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!]