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March 27, 2008

Update on Ashu at 2 Years and 11 Months.

Yes, my baby girl is just one month short of the Big Three.

And the biggest update is of course that shes going to be a big sister very soon. To another baby girl. YES, we found out that its a GIRL yesterday when I had an ultrasound done here. My sister had accompanied me for the ultrasound and we both were grinning like idiots when the Dr said its a girl. It was a very, very special moment to share with my sister.

Ashu is in denial that
Pinocchio is a girl. When I asked her to pick a girl name for the baby, she said "I thought its a boy amma. I cant choose a girl name. Lets call the baby Pinocchio only". (Naan Boy nu ninaichunten. Ennaala girl name solla mudiyalai. Pinocchio ne koopidalaam) She said it in a very sad and disappointed tone. Just you wait, Ashu! Sisters rule! :)

As always, shes the happiest when we shes amidst her grand parents, aunt and uncle. My mom takes care of the food department. My dad tells her stories, takes her out for walks and gardening. Pema and Pepa do everything in between. The other day my sister was asking her how much she likes all of us. And out of the blue, Ashu started rating us. She gave 11 for Pepa and Paati. 10 for Hd and me. 5 for Pema, Thatha and Pinocchio. Oh, 5 for her brand new doll "Santhu". (A gift from
Chula!)

Yesterday, she found my Bils tripod standing in a corner and started taking imaginary photos with it. She would say 1,2,3,4 and make a click sound and press a circular button in the tripod. She asked my dad to model for her and gave him loads of instructions. Sit, stand, lie down on this towel, ... Then she brought an empty cup and said shes going to throw water on his head. "It will look beautiful, Thatha" was her explanation. So my dad pretended that he was cold and asked her to take the picture fast as the camera was rolling. "I have put the camera in pause", came the reply. From then on, my dad just shut up and listened to her!

One minute, shes sharing toys and playing peacefully with other kids, the next minute shes fighting over a toy and screaming her lungs out. Its really getting on my nerves. But then, I cant do much other than distracting her and solving the problem temporarily. How much ever I lecture her, the minute shes sleepy or hungry, she throws the worst tantrums. Chula is both her best friend and worst enemy. Shes all buddy buddy one minute and the next, she does nt want to give her a hug. We all had gone to the Childrens Discovery museum the other day. Ashu had fun. But towards the end, the museum had a new temporary entertainment for a few minutes when Ashu and Chula were wrestling on the floor fighting for the same block even though there were hundreds of identical blocks there!! Nevertheless, its great to see them bond. My mom and
Utbts mom went to school together in a small town. My Sis and Utbt went to college together. My Bil and Utbts husband were colleagues for a while. I am of course the (not so)little sister Utbt never had. (Are nt I, dear?:) And now, Chula and Ashu. Wow, that makes me feel so.... OLD!

I have always wondered how mothers can be so blind when it came to their kids. How can they let their kids treat them badly and still love them? How it seems as if the kids can never hurt them? How they can still love their kids the same irrespective of everything they do? (And its all based on how badly I treat my own mother.) And I have got my answer. Ashu says stuff like "You go Amma. Im playing with Thatha." "You go to Zurich Amma. I ll be in the US with Pema." "You go away Amma, I ll go to India with Paati." And it does nt hurt one bit as I thought it would. And then suddenly, she comes running out of a room calling "Amma, Amma" and gives me a hug. Then runs back to the room to continue playing. Its such a wonderful feeling to be loved like that. So pure. So "in the moment". I ll always remember the twos as the "terrific twos" just for moments as precious as these. Hit me with the Three, Girl. I'm all yours! :)

March 18, 2008

Busy doing nothing.

Social life in Bay Area is hectic. I am more busy here than Zurich and Bangalore put together. There are always parties to attend, Athais visiting, a grahapravesam to dress up, friends dropping in, calling up college friends who live in the US, cousins to visit, restaurants to check out...

On Saturday, there was a pot luck dinner at Sundars place. Loved their newly done up house. His older daughter was being the perfect little hostess. Such a sweet little thing. The Little one was very quiet and observant. I wonder if Sundar is making up things in his blog about the kids! There were at least 8 bloggers including me. I was all teeth to meet the Blog Celebrity Balaji of Bbthots. Did you buy my "acting cool" part, Balaji? ;)

Thanks for all your lovely wishes folks! Updates on pregnancy and Ashu coming up soon.

March 13, 2008

The Big Three O and an even Bigger News!

While I was thinking how to make people forget that I am turning 30 today, I had this brilliant idea. To announce that I am PREGNANT. So yes, I am pregnant and the baby is due on July 5th. Just when I was ready to share the news with you lot a month back, Kodis Mom broke her news, and before that news could sink in, Poppins Mom and Moppets Mom came out with their news. And Desi Girl gave into the pressure as well. People have been REAL busy now, have nt they? ;) So like a good girl, I did nt steal their thunder. But let me grab the opportunity before another round of pregnancy news hits us.

I am 23 weeks pregnant and doing good. Realizing I am pregnant only when people remind me. The pregnancy has been very similar to the first one so far. No nausea, no sickness, no weight gain, ... And to think I was born with motion sickness and gaining weight is like breathing to me. Pregnancy is the only time people comment on how I have nt gained weight and it does wonders to my ego. Don't know of its a boy or a girl. Last time, the Dr could nt tell me as the baby's position was nt right and its the same this time too. So all my bets are on that this is a girl as well. Two girls are my first choice. A girl and a boy come a close second. So its a win win situation, so to speak. And since its confirmed that I'm not carrying twins, that's one heart attack saved for Hd.

Ashu knows that theres a baby in my tummy. "The baby is blowing bubbles inside Ammas tummy" is her favorite statement and repeats it all the time to anyone who will listen. She thinks its a boy. She has christened the baby "Pinocchio" and all of us have got used to calling the baby the same. So heres to Pinocchio, a special welcome post on a special day.

March 09, 2008

Blog Meets, Board Games and Bye Byes.

Last night we went to Utbts house for dinner. With 20 adults and 10 kids, it was a full house. Sundar, Utbt, DDmom and I took 5 minutes to talk about blogs and decided to declare it as a Blog Meet. So there! We had a blog meet! :)

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Ashu was quite sick since we returned from the cruise. She threw up a lot, refused to eat anything and gave us all a scare. But shes recovering now. Hope she starts eating fine soon.

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As it has become a tradition now, Sis and Bil have introduced us to yet another addictive board game. (Click
here and here to read the two posts I wrote on board games earlier.) This time it is Power Grid. Yet again, we have nt played any of the other games we played like crazy last time. Power Grid is an amazing game. We bid on power plants, buy resources, and provide electricity to our cities. Its all fun until players start encroaching into your own city and you have to pay double the money to build a network in your own city. Just like real life, huh? :) Its hilarious to see my mom stock up on resources because its cheap and then have no money to build houses and my dad like a true banker has a huge amount of cash at the end of the game even if he does nt have one house to his name! Guess people will be people after all!

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As expected, my dad and I are like cats and dogs most of the time. He cant understand how I can stuff myself with food while my daughter is starving. He cant understand how I can still continue to play Power Grid with a sick daughter on my shoulders. I cant understand how dare he undermine my role as a mother. Still more baffling is the fact that I'm getting flak from a guy who hit sis and me when we were kids. Go figure! But of course my sis and dad are the top 2 persons in Ashus chart. I taste a little bit of victory when Ashu insists on coming to me rather than my dad after I yell at her for some misbehaviour. But then she has also learnt to say "Amma is scolding me" and runs to my mom or dad whenever I raise my voice. The little brat!

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Hd left for Zurich early in the morning today. Poor guy, felt awful like a school going kid after a long vacation. It has been non stop partying and loads of fun for the past 2 weeks. My cousin who is like a little Bro to me and whom I'm very close to is also visiting from Canada. So the house was packed. Now with Hd gone and the cousin leaving next week, its going to be dull even though we ll still be 5 adults and one kid in the house. Cant imagine how I'm going to feel once I go back to Zurich. *sulk*

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March 06, 2008

The Grand Reunion.

If all of you are jealous about my vacation and the family reunion, wait till you hear about the vacation inside this vacation and the mega grand reunion. We are just back from a luxury cruise! To Mexico and back! Four fun days! 12 Adults and 3 kids! My Bils brothers family and his sisters family who live in different parts of the US and his parents who are visiting all flew to San Diego from their respective homes while the 7 of us drove to San Diego from here. Took us almost 10 hours what with frequent susu breaks for Ashu and peak traffic time in LA. Met Bils family there and the next day we all went to the harbor. This was our ship - Carnival Elation. I cant begin to describe the feeling when I first saw the ship. It was AMAZING. Cracking the cheesiest Titanic based jokes, we entered the ship and found our rooms. Sis and Bil had a surprise as soon as they opened their door. Hd had called Carnival the previous day and arranged for the room to be decorated specially for their anniversary. So we started with a bang. Then we were all off to explore the ship and were simply awed by just the size of it. The swimming pool, the Jacuzzis, the huge casino, the 24 hour buffets, elaborate formal dinners, the view, the music, the magic show, stand up comedy and dance shows in the evening,... It was truly a different world. We started on Thursday and reached Cabo San Lucas on Sunday morning. We had till 4 pm to see Cabo. It was a beautiful place. We whale watched, we para sailed, we went on glass bottom boats, sighted Seals, posed with Pelicans, bought souvenirs,... and caught the last boat back to the ship in the nick of time.

We dressed up every evening for dinner. Took amazing portraits almost everyday. Felt like celebrities. We had our own personal waiter for all the 4 nights. We ate fine food and mouth watering desserts. Sis and Bil cut cake amidst much fan fare. Ashu was in a daze the whole time. Is this a hotel or a ship amma? Is this US amma? Wheres the Captain Amma? Wheres the fish Amma? She would nt go to the Children's camp there. She was with us the whole time and had fun with the other 2 kids. With 12 adults, there was nt a shortage for people to baby sit the kids. We showered Sis and Bil with gifts and cards. We all wore matching personalized T shirts with Sis and Bils name on it. We made them exchange garlands and rings. We did the whole nine cheesy yards!!! It was fun, fun and more fun the whole time. My best moment was after a dip in the pool and soaking in the jacuzzi, lying down on the deck chair and looking at the passing clouds. It will stay in my memory forever. I had absolutely no care in the world. Everyone who mean the world to me were around. Perfect bliss.

Now we are back and still talking about the cruise. Time did fly. We also spent half a day at Sea World in San Diego and Ashu was thrilled to see Shamu. Met a very good friend of mine after almost 8 years, stayed a night at her place and met her absolutely cute toddler. Thanks a lot for accommodating all of us, M. You are the best! Now we are back in the Bay Area and Ashu is down with a cold. I would have been surprised if she were nt what with so many changes in the past one week. Hope it does nt become worse though. Crossing fingers.

ps.
Off I go to find out what has been happening in the blog world for the past one week. I missed you all.