life

Induction Day

The plan today is to induce labor since Farrah isn't showing any signs of giving birth as of yet.

They asked Farrah to call in at 7AM to see when she could come in. We expected to go into the hospital after dropping off Mia at daycare. But the result of the 7AM call was to simply call back at 9AM. so we took our time getting Mia ready and off to daycare. She arrived there at 8:30, an hour after her normal arrival time.

Mia's daycare is only a few blocks from the hospital. So we decided to find a close Starbucks to grab coffee. Farrah then called in at 9AM. They said now call in at 2PM - basically when people have checked out. Wow, were we ever going to be able to check in?

We made our way to Target to buy a few supplies. Then off to Palo Alto to have lunch at the La Boulange and checkout the new Apple store (it's gorgeous). Oh, and we grab some Philz's Coffee.

Farrah calls in at 2PM. Finally, the answer is come into the hospital at 3PM. Check-in was smooth. We got settled in OK.

Now it's just a waiting game.

Vertex

On Friday morning Farrah and I went to the hospital for the version procedure. We went as prepared as could be.

It was odd, walking to Labor and Delivery with Farrah. The last time we had been there was when Mia was born. I asked Farrah is she remembered this and that, but most of it was unrecognizable to her. Most likely her mind was elsewhere the last time we were there.

There was a lot of paperwork to fill out before the procedure. I suppose they needed all the paperwork just in case we needed to go into surgery. No one wants to be filling out forms when it comes down to crunch time. The receptionist then took us to a room to wait for the doctor.

A nurse came in to hook up Farrah to a fetal monitor, to listen to the baby's heartbeat. We had to wait for about twenty minutes worth of heartbeat readings before the doctor would come in to see us. The nurse also pressed on Farrah's belly, acknowledging, "Yup, I think that's a head" as she pressed on the top of her belly.

The doctor came in with another doctor in training. She introduced herself and started up the ultrasound just to doublecheck the baby's position. She started her scan toward the bottom of Farrah's belly.

"She's vertex," the doctor proclaimed. "You can go home."

Wow, she turned on her own! Farrah and I were so relieved. We didn't get to go home right away though. They wanted to scan the baby more, try to determine its size and weight (a little over six pounds). Then we had to wait to be discharged. All the time doing paperwork and waiting to be discharged was actually longer than the time the doctor saw us!

It's great to know the baby turned on her own. I wonder what that says about her, turning so late in the pregnancy?

Breech

About two weeks ago Farrah had a ultrasound to check the baby's size. The ultrasound showed that the baby is a healthy sized baby girl. But she's also breech.

It's fairly late in thr pregnancy for thr baby to turn on her own. The doctors say it could still happen, but most likely the baby will need to be helped. Tomorrow we're going in for that help. It's called [version] (http://www.m.webmd.com/baby/external-cephalic-version-version-for-breech-position).

It seems like a straight-forward procedure - so says the man not going through the procedure. We’re reading what we can, looking at [videos] (http://youtu.be/6AM6wDwTjmc), basically arming ourselves with as much information as possible. But it will still be a new anxiety filled experience.

Andy Williams, 'Moon River' singer, dies at 84

Andy Williams, whose soothing baritone and relaxed performing style made him one of America's top pop vocalists and a popular TV variety-show host in the 1960s when he recorded hits such as "Moon River" and "Days of Wine and Roses," has died. He was 84. 

My mom is a big Andy Williams fan. She plays a Christmas DVD of his every year for what seems like a month straight. I'm sure in the recesses of my brain I know a few words to a few of his songs.

Numbers

228. 44.

Two numbers. Just numbers.

The first number is the heighest its been in my life. It has increased by leaps and bounds over the years. At the end of high school, it was 118. At the end of basic training it topped out at 130. After a time overseas it climebed to 155. This was only a period of about six years! And now it is what it is.

I need to stop it from getting any larger.

The other number has been steadily climbing over the years. It’s a good thing, considering the alternative.

I know you’ve guessed right. The numbers are my current weight and age.

The weight thing has been a problem for awhile, something I’ve grown into (insert laugh). It not only affects my ability to fit into clothes, but it is messing with my blood sugar. I took a glucose test today to see how bad it is. We’ll see what the results are.

I’m not surprised. I’m a bit concerned. I only have myself to blame. I need to get back into shape, and soon.

The company picnic was last week. We broke up into several teams for soccer, a sport I enjoyed very much in my younger days. I played hard for three games, huffing and puffing up-and-down the field. I almost scored a few times. I also blocked a few scoring attempts. All I have to show for my efforts is a my screwed up left knee and big toe on my right foot. Both are a bit strained from the sudden need to be extremely mobile, this a week-and-a-half after the picnic.

I’m not getting any younger. But next year, if I go to picnic again, I would like to not be in such bad shape.

I’m writing about this just to write, to know where I am at and where I need to go.

228. 44. I can’t do anything about the last number. But I sure as hell have control of the first. I need to get my act together.

Girls

I have always been surrounded by women. I grew up with two older sisters who tormented me through childhood. Most of the managers I've worked for have been women. When I was a manager at a record store, most of the people who worked for me were women. Girls. Women. Always.

So it comes as no surprise that we are having another girl!

Yes, another bundle of joy is on the way. She will arrive in late October or early November. From these early scans, she looks like she'll have plump lips like Mia. Can't you seem them in the ultrasound? I know I can.

My mom was so conviced it was going to be a boy, especially when I told her the due date was the day my father was born. But I knew better.

Girls. Women. Always in my life. I wouldn't have it any other way.

The Wedding of Lotte and Angche

Yesterday, we were very grateful to share a special moment in our friends' lives as we attended their wedding. The ceremonies and reception took place at The Janet Pomeroy Center. Yes, there were two ceremonies, or rather one ceremony separated into two parts. The first part was a Buddhist Nepalese ceremony. The second portion, briefly captured in the video clip, was a Christian Filipino ceremony. They were wonderful ceremonies. And the reception - the food, drink, singing and dancing - made for a memorable time.

Congratulations to Lotte and Angche!!!

Been Ill

I'm sorry I haven't been posting lately, especially missing the weekly Wednesday Mia photo post. But I was sick. Actually, I still am a bit ill.

The short story:

  • Woke up with a stomach ache Tuesday morning. Thought nothing of it. Took a couple of antacids hoping it'd go away.
  • Wednesday morning I woke up with more localized pain on the left-side of my abdomen. (By the way - this was also Mia's first day at daycare. More on that on a later post.) By afternoon I had cold and hot flashes.
  • Wednesday afternoon I was able to get an appointment with a doctor. Turns out I had a 102.6 fever, but of course I felt cold so I didn't notice. He prescribed antibiotics - Ciprofloxacin and Metronidazole - as well as getting a blood test.
  • The doc's diagnosis is either stomach flu or diverticulitis.

At this point the pain in my belly is still there, but it has lessen in strength. The medication I'm on is throwing me for a loop. I'm taking Ciprofloxacin and Metronidazole. I'm getting nauseous on one antibiotic and getting hot flashes with the other. Fun huh? Unfortunately you can't just stop taking the antibiotic - a 10 day course - so I'll be suffering for awhile.

I'm not sure if it's diverticulitis or the stomach-flu, even though the doctor feels it's the former. The long term treatment for diverticulitis is a change in diet. I guess that wouldn't hurt. Either way I'm stuck with these antibiotics for the next several days.

I Wasn't Here

I wasn't here during the Loma Prieta earthquake 20 years ago. I was out of California, doing my stint for God and country. I remember when the quake happened. It was my day off. I had set the VCR in my bedroom to tape the third game of theWorld Series. I brought back takeout from Whataburger. I'm pretty sure it was a double meat Whataburger with jalapenos. I remember setting down the bag, turning on the tv a little after 7 in the afternoon, and then seeing just a green screen with the words "World Series" on it.

No audio, no nothing.

Then I heard Al Michael's voice come on. He didn't mention the word earthquake, but what else could it be. I had a feeling it was pretty big considering there was no video on the television screen. I tried to call home several times, but wasn't able to get through. Video finally came up on some channel, I'm not sure if it was CBS, NBC or ABC. I think I switched back to ABC to watch the complete coverage. I still wondered if everyone was all right at home.

Later in the evening I finally got through to my parents. Everyone, for the most part, was ok. I think there were a few bumps and bruises, and something about the big mirror in the living room possibly coming down. But thankfully, everyone was fine.

Wow, 20 years ago, huh? I wish, just a little bit, that I was here.

Underneath It All

I am not really a handyman, but for the past several months I’ve had the urge to fix. I’ve attempted to fix things that I normally wouldn’t think twice about hiring someone else to repair. For example, I replaced a car battery, changed our front and back door locks, and fixed a leaky faucet. I know, I know, I’m not rebuilding a car engine, but for someone like myself who is not mechanically inclined, these are quite surprising feats.

As I’ve mentioned before on Janella.com, we bought a new washer and in dryer. They both initially worked great, but the dryer stopped doing a great job in drying several weeks ago. By going through the troubleshooting steps in the manual, we figured out the problem was with the dryer exhaust hose. The hose connects from the back of the dryer, runs underneath the house, and exits through the side of the house.

No Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock here. Lucky me, I get to go under the house! The last time I was under house was four years ago. It was an unpleasant experience. I think I may still have a few scrapes from that last adventure. As a kid, going under the house was fun. When we had plumbing problems that required someone to go under and check on “the pipes”, I readily volunteered. Of course I was much smaller and slimmer back then. But now as a larger and more phobia-straddled adult, going under the house is not much fun. It was also once fun to climb up to the roof of the house to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. Now the only reason I go up on the roof is to clean the gutters before the next rainfall.

For this trip down below, I was intent on being prepared or as best prepared as possible. I bought a pair of coveralls at Sears (on sale!). I also bought a pair of hardy knee pads at Lowe’s, in hopes of counteracting any beating my knees might encounter. In hindsight I should have also purchased gloves, as my hands can take quite a thrashing under the house as well.

To make a long story short, with my wife’s help, we were able to replace the dryer hose and fix the problem. The dryer once again works as advertised! I know it’s not rocket science, but it just goes to show that all it takes is a little research and hard work to fix certain problems around the house. I’m not sure where this “urge to fix” has come from - perhaps from all the DYI shows on television. But with the help of the Internet, with all of its self-help websites and videos, you can do almost do anything. I don’t think I’d tackle rewiring the house, but as for the smaller jobs, leave them to me.

Half A World Away

The last time I saw my uncle was thirty-three years ago when I went to the Philippines. It was the first and only time I had been to the homeland of my parents. I was young and bratty, traveling without my sisters for the first and only time. I’m not sure why my parents took me, but I went willingly.

At that age I had two concerns going to the Philippines, (1) the lack of a tv, and (2) the lack of food I was accustomed to eating. I was a child comfortably familiar with fast food, enjoying McDonald’s and KFC more than any Filipino dishes.

To be even more honest, I was afraid that any meat I would eat on this trip would be dog. I bought into this notion for some reason. Perhaps it was my sisters who sold me on the possibility, I'm not exactly sure, but it was ever present in my thoughts around meal time. I was still young enough to scream and cry if I didn’t get my way. But while in the Philippines I would often not get my way because I just couldn’t. For those occasions I simply did not eat.

But one day my Uncle David gave in. He had two dogs when I first met them. From what I recall the dogs were nice and full grown. He traded his dogs to another person for chickens, chickens for me to eat. I thanked him, at my mom's prompting, not fully grateful for his kind gesture. Only days later did it really sink in what he did for me.

I gravitated to my uncle as the days passed. He was the only other person I could talk to since he spoke english, the others speaking very little. He would translate for me and talk to me about anything and everything. We spent as much time as we could knowing the days would pass by quickly.

My uncle was always there for me during our time in the Philippines. One day I was an complete idiot and hurt myself while hanging out with the cool adults. I managed to get my foot caught in the back spokes of a motorcycle as it was being pushed forward. He picked me in his arms and rushed me to the local hospital.

He did so much more for me now that I think about it, and I wish I could recall more, but the memories are fading.

I do remember the last day I saw him, the day we left. I hugged him and cried, not wanting to leave him behind. I told him I would write him everyday when I got back home. He said of course you will, but you will forget in time to write. He was right.

I wrote for the first several months when we got back. The months then turned to a letter once a year. Then it turned to no letters at all. When he would call my mom, and I would answer the phone, there was no longer a sense of connection when we talked. We had grown apart, time and distance creating a wedge I believe he know would exist.

Now he is gone, at rest. But he lived a full life and I had a brief moment to know him. I may have never met him if I didn't go on that trip thirty-three years ago.

My Year in Review

Happy (belated) New Year to everyone!

I suppose my year in review is a bit late, but hey, I was enjoying my Winter Break!  I didn't feel the need to blog. It was nice having almost two weeks off to recharge the batteries. Farrah and I didn’t go anywhere particular or do anything specific. We just simply enjoyed the time off.

Anyway, let me see if I can summarize my last year in one blog post.

  • Since the end of 2007, I’ve been lost in the idea of whether I should continue blogging or not. I’ve archived and deleted my Wordpress install on Janella.com at least a handful of times this past year. At times I feel the urge to create a long post, something seemingly unsuitable for Facebook or tumblr. This makes me think maintaining a blog is a must. But as I think about it more, it could really work well on tumblr. I just have a difficult time giving up control of the content. You know, what if the Tumblr goes under? Would I lose my data? I mean, Pownce went away. I’ll probably wrestle with this idea again this year.
  • The big news for me this year was turning 40. I was in New York City when I turned 40. The trip was a present from Farrah. I must say New York was amazing. It wasn’t until later in the year that I felt a bit like a 40 year old.
  • We went to Hawaii for Tiana's birthday in September. It was the first time we had been back since the wedding.  Farrah went again in October for Grandma's 90th birthday.
  • We started exercising more. (This is when I started to feel my age!) We kick-started with personal training and are now doing it ourselves! I feel so much better.
  • I changed jobs and companies in May of last year. The type of work is different from what I was familiar with, but it uses skills I have in my “toolbox”. The work environment is familiar but different: I work from home! We converted one of the bedrooms into my office. What was it before? The computer room. What makes it an office? Oh, the speakerphone does.
  • I met up with good ol’ friends in Las Vegas. It was nice catching up. And man, Vegas has changed since I’ve been there last.
  • We watched several good concerts: The Bridge School Benefit, Rachel Yamagata, and Morcheeba. Farrah and Lotte saw New Kids on the Block on their reunion tour. Man, I wish I could have gone (he says sarcastically).
  • It was nice to get into politics last year. The political passion for the masses should exist in each election cycle. Hopefully, the future will be as bright as we envision.

I look back at the resolutions I made for last year. I managed to attempt all of them, but was only successful in maintaining one: the exercising.

What’s the resolutions for this year?

  • OK, I need to try using the CPAP machine again.
  • Lose weight - always a good thing.
  • Cook more / eat out less when possible.
  • Get rid of things, such as clothes, books, papers, old computer cables, etc.  Too much stuff just floating around.
  • Write on blog entry a week. I twitter and tumblr more often then blog, but blogging has been lacking as of late. I think I need a particular weekday to post to get me going.
  • Take more photos! Perhaps go out one day every two weeks for a photo assignment.
  • Keep in touch with friends more - or at least talk to them via Facebook. This seems to be the medium of choice lately.
  • Watch more movies! I’ve have not been watching movies much. I managed to watch several this Winter Break. I think I’d enjoy watching more good films, not necessarily in theaters though.

Well, that’s all the resolutions I can think of for now. Let’s see how I score next year.

Here's Looking At You Kid

As this entry posts, I will be in New York City with Farrah. First off, I want to thank everyone who celebrated my birthday the other night. I was really happy to see everyone.

Now, please tolerate my incoherent ramblings, as I try to purge my mind of the few thoughts I have regarding this milestone birthday, the fortieth year of my life. My thoughts sway to and fro of what has been and what is to come. I have been thinking more about the future, about what I want. I think that is a good thing. As I think I've stated before, I am not one to dwell in the past.

These past weeks, at times I have felt like David Bowman, the protagonist in 2001: A Space Odyssey, at the end of that film. If I recall the scene correctly, Bowman stands in a bright white room, wearing his orange spacesuit. He looks into the room and sees an old man. The old man, eating his supper, looks back at Bowman but he is no longer there. You then realize that the old man is Bowman himself. The scene repeats itself with an older version of Bowman looking at a younger version until he dies. But he is reborn as the Star Child, and.... I don't get that far in the way I feel though.

So I catch myself looking forward looking back. I suppose we all do that at times, but I guess with the birthday it is amplified. You know, I think about those dreams: the education, the car, the house, the 2.5 kids, and the rest of the things everyone wants. It's a matter of striving to get there, right?

I don't think I'm required to have some huge revelation at this age. Perhaps I will, but it hasn't happened as yet.

40-40 Club

The 40-40 club.

In baseball it is an exclusive club. You need to have stolen 40 bases and hit 40 home runs in a single season. Currently only four players have done it. First was Jose Canseco. (Yes, I don't believe it either.) Next was Barry Bonds. I'm pretty sure this was the pre-roid-juiced-up-mofo Bonds. But if Canseco was taking the juice back then, I guess you can never be certain.

But the 40-40 club holds a different meaning for me. It means I will be 40 years old in about 40 days. (BTW - I make this baseball reference mainly for Scott, baseball fanatic who made me aware of the 40-40 clube, and who will be joining me in this club shortly. Also to follow is BossaNova later this year.)

Ah, 40-40.

I am not feeling anxious as the fateful day approaches. At this point it feels like any other impending birthday. But in my mind I run through my life assessment checklist.  It's a short checklist, starting with the big question, "What have you done?" and ending with "What would you like to do?"

Suffice it to say that I am very happy with my life.   I tend not to regret decisions I have made. After all, the sum of the choices I have made represent the person I am today. I am pretty happy with myself - minus a few extra pounds.

Looking Forward

I try not to look too far back, not wishing to question the choices I've made. I also try not to look too far in the future, not wanting to miss what is right in front of me.  So I try to stay grounded in the present, living the moment.

There is still a lot of time for things to happen. 40 isn't that old. Heck, 50, 60, and 70 isn't old either. I have a co worker who has parents in their 90's and they are still running around enjoying life. But when I look back at times, and it isn't often, these 40 years can seem to have flown right by. It's time to start checking off some of these items from the checklist.

I have done so many things, but there is so much more to do.