Cooking with Kids – Sanika’s First Pizza

The easiest and most appealing of all recipes to get your little ones started with a real dinner favorite is Pizza. Buy pizza bases, pizza sauce (I used homemade), ingredients for toppings and cheese. Chop veggies and grate the cheese and let kids have fun assembling the pizza by spreading the sauce, covering the base with cheese, adding their favorite toppings and then some more cheese.

Sanika making her first Pizza

Sanika making her first Pizza

Sanika's First Pizza

Sanika's First Pizza

Chef Sanika presents her first pizza

Chef Sanika presents her first pizza

New Year Wishes

New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.

- Hamilton Wright Mabie

Happy New Year 2011 - from Lata Tokhi

Happy New Year 2011

Here are some great ideas for New Year’s Eve:

Fortune Teller Theme New Year’s Party
Take advantage of the timing and host a fun and interesting fortune telling New Year’s party that your guests are sure to love!

Host a New Year’s Cocktail Party
Complete Party Planning Advice for hosting a stylish New Year’s Cocktail Party. Includes recipes for cocktails, Hors d’oeuvres and desserts

Plan a Fabulous New Year’s Eve Dinner Party
New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to invite your closest friends over to share good food and good company. An elegant dinner party lets you and your friends review, renew, and rejoice.

New Year’s Party Games
In addition to invitations, decorations and food, you’ll need fun party games to keep your guests entertained.

Ending with another wise quote:

Never tell your resolution beforehand, or it’s twice as onerous a duty.  ~John Selden (Very true, from past years’ experiences!)

Baby Boys Pee all around during Diaper changes!

You’d think you have seen it all if you are a second time mommy. Apparently not, if you have had a girl the first time around. I had the shock of my life when my little boy sent out a shower during his diaper change drenching his daddy! My little girl did pee during diaper changes, but that was occasional and almost always neatly done on the area of the diaper unlike my boy. The next time, it was all over himself – clothes and face! We had to rush with washcloths and whatever else we could lay our hands on to keep the pee from going into his eyes. And every other time when it is not on himself or whoever is changing the diaper, it has to be out of the bounds of whatever waterproof area he is lying on. It almost seems like a definite conspiracy against all your desperate diapering and waterproofing attempts. It was the last straw when DH was changing his diaper, Sam was peeing in an arc-like motion and I was trying to block the pee with my washcloth going in a similar motion. Whew! I would be great as a goal-keeper!

For a few days, I went through the ‘Is it just me?’ phase. I was feeling completely silly typing it into Google and wondering if I should erase the history lest DH chanced to see it. But the results brought in a lot of relief! I was not alone here! So here’s what I found – Boys do pee a lot more than girls anyways. And they tend to do it between diaper changes because of the sudden temperature change. Changing diapers in a warm place could be one way to avoid it. Another way mentioned was to keep a fresh diaper before removing the dirty one. But this doesn’t seem to work for me as there is no guarantee that the baby will pee on it. Like I said, the pee is everywhere!

So what has worked for me?  I keep a folded washcloth over there while I change the diaper. Do it everytime without fail and you will sail through the heavy-wetting days with considerable ease.

Cloth Diapering Newborns: Problems and Solutions

As much as I love Cloth Diapering, the experience was not entirely without its own set of problems. But none without a solution. With a little tweaking of the rules and some creative ideas, I was able to get a great CD experience with my newborn so far.

1. Breastfed Baby Poop Soils the Diaper Covers Every Time

The entire idea of a few diaper covers and more inserts or prefolds goes to the dumps when a newborn who is exclusively breastfed, starts pooping. A simple solution would be to place your insert outside the pocket instead of inside it so you only have to change the insert and not the entire diaper along with the cover. Diaper/insert changes are so frequent during the first few weeks that the insert will not stay in contact with the baby’s skin for long. And in a few days, when you begin to understand your baby’s patterns, you can only keep the liner outside of the pocket until the baby poops after feeding. Once the poop is out and the baby is off to sleep fora good 2-4 hours, you can put the insert inside the pocket. You might also want to use hemp or bamboo liners/inserts till you have to have them touch the baby’s skin.

2. Washing  Baby Poop Off Washable Diapers/Inserts/Liners

One of the major reasons parents shy away from cloth diapering is the thought of having to handle the gross poopy diapers with their hands. Now, the first good piece of news here for moms who are breastfeeding is that breastfed baby poo is completely runny and easily washable. Just throw them in with the rest of the laundry. At the most, you might have to do an extra wash cycle. For formula fed babies, consider having a health faucet/diaper sprayer type of attachment added near your toilet. It is a little hand shower spray type of sanitary fixture that you can use to spray  off the poop into the toilet without touching it at all.

3. Diapers and Inserts Not Drying Out

We faced that problem when it rained too much and there was hardly any sun. Having more inserts and making temporary inserts out of absorbent cloth was what we resorted to. The next morning, we ordered more inserts online.

4.  AIOs are Bulky and Ill-Fitting for Newborns

Although I have had no problems with diaper leakages with All-in one diapers, the aesthetics certainly go wrong! My tiny little baby looks super-bulky at the waist and upto the crotch. Now I don’t know if this counts as a solution, but it certainly has worked for me. Keep your newborn Swaddled! Swaddling the baby is recommended for at least 3 months of age for the purpose of better sleeping and we follow it religiously. Even friends who come to visit the baby are comfortable handling a baby wrapped in a swaddling blanket. And the swaddling blanket covers all the bulk of the diapers completely. By the time, we stop wrapping him and/or have to take him out, I am hoping he gets into tiny, cutesie overalls and shorts/pants etc. and even if he doesn’t, the diapers look less bulky and more becoming on him.

I wish I could say these are all the problems I have encountered, but the truth is that it’s been only 2 weeks and you never know what other unforeseen issues might be on their way, so I might add more to this post. In the meanwhile, Happy Cloth Diapering!

Cloth Diapering

Cloth DiapersI am not new to cloth diapering – or maybe I am. I will explain in a minute. Disposable diapers were never an option for newborns and even with my first child, we used cloth diapers – Indian style. In India, pre-folded triangular or diaper style cloth diapers made of cotton material are used. They are not very absorbent and diaper covers are not known here at all. Based on the advice received by other family members, these are what we had used too. So, every time the baby wet her diaper, the diaper, the baby’s vest/onesie, the swaddle cloth and the sheet underneath got wet. A waterproof plastic layer kept the mattress safe. Hubby and I, both new parents, never really knew any other way to diaper except for using disposables which we reserved for ‘going out’ purposes. Timely potty-training finally put an end to the horrifying diapering experience and we moved on to more creatively satisfying parenting experiences with our toddler. DotComWomen.com got a parenting section after my baby turned into a toddler and hence lacked in the real issues faced with babies.

With my second child born five years later, I started to look into options. I figured, that with the new ‘green’ trend of cloth diapering, there had to be something more to CD than what I knew. Then, the simple logic of using, diaper covers with prefolds and inserts, came into view during my eBay journeys (which is what I have been doing to while away my pregnancy time) and I suddenly felt more dumb and stupid than a jackass! I couldn’t believe it could be so simple to keep using cloth and not spoil all the blankets and sheets. It still seemed too good to be true so I started by ordering the Chinese version of the AIO which looked as good as the American diapers available. I ordered 5 diapers, each with one insert, off an eBay seller. The seller was very efficient and the diapers were shipped off immediately with a registered airmail with online tracking. When the diapers arrived, I was unsure of whether they would fit a newborn. I packed them in the hospital bag, just in case, along with the regular Indian prefolds saved from my first cloth diapering experience.

As luck would have it, I had to go in for a C-section 3 weeks before my due date and on a 30 min. notice because the movements of the baby seemed very low that day. I got admitted to the hospital right after my checkup and hubby picked up the half-filled hospital bag later that evening. The AIO diapers had been tucked in it although I had meant to take them out before I went into labor. However, right in the hospital, I realized what life savers the diaper covers and inserts were. It seemed completely insane the way we had diapered before. I asked DH to bring in my laptop and ordered 5 more diaper covers but 10 inserts instead of 5, from the same seller now that I trusted her service and did not have time to risk trying a new one. I ordered the printed ones as seen above as I had ordered solid colors before. I figured the importance of having more inserts. Because of international shipping, the diapers took some time to arrive and on several (especially 2), we fell short of the diapers. Babies poop more than usual during the first month and it did get spilled out of the insert and into the diaper cover as well. We had to resort to using our old prefolds (without diaper covers) due to the shortage and ended up searching for more swaddling cloths and sheets as we pretty much fell short of everything. Finally, the diapers with extra inserts arrived and although we have been doing just fine, I have ordered plenty more inserts.

Diapering has simply never been the same again and I am glad I did not fall for the trend of using disposable diapers because of my first experience. We live and we learn. Or should I say, we give birth and we learn…lol. A website that helped me with many of my questions regarding CD is http://allaboutclothdiapers.com/cloth-diaper-q-a-volume-1/. So, to all moms worldwide who are looking for options to disposable diapers and for other Indian moms who are wondering if their American counterparts are insane to resort to cloth diapering, you are simply in my situation. You haven’t figured out how the real cloth diapering works. Do give it a try! It is a wonderfully environment-friendly and a safe diapering method for your precious baby’s soft and sensitive skin. And it is easy on your wallet too! Go Cloth Diapering!