Check out what the Indian Mommies are upto at indianmommies.blogspot.com

July 30, 2008

Its all uphill from here.

Antu is one month old and being a baby shes supposed to be. Feeding, sleeping and dirtying diapers by the dozens! If you want any more update on how shes cooing, how shes smiling, how shes following objects and how utterly butterly adorable she is, please contact "mymom at onlygrandmascandoit dot com".

Ashu is another story, of course! Do you know how you are constantly asking your child to use words and talk and speak and not just howl and cry and throw a tantrum? Let me tell you its not nice when they "actually" tell you! One day, in the middle of a tantrum over nothing, I asked her to just tell me what she wants instead of being angry. I kept on asking her and forcing her to just tell me what she wants and I ll do it! She told me in a clear tone, "Take this baby back into your tummy. I dont like this baby". If you want to know, I felt as if someone had pierced me in the middle of my heart. With a very sharp knife. Its not like I did nt have a clue. But hearing her tell it in her own words was shocking. And I realized what I was doing wrong. Since Antu arrived, Ashu has been totally with my mom. My mom plays with her, feeds her, bathes her, reads to her, takes her out on walks and does EVERYTHING. Even if I attempted to do something, Ashu insisted Paati do it for her and I relaxed. Little did I know that she was testing me. And on weekends, my mom, Hd and Ashu went out. One day to the Zoo, the other day to the park, pool, etc... And this little thing was being all cutesy cute with Antu. Kissing her and hugging her and asking me to feed her when she cried. Helping me to changer her diaper, dress her, bathe her,... She was fully involved. But apparently, she had missed me. And I did nt know.

Anyway, I hugged her and kissed her and took her to our room and talked to her. She said "You are not playing with me Amma". I reminded her that she only had to ask. Since she never asked, I relaxed. I told her to ask me if she wants anything and also promised that I ll spend more time with her and that I love her. Then slowly I asked her why she said she did nt like the baby. The star that she is, she immediately replied in a guilty tone, "I did nt mean it, Amma."(Naan chumma dhaan sonnen.) Of course, that statement broke my already bleeding heart into a million pieces.

Since then, I have been spending more time with her and for the first time in a month, all of us went out to the park on Sunday. Ashu had a super duper time with a couple of kids there and when we came back home, she announced "I had a jolly good time today, Amma". She has never said anything like that when she went out with her dad and grandma. Usually she replies with a yes when I ask her if she had fun. But I felt elated that this 3 year old needs this 30 year old only because I am her Mother. Even though her Paati is more fun to be with. Even though her dad carries her happily unlike me who makes her walk.

I ll always be there for you, Honey. I ll make sure you dont have to ASK next time. I promise.

ps.
I realized that it helps talking about Ashus school friends who have baby sisters/brothers. Ashu is close to S who has a 7 month old baby brother. Ashu has seen the baby a lot of times and played with him. So talking about S and her brother helped. Two of my friends are also expecting their second babies and Ashu is friends with their first borns, both girls. Telling her that A and S are also going to become Big Sisters soon helped. She now thinks that she belongs to a group and its cool to be a big sis! But I had done all this groundwork even before Antu arrived and I think thats the reason Ashu has let her live! Who knew she did nt need me but wanted me? I tell you, this parenting is killing me. A bit at a time. Sigh!


Updated:
Something I realized after Bhavanis comment. Antu actually is quite low maintenance for a newborn. When Im not feeding her, shes sleeping. So its not that I did nt have time to spend with Ashu. The thing is whenever my mom is around, I completely unleash Ashu to her and totally relax. When we were in the US in March, my mom was doing everything for her and I did nt lift a finger. Since my mom is the only person who can take care of Ashus every need next to her parents and my mom loves to do that, I let go. I don't get a break like that often, so don't blame me! And Ashu did nt have a problem before. But now that Antu is in the picture, its difficult for her digest the fact that though Im not spending time with her, I'm spending some time with Antu and shes jealous. Paati is just not enough now. And I get her. Oh boy, don't I get her! I do that even now with my mom. Its OK if my mom is sitting idle without talking to me. But if shes talking to my sister and not talking to me, I go ballistic. I'm just going with the flow for now. I don't have any set plans to execute but understanding the problem is half the battle won, right? Or is it not? I ll know it in a while.

July 25, 2008

Thriller Movies and Me.

Any Mommies out there who watched A Clockwork Orange, Kill Bill, Oldboy and Pans Labyrinth in a span of one year? I need to know that I'm not the only freak. In my defence, all the above movies were shown on Film Four and I did nt rent the DVDs.

A Clockwork Orange - Watched it about a year ago, so the effect has worn off. But I had nightmares for an entire week.

Kill Bill - Watched it while I was pregnant. What to do? I could nt resist. I just covered my eyes with my hands and watched it through the gap between the fingers. That did nt help.

Oldboy - Watched it last week. If you have watched it, you know what I am talking about. If you have nt watched it, do NOT watch it. Violence, gore, mentally upsetting, physically revolting,... You name it, the movie has got it. And that too in EXTREME doses. How did someone come up with such a story and screenplay is what puzzles me? Is he a genius or a mental? Am I insane that I actually liked the movie?

Pans Labyrinth - Watched it yesterday. Excellent movie though some scenes were revolting.

I cant believe a weak hearted, easily scared person like me watched these movies. Till date I have nt watched the ending of Moondram Pirai/Sadma because I could nt take it. Did nt watch the second half of the movie Kaadhal because I knew it had some disturbing scenes. Some scenes in Mahanadhi and Kurudhi Punal freaked me out. I cried buckets after one of the Kajols gets murdered in that movie with Ashutosh Rana as the bad guy. By the way, I watched all the said 4 movies alone. Hd watched only Kill Bill after I watched it. He did nt watch the rest at all. And I promptly deleted the movies from the DVR as soon as the end credits rolled. I was a little ashamed for having watched them. Anyway, Hd does nt have the time and unless and until I force him, he would nt watch them. And I did nt want to watch these movies again. I wanted to erase them from my memory as soon as possible. A repeat viewing would seriously affect my mental health!

Anyway, to cleanse myself off these movies, I watched "The Prestige". Just WOW! Officially, The Prestige has become my most favorite movie EVER. I bow to Nolan. I watched Memento five years back. I just knew that it was a great movie but did nt know anything about it before watching it. Hd and I fell off from the sofa when we watched it. And as soon as the movie ended, we watched it again. Back to back. We even thought of watching it in reverse. It was mind blowing. But The Prestige is not as confusing as Memento. I mean, it does leave loads of questions unanswered but Im so much in awe with this movie that the whole world seems more brighter and happier to me. "The Pledge, The Turn and the Prestige" - Michael Caines voice will haunt me for a long time. While I see loads of people raving about Christian Bale's performance in this movie, I just loved Hugh Jackman. I think the casting is stellar. Now Im nagging Hd to watch it with me again. I cant wait to see his reaction and discuss the movie with him. I want to watch The Dark Knight badly now. But apparently, the movie is releasing in Switzerland only in September. And Wall E too. Can you believe that? Sucks!

July 22, 2008

So whats happening at Boodom?

Im busy with Antu. Moms busy with Ashu and the kitchen. Hd is busy with work and doing groceries. Hes doing more of the latter, he complains! (And no it did nt occur to me to get the groceries door delivered. Trust me to come up with a blog story and to mention my husband actually buys the groceries, ugh! ;)

Ashu is all lovey dovey with Antu. Probably faking it because I can see she does nt like it if my mom or Hd carries Antu. And instead of telling it directly, she comes up with gems like "Paati. Carry me. I have hurt my leg", "Appa, dont carry Antu. Give her to Amma. Shes hungry and Amma wants to feed her", "Paati, finish that story you were telling me", "Appa, Im hungry. Feed me". Its really heart breaking to see her camouflaging her true feelings and trying to be nice! My poor darling! Who teaches these little things to hide their true feelings? Sigh! Probably its part of the baby package these days as they have to continue this charade all their lives with someone or the other.

Went to the Family Centre in our area last week. The children's nurse there checked Antu and the baby has put on weight and thank God for that. (Ashu as a baby was always borderline or under weight!) Right now, all she does is feed and sleep. Shes hardly awake. I remember Ashu was awake and observant a little more than Antu even though she was a good sleeper too. But this one takes the cake. We can hardly take pictures of her. And that reminds me, we had a hard time taking her photos to apply for the passport. And not to mention the thumb impression. Since we applied for Ashu when she was 3 months old, we did nt have this much trouble. Making Antu look straight at the camera itself was a big task. And the flash was hurting her eyes. And since we needed a white background, could nt put her in the car seat either. And Antu tried every expression possible to make our task tougher. (See the photo for proof.) Anyway, after clicking loads of pictures for over 10 days, we got one. Phew! For the thumb impression, tried stamp pad, ink, kohl, eye liner, marker pen, sketch pen and at last poster color. Poster color worked. But the downside was that Ashu sneaked away with the bottle to her room while my mom and I were busy with taking the thumb print and started painting the floor using her hand and feet as brush!! Thank God, she did nt touch the wall.

And we will be moving nearer to Ashus school from October. We have given the notice for this house and but no luck finding a new house so far. The ones we like, we are nt getting. The ones we are getting, we don't like it. I mean 3 bedroom and ONE bathroom? 4th floor with no lift? At this rate, we ll be "c/o platform" from Oct. And there are some changes in Hds job front as well. New house, new baby, new class and new school timings for Ashu and my mom will be gone in Sept. I think I ll go rest now when I can!

July 18, 2008

The Mystery of the Mudichu.

I got up from the bed today morning after feeding Antu and walked to the bathroom. (You can never ever guess what I am about to say in my next sentence.) I found my pyjama strings in a clump of knots.(Mudichu in Tamil.) And of course once the brain realizes you are in the bathroom, it orders the bladder to empty NOW even though you try to send a distress signal - "May Day, May Day - We ve a Moondru Mudichu situation here!" So I try to undo the knot but they are very twisted. It looks like a sabotage to me. Not the usual tight knot situation but lots of amateurish knots. (Yes, Im an expert in the Mudichu problem.) Can a 3 week old tie knots while nursing? Not if a 3 year old resident monkey is present, right? Right. So I go to Ashus room where she and my mom are reading a book.

"Did you tie knots in my pants?"
"Yes Amma", with a proud smile.
"When did you do this?"
"Tomorrow." (She means yesterday which actually means some time ago. Can be minutes ago or days ago or even weeks ago!)

Then I see my mom giving a sheepish smile and I ask in horror, "Did you have a hand in this?" And she says that Ashu came to her with a fabric belt and kept on asking her to tie it around her waist and my mom taught her how to make a knot. So Ms. Smarty Pants, knowing that she needs practice and cant do it on herself (what if SHE needed to pee in a hurry?) decides to try it on Mommy who is sleeping like a log and would nt know even if someone "uruvufies" her pyjamas let alone tie knots on the strings!! Anyway, while solving the mystery, I was still trying to undo the knot. To prove that Mr.Murphy is right, I had trimmed my finger nails the previous day and could nt undo them easily. Then Hd came to rescue and with his teeth and my short nails we managed to undo them after a while. (But it was a sight to watch. Hd going for my naadas with his teeth! ;)

And that is why, my dear ladies and gentlemen, life with kids is so interesting. Even in your wildest imagination, you cant come up with a situation like this. Can you? If not for the resident monkey, this post would have been - "I got up. I peed." And now who would want to read that? Hey, but you just did! :)

July 09, 2008

Antu's Arrival - The Birth Story.

Friday, 27th June 2008

5.00 am - I get a feeling today is the day. Yes, its our once in two weeks Laundry Day, usually a busy day for me. Then I experience the beginning of mild contractions. I time them. Lasting 15 seconds and coming every 8 minutes. "Oh no, not on laundry day", is my first reaction! There are still some baby clothes to be washed. The clothes my mom brought from India which smell of Payatham Maavu and Oorugai. Then there are the bed linens and towels, of course. So like any self respecting house wife, I start sorting out the laundry while timing the contractions.

7.00 am - The contractions are coming every 5 minutes lasting 25 seconds now but manageable. I wake Hd up and ask him to start on the laundry as we have a long day ahead. His reply - "I'm not waking up a minute before 8 am". I thrust the notebook on his face where I ve written down the timings of the contractions and ask him "Are you sure?" His reaction was priceless. Knowing his priorities right, he starts on the laundry. If not for the fact that we ve to climb two floors with a fully loaded laundry basket to get to the laundry room, I would ve done it, of course. But even a super woman like me knows her limits! So I shower, organize a few things around the house, give instructions to my mom, call my sister and father, eat light breakfast, call the hospital and get ready to go.

9.00 am - Every three minutes lasting 40 seconds and they are becoming worse. I hold a door, bend a little, breathe and try to manage the pain every time it hits me. I do a Namaskaram for God and for my Mom and get into the car with Hd. (Did you know that the Namaskaram position - Child's pose in Yoga - helps the baby descend through the birth canal?)

9.15 am - The midwife is expecting me. She does an internal examination, my water breaks and I am 3 cm dilated. "You are nt going anywhere", she tells me and I change into the hospital garb.

10.00 am - I am 7 cm dilated. The contractions are more painful and more frequent. But still manageable. "Your breathing is good", tells the midwife and gives me more ideas to handle the pain. I ask for an exercise ball and sit on it. It helps a little. Hd pressing my back with his fist every time I get a contraction helps me immensely and not to mention the breathing. I don't think I perfected the art of breathing the first time, but this time it came to me as natural as, well, breathing! Kodi's Mom come to my thoughts a lot during all these ordeal. I have nt even seen a photo of her but somehow I feel shes there. Guiding me. Don't ask me, it was just one of those surreal things that happens during labor. (Thank you for the invisible presence, A. You were my strength. Truly.)

10.45 am - I am 10 cm dilated. I want to push. I say so to the midwife. She guides me. The contractions are horrible now but I focus on pushing. The midwife tells me what I am doing wrong. I am stretching my neck, exhaling through the mouth and pushing my legs instead of bending my head downwards and focussing on pushing. So I do that. Meanwhile, the IV needle inserted on my left wrist gets ripped off and theres blood everywhere. Hd asks for a tissue to wipe his hands. I manage to give him a look in spite of my situation.

11.00 am - The baby plonks out. Hd cuts the cord and the baby is lying on my chest. Placenta is delivered, my Doctor who arrived a few minutes before the delivery does the honor of stitching me up. Second degree tear. Not as bad as the first time, thank God. Hd calls up family to share the news.

And this is where the story should end on a high note. But not in my case. The after pains which came soon after the delivery was HORRIBLE. It seems they are worse after the second delivery. I truly felt that the labor pains were much easier to handle than these God-knows-what-pains! I started crying and pleading to Hd, "Kill me, Kill me now." He was totally lost on what to do. "I thought my part was done as soon as the baby came out or did I forget something from last time", he seemed to ask. Of course, he did nt dare ask. He knew I would ve killed him first. The midwife thought that it might help me if I pee. But I could nt. So out came the catheter and my bladder was emptied. I was also losing too much blood. I tried to get up, but felt dizzy.

1.00 pm - The midwife commented that I'm looking pale. More than one doctor was checking my pulse and BP, a ECG machine was wheeled in and I was monitored. I did nt know what was going on. Meanwhile, the baby was bathed and dressed and was sleeping. The midwife asked Hd to give the baby her first bath and he looked at me as if the midwife has gone nuts! "Just wash her. I don't care if shes not clean but don't drown her ok?", I gave my 2 cents. He passed the test though.

2.00 pm - Hd and I shared a light lunch. I was drinking gallons of water. I tried to sleep but could nt. I wanted to take a shower and be taken to my room. I was getting impatient. I was bloody and battered and felt dirty. Why am I still here, I wondered. My pulse and BP were being checked regularly.

3.00 pm - The Doctor tells me that my pulse went down, BP was alarmingly low and my heart beat was erratic. I gave them a scare. She asks me if I'm feeling anything. No, I reply. "I'm having heart palpitations", I gloat to Hd.

4.00 pm - The after pains are killing me. The awesome midwife I had so far wishes me good luck and leaves while another one joins duty. I tell her I want to pee and take a shower. She helps me to the bathroom. I'm happy to be up on my feet again. I sit on the toilet and heave a sigh of relief. Then get into the shower cubicle and switch on the shower. Next thing I know, I am lying on the floor like a tonne of bricks and the midwife is asking me, "Can you hear me? Can you see me?" Hd is switching off the shower and getting me a towel. They bring a wheel chair and take me to the bed. So much for being on my feet again!

5.00 pm - Hd leaves the baby and me and goes home to bring my mom and Ashu. The baby is cosily sleeping on the counter and I'm lying on the bed hooked to the IV. I think about all those movies where the deathly ill hero/heroines yank off their IVs and tubes and run to each other either to die together or to be killed by one of their parents.(duh!) I don't think I would ve budged an inch even if some stranger came to the room, took the baby and ran away. All I could ve managed was a weak "Good Luck". Its not like I would ve recognized the kidnapper(or the baby for that matter!) in a lineup later since I was nt wearing my glasses, so whats the point?!

6.30 pm - Hd, Ashu and Mom arrive. Ashu is thrilled. Photos are taken. I am still in pain.

8.00 pm - At last! We are taken to our room. I am hooked to the IV. I'm given a mild pain killer. I need help to go to the bathroom. I am constantly monitored.The baby latches on beautifully and nurses. I eat dinner.

9.00 pm - Everyone leaves. Its just the baby and me in the room. We both sleep soundly the entire night. Nurses check both of us every 3 hours.

I felt better the next day. But very weak. Even with a third degree tear and comparatively longer labor last time, I was on my feet within a few hours of delivery and was on the phone non stop. But this time, I was on IV for two days. Could nt walk to the bathroom without help and could nt lift the baby. My right hand was swollen due to the IV and I could nt write or type. But things got better the third day. On Monday, I was sent to the Cardiologist. He did an ECG and declared that my heart is normal. Told me that my palpitations could ve been due to the labor and advised me to get it checked if it happens again. I was relieved. But that does nt stop me from using such a juicy excuse to taunt Hd. Clutching my heart and pleading "Don't argue with a heart patient" has been working like a charm these days!

And thus arrived Baby Antu making my heart skip a beat. Literally! :)

July 08, 2008

Homecoming attire ready for future grand kids!

Comparison starts right from the moment you find out you are pregnant again. Actually even before. While you are trying to conceive perhaps? And I'm no different. I know all new born babies look very similar. In fact, I saw a baby in the hospital who looked exactly like Antu and if I were nt holding her in my hands, I would ve grabbed the other baby claiming she was mine! So it should nt come as a surprise when the sisters look alike especially in the same set of clothes. I had asked my mom to bring this particular white outfit of Ashu's from India. It was what Ashu was wearing when she came home from the hospital. And that's exactly what I wanted Antu to wear too. (Utbt - Remember the dress? Yes, you sent it for Ashu 3 years back!) So here they are and thus my alpa aasai (silly wish) has been fulfilled.

July 06, 2008

Wimbledon.

Federer lost! Federer lost! Federer lost! Boo hoo hoo, Federer lost! But Nadal totally deserved to win. The best player truly won today. But what a match! Almost 7 hours of not changing the TV channel. That has got to be the first time in our household. I became so impatient at the end. Even asked Ashu to pray for "Federer Uncle". But it was too late, I guess. Why else would nt God listen to a little girls prayer, I ask! I remember watching the 2005 US Open when Ashu was a baby. Federer won against Agassi. Now with Baby Antu, the winds have changed. Sigh!

What with winning the
Euro 2008 Football Championship last weekend, Spain is surely on a roll! Here's Ashu in her Euro T shirt practicing her moves. If not a Tennis player, she has good chance to become a goalkeeper, methinks! ;)

July 02, 2008

Meet My Sister.

Hello World!

I am happy to introduce ANTU, my brand new baby sister, to all of you. She arrived on 27th June 2008 at 11 am weighing 2.950 Kg and measuring 49 Cm tall. How cute is that she was born on 27th too just like me! Or is she already competing? I ll give her some benefit of doubt for now since she did nt give Amma too much trouble while coming out and shes so tiny. I managed just fine for 4 days without Amma at home though it made me realize no one can replace Amma. (I SO did nt feel that way, but you know who is writing this post, don't you? I cant even read yet let alone write blog posts!) Amma was in such a dizzy state and in so much pain while recovering that she did nt have the time to miss me. Grandma and I welcomed Amma and Antu home yesterday and now Antu can see me in my element although all she does is drink milk and sleep. Which is supposed to be good, I am told.

Amma will give you more details later as soon as she can sit it one place long enough without hurting her behind. For now, leaving you with a photo of us two sisters. Yes, yes, you are allowed to take your eyes off me and see Antu and rave how cute she is. I wont mind. We saw my baby pictures yesterday and I can see I was cuter. Now Antu cant compete with my deadly dimples, can she? ;)

And thank you so much for all your wonderful wishes through emails and comments. It put a special smile on Ammas face and so a special thanks from me for the same. And oh, what about Appa, you ask? He survived the labor, cut the cord and is recovering fine too. Do you think he had any other role in this baby making business? Beats me!

Luv,
Ashu.