Adventures with AnnaLiza

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv34946-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-4823756347nu0mrjOnce upon a time lived a family of three, Papa Antoine, Maman Layla, and daughter Delarai. They lived in a small but gorgeous house. God had blessed them with many things including good health, lovely neighbors, and loving friends. There was only one thing that was missing. All members of the family, especially the daughter, wished every night upon a star, that they could have a new addition to their family. A nice little sister for Delarai.

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On March 3rd, a beautiful baby girl was born in a magical little city called San Francisco. She was 5 pounds 15 ounces and 20 inches tall.

She was ready for a new home. Maman Layla, Papa Antoine, and daughter Delarai rushed to the hospital to meet the gorgeous little princess. During the drive to the hospital, Delarai chose a name for her little sister, “Annaliza”, which meant a gift from God. As soon as the family entered the hospital room, AnnaLiza turned around & gave a gorgeous smile to her new family. It was love at first sight.

In the first weeks, AnnaLiza loved to sleep. Delarai would stay next to her crib and sing lovely songs for her in French, Farsi

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and English.

She was called Annalisa by her sister, Poussine (French nickname) by Papa Antoine, and “Gomboloo” (Farsi nickname) by Maman Layla. AnnaLiza had lots of FANS. From that day on, Annaliza was called in many loving ways. Annaliza was sure special. So many people loved her.

AnnaLiza was sure a personality of her own. She was naughty, kind, and gentle. She sure knew what she wanted, and she was not afraid to ask for it.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-357-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-436;-57347nu0mrjAnnaliza had a lot of style. She looked good in any color and any outfits her sister would choose for her. She had a real sense for fashion, and she insisted on wearing the same outfits as her big sister. Annalisa sure loved to eat; she could not wait till the day she could start on solids.

On March 21st, AnnaLiza celebrated her first important holiday. That was the Iranian New Year. The family celebrated by cleaning the house, making a Hafsin, dressing in new clothes, and visiting special friends and family.

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Annaliza became really chatty when she turned two month old. She would talk for hours, her mother and the neighbors heard her say “Hi” at an early age.

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-2-8-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-436;9-6347nu0mrjAnnalisa and Delarai shared a very strong sisterly bond unmatched by anyone except maybe Elsa and Anna.

She also had a real sense for adventure, mountains, forests, and the park, nothing scared her at all.

When Annalisa turned three months, Mammy and Pappy came all the way from France to meet her. They brought her beautiful toys and clothes. She specially appreciated French Fashion, and had a great bond with Mammy who promised she would take her on many trips.232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv3-4-8-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-436;-6;347nu0mrj

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At 4 months old, Delarai and Annaliza began planning a secret trip to the kingdom of Tonga, the land of Annaliza’s ancestors. Delarai suspects Annaliza could even the future Queen of Tonga. Located in Oceania, Tonga is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, directly south of Western Samoa and about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. AnnaLiza began learning how to swim as soon as she heard the kingdom has 177 islands, so she can be prepared for their first trip. Luckily they had a pool with pleasant warm water where AnnaLiza could swim as much as she likes. She also likes to sunbath with her sister Delarai. Oh the beauties of a California summer!232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv37353-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-4857292347nu0mrj

On the day Tupou VI and Nanasipau were crowned the new King and Queen of Tonga; Annaliza celebrated being an American at her first 4th of July neighborhood parade!

Annaliza began eating solids as soon as her Doctor said she could. (Just a few days short of her 5th month birthday). She was a real gourmand, and absolutely loved everything given to her. Her favorite dishes were: Rice cereal, celery juice and mashed carrots.  She also loved to help cook!

232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv37267-nu=489;-9-4-534-WSNRCG=35-4993-59347nu0mrjAnnaliza even taught us some recipes from Tonga, like this watermelon drink Otai, and Kale Moa which is a chicken vegetable dish. She also loves pineapple.

Over all, Annaliza had a lovely first few months. Her family is looking forward to her six- month birthday, and her sister Delarai is planning many surprises for her to come. Annaliza has many aspirations for the near future. She hopes to try at least one new food each day, learn how to say hello in four different languages, and get a passport so she can go on an exciting adventurous holiday. She is currently deciding between the Kingdom of Tonga, Canada and France.

 

Where do you think she’ll end up next?

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Awakening your children’s creative and innovative minds!

Last night, we held a special Focus Group for Chef Koochoolo. We had both kids and parents participate, it was a lot of fun, and I personally gained a lot of new insights about other parents’ dilemmas when it comes to their kid’s education.

Everyone talked about the challenge of keeping their kids engaged and learning at all times, especially over summer break, while finding time to put a healthy and delicious meal on the table.

Kids are naturally curious and creative. They’re into everything. But with time, and what parents shared as ‘bad schooling’, some of that natural spirit of exploration can get sucked out of them. Gradually, a fear of mistakes and their consequences can start to grow.

If innovation is important to you, give one of Chef Koochooloo recipes a try, venture out into Slovakia or Iran and teach them about geography and math at the same time.

Here some pictures of the event. And keep reading because there’s more!

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If you foresee a busy summer and don’t think you’ll have much time for the kitchen, there are two camps I would strongly recommend for your kids, and my opinion is not formed because of Galileo’s support of this blog, but due to the foundation and philosophy behind their curriculum.

One of my good friends at work, Gita Kapoor has two amazingly talented boys who have created a unique engineering summer camp for children entering grades 6-8. The camp is designed to teach specific mechanical engineering principles using LEGO, and will also touch on autonomous robotics using NXT, including programming.  It will conclude with LEGO battlebot development and a battlebot tournament to which parents are invited.

If you know anyone entering grades 5-8 who loves LEGO and would enjoy learning more about mechanical engineering concepts please let them know about this unique one-week camp.  The camp will be located in Cupertino and runs from 9am-12:30pm.  Space is limited to six campers per session.  You can find more information and registration details here: http://futureengineers.webflow.com

The kids will even give you a discount of $10, if you happen to mention my blog post ☺

Looking for a bigger discount? Then you might want to check out the promotion I have for you from Galileo.  Sign up by May 31 and save $30 per camper with code 2014INNOVATION. Also you can have a chance to win a free week of summer camp by signing up for the newsletter at the bottom of the page.

Armed with an innovation process inspired by the Stanford d. school, Galileo instructors facilitate campers’ hands-on exploration of science, art and outdoor activities. Behind every activity, an idea. And a mindset—visionary, courageous, collaborative, determined, reflective.

CAMP GALILEO IS A PLACE WHERE FEAR GOES ON HOLIDAY. In its place grows a spirit of exploration and innovation. Every year, Galileo sees the experience fire campers’ imaginations and literally change their way of relating to learning.

• Nebulas: pre-K to K

• Stars: 1st and 2nd graders

• Supernovas: 3rd to 5th graders

I strongly believe, that all of the above options are AMAZING. And the by-products- kids with supreme confidence and a boldness of vision are what will eventually rock our world, so in preparation for your summer, do plan for fun engaging and innovative activities that your children can enjoy.

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Co-Sleeping vs. Crib Sleeping

You and your baby dozing off together: The image is adorable, but co-sleeping, or sharing your bed with an infant, is often frowned upon in Western cultures.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warn parents not to put their infants to sleep in adult beds, arguing that the practice puts babies at risk of strangulation and suffocation. According to the CPSC, at least 515 infant deaths between January 1990 and December 1997 were linked to children sleeping in adult beds.

Despite the risks, many new studies showcase the advantages to co-sleeping, and the practice seems to be a rising trend. In his book on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, pediatrician William Sears cites co-sleeping as a proactive measure that parents can take to reduce the risk of death in infants. Sears stresses that co-sleeping babies learn to imitate healthy breathing patterns and spend less time in a state of deep sleep, in which the risk of apneas increases. In Japan co-sleeping is the cultural norm, and rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome are among the lowest in the world. Harvard psychiatrist Michael Commons and Notre Dame anthropologist James McKenna state that babies who sleep alone are more susceptible to stress disorders.

Three years ago, users on Yahoo! Answers France initiated a question about where babies should spend the night (hyperlink http://fr.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080316081500AA0tiRr), and the question remains popular on Yahoo! Answers globally. Especially heartwarming, I thought, is the latest discussion in Australia, dating back three months. I also found great advice from our Malaysian Answers community.

As with most controversial topics, there are convincing studies to support either side of the debate. The important thing is to find the right decision for you and not to be intimated by advice of those who hold opposing viewpoints. Remember, co-sleeping is not for everyone, and all experts agree that anyone sharing a bed with an infant should apply the following safety tips:

• Never smoke in the room where your infant sleeps.
• Do not take any drugs or alcohol that can affect your sleep.
• Do not share an adult bed with more than one child at a time.
• Never leave your infant alone in an adult bed.

If you are a parent who has shared the bed with your infant and you want to transition him or her to the crib, there is a great discussion on Answers India that can guide you on this process.

Lastly, I thought it would be fun to take a poll and see what those of you reading the blog have decided.