11.29.2013

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

11.27.2013

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.

11.26.2013

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!

11.22.2013

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

11.21.2013

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

11.20.2013

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.

11.19.2013

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.

11.15.2013

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

11.14.2013

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."

11.13.2013

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.

11.12.2013

Dad

I'm going to do a bit of a timeline here just for my own purposes.
11/7/13 
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. 

11/8/13
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. 

11/9/13
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.

11/10/13
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.

11/11/13
As fun as this is, dad had a bowel movement. That means his intestines are working again. This is a very big improvement.

11/12/13
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.

11/13/13
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.

11/14/13
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.

11/15/13
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.

11/16/13
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.

11/17/13
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.

11/18/13
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.

11.11.2013

Happy Veteran's Day

 To My Husband
 To My Grandpa
To My Dad

11.08.2013

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

11.06.2013

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."

11.05.2013

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.  

11.04.2013

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

11.01.2013

Dia De Los Muertos Haiku Friday

A strange Halloween
Casey refused his costume
No trick-or-treating
***
Helped pass out candy
It wasn't a total bust
Just different is all
***
Day early shout-out
Happy birthday, BFF
See you tomorrow!