Category Archives: Uncategorized

Happy 8th Birthday Munchkin!

Munchkin turned 8 a week ago.  It was an intense weekend with a Star Wars birthday party, custom donuts and our first hibachi experience.  It was a great time.  We are so proud of our eldest and only for many year.  Munchkin is a great big brother taking care of his little sister and playing with her.  He is a great student, finishing up the 2nd grade.  This year he has changed from favoring math and science to reading and writing.  He reads a lot.  We are so proud of this growth.  Munchkin has some great friends and loves to learn and explore new things.  He played basketball on a team this year.  His sports are baseball and basketball.  He is 4ft 6 inches and 63 pounds.  We love our baby boy to pieces.


Munchkin had a Friday night game on his birthday weekend.  He had a hit and got a run.  I was really awesome. 

Munchkin Run (2)Munchkin RunMunchkin Run (2)

On Sunday Munchkin had his 8th birthday party.  It was Star Wars Jedi Training.  We had a Jedi come from NYC to train the kids their skills.  Munchkin wanted this party so much that he agreed to give up getting presents from us to have a Jedi come to his party.  Here are the party decorations.

Munchkin and I made a Death Star piñata that the kids were unable to break.  Nithin had to rip it open.  The kids really liked the Jedi training portion.

Then the kids came in for cake and pizza.

Rowans 8th Birthday Cake

On Munchkin’s actual birthday last Monday we got donuts for him to bring into school.

Rowans Donuts

For Munchkin’s birthday dinner we went out to our new hibachi restaurant.  This was the kids first time going.  Pearl was scared by the fire but got used to it toward the end.  She thought it was everyone’s birthday there and started saying other tables that had fires had birthdays.

First Cold

Last week was a normal week with our regular activities of school, science class, gymnastics and the start of swim class. Baby Pearl loved watching Munchkin in swim class. Pearl is becoming a lot more alert lately wanting to see what we are up to. She will watch Munchkin teach her things with great fascination. The other day Munchkin taught her how to get dressed.

Last weekend Baby Pearl had her first cold. She had a bit of mucus that we used her snot sucker on. Laying low this weekend helped her get well by Monday. This week has been such great weather I got out the spring jackets which we didn’t even need. With the nice weather we have been out for walks and visited the playground . Here is a picture of Baby Pearl in her sun hat at the playground.


Munchkin loves to play pretend. We are constantly playing fireman, animal rescue and police. This week a police car was behind us and Munchkin says if we get pulled over he will tell the police officer to take me to jail. I said if I go to jail he will have to come too. Munchkin said his dad would come to get him. I am left in jail with my police officer son leaving me there. 🙂

Baby Pearl had a doctor check-in today and is 12lbs 6 oz. and 24 inches. All is well.

3 Weeks

As of yesterday it has been 3 weeks with Baby Pearl.  We got the perfect picture of both the kids looking at each other sweetly during the photo shoot. 

3 Weeks Pointing

Baby Pearl is turning out to be an expert stretcher.  Before you can get her to do anything after she wakes up she needs maybe 10 min to go through her stretching routing.  Moving her arms and legs and making her piggy noises.  Nithin likes to say she stretches more than the cat.

3 Weeks Pointing23 Weeks Eyes Open23 Weeks Eyes Open3 Weeks Eyes Open3

Toward the end of the shoot Baby Pearl decided it was time to do a poop.  Here are her poopy faces. 

3 Weeks Arms3 Weeks Poopy Face2

Then Baby Pearl tells us it is time to go to sleep. 

3 Weeks Tired Dad

This week was the first where Munchkin asked to put Pearl back in my tummy and later that day asked if we could throw her in the garbage.  Munchkin has been doing a great job sharing his time but I think got frustrated because Pearl was getting more presents than him.  Munchkin has started drawing Pearl pictures for her room of him so she remembers him.  He also drew her a rainbow picture.

Picture for Pearl

This week if school vacation week for a bunch of schools except ours so Munchkin has had a lot of free time since his activities are canceled.  He has gone to the Children’s Museum and library with Bapuma and Aja.  He and Aja like building forts all over the house.  They are pretty inventive. 

First Week with Baby

Yesterday marks one week with baby Pearl.  This week we have seen her hold her head every so often.  We have been working hard at getting Pearls weight up and getting breast feeding down.  At today’s doctor appointment we found out she has exceeded her birth weight at 7 lbs 13 oz.  For babies that are breast fed they expect them to be at their birth weight two weeks after birth.  Pearl’s umbilical cord fell off last night and that isn’t expected until day 8 or 10.  So we are advanced for our age on many fronts.

Here is a picture of all my babes.

Nithin and his Babies

This picture is a rare one with her eyes open.

We did a photo shoot Sat. with both the kids in the same hat I made them with similar colors.  Munchkin’s is blue and orange and Pearl’s is pink and orange.  It is the Quynn hat by Woolly Wormhead

Tasty BabyDad and PearlMom and Pearl

Matching HatsMatching Hats2Matching Hats3Pearl in HatPearl in Hat2

Munchkin asked me this week about my tummy since the baby is no longer in there.  I showed him the stretch marks and said he helped start those off.  I asked him if he thought I should see a plastic surgeon about them.  His response was that he has a doctor kit at school he could get to take care of it.  Too cute. 

Munchkin started a science class he goes to every Tues.  This week was volcano’s which they made the lava for.  He loved it. 

In the last snow storm Munchkin asked for a scarf so by the next snow, a week later I had made the following for him.  He didn’t wear it though when we went outside to play in the snow.  It is a really cute scarf that you put the star through the whole so it isn’t super long.  Munchkin says he loves it.  The pattern is the Sweetstar Scarf by Kate Gilbert.

Star Scarf2Star Scarf

On Sunday we got an inch of snow so that means Munchkin wants to spend the morning out playing.  Nithin went out with him and then I did.  Munchkin is a snow eating addict.  We tell him to stay away from the brown or yellow snow but I did catch him with a leaf in his mouth. 

Snow FunSnow Eating

Baby Pearl turned 1 week yesterday so we did this little photo shoot. 

Week 1 - 2Week 1 AmherstWeek 1 Amherst2Week 1 Amherst3Week 1 Amherst4Week 1 with MunchkinWeek 1 with Munchkin2Week 1 with Munchkin3Week 1

We received a special gift from a knitting friend.  I actually wanted to make this sweater for myself.  She made it for Pearl in the 12 month size so I have 1 year to get my act together and make myself one too. 

2013-02-04 Michele's Sweater 002


Things for us are calming down with a lot less activities going on.  I have been collecting a list of things Munchkin has said. 

  • Munchkin loves the police and pretending he is a police officer.  ..He calls the police his police officer friends.  We are driving in the car and if he doesn’t like what he sees he frequently says he is calling his police officer friends.  Usually it is that he is going to call the police on other bad drivers but once he turned it on Nithin… “Dad if you don’t go the speed limit I am going to call the cops.”
  • We went one day to BJs and were getting into the car and I asked Munchkin to do something.  He pulls “Mom, I don’t have to listen to you, just like daddy.”  That took a swift elbow to Nithin’s ribs to get him to pipe up and talk about how we all have to listen to each other. 
  • Munchkin has a stuffed animal dog he calls Tuffie.  I mistakenly thought the dog is a German Shepard.  I guess I was wrong and the dog is really a Rottweiler which grandma and grandpa told him.  Munchkin heard “rock boiler”.  So when I asked him about the type of dog he has he says he refuses to believe he has anything other than a German Shepard because he doesn’t want a “rock boiler”.
  • I recently had a bag in the back seat of the car that was accidentally covering up the seat belt spot for Rowan’s booster seat.  As he was moving the bag he proceeds to lecture me “Mom, you need to think of others and not just yourself.”

Munchkin frequently tells us he is a “big kid” so he can do this or that thing.  His favorite phrase lately is that “it isn’t fair”.  He uses it all the time even when it isn’t appropriate.  We have to work on learning what is fair and what isn’t.  It is amazing this has started so early. 

Big kid

Not fair

Holiday Fun

We have been super duper busy this week getting in the holiday spirit.  Last Monday we went to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular in NYC.  We got there early so we had time to see the exhibits, visit with Santa and get a family picture taken with a Rockette.  He was super excited to be the first kid there to see Santa.  Munchkin left the show with a rockette doll whose skirt lights up and spins.  He loved it.  This was Munchkin’s first live show.  H really liked it and was 3D glasses still.  He says his favorite parts were the toy soldiers and a newer video game section. 

Radio City RocketteRadio City StantaRadio City Show

It was a beautiful day to be in the city.  Perfect weather.  After the show we went to see the tree at Rockefeller center and have dinner right next to the skating rink on the lower level. 

Rockefeller Center TreeRockefeller Center Tree Family

On Tues. Munchkin went with his grandparents to the fireman museum.  This kid loves the fireman museum.  I swear we could visit it a few times a month.  In the evening we had our towns Christmas tree lighting.  Munchkin saw Santa get into the fire truck to arrive in the center of town and then got his picture taken with Santa by the tree.  Munchkin insisted that he needed to ride his scooter to the even which is why he has a helmet on. 

Town Christmas Tree Lighting with Santa

This past weekend went to see a local production of Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  Munchkin loved that too.  He took a liking to Rudolph’s mom and wanted his picture taken with him. 

Our RudolphRudoph Mom

We had a swimming party to go to on Sunday.  Munchkin loves a birthday party.  On the way home we went to Target to get Munchkin new bedding.  We are changing his room over from being a baby room to being a big kid room as he says.  He wanted rocket space bedding.  Since we are working on his sister’s room we asked him if he wanted some changes too.  I do love his “Little Boys Make Noise” rug that has animals in a marching band so we will see how long he lets me keep that. 

Yesterday we went to go see Santa in the city at Macy’s Santaland.  On a Tuesday at 9:30 there is no one there so we sailed right through really quickly. 

Santaland Visit

Munchkin got to mail his letter to Santa.  Here is his letter.

Santaland Letter MailedChristmas List 2012

He told Santa he wanted Scooby Doo toys and asked Santa how far the North Pole was from New York.  He had a great time visiting Santa.

Macy's Santa FamilyMacy's Santa Munchkin

Santaland Mrs Claus

For the next few weeks we are keeping it low key around home.  This is the end of our high adventures.

In baby news…  Last week was 32 weeks so we went for our sonogram.  Everything is good.  It is still a girl, we double checked.  This is a picture of the head.

32 Weeks Public

Winding Down

Three weekends ago Munchkin had a play date with a friend from school.  They had a great time playing for a few hours.  The little girls mother commented that the reason why her daughter and Munchkin get along so well is that they are both thinkers.  I hadn’t thought of Munchkin like that before since he is our first I just thought kids are like that.  The mom said her other girls are not thinkers and more artistic.  It makes sense all kids are different, Munchkin is a thinker. 

Also that weekend we went to the movies to see Wreck it Ralph.  While Munchkin and Nithin saw that movie I went to see the new Twilight movie.  It was a nice low key weekend.

For Thanksgiving we headed up to Nithin’s family in Mass.  Munchkin just loves his cousins there.  Here it looks like he doesn’t love them but he had just waken up from a nap. 

Thanksgiving Cousins

We had a very nice family Thanksgiving.  My sister and brother-in-law are serious cooks so everything was fabulous.  Our eldest niece baked three desserts.  So there is very little for others to bring or do which is kinda nice.  This year with me catching a cold just before Thanksgiving we brought wine as I didn’t have the energy to bake as I usually do.  Our niece did a great job compensating.  Thanksgiving evening Munchkin had his first sleepover without us around (we went and stayed at Aja & Bapuma’s house one town away).  He did great we were told and even slept in. 

Thanksgiving First SleepoverThanksgiving First Sleepover2

The day after Thanksgiving we stayed away from the stores and took the kids to go paint pottery.  Munchkin chose a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and I painted a gnome. 

Thanksgiving Painting Pottery4Thanksgiving Painting PotteryThanksgiving Painting Pottery2Thanksgiving Painting Pottery3Thanksgiving Finished Pottery

We had a family party for our middle cousin, whose birthday was on Friday.  This was a nice picture of the cousin’s together. 

Cousin BirthdayBirthday Cousins

We came home from Thanksgiving on Saturday night to avoid the traffic.  Sunday my cold totally kicked my butt so I was in bed most of the day.  We did manage to decorate the house for Christmas.

This weekend we spent Saturday putting up our Christmas tree and baking a moose cake for Grandma’s birthday.  Munchkin was very specific we needed to make a cake with a moose on it.  It took a half hour and multiple pictures on pinterest to get out of him that he had the below in mind.  It was a really good chocolate cake with coffee frosting.  Today we had Grandma’s birthday and cooking and baking for that. 

Christmas TreeGrandma Birthday Moose CakeWilliamsburg Village

Tomorrow we are off to see the Radio City Christmas Spectacular with Munchkin for the first time.  We are all very excited. 

Snow in November?

Last Wed. we had a Nor’easter come through a week and a half after the hurricane.  A lot of people on Long Island still didn’t have power from the hurricane yet, we had our power for about 3 days when this next storm came.  We were very lucky to not loose power again during the storm.  Many also had that happen.  The snow was a few inches and very wet making more tree damage. 

Snow House

We went out early Thurs. morning and shot our Christmas card photos in the snow.  You will have to wait to see those.  As his reward for the photo shoot Munchkin got to stay outside and play in the snow in his sled and eat the snow.  He even went out later and went sledding with the neighbors in the back yard.

Snow Day MunchkinSnow DaySnow Day2

I managed to get some pictures of Munchkin in his new winter hat and mitten set. 

Hat and MitsHat and Mits2

In our area the snow melted by Friday.  South of here they must have gotten a lot more snow because on Saturday they still had snow on the ground. 

Nithin went into the city on the train to work on Monday and Tuesday but worked from home Wed. – Fri.  There were a lot less trains running after this last storm and Penn. station even closed for a few hours.  So it was smart he worked at home.  It looks like the trains are almost back to regular schedules as of today.

We also have gas shortages.  Gas stations run out of gas in a matter of hours.  On Wed. I went and waited 3 hours in line to get gas for the Prius.  Being pregnant there is no way I could go 3 hours without going to the bathroom.  I went to the gas station near home and Nithin took a little break from work and saved my place in line for a few min so I could go home and go to the bathroom.  It worked out quite well and I got a lot of knitting and listening to audio books done. 

This past weekend we did some errands, batching them up to use the least amount of gas.  Nithin started painting the baby room.  The walls are done and painted in Wisteria.  Just the trim needs to be done now. 

On Sunday we went out to Indian food for lunch and went to the Indian bakery to get sweets for Diwali.  Nithin and I had a rare date night and saw the new James Bond movie.  It was a nice fairly normal weekend.  It is odd to think about all of your errands/trips and organizing them so you conserve gas or just choose to not go someplace to not use gas.  The gas shortage is supposed to last for a while.  Lets see. 

Oh Sandy

It all started two weeks ago when we heard a hurricane was coming.  Nithin found out from the dentist.  We were already stocked on food in preparation for weekend guests.  We went out and filled the cars with gas and got money.  There was plenty of time for us to clean out the garage to make room to store all the outside furniture.  A trip was made with a full car to the salvation army of this we had been gathering for years to donate.  On Saturday the garage was filled now with outside furniture and plants so they didn’t fly around in the high winds. 

We also went to our local fire house for their open house.  Our new neighbor is a fireman on the ladder truck which Munchkin just idealizes.  When we met our new neighbor Munchkin introduced himself and told him he was a fireman.  The neighbor said he was one too and asked what truck Munchkin worked on.  Munchkin told him the ladder truck and the neighbor responded that was his truck too.  Turns out he drives the ladder truck.  So when we went on the fire truck ride it was on our neighbors truck and we asked him to take a picture with Munchkin. 

Fire Station Pose with Neighbor and Ladder Truck

Munchkin really liked the ambulance this time.  He spent a long time with the ambulance director going through and learning about all the tools. 

Fire Station AmbulanceFire Station Ambulance2

The arson dog came and Munchkin helped out in the demonstration.

Fire Station Dog

On Monday the rain and winds started.  Nithin worked from home.  We lost power around 7pm Monday night.  Tues. morning we awoke to a dark cold house and it was time to try the generator we bought for Christmas last year.  We hit a couple snags but got the generator and part of the house powered up.  We ran our generator 4 times a day for about 1.5 hours.  This kept our freezer and fridge running so we lost very little.  We were without power for 5 days and 1 hour.  We had gas to cook and our hot water heater is gas so we had hot showers.  A lot of time was spent cooking and cleaning up from cooking.  We ate very well going through our stocked fridge and freezer since we had planned for house guests.  Our local pizza place was open the day after the storm with no power.  I refused to eat out though since we had so much food to eat through.  So life wasn’t too different except we went to bed pretty early because it got dark early and we were stuck at home since so many roads were closed.  Also, gas shortages were absolutely insane.  Below are pictures of some of the lines for gas.  Nithin waited on line 4 hours for gas and got to the station only to have them run out.  The next day he waited a couple hours and managed to get gas.  We have been driving as little as possible so we don’t have to get more gas.  There seems to be more stations opened but the lines are still 1-2 hours long and it has been over a week. 

Gas LineGas Line (2)

With no electricity Munchkin wouldn’t sleep in his room without his night light so Nithin fashioned this so we weren’t wasting batteries. 

Night Light

Even with no power Halloween still happened.  We carved a pumpkin and Munchkin went trick-or-treating with the neighbors a little earlier than usual (3pm) so it was still daylight.  Munchkin had a great time and walked around as a robot the entire time.  Because it wasn’t dark the lights on the robot costume didn’t get their full effect.

Pumpkin CarvingPumpkin with Munchkin

Robot HomeTrick or Treating RobotTrick or TreatingTrick or Treating2

Saturday night around 8pm we got power back.  There is still about a quarter of the island without power so we are very lucky.  Sunday we tidied up the house and got things back to normal.  I went grocery shopping about 25 minutes away going the long way to used open roads.  That was how far I had to go to get to a grocery store that had produce, meat and dairy.  This grocery never lost power so they were stocked.  It was very overwhelming to go to a place that was so large, lighted and well stocked with food.  Our local grocery we went to on Monday and it was just starting to get dairy and some meat back on the shelves.  There was no frozen food yet. 

Today was voting day.  Munchkin and I went to the polls and voted.  They had a kids voting section setup to vote for Clifford, Arthur, or Curious George as your favorite character.  Munchkin voted for Clifford. 


We went to a new local play place today and Munchkin had his dentist apt.  Munchkin was the best behaved kid of the day the dentist said.  The dentist and hygienist still don’t have power.  LIPA says most people not in the hardest hit areas should have power tomorrow.  We will see.

Things here are still not the same, the grocery stores are still not fully stocked and gas is hard to come by with long waits.  Tomorrow we are supposed to get a big storm with high winds.  We hope it doesn’t subtract the progress that has been made and more people get power back. 

Philly Weekend & Knocked Out

Our house has been filled with sick people for almost 2 weeks now.  I think two colds passed through us all.  We missed the Maker Faire last weekend, a highlight of Nithin’s year because we were home in bed sick. 

Two weekends ago we headed to Philly to visit Nithin’s Aunt and Uncle.  Munchkin loves it there because he is the center of the world.  Philly has a great Children’s Museum called the Please Touch Museum.  Munchkin especially loved the mission control space area with all the buttons and the construction building area. 

Children's Museum Mission ControlChildren's Museum BuilderChildren's Museum Bus DrivingChildren's Museum Water PlayChildren's Museum Pirate Show

While there I finished Munchkin’s dog sweater he designed.  Here is an action shot of a just finished sweater. 

Dog Sweater Complete

On Sunday on the way home we went to the Crayola factory rather than Sesame Place.  Crayola was pretty cool as they had a lot of activities for the kids to do that were really neat.  Munchkin loved it there.  He got crayon’s right off the assembly line. 

CrayolaCrayola FactoryCrayola Largest CrayonCrayola Painting

The Monday after Philly we went to the doctor for a routine flu shot for Munchkin.  As a reward we went to Toys R’Us for Munchkin to pick out a toy.  He picked out a Lego police helicopter which I had to put together.  This was my first Lego assembly job since childhood.  I was pretty pleased with myself. 

Lego Helicopter