my first reaction on holding the nappy pant was ‘wow its so soft!’

Untitled-4what i like about this product –
its got a perfectly snug fit, the waist band elastic is just tight enough to hold on even when the nappy is almost full (I’ve got a previous experience wherein the nappy falls half down when full). the outer material is so soft to the touch, it doesn’t irritate the skin (not once did B pull or tug on his nappy, which otherwise is quite a common sight).

what i did not like about this product –
the waist band is not adjustable. for B i did not need to tighten it since the waist is quite stretchy for his size.

Definitely impressed!

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Tired of the traditional lasagne with mince? have you tried it with chicken? a few days ago i made lasagne with chicken, spinach and other veggies in a creamy white sauce. turned out quite tasty and different.

Untitled-3Ingredients
500gms boneless chicken
1 cup washed fresh baby spinach (change the quantity as per your liking)
1-2 cup of vegetables of your choice (i added broccoli, mushrooms and carrots)
2 cups white sauce (or more as per your liking)
2-3 lasagne sheets (to cover base of the baking tray)
salt to taste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
black pepper to taste
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Method
1. Pre heat the oven to 180deg C.
2. Marinate the chicken pieces in garlic and ginger paste. Keep aside.
3. Cut the vegetables of your choice. In a mixing bowl, mix in the spinach leaves and the vegetables. Next pour the white sauce (or other sauce of your choice) and mix it. Put in the chicken pieces. Add salt and pepper as to taste.

Untitled-14. In your baking tray, line the base of the tray with lasagne sheets till it is completely covered. Pour over the chicken and sauce mixture evenly. Sprinkle grated cheese or cheese slices over it. Cover it and place it in the oven for 20-30 minutes. The chicken should be done. Please note baking time varies for different ovens.
Untitled-2
Note-
1. You can also use the Bechamel sauce you get in stores instead of making white sauce.
2. Baking time varies for different ovens. You may have to bake for longer than 30 minutes. Do check the progress after 20 minutes.
3. I used the pre-cooked lasagne sheets and hence needed no boiling prior to using it.

phases

i really enjoyed reading a blog ‘Scary Mommy’ recently where the blogger writes about 15 phases her boys (aged 5+) are going or went through. and that got me thinking about B’s various phases since birth. tiresome, funny, cute, hilarious are just a few words i use to describe those times.

1. Sleep Deprivation. This phase is mostly for the moms when you don’t remember the last time you had a good 5 hours sleep at a stretch. Luckily this phase just lasted for 4-5 months for me when miraculously B decided to sleep full nights, giving me my 7 hours of night sleep again! and just when i thought things are getting easier…

2. On the move. when B wanted to put every choking hazard in his mouth. the highlight of this phase was he gulping down half a magazine and then puking it all out on the floor! my ability to complete any household task was seriously compromised, if not completely destroyed. B would initially crawl on his tummy so i would determine how dirty my house was based on the dirt stuck or collected by his tshirts (i called him a ‘mop’ and would be glad when he would swim on the kitchen floor on his tummy!). and later by the shade of gray (or black) on his knees and on the tops of his feet and palms.

3. Walking. i still remember when he took his first steps independently. there was just no sitting-down for him after that. and that evening we went to the mall and made his ‘nana’ chase him all around the mall while ‘nani’ and i shopped!

4. Carrots. He only wanted to eat carrots. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. He had to get the taste of carrots in every dish he ate. he would finish 2 carrots in a day when he was just 7 months.

5. Anything and everything sweet. if his meals were not sweet, he would not eat. i would take turns to add peas, corn, carrots, kumara in his meals. thankgod this phase did not last long. i hated mashing peas and corn!

6. Only plain roti. this phase still frequently visits B. he will only eat plain roti, without any gravy. unless its mango puree. then its another story all together.

7. The Simpsons. his recent on-going phase and craze. its cute. finally something gets him to sit straight on the sofa on a stretch of 30 minutes.

8. Mickey mouse. this was his phase before the simpsons.

9. Drinking only from a glass. when he was introduced to the glass concept, he wanted to drink water 24/7, only from a glass. he would take a few sips and then tilt the glass 180 deg down. we had wet patches on the carpet for weeks. this phase took a long time to go! sigh…

10. Cheerios. this was his love, and still is. but there was a phase when he only ate cheerios. cheerios was the first item on our shopping list.

11. Burhan eat. it all started when he did not eat for a few days and got me all worried and worked up. that’s when i realised he wanted to eat by himself. he would say ‘Burhan eat’ and would take the spoon from me and feed himself. although this phase tested my patience and was completely messy from M to Y, i am happy this phase happened.

12. read book. B LOVES books so i am not surprised when there were days he would get obsessed with ‘mummy read this book’!! while eating, washing dishes, before sleeping, while cooking etc.

13. You build and i break the blocks. every kid goes through this Lego Blocks phase. B would make M build a ‘big bus’ and he would break it off in secs and the cycle would continue. and once the phase dies off, the blocks are thrown in every corner, waiting to be stamped upon by us! Ouch… this phase comes every 2 months. now he builds and breaks it himself and throws it everywhere!

14. Cars. started after his first bday. there were days when he only played with cars, wanted every car he saw in any shop and would embarrass you in public if he did not get it. yea happened in dubai – he stared angrily at the cashier for taking 5 long secs to scan the car and give it back to him!

15. Drink from all the bottles at home. again this a recurring phase. pour water in different bottles and drink, whether thirsty or not! crazy fascination with bottles!

16. Throw out the boxes/containers. for days and weeks at a stretch this was B’s hobby. Opening the kitchen drawer and throwing out all the containers and lids all over the kitchen floor. So many of my lids got crushed beneath our feet! and once the drawer would be totally empty, he would climb in it. Mission accomplished!

17. Wear all shoes. he was obsessed/over protective of his shoes. he would carry and wear them around the house, put them in the cupboard, on the pantry shelves. i remember he would wear M’s shoes around the house and then remove and put them safely, whereas throw my shoes down!

or the Terrible Two, as its commonly known as.

AND i finally got to throw a themed party for him. his first bday bash was a grand one too but i never got to do anything personal in it, you know what i mean. so this time, i organised everything and made everything by myself, with the personal touch!

Untitled-2theme – cars ofcourse, since he’s crazy for it. had an amazing time preparing for it. shopping for gifts, props, decorations, party-ware. got some outdoor games/toys from the toy library. the best part was i finally got to design his bday card, which unfortunately i couldn’t for his 1st bday.

Untitled-3Untitled-4honestly it got really hectic, especially with the decorations getting over just minutes before the party. but iv’e learnt a few things which i can work on for his 3rd party. AND in the end, it was soo worth it! 🙂

Last November we did our second trip up North of NZ, the first with B. it was a four day, three night trip just so that B could get his time to relax. beaches, water, picturesque surroundings, you can never get tired of seeing beauty!

Day 1

Enroute to our bach in Mangonui. we did a stop at Goat Island, New Zealand’s first and most accessible marine reserve and an amazing spot for snorkelling and diving.

Goat Island, New Zealand

Goat Island, New Zealand

Then we headed to Paihia beach for some late lunch, sun and beach fun! by dinner time we were at our bach in Mangonui. i must add, the bach M booked was soo not our style, with the toilet being outside in the carport! plus we had a few ‘light’ issues to deal with in the beginning. and i totally refused to go to a dark dodgy toilet outside the house at 8.30pm! but once all that was fixed, we actually had a lovely time there. it had a shelf full of kids’ books that B enjoyed, cards, board games which again B played with, in his way!

Day 2

Enroute to Cape Reinga, the north end of New Zealand. to quote Wikipedia, ‘ it is the northwesternmost tip of the Aupouri Peninsula, at the northern end of the North Island of New Zealand’. here, you can see the separation of the Tasman Sea and the Pacific Ocean. we got a beautiful day with clear skies, giving us spectacular views. by late afternoon we headed for the sand dunes. the 5-10 secs of thrill you get sand-boarding down the huge dunes is worth the exhausting walk up!

Cape Reinga - New Zealand

Cape Reinga, New Zealand

Cape Reinga, New Zealand

Cape Reinga, New Zealand

The 90 mile beach was our last stop for the day. however this is a misnomer because it is actually 55 miles (90 km) long. a long stretch of sand with roaring water on other side. since it had just rained then, we couldn’t do much besides B jumping in all the numerous water puddles!

Day 3

Started off lazily, plans were to just explore Mangonui village today. so after a rather long breakfast we first headed to Mount Mangonui. climb to the Mount Mangonui summit for unrestricted breathtaking views of this seaside town.

Mount M

Mount Mangonui, Mangonui, New Zealand

Lunch was the famous Mangonui Fish and Chips. personally i am not a fan of fish and chips so have no idea what the hype was all about but M and mama-mami enjoyed. hmm so maybe it is worth the hype! the rest of the evening we spent at Coopers Beach, till the high tide forced us to leave. dinner was at Indian Spice. rated 4.5 stars and ranked #1 of 9 restaurants there, this is MUST MUST try. the authentic flavours, relaxing ambience and friendly staff made our evening so enjoyable. its sad such a great restaurant is so far for a regular weekend’s dinner.

Indian Spice, Coopers Beach, Mangonui Fish Market, New Zealand

Indian Spice, Coopers Beach, Mangonui Fish Market, New Zealand

Day 4

On route to Auckland. stopped at Paihia Beach again for some Latin Mexican Lunch at El Cafe. try it if you go there. good portions and decent taste. B finished a large milkshake all by himself, which says a lot! was home by late evening, a bit tired yet totally relaxed!

Paihia Beach, El Cafe, New Zealand

Paihia Beach, El Cafe, New Zealand