Monday, December 31, 2012

These are a Few of my Favorite Things...

Girls in grey dresses and pink satin sashes
Musical toys and warm cuddly blankets
Bright colored balloons all tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things.

Standing near windows and gazing at the blue skies
Cute little books and peekaboo with own eyes
Laughing and loving and playing on swings
These are a few of my favorite things.

 An inspiration from my favorite song :)

Cheesy Days: Things you can do with Cottage cheese

I always struggle when it comes to snack times. I try and find interesting recipes and this is one such. Its fairly simple and Megha likes it. Introduced this for the first time recently (27Dec2012). She is 12 months.

Banana: 1
Cottage cheese: 1/4 cup

Peel the banana and cut into small pieces. Mash/puree along with cottage cheese.
You can store this in fridge for up to 3 days.

So far, I have replaced banana with strawberries and blueberries. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Somthing Fishy: Broccoli, Potatos and Salmon

Today Megha had salmon (de-boned fish). She has had cod before but very little. Since salmon has relatively low mercury content, I chose this for her. I cannot say she loved it, she was ok with it.Check with the doctor before introducing fish. She is 12 months when I first gave her fish.

Salmon is one of the foods which has high iron content. To help absorb iron better, we need to club it with Vitamin C; Broccoli is perfect for this!!

Broccoli: 1 cup, shredded
Potato: 1, peeled and chopped
Salmon: 3 ounces, cut into pieces
Mozzarella cheese: 1/8 cup
whole milk: 1/2 cup
salt and pepper to taste

Place broccoli and potato in a sauce pan and layer salmon on top. pour in the milk and cook in medium flame until the veggies are tender; about 20 minutes. Switch off the stove.
Add salt, pepper and cheese and puree until you reach desired consistancy.

Do not place lid while cooking. Else, milk will boil over.
Introduce white cheeses to baby before colored ones like Cheddar.

Rasam rice and chicken: A new favorite

Since Megha is now eating so many more verities than before, I give her so many more combinations of food. Her new favorite is rasam rice with chicken. She absolutely loved it!! Recipe is so simple it hardly takes and time.

Just follow the rule of introducing any verity of food separately before giving together. Megha had rasam rice and chicken separately before.

Rasam recipe is updated Here. Chicken recipe is updated Here. You can substitute broth with water here as rasam has enough and more flavors to it.

Mash rice and chicken thoroughly and feed!! She loved it :)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Tonsure and Ear Piercing Ceremony

One of the biggest milestone in any South Indians life is the day we get the first Tonsure done. For convenience sake, we got both Tonsure and Ear piercing done on the same day, 09Nov2012.
Megha was almost 11 months old then. Below is a picture taken a day or two before the ceremony...with her beautiful hair. I was feeding her then...

With our families help, we celebrated this memorable day at Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam in Tirupati, Andra Pradesh, India.

Most of the family whom we invited showed up.

The day before, all of us staying at Chennai went to Tirupati in a hired taxi. Oh it was fun! Megha slept pretty much all through the 6 hour journey. Avva had some motion sickness which soon subsided with sprite. My parents, sister and other family members from Hyderabad were already waiting for us in Tirupati.

That was the first time my sister was meeting Megha. Meg took to her perimma (Aunt) in absolutely no time. They bonded pretty much right away. Here you see Vineela, Rajesh mama, Jayeesh and Kulwant.

The morning of the 9th, we all set off to Tirumala in different cars. After the usual rush (which usually is present no matter how well we plan ahead), we reached Tirumala on time. Below are our relatives from Chennai with the exception of Durga atta and Ravi mama who went ahead to Tirumala to help my parents set up everything at the guest house.

My mom and Durga Atta had already set up the pooja room.

 I had mixed feelings that day. On one hand I was happy that Megha is getting the tonsure done, and sooner the better, but on other hand I was thinking that the last link to Megha is now gone. I mean, this hair which is being shaved is the hair she was born with, the same hair which she has from inside me...


she cried a bit in the beginning but soon she stopped when my mom gave her a plate full of almonds. Just before finishing she started again but controlled after I started singing her rhymes.

I couldnt have been more proud of her. She did so well during this. I think in under 15 minutes the whole this is done.Some sandal wood paste was applied on her head for her to cool off.

She got changed and then we went for her ear piercing. Oh boy...I cried more than her :) lol She did pretty well though. We used a numbing gel; she cried because she was uncomfortable, not because she was in pain.
In both cases, Dimpu mama did a wonderful job of holding Megha. Below is Meg with dad, both freshly shaved heads.
 Then we went for darshan. It wasnt a bad day actually, we were out in about 3 hours. Srinu mama made friends with one of the security guys and we could stay and look at Perumal for about a full minute! this is the first time in my life (and i had been to Tirumala several times) I got a chance to really stand and observe Him. What a sight it was!!

I am soooo proud of Megha. She took everything in so well.

Then we headed back towards the guest rooms, had lunch and returned to Tirupati. All of us VERY tired by the end of the day.
Picture with my sis and parents.

We can Fake anything and evrything

...Says Megha. She can now:

Fake Cry: Cry without tears, which stops the second you pick her up.
Fake laugh: Unbelievable but she fakes it some times. She goes he he he he and then stops and stares seriously, which gives away that she just faked it.
Fake Cough: Courtesy Anand, she can now fake a cough. Its actually cute.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The First Few Days at the Day Care....

...Is not going well at all. We found, what we thought, a perfect daycare for Megha. Apart from M, there is just another little girl. Other 2 kids are pre and after school cares, so, it's just two of them. She cries the moment I leave her till the moment I pick her up. She is just so attached to me that my heart breaks when I leave her. I only leave her for 2 hours a day now; coming Monday onwards, I will be increasing it to 4-5 hours so that the day care provider and Megha would get a chanc to bond.

I really don't know what to do :(
All my friends keep telling me that since its only been 4 days, I should not worry. That it would take at least 3-4 weeks before she settles in...I so hope so.

When you grow up, I hope you forgive me baby, for leaving you there. I do
You know I have to work...

It's so hard being a parent. One half of me wants to return to work because eventually I will have to return to work and I like my work. Other half of me feels guilty for leaving meg at the daycare :(

Thursday, December 6, 2012

She can Crawl!

Actually, she started crawling a LONG time ago. I wonder how I missed blogging this important event. She started crawling on the Vinayagar Chaviti on Sept 19, 2012.

She crawls to all her favorite places now, the below being one of them. Its her favorite spot to watch TV.

Welcoming Megha in India!

Megha's tonsure and ear piercing ceremony was planned in India. We took her to India and she landed there for the first time on 02Nov2012. Her maternal grand parents and her paternal grand mom had come to welcome her at the Chennai International Airport. Some of the pictures welcoming her at different places she had been are below, starting at the airport. Oh what fun she had!!

Here is the flexi my parents had brought to the airport. I had a better picture,which I cannot find anymore :(
Here is the one at her paternal grand parents house.
Here is the Rose welcome at my sisters place in Hyderabad.
Here is another welcome at my Maternal aunt's place. Sai Thata did this by hand! how sweet of him.
Here is another one at my parents place, displayed during a party they hosted in Megha's honor. This now rests in my parents dining room.

Megha's first Halloween

So much has happened since the last time I wrote something. India trip was hectic but fun.Will update details later!! Now Halloween...

I've heard that Halloween is one of the things kids look forward to besides Christmas. and why not? It's got everything! You can dress up, have as much candy as you like and adults usually don't say no to it!

This is Megha's first Halloween (31st Oct, 2012). Since we were flying out to India on that day, we couldn't take Megha out for Trick or Treat. She is too young anyway. But this didn't stop us from dressing her up :) look at our cute pumpkin :)

We had a Halloween party at our friends place and a the kids in attendance dressed up.
Perhaps next year she can go out trick or treating.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Teething or not?

I wonder if Megha is teething. This afternoon she slept for about 30 minutes and woke up. She is slightly more irritable. Her bowel movements are runny and she is biting on anything and everything.
Is she teething? I will let you know when I know!!
I should have given her Tylenol this afternoon :(. When she just wouldn't sleep, I thought she must be over exhausted but later this evening I decided she is in pain. Poor Megu :(

Dancing with the Moon-Part 2

Dancing on the moon part 2/ Final

Looks like I am a healthy baby after all; the doctors said I can 'go home' in 2 days. This is good news and bad; for one, I have to get used to something else besides this hospital room and for other, I am eager to see the 'home' they are all talking about. I sure do hope this is a permanent home.

Have I told you how I was named? Here is how: long before I was born, Maddy (mommy+daddy) decided that I would be named after the birth star I would be born under. 

"Let's see what names have we got under 'A'", said daddy.
"Angali", said mommy, "Aditi", added daddy.
"For 'B' we have got Brinda," said mommy

And likewise they had names from A-Z. According to the birth star, I was supposed to be named under M. 
Dad chose Megha and he keeps insisting that it was moms choice (maybe with all the drugs and excitement neither of them properly remember who chose it). 
Such a pretty name, I don't really care who chose it. It wasn't even there in the list of names they wrote and it wasn't even there in the list of names which grandma had brought. 

Ok, back to the present. The day I was being taken home it was snowing. Dad had a stork set up in the front yard announcing my birth and my moms momma (mommomma) had aarti ready.

"Welcome home baby", said Maddy. 
"This is the living room, this is the family room...." So on dad took me to every room.

When I was taken to my very own room, I was thrilled.

"Is this going to shrink like the old one?" I asked
No answer! 
"Hello, I am taking to you, is this going to shrink?" I repeated.

Can you believe how disappointed I was to know that I cannot be heard even in my new home? That's preposterous.

Days passed. 

"Mom, can you believe the color of Meg's poo today!!" Asked my mom over the phone. She was talking to grand ma. 

"What the hell is wrong with you woman! I am right here in the room and you are discussing the color of my poo with some one else?! Yukkky!" I screamed. She didn't understand why I screamed and gave me some milk. 

"No I don't want milk. I want you to stop discussing about me when I am in the same room." I pout.

"It's multi colored!" Mom continued.
"Hello, can't you understand that it's such an insult to simply talk about me when I can hear you. Is this the manners you are going to teach me?" I sigh.

Seriously, what can be worst than a discussion about the color of our poo? Oh, wait a minute, it's not as bad as dressing me up as a pumpkin during Halloween. 
Mom thinks its incredibly cute to dress me up as a pumpkin. 

"Pumpkin of all the things? Are you nuts? It's not helping my figure now. I am going to look fat!!" I moan

Mom isn't listening.

"It's orange, it's like being trapped in a ball. How can anyone look cute in this?" I try again in vain

Now You see, dressing up as pumpkin is worst than a discussion about poo.

Have I told you about how I started eating solids? It's kinda funny. Ok, not ha ha funny but still a little but funny.

Maddy were initially planning not to introduce salt to me. Apparently it's not good for babies; especially in cold places like Canada. 

"Just purée the food without salt Hun", dad said.
"Ya, lets try without salt. Its not good for her anyway", mom agreed.

Have you ever tasted dal or rasam rice without salt? No? Good! Don't even try!! 

"Mom, have you even tasted this before trying to feed me?" I ask
Of course she didn't taste it. I spit up right away. Did she learn a lesson? No. She tried again and I throw up again. 
She kept trying it for two full days before giving up. Then she added salt.

Phew! What a relief for both of us. 

She has this blender baby book from which she gets all the yummy recipes. Whatever happened to the old recipes from grand ma?

The other day a lady, who calls herself a friend of moms came over. First thing she did was pinch my cheeks saying they look yummy. 

"Owwww", I cried out! "You moron! Don't you know you should not pinch a baby's cheek?" I asked
Mom told her off immediately but the damage is done.

Maddy sent me to day care when I turned 7 months. It's only for 1.5 hours a day, twice a week. Not bad at all. Initially I was so scared with a few other kids but I go used to it. They are all a bit older to me and there is this one guy, Liam, he keeps taking all the toys I lay my hands on. What an idiot, there are so many other toys out there but no, he wants just the toys I want. Since I am not yet walking, I only crawl for now, and he can run...he takes my toys and run.
"Yo...I am not going to crawl forever. I will start walking soon. Count your trains, I mean toys."

Count your trains did I say? What's wrong with me? Mom should seriously not watch Big Bang Theory when I am in the same room as her. I am slowly started taking a liking to trains and perhaps physics? 

Have I told you about Jake? I have this huge crush on him. He is handsome, he is smart and guess what he is also a pirate. I met him on TV while watching Jake and the Never Land Pirates. 

When I grow up, I want to be a pirate. Maddy said I can be what ever I want to be when I grow up. I will be a great pirate ever (better than Johnny Depp from Pirates of the Caribbean) and make Maddy proud.  

So long maties. See you real soon.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Orange Sun Day

Orange Sun Day? Not as catchy as Blue Moon day :(
Two significant things happened today and I wanted to make sure that I log this down.  I had been trying to teach Megha to hold her own feeding bottle for a while now. Finally she is holding her bottle! Yippie! She still is lying down when holding the bottle but it sure is a Begening.

Second significant thing is that, today I fed Megu bottle gourd sambar rice without putting it in the grinder! This has happened once before but today she ate all if it!! What's more, I fed her with my hand upon Anands suggestion and am delighted that she had it. All these days I was spoon feeding her as its quite hard to feed puree's with hand but today was different.
Am so happy :)

Why is it an Orange Sun Day? Both these things happened in the evening when the sun today was unusually orange. I told ya! Not catchy as blue moon day.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A trip to Crawford Lake Park

Fall is here! I love this time of the year when the chill is just catching up in the air and the leaves are changing color. I took Megha to Crawford Lake Park in the Escarpment, conservation area in our town to get some good pictures when the leaves have not fallen yet. This is her first Fall. Some of them are here;

This one is infront of what they call as 'village' in the park.
 Since it was cold that day, they lit fire pits all over. Here, Megha is warming her hands.
 The actual lake; there is a trail which goes all around the lake. We can take strollers too but Megu was fussing already. So, we didnt go around the lake.
 She was much exited and was pulling her cap constantly. I kept putting it right back on her head.
Nice Colors eh?
Megha playing among the fallen leaves.
A long shot of the above picture
Its a shame dad couldnt make it; he was working. perhaps next year he will get to go with Megha.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Dancing with the Moon: part 1

I just woke up from a deep sleep. I could hear some muffled noises. I wonder what or who is making all these noises. I cannot clearly see or hear and I don't know where I am. It's kinda dark and wet here, but I think I like the cozy feeling in here. I fall asleep again.

I don't know for how long I have slept but this time too the same voices woke me up. 
"Give me a break alrighty! I just want to sleep; is it too much to ask? " With that thought I fell asleep again.

I woke up with the now familiar voices again, i think its been weeks since i woke up. One voice calls herself momma and the other voice calls himself daddy. 
It's still dark and wet where I am now.

"Baby, you are now 25 weeks old; we recently found out you are going to be a girl. Dad and I are thrilled; we can't wait for you to be born" Said momma.

"Momma, I have no idea what you are talking about." I said 
"Let me sing you some rhymes," said daddy

"I don't know, maybe I am awake for about 5'minutes and I have to sleep now again, good night mommy and daddy. " 

Of course they didn't stop the rhymes. From where I am, I don't think they are able to listen to me telling them to shut up and let me sleep. I let them sing and eventually they stopped and I fell asleep again.

I don't know for how long I have been here but I am making this my home. I love it here. It's as if mom can hear what I really want and she eats what I want! She calls them 'pregnancy cravings'. The other day I wanted to eat tuna salad badly and immediately I heard her say....

"Hun, I feel like Tuna salad", to dad
"Well you are not supposed to eat fish but let's see how much mercury content is there in this", after a bit if research, "I guess you can have a little", said dad and made her some to eat. 

"Aaahh thanks mom for eating this", I said to her but she was kinda rude, she didn't respond. Oh wait a minute! She is unable to hear me say anything.

Every night mom sings me the rhyme Twinkle Twinkle Little star and the days dad is working morning shift, he sings many more rhymes. I look forward for them. It has become a routine for me before momma goes to sleep. 

Of late I have learned that I can get attention by moving my hands and legs. Sometimes I poke momma. I discovered this new skill accidentally. One day....02nd sept 2011 to be specific....

"Hun! Keep your hands on my my tummy!" Cried my mom and dad obliged. 
"Not realizing that this is one of the best moments of dads life (or so I hope), I moved my legs. 
"Kick-Che! Kich-Che!" Dad said in tamil and almost started laughing loudly. 

"Calm down will ya! I only moved my legs!" I said, which of course he didn't hear. 
Some days, just to get momma in trouble I poke her hard. So hard that she gently pokes me back. Dad gets very upset and tells momma, "don't do that!"
I love it when that happens. It makes me feel very important.

It's funny how things are going forward. I wake up almost everyday now. Maddy's (mommy+daddy), voices are now very familiar. They arranged what they call as, seemantham. Some one came and chanted something.
There was a big feast! I got to taste so many things through momma.

"This is for your well being baby," Maddy said.
"This will help in safe delivery", said the priest.
"What delivery? are you sending me away?" I asked knowing very well Maddy will not send me away.

A few more weeks later I noticed something strange.

"Momma, why is the room I am in keeps shrinking? I don't have any more room to go around, why?" I asked one day
"You are almost here, soon you will be in my arms and I can't wait for that day. That and for the day I can finally sleep on my tummy and for the day I don't have to pee a 100 times a night", said momma. 

It's just so inconvenient here. I can't stand a single day of this confines any more. I need to move out.

"Knock knock", I tapped against mommas tummy.
I almost thought she was going to say, " who is there?" But instead she said, "ouch"
I kept quite for 20 minutes and repeated, "knock, knock".
"Ouch ouch!! I think I am in labor Hun!!" Momma cried.
I think Maddy never heard of knock knock jokes.

I don't want her to cry, yet, I cannot stay in here even for a moment.

"You will be ok, we will head to the hospital right away", dad said, "and we will have our kutty baby soon!"

After a lot of searching, I finally found an opening through which I can escape these confines. I hang on to that light and keep working towards the exit. Can you believe it? The exit was right under my nose! Quite literally and I was searching for this for a while now! Duh!!

"Aaaaggghhrrrttt", momma kept shouting.
"Oh really? That hurts? Ever tried to get through a donut without breaking it? No? That's what hurts. Not this." I said. 

I know, I was being unreasonable but hey, I need to get through what seems like a needle head! Give me some credit for gods sake! 

After a lot of trying, I simply got exhausted. I gave up.

"We need to do an emergency c section, right away", said someone who calls herself a doctor, "we need to get the baby out!" 

Did she say, "get the baby out?" 
Wow, it was music to my ears. Anything to get out of this dark, tight space, which once I was so proud to call a home. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice home but it kept shrinking. How I wish it reminded the way it was before. Well, I guess all good things come to an end at some point.

After a few minutes, suddenly I was being lifted by someone. Holy ****! Everything is so bright here!
I close my eyes and I am very scared. 

"Wyaaaaaan, wyaaaaaaan", I cried. 
I am so confused.  I wish I could go back to my old home. I know it was too small for me now and god knows it will keep shrinking, but anything is better than this sudden brightness and noise. It's getting unbearable. And cold. It's not cozy like old home.

Just as I was thinking about how cold it is here, someone said...

"Here dad, take and keep her close to your heart and give her your body warmth." Said someone.

I didn't hear anything after, "here dad", that's the first familiar word I am hearing! 

Someone held me close and I started feeling very secure, comfortable and warm again. Hmmmm this is not too bad. Just as I was dozing off, I realized I am in dads arms. I felt very safe again. I could recognize his voice! Yaaaay! I am happy, this is not bad at all so far.
 But I could not sleep yet.

"Here, take our kutty baby", said dad. 

"Hello baby," said momma. I was so happy to hear that voice. Some familiar things are coming my way. I recognize her heart beat, her smell and her touch. 

I lay back and start to doze off. I am hungry but that has to wait for at least a few more minutes. I really need some sleep! 

And thus, I said good bye to my old home and entered my new one.

To be continued.....

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pumpkin Picking

One thing or the other kept me busy all these days but we are finally back! Megha has started to feel better but still on antibiotics. I seem to have caught some of the flu like symptoms too and I don't feel very well :(
However, this weekend (29th Sept), the weather is so good that we could not possibly stay indoors! Poor dad though, he stayed back fixing the roof.

Just like the last 3 years, this year too we went pumpkins picking from a near by farm. Just like the last 3 years, we got the dates mixed up and we could not pick our own pumpkin.
She had her snack near the pumpkins.

We ended up buying what the farmer had already picked. When I mentioned this to him, he told that Megha and i are welcome to go to the farm and hang out. I was soooo glad! This was the first time Megha was going to a farm! I put her in her stroller but the walk to the farm was very bumpy. Oh well, it's a farm after all. I showed Megha all kinds of pumpkins and she listened intently. Lol! 
After that, we went to Willi's Apple Farm to pluck our own apples. Did I ever mention that Megha loves apple sauce? She does! We buy apples from Costco but when I tasted the apples which the farmer offered to me, the taste was waaaay better than costco's. I have to make apple sauce from the apples we picked today; I am very exited!
 The farm was huge and the stroller ride into the farm was bumpy again.
 Megha loved this farm though. She was gazing at the apples and the children who have come to collect around.
We went there around 11 am but by then most of the apples were gone. But of course we found some. I tried to select the best apples!
 This was my first time too into an apple farm. I selected the ripe ones and I hope they taste as good as the ones i tasted with the farmer.
We bought 5 pounds; have to make the sauce now. Over all, a great morning. The only thing missing was dad; we wish he were there too. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

A sad day

I think a child falling sick is one of the worst nightmares a parent goes through, at least once in a life time. We are here right now. Megha wasn't herself at all since Monday last week (03 sept) and by Thursday she got progressively worse. She had a little fever but by Thursday (6th) she also picked up cold and cough. Before she went to bed on Thursday night, we gave her Tylenol; about 7 pm. I thought her fever would get in control with it, which it did. The problem was that the cold and cough were persistent and by 10:00 pm, she had severe cold. I gave her 1 ml cough medicine thinking I will repeat the dose at midnight if it doesn't come down. It didn't. So I have her another dose and she seemed a little better but not to the extent that i can sleep with her too. I had to keep comforting her every 5 minutes until Anand came in at 2 am so that I can get some sleep until 6 am.

The next day, we were taking Megha to Walt Disney World in Florida. This is supposed to be her first ever ride in an airplane and first ever travel outside of Canada. 

When Anand came in at 2 am, she seemed ok but I guess her condition was becoming bad to worst. When he fed her milk at 2:30 am, she had only 30 ml; even that she vomited. He woke me up immediately as he felt that her vomit was kettle-water-hot and she was burning up with high fever. He panicked and started yelling but I had to stop and think what to take to the emergency; when one is panicking, the other has to think. That way, Anand and I make perfect couple. When I panic, he becomes the voice of reason. 

Anyway, off we went to the emergency with Megha in toe at 2:45 am on Friday morning. There was no one waiting at the triage and I thought we would be attended to right away. I should have known by now, it doesn't work that way. 

A nurse monitored Megha's vitals and checked her temperature. Her vitals are good but her fever is still rising. She asked us so many questions and I answered as best as I could.
After that check up we were sent to the waiting room again. I was called in for some registration and I was asked all the questions again. Weird, the nurse before had answers for all the questions. Anyway.

After a long wait, meg was so tired that she fell asleep. As soon as she fell asleep we were called in to get her admitted and wait for the doctor. Oh oh! That's not good. After another hour, another nurse came in to check on Megha. She asked the same questions we were asked while check in AND registration. She checked the fever too and at that point it had risen to 39.1. At about 7 AM finally the doctor came in to check on her. They couldn't give anything to meg right away because they wanted to know the source of fever before they begin treatment. For the 4th time, we were asked all the questions again. The doctor also ordered the blood work, urine culture tests, ECG, chest X-Ray and ultra sound for kidneys and bladder. At this point, A called the airlines and cancelled our tickets to Orlando, US.

The first nurse came in and "tried" to take Meg's blood. All along she was commenting about how chubby her hands are. She poked Megha 3 times (twice on each hand and once on wrist) and couldn't find the vein. Of course Megha was screaming in pain and it took everything in me not to cry out loud like her. She gave up after 3 tries and left Megha to "rest" for a bit. After 30 minutes she came back again with another nurse to try again. They held her tight and asked Anand to comfort her while I held her legs to prevent her from kicking the nurses. They tried the leg this time but still no luck. Megha continued crying. I kept counting backwards from 40. 40, 39, 38, 37....2, 1, 0. I opened my eyes and they still didn't finish with Megha. Trust me, with your baby crying so much, 40 seconds is a very long time. I started again, only this time it's 60, 59, 58...they poked her in 5 different places this time with not much of success to show. We were left to "rest" again.

We were then asked to hold Megha again. They wanted to put a catheter on to get urine. Baby started crying. I felt so bad for her. She was terrified with all the poking, hurting  going on with her. We were doing as best as we could to comfort her but honestly speaking, we ourselves needed some comfort. 

Around 11 am, Anand took Megha to the hospitals Tim Hortons (coffee place). I so wanted to talk to my mom and sister and share our plight. Mom was almost crying when she heard this. Anyway...

Anand was back in 10 minutes with Megha and she seemed to settle down a bit. I slept beside her on her bed and Anand dozed off too for 30 minutes. We all needed that. 

Soon after our 30 minute nap, we were called in for the x-ray. The technician explained that it's a pain-free thing but since we are dealing with a baby, the chest x-ray is different to watch. Megha was stripped down to her diaper and the little seat kinda thing on which she was kept was horrible to look at. It looked like she was like a little piglet being handled by ears. It was heart wrenching. The technician was very swift and the whole thing would have lasted maybe about a minute. One of the longest minutes In my life.  

We were sent back to wait for results and get the ultra sound. By then Meg must have cried so much that she was close to the stage of passing out. Ultra sound done but by the time we returned to our room the nurse was waiting to get the blood again!! My heart sank. It's like Megha is not being given any room to recover from one trauma and then pushed to another. Thankfully this time the nurse wasn't going to try the veins; she gave up. She poked Megu's tiny little thumb and slowly started taking one blood drop at a time. After she is done with one vial, she asked me to hold that vial and keep mixing it. Really? She wanted me to hold our daughters blood and mix it; I wasn't even prepared to look so much of it and suddenly I was being given a task of making sure that I mix it and hold it upright. I digress. After a certain point, no amount of counting works. We simply have to face the facts, as hard as it might be for parents.

By then the duty doctor who was attending Megha was off-shift and she said she was going to talk to another doctor and hand over Megha to him. It was about 1 pm then. All which was left was to wait for the results. Even when we put Megha on the bed to change her diaper, she started wailing: poor baby, she thought we were going to poke her again with the needle. Of course, we would too if we were held down and be poked for 9 times. 

The results were in. She has infection; I am not going to go into details but she has infection. She was prescribed antibiotics and we were given an appointment with the pediatrician the next morning. After more than 12 hours of intense pain, Megha, Anand and I headed home. All three of us were dead tired. Our friends in Milton were so nice, they brought us food so that  we don't have to cook. We didn't leave Megha alone even for a second for the next few days. Anand or I used to lie down beside her from 7 pm onwards. 

She is getting better but I still get nightmares that Megha is being troubled by nurses on and off. I think it will be a very long before I close my eyes and not see those flash scenes from the hospital. 
The weekend she was supposed to be in the Walt Disney Word, enjoying, she spent at the hospitals and waiting rooms. A sad day indeed.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chicken for beginners (8 months)

Our doctor told that I can introduce chicken to Megha after she completes 8 months. So, for the first time today I made chicken for her. She seemed to like it. I didn't give her a lot though as this is the first time she is having it. Gave her maybe 1/4 breast.

You will need:
Skinless and boneless chicken breast: 1
Chicken broth: 1 cup (can substitute this with water but you might need to add salt)

Cut the chicken into bite size piece and boil in chicken broth until very tender. Do not over cook though. If we use broth, it has enough flavor in it and we don't have to add any salt or spices.
It tasted very nice and Megha gagged on the first bite but picked up and ate 1/4 chicken breast purée after that.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A trip to the Beach

Some of you know that our cottage lies (almost) in the tip of Bruce Peninsual. Over the last weekend in Aug, we took Megha to tip of the land; one side is Lake Huron and the other side is Georgian Bay. We had a little picnic there. Last year when my parents were here, it was raining cats and dogs and we couldnt go see the Flower Pot island in the peninsula. This year, since Meg is too litle, we decided we will postpone the boat ride for another year. We still had lots of fun though.

With dad; in the background is the cruise vessel to take us to the flowerpot island and other islands.
Megha enjoying the cold waters. We didnt swim here though; for one thing, the water was too cold and for another, we didnt feel comfortable in such big waters.
With Mom at the light house
usually we dont get to take pictures where we three are present; here is one of them.
The next day we went to a lake near by to our cottage. Its amazing how natural instincts come to play in unfamiliar terrains. Meg started kicking her legs and hands exactly the way we swim in water. This is the first time ever she is in a lake (Aug 26). She sure didnt behave like its her first time. I think it will be fairly easy to teach her swimming.
Her first merry-go-round ride. In-utero, she had been on this. But outside, its her first time.
If I have to choose just one thing which I really love about this place, its the proximity to nature. We have TV but we hardly ever watch there. Here is a picture of a baby kingfisher. Megha and I watch the birds through the window while having breakfast. Can a weekend get any better? I think not.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

8 months already!!

How fast time flies by. This time last year my parents were here and we were all planning for my seemantham. It seems only like yesterday that I was pregnant and she was kicking me from inside. She was such a curious girl even in-utero. She used to poke me. Anand used to say, "please poke more"! It's his way of feeling the baby. Sometimes she used to poke too hard and it used to hurt, so gently I used to poke her back; which used to upset Anand so much. Well, his insides are not being poked! Lol

Back to Megha in the outside world. She turned 8 months on 15 Aug 2012. Below are the things she can do:

Things she does:
Can crawl backwards.
Can crawl sitting up.
Can roll all around the home like a ball
Can shout on top of her voice to get attention
Can switch off/on the lights when asked (of course I would be picking her up)
Can open/close the door when asked
Did I mention, can shout on top of her voice to get attention

Things she can say:
Mumumumum when hungry of thirsty
Screaming game which we both love and which Anand doesn't particularly love

Things she Loves:
One Two buckle my shoe rhyme
Watching Jake and the never land pirates
Watching baby Einstein dvd's
Mango puree
Licking her dad's head and face
Biting on my footwear
The sunflower musical toy and Sophi, the giraffe
Our morning walks
The swing in the park
most importantly, playing on Anand's and my lap
gentle cleaning of her ears; she enjoys it somehow. 

Things she dislikes:
Food with texture (she likes smooth puree's)
Sunshine on her face
Dad kissing her while being unshaven
Drive after a meal. In fact it makes her sick.
Cleaning her nose after shower

Her Routine:  Its very consistent. Very predictable baby.
Wake up at 6:45
Breakfast, usually cereal at 7:15
Nap at 8:30
Playtime at 9:00
Snack time at 9:45
Walking time at 10:00 (On Mondays and Thursdays,day care for 1 hour since this week)
Nap time at 11:30...since 3 days she has left it
Lunch time at 12:30
Afternoon nap at 1:45
Wake up at 3:35
Snack time at 4:15
Shower at 5
Walking or playing inside until dinner
Dinner time at 6
Cuddles and hugs with dad until bad time
Sleepy time at 7:00

Her Food:
Breakfast is always Nestle Gerber Cereal
Snack is usually fruit or yogurt
Lunch is some kind of vegetable puree
Dinner is rice with dal or veggies or lentils

Mango and avocado purée

I cannot believe that I haven't tried this all these days! Avocado and mango purée is so yum that I decided today that I will make this as a dip for us (Anand and I) as well. I made it this morning but I didn't give it to Megha yet. We are going to the cottage tonight and she will be having this for lunch tomorrow. I am pretty sure she will LOVE this as she loves mango and avocado separately. If she doesn't like it, I will update this page.

I am sure Ragini will like this too as the richness of avocado perfectly compliments the sweetness of a mango.

You will need:
Mango: 1, choose a sweet ripe one
Avocado: 1, choose the one which is ready to be eaten today or tomorrow

Peel the mango and cut into cubes. Take the avocado pulp out. Place both of them in a blender and puree until desired smoothness.

Yummy yum!

Pumpkin and apple purée for 8 months

I have been meaning to give this to Megha for a long time now. Since fall is almost on its way, I though it high time I give this to her so that when fall is truly here, I can make things like pumpkin soup etc.

There is a special twist to this; I specially added this for the benefit of Baby Ragini, my friends daughter. She likes her food sweet and hence this special dish to pacify her sweet tooth. Hope Ragini likes it as much as Megha did. I made this for lunch but Megha tasted this as snack.

You will need:
Apples: 1 cup (appr 1 apple)
Pumpkin: fresh or canned pie pumpkin, 1/2 cup. You can also use pie pumpkin purée
Vanilla essence: 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon:  1/4 tsp (you can reduce this if you want)
Apple juice: 1/2 cup (to make it sweeter)

Peel and core the apples and cut into small pieces
Peel and chop the pumpkin into small pieces. If you are using canned or frozen, that's fine too. I used pie pumpkin pulp.
Place apples and pumpkin in a sauce pan and add vanilla essence, cinnamon and apple juice.
Cook on medium flame; stir occasionally until apples are properly cooked. Take about 20 kins
Cool and purée

Choosing the sweetest apples is the trick. I used royal gala apples
If you want to sweeten this further, you can add dates syrup but that might overpower with sweetness.

Megha had her first taste today. She is ok with it.
Make sure to use pie pumpkins.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Squashed vegetables for 8 month old

Megha had her first taste of this on 21Aug2012. She didnt love it but she didnt hate it either :)

First Day at daycare

For verity of reasons, Anand and I decided that it would be good for Megha if she goes to day care for 1 hour, twice a week. Its not much but for a beginner, it still is. She did me proud. I kept telling her over and over again in the previous days that she is going to be with out momma and papa for one hour but she will be safe, that I will be back in an hour to take her home. Not sure if she understood any of that though.

On the day, Monday, 20Aug2012, she woke up as usual but i was very nervous. She has never been without me or Anand or her maternal grandma. I got her ready, fed her, prayed along with her and off we went.
Above picture was taken 5 minutes before departure. She is sitting along with her diaper bag. My my, she is growing up way too soon.

When I dropped her off, she seemed ok. I reminded her again that i was leaving but will be back in an hour to pick her up.

While driving back (less than 5 mins to home), I couldnt help but cry. I think its normal. She on the other had didnt itseems. She played nicely for 30 minutes and then started saying, "mumumumum". Her provider gave her some water and took her outside to distract her itseems and then she was all fine.
While she didnt greet me with smiles, she didnt cry either. Over all, a big day for both of us.

I am so proud of her. She seems to have taken it well, or, is it too early to judge?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dad's first birthday with Megha good

Planning for Anands birthday started way back in May. I am not kidding! I wanted to make this day (aug03) special as this would be his first birthday after Megha was born. I decided the best way to make it special will be by inviting very close friends and make it a surprise party.  So, I have sent emails to a few of his very good friends and guess what! 10 out of 12 said that they could make it!
I was elated. Once of them was to fly over from a different city.

One month before the date is when I started properly planning. I had decided already to order food from outside, since making it at home would tip off Anand. I researched a bit and found of that a near by Italian restaurant is one of its kind! One of the days A was working in the nights and so, Megha and I went to the restaurant to order food. When I did to there, I saw that the entree's were over $20! My! That's expensive and that's not even including appetizers, desserts and drinks! After some "talking" the chef agreed to do apps and entrees in my budget; well, I went a little over but only by $50.

Setting a menu was difficult than I had anticipated. We were to have 4 vegetarians and 6 non-vegetarians as guests. So, I couldn't order large portions of the same Kind. After a lot of discussion with the chef, below is the menu:

Fresh garlic bread
Chicken penne
Chicken marcelle
Baked potatoes
Portobello mushroom ravioli

Apart from the above, I had bought some lays chips and tortillas and some salsa. Our good family friend had also brought Samosa's and some dessert.
On the day of the birthday, everyone loved the food. I am so glad I ordered it from the restaurant; everything really was nice.

For drinks, below were bought. I made sure Anand had his favorites, sans Keiths as thats what he normally drinks.

Beer: Heineken, Kingfisher, Tsingtao, Corona
Wine: Since I went for Italian, I got Chianti, like 5 bottles of red and 3 white.
Champagne: Brut and something else which escapes me right now.
We already had so much more in our wine rack, so I didnt buy things like whiskey, rum etc

Of course we didnt drink all of it on the same night :) 

I had decided already that I would be baking one cake to be cut in the morning when Megha is awake and I would buy one for the night.

The day before the birthday: Cake 1:
I started the chocolate cake. So far so good. The trouble began when I decided to make frosting as well. The double trouble began when I had decided that I want to make a two layered chocolate cake!
Trouble one: the cake itself was very moist; in this case, I don't have to frost as it would be a nightmare to apply frosting; frosting doesn't go well, at least not for me on super moist cakes. After the first layer, I started the second layer and the crumbs were falling off; the. And being moist was doing that. The cream just was not sticking.

Trouble two: it was taking waaaay too long. Megha was also fussing a lot and I had to keep washing my hands to run upstairs to comfort her. When it was finally done after 3 hours, it was no way close to how I wanted it to look like. But I guess A would forgive me for messy looking cake as I had the right intentions :)


Something told me that I had to finish all the outside shopping 2 days before the birthday. I was glad I did, as Anand wanted to take my car for work that day (A's car is a standard car and I don't drive stick shift).

I bought a yummy 3 layered fruit cake. I was so mad with the day lady at the confectionary section. It was already 5:30 pm and it was getting closer to Megha's dinner time. The lady looked at me and totally ignored me for good 2 mins! I yelled at her, " lady, if you are too busy to serve me, call your manager, perhaps he/she would assist me". She made some excuse but I got my point across. See, I can be a biyaatch when I want to. I just don't like to be one; doesn't mean I am not capable of being one.

Anyway, I bought the cake I wanted and went home!

As most of you who know me, know that while I try to keep the home as clean as possible, it never comes to a point where I can say, "it's spotless". Since I was going to have so many guests at home, I wanted to make sure everything is spotless. But how? I mean, when I don't do anything extra itself I am so busy with Megha, where do I find time to clean carpets, clean the bathrooms, kitchen, floors, fridge and all the rooms?! I can't start too early as there is a danger of getting everything "back to square 1". So, I had to start 2 weeks before the party date. My Megha was being such a sweetheart; I simply put her in the crib with a few toys while I vacuumed the upper level.

The next day, I did the lower level carpets. The day after I did the bathrooms. Most of the stuff had to be done when she went to bed, which gives me a window of 2 hours every night. unfortunately, she was waking up every 20 mins the first night; that means i hardly got to do anything at all.

Polishing the glasses, polishing the cutlery, rinsing and wiping the china was done on 3rd night. I grossly underestimated the time take to polish the glasses. Of course I had a lot of glasses to polish, for i had no idea what everyone would be drinking. I started with wine glasses, then proceeded to beer mugs, martini glasses and finally to champagne flutes. I am telling you, its a 1 hour job. but i was so glad I did it because at the end of it all, they were all shining, just like crystal should.
Finally the day came. When Anand woke up at 11:30 AM (he was working the night before), we had a cake cutting with Megha in his lap. He also got cuddles, kisses and a card from Megha. Her hand prints frame has not been completed as a gift and hence, I couldnt give it to him.

When the evening came, one of his friends came over to take him out for a drink. By then A guessed that I am up to something as no one shows up unannounced at our home. Our good friends, Neeta and Vishya helped me immensely with getting the food from the restaurant, cleaning up, prepping the backyard etc. It wouldnt have been the same without them two. 

9 of his good friends gathered, including his best buddy Steve who flew over from a different province. Anand was surprised with the guest list, though the party itself wasnt a surprise (his friend showing up unannounced gave him a hint). 

All of had good time and he got so many gifts. But the best gift of all were best wishes of his friends. Anand had a great time and I guess thats all that matters at the end of the day. Would I do this again? Probably not. too much work. certainly not when you dont have anyone to help to maintain the 'surprise factor'.