We Have A Device For That

What better way to treat a problem than sticking you with wires and shocking you

Another year gone by
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biker_bean
Another year of you not being here, my dear Bean. I miss you. I hope you're watching your siblings growing up. Someday I will tell them all about you.Would you have been like any of them?

Until the day I see your smile...

Daddy

Back to day that started it all
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biker_bean
If was bound to happen. It finally happened.  Back to the orinal workday. Six years ago today, on a Tuesday, we lost you, Bean.

Has it really been that long? It's hard to believe. It feels like it's both been so long ago and not long enough. That time is both standing still and moving too fast. Is that even possible?

Have you seen our family growing? We have a new house (I owe you a rose bush and a memorial). You have a brother! After getting used to having girls, how I have to forget all that and raise a boy. Go figure.

And your sisters are growing, too. Amelia will be in school this fall. And Audreyis such a personality. You've been watching, haven't you? I hope you've enjoyed it so far. It would be more enjoyable with you.

What would Abram be like? Would he be the boy you would have been? Maybe someone totally different?

 All I know for certain is that you are missed, my dear Bean. I will cherish the day I finally get to see your smile.

5 years already
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biker_bean
Dear Bean,

I can't believe it's been 5 years since we lost you?  Has it really been that long?  I still miss you.  I still wonder what I'm missing without you.

Your sisters are getting bigger.  Do you watch over them?  I know you do.  How awesome would it have been to have you as their Kuya.  Amelia's so grown up - one more year and she's in school. Audrey's not too far behind, she wants to do what her Ate does.

Time down here moves too fast.  And too slow.

I'm looking forward to the day that I see your smile.  Until then, watch over us, Bean.

Daddy

Another year missing you
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biker_bean
My Dearest Baby Bean,

Happy Birthday.  Another year has gone by without you.  I still think about you and what could have been.  More so in a "What if..." scenario than a regret.  I see your sisters and wonder what you would have been like.  I hope you're watching.  Our family is growing.  Amelia and Audrey are both showing their personalities.  This house is full of love.  I wish you were part of that.  But since you're not, I hope you're watching and watching over us.

Some day, Baby Bean, we'll all meet.  Until then, you will always be in my heart.

I love you.

Daddy.

Just want to be with you
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biker_bean
Happy Birthday, Bean.

I miss you.  It's been 3 years, and I'm still not over losing you.  I've accepted the fact that you're not here.  But it still breaks my heart when I think about what happened.  How we lost you.  What could have been.

I'm sure you're watching - Amelia is growing up!  She's so big.  And she's so smart.  She's definitely showing her personality - cute, precocious, opinionated.  How different could you have been?

And she's getting ready to be a big sister!  Can you believe it?

Watch over your, mom and unborn sister, Bean. Keep them safe, especially when your little sister decides to come.  Tell her we can't wait to meet her, and she can come anytime!!! :)

Happy Birthday, Bean.  I miss you.  I love you.

May 26
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biker_bean
Happy Birthday, Bean.

I miss you.  Watch over Amelia like a good Kuya, OK?

I love you, Bean. 
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It's scary being a parent
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biker_bean
Today at work, during my lunch hour, I read another story about a baby being injured after he/she was shaken.  The baby was shaken because she cried a little bit.  The mom had gone to work and the dad was supposed to be taking care of her and her twin sister.  The baby is now on life support, as a result of the head trauma.

There wasn't a lot of detail in the story.  But really, there doesn't need to be.  Before we went home from the hospital, we were required to watch a short clip about shaken baby syndrome.  It was also a subject well stressed by the staff, emphasizing that the best thing to do is to let them cry and just walk away, even for a little bit.  It's better to collect yourself than to react, to snap, to lose it.

As a parent who lost a child and has one currently, I cannot imagine even doing something like this to my daughter. This is a terrible thing, even beyond terrible.  To do this to a child, to your child, to be this angry... most people will say it is unfathomable.  But I won't judge those parents, those caretakers.  Why, do you ask?  It's because, I can easily be one of those parents.

It's not that I'm intending to; I mean, who intends to be that parent?  I read these stories and I feel my heart sink, feel my insides just become a vacuum.  I try to think, to imagine, what it would feel like to lose my baby, my precious child, by my own hands.  I can't even imagine.  I try, but something in me prevents me from going down that path.  A mental block of sorts.  For the better I guess.  Who knows what kind of emotional void is at the end of that path.  I'd rather not find out.

As a parent, you have to be at your A-game whenever you are around your child.  And it doesn't matter what the situation is, what time of day it is, if you're with your child, especially your baby, you have to be patient, loving, understanding, and gentle.  It's hard to that, especially for all situations.  When you're awaken after three hours of sleep, it's hard to be on your A-game.  When the crying won't stop and you don't know what to do, it's hard to be on your A-game.  Not only is it hard, it's scary.
 
I  don't know about other parents, but I know I've become more anxious about 'scary' situations.  Abduction, car accidents, falls, drowning, and yes, shaken baby.  Yes, it may be a product of my own overactive imagination and high anxiety, but it creeps in.  And they're hard to take out.  I know I'm not going to put my girl in a bubble - definitely NOT going to be that parent.  I guess that's where the anxiety level is hight.  As a parent, you can only do so much, and the rest is out of your control.  So what happens if something bad occurs in that area you can't control?
 
Before I went off on my rambling, I mentioned that I could be one of those parents who could end up losing control.  There are two instances wherein I scared myself to wondering if I did something to my little girl.  The first time was when she was less than a month old.  It was early morning, 2 or 3 AM, and well, she won't stop crying.  She was in lying in my arms, and in my moment of frustration, I gave her a quick shake.  I realized what I had done soon's I did it.  She was startled, and immediately calm downed.  Of course, that didn't help at all.  I was worried sick.  I was in tears when I woke up my wife to express my concern and regret.  Fortunately, it was a no-incident, and we've moved on.
 
The 2nd time was more recent.  By this time, she's becoming more squirmy so much so that it's hard to put a diaper on her as she turns around.  Again, she was crying, and again, it was very early morning.  Additionally, I was feeling a little angry at my wife, possibly for waking me up, but I can't remember really.  After finally getting her diaper on and she wouldn't stop crying, I picked her up quickly and swung her up to pretty much eye level.  Instinctively, thank God, I knew that this was wrong, so my only reaction was to just sort of growl at her.  That could have ended worst, so I am thankful it didn't.  I made sure to give her a hug right then and there.

Being a parent is scary.  You have to be on your A-game all the time.  It takes one inattentive moment, one quick snap, one momentary weakness, to affect you and your baby, for the rest of their lives.

Another year, but a different and better one!
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biker_bean
I'd say 'Happy New Year!!!' but the year's already 43 days old, so it's not so new anymore...  But hey, guess what - one of my new year's resolution is to blog more.  :)

First, the requisite retrospective:

2010 was definitely a much more awesome year than 2009.  First, I got a full time position again and back at the company I started with.  Then, we celebrated the birth of our little, perfect, beautiful, healthy baby girl.  In between and throughout the rest of the year, there was much merriment spent with friends and families, from the baby shower and baby visits, the babymoon in North Carolina, to my kid brother's first visit (with his fiancée) coming over Labor Day and my best friend from Cali visiting as my daughter's godmother, and just showing off our little girl to all our friends.  There was definitely an abundance of love and fun throughout.  That, is enough to make it a good year.

Of course, 2011 continues our journey of parenthood.  Our Amelia is growing so fast!  Literally!!!  She's a healthy little girl who's 97% on the growth charts for height and weight.  The doctors apparently think she'll be taller than either of her parents.  Hmmm... better send off a DNA sample... ;)  But of course, I couldn't ask for more than that - she's eating well, developing as she should be, and just keeping us on our toes!  It's still surreal that we're parents - every once in a while, we have to stop and think 'Wow, we're parents... to her..."  We've each had numerous 'parental experiences', relating to diapers, feedings, sleep deprivation, body fluids, and illnesses.  Ah, the joys.  Wouldn't want it any other way.

Professionally, 2011 is setting itself up as a year of untrodden ground.  My wife will be a part-timer soon, so we'll have to figure out how that dynamic works.  I'm getting some project manager experience, especially on a highly visible project.  What does that mean and how does it translate for my career?  Not sure yet, hoping it'll be a positive experience.  Work has definitely been interesting, especially with what the last half (and the last two weeks) brought.  But still, I'm able to trudge on and keep my wits about me.

The home front is definitely going to be exciting as well.  The kitchen now needs to be remodeled.  We were hoping for some house-project reprieve, and definitely not hoping to do the kitchen for some time.  However, appliances are getting old and need replacing.  We can't just buy a replacement product - it'll keep us from remodeling longer than what we'd like, and the space and storage options, while acceptable now, may be more than annoying as we increase our brood size.

2011 seems to be also gearing itself up as a busy year.  Besides house projects (kitchen, front walkway), there's trying to increase my working on my digital art (got me a new tablet computer!), there's cleaning up (and keeping clean) my man cave (which seems to be an eternal battle), work of course, and definitely making sure I get my Amelia time.  Yup, definitely crazy busy, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have it any other way.

I'm definitely looking forward to this year, and hoping 2010's good vibes continue on.  Especially today, on my birthday!!!

Happy Birthday to me!!!

Welcome to our baby daughter!
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biker_bean
 Yes, you read that!  We have a daughter!  A beautiful, sweet, healthy baby girl!

Her name is Amelia Jane, and she was born in August.  Yes, yes, I know, it's September.  I was, am, remiss!  The whole daddy-thing needed to be acclimated to.  :)

Of course, it's not like I've been a prolific poster either...

But yes, to quote my wife, after a two-year pregnancy, we have our little precious daughter.  I cannot begin to describe to you how incredible this feels.  Just holding her in my arms, having her laugh, cry, react, etc., just to witness all that and more out of someone so small and innocent, and half of me!  It's just the greatest feeling!

Of course, I'm scared as anything.  Scared of dropping her, hurting her, how she would grow up, how well I would take care of her.  Not one day passes that I worry about her.  I mean, I worry about SIDS (I ask my wife more often than not if our baby's breathing), I worry about getting sick (I have purell stashed around the house), I worry that I would drop her / hit her on the door frame / have an accident with her, *fill in the blanks here*  etc.

So far, she's doing great!  In her 7-week lifetime, she's grown almost 5 lbs to over 13 lbs!  She definitely outgrew the newborn diapers, and she's straining her size 1 diapers - size 2 is almost there.  We're waiting for her to sleep longer.  We're watching her smile and listening to her coo and make other wonderful noises.

My God.

So this is how the wonderful life of parenthood starts.  It's just amazing.  And as scared as I am, I can't wait to travel down this path!

26 May
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biker_bean
Happy Birthday, Bean.  I'm sorry I forgot your birthday.

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