31 December 2007

The Spoils of Halloween Past

Trinh really caught us off-guard with her post-Halloween antics this year. She really doesn't have much of a sweet-tooth; she never has, although she has discovered M&M's this year. However, we weren't prepared for the carnage, the horror. Perhaps she's taken Halloween a bit too seriously?

Yes, she's about to decapitate a skeleton gummy.

Off with his head!!

Perhaps it wasn't clear enough. Here's a close-up of the action:

It didn't stop there, of course...

That deserves a close-up too, don't ya think?

But here's what really cracked us up -- ah, I mean, what really traumatized us: the mirth, the joy, the vivre with which she carved up these creepy characters...

She's vicious, I tell ya. Look at that face! And to do such dastardly deeds with those cute little frog scissors...it's just chilling.

And you know what she did after that? She piled up those disembodied parts on the poor, innocent jack-o-lantern...and said that they were boooogers! Can you believe the gall?

Well, now. Disturbed as we were (are), we still think it beats actually eating that crap...

Halloween Hoots

It's a heckuva thing to do, post a Halloween blog on New Year's Eve. But hey, whatever. Ya gotta go through Halloween (and Thanksgiving, and Christmas) to get here, right?

This year marked yet another triumphant return of Hathor, the Cow Goddess. Trinh hasn't noticed that she's been a cow for both of the previous Halloweens, and perhaps someday she'll hate us for that. But she does love the costume, as do we, and it still fits.

The hot pink boots were a nice touch this year, we thought. That, and The Very Pregnant Mama-san spent hours slaving away at a scarecrow costume for Daddy. Daddy will probably be a scarecrow for the rest of his life -- but he'll still be grateful.

We were out storming the neighborhood until waaaay past Trinhity's usual bedtime, but we had a *great* time...even if we barely got out of the cul-de-sac. We met up with some of Trinhity's girlfriends from the neighborhood: Camila, Sofia and Faith. I haven't felt so young in decades.

The bigger SuperGirl is Camila, and her sister Sofia is the only slightly smaller SuperGirl. The role of Princess Leia is being played by Faith. Uh, and that's me...Mr. Scarecrow. For those of you who know the joke, it's almost a step up from my usual role as Wizard.

A couple parting shots...

25 December 2007

A Ghost of Christmas Future

Trinh is opening her Christmas presents as I type. A few minutes ago she picked up a big box, and Bàbà asked "what's in there?" Trinh replied, "Oh, I know what's in here. It's a bra."

Brief silence. "Oh, really? Do you know what a bra is?"

"Yes. It's a shirt you wear to be sexy." (verbatim: "áo sexy")

Stunned silence. 14 years flashed before my eyes.

A Christmas Miracle

We still don't have a TV, but Huong's parents do. Several nights ago -- that is, a night (or two) before Christmas, they happened to watch an animated Christmas special that included Santa Claus. Trinh has seen the big inflatable Santas around our neighborhood (she calls them "ông Nô-en", literally "Grandfather Christmas"), but she didn't really know the story.

As they watched, she asked Bàbà "ông Nô-en làm gì?" (what's he doing?). Bàbà explained that Santa flies around at Christmas and delivers presents for all the little kids. She absorbed this quietly.

At the next commercial, Trinh took Bàbà's hand and walked her over to the Christmas tree in the next room. She said, "Look, I already have lots of presents. See, I have 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 presents! Santa Claus doesn't need to come here."

May it always be thus. It won't be, of course. But for this year, it's enough.

15 December 2007

The Annual Pumpkin Patch

Huong found a fantastic pumpkin patch for this year's requisite annual fall photo-op: TGR Exotics. Thing is, it's not even remotely a pumpkin farm -- it's actually a working ranch of sorts for exotic animals (think Bengal Tiger) in a quasi-residential neighborhood between Houston proper and The Woodlands. Who'd have thunk it?

The pumpkins were almost a sideshow; front stage was that precious little joey, the llamas...

...and a host of other little fuzzy creatures. We'll definitely be back next year; the owners and staff were friendly, fun and knowledgeable, and all three of us were fascinated with the fauna. We're even considering giving them a ring to see if they'd run us a quick tour sometime during the off-season. I mean, seriously...have you ever even heard of a binturong, a coendo or a tamanduas -- much less seen one?

Anyhoo, back to the pumpkins...

October Assorted

Got a few fun random shots, still catching up from October....

That one and the two below are from The Woodlands Mall. I'm working pretty much across the street these days, so the girls come up occasionally to visit. It sorta bothers us: The Woodlands is actually a rather twisted, antiseptic Stepford Wives-esque place, but it's got some fantastic outdoor parks with lots of trees and beautiful ponds.

But ask Trinh what she wants to do up there, and there's only one place she wants to go: The Mall. She *loves* the carousel...

Bedtime storytime...

The Pink Polka Dot Room

LOTS of catching up to do. Here are some fun shots from back in October when Sophia, Trinh's friend from across the street, had her birthday party at The Pink Polka Dot Room...

08 December 2007

little bitty tiny baby ouchy daddy

Trinhity & I were out today hanging Christmas wreaths under the lights on either side of the garage.  At one point I managed to sink a couple millimeters of wire deep into the fleshy part of my thumb, and I yelped.

Trinh came running across the driveway yelling, "Why did Daddy say 'Owwie!'?"  I showed her my grievous wound, even squeezed out a trickle of blood.  She took my thumb in both hands, looked at it briefly, then looked up and said, "Little bitty tiny baby ouchy, Daddy."

Then she ran off to play.  Ooof.

01 November 2007

Innocence Lost

There comes a time in every child's life when certain truths are revealed, the fabric of life torn back to reveal the springs and mechanisms of the eternal. With each new epiphany, a bit of innocence is lost, tucked into the folds of childhood "as one loses forever the image in a kaleidescope."

The time is nearing for our first-born child, Trinhity, our beloved little Threes, to shed a layer of innocence and face one of the great mystical and universal Facts of Life. Such a difficult burden for one so young! But we hope that with our patient assistance, she will transition gracefully into this new phase of growth.

Trinhity has been spending lots of time with Daddy these days. She is curious and perplexed by the changes that surround her.

We gently illuminate the complexities of life and love to our little princess. We have elucidated how love, a deeply shared love, can sometimes create life. New life.

She smiles and embraces this idea of new life. You see, she is anticipating the arrival of her new sibling in January, 2008.

Note: if you're confused and/or disturbed, this webpage published in early 2005 may provide some useful context. Consider yourself warned.

28 October 2007

Baby Surf

These are from the most recent Galveston beach trip in early October. We knew she liked to play in the waves, but she's taking it to a whole new level here...

With some help from BaBa...

...she'll be carving soon!

The Fashionista Returns

27 October 2007

Trinh Be With Daddy

During dinner last night Trinh asked what Mommy was doing.  "She's at yoga," I said.  "Oh," she replied, then resumed munching on seaweed.

Then I thought about how Trinh can do her " wai" and decided she was ready for the whole enchilada:  I'd teach her to say " namaste".

She said it beautifully.  We practiced a few times.  Then she asked what it meant.  I debated briefly, then decided not to embark on explaining what it means to "recognize the divinity within you" to a toddler -- as if I know myself. 

Instead, I told her it meant "Peace be with you."  Close 'nuff, I figured.

"No," she said firmly.  "Trinh be with Daddy.  Who is 'Peace'?"

19 October 2007

Life & Work, Actually

Huong's parents are headed to Hawaii tomorrow for a couple weeks, so today after their nap, Huong & Trinhity called to see if the 'rents would like to go out to eat tonight.  No, they're going to stay home and finish some leftovers.  Huong hung up and went into the kitchen.

A couple minutes later, she heard her father's voice.  Trinh had managed to call them back, put them on speakerphone, and was earnestly inviting them out to dinner.  "Ông Bà đi nhà hàng với Trinh!"  Then BàBà got on the phone and asked Trinh, "Trinh có tiền, không?"  (do you have money?).  Trinh said, "Không." (No).  Then BàBà told her that she'd have to go to work to get money so that she could pay for dinner.

Trinh burst into tears.  You see, Trinh knows all about going to work.  Daddy has made it abundantly clear that when he goes to work, he misses her terribly.  Mommy & Trinh miss Daddy when he's at work.  Work is quite obviously a very, very bad thing.  It means that you have to be all alone away from the people you love.  She found this devastating.

Huong, struck with that peculiar mix of sympathy and bemusement that I believe to be in the exclusive domain of parents, finally soothed her by promising that she can have all of our money.  Oh, great....I see where this is going.

In other news, Trinh's word of the day has been "actually".  We believe that she got this one from Daddy.  She's been saying things like, "I'm going to do [this]....no, actually, I'm going to do [that]."  We're actually very pleased.  If she's exceptionally articulate, maybe someday she'll actually be able to make her own money.

17 October 2007

More Babywearing...

Ya gotta love friends who let you steal their work in exchange for nothing but a few words of praise and free marketing.

Rebecca-Linh, photographer par excellance, has worked us into her busy schedule and posted more shots of Trinh & Daddy on her blog.

Here's the teaser: there are more great shots on her blog. Don't read what she wrote about us though, it's all lies. Nice lies, but pure nonsense.

But while you're at it, check out her uber-slick new website. Do it. Now.

Rebecca-Linh? You rock. Thanks.

14 October 2007

Random Roundup

Still wrapping up September, here are a few more random shots...

After a trip to IKEA. We couldn't resist the finger puppets...among other things.

Rockin' on the mando with Daddy...

Someday she'll appreciate how cool those picks really are.

This was at the Children's Museum. She's a very good driver.

Hathor returns once again! It's possible that she'll turn a hat trick this year...