Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays


Radha wishes all her relatives, friends, schoolmates, and neighbors a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Festivus (for the rest of us)!




Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fun and Games

(from Terri)

It's true what they say...having a kid makes you feel and behave like a kid again.

Lately Radha has been having lots of fun with active, physical games. "More Momma? More Dadda?" These are Radha's popular requests these days to play hide and seek. One of us will hide down the hallway, around a corner, and before we can barely catch our breath Radha has ran over to find and "tag" us with a hug. Ro and I will often take turns hiding, or one of us might make a stealth exit out of the game to do something around the house.

We've only seen Radha do this once, but a few weeks ago she was apparently inspired by the early 80s break dancers and put on this performance, which I've titled: Breakin' 2: Radha Boogaloo.

Yeah, this stuff is fun. And Radha's fun and laughter is totally contagious.

video

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Second Halloween

For Radha's second go round of Halloween, we ended up doing things more geared towards her compared to last year. She got all dressed up in her pumpkin outfit send by her Grandma Sandy, and we headed out. At first we went down Alberta looking for any Halloween action at the stores, but nothing was going on. On our way back home, Terri had a bolt of inspiration, and we went to Kennedy School. It was pure Halloween mayhem, and Radha loved it. Surprisingly she wasn't overwhelmed by the crowds, and even asked to go back for another round when we were thinking of leaving. Luckily this year, she wasn't too interested in the candy, and mainly looked at the offerings. After we got back home, we trick or treated at a few neighbors' houses, and called it a night by 6pm.

Little pumpkin taking a breather outside the Kennedy School.


Excellent instincts - she's suspicious of creepy clowns with candy.




Friday, November 6, 2009

We Have Lift Off

(from Terri)

It's official...Radha started walking last month and has been enjoying her new sense of mobility and independence since. Granted, she is still walking with a bit of a drunken sailor swagger but she can move from Point A to Point B if she is determined enough.

We just had her year and a half check-up this week. She has grown an average of one inch a month in the past three months! No wonder the 18-month pants seem to be fitting like capri pants on her.

Radha was also very happy to be reunited with her Dadima last weekend too, as Dadima had finally returned from a several weeks long trip to India. In this video Radha has fun with a wooden flute that Dadima brought from India, and she has been having fun showing her teddy bears how to "play" it. We have recently started a music class and maybe she's getting some new ideas from class.

video

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall Traditions and Pumpkins=Apples

(from Terri)
Along with many other families, we ventured out to the country a few weekends ago to our favorite farm for their annual Fall Harvest and Pumpkin Patch festivities.

This is our second year visiting Fir Point Farms in Aurora, Oregon. It's barely a 20-minute drive from Portland and less crowded than some of the other farms we've visited in the past. We've decided that this is definitely one of our family's new traditions.

It was even more fun this year with Radha being more mobile, talkative and interactive. She is obsessed with kissing pumpkins (even cardboard versions of them at the grocery store, as discovered yesterday). One funny bit from our visit this time was some "fruit confusion" that Radha had between apples and pumpkins. She can certainly identify and say "apple" but when she saw all the pumpkins she kept calling them "apples". Pretty funny:

video




And remember this picture from October last year?
Radha was mostly still drinking momma's milk and barely eating baby rice cereal at the time. She looked up at her dad so longingly as he ate that delicious fresh apple donut!

Flash forward a year later and Radha finally gets to try the donut this time. Not surprisingly, she enjoyed every cinnamon-sugar-coated bite. (Hey, is that the same grey hoodie from last year that Ro is wearing?)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pancakes

The latest installment of our ongoing series, Radha In the High Chair. This episode: pancakes!


video

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Heading Up Rocky Butte

(from Terri)
It took a while but we finally put the hiking carrier to use again with a hike up Rocky Butte last weekend. The weather was just too great to pass up getting out in nature.

Our family shadows on the way up:

It was windy at the top, but the park has a nice lawn area:

Mount Hood was visible to the east:

Radha was happy to be out in nature:

Radha and I at the start of the hike. I was not used to carrying this much weight on my back, not to mention uphill, (Ro and I took turns) but it was a good workout!



Friday, September 4, 2009

Counting Song

(from Terri)
Last week Ro and I noticed that Radha was singing a song that we didn't recognize over and over. The song has hand motions with it and a very dramatic "Ahhhhhh!" towards the end. She was singing this in the living room, during meals, and during bath time. It was driving us crazy that we didn't know the song and couldn't sing along with her!

We finally got her singing on video and then asked her daycare teachers about it. Turns out it's a counting song (of course!). Silly parents, we should've guessed that.


video

Monday, August 24, 2009

A short video of Radha and her Babaji the other week at the park. Although not shown in this video, Radha has really taken to going down slides and stairs head first (with assistance, of course)!

video

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Communication

(from Ro)

Radha's latest development spurt has definitely been all about communication. She's starting to talk, and also her non-verbal communication is coming along nicely. She's always been pretty focused on mental things more than physical, often preferring books over toys. Here's a snapshot of where she's at:

Words: Mama, Dada, cat, cheese, Baba (for her Grandpa), bath, lots of attempts to repeat what we're saying

Signing: "More", "Eat", and gesturing along to songs like Ittsy Bittsy Spider and 5 Little Monkeys

Body Parts she knows: Head, hair, fingers, toes, arms, eyes, ears, mouth, nose

Singing: Twinkle twinkle, 5 Little Monkeys

Animals she recognizes: Duck, dog, cat, cow, pig, sheep, snake, frog, fish, monkey

There's plenty more I'm forgetting!



"Cheese!"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Summer Fun



t's been quite the summer so far. We've been able to get out of the house much more than last year and enjoy all sorts of outdoor activities. Radha has been to The Enchanted Forest, the beach (Long Beach, WA), all sorts of parks, and the kiddie pool in our backyard. Here's a sampling of what we've been up to:


Staying cool in the kiddie pool during the heatwave.



Meeting Chippie the Chipmonk at the Enchanted Forest


Getting sand and salt water in the diaper at Long Beach




Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Zoo Tunes, Family-Style

(from Terri)

Ro got us tickets to see Tears for Fears for my birthday (yes, the same band known for 80s hits such as "Shout" and "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", among others).  I was super excited to not only get to see Tears for Fears on my actual birthday, but also to see a concert at the Oregon Zoo with the whole family.  

Radha got to check out some of the zoo exhibits before the show, but not all of them as there was a long line we had to go through to even get to the concert lawn.  We will definitely be visiting the zoo again soon.

Once we finally made it to the lawn we quickly grabbed one of the seemingly last pieces of lawn real estate and got Radha and ourselves fed during the opening act.
Radha enjoyed the crowd scene, and also provided some entertainment to us and the blanket "neighbors" as well.  She had a blast dancing to the music, crawling onto other people's blankets (everyone around us was incredibly kind and commented how well behaved she was), and making herself fall down on purpose (total comedian!).  She devoured her dinner (vegetable pasta, turkey, peas), a banana, some blanket neighbor's crackers and watermelon, and some of our baked beans.  I think she was inspired by the Asian pig she saw earlier that afternoon.  *oink oink*
Ro had picked up some earmuffs for Radha's hearing protection earlier in the week.  Although she didn't keep these on the whole time, and the concert wasn't especially loud, I think it was a good idea.  I suspect these will come in handy for more family concerts down the road!

The concert was great!  Tears for Fears played nearly all of their hits (80s and beyond) and after all that rockin' out and huge dinner, Radha fell asleep in her dad's arms (notice the multi-tasking that Ro is doing here with his new iPhone).



















Even despite the long wait for the shuttle bus after the show, it was pretty much a perfect birthday celebration with fun music, friends, and most importantly, family.






Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Skyrockets of Smiles











(from Terri)

Guess what we did for the 4th of July?  A whole lot of nothing but taking it easy, which was fine by me. Ro, Radha and I are taking it easy for the most part this summer. 

July 4th weekend is the time of Portland's annual Waterfront Blues Festival, and while we didn't go to the fest, we did have a really nice morning walk on the 4th across the river where the festival takes place. 

Radha kept cool in her cute summer 4th of July dress from Grandma Sandy (if you look closely enough, you can see little stars and cherries on her dress and inside the cherries are little flags!)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Girl in the Mirror

(from Terri)
It's been a lot of fun seeing more of Radha's toddler personality come out these days!  She just turned 14 months last week and the girl is actively on the move (much to Mookie's dismay). The other day she made me laugh so much by putting on this little "show" in front of the hallway closet mirror.  As her Grandma Sandy says, "Our little ham!"


video

Friday, June 19, 2009

Feeding Goats

Another one from the Niabi Zoo, with Radha helping Ro feed some hungry goats.  It sounds like she was crying but it was more excitement over the goats than anything.

video

Choo-Choo Train

video

A quick video from our QCs vacation of Radha jumping with joy on the zoo train.




Monday, June 8, 2009

First Visit to Momma's Hometown!

(from Terri)

We have finally caught up with our post-vacation chores and errands and ready to share about our recent trip! 

We had an amazingly relaxing and enjoyable vacation back to my hometown area, the Quad Cities (Bettendorf, IA/Davenport, IA/Moline, IL/Rock Island, IL).  I was thrilled to bring Radha to my hometown, show her some of the sights, sounds and tastes of the QCs, and have her spend some long overdue quality time with the Wiley side of the family.

It was our first plane trip with Radha, and the longest car ride yet (we flew to Chicago and picked up a rental car there).  Ro and I were both a little anxious about the trip, but our mantra was, "Go with the flow."  To our happy surprise, Radha was a very mellow and happy traveler, and charmed our fellow passengers.  On the way there she didn't sleep much on the plane, but ended up napping the entire 3 hour drive to my dad's place!

Some of our trip highlights were:
  • The visit to Niabi Zoo in Coal Valley, IL:
















This is the same zoo I went to as a kid.  I was happy to see major improvements in the years since I've been there, but saddened to learn that the long-time matriarch elephant, "Kathy Sha-Boom" died a few years ago.  Radha had a blast; it was her first experience at a zoo ever!   She jumped with excitement during the train ride and especially seemed drawn to the giraffes (I wonder if she made the connection from her toy giraffe at home, or the painting of a giraffe on her wall that we show her every morning after she wakes up?)

  • Trip to Shady Lakes Campground in New Windsor, IL (about 30 minutes south of the QCs) where we took a dip in the pool and lounged on the patio of my brother-in-law's family's camper.
What do you mean the water's fine?   Brrrrrrr!


Splashing in the pool with her Aunt Danelle at my brother-in-law's family's campground pool. Too bad it wasn't warmer out!

  • Walking around Black Hawk College (across the street from my dad's place).  Radha is weighing her college options already.  ;)

  • Walking on the Ben Butterworth Parkway that follows the Mississippi River.   Radha saw the Mighty Miss for the first time, in addition to a huge gaggle of geese.
  • Barbecue with relatives at my cousin Jesse's house with great food (my Grandma had made an awesome rhubarb cobbler), great company and lots of animal entertainment.   Jesse and his wife Helen have one dog, one puppy, and several cats.  The dogs gave Radha lots of kisses.
  • Lots and lots of playtime with Grandpa Cody since we stayed at his place.  She had grown a lot since he last saw her last summer!
  • Radha also got to meet one of her great-grandmothers, my Grandma King.  Don't they look like they've known each other for years?

One afternoon was especially hot, so Radha cooled down on the patio in just her diaper, splashing with a bowl of water and some kitchen toys.  The simplest things!


For the entire set of trip pictures, take a look at my Flickr set here (warning: there are a bunch of food and toy pictures that not be of interest to some of you!)

Friday, June 5, 2009

She's a big girl now!





(from Ro)

We just got back from a week-long visit to Terri's hometown(s), the Quad Cities. We stayed with Radha's Grandpa Cody, and got to see lots of relatives and friends. I must admit I was a little apprehensive about the trip, since it would be our first real extended time away from home and routine. Radha would be sitting on our laps in a plane for 4 hours, in a car seat longer than she had ever been, sleeping in a different place etc.

Radha was able to deal with the changes in routine and schedule quite well. She slept when she needed to, and thrived on the new sights and people. And getting out of the same (admittedly pretty rigid) schedule made me realize that she's not an infant any more, but a bona-fide toddler! She's expressing joy, humor, frustration, and opinions in a way she never has before. What a character!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Blast Off to Summer

(from Terri)
Ro, Radha, and I spent the Memorial Day weekend very leisurely before our big trip back to the Midwest (Quad Cities, Illinois-Iowa area). Thanks to some good (and very generous!) friends of ours, we finally had the time to try out a hiking carrier pack and go on our first family hike.

Since this was our first trial with the carrier, we decided to take things easy. We headed to Oaks Bottom Nature Preserve within town. Radha was intrigued as we started the hike, wondering when the spaceship would lift off. "Where's the warp speed on this thing, Dad?"





























Away we went! The "tent" cover for her head was great sun protection, especially since Radha prefers playing peek-a-bool with hats rather than wearing them. Of course, living in Oregon this will also be a handy rain protector on rainy days.





























































































Can you spot the rare species, Cutius Babius Evahius, among the trees?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bittersweet Thoughts This Mother's Day


(from Terri)
It's official.  My daughter is growing up much too quickly than I would like.


The past few weeks have included several milestones (including the three birthday celebrations for Radha turning the big 1.0...the small, private family affair, the joint birthday party with Radha's playgroup friends, and then a big party with friends and family), news that space opened up for Radha to attend a new daycare that we've been hoping for, a visit from her Bhua Vandana, her one year check-up (including a traumatic bloodraw for her and I both!) and the second Mother's Day (I honestly cannot remember last year's Mother's Day since I was still in a post-partum blur).  Thanks to Ro, for Mother's Day I had a lovely weekend of lunch outing and shopping with a friend, gardening time with Radha and Ro playing on a picnic blanket nearby, and a tasty pesto pasta dinner that required no help from me.

(Btw, more pictures from Radha's birthday party here and pictures from her playgroup friends' joint birthday party here)

All these activities have been fun (well, minus the pediatrician check-up!) but lately I've been reflecting on more emotional milestones.   Last weekend we gave her a bottle of just cow's milk as an experiment.  I didn't expect her to drink it so eagerly (!).  But she did.  And then a wave of bittersweet emotions came over me along with a few silent tears.  Just like that, the weaning process has begun.  "Wait...she doesn't need me anymore??"

I know it's part of the natural weaning process, this is what is "supposed to happen" yada, yada, yada.   I feel incredibly lucky that I reached (and exceeded) my goal to breast feed Radha for a year.  It certainly hasn't been easy at times (Ro knows all too well about my many late evening frustrations with pumping) but I felt the benefits were with it to make it work.  And while I haven't completely stopped breast feeding and pumping altogether, it's become much less a part of the day for Radha and myself both.

Now that my little girl is beginning to show some signs of independence (and so much more on the way, I know) I look back at the old pictures of her and I am blown away how fast the past year has gone by.  Are they all going to go by so quickly?  

Friday, April 17, 2009

Reflections on Radha's First Year


(from Ro)

I can't believe our little one has been with us for a year!  One of the first things I've discovered about being a parent is how time moves differently. Sometimes it seems like it has sped by, but other times the individual moments and the amount of changes we have been through make it seem like a lifetime.  For Radha, it has been a lifetime! There have been lots of good times and some challenging times. The good thing is that Terri and I have learned a lot about being parents, and about ourselves in the process.  No child or parent is the same, so all three of us are figuring out how we operate in our new family.

We've had so many great memories of the last year: all of our visitors, our trip to the coast, visiting the pumpkin patch, Halloween and Christmas. One big moment was the first night we put her in the crib to sleep on her own. It was one of the first of many bittersweet moments we're going to have as Radha starts gaining independence.  

Of course, the biggest joy has been watching her change and develop into her own person. Another lesson I am still learning is letting her develop at her own pace, and not to worry too much about what books say or what other kids are doing.  I'll post some stats after her one year appointment next week, but in the meantime, here's a rundown of some of her latest and greatest accomplishments:

- standing on her own while leaning on something
- rolling around the living room
- feeding herself finger foods and bottles
- saying "mama" and "dada", but not always to the right person
- patting herself on the stomach when we ask "Where's your tum-tum?"
- imitating us when we raise our hands above our head, or "dance"
- doing her "big girl laugh" like in the video posted earlier
- being generally hilarious at dinner time, so that Mom and Dad have to try and keep straight faces to try and get some food in her

Coming up next week - birthday posts!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hop Hop Happy Easter


This little bunny wishes you a Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Curry Lover

(from Terri)

The other night Ro and I were having some Thai take-out leftovers for dinner. We gave Radha a piece of some tofu for the first time, and then somehow we ended up with this in our head.

(sung to the tune of "Easy Lover" by Phil Collins & Philip Bailey)

Curry lover
She’ll eat your tofu but you won’t see it
She’s like no other
Before you know she’ll be eating the green curry at Siam Thai
She’s a curry lover
She likes the yellow and maybe one day, the spicy red stuff
She’s like no other
It’s just something you gotta see…

She’s the kind of girl we dream of
Dream of eating lots of foods
You’d better forget it
You’ll never get it
She will take your food and grab it
Grab it and smash it
Between her little fingers
If it doesn’t go on the floor first…

No, don’t try to take it from her,
just leave it, leave it
Serve it up warm ‘cuz tastin’ is believin’
It’s the only way, she’ll really eat it…
Curry lover
She’ll eat your tofu but you won’t see it
She’s like no other
Before you know she’ll be eating the green curry at Siam Thai
She’s a curry lover
She likes the yellow and maybe one day, the spicy red stuff
She’s like no other
It’s just something you gotta see…

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Swing Full of Rainbows


rainbow full of swings
Originally uploaded by MookieLuv
As the weather has been gradually warming up, Radha has been playing at the nearby park quite a bit. We can't wait until she is old enough to go down the slides own her own, but for now, she loves the swings.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Southern Visitor

(from Terri)
My mom left the warmth of her home in Louisiana for a visit to see us last month. Grandma Sandy hadn't seen Radha since June last year, so as you can imagine the changes she saw in Radha were quite drastic and exciting. More hair, more weight, more foods, more verbal, more mobile...what a change from Radha's first three months!

Despite all of us feeling under the weather at one point or another during Grandma Sandy's visit, we had a nice mellow time hanging out, with a few trips to the park and restaurants for dinner. Grandma Sandy graciously offered to babysit one night while Ro and I enjoyed a belated Valentine's Day dinner with just the two of us.

Here are some pictures from Grandma Sandy's visit:

My mom and I at the Portland Chinese Classical Gardens in Chinatown/Old Town. It was nice to have Chinese tea and cookies in the teahouse; very relaxing! I've been to the teahouse here multiple times but never get tired of it. The choices of tea are endless and the stress just melts away the minute I walk into the door from the tranquil atmosphere.


Both grandmothers and our family at Ro's parents' house:



I love Chinese food! Now where is my fortune cookie Grandma?


Radha and Grandma Sandy playing with Radha's nametag from Book Babies at the library. She and Grandma Sandy got into quite the game of "Stick the Sticker On My Nose."


I'm not going high enough yet Grandma!
'