Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Having a conversation


"How is your day?"
"What would you like to do?"
"Eat? All day long? Well that's no surprise, you are your father's son after all."
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Monday, November 29, 2010

Post-Thanksgiving with the Marforis


Click on the photo above to view the Picasa album of Derek's first trip to the Dapple Gray house in Woodbridge to see the Marforis.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sling Baby

I've been attempting to "wear" Baby Derek around the house as much as possible when he is fussy and refuses to sleep on his own. Lots of other cultures rely on slings to carry, feed, burp and nurture babies while they go about their business. We inherited the NoJo and Baby Bjorn carriers from Mike's mom. This is the Moby Wrap that we also have. So far its worked the best since it hugs Baby close to the body.

Some days Derek HATES the sling - even though it does help with his reflux. The other day though he took a 2-3 hour nap in it and it worked out ok even though he seemd a bit slumped over. As long as he's breathing (and sleeping!) - I'm a happy camper.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving at Bac Uyen's House!

Though he didn't get very much turkey, Baby Derek did get a big dose of family on Thanksgiving. Great times! Thanks to my sister Uyen and brother-in-law Joe for hosting so I could lay in one place like a lump. They have this awesome massage chair that I took advantage of. Dinner was delicious and it was just down the road which made it even easier on us. Hope everyone had a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving.
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Friday, November 26, 2010

All clean

Ah, here's Derek after finishing a refreshing bath. So far, it doesn't seem that he minds being bathed too much. He enjoys being sponged down and getting all squeaky clean. I don't know how people manage to do this on their own, its like this intense operation that Mike and I undergo to get him properly washed. We're probably making it more complicated then need be. "Watch the neck!" "There's still shampoo on the right side!" "Cover him up, he's shivering!" I'm sure we'll get better at it soon (hopefully).
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another sleepy baby photo

Here is Derek doing what he does best (though it seems he is doing less of it). Sleep! He's taking a nap in his car seat before we head out.

Sorry for lack of updates, we're under this massive project to reorganize photos in the last 10 years into a media server that all the computers are networked too. There are two people that can use computers in my house (Mike and I), yet we have like 8 computers - and A SERVER. Its out of control.

I had photos spread out all over the place on memory cards, various laptops, the netbook, SD cards, videos on the FLIP - so we're consolidating and organizing. Remember the days when you had 24 or 36 pictures per roll and that was it? Yes, I miss those days now I'm trying to go through albums of 200 photos and figure out if these are the same baby shower photos or different ones...

Anyway, Derek weighed in at the Breastfeeding Center at 9 lbs yesterday! He was wearing a diaper and shirt - so probably closer to the higher end of 8 lbs. but weight gain is going well. Some nights he is waking EVERY 2 HOURS to eat (hearty appetite) which is great, but exhausting. I know I should give in and just give him a bottle, but the nazi in me wants to wait a few more weeks. I selfishly like being the only one who can feed him.

In the meantime, for those who care, the Breastfeeding Center in DC is an AMAZING resource for new mommies (snore for others), but they are a great non-profit doing awesome work. I don't know if I would have survived the last few weeks without their classes. The director of the center, Pat Shelly, was actually featured a few years back in the Washington Post as the "breast whisperer". I kid you not.

Here is their website since I'm waxing on about them http://www.breastfeedingcenter.org/. They do take donations so they can help out needy/low-income folks who can't afford very expensive consultation appointments. I just went again yesterday and it was great to link up with other folks and get some "instruction" on how to handle feeding a small human.
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Refusal to Nap

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Though I could stare at this face all day long, I really need to sleeeeeeeeep.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Vital Poop Stats

Hello there. I am guest blogger Mike, weighing in on main Tini's blog. LUKE I'M ALSO YOU'RE FATHER. Ok, I'll stop.

Tini has provided many of the important facts, but I should note some of Derek's hit list. What I'm referring to, is all the times he has sneak attack poop and peed us.

Let's see:

Times he's peed on his own face while sprayiing my shirt with poo: 1

Times he's hit the wall: 2

Times he pooped on his onesie and made grandma run away: 2

Times he peed/pooped right after we changed him: 12+

Times he's smiled knowingly after taking a dump in my hand: Everytime

Thanks son. I guess it begins.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snug as a Bug

Little Derek is making good strides in weight gain after making a pretty big dip in the first few days (which is normal, but still stressful when we were trying to get rid of the jaundice stuff).

Birth weight: 7 lbs. 9 oz.

Left the hospital: 6 lbs. 15 oz (lowest weight)

Pediatrician check up: 7 lbs., 1 oz.

Check-up followup: 7 lbs., 14 oz.

Weight gain check: 8 lbs., 9 oz.!

Most babies regain their birth weight in 10-14 days, Derek is an overachieving eater and gained a whole pound! I'm glad since he was so skinny in the beginning.
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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

First Outing with Dad

Since yesterday's post was so heavy, here is something a bit lighter. Here is Derek only 6 days old and already out and about with dad. See, a true "gentleman" already. We had come from a feeding class and stopped by a falafel joint next door to Camelot.

For those who don't know, Camelot would be one of DC's seedy stripper joints right near Dupont Circle. Mike used to work at 18th and L, so he could literally go to get food-by-the-pound at Sizzler Express (or more popularly known as Sizz-Ex, really) and then around the corner to see some naked ladies if he chose. Location is everything! Now he works in NE near Ibiza and all those other night clubs. Sigh. Can't have it all.

The funny thing is we asked the bouncer if we could take a photo outside and he was like, "well, you can't bring that baby IN HERE." Yes, sir, that was exactly my intention to bring a 6-day old baby into the strip joint.

Well, Mike and Baby Derek seemed to have a nice father-son outing. Not bad for a first.
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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

10 days old

Lunch together as a family.

My mom (grandma), my brother Phi and Baby Derek at 10 days (11/14/10)
When we were growing up, my mom always told me the story of how she and my dad left Vietnam. My sister Uyen was four years old... but the real challenge was that my brother was only ten days old. My parents got onto a cargo plane with a bag of diapers and left the whole world they had known behind.  This was complicated by the fact that my dad had been seriously injured on the battlefield just days before (when my brother was 3 days old).   First, they landed at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines .Ten days after they left, on April 30, 1975, Saigon fell. Their homeland was gone.  By then they had been transferred to Guam.  Not long after, my family was just among the hordes of refugees at sprawling Fort Chaffee in Arkansas. When my brother Phi arrived there, he got sick, and so did my mom. Phi ended up being the first patient at the Fort's military hospital. My dad waited in line for 2-3 hours at a time, several times a day, to pick up formula for my brother because my mother was too sick to nurse. At one point, the guards insisted that my father bring the baby to "prove" that they needed the formula. My dad erupted in anger. He argued back that it was ridiculous to stand in line for hours with a sick baby just so that he could be fed. Ultimately, the guards gave in and gave my dad the formula without having him bring Baby Phi. But they did this, day after day. This was before we were sponsored by Rusty, my dad's war buddy, to Manhattan, Kansas.  Talk about culture shock - from Southeast Asia to America's heartland. But they adapted, they persisted, and eventually succeeded and thrived.  Its strange to now think my parents have been in the US longer than they lived in Vietnam.   The Vietnam they grew up with and the one I heard stories of, is one that no longer exists. I have never had the strong urge to reconnect with modern Vietnam, because it is not the one of my parents memory. For me, its not the homeland that I wish to return to.

I always thought my parent's story was amazing, even as a child.  It resonated with me about the sacrifices that a parent makes and when faced with tough choices they always do the best for their children.  I know I was born into a different time, when they were settled here in the States. I was the very first US citizen to be born into my family. I could run for president! I tried to be grateful growing up, knowing the circumstances of how our family came to America; how we were among the "lucky" ones that didn't go by boat, were separated by years or lost family members to reeducation camps or worse. Of course, the story took on a completely different meaning when I now actually had a baby that was born into very fortunate, abundant and welcoming world. I could barely imagine how my mother was feeling or how she could have carried a 10-day old infant and 4-year old, sitting on the bench of a C-141, an aircraft suited to carrying equipment, not people to an unknown destiny -- unsure of what was ahead of her. She left behind her mother, her sister, her home and all worldly possessions, only with the hope that she was doing what she and my dad knew would be best for their family.

When Derek turned 10 days old, I asked my family to just get together to be grateful that we are still a family and to remember a bit about the story of how our family left Vietnam and eventually made it to the US. I thanked my mother for being the amazing woman she is and for always being an inspiration and role model. I thanked my father for always being a wonderful man, the strong support and pillar that we needed to be successful in our lives.
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I'm too cute for my swaddle.

I'm never going to get tired at looking at this adorable face.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Visiting with the Marforis

Here is Derek hanging with Mike's side of the fam. Apologies to Tita Lisa who didn't get a chance to hold the guy while we were all scarfing down our delicious food from Atillas. Also to Tito Erik whose photo with the little guy is still on Mike's phone. Can't wait for the rest of the Marfori clan to hold him too :D
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

With his (Fairy?) Godmother

Uyen is my older sister. In fact most people know that because we share a name --the whole, she's Thuy Uyen, I'm Uyen-Minh and little sister is Minh-Chau... so complex-- its why I go by Tini b/c its so much easier to figure out which sister I am.

Mike and I asked her to be Derek's godmother because we know she has alot of love to share with our baby and also, she's an attorney which might be helpful one day if our boy decides to be a hellraiser.

Last night she was on her way to the ball (literally, her and her hubby Joe were going to the Marine Corps Ball) and I thought it would be funny if she could come pose in her fancy dress fairy godmother-style with baby. She was totally up for it and here she is in her dazzling gown and Derek rewore the duckpants for the occasion.
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Bath Time with Lola

Derek getting the sponge bath from his grandma! Inay (that's mom in Tagalog) has 4 kids and is a nurse. She could do this stuff in her sleep so I asked for her help in getting Derek cleaned up a bit and his nails trimmed so he'd stop clawing his face out accidentally.

Just a dip of water here.

File your nails a bit.

Almost there. Just lay still a bit longer.

Ta-da. All squeaky clean (for another day or so). Yay!
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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Happy (Belated) One-Week Birthday to Derek!

Our little boy turns one week old! November 11, 2010
Aren't I just precious?
Doesn't he totally pull off these duck pants, I mean not all babies could do it.
Already we're becoming cheesey parents that celebrate non-milestones because they are unnecessarily obsessed with their kids. Sorry Derek, you're doomed.  We did take these photos on Thursday (Nov 11), his one week birthday. Look how much bigger he is already!
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Derek's parade of adoring fans

Being held by Bac (Uncle) Phi

Getting changed by BA (Grandma)

Hanging out with Dad and Blueberry the bear

Being cared for by Lola (grandma).
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Derek's E-Annoucement

For those who didn't see this...

That's Derek with his Great Grandma who is 95 this year!  Thanks to Bac (Uncle) Phi for putting this together to share with our friends.

Introducing Baby Derek


This is our baby, Derek Thien Dinh Favila, and he decided to arrive about 4 days before his due date after an intensely long labor (more on that story on another post). He's a "townie" baby - b/c I (Tini) was born at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington and now following in my mom's footsteps - I had my baby there too. Everyone asks why I wanted a natural birth and part of it is I wanted to continue the birthing tradition in my family (no drugs, just yelling). Plus, I didn't like the idea of knowing I wasn't as tough as my mom. So I sucked it up and all the months of preparation paid off.

Born November 4 at 8:35am.
7 lbs. 9 oz.
20.6 inches long
14.2 inches head circumference

More to come soon about his first week after leaving the hospital.