Saturday, December 11, 2010

snow=winter (part 2)

And apparently it also means that I suddenly have the boon of extra time! Because I just posted all the comings and goings for October earlier, and now... onto November!

Oddly it seems that I gave my camera the month off because I took very few pictures. And oddly, I have very little memory of this month... it seems that it went by too quickly. So, I will try to memorialize what I do remember!

  • Ma and Baba (sorry... Didun and Dadu!) came to visit and we went to the Shenandoah one weekend. It was beautiful! Zoë really enjoyed seeing the deer playing. The timeshare location and the lodgings were very relaxing and peaceful.

  • We spent Thanksgiving weekend in New York City... visiting several friends and enjoying our time very much. Zoë was so oddly comfortable and at home there...given the amount of fussing in the car towards the end of our drive, she immediately became hyper-observant and interested as we entered the City-- pointing out "taxi!" and "choo choo" and mesmerized by the lights and tall buildings. Maryam had a beautiful apartment and was so sweet to share it with us and make us so comfortable. Simona made her first Thanksgiving meal, turkey and all, in our honor and it was delicious and lovely and ... TOO MUCH FOOD! Then Jen and Brendan hosted Fakesgiving and we went over in the morning. It was nice to be a part of the cooking-all-day and getting ready. We had a wonderful time... but Zoë was beginning a bad cold. We spend the rest of the visit much more low-key, resting and chatting with old friends. It was nice spending some time in the department (my previous second home!) catching up with Jacqueline (my Professor and a very supportive mentor).

  • After NYC, we all spent a week sick and struggling to stay afloat with our responsibilities... a depressingly common feeling this past year. It was frustrating to have been in NYC surrounded by support and friends, and return home where in our dark hours we feel so alone. It is better now. Partly it was a struggle because Mom had to participate in a Proposal Review panel and evaluating the proposals while sick was a challenge, and then leaving Zoë and Dad to stay in a hotel was hard too. But we all survived, and it was important and a great experience ... and in the end, it didn't kill us, but it did make us stronger!
  • snow = winter (part 1)

    Which means that I better get with the program and summarize the rest of our Fall :) The days are going by so fast that I didn't realize it's December and I blinked and then we are now halfway through this month! The good news is that December means the holidays and that means visiting California-- we are so excited! YAY...

    But hurry hurry... what happened in October and November?

    Well... in October, we played with pumpkins and had Halloween and Nina and Boris came to visit. Zoë was the moon for Halloween and Mama made her costume (with Zoë's help!) We practiced wearing the costume and that was good because she was so happy and comfortable in her costume during the Halloween parade at school. But, on Halloween... somehow we got off schedule and Zoë fell asleep when it was time to trick or treat! Then she awoke ready to go out at 9pm... when only the older kids were out. It was fun to surprise the homes when we rang the doorbell, the people would expect a grown up kid and be mildly shocked that a little toddler (cute as can be, might I brag) was there requesting a "treat"! It was, in fact, a fun little "trick" for us :).

    We also had a nice trip to the pumpkin farm and took a haystack ride on the tractor to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins and then of course... carved them into sppooooooky Mr. P. Umkers.

    We had several other fun adventures like saying "au revoir" to Rinka and Rumadida, and wearing cute boots, and watching the leaves change color, and eating Butternut Squash risotto, and ... well, you can check out our pictures here for a summary of October, 2010.

    And though we have no visual record of this (shock!) we went to the Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert rally in D.C. with Nina and Boris and showed our support for sanity. Zoë slept.

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Fall has fallen! (part 3)

    So my September posting has gone into November -- perhaps that says something about how frantic our lives have been last few months. In October we had a day trip to the pumpkin patch, Halloween and Nina and Boris' visit for the "Rally for Sanity" (where I forgot my camera , so no pictures for the blog!) These tales will have to wait until... January? Just kidding. Hopefully just until next week or so-- although we do have some fun and busy weeks planned ahead in November: visit from Basu Grandparents and a trip to NYC for Thanksgiving.

    But now... September! The other wonderful and momentous blog-worthy event was having the Zych grandparents visit and our trip to the Homestead Farm for apple picking. Here's a slideshow of the pictures from those days, including: the apple picking, adventures at the "choo choo" park, cupcakes and bubbles! In these cases, I think the pictures do tell you the story fairly well about the fun we had and the big girl that Zoë has become.

    During this trip to the apple orchard, Zoë also made friends with some chickens. After observing them carefully, she choreographed her own "chicken dance" -- complete with clucking, arm (wing) waving, and several squatting gestures, but some spins and Zoë flourishes too! Unfortunately she become rather self-conscious (relatively) with the video and I was not able to capture the full splendor of this dance. Enjoy the video and imagine it 100 times more hilarious! :)

    Once she got the sillies out with the dance (actually she was pretty serious about that too), she grew very diligent about the apple picking experience. She did manage to pull a few apples from the tree with the help of her tall father and grandfather, but mainly she thought someone should pick up the apples on the ground (who cares that they were rotten!?) Here are two videos of her working very hard to collect apples.

    The days are flying by. Just the act of writing this blog for our life 2 months ago forces me to reflect on quickly Zoë is growing and becoming a full-fledged (no pun intended!) little girl! In these short two months (short for us-- went by in a flash, barely time to upload the photos!) she has really mastered several skills: walking, climbing, drawing circles, thinking, reasoning, communicating, her vocabulary has grown from ~40 words to ~120. She sings her "ABC's", she throws fewer tantrums because she can articulate what she wants. Her fascination with the world around her impresses me and reminds us to slow down and enjoy life a bit more -- she seeks out the "moon" and "stars" (Mommy is proud) and likes to ride "bus" and watch "Choo choo" (Daddy is proud), she discovered the magic of watching the autumn leaves swirl around her on a blustery Fall day. She helped make her Halloween costume -- but that is a story for a different day ...

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Fall has fallen! (Part 2)

    September was the month of visitors. In one weekend we had Ben, Simona and Dan visit! (Next weekend the Grandparents Zych were here -- more on that in the next blog entry) Zoë was thoroughly stimulated and had someone to play with her nearly all the time... no wonder that when they left she was especially needy. It seemed that in the mornings before dropping her at school she suddenly needed extra Mama time to assure her that 1. Mommy wouldn't leave like the other visitors and 2. that she has my attention too some of the time. I think this is better now!

    I digress now with a recent tale: She is still testing her boundaries, in her wise toddlerhood -- and with only limited communication skills she sometimes asserts her wishes, opinions and independence in shocking ways. Like the day that she bit Haven in school because Haven tried to steal a cheerio from Zoë. The teachers were rather relaxed about it, but I had to have a stern talking with Zoë: "You don't like having bugbites. It is mean of the bugs to bite you. You can't go biting other people-- it hurts. Use your words!" Eventually she did say "Soree" to Haven. The teachers said that this was age-appropriate behavior -- she is testing different ways to communicate. Generally she is so sweet and sharing and friendly. But not about her space. And definitely not about her food. Hmmm...

    So when the gang was visiting, we went to the park. Lately Zoë has been coordinated enough to scramble up the stairs and find her way to the reward-- the slide doooooooown. Whhheeeee! Here's a video:

    Also this weekend, Zoë was invited to her first birthday party! Emil (the son of friends of ours from New York -- and introduced to us by Simona and Dan, no less!) turned two! Here are some pictures of Zoë at the party. The outfit fit her perfectly (from Didun, brought from India several months ago!) Unfortunately she was in a mood -- overall pleasant, but once Mommy wanted to take a nice picture with her Zozo, she was sour. Sadly, no good shots of the two of us :(

    Ok-- I did not make my deadline to finish September blog entries by September... oops! (But did anyone really notice, I wonder?) More updates soon...

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    Fall has fallen! (Part 1)

    There goes another month. Like last month (or was it two months ago) we have several stories to tell and only so much time to give in telling them. Here is a "table of contents" foreshadowing future posts (hopefully I can cover all of this by end of September... 4 days to go!? Can Mama do it?):

  • Growing up... Eating Corn
  • Attending Emil's birthday party
  • visit from Dan and Simona and Ben!
  • Grandparent (Zych's) visit
  • Apple picking at the Farm and chicken dance
  • miscellaneous cute-ness :)

    A little teaser for now as we await the rest of the pictures to finish uploading and getting organized -- could take days. Really? who knows.

    Zoë has become quite a little girl. She's not a baby. If you show her a picture of herself where her hair does not resemble the crazy-clown-cute-curly-wonder-that-it-is-locks-of-glory, she calls that "baby". To be fair, she does feel fondly of babies and has two dolls (three now! but the third is a gorgeous Eskimo doll from Alaska, courtesy of her grandparent's, and can't justly be called "baby") and she feeds them "baba" (bottle) and cares for them.

    But SHE is NOT a baby. She dresses in jeans or corduroy pants and real stylish shirts (rarely a onesie!) and is offended if we forget to put on her pants after a diaper change (only babies walk around in diapers without pants!). She insists on feeding herself with a spoon (and does very well, getting most -- 80 % of the food actually into her mouth). She uses words well: Moon, apple, cheese, socks, shoes, pants, elbow (and almost all body parts from fingers to toes!), walk, eat, cook, park, cookie, ... there are so many and she can mimic and say practically whatever you tell her. I think now is the time that we have to start watching our words and actions... to avoid embarrassment later! (Not that we do anything weird or embarrassing that we don't want perfect strangers to know about. Really! we are very normal. Ahem.) She doesn't play as much as she cooks, sweeps, and does work (evidence forthcoming in the "Zoë gathers apples in a bucket" video). And don't think you are the only person who can blow bubbles -- oh no! She needs to control the soap wand and blow them herself (drinking large amounts in the process... are we fools for feeling better somehow that the labels say "non-toxic"? Gotta pick your battles!) She loves looking at photo albums -- unfortunately, these aren't as rugged as her board books and she is learning to be gentle with the pages!

    So given that introduction (or summary), here's a video of Zoë eating corn (or I think attacking, is more appropriate of a term!) right off the cob. It is both heartwarming and pride-inducing, as well as appropriate advertisement for the late summer-early Fall bounty that we have here in Maryland. In Zoë's words: "Num num!"

    Stay tuned for more in the next few days!
  • Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Proud day for Astronomy

    Sorry Zoë fans, this is a digression about Mom and her friends this time! NO worries, we posted only yesterday, so you can read about Zoë below.

    Check out my friend, Amber, here at Goddard, NASA in this video from the Jimmy Fallon show. She's the pretty redhead. Yay, James Webb Space Telescope... we look forward to your inception :)

    Now back to work.

    Monday, August 2, 2010

    July Part 3 -- Life is Art!

    Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. ~Pablo Picasso
    Oh! the calendar did it again... another month managed to race by before I could keep up! But fear not! I am two days late, but here's the last of our July trilogy and so as to be fair, I am even going to add a few highlights fresh from August.

    From the title and first quote, I bet you can guess that we spent a nice part of July in museums! yay :) We are making an effort to actually enjoy D.C. since it has so much to offer. Over a couple of weekends we headed to three museums:

    1. National Portrait Gallery -- we LOVED the courtyard! They also had several neat American impressionists like Mary Cassat and I found I also liked Childe Hassam.
    2. Building museum -- this is a great space! They also have some interactive play. Zoë liked helping to build the arch with giant (as big as her!) blocks. Also, the building itself is pretty awesome.
    3. The Phillips Gallery -- this is not a free collection. I know!
    What were we thinking when we are in D.C. surrounded by free museums... ? but it was sooooooo worth it! The museum is located near Dupont Circle in what appears to be a lavish home. Many rooms have furniture from the same time period as the corresponding art. The pieces ranged from Monet's Luncheon of the Boating Party to more modern Rothco, with some Goya and Matisse's thrown in. I was impressed by the unique Van Gogh selection-- many I have never seen or heard of! We bought a cool boardbook for Zoë with Van Gogh paintings and a simple story to go with it. Feel free to check out all the pics in this slideshow...

    Some other fun that we have had around town:

    • Zoë's favorite park has the usual playground stuff, but also lots of toys to share. Here she is driving a police car!
    • We've been exploring neighborhoods. U Street is a little like Telegraph in Berkeley. It has a long history of African American activism and is where the poet and activist, Langston Hughes, worked as a busboy. In his honor, a wonderful cafe/bookstore/restaurant/brunch locale named "Busboys and Poets" was founded. It was yummy and fun! (Thanks to Nina for the recommendation, ages ago!)
    • Nearby in Adams Morgan, we also found a fun cafe/lounge/restaurant called Tryst. How awesome that a bar also has a large number of kids toddling around and has bookshelves stocked with books, boardbooks (for kids) and toys. Zoë loved the Etch-a-sketch and shapes matching toy-- which was high quality, made of wood and everything. AND the coffee is good! We are going to live @ Tryst. Matt doesn't know yet... but it's sort of a must. Zoë rocked the milk drinking with a straw-- we were duly impressed. Rather, relieved since it was our fault for not bringing an extra bottle. When will we learn? Apparently now it is unimportant! Ha.
    • Zoë loves her Box. She loves "baby" (her doll) too and the two of them live inside Box. Box once housed Mom's new printer, but now it is where Zoë brushes her teeth, hides, plays, ... etc. We like Box.
    • The weather has been nuts! The heat and humidity have caused crazy storms that no one could have predicted... well, except for the global warming experts. We had a tornado watch. The hurricane level winds took out most of the power in our county (luckily not ours but Zoë's school was closed for 3 days). On the plus side, when the storm cleared, we had pretty sunsets. Talk about a silver lining!
    • We all went on a bike ride! Zoë liked it enough in the end to subject herself to more helmet wearing, even for fun. Plus, the helmet has ducks on it. She can practically form a story, with WORDS. It goes: "helmet ... bike? oh no! Bye bye ducks (these would be the ducks on her helmet) ...". Translation: "If I wear helmet, can we go on bike ride? No? Ok, then bye bye ducks (since not wearing helmet requires a polite goodbye to her good friends!)" We rode to the Farmer's Market and got vegetables and yummy bread, including these french morsels of delight called "Canèles" -- they are chewy, custardy, crispy and AMAZING! Zoë, with her cuteness, scored herself (and us) the sweetest, juiciest donut peach (tiny peach shaped approximately like a donut).
    • Check out the pics here for more fun! Like: Zoë eating messy foods all by herself and Mommy making castles for Zoë to demolish (the prettier the stack, the better it falls, I tell you!)...

    Saturday, July 24, 2010

    July Part 2: A Very un-Happy Birthday and Other Tales

    Here's the next installment in our most recent debacles. The title above should actually read: "Other Tales and a very un-Happy Birthday", since that will be order of discussion... (in case you care for an outline. How very scientific of me, I know...)

    I start with a "Zoë is growing up" story. The first (of many, I suspect) Zoë versus Mom episode(s). We didn't do the whole sleep training thing. Zoë sleeps in our bed, we transfer her to her crib -- we sleep better without fighting her and she sleeps better too. But, this particular Friday night Zoë threw a fuss when transferring her to her crib. Back to letting her fall asleep in our bed, ... transferring her. Again, a fight. This pattern continued 3 times until it was 1am-- 3 hours after she first went to sleep. Finally, I had it. She's old enough now to understand that her bed is the crib and that there are boundaries. She's also simply too big to sleep in our bed with us, comfortably. And... it is a Friday night, so if there's ever a time to lay down the law, this is the time. So... I embark upon the battle of wills.

    It is epic, it is fierce, it ends with Mom winning the battle. I will not relive it all here and now. However, here are some highlights:
    • There was some rationalizing: "Zoë, you are old enough to sleep in your crib now without much fuss. We still love you. A lot of people love you a lot... (list of names), but you can't sleep in our bed anymore. You are a big girl. And when you wake up, you will see moon -- but even moon is sleeping now. So it's best if we all sleep soon." (Sadly, by the end of this process, both moon and Sun were on the brink of rising).
    • Zoë understood all this. She nodded. She pointed at the window. "Moon", she said. More nodding. Less sobbing. She pointed at Daddy, "Dadda" she said (who, by the way, was snoring blissfully at this point. HOW???). She pointed at me, "Mama". She pointed at herself, "Zozo". There was complete understanding ... until "WAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!" when I put her back into her crib. Lots of kicking, lots of screaming, lots of thrashing. All understanding undone. Back to square one.
    • At one point, I found myself saying: "Zoë, I know you are stubborn. But you didn't get that trait from your father. Cry all you want. Scream all you want. But this time, I will out-stubborn you. So there!"
    • The statement above was made with me kneeling on the floor, arms dangling over the crib railing. How ironic that while I was not granted any sleep, my arms were fast asleep, now throbbing from the numbness. Sigh.
    • Patting, bursts of screams, more patting, lots of shushing... for ~2 hours. Sleep. My armpits hurt, but sweet sweet sleep at last.

    We have joined a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for fresh produce for the summer. Every Tuesday, we pick up a grocery bag full of farm-fresh produce that is grown biodynamically to be the healthiest and with the least negative environmental impact. Zoë enjoys cleaning and learning about her food too! Here, you see her playing with the garlic, whose stalk is taller than she!

    WARNING: Like Lemony Snicket, I warn you and possibly discourage you from reading any farther if self-pity and tales of woe deeply depress you.

    So, ten years married and 32 years on this Earth... and yet, the momentous day started with poor Zoë puking on poor me (aka, birthday girl). Zoë's school had an outbreak of Hand Foot and Mouth, which is NOT Foot and Mouth (despite the creative naming similarities). In this case, the name comes from the outbreak of blisters on the hand, foot and mouth (see here). The main concern with the disease is that the mouth blisters become so painful that children will stop eating or drinking and will become weak and dehydrated over the week long healing process. Zoë didn't have any of the symptoms except a few blisters on her heel and maybe a few on her hand. With the recent mosquito bites it was hard to tell definitively anyway (bonus: she can now say "bug bite!").

    Other than throwing up, she did have a slight fever a few days earlier, and just seemed a little tired in general -- poor Zoë was missing her usual sparkle. When I called the school to share the news, the director told me that in addition (ooh! how exciting!) to this Hand Foot and Mouth, the school also had a recent confirmed case of Roseola. Back to the internet to research this one. Roseola has symptoms of incredibly high fevers (like >104 degrees F!) followed by a full body rash. Zoë's fever was much milder... but on close inspection, she was covered by small dots! Super.

    Next: call the Doctor to make an appt. Followed by the call to cancel the appointment at Vidalia, the much anticipated restaurant where I was supposed to enjoy a nice birthday lunch with my husband. "Is this how birthdays go for grown-ups?" I think... closely followed by thoughts of worry and concern and "what if's" -- after all, we have had > 6 months of near-constant barrage of illness and none of us had any immunity left to fight another aggressive illness. Now what?

    The Dr. barely walked five feet into the room and declared: "Roseola. Classic case." He then checked her temperature, ears, throat, ... I asked him to look at the blisters on the heel: "Are these also related to the Roseola?" He looked a little surprised and said that that was probably Hand footh and mouth. SHE'S GOT BOTH?!?? "Yup! They are different viruses, so no reason she can't have both" and that was that. He made it sound like I should be thrilled that she was chosen by the germ Gods to bestow both illnesses (mis-directed birthday gifts, perhaps?) upon our lucky little one-- Is that like having your birthday cake and eating it too? Luckily(if that's the right word-- silver lining outlook...!) she appeared to have a mild case of both SIMULTANEOUSLY.

    Unlike Alice's very happy unbirthday, this birthday was my very unhappy birthday-- a backward day. You know? Where good is bad... and in kind, my birthday this year would instead be celebrated on July 21st. I started a list of 32 reasons that this birthday sucked (the self-pity oddly made me feel much better), but just at the moment that I got to #23 (note: that is 32 backward!!!) Stephanie wished me a happy day and gave me several reasons that I should feel good about myself and my special day. I received birthday wishes throughout the day and I realized that I did have many blessings to count. I did make it to Vidalia. Zoë is better and stronger now. This year I got the best gift of all-- I got a do-over. Two birthdays, two chances to appreciate my life, my family, my friends and our health, two opportunities to gain wisdom and perspective in this often too hurried life. And, my wonderful, supportive husband brought home a cake worthy of pictures, memories, and a few extra pounds.

    Monday, July 19, 2010

    July Part 1: Trip to Outer Banks (OBX)

    This month has been eventful and fun. To make it a bit more manageable to read and write, I am breaking into 3 sections. Hopefully I will be able to write all three sections within the month of July... otherwise the title would be incorrect!

    In this first part, Zoë and her parents travel to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Matt and I celebrate TEN years of marital bliss. I admit that at some point, I felt that maybe we should have planned earlier and better and gone someplace really exotic and extravagant. After all, we deserved it. Ten years is no laughing matter. But... we were busy. 2010 has aged us, and taken us by surprise, and as a result, we have little vacation time, lots of premature (?) white hairs, and a real need for some downtime and relaxation. Jetting off to see Macchu Picchu or even lay on the sands of Hawaii, though eventual pies in the sky, just seemed overambitious and exhausting for now. So... we set off instead to the town of Manteo in OBX and ended up having a perfect time!

    This was an interesting and fun trip for several reasons. We stayed in the town of the first settlement (where the first child, Virginia Dare, of British born parents was born in 1587) of the United States on the Fourth of July. As we watched the fireworks and sang patriotic songs with our fellow inn-mates (sorry, pun NOT intended!), it was amazing to envision those first pioneers building the very town where we were this day.

    It was also fun to visit two of the lighthouses -- there are a chain of famous, haunting lighthouses in the area, including one on a remote island where horses roam free and wild! But those areas are not accessible by car, and would require more time and planning than for what we had the luxury. Someday later, perhaps...

    Then there were the beaches on both bay and Atlantic Ocean. Imagine if we were a little more ambitious, we could watch the sun both rise and set over water in one day! We chose instead to sleep in. Zoe preferred waiting for "moon" anyway.

    We also enjoyed the Elizabethan Gardens very much! Zoe befriended many a butterfly (new word for her-- dunno why, but she picks up those "b" words really well! Another recently learned phrase: "bug bite").

    It was just so, so nice to sit in the rocking chairs at the lovely Inn where we stayed, and look out onto the piers and shimmery blue waters, watching the lighthouse grow warmer in the setting sun, and just ... re-ee-la-aaaaa-x-... every day we found new wonderful, independent, fun coffee stores with fresh, fragrant, coffee and treats. As expected, Zoe made friends everywhere we went. :)

    That was pretty much it for the four day vacation. If you want to see more pictures from our trip, here's a full slideshow and a video of Zoe stretching her legs and walking with her recently growing sense of freedom.

    Saturday, June 19, 2010

    A Father's Day Story.

    I know! It is a real rare occurrence that I post twice in a month! But... in honor of Father's Day and as a gift to our fathers near and far, here are some Zoë-isms.

    First, Zoë loves our balcony (our oasis, we call it!), where she likes to run around, blow bubbles and look at the moon. Here are several videos:

    Saying Sayonara to the moon with a special bedtime dance--


    Blowing Bubbles with Daddy (the long version!)

    More blowing bubbles with Daddy (but shorter...)(the long version!)

    And we end with a short story about Zoë and her daddy. After a long day of park, shopping, cupcakes, and running around, we still have grocery shopping to do but Zoë is cranky and in desperate need of a "serious" (i.e., not in the carseat or stroller and uninterrupted) nap. So Matt (aka Daddy) drops Zoë and me home and goes to the store (across the street and visible from our 9th floor windows). After entering the home, Zoë grows concerned: "Daddy?" I explain that Daddy is at to the store and when she awakes from nap, Daddy would be home. She goes to her favorite place, the window seat (that is only a few inches off the floor, and therefore only a "seat" to Zoë) where she likes to sit and look out the window. But she keeps repeating "Daddy? Daddy? Daddy!! DADDYYYY!" She begins to grow hysterical-- banging on the window with her little palms and yelling "DDDAAAAAADDDDYYYYYYYY!!!!!" so loud that I am convinced he can hear from the store. At first I let her scream, thinking it is her way of getting out that last ounce of energy before crashing to slumber. But not so... after around 5-10 minutes of intensifying concern for her father, I decide it was time to call Daddy on the phone and make sure he is ok (did Zoë have some premonition?!) and hope that his voice could calm Zoë down. Daddy talks to Zoë on the phone. After the niceties, Zoë reveals her cause of concern: "Nana! Nana!" (her favorite food, of course, is banana and we did tell her that we ran out and would get this from the store). So she needs to remind her father of this important grocery item! Zoë settles down and takes her nap, and when Daddy returns and she wakes up, she happily eats her banana.

    Hours pass. We are making dinner and we hear "Daddy!!! DADDY!!!! DAAAADDDDYYY!!!" -- Zoë is back to slamming the window and yelling. "But I am here", says Daddy. Zoë smiles and shakes her head and returns to her new pastime-- "DAAAAAADDDDYYYYYYY!!!!"


    See? Daddies are indeed very important! For coming home, for getting bananas, for blowing bubbles and ... just because.

    Happy Fathers Day.

    Sunday, June 13, 2010

    patience is a virtue

    Yes, yes, we know... the blog has fallen by wayside to life. In all fairness, we have been lax with the posting, but not with the playing, having fun, growing, and all other such important things. And now we will rectify the bad blogging with oodles and oodles of photos and links to more photos!

    In early May, Didun and Dadu came to visit for a week. It went by pretty fast because we went to Williamsburg. Zoe became acquainted (no! enamored!) by "ducks". Everything that remotely looked like a bird was dubbed "duck". Also, the weather was nice enough to visit lots of parks.

    When they left, we were sad in our relatively empty house, but we found ways to have fun still... like hide and seek. Zoe likes the window seat and hides behind the curtains. Then she pulls the reindeer bookmark on her neck (like a tie or scarf) and begins her serious projects. Sometimes, that is: reading a book, coloring, sorting cards...

    and who knew? Zoe loves jumping on her bed-- she learned about the "Five Little Monkeys" but that didn't stop her!

    Then, a few weeks later, Ninamashi and Boris came to visit. We all had a great time hanging out at the Bethesda street fair, eating cupcakes, and generally playing.

    By the end, Zoe really make best buddies with "Niminininash" and "Dibits". And Matt and I got a date night. Score! :)

    By the way, Zoe's vocabulary has increased a lot-- she says several words, including: Duck, Moon, water, milk, more, all done, Bye, Hi, ... I think there are still others (anyone else want to add to the list?) She also sings, "Five little monkeys", "Row, row, row your boat", "Wheels on the bus", ...

    Hope you enjoy the photos... and take your time relishing these captured moments. Most of the photos were taken on Didun's or Nina's camera. Mom is taking a mini photo vacation and well, blogging just isn't the first priority. But visit soon and visit often and please please please leave us a note!


    Monday, April 26, 2010

    Walking (!) and other tales.

    Dear Everybody,

    It is now official-- I can walk! I can also climb. And with my new skills, I like to explore. Particularly those places that are not so safe and where my parents prefer me not to go. For instance, they put out all my toys, but I go right past them to the kitchen. I like to either climb onto the dishwasher or climb and hide in the oil cabinet. Sadly this weekend, Mom and Dad put special tricky locks on those. But, the one I love most gave them lots of trouble, I am happy to report! And even funnier, Mom didn't want me in that cabinet because there's oil and vinegar in glass bottles, and they can break -- and I didn't break them, but Mom did! Oops. I am learning "oh oh" so that came in handy. I also now say "Ball", "Mama", "Daddy" and "Up". I can say "Milk" and "more", in sign language.

    It's Spring now and we went for a bike ride. We go to the Park a lot. Oh! and yesterday, we made a garden on our balcony with flowers, herbs and vegetables. Mom said that I can water them once I walk better. Now I am working on putting on my shoes by myself and feeding myself with a spoon. I think I can do it!


    Sunday, April 11, 2010


    Welcome to the NEW and improved (?) blog! Same characters, same story... new background. Because? It's SPRING! and we are celebrating new things. Like... the daffodils, the tulips, bikes (well... still waiting for Zoë's helmet and child carrier, but keep an eye out for those pictures, for now... we are just posing.)

    From DC delights in Spring

    Last weekend we checked out the cherry blossoms in D.C.

    and lately we have been roaming the Monuments and our favorite hangout spots.

    Zoë is growing every day. She's developing quite a personality... she definitely likes to sing and dance. Itsy-bitsy Spider, Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, Wheels on the Bus are all within her dramatic abilities. See videos of an attempted capturing of her performance--
    . She's too cautious to be caught walking... but one of these days she will let go and start flying.
    In school she is making friends and learning words. She counts to "twee" (sometimes... sort of) and "Ball" is her favorite toy (she still loves to read though). When things get dangerously quiet, you can usually find her "reorganizing" things from the shelves in various favorite nooks of hers. She works very hard to keep all items meticulously strewn about the floor. In this epic battle-- Mom vs. Zoë; Zoë usually wins. Except once Zoë finally goes to sleep... if Mom manages to care by that point.

    Monday, February 22, 2010


    Hey everyone,

    I turned one a whole week ago! It was a great party. Small and intimate, but good fun with old friends. Hey, Rumadida was even at my Mom's first birthday-- so these are dear friends indeed. I really enjoyed opening my birthday presents. Besides Lars, my Austrian teddy bear, and a handknit sweater (in Cal colors-- Go Bears!) from Mom, I received many pink and red (yay, I'm a Valentine's Day baby!) outfits from Aunt Michele and my cousins and from Didun and Dadu, and other toys too. It was fun because everyday there was more mail and more presents, from my Grandparents and from Ninamashi and Boris. See? I think people must really LOVE me! And people called and wrote nice messages on Facebook for me. And my Daddy bought me a special walking toy that I can push around the hallway (but it is in the mail and not yet here). So my birthday actually lasted this whole week, and longer!

    Anyway, the presents were nice. But the cupcake was AMAZING -- I think I want to have a birthday every day because then I can make a mess and spread crumbs everywhere and eat sweet, yummy, goodness. Here are some pics of the grand event. (Oh! If you click on the slideshow, it will take you to the Picasa website where you can see the pictures a little better and print or download).

    But in case you aren't convinced how much I truly enjoyed the chocolate cupcake, here's a video. I can't even stop to clap ("thai thai") at my artistic endeavors. I am far too busy eating, no, RELISHING, my treat.

    And here are some more random pictures of me since a few weeks ago. I've grown and am doing interesting things... like playing with dishwashers, finding new places to hang out, and feeding myself.

    Ok-- that's all I have to report for now. Maybe in a few weeks I will have some more exciting news, like... saying words or first steps, or feeding myself with a spoon. These are the things that my parents are anxiously awaiting (and I CAN do them, sort of... but I like to wait and see them squirm. Shhhhh... don't tell them!)


    p.s. One of the teachers at school overheard me saying "baby" but I think I convinced my parents that it was only a fluke. They are so gullible. Ha.

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    chopin is her middle name (not really)

    We are snowed in on a Monday... so what better thing to do than upload more pics and videos. It's pretty much the only way we have now to connect to the outside world. We tried going out yesterday in a car, and let me tell you... that's an adventure. See our pictures of the "Snowmegeddon". Seriously though, things are at a standstill here. We are lucky to have a plowed street, power, an uncovered car, food and cancelled work/school. There are others who really have to brave the snow!

    So we've been home-- cooking lasagne, baking cookies, healing from our respective illnesses (ear infection, bronchitis, flu, etc.) ... staying busy and playing! Oh! and Zoë is learning to feed herself! The slimy bananas were a bit tricky. But makes for good viewing :) Enjoy!

    Here is a video that illustrate Zoë's piano abilities (we apologize for the darkness... the piano is in a dark corner).

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    Catching up...

    Dear Readers,

    Mom and I really appreciate all of you! Many wrote to say that you read what we write here and others told us to keep it up, so we haven't written in a long time but it isn't because we are sad anymore. It's because we've been really busy! We flew to California and had Christmas, and I had several parties where I was the important person. So that means that I had to wear a pretty dress and behave. Oh, yes, my baptism was one of those occasions (see the pictures here-- and anyone else can add their photos here too, please!). Somehow the deacon was impressed that I was very good with the whole ceremony, even the oil and water on the head part, until I raspberry kissed him (or really "PTTTHHHHHHHFFFF"d at him). But I do that all the time. It's one of my favorite things. So is clapping (I call it "Thai thai" because it's part of a Bengali nursery rhyme, like "Patti Cake"). My best friend is the girl in the mirror, and guess what! She can stand now too! I like to stand at the chair and sometimes my Mom and Dad make an obstacle course at home for me (See our videos!) and I can do tricks while I am standing.

    Only, I have to clap sometimes when I stand really well and people say I am doing good, and then I have to sit first. Otherwise, I might fall. Still, I am trying to do both-- stand and clap together! I almost succeed in this video-- see???

    Maybe by my first birthday... which is coming up, by the way! I wonder what we will do? Ok, it's waaaaaaaay past my bedtime, so I better go now.

    Love you all and Happy New Year (It's my first New Year :) !)--