Friday, March 29, 2013

Nascar Racers

Back in September of 2011, Gavin and I attended a charity poker event at the Bike.  During the silent auction, I became obsessed with the idea of "Racing a Nascar."  The package promised a real racing experience on a real track.  I have no explanation for this illogical thought as I a) don't like Nascar and b) don't like driving fast.  Anyway, I ended up with two tickets to race Nascars.

Not long after, I got pregnant with Colin.  The passes to race sat mostly forgotten until I realized I knew someone who would LOVE to do it: my dad.

Last weekend we finally made it down to LA Racing.

I was pleasantly surprised.  Overall, the people were friendly, there was a nice lounge and a shade canopy for the spectators.  While my dad and Gavin learned the basics of racing, my mom and I enjoyed muffins and juice.

Be safe, dad!

Daddy's Car: Go 17!!
Grandpa's Car
I was slightly concerned to learn that my son appears to be a fan of race cars.  As long as the cars were going, he sat contentedly.

As far as the actual race went, I didn't even like watching.  I was concerned they would wreck, or someone would wreck into them.  I was worried when the cars made scary popping noises.  I couldn't sit still and I couldn't look away.  It was a rough 20 laps for mom!

 The boys seemed to love the experience.  My dad signed up to come back for another race, although I think Gavin is putting his racing days behind him.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Mother's Milk Bank

If you've seen Colin lately, or even just a picture of him, you've probably noticed that he's not had any trouble eating or gaining weight!  Colin and I have had a happy and surprisingly uncomplicated breastfeeding experience so far.  Our biggest problems were oversupply related, and Colin adjusted like a champ.  While Colin was in NICU, I was unceremoniously introduce to a pump.

Since then, we've been freezing whatever extra milk we have.  The amount has varied, but there's always been extra.  Our freezer started getting fuller and fuller of little milk bags.  I gave up on the 'freeze 2 oz at a time' advice, but we both still realized we had a bit much.

While we talked briefly about getting another freezer, but I couldn't figure out why.  What were we going to do with all of this milk??

I started looking into donating it.  I quickly found that most of the milk banks in my area are for profit.  (The milk is still donated by the mothers, but the processing company is a for profit business).  I can't explain exactly why, but that bothered me.  So I found a nonprofit milk bank instead.  The San Jose Mother's Milk Bank provides milk primarily to hospital NICU's.

The application process was fairly straight forward and after a blood test and confirmation from my doctor and Colin's doctor, we were ready.

I didn't anticipate the emotional aspect of donating.  I've always tried to be a blood donor (low iron and my last few years of health issues have affected that goal) and I've never felt any type of connection or any feelings other than perhaps pride.  Still, as I got ready to donate our milk, I felt anxious and worried.  What if we didn't have enough?  What if... well, there weren't really any other what if's... there were just other slightly anxious thoughts.  Gavin and I spent a lot of time talking about it before I was ready, and as a result, the ice chest sat in our dining room for a while.

Yesterday, I finally got everything ready and packed up.
Notice the calculator... Clearly an engineer was involved in this process. (I also calculated the weight, at the request of FedEx)

There are 206 ounces of milk on their way to help. My mother in law joked that we'll know when they start using it when all of the NICU babies in California are suddenly plump little guys.  What can I say, we grow them big in this family!      

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Four Months.

Four months, already!

Everyone warned me, but seriously, where does the time go?  Colin is a blast lately.  He loves to chatter and play.  When he's hungry or tired, he calms down fastest for Mommy, but most of the time he's happy to play with anyone.  He loves to laugh, especially for daddy and Grandma.  

"This again mom?"
"No thanks, I'm out of here!"
Colin's rolling makes it a bit harder to keep him on his tummy for tummy time.  He seems to be happiest on his side (which could be because that's how I nurse him at night).  He's still interested in toys, especially his ball that his cousin Cole gave him for Christmas and most recently various members of his bobo (stuffed animal) collection.

Sleeping is a challenge lately.  Colin stopped sleeping through the night and wakes up 2-3 times at least.  It makes for a very tired mom and dad, but doesn't seem to affect his mood at all.  He also struggles to nap during the day and fights sleep.  

He's still a big boy.  A few weeks ago he weighed almost 17 lbs!  We have a doctor's appointment on Monday so we'll find out how big our little guy is for sure!

Colin also found his feet recently!  He's endlessly fascinated when they pop up out of no where and grabs at them, especially when sitting up. (With help, he can't sit up on his own yet, and thanks to his roly poly legs, the Bumbo was a bust!)

We are all settling into a pretty good routine.  He typically has two days home with dad, three or four nights/evenings home with mom and the rest of the time we spend together as a family.  His daily routine usually starts with getting dressed with daddy and tummy time.  Throughout the day we follow his lead for naps and feed on demand (usually 3 bottles with daddy or a few extra snacks when mom's around).  Night time routine starts between 6 and 7 and includes a bath (or sponge bath), a massage, a story, and he usually nurses to sleep.  He's still in our room at night although he's graduated from the bassinet to the rock and play to a pack and play.  Next step, crib!

Happiest four months, ever, little man!  Can't wait to see what's next!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Club

So I'm again a month behind in book club.

In February, we read The Buddha In the Attic by Julie Otsuka.

I didn't like it at all.  It was written in first personal plural; we, us, our, etc.    It was also clearly written for the twitter generation.  Each part of the story consisting of no more than a few sentences before moving on.  While my age would indicate I'm a member of the twitter generation, I am not.  I think it has the potential to be a great story, actually a bunch of great stories, but this presentation didn't work for me.

This month, we read Talk, Talk by T.C. Boyle.

The book was a fictional story about a deaf women who is the victim of identity theft.  I was super confused and a bit annoyed by the book.  For one, I don't understand why the women has warrants and is felony car stopped while the guy who stole her identity is using it successfully to buy a large Condo, purchase cars, and otherwise conduct life with no problems.  The thief does acknowledge that he missed a few payments, but nothing that would result in the dramatic start to the story.  The conclusion, which I won't spoiler, just in case my glowing review convinces you to read it, is equally baffling.  In case you didn't get enough, the epilogue muddies things up just a little bit more.  Of course, it's been almost two weeks since I've gotten a good nights sleep, so I might just be a little sleep deprived and cranky!

I'm currently reading (listening to) The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene.
It's a very lengthy book about the physics of the universe; a topic I find incredibly fascinating.  I think the book is approachable and easy to read (I could do without the pop culture examples).  I would be interested to hear the perspective of a non-scientist, but I don't think I'm going to convince Gavin to read this one any time soon....  I listen primarily during my commute and tell Colin all about what I heard while I feed him in the evenings.  Because I've studied physics and read lots of physics books, the concepts aren't new to me, but I still enjoy the delivery and the opportunity for early science exposure for baby!

I don't know what book is next for book club, but in the meantime, I have lots of Dr.Suess and Construction board books to keep me busy!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Happy Birthday to one of my Favo(u)rite Canadians!

Happy Birthday, Nathalie!

It's hard to believe it's only been five years since I met Nathalie.  When we met, we were both unmarried and our babies were just a gleam in daddies' eye.

Monte Carlo Bay, 2008

The first day of the EPT Grand Finale our (then) boyfriend and fiance were playing together.  They chatted briefly and I told Gavin I was going to ask Nathalie to have lunch with me.  Over the course of the next fifteen minutes, I chickened out about 5 times.  It's hard to ask someone out!  But I'd been around poker quite a bit recently, and I knew that I liked her WAY better than pretty much all of the other wives and girlfriends I'd met, so, I finally did.
We even had a brief life of crime together (Note the large pile of Stars gear)
Since then, despite the distance, she's become one of my closest friends.  With long hours and not much to do, we explored Monte Carlo together and talked about her upcoming wedding.  She was the first person I told that I thought I'd marry Gavin someday.

Nathalie is easy to like.  She's easy going, friendly and has an incredible whistle!  She's one of the few people who loves to take pictures and document her live as much (more?) than I do.
Poker is an interesting profession.  Amazingly, in an industry with more than it's share of philanderers, cheats, and playboys, we both married loyal, loving, compassionate family men.  Having someone to share the ups and downs of a relationship with a poker player has been awesome.
Great friends are the ones who inspire you to be the best you can be.  Nathalie has been that for me.  Not through inspirational talks or advice, but by living it.  Her and Steve's visit inspired Gavin and I to get serious about learning to cook together, a habit we still love.  She inspired me to start blogging again.  Most recently, her gift of Dr. Suess's ABC's and a memory of her and Steve with their first baby at our wedding shower in early 2010 inspired me to read (and then memorize) the book for Colin.  (Who knew that book had magical baby calming dust!)  I think I'm a better Amy because of my friendship with Nathalie.

Ignore my weird face and look at the concentration on Nathalie's face!
Her love for her family is obvious.  I asked her to stand up in our wedding because her marriage is a marriage with many traits we intended to emulate.   

Although she is miles away, in another country, and we don't see each other much, she's also only an email or a phone call away.  Following her family on her blog makes the distance seem insignificant.  

I was so excited to introduce Emily to one of my long time friends.
Nathalie's youngest daughter is only two months older than Taylor would be.  There was a time when that was incredibly difficult for me, but mostly, it makes it more special to watch her grow up, even if from a distance.  

So happy birthday to one of the most wonderful women I have ever met.