Sunday, November 15, 2009


Now that Rohan has mastered walking, he has moved onto talking. His first word, sadly, was "Na," a word he hears every time he is forbidden to do something, which is unfortunately often. So, Rohan says "Na," not to indicate refusal, but to indicate that he knows what he's done/about to do is wrong.

Example: Rohan sees the off-limits remote control ( "Na!") or stops just before touching the bridge of my violin ("Na-nnna-nnna!"), or after he throws a toy (see video below).

Rohan learned his second word from our friend Franklin, whose amazing hospitality we enjoyed in San Francisco. Franklin frequently woofed at the old dog, Jasper, who was terrified of Rohan. Nevertheless, Rohan was fascinated by Jasper, and quickly learned to "woof."

Although we have no live dogs at home, Rohan has several soft toy dogs, including Franzapuppy, all of which say woof. So does the stuffed cat. Go figure.

The words Rohan has chosen to say truly express the level of interest in the named items:

"Ao" = alo (light/lamp), preferably streetlamp style, the bigger the better. Arlington has too many of these.
"Baa Baa" = Baa Baa Bedtime
"Buhbuh" = "Bubbles, Bubbles," a new favorite book, a gift from his friends the Verzis.
"Voom" = vacuum cleaner
"Vum (?)" = violin
"Baw" = ball
"Babbab" = bye-bye

More Firsts

Rohan had his first big Halloween party in what I hope will become a tradition. We invited about 20 people over and almost everyone could make it. Next year we will have to be more strict about the dress code. Everyone needs a costume to enter. Just kidding. Thanks again to everyone who could come and especially to all the adults who showed up in costume. Rohan, Chandreyee, and I had a great time. Dressing up for Halloween makes me feel like we brought a bit of our adopted home, San Francisco, back with us. I hope that Rohan doesn't mind too much that his parents still haven't totally grown up. Below are just a couple of pictures from the party.

This weekend (11/14/09) marks a big step in Rohan's education. He went bowling. This is more than just a simple game or pastime. To truly excel in bowling, you need to combine athletic ability, supreme fashion sense, and the ability to down a beer between frames. Well, Rohan will have to wait for the last part, but he's well on his way to a lifelong love of the game. Well done, Little Lebowski.

Thanks for listening,

Mike, Chandreyee, and Rohan (aka the Little Lebowski)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Running with strainers

Don't try this at home! Strainer is Rohan's favorite toy -- well, next to the vacuum cleaner. He's off, in his new sneakers, ready to catch butterflies, it seems.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wake me up when September ends PART II

When I wrote a post with this title in 2008, I had no idea that one year later, the cumulative sleep deprivation would have resulted in serious memory loss. Once renowned for my accurate, detailed memory, I found myself holding only a vague recollection of Rohan's 1st birthday, hiking, or daily activities. After 2 weeks of repeating Rohan's sleep training, he started sleeping through the night about a week or two ago.

"Your memory has returned," groans Mike as I launch into another verse of "I'm a hippopotamus and I've got noodles on my back."

My memory returned just in time. Rohan has not only started walking (today, see video),
but he has also started to understand most of what we say. Being a person of words, I've found this the single most thrilling part of parenting since Rohan's birth. Early examples of understanding:
  • Kothai tomar juto? (Where are your shoes?)
  • Daddy-ke giye bolo, tomar dant majha hoye gachhe. (Go tell Daddy you're done brushing your teeth.)
  • Kothai tomar Baa Baa Bedtime? (Where is [your favorite book of all time???])

Back to September. Despite my fuzzy memory, it's still colored in all the warm hues of a New England early autumn, and Durga Puja season. To borrow from my friend SDF's tradition, I'll post here comparisons of last year's Puja and this year's:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Photographs and Memories of the 1st Birthday

OK, it has been three weeks since Rohan's 1st birthday. That's long enough I guess to think about it and write something memorable and philosophical. Unfortunately, I have spent most of the intervening three weeks learning about data structures and algorithm analysis and reductive alkylation chemistry instead of reflecting on Rohan's big day. So I'll just give a recap and some big thank you's for various presents that we and Rohan have enjoyed. In summary, Rohan had a great time celebrating with his Dimoni and Dadan.

Dimoni made not one but two cakes. The first one was for me and was shaped like a football, my favorite sport, and featured realistic green coconut grass. Very Cool, but it was nothing compared to the cake she made for Rohan which was a series of stacked cake blocks and a top cake. And it had yummy sides of chocolate animals. I for one am glad that Dimoni decided to take cake decorating classes. I don't think we'll ever have to make a cake for Rohan's birthday. You can check it out yourself below.

And as if the cakes weren't enough, Dimoni and Bapik got Rohan a set of Duplo blocks and a lego table. I have to admit that I'm enjoying this gift as much as Rohan is. I actually like it when Rohan decides to play demolition derby with my planes, trains and other things that I make for him. I can't wait until he can build his own toys using his imagination, lego blocks were one of my all time favorite toys growing up, if you had enough pieces you could build whatever toy, spaceship, or robot that you wanted.

He enjoyed the wooden puzzle from Chris and Eileen, the pegboard gane from Jaemin and Soomin, his wagon from Nana, and the set of stacking cups from Aunt Susan and Uncle Nathan. Rohan was so excited about the stacking cups that he was going "uh, uh, uh" continuously until I could get the box open. And he plays with them pretty much every day. We used the wagon this weekend to go apple picking. Rohan had a great time riding and met a couple of new friends there as well as developing a taste for peaches. Chandreyee and I were so happy that we found another fruit that he likes. He has started off as a kind of weird kid: prefers broccoli to ice cream, doesn't like fruits or sweets, and has started to read material that is over the heads of most one year olds.

The fun times continued the next day when everyone went to the Boston Commons and Public Garden. It took 3 people to keep Rohan from jumping head long into the frog pond and we were unsuccessful in keeping him from crawling through the sprinklers at the tadpole playground. Luckily we had some extra clothes for him with us. The only bad thing that happened all weekend was when Rohan was bonked by one of the "make way for ducklings" ducks and gave him a bloody lip. OK, I know that they are inanimate objects, but I will always be a bit more careful around them now. It was very sad for Rohan to have to say goodbye to Dimoni, but with Chandreyee's webcam working again, she is just a phone call away.

Thanks everyone for your gifts, cards, and especially for your thoughts of Rohan on his special day. We wish you a wonderful start to the fall season.


Monday, August 17, 2009

Mirror friends

In our living room, Rohan has a very good friend who looks a lot like him, and appears to live just behind the door to the coat closet. They smile at each other, bounce up and down the same way, finish each others' sentences, and give each other sloppy kisses. They're so much alike, it's sometimes hard to tell which one is Rohan. Here's a video of the two friends having fun.

This past weekend was otherwise a typical summer weekend of parties, playground, beach and pool. Rohan loves swimming in his baby float, in Upper Mystic Lake, ringed by trees and quacked at by ducks. And, tickled by a gaggle of pretty little girls. Unfortunately, we do not have a good photograph of the ladies' man in action, fawned over by the 4- to 7-year-old set.

Rohan begs to be taken to the lake whenever he sees his float now -- we've tried to appease him by setting the float on the lawn and pretending that the grass is water. Now, where to find a bunch of adoring girls?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Big Steps, Little Steps

I know what you may be thinking with a title like that. But let me be upfront about what I do not mean: Rohan hasn't started walking yet. At least without help. As you can see in the picture though, he has started to climb steps. One more reason to keep the door to the cellar closed. He seems pretty confident about going up the stairs, but has some problems going down. At least going down in some sort of control.

After a very busy week for Chandreyee and I at work, it has been a wonderful start to the weekend so far. We grilled some burgers last night and went to the Middlesex Fells today as an early birthday present for me. I wanted to go mountain biking and eat at the Korean BBQ place for my birthday. So we loaded the bike on the car and had the baby backpack so Chandreyee and Rohan could do a little hiking while I was riding. I had a great time zipping along the trails, fire roads, and single-track. I got a bit of a surprise when I called Chandreyee after my ride and found out that she had ditched me and was at home instead of hiking with Rohan. In fact, she said "I am not where you think I am, but the story is more complicated than that. I'm in front of Li and Eunice's house. I'll call you back in 10 minutes." Perplexed, I waited the 10 minutes to find out that our friends were locked out of their house after flying 18 hours back from Hawaii. That was certainly a good enough reason to ditch me and I had an extra 20 minutes of road biking to get home and see the exhausted Kung family patiently waiting for the locksmith guy to come to the house. Luckily it only took the locksmith 30 seconds to open the "new, unpickable" lock on their house. Unfortuneately, those 30 seconds of work were very expensive.

Here is Rohan taking some little steps behind his walker. He just loved pulling himself up on his great grandmother Kay's walker, and he is starting to use this one. At least until he gets distracted and sits down. I've been thinking a lot about grandma Kay and we have all been praying and wishing her well. We are also thinking about Rohan's other great grandmother Dimoni, who has a bit of fever this weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with both of you and please know that we love you dearly.

Sometimes, I wonder what little Rohan is thinking. Like in the picture below, is he thinking "what am I doing riding a big yellow bug with my mom?" I can hardly wait for him to tell us with his own words what his world is like. We hope to make it a loving and happy one for him.

Thanks for listening,


Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Great Escape

After three solid weeks of rain, anyone would be in the doldrums. But for Rohan and Chandreyee who really love to be outside it was especially hard. It felt like summer would never get to Boston. So we had to hit the road and find summer for ourselves. The first stop was in Wellsboro, home of the grand canyon of Pennsylvania and also to Uncle Nathan, Aunt Susan and cousins Madeline and Olivia. Here Rohan is playing with Olivia's Duplo blocks. Maybe I should get some for him for his birthday which is just around the corner. Anyway, we were successful at finding Mr. Sun. It was a beautiful warm day on Saturday for the Mansfield 4th of July parade and some swimming in ice cold water. Well, only Mike and Madeline were brave enough to get into the pool freshly filled with well water. We had a great visit and Rohan is starting to like to play with his cousins instead of just playing near them.

Next up on our travels was a visit to Clarion PA, which in addition to hosting ALF (the Autumn Leaf Festival not the lovable sarcastic alien from the 80's sitcom era) is home to Grandma Kay, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Jim, Jen Derrick and Dylan, Jeremy, and Eric. It was another beautiful day we spent in the pool, relaxing on the porch and watching the new classic movie "Napolean Dynamite". Rohan really took to his great-grandma Kay and really liked to play with her walker. And I think that Aunt Kathy has set a record for the person able to hold Rohan while he is awake for the longest time with out him squirming around. Cousin Dylan is such a wonderful boy and very tolerant of his younger cousin Rohan. It was fun to see them playing together and I'm looking forward to seeing them get together when they are older.

We then took a small detour from visiting family and spent a night in Cook Forest State Park. Here is the little camper sleeping off a bit of a rough night. He had fun in the tent, too much fun as you can see in the video below and didn't get to sleep until about 10pm when it got dark. And then he kept scooting himself off his sleeping pad until eventually he slept inside daddy's sleeping bag with blankets on top. In the morning, I awoke to see that Rohan had appropriated all of the covers for himself. Strong little boy.

The last stop on our trip was also the longest and in Bloomsburg, the only TOWN in PA and home of among other things The Bloomsburg Fair and whoohoo the anual Monster Truck Rally (it was actually going on while we were there, but we didn't attend any of the competitions). Nana and Papa were very happy to see little Rohan and I think he wore them out a bit with all of his antics. We went to World's End State Park and hiked along the river, had a wonderful time at Knobel's Grove amusement park, and visited with some of Chandreyee's family who were able to come up and see him. Rohan loved the merry-go-round and splashing in Nana's pool. After a long day at the park and a wonderful meal at Nana's house, Rohan spent some quality time playing with Aunt Jayatri and Uncle Steve. Then Uncle Steve was able to calm Rohan down with some stories after getting very excited playing with Dimoni. The next day was spent playing in kidsburg in the town park before a meal at Kristy and Russell's where a couple seated next to us was kind enough to take our picture. Then it was off back to Boston. We were hoping that summer had decided to come to beantown while we were away and thankfully it had. While it was nice to get back to work, I really miss the fun week we had in PA chasing the endless summer.

For anyone who would like to see more pictures, you can check them out on our website. Thanks to everyone who made this trip so much fun.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Chip off the old block

No one who looks at Rohan has any doubt that he is Mike's son. The chin dimple. The blue eyes. The impish grin. The hearty laugh. One thing he does not yet share with his father is his definition of "morning". As if he knew it was father's day, Rohan woke me up at 6:20 so that we could get some molten chocolate cakes ready for Daddy.

Rohan and his father shared much excitement together today, including a friend's birthday party, and a trip to Daddy's lab to rescue sensitive chemicals from a broken cold room. An extremely hyper baby is finally asleep, and before his mother follows him to dreamland, she will post:

The Things That Father And Son Both Like to Do:
1. Eat pretzels

2. Sleep with arms folded behind head.

3. Take bubble baths. (Yes, I was surprised when I first met Mike, too.)

4. Manage a systems biology laboratory.

Happy first Father's Day to a patient, sensitive, funny Daddy. Can't wait for many more days in the years of parenting we will share.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Video break

For those who are wondering why Mike's posts are about 10 times as long as mine -- well, maybe it's because I'm a writer, so I spend almost 8 hours a day writing... and by the time I'm home, I'm a bit written out. Even though writing about my family is different from writing about RNP immunoprecipitation, it's exercising a similar muscle. In fact, I could use a massage like the one Rohan's getting here (from his friend Sierra.)

Anyway, I'll take a Video Break this week and post some movies -- if a picture's worth a 1000 words, then these movies are probably worth 1,440,000 (approximate number of frames) words.
First, Daddy introduces Rohan to the excitement of crib-sitting. Recently he has figured out how to sit up in his crib on his own. Cute, you say, but it's definitely less cute at 4:45 AM when some crib-lying, or even crib-sleeping, would be better for the whole family.

Second, Rohan demonstrates two new skills: clapping, and eating penne pasta.

Just for fun, now, I will list all the words in this post that I'd never, ever use in my "day job":
1. crib
2. sleeping
3. Mike
4. home
5. clapping
6. penne pasta
7. Daddy
8. cute
9. 4:45 AM
10. sleeping

10? That's all?? I'll have to try harder next time.
That massage should help. Hint, hint.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy Little Hiker

A couple of weeks ago, we went hiking at Leominster State Forest. It is a perfect place for families that live near Boston. It is right off route 2 about 30 minutes from our house in Arlington, has a swimming area, BBQ grills, a rock climbing area, and several miles of mountain biking and hiking trails. We pulled into the lot and right away the park ranger lets us know "uhhm, you guys don't want to park here." I was pretty sure that I did, but I let the guy continue. He informed us that the rock climbing area was down the road a bit on the other side of the road. The ranger had seen Rohan hiking backpack and the rope loops and assumed that we were climbers. And occasionally we are, but Rohan is still a bit young to climb outside and he is too easily distracted. After we cleared that up, we were on our way. In my typical fashion, I had only a vague notion of the area, but we had a map and so off we went up the hill. First Chandreyee carried the precious cargo and I took the water.

It was a lovely day, with very few bugs, lots of sun, and everything was green. About 3 miles and about an hour and a half in, Rohan got hungry and tired. Not too bad you might think, but the spot where he demanded food and rest was about 5 feet from Rocky Pond and millions of mosquitos, flies, and ants. So Chandreyee and I spent about 45 minutes shooing away the bugs from Rohan and when we had a chance ourselves.

After the rest, we continued on with Chandreyee occasionally saying "are you sure this is the trail?" "Of course it is, Rocky Pond is right there." About an hour later, much less sure of myself, we stumbled out of the brush onto a fire road. Which was good, except we weren't supposed to be on a road. Luckily there was a trail marker not too far down the way and we realized that somwhere near the pond, we took a wrong turn and added about 1.5 - 2 miles to the hike. It was still a beautiful day and we continued along the road, the trail very occasionally passing other hikers or bikers. Although the parking lot is always full, the trails are lightly used with most people going to the beach and swimming or playing volleyball before eating a large barbequed meal. In most cases this is fine, but we were still kind of lost and maybe could have used some directions. About an hour and a half from the end of the hike, Rohan got tired of riding in the backpack and so I carried him in my arms or on my back the rest of the way. He seemed to really enjoy that, but was pretty thirsty by the time we got back for our picnic. Drinking out of the CamelBak is a bit trickier than his bottle, so he switched shortly after the picture was taken.

We made it back all right, but I will try to do more research before blindly heading out on an unfamiliar trail. All in all a great day and hike. We really did deserve the pistachios and PB&J sandwiches when we got to the beach.


P.S. The penguins did make it to the Stanley Cup finals against Detroit, but unfortunately Detroit seems to be getting the better of the Pens (3-2 Detroit as of today). [EDIT: They won last night (series tied 3-3) and now just have to find a way to win in Detroit.] [EDIT2: The Penguins just won the Stanley Cup finals. WhooHoo!]

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What the penguins brought.

For our anniversary, Mike made me a card depicting the changes in our life since May 2008. Cute clip art of a man rubbing a belly of a pregnant woman (ostensibly his partner), and a stork carrying a newborn baby.

No storks have stopped by, but this is the second May in a row that the Pittsburgh Penguins are in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Last May, Rohan was still a small bulge (see photo) on the night we watched the Penguins lose to Detroit.

This May, the Penguins brought Rohan a new tooth, a visit from Dimoni and Dadan, and an exciting trip to the Saugus Iron Works/Rocco's Pizza. Will the Penguins face Detroit again in the finals? Stay tuned... Meanwhile, groove along with Rohan to the musical "octoplush."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

First Mother's Day

I wasn't sure what to do for Chandreyee's first Mother's Day. She is a caring, loving, and all-around great mother and wife. I wanted to show her how much she means to Rohan and I and just how much she does for us all the time. I am still living with the rule that for everything new that comes into the house, something of equal volume has to depart it. So instead of buying something, I decided to do as many of the things that Chandreyee does all the time as I could: cleaning, cooking, taking care of Rohan so she could have some free time to garden. Oh, and bake a big chocolate cake from scratch. At first I wanted to have Rohan help me out with the project and make his stamp on the cake. But then I realized that at his age, that's exactly what he would do, stamp on it with his hands, feet, etc. Considering that babies shouldn't have chocolate, what a crime I know but I guess they don't know what they are missing, I had Rohan watch me and play in the kitchen in his exersaucer and with some kitchen implements. I think the cake turned out well and we will finish it up tonight. I really like the frosting. Anyway, we had a really nice and relaxing weekend and got the garden started up.

We also really enjoyed having Chandreyee's cousin Sandip over to the house. After a nice Thai meal, we played with Rohan in the back yard. He still loves his swing (thanks Nana!) and we go out there almost every day. I love that it stays light out until long after I come home.

Rohan gave his mom her gift a bit late (2 days). I guess he had to practice it a bit. Just yesterday, he started to say "mama" and now says it more often than "dada" or "baba". It has really been a lot of fun watching Rohan learn something new and then practice, practice, practice lest he forget it. I can only hope that each new year will be as much fun as this past one has been. I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful family and I am grateful to the mom and son that make every day unique and exciting.

Thanks for listening,


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A shoutout to distant Rohan fans

The great thing about blogs is their ability to bring diverse audiences together.

This post is dedicated to those Rohan fans whom we don't get to speak to personally, at least, not often, such as the devoted staff of Upper Merion Township Library, and Rohan's Krishna-dida, who just got her own computer (yay!).

I hope you'll understand that sometimes Rohan (and his parents) might be too busy learning new tricks, reading new books, and making new sounds, and might not get a chance to visit you in person. We are sincerely sorry for this, and hope that watching little videos like this one might make you part of a day in the life of your friend, Rohan Gage.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

dangerous introspection on a Tuesday night

Rohan's preferred way to examine and evaluate is to taste. Whether it is Daddy's watch, my hair, Hansapuppy's ear, or his Octopus shoes, two little teeth and a tongue wreak much havoc with the victims of his oral fixation.

Most tragically, he grabbed my left hand last week and shoved it toward his mouth, attracted by the diamond's sparkle on the ring Mike gave me almost 5 years ago. He cried out in pain, lip bleeding. It was the first drop of Rohan's blood I'd seen since the scalpel nick he'd received at birth.

Later, I took off the diamond ring and put it in the jewelry box, until some ill-defined, "safe" future date, and cried a little more. Though it's temporary, my role as a mother has taken priority over my role as a wife.

Before I write more, I am realizing that none of my blogging parent friends typically moan/groan about the dark sides of life... after all, what gushing grandparent wants to hear about the battles against madness and all too frequent tears? So I will stop by merely noting the poignant contrast between the worlds of blogspot and reality.

Now, back to happy pictures, of fun in the high chair, and "helping" me cook. Picture of Mike above: credit to Dr. C.C-Y. Kung.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Teeth, Spring, Nana, Papa come to Boston

Despite the valiant efforts of relatives to make Rohan into a Pennsylvania boy (with progressively larger Steelers outfits and Nittany Lion shirts), his formative years are sure to mark him as a Beantown native. Most recently, he took his Nana and Papa candlepin bowling (kudos to Mom for her bowling victory) at Sacco's Bowlhaven, a relic of the early 1900s.

Like most of New England's sons and daughters, Rohan will grow up with little wooden balls with no finger holes, no pin resets within frames. He will call this "real" bowling, and he will consider big balls and "duck pins" to be his parents' pastime and therefore démodé.

Nana and Papa brought Rohan a tree swing for our backyard, to mark his first spring. Of course, again, Rohan will grow up thinking that spring starts (in earnest) sometime in May or June. But that doesn't stop his parents from celebrating the end of winter with some old-fashioned swinging and tree-climbing. Forget that the tree does not actually have leaves yet, and that the ground is still pretty bare.

After all, spring technically started at the end of March, in fact, just a few days after Rohan's first teeth appeared. "Now you can eat all kinds of food, going kutush kutush, like a mousie," wrote Rohan's Dimoni, with killing onomatopoeia.

A toothy mouse, and also a mighty mouse -- sitting up by himself now, and rolling all over the place, Rohan today accomplished the Great Escape from his Bumbo seat in order to reach a plastic egg. "Look out, Easter Bunny! Your teeth are nothing compared to mine!"

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Greetings from Paradise

Rohan's first vacation in the sunny Florida Keys. We planned our escape from the cold winter of Boston and were on our way. We actually had some trouble finding a spot for our car in the economy lot at Logan airport that wasn't full of snow. Just one more reason to get out of town for a week. We made it through security fine in this direction and Rohan made an uneventful first flight. He slept through most of it and then we relaxed for a day in Fort Lauderdale, taking in the sun and walking along the beach. The drive down to the Keys couldn't have been nicer and this was just a foreshadowing of the week to come (70F nights/80F days the whole week with no rain). Rohan loved the sun and more importantly what that meant for him, fewer clothes.

We tried him out on a swing and slide and he liked those, but he absolutely loved being in the pool. Rohan was kicking away furiously to try and propel himself around the pool. It's a good thing he has been practicing kicking for the past 15 months or so. He loved watching the showboat kids doing funny jumps into the pool for whatever audience would watch them. I guess their parents tired of this long ago. Rohan was also a hit with the major demographic in the area where we stayed: grandmothers. He suffered the cheek pinching and lavish praise well.

Most of our time in Florida was spent doing the normal touristy things like walking along the beach, swimming, visiting the dolphin research center, and just plain relaxing and enjoying the warmth. But for as long as I have known Chandreyee, she has had a penchant for the unusual. One of the scheduled activities was a trip to Key West to go to a pirate museum, an aquarium, and something a bit off the usual track. Chandreyee entered (and won) a conch shell blowing contest. Contestants were judged on length of the note, purity of tone, loudness, and novelty of the blow. Not having a conch of her own, she borrowed one from a guy dressed up as a pirate and this "good conch" was a key to her victory. The winning man blew a song from Frank Sinatra on his conch and the winning group ("the Conchestra" from Boca Chica FL) dressed up as flappers and other wild costumes and performed a rendition of Jimmy Buffet's classic "I don't know where I'm a gonna go when the hurricane blows". It has really been a while since I have seen something so odd. You can see Chandreyee's TV interview on the web if you are so inclined ( fast forward to about minute 20-21 or so to see Chandreyee, the entire conch blowing spot starts at 17'15" if you want more background).

As if that wasn't odd enough, we walked to the Key Colony Beach fair and looked at the baubles that people were selling and they also had a few games of chance including barracuda races where you bet on the winning fish. We were most excited about the funnel cake however. We split one and some arepas and a gyro for lunch. We definitely enjoyed the food while we were on vacation, especially dessert. In our week in Florida, the two of us were able to eat half a chocolate cake, half a pecan pie, 2 pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, the funnel cake and two cones of frozen custard. I really need to start biking again to work off all the yummy food.

Another fun this that we did was to rent a fishing pole and try to catch dinner one night. Chandreyee caught her first fish on this trip and he was yummy. Chandreyee used the web browser on my phone to learn how to clean a fresh fish and then she fried up this little guy for an appetizer one night. Eventually we had to return to Boston and leave all the warmth and fun of south Florida behind. The last interesting thing that happened to us was when we went though security on the way back. We were prepared to have to answer questions about the big metal object in our carry on luggage (conch trophy), so it was with little surprise that when Chandreyee's bag went through the scanner, the lady shouted that she needed a "CIC". After waiting about 10 minutes, and holding up the entire security line for that time with a row of increasingly nervous and grouchy looking fliers, the bag was inspected and the offending article was not the huge trophy, but a bag of corn meal that we decided to take back with us. I guess CIC stands for "Corn meal Inspection Crew". Another good flight for Rohan and I was pleasantly surprised to find that our car was not covered with snow or ice when we got back to Boston.

Anyway, we had a wonderful time and next vacation we are thinking of expanding it to include other members of our family and renting a bigger place. Thanks for reading my long-winded tale of our Florida adventure.

Mike, Chandreyee, and Rohan

Monday, March 2, 2009

Little moments

Rohan has been "hoovering" oatmeal for a couple months now, but on February 15, he had his annaprashan, or rice-eating ceremony, at which he had his first taste of rice pudding, lentils, and even a little fish. Dimoni, Dadan, and Tinkumashi arrived days in advance to help prepare the feast for 30 people.

After the ceremonial spoonful of payesh (rice pudding) from his uncle Kaushik, Rohan chose the symbolic book (from among the coins, gold, crystal, earth, iPod, and pen). All the serious deliberation made Rohan hungry, and he proceeded to "hoover" the entire bowl of payesh, while friends and family showered him with countless and diverse blessings.

Rohan was lucky enough to receive the gift of "great knowledge of physics" (thanks, Will), and the gift of musical talent from future Broadway star, Amy. One memorable gift was from our friend, Li, who hoped Rohan would enjoy many "little moments."

After all, we'll never forget big days like Rohan's annaprashan, but here in this blog, we should take care to record Little Moments, such as

1. Rohan's first Rude Noise (see video),
2. Rohan's first fun bath (see photo), and
3. The Time Rohan Sneezed Yams All Over Daddy (yesterday).

"Nothing like a faceful of yams," sputtered Mike, as Rohan cracked a huge, orange, goopy, yammy grin. I know you're hoping there's a picture of that; however, we are currently trying to keep our camera Yam-Free.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rohan discovers his funny bone (and his foot.)

It started just before the holidays. The occasional, Pillsbury-dough-boy type of giggle, brought on usually by nuzzling his belly during a diaper change. But Rohan's first all-out, body-shaking guffaw came on December 21st, at Nana and Papa's house after the Gage kids opened presents. Cousin Madeline was bouncing on her new "jumpoline," a request from my sister-in-law in hopes of saving her furniture at home with an outlet for Madeline's Tigger-like bounciness.

Rohan kept staring at Madeline, so I propped him up next to her and bounced him a little along with her, accompanied by "Boingyboingyboingy" noises. Suddenly Rohan began to laugh, and the laughs just kept pealing out, a stream after the first snowmelt of spring.

Since then, eliciting those laughs has become my purpose in life. A day is not complete without one. Luckily, we've discovered many things that tickle Rohan's funny bone.
1. Watching people bounce up and down, not necessarily Madeline, and not necessarily on a trampoline.
2. His Ma squealing "meepmeepmeep" in a high pitched voice. No, Daddy does not work.
3. Daddy making funny faces, especially the dog face.
4. Me yawning while saying, "Haiyamung!" (don't ask.)

Here is one example of #1 captured on video. I am the bouncer in this case.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Holidays 2008-2009

We drove down to Pennsylvania for the holidays and Rohan continues to show us that he is patient with driving and generally a happy little fellow. We had a great time visiting relatives, hanging out and wandering around Philadelphia. We also enjoyed taking over Caroline's parents' house with a giant sleepover.

Here Rohan is enjoying the annual Christmas Party at Chris and Eileen's house. It didn't look like they were going to move to a new house in a month. Rohan got some new Steelers ware a cool wagon and toys. And I was the lucky "pickle finder", a game where a pickle ornament is hidden in the tree and the finder gets a prize. In this case a neat ceramic candle holder. My winning tactic was to just look in the places that Chandreyee had already looked in and soon enough I found it.

I am going to have to keep an eye on this guy. He can't eat solid food and already he has designs on my pretzel. Good thing his aunt and uncle and grandparents live near Philly so we should get good ones often.

As I said, Rohan was mostly chipper, but at one point he needed well, ...... let's just say prune juice was required. In fact, as we were going in the door of Caroline's parents' house, before we could properly greet everyone Chandreyee shouted "Rohan needs prune juice now!". The expected happened sometime after midnight and he was back to his usual self. Then in the morning Eric casually said "So did everyone hear the big event?". I thought, well it was a pretty big event, but I'm not sure that everyone heard it or needs to know about it. It turns out that there was a small earthquake in Lancaster that shook the house (~3.3 magnitude acording to a Digg article). I guess that living in San Francisco for 6 years made me able to sleep right through it. And Chandreyee was awake and didn't feel anything. I guess we need at least a 4.5 or it is just a little tumbler.

After we got back home, we went sledding and Rohan liked it a lot (sorry no pictures of that). And he was very happy to host a Penn State vs. USC football party. Unfortunately Penn State didn't win, but we had a great time and Rohan even sang along with his mom's Christmas gift ABBA sing-star for the Playstation. Ocassionally I am able to think of a good gift for Chandreyee and I'm glad she likes it. It was pretty easy this year as Chandreyee loves ABBA and karaoke. As bad as my voice is, I even sang along to some of the songs on the other disc which had '90s music on it.

We also went to two playoff NFL parties and I guess that Rohan helped the Eagles to win and hopefully there will be an all Pennsylvania Super Bowl. I learned a funny thing today on the NY Times. At one point, during WW II, there was a shortage of players and teams were combined to keep the games going. So for one season, 1943, there was a team named the Steagles. Pretty Weird. Maybe that will help someone out with a trivia question someday.

We also found out one thing that absolutely captivates Rohan and will hold his attention despite hunger, cold, and anything else... ceiling fans. I guess it is like a giant mobile that spins really fast. He can't get enough of them. He sat watching Ami's fan for like 30 minutes until we had to turn it off so he would eat and again sat transfixed watching the one at Mike Springer's house.

We had a wonderful holiday season and hope you did as well. Thanks to every one who helped us celebrate the new year.

Mike G