Saturday, May 22, 2010

Busy Saturday

or, eating bubbles at the Opera

I totalled my car on Tuesday. Not that stress has been getting to me or anything lately. It's funny how this stuff seems to pile up? Of course we had five (!) cases Wednesday, I had a late meeting Thursday an hour away and was on call Friday night. Needless to say I needed a break today. Thankfully my Dad came down Wednesday night after my accident. It is such a relief to feel so much love and support from my parents all the time, I don't know how we would get by otherwise.

Avinash was a little ham at his beast's little gym class today. He kept running to the center of the room while everyone was taking turns demonstrating forward rolls. And, when it finally was his turn he froze in his tracks and sort of slumped over. Great. (ha!)

My dad tried to sit right outside the room, but Avinash saw him through the window and made him come inside. He was delighted when he got to play with Nanaji!!

We went to T'afia for some farmer's market and breakfast before Ryan has to catch his flight. I was so tired when we got home, I literally don't remember anything until Avinash was poking me in the face and laughing about four hours later. Apparently Ryan had tried to wake me up and say goodbye to me before he left for the airport but with no success.

After that I couldn't very well stay asleep much longer. Avinash was so excited to have me wake up! I love it, seeing his big excited smile which he knows he can use to get away with anything. We all went out to central market to restock supplies, where I gave Avinash a 'coffee' sample cup of cream that he dumped all over the floor after two sips.

Tonight was also the annual Miller Outdoor Theatre Opera production. This year they performed Tosca. I am an Opera neophyte, but I loved it. We had seen them rehearsing there on Tuesday so it was cool to see it again for real, this time with subtitles. The story was new to me, and so soo good.

I had so much fun just being outside, hanging out. We all hung out on the grass hill behind the seats and ate cherries. I brought bubbles for Avinash to play with. It started out like this.

And ended up like this.

Apparently the taste of bubble fluid is not rancid like I thought.

Avinash was singing to himself the whole way home. We decided to sit and do aarthi with him. Well, once we sat down in front of the puja he demanded the kumkum, which he then dotted all over his face and ours. My Dad's power to keep him calm amazes me. I tried to take the red powder away from him and he started bawling, then my dad tried and he was happy as a clam. I am in awe of their bond, just total awe.

Anyway, that is all for now. Just missing Ryan while he is away on his 24 hr trip to Boston for Amanda's graduation. I think he is spending as much time traveling as he is spending actually in Boston, oy.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

RDG + Bar Annie Brunch

Our brunch experience at Bar Annie was at once terrible and great. I was at work all morning, but we still somehow managed to make our 12.15 reservation there on time, and with a clean and dressed baby in tow!

The highs
We decided to sit outside and let Avinash explore the patio.

Avinash making friends with a little french girl, the two of them ran around the patio. They probably have no languages in common, but they seemed to have no problem communicating. Pointing, incomprehensible syllables, hand holding and hair touching seems to work just fine.

Best of all, Avinash was entertained the entire meal and only knocked over one little jug of creamer.

Delicious red chile egg enchiladas, even Avinash liked them!

The lows
Did not get any photos of Avi's little girl friend. How will he ever remember her?

Sending back microwave reheated (probably) beignets, twice. Ryan even went so far as to call the manager over. We then had to argue with the manager about it, am I crazy or are beignets and doughnuts never cold in the middle!?!?

Despite the consternation, any brunch when Avinash eats and plays is a huge success in my mind. We will probably be crossing Bar Annie off of our list of go to places though. Next on our list though is the empanada house on Montrose.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Sorry for the negative post, but I can't help it!!

Life has been really hard lately. Work has been terrible and it is spilling out into every other aspect of my life. I have been dealing with this 'issue' for a couple of weeks now and it is an emotional roller coaster. I love how Ryan tries to help me so much, but I get so sensitive and end up taking it out on him. The thing I feel worst about is when I get so tired or depressed that I don't really spend much quality time with Avinash. (It is even worse when I'm post call, I can't take care of him at all. It's as if all of my mental reserve just completely pours out of me). Poor baby. He is filled with so much love, joy and curiosity. I hope I can live up to his love and trust.

I know that I need to sit down and think about what I really want at the end of the day, is my goal worth all this struggle. What is my real goal? I can't answer that right now. My family is my number one priority, I know that much. I don't even want to think about my work issues right now, ignoring them is just so much easier. Luckily Ryan helps keep me moving forward with it, but I am still without real answers or resolution.

It doesn't hurt to keep an eye on the good things in life either. We started going on nightly family walks, with a 30 minute a night goal. The first few nights we let Avinash walk on his own, and it ended up taking over an hour to get to the park and back at a very stop and go pace.

We rarely use the stroller when we are not traveling, but my parents use it all the time when he is Allentown. My Dad is so cute; when he took Avinash to the playground by himself sometimes he said, I have to put him in the stroller or he goes all over the place! My mom came up with the best idea, she would use the stroller base without the car seat attachment and let him stand in the base. He gets more freedom of movement and can look around at everything, but he is much easier to control. Otherwise we are stopping every five seconds for him to examine every single pebble, real or imagined, along the path and have started getting very vocal resistance to our attempts at redirecting him.

Our Saturday and Sunday were really cool because it just so happened that a ballet concert was going on at the same time. Avinash saw a few older Indian boys running around and playing with a football. He tried so hard to chase after them and join the group, but he was a bit slower and I don't think they could understand what he was trying to say to them. We saw a few people out walking their dogs too, which both terrify and delight Avinash. He laughs when he sees one and usually holds out both his hands as if he is expecting the dog to lick his hands, but then gets too spooked as the dog comes closer. Attempts at petting the dog are also quickly second guessed and halted midway through. (So precious.) We also had lots of fun running up and down the huge hill in front of Miller Theatre with him. Somehow Avinash always manages to get the gold, but for now anyway, we all get to medal at least ;)

Having a daily routine for physical activity, even if it is as mild as a brisk walk, has definitely felt good. We also end up watching less TV and spend more time talking, a huge side benefit.

Last week, on one of my rare non-call days, we went to our friends place for Indian-Chinese food and DDLJ! It was the perfect combination - friends, Avinash's favorite friend Gabriel, food and a classic movie. Avinash and Gabriel played while we ate and Gabriel introduced him to his dog. Avinash laughed so much, but was pretty scared by all the activity. I guess it was a big schock for him. He was even afraid to look out the window at the dog in the backyard. Being the great parents that we are, Ryan and I teased him about it all night, oops.. Watching the movie with Raj and Rachel was awesome too. Apparently, she is a movie major and she pointed out so many subtle things about the movie. I have watched that movie a million times, but I never picked up on the simile of their first meeting as he pulls her onto the train at the last minute and the ending. There were lots of others too. And I thought it was so cute that Ryan and Raj liked such watching such a girly movie with us.

I also took Avinash to the Children's Museum by myself the other day. My whole purpose of going was to let him use their facepaint stuff. Lately he has been a terror whenever I try to sit down and fix my hair or makeup because he wants to play with every single thing. He was even imitating me tweezing my eyebrows. He also likes applying lipgloss as eyeshadow. Also, lotion is apparently a great hair styling product. So, I thought he might be able to get it out of his system a bit at the facepainting table. Of course he was more preoccupied with the sponges. I loved painting his face though, even just a little bit (he's still under two and has sensitive skin). Randomly while we were there this little girl came up to me and asked for a butterfly, with glitter preferably. Not sure why she thought to ask me, but I happily obliged given my former employment. I did a full face pink and yellow butterfly on her and her mom was amazed. It felt really cool to facepaint again.

I have hardly done any layouts lately, but here are a few from the past few weeks:

I did this one a few weeks ago. I still love that test shot from using the self-timer. The flowers in front of the art museum have completely vanished now. So glad we got the pictures when we did.

A random cute picture of Avinash.

This is another Stephanie Howell scraplift. I was going to add some journaling about Avinash's love of the slide at the Children's Museum and his interactions with the other kids there, but Ryan said it looked like Avinash's campaign slogan poster. So I left it bare. I think the finished look is really striking.

Another Art Museum flower garden LO.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Weekend Road Trip!

Worked all night Friday and stayed until Saturday morning after rounds. Came home just in time for Little Gym's with Ryan and Avinash.
After a grocery stop for snacks and a quick shower at home we drove down to the rental car place to meet up with Garima, Sameer and Hunaiza.

After all that, not to mention all the drama of planning around all of our busy schedules, we all piled in our roomy rented minivan and headed for Austin!

First stop was Zilker park, we had read about it a little online, but I had no idea it was so huge. We got there just as the nature park was closing, but we got to see some of the beautiful mosaics and we hiked down one of the nature trails.

Afterwards we trekked around the rest of the park, looking for a place to play badminton. I have to admit, I was sooo cranky at first, but we ended up finding a huge playground for Avinash to play in next to a gorgeous open field. Avinash had the best time running, sliding and climbing all over the jungle gym. Then Ryan and I played gladiator on the balance beam and took turns on the kiddie zip line contraption.
Playing badminton turned out to be tons of fun, even though Ryan and I are total novices. Because the birdie is a lot lighter than a tennis ball and not really that dangerous we let Avinash wander all around the court. He was our 'roving handicap', who would also get easily distracted by dogs or other kids passing by, ha! We split up into boys versus girls but since Sameer is so much better than all of us we made them play against the wind. And yeah, we managed to beat them in a best out of three, then five, then seven, ha! Our whole strategy was to aim at Ryan, it totally worked even though Sameer tried to hit every shot by the end. We played frisbee too, which was so thrilling since we had such a huge field to play in. It was just an exhilarating feeling running through such a huge, windy, sunny field. Nothing like Houston, so beautiful. It was such a fun day, fun but exhausting. We thought for sure we would all be sore the next day.

We stayed the night at a really gorgeous 4-star hotel near the UT clocktower. My awesome friend Sandra suggested all of these great places to eat in Austin and we ended up at Mother's cafe. Moving to Houston was a shock after living in Philly and New York given the lack of culinary options, especially for vegetarians. Austin is so much more vegetarian-friendly and the cuisine seemed more adventurous overall too. Mother's was an all vegetarian place and the dishes were all so interesting. It was a definite shock to have more than one item on the menu to choose from. The best thing though was the artichoke enchilada with mole sauce.
Rich, flavorful and a definite hit of chocolate with it. Somehow it was not that satisfying for the meat eaters however, oh well.
Her brunch suggestion was a universal hit however. We had originally planned to go out dancing or something after dinner, but we were all too tired. I actually fell asleep immediately after getting back to the hotel. Luckily we got an early start the next day and made it to South Congress Cafe right before this huge crowd hit. Four words: carrot cake french toast. No, five words: carrot cake french toast heaven. No wonder there was a huge crowd. We all loved it and of course, even though we also got a spinach artichoke omelet and strawberry pancakes, the only thing Avinash would eat was the french toast. He is definitely a baby with a discriminating palette.
Our next stop was Schlitterbahn. The forecast was for rain, but by the time we arrived there was not a cloud in sight. Everyone else must have been scared away, because the lines were nonexistent. We rode Masterblaster, Black Knight and Wolf pack over and over again for at least an hour. Avinash rode everything but Master blaster, but the water was a little too cold compared to what he is used to. His favorite thing ended up being the Congo lazy river because he got his own inner tube which he could stand up in and the hot tub. He loved it! and when he saw other kids playing around he squealed and started trying to splash them. The kids were older and kind of just ignored him. Poor baby, so cute.
It was crazy how much stuff we packed into less than 48-hours.
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