Saturday, November 28, 2009

Woolgathering from the edge of our ship....

So we are a little over three months and Josephine's personality is really starting to blossom. She is so happy! This whole dad thing is amazing. Melissa is going back to work next week and that is really hard for us. Although not having money to buy diapers is even harder so we do what we must. Melissa really wants to be able to stay home and I wish she could but we just don't make enough for that to be possible right now.
I have been dreaming of buying a house and trying to be as self sustainable as possible in the next few years. I mean I read somewhere that children can be told what to do by their parents but modeling is the best way to teach. That sounds pretty solid to me. So I really want to be able to have a little place outside of town with a bunch of land so we can garden and can and have a big studio and and and... Man I was talking to some of my buddies and we sort of got on this kick that we could all buy a house together and live in a little community. My heart filled with hope. I love this idea. I think even if they are not as serious as I am, I am going to build little guest houses on our land just to entice them to live with us. I can picture it now. Baking bread, growing pumpkins, having house shows with our close friends, fires to roast corn. Perhaps this is a little overly idealistic but really, what makes this impossible? Nothing. all we need to do is to do it. No one needs to show us what our lives should look like.
I have thought this for a while. We are stuck in this narrow lane of life structures and I want something different. I think a lot of people do. Everyone I have spoken to about this is in agreement. Living off the grid would be so awesome. I just can't ever seem to figure out how to get to there from here. It takes lots of money. That is the sad truth. You cant leave the system behind unless you engage in the system wherein lies the trap. For now we try to get a little closer to living in balance with our environment. I am going to try really hard to be vegetarian. I have been in this process for a few years now. It was just hard because so much good Mexican food is meat. Now that I know how to make vegetarian tamales I think I will be ok. We are going to raise Josie vegetarian too we have decided. Later on she will make her own choice but for now I think we can feed her good nutritious vegetarian food. Hopefully when we have a garden she will be able to eat local too. I find my self wondering where my food came from lately. Food from half a world away and packed with preservatives and chemicals don't exactly make me feel healthy. I had an apple the other day that seemed like it was sprayed with lysol and dipped in a vat of wax. Disgusting. I miss my mom's vegetable garden. You could eat the snow peas right off the vine. and it was delicious.
I just know that this walmart/television/music video hyper-sexualized/non-culture is not the environment I want to raise my daughter in. I want her to be able to question the practices that are shoved down our throats. I want a Homemade life for her. DIY culture is addictive. The satisfaction you get from making something yourself and being able to use it is just amazing. I mean I have always loved making stuff. In high school my sisters and I always made or altered our clothes. And yeah at first Mom would get pissed but after a while she would help us figure out how to bleach and rip my pants for maximum punkness or sew a Ramones patch onto my hoodie. She is a crafter herself. Mom taught me how to sew when I was pretty young. I remember her always being in her little room sewing till all hours of the night. A little orange light glowing from twilight till midnight. Even now the sound of the sewing machine soothes me to the bone. Mom made a quilt from my old bleached jeans when I grew out of them. She had been collecting my jeans and cutting them into beautifully irregular squares. That quilt is one of my most prized possessions. It is warm and made with love. That is the sort of thing I want to pass down to my daughter. The kind of appreciation that comes with making something with your hands and knowing that it was hewn from a love that can only be forged in the furnace of a family hearth. Thanks Mom for showing me that.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

2 months full of color

So Josie has been alive for two months and I have never been happier in my life. When I hold her I think this is how it is supposed to be. I feels just natural. Sleep is a getting better all the time. she sleeps longer in the night but her night does not start till about 3 in the morning. She has been to the docs a few times and she is going again today. She has Acid reflux that seems to really bug her. Last night was especially hectic. No fever or anything but we are going to taker her in just to play it safe. I think she will be fine. perhaps we just have to give her more zantac or something. She is growing after all and the dose will most likely go up because of that.
This month is outrageously over booked. I have been printing like crazy with Isaac and Teddy. I have been real absent this week and even though it is only tuesday I know that every night till sunday i will be running around arranging shows and printing. Saturday I got my tattoo of a sparrow and then we went to Pumpkin Fest. That was both awesome and nerve racking. It was nerve racking because it was pretty loud and there was about 300 people packed into a small park. then we saw all sorts of buddies and that was cool cause they all had their kids. It gave me this sort of feeling of being part of the grand tradition of cool parents. all these cool kids eventually turn into cool adults and some of them become cool parents. Sunday I printed envelopes for some new art books that my buddy and I finished last week. Then last night I helped said buddy print an art print. Tonight I print a show poster with Teddy. Wednesday I get to go to a show in Rochester (Gaslight Anthem, Loved Ones and Murder By Death!!). Then Thursday I have to go drop work off at the Gear Factory space in Syracuse and the hang the show at the Art Association. Saturday both shows open so I will be doing a double shift. Then finally on Sunday we are having family day. Then insanity starts again to get ready for the Indie Series and the Salt City Urban Craft Fair. Yikes!
I know this is putting a lot of pressure on Melissa. My hope is that by doing this I can make some much needed extra scratch. Money is tight and selling work has never been more important. The major events this month got planned before Josie was born so I am making a not never to plan like this again. There are four major events that are happening this month, five if you count Halloween and six if you count the book release. Live and learn. In the past October has always been crazy but it is as if I packed about a million times more shit into it this year that before. I love halloween but I will be glad when October is over.
More later......

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Team Valenzuela and The Neverending story

It was around 4:30pm when the doc's office called and asked if we would like to move our induction up from 6:00 pm to 6:30 am. Of Course we should, I said, because I wanted to meet our baby so badly. Melissa told them yes and our brains sort of teemed with worry, excitement and holyshitness. We both went around the house to tidy up. It seemed to take forever. We wanted the house to be absolutely ready for Josephine's arrival. We got in bed around 11:30 or so. Maybe earlier.

We lay there in the dark thinking. I could not sleep at all. I asked Melissa if she was still awake. Yes. We talked a little while about what the next day would bring. I said we need to get some rest. She got up to go to the bathroom then we where going to get some Z's. I lay there and wondered. When I heard her coming back I kinda knew. I am not sure if it was the pace of her footfalls or some psychic connection or whatever. She came in the room and said, "Cayetano, I think my water just broke'. I got up and we decided we should call the doc. It is an answering service so we had to wait for the midwife to call back. While we did that we called Melissa's mom and by the time the midwife called back we were dressed and headed out the door. Melissa was having some pretty intense contractions by the time we got in the van at around 12:05. By 12:35 we arrived at the Hospital. (Usually an Hour drive. I drove 90 MPH the whole time)

When we got into the room a nurse who seemed a little surly got us prepped and put melissa on monitors. A mid wife came in that we didn't know and I worried for only a moment because she turned out to be the sweetest lady ever. She had a soothing voice and was not afraid to touch us in a caring way. A hand on the shoulder or a head pet is kind of amazing when being administered by a caring midwife. She seemed genuinely happy to be there even though she said she had been at the hospital for three days with out sleeping in her own bed. Her name was Mary and she was awesome. She told us that we would be able to push soon. My heart pounded. Holy crap! I did stay calm though. I knew I had to, for Melissa. I would not show her that I was feeling at all worried. Her contractions where coming really fast now and she was in alot of pain. She did not shout. She did not curse me. She merely whimpered and strained and said it hurt. I found it really hard to not be able to help her even though she insisted that I was helping by talking to her and holding her. I tried to put on some music but I could not get the ipod to work. I was so pissed at my self for not checking it the day before. I ended up calling my sister at like 2:30 in the morning asking her to bring me a boom box and some music. Carrie showed up with SIgur Ros which was f'n perfect. (later I realized the problem was that I hadn't switched the external speakers on.) Melissa's mom was in the room till about 3:30 or so. She left in tears of pride I think. I had been a little worried that she would kinda freak out but she was fine and we where glad she was there for the time she was. Melissa was still having insane contractions when she decided to hop in the shower that was attached to the room. We had heard how soothing it was and brought down the pain. It ended up being really awkward for her. I tried to help but to no avail. So we go out and a little while after that she started to push.

Melissa started pushing at about 3:45. That was CRAZY! That part is a little bit of a blur. I remember holding her arms and feeling her muscles surge under my hands and thinking how strong she was. She didn't use any medicine. All natural. Mary said she could feel a lot of hair on the baby's head and I started getting excited. Our baby was going to be Born!! Oh man! After a while of pushing they told us they would have to call the doc that could do the vacuum thing. I felt a little trepidation but we had do what we had do. So the guy finally shows up and he has this ridiculous looking mustache and big teeth. I already didn't like this guy. He started poking around and being really rough. A few more contractions and he got out the suction thing. It really isn't as crazy as it sounds. I had a chance to feel how strong one of these things was in one of our prenatal classes and it was surprisingly weak. Anyway Melissa pushed for a contraction with the sucction thing and she asked the midwife how long it should take with this thing. Mary told us that they could only try three times with it then we had to go to a c-section. Shit. So needless to say on the next push Josephine's little head emerged into the world. 'I can see her head' I yelled. It seemed like every one was saying to push and yelling. Then I could see her arm and the doc pulled her out all the way. I was screaming "Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God!" and Melissa was just hollering all the while a joyful "AAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"

I tell ya, that right there was the best moment of my life thus far. Seeing my little girl for the first time was just .... Fuck, it was just stellar! I can't even describe how amazing it was. Josie sort of whimpered a little as they got the gunk out of her nose and mouth then they laid her on Melissa's chest. We see her face and Josie sort of yawns and looks at us. we are both crying and looking at her and hugging and feeling like eagles. I mean my heart was soaring and as big as Texas. I have always wanted to be a father and now I have my chance. I fell in love right then and there with my sweet daughter, Josephine Amelia Ann Valenzuela. She was born at 6:30 am on August 18th. (That was the approximate time that she would have been induced.

She was born 15 years to the day that Melissa and I met at the Carnival. I think back to that day. We where kids smoking cigarettes and trying to look cool beneath the lights of the tilt-o-whirl. How could we have know the great love we would find in each other and how that love would create such a beautiful child.

Over the next few days Melissa and I got pretty much no sleep at all but we have been on a cloud since then. Now we are a real family. I am so happy to teach Josie all sorts of things. I have been playing music for her and telling her this story:
"I met your mother at a carnival 15 yrs ago. She was so beautiful. I stopped to ask her if she would help me search for you. She looked at me with the lights reflecting in her eyes and said yes. The very next day a slipped a silver wedding ring on her finger and together we roamed the earth. We wondered in the wilderness looking for a perfect little girl. We searched under every stone and behind every door. Then one evening just after the sun went down we came to an orchard. We were hungry so we ate some fruit and walked along the long dark rows. Then we heard a sound, a little whimper, a little laughter. We followed that sound to the very end of the orchard where the pine tress rose up. There you were, just sitting under an apple tree, eating apples. You had leaves in your dark hair and seeds in your hands. We could hear the wolves howling very close so we ran to you and bundled you up real close to our hearts. We took you home to love you forever and ever. You are that perfect little girl we had been searching for for 15 years."

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Art, anti-boredom and skills

Got a bunch of new work over at the Hat Factory blog . Check it out. I have been drawing and designing a lot more lately. I am going to start screen printing. I have done some screen printing before: shirts, small posters, two color patches that sort of thing. The fact is I have been on a sort of hiatus. Melissa is way prego (and beautiful) and I kind of know I wont be able to do as much in the coming weeks when the baby is born so I am sort of building speed and momentum to try and continue to make a lot of work. I think that when an artist leaves college and gets out in the real world there is a huge challenge there. To continue to make work is very difficult. I made it through that one fine and I still produce work just about every day or I do something to get my name and work out there a little more. Most often I do both. Then getting married was not really a challenge to making art because My wife is a photographer so she understands. But now having a kid... Thats a big one. perhaps the biggest one. All the books say: don't start any big projects right now what ever you do. Guess what, I started a big project with my long time accomplice Isaac. We are going to be making prints and books then going places to sell said prints and books. RIght now we are in the production stage of our first wave of screen prints. Our other accomplice is Teddy(singer of Mayflower a fucking killer punk band) is helping us with his all access pass to the college facilities. I have a little work space at my house but I have to clean it. Then I think we can work on smaller stuff here. Anyway...
I just feel like to pause is criminal. I think it would be a disservice to our child to lose our selves when we have kids. I want our kid to know what it is like to be around artists and go to shows. I want her to be excited about life and I feel that in order to do that we have to be excited about life. I am always excited, fascinated and curious so I don't think that would be a problem. When my niece or nephew say their bored I tell them that only boring people are bored. So far I believe that. If I ever feel like boredom might be rearing its head I try to think more in-depth about whatever I am doing or seeing and so far that has served me well.
Melissa is feeling very warm and I can't do much to help. We have been to the hospital THREE times already thinking we were in labor. I am starting to feel like our daughter is not going to be born till she is at least seven or eight years old. Sheesh. We are hoping that her water breaks so we know for sure that we will be going to the hospital for a reason. It seems, my friends, that movies have lied to us for generations. A woman's water only breaks about 30% of the time! Sheeit! Melissa has been a real trooper through this all. everyone was saying that she would be mega crazy... nope. She is as lovely as ever with only a few minor breakdowns. Perhaps she is just a lot tougher that your average prego.

I just wish Josie would be born already. I am tired of waiting. Everything is in readiness and all her clothes are hanging in the closet, We have her crib and cradle all set up, her toys lined up, blankets are folded, baby monitor, room decorated...... Our hearts are ripe and our brains aglow! JOSEPHINE AMELIA ANN VALENZUELA the world awaits your arrival!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Almost there!

36 weeks and counting the days!!!!!!
So we have the nursery set up. We decided on a nautical theme. We like anchors and sail boats in a sort of 1920's privateer sort of fashion. (not like the joann fabrics light house thing. YUCK.) Our buddy Isaac got us an original page from Sammy Harkhams amazing comic Poor Sailor. That is hands down our favorite comic. If you didn't know I am a little bit of a comic nerd.

Check out what Josie was doing the other day when we were watching a movie! I think that part sticking out is her head or butt. She had been transverse but now She is in the right position, head down! NICE WORK JOSIE!

Here are just some of the cool things we got. I can't find the photos I took on the day... I will try to find more form the GNar-B-Que Baby shower.

So anyway, our birthing class is kinda a drag. I like the info and the instructors are nice and everything but the whole awkward atmosphere with the other parents is out of control. There is nothing we have in common with any of them. I really wish there where more cool parents for us to hang with. I mean shit, where are all the punk rock moms and dads? or at least free thinking. There are some cool parents here in Oswego but for some reason I feel strange talking with them about parenthood before Josie is born. There is this dude John S. who has five kids. We used to hang out in Oswego back in the day when we would spend our days looking cool and drinking TONS of coffee at Perkins. (Eternal Coffee mug!). Now, he is a cool dad. He is so patient and calm. After I got back from college We met back up in Oswego and I remember being really impressed. I think I am a pretty calm dude and I hope I can keep it together like that. His kids are crazy and awesome. His wife is really cool too. I wish they were in our class.
I think Missy and I are going to start a radical parenting monthly potluck. I am not sure what that will entail except that we will get together with some of our parenting friends and talk about raising rad kids. I think there are about Six or seven cool parents that I want to get this started with.

Also, lately I have been thinking about how perfect a system birth is. I mean, the fact that breasts produce colostrum that helps the baby's immune system is awesome. Breast milk is free food so no matter what the baby can eat as long as mom is in the vicinity. pregnancy last so many months to create another living human also helps us to understand the gravity of what is about to happen to your life. This shit is permanent! Its like a tattoo that you have to feed! Ha! Or having a puppy that slowly learns to talk! Or y'know a life altering manifestation of you and your partners DNA that brings with her or him a demanding responsibility, huge bills that you are not ready for, tons of peripheral gear, an entire new set of skills that you have to learn how master and implement, and this little person has ability to learn how to speak to say "mama and papa", "school sucks" and "this band rules".
I think so far the most profound thought to me has been that from nothing, from the amorphous realm of sheer possibility there comes this person. A thinking breathing person that will eventually have brand new ideas to contribute to the human race. She will think of things I have never thought of and that Melissa has never thought of. That blows me away!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Wow this is gonna be so Awesome!

Things have been going really great! Melissa has been getting sick more and peeing a bunch. We have been taking classes and getting ready for the chaos! We had a family baby shower and a friend coed baby shower. We got soooo much stuff. It has been really great feeling the support and love that everyone has shown us.

Wow this is gonna be so Awesome

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


babycast2 from cayetano Valenzuela on Vimeo.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Travel, Punk Rock,...
By Cayetano G. Valenz...


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

oh these long years that drift silently after us

Ok so it has been a long time. I have a video podcast thing that I made but the new fire wire input on my mac is not the same as the firewire I have soooooo... I am going to redo it very soon perhaps later tonight.
Things are going well. Our little baby girl is swimming all around in Melissa's uterus. Not only can I feel her move and KICK, we can both see her move and kick. We went to the doctors again and heard her heart beating. as always it was awesome. We are at 28 weeks and we are now to the point where we start going to the doc every two weeks instead of every month. We will go back this friday which will mark week 29.
WOW. shit is getting REAL. Number one, 11 weeks till GO TIME! and number two Melissa has been having braxton hicks. Now if yall don't know what that means here is a brief description:
~Braxton Hick contractions are painless tightenings of the uterus. They are named after the doctor who discovered them in 1872. You’ll notice them as your belly gets harder. Often, only a part of your belly will get hard--the top or bottom or one of the sides. These contractions are usually not painful, though they can be uncomfortable.

Braxton Hick contractions are sometimes called ‘false labor’ or ‘pre-labor’ contractions. They are a normal part of pregnancy and nothing to be concerned about.

Anyway, Melissa walks up to me and I do my normal kiss her belly and I noticed it was kind of hard. She said she noticed it earlier and my mind raced. What does this mean? Is something wrong? Is it a contraction?
I also vaguely recalled the term braxton hick. Melissa guessed that that is what is was. I did some internet searches and found a few source that seemed to describe it perfectly as braxton hicks. I was still a little worried so I urged Meilssa to call the doc.
She called them and had to have them call her back and they confirmed that the tightening was very likely Braxton hicks contrations. I was relieved and reassured. There is so much worry tied into having a child. I have never worried so much about anything. I can sort of feel the change in the middle distance where my life splits in half. One of the bisections is my life and the other is that of our baby. If I where a younger version of myself I might take issue with it this new double life but I am pushing 30 and I feel good. My wife is beautiful and my best friend, our baby is growing and healthy, it will be summer soon enough and I have a good group of friends. Also some other big news Melissa just got tenure at the school she has been teaching at!! It went to the school board last night and will be effective September first.
I am going to keep this one short and try to make a video later tonight and perhaps we can get into some other fun plans for the future.
Good luck and be safe.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Houses and the distant twilight

This is what we have been reading:

This is what we have been listening to:

Melissa and I got a soft ice cream maker and it is wonderful!!

So as of right now things are going well. Melissa is doing very well. She is so fucking AWESOME! Everyone told me to WATCH OUT! cause she was going to be all hormonal and other that really wanting peanut butter one night she has pretty much stayed the same. Well of course we are both changing our outlook and everything but she is as cuddly, sweet and strong as ever.
The big news is that I have been able to feel our little baby moving around inside Melissa's belly. A week or so ago I am pretty sure she responded to my voice as I spoke to the belly. A few nights ago She was squirming all around and doing flips as my hand rested there. How fucking amazing!!

We have been sort of getting anxious about having enough space in our apartment. I mean our apartment is great, really great. we only pay $400 a month and we have basically all upstairs of an old victorian house. There is one bedroom in the back that is our landlords guest room. they let us use it when we have guests like my folks visiting from Texas and that is super awesome of them. Our landlords kick total ass. last fall we had a complete rager till like four in the morning where all our friends where pouring out of the house and smoking up on the porch and chopping stuff up with a machete. it got totally out of control. people where puking and drinking so hard all night long. It ended up with Missy getting a bloody lip, puke on the street and down the block, an inexplicable head of cabbage all over the neighbors car, everyone loud and drunk singing Against Me! songs at the top of our lungs. My landlords said they didn't hear a thing and slept right through it. Amazing. Anyway we asked them if we could perhaps rent the back room and use it as our bedroom. In the end they seemed sort of ify about it. They where super nice about it but we really need more space. As of right now we don't have a nursery to put our baby in. For the first few months she will be in our room but later we want to be able to set up a place that will become her bedroom.

So-------We are looking for a house. WOW. Shit just got real right? Well shit got real about 22 weeks back. So now we are getting set to buy a house. Its crazy I know but look at the houseing market and look at the push for more liquidity in the banking system. Now is the time to buy. Prices of house are at an all time low. Around here you can get a decent house with a little yard for around $60,000! Now you tell me! Yes I am a little worried about our finances and even as I type this I feel a bit like a geezer but Melissa is getting recommended for tenure and we have a pretty good bundle saved up. I think we can just about cover earnest money and closing costs. Not to mention there is a $8,000 federal grant for first time home buyers for New Yorkers in 2009. There are also other NY programs for home buyers that can perhaps get us some additional tax credits.
Pretty soon I will be in escrow and getting a house ready for our little family of lions and that is a pretty good feeling.
I am sure we can do this. We both are really looking forward to having our own yard where we can garden. We are going to learn how to can and later we will put in some solar panels and maybe a windmill. That would be so rad.

Personally I like the idea of living with a bunch of our friends yet I know Melissa could never be happy doing that and that is more important. At the same time I would like out home to be a sort of community friendly place to hang and learn stuff. I am thinking of like sort of regular teach-ins. I think a good sense of community is a great thing to teach our little baby.
There are some good friends of ours that do this sort of "Family Dinner" potluck thing on Thursday nights and it is a pretty beautiful thing. Last time I went I had this super warm feeling as I walked in the door and was greeted by all of our friends that where there to share a meal and talk. I had been really wanting a good conversation and I got exactly that. we talked about human-computer interaction and asked the question "what defines understanding" we also talked about social jamming and self sufficiency. I guess I have missed hearing a lot of other peoples opinions.

What does this have to do with preparing to raise a child you ask? Everything. I think one of the things we are missing as a society is actual human contact and the healthy respectful exchange of ideas. Perhaps understanding others more clearly is something that can allow us to grow together and learn together and by passing this ideology on we can come closer to being better versions of ourselves. I think learning is the best thing we can do for future generations. I guess learning and teaching. People who are learning and people who are teaching have my ultimate respect. I hope that I can inspire our kid to learn because she is already inspiring me to teach and vice versa.

Melissa's belly has gotten grander!! It is so beautiful. She is positively aglow. It has been my great pleasure to come home and find her there and hug here and her belly. She has to tip so far to kiss me. sleeping has become a little bit more challenging. She got a big long body pillow that she places right in the center of the bed and she climbs on it every night so she doesn't lay on her back. So now when I go to put my arm around her I get a strange sense that I am actually hugging her pillow. The pillow itself must feel like the luckiest pillow in the northeast as we both snuggle up to it from two sides nightly. Anyway this is what the belly looks like now:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Guess what!!!!!!

I felt the baby MOVE!!! It was Awesome!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Templar's Kaleidoscope

So It has been a little while and everything is going great! Melissa and I have gone out and bought a few things and that was really great. I mean it is a bit uncomfortable to admit this but I got a little misty when we were looking at tiny clothes.
So here is the run down. We have been reading all the literature and making a birth plan IE figuring out who will be in the room when, talking about C-section or how we would like to avoid it as best we can however an emergency obviously we would do, breast feeding, Baby proofing the apartment(togetherment), Melissa would like to avoid drugs during labor, what stuff we will bring with us to the hospital and all sorts of other stuff. Also we are thinking about cord blood! I never knew about this but the cord blood is rich with stem cells that can be used for science and treating leukemia and shit. What!? So apparently you can donate this blood to a cord blood bank or have a personal cash of this stuff for whenever you may need it. It seems sort of weird like it could be used for cloning and what-not. I not really into the idea of some mad scientist making an army of Valenzuelas that could be used for world domination but I am into helping out leukemia patients so that is still sort of up in the air.
We went to the doc on Friday which happens to be FRIDAY THE 13TH!!!! We were told that every thing is right on target for where we should be at 19weeks!! The half way mark is just around the bend!! Holy Crap! We had another sonogram as you can see when you scroll down. We could see our little flying fish wiggling and moving. We could see her mouth moving. We could tell she was telling stories. most likely she will be a storyteller just like her old man. Of course you may have figured it out.... turns out we are having a LITTLE BABY GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We could pretty much tell for sure. So yeah I am going to have to get a GUN. I will now have to worry about every nasty boy in the world. FUCK! She will be tuff. She will probably be able to take care of her self. I think I am beginning to understand the magnitude of worry that plagues most parents. Holy shit I am going to be A PARENT! AHHH! That word seems so foreign. I feel like every day I get a little deeper understanding of what is about to transpire and change my very world. It will and already has rattled my core and shook my foundations. What awaits on the other side of birth is like a different dimension or like a parallel universe. Like all the same pieces and people of my life are shaken like a kaleidoscope to form a whole new pattern. Everything is familiar but has new meaning and new consequences.
Missy and I have been talking a lot about our hopes and dreams for our child. I would like it if she was a scientist. That is just me though. Perhaps an athlete or a teacher, a artist or an engineer. What ever she will be I hope for her to be smarter and more creative that we are. I am sure we will have much to be proud of whatever she becomes as long as she is happy and healthy.
Thats all for now. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Heartbeats, barbecue sauce and the endless wonder

Here is the skinny.
Melissa and I have been totally crazed and baffled at the weird miracle of life forming inside her. We have been playing music and singing to her belly. She can feel it move but I can't yet. I guess that comes later. She says it feels like a fish swimming or like wind blowing fabric. Amazing! We have played a bunch of music like Latterman, Mozart, the Knockdown, Damien Jurado, Kimya Dawson and Iron and Wine (which they seem to enjoy) etc...
We have been hanging with our friends a bunch lately. Some good folks from out of town who are very excited that we are having a kid came up to check out Melissa's belly. I think because we have been together for about 15 years now all of our friends feel a sense of hope or perhaps they help me to have hope, who knows.

I have been thinking a lot about what kind of father I will be. I think I am a pretty patient dude. Now anyways. I used to be a very excited fellow with not much to say. I have since helped with my sisters kids who taught me ALOT about patience and forgiving small mistakes.IE, ruining paintings, drawings and CDs and other things I used to think held value. Also working at a high school with awesome yet insane teenagers has made me the coolest cucumber you have ever seen. Melissa has always been good with kids. When she was younger and lived with her folks her mom would have her help babysit. Now she works with K-6 as an art teacher so I know she will be awesome.

My dad is not much of a leader by example. My step-dad is a better person to look and as far as being a provider and being a "Team Leader" so to speak however that is not really what I what for our family. I think we will talk everything over like we have since forever. I think that is why we work so well together. We talk about everything that bothers us and reach conclusions/ compromises. WE ARE TEAM VALENZUELA!

Melissa has not yet gotten any strange cravings but she did get a little upset that she couldn't eat peanut butter. This is when all the recalls where going on. we tried to figure out what else she could have but to her everything we came up with sounded like it would be better served with peanut butter on top. She has been eating a lot of spinach which is very amazing because she hadn't been doing a very good job being a vegetarian. She grimaced at run of the mill veggies like tomatoes(fruit I know) Onions, bell peppers and even lettuce. Now with no little effort she is eating not only green beans, corn, and potatoes but even the elusive Asparagus!! WOW!
We have been making lots of new creations in the kitchen so as not the eat to unhealthy and yet be able to have delicious morsels like:
-Carne guisada(made with Quorn fake chicken chunks)
-Cheddar and spinach english muffin pizza
-Veggie Tamales(courtesy of Halfshot petrone)
-Eggs like crazzy with barbecue sauce and corn tortillas(YUM)
-Macaroni and tomatoes(Yekk, I don't like it but she does)
-Potato soup with asparagus and spinach
and pretty much everything else we normally have with loads of barbecue sauce( **Sweet Baby Rays**) for her and hot sauce for me.

We went to the doctors on Friday and had a brush with disaster. Our oppointment was in the morning but not too early so we set out with the intention of stopping to get Melissa a bagel sandwich. The weather was not that great and we took that in to consideration. Melissa wanted to drive so she got behind the wheel.(Let me just also note that she is a very good driver.) When we started to get out of Oswego headed towards Fulton we must have hit some black ice. Our van swerved at first and we lost control. We spun around about four times and ended up in a lane of on coming traffic.
Now when I am in Emergency type situations I get very calm and focused. That is just how I am. As we where spinning I told Melissa to pump the brakes as I felt the inertia pulling I dropped my coffee so I could put my hand on her arm to calm her down.
She yelled that she was pumping the brakes and screamed twice "oh my god, oh my god" because out of her window we could see a line of cars all heading toward impact. That right there. That was the worst. the spin was nothing really and the threat of real harm even death was not as bad as hearing my wife be so terrified. I felt a sort of anger rise up in me. I saw the SUV coming toward our window and felt my self will it to swerve off to the side. In my mind was a single thought: "Don't you dare harm My wife and baby!" There was literally nothing else in the world but this instinct to fight or use everything I had at my disposal to safe guard those two and at that moment the great beyond was narrowly averted. I don't know if it was synchronisity or a miracle, god, luck or pure will power but I do know that we were able to stay in el mundo bueno and I could sense some sort of energy holding us here. Now, don't get me wrong I think in terms of science but at a moment like that when you are so close and everything turns out fine you can't help but wonder what systems are at work here. Order and chaos folks.

When our van stopped the other cars sort of slowed down and waited for us to get going again. the suv that went around us I am sure was shitting their pants too. At first we couldn't move so Melissa turned off the engine and started it again. We pulled up the road a little ways and stopped to switch drivers. Looking back I think we should have turned around and gone home but we wanted to go to our appointment to make sure everything was ok with the baby. Once we got there we were in a fucking blizzard. We made it there fine since all my adrenaline took the form of focus and I kept thinking "I will protect my wife and baby" those exact words running over and over in my mind. We Heard the heartbeat for the second time since we got prego and it was amazing. Reassurance like that is pretty much priceless.

These days there is endless room for wonder. room enough to make a tent out of blankets room enough to stand up and stretch out, to uncoil all the stress and worry to let it fade and give way to pure warm love and companionship. I have been asked a lot lately how are things and how everything is going and I reply "it is so amazing it is like nothing I have ever known."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009