Talisa the Toddler

kids, Talisa

I haven’t done a full post about Talisa for quite awhile, so I thought I’d update a bit on some things I want to remember about these fleeting toddler times!  For the record, she is 23 months old.  Can’t believe she’ll be 2 in less than a month!!  Haven’t even started planning her birthday yet, it’ll probably be very low key.


Talisa LOOOVES to color.  Markers are her favorite, but as you can imagine she’s not so good about putting caps back on, and over a period of about 3 months all of our markers have slowly been thrown away.  The marker drawer is now empty.  oops!  I used coloring time to try to teach her some manners (she’s pretty good at manners in general considering her age!).  Like most little ones, she likes to grab what she wants, when she wants it.  So if I was using a marker she wanted (which was every time of course) I asked her to say “Can I have that please?”  and I’d either say sure and give it to her, or ask her to let me finish and then I’d give it to her.  She did pretty well, though often she’d grab the marker and quickly say “Can I have that please?  Sure!  Thanks!” while pulling it out of my hand.  What do I say to that??  haha


The crocodile tears have started as well!  Of course she often really truly cries, but sometimes she cries just to try to get her way and she has this habit of covering her eyes with her hands.  I try not to laugh, really I do.



It’s my little kitchen de-organizer!  Her most favorite thing to do in the kitchen is beg me to carry her while I am cooking.  But if I can distract her from that, she’ll go to the cupboard!  Sometimes she takes things out and piles them on a table, other time she takes a few things out to play cooking.  Other times she completely empties the tupperware shelf!


I think she has some sort of innate sense of organization (I must take advantage of that!!).  When she takes containers out of the cupboard she takes off the tops and puts each top underneath its corresponding container.  nicely done!


Talisa has her share of falls like any toddler, but in this photo she is doing one of her favorite games – falling on purpose!  She falls down and then Svara has to rush up to her saying “oh no! oh no!”  Talisa thinks it’s hilarious.  Of course.

fall down on purpose

This is the last photo I have of Talisa in her high chair.  She hasn’t sat in it for oh, 3-4 months I think.  In fact we don’t even have it anymore, we lent it to a friend who has 2 little ones who both like to sit in high chairs but they only had one chair.  Now Talisa sits at the table like a big person.  Except she’s not a big person which means she’s either too low in the chair or she has to kneel.  But to her that’s better than a high chair!  I thought about getting a booster seat, but I don’t know if she would refuse to sit in it because it’s not the same as our chairs, in which case it’d be a waste of money…


Oh, these stairs.  Talisa goes up and down these stairs too many times a day to count.  seriously.  For many months my heart jumped every single time she’d go up or down and I’d run to make sure she’d be okay.  Now I’m pretty confident and she’s super confident, so I don’t have a mini panic attack 50 times a day anymore – whew!




Sunglasses.  too cute!  Oh, and she puts them on by herself of course.




Time to (un)help with the chores!  The best time for Talisa to sweep is AFTER I have finished sweeping.  But she prefers to sweep while I sweep, which means thrashing her broom in the dirt pile.



Teaching a toddler their colors can be quite frustrating.  Talisa picked up on color names quickly, but matching them to the right color is a whole other ballgame.  I remember the same thing with Svara – wondering if perhaps they can’t see the colors the same as us or what.  So I put it to the test!  I found these foam “popsicle sticks” at the store and snatched them up.  I gave them to Talisa along with containers of similar colors.  And she  matched them!  All by herself!  I was so proud – and happy to know that she CAN see her colors.  Naming them?  Now that’ll take awhile.  But she’s very interested.  She points to things and says some random color, I tell her the color, she repeats it, over and over.  Fun times.




Talisa can definitely be a little goofball.  She makes faces, does funny walks, silly stances, anything to get a giggle out of us.  And if we do laugh?  She’ll do it over and over for our everlasting entertainment.


silly1 silly2


So let’s see, what else….


Talisa talks up a storm and speaks in full sentences.  Yesterday we were outside and it was time to go in to get ready for bed.  I told her and she walked away saying “NO, I play outside.”  Okay, then! (sorry kiddo, you can talk, but I can still carry you!) One of the things she says funny is “NO WITE!” (for no way).   She can count to about 18, but she skips the number 5 every single time, and I think she skips a couple of the teens as well.

Books, books, book!  This girl still thankfully loves her books.  Pretty much the only times during the day that I can count on having some peace while she’s awake is when she gets caught up in her books (she sits and reads by herself for 5 to even 30 minutes at a time) or when she’s watching home videos of herself on the iPad (desperate times call for desperate measures, meals HAVE to be cooked!).  Often in the morning she wakes up, nurses, and slides off the bed to toddle off to her book pile.  She reads her books by herself while we catch a few extra minutes of Zzzzzzzs.  Until I get hit on the head with a book of course.

Eating – some days Talisa has a good appetite, others she doesn’t.  She’s still keen on frozen blueberries and would eat them for every meal of every day if we had enough and if I let her.  Oh, she’s not allergic to chocolate anymore, YAY!  She used to get hives from chocolate, but over the past month I’ve tested it a few times and no reaction, so now she gets to have some chocolate when we do (I make a lot of healthy treats that include some cocoa powder).  She’s not so keen on veggies, but we keep trying and there are some she’ll eat (she likes raw tomatoes!).  She likes carrots and will eat leafy greens if they are chopped small and in soup.  She and Svara often share a small pot of miso noodle soup for lunch (healthy noodles, organic silken tofu, and either grated carrots or chopped leafy greens in a miso broth).  Easy to make and they both gobble it up – win win!

Talisa has become quite possessive of me where Svara is concerned.  If Talisa is not in the best mood and she sees me hugging Svara, all hell breaks loose.  She screams, pushes Svara (but she DOES say excuse me  hehe) and asks to nurse.  I try to keep most of my cuddles for Svara when Talisa isn’t looking for the time being.

SLEEP – if you have read previous updates about Talisa, sleep has ALWAYS been an issue for one reason or another.  It wasn’t getting any better after 18 months and I was at my wits end and couldn’t even think straight due to sleep exhaustion.  My mom sent me a baby sleeping book for my birthday, so I had a read through it.  I never was one for crying out.  I did sleep training with Svara at various times with various success, but I was glad to have never had to do that with Talisa.  BUT sleep was getting worse and the book made some good points – she wasn’t getting good sleep either, and she wasn’t crying in distress.  and she certainly didn’t physically NEED to nurse 5-10 times a night.  Yeah.  So with everything I read, I decided it was time to cut her off nursing at night.   So I thought maybe I’d be kind and just hold her but not let her nurse.  That didn’t work since I had to sit there and hold her for 2 hours a time waiting for her to fall asleep enough for me to put her in her crib.  Not cool.  I had other things to do at night – like work and SLEEP.  So…. one night when Naren and Svara were at a function I let her cry.  I checked on her every 10-15 minutes to let her know I was around and to make sure she had her pacifier and security cloth (her fasa and toony).  It took 45 minutes for her to fall asleep.  Things got a LOT better after that.  For about 3 months it was lovely and I could hardly believe it.  I did end up nursing her early in the mornings (5 or 6) as she’d then fall back asleep.  If I didn’ tnurse her at that time she’d be up for the day.  Not fun.  Then she got sick, and we were all sick.  And that dragged on for a month and a half and things were BAD again.  I can’t deny a snotty coughy baby who wants to nurse in the middle of the night.  So we were back to little sleep.  A few weeks ago she was finally totally over her cold so I had to go back and do the whole letting her cry again.  Took 40 minutes that time and it’s been better since.  she still wakes up and I actually bring her into our bed when she gets up sometime around 5 (sometimes a little earlier) because it’s just easier that way.  But if she wakes up earlier I just lay her down, tell her goodnight, and she goes back to sleep.  So glad to get a bit of sleep back again!

Nursing – still going strong!  When Talisa was a baby she nursed when she was hungry and that was about it.  After about 15 montsh or so she started becoming more emotionally attached to nursing, wanting to nurse when she was sad, mad, etc.  She still does that.  I am currently trying to defer that when possible, trying to divert her attention elsewhere, give her cuddles but not nursing, etc.  But sometimes she’s just in hysterics and it’s the only thing that’ll calm her down.  Other than those times she nurses in the morning, before and after nap, and at bedtime (and then once around 5am or so).  At some point in the next 2-3 months I’ll probably start phasing out the after nap nursing and go slowly from there.  I like still knowing she’s getting the extra complete nutrients from breastfeeding, and if it helps her sleep I’m all for it!

I think that’s enough for one post, I’ve got some other things to do online before I myself get to bed.  I should be back soon with a post all about…. homeschooling!




Dancing in the “Rain”

kids, Talisa

Sometimes it is just TOO hot and you just HAVE to dance in the “rain”.  At least that is what Talisa would say!  She loves it when Naren sets up the hose like a sprinkler.  He usually starts by watering the plants and then she convinces him to spray her and then he sets up the “sprinkler”.  Svara usually joins in, but she didn’t feel like changing on this particular day.

IMG_3607 IMG_3611 IMG_3618 IMG_3620 IMG_3625 IMG_3627 IMG_3630 IMG_3631 IMG_3633 IMG_3634 IMG_3635 IMG_3639 IMG_3647

Talisa – 18 Months

baby update, kids, Talisa
Our neighbor and friend is a fantastic photographer and took photographs of the girls recently.  Here is the first glimpse of the photo session, I'll post more when we get more!

Our neighbor and friend is a fantastic photographer and took photographs of the girls recently. Here is the first glimpse of the photo session, I’ll post more when we get more!

18 months old seems like such a milestone.  Halfway between baby and toddler.  Starting to do so many more things!  Jokes, crafts, helping, and more!

Here is the rundown of where Talisa is these days.  After this month I’ll try to get back into regular posting of daily things and probably not post an official Talisa update until 2 years.

I have to apologize, mostly to myself, for the severe lack of photos from this past month.  The memory card from our handy small camera has been misplaced, and I can never remember to take out the big camera to take daily photos!  So the few photos here are from Naren’s phone this month.  Usually I have a few on my ipad, but the wifi on my ipad doesn’t work anymore, so I don’t have it handy and don’t find it useful to take photos anymore there.

COMMUNICATION – Talisa is in this parroting phase.  All we have to say is “Can you say____” and she’ll repeat what it is we want her to.  Some words are more clear than others, but it’s amazing that she’ll give any word a try!  She hardly does any baby signs anymore as they have all been replaced by words.  Sometimes she’ll sign “more” or “nurse” but I think that’s about it.  She loves singing (Baa Baa Black Sheep is the current favorite) and she’ll sing along with her favorite tunes but with nonsensical words, it’s pretty adorable.  She says 2 and 3 word sentences pretty regularly and is always pointing things out.


PLAY – No surprise here, but books are still her number one favorite toy.  She is also getting more into role playing with dolls and such.  Not anything that makes sense, but it’s cute watching her develop that side. She is also starting to role play things in the toy kitchen – putting a pitcher under the sink spout, giving me things to eat, etc.  She is getting more accurate with her shape sorters.  Naren bought her a set of the big duplo legos for Ayyam-i-Ha and she has fun putting those together.  Sometimes she is content to play alone, and other time she insists we “SIT!  SIT!” next to her and play with her.

We were fortunate to get to a great book sale this month.  We all picked out some books we liked.  Talisa had a blast of course!

We were fortunate to get to a great book sale this month. We all picked out some books we liked. Talisa had a blast of course!


SKILLS – Talisa has moved to almost exclusively feeding herself with her little fork and spoon.  Last week she ate all of her breakfast oatmeal by herself (spilled a bit, but not much!).  I think she was wanting to do this before we knew it because she’d always reach for the table yelling “nah! nah! nah!” which is what she says when she wants something.  I realized finally that what she wanted was her bowl/plate of food!  I bought a bowl with a suction cup so it won’t slide around while she’s trying to scoop out the food.  She can easily take the bowl off of her try if she tries, but at least it helps with the sliding when she’s seriously trying to eat.  She can also hold an open cup and drink out of it by herself!  When she’s tired of drinking she’ll start dumping, though, so I have to watch her carefully.

FOOD – She is still eating mainly what we eat.  Breakfast is usually scrambled egg (or just the egg yolk and Svara eats the white, their preference), toast, cold cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, frozen blueberries, bananas, etc.  Lunch is often miso noodle soup (with carrots and tofu, she shares this with Svara), or else whatever we are having.  Same with dinner.  Snacks are popsicles (usually just blended up watermelon, or sometimes banana with milk/fruit), banana ‘icecream’, homemade cookies, crackers with hummus, raisins, etc.


SLEEP – Talisa is still working on those teeth!  I think the last one of that set of 8 that was coming in is just about to pop.  Then it’ll just be the canines and then her 2 year molars (hopefully not for awhile!).  It’s still the norm to nurse her to sleep.  Occasionally she’ll have a 4 hour stretch of sleep, but the usual night is 2 hour stretches, with sometimes a 3 hour thrown in there.  Hoping after this final one comes out it’ll be awhile before the canines start coming in!  She is improving with the staying awake in the middle of the night.  This past month it has only happened on the night she had a tooth popping through (twice this month I think).  She tries to get back to sleep, but it can take 2-3 hours on those nights.

GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT – we need to take her for her 18 month checkup, but she had fever and still has a little bit of a runny nose, so we’ll wait until next week.  She is SO active that she seems pretty slim (but not too slim).  I miss her chubbiness!  Her hair has seemed to stop growing this month.  It’s quite curly, but since there is not much of it, it just sticks out in funny random places.  Quite entertaining 😉


THINGS TO REMEMBER:  Here are some little things I want to remember but don’t really fall into the above categories…

  • Talisa had a bad accident this past month.  She fell on the three steps that go from our living to dining room and her teeth went through her bottom lip.  Naren was not home at the time, and it was pretty traumatizing for the three of us girls at home.  The bleeding stopped faster than I had even hoped it would, and it healed up within 2-3 weeks, but you can still see that her lip is bigger in that area.  I wonder if the evidence will ever disappear.  I really felt completely awful!
  • Talisa is starting to bully Svara!  Pulling her hair, hitting her, kicking her, etc.  She does it to me as well, but not nearly as much as she does to Svara.  I guess Svara is an easier target!  Svara used to hit me a lot starting at that age, so it’s not too surprising, but it’s hard to get Svara to react in a way that will help stop the behavior.
  • She has started saying “I love you” every time she kisses or hugs us, which is a LOOOOT.  I LOVE it!  She’s not clear in the way she says it, it’s something like “Ahdzhoo”.
  • When we are playing around on the bed she likes to tell me (or whoever) to sleep and expects me to put my head down, take off my glasses, and close my eyes.  Yesterday she did it to Naren and Svara and she even sang them some songs like lullabies, haha!
  • Her little cloth (it’s actually a premie prefold) and pacifier are her security items.  I have several of the prefolds so I can rotate them and have extras around just in case!  She has to be holding her cloth while she nurses, sleeps, and if she’s ever upset.   Svara never had any security items beyond her pacifier, so it’ll be interesting to see how long she keeps it for!
  • She is starting to show interest in toilet training, but she only wants to sit on the toilet, she never actually does anything.  But it’s a start!  Time to get out the potty chairs!

sister smiles


Talisa’s First Birthday Party


A month after Talisa’s birthday I finally  managed to post about her actual day that we celebrated as a family.  But I never got around to posting about her party!  So here is a little recap along with some photos!

We had an afternoon tea-time party with some family and friends.  Not too big.  Of course there had to be balloons!  Naren’s parents and sister picked out this gorgeous dress for her to wear for her part, so she was quite the elegant birthday girl!  For the snacks I made two types of hummus, three types of pita bread, vegetarian sausages, and we had watermelon, fruit salad, and cut veggies.  It was simple, but good!

balloons balloons2 balloons3

As usual I made the birthday cake myself.  It was two layers of chocolate and one layer of raspberry.  With raspberry buttercream in the middle and chocolate buttercream covering.

cake cake2

After the party we tried to get Talisa to sit among her gifts, but as you can see she didn’t have much interest in them!  So we had fun opening them for her.  Her favorites were books!

gifts silhouette

Talisa 13-15 Months

baby update, kids, Talisa

high chair

Wow, how have I left my blog for so long?  I’ve been so busy with work, projects, the house, kids, etc.  that this blog has kind of fallen by the wayside.  But before my baby gets any older I figured I better do a catchup post!

Here is a quick rundown so I don’t forget all of her development over the past three months:

COMMUNICATION – Talisa is talking more and more every day, always trying new words.  She does some more signs as well, but seems to really enjoy trying to say words.  But the signs she makes are very important ones for her and she uses them all the time.  When she doesn’t know the word or sign for something she flaps her arms around and says “nahnahnahnahnah”.

PLAY – Talisa’s favorite thing is still BOOKS!  She starts her mornings by looking at books and ends her days by looking at books.  Sometimes she wants the same book read over and over.  Other times she sits through one word of a book before picking up another, and another, and another.  She is starting to play with shape sorters and nesting toys quite frequently as well.  And she can now stack things instead of just knocking them down!  Outside on the playground she can climb the stairs, go to the slide, sit down and slide down, and repeat.  A big girl!  She also enjoys the baby swing a lot.

SKILLS – Nothing new here, just honing and perfecting her climbing, running, etc.  Oh, she tries to jump, it’s so cute.  And she does this running in place move that she thinks is hilarious (it is!).  She is trying to climb up and down stairs by stepping instead of crawling.  She can sometimes manage one or two steps, but then goes back to crawling or reaches for my hand for help.

FOOD – Talisa doesn’t nurse as often during the day anymore.  She nurses in the morning, before and after nap (unless she has 2 naps, then just before each nap not after), and at bedtime.  She still nurses several times throughout the night, though.    She eats most of the same foods that we do, and most her old favorites like frozen blueberries.  She is allergic todairy, chocolate, and oranges.  she gets hives from chocolate and oranges.  I’m hoping she outgrows those allergies! She likes to feed herself with her little fork and spoon.  The difficulty is that for some reason she ALWAYS turns the utensil upside down before putting it into her mouth.  Maybe because it’s easier to take out that way?  So it only works if the food that I’m giving her actually sticks to the spoon/fork.  Otherwise it just ends up in her lap or on the floor!

SLEEP – Sleep has still been up and down, mostly down.  She had a couple weeks where she had some kind of sleep regression and it was pretty horrible trying to get her to sleep.  Though she has never slept through the night, at least she lets me nurse her, then put her in her crib and she’ll go to sleep.  But during that two weeks she just screamed her head off when I put her in her crib.  I had to hold her until she fell asleep.  Not fun when she likes to toss and turn while she’s going to sleep.  It was really a struggle.  Plus she was waking up every hour for those two weeks.   Now her molars are coming through so sleep is all messed up again.  It’s hard for her to get to sleep unless she’s really tired, and she wakes up a LOT.  In general for these past three months she has woken up every night every 1-3 hours to nurse (occasionally I just have to put her down with her pacifier and she’ll go back to sleep, but 99% of the time she wants to nurse).  On good nights she’ll have several 2-3 hour spurts.  On bad nights she’s up every 45-60 minutes all night long.

Over the past 3 months she has been slowly transitioning to 1 nap a day.  Now she usually has 1 nap a day, but still occasionally 2 naps if she wakes up early or if her nap is short.  I actually prefer one nap because it’s nice to get that 2 1/2-3 hour stretch in the middle of the day.  The transitional downside is that when she has only 1 nap she seems to wake up 1-2 hours after putting her down at night and doesn’t want to go back to sleep.  In the past we always give up and let her play for 1-2 hours to tire her out again.  But she’ll get used to that and itcan’t go on (plus I’m SOOOOOO tired) so now I make her stay in the dark room until she goes back to sleep.  sometimes nursing, sometimes I’m holding her, sometimes she’s laying in her crib or crying in her crib (I let her cry for awhile if she is insisting on getting up and play, but I stay in the room).  It still takes her 1-2 hours to get back to sleep, but I’m hoping as she gets used to this new schedule she’ll stop that waking.  There were two or three nights in the past 3 months when she had a 4-5 hour stretch of sleep.  That was nice!!  Hoping that crops up again and sticks around.  I’m still veeeeerrrrrrry tiiiiiiirrrrred.

GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT – Talisa has 2 top teeth, two bottom teeth, and now her molars are coming through.  They aren’t popping through yet, but I can see them just under the gums and they are definitely causing her discomfort.  Could be affecting her sleep lately, but it’s hard to tell as she sometimes sleeps poorly anyway.  Her hair has finally grown in the past few months.  Not much, but I can see now that it’s going to be pretty curly.

And now for a few photos!  These are all from 13 and 14 months I believe, I haven’t loaded any recent photos onto my computer.  I’ve been so terrible at taking photos lately!!

Playing in the dirt, a childhood must!

Playing in the dirt, a childhood must!

This is what my kitchen ends up looking like every day as she busies herself while I am doing prep work.

This is what my kitchen ends up looking like every day as she busies herself while I am doing prep work.

Dancing in the rain!  She now says "NAIN!" every time she sees it rain.

Dancing in the rain! She now says “NAIN!” every time she sees it rain.

Swimming, a favorite pasttime.  This girl loves water, just like her big sister.

Swimming, a favorite pasttime. This girl loves water, just like her big sister.

Talisa often looks like this, just a blur running across the room!

Talisa often looks like this, just a blur running across the room!

Talisa’s First Birthday

family, kids, Talisa

Talisa’s birthday party was not scheduled for her actual birthday, but I wanted to make sure we marked the occasion as a family.  So I made a simple carob cake, some coconut based icecream, and we planned a simple outing.  Here are plenty of pictures to commemorate the simple, yet sweet, occasion.



“hey, this is pretty good!”


time to ditch the plate before everything lands on the floor in one quick sweep!


Now testing the icecream


“now THIS is good!!”


“VERY good!!”


The cake got thrown to the floor and the icecream all licked up


“All finished!”

cake10 cake11 cake12


After cake it was time to have a bath and then go out.  We needed something simple and close by.  Talisa loves animals, so we decided to go to a big pet store and just browse around.



Walking in the mall like a big girl


Here’s the pet store!


Ooh, fish!! She learned how to say “blub blub”

mall5 snake

An active snake! She really enjoyed this and learned how to say “ssssss” for a snake

mall6 doggy

Here she is panting, her sign that means dog. there were real dogs and cats there, but she was more impressed by this huge dog poster



After our little trip it was time to go home, eat dinner, and get the girls to bed.  A nice simple day together to celebrate our baby’s first birthday.


Talisa – 12 Month Update

baby update, kids, Talisa

Aaaah, my baby is a year old!!  I know it is said ALL the time, but that year went by FAST!  I’ll do a normal update in this post and then share how we celebrated her birthday in the next post.

Good morning!

Good morning!

COMMUNICATION – Talisa is very interested in communication this month.  She is babbling more, and also trying to say and sign more words and figure out what things are.

Some of her words are Mama, Papa, Dthadtha (this is how she says Akka/big sister, which is what she calls Svara), Nanna (my mother), Popps (my father), doggy, baby, ball, finished, hello, naynay (nurse), nanee (thanee, means water in Tamil), tata (jatuh, means fall down in Malay), neh (nose), bah (ball)

Some of the baby signs she does are for finished, more, sleepy, phone, bye, airplane, dog, cat, shower, bath, swing, prayer, eat

Gee, I guess she has more vocal words than she does baby signs!  I think she’s going to be quite an early talker.

Here she is signing "finished" when she's ready to be wiped and gotten down.

Here she is signing “finished” when she’s ready to be wiped and gotten down.

PLAY – Talisa is really enjoying playing and exploring now!  She still loves books, though in addition to having us read them she loves to EAT them.  Literally.  She rips the binding off and chews up pieces.  She usually doesn’t swallow it, though.  Instead she comes up to us and sticks out her tongue so we can take it out of her mouth.  ew!  She is recognizing animals.  I showed her a stuffed sheep yesterday.  So far she’s only seen pictures of sheep in books.  She took one look at the stuffed animal and said  “bhhaaaaa”  Smart girl!  She likes to find cats when we are out on the playground.  She loves being outside.  So far she is still happy sitting in the stroller and going for a walk for awhile.  But she also loves having a chance to run around the playground herself.

Walking around in the playground for the first time, she was so excited!

Walking around in the playground for the first time, she was so excited!

She looks so cute sitting by herself and "reading" books

She looks so cute sitting by herself and “reading” books

SKILLS – Talisa has been working on and improving her skills from last month.  Walking (now also running!), dancing, climbing, going up and down stairs, talking, baby signing, pointing, etc.

First time walking when we are out and about.  Here we went to the mall.

First time walking when we are out and about. Here we went to the mall. She was so astounded that she was actually allowed to get down that she stood still here grinning for at least a couple minutes before she would take a step. She was also not used to walking in shoes.

FOOD – Nursing is still going STRONG!  Talisa nurses in the morning, before both naps, usually after each nap, before bed, and 2-5 times during the night.  She also eats 3 meals with us and usually an afternoon snack as well.  She is eating pretty much the same foods as last month including cooked egg yolk, organic soft tofu, lettuce stems, cooked carrots, cooked green veggies, whole wheat pasta and bread, pretty much any fruit, oatmeal, and more.  As usual some meals are just a couple bites and for others she eats quite a lot.  I just go with the flow and let her eat as much as she wants or doesn’t want.  If she doesn’t want a particular thing I’ll try giving her something else.  Sometimes, for example, she’ll be in the mood for frozen blueberries but not want a thing to do with oatmeal or it could be the other way around.

We discovered a new allergy this month.  So far she has only seemed to react to dairy.  One thing she hasn’t had much of is chocolate.  Occasionally we have given her a little bite of healthy chocolate things, but not often.  And occasionally she has seemed to get bouts of bug bites.  Well, it turns out that those weren’t bug bites, those were hives!  We figure out that she only gets them after she eats something with chocolate, and then they go away in a few days.  So no more chocolate for Talisa for awhile, poor thing 😦  She seems fine when I eat it, though (although who knows, maybe if I never eat chocolate she’ll sleep better??  I’ve tried before, but only make it for a few days and when she sleeps badly I am desperate for some chocolate the next day so I give in).  Anyway, we’ll bring it up to the doctor and see when we can try giving it to her again.  Hopefully she’ll outgrow it!

Frozen blueberries are still a favorite (most days).   Here she is playing peekaboo!

Frozen blueberries are still a favorite (most days). Here she is playing peekaboo!

And here is what happens when you play peekaboo with your hands full of blueberry juice!

And here is what happens when you play peekaboo with your hands full of blueberry juice!

Talisa now has this hilarious habit.  When she is finished eating and we unbuckle her seatbelt she stands up, bends over, finds food that she dropped in her seat, and eats anything that looks promising.

Talisa now has this hilarious habit. When she is finished eating and we unbuckle her seatbelt she stands up, bends over, finds food that she dropped in her seat, and eats anything that looks promising.

SLEEP – Oh the elusive sleep!  She is still taking 2 naps a day, though I think she is just starting to transition to one nap, but it’ll probably be a few months for that transition to occur.  She is STILL waking up every 1-3 hours at night.  There was ONE night, last night, in the past month that she slept for 4-5 hours straight.  We have moved bedtime earlier.  We try to go upstairs between 7 and 7:30 to start bedtime on most nights.  The goal is for me to be nursing her around 8pm.  Sometimes it takes her until 8:30 or so to fall asleep and other nights it’ll take her until like 9:30 to fall asleep.  She wakes up in the morning anytime between 7 and 9.  7 is a bit early and she usually gets tired pretty fast if she wakes up at 7 (I TRY to get her to go right back to sleep when she wakes at 7 and it sometimes works).  8 to 8:30 is her most common wakeup time.  One of these days I’ll get some sleep…

GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT – We haven’t been to the 1 year checkup yet, so no weigh-in as of yet.  We’ll go within the next couple of weeks.  Her hair is still growing (very slowly, though!).  Her two bottom teeth can easily be seen in photos now, which is cute.  I can see the white edge of her top teeth JUST under the gums.  I’m sure they are bothering her sometimes, but they are taking their own sweet time to emerge!

Here are a few more photos:

Talisa has a cloth and her pacifier, both which she always goes to bed with.  If you lay down the cloth anywhere she'll grab her pacifier and lay her head on the cloth.  Too sweet!

Talisa has a cloth and her pacifier, both which she always goes to bed with. If you lay down the cloth anywhere she’ll grab her pacifier and lay her head on the cloth. Too sweet!

Ready for a nap!

Ready for a nap!



'excuse me, I'm trying to have a phone conversation here.."

‘excuse me, I’m trying to have a phone conversation here..”

sweet smile

sweet smile

she knows the ipad is under the pillow!

she knows the ipad is under the pillow!

One of her new tricks - go upside down and reach out her hand, I don't know what she's reaching for, but it's hilarious

One of her new tricks – go upside down and reach out her hand, I don’t know what she’s reaching for, but it’s hilarious

upside down sisters!  Talisa thinks this is hilarious!

upside down sisters! Talisa thinks this is hilarious!

Talisa – 11 Month Update

baby update, kids, Talisa

Once again I am late with the monthly update.  Right now Talisa is sleeping and Naren has taken Svara to a birthday party, so I am trying to get this update done before Talisa changes too much!  She is growing and learning new tricks on a daily basis it seems!

Her BIG development this past month is WALKING!  Yes, at 10 1/2 months old Talisa took her first steps.  For the first few days it was 2-8 steps at a time.  Now she can walk across a room (still with that adorable wobbly walk)  and can even stand up without holding onto any support.  She is good at falling, meaning she knows how to catch herself so that she doesn’t bonk her head.  I’m continually impressed at how much “physical sense” she seems to have.  Svara is more concerned about Talisa falling than Talisa herself is 🙂

Some of Talisa's first steps, with big sister nearby in case she falls!

Some of Talisa’s first steps, with big sister nearby in case she falls!

COMMUNICATION – Talisa is learning more every day about how to communicate what she wants.  Pointing, using baby signs, yelling, it all works 😉  Some of the words she says are: Mama, Papa, doggy, baby, gadi (means car in Tamil), naynay (nurse), nanee (thanee, means water in Tamil), and I’m probably missing a few.  She also pretends to read her books, especially Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss.  She’ll open it up and start saying “up up bup bup”.   Some of the baby signs she uses now are: finished, nurse, eat, more, hear, phone, sleepytime, prayer, and doggy.  She is all about pointing at things that interest her as well.  For awhile she was pointing at things with her fingers in a pinch, but now she just points.

Talisa's finger-pinch type point which has now developed into just regular pointing

Talisa’s finger-pinch type point which has now developed into just regular pointing

PLAY – Talisa’s biggest new interest this month is BOOKS! Before all she was interested in doing was chewing on them (which is still a very big interest) and throwing them.  One day this month she picked up a book and Naren (again) tried reading it to her.  To our surprise she sat through the whole thing and handed it to Naren to read AGAIN!    Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss is her favorite.   And there are two specific books (Goodnight Moon and Time for Bed) that I read to her at bedtime each night right before turning out the lights.  It’s such a pleasure seeing her suddenly have an interest in books.  She’ll even look at them herself, flipping through the pictures and trying to “read” them.

Reading a book to herself

Reading a book to herself

Svara reading a book to Talisa.  I love these moments!

Svara reading a book to Talisa. I love these moments!

In addition to reading, she started showing affection to Svara’s baby dolls this month, which is sooo sweet to watch.  Here is a photo from the first night when she spontaneously picked up the baby doll and began patting it, rocking it, kissing it, etc.  It was so adorable!



Some of her other favorite things to play with are: remote controls, handphones, and anything else she isn’t really supposed to be playing with 😉  She also likes taking all of the Mega Blok legos out of the container, shaking any noise-making toys, playing peekaboo, throwing balls, and of course pulling Svara’s hair.

SKILLS – some of the skills Talisa has been working on this month are walking, eating by herself with a spoon (not very successful, but she wants to try!), climbing upstairs AND downstairs, pointing, talking, baby signing, dancing, climbing on and OFF the bed, and more.

FOOD – Talisa nurses before every nap, before bed, and a few times at night as well.  Usually she would nurse when she wakes up from a nap, but she is starting to drop that feeding most of the time.  When she wakes up, she is ready to PLAY!  I guess that’s why she is still nursing at nights most of the time, she still needs the nutrition.   As for table food, here are some of the things Talisa is eating these days: cooked egg yolks, cucumbers, frozen blueberries, homemade banana/coconut based popsicles, crackers, bread, pasta, cooked carrots, soft tofu, nut/date bars, raisins, stems of green veggies, oatmeal, bananas, other fruits, and more.  She is a pretty willing eater.  She doesn’t eat a LOT at one sitting, but she is always willing to try new things.  Some meals are only 1-2 bites, while other meals are up to 1/2 cup of food.  I don’t stress about her eating, just offer and let her eat what she wants.  I try to sneak in more nutrient/good fat dense foods into her meals like adding coconut milk and/or avocado to her banana popsicles, adding ground nuts or nut butters to different foods, etc.

Enjoying an avocado chocolate fudgesicle!

Enjoying an avocado chocolate fudgesicle!

SLEEP – Hm… well, I guess the main development in the past month is that she is now taking 2 naps a day regularly.  There will be the odd day if she has teething pain or something when she will take 3 shorter naps.  But the rest of the time it’s two, which makes planning our days a bit easier.  Nights, however, still elude me.  We start the bedtime routine at about 8 o’clock.  By about 9 o’clock I am nursing her and putting her to sleep.  She goes to sleep quite well.  After I nurse her I give her her cloth and pacifier and lay her in her crib.  She rolls about a bit and falls asleep (sometimes faster than other times).  But she wakes up every 1-3 hours all night long.  Some nights it’s every hour the whole night.  Other nights I get three 3 hour chunks which is great.  Two nights this past month she even slept almost 5 hours in a row for the first stretch of night!!  Then we have nights like last night where she goes to bed at 9, wakes up at 9:30 and won’t go to sleep again until midnight.  What is UP???  Sometimes it’s that she wants to nurse, sometimes it’s teething pain, sometimes who knows.  I think I’m going to try for an earlier bedtime to see if that suits her better.

GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT – no doctor appointments this month, so no weigh-in.  I finally have to snap her diapers on one looser snap setting, so there has been some growth I know.  And she now has TWO bottom teeth!  I can see the top ones developing under the gums and I think they are bothering her some days, but nothing peeking yet.  And her hair is finally starting to grow a bit! Her bald spot in the back is all covered up and she gets some little wispy curls when her hair is slightly damp. I thought she had quite a bit of hair when she was born, but it never grew until this past month.




My little daredevil likes to climb onto the bed, sit down, and then throw herself backwards and laugh hysterically!

My little daredevil likes to climb onto the bed, sit down, and then throw herself backwards and laugh hysterically!


Well, I’m sure there is more that I have forgotten, but I need to post this before Talisa wakes up from yet another nap.  She turned 11 months a week ago and already I have several new things to add to her next update!  She is growing TOO fast!!



Talisa – 10 Month Update

baby update, kids, Talisa

Talisa is 10 months old already!  She is showing her independence this month by wanting to get DOWN and get AROUND and INTO things as much as possible.  Oh, I forgot CLIMB on things.  Whew, we are being kept busy!

COMMUNICATION – Talisa is learning a few more baby signs.  She’ll still tell us when she’s done eating by signing finished.  She also waves goodbye, sometimes signs “more”, and a few others.  She is babbling up a storm and lets us know by yelling and crying when she doesn’t want something.  She can say Mama and Papa but doesn’t clearly call us that all the time.  I think she calls me Mama more often than she calls Naren Papa.  She calls to Svara a lot but doesn’t have a clear way of saying her name yet.  When she hears something she’ll put her hand to her ear. When music comes on she clasps her hands together and shakes them and starts bobbing around, dancing.  It’s just too cute!  She very frequently sticks one arm out and puts her pointer finger and thumb together like she is pinching something and just holds her arm out to us like that.  I am not really sure what she is doing, whether she’s trying to sign something, pretending she’s giving us something, or what.  If we put our fingers to hers or pretend she’s feeding us something she gets a kick out of it.


Still a big fan of talking on the phone!


Can’t get enough of this smile

MOBILITY – The only thing new this month is that she is standing for a longer time all by herself.  She’ll pull herself up on something and then she can stand on her own for about 30 seconds before she decides to sit back down.  She will occasionally take a step or two if I am sitting down next to her and holding her hand while she is standing.


Standing on her own!

PLAY – Svara is still Talisa’s favorite playmate.  She’ll follow her anywhere, crawl on her, take things from her, pull her hair, all that sisterly stuff.  Svara is patient and gentle most of the time (she occasionally forgets and plays a little rough, but it’s not mean-hearted).   She loves knocking down stacked blocks, taking things from her mailbox in the house toy that you see in the photo below, and pretending anything is a telephone.  She hates being stuck in one place and not being allowed to eat all the paper and other stuff she finds on the floor.  Clapping and dancing are other favorite activities!

steal mask

HEALTH – We had a bout of sickness in the beginning of this month which was no fun and threw our new nap schedule out of whack!  The girls caught hand, foot, and mouth disease at a gathering we went to.  Talisa showed symptoms first.  We thought she was teething because she was drooling up a storm and had a bit of a fever.  But that night when teething medicine did no good and she was screaming and not able to nurse, we knew something else might be up.  A trip to the doctor the next day confirmed that she had ulcers in her throat, poor thing!  A week later and the girls were recovering, and *I* caught it!!  Ugh, that was not fun at all, I think I had it worse than the girls as well.  For a few days I couldn’t type or walk because of the blisters on my hands and feet.  So we all recovered from that finally after a couple weeks, and now we are back to normal.  Let’s hope it stays that way for awhile.

SLEEP – As I mentioned, Talisa’s two-nap-a-day schedule that she finally settled into herself got thrown out of whack by the HFM. She is back to having 2-3 naps a day, depending on what happens that day, what time she wakes up in the morning, etc.  Sometimes she even has 4 naps.  I think she is starting to get her second bottom tooth as well (I can see it RIGHT under the gum) so that could still be messing with her sleep.  Nights are no better yet.  After she was sick she was back to 30 minute-1 hour stretches all night, so I gave her another few days of Nux Vomica which helped that.  But it seems nothing can get her to have more than 2-3 hour stretches at night!  Hopefully time will help…

FOOD – She usually eats 3 meals a day and sometimes another snack or two.  When I say “meal” I mean she is sitting down with us at the table eating, it doesn’t mean she eats a lot.  Some days she eats more than others.  She likes to try what we are eating.  I haven’t made cereal for her for almost two weeks because she hardly ever ate more than a couple spoons, and I can’t keep leftover cereal for very long.  So she’s mostly eating table foods.  Sometimes I take out food from ours before salting it, sometimes I just give her some of the different components of our meal, it depends on what we are having.  Frozen blueberries are her number one favorite food, she has them every day.  Here are some of the other things she eats (how MUCH she eats depends on the day and her mood)

frozen blueberries, fried egg yolk, homemade bread, rye crackers, ‘icecream’ made from frozen bananas and sometimes avacado, date and nut ‘cookies’, organic soft tofu, steamed veggies, pretty much any kind of fruit, mango/banana/coconut popsicles, whole wheat pasta, veggies from soup, homemade cashew ‘cheese’, brown rice

She is quite good at her pincer grasp now and hardly ever puts her head down to her tray to get something in her mouth anymore.  She throws about 1/4-1/2 of her food onto the floor, depending on how hungry she is. When Naren feeds her he puts the food into her mouth bite by bite.  When I feed her I put it on her tray and let her go.  My way is a lot more messy, of course, but I figure it’s good for her fine motor control to have that option sometimes.  Of course that is only for foods that can be picked up.

GROWTH – She hasn’t had a checkup, but when we went to the doctor when she was sick she weighed 7.5kg.  That means she only put on about .5 kg (about 1 pound) in 3 months.  I’m not sure about the height.  I figure this is because she is SO active!  The doctor wasn’t worried at all, so neither am I.  She still has baby chub, just not as much as she used to.  I’m trying to include higher calorie foods each day such as ground up nuts or nut butters, coconut, egg yolks, etc. to help.  If I don’t consciously do that then she tends to eat mostly fruits and veggies.  Which is great, but babies and toddlers need a good amount of healthy fats as well!  Too bad she doesn’t like avacado, but I can blend it into banana ‘icecream’ and she gets some that way.


Talisa – 9 Month Update

baby update, kids, Talisa

Talisa’s 9th “monthday” went past without notice this month.  I didn’t even remember until a couple days later that my baby is now 9 months old!  A testimony to how much she is keeping us busy and on our toes these days.

I also, sadly, don’t have that many photos to share today.  My camera battery was dead for almost 2 weeks and I kept forgetting to charge it, ugh!  But at least I have a few…

MOBILITY – This month has been all about practicing her new mobility which she discovered in the middle of last month.  Crawling, climbing, and cruising are all the rage! Somehow I don’t think she’s going to be like Svara, content to stand at the side of a crib or baby gate and yell or cry without any attempt to climb.  Already she is trying to climb the side of the pack’n’play!!  You can kind of see it in this photo below, her little foot is up on the side.  She actually got both feet up a couple steps!!  I don’t know what I’ll do if I can’t safely put her here for a few minutes while I take care of laundry, etc.  I’m careful not to put anything in the pack’n’play that she could use to step on and climb up further, as she will attempt to climb anything these days.  She gets angry because she’s not big enough to climb onto the couch.

attempting to climb out of the pack'n'play

attempting to climb out of the pack’n’play

SLEEP – I wish I had something better to report, but sleeping is still a bit of a hazy subject around here.  I say hazy because it has turned my mind hazy with sleep deprivation.  Naps are good, though, she has actually finally fallen into a 2 nap a day pattern all by herself in the past couple of weeks.  She takes a nap a couple hours after getting up in the morning, then she’s up for a couple hours for lunch and playtime before her afternoon nap.  After that she’s up for 3-4 hours before bedtime.  She usually goes to bed sometime between 9-10pm and she’s up in the morning around 8.  That part is okay, it’s the in between part that we’re still struggling with.  But there HAVE  been some good strides.  I mentioned before that she has a tendency to wake up in the middle of the night and STAY awake for 1-3 hours, often ready to PLAY.  We tried a homeopathic remedy, nux vomica, which was suggested by a homeopath here.  After giving it to her for a few nights in a row (one at bedtime) she pretty much stopped this midnight partying.  YAY!!  We had to give her the medicine for a couple weeks before we could stop and have her not go back to it.  Recently she started again and we’ve had to give her the medicine for a few more nights.  Although it helped her be able to get back to sleep when she woke up in the wee hours of the morning, she still got up every 1-3 hours (usually 1-2 hours) to nurse, or sometimes just for her pacifier.  A friend suggested to me to put a couple drops of lavender oil on a cloth underneath her crib sheet every night, as it will help her body get into and stay in deeper sleep.  I’m all for trying!  She said it would take 2-4 weeks to start seeing results.  It has been almost 2 weeks. She is still waking up every 2-3 hours, but there are fewer 1 hour wakeups, and almost no pacifier wake-ups.  So dare I hope that it’s starting to work??  I’ll give it another couple weeks, I really am desperate for a long stretch of sleep.

FOOD – Talisa usually eats 3 small meals a day.  Only 2 meals if she doesn’t stay awake long enough to eat some breakfast in the morning.  I have to start branching out and figuring out more things to give her, though, I feel like I’m being awfully repetitive.  My brain power is so zapped by sleep and other things these days that my baby meal-planning is less than imaginative.  Usually for breakfast she has some cut up frozen blueberries, and some fried egg yolk if I am having a fried egg.  For lunch she usually has some frozen peas (these were her FAVORITE for a few weeks, now she usually only eats a few), maybe some leftover rice if there is any, or some of our food if she can have it (I’m pretty strict about limiting her salt/sugar/low nutrition foods).  If I have bananas she’ll have some of that, or a fruit popsicle if I have made any (usually banana/mango).  For dinner she usually has a bowl of cereal.  I grind oats and millet and make cereal from that.  I add a little ground flaxseed, some breastmilk, and a cube of frozen veggies, usually carrots.  Sometimes she eats a little, sometimes she eats a lot. Either way it doesn’t seem to affect how she sleeps at night, unfortunately.  Here Svara is giving Talisa her first taste of chocolate, I think it is love at first taste!  It is one of our healthy fudgy snacks made with dates, cocoa powder, and other good ingredients. I didn’t give her too much in case the chocolate messed with her sleep, as it used to for Svara.  I don’t think it did, but I’ll keep an eye out again next time she has a taste of chocolate.

First taste of chocolate!

First taste of chocolate!

PLAY – Talisa is ALL about play these days!  No being held these days, she wants to be DOWN on the floor, exploring the world!  Of course her favorite playmate is still Svara.  They can really make eachother laugh, I love it.  She is interacting more with us, and with her toys, every day.  Shaking, knocking things down, playing peekaboo, the world is hers for the taking.  Here is a new favorite game where she climbs onto a blanket and gets pulled along for a ride.  Sorry for the bad photo, two lights in our bedroom need replacing:

a new favorite game - lay a blanket on the floor and she crawls on and lays down, waiting for a ride

a new favorite game – lay a blanket on the floor and she crawls on and lays down, waiting for a ride

And in this photo below she has crawled under Svara’s school table to find some paper.  We are in the midst of a biiiig house organizing project, deciding where school stuff goes, where safe play areas are, etc.  This is no longer in this play area.  If she finds paper, she will eat it.  If she finds a fuzz blob, she will eat it.  Oh the joys…

caught red-handed

caught red-handed

COMMUNICATION – Yay, Talisa is old enough to start communicating in other ways than crying!  If she sees one of us and wants us to come to her she starts flapping both arms up and down excitedly.  If we don’t come right then, BOY does she get mad!  If she has had enough of something she will make the sigh for finished (flipping a hand from front to back repeatedly).  She is starting to use a sign for when she wants to nurse as well, and today she made a sign when she wanted something to eat.  I love baby signs!  I’ve forgotten the signs for a lot of things, so I ordered a baby signs book, but I am waiting for it to arrive in the mail.  She also has a new phone trick.  She picks up a toy, or just uses her hand, and puts it by her ear and says “hello?” (in her slurred baby way, of course, but she’s definitely saying hello!

hello?  pretending to talk on the phone

hello? pretending to talk on the phone

So I wrote this post last week and wanted to finish it before posting it.  Unfortunately I can’t remember what I wanted to add to it!  So I will end with one more photo from our outing to a wedding recently.  Talisa was wearing her first Indian outfit 🙂