12.30.2014

Christa Tuesday - 45 Weeks

We are halfway through Christa's 10th month. Time is flying so fast. On Christmas Eve, we watched her take two or three unassisted steps. She is quite fond of standing up on her own and then she throws a pelvic thrust and plops on her booty. Her top teeth have poked through and her eye teeth are now making an appearance. Her teeth seem to show up two at a time and I'm just fascinated by that. I don't have any memory of Casey teething really. I guess you really do forget the first baby and that's why you do it again. Go figure.
Christa's first Christmas was a huge success. Her grandparents were here from Michigan and they spoiled her rotten. She has been at home with Casey and them since they arrived about ten days ago and at first she was not crazy about Grandma Friday. She had no trouble adapting to Grandpa, though. This morning, for the first time in over 7 months, she cried when I brought her back to Maria's house. Hopefully this was the only rough patch in the transition back to normalcy.

12.23.2014

Christa Tuesday - 44 Weeks

It's the first week of Christa's tenth month. Her Michigan grandparents arrived on Sunday so she is getting super spoiled with each passing day. I'm sure Maria is missing her little face. In the last day or so, she seems to have mastered waving goodbye and saying "bah bah" which is really stinkin' cute. I just packed away her 9-month clothes this morning. I can't believe how fast she's growing. We're only eight weeks away from her turning one. Unbelievable.
This little girl is the busiest little beaver around. She is always in something she shouldn't be in and you just can't move fast enough to keep up wit her. Right now her favorite thing is to terrorize our dog, Betty. She's doing it out of love but she will crawl into Betty's "safe space" which is her week dog bed in the corner. She'll climb up the dog's body. She smacks her and grabs her face. But really? She squeals with the same glee as she does for her brother when she sees Betty. It's really dang cute and frankly I think Betty loves it. And gets rewarded by being able to eat all the food Christa throws around.

12.22.2014

Weekend Pics

After Christmas shopping and food trucks with Husband on a very quiet and calm Friday night before Christmas at the mall, we babysat my niece and nephew. Casey was in heaven.
 And for the first time ever, I got the impression my niece actually likes me.
On Saturday night my brother had a pajama party / white elephant gift exchange so we went to that and I rocked this elf hat that was battery operated and shook and wiggled and sang songs and knocked my glasses off my face.
I'd never played beer pong and after my brother beat him, Husband wanted to play me. And I beat him too. Ha!
Here are the Baisch kids. Looking all kinds of cute and nothing alike.
I took home this gigantic boot that can hold like 40 oz of beer in exchange for my gift of lotto tickets.
That black rye IPA looks good as a Santa boot am I right?
And on Sunday after the kids and my mom and I had a luncheon at Gran's home, the in-laws arrived from Michigan. We chased Santa and all was well in the world. Even though Husband got a ticket for using his cell phone in the car. And made me super mad. Amen.

12.19.2014

Six Days Til Christmas Haiku Friday

A haircut today
Probably leaving early
To do some shopping
***
Buy last minute gifts
And trying not to lose it
Procrastination!
***
In-Laws come Sunday
And then before we know it
Christmas will be here

12.16.2014

Christa Tuesday - 43 Weeks

Christa will be ten months old on Thursday. I guess it's true about taking less pictures of your second baby because I didn't have a single picture of her taken within the last week to use for today's post. This was one BFF took a while ago and I think she's cute and half-naked so there you go. Then again, I think even if I had a picture, it would be a blur because this child never stops moving. If there is something she can be in, she is in it: the Christmas tree, the toilet, the closet, the fireplace tools... nothing is safe.
She's not walking yet but she's crawling quickly. We often catch her standing up, mostly in the bath tub, but I've yet to see her take steps. This morning, Maria told me she took two steps on her own yesterday. It won't surprise me if she walks for Maria before she walks for me. If I recall correctly, the same thing happened with Casey.
Christa isn't exactly the snuggliest of babies but she is definitely in a clingy time of her baby life. BFF tried to hold her on Sunday and she cried a lot for no reason. The same thing happened for the babysitter weekend before last. And it happens when her aunt tries to hold her. The only folks she seems to allow are her parents, my mom and Maria. She really wants to climb up my legs all the time but if I try to hold her she squirms right out of my grasp. I guess she just wants to be near me but on her terms. 
Her top teeth are out and sharp and she tries to give kisses that end up being bites. She shakes her head from left to right often and will mimic you when you say "Ah ah ah" in a negative fashion. She's starting to learn how to wave. Sometimes when we leave the house and say bye to the house, she'll chime in with a "bah bah" and that's fun. She loves to pat her brother on his head and pull his golden hair. And mostly, she just is the most loveable thing in the house.

EDIT: Here's one I took that night...

12.15.2014

Weekend Pics

 Here we are at the lamest of the lame Christmas parties but looking dapper as heck! Shawn the DJ was really very likely Shawn from accounting with a lap top. The buffet definitely didn't warrant the $30/head ticket and to add insult to injury, it wasn't an open bar. WTF?
 We decided to go downtown instead and ended up at a bar where older white people were ugly dancing to terrible live music. Husband ordered this cocktail strictly for the copper cup. I told him he looked like he was running for office.
 Since this was the most hilariously depressing date ever I wanted a pack of cigarettes but instead settled for a seedy hookah bar where Husband got to watch Sports Center and I got to blow watermelon smoke.
 Sunday morning was the Santa to the Sea marathon so we all yelled at runners from our backyard.
 This exhausted poor Betty so she passed out on a Santa pillow while Husband skyped with his folks.
 Sunday night was my Ma's ornament party so BFF came up.
Here I am with my ball. Same dress all month long, baby.
And this happened this morning so it doesn't really qualify as a weekend post but Casey was so proud of himself yesterday for putting on his shoes by himself that I asked him to dress himself this morning. I laid out all his clothes on his bed and went to finish getting ready for work. A few minutes later he came into my room saying "I did it again mom!" but clearly doesn't realize that pants are the important first step when dressing. He's so f*&^ing cute.

12.12.2014

Haiku Friday

Yesterday I wept
Seeing Casey as Joseph
Oh, Christmas pageants
This season's so great
Because of his excitement
Enthusiastic
He brings out the best
In me and in my artwork
You know you're jealous

12.10.2014

Moral of the Story Humpday

It's been over a year since my dad passed away and I think I've handled my grief pretty well. Every day I work, I come to the building he owned and the business he created and see his name plate still hanging by the door of his now empty office. There is not a day that passes that he doesn't cross my mind. Last weekend was a little rough because on Saturday morning I took my mom's picture for her Christmas card and it was just her and the grandchildren and I could just feel that my dad was not there with his wife and his grandchildren. Later that night was our company Christmas party and he would not be there with us and I would be the one to give the speech that he always gave. Because of all that I had what most people would call a panic attack. The thing about grieving is sometimes you don't know how sad you are until you're basically completely destroyed.
I was reflecting on last year and remembered that in mid-October, about a month before my dad died, he and my mom and I attended a fundraiser. When we'd arrived, they'd taken our picture and I never saw it. Since I keep in touch with people that worked at the fundraiser on Facebook, I thought what would the harm be in asking if they could locate those pictures. Let me just say, when that email came through I audibly gasped and my eyes welled with tears. In my mind, misted with nostalgia, these pictures would really be something beautiful. The last known pictures I had taken before I'd lost the most important person in my life. Sometimes, though, reality sets in and damn if it isn't hilarious.

 This one is my favorite
 5 month old fetus-Christa's in there!
 Why are we all so shocked and suspicious?
 What on God's green earth!?

I shared these with a friend and the following exchange happened and I laughed and laughed:
me That one at the table is too funny dude
why are we terrified?
him why are you in an invisible wheelchair?
me Right!?
lol
him your dad has a power beard. very archaeologist
me He's fucking indiana jones up in this bitch
with his man satchel
lol
him he's solving history crimes
me Davinci Code'in it up!
him:  he has a real opinion about babylonian culture
me LOL
you're killing me
him your dad has a room in his house where all the shit hanging on the walls comes with it's own 20 minute story
me oh jumanji
i'm glad you're bored. i got to reap that fantasticness out of you
 
I can only imagine how amused my dad would be about all this. I guess that's the point of it all right? 
 
MORAL OF THAT STORY: Life just isn't pretty sometimes. The least we can do is laugh.

12.09.2014

Christa Tuesday - 42 Weeks

It is the fourth week of Christa's ninth month. In nine days she will be ten months old. In ten weeks she will be a year. They really aren't kidding when they say, "If you blink, you'll miss it." She's growing up pretty darn quickly. She eats what we're eating now, just in tiny pieces. It always cracks me up when I'm slicing a blueberry in half but I get a little paranoid about her swallowing them whole if the skin's not broken.
Last night she was up about three times but for the most part if I stick a chupie back in her mouth, put her blankie back on and pat her she falls right back to sleep. Casey was always up for long periods of time in the night so this makes me not mind getting up so much. She is constantly on the move and can grab anything that's even slightly within her reach, so much so that we think she is part octopus. Last night she was lying on her back kicking the ornaments off the Christmas tree if that's any indication of her terrorist motives.
She is making lots of new noises and is trying to kiss now. She is never happier than in the morning when Betty or Casey come into the room. Her hair is getting longer and wavier. Her top teeth are visible through the gum so that little smile will soon change from the upside down beaver mouth it is now. Even when all the things are breaking everywhere around us and money is tight, I look at that face and have not a care in the world. Little ray of sunshine, she is.

12.08.2014

Weekend Pictures!

 Casey as Rudolph
 Christa in Purple
 The first ever Friday Sibling Christmas Photo
 Christa's first Santa visit - not nearly enough crying
 Again with the dog door.
 This kid loves making a mess
My cute son.

12.05.2014

Haiku Friday Ch-ch-changes Edition

Hitting rock bottom
Sometimes comes in the form of
McDonald's at lunch
***
Numbers on the scale
Just keep climbing so I know
I am stress eating
***
All this stuff with Gran
Unhappiness at my work
Change comes from within

12.03.2014

Gran

I don't know how much I have spoken about Gran on this here blog of mine but I suppose there is no time like the present. I feel like I should mention that on the day my dad died, I spent an hour of that morning doing the last of the cleanup at her apartment because she had been moved to an assisted living facility for the elderly that struggle with memory issues. I was cleaning and packing when I should have been sitting with my dad and holding his hands for as long as I could while he was still alive, although barely. Instead, my mother and I handled this task only to get back to my dad mere minutes before he breathed his last breaths. I hate that. Thankfully Husband was with him but yeah, if I die with any regrets, that would be the big one.
Husband and I moved Gran's husband - my Grandpa - to a home where he would spend his last days but prior to that we were the ones called upon when he needed help after falling and things of that nature. Then we moved Gran to her apartment so we could move into what was their house, the house where I lived as a wee girl and where my family currently lives. Later, we moved her into her current home and visit her there fairly often with our kids. Husband and I have spent a lot of our time caring for my maternal grandparents in one way or another: getting rid of their things after the moves, transporting them to and from facilities and appointments and holidays... You name it, he and I do or have done it over the past six years. This past Thanksgiving, though, we had an experience that has forced us to re-examine how involved we will be in the future.
Gran is now 89-years old and will be 90 in March. At each of the family gatherings that she has attended over the past year, she has gotten progressively worse. What started as confusion has led to her falling asleep in the center of screaming children or just putting her head in her hands while she closes her eyes. She hardly eats and if she does she can't remember that she has. She doesn't participate in conversation because she is not only hard of hearing but is very confused. In the car riding to and fro she is very repetitive. I was the one to bring her to my mom's for Thanksgiving - a rather small affair since my brother and his family were in Vegas - just my family of four, Gran and my mom. In the car, she basically kept repeating how the ladies really dolled her up but she seemed in good spirits. I figured this holiday would be the same as any other - totally abnormal without my dad, but a good time nonetheless.
I knew right away things weren't good when she couldn't understand that Christa was not a boy. After about 15 minutes she asked me "Are you happy? With the three of you?" referring to me, Husband and my mom. I responded confusedly that since dad had passed, this was the way it was so yes I guessed I was happy. She asked if mom's house was my house and when I told her no, that I lived across town in my own house, she was very angry about it, saying it should be my house. Then she just kept asking me if I was happy over and over and each time I replied yes, trying to figure out what she was getting at. I guess when I was out of the room, she asked Husband the same question. After about an hour of that, it was time to have dinner.
The moment she sat at the table she began shaking like a leaf and just looked distressed. I assumed she was cold so I offered her coffee or tea which she declined. She insisted she wanted to go home and that she had her reasons that she didn't care to share with us. I told her she could lie down until the rest of us had eaten and then one of us would take her back. When she and I were away from everyone else I asked her what was going on and she looked terrified when she told me she thought Husband and my mother were having an affair. With tears in my eyes, I reassured her they were not and that she was just tired and confused. That was when she told me she was not well. Mom took her back to the home and said the entire ride Gran kept asking her what she'd tell the home, as if she thought she was in trouble.
It has become blatantly obvious that her world inside that home is about as much as she can handle. Bringing her to these gatherings is more harmful than beneficial despite how much she likes to watch the children play. On Sunday, mom and I brought Gran some Christmas decorations and she had zero recollection that she was even a part of Thanksgiving. She also implied that I didn't bring my kids to visit her when I do at least once a month. And over the course of our 45-minute visit, she asked about her lunch no less than 30 times. I love my Gran but she's gone now and has been replaced with a hostile, defensive, confused old woman. It makes me sad to think she is no longer able to handle spending time with us "on the outside." Her home is her safety bubble and that is where she'll likely remain until she is no longer alive. All I can do is take comfort in the fact that I can visit her where she is taken care of and is safe but an era has passed.
Getting old is a terrifying prospect. I think equally upsetting, though, was to see how unhappy this holiday left me and Husband. All this time I think we have been putting my family first when really, he and I and our kids need to be our focus. After dad died, he and I put our own grief aside to be there for my mother but all of us are grieving and really her grief should not have taken priority over our own. Thanksgiving has made me realize that a shift in my focus and my efforts absolutely needs to be made. 2015 will be the year of Friday. And every year after that. Life is only so long, you know. We can't be living it for anyone but the four of us Fridays.

12.02.2014

Christa Tuesday - 41 Weeks

It's the third week of Christa's ninth month. On Thanksgiving we took her to the beach and while it wasn't the first time she'd been, it was the first time she got to sit and "walk" and play there. Naturally, the first thing she did was put a handful of sand in her mouth. Everything goes in her mouth. She's drinking less and less formula and eating more and more grown up food. As we learned at BFF's this weekend, she really loves blueberries and blackberries. Not much else to report, she's just crawling around like a crazy person and getting into anything and everything she can and with every passing day she just keeps getting louder and louder.
Christa got a flu shot yesterday and since I'm insane I wanted to do it at her old pediatrician's office even though I had to pay out of pocket and likely it would have been free at the new pediatrician's because we have insurance there. Anyway, we went and got the shot and later in the afternoon I see that the doctor's office is calling my cell. I answered thinking I'd forgotten something there because that seemed the only logical reason they'd be calling me and Lord knows when you have a baby, you're constantly losing chupies and bottles and blankies. It was Dr. Sally herself so naturally I went straight to wondering what was wrong if she was calling since the nurse had given Christa her flu shot.
When we paid our last bill at her office, I had sent a letter thanking the staff there and expressing how very much I would miss them all. They're all so dang nice and they've been taking care of our kids since Casey was born. I am heartbroken that we had to leave them and that's not an understatement so I told them as much. Dr. Sally was simply calling me because she was sad she didn't get a chance to see Christa when she was there. It was a crazy busy day and she forgot to tell the ladies at the front desk she wanted to see her. She proceeded to say how thoughtful it was that I'd sent that note and just went on and on about how nice and genuine Husband and I are and how much she'd miss us. She even said she hoped I'd call for anything if I needed her and that I wouldn't be a stranger. I was so touched and immediately started crying. I'm so glad that my children (and I guess Husband and I) made such an impression on her. It means so much because the feeling is so mutual.

12.01.2014

Weekend Pics

I put SO MANY up at my flickr if you want to check there but also here are the phone pics:
 Thanksgiving morning as superheroes. We like to play in the front yard like this to make passersby take a second look.
 A quick visit to the beach on a sunny day. We waved to Papa and he responded by sending us dolphins. The day went to hell in a hand-basket after this but at least we had this moment.
 Saturday at BFF's place celebrating MIKE's birthday
 Sasha was apparently the chosen one because anyone else who tried to hold Christa got a hearty serving of tears. Someone is in the needy stage of her life.
 On Sunday Casey & I made "Voltron" out of his Legos. 
Color-coded, OCD style like Miss Kitty taught him.
Husband's pancakes for Friday Sunday Pancake Breakfast are really going places.
 I bought a wreath because it matched Christa.
 Christa decided to figure out the dog door. Note Betty's concern.
And this? With my old Raggedy Ann and the covering of the face? 
Damn I love this baby friend.