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April 30, 2009

Ticino.

Since we did nt go anywhere during the Easter weekend because my sister sabotaged our plans by coming here and breaking her ankle, we took off last Friday to the Ticino area for three days. Though we have done a few day trips and a short trip to Geneva in the past, this was the first proper vacation with just the four of us and for Antu. We had a swell time. We stayed in a lovely B&B at Arogno near Lugano. Did the typical touristy stuff around Lugano. The Swiss Miniature Park, the boat rides, the train rides, awesome Italian food,chocolate factory,.. Its really very interesting to see how everyone speaks Italian, the road signs are in Italian,.. even though you are still in Switzerland. A strange little sweet country, this.

Ashu just loved staying in a hotel experience last time when we went to Genava for a night. She just did nt want to come back to Zurich. This time too, she ll ask late in the evening when we were winding up for the day and driving back, "are we going to the hotel or back to Zurich?" and would be all smiles if we said, "hotel". Poor little deprived thing! Antu was a darling. As long as her tummy was full, she just sat on the stroller/car seat/high chair and observed the world. Not a peep the entire 4 hours drive. The view out of the car windows were out of the world. Fantabulous landscapes, deep blue lakes, winding roads, rows of picturesque cottages,... For the first time, we also drove through the
Gotthard Tunnel, which is the third longest road tunnel in the world. Its 17 Kms long! I let out a loud sigh when we came out of it both the times. Very claustrophobic. I drove the last half of the trip because Hd had to make some official phone calls. Even though I only drive when I have to, I enjoyed it immensely. During such times, I cant help but think about the past. A small town girl who thought "foreign" was some unreachable place far, far away from India and now driving on a Swiss highway with 2 little girls sleeping at the back of the car. If all this is a dream, I don't ever want to wake up.

April 27, 2009

27.04.2009

Let's get one thing out of the way, Ashu. Whoever coined the phrase "Terrible Twos" did nt live long enough to see the Threes! What a year this has been, huh? I'm sure that if you wrote a letter every year, you would rate me the lowest this year. But since you cant, let everyone hear my side of the story. But to be fair, I remember only the last part of this year clearly and it was nt so much fun. Let me rewind and try now. Oh yes, becoming an Older Sister. You love being an Akka. Theres no doubt about it. And you take the role seriously too. You don't do anything half way through. I love the way you watch out for Antu. How you watch like a hawk when shes playing in you room. Always keeping an eye on her to see if shes putting something in her mouth, if she tries to grab something she should nt,... I love how easily you accepted her into our family. Not that you had a choice but you did nt know that, did you? I can see you cant wait for her to get bigger. You are innocently thinking that she ll be four years soon and play with you forgetting the fact that you ll be seven then and would nt want to do anything with her because shes just a BABY!

You also started Pre School this year. New class, new teachers and new friends. You adjusted quite fast and even made a best friend within a month or so. Your best friend G is a lovely girl and you both compliment each other very well. I love your definitions of a friend. That G helped you carry your lunch box. That G did nt include S but included you in a game. Because you held G's hand. Its also a huge relief that you love school. I was afraid you ll turn out like me and fake tummy ache every morning to get out of going to school. If you did, Im sure I would have decided to home school you. Who wants to get up early in the morning and get ready for school I ask! As a grand daughter, you aced this year. But that's a crown you won even before you were born, is nt it? But I'm glad you spent a lot of time this year with your grand parents, aunt and uncle. Not a lot of little girls your age get that much time with their family. So remember that when you are bawling at the airport while leaving Grandma next time, OK? It does nt make a pretty sight to anyone and the murderous look my father gives me as if Im taking you away from your own mother(duh!) does nt bode well with me or your dad. We both want to live long, got it?

You are very independent. Make that very,very independent. VERY. It just might be a good thing two decades from now for you. But right now, you are just being a pain. Theres independence and then theres independence. Right now,you belong to the latter category. You don't even want to see our lips move to give you any suggestion. 'Wear the red socks, Ashu" and you ll pick up the yellow. "Wear your sweater, Honey" and you ll pick up your winter jacket. "Say thank you" and you ll stare rudely. "Whats the magic word, sweetie?" and you are *this* close to saying "RIGHT NOW?"! And lets not even get started about what a poor eater you are. I give up. You win, happy? Just leave me alone, ok? But no, lifes not that easy for a mom, is it? If I even get a little upset with you, you ll start saying sorry and would nt let me be until I say "Its ok". So there are a million "sorrys" and "its oks" said everyday in this household and Antu has nt even started talking yet, God help me! Just when Im ready to call it quits, you do the most cutest thing or say something so sweet that I just have this overwhelming desire to just eat you up and end this whole drama. Like how you still say "naalaiku" for yesterday instead of "nethikku" even though you can talk nineteen to a dozen and write a whole thesis in Tamil on certain subjects! Like the other day when you got mad at me and said "You are not my friend forever Amma" and walked off to your room. But a little later, you loudly announced "I have to go to the bathroom, Amma. I need your help when I'm finished. But you are not my friend, ok? But you have to help me, ok?" I know you did nt like it when I laughed aloud like that, but believe me it was utterly funny!

I love you, Ashu. The greatest thing about this year is that you know that I love you and that feeling is awesome. Thank you my dear girl, for making my life so colorful and please remember that not only do I love you but I ll love you always. Forever and ever and ever. Happy Birthday!

Love,
Amma.

April 21, 2009

Pregnancies revisited.

To beat my bloggers block, Im taking up CA's tag.I altered the tag to include both my pregnancies. As a second born, I get mighty upset when people are partial to first borns!! Hmpf!

1. WAS YOUR PREGNANCY PLANNED?

First - Yes. What was I thinking!!
Second - Yes. Boy, I don't learn a lesson easily do I?

2. WERE YOU MARRIED AT THE TIME?
Fortuantely yes.
Still yes but unfortunately to the same guy.

3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS?
Was happy that we succeeded in our attempt.
The second time, I used a pregnancy test which I had bought in India. On the cover, there was this woman with a red lipstick. She had this constipated look and it was completely hilarious to look at the pic. So I was rolling on the floor laughing and Hd was all impatient and asked, So? And I tried to give the same constipated look like the woman and he burst out laughing.

4. WAS ABORTION AN OPTION FOR YOU?
Yes if it were nt planned.
No.

5. HOW OLD WERE YOU?
27
30

6. HOW DID YOU FIND OUT YOU WERE PREGNANT?
Home Pregnancy Test, Blood test, Urine test and a scan.
I knew it even before I took the pregnancy test. Human body is just amazing, is nt it?

7. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST?
My Sister.
My Sister.

8. DUE DATE?
30 April 2005
3 July 2008

9. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS?
Nope.
Nope.

10. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE?
Baby cucumber, bhel puri, murungai keerai adai,...
Nothing. There was nt any time to think about my needs.

11. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST?
Actually I was quite zen the first time.
The second time, everyone irritated me.

12. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST CHILD'S SEX?
Girl.
Girl.

13. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING?
No.
No.

14. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY?
6 Kilos. (13 pounds)
4 kilos. (8 pounds)

15. DID YOU HAVE A BABY SHOWER?
Yup. Two.
Hee hee hee! Did I ever?

16. WAS IT A SURPRISE OR DID YOU KNOW?
One was a surprise. By my friends. The other was a traditional ceremony celebrated with the family.

Total Surprise.

17. DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY?
No.
No.

18. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH?
Basel, Switzerland.
Zurich, Switzerland.

19. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR?
3 hours 40 minutes.
2 hours.

20. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL/BIRTH CENTER?
Taxi Driver.
Husband.

21. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH?
Husband.
Husband.

22. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION?
Natural.
Natural.

23. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN?
No. Was nt given even though I begged.
No. I decided not to.

24. HOW MUCH DID YOUR CHILD WEIGH?
2.720 kg (6 pounds)
2.950 kg (6+ pounds)

25. WHEN WAS YOUR CHILD ACTUALLY BORN ?
3 days before the due date on 27 Apr 2005 at 3.40 am
6 days before the due date on 27 June 2008 at 11 am

26. WHAT WAS YOUR REACTION WHEN THE DOCTOR ANNOUNCED THE SEX OF THE BABY?
It was a total surprise as everyone had said it will be a boy and I had made up mind to welcome a boy. So it was a total lottery.
We found out earlier. So we knew. And I was ecstatic as I think sisters are the best thing in the whole wide world next to sliced bread.

27. WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST REACTION ON SEEING THE BABY?
I was seeing a new born baby for the first time in my life. And I was sure I ll never have a baby again(duh!) after the ordeal, so took a good look and tried to remember everything. And also made sure it was indeed a girl!
Took a good look to see if she was ok. Heaved a sigh of relief that I am done with this baby making business.

28. DID YOU CRY?
Nah!
Nah!

29. WHAT DID YOU NAME HIM/HER?
Ashu
Antu

30. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY?
3 years 11 months
9 months

April 10, 2009

Ups and downs.


Last Saturday, Hd said he had some work at office for an hour and left at 11 am. I was grudgingly making lunch while at 12.30, the door bell rang. I opened the door to see MY SISTER standing at the door step with a big grin on her face. Hd was standing behind her busy taking a video!!! I went speechless for a whole minute while Ashu screamed, ran and hugged my sis. Antu crawled super fast to see what all the noise was about! Apparently, Hd and Sis were in the loop for the past few weeks planning her trip. Hd even faked an impending trip to New Jersey in May and asked me what I wanted from the US so that my sister can do some shopping for me and the kids! Sweet, huh?

But then things soured in the next 24 hours. On Sunday we went to a friends sons birthday party. It was held in an indoor play park. Hd, Sis, another mom and I were jumping and goofing around in the inflatable area. Sis fell from the climbing structure and hurt her ankle. She could nt even put her foot down. Hd took her to the hospital after the party and the Xray result did nt show anything broken. But we got a call from the hospital the next day and they asked my sis to come back for a scan. It was a fracture, after all. In the Tibia. So she was given crutches and a huge cast. It might take 8 to 12 weeks to recover. Bil took the next available flight and reached here on Tuesday so that they can go back together next week as sis will need assistance while traveling. Tomorrow theres another test to see if she ll need surgery. Sis is planning to get it done in the US if necessary. But we are hoping and praying that she does nt need one.

Ashu is having a ball what with her uncle and aunt being here. Enjoying all the goodies, toys, clothes and on demand stories and books. Sis is upset that she cant dance around with Ashu and cant go out to parks, lakeside and on trips. But nevertheless, we are having fun indoors. I fee so guilty as if I pushed her myself. (I did nt, OK?) I mean, here she came to Zurich all the way from California to surprise me spending money, effort and all the planning and this had to happen. She has to go back and get adjusted to this condition for the next 2 months at least. Cant go to work, cant walk without crutches, cant sleep in a comfortable position, has to be dependent,... Sucks!

Some Humor in Fracture:
Ashu took the breakfast tray for my sis and said "Get some soon"! LOL! no wonder Bil took the next flight and arrived, huh? ;)

Any chance she gets, she tells people "Perimma bone broken".

Any chance I get, I sing "Satti suttadhadaa" a la Sivaji Ganesan(with crutches) in Aalayamani movie much to my sisters annoyance.

Sis is most upset that this had to happen at a kids play area of all places. She thinks a skiing accident would have been so cool!!

The other day my mom called and asked my how I am doing. "Oru nondi Akka. Oru kai kuzhandhai. Oru rendunketaan ponnu. Oru udhavaakarai purushan, eppadi iruppennu neeye sollu"*, I answered in an over dramatic way. Hd was nt happy about the sandhula sindhu.

*an invalid sister, a helpless baby, a neither here nor there little girl and a useless husband. How do you think I am doing?

Idukkan varungaal naguga(If troubles come, laugh), right?

April 07, 2009

Around the World in 80 clicks. (sounds cool, huh? ;)

Motherhood is the best thing that can happen to a person like me.

I have a slight complex that I am not good enough. But in the role of a mother, I feel the most superior. Indispensable, actually. And the power that comes with it. That if i dont cook, the kids are nt old enough to order a pizza and I love it!


I am also shy. So motherhood is the perfect remedy. I can talk about breast feeding to complete strangers effortlessly now.

I cant believe that I was self conscious once. From a person whose worst nightmare was a bra strap showing, I am a proud breast feeding in public mamma.

This motherhood is a certificate which says Im officially a grown up now. So ready or not, I have to be one. Believe me when I say that if not for the kids, I would nt even get out of the bed most days! And hey, thats a good thing for a lazy person like me.

I like the fact that once we are mothers, theres no getting out of it. That the kids put a smile in my face even in their absence. That I almost shout "Look! a doggie" even when I have left the kids at home. That I can relive my childhood along with them. More importantly, that its my chance to screw up!! :)

Thanks HBM for the tag. I loved your reasons. HBM has started off this tag hoping to connect blogging Mothers all over the world in 80 clicks.

I pass this tag to

The Mad Momma from Delhi
Kiran from Bombay
Sue from Calcutta
Art Navy from Madras
Mona from Dubai.

Here are the rules:
just write a post of your own (5 things that you love about being a mom) and find someone to link to and tag - someone from your own country, if you like, but definitely someone from another country (Google is a good resource if you don't know any; google any country name and 'mom' in their blog search function) (be sure to let them know that you've tagged them!) - and link back here and HBM and leave a comment.