Motherhood and Lifestyle

Why does your baby cry?

  1. Your baby is hungry. They need more milk.
  2. Your baby needs to be burped. In my experience, it takes up to 15 minutes for the burp to release.
  3. They may be feeling too hot or cold. Adjust the clothing to match temperature. As a rule of thumb, they may need the exact layers of clothing you use.
  4. If your baby is suffering from reflux, they may need to be help upright for quite some time after a feeding to feel comfortable.
  5. Overfeeding can also cause them discomfort. You’ve got to find the sweet spot of satiety.
  6. Reaching milestones/leaps such as sitting, crawling, and many more could make them fuzzy and restless.
  7. Your baby might be unwell. It could be a fever, rash, or ear infection. Trust your instincts and get them checked out by the doctor.
  8. They could be suffering from gas from swallowing air while feeding. Massage their belly or move their legs in bicycle motions to help ease the discomfort.
  9. Baby could be colicky. In this case, they would be crying for no particular reason. Hang in there mama.
  10. They simply need your comfort and need to be held. Give them all the cuddles.

What are some great Superfood alternatives?


Chia Seeds:  Chia seeds claim to be high in omega 3. Our body converts 0-10% of chia seeds to something that is usable. You’ll have to eat a lot of it to get your daily servings of omega 3. Eat flaxseeds instead. The nutrients get absorbed quicker and they are much cheaper.

Quinoa: A super grain, often is imported from South America. 2013 was regarded as the international year of quinoa. It is high protein, low in carbohydrates. It is, however, not a major protein source compared to meat and lentils. Keep in mind that you are not going to lose weight with quinoa as it is quite high in calories. A great alternative is potatoes. They are high in potassium, fibre, vitamin C. The downside is they are low in protein. They are cheaper than quinoa. Potatoes worked for Matt Damon in ‘The Martian’.

Coconut water: People drink coconut water assuming it is more hydrating, contains electrolytes, and is more refreshing than your regular good old water. Of course, it tastes good. Coconut water can hydrate you, sure, but it does not do any better than regular water. Studies show that there is no significant benefit to coconut water compared with plain water. Drink regular water people. Lesser calories and a cheaper drink!

How can you have an anxiety free, empowering birth vaginally?


I’m by no means a prenatal expert, just a regular mom of 2 under 2, having delivered vaginally both times. These tips helped me out tremendously.

  1. Once you’re admitted at the hospital, keep moving when possible. If you’ve been administered an IV, request for a Hep Lock IV so that you can move around. Of course, this will not be possible if you choose to get an epidural.
  2. Avoid lithotomy position, if possible. Lithotomy prevents the sacrum and tailbone from moving and the external hip rotation closes the pelvic outlet. Try to be on your side or on all fours as this will enable my pelvic floor outlet to be open and your sacrum to move freely. This really comes to educating and advocating for yourself, and whether your hospital/L&D staff will be supportive of your request(s). I would advise you to call in advance and check with your healthcare provider.
  3. When it is time to push your baby out, refrain from holding your breath. I know this is easier said than done since this is what the nurses and doctor will tell you at the time to do. Holding your breath or purple pushing can put a lot of strain on your pelvic floor, increasing the likelihood of trauma and tearing. Instead, try open glottis pushing, which will help minimize the pressure and help you stay oxygenated. This technique will also be something you have to advocate for yourself. You must be confident and believe you can do it! Request not to purple push unless it is a medical emergency where your baby needs to get out ASAP.
  4. Push only when you feel the urge to push, if possible. Till then allow the contractions to kick in (I know easier said than done), let the perineum stretch, thereby reducing the chances of tearing.

A few more general tips:

  1. Do not be afraid of labour and birth. I know first time momma’s will not be able to just read this and absorb. Truly, experience is the best teacher. Trust that your body can do this!
  2. Breath like a horse every time a contraction happens. Avoid clenching your jaw and pelvic floor. You will be surprised how much it will help you! Breathing will allow oxygen to enter your body and your natural pain relievers to do their magic.
  3. During active labour, try to lean forward onto a wall or person or create asymmetry. Put one foot higher than the other and practice breathing.
  4. Pant as baby is crowning to allow tissues to stretch.
  5. Sit on the toilet to release pelvic floor.
  6. Dim the lights and have excessive noise reduced.
  7. Ensure that your support person is aware of your preferences and will support/advocate for you when needed.

Above all, try to stay informed and educated on latest studies on labour and delivery, pain management, and prenatal and postnatal care. Knowledge is empowering and knowing what your body can do or handle is truly the best ammo you can carry when you bring your little one into this world.

How do you turn on the radio on a 2018 Mazda CX-5 without turning on the engine?

  1. Turn off the engine.
  2. Press the start button once without pushing down on the brake pad. This will turn on the radio and the display screen.
  3. If you press the start button once again without pushing down on the brake pad, the battery, along with the remaining controls on the dashboard will light up.
  4. To turn off the radio once you turned it on as per step 2, press the start button 2 more times without pushing down on the brake pad. All systems will turn off.

The Apple Orchard – Hamilton


We decided to go pick some apples before the season got over and before the summer heat died. It was a random decision we made after a colleague of my husband suggested that he visit an apple farm located in Hamilton, Ontario. We decided to go on a Saturday. It was rainy and there was scattered rains. We thought twice before heading out, but we had made up our minds. We kept our umbrellas handy. We got some McDonald’s coffee and began our drive to Hamilton to visit The Apple Orchard. It was almost an hour worth of drive for us. It rained pretty hard on the way. It was a pretty scenic drive to our destination. While driving into the parking lot which was a grassy area, we didn’t see a lot of cars. The reason became pretty obvious; it was raining hard at this point. What made me beam with smile was something I’ve wanted to see forever, but never got a chance in my life. It was a field of sunflowers! I was so excited to run into the field and take some beautiful photos.

I decided I would patiently till the rain died, or at least went to a drizzle form. We got out, took our umbrellas, and heading to the shed, where we saw the staff standing. We received a warm welcome, ah, such good and kind people. I totally forgot the name of the older guy, but I’m going to name him Joe, since I’ve to refer to him a few times in this blog. Joe suggested we wait in the shed till the rain slowed a bit. He explained there were about 38 varieties of apple trees in the farm and gave us a slice of Ginger Gold and Macs that were ready for picking. I really like the Ginger Gold. It had a fusion of flavors and the skin wasn’t too thick. He said I could store the Ginger Golds up to 3 months in the refrigerator. He informed that it was only the second year the farm was open to the public and that the trees were small. He said we could get roasted corn on the farm and also showed a collection of maple syrup bottles for sale. He mentioned it was $1.50 (if I remember correctly) per pound of apple. We paid the entry fee of $4.50 per person and waited in the shed till the rain stopped, at least temporarily. We also got a pretty sturdy plastic bag to collect our apples. The moment it stopped, we went to take a closer look at the sunflowers. The flowers weren’t facing up since it was cloudy. Joe offered to take our pictures. What a gentleman! Once my eyes devoured their beauty, we decided to walk to the orchard. The rain started to drizzle again. The farm spanned over acres of land I assume. There were directions leading to the trees which were ready for picking. I also want to mention that the orchard was empty while we were there. I guess people didn’t want to come out since it was a rainy day. We basically had the whole place to ourselves. We took pictures, ate a few apples, and started picking. We wandered around here and there and saw there were pear trees as well. They weren’t ready for picking yet. Almost an hour into our picking, we had some company. My worst enemy, the mosquitoes! I kept moving around so that they wouldn’t stick to me. My husband took a walk around the corn maze as well. At this point, I was swatting away the mosquitoes with my umbrella. I wanted to get out of the orchard. Arghhhh!!

We walked away from the apple trees towards the entrance of the farm. We decided to have some roasted corn. Yumm, roasted corn with butter sounded perfect for a rainy day. It was a little chilly as well. We got our corns, coated with butter, and with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. We ate them near a few fire pits. The smell of charcoal, wet grass, and what I thought was some kind of a mild sweet nectar scent was in the air. I was happy and content.
The weather seemed to get better I think. The rain stopped and maybe I was imagining. I saw the sun coming through ever so slightly. We went back to Joe and weighed our apple bag. We said our goodbyes and headed back home. I recommend this place to everyone!

A 3 day trip to New York City – Guide for amateur travelers


I’ve been wanting to see New York and its crazy, busy life style for so long and when I finally got a chance to plan it out, I didn’t hesitate! My husband I work Monday-Friday and long vacations are such a luxury. We get to go on long vacations once in a year. So we plan all our short trips during the long weekends. We decided to plan out this trip from June 30th – July 2nd. We kept a few things at the back of our heads while planning this out. We had a strict budget. We knew we weren’t going to drive all the way from Toronto to New York. We needed to decide on the key landmarks we needed to visit. We needed to have a solid plan in place because time was of the essence. Our goal was to primarily visit the city, get the feel of the atmosphere, the people and visit the important landmarks. It’s more like checking items off of our bucket list!

We started off by exploring 3 day tour options from Toronto to New York. These tour options include transport, hotel accommodations, and a tour to guide you during the entire trip. You don’t have to do a lot of thinking here. But guess what? We were a little late in booking this tour. We were a little bumped because with the guided tour, we could save a lot of money. That didn’t stop us from continuing our planning. We decided we would book the bus and hotel separately. It took us a few days in deciding which bus and hotel to book. We booked round trip tickets with megabus. We were to depart on June 29th at 11:59 PM and return on July 2nd at 11:25 AM. You’ll see that we don’t get the full 3 days here as you read further. It’s almost 2 1/2 days. We booked a room at Giorgio hotel through for 2 nights stay – on June 30th and July 1st. Once the transport and accommodation was finalized, we decided to build our itinerary. We had some key places in mind, but our thoughts were disorganized. We took some inspiration from the newyorkpass website  and sightseeingpass website to plan our trip. Bare in mind that this layout will work for someone who is ready to hustle, stay awake until 1 AM, and rest only for the slightest amount of time during the trip. You’re making a commitment to utilize all the time you’ve got while in New York.

Day 1 (June 30): 9/11 Memorial and Museum, One World Observatory, Madame Tussaud’s, Top of the Rock observation center at Rockefeller center, Ripley’s believe it or not

Day 2 (July 1): Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Central Park, Wall Street, Night Tour on the hop-on hop-off bus*

We decided to visit the Empire state building, Grand central terminal, and Times Square if we had additional time or on July 2nd morning before we took the bus back (we didn’t know where it was when we planned. We thought we would somehow encounter it while we walk around). That brought us to our next question: Are we going to pay at the gates while visiting each attraction or are we going to get some kind of a visitor’s pass that offers us entry to all key attractions? I went back to the sightseeingpass website to check the prize of the overall 2 day pass. It seemed reasonable and it had access to all the places we had in mind. My husband did a little bit more research and found a good deal on We made the purchase. We were all good to go! We also thought about how we were going to commute while in NYC. We did some research and learned that there’s a metrocard we could purchase to commute. The website showed many alternatives. We would decide which option to go with once we reached our destination. The Metro Card seemed to be a very affordable option compared to Uber or taxis.

We had packed all essentials the night before. Once we got back from work, we changed, picked up our stuff, and headed to the bus terminal. The bus left at 12:00 AM. We didn’t get to sit together until we crossed the US border. We spent more than an hour at the border since everyone on the bus had to go through checking. The seating was not very comfortable. We both felt like we were sliding off of the seats most of the time. There was no WIFI even though they advertised that the bus had WIFI connectivity. There were 4 stop overs before we reached NYC. Each stop over took about 15-20 minutes. We were supposed to arrive in NYC by 11: 25 AM. We reached by 2 PM.  We were a little frustrated that we lost almost 2 1/2 hours on the bus due to heavy traffic. Once we reached, we went to a nearby metro station to get our 7 day unlimited ride metro pass. We then went to the sightseeing pass office to get our passes and hop-on hop-off bus. Our next stop was our hotel. We managed to check in at 3:15 PM. We rested for a bit, changed, and started off with our tour.

First stop – Oculus: The new World Trade Center Transportation Hub.

Next, 9/11 Memorial and Museum.

Next, One World Observatory.


We went to have our dinner next.

Next, Top of the Rock observation deck.

We were late to get to Madame Tussaud’s before its closing hours. We went to Ripley’s believe it or not next. We reached the doors at 11 PM. It was closed to our disappointment. Even though the website cites that it’s open till 1 AM, the doors closed at 11 PM or even before. We wandered around Times Square for a while and retired for the night by 1 AM. Next morning, we had our breakfast and started off with Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We took the ferry to Statue of Liberty, spent some time taking pictures, got the famous Bill’s Lemonade and took the next ferry back to the city. We decided not to visit Ellis Island as we were short of time.


Next, Central Park and an approximately 10 km bike ride on a tandem bike. We stopped to have our lunch after.

Next, Madame Tussaud’s.

Next up, Ripley’s Believe it or not.

To conclude the our Sunday night, we took the 2 hour hop-on hop-off night tour. We were able to catch a glimpse of China Town and Little Italy. We were able to get a close look at the Empire State building, Manhattan Bride, and Brooklyn Bridge.

Monday was our last day in NYC. We packed our stuff, checked out, had our breakfast, and headed to Wall Street. We stopped by the New York Stock Exchange and headed down Broadway to take pictures with Charging Bull. Our last stop before boarding the bus back to Toronto was Grand Central Terminal.


  1. Carry cash with you,
  2. Carry an umbrella and refillable water bottle,
  3. If you’re planning short duration trips like us, prioritize and plan your itinerary,
  4. June and July are hot months. Dress comfortably.

Thank you for walking through our trip with us!






Bisexual Erasure


Two married men are spending some time in a space dominated by gay men. The community refers to them as a gay couple. One of the men objects being called a gay because he is bisexual. Every time he mentions this, the others claim that he cannot really be bisexual or that his orientation no longer matters now that he is partnered. His bisexuality is questioned or is denied outright. This is bisexual erasure or bisexual invisibility, where the legitimacy of his bisexuality is questioned or perhaps asked not to talk about it. The rejection of bisexuals by homosexuals and heterosexuals, to establish a binary concept of gender, is a major factor contributing to bisexual erasure. Bisexual erasure leads to lower access to resources, support, and opportunities the bisexual community needs. Bisexual erasure is a problem because it affects the mental health of bisexuals, discards them from LGBT rights discourse and litigation, and invalidates the bisexual label and community.

The LGBTQ community is at a greater risk to poor mental health compared to heterosexual counterparts. Out of these sexual minorities, bisexual individuals face social isolation at a greater degree than other members of the LGBTQ community. They are more prone to depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts than heterosexuals and the other sexual minorities. Their sexual orientation is perceived as immoral and unstable. They are considered to be hypersexual, confused about their sexual orientation, disloyal, and more likely to transmit sexually transmitted diseases. They face unique hostility where a gay man, lesbian, or heterosexual individual are less willing to get into a relationship with a bisexual individual. Bisexuals face more prejudice from heterosexuals than gay men or lesbians. They are more likely to experience violence and victimization than the other sexual minorities. Bisexuals experiencing double discrimination from gay men and lesbians lead them to become invisible and conceal their sexual orientation. The social isolation, decreased social support, and loneliness in turn paves road to poor mental health. In a study conducted by researchers from American University, data from 503 participants between 18 and 64 years, who identified as bisexuals, was analyzed. They were asked questions about their bisexuality and how it affected their lives. The results showed that bisexuals experience stress uniquely related to them; rejection experienced from both heterosexual and sexual minority communities lead bisexual individuals to become isolated from both communities. The overriding sense of discrimination and ostracism can lead to poor mental health and suicidality [1].

Gays and lesbians have exclusively been the focus of cases addressing sexual orientation discrimination. Although the ‘LGT’ contingent of the LGBT community has attained significant visibility and legal protection over the years, the bisexuals are the last contingent with a comparative absence in LGBT-rights litigation and legal discourse. Bisexuals suffer a great deal of harm as a result of being excluded from legal discourse and litigation range. They are denied custody or immigration rights as the decisioning bodies view them more suspicious than the other sexual minorities. They are sometimes illustrated as too unstable and unfit to be parents. Courts when faced with bisexual parents in custody and adoption petition cases have viewed bisexuality as a form of emotional instability. The delegitimization of bisexuals illustrating them to be unfit to be parents than homosexuals in a form of bisexual erasure. Bisexuals seeking to emigrate are viewed with suspicion due to the confusion on how they may be in a same-sex relationship at one point and a different-sex relationship at another. Bisexuals may be forced to prove that they are “gay enough” in the context of immigration, to be warranted protection from persecution by their home countries. Bisexual immigrants seeking asylum are at a danger of being sent back to their home country were non-heterosexual conduct is viewed as a crime. Failure to understand bisexual orientation leads to bisexual erasure that puts the lives of these individuals in grave danger if they are denied asylum [2]. Bisexuals are relatively invisible in the court houses and legal academies. “Bisexual erasure in litigation can result in missed opportunities for refining legal dialogues and strengthening legal protections for equal liberty and justice in a more doctrinally integrated, cross-cultural, and cohesive manner [2].”

Bisexual erasure wipes out the desires and existence of bisexuals. The sexual minorities are keen at normalizing homosexuality as a family oriented community, no different than traditional heterosexuality. According to Schroth and Mitchell, we rely on homosexual and heterosexual categories to group people. When individuals don’t identify to either of these categories, we expand the old categories to accommodate new facts rather than creating new categories. When in relationships, bisexuals blend into the sexual orientation defined by that relationship rather than retaining their status as bisexuals [3]. Bisexuals are regularly accused of trying to hide their true homosexuality or heterosexuality. Such instances deprive bisexuals from their full ability to be autonomous and self-defining in their most intimate life choices [2].

Bisexual erasure can be tackled by understanding bisexuals’ experience of rejection and loneliness within heterosexual and homosexual community. Bisexual support groups or mentorship groups can be formed or organized particularly for bisexual youth. To top it all, it is the responsibility of the bisexual individuals to raise their voices to come “out of the closet” to ensure their visibility.


  1. Bridging bisexual erasure in LGBT-rights discourse and litigation (
  2. Bisexual-Specific Minority Stressors, Psychological Distress, and Suicidality in Bisexual Individuals: the Mediating Role of Loneliness (
  3. Queering Queer Theory, or Why Bisexuality Matters (




Ponytail Palm


My husband and I went to IKEA yesterday to get a work desk. We planned to buy one long back, but it was only until yesterday we got a chance to go around and shop. I don’t know what it is about going to IKEA. You go there to buy this one thing, and you end up buying things you thought you didn’t need. So, we get to the store, pick up a trolley, and start walking down the cooking department. This is the place we normally start because we both have a tendency to get lost in the vast expanse of IKEA, if I may so myself.  We were supposed to go to the self-service furniture area, but I got attracted by the beautiful green plants’ section nearby. Now, here’s another bit. I wanted to get a plant, one with long, slender green leaves ever since we moved into our new condo a few months ago. I thought I would think about this later, just like the many other things I thought I would do at a later time. I ask my husband, “should we get a plant?” and he goes, “sure, why not?” So we walk around among the plants. There are some tall ones, some short ones, some bonsai trees, many artificial potted plants, and then of course the real ones. We went back and forth on which one we should get for our space. Our plan was to get a potted plant to place on our window sill.

While we were navigating from one section to another, deciding on whether it fits our “aura”, I noticed a lady get close to the area we were at and looking at us. She maybe in her late 70’s. She saw me touching the leaves of a plant called ‘Beaucarnea recurvata’. She came up to the both of us and started talking briefly about the plant. She said that it’s called the ponytail palm and that it was very easy to maintain. She described how the leaves would grow out as a palm and it needed watering once a week. She said she had hers for almost 15 years. We were quite surprised in our minds thinking whether a plant can survive that long. We talked a bit more and she left. Then we both talked and decided to buy the plant indeed. She basically sold us the plant!

I took the potted plant, felt the leaves, looked at it with kindness in my eyes, like I was taking it with me to give it a new home. After that, we went off to get our desk, walked around a little bit, cashed out, and came back home. We placed it on the sill, put the pot in a plastic wrapping , and watered it a little bit. I took a picture of it to send it to my parents as well. I love my new plant!

Here’s the picture I took.