green apple

The Apple of His Eye

There are many things I love about my husband Juan. He is funny, loving, kind, and generous.  We have been together for 10 years and have experienced quite a lot together. I feel like we know and understand each other as only soul mates can. Still, there are a couple of things about my husband that continue to surprise and amuse me. The first thing is Juan’s obsession with the rock band KISS. It’s quite shocking really, how much he knows about the band, how much he enjoys their music and what a big fan he is. Last year, Juan took the kids to see KISS in concert dressed up like this:

In fact, there is so much good material about Juan and KISS that it will make up a whole other blog post.

The second thing about Juan that still surprises me is his love of tech gadgets.  When I first met Juan, and I learned about his love of gadgets I found it charming. Like any person in new love, I thought the fact that he wore his cell phone and CD-sized MP-3 player on his belt loop was quirky but endearing. In the early days of our courtship Juan shunned the iPod. He is a true music lover and therefore thought the Nomad MP-3 player was the superior product. He would carry a large, round MP-3 player, which he wore like an extra appendage, on his belt loop around his waist.

When Apple released a new iPod with greater memory Juan succumbed to the sexy, slimmer, rectangular gadget in white, and dumped the Nomad. It was his new obsession. With each new iPod version Juan upgraded. Juan’s gadget loves became slimmer, smaller, more colorful. But at least they were smarter, because they had more memory. I consoled myself with each new purchase because he managed to sell or upgrade his old models with little expense. But of course his “hobby” of organizing and reorganizing his music playlists and purchasing music also managed to preoccupy him. His habit of walking around the house listening to his iPod with headphones on began to grate on me. It was especially irritating when I would be halfway through a discussion before I realized he was listening to KISS with his headphones on, and I was having a conversation with myself.  I complained that he couldn’t hear me or the kids,so he took to wearing his headphones throughout the house with only one side in his ear. Marriage involves compromise.

And then Apple launched the iPhone. Juan was hooked. He dumped that iPod like a bad habit. I saw the same pattern repeat itself with each new version of the iPhone. A younger, slimmer model launched and he was there with all the other Fanboys, waiting to purchase one. On the day the iPhone 3 launched he took the day off and waited at home for it to be delivered. I had the day off from work too and I sweated it out at Disneyland with Nico and Diego. In the middle of my day waiting in line for Thunder Mountain, I received this text message and picture of my husband gleefully welcoming his new gadget:

Oh Happy Day!

Now the iPhone is a part of our life.  We wake up in the morning to the iPhone as an alarm.  Juan rises and takes it with him to the kitchen while he gets his morning coffee. He returns and heads to the bathroom with the morning news blaring from his I Heart Radio App. He checks weather on it before he dresses for work, making sure to inform me of the day’s forecast. We have a No-Electronics–at-the-Table-Rule during meals, except for breakfast, when Juan eats his morning cereal while reading the iPhone’s bookmarked news blogs for the day’s headlines. Before Juan is out the door he has checked his traffic app and let’s me know what’s ahead on the freeways. The iPhone is with us all the time. So, Ieven though this video isn’t promoting the iPhone, I still found it so true it was only half-funny:

Really? Yes.  Just like Juan and his iPhone. But guess what? Not long ago Apple launched a new technology. Granted it was much larger, and couldn’t possibly be worn around the waist. But it had had more memory and it was an even better multi-tasker than the iPhone. It is the IPad. Juan was hooked and as much as he tried to resist, he succumbed. Although to be fair, I was an enabler. We bought it as an anniversary/Father’s Day present. It is now a part of our lives. Really. The Ayyyye Pad.

Bridge to Our Hearts

      When J and I began discussing marriage, like most couples, we talked about all the serious subjects, including children.  However, when considering remarriage with kids attached, and the complexity of blending a family, the topic of children takes a totally different spin. I felt strongly that I wanted to have another child, while J felt strongly that  he was done having kids. He already had two girls, O, age 7 at the time, and E, age 5. I had N, age 4. Together we already had 3 kids. Wasn’t that enough? Besides we had shared custody with the other parents, so every Wednesday night, when the kids went to the other parents, we kind of celebrated. We enjoyed each other, in the way that adults enjoy each other. J really enjoyed our Wednesdays and alternate weekends together. Without kids. I enjoyed these times too, but I still had the “baby aches.” When J realized how much it meant to me, and how maybe it was a deal breaker, he relented. On the condition that if we tried to get pregnant, and if we were unsuccessful, we would not go to extreme measures to have another child. We would try for 6 months. If after that time, I was not pregnant, we would take it as God’s way of telling us that our family was large enough. After all, I was 40, and kids are expensive and exhausting.
      Five months after we married, I was pregnant. On Valentine’s Day, J and I called a family meeting, and announced to the kids that they would have a brother. We explained to them that we chose that day to tell them because that holiday was about love. We had a lot of love. We loved all of them, we loved each other. We wanted to share more love, so we decided to have a baby. We showed them the video of their brother, taken during the ultrasound. Their baby brother, created out of love. The night before we went to the hospital for my scheduled C-section J and I went to dinner and celebrated. After the delivery, J brought the kids to the hospital and walked them into my hospital room. D was asleep in his basinet. O saw him and cried out loud, “He’s so beautiful!” Then she burst out in uncontrollable sobs. E and I started crying too. Pretty soon it was all a big weep fest. I think we knew our lives would be forever changed. We were right. D changed all of us. Sure, the kids argue, and like most families, there is sibling rivalry. But D is more than just than just their brother, and our child.  D is a connection to all of us. We are family, because J and I married, and we are family because of D. He connects us to each other. 
 Case in point, at a recent family gathering, we had J’s family and mine together for a barbecue. J’s nephews and N all get along wonderfully. They are “Step” cousins. 
 N is a very loving cousin to my nephews. They are 1st cousins. 
  D is the cousin to both sets of nephews.  D is the blood line that runs between us, among us.
J likes to say that D is the bridge that connects us all. I agree. I also like to say that D’s a great excuse to tell J, “I told you so.”