Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Photo(s) of the week

Some of these were actually taken last week...


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Visiting Mt St. Helens

The weekend before last, we had a family outing to visit Mount St Helens. This was the longest outing we have had with LittleTiger so far (9 hours) and he seemed to have taken it well. It was my first time visiting St. Helens, and the visit left a lasting impact.

Mount St. Helens is an active volcano which erupted in 1980 after more than 120 years. The eruption dropped the mountain's summit by more than 1300 feet and replaced it with a mile wide horse-shoe shaped crater. It wiped away about 230 square mile of forest area and caused a great deal of destruction. Today, almost 30 years later, the impact of the 1980 eruption is still very visible and the volcano continues to spew smoke and ash.

Mount St Helens & Spirit Lake- pre 1980 (courtesy: Wikipedia)

Mount St Helens today - picture from our camera

We spent a few hours at the Johnston Ridge Observatory where we saw a short film that showed us a video of the eruption. In the evening we continued to linger around the site even after the observatory had closed and all the other visitors had left. The place was completely silent. But the image of the explosion we had seen in the film and the destruction we could still see around us left us with an eerie feeling.

View from the observatory

We had the place all to ourselves for some pictures with LittleTiger

I have promised myself to visit St Helens again in the near future and maybe spend a weekend there. Since the last two years, I have also been dreaming about hiking up St Helens. I have not given up on the idea totally yet...just need to get comfortable hiking with LittleTiger and motivate some more friends to accompany us. Hopefully I won't have to wait very long.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Annaprashan

We decided not to wait anymore. It had become obvious that LittleTiger was ready too. So this weekend, we had his annaprashan. There was no formal ceremony. Just a feeding of rice cereal from dadi's hands.


Watching him eat the cereal with such delight made me glad that we didn't wait anymore. He absolutely LOVED it and couldn't have enough of it!

video

I am excited and looking forward to him exploring the world of solid foods. I can't wait to start making little portions of boiled veggies and daals and fruits to feed him. In fact I just found out about a popular book Super Baby Food that's available in my local public library. So in a few days when LittleTiger's ready for a change of menu, I'll hope to have some delicacies ready for him (the kind of delicacy with no salt, sugar or spices)!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Calvin or Hobbes?

LittleTiger needs to get his passport and the application asks for two passport sized photos. So today we decided to get his pictures taken.


Posing for picture


A picture of the photograph

Don't you think there's a striking resemblance with Calvin?


Interesting because some of my friends call him "Hobbes" the little tiger!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another one!

I've been having some super busy days at work, so haven't had any time to blog or to take photos/videos. I did want to share one bit of news though. LittleTiger is getting his second tooth! His first one is only maybe 1mm out of his gums, and we can already see another little white line emerging on the side of the first. God knows what he plans to do with so many teeth so soon. He's on a liquid diet (milk only) for atleast another month. Its probably his way of telling us that he can't wait to start on solids. :-)

Got to run now.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Look..

...Tiger has something to show you!


Sorry..I was trying to get him to show his little tooth, but this is all he wanted to show!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Three generations

Some old "three generations" pictures

Taken 6/29/08


Taken 3/23/08

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Thoda khao thoda phenko

LittleTiger now likes to literally pounce at any food stuff around him. I had to break the video into two due to size constraints on my blog.

video

video

Monday, July 14, 2008

A kiss from Charlie

This weekend we had the opportunity to meet with some old family friends who have now moved to Portland. They have a beautiful Golden Retriever called Charlie. Charlie happens to love children! And we discovered that LittleTiger loves dogs too. Since we were able to get this on camera, I wanted to share his first interaction with a doggie.

LittleTiger in Dadi's lap...note Charlie's entry on the right

Charlie wants to lick
smothers baby with kisses & baby loves it

I'm so glad his first experience with a dog has been so much nicer than mine!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Misc Pictures

I'll end this week with some memorable pictures from the last couple of weeks.


Group picture after a lovely Saturday brunch with some old friends from IITB


Posing with Papa on his birthday
Its never too early to start!Posing in his new outfit

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Good News Bad News

Bad news first. LittleTiger is unwell. He is running a little fever and has generally been feeling a little low today. And no, I didn't think of calling 911 this time.

Now the good news. We discovered something new inside LittleTiger's mouth. The beginnings of a teeny weeny white tooth! Its just a little fraction of a tooth at this point coming up from his lower gums, but significant enough to make LittleTiger feel uneasy. We actually discovered this last Saturday, and since then I've been holding on to this news with the hope of posting it with some pictures as evidence. However, LittleTiger is really protective of his tooth. His tongue constantly plays with the tooth and hides it from anyone trying to get a good look. And if you do venture close to it, you are sure to be bitten! That's how the tooth was discovered in the first place. Needless to say, I haven't come even close to getting a shot of the baby tooth. But I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities once the tooth gets a little bigger.

Isn't it amazing how quickly babies grow? I feel like it was only yesterday when we brought him home from the hospital. And he's already getting his first tooth! He has also started showing increasing interest in "adult" food and wants to touch and taste everything that we eat. Thankfully its just one more month before we'll have him start on solids. I can't wait to see what his first reactions will be. For all you know, he'll probably hate solid food once we do let him have it!

In the meantime, lets all hope that LittleTiger is able to get through these initial teething symptoms painlessly.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Five month mark

LittleTiger completed five months today. And see he can roll both ways now.

video

Sorry for the poor resolution of the video. I'm yet to figure out all the settings in my camera. To compensate, here are two bonus videos.

Just warming up here..

video

And all ready to go in this one..

video

Happy Birthday baby!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What's your parenting philosophy?

My close friend from San Diego forwarded me this article on Decommissioning the Diaper a few days ago. Reading it reminded me of a conversation I had about two months or so ago when I was interviewing a prospective nanny for LittleTiger. During our conversation, she asked me what my "parenting philosophy" was. I wasn't really sure what she was asking for, and my only response to her was that I was trying to raise my child just the way I was raised by my parents. This wasn't any "philosophy" that I had come up with, it was the only way I knew. To translate using the terminology used today, it meant breastfeeding the baby, co-sleeping, using comfortable cloth nappies and in general thinking of the child's comfort before one's own convenience.

In the article the writer calls these practices traditional parenting methods and compares them with the modern philosophy of detached baby care. Intuitively I agree with the writer completely. Here in the US, most products and practices related to bringing up children are centered around the convenience of parents. From infant formula and sleep training methods to baby monitors and disposable diapers - all are examples of the modern conveniences for parents that are less than optimal solutions for their babies.

Last week, I witnessed an Indian grandfather ask his son if it would be illegal for him to carry his grandson in his arms when he went out for a walk. In the few months he had been in the US, he had only seen children strapped in strollers or baby carriers and he had also observed that it was illegal to have the child outside the carseat when driving a car. And that led him to wonder if it was illegal to step out of the home without strapping the baby securely to something. I thought this was funny and at the same time a great example of how this society is perceived by an Indian grandparent.

However, being a working mother and having an active life style myself, I do understand the other side of the story. I understand that at some level, parents today have to make choices. They need to find a balance between convenience (or time for self) and the level of involvement they desire to have with their child. And where does the child's say come into the picture? Unfortunately, it doesn't. As the writer points out"If children's rights were recognized, the ads for diapers that need only be changed after baby wets 5 times would be banned. "

Personally, my goal is to always think of my child's need before my own. That being said, I know there are multiple dimensions to me as a person, and though I hope to be a devoted mother, I do have other needs to be happy as an individual. And some times these needs can be conflicting. For example, I am happy to give up some convenience and clean LittleTiger's soiled cloth nappies for his comfort and I don't mind giving up my active outdoors life style or my social life for some time until LittleTiger is old enough to accompany us. But how easy would it be for me to give up my financial independence so I don't have to depend on a stranger to take care of my baby when I am at work?

Its true that ideally, I would like to raise my child just as I was raised or most children in our generation were raised in India. Growing up, I did not know a single child who went to a day care or had a baby sitter (that was not family) even in cases when the child had a working mom. Most moms I knew, would take a break from work for a few years until their child was old enough to go to school, before getting back to work. Or they would have family living with them (grandparents, uncles/aunts) who would take care of the child.

I feel very fortunate that my job affords me the luxury of being able to work from home. So in theory, I am able to continue to work and keep my son with me at the same time. In practice, I can only do one thing at a time and so I will need to depend on a nanny to look after LittleTiger when I work at home. I think its a situation that is close to ideal for me. But I often wonder what choices I would have made if I didn't have the option to work from home. Would I have the heart to send my infant to a day care? Or would I have the heart to leave my job after working so hard to build a career? Either way, it would be a very difficult decision, and I am glad that I don't have to make that choice.

In conclusion, today's parents have many options. Every parent needs to make their choices based on their own circumstances and beliefs (and I myself have picked convenience over traditional practice in some cases). All I ask is that parents make conscious decisions after carefully evaluating their choices - not be quick to disregard traditional practices and blindly follow what everyone in the modern west does.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Baby Bjorn out, Ergo Baby in

The Baby Bjorn carrier turned out to be a bad choice afterall. And it will go back in the mail to Amazon today. As many reviews on Amazon say, the issue with the Baby Bjorn is that your back needs to support most of the baby's weight. And the back starts hurting after some time. The other down side is that the Baby Bjorn does not have the option to carry the baby on your back, so it can't really be used on uphill hikes.

We visited Mother Nature's this weekend and tried a few slings/carriers. We decided to get the Ergo Baby Carrier. It allows the baby's weight to rest on your hip instead of the back. And it can be worn in at least three different configurations - with the baby in front, on the back and resting on your hip (side). It can be buckled in a snap unlike the Baby Bjorn that requires a fitting process. It also has a front pocket/zipper to hold small items. Overall, seemed to be a much better fit for our needs.

We tried it on our yesterday's trip to Cape Meares (will post more pictures from the weekend soon).

Hope this carrier lasts us longer than the last one!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Things I love to eat

Nothing like my own hand...afterall, its always within my arm's reach
Papa's arm tastes good too for a change..
Wonder if my foot tastes the same as as my hand...
Oh this looks colorful..
...so it must be tasty! I hate a pacifier in my mouth...unless its the "right" side inSo much to read and digest...
I'm really not fussy at all..about anything will do..
....even Dadi's clothes!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A gift from home

We got a surprise package in the mail yesterday- and that too all the way from India from Nana-Nani! In the 8 years that I have lived away, I have NEVER received such a package from home. So it was truly a surprise. And it contained some really important stuff too.


Super cute cotton diapers for LittleTiger! Ofcourse, there were some other gifts for Mummy and Papa (his b'day gift!), but mostly a big bag of baby stuff. It reminded me of Nanaji's favorite quote - "mool dhan se byaaz zada pyaara hota hai"!

Ever since I was pregnant with LittleTiger, we had decided that we would do our best to be environmentally friendly parents. And as part of that decision, we had decided not to use disposable diapers. Since then, I have researched practically every type of cloth diapers that has a mention on the internet and have tried quite a few of them. Since many friends have since inquired about my findings, I intend to write about this in a separate post.

So long story short - desi diapers are some of the best. You'll be surprised at the range that is now available in India. And sooo affordable compared to the ones available here! I happened to say this same thing to Naniji, and the result was this package! Look how happy LittleTiger is..

look..i have a cute cute shirt and a happy happy bottom!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Birthday wishes

Some friends have complained that LittleTiger's Papa is conspicuously missing from the blog. Well, today happens to be Papa's birthday! So this one is a special post capturing some of my favorite papa-beta pictures taken so far.



Tired looking Papa holding baby soon after he was born.



I love this picture. Can't decide who is more amazed to see the other.


A lazy weekend afternoon


Massage time with Papa



Love his tiny fingers & feet next to Papa's arm

Thoughtful father and son



Enjoying the fountain outside the waterfront village


Waterfront village mela


Enjoying dopaher ki dhoop in our back patio




main, mera beta aur mera laptop


Happy Birthday to Papa from LittleTiger and Mommy!