Sunday, April 29, 2007

A fun day at Lake Harriet

We spent a fun day at Lake Harriet today. The weather was sunny and beautiful and it was a perfect day for some fun at the beach or a park. Luckily we found a lake which had both. We first strolled around in the parks and then went to a small beach which was not crowded at all and relaxed lazing around in the sun while Vansh wet his hands and feet and enjoyed throwing pebbles and sand in the water.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The simple yet divine joys of being a MOM :)

A sudden hug or a kiss by your own cherub; calling out 'mommy' almost as a reflex when excited or surprised or scared; a 'tak you' greeting at the simplest gesture of being handed over a glass of water is what makes motherhood truly worthwhile and as they say divine :) It makes your heart melt, your eyes moist, your worries go away, in short takes you to a different plane. And it is especially true if you are tired and having a rough day. Today being a Friday was in general a more tiring day as usual - pregnancy related insomnia does strike me at times now; Vansh had woken up at 5:30 am out of the blue and of course ECFE also tired me out some more. Somehow, he didn't take a long afternoon nap either which left me unrested and sort of cranky and impatient by the evening. As a result, I snapped more than what was acceptable when Vansh, who is now going through the process of toilet training, wet his underwear. When I bent down to change them, he caught my face and gave me a kiss on each cheek and then a tight hug. This came as such a lovely surprise, more so because it was so very different from how he usually reacts. I am amazed at how the attachment gets stronger and stronger with every passing day. Makes us value our own parents so much more.
At night, he once again touched my heart by spontaneously following his usual 'night night' by 'take care' as if he knew exactly how much I needed to do that :) God sure shows signs of his beautiful presence in the purest forms of humanity.

About the SHIELD meeting

The meeting with the SHIELD nurses on Monday went off pretty well. SHIELD (South Hennepin Interagency Early Learning and Development) is a planning, coordination, and evaluation service provided by Bloomington Public Health in conjunction with the south Hennepin County public school districts to determine eligibility of children birth to three years of age for special services. You can call them if you feel your infant or toddler may have a developmental delay in the areas of cognition, communication, social/emotional development, or motor movement. The reason I had called them was not out of worry but to get a formal assessment of particularly speech development in Vansh. He has been labelling new things everyday but was still not putting together 2 words in the right context, so to say, when I had called them. He would add 'आया' to everything and say phrases like 'पानी आया' or 'दुदु आया' when actually what he meant was 'पानी चाहिऐ' 'दुदु पिया' etc. He had just begun, so I knew it was okay but nevertheless its better to have my peace of mind, I thought.

A public health nurse and a speech pathologist visited us for an hour. The PHN spoke with me for about 20-25 minutes and then both of them played with Vansh, showing him various soft animal toys like cat and horse and monkey and asking him what they were; showing him a picture book with pictures of everyday things - foods, clothes, etc. Vansh enthusiastically joined in the play and did pretty well at naming those things, also throwing in 'meow' and 'neigh' for special effects. Vansh is doing just fine and doesn't need any speech lessons, they said. Had he had a speech problem in the nurses' opinion, they would have enrolled him for speech classes probably twice a week. They said if a new 2 year old can label about 20-25 common objects like his body parts, animals, food items,etc he/she is doing just fine. Vansh was also imitating pretty well whatever they were saying. They also addressed my concern of him putting together 2 words in the wrong context or not using the correct verb/descriptive words and they said that it will happen once he has a vocab of more than 50 words or so and its okay as long as he is making an effort. They were pretty happy with all his other skills like fine and gross motor, personal-social, etc. They also gave me some tips for concerns I had about his behaviour with other kids as he has been shouting and hitting (not violently but hitting nevertheless) off late. Being consistent, not letting him have his way when he does one of these and also the 'time out' technique I have been using are some of the suggestions they gave. The same night I also read step by step directions about applying this method in the book 'Supernanny: How to Get the Best from Your Children' (the same article is also available online at their website).

Monday, April 23, 2007

Some pictures from last week

Vansh is so glad the weather has finally faired out and he can play with water to his heart's content. He insisted on being put in the bath tub the second time for a bath so he could play with his latest possession - a waterwheel.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Its getting tiring!!

Huh!! The past week was a pretty busy one for me in preparing the surprise for Ashwini's birthday - a compilation of wishes/memories from his cousins, friends and colleagues put together in the form of a small book. The weather also finally seems to have stabilised to warm late 60's and early 70's which tempted me to take a walk thrice on Monday itself, the first one to the library and back(almost 45 minutes) to get the printouts of all the wishes; the second with Sarita and the kids Vansh and Arnav (again for about 45 minutes) and the third one when Ashwini returned from office (about 20 minutes or so). I realised by the night that what I had done was not really wise as I had achy legs, swollen feet and an exhausted self on the first day of the week. I couldn't take afternoon naps either because that was one solid chunk of time I got to work on the birthday project :) sans Vansh chipping in with his bit of 'help' :) Anyways the week finally went by with a couple of take-out dinners and another couple take-outs from the freezer.
Ashwini loved the book much appreciating the efforts. A noteworthy thing that happened to take place on his birthday was Vansh's official name change at the Hennepin district court in Downtown Minneapolis. Vansh's name at birth and consequently in all official records till date had been Aditya. However according to Indian custom, he was named Vansh on the 6th day because the letter 'V' was auspicious for him according to our family priest. After 2 years of keeping-on-postponing the procedure of getting it changed, we finally got it done on Apr 19, 2007. It was a novel experience in the courtroom where the judge smiled after asking what sounded funny questions considering Vansh's age - questions like 'Has he been charged with a felony in US'; 'has the natural father been notified' when Ashwini was sitting right next to me. After a strict formal procedure, the order was granted with Vansh ending the proceedings by saying 'Tak you' to the judge and 'bye bye' to all present. And yeah before I forget, the court was a good 20 minute walk (one way) from the garage in which we parked the car.

We celebrated Ashwini's birthday with whatever little energy I had left by Thursday evening. We headed for Chevy's very close to our place but found out that it had unfortunately closed down some time back and settled for Chinese which we didn't particularly relish. After coming back, he cut the cake (chocolate brownie to be precise because thats what my pregnancy cravings fancied that day), pictures of which I am embarrassed to share here because of its utter plainness. I intended to decorate it when I bought it but didn't have the muscle for at any point in the evening.

Vansh is very happy to be going for walks and outings to the park quite often now with the weather FINALLY getting warm after the longest and severest winter!! He was thrilled to be with Arnav in the park on Friday and imitated him and did a lot of climbing and going down slides and running and playing with mud. He has started having a relatively long term memory now and starts saying park or walk as soon as he gets up from his afternoon nap. He also tries to speak about 3 word sentences now, still not fully correct though. He'll say 'Anak (for Arnav) walk आया' and is also starting to use the correct descriptive words for what he wants to do like 'जाना है' or 'चलो'. So gradually verbs are getting different from 'आया' :) to their correct meaning and usage.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Chef Vansh at your service.

Vansh's latest pastime is to try his hands at the various chores in the kitchen, his favourite being mixing up all the ingredients and then beating the eggs for an omelette. He dutifully names 'oh-neons', 'toe-mata' , 'daniya' as he mixes each one and then keenly blends the mixture with the fork. He has always been amazingly observant of the sounds that he is interested in and regards them as signals to dash from any nook or corner of the house, leaving any whatever activity he might be doing to be there at the origin of the sound. Ever since he started crawling at 8 months and was fascinated by the clink clank of the utensils being kept in or out of the dishwasher; howsoever silently I might try to do it in order to avoid the mess he would create once he reached there or when I tiptoed away to open the closet and set clothes in there, he would always manage to reach there to "help me" in his own ways. Till date, he continues to do the same and secretly its such a pleasure to have him around even if I tell him to go away and play on his own :)

Check him out flaunting his cullinary skills preparing 'anda' for all of us.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Vansh's talking - some specimens.

Vansh has been verbalising quite a bit now. His vocabulary seems to be increasing with every passing day. Some of the things he has been saying these days :-

  • He has been adding the word 'आया ' to every word he knows which is fine as long as 'सुसू आया' or 'Papa आया' but it starts getting hilarious when he says things like 'दुदु (for milk) आया' or 'apple आया' when actually what he is trying to say is he wants those things.

  • He has a toy laptop which makes a sound of 'meow' when you press the letter C and then spells out 'cat' and similarly sounds a music note (to which responded to as Wow!) when you press H before spelling out the word 'harp'. Till about 2 weeks back, thats what Vansh started associating these letters with. So whenever we asked him pointing at the letter C as to what that was, he would say meow and not C. Similarly, pointing to H he would say Wow! :) I really wish I had made a video of that but unfortunately the phase passed by very soon.

  • It took me almost 3 days to figure out when Vansh kept repeating 'baboosh' that he was referring to 'bubbles'. He totally loves playing with them. Even his teachers at school love his loud unsuppressed giggle when the bubbles land on his nose or cheeks.

  • He has become very particular about not forgetting to say 'Hi' to everybody he passes by when he is taking a walk outside. Whats funny is that he refuses to let anyone ignore him by going on saying 'Hi' till he gets one in response. Also he has been remembering to say 'Tak you' when we gladly offer to do him a favor :)

  • My favourite is when he says 'nai night' and 'mimi' (for sweet dreams) before going to sleep at night.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Too many hormones (read emotions) kicking in !!

There were times I remember thinking 'Pregnant women are so lucky. Everything is justified in pregnancy - anger, frustration, depression, a big appetite - you name it and its fair'; not till I became pregnant myself and especially this time round with Vansh demanding a whole lot from me especially in terms of mental and emotional strength. I had a meltdown Sunday night for getting mad at him too often at the slightest provocation. Behaviours which are so natural for him - wanting attention all the time, trying out different ways to do that, acting up when he doesn't get any made me scream at him. He wants to be the one to be talked to when we are doing any talking which means particularly on the weekend when I and Ashwini begin to have any conversation, he begins with his best antics to stop that. Makes me smile when I am calm now and think about all the means that he employs to achieve that - randomly speaking out all the 20 something words in his vocabulary, taking out animal sounds like trrr, meow, bow wow, and if nothing else works screaming on top of his lungs; but its very hard to control myself from getting upset at that time. I know the best way to handle that is to talk to him for a while and engage him in something interesting and carry on and thats what I usually do but like I said pregnancy hormones kick in at times and stop me from thinking and acting reasonably.

Friday, April 6, 2007

The instant hit - the new Fire Truck bed !!

Vansh was truly overjoyed to see his new Fire Truck bed. After many days of see-sawing between the decisions of buying another crib for him or a toddler bed, we finally settled on this one. For a strong headed 2 year old like ours, we knew we had to get him really excited about something new in order to try it. Its not very common for a kid to refuse trying even ice-cream or chocolates because they don't look like his regular food. Fortunately, Vansh took a liking for it from moment one and just couldn't get enough of it. He jumped and he rolled and he checked out all the wheels and the lights, giving sound effects of 'peep peep, zooooom' ad interim.

Check out his video here

The first night was kind of strange because when Ashwini went after about 45 minutes of putting him to sleep to check whether he was sleeping fine, Vansh just got up and out of his bed to accompany Ashwini out of the room. We tried a lot of coaxing to get him back to sleep but didn't succeed. Ultimately I had to lay him down in the crib for him to go to sleep. Honestly I was scared whether he had decided to stick with the conventional this time as well. But thankfully he did just fine during his nap and his night sleep yesterday. The good part is that he doesn't get out of his bed, even though he can when he wakes up. The habit of sitting up in the crib and calling out for us is sticking too and I am in no mood to show him that he can actually get out himself now cos I don't want to find him knocking at the door in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

"The days don't seem to pass but the years go by so fast!!"

It was this so true line that I read coupled with some more thoughts going on in my mind for the last few days that finally made me decide to write an everyday blog, focusing more on my kids (now that I know I am having another one soon :) daily ventures, the hustle and bustle which makes each day truly worthwhile, the unadulterated joys of childhood, the innocent pranks of a kid which make you want to look forward to the next one with every passing moment; cos before I know the years will fly and all I'll be left with shall be memories. The best I can do is to pen them down so that I can fall back to refresh them vividly rather than remember them as a blur. I wish I had started earlier for so much seems to have passed in the last 2 years but as the cliché goes 'Better late than never!'

Vansh is so thrilled these days to be constantly remembering his recently passed birthday. He would suddenly beam with joy and pronounce proudly 'Machh titeent' (for Mar 16th) followed after a while by 'Budday'. The other trick up his sleeve is to please me by saying 'tak you' (thank you) before even I do what he gets to need done - he sure knows how to get things done the cute and polite way.

Guess who just turned two!! Vansh posing with his favourite character Curious George on his b'day cake.

The little one is also keeping pretty active these days. I read the baby's height is already about 15 inches which drives home the fact that time is running fast before he/she is actually born at about 19-21 inches. Still about 10 more weeks before things start getting more spacious for you, outside the womb I mean, little one!!