Saturday, November 17, 2012


Two is a much better age for celebrating a birthday than one.  This year, she actually got the whole birthday thing.

We invited Papa and Nana over for dinner and cake (aka rice crispy treats), and Anson and Kieren dropped in to celebrate with us and give J a cute matchy-matchy nightgown.  She loved all the attention and toys.  

Happy birthday to our beautiful girl--we love having you in our family!

Jane's 2-year stats:

weight:  26 lbs. (41%)
height:  24.5 in. (71%)
head circumference:  19 in. (70%)

Nicknames include:  Jaygee, Janey-Lane, Janaygee Zampagey, Zampajito, J-Chicken, and J

Thursday, November 1, 2012

our goofy girl...

Janey is such a funny girl!  She has a strong personality and a great sense of humor.  She loves to stack and organize random things (although this doesn't carry over to her toys, unfortunately).  She also loves to put on multiple layers of clothes.  I've taken several pictures over the months and made mental notes, but it is time to dedicate a post to her silliness.

She is obsessed with Asher.  She just can't seem to leave him be.  She can be super loving (aka: mauling) and is just so curious to learn all about him.  She loves to sit, stand, and jump on him (which does NOT make Mom and Dad happy) and is dying to see what his eye feels like.  She also thinks he should have a taste of everything (food or non-food).   She also loves to pluck at his little hairs and see if she can pull them out.  If he's in his crib, she wants to be there, too.  One of our favorite things is the Asher-car-dialogue.  It happens when we're in the car (duh!).  It's most entertaining when Caleb and I are both in the car because then she is usually interrupting us with her Asher-dialogue.  It goes something like this:

(Imagine that Caleb and I are discussing some important and inspiring topic as we drive along)
Jane:  MOM!!!  MOMMMY!  MOM!  MOMMMA!!!
Me:  What?
Jane:  (long pause, then in a subdued tone) Ashah.
Me:  OK, thanks.

Then repeat.  A lot.  About 10 times per minute.

If it didn't crack us up so much, it would be really annoying.

Jane is talking a lot.  She says most of her words well enough, but there are a few that are still completely her own language.  For example, die-lim means "vitamin", loli  is "little", key-at for "kitty cat", Baby Cooker is "Baby Cooper", cute-cummer for "cucumber", and noli bar is "granola bar".

Also, Jane's hair is finally long enough to put up in little "ponies", as we call them.  We often get a good laugh at her crazy hair once we take the ponies out.

Is it wrong that I think this is so funny?  And is it wrong that I let her diaper get so wet that this happened?

Jane is starting to potty train herself.  I finally bought her some unders, and as soon as she found the package, she had to try them all on.

From these pictures, I guess I let her run around undressed a lot.  And I'm pretty sure that this last picture will be super embarrassing to her at some point.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Our little chunk muffin is 5 months old!

We love our little Pashy Pie.  His chubby little self is just so enjoyable--to touch, to hold, to pinch, and to simply feast your eyes upon.  A few weeks ago I was holding Asher, when a lady I know drove up.  As she saw him, she exclaimed, "He is just scrumptious!"

I couldn't agree more.  I could spend hours gently pinching his soft skin between my fingers and stroking his enormous thighs.  And he is so easily pacified.  Usually a big smile and a little baby talk is all it takes to get him to stop crying.  His smile is so wide, it looks as if he's trying to catch flies with his mouth!  And he is as sweet as he is big!  He currently wears 12-18 month clothes, although I put him in a 24 month onesie yesterday and it fit quite well.  I have actually been having troubles with my back from hefting him around, but he's worth it.

He just started sitting on his own a few days before his 5 month mark.   What started out as a slump using his chubby belly and thighs kind of like a kick-stand turned into real sitting after a few days.  He loves to squeal and laugh, and his laugh is almost always accompanied by a funny intake of breath that squeals.  He's also very alert--he loves to watch everyone and everything around him.

Our current nicknames include:

Pash (and all variations imaginable:  Pasher, Pasher Pie, Pash-Pash, Pashalina Brashalina, etc.)
Ashauntay Pashauntay
Asher Bo Basher
Der Bubbin Snubbin

Behold the scrumptious-ness for yourselves:

pumpkins and meerkats...

I tried to be a little more festive this year.  I bought pumpkins at the farmers market, but could never find time for us to decorate as a family.  So we invited a few cousins over.  Despite a little paint ingestion and a tumble off the chair, I think it was a hit!

And costumes were a breeze--store-bought last year from the after-Halloween clearance.  Our little "kollar bier" and baby meerkat:

Ash loved his costume.  It seemed to lull him into a dormant state.  I'm not sure if it was because it was multiple layers of warmth, or if it was the super soft, silky lining.  Either way, he seemed to love it.   I'd consider using it for jammies, except that he's already almost outgrown it (despite its 12 month size).

Caleb and I were invited to a couple's Halloween Prom.  He borrowed fireman gear from a friend, and I burned a pair of pajamas I had in the DI box and ratted my hair.  By far the easiest costume I've ever conjured up!

We also took Jane trick-or-treating.  She is officially a candy addict, just like her momma.


Happy Halloween!

Friday, September 28, 2012

the healing powers of raw meat...

As I was searching to find play food for Jane, I stumbled across a strange item...bacon bandages!  I thought it might make a funny gift for Caleb, as he loves him some bacon, but before I could buy, I had to do my customary review check.  I was delighted with the reviews (I happen to think that witty product reviews make fantastic entertainment).

I picked out a few of my favorites.  Enjoy.

"I picked these up on an impulse, tired of sporting Dora and Strawberry Shortcake bandages over my manly shaving-related mutilations. Just an impulse, good for a few chuckles, but I'm glad I did.

I like these bacon bandages. I love bacon, it makes everything tastier. You ever have scallops wrapped in bacon? Or, where I grew up, we had the francheezie, a quarter-pound dog, split up and filled with cheese, and wrapped with bacon. I love the idea of garnishing myself with bacon, and all it symbolizes. To my kosher cousins, the bacon serves as a slight, a defiant declaration that I will not be laden down by dogma and delusion. To my vegan brothers and sisters, the bacon is a visible symbol of my dishonor, a white-meat scarlet letter confessing my lack of grit: "I'm with you in spirit, comrades, but the flesh is weak."

I'm so fond of these band-aids that it's a little bit of a downer when my wounds heal up. I eagerly anticipate paper cuts. I'm actually contemplating getting a bacon tattoo. Let me know what you think."

"I thought this was going to be a fun item but boy had I thought wrong. The product arrived as promised, looked like bacon but little did I know that it was cursed. Shortly after the bandages arrived, I rolled my ankle on an acorn & fell hands and knees first on the sidewalk. "Good thing I have my new bacon bandages", I thought. I applied the bandages to all of my affected areas as directed and headed back out to face the world like a walking meat cooler.

About three blocks from home I saw this real sketchy looking guy standing by a dumpster naked. So I pulled out my cell phone to get a picture to Tweet and this crackhead guy come running at me! I tried to hit send & run at the same time, but considering my prior injuries, it just wasn't going so good. This guy must have been on bath salts or something because when he caught me, he tried eating my knees & hands. I guess the bacon looked too real. Luckily another naked guy on bath salts tried to get my bacon bandages too, and they started fighting each other which gave me my out.  
I ain't ever wearing bacon bandages again."

"What's wrong with using raw meat to cover your wounds? This is a poor imitation of the actual healing properties of bacon."

"This thing may seem like a cute little novelty item, but it can ruin your life. I being a very big bacon fan thought it was pretty cool and ordered myself a box. Well low and behold I get a cut on my forearm and decide to use it. I start my day of work and everything goes well, I get a few laughs from my coworkers and I think nothing of it. Well come after lunch we have a meeting with a big client for our firm, I being a junior member was not supposed to be in the meeting. However after they decided to bring the client to my desk because apparently we graduated from the same University, that's where everything went wrong. I got up to shake the woman's hand, extended my arm, but she didn't take it. Instead she stared at my forearm for an awkward moment or two. Then she looked up at me with this venomous glare and spit at me. She screeched at me about offering an unclean hand to her and that the band aid was terribly offensive. I apologized to her profusely and pleaded to her playing the Alma mater card. She had none of it. And continued to scream, and finally stormed out the building. My supervisor fired me on the spot... well after a 30 minute rant about how I had lost the company 25 million dollars. Also it makes you entirely too hungry all day."

"These bacon bandages are so realistic that they may cause secondary injuries. I applied a bacon bandage to moderate cut on my left thumb and within 2 hours, 4 people attempted to bite me. These bites required more bacon bandages, which, in turn , were responsible for more bites. The amount of bites per bandage applied rose exponentially to the point where I may die from blood loss. I am in desperate need of some liver and onion bandages as these would be appealing only to geriatrics who would be easily fought off."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

before and after, the first...


We are finally in our house!  It has been a rough road getting here, but we are happy.

This house is a fixer-upper, and Caleb and I have all sorts of plans for it.  I'll tell more about the whole home-buying story later, but I wanted to keep up on before and afters since I'm addicted to home renovations (I might be HGTV's biggest fan).

Due to the enormity of the task at hand, my first two projects were the kids' rooms.  These rooms were much more manageable than the rest of the house and only required some paint and decorations, so I put my first efforts into them first.  At least this way I have something that is finished.  Or close to it.

Jane's room:  before

Jane's room:  after

Asher's room:  before

Asher's room:  after


I still have a few tricks up my sleeve for these rooms, but if I wait until every last detail is finished, it might never get done.  Now hopefully I can get moving and keep finishing rooms.  Slow and steady, right?

back in business...

After getting a blank screen every time I tried to post the past couple of months, we finally set up our extra laptop in the office and...success!  Or semi-success, I guess.  See, this laptop is called our "extra" for a reason:  it has issues.   One of them being the battery works not at all, so it has to remain plugged in.  It also overheats and is really slow.  All of these things = not a problem.  However, it freaks out (aka shuts off completely) any time any type of foreign port or driver (if those are the right terms) is introduced.  It cannot be connected to a printer, external hard drive, or memory card.  The only way to share documents is to email them.  <sigh>

But for now, it will have to do.  I will email myself pictures and blog away.  When possible.  Which just so happens to be 12:08 am on a Thursday.

Friday, June 22, 2012


There we were, the three of us, taking our afternoon naps.  I heard Jane start to whimper, so I dragged myself up out of the rocking chair and to her room.  As I opened the door, I saw her standing in her crib looking so sweet.  Then she looked up at me and said, "uh-oh!".  I rubbed the sleep from my eyes, trying to figure out what was wrong. And then I saw it:

And, no, that is not chocolate.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Pasher, 2 months...

The boy has done a LOT of growing in the past few weeks.  At his 2 month appointment, he weighed in at 17 lbs (99.7%).  His height was at 24.25" (83%), and head circumference at 15.75 (43%).  He is pleasant and sweet.  And if you are wondering, his belly button is herniated and very large.  However, the doctor isn't worried and says it should go away on its own.

one month...

Our little...I mean big boy is ONE MONTH OLD today!  He loves to eat.  And sleep.  And that is about all.

He really is a little tank--as of June 11th, he weighted 11 pounds, 12 ounces.  I'm sure he's well past 12 pounds, as per the spasms in my back every time I heft his carrier to the car.  He is usually waking up about once per night for eating and is just a sweet, chubby babe!

Asher-isms include:
-rolling his eyes and smiling after feasting on mama's milk
-snorting all through the night
-being super chubby
-being easily pacified (yay!)

Our nicknames for this little man:
-Asher Pasher (which can then be continued on to "Prancer, Vixen")
-Asher J.

Not too original...yet!

PS:  if you noticed his funny belly button, it is herniated.  Poor little guy.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

the story of asher j...

Disclaimer:  this is a birth story.  It uses terms such as "dilated", "effaced" and "epidural".  If you are uncomfortable with these type of words, you might choose to just browse the photos.

Last Wednesday (May 16), I had my weekly checkup.  I was one day shy of 37 weeks.  When the doctor told me I was almost dilated to a 3, I was kind of surprised.  With Jane, that was my status after about 18 hours of labor.  However, it wasn't news I really wanted to hear.  I was hoping for a few things to happen before this baby came--first, I had signed up for Aflac and needed to make it until May 27th to get a payout.  Second I really, really wanted to close on our house so I didn't have to deal with condo living (aka distant parking, large flight of stairs, cramped quarters, and angry neighbors) with a new baby.  And lastly (and, yes, least-ly), I was trying to finish my first-ever quilt for the baby.  I knew that if he came before it was done, it would most likely never get finished.

Back to the doctor's visit.  I had been having small contractions for a while, but my doctor told me to start paying attention--if they became more regular I should check back with him.  So after leaving the doctor's office, I started to pay attention.  I was surprised to find they were about 3 minutes apart and very regular.  As the day wore on, they became more painful and closer together.  I tried to pretend it wasn't happening, but when I finally called the doctor's office just before closing, they told me to go to the hospital.

I was so annoyed!  It wasn't time!  I wasn't ready!  And blast it all--I wasn't finished with my quilt!

We hurried and packed, dropped Jane off at her grandparents, and headed to Banner Gateway.  After checking in and changing out of my street clothes, I was told that my doctor had stopped delivering there a few months earlier.  So, I quickly threw my clothes back on, and rushed across town to Banner Desert.  This was around 7 pm.  Once checked in, they started to monitor me.  I was dilated to almost a 4, and 80% effaced, but progress was slow.  So they told me they'd keep me in triage for another hour and decide whether I was to stay or go at that point.  After the hour passed, they said the same thing.  This happened four times.  Or five.  I don't remember.  All I know is that every so often the nurse would check my progress and look baffled.  Finally, around midnight, they decided to admit me.  While they went to clean a room for me, I kicked back and relaxed, only to realize I hadn't had a contraction for over 20 minutes.  When the nurse finally came to take me to my room, I asked to go home.  After assessing the distance from our condo to the hospital, she and the doctor agreed to let me me go home, but advised me to come back immediately if the contractions resumed.

All of the next day (Thursday) the contractions seemed to be lessening.  By Friday morning, I felt great and informed Caleb that we were going to get our money from Aflac after all.  But as often is the case with me, I spoke too soon.  Early Friday afternoon, the contractions were back.  However, I'd already had a false alarm, and I wasn't about to do that again.  We had made dinner plans with friends, and I was not about to miss out just for another false alarm!  Besides, even if this was the real thing, I was sure I'd have plenty of time to enjoy a good meal, and then suffer through hours of early labor at home before going to the hospital.  So we headed across town to Carraba's to meet up with the Caffreys.  On the way there, my contractions kept coming steadily and became more and more painful.  By the time we got there, I was beginning to question the decision to go out.  Before sitting down Caleb warned the Caffreys that we might have to leave early because I might be in labor.  I loved the look on their faces!  We sat down in the booth, and soon were feasting on appetizers and pre-entree salads.  I was really struggling with the pain of contractions and finally admitted to myself that we should have cancelled, when I suddenly felt the strangest sensation.  It was as if a bomb had exploded in water, with the bomb and the water being inside of me.  It seemed like I heard a *POP*, though it was more as though I felt the sound rather than heard it.  I noticed everyone's eyes on me, so I tried to explain what had happened.  I wasn't sure if my water had broke or if the baby had just decided to give a giant kick, but when the next contraction came on stronger than ever, I decided our situation had changed.

Panic set in.  I shouted at Caleb to get up, that we needed to go to the hospital.  He looked at me and kept eating.  I shouted it again, and he proceeded to stuff food into his mouth.  I started to really panic!  I was not going to birth baby boy in a booth!  Finally, he processed the urgency in my screech and slid off the bench.  As I scooted my oversized belly out from behind the table and stood up, there was a HUGE gush of liquid down my legs.  My eyes widened in horror as I assessed my situation.  We were near the back of the restaurant.  It was Friday, 6:30 pm, and the place was packed.  Jane was sitting in her little high-chair getup, complete with her high chair cover and place mat suction-cupped to the table.  I needed to get out of there immediately!  I started toward the door as I yelled to Caleb to gather up Jane and meet me at the car.

As I hurried (aka waddled) through the crowds, I tried not to look people in the eyes.  I didn't want to know what they saw.  At one point, with the door just in sight through the crowds of diners-to-be, a man stepped in my path and leisurely ambled along in front of me, slowing my pace and blocking my way.

"Excuse me." I said in his ear, my belly centimeters away from his lower back.  He continued on as if he didn't hear.

"Excuse me!" I said, a bit louder.  He still didn't take any notice.

"SIR!  WOULD YOU PLEASE GET OUT OF MY WAY!?!?"  I actually screamed this in his ear, my panic getting the best of me.  He turned around startled to see what banshee was shrieking behind him, and his sideways position was enough for me to escape.  I rushed past, finally reaching the door and ran, as best as I could run, to the car, where I then stood, pretending not to notice all of the people staring at me with soaking wet pants and large puddles of water at my feet.  The front row parking I had blessed on the way in was now a curse with all those people around.

Caleb finally arrived with Jane in tow, and we hurried to the hospital.  As I walked back in to Triage, I saw the same nurse I'd spent all that time with two days earlier.  As soon as she looked up, I said, "It's the real thing this time."  She looked at my pants and agreed.  As I was changing out of my wet clothes and getting hooked up to the monitor, they asked me if I wanted an epidural.  I said I probably would, but I would let them know.  Within a few minutes, I let them know--YES, PLEASE (though I may or may not have used the "please"!).  After getting me checked in and set up, they checked my status.  An 8!  It took another hour or so before the anesthesiologist got to work his magic and by the time the epidural came, I was dilated to a 9 and whimpering.  It hurt so bad!

Just like the first time, once the epidural kicked in, I turned to Caleb just to let him know how happy I was.  I then relaxed for a bit, while the nurses set everything up.  Soon after the epidural was in full force they checked again, and sure enough, I was dilated to a 10.  They had me try a quick practice push, and without really giving much thought to that push, I pushed.  They shouted for me to stop, saying that he was right there, and they called for the doctor on call, Dr. Tiersa Damore. It took the doctor about 30 minutes to get there, and when she finally did, she also asked me for a practice push.  It produced the same results, so she quickly got herself set up, and they told me we were going to start pushing on the next contraction.  It was so different from my experience with Jane.  So low-key and so fast!  On the next contraction I was told to take three deep breaths and to push three times per breath.  First breath, his head was out.  Second breath, his shoulders were out.  Third breath, HE was out.  And that was it!  Our little Kumar was here!  8 pounds, 3 ounces, and 20 inches long.  Healthy as can be.   Everything had gone so smoothly.  And his name wasn't really Kumar, it was Asher J.

And so we didn't get our money from Aflac.  And we aren't moved into our house yet.  But, we have a beautiful, healthy baby boy, and that's all that really matters.

Before leaving for the hospital on Wednesday, darn quilt!

Officially checked in.

Welcome baby boy!

Proud Poppa

I hope the pediatrician didn't see this--
(His middle name was Kiritkumar)!

The nurse had to leave for a moment.
I was so in love with his little toes kicking up in the air!

Happy sister.

Beautiful flowers from my husband.

I finished the quilt!

He makes goofy faces, just like his Momma.

Such a snuggler!