Monday, September 9, 2013

Nap time

Ethan's favorite morning nap spot.

Summer at the zoo

Yeah, Em mostly ignored the animals.
We took Emily on her first trip to the Houston Zoo last week. Because summer is still in full effect here, we planned a morning excursion and even so only lasted ~2 hours before the heat and humidity sent us running for an air-conditioned restaurant!

The ones with the protruding ears are sea lions, not seals, dad.
Gran and Uncle Gokul joined us for the adventure, ate lunch with us, then drove to the airport to fly to Australia.

Ethan wasn't walking yet the last time we went - it's so much more fun now! Everyone went on the carousel, and E rode all by himself (with dad hovering beside him, of course!).

There are chickens just strolling around. Is that odd?
E enjoyed the children's zoo area, although he's still a little young for most of the activities. He studied the goats in the petting zoo and almost touched them several times. He also showed us the safest way to descend a 3-foot slide (turn around and slowly, oh so slowly crawl backwards), a method he also uses for stairs, sofas, curbs, thresholds, and gentle inclines.

Safety first!
Hopefully Gran will send me the pictures she took so I can add them...

I made my mom stand in front of the Australian kookaburra. She went to Australia for 5 days, including the 2 days of travel. Is that odd?
Mom took a special photo for my brother, who's a pointing enthusiast. Fortunately for her, I did not make her take a special photo for my sis-in-law, who is a jumping enthusiast.

Emily turns 1 month old!

Little Bit is a month old today!

Poor second child, she doesn't get an 'E for Extraordinary' treatise like her big brother did on his 1-month birthday, but she will always know that she is, indeed, extraordinary. She's a strong little lady who guzzles milk, swings her little arms and legs and holds up that head, and fixes you with penetrating stares so intense that she must be reading your mind and gleaning all your deepest secrets. Mostly, she sleeps.

Happy 1-month birthday, little one!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Thirteen months and counting

So a week before Ethan turned 13 months old, he achieved the momentous life milestone of becoming a big brother. Thus far, he's been a fantastic older brother, which I define as not maiming, breaking, or scarring his infant sister. He really seems to understand 'Soft' and 'Gentle', which is probably because we've spent so much of the past few months encouraging him to be gentle and soft with the 2 dogs. 

What to say about our wonderful 13-month-old?? He really is pretty awesome. I've decided that the best adjective for this kid is jolly. He loves to laugh, smile, run, dance (an absurd little squat-sway-clap that happens when we put any music on, from classical to commercial jingles to hip-hop). He delights in handing us whatever he is holding, in feeding us his snacks, in high-fiving over and over again. There are tears, of course, especially when his father goes to work or goes downstairs or leaves the room or puts him down. Rarely there are hysterics, when we are outside and a storm is coming and I pick him up to go back in the house or when dad won't let him eat the dog food. Generally, there are smiles and giggles. 

He is just smitten with his own reflection and can't pass a room with a mirrored surface without stopping to check himself out. Oh yeah, and he can't pass up a good light switch either - his favorite is the one in the bathroom that he can just reach if he stretches.

Many evenings, starting a couple of weeks ago, we take him and his sister out for a neighborhood stroll, once the temps drop below 90 degrees or so (around 7pm - gah!). Mister Independent likes to walk all by himself, stopping to investigate many phenomena along the way (such as pine cones, puddles, asphalt spills, street lights, teenagers on bikes). He refuses to hold hands, except when he is having trouble transitioning from the street to the grass and he needs moral support. 

He loves the swings at the neighborhood park and laughs the whole time he is swinging. What a delightful sound!

He loves to be in the pool or the hot tub and loves going to splash pads, but until very recently he's absolutely hated taking baths. We have spent the last few weeks gradually re-introducing him to the bathtub and yesterday he got a bath and a shampoo without tears (hooray!). Hopefully soon he'll enjoy bath time as much as any normal toddler.

He's gotten really good at mimicking - we have to be careful what we say around him these days! He still doesn't use a lot of words but he definitely says 'ball', 'mi[lk]', and 'hi'. Oh, and 'mmmmm' while he eats.

As you can see from the photos, he's just getting cuter every day. Happy 13 months, E!

Introducing Emily Hope

A long-overdue welcome to the lovely Emily, born August 9 at 8:12 am. 

7# 13oz, 20 inches, giant head (just like her brother).

She is just an angelic little lady. She hardly ever cries, and her favorite activity (technically, an inactivity, I suppose) is sleeping. She 'naps' for 4-5 hours at a time - her mama is not complaining!

Poor little girl is not extremely photogenic this week, owing to an impressive case of exuberant milia (wow - the first baby on that page looks so much like Emily I thought maybe someone had snagged her photo for their site - but Emily has more milia than that baby...), so many of our photographs are in dim lighting. I am assured by my physician husband that the milia will disappear soon and no treatment is required or recommended.

Big brother is fascinated by her and checks on the crib any time he hears a cry. He's been a little more clingy lately, but that's to be expected. He loves to sit next to Em on the play mat and investigate her ears, face, hair, and he really seems to understand that he has to be gentle.

I'm enjoying a splendid 2 1/2-month maternity leave, recovering from the c-section, taking the occasional nap, baking bread, doing needlepoint, cooking dinner, and (rarely) blogging.

Yes, we're tired, and sometimes frustrated, but I really am so grateful for 2 happy, healthy kids and a devoted husband/dad. Life is good.