Monday, November 19, 2007

Thanksgiving this week?!

I can hardly believe that it's nearly Thanksgiving. Where has the time gone? Today is officially 5 months since Christopher was born. It's strange how you start to measure time based on the age of your children.

I am working tomorrow and Wednesday, but then I have the next 5 days off. We aren't sure what we are going to do for Thanksgiving. It would be nice to take a little road trip and venture out of Los Angeles, but as of now we aren't sure where to go. Originally we wanted to drive out to the Grand Canyon, but it's a 500 mile drive and what options do we have with a baby? It would be better if we had more time and could make a vacation out of it.

Christopher is very cute. The other day he said "ba ba". Since then, I haven't heard him say it, but it was sweet when he said it the first time. I love seeing him wake up in the morning. When he finally notices me looking at him, he will smile and coo at me. He makes a lot of random noises, ranging from grunting like a little dinosaur to squealing like a piglet. It's all very cute.

Baby #2 is keeping me on my toes with the intermittent nausea, thirst for water, and fatigue. It's not quite as bad as when I was pregnant with Christopher, but just enough to be slightly uncomfortable. We went to a going away party last week for one of Alfonso's coworkers. We announced our pregnancy during the dinner, and received quite a response from the 20+ people that were sitting at our table. It's all very exciting. :)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Big news

We are officially pregnant! I found out a couple of weeks ago through a home pregnancy test, and on Thursday we went to our first OB appointment. She did a ultrasound and estimated that we are 7 weeks pregnant. The heartbeat was apparent, beating at 171/bpm.

It's a little shocking, but we are both very excited. Christopher and the new baby will be a year and a few weeks apart! At least we have most of the baby items with a few items to buy (additional crib, car seats). If it's a girl we will need some clothes, but if it's a boy, we are pretty much set.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Chunky-Chunk (aka Christopher)

Last month, Christopher was going through a big time spit up phase. We would feed him his bottle, and then within the next 30 minutes he would spit up (for what seemed most of his bottle). When we went to his four month check-up, I mentioned to the pediatrician that Christopher seemed to be having quite a bit of spit up after eating. He wasn't crying while spitting up, indicating that he would have reflux, but he would stick his fingers into his mouth and practically gag himself. Alfonso and I used to joke to each other that Christopher was self-inducing bulimic, and that was why he would spit up so much.

Thankfully that period has passed (it was about a month of this) and it seems that Christopher is making up for lost time. He is now eating about every 2-3 hours of 6 ounces of formula. Before he would sleep through the entire night and wake at 6 or 7 to eat. Now he his waking up at 4 am for his bottle. I am happy that his appetite is back (and he is starting to fill out more and is heavier to pick up) but the early morning feedings are taking it's toll on the household.

We have our 6 month appointment on December 19th, so we will see how much he has gained. Just for kicks, I looked at my old height/weight records that my mom recorded on my immunization cards during my first year. Christopher is now 24.5" in length, and weighs at least 15 lbs. When I was 4 months, I weighed 11 lbs, 7oz and I was 23.5" in length. Granted this was 28 years ago, and nowadays babies are bigger. Also, there are height/weight differences between boys and girls. I was just curious to see how Christopher compared to me. I wonder if Christopher will take after us (we are 5'4 and 5'5) or be tall like his uncles (6'2 and 6'4).

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Griffith Observatory

On Tuesday, we went to the newly renovated Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park. If you have ever seen the movie "Rebel Without a Cause" with James Dean, there is a famous scene with the observatory in the background. So famous that there is a James Dean statue on display at the observatory.

We had a good time, and Christopher behaved himself quite well. We had a lot of fun taking photos on the upper level. Unfortunately the air was quite smoggy/foggy/dirty, so the background isn't too sharp. Here are a few photos though:

I love his little elvis lip:

In front of the Hollywood sign:

A very smoggy photo of downtown LA (the winds recently kicked up and blew ash and dirt around).

Saturday, October 27, 2007

baby Chris

Upon numerous requests, pictures of our baby Chris. He is no longer looking at his fist, but is now lifting up one finger and staring at it. He is also working on rolling, with assistance from us. He is very talkative with many squeals, laughter, with goos and coos. More pics to follow.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

grrr.. taxes

Yikes, we just received the bill in the mail for our property taxes. It is awful.

You definitely pay for paradise. Gonna have to work at least 1 extra shift per pay period...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fires in SoCal

As most of you know, we are having a fire problem here in southern California. It seems like there is a new fire every hour. With the super dry conditions along with the 70-80 mph Santa Ana winds, this creates an ideal formula for fires.

I have been working since Sunday, and that was when we first heard of the fire in Malibu. Malibu is quite a distance from us, so we didn't feel affected. It wasn't until Monday when I hear about the fire in Castaic when I became concerned. We live less than 10 miles from Castaic. When I was driving to work on Monday, I called Alfonso (he was at work too, but on his way home) and said that for whatever reason, if we have to evacuate to gather up our valuables and important documents.

Later that afternoon I started to get a funny feeling in my stomach. I called my friends Elsa and Janet for updates. When I called them, they were saying that they couldn't talk for long because they were evacuating from their house. There was a fire on Magic Mountain (which is next to us). I then called Alfonso, and told him that the neighborhood was evacuating (he was just waking up from working the night before).

It became a little crazy at work, since many of my co workers live in the same area as me. People were calling home, other people were trying to locate their family members. As I was leaving work, I caught a glimpse of my subdivision on the news.

When I came home, they had opened up my street. There were police officers barracading the rest of the subdivision. I went to sleep that night hoping that we didn't have to evacuate during the night. As I fell asleep, I could hear the hum of helicopters and airplanes overhead.

As of now, the fire that was near us is contained. Unfortunately, many people are not so lucky. Many people have lost their homes in San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles County. It has just been horrible these few days.

Here are some photos that my friend took of our neighborhood under evacuation:

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Weighed myself yesterday at work, and I have 11 more lbs to lose before my pre-pregnancy weight. It will be nice to fit back into some of my old clothes, since I can't afford to buy new ones. It was bad enough losing 2/3 of my shoes since my feet grew a half of a size! My niece Mayra lucked out, and took home most of my old shoes.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Baby Chris and Grandma Valencia

After working for a month, we decided that we needed some extra help with Christopher. I had previously looked into daycare, but since I work until 7:30 pm and most daycares close at 6pm, this wasn't an option. So, after some discussion we invited my mother-in-law to California to help us with Christopher. She arrived on Friday, and is now part of our household. So far it is going well. I hope that this will work out for us. It will be a great opportunity for Christopher to learn spanish and bond with his grandma Valencia.

They finally reopened the interstate 5 freeway just south of our house. There was a terrible accident last Friday, and they had the freeway closed all weekend. I had to take an alternate local route to work yesterday, and today I switched my day for Friday since I was afraid that the freeway would not be open.

I am doing well on my quest to lose weight. I have another 13 lbs to lose, but so far I have a weight loss of 17 lbs. I can squeeze into my pre-pregnancy pants, but it doesn't look too pretty. Alfonso and I are going to look into a family gym membership, that way we can work out together and get back into shape.

Till next time! Love, Becky

Saturday, October 06, 2007

It's been awhile

I wrote this last week, but wasn't able to publish it.

Much has happened these last few weeks. I started work in a new department working days (7am-7:30pm) and last week we went to MI for my brothers wedding.

Work is going well; I am enjoying the day time schedule. I feel that my body agrees with it more. Of course I am much busier working days (more doctors, surgeries, tests and such) but the routine is getting easier for me.

Last weekend we flew to Marquette for Joe and Mary's wedding. Christopher did pretty well on the plane, with the exception of the flight from Minneapolis to Marquette. He didn't handle the noisy puddle jumper plane too well, but it was also at the end of the day.

I introduced Alfonso to pasties, and we even bought a few to take home with us to LA. On Saturday we drove to Munising and viewed the Munising Falls and the pretty fall colors of the UP. It was nice to be back in the UP, and I was especially excited to show Alfonso the area I spent part of my life in. We lived in the UP until I was 7, and then I spent 3 semesters up at Northern before I moved to Ithaca.
Here are some photos of our trip:

The Superior Dome at Northern Michigan University:

Train cars with cargo waiting for transportation:

Lighthouse on Lake Superior (this is near Presque Isle). I remember walking on this breakaway when I was in college:

Christopher looking cute:

View of the Lake Superior shoreline from the AuTran boat dock. My parents used to collect rocks from this area for my mom's flower garden.

Me enjoying the clean air of the UP:

The beautiful Munising Falls. I remember coming here when I was five/six years old. It seemed surreal to have my husband and son visit the falls.

My brothers Joe (far left) and Tom (middle).

The Bridesmaids and Flower girl

Mr and Mrs Joseph Pilon

My handsome boys: Christopher (in his onesie tuxedo) and Alfonso

Our family photo:
(This was shortly before Christopher's three hour nap)

Grandma, mama and baby Chris

The Pilon kids (minus Crystal; she was finishing up with the wedding cake).

Crystal's amazing wedding cake:

Crystal's wedding cake:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

First day back

I went back to work last Sunday. I am on orientation (new department, new computerized charting program) so the day went pretty slow. I called Alfonso twice to see how Christopher was. I don't go back to work until Friday, but I will be working Friday, Saturday, Sunday, then Tuesday, Wednesday. Then on Thursday we are leaving for MI for my brothers wedding. I am so excited to be going back to Marquette and I can't wait to see the fall colors! I am also really thrilled to see my family again!

We went to Mexico on Saturday for lobster. I've been dying to go for a long time! The drive is quite long (4 hours each way) but it's tolerable every once in awhile. Mexico's independence day was the next day, so there were quite a bit of flags on the streets and behind cars. Here are some photos of our journey:

Alfonso practicing his trick at a rest stop near San Diego:

Just crossing into Tijuana:

The view of the Pacific Ocean from Puerto Nuevo, Mexico:

Mama and Christopher waiting for the lobster:

Lobster, Dos Equis and the Pacific! What more could you ask for!

They give you rice, beans, flour tortillas, bread and soup along with the lobster. I think it was around $17.00 per plate. Not so bad, but you also need to consider the amt of time and money it takes to drive down! I am so happy that we could go before I started work.

The Baby Walkers

Since Christopher has been three weeks old, we have been taking evening walks nearly every night. It started when he would start crying every night at 7pm. My parents recommended that we go on walks, since it helps soothe a crying baby. Also I needed the exercise since I still had some extra weight.

Soon after we started our evening walks, I met Elsa and Janet. Like me, they have young babies and needed to walk in the evening. I met Elsa and Janet when Christopher was five weeks, and eight weeks later we still hold our evening ritual of walking. The other day a group of kids passed us on their bikes and yelled out "Hi Baby Walkers!" So, we are known through the neighborhood as The Baby Walkers.

Sometimes we will meet in the daytime and hang out at the park together. Here are some recent photos of the park:

Elsa and Carla

Christopher with Carla

Janet with Connor

Monday, September 17, 2007

Returning to MI

I stole these quizzes from my sister Crystal:

Congratulations, you are 97% Michigan!

Congratulations, when it comes to you and Michigan, you know your stuff! You must drink pop, vacation "up north", and enjoy the many special seasons Michigan has to offer. Maybe you should write your own Michigan quiz!

How Michigan are you?
See All Our Quizzes

You are 44% Yooper!

You need a little more practice at Yooper-ism. Work on your vocab, go buy more flannel, and eat a pasty.

Are you a true Yooper?
Create a Quiz

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I just love this photo of Christopher. I love the way his lips form an "O", this is the expression of great concentration for him. Lately he has discovered his hands and has been working on putting his hands and other objects in his mouth. He really likes his burp cloths and puts them into his mouth.

Last night I set Christopher into his big boy bed (aka his crib)and he fell asleep in it. Since this was the first time for him to sleep in the crib overnight, I kinda freaked out and brought him into the room with me. I think I am having some separation issues.

I reenter the work force this Sunday, so it's only going to get worse. Like my mom said, it's a gradual process. One day they are sleeping in their own room, the next they are going to school. Finally they move off to CA and become married and have their own children. :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New dress

With two weddings in the next couple of months, I needed a new dress. I bought this one at White House Black Market. I don't like the way the model is wearing it, but it looks better in real life. I am still trying to lose weight, but at least I could fit into a size 4.

Also my feet have grown in length so I am now an 8.5. All of my 8 shoes are too small. Will my feet go back to their normal size (I still feel that my joints are loose) or will I stay a larger size?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Family photos

Here are some family photos that we took earlier today:

Christopher is 12 weeks today!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Feeling melancholy

It's 10:30 at night and I will be going to bed soon. Christopher has been asleep now for the past hr.

Today was a good day with Christopher. He loves going outside on walks and is entertained easily. He enjoys looking at new people and visiting new places, much like me.

I love his sweet little voice when he coos at me. It just melts me. It's just amazing to see this little person grow.

I truly believe that motherhood is something that I was meant to be. I can't imagine not being to fulfill this role.

It's going to be so hard to start work again and be separated from my Christopher. :(

Christopher giving me his sideways glance.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Sweatin' it out Labor Day weekend

Our Labor Day weekend was probably one of the most memorable holiday weekends that I can think of to this date. Hopefully we will not have another weekend like this again!

It started Saturday afternoon. I had just woken up from a nap at 3pm and noticed that the power had turned off. I went downstairs to find Alfonso looking for flashlights. Alfonso attempted to reset the main breaker, but nothing happened. Meanwhile I called the power company and reported the power outage. Apparently we were the only house in our area to have an outage. Meanwhile, it was getting seriously hot in our house. This past week we've had a heat wave with the temperature in the triple digits. Our house was beginning to feel like a sauna. Poor Christopher was stripped down to his diaper and rocking in his swing sleeping peacefully.

The power company said that they would come to our home as soon as possible (we reinforced that we had an infant) but it could take as long as 48 hrs. Without electricity and no air conditioning, we were in a jam. Alfonso called up our good friends Diego and Julie. They said that it was okay for us to spend the night, but they had guests visiting from Philly. We would work it out since they also have an office and we could just sleep in the office.

We spent Saturday night at Diego and Julie's. We brought out pillow top and laid it out on the floor of the office room. Christopher had his own little area off to the side and fell asleep by 10 pm. Meanwhile Alfonso was calling air conditioning companies to come and repair the AC (we believed that the AC unit was linked to our loss of power). Since it was a holiday weekend, we were having difficulty reaching technician's. We were able to reach a few companies, but they would not be able to come until Monday.

Sunday morning Alfonso went back to the house and the power had been restored. He made more phone calls to technician's, but they would not be able to come until Monday. Since we purchased the house less than a year ago, we had a one year insurance that would cover us if anything went wrong in the house. Alfonso called the insurance company, but that policy had been cancelled the day we moved in. Alfonso was able to find the company on our paperwork and left a message with the insurance company, but we did not hear from them until the next day (Monday).

Alfonso had bought two fans from Walmart (Home Depot was sold out) for almost $200. After a couple of hours of sitting in 90 degree air that was being blown around by the fans, we decided to spend another night at our friends house.

Christopher sweatin' it out

Monday afternoon the AC technician visits the house. We had a bad capacitor but he was able to replace it in five minutes. Total cost was $300. Now we have electricity and AC!

We ate dinner at Diego and Julie's and then start to pack up to go back home. Earlier in the day Alfonso had a premonition that what if the electricity and AC were not working again. I reassure him that everything should be fine...

Since we had taken seperate cars, I was the first to reach the house. When I pulled up into the driveway, I am pushing and repushing the garage door remote. Nothing is happening. With a sinking feeling in my stomach, I open the front door and sure enough we do not have electricity.

"Alfonso we have a problem..."

Once again I am on the phone with Edison. I am on hold for over fifteen minutes when a second call comes in. It is the Edison repairman asking if we have no power again. Indeed we do not have any power, and yes we have tried resetting the main breakers. He will be by shortly..

At 8:30pm the Edison repairman shows and determines within five minutes that we need a new breaker. He advises us to find an electrician to replace the breaker. The repairman leaves as quickly as he came.

There is an electric repairman van that is always parked on the street a couple of houses down from us. We walk over to the house and ring the doorbell. A young guy without a shirt answers us from his balcony. "Excuse us, do you know whose van this is?" He answers that it is his. "We know that it is late, but we really need your help." We briefly explain to him what is going on and he says that he will be down in a couple of minutes.

He takes a look at our main breakers and confirms that we need a new one. By this time it is 9pm. Alfonso runs to Home Depot (we aren't sure if they are open especially since it's Labor Day weekend). At 10pm Alfonso returns (he forgot his wallet the first time around) and the guys set to work replacing the breaker. By 10:30pm we have power and we are up and running. Eternally grateful for our neighbor we wrote him a check.

We slept almost 12 hrs that night. Now we are working on working on getting the reimbursement through the insurance company.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

New job, new decisions

Last week I interviewed for a new position on the surgery floor. The nurse manager offered me the job on the spot, so I accepted. This will be a full-time day position, so I would be working three days a week from 7am until 7:30 pm. For the past four years, I have been working nights (7pm-7:30am) and I have been wanting to switch to days for a long time. Working nights has it's benefits; there are less tests and procedures, little doctors, and usually some down time that allows you to catch up on your work. However, sleeping all day before and after a shift along with the constant schedule change on your body can be very difficult.

Now that I am working days and Alfonso is working nights, what about the baby? Not only do we both work 3 days a week, we also have to work 2 weekend days in a pay period. Also, Alfonso (for example) cannot work on a Monday night with me working the following morning (thereby his shift running into Tuesday morning at 7:30 with my shift starting Tuesday morning at 7am). Finally we agreed that I would be working Sunday, Monday, Tuesday during the day, and he would be working Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at night. We would have Saturday off together, but this does not include Alfonso sleeping until 2-3pm on Saturday after 3 nights of work. It's very difficult, but I hope that we can manage. We have thought of alternatives in case this does not work out.

We are looking into day care, since we need to consider some backup. Sending Christopher to daycare really petrifies me. Images of Christopher crying without anyone picking him up or someone mistreating him keep flashing through my mind. I know that this is not the case at most day care centers, but this is what I keep thinking about. When I was younger my mom stayed home and watched all four of us. We never went to daycare, so perhaps my fear of daycare is related to me not having an experience with daycare.

Next week I plan on looking at day care facilities, so perhaps I will feel a bit better. I do not start work for another two weeks, so I have a little bit of time left.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Christopher at 10 weeks

Today we hit the 10 week mark for Christopher's age. He is definitely growing and learning each day. Before leaving for our vacation, I had placed him in the chair that has the toys dangling in front of him. He would just sort of look at them and not react. Then at my parents house he learned to use his arms to bat the toys around. Now he can hardly keep still in his chair. We even bought him a little jungle gym set similar to the one my parents have. He loves it, and gets a good work out kicking his legs and throwing his arms around. His hand and eye coordination is improving and now he is starting to understand that he can control his arms and hands.

Last week he had his two month checkup with our new pediatrician. He weighed in at 11 lbs and 13 ounces. He is now 22.75 inches in length, 1.25 inches longer than his birth length. He also got his immunizations in his thighs, two in each thigh. I felt so bad after the nurse finished, he just cried his little head off. After holding him, he calmed down, but I still felt a little emotional.

I will be going back to work September 16th. I am sort of looking forward to it, but also feel a little sad to be without Christopher for such a long time. Fourteen hours a day, three times a week is a really long time! The longest I have been without him is 4 hours, and after 2 hours I started to feel anxious. Alfonso and I have been talking about daycare 1-2 times a week. I have mixed feelings about that too, especially since I am entrusting strangers with my child. Not to mention the financial expense. Ah well, it seems that these things will work out in time. Here are some recent photos: