Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day

Click here for the making of a train set. I guess this is what daddy has to look forward to: years of head-scratching and puzzle solving on Christmas morning as I try to turn parts into a whole.

Friday, December 25, 2009

3 Days Early

This year, Christmas came on December 22 in our household (I know... I know... and you're thinking, "must they do everything unorthodox?"). No, we didn't just do it because we could (i.e., since neither of our kids can read a calendar yet and they wouldn't know the difference). Instead, we were just making the best of a frustrating situation that involved blown surprises and idiot retailers (thanks, yet again, Amazon, for sending boxes with the name of the content plastered on the front). Anyway, it was a small celebration, with just a single present exchanged per person. And a nice prelude to the festivities that will take place in about another hour and a half, once the kiddies wake up this morning.

In any event, Merry Christmas to all. And a most prosperous new year.

PS... notice V sporting her new pendant from our wedding anniversary 4 days ago. 5 years in the making. Happy Anniversary!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jazzy Stones IX

It's official. We have finally done away with what is quite possibly the most awkward invention ever created: the infant car seat. Yep. No more infant seat for Jasmine Olivia. She has officially traded it in for toddler seats and restaurant high chairs. And with that, little miss muffet is just beside herself with the fact that she now has the same car seat as her brother (albeit still rear facing for now). And so marks the end of an era... and the beginning of some wholesale listings on eBay and Craigslist as we say goodbye to a host of baby items like the bumbo, infant seats, swing, etc... along with a few things that we should've gotten rid of a long time ago, like the baby bathtub. Even though (I think) I've come to terms with the fact that we're stopping at 2 kids (at least sans adoption), I've gotta say that selling all of the baby stuff is still going to be difficult for me. It's just so... final. On one hand, the sense of "this is it!" might be a little too potent for me to handle... but on the other hand... being just 10 days away from turning 35, I simply have to ask myself 3 questions:

1 Do you want to be the old parent at high school graduation?
2 Have you seen your bank account lately?
3 Remember Jasmine 4 months ago?

... and suddenly stopping at 2 makes all the sense in the world. Not to mention that, with these two wonderful kids, who could ask for anything more. Life is good.

Quarantined pt. III

We now know that pink-eye comes in 2 flavors: viral and bacterial. Need I say more? I think you see where this is going. In short, Jasmine came down with the latter (and luckily less severe) form about 36 hours ago. And if you think keeping 2 kids quarantined is a task, try keeping just one kid quarantined when the two are in the same household. Luckily, mommy was quick to react with an 8 pm visit to the doctor Monday night, got the treatment we needed, and put Jasmine well on her way to recovery. As for the contagion, it looks like we dodged the bullet. The 3 healthy members of the family seem to be pink-eye free, Jasmine's right eye is no longer dripping guck, and daddy is being optimistic about this being the last entry he'll have to write entitled "Quarantined".

Monday, December 21, 2009

Southern Blizzard

While the rest of the east coast was preparing to dig itself out from a record weekend blizzard, we got our usual "OH MY GOSH... IT'S GONNA SNOW IN HAMPTON ROADS!!!" warnings... followed by the usual snow dusting that melted away by noon. In any event, it was Justin's second snowfall (and obviously Jasmine's first) and this time it didn't disappoint; staying on the ground at least long enough for him to conduct an experiment or two.

"Hmm... it's cold... soft.. and easily shaped by my fingers... only thing left to determine is..."

"... is it crunchy?"

Not only did it prove crunchy, but evidently it was very delicious. He proceeded to have seconds and thirds after the first handful. I think he would have cleaned off the whole patio if we let him.

Jasmine, however, was content to stay in the living room and conduct her own experiment of the physical sciences: "Time studies of tensile strength using malleable surfaces" (also know as, can I gum my way through a plastic bottle before they take it away?)

As for what mommy had to say about it all: Don't bother me... I'm clipping coupons.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Sunday Paper

Jasmine "Baby Jesus" Olivia Reyes. Virginian Pilot, Sunday Paper.

For more info and pictures of the Bethlehem walk @ King's Grant Presbyterian Church, click here to visit the newspaper's blog.

Cell Phone Snaps

With final exams ending over a week ago, you'd think I'd have more time to post. But as usual, the end of classes at the University just means more time to do the million and one things that I've put off during the 4 months of instruction. But on the good side of things, it also means quite a bit more time with the wife and kiddies. It's been pretty doggone cold outside, but we've had fun for a change being holed up for the past week or so (usually staring at the walls for days at a time would be enough to drive us all mad). Here are some cell phone pictures of the kiddos wreaking havoc in the bookstore during last weekend's excursion to Barnes and Noble. These two are forever entertaining.

I'll trade you 2 Elmos and a Big Bird
for your puppet book over there.

We're busted... hide the goods.

While I was tending to Jasmine, Justin had evidently taken all of
the stuffed animals off the shelf, lined them up, laid down with
them; and as I turned the corner told me that Dora and
her amigos went "nite nite". I guess they looked tired to him.
Gotta love a child's imagination.

Of course, there are no books worth reading on the bottom shelf.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quarantined pt. II

A germaphobe is defined as any person who is obsessed with cleanliness and defeating bacteria. And on one hand, I'm clearly not a full-fledged 'phobe [I live by the 3 second rule (which is occasionally extended to the 3 minute rule) and will eat a downed potato chip off of pretty much any surface]... But on the other hand, if we go by sentiment alone, then I think I could have become an instant vote-in for the germaphobe club president when I opened my front door last week. In walks a two-year-old that we had agreed to babysit overnight, her nose dripping with mucus and coughing like a chain smoker. And so the fun began. A 24 hour chorus of coughing, and a revolving door on the nose-wiping department. The truth is, given the circumstances, we probably could have done better with quarantining her (lets play a game called "hide in the attic")... but as they say, hindsight is 20/20.

And sure enough, two days later, Justin is in the bed with the chills, a 102 degree temperature, two vomit sessions, and an inability to slow his breathing below 45 breaths per minute. You want to talk about a long night? Kudos to the doctors and nurses that we kept on the phone past midnight. Our only saving grace was that Jasmine slept thru it all. As for the "VH1 where are they now?" update, Justin has been diagnosed with a touch of pneumonia, which is only complicated by the usual asthmatic precondition that he hasn't quite outgrown yet. Mommy is in the bed; itchy-throated and congested. And Jasmine is the entertainment: making everyone laugh by blowing snot bubbles thru her nose while still grinning from ear-to-ear. Ironically enough, I think my only saving grace is that I had the flu (I think for the first time ever) about 2 or 3 weeks ago, and so my immune system seems to be at full throttle now. But of course, as I write this, I'm sipping a cup of tea to soothe my throat that has suddenly become just a wee bit itchy (ugh). So we'll see what happens.

As for now, we are officially in quarantine again here at the Reyes residence. Stay back 500 feet. Or take your chances with the nose-dripping snot-packing posse known as my family. You've been warned.

"We're in this together, kiddo."

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


So Jasmine decided that she wanted to compete with Justin on the modeling and acting front. We told her to start slow... maybe get a role as a giggling baby... or a non-speaking role as an extra, just crawling by in the background... but nooooo.... She couldn't start there. She just had to show up her brother. So what does she do? She connects with a church in Virginia Beach (the same one that hosted Justin's music lessons) and plays the role Baby Jesus in the holiday nativity scene.

Justin... good luck topping that one. I can just hear it now, "Oh you're playing opposite Denzel Washington in his next movie... that's cute and all... but nothing like that time that I played JESUS in front of a live audience of hundreds...". I smell the humble beginnings of a sibling rivalry. As for the nativity scene...

Clearly, Mary has got some explaining to do.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Mommy & Me

Dining room portraits of my fam.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Around The Table

Thanksgiving at the Reyes household. Happy holidays to all.