marley & me

josh grogan's canine book-turned-movie was a hit on the shelves as well as the theaters.  today i'm at home, the first time being with stella alone.  HM has some work stuff to do, so i agreed to watch the little one.  marley & me is currently on the tube and as i was watching i realized something; this book/movie can connect with just about anyone....singles, couples, and families.  there is eric dane, who plays the good looking playboy who has the job of any journalist's dream.  jennifer anniston and owen wilson start as married couple with the story progressing through their lives with not just marley, but their growing family as well.
not marley, but just as crazy?
during the movie anniston says, "no one tells you how hard this is.... everything - marriage, kids.  no one tells you how much you have to give up".  she quit her job to be a full time mom to take care of their 3 children thus resulting in many stressful arguments with wilson being the only working parent.  though HM and i don't have a similar situation, i can relate to coming home during HM's maternity leave and seeing how hard of a day she's had.  and that's just with one child she's watching.  the movie will make u laugh, cry, and appreciate life...all in 2 1/2 hours.  but of course, i recommend reading the book instead.  :)

currently the movie is in the last 1/2 hour and it's a little weird watching how similar HM and i had 'dreamt' about our future as a family.  the grogan's have 2 boys, 1 girl..and a crazy dog.  and i'm not saying it would happen (because right now HM is in shutdown mode!), but we discussed how awesome it would be to have 2 boys and a girl even before we started having children.  the dog was already in the picture.

BUT, for now we will leave things as they are and enjoy everything what we have.

stella's latest:
2 week checkup.  healthy and statistically larger than her bro. 
stella's joker impression.  cute or scary?
taken yesterday by momma.  i love pacifiers. 
and i couldn't forget about calvin (whose been dealing with sickness lately):

the always-classic toddler bathroom picture. 
big brother.  he kisses her goodnight daily. 


48 hrs.

buddy cop films have been around for as long as i can remember going to the movies with my mom.  years before we got the Lethal Weapon and Rush Hour franchises, the world was given comedy/action genius known as 48 hrs.  eddie murphy and nick nolte played such great polar opposites in the movie, they paved the road for future good cop/bad cop interracial films.  i still think turner and hooch is the b.o.a.t.

montage at texas children's hospital pavilion for women.

for standard deliveries, it is recommended that mothers and newborns stay in the hospital for at least 48 hrs.  in stella's first 2 days post-birth life, she has had more sleep than HM and i have had in the last two weeks combined - and deservingly so.  if anyone knows how loud we (HM, cal, and i) are, it would be stella.  her 40 week, 5 day 'oven time' in HM's belly was a front row seat to hearing all the chaos that went on in our house.

stella's first 48 through her eyes:

-04:00 hrs -- before-they-knew-i-was-stella.  my mom checking into the hospital (contractions have already started).
00:01 hrs -- directly out of the oven.  i'm done, but don't stick a fork in me!
00:03 hrs --  my mom's heartbeat is so soothing.  hello world! 

02:30 hrs -- my first bath.  i'm not a fan of soap and water but at least i'm clean...unlike some people!

05:00 hrs -- a handmade gift from the delivery nurse; my first bow cap!

07:30 hrs -- getting weighed.  6lbs, 12oz?!  the first of many 'does this diaper make me look fat?' realities. i'ma true girl. 

11:30 hrs -- quality time with mom as we take in the sunset.   i feel loved. 

25:00 hrs -- my big brother cal visits for the first time.... his warm hand felt great even if he doesn't look happy.  i know he'll watch over me.  i love him already. 

30:00 hrs -- the hospital was gracious in giving my PARENTS a celebratory meal.  you don't see me because they shunned me into a crib to the right.  i'm the one who is born and THEY get steak and cake?  how rude! 

33:00 hrs -- my first gifts.  thanks to the many that stopped by.   my shoe collection has started and i'm aiming for mom's closet space.

46:30 hrs -- prepping for a hospital photo shoot.  auntie NT sure knows how to make me pretty with her homemade bows.  notice my chubby cheeks?

48:00 hrs -- daddy had to do this to me.  why?  because he did the same with big brother too!   

52:00 hrs - ok, so i'm late a few hours on being discharged from the hospital.  i'm a girl; get used to it! 


the princess diaries

Welcome Baby Stella!

born on 7/17/2012 at 9:00am, 6 lbs 13oz, 18 1/2 inches long.
mom is doing very well and baby is already hungry.  thanks everyone for their wishes and support!  did parenting just get that much harder?!  she's so precious...


million dollar baby - LIVE BLOG

5:05am - HM seems to have some great instincts as she felt that the baby was coming after our great meal at luby's.  it put her into a food coma and she woke up 3 hours refreshed and ready to clean.

at around 1am she started to feel some pain.  she did some paperwork while i wrote my previous entry.  after a trip to drop off our little nugget at my parents, we are now in triage prepping for delivery to begin.  6cms and ready to go!
happy morning!
end post.

5:37am - this baby is coming with a quickness.  contractions are shortening and HM is requesting to squeeze my hand more often.  she's got a slight cough which isn't helping.  i know its part of the normal process, but watching someone you love go through so much pain sucks.

after a round of consent forms, HM's OB/GYN is here and now we're waiting on the epidural.  maybe time for some breakfast for dad too...

end post.

6:21am - who is it gonna be?  i didn't get to post this time about our baby name choices.  we decided to  start new with a girl's name...no particular reason in doing so.  for a boy, HM had always liked Connor ever since the first pregnancy.  connor's name meaning is lover of hounds.  fun fact:  calvin's name meaning is 'little bald one'.  well, calvin came out with a full head of hair and actually LOVES dogs.  it would be horrible if we had a boy who came out hating canines.  for a girl, we chose Stella.  fitting since HM's vietnamese name means 'lady of the moon' (she's not 100% on the translation).
we're ready for either of u!
end post.

7:51am - epidural in, pain gone.  we are in the zone folks!  the new Texas Children's Pavilion rooms are quite nice.  Dr is in the room and they tell us we'll have our bundle of joy anytime now.  how exciting, even for the 2nd time around!  any guesses on boy or girl?!

end post.

9:25am - we are fortunate, proud parents for the 2nd time.  the feeling is nothing other than awesome.
eye on the prize

end post?!

The Last Supper

bedtime snack?  
a little known movie in the mid-90's, i believe the last supper was suggested by dark mark back in our movie rental days.  making less than 500k at the box office, this was no blockbuster hit.  the premise, in my opinion however, was quite clever.  5 grad students with different views on everything imaginable were roommates.  they held a dinner every sunday and invited a complete stranger to the house and discussed various topics.  a heated argument occurred in which the guest was killed.  they buried the body in the backyard agreeing that the world was better off without him.  from there on after, the students agreed that if a guest's views were disagreeable to any of them - such as, a priest who says homosexuality is a sign of the devil - they were given poison instead of wine.  cameron diaz is the only recognizable main character along with a few (quite hilarious) guests cameos.  a nice watch for those interested in a good 90's movie laugh.

i bring up the topic of the last supper because it's ALL i've been mentioning to HM for the past week.  i think she's getting tired of me saying, "let's go eat out tonight...it could be our last supper out before the baby!"  and now that it's over 4 days post due, eating at home doesn't seem like a bad idea.  here's a quick rundown of some notable recent meals:

buffalo grille - good stuff!
hong long vietnamese restaurant
lupe tortilla - HM's been a houstonian all her life and she very selective about her tex-mex.
aka sushi -  GREAT happy hour
mia's table - new place for us.  a tad pricey, but tasty.
star pizza - the ONLY place HM will eat deep dish in houston.  a friend told us this was the ultimate "baby inducer".  well, he now owe's me $17.
luby's cafeteria - which we just had earlier this evening. a hit or miss with some people, i'm not sure how anyone can hate this texas classic!

keep in mind, these are just restaurants.  i haven't mentioned that HM has been on this CRAZY cinnabon mochalatta chill kick lately.  and when i mean 'crazy', i mean she's had it at around 5 times over the past week or so.  consider the only locations are in a mall, we (I) have to go to the galleria before closing time to satisfy this craving.  and even though i've gotten back to regular workouts, they quickly become negligible after 11pm trips for mcflurry's and frosty's.  i'm just glad i'm keeping even.

 HM's traveling eats:
greek gyro - NYC food truck

the original salt lick in driftwood, tx.  

famous soup dumpling in NYC

95 stories up in chicago.  tip:  go during lunch.  you get the view, cheaper menu and less crowd!

battle for philly supremacy

sushi in hawaii.  

the best tacos we've ever had - isle mujeres cancun, mexico

dr's orders:  eat a hot dog while at Fenway park!

good night folks - it's 2am and HM has 'a feeling' that something could happen in the next few hours.  will update in the delivery room!



friday the 13th

i grew up a movie fanatic, watching both in the theater and home rentals.  one of my favorite pastimes was rotating friends' houses and watching gory slasher horror movies like the friday the 13th franchise. in the current age of video streaming, i miss driving to the local blockbuster and aisle surf for movies we hadn't seen... and the whole anticipation of popping in a video and being taken away for 2 hours without worry.  kids today have it soooo good, huh?!

today is the due date for our anticipated 2nd bundle of joy and HM is in the living room reading a MKSAP book.  how boring.  in a little while it will be friday the 13th.  HM and i aren't very superstitious so i don't think we'd really mind if the baby came tomorrow.  personally, i'm aiming for the weekend to avoid heavy congested roads caused by recent rainfall.  

our appt yesterday revealed that HM is 3cm dilated which means the baby could come at any time.  she was 4cm when we went in with calvin.  the past 40 weeks have been such a blur that we haven't taken time to 'enjoy' this pregnancy.  we were talking the other night how we used to play Lady A for cal while in the womb as well as talk to him almost every night before bed.  now after putting calvin to bed, HM and i finish chores around the house, watch very little tv, and prep for the next day.  totally different experience. 

two weeks ago, while at work, it dawned on me that we were about to have a newborn along with another child under 2 yrs old.  apparently two under two is quite a phenomenon.  with my sister and i being 6 1/2 yrs apart, she was able to HELP my parents raise me.  i was more of a welcome package rather than someone invading mom/dad time from her.  calvin is so needy at the moment that HM can't even take a piss without having him freak out for leaving the room.  i wouldn't say he's totally a momma's boy as he's shown clinginess to the both of us.  so now as we prepare for an infant and a growing toddler, i feel it's a whole new ballgame.  dark mark keeps telling me that his 2 children always have surprises in store for him.  hope for the best and expect the worst?  

in the meantime, i think it's only fair that i give some update as to what's been going on over the past year with calvin.  a picture timeline should do the trick: 

9 month visit - still a big head (but really 50th percentile)

learning to walk at 10 1/2 months.  you should never want this happening this early.

first plane trip - second city! 

helping mom open her completion of residency gifts

houston texans experience - in a suite! 

foreign souvenirs from mom/dad - don't judge.  and his mom dressed him that day.  i promise.

his pretty cousins taking advantage of his size!  

first MLB game baseball from carlos lee - freakin' lucky! 

1st bday at home.  it was worse than this. 

..... bday party few weeks later. 

graduation to an inflatable tub.  yes - we had been washing him in the sink for a year (mom's idea).  not sure why there are so many bubbles.... 

first haircut.  from momma.  actually not too bad.  his 2nd one from mom was quite hilarious.   think:  asian bowl cut..with uneven bangs! 

beginning of day care.  

being welcomed to the church. 

cal's first pair of sneakers.  rocking' old school adidas! 

with his furry friend on halloween.  mom likes to dress the dog too.  ugh. 

first attempt at training.  he thought it was a joke.... and still does to this day

wait for it..... 



after. like new! 
surgery day.  woke himself up from the anesthesia.  not a surprise. 

as u can see, cal does NOT react well to bug bites.  

cal's official first room.  you have to understand that there used to be BUTTERFLY wallpaper everywhere.  a lot of work went into finally getting it this way!  

tired now....time for bed.  HM asleep so looks like no baby tonight.  sorry folks!