Kian – 7 Months


Kian turned 7 months last week, and what a month it was!  From the time he turned 6 months to the tine he turned 7 months he learned to:

  • Fully crawl on hands and knees
  • Pull up to standing on us, the couch, in the crib
  • Walk along the couch
  • Get to a sitting position
  • Climb stairs! (He climbed three stairs and then tried to turn around)
  • Sit securely by himself

And now there is no stoping him! He is practicing standing without holding anything now. He thinks he is suc a big boy!! He got two more teeth this month as well, so now he has 4 chompers.

Eating – This is not Kian’s favorite yet. He is eating more solids than he was a month ago, but it’s still usually just a few bites per meal. He loves mango and enjoys other fruits as well such as watermelon, plums, sometimes bananas. If fruit touches his cheeks, though (especially apple) he gets a rash. I fed him smoothie from a spoon an it got all over his face so he got eczema which is slowly going away. He’ll eat a few bites of soft cooked veggies and bean burgers. He won’t eat his oatmeal at all which is a bummer. I tried making it into some cookies with banana, but that didn’t go over well either. I’ll have to try something else. He likes homemade banana/oat bread, so maybe I’ll add some of his baby cereal to that, although like anything he only eats a few bites anyway!

Sleep – The past couple months have been pretty horrid in the sleep department. He was waking more and more often, and often waking soon after I put him in the crib. But he was also teething so I couldn’t really do anything about it. So I ended up sleeping in the armchair holding him on the nursing pillow (it’s a nice secure position) for most of every night. I would try to stay awake to put him in the crib after nursing, but I was so sleep deprived that I couldn’t help but fall asleep! Not even Netflix or Facebook could save me. So after his teeth came in, I decided something had to be done! So after nursing him for the night I put him in his crib. He cried of course. I stayed in the room, laid him down periodically, sat by the crib patting him and singing his lullaby quite a bit, etc. he yelled and cried for hours before finally sleeping. I did let him nurse once every hour to soothe him, soothe his throat, etc. I wanted him to know he had to go to sleep in his crib, but I wasn’t abandoning him. It was hard hearing the crying, but he had to learn. And he did! It took 4-5 nights before he would stay asleep after his first night feeding and not cry in the crib, but it only took that first night before he would nurse and go back to sleep in his crib for middle of the night feedings. So now I nurse him at bedtime, let him doze off in my arms, and put him in the crib. If he wakes up I’ll pat him a bit. During the night he’ll wake up 2-4 times to nurse. He falls asleep while nursing and then he stays asleep when I put him in his crib. Much better! And since he is not waking up 6-8 times, I am able to stay awake during his feeding and not fall asleep in the armchair! After the first 2-3 better nights I was still feeling very woozy and lethargic all day, kind of like I was extremely jet lagged. My body had to get used to getting more than 1-2 hours of sleep at a time! Now I get at least one 3-4 hour chunk, whew!! And another one or two 1-3 hour chunks. It’s doable for now!

Kian loves his sisters! Svara is a big helper in watching him if needed while I prepare a meal. Talisa is great at entertaining him as well. I do have to make sure someone else is around when Talisa is playing with him (unless he’s in the exersaucer) as age can be a bit rough trying to pull him around. He is so mobile, yet still needs to practice balance, so we have to follow him around closely!

Other things he loves to do – blow raspberries, stick out his tongue, play peekaboo and clapping games, listen to Enya, take baths

He does not like – getting his diaper changed (wrestling match every time!), getting dressed, when I leave the room

That’s it for his 7 month update. He learned so much this past month, I hope he takes a break and chills more this month!!


Kian – 6 Months


3 years, it has actually been nearly 3 years since I’ve updated the blog! Crazy I know. I like to keep the blog to look back on and it’ll be fun for the kids to look back on as well,. It’s a bit daunting starting back when I’ve been away so long, but here goes!

We now have 3 kids! Our little boy, Kian Akela Naresh, was born on December 19th, and has just turned 6 months old.  I’ll share some photos of him over the months and give a little update on how he is doing now.

I had a fairly quick, quite painful, natural delivery. No complications, but it did take me almost three weeks to recover enough to feel remotely normal, ugh! Kian was my biggest baby at 3.8kg.

His sisters have loved him from day one!

From birth he looked a lot like Talisa did. He had the longest hair of any of the kids, just a tad longer than Talisa’s was. Like Talisa, his hair hasn’t grown since birth, it has just thinned out a bit so now it looks brown compared to how dark it looked at birth.

Here is one of the only photos of him with a pacifier, as he never took to them the way the girls did. The good thing is that I don’t have to worry about bringing one everywhere we go and keeping it clean and popping it back in his mouth throughout the night. The downside is that it takes more effort to get him to sleep since he doesn’t have that aide.

My sister made this sick monkey onesie for Talisa, and the monkey is Talisa’s as well.

Full house!

Kian has always enjoyed a good chest nap!

Here is a nice photo of all the kids at Naw-Ruiz, our Baha’i new year.

It was hard catching Kian’s sweet pouty mouth, this was the best we could manage. Just makes me want to squeeze him and kiss those cheeks!

He loves going for “airplane rides”, it’s a sure way to make him smile eve if he’s cranky.

Kian was a swaddled sleeper, just like Talisa. It helped him nurse peacefully and stay asleep. I had to stop swaddling him at 4 1/2 months because he was rolling over even when swaddled, yikes! It hasn’t been as easy for him to stay asleep since then. He used to have a 4-5 hour stretch of sleep in the beginning of the night, but not since stopping the swaddle, ugh.

There were and still are many days when he takes a nap on me in order to get in a good nap and allow me to have a nap as well. 

Svara begged for months to carry Kian. Finally when he was steady enough we let her carry him sometimes. Now at 6 months she says he is getting way too heavy, haha!

Kian loves giving big slobbery kisses to me and the girls. But he knows he’ll get prickly whiskers from Naren, so he doesn’t give him many kisses, haha.

Kian started rolling around 4 months, and at almost 5 months started trying to crawl. For almost a month all he could manage was to move backwards, which made him MAD! He would grumble and complain the whole time he was scooting backwards. Finally about two weeks before turning 6 months he started figuring out how to move forwards. He has the legs okay, he hops onto his knees and rocks back and forth. But he doesn’t have the arms worked out, so he basically throws himself forward, plopping his arms behind before getting onto his knees and hands to repeat. It’s funny, like a seal flopping around.

Kian is a pretty smiley boy, except when he’s cranky, which is also fairly often! It’s like he’s mad that he’s a baby. He wants to walk, talk, eat, and use all the big kid and groom up stuff, NOW!

Often he wants to be held, but Naren and I are both busy. Baby carrier to the rescue!

The exersaucer, which we bought for Svara when she was a baby, is the first place he plays after waking from a nap. He’s usually happy to play there for about 20 minutes while I get some things done. If he’s too cranky I just give him an icecube in his baby mesh feeder and he’s good for 10 minutes or so.

Kian enjoys sitting in the high chair during mealtimes, but he wishes he could get st everything on the table! He’s not a big fan of his food yet. He liked oats, but it seemed to make him throw up and give him a rash around his mouth, so I’ll wait a bit before trying that again. He’ll eat a few bites of puréed banana. He doesn’t much care for pumpkin. He’ll play with a few grains of rice. Time to try some new foods! Fresh apple gave him hives.

But who needs food when you have yummy toes!

Teeth! Kian got his two bottom teeth at 5 1/2 months, which is several months earlier than the girl’s got teeth. Told you he wants to grow up too fast!! 

Kian is a sweetie and we all adore him. He has, of course, added a level of chaos to the house, as all babies do. We managed through the first 5 months before starting to settle into a nap and bedtime routine. Now he usually takes 3 naps a day and starts going to sleep by 8:30pm. Sometimes he’ll nap for 30 minutes, sometimes 2 hours. Sometimes I have to hold him, sometimes he’ll stay asleep when I put him down. Some nights are better than others, the past few nights have been really rough. Maybe the 6 month growth spurt or maybe teething again, who knows! Some nights he wakes up 2-3 times, other nights every hour. Often I give up at some point and fall asleep in the arm chair with him on the nursing pillow (it’s nice and secure). I know these months are fleeting, so I try not to fuss too much. I do feel bad for the girls sometimes, though, as so much of my time has been spent putting Kian to sleep!! They are both a big help, though.

I think I’ll stop here for now. I just managed to put Kian down (yay for WordPress on the iPad or I would never get work done!). Hopefully I’ll manage to get back into semi regular blogging!

Svara the Baker

food, kids, Recipe, Svara

Lately Svara has been enjoying baking more.  But it can’t just be any baking – it has to be baking as much as possible BY HERSELF.


At seven years old I certainly can’t let her have free range of the kitchen, so I help her get out the ingredients and materials needed.  She reads the recipe to find out everything she needs, and then she does all of the mixing, measuring, etc.   I help with the oven.  Maybe in another year or two I’ll take another step back and let her get out the ingredients, clean up, and even place things into the oven herself.


For now it is enough ‘herself’ for her to proudly exclaim that she has made these goodies ALL BY HERSELF.  She couldn’t be more proud.  Neither could I.


Svara’s favorite cookbook is Live Learn Love Eat (you can find it for sale here by the author).  This book is written by a vegan mother of three.  The recipes are very child friendly and family friendly.  It is both the fact that the book has children in it AND the fact that she can easily read and understand it herself that appeals to Svara.  I love this cookbook as well!


The recipes Svara made on this particular day were the chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting.  Mmmm!  The recipe for both are here on her blog.  The only thing we did differently was that I put the raspberry puree into a sieve to get the seeds out.  I wanted a smooth frosting.


Svara had a blast making these cupcakes, and of course eating them as well!

I’m sure it’ll be a matter of days before she’s in the kitchen again paging through the cookbook for another recipe to make 🙂

Sidewalk Paint

crafts, kids, Svara, Talisa

Here is another day when it was time to do a messy activity!  Again this activity I chose to do outside, to allow for easier cleanup.

DIY sidewalk paint cornstarch and food coloring

I mixed together cornstarch with water and added plenty of food coloring for nice bold colors.  Add some spoons and/or big paintbrushes, and it’s time for some colorful fun!






DIY sidewalk paint cornstarch and food coloring

I see they are only using spoons in these photos, I can’t remember why they are not trying paintbrushes.  Maybe the paint was too thin or something.


fun with homemade sidewalk paint

Svara enjoyed mixing the colors and making swirls.  Talisa just enjoyed splattering!


fun with homemade sidewalk paint



Playground Fun

family, kids, Svara, Talisa

One of my favorite things about the place we live is that we can just go right outside our door to play at the playground, and go down a path to an even bigger playground as well.  We go out each evening that we can.  Right now it is hazy so we are staying indoors, but a few weeks ago we were going out each evening.  Usually either Naren or I take the girls out to play with the other stays in and makes dinner.  But one evening we were both able to go out, so I took the opportunity to get some updated playground photos!

Talisa has been going up and down these stairs by herself for many months now.  I stay close, as she occasionally stumbles, but she’s very insistent on doing it herself!


After seeing the older kids swing on the bar above the slide, Talisa had to try as well.  Now she does it every single time she goes down the slide.




Swinging with Papa!  She can sit on the swing herself as well, but sometimes she still enjoys swinging with one of us.



A few months ago for Ayyam-i-Ha (a Baha’i holiday) we bought Svara a scooter.  Now it’s one of her favorite things to play on outside!




Right outside our house this stray banana tree has been growing for the past couple years.  It finally got a blossom and I was looking forward to possibly having some bananas, but it looks like it’s an ornamental type of banana plant, as the bananas are only about 3 inches long.  Ah well, it’s still neat to look at!



More fun on the scooter!  Talisa often rides on Naren’s shoulders after she gets tired of running around.



More swinging!






Talisa asks us to lift her up to this higher bar.  She hangs there for a few seconds and then asks for help to get down.



Here is one of Talisa’s favorite ways to swing by herself:






Svara practices on the monkey bars each time we go to the big playground.  She hasn’t gotten the hang of going across yet, but she reaches as far as she can, swings, and drops.



Slide time!



Because it makes sense to climb UP the slide….



And then go DOWN the stairs…




Now I’m hoping that seeing these pictures from when it was nice and clear outside, it will help the haze dissipate and we can go back out and enjoy the playgrounds again!!!

Family Times

kids, Svara, Talisa

Well, it sure has been awhile!  So much for keeping other updates instead of Talisa’s monthly updates!  I have a few posts to share, but I want to do them in order.  So today here a few photos showing some of the things we do around the house together 🙂

Three months ago Svara turned 7.  I still can’t believe it! For her birthday we were happy to be able to get her one of the things she wanted more than anything – the large Lego Friends house.  The year before she had gotten a couple of the smaller sets for her birthday.  She really enjoyed them, but needed a lot of guidance to put them together.  This year she put together the whole thing almost all by herself.

lego1 lego2



Both of the girls have been helping me out with cooking as well.  Talisa loves stirring oats or flour while Svara and I are busy.  As you can imagine, this can get quite messy!


Svara, on the other hand, is now able to read parts of recipes and help out with measuring as well.  Our kitchen can be quite warm as there is no fan, so when she helps cook I usually take all the ingredients to the dining table so it’s cooler. Here she was mixing together some granola, yum!



Sometimes when I am working in the kitchen I really need to find something to keep Talisa busy.  She has kind of gotten bored with digging around in the cupboards, so I have to be more imaginative.


On this day I took out the playdough and utensil drawer and she went to town.  After awhile she was ready for something new and she asked for some oats.  She likes to stir them and eat them!




I’ll leave today with a few photos of Talisa doing what she does best – being silly!  And eating her still favorite snack – frozen blueberries!  I’ll be back soon with a few more posts of the fun stuff we’ve been up to!





blueberry7 blueberry6 blueberry5 blueberry4 blueberry3 blueberry2 blueberry1

Catching Up

family, kids, Svara, Talisa

I’m still playing catchup!  I’ll try to get mostly caught up in this post so I can start actually posting current photos!

Halloween 2013

We’ve never celebrated Halloween here in Malaysia, beyond dressing Svara up when she was an infant and visited my classroom when I was teaching.  Halloween is becoming more common here, but we still didn’t have any plans for this year.  Svara, however, has learned about Halloween through a few cartoons, stories from me, etc.  so she was ready to celebrate!  We decided to go to the mall on Halloween and the girls dressed up for the fun of it.  Here they are!

halloween halloween2

Talisa wore the same costume that Svara wore many years ago and Svara decided to dress up as a witch.  A black Indian outfit and a handcrafted paper witch hat completed her outfit.  I decided to let her to to the mall without brushing her hair, to make it look more “witchy”.

A few more photos to complete 2013:

swimming hug

Hugging her sister, even in the pool!

signing %22more%22

signing “more”


summer fun!

playing in dirt

children must play in the dirt, right?

kitchen mess

this is what my ktichen looks like on a daily basis! I also usually end up pushing chairs against the sink cabinet and in front of the stove and oven to keep her from those places. If Naren isn’t home and I need to get something done in the kitchen, this is the only way!


a rare family photo! All dressed up ready to go to a wedding celebration



Time Together

family, kids, Svara, Talisa

At night before going to sleep Svara likes to plan out our next day.  We talk about possible things we’ll do for school, things we might make to eat, etc.  Our days don’t usually go as planned, but that’s okay.  We usually find time to do some of the things and think of new ones as well.  Here are a few things we have been up to in the past couple months:

Playing Monopoly!   As my siblings can attest to, Monopoly has always been one of my favorite games.  I was always pretty good at it, too!  Svara saw it on the shelf and wanted to learn how to play, so we’ve been playing it since.  It is good practice for counting and learning higher numbers.  We play with the time limit of Talisa’s nap so the game doesn’t drag out too long.  So far she has beat me every time (disclaimer: I’m not being ruthless and I’m actually giving her many tips throughout the game, so at this point it’s kind of like me playing against me).  It’s fun playing Monopoly again!



One of the activities that Svara likes to do while I’m putting Talisa to sleep is building.  Sometimes with regular legos, sometimes megabloks, sometimes these wooden blocks or anything else she can find.  Here she was creating a little house for her polly pockets.  In the second photo she made the house into  a stage with a curtain.  It’s always fun to come down after putting Talisa down and see what creative things Svara has been up to.

engineer1 engineer2



Last month there was a day that was so cool and breezy, it almost felt like fall or spring, it was awesome!!  I made some homemade veggie burgers, buns, and lemonade and we ate our dinner outside, taking full advantage of the beautiful weather.  We set up our table right outside our house next to the playground.





Well, it looks like most of the other photos are on the camera, not downloaded yet.  And Talisa has just woken up from her delayed and then short nap, so it’s time for me to go for now!



kids, Svara

Several months ago Naren decided to take Svara’s training wheels off of her bike.  The same day her bike fell on its side and the pedal broke.  So she couldn’t ride it for awhile.  When Naren found time to get the pedal replaced she begged him to put the training wheels back on.  Instead he put on a kickstand and said it was time for her to learn how to ride her bike.  It’s been a long 3 or 4 months of practice (I’ve lost count!).  Some weeks she didn’t practice, but most weeks she practiced at least a few times.  Usually she only got 10-20 minutes of practice a day, between dinner and bedtime.  Many days she would end up saying things like “it’s no use”, “I’ll never be able to do this”, or “I’m not going to try ever again!”    But by bedtime, or least by the next day, she was ready with a smile and a “I KNOW I can do this, I just need to practice more!”    And practice she did.  And fall she did.

And slowly she got better.

Until this past week she finally REALLY got the hang of it!  She’s not perfect yet, but she’s almost there.  She’s SO proud of herself and it’s so great to see that.

svara bike


I wish I had more pictures, but it’s SO hard for me to remember to take the camera when we go out in the evenings. Usually it’s just Naren or I who goes out with both girls while the other person cleans up after dinner.  But occasionally we both go out and this was one of those days and I remembered to take the camera.


Placing My Order


About three months ago Naren started taking a class given by his friend. It mostly had to do with business. He’d occasionally share with me tidbits that they were discussing at their class. One night on his way home he sent me a message saying that he found the key to success and couldn’t wait to share it with me. The next day he said that they had watched part of a documentary called The Secret and he really wanted me to watch it. So he downloaded it and we found time a few nights later to sit down together and watch it.

There are few things that have so suddenly changed my way of thinking as that film did. The funny thing is, after watching it I saw how the same message from the film was in so many other things. I had seen it, I had heard it, but it didn’t click, I didn’t believe it. Until now.

If you haven’t seen The Secret (first of all, see it!!) it is basically about the Law of Attraction. How what you think, believe, want, and focus on is what comes into your life.

I have been in kind if a negative place mentally for the past year or two. I quit my full time teaching job when Svara was 14 months old. I was so excited to finally be living my dream of a stay-at-home-mom. Naren was finally able to out more effort into his own business and he secured a large contract. He worked hard and we were rewarded. I was able to take a couple trips home to the US, we were able to have all of the things we needed plus a few luxuries, etc. That lasted about a year and a half. Then we hit a rough patch. The rough patch has lasted 4 years. We survived. We scrimped, sold things, made do. Had many rough months, had some pretty good months. I stressed. I always stressed. I thought about how little we had, wondered how we were going to pay bills, lamented over what I needed and did not have, wanted to know when it was going to end.

Not everything was rough these 4 years. We had some great times as a family, had another baby, I started my businesses, etc. But I was often very stressed. We always had enough money for groceries, rent, the bare necessities, and I always believed that God would take care of us.

After watching The Secret I realize that the reason we never had enough was because I was always focusing on not having enough. I learns that if you instead focus on being grateful for what you DO have, and think positively about what you DO want, and truly believe and are ready to accept it, the change will come. It is like “placing your order for what you want from the Universe”. I see that because I believed that God would always make sure we had food and a roof over our heads, we did. I have changed that and now I believe that God will provide us with what we need AND what we want. We don’t want a lot, but I DO want certain things which I now believe I deserve. I deserve to have a computer to do my work, proper shelving for homeschooling, be able to buy all the organic ingredients that are healthier for my family, etc. etc. Why not?

I started feeling more positive immediately after watching The Secret. I now spend each day thinking about what I am grateful for. I also spend time thinking positively about the way we would like our life to be. For example, I am known to lament and say “aaaaaahhh, this house is so messy!!!!” So I changed that. Instead, when I enter a room I first notice something good about the room. I then imagine something better about the room. For example, as I pass through the kitchen I’ll imagine that the dishes are done and the counter is cleared. I’ll think about it in a positive way. And honestly, a short while later I somehow find myself at the sink doing the dishes. My house is not where I want it yet, but it’s getting better and I don’t feel so badly about it.

I never saw the point of making goals before, especially business goals. Why should I make the goal of making a certain amount of money? How can I help it if it isn’t met? I’ll just feel bad. I now know that if I think about feeling bad, I WILL feel bad. I must think positively. So I immediately made a goal for my etsy shop. And I almost met that goal by the end of the month, and it was more than I had made in any month in my etsy shop before. The next month I surpassed that goal!!! It works!!! I have the same goal for this month. I’m not there yet, but I will get there!!

It’s not easy to change my way of thinking. Part of it was ingrained upon me as I grew up. And part of it is just from these past few rough years. But I have seen some great changes in thr past couple months and I now have faith that we can accomplish our life goals. We don’t have to fester, we can get there!! Everyone in the world has different goals, and everyone can accomplish them. We just have to truly believe. It’s hard to change my way of thinking, but as I see results it becomes easier. I have also started teaching Svara some things about positive thinking. I think my negative thinking has kind of rubbed off on her, but she is young so she can turn around 🙂 I want her to know that she can do anything!

Another way this has affected me is in how I think about my actions, and in my marriage. I often would have thoughts like “I better do ______ or Naren is going to be mad at me” (the blank is for things like do the dishes, clear the table, etc,). And then I feel resentment towards him, I work hard, why does he have to feel badly about me not doing this or that? I now see that those were just my thoughts reflecting back to me about myself, I was just attributing them to him. Now that I I ahead focus my thoughts on what I am grateful for and think positively about what I want, those thoughts have just naturally faded away.

I still have some days that are harder than others. Some days I’m more tired and it doesn’t come as easily. Recently we really had our hopes up about a job and I really truly believed that the next week I was going to get my computer. It didn’t happen. It’s a bummer. But I take it as a test. I will not take away my hope, my belief that I WILL get what I want.

Part of me finds this tough because of the balance between spiritual and material. Spiritual is MUCH more important to me. It is lasting. It is who we ARE. So why should I WANT? Why should I HAVE more than the bare necessities? On the other hand, if I have nice things (and I’m talking Ikea, not Prada) my house will be more organized and I’ll feel better. I can invite people over and feel good about it. I can get homeschooling done and not stress so much about it. I can find MORE time to be calm, MORE time to teach my children spiritual things. There CAN be a balance. I don’t have to wear torn shirts to be spiritual. I CAN have an air conditioner in my living room and still be spiritual. This is still tough for me, but I am getting over the hurdle. God made this world and created man to make discoveries. I can use these discoveries and inventions for GOOD things. It is NOT a hindrance to my spirituality to have nice things. It can HELP my spiritual life to have the things that I want and need.

I am writing this out so that I can look back in a couple of months and see where I started and where I am then.

I am so thankful that this message finally got across to me. That I now realize that all I need to do is focus on positive things and positive things will come my way.

Come my way, I am ready for you, universe, I have placed my order!!