Being crafty

Tagged as: cards, paper crafts

I’m not creative. Not by a long shot. But my mom is! And she’s quite good at what she does.

A few years back, when she visited us for the first time, we taught her how to use the Mac so that she would have something to do when we were at school. That’s when she stumbled upon paper quilling. Soon, we would come home to mom cutting these long strips of some leftover craft paper. And then that would magically, well magically for the creatively challenged (read: me), be transformed into these intricate shapes. What started as exploring new things, had now developed into a fulltime obsession!

Since then she has progressed from paper quilling to making cards using stamps and other techniques. So in an attempt to showcase her work, I’ve created a new category ‘paper crafts‘.

~Peetu

On the internets this week

Tagged as: on the internets this week

Everyday, thanks to Twitter, Google News, blogs, there’s so much to read. Multiple bookmarking services (read: Delicious et al) help to maintain a list of the articles that I would like to come back to. So now I decided to keep a record of those here. I give you – ‘On the internets this week’ (yes, the ‘internets’ is not a typo & no, it’s not proper grammar). The title has been adapted from one of my favorite shows growing up – The World this Week.

If you saw Apple’s WWDC iOS7 launch, you will enjoy this Jony Ive Redesigns Things

How to be an Introvert in an Extroverted World – This is an excellent article about.. well.. what the title states 🙂

People who love Bollywood movies, this article is something that’ll resonate with you

On sites that resonate, I highly recommend Honest Toddler and Epic Parenting

And, this video of kids being kids 🙂

Since Google Reader is going to be killed come July.. moment of silence.. I migrated to Feedly. It’s pretty awesome. The UI is very clean & I love their iPhone app. Win-win. Here’s how you can migrate to Feedly

If you’ve had roommates, you know you wanted to say this

~Peetu

These days..

Tagged as: baby, bebu

Over the week you get busy with work, everyday commute, bills that need to be paid (for folks who don’t use the super convenient auto payments yet -> looks at self), and recently a super active newborn. Friday seems to have become the day when I finally come up for air. In a good way. ‘Coz I finally get to look forward to spending 2 whole days with the baby, at home, rather than making rush trips during lunch break. Luckily for me, office isn’t super far.

My first week back at work involved making trips back and forth during lunch break and leaving early from work. Well, that didn’t last long. I didn’t get to spend quality time at work or at home. Evenings left me super tired. So mom & I decided that the rushed-lunch-break-trip-home had to stop. And it’s better this way. I get to concentrate more on work. And when I’m home, I get to spend the entire time with Bebu without having to worry about anything else.

And it’s been fun lately. This 3 month mark is amazing. More laughs, more coos, more of those impish looks. Babies get attracted to silly things. Bebu keeps talking (read: cooing) looking at the red clothes hanger that we have up on our curtain rod to hold all those tiny socks & mittens. And looking out of the window. Her red monkey toy. But the 12 week mark has also brought along a few sleepless nights (for the parents, duhh!). But the amazing things far outweigh those. *Touchwood*

We’ve already started looking at swim classes. And started talking about who’s going to help with Math homework (too early?? ;)) Oh and the bedtime stories and books that we grew up with are different than the ones here. Thanks to 150 yrs of British ruling the India, we were exposed to a different kind of literature. If you can call kids bedtime story books that! We have the Goodnight Moon, and another one about sheeps. I’m looking at expanding the baby book library. And looking for suggestions!

We are still pretty new to this baby stuff but are getting the hang of it. And so far it’s been amazing!

~Peetu

Baby stuff – the good, meh & on-the-fence

Tagged as: baby, bebu

Baby stuff list - month 2

Early this year, I started getting worried. With my due date approaching fast, I hadn’t started buying stuff for the baby. My first trip was during the Christmas break to buy gifts for a friend’s kids. It was more of a test-the-waters trip. I ventured into Toys-R-Us. I bought gifts for the kids and then coolly wandered into the baby section. I came out of the store without buying anything. I’d passed the test that I set for myself. I was able to objectively look at everything without buying just because it looked super cute on the shelves. Trust me, its true. If you ever want to test your self control, go to a baby clothing store.

Anyhoo, back to the main topic, I was getting a bit worried. With the kitchen remodel going on, I knew I couldn’t really start ordering stuff. But I need to get onto making a list, stat. So I did the best thing I could. Started digging through the internets. And boy did I find info. Tons of it! Now I had a different problem. I didn’t know which was THE LIST for my baby. I decided to ask my Ob/Gyn. She’s really cool. Really laid-back. She pointed me towards Lucie’s List. It’s a website by Megan Collins who ran into the same problem as I did and decided to curate the sea of info on baby stuff and make some sense out of it. This went a long way into helping me finalize what I needed to buy.

With Bebu almost 2.5 months this week, I decided to make a list of things that were useful & stuff that didn’t live upto its expectations.

The good:
1. Chicco KeyFit 30 Infant Car Seat, Midori – Since the hospital would not let us take the baby home without the carseat, this was the first item on our must buy list. We are pretty happy with it. Bebu seems to love it. It comes with multiple adjustments and installing the base wasn’t rocket science.

2. Baby Jogger 2012 City Mini Single Stroller, Green/Gray – The ease of use of the Baby Jogger and the amazingly simple collapsing maneuver sold us on this stroller. We actually went and tried this in-store. Z is 6ft 1″ so he found the handle a bit shorter than what he would’ve liked, especially when we compared it to the BOB Revolution CE Single Stroller, Black, but ease of use factor was just too good to pass up on.
We also got the Baby Jogger Car Seat Adaptor Single, Mounting Bracket for the carseat. Word of advice: read the instruction manual carefully. They’ve clearly listed the instructions for each carseat brand separately. Since Graco is the most popular carseat brand, they get to be on the first page of the installation guide. We spent a few miserable hours trying, unsuccessfully, to fit the chicco carseat on the stroller. The frustration was compounded by the fact that previous model of the Baby Jogger carseat adapters had a problem with Chicco carseats and hence the pages & pages of complaints on the internets! But if you follow the instruction manual, you can save yourself the misery.

3. Fisher-Price Infant To Toddler Rocker, Bunny – This was a gift from a friend. The first few days after bebu arrived were a blur. Everyone who came to visit got something. And most of the gifts were kept in the nursery. One of those gifts was this chair. And everyday we saw the box, which was atop the shelf, we thought it was something else that we had already opened. And I wanted this chair without knowing that we already had one. I didn’t buy it right away because we wanted to keep the baby stuff to a minimum. One day when we were in the nursery, 2 months later, we opened the box. And I was thrilled. Luckily for us, bebu loves it. She’s happy looking around in the room when she’s in this chair. It keeps her occupied for a solid hour. An hour where we are free to get the dishes done, go to the bathroom, have lunch.. you get the drift, right?

4. Bright Starts Baby’s Play Place Playmat, Swingin’ Safari – My brother & his wife got this for bebu when they visited. I always wanted to get the Fisher-Price Rainforest Melodies and Lights Deluxe Gym, but they found that this had better reviews. And I can see why. She loves playtime thanks to this. I love the bumper feature! Gives us the peace of mind when she’s asleep and we don’t have to worry about her rolling onto her side.

5. Medela Pump in Style Advanced Breast Pump with On the Go Tote – I cannot say enough good things about this pump. I was skeptical about buying this initially. It seemed super pricey and I wasn’t sure if I would even need it. Was I wrong!! This has been super useful. Especially now that bebu sleeps for longer stretch.
I love the 5oz bottles that come along with the pump. If you do not have a colicky baby, you don’t need to get the special Dr Brown bottles that everyone recommends (and cleaning these is a chore!). The Medela bottles should work.

6. For moms – Soothies Gel Pads, Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads. Believe me, you need it!

The meh:
1. Miracle swaddle blanket – Bebu did NOT like this at all. We tried to wrap her in this once & that’s it. I’ve never heard her cry so much! She made it sound as if we hated her. Regular blankets that my MIL made were our go to solution to get her to sleep.

2. Fisher-Price Cradle ‘N Swing, My Little Snugabunny – A colleague of mine gave me this. He said that this was going to help us if the baby cried when she wasn’t hungry or wet. All the mommy blogs and Amazon reviews agreed with him. But alas, bebu didn’t. She would tolerate this only if we put her down when she was already asleep. If she was in this when she woke up, all hell would break loose. And I wish this was an exaggeration 🙁

3. Graco Pack ‘n Play – We got this bassinet secondhand in the hopes that it would help solve our co-sleeping in our small master bedroom problem. But every time the baby moved, the bassinet would move. Especially during her playtime. That coupled with the fact that the bassinet portion can be used only till the baby hits 15 lbs, quickly had us looking into other options. Sad panda 🙁

4. WubbaNub Pacifier – I fell in love with this pacifier! We got the giraffe. I even named the giraffe. Girfu. But bebu did not share my enthusiasm. Nor does she take the pacifier that we got from hospital. She makes gagging sounds every time we try to get her to take the pacifier. (The lactation consultant suggested giving her my pinky as a pacifier in dire situations, read: first doctor visit. And surprisingly, this worked wayy better than the pacifier!)

5. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin – The viscous cream didn’t work half as good as the gel pad did! Skip it.

6. Boppy pillow – This was one of the must have items that I instantly disliked. It was an odd fit and seemed clumsy. A regular pillow works.

7. Baby towels, special diaper bins, diaper bags – We didn’t get any of these. We used regular sized soft towels. We got a small office bin with a lid for the diaper trash. We just empty the bin every night. The idea of keeping soiled diapers in the bedroom for more than 2 days grosses me out. When it came to diaper bags, I just couldn’t justify spending $50+. Lucky for me, my workplace sent a really cute diaper bag. But I think any bag with 2+ zipper compartments and a plastic changing sheet should work.

The on-the-fence: We haven’t started using these yet. But we really really hope bebu loves these. *Fingers crossed*
1. Stork Craft Monza I Fixed Side Convertible Crib, Black
2. Graco Pack ‘n Play

Between our kitchen remodel that took a longer than expected time to complete and bebu’s arrival 2 weeks earlier than her due date, we didn’t have enough time to shop. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise since we didn’t buy a lot of stuff beforehand. This resulted in fewer misses. Holding on to all receipts and shopping online (thank god for Amazon & Zappos), helped us a lot incase we needed to return stuff. We also realized that it was a good thing we didn’t buy toys. Everyone who came to visit did!

Hope this helps!

~Peetu