Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tiny words

Just wanted to record all the words my dear one can say now:

Nana (nurse...Now, when I come home from work he runs into my arms with a huge grin, takes out his pacifier, points to the couch and says "nana." The man knows what he wants!)
Bampa (Grandpa)
Peeeese (please...spotty, but we hear it occasionally)
Ho (hot)
Col (cold)
Ta-day (today...he actually spent ALL day yesterday saying "taday taday taday taday" Love it)
Pi-tee (pretty...he repeated "pi-tee Mama" when John told him that my hairtie was to make Mommy pretty)
Buu (book, with appropriate sign language)
Moe (more, with appropriate sign language)
Dat-dat (belly button...I don't know)
Key-ka (kitty kat)
Burrrr (bird)
Shuuuuuu (shoes)
Shees (1. FISHies..used to sound like "f-shee" but now he's abbreviated it to "shees"; 2. Cheese)

...and I'll add more as I remember them.

He can also point out his toes, hair, ears, eyes, nose, belly button and chin. Yay!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Things I Like Sunday

I've seen other blogs list things they like once a week and, while I am in no way suggesting that I will be that predictable, I admire the practice nevertheless. So here are a few things I've looked at recently that I really enjoy:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


So today I feel like a bad mom.

Nope, you don't have to comfort me and make me feel better. I know I'm NOT a bad mom, but I'm sick and therefore irrational. And I took my sick 18-month-old son to Kaiser for his 18-month checkup.
So he screamed during the height check.
And the ear check.
And the oxygen level check ATTEMPT by the teenage candy-striper.
(I dunno what her actual title WAS but she looked like she couldn't possibly be out of high school yet so I don't know how much responsibility she could possibly have.)
This is what she says to me as she tries to wrap a Band-Aid-like device around Jack's index finger:
"You need to keep him still."
[Jack struggles furiously to move as much as possible]
To me: "He's not staying still."
[No crap...]
To Jack: "Hey, buddy! Relax. Just take a deep breath and relax, buddy, okay?"
[I am laughing to myself that this KID is trying to take my toddler through a relaxation exercise as if he's a middle-aged man in therapy.
Jack continues to cry, scream, squirm and otherwise cause a scene. Did I mention all this was occurring while we are STANDING?]

"Well, we really need to check his oxygen level. I can't get an accurate reading because he's crying. Can you get him to stop crying?"
[Ha ha ha...not while you're doing this, lady...]
I say, "He's not going to stop crying."
She says, "How will I get the reading then?"
"You won't."

But that's not even why I feel like a bad mom. I feel bad because he was way behind on his vaccinations and they made me feel like a complete idiot for not keeping him up-to-date. I'm not ashamed that he was behind. I wasn't that worried. He's never really out of the house or around any other kids or even adults for that matter. (Now I sound like a bad mom for keeping him locked away like a hermit, I know. He's a year and a half. C'mon.)
They ask for the vaccination card. Okay. The teenager takes it away. Another, older lady comes in asking, "These are ALL the shots he's had?!?"
"So he's going to get more, riiiiiight???" She nods her head slowly as if I need prompting for the right answer.
She disappears.

The doctor comes in. She is quiet and gentle with Jack. Well, as gentle as you can be with a boy that screams when the stethoscope touches his chest, nose-thingy touches his nose and ear-thingy touches his ear. How can doctors hear what's going on with a kid when they're practically yelling INTO the stethoscope?
She tells me that Jack's way behind on shots. [Sigh. A nearly-empty immunization card must scream ignorance, stupidity or mental handicap.] She says that we can get him all caught up today. For free.

I panic inside, thinking about all the bad things that everyone who likes to do things naturally says about vaccines.
Mercury poisoning.
You'll only be able to walk backwards.

I think about all the bad things that everyone who does things traditionally says about not getting vaccines.
The big, bad diseases are coming back because of people like you, you bra-less, hairy-armpitted, hippie herb taker you.
The big, bad evil, flu-ridden pigs will sneak into your child's crib and steal their breath. Or something like that.

So I had them give him all the shots, with a chaser of Tylenol. Six shots. And I felt helpless and good for getting him caught up and bad for causing him so much pain all at once. He looked up at me with betrayal in his tear-filled eyes, breaking my heart! I know it's for his best interest and all of that common sense, but it's not really any easier to deal with at that moment.
He cried on the way to the car.
He sat with his head in his hands on the way home, looking through the English/Spanish board book that the doctor gave him. The book was filled with pictures of smiling babies, leading him to believe that at least one point during this exercise, he might actually have a reason to smile.

No un pucherito
Una sonrisita
Y si quieres
Una risa chistosa

Not a chance, Jack. Not a chance.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A tiny mouse goes looking for some cheese

Halloween was a lot of fun for us. John had to work during the day, but we decorated the house and carved pumpkins. One was Mickey Mouse, inspired by the Disney character pumpkins on top of the entrance turnstiles in front of Disneyland.

Our yard decorations were pretty nifty, but the crowd favorite was our pyro pumpkin, fueled by a roll of toilet paper drenched in kerosene (who needs tealights?)

We liked the effect so much that we burnt one more roll just to enjoy it longer.

And here's our little love, dressed as his #1 hero:

The only thing that really sucked about trick-or-treating was that so few houses on our street participated. I don't know if everyone had parties to go to, everyone was too poor to buy candy for strangers or everyone just failed to participate. Either way, we only had three houses other than us to participate. *pout* At least Jack is still too young to care about quantity. It's not like he can really eat any of the candy anyway.

Jack hated his Mickey hat at first, but once we took him outside and walked him down the street at night he was a little too intimidated to care about the hat! He clung to John's hand with all his might and curiously studied the dark neighborhood.

I've always loved Halloween because to me it's the spark igniting the excitement of the holidays. Most of the time I get irritated that Christmas stuff gets put out sooooo early, but at the same time it's fun to be excited about something for so long. Halloween was a great spark. Or, in the case of the pyro pumpkin, it was a great inferno!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Little Joys of Little Boys

Being a mom is fantastic...I never even realized how great it could be and I was completely terrified about the whole thing until I was pregnant. Then I was just a teensy bit terrified about labor. Heh. Then, while IN labor, I was VERY terrified that labor would not end! Now, I can work myself up into a state of terror if I try to imagine having TWO boys climbing all over the house and disobeying me. (shiver)

It is amazing to me that I really am learning and growing just as much as baby Jack is each day. While I am well aware that I am NOT an expert on anything, I forget that I will still be learning and growing too! Jack teaches me so much...mostly patience, patience, patience and self-control.

Yesterday we bought him two toys at Walmart. One was a cheap ($1) inflated ball with Winnie the Pooh and Piglet on it. It's the kind you played with as kids until someone kicked it just hard enough to cave it in so it stuck to the toe of your shoe when you'd kick it. Anyway (I'm having a hard time focusing today.), he LOVED it. He hugged it to his chest on the drive from Walmart to Trader Joe's and again all the way home. Just happy as can be. For a dollar. Praise God. Conversely, we also bought him a Mickey Tick-Tock Clock Activity Choo Choo Train (wow, quite the mouthful!)
I couldn't find a picture of it, so here's the Pooh version:
Now THIS cost us about $40. Not as economical but he won't stop playing with it! There's lots of buttons and whirly-gigs and all kinds of stuff for him to push and turn. He had to be dragged, kicking and whining, to the high chair to eat breakfast because he was still enthralled! Even now he's pushing the same button over and over and over! (No volume adjustment, sorry, parents!)
It's been about two weeks since I started this post and, darn it, I'm going to finish it! Quickly, these are things I'm reflecting on today, or what's left of today:
*God is so good that He OFTEN shows us how much we really can live without. And how we should never, ever put anything on credit EVER AGAIN!
*God blessed us with good business for the month of August so we can pay all our bills with John's commission check!
*God blessed us with three bonds, two little and one HUGE, that were posted yesterday and today that will grant us some commission for the sloooooooooooooooooow month of September.
*Jack loves to say "bird" (more like "BUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR...") whenever he hears birds sing, sees one in real life or in a book.
*I love my crockpot. It's like having a second woman in the kitchen. Put the food in and, magically, it comes out wonderful! And Reynold's Slow Cooker Liners clean for me too! It's like a personal kitchen miracle!
*When I am rich I will hire someone to unpack the car and our luggage whenever I return from vacation. I hate that. I don't mind packing and I love long or faraway trips but I HATE unloading, sorting and putting stuff away like you'd hate to have your toenail snag on shag carpeting. Exactly.
*Everyone's pregnant but me now! That makes me feel left out but at the same time, I'm happy that this is an area of our life that we can't just "do" to fit in or whatever. But pregnancy appears to be contagious, so I guess I shouldn't speak too soon...
*Today was cool at some times and COLD at others--time to get out that heavier comforter and dress my adorable son in warmer clothes! How refreshing the appearance of fall is to the body and spirit! At least, once your body adjusts to the complete absence of moisture and you stop feeling crappy.
*Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas/birthdays are coming! I LOVE THE HOLIDAYS!
*I have no idea how we will have a Christmas tree while continuing to reside with my stubborn/selectively deaf/sneaky/destructive son. My parents used to put the tree in the playpen when my sisters were little. But Jack's reach is so far...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

a Magical birthday

This past weekend sure was a workout! I had a great time, but lugging a child around with me made me quite tired! Friday, the 28th, we went to Disneyland since Liz got in for free! But it wasn't just an ordinary trip to Disneyland...Mom and Dad came too!!! They hadn't been to Disneyland since they took me when I was FIVE YEARS OLD!!! That's twenty-two years!

So, it was John, me, Jack, Dad, Mom, Liz, Theresa and Gabe. I slept like crap the night before...I think, honestly, I was too excited! I finally fell asleep around 2 a.m., but we got up at 5 a.m. and left at 6:15 a.m. Yaaaaaaawn.

It was so incredibly hot that day...hot and muggy. You know when you go on a water ride and get completely soaked and have to put up with wet, clingy, abrasive pants all day? Yes, well we all went on Splash Mountain and got soaked...and we all dried. Well, with the exception of Liz. She actually got 100% soaked, so it probably took longer for her. It was oppressively hot before we ever entered the park! I was worried my mom would lose her drive for fun in the heat, but she stayed until dusk! I am SO PROUD OF MY MOM!!! She went on nearly everything we did, with the exception of some of the rougher rides like the Matterhorn and Space Mountain.

We were able to do just about all the "big" attractions. Space Mountain, It's a Small World, Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, Tarzan's Treehouse, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, (Jack and I went on) Winnie the Pooh, Big Thunder Railroad and probably others I can't remember.

We had a fantastic lunch at the Blue Bayou. Chef Moises and Chef Jonathan were so awesome at working with mom's restrictive diet to create a custom salad, even going so far as to hunt down veggies they don't carry in their kitchen! Thank you, Blue Bayou, for making my mom's day so much easier!

Mom did hit her wall around dusk, which was totally understandable! Honestly, if it wasn't Liz's birthday, I would have been okay with going home then too! Mom and Dad left and then we kind of split up to do what we wanted to do. Liz, Gabe and Theresa went on Space Mountain again. John and I walked Mom and Dad out, then waited for the fireworks to start. The fireworks show was amazing...I teared up a little bit. Which figures. I tear up at everything though. Liz makes fun of me, but she said she cried too, so HA!

Then we walked through Downtown Disney and got Liz her first shot! I'm glad it was with us and I'm glad it was just a taste and not a horrible experience for her. Often a 21st birthday is a terrible excuse for someone to take someone out to get absolutely drunk...and anyone who has been drunk can tell you why it's not memorable in a positive way by the next morning! I also thought it was kind of cool that the entire day was spent celebrating all the magic of childhood before focusing on how old she is and whatever society has deemed appropriate for her to do now. And, again, I'm glad it ended well too.

We ate at the Jazz Kitchen, which was fantastic, then finally, finally, FINALLY went home! I had soooo much fun, but it was a long day and my feet were killing me. Everyone was tired and headache-y and sore. John got called in to work on the way home and didn't get back home til 6:30 a.m. (have I mentioned how much I LOVE my man?) and Liz spent the night at my house in preparation for a great weekend up in Santa Ynez/Solvang! The next post will be all about that!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

How quickly we grow up...

Tomorrow is my sister's 21st birthday and it seems impossible. She was just a chubby-cheeked little girl that I used to pick on and compete against for parental attention. Now she's a beautiful young lady who can make her own decisions and go to her own university!

It's strange being the oldest because you set the precedent for the family and then you're always surprised when your younger siblings do things differently...so well!

I mean, I'm so proud of you, Elizabeth. You're doing everything right and you're such a great young woman to be related to and to be friends with at the same time. I love you and I am living vicariously through this wonderful time when you're unmarried and "free!"

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Great video on healthy maternity

I found this great video on reducing infant mortality:

Reducing Infant Mortality from Debby Takikawa on Vimeo.

While I believe that there are definitely situations where medical technology is required when it comes to labor and birth, I am much more in support of a "hands off" approach if everything is going smoothly. I think interventions often happen unnecessarily and, sadly, many women are afraid to give birth because they think they can't physically do it on their own! On the contrary, God created a woman's body so amazingly that we are "made" to have babies! I don't mean that you are not fulfilling God's purpose if you choose not to have kids, but I mean that our bodies are able and willing to handle many of the scenarios naturally that we run to OB/GYNs for.

I know lots of people nowadays think a woman who wants to stand up during labor, squat to give birth, have a midwife or have a water birth is some kind of hippie in the backwoods, but it's the principle of letting nature take its course and, if there are complications, that's what the hospital is for.

I had jack at home, in a Softub spa in my living room and was so proud of that fact. I could do it! This is the one greatest thing that my body could accomplish, trained or not! No, it was not painless--far from it. I had no pain medications, but I walked around, sat and rocked on an exercise ball and later got in the tub. The contractions were unbelievably painful, but they came to an end finally at 7:48 a.m. that beautiful day of May 2, 2008 with a little purplish boy guided slowly up to the surface of the water, eyes open and looking at me.

There were no beeping sounds, no scrubs, no rush to wrestle him clean in a towel. It was just him, and me and his daddy. He gave one little cry, just to let us know he was okay, but then just quietly looked up at us, probably just as amazed at our blurry figures as we were at his slightly misshapen head, skinny little legs and werewolf hair on his back! I just couldn't believe, even then, that a real baby had been inside me...that never existed before and that John and I helped create! I made a baby! And I birthed a baby! Isn't God amazing?

I have been casually studying to be a doula for the past year or so...but it is hard to do with Jack being so young. A doula is a trained labor assistant that you can have with you in the hospital or at home to help you through labor and delivery. I would love to do it, but I believe it may be a dream for when I myself am done having babies and nursing. I hope I can do it one day. I would love to help other women have positive birth experiences too!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Digitally Restored

You know, I have always wondered how long it would be until I got a blog of my own. Heh. That makes it sound like I am incapable of predicting or controlling my circumstances, as if a blog would be thrust upon me. What I mean is, I think I always wanted one, but have always been reluctant to find something else to clog up my time. And it's not as if I have more time now than before. In fact, being married, watching my 15-month-old, ironing, washing clothes, washing dishes, feeding dogs and cats, cooking, changing diaper after diaper, cleaning (oh, the cleaning...), trying to make money here and there through paid surveys, photo jobs and substitute teaching, I just don't have a whole lot of time at all.

But I suck at keeping a diary.

And I suck at remembering things, even precious things so dear to my heart at the moment.

And I type much faster than I write.

So I must blog. (The word blog sounds like something that slides out of your mouth with a vomit-like splat on the floor and a quick escape of air. Nasty.)

I hope you are entertained.