Friday, December 31, 2010

Passed out in the sling

Too much holiday fun had baby derek sleeping all morning in the sling.
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Eight Weeks!

This serious looking baby is almost 2 months old! He's chubbed up quite a bit (almost to 12 lbs. last time I weighed him at the Breastfeeding Center). He's started babbling more, cooing and taking an interest in things outside of eating and pooing. He's developing those nice chubby fat rolls and has a double chin (he's working up to a third one). He snores during his sleep and sometimes laughs too.
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Sister Baby Swap

That's my sister Minh Chau and her adorable baby Elliot. We deicded to trade babies for a bit at Uyen's Christmas party. Elliot is 11 months old, talking lots and moving all over the place. Derek will have alot to learn from him! I can't wait until the two boys are running next year this time and causing mischief.
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Out and about in Annapolis

Mike and Baby Derek next to Lolo (to the right of the baby carrier).

Mike, his brother Emil, Inay and Baby Derek.

 We had wanted to visit the Naval Academy during the last weeks of my pregnancy where Derek's lolo (grandfather/Mike's dad) is interred. Baby came early so we didn't get a chance to.

For those who may not know, Derek is named after his lolo, Federico Favila. He passed away when Mike and his brother Emil were still teenagers and we thought it would be nice to honor his memory since he will not be there to see Baby Derek grow up.

Lolo was an all around badass from the stories Mike has told me. He was a wild child, drinking vodka when he was 5 and burning down playground at some other point. As a teenager, he lived with an older woman (total scandal). But his dad (Derek's great grandfather, who we'll call great Lolo) was the very respected head of the mathematics department at the University of the Philippines. In fact, he penned math textbooks and was a colleague of Albert Einstein. Great Lolo had come to the US to study at UC Berkley back when very few immigrants were attending college.

So Great Lolo wanted to see his son, Derek Sr., make something of himself - so he signed him up for a nationwide exam in the Philippines. Over 20,000 people took the test, the top 4 candidates won admission to one of the US military academies (Naval, Air Force, West Point or Coast Guard). Mike's dad actually was one of those top 4 candidates and won himself a ticket to the US to study at the Naval Academy.

While attending school in Annapolis, he met and married Mike's Mom, Ginny. They moved back to the Philippines and joined Marcos' Administration (the President/of the Philippines at the time, you may remember his wife Imelda with the excessive shoe habit). Both Mike and his brother Emil were born in the Philippines and spent their early years there. After Marcos was deposed for corruption, Lolo Derek returned to the States. He raised Mike and Emil here until he passed away in 1998.

So here we are a blustery weekend in December visiting Lolo Derek at the Columbarium at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Brr it was chilly, but well worth the trek.

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

My first christmas!

A bit cranky for such a lovely day.
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Derek's One Month Celebration

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Photos courtesy Mr. Thanh Tran - my sister's wonderful father in law.

Many cultures have celebrations before babies turn a year old, in some Asian cultures - its 100 days. For Vietnamese people, its 30 days ("Day Thang"), or one full lunar month. The idea is to gather family together and be grateful for the health and development of baby. Its belived that 12 fairies help "shape" the baby in the womb and will continue to help him grow and learn to laugh, speak and do all kinds of adorable baby stuff.

Here are photos from the special day. Sorry it took so long, I just figure out how to post a slideshow from Flickr. Oh yes, and Merry Christmas Eve Eve!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What's going on?

This was taken last week when it started snowing, Inay and I decided it was too cold to take Baby out to enjoy it, but here he is looking around. He's starting to look so chubby. Yay. Everyone loves a chubby Asian baby.
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Friday, December 17, 2010


I had to crop this photo so I didn't end of flashing the limited readership of my blog, but here is Derek getting wet and wild. He tends to have this habbit of saving up ALL his poo per day, or every two days for one massive mudslide. By the time that diaper is open, a bath is required... there are just not enough wipes to clean up that mess.

I got this new Whale shaped tub (named "whale of a tub" from Fisher price) - which makes bathtime a lot easier since we can stick him right over the sink instead of me continuing to give myself backaches unnecessarily.

Derek is much more cooperative in this tub and didn't even complain since we kept the warm water flowing. Ah, spa bath time.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A sleepy snow baby

It's been ridiculously cold so I've mostly avoided going outside. Though you'd think I would get cabin fever with baby, I haven't. In fact, I love being in hibernation mode. After running around all year, its nice to just stay inside and watch reruns of 16 and pregnant and be glad that I'm a) not a teen mom b) not preggo any more.

The other day, we had to venture out to the doctor's, so we needed to get him into his snow suit. Which I love because it has ears! He actually fell asleep for a bit which made the car ride much easier.

Derek was 10 lbs. 11 oz. at his 1 month check up! He's moved from being around the 50th percentile at birth and now into the 75 percentile. What an overachieving eater! Here I was panicking the last few weeks that I wasn't producing enough milk and how he ends up upchucking 1/2 of everything that I feed him. Well, no more of those worries.

Though he rarely sleeps more than 2 hours at a time, I don't mind it too much and I insist on spoiling both of us by holding him almost all the time.
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Getting to know his grannies (with Cousin Elliot)

Here's Derek at his One-Month Ceremony (more to come about that) with his great grannie and her best friend, Cu Yen, who is holding cousin Elliot, 10 months. I love how Cu Yen, refers to herself as the "younger" sister of the two. Since you know, she's only 92 and my grandma is 95. Well it doesn't get much better than this for them! They were clamoring to hold the babies.

Cu Yen remarked that Derek was so handsome that when he grew up "any cent he has, some girl is going to take it from him." Hilarious. I love that she's projecting that our kid will be targeted by gold diggers.
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Sunday, December 12, 2010

The ultimate dreamboat

What every woman dreams of. Mike gave me the morning to relax on Saturday since this was his first full week back at work. Here he is taking care of business, holding the baby and vacuumin downstairs. I couldn't resist but to take a photo.

Ah, what more could a girl want.
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Thursday, December 9, 2010

One Month Old

How time flies! Our little boy is now one month old! Sorry I've been lacking on updates but the computer server at home has just been resurrected. It seemed my photos were being eaten. More updates about Derek's second month coming soon.
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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Breaking my own rules

Early on, I said, Don't put the baby in bed with me. What if I roll over and crush him. Plus maybe he'll get used to it too much and then he'll be sleeping with us forever. Which isn't the worse thing, but still.

So that lasted all of 3 weeks.

Derek went through what seemed like some never ending growth spurts where some days he didn't sleep all day (but did want to feed every hour). He didn't want be put down at all unless in a deep sleep. So that meant I was wearing him in a sling constantly or just carrying him about the house. Even with all the help we had, I felt exhausted.

One day while Mike was working at home, I just gave in and decided this was the time to learn to breastfeed lying down. I think it was semi-successful. We both passed out.

Luckily I didn't crush him and we both got some very needed sleep.
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

is nothing apparently, because he couldn't stay up to ask Santa for anything. Plus Baby Derek's language abilities are limited at this point. So we settled on just on a photo with Santa. What you didn't see was the 30 minutes before this when he was screaming in the mall and I had to disrobe in the food court to feed him. Ah, modesty. What was that? Lots of firsts today - first time out at the Mall (lots of other babies floating around there), first change in a public restroom (ick! but liveable). And of course, first time meeting Santa.

Derek approaches the one month mark with a lot of good progress. He's starting to get that chubby Asian baby look,that I was hoping he'd develop. I can't believe 4 weeks ago today, I somehow pushed this human out of my BODY. Insane. He's gained weight well (I think he's approaching the 10 lbs. mark using my unscientific method of weighing myself holding him and without him - accounting for clothing weight). After some back to back growth spurts in the last few weeks that almost drove me craaaaazy, he started sleeping at least 2 hours again after some feedings which is also nice. Several times in the last month I thought I was starting to hit a good point - as soon as I thought that - everything seemed to fall apart right after. It seemed I kept going back to the same sleep-deprived Square 1 that made me wonder when things would get easier. The funny thing is so many people have told us that this is the "easy part".
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

First Thanksgiving with Great Grandma

My grandma raised me. She came to the US when I was 2 and was my main caretaker growing up. I always looked up to her - she practically raised her two daughters on her own under very tough circumstances. She was literate, at a time when few women were in Vietnam.

I used to share a room with her until I was about 4 years old. I loved being her favorite that was until my little sister came along. I always felt so lucky to have her around all the time especially when I heard about other kids who only got to see their grandparents for special occasions and holidays. Growing up she was always the good guy, defending me and taking care of all my siblings. When I got to middle school, she moved down the street to live with my aunt. But she was always there for everything.

She's 95 (!) this year. And still in very good health. She reads, keeps up with Vietnamese soap operas and has a busier social calendar than me. When I told her I was expecting, she was over the moon. Though she never really outwardly pressured me to have kids, I know having great-grandkids was something she really looked forward too. Now this is #2 for her. Every time she comes over, she loves holding baby and dispensing her wisdom ("Don't forget to nurse on both sides, or you'll be lopsided" - gotta love grandma).
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