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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! 


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


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?!”


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.


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


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. 

Nate’s Half Year Birthday

July 20, 2016

Baby Nate is 6 months old, weighing 20lbs (88th percentile) and measuring 28inches long (94th percentile for height and head circumference). 

He is Mommy’s little treasure: adorable, snugglable deliciousness and I just can’t get enough!

Dad loves spending time with his littliest guy while on the paternity leave.

Nate is a super baby! Smiley, happy, sociable, and easy going. He loves his older brother and always wants to be near Noah. Noah has taken on his new role of big brother extremely well, with gentle hugs, sweet kisses, rocking and shshing, singing and playing to entertain and soothe Nate. “Calm down Nate! We are right here!” “Here is your binky!” “If you are tired just go to sleep! shhh” “I think Nate is hungry. You can feed him on the couch.”

At 6 months, Nate has reached some major development milestones:

  • Rolling over: At about 5 months, Nate started rolling over. Opposite of Noah, he rolled from back to his belly right away and a week later started rolling from belly to back. 

    • Sitting and standing: Nate can’t yet sit on his own but he is getting really close. Because of his weight and his chunky legs, he’s been distributing his weight well while propped into a standing position.

    • Sleep: we got pretty lucky as Nate started sleeping up to 6hrs at night by his first month. This trend continued until about he was 4.5months, then he became extremely mobile in his crib, often waking himself up by either rolling over or getting his leg stuck in the crib rails. He also went through a growth spurt waking up every 3hrs to nurse, so we added baby cereal and avocado to his diet. His sleep continues to vary. There were a few nights he slept for 10-11hrs and then some he spent 2hrs awake in the middle of the night. The bottom line is Nate’s sleeping pattern is as random as a dice roll but I am hoping he will soon settle for longer and more consistent stretches.

    • Diet: Nate first tried solid food at 4.5months but his tongue reflux has not gone away yet so he was not really into it until closer to 5.5months. It was evident right away that Nate, being a big little guy, was eager to incorporate at least two meals per day in addition to nursing every 3hrs. He is excited to sit at the dinner table anxiously awaiting his turn after mom first helps Noah. When Noah was a baby he was so excited about food that he ate everything! Nate, on the other hand, is more particular about texture. After numerous attempts, he still rejects mashed banana (Noah’s first solid). He finds apple sauce too runny but is willing to eat it mixed with pumpkin for breakfast. His favorite is avocado mixed with breast milk for lunch and dinner is baby cereal. He was not too keen on simple veggies like butternut squash, peas and sweet potato, so mom will need to get more creative with the combos. 

    • Playtime: Nate’s favorite past time is being carried by dad in the Baby Bjorn, sometimes dancing in the living room. After that he likes his play mat where he gets to reach for toys, roll and kick around. He really enjoys taking apart plastic linked rings and gets very frustrated when things don’t go his way. He adores watching his brother play, run around and do monster truck donuts. Big brothers rule!

    It’s been great having dad around for the last two months and the four of us have fallen into a great summer routine. We’ll miss dad’s extra help, playtime, grocery shopping, camp pickup, park and pool trips once he goes back to work. August will be an exciting month for us with grandparents visiting and new babysitters getting tryouts. 

      Noah Turns 3

      June 29, 2016

      Noah is 3 years old, weighing 36.2lbs and measuring 39 1/4 inches tall, which puts him in the 88th percentile for his age group. We celebrated Noah’s actual birthday with a pile of presents, followed by a trip to the park and an afternoon at the pool with dad.

      Noah loved opening all the brown boxes. Now, every time there is a package at our house, he asks “another present for me?”

      On my 7th birthday my dad surprised me with my first real bike. I still remember how excited I was watching him pull it out of the trunk of his car! This year he continued the tradition by getting a bike for his grandson.

      After all the presents, Noah requested chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast.

      A few days later, we hosted a Blaze-themed birthday party.

      A few of Noah’s friends from school and the neighborhood came to our backyard celebration. Our guests were entertained with a picnic, swings, climbing pyramid, bouncy house, and toy cars galore.  

      Ms. Maggie offered face painting and Blaze Tattoos.

      Mom made her special carrot cake.

      After our guests left, it was time to open more presents.

      Eric and I are continuously in awe of what a wonderful little boy Noah has grown into. He is incredibly smart, curious, attentive, caring, outgoing, energetic and creative. His teacher and doctor marvel at his intellectual, physical and social development. He eats his fruits and veggies, is fully potty trained, sleeps in his big boy bed, gives out hugs to friends, gently plays with baby brother, cleans up his toys, helps mommy with chores, reenacts stories and real life scenarios with his toy trucks and says the most profound things that are way beyond his years. There is never a dull moment with Noah and I can’t wait to see how he continues to develop and learn over the next year. 

      Baby Nate

      January 17, 2016


      Chubby Cheeks

      January 12, 2016

      Many women have reasonably-sized babies that they carry for a full 40 weeks. I, on the other hand, grow giants, thanks to my husband’s DNA. His key physical attributes that I first found so irresistible, like his tall and large physique and big brainy head, are no longer appealing when they lead to a humongous creature about to burst through my belly button. From what I’ve read online, second babies, on average, tend to be 5 ounces heavier and come 6-7 days prior to due date, with labor lasting 6-8hrs.

      I can tell from the shape of my belly and the weight and pressure that my little guy is going to be big. To confirm my prediction I requested a 36 week sonogram. And just as I suspected, Baby Brother (as we’ve been referring to him at home) is 11 days ahead in growth with an estimated weight of 7.5lbs already! But as I learned with Noah, the head size is the most important part in delivering large babies, so….(drumroll…) Yep, 95th percentile for head measurements, 98th for belly and only 70th for legs (long torso and short legs, consistent with the rest of the males in the family).


      He’s packing some serious pounds! Just look at those chubby cheeks!


      That’s how we like it here in Texas: tiny women and giant babies! We just all hope that Baby Brother will come soon or mom will have a heck of a time pushing. Good thing I’m a runner so I am well-equipped with physical endurance, focus, determination and perseverance. (A little self pep talk before the big day).