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?