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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Saturday, June 27, 2009

'Cause he was bad :(

I loved what he was, hated what he became, but it still hurt when I learnt he was no more. His songs were few of my first introduction to English music. A first craze of Darsh's and mine. I still remember Darsh trying to moonwalk. Darsh absolutely adored him. I still love many of his songs, they are too many to count..

Would like to remember the romantic side to him. This is "I just can't stop loving you" which he sang with Siedah Garret..

This one is called "Liberian Girl" (this is the original video, but its not really good for the song, listen to the song if you can find it):

Thanks to YouTube and users lovemjjforever and 80smusicfanman for the videos.

Farewell, MJ :((.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The chipped tooth..

Like mother like daughter I guess. The only difference is, I got my upper right incisor chipped in an accident when I was about 20 years old I think. I remember fretting that my perfect teeth were not perfect anymore. The dentist had given me the option of filling or filing (:-D) and I went for the file away. I was very conscious of the filed tooth for quite some time, but now its who I am :). Well, as I said, like mother like daughter. Its the same tooth, different person. On Friday the 19th (June that is) afternoon, Snugli started crying her head off. It looked like she had fallen and hurt herself on the door/floor, no idea where (Sri was in the computer room and me in the living room, she fell somewhere in between) and her mouth was bleeding. I did immediately what needs to be done - poured a spoon of sugar into her mouth to stop the bleeding. It was only later during her lunchtime that Sri brought into notice the fact that her upper right incisor had chipped a bit.

We got a paediatric dentist's (yes, there's such a career :-p) appointment only for today and we were told to administer pain relieving medicines in case she had any pain. But she didn't. Except for the occasional swipe of her tongue at the sharp edge of the chipped tooth, she didn't show any indications of even a single memory of the fall :). Anyways to cut the long story short, we went to the dentist today where they took X-rays of her tooth, examined all her teeth and polished the rough edge of the chipped tooth off. All the while Snugli screamed her head off, first because they were forcing strips into her mouth (to take the X-rays) and later they held her down in a bed (to examine her/polish the tooth). I have to crib that the nurses were a bit inexperienced with toddlers (one struck Snugli's head accidentally with the X-ray equipment and called her a "silly girl" for getting her head struck :-p, while another didn't know what to do with her all the time in the examination room), but the dentist was wonderful and you can't even make out now that the tooth was actually chipped :-D. And I am glad that its all smooth now because I didn't want her getting hurt mistakenly biting her tongue/lips/anything with the rough edge.

Well, all's well that ends well, for now. With Snugli being totally active these days, who knows what awaits tomorrow?


This is a post about potty training. So those who think the whole thing is gross and you don't really need to read about it until you really need to, please close the browser as you leave :-p.

Just list the things you do each day. Now imagine doing most, if not all of the things for somebody else. Welcome to motherhood. Its certainly not easy, but its not impossible. The fact that many women have already done it doesn't mean that they didn't find it difficult themselves. Some women act like martyrs, leaving everything they love for doing the "duty", while others have a cavalier attitude - they tell everyone they found it too easy. Both kinds irritate me. Yes I am a mother, doesn't mean that I have to sacrifice everything I love because of that. Nor does it mean that if I rant about it, then I'm not a good mother. I don't know why women feel that if they crib about all the things they do for their children, then they are not ideal mother material :-p. If you shout at your child, then you are not a good mother. If you get frustrated and want to be away for a little while, then you are not a good mother. Give me a break! Motherhood is nothing to be scared about, because we all have the capacity, the ability. But you have to accept that frustrations are also part and parcel of the whole thing. And if you lose control now and then, its nothing to be ashamed of.

Before I got completely side-tracked (is that an oxymoron by the way? :-D), I was talking about how if you want to introduce a new thing to your child, it means extra work for you. For example, I have been thinking about brushing Snugli's teeth in the nights, but putting it off, just because its going to be another thing I have to do :-p. So when I actually started to think about potty training (PT) Snugli (she was around 13 months then), I thought about the whole thing several times. It'd not only mean lots of extra work (for both Sri and me), but also never-ending frustrations. But we had to start sometime. In US, people have this view that PT should be started only when the child indicates that he/she is ready. I'm sorry, but I don't get this. You feed your child/sing songs to them/play with them without thinking whether they are "ready" or not, but you want to wait for the PT? What nonsense!

As you can see, the US child psychologists and I, certainly don't get along. In India, people don't "wait" for anything. Since the floors don't have carpets, children are usually taught very early to pee and poop (I hope I don't have explain the words, or I'll die of embarrassment :-D). They are not put in diapers (which I don't entirely agree on because cleaning the clothes is another work to do :-p) and first they learn to do it on the floor and later in toilets. I didn't want to wait because I personally believe the earlier we start, the easier it'll be for Snugli to get used to it. Some kids are genuinely scared of the toilets, so if you get the child used to it before this fear comes in, then atleast one hassle avoided :). I read a couple of books on early/late PT and decided that I'll give it a try for a fortnight. If things were too tough, then maybe I'll give it a break and restart after a couple of months.

And so it began. I bought a child toilet seat lid which you can place on the normal toilet, so that its comfy for a baby. You also get entire child potties here which you can place anywhere in your house to train your child. They say, if the child sees the potty, then maybe he/she will get an inclination to sit on it {rolls her eyes}. But I find the whole concept weird. I repeat, what nonsense! You have to teach your child to go to the potty, not that the potty will come wherever you are :-p. Coming back to my story, I started placing her on the child seat, once a day. I didn't expect her to do anything, but if and when she did, I started making a "sssssssssssssssss" sound. I checked her diaper now and then and kinda got a rough idea of when she peed and started scheduling her potty visits after meals and nap-times. And whenever she did something in the potty, she got a whole round of applause/good-jobs/hugs :-D. Another thing I did was to switch her to pull-ups (diapers that are like underwear, you can pull them down and up when needed, considered really good for PT) during day time. I really think they are helpful.

I still can't believe I'm writing all this. It kinda feels weird. Each time I write "pee" or "poop", I'm like, why the heck am I doing this? Feels kinda embarrassing, maybe because we are not really used to talking explicitly on such subjects. I'm somehow determined to do this, because there are Indians like me here in US, stuck between the so-called system and the Indian way. Even if one of them reads this and gets "inspired", its totally worth it! Yeah, its a lot of work and I still don't know whether to call it a success or not, but its something we have gotten used to now and so has Snugli. Anyways going back, in the fortnight, things kinda fell in place. It worked most of the times as long as we maintained the timings. But if I got involved in some other work and forgot about the timings, then obviously it did not. But the major accomplishment as far as I was concerned was that she sat on the potty without any fuss. After sometime, she'd get tired, but I made it a point to get her down immediately after she peed/pooped or as soon as she started fussing whenever she didn't.

Slowly she started learning the terminology. She'd pee as soon as I started saying "sssssssss" and when asked how to pee, she'd say "sssssssss" herself. She'd drag us to the restroom when asked where is potty. The poop part was a bit more difficult. Sri had a bit of a success when he did some sort of grunting, but I never did for a long time. She was unpredictable in that, and it has been the cause of lots of frustrations. For example, after sitting on the potty for half an hour and not doing anything, she'd do it in her diaper as soon as I got her down. I tried not to be upset about it, but I have to confess that she has gotten more than a few scoldings on that regard ;-).

As of now, things are on track. She knows what to do when we say pee or poop, so does it in the potty most of the time. Its not really saving us any diapers because she's still too young to have any control over the functions as such (they are supposed to get the control by the age of 2 years). But its great that she goes to the restrooms whenever we ask her and tries to pee/poop whenever we ask her to. Basically she has awareness of the concept and thats all that matters. I don't really make her sit there for longer times, because I know that she tries. I have to mention here that I have been lucky to have Sri with me for the whole experience. He warned me in the beginning that things may not go as well as I expect them to, but has never complained about having to take her to potty or even cribbed about the frustrations :-D. We did skip the PT for our 5-day Seattle trip as I didn't want to carry the child seat and use it on planes/hotels. It didn't really pose a problem, because she got adjusted to the old routine after we got back.

Recently, I have also started to try and train her for the nights. She goes to sleep at around 9:30 to 10 PM these days, so I place her on the potty just before we go to sleep (at around 11PM). She pees without fussing and without waking up :). For more than a fortnight, I have made it a point to get up at around 3PM in the night and take her to potty again. But its so damn difficult to get up at that time, I tell you. I keep telling myself that its only until she gets that instinct of calling out to us whenever she needs to go, but its still challenging (talking of which, I haven't been able to get up at all for the past 3 days :-\). As I said, you have to teach them how to and for it to work, you have to be willing do the work. I think its going really well so far, hopefully we'll see the fruitfulness of it all in another 6 months or so :-D.

BTW I said sometime back that I was feeding organic stuff to Snugli. I just wanted to mention that I am sorta proud to say that now she's on the same diet as us. I switched her to the normal veggies a long time back. I was basically worried about the growth hormones in the milk and the curd, which is why I went for the organic ones. But recently I am seeing more and more store brand milks certifying that they don't use growth hormones on their cows, so about a month back, we finally made the decision of getting ordinary milk and curd with the no-growth-hormones-clause :). So I can say finally I feel true to myself and my conscience feels clear in that matter :-D.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The melting pot..

One thing I really like about living in the US is the fact that its truly a melting pot of cultures. In the past fortnight, I have met people from 4 different countries! None of which are my own! In my group exercize classes, I have sorta befriended (the word sounds totally weird :-D) 3 ladies, one from Costa Rica, one from Mexico and another from Peru. Yesterday we went to yet another of those sales that I was talking about and met a sweet family who are originally from Bulgaria! I haven't really socialized with any of these people (don't even have their phone numbers as such), but it feels nice to have that opportunity of having a peek into different cultures, different accents and different languages :). Its one of those things that makes me grateful to be living in another country, the experiences are really enriching...

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The sale..

We went to an estate sale yesterday. Here in US, yard sales/garage sales are the best places to look for almost-new inexpensive items. We are looking for a couple of things and the sale sounded interesting. I learnt that an estate sale means someone has died and they are selling his/her possessions, but didn't expect the impact it'd have on me. When we actually went into the house, everything in it was for sale. There were so many beautiful pieces of crockery and every furniture in the house was matched (and there were lots from small tables to bed sets). And I kept thinking that some woman (well, there was also a very well-maintained collection of tools, so a man was also involved) had painstakingly collected it all over the years, probably assembling things piece by piece on the basis of affordability, cleaning and maintaining them over the years. And here they were, marked with price tags, so callously being disposed off to different people. The entire set of things would never belong together again.

I felt something very close to sadness, don't know why. It was like a glimpse into future, you know. When maybe you won't be there anymore and somebody will get rid of the "junk" you are collecting now..

Friday, June 19, 2009

1 and a half baby!

Mom was writing posts, then she made the excuse of tweets, then vanished :-p. I guessed its time for Snugster, the super baby :-D. Did you miss me? I guess not :(. Whether you miss me or not, I have to come and tell you what I've been upto every now and then. See, I'm such a good baby ;-).

I'm 1.5 years old today! Mom is still wondering where all the time went. And dad wishes he can understand half the things I keep babbling about (but he has conversations with me as if he does :-p). He doesn't know that we babies have our own code language :-D. He keeps trying to decode it, but hey I am not helping :-D. Okay okay, I know you are here for my updates, so lets start off..

I love being in the kitchen, I love banging bowls and spoons and all that jazz :-D.

I can open jars and bottles now, so whenever I see an opportunity, like a full water bottle within my reach, I open it and pour the water out :-D. Whats worse (according to mom, not according to me :-D), was that for 4 days, almost continuously, I took the salt shaker on the dining table and threw the salt all over the kitchen floor. Sadly, I have to report that I have been banned from the kitchen these days. Even when I'm allowed in there, I feel their hawk eyes on me all the time. Sigh!

I climb anything and everything these days. I not only climb the sofa, I try and climb the top portion of the sofa..

Mom keeps thanking God, that the house is carpeted everywhere. But she forgets about the kitchen where I try and climb the dining chairs ;-) :-D. BTW I have 16-teeth now!

I don't really trouble mom when it comes to food (now that gives me ideas, hehehehe). But I have some personal favourites. I love eating fruits and curd. Lovvvve Curd :). So much that mom puts some in a bowl and gives me a spoon to eat it now and then.

Well, its another story altogether that I hardly eat 1 or 2 spoons, rest is either on me or around me ;-).

Mom told you about my love of cats, but I love anything with 4 legs. We had been to the zoo sometime back, and I loved the petting zoo. I squeezed everything and anything in sight..

The warden was warning us not to touch the goats' tails and horns, but hey, I don't know English :-p. I didn't want to leave the place, they carried me while I was making loud and clear protests :-p.

Mom allows me to play in the backyard these days and I have discovered another love - my love of destroying grass life :-D.

I tear the grass, watch birds and planes for hours :).

For months now, I have been trying to open doors (mom has been feverishly thanking God each day that I can't). I have been frustrated about the whole thing, but have never given up.

All my efforts have been rewarded now. I can open doors for about a week now. No one, I repeat, no one can escape me now! Hehehehehe >:-)).

Mom told you about me speaking a lot of things, I say lots more now - Amma, Naana, Ammamma, Ajja, Thaatha, Mama, Aththa, Baabu, Paapu, Hai, Bye, Okay, Hala (Hello), Aithu, Pake (Park), Bala, Banana, Appal (Apple), Ubbala (Umbrella), Bucke (bucket), Dhudhu (for milk) and Abbu (for wound). Hey, I have to make them understand na, they are not brilliant enough to understand my language :-p. Other than these, whenever mom and dad ask me a few questions, I try to answer -

Q: "Sayankala ellige hogona?" (Where shall we go in the evening?)
A: "Pake" :-D.
Q: "Naana elli hogiddare?" (Where has dad gone?)
A: "Aatha" (for office)
Q: "Naana office ge hege hodru?" (How did he go to office?)
A: "Drrr" (for car)
Q: "Dhudhu kudiyona ok na?" (We'll drink milk ok?)
A: "Okay"
Q: "Aaitha?" (Are you done?)
A: "Aaithu"
Q: "What does tiger say?"
A: "Grrrrrr"
Q: "Whats your name?"
A: "Dhaa"

:-D. I also have a new bunny which sings and shakes its face/ears, I love dancing to its tunes. I can recognize many tunes - I do star shape in my hands and say "Appa" (for "Up above the world so high") whenever I hear the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle", I say "Yeeyaa yeeyaa" whenever I hear the tune of "Old McDonald", I clap my hands when I hear the tune for "If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands" and I say "bow bow" when mom sings "Nayi mari".

Hmm what else? I love to go to park and we try and go most evenings. I walk the entire way, while coming back they make me sit in the stroller. I'd rather walk :(. (Mom and dad keep laughing about it, but I'm trying to make a good impression here :-p). Also, I can climb up and slide on the slide on my own. Say hello to the new independent me :-D.

Lots of achievements for a 1.5 year old, don't you think? :-D. See ya later, alligator!

Monday, June 08, 2009

The separation anxiety..

Today, for the first time in her life and mine, I left Snugli in a day-care (the service provided by YMCA). Yes, it was only for an hour. Yes, I would be in the same building as she was. No, it still didn't mean I was comfortable with the whole thing. I was thinking for the whole time that we were taking her there that she had no clue what was coming. I expected the worse, but it was very smooth, a lot smoother than I imagined the whole experience to be. As soon as I went to the facilities, I completed the initial formalities (she was hovering around me rather than run to the toys there), I said bye and closed the door. She came running to the door, peered at me through the glass and cried her head off, all the while looking at me with accusing eyes. I felt really bad, but made an effort and walked away.

My class trainer hadn't arrived yet, so just 2 minutes later, I walked back to the center to see if she was okay. There was no crying sound, which was good. I slowly peeked in only to see that she was holding a stuffed toy and seemed to have forgotten all about me. Felt bad again. For the first time, I knew what they mean by separation anxiety, only the child wasn't feeling it, but I, as a parent was struggling with it. One part of me says its too early, but the other says that she has to start to be with other kids and enjoy playing with them (inturn if not stop, atleast reduce being so totally dependent on me). One part of me was really proud of her for being so brave and the other was somehow hurt. Well, it certainly compensated when she ran and hugged me as soon as she saw me when I went to pick her up. To summarize, I'm still reeling..

Update: Looks like I spoke much too soon. The above was yesterday's story. Today when I dropped her off, Snugli cried for 15 min continuously until the caregivers came and called me. I stayed with her another 15 min, but she clung to me most of the time and started to cry whenever I tried to let her go. Now I don't know what to think..