Saturday, May 30, 2009

Enter the Realm...

... of the soccer mom. It's official: We have officially pulled the trigger on the mini-van purchase. Justin and I will be booking a flight to Florida to pick up our new wheels within the next week or so. Yep... a non-direct flight (his first of any sort) and a 12-hour drive back home, all with Justin as my wing man. If nothing else, that trip should be worth at least one good blog entry by the time we get back. Wish us luck.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sand Pails and Shovels

Memorial Day Weekend, 2009

Shoveling dirt is serious business.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Baby Tree

.. for my next trick, I'll attempt to juggle three 
small children while singing the star-spangled banner...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Norfolk Tides Baseball

Thursday night, Mommy surprised me and Justin with tickets to a Norfolk Tides Baseball game. Few things can top the combination of excellent Spring weather, family time, and baseball.

But it wasn't until after the game that the evening got interesting. For the first time in his entire life, Justin spent the night in our bed last night (don't get used to it, pal). Long story short, there was a clown at the baseball game. Need I say more? I would've never bet that something so simple could be so traumatizing. Especially when the person in question is still shy of 2 years old. I understood him being scared, but I would have figured he'd forget about it in 5 minutes or less. Instead, the clown trumped the baseball game... Justin spent most of the night fighting off sleep... oh, and the Tides lost to Rochester 5 to 4.

Justin's post-traumatic blank stare lasted all night.

But hey... at least Daddy had fun.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Jazzy Milestones II

At 30 days old, Jasmine Olivia... 
  • is letting us sleep. She has figured out the day/night thing and usually gives us one of two options each night: back to back 5-hour blocks of sleep with a quick feeding in between, or one longer stretch of 6 or 7 hours. The switch has also come with more wake time in the daytime. And though she's still not the most active newborn in the world, she's definitely more enjoyable than the sleepyhead we had a couple of weeks ago. 
  • doesn't know that she shouldn't be rolling over. In her first milestone entry, I mentioned she had rolled over on her 2nd or 3rd day of life; and figured it had to be a fluke (just the right angle with the blanket in the right position, and the moon and stars aligned properly, etc...). But since then she has done it again a couple of times, rolling from her stomach to her back. That's just ridiculous. What are they feeding these kids anyway? Once she can do it without all of the fuss, I'll count it as "authentic" and post a video (daddy... the eternal skeptic).
  • Still doesn't say much. She is just now starting to give us a "coo" every now and then, but otherwise she seems content remaining the quiet type... probably observing everything and taking notes so that she can talk about us later.
  • Hasn't gone "number two" on her own (i.e., without a suppository of some sort every 3 to 5 days). Hopefully we'll get to the bottom of that (no pun intended) at her 1 month doctor's appointment on Thursday.
  • Likes to be held (which is an understatement)... to which you might say, but don't all babies like to be held?... and we'd quickly reply, "Ha! You must not know her brother; Mr. Put-me-on-the-mat-and-come-get-me-in-an-hour." Try to hold him too long, and he would kick, scream, and squirm like he had someplace to go... things to do, people to see, etc. In hindsight, I think he was about as independent as a baby can be. So going from that to Jasmine, who is definitely a "hug me / hold me" baby has been an adjustment... an adjustment that mommy just loves since we get to baby her in ways that Justin wouldn't have allowed. Evidently, he was just too cool for that.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Summer Fashion

Justin Alexander goes nationwide:
Here's a clipping from this week's Dollar Tree circular (click here for the full circular, and here for the photo shoot recap). For his adoring fans (i.e., grandparents), the autograph session will be held once he learns to write his name. Hooray, Justin. Nice job, kiddo.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pass The Baby

Grades have been submitted. The last meeting is done. All offers to teach this summer have been vehemently refused. And 94 days of Summer Vacation starts now!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Justin Milestones XXI

It's been a while since his last milestone entry, so I figured I'd mention that at 22 months, Justin Alexander... 
  • is a quarter pounder (with cheese). After being exactly 24 pounds for over 6 months, we thought he'd never break the 25-pound mark. But he is officially over the hump. Hooray, Justin. Of course we had the same anxiety when he was trying to break the 20-pound-and-turn-the-seat-around marker 12 months ago. Took forever! He was stuck on 19 for what seemed like decades. Something about those intervals of 5... ?
  • has finally gotten hip to the water dispenser on the refrigerator door... which just means that we've gotten hip to the water lock button just above it. 
  • has his upper canines coming in. It's been so long since new teeth that this one caught us off guard for sure. After these two, he'll need 4 more teeth and his dientes de leche will be complete.
  • is still more content to whine, grunt, or drag you towards what he wants rather than to try to use the words that he knows. Granted, he is speaking a lot more these days and is increasing his vocabulary beyond his favorite three words ("no", "daddy", and one of his first ever, "happy happy")... But he still does more repeating than anything else. On the positive side, he is finally starting to stretch himself in terms saying words before you prompt him. This morning we found him going through some homemade picture flash cards on his own (pictures of jugo, zapatos, perro, banana) and I think we were both kinda shocked that he got 'em all right. I guess it's time to make new flash cards.
  • Is way better than daddy when it comes to saying thank you every time he is given something (yeah, yeah... I'm working on it).
  • Will babble on the telephone (real or imaginary) for as long as you let him. But good luck with the translation.
     Everything is a telephone, by the way... shoes, remote controls, building blocks, and (in desperate situations) either of his empty hands. For a few months now, he has also been a connoisseur of imaginary food, which apparently is quite delicious. 
  • probably is starting to discern between the two languages he hears, and has already learned that, when in doubt, say them both. So if you take his food or drink, you'll hear him running after you screaming, "mine mio! mine mio!"... funny stuff.
  •  can tell you his animal sounds if you ask him what each one says (horse, dog, cat, cow, in particular) and can fill in the blanks in the alphabet song (give him a-b-c-d and he'll give you e-f-g). Hopefully with summertime here and more time to work with him, we can turn the corner in the coming months and really get his speech up and running.
  • Loves Old MacDonald and Curious George.
  • Turns TWO YEARS OLD in 40 days... Wasn't he just born yesterday? Incredible.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Updated Archives

The month of April has been added to the photo archive. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Better than a Mac

Justin's version of the "Walk-In Fridge" Heineken commercial: The only thing better than a Mac....

Is realizing that you have two Macs, back to back.

Friday, May 8, 2009

This is Farewell

Top ten reasons why it's great to have an old beat-up car...

10. Zero concern for adding mileage to the car. Multiple roundtrips to from coast to coast? No problem. Just make sure your AAA service is up to date.

9. The convenience of leaving the doors unlocked all the time. "You want it? Take it!... Just change the oil before you bring it back!"

8. Safety. With good ol fashion metal construction you probably couldn't tell the difference between getting hit by a newer car and going over a speed bump.

7. You've become one with the E light in the car, and know when you have 6 tenths of a mile left in the tank before you have to get out and push.

6. Every State Inspection is like a pot luck dinner: always a "fun" surprise.

5. The prospect of achieving the ultimate goal of a frugal mind: having the odometer hit 999,999 and rolling over to a fresh start.

4. The ability to park next to the shopping cart return without concern of dings and dents.

3. You can have a picnic in the car with no concern for spillage. At this point, honey mustard spills, barbecue sauce stains and baby spitup just adds to the decor.

2. No car payment. Cheaper insurance.

1. Feeling like you're in a rare fraternity whenever you see another car just like yours since very few are still on the road. The rest have already beat you to the junkyard.

And with that, our '97 Nissan Altima (V's car from her college days) has seen it's last hooray. We're not emotionally attached to it like I am the Civic (which is 9 years old now) but It has served us well, and we hate to see it go (okay, not really... actually we just hate to have to buy another car). So this is goodbye to an old faithful friend (well, maybe not that faithful)... and probably hello to the ranks of (gasp)... the MINIVAN. I guess everything happens for a reason. To be continued...

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jazzy Milestones. I

At 18 days old, Jasmine Olivia is...

  • 2 ounces past her birth weight as of last week's doctor's appointment.

  • is working towards knowing her days from nights. We're not there yet, but her nighttime feedings are starting to stretch from 3 hours to 4 - 6 hours in between. She's also taking smaller feedings overnight and going back to sleep pretty quickly. Hooray for more sleep in the Reyes household.

  • is in the involuntary smile phase of infancy, which is still hilarious to me the second time around.

  • has the same neck strength that Justin had at this age, which is probably a product of both of them being juicy babies to begin with.

  • is super fidgety. It's the reason that she only lasted 2 or 3 days in the bassinet before being moved to the nursery (that and the fact that I couldn't find all the parts to put it together). She's already playing the "I'm not where you left me" game when you go to get her from her crib; and two weeks ago turned over from stomach to back, not with intention, but just from sheer fidget while crying for attention. The girl is strong (watch out Justin).

  • cries like a girl. She also has tears already. Had 'em pretty much since birth, which is funny to me since it took Justin over a month to be able to create tears (seems all too fitting given the gender difference... wonder if there's anything to that). She is also not nearly as vocal as Justin was at this age (here's Justin at 19 days). In fact, she's so quiet (she usually won't utter a sound all day) that I didn't realize / remember that babies could even be vocal this early on... until I went back and read about the chatterbox that Justin was at just 2 weeks old. I re-read his entry and said to myself "he made noise?!" In general, it's fun to see how different the two of them are at comparable ages. We can already see that she is much more laid back than her brother was, even this early in the game (I guess boys are just so doggone rambunctious). It'll be fun to see how this one plays out.

Cabin Fever

With the exception of one or two family trips to the store (during which mom and Jasmine stay in the car while Justin and I run errands) the two ladies of the house have been on house arrest since Jasmine got home about 3 weeks ago. A third of the reason is voluntary (giving Jasmine's immune system more time to strengthen), a third has been circumstantial (remember, we're down to one car), and the last third has been dictated by the extremely high pollen counts of late (allergies allergies allergies). So needless to say that when I came home the other day to an empty house, I was thrown for a loop. No note, no voicemail. Just empty. Yep, mommy and Jasmine had sprung loose. With our first day of rain in a very long time (which lowered the pollen count) V grabbed hold of the moment and took Jasmine for her first stroll around the block.

But then it started to drizzle. And for about 4 seconds I start wondering, hmmm... where could they be that they're not getting wet. But before the thought got a chance to develop, my cell phone rang. "Open the door... Open the door... I'm commmmminnng....". I opened the door in time to see V sprinting across the street towards the house like Jackie Joyner-Kersey with a baby stroller. Head down and full steam ahead. Straight across the lawn and up the porch stairs like lightning. Oh my gosh, it was so funny. Reason #492 why I should have a camera around my neck at all times.

And mommy missed becoming a better blog entry by about 20 seconds, because just as we got the stroller in the house, the skies opened up to downpours and hail. But in the end, all was well: I think they got a good hour in before the rain, Jasmine stayed dried and slept right through the mayhem, and mommy got a kick out of her own failed attempt at a jail break.

Maybe next time. But for now, house arrest is back in effect.

Monday, May 4, 2009


"Welcome to my workplace, dad. Let me show you around the set."

With a new mouth to feed and mommy out of work, Justin threw it into high gear this year with 3 gigs in 2 months. This most recent one was for a medical training video and took place 4 days after Jasmine came home.  The shoot was a little chaotic (poor planning, multiple locations, two set visits in one day, etc) but Justin did well [i.e., nothing like he was for the Smart Beginnings photo shoot].  He was so "been there done that" on the set that it was comical to watch. I'm sure it helped that his entire scene took place (a) in the kitchen and (b) in front of the refrigerator; two of his favorite places. All in all, I think he had a good time. Let's just hope that any other jobs that he gets go this well. 

"Good Job, Cheryl. That was awesome. I've gotta run,
but hey let's do lunch sometime."

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Look Alikes

Jasmine @ 4 days. 
Justin @ 2 months, 6 days.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bringing Home Baby

Day 1: On the way home from the hospital, Justin paid Jasmine no mind whatsoever. Actually, he wouldn't even look at her. "I don't want no trouble... stay on your side of the car, I'll stay on mine. And don't even think about asking for a sip."

Day 4: She's still here?... I'll be in my room. You've got two more days to figure out where she's going to live. I know the number to a great adoption agency, by the way...

Day 6: Fine... Ship me to grandmas!

Day 9: Justin is coming around... "Ok... I'll rock her... but only because I was laying here anyway."

Day 11: Best Buds.

...And though that's not exactly how things have gone during Justin & Jasmine's first 13 days together, it's also not too far from the truth. Even though he seemed intent on not acknowledging her presence for the first few days, I think both parents were happy with the fact that his overall demeanor didn't change much at all and he didn't show any major signs of rejection or jealousy. From there things only got better as we sought to include him as much as possible into Jasmine's routine. Now he rocks her, keeps her company, and feeds her on occasion... whether she's hungry or not (which only becomes problematic when we need to take the bottle from him... that two-year-old possessive phase... everything is "MINE!"... followed by a mini tantrum). In short, it's been fun watching the two of them bond (well, as much as a newborn and 22 month old can). It's still back and forth: some days he cries to see her cry and scrambles to console her... while the next day he'll ignore her altogether. But either way our hope is the same as every other parent of 2 kids or more: that the groundwork is now being laid for a bond between the two of them that will last a lifetime.