Friday, December 23, 2011

Derek's 2011! A Holiday Note

The holidays have really snuck up on us and I can't believe the wholesale changes life with Mr. Derek has brought! In my half-caffinated/exhausted stupor (its almost like being drunk, but not as much fun), I tried to pull together some fun highlights of our little guy's year. Please indulge me as I list some of this down, mostly for my recollection of everything that happened...

Highlights for Derek

* He's become an experienced domestic air traveler! We took trips to San Francisco, Los Angeles and Orlando. He'll hopefully get his passport and conquer international travel in 2012. We're looking to do Montreal (April), Mexico (summer), and a return to one of his homelands, the Philippines, if we can manage it.
* We can hardly believe that in January, he had just lifted his head and now he's walking around. It happened so fast - all this year! Rolling over (4 months), Crawling (9 months), Walking (12 months).
* Dek suited up and attended his First Wedding for Tita Reesey and Uncle Mike's nuptuals at 5 months.
* Cousin time! We've been so fortunate to have family nearby so Derek has spent oodles of quality time with Cousins Elliot (now 22 months) and Mercy (9 months).
* Derek also made his foray into geekdom by attending his first Comic-Con in Baltimore and posing with the Terminator [blame Mike for that one] at 8 months.
* Food! He's almost completely weaned and excited to be eating table food. Though I'm sad our breastfeeding relationship will soon be a closed chapter, Derek has developed quite an appetite. His favorites are chicken, sweet potatoes and spaghetti (and of course, rice - so Azn).
* Infant potty training - Derek has made great progress using the potty. Since we miserable failed sleep training, we thought we'd get this one started early. With the help of our amazing nanny (Ba Kim), she started him on a regiment of sitting on the potty around 10 months. We've had a record of catching about 9 out of 10 poos which has made diaper duty a bit more manageable.
*  Lots of first holidays. For Easter we went to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and brunch. First Halloween - he was a lobster. Though Derek looks so serious and somber in most of his photos, he's actually quite a chatty and bubbly baby.
* First words. I won the battle when he said Mama first at 6 months. However, he didn't repeat it for several months later (unless he was crying in his crib hungry) and all he said was da-da-da constantly. Our nanny has also trained him to say BA-BA-A-BA (for grandma) - which all the grandmas love. We heard him say "Ai do!" which means "Who's that?" in Vietnamese, but Mike claims it was "Hi Dad". Uh huh. Though we do worry we're confusing him with the onslaught of various languages, we're happy to see him babble and socialize lots.

Tini & Mike

Oh yes, us. Those people. We've done OK too. I'm just grateful that we are showering regularly and getting some sleep again. Mike first. His new band, Atoms Apart, a techno-pop duo, has been keeping busy writing and playing shows. They have have partnered with SNRG at some gigs and played in far flung places like Jammin Java in Vienna (I kid) and in Philly at the Asian Arts Initiative. 

Tini's band, the Crash Takeoff stayed pretty active despite life with infant. Mostly because we wanted to spite people that would tell us our lives were officially over - we went overboard. They started the year with an awesome gig at Rock N' Roll Hotel and played subsequently at Velvet Lounge, Bella Lounge and twice with the Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie festival.  CTO is taking a short break as our singer Auds just had a baby.

We're both still involved with Asia Heritage Foundation and somehow managed to help throw a street festival while toting Dekboy along.  I turned 30 this year and had a balloon man and panda at my last minute birthday gig. We somehow remain gainfully employed - Mike as a technocrat (well, programmer with DOJ contractor) and Tini as a bureaucrat (still in the FAA International office). 

Our families are doing well too. Mr. Dinh (Tini's dad) has recovered from his two (that's right TWO) broken legs and is walking again. Grandma (BA) is 95 and doing much better after her bout in the hospital this past summer for a bowel obstruction.  We're very lucky she has recovered and continues to enjoy time with all three great-grand kids.  Jake and Gemma, Mike's younger twin siblings, age 7, are enrolled at St. Ambrose in Annandale so we get to see them often. We're very blessed that everyone is doing well and we'll soon have more family in the neighborhood as Phi, MM and Mercy (older bro, sister-in-law and cousin) move in across the street practically.  Phew - I think that's it. It was a busy year, though all I can remember of most of it is trying to get Derek to nap (which I've learned is impossible).

Lots more adventures in World of Derek to come in 2012 - so stayed tuned!

Tini, Mike and no-longer-baby Derek

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Dinhs *All of Us!*

The entire Dinh Clan! Grandma LE (95 years old), my aunt, my mom and dad, plus 4 siblings and families (Uyen & Joe, Phi, Mary Margaret & Mercy, Mike, Tini and Derek, and Minh-Chau, Ronald and Derek). We could barely squeeze together in the frame.

Dinh Cousins! Derek (13 months), Mercy (9 months), Elliot (21 months). It was tricky getting them together for this. But look here they are in one place, mostly!

Here they are with Great-Grandma. 3 generations apart!
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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dek and Elliot

Cousin time! The boys hang out after Thanksgiving weekend. Derek (12 months), Elliot (19 months)
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

True Filipino

Look at derek's beer of choice! Its his dads favorite too.