6.30.2014

Weekend Pics

 Christa tried cereal. Not sure she's "ready" yet.
We've dubbed BFF's dad a surrogate Grampa.
 Such a lady, chewing toes in her party dress.
 BFF's mom is such a natural Gramma.
 Christa loves standing.
Finally! A nice pic of great-grandma with her great-granddaughter!

6.27.2014

Goodby June Haiku Friday

Man, June's been a bear
So much sickness and doctors
I am over it
***
Hopeful for July
A new job for Husband please?
Good times on the 4th?
***
June wasn't all bad
Lots of wee birthday parties
 Sasha's tomorrow

6.26.2014

What's In A Name?

This morning on the way into work, Casey wanted to talk about names for some reason. He's very proud of himself that he knows everyone's names. He knows my name is Randi and sometimes he just casually calls Husband by his first name as in "Why is Brad outside?" Or he'll just say, "Brad, come wipe my butt!" Stuff like that. Anyway, today the topic was Christa being named Christa Allyn.
I told him her name is Allyn because their Grandpa's name is Allen just like Casey's middle name is Douglas because Papa's name was Douglas. Casey took this opportunity to say he has blue eyes like his Grandpa and then asked what color Papa's eyes were. Conversations like this seem innocent enough but this one kind of took a detour when Casey asked where Papa was. Since he watches all kinds of comic book/Star Wars programs, he knows when someone dies so I told him today "Papa died, Casey" to see if he could understand that. Turns out he can.
When I told him that, Casey replied "Poor papa. Why did Papa die?" so I told him that he was very sick and now he lives in the stars like Mufasa. This is my go to because I don't really know how to explain where remains go and I don't think he's ready for all that. I told him I missed Papa and he said "I miss Papa, too. Sometimes I would see him at Gaga's house." And then it was done and I got a little melancholy when I walked him to his classroom.
I guess this is why we gave our kids the names we did. So that our parents' legacies will kind of live on in our children. I get a lot of compliments on their names and I think that's an awesome side bonus because I really put a lot of thought into them. I remember thinking I would name my son Christopher Daniel for a long time. But no. Casey Douglas. Same initials, I guess. Never really gave much thought to naming a girl until I knew I had one in me.
Not sure where I'm going with any of this but I'm trying to keep up the blogging to make up for the fact that I don't read or exercise. Ha!

6.25.2014

What the F Wednesday

Yesterday morning, Casey woke up with a reddish welt of a rash across his lower back. Since I have woken up with things like that before due to being too warm in bed, I didn't give it much thought. We gave him a dose of Benadryl and sent him off to school. When he arrived at daycare, I told the ladies that he might be groggy and that he had a bit of a rash but he should be ok. Cut to 3:55 when I get a text from daycare with a picture of Casey's back exploding in red dots asking if that's what the rash looked like in the morning. Hell no it didnt! So I sped to get him and rush him to the doctor.
When the doctor saw him, he immediately diagnosed him with a Penicillin allergy. He even said he should take a picture of it because it looked so textbook. Casey had a lingering cough for about four months and his pediatrician and I decided we should try Amoxicillin to get him on a road to full recovery. This was Casey's first experience with any type of antibiotic so we had no idea he'd have an allergy. You may be asking "But, Randi, why didn't you know he was allergic after eight days of giving him medicine two times a day?" Well, it turns out the body won't show signs of allergic reaction to Penicillin until the end of treatment! His tiny body decided it had enough and needed to purge itself by way of a million tiny, itchy, red spots. Luckily, this can be treated with Benadryl (we're using both oral and topical) and should clear up in about 48 hours.
Another fun fact for when the Penicillin category pops upon Jeopardy!: If you are allergic to Penicillin and enroll in the military, you get special red dog tags so the medics will know to treat you correctly. You're welcome!   


And here he is this morning, clearly very upset:

6.24.2014

Christa Tuesday - 18 Weeks

This picture was actually taken on Wednesday of last week but the truth remains the same: Christa is four months old all of a sudden! When did this happen??? Now before we go any further, please take this opportunity to look at her JC Penney four month portraits here. I'll wait. Are you okay? I should have warned you that those pictures are so cute they might kill you. I'm sorry.
Christa had her four-month check up and vaccinations yesterday and she was a champ. She's got a head circumference of 16-1/4" (63%), weighs 14 lbs., 3 oz (59%) and is 25-1/4" long (82%). Since she can sit up in her little chair and seems to be showing interest when Husband and I are eating, we've been given the go ahead to attempt foods like cereal and vegetables. This would just be sort of experimental since she doesn't really need the nutrients of it all until 6 months but I'm still pretty excited to get going on that. Her vaccinations went very well and once again she hardly cried. She did, however, totally pee all over the scale and then the examination table. Twice. Yeah... nice.
Despite all the drool and gnawing on all the things, Dr. Sally didn't see any teeth yet. I'm in no rush to experience teething again so that's fine by me. Christa is very handsy, grabbing things all over the place. She rolls from back to front and front to back with no problem. She smiles and kicks laughs and is just a pleasure to be around. For the past three nights she has slept from 8 to 6. She is just a fun, sweet, easy baby. I feel like a braggart but facts is facts. I love her.

6.23.2014

Weekend Pics

In no particular order...
 These are the things dreams are made of. I wish I could pretend they are not delicious but they are. I ate a lot of them this weekend. I'd like to have eaten more. I didn't find them at our grocery store, just at Target, which is not only the Mecca but also the place where all my money is spent.
 On Sunday - after a near death experience - we went to a 2-year old's birthday party where I had no less than 4 home made carnitas tacos and we walked away with mustaches. What's not to love? I mean, aside from the fantastic company...
No I'm not afraid to put a mustache on an infant and yes, sometimes I do wish Casey was a ginger.
 Christa is all about folding herself in half and I'm all about taking pictures of it. Apparently holding our feet is all the rage. She's so chunky. I love her so much. I've never known a happier baby.
My handsome nephew spent the night on Saturday night so I got this cuddle puddle on Sunday morning. Made my whole day, frankly.

6.20.2014

I'm a Grandma Haiku Friday

31 Flavors
Is really, I've been informed,
called Baskin Robbins.
***
And the grocery store
Should not be called the market
Or so I've been told
***
I'm not tech savvy
I get confused easily
Get me my afghan

6.19.2014

Throwback Thursday

This morning on the way into work I saw a trio of older boys, probably high school aged, walking in the street. They were Latino, wearing matching grey shirts, long black shorts, and white socks pulled up to their knees. In Oxnard, this is sort of a "gang" look, I guess you could say. It's totally not uncommon. Frankly, it used to kind of get me nervous back in the day but now I just see a bunch of kids trying to look hard and it mostly just makes me feel sorry for them. Anyway, seeing those dudes sparked a memory of my dad so I thought I would jot it down here.
We used to go down the road to the local 31 Flavors quite a bit as a family when I was growing up. There was a part of the shopping center right next to it where my grandpa and I would "play alley" which was basically just him sitting there while I played. Once, my dad was trying to pull into a parking spot there and someone cut him off and took the space before he had a chance to park. My dad, normally a pretty passive dude, cussed up a storm (his usual stream of Goddamn, sonofabitch and whatnot) and actually took off his seat belt like he was going to jump out of the car and beat that person's ass. If I recall correctly, that person ended up backing out and giving my dad the spot. But that's not the memory I had, I'm just talking about things that happened at the 31 Flavors.
This particular memory was of us driving out of our neighborhood to get some ice cream and seeing this lone black kid just sort of walking down our street. We noticed that he was being followed by a group of Mexican kids and something just seemed not right. All of a sudden, that black kid just kind of took off running, looking pretty spooked. My dad told us kids to hang on and we pulled up next to him, threw the door open and told him to jump in the car. Once he was in, my dad screeched the tires and burned rubber right out of there. We took him with us to the 31 Flavors, sort of against his will because my dad wanted to make sure when we took him back that the coast would be clear and he wouldn't be harassed.
All of this seems kind of awesome and heroic, right? But now that I think of it, I think we kind of kidnapped that black kid.

The End

6.18.2014

Eighteen

I have a weird thing with numbers sometimes, maybe it's an OCD thing but maybe it's something more.
  • I consider 7 my "lucky" number because I was born in 1977 and my grandpa always wore a 7 around his neck.
  • I always seem to count my steps to 8 and repeat when I'm walking and trying to zone out. 
  • One of the first gifts Husband gave me was an autographed photo of Kirk Gibson who was number 23 and we got married on the 23rd.
  • I think it's neat because unintentionally Casey's first name has 5 letters and his middle name has 7 while Christa's first name has 7 letters and her middle name has 5.
  • I also think it's neat that both my kids have birthdays full of even numbers: 8/24/2010 and 2/18/2014. Only 0, 1, 2, 4 and 8 there.
Eighteen has become a big number for me. My dad died seven months ago today, on the 18th. Christa was born four months ago today, on the 18th. I find that to be a very cosmic thing that she was born three months to the day that he died. I love the fact that they are forever connected by a number despite the fact that they never met. Sometimes I take comfort in the fact that he took his last breaths with his hand on my pregnant tummy and there's a part of me that truly believes he left his mark on her when he passed. I believe that he is the reason for Christa's peaceful demeanor.
When it came to deciding where I wanted to have Christa, I decided to go to the hospital where my dad died instead of the hospital where Casey was born. There's a belief in Judaism that 18 (chai in Hebrew) is a symbol of a long life. It felt like my responsibility to sort of balance out the loss of one life with the beginning of another at St. John's. I looked a bit further into symbolism of the number 18 and found that the ancient Romans used it to symbolize a blood relative. In Chinese tradition, 18 symbolizes prosperity. I like seeing such nice things connected to a number that has come to mean so very much to me. 
As is obvious, with father's day having just passed and the 18th rolling around, I have a heaviness in my heart so I'm trying to comfort myself with silly things like numerology. We got a call on Monday that my dad's ashes were being prepared to be sent out to sea soon on the USS Ronald Reagan. Since he never really had a proper burial or a funeral, there's a part of me that just hasn't had closure yet I guess. His memorial was beautiful but felt more like a party as opposed to a place to acknowledge our grief and loss. While there's really not a day that passes that I don't think about or miss him, things feel overwhelming right now so I guess I'll take whatever measures I can to cope so for now, eighteen it is.

6.17.2014

Christa Tuesday - 17 Weeks

I can't believe my precious little baby will be four months old tomorrow. It seems inconceivable that time can fly by so quickly. I was having a conversation yesterday about being up at night nursing her and how that means I don't get as much sleep as I could if I had Husband give her a bottle. It wasn't really a complaint. I almost feel like I don't want to sleep if it means I have a little more time with the last baby I will ever have.
She's such a sweet little thing and so far has been such an easy baby. Even with her nose congested for weeks, she remained a pleasure to be around. She smiles so big for me all the time and I feel like a superhero. I can't even begin to describe the looks she reserves just for her big brother. The other day she was following him around the room with her eyes and just cooing and smiling when Husband looked at me and said "He's going to break her heart one day." It's true, you know. Eventually he'll want to do something without her and she'll be so sad. But right now, he loves her as much as she loves him and it's wonderful to be a part of. Casey giving her a bottle for the first time was just about the sweetest thing ever.
I still can't determine if she is teething or just a drool factory. Her new trick is "talking" while she eats, a little tiny humming sound. She loves chomping down on things. Holds things in her tiny hands now. If you put her on her back she kicks her legs out and flips over to her tummy. I have a feeling it won't be long until she's crawling because she's already trying to scoot on her belly and uses her feet to push herself. I wish I knew why she was in such a rush to be a big girl. And since I love to brag about what a great sleeper she is, the other night she slept from 7:15 pm until 5 am. Yeehaw!

6.16.2014

Weekend Pics

I'm trying to start using my fancy camera instead of the little pocket camera so I am out of practice and not that pleased. The first four are from the Rebel XT and the last three are from the PowerShot ELPH135.
Christa is totally trying to eat all the things. 
 She's also constantly drooling.
 This was the moon on Friday the 13th that everyone was anticipating.
 Casey's first time feeding his sister.
 This was from our hike on Father's Day.
 Husband and the kids
Me and my pink-eye with the kids. We need to work on our selfies.

6.13.2014

Haiku Friday the 13th

Casey's at home sick
Not "home" but he's with Husband
He's just not at school
***
Doctor can't do much
He's got eye goop and a cough
Fever yesterday
***
Good news would be nice
Health, maybe a job offer
Just a little break?

6.12.2014

Dad

This weekend will be my first Father's Day without my own father to celebrate. I have really been struggling with this but it's hard to put into words. I come from a family that finds it necessary to celebrate every single stinkin' holiday together but this year I put my foot down and said I only wanted to celebrate Father's Day with Husband because he is the father of my children and basically the only dad I care to be around on that day. I don't think I need the reminder that my dad is not here. His absence is so obvious when we're all together.
The picture above was taken last year on Father's Day. It was such a fun day. My dad had Parkinson's but was already not the most coordinated man and he had fallen down on some rocks and was all cut up and bleeding. He kept hitting his head on the overhang of my brother's camper. I remember it like it was yesterday. Despite all the booboos, he was just so damn happy because he was surrounded by his family and got to play with his three grandchildren on a beautiful day at the beach.
Casey loved his Papa more than anyone on this earth. They were the best of friends. I wish that my dad had gotten the opportunity to hang on a little longer to meet Christa. He would have been wrapped around her little finger and he would have loved every second of it. My dad was such an easy man to love and gave love so easily. I miss him so much every day I can't even stand it. He was so happy seeing the father and man my brother had become and was so glad to have Husband as a son-in-law, taking care of his little girl and our son. I wish I didn't hurt so much. I wish I had my dad.

6.10.2014

Christa Tuesday - 16 Weeks

Here Christa is with the best babysitter on earth, Maria. Christa seems to only be good with me or Maria. When she is with my mom, she cries for hours. When she is with Husband, she cries like a crazy person. Maria is literally a better mom to my kids than I am and I have no shame in admitting that. Christa smiles for her like she smiles for me and that fills me with warm fuzzies.
Big news this week is that after her wee tantrum for her Gaga while Husband and I had our date night, she slept from 8 p.m. until I finally had to wake her up at 7 a.m. to get ready to go to work. As I stood brushing my teeth, topless at the sink, my poor boobies took turns dripping milk like a wee leaky faucet. You're welcome for that visual. Last night, she slept from 8:30 to 5:30 this morning. I am so very happy about that, you have no idea.
She is a chatty, chatty young lady lately. She used to make these cute little cooing sounds but now it's full on rambling and boy can she get loud. She puts her hand in her mouth and sort of chews on it while she has her little outbursts. It's pretty cute but also totally interferes with me trying to watch TV in her presence. Not that that's a bad thing.

6.09.2014

Weekend Pics

I guess on Saturdays we like to mean mug the camera.
 Husband was helping my brother so I took the children to the Oxnard Historic Farm Park for their first Farmer's Market. We didn't stay long because there wasn't much there but I thought this picture was pretty cute. My man loves socks that don't match.
 On the way home, Casey made the pose below and told me he was a rhinoceros.
 Then we went to my niece's birthday party at the park where the marine layer deceived us into getting sunburns. Fantastic.
 We also learned that Casey really likes flying kites.
 Sunday was very mellow. Farmer's Market and taking pictures with Chippy the Mammoth. A trip to the grocery store before Casey's nap and a couple episodes of Orange is the New Black.
We decided to use our Outback Steakhouse gift certificates we got right after Christa was born. I drank a lot of beer and ended up sort of crying. They were happy tears but it was still pretty ridiculous. I guess Christa cried for my mom the entire time we were out. Kind of put a damper on the good times I had. Oh well.

6.06.2014

Pink Eye Haiku Friday

My son has pink eye
"Casey don't touch your eyes please"
Has played on repeat
***
But the hardest thing?
"Casey don't touch your sister"
He loves her so much
***
"But I'm all better!"
Nope. Eye drops three times a day.
For seven days. Suuuuuuuucks!

6.04.2014

Double Knots

On Friday morning I went in for my tubal ligation. I arrived at the surgery center at 10 a.m. and was parched. It seems I can go a long time without eating but not drinking after midnight is very difficult for me. I found myself letting my saliva build up in my mouth so I could swallow it to quench my thirst. Husband brought me there but I told him he could just go do other things because I really wanted to read in peace. I think it really says something that the only quiet time I get is when I'm going in for a procedure.
The nurses and the anesthesiologist were very friendly. At no point did I feel nervous or anxious. I was wheeled back to the operating room after about an hour and a half and before I knew it I was waking up in the recovery room about forty-five minutes later. For some reason, I had a very hard time coming out of my anesthesia this time around and spent most of the day feeling a little out of sorts and groggy. I took a bit of a nap in the afternoon but it didn't alleviate it. The worst part of the whole thing was the taste in my mouth. I guess they put a tube in my throat so I could breathe but it left my mouth tasting burnt. It definitely didn't allow me to enjoy my post-op lunch of a double-double and fries from In-N-Out, washed down with a Neapolitan shake.
I had spoken to my OBGYN about how this procedure would affect my breastfeeding Christa and he said it shouldn't. When he asked if I wanted prescription pain killers, he said the effect on her would be minimal and pain relief would be preferable. I've struggled with this after having a couple beers sometimes and the idea of pumping and dumping. I hadn't done that since Casey and didn't really see the point of it. The nurses were pretty adamant that I pump and dump up to 12 hours after my anesthesia so Christa had formula and at 8pm, after she went to sleep, I pumped and dumped about 6 ounces of milk.
She woke up at around midnight to nurse and I suddenly had this fear that the pumping and dumping I had done wasn't really 12 hours later. Would I be drugging the baby? I started to sort of panic after I had fed her and ended up googling La Leche League to calm my nerves. Basically, they believe that if a mother is awake and coherent, the concentration in your milk is not enough to affect the baby. They totally disagree with the pump and dump. This is very good to know, you know? Because now I don't need to feel all guilty after a couple of beers. Because I'm not drunk and Christa won't be either.
Back to the procedure, however. I was a little uncomfortable for the weekend and took it really easy. My son has a knack of finding where I hurt and that being the target area so there was a lot of deflecting of the Casey. When I would burp Christa after feeding her, her little toe would inevitably find its way into my belly button. That's where the incision is, by the way, so I won't even have a cool surgery scar to boast. All sealed up with a glue strip that looks like ointment (pictured below so be forewarned) It's Wednesday and the soreness is all but gone despite my belly button turning a lovely shade of chartreuse.
I have zero doubts or regrets doing this. I'm so happy with my two kiddos. I'm looking forward to spontaneous, unprotected sex without fear of pregnancy. I'm so elated to never have to take another pill or put another ring in. Condoms are nonexistent. It's all just so damn wonderful. And if you're squeamish, don't check out my picture below. That's what belly button rings, babies and a tubal do to your once taught little tummy. HAHA!
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6.03.2014

Christa Tuesday - 15 Weeks

I assume if you read this blog then you are my friend on Facebook so you already know that the big news of the last week is that Miss Christa had her first giggle fit. She's been doing a slight chuckle/cough sound when she smiles for a while but it was a full on laugh fest at our house on Saturday night. For some reason I made a loud sound and it set her off. It was magical.
She's been alternating between sleeping about 8 hours straight and waking every few hours. I'm fascinated that I can put her in her crib while she's still awake and if I put the little singing glow seahorse in there with her she will put herself to sleep. I literally rocked Casey until my tummy was so full of Christa that he could no longer fit on my lap. I really hope we don't have the same problems with her staying in her bed and sleeping through the night like we've had with him. Hopefully we've learned from our mistakes that way.
She's more interested in toys than before so we have introduced some stuffed animals, rattles and of course, Sophie the Giraffe. She is a finger sucker and can fit her whole hand in her mouth. Very impressive. I guess she takes a pacifier for Maria but not for me. It's pretty hilarious that she "talks" with her mouth full of her fingers. A lot. Loudly. Chatty Cathy all of a sudden. She's also a pro at rolling from her back to her tummy now and gets super pissed that she's done that to herself. Crazy girl.

6.02.2014

Weekend Pictures

 Most of my weekend was spent chilling on the couch. Christa slept on me for hours. I loved every second of it.
 Casey made us all dress up before pancake breakfast on Sunday. He is spending a lot of time in this getup. I won't be surprised if he'll try to wear it in public soon.
 Sometimes I feel he is the poster boy for why plastic bags have warnings. All these toys and he wants to play with a bag on his head.
 Miss Christa is in her wee chair thing now. She's still too small but is fascinated by the spinning wheel when she's not falling into it face first because of her lack of coordination. Ha!
 And then there's this. Goodness. I sure love this boy. He's destined to be an actor methinks. He oozes charisma.