Category Archives: Health & Safety

A day at the Fire Station


Every year our local Hanford, Fire Station has an open house. Usually we aren’t able to make it, because it’s the same weekend we make our trip to Roseville to visit my Dad and head out to Apple Hill . Because we were not able to go up North this year, I excited to take the kids to this event.
Growing up my Dad would take my brother and I to things like this. I love to pass the experiences down to my kids. Emery has really been asking questions about Fire trucks and Ambulances. Any time we see one on the road we talk about where they might be headed or what the kind of things the vehicle has inside of it. The Hanford Fire Station’s open house is really  a hands on experience. With guidance the kids are able to work the fire hose and put out a “fire” (a red vinyl sheet) in the window. How often does a person get to say they’ve done that! There’s an Ambulance the kids can go in and a Paramedic will talk to the kids about what the different things inside are and used for. Even I learn about a machine that can take a picture of your heart. Pretty cool stuff.
Emery sat in the front seat of a Highway Patrol car, and sat in the Fire Truck’s front and back row. The Fire Fighter’s handed out goodie bags with pencils, magnets stickers and fire safety coloring books.
This year the Fire Station also had, Kid Print. It’s a card with your child’s home address, measurements, photo, thumb print and any birth marks or allergies that he or she may have. The information is then added to the Police Stations data base on record. It was free and totally worth waiting in line for. I’m going to put my daughter’s card in her backpack she carries around.
After we got our card we took a little tour into the Fire Station to experience how a Fire Fighter lives. We saw their living room, kitchen, rooms and gym. Last but not least we had to ride, “Freddie” a little red tour truck, you can see around town from now and now. Freddie took us all through down town and dropped us off at the Carousel. We had no idea we would be getting dropped off. It was a nice little surprise. Despite all the amazing pictures and the fun I know the kids had, for me this was the best part Because, every time I drive down town Emery will always ask and talk about the one time last year she got to ride the carousel. I feel bad that I we don’t stop, but I never see anyone on them or a man standing at the machine waiting for riders. So this was THE PERFECT way to end our day. She was so happy! She was laughing and yelling. A lady in front of us kept turning around because Emery was so happy. Pure happiness from a child is the best thing on Earth for me. This was also the Carlos’ first time on a ride. He seemed to enjoy it as he sat down with his Dad.
I think I will start going to Apple Hill the following week so we can make the Fire Station’s open house every year.

Open House 2013

Open House 2013


Just hanging out on Fire Truck

Just hanging out on a Fire Truck


Driving the Fire Truck

Driving the Fire Truck


Using the fire hose For Video check out, Gypsywidow on Instagram

Using the fire hose
For Video check out, Gypsywidow on Instagram


Inside the Ambulance

Inside the Ambulance


Taking a ride through town on "Freddie".

Taking a ride through town on “Freddie”.

Ending the day at the Hanford Carousel

Ending the day at the Hanford Carousel. For the video on this & more check out my Instagram – Gypsywidow








Learning 911


When I was pregnant with Carlos, I would get dizzy spells. I would just be sitting down and all of a sudden I would see sparks. I thought about putting a red dot on the number 9 on my phone, and two red dots on the 1. This way if anything happened to me, Emery would know to press 9 once and the 1 twice. I also put her Dad and her Great Grandma’s picture and phone number on my home screen. She already knew how to turn my phone on and mess with it, so it was easy for her to use. She could just press the picture and it would dial the number for her. These were the two people most likely to answer their phone or at least call back right away.
Now that Emery knows her number recognition, I’ve been teaching her how to identify them on the phone in case  I needed her help. I told her if she  found me on the floor and I didn’t answer, she  should check to see if I’m breathing by putting her finger under my nose to feel the air. I practiced this with her the other day, I told her, “don’t forget to check if I’m breathing!” while I laid on the ground. She came up to me and plugged my nose. I jumped up! “Emery I can’t breathe!” her response, “Well Mom, I’m not a Doctor, I’m a patient”. I couldn’t help but to laugh. Of course she’s right, she’s only two.
So, I think we will stick to the basics and save the CPR class for another day.

Baby Carlos is here!


Long time no post, sorry for being absent so long. Blogs slipt my mind for a while when I was pregnant. All of the being sick all day and night really got to me. It was a long 9 months for me while I awaited the arrival of our son.
Turns out he needed to be induced, he wouldn’t come out on his own. I was scheduled to go in on a Wednesday at 3:00 on January 16, now I can’t remember the details of times anymore but around 6 p.m. that night I was given Cervical to get my cervix going and help induce labor. The Nurses said it could put me into labor fast because this is my second child and my body knows what to do, or it could be the waiting game. My contractions at this point were low and I didn’t feel a thing. Both my husband and I went to bed at an early 10 or 11 o’clock after walking the halls a dozen times to help my body speed up the delivery.
At 12:00 a.m. I woke up to what I thought were stomach aches. I was uncomfortable and then I realized, “Krystal, you’re in the Hospital, it might be contractions!”. As I layed there a little longer I felt a warm trickle, I thought I was peeing myself only I couldn’t stop it from happening. I wobbled myself into the restroom  and realized it wasn’t pee, there was blood everywhere. I yelled for Victor to wake up and get a Nurse. It scared the crap out of me, the Dr.s call it, “the blood show” but I never had one with Emery and I wasn’t sure if what I was going through was normal.
Turns out is wasn’t. But then again whats normal when you’re having a child, every thing is different for everyone just like pregnancies. The Nurses helped me back into bed and called in about 5 other Nurses, the lights came on and everyone was in a panic. They called for a Doctor to come check me out and see why I was loosing so much blood. My Husbands face was white like a ghost, as if he were going to faint. He looked terrified.  That look he had scared me more than the medical team rushing around me, for a second I thought, “what if I die at giving birth”.
Speculation started that my placenta might be coming off the wall, causing all the bleeding. Eventually the Midwife concluded that my body was just reacting fast to the Cervical. There was nothing they could do for the bleeding and the baby was still fine, he didn’t have a fast heart rate or a low heart rate indicating a problem.
By 4 a.m. I needed help, I had been laying in bed with the worst pain in my life. These were way worst than anything I had the first time around with Emery. Maybe it was because they came so fast but I was gripping the bed rail for dear life cussing under my breath. I couldn’t take it any longer and I buzzed for the Nurse. She gave me something in my I.V. that made me loopy and I fell asleep. The medicine was supposed to last an hour but it wore off in 20 minutes. I was back to gripping my rail and cursing. By 6 a.m. that sweet Angel walked into the room with the epidural.
After that I was so relaxed, no more being tensed up, I was able to joke around. By this time it was 8 a.m. and Victor had left to get my mom. I was checked again to see how far I was dilated (by the way, that’s the second worst feeling in the whole world). I was at 6 cm and the Midwife broke my water.
At 11 a.m. I felt the pressure. I was uncomfortable again. It felt like I had to poop. I’ve heard people say that before but i never experienced it myself until now. With Emery I didnt feel anything I just pushed, this time it was pressure. I had to keep myself from pushing. The Nurse did one last check and said she felt hair. My baby boy had hair! such an awesome thing to have someone be able to feel that. The Midwife was called up to Labor and Delivery, she was down stairs in the Ob/Gyn with appointments. After a long wait, 9 months and 42 weeks of anticipation it was go time.

I will say one thing, knowing why you feel the way you do with the contraction pain, is better than hurting with all that pain and not knowing whats wrong with yourself. I knew the end was coming soon and all that pain was for a reason. Soon I would be holding my son and able to see what he looked like. After months of many people asking me, “are you ready”, I was finally at a confident “YES”, Lets get this baby out! I knew what I had to do and my body was ready, I was struggling not to push. Like Emery I couldn’t feel my contractions, I just pushed until I was told to stop. Labor lasted 10 minutes and with three big pushes he was here, Carlos Martin Calderon my son in my arms born on January 17 at 12:45 p.m. born with the help of Midwife Spaberg, the same Midwife that delivered Emery. Victor has never cut his children’s umbilical cord. With his first son he was deployed overseas with the Navy. With Emery had the umbilical cord wrapped around her head at birth preventing him from cutting it and Carlos had the same issue. He had the cord around his neck, I felt so bad for my husband. We knew this was our last child and he still wouldn’t be able to cut the cord. Of course we wanted the cords off the baby’s necks as fast as possible but still I couldn’t help feeling bad for him. Umbilical cord knots occur in about one in every hundred pregnancies
The Nurse heard he hadn’t ever cut his children’s cords before so she left it long enough for him to cut it. I was so happy for him and for us having a healthy baby boy. The last baby born into this family, we are now complete with two boys and a daughter. Couldn’t ask for anymore or be any happier.

Hospital Carlos 124

7.15 oz at birth and 19.5″

Acid Reflux


In my second trimester I got off Zofran for my sickness. I wouldn’t say it was morning sickness it was an all day any time sickness. Luckily I was able to stop taking it but still had a few episodes. Heading into my third trimester I was starting to get that sick feeling right away when I woke up. I would have to eat something carby like a muffin to take it away. I’m not a breakfast person and especially being sick I don’t want to even try eggs!
After seeing the Doctor a few weeks ago I mentioned in passing how I was getting sick again. Didn’t think it was a big deal, and I had read that it was typical to get that sick feeling again.
The Doctor seemed to think I had acid reflux right away. Never expected that! I didn’t have a burning feeling and I just thought it was me being pregnant. Guess not. She gave me Zantac to take twice a day before I get sick. I’m really bad at taking pills. I only remember my prenatal vitamins and everything else is an IF I remember to take it kinda thing. Bad I know but im trying.
It’s hard being so sick you need to eat but sick you don’t want to eat let alone make anything and then once you do … hello porcelain bowl. Guess I should be learning my lesson and have a pill next to the bed as soon as I wake up.

Different bellies


Every women carries different, carrying low for boy and high for girl is a myth. To go along with that the high heart beat doesn’t pan out either. With Emery my stomach was really high and I had a hard time breathing. She also had the typical high heart rate ranging from 150 to 160. When we would go to the Naval Hospital the Midwife told us usually if the babies heart rate is consistently high it would be a girl. It was true for Emery. Carlos started off at a heart rate from 140 – 150, I thought it was high and we thought maybe it would be another girl.

“By the beginning of the 9th week of pregnancy, the normal fetal heart rate is an average of 175 BPM. At this point it begins a rapid deceleration to the normal fetal heart rate for the middle of the pregnancy of about 120-180 BPM.”

With Carlos I started carrying low like a typical boy. I thought it was “normal” and getting higher like it was with Emery but I noticed every time I would sit down he would start kicking, he was always real low and I would have to lay down or sit back to get comfortable. I didn’t think much of it at first because he was still growing but at the 26th week (the end of my second trimester) I feel like this baby should be higher.  My pregnancy pants are uncomfortable, if they have a band it hurts. So I’ve been stuck in yoga pants and my one pair of jeans with the elastic that goes over the stomach. Then my mom would say I was carrying different than I was with Emery. Typically they say boys are lower, however it’s not necessarily true. Everyone carries different. This week a friend came over and right away said I was totally different than I was with Emery too. It was kinda funny because I just started realizing I am carrying lower. Two weeks ago I went to the Doctors for a regular check up. The Dr. asked if I had back pain, ( I always seem to remember my pains a few hours after leaving the Doctors office, after I’ve had time to really think about the question) I told her yes, but nothing I would complain about. I have had back pain since I was in middle school and occasional back pain from the pregnancy. For some reason I had forgotten the times at home my back had gone out and I couldn’t walk or how before my pregnancy I was in therapy for my back! The Dr. sent in an order anyway for a Belly Cradle. As shown in the picture in the link, it goes under my stomach, around my back and across my chest. The first night I tried it on and right after taking it off I really noticed a difference. It held my stomach up slightly more and helped my back. I only need to wear it during the day but I find it getting in the way of my already restricted wardrobe. It’s still so hot in Central California that all I want to wear is a tank top and whatever pants I have to wear if I’m not home wearing my comfy pants. Wearing the Belly Cradle, I can only wear T-shirts because of how it fits across my chest. I don’t have many maternity shirts that are short-sleeved that will cover my chest. I have plenty of long sleeve shirts but I can’t wear them now. So I find myself wearing my cradle at home when I can or if I find a shirt that fits my growing belly. It’s a small complaint for something that will save my back as this little boy grows faster and faster in weight and soon with the cooler weather it wont be an issue.

The licking phase?


This one came out of left field. It happened a few times, we would be playing around and instead of kissing me on the cheek or sometimes just as a surprised BAM! A lick on the side of the face! Kinda funny but I start to think … is she licking everyone? Where did she get this from?
Emery often comes up with a lot of things by herself, I think this is one of them. She only seems to lick my face in a playing manner. She gets all wound up and goes for it, her dad says she sticks her tongue out a few times before she goes for it. I can’t see because I’m usually laughing or messing around not paying attention to her right before it happens. He seems to think its bond we have, where she only does it with me. Thats fine I just don’t want her licking everyone’s face. I really don’t even want it to happen to me! I  get paranoid with the make up on my face making her sick.
After she started that, I caught her a few times licking her fingers and touching her chalk board. I hate chalk, I don’t like to touch it, I don’t like to hear it, I really just can’t stand it. So you can imagine how I felt when I saw her licking her finger and the board. Since then I catch her all the time! Licking her arm and licking her fingers and touching things.
Mostly I’m worried about her getting sick. I don’t want her to get anything because she had her fingers in her mouth or put something in her mouth she shouldn’t have.  We’ve been out of the house a lot these past few weeks and her little hands have been all over everything. I clean them with a wipe, hand sanitizer and water and soap of course when I can. I don’t want to go over board and be paranoid about it. In the back of my mind I’m cautious about the things I say or how I act towards certain situations so that I don’t freak her out of make her scared of anything. For example I’m not an animal person by any means, and Emery loves all animals. She runs in the grass at night with the frogs lurking in the dark. I on the other hand will stay on the cement away from the edges, in case a creepy crawler comes my way. I pretend everything is alright but inside im screaming, “get inside the house! those ugly frogs are everywhere and I can’t help you”.
Anyways I have digressed and went on an animal rant. I guess as long as I keep telling her to stop and she’s not licking animals I’ll survive this stage.

Embarrassing pregnancy stories


If you’ve been pregnant or are pregnant chances are you have at least one embarrassing story. In the beginning I always feared going to the Doctor’s office and puking everywhere. I’m always in a panic, “okay where’s the garbage can, where’s the toilet, can I run there fast enough”. It gotten so bad I’ve brought a plastic bag from home in my purse just in case I had to throw up where I was with no warning. I decided to do a blog on this for two reasons – one being I saw a post recently asking women if they have had any bad experiences (guess what, they were all the same) and because yesterday it happened to me (again). Individually these stories sound bad, but talk to another pregnant women and she most likely has a story to follow your own. Please read a long at your own discretion.
Personally I don’t like to say throw up, I usually say “episode”, it sounds more polite and doesn’t give you that instant image of me hacking up a lung.
While I was pregnant with Emery I was working. There were some  interesting moments, all the backroom runs to the restroom, having to use the backroom garbage for a back up in case I couldn’t make it or someone was in the restroom. Once I had a Taco Bell episode, before I could say anything my best friend walked into the backroom and immediately knew what had happened. Not my proudest day but it got worst. I have a weak bladder, as a child I would hold my urine for a long time. Who knew it was really such a bad thing? Now if I throw up I most likely will urinate all over myself like an animal. Doing this at work, not awesome.
And just when I thought those days we’re over I felt the sickness take over me while I was at Subway. I sat there trying to control it and let the feeling past but still looking around outside for a garbage can just in case. Each second passing I knew if it didn’t go away I was wasting time and needed to get out of this place fast! I had to run out the door, more than prepared to go all over the street by some unlucky car. Just as I turned there it was, a garbage can and not a second to late. Apparently people were looking at me as I ran out the door. I saved them all their lunch.

Well yesterday was one of those days. I survived 6 months of being episode free in public but it got me. I was tired, grouchy, irritated and starving! After a little shopping Em and I went to Carls Jr. for lunch before heading back to the store. We ate in the parking lot and as my grouchiness melted away with each bite another feeling was over whelming me. “Oh know”, I thought, not here. I tried to let it pass but thinking what am I going to do if it doesn’t. I quickly grabbed the bag and went for it. Sitting there having an episode in a brown bag that was getting soggy in my hand. I prayed the bag wouldn’t fall apart and go all over my lap. To my right a lady had returned to her car and was sitting there! Excuse me lady can’t you see I’m having an episode! Kindly get out of your car and give me some privacy! I opened up my driver door and another lady was walking by. Not to cause a scene I closed the door and continued on my way. Then I heard Emery in the back seat, she was starting to copy my sounds. “Emery the baby makes mommy sick”, I was hoping she didn’t think mommy had some kind of disorder. More hoping my 2-year-old toddler wouldn’t remember these days and think this was the norm.

It’s funny to look back at these stories later but in the moment its the worst. I don’t mind sharing all these crazy stories, I’m a pretty open book if asked a question and I know as bad as this all sounds, I’m not the only one going through these challenging times.