Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Greatest Show

Whenever we take the kids to the playground, I find myself thinking, "is it me, or are these monkey bars way smaller then the ones that I played on growing up?"... and while I'm sure I know the answer (the monkey bars didn't change... I did) it's hard to believe that something that at one time seemed to tower over life itself is now just a bunch of curved metal bars planted yards apart and a few measly feet off the ground. They just seemed so HUGE back then.

Funny how time changes your perspective. Granted, some of it might have to do with the change of venue (Madison Square Garden versus Hampton Coliseum)... but just like the monkey bars, the circus just seemed so bigger-than-life when I was a kid. And when we went last weekend, I found myself looking around thinking... where's the rest? On the flip side, there were countless things (the acrobats, for instance) that I thought were way cooler than I remembered (I doubt that 20 years ago I could've appreciated the talent some of that stuff takes)... but overall, it was a reminder of the virtue of being a child: easily awestruck by the big, the bright, and the amazing.

Nonetheless we had a great time. Jasmine enjoyed it more than we thought she would at 12 months old, and the fact that Justin sat (ahem... relatively) still for almost 2 hours pretty much speaks for itself. In all, a great family outing. Glad to see that the circus is still affordable for the common folk... Which, by the way is reason #24 that I dread trying to take a family of 4 to a major league baseball game. But we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Run Forrest

As of this year, I am officially closer to 40 than 30. Granted, I don't feel "old" yet, but one thing is for sure: maintaining my ability to keep up with Justin & Jasmine isn't going to happen by accident. To make a long story short, I ran my own personal 5K (about 3 miles) this past weekend and wanted to document my sense of accomplishment. So for the record: woo hoo!

Granted, 3 miles is not exactly a marathon (that would be 3 miles down, 23 to go) but it has easily been a dozen years since I've run that much distance, so I was pretty psyched about it. Kudos to V for pushing me to do it (when she came home talking about her new personal best, she should've know I was gonna stretch my distance or die trying). She mentioned the idea of both us training to run a 5K in the fall and has also been diligent with her own exercise as well. So look out world, these two rugrats may not run us into the ground after all!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jazzy Stones XIV

As promised, here is the milestones update that should have accompanied Jasmine Olivia's birthday entry. Yesterday was her 12-months-old doctor visit, which means that I can now report her stats as well as her "cans and cant's". She weighed in at 17.5 pounds and stretched out at 29.5 inches; which are the 8th and 60th percentile, respectively. I think V and I would have both sworn that she was notably taller than her brother was at 1, but she's surprisingly the exact same length Justin was at 1, and 1.5 pounds lighter. I guess our kids don't deviate too much from the mold (we produce string beans, as my parents used to call me).

As for other milestones, at 12 months Jasmine Olivia...
  • has made at least two unauthorized trips up the stairs at home (a feat that Justin never came close to doing at 1 with his overprotective first-time parents).
  • still has 2 teeth with no signs of a 3rd on the way.
  • has switched to whole milk (no more formula) and dabbles with a regular cup whenever mom and dad have the patience to hold it for her. Not a big fan of straws, however.
  • thanks to her brother, has a much later bedtime than he had at 12 months (9:30 - 10ish versus 8ish), but we're working on that. And her daytime naps are also all over the place: sometimes one, sometimes 2, for what [on a good day] is probably a combined 2 hours.
  • will get the occasional jar of food if we are out of options by the end of the day, but has otherwise made the switch from jars and high chairs to table food and a place at the dining room table.
  • (don't tell Social Services but she also) started potty training about a month ago. It started as just an introduction to the potty, but she picked up on it way faster than I anticipated so we just rolled with it. In short, she's doing great. Her last 7 or 8 "number twos" have all been in the potty, and she gets a royal kick out of jumping up, pointing at it, and saying "kaa kaa" with a huge grin on her face. That's usually followed by a sprint to the bathroom and the gleeful opportunity to flush the toilet and watch it all go bye bye. And with her level of awe in watching the water go 'round, something tells me that we better keep an eye on her when it comes to flushing. I can see it now... has anyone seen my cell phone? ... which leads to the next item:
  • loves to drop things on purpose just to have a reason to say what has now become her favorite phrase: "ut oh." We've tried to explain to her that ut oh is not quite the correct phrase for when you hurl a toy across the room like an all-star quarterback... but apparently it has made no difference.
  • continues to remind me of the purported difference between the learning curves of boys and girls. And it could very well be just my imagination (like thinking she was taller than Justin was), but I simply don't remember Justin being so quick with his understanding as she is. She's got a number of words and phrases that she touts quite well ("Justin" is probably one of the clearest. I think she calls him more than anyone else). But she'll also follow a handful of instructions (sit down, stand up, give me your hand, pass me this or that, etc.) and answer questions in the negative with a head nod (do you want more food, do you have to potty, etc.). The other day, she brought V a diaper and sure enough she had to go potty. I just don't remember Justin doing anything besides cracking jokes at 1... but that could be my selective memory at work again.
  • has turned into a giggle machine, walking around the house laughing for no good reason.
  • has gone from shy to inquisitive in a heartbeat, and will now walk away from you in a blink of an eye when we're out and about... unless she's at a MOPS meeting with mommy, in which case she is the neediest, most high-maintenance baby in the history of child rearing.
  • has at least 1 half dozen things that I've gotta get video of: (1) her barking like a dog when you ask her "what does the dog say?" (2) her putting her hands together to pray every time you put food in front of her [even if she just prayed 12 seconds ago... evidently every food needs a new prayer] (3) her delirious giggles and screams when she thinks someone is chasing her (4) her chucking stuff in order to say ut-oh like I mentioned earlier, (5) her responding to her name (if you call her, she says "Huh" in what is to me the funniest "whattheheckdoyouwant" tone of voice) and (6) her knocking on doors with the force of a landlord collecting unpaid rent. Any semblance of peace and privacy that we had in the bathroom is officially out the window. You'd think we stole something from her. So forceful.
Once again, happy birthday to Jasmine Olivia. As she grows up and her personality blossoms, it continues to be thrill to watch these two crazy kids grow up together. We love you!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Birthday Girl

The passage of time and the changes that it brings never ceases to amaze me. We've now been a family of four for 12 months... or 21 months if you count the 9 that V had to lug Jasmine around in her belly. In other words, Jasmine Olivia is now a 1-year-old, and her parents are left to wonder where the time has gone. In short, her party went great. And that's no thanks to me, as mommy planned it singlehandedly from start to finish (it's funny how having that second child will free you from the reigns of micromanagement). Well done, my love, and thanks to everyone who came out to help make it a memorable event. Here are a few photos to commemorate the occasion.

I'll update soon with the 1 year old milestones.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

At The Library

...and I thought we were going to the library for the kids!

Balancing the budget after the trip to the grocery store.

"Dude... you look so much bigger in your books."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


2000 Honda Civic. Tried. True. Ten Years Old.
Two Hundred Thousand Miles.

I bought this car new off the lot ten years ago... and had to have the salesman drive it home for me because it was manual transmission and I had never driven one before... but the psychology behind that is a different blog entry all by itself. For now, the point of the story is that I've had this car longer than I've been a doctor, father, or a husband. My only point is that a lot has changed in ten years. But yet, here it is, still rolling. Lots of miles. Lots of memories. From Atlanta to Seattle, and a boatload of places in between. Here's to 200,000. And perhaps 200,000 more. See you on the road.

Here's one of my favorite pictures of the car. It doesn't show much of the vehicle, but it does remind me of the many roads we've traveled. This one happens to be in Mount Rainier National Park (Washington state) on the way to Carbon River, circa October 2003. Cross country hiking and camping... Let the good times roll.