Sick Baby Boo

My boo is sick…

There is absolutely nothing worse than watching your child suffer. They say good anwp-image-1679107974jpg.jpgd bad things come in three’s and Lelan has not been spared this week.

Firstly, our little dude has been teething like CRAZY. He has been chewing on anything and everything he can get his little hands on. His chubby cheeks are swollen and red from all the inflammation. We’ve been giving him lots of iced soothies and chew toys and it seems to be helping… some. Zen the Zebra is Lelan’s constant companion and he’s just as good, if not better than and half the price of the other famous teething animal out there.

Secondly, he has acquired a dry cough. We think it’s a teething cough. The kid is constantly drooling and all the saliva pooling at the back of his throat is causing him to cough to clear his throat. We Googled it and lo and behold it’s actually a thing. It makes us both cringe to hear him cough in the middle of the night. We desperately wish there was something we could do. I hope he sleeps through the night tonight after the day he has had…

Speaking of which, thirdly, I believe he may have had a reaction to grains. Yes, we tried oatmeal for the first time today and Lelan has thrown up at least half a dozen times since this afternoon. Earlier in the week, I called my doctor to ask him about egg yolks and he casually suggested that I start him on oatmeal. ‘Grains are okay in moderation’, he said. Most kids tolerate it just fine, but Google again confirmed that some babies having violent reaction to cereal and throw up a lot. He’s also very young, so we’re just going to stick with the pureed veggies and fruits until he’s a bit older.

In spite of everything, Lelan has been in good spirits. Apart from the occasional fussing, he’s really fighting through it and I’m very proud of him. At one point this evening, he was gnawing on his fingers while coughing and spitting up at the same time. He looked absolutely miserable with his rosy cheeks and bleary eyes, but the minute our eyes locked, he flashed me a dazzling smile that just sent me into a puddle. What an absolute sweetie he is! During his bath, I let him splash around for a few extra minutes and before he fell asleep, I held him in my arms a little longer, even though my independent boy would rather soothe himself. I can’t wait to talk to my pediatrician tomorrow to make sure everything’s okay. Until then, this worried mama will be glued to the baby monitor all night…

Foodie Baby- Part 1

This is going to sound somewhat judgmental… It may come across as me thumbing my nose at some of you and for that I apologize in advance. But, I ask this sincerely, why do people buy baby food in cute little jars when it’s so easy and 1/3 of the cost to make them yourself??? I get that it’s convenient, but not so much to your wallet, right?! In as little as 1 hour you can make an entire month’s worth of simple yet nutritiously healthy baby food without any additives or preservatives, so please tell me…WHY ARE YOU STILL FEEDING YOUR BABY OUT OF A JAR? end rant.

wp-1476732036579.jpgAround the 4 month mark, my son started showing interest in food. He would intently watch us while we ate. He was gaining more control of his neck and was sitting up for longer stretches. He was guzzling down an 8 oz. bottle of formula and some times hungry for more. When our pediatrician suggested that we start him on cereal, I had my concerns. I promptly took to the internet to research the do’s and don’ts of starting solids. What I found shocked me. Perhaps one of the biggest and most frightening crimes against young infants by pediatricians, food marketers, and parents everywhere is the recommendation that young infants should be eating rice cereals or other grains. I will let you read, research and come to your own conclusions about what’s best for your baby, but I was not going to feed my son that crap. On that note, can I just say… PLEASE DON’T TAKE YOUR PHYSICIAN’S WORD AS GOSPEL. There are many motivating factors why your pediatrician might suggest something, but you should absolutely feel empowered to ask questions, do your own research and initiate a dialogue with your kid’s doctor.

When you’re a new mom parent, hey, dad’s should help!, making your own baby food sounds quite daunting. But trust me, it’s easy. With a little organization and planning, it can be a fun experience for both you and your baby. I’m not a nutritionist or a medical professional. I’m just a concerned mom wanting to do what’s best for my baby. Since my boy is still very young, I opted to start him with one or two natural, raw foods. Bananas and Avocados lend themselves nicely as first foods for baby.

wp-1476731942436.jpgBanana Puree: Slice a ripe organic banana and mash with a few drops of breast milk, formula or water until it forms a smooth puree. Make sure to mash well so there are no chunks that can cause a choking hazard. Mashed bananas can stay fresh in the fridge up to 3 days.

Bananas are the ultimate super food… Wonderfully sweet, fleshy and firm they contain a fair amount of fiber and antioxidants. Who doesn’t like bananas? Actually, I know one person who hates bananas, but I digress… We fed our little one this puree for the first couple of days starting with 1/2 teaspoon and working our way to a full tablespoon and from the look on this face, you can see just how much he enjoyed wearing it!

wp-1476736273361.pngAvocado Puree: Cut open a ripe avocado, remove the pit, scoop the flesh using a spoon into a bowl. Mash with a few drops of breast milk, formula or water until it forms a smooth puree. Voila!

Lelan was not a fan of this puree on its own… Just check out the look he’s giving me, pursed lips and all. But, he doesn’t mind it mixed with bananas or other sweet fruits.

On that note, pay close attention to your little one’s body language. Pursed lips, swatting the food away or turning the face are all signs of displeasure. We want our son to develop a healthy relationship with food, so if he didn’t like something we didn’t force it. Also, if he’s done… he’s done. We don’t force him to finish what’s in the bowl, or the bottle though this is never an issue with him. Lelan loves eating!

Seeing how my son handled these simple foods gave me the confidence to try others… Armed with a list, I went to my local Trader Joe’s to buy the following:

  1. 1 large sweet potato
  2. I bunch of carrots
  3. 1 bag of fresh green beans
  4. 2 medium size beets
  5. 3 large pears
  6. 3 large gala apples
  7. 1 bag of fresh peas
  8. 1 bunch of broccoli
  9. 5 juicy plums

Total cost at the checkout counter- $22.70 incl. tax

35264941258507pNext stop was at Bed Bath & Beyond for 4 lidded ice trays. Because, I wanted to freeze the food for easier access. Also, each cube is approximately 1 oz. of food, so you can  calculate how much your kid’s eating. Childhood obesity is on the rise and we wanted to be sure that we weren’t overfeeding our growing boy. We store the baby food in Ziploc bags, which are paraben free, bpa free and oil free.

Cost: $19.96 plus tax

Later that night, after my son went to bed, my partner and I proceeded to make our first batch of baby purees. We didn’t follow any specific recipes… just our own steam, boil, mash technique until we felt the consistency was acceptable. I would cook it and he would mash it… and we both had a blast making them!

Here are a few of the recipes that are kid tested and parent approved!

wp-1476731983056.jpgApple Puree: Peel the apples, remove the core and cut them into cubes. Put them into a small pot, covering them with water and let it boil until the apples are tender. This took approximately 5-6 mins. Then, throw all of it including the water in a blender or food processor and blend until no chunks are left. Pour into ice trays and freeze overnight.

Our son loved the homemade applesauce. We feed it to him mostly for breakfast and it’s instantly become his favorite. After a couple of weeks of eating this puree, I decided to add a dash of cinnamon to see his reaction… and this look says it all.

Who says baby food has to be bland and if you’re breastfeeding, your baby is already tasting everything you’re eating anyway, so go ahead and be adventurous. Just stay away from salt, sugar or anything really spicy.

wp-1476731989321.jpgCarrot Puree: This was another easy recipe. Boil carrots in a little bit of water until they are tender where a fork can slice through. If you have a steamer, even better. We don’t own one yet. Throw into a blender or food processor and puree until silky smooth.Pour into ice trays and freeze overnight.

Lelan couldn’t get enough of this puree. From the bright orange color to the natural sweetness, this was a definite treat for the senses. After a couple of weeks of eating this puree, I added a dash of nutmeg and this kid loved it even more.

wp-1476731997807.jpgSweet Potato Puree: When I was at Trader Joe’s I noticed they carried roasted sweet potatoes in a bag. When I look at the ingredients, it simply said, ‘sweet potatoes’. I was sold. If you can’t find them precooked, you could easily roast a sweet potato in the oven.

Preheat oven to 375, wash the sweet potatoes well, prick with a fork, wrap in tin foil, and roast on a baking sheet for 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size. Check at 30 minutes by squeezing one of the potatoes in a oven mitt protected hand and inserting a sharp knife or fork into the center. It should feel quite tender and the knife should glide all the way easily. Let it cool, remove skin and puree in a food processor. You may need to add water as you go until you reach the desired consistency. Pour into ice trays and freeze overnight.

Sweet potatoes are Lelan’s absolute favorite! He can’t get enough of them and thankfully we were able to make a huge batch from the bag I bought from Trader Joe’s. He will eat anything as long as it’s mixed with sweet potatoes.

wp-1476732005715.jpgBeets: I have to admit, beets are an acquired taste. They are earthy and fibrous, yet rich in immune-boosting vitamin C and essential minerals like potassium and manganese.

For a simple puree, we cooked the beets in the oven the same way as sweet potatoes and mashed them in the food processor. Or look for precooked beets at your local Trader Joe’s to save time. Pour into ice trays and freeze overnight.

Lelan loved this at first but after a few bites, he started to turn his face. So, we mixed in a teaspoon of yogurt to cut the earthiness and that seemed to do the trick. He devours it every time and I know that we’re also introducing healthy Probiotics into his gut. Another suggestion is to mix it with chick peas and a little butter, which I plan to try when he’s a bit older. Beware of beets as they tend to stain EVERYTHING. Also, don’t be alarmed if your baby’s poo is red. It’s all part of the journey.

So far, Lelan has done beautifully with everything we’ve introduced him to. His reaction to the tastes, the textures, the smells, is PRICELESS. It never gets old whether it’s the first time or the 10th time and these are some of the memories I will cherish forever. They say, children form food preferences by the age of two, so introducing them to a variety of flavors from the start is a great way to set them on the path of healthy eating.

We filled all 4 ice trays with these purees in less than an hour and they’ve lasted us for over 3 weeks now. We’ve since made pears, green beans, plums and blueberries, which I will share in part 2 of this post.

If you try any of these recipes, please feel free to leave a comment.🙂

Baby Lelan- 5 Months Old!

Dear Lelan,

5 is my lucky number and I hope it will yours too. When I was pregnant, I visualized giving birth on May 5th. The numbers 5/5 had a nice ring to it, but you had your own plans. You made your debut on 5/14… 1+4=5. So, we both got what we wanted. These five months with you have been the most exciting time of my life. If I sound like a broken record, so be it. Sure, your dad and I are sleeping less and working more. Our backs and bodies are constantly at odds with each other… and we’re learning so much about being parents on the go, but somehow our hearts are overflowing with love for you… and this life we’ve created together.


“You have that CRAY loveeee…”  a friend teased the other day. I’m guilty. I’m positively smitten with you. I miss you the second you’re out of my sight. I’ve taken so many photos that my phone has crashed twice already. Some nights, I stand by your crib just to watch you stir. This is more than love. You’re an undeniable extension of me and I carry you with me throughout the day, even when we’re not physically together. You are a sponge. From the open mouth grin to the facial expressions, you mimic your dad and I more and more each day. Lately, you’ve turned into a bit of a daddy’s boy. Maybe because you know that he’s not around all day?! You can’t keep your eyes off of him and get so upset when he leaves the room. It’s adorable to watch. You love watching Winnie the Pooh and Tamil movie songs. You still sing almost every day. We play a lot of different music for you and you listen to it all without any reservation. You don’t say any distinct words, though you mimic a lot of sounds we make. We have you on video saying I love you, which will be my treasured possession for years to come. I’ve probably watched that video a hundred or more times.

Around the 4.5 month mark you started waking up more frequently at night. You’ve always been an excellent sleeper so this made us take note. You were already drinking enough formula so reluctantly, your dad and I decided to start you on solids. The first morning that we gave you a teaspoon of mashed bananas, you ate it as if it was no big deal. I’ve read babies not knowing how to open their mouths or swallow, but you had no such issues. So far, you’ve tried, bananas, avocados, apples, sweet potatoes, carrots, beets, pears, green beans, plums and yogurt. Avocados are not your favorite, but as long as it’s mixed with something sweet, you’ll devour it. You are an excellent eater and I love making your food from scratch. The next batch of food will be our little experiment with spices and I can’t wait to introduce you to the wonderful world of flavor. You are still teething like crazy, but nothing has come up yet.

You take every new experience in stride. You rolled over promptly at 4 months and ever since then, you’ve been trying to crawl. Your daddy and I can’t wait for you to become mobile, but please don’t make me regret those words! Lucy and Jack are finally starting to pay attention to you, but they still scatter when they hear you cry. I think Lucy is definitely more interested than Jack. You’re really into textures and love touching their long fluffy tails.

I live for your belly laughs!!! And, I’m able to get you going pretty hard some days. You love getting tickled and bounced up in the air. But, for some reason you don’t laugh as hard when daddy tickles you. We think it’s really funny… I’m constantly bragging about what a good baby you are! You make everything seem so… easy. You’re independent and content, even at such a young age, but whenever you ‘act’ needy, I just soak it up. You’re also fearless, sometimes stubborn but, all in all you’re a dream! I’m LOVING every second of being your mom, darling.

Your Mom!

Working Mom

I have it made… I really do! I get to have my cake and eat it too. Not many people have it as good as I do when it comes to their jobs. When I told my boss that I was pregnant, he literally did a TomCruiseOprahCouchJump! His reaction stands out as the most memorable one from my pregnancy announcement. Around my third semester, he started encouraging me to work from home and outfitted me with the same set-up as I have at work- two monitors and all! He’s been so amazingly supportive of this transition that working from home has quickly become the new normal for our whole family.

Now, when I tell people about my sweet arrangement the reaction I get is almost always one of envy. I get it. Working in pajamas sounds incredibly indulgent. But, as a new mom, nothing compares to being close to my baby. I have help during business hours, but it’s just nice to be around my son every day. I get to be present in his life every day. I get to wake up with him, steal sweet kisses during lunch time and extra cuddles throughout the day and put him to bed at night. I feel so accomplished at the end of the day! I also get to save on precious commute time, all of which translates into a better work-life blend.

Those amazing perks aside, working from home comes with its own set of challenges. For starters, there is absolutely no separation between work-life and personal-life. Most days I’m loading the dishwasher in between calls and emails, or washing bottles while on a conference call. I’m constantly forgetting to eat lunch and my to do lists seems never ending both at home and work. While technology affords me the ability to stay productive from wherever, it does not provide the social interaction I crave as a human being. When I’m in the office I find myself talking a lot to everyone and sometimes, at home it gets pretty lonely.  Finally, there is a lot to be said about staying relevant in your job and being remote can hinder your prospects.


So, here are three things I’ve implemented to help me maintain my sanity while managing the challenges mentioned above. 

  1. Pick up the phone: In the age of email and texting, picking up the phone might seem somewhat archaic, but this is precisely what’s helping me combat my isolation. I make it a point to have at least 5 phone calls a day to various people, including my coworkers. While nothing can make up for face-time, having a chat with my favorite broker about an account keeps me energized. Forcing myself to call my counterparts allows me to stay plugged into the office. I can plan trips to the office on those days when my absence will be noticed.
  2. Blend your life: Let me go ahead and say that work-life balance is a hoax. The sooner you feel empowered to blend the two the happier you’ll be. My home office is in a dedicated corner of my bedroom. While some may think this is unwise, it’s helped me achieve the blend. When my son sleeps, I work. I’m just a few steps away from him in case he wakes up. Most morning, I roll out of bed and on to my work desk to get a quick pulse on my inbox. Whenever I’m on a conference call I’m multi-tasking on mundane chores like throwing in a load of laundry or putting away the baby’s things. It has helped me stay organized.
  3. Unschedule yourself: Every article I read on tips for working from home says to keep dedicated hours for work and life. While this sounds good in theory, it’s absolutely impractical. I make every effort to be present during office hours, but I don’t beat myself up over missing a phone call or email. I do, however, have a policy of returning calls within 1 hour or respond to emails within 24 hours. This gives me so much more control of my LIFE. I don’t feel guilty if I have to take my son to the doctor or run to the store for a quick errand during work hours. I also don’t feel bad if I have to stay up late to catch up. Most nights, I’m up working until midnight anyway. It’s all part of the new normal.

Seven years ago, when I first moved to New York, a friend suggested that I write down the type of career I want. I was unemployed at the time and was at my lowest point. He urged me to be specific, asking me to describe every last detail of the kind of work environment I envisioned. Recently, I came across that document and specifically, I had written… “to be able to work from home would be ideal for a happy family life.” How incredibly blessed I am to be able to live my dream!

What are some tips you have for working from home?

Baby Lelan -4 Months Old! 

Dear Lelan,

How is it already 4 months since I gave birth to you? It feels like yesterday that I was getting ready to welcome you and here you are rolling over and sitting up like a big boy. You are a dream come true, darling! Every morning, you wake up with a big smile, happy to see me and ready to face the world. It’s so infectious! You are still a creature of habit and we’re more than happy to keep up your schedule. Most days are the same with your eating and sleeping patterns and the only time we notice a shift is when you’re going through a developmental milestone. We’re going through the 4 month sleep regression right now… You only fight us during daytime naps and at night you are asleep by 8pm and sleep through the night until 5 or 6am the next morning!


At the end of 3 months a glorious thing happened… You discovered your voice! You started vocalizing non stop and the more you heard your voice, the more you loved it. Your dad and I were beyond excited to hear you ‘sing’. You still do it selectively here and there, when it’s just the three of us. When I play you the classics, like Ella or Etta you intently listen. You absolutely love watching, listening to Tamil song videos on YouTube. You are a talker. After a walk with grandma you love to tell me all about it. If you’re displeased with something, you definitely let me know. Sometimes it sounds like you’re yelling, but I know that’s just your way of communicating and I’m always here to listen and lighten your load.

You’ve started teething already! You drool everywhere and chew on everything. Your aunt Rakhi bought an amber teething necklace for you that you wear almost every day. I think it’s helping… Grandma bought you a couple of teethers and you love chewing on them as well. But, you still prefer your fingers to everything else. I have to constantly remind you to ‘take your fingers out of your mouth’, to which you totally oblige. But, within seconds they are back in your mouth again.. Haha! You’ve stopped sucking on the pacifier except for when you’re tired. It’s a sure sign that your ready for a nap, so it’s a permanent fixture in your crib next to Mr. Whale and Mr. Mouse who are both your sleeping  buddies. You also like Mr. Monkey who likes to travel with you in the car and the stroller. You LOVE books. Grandma has been reading to you almost every day and you watch her with great animation.

You are still very easy going and adjusting to your environment. This month brought a lot of changes. You met Gina, your new babysitter and so far you seem to be taken with her. Grandma still comes over to watch you a couple of afternoons and you just light up for her. You spent your first night away from home at grandma’s house like a big boy. You’re turning out to be such a well adjusted, confidant boy and so much fun to be around! A couple of weeks ago, you rolled over for the first time. At first you were unsure about this new trick, but now you’ve mastered it. I think it’s just a matter of time before you start crawling… We better start baby proofing our home. You also met a new pediatrician this week and handled your 4 month shots like a champ. You only cried for about a minute and once I gave you the sugar water paci, you calmed down instantly.

I’m beyond excited to see what the next month brings. Every day, you’re show me something new and it’s all so fascinating. I’m so lucky to have a front row seat to all your antics. Always remember that I’m just a shout away… Watching you thrive in difficult situations gives me immense pride because that’s all I ever want for you… to be a capable, trusting human being who always finds his joy.

Your Mom

Honey, I fired the pediatrician!

20160829_111843.jpgHere is a piece of mommy wisdom that I will carry with me forever…

You can tell a lot about a person by the care they take when changing a baby’s diaper!

In the beginning, babies are tiny and fragile-looking things, their arms and legs feeling like jello, that it is nearly impossible to change their nappy without fearing for their safety. But, by the time they are 3 or 4 months old, they morph into squishy, squiggly little creatures who can’t stay still long enough to be changed. Diaper changes turn into acrobatic balancing acts that require focus and care. Diapers themselves have a come a long way… There is technology built into each diaper to indicate how wet, full or long they can last. They have an inner and outer layer, designed to keep your baby dry and velcro like tabs that keep the nasty nasty in its place. Putting a diaper on a baby is truly a skill that needs to be mastered and believe me, your baby is paying attention and keeping score. And, when you rush through the job, you not only lose out on the precious opportunity to connect with your little one, but they make you pay for it almost immediately!

That should have been my first clue about my pediatrician. The first time she examined my son and put his diaper back on, I didn’t think much of it. Maybe she was in a hurry, I thought to myself. Doctors are notorious for being overbooked and I have empathy for them. Her bedside manners seemed pleasant enough that I didn’t mind a crooked diaper with a whole butt cheek hanging out. But, during subsequent visits I started noticing that her skills were rather lacking… When I say my 6 yr old niece could’ve done a better job, I’m not exaggerating!

If you’re silently thinking that maybe I’m overreacting, let me assure you that there were other signs that led me down the difficult path of firing my pediatrician. Parting ways with a doctor is never easy, no matter how long you’ve known them. There is a feeling of awkwardness when you make such a decision. Then there is the hassle of finding a new doctor, transferring records and starting all over again with someone new, who may or may not live up to your expectations. It’s all a gamble, still there are times when it’s better to go than to stay!

Here are a five reasons why I fired my pediatrician!

    1. Thou shall multitask! Every time I asked my pediatrician a question when she was in checking out my son, she shushed me. It’s as if she couldn’t look into his ears and listen to me at the same time. When she was finally ready for me, she rushed me so much so that I always walked out feeling like I had missed something.
    2. Thou shall give sound advice! There were many things our pediatrician said that made me raise an eyebrow, like giving water to a 2 month old and telling me to increase my son’s food intake during one visit and chiding me for the same during the next. But, it was when she instructed me to start my son on solids at 4 months old that I really put my foot down.
    3. Thou shall not make us wait! Time is money. While I was able to get appointments regularly, the wait during these appointments, in spite of an empty waiting room, was bothersome.
    4. Thou shall not overcharge! After my initial visit I received a bill for charges for the services rendered. When I questioned about insurance payments, I was reassured that there was a billing error. Three months later, I received another bill for 3 times the amount of the original bill. Again, I’ve been reassured that this is a billing error. While the office manager is never around to take my calls, he still hasn’t returned my voicemail a week later!
    5. Thou shall embrace technology! Doctors are not techies, I get it. But, at the very least you must be able to log into your EMR system without having to call a “younger person’ to assist. During my last visit, the pediatrician was unable to pull up my son’s immunization schedule to validate a shot he was about to get. This made me very nervous, since I was previously told that he wasn’t getting a shot during this visit. After several minutes of fumbling around, she summoned her receptionist who rolled her eyes so hard that I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable just being there.

There are times when you just have to go with your mama gut. I walked out of her office a week ago and vowed never to go back. Once you’ve lost confidence in your doctor, there’s no use pretending otherwise. Luckily my mother in law came to the rescue with a recommendation from one of her friends and this guy seems like a good one, at least on paper. We meet him next week and you better believe I will be taking notes on his diapering skills. Fingers crossed!


I cannot imagine a heaven, my love
you are a galaxy
wrapped in skin
and I am content here with you
Suddenly, I feel very small
holding you in my arms
Suddenly, it is enough to know that
I can dissolve into the earth
sliding between the roots
of an ancient tree
gathering moss
all over me
This is forever.