Saturday, December 19, 2009

December 17th – Celebrating Erin’s Birthday, plus Baby Update

Posting this a couple of days late – I’ve been down with a bad cold...

December 17th, anniversary of the birth of my favorite person this side of Jesus – Erin Michelle (Edwards) McDade. I’m not going to say how old she is, but for those of you who know her, it’s her second-favorite number… In an unrelated story, how ’bout that Larry Bird, eh? Heck of a ballplayer.

Here is a list of things that I think Erin is the world’s best at. This is quite subjective, of course. But alls I’m saying is that if you don’t know my wife, you should, and if you do know her, you should get to know her better. She’s amazing.
* Best wife.
* Best mom (okay maybe tied with my mom). You guys should see her with Elsa Lynne – a natural. I'm in awe.
* Best daughter.
* Best campus minister (okay maybe tied with the great Rick Harper).
* Best listener. We laugh at how incredibly focused Erin is on the person in front of her. She could counsel in a hurricane.
* Best at mixing up common phrases. So cute. Recent example: “I’m all game.” No, dear, it’s either “I’m game” or “I’m all for it”. If you’ve ever seen that T-shirt that says “It’s not rocket surgery”, it was made for Erin.
* Best organizer. I have a love-hate relationship with this talent of hers, but it’s mostly love. Like 87% love.
* Best $aver.
* Best kisser, hehe.
* Best forgiver.
* Best encourager.
* Best Flamingo Football safety. Back in the day she was known as “Bone Crusher” Edwards. True story.
* Best gift-giver. So creative and thoughtful. My gifts to her must always seem so lame by comparison.
* Best cleaner. Cleaning the house is therapeutic for Erin. Yessssss!!!
* Best-lookin'.
* Best Christian. I know it’s not a competition – I’m just saying that Erin is more like Jesus than anyone I know. And she makes me want to be more like him, too.
The list could go on, but I’ll stop.

I looked up December 17th for significant events and celebrity birthdays. Here are the three events that jumped out at me, in order of least to most significant in my life.

1790 – Discovery of the Aztec calendar stone.
This is pretty cool. I remember being fascinated by the wooden replicas on my first trip to Mexico back in 1999. I believe the original one is in the Anthropology Museum in Mexico City. So come visit us and we’ll go check it out. Awesome museum.

1903 – The Wright Brothers make their first powered and heavier-than-air flight in the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Who knew that Erin’s birthday is also Wright Brothers Day? Cool.

1989 – The first episode of television series The Simpsons, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", airs in the United States
Now I know I’ve flown on a lot of airplanes, but come on, The Simpsons has marked my life more than air travel, and somebody else would’ve invented the airplane eventually. There is only one The Simpsons. My all-time favorite TV show, so smart, so funny – I remember my dad and I loving the Simpsons from day one, or even before, really, when they were just 30-second clips going to commercial on the Tracey Ullman Show. And it had its debut on Erin’s birthday! Double cool.

As I looked at the long list of celebrity birthdays, I pulled out the ones that interested me. Serendipitously, I ended up with exactly ten on my list. So here they are, in order from least to most cool/funny/interesting to me:

1935 – Cal Ripken, Sr., American baseball coach (d.1999)
Seemed like a good guy.

1958 – Mike Mills, American musician (R.E.M.)
Great band from our home state. Automatic for the People is one of my all-time favorite discs.

1975 – Milla Jovovich, Ukrainian-born actress
I love The Fifth Element and Zoolander. Plus IMDB lists her as working on one episode of King of the Hill, another favorite. In a world of cookie-cutter celebrities, this gal is pretty unique.

1978 – Manny Pacquiao, Filipino boxer
I barely follow boxing, but he’s in the argument for best pound-for-pound fighter ever.

1978 – Chase Utley, American baseball player
Love the way he plays, hate that he’s a Phillie.

1962 – Richard Jewell, American security guard and accused bomber (d. 2007)
Who could ever forget the Centennial Park bombing and the whole crazy, tragic story of Richard Jewell?

1970 – Sean Patrick Thomas, American actor
This one cracked me up for a couple of reasons: 1. He played “Ben / Jock #2” in one of my favorite movies, Can’t Hardly Wait. This movie, about graduating from high school, came out the year I graduated from high school. Love it. 2. I always like it when black guys have really white sounding names or white guys have really black sounding names. (A sports and entertainment writer I follow named Bill Simmons occasionally touches on this, e.g. his “Reggie Cleveland All-Stars”.) Sean Patrick Thomas is one of the whitest-sounding names I’ve ever heard, so when I clicked on the link to see who he was, I giggled when the face of Ben / Jock #2 popped up.

1903 – Erskine Caldwell, American author (d. 1987)
I have never read any of this guy’s books, but here’s why he’s interesting to me. Because he’s from the tiny town of Moreland, GA. So?, you might ask. Well, my brother lives a couple of miles outside of Moreland, and every time I drive to his house, I pass a tiny little building that’s some kind of museum to Erskine Caldwell. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it open. Anyway, a random, funny connection with him and Erin sharing a birth date. Also, looking at his Wikipedia page, I got a kick out of the fact that he attended, but didn’t graduate from, Erskine College!

1964 – Joe Wolf, American basketball player
Another funny connection to my brother. We have always been big basketball fans, and growing up in the 80s, we noticed something. In many of our basketball posters and basketball cards and basketball magazines, there were many photos of people dunking, and in an unusually large percentage of those images, the guy getting dunked on was none other than Joe Wolf! Add to that the fact that he had a ridiculous mullet haircut. Add to that the fact that he played most of his career, and therefore most of the photos featured him, in the uniform of the woeful Clippers or, even worse, those ridiculous rainbow uniforms that the Nuggets sported for a while. All of this together added up to us making fun of Joe Wolf a lot. Poor guy. I think the only guy we made more fun of was Jon Koncak.

1974 – Giovanni Ribisi and Marissa Ribisi, American actor and actress
I know nothing of Marissa, but I love Giovanni. Erin and I love to watch My Name is Earl together. We laugh out loud every time. And especially in the episodes that feature Earl’s crazy, criminal, childhood friend Ralph Mariano. He also did a pretty funny turn as Frank Buffay, Jr. on Friends.

Honorable mention goes to several friends of ours who share Erin’s birth date, including friend/cousin/supporter George Dillard, and our buddy Lut, one of the first students to get involved in El Pozo and kite surfer extraordinaire.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaall of that to say – HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ERIN!!! I love you so much. And I love celebrating your birth and our Savior’s birth together with you every December.

Now on to the baby update.

Elsa Lynne McDade is doing lots of new stuff lately. Such as…

Sticking out her tongue. Teething coming soon?

The semi-push-up and roll-over. When we have “tummy time”, she can now do the precursor to a push-up. And she can roll over onto her back. Still hasn’t rolled over from back to front – that comes later.

Feet in the air. Loves to stick her little feet up in the air. Loves to bring her feet together, with the bottoms touching. So cute. Also, the monkey toes are still in full effect. She will straight grab you with those little things and hang on tight!

The “b” sound, or the “brrr” sound. One of the cutest things ever. Comes in waves – she’ll just start going “brrr, brrr, brrr, brrrrrrrrr”, blowing bubbles and slobbering everywhere.

Standing up. With help to balance, of course, but she’s got strong little legs and she likes to stand on them for short periods of time. She will hold onto two of my fingers tight enough for me to pull her up to the standing position.

Sitting up. She can totally sit up now from a reclining position. Still can’t balance on her own side-to-side, but she’s working the little abs.

Hands together. A couple of weeks ago you could hardly even force her to do this. Then one day she discovered that she can put her hands together, and now she does it constantly. Usually left hand wrapped over right fist, or right hand holding left wrist while sucking left thumb, or fingers somewhat interwoven. She will also hold the bottle while drinking from it, although she’s not strong enough and doesn’t concentrate long enough to do so by herself.

Holding hands with Daddy. She loves to hold onto my fingers. She does this only with me, not Erin, so it’s like our little special thing right now. Holding onto my fingers helps calm her down when she’s crying. So sweet.

“Mamitis”. She’s got a case of “mamitis”, as the Mexicans say. A.k.a. she wants her Mommy, all the time. Back a month or two ago, it was Daddy who could calm her down. Mommy came near and the milk sensors kicked into action, ruling out any chance of calmness. Nowadays it’s the opposite. She can only go a few minutes, even with me, without her Mommy before it’s crying and screaming time. They are totally BFFs right now, and it’s very sweet. I’m not even offended.

Snuggling. She still prefers to be carried facing forward. Likes to see the world, quite the little observer. But these days when we carry her facing over our shoulder, she has taken to “snuggle hugging” us, which consists of hugging tight with her little arms while pressing her face as deeply into our necks as possible. Greatest feeling ever. In between, she tries to eat our shoulders.

Hair. The baby mullet is slowly disappearing. Meanwhile, everywhere else, the fuzz is steadily growing. She now has some fairly long (maybe an inch?) hairs up top, even though they are so fine and light in color that she still looks pretty bald. Also, the little dent on her head from where the doctor scratched her trying and trying and trying to get her to turn her head and drop into the birth canal (she never did) causes a few of the hairs to stick up in a really funny, cute way.

As you have probably inferred, our little family of three is having a ball. We’re enjoying the down time between semesters, trying to catch up on some work, and mostly just enjoying the little one. Baby’s first Christmas, coming up soon! Here are the latest photos.

Much love and Merry Christmas to you all! Wishing you many blessings in 2010.


First time at the ocean. Veracruz, Veracruz. Unfortunately, weather wasn't good for swimming and such.

Special bond.

Special bond.

Working the abs.

Hanging out with "the drama kids" - some of our theater-major buddies.

Meeting Granddaddy a.k.a. Jabo for the first time.

My dad, Charlene (stepmom), and Mary Allison (sister) meeting Elsa for the first time.

Breakfast with Aunt Mary a.k.a. Tia Maria.

Just thought this one was really cute.

Granddaddy is hilarious!

The vacuum cleaner is loud!

Tia Maria again.

Snoozin' while cruisin' downtown with Granddaddy.

Checking out the Christmas tree.

Playing with Charlene and the current #1-ranked toy - Tamara the trilingual dinosaur (or is it a dragon?). Says good night and good morning in English, Spanish, and French, and plays the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. Named after the friend who gave Elsa the toy.

In Tecali.

Standing on Mommy's lap.

Two beautiful ladies.

Granddaddy is great for naps.

Left thumb does the trick.

Sitting up.

Tummy time with Mommy.

Watching Sesame Street on YouTube - riveted!

Fun time with Mommy.

Hands together.

Tongue out.

We will miss you, baby mullet.

Sacando mocos!

So in love on Mommy's birthday.

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