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Posted in Family, Kids, Life, Relationships, travel, Wedding

Our wedding – Feb 4, 2017

The best day ever.

Our AppyCouple wedding website

Our Wedding Pinterest Board

Our Honeyfund

 


Our Wedding Day
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Bridal Veil: Mia Bella Couture
Bridesmaids: Vow to Be Chic
Cake: VG Donuts
DJ: Elite British DJ (Mick)
Rings: Brilliant Diamonds – Tacori (Ariel)
Wedding Planner: I do weddings (Melissa)
First Dance choreography:  Wedding Dance San Diego (Liz O’Grady)
Photo: True Photography (Billy)
Video: Campbellicious (KC)
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Posted in Family, Finance, Gadgets, Review, technology

Wireless phone carriers

Ever since Apple came out with the new iOS for iPhone, it’s made my phone extremely slow and drains the battery life.  Thanks Apple.  This led me to consider doing a phone upgrade, but my phone isn’t that old and it works fine (I have an iPhone 6).  Currently, I’m on AT&T bc it gives me the best cell signal at work.  But, the more I’ve been researching…. the more I’m leaning towards T-mobile or Google Project Fi.

The Data:

My Conclusion:

We would definitely have more opportunities and data options on T-Mobile.  Question is whether it gets good signal in the places where we want to be.  If T-Mobile does get a good signal, it’s a no-brainer for us to switch to T-Mobile.  Google Fi is a strong contender, but I don’t know much about it and there aren’t many reviews on it… and I don’t know where the coverage will be the best for us.  There’s a lot of great perks, but I think at this point we need to go with longevity and data and good customer service that’s known.  Google Fi is only available for android phones so we’d have to switch from iPhone to Android.  Whereas with T-mobile, we could take our existing iPhones to make the switch.

Winner = T-Mobile

Posted in Cars, Family, Life, surfing, travel

Sprinter van conversions

I’ve been thinking of traveling the US via van for several years now.  I thought it would be awesome to get one for my 40th bday.  Well, that’s almost 2 years from now.  Then, I thought it would be a great idea to pull the trigger and purchase a van when we have our little one.  Well, that time is quickly approaching as I’m in the 2nd trimester of the pregnancy.  So, like with everything else I do…. there’s a ton of research!

 

Which size to get?

 

Who to go with?

 

My YouTube channel on Sprinter Vans

Awesome YouTuber for getting onboard with the van life: Hobo Ahle

Here’s what I’m leaning towards right now:

Sportsmobile seems to have an awesome option of the pop up top that could be an additional sleep area when we grow our family.  That’s really the huge reason why we’re leaning towards Sportsmobile.  We actually went to check out and do a factory tour of Outside Van and they were incredible!!  If I hadn’t have found out about the popup top on the Sportsmobile, OSV would’ve definitely been our top pick.

 

Posted in Family, Kids, Life, pregnancy, Review

Pregnancy

The first day of my last period was April 25, 2017.  According to my Glow app, my average period length is 6 days and it looks like there’s roughly 37 days between periods.  That’s about 10 days longer than the average Jane.  That last period occurred on our honey moon! We came back home on May 9.  Then, I had a weeks worth of diarrhea from May 20-27 and ended up taking ciprofloxacin at that time.  As June approached, I was just fatigued for a bit and so was Bear.  We thought we had caught a bug or had some kind of weird travel lag from the trip.  I was still surfing regularly with Ross — maybe a couple times a week.  Around the summer solstice June 20, I had some light cramping. Breasts had been tender for a while, but that wasn’t anything out of the ordinary as my period approaches.  In early June, we went to  the Toast the Coast Wine Festival at the Del Mar Fair (June 10) and then the evening of June 20, we had burgers and beers at Encinitas Alehouse.  I had a funny feeling to pee on a pregnancy stick that evening, so I did.  Lo and behold it was POSITIVE!  I quickly called out to Bear to make sure he got an eye on the reading to make sure I was reading it correctly.  The next day, we went to the drug store and got one of those digital ones so there couldn’t be any reading errors.  It said PREGNANT.

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Once we found the info out, I immediately called to setup an appointment with my chosen OB/GYN.  I feel lucky to have a job in anesthesia because I get to directly see the work of our surgeons and care providers so it gives me an idea of who to seek for my own care if needed.  I setup an appointment with Kim Washkowiak for July 5 (1st ultrasound) and then an initial consultation on July 11.  I also started researching best books to read during this time and finally chose the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy.

According to the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy that we’re reading, the chart states the following….

  • Week 1 If the first day of your last menstrual period was: Apr 25
  • Week 3 Conception likely occurred around: May 9
  • Weeks 5-10 Period of greatest risk of birth defects
    • Beginning of organ formation: May 30
    • Major organs have formed: Jul 4
  • Week 12 Risk of miscarriage decreases: Jul 18
  • Week 23 Some preemies can now survive: Oct 4
  • Week 40 (full term) Estimated due date: Jan 30

Mayo Clinic (2011-10-26). Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy (Bestsellers) (Kindle Locations 2230-2237). RosettaBooks. Kindle Edition.

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10 weeks, 1 day

But according to our OB and U/S reports, we’re due February 20, 2018.

July 5, 2017

I’ve had about 2 weeks of low grade nausea.  I keep wanting to eat small meals to stave off the “morning sickness” that rears its ugly head throughout the day.  I’ve got some ginger candies to help.  I’m also eating more plant-based meals (Veestro and Splendid Spoon) and craving grapefruit and fruits!  I haven’t worked out much bc of the nausea.  I’m trying to get 3x 16oz waters down in a day.  Initially, I was having to pee a lot…. not just during the day but it would also wake me up in the night.

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Week 18 – Sept 19-25, 2017

Recap:  The nausea was the worst for me from weeks 7-13.  It slowly got better.  Things I did to calm the nausea: ginger chews, ginger hot water/tea, bananas, toast, crackers, pasta, hydration, rest.  I found it worst during the day.  During that time, I also shunned Veestro and Splendid Spoon.  In fact, I could hardly tolerate any of my paleo foods that I typically eat.  Crackers and carbs were my savior.

Fast forward to week 18… life is good!  We just got back from a 2 week vacation to the Azores. I’m back at work and now I have Mondays off.  We’ve been doing research on state disability, maternity and paternity leave, vacation days for 2018, infant day cares, pediatricians, etc.  I still don’t see much of a baby bump yet, but my usual clothes are starting to feel tighter.

So far, we’ve found the following books helpful:

Week 21: Oct 10 – 16, 2017

I’m still feeling pretty energetic and able to maintain my pilates workouts.  Typically, I aim for 3-4 one hour sessions/week.  The ladies at Club Pilates in Del Mar are fantastic and are always offering me alternatives for new moves as I advance in my pregnancy.  I’m hoping to keep this up until delivery and beyond!  We’e completed two prenatal classes so far.  Scripps offers a lot of classes and resources and we’re taking advantage of the learning opportunities!  So far, we’ve done Getting Ready for Baby part 1 and 2.  It was a great overview for absolute essentials we may need for our newborn as well as how to change a diaper, swaddle, when/how to bathe, etc.  It also included an excellent session given by a pediatrician on normal/abnormal poops, diaper changes, breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccines/shots, etc.

I’ve been in a rabbit hole of baby registry items/reviews and we’re slowly building our list.  I’m pretty meticulous about researching anything prior to pulling a trigger on anything big (house, car, insurance, stocks, appliances, electronics, etc.).  I consider a newborn to be a really BIG thing!

 

OB Anesthesia entries from my blog:

 

Week 22: Oct 17 – 23

This week, it was recommended that I only stick to the pilates 1.0 or 1.5 classes.  😦  Pilates has been great, but they’re totally right.  My cardiovascular capacity needs to really stay in check.  The mini is the size of a papaya this week.

Week 23: Oct 24 – 30

We just got back from our last flight to Boston.  Overall, I felt like I traveled fine… but I could see it being tougher as the pregnancy progresses.  Lately, I’ve been booking infant care tours for our little one when they turn 3 months.  I have two girlfriends with 2 kids who are terrific moms…each offer the advice of getting a nanny (instead of daycare).  I think a nanny or our moms would be great, but my biggest push for the daycare is to engage early development and socialization.  I think the nanny and our moms are great to help on certain days, but Bear and I work and that would be a 5 day a week commitment.  That’s a lot to ask for from our moms who live out of town.  Plus, I do not want a complete stranger (i.e. the nanny) around our baby just yet.  Consider it the mamma bear in me.  But, I want accreditation, vetting, background checks, early childhood education, experience…. and from what I am finding in my searches… it’s really hit or miss with the nanny.  I really am taking to the Montessori method for independent learning and self-soothing and the way it encourages infants/toddlers to participate in their environments.  Plus, one of the Montessori schools we’re looking at does language immersion.  Many educators have said that the most absorbent stage of learning is from 0-6 years.  Great link that compares infant care and nanny care.

YouTube video of LePort Montessori Infant School

Plus, I don’t really believe in decorating a nursery and such — we’re in the midst of creating/designing/constructing a companion unit and will then at a later date do a large remodel of the house.  So, simplicity and minimalism are my jam.  I read this article on the Montessori way of setting up your home for infant and I love it and would like to replicate it!

Comparing Montessori and Reggio learning styles (2 infant care philosophies we are looking at):

I’m ecstatic to learn about MontiKids – a toy delivery service that bases it’s philosophies on Montessori.  Every 3 months, the company will send you age/development appropriate toys to you.  I am so thankful for minimizing screen time and maximizing play/learn time with my future kiddo.

My YouTube Kid Playlist

We had our first breastfeeding class last night. It was actually really really informative.  We’re always the smallest “bump” in the class as I think most of the moms in there are due November…. and we’re not due until February.  But, I love having the info ahead of time so I can plan….and I only know my schedule one month in advance 2 weeks prior to the new month.  We’re definitely on board for 6 months of exclusive breast feeding and then starting organic, non-GMO, hormone-free foods around that time with supplemental breastfeeding.  I’d love to breastfeed for at least 1 year if it’s possible.  We’ll see!  I know it’s not an easy task.

All things Montessori:

We had our 24 week growth scan ultrasound on Oct 30. Everything looked great!

Week 24: Oct 31 – Nov 7

This week, the mini is the size of a large zucchini.  At this stage, we have a viable fetus.  Things are still going well.  I’m feeling little kicks.  Mini’s insertion of the umbilical cord is just slightly off center on the placenta.  The last growth scan showed no vasa previa and the baby was already positioned head down.  Funny thing, at every ultrasound… the Mini is super chill.  The ultrasound tech will push the probe into my belly to shake/wiggle the baby to move and change positions…. but to no avail.  Hopefully, they’ll be this chill when they’re born!

I’m looking at various cord blood companies to see whether it’s worthwhile to bank stem cells from the umbilical cord when the baby is born.  Basically, it’s kind of like having a backup source of undifferentiated cells that could turn into anything (bone marrow, red cells, white cells, tissue, etc.) if we ever need to use them down the line.  My biggest question is: what’s the viability/longevity of these cells to be effective if we need them?  It’s a pretty large upfront cost.  And nothing is guaranteed.  So… I asked my OB what she did with her kids and she said the first one it was free, and then she paid for the 2nd and the 3rd.  I’m going to continue my polling today to figure out if it’s worth it or not.  What I’d really like to know is if anyone has had to use these stem cells….. was it worth it?  Did it change the course of disease or alter treatments?

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Cord Blood Info:

So after reading through every one of these links…. I’m leaning more towards NOT banking.  If something isn’t going to be useful 10-20 years down the road…. why bother?  Plus, in 10-20 years, research and medicine will have advanced that there may be better treatment options available – i.e. creating stem cells that are a match to a recipient.  There are public stem cell and tissue registries.  I suppose the key thing is would we have a match for our multi-racial family from a public bank/registry?   We both have ZERO genetic history of diseases or cancers.  It’s a big upfront cost — and I’m not sure the technology is quite there for advanced treatments.  But, if I were to choose a private cord bank company right now, I’d probably choose CBR.

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24 weeks, 3 days

Had my 24-26wk Glucola testing on Nov 6.  This was after an unseemingly busy call day and night.  In fact, I got called back to the hospital at 2am and was starving — so had half a bagel at 2am (and therefore breaking the 12 hour fast rules).  I went in for the Glucola test at 7:30am.  The Glucola drink is 50g of sugar that tastes like a really flat Sunkist soda.  I thought for sure my test would be positive given my cortisol surge with the busy and stressful call day…… and fueled by my half bagel at 2am.  But, low and behold, my result was 126 (range less than 139) and negative for gestational diabetes.  Woohoo!!  Here’s some interesting reading material on gestational diabetes and diagnosing it: part 1, part 2.

Week 25: Nov 7-13

Definitely seeing and feeling changes during this week.  There’s no mistaking that I’m pregnant.  Before I just felt “fat” and heavy in the belly — so funny that some of my colleagues asked if I put on weight.  That stuff doesn’t bother me, but it cracks me up how guys can be so frank.  I’m still trying to do at least 3 classes a week of pilates.  I’m really enjoying Club Pilates that’s a studio all around the country.  Currently I’ve dropped down to just the 1.0 and the 1.5 classes — but they’re still kicking my booty!  I was consistently doing the 1.5 and 2.0 classes up until 23 weeks.  My fam has an ongoing bet whether the Mini is a boy or a girl.  I love it!  I even want to get in on it — but I can’t be the biased house.  So far…..here’s the tally…
Mimi = girl
Aunt Chawn = boy
Uncle Larry = girl
Mom’s friends (Raymond and Nashat) = girl
My thoughts = I have no idea! How do people predict this stuff?
At work (Lisa, Rick, Suzette, Thuy) = boy
At work (Juliette, Christina, Annetta) = girl
I can’t wait to see the bets roll in!

Week 26: Nov 14 – 20

Even at 26 weeks, I’m up daily at 6:22am… perks of the job.  There’s usually one or two pee awakenings in the middle of the night usually anywhere from 1-4am.  I think this sleep deprivation thing will be just like a call night.  I’ve been doing those for years (yes, at least a decade).  Night call on OB is roughly an every 2 hour wakeup call for an epidural or a bolus or a C/S… or it’s a trauma rolling in through the OR.  I think I’ll handle the transition well — but maybe that’s wishful thinking.  I want to do it all — have an amazing career, raise the Mini and be an awesome mom, and be everything my husband has ever dreamed.  Is it possible?  Will I be tired? Time will tell.  In the meantime, I’ve had a fabulous time jammin’ out on my uke.  In fact, I got an early Christmas present for myself — a new uke!

I’ve been doing more research and reading and listening to Audible books every spare chance I get.  This is of course at the same time when November and December are the busiest times at work (a lot of people try to fit their doctor visits in before their deductibles run out at the end of the year)…. and we’re starting a small (phase 1) remodel.  But, there’s never a good time to get stuff done despite being busy, so we just go for it!

Here are the books that I’m currently listening to or reading or are on my future reading list:
Week 27: Nov 21-27

BRAINSTORMING

http://www.babybargains.com

https://www.babygearlab.com
https://www.momtricks.com/

Setting up a baby registry
Help and favors registry
https://www.babylist.com/hello-baby/pregnant-chickens-kick-ass-registry

Strollers

Baby Carriers/Backpacks:

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/backpack-carriers/buying-guide.htm

Car Seats:

Breast Pumps:

Beds:

High chairs:
Graco Blossom 4 in 1 system

Great Day Cares:
https://www.babylist.com/hello-baby/8-important-signs-of-a-great-daycare

Local Day Cares to check out:

Posted in Life, Review

Learning to play the ukulele

The ukulele… it’s gotta be one of the most portable and entertaining instruments in the world!  I first came across this instrument while listening to Somewhere Over the Rainbow.  The sound just gave off such a positive happy vibe.  Then, a super gifted ukulele player by the name of Jake Shimabukuro caught my eye while scrolling through YouTube.  His rendition of this song was incredible!  I was hooked and just had to learn to play.  So, here’s what I did….

ukulelesizes

Beginner Basics:

ukulele_diagram

Learn how to play:

Resources I’ve bookmarked:

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LearningUkulele.com

Now I’m looking at a new uke:

My uke and accessories:

 

ukulele

Posted in Life, Relationships, work

The vicious cycle of negativity

I’ve noticed a trend between late nights at work, being tired, and a vicious cycle of negativity.  My temper kicks in, my fuse shortens, and I’m ready to brawl any chance the situation presents itself.  But that’s not me.  What the heck?

Let’s start with lack of sleep:

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on the Body

Negativity

It’s so much easier being negative than taking the time to look at the positive side of things.  I’m a realist so the positive BS gets a bit thick for me.  I’m not outright rude to people, but I certainly don’t go out of my way to sugarcoat things.  In today’s world, I do feel people need better coping skills.  Does that make me a cold hearted snake?  No, I don’t think so.  I just think I’ve seen things and dealt with things that have made me stronger.  Perhaps I’m out of touch.

Realizing lack of work-life balance

If 40 hours/week is the magical number for work-life balance and being able to maintain “full-time” status… I’m well over that.  Perhaps the lack of being able to make my own hours is another imbalance.  I’m a servant to my pager and to my hospital duties.   Don’t feel sorry for me; I knew that going into healthcare.  Is work-life balance an illusion?

Empathy

But maybe this is what needs improving.  As I get older, it’s harder and harder for me to find sympathy and feel empathy in situations.  I don’t have any concrete examples coming to mind, but I find myself believing that people got themselves into a particular situation without a thought of consequences.  There seems to be a huge movement for being in the present — quite honestly, I wouldn’t mind if people had the thoughtfulness to think of the present while also keeping an eye on the future.

I stumbled upon the idea of transference.  Interesting article here about what it is and how it alters your perspective on life.

Needing an outlet

But what if it’s the challenge of being close that can be so emotionally charging?  Maybe it’s the lack of honest accurate communication?

Posted in Family, Kids, Life, work

Reflections

Today, I’m #20 on the call schedule after being #2 last night.  It wasn’t bad… I left work around 7:30p and never got called back to the hospital.  That’s a great #2 night!  A couple of days ago, I awoke with a pinched nerve along the left side of my neck and it’s incredibly uncomfortable turning my head and just doing regular tasks (i.e. making the bed).  Right now, I wreak of Bengay and I’m partially comforted with some Aleve.  Hot compress, you are next!  Sometimes, it’s really nice to enjoy a lazy morning with zero agenda other than to catch up on life and maybe even do some self reflection.

A buddy of mine sent me this article and asked me my thoughts….

How Many Children Should You Have?

I gave it a once over and thought, this is interested.  A small sample size of various parents from various geographical regions all commenting on their children.  Their is italicized because it seems like commenting on what the perfect number of children to have is so personal and completely unique to their experience.

It’s a heavy duty article with a lot of good perspective. I kind of agree with them all. I liked the one with 3 kids best… and the one with no kids the least. Since when did the purpose of procreation become about supporting the older generation? I had a tough one with that. I don’t think people have kids to look after them in old age.

What do u think?


This article came at a perfect time for me.  Bear and I just got married; we’re older… and we’re looking to start a family.  I just went on an Amazon spending spree for knowledge:

Even as an M.D., I am thirsty for knowledge in an area that I know pretty little about.  Sure, I’ve rotated on OB/GYN as a med student — but that was back in 2005.  Plus, doing two months of a rotation doesn’t equal a full understanding of mom’s body and baby’s development.  It taught me how to safely deliver a baby, but I need to know and understand the building blocks leading up to that.  Secondly, I’m an anesthesiologist who places labor epidurals for our pregnant ladies getting ready to welcome their little bundles of joy into the world.  I typically meet the moms when they are having contractions and wanting pain control and follow-up with them at delivery.  So you can see, there’s a 9 month knowledge gap that I need to fill in.

If you’re a future mom and are interested in an epidural, educate yourself on the pros and cons as well as what you expect to feel and when to ask for an epidural.

My blog post regarding OB Anesthesia

Remember, it is dependent on YOU as you are in control of your pain.  A pain scale will vary from person to person (i.e. everyone has different pain tolerances).  There’s no magical dilation number that tells you when to ask for an epidural.  Keep in mind that you will need to hold extremely still when you do ask for an epidural.  So please make it easy on your anesthesiologist (and yourself) and ask for an epidural when you are able to be as motionless as a statue — otherwise, it may be too risky to request an epidural if you are in too much pain to stay still.