat. He had a slight fever but otherwise seemed good. This morning they took the ventilator out but he has an oxygen mask because his levels are at about 90 and they should be closer to 93, so that's not too terrible. Whatever they did as far as that scope yesterday didn't stop the bleeding so there will be more done today, just not sure what as of right now. The blood is not red so that means it is "old" but it's still not good. Mom was happy to have some good news on her birthday as far as him being off the ventilator and is with him now.
Turns out the bleeding was caused by an ulcer! It is currently being treated. Dad's fever is down. He is awake and alert and talking. He had a blood transfusion. Sounds like he's off the majority of the tubes. He still needs an oxygen mask. His intestines seem to be working (don't want to give you too much information here!) and everyone seems to be quite pleased with his current state. It would be nice if he could stop freaking us all out and because we're so nice, we're accusing him of just wanting attention.

Mom called last night and the nurses told her the bleeding has stopped! This is certainly good news. They also think he looks really good. Now we just need about 24 hours without any dang complications and just maybe he'll be ready to move out of the ICU.
Unfortunately they have discovered my dad has another case of pneumonia. They are currently treating him with antibiotics. It feels cruel to update you with good news in the morning and bad news in the evening and it is definitely taking its toll on all of us.
Dad is very weak and having trouble breathing. He wants badly to be able to talk but simply can't. He's frustrated with us when we tell him to remain quiet and simply rest.

As of this morning Dad had stable vitals and temperature. I called just now and shock of shocks he is in a room! 2110! No more ICU! Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come and no more G-damn road blocks.

I didn't have a chance to see Dad yesterday. My mom did in the evening and she didn't see much improvement. This morning she received a phone call and dad's breathing is shallow and rapid which is not a good sign. Frankly, I don't think they expect him to survive the day. He's currently on morphine.
I'm sorry for the false hope we were all given yesterday with the room change.
This will likely be the last update I send until the final news. I went to see Dad this morning and there simply is no more fight left in him. The doctor said anything else would simply prolong his suffering and that there really was no hope of recovery. Per my dad's final wishes, there will be no further medical intervention. He has been taken off of nutrition (which his body was no longer absorbing) and he is no longer receiving antibiotics to fight the pneumonia which wasn't showing signs of improving. He is now sedated and on a continuous morphine drip. When I left at 1, he was being moved into a suite on the 4th floor, 4110 I believe.
I appreciate your encouragement and your support. It's good to know you all have hope for miracles but this is simply the way it is. I more than anyone am so sorry this is how it's ending.

I took the morning off of work to be with dad and got to the hospital just after 8. His breathing was extremely labored. I left for an hour to pack up some of Gran's things with mom. By the time we returned, the nurse was telling us it was dad's last breaths. Mom, Husband and I held his hand until he passed away. Time of death 11:22 a.m.


Happy Veteran's Day

 To My Husband
 To My Grandpa
To My Dad


Dad Haiku Friday

My dad is real sick
Yesterday I thought he'd die
Today he's better
Labeled "Critical"  
"Cautiously Optimistic"
Other words for "sucks"
I still need my dad
And Casey needs his Papa
Send him good vibes please


25 Weeks Down, 15 To Go

I really need to find a better mirror for my selfies. I mean, at least the toilet seat is down amiright? I weighed myself here at work with my clothes on and no shoes and it said 221. The baby is supposedly rutabaga-sized at about 13-1/2" and 1-1/2 pounds. I feel like I am as big as a house. BFF told me this weekend I really looked like I'd popped and my co-worker told me that I look like I'm ready to have the baby now. Can't wait to see how big I get over the remaining months.
I feel like I have pulled a muscle or something between my legs so I have been rocking a waddle for about a week now. Getting up and down and walking have become more difficult than I'd like those activities to be. Casey has been sick for the past few nights and that coupled with the time change has meant I'm not feeling rested at all right now. If it were up to me, I would spend all my free time lying down but that simply isn't happening. And even if I was lying down, I doubt that would stop Little Miss from the acrobatics she performs constantly inside me.
Sometimes, it's really hard being nice when you are experiencing the emotional and hormonal upheaval that accompanies pregnancy. I find myself really struggling to be lovey dovey with Husband and it really bothers me. Casey sleeping with me and Husband sleeping in the spare room really bothers me. Stupid shit at work that is really nothing new really bothers me. My mom and her stress over Gran and my dad really bothers me. It would be nice to not feel so irritated all the time. I want to feel romantic and cuddly with Husband and it makes me feel sad that I'm not. Bah. This is a bit of a whiner week I think. Maybe I'll get some sleep this weekend and snap out of it. "Maybe."


The One Where I Say Goodbye To Vehicular

Around age 22 I was driving my mom's old BMW 325. It was falling apart and I thought I'd be super cool and grown up and go out on my lonesome to lease a "new" Dodger Blue Beetle. It wasn't my most brilliant financial move but I drove that sucker for about four years and fell in love. When the lease was up, I couldn't imagine driving anything other than a bug so my dad and I headed to the dealership in October of 2003 and I bought a brand new Turbo S Beetle. It was a 6-speed stick shift and fast as hell. It had a spoiler that would pop up and down and leather interior and I was just in love. She was named Vehicular and I loved her.
I drove her all around Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. I took her to San Francisco on road trips. I moved with her back to Oxnard. She was with me through a few boyfriends and many girlfriends and lots of adventures. I drove her down to Husband's the first time I ever spent the night at his house when we were "dating." I schlepped a baby Casey to Maria's in her until Husband told me I needed a bigger car and we bought the Flex. After that, Husband used her to commute to and from San Diego even though he is big and she was tiny and it was a clown-car sort of silliness. She was just a huge part of my life for ten years.
Last night, we sold her to a man who lives on BFF's old street. He showed up in a black Jetta and I thought "this guy will love her." He was so happy to buy her and for a steal if I do say so myself. Vehicular needed some TLC. Some pieces of her were falling off or apart. She just needed more repairs than she was worth and she simply wouldn't be a realistic car for a soon to be family of four. This morning, for the first time in 14 years, there was not a Volkswagen Beetle parked outside of my house. I relinquished my ownership of her "VHICULR" plates. Now she's gone.
It seems so stupid to have this many feelings about a car but she was like an extension of me and I loved her. I bought her with my own money. I paid for every single one of her tires and repairs and oil changes and smog checks. I took care of her, you know? She was a huge responsibility and she cost a lot of money, just like a child. I bathed her and fed her and took her for checkups. She made me a responsible adult. I will never, ever forget her. Never ever. Good luck with your new owner, Vehicular. I think he'll love you like I did. I hope you make him as happy as you made me.  


Weekend Pics - BFF Birthday Edition

 We started with coloring.
 That led to cuddling
 And movie watching
 And cell phone play
 And smoldering
And happy times despite STUPID MOTHER-EFFING TRAFFIC