Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Betsy Rolls Over

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It took a while in this video... a full 30 seconds or so... but Betsy rolls from her belly to her back.  She's been wiggling and moving her arms and legs for weeks now but she had never quite put it together for an all-encompassing roll.  Sound and fury signifying nothing up to this point (what, can't a Brit lit teacher bust out some Macbeth from time to time?). Do note that in this video, the voices that are in the background are of Grampa Kendall talking to Mary Jane.  In the meanwhile, Daddy has the camera focused on Betsy waiting... just waiting... for the right moment.

This was actually the third time that Betsy rolled.  The first time was only for Daddy's eyes.  Then he recruited Grampa Kendall to come over and watch the rolly-polly girl in action.  Alas, Mommy, Gramma Kendall, and Aunt Nita were out shopping and missed the action.  That's OK, that's what this blog is for.  That and blaming Cherry Bugg for things like biting through our sound cord for the computer.  Argh!   Cherry Bugg!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

So Far Just Sleeping and Napping

Mary Jane has wandered around with a few new toys and dolls in her hand.  She does like the toy cell phone as she now feels sooo adult.  As for Betsy, it's still a bit too much for her.  She's napping again... as I should be... now!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Do They Know It's Thumpmas?

Thumpmas time is back again! Time to get out your cards and give them to your favorite neglected rabbits. What? You don't know about the most significant event in the rabbit calendar? For shame! And a thump at thee!  You need to know these important events!

Let me recount the backgrounds of this hallowed day of Thumpmas. On that night of December 25th so many years ago, a tired Joseph and a quite pregnant Mary were trying to find a place to stay for the night. There was no room in the inn so they had to stay out in a nearby stable. All the animals all were allowed to stay: sheep, donkeys, raccoons, dolphins (I mean dolphins?  really?)... everyone except the rabbits! They were forcefully moved out by the Shepherds. Then the Magi later came by that night and tried to eat them! How intolerably rude!!! Thus the rabbits on the scene were quite upset and rightly so. The birth of the Baby Jesus startled them with His commotion. With all the Seraphim singing and the Choirs and Hosts rejoicing, the rabbits could do only what they knew: they THUMPED. And with that thump, that startled the Baby Jesus and He cried with His mellifluous voice for the very first time. Granted a few windows broke -- most windows in the Bethlehem area were not Divinity-proof -- but still the upset rabbits helped create one of the seminal moments in Jesus' life. The rabbits look back on Thumpmas with mixed emotions. Yes, the great Jesus was born but they were also kicked out of their home, thus starting a tradition in many nations: the chasing of rabbits out of hutches on December 25th.
Ironically, Miss Jill and Mister John are with two new children this Thumpmas. But no rabbits were kicked out. Instead they shall be fed at home by a bunny sitter.



Rumor has it in the bunny community that Miss Jill and Mister John adopted a second beautiful baby girl this year for the sole purpose of not bringing a bunny out to Arizona for Thumpmas.  Not to worry, Mary Jane and Betsy Jo will learn the true meaning of Thumpmas when they return home... and a rabbit steals an apple from them!

In an inglorious turn of events, our dear Miss Bugg had her e-mail hacked and spam was sent from her account the day before Thumpmas.  Talk about having no respect for rabbits on their solemn day of contemplation (and irritation).

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Shadow Chaser!

On a supposedly simple walk to the mailbox and back, Mommy and Daddy were delayed for about ten minutes by Mary Jane who decided to follow her shadow in the opposite direction.   Whether it was a mistake by the Postal Service or an error on behalf of Mommy and Daddy, the shadow pointed the exactly opposite way.  Maybe the mailbox was emitting strong energy beams which caused such a shadow.  No one is quite sure but that delayed a very simple walk.  Meanwhile, Betsy was quite calm and was carried without issue.  Well, unless her face was turned directly into the light of the mailbox... er, sun.

Hopefully the brief video of Mary Jane chasing her own shadow will be downloaded momentarily.  Otherwise you'll just have to imagine it.  I have faith in your imaginative abilities.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tea Is Good

Hate getting a sore throat.  Or anything like a sore throat.  Then again to take some time off from talking is good.  And go figure this happens while I'm on vacation.  Good thing I guess... nothing like giving students some in-class silent reading.

Then again they do have silent reading over the break.  Murder on the Orient Express for the mainstream track and The Turn of the Screw for the honours track.  Good luck with that!  And dare I say, COUGH!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Zone Defense?

I finally made it back to a UCLA home game over at the Sports Arena.  Yeah, that's a bit of a drive and most of the home games coincided with baby functions.  Gee, didn't have those issues most of my first 15 years of having season tickets.  Wow, have I become one of those old, grizzled season ticket holders who complains about everything?  I hope not... I only complain about poor game performance, coaching errors, and overpriced food at the concession stands.

I might drag either Betsy or Mary Jane to one of these games.  There is absolutely no one there so I might just go to the upper deck and sing a few lines of "Wheels on the Bus" between dunks, free throws, and Josh Smith fouls.  Or hunt down Joe Bruin get a picture taken with him.

I'll bust out Mary Jane's UCLA cheerleader outfit.  She looks soooo darn cute in that.  That will get us on the Jumbotron.  That's what life is all about: getting your mug on the big screen.  Oh, don't deny it.  You probably proposed hoping that the pressure of the thousands of people would coerce your significant other to make the optimal choice.

Anyway, enough of my meandering words for the evening.

Mary Jane v. Cherry Bugg, a Postscript

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This morning it was a brief chase over a carrot.  Alas, this video only shows the ultimate triumph by Cherry Bugg but she and Mary Jane did have a brief face off over the almighty carrot.  Cherry Bugg was wise enough though that as soon as the carrot finally hit the ground (which occurred right before this video started), she hopped off with her prize. 

If only parents had a camera attached to them at the hip.  Then again that might be difficult to get a doctor convinced enough to do that.

Anyway, today is a Daddy's day... Mary Jane, Betsy Jo, and myself.  And it's 7:57 and no one has raised a fuss yet!  I know... long day ahead.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What I Will Be Watching on Christmas Night

These are not the droids you are looking for.

Since my wonderful fantasy football team, the Spanish Inquisition, will be in the playoffs, that will be my must-watch game.  Yes, I have Aaron Rodgers as my quarterback.  Unfortunately Greg Jennings, my trusted wide receiver also with the Packers, is out for the rest of the regular season which really puts a cramp into winning my fourth EFL title.  Not to worry, I'll find some other jedi mind tricks to vault my team back to its apex.

Ten Days Till My Next Doctor's Appointment

Alas, I don't think Ma and Pa Kendall have BBC America on their cable list.  I guess I'll just have to record it and wait to watch it back in my home state.

Everyone needs a little more Doctor Who in their life.  Unless you're a Dalek. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Busy Sunday for MJ

Today was still quite the fun day for Mary Jane as now she got to play with her birthday presents.  Yesterday after the party, she was wiped out and took a long nap and only played with a few things.  Now she's all over the house playing with cars, guitars, etc.

Poor MJ woke up early this morning --that's what you get for eating too much the previous day -- and was singing her Apple Song.  She laid in her bed and sang nothing but "Apple apple apple" for a few minutes.  That was quite humorous but hopefully it didn't wake up Aunt Juanita too much.

Today's fun accomplishments: pulling off her socks and throwing her binky over the edge of the crib (this shows her obstinate side).

Tomorrow's fun accomplishments: TBD.

As for Betsy, some sleeping, some eating... even some noise-making (not crying). 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pictures from Mary Jane's Party

 Here are a few pics from today's party.  It was quite the busy shindig this afternoon as family members from both sides represented.  Ironically enough, the closest relative on either side, my sister Pat, couldn't make it due to illness (never good when other children are there) but my other sibs from the Inland Empire and Jill's family from Arizona made it.  Lots of tables there and all were occupied.  Good thing we rented all of those chairs!






Hmm... cake!
  Mary Jane tried cake for the first time and shivered quite a bit at it.  She had a little bit but not much.  She much preferred all the other food that people were giving her.  I think she really likes meatballs.  Then again you can't wear meatballs on your face as well as you can with cake.


Betsy is only eight months away or so from her first birthday party.  Wow, she's almost four months old herself!
Hopefully Mary Jane will have a much healthier Christmas this time around.  She'll grab a stick like she did on the right and smash any illness that dares try to confine her.

Perfect weather today... always have to wonder about December birthday parties but this was ideal.



Mary Jane didn't quite hit the pinata all that well but give her a few years.  Then she'll really be able to give it a whack.  I'll work on that swing with her.

Doljanchi

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According to a Korean tradition, one-year-old children are sat in front of many symbolic items.  Whatever they choose will show what their ultimate profession will be.  Our options for Mary Jane were Education, Law, Medicine, Religion, and Sports.  Sorry, no Music (sorry Francis).  The following video should show her selection.

Yes, she is destined to be a lawyer.  That should make Pete and Lillian smile.  And also my sister Pat who was too sick to be here today.  Of course Mommy and Daddy sighed thinking about future student loans.  But wait... grad school is on her!  Haha!

Mary Jane Has Fun at Birthday Party

A whole bunch of people showed up for Mary Jane's first birthday party.  Pictures will be up shortly.

The bunnies were not as happy as Cherry Bugg was chased in the den while Ruby Jane and Root Beer Float were petted by countless young children in the back yard.

Friday, December 9, 2011

O Christmas Tree

Mr. John played tackle-the-Christmas-tree this afternoon and lost.  According to him, he was involved in some sort of Christmas tree promotion at Mary Star.  But according to this picture leaked out by an unknown source, polar bears attacked the San Pedro campus and bit his finger.  Miss Jill didn't seem to believe him but who knows what happens when Christmas trees appear.  Heck, I know someone who had a sister who was bitten by a moose once...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Birthday Visitors

Mary Jane and Grampa

Betsy with Aunt Nita
 With Mary Jane turning one this week, her grandparents and an aunt sneaked into town from Arizona to say Hello.  Gramma and Grampa Kendall along with Aunt Nita have graced their presence in Chez Erb and have done a great job cheering up both Mary Jane and Betsy Jo.

Miss Jill and Mister John (aka Mommy and Daddy) actually could give Mary Jane a walk around the neighborhood this evening to look at Christmas lights on the houses.  That's always been a tradition for the two of them and they'd love to pass it onto their girls as soon as they are old enough to stay up late to see them.  At least the sun sets early enough now that Mary Jane gets an hour or so of outdoor darkness before she goes to sleep.

Meanwhile Cherry Bugg is not amused.  But is she ever?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not to Be Forgotten

Betsy Jo has had her own monthday recently.  While she has not reached one full rotational cycle of the Earth around the Sun, she has at least managed to make it through three rotations of the moon about the Earth (and a little more!).

Happy little Betsy is now over three months old.  She's no longer that little girl who keeps us up all night with random cries and desires for more milk.  She's now the big girl who sleeps from a bit past 6 all the way to 5 the following morning!  Good for you, Betsy!  Mommy and Daddy get in much more sleep now which makes them much more productive at home and work.  Even the amount of detentions has gone down.  Good job, Mr. Erb.
Down below are both girls with Daddy.  Mary Jane will smile for any photo.  Meanwhile Betsy is wondering what her big sister is up to.

Happy Birthday, Mary Jane!

One year ago Miss Jill and I were sitting around in Victorville... waiting, waiting, and waiting for the word.  Finally hearing a late afternoon update that the birthmother would be delivering in the evening.  So in a wise move, we actually went to sleep around 6pm and then around 9pm we were awakened by a call from the hospital.  Off to Desert Valley Hospital we went...
Just before midnight, Mary Jane came into the world... I don't have any pictures on this computer with those but if you scroll back to last year at this time, I should have some.

We held her three minutes after she was born.  When she instinctively grabbed my finger when I touched her hand, I knew that she was ours.  O happy girl!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Betsy and Mary Jane at the Swing Seat Together

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Ah, nothing like seeing the two sisters get along.  Betsy Jo likes to rock back and forth from time to time.  Mary Jane likes to be wherever the action -- and the camera -- seem to be.


Meanwhile, Cherry Bugg who is off to the side is miffed by this whole interaction.  Nothing irritates the Chee more than children.  If she were reincarnated into a human, she'd be a grumpy old man yelling, "Get off my lawn!"  At least she won't go all Gran Torino on them.

Thinking of Last Year

Last year Jill and I drove up to Victorville in expectation of being parents that night.  Not so fast, my friends!  We waited for another full day.  But not before we had our last non-parental dinner together at Outback Steakhouse.  There's the answer to a trivia question some day.

I'm sure this is a dark day in the bunny history lore.  Even Cherry Bugg right now stares at Mary Jane and sulks as she realizes she has moved down a notch -- now two -- in the family pecking order.  Poor Chee.