Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow in Houston?

Earlier this week, the kids got to see snow for the first time. We didn't think they'd get to enjoy a snowfall for quite some time. Denise bundled up the kids and took them out to frolic -- see attached!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Turkeys, giraffes, and fish...

We enjoyed a dynamic family Thanksgiving at Denise's parents place. Denise's brother David and his family came down from Dallas with their 5 kids in tow, and it was the first time they had met their little cousins. Thanksgiving meal was fantastic, particularly a certain butterscotch pecan pie which seemed to vanish rather quickly! After the meal, we played our annual "Turkey Bowl" game in the street...generally a dizzying pace of touchdowns driven by lot solid offense and porous defense. We concluded the event by each team claiming victory (another tradition).

On Friday, we trekked to the zoo -- giraffes, lions, birds, meerkats, monkeys -- and managed to avoid the rain showers that came through (a merry go-round is good cover!). After that, we proceeded to the Aquarium restaurant downtown. Dylan was fussy, but when we took him to the fishtank, he was mesmerized by the wiggling floating creatures. Maybe dad can take him fishing once he gets a bit older (no, not next month).

Attached are a few photos from the holiday weekend -- enjoy!

The zoo within the zoo

Grace's encounter with the kimodo dragon

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tooth Count

Dylan= 4 teeth.

Grace= 3 teeth.

Bananas= Scared.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy halloween!

Tulip (Grace) and Pony (Dylan) enjoyed their first halloween! We took them out with our neighbors the Orsis and the Powells, who also have young ones. Of course, we didn't let them have any candy (although we did enjoy some ourselves). Below are a few pumpkin patch pictures from the front yard as well as a few halloween photos.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Got game face?

Dylan and Grace watched their first UT football game yesterday. They marked the occasion by sporting their team colors, and brought their game faces since we were playing OU. Needless to say, their outfits were clearly a factor the Longhorn victory. Don't mess with Texas!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Spreadsheet Man is back in business...

Hold on to your pocket protectors -- spreadsheet man strikes again! Grace and Dylan have each grown almost a foot since birth, and our pediatrician tells us they are quite tall for their age. We're happy that they're growing, healthy, and happy!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Morning at the Zoo

We recently got an annual membership to the Houston Zoo and took Grace and Dylan for their first voyage last weekend. We stayed for about an hour -- just long enough for them to get accustomed to some of the sights and sounds, but not so long that it protruded into naptime. During our short stay, we toured the bird exhibit, saw the antelope, zebras, and more. At the beginning of the visit, the kids seemed a bit bewildered by the whole experience, but after some time seemed to warm up to some of the sights and sounds.

Grace was particularly enamored of one of the zoo staff feeding a raccoon and watching him (the raccoon) do tricks like shaking hands, putting his hands on his head, etc. Grace was leaning forward in her stroller during the entire raccoon playtime episode and smiling. Dylan really enjoyed the children's petting zoo and petting the goats. We're looking forward to many more trips to see our animal friends.
Happy Dylan and his goat

Grace is wary of her new friend

The eagle has landed...right above the stroller

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The kids' first hurricane!

Dylan and Grace got to spend a week at the grandparents place as Ike rumbled through the Texas gulf coast. Denise's parents live about an hour further away from the coast than we do (in Spring, just north of Houston). Even though we weren't in an evacuation zone, we wanted to be particularly cautious with the kids, so we made the brief journey northward the day before the storm arrived. Ike whistled through late Friday night and power went out about 12:30 am. The kids slept soundly through the whole storm.

While we were without power for a week (and without water for 2 days), having a generator and a gas stove at the grandparents place made everything quite manageable. In fact, Denise's mom cooked a great meal every evening, causing us to remark that the "hurricane diet" was not exactly slimming us down! Grace and Dylan did great through the whole week, and really enjoyed their time with the grandparents. After we got power back at our place in Pearland, we returned home.

It was pretty amazing how much energy the hurricane still had even north of Houston. We feel very fortunate that the whole family is ok. We sustained minor damage to our house, but nothing irreplaceable, just inconveniences that can be fixed in due time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wedding (and adventures in the friendly skies)

We went to my cousin Maya's wedding the weekend of September 6th. It was a fabulous event, with a wonderful ceremony, touching speeches, excellent food. Maya and Neal were all smiles the entire weekend -- certainly a foreshadowing of the many joyous days ahead of them. It was a great opportunity to catch up with relatives and friends (some seen as recently as the previous month, others whom I had not seen in several years and Denise had not yet met).

Dylan and Grace did fairly well on the trip, although Grace temporarily had some trouble keeping her food down. There was a reception on Friday night, with the typical high density of my loquacious Indian relatives. The noise got Grace a bit out of her element, but we were able to move out onto the patio area where it was less populated and noisy. Our hotel room had a living room area which provided them plenty of space to play and tinker around. We're glad they are able to entertain themselves just by having some space to roam. Having learned our lesson to get them to bed on time when we travel, they slept soundly.

Now for the fun part. On the return flight from Columbia to Houston (2 1/2 hours), I had the privelege of trying to contain the prodigy kung fu master. I'm seated next to a gentleman built like a linebacker quietly trying to read his book, and I surmise it's not in my best interest to have Dylan kick him or throw any toys in his general direction. Being unable to contain the whirling dervish sitting on my lap, I turn him around so he can look up at me, his feet situated squarely above my rib cage, and his head centimeters from the tray table in front of me.

Kick giggle thrash flop toss twist laugh thunk wiggle scratch. Looking across the aisle, the contrast between Dylan and Grace is night and day. Grace is comfortably nestled in her baby bjorn smiling at the passengers behind us. So I'm finally getting accustomed to being jostled around when the all too familiar smell that I did NOT want wafting toward me (at least until we were wheels down in Houston) arrives. Nice -- well, this part wasn't explained in any of the parenting books.

I attempt to share the interesting news with Denise across the aisle as discreetly as possible, but Denise starts cracking up. And despite the awkwardness of the task before me, I can't stop laughing either. So armed with a changing pad, a diaper, and a box of wipes under one arm, and Bruce Lee under the other, I make the journey down the aisle to the bathroom. Surveying the crowd amongst the rows, most people are asleep, while others glance sympathetically.

It should come as no suprise that never in the english language has the phrase "Look how spacious that airplane bathroom is!" been uttered. Airplane bathrooms are small. And if you're 6 foot 4 like me, you can't even stand up. So I'm already envisioning the task before me -- in this gently bouncing box at 34000 feet -- will be a stunt of Houdini-esque proportions.

Fortunately, Dylan is rather still through the diaper changing exercise, in which I've got him sprawled on top of the changing pad that I've placed over the (closed!) toilet lid. I'm hunched like Quasimoto and holding my breath in this petite, self-contained box with minimal ventilation and a poopy diaper. Ok, mission accomplished with the diaper change, but I still have to escape the confines. Because the bathroom door only opens inward, and my back is to the door, the most effective way I can get both of us out without risking Dylan dropping on the floor (and also have one hand available to pick up the changing pad and wipes) is to sit on the toilet with Dylan in my lap and open the door toward both of us. So I open the door toward us, with Dylan (who is just giddy about his recent adventure) and I fully clothed sitting on the toilet. I look straight ahead and there are two passengers seated directly ahead of us in the last row, not more than 4 feet away. Awkward. If you've seen "A Fish Called Wanda", it was vaguely reminiscent of the fake flush scene when Otto breaks into Ken's place.

Relieved that the episode is over, I triumphantly tell Denise the battle has been won. And for the next 30 minutes, Dylan plays with his toys and continues to place me in mortal danger by nearly kicking my neighbor the linebacker. And then, I observe this strained look on his face, followed by an open-eyed look of relief that can only mean one thing. I tell Denise what I think has just transpired. This time, she blurts "Again?!" in absolute hysterics.

So I pack up the equipment for another journey to the nanobathroom. The looks of sympathy are more sincere now as I trudge past the aisles. Now I know the drill -- enter, change, sit, pull door, look awkwardly at the two passengers right in front of us. I return to my seat hopeful that Dylan won't pull off the triple crown, and fortunately he doesn't. 10 minutes before landing, he falls asleep.

Quite an adventurous return journey, and not the events I was hoping for at the time. But it does make for a fascinating anecdote. And I will never forget those moments I spent with my son on September 7, 2008 -- the day of 2 diaper changes at 34000 feet.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dylan's First Haircut!

Today, Dylan visited the barber for the first time. He did so well. No crying! Of course the barber earned his money by skillfully cutting the hair of a moving object!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Taking a stand

It was only a matter of time. You can't stop Dylan, you can only hope to contain him.

In other news, both Grace and Dylan are quite enamored of their new toy piano. I'm glad that mom knows what toys to get.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

8 months old

Tomorrow Dylan and Grace celebrate their two-thirds birthday -- cake for everyone! Every week or two there seems to be a new milestone. Grace now stands up regularly using anything she can get her hands on for support -- crib rails, gate in our living room, etc. Dylan has a mysterious gravitational pull toward Truman's tail and for some reason finds the dog hilarious (apparently some inside joke that mom and dad don't yet comprehend.)

A few photos to commemorate the big 2/3....

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fun at mealtime

Waiter, I'll have the 2 oz. Gerber applesauce and some milk, please. But before that, I'd like some playtime to smash my blocks together...

Grace is now sitting up on her own. Here she is playing with her picture book, which contains photos of her and her brother with both sets of grandparents.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Before and after

Let's start with milestone #1. We took Dylan and Grace on their first plane trip this past weekend. They both handled the travel well, although Grace got fussy on the return trip. In general, they were both quite interested in looking out the window, and Dylan also took the opportunity to snooze a bit.

We went to my cousin Vasant's wedding, and it was a beautiful wedding and reception. Lots of smiles everywhere, and a great opportunity to reconnect with the relatives. I am particularly happy that the kids got to meet their great grandparents. The kiddos were on occasion a bit out of sorts from the crowds and noise (and for their parents keeping them up waaaaaaaay past their bedtime on Friday -- lesson learned). However, when we left them to their own devices and gave them some breathing room, they just loved crawling and rolling around in the hotel lobby, in the hotel room bed, etc.

Attached is a priceless before and after scene from our room at the Augusta Marriott. It appears that after politely tolerating her brother kicking her in utero for several months, daddy's little princess has learned to assert herself.

Milestone #2: This past weekend, Dylan started clearly enunciating what I've been wanting to hear for some time now...."Dada!" Now, he just spontaneously launches into enthusiastic spurts of multiple "dada"s.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Recycled prunes and more

On Sunday, in the spirit of giving, Dylan decided to share his meal with his daddy. Of course this meant that he recycled his prunes ON his daddy. Results are below with prune stained outfit on the floor nearby.
Love is not caring if your little angel barfs prunes on you!

Happily, Dylan has since recovered and is cheering the Horns on to victory with a handsome outfit that Aunt Marlyn sent! Just a few more weeks to wait until the fall football season!

Okay, this last shot is just for grins. Baby bums are cute.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Let the games begin

July 15, 2008 (AP): Grace "officially" started crawling today. This marks the first time we saw her go beyond the famed "rocking horse maneuver" and put one knee in front of the other. She then starting trekking forward and then even a bit sideways. Before we knew it, she was crusing right toward the plant at the edge of the living room, and proceeded to start tugging on the vine that reached the floor. Let the games begin!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Be wary....

Apparently you are a shady character, as Grace and Dylan are looking at you with great suspicion. This has the makings of the cover of a rap album (I reserve the copyrights).

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Happy 4th of July!

This 4th of July, we celebrated the event in our neighborhood with an old fashioned bike and stroller parade. This was followed by a community-wide celebration, complete with a color guard, a medal of honor recipient, an adorable 11 year-old singing the national anthem and refreshments for all. It was a lot of fun and the kids were great!

Below is a photo of Grace enjoying the big band music being played over the PA. She was dancing to the beat and grinning the entire time.

Afterwards, we introduced Grace and Dylan to water sports. Specifically, maxing and relaxing at poolside. Clearly, Dylan has this mastered already.

On Saturday, we joined our friends the Machs and Orsis at their place on Crystal Beach, where Dylan and Grace got their first introduction to the ocean (Gulf of Mexico).

It was a terrific weekend for the entire family!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Close to crawling

Grace is making significant progress toward crawling. She will get up on her hands and knees and rock back and forth, like she's about to shoot out of the blocks at a track meet. She really enjoys trying to crawl, and often smiles when Denise and I encourage her. Gooooooooo Grace!

Here's a rarity of Dylan sporting socks. Of course, we reduced his ability to remove them by further confining him in shoes. Time for a new car seat, as Dylan has sprouted up very quickly!

Friday, June 20, 2008

We're one year old (collectively)!

Grace and Dylan are 6 months old today! My parents are in town and have had a great time doting on their grandkids. This morning we took them in for their 6 month pediatrician visit, and they're both doing great. (Granted, neither of them particularly enjoyed getting their vaccination shots). It's hard to believe how much they've sprouted up....they've become so interactive, and have already outgrown so many of their cute outfits.

The six-month milestone warrants the return of Spreadsheet Man -- enjoy!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


The kids are now starting to enjoy their baths more. They now realize that they can kick and splash around for fun! Below is a photo of Dylan all fired up for bathtime (with all of the private bits edited!).
Notice the remnants of a Beckham/mohawk hairdo, compliments of mom.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The paparazzi found me again!

Here I am relaxing in my papasan swing and then the cameras start flashing! What is a girl to do?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dylan has no idea why you are looking at his blog!

Thus, he is looking at you with suspicion.

He also knows that no one can resist a cutie like him!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Having twins is AWESOME!

Just an observation based on the past 5 months.

No, really, that's it...the storytelling skills are a bit lackluster can go back to checking your email now. Please disperse, nothing to see here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Just peachy

We're now in the experimental stage with foods, and have migrated from rice cereal to peaches. While they both seem to like their first foray into fruits, they have unique philosophies on the etiquette for getting from cup to mouth. It is delightful to watch their mealtime antics!

The enthusiastic attitude of certain young man (who will remain nameless) generally plays out like this: "This stuff is GREAT! What's taking you so long? Give me the spoon! Ok, I'll let you put this spoonful in my mouth....hey, aren't more peaches here yet? Here, I'm grabbing the spoon now. This stuff is delicious! Hey, why are you taking the spoon away from me? Whaaa! Mmm...crafty move there dad, putting food in my mouth while I'm crying...that's pretty yummy. Hey, give me the spoon! Look how strong I am! Oops, sorry about that dad, didn't mean to fling peaches on your tshirt...why are you smiling? Put some dreft on it and wash it in...hey, can I still eat that? these are good...this restaurant is 4 stars. Hey waiter, how about some more peaches? I'm a growing boy!"

A certain little girl has a decidedly different approach: "Look at how I can puff up my cheeks! Here, I'll put the peaches on my hands and then eat them off there, that's tastier than the peaches on the spoon. Plenty of time before naptime...I'll just keep nibbling for a while."

In unrelated news, check out some scenes of the week...

Nothing like some couch time at the end of a tough day

I'll be crawling soon!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Outdoor fun

I came home from playing tennis this morning to see Denise, Grace, and Truman playing in the front yard (Dylan was taking a siesta). Grace had a lot of fun observing the neighborhood happenings with Truman. Dylan arose from his blissful slumber shortly after I got home, and appeared in the mood for some entertainment. So I brought him into the front yard and we all spent some time enjoying the weather underneath the pine trees. Here are a few pictures from the festivities.