Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween II

Last year, we dressed MVP up and took pictures of him with pumpkins but let's be honest -- that was all for the benefit of the adults in his life.  Not so this year, as the run-up to halloween was full of activities that the MVP enjoyed thoroughly.

First, there was the pumpkin patch.

MVP on a real-live tractor.

Tormenting the boy.

All aboard the cow train!

MVP rides with mom in front.

Then we went to Auntie An's pumpkin carving party.

What little boy doesn't love pumpkin guts?
Then there was the imagination day parade at school. The kids chose their own costumes:

Boy, howdy!
Then we started working  on MVP's costume for Halloween night.

Step 1: Cut a hole in a box.

MVP finds the best angle for paint coverage.

Taking it for a test drive.

Yeah, this requires a bath.

 Fast forward to:

Right side view, hose retracted.

Right side view, hose extended with water.
Left side view. 
Ready to roll!

Let's go find some flaming pumpkins!
The boys are excited to hit the streets!

For the record, that's a rocket ship and an astronaut on the pumpkin.

Mom, Ba and Ong chaperone.

MVP's first ever "Trick or Treat"

Getting some candy! 
Lookie lookie what I got!

After the trick or treating, MVP had a great time handing out candy
I think it's safe to say the MVP enjoyed his second Halloween even more than the first, a trend likely to continue into the future.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Baby Vivandres Medley - MVP ABC 123

Long time since the last post so, to see who's still paying attention, here's an MVP medley.  

For transcripts of this program, please send $14 and a self-addressed stamped envelope to 123 ABC Way, Twinkle Star, CA 12349-10.

The very best thing in the world.

So we took MVP on vacation to Cape Cod.  We got some rain, but no hurricanes.  Not sure how MVP knew we were on vacation but he did.

Vacation hat c/o Jaya

Ah... Cape Cod beaches are not like the others.

I had such a lovely time at the Cape.  And where do you summer?

MVP took to Reena and Kranti like white on rice.
That's all for now.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Taking it off

I suspect the MVP was a little overdue for his first haircut, and we finally scheduled one for last weekend.  V-Train was pretty broken up about the idea, as the MVP is already more boy than baby and we suspected that a "clean cut" look would add to the effect.  We wanted to document his shagginess for posterity, and generally agree we've been lax on the pictures lately, so we headed out to The Huntington Gardens to let the MVP play while we snapped a few shots.  And, if I may say so, we got a ton of great ones.  Here are a handful of my favorites:

The next day, we headed out to Los Feliz for the mulletectomy.

V-Train gets one last look at the beloved locks. 

The place we went was attached to a toy store, so we waited inside while they finished with the previous victim.  There were bloodcurdling screams coming from inside the haircut room (seriously), so a very nervous MVP sought comfort where he could.  

Yes, he was really kissing the bunny.  He loves bunnies, and he kept roaming the store and returning to the bunny so he could kiss it again.  "Nunny!" he exclaimed over and over.  Finally it was his turn and his stylist, Nona, had him sit in his mom's lap in the haircut chair.  The MVP is not known far and wide for his patience or his ability to sit still.  He is known for straining against the straps of his booster seat every single night when he feels he's done eating, even though they have not once given way, so I wouldn't say we were brimming with optimism about how he'd handle the haircut.

He made fools of us all -- fools, I say!  He handled it like a champ.  Or an MVP, if you will.   We celebrated by eating at a nearby restaurant.  This was literally the very first time we've eaten a meal with the MVP at a restaurant outside of Pasadena.  Another milestone.

The MVP seems happy with his new look... probably because he'll be carded less often.
The MVP really wanted to swim with the fishes, emboldened by his newly aquadynamic head.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sunday, May 08, 2011

What a difference a year makes

Last Mother's Day, all I wanted was a break.  I was exhausted; the sleepless days and nights were killing me.  In retrospect, MVP's terrible sleep was probably caused by his food allergies that we weren't aware of yet.  Poor kid.

Anyhow so this year, I am more than happy to spend Mother's Day with my little munchkin.  Yes, MVP's sleep has dramatically improved.  But it's beyond that, this kid is CUTE!  And I'm being totally objective, of course.

"Cute?  Come on, would you call James Bond cute?"

Recently, MVP has really come into his personality which is quite sunny (when he's not angry - I'll let Dad address the temper in a separate post).

He's developed a toothy grin.  He especially likes to stare at you when you're not looking at him so that you are pleasantly surprised when you look his way and see the grin.  He'll also flash it when you ask him to show you his "dientes" aka "teeth."

My boys

He loves any form of peekaboo and has expanded that to include hide 'n' seek.  His favorite hiding spot is in the master closet.  He has absolutely no patience, except when he's standing in our closet holding his Dad's pant leg over his face.  He can stand in silence for minutes at a time!

And he continues to surprise us on a daily basis.  This week, he reminded us that he does pay attention when we are talking to him, albeit selectively.  I often do a countdown in Vietnamese to give MVP warning when something's going to happen.  The other night I was getting ready to pick him up, so I counted "mot," "hai"....and before I knew it, MVP said "ba!"  We couldn't believe that MVP finished the countdown, so Dad tries it out.."Uno", "dos"...and sure enough, MVP exclaims "tres!'

He's also taking to water like... well, a duck to water.

So this Mother's Day, I look forward to spending time with MVP and eagerly await my next surprise.

Mother's Day Wishes

The MVP would like to wish a "Happy Mother's Day" to all the moms out there!

Yes, I'm talkin' to you!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The allergy thing...

We haven't talked too much on here about the MVPs food allergies, but they are a big part of our life and determine to a great extent what we do day to day.  The  MVP has been confirmed allergic to 12 items from the common (peanut, egg, milk) to the absurd (garlic, mustard). The main impact on us has been that it adds an hour of work every day as we prepare each of his meals and snacks for school (they provide food at his school, but we mainly can't let them give it to him).    It's pretty frustrating, and we've been holding out some hope that it's a baby thing and he'll outgrow most of them (neither V nor I have any food allergies).

There are basically two courses that doctors prescribe for treating allergies:  completely avoid exposure to allergens and hope the body forgets (what our doc has prescribed), or intentionally expose to allergens and hope the body acclimates.  That the two main treatment methods are exactly opposite, and that neither has strong evidence behind it, is beyond frustrating.  Your treatment course is determined by which doctor you happened to pick.  That so little is known about food allergies when they affect so many people is surprising, and leaves us in the positioning of questioning our choices.  Are we needlessly churning our wheels to avoid allergens (try going a week without consuming garlic... be sure to read all ingredient labels and scratch off anything with the ultra-ambiguous "spices"), or are we not being careful enough and thus condemning the MVP to a life-long food restriction that we could have resolved?

Today, the MVP's school called to tell us he was having a "severe" allergic reaction.  That's a subjective term, but what they meant was

  1. his lips and face swelled quickly while eating and he simultaneously developed a rash on his face and body, which are a potential sign of anaphylaxis (swelling around the mouth is especially concerning)
  2. they administered a high dose of Benadryl 
  3. someone sat next to him and monitored his breathing to make sure it didn't become labored or obstructed
  4. they did NOT administer an epinephrine injection but would have if the symptoms had become any worse
  5. the closest parent needed to drop everything and come in, and take the MVP to a doctor 

Here is what he looked like when V arrived at school (though you can't really see the rash in the photo)
I'm miserable and I don't understand why.

When we got to the doctor's office, they rushed us right in without paperwork and the doctor saw him within 5 minutes.  He looked him over (by then the benadryl had kicked in and he was looking better) and listened to his breathing and declared that there was no danger.  He prescribed a strong oral steroid for the next five days.

He's had many reactions in the last year, but this one was the worst so far.  The kicker of it all is that we have NO EARTHLY IDEA what caused the reaction.  All of the food he had was from home and was stuff he had eaten before that had been confirmed non-allergenic. The most likely culprit was some ground up sesame seed, for which the MVP has been tested and confirmed negative (and has eaten before in small quantities)!

This, by the way, is what an allergy test looks like:
I'm miserable and I don't understand why.

For extra parenting style points, the above photo was taken on the MVP's first birthday - on the actual day.  Yay!  He's had three of these skin prick tests, which is the good kind of allergy test.  The bad kind was the one where three people had to hold him down while a nurse pulled half an ounce of blood out his arm.  Good times.

Anyway, all this serves as a reminder that the allergies are not just an inconvenience but a real medical issue, and we have to be vigilant and prepared.

I realize that the tone of this post has been a bit on the negative side.  To balance it out, here's a video of the MVP climbing a slide.