Austin (Part 2 of 2)

If you read Tiny D's blog, you'll have seen the cruise highway that Martin's Dad built...Gabby enjoyed showing Martin the crusin' ropes, and here Martin's showing Gabby his skills!

Another Austin highlight was hanging out with Zach (Wee Z's Blog), his push-toys, and his kitty, Bitsy. Gabby got her first tries with push-toys while Zach was napping, and she took a few steps, and seemed to get a kick out of it.

Zach's family has three kitties, and they’re all used to baby attention, but Bitsy was the most amazing. She let Gabby pet her, and also pull her tail, ears, and fur, without so much as a meow. Gabby loved chasing her around!

"I've never been so close to a kitty for so long before!"

"Oh my goodness...she'll even let me touch her!"

We make eye contact, as Zach looks on.

Eventually Bitsy gets tired of all the attention.

While in Austin, we also visited with Carolyn and her parents. Their dog, Libby, was as big a hit as Bitsy. Libby is an extremely patient golden retriever, who also let Gabby pull her fur, and whatever else she could reach, as Mommy tried to teach Gabby the definition of “gentle.”

Carolyn gives Gabby a kiss good-bye.

Gabby also spent some time with some other wonderful Austin dogs, Abita (Tiny D’s dog) and Cactus (Cool Hand Luke’s dog).

On our last Saturday, we had a little holiday gathering. Here the dads show off their "prides and joys." Our friend Brion stands in as "guest Daddy" while Joe takes some pictures. (Evidently, Martin had such a big dinner, as is evidenced by the leftovers on his face, that he busted right out of his pants)!!!

Lou and Luke, Arthur and Martin, and Brion and Gabby

Our final Austin photo shoot is of our Little Longhorns in their matching Texas outfits. Check out how happy they are to be all dressed up in burnt orange! Hook 'em!

Gabby waves at the camera while Martin is all smiles.

Then Gabby is the smiley one.

And lastly, Abita joins in on the Longhorn fun!

Now that Auntie Sara, Uncle Shaun, and Uncle Jay all live in Austin, we were able to spend some quality time with them, while we were in town as well. Gabby also enjoyed seeing their cats, Mercution and Bunny! This Austin trip was just one big pet extravaganza!

The culmination of our trip to Austin included Continental Airlines losing Gabby’s gate-checked car-seat. It’s a long story, but eventually they found it and delivered it to our home, but only after some drama and some time with a lousy loaner seat.

In all, it was a wonderful trip, and it was so great to see all our friends and family, but after 10 days away, there's no place like Home Sweet Home!


Austin (Part 1 of 2)

From December 10th – 19th we vacationed in Mommy and Daddy’s old stompin’ grounds in Austin, Texas! We were scheduled to fly down on the 9th, but Mother Nature had other plans, as she blanketed Boston in 6 inches of snow in one stormy hour that afternoon. Our flight was cancelled, so we headed out the next morning instead.

In Austin, "Tiny D." (a.k.a. Martin - Tiny D's Blog) was gracious enough to offer Gabby his pack-n-play, and we all crashed in his parents’ spare room for the week. Gabby loved playing with all the new toys at Martin’s house and was occasionally amused by Martin himself. We were all impressed with Martin’s amazing appetite and excellent eating skills, as Gabby merely grazed on the occasional Cheerio and a bite of cereal here and there.

Back in Austin, we all got to meet "Cool Hand Luke" (Luke's Blog) for the first time! He’s such a big boy already, and such a cutie! Gabby’s looking forward to her next visit to Austin, when he’ll be able to play with her a bit more.

On Sunday we went to Nutty Brown Cafe where people travelled from as far and wide and North and South Austin and even from way out in Commerce, TX, to say "Howdy" to little G on her Texas Tour #2.

Auntie Padma came in from Commerce, just to see G!

Gabby checks out Wee Z...

... but then puts the moves on Luke, instead!

Gabby, (Cool Hand) Luke, Martin (a.k.a. Tiny D) and Zach (a.k.a. Wee Z) all pose for a pic!

While in Texas, we made a trip to Dallas and Gabby was able to meet her friends Cleo and Barrett, and also saw her friend Elise again. Gabby loved following 2 ½ year old Cleo around…she apparently, can’t wait to be a big girl like Cleo. While in Dallas, Gabby tried out Cleo’s slide in the backyard, and after a few slides in Daddy’s arms, Gabby was leaning forward to slide down all on her own! In the same afternoon, Gabby also climbed her first stairs, up to the deck at Cleo and Barrett’s house.

Gabby loved the slide!

It was so nice to play outside in Dallas, given that we left a snowy mess in Boston!

Happy Thanksgiving (albeit a bit late)!

We all spent Thanksgiving weekend at Babci and Papa’s house. Auntie Sara and Uncle Shaun surprised us by flying up from Austin and Gabby enjoyed spending some quality time with them, as well as with Auntie Marta, Devin, and Uncle Jay, (who had just returned from his European sailing adventure). Gabby’s Bobie joined us for Thanksgiving dinner, and Gabby sampled some Thanksgiving delicacies but wasn’t terribly excited by the food. Her two grandmothers unanimously decided (against Mommy and Daddy’s better judgment) that Gabby’s first Thanksgiving would not be complete without her being allowed to chomp on a turkey bone. She seemed to enjoy it!

Gabby’s favorite part of Thankgiving weekend was visiting with Thursday, the cat. Gabby loved chasing after her, and she really perfected her super-fast crawling skills while in pursuit of her. We thought she might have even said her first word, “kitty,” but since it hasn’t been repeated much, we’re now doubtful, and are waiting for her next official “first word.” We’ll keep you posted.

The day after Thanksgiving, we went to Alex's house to hang out with Alex and William (and their parents, of course).

Left to right: Alex, Gabby, and William.

That weekend we also had a family get-together at Babci and Papa's house to kick off the Christmas season.

Over Thanksgiving, Gabby loved having lots of room to crawl around, so once we returned home after Thanksgiving, Mommy and Daddy did another round of babyproofing, to give her free (and safe) roaming rights to most of the house. Since doing that, Gabby’s been working on perfecting her cruising abilities, and at one point, in the absence of a push-toy, Gabby walked across the house while pushing a laundry basket!

Come back to our blog soon to see more posts from our trip to Austin, Christmas, and Hanukkah!!! They're coming soon...we promise!

Photo Shoot

Here are a couple of our shots from Gabby's Holiday card photo shoot back on December 4th.

And a couple more...

Gabby loved watching the snow out the window:


Austin, how we missed ya.

We never found the time to write a full update on Thanksgiving before we headed out of town. But we will...

We're in Austin now, and are heading to Dallas tomorrow...so expect a proper update sometime soon. For now, catch a mere glimpse into what Gabby's been doing - check out Tiny D's blog.

Until next time...


It's been a while

Sorry it's been a while again. Things have been hectic as Joe and I have been swamped at work getting ready for our vacation in Austin next week. We were supposed to be in flight at this very moment, but our flight was cancelled due to snow. Gabby had a bit of an adventure when our car got stuck in a ditch at a bottom of a hill on our way to pick her up. Joe and I walked the rest of the way to daycare, picked Gabby up, bundled her in her snowsuit (thanks Babci), slid her into the Bjorn and walked her to the car of Gabby's friend Maya's mom (who rescued Gabby and me in her mini-van, while Joe worked the car, and eventually got it un-stuck)! We got home just in time for Gabby's bedtime, and now we're scheduled to take-off tomorrow at 6:40AM!



That's it. That's the word. Not bad, if you ask me. We'll put up a complete Thanksgiving updates post with pictures soon, but for now I wanted to share the big news.

All weekend, Gabby was following around Basia's old cat, Thursday, at Babci and Papa's house. Then on Sunday morning, Gabby was playing on the floor among her Uncle Jay, Uncle Shaun, Aunt Sally, Aunt Marta, Mommy, and Daddy when the kitty strolled by. One of us said, "Gabby, did you see the kitty?" Gabby made a very focused face, and looked around for a second. We all watched her in silence. Slowly and a little unsurely, Gabby eeked out, "kee-dee." "KITTY!!!," we all proclaimed!

Gabby's first word: Kitty. Gotta love it.


...and Gabby stands...

Option one (if you have a slow connection): Right click here. Then select "save target as..." Choose where and how to save the file. Then watch the video.

Option two (if you're quick): Click here.



The Paparazzi Strikes!!

In an open letter to Lil Miss G, the associated paparazzi wrote:

You can't escape from the camera, little girl. We're everywhere you are. You've done your best to out-wit and out-smart your parents but alas we have succeeded where they have failed. As you will see below, your most elusive feature have been captured for posterity:

Say AHHHH!!! Ha-ha!! I snapped the top teeth!!!

There they are, two bottom teeth...the better to grind with!!

You've seen hat head... Now here's the bed-head!

That is all for now. But remember, just when you thought you were alone...our cameras are there!

Three toofers, and a rice ball.

Hey Gabby fans... Gabby's Daddy and I are so sorry for our recent lack of updates. I've recently heard gripes from a few of you. Joe says if you publicize your gripes in comments on this blog, he's more likely to respond in a more timely manner. We've had no idea if anyone's even been looking for updates these past two weeks.

Digging the hat-head

Okay, so...first the excuses...in the past couple of weeks, all three of us have all suffered from coughs, colds, and fevers, Gabby and I had conjunctivitis, I had laryngitis, and when we finally thought we were all in the clear, I sprained my ankle. (Try caring for a newly mobile 9.5 month old with a swollen, purple, painful ankle...it's not easy)! Once the ankle was better, we went through another full-family round of colds and fevers! On top of that, Joe and I have been absolutely swamped at work. Joe's in the midst of budget season, and my project that I've been working on since August goes "live" tomorrow. So... we've been VERY busy! But we're FINALLY all healthy and doing great!

So...since we last wrote, there hasn't been tons to report aside from minor illnesses, but here's what else has been going on. On October 31st Gabby had her 9 month check-up and shots. G's Daddy had to take her solo, because I had to work, and he said it wouldn't have been too bad, except that after the nurse administered the first two shots, she said, "Oops, I forgot one." So just as G was finally consoled, the nurse came back and stabbed her again. Evidently she was pretty inconsolable after that. Poor little munchkin (and poor little Daddy!!). After that, she went to daycare with her adorable jack-o-lantern costume (see previous posts). Joe and I got out of work early to join her Halloween party, but when we got there, she was sitting in her classroom alone with one teacher, on the floor in her costume, crying. Evidently the time change the night before, along with the shots, made G not a very happy Halloween camper. So...off with the costume and home and to bed. So much for her first Halloween. Better luck next year!

JP at sunset

The weekend of 11/5, we all headed out on Saturday. First, we visited with our newest baby friend, Molly, in Norton. She's 2 months old, and while we caught up with her parents Rachel and Paul, Gabby enjoyed playing with Molly's big brother Noah's toys. Noah seemed to enjoy having another baby in the house, and even graced Gabby with an adorable kiss on the nose! He's going to be such a great big brother!

After that we headed to Babci and Papa's house, where Gabby was thrilled to hang out withBabci, Papa, Auntie Marta, and Auntie Meagan. Mommy and Daddy also got a night out! We went out for a nice dinner and movie (only the second movie we've been to since G was born)! We got back around midnight, only to find out that our poor little munchkin was running a little fever... so we were immediately back to parent-mode. She survived unscathed and was all better in the morning.

Happy Gabby!

On Sunday, we visited with our baby-to-be friend "Baby B" and her parents Karen and Ilan. Baby B is due in a couple of weeks, and we enjoyed lending the B. family some books and gear, and sharing some parenting tips (unsolicited, of course. Hope we didn't overwhelm the parents-to-be too much)! Karen looks great, and Gabby can't wait to meet her newest little girlfriend!

This week was pretty much the same-old same-old, but on Friday, Gabby had the pleasure of spending the day with Auntie Marta, because daycare was closed for Veteran's Day. She and Auntie Marta played and played, ate yummy food, and went to the park to play on the swings. It was pretty chilly out, so G was all bundled up, but she loved swinging, nonetheless. She also had a little dance party to her newest kiddie CD when she started to get crabby in the afternoon. Her newest development that day was that she began grinding her teeth. The sound is so horrible, it's like fingernails on a chalkboard. It sounded so terrible that I actually called G's pediatrician. When I told him she was grinding her teeth, he laughed and asked, "How many teeth does she have?" knowing it was not many. Three I told him, with one more coming in soon. He said there wasn't much we could do about it, except offer her other things to chew on, and try some Tylenol for teething pain (and bring her in if she develops any other symptoms). So...we're living with this horrible grinding sound for the time being. Hopefully it'll calm down once she finally cuts that second top front tooth.

Speaking of which, I have been trying to photograph those elusive "toofers" for DAYS, but to no avail. I'm now extremely impressed with the picture that Meredith got of Wee Z's adorable bottom teeth. If Wee Z's as protective as G is of her little teeth, then it must have been a monumental feat to get that picture!

Taking a ride on the subway!!!

Yesterday, we bundled G up and took the T to the North End for lunch. Joe has been desperately searching for "arancini" (breaded and deep-fried risotto rolls with beef, mozzarella & green peas) for months, but everytime we go out for Italian for dinner, he's told it's a lunch thing. Last time we were in the North End, our waiter recommended Galeria Umberto for the rice-ball treat. So, we headed there yesterday, only to find they were closed due to a death in the family. Very sad. Instead, we got sandwiches as Cafe Pompei, and after we ordered, Joe was pleased to see they actually had arancini as well (not on the menu, but he spied them in a display case)! Gabby feasted on Cheerios (the only thing she seems to want to eat lately), but also pleased us by trying some of Daddy's meatball and some of Mommy's focaccia bread.

North End, Boston, MA

After lunch we wandered around Faneuil Hall and Haymarket before heading home for Gabby's nap. (Joe also enjoyed a nap with his daughter).

So...that's what we've all been up to. Now, here's an update on Gabby's development. Since we last posted, Gabby has become incredibly mobile. She can now get anywhere as long as there are no high hurdles to climb. She prefers cruising to crawling, but when she runs out of things to hold on to, she drops to her bum and gracefully switches to a crawl to get to the next piece of furniture, toy, windowsill, or wall on which she can pull herself up again. I think her cutest move is when she holds on to something with one-hand while standing, and stoops down to pick something up off the floor with her other hand.

A nice fall photo

In eating updates...today has been a big day for Gabby. She actually ate some baby oatmeal and applesauce for breakfast, not just Cheerios. Then, we had lunch as a family, and Gabby ate a couple pieces of whole wheat Annie's mac-n-cheese, a bite of broccoli from Mommy's Hot Pocket, and a bite of Daddy's meatloaf. This may not seem like a big deal to you readers, but this is a monumental eating achievement for the munchkin who has pretty much only eaten Cheerios for the past two weeks!

Bathtime is fun...

Joe's addition...
We set up the living room furniture to create a walled in Gabby-pit. With the automan as a sliding door, we feel pretty safe plopping our little one in the pit and then going about our business - like making dinner, bottles, etc. Last night, B and I were playing with Gabby in the pit, when she spied the automan not quite in position. There was a breach in the perimeter. She made her move without hesitation. Quickly crawling over her toys and grabbing hold of the automan for support. Up to her feet, she scooted her way through the breach...all the while smiling at us and our inaction. It was finally time to stop laughing and nab the escapee before she got out into the rest of the house. That little girl is going to keep us on our toes.

I want to give a shout out to Tiny D’s Dad. In what I’m sure is no surprise to anyone that knows him, he passed the bar.


She's moving now.

I only have eyes for all of you...

Well, it's been about 7 days since she began to really move. First it was a little crawl, or a lifting herself to stand while leaning on something...but now...geez, she's a mover, baby!

When we put her down on her bum, she immediately rolls over, then crawls somewhere, sits back on her bum, then lifts herself by pulling herself up onto a toy or furniture. It's really crazy, since only a week ago we referred to her as a turtle. Put her on her back and she's helpless.

Double the pleasure, double the fun...

G's mobilty has driven us into action! First, we got a pad to soften up the living room carpet. Then it was time to relocate some furniture. The glider to gabby's room, and the love seat to the living room. Next we rearranged the living room...and viola! Gabby has a semi-safe play area.

At the Head of the Charles...with Arshi and James!

We also installed the gate we have in the only place we could...the hallway between the kitchen and front door. Ok, the last piece of the puzzle came today. Hold your breath. Exhale. We got a maid! yay.

Happy 9-month birthday, Smunchy!

Last weekend, Arshi came to visit us. Gabby really enjoyed playing with her hair - and getting lots of love. We had the pleasure of checking out the head of the charles with the Donna and James as well as meeting up with Becky and Wendy. Then Tex-mex in Harvard Square for lunch! Good times, y'all.

Yay!!! 9 Months, already!

Sunday was Miss G's 9-month birthday. She's amazing. These days Gabby's been sleeping on her tummy. Oh, did I mention that she's got conjunctivitis?

A bit washed out...but you get the idea.

Last thing. Today, when I got home from work Gabby stood without any aids for like 4-6 seconds!!! Awesome!


It's been a crazy few days...

Have I got some news for y'all???
Wednesday night, we brought G to her first Erev Yom Kippur service. The service began at 5:30, so I think Gabby was a little confused when she knew it was bedtime, but we were dressing her up to go out. I tried explaining things to her. I think she eventually understood when we got there. For the whole 45 minutes, G just watched everything. The service was geared for kids, so there were lots and lots of kids in attendance. G was the cutest, though.

Sending a shout out to my cousin, Kayla!!

Saturday, the three of us had a great time at cousin Ilana's bat Mitzvah. Ilana did a wonderful job and Gabby was well behaved. G especially enjoyed seeing all her cousins again. I think she spent at least 30 minutes watching Alyssa, Dillon, and Zane playing with a balloon. We decided to not force a nap on her, and just played things loose. The result was Gabby actually fell asleep while I was holding her above my head for the Horah...too cute.

I'm G-lorious in this dress.

Sunday was an even bigger day. By 9:30 am, G had three developmental milestones. First she took a "crawl-step." This is huge. As y'all may recall, we didn't think she would crawl, ever. But it appears that she may surprise us, again. Her second development was clapping. She's definitely clapped in the past on occasion, but this was deliberate and with us. Too cool. Third was sitting up on her own. She's long been affectionately called a turtle. Normally, she'd be helpless when placed on her back. From a seated position, she spins, rocks, reaches, pulls herself to standing, cruises, etc. But from her back...nothing. Until now. She did this 6 times in a row. I'll do my best to explain. While lying on her stomach, she pushes back with her arms. Normally, this move results in her wedging herself under the bed, and becoming frusrated. This time, however, she gripped the rug with her feet, and pushed herself onto her bum. Yay Gabby!!! She's moving now.

Wattup Sabah??

Today even more happened! She cut her second tooth. She rolled from seated to tummy to back to tummy to back...all the way across the floor. And she determined the area of a parallelogram!!! Ok I was kidding about the parallelogram, but everything else is for real.

That's all for now. Oh wait...I've got one more funny tidbit for y'all.

i said a hip hop the hippie the hippie
to the hip hip hop, a you dont stop
the rock it to the bang bang boogie say up jumped the boogie
to the rhythm of the boogie, the beat

We've received reports from day care that Gabby has been pulling her self up onto her feet there as well. But there's one small difference. Gabby's using something she doesn't have at home...other babies!!! There's been reports of her climbing the bodies of at least two other babies while at day care. If that's not social interaction, I don't know what is!

I love my Mommy.