Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

********************************************************************************************* Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers *********************************************************************************************
Lilypie Third Birthday tickers *********************************************************************************************

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Budday blast!

Snugster timmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmme!!

Thanku, thanku and thanku for all the budday wishes :). So sweet of you to remember and wish me. I am one year old and am a grown up girl now. So I have decided to defy mom and take over her blog for a post (err, sorry mom, won't do this again). Since am going off to spend New year in Florida, thought I'll quickly tell you what all I did for my first birthday.

You know that I celebrated the birthday as per Hindu calendar on 8th Dec. So there were various types of food (a few of which I got to eat) on that day. On my birthday I got up early, had my head bath and got dressed in a new zari langa.

There were again various types of foods. Plus mom baked an eggless orange cake, her first attempt at a cake. Thankfully I got only a taste, so I was saved :-D. But dad, naanamma and thaatha did say they loved the cake (don't know whether they were just being kind ;-) :-D).

So evening we had a personal celebration at home in which I cut the cake (well, dad and mom held my hand, but that doesn't count, I say!) and we all enjoyed eating it.

I got this rocking cycle as a gift from mom and dad..

I can't really peddle it yet, but I sure love to rock on :).

The next day we had a party at Gattitown.

I loved my cake :).

So I cut the cake again (man, I love birthdays :-D).

There were lot of grown-up kids like me (which was surprising) and I got many wonderful gifts :-D. (I am loving birthdays more and more ;-) :-D).

After lunch, we went to the gaming area and I really enjoyed the various rides :).

I was tired, but dad and mom enjoyed a few more games. Finally I was totally tired and done..

Well, in the evening we opened gifts and I did have a blast seeing new dresses and toys. All in all, a birthday well spent and well deserved. I just can't wait for another birthday (but mom says quite the opposite).

Gotta go now, gotta rest for the big trip tomorrow. More from mom later :).

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy First birthday my Snoogli bear!

Its strange that I don't know what to write for this post. I have always known exactly what to write for each birthday post. But today I am so overwhelmed, so overcome with emotion that I cannot really think straight. What do I write about? About how Snugli has changed my life? How I have grown the past year or actually how she has grown the past year? How her impact on our lives is? How she has managed to be a part of every moment of my life? How important she is to me? How I still can't believe she's 1 year old already? How I still sometimes think I'm dreaming all this?

Can you see the above lilypie ticker? She's 1! She's 1! Oh my god, she's 1 year old, I say!

Was it only last year that I was still in the hospital with the pains increasing moment by moment and I telling the baby to wait until its December 19th (just because I wanted the same date in US and India :-\)? I am writing this post Dec 18th night, so sue me :-p. Its a cliche, but it seems just like yesterday when I started getting pains in the evening and we drove to the hospital. It seems just like yesterday when my parents were here holding my hands whenever a wave of pain would hit me and Sri was constantly watching over me. It seems like so much has happened in such a short time. Our baby is standing all on her own now and takes 2 steps (thats it :(, but well, I know I'll start complaining non-stop once she starts running all over the place :-p). She has 6 teeth now (4 upper and 2 lower incissors), has already gotten haircuts twice (!), recognizes 90% of her toys by name and has recently started to point towards things that she wants and screams if she doesn't get them :-p :-D.

I can't believe I came up with a poem in a matter of minutes, I swear its the truth :).

You point to airplanes and birds
Cooker, balloons and fireplace..
Walk holding onto sofas and tables
And people with a smiling face..

Whenever you do not approve
Of things happening around you,
The twinkle in your lovely eyes
Changes to tears as if on cue!

How did a little one so young
Who knew only how to loudly bawl,
Learn to smile, laugh and play,
Start to roll, creep and crawl?

Now you are standing on your own feet
Pressing buttons to play sounds
Dancing to the tunes your toys make
Never staying within your bounds..

But I'd never have it any other way
May you continue to be who you are
Brighten the lives of all around you.
Happy birthday to you, my little star.

Happy first birthday, my little Snoogli bear :)

(This was taken on Snugli's birthday as per the Hindu calendar which was on 8th December this year).

Monday, December 01, 2008

Love was made for me and you....

Just L.O.V.E this song :). Didn't get an esnips link, so put up an youtube one (so what I mean to say is that neglect the video and listen only to the audio please :-p).

Thanks to YouTube and user fonrims32 for the video.

The song is Nat King Cole's "L.O.V.E". Such simple lyrics but makes so much sense..

L is for the way you look at me
O is for the only one I see
V is very, very extraordinary
E is even more than anyone that you adore can

Love is all that I can give to you
Love is more than just a game for two
Two in love can make it
Take my heart and please dont break it
Love was made for me and you.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another think coming..

When you have a brain there are thoughts. In my case, since there are thoughts, then I must have a brain ;-) :)). The thoughts don't really wait for an appointment or your permission. They come and they go. Here's my attempt to capture a few that have been circulating in my head for, well, lets say, sometime now.


Nothing gets the thoughts circulating like death. Recently one of Sri's grand-uncles died and this is the first time after the death of my grand father that I'm encountering the demise of a person who was a bit close to us. We had quite an interaction with him in our India trip this year and after we heard of his passing away, the image of him playing with Snugli lingered for a few days in my mind. He was a true believer of God and well, that was what made me think. Even though we might claim otherwise, we have certain expectations of everything, even death. We don't know whether the expectations will be met, but even if they are met, will we be even aware of what we had expected earlier? Even if we exist in some form, will we be aware of what we left behind, or who we left behind for that matter? I can only hope he is in a place where he wanted to be..


On the same note, I came to know of the death of a 2-month old today morning which shook me (don't panic, this post is not all about death). It seems the baby choked on milk while he was breast-feeding and passed away even before they could take him to the hospital! And it literally shook my heart as I hadn't even heard of such a thing before (Snugli got a few extra tight hugs on that regard). I never thought that the life-giving milk can take away a life. I can't bear to imagine what the mother is going through. I was on the verge of tears despite not seeing the baby ever and not even knowing the parents (the father is a second cousin and I haven't seen him for years). It was then I received a call from a very close friend that she's pregnant for the 2nd time (she has a 3 year old boy). And I could literally see my feelings go from a shade of sorrow to utter joy. It was literally as if a ray of sunshine burst into the gloom surrounding me. Its these contrasts of life that will never cease to amaze me.


Why do we suppress all negativity and try to share the positivity as much as possible? I don't know about you, but I seem to do this a lot. When I'm happy, be it a very small joy, I shout it loud to the world. But if its sadness, I try and keep it inside. It doesn't go beyond my family. You may have noticed it on my blog too. Most of my posts are happy. It doesn't really mean that everything is hunky and dory. There are times when Sri and I have fights (Gasp, yes we do :-p) and I'm angry or I'm hurt. But somehow I can't seem to share those times on the blog. Its not that I want to create an illusion on the blog of a perfect life with no downs. But somehow it seems too personal. Since when is sorrow personal and joy not? Another example is a simple thing like taking photos. When we are in the picture of health, we take multiple number of snaps, but if we are ill, how come the camera is forgotten all of a sudden? If life is a mish-mash of joys and sorrows, then why are the moments of sadness given this treatment? Probably, we find some solace in the fact that the moments of sadness are negligible compared to those of joy. Weird!


Its been sometime since I have written a poem for a post. Its not that I don't have ideas. But previously when I had an idea, I used to jot it down somewhere and then expand it into a poem. These days I don't really have the luxury of time and even if I do, I have minimum 10 posts lined up to write, 3 months worth of photos to send (I usually write captions for these which people have started to come to expect :-p, so that eats away the time) and around 5 people I intend to call (this list keeps increasing each day!).

And so more than a few brilliant lines
That materialized from a point in nowhere..
Have been so far pityingly suppressed
Into corners of my mind here and there.



Recently another of my friends started blogging. So I have 5 real-life, very good friends of mine blogging currently (well, 3 of them haven't updated their blogs for a while, you know who you are and I'm watching your blogs, so update soon! :-p). It kinda feels nice to have been the first of them all to start blogging, so even though I might not be the inspiration, I like to think that I have contributed to their blogging instincts :-D. And I know that they all read my blog whether they update theirs or not, so that keeps me inspired to put a post atleast now and then ;-) :-D.


Then there are a few "once in a month" comments/emails on my blog that absolutely make my day :) (For the commentator who asked me for my email, its on my profile page). They say how their lives relate to mine or how they encountered my blog by chance and how they can't stop reading it. I'm not writing this as a boast, but to let you know that you guys are the other inspiration for me to make an effort to put up a post. Now you can guess why I don't really care about the comments on my posts (Heck I think the number of posts that have zero comments are wayyyyyyy more than any posts that do :-p). Whats even more wonderful is that a couple of old friends found me through my blog! Can you believe that!


Talking of finding people, I love Orkut solely for that reason. I don't really like absolute strangers leaving "Wanna friend me?" messages (double :-p), but I love it that I'm getting in touch with schoolmates who I never thought in my wildest dreams, that I'll ever see again. And I'm getting to know every update that happens to them and its somehow amazing to me. I wish that more people that I have lost contact with would join there. Or maybe atleast find my blog from somewhere ;-).


For those who are counting how long it will be before I write something about Snugli, you can stop counting now :-p. I got her a haircut last saturday. Her hair had been growing out of control, so now she has a bob cut. She out grew her baby hair-brush about a month back. She's 11 months old and she is already outgrowing things (many of her dresses/towels she outgrew long time back). And its a dwandwa (dilemma) for me each time. I want to see new things for her, but yet feel very emotional whenever the old things are going away. Somehow it makes me want to cry. Its like there are too many changes too soon. It feels like the moments are slipping away and I can't help but be a spectator..


One thing I have realized with Snugli is that being the first child has its perks (it took me so long to realize that :-D. Don't let Darsh hear me say this ;-) :-D). As the first baby, there is no competition and no comparison until if and when the 2nd baby comes along. The first baby is the only one which has the exclusiveness of parents. The 2nd baby always has to share his/her parents. That maybe the reason why the younger ones are pampered more ;-). Also 2nd child will always be compared to the first one (He walked before her, she started saying words late and so on). Parents say that they treat the children equal, but the children always think otherwise. I always thought that my parents were partial to Darsh, but one final day was really surprised to hear him say the same of me! Guess our parents did treat us equal then ;-), hehehehe :)). One disadvantage that first children face though is that parents make their first mistakes with that one. So the first child becomes the learning point for them (which is not so good for the baby ;-) :-D). Take us, one mistake we made was not to take Snugli to the doctor immediately when she was ill, but we'll certainly not repeat that with her or another baby (if and when) ever again. Well, whats the point I'm trying to make here? Nothing. Its just that each day I understand my parents more and more :-D.


As parents we try to do the best for our child. My mom keeps telling this story about me when I was young. They weren't as well off then as they are today, so they'd take me out and buy me a small cup of icecream and I'd eat it bit by bit for hours, it seems. The point is not that I took time ;-), but the fact that they wouldn't buy any for themselves. They provided what they thought was the best for me. In my case its rather different. I, personally, have always thought that "Organic" products are nothing but a fad. In fact, I've also scoffed at a couple of friends of mine for even saying the word "organic" :-D. Also, we don't buy mineral water, we use tap water for all purposes (and I must say that I haven't fallen ill at all while I was drinking the same). Since the time I got pregnant, we did put a filter for the tap to reduce lead (whats ironic is that I did catch a cold once after that :-\). But after Snugli started eating semi-solids, most of the stuff I buy for her is organic. Most, if not all veggies I get for her are organic. And so are the curd and milk I buy for her. Sri and I still don't eat/drink organic, but we make sure she does. I don't really consider "organic" stuff the best, but its just that I don't want to take a risk with her. So what does that make me? Am I just being a good parent? Or am I a hypocrite? I'm not sure.


Lastly, I have been writing this post on and off since afternoon and am completing it only now at night. I guess thoughts don't have restraints of time and space ;-) :-D.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Kaise we met..

Here in my blog, I have written several posts (4 including this one) about the first time Sri and I met. Well, today is the D-day, so as you have started to expect from me, I had to write a post. But this time I wanted to tell you how we met (I realized only now that I haven't really talked about that :-p).

We actually met through the internet! Those who are familiar with the previous posts will disbelieve me, accusing me of lying saying "You said it was an arranged marriage". Yes it is, but it was arranged through the internet :-D. Well, as the modern searching for a guy method, we registered in The point is that though we registered under dad's name, it was usually me and mom who did the checking and contacting. This is not a story about how many profiles we contacted and how many we heard back from, but let me tell you they were many in number :-\.

And so we contacted this profile (the profiles didn't have names, only numbers) and since it didn't have a photo associated, we asked for a photo, all under my dad's name of course ;-). And we got a photo. To this day I don't know why he sent that photo, it was not a very good one (he says it was the only one handy). He looked very thin in it and you couldn't really make out his face that properly. Lets just say it was not flattering in any way at all. But we didn't want to decide without meeting the guy, so we gave further details to go ahead in the process.

His father even called dad and talked for quite sometime. But later we didn't hear from them at all, so we thought that he must have agreed to marry somebody else and to be frank, it wasn't really surprising. This kind of a thing keeps happening. But what was actually happening at his end was that his maternal grandfather passed away and obviously it wasn't really the right time for them to proceed. Moreover, Sri was on one of his innumerable short trips to the US, so they had decided to continue only once he came back to India. And yes, in his side, though he had registered under his dad's name, it was him and later his mom that was doing all the mailing ;-).

So suddenly in November, we got this call saying "the boy" was in India in Hyderabad, but they'd be coming to Bangalore and would we be okay to meet. We decided on Saturday, Nov 13th 2004 which was also the 3rd day of Deepawali that year. We planned to meet them and then be off to Ramnagar to my Chikkappa's place for Deepawali celebrations. They were delayed since they were coming from Rajajinagar (I really hated it when the boys' family would make us wait :-p) and they finally arrived at around 6 PM, I think. Well then we talked and I didn't decide, but he said "Yes" immediately and all that :-p (I remember him talking and talking and me thinking "We are getting late, c'mon enough already" :-D, hehehehehe).

And so we met and you know the rest. Or do you? ;-) >:-) :-D.

Some "facts":

  • Sri "saw" 2 girls before meeting me (thats all!). I must have "seen" minimum 20 guys (if not guys atleast their parents)! The common factor is that we didn't like anyone before seeing each other. Looks like we were meant to be together ;-).

  • After they left, mom actually said that the boy is very thin and dark and might not be suitable for me :-D. We tease her about it to this day :-D. On the same note, dad and Darsh agreed that he was alright ;-) :).

  • Have to mention this - Puttanna chikkappa, without even seeing the guy, said that this was the guy I'd marry. We have a thing in Udupi side called manE-bhootha (meaning house-ghost) who is supposed to safeguard the people of a family. Each family will have this ghost. There was a big festival organized (called kOla - those who know this will know what I'm talking about) for our bootha, just around weeks back before I met Sri which Puttanna chikkappa attended and was told that soon a match will come for me and that I'd get married :-\. So he was extremely happy when Sri's dad called up the next day and said the big "Yes". He was surprised that I wanted to "think" about it :-D. Still don't know whether to believe the kOla thing or not :-\.

  • Last but certainly not the least, I later during different occasions asked Sri what made him say "Yes" and got many answers - that he liked my front cut (hair cut), that he liked my so-he-called-perfect teeth, that he liked the fact that I trekked (so basically I'd not pester him for an auto if I was asked to walk even for a while) and that I was ready for marriage. Well, to this day I tease him about whether he was looking for a girl or a horse? Recognize the similarities? :-p :-D.

Its still difficult to believe that its been 4 years since I first met him! The journey so far has had its share of ups and downs, lefts and rights, norths and souths and easts and wests and what not :-D. But I wouldn't want anyone else as my co-traveller and thats the truth :).

Happy "first-meet" anniversary Sri :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

F(r)iends :-D

Finally one of the Indian trip posts I wanted to put here!

The India trip, though very hectic, gave me a good opportunity to catch up with a few very good friends of mine. Some are still single, some are newly engaged, and others married with kids older than Snugli. It felt somewhat strange. I mean, most of my friends are those who were my classmates/batchmates earlier, so we are of the same age. So it feels weird not to have things happening to us at the same time. I know thats the way things happen. But it was always like, though we were in different colleges, sometimes even different places, we were still in the same phases of life earlier. How did we get from there to here? Now I can see our lives taking "different directions" even more clearly. Its not only paths, but the frequency is also changing :-D. I hope you are getting what I mean :).

The really strange part of it all was how I felt sometimes. A couple of my friends are recently engaged. And I felt almost 4 years older than them!! Thats because I was "engaged" around 4 years ago :). Its strange the way the mind works :-D. It feels like I have grown so much "older" from then. Similarly, I felt younger to friends who have kids older than Snugli. Just when do you start measuring age with the age-of-marriage or age-of-kids in mind? Or am I the only crazy-enough person to do it? :-D.

Our lives have taken us to different parts of the world. So it was great that a couple of friends I met were also in India at the same time for a very short duration. There's nothing like landing in India from different countries and catching up :)). But a couple of other friends couldn't be there at the same time and I felt kinda cheated. When they actually land in India, who knows whether can make it then. Going to the countries they are in, might be an option though ;-). Sri, if you are reading this, hint, hint, hint :-D. France, England and Australia, please :). Whats worse is another of my friends who I did get to meet this time will be moving to a different country this year. I am so glad that I could meet her. Who knows when I'll get to see her again :(.

The best part of it all was meeting the babies. I mean, you talk around the year about your babies, never being there when they are born and suddenly here they are, holding their mom's hands, all grown up :). I am one of those irritating people who keep sending recent photos to everyone they know, so many of my friends said that it did not feel like it was the first time they were meeting Snugli, since they had already "seen" her since the time she was born. But still it must have been strange for some to see me with a baby in tow. The last time I met them, I wasn't even married!

It was soul-satisfying to catch up with them. Even though we may not share similar interests any more or even have opposing opinions or have other friends in our lives, they are friends who ground me, who in the past have in one way or another influenced the way my life has taken shape and who have in some way defined the very person I am. There are so many meals we have shared, so many thoughts we have bounced off each other, so many pranks we have co-conspired, so many times we have laughed together, so many times confessed the sadness in our hearts and more than anything, our lives coincided for quite a long period at some point in time. And I am glad that they are a part of my life and will continue to be so always..

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A fall in the smokies..

I still have, lets say, some "In the past" posts to write (Including a couple of "India" ones, I KNOW its already 6 months), but if I concentrate on those I feel that I'm missing out on things that are happening right now. When I think of how much I have to catch up on, it simply boggles the mind. I don't even want to set a target because I know that I can't be realistic these days :-D. Anyways, lets hope that I won't simply skip those altogether..

Anyways this weekend we went on a drive to the Smoky mountains. This was our fall trip for the year. We were a bit apprehensive as the reports said 60-70% colours, but later we found out we didn't really have anything to worry about. The freeway itself was looking gorgeous on Friday evening when we left..

On Saturday, we went first to Gatlinburg and got onto the aerial tramway to go to the top of Ober Gatlinburg. The views were absolutely wonderful..

After reaching the middle-ground (hehehee), we then took the chairlifts to the top. They let us hold Snugli in one of our laps, otherwise we wouldn't have gone up. And well, you can see the view for yourself :).

You know me, so obviously we took quite a number of photos :).

While going down on the chairlift, Snugli was with Sri, so I could take some more snaps :). The trees on the path of the chairlift were exceptionally colourful. Have I told you just how much I love fall? :).

Again more photos from the aerial tramway - this road looked especially pretty. Hi road!

Babye road!

After that we had lunch and set off on the actual drive to the Smoky mountains which goes from Gatlinburg in Tennessee to Cherokee in North Carolina. The roads were beautiful, but what was surprising was there was snow in a couple of places. We reached Newfoundland gap where trees were a bit barren..

But the roads below were an absolute delight..

The trip was mostly incident-less except one major thing. While driving back from Cherokee, Snugli vomited almost everything she had for lunch which was certainly a damper for the whole trip. The next day we were supposed to go to Cumberland falls (where we have gone before a couple of times), but I decided to stay back at the hotel with Snugli, so Sri and my in-laws went there and came back. The good thing was that Snugli was totally okay that day and from then on. Looks like the illness was a one-time thing probably caused by the windy roads.

Oh well, life's just getting exciting ;-) :-D, Hehehehe :)).

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bande Banthu Deepawali :).

This time's special. Actually every time is, but this is Snugli's first Deepawali. As is the case these days, she enjoyed looking at all the deepa-s we lit and even tasted both the sweet and khara ereyappa. We already completed our enne-snaana. Only thing is that she'll not get to feel the actual spirit of Deepawali, the fireworks, but well..

So you can see that our Deepawali has already started (click to enlarge)..

Has yours? :)

ದೀಪಾವಳಿ ಹಬ್ಬದ ಶುಭಾಶಯಗಳು

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Caption Challenge :)

I have been following the Presidential election for many days now, the simple reason being that its everywhere. Though it doesn't really matter who wins this election to me, I do like to catch up on various tidbits. I especially love Comedy Central's Indecision 2008 blog. I love the various challenges they put up, so recently when they put up this caption challenge, I entered it and guess what! My caption has been selected in the top 7. Now the people have to vote and decide which is the best :-D.

The top 7 are below:

- "OH.. This is even prettier than the "Daughters of Aerial Wolf Killers" sign from yesterday!" (Coolpapa)

- Sarah Palin, correcting her own daughter's homework. (Desperatevoter)

- "Ooh! Where's that Katie Couric at? I can tell her that I read this sign today!" (Aaron)

- Palin refutes allegations of racism by using a black marker. (Fara Singleton)

- "Hey, maybe I'll name my next kid 'Pipe Wrench'." (bobcatpaul)

- "I'm just gonna blur out that 'Girls Gone Wild' URL down there, with it..." (Gordo)

- "I hope that the gotcha-media doesn't notice that my pen cost $100,000." (Dee)

The last one is mine obviously. Well, I hope I win, but I'm glad to be picked out of more than 150 entries - a few of which are mine ;-). Since it was a multiple-entry contest, I also entered the following:

"Darn that Tina Fey! She's not only imitating me, she forging my signature too! Doggone it!"

"The plumber folks in the small towns are the only Pro-Americans around, I say!"

"Joe the plumber not only hates Obama, he has daughters supporting me too? What a dream dude!"

"Plumber's daughters? I must teach them abstinence just the way I taught my eldest!"

"Just like newspapers, I not only read everyone of 'em signs, I sign 'em too "

"When I asked the Lord to give me a sign, I don't think I meant this.."

"Oh man, all this signing is make me forget the key words. What were they again? Oh yes - maverick, energy, palling around with terrorists and socialist of course. And they call me a Caribou Barbie.."

Now you know why I'm not blogging as much ;-).

Update: Well, I didn't win. But never really thought I would :).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Then and Now..

Sssssssssssssshhhhhhhh!! Mom is busy as usual, so I've sneaked into her blog again. Snugster is baaaaaaaaaaaaack!! Before mom checks in on me, let me tell you what I've been doing all this while. I am a busy baby, you see :-p.

I am a fast-learner. Don't believe me? First I used to lie down..

Then I learnt to roll onto my stomach..

It was difficult for me, but after lots of hesitation, I learnt to rollback to my back ;-).

At first everybody would prop me up with support for me to sit..

But I decided I needed no help, so first got on my knees..

Then sat all by myself..

Hehehehe!! Take that people!!

But still they wouldn't understand, they'd hold and support me to stand..

Enough was enough! So I got on entirely to my knees..

And decided to support myself!!

Don't tell mom, but now I am planning to walk, sneak up behind her and surprise her soon ;-) :-D.

Meanwhile lets talk about my food habits. Earlier, I used to have my cereal in mom's lap..

or dad would feed me on my pillow..

Now I have my own chair to sit and eat in..

Pretty cool huh?

So here I am :).

Oh oh, here comes mom. See ya!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back breaking blogging..

Oops I meant "back to blogging after a break" ;-).

Sigh. I just have no patience for this anymore. I lost the time long time ago. And I seem to be running out of excuses. Now is the time to make a decison.

To continue or to discard..
To go on or stop..
To progress or cease..
To write the paragraph of justifications or not..

Since the past couple of posts, each time the first paragraph has been about why I haven't updated the blog. So I have decided either to stick to writing a post per week or giving no excuses from now on. C'mon admit it, you were scared that I was talking about giving up the blog, hehehee :)).

Its been sometime since I updated the blog, so I will be talking about Snugli's progress. She is 10 months old now and crawls all over the place. She pulls up anywhere and everywhere - sofa/tables/crib/people and she lets go of the support :)). She stands hands free for about 15-20 seconds and then flops down on to the ground :). She squeals all the time, says "Lala", "Rrrrr" and does a fake cough whenever she needs to be picked up :-D. She usually goes to people and pulls up on their legs and gives the fake cough ;-). But my FIL is the exception. She just makes gooey eyes at him and he comes running to pick her up. Its as if she knows hehehee :)).

We have her crib right next to our bed. So if she wakes up very early in the morning, I usually hear her but I pretend to be asleep. She plays by herself until she notices me. Then she pulls up on the crib railing and sometimes starts giggling (there are many other times when she cries). Again its as if she knows that I just don't have the power to resist her :). I usually laugh out loud (scaring Sri awake) and immediately pick her up :-D.

The best part is that she's starting to relate words to things. She has been recognizing and relating "Amma" (mother) and "Naana" (dad) for some time now. But these days if you ask her "Light elli?" ("elli" means "where" in Kannada), she looks up at the light. "Ball elli?" gets her looking at her big multicoloured ball. In the kitchen she relates to Cooker and mosaranna (curd rice that I keep aside when she is having her uppu-thuppa-tarkari-dal anna i.e salt-ghee-veggie-pulses rice, phew, more on that later). In the bath room its "baby elli?" and she looks at her reflection in the huggggge mirror :) (thats one thing I'll never understand about US, the huggge mirrors and 10 lights in the bathrooms - well I guess the people need them to make sure the make-up is flawless :-p). In the bedroom, she looks at her crib and her stuffed penguin when asked. The funny part is that at first she'd look up when asked "Light elli?", so one day she was lying down when I asked the question and she actually looked up to the wall next to her head :)). Hehehehe. All these are really very very enjoyable - some of the best times we've had with her so far :)).

Last time I told you she got her front 2 lower teeth. Recently she got one of her front upper teeth and she's about to get the other one. So her daily routine begins with brushing teeth these days :-D. The things they make these days - her toothpaste is non-fluoridated and is berry-flavoured, a good thing since she hardly spits any of it out :-p.

I started her on semi-solid food when she was around 5 1/2 months old in June. I started with "Cerelac Wheat and Apple" which many of my friends insisted their kids loved. She moved on to "Cerelac Wheat and Orange", "Cerelac Wheat and Honey" and "Cerelac Wheat Dal Palak" in her 7th month. I got these various cerelac boxes from India and I love them since the textures and flavours are different each stage (there were honey clusters in the wheat and honey, orange clusters in the wheat and orange and so on). Sadly, I haven't seen them here in US at all. The Gerber ones are all pasty and are totally bland. You have to add stuff to it to taste good. Even the Indian stores have a spanish Cerelac thats total pasty and has no textures at all (at least it does have some flavour). Other than these she'd snack on orange/mango juice or banana/plum/boiled-carrot/biscuit pieces, one of these per day :).

Well, in her 8th month, I ran out of the cerelac I had brought from India and got the spanish versions of Cerelac "Wheat and fruits" and Cerelac "Rice and Vegetables". But from then on, I used them only for her breakfast. I started her off with actual rice (overcooked to almost a paste) for her lunch and dinner then. First it was uppu-tuppa-anna (ghee and salt rice), but soon I started adding veggies like carrot/beans/spinach/peas alternately. Recently once she crossed 9 months, we included curd and avocado (known as butter-fruit in India) in her diet.

So to sum up, these days after brushing her teeth, she has cerelac for breakfast. For lunch and dinner she has uppu-thuppa-veggies-dal-rice and curd rice (for lunch its a combination of 3 veggies, 1 of which is always spinach and dinner veggie is only spinach). Some times I add lemon or saaru (rasam) or huLi (sambaar) or a wee bit of uppinakai (pickle) for taste. Evening she has either fruit or fruit juice as a snack and biscuits or Gerber fruit puffs as a second snack (the fruit/veggie finger foods are really wonderful and she loves them, but is still trying to pick them up and put in her mouth by herself). She breastfeeds 4 times a day, so thats still her main nutrition :-D.

Till now, she hasn't refused any type of food I have given her. But there have been times when she has kept food in her mouth without swallowing for more than 5 minutes and caused me aggravation ;-). There are still times when she laughs with food in her mouth and splatters it everywhere. Earlier I'd lie her down on my legs and feed her or Sri would prop her on a pillow and would do the honours. Now she has her own dining chair to sit in, so her meals are almost always in the kitchen. Usually my MIL feeds her but Sri and I take turns sometimes. And Snugli does seem to love new tastes. Usually I feed her tidbits from my lunch/snacks and she enjoys those ;-) :). Its plain wonderful to have very minimum fussing and I hope the phase is going to last :).

After breakfast its usually time for her bath. Before she was born, mom was worried about how she'd handle giving the baby a bath. I mean, Darsh and I are grown up and its been a long time since she bathed a baby ;-). Moreover in US, the bathrooms are different. You just have bathtubs or a cubicle and the water is contained in that place. So the space is restricted. The 2 bathrooms in our house have bathtubs, but a traditional bath involves the use of oil and oil and bathtubs just don't gel well ;-). Though she was nervous, she was brave enough to try sitting in the bath tub, stretching her legs and giving the baby a bath on her legs (the traditional way of bathing a baby). We did have to make several adjustments, for example, since there was no space, the bucket full of hot water had to be kept outside the tub, so we had a step-stool and kept the bucket on top of that, so that it'd be easy for her to reach. Also, since refilling the bucket in the tub would be difficult, either Sri or I would pour extra hot water from the sink. She would apply oil to her, massage her, make her do exercizes and bathe her :). Since the time we returned to US, I have been giving her the traditional bath and plan to do so until she's able to stand on her own. And Snugli absolutely loves the massage and laughs at the exercizes :)). After her bath, we put saambraaNi smoke to her hair (don't even know how to translate that to English :-D). Thank God, that we are able to manage it just for the simple reason that our kitchen doesn't have a smoke-detector!

Snugli then takes a nap, has her lunch at around 12:30 PM and sits on her chair until we finish ours. Afternoon, another nap and plays in between with everything other than her toys :-p. Yeah all she wants are the remote, the phone, newspaper and magazines, just not her toys. There was this one instance when in a store I showed her a soft toy penguin and a soft toy leopard. She was so excited about the penguin that she grabbed and hugged it. I bought it and brought it home and she hasn't looked at it since :-D. Well not really, she does play with it when we force it into her hands, but you know what I mean :-D.

Evening she usually has snacks and we take her to a park nearby if we are home. We usually go to the YMCA in the evenings. This wasn't a problem in summer as the days lasted longer and we'd go to the park at sunset and that'd be 8 to 8:30 PM. But these days it sets by 7 and the evenings are colder. But whenever we do go, we put her in her stroller and she likes looking at everything outside. After she completed 9 months, we could put her in a baby-swing in the park and she really enjoys it. But if you push the swing even a wee bit higher, she holds her breath, so we have to be really careful :). Then in the night she has her dinner and goes to bed.

I know the post is getting long, but consider it compensation for all the days I went missing :). Its natural that Snugli is learning new things everyday. But whats surprising is the fact that I'm learning new things about myself everyday. Before I got married I used to wonder how I'd manage, handle the responsibility of living with another person. It'd certainly not be like living with my parents - carefree, responsibility-free ;-). But I could manage very well, thanks to Sri. Later when we were thinking about children, as I have repeatedly mentioned in this blog of mine, I was totally worried about whether I had it in me to be the completely reliable person the child would want me to be. But now I know that I'm able to manage, to handle things life has been throwing at me so far and its been heart-warming. Its almost as if our capacity to "handle" things grows as we grow. And I now know that if and when we think about another child, we'll manage that too. Like our parents have done, like maybe far in the future, our children will too. I only hope we can do as wonderful a job of it as our parents did :).

Its strange how the circle of life works, isn't it?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Doll attack!

Snugster here. Mom's in the kitchen, so this is a good time as any to wreck her blog :-D. This happened when I was 5 months old, thats, err how many months ago? How am I supposed to calculate, I haven't learnt any maths till now :-p. Anyways, this is a story of bravery, strength and daring. This is a story of how I saved my family from a life of terror. This is a story of how I fended off a doll attack.

It all started suddenly (well, it also ended suddenly, but thats coming later :-p). I was lying down minding my business when it suddenly came next to me. At first it was just lying there, not doing anything...

Then suddenly it moved..

I was petrified, but before I could do anything it attacked me!

Gathering all my strength I bit it, scratched it, fought it and defeated it..

But sadly, my family never knew how I saved them..

Sigh :-\. The things a baby has to do..

Ok I'll scoot now, Toodlooo :)).

Friday, September 12, 2008

Function (Namakarna & Annaprashana);

First of all, thanks for all the comments and I apologize for not responding to each and every one. Snugli is doing very well and is busy crawling her way into trouble ;-). She's attempting to sit these days and also trying to hold onto furniture and pull up. Looks like the days are not far off when she's running all over the place, sigh..

I've been wanting to write this post for what seems like forever (yeah its been 3 months since I came back!!). But well, {you can add the usual excuses in this space :-p}. Anyways beter late than never, atleast thats what I tell myself to avoid the guilt ;-). Snugli already told you about her pampering in Bangalore and Hyderabad. What I want to talk about is the Namakarna (Naming) and Annaprashana (Baby's first feast) ceremonies that we celebrated.


Snugli's namakrana took place in Bangalore on May 11th 2008. Coincidentally we actually had our gruhapravesha the same day in 2006 :).

Well, since we had already named her Snigdha, there was nothing anyone could do about it :-p ;-). So it became her vyavahaarika naama (common-usage name). But they still managed to give all sorts of names :-D. Her nakshatra naama (star name) had to start with Cha, so we named her Chinmayi. Other names included Akshara (named after Goddess Lakshmi), Vaagdevi (this one goes to Adigaru, our poojari who decided it all on his own :-p), Parimala and Prahalladavarada (don't ask!!). Sri got to whisper her name in her ears :).

We also had a thottilu shaastra later :).

Snugli was pretty good about the whole thing, except when the procedures took more time than anticipated and she got a bit hungry.

What was really wonderful was that almost all of the relatives could make it. That some of my friends came made it much more special :).


The Annaprashana ceremony was held in Hyderabad on May 25th 2008.

Darsh as the uncle got the right of feeding her payasa first :).

Neighbours and some relatives in Hyderabad made it to the function and enjoyed the Andhra-style feast served later :). Snugli did get a bit irritated with all the crowd and cried a good amount (I got really irritated when one of the invitees started pulling Snugli's cheeks despite the fact that she was crying at the top of her lungs. Some people!!).

On the same day we also celebrated my FIL's 60th birthday informally , since he didn't want a formal one..

So 2 functions celebrated successfully. I guess all of our India trips are like this. We have to fit in so many things into our itinerary that each time I'm scared about how will we manage everything. But somehow, thank God, everything works out and goes wonderfully well :).