CHOC Walk 2016 THIS SUNDAY – Team Iron Jax

***This is for Walkers and non-Walkers!!!

Just a reminder that team Iron Jax is participating in the 2016 CHOC Walk to help raise funds for Children’s Hospital of Orange County. THERE’S STILL TIME TO DONATE to the team! $1, $5, $7000 – give whatever you can/would like and help us honor Jax as we raise funds for a very special place. You can donate here.

I tried writing a post entitled Why We Support CHOC to explain the importance giving back in Jax’s honor is to us. It started like this:

Jaxson died at 9:26 p.m. at Children’s Hospital of Orange County on June 24, 2012. He wasn’t born a preemie or cured for cancer at the hospital, much like many of the participants for Sunday’s CHOC Walk 2013. For about three hours, the hospital staff did everything they could to save our boy. But it was after he left us that the CHOC staff’s grace, compassion and solace left an overwhelming mark on my wife and I. We lost our boy, but it was if they lost him with us.

The rest of it is deeply intimate and I decided against posting it. I tried to figure out a way to make it less intimate, but to me, it loses the impact. Just know that for us, it’s a very meaningful cause that honors Jax’s very special spirit.

FOR THE WALKERS ON SUNDAY

We’re meeting at the lockers at the left in front of the Disneyland entrance. It’s the same place we met last year. The event starts at 6:15, we’re meeting at 6, but I urge everyone to try to be there earlier. Traffic is going to succcccccckkkkkkkkkkk. Here’s a link to helpful information about that day (parking, strollers, wheelchairs, etc, THE PARKING TRAM DOES NOT RUN!).

Please wear your Iron Jax shirts with capes (or red if you don’t have one). IF YOU NEED A CAPE LET US KNOW SO WE CAN BRING IT. 

Thanks again to EVERYONE. We love you all, and we feel your love in return. And it means so much to us.

Visit my Iron Jax CHOC Walk page here.

 

Phoenix at Three Months

Time flies. Phoenix is three months old today, which was my longest relationship before I met my wife when I was 20. RANDOM SETH TEARZ FACTOID.

If Phoenix was at a new job, he’d be eligible for health benefits by now. With that, I figured now is a perfect time to get some unseen photos out to y’all and fill you on what we know, so far, about this kid.

We call him “P”

We thought Finn (or Phinn) was a cute nickname, and Gray loved it because of the Star Wars The Force Awakens reference. But I don’t think any of us call him Phinn. He’s pretty much P, baby, or baby boy in our house.

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Chubs

He’s chubby as all hell. Definitely the chubbiest baby we’ve had. Jax and Ellie had big cheeks, but Phoenix takes those big cheeks, and raises Jax and Ellie on the chest, abdomen and legs.

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Great eater

Along with the chubs theme, I suppose, is that he’s a great eater. Always has been. My wife breastfeeds, and it’s not that he’s eating a lot or anything (he’s eating appropriate amount of ounces each day), it’s just that he’s much quicker and more efficient than the other kids. Jax hated bottles. Phoenix, in our few test runs, has excelled. The twins took forever to eat. My wife duel breast-fed, so she was dealing with two tired kiddos, or them finding each other to play with and distract, but Phoenix, when awake, knocks it out in 20 minutes and is ready to move on with life.

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He loves his sibs

Phoenix is drawn to Gray and Ellie when he hears their voices. I’ll sometimes catch him smiling and flirting with them when they’re not paying attention to him. And vice versa, they’re super attached to him. A couple of weeks ago we went to Disneyland, and my wife and P stayed home. When Gray found out, he cried so hard, which isn’t like him at all. Normally he’d be like “Ok, well, peace out, I’m going to have a great day.” This time, he cried and cried like it tore at his soul that Phoenix wasn’t going to go with us. Ellie’s been playing a great mini mommy role, too, and has already changed a few pee diapers.

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He wants to sit up

Since he was two weeks old, Phoenix has displayed an unusually strong neck/head. Now, when he’s laid back in a way, he tries to sit up. He wants to be up and involved, and with that spare tire around him, he just doesn’t have the muscles yet! He also hates playing the roll over game. He doesn’t want to do it, and he’d rather just munch on his hands in frustration.

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He’ll be a yapper

Far and away, Phoenix is the most talkative baby we’ve had. And it’s not just making sounds. It’s legit conversations. The way he looks at me when we talk makes me feel like he’s having a deep connection with me. Maybe I’m just crazy. Last night I was hanging out with him, alone, and he was laying in the boppy pillow. I’d say hi and smile, he’d flash a huge grin back, and start cooing. After a bit, with nothing having changed, his bottom lip made a frown and quivered. His eyes got red. He started to do his complaining type voice/talking. He looked scared. Then his eyes watered. He was so sad! And I couldn’t figure out why. It’s like he was telling me about something that happened earlier in the day, or some deep down fear or pain he had. A few minutes later he was back to smiling and being goofy.

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We’re all having a blast watching his personality develop. Hopefully some of these descriptions and photos give you an idea of who this little guy is today.

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CHOC Walk 2016 – Team Iron Jax

The CHOC Walk 2016 has two major changes this year:

  1. It’s been pushed back in October to the last Sunday of the month – 10/30/16.
  2. The minimum amount to raise per Walker has increased to $85 (from $65).

With that being said, let’s get team Iron Jax rolling! Kristina has created our team and I’ve signed myself and the twins up. Undecided if you want to come walk with us? Phoenix will be there, so come see him!

Why do we do the CHOC Walk? Jax passed away at CHOC’s pediatric intensive care unit. The entire staff was so compassionate to us and treated us with so much respect that this is our little way to give back to the hospital and the community in memory of our little hero. I wrote this pretty detailed, gut-wrenching post that explains it more, but we decided not to post it. It’s very personal. Maybe if Kristina gets enough texts, emails, Facebook messages and courier pigeons requesting the post, she’ll give the OK to post.

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What is the CHOC Walk?

The Children’s Hospital of Orange County annually raises funds to support the care, services, research and education that CHOC provides children.  Since its start in 1990, the CHOC Walk in the Park has raised over $24 million, with funds supporting education, research, and adoption and utilization of the latest technologies to advance the health and well-being of children. It’s a 5k walk (crawl) through Disneyland and California Adventure.

You do not receive entrance into the parks after the Walk, however, as in the past, walkers have the chance to buy discounted tickets on the day of the event. Park Hopper tickets (which allows you to hop between Disneyland and California Adventure) are $83, while Disneyland-only tickets are $55. A maximum of 5 tickets can be purchased per wristband. The tickets expire 11/30/16 and you cannot go between 11/19-11/23.

How to Register

Go here and click on Search for a Team and enter Iron Jax as the team name. This pulls up Iron Jax in the search results. Click on the name. At the right of the team page you’ll see the active roster and a “Join Team” button. Click it.

You can sign up as Fundraising Bear (no fee required but you’ll need to raise $85 minimum) or as a Busy Bear, which just means you’ll pay an extra $10 to have your t-shirt and wristband (required to participate) mailed to you.

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Sponsor a Walker 

If you’d like to simply make a donation as a non-team member, click here. Full disclosure, that takes you to my personal page. Click the “Donate Now” button to proceed. If you want to donate to a specific person on Iron Jax, go to the Iron Jax main page, click on the Walker you want to donate in the name of and go from there. Please keep in mind to walk, a Walker needs to have raised a minimum of $85. Children ages 3 and up are required to be Walkers, while ages 2 and under are free.

Must Read

CHOC created two pages worth reading before the event. Please refer to these pages for any questions that you may have:

Frequently Asked Questions

Event Information

Matching Gift Program

Prizes

As an incentive, CHOC has laid out a prize structure which is found here.

Thank you for helping us keep Jax’s memory alive. It means so much to our family to give back to the community, and we couldn’t do it without your help.

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Baby’s Name & One Week Update

On day three of our hospital stay, two hours before scheduled discharged, we finally decided on a name. Mainly because the birth records department forced us to. We picked Phoenix, which I’ll explain in a few, and Davis as his middle name. Davis was my wife’s grandmother’s maiden name.

Phoenix weighed an even eight pounds and stretched out to 20 inches long. The registered nurse at Monday’s mother/baby assessment said he was strong and fierce. He’s loud – though not as loud as Gray was – and has no problem screaming his displeasure. He’s a fantastic eater and is peeing and pooping right on schedule.

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Mommy is recovering okay after the c-section. She says it’s been harder compared to recovering after the c-section with the twins. I guess being five years older will do that to you.

We chose Phoenix purely for the symbolism of it all. The name was fine, but we liked another name better, if we’re comparing apples to apples. But damn the symbolism of Phoenix. I couldn’t shake it.

The phoenix represents renewal and resurrection. Mythology states that when it feels near the end, it sets itself on fire, and out of the ashes, a new phoenix arises. Death, transformation and renewal. When Jax died four years ago, the death beset our family, only to be followed up by the loss of our church, a major loss for our family, and then three miscarriages. We’ve been transformed, and not for the best. We’re just…different. Hardened. Aged. Jaded. A new appreciation of the fragility of life. A lesser fear of death.

And then the renewal. It’s been noted as a cleansing. Wash away the death and all that came with it. For our family, this baby represents that. He’s brought us hope. A new sense of life and energy.

Another plus for Phoenix is the initials. Months ago, when we started thinking of names, the wife suggested something with the initials of PD. Jax had two best buddies – Moo, a stuffed animal cow we got at the Orange County Fair when he was 2, and PD, a prairie dog he chose from the San Diego Zoo shortly after Moo joined our family.

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Moo and PD had a birthday party. Here’s PD wearing his presents.

Since we couldn’t come up with something that would feature Moo as a nickname, PD became a goal for us. In the middle of June, the wife text me the idea of Phoenix. Swapping name ideas became a hobby for us. Usually it was me throwing something silly out there, like O’Shea or Wally, and the wife shooting it down.

But when she suggested Phoenix, it grabbed me. Hard. The twins preferred it. Gray suggested calling him Finn (Phinn), largely for the Star Wars The Force Awakens reference I imagine. A friend of ours suggested Nix. Right now, we just call him baby.

 

Birth Day

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UPDATE 4:52 PM: Pic, but no name.

I’m at work. Been here for about an hour now. I needed to wrap some things up. Some trivia for ya!

Did you know? Baby boy (still unnamed!) will be our fourth child born on a Tuesday. Weird, huh? Presley’s D&E was on a Tuesday. Jax and the twins were born in the early evening on Tuesdays.

My plan is to live blog as the day goes on. I’ll head about about 9, 9:30, shower and drop the twins off at a friend’s house before taking the wife to St. Joseph’s for prep.

Keep refreshing this page for updates, as there will not be any added posts.

Just under seven hours until show time, people.

UPDATE 12:17 PM

 

UPDATE 3:41 PM

Mom and baby are in recovery. Baby Boy was born at 2:44. He weighs eight pounds and is 20 inches long. He has a mix of brown and blond hair and cried for thirty minutes while mom was sewn up. Turnout he was starving. He latched right on to mama and is in bliss now.

Name and pics to come.

 

 

 

It’s Time

Remember that c-section that was scheduled for July 22? Yeah, well, now it’s tomorrow. The wife’s OBGYN decided to go out of town instead, and 2 p.m. on July 19 was the only time slot the hospital could crowbar us in to on the surgery schedule.

All thoughts, prayers and good vibes are very much appreciated.

I’ll start a post tomorrow and live blog as the day goes on. Expect photos, baby stats and my bad jokes.

Jax Remembrance 2016 Details

Next Friday is the Jax Remembrance. For those that have attended in the past, the details are similar. For those that haven’t, let’s fill you in.

My family will be in the Angel Stadium parking lot, closest to the Orangewood entrance, by 5 p.m. The spot has worked out very well for us in previous years. We’ll get there early and I encourage anyone else that joins us to help build a perimeter with your vehicles to help carve out a safe spot for our kids to play and the rest of us to play catch or stroll around and visit. Feel free to bring some food, coolers, chairs – anything to make the experience enjoyable. Really, we just want to hang out with you all.

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Around 6:30, maybe a little later, we’ll start heading over to the area between the two large Angel helmets in front of the stadium. If you didn’t meet up with us in the parking lot, you can meet up with us there. GAME TIME IS 7:05.

Tickets! Let’s talk about getting your tickets. We will bring them to the stadium with us. If you want to pick them up before hand, let Kristina or I know so that can be arranged. Tickets are $21 each.

Payments! Let’s talk about the Benjamins. If you haven’t paid, you can bring money to the game (check is preferred, otherwise I’ll blow it on beers and Rally Monkeys). If you have PayPal, you can send it to me at austin5377@aol.com. If you want to mail a check and need our address, let me know. I also have Venmo.

Questions? Let me know.

Thank you for continuing to remember our boy.