Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy 2007!!!

New Year's Eve is finally upon us and I can honestly say that I am thankful for everyone and everything 2006 had to offer. What a crazy year! First child, first Christmas, and a whole lot more. Thanks to everyone who helped make the difficult times easier, the exciting times memorable, and the joyful times unforgettable. You all mean so much to our family!

So here's the newest photospread of Tenzin. Rachel and I had intended on sending out a Christmas postcard, but it seems like everybody does that nowadays and we wanted to be different. Instead, we decided on showing off our new baby for the New Year, complete with ssh and sign. As I'm sure all of you know by now, Tenzin has never been a camera-shy baby, and he is actually quite used to clicking cameras and flashing lights...but we now know there is one thing he cannot stand: TENZIN DOES NOT LIKE SASHES. So here he is with the closest expression to a smile I could get. Wishing you all a happy 2007, and many more happy years to come:

And, in case you were wondering, the shoot lasted nearly and hour and a half. Here's some brief, anti-sash photos. I wish these pictures had sound!

Monday, December 25, 2006


Merry Christmas to everyone - East coast and West
the presents were great, the first year's the best!
I loved all the gifts, you all are too kind
but the house is a mess, just like my behind!

Merry Christmas!

James, Rachel and Tenzin

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bad Parenting

Baby is sent through X-ray machine at LAX.
A woman places her month-old grandson in a bin for carry-on items. Doctors later determine he did not get a dangerous dose of radiation.

By Jennifer Oldham, Times Staff WriterDecember 20, 2006

A woman going through security at Los Angeles International Airport put her month-old grandson into a plastic bin intended for carry-on items and slid it into an X-ray machine.

The early Saturday accident — bizarre but not unprecedented — caught airport workers by surprise, even though the security line was not busy at the time, officials said.

A screener watching the machine's monitor immediately noticed the outline of a baby and pulled the bin backward on the conveyor belt.

The infant was taken to Centinela Hospital, where doctors determined that he had not received a dangerous dose of radiation.


Monday, December 18, 2006

By the way....

Yes, this was the day that that caused the night of craziness. But the lighting was good, yes?

And....some pictures.

Sorry, I knew this is what you came here for...PICTURES!

If you want to see them bigger, just click the image.

If you want a copy, we accept Paypal*

*just joking, you all know you're getting pictures for Christmas!

Warm in Ohio, Cold in the Crib

Great week, but a horrible night. Never again will I wake up Tenzin from a deep sleep.

Last night, the Simpson’s were long over which only means one thing...we can finally go to bed.

Exhausted after a long day of walking and window shopping (it was almost 70 degrees yesterday!), I was ready to slip on the jammys and crash. It had been so warm that day that I was able to turn down the thermostat to try and save some moolah. The house wasn’t necessarily cold, but a chillier-than-usual 68 degrees. Apparently, Tenzin is more like his mother than I thought...he awoke to find himself in the Arctic Circle. Without pants.

Mistake #1: Let sleeping babies lie. Tenzin has been absolutely awesome this week, giggling and responding to Mama with smiles and laughs and grins. He’s even taken to the crib, sleeping for more than 3-4 hours at a time. It’s been amazing week. I seem to have forgotten, however, that parenting contains both good days AND bad...6 good days is one day short of a full good week and my chickens were, admittedly, counted far too soon. Instead of abruptly rousing my son from a sound slumber, I should have instead stepped back and reflected on the wonderful week we’ve had. Maybe then we could have made it till midnight.

Instead, I pulled him from his favorite vibrating chair (a purchase I’m STILL not allowed to make for myself) and took him straight upstairs. Seeing on the walk up he was cold, I brought him into the bedroom and tucked him under our sheets while I scrambled for the remote (The Simpson's were over, but Family Guy was mid-commercial...a double episode...gotta love cartoon Sunday). Now, while Mom and Dad might enjoy the crisp nip of a winter's bed sheet against the skin, Tenzin definitely does not. Do you remember Janet Leigh's bloodcurdling scream in the movie Psycho? Apparently she studied under Tenzin. He wasn't just cold, he was colder.

It was so loud that I was both concerned AND intrigued. A combination of: "What is wrong with my child" - mixed with - "How and the heck does something like that come out of a mouth so small?!?!" Thinking that it was probably better to comfort than experiment, we decided a diaper change and a bounce might help.

Mistake #2: Stripping down a cold baby will not warm it up.
Earlier in the day, the evening light in the nursery was awesome. I couldn't help but grab the camera and start shooting pictures. The light proved to be a touch too dim so I grabbed a lamp out of our bedroom and set it up next to the changing table. Much better for the pictures, but a simple, but costly, mistake. After the photo shoot was over, I failed to realize that I forgot to plug the baby wipe warmer back in. This might not seem too calamitous, but when your child is A) woken up abruptly, B) cold and tired, C) placed into cold sheets, D) stripped down to his circumcision, and finally E) sponged with frosty baby wipes, he is NONE TOO PLEASED.

I take full responsibility.
Hell hath no fury like the wrath of a baby scorned.
10 hours straight of pure madness.
He could make a colic baby look comatose.
No relief. No comfort. I had created a monster.

When I left for work at 6:45 this morning, Tenzin had yet to pacify his fury. By this point he had, however, managed to squeal himself down, still grumbling between coos and whimpers, still showing a disdain for dad. Rachel was cuddled in close by his side, still exhausted from nighttime feedings and comfortings, still undoubtedly hiding a similar disdain. Neither was technically "asleep" per se, but rather hiding their weaknesses from the other, resting with one eye open, waiting for Round 14.

So to both of them, I'm sorry.

Tenzin, from this point on I can promise you this: If you are sleeping and happy, you can stay sleeping and happy.

And Rachel, if you read this before you go downstairs, there's no need to touch the thermostat. I kicked it back up before I left for work.

Today's forecast: sunny and 88 our living room.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Tenzin In New York City

Well, it's Christmas time...time for one of my favorite things: PARADES!

In light of his recent weight gains and gassiness, we're putting him to work! Best thing is, he fills himself with his own gas!!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Daddy Things

72 Things a Man Should Know About Fatherhood (from - Thanks, Jared!)

1. Don't worry, your dad didn't know what he was doing, either.
2. No, no--not that Spock!
3. Second thought, maybe you should worry.
4. Never tell anybody that you and your wife are "trying." We really don't need the visual, that's why.
5. Never tell anybody where your child was conceived, how long it took, or what song was playing.
6. Do not name your baby after cities, geographical points of interest, features of the solar system, seasons, plants, animals, or current television stars.
7. Your child, at birth, already has a deeply complicated relationship with his mother, and, for the first year, you are only a curiosity.
For a couple of years after that, an amusement-park ride.
Then, a referee.
And finally, a bank.
8. If you want to subject your son to the unkindest cut, insist on a local anesthetic, since many pediatricians don't bother to use one. The anesthetic is for the kid.
9. Baby gas is lessened with a good nipple connection during feeding, which decreases air intake.
Assuring that his lower lip is flipped out, not pursed, helps.
10. There is nothing wrong with thumb-sucking, which helps ease the pain of teething.
Nonetheless, it probably ought to stop by kindergarten.
11. Diaper-rash remedy: Expose baby's hydraulics to the air until dry. Soak baby's bottom in tepid water with a half cup baking soda. Then, Balmex. Or Lotrimin. Rediaper.
12. You know how they say you'll get used to diapers? You won't. Unless you wear them a lot.
13. Forcing children to use toilets will make them dislike toilets. Children begin using toilets when they tire of that not-so-fresh feeling. Of course, this is long, way long, after you tire of it.
14. The start of crawling: usually begins between six months and twelve months.
Standing: usually between nine and twelve months.
Walking: between twelve and fifteen months.
The onset of the above, as with all developmental skills, is hugely variable among individual children.
15. Avoid walkers, not only because they can be dangerous around stairs but because they don't require a child to balance and thus retard his walking progress.
16. Reason boys are better: They cannot get pregnant.
17. Reason girls are better: They're less likely to get arrested.
18. The threat of an unknown punishment is always more effective than a stated one.
19. Annals of great punishments: Hang favorite toy doll from a noose! That was a joke, Dad, a joke.
Annals of great punishments, for real: making him wash the car, clean the bathroom, and watch The McLaughlin Group. You see, all great punishments should reduce the number of disagreeable tasks you would otherwise have to perform.
20. Teach by example.
21. Your kids can develop an independent sense of good taste only if they're allowed to make their own mistakes in judgment.
22. Relax: Lots of little boys want a Barbie and a dollhouse.
23. The first time you change your son's diaper and he pees all over you is not an accident. It's foreshadowing. 24. Children of too-strict parents are more likely to develop tics.
25. Let them take reasonable risks: A few scrapes in the long run are nothing compared with the scars left by hovering parents. Or tics.
In preparation for risks: a Red Cross first-aid course.
26. The most common cause of fatal injury among kids between five and nine involves cars, which is to say, hold their hands. And buckle them in.
27. Try to tuck them in every night, too.
28. When changing diapers, avoid baby powder, as it can irritate her lungs. When changing diapers, definitely don't avoid the Desitin--spread it thick, like Spackle.
29. It never hurts to videotape the baby-sitter. Especially if she's hot.
30. Never disclose to other parents that you have found a good baby-sitter.
31. Reason boys are better: They cost less, especially their clothes.
32. Reason girls are better: They're less likely to burn, slash, or chew the clothes they have.
33. Overalls are not only cute, they provide a convenient handle.
34. At a certain point, your child will appear to survive exclusively on peanut butter, french fries, Cheerios, and hot dogs.
35. Dropping food on the floor is a new and delightful skill to a one-year-old, not a deliberate attempt to annoy you.
However, as small he or she might be, never underestimate an infant's ability to project chewed food over great distances.
36. The single most important thing a father can possess: Wet-Naps.
37. NOW, more than ever, don't move into a place without laundry facilities.
38. Children's hobbies to nip quickly in the bud: drums, archery, matchbook collecting.
39. Beware your child's uncles, who will teach your kid dirty words, introduce him to liquor, and give him gifts of drums, archery sets, and possibly matches.
40. It is, of course, your natural right to exert the above negative influences on your siblings' offspring.
41. You are under no obligation to tell children the truth.
Lying to children is, in fact, half the fun: "Oh, that tree? That's a yellow-spotted spickle-gruber, of course."
On the other hand, they do remember everything.
42. Sesame Street.
43. Your bedroom door gets a lock. Your teenage son's does not.
44. Lock or no, please knock before entering, as the disruption of a youth who is spanking his monkey will be twice as traumatic for you as it is for him.
45. Other doors to lock: those on the liquor cabinet.
46. There is only one reason for a teenager to burn incense, and we think you remember what it is.
47. Unfortunately, those books that say motherhood makes women desire more sex are referring to women who are not your wife.
48. No matter how wealthy you are, don't buy your kid a car -- offer to match him.
Ditto for other adolescent big-ticket items; teach the little bastard some responsibility!
49. The previous statement proving you are your parents.
Only -- hopefully -- with better fashion sense.
50. Price of a college education for a baby born in 1999: $200,000.
51. If the real response to his question is no, try this instead: "Go ask your mom."
52. DNA tests are 99.9 percent accurate, but check the ears to be absolutely sure.
53. Reason boys are better: Boys start talking later than girls.
54. Reason girls are better: Boys toilet-train later than girls.
55. The twos aren't always terrible.
Even if they are, take heart, as kids aged three to six generally believe their parents are the most amazing beings alive and wish to be exactly like them.
How scary is that?
56. Establishing savings accounts for your kids and requiring them to make regular monthly deposits teaches them how to eventually become J. R Morgan. The above could prove useful in your dotage.
57. Corny as it sounds, that Harry Chapin guy was right. Then again, you could argue that W. C. Fields was right, too.
58. It's never too early to begin reading to children.
59. Let them read what they enjoy.
60. Except your porn, which your son will eventually steal unless you hide it really well.
No, you cannot ask for it back. Furthermore, you cannot steal his.
61. Acceptable reading material: Dr. Seuss, Where the Wild Things Are, Harold and the Purple Crayon, Curious George, and any of the following by Roald Dahl -- James and the Giant Peach, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and Danny the Champion of the World.
Neither of the following by Roald Dahl: Kiss, kiss or Switch Bitch.
62. Know that by the time your kids are teens, those enormous baggy pants will be long gone, as will tattoos, piercing, and Marilyn Manson.
Of course, by 2015, kids might very well sever arms and legs as fashion statements.
63. Some parents walk around naked in front of their children. These parents should stop it.
64. Nearly all psychological problems result from feelings of worthlessness, which is to say, every now and then make sure that you tell your kid he's pretty great.
65. And never raise a hand to him. But being a good guy, you probably knew that.
66. The harder they play, the earlier they sleep.
67. Never turn down an invitation to play.
68. No toys that require batteries.
69. They never really outgrow the claw. "No, Dad, no! Not the claw!" means "Apply the claw, please."
70. All in all, fatherhood is pretty terrific -- filled with joy and triumph, promise and miracles -- particularly other people's fatherhood.
71. You might think you know a lot about fatherhood, but not as much as you will when you're a grandfather.
72. If you're thinking that fatherhood means the end of life as you've known it, you, sir, are, of course, absolutely correct.

Monday, December 11, 2006

PS: New Kodak Gallery Too

PS If you want even more pics, there are new photos at the Kodak Gallery. Click the link HERE.

Long time, no blog...sorry!

Holy Shiite Muslim, this holiday season is a busy one! Sorry it's been so long since the last blog, but we've been all over the place. Where should I begin?

Well, we had my holiday party Saturday at the Golf Club of Dublin. NBBJ goes all out for these occasions and this wasn't any different. There was a great spread of food, live music, 12 gaming tables with dealers, a picture booth, and most importantly, an open bar. What was most odd was not having a baby strapped to either of us. That's right, it was Mom and Dad's first real night out on the town without Tenzin! Woohoo! Don't get me wrong, we missed the little bugger like crazy...but it was definitely nice to get out and be adults for a night (actually, four hours and seven minutes). Rachel looked stunning as usual, while I donned my least embarrassing (for Rachel) pair of Vegas shades and tux. Unfortunately, she wouldn't allow me to get my afro wig out of coat-check. Per usual, we had a great time.

We've had some great days with Tenzin lately (greater than the usual great). We are slowly weaning him off of the co-sleeping and working him into his crib. It takes some MAJOR coaxing, but he's finally starting to get into it. We're averaging about 2 hours at a time before he starts grunting and groaning. You can tell that he's finally gaining some independence from his ability to recognize people, and he's no longer freaked out to be by himself. If he gets nervous, usually just the familiarity of our faces will pacify him and he'll calm back down again. Rachel's much better at it than I am, though. He LOVES his mama.

Here's some sample videos for you:

The Waking Up Dolphin Coo

The Unsure and Nervous "Help Me" Coo

We also just recently bought our first FAMILY Christmas tree! This is the first year we didn't meet up with my parents and the Rayo family. We usually go out to a local tree farm and cut one down "old school." The farm is awesome, supplying everything from the handsaw to the hot chocolate. Sadly, the farm has been over-chopped and there aren't many mature trees left. We tried to sync up schedules and head out to a different farm, but our calendars just didn't work. So on Sunday, Rachel, Tenzin and I went solo to a local garden nursery and found a nice 6 footer. Tenzin enjoyed it so much he tired himself out and slept…pretty much the entire time. A part of me almost wishes he HAD been crying. That way, it's easier to persuade Rachel that it's time to go. That woman could live in a greenhouse!

Lastly, the webcams are officially working! Aunt Ashley and Grandpa Thomas had their first webcast with Tenzin (on Yahoo it and we'll conference you in!). He performed for the camera like movie star, making faces and busting his patented "Electrorock" dance moves. I think Aunt Ashley could have watched for hours even if he wasn't doing anything. Have no fear, Ash, we'll be out in Orange County at the end of February! You'll get your Tenzin time in no time : )

Here's some pics to tide you over till I can think of more to write. I'm running a little low on mental creativity.