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....

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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?