Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas Day 2011

We had a great Christmas day here in Austin!  We all woke up at 8:00 (and that means Joshua woke us up since he ends up in bed with us every night) and slowly started our morning routine.  After breakfast together, Steve read the Christmas story to Joshua and we said a prayer.  Then we let Joshua open presents.  Except he still didn't really grasp the opening presents part so I helped a lot.  He absolutely loved his recorder and school bus and stared in amazement at the tool bench box and race car apparatus that Uncle Scott and Aunty Betsy got him.  He also loved the fast cars that Uncle Ben and Aunty Abby got him.  He definitely liked playing with the wrapping paper and thought it was funny to watch Steve and I open our presents.  Christmas is so different when you see it through a child's eyes.  We had a great time throughout the season singing Christmas songs, turning on the lights every evening, and finally getting to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas Day.

Mom, Dad, and Sunil came in from Dallas around noon and Joshua was entertained the rest of the day.  He had a great time showing everyone his golf moves and playing with toys.  Then we had Mom and Dad from Austin come over and we had a tasty Christmas dinner with a Smokey Mo's turkey.  We were all full by the end of the night.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

21 months today with 5 weeks left!

I can't believe that I've neglected this blog for almost 2 months!  Joshua turned 21 months today and he is just so active and verbal these days.  He repeats a lot of what we say (sometimes we have to really watch it :)  and he's connecting 2 words pretty easily now.  For instance he'll say, "Mommy cooking,"  "Daddy vacuuming", "Grandpa putting" - meaning golf.  He is obsessed and I mean obsessed with golf.  We actually bought him real clubs and he will hit golf balls inside and outside the house.  He's got a pretty good swing - much, much better than Steve's :)

We've done so much in the past month or so.  We went to Dallas for Thanksgiving where we had a great meal and had lots of family over.  Subin arrived from Afghanistan the week prior and we were able to spend Thu - Mon with him.  We also hung out with Julie and met her parents for the first time.  Julie and I got up for after Thanksgiving sales on Fri.  

We also were able to catch up with Susan, Ash, Sheba, Johnsly and Shirley.  They had a lot of family over Fri. night for dinner.  Was nice to finally meet Aiden.  He's a cutie. 

We met up with our friends Jason, Shawn, Reena, and Anil on Sunday.  Can't believe the Jacobs finally moved back to Texas.   Great seeing all the kids and also seeing Sigy and Jaya for the first time.

I personally feel like a penguin now - weighing in about 138 pounds.  I didn't even weigh this much when I gave birth to Joshua.  And I still have 5 weeks left!  Looks like I'll be working out pretty hard - especially since my brother's wedding will be in Hawaii in June!  This pregnancy is definitely harder than the first - can hardly bend down, lots of acid reflux, unable to sleep comfortably.  It's also funny how little you prepare for the 2nd one.

Also hard to believe that we have 1 week before Christmas!  And like always, I have procrastinated on gifts.  I think I do it on purpose - just for the rush of trying to fit it all in.

I'll try and do better about updating the blog.
Enjoy the pics!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Weekend in Dallas!

We just got back from spending a weekend in Dallas with Ammachi and Appachan.  Joshua had lots of fun getting spoiled and receiving constant hugs and kisses.  We took family pics at Central Park in Frisco and we are excited to see how they turned out.  The cold front came through Texas on Thursday and it was in the 60s during the day and the 40s at night.  We're finally getting into fall after having one of the worst summers in Texas history!

Joshua is in that stage where he repeats everything he hears so we have to really be careful what we say. :)   The other day he was crying in his crib and when I went to get him I said, "It's OK"  and he repeated "Sokay, sokay" while he was crying.  I couldn't help laughing. 

He loves to point out and say "school bus, po (police), ambus (ambulance), and so much more.  His vocabulary is getting bigger by the day. 

We took him to a pumpkin patch in Frisco on Sunday and he loved playing by the tractor and throwing hay around everywhere.  He threw his mini fit when we had to leave :) 

I also was able to spend some girl time with Reena on Sat. night.  Was nice to relax and have my fav. apple caramel streusel cheesecake and hot chocolate.  I have really neglected you Cheesecake Factory!  Never again :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

We went to Joshua's 18 month appt last week and found out he had not even gained a pound since his 15 month appt.  So now he weighs 21 pounds and 8 oz. and is now 31 inches.  One skinny little boy!   He is so active at this time - running away from us every morning when its time to brush teeth or change his diaper.  He thinks its so funny to have us chase him around.  Still walking and running on his toes, which of course drives me crazy but I have put off calling a ped. PT :)

He is adding to his vocabulary everyday.  New words include oopas (toothpaste), ope (soap), bapple (waffle), bacuum (vacuum), bocooli (brocolli), outside, booby (blueberry), dark, apple, juice, chicken, book.  He constantly says Mommy and Daddy and is always asking for the one that's not present.  He can even say Ammy (Ammachi) and Appacha. 

I have been so late with this post that we've now come to his 19 mo. b-day!  He is still adding to his vocabulary.  Now he can say monkey, airplane, bapack (backpack), Grandpa, school bus.  I still think he's one of the smartest kids around!

I keep thinking he's going to stop running and walking on his toes but I think I'm going to have to swallow my pride and schedule an appt. with a pediatric PT. 

We still have problems with Joshua throwing his food at mealtime when he doesn't want it or gets bored with it.  We have tried sternly scolding him, popping his hand, and  now we are turning his chair to face the wall everytime he throws.  We'll see if that works!

He still prefers his milk from a bottle though we tried many times to give it to him in a sippy cup.  He just stops drinking milk if its not offered in a bottle.  At least he drinks water and juice out of a sippy cup.  Oh well, I just want him to get his calcium and Vit. D so I just gave up somewhat on that.

He's still a very loving and affectionate boy.  He loves to get kisses and hugs from us and he likes it when Daddy wrestles with him.  He likes to run back and forth on the couch and still loves us to read his Bible Book.  We also read Goodnight Seattle every night before bed and he just recently started watching baby shows like Brainy Baby and Baby Einstein.

Joshua's little brother is getting bigger every day - I'm now 26 weeks pregnant and the baby should weigh about 2 pounds.  I definitely feel heavier and I just started wearing the belly band to work.  I have to eat small meals or I feel like I'm going to bust.  I have gained 19 pounds now and have about 3 months left to go!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Seattle in September

 Sept 11, 2011
It's hard to imagine that 10 years ago our nation faced such a tremendous tragedy.  I was 23 years old and at the hospital in Pine Bluff doing one of my last physical therapy clinicals.  I had just finished some wound treatments when the other therapists were saying we needed to watch TV to see what was happening.  I remember that it was so confusing at the time - nobody understood why there were planes crashing into the towers.  I was so worried about my mom who was supposed to be flying into New York sometime that day from India.  I remember trying to get a hold of my dad who happened to be working at the same hospital and by the time I reached him I was hysterical.  He assured me that Mom was OK and the plane had been grounded in Europe since planes were not getting into the US at the time.  I was so relieved.  We were all glued to the TV for the rest of the day.   I remember this day and honor all those that lost their lives especially the brave firefighters of FDNY.

Last week we were able to travel to Seattle for Labor Day weekend.  It was the perfect weekend to get away from the hot Texas weather.  While temps here reached 104 the high in Seattle was 70 and the low was 52. 
We left Joshua for only the 2nd time since he was born but we knew Grandma and Grandpa would take great care of him.  I had a harder time leaving him this time around maybe because he's getting so vocal and expressive and we have such a great time playing with him.

We left Friday morning with a connection in KC and finally reached Seatlle around 4:00.  After much convincing, we rode the Light Rail to downtown Seattle and  walked the two blocks to our hotel.  Our room at the Sheraton was on the 31st floor and the hotel is one of the largest in Seattle.  There were many conventions going on that weekend along with Bumbershoot, their equivalent of ACL.  We settled in and had appetizers in the lounge and rested before our dinner at Wild Ginger (Pan-Asian restaurant).  Dave and Siji weren't flying in till later that evening so we ended up meeting up with them in the morning.  We killed a couple of hours by walking through the Pike's Place Market and onto the waterfront where we caught another glimpse of Mt. Ranier.  We walked around watching all the boats and cruiseships on the water.  So beautiful and again the weather was perfect.  Couldn't believe I was wearing a cardigan!  Of course, we had to have a crazy, mentally ill man shouting at some woman to briefly ruin our picturesque evening.  But we quickly got away from that scene :)

We met up with Dave and Siji at our hotel after breakfast and we all walked to the Pike's Market.  Right as we entered, a large crowd had gathered in front of the fish throwing vendors.   So whenever someone would buy fish, one guy would throw the fish to another guy standing on the opposite side of the counter.  We were amazed at all the fresh flowers including dahlias, roses, daisies, and how many bouquets with the smaller ones being $5 and the larger ones $10.  Couldn't believe how affordable they were and so sad that we had no reason to buy them.  We tasted so much walking through the market; I was able to buy a bag of Rainier cherries - never had them before.  Now I don't know if I can eat any other cherry.  Steve bought some chocolate pasta which he plans to serve with ice cream one day :)  We also tasted different dips, oils, nuts, and so much more.

We took pictures of the original Starbucks coffee shop in the market and ate "the best mac and cheese"  at Beecher's Cheese Shop, which is actually true.  I could only eat a quarter of it because it was so rich and creamy.  We then had fresh juice at the Juice Emporium and Dave couldn't resist cheesecake at a specialty shop.

After our eating fest, we dropped our goodies off at the hotel and then walked to Westlake Center where we tried to purchase tickets for the Duck Tour.  I had no idea how quickly they sell out so we had to push our tour to 3:00.  We decided to go eat pizza before our tour at Serious Pie Co. which was good but overpriced.  We thought Home Slice was better.

The Duck Tour was pretty fun and relaxing.  Our tour guide was quite funny and he had lots of catchy music to go along with his interesting facts about the city.  We were all instructed to say "lattes" every time we passed a Starbucks and there had to be at least 25 on the tour alone.  The tour also included going into Lake Union, so it was nice to be on the water and looking at the Seattle skyline.

We rode the monorail back to Westlake Center and met back there again for the ride back to the Space Needle for our 7:15 dinner reservation.  For me, definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip. We went to the Observation Deck and took pics before we settled in for dinner.  Comfy seating and a slowly revolving view of the skyline made this night very memorable.  We tried to go for dessert at Tango(which was a long walk) but I had to fake being sick because the menu was horrible.  Then we ended up being at Cheesecake Factory - go figure. 

On Sunday we went down to the waterfront and caught the ferry to Bainbridge Island.  It was a nice, relaxing ride where we took lots of pics.  The weather was beautiful - 70s and the wind was blowing and I just felt like there wasn't a care in the world.  We got off the ferry at the island but never actually stepped onto the island since we loaded back on within 10 minutes.  We sat inside the ferry on the return trip and mapped out what we would do for the rest of the day. 
Dave and Siji had a friend recommend Six Seven Restaurant at the Edgewater Hotel which was a pretty long walk but I convinced my worrying husband that as long as we walked slowly I would be OK.  We had a pretty decent brunch and then took pics in front of their outdoor fireplace.
We walked through Pike's Place Market again and sampled some things and I had some of the best mango juice - watched her make it with fresh mangos.  Then we walked through H&M and rested at the hotel till dinner.
We had dinner at a "casual seafood restaurant" which would have been classified as upscale in Austin.  It wasn't the best but we had a good time just talking and summarizing our trip.  We ended up going to Fox Sports Bar afterwards which was kind of dead by the time we got there.  We stayed till about 11:00 and then walked home.
Couldn't believe our trip had come to an end.  We had a great time with our friends.  We ended up seeing them at the airport and sitting with them for 15 minutes before our flight boarded.
Steve's 36th B-day was on Labor Day, the last day of our trip which we spent mostly on the plane.  When we got to Mom and Dad's house, Joshua was waiting to wish Daddy a Happy B-day!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

33 and counting!

I had a great B-day today with my two men!  I spent lunch with Steve at a Cajun place close to my work and then received cookies at work courtesy of Joshua!  My coworkers and I also had chocolate cake!  Then after work I found Omaha Steaks from Subin outside the house.  Sunil and Julie also got me a spa certificate that I will be using this weekend :)  Definitely felt the love from family and friends today!

The best part of the day was just relaxing after dinner with Steve and Joshua.  I watched Joshua bounce up and down on Steve's back and stomach.  They just wrestled and giggled for 20 minutes.  Then we walked around outside in the driveway and backyard.  Just a great, relaxing B-day!

Here's a video of Joshua and his new favorite outdoor activity:

Joshua had fun on Sat. watching the ducks at the park

Happy B-day Mommy!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Annual Samuel Family Visit!

The past two weeks have been filled with lots of fun, quality family time, and of course lots and lots of eating.  Scott, Betsy, Ethan and Mia made their annual visit to the States and were able to spend almost 2 weeks in Austin.  We were able to see them most every day and Joshua spent most all day playing with Ethan and Mia. 
It was so much fun seeing them interact.  Joshua was just 3 months old the last time they were here and really wasn't able to play.  This time around, he was able to play and run with both Ethan and Mia.  Ethan was so gentle and careful with him and Mia loved being a big sister to him.  She had the biggest laugh and Joshua would laugh when she did. 

Dave and Siji came for the weekend and we spent Sat. and Sun going to food trailers, sleeping, and eating some more.  Sunday evening we went to Ben and Abby's house and of course ate more - this time barbeque.

We celebrated Ethan's 4th B-day a little early on Tue and we took lots of pics with him, the balloons (I still have anxiety when I see them being squeezed or pinched), and the cake.

We were so sad to say bye to them on Thursday evening.  Joshua was very receptive to the kisses he received from Ethan and Mia and I think he could tell he was saying bye to them.  We had such a great visit and next year will be even more fun :)

Here are some pics from the past two weeks:

Mighty Cone trailer park
What up Home Slice?

Bananas anyone?

Children's Museum

Happy 4th B-day Ethan!

I love Torchy's chips!

Last night of family, food, and fun!