Saturday, December 29, 2007

Baba's first Christmas

Baba had a very busy, eventful and merry Christmas. He spent almost the entire weekend at Grandma's with the family and a few close friends. It was great to have the entire family get together for the first time since Rick & Elena's wedding in September. There was lots of yummy food and loads of fun to to be had all through the weekend.

He got to spend a lot of quality time with everyone and from what we could tell, he looked like he was having fun. He enjoyed being constantly carried around, serenaded to and generally fussed over by everyone, can't blame the kid. Here he is playing with Aunties Helena & Elena.

Grandpa and Grandma made sure that he got his fair share of spoiling over the weekend as well.

With the rest of the family keeping him well entertained, Mommy & Daddy got some well deserved time off

He seemed pretty excited when it was time to open the presents. Need I say that in the presents department, he beat everyone else hands down. In fact I would venture to say that it was not even a contest. His favorite presents seemed to be these characters from Sesame street. Bert, Ernie & Big bird have since become a regular cast of his bedtime routine. Mommy and Daddy will need to take some classes on ventriloquism.

But his absolute favorite moment was at the end of the weekend when Uncle Jon decided to go absolutey bonkers on him. He could not for the life of him understand what his uncle was up to. He does this thing when he gets really excited, buckles his knees and goes up and down.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Aiden gets a glimpse of what awaits him in the dating world

The other day Barbara invited the Harveys and us over for brunch. As usual there was enough yummy food to feed a small island nation. I stuffed myself silly with more bacon than I've had in the entire year. We put the kids down on the floor to let them play. This was the first time that Aiden & Bailey had been together, so we were all curious to see how this new relationship would pan out. Bailey seemed very excited to pay with the new boy and couldn't stop chuckling. But for some reason Aiden was holding back a bit. It was almost like he had a sixth sense of things to come.
As time progressed, he slowly warmed up to the new chick in his life and there was a little more interaction. He began playing with Baileys toys and things started looking up.

Bailey even pulled out some tricks out of her bag to impress the boy. She was especially good with this trick that could be called "Smother myself with a blanket'. All signs pointed to lots of fun play dates in their future.....

But suddenly she discovered Aiden's irresistible ears and decided that they needed a little bit of tweaking to improve his listening ability or something. This was Aiden's first glimpse of what awaits him in the dating world. We hope that he has a short memory and that the next play date would be a fresh start :)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

In defense of a game called cricket

It is the destiny of every Indian man to love a sport called cricket. Being only half Indian, Aiden will, one day, have to make a decision that will determine the course of his life- to cricket or not to cricket. This is not something to be taken lightly in the Stoddard-De Souza household. Daddy thinks nothing of waking up at 6 am and driving over an hour to play cricket (this is someone who thinks 8 am is *very* early) or waking up at 4 (am!) to watch someone else on the other side of the world play it. Mommy is not nearly as enthusiastic and can't understand the draw of a game that takes 5 days to play especially if, after all that time, they still can't always figure out who won.

What will Aiden do? Recently Daddy took us to hang out with his cricket friends at their yummy restaurant 'Cupertino Bakery' and they bribed him with hugs, a tour of the kitchen and fancy cakes.

You expect me to play what? It takes how long?

But cricket players get to eat cake during the tea break!

Now you're talking!

Happy Holidays!

Embarrassing though it is to admit, I've only recently finished thank you notes for gifts Aiden received after his birth. So, I don't have it in me to start on holiday cards this year. Instead, I give you a heartfelt if generic holiday blog.

Happy holidays! We hope that the coming year is as exciting for you as it will be for us. We can't wait to continue experiencing this first year together. So far, it has been a beautiful, beautiful journey. In the last 4 and a half months, we have been transformed into a family.
If you are reading this blog, chances are that you have shared in some of the joys and challenges of this process with us. Thank you to both friends and family for all the support, all the encouragement and for sharing your stories and your selves with us. We couldn't have done it without you.

Love, Angela and Lac and most especially Baba (Aiden)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Christmas is no time to procrastinate!

This picture was taken late November. Guess where Mommy is standing and where the photographer is standing.
Wish List

1. Socks that match. Better yet, no socks at all!
2. A ceiling fan in every room (this is what happens to kids when you don't buy them a mobile... they make friends with the ceiling fan).
3. 2 clones of Mommy to hold me, kiss me, feed me, love me 24 hours a day.

4. A visa for Maizine so she can come visit me.

5. For Daddy to sing "On Top of Spaghetti" and Aunty Pam to sing "Down in the Valley" to me every day.

6. A hot tub to swim in.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The boys on their own

Over the thanksgiving weekend, the boys decided to give Mommy a break for a couple of hours. (Actually we were literally kicked out of the house, but we won't get into specifics). It wasn't the best of days for anything outdoors, so we started off thinking that we'd just go to the neighborhood mall and hang out. It's not something that Daddy enjoys doing, but we both thought, heck, why not give people watching a shot ? But as soon as we pulled into the parking lot it was immediately apparent that we didn't pick the best weekend for this activity. So we turned around and headed off to the nearest trail called "San Andreas Trail" off Skyline boulevard in San Bruno. We stopped at this bench to make sure that Aiden was all bundled up and off we went on the 4 mile hike.

Aiden likes being outdoors so much that he falls asleep as soon as we get started. There were a few horses along the trail, but he slept right through it. The trail passes close to San Andreas reservoir and provides beautiful view points.

By the time we got done, we were out for more than a couple of hours and he was all rested and happy. Here he is sporting a hat sent to him all the way from Edinburgh by 'Aunty Desterin'. Mommy got a chance
to reload and she was very happy to have her boys back

Monday, November 19, 2007

Stopping short on grandma

Aiden has recently started being really interactive. He makes a lot of noises and responds more to sounds and actions. We call him 'baba' at home which back in Goa, is usually the nickname given to the first boy in the house. He has figured out that there's a connection between 'baba' and himself and responds to the sound. Of course he has no idea that Aiden is name. Call him that and you will get no play. He loves being held up high in the air and flubbers on his tummy. Here he is playing with grandpa.
We were at grandma's over the weekend and there was a lot of love flowing between Aiden and his grandma. Could it be because grandma looked after him while Mommy and Daddy went out on a date to a local restaurant? He was so engrossed in Grandma that he didn't even notice us when we returned and continued telling her stories. This picture reminds me of that episode from 'Seinfeld' where Kramer is caught stopping short on George's Mom :)

In the last couple of days he has also become very physically active. He's started to toss and turn on the play mat, gestures a lot with his hands and even started practicing walking. I have a feeling he's going to be out and about a lot sooner than we can say 'walk'. BTW, if you click on this picture and enlarge it, you will notice that his pants have pockets on the side. I guess they are meant for his visa card and keys to his strollers but they sure aren't big enough to store things that he really needs, like diapers.

Ways of getting around

One thing the boy does not like is the stroller. Daddy spent hours researching the stroller and in almost four months it's only been used a couple of times. He loves going out for walks with Mommy all wrapped up.

Daddy usually carries him in the baby bjorn. He loves sucking on the thing before eventually conking off to sleep. I was at Trader Joe's the other day and the cashier said to me "Hey, you have something on your chest'. I thought to myself "Does he mean that literally of figuratively". It's turning out to be quite the chick magnate by the way. Daddy gets a lot of play when he goes out with Aiden.

He also loves being all wrapped up in a warm towel after a bath. Talking about the bath, it's a well rehearsed manoeuvre which requires two professionals. First we have ensure that both the bedroom and the bath are exactly 70 degrees. Then we have to toss the towel and the night clothes into the dyer to get them nice and toasty. And of course the water has to be a very pleasant temperature as well. It has to pass Mommy's expert test. If all goes well, we have a very happy baby ready to go to bed, if not we have a long night ahead of us.

A comb over and a hat

Aiden was born with a lot more hair than most babies, but it's not filled out yet, so its perfect for a good old fashioned comb over. He's going to love his mommy and daddy when he grows up and realizes these pictures were posted for the world to see :)
Our doula made this eye catching hat for him. It drew quite a lot of attention at our local sushi place. He doesn't usually like hats but somehow this one doesn't seem to bother him too much. Which is good, because today Mommy got called out for taking him for a walk in the neighborhood on a cool day without a cap. It's funny how perfect strangers come up to you and start offer parenting suggestions. I guess they must think 'these rookies need advise'. We've had some folks who think nothing of lifting the blanket to take a peek at the baby. It's really weird when they do this and he's nursing :)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Aiden tries to pick-up his first girl

Our Swing dancing friends Jonah and Rachael come over to dinner with their daughter Eliana. Aiden was very taken with Eliana - she's a beauty. Unfortunately, she likes older men. We're still rooting for Aiden and think his chances will improve considerably once he upgrades his wheels.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween! - Shape ooooof......a PENGUIN!

Who cares if Aiden's first Halloween was more about Mommy and Daddy, it's been a while since we went trick or treating!

Aiden was a Penguin this year. We didn't actually take him on the candy walk about but mommy did take him for a walk in the afternoon all dressed up in his penguin duds. He was a hit in the neighborhood....

Later Daddy came home and hung out with Aiden dressed as a freaky monster. Aiden didn't seem to mind but Daddy scared the !#$% daylights out of Mommy.

We Miss You Pamela!

Lac's sister Pamela came to live with us for 3 weeks. She kept me company and helped out immensely around the house. Aiden was wooed by her beautiful voice and she sang him to sleep often with wonderful versions of "Down in the Valley", "Spanish Eyes", "The Alphabet song" (it never sounded so good!). She is sorely missed by us all!

Here's a close up of Aiden being serenaded. He's in love! Thank you Pamela!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Neck Flubbers - A Fullproof Recipe for a Perfect Smile

Before flubber - Aiden is his normal wide-eyed glorious self.

Neck flubber

Wait 5 seconds.......Smile!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Story telling

To ensure that Aiden would pick up the reading bug from his Mom and not get afflicted by any of his Dad's ADD, we decided to start reading to him while he was still in the womb. Our hope was that he'd be very excited to indulge in story telling as soon as he came out. Until very recently, we hadn't had much success, and the dude's attention span was leaning towards his paternal side. He could barely make it through a couple of pages of 'Midnight Moon' without getting bored. Obviously this did not bode well for his scholastic forecast. Fortunately, things have started to turn around, and he's suddenly showing a lot of interest in reading. A couple of nights ago he actually made it through three books, 'Midnight Moon', 'TheRunaway Bunny' & 'The very hungry Caterpillar'.

He has even started mimicking dad's crazy expressions. Here he is doing 'fly bunny bird'& 'wind blowing the bunny sailboat'

Start 'em Early

In an effort to get Aiden pulling his own weight, Daddy started some on the job training which Aiden took very seriously.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

BFF (Best Friends Forever)

Up until 2 weeks ago, Aiden's best friends in the whole wide world were getting more than their fair share of smiles. Mommy was getting a little bit jealous. I understand why Aiden thinks Mr. Sun is super cool....he sings and changes colors. Mommy only sings...sort of. But Mr. Fan? He only gets adoration when he's doing absolutely nothing.... Meet Mr. Fan and Mr. Sun.

Mr. Fan

Mr. Sun

The last 2 weeks have been exciting. Aiden is smiling more than ever and with a little effort, you are almost always guaranteed a smile.

Here's Mommy getting a well earned smile by making some funny sounds. Thank you Aiden!