Tuesday, February 25, 2014

My Favorite Part Of This Blog?

A classmate of mine told me today he was surfing my blog. This happens on occasion. This used to happen more frequently when I was more regular about posting, but as you all can attest, that is not so much the case anymore.

Anyway, he mentioned to me that he was surfing "Inclined to Recline" and I was like, oh yeah, that is my URL, huh?

And then I realized just how much I like that title. It's clever, isn't it? I think it's probably my favorite part of this blog I decided right then.

Over the last year and a half it's evolved a good amount. First, I don't post that often, which is something that I keep saying I would like to change and become more regular again. Second, I've gone to more of a journally-type blog and distanced myself a bit from politics and current events. Not that I've lost my taste for that stuff, but I have lost the taste for making it a public debate/rant.

But yeah, Inclined to Recline. I dig it. I think I'll stick with it for a bit. Readership is down, but thanks for staying with me this far. I'll try and keep up with it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Adjustment

It's funny, last night Amy and I were talking about how fun it would be to only have Jane. It'd be so easy. She warms to people no problem so getting babysitters for her is no issue at all. We could go to movies frequently and do other things. She travels well as evidenced by our summer. She's just easy. One kid is easy to care for, especially if it's Jane. She's just wonderful.

We knew that adding another to the mix would make things more tricky. We knew that there would be an adjustment period of at least a few months. You just never know how these things go when you add kids to the mix.

The timing that we decided to go with also made it kind of interesting. Jane is still so young. To just about everyone, Jane really is still just a baby. Would it be smart to add on another baby given all of that? We still don't have any money, so it's not like that would be any easier.

The way we were talking last night, it almost felt like we were talking about having only Jane the way we talked about how it was being married without kids. Adding more to the mix just complicates things.

Regardless of whatever fantasizing we were engaging in, we still wouldn't have it any other way. It definitely is more tricky adding another child to the mix. Schedules are hard to line up. Just the logistics of getting out is trickier. We used to forget things all the time when it was just Jane, and now that happens just as often with Peter. Everything is just trickier.

But he's just the sweetest little guy. He's making more cute little baby noises now. He holds eye contact better and whether he is or isn't in reality, it really feels like he engages more. He's becoming more alive and I just love it.

I think the biggest payoff will start in about a year when Jane and Peter can play together. That relationship is sure to be tenuous at some times, but they will always have each other and there will be a growth in relationship building that will occur that couldn't have happened if we didn't have a second, let alone a second that is so close in age behind the first.

That's what I'm really excited for. This part right now is tricky. And I say all of this with a grain of salt because relatively, I still think Peter is pretty easy as far as babies go. Right now we are in the business of building our family and it comes with its challenges, but it's just so wonderful to have them both here with us now, even if there are other things, and good ones at that, that we have to forego for the time being.

Giving up good for something better. That's what it's about, right? And in my heart of hearts, I know that this is what's best.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Benefits of Travel

Recently a friend of mine had posted on Instagram a photo about his travels in LA and then asked the question, what is it that you like so much about traveling? I had a quick answer for him, but then I started thinking about it more and just wanted to expand it into a blogpost. My initial response to his question said something about how it becomes a growing experience for our little family as we get out and about and see different things. I've said this before on here, but I'll say it again, traveling becomes a real learning experience for all of us, even the babies. Jane has traveled to Phoenix once, Colorado once, Vegas twice, California four times, out to Michigan and back (and on five separate road trips while out there), up to Oregon, and flown to Mississippi and Seattle to then drive to Vancouver. You know what's even more amazing? She has done it all without the benefit of any kind of DVD player or video watching device. And until this last trip, we never even handed her our phones. She's become an amazing traveler and can pretty easily go 10 hours in the car with one or maybe two stops without ever really complaining. With this last trip to Colorado, Peter really did great. He barely made a peep, although at his age it might be even easier to travel. While it does come at a cost sometimes of sleep when we're all having to stay in the same room, or nap schedules get shifted, or whatever else, I think it's been invaluable for all of us to learn that we can pretty much go anywhere and do anything in spite of having kids in tow. It helps us as parents learn how to handle them better and gives them an opportunity to be more adaptive to their circumstances. (I won't discount what a huge benefit it is to have kids that are naturally pretty easy, but I won't say that they haven't also benefited from a little bit of coaching from life.) One other focus of our travels has been to see specific individuals. Last year we went and visited Greg and Laura in Mississippi. This past weekend we saw the Johnsons in Colorado. While both of those areas were interesting because they were mostly new to us, the real objective for each of those trips was to strengthen those relationships. We weren't really going for any objective other than just to spend time with those people, not to say we didn't end up doing fun things, but the point was spending time with them. Nothing beats having that individual time one on one with people, even being with them in the natural rhythm of their day to day lives, all of that just gives you such a better picture into their lives and helps you become better acquainted with one another. The last benefit of traveling that I'll mention is probably the most obvious one - it just does so much to get exposure to different things. I love so much that I have a wife that is so willing to endure the rigor of travel and the discomfort of being away from home in order to see and experience new places. Being in Michigan last summer was such an eye opening experience for us in so many ways. Traveling across the country and back, then all the way out and up to the Oregon coast, then down to California gave us such wonderful experiences to all share together. I don't know. I just love traveling. I can't wait to see the other new places we'll explore.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Road Trip Out To Michigan

Video of our road trip out to Michigan. This was the most daunting video project from last summer. I started with over 200 video clips and boiled them down to these 60 or so. This was a fun project though. The others should be easier from here on out.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Peter Christopher Silva

Towards the end of Amy's pregnancy whenever she would flinch or something kind of pop up, I would ask her, jokingly, "are you gonna have a baby?"

Once we got within 3 or so weeks, I began making the same joke, but in more earnestness. Cut to Monday night, January 13th. We had just participated in an FHE with a couple of other families in the MBA program. We had a nice evening and then just went home.

We were just kind of sitting around, casually talking back and forth while she sat at the computer desk, and I took a call from my best friend, Dave. Amy stood up when she noticed some amount of water that come out. I don't know of a better way to say that. I was still on the phone with Dave, joking with him about having him there for the actual experience of our baby, when as more time passed, it became more and more apparent that our baby was actually coming.

By that time it was almost 11:30 at night and we were assembling everything for our hospital trip. Although Peter's induction date was only a week and a half away, and his actual due date 2 weeks away, it still caught us off guard. We hadn't packed bags or prepared anything for the actual hospital trip. Still though, with our first trip to deliver a baby at the hospital, we already had some sense for how this would go for Amy, so instead of rushing to get out, she and I both took showers, I made her some toast, and we got Jane ready to drop her off at our friends, the Paxsons.

 We are so lucky to have the Paxsons. They were ready for our midnight call and were glad to take Jane in for the evening. Besides being so obviously accommodating, they also happened to live just right down the street from the hospital. Although Jane was now completely awake and not quite ready for us to leave, we knew she was in good hands and that she would do pretty well in spite of the jarring wake up call and displacement. (They also verified later that in spite of staying up for another hour or two, she handled everything pretty well.)

 We arrived at the hospital some time around 12:30am. Amy doesn't really have regular contractions (at least initially) so it is kind of hard for her to tell when those are coming on so getting on pitocin quickly is standard for her. She also had to run through a course of antibiotics for some strep strain she had tested positive for, so it would be a few hours before things would get going. This time, however, it didn't seem like it would take as long this time as it did last time (17 hours).

 You know what's funny? I had a lot of late nights last semester between working on school assignments and my thesis, but staying up late into the night this time around was really hard on me. I was just so tired. She got her epidural probably some time around 3 or 4am and fortunately that provided no additional complications.

From that point it was just waiting for the baby to come. It was around 6:30 or when Amy alerted the nurse that she was feeling a lot of pressure from the baby, to which the nurse replied something like, well, it looks like that baby is about ready to come. She notified Dr. Lamoreaux and the rest of the staff and then we had a baby.

 It almost feels unfair to describe Peter's birth story because it was just so easy. Amy's water broke, we dropped Jane off, and then basically took naps until she was ready to push him out. Once the pushing began it must have been like three pushes and then we had our new son, Peter Christopher Silva. At one point the doctor even told her to stop pushing because he was already starting to exit on his own.

 There is nothing like it, nothing like watching your newborn child enter into the world. This time, at least, I didn't get much more emotional beyond just a surge of adrenaline and excitement at seeing him. Like Jane, he cried a little once he came out, but he was otherwise very calm. Jane was very pale because she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, but Peter had some good color right away. It also helped his delivery that he was smaller than Jane, 7lbs 2oz, 19" long (as compared to 8lb 2oz, 20" for Jane). Peter was born at 6:51am on January 14th, 2014.

After each delivery Amy was exhausted, but the first time it was more from the delivery process. This time it was mostly just a lack of sleep. See? It's just unfair. We complain that her deliveries come in the night instead of the daytime rather than having any kind of real harrowing experiences.

This experience has been so different for us, mostly because we have done this before. With your first child everything is a little daunting - you've never had to be responsible for a child, never had to be the sole provider for all of the basic needs of a little baby, but once you have that first, you're armed with experience and it just makes everything so much easier. Another thing too is that some people will talk about their bursting love and expanded capacity for love once they meet their little baby. Amy and I don't have that. I love Jane way more than I love Peter right now, but that's because the way I (and I think I can see "we" here too) bond is through time and by meeting that baby's needs. I know I'll love him the same as I do Jane, but that's going to take some time and experiencing life together, which I'm so excited to do. (Plus, Jane is just awesome. I may never love any of my children more than her, let's be honest.)

One thing I also wanted to mention was the timing of this thing. Peter's due date was January 27th. His induction was scheduled for a Friday, January 24th. This whole time we had been saying that it would have been so nice for him to have been due just a week earlier to take advantage of a break that I have within the program from January 15th-20th. It seemed like a stretch, but it just so happened that in one of our prayers a couple night's before he was born I asked that he come a little earlier, and if possible, that Tuesday the 14th or Wednesday the 15th. When I told one of my friend's in the program about this he pointed out, "good thing that you asked." That made me think of this part from the entry on prayer in the Bible Dictionary found in our scriptures: The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. I don't know exactly if I sped up the timeline when I mentioned that in my prayer, but I am going to assume that I did. He really hears us and I'm so grateful that this worked out the way that it did.

Children are an heritage of the Lord. That is the phrase that keeps on going through my head these last couple weeks since we had Peter. My kids are my greatest blessings besides my dear wife. I can't describe how blessed we are to have them, to have our own little family. And also that Amy's experience with pregnancy and labor is so mild compared to most people's experiences. Honestly, it makes me feel that because of that great blessing, it is now incumbent upon us to have all the children that we can. There is no real reason not to. We feel that we are in a position to take care of these kids, Jane and now Peter are relatively easy to handle, and her body can bear her pregnancies, so we need to take full advantage of those blessings. Where so many people cannot for whatever reason, we can so it's on us to do it. Hopefully that makes sense.

Anyway, I love my little family. It's a wonderful life.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Strung Out Live at the HOB Anaheim

So in case you were wondering, this is what a punk show looks like. This music is not for the faint of heart. Also, it has some language.

It's totally ridiculous that I still love going to these shows, but I just do. And it's equally silly that I actually have a group of friends that all like doing this too. At one point, before the show started, we actually counted how many kids we had between all of us and had a laugh about how much has changed over the years since we started going to these shows. (The answer is 13...with two on the way. Crazy, right?)