Thursday, July 30, 2009


When there's no money in the budget for a true vacation, it's time to turn to that lemon of a deck out back, start the transformation, and make do with what we have... because who says you have to travel away from home for a little slice of tranquility?

Now the only question that remains is, why didn't we do this 5 years ago?! Barbecue at our place. Everyone's invited.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Back from PA/NY/NJ

Actually, we've been back for about a week. Just been too busy to stop and talk about it. Long story short, everyone is well. My parents enjoyed part II of our Pennsylvania Summer Tour, we got to see V's mom, Aunts Gina and Lydia, Uncle Henry, and also her grandfather who was in from the Dominican Republic and nice enough to treat us to our first baseball game at Yankee Stadium. The kids (who sat out the baseball game) enjoyed time with Grandma, and PopPop in PA, and also made a daytrip to hang out with Grandma and Aunt Dodie in Jersey City. In all, the trip was a good time had by all and we just want to say thanks to everyone who we got to spend time with. Love you guys.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pink Studs

We're going to the mall to do what?!

He he.... this is going to be fun to watch

Who's in more pain... mommy or Jasmine?

Ok daddy... you're next.

She fell asleep before we could get more pictures in at home. But I'll be sure to post more close-ups in the next couple of days. In any event, little Jasmine is officially pierced. And Justin is just happy he's a boy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Kung Fu Master

Justin Alexander, Version 3.0

So what's your guess...
a) Justin is auditioning for a part in the new movie, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the Prequel"...
b) He has taken his desire to be like his Daddy to the next level... or...
c) This is simply a cover-up for daddy's blunder with the hair cut this morning.

As for the answer, I'm not saying anything until my lawyer gets here.

Friday, July 3, 2009

That's My Girl!

Jazzy Milestones V : 11 Weeks

I was all ready to write about Jasmine and how she has turned her personality on like a light switch: she talks up a storm, gets super excited when you interact with her, and we can now make her smile on cue with funny faces and cutesy noises. In all, it has made daddy's world light up and has paid dividends for all the maintenance she has required over the past 11 weeks (we always claim that she's much higher maintenance than her predecessor was... but then I also wonder if that's because we've just forgotten so much over the past 2 years). But yesterday she took it to a whole new level when I caught her laughing for the first time. Not just a big crazy smile, but a real laugh that made her little belly jiggle and shoulders wiggle. I just about melted. And then I spent the next 24 hours trying to get her to do it again. Evidently the joke was on me. But even still it was just about the most adorable thing ever.

One cool thing to mention (well, cool for us) is that she and Justin are pretty much on the same sleep schedule now. He's roughly 8:30pm - 7am, and she's 9:30pm - 6am... plus or minus 30 minutes of sleep here or there. Hence our slow but steady drift back to sanity. Hooray for synchronized babies. She also baffled us last week when we learned that, if positioned the right way, she could reach and play with the toys on her walker tray. Like most things around here, this was an accidental discovery by virtue of not stuffing the walker with as many blankets as usual. And so I almost fell out of my chair when I had my back turned to her and suddenly heard someone start playing the piano. It was hilarious. And now, every 3 hours we have the pleasure of music accompaniment by our residential baby mozart and her walking sound machine. Now that V is officially staying home to be with the kids this upcoming school year (don't you love I how I just slipped that in?), between her piano and Justin's Elmo microphone, we might have to start charging admission for the Justin and Jasmine show... ahem... I mean the Jasmine and Justin show.

In other news, she also moved in her walker for the first time today (and yes, I will spend all of the weekend trying to get it on video). Funny enough, I think it surprised her as much as it did us. The look on her face was priceless (oh my gosh... what just happened... did I do that?). But the cool thing now is that she clearly gets it and did what she could to replicate it again when she was back in the walker. The trick, by the way, was that V put shoes on her for the first time; and that gave her the extra 1/2 cm that she needed to make contact with the floor and get things moving. But now she doesn't need the shoes. Apparently just knowing that the floor is there has given her the motivation to stretch that extra stretch and do the Barney Rubble. Cutest thing ever.

Last but not least, there is simply no way I could really explain, capture, or quantify just how smitten Jasmine is with her brother. I don't know if it's because he's closest to her in size (because she doesn't pay us half the mind that she pays him) or because he zooms back and forth at the speed of light... or because she knows somehow that he's her brother (I put nothing past her)... but the way that she lights up when he is in the room, there is definitely something there. But like I said, no words can describe. Just had to mention it for keepsake. So when she's 14 years old and can't stand her older brother I can look back and say, "I remember when you were 2 months old..."

And then she'll roll her eyes and walk away as I run to check the blog archives for evidence.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Justin Milestones XXIII

It's official. Justin has achieved (drumroll please...) Big Boy Status! He has joined the ranks of the potty trained. As for the progression, we first took forever just teaching him the idea of what the potty is used for, then he used the potty chair for about 2 or 3 weeks, and the potty cushion on top of the toilet for another week or so... but quickly got hip to the fact that mommy and daddy don't use either one... so both got boycotted as he proceeded to master the art of toilet balancing...

Hilarious. In any event, the result is the same: Justin now wears draws... ahem... I mean underwear. We are so proud of how he did with the entire process that we are just beside ourselves. I would've never thought that it would go so smoothly and so quickly (granted it seemed like forever when we were scrubbing carpet stains for days in a row...) but our little boy is out of diapers... out of pull-ups (which was a phase that I think lasted all of 2 days... size 5 pull-ups, anyone?)... off the potty... off the potty cushion... into toddler briefs... and smack dab on the toilet. I waited an extra week to post, but I knew it was a done deal on his birthday last week when, while soaking wet and playing at the water fountains, he stopped everything, left the fountain, came to get us, and endured the walk to the restroom to handle his business. And he did that twice. That may not seem like a big deal, but I know a handful of older kids (and probably a few grown folk) that wouldn't have thought twice before going right there in the water park (oh don't give me that face... stop acting like you've never peed in the ocean before)... Anyway, speaking of control, the part that surprised me the most is that at 2 years old, he has already figured out nap-time and nighttime control: waking up dry for at least two weeks now. Amazingly, we're still at zilch in the bedtime accident category (which means that tomorrow morning I'll find a wet sheet in his bed... that good ol' blog jinx of mine)... But either way, I've gotta say Way To Go Justin. $60 a month back in daddy's pocket from diaper purchases. You're awesome, kiddo! No, but seriously, we could not be more excited. Congrats to you, Justin.