Saturday, March 28, 2009

Museum Ke Andar Phas gaya Sikandar Avinash



I had a glorious half day off of work today. After a half-hour turned two hour nap we set off for the museums. It was a bit chilly in the morning, but by the afternoon it was perfect weather. There is something about perfect weather that fills my heart with joy, it was almost too perfect, too fleeting. Almost like I couldn't tell when I would have the chance to be this happy again...

We were going to see the IMAX Sharks in 3-D, but luckily the last of the day was sold out. We strolled through the park, sat down in the rose garden so Avi could eat his mashed bananas lunch while we took in the perfumed air. Then we decided to check out the Children's Museum even though we were under whelmed last time. The baby play area didn't seem to be in the same place, but we wandered into something else. The whole museum was re-done!

Ryan and I may have each had a turn climbing up the Tower of Power, climbing the rock wall, and playing light square dodgeball. There are times when we can pass off doing kiddy activities because we have Avinash with us. Didn't really work this time, since he was too little for almost all of the things. It was still pretty awesome though.


I could barely make it more than half way across.


Avi did well though! I really can't wait until Avi is old enough to climb all over the place with us!


We did eventually find the tot play area. It is absolutely gorgeous now. It used to be a musty corner with baby toys thrown all over the place. Not exactly the most enthralling thing. Now is in it's own space on the second floor with big windows, light and airy.

First we set Avi in one of the little tunnels.


He crawled right out- backwards of course!

Ryan took him down the slide a few times...
the landing was a bit scary though.

video


The beautiful giant lite brite toy installed on one wall went a little better though.

Avinash was entranced by it!



And, he had one main objective...



despite all of his Dad's best efforts,



to taste each piece!




He must have played with the lite brite for at least twenty minutes (that's a long time for a five month old!), exploring all the pieces and different colors. I had thought it was just a beautiful installation, but didn't realize that he would be able to play with it so well. I was pleasantly surprised with how much Avinash was able to get out of the Children’s Museum already.

We stopped by Discovery Green afterwards to get some Sweet potato fries and check out the playground. It was so beautiful to eat outside that it almost reminded me of Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.

Look who's a pro at the slide now?


Friday, March 27, 2009

Baby Stellan, heart woes.

I have been following MckMama on her blog for a few months. Our sons are both October 2008 babies and I am enthralled by her writing. After putting up a regular Not Me, Monday post, I was shocked to find out that her littlest baby was put in the hospital for SVT (again). I can't even begin to know what she is going through as a mother right now. As a doctor, I have of course seen babies in the hospital before but it is gripping to read about it so intimately from the other side. I see miracles happen in patients all the time, and I don't even necessarily think that it is outside of the realm of medical possibility for Stellan to get better anyway, but we are all praying for this sweet little baby. Just looking at his pictures amazes me. I can't believe that a baby with such a dangerous heart rhythm looks so, well, normal.





I feel in my heart that this sweet little baby is going to be okay.







Reminds me of my smiling little boy.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Not Me, again.

Ok, so I am going to attempt another Not Me! post in imitation of my most favorite MckMama and her blog, MyCharmingKids.

First, I am NOT about to work 28 fourteen-hour days in a row (at least), nope, not me! Also, I am NOT already exhausted by this, even though I am only one week in. Nope, no big deal. All of my limbs do not feel like they are about to fall off. To help matters I most certainly did not watch at least half a season of The Wire with my husband over the past few days. Because, you know, a gritty expletive and violence filled drama about Baltimore, is the perfect thing to keep my mind peaceful and calm. Especially since I have been to Baltimore many times, including a few scary bus trips, including a side line view to some interesting car chases. Plus, there was that summer Rachel and I DID NOT in Prince George's county in Maryland. We never saw helicopters with floodlights circling our apartment complex while searching for escaped convicts. These recollections are not making me all jumpy either. On the other hand, I do kind of relish the street cred Rachel and I got from our apartment in the outskirts of DC. Much worse than anywhere else I've ever lived. Including, to wit, Brooklyn, North Philadelphia, and Harlem, or ahem Central Park North as some people like to call it.


I did NOT consider myself insanely lucky this Saturday after getting out of work an hour early. We did not rush to the park in order to spend some rain-free time there. Especially since last weekend, which was NOT my only weekend off all month, it did NOT rain the entire weekend. We, of course, did not still try to go the park many times. And, we didn't bring a bunch a costumes with us so that we could take pictures of Avinash for the month of March.

In like a lion...



out like a lamb.




Ok, seriously.

He is the cutest baby ever.

And all my troubles melt away.

I love this baby and I love my little family.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Oh boy, Avocado!

Avinash, at a very seasoned five months of age, has now moved on to avocado. And, unlike sweet potatoes, he loved it! The first few bites took him by surprise, but he gobbled down the whole bowl.

But, what do you do with the rest of the avocado? Luckily, one of our favorite recipes is Avocado Gazpacho (see recipe below), the perfect use for the rest of the avocado. Plus, he loves sharing his meal with us.

The first taste.



He even wanted to feed himself.



And, one more of him playing happily afterwards (for a little while anyway).



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Avocado Gazpacho



Take two avocadoes, one English cucumber, one seeded jalepeno, a bunch of cilantro, two green onions, the juice of two limes, pinch of sea salt, few turns of pepper, pinch of haldi (turmeric), paprika and nutmeg.

Combine in a bowl and puree with a hand blender. Chill or serve as is. I also add spiced croutons on top. Melt one tablespoon of butter with one clove of garlic, chili powder and salt. Coat cubed bread in this mixture and toast in the oven.

------------------------------------------------------------------

We also took a little video of course. Check out his look of astonishment after the second bite.

video

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

5 months, sitting pretty.

Avinash has very proud parents, and he knows it too. Our little baby is now five months old, and it feels like he is doing something different every day! We are trying so hard to cherish every moment, but it seems like this past month just flew by.

One minute, all he can do is lay there.


Then all of a sudden, he is sitting up on the bed all by himself!


We have tried to play peek-a-boo with him, but he just thought we were nuts. Until today, when he decided that peek-a-boo is hilarious..
video
But not as fun as staring at the camera.


Also, when did he start laughing out loud?!!
video

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

In honor of the first day of Rodeo in Houston, I made this for dinner tonight.


Veggie Corn Dogs
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 cup finely grated onion
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons cornstarch, for dredging

Mix all the ingredients together, should be pretty think batter. The grated onion adds amazing moisture and flavor. We use vegetarian hot dogs, skewer them with a chopstick, dredge in cornstarch and then dip into the batter. After a bath in 375 degree oil and a quick rest on paper towels, they are done! I have also heard you can bake them for a healthier version. I would try that, but I am sure Ryan would pass.

Quick-pickle Cucumber
1 cucumber cut into sticks
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
splash of sake
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tsp black or brown mustard seeds
sliced garlic ( preferably green garlic)
pinch of sugar
Sea salt to taste

Toast spices in a dry pan until they release there aroma. Turn off heat then add liquid and cucumber. It will sizzle nicely. Cool and serve. Salt to taste.

Sweet potato fries

Cut up sweet potatoes into fries. Spray with olive oil or grape seed oil. Place in cast iron skillet and back at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Set aside 1-2 tablespoons of sweet potato. Steam it and mash it up with liquid for baby on the side!

I made the cucumbers first so they could marinate. Then started on the batter so it could rest a bit. Then got the fries in the oven and the potato steaming before frying up the dogs. That way everything is all done at the same time. Easy!




Probably would have been a bit easier if the baby didn't get sweet potato all over him.

All in all though it was pretty successful. Fried isn't exactly the healthiest, but Ryan gobbled the cucumbers and sweet potatoes down too. The baby still prefers bananas I think, but I'm going to try sweet potatoes for a few days and see how he does.

Cheers.

Super Food.

So, Avinash is almost five months old. My pediatrician recommended started food at four months of age and we tried mashed bananas. I basically just gave him a taste of them, about one to two tablespoons in the evenings when I got home. He went through some fussy days and we weren't sure if it was because of the change in food or the onset of teething.

Then, life got crazy. Ryan was at the tail end of trial, then started studying for the bar full-time. I was working late for about two weeks in a row. I was talking to my Mom from India and she suggested that we stop feeding him until he actually does cut his first tooth. It is so hard juggling conflicting advice! My amazing cousin Manind and his wife Anjali gave me this book called Super Baby Food. That book says you can start with lots of different food at four months, like avocado, bananas, rice cereal, oatmeal, different strained fruits. 'What to Expect' also suggest four months, but says to start with rice cereal. But, I really don't want to start him out on such a heavily processed food. So, I am feeling totally lost.

Meanwhile, for ourselves, I used to make really original and varied home-made meals almost nightly. Now, we live on take-out and Eggos. Not very healthy I know.

My main problem seems to be I just have no mental ability left to come up with good dinner ideas. My new plan is to write down my favorite recipes and new ideas that I come across in an effort to generate inspiration.

For example, tonight I'm thinking of making home-made veggie corn dogs with quick-pickle cucumbers and sweet potato- fries for us and mashed for Avinash. If it works out, I'll post the recipe.

__________________________________________________________________________________

I recently found out about Pamper's Gifts to Grow program. It was supposed to expire on March 1, 2009 but has been extended a full year. I was a little bummed at first because I have already thrown out so many points in the last four + months. Then, I realized that the EMU here stocks Pampers too. I may have taken all the stickers off of those packs and used them myself. Hey, they were just being thrown out anyway. I did find a bunch of codes that can be used for bonus points, these are all still good. Go to pampers.com to enter them.

THRIFTYMOMMYGTG (1 pt.)
HAPPYHOLIDAY089 (3 pts.)
GIVE09UNICEFGTG (3 pts.)
WELCOME2GTG0809 (1 pt.)
OHAMANDAAWGTG08 (1 pt.)
DONTFORGETGTG08 (1 pt.)
WELCOMEBONUS089 (1 pt.)

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