Red Deck, Blue Sea

March 20th, 2011
frank

Almost done painting the deck

Almost done with the deck now. The worst of the cracked and rotted boards have been replaced. They sit on the temporarily relocated deck table in the northeast corner of the yard casting long shadows in the late afternoon sun. Some of boards’ ends arch up at the sky like old fashioned cartoon skis.

Got all the rails and the posts under them done yesterday. That took up a gallon; so many damn skinny posts. I went for another gallon today, but we ran through that, too.  Going to need another one to finish feeding this monster.

I have learned that this is the thing with wood: it swallows paint. Like it knows we’re trying to change it. Maybe this is where the ghosts of the previous owners make their last stand.

I admire these stubborn boards. I don’t like being prettied up either. I grumble at change. I creak. So maybe it’s just having a drink before the pretty party. Taking the edge off. It’s an alcoholic going on a final drinking binge. A painted oblivion. Lying out here behind the house, drying, creaking, cragging its edges up. Cutting and splintering. Taking a nice chunk of my right pointer finger. I’m letting it scar. It’s best to respect the deck. It took its flesh fair and square. A lil thin string of Cuban for about 130 feet of wood.

I remember the first time we saw this house and the realtor gave us a tour. I remember a child’s things in the back yard. A plastic Playskool playhouse and assorted dolls and a toy shopping cart. That playhouse was still there when we skulked through the alley in Elaine’s car later on, peeking at life in a home we thought we’d never live in. I was a little surprised the playhouse was there. I was sure the realtor put it there to sucker in anyone with kids. But I never thought about the darkness of the deck. That faded blue jean deck that seemed like a cowboy’s best friend.

Wasps underneath. Tripping me in the dark while I carry a bag with a dirty diaper in it. Splinters. This one board that rotted through so bad, a leg from the barbecue went in and the whole thing tipped over, spilling ash. The side steps that don’t really seem attached to anything. They clunk down when you walk on them. Like a lil wooden gotcha.

The toys in the yard made me ponder a family life. The grass made me consider responsibility and the upkeep of a full on home. The deck lured me in with promises of barbecues, card games, shade under the umbrella, and whiskey sours.

This week, it left me with a sore back, sunburns, and the smell of treated wood in my nose. Even in the light of the computer screen, my flesh is emergency sign red.

Jack slept for most of the time we were out there painting. Momma brought him out when we heard him on the baby monitor smacking around the toys in his crib. We’d run out of paint  by then and had been chilling under the fox palms. I had my head in her lap and Jack was standing on my face. It’s what he does. He climbs people.

The deck squatted before us, with just that tiny section of blue left. Defeated, really, like this was the last tooth left in its mouth.

Millions of wooden slivers of blue made up what was left: about 12 square feet.

Christina mentioned how beautiful Jack’s eyes were. So blue. Though sometimes crossed.

She comes from Vikings, you know? And his blue eyes are her baby blues which turned green eventually. Green by way of the blue sea that Vikings sailed while pillaging.

I wonder if they burned any decks.

Teefing

March 8th, 2011
frank

I think the little guy is teething. He’s usually in a good mood but since last night, he’s been cranky and drooling like crazy. We gave him some baby Tylenol to maybe help him with any potential pain. I can cheer him up as usual by throwing him around and “flying” him. But it only soothes him so much. He’s out to the pastures of baby dreamland right now thanks to a combination of exhaustion, the drugs, and the tinny baby music we have going on.

I’m glad that he may potentially be hitting a milestone here. But I’m genuinely and unexpectedly going to miss when he surprises me with nose chomps. It’s something he’s done for awhile now and he always leaves tons of drool and a smile when he’s done.

What years old habits is he going to form that I’ll miss down the line? Hopefully not being a big old pussy like his dad.

My Birth Story

December 2nd, 2010
Christina

My Birth Story:

After months of sleepless nights, dirty diapers, new parent challenges, and many firsts, I’m finally taking a moment to update this blog and write about my birth story and the weeks/months that followed…

I’m not going to lie and say it felt great to be pregnant. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was extremely uncomfortable and as we were coming into the summer months, I dreaded it even more knowing the Miami heat was going to make it even more unbearable. By the 34th week, I was ready to have my body back and all the things I took for granted while not being pregnant, like bending down to put on my shoes or sleeping on my back. As my belly grew bigger, picking out clothes in the morning became such an ordeal and I refused to buy to many maternity clothes knowing that I would no longer be wearing them after I delivered Jack. The days dragged at work too, I would walk around the office ever so often just to kill a few minutes in the day. I couldn’t sleep, I had terrible acid reflux and had to use the bathroom every 30 mins. How can any woman say they “love” being pregnant?! From the moment I woke up in the morning, I longed for the couch in the evenings where I could take the pressure off my legs/feet and relax while I tickled my belly in hopes that Jack would be awake to kick back (this must be the part we all love).
Around the 34th week, I also began to experience an intense itching all over my body. I would have to say, this was the worse symptom that I experienced. There was no way of escaping it, and after trying all kinds of over-the-counter remedies, I could not get any relief. The itching would keep me up at night as I rubbed my hands and feet raw. At my 36 week appointment, I complained to my doctor about it and out of concern, she ran some blood tests. Two days later, I received a call from her stating that I had a condition called Cholestasis. This happens to be a liver disease caused by pregnancy hormones that slow the flow of bile in the gallbladder. As such, this causes a build up of bile acids in the liver which can spill into the bloodstream and become toxic to the baby. Due to the high risk of fetal distress, she wanted to induce me that night! It took me a few minutes to get over the initial shock that I’d be meeting Jack the next day. All these thoughts started pulsing through my head. I didn’t have anything ready for the baby, nor had I finished my baby classes, or picked out a pediatrician, or nested! How can I be having this baby 4 weeks early?
Needless to say, I didn’t expect it to go down like this. I never really put much thought into it, but I was always wondering if I would really know I was in labor once my body decided it was time. That evening, I met up with Frank back at the house, took a shower, packed a bag and headed to the hospital. From this point forward, it is all somewhat of a blur due to the hunger and exhaustion. I had no idea they would cut me off from liquids and food once you get there UNTIL after you deliver your baby. How do they expect a woman to give birth on an empty stomach?? I remember while I was in labor being extremely thirsty, crying out for something to drink. I would have given anything to have a few sips of some cola and have used the caffeine boost.
Thursday night, after we checked into the hospital, the nurse administered a drug to open my cervix. They stressed that I should try and get my rest, but how could anyone sleep in a hospital when you have nurses coming in every 30 mins, the blood pressure cuff going off every so often, and the fetal heart/contraction monitors bothering my already itchy skin. It was the worse night of my entire pregnancy!! I couldn’t use the bathroom for 3 hrs after they inserted the Cervadil, yet they had the IVs running fluids through my body. Getting up to use the bathroom was a mission as well, when you had to unhook from everything and drag the IV bags with you. By 5:00am the next morning and no sleep, I began to feel mild cramps. Around 6 something, my water broke. At that point, they kicked my labor in gear with Pitocin. By10:00am, I was really feeling the contractions and just when I thought the last one was the worse, the next one would come with more intensity than the last. I was all for a pain-less delivery and asked for the epidural at this time. When they checked me, I believe I was 4 centimeters dilated. The epidural worked for maybe a good 45 mins until I started to feel intense pain in my back. They keep flipping me from side to side, but I would only get some relief. I managed to progress quickly and hit 10 centimeters before noon. It seemed like smooth sailing, or so we thought until I started pushing. Once the Dr decided it was time for me to start pushing, the vibe in the room totally changed and the room started to filled with all these unfamiliar faces. Since Jack was considered a ‘preemie’ at 36 weeks, Neonatolgist specialists (and their students) needed to be present for the delivery. At one point, I opened my eyes and there had to of been at least 10 people in the room, watching me at my most unflattering time. This was not comforting to me at all, especially when they ALL were telling me what to do. It was driving me crazy instead of putting me at ease.

Anyway, going back to the pushing. I pushed for a good 15 mins, 30 mins, 45 mins and NADA. I just couldn’t get Jack out. After about 50 mins of failed attempts, my Dr decided to completely stop the epidural and let me ‘suffer’ while resting for a bit, before we continued. The PAIN, the PAIN!! It was the worse pain I’ve experienced, like knives were being dug into my lower back. After 2 hours of tiring pain-full labor, Jack was finally born weighing 5 lbs, 13 oz. They let me hold him for maybe 1 min before they whisked him away to the NICU. At that moment, I thought to myself, I would do it all over again, just to hear those first little kitten-like whimpers from Jack. My little sumo baby. Our little guy had to spend 24 hrs in the NICU. That evening when I visited him, I was in awe of how beautiful he was. I couldn’t believe he was ours. As I stared at him, that John Lennon song came to mind “Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful….beautiful boy”. So perfect and healthy. All the pain, restless nights, morning sickness, swollen feet, etc was so worth it for that moment.

Jack’s 1st Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2010
Christina

4 months old..we are starting to get the hang of this!

November 9th, 2010
Christina

Stay tuned..

Jack’s 1st Halloween

November 2nd, 2010
Christina

Jack was suppose to be Darth Vader this year, but he looked more like Lord Dark Helmet from Spaceballs instead.  We had to cut his helmet down to size and equip him with a light saber. Even with all his costume alterations, Jack did not seem all that thrilled with this day as we carved pumpkins, hung out by our Pac-Man pumpkin lights, and handed out treat bags to all the kiddos.  Hopefully he warms up to the holiday next year as this is momma’s favorite one. I have a little Yoda costume ready and waiting for him.

Our little pumpkin visits the Pumpkin Patch

October 16th, 2010
Christina

3 months here and gone…

October 9th, 2010
Christina

Jack has turned 3 months today. Check out some pics from the previous month…

Mama goes back to work :(

October 4th, 2010
Christina

TESTING

Jack ‘s Room is finally DONE!

September 25th, 2010
Christina