Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Christmas has come and gone and everyone is still one piece. The Baby has had a rough few days with all the moving around and traveling to and fro and it has really affected her sleeping at night. She usually does fairly well and can make it through the night without any issues but lately that hasn't been the case. We like to blame it on the fact that the Baby was really excited about Christmas morning but like any 9 month old child, she could care less. The Baby, however, was pretty excited about the cool toys she received from everybody and she did add a good percentage to her wardrobe as well.

Here in the next few weeks we plan on enrolling the Baby into a Mother's Day Out program at First United Methodist Church. The Wifey actually went to Pre-K there and when we did our surprise visit, the director was her former teacher. It was a good visit, everyone was super friendly, the kid to adult ratio was very low, a 1:3. So we don't have any issues with the overall quality of care and supervision. It's just hard to trust our child with complete strangers and expect the same type of attention the Baby would at home. The Wifey's mother has some health restraints that limits her overall ability to take care of the Baby. And with the Baby beginning to show the early stages of walking, it would be nearly impossible for the Wifey's mother to keep up with such an active baby. The Wifey and I tried to come up with different scenarios with our work schedules (since my work schedule is so flexible) so that we wouldn't have to put the Baby under another person's supervision, but it didn't work out. There are the positives like the Baby will be exposed to other babies her age. She currently does pretty well socializing with her cousin, who is about three months older, but now she can actually make friends. She will also probably get sick but we have been very lucky thus far with the type of care she has been receiving. I'm just a little hesitant with daycare options because I've never done it. Maybe it's a cultural thing but in our family, the grandmother watched the children. I remember when my sister would drop off her kid so she could go to work. My brother in law's mother actually had to get licensed by the State because she was watching all her grandchildren; a number that would equal five kids at one time.

And on a quick tangent, it's pretty lonely to see ourselves essentially "established" compared to our other friends. We are truly the only family amongst our closer friends. We own a house and we have a kid. Granted, neither of us entrenched in a career driven mindset, but we're all very happy. It's a modest lifestyle and it works for us.

But for now, we'll all going to enjoy our time together. The Baby is starting to be more talkative and can stand by herself unaided for upwards of ten seconds. The Wifey and I are just fascinated by how much she is growing and we love that we can see her little brain work. One good thing the Baby has learned is to react when we say "No". It's usually because she has something in her hands that she isn't supposed to have and we'll tell her "No" and she will look back at us, smile, and then hand over what is in her hand. Sometimes I just like to tell her no just to see her face because it's so darn flippin' cute. And some more pictures...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's the Holidays!

The Baby has become a singer. She sings along to the radio, she sings to the television, but she especially loves it when someone sings to her. It just makes her smile every time. I can't wait until she can start hearing someone who can actually carry a tune, she might enjoy it even further.

The family ventured out to NorthPark Center to visit the timeless and famous Santa Claus. He has been doing this for over 20 years, so he is pretty popular, especially amongst Dallas' finest shoppers. The Wifey and I were actually at the mall the previous night to find a Christmas outfit for the Baby with the grandmother. We asked the Santa's helpers what time we should be there to take pictures with Santa and he said, "well, I start handing out numbers at 9am, but there will be a line of twenty people waiting by then."

And he wasn't joking. There were already 40 people waiting in line to get their number at 9am the next morning. So the family and I just walked around the mall and had breakfast and waited until our number was called. Santa didn't start taking pictures until 1030, so we figured we would check in around 1230 to get the pictures taken. As we waited in line, some NorthPark newbies would walk up and casually step in line and act like it was first come, first serve general admission photo session with Santa Claus.

Sorry folks, this isn't K-Mart. Grab a number and come back later. By the time 1230 rolled around, the number was at about 178 (only 195 numbers are handed out throughout the day) and Santa's helper kindly informed #178 to return around 6pm that night for their pictures. And the parents were infuriated. They thought they could just waltz right up to one of the busiest malls in Texas and get their pictures taken. I thought it was nice that the helper was giving them a rough time estimate to come back. At least they could do other stuff for the day rather than wait in line. But I did feel bad for the kids. Their parents get them all dressed up in their finest holiday outfits and go to a mall, where they aren't allowed to buy anything, to wait in line to go see Santa, and then get turned away because their parents didn't have the foresight to plan accordingly. Well, lesson learned kiddos.

We hoped for really cute Santa pictures but I secretly wanted a crying Santa picture. I think those are the best. Once I put the Baby on Santa's lap, she looked at me with a quizzical expression, glanced at Santa, and then freaked the hell out. And Santa played it cool. He just smiled and held her while the camera flashes went off. But at least she has a really pretty Christmas dress, compliments of the awesome grandmother.

 It was a great experience. The Wifey and I debated whether it was worth it to wait three and half hours for this particular Santa. But NorthPark Santa is definitely a professional dealing with all these obnoxious, crying, bratty kids. And then there are those kids who are truly amazed by him and Christmas Spirit and it was just nice seeing the happiness in all the eyes of the children.

In other news, we received our family holiday portraits. Our intention was to have some nice photos we can send to our friends and family. We also wanted to bring out the cheesiness of holiday photos as well, so we decided to find some over the top Christmas outfits at the local thrift store. Unfortunately, due to the cuteness of the Baby, her super cheesy Christmas outfit ended up being really cute and we were stuck with awful sweaters. Either our taste is really bad or style no longer exists. I will let you decide, all pictures courtesy of Carissa Byers.

stink face