The Birthday Week Post – 2015

Malhotra Boys Birthday Week

We made it to the summer, and we survived the first year.

They say everything gets better with time, and they also warn you that when you’ve reach time XX, you would’ve cleared all the issues preceding XX, and that you will now be in a place/time/space continuum where your child won’t do YY any longer.

F it. You think you raise your child, but in fact, they are gently guiding you along. You make boundaries, you train, you reinforce – but all those things are because your child is open and willing to adapt to your requirements. Your child may or may not do YY any longer, but they’ll start doing AA or BB a few days later.

I am over the moon happy that the first year is over – the growth, both physical and emotional, is daunting and I’m frankly surprised little babies don’t run around crabby the entire time. He hasn’t stopped teething, hasn’t ever succumbed fully to being sleep trained, and frankly refuses to stop moving – but I love every ounce of him for it. My son is in a relentless rush to do something all the time for no reason at all, and that passion and intensity reminds me of myself. So who am I to blame him for opening every drawer, throwing every toy, opening every door, and running around everywhere when he literally has nothing better to do but to explore the world he was brought into!

His birthday party was great, and those pictures, along with his 10, 11, and 12 month pictures (11 and 12 weren’t actually taken), will eventually make it up to the blog…but until then, I’ve learned a few things about the 1st year birthday party:

  1. It’s for you, not for your child.
  2. It’s a celebration that you survived.
  3. Don’t kill yourself or go over board – because you still have to take care of him that night and clean up the next day!
  4. Determine a budget and stick with it (these birthday themes are GREAT at killing budget, aka Etsy)

Now that we’ve transitioned more into solids, life has become mildly easier. I spent MY birthday this morning taking him to get his first blood draw so our pediatrician can give us the green light for cow’s milk – not the best way to start the day for anybody, let alone a 1 year old. Once the milk transition is done, he will be a bonafide mini-me. The best part is I didn’t have to teach him any of the snooty crap I fall prey to – he hates pasta sauce that’s plain (garlic, a little spice, and some slow simmering please!), loves ketchup on everything (who doesn’t?), and enjoys a mean espresso in the morning (Dunkin Donuts what?)

After our lovely experience at the hospital, he showed off his manual dexterity by eating his entire lunch on his own, in a high chair, at a restaurant, without throwing more than 1 fit. #success.

36 years later, I’m still learning, and still grateful that my parents invested all of the love, time, and effort into making me the father and man I am today. I hope 35 years from now, Aarya feels the same way (if not, he can hopefully read about me bitching about him on this blog, if the internet still exists in the future in a 2 dimensional form).

The 8 and 9 Month Story

It’s rare that I post on one of his birthday’s.

Rare because more often than not, we rush to cut his cake, rush to get him to bed, and hope that he eventually goes to sleep.

Sleep training has been a 60 day battle (I thought it’s been since January 16th, but I was reminded we started February 16th).

Progressing from light patting to put him to bed to full out 5, 7,10 minute walk in sessions (nicer Ferber, essentially), has taken awhile, and it doesn’t always work.

As I write this post, poor little guy is actually crying…but eventually every parent, I assume, comes to terms with the fact that IF they want their child to sleep on their own, and not be paralyzed with the inability to put themselves to sleep the rest of their youth, you have to institute some sort of sleep training.

Patience and consistency are key, but I find myself slipping and giving excuses because amidst these milestone months, especially the past few where he’s crawling and standing up proficiently, he’s also teething, getting colds, dealing with who knows what else.

For fathers that are trying to help with sleep training, be supportive of your wife, and most importantly, remember that you’ll probably have more emotional fortitude to handle your child’s crying than your wife. Mom’s are wired differently, as I realized tonight, where we were on about our 3rd 10 minute cry out phase (after about 45 minutes of crying), and I was photoshopping his pictures, looking at the top right hand corner of my mac, and not being phased by his crying. His mom was emotionally pacing the room, wondering when this would end, and what we’re doing wrong.

First thing about sleep training is to guarantee the following:

1. The room is safe (there’s a humidifier, the temperature is correct, there are no wires near the crib, and sheets are tucked in tight, there’s a little night light).

2. He’s fed.

3. He’s not wet.

4. He’s not in pain (this is the difficult one I struggle with when he’s teething).

5. He hasn’t thrown up and aspirated on his vomit (yes, hyperbole, but my little one has a tendency to throw up, thankfully sitting up, so worth noting for parents).

In order to achieve #1 and 2, setup the night time routing correctly. #3 and 4 are difficult without feeling around, so that’ll throw things off, and only check if necessary. #5 required us to watch him using a video monitor, in order to make sure everything was ok and if he did throw up, we could run in, change him, make sure he’s not lying down if he DID throw up, and continue with the training.

Being strong and consistent is key…but as I write this post, I feel like my will wavering. I’m actually writing to distract myself, because the gut-wrenching pain of hearing your child cry, not because they are physically hurt, is a difficult concept for the brain to capture.

He’s grown leaps and bounds these 2 months since I’ve left home and not been on paternity leave…below at 8 months, this little guy had his front two teeth in, and was happy with the world as a crawler.



I sincerely do miss my time at home with him full time, the afternoons especially, when the sun was setting, and light filling the master bedroom as we joshed around chasing each other on the floor,



But, as everyone says, they grow so fast, and weeks have flown by, as I reminisce about the past 9 months with him,

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Reflections After Two Months with My Son


It’s complete and absolute luck that I was fortunate to have the exclusive time I had off with my son.

Not many parents, forget fathers, get that opportunity. And it was an experience rife with emotion. A few things I learned as a father,

1. Teething is horrible. He got his first two teeth the week of March 10th, and he was crying, screaming, and in pain the entire week (and has had on and off episodes since). There are a lot of products that are out there, and most are safe. I used Hylands teething tablets, which is a homeopathic medication that seems to work well in calming him down. A few tablets does the trick for 3 or so hours. If things got worse, we gave him some motrin (1.25 mL) or tylenol (2.5 mL). Both are  fine with your pediatrician’s sign off.

2. Sleep training is horrible and iterative. We spent a lot of time and money on sleep training him. And it was exhausting. Teething reset the clock, so we had to restart with it – and the effort continues. Is there a magic trick to it? It depends on your child. Most children succumb to the concept after a few weeks. Our son continues to fight the concept of sleeping alone in a crib; he has gone 8-10 hours on his own on some nights, but then there are nights he can only manage a few hours of sleep before he requires intervention. The key thing is picking something, being consistent, and sticking with a schedule.

3. Crawling and walking are fun. But safety first – he’s had a few spills, one off the bed, and another of a stool. Both were accidents, and both caught us as parents off guard because you forget or underestimate how mobile a baby can become overnight. So walkers, high chairs, and pack and plays are the safest options – despite your child’s protestation!

4. Play music and read! Kids require variety, and around this age, when hearing has matured and curiosity has peaked, music and reading are being absorbed at rates we can’t fathom. My son will focus on me playing the indian drums for about 10-15 minutes. That’s a lot for a kid his age, and I usually stop after so he doesn’t get overwhelmed – everything is new, unique, and sensitive to his little ears and brain. Same for reading too.

I’m not sure when he’ll go into day care, and I hope we can continue to give him one on one care with grand parents, but because of his limited social circle, we’ll eventually have to get him exposed to other adults and babies. I miss him dearly every hour I’m away, and am so deeply thankful I have him in my life. His mischievous little smiles, goofy squawks, awkward crawls, and excitable demeanor make it a joy to be his father.


Football Season, Random Fall Shots, and Thanksgiving 2014

The Broncos ended up losing in the playoff’s, but we had fun watching, planning, and eventually celebrating the Patriots’ victory…(at least the AFC won!)

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Of course, we had to force him into a halloween costume, and the best (and cheapest option!) was this little pumpkin get up from Carter’s…easy to get on and off, and for the 15 minutes he was wearing it, he looked relatively edible.


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The family gathering at thanksgiving was the first of its kind, because we had the entire family on both sides there – plus we had a first appearance with our son and a Tofurkey. A vegetarian thanksgiving? Yup, we’ve crossed the line.


and yes he wondered why he had so many cakes…we also celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday.Thxgiving15

that’s tofurkey…delicious!Thxgiving10

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why he never looks directly at the camera when we take these once in a lifetime shots!




What happened to making it to Month 4 and 5??

Yup, daddy brain in full effect.

Forgot to post these up…and just finished post-processing. I swear it’s more tough than it should be…I mean, he’s nearly 7 months old and not even walking or talking yet. I’m sure I have more surprises in store for me soon….

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The funny thing about chronicling his growth month to month…is you can really see him change physically, and even his cuteness factor changes. I thought he was so cute in his 1 month picture, but looking back…the mixture of his baby hair falling off, and new hair coming in, and not growing quite into his head left him looking a little like George Castanza from Seinfeld. His latest pictures are definitely a step in the right direction…(observing as a completely impartial dad)…


Week 3, 4 and 5 of Paternity Leave

Time is flying.

I thought I’d post every week, but Aarya’s 3 hour segments (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) make the day’s speed by- and before I know it, it’s 6 pm and we’re getting ready for bath time and the evening routine. Sitting down and post-processing pictures is almost impossible to (I still haven’t done Christmas and Thanksgiving posts from 2014!!) I give made props and respect to mommy bloggers that can manage their kids and blog – it’s a feat!


But this time has been precious. I’m lucky to have a wife that supports the home while I spend these few weeks with him, and lucky that my kid is awesome and absolutely adores me as much as I him.

His little developmental milestones have been a hoot.

He doesn’t like me being far away from him….


And he makes it known.

And if you move, he’s going to follow you around…scooting. belly crawling like a little penguin, and doing whatever it takes to get into your lap,

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Besides scooting, crawling, and chewing, we’ve taken on an enormous task to regain our overnight sleep. Aarya’s sleeping patterns went to hell in a hand basket at a week before his 6 month birthday, so we had to enlist the help of Devon over at Mama’s Best Friend, a doula and sleep expert that has started to help us with this process.

And it was a painful process the first night – getting him into his crib and to sleep on his own entailed slightly more than an hour of me and my wife switching back and forth calming him down in his crib as he screamed at the top of his lungs. Devon was by our side, just outside the door, coaching us along as she used our Wifibaby cams to see what was happening like a CIA agent on an operation!

Night 2 wasn’t as bad, we put him in the crib, and about after 5 minutes of crying, we patted his back for 5 minutes and he passed out. He slept without us, in his crib, with a few interruptions until 5:45am! Night 3 was last night, and he went down around 8:15pm and woke at 5am – what the heck??!! We slept a whole night, and he didn’t need a feed? We can’t thank Devon enough for the support as we continue this campaign for ending Mommy and Daddy’s sleepless nights!


6 months old!

A 6 month old baby is a very complicated being.

Layers and layers of emotions are developing in that little head, along with teeth, all while body parts are growing in all sorts of fun directions. And everything we had been enjoying, like sleeping a little more at nights, being able to predict his emotions, and the personality we thought we knew, completely changed.

His sleep stopped on January 18th, 2015. He no longer could sleep alone, he was uncomfortable in his Rock and Play, and the swaddle was a failed effort.

I’ve written about how he was sick, but after he recovered, he was essentially different. He was teething and uncomfortable, but his ability to perceive the world, and the fact that he knew who I was and was unhappy when I was outside of a 4 foot radius, became an emotional tour de force to handle on my own at home. I had to eventually call in the parents, when I foolishly thought I could handle him on our own, to help out. He was up every 45 minutes, and when awake during the day, he was fussy, clingy, and a bit of a mess.

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So my little mobile guy was clearly changing – he is now doing a belly crawl, he’s pulling himself up, and he hasn’t quit chewing on everything! He’s able to recognize preferred members of his “home care crew”, and crawl there way. He’s in the walker here and there, and an extra saucer, but by and large he likes being free and scooting or pulling around. It’s kind of awesome.

Week 2 of Paternity Leave

Well, we got sick. He got his pneumococcal and hep shot on Friday, 1/23/15, and that weekend, his immune system gave in and he got a cold AND an ear infection. I subsequently fell ill on Monday morning, just a day before the “great blizzard of 2015”, which eventually amounted to 6-8 inches of dry snow. The positive note was that we got to extend the stay of family members because flights were cancelled – most notably his grand father (below):


let’s hope that forehand turns into a tennis scholarship to Princeton!

This week was pretty much a bust though, with both of us being sick. aaryaweek2-5

He was a sport though, and toughed through Daddy snapping pictures of him playing around with Geoffrey the Giraffe and my camera equipment…

Not guilty!
Not guilty!
That smile!
That smile!

Diwali 2014

Aarya’s first Diwali was a great celebration of lights and fun – we also celebrated my graduation and my wife’s promotion. It wasn’t without drama (I spilled the fluid from one of the chafing dish warmers and it started a fire on the dining table!)


It was a get together long over due, and Aarya, though only awake for an hour of it, got to watch us feast on an epically amazing cake designed for him (sorry little guy!) Made by Amazing Cakes.


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The house was rearranged so that we could squeeze everyone in,

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