Sunday, December 30, 2012

Video from China 2012

Amongst the many things we've been up, thumbing through all of our pictures and video of our trip to China has been coming and going. Well recently I just bit the bullet and put this video together, with Courtney's input of course. It serves as kind of a highlight reel of the trip, from our tours to simple cultural events, you'll find the good stuff here.  And if you don't like good music, feel free to mute it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Snow day

Texas weather is super fast changing. Christmas eve was high 60s / sunny and although the weatherman warned us of rain and possible snow the next day ... I don't think we were expecting this.

The snow started to fall around 1pm.  Max spent the early afternoon looking out the windows trying to understand why everything was turning white.  And after his nap we finally got him dressed up to venture outside.  Given the high winds and frigid temps we only spent a little bit of time outside but it was totally worth it.

Hope you had a memorable Christmas like us.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

You Think Kids Are Curious?

Polar bear iceberg-camera creepin' around

Curiosity is human nature. Actually, it's a primal instinct amongst all animals. We let Max play with my iPhone at dinner tonight and he managed to open the camera app. Naturally, he began pressing the only "button" on the screen knowing that something was a little different about that section of the screen. He was taking pictures. When I saw the photos he took it reminded me of the polar bear iceberg-camera and the images that came from that device built for this BBC documentary. If you're unfamiliar with the story, some filmmakers wanted to get some unique and new angles of polar bears in their natural habitat so they created a remote controlled piece of "broken ice" with a camera mounted on it. The polar bears became extremely curious with the device and eventually destroyed it, but not before some of the most amazing video and photos were captured. See the comparison of the curious animals below, each in their natural habitat.

Curiosity of a polar bear (age unknown)

Curiosity of a 1.5 year old human

Thursday, December 20, 2012

15 month appointment

Max went to the doctor yesterday for a few shots and a wellness exam. Of course, Dr. Sherrod only had great things to say about our little man.

Here are Max's stats:
Head 46.6 cm
Weight 23.9 lbs. 35 percentile
Height 31 1/2in. 65 percentile

We have a tall healthy skinny baby! Who picks his veggies out of his pasta to only eat his veggies and begs for yogurt instead of sweets.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Season

We have been busy preparing for the Christmas season and our 3rd national championship game in 4 years. Tyler did a great job with the lights this year. We also put the tree in the dining room this year so Max could have supervised visits. The gate before the stairs keeps him close enough to look but not touch. Plus I didn't think it would be fair to Miss Nicole to have to spend her day saying "no" and "don't touch" 85 more times than she has to.

When we put the tree up Max was more interested in the camera than the tree itself. We were trying to get a great shot of Max and the lights but after Tyler snapped it once our vain child had to see the results.

And to end things with one of my new favorite photos ...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Playing at the Park

We are officially at the age where the Playground is entertaining. Max is still skeptical of the slide but knows it is fun when he finally lets go. My baby is so cautious.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Happy Halloween

Our little Chinaman made his way to the neighbors house before dark and was in bed before the first kid arrived at our house Wednesday. Hope very one else had a memorable holiday.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Direct from China

Hello, world! We have finally been reconnected/unblocked with the rest of
the universe. Communication has been difficult in China, from lackluster Internet access to restricted access to lack of sleep and willpower. And for anyone who didn't know, Courtney and I took a trip to China to visit our longtime friend Kate Chandler. We left on October 20th and are on our way back home today (10/29/12). So we thought we'd share a few quick tidbits and photos that we have easy access to.

We had been trying to think of a good international trip for us for a while now since it would be our first (we don't count Mexico and Canada). We thought it would be perfect to knock out two birds with one stone and visit Kate AND have a personal tour guide that speaks the locals' language, and that's not always solely Mandarin. We grew up with Kate in Daphne and she has been one of Courtney's best friends for a long time. She was super excited to receive us and show us her life in Shanghai. We stayed with her in her apartment in the Four Seasons and as we quickly became accustomed to, even it was a knockoff. I will say though that the Chinese are very talented at replicating existing products. It was a super nice pad that would rival any luxury apartment in the States.

One if the first things we did was shop around at the "fake market." The market was real, but the authenticity of the products, let's say, could not be verified. We also got familiar with the city at the Urban Planning Museum, of which the contained a model of nearly every building in the city laid out in a gigantic room.

She then set us up on a tour of Shanghai, where we met up with one of her friends, Irene. But it's Kate Chandler, so it's not just any tour. It was Shanghai Sideways, and sometimes quite literally. We had two motorcycles with sidecars, each with it's own driver (more pics to come). Courtney and I traded out between sitting in the sidecar and behind the driver. We both agreed that it was one of the coolest things we've ever done. There's really nothing like a genuine close encounter with Chinese traffic.

Another obvious excursion(s) is the food in China. From street food to world class cuisine, we had it all. We always seemed to land in the best spots in town. Kate also had connections in Beijing that we took advantage of. One of the first phrases I learned was how to order another beer, 把另一瓶啤酒. Or "Zai lai ē ping PGO," as I phonetically recall it. Thanks Kate!

Of course getting around town on our own was usually by subway. As you can imagine, we were packed on there like sardines in a test tube. It was super cheap, like $1 for both of us one-way, so we did that when it was convenient.

The last 3 days of our trip were spent in Beijing. We all took the high-speed rail line on Friday and were completely overwhelmed by the intense pollution when we arrived in Beijing. The good thing is that it all blew away by the next day when we toured the Great Wall. Kate hooked us up with a driver all day that took us to a slightly less touristy part of the Great Wall. It was a lot of work, as I've never see so many steps in my life, but an amazing experience nonetheless. The skies cleared up even more as we continued our travels through the city.

Kate left us late Sunday afternoon to ride back home to Shanghai and work the next day. We don't know what we would've done without her. Well, maybe something along the line of "wait in this line, get lost here, get ripped off there, get lost again, get sick, repeat." China exceeded our expectations in nearly every way. Having said that, we are both extremely excited to get back home to see Max and Lucy!!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

On the Move but this time upright

Max is officially walking these days.  We have spent the last month and half doing the bounce between furniture with no more than 8 steps.  Then on Thursday evening he just walked and realized that more than 8 steps did not shift the universe ... and he hasn't looked back.  Ms. Nicole got the following video of him Friday just roaming the house as if he had never seen it before at this view.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Climbing stairs

Max has been super interested in climbing the stairs the last month but the last few weeks he has been interested in the stair railing. When we carry him up, he leans and touches the railing as though he is using it like a big boy. Always makes us giggle but today Nicole sent me a pic of him using his own version of the rail. I had to share ...

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wellness Appointment

Max had his 12 month wellness check up today with Dr. Sherrod.
This was pre paper destruction.

Weight:  22.13 lbs.  (45 percentile)
 Height:  29 1/4 in.   (35 percentile)

 *First time Max has been below the 50th percentile.  Doc said that we won't know if he gets the Faison height until his 2nd birthday since being in the upper percentile at 0-24 months is a result of placenta growth (an interesting fact I thought I would share).

 And this is what the doc had to say about our little man:
  • advanced motor development for his age
  • teeth 5-6 should be here tomorrow but no later then next week (thank goodness, I don't know if I can take anymore drool and fussy behavior)
  • his chubby feet have great arch support so he is not flat footed - yippy!
  • legs are perfectly straight although we should expect him to go knock-kneed at 2yrs and then they will straight out again at 6yrs
  • perfect sounding heart and lungs
  • needs sunscreen for a full moon (which the doc says every visit)  
  • a little redness in the nose due to the pollution but all kids have that right now (see how much I love my doc, even comforts my worries about a little red nose and I didn't even ask him about it - he just informed me of it while he was performing his examination) 
  • ready for whole milk, peanuts, and honey
  • Since he was all fine and healthy, Max got 3 shots today - MMR, chicken-pox, and flu

With every visit, I love our pediatrician more and more.  The way he informs you of what he is looking/listening for and is so knowledgeable.  We are so blessed to have found him.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Max-man has his first party!

Max finally turned the big uno! To celebrate, we thought we'd throw him a party that everyone would enjoy; one with plenty of food, drinks, and music. And what better way to celebrate is first Texan birthday than with a mariachi band!? He had a great time, as you can see in the video and photos. He really knows when to turn on his charm and it quickly became evident that he enjoyed being the center of attention. From the presents to the cake, he knew it was all about him.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Mr. One-derful

I'm pretty great.
I can't believe it has been one full year.  Maximus Alexander was born at 11:19am on August 24, 2011.  Last year at this time, Tyler and I were chillin' at the hospital about to have our world turned upside down. 
Soon-to-be Parents without a clue.
Lucky for us this little guy is the best!  I am truly blessed to have such an easy going child that is such a ham.  He brings a smile upon my face every single day, just like his daddy.
Laughing it up, so a little blurry.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Waiting for DaDa to come home

On Saturday I captured these shots of Max and Lucy looking out the window.  We have a gate that stops Max from coming into the foyer and dining room, but more importantly from the stairs.  He has been super interested lately in trying to get past the gate and into this mysterious room at the front of the house.  So we spent a good hour in the dining room on Saturday exploring this forbidden room and looking out the windows.
"Hey Lucy ... why don't you come see what is out my window."

"See I told you it had some cool stuff."
"Okay now lets look out your window."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sneaky Little Man

This little man is growing up pretty fast. He definitely knows "No!" And now he's learning some black-ops strategy skills, including the "Peeping Max," as shown here. He's nearly ready to walk on his own as well. As some of you have seen, he loves his elderly walking stroller thing. He can't turn it yet, but he can sure run.

"You can't see me, but I can see you!"
Pushing his alligator cart, with pajamas whipping in the wind

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Still on the road...

His favorite activity is turning on the faucet.
...but I'm always close to home. Courtney keeps me updated with regular FaceTime dates and photos of the kids. The next episode of my show takes me from Los Angeles, CA to Newark, NJ, so I tricked my line producer to let me stay the night in Dallas in order to see Courtney, Max, and Lucy; even if only for a few hours. I just landed in Joyzee, where this will be the beginning of my last episode of Catfish. After that, I'll start immediately on Big Rich Texas in Dallas. It'll be nice to be working in DFW for a while. Below are a few samples of the kind of pictures that keep me sane while away from my family.


He always seems to be naked.

It's not a mess, it's art.

Another semi-naked eating shot

Brother and Sister sitting side by side

A typical "work smart, not hard" moment

Feeding the vacuum cleaner

And then there's this video that I got today. Very exciting!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

The cover-up

Max has a little skin irritation so we have been letting him go naked around the house a few times a day.

Usually mom has a good handle on everything but dad has been a little distraction for me today (Tyler arrived in town Tuesday morning). Which lended Max the opportunity to sneak into our bedroom knowing good well that mom limits all carpet crawling to when a diaper is on. As I am sure you can gather, Max went one foot into our bedroom and marked his territory. But the real humor came one minute later. In the few seconds it took for me to whisk Max up, grab a towel and cleaner ... Operation Cover-Up took place.

It is good to see that Lucy has Max's back.

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