Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Diaper Free Group Meeting

Today, we took Anjali to the Diaper Free (or EC - elimination communication) support group to talk with other parents about issues regarding EC. It was nice to see new friends there with their babies: Darla + Olivia, Chris + Nancy + Luke, and Irina + Clara + Lev. The mothers with more experience had valuable advice to give to us newbies. Overall, we are doing well with it with some great days and some normal days but if we catch here and there, we are doing good. We use the potty sign (ASL) and cue and give her an opportunity at each diapering. Challenges include EC outside the home and at night.

As EC parents, we have to be particular about clothing because we have to be able to EC in a hurry. Clothes that dont work for us include the ubiquitous footie pajamas, pants, tights and onesies that fit over the head. Yesterday, we tried a footie pajama and it lasted all of 5 minutes with papa frustrated. Our organic cotton kimono onesies paired with leg warmers work the best. The infant sacques with the hand covers work the best for night. We just ordered kimono onesies in the next size up from Shea Naturals Baby. Mama is going to cry when Anjali no longer fits in the onesies she wears now as they were selected and purchased with love, thought, and care from Canada (the company no longer carries them).

Passover Visit

On Monday we celebrated Passover with Grandma, Grandpa and uncle Jesse. It was great for Anjali to see the family again. And though it is traditional for the youngest to read the four questions (in which the child asks what makes Passover different from other nights), Anjali is not quite there yet...In fact, she was upstairs nursing at that time.

It was a bit crazy for mama since she had to keep running upstairs and downstairs to nurse and potty Anjali, but once Anjali was down for a nap we enjoyed the dinner together.

Unfortunately, most of the pictures taken that night were done by uncle Jesse on a vintage film camera, so we don't have them to post here. But here are two of Grandma singing to Anjali.

Lookout Grandma, attack of the Anjali!!!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Development and Sleep

We had our last visit on Thursday  with our midwives Christy and Meredith who did their final check. It was sad to start to make the transition out of their care and into the world-at-large, although we will still see them as friends. They are part of a world which has forever changed us.

Anjali weighed 10 lbs and 11 oz. We are putting her down for a nap after every 90 min of being awake as she needs. This really great book called The 90 Minute Baby Sleep Program written by a sleep researcher, Polly Moore, PhD, has really opened our eyes to infant sleep patterns and has helped alleviate much of the fussiness. Babies need to sleep alot, but they get overstimulated and can't get to sleep, so you have to help them. We find that at 90 minutes or right before, she is yawning, being fussy, or goes to sleep on her own. Daytime naps also allow her to sleep much better at night. We are awakening approximately 2-3 times per night for changes and feeding. If she doesn't nap much that day, then she will sleep badly at night and so will we. So it is very important for her development that we treat her nap times as sacred.

We have been following her natural cues to help us play with her. She likes to push with her legs and stand, so we help her do that. She also is more smiley, babbles more, responds well if you potty her after her cues, and looks at pictures in books that we hold in front of her and makes noises. She also has discovered that Fuzzy exists and has smiled at him. She is falling asleep in our arms alot but when you go to put her down, she will wake up. Then you have to pick her up and she falls back asleep. We find that we often have to do this cycle a couple of times before she will actually stay down. She can cry in her sleep but has also put herself back to sleep if we leave her alone. This isn't "crying it out" which we do not condone, but there is a sleep stage called "indeterminate" which looks like she might be awake, but she isn't really. If you make eye contact with her, she wakes up and then it's over. Also, if the crying lasts more than a minute or the crying is truly an awake crying, we pick her up and soothe her immediately. It's an art to know which is which, and we are still learning.

Shave and a Haircut

Uncle Jesse's Visit

It's been a busy couple of days so it has been hard to find the time to post. Actually, many days are like that, but I guess the past couple were less-hands-free. That being said...

This past Friday, Anjali and Uncle Jesse finally met. This Uncle Jesse is not the plump, white bearded father-type figure from The Dukes of Hazzard, but rather Papa's brother. He is visiting from the other coast to see the little cutie.

Uncle Jesse also offered to help around the house in any way we needed. And while we still didn't get to the vacuuming, Papa and Jesse cooked up a delicious meal. More visits to come this weekend...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beautiful Blanket

This gorgeous blanket was a gift from our friend Rachel S. who handknit this creation for Anjali.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Brown Bear, Brown Bear

More of Anjali's view:

My parents like to stick this rectangular thing with a glass circle in front of me a lot. They say something about, "capturing the moment..." Sometimes when they do that a quick bright light flashes. It seems like they do it most often when I am doing something like talking or smiling or generally being cute (which they think is all the time). Last night when mama was reading Brown Bear, Brown Bear to me, Papa "captured the moment:"

The battle with this yeast business is no fun, especially for me and mama, but mama says she thinks it is starting to get better. They are doing lots of things to help. Lots of pro-biotics for mama and me. Mama is also using grapefruit seed extract, both in liquid concentrate and capsules and Diflucan. There are some other things too, like raw coconut oil, and papa read from the label that it has natural anti-biotic and anti-fungal effects. And of course, there's the gentian violet which is supposed to be some powerful stuff. Mama gives that to me at night by letting me suck some of it from a cotton swab. It really turns my mouth purple. I don't know exactly what it is, but something in there makes me mellow and smiley for a minute or so after I taste it. Check me out: video

Of course, like I said before, mama and papa are doing a lot of laundry. Mama read that it's very important to stop spores (whatever they are) from spreading around. So if any of us bathe we only use a towel once. They also remove and wash any clothes and burp cloths that I may spit up or drool on right away. And handwashing is even more important now. They've also temporarily switched me form cloth to disposable diapers, organic cotton of course for my tender skin. And eventhough they are still able to tell when I let them know I have to pee or poop, I get confused sometimes in these disposables because they are so absorbent.

They also have been trying for 2 or 3 days to vacuum. I saw papa bring up the vacuum from the basement. But I have been keeping them busy and they haven't had time. Rumor has it that Uncle Jesse is in town and may help with that. Either way, I am excited to finally meet him...I wonder if he's bringing the Duke boys...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Anjali's View by Anjali

This week, when my parents were reading to me, I started babbling and moving my arms around animatedly in response. One of the books my mama likes to read to me is "Brown Bear, Brown Bear". Yesterday,. I tried to say "Bear" and "Blue". My parents were in disbelief and are half convinced this was a fluke. But isn't language mimicry anyways? Maybe I can do this again to convince them. I like the books. Keep the books coming, folks! I like them, especially the board books. I dont grab or reach for things yet and I dont have a high pitched scream like my friend Uma yet, but I am sure I will get there soon.

I had some interest in Fuzzy for the first time and really looked at him. I am not yet sure what he is or what he does, but he looked back at me. I also have crazy arms and they fly all over the place when I get excited. My parents find this very cute in the daytime, but at night when they want me to sleep, the arms take control. I hit my mama in the face alot and then I hit myself in the face and I cry. My parents have tried to swaddle me but I hate getting in that Miracle blanket. Yes, I really hate it. So, my mama ordered a SwaddleMe sleep blanket that pins my arms down with velcro flaps and they are hoping that it helps me sleep longer. We will see.

My parents have started signing to me using the SigningSmart program. They only use 8 signs right now and will only use those 8 until I can copy them which might be months from now. I tried copying the sign for milk that mama was using. They said it will be easier for me when I can sit up on my own. 

I like snuggling next to my parents when I am in their arms and I like falling asleep there. Unfortunately, my mama and I are trying to recover from an infection and this is very difficult for us both. More gentian violet in my future. Papa and mama are disinfecting everything. They do laundry daily. But I have hope.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Hanging Out on the Terrace

Car Ride Pics

Mike & Sarah's Visit

On Saturday, Mike and Sarah came over for a wonderful picnic lunch that we ended up eating inside because it was too hot on the terrace. Sarah finally got to meet Anjali as Mike had already met her twice when he came to bring delicious and much appreciated food over. Unfortunately, Anjali was nursing when the photo was taken so they didn't get to hold her.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rootin' Tootin' Bird

About half way home in the car Anjali must have gotten ravenous and started crying which increased rapidly in volume. Mama asked to pull over at the next exit, which we did, and Anjali got a little snack. Apparently it was enough just to make it home. You can see from the next video that she was still hungry, and ready to tap whatever resource she could for milk. This gives "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" new meaning. Watch the little birdy go! Of course we know this is one way she communicates her hunger to us.


Walk in the Park

Today went to Valley Green in Fairmount Park. What a beautiful day. We had a picnic of sorts. When we arrived mama nursed with Anjali in the car while papa fed mama veggies and dip. Then we took a nice walk on the path. We got back to the car just in time to pee Anjali. Here is some video after we changed her:


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Crashing Out

We all found a moment today to go to Fairmount Park and get a quick walk in. Mama still cant walk far or for very long so the half hour was perfect. What a beautiful day! Then papa had to leave for a gig and mama and baby stayed home. After the usual feeding and pottying, mama and baby crashed out. Mama really crashed out - more than baby, so mama put baby on her chest and slept in the center of the bed so if she fell off, all would be well.

[My Voice: ]
There were times when Anjali woke up but unable to get off me and unable to cry for someone because I was RIGHT there, her head bobbed for a while and then she fell asleep again. I don't know how many times this happened. I could barely move, I was sooo tired. After 4 hours, we awoke and are waiting for papa to come home so that we can start the bath. We are listening to a mix that I had made to listen to for when I was birthing, but when the time came, I did not want to listen to these upbeat songs. But they are perfect now. Among the songs is 'Crush' by Dave Matthews which is a beautiful love song and so perfect as a song from a mama to dedicate to her baby daughter.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Bedtime Stories

Papa was able to read to an attentive Anjali tonight after she had been bathed and fed. Book choice: The Napping House. (Thank you, Abigail H.) The first photo captures the bedtime atmosphere with the glow from our Himalayan salt lamps.

Fuzzy Testing Out the Gifts

Having already tested out the bag that Yvona's gift came in, he now now tests the contents within. We think it passes muster.

Baby Bird

Baby bird was extra rooty yesterday and just wanted to suck. She had already been feeding for hours so Papa held her to give mama a break. But, she was determined to suck on him too. This lasted five whole minutes.

Anjali's View by Anjali

I am currently going through another growth spurt. I'm feeding alot and last night, I slept 7 hours straight, the most I've ever slept in one go. Since I've been staying awake for much longer too, I expect to be entertained. My parents massage me, bicycle my legs, play with me on my play mat, bounce me, tickle me, read to me, hold me, glide with me, and wrap me up and walk me. The night before last, I got overstimulated and stayed up way too late. I had a meltdown and had to be swaddled and shushed to sleep. My papa thanked Dr. Karp, some man who wrote The Happiest Baby on the Block, whoever he is. I don't like to get into my carseat, change clothes, or get out of the bath.

The weather today was beautiful and my mama and  papa put me in the Ergo carrier and we all went to the community garden. They found some pussy willow and we walked around. I think I will be spending some nice times here. My mama also took me on the terrace and I liked having the sun shine on my face. I like this thing called the sun. They didn't have that in the womb where I came from.

My poops have changed too. I no longer go every day and when I do go, I have to really use my muscles. It isn't easy. But I haven't had a messy diaper for weeks. I cry and fuss when I have to pee so my parents are able to take me to the potty for some of them so I've had dry diapers too. Nice!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Yvona's Visit

Our friend Yvona came to see Anjali yesterday. She came all the way from NYC with a large orange package, the contents of which Anjali loves to play with and the orange bag it came in Fuzzy loves to play with. It was also Yvona's birthday this past week and we celebrated with Brown Betty cupcakes.

Another Rainy Day Activity

While mama went to the dentist, papa and Anjali worked on some dance moves (music courtesy of John Scofield and Medeski, Martin and Wood).


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Birthday Party

Today, we went to a birthday party for Dashiell, our neighbor, who turned three. He is the cutest little boy I've ever seen! There were so many kids there and some of them were fascinated with the tiny Anjali in her carseat.. One two year old boy kept coming back to touch her head because he couldn't believe she was real.   There must of been at least 50 people at the 700 Club and children running around.  It was loud and crazy--perhaps too much stimulation for mama and papa.  But Anjali slept through the whole party - almost two and a half hours. we met some nice people and their children.

Bedtime Routine

We are trying to start a bedtime routine for Anjali. The word "routine" is a bit more for us then for her but the end results are for her to start differentiating between night and day sleep. The challenge is that we have to start before she takes an early evening nap and then we have a wide -awake baby on our hands. This means starting at 6p or 7p which is difficult to do because of work, time, etc. Today, we were able to give her a relaxing bath and she didn't cry when she came out. Then, we dressed her and tried to start the massage. We are taking an infant massage class that we started yesterday. But being new to this, we were having problems with the setup and we lost her very quickly. Maybe we would have lost her anyways. She had a wet diaper, then she was hungry and then finally, after some carrying, pottying, burping, and feeding she settled down for the night in her snugglewool. We turned on the beautiful music from Uma for her. ( And she is now in dreamland.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Maternal Death Rate Too High

The US maternal death rate is beyond pitiful. Just in case you think that giving birth in a US hospital setting is the safest place you can, think again. This article came out today in Time Magazine and goes over the facts. A similar one came out in The New York Times a week ago.,8599,1971633,00.html#ixzz0hz6oVBwD

How to Pronounce "Anjali"

Anjali comes from the Sanskrit word meaning "gift" or "offering". Like all Indian names, the accent is on the first syllable: ANjali, like MADHavi or even like JERemy (see, we have a family thing going here).

So now we get to the pronunciation of the "An" part of Anjali. The "An" is pronounced "UN" as in Unjali. This "An" one would find in the name "Anita", This is in contrast to the "An" being pronounced as "AWN" like in the name "Anika". The problem of the pronunciation occurs when one of takes Indian sounds and uses Roman letters to represent them. And aesthetics play a part too.  Some people spell Anjali with a U so it's 'Unjali' but we weren't too keen on that. Some people spell Anjali with a U again, as in 'Anjuli' but we weren't keen on that either. And we definitely weren't keen on 'Unjuli' either. (Two U's - oh no!) So dear friends, think UN-JALI for Anjali.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Newborn Photographs

When Anjali was almost 3 weeks old, we had her photographs taken by Allyson Crozier, a talented photographer who specializes in children's portrait photography. We went back to the studio today to have a look at the proofs. Wow! The proofs are available for viewing for one week only. Please email us for the link.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Mama's Favorite Things

At this one month mark, I wanted to take a moment to review my favorite items from the last month. I spent a lot of time beforehand researching each item and getting advice from blogs, friends, Amazon, etc. Since babies grow so fast at this stage, next month's favorite things may be different. I love the WashPod, the socks and caps from Hanna Andersson, the My little lamb Cradle 'n Swing from Fisher Price, chux pads, the gowns from Kate Quinn Organics, the kimono onesies from Parade Organics, the Little Beetles wool covers, the organic cotton prefold diapers from Green Mountain Diapers, the Snugglewool blanket, the organic cotton fleece blankets I made, Swaddlebees wipes, Homestead wipe solution, the Little Baby Bjorn potty, the EasyCare wrap, my Dutailier glider and ottoman, Weleda calendula cream, California Baby calendula cream, California Baby All in One cleanser, Homestead wipes solution, the Babylegs, the organic cotton rounds from Whole Foods, the Rostfriece baby nail scissors, the Pottery Barn Bassinet, the Natura changing pad & bassinet mattress, the organic cotton burp cloths/diapers from Gerber, the Boppy to sit on, Charlie's Soap detergent, the remote control lights, the Himalayan salt lamps, the Itzbeen timer, and Sckoon kimono shirts. If I think of anything else, I'll add it separately. As attachment parenting, ECing parents, what we found totally useless were cribs (useful for many other things than sleeping), footie pajamas, hats with no ties, socks that don't stay on, scratchy cheepo cloth wipes, and receiving blankets (as blankets).

Oops, I forgot:
Like: Babyganics sanitizing foam

Tummy Time

We weren't kidding about the fluffy butt... these are the Little to Big Little Beetles Wool Covers from Green Mountain Diapers which we love. They are the only covers that she will need because they grow with her via adjustable snaps. Wool is great because it's breathable and absorbs odors.  Tummy time is on a blanket handknit by her Grandma.

The Dive Bomber

Not having the ability to walk to crawl, the baby princess uses her legs to launch herself to where she wants to go. She has also started to use her head to dive bomb herself off of or out of places. Last night, her papa had her on his chest at night to help calm her. No, she did not want to be there and dived right off of him and onto the bed toward her mama. Today, when I put her in the wrap, she did not want to be there either and started to dive bomb out of there by launching herself sideways. Wiggle worm!

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Best Baby Socks

After struggling with newborn socks for a few weeks, I realized that the 6 pairs that I had bought were not going to do the job. First of all, after a few days, we no longer had 6 pairs. I dont know where the others went. They are so tiny and they kept falling off her feet. We inherited about 3 pairs of Trumpette socks with the Maryjane pattern from Ragini but those don't stay on too well either. So, her papa asked me to buy more socks. Since we were ordering the pilot caps from Hanna Andersson, I decided to order socks from them too. These are the BEST socks! They stay on!! They are made in Denmark (not China!) and aren't flat pieces of curved tubing but are actually the shape of the foot. I love these socks, they never slip off. They are pricier than regular socks but you get your money's worth as you only have to buy a couple.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mid-day nap

Who knew Frank Zappa's Apostrophe' playing full blast would lull Papa and Anjali to sleep. Anjali definitely likes music and doesn't mind a bit of volume. She also enjoyed being in her wrap while Papa played tabla for a while...

Liberty Lands Outing

The weather today was sunny, and it is starting to turn from Winter to Spring. It's the type of weather where it is warm in the sun and cold in the shade. We put Anjali in the wrap and took a walk to Liberty Lands, our biggest neighborhood park. Many parents had the same idea as there were alot of families with little kids there. No one was as small as Anjali though. We walked around, ate some pizza at Rustica, went to the park and sat on a blanket on the ground. Then eventually, we walked home after a while. Our NoLibs neighborhood always smells like fresh bread courtesy of the Kaplan Bakery. Luckily, that bakery is also next to the park. We took our nieces Xia and Anika there once and they got free cookies. Anjali wore a beautiful hat handmade by our friend Ettel who happens to be Radha's mom. It fits her head exactly. The Family Portrait is self-taken.