Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Christmas 2011

(Another post for records' sake.)


Christmas 2011was good. I spent it with family and had much for which I was grateful. Also, I was spoiled - too much, but I loved it all the same, of course. The trip to NYC was of course my high light, but I also received some really fun, thoughtful things from family. We attended some great parties and tried to make time for just our little family to do "Christmas-y activities." The two days prior to Christmas were particularly festive with a walk along the Long Beach canals which were decked out in full Christmas regalia, and a trip to Julienne in San Marino for a fancy Christmas Eve breakfast. I was happy that all my preparations allowed me to approach the actual holiday with some calm and with some time to just enjoy the company with friends and family.


It seems that each year everyone tries to do something BIG to make it especially memorable. Unfortunately, BIG plans are harder to pull off and, at the end, it's easy to be disappointed when things fall through. Case in point: most of Kenny's immediate family was gathering at his parents home to spend the night on Christmas Eve and there was lots of talk of games and nativities and such, but one of the families was dealing with the flu and another of the families was 2 HOURS late which ultimately meant Lola was already in bed before we could do anything at all. And as no one wanted to do anything until everyone was there we ended up doing nothing - even after everyone was there. So...bummer. Also a bummer was Lola waking up sick around 2am (right when Kenny and I finally made it to bed) and staying awake crying until 7:30am (right when the other kiddos were getting up and wanting to open gifts).

(above: Awake and watching Finding Nemo at around 3:30am. Below: Kenny setting up the table and chairs Santa brought her.)

I didn't have a lot of expectations for the day, but, with this being Lola's first Christmas to actually participate in the festivities, I was excited to watch her Christmas morning. Needless to say, I was really sad (i.e. I bawled in the shower for quite some time) that she was tired and sick and didn't want anything to do with it. The whole day was spent by either Kenny or I cuddling her on the couch until her fever finally hit 103 and we opted to just go home.

A trip to the Urgent Care confirmed our hunch: double ear infection. Her 6th one in a year. A quick update on the ear infection situation: Five days later, on her last day of antibiotics, she had a crazy (very scary, but kind of funny) bout of vertigo which took us once again to her pediatrician. Sigh. The good news is that her doctor finally gave us the go ahead to consult an ENT on getting tubes. The ENT confirmed she'd benefit from the procedure and now we're just waiting on the insurance to clear the surgery and then we can actually schedule the procedure. I'd say we're keeping our fingers crossed that she has no more illnesses until we can get tubes put in, but already she got nailed with the flu the following week, poor thing. She was kind enough to share that sickness with me and her nanny who both came down with it a few nights later. Fun. I haven't had the flu probably since I was, oh, ten. WOW it sucks. Making it worse was the thought that my poor girl endured it, too. And making it even worse still was having it while pregnant. Flu nausea is so much worse with a 27 week old fetus turning somersaults in my abdomen. Another tangent/good news: an ultrasound confirmed the baby is healthy and that my low-lying placenta is migrating upward - which is a very good thing.

So...starting with Christmas Day, my life has been a blur of doctors visits, antibiotics, bland crackers, vomiting, laundry, disinfectant, and a sick, cranky, and increasingly bratty baby girl. (Seriously, she's suddenly feisty, but that's a subject for another time.)

I must say here that my husband is a saint.

The poor man had the whole week off after the holidays and spent it (and the following week) taking care of the girls of our house. A sick baby and a sick, hormonal, pregnant wife. Yikes. At one point the man was researching reflexology and massage techniques so that he could alleviate my nausea and pain all while attending to Lola. A Saint, I tell ya. I'm so lucky to have him.

But back to Christmas...When The Girl felt better and started to finally notice her loot (and it was quite a haul), she was in heaven. Loved everything. Which was awesome. I finally got the reaction I had hoped to see Christmas morning. She's so cute the way she plays with things and I love that she wants us to participate. The first day she started feeling better I was away working and Kenny called me so I could hear her say feebly in the background "happ-eee, happ-eeee." And that made me happy.

Here's the only pictures we got from Christmas day, courtesy of our phones.

"Look what Sant brought you, Sweet Dee!" said a very tired Dad.

With her BFF cousin, Lucy.

Ignore that we look trashed. We were trashed. Someday we'll recount this day with humor and maybe even some fondness, but for now I'm just glad we're past it and that we have next year to anticipate. Here's hoping it's one free of illnesses and filled with sleep and good tidings for all. Especially for us. We've earned some good tidings, I'd say. Wouldn't you?
Anyway, Happy Holidays.

I'll close with a shot of our Christmas card and the goodies we took to the neighbors.

It's the first one I've ever sent and I didn't order it quickly enough to mail out before the holiday. (Fail.) And I grossly underestimated how many I'd need. (Double Fail.) So, sorry if you didn't get one. We still love you and hope your holiday season was the best.


PS - And best wishes for the happiest of New Years.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Putting it out there: Life Goals

I'm at my office. I'm supposed to be editing a deal I underwrote last week while polishing off another deal and mentoring the two junior analysts. But, in a flash, I was hit with a clear idea of my "Life Goals." I can't say these are all encompassing, but they likely serve as the foundational values and goals that drive all other things I'd like to accomplish. I prefer these broader life goals to, say, "resolutions" because when I fail even once at a resolution, I tend to write it off as a loss for the rest of the year and quit trying at all. So, lest I forget these longer-term hopes/goals forever, here they are:

  • Have a mutually fulfilling, successful marriage that lasts. Like, forever.

  • Earn a PhD. (or two???) In otherwords, to be forever learning.

  • Raise my children to be kind, confident, resourceful, and generally happy adults. I realize I can't control them or many of the circumstances of their lives, so I'll only say that I hope they're also successful and educated and that they develop a firm faith in a Loving Father in Heaven and His plan. I also hope that as siblings, my children are close and bonded. And that they won't have too much to complain about me with each other.

  • Build my dream home. Or two. And lest images of huge mansions go fluttering through the readers' heads, let me state that my dream home is not large, but rather efficient, simple, resourceful, well designed and made, unique/interesting, and full of light. Same goes for the the things and people with which I'd like to fill this home.

  • Travel. Everywhere.

  • Live abroad for a time.

  • Be known as kind and intelligent. And honest. I think that's doable. In my dreams I'd like to be thought of as funny, too.

  • To be unattached to things. Live to experience rather than to accumulate.

  • Live in optimal, balanced health. At least with regards to the things I can control. I'd like to be an active senior citizen when that time comes.

  • To be a person who boosts those around her - in whatever way is needed. This may require my getting over my own insecurities and inherent shyness (which I fear often comes across as snobbishness).

  • Provide a financial legacy for my posterity. Both in actual funds and as an example of wise management of one's resources.

  • Also to leave a legacy of faith, kindness, social responsibility and awareness, and passion.

So...that's it? Probably not. But it's something. And hopefully it will serve as a reminder for me when my priorities are out of whack. Hopefully.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

NYC in photos

I guess it's about time I post some photos from our Christmas trip to NYC. These are not all the photos. They are not in order and they don't depict all we did, saw, ate, and experienced. But they'll do. Enjoy.

The Subway:
We were quick pros when it came to public transportation; however, it was particularly frustrating for Kenny not to have mountains to help him get his bearings and serve as a visual compass. Also, we never could have done it without our iPhones and various Subway apps. I love technology.

Rockefeller Plaza.. and THE tree:
we could not go to NY in December and NOT see this. Kenny wanted to go multiple times. It was the shot of "Christmas Festive-ness" we needed to combat our 70+ degree weather at home.

Bryant Park (my favorite) and a smaller tree and ice skating rink:
This is the spot I kept wanting to return to. Preferably with a hot chocolate and a good book (which would have been easy given it's right next to the main Public Library - also one of my favorite spots. Yes, I know. I'm a nerd.)

Times Square:
Can you find us on the jumbotron/billboard?

The Empire State Building:
I'd seen "An Affair to Remember" too many times not to go up and take in the view. Pretty incredible.

We got pretty creative trying to get a shot of both of us. Here is our reflection in the windows.

Awww. We're cute.

Central Park:
I'm glad we finally took some time to just sit and hang out while strolling through the park. We just meandered about and finally sat on a bench to share a bag of hot candied pecans and watched the performers. We were at first a bit bummed there was no snow to really add to the whole Christmas ambiance, but, in retrospect, we were so grateful to have fairly pleasant weather. We wouldn't have had this time otherwise.
(Thank you to our gorilla-pod for making photos of us together possible. If you follow Kenny on instagram, you saw his photos of me setting the camera up to take these sorts of shots. Worth it.)
Although Kenny holds his own pretty well without me in the shot, if I do say so myself. And I do.

Right outside the park was the LDS temple. So cool to see it in the middle of the city. We're so used to them being tucked up on some hill in a residential area. I liked seeing the Angel Moroni amidst all the high rises.

Worth the detour off the island if for no other reason than this view - the very best of the whole trip:
More gorilla pod couples photos...

And one more of my man. I like him.

Right on the waterfront and almost under the bridge was this empty, roofless building. So...we had to take photos, right?

The High Line:
Our last morning we walked over to the High Line and I'm so glad we did because my two favorite photos of the whole trip were shot while there (below). Isn't he so handsome?! It was inspiring to see what can be made of old, run down property. We shared some Donought Plant goodies and said good bye to the City.

It was over too fast, but so much fun. I can't wait to go back!