Friday, March 28, 2014

Things Have Changed

My dad died on his 60th birthday on February 13, 2014.

I don't even know if the details really matter now. I mean, I keep playing the facts of what happened over and over to grab at the possibility of knowing that it happened. Even writing that first sentence seems fake. It feels like a lie. I feel like I'm still going to call my parents' house and he'll answer and I'll tell him about my new job or how Emily sits still for French braids or how we're finally moving out of our awful apartment. But I can't.

I can't even understand how I'm supposed to make him a memory instead of a live person now. On Facebook, his brothers and sisters created this page that we can (I guess) collect memories of him. But it's not helping me at all. It's not making his death any more real than me typing the words myself.

It's real to me when I think of how it affects everyone else. It hurts my heart when I think of how I don't want Emily to forget him but that she doesn't understand that he's not coming back. She talks about "Papa" all the time. She says to me: "I miss Papa." "I love Papa." "Papa, I love you." She imagines she is playing with him. At my mom's house, we planted his ashes with a tree so they grow into it. Emily brings everything to Papa's tree. I watch her bring her little wagon and two shovels there. She puts one shovel in with the tree and she digs with the other.

It hurts my heart when I think of my sisters missing my dad. I held them at the hospital. I told them not to worry. I tried so hard to be comforting because the staff made it seem minor. I feel like I lied to them. They won't have the things I got to have with Dad and it's not fair to them.

It hurts my heart the most when I think of my mom. I have never seen any marriage like theirs. The way he looked at my mom is the way that she should always be looked at - adored. Loved. It hurts when I think of how much my mom must miss him. Every time we talk and either of us get emotional, all I do is wish I could do something. I expect him to come out of his office while my mom and I are giving Emily a snack. I expect to hear Emily say delightfully, "Papa! I stuck! I expect him to get her out of her high chair and snuggle her and hug her. To make some flirty comment at my mom. To be there. I don't understand how he can just not be there.

I'm not mad at God or anything. There were so many things that happened along the way that God showed me His hand in this, that He was there. There's been so many things since then that have showed me that He still has His hand in this.

I went to church about a week and a half after. I had the worst time keeping it together during worship. Then one lyric set me off and I just cried. It was all I could do only to cry that much. I had a couple of my good friends hug me and it was like the tears were being squeezed out of me. I avoided going back for a few weeks because I was scared that it would be like that again. That everyone would keep telling me that it's okay if I cry because I'm "surrounded by family." It's scary to be there with this happening. It's scary when everyone knows the reason that you're crying and I feel like there's a way that I'm expected to react now. I started to worry, what if I don't cry? Would that mean I'm over it? What if I cry too much? Does that mean I'm overcompensating? I went back again last weekend and still cried. I found myself wishing for those hugs again. Wishing I had those people near me and I was too proud to tell them that I just needed that.

Maybe that's why it's unreal. I'm too proud but too scared to say to someone, "Can I cry with you for a minute?" But it's different now because, after a while, people don't really ask how you are anymore. It goes back to normal for them but I'm still here. Maybe it's unreal because my coping method is keeping busy. Since we move in a couple days, it's been easy to be busy. But that won't last.

I miss him. I miss how he hugged me so tight before I left their house every time. I miss his laugh. I miss his protectiveness. I miss talking to him about seafood. I miss planning Mom's presents with him. I miss telling him the good things that Eric has done. I miss watching him play cars with Emily. I miss seeing both of my parents come out to the car the second Emily and I arrive. I miss how he sang. I miss my daddy.

A few weeks ago, my mom was telling me about what happened that night before his heart attack and every word of their moments just brought me so much comfort.

I wish I was there because, every time I have to remind myself that this is real and not a horrible, awful nightmare, I think of what I saw over the course of the three days between his heart attack and turning off the machines. And I still think that it can't possibly be true.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Our First Family Vacation

Last month, we finally took our first vacation since our honeymoon! The week was busy and far from perfect, but a trip well-spent anyway.
We left at Emily's bedtime on a Saturday night. By 5:30am, we were pulling into the driveway at Eric's grandma's house where we stayed all week. It was Emily's first meeting with her great grandma and you could tell how excited she was. She's in her 70's but she doesn't act like it. She likes to stay up late, wake up early, shop, have dinner, but Emily was sure a lot of activity for her. Grandma Joan said it was good that we had activities that took her out because she wasn't used to having someone around who had so much energy.
We went to a lot...
Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach

Orange County Zoo...

L.A. County Fair...

And met Emily's 2nd cousin...

We also went to Rainforest Cafe, went shopping, spent a nice amount of time with Eric's uncle, grandma, and aunt. It was a great week, we stuck to our budget, and it was incredibly active. I'm looking forward to our next vacation but I think I need a post-vacation vacation. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Krystle is a Procrastinator!

You know the only thing I dislike about my blog? Catch-up blogs.

Its my fault for being a procrastinator. Right now, I want to tell you all about Emily's first vacation we just took, about her switch to a toddler bed and the changes that came with it, about new things she's learned, about our anniversary, about my friends... but I don't want a whole blog on that. I mean, unless you're my mom reading this or maybe one or two others that actually read these, you don't want to read that novel either unless its very hilarious or deep. So I'll just separate them.

Right now? My husband is snoring on the couch after falling asleep during How I Met Your Mother. Emily came out of her room twice in 5 minutes so she could hold me. And I've been browsing cookbooks for my next challenge. Its a normal Thursday night. But those blogs may be delayed, for I think she's getting up again. Good night!

Monday, July 22, 2013


I was having a rough day with Emily last Friday. I was just not getting through to this kid - she was climbing on the dining room table, throwing things at the television screen, making messes everywhere. You know, the normal toddler stuff. But for some reason, all the back-to-back correcting and time-outs and sneaky toddler things were just getting under my skin so badly. I was really hoping to relax and that just doesn't happen with this kid very often so I should've know better and managed my frustration better.

She had climbed on the table for the last time and I just had it. I put that girl right in time-out and set the timer. Now, time-out is still a new thing for Emily. I try to establish a "three strikes" rule with going to time-out. The first time she does what she isn't supposed to, I take her away from it and tell her not to do it. The second time, I take her away from it and tell her that if she does it again, she has to sit in time-out. The third time, she goes in time-out and I set the timer between 1-2 minutes. I don't talk to her in time out unless I'm telling her she has a minute to go. After time-out, I take her from her chair, tell her what she did wrong and not to do it anymore and then, she gives me a kiss. If she does it again in the next thirty minutes or so, there's no strikes - just time-out.

When Emily's timer was up, I took her out of the chair and told her she is not supposed to climb on the table. That's when she hit me as hard as she could in the mouth with her head. Her head was fine but my lips were covered in blood pretty quickly. If that happens, she goes immediately back in time-out for 2 minutes. It hurt so bad. That was just the last straw. While she was in time out, I cleaned up my lip, got dinner started, and just was getting madder and madder.

I called my mom to vent and I don't know why I bother. I know I won't listen to her, even if she has good ideas on what to do. She finally joked about a new parenting method called Calm the *** Down. The article is a little ridiculous but it did remind me that sometimes, I need to just chill out. The frustration will pass. I can be strong and committed to the parenting methods we choose. She will learn not to stand on the table and learn not to hit mommy as I discpline. And she will sleep at some point.

Reminds me of one of my favorite sayings:

"There's a lot to think about, but not a lot to worry about."

Giving this one to God because there is no point in trying to fight this battle alone.

Monday, July 1, 2013


I decided last Wednesday to issue myself a challenge to break a bad habit - no popcorn or soda for 1 week. Part of my reasoning was for trying on clothing in Tucson this coming Wednesday. Most of it was to get rid of my nightly snacking habit.

For a moment, I would like to thank Olivia for her suggestion on a previous blog. She suggested tackling one thing at a time and I thought it would be good to start with the toughest. Her suggestion has made this much more manageable than a full overhaul of my food choices.

I won't lie - it's been tough. The first three days, I avoided watching any TV at night because that's when my cravings hit. Even if I am not hungry or don't really want it, I'll still have soda and eat popcorn. To distract myself, I've been cleaning. Until midnight.

The big challenge was Saturday night, because I went to the movies with Katie. Every time the door opened from someone else entering the theater, I could smell the intoxicating temptation of movie theater butter. I opted for a water (which was literally killing me). I debated candy but I didn't have any. Thinking about it now, I haven't even had candy since I started this. Another reason to thank Olivia. Katie got POPCORN AND SODA. She told me before she got it that this would be a good time to challenge the temptation. This woman is trying to kill me.

We watched the movie and midway through, my evil pregnant Katie just held a piece in front of my face. But I resisted. And now, I had a witness to it!

Last night was my first movie at home and I admit - I had a cookie. Okay, two. But no popcorn or candy and I don't even remember my last cookie.

Tonight is night 6. Popcorn hasn't won yet. I have received a lot of Facebook support on this and it's been so encouraging. I am so blessed to have an amazing support system for my silly addiction.

I do want to be clear though - it's not that I'm never having popcorn or soda again. I just need to limit it or give myself rules. But this is a start.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Enjoying the Reward

I don't feel like we always acknowledge the blessings we are given. We become accustomed to receiving all of these amazing gifts and we stop being grateful for small things. We get used to a lack of perseverance and don't want to work for it anymore. We stop seeing our blessings as blessings and begin to see them as rights.

I am not at my best 100% of the time and lately, I've just been so burned out. I haven't been appreciating the things that I have been given like I should. It's not easy to be a stay-at-home mom all the time. I know that, unless you do it or have done it, it's not really acknowledged as hard work. There's unlimited overtime hours and no pay. No vacation. Constant deadlines. Constant criticism from others in your field and others that have heard about your field with no experience of their own. Working on sick days. Yet, I do it. I need to do it, .

I am grateful to be a SAHM. I wouldn't have anyone else do this job. But the last few weeks, I have just wanted a break. It's exhausting when Eric has two days off a week and most of his work days give him an hour at the end of the day with Emily. I stay up late to finish cleaning and then have some "me" time

In all of this stress, I have not been acknowledging the awesome kid that Emily is. She's learning so quickly. Last weekend, she was playing in her room with Eric while I was cooking. I was listening over the monitor.

Eric: Hi, Emily.
Emily: Hewo.
Eric: How are you?
Emily: (garbled) Happy to see you.

WHAT?! She's repeating everything nowadays. She can jump a few inches from the ground.
She'll go in her room and have books all over her lap while she pretends to read. She puts her dirty dishes in the sink. She helps put clothes in the laundry basket. Also, she kisses, not licks, now! She's just impressive.

Also, Tuesday was the seven-year anniversary of mine and Eric's first date. He bought me some red roses. We went to our first movie together since Emily was born on Wednesday. The theater was empty and it was relaxing to see a movie together.

Need to appreciate this much more.

Monday, June 17, 2013

My name is Krystle and I'm addicted.

I am proud to say that I have been regularly working out for about an hour, three times a week, for almost 2 months. Sometimes, it's more, but it hasn't been less.

I am not so proud to say that my discipline has NOT reached my unhealthy eating habits.

To be fair, my love affair with fast food has been minimized to about once a week (which is also nicer for our budget) and my meals are attempting to be healthier (been trying new vegetable recipes), but my nighttime popcorn habit will be the death of my weight-loss.

The ridiculous thing is, I know this. I realize it hinders my goals and prevents me from losing more fat. But I give in EVERY SINGLE TIME. I will avoid buying it and then, spend on it that day with another alibi to go to the store. I hide it away and tell myself I can have it on the weekend and end up rationalizing why I "need" it tonight. I even tell myself that I will never even make a dent in my weight loss significantly if I don't stop. Somehow, I decide one more won't hurt.

Is this how people with more drastic addictions feel when quitting? I mean, I'm sure they don't have meetings for popcorn addicts. Oh, Overeaters Anonymous, right?

Ugh, I hate that I love food.

I am never planning on being a single-digit jean size, but I would prefer to be down at least two sizes before we are pregnant again. With all my pregnant friends right now, I would love to lose what they gain. (sorry, ladies!)

Habits to break or change? Can't I just get lipo and a tummy tuck??