Tuesday, August 30, 2011

so cool, and doesn't even know it.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

And, all she wants to do is keep up with her big brother. I mean, he has all the best toys and he gets to do the coolest things. Nandini wants to play with legos too! Now, Avinash is really going to have to learn to share. It's a skill he is still working on as you can see in the video. Nandini doesn't seem to realize that she is going to be on punishment soon herself because she is getting big too fast!! I tried to warn her, but she just won't listen.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wood smoke and s'mores

Being in hill country was amazing.  The nights were so cool.  Relaxed and breezy.   There is nothing like a s'more made over a wood fire.  With real marshmallows on sticks and everything. 

We had these every night.  The first night Avi was so excited to try it, but was far more enthralled with the lazy river bank once we got there. 

It had sand, shallow water and lots of other babies.   He even told me he had to help his friend and brought a little girl a pail of water and then a small shovelful of sand.  Ah, almost sharing.  He also loved chasing after the innertubes as they floated by.  We went round the lazy river together a few times and could here the sounds of walle in the background.  I saved two marshmallows for Avinash and promised him the second one if he would wait to eat the first.  (I love experimenting with him.)  He sat down, clutxhing it and licking it all over while he waited.  It was adorable and a predictor of future success apparently. 

After tubing we settled on the lawn to watch the rest of the movie. It was even more enjoyable than usual to watch the credits out of doors.  Goosebumps, seriously.

When life gets really stressful and tedious I often think back to happy family moments in my mind.  For a long time it was our first trip to Disney world with Avinash. Sometimes it is just what to have for dinner or central market (weird I know).  Sitting on the lawn, after making s'mores together and floating in the river, sitting in the grass watching a great movie while a cool breeze blows, the smell of wood smoke lingering in the air.  Ahhhh.  I must remember this one.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Avi's first day of pre-school

Or should I say pre-shul?  Of course one of my favorite parts was the shopping!  We went to no less than four stores hunting for the perfect backpack.  I'm sure this will be a regular tradition, but we opted for a larger one in the end so he won't grow out of it so soon. 

Luckily we got to show him his new classroom the day before school really started.  He wasted no time in checking out all of the toys.

I think it really helped him deal with any anxiety about school, because we had no crying the next day.  I was also probably way too proud of the fact that he is the only potty trained kid in his class and that we were the only parents not carting in bagfuls of diapers that day. 

Of course the ice cream social afterwards with his friend Nisha didn't hurt either.

We made it a special outing for Avinash and left the baby at home.  somehow that didn't make as much of an impression as we thought. 

Ice cream and cookies make everything better.  Especially with a friend.
The next day he was slightly less than excited for pictures.  Getting up and ready this early isn't exactly part of our usual routine.

Smiling, but blurry.

He laid down again, but the baby helped that smile appear a little.
At least someone is looking at the camera. 

I think in the future I think I'd like to take a full family picture every year.
Finally happy on his way out the door.  He really wanted to get there and for us to quit taking pictures!
Finally at school, looking all grown up ~ my big and little boy.  He walked right into the classroom and didn't look back once!  As my cousin Niharika said, all that is waiting is the scrapbook page of this moment.

I was so proud of him.  Even better he came from school with a positive note about his behavior (is it possible he is really learning to share?) and a glowing report from the teachers about our sweet boy. 

Six Skunks.

We stayed in Hill Country this weekend and had an amazing time.  Our hotel is woodsy and quaint.  It has it's own lazy river to tube in that is surrounded by trees.  One night I went round by myself while everyone stayed near the front 'beach' area.  I saw raccoons crawl under a bridge in an effort to eat the trash.  At another bridge I saw what looked like a huge squirell scurry across.  Then I noticed it's huge tail and realized it was a momma skunk rushing across to get to her mate and 3 babies.

When I told everyone what I saw, Ryan was of course incredulous.   Avi, however, quickly informed me that he had seen SIX 'kunks to my measly five. 

That surprisingly did not stop him from getting scared of skunks when we went on a short walk the next day.  And the next day.  Even though he originally requested to see skunks each night.  I'm not sure, but with the sound of all four of us crashing through the trails, we didn't manage to see any animals together. 

And tomorrow we are off, back to the land of exhaust, instead of wood smoke, the land of dogs and squirrels and the occasional ferral cat instead of racoons and squirrels.  The land of heat and humidity and no trees instead of the cool breezes in the woods and off the river.  Sad, but well rested and happy that Avi got a little more fodder for his imagination. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

5 months

Nandini you are my (mostly) sweet baby girl

You go crazy when you are tired and can't find your favorite pacifier, ie, your own thumb.  Why it is so difficult for you to locate sometimes I cannot fathom.  You will also startle awake as you doze off and it slips out of your mouth.  I think it is funny that your favorite sleeping position now is on your side because that is the way I hold you when you nurse.  You contort your little legs into the funniest and most uncomfortable looking positions trying to keep yourself propped up on your side when I am not lying next to you.  Poor little thing.

Your new nickname is Avinash Nandini Princess Princess Nandini.  It started very randomly when your Bappi couldn't quite spit out your name, but has quickly become de rigeur around the Hecker household.  I tried to add Polamalu to the end of it while we were watching the Steelers game, but Bappi was very dubious. 

{Photos by Avinash}

The person you probably love the most is Avinash.  Whenever you hear his voice, your eyes automaticaly scan the room.  You love it when I pick you up and follow him around the room and give you some of his toys.  He is not that great about sharing them at all, but every once in a while he will very sweetly give you your giraffe or bird toy.  He loves to give you lots of hugs and kisses too, which you tolerate more now than when you were too tiny.  I love reading books as a family together, especially when Avinash 'reads' to Nandini.

You are starting to teeth a little bit I think.  You love sucking on my fingers, and nursing has become a very extended process.  You also like that little giraffe chew toy more and this little plastic red bird with a blue handle that broke off of one of Avinash's old toys.  Good thing I never throw anything away, ha!

You are scooting all over the place.  That butt is working overtime scooting off your playmat and off the carpet all the time.  It is so cute to see you wriggling and wiggling all over the floor, especially in search of Avinash or his toys!  I know I've said a lot of this before, but it is true!  Our nanny, Ana, said your butt is just like mine and my mom's.  Umm, thanks? Actually that is a compliment for us, but a bit of an insult for Nandini...

You are eating one meal of 'solid' food a day.  I broke down and bought packaged rice cereal from the store.  At least it was brown rice with DHA and all that good stuff.  You seem to like it so far.   We have not repeated the mashed bananas fiasco, but contrary to your very early preferences, you do enjoy mashed avocado now as well.  Can't wait to see how you are growing at your check up next month! 

You really love talking to yourself in the mirror.  It is a great way to calm you down when you are upset and crying.  You also love to play peekaboo now.   I am surprised that you like this game, because you never fail to startle and cry at all of Avinash's 'prise! parties. Even though these are a daily occurrence now, you still haven't gotten used to it.  I tried to get a video of your laughter when playing, but you were so obsessed with the camera that you wouldn't play with me.  Instead you just opened your big eyes extra wide and stared into the camera.  Silly girl.  Normally you love it when I hide under your onesie, kiss your tummy then pop out and say peekaboo.  You also love it when I cover my face with a sheet and let you 'pull it down by yourself.'  You are not that giggly so it is great to hear you laugh.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

hello hello hello.

I just got my box of Amy Tangerine goodies from here.

I had so much trouble deciding where to start.  I basically just sat there for an hour looking at all the pretty paper and stickers.  I ended up starting out with some stitched paper and a colorful photo of Nandini on her play mat.  I love how much her own reflection fascinates her.  I know this is a pretty basic reaction in all babies, since they are hardwired to love faces, but I still get a kick out of it!  The mirror definitely made tummy time more enjoyable for her (at least for a few moments).

I punched out some circles in this patterned paper.  I used the punched circles as a mask and misted over the paper with pony mr. huey, then used some malted milk paint from JB too (the best cream paint I have found, the only one with any opacity).  I popped up some of the remaining circles to give the paper a bit of dimension.  These little sun, cloud and rainbow stickers are so fat and happy too.

I love these stitched brads.  This little girl slays me, sort of like a little preview of what is to come.  We are nowhere near ponytails, I can't even get hair clips or anything to stay put in her hair yet. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Relaxing with a good book..

After our hectic and chaotic weekend (to put it mildly), the babies just wanted to sit on the couch and unwind with some books. 

    We met up with a friend for an early Saturday morning breakfast before gymnastics class.   Luckily this helped Avi take a crucial early nap before a birthday party later in the afternoon.  Of course my camera was acting up so I have none of the cute pictures of Avi and Nandini in birthday hats with balloons.  Avi was so excited and happy to be there.  He loves all the aspects of birthday parties- playing games, seeing friends, singing songs, wearing a hat, and eating cake and nummies.  Although someone may or may not have dumped cake all over himself and my shoes.  And then followed it up with a whole bottle of water.  (And it wasn't Avinash.)  Never one to be outdone by my husband, I upped the ante on Sunday morning by setting fire to friend's toaster oven at a playdate.  No one was hurt, but I still feel terrible.  Sigh...

Friday, August 12, 2011

this girl and that boy.

our two little monsters

Nandini, right now (almost 5 months)

She is learning to scoot and can alllllmost crawl.  She wants so badly to reach all of Avi's toys and play taste them for herself!  It is so cute when she tries to propel herself forward and her butt gets moving and her whole body is flailing, but all she can do is shimmy and makes hardly any forward progress. 

She loves to suck her thumb still, so she figures that my fingers must have some equally alluring flavor to them as well.  This frequently distracts her from nursing.  My fingers make good chew toys apparently.
She follows Avi's every move with her eyes and is alternately horrified, confused or enthralled. 

And always mesmermized (as was Anuj with me according to my parents, who would have thought?)

She is also still a great sleeper and the sweetest baby.

Avinash, right now
well, you know how people say that raising a baby is like training a puppy that slowly learns to talk?  We are probably at higher ratio of boy to puppy now that he is potty trained and speaking more coherently.  He recently told Ryan this story before going to sleep:
"Avi, mommy and Bappi were scared.  Oh no! Watch out! Robots!  Ohhh! A bear.  Bear eat a robots.  Robots run away!  Catch them!  (Are mommy and bappi safe now?) Yeah!"  The end.
He also told the story of the three bears, but with too hot pancakes instead of porridge.

He loves putting stickers all over the house. 

He is an avid artist, with his two most preferred mediums currently being chalk and playdoh.

The hippo that I thought was a cloud. He also loves to draw different animal footprints
(He drew a really good owl the other day but I didn't get a picture.)

A yellow play-doh anatomically correct 4-chambered heart perhaps?

He has a lot of his books memorized now.   I love sitting down with Nandini while he 'reads' us a story.  Some of his favorites are Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!, and Yummy Yucky.  He can even put together consonants and vowels together and read a few words.  He read the word pig and made up the word alc (alck?) after mistaking the / in a/c for an L.  Pretty good I think.  Imagine how well he would do if he had something other than WordWorldteaching him this stuff.

He loves eating tofu now.  I am so thankful he has a regular source of protein now.  Although it is still pretty low calorie, I'll take it.  The 'soy' ch'ckn nuggets I tried for him, not so much. 

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