Friday, April 12, 2013

The Day

April 12th is, quite honestly, a day I dread every single year.  It symbolizes the worst day in my life.  In my amazing Mother's life.  In my brilliant Father's life.  And in my always there for me Brother's life.

Today it's been over 20 years ... over 20 years since Carlos passed away.  Carlos.  My brother.  My brother, who was 13 and died in a car accident.

And you would think every year it would get better.  You would think that since I was 7 I wouldn't remember.  But I do.  We don't give children enough credit for what they remember.  Because I remember.  So vividly, so many things.

And I've typed a ton of them before on this blog.  I believe I've blogged on April 12th for the last three years.  I never miss blogging on this day because interestingly enough, I feel COMPELLED to write.  I'm not nearly as productive in work, I just sit and look outside a window trying to keep tears from flowing even harder (they're pretty constant on this day).

But today I just don't think I can type them. They'd be too raw.  Too painful.  I don't think people understand these kinds of loss in a family until they've experienced them.  I'm not trying to say that others don't know what pain is.  But when I have people repeat OVER and OVER that "losing my Grandpa was so hard, I get it" or "I lost my Dad so I know" it does upset me.

You see, your Grandpa isn't your brother.  Trust me, I was SO close to my grandparents ... I mean, I named my daughter after my Grandmother who lived with us for years.  But my Grandma was 82 when she passed.  Carlos was 13.  Carlos had SO much life yet to live.  I know we shouldn't compare grief, but that's just raw honesty ...

And it's more than that. My Mom was the one driving the car and I know ... I know she has so much guilt that she walks with everyday.  She often cries and tells me she feels we blame her.  I can never tell her enough times I would NEVER blame her.  The phrase, THINGS HAPPEN holds so true here.  Car accidents happen.  ALL.THE.TIME. 

But her pain, it kills me.  It really does.  My Dad's pain.  My brother's pain.  Mine is so insignificant.  Who cares about me?  It's them.  I just want to hug them all.  Hug them so tight and be so thankful they're in my life.

Then there's my little family here.  Today Liliana and Gloria are going to Meme's house while Evan and I can have a date.  I contemplated this decision many times.  On the one hand I wanted to squeeze my two girls and never let them go today more than ever.  On the other hand, when I did squeeze them this morning I immediately started crying.  I don't want my girls seeing me like that.

Don't get me wrong. These girls will know the truth.  They will know why I'm so strict about seat belts.  They will know Carlos was amazing.  They will know their Tata (my Mom) is the strongest person on this planet. But they're too young to even BEGIN to comprehend it. 

So instead of going out, I asked Evan if we could just come back home and cook dinner together.  He's on call (surprise! haha, yeah right) for another 84 hours straight, but hopefully he won't have to go just for a few hours.  I need his arms. I need his shoulder. 

We plan on watching some HGTV (a guilty pleasure of ours as we look around our house and see things we can't afford to redo), cooking together, and just some crying and grieving, and remembering.

I think that's all ok.  I don't know how to handle this day. 

But that's how I'll handle it and this is how I'll tackle it this year. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

3/4 to a year


You're 3/4 to a year already.  That's insane.  Seriously, it feels like just yesterday you were born and now you're crawling around a room in two seconds making sure to pull on every cord in your path.

This month was a funny one b/c you started getting stubborn.  You are NOT happy when we take your bottle or a toy away.  We've definitely had to start directing your attention elsewhere, but once we do, you're easy to manage.  You are still the best sleeper on the planet, never having "cried it out" for more than 30 seconds.  No exaggeration.  You love waving hi and bye to everyone.  You know I'm Mama and who's Dada.  This one has really impressed me b/c this concept took much longer for your sister to get. 

You're a BIG girl, already in 12 month clothing.  You're pretty chubby, but not as chubby as your sister was (though that isn't saying much, ha!).  This month you continue to use a few words regularly which astounds us.  You're also graduated to regular foods (such as the little lasagna meals etc) and have greatly preferred that to even your bottle. 

We've noticed you're much less reliant on attention than your sister was.  Sometimes you do best when we just let you roam around versus trying to garner your attention.  However, this isn't to say that your favorite place still isn't in someone's arms.  You just love being held and loved on, but definitely don't require it. 

Your crawling is a funny sight.  You're an army crawler and I think that's just what you'll do.  You're already showing interest in pulling up on furniture and zip around a room in no time at all.  I reckon it's time to get the gates up soon!  EEK!

You're so easy going at restaurants, stores, etc.  We'll go on 3-4 hour errand runs and realize you just observed, waved at people and said hello, goodbye, hola, hi, or bye (you like lots of options!) ... no other kind of fuss.

You're still only at two teeth, but I'm thinking we'll have 2 more by next month b/c they say you've really been gnwaing on things at school.  Your Dad says you like to bang objects on another ... it's true.  We give you two things and you're just happy as can be hitting them together.  Heck, you even love clapping since it makes noise!  You'll clap to just about anything.

You're SUPER ticklish.  I mean, you'll crawl over to me just to put your feet in my face so I'll tickle 'em for you.  I obviously oblige.

I can't wait to see you grow more and more and develop that personality.  We're so in love with you sweet thing.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Happiness in a nutshell

I know, two posts in a day ... INSANE  I haven't done that in ages.  But I wanted to show you guys what truly make me happy ... because I am.  I am so happy with my life in just about every avenue.  Evan and I were talking last night about the stress our lives have and quickly said, "but we wouldn't have it any other way." And we wouldn't ... we LOVE these two girls with every last ounce of our beings.  We love each other literally MORE and more everyday and have a passion for each other that keeps our marriage so strong.

I feel like I often complain on this blog b/c I write to vent ... but for now, I wanted to write about happiness.  Because I am so very blessed.  I have two beautiful daughters, a career that only makes me happier, and a husband that rocks my world and shows me what love is.

Liliana: our ball of personality.  She is getting prettier by the day and she is SUCH a smart little stinker.  I call her my little stinker, but she is SO well behaved.  It's crazy.  I adore her.  More than I ever thought possible.  I love cuddling with her and being her Mother.

 These two girls.  They're amazing together.  They're already friends.  They adore each other.  It's the most beautiful thing to see.

SIGH ... now didn't those just put a smile on your face?

A Fiesta Birthday Party

A while back I blogged about throwing Liliana a "pigeon" birthday party.  But truth be told, I wanted to throw an un-character themed party this year.  Last year I did an Elmo/ Dora birthday and it was fun but so limiting.

This year, my best friend had me design some Fiesta bridal shower invitations for her and it had me thinking ... why not do a fiesta birthday party?

So the theme is decided.  The invitations are made:

Selling these in my shop here in case you want in on the fiesta fun!
I also made a corresponding Dora one b/c finding a Dora invitation that isn't super cheesy
is a freaking difficult things to do!  I love how it turned out!  That one is here.

ANYWAY, we are so excited b/c this year ... it's all about her friends.  We're inviting some adults, but honestly, this is now HER birthday party.  My parents aren't even coming b/c like I said ... for her AMIGAS! :) 

We're doing a pinata, I'm going to have them paint on a canvas in super fun BRIGHT Fiesta colors, and we're eating bean and cheese tacos.  Did you know that bean and cheese tacos is mainly a Texas thing?  Well if you're not from Texas, I highly recommend you make yourself some.  Melt that cheese, heat up those beans, get some tacos and voila!  DINNER time!

Here are some inspiration photos:

This bottom one is my absolute favorite!  STUNNING! :)

Liliana already knows her party is coming up and everytime she sees me working she asks "Mommy are you making something for my birthday?" :)

We've got 6 weeks left and I'll need every last day.  Especially since we're throwing ANOTHER party in 3 weeks!! haha ... I'll blog about that one tomorrow (or some time soon, that's a better way of saying that)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Question Asking Kind

Isn't dreaming about the future fun?  I know we should live in the present, but that's not to say that dreaming about what is to be isn't fun.

Since Evan and I have been married, we've never had a moment of being settled in our lives.  Through law school and med school it was:

 "What's Cristina going to do after law school? (haha ... TOTALLY didn't expect I would own my own business, but hey!  Life is full of surprises)

"Where's Evan going to take us for residency? (all that worrying for nothing ... we got our first choice?)

"When are we going to start having children? (WELL ... turns out that if your OB tells you "you can't get pregnant" you actually can, twice, first time and not even meaning to the first time (Sorry Liliana love!))

"What are our houses going to look like? (or we could just buy a house unseen like we did here in Little Rock)

So Evan and I are the question answering type.  But now that that stage in our life is done, we're certainly not done asking questions ... we ask things like

"are we done having kids?" You ask me, I say yes we are done 95% of the time.  You ask Evan, he says no we're not done 99% of the time.  That makes for some interesting disputes, but we always settle on "let's keep practicing all the time just in case we do decide to have a third!" (see what I did there? TMI alert!)

"Where are we moving after residency?" (one we ask ALL THE TIME even though he has 3 years left ... we've definitely decided it will all boil down to salary and call schedules obviously, but we also have rules.  Like Evan says "nothing north of the mason dixon"  HAHA.  He's joking, but we're not cold weather people.  We like being outside.  We love pools.  Also, in Texas we have rules ... no Houston and no Dallas.  They just don't have the "homey" feel we want for the girls unless you move really far out which would be a huge pain.  If you do live in the city, traffic is a bitch and when you're hauling kids around that would get old. 

"What kind of house will we buy or build after residency?"  (isn't this one a blast?  Doesn't everyone go to and do the "how much home can I afford" thing?  PS They are RIDICULOUS with that. message to you, this is why people go broke.  According to what we make now (which BTW is not a lot!!) they say we could afford a house 33% more expensive!  We wouldn't be able to make ends meet AND save at the same time!  Saving is critical when you have kids ... college funds, mutual funds, life insurance etc!)

"What things do we want in our next home?"  (this one is fun ... we've narrowed it down to needing AT LEAST 4 bedrooms (we have visitors often and figure eventually the girls won't want to share rooms), a BIG pool for Evan (in his dream world it would be a lap pool but he can keep on dreaming away), a HUGE office for me (I work in this room and am in this house more than anyone so I think I should get dibs!), and our bedroom on separate level from kids.  In our current house they're on the  same level and I wanted that for when they were small.  But by the time we move, they're upstairs and we'll have our own retreat! :)

I'm sure we'll never be done asking questions.  Evan and I always say "when this happens we'll relax!" but we haven't.  It's just not who we are.

We're the dreaming, question askin' types.  And I sure do love to dream with him by my side.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Movin' and a Cryin'

No joke (no April fools).  Evan and I are exhausted.  He's, understandably, about 20,000 times more exhausted than I am.  But we're tired.

Every single time he's on call over a weekend we start the week off already praying for Friday.

Evan has this thing he does that drives me crazy (and not in a sexy crazy way ... in a "NOOOO don't say that!" way).  Every Friday morning before his 84 hour call starts (no I didn't type that incorrectly ... he's literally on call for 84 hours STRAIGHT) he says "I really don't think it should be a bad call this time." 

I literally smacked him upside the head this time.  I knew he had jinxed it!  And ... he did.

It's not that one call weekend is necessarily worse than the other.  We'd like to pretend they are, but when we look at it, they're all pretty damn awful.  He gets paged CONSTANTLY.  We've learned all pages get irritating, no matter what you make it sound like.  I have seriously wanted to take a hammer to it a few times in the middle of the night, I can only imagine how E feels!

This weekend, he did go one 2 hour stretch on Sunday (while we were with family eating for Easter, so that was nice) without a page.  But I would say average is a page about every 30 minutes.  This usually means either: (1) it's a patient calling to speak to the Doctor on call, (2) it's a nurse asking a question about a patient, or (3) the dreaded one: he has to go in to the hospital for something, and quickly.

We already know the #'s and when it's a page from the ER we fear that he'll have to go and either be in surgery for a long time, or at the very least be gone for a couple hours.  I know you're thinking "get over it" and you know what, you think I would!  You think I would be accustomed to this already!  We've been doing this here residency thing for nearly two years.

But I just can't get accustomed to it yet. And I'm not going to lie it brings me down thinking we've got THREE more to go.  I often joke with Evan now "you couldn't have done a 3 year residency could ya?  Had to be a butt and go for the five year!" (pediatric residency = 3 years, surgical sidencies = 5 years, OB/GYN = 4 years (tid bit of info ... did you know your OB that is doing SURGERY on you for a C-section for instance doesn't do a year of surgical training?  Kinda scary ain't it!)

ANYWAY, it's not so much the fact that he's gone.  Believe it or not, the girls and I have rather established a routine and Liliana (don't know whether this is good or bad) is really used to him having to leave or being on the phone.  Sure, she still tells him "don't go Daddy I'm going to miss you!" but she knows he'll be back and she understands (vast improvement from last year).

This weekend was particularly rough b/c Gloria started crawling while he was at the hospital all Saturday morning and most of the afternoon.  And the first movement she did I was so excited, yes, but a tear also rolled down my face.  I knew he had missed it.  And I know that's fine.  I know Gloria will never know the difference.  But my heart broke for Evan.  It broke for us not being able to jump up and down and kiss her together. When things like this happen I always debate whether to tell him or not.  I've done both..but this time, I told him when he got home.  I knew I wouldn't be able to fake the excitement, haha, and he understood.

So here we are on a Monday and I'm excited for a Friday.  Evan's off this weekend and we plan on going to the zoo with the girls and having a great time.  But first things first, I plan on us falling asleep EARLY tonight to catch up ... you wouldn't believe the crazy stuff that had him going to the hospital and checking x-rays on our laptop last night.  I'm not even surprised anymore...just like "holy cow, you'd better go now!"  During the day he does see some of the crazy stuff, but it's usually telling SO many people they have bladder cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, etc.  I don't know how he does it. 

But like Liliana says "my Daddy is such a good doctor and he's helping his patients!  Mommy, I'm a pee pee doctor too!" :)

And I know this too shall pass ... in three years and two months. SIGH.