Saturday, April 30, 2011

Resurrection Sunday

Last Sunday, I resurrected my tripod and we snapped a few backyard photos of the four of us for the first time in a long time. Mommy also donned (i.e., blew the dust off) her arts and crafts hat as she got creative with how the kids celebrated Easter. I just knew that her crafts were going to be over their heads, but she proved me as wrong as wrong can be. However, in my defense, I didn't know until after the fact that they had been working on the lessons all week in my absence (I've been hoodwinked!). The point is, I was blown away by how much Justin was able to tell me about Jesus's resurrection, His crown of thorns, what happened on the cross, the "stinky wine" they tried to make Him drink, how Judas took money to sell Him out, how the tomb was empty 3 days later, and how the cookies that he baked with mommy were like the resurrection because the tomb was sealed and was later found empty (the cookies rose as they baked and became hollow in the process). The list goes on. I just sat there with my mouth open in total disbelief. You got me, mommy. I am sorry that I doubted your skills. Nice job. The only problem is, now you've raised the bar. Now I'm expecting a full-scale production / broadway play for Christmas this year. Maybe Jasmine can play Jesus again. Good luck.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

BabyWatch3: It's a...

On Wednesday we had V's 20 week check-up, which (as I mentioned 2 entries ago) marked our grand opportunity to find out the baby's gender. What I didn't mention was that, this time around we decided to actually find out... but not on that day. With everyone being sick, and me having a rough workweek, we just weren't ready to give the potential news the amount of excitement that it deserved. Plus, psychologically, I'm not 100% sure we were ready to break our 2-for-2 trend of not finding out (because once you know, you can't "unknow")... but we were close. So instead, we had the nurse write down the baby's gender on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope. Surprisingly, she didn't look at us like we were crazy (though she might have been thinking it). So we took the envelope home, keeping it tucked away in mommy's pocketbook. And there it stayed... taunting her like a little kid with a secret every time she opened it... screaming in silence, "I know something that you don't know"... (not really... but it sounds good)... until this weekend... until we called the kids in the room, handed Justin the envelope, braced ourselves, and sat in giddy suspense until he opened it and read it to us aloud...

It's a.... in the words of Justin, "I dunno".... And he honestly didn't... because although he knew how to spell both "boy" and "girl"; we overlooked that he wouldn't be able to read either word in cursive script (d'oh!). And so he handed the envelope to daddy, and with great joy (and a dash of trepidation) I was able to announce....

(Click on the photo to find out the verdict). So now we can look at the last 20 weeks of this pregnancy and say bring it on... because if nothing else, now we can name this hurricane. But seriously, here's to a fun-filled life as a family of five. This time in our lives is truly something special.

BabyWatch3: 20 Wks II

Daddy's Turn:

1. What sex do you think the baby is, and why?

I'd bet the house that it's a girl, and here's my reason: Suppose that being pregnant could be equated to a sunny day. Then along those lines, being pregnant with Justin was like a light rain for V; perhaps with an occasional thunderstorm. Being pregnant with Jasmine? Now we're up to hurricane winds and torrential rain. This 3rd pregnancy? Picture a tsunami wrapped in a tornado on the eve of a volcanic eruption. And that was just the first 10 weeks. The earthquakes didn't start until week 11. Landslides were week 15. So with that, I've come up with the theory that carrying a girl is that much more difficult for V than carrying a boy. With the hormones of two women living in one body, I picture chemical warfare of epic proportions going on in V's body right now; which explains everything she has been going through. Like I said, it's just a theory. It's either that, or I have to blame the fact that the pregnancies have gotten progressively more difficult on the reality of us not getting any younger. And if I do that, then hopes of baby #4 are out the window for sure. So I'm sticking with the hormone theory. A girl it is.

2. What do you hope it is, and why? I have four 4 different perspectives on this one.
  • Angle one is the purely testosterone part of me that says having sons is totally cool. What guy doesn't want his own little crew of knuckleheads to train up in the way of the Jedi. That's just awesome... even though I've got a feeling that Jasmine would handle a light saber better than any of my existing or hypothetical sons would… but that's a different blog entry.

  • Angle two comes from the part of me that simply says having more girls is scary. I guess it boils down to simply being more fearful of the "raising a teenage girl" experience than the equivalent experience with a boy. I could spend 10 more paragraphs there, but I'll move on.

  • Angle three involves the different type of bond I have with Justin and Jasmine. I don't know if it's because he's a boy, or because he was the first born; but for some reason I feel as if having another boy would take away more from what I have with him more than having another girl would take away from what I share with Jasmine. I've thought about this multiple times, and don't quite understand it myself; but that's just the feeling I get. Granted, I know that whatever we have, all of these things that we worry about "in theory" will work themselves out. It's not like we have to take love away from the first two children to share it with the third. Love for our kids is somehow more like this bottomless jar that a parent always manages to reach into a pull out enough for everyone… and I get that. But these are the thoughts I have. And these thoughts say girl. And finally…
  • Angle four: The get along factor. For Justin, I don't think it matters a single bit. But for Jasmine, I think having a little sister would be the greatest thing in the world. Jasmine is just so hardcore sometimes (yes, we secretly call her a thug around the house). She is the consummate tomboy by virtue of having (a) an older brother that loves to thrash and (b) a dad that throws them both around like beanbags. And she loves every minute of it. But I think a little sister would give her the balance that she needs to feed that inner girlie girl that comes out from time to time. She loves babies (she'll change a diaper in a heartbeat… even if the kid is older than she is) and she's an incredible help. And I could just see her bonding with a little sister for life from day one. Given a little brother, on the other hand, she might punt him like a football.

So with that… I've got two "emotional" votes for boy, and two "logical" votes for girl. Take away the labels, and we're tied at two apiece. Which means I'm going the politically correct route and calling it… a tie. What a cop out!

Friday, April 22, 2011

BabyWatch3: 20 Wks

The halfway mark. I wish I could say that it'll be smooth sailing from here, but things just haven't seemed to let up for my deliciously pregnant wife. As I mentioned earlier, her ever-present pregnancy ailments are currently having a tea party with bronchitis; and the misery-go-round just keeps on spinning. At 20 weeks, we've also come upon the great question that we had to answer twice already concerning the baby's gender: To find out... Or not to find out. As you know, we've played the "not finding out" role twice already; and before we went one way or another with this baby, I asked her two questions about the gender. Here are her answers.

1. What sex do you think the baby is, and why?
Assuming that the patterns we've observed about my pregnancies are correct, it's probably a girl because of how miserable I have been. My pregnancy with Jasmine was considerably more uncomfortable than my pregnancy with Justin (which had its own set of discomforts, some the same, but not nearly as intense). Of course, I could just be more miserable because I am older now and it has nothing to do with the sex of the baby - who knows?! LOL!!

2. What do you hope it is, and why?
For the last several weeks I've been saying that I wanted a boy because I don't know if I could handle another strong-willed, independent girl. However, as of the last week or so, I can honestly say that it doesn't matter. I had to be reminded that God knows best and would not give us more than we could handle - but that's a blog entry all by itself! So, once again, I'll take another healthy baby - boy OR girl. Can I put in an order for an early, but full-term delivery? That would be a request I would not pass up!


Stay tuned to my responses to the same two questions.

Happy Birthday!

Jasmine Olivia turned two-years-old this week. Unfortunately, my three amigos all chose the same week to have everything from a runny nose to bronchitis (that would be mommy with the bronchitis, btw). Nonetheless, we celebrated with as much fanfare as we could muster, and managed to still have a good time. We started by stealing a page out of Kellan's birthday playbook, and had the kids make their own pizzas for dinner. We got through that, and almost made it through all of the presents; but Jasmine didn't make it to the finish line. She got through the cake, about 2 presents, and then fell asleep in the midst of watching me assemble her doll's new high chair. But that just meant that it would be there for her to play with in the morning... right after her doctor visit and first dose of antibiotics.

Today, we topped off the workweek with her 2-year-old check-up and got the usual bobble-head doll stat line that we get for both of our kids when it comes to percentiles on weight, height, and head circumference (4%, 57%, 85%). Other than that, she's got a clean bill of health. As for our everyone else, mommy seems to be on the way to a speedy recovery after some antibiotics of her own, and I think Justin won't be too far behind her. Just in time for the weekend.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Coney Island

Welcome to the Photo Booth.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Jazzy Stones XXI (a week shy of 2 years)

Separation anxiety is the flavor of the day for Jasmine Olivia. It's been at least a month now that her universe has decidedly revolved around mommy. I want mommy. I wanna go with mommy. Sit down with me mommy. Lay down with me, mommy. Where's mommy? Mommy coming? No daddy... I want mommy do it. Help me mommy... you get the picture. Because in Jasmine Olivia's world, there is a fine line between "I want nothing to do with you ever in life"... and "Don't leave me or I'll have a panic attack like you've never seen before"... And evidently, mommy has crossed that line...

for now. Enjoy it while it lasts, mommy. With this little munchkin of ours, you never know what tomorrow will bring.

As for happenings, Jasmine turns 2 years old in less than a week. She's got 8 bottom teeth, 6 top, and 2 top canines that are taking foreeeeeeeeeeeever to finish coming in. They've been at this halfway stage for what seems like months. We'll see what the doctor has to say about that next week. She also stands 34 inches tall and weighs about 22 pounds (sadly just 8 or 9 behind her brother) and still has me baffled at how well she can carry a conversation. You know, at some point I'll stop talking about how insanely advanced her speech and comprehension seem to be for a pre-two-years-old. But evidently, that day is not today, now is it?

One of her favorite phrases of late, is "okay... just a minute"... which his her way of letting you know that she'll do whatever you asked her to do when she's good and ready. Even something as simple as coming across the room... "Come here, Jasmine"... "Um... Okay... Just a Minute"... and then she'll proceed to slowly zig-zag across the room; looking aimlessly around at the ceilings and walls... but glancing at you out of the corner of her eye every so often to make sure you're watching... and (more importantly) waiting... Defiant in everything that she does. Down to the minutia of the most mundane task. That's our little "angel." And somehow we still love her to no end.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Last Dance

... well, hopefully not the last dance... but V and I did wrap up our private dance lessons last week. We had 3 lessons compliments of a Groupon deal that I scored for our anniversary back in December. It was fun while it lasted and, as V likes to point out, it at least guaranteed that we had a date without kids every other week for about a month and a half. I can't say that we're ready for primetime just yet, but I did enjoy sharing in something with her that I know she loves to do but got away from. Now we just have to find a Groupon that'll force us to practice at home before I forget all of my new fancy footwork.

Oh, by the way, check out the 17-week baby bump in full effect. V has officially broken out the maternity gear.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Bacon Makin'

Evidently this recession knows no bounds, as even 3-year-olds (Justin in particular) have been out of work for months at a time (if only we could figure out a way to get some unemployment checks coming his way). But alas, we got an email from his agency, and Justin was back in the zone.

I've gotta say... this kid loves the spotlight. It was easy to be nonchalant about his experiences when he was doing this at 1 and 2 years old since he probably didn't even get it back then. In fact, chances are, he probably doesn't even remember those first few jobs. But he gets it now. He gets television. He gets that he's pretending. He gets that we're squeezed into a really tight room with 2 other people on the set and about 18 other people watching him. And he so obviously loves it.

They did about 6 or 7 takes... none of which started before 10:15 pm, despite a call time of 3pm... but that's a whole different blog entry... one that would be written with a very disgruntled undertone. Anyhow, the first take was uneventful... but by the third or fourth take, he had obviously gotten too comfortable. "Justin the actor" had left the building, and "Justin the clown" was in full effect. Improvisation and the quest for laughs had begun. And as I watched from behind the camera, I thought... how in the world did an introverted math geek produce such a ham? But then I had a flashback to grades 1 through 5... and there I was, in the back of the room, paying the teacher no mind whatsoever. The consummate class clown. Genetics are a funny thing.

"Rob... that was good... but I want you to deliver that
last line with more emotion next time."

"Good job with the lighting, Teddy. Hey, tell the fam I said hello."

Quote of the day:
Earlier in the day, we prepped Justin for his role and explained to him that he was going to have a pretend mommy and a pretend daddy in the scene with him. On the way to the shoot, he told me in the car, "tell them that if I'm going to have a pretend mommy and pretend daddy, that they're going to need a pretend Jasmine, too."