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June 27, 2008

Update on Ashu at 3 Years and 2 Months.

No, she has still not become an older sister. Yet. But shes as ready as one as young as her can be. She is still sticking to the name she has chosen for the baby and since we don't have anything better, we are keeping it. Shes all "I ll do this for the baby Ma, I ll do that for baby Ma". But I can so picture her as a "Jealous Jalaja"(JJ as the syndrome is called in my family!) If shes anything like me, she ll eat the baby alive. Im counting on the baby to be more accommodating than her.

So my mom arrived on Friday night. And since then Hd and I have seen only little of Ashu. My mom is behaving like a house elf. She gets up early, does her thing, cooks for us and then Grandma and Grandchild disappear to their room. We hardly see them. Then Ashu is fed, entertained, bathed, dressed, dinner appears on the table, tea is made, clothes folded,... So Hd and I decided to make hay while the sun shines and caught two movies on big screen. We watch football matches together on TV, eat dinner together, don't snap at each other, talk without being interrupted,... You know the saying that a candle flame lights up brighter before burning out? I guess this is our chance for that bright period before the baby comes. And I strongly suspect that Ashu is going to have a problem if my mom picks up the baby. Mom and dad are dispensable, but grandma? She rules!

I can see shes upset that theres no school. Today she asked me "Is today school day, Amma?" and when I told her for the umpteenth time that the school is closed for summer, she nodded in a sad way.

She has become noticeably independent since she turned three. She plays on her own for long stretches with her blocks and dolls and toys making up stories. She does puzzles after puzzles with great interest. She keeps looking at pictures in her books taking in everything. Wears her clothes on her own with only little help from me. If only she ate all on her own and night trained herself out of her diapers! Yes, yes, I want it all!

She has become this annoying kid who has to know everything. What did you say to Appa? What did Appa say? Why did you say Stupid, Amma? What did Appa do amma? Why are you scolding the car on the front amma? Is it a bad boy car? Are you angry? Why are you angry? What are you laughing at amma? What are you reading amma? What is this? What is that? The questions are endless.

Shes painfully shy among strangers. She turns her back to people on the elevator, does not accept gifts from friends, does not say thank you or please, does not say anything, period. But house guests are different. She gets attached to people when they come home. I told her a couple of times to be nice to people and tried to talk to her. I can see that she wants to try but does nt know what to do about it. Shes tongue tied. So I have just let it go. She ll learn in her own time. Whats the hurry to socialize? Hd and I were shy kids too so no surprise there. Dot Thoughts sent an article - 8 way to help the shy child- on the same issue via email. Immensely useful if you have a shy kid. Thanks, Dottie.

By the time I write her next update, she ll be an older sis. Forever.

June 25, 2008

Dasavatharam - My Take.

We watched Dasavatharam on Saturday. I am a HUGE Kamal fan. I loved him in the movie. I was in awe. I was bowled over by his performance. But the movie sucked. BIG time. What WERE you thinking, dude? And all this incredible and brilliant performance for this script? What a waste. But hats off to him. I ll always be a fan.

(Pictures collaged from sulekha.com)
Liked Fletchers make up and performance. Brilliant. And Balram Naidu and Poovaraghan. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant. Liked the Japanese dude and Nambi too. Bush was nt as bad as I expected him to be. Avtar Singh get up was good but hated that character and the Paati and Kalifulla. Total waste. And these were my honest, first impressions. I dont want to be told how its a movie on chaos theory and how these characters matter. Just because its based on chaos theory does nt mean the story has to be chaotic. I mean some story discussion did happen before making the movie right? Or did they just let 10 characters loose and asked them to be as chaotic as possible and shot them candidly? Give me a break.

And here I went for the movie 38 weeks pregnant for the 11.30 pm show leaving Ashu with my jet lagged mother. It hurt my back to sit there for 3 hours. The ticket cost 50 freaking Francs for both of us. I had read dozens of reviews, discussed the movie with my sis and parents. Did nt expect too much but still I was disappointed. Even though I had made up my mind to like it. I think theres no cheating oneself. What you feel is what you feel. Cant help it. But saying "I hated the movie" in one sentence is such a huge insult to Kamals performance. That I can say for sure. But right now, I am the black sheep in my family. My mom, dad, sis and bil have let me live because I'm carrying another life. Indha oru vaati, mannichudungapa please.

Some of the ridiculous reasons I was given defending this movie:

1. Its better than Kuruvi.

2. It does nt have romantic duet songs.

3. I did nt get the story.

4. Kamals performance is brilliant.

5. That I discussed this movie for 45 minutes on a long distance phone call to my dad.

6. I had too much expectations.

7. I ve watched far more worse movies.

8. Kamals performance is brilliant.

9. I should not compare this to Devar Magan, Anbe Sivam and Virumaandi.

10. And did I mention, Kamals performance is brilliant?

Yes, Kamal is God. Hes already up there for me, even without Dasavatharam I would worship him. So I ve nothing against Kamal but I did NOT like the movie. Came out of the theater with a bitter taste is my mouth, thats all. Im only wondering how far worse the movie could have been if it were nt for Kamal. But then Ajith did prove that in Citizen, did nt he? ;) Hd and I decided to make hay while the sun shines and went for Indiana Jones last night. Now this, me likey! What to do? I can totally imagine Kamal saying something like "Namba vera naatula porandhurukalaam da"! If only...

June 20, 2008

This week.

On Monday, we had a parents teachers meeting at Ashus school. Our first. Since shes only in play school, nothing serious - Just a "Oh we are happy", "you are happy", "good", "bye then"! The teachers gave a potted plant for Ashu. A sun flower seed she had sown and has been watering every day for the past 2 weeks. A tiny shoot with one leaf. So cute. They also gave Ashus port folio. A folder with lots of pictures taken during class, the crafts she has done, a page on how she behaves in class, about her friends, that shes a little shy, that she likes to listen to the other kids and observe, loves puzzles and books, etc... A geek in the making, alright!

On Tuesday, it was match day in Zurich. (France Vs Italy) So roads were closed, traffic diverted, traffic jams and all the works. Reached the school 10 minutes late by which time Ashu had slept. Also, I had made the mistake of telling her the previous day that she ll go to big class from August with different teachers which she did nt like. So she started crying when I left her in the class. That's a first in months! Anyway, Ms.S carried her off and I decided to do some shopping nearby rather than going home and coming back in the bad traffic. Picked her up at 3. She told me that she wants Miss.M and Miss.S as her teachers and does nt want a new teacher. Oh Boy! I said OK and left it at that!

No school on Wednesday. Cooked, cleaned and prepared Ashu for the teddy bear picnic the next day in school and asked her to choose a bear. She chose her care bear.

On Thursday, Hubby was traveling. I made some cucumber sandwiches for the picnic and left for school in the afternoon. Since it was the last day of school and the kindergarten classes were also having picnic, the car park was over flowing. I parked the car in a nearby paid parking lot and walked to the school. We were 9 kids, 5 moms and 2 teachers. Had fun sitting on the grass and chatting with everyone. It was a perfect sunny day. We moms gave the gifts we had bought for the teachers. Ashu gave them the card she made and I took loads of photos. But then, felt really bad because Ashu would nt sing any rhymes during circle time, would nt answer any of the teachers Qs, would nt play with the kids in the play yard, she was either playing on her own or sitting beside me. Only the last 30 mins, she joined the other kids and played in the slide and the swing. Miss M told me not to worry as she usually joins in all the fun and shes being shy because I was there. Strange kid, this one. I really, really like Miss.M. Shes great with the kids. Too bad she would nt be Ashus teacher in Pre K. One of the moms had brought her youngest baby along. Hes 6 months old. Ashu just fell in love with him, gave him her bear, her hat, her snack and was touching him and kissing him and talking to him. It was so nice to see her with a baby. At 3 pm, said good byes to everyone, collected Ashus things from her class and came home dead beat because of the sun and the heat. Hd came home quite late in the night.

I wanted to do something special with just the 3 of us together yesterday but did nt work out. Because technically, it was the last day with just the 3 of us. My mom arrives tonight(Yippeee!) and in less than two weeks, the baby will be here and we will no longer be a family of 3. Sigh! Planning to go out in the evening. But theres loads of shopping and cleaning to do that I don't know if we ll have the time. Well, the thought counts. Speaking of which, I don't think we are going to be a "perfect" family once the baby is here. Whats with wishing "Oh, your family is perfect now" after the second baby arrives? I think we were a pretty perfect family with just Hd and I, then with Ashu too. It was a perfect family when my sis and I were kids and for that matter, I think it was more perfect before I was born! *evil grin* I don't think this baby has to come into this world with the baggage of making my imperfect family perfect! I don't think theres any agenda attached actually. The first child was well, we wanted to see what a baby is actually like and whether we can produce one. Then I did nt want to have another one. Neither did Hd. Hes an only child and he said he did nt miss any sibling and he did nt think Ashu needed a sibling. I was nt too keen either. I thought I would be a better "mom of one" rather than a "mom of two". But once Ashu was 2 1/2, I started telling Hd, "I don't want one. But if you want one, lets just get it over with. I don't want to wait until Im 35". And he was like "I don't want one. But if you want, I am ready!" (Of course you would be dear!) Then we both said what the heck and decided to get pregnant. Because we can. That's all there is to it. So its "We wanted to see what a baby is like and how good are we as parents" if Ashu asks why she came into existence and "Because we can have unprotected sex and no one can question us" to answer baby no 2. And then, they lived happily ever after. The End.

June 09, 2008

Four more weeks to go.

The other day I was showing Ashu her baby pictures and preparing her for Baby Pinocchio. And I told her "Look Ashu. you did nt have any teeth when you were born. The baby also wont have any". She was really intrigued and pointed the next photo and said, "Look Ma. Theres no tongue either!" And today after a month or so after that incident, she came to me with a worried look and asked "Amma! Will Pinocchio have hands?" Uh,oh! Then I had to reassure her that Pino will have all the body parts intact. Only the teeth will come later. Its tough being a clueless child, I suppose!

****

Had a Doctor appointment on Friday and alls well." So your due date is July 3rd! Is 10 am OK for you?", asked the Doc. What? That's all? No more check ups? So the next time I go to the hospital, I ll come back with a baby? Arrrrgh!!!

****

As always, last minute panic attacks have struck. I'm so ill prepared. Last pregnancy by this time, the crib was assembled, baby clothes laundered and folded and arranged, diapers bought, hospital bag packed, lists after lists were written and was waiting for my mom. But this time, I'm just waiting for my mom. I'm counting down to my moms arrival on the 20th more than the due date actually! But I'm sure all I ll do after she comes is sit on the couch with my feet up and eat all the goodies she cooks. (If you are reading this post today, "Happy Birthday Mom"!)

****

Talking about the crib, listen to this freaky coincidence. We bought a wooden crib in Basel for Ashu and gave it to a friend before we left for India when Ashu was 5 months old. Fast forward 2 and a half years, this friend moved back to India last month and asked if I wanted the crib!! Its really, really freaky because every one of the ten or so friends we had in Basel have moved from that city and these are the only friends who still lived there and almost 3 years later, we are back in Zurich and they are moving back to India and we got the crib back. The crib we chose and bought 2 months before Ashu was due. The first ever DIY Hd did and I knew he would nt go anywhere without my help. The bed Ashu slept on like a baby! Sigh! Its really huge for me because in the last 8 years, I have lived in so many places that theres nothing sentimental I have hung on to. Buy stuff, throw stuff, move to another city, buy stuff, throw stuff,... has been the story of my life. So I'm really thrilled to have the crib back.

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We went to a Lebanese restaurant for dinner on our anniversary. Awesome food. I seem to love Mediterranean cuisine a lot in spite of being a vegetarian. I remember having a great time in Greece, especially the food part. Keep the Pita bread coming and with the Mezze (Salads, dips, olives,...), I'm one happy puppy! Not to mention, the assortment of Baklava for dessert! *drool* Ashu had half a falafel ball, 2 bites of pita bread, one small piece of tomato and one scoop of Vanilla ice cream. Yes, the girl exists purely to torture me. Slowly.

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We ve almost decided on a name for the baby. Actually, Ashu has! We made the mistake of asking if that name was good a couple of months back and she stuck to that name. Now whenever Hd or I come up with a different name, she absolutely refuses to give up that name. "No Amma, I don't like that name. I like ****** only", she says! And this one had the nerve to reveal that name to the house guests who were here last week. Well, at least its not Pinocchio. So I think we ll keep that name. We cant seem to come up with anything else anyway!

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Waiting for the release of
Dasavatharam this weekend. If the only Tamil friend here is not interested, then I'm going to watch it alone. It better be worth it!

****

June 05, 2008

Ten Reasons Why I Love You.

1. I know that you will be on my side even if the whole world is against me. How you are still on my side even when we are fighting.

2. How you like to learn and grow in this relationship. How you constantly tune into my needs and satisfy them. How you are just so perfect. For me.

3. I will always, always remember the time you got me that beautiful necklace for my birthday 6 years back but without the matching ear rings and then told me, we can go and get the ear rings later in the evening if I like the necklace as the store policy is against returning ear rings. How thoughtful was that! And I loved you more since the necklace was just perfect. I realize now that these little things are which make or break a relationship. And come what may, "We ll always have the Necklace". :) Well, at least I ll have it! (and the matching earrings!)

4. That you have let me believe that your family is more important to you than work and given a chance you would spend your day with us than at work. It might or might not be true and honestly I don't care. I just need that reassurance and I'm glad you know that.

5. I love you the most for letting me win a futile argument because it means so much to me to have the last word. I can get away with stuff like, "Because I say so", "Because I am carrying your child", "Just because",... and you indulge me. Thank you so much for being the bigger person in this relationship. I know its a lot of hard work and it would ve killed me by now if I were at it.

6. That I don't have to think twice before telling you something. The biggest reason why I love you has to be this one. Calling you a moron, myself a fatso, our daughter a genius, my sister bossy, my Bil hen pecked, my mom horrible, my dad a jerk, your parents loony bins, ... and lets not even go near our friends. (yes, bloggers included! ;) OK now the whole world knows but then we have more dirt on them than these, don't we? One person I don't have to pretend with. Ever. Ah, the bliss!

7. Ashus puppy dog devotion to you only makes me love you more, if that's possible.

8. That it took me less than 10 minutes to write this list.

I ll stop this list with eight things. For now.

Happy 8th Anniversary, Darling! :)