Thursday, January 29, 2009

Nothing to Post
















Major Changes

Well its a new calender year, a new lunar year, and its time for change. We (originally me and Naughty Face) arrived in Thailand September 2007 and had planned on stay until December or January - just 3 months. Well December came and went, January came and went, and then February and time just kept flying by. And now here we are the end of January 2009!! Well change is here again - Major Change. We're moving back to the States and our numbers have ncreased. Of course the obvious additions is that fat little thing we call Lanna, but also, Yai Yai, Papa and Kimchi are also relocating with us. We're also not just going back State side but we're making a move with in the continent too. Leaving expensive Cali and moving to Mormon filled Salt Lake City!!!

The big move dates is only 2 weeks away. Lanna and I will be flying out to LA on the 11th and then on to SLC on the 14th. As soon as I secure a job and an apartment/house Tira, Yai Yai and Papa (and Kimchi) will be joining us. I'm so sad to be leaving Tira for any length of time so please pray that I will find a job quick quick quickly!

Since my time in Cali is so short if you want to meet the Phat girl please let me know as soon as possible so I can try and put together a group dinner or something fun.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sleeping Beauty


She ROLLS!!

I was baking cookies with Naughty today when Papa told me that Phats was awake and wiggling on the bed. I figured if she was happy enough not to yell then I'd leave her be and finish the cookies. After a few minutes I went in to check on her and this is what I found:

That is NOT where I had put her down for a nap, nor the position she was put in. I used Cow as a

model for the picture - Phats was put tummy down to sleep in the same place Cow is now. She managed to roll over on to her back and scoot 90 degrees. I guess that means I need to empty out the crib and put her in there for naps now. This is the first time she's rolled tummy to back and still hasn't gone back to tummy yet. And it wasn't a fluke because while I was pumping a little while later and Papa and Naughty were playing with her she did it again! Of course she wouldn't do it for me or Yai Yai.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Chinese New Year Phat Twins

A few weeks ago there was a huge Baby Shelter sale at Emporium and G-ma kind of went a little crazy. In addition to the oodles of shirts she bought for Naughty and Phat she got the Phat Girls matching Chinese New Year shirts. They wore their outfits yesterday to the babywearing meeting and then to lunch and with matching rolls and matching shirts everyone thought they were twins!
Lanna hasn't quite masterd the art of sitting yet. She's more of a lets do yoga girl.





Wednesday, January 21, 2009

We're in the Bangkok Post!!!

I may or may not have mentioned this before but at one of the previous Bangkok Babywearing Club meetings a reporter and photographer from the Bangkok Post came to do a story on us. It finally made it in to the paper and Lanna and I made it into 2 of the 5 pictures!!! Of course they're really terrible pictures of me and one of the quotes says "the correct way to wear your baby" when in actuallity Lanna's kind of just hanging there and she should have more butt support but ohh well.

Here's the link and I've copied the article below: http://www.bangkokpost.com/life/family/10207/sling-babies.

SLING BABIES
Wearing your baby helps you bond better with your child
By: KITTIMA SETHI
Published: 22/01/2009 at 12:00 AM
Newspaper section: Mylife
It has become a common sight to see parents with babies strapped to their chests.

Founder of BBC, Amy Vijayanagar and her daughter Maya.
These slings to carry infants come in a myriad of fabrics in various designs and styles and are in vogue. Celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Brooke Shields, Kate Hudson and Cindy Crawford have been spotted carrying their babies in such slings.
They are a not a new invention as women around the world have been carrying their babies for centuries - in sashes, baskets and even nets. However, the resurgence in carrying babies in these slings appears to be a new development in modern society.
Is it replacing the plethora of high-tech strollers and baby carriers available?
"Baby slings have been around since there were babies! It is an ancient tradition and there is something very beautiful about it. As soon as babies are born, parents in traditional societies put their babies in these slings and go about their business," pointed out Amy Vijayanagar, founder of Bangkok Babywearing Club (BBC).
Vijayanagar explains that just as modern parents are rediscovering breastfeeding and natural birth, buying organic cotton clothes and making homemade food for their babies, they are also discovering the art of "wearing their babies". Parents are discovering that baby carriers offer comfort, functionality, versatility and even beauty. The baby slings available today are just a modern evolution of the traditional and older versions.
Baby slings can be worn men too, as it is a great bonding tool and such positive interaction fosters a mutual attachment between the parent and infant. In some countries, mothers have also been allowed to "wear their babies" to work.
Most importantly, wearing your baby leaves your hands-free for shopping or perfoming your day-to-day activities without any hinderance. If you have more than one child, it also frees your hands to supervise the other child. Baby slings are convenient in stroller-unfriendly places such as the MRT and BTS, markets and several narrow and crowded streets in Bangkok.

Members of BBC teach each other the correct method to wear a baby sling.
As Vijayanagar puts it succinctly, "As a new mum, you may not be able to wear your favourite piece of jewellery or a nice dress, but you can wear the most beautiful thing you have - your baby!"
Vijayanagar set up the BBC out of sheer frustration - she could not find any support group when she ran into problems with her baby carrier.
"I was experiencing neck pain and the orthopedist suggested that I stopped using a baby carrier that I carried my daughter, Mia, in. I panicked because Mia loved being carried and I had no idea how to parent her without it. I took out my pouch sling but did not feel comfortable using it as I couldn't get it to work. I went online to research and scoured web sites and joined all sorts of online forums.
"That is when I discovered these slings. I learned that there were these different types of babywearing styles and slings. I also discovered there was a huge community of mothers and fathers who were into this practice," recalled Vijayanagar.

WIth a baby sling, hands are free to tend to other children.
She learned that babywearing is a skill to be learned and practiced - that probably explains why she was struggling with the pouch sling. After writing about her situation on online forums, she got several emails and was introduced to Mei Tei, a Chinese style baby carrier. She ordered one online and fell in love with it.
Soon, Vijayanagar found herself attending the second International Baby-wearing Conference in June last year in Chicago, Illiniois. This is an international conference dedicated entirely to baby slings. Inspired with the experience she gained and armed with a wealth of information, Vijayanagar decided to set up the BBC in July last year. Entering its sixth month, the club has 60 members and is growing.
Still in the womb
Dr William Sears, author of The Baby Book, sees baby slings as an extension of the womb.
He explains that a baby's gestation period is 18 months - nine months inside the womb and nine months outside. After nine months in the womb, the birth disrupts a baby's system. Slings extends the baby's womb experience and provides an external regulating system that balances the irregular and disorganised tendencies of the baby. By wearing a baby, the mother-infant attachment is enhanced. The mother's rhythmic walk, heartbeat and breathing remind the baby of the womb.

Vijayanagar shows a wraparound sling.
Baby wearing from a
medical perspective
Dr Anjana Sachabudhawong of Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital's Paediatric Pulmonology and Critical Care Centre says she has witnessed a growing number of mothers who wear their babies.
"Babywearing seems convenient to mothers and the babies appear to be safe and sound while being 'worn' by their mothers," says the paediatrician.
She explains that the new mothers' hormone (progesterone) is increased through physical contact with the infant, leading to a more intimate maternal bond, easier breastfeeding and better care.
She added that infants who are carried are calmer because all their primal and survival needs are met. The care-giver can be seen, heard, smelled, touched and tasted. Moreover, they provide the feeding and motion necessary for continuing neural development, gastrointestinal and respiratory health of the infant.
By carrying the infant in a sling, the weight of the child is spread more evenly across the upper body. There is also a decreased risk of positional plagiocephaly ("flat head syndrome") caused by extended time spent in a car seat or by sleeping on the back. Concern over plagiocephaly has also led the American Academy of Paediatrics to recommend that infants "should spend minimal time in car seats (when not a passenger in a vehicle) or other seating that maintains supine positioning".

The correct way to wear a sling.
None of the babywearing positions require infants to lie supine while being carried. Infants can even be worn while they sleep, also decreasing sleeping time spent in a supine position.
However, Dr Anjana advises that a proper position in the sling/carrier is important for the infant's hip, pelvis and spine growth. There is concern that carriers which put all of a baby's weight on a narrow band of fabric at the crotch may cause problems with spinal growth, and it is recommended to use carriers which disperse most of the infant's weight between the hips and thighs.
There is much debate on this in the babywearing community since there has not been sufficient research to show that this could be an issue for babies who do not already have a hip or spine condition, which would require special consideration.
Dr Anjana further cautions that mothers who wear their baby must be attentive to the baby's interaction with the environment. Parents must be vigilant about the space around them and avoid bumping the baby into counters and doorways.
Babies carried on the back may be able to reach things that the wearer cannot see. Most importantly, carriers must be fit snugly and properly to avoid an active baby wiggling out.
She also observed that most of the baby wearers are non-Thais and attributes this to Thai parents having several other household members to help them with their babies.
"They usually have grandparents to help carry the baby and therefore, the baby gets all the stimulation they need. Having someone to help taking care of their babies, Thai mothers are usually not compelled to take their babies outdoors with them all the time," she adds.
For support and more information, contact amy.vijayanagar@gmail.com. Additional information was taken from http://www.thebabywearer.com/; http://www.babywearinginternational.com/; 'The Baby Book' by William Sears, MD; and 'Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of this Ancient Tradition' by Maria Blois, MD.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Chiang Mai Part IV - Photo Shoot and the Drive from Hell

Before we get to more beautiful pictures of my stinkin' adorable babies I wanted to wrap up the trip to Chiang Mai. The trip over all was wonderful. We got to see family, eat good food, and see lots of animals. In addition to the zoo (which Tira go to go back to a few days later) the grands took naughty face to the Night Safari. They walked around the lake there and got to see lots of neat animals - a jaguar that jumped out and tried to eat Tira, gibbons, birds, lemurs, chimps, ponies and more. Unfortunately Yai Yai was manning the camera so we only have a few good pictures.




Tira also went with the grands to feed the monks who walk down the mountain. But again Yai Yai had the camera and so there are NO good pictures.


We drove back on the Saturday the 3rd. Brilliant Yai Yai thought that since we left on Saturday and not Sunday we would beat the traffic. No other planning was put into the trip so we didn't leave until mid morning. What should have been a 6 hour trip took us TWELVE HOURS!!! The poor babies were sooo good and didn't really start hating us until the last 2 or 3 hours.
So it was a bad end to a very good trip.














Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chiang Mai Part III - Massage

One great advantage of living in Thailand is easy access to cheap yet good massages. There was a wonderful period during my pregnancy where I got a massage almost daily, it was blissful. And while the massages in Bangkok are cheap their absurdly cheap in Chiang Mai (as in $3 an hour). So of course Yai Yai and I enjoyed a daily massage. Little did we know that Miss Thang would wedge into our massage time. Naughty Face was very interested in what we were up to and it wasn't long before she was "helping" the masseuse and eventually taking over our massages.



Sunday, January 11, 2009

Chiang Mai Part II – The Zoo

“We’re going to the zoo zoo zoo, how about you you you, you can come too too too, we’re going to the zoo zoo zoo.” –Raffi

Tira finally got her first trip to the zoo while we were in Chiang Mai. I wasn’t expecting too much since things here are usually not as nice as in the States. The first unusually thing we encountered was the parking, there was none. People just parked there cars anywhere IN the zoo. We ended up lucking out and finding a place quickly, right in front of the hippos.

Almost immediately the next strange thing happened. The hippos were right there. I’ve only been to zoos in the States and the animals are all very far away and always very separated from the visitors. However I could have literally reached out and touched the hippo if I so desired. Strange thing #3 – they were selling fruit that you could FEED TO THE HIPPOS!! Tira was too scared but we watched another family do it.

We moved on from the hippos and that’s when I began to have my doubts because the next stop was a giant guinea pig looking creature and a rooster.

After that was the nocturnal animals, which were kept inside an enclosure so the picture all turned out terrible. This was where Papa’s amazing bear with the long tail was and some cool cats were. But still nothing too impressive since.

We then hit the African exhibit – giraffes, zebras, and ostriches all together. The coolest part – we got to feed the giraffes! Tira was a little freaked out at first but soon got over it and was L.O.V.I.N.G. it!! She made us buy two bundles of food for the giraffes and was not happy when we decided to move on.



Next was the big cats – lions, tigers, and bears jaguars, ohh my. The coolest part here? Only the fact that we got to play with baby lions! 3 months old and ohh so adorable. The pictures suck because they didn’t stop moving. Another neat thing was that you could feed the young jaguars, they were selling meat on the end of a stick that you stuck through the cage for the cats.


After that was the aviary walk thru and then the pandas (grandma's a terrible photographer so there are no good pictures of the panda).
There was a little more but by then Tira was pooped. It was a lot of fun even if I was a little unsure of how I felt about the treatment of the animals. In my Americanized mind zoo animals should be kept as naturally as possible with no human interaction. However after talking to some other people it appears that feeding and interacting with the animals is common place around the world (at least in Belgium and Japan). I’m super glad Tira go this experience here because she’d never get it in the States.