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Thursday, November 17, 2011

DIY Airplane Crib Mobile

For Taj's nursery, I already had this cute crib mobile my dad had bought for Nikhil, but I wanted something a little different.  I was googling mobile ideas and found the following pic:

However, this retails for $130 - yup, over $100 for a mobile!  It doesn't sing, dance or anything else other than look very cute, which it is, but no way would I spend that much.  And, then I remembered that I have an awesomely talented Mom who is like a crochet and knitting genius.

So, I googled around some more and found a cute free pattern here for an airplane crib mobile.  I decided on planes because I'm doing a very loosely based travel/cultural theme for Taj's nursery.  The big nursery reveal is coming soon.  But, for now, just the mobile.  We made one small tweak to the pattern.  I bought these music buttons for $1.69 at Jo-Ann Fabrics (and yes, they actually ship to Hawaii, though it takes 2 weeks).

So, my mom glued these little buttons into each airplane.  She made them with yarn which coordinated with my crib sheets (from Nikhil).

And, here is the final result!

Nikhil loved it so much that when he saw the planes before they were attached to the embroidery hoop, he took them to his own room and hid them in his bed.  It took us forever to find them.  Mom was going to knit more, but then we finally found them.

Of course, the best part of the mobile is that it was made by my mom especially for Taj.  Totally worth more than $130!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Introducing Taj

It's crazy to think that my due date was yesterday and that this little person who has been with us for 2 weeks already should only just have been born!  With the bed rest and the 2 previous trips to the hospital, we were actually somewhat prepared even though he was early.

We were blessed to welcome Taj Cameron into this world on October 26 at 6: 21 am at 8 pounds 4 ounces and 21.5 inches.  He was actually born on Diwali, which is the Hindu festival of lights, one of the most important holidays.  It signifies the triumph of light over darkness, so very auspicious.  That makes us a family of holidays, Jeff, Nikhil and I were also born on holidays.  Taj means "crown" in Hindi and Persian.  We're also going to have a Chinese name for him, which my mother-in-law is figuring out as we speak!

The only reason that I'm even semi-coherent now is because of my parents.  They have been phenomenal.  My mom came out to Hawaii early when I was on bed rest because she retired at the end of September.  My father came out a week before Taj was born and they've been so great with helping out with Nikhil.  They totally take care of him, dropping him of and picking him up from school, getting him ready in the morning.  It's so nice because I can spend time with Taj and catch sleep when I can.  Jeff and I really could not do this without their help.  And, did I mention that my Dad has been doing all of the grocery shopping and my mom has been cooking and cleaning every day?  Yeah, I know, we're totally spoiled.  I feel bad because they haven't done anything here in Hawaii for themselves yet, but they want to spend time with their grandsons which is nice for me!

Here are some hospital pics of Taj.

Taj with his Popo.  He's her 9th grandchild.  Should we make it an even 10?  Don't tell Jeff!!

Big brother, Nikhil, looking on.

My parents with Taj.  This is their 3rd grandchild.

Right now, he looks pretty Chinese and very similar to the way Nikhil looked at this age.

On the 11th day of Taj's life, we had a Hindu "Naming Ceremony" .  I posted the wikipedia link there, which describes the different types of Naming Ceremonies in various religions.  I guess in the olden times, they didn't want to name the baby before he was 10 days old because of the high infant mortality rate.  So, to ward off evil eye, they avoided naming the baby initially.  We had my mother-in-law, Jeff's sister and aunt come over for a quick little ceremony which my father conducted.

And, last, some pics of Taj at home.  Nikhil is a good big brother.  If Taj is crying, he runs to the bassinet and tries to give him stuffed animals or play music for him, saying "Don't cry baby Taj."  Very sweet.  Though he does get a bit jealous when Jeff carries Taj.  He doesn't mind when I do.  I guess somehow, he kind of knows I need to hold the baby and as a result, Jeff has been spending more time with Nikhil.  So, when Jeff is unavailable, then he sometimes gets a little more territorial.

The hardest part so far is trying to work from home to continue doing the admin work for our practice with a 2 week old.  There's not much time between the nursing and diaper changing to be processing payroll and other fun admin issues, but I'll figure it out and of course it's well worth it!  Jeff has been great, seeing patients and doing what he can at the office too and we're lucky to have a wonderful staff.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Baby Shower

My very dear friend Hope threw me the most wonderful shower last Sunday.  It actually was cutting it a bit close, since I delivered just 2 days later, but I really wanted my Mom to be at the shower since she missed my shower when I was pregnant with Nikhil.  Originally, she wasn't going to come in until just a day or two before the shower, but when I went on bed rest, she came 2 weeks earlier to help out.

It was so amazing to be surrounded by such amazing friends and family.  It really made me realize how blessed I am to live here in Hawaii and have developed such close friendships (and luck into having a great family and married into one as well).  And, of course, Hawaii is small, so a lot of my friends knew each other.  What an awesome day to spend a couple hours with my girlfriends, uninterrupted by kids!

My friend, Jules made this adorable watermelon baby carriage fruit salad.  How creative is this?  Just the amount of work to scoop out that watermelon is more than I could have ever done!!

Here's my Mom and I.  (she wants everyone to know that I'm wearing heels)


Hope organized this cute game where I was asked 20 questions and told to answer them the way Jeff would.  But, instead of just telling us what Jeff answered, she had videotaped his answers.  It was so cute to see his expressions and it made the game so much fun.  Types of questions she asked were:

-What qualities in Rupa has pregnancy brought out?
I thought for sure that Jeff would say my obsessive side, but instead he said "nurturing".  How sweet.

We did get a bunch of answers the same too though!

And, since I already had pretty much everything I needed since this was boy #2, Hope came out with this awesome group gift idea.  It's for a personal chef to come to our house and cook us a 4 course meal (groceries included ).  How neat is that!  With all of my awesome friends who contributed, Jeff and I are lucky enough to be able to enjoy 4 dinners!  No need for a babysitter and we get to talk to the chef to decide upon the menu!  I'm really looking forward to using this gift.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's a Thomas Halloween

Happy Halloween!  Of course, we had a very Thomas Halloween here in our house.  I was googling different Halloween costumes for Nikhil a few weeks ago, trying to pick something he liked.  I was considering Angry Birds, but the ready made costumes were $50 and to DIY required a lot of sewing (something I really don't like to do!)

And, then I found a couple ideas online for making Thomas.  I'm much better at doing crafty things like gluing cardboard boxes together, and Nikhil gave his seal of approval, so Thomas it was!

Here's what I was doing 2 days before I delivered Taj.

I just glued 2 cardboard boxes together, then cut the number 1 and the red stripe out of construction paper.  I used black posterboard to make the cylindrical prop for the Thomas face so it stuck out a bit and wasn't flat.  The funnel was just a toilet paper roll wrapped in the black posterboard.  We cut strips out of fabric and hot glued them to the interior of the box to be "suspenders" for Thomas.

I had some help from my Dad, who painted Thomas 2 different colors to get the exact shade.  Now some may think, well it's a costume for a 2 year old, how exact does it need to be?  Then, you certainly haven't met Nikhil.  He's like quality control for Thomas drawings.  If I leave off one wheel or change the color of one line when drawing Thomas for him, he says, "No Mommy, like this".  So, I wanted it to be perfect.

Here we are the night before to do some final measurements.  But, Nikhil wouldn't take Thomas off.

Nikhil had a costume sharing day at school the week before Halloween.  He was so proud to wear Thomas.  It was certainly worth all the hard work!  One of the little girls in his class wanted a Thomas costume too!

For Halloween, when asked what his name was, he always answered "Thomas!"

And, to add to our Thomas Halloween, Jeff spent over 4 hours, carving our jack-o-lantern.  Here's the product of his hard work. Niki loved it!!