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, May 28, 2011

Its a girl!! (.....again :-D)

Our new latest diamond is all polished, lustrous and ready to be set.

Please join us in welcoming our second bundle of joy Saanidhya into this world.

1. Proximity
2. Closeness
3. Affectionate
4. Togetherness

Delivery: Normal
Birth Date: 27-May-2011
Time: 11:22 AM EST
Weight: 10.7 lbs!!!! (yeah poor mom :-D)

The mom is a bit tired (to say the least) from all the pounds on the baby and the baby still a bit surprised to be dragged out unexpectedly (induced because of the weight anticipated). But both are doing well and will be home in a couple of days. The dad is a professional diaper changer already and the new big sister is all excited about the little one :). Photos will be up shortly :).

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Snugli the big sis to be :).

Today I complete 9 months date wise, the due date is still a week away and I have no end in sight :(. I am running out of patience and though I pull my tired body along, its like c'mon little one, its time :-p. I feel like a dullard half the time (not that I can claim to know "what" a dullard feels :-p), tired and achy all the other times. The only good thing is that I am able to go ahead and cook a few specialties of my own for my dearest family who are all here (before you jump on me for that, let me specify that I'm not straining myself too much). Its wonderful to have dad back here, but whats better than that is having Darsh. Last time he couldn't be here and this time he already has a couple of plans in place to visit his friends. Yet, its very nice to be with him whenever we do get the time. The best part is that he has never seen me pregnant before, so he keeps eyeing my stomach as if it has an alien inside :-D. Even refers to it as a basketball (yeah my stomach texture actually feels like that - all rubbery and strong). Kinda brings back my first pregnancy memories :-D.

Anyways that certainly wasn't why I'm writing this post. I have been meaning to write this one and a couple of other ones before delivery, but I'm not sure whether I can deal with the 2 other posts I planned. So glad to be able to put up this one atleast. This pregnancy as I have told you has been full of weird times. Where there were some really tiring times, there have been crazy times like me running around in my 6th month :-D. Don't worry, I was running in the swimming pool for exercize inbetween swimming sessions :-D. There have been astonishing moments other than these, especially thanks to having Snugli around. So lets wrap up the incidents.


I think I have mentioned this before, but we decided to inform her the news as soon as the doctor confirmed. I was really insistent on that because I didn't want the news coming to her from others, even grandparents for that matter. 3 year olds aren't really supposed to have lasting memories, but you never know what impacts where :-p. So the first person we informed after the doc's appointment was Snugli :). I don't even think she understood, because there wasn't much of a reaction at all. After I repeated the news a couple of times her response was -

"Puttu baby bandre naanu hello heLthini" ("If little one arrives, then I'll say Hello" :-D).

Hehehee :).


One of the things parents are worried about is the dreaded question - why? It happened once and thankfully I was able to escape without giving away the technical details ;-).

Me: "Amma hotteli puttu baby ideyalla" ("There is a little one inside mom's stomach.")
Snugli: "Yaake?" ("Why?")
Me: "Maththe nin jothe aaDlikke yaaradru bekalla ninge?" ("You need someone to play with you right?")
Snugli: "Huun" ("Yes" happily).

Phew, beeso doNNe tapthu (I escaped the swinging bat :-D).


Once the little one started kicking, I tried to get Snugli to feel the kicks. But thats easier said than done with a hyperactive 3 year old :-p. Whenever I would feel movements, I'd call her and tell her to "Shshsh" with my finger on my mouth sign and try to keep her still. Her response?

"Amma enu sound keLtha illa" (Mom, I can't hear any sound")

I had to convince her each time that there's no sound with the kicks :-p.

Once she has been able to feel a few flutters, other questions (obviously) have risen :-p.

Snugli: "Amma, puttu baby yaake kick kick maadtha ide?" ("Mom, why is the small baby kicking?")
Me: "Puttu baby ge hotteli jaaga illa alwa, adhikke." ("The small baby doesn't have much space in mom's stomach, thats why."



I keep reminding Snugli that she needs to share her old rattles/toys with the little one and she has always seemed happy to (don't know what the reality will be :-p). One day, she suddenly comes to me with a big smile and a rattle in hand. She says:

"Amma, ee rattle puttu baby ge. Naanu puttu baby ge rattle shake shake maadthini, puttu baby ha ha ha antha nagthade" ("Mom, this rattle is for the small baby. I'll shake the rattle in front of the baby and the baby will laugh ha ha ha")



Now that she's aware that the little one either sleeps or kicks inside the stomach, this is something that happens regularly at our house :-D. One morning,

Snugli: "Amma, puttu baby enu maadhta ide?" ("Mom whats the small baby doing?")
Me: "Jojo maadtha ide." ("Its sleeping.")
Snugli: "Good morning aaithu, innu yaake jojo maadtha ide?" ("Its good morning, why is it still sleeping?")
Me: "Hotteli kitaki illwalla, puttu baby ge good morning antha goththagolla. Addrinda jojo maadtha ide." ("There are no windows in mom's stomach, so small baby doesn't know its good morning, which is why its sleeping").

Yeah, it hasn't been easy to have a quick reply ready :-p.


One day I was eating some adike (arekanut), when Snugli madam wanted to know what I was eating. Since I wanted to avoid giving her adike, I gave her some jeerige mithai and told her I was eating the same. She immediately retorts - "Open your mouth and show me"!! Madam wants proof, hehehe :)).

Yet another day when I took her to the library, I parked the car in a different section than I usually do as the usual one was almost full. Her retort - "Why didn't you park there? There are still 2 spots open!", pointing to the empty spots available.

God! Most of the times, it feels like I have a grandma around who is always criticizing everything I do and proof-checking things. I told her that she was "nammane ajji" ("Our home's grandma") and her reaction?

"Naanu ajji alla. Naanu akka aagthene puttu baby ge." ("I'm not a grandma, I will be a big sister to the little baby.")

There's no outsmarting the little one, not anymore :-p.


One evening, I was sitting with Snugli next to me when the baby inside kicked.
Me: "Hi baby, how are you?" to the little one inside (in English).
Snugli: "Amma, puttu baby 'Fine, thank you' heLlilla" ("Mom, small baby is not saying 'Fine, thank you' back") with a sad puzzled face.

I had a tough time convincing her that the baby is not going to be saying anything anytime soon :-D.


Since about more than a month, she has become extremely adamant. Despite threats and bribes and severe consequences, hardly listens to us. Even her teacher was complaining that she doesn't even respond when her name is called. After my mom came along and now that my dad and Darsh are here, things have only gone downhill. Even if we scold her a little, she cries at the top of her voice and makes a big fuss with heavy drops of ears in her eyes. And you can imagine how grandparents are :-D. So yeah, we have tough times ahead ;-).

I have started preparing her for my hospital trip - saying that I'll be gone for a couple of days and that she has to be with her grandparents for that time. And though she can come and visit me, she'll not be allowed to stay there and so on. She nods as if she understands, but I know there's going to be a fuss. I hope it'll all be minimal. Plus one of Sri's cousins gave me this idea of the older sibling exchanging a gift with the new arrival - a ritual that kind of makes the older kid comfortable ;-) :-D. I thought that there would be no harm in trying it and so I went with her to shop for a small gift for the little one. We both wrapped it up today and had a good time decorating it :-D. Meanwhile, I have a secret gift ready for her (from the newly arriving baby :-D) which is something she has been asking for and hope she loves it :-D. So the gifts are all set to be passed to and fro :-D.

I'd be lying if I say I'm not worried about the whole transition. She still calls out to me for certain things, so I plan to make it a point to be there for those, but I know it can get a lot tighter with the various chores and stuff. I only hope I have the strength (I know I have ample support :-D) to manage it and cross everything in a smooth way. Lets see :).

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The one-sided conversation :-p

16th May 2011, Monday night:

Me: Just wished happy journey to Dad and Darsh who are taking a flight here :). I'm so excited! But man, oh man, I forgot to tell them that there'll be only..

The baby kicks.

Me: Uh, where was I? Yeah, there'll be only one customs form issued per family. I didn't even ask what they were doing about..

The baby kicks.

Me: If you keep interrupting my thought flow with your kicks, how am I supposed to think? :-p. Now what was I thinking about? Umm, immigration. I hope they..

Another kick.

Me: Man, I give up!

(I guess this little one is not even as patient as Snugli was when she was in my womb - she'd atleast listen to her mom's weird thoughts before proceeding with her timely kicks ;-) :-D, hehehe).

Thursday, May 05, 2011

The thinking corner: The questions to life..

I know this might be a wrong time to start a new set of posts as I may not really get the time to follow up on it for quite sometime, but have been meaning to do this for quite a while now. My brain keeps running with some serious thoughts sometimes and I feel like putting them up in a post, but somehow they become too many and then I don't feel like writing anymore. Recently, I joined a group on Facebook and managed to post a set of thoughts there. Thats when I got the idea of doing this on my blog - a themed set of posts where I ponder seriously about something that takes over my brain. Hence, presenting the "Thinking corner". I don't want to push this any more, so lets start off without delay :).

There are many times when I wonder why we are here. Why are we born? Why do we live? Why do we die? Are we just specks of dust that are aware that they exist? Or do our lives really make a difference anywhere in this vast universe?

We all know that our lives affect atleast a few. Imagine concentric circles with the centre point being you. Your spouse or significant other is the first circle. Your parents, children, in-laws make up the second one. Your best friends form the third, first set of relatives the fourth, so on and so forth until your acquaintances make up the last circle. Most of the time, your life affects only these concentric circles and never ventures beyond the acquaintances circle. Yes, people in public lives like authors, celebrities or politicians go beyond these circles and affect the lives of strangers. But for a normal human being, the acquaintance circle is the end of it. And the nearer the circle to the center, the more the effect of your life, meaning the effect of our lives decrease as the circles become bigger. So who does my life impact most? Me.

My life belongs to me the most. Your life belongs to you the most. My life makes a difference, to me. We have all heard of reincarnations (life beyond the current life), souls and ghosts. Its all good to hear, but we don't have solid proof for any of it. Death might be the complete stop for everything we know. So for all we know, this might be the only life we have. We may not get another chance like this. I do not believe in past lives, I may have had them, but I don't remember them anyways. And so it goes for future lives as well. I have been extremely lucky in getting the sort of life I have now and I may not be so lucky even if there are future lives. Hence I believe in taking full advantage of the only life I have, in living as much as I can in the short duration we have in this world. We don't know what tomorrow holds for us. The question you have to ask yourself is this "If tomorrow is the end of your world, would you have regrets?". If so, then you need to make changes so that you don't.

We all know that we have to compromise and make adjustments for things in our lives to go smooth. But if the compromises and adjustments you make are causing you unhappiness, then are they really worth it? At the risk of sounding extremely selfish, there is a limit to everything, even personal sacrifice. If you are the only one making compromises and nobody else is even putting in the effort, then its bound to cause regrets at a later point in life when you look back and see what you have been through. There is just no point in bending to everything and everyone and later complain about how you have sacrificed all your life. Sometimes, to live your life, you have to be assertive (not aggressive) and let people know what you expect in a clear manner.

Though some of the following might sound like cliché, I have seen people never expressing what they feel to their family members, not showing they love them; People not taking vacations despite being able to do so financially, not spending enough moments with their spouses or have spare time for their children; People whose aim is only to make money and not really spending it for a worthy cause; People who don't help others in need or contrastingly do help, but only to show off; People making promises they never keep; People who are total hypocrites, preaching something while they do something totally opposite. Is this really how we want our one and only life to be? Ultimately, we are the ones living our lives, we are the ones making all the decisions. Live in the moment and try and make a difference.

All this being said, I don't have answers for any of the questions I asked in the first paragraph of this post. The fact is we may never have the answers. Everybody doesn't have the privilege of searching for answers, many don't have the financial circumstances for it and many others don't have the interest. Still others go for religious and spiritual guidance to look for answers. Yet others have pondered the questions, have decided that they probably will never know the answers and are satisfied with that. There are all kinds of people in this world. What works for someone need not work for you and what works for you need not be the solution for someone else. Whatever makes you happy is the key to life. Live and let live.

"The answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything is 42"- by Douglas Adams in " The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".

"So if your life flashed before you,
What would you wish you would've done?

Yeah, we gotta start
Looking at the hands of the time we've been given
If this is all we got and we gotta start thinking
If every second counts on a clock that's ticking
Gotta live like we're dying

We only got 86,400 seconds in a day to
Turn it all around or to throw it all away
We gotta tell them that we love them
While we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dying"
- Kris Allen in the song "Live Like We're Dying".

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Saas bahu oh no!

One of Sri's technological projects as of now, is getting Indian cable channels here in the US over the internet without paying the outrageous dollar prices they charge here for the packages. Since I have never been really into it so far, you'll have to head to his blog for the technical details :-p. But what basically it is, is a kind of modem that connects to the Tata Sky modem in India and relays the transmission over the internet. The best part is that it can be accessed from anywhere as long as there is an internet connection - on a laptop, desktop or even the iPhone, the limit being that it can be accessed only once (once the player is switched on on any device, it can't be accessed from any other). There are still kinks being ironed out but its been working great so far and I'm impressed :).

Anyways the whole thing started because my parents were heading here and believe me when I say mom loves having it :). But you know the equation when it comes to moms,

Mom + Indian TV = Saas-bahu serials.

I have completely stopped seeing any of them since the time I moved to the US (I can download the episodes off the net, but have never had the slightest inclination to :-p) and I guess my aversion has turned into something of a drastic nature. A couple of the serials mom is into have been bearable so far, but mom wanted to watch this new serial that started recently called "Sasural Simar ka". Well, one day I ended up watching half an hour of it and I'm pretty sure thats the reason half of my hair is gone (I must have torn them out of sheer frustration :-p). From the silly plot to the constant focusing on faces, from the over-dramatized dialogues to the over acting, man, was it pure torture! I wonder whether this can be classified under enhanced interrogation techniques and whether hard-core criminals can be subjected to it. I'm sure they'll give up all kinds of information in just under 5 minutes :-p. And I wonder who comes up with the ideas for such serials, such people should be subjected to non-stop marathons of their own idiotic serials!

Anyways, I have decided to turn and walk out of the room if I ever even see a glimpse of this serial again. Thats the only way for my poor remaining hair to survive :-D.

Monday, May 02, 2011

The pregnancy diaries mk II :-D.

Well, where there is the first version for the first child, there has to be a second one for the second right? Its only fair methinks :-D. Plus today is the day I complete 36 weeks, so the bun in the oven is officially full-term and ready to pop :-D. But I'm hoping it'll stay snug and tight in there for 3 more weeks atleast mainly because my dad and Darsh are heading over here in 2 weeks (I can't wait!! After a long time we'll all be together as a family for a solid 2.5 months!). But on the other side, there's the fact that I suffer from heartburn and swollen legs everyday without fail (my legs are swollen but my BP is completely normal, go figure!) and I'm literally tired of being so tired ;-). The doc asks me to sleep with my legs up to help with the swollen leg syndrome and asks me to raise my upper body for the heartburn. I don't know how I'm supposed to sleep with only my stomach lowered and upper and lower body raised :-p. I keep muttering to myself "just one more month to go", but am well aware of the reality that the only thing thats going to change is that one kind of trouble is going to be transformed into another kind ;-) :-p.

Anyways lets get on with what we are here for the pregnancy this time around :).

  • The day I took my pregnancy test and it turned out to be positive. Even though it was for the second time, there was lot of happiness because we had been trying for sometime before striking the lottery :-D. Since I wanted to announce it to both families as soon as possible, I took a doctor's appointment immediately. When the doctors confirmed the news, there was excitement, maybe not as much as the first time, but lots nevertheless. The worry about how we are going to manage has not been as bad as I had last time, basically because we have been through so much with Snugli and are sure of our abilities. But there have been times when I have wondered whether 2 kids are going to be a bit too much to handle :).

  • The day I had my first ultrasound. This time around the first ultrasound was done at about 7 weeks to make sure the baby was ok and its heart was beating properly. The experience was emotional, because after 3 years it felt good to be back seeing the baby in its earliest form. Yeah it wasn't as overwhelming as the first time (yeah yeah I know I'm comparing everything, but I wanted to record the changes in me ;-) :-D). In some ways it was different, but in others we were back to being first time parents - We could see just a finger-sized clump on the monitor with a heart beating, literally jumping out of the tiny body. Again we were relieved that there was only one ;-). Just 4 weeks later, when 3 nurses weren't able to find the heartbeat using the Doppler (which got me totally tense, as you can imagine), I had a second ultrasound, just to make sure the baby was doing fine. And it was :).

  • The day I completed 3 months. As I have said in earlier posts, this time I had morning sickness every day in mornings and evenings. Thankfully I wasn't vomiting anything. So I was really looking forward to the completion of 3 months not only for the end of first trimester safety issue, but mainly because people generally say the 2nd trimester is the time when a pregnant woman feels her best. Sadly, that wasn't the case. The nausea continued and so did the tiredness. Despite these, I was subjected to the usual blood tests (taking out 3 test tubes of blood from me and checking it for everything from the Rh-factor to HIV) :-p. Everything was normal this time too :).

  • The day of my third detailed ultrasound. This time the detailed ultrasound took place in my 19th week (it became the third one since I had the unexpected 2nd one). They checked whether the major organs/systems of the baby are developing/working properly and like the previous time, this was a major highlight of the pregnancy. The scan encompassed the brain and heart measurements (which we were able to make out), the spinal cord check and then the kidneys (which I wasn't able to recognize at all :-p). The best part was when the little rascal decided to yawn and opened its mouth wide - the technician even managed to snap a shot of the same :-D. Moreover the baby even put its thumb into the mouth and started sucking just like its elder sister :-D. We did find out the baby's gender this time too, but lets leave the story until after delivery ;-) :).

  • The day I felt the baby's first big movement. It is said that after the first pregnancy, in any subsequent pregnancy, everything will be exaggerated. As in the woman will feel movements sooner, expand more and is basically sensitive to changes. So I was expecting the movements to be much much sooner, but that wasn't really the case. The first time I had felt the movements first time at around 22 weeks, whereas this time it was around the 20th week. It was as exciting as the first time. I feel that for women, the baby becomes real to us when the first big movement happens. Thats when it strikes us that oh wow, I really am carrying another human being inside me and the love for the baby starts there and then. Whereas for men, its usually only after the baby is born. Anyways, the major difference between the first time and now has been that this baby feels more active than Snugli. With Snugli, there were days when she used to be totally silent and I literally would be scared and these days, this little one moves so much that I literally feel like a washer/drier (the rumbles and tumbles in my stomach feel like that :-D).

  • The day I had my gestational diabetes test and it turned out to be normal. As I said in my last post, the gestational diabetes test happened in the first week of March and thankfully it was normal this time too (I had a tiny nagging worry about it). But as I said unlike last time, this time the hemoglobin levels were a bit low and I was prescribed iron tablets. They checked it again after a month, the levels had raised a bit, but still low, so I was asked to continue the tablets. I am sick and tired of the damn things, since I'm supposed to take them on an empty stomach and not mix them with milk. Plus have the prenatal vitamins as usual :( and the iron tablets don't go with them either (have to take them with a gap). Hopefully the next time they check, the levels will be up and I'll be rid of those damn tablets :-p.

What else? Yeah I have had the leg spasms like last time where I get up crying and Sri ends up rubbing my calf muscles like crazy until the pain subsides. I have been feeling painless contractions (Braxton-Hicks) a lot earlier as well - have been feeling these for more than 2 months now and I have atleast one each day. Its not very painful, but damn uncomfortable. But one of the worse things has been the stretch of the stomach ligaments. This time I did expand more as the doctors had mentioned. By the end of 6th month I was feeling like I was in my 9th! I felt heavy and huggggggggge. But the stomach didn't show any signs of slowing down at all :-p. When I had the flu, it got worse, whenever I coughed, it was literally as if somebody was tearing out my stomach ligaments and the pain was horrible. But this pain has been popping in now and then other times too. Whenever I sit, stand, or do anything for that matter, my stomach stretches and the pain is literally like pulling the skin. Sometimes oil helps, other times calamine did and yet other times nothing does, but it has been a big experience this time.

Well, just one more month to go, just one more month to go, just one more month to go, take a deep breath and repeat 100 times :-D.