Thursday, January 31, 2013

Difference of opinions

Mom and daughter had a little difference of opinions this morning.

This is what daughter wanted to wear to school today

This is what Mom wanted her to wear

The latter was what she ended up wearing as I told her that Mommy is the boss of Cassia. To which she then said "I guess Grandma is the boss of you!"

The best singer is NOT Andrea Bocelli

This morning we were watching one of Darin and my favourite singers on GMA, Andrea Bocelli. Incredible performance and the preschooler was enthralled. "He's a great singer, isn't he?" I asked her rhetorically. Without batting an eye, she responded "No he isn't, I'm the best singer always."

Hmmmm.... I'm very biased and I love my kid's singing but even I have to acknowledge that Bocelli is the better singer... sorry Cass.

Melting my heart

I usually put the baby down so she can self soothe and put herself to sleep but ever so often she falls asleep while I am holding her. I can't help snuggling her for a minute or two, smelling the new baby smell and sneaking a kiss or two in....

Me without makeup--- you're welcome.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Splash, splash

It finally rained today, melting most of the snow and look who decided to step  in all the puddles. By the time she was done, her jeans were soaked up to her ankles and she couldn't walk properly without a trail of water following her...

The wheels fell off the wagon after this as poor Anjali got an awful diaper rash, due I think to the introduction of solid food. She was inconsolable and wouldn't let me put her down until finally she fell asleep at six. And today, Darin had to work late as well. Needless to say, our toddler was pleasantly surprised with the additional screen time (TV) she got today!

Monday, January 28, 2013

The countdown is on!

Next month, we will be going back to the beautiful Turks and Caicos. We usually never go back to the same vacation spot twice (not yet anyways, as we have so many places to visit still), much less the same resort. T&C is so beautiful, the weather is that perfect warm temperature,  the people are very hospitable and the beaches! WOW! Like nothing else in the Caribbean. Turquoise, crystal clear, calm waters. Once again, we will be staying at Beaches, a wonderful family resort. It is totally  kid oriented but is also very adult friendly. All of us were able to relax! Cassia had such a great time last time when she was only 18 months. I think she will have a blast when we go back. She is super excited already! 

The last time we went, our camera stopped working mid-way so we were not able to capture everything. In anticipation of our trip, I'm posting the few pics that we do have. Enjoy!

Cassia loved the pool and the swim up bar, where she would ask for a 'jink'

Story time with Elmo

A sleep over with the kids

D in his element- he loves nothing better than a nice beach

Our little poser

We swam so much!!

The grounds were also so picturesque

Cassia became an Elmo groupie

Snuggling with my doll

I can't wait to go back

Trying to teach her how to swim

She loved to pose like this when she was 18 months

Nothing like a good book

In this house, we love a good book. Since I was a kid, my dad introduced me to the magic of books. I still remember when he bought me my first Enid Blyton book with chapters and no pictures-- I thought I had reached the big leagues and the world that has opened up since then is one that I have held dear to my heart. I think of my books as friends, I reread my favourite ones each year, I always use my local library and I spend way too much money on e-books and magazines. Darin loves books also and has virtually taken over my Kindle (Although as he only reads books once, he should really use the library more)

Cassia is also an avid reader. I started reading to her when she was weeks old and we have continued ever since. At night, it's always "Just one more story." This after we've already read 3 books--- and she likes the long ones! She is always roping some unsuspecting family member into reading to her when they come to visit. Sometimes I'll even catch her perusing a book and telling herself a made up story.

Often at bedtime, the baby joins Darin and Cass as they are reading stories. She is already interested in the pictures and the story-- although most times she just wants to chew the book!

Reading to herself at night

The only kind of book that works for this baby

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Lazy Weekends

Sometimes it's just nice to have a lazy weekend after a hectic week. With all the birthday celebrations behind us and the sub-zero temperature, it was nice to just relax this weekend. Anjali and I did not leave the house! Cassia had ice skating and a play date but other than that we just spent time with each other. We watched movies, played, the adults drank wine, Darin and Cassia baked cookies and I made a big trini meal tonight of stewed chickencallaloo and parsley potatoes... even the preschooler ate it up! Now all three kids are asleep and it's time a cup of peppermint tea and the Screen Actor's Guild Awards-- one of my favourites as its the actors (and not the 52 screenplay and cinematography awards) and they get quite sloshed and entertaining... perfect end to a wonderful weekend!

Breakfast this morning...

Another of Cassia's favourites... Muffins. I usually make muffins every couple weeks, sometimes more. This weekend it was banana crumb muffins. I use  this very popular recipe but replace the white flour, white sugar, and butter,  add more spices, 1/2 cup of crushed walnuts and one cup of frozen blueberries. I sometimes make them vegan by adding an extra banana instead of the egg. And I make mostly mini muffins as the toddler prefers those. Delicious!!! And there's nothing like the smell of baked goods filling the house at night before we go to bed. These muffins never last long in this house as  grown ups like them also!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Happy Birthday Uncle Nil

It was my big brother Nilesh's birthday this weekend. Well, bigger of the two brothers but still my little brother). We want to wish Uncle Nil a wonderful birthday; a relaxing, well deserved vacation in St Maarten and a blessed year to follow... We love you lots and hope you come visit us soon!!

E.A.S.Y. does it

When I was pregnant with Cassia, I went into full on research mode. I read all the  literature I could find online and I spent a small fortune on books about pregnancy and parenting. I knew when the baby was as tiny as an olive (trivia: the name that Drew Barrymore chose for her baby is because of Week 14 or whatever) and the must buy items needed for a new born. The parenting books however, intrigued me the most.  I read a wide variety, running the gamut of  many different parenting philosophies. The one that rang true to me was "The Contented Baby Book." I would be that parent who believed in a routine, crying it out and sleeping through the night at eight weeks.

Enter the newborn. Enter baby blues, sleepless nights and exhaustion so extreme that my body actually hurt. I reread my bible 'The Contented Baby" and all but threw it across the room. I also reread The Baby Whisperer, a book that I thought had some good nuggets but was generally too soft. This time was different. First of all,  the tone it was written in  is kind, gentle (the author calls you 'mum' and 'luv) and  non judgemental. A bit hokey, but you try even reading on 4+ hours of interrupted sleep per day. The basic tenets were:

  •  Getting to know and determine what type of baby you had when deciding how to react to their cues
  •  "EASY",  Eat, Activity, Sleep and You (the caregiver's time), the gentle guided routine that I follow to this day. You do this several times for the day until bedtime. 
  • A solid night-time routine more than anything else to lead to a good night's rest for baby and for mom. 
  • The 'dream feed', feeding the baby while they are still asleep so that they last through the night in the first few months. HUGE in this household and something I'm still doing for Anjali
Both Darin and I read this book and once we began to follow these steps with Cassia, things took a definite turn for the better. She was a Textbook Baby according to the book and she would follow a routine well but at the same time be affected by the same things that most babies are: disrupted schedules, loud noises etc. The only problem was that we travelled a lot with Cass (by the time she was 1, she had flown on a plane 14 times), and I had many different activities so she was affected by too many breaks in the scheduling, strange places etc. When she was about 9 months old, I decided we had enough and I really worked on getting those solid routines down and she continued from then. 

The only book we re-read this time around was "The Baby Whisperer". By all accounts, little Anjali is an Angel Baby  a very even natured child who adheres well to a routine. I put her on the same guided routine very early on and she took very well to it. I also reduced our outings and activities and firmly decided on very limited travel this time around. With two kids anyways, we simply don't have the time or energy to do it anyways. Anjali is thriving. Now,  even when we break the routine and have the occasional late night, she is affected of course, sleeps more the next day, but it's not the end of the world! We're not a slave to EASY, but I truly believe that it has helped her to be even better tempered and a great sleeper. Now if we could just get Cassia to stop coming into our bed at night!

Goodnight everyone!

Saturday mornings

Some people get up early for a huge breakfast on a Saturday. Others have dance, music or karate classes. Still others run errands or do chores.

This however, is how some of us in this household spend our Saturdays.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Everybody knows I love my toes

Everybody knows I love my toes
Everybody knows I love my toes
I love my hands and my feet,
My mouth and my nose
But everybody knows I love my toes...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Photo shoot

We had a mini photo shoot today. Yes, it is the bathroom. Cassia decided to pose while the baby was bathing. I was quite impressed with the variety of poses and expressions.

Jump up, jump up and get down

Get out of your seat and get around. Someone is finally getting into the Jolly Jumper. At first, there was apprehension, then she just stood there... Not like Cassia The Adventurer who begin jumping instantly, so much so, we had to make sure the screws on the Jolly Jumper were securely fastened. But recently, Anjali has gotten the hang of things and yesterday she spent almost an hour jumping around...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Yesterday was also Anjali's 1/2 birthday. I love the six month mark as I think the rules are relaxed a bit--- if I need to, I can start formula (according to Health Canada); I don't have to sterilize everything;  she can get limited amounts of sun and wear sunscreen; the toys are WAY more fun; they become their own little people and most importantly they can begin eating.

I loved preparing baby food for Cassia. I believe in giving myself and my family real food and not processed stuff... so i stayed away from most of the jars of baby food. It's really not that much more work and to me the benefits far outweigh any trouble.  So once again, I will do the same with Anjali.

Full disclosure, with Cassia, I began solids just before the six month mark as I was so excited. But with Anjali, we wanted to be super careful as we find so many second babies have allergies. We began with  avocado as we did with Cassia. I was so excited so I fed her right after her morning milk. Big mistake! She ate a couple spoons of the avocado but then started to gag and promptly threw up... lots.

Today was better though. I fed her at 11 after her mid-morning nap and she ate out her entire bowl (not much, 1 avocado is about eight servings for a baby). We've also started rice rusks as a snack and she chowed down on two of those... We may just have another foodie on our hands!

This picture is from today... no one likes to look at vomit. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

With Gratitude

On my birthday, I am filled with gratitude. As I view this day as MY new year, I usually spend the day reflecting on my life in the past year.

I am grateful to have married my best friend and soul mate who continues to surprise me and make me laugh everyday. Thankful that he was able to take the day off to spend time with us all day. Together he and my girls made my birthday such a special one.

I am grateful for my girls. Grateful that Sweet Cassia is growing up to be a considerate, loving, delightful little girl who questions me on a daily basis. So thankful that Baby Anjali is in our lives, that she is happy and healthy and a great sleeper... so happy that she blesses us daily with her contented nature and beautiful smiles. Very, very blessed to have two healthy, well-adjusted girls. I feel like my family is now complete.

I am so glad that my parents are healthy and such a huge part of my life. I am grateful that they make time to call or visit us often and they devote so much time, effort and energy to my daughters. I am thankful for the presence of other family and friends who made time to call or message me yesterday for my birthday and all through this past year.

Finally, I am grateful for my life, my health and my emotional and spiritual well being. I am thankful that I am able to be strong for my daughters, Darin and myself.

Here are a few photos from my day.

Woke up to Cassia's birthday greetings and hugs. Here she is making me breakfast. 

One of my favourite indulgent breakfasts. Chocolate chip pancakes with fruit. Calories don't count on your birthday

Sweet Anjali before she had her first meal- mashed avocado... that's another post. 

We match

Cassia and me at lunch at a little bistro

Sugar cookie treat

Anjali was 6 months old on my birthday

My Dufflet Chocolate Fudge Cake... by request... very, very decadent... again no calories count!

As a side note, I love to receive birthday cards, the one on the left was handmade by Darin and Cass. 

My sweeties with me. 

My other sweetie :-)
Dinner without the kids

Happy Birthday to me

Monday, January 21, 2013

My daughters' keeper

This morning, Cassia woke up crying. She didn't want to go to school because she said her friends weren't playing with her. She mentioned it a couple times over the weekend but this time there was a lot of distress. My heart broke a little. Yes, I know that there are always many different sides to a story but as a Mom, you want to protect your child and you jump to their defence as gut instinct. They spill it, we wipe it; they drop it, we pick it up; they cry, we wipe their tears (and cry a bit on the inside as well).

It turned out okay. We told her to play with other kids and speak to the teacher if she was sad. Darin spoke to the teacher when he dropped her off and waited to settle her in.When I went for her, the teacher said she kept an eye out and for the most part it was good today.

I am dreading the day that one of my girls experiences distress that I can't help with. One day, I will have to send them out into the world where they will obviously make mistakes. I can only hope that I will instill in them a strong character, a kind heart and the knowledge that they will always be loved unconditionally by their parents.


This morning I was going through some of Cassia's popcorn words with her. 'Popcorn' words are those basic words that 'pop' in our everyday conversations, words like 'I', 'am' and 'we.' I made flash cards of them so we usually, go through the words, spell and sound them out and then I ask her to use them in sentences. This morning's word was 'see'. When it was time to put in a sentence, she said 'Ca-SEE-ah'... We couldn't help laughing.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Family day

Ever so oftenCassia declared the day to be 'Family Day'. Today was one of those days. Just a few shots from my iPhone of us playing around.

My little poser

Playing around with the phone

Say cheese!

The three year old's suggestion

Singing to Dad while he plays with  his Jenga

Look who's up from her nap

I don't usually match their clothes but I thought this was too cute. You can't really see but they have matching lilac skirts

My Dolls

We also had our very special Aunty Mala and cousins come to visit but at that point we put away the camera.

Happy Sunday!!
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