April 30, 2007
So on her birthday, this is what we did. We had a quick brunch and took a bus and then a tram to the Zurich Zoo. To say Ashu had fun would be an understatement. Let me just say that this was one of the best days of her life! She was so excited to see so many animals, birds and fish. She opened her mouth wide and said WOW every time she saw an animal and I could nt get enough of her wows. She loved the elephants, monkeys, crocodiles, giant turtles, fish, penguins, camels,... She saw the Rhinos and shouted "Amma! Hippo paaru"! Understandable as Hd is still confused between a hippo and a rhino! ;) The Zoo had a big play area and while Hd and I were having a late lunch, she had a gala time with loads of other kids in the slide. It was late evening by the time we came home and Ashu was very tired as she had missed her nap. But she cut a small cake and we sang and assembled the Thomas train and that poor guy is still loading and unloading rocks as she does nt want the train to stop. Ever!
Yes people! We did get a gift for Ashu. And here it is! Happy?
April 27, 2007
Yes, its Amma again and yes, its already your second birthday. I don't believe it either but lets fact it, you are getting old! :) What can I say about this year except thank God for every minute of it? And do you know we both have nt spent a day or night apart from each other in these 2 years? Yes, that's true baby and I'm mighty proud that I have nt had any life except you. And lets see how far we can stretch it. Until your wedding night perhaps? OK, OK I get the point. I ll try to be cool when you go out on sleep dates. No promises though! This year started with a bang for you with two grand parties, ear piercing and of course, the shaved head! I realised babies look cute no matter what when I saw your bald head yellow with the sandalwood paste. But you look a lot nicer with those curly locks and whenever people comment that your hair is exactly like mine, I can only pity you. Sorry!
The best thing about this year was that you spent nine months of it in India and that meant more time with your grand parents. Which meant I could relax and actually enjoy you. I realize that's the best thing to happen to an impatient mother like me. And the way you are so close to your grandpas and grandmas makes my heart grow heavy. I ll never solve this mystery of why you are the way you are with them. Remember when Thatha went abroad for 2 months and when he came back, you screamed "Thathaaaaaaaaaaa" and ran to him. And there we were wondering if you ll go to him or not since you were 14 months old and it would have been normal if you were shy at first. This happened so many times with both the grandpas and grandmas that we stopped questioning it. You figured out who is going to leave you loads of money pretty early in life - that's the explanation I'm sticking to!
Something I'm sure you have got from me is very interesting to notice. You have no problems adjusting to new places and you are OK with change. You like your dolls Paapu and Boo but never miss them. You don't ask for them. You love your grand parents to bits but as soon as they say good bye and leave, you give me a sad look and ask me "No Thatha/Paati" and then continue with your life. You don't ask for them again. Its the same when dad leaves for office everyday, you go until the elevator and say lots of byes and as soon as his face disappears you give me a sad face and then distract yourself with some toys. You have loads of fun in the park but as soon as I say lets leave, you say "Bye Park" and start following me. It breaks my heart every time you unquestioningly listen to me. You have been drinking milk out of a bottle or a sippy cup almost all these two years and the other day when I gave you milk from a glass you just drank it without protest and did nt wonder for a second where the bottle was. But if you cant find out which part of the house I am and if I don't answer your calls, you start panicking and about to cry and as soon as you find me, you swallow the tears and pretend to be OK and give me a smile as if you never doubted that I had left you alone and gone somewhere. Who taught you all this? This is when I get proof that not all things are taught but inherited. Because I am exactly like that to the T. Years from now when you get married and start panicking when your husband does nt answer his mobile phone, remember to blame it on your mother's genes. It works!
The most annoying thing about this year would be my Karma punishing me through you. Why oh why is everything in life a circle? Why cant you just be happy when you see your mom and dad hug? You can't stand it if we are touching each other. Actually, you don't want ME to touch YOUR dad. You push only me no matter who's touching whom. You have to come and squeeze yourself in the middle if we are cuddling in the bed. You push my hand away if I put my arm around his shoulder. You scream if we kiss each other and ask your dad to carry you. But its OK if we just give a short kiss though. A peck in the cheek is all you can take. And to think that I was exactly like you when I was young and my folks were nt even that fond of public affection. I did nt even want my mom to sit next to my dad. I would always insist on sitting in the middle. As you sow... But the funny thing is that you make an exception when dad leaves for office. As soon as he kisses you and says good bye, you say "Amma?" and point a finger at me. So your dad kisses me and says good bye and you are happy. Thank you darling. It feels great to be kissed with your approval and without you glaring at us. And we promise, no tongue!
When you were a newborn, I used to wonder what kind of a toddler you would be. You are nothing I imagined. I thought you would be a mini version of me - impatient, messy, loud, lazy and other things Im not proud of myself. But you are such a well behaved toddler that I'm sure your dad is sending you to night school to learn the good stuff. The one thing I adore about you is that you listen to me. Almost always. And it brings a tear to my eyes when you listen to me. Always. I was afraid I would be a bad mother by constantly screaming and shouting and probably even spanking. But you never give me a chance and you don't know how much you have helped me grow because of that. I have discovered I have a calm and quiet side in me too. That I have a very patient and creative side too. Thank you for bringing that out in me. Thank you for being here. I am a better person because of you and I hope you say the same thing about me one day. Well, I can hope!
Happy Birthday Darling!
April 25, 2007
I know I was complaining about how going out shopping with Ashu is a pain and how I cant buy anything except may be a can of milk? Well, I had a light bulb moment last week when we were coming back from the library and passed a shoe store! :) Oh yes, I can buy a pair of pretty shoes for myself and bribe Ashu with a pair of flip flops and come home all the way grinning! ;)
By the way, those silly pair of flip flops costs as much as my shoes, can you believe that? And Ashu is not even able to walk properly and shes walking like a duck because shes not used to wearing sandals without straps. Who cares? I got new shoes! :)
April 23, 2007
I am horribly upset. I am going to see my friend in the evening and don't know what to say. I feel guilty because I am breathing normally while the Baby is nt. I am living while the Baby is nt.
God bless the tiny soul.
Thanks to all of you who said a prayer for her.
April 20, 2007
The other day Ashu called me "Amma, Amma" and pointed at the picture of an umbrella in her book and said "Umbella". I said "That's right dear. Good job! What color is the Umbrella?" She thought for a second and said "Red". I said "That's blue, Ashu". So she says "Blue aa? Good job Amma"!!!!!!!!
When Hd was out of town, I was having my morning cup of tea in the blue mug which usually Hd drinks from. Ashu saw me drinking and said, "Appa Tea. Appa Tea." God knows how kids observe so many things. I mean, after all these years, ask Hd what colour is our sofa and he ll think for a minute!
Yesterday Ashu was running around and in the process kicked my sandals which were lying on the floor. She looked down and said "Oh Sorry" and picked them up and brought them to me to wear. And did I tell you she kicks me in the mornings with glee?
She has this book called Animal Homes. Theres an empty kennel in the first page with "Who lives here?" And in the next page theres a dog in the kennel. Then theres a empty basket in one page and a cat on next and so on. So Little Missy opens the book and asks me "Wheres the cat" looking at the empty basket and I tell her its in the next page. But that does nt satisfy her. She has to know where the cat is in THAT page. I tell her "Ashu, this is a basket and on the next page theres a cat in the basket". But shes not happy. She always open that page and asks "Wheres the cat?". I think shes *this* close to asking "Why"! And when that day comes, my dear readers, I ll be pulling my hair and running on the streets!
Today we took her to the new Paediatrician who is near our house. I'm glad I found him because he was wonderful. Very friendly and kind. Ashu was scheduled for a vaccination but we postponed it because shes still on antibiotics. The doctor got all her details, checked her and pronounced her "very smart" after observing her play with the toys he gave her. Hd and I came out of the office with a proud grin in our faces and shes not even in school yet. How pathetic are we? ;)
April 17, 2007
The Birthday Gift for "MY" daughter which she asked "ME" which "I" wanted to buy is already here because I have a big mouth.
Remember this post where in the last paragraph I told you guys about how Ashu was asking for a Thomas train for her upcoming birthday. Apparently I should nt have shared that piece of information with my crazy parents!!!!!! Yes, the package was from my parents from India with a heavy Thomas and his friends Big loader. Now what am I supposed to buy for her? I told you my parents were crazy!
And these ignorant folks could nt even get the address right for Gods sake. They asked my sister for my address and wrote it on the box even without writing "Switzerland" on it. My dad remembered after sending the courier and then asked me if that was OK. At that time I thought they were sending a card for Ashu, did nt know about the gift. I yelled at my dad for being so stupid. My address does nt even have Zurich in it so I was sure that the post will be lost. Then my dad had called the courier guys I suppose. Because on the package, I saw the word "SWIS", yes Swis, written with a different pen in small print somewhere near the return address!! And the return address looks larger than the TO address and the senders name and receivers name are the same as I still have my maiden name. There must have been one confused postman out there today! But still I got the package and Ashu got her gift. Their unconditional love has brought it all the way here I suppose. There were also a Kerala style frock and a skirt my mom has bought in Guruvayoor for Ashu.
Now what about the a luxury villa in Bangalore I have been hinting to buy for the sake of Ashu, Dad? How is it coming along?
April 16, 2007
Hd is going to Amsterdam today and will be back on Thursday. So its going to be just me and Ashu for 3 nights. And I cant go "Mommy! Help!" as I did in India. I am sure I ll be OK but theres a little chance that I might go mad too. Will let you guys know for sure!
I think it became Summer straight after Winter here in Zurich. It is so warm and so bright everyday here since the time change. And its high time I buy curtains for the huge windows in this flat. The sun light is really blinding. I'm not able to see where Ashu is after I look out of the window for a minute to see what the cows are up to. Oh yeah, I completely forgot to tell about the cows. There are these three farms next to our apartment and so far I have seen only 4 horses roaming around. Hd was telling me that he spotted some cows in October and they ll be out once the winter is over. And there they were 2 weeks back. Around 50 cows in total and one of the herd comes real close to the fence and I have fun looking at them from our 10th floor window and balcony. Ashu could nt believe her eyes the first time she spotted the whole lot of them. And to think that I grew up in a village with our very own farm. Sigh!
Remember Baby S? She has been moved to the Children's Hospital in Zurich. So I got a chance to meet my friend, P. The baby was in the ICU so I did nt get to see her. Which was good as I don't think I could have handled it well. P started crying as soon as she saw me and I could nt take it. We were sitting and talking for a couple of hours about this and that and catching up as we were seeing each other after an year. Her husband and her son were at home.(in another city an hour away by train) This happened a month back. Now shes commuting between Zurich and home everyday. The baby is still in the ICU. A surgery was performed last week and they are waiting to see if theres any improvement. The doctors told her that its a very slow process. She still needs our prayers.
OK, I just got back from the Paediatrician. Hd left for the airport in the morning so I had to go alone. I deserve it for delaying to go to the Doctor. Ashu had high temperature in the morning too, so called the Doc and went there by 10. Ashu seemed to be fine then and I was worried what the Doc was going to say. But he took a blood test and confirmed theres an infection and prescribed antibiotics. I told Ashu that the nurse was going to prick her fingers and it will hurt a little but not to cry. To my amazement, she kept looking at her finger and the nurse and did nt cry at all! So I cried. I mean here's this little girl who has been crying in her sleep for the past 3 days and I was getting impatient with her. And then when I saw her not crying when a needle pricked her little finger, I felt so guilty and realized how badly she might have been hurting to cry like that. So I called Hd who was at the airport and guilt tripped him as well! Why should I suffer alone? Anyway, I had to go to the Central Zurich area to buy the medicines as all the shops here are closed due to Sechseläuten(The beginning of the Spring Festival). Ashu is asleep now and I hope she gets better soon. As my mom says, sometimes paying the Doctor fee is all it takes for the kids to get alright.
Happy Tamil New Year!
April 11, 2007
Saturday, Day 1:
So its possible for these folks to get up at 5 am after all! But even today, I got up first and asked them to switch off the alarm by saying "Phone, phone"! What would they do without me? We were in the airport at the right time and landed in Prague after an uneventful flight! I sat on Moms lap and looked at the clouds out of the window all the while. I went to sleep while the plane was landing and got up in the hotel room. It had a kitchen too, thanks to me. Hey, I did nt ask to be born! After some brunch, we took a tram to the Wenceslas Square. It was crowded. The roads were all cobble stoned and my poor stroller took a toll for the worse. How it survived for 4 days with the wheels still intact is a mystery! It was quite cold and windy in Prague and it got warm only on the last day so I was all covered up most of the time. I cant understand these folks. They don't take me out at all in Zurich even if its slightly windy. But here they were dragging me with them all through the day in the cold and the wind even though I had a slight cold coming and my nose was running. Talk about being selfish! After doing what tourists do at the square, we went back to the hotel and Mom fed me the packed lunch. Then I went to sleep along with mom and dad to make up for the lost early-morning-sleep. I heard them saying that they have become too old for these kind of things and they are not the young couple anymore who were on their feet all day long. Yeah, yeah! Any reason to take a nap.
After the nap, we dressed up and went for a stroll at the Charles Bridge, Prague's famous landmark. The view was beautiful from there though all I could see was the walls of the bridge from my stroller. Dad carried me for a few minutes and showed me the beautiful
Vltava river and the boats before plonking me on the stroller again. We spent some time souvenir shopping and bought a Pinocchio wooden puppet with strings and all. Though the sales guy made it tap dance and clap its hands, all mom and dad could do is make it kick and jump and it looks as if Pinocchio had a fit! And I cant even hold the toy because they are afraid I ll entangle the strings. What mean humans! Then we went to a Pizzeria for dinner. I would nt taste even a crumb there so I had to watch mom and dad wolf down a whole pizza with a very expensive bottle of Evian. ("Who asked you to order water? We have a bottle in the backpack, for Gods sake! That water was more expensive than the pizza" shouted mom at dad!) Mom had the best cheese cake she has ever had there and how much ever tempting it was, I refrained from tasting even a bit. Moms clueless where I got this stubborn gene from. Take another guess, Mom! Back to the room and I went to sleep after a bottle of milk.
Sunday, Day 2:
Breakfast was good with a selection of breads, cakes, spreads, eggs, cereal, juice and fruits. Of course, I did nt touch any of them. I had my milk and a banana. I like my routine, OK? Then we took a tram and went to the Prague Castle. Bad day to do the castle as it was very windy and chilly that day. But I was a good sport and slept most of the time. The churches were beautiful. I really had to strain my neck to look at them. And there were loads of pigeons and I had fun chasing them. The Golden lane was beautiful with loads of small, colorful shops and a kind lady performed a private puppet show for me. Though it was for half a minute, I felt special. It was a very long walk from here to the Royal Gardens. Though the gardens are nothing compared to the Versailles, they were not bad! (OK, I have no clue what Versailles is but mom said that.) Mom and dad had lunch at a restaurant nearby which was a tourist trap and they had to eat only soup and side orders if they did nt want to go bankrupt! ("Who asked you to go in and sit without looking at the menu? That's why they have the menu outside, no? It was so embarrassing" shouted mom at dad!) From here, we went to the Mala Strana area for some cake and coffee. (I had my milk!) And strolled to the other end of the Charles bridge. We went back to the hotel by 7 pm and Mom made some rice. I ate some so as not to make her mad. At least I think I did!
Monday, Day 3:
After breakfast, we went to the Petrin Tower. Mom climbed an Eiffel tower lookalike while dad and I waited down. The view of the city was amazing said Mom. Then we went to a Mirror maze which was interesting. At last, something fun for me! But I still cant figure out how come there were so many "me" there! After a leisure stroll in the gardens, we took the funicular and went down. We reached the Wallenstein Gardens from here and it was beautiful. The weather also improved by now and I had fun running around. Mom changed my diaper in the park bench, much to my embarrassment. That's another thing in Prague. Its either the bathroom floors or the park benches for us Diaperados. And I never want to be potty trained ever if I have to use those dirty bathrooms. Are you kidding me? I would rather sit on my own pee, thank you very much.
After some photo sessions at the garden, we went to the Old Town Square. This is where things get interesting. Dad and Mom see a pastry shop and we go in. While they are almost done eating, I stand by the glass window and stare at the Horse drawn carriages on the street. Mom goes to the rest room and when shes back after 2 minutes, I am screaming my lungs out and dad tells her that a bee has stung me in my finger. Mom is red with rage and spots the bee up on the window and if looks could kill, the entire Beedom would have been wiped out by now. Mom rushes me to the bathroom and holds my finger under the cold water tap while I am still screaming. No one at the restaurant cared except for an old lady and this mom made even more mad! How can no one care about her poor baby? Mom checks for rashes or swelling but theres none. Mom has been stung by a scorpion when she was a child so shes confident that a little bee sting would nt be allergic to me but I can see that shes scared! ("What kind of a dad are you? I was gone 2 minutes and you have let a bee sting her! You are so irresponsible!" shouted mom at dad!) Coming back to me, it hurt like hell Dude! I just wanted to touch the bee for Gods sake! No one told me I should nt be touching bees. Is this the same bird and the bee story parents save for later? I'm afraid you are making a mistake folks. And pray tell me what the birds do? Do they bite? Give it to me dearies, I can face it. It cant be as bad as a bee sting. After I calmed down, we proceeded to the old town square. This was the most picturesque part of Prague and it was beautiful.We saw the Astronomical clock chime and strolled though the shops. Dad wanted to go for a boat ride and Mom wanted to buy some wooden toys but they could nt as Dad forgot to bring his second stash of money from the hotel room. ("And to think I married you for the money", mumbled Mom!) We walked to the Wenceslas Square and took a tram to the hotel and called it a day.
Tuesday, Day 4:
Our flight was at 3.00 pm. So after breakfast, we checked out, left our luggage at the reception and proceeded to Charles bridge to take a short river cruise. But the boat rides started only at 11.30 am. Dad was mighty upset and Mom was all smiles as she can now spend that money on souvenirs! She bought some wooden, hand crafted, hand painted dolls. And yes, I'm not supposed to touch them! Then we decided to take a look at the famous Dancing Lady building and took a tram. Its a modern building and supposed to look like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dancing. You decide! Then we rushed to the hotel and took a taxi to the airport. The return flight was a breeze too. The lady sitting next to Dad told him that I was an Angel after the plane landed in Zurich. Mom and dad agreed wholeheartedly.
April 06, 2007
April 05, 2007
After so much of changes, when we came to Zurich last month to a two bedroom flat, we decided to buy a junior cot for Ashu rather than a crib. It has a side rail so she cant fall off the bed. And also shes old enough to climb down on her own if she wanted to. And we can also sit on the bed to read her a story. Anyway, the cot was already here and assembled by Hd and the mattress bought. We had to buy the bed linen and we did nt have time to buy that. So Ashu was sleeping with us in our bed. Also Hd was seeing her after 3 months and Ashu would have screamed bloody murder if I had even thought about separating her from her daddy. I also wanted her to get used to the house, her room, her cot, etc.. At last, we got around to buy everything and it was all set. One Wednesday, I rocked her to sleep in her room. She knew I was going to make her sleep in her bed and unusually took a long time to go to sleep and when I put her on the bed, she grabbed my hand and would nt let go. I sat with her for 10 more minutes and sang some songs and then she went to sleep. This was at 8.30 pm. Around 12 midnight, she started crying her lungs out. Hd was doing some office work and I was busy blog hopping. I went to her room and picked her up and rocked her to sleep again. Then I went to bed. In an hour, she started crying again and Hd brought her to our bed. She slept the rest of the night without a whimper. Day 2, Thursday - Almost the same scene. She got up around 2 am and was quickly brought to our bed. Day 3, Friday - Surprise! She slept the entire night, got up at 7 am, climbed out of her bed and walked to our bedroom and woke us up! I was one happy mommy! Saturday - Around 12.30, she calls out APPA! She has never called like that before. She always cries loudly whenever she gets up in the middle of the night. Hd and I thought we were imagining that. Then she called again feebly, we thought she was talking in her sleep. After 30 mins, she started crying and Hd promptly brought her to our bed. It has been almost a month now and the pattern remains the same. Goes to sleep around 9 pm, wakes up around 3 am and comes to our bed to continue her sleep and gets up around 6.30 am. Very few nights, she sleeps straight through. So that's how Project "Sleep in your own bed in your own room" is progressing and everybodys happy! :)
After reading Rohinis post on the same subject, I am adding more details.
Ashu has never gone to sleep on her own except when shes on the pram and we are out.
As soon as shes sleepy, she becomes cranky. I put her over my shoulder and sing a song and most of the time, she goes to sleep within 5 minutes. 15 minutes max. We have done 30 mins at times too!
She sleeps though the night without waking only when she sleeps with us in our bed. Very rarely when shes sleeping on her own.
When shes sleeping on her own, she gets up once mostly around 3 or 4 am. Hd picks her up and comes to our bed and she goes to sleep immediately cocooned between us so most of the times we dont even remember how she came to our bed.
She takes a 2 hour nap in the afternoon every day and goes to sleep around 8.30 in the night. Never later than 9.30 pm. Gets up around 6.30 am.
Always sleeps with us when shes sick.
She can go hungry for hours but when shes sleepy, she has to sleep NOW.
When it come to her sleep, theres nothing that I have done for her. Shes loves sleeping just like Hd and I, no surprises there! So there have nt been that many sleepless nights for us even when she was a new born. But she had trouble latching on to my breast for the first 3 months and it pretty much made things worse than sleepless nights. She preferred sleep to food just like her lazy Momma!
Shes easily scared and wants someone to be around her all the time. Especially in the nights. I tried cry it out once and she was so scared and cried so much that I decided its not worth it. Anyway, it was not like she was giving us trouble or disturbing our sleep. So I decided to go with the flow. She goes to sleep in her own room but if she needs us in the middle of the night, we are there for her.
April 04, 2007
I will be visiting all your comment boxes very soon with a personal invite!:) Meanwhile, do let me know if I have left out any mommy blogger in my blog roll and do send in your suggestions.
April 02, 2007
"Remember the crisp Jalebis with Ice cream for dessert? Never had such great jalebis ever after!"
"Remember how Aunt G was raving about the cake and how thoughtful of us to have ordered an egg less one?"
"Remember the caricature of your mom with a ladle in her hand standing in the kitchen? That was hilarious!"
Anyway, what I am trying to say is we have children because we want them not because they want to be born. Who in their right minds would want to come into this sick world anyway? So why nitpick on the parties? I mean theres no pleasing the crowd. One of my friends threw a birthday party for her preteen son in a hotel lavishly and we were like "Its so unnecessary". And another friend invited a huge group, cooked herself for all of them and had the party at a community center. People were like, "shes so stingy"! Another couple donated some money to charity and had a quite time with their child at home and we were like "Poor Child!" There no right way, is there? At least for the first birthday. Now that Ashu is going to turn 2 pretty soon, Im already picking my hair wondering what to do. I have nt had time to make friends here and I have only met a few people. So is it really necessary to invite people whom you barely know for your daughters birthday party? Should we have a party at all? Should we just take her out somewhere she ll enjoy? Again, all my theory of what she ll like. And this pattern will continue all her life whether she likes it or not. Ask me, I know. My parents did nt exactly throw a wedding I wanted!