Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Why We Named Him, Boston

We've had the name, "Boston" on our list of names for a son since we were engaged because it's associated with so many wonderful experiences for us. Boston has becomes such a special name to us, and here are some of the reasons why:

1. First of all, what an amazing game this past Wednesday when the Red Sox played against the Cardinals and took the World Series title at Fenway Park (the first win at Fenway since 1918)! There was so much energy vibrating through the screen from Fenway. It brought back memories of when we were at Fenway for the first time, singing "Sweet Caroline" during the 8th inning.

2. Although a huge tragedy, so much strength and solidarity grew from the Boston Marathon bombings this year. I hope that both strength and solidarity will grow with my little Boston as well. Boston will learn that we are all humans with great power and potential to do good when we are connected. We are forever Boston Strong.

3. His daddy loved his mission for the LDS church in Boston, MA. This name will forever serve as a reminder of those precious few years he spent serving the Lord and His people.

4. His mommy and daddy LOVE the city of Boston. There is such great history and culture in this city, things that just resonated with us such as the North End, great Italian food and cannoli's, Paul Revere's story, the famous Old North Church, Boston Tea Party, and so much more. We hope to live here some day.

5. Legend has it that the name, "Boston" derives from the old Catholic saint, Botolph, who is over travelers, and that's what we live for--ADVENTURE

But really, if we didn't have any of these reasons, Boston is just a great name :) We're so grateful for our little Boston.

P.S. I really, really wish we were in Boston right now, partying it up like it's 1918.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Thai Pineapple Curry

For dinner with our family, AJ and I tag teamed to make a rendition of Thai Pineapple Curry. The original recipe can be found on We made a few modifications and it turned out almost like at Thai restaurants. It was delicious and spicy, just the way we like it. I also loved all the vegetables we put in which made it more substantial and flavorful. Check out the recipe below.

Original recipe makes 8 servings

  • 1/4 cup red curry paste (this is spicy, so put in less if you are not too fond of spice)
  • 2 (13.15 ounce) cans coconut milk
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into thin strips
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 sliced bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, drained
  • 3 carrots, cut bite sized
  • 2-3 potatoes, cut bite sized
  1. In a wok, sautee the curry paste in vegetable oil, then add the meat. At this point, you're only cooking the paste and the chicken in oil.
  2. In a separate pan, boil potatoes half way (approx. 15 mins).
  3. After meat is half way cooked, add cans of coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, carrots, and bamboo shoots. Bring to a boil. Cook for 15 minutes, until chicken juices run clear.
  4. Mix the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, potatoes, and onion into the wok. Continue cooking 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in pineapple. Serve over cooked jasmine rice.
**Stir continuously so that the milk doesn't get overly thick.
**Add coconut milk and fish sauce if it is too spicy to adjust to your taste.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Totoro Baby Shower

I didn't get the chance to write about the shower for Baby Boston that happened at the end of August so I'm doing so now. This was a surprise shower. Apparently it was something that had been months in the planning and everyone knew about it all along including my husband. How they managed to keep it a secret from me for so many months, I do not know. But what I know for sure is that both Boston and I are very loved by many people in our lives.

The shower was held at Posterity Park right behind our house. It was themed after our favorite Japanese children's film by Hiyao Miyosaki called, "My Neighbor Totoro." This is the theme we had chosen for Baby Boston's nursery and I'm very excited about it (pictures of completed nursery to come.

AJ took me for a short walk and dropped me off at the shower (36 weeks pregnant).

The gift table decorated with a Totoro banner.
Card stock Totoro banner that will line the walls of his nursery.

Boston's name on card stock and canvas which we'll hang on his nursery door.

ABC blocks with card stock that Boston will play with when he gets older.
Liz, the person behind all of the decorations and shower games.
For this game, people held a paper plate up behind their heads and drew a picture of a baby on it. I chose the best drawing and the winner received a prize.
I'm so grateful for everyone involved in the planning of the shower, especially my husband, in-laws, and baby sister who knew about it all along and had to keep it a secret. I imagine it must have been difficult to not to slip while hanging out with me everyday. The baby shower was everything I could have hoped for and more. I had a wonderful time visiting with old friends, playing games, and getting ready for Baby Boston as people shared their experiences with me. I am also so thankful for all of the gifts we received for Boston.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Introducing Baby Boston

I can hardly believe that Boston is a whole month (5 weeks to be exact) old now! It seems just like yesterday that he came to us. Back when we were as brand new of parents as he was as brand new of a baby. He's such a darling baby, ours to love forever and ever. We can't help but give him beijos (kisses) and abra├žos (hugs) all the time, even when he's not a happy camper. We love to talk with him, play with him, sleep with him, go on walks and car rides with him, watch movies with him -- we just love spending time with him. We're learning so much about this little man and how to take care of him every single day. Here are some things we've learned:

His likes to:
  • stretch out his legs and pretend he's walking
  • pucker up his lips
  • give us the smile that warms our hearts
  • make sweet little coos
  • bob his head back and forth and side to side (he has a strong neck)
  • play with his Aunt Holly and Daddy
  • get kisses and strokes on his cheeks
  • cross his eyes right before he dozes off to sleep
  • snore and smile in his sleep
  • grunt and stretch - he's such a fidgety baby
  • fall asleep after drinking mum mum
  • use his binky on and off
  • lay quietly on his blanket and absorb life around him
Mommy loves to hold his little body against hers, give him kisses, rub her cheek against his thick black hair, and look down at his angel face and think "I'm such a lucky mommy."

Daddy loves to give him beijos, watch Japanese anime with him, make up rhyme songs for him, video "Quiet time with Boston," and dance with him.

His dislikes:
  • being cold
  • diaper changes
  • not being held
  • Baby goat because of his goat-like cries
  • The hulk when he turns red from being upset
  • Little caterpillar because he climbs up our chest
  • Sweet boy because he cozies up to us like an angel
In the first month he...
  • has grown about 1.25 inches and gained 1.3 lbs (by 3rd week)
  • tried crawling
  • has had a hard time sleeping through the night
  • began learning to roll over
  • doubled his food intake
  • has a lot of hair
  • has long little toes and legs
 We both feel very blessed to be Baby Boston's parents. We can't wait for him to gain more personality as he grows, but we're also enjoying the time while he is still teeny tiny. We are thankful for the little moments that he shares with us, doing cute and silly things. We love him so much :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

Boston's Birth Story: Giving Birth with Paralysis

August was a busy month; baby preparation, my sister was in town, my baby shower, my other sister's birthday party, and my brother's mission farewell. The end of the frantic series would be September 19th, our baby's due date, although it would likely to be a little sooner as my doctor planned on induction to prevent me from going into labor without knowing. On September 4th, a week before I was to pick a day to be induced, my brother entered the Missionary Training Center to prepare for his two-year LDS mission in Cambodia. That evening, my husband drove me to our primary hospital to check on my fever of 101.9F, thinking we would be in and out in 2 hours tops. Little did we know, we were going to be there for the long haul as we found out I was in labor as I progressed from 2 cm to 3cm within the hour I was there. At 9pm, we checked in for the night. Throughout my pregnancy, we were unsure how this day would be for someone like me who has paralysis, but we stayed positive and hoped and prepared for a natural delivery, leaving the option of a C-Section as the last resort. At that moment the day had finally come and we were both overjoyed and nervous. I want to share a little bit of my experience in labor for someone with a spinal cord injury.

Labor was surprisingly smoother than expected and we were both calm. The pain I felt was mainly nerve pain, a normal occurrence from my spinal cord injury. However, these pains were more frequent and more excruciating. I think they were pain messages from my contractions sent in a form my body has learned to read as shocks and shooting pains. I felt pressure in my upper abdomen which faded into lower areas. Pressure in lower areas were only felt when I put my hand over them. There was slight uneasiness in my back, which was better than expected because my back is hypersensitive. It was an uncomfortable night, but I was so glad AJ was there to soothe me to sleep.

Stress arose when at 2am my body stopped progressing at 4 cm, and nurses told me to prepare for a C-Section. I dreaded two things about a C-Section: 1. The uncertainty of the effects of a big needle going into my damaged spinal cord and 2. A slow healing and possibly infected incision from multiple seat transfers throughout the day and being unaware of it. 3. The fear was amplified because my doctor, had never dealt with a patient with complete spinal cord injury before. I said a little prayer in my heart to avoid this option if possible (and I learned later that my husband did, too), and I was able to progress to 6 cm dilation within the hour. That brought on a short lived feeling of relief as I again stopped progressing for several hours, which is abnormal as most women progress relatively quickly to 10 cm from there. The situation was worsened as the baby's heart rate was dipping into lower levels during each contraction, without a determined cause. This time, the nurse came in with a strong conviction that a C-Section was the only option. At 6am, I began to worry for my baby and myself.

I'm unsure how many hours of labor I "endured" but by 7am, my doctor came in with a C-Section in the back of his mind, checked my level of progression, and announced I was ready to deliver. It was really happening. I wasn't sure how it all worked, but the process was as natural as possible. Pushes were easy as I curled into a ball, took a deep breath, felt the tightness of the contractions descending from my upper ab, and pushed. There was not much, if any pain (I guess that was a perk of being paralyzed from the waist down). No screams or shaking, just worry of whether or not I was pushing correctly. My husband provided reassurance as our boy's head came into view -- 45 minutes and a pair of forceps later, I felt the release of pressure from my body as a little being entered the world. At 7:47 am, weighing in at 7 lbs 1 oz, 20.5 in. long, little Boston was born, healthy and happy. I remember after they had cleaned him up and put him on my chest, just crying tears of joy. Finally, my sweet little baby was here in my arms. That was the greatest moment of my life. It's a bit poetic as 747 is the number of a fast commercial airliner, and his parents love to travel! Way to come, my son...

Lola, Baby, and Aunt Holly

Grandpapa and Baby
Our complete family :)
I'm so grateful for this wonderful day and will remember it for the rest of my life. Thanks to our loving family and friends. We are so fortunate to have you all. We made it!