King of Stripes!

Visitor map

I am quite excited about the visitor map in the sidebar, that is now fully functioning. I just clicked on it and although I know who most of those red dots are, it is quite amazing to see us all there spread on the map.

Original thought of the day: "The world has become so small..."
Or otherwise worded: Go internet!


I nostri spostamenti per i prossimi due mesi:

7 Dicembre (Venerdi' prossimo) - partiamo da Toronto alle 19:30 con destinazione Chennai via Bruxelles

9 Dicembre - arriviamo a Chennai alle ore 1:40 del mattino. Sob...

23 Dicembre circa - voliamo a Calicut per le feste

1 Gennaio circa - ritorniamo a Chennai

2 Febbraio - io e Rajiv salutiamo tristemente S. e partiamo per il Canada...


Today's picture

Il piccolino fa un sonnellino sul lettone avvolto nella sua coperta preferita. Le tende lo proteggono il piu' possibile dal (pallido) sole canadese di fine novembre.

Little one takes a nap all wrapped up in his favorite blanket. Thick curtains protect him as much as possible from the (pale) canadian sun.


Latest widget

I want to thank Maash for the new sidebar widget, which should keep track of where the reader of this blog are located on the world map. That should be fun...

Eye-witness Report

-By our own correspondent S.

This morning, at around 9:45, K. Appu did the unthinkable: he stood up with the aid of some boxes of books piled up in our living room and the moral support of his parents. He first crawled purposefully towards the boxes; he then proceeded to put both hands on one box, lifted himself up, then stood up by placing his hands further up onto another box. This lasted for a few seconds before his dim-witted dad (that's me!) realized that the equilibrium was highly unstable and instructed Kunjappu to retire while on top. He did so without serious damage to himself or his parents or, more importantly, the boxes.


The six month report

Weight/Peso: 7.9 kg
Height/Altezza: 68.5 cm

(For those interested in graphs, growth charts and percentiles, go ahead and click on the picture below to make it bigger so you can actually read it.)

Just to have something to compare with, here below is the baby development table from Babycenter. For every age it give a list of things that most, some or a few babies are able to do. I thought it would be fun to compare the list with our own, based on our observations of little one's progresses. (Again, if you want to see the table just click to enlarge it.)

Let's start from the things he can clearly do. Yes, little one mouths objects and makes bubbles. His dad in fact will be very pleased to know that these are considered "milestones". He rolls, sits without support (but still keeping a hand on the floor to lean on), does every sort of push-ups and is beginning to crawl. He reaches for objects and drags them toward himself. He is also attracted by sounds and stops whatever he is doing if there is a sudden noise or a new interesting sound. He responds ("G!") if we talk to him. He seems to distinguish colors.

Then we come to the things that maybe he can do. I am not sure if he can pass objects from one hand to the other,I haven't really paid attention. We think he can recognize his name (we call him "piccolo", "little one" or "aaaaaapuuuu" in private), but only he knows if we are delusional.

Things he does not do. He doesn't really imitate sounds. For example, if mom says "G!" he says "G!", if mom says "ba ba ba" he says "G!" and so on. For the moment he is only using the consonant "g" and maybe occasionally "b", but mostly that happens if he tries to speak while keeping his mouth in contact with some object. He is also not really babbling yet, he doesn't put together syllables, but he still manages to make the cutest sound, especially when he wakes up in a good mood.

That's all for the moment. Have I forgotten anything?

From our window, early morning

This is what you see from our window if you get up early (we do, but let's not get into that...). Last night and today we had the first heavy snowfall of the season. You can't see the snow falling because it was dark and I had to keep a long exposure to take the picture, but it was quite pretty. The second picture, by the way, is the building where we work.

Questa e' la vista da una delle finestre del soggiorno di casa, di mattina presto. Volevo fotografare la neve che cadeva quando mi sono alzata questa mattina, ma purtroppo nella foto non si vede. Questa e' stata la prima nevicata intensa della stagione, quando siamo usciti avevo la neve alle caviglie in certi tratti.

Nella seconda foto, sempre dalla finestra di casa, potete vedere l'edificio dove lavoriamo.

Stamattina alle sette


More leaps and bounds

The pictures and video below are from about one week ago.

Le foto e il video qui sotto sono di circa una settimana fa.

Little one is now officially a mobile baby, the definition of "mobile" being "able to crawl out of bed if parents are too sleepy to stop him". It helps that his crawling is still quite slow and inefficient. It also helps that our bed doesn't reach more than say ten centimeters above floor level.

Il piccolino e' ufficialmente un bimbo mobile! E' in grado di gattonare - sebbene molto molto lentamente - fino a bordo del letto e oltre. Fortunatamente il letto e' a pochi centimetri dal pavimento.

Here above you can a demonstration of plank pose. This is what his father used to call strength demonstration or show off, because it didn't seem to anything to do with learning to crawl. However, for the moment that's how little one crawls: on his hands and feet instead of hands and knees.

Nella foto qui sopra il piccolo Rajiv da' una dimostrazione della potenza dei suoi muscoli addominali. Stranamente, questa e' la sua tecnica per gattonare, almeno per il momento: procede con mani e piedi, invece di mani e ginocchia.

In this picture you might think that he is crawling with the more standard technique, but in fact it is a fake. If I remember correctly he didn't move by a centimeter. It still looks good though...

Another thing that has improved is his sitting ability. In the last couple of days he has started to try and sit of his own accord, whereas earlier he seemed completely uninterested. He keeps both knees on one side and leans on a hand, it looks quite elegant (and what doesn't to mommy's eyes? ...).

As I said at the beginning, the video is from a week ago, so no crawling yet, only gymnastics and smiles! Crawling video coming soon.

Come dicevo, il video e' di una settimana fa, quindi non si vedono spostamenti significativi, solo ginnastica e sorrisi!



Little Rajiv has celebrated his first half year of life having his first introduction to solid food. It was only raw carrots, so he can't have ingested more than a few fragments and some juice, but I think he got the idea and liked it very much. So this is going to be carrot week. Cooked, next time...

Il piccolino ha festeggiato il suo primo mezzo anno di vita con un primo assaggio di cibo solido. Gli abbiamo dato due pezzi di carota cruda, quindi e' stato piu' un gioco che un pasto e non puo' avere ingerito piu' che un po' di succo e qualche scaglia. L'idea pero' sembra essergli piaciuta, quindi questa sara' la settimana delle carote! (Cotte, la prossima volta...)


Drama King! - Arte drammatica

Pictures from the weekend. Little one was practicing crawling - with great effort and little success - on our bed and I was trying to document his progress. But as you can see he couldn't resist doing a bit of acting for the camera.

Fotografie del finesettimana. Il piccolino stava facendo un po' di ginnastica sul nostro letto, ma quando ha visto la macchina fotografica ha pensato bene di esibirsi in una serie delle sue espressioni migliori.

This one above is one of my favorite pictures so far, but the one below is the cutest...


Giovedi' scorso

The pictures below were taken last Thursday. That expression on little one's face is normal these days, another sign that the teeth are almost out. We can see some whiteness under the gums, but who knows how long it will take to surface. Hopefully it will be over soon, because poor little Rajiv seems to be very uncomfortable.

Le foto qui sotto sono di giovedi' scorso. L'espressione da pesce e' abbastanza usuale in questi giorni, probabilmente per via del fastidio alle gengive dovuto ai denti che stanno spuntando. Si vede del bianco in trasparenza sotto le gengive, speriamo che manchi poco.

Thursday was an eventful day, because little one went to hear a talk by his dad. As I mentioned at some point, one of the baby-sitters has abandoned us under very shady circumstances and we haven't been able to contact her again. Not that at this point we would leave Rajiv with her anyway. So this week Rajiv came with us to the group meeting, because his dad was speaking and his mom didn't want to miss it.

Fortunately the meeting is quite informal and is held in a place with a lot of room to walk around, so Rajiv could sit in his carrier for about half of the time and sleep or explore the room (only drawback: mm had to be in constant motion). After a while Rajiv decided that he had seen enough of the room and asked to be taken out of the carrier, which I did, and we went away from the meeting for a little while - missing unfortunately the most interesting part. We went back towards the end and little one gave a couple of comments during questions time. Not too bad overall, he didn't scream or cry, just occasionally "talked". I think most colleagues were ok with his presence.

Giovedi' e' stata una giornata densa di eventi. Come ho accennato in precedenza, abbiamo avuto dei problemi con una delle baby-sitter, che e' scompara senza lasciare traccia in circostanze sospette. Non e' stata ancora sostituita e probabilmente non lo sara' per questo semestre. In conseguenza di tutto cio', il piccolino ha assistito al suo primo seminario di fisica, con oratore niente meno che il suo papa'! Era un seminario informale e io e il piccolino abbiamo potuto camminare per la stanza liberamente, cosi' Rajiv ha potuto distrarsi quando c'era qualche parte del seminario che lo interessava un po' meno. Nel complesso l'esperienza e' stata un successo, anche se purtroppo abbiamo dovuto lasciare la stanza per un po' proprio in un momento che era particolarmente interessante per la mamma (ma chiaramente non per Rajiv).

Another important event last Thursday was a visit to the daycare center that we might use part-time starting in February, when Rajiv and I will be back in Canada without S... :(. After the bad experience we have had with the last baby-sitter we have reconsidered the idea of the daycare center, because it seems a safer and more controlled option. We liked the place, at least compared with what I have heard about other centers. I wouldn't want to leave Rajiv there for the whole day though, we might just start with one or two days a week for a few hours, at least until he is a bit older.

Un altro evento importante di giovedi' e' stata la visita al nido. Abbiamo deciso che affidarsi alle baby-sitter riserva troppe sorprese e potrebbe essere meglio mandare il piccolino al nido per qualche ora al giorno, un paio di giorni a settimana. L'idea non mi rende felicissima, pero' e' una cosa che dovrebbe succedere a Febbraio, quando Rajiv avra' quasi nove mesi. Credo che a quel punto si annoierebbe a stare tutto il giorno in ufficio o a casa con me, quindi potrebbe essere alla fine essere una cosa positiva per lui.

Note: I wrote most of this post a few days ago, but there are still no good news about the teeth. The only change is that now Rajiv cries at night as well, which is very unusual for him.


Another cute picture

This is from a couple of weeks ago. Slowly I will show off all the winter wardrobe, kindly donated by several concerned relatives.

By the way, the careful reader will easily locate the soother hidden in this picture!

Questa foto e' di un paio di settimane fa. La zia Carla riconoscera' la tutina da sci comprata in montagna. E i lettori attenti troveranno il ciuccio nascosto nella foto!

A few of his favourite things

Some things that make Rajiv laugh or smile - Alcune cose che fanno ridere o sorridere Rajiv:
  • Somebody smiling at him

    Una persona che gli sorride

  • Singing a song to him

    Cantargli una canzone

  • Rolling on the bed with mom or dad

    Rotolare sul letto con mamma o papa'

  • Tickling him...

    Il solletico...

  • Kisses, including flying kisses directed at him

    Baci, anche i baci da lontano

  • Taking a bath and splashing the water everywhere!

    Fare il bagno e spruzzare l'acqua dappertutto!

  • Meeting again mom and dad after some time with the babysitter

    Rivedere mamma e papa' dopo un paio d'ore con la babysitter

  • Saying "Bububububu", "Baabaaabaaa" and such very near to his face

    Dire "Bububububu", "Baabaaabaaa" e simili guardandolo negli occhi

  • Being transported in a nice blue towel after having going to the toilet and having had his bottom well washed

    Essere trasportato nel suo asciugamano azzurro dopo essere andato in bagno e essere stato ben lavato

  • Being lifted by his armpits and cycling his legs in the air

    Essere solevato da sotto le ascelle e agitare le gambe per aria

  • The other baby in the mirror

    L'altro bimbo nello specchio

  • Rhythmic sounds and movements (he loves it when we make him dance!)

    Suoni e movimenti ritmici

  • Red objects

    Oggetti rossi

  • The noise of an empty can falling on the floor

    Il rumore di una lattina vuota che cade per terra

  • A shelf full of books

    Uno scaffale pieno di libri


Sidebar addition

I justed wanted to attract my readers' attention to the new feature that I added to the sidebar, "The Big Picture". I encourage you to go and click, I think it's awesome!

Volevo solo attirare la vostra attenzione sull'ultima aggiunta alla barra laterale, "The Big Picture". Se non l'avete ancora fatto, provate a cliccare.


Winter is here. Today morning it was kind of chilly and walking towards the office we were hit by the first snowflakes of the season. It has been snowing in big flakes until now, but it seems that we will be able to go back home dry after all because it just stopped. It didn't stick, so the landscape doesn't look white, just wet. Still, it was Rajiv's first snowfall, although he only experienced it asleep in the front-carrier, well covered and protected from the snow by a think scarf over his head...

The picture below is not from today, but he is wearing that red fleece jacket everyday, for the moment.

Oggi abbiamo avuto la prima nevicata della stagione. Venivano giu' fiocchi beli grossi, ma la neve non si e' fermata. Ha iniziato a nevicare mentre venivamo in ufficio questa mattina, pero' Rajiv non puo' essersene accorto perche' era addormentato nel marsupio e protetto dagli elementi da una sciarpona sopra la testa (in aggiunta al cappuccio rosso che vedete nella foto).


Foto del giorno

Terrified by the flash... Terrorizzato dal flash...


The neverending babysitter pain

This was going to be the first week in which we managed to have somebody looking after the little one on all four days that we need, two hours per day, for a total of eight hours by the end of the week. This has never happened before, in spite of all our efforts. And it is not going to happen this week either, because today the babysitter didn't show up at the agreed-upon time, so I had to miss a meeting and stay home with Rajiv. It is so frustrating...

peanut progress

pregnancy week by week