Christa Tuesday - 23 Weeks

Little Miss Christa is finally over the cold of death that she had for too many days! This past weekend was a real struggle because all she wanted to do was nurse when in real life, she has bottles almost all day long during the week. It was very frustrating that she would refuse the bottle every time I'd try to give it to her for a couple reasons: A) Formula is like $17 a bag so when you're basically throwing money down the drain, it burns. B) Because she takes the bottle at Maria's, I have anxiety that my milk supply cannot keep up with the demands she has. I knew she was feeling better on Sunday night because she finally took a bottle from me.
She didn't want the bottle (from Husband either in case you're wondering why he didn't just do it, because he tried) but she definitely bombed on eating the baby food so that was good. At first, we were just experimenting with feeding her because it's still real early so we'd only give her about half the tiny container at a time. This weekend, though, she killed a whole container a couple times like a hungry little hippo. She even grabs your hand to guide the spoon to her mouth and leans in for it. It's real cute. So far we've tried carrots, some berry mixture, sweet potatoes and some chicken veggie thing that resembles chicken noodle soup. Yes, I tried it. Grody.
It was real hard getting up with her multiple times a night because she has spoiled me for so long by being such a good sleeper. We made it through but one night she was up from 1 until 3:30 and I thought I was going to lose my mind. Lack of sleep is absolute torture but when you add a sick baby to the mix that can't breathe and has a cough, well that's just the worst. Baby laryngitis? No sadder sound in the world exists. The amount of snot that was backed up in her was so so sad, you guys. It was coming out of her eyes. She was like choking on it and would cough and cough. UGH. The worst. And for a baby that never cries? Well she's just been the moodiest little emo baby. She didn't want to be held or put down.  So yeah, that's the update for this little monster this week. Sickness and food stuff. Real exciting.


Last Haiku Friday of July

Sickness, go away! 
I just want a nice weekend
In the sun and warmth
I also want sleep
But Christa is too snotty
Awake and upset
Healthy and happy
Is my wish for everyone
Especially us


The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good
  • Husband starts a new (albeit seasonal) job on Monday! Plus he's been killing in the interview department. Things are rocking and rolling!
  • Casey went on a field trip with his wee daycare today to Chuck E Cheese (and I didn't have to chaperone! Ha!).
  • Christa slept ten hours straight last night and is taking a bottle today for Maria like a good little girl.
The Bad
  • Summer colds and/or working that keep us from frolicking in the warm sunshine and the outdoors.
  • I've missed quite a bit of work due to Christa and I having colds so my sad little supply of vacation/sick time has been dwindled down to practically nothing.
  • Not being able to cheer up a sad friend and/or being able to convince her that she's better than the people around her.
The Ugly
  • Watching two married people with children act like selfish, petty, immature assholes and being dragged down into their drama.
  • The state of our savings accounts. Yikes. 
  • The snot and coughs and sadness of laryngitis that plague my wee little Christa girl as she tries to overcome the second little cold in her tiny life.


Christa Tuesday - 22 Weeks

Christa turned five months old on Friday. She went to JC Penney's on Saturday and simply killed it with her portraits that were very patriotically themed. Why not right? With Casey's portraits, I never thought to actually have fun with them. With a girl, I can accessorize with adorable hats and themes! What?! I know. It's too much.
Miss Christa is currently at the doctor with her daddy because she has a pretty bad cold. Weighing in at 15 pounds! She's got a mean cough and her snot level is off the charts, so much so that it's even coming out of her wee eyes. I think we're erring on the side of caution but I get scared at the thought of my wee baby having pneumonia or conjunctivitis (a.k.a. pink eye) so we're just going to go ahead and make sure she is okay.
***Update: Not pink eye but we still need to do eye drops. Just a bad cold but no fever or lung congestion.
She's been eating her little veggies with us at dinner time and at Maria's. We're still doing mostly bottle with a side of boob. Aside from the past two nights what with her cold and all, she's sleeping like a champ. Our weekend was basically spent in quarantine because of all the sickies so other than her portraits we didn't do too much. I did learn, however, that she is deeply in love with sitting on the rocking chair outside and watching Betty play. If Betty comes close enough, she'll grab her ears or lean forward to grab her face. She giggles at the sight of her and giggles when Betty licks her hands and face. I have a feeling those two are going to be thick as thieves.


Haiku Friday

I got pretty sick
And spent all day in my bed
This was yesterday
Feel a bit better
But I'd rather be at home
Sleeping in the nude
No kids at the house
The things you take for granted
Am I right you guys?


Christa Tuesday - 21 Weeks

It's so hard to believe that she will be five months old on Friday. Where does the time go!? This past weekend was her second time in the swimming pool and we made sure to bring a camera this time. She's in her fashionable new tutu bathing suit and stylish Target "Captain America" floppy hat that we got for like $5 on clearance. Nice. I wanted to credit her being an Aquarius as having something to do with her being such a water baby but it turns out that is an "air" element sign so there goes my theory. I hope we all learned something here today. We used reusable/washable diapers in the pool and they worked so much better than the Huggies Little Swimmers we used the last time because they don't swell nearly as much when they absorb the water. That's a good thing to accidentally stumble upon because when my coworker gave us those reusable diapers I kind of laughed out loud because I'm so not the eco-friendly kind of diaper washing mom and was pretty much never going to use them.
On Saturday we took Christa to visit her great-grandma at her assisted living home. Gran is in a place that specializes in memory care so there aren't a lot of invalids, per se, just bunch of confused old folks. Anyway, as we were leaving I sort of passed Christa around the table to about six old folks for some hugging because they really didn't take their eyes off of her the whole time we were visiting Gran on the patio. It was pretty cute for the most part but a couple of the old ladies got a little carried away and didn't look like they were going to give her back to me. One lady said she wanted to adopt a baby and I said that was nice and then she got pretty adamant and told me how serious she was and I kind of had to take my baby back before she pulled any funny business. It's amazing how much happiness a tiny baby and her big brother can bring the people that are there. I was happy to have that moment.
Probably the highlight of the weekend was the giggle fit Christa had on Sunday afternoon. I never know what's going to set her off but it's so sweet when she gets going. Blowing kisses on her big ol' thighs seemed to tickle her as well as me sort of cackling like a witch, which frankly doesn't sound that nice but she seemed to enjoy it. She's such a wee pleasure to be around. She took good naps all weekend and went back to sleeping from around 7:30 to 5ish. I can't tell you how much I love that. She is also eating her wee Gerber baby food off a wee spoon and it's just too much fun. I forgot how much I miss opening my mouth and making dumb faces and noises to teach her what to do. And what a mess! Delicious. 


Weekend Pictures

The weekend started off with these smiling siblings and it was just all uphill from there. We didn't do too much other than visit great-grandma, hit a park and swim in a pool but it was a great weekend.
 Here's a rear shot of the cutest wee bathing suit ever.
 Here I am with my sweet little angel face water baby.
 Casey went from being scared to go under water and scared to leave the steps to cannon-balling like a pro! Gotta love it.
You know what they say about sun and water: knocks a kid OUT!
We rewarded that nap with a popsicle. I can't get enough of this kid's blue eyes.
Oh yea, I'm white. Sunburned like a rookie.


Last Weekend Pictures Haiku Friday

If you come over
Please "check in" under this name
Instagram, Facebook
I make them lie down
To take pictures together
Looks kinda morbid
No plans this weekend
I can't complain about that
Something will pop up


Weight Update

On March 26, 2014 I uploaded this photograph to Facebook and wrote my last weight update. It was on this day that I had lost a total of 24-ish pounds and was at my wedding weight of 190 pounds for the first time since May of 2009. I was very, very happy. Although I didn't do much other than lose my baby weight, I finally didn't feel fat any more. I had just gotten some size 14 jeans and was realizing that in no uncertain terms I should not have been wearing the 16s I wore prior to getting pregnant as they were clearly cutting off my circulation.
Before I came back to work at the end of my maternity leave, I bought new clothes that were a bit smaller. I bagged up all my "fat" clothes to be donated to Goodwill. I swore to myself I was not going to gain back the weight I lost. I started off pretty well bringing my lunches to work when I came back and told my co-worker the reasons why I could not continue to eat out every day for lunch:
  • Two kids equals less money so there's the frugal aspect
  • My cholesterol sucks so there's the health aspect
  • I did not want to gain back my weight so there's the vanity aspect
I even brought my running shoes into work, swearing I would walk. Well in the two months since I've been back at work, my resilience is fading. I had only gone on two walks. I'd slowly slid back into going out to eat. And the goddamn candy dish is a constant temptation despite the healthy snacks I bring to work. On Monday of this week, after I'd gotten back from going out to lunch, my co-worker nodded toward the running shoes under my desk and said "Might as well bronze those." Nothing like a good shaming to get me back on track.
I made sure to bring my healthier lunches and snacks with me on Tuesday. I also made my shamer find a good route for me to walk. Today is day three and I've walked half an hour each time at a brisk pace. I'm enjoying the candy dish for now but my resolution is to quit that bitch come next Monday. My goals in the office are to (at least 4 days a week): drink 64 oz of water, pack my lunch, and walk for half an hour. At home I need to eat smaller dinner portions, stick to one-drink-a-night at least Monday through Thursday and simply move more because incessant snacking only seems to be a work problem.
I have gained five pounds in the three months since my last update and I don't like that at all so I'm jumping back on the health train. Want to join me? 


My Love Affair With Camp

Over the weekend I brought my wee family to Ojai to visit a friend of mine who is spending the summer working at the camp where I used to work. It has been about ten years since my last summer there but in the off-season, I spent four years employed at the main office in Los Angeles, just off of Mulholland and the 405 Freeway. This job was my first real office job and over the weekend I think I finally came to terms with why it was such a magical place for me. I think part of it was because it was a nonprofit organization so I spent most of my time dealing with things like fundraising and scholarships and it was quite rewarding knowing I was helping kids. I also worked with an incredible group of people - both employees and donors - who made work actually feel like fun, despite how challenging it could be at times.
Camp Ramah is a Jewish summer camp and I was raised Catholic so suddenly I was immersed in an entirely different culture. I was using Hebrew terminology like it was second nature and sort of accidentally eating kosher the majority of the time. I had very little experience with computers but my boss, TML, was deeply in love with spreadsheets so she basically forced me to learn Excel on my own. I learned databases and was a natural at memorizing names and addresses. I had to deal with Regional Centers who helped children with disabilities attend camp, some of whom worked with me in the Ojai office. I needed to be comfortable doing collection calls and setting up payment plans. Everything I learned about working at an office happened there and I believe the skills I acquired are responsible for any and all success I achieved afterward.
It was in the LA office that I met a girl who would soon become one of my best friends: Beanie, the other non-Jew in the office. She immediately took me under her wing and we developed a very close friendship quickly. We even decided to be roommates so we literally spent every waking moment together, both at home and at work, until she left to live with the man she'd eventually marry. We had was such a good time together and she really inspired me to break out of my comfort zone. She took me to clubs just to dance, to Yosemite to hike, on road trips to her home on a ranch. We drank red wine and listened to country music til we cried. She's also forced me to go on walks after work and when I realized just how much I loved taking a good walk it would eventually inspire me to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer totally solo. She had a huge impact on me.
Before Beanie moved away, my boyfriend of five years and I had just broken up so I moved alone to an apartment in Koreatown where I smoked too many cigarettes and developed a social anxiety disorder so stupid I could barely make it to the grocery store down the street without the assistance of my friend Albert. In hindsight, I think this was sort of the beginning of my struggles with depression. At that time, I was babysitting for my friend (the one currently at camp) who has three sons ranging from a few months to seven years old. She recognized I wasn't doing so well and invited me to live with her and her Rabbi husband as a part-time au pair. I didn't know it then but she, and the love of those three little boys, really sort of saved my life.
It was while I was living with them that I met a guy I really liked and sort of came to terms with the fact that I wanted to move back to Oxnard. That summer, my last at camp in Ojai, I packed up my things and moved back in with my parents. Finding a job was a lot more difficult than I had expected so I made the decision to go back to school to get my degree. Leaving camp was a catalyst in starting a new chapter of my life that really led to who and where I am today. I still keep in touch with everyone I worked with despite it being a decade since I left. I cherish the many things that Judaism taught me and I credit those three boys for making me the mom I am today for my own children. Who knew that what started as a temp job would turn into such a pivotal, magical, life-changing experience for me? 


Christa Tuesday - 20 Weeks

This photograph was taken on Sunday up in Ojai. It was a hot day and we sat in the shade for a bit, blabbing for all of nature to hear. On Saturday - another warm day - she had her first pool experience in a wee pink two piece but we failed in the photo department. She had a great time though! I adore how her arms and legs have more rolls than a Cinnabon (thanks, Christine!) and it looks like there are rubber bands around her chubby little wrists. There's really not much I don't love about this little lady right here. Well maybe one thing...
You see, Little Miss Christa is in a rush to be a big girl. As you've read here, she's ahead of the game developmentally. Rolling over at 3 weeks. Wanting to stand by 4 months. Well, this weekend I laid down a blanket that is kind of a loop stitch. I put her in the corner and she discovered that she could hook her toes into the loop and push herself forward. She did this and ended up approximately 3-4 feet away from where she started by the time I picked her up. If she keeps things up, she'll be crawling by 6 months. My mother never misses the opportunity to remind me that my brother walked by 9 months. She has also discovered that arching her back can lift her up out of a swing or a car seat so that's a blast.
I'm not going to lie, when I saw her scooting across her rug, I kind of teared up. Casey saw this and offered to "wipe the water from my face" in a very biblical sort of way. It was a happy sad but that sad existed, nonetheless. As much as I absolutely, 100% do not want any more children, Christa will be my last baby and for some reason she wants to get out of this baby phase as quickly as possible. She's such a sweet little thing, full of huge smiles and laughs. Like I told Husband this weekend, she's everything I never know I always wanted.


Movie Review Monday

It's been like three months since I was last in a movie theater and that makes me extremely disappointed in myself. Husband and I were chatting and it had been a month since we went out just for dinner without the kids which is simply unacceptable. I'm very glad I decided to break our streak of datelesness by forcing us to go see 22 Jump Street yesterday. A grown-up movie! I had gotten movie passes when I was pregnant with Christa that were gathering dust and it's a good thing admission was free because it was almost $17 for a large coke, a popcorn and a package of Reese's Pieces. I'm sorry... what?
The sequel was basically exactly the same as the first one, which is pretty much all I wanted it to be. Boy oh boy did I laugh my butt off right from the get-go. I haven't really seen Channing Tatum in anything other than this franchise and Magic Mike, but there is something about him as Brad that I'm deeply smitten with. This dude is ridiculously handsome and definitely built but mostly I just love him because he is sweetly ditzy and plays his silliness with such sincerity. Ice Cube? Forget it, he killed me. Jonah Hill is always funny and I don't know who played the blonde roommate but she was essentially Jonah in girl form. "19 minutes late for pinochle?" Good stuff, people.
I guess when it comes to summer movies, all I really need is a buddy movie just like this one. I want fast cars and guns and hilarity. Pretty darn predictable and easy. We saw a trailer for Let's Be Cops and I'm just giddy waiting for that to come out. My New Girl guys? In a buddy cop movie? You bet. I'm sold. I tell you, I'm really behind when it comes to movie viewing but I'm really trying to get back in the swing of things.


Happy 4th Haiku Friday

Oh, America
I love you despite your faults
Happy birthday, bitch
A three-day weekend
Spent with my friends and family
Hopefully outdoors
Here's to barbecues
To fireworks and to freedom
The red, white and blue


Outrage is the New Black

This morning while reading the news, I came across this article about a 23-year old woman who suffers from Crohns disease and has a colostomy bag. It is also worth noting, she is gorgeous and tattoed and rocking a bikini with said colostomy bag. They are praising her and I think she totally deserves it. If a few more of us stepped out of our comfort zone and did something that should be absolutely "normal" perhaps we could do a better job of removing taboos and stigma from society forever.
I know, that's wishful thinking. I almost went all rage-y on Facebook about this but quickly deleted my post because what's the point really? Facebook activism a waste of time and will only result in me being more upset about things than I need to be so I think I'm better off just trying to be witty and bombarding people with pictures of my children. What I had said, though, is that I cannot believe, in this day and age with all the information in the world at our fingertips and available at a moment's notice, that there are still things to be outraged about. Wouldn't we just be better off educating ourselves? Opening our eyes to the fact that we are all different and just stop trying to convert everyone to believing our way is the right way?
Why is it anyone's business who you are sleeping with? Who cares if someone else had an abortion or wants birth control? Why are we still asking breastfeeding moms to cover up in public? Why are asshole activists walking around Target with semi-automatic weapons? Why am I not surprised to see that the folks most outspoken about being against LGBT issues end up being caught in a "gay" scandal? Why is Jesus all up in my government? I know! BLAME OBAMA. Sigh. It's all too much. So here I am, venting. And all I can do is breastfeed in public to do my part.


My Son

Casey has always been unnecessarily cute. I know as a mom I am supposed to think that way about my own child but the feedback from "the people" seems to solidify that it's not just a biased opinion. His eyes are the most beautiful shade of blue. His hair is layers of different shades of blonde and when he had curls I swear it was almost painful to behold. To this day, I still get asked where those curls went. He's also got personality to spare and is just so loving and friendly that he's pretty irresistible. Sometimes, I think he's sweet to a fault because when his friendliness is not reciprocated, you can see it cuts him to the core.
Yesterday, we met up with my friend Laurie for dinner. I first met her children when one was Christa's age, one was Casey's age and the other was my nephew Ethan's age. Now, those children are 14, 17 and 20. That is so very hard for me to comprehend but that's another story for another day. Casey is pretty good at demanding your attention and Laurie was very nice to give it to him despite the fact that she was really there for some baby holding. At the end of our meal, as we were saying our goodbyes, she requested to give him a kiss on the head. He shook his head and instead puckered up for a kiss on the lips. He said he wanted to be her best boyfriend.
I think it's time to start talking to my son about birth control or I'm going to be a grandmother by 50.


Christa Tuesday - 19 Weeks

Today's update starts off with her dad pulling her up by her arms to stand tall like she so loves to do and has been doing for over a week now. However, today, she slipped a bit and Husband over-corrected to pull her up. She basically would not stop crying afterward and since Christa simply isn't a crying kind of baby, my motherly intuition went into overdrive. I noticed her left arm laying limply by her side, fingers not moving, and if we touched it she would cry even harder. I loaded her into the car and off to the ER she and I went.
She slept a bit when we arrived and I told the nurse what happened, kind of shaking and weepy the entire time because she is so small and helpless. I asked her if it was something they saw often and she said "Yes, but she's very young, hun." Yes, I know. My daughter is very advanced and rolled over at week three and now wants to stand all the time despite the fact she is only four months old. I get it. Even the doctor was stunned when I told him about the standing, asking all the people he could if they remembered their children doing that. "She'll be crawling by six months youknowthatright?!" Sigh.
I thought she had dislocated her shoulder but he checked and her shoulder was fine. He then diagnosed her with nursemaid's elbow. Basically her ligament got trapped under the radial head of her elbow. Terrible right? He needed to send her for X-rays to rule out a fracture before he could attempt to fix her elbow. The X-ray process was so very not fun. I had to put Christa on a hard table, under the wee apron and hold her arm in weird positions while soothing her as she cried. I had a hard time holding her arm in just the right position so the tech came and helped. The X-rays were done and I was told I had to wait about half an hour for the doctor to read the results.
Wouldn't you know it, though, immediately after the X-rays she was back to moving her arm and her fingers again. She was no longer sensitive to the touch and I was even able to change her from her pajamas into an outfit. She was boisterous and smiling and loud and happy. Had I just imagined this entire scenario? Was I the spaz mom that overreacted? Nope. Doc said he looked at the X-rays and there was no fracture but when the tech positioned Christa's elbow, she managed to pop everything back into place. Fantastic. As the picture below that I took at the ER clearly demonstrates, she's back in the game, folks, and happy as can be.
Hooray for fun blog posts! I live to educate the internet by way of my children.