Sunday, March 21, 2010

Happy Birthday JJ.

We are so lucky to have you in our lives. We are sure you are glad that your mother no longer wakes you up at 6:45 a.m. as payback for labor and delivery pain and suffering. See you later tonight, have a safe drive.

Love, Mom, P and SS.

On March 21, 1983 at 6:45 a.m. JJ entered this world and he was loud. It was the first time I fell head over heels in love in my young life. A phenomenon that would not reoccur until 12 years later, then again 12 years after that (who knew I would be on a 12 year cycle?). But as much as I loved that beautiful creature in my arms, that marked the beginning of my aversion to uncooked children. It is such a strong aversion, that I ended up in China to assure myself and P that child #2 would be fully cooked.

Three weeks.

Six weeks.

First visit to Disneyland at six weeks.

5 months, and reminds me of SS.

7 months, and a resemblance to his future sister.

8 months.

19 months old, with Abu, on her first visit.

When JJ was 2 1/2 years old we visited Disneyland, something we did frequently. The thing about that particular visit was that it was the first time that JJ seemed to get the whole Disney magic. We were there when the park opened and left after the second Main Street Electrical Parade (midnight). That was a long day for such a young child, but JJ did not complain once. He did nap a few times in his stroller but was such a well behaved kid and such a joy to be around. He was so good that he came home with 4 personalized hats. Among the things we would never see again, JJ calmly sitting, hands on his lap for AN HOUR, waiting for the Electrical Parade. He did not move once during the entire parade and I still remember that look of wonder on his beautiful face. My favorite Disney experience so far. It also reminds me of the striking differences between him and SS, no way would SS be so friendly to three giant mice, a duck and a goofy looking dog.

Back in the good old days when you found the characters walking around the park, and did not have to wait three hours for a photo and a hello.

One of my favorite pictures of JJ. So cute how he bent over to wave at the mouse. SS does that a lot, just like her big brother.

Although it seemed OK at the time, Mickey's death grip on my son looks really creepy.

3 years old, first preschool picture. Funny how he had wonderful eyebrows, if he was a girl he would not need any trimming.

4 years old, although he looks older. This was a very selfish photo for me and I never made the mistake again. Having horrible kinky hair, I was surprised when my dominant gene did not manifest on JJ. Much to my chagrin, JJ always preferred his hair short, did not want it to touch his ears, just like in the military. I was in love with his beautiful, straight, sandy brown, sun kissed hair and wanted it longer. This is the longest his hair has ever been and he was furious when I told him he could have a haircut after the picture was taken. Well, I was 22 and obviously very immature, but after I saw how embarrassed he was about this (to me) so cute picture, and his comment upon seeing it, I knew I could not live vicariously through him. What did JJ say? "Mom, I felt and look really scummy." OUCH

5 years old and I could not get him to wear a long sleeve shirt. Good thing it did not show.

End of soccer season, age 5.

6 years old and a great sport for sitting on Santa's lap. Abu had a thing about seeing JJ wearing sweaters, even though he lived in Southern California. Every year I had to bribe my shorts and short sleeve wearing child to don a freaking uncomfortable sweater and pose for his Abuela's benefit. It did not come in cheap.

Totally proud of his spiky do at age 6. JJ's hair was very straight then and it took a lot of gel to get that look.

7 years old, and a great mustache and goatee. P had not seen this picture before as he did not know JJ had also been a pirate. I think I'm going to look back through JJ's costumes and have SS wear the same. That includes the football player costume, heh.

When JJ was eight, we drove from California to Tennessee with a friend. We had a good time and it was neat that it was just him and I.

Grand Canyon, and it was safe there was plenty of trail underneath him.

Lousy picture, but JJ had such a blast pretending to climb up the canyon.

That hair, that olive skin, wow.

Eating Native American bread at the Four Corners.

Houston Space Center.


Carlsbad Caverns and the genesis of "I could be bleeding," an ongoing joke around here.

Ready to blow off steam in New Mexico. JJ was on that track about ten times that night, but well worth the price.

Breaking up a sweat at the French Quarter.

10 years old and the last time JJ agreed to wear a sweater and sit for a Christmas picture. He felt his Abu had ten years worth of sweater pictures and he was done. I felt he was old enough to make that decision and did not push the issue. JJ had a hair cut two weeks before this picture and I still had to fork over $20 for another haircut. Plus the toy he got to pick as his bribe, like I said, not cheap. SS and JJ both have beautiful lips, I never noticed before how similar they are. And those eyebrows, I would kill for those eyebrows.

During a fifth grade field trip.

A visit to Puerto Rico for Abuela and Abuelo time at age 11.

Returning home after 30 days of having Abuela's attention (and neurosis) all to himself. You can tell it took a toll on the kid.

12 years old.

Tijuana at age 12.

That is the day that we ended up at Black's Beach in San Diego, and after a very cold dip (for P and JJ) we had dinner and a giant sundae. Mr. JJ was so caught up eating that he did not notice his contribution to the consumption of the sundae. He indignantly asked "Hey, who ate all the sundae?" That still cracks P and I up to this day. Quirky kids ...

14 years old.

First year of high school after moving to Northern California. The orange hair was my idea.

Look behind JJ's chair, see the green? That's SS's jogging stroller, and JJ is sitting in our office/SS storage. Taped to the door behind JJ was a picture of the crib we had chosen for SS and a check list of things to purchase for SS.

JJ in 2005 in our old house. The desk in that picture was about 7 years old then, and he still has it. That is a record for JJ because he has always been rough with his belongings.

One of our Halloween Haunt trips.

Thanksgiving 2004.

A sister at last, March 2009.


Mighty J said...

Holy crap. I was a PIMP when I was a kid.

Michelle said...

Happy Birthday JJ!!!