Thursday, December 30, 2010

Avi's "cheese!"

He takes a mean self-portrait. (He was getting bored of watching us make paper airplanes at the science center today when he took this in case you were wondering).

And one more with chocolate, just for fun (taken by Daddy).

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Truly Blessed.

Ryan and I just got back from a 'mini-break' in Hershey PA and I was so reminded of the many things we have to be thankful for.

My dad and brother drove there with us on Sunday so we could see the park and Chocolate World together before dropping us off for the night.  Despite all the dire predictions, there was only a few hours of light snow there.  Just enough to be beautiful. 

We tried to get as much good fair food as we could before retreating from the cold.  We ended up with kettle corn (made in a real kettle!), homemade chips, apple cider punch, fries, and s'mores.  The s'mores were definitely the best part.

We took Avinash for a quick carousel ride and then let him try the balloon kiddie ride (at his own request).

Turned out the ride was for kids only and he kind of freaked out when he realized he was alone.  I think he calmed down after a few seconds, but kept the fake tears coming everytime they ride came round the corner and we came back into his view, ha!

And, thankfully nummies make everything better!

Luckily the chocolate tour was indoors and overall a better experience.  Avi loved everything about it and was so excited to point out the singing cows and all the nummies to his Nanaji.  I love that special bond that he has with my Dad.  Also, at one point he just walked through the chocolate store looking straight up saying 'Wow!" over and over again.

Then it even started snowing as we were leaving. It was so gorgeous.

Avinash took this picture of Ryan trying to catch snowflakes on his tongue.

And quickly learned how to do it himself!

When we were leaving, Ryan and I were bracing for the worst with Avinash.  Amazingly no tantrum was thrown.  He very calmly stayed in the car, eating grapes, chatting with his Nanaji and Anuj.  He even learned to call my brother 'Nooj' Mama this trip.   

I love how comfortable he is with my family.  I love the immense amount of joy that he gets from being with them. 

I love that he runs around and wrestles with my brother all the time.  I love that my brother is genuinely excited to see him all the time and goes out of his way for him. 

I love that he is constantly squealing in delight when he is home and goes back and forth between my parents constantly. 

I love that he knows his grandparents will always take care and goes to them when he is hungry or tired.  Apparently he slept better with them last night than he has all week with Ryan and I (he is too big for his crib now and doesn't have his own bed here). 

I love that when we are in Houston, I always have to call my parents at Avi's request.

I love that when he picks up a calculator or pretend phone, he always says that he is trying to call Nana or Nani.

I love that he demands to look at the picture albums so he can see my family's pictures all the time.  I am not sure if he enjoys pointing out himself or Nana more.   I love that my parents come visit so often and we have tons of pictures of them in the scrapbooks. 

I love that he wants me to show him pictures on the computer as well.  He will also sit and watch slideshows of our family pictures too.

I love that when we go on car rides, Avi always does a roll call and worries about anyone who is missing (Where's Nani??) and then will scan parking lots for any look-a-likes.  It was pretty funny when he called a parking attendant who had a white beard Nana even though my Dad was driving at the time. 

I love that my Dad is always offering me extra portions of pizza, ice cream and whole milk -- for the baby.  I love that my parents always take care of me and my health too. 

I love that my mom will come after working three days straight and make delicious paneer and chile, from scratch, play with Avinash and offer me a back massage! 

I love that my husband planned this spa getaway for me to help me relax.  I love that he will stand up for me against people who try to bring negativity into my life for no reason.
{I also really love the picnic basket he got me to replace the cheapy one I got years ago.  One kings lane, baby!}

I love that Avinash is such a spiritual baby.  He loves doing aarti, can recite a few words (but mostly just hums along to the tune) and says Om whenever he sees a match lit. 

I love that new baby is kicking all the time now and is almost 28 (!) weeks.  It is so exciting to think the baby is likely two pounds and will be here in less than three months!!! 

I love that new baby will also get to travel to Disney World and Disney Land before that time.  So excited to spend time with family in LA again.  I love finding excuses to go out there, this time I didn't really have one but decided to go anyway, ha!

I am just feeling so blessed to have such a wonderful, loving and caring family who takes care of me and my baby!!!  It just means the world to me and I wanted to express it. 

{What can I say, I get a little stir-crazy inside my own head since I haven't scrapped in weeks (gasp!).  Also, sorry about the lack of pictures, I have taken lots lately but will have to wait until I get back to Houston to upload them.}

Friday, December 24, 2010

I always loved Christmas Eve best...

I always loved Christmas Eve the more than the actual day.  Usually it is when we decorate the tree, finish wrapping presents, watch a movie and put cookies out for Santa.  I think the anticipation of Christmas morning can be more enjoyable than the actual gift-unwrapping itself.  That was definitely true this year.  Though, mostly because we had both days all wrapped up in one since my mom has to work all Christmas day so we decided to unwrap gifts tonight after dinner.

I have found lately that it is cheaper to travel on the actual holiday, but I made sure to get back to Allentown before Christmas Eve. 

We had a special dinner out after getting picked up at the airport at L'angolo in South Philly last night.  It was so good to have real Italian food again.

This morning we went out for breakfast at Denny's (we won't talk about the blatantly bigoted service there...). 

We braved the mall for last-minute shopping and gift buying.   My mom and I used every single Macy's coupon we had while Ryan and Anuj bought out the men's department.

We tried (and failed) to put Avinash in his new Santa suit.  We only searched everywhere for one actually in his size.  He ended up in his red-striped PJs with an elfish hoodie.

It still looked pretty good though!!

Avi helped Ryan wrap all of my gifts which he mailed here to my house.  He resisted being wrapped himself however.

Mom took me for a few more maternity clothes and then we went grocery shopping for dinner tomorrow. 

We all posed for family photos in front of the tree.  Avinash wanted to use the 'cheese' too and kept snatching the camera off the ledge while we were waiting for the self-timer.  Hopefully we got at least one usable photo.  I think my favorite is the one where Avi is covering his face with his hands, Ryan's squinting, Anuj's eyes are closed and I'm only half sitting yet.

My mom gave him his own digital camera and he set up on the ledge and tried to get us all to sit down for a picture again.  'Cheese!'

We had a great Indian food for dinner after that, with homemade paneer and everything.  I'm still feeling stuffed and barely able to move after all the food.

We watched old-school claymation holiday classics all night.

We sat down under the tree to open presents after that.  Avinash was acting so precious after opening one gift that I asked my Dad to set up the video too.  I think waiting to open the presents while he did that was pure torture on Avinash.  He was dancing up and down in so much anticipation.  He grabbed as many gifts as he could from under the tree and started giving them to my mom. 

Anuj loved taunting Avinash over his gifts.  Avinash started shouting 'mine!' for everything.  He was so adorable.  He would shout 'mio!', grab the gift, tear off the paper and then exclaim 'wow' for everything. 
For the most part he gave the gifts to the person we told him to but would always help opening up the wrapping paper. 

I was blown away by my gifts this year, especially my new wicker picnic set!!  It is huge and gorgeous.  Luckily we bought Ryan a new Lacoste jacket this morning.  I framed a set of Ramayan prints for my parents.  My mom got back the watch she left in Houston last time she was here, ha!  Ryan followed my lead and wrapped up a pair of her glasses for her.  We got Anuj a Toy Story 3 DVD just because of the deep emotional connection he's always had with his toys.

He kept looking for more and more presents to open, shouting nen! and pointing under the tree.

He and Anuj broke his new remote-controlled car within minutes.  He loved crawling in and out of his new elmo tent.  And of course, at the end of it he found my old nearly-30 year old baby computer and started playing with it under the tree. 

Hope you all have a Merrry Christmas Eve too!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

26 weeks

I had to go for another ultrasound on Monday because the baby was measuring a little small at 20 weeks. Luckily the growth seems to have caught up and is now in the 40%-ile. I'm really happy that I got to go for an extra ultrasound because the tech took a few 3-d shots for us.

Of course, just like Avinash, the baby would not move its hands off its face during the ultrasound. She tried to get a few pics anyway.  I like this picture a lot because the baby looks so peaceful and sweet.

I kind of like the 2-d picture of the face as well.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

We have been busy...

Dancing to Christmas music with Daddy at the Zoo this weekend.

Checking out the botanical gardens in Austin and showing off my rapidly expanding baby bump ~25 weeks.  Can't believe I still have at least 3 more months to go!

And making lots of important phone calls at the hotel to Nana, La-La/Elmo and "babies".  Mostly telling them about seeing a train, playing with other babies and eating nummies.

Taking regular trips to the Children's museum, but sometimes we see more interesting things just on our walk there than inside!

And getting ready for a visit from Grandma this week, then heading back to Pennsylvania for Christmas!!  Avinash has been back to his sweet self and just needs to regain all the weight he lost and start sleeping through the night again.  I think we both still jump whenever we get to close to a dog, but that's okay for now.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Project Class Winner!

I had a little surprise at Two Peas today, I am the November Patterened Paper Class Winner!! 

This is my winning layout.  I cut out the banner on a Webster's page and used some pictures from this spring.  This was probably one of the happiest times of my life.  The garden in front of the art musuem was full of azaleas.  We had just moved to the museum district and life was pretty perfect.  I was so happy to be home from work while it was still light out and we all headed over to the park together before dinner.  So nice to relive these happy memories.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Feeling festive!

I love decorating for the holidays. At home it feels so cozy spending cold nights cuddled up inside with lights twinkling all around. We don't get quite the same effect in Houston. And even though we were too lazy to get a tree here, I'm really happy with the final look.
I actually had the lights up since Diwali in the living room. I got a really beautiful ornament garland and threw in on top of our ladder rail. Gives it quite the mantle effect.

I added these colored lights to our entrance way as well.  I wanted to put up more lights and this was the only place I could find to hang them.  Avinash has been so transfixed with them.  Here's hoping he doesn't try to put them in his mouth (anymore).

Ryan and I spent the last few nights making these paper ornaments.  Not really having anywhere to hang them I sort of scattered them around the apartment.  Some are in vases in the kitchen and a lot are just hanging out on the bookshelf. 

Don't worry I had Hanukkah stars too, which I hung on the windows.  I like how they look during the day but the picture didn't turn out great.  I also got this cranberry bead garland that is now dnagling from some light fixtures.  As well as icicle lights I put up outside on the terrace.  These are totally outshined now by our neighbors displays, but I still like them even if they can't be seen outside.

And that is my little Christmas tour of our apartment.  Goodnight!

Monday, November 22, 2010

My English-to-Avinash reference guide.

So, the holidays are coming up and we are planning on doing a lot of traveling this year.  Avinash has probably become alot more vocal since you last saw him, so I thought I would provide a little list of his most-common-yet-nearly-impossible-to-decipher phrases. 

I hope this helps!

wawa - water

bapi - Ryan (daddy), most people think he's hispanic and start talking to us in Spanish when they hear him say this

not to be confused with bapas which are potatoes, notably potato chips, or any chips for that matter

Nana and Nani are pretty much interchangeable

teto - cheese tortilla

pitta - pizza or spaghetti, anything with tomato sauce I think

uvas or vas - grapes

ball - balloons, the football game, or tomatoes

EO - monkey, usually his little J&J stuffed monkey which he sleeps with all the time now

dudhu- milk, in a bottle and not a glass!

jus - orange juice, he also knows tea which he isn't supposed to have but somehow has tasted!

uppah- pick me up, help me get over this barrier which is between me and some mischief or put me down so I can run around and do more mischief!

Lala - Elmo, or sesame street which he watches every morning

tos - trucks or buses

nen - again, more

nummies - usually candy or chivra, could also be any food like cucumbers or kale

S T O P, pop! - stop

peas - please, which we are hearing less and less it seems in favor of whining and screaming...sigh

babies - anyone under the age of 12, also refers to my belly and his own belly button

poopoo - either he pooped, is about to go or he farted (or he heard you farting, ha!)

appla - apples or pears

afflay - waffles

cheese! - let me take your picture please!

uhoh - Hmm...I intentionally spilled something all over the ground

soes - help me get my shoes on and take me outside!

Most animals are referred to by the sound they make and not their actual names.  Eg, woo-woof is dog and neow-neow is cat.  Pigs are referred to as lalala (not to be confused with lala), because of his singing pigs book.  He also says choo-choo to mean train or subway, and sometimes buses.

I can't wait to see all our family on the east coast this weekend.  I miss everyone so much!!

Week 23 Pregnancy Symptoms

I always find these What to Expect symptoms lists for pregnancy so funny to look at and compare.  Here is where I supposedly am now.

Week 23 Pregnancy Symptoms

Fetal activity: A definite yes on this one.  It is just so reassuring to feel the baby kick and twirl around all the time.
Hearty appetite: Hmm...I gave up on the 'no eating past 9pm' rule long ago.  Ryan has had to drive to taco bell at least twice in the last week, after a full dinner, with an order so large he had to write it all down to remember it.  I just finished a plate of grapes and am about to have tater tots with cheese whiz (hey! I guess I'm like a Philly girl in some ways; I also like it on toast with jam and party mix even when I'm not pregnant).
Bloating: I now look like a small car, so yes.
Forgetfulness:   Umm, I think I have been but I honestly can't remember?
Snoring:  Luckily I have no idea since I always kick Ryan out of bed first for snoring.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Ryan and I were talking this morning about how kids seem to grow up faster and faster constantly.  Or at least want to.  But why?  It seems so silly to us now.  You can have so much more unpretentious fun as a kid. 

We still try to find moments of whimsy in our life all the time.  It's probably when we have the most fun.

Like the natural waterslides outside of Pittsburgh.  Or any water slides really. 

Then, imagine my delight when I saw a "Build-your-own Whimsical Sheet Castle" display at the Children's Museum later today.

Avi briefly honored us with his presence in the tent we were making, but was much more focused on his facepainting masterpiece..

{On a side note, I was really impressed with his facepainting today.  Look at that bright blue stripe straight down his nose to his chin, the use of bold colors, and the daring to add a hint of pink even just to bring out the other shades.  Just masterful.  I almost laughed when he pointed at the girl painting beside him "baby!" because she was at least twice his age and only had a few sad brown smudges on her face.  Oh, he is so precious.}

So, in true Hecker-Kumar fashion Ryan and I worked on the whole thing ourselves.  Getting a bit disheveled in the process.

I have to say though, the thing turned out pretty damn awesome in the end.  Before we got there it was basically just a pile of pillows and folded up blankets.  Avinash could stand up fully inside it and we could sit comfortably.  And of course, all the other kids wanted to play in it too afterwards.  Several random kids came up to me and asked where the footballs??? were.  I have no idea.

It was so awesome being reminded of my childhood.  We used to stack up the couch cushions and build sheet tents all the time.  Eventually we moved them to the basement so that we could expand their size.  Some of them stayed up for weeks!  We could play games and hang out with our other (equally dorky) friends..  Now I am so looking forward to doing that all over again.

Pampers GtG codes

Just thought I would share some Pampers Gifts to grow points that I found on the internet recently.  Mostly retailmenot and FrugalMom. 

I got hundreds of points this way. 














I still have yet to use any of these points, but they have some gift cards and Snapfish deals that are decent.  Most of these expire this year!

Friday, November 12, 2010

feels like christmas!!

And not because of the fact that it is only a balmy 65 degrees outside today and I actually wore a sweater.  Granted it was short sleeves and I kind of regretted it after an hour and I paired it with flip flops. 


I am waiting to open a very important package tonight!  I had my 20-week ultrasound today and everything looks great.  We decided to have the tech write down the gender of the baby and put it in an envelope so we could figure out how we wanted to find out.  If at all.  

So, I decided to take the envelope to Janie and Jack and have them gift wrap a girl or boy layette outfit and then wrap it up without telling me.  When Ryan gets home we are going to open it up together. 

We have decided to keep it a secret just between the two of us though, sorry!

The baby was so amazing to watch during the ultrasound.  The little one is already sucking its thumb.

Just another profile shot.  We even saw the baby stick its tongue out!

I love the little feet too. 

This is a little crafy-moment I had last night because I couldn't get over my excitement about the ultrasound today.  I also love ee cummings so I thought it fit. 


Avinash looked so cute when he came over to see what I was taking pictures of.  Whenever he sees a camera he immediately starts saying "cheese!" now.  I told him it was a picture of the baby, but I'm not sure if he understood because he later asked me if the rose bushes were the baby. 

And in case you were curious, or more likely, just bored, here is a picture of me and the new baby together circa 21 weeks.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I love..

twinkling lights in our apartment and outside our window that look like stars.

the holiday feeling in the air since the weather started getting colder.

being able to wear sweaters, scarves and jackets.

seeing Avinash in all his hats and hoodies, he looks sooo adorable in his hoodies.

all of the belly kisses I get from Avinash for the baby.

feeling kicks and somersaults, especially when I lay down at night.

watching old episodes of Firefly and Arrested Development with Ryan.

celebrating all the holidays with my family and friends this year - we were in Dallas for rakshabandan, in Houston with friends for Karva Chauth and Diwali, and will be back in Pennsylvania/New Jersey are for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years! It has literally been years since I got to do that.

planning our 'babymoon' to Disney World in January! We have already started rewatching favorite movies and listening to the songs with Avinash. It is such a delight to see how much he loves our favorite kids' movies too.

the sound of Avinash's voice and his rapidly expanding vocabulary. We have totally forgotten all of our worries about a 'language delay.'

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My little pumpkin.

We continued our now 'yearly' tradition of taking central market pumpkin patch pictures.

Avinash blew me away when he actually agreed to wear the hat this time! I think it is the most adorable thing ever. Of course, his mind was mainly on the balloons there.

Afterwards we decided to continue our jam-packed weekend. We headed to Boo at the Zoo, but it was too hot for his ducky costume. Just like last time, he asked to see the monkeys first and squealed with excitement when we saw them. We also went to see the moles, so Ryan could witness how much he loves watching them tunnel back and forth. It is especially cute when he shows all the other kids where the moles are in the tunnels.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Avi's Costume Parade.

I love shopping. I used spend all my free time roaming around center city looking for deals on shoes, practically living in H&M and even making occasional trips to BR.

Having Avinash has taken that love to a whole new level. Obsession really.

I can't say that I ever got much into Halloween growing up. Mostly just tried to put something together at the last minute or didn't bother at all.

I never realized that this holiday had so many great shopping possibilities. Turns out I can not resist buying baby and now toddler costumes in every design available. I especially the Carter's prams because they can be worn as regular clothing as well without too much added bulk. What is the point of all that padding anyway? Is a baby more believable as a duck if his butt is five times its normal size? I suppose it is cute, but I really don't want Avinash to think he needs artificial augmentation of his body already! Or ever.

Well, as a result Avinash can now host his own one-man Halloween toddler costume parade.

To start, this little tiger is paraded around on the shoulders of his very own parrot.
It was amazing how amenable to face painting Avinash was. Not touching his face and smudging the whole thing afterwards? Not so much.

His dragon costume totally came in handy when we went to Ren-Fair.  Although people seemed to think he was a turtle.  Think people.  Why would a turtle be terrorizing historically innacurately dressed knights?  Makes no sense. 

He wore it again on one of our many trips to the Children's Museum trick-or-treating.  I don't think he even knew how to say the word nummies at the beginning of this month.  Not sure where he learned it either, since I have never used that word.  Here is the little dragon devouring his spongebob gummy-nummie.

And here is the little giraffe trying to devour a mini pumpkin.  The zoo had this cute little pumpkin patch set up for pumpkin decorating, but Avinash did not quite understand the point.  And kept calling them applays, hee.

I love this giraffe watching the monkeys picture.  He looks so tall all of a sudden, maybe this costume is rubbing off on him!  This is right before we met a little ballerina who talked up a storm with Avinash about the all the 'e-o's  they saw.  He may have then followed her around for the next half hour or so.  Luckily her mom didn't mind when he tried to hold her hand.

We dressed him up as a pirate to play on the ship at the Natural History Museum, he totally loved it!  He didn't believe us for weeks that the ship had left and always had to see for himself.  I painted an eye patch on myself that day and one of the kids asked me how I hurt my eye?!

He put on his penguin costume at the gymnastics party.  The best thing was seeing him sliding down the parachute on his tummy, just like a real penguin!  We were so worried about the timing of the party because it coincided with nap time.  He was so sleepy when we got there, but as soon as he saw the parachute-slide it was an instant transformation. 

Last, but not least....the little Big Bird-esque ducky.  This shot of him in the dryer is so awesome.  He loves to move clothes in and out all the time, why shouldn't the ducky to laundry to? 
This is actually one of the few costumes he puts on willingly, even the leggings, ha.

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