Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas

I am so grateful for people who put videos like this in their posts because it means I get to watch and them share them as well. I hope you enjoy this video. I love this song and the portrayals of the life of Christ. You might recognize many of the paintings and scenes from LDS artists and videos.

The Spirit of Christ(mas) is so strong when watching. I hope that each of you can feel it and know that the Love of God is real and is there for each of us. I know that He cares and loves me and you. I am so thankful for that knowledge, even when I am slow to acknowledge it. Joe, Cassidy, and I wish each of you the most wonderful of Christmas wishes. Good will towards all men and Peace on Earth is our prayer.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Almost Over

TLC's What Not To Wear was keeping her entertained and gave her someone with whom to talk. Check out her tongue in the beginning, hilarious!

video

The alligator

Cassidy, the alligator hunter

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Videos

I think it's time for VIDEOS!!!! woohoo!! Cassidy has been a lot of fun lately. She's really found her voice as you'll see and hear. That has been a kick. She can get loud and now her cries seem more like demands than ever. Also she's rolled over from her stomach to her back. I think it was more of gravity getting her but oh well. And she's pretty close, I think, to rolling from her back to her stomach. She just needs to get the leg over a little more. Joe bought me a frog, stuffed of course, for my birthday. Of course it's the perfect size and friend for Cassidy, she likes to talk to it. She's also, what Joe calls, more interactive. She'll giggle and sqeal and smile in response to others. It's great.
video

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Cassidy was introduced to Christmas trees yesterday. "The parents", that is Joe's parents, brought us a tree down from the mountains the day before Thanksgiving, but it stayed outside till Monday night. Yesterday we put lights on it and glass icicles and a few of our nicer ornaments. We also went through our collection and whittled it down to the ones we actually like. It looks great!! I took a few pictures of my dad holding Cassidy as Joe put on the lights, her first Christmas!!!
Where did the year go? I can't believe it's almost over. Just a few weeks to go. For the last few mornings, the fog has been so thick that you can barely see a few blocks away, a Bay Area version of a white Christmas. It's been so thick that the ground looks like it rained during the night. It's pretty, but also pretty cold, 41 degrees. Yuck. I don't really like the cold.
Joe got sick this weekend. Not fun. He's stayed home since Sunday but it isn't getting ant better. Half of me wants to run with the baby and stay somewhere else so she doesn't get sick... She had been coughing just a bit last week but seems to be over that. I don't know if there is anything harder to have to watch than a sick infant. So pray that Joe gets better and baby doesn't get sick.

Friday, November 21, 2008

3 months

Can you believe it? Three months already? We LOVE our little Cassidy. She celebrated last night by displaying her not oft seen explosive spewing technique, all over Dad, the couch, and the carpet. (thank goodness for The Little Green Machine. Got kids? Got carpet or furniture? Get it!) She looked so sad afterward and cuddled with me for about 90 minutes. I loved the cuddle time but felt so bad for her.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A whole bunch of nothing

I thought it would be fun to post a little video of Cassidy doing tummy time. She really doesn't like it and has stopped trying to push up or even hold her head up. She just lies there and cries till she falls asleep. It is an easy way to put her down for a nap though. :) The video doesn't show her crying, I thought that wouldn't be enjoyable, but it shows her newest discovery, her hands. video
I thought I would post a little about what I've been up to in the past little while. In December I graduated from San Jose State with a BS in Kinesiology (the study of human movement) and a concentration in Athletic Training. I know that there is a lot of confusion and questions about what athletic training is so let me explain a little. If you've ever watched a sporting event when someone got injured, the person or people who ran out to check on the athlete is/are athletic trainers. We work with active populations, most often athletes, in the prevention, recognition, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries. We are considered allied health professionals and can actually bill health insurance companies, in some states, for our services. To become an athletic trainer one most graduate from a BOC accredited college program then pass a national certification exam. While in the AT education program one must accumulate a certain number of internship hours. At SJSU the requirement was a minimum of 200 hours per semesters, that was 200 hours outside of the classroom. After certification we must acquire 75 continuing education credits every three years to maintain our certification.
In talking to others, athletic training is often confused with personal training. Those professionals work with individuals to design and/or implement exercise programs, often at gyms and health clubs. To my knowledge, some companies require their personal trainers to obtain CSCS certification, some do not. The CSCS certification test can be taken by anyone 18 years or older. Obviously one would need to study but there is no degree requirement.
Does that make the difference between the two professions clear?

I have been working with my mother-in-law, who is an artist, for the past 3 years. Here is a link to her site www.melanielacki.com. She's really good. I help out with cutting mats for paintings, putting together frames, and assembling everything together. I really enjoy getting to work with her and also learning how to do the different tasks needed to get from pretty painting to framed piece of art on the wall. So if you are ever in need of framing work done or just an opinion or have a question just ask.
Earlier this year I was working in a tax preparation office. I really really liked working there. I enjoyed those I worked for and with as well as the clients. A great benefit from working there was learning all about the tax system and laws and the ins and outs. The knowledge I gained have really benefited us in making decisions about our money. There is a lot of little stuff that is really good to know to maximize your dollar and minimize, legally, your tax liability. So if you ever need some help with your taxes I can refer you to a great office with great employees who want to help you keep your money in your pocket, legally.
Obviously now I'm at home with Cassidy, though some days I think it would be a lot easier to be back at a 9-5 job. I love being home with her though and wouldn't trade this time for anything. I don't get as much done as I'd like, but I am learning how to get more done and with Cassidy sleeping better and better during the day, there is more and more time.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What a cutie!!


I never did post any pictures of little Cassidy from Halloween, we didn't go trick or treating but we did dress her up in her pumpkin jumper and hat and went to Grandma and Grandpa's. They have life size wood cut outs of Frankenstein and a witch. I will have to post those pictures later as I have to scan them first. But here is Cassidy all cute.
She is doing so well. We have started "training" her to sleep. One night at 4 in the morning, I was trying to put her to bed after nursing her and after my third failed attempt I couldn't take it any more. I remembered that she would fall asleep after about 15 minutes of tummy time (and screaming because she doesn't like tummy time) so I thought well than let's see if she'll go to sleep on her own if I just put her in her crib. It worked. She cried for about 10 minutes then fell asleep. The next night I would put her in her crib whether she was asleep or not after feeding her. She would whimper for a few minutes then fall asleep. Yeah. The fourth night Joe got brave and put her down for the night completely awake and not in a good mood if I must be truthful. But after about 20 minutes asleep she was. Last night was even easier. She is really getting the hang of it, or so it seems right now. Crib=sleep. No going in after she's down unless she hasn't nursed on both sides and she's still crying after 20 minutes.
I thought I would do that until she was 3 months (in 8 days) before I started trying it with naps. But today I tried it. We were doing a little grocery shopping and she looked tired. She had been awake for about an hour and a half but was looking like it was time to sleep again. So we got home, I wrapped her in a blanket and put her in her crib. She whimpered for about 5 minutes, that was 30 minutes ago.
I am glad that we waited to really "train" her till we could see that she was capable of calming herself down and falling asleep. In the past if we put her down she would cry and cry and cry and work herself up so we kept waiting. And I think we hit the nail on the head in terms of timing. And get this. When she goes down at night, between 8-9 she'll be down for 11-13 hours in total, only getting up to eat 2 times!! Talk about a good night!! Woo hoo.
Sorry to always be talking about Cassidy sleeping. It seems like that has been the biggest "problem" or thing that we have. She eats great, always has, she loves to be outside and go for walks, she gets bored with being in one spot or not being able to look around. I am sure that most new parents would put dealing with the sleep interruptions as one of the top "things" that most be figured out with a new baby. So they, you, understand, where I am coming from.
What else is new? Joe and I celebrate our second anniversary this month!! Woohoo!! We've been together for 4 years now, crazy how time flies. Throw in a baby and it really gets moving. We are getting our yard and garden ready for winter. Lots of onions and garlic and maybe even some beans and lettuce, I don't have a green thumb for lettuces. We are using up the last of our summer garden items. We still have bushes of tomatoes, peppers, and zucchini. There are a number of baby watermelon still on the vine but there is no way those will mature. Darn. Next year we'll have tons (I hope). How nice it's been to be able to make homemade soups and stews and breads using the stuff from our garden. That is one good thing about having a yard that is virtually full sun EVERYWHERE, lots of veggie and fruit plants like the sun. I'm already planning for the next summer harvest because those seeds get started in January. Early start means early harvest! I love having a garden, except for the weeds.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Hard Morning




This morning we had Cassidy exuding fluids from 4 different orifices. December was at her wits end.
Cassidy did have time to pose for a cute shot in between feeding and multiple changes of diapers and outfits.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Joe's Cousin Jake got Married!



There was much celebration as Jake tied the knot with a beautiful bride, Rowan, on Saturday. Joe and December drove 3 hours with Cassidy up to Chico to support his cousin. We had fun showing off the baby and meeting extended family.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Stupidity

Have you ever done something out of anger and then felt like the biggest idiot afterwards and knew that you couldn't pray hard enough to get the clock to turn back and take back the action? I have.

I don't even remember which day it happened, only that it was between 14 and 21 days ago, and in the middle of the night. I can vaguely remember the moment now. I didn't even remember doing it until yesterday while I was wondering the aisles at Target.
I got so mad at Joe one night at 2 am that I threw something valuable, and small, across the room, something I would never, in my right mind, ever risk losing, my wedding ring. After putting Cassidy back to sleep that night and going to sleep I forgot about my precious ring until weeks later. I couldn't even remember which room I was in or where I threw it. I searched and searched, Joe searched and searched. I prayed and prayed. Yesterday and today I kept looking in the same spot over and over because it felt like the right spot. After conference I came home and looked again, I was tipping over furniture and looking under things, exactly what I had done numerous times before. Then I heard a knock at the door and as I got up off the floor I saw it, my ring. Where it came from I do not know. Which nook it fell out of I do not know. All I knew was there it was, I had it back.

What lessons have I learned? Prayers are answered as we continue to act in faith to answer the prayers. Actions performed in anger usually don't turn out well and usually become regrets. Never trifle with things or people that are valuable to you, you might not get it, them, back. When I thought that I might not find my ring again I was mostly upset that I had "lost" it in a moment of anger and that I could have avoided the whole heartache.

What's my point it posting this? 1) Prayers work- say them. 2) Don't do things in anger that you wouldn't otherwise do. 3) When you're sleep deprived your memory is not good, so be careful. 4) Don't do what I did.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

I spoke too soon?

Everyone says that babies grow up really quick (which I know is true) so ever since Cassidy was born I told myself that I would take it one day at a time. That effectually meant no wishing for the day that she would... whatever, I would just enjoy (or just deal) with the day at hand. So when she all of a sudden she became a "different" baby at 2 1/2 weeks and found her vocal cords I didn't wish for the day that she would get past all the crying, screaming, and fussiness. I had read that 6 weeks is the typical peak in fussiness so I had to remind myself not to wish her to be 6 weeks old.

Today Cassidy turned 6 weeks and for the last couple of days I thought, wow, she really has turned the corner on the fussiness and crying. Her sleeping was getting a little better at night and during the day, that's a whole other story. But we had "a day" today. She would to want to nurse then fall asleep while on the first side, then she'd sleep for oh 20 minutes and wake up and be hungry again. Then the cycle would start all over again. I feel like all I did today was feed her. I felt like we were back to the "old" well the "second" Cassidy. But she sure did smile at me a lot today and that was awesome. She is so darn cute.

Think about how much time is spent nursing in a day. Let's say 10-15 minutes per side per feeding and there are 8-10 feedings in a day (for a newborn). Doing the math means 8*10= 80 minutes at the very least and up to 10*15*2=300 minutes!!! I think I hit the 300 mark today. Even if they don't eat for the full 15 minutes it may take that long to get everything going. Sorry to those who don't want to hear about nursing but if you have kids or know someone who does who is nursing consider that when she says she didn't get much done that day, that may be the reason. A labor of love. My solution= a good book.

One thing I am excited for, to know really, is how big she is getting. She'll have her 2 month appointment in 2 1/2 weeks. I can't wait to know how much she weighs and if her head is catching up with her body. When she was born her head circumference was in the 10th percentile, at the 2 week appointment she was in the 25th percentile while her weight was in the 50th and her length was in the 75th. I think she'll be about 9 1/2 pounds by then but I am excited to know for certain. I would love to know that information about her any day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The days are different

Some say that getting married makes your world turn upside down. Some say it happens when you start having kids. If I were to tell the story of our adventures and challenges it probably would be the pro log to what is to come. No matter what we do there will always be that time when we think that we are going through the hardest time, then look back and see that it was another hurdle in the path up a mountain. So I would say this: do not despair, do not think all is lost, or let your heart faint. Like Annie said - "the sun will come out tomorrow", and we will be OK.

Lately Cassidy has been the catalyst to reveal new truths about parent-parent relationships. Love is not something felt only...it is something we do!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What happened???

So in the beginning Cassidy slept. So much so the nurses worried. Something changed. Darn. The last two nights she's been getting up much more frequently, like every hour from 1:30 am on. My watch so Daddy could sleep ang be rested for work. Tonight he got his (turn, that is). When he got home she had just gone down fir a nap, but woke only 90 minutes later. She was hungry, as is normal for her. So she ate and looked like she'd go back down. So Joe let me go to bed. She stayed up till 1:30 am, mostly fussing and crying, and spitting up. Poor Joe. He got me up around 12:30, nervous about the noises she was making and I think at a loss fir what to do to try to get her to sleep. I took over and almost immediately the fussing stopped. She was asleep with not too much work. I feel for Joe, he really got the short end tonight. Now she's stll asleep in my arm as I type this at 2:15 in the morning.

I know that at this age any smiling is 'accidental' but I can't help but say that when Cassidy smiles, especially her open mouth smile, it is the most beautiful thing in the world. I try not to look forward to the future, just enjoying today, but when she smiles I can't help but look firward to the day she smiles intentionally, for Joe and me.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Back to normal life???

Well how would you define "normal"? Joe went back to work today, while December is home with the baby Cassidy. It feels really odd not to be all together.

Joe did get to spend some time with Cassidy when he came home from work, wasn't long though before they both were found fast asleep.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let sleeping babies lie

Cassidy loves to flail her arms, both when she's awake and when she's asleep. I put her down for a nap this morning all swaddled, only to walk in a few minutes later to find her in this position. She stayed in this position, albeit with her arm resting on the blanket until she got up.




Isn't she an angel? So beautiful.











This is what happens when Papa doesn't stop pestering Cassidy.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Cassidy on Aug 25th

Cassidy has retractable legs that are on springs...making it hard on her parents when they are trying to change her. She often spends her free time exercising to making them quicker.

She is the most beautiful thing when she is sleeping. She stretches and poses in many interesting positions. I think 95% of our pictures of her are her sleeping. We won't post them all but we will get a few up.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

First full day with Cassidy

The first day with the babes was really uneventful. Cassidy slept for long periods only to be intermittently awakened by a few diaper changes and feedings. December on the other hand was feeling jubilant and very animated.






























We had a few visitors today...Cassidy's grandparents Jim and Melanie. Because Cassidy came so quickly, Darryll, December's dad, who is in LA working on a movie set, won't be able to get here till tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Cassidy is Born

Cassidy Shea
born Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 9:57 pm
7 lbs.11 oz
19.5 inches -- Our healthy purple raisin

This was just before I got the epidural. I had had contractions for about 8 1/2 hours till this point and I was ready to not feel them so strongly anymore. My eyes got so heavy from the IV pain medication I received when I first got there that Joe had to count down before taking the photo and I would open them at the last minute. The epidural worked really well, I didn't feel anything. That was good and bad. Pushing was definitely harder because I couldn't feel what I was supposed to be pushing. But considering how bad the contractions were when I first got to the hospital I don't know how long I would have lasted. After the epidural kicked in, I kind of lost track of time and couldn't believe it when it was time to push. Pushing seemed to go by really quickly and then, "here's your daughter."


Obviously this was just after Cassidy was born. What I remember most about that moment was just how purple she was and how she really didn't make a sound. No one was scared or panicked though, thankfully for me, and they just rubbed her down to get her to start fussing a little. She had quite a large goose egg on the top of her head from the delivery. I was a little tight and so her head took the brunt (actually so did I, snip snip). But by the next day the golf ball on her head was barely noticeable.


This is a good representation of our stay in the hospital, Cassidy asleep. She did that a lot. It actually caused a little concern for some of the nurses because she would go well over the recommended time between nursing sessions. After being fussy all night after being born she started her sleeping trend. The first day she was out for almost 10 straight hours and the second day she was out for about 7 hours. She just wanted to sleep. We worried a little about her eating but when she was hungry she woke up and nursed well. She went from 7 pounds 11 ounces at birth to 7 pounds 4 ounces at 24 hours and then to 7 pounds 2.5 ounces at 36 hours, so her sleeping affected her weight loss very little.

Just after Cassidy was born and cleaned up, she was able to "watch" Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh win the gold medal in women's beach volleyball in Beijing. What a treat for her (and mom and dad).








December got the majority of the time with the little one but Joe snatched the opportunity to hold the baby when December was asleep.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Boy or Girl?

Joe and I went in for the 20 week ultrasound last week to make sure that our little one is developing properly, and to find out the sex. The sonographer and the doctor both raved about the baby's spine and long toes and healthy brain and heart. And in taking after Papa Joe, the baby liked to moon us more than show us it's face. Well that made determining the sex quite easy and fairly conclusive. It's...a...girl!!! I am excited!! Joe is still letting it sink in, he feels less prepared to raise a little girl than to raise a little boy. That would make sense. There will be plenty of little girl friends for our little one. There have been 6 girls born within our ward in the last 6 months, plus there are three little girls on our block, and maybe a fourth due just after ours (we should know soon if our neighbor is having a boy or girl). Then there are the three girl cousins that live only about five minutes from us. (Lots of hand me downs, YEAH!!!)
I have been feeling her move since around the later half of week 17. Finally Joe can feel those movements when he puts his hand in the right spot on my belly. It's so neat because he was really feeling like a spectator for the majority of the pregnancy. Now he can be a little more involved.
I will post some of the photos from the ultrasound next time. And then you can see our little girl.

December

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

So the rich don't pay do they...

There are many politicans claiming that the rich don't pay their fair share of taxes. The same politicians then say that the government needs to step in and make the rich pay more.
I have a question about the idea of the rich not paying their fair share of taxes? What is it based on? I wondered for quite awhile, how true is this? Is there any information that shows the amount of taxes paid by the "rich" versus the amount of taxes paid by the "poor"?
I found information that refutes the claim being made by many politicians today. If you look at the bottom portion of the image, the chart compares the percent of total income earned in the country by various groups to the percent of the total federal taxes paid by those same groups. Let's look closely.


1. The top 0.1% make 9.1% of all the income in the country but pay 17.4% of all the federal taxes paid in the country.

2. The top 1% make 19% of all income but pay 36.9% of all federal taxes.

3. The top 5% make 33.4% of all income but pay 57.1% of all federal taxes.

4. The bottom 50% make 13.4% of all income but pay only 3.3% of all federal taxes.

5. The wealthiest 5% pay almost 60% of the taxes. While the poorest 50% pay less then 5%. How does that equal the rich don't pay their share of the taxes?? You tell me.


Look at the source... The Department of the Treasury, based on IRS data from the 2004 tax year. Not a political party or someone trying to win an election.

So you want to make health care affordable?

So everyone wants health care to be more affordable, right? Don't want to necessarily put the government in charge of it though? Well here's one suggestion that wouldn't require raising any one's taxes, wouldn't create a new government agency to oversee anything, wouldn't cost tax payers a single dollar, etc...
Under the current tax laws, multiply your income by 7.5%, that is the amount of money that is excluded from what you can claim for medical expenses as a deduction on your taxes. What does that mean? For example, if you have $25,000 in income, the first $1875 you spend on medical, be it premiums, co-pays, bills, etc, can not be used as a tax deduction. If you have $50,000 in income, the first $3750 in medical expenses can't help you on your taxes.
In my experience in a tax preparation office, there are very few, as in a handful of people for every 100, that actually surpass that 7.5% floor and get any kind of tax benefit from all the money they spend on their own health care.
Why not make medical expenses tax deductable, or at least lower the percentage that is excluded? This would be the easiest way to make health care more affordable for every single person.
It would also give people incentive to pay their medical bills. Maybe if more people would or "could" pay their medical bills, those who do pay would see a benefit, such as lower bills. (think about the impact shoplifting has on prices of goods. the more loss to the store, the more the customers have to pay to offset the loss.)
That's my thought on the subject... What do you think?