Monday, August 31, 2009

The last three months

Playing in the kitchen as I work

So as the title suggests, it's been three hectic months since I updated the blog.

Here are some memorable moments -

In the beginning of June, we did a Thulaabhaaram in the local Guruvayoor temple where Atri was weighed on a large balance with bananas. Little did we know then that bananas would turn out to be his favourite food. He was surprisingly very calm as the priest laid him on one side of the balance.

I took Atri to stay at my mother's for the first time as he turned six months old and he displayed a very strong stranger anxiety, going to absolutely no one and clinging to me as though I would disappear in thin air. I almost cut short a weekly plan to a couple of days as I had to attend to all his needs without a break and was missing S desperately to relieve me. Thursday arrived and S gave us a big surprise by taking the day off and landing up in Mulund. Atri's bad boy phase vanished the moment he laid eyes on his dad. May be he was missing him too!

End June also brought home Atri's uncle Kaushik, from Philadelphia who spent a few days with us. Luckily Atri didn't display too much stranger anxiety this time. We also dared to take him to Rajdhani restaurant with baby in tow - after two minutes, his patience was exhausted and we took turns pushing him around the floor of the mall while the others attended to their delicious thaali.


We love our meal times

We started Atri on solid foods just as he turned six months old, going by the book. His first food was mashed bananas, liking both the green and yellow variety alike. Next in line was mashed boiled carrots, stewed apple and then many many more. In the last three months, Atri has tasted the following:
Cereals - Rice, Ragi, Sago, Rava
Fruits - Banana, apple, papaya, chikoo
Vegetables - Carrot, pumpkin, potato, sweet potato, beetroot
Others - Moong dal, Farley's rusk, Gerber's Oatmeal-apple-cinnamon, Gerber's Sweet Potato, Cow's milk, Rice Cerelac, bits of Marie biscuit, bits of Idli / dhokla
He has had them in all possible interesting combinations which is the subject of a different post altogether.

Me-Athai-Atri

My dad's sister, Lalli Athai came after 20 long years to India and she was nice to spend a day with us end July on her way back to the US. She got many cute clothes for Atri including an Auburn University jersey set :) He got along pretty okay with her I must say. However, he refused to stay quiet with my mom and sis the afternoon I stole out with Athai to take her shopping. They had to run to my house-help Nirmala's house to get her to quieten and mind him until I was back in the next one hour! My entire building and part of the neighbourhood came to know of this episode where a shopping-starved mom left her baby crying with her mother *red faced*

With my baby on Varca beach - Goa

After Athai's visit, it was time to prepare 'the big list' for our first travel with Atri. The last time I'd taken a flight out of Bombay was in November 2007, so it was a much awaited trip, first to Goa, then back home for a day, unpack, repack and off to Bangalore. We traveled Business three out of four flights. As we failed miserably in getting Atri to take to the bottle, and I had to nurse him during take off and landing, business class provided the much needed privacy. It was my first experience feeding in public. After the first flight though, I couldn't care much. But I do hope this was the last time I had to do it. Goa stay at Club Mahindra was fun. Atri enjoyed our taking him out at least five times a day if not more. We stayed mostly inside the resort, taking spa sessions, beach walks, admiring the landscaping in the resort and occasional buffet binging. We managed to stick to our diet most of the time though! Bangalore was good fun. Atri met another set of grandparents - Meera Athai and Athimber, who took very good care of us while we were there. S's parents were also there on a short break, so Atri met up him Paati after five months. S's dad had been with us for over a week end June as we were all down with flu / cold with no one to take care of us. Sadly, Atri did not show any extra familiarity to Thatha :)

Figuring out the Kinetic in Mysore

We went for a day trip to Mysore - the onward journey taking over five hours and turning out to be Atri's longest road trip. We met up with my aunt, uncle, cousins and my little nephew Sumedh making our trip worthwhile. The whole travel experience was very positive, and the next step is to shake off my laziness and get documents organized for Atri's PP - and get cracking on a peachy plan for a trip abroad.

The large living room in Meera Athai's house also injected a heavy dose of enthusiasm in Atri to get moving and he finally start creeping around. First hesitantly and then in all speed. Now he keeps rushing towards Nirmala's voice, any scraps of paper / plastic / threads and his stroller's wheels. He'll also do he needful to reach out to some of his favourite toys or their boxes.

August brought in the long-awaited visit of my in-laws from Chennai. They were in a day after we landed home from Bglr - so the hectic unpacking and clearing up the house was tiring enough to make me forget I'd gone for a vacation at all! Atri displayed his moody self to them despite spending a few days with them in Bglr. But there is progress and today I can leave him alone with them for a couple of hours, without breaking into a sweat. Atri's Paati has gotten two lovely personalised quilts made for him - Snow bunnies and Disney Friends. While Atri plays on his quilts - he'll realise how lovely they are once he's able to comprehend better and when he can read the alphabets. There's another alphabet quilt in the making. He's a lucky fella, what else!

I bought a cute pair of full denims from Mothercare with a comfy broad elastic waist band - I guess Atri will fit into it nicely by Diwali. Whenever I go shopping, there's only enough time to pick out Atri's clothes. Though I did have sometime inbetween to pick out a pair of skinny jeans for myself, to flaunt my new waist size :)

I have reached way below my pre-pregnancy weight, but as that wasn't my ideal weight to start with, I have a slight bit more to go. A diet and finding time for regular walks is helping and I hope to be a yummy-mummy soon (well, yummier)

Atri has started displaying affection generously - biting my chin or cheeks, patting my still jiggly belly and blowing BIG raspberries on it, which makes me burst out laughing. He can sit without support for some stretch of time and stands while holding onto hands or some support. He's very quick to sense that his dad is back from work / run, and coos as soon as he hears the doorbell ring, raising his arms up to daddy as soon as he spots him. His sleep has become disturbed and we fret about it a lot, but hey, I'm focusing on the positives here ;)

I hope to get regular on this blog as it's very tough trying to recollect what happened three months ago, as I'm realising now. Time is moving very fast and too much is happening too soon.

Atri - my little sweet potato, I'm falling more and more in love with you, as the days go by! God bless you my darling.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Nearly there

My mom and my son

Atri turns six months old on 4 June. And if times were flying fast earlier, now it's at supersonic speed.

I've come to know more people in my building in the last two weeks that I've been taking him down for a stroll, than I've known in the 3 and a half years that we've lived here - and I mean from ages 2 to 85 - not bad eh? How is it that a baby in your arms makes you more likable to others? More approachable rather. Earlier I was aware of only 3 kids other than Atri in the building and I just discovered there are two more, and the moms have been kind enough to offer me their no-longer-in-use strollers, Baby Bjorn etc. - not to mention tips to find a right maid and some more useful advice.

A baby is always a good starting point for a conversation, even with complete strangers. Besides, earlier I would never be loafing around the building in my free time, just to chumma hava khaane (just enjoy the breeze I mean) - of which there is plenty now a days. Thank God for a decently bearable summer with lovely sea breeze in the evenings - especially because my boy is pretty heat-intolerant, developing furuncles (boils) in his ear and now nose with some regularity. Antibiotic therapy is something we are growing used to, and I no longer lose sleep over the fact that my baby is being dosed on 'strong' medications. If we have to live in a polluted, hot and humid city, we just have to take this in our stride.

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We successfully spent a night by ourselves (Atri and me) - and I overcame my fear of staying the night alone with him (I thought I could only manage the daytimes). This was when S had to leave for a London trip for two weeks on a Sunday and my mom could make it here only Monday morning. Well, that is one fear less now (actually two, first one was fear of dosing antibiotics). My mom's time here was a good break for me, as in I could take a nap without keeping one eye and one ear open (if it is possible to nap like that) - she could spend some quality time with her grandson. Unfortunately it happened to coincide with some irritation in Atri's life (lets attribute that to teething for now) - and we started him on Denton homeopathic pills - which made him much sober and less keen to pounce & bite (with gums of course, no teeth yet) my ear, nose, chin or cheek, whichever was closest to his eager mouth. So I'm assuming he was in a kind of teething phase and the pills helped him cool off a bit. After that, it was more or less smooth sailing for granny and grandson. As much as I was waiting for S to come back and the two weeks to pass off soon, I was also sad that it would mean the end having mom around to free my hands and eyes for a while to do and see other stuff.

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Anyway, it's two weeks since then and we are back to being by ourselves. A building friend has kindly passed on her stroller to us. The first use of the stroller, which I discovered quite accidentally was when Atri napped off while being taken around the house in it, and this was when he was a bit cranky to sleep mid-morning. So I now use the stroller as method no. 79 to put him to sleep. This method has just placed itself one position higher than the earlier discovered 'Radio-gaga' method, wherein we had to start the FM radio (Worldspace Jazz channel or some soothing CDs wont work here) on full blast with surround sound in the living room, clear up the floor space and dance to the music wih Atri on shoulder until he fell asleep, unable to bear the torture of the St.Vitus' dance. This is was a foolproof method that worked 98.97% of the times. Only that it turned out difficult to use this for putting him to sleep at night after a good dinner, where a full belly presented an impediment to free-style dancing (with weights). So the stroller method turned out easier for times like these.
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At just over 5 months of age, Atri's become a big brother to my cousin's son Sumedh - who was born on May 6th. I can foresee a lot of bonding between the two boys as we are going to be living close to each other soon.

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We tried a dinner at a proper Italian restaurant with baby in tow a few days ago - we did all the things 'What to expect' asks us to do - Calling ahead, warning about baby, going in early etc. - and we managed to eat one course when he got fed up sitting on his bouncer chair throwing those little hangings around and we had to pack up and leave, only to finish the remaining food at home. I had the foresight to inform the waiter about this too. The restaurant was not to filled at that time and I didn't get any angry glances from people around, so I'm willing to try this again sometime. Otherwise, we went to the neighbouring Crepe Station for breakfast yesterday and it went pretty okay. My friend, S and me took turns holding him and eating, and Juhu people were busy sleeping at 9 am on a Sunday morning, so a few cries and no harm done. Another big event attended with Atri was my med college reunion on the last Sunday (24th May, coinciding with IPL finals). There was DJ music (very loud) and a big crowd (for us anything more than 3 is a crowd, and there were over 50-60 people there), S carrying Atri in his carrier. I managed to spend over an hour there catching up with classmates whom I hadn't met in the last 9 years. Most had come with their kids - and I was much appreicated for coming in with a small baby ;) and a very caring hubby! It was funny how the boys from my class (now big physicians and surgeons) were treating S like a damaadji telling him that "dinner will be ready soon", "don't leave without dinner" etc. A lot of contacts renewed and it felt superb that I could make it.

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I have also started doing some work off and on - taking up some writing assignments from friendly people who give me easier deadlines and accept my excuses like ' nanny joined and left' etc. More on that in the next post.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Some firsts

We've always been a social life loving couple - hardly staying at home on weekends. I'm not talking about gracing page 3 parties (even if someone invited us I mean), but going out to restaurants, movies, friends' places or getting friends home. Which restaurant to try out anew was a topic of much debate from Friday night onwards and we'd compete with each other to post the review on Burrp - our favourite restaurant review site. But things have changed so much in the last 4 months. Our last dinner together was on our anniversary a week before Atri was born at Mangi Ferra and since then we've been ordering out from places which are not exactly on our favourite list, or pleading / threatening some of our favourites to come the extra mile and deliver food home. Since last Sunday, things have taken a turn for the better - last Sunday we took Atri to our neighbourhood posh (air conditioned with dinner napkins) Udupi restaurant for breakfast. While we demolished the piping hot Upma-Shira and Masala Dosas (and filter kaapi), he managed to sleep to the instrumental music playing in the background. And you could spot the happiness on my face from a mile!!

The same week, my friend and me went out to a pub (that serves a wicked buffet lunch) with Atri in tow of course. While he wasn't as peaceful as he was in the breakfast episode, he was good enough to let me go up to the dessert course. As my friend tells me, expecting him to sleep each time we go out is asking for too much. As long as he is not crying loud enough to bring the place to a stand still and the people's glares are not burning holes into us, we are doing fine. Now I'm waiting to take him to the movies. Please pray that you are not a part of the crowd in the multiplex screen that we dare to hit for the first time with him ;)

We also took him to the lovely park in our neighbourhood, where S walked with him in his carrier and I walked by myself as fast as I could after the long break in physical exercise. I could see women give S appreciative glances as the daddy who's taking care of baby while letting mamma get her much needed dose of exercise. At this point I couldn't help remember the episode from Everybody Loves Raymond, where Ray takes the kids to the park one evening and amasses a fan base from all the moms struggling alone with their kids.

Atri has also been getting licks of my favourite fruits like apple, oranges and bananas, along with an occasional lick at Parle G biscuit. Instead of making him taste my current most favourite Ginger Nut McVities, I thought it's a better idea to make him get a taste of India's largest selling biscuit and instill a sense of patriotism in him.

He is not yet turning from back to tummy independently as his hand fixation continues, but a slightest nudge with my little finger does the trick and he enjoys lifting his head up to do a perfect bhunjangasan and explore the room around him. His sleeping hours at night are more or less fixed except for some unlucky days (for me) when he wakes up in 5 hours and makes loud hand-sucking sounds.

We're trying to introduce his toys one at a time so as not to overwhelm him. Otherwise, life nowadays is moving very fast and I'm trying hard to record the little things about our lives now that will be over too soon and I'll miss later.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Things I've learnt in the last few days

1. When baby cries much more than his usual quota and at a different time of the day than what he usually does, take him to the doctor to get his ears checked, or check if there's a lot of wax / something else coming out of his ears.

2. When you're all set to go for your first hair cut in several months, to get those estrogen powered long hair styled into something short and chic, don't expect your stylist to listen to you - especially if it's a hi-fi hair styling salon.

3. When your baby is small, it is best to call small groups of friends home late evening when he'll be asleep - best way to inject some life into an almost dying social life.

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In the middle of last week, my parents came visiting for a day to play with Atri, as I'd been raving to mom that he's getting very playful and she doesn't want to miss this stage altogether. So enthusiastically, here there were in the morning, which is Atri's best time of the day. He plays, coos, gurgles and naps and things are usually on schedule. Contrary to the regular, that day he had severe crying bouts, falling off to sleep in exhaustion for 10 minutes or so only to wake up bawling. I was wondering is it colic, is it an effect of seeing too many people at a time he's only with me, or is it his cold of 3 days bothering him somewhere? Colic aid and nasoclear nasal drops did not help, and I was lucky to have my people at home that day as I'd have been driven to tears of frustration seeing baby suffer and cry. I'd taken an appointment at the salon for the afternoon, with mom to babysit Atri, but those heartrenting cries made me promptly cancel the appointment. He was much better by 4 and slowly getting back to his usual self. Around early morning while nursing him I felt a big ball of wax sitting in his ear, almost popping out and easily flicked out with a finger tip. I immediately jumped to the conclusion that the impacted wax was the reason for his ear-ache and cries - and since it is out, he should be fine. Well, I was wrong. After the hubby left for office I was with Atri in the balcony where I wanted to check his ear in natural light, and to my utter horror there was something bloody in his right ear, almost crusted blood and some more oozing. Blood and babies don't mix at all. Seeing blood on her baby, is the most horrible thing for a mother I guess and I thought my knees would give way and my innards would fall out- such a sinking feeling that, especially because I was by myself. I immediately paged the paediatrician on his mobile and he said the cold, the crying, the wax pushing out and now the bloody discharge all point to an ear infection leading to a perforated ear drum - spelling out my worst fears. Luckily my presence of mind prevailed and I remembered that one of my neighbours is a senior ENT surgeon. He was kind enough to check baby before leaving for his clinic and said it is a perforation but the extent of it can be known only if checked under the microscope. I called the hubby back home from office (living 15 mins from the office has its advantages) - and we took him to the ENT clinic where the doc cleaned his ear and found a tiny perforation. Antibiotics, cold medication, ear drops, nose drops and lots of cuddles and hugs later, Atri is much better, but this is a big lesson I have learnt. Never ignore a baby who is crying much more than usual - it always means something. It is better to think of the worst than attributing it to cries of boredom or something non-serious.

My big question to doc was why did my baby get an infection - he is exclusively breast fed and we don't even expose him to the polluted environs of this city! He said it is very common, especially after a cold and nearly every baby has his share of ear infection. My biggest worry was the after effect of a perforation, but he said being a tiny one, it will heal by itself. As much as I want that we don't load baby's system with medications especially antibiotics, at times like these, we rarely have a choice.

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Since two weeks I've been losing a hell of a lot of hair each day, I believe a week's hairloss is enough to weave a wig for a small head. So, I did keep my Saturday appointment at the salon to get my hair cut - however not in the style that I'd visualised. I wanted something wash and wear, managable and easily styled and the stylist said in his matter-of-fact way that the styles I wanted did not match with my requirements. Besides he convinced me to maintain the length. In short, it is the usual client proposes, stylist disposes. My hair has never ever been so long, thanks to all the humungous calcium pills I regularly popped through pregnancy. Anyway, I did manage to go to the salon leaving the dad and son to have some guy-times and manage to have my hair styled after ages which itself is a huge positive and a big reason to be happy, even though the end result was not as I'd imagined it would be. Is it ever?? Until then, I'm just going to make myself happy, trying out loads of hairstyles and haircolours and make up - virtually. Try it, it's loads of fun, I promise.

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I finally feel upto posting a pic of me with baby on Facebook :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A perfect women's day!

As I write this, we have shut every single window and door in our house to cut ourselves from the maniacal noises of bollywood songs blasting from every possible direction, one trying to out do the other in matters of boom-boom. (It is Holi today!) I haven't heard a track that is as much 'emosional attyachar' as the track that goes by the same words!! The husband has wisely shut his ears with his noise cancellation earphones and singing to his dear son, some favourite tracks from the pod and I am trying to watch the match while trying to immerse myself in some writing. Needless to say, we are driven crazy living in one of the noisiest neighbourhoods in the city (are there any quiet ones at all?)

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Both the hubby and me are not big believers in any 'days', but we sometimes manage to surprise ourselves or each other. Not that it is actually related to this post.

The past Sunday was Women's day - even if we forgot we had 3 Sunday newspapers to remind us of it. That morning I decided to visit the salon close to my house (2 buildings away) instead of the usual one that is a bit far that I used to frequent in the days before I became momma. These days all things close by are preferred - due to the race against time to be back before Atri starts demanding his next feed. I had decided that it was time to get in shape - not the whole of me, just the eyebrows - as it is definitely the easier of the two. So eyebrows neatly threaded and feet tended to, talons painted a rose pink, I felt like a new woman. Routine things of the past seem like the luxury nowadays, which I guess is a part of becoming a mother, our needs clearly (and willingly) sent to the back seat.

In the afternoon, we decided to test-drive the Mothercare carrier (I call it the space suit)for the second time. We hit one of the newer malls in the suburbs, which has wider corridors, lesser crowds, espcially in the late afternoons. The husband and me also managed to eat Natural icecream in the food court - I cant remember the last time we ate together :) so this was quite a celebration. We didn't want to outstay our welcome ( read time allotted to us by Atri) so we made a dash home after doing a good amount of window shopping. He seemed pretty comfortable in the carrier throughout except for the time we are trying to get him into the space suit and figure out how to affix the numerous buckles and straps.

The third outing of the day was the building gettogether party we attended in our terrace, the first we have attended in over three years of living here. The highlight of the evening was some fantastic food catered by an authentic Tamil caterer who on learning that we are Tamil insisted on serving us with double the gusto! The party was on the poolside and the breeze was just superbly cool - I rushed downstairs to get some cotton to be plugged into Atri's ears, but his superactive hands pulled them out twice, after which I gave up. I'm surprised he could sleep in his carrier on daddy's tummy even as the speakers blared out the same old bollywood hits (is there any function that happens here without the DJs dishing out this fare in full blast?)! The funny bit is that we tiptoe and shush each other around the house when he is sleeping so that we don't disturb the Lord and there he manages to sleep in ear splitting music - so Atri's first party was a very positive experience, giving us hope for many more in the future. After a couple of hours upstairs watching the couple games and straws-stuck-in-the-head catwalks to 'Fashion ka hai yeh jalwa' I came back home leaving the hubby to have his grub, managing to catch the Filmfare awards from 9 pm -11 pm after which I decided to call it a day. BTW Deepika Padukone seemed so dead in her compering - did the others think so, or is it just me? I always liked her!

So a record three outings in one day surely made this woman's day PERFECT!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Q1 results

Dear Baby,

You completed your first quarter yesterday and equally exciting news is that I completed the first quarter of momhood. It is a weird phenomenon where each day is so full, long and tiring and then weeks fly past us in a blur. From being completely at sea and overwhelmed when we brought you home on 8th December to today, we have matured as parents, as people.

The past 3 months, were a lesson in patience, love, selflessness and everything else that we had to learn to take care of the little helpless life in our hands - You. Today, I wont claim too much, but I am more confident that I can take care of you - and if we've done alright in the first three months, we wont err too much in catering to your needs - which for now are only milk and loads of love (this includes regular bum cleaning, singing, reading, rocking, hugging, kissing et al).

Your smiles have both dad and me weak in our knees. Especially the goofy smiles you give us when cleaning an especially big poopy job - it does make the smells more bearable :)

Your gaze is more fixed and I'm amazed how even boring stuff like curtains can hold your attention so.

You were born with a good head of hair, but your attempts at pulling them out with one hand while trying to stick the whole of the other hand into your little mouth, is not helping their growth. I try giving you a cloth to hold so that your poor head can be spared, but since you are a man of determination - you refuse to accept my offer.

You've become a pro at looking at dad and me, from time to time with your lower lip pouting out so cutely that we'll throw anything that's in our hands (yes even the laptop or expensive crystal) to attend to whatever it is that's troubling you. Such is the power of your little pink lower lip. I've always found this the cutest trait in babies and you've been reminding me of it since the last one month. Sometimes it's a prelude to a cry and sometimes you just make use of the lip alone to summon your slaves. What power!

The head holding bit, you managed to get that alright from the end of the first month itself, which the maushi (massage lady) gives herself all credit for and of course to me for getting her in so quickly on the job. Now when I put you on your tummy to give your bum some 'air time', you left your head perfectly well and even manage to do some push ups on your chubby little arms.

You've developed a huge fascination for your hands - and spare no effort in sticking one or both of them into your mouth. It can keep you occupied for a long time, well long enough for me to have my afternoon nap. Since your doctor declared that it is an important development milestone, we are in no way trying to get in the way of this love between you and your hand. Actually, it is this love that has got in the way of you turning on your tummy. About 6 weeks ago, your desire to get on your tummy was so fervent, that you'd try, try, try and then cry in frustration that you are not able to get there. But today this desire lies blissfully forgotten and I can see that your favourite rhyme is going to be 'One luscious, two luscious, three luscious lollipops'.

Your day time sleep has gone down sharply but since you sleep and let me sleep as well for most of the night, I don't mind keeping you entertained during the day.
You come up with a new word almost everyday. It started with 'Agooo' and now it includes many more like 'Tll', 'Dll', 'Khoo khoo', 'Gaai' and something that even sounds like 'Google'. I wont be surprised at the last one as my googling had sharply increased during pregnancy. Mornings and afternoons post-nap are the best times to have a meaningful conversation with you and I have noticed that you are happier to talk to me if I keep your bum free of nappies and diapers and pajamas. You will admit I am a very observant mom :)

Your legs are getting stronger (read kicks) especially when a hassled poor mom is trying to keep your bum dry by changing your nappy regularly. Also when I make an appearance at your crib after being absent for exactly 2 and a half minutes, you kick away in excitement as though you haven't seen me for months! When I hold you upright, the slightest something coming under your feet, you push down and do a jump of sorts - for which (also) maushi gives herself a lot of credit.

You've also learnt to stay alone with your mommy all day since you were two months old. I know it can be a bit boring seeing just one face apart from the house help and maushi's but what to do darling, something's gotta give!

I may have missed out on some things, but post pregnancy my memory has done a nosedive and I have no time or inclination to do a google on that.

Overall, we've been having a whale of a time, not counting the times I cry with you when you cry inconsolably for some reason, or when I feel I'm not keeping up with mommy duties as well as I should, or when I crave to go out and mingle with the rest of humanity.

It's a very long post this time, but hey its the First Quarter result after all.

A few more months / years down and we'll (me and dad) be reading this post fondly.

Lots of love and kisses to the pouty boy.
Mommy

Monday, March 2, 2009

Isn't it a reason...

...to jump with joy when baby has slept an 8 hour stretch at night?

This miracle happened for the first time Saturday night as Atri decided to give his mom a weekend treat of an extended snooze. I was praying that he does a repeat of it Sunday night, but who says miracles happen everydaynight? He was back to his 6 hour stretch last night, and I'm really not complaining :)

Taking multitasking to new heights

Indian Goddesses have always been portrayed as having many pairs of hands. Alas, I am not one and I seem to be sorely missing another pair.

Some examples of multitasking since Atri was born -

1. Checking on facebook while filling hot water in his tub and keeping an eye on the sambar bubbling on the stove. I need FB to know what goes on in the world outside baby and me.

2. Shaking the rattle with one hand while holding tea cup with the other and keeping baby's rocker going with one foot (this one takes my dexterity to new levels)
Why rattle and rock at the same time you may ask? This was discovered by my Mom in law and me that the rattle distracts him from crying and the rocking motion makes him drowsy - in the initial days I would find it difficult to handle two different movements with two different hands, but as they say - practice does make a man mom perfect.

3. Listening to FM radio (even though it sucks), catching up on reading during an extended nursing session

Looks like I'll totally forget to do one thing at a time. Isn't that a core competency of moms anyway?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A new day everyday

If I thought that Atri sleeping soundly for a minimum of 2 hours after his massage & bath at 12 was the only constant factor in my life, well I said it too soon. Either that or that our little boy is growing up. From the time we came back from the hospital till he was 4-5 weeks, he would be totally doped out after his massage, falling asleep even as the massage 'maushi' was swaddling him (there's a lot to be said about her, which could be featured in many posts, if I find the time). Later, she had to put him in his cradle and rock him to sleep. Then after 2 more weeks she had to rock, pat and sing to him and he would sleep. Now the massage, bath, swaddling, rocking, patting, singing has an effect of max 45 minutes, after which he is wide awake - sometimes crying, or sometimes just saying baa, boo or whatever it is in his vocabulary that 'look, i don't want to sleep anymore'- and there goes my chance of eating a peaceful lunch as I catch something on the telly and then an hour's snooze to refresh me for the rest of the afternoon, evening and night.

Another change has come about in our lives in the sleep department. Since Atri turned two months old, he started clocking the magical 5 hours at a stretch at night, qualifying for the 'sleeping through the night' crown. How 5 hours is called sleeping through the night, especially for us tired adults, beats me, but hey it is much better than being woken up every 2 hours or so. The funny part is that this has led him to awake (and crying?) for a few more hours in the day - so it compensates more or less. The night sleep is divided by a feeding session anytime between 1.30 am and 2.30 am depending on when he went off to sleep in the beginning. He then wakes up anywhere between 5 and 6 am so we really couldn't be complaining as regards his nocturnal protocol. He's being quite generous in letting us 'sleep through the night' even before he completes his 3rd month. A huge "touch wood" here, as I really value the 6-7 hours of sleep I get at night [Hey, whats with us new parents wanting to touch wood all the time, I was never a "wood toucher" before Atri came along!!]

The other thing that he's really caught onto is sucking his whole hand and sometimes both of them as though his life depended on it. Thankfully I am not obsessed about pulling his hand out or trying to wean him of thumb sucking (as he doesn't suck just the thumb!!) - or it would be one more thing to obsess about. On the contrary I find it rather cute - especially the noises that come out of it - and sometimes they are so loud that even as he's at it in his crib in our bedroom, I can hear it in the living room with the telly on. My doc says this mouthing phase is natural, a development milestone in fact and nothing to worry about. No wonder I read that sucking hand or mouthing is no longer a hunger cue once baby crosses 8 weeks. Yeah right, after that it is just their idea of fun. Atri gets so obsessed with his hand that sometimes the hand slipping out of the mouth is a reason to break out into a LOUD wail (series of them). Little dude, you'll learn soon that saliva makes things slippery and your hand is bound to slip out :) and one of my best friends is a dentist so I am not worried about any teeth imperfections if your hand-sucking habit persists.

Ever since my in-laws left for Madras early this month, I have been learning to manage stuff on my own. I finish all chores including my bath and cooking lunch plus most of dinner prep before 8 am - eat breakfast before 8.30 am - that's when S leaves for work. Then my whole day is at the king's disposal. The confidence boost that one gets in being able to manage a new baby on your own is really big. The depression and anxiety I felt when my inlaws left has slowly given way to a new calm and bonding with baby - where I can talk / sing / dance for him without feeling conscious. Well, the calm and bonding is there for most of the day, except on some evenings where the boy decides that mom has had too much calm for the day, hey - it's wailing time and I start to cry again. So my avatars correspond to my son's. When he is peaceful and good, I am a confident mother in control and when he is uncontrollably crying, so am I :)

Today maushi came in a second time a while ago to give Atri a sponge bath ( I called her in as the hubby is going to be late today and he usually manages baby in the evenings) , and she even managed to put him to sleep. But our boy is not going to be fooled to sleep so easily. No sooner had she shut my door and reached the lobby of our building than he woke up gearing for an evening session of crankiness. I am typing this as I am rocking him with my foot under his rocker and for now he is quiet (hand in his mouth of course!)

Yesterday for dinner I made eggplant caponata and dear husband (encourager of my food blog) insisted i make a start with that divine dish. So I am planning on resuming food blogging hoping that it will make me feel better and more connected with the adult world :)


Monday, February 23, 2009

We've been busy here :)

Each day is passing by so soon and I feel guilty that I have not been keeping any record of the happenings in the land where Atri rules. So many lovely moments are rushing past like a film on fast forward mode - so fast that if I don't record now, these memory files will be soon replaced by newer ones and unlike computer files, it's not going to ask my permission before it gets replaced. Some of those memories are so beautiful that I cannot bear to let them fade into oblivion. Hence the desperate attempt to get back to this blog - to preserve these precious moments forever.

Dear Choturam*,

You are in your 12th week now - well there's still time to reach the landmark of completing 3 months, when you'll no longer be called a newborn! The week and month disparity has baffled me right since pregnancy. (I'm weak in mathematics anyway - so you know whom to take your Maths homework to!)

Your social smiles that started at around 9 weeks have blossomed into goofy smiles, noisy smiles (would that qualify as a laugh?), winking smiles, gummy smiles (I can't say toothy, that's why) - and lots more. You knows to smile as the occasion demands - and since your dad is not much of a 'smiler' (more the strong and silent types) - I can proudly say you get your smiling genes from me.

Your movements are more co-ordinated than before, and the cycling / boxing movements get really fast and furious when mommy stands in front of you :) If this is your way of thanking me for all the prompt nappy changes, you're welcome darling!

We bought a carrier from Mothercare, choosing the 3 way as per your dad's wishes. Trying to go with something simpler I thought the 2 way would be a better option. It does turn out that with all the velcro fasteners and tight buckles, putting this contraption on is more like putting on a space suit. It took me two days to learn how to get this thing on myself and 5 days to figure out how to get you into it and 2 more days to figure out how to put on all the fasteners without getting your hands or toes squeezed inbetween the straps and buckles. Each time I tried to do a practice session carrying you inside, you would start howling, not having the patience to wait for mom to search and put on all the fasteners. Finally yesterday afternoon we decided to take you for a mall outing (rather take ourselves for the much deserved outing - see humanity at large and get back some semblance of our past lives) putting you in the carrier as mom and dad look around in the shops (turned out to be just mom as dad was busy carrying you). It was a bit scary trying out the thing at the site with no prior practice, almost like giving an extempore speech. However, we managed pretty okay in the parking lot (putting you in the carrier i mean) and you did not seem too angry with us for doing this to you. It was fun actually, and for a full 65 minutes you let us roam in peace, watching the shop windows, entering some shops, buying stuff (things that normal people actually do :) ). I said 65 minutes, not rounding it off to the nearest whole ie.one hour - very deliberately, as every minute of being able to roam free counted a lot towards making me feel better. Just looking at the hustle bustle of people around gave my mental state a good boost. Since you were so co-operative with us, we plan to do this a lot more in the coming weekends.

I've been home alone with you since exactly two weeks now and I must say the going has been pretty good. I'm not as scared or worried as I was 15 days earlier as to how I'll manage by myself. My self-confidence and bonding with you is getting better and better. I'm actually learning to have a good time with you as a little person, whether it's nursing you or cleaning your messy bum, remembering all the time the wise words from one of my dearest friends - "Consider parenting as a gift and not as a responsibility and you'll feel a lot lot better". I must make a special mention here that the beautiful heart-melting smiles you shower me with help me a lot when I'm stressed.

Here's to my little stress buster!

Love and cuddles
Mom


*This is to state that Atri, Choturam and Bumble are one and the same. His name keeps changing as per his parents' moods.