31 December 2006

More Egg, Please...

One of the regular morning traditions that Trinhity & I have -- this is the Daddy typing -- is to eat breakfast at La Madeline, a local French bistro. Although the clientèle is usually rather stodgy and gray, the food is good. Most importantly, LeMad has the distinct virtue of opening at 6:00 AM, an hour that Mama would prefer never to see.

One morning just after Christmas when Mama was asleep, we slipped outta the house and made a LeMad run. Just as we were finishing the eggs, a nice little old fur-and-bangled lady rambled over and gushed something like, "Oh, it's just so wonderful to see you young fathers out with your children. My, my, isn't she a doll? That's the most adorable hat...and I just looove those shoes!"

Actually, she wasn't so little. She had numerous chins, drooping jowls and her thick blue eye-shadow would've been more fashionable back in 1985 -- on a 14-year old. While she was chatting, Trinhity started pointing at her and using a sign: she put the back of her right hand under her chin and flapped it up and down.

She uses that sign to mean two different things: either "dirty / gross" or "elephant". We usually know what she means by the context; in this case, I wasn't so sure.

The lady asked what she was doing. "Er, she's using sign language," I stammered. "Well, what is she saying?" she crooned.

Uh-oh. "Ahem...erm...I think that means, 'more egg, please'."

Suburban Stroll

Trinhity & I regularly stroll over to get the mail, and sometimes we wander a bit further. She usually tells me where to go.

Sometimes we plop down on the curb to read the mail.

And on this particular stroll we found...bears. Polar bears, in fact...in Houston. Hmmm.

10 December 2006

Holiday Fashion Show

Apologies for the long gap in picture postings; it's been a rather busy month. We are, however, back on track now: here's the official 2006 Holiday Fashion Show.

03 December 2006

An Apple Tail

We've been working not only on signs and words for foods and animals, but also for various body parts. She has a sign for apple: she points to her cheek and rotates her hand; close 'nuff to the ASL version for us. She also has a sign for "tail"; she points to her posterior...and laughs.

One morning last week, Trinhity was eating an apple. She did her sign for apple, then pointed to the stem of her apple, then pointed to her butt...then laughed.

Translation: "Look Mommy, this apple has a tail! Hee, hee!"

Little Pieces of the Sky

On our last trip to Austin, David (as in Pulkingham, Trinhity's godfather) gave us a CD from one of his bands: Little Pieces of the Sky by the Crying Monkeys. It's a compilation of some 18 pieces of choro music ("cry" in Portuguese), a fairly obscure but intensely charming genre of 19th century Brazilian jazz.

Last night we threw a minor dinner party for another transplanted couple we know here in Houston who has two kids now. Like us, they like to think that they also used to have lives. I kicked Little Pieces of the Sky the whole time they were here, but I wasn't sure if anyone actually listened or not.

When it came time to dance Trinhity down to sleep, I went to put on her usual easy-listening sleepy-time choice: the Crazy Frog techno remix. But then she saw the Crying Monkeys jewel case and suddenly decided that she'd prefer a chorinho instead. She likes monkeys, you see.

She did her little reaching arm jive thing to the first few bars of Noites Cariocas ("Rio Nights"), then sacked out on my shoulder. Pedaçinhos do Céu ("Little Pieces of the Sky") started; she perked up, quirked her head and said "Yeeaaah", then went back to my shoulder. A third tune started...she popped up, shook her head violently, said "Nooo.....baaaah!!!" (back) and demanded that I play the title track again. She was sound asleep by the end of the second round.

It turns out that someone *was* listening last night.

I was amused that she'd taken a shine to techno and hiphop, both of which I originally despised but have come to genuinely enjoy over recent years. But at 18 months for her to have strong opinions about a venerable form of Brazilian jazz? I'm rather pleased.

26 November 2006


25 November 2006

Stripes, Spinning

More of this stocking hat, just can't get enough. Again, the footage isn't spectacular...but the spinning is extraordinary!

Stripes, Stationary

It wasn't actually cold enough to merit all these wintery clothes, but this hat is just so bloody cute...

24 November 2006

Thankgiving Bones

We didn't go overboard for Turkey Day this year -- heck, we didn't even make our traditional turkey egg-rolls. But for those of you who know Huong well, this will make perfect sense.

22 November 2006

Austin, again

We managed a quick work + pleasure trip to Austin last weekend. Good fun, got to see a lot of dear friends and kick around in town we truly enjoy. David (Trinhity's Godfather) & Kathy kindly whipped up a splendid dinner, and we spent a couple great hours hanging with them.

Naturally, they invited our old mutual friend Carlos Vives along; his presence instigated this video clip. Apologies for the hideously poor quality, but there are two gems here:
  • First, the part where Trinhity methodically sets down each of her maracas and picks them up again. She did that several times over the evening; I don't have a clue what's going on in her head, but there's clearly logic to it. Perhaps this won't make sense, but it's those little things that captivate me most about this precious creature. She's got ideas about stuff...someday I hope she shares some of them with me.
  • Second, there's that precious little bit of Latin Motion just before she strolls off. Enjoy.

14 November 2006

Mary Had the Blues

Some of you may still be harboring a delusion that Brian is a respectable guitarist; if so, thank you. Unfortunately, this video should shatter that notion.

Alas, I've finally tucked away what remains of my pride to give my precious daughter more airtime. You see, even at a mere 17 months, Trinhity prefers her own tunes to my lame noodling...

08 November 2006

Uh-oh, I did it again...

Here we go again...you just can't keep a dancing baby from dancing.

WARNING: this isn't a small file. Only click the "Play" button if you're using broadband and have a couple minutes to spare. We think it's worth it...but of course, we would.

That's a splendid, sordid tune called "Mary Ann" from Ben Arthur's album Edible Darling. Buy it.

Next Up:
Trinhity's interpretation of the classic Shake, Shake, Shake Your Booty from KC & the Sunshine Band. It'll be tight.

The Great Pumpkin Parent Trap

Before we were parents, we hardly knew such places existed. It turns out that there's an official Texas legal statute stipulating that all parents of children ages 0-6 years *must* visit a pumpkin patch during the month of October.

Whoever passed that law was pretty smart. Not only that, they might well have been on the payroll of Kodak, Sony, John Deere and various sausage makers.

You see, they knew that parents couldn't simply watch their kids cavort in a pumpkin patch. They'd have to take pictures. And video.

Not only that. They knew that most parents would also shell out $6 for a "train ride" in converted stock carts pulled around the ranch by a tractor driven by an 8-year old, and $2.50 for sausage on a stick. Not to mention the pumpkins, of course.

Not that we're complaining, mind you.

02 November 2006


As discussed in the previous post, this year Trinhity has really gotten into the Halloween spirit of scaring people...her ferocious "waaah" is really something to behold. In fact, Daddy has been chasing her around with the video camera for weeks trying to capture this moment.

The result is more bad video, badly edited. But you can at least get an idea of The Great Waaah...

01 November 2006

Hathor Returns

For Daddy, Halloween started with a bang -- quite literally. Given that we just fell back an hour with the time change, Trinhity awoke at some ridiculous time like 5:45 AM and whacked me in the face. I sleepily staggered out of bed with the sleepy child and stumbled down the hall to the guest bedroom where I left her with a sleepy Mama. Then I crawled back to bed for a few more minutes of quasi-sleep before crawling into the shower around 6:30 AM.

Having taught myself the dangerous art of shaving with a blade in a dark shower, I'd left the lights off so as to retain the illusion of sleep. Next thing I knew, there was a blood-curling "waaaaaah" combined with a crash of metal on glass!!!

It quite literally scared the living bejeebies outta me, whatever they are. Not fake scared, either. I mean, I went from near-comatose to wide-eyed, arms flailing, plastering myself to the back wall of the shower. You saw Psycho? Not quite like that -- less blood, more hairy...uh, never mind. Point is, it was damned scary, okay?

When I opened my eyes, of course, I saw a precious little cherub with her face pressed against the shower door, smiling, yelling "dahdah", and whacking the glass with a metal flashlight (torch). How entirely fitting for Halloween morning: to be scared silly by a mere toddler.

Enough babble. You're here to see pictures, right? I'm pleased to announce that Hathor, the cow goddess, has graced us with another visit. Alert readers may recall that Hathor visited us last year about this same time -- except that last year it rained cats and dogs on Halloween Eve (is that redundant?) in Houston. Thus, we invited her back this year for another go...

Those three shots came from a pre-Halloween party at Lifetime Fitness. She won Honourable Mention in the costume contest! We think she'd have won if she'd have mooooo'd.

On Halloween Eve (still redundant?) itself, Hathor made the rounds of the neighborhood with Daddy-O. Most of the neighbors focused on Hathor, of course...but it should be stated that one of the 11-year olds said that Daddy-O's outfit was "tight". Hmmmmm.

Trinhity has been doing this "waaah" thing to everyone for a number of weeks. It's very, very scary. Here we are being uber-scary...

And, of course, here's Trinhity enjoying the spoils of all her ferocious waaah-ing...

16 October 2006

King Louie's Rant

Stop holding your breath...the time has finally arrived: it's the long-awaited release of Trinhity's first music video.

We generally aren't fond of video here at T3 Productions. It takes too long to convert, edit, upload...all that jazz. And if it's not digital, what's the point? Thing is, Daddy's a rotten cameraman, so that means we're usually converting, editing and uploading bad video.

This bad video clip, however, was worth the effort. The soundtrack is a wonderful Latin cover of the classic Louis Prima tune "I Wanna Be Like You" from Disney's animated movie, The Jungle Book. This version, dubbed "King Louie's Rant", is played by Ta Mere, a musical vehicle of Trinhity's godfather, David Pulkingham.

It's a family thing, so to speak. Enjoy.

04 October 2006

Wonder Gurl!!

A very exciting encounter took place at our humble suburban abode last night: we were visited by Wonder Gurl!

Well, sorta. See, the real Wonder Woman wears indestructible silver bracelets formed from shards of the Aegis, the shield carried by Zeus. As you can see, our little Wonder Gurl's bracelets are made from pure gold.

We're not sure if that makes her more powerful than Diana or less so, although she does have remarkable strength, speed and stamina for her size. For obvious reasons, we haven't yet tested whether or not Wonder Gurl can use her bracelets to deflect bullets, blades, punches, multi-vector laser gun attacks, or energy blasts from supernatural beings.

It is said that when crossed, these bracelets form an impenetrable barrier (an ægis in the literal sense) safeguarding Wonder Gurl and everyone under her protection. However, we can say with certainty that the bracelets do nothing to hinder the circulation of certain noxious odors.

As for Wonder Gurl's other wonder weapons and wonder powers, we haven't yet seen her wield the fiery Lasso of Truth, although we think it might come in handy when she turns 16. Wonder Gurl does possess a marvelous Purple Tiara, but it doesn't seem to be made of gold, nor is it exactly razor-sharp. She throws it regularly, but it hasn't yet manifested any lethal boomerang-like aerodynamics.

That said, to our astonishment, Wonder Gurl did demonstrate a use of her bracelets that perhaps not even Wonder Woman has contemplated:

Unfortunately, this innovation didn't prove practical. After donning this bracelet configuration, Wonder Gurl could barely walk -- much less fly.

Talaria (aka The Winged Sandals of Hermes) these are not.

That said, due to her early mastery of Tiếng Việt (shown below, albeit in a non-audio format), Wonder Gurl may eventually become a polyglot with abilities surpassing even the prodigious linguistic powers of Wonder Woman, who has historically struggled with tonal languages such as Cantonese.

On the other hand, Wonder Gurl's harmonious rapport with the animal kingdom and her ability to tame wild beasts leave ample room for improvement.

Give the kid a break...it's not easy being a SuperBaby.

Shameless Marketing Plug: in the very near future, you too will be able to possess the wondrous Golden Bracelets of Wonder Gurl. Check back next week for a link to the eBay Auction.

Diamambiguation: as some alert readers may be aware, both a "Wonder Tot" and a "Wonder Girl" have existed at various times throughout mythological history, particularly the published sort. Our Wonder Gurl asserts no claim to either identity, no doubt mostly because the copyrights have been firmly locked up by DC Comics. So don't sue us, eh?

20 September 2006

Water Baby

Water seems to be a recurring theme in Trinhity's life. She's completely at ease and rarely happier than when she's in the pool...

We're all about dunking the Daddy...and that sorta thing works up a serious appetite!