Avi's first trip to Grandma's house
cutest Mets fan.
Hanging out at the natural science museum.
Posing with daddy.
My sweet little lamb.
at the butterfly garden
are you sure this hat looks good on me?
The Hecker family.
Smiling after being bounced around.
trying to escape from the high chair.
look how big i'm getting!
He crawled backwards out of the tunnel.
and, then flipped out on his back!
Life size lite brite display.
At the discovery green playground.
Avi couldn't quite understand the please do not pick the flowers sign and kept trying to grab one.
do you want to play too Daddy?
Pulling out a pin.
Avi loves to eat books.
am i not supposed to?
April outdoor brunch.
Shelley, Jill, Amanda, Ryan and Avi
Heckers and Kumars.
Great Grandma and great grandson.
Avi's first monorail ride
Looking up at Daddy
Avi is so excited to see Disney World!
More pictures? Aw, Mom!
Can you tell we took this ourselves?
Oops, try again
What IS all this stuff?
In front of the big golf ball
The new Finding Nemo ride
Mommy and Avi in front of the golf ball now
Checking out the fishies
Avi gets to see little Nemo
Bundling up for a chilly New Year's Eve night.
My jasmine tiara.
Avi's figment hat
whoa, cool hat Avi
Not liking the glasses so much however
The Hecker family at It's a Small World
Small World India
Small World monkeys and the south pacific
Ryan sporting his Pirate Mickey ears
Getting cranky on the Maharaja jungle trek.
holding my little Rajah
It's tough to be a baby bug!
Long time no see, I have so much to tell you
Guess what? Goo goo!
Talking up a storm with Nanaji
Santa's Little Helper
After his big screen debut at Monster's, Inc.
Riding around with Nana and Nani
Main Street, Disney
Even Anuj looks happy
We had some trouble building up speed on the tea cups
Sweet baby boy.
Our little bald headed monk.
I love his India pants!
Baby's first trip to Nepal
In front of Everest
Avi's new brooklyn Dodgers hat, he just lets Daddy borrow it sometimes.
little monster on safari
They had elephants, rhinos, tigers and flamingoes. Which Avi pretty much slept through.
Baloo the bear and King Bandar
Avi's first picture with Winnie the Pooh, we kind of snubbed Eyeore on our way out.
Hmm, what is that other monster doing over here?
Going to deliver presents around the world.
What about Israel?
Pretty Taj Mahal
Avi on our favorite half-circle block in the truly amazing play room setup of the new Toy Story ride.
Anuj and Avi chilling at the resort
Hey! We've got matching Jammies
Do you see a resemblance here?
Oh my gosh! It's Santa Claus!!!
How did Santa Claus get here? Where's Avinash?
Mommy hugging little Santa. Santa seems hungry.
I think Santa sees something across the room that's getting his attention.
What is that? Is it something to eat?
Milk and cookies for Santa!!
Santa wants to eat?
Santa loves these milk and cookies.
First, drink some milk.
Yum! Santa is so happy Avi left milk and cookies out for him!
Now, let's taste these delicious looking cookies!
Yum! These cookies taste great. Avi is DEFINITELY a good boy this year.
Santa hanging out with Avi's Daddy after his milk and cookies.
Santa is happy to be in Avi's house.
Santa seems ready to go.
Santa loves hugs from Avi's mommy too!!
Santa taking a rest before going out to deliver all the other presents.
Santa resting and being REALLY, REALLY cute.
Santa might still be hungry! How many cookies and bottles of milk can one Santa consume?
Santa delivers presents to Avinash, Daddy and Mommy
Avinash has quite a stuffed stocking. Santa is so generous!
Santa did a great job! I wish Avinash was here to see Santa!
How did Santa carry gifts bigger than he is?
Mommy has picked her favorite gift!
Avi's first Christmas is here! His mommy is so beautiful!
Santa is so exhausted from a long day of delivering presents.
Santa is so cute!! Mommy's letting Santa rest on her!
Mommy's captured Santa!
Mommy's not going to let Santa go!
Santa doesn't want to go! He's happy resting with Mommy!
Avi has such big eyes.
There's a monster on Daddy!
He seems so innocent..
Uh oh, here he comes.
Doesn't he look great in green?
I may have put kajal eye liner on him..
In his lion towel.
what's going on?
stop taking pictures and get my clothes on!
looking up at daddy
Cutest Steelers Fan EVER
Where did I put my terrible towel?
Steelers win again!
Baby Naming Ceremony
Nanaji looking out for the sleepy baby.
Now he's up!
What a cute little pouty face.
I have never seen my Mom look so happy before.
Oh no, sleeping through his own party.
Lighting the fire.
I wonder what he is dreaming about...
Clean little tigger baby.
Blessed by the priest and Daddy's hands.
Getting fussed over by Mommy.
Avi with Jess, Sara, Niru, Rachel and Ryan.
Birthday and Coming Home
The bundle of joy.
Room full of flowers.
What an alert looking baby.
Our first family picture.
Newborn Avi, all bundled up.
Daddy is in love.
Just a little nervous to be holding him.
look at those eyes!!
My new baby.
Who is this guy?
Posing for the camera.
His cheeks are so squeezable
Sink faucet waterfall
Very happy or very hungry?
What's he looking at ?
Hi Dad! How's Ohio?
You're losing? Oh no!
More Disney stories
Of course my parents slept in that morning, but we dressed Avinash up as a little monster and went to Animal Kingdom early anyway. Anuj and I went on the Everest coaster together while Ryan watched the baby before we all went on Safari. Unfortunately the monkeys were not on the Temple grounds like normal and we missed them during their active morning phase. The elephants and rhinos were out, but the lions were already sleeping at 8 in the morning. Then it was off to Dino land for my little monster! He basically slept through most of it, but woke right up in the gift shop. Just in time for me to take an adorable picture of him with his 'twin', a green stuffed T-rex. When my parents came we went to the little Nemo show, which was beautiful. The characters were like marine versions of the Lion Kind broadway show, but the music was sub-par. I think Anuj even fell asleep, but Avi loved it!
Then my parents of course wanted to see the India section of Animal Kingdom, even though it is technically called Asia and probably should actually be Nepal given the Mt. Everest ride, but all of the decor and posters are in Hindi and look Indian. Ryan and I were so annoyed that Disney couldn't have added some vegetarian or Indian food in that section of the park. Instead it's all very Americanized-Asian food. Although when we did ask about vegetarian options at Yak and Yeti, the chef actually came out of the kitchen to talk to us and made us all our own entrees to order! Oddly enough the sticky rice was the best part. Of course, after that I couldn't resist putting Avi in his adorable "India pants" (as we call them) and taking pictures in front of all the beautiful Disney landscapes. They are the same pants from his birth announcements and I can't believe how different they look on him now. They were so billowy and cute before, and now they are definitely tight around the waist and don't go all they way down past his feet anymore. My little baby is growing up so fast!
We went to Hollywood Studios that night and got to ride the awesome new Toy Story ride. The room you walk through while standing in line is absolutely gorgeous. It is decorated like a kid's playroom with larger than life toys, board games, building blocks, drawings and an interactive completely robotic Mr. Potato Head doll that makes of people waiting in line. Unfortunately we only got one picture of the beautiful room, but at least it was of Ryan's and mine's favorite building block - the half circle that fits under the bridge piece, but has so many other uses as well. Hopefully it will still look shiny and beautiful when we come back! The ride itself is full of carnival games which you play from a moving car. Avinash loved it too, he just very calmly sat in our laps while we all played the game, even my parents. Somehow Ryan managed to get the lowest score, except for my Mom who was holding the baby and trying to play at the same time.
That night back at the Saratoga resort, I was so sad that it was our last night all together. It was so adorable watching the way Avinash responded to everybody. My mom is always trying to teach him different things. She started out with the jeeb game- sticking your tongue out basically, then moved on to making clicking noises with your tongue and the roof of your mouth, making raspberry sounds and now blowing bubbles. Well, Avinash was just so excited to blow bubbles whenever he was with her that he would drool all over himself in his attempts to show her how well he could do it. He was really quite pround of himself. And of course, I have never heard Avi talk so much as when he is with my Dad. He just looks up at him and knows he has found a kindred spirit.
And when we had gotten home from the early that day, I pushed the stroller in the common room with a sleeping Avinash in it and walked into our little bedroom for a minute. When I came back I couldn't find him anywhere. I walked all around the suite trying to remember what I had done with him, then I walked into Anuj's room to find him cuddling up in the bed with football on. "The baby wanted to watch the game with me."
We had bought Anuj these red pajamas as a joke for his birthday a few months prior, and so when I found a similar one for the baby I of course had to buy it. I told my mom to bring Anuj's red pajamas along so they could wearing matching outfits, but didn't think he would go for it. Can you believe that he did! He happily dressed up to match the baby and I even have pictures to prove it. I think that Avinash is probably the reason why Anuj took time out of work to come on the trip, our first family trip in years. Avinash definitely loved hanging out with his Mamaji and would obligingly stick his tongue out whenever he saw him. After so much attention, I hope he doesn't feel lonely when we get back home.
Our last day at Disney World, very sad. We thought about just relaxing at the resort in the morning since we had to leave for the airport in the afternoon, but we pretty quickly decided that we had better go to Hollywood Studios one last time. We met up with my friends Jess and Dean, who had just gotten engaged. Originally we had planned on getting breakfast or brunch, but instead made them ride the new Toy Story ride with us 3 times in a row, followed by Rock'n'Roller Coaster (that was just because my mom said that the vibrations of that ride felt like a good neck massage). We had tons of fun, but I think Jess was a little surprised by the number of food breaks that the Kumar family makes. That was basically it. After a nightmare flight home, involving long lines, flight delays, a last minute gate change leading us to almost miss our flight, no one letting us sit together, no extra seat for the baby, a disgusting layover in New Orleans, and lost luggage, we finally made it home. Sigh. And back to work at 5am the next day. Being back home feels surreal, but I do still have this amazing feeling of happiness with me.
Even though, as everyone keeps telling me, Avinash will probably never remember this trip, we all had some amazing memories with him and I am so blessed that I got to spend so much time with my whole family! Hopefully, he won't be too embarrassed by these pictures when he's older ;)
I can't believe our trip to Disney World is already over. We had an amazing time and I think Avinash even enjoyed it!
Day 1 - New Year's Eve
Avinash is getting to be a pretty seasoned flier. Luckily we had a direct flight and open seat next to us to put the car seat on. We had the earliest flight out of Houston to Orlando that day but we were still worried the parks would all be full to capacity before we got there. Ryan and I were so nervous the whole ride to the hotel from the airport. We stayed at this beautiful Hyatt resort, but we took no time to explore it and just ran to the parks. Not without dressing up Avinash as a little reindeer first of course! The monorail to Magic Kingdom was closed down so we took it to Epcot instead. The park was way more packed than I've ever seen it. We took Avinash on the new Finding Nemo ride, complete with real fish and everything! He was totally mesmerized by all of the colors and sounds. Ryan held him in his lap while he looked around wide-eyed at everything. The New Year's Eve celebrations were awesome at Epcot. There were New Year's celebrations "around the world", at least four dance parties, including one with Bhangra music. They also had two huge fireworks shows, which totally scared Avinash. He is usually a pretty fearless baby, but he did not know what to make of all the booms and explosions going on around him.
Day 2 - New Year's Day
The parks were still totally packed, but we went to Magic Kingdom in the morning for the awesome Extra Magic Hour. Unfortunately this required us to change hotels at like 6 in the morning so we could catch the bus on time. We got to go one at least half a dozen rides in an hour. Still, probably less hectic than a typical day at work. We took turns holding him in our laps on the rides while he looked around in utter astonishment. Seeing his eyes light up at all the new colors and sounds was so amazing, even if he never is going to remember any of it! Today Avi was dressed as a little lady bug, with feet that said LOVE BUG on them, but he was a boy lady bug like the one from "A Bug's Life." We took him to the Bug's Life 3D show inside the Animal Kingdom Tree of Life, though he kind of slept through most of it. He may have been really tired out by all of our running around on New Year's Eve and rides on Spaceship Earth and Magic Kingdom. We took a midday break and met up with Ryan's friend Mike for New Year's day brunch at the Old Key West resort.
My parents and little brother got in that afternoon, so we met them at the hotel for dinner. Avinash was so ecstatic to see his grandparents. He just started telling my Dad the laundry list the minute he picked him up. It seemed like he was saying, "Hey Nanaji you will never believe all the stuff I've been seeing here! I have to tell you all about what Mommy and Daddy have been doing to me!" Ryan and I, however, took the opportunity to have a baby-free night. Epcot was having Extra Magic Hours later that night and my parents offered to babysit Avinash while Anuj, Ryan and I went to the park. We did every single ride in the park (except for Test Track!) before heading back at midnight.
Because we are Disney World maniacs, Ryan and I got up early again, despite having been out past midnight two nights in a row to go to the early Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom again! We even dragged Anuj with us this time (who loved going on Winnie the Pooh and Philarmagic by the way). We ran over to tomorrowland first where everybody was lining up for Space Mountain. I made the boys go to Buzz Lightyear with me instead and we ended up being the very first family on the ride that day. They gave us free 8x10 and 5x7 pictures of all of us on the ride and everything. It was cool to feel special at Disney World which is usually so mobbed and crowded. Unfortunately we had left Avinash with my parents in the morning so he wasn't in those pictures. My parents did bring him a little later dressed in his Santa outfit. My parents were getting stopped by people non-stop who wanted to admire the baby in his cute outfit. We all went to the new Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor which is an interactive comedy show. We had submitted a joke the day before but they didn't pick us. Ok, tell me you don't like this joke -- What does a pea say when he answers the phone? Nothing, he just mutters! Ha! Apparently they didn't get it. Well, today, even though they still didn't pick our joke, they asked the audience if they wanted to see the cutest thing ever and then put Avinash up on the big screen as Santa's Little Helper!! It was so cute, and he was laughing and giggling the whole time they had him up on screen. He loves being the center of attention. It wasn't really much of a joke, but I think the producers just wanted an excuse to put the cutest baby ever up on the screen, and that is saying a lot because Disney World is full of babies. Most of the little girls at Disney World are all wearing princess dresses, but none of the little boys wear costumes there. Seeing him up on the big screen had to be one of the highlights of our whole trip.
We stayed at the Magic Kingdom to see the nighttime Cinderella's castle show, where they to do a little play with all the characters about lighting up the castle for Christmas. I think it is the holiday version of the usual Tinkerbell flight. Watching the whole castle light up with my family was really magical (even if Avinash need a big diaper change in the middle of it- which is why his pants are off in the pictures, ha!). After that we actually went home early for once so that we could make it to Animal Kingdom for Safari in the morning.
New Year's Trip
I'm so excited! I luckily get five days off this year for the holidays over New Year's. My parents had some points left over from their Disney Club, so we are all going to Disney World for five days over New Years! I think my little brother may even come to. I know that Avinash is probably too little to go on any rides, but I can't wait to show him everything. He is going to love it!
Avinash is two months old already. Time has really flown by. He has doubled his weight already and has moved upto the 25&-ile for length. He is already lifting his head, rolling from his stomach to his back, sticking his tongue out and focusing on us. I thought he was active when he was in my belly, but he really loves to kick and punch now! He is definitely a little football player in training. He is still a pretty well-behaved baby, but he is staying up later and later, I think that has a lot to do with Daddy's late bed-time though. The best thing is when you read to him or talk to him you often hear a loud "Ah-Goo" in response!
It's a boy!
Our little boy Avinash Ian Hecker, was born into this world on October 7, 2008 at 3:08 PM, weighing 5 lbs, 13 oz and 19 inches long. We went through a lot the previous nine months, internship in New York, residency in Houston, new job for Ryan, but we are really only at the beginning of a new adventure. We are so excited to be able to share pictures and stories of him growing up here.
Niru and Ryan