Seneca’s first birthday

My how time flies, Seneca is now one year old and Angie put together an amazing birthday party for her this past weekend. The theme of the party was “Twinkle Twinkle little Star” and we had a great turnout of friends and family. Angie made a wonderful gluten free cake and a delicious chicken tortilla soup for our guests and Seneca got some great toys to play with. I was able to finish up the playhouse for the most part, at least enough for the kids to go play on. What a great first birthday!

Trip to San Francisco for Presidents Club

This was my third year at Presidents Club and this time I was able to bring the kids, and it was Sececas first ride on a plane and a boat. We were able to go to Alcatraz on the first night then there was a cruise around the bay with dinner and dancing.

On Friday we visited the Wharf and then took Liam to the Arcade museum, then went to dinner at Aliotos and then had a sundae at Ghiardelli Square. On Saturday we went on a Bay Cruise with Liam then went to the aquarium. Later that night we went to a party right in the middle of Union Square, after that we went to Ruby Skye for about an hour.

On Sunday I took Liam to the Museum of the Sciences in Golden Gate park, then when we got back we walked to Chinatown for dinner. On Monday I got up early and went walking with Seneca and took her to the point on Broadway that overlooks the city and Bay. Later we went there again and did photos with the kids. We then walked down to Columbus street and had some lunch then went back to Macy’s for a sundae and then went home. Great trip with the family!

 

The Birth of Baby Seneca

Friday October 28th was the happiest day of my life as my baby girl Seneca was born at 8:19 in the morning after a long 15 hour labor by my wife.

This has been a long year and a half for Angie, we had been trying to get pregnant for the last several years but became more deliberate after we starting seeing a fertilization specialist who gave us some different options but ultimately at Angie’s age, we needed to go for the option with the highest possibility of success which was IVF. Luckily Angela’s insurance was able to pay for up to 6 rounds of IVF, but even so, at 40 years old we had a small chance of success, less than 15% chance but the way I thought of it was that we had a 90% chance if we did it 6 times. The first two times were unsuccessful and Angie had to take a large amount of very specific hormones to make it work, she definitely went through a lot to make it happen. Finally, in February we got the news that we were pregnant and were so happy, but in for many months of worry as we knew how fragile those little cells could be. In the first trimester, we had a big scare because Angie lost a lot of blood but after we went to the hospital we found out it was a cyst and not a miscarriage. I felt so lucky but all along I have been anxious about her birth.

Baby boy or baby girl?

I would have been just as happy with either a boy or a girl. On one hand, it was nice to have Liam and I love bonding with a boy and love having a little side kick, also I would have loved to have a boy to carry on the Parsons name (hopefully Liam can do that for us). On the other hand, Angie really has always wanted to have a little girl, and it would be so nice to have one of each in our family. I have also wanted to have a girl just so that I would have an opportunity to give this little girl everything in the world that I think Angela should have had when she was a child. Well in the first part of April we were allowed to do a test that determined our baby’s sex and also run some tests for chromosome disorders. When we were at Disneyland we were in our hotel when we found out that we were going to have a baby girl, it was so exciting and I love that Angie has the opportunity to have a little girl.

Baby’s name:

We played around with a few different names, at first we thought we were going to name her “Maya” or “Maya Rey”, after that we started thinking of “Aviana”, Angie also liked “Zaylee” but I never really got interested in those names. One day I mentioned Seneca, who was a friend of mine since high school, and Angie also met Seneca in a yoga class. We both really liked that name and decided that would be our baby’s name. When my old friend Seneca learnt that would be our baby’s name, she said she looked forward to meeting her because she has never met anyone else with that name. We always get compliments on how beautiful that name is and know that it will be quite unique.

Hypnobirthing Classes

Angie decided that she wanted to do the birth naturally and through a few recommendations, decided to do ‘hypnobirthing’ which I didn’t quite understand until we went to the classes which consisted of 5 x 3 hour long classes during August. Once I got into the classes I started to understand what hypnobirthing was and was very fascinated with the idea. The classes talked about a peaceful way to have a child naturally and that using visualization, meditation and coaching could help with the natural birth. I enjoyed doing these classes and the teacher did a great job. Also during August we did an 8 hour child birthing crash course on a Saturday, as well as a Friday night hour long class for Liam on being a ‘big brother’.

 

The pregnancy:

Angie did well for the entire pregnancy, she was somewhat sick during the first trimester but never threw up. The second trimester was during the summer and I remember Angie feeling really hot all of the time. The last trimester Angie struggled with her mobility and her sleeping. During the last few weeks, she had a couple of times where she didn’t feel baby Seneca moving and went to get it checked out. Baby was fine but they said her fluid levels were low so she needed to drink lots of water.

The baby’s due date was November 4th, but Angie and I were doing our best to be prepared ahead of time. We had an idea that Seneca would come early and on October 27th, I got a call from Angie saying she was going in because she had not felt Seneca moving very much. When she got in for her checkup, they said they wanted to head over to delivery and get ready to have the baby because she wouldn’t be safe with such low fluid. It took a while for it to really hit me and I had some stuff to do at work to be able to leave for 2 weeks, also I had to go home and get Liam and drop him off with the neighbors. I didn’t know if they mean that we would have to do a c-section or have an induced labor.

Angie is starting to feel her labor wearing on her.

It took me about 2 hours to wrap up my work and then I left around 5pm and headed over to my house to grab all of the things we needed for a hospital stay. I also dropped Liam off at Tiffany (our neighbors) house around 6pm, then headed over to the hospital and arrived around 6:30pm. When I got into the delivery room, Angie and our doula Kristen were hanging out just casually talking, and let me know they were going to induce her with some Pitocin. From there it was really just a long waiting game and several hours went by where we talked and listened to casual music as Angie got dilated. They inserted a catheter that would help push on both sides of her cervix to help open it up, but it was extremely painful and she had to endure that for several hours until she reached a 4cm dilation.

About 2pm they removed the catheter and Angie felt some immediate relief, but then the started upping the Pitocin and the contractions became stronger and stronger. We laughed and joked around for quite a while, and went on walks around the hospital hallways. Kristen and I took turns taking short little naps and massaging Angela, but neither of us got much sleep. I was so concerned for Angie getting tired, and in the back of my mind I wondered if she would consider getting an epidural, but by 3 or 4 in the morning I knew the contractions were growing so strong that we were likely past the point of no return. As the contractions got stronger and stronger, I spent a lot of time trying to help her get her mind off the pain by helping her visualize being in a peaceful place and using some of the techniques I learned in our hypnobirthing class.

Around 5am it seemed like the dilations were not going as fast as we would like and the nurses and doula agreed that it would be a good idea to break Angie’s water. It took a little bit to get the resident OB to come in and break her water. I remember my stomach was sick and I had to go to the bathroom, by the time I came back from the bathroom, Angie was in a full labor. Angie’s OB was just getting in by this time and would help with the delivery. At this point, Angie could no longer keep her mind off the contractions, each one lasted about 10-12 seconds but it must have felt like a lifetime. I was holding her hand and she would pull so hard on me and then she started screaming, it was hard for me to watch her go through this. I tried to get Angie to focus on the sunrise that was coming up over the mountain but there was no way she could put her mind on that.

When the OB came down, she could tell the baby was stressed because her heart rate would drop during each contraction. She inserted an electrode onto the baby’s head to help observer her heart beat better. I sensed something was going wrong because the staff and OB seemed to become a lot more ‘serious’. The OB started getting stern with her guidance and started to yell at Angie to push and push harder. The scariest part was when she told Angie that she had to push hard because the baby was stressed. Angie pushed and the head started to pop out and the OB told us she had a hairy head, which gave me some relief. A few more hard pushes and finally the baby popped out, they put her right on Angie’s chest and before I knew it, I was cutting the cord. It was such a relief to have her out and such a miracle after almost 2 years of work.

Seneca was born at 8:19am and weighed in at 6lbs 8oz. I was so emotional and so happy to have my baby girl born and I just soaked it all in. The sun was just peaking over Mount Olympus when it happened. I took some photos and put the word out to my parents and Angie’s dad. He was the first to arrive around 9am when Angie was recovering and with the baby. Kristen, with a job well done, left after an exhausting night. I stepped out of the room for a few minutes when they were giving my baby her shots because she was crying so hard, but I wasn’t worried, just full of emotion. After an hour, we were transferred upstairs to a recovery room where we have been for the last few days. Angie and I were so exhausted, I had been up for over 24 hours and Angie had been up for nearly as long but with a full 15 hours of labor, what a champion.

The support we have had:

The support for our baby has been so unbelievable. We have had some amazing friends and family helping us out. We had many beautiful baby showers that provided us with so many great gifts to help our baby with a great start. Angie was a little worried about some of the showers because invitations  went out so late, but they really all were great and shows how many amazing friends we have. My parents have been helping to watch Liam while I am here in the hospital helping Seneca get her strength and eating up. We had some good visits from friends such as Alexa, Lisa, Angie’s dad and Lolli, even Marcus came by to bring some gifts for both Seneca and Liam.

Bonding time with Liam

This week there was a very touching photo making the rounds on the Internet of a boy who was pulled from the rubble of an air strike in Syria and it really hurt to think about. What it did do is give me more perspective on the things I can give to Liam and bonding with him. After school on Thursday I picked him up and took him on a date. Yesterday I took him to see a butterfly launch in the park. 

Father’s Day Weekend 2016

What a great weekend! It started with our CHG summer party at Solitude, after lunch I went with some coworkers on a ride over Guardsmans Pass into Park City and back. Later that night I came home and waited for my new bike frame to get here.

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The next day I rode my bike up Big Cottonwood canyon and felt better than I have in a long time. We went to the pool for a bit and then Angie took us to dinner at Tsunami. Sunday is rode a 40 miler on my TT bike in an hour and 40 minutes, then we went to Porcupine Grill, to the Park and dinner at Flat Bread, capped off by a great episode of Game of Thrones.

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Presidents Club in Puerto Vallarta

What an amazing trip this was this year for Presidents Club. Our company certainly upped the bar with this trip, everything was so well thought out. The Hard Rock Hotel all inclusive was simply amazing, the food was superb, the events were fun. We were worried that the all inclusive would be tacky or cheap but this was not the case.

We let Liam stay with Alissa and Matt and brought him over to their house the night before. It was so exciting getting ready and having such a great trip ahead of us. We went to bed but I had such a hard time sleeping because I was so excited. I probably only got 2 hours of sleep that night. We had to get up at 3:30 AM to get ready to go to the airport, lucky thing we did because Angie’s ticket got accidentally cancelled. Luckily we had such a nice rep at the kiosk who helped us get another ticket for her. I sent an email and they were able to get her taken care of for the parties.

We got into Puerto Vallarta about 2pm and they had a nice greeting for us as we got there. All of the executives were at the front welcoming people in, then there was a nice reception in the hotel lobby with food, photos and gifts. This was such an exciting time for us as so many friends arrived. They were even giving us out $300 pairs of Maui Jim sunglasses. We ate a bite of food then finally got checked in, then went down and hung out at the pool for a couple of hours before starting to get ready for the reception.

The reception Rock Star theme party was a blast. They had so many buffet tables out with some great food, and passed out drinks to everyone. The party was amazing with a great rock star band. After the main party, Angie was really tired so she went back to the room while I went out for some adventures with my co-workers. We ended up going to a bar that was in the resort, the band was great and everyone was dancing and drinking the night away. It was great to see some of the team leaders cutting loose.

The next day I was a bit hung over and we just chilled at the pool most of the day. I did a horrible job of putting on sun screen and ended up with an ugly looking burn on my neck and chest. That night we went and did group photos as well as an awards rehearsal, but it was more of a pain than anything. That night was fun because they had some excellent Mexican food buffets out in the courtyard along with some street vendors.

Saturday morning we hung out at the beach and I was able to do some boogie boarding with Mark. The evening was fun to get all dressed up and go to the Awards Ceremony, then Dinner outside then a great ball room dance party, and then an after party at the club. There was a lot to do but Angie and I were exhausted and went to bed at a reasonable time.

Sunday was nice for Angie and she went to the spa for a facial, then we went to breakfast. After breakfast we were able to catch a bus to Puerto Vallarta, but we really didn’t do too much except walk up and down the board walk. It was so hot and humid and we were pretty exhausted from the previous days, that we really didn’t spend too much time in the City, other than to just look around. Later that night we went to dinner with the rest of the team at an Asian Fusion restaurant, then Angie and I walked around outside and enjoyed a 2nd desert.

On the last day, we got everything packed up and then just hung out at the pool for a couple of hours until our bus was ready to pick us up. I had a few drinks and played Pool Pictionary with a friend from work. The flight home took a long time and we almost missed our connecting flight to Utah because we were delayed on the runway for so long. We weren’t able to get home until after midnight, and Liam was so happy to see us and didn’t get the separation anxiety that he had the year before.

It was a great trip but I was happy to be home. I was just so impressed with the quality of food and service at the Hard Rock in Puerto Vallarta.

Holidays 2015

The holidays were great at the new home. We kicked off the season with our first house party, but unlike other years, we had kids this time. It was great to see our friends from the clubbing days as well as friends from work and even Eric & Rory from our high school days. It was nice to have the kids room upstairs for the kiddies to play in while the parents hung out downstairs. We also had the UFC fight (Jose Aldo vs. Connor McGreggor) playing, it ended up being a super quick fight.

The following weekend, we had CompHealth’s company party downtown. It was fun to get dressed up and go downtown for the evening. The event was held at the Salt Palace and we had a nice cocktail hour followed by dinner and a night of dancing. I feel so lucky to be a part of such a great company. That evening we were able to hang out with a lot of my team members as well as Angie’s sister and husband (Alisa and Matt). We took it kind of easy that evening and left around 11pm.

A couple of days later, we had a little party at the house for Liam’s 3rd birthday party. Marcus brought over his kids, Dave and Moka stopped by, Stevie and Luis brought Gallileau, and Matt and Alisa stopped by as well. We ordered a bunch of pizza’s and got a cake from Cold Stone. But the best part of the day was watching the new Star Wars with Liam and Angie earlier in the day. I got chills as the movie started and thought it was one of the best episodes. It was truly memorable being able to see Start Wars when Liam is 3 years old, and I was 3 when I saw it for the first time.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was exactly how it should be. On Christmas Eve we had a white out storm as Angie, Liam and I hung out by the fireplace and opened some Christmas presents. We also got a new set of Jammies (Star Wars for me and Mickey and Minnie for Liam and Angie). On Christmas morning, I woke up before Liam and I was so excited for him to see his presents, Angie and I woke him up and also recorded him. Angie got him a wonderful race car roller coaster set that he loves. It was so fun seeing how excited he was for that. Later in the day, Angie’s father stopped by to visit for a while.

Our New Years was probably one of the most laid back ones that I have had in a long time. Angie and I had just a few guests over, Misti, Marcus, Dave and Moka and Kenyon. We got some take out food from Goodwood barbeque and hung out for a while, then busted out our Cards Against Humanity that I got for Christmas and played for a few hours. After that, Marcus and I listened to Trance music for hours on end while Angie and Misti talked.  We ended up staying awake all night, then hanging out most of the next day. The kids played and played, and later in the afternoon I think I got a little annoyed because I hadn’t slept at all. The next day we just chilled out and watched movies.