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PJs and Pirates

February 16, 2018

Nate is 2 years old! He weighs 30lbs and is 35 inches tall which puts him in the 75th percentile for his size and the 93rd percentile for his brainy head.

We did not plan on a big birthday celebration this year: cupcakes at school followed by present opening and celebratory dinner of pizza and cake at home. The Mother Nature interfered once again (seems to happen a lot here in Texas)! We were hit by freezing temperatures, which resulted in massive panic and school closures for two days. We made the best of the situation and enjoyed a family day at home in PJs!

Being Jewish, the kids don’t get the Christmas morning experience (poor guys only get showered with gifts for 8 nights!) so we try to recreate it on their birthdays.

Eric and I stayed up late unboxing the giant tower of Amazon packages in our living room.

Nate was super excited to see all the presents and Noah, the world’s best big brother, took the liberty of opening and explaining every toy to him.

Nate LOVES Playdoh! He was thrilled with all the playdoh sets, spending hours molding, cutting, squishing, ripping and covering monster trucks with it.

After escaping the pirate attack it was finally time for pizza and cake!

Mom’s famous carrot cake was a hit again this year!

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A month later, it is starting to dawn on me that Nate is no longer a baby (although we all still call him baby Nate and he seems to refer to himself as a baby.)

He has perfected his daily routines, saying numerous words together and even full phrases like “I don’t know” and “here ya go”. He has mastered all the colors “dink”, “yellow” (first one he learned and his favorite for awhile), “blue”, “urple”, “een”, “red”, “own”, “oran”, “ite”. He is learning his letters at a miraculous rate, building impressive constructions with Lego and independently feeding himself with both fork and spoon.

Stuck at home over the holiday break, we did a 3 day potty training method that Nate rocked! He still has accidents but is getting better at holding and indicating he needs to go potty.

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Nate adores his big brother!

The two of them are inseperable!

Nate is silly and fun just like his big brother.

From all the impressive developments thus far, the most important is his loving, caring and sweet nature! Nate gives the best hugs and kisses, shares all his presents and treats with his brother, and is always full of smiles and happiness! No wonder Eric and I are madly in love with this kid!

 

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Festivities

December 15, 2017

I love fall! The Texas heat finally breaks, and being outside turns from unbearable to fairly pleasant. With colorful leaves, fall also brings loads of holiday celebrations: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Hanukkah/Christmas hoopla. The sugar joy never stops! 

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We kicked off our fall festivities at Riverfest: we dressed up in funny hats, danced, bounced, played games, and hung out with school buddies.

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Then came a Halloween parade and Trick-or-Treating:

…Followed by two weeks of checking the “magic” candy bucket and wondering how it made all the candy disappear one night. The conclusion was that it must have been the wild animal that got into our trash bin the night before; he stole all the candy to share with other animals since they don’t get candy on Halloween. (Makes sense to me!)

An annual visit to the Sweetberry Farms Pumpkin Patch:

This was the first year we all participated in Thundercloud Turkey Trot. So proud of Eric putting keeping up with me for most of the way while I vigorously zigzagged with a double stroller through flocks of walkers. When signing up for the race I did not realize that the “untimed” option was meant for strolling as a family in a single line, gossiping about aunt Marge and her poor cat Whiskers.

Nate napped through half the run and after some finishers’ muffins (sitting in the stroller sure makes the boys hungry!) we casually walked and hugged for awhile collecting “oohs! and ahhs!” from everyone on our path.

Later that day I made a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, roasting my first full size turkey (it was on a smaller side). Nate was skeptical about the turkey at first but the next day he could not get enough.

Santa on the Firetruck is not really our schtick but it’s free and close to the house. Neither one of the boys wanted to even come close to Santa (can’t fight those Jewish genes), but they were intrigued with the firetruck (or the bike rack in Nate’s case. Both are equally amusing when you are 2).

We are quickly transitioning into winter celebrations, especially when we had our first snowday in over 5 years. This was the first time the boys got to play in the snow.

Hanukkah snuck up on us fast, even though Noah made sure to check daily “Is it Hanukkah yet?!”

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With Hanukkah being the holiday of lights, Trail of Lights was a perfect family outting.

We had a blast at the Great Gatsby Themed Holiday party at Speak Easy after discovering the room with the best food, replenished sparkling wine and pool tables.

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We usually celebrate the end of the year with a dinner at Hula Hut, duck feeding, treats and hot drinks, a light show at the Mozart Cafe, watching some TV broadcasting the New Year’s Eve countdown, and passing out way before the clock strikes midnight.

How are you celebrating the holidays this year?

We’d like to wish you a very happy Hanukkah, the merriest of Christmases, most amazing Kwanza, the most joyous Festivus, and all the best in the New Year!

 

 

Birthday Boys

July 30, 2017

It’s hard to believe Noah turned 4 years old last month. He is 44lbs (94%) and just shy of 3 feet and 7 inches (91%). 


I had a great and easily-executable plan for Noah’s birthday celebration (or so I thought): reserve picnic tables in our neighborhood park, invite a bunch of friends, order Papa John’s pizza (Noah’s favorite) from down the hill and celebrate with a custom HEB cake (Noah requested strawberry cake with chocolate icing inside.) For his theme, Noah wanted Rescue Bots but was willing to settle for Transformers (way more mainstream). How hard could this be, right?!


Well, the morning of Noah’s birthday, it started to rain. The park was all wet and we had to move the party to the house. A bunch of friends could not make it due to family vacations, so the ones that came had a great time playing with all the toys upstairs. Once the rain stopped we set up the bouncy house in the backyard. So in nutshell, we ended up with the same setup as last year. 


As for pizza, it turned out the store manager’s car broke down, so they had to cancel my order. Thank goodness for Subway in the same plaza. The one thing that went according to plan is the cake (that’s after a small hiccup with Eric’s cake order from Costco that we ended up canceling.) It was delicious (and I am very picky about store-bought cakes.) 


Nate celebrated his 1.5 year birthday. Nate is 27.5lbs (87%) and 34 1/4 inches long (96%). 


He is turning into a rambunctious toddler. Every evening with his playful mischivious smile he tries to climb over the back of the couch head down, making mom drop whatever she is doing and rush over in panic which puts him in a giggling fit. Almost all his teeth are in now. The canines have pierced last week. And he thinks it is so much fun to use them on his parents and his big brother. Hopefully this is just a temporary stage of teeth discovery and he won’t be an actual biter. He’s weaned off. It was a harder process than with Noah, who initiated the weaning himself. With Nate, nursing became cuddly time with mom, caressing my face, punching my nose and pulling my hair. But after a couple of weeks with dad taking on Nate’s bedtime routine, he is now putting himself to sleep with no problem. I still make sure to give him lots of snuggles, cuddles and kisses when he wakes up. 


As the boys get older, they are getting closer, playing more together, being more affectionate and most importantly being best friends. As soon as Nate wakes up his first question is “Oah? Oah?”. Noah reciprocates by constantly involving Nate “Nate, guess what?” “Nate you are going to really like this…” “Nate, watch this…” As much trouble the two of them cause they equally make my heart skip a beat with how great they are together. 

School’s Out

May 27, 2017

With preschool ending last week, we kicked off our summer break with an annual trip to Galveston Island. 

We did the usual:

1. Beach


2. Pool


3. Fresh seafood and walks on the pier

4. Hanging out


This time we also had some new experiences:

1. Moody Gardens Rainforest (the aquarium pyramid was closed for renovation)

The rainforest was super cool, a replica of an actual rainforest habitat featuring exquisite plants, insects, small animals and birds. Visiting with a three year old, we ran through the entire thing in an hour, him yelling “I see that. Let’s go!” every time I pointed out something interesting for him to look at. We spent the next half an hour playing hide and seek on the handicap ramp in one of the exhibition rooms, which was his favorite part as he explained his rainforest experience to dad. 


2. Pleasure Pier

Noah and dad went to the Pleasure Pier last year but this time we got to enjoy the afternoon of rides and ice cream as a family. 

Noah has been looking forward to the rides all year as he is now over 42 inches and got to ride three small roller coasters (44 is the next level up). 

Bumper cars were a thrill!

Nate was apprehensive at first. The rides were confusing since he did not go anywhere but around in circles repeatedly. By the end he got the hang of it and was smiling, bouncing and clapping.

Short ice cream break and again we go! Yippee!

Noah’s favorite ride was the water rollercoaster called Pirate’s ship. Dad, on the other hand, had mixed feelings acting as a shield to Noah through the splashy parts.

3. Hibachi Restaurant

One night we dined out at Yamato. Our fourth time on the island and how did we not know about this place before?! They have awesome sushi! Big chunks of fresh fish and cool custom rolls. The boys were mesmerized by the steaming onion volcano and fire grill as the chef prepared dinner in front on their eyes. Nate gobbled two pieces of sushi and his portion of fried rice. Both Eric and I caught flying pieces of rice from the chef’s spatula which really impressed Noah. 

4. Games

Holiday Inn Club Vacation, the place we’ve stayed four years running, has an entertainment room full of board games, books, movies, and ping pong and air hockey tables. Noah had a blast crushing dad at Sorry. 


In the room, the boys came up with “knock the suction ball down with your favorite object” game which kept them occupied for a solid 20min. 


We had a great time this year. The weather was mostly great with one rainy morning and one windy day. The kids are getting older and enjoy more things together. Come Friday Noah did not even want to leave and requested we stayed longer next time. The car ride went fairly smoothly with me only climbing over to the back seat a dozen times to entertain Nate and offer never-ending snack options. After five days of fun it was nice to come home to Domino, toys and our own beds. 

Walking Nate

February 16, 2017
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Nate is 13 months old, weighing almost 26.5lbs. Here are his stats from the one year checkup: 25.6lbs (92nd percentile), 32 inches long (90th percentile) and 95th percentile  for his head size. (Eric and I surely make big brainy babies!)


We started Nate’s 1st birthday with a trip to the park, where Nate loves to crawl, climb, explore, and play with his big brother.

After nap, it’s more fun with a visit to a local Gymboree, another one of Nate’s favorite places. 


Then it’s time for a family party! 


Noah was the party planner, picking out the Paw Patrol theme and decorating the cake for the baby brother’s special day.


Nate is not a picky eater, but he found the icing to be too sticky so he mostly just played with his cake– smearing it all over the table. 



Noah, on the other hand, was a big fan of the cake!


The weekend of his birthday, Nate took his first real steps. He wobbled from the couch into my arms and then continued to practice– getting up to 9 steps! He is now walking from room to room. Some other developments:

  • Nate’s got 6 teeth: two center ones at the bottom and four at the top.
  • He’s consolidated his naps into one  ~2hr long nap after lunch.
  • He is very verbal already using words like “dada”, “mama”, “oah” for Noah, “clap”, “bye”, “hi”, “boo” for book, and my absolute favorite is “ball”
  • He waves hi and bye, often saying bye, and loves to clap any time you say ‘good job’
  • He loves to eat, especially feeding himself finger foods and pouches. He is also starting to use a fork. 
  • He still loves to nurse and shows no desire to wean off. He’s been waking up at night somewhere between 2-4 wanting mommy’s comfort. 
  • Besides the middle of the night nursing, Nate usually sleeps for 12 hours from 7pm to 7am. 
  • Nate loves going to his preschool. He gives smiles and hugs to all his teachers as soon as he gets in. He is always playful, happy and cheerful. He enjoys participating in all the projects, especially finger painting.
  • He adores playing with his big brother and quickly picks up playing techniques, like monster trucks jumps, car racing at the hot wheel garage, sticking foam letters to the bathroom walls and block tower building. Unlike Noah, Nate does not care to swing at the playground. After 5 minutes he asks to be taken out so he can explore on his own. But he loves to slide on his belly, often doing a little penguin jump bellyflop on to the slide, making mom and dad rush over to catch him at the end.

Nate is an incredibly sweet and happy baby and we are so lucky to have him!

3M Half Marathon 2017

January 28, 2017

To commemorate Nate turning 1, I ran the 3M Half Marathon, my first race post baby #2. 


I ran this course back in 2015. After Noah was born, I was so eager to get back into racing, but with two kids things change. It’s been so long since I last raced that the morning of the race I forgot my bib at home. Luckily we left early enough and the race start was so close to our house that we had plenty of time to go back grab my bib. We got back to the start early enough to shiver for 25 minutes until the starting gun went off.

Winter racing in Austin is very unpredictable: cedar fever, freezing cold or blistering sun, strong winds, high humidity, downpours, and thunderstorms. You never know what Mother Nature has in store for you. This was the first race I ran in 20mph winds. It wasn’t a tailwind the whole way but I managed to do fairly well. 

Entrant Info

City,State Austin, TX

Bib 825

Age/Gender 34 / F

Times & Placings

Net Time 1:49:04

Overall Place 962

Place in Gender 284

Place in Div 58

Splits

Start 0:00

5K 24:34 – 7:54

10K 50:13 – 8:05

15K 1:16:28 – 8:12

Finish 1:49:04 – 8:19

I started off really strong at 7:45 min mile for the first two miles. At 3.5 miles I accidentally paused my gps MapMyRun app. I kept waiting for my phone to give me my 4 mile stats until I realized what had happened and then I was almost at 6 miles already. At 8 miles I called Eric to let him know my timing. The boys were meeting me at the finish line. That’s when my iPhone 6S completely shut off. Even though fully charged the night before, the battery cut us off. 

With no music, I kept myself entertained by high fiving kids along the way and reading fan signs. Some of my favorites:

“Be like Trump, visualize big crowds!”

“Wind blows! But you rock like a hurricane!”

“Run like a nasty woman!”

“There are hugs and beer at the finish line!”

At mile 10 I was starting to feel it, particularly in my hips. The road was a bit slanted, which takes a toll on my hip alignment. Mile 12 seemed to last forever – especially knowing there was a short hill close to the end. A police officer zoomed by me to get to a man lying on the ground, covered with jackets. He was looking scary pale. Never a good thing to see someone get hurt. 

I crossed the finish line just shy of 1:52, with my net time of 1:49:04. I did not see my little fan crew while closing in so I figured I might have missed them in the crowd. After 3 calls to Eric (with no working phone of my own this was particularly fun) we finally reunited. Turns out the guys got there one minute too late to see my finish. My estimated time was closer to 2hrs.  Noah was surprised to realize that he did not actually get to run with mom but just cheer for her. I am thinking time for a kids marathon?!


It was a fun race! Well organized with a good course, plenty of support. No wonder the participation keeps going up year after year. Approximately 7000 runners came out last Sunday to kick off the 2017 running year. 

I spent the next two days walking downstairs backwards, wincing when trying to sit down, and wondering why I chose to do this to myself. I ran a strong race pushing myself to a comfortable limit but I did not have the same joy or sense of accomplishment that I used to feel when crossing the finish line. I kept thinking about the boys, missing our Sunday pancake breakfast, wondering/worrying if they were giving dad a hard time. I hated being so sore for the next two days that I could not fully enjoy chasing after them on the playground. There was a time when I craved racing, the competition with other runners but mostly myself to be faster, to go further. 

Don’t get me wrong I still love to run! I need to run! A week without running and I start going crazy! But there is a difference between racing and running. I don’t feel like I have to prove, question or challenge my running anymore. I relish my morning runs, my physical and mental release and meditation time, a warmup to a full day ahead keeping up with my two speedsters. So at this point, with my new priorities in life, I am going to hang up my long distance racing shoes and just enjoy running.

Big Guys 

October 20, 2016

Nate is 9 months, weighing 23lbs and measuring 30 inches long, which puts him in the 91st percentile for weight, 97th for height and 98th for head circumference. As the doctor put it, “A football scholarship is still on the table.”


A lot has happened over the last three months:

1. At about 6.5months, Nate mastered crawling with an incredible speed so like a Navy SEAL he is constantly racing to his next target, all over the house.


2. At 7.5 months, just like his older brother, Nate started sitting unsupported. A couple of weeks later he learned to prop himself to seated from crawling.



3. At 8.5 months, Nate pulled up to standing in his crib. Needless to say, that day he did not take his second afternoon nap as he was way too excited by his most recent accomplishment. The next day, Nate figured out how to step his feet while holding on to mom’s hands. 


4. Nate is a big and loud talker (hmm. I wonder where he gets that from 🙂 he’s been saying “mmmm”, “mum”, “mama” for awhile now. He is adding new sounds to his vocabulary like “yay”, “bah”, “nah” etc. A few times I’ve heard him repeat “hey” or “hi”, and “oah” for Noah. 



5. At 7 months, 2 bottom teeth emerged. Nate’s diet is slowing transitioning to soft pieces of food. He’s also gotten much better at grasping bite-size pieces with his fingers. He has 3 meals, 2 snacks and 3-4 nursings per day. He has also started sleeping through the night over the last few weeks which has made mom and dad especially happy. 🙂


6. Nate attends the same preschool as Noah 3 times a week where he is a top student. Nate loves Noah and Noah loves Nate. It’s impossible to keep the two off each other. Neverending hugs, kisses and snuggles.


7. Swinging and strolling are Nate’s favorite things.



Meanwhile, Noah is now 40months, measuring 38.6lbs and 41 inches. He knows all his colors, shapes, numbers and letters. He counts to twentyteen (twenty 🙂 and spell-reads his books.



He likes going to school and has made a few close friends but also enjoys playing by himself.


He is into monster trucks, cars and super heros.


He is in constant motion: running, climbing, and jumping off things as he “likes flying in the air.”


With school starting, we’ve gotten into a good routine, and weeks are just flying by. It’s hard to believe that in less than 3 months, Nate will be turning one. I often want to hit a pause button to hold on to this precious time. Alas, they grow up so fast and this blog is my best keepsake.