Sunday, August 29, 2010

Anjali's Great-Grandmom's 100th B-Day, by Anjali

Yesterday was my great-grandmother's 100th birthday! I cannot fathom time quite that well yet...But I know that she was definitely the oldest person at the party, and I was the youngest. The party was at my Grandpa and Grandma's house. Everyone was so excited to see me. And I had fun meeting some of my family for the first time. Yay for my great-grandma Marion's 100th birthday! What an amazing accomplishment.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Lunch with my friend Uma, by Anjali

On Friday I got to have lunch with my friend Uma. She's about 3 months older than me. She's so awesome; she can crawl so well and even stands up on her own. I'm just getting my crawly legs, but I am learning to get around a bit.

We played at my house for a bit. We talked and played with blocks and stuff. Uma tasted a couple of my blocks--a yellow one, a blue one and a red one (papa is trying to teach me colors).

After a bit of playing we went to Honey's for lunch. Last time I was there it was not so fun for me. I didn't like the din in there. To much blah blah blah from everyone with those high ceilings and it made me a little nuts. But this time it didn't bother me. I had a great time.

I ate avocado for the first time and really liked it. Perfect texture for me, and with lots of good fats and protein. Yum. Uma ate some beet salad. We sat across each other and had some conversation. Later we danced on the table. Unfortunately no pics of that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just About Fully Crawling

Anjali is really adept at sitting up on her own now. She started doing this consistently sometime last week. At the same time she has been on the verge of crawling for almost 2 weeks. I bet in less than a week she'll be zooming around.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Garden Party at the Pais

We went to our friends Radha and Sheila's Garden Party yesterday. Uma was napping, but Anjali got to meet a few people for the first time. Among the people she got to meet: Ettel, Radha's mom and Anjuli, Radha's sister. Yes, they have the same name.

Anjali meets Anjuli:

Empowered Birthing for Every Woman

The  following are our excerpt from a thread on a websgroup discussion that we and our friend Sheila Pai were a part of. It discusses our point of view on homebirth. The poster is considering the best birth option for her and is asking for others' experiences. 

I had a fantastic homebirth and no regrets whatsover. Christy Santoro, my homebirth midwife, is a member of this group. I also considered a birth center but in the end felt they were just a slightly more relaxed hotel version of a hospital. I cant even begin to explain what it is like to have the support of the midwives through the early weeks. That is where homebirth really is heads above every other birthing situation. The birth was just the start (or middle) of a what followed - any question I had was answered and we were checked up on IN OUR OWN HOME for days/weeks afterwards. In addition, we automatically became part of a larger, supportive community.

I strongly echo Madhavi. Homebirth!
We made a major shift from planned hospital birth to homebirth in the last trimester. So worth it.
Most importantly, should you choose a hospital birth I agree that a birthplan is so necessary, and a doula would be extremely helpful and supportive in that.

 Dear _______
 First of all, I hope you know how much of a support YOU have been to all the rest of us here. Community is a lovely thing.

About homebirth. I am very passionate about it, but so as not to overwhelm anyone I agree with what Madhavi and Jeremy have said. If I were to echo those and add some random things that I love about homebirth.

1. you're at home with your food, your comforts, your loved ones in your bed. you can eat and drink what you want when you want. move around when you want. be monitored only when you need to be.
2. homebirth midwives are there FOR YOU. not the lady down the hall, not the hospital's branch of a birth center, not even just your baby. there is a midwife for you and one for your baby at the least.
3. (perhaps most important) if a natural birth is something you truly want to have a chance at, then staying at home as long as humanly possible (which is generally the whole thing) gives you the best environment and strength to do it.

FINALLY, There is nothing that says if you have a homebirth that you can't go to the hospital whenever you want or need to and get whatever interventions you want or need. If you get to a hospital, there is no way you are getting out of there, and they are designed to intervene. You can certainly have a wonderful natural birth, but you will have to spend energy and work at it. That's the main thing that pushed me fully onto homebirth; I just didn't want my husband or caregivers more concerned about "the rules" or liability or any of that more than they were about me as a mother and my baby and the birth process.

My only other thought, and I am only saying it now because this is easily the third time I've heard this comment in the last week, is about the support or lack thereof from husbands/birth partners. I have no judgment of these men or the women that love them, not a single drop. However, my heart hurts to know that there are men that can't find models in society and messages from their communities (namely other men) that recognize the power of the women they love....that there are so many men unable to overcome the fear of the unknown because they lack the wisdom of generations upon generations of women. I can only assume that some of the women who love these men probably lack complete confidence in themselves and their men are also picking up on that. I guess my heart is sad that as a society we are so backwards and make it so difficult for men and women to be the natural beings they are. Homebirth has been proven over and over again to be as safe or SAFER than hospital birth. Interventions are there to help us work miracles when needed. The unfortunate reality, however, is that they have become the norm for normal, healthy births. If the husband or birth partner is afraid, get them some books, have them watch some of these amazing documentaries, have them talk to dads and mothers who have done homebirths. Get educated! Then make a decision together.

All of that said, I want women to birth wherever they can feel most relaxed because that will allow them to birth naturally and avoid interventions. At home you have complete freedom to set up the environment and the people present the way that supports a natural birth. In a hospital it is vital to have a doula and support team that is clear on what they should say and what they should and should not allow the hospital staff to do. EMPOWERED birth is the most important thing. It is your birth and you can have a certain extent because that baby is the one running the show!


Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Sense Of Humor

It is so cool to see Anjali's sense of humor developing and coming out. Sometimes when she is eating she will do something funny to us, like nonchalantly toss food off of her tray, or spit out a piece of food, or just make funny sounds. Our laughing gets her attention and she smiles and laughs a bit with us. She realizes she is doing something that makes us laugh. It's cute.

She also loves to mush her face on the mesh of her play yard. This seriously cracks us up. Again, our laughter and attention makes Anjali laugh. She continues to mush her face on the mesh to evoke our laughter. So fun!

Swinging In The Park, by Anjali

Today while we waited for papa to come home from Atlanta, mama and I went to Liberty Lands park. Surprisingly, there weren't too many people there. That was good for me because I got to try out the swings for the first time!

(sorry for the sideways video...Just turn your laptop on its side!)

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Beach - Stone Harbor

Today Anjali went to the beach for the first time. Mama and papa took her to the place where they got married, which was just off of the beach in Stone Harbor, NJ.

The beach was fun, but also tricky at times. Mental note: put on baby beach-wear and sunblock before getting to the beach.

Anjali loved playing with the sand. She took many opportunities to have a taste too. We have really wanted to get her in the water since she loves her bath so much. She liked the ocean. Papa wore her in the new mesh sling mama bought.
The sling was really helpful because it provided an extra layer in case the water was too cold for Anjali. It also held her close to papa for extra security in such a new and bold environment. Up until now Anjali has only heard recordings of the ocean. I wonder if she could make the connection. When papa went a little deeper into the water Anjali seemed a bit unsure, so he stayed a little more shallow after that.

In this series, the wave is coming in onto her little feet....

One wave took mama and Anjali by surprise. Anjali did not like that. So we went back to playing in the sand.

...So much sand! This perhaps is what makes a beach excursion a bit tricky. Immediately there was sand everywhere--in the diaper bag, on her sofie, on the camera, on Anjali's hands, mouth, face, etc., (Um, hello. It's a beach!)--and it was some work to keep Anjali from eating all of it.

All in all it was a good time, and Anjali did so well in the car. Long naps on the way there and the way back.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My Papa's New Blog, by Anjali

In case you didn't know, I want to tell you officially that my papa has a new blog. 

It's different from my blog because he talks more about things from a papa's point of view.  He has some good tips, stories and insight as well as new music and other fun stuff we do together.  Please visit his blog and become a follower so he doesn't get lonely over there. 

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Cloth Diapering

We use cloth diapers on Anjali. Cloth diapers are very, very easy to use and have saved us tons of money. They are easy to wash and to care for. The only "hard" part was figuring out what kind of diaper to use and even this decision was fun. Nothing is permanent so if a diaper didn't work out for us, and some covers haven't, then this could be quickly changed. In addition to saving tons of money, we can use all our diapers again for another child if we wanted and resell our diapers and covers for at least half the price. Try doing that with a used disposable diaper. Eewwww. Other reasons for using cloth were also important to us: not have chemicals near our baby's sensitive skin, the superior absorbancy of cloth, not contributing to the earth's garbage, and always having diapers around - no running to the store. Disposable diapers also retain heat and increase the temperature of  baby' boy's testes thus harming the sperm.  We have never gotten diaper rash. If we did, I have Weleda's Calendula diaper cream for that.

The diapers I chose for Anjali are high quality organic cotton pre-folds. I bought them from Green Mountain Diapers, a wonderful family owned web business in Vermont. The woman who owns it knows EVERYTHING about diapers. We currently use organic wool covers from Imse Vimse which we love. Earlier, when Anjali didn't have such chunky thighs, we used Thirsties covers and liked them alot. But the Imse Vimse wool covers rule! We tried the Little to Big Beetle wool covers but I didn't love them. I found them to be too bulky.

At night, I use Bummis super whisper wrap covers, a prefold diaper laid on top of a hemp doubler and covered with a Malden Mills fleece liner. Anjali always feels dry and never leaks. Soon, we will restart ECing at night but until then, this system does the job beautifully.

Our cloth diapering experience is enhanced by our detergent Charlie's Soap which is the only detergent on the market without any residues and our wonderful velvety soft wipes by Swaddlebees. These wipes are the best! I use the homestead Wipe Solution and the Potty Pail both from Green Mountain Diapers. These have been very handy. For warm water, I use a pump Thermos that I bought on We use Babyganics antibacterial gel at each diaper station.

It is so easy to use cloth diapers nowadays. There really isn't any excuse not to. If your daycare requires disposables, there are diapers out there where the insert can just be changed and disposed of. The health of my baby is the most important thing. Cloth diapering helps support that.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Blue Hat, Green Hat

Today's post is brought to you by StayAtHomePapa, which is papa's new blog. Please visit and join for papa's spin on things, music, ideas and more...

Today I was reading one of Anjali's recent favorites to her, Blue Hat, Green Hat, by Sandra Boynton. I got inspired, gathered a bunch of our hats and attempted to capture our fun on camera. VIEW THE FULL POST...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

New Look

We have a new design skin for our blog. We hope you like it.

Eating for Real by Anjali

Now that I hit my 6 month birthday, my parents are officially giving me stuff that I could eat. This means that they give me food that I can actually bite a piece off and swallow. I don't have any teeth, but my gums are very strong as the teeth are inside them. It is not true that babies need mashed up food or they will choke. Since I feed myself, and THAT is the key, I will learn what size bite I need to take, how to get it to the back of my mouth, and how to swallow it safely. If someone feeds me, then I wont learn these things and it is a greater choking hazard. So, my mama gave me some raspberries and 2 sardines. Oh, how much fun I had with those sardines! I was a happy mess! My papa steamed some vegetables. It was really weird having a floppy squash and carrot when in the last few weeks, they were hard. But I loved them all! When there is no more food on my tray, I start banging it because I want more.