Saturday, June 30, 2007

Vansh is upto..

Updates for Vansh in his 28th month -

- says "mamma नाम है Neera", "papa नाम है Awini (for Ashwini and sometimes when we break it into parts for him, he says Ash and instead of wini says Pooh from Winnie the Pooh :)
- has been saying "छोटा छोटा baby" and kissing my tummy so many times in a day now and is waiting anxiously for the new arrival.
- fascination for trucks and cars continues to grow with every passing day.
- sits like a saint in Sarita aunty's lap for the longest time ever; doesn't want to play/eat/do anything when she is around except be close to her. We tease her he is your long lost lover from some past life :)
- chants his friend Arnav's name like a जाप innumerable times in a day.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The never ending magic of Mary Poppins!!

There are some things that are so deeply intertwined with your child's life that life, at least in the present moment, seems unimaginable without them. Winnie, Vansh's beloved teddy bear is one of such things and the second is the good old classic Mary Poppins. A fascinating movie about a delightful nanny Mary Poppins played by Julie Andrews , the world's most magically idealised nanny "practically perfect in every way"; her friend Bert, the charming sweep, artist and musician, all in one, played by Dick Van Dyke and the Banks family consisting of mom, dad and the 2 kids Jane and Michael. The movie mainly depicts the various fantastic adventures of the kids with their nanny with magical powers from jumping into paintings; riding merry go round horses; having tea parties on the ceilings; dancing in and out of chimneys et al. The enchantment is never ending.
And Vansh enjoys each and every bit of it. His favorite is the song 'Just a spoonful of sugar' where in the nanny and the kids tidy up their nursery with a snap of the fingers. Now the most interesting part. I cannot thank Mary Poppins enough for helping me to make Vansh do all sorts of things right from eating to walking to setting his mood right when he is having a particularly rough time. Being the very fussy eater ever since he was 8 months old, a fool proof way to make him eat was to switch on 'spoonful of sugar' and Viola! the food was fast gone! That it meant playing the song twice at every meal and hence 6 times in a day is another story. No wonder now each and every one in our family, including Vansh knows the song by heart :) even though he cannot sing the whole of it. When Vansh is lazy to walk half the distance left while coming back from our walk, guess what I have to do - no prizes - sing the song along with him holding his hand and he joins right in "and Snap!! we are home". A surefire way to perk him up when he is low and down is to play the movie from the point when Mary Poppins reaches the Banks household and opens up her carpet bag to a whole lot of mirrors and lamp shades and stuff like that and in no time is he giggling away to glory. I have thought of writing a fan mail to Julie Andrews so many times but have never got down to do it. I think I must! Its amazing to see even after watching the movie hundreds of times (without exaggeration), it still continues to charm him and us alike. Hoping the enchantment continues!!

P.S. : Needless to say, I highly highly recommend watching and enjoying the movie together for all families.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

39 weeks and counting!!

For all my dear friends who are regular visitors to my blog and associate each day with no blog entry as my having reached the hospital, a quick post to let you all know that I am still hanging on at 39 weeks today and counting :) Had my OB appointment today - weight gain 24 pounds since the start (No I am no way going to mention my weight here!!); BP - 122/68; haemoglobin - 14.2; fetal heart rate - 130-140 beats per minute; urine sample normal; uterus measurement normal ..huh ..expected arrival date of baby - still a mystery!!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fun evening with trucks and trains at Miller Park

Miller park, the largest park in Eden Prairie with 13 fields (baseball, basketball, lawn tennis were among the sports I spotted), a boat launch deck and a cool play area for the kids was where we headed to last evening. Complete with cars, trucks, trains and ships play structures, for Vansh it was the perfect place to be, given his ongoing fascination for the various modes of transport. Just sharing some pics from the fun evening. You can literally feel the utter thrill in his expressions :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

A 15 minute walk to heaven!!

Just a few snapshots from our walk to the splendid Purgatory Creek this lovely Friday morning. I can not stop marvelling at this resplendent area with a bountiful supply of gorgeous flowers, perfectly manicured green lawns, a little refreshing fountain and a large gazebo overseeing a small lake and treating you to a wonderfully invigorating breeze at all times and all this at a 15 minutes walking distance from home. Nothing short of heaven!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007


An eternal favourite with Vansh, blowing bubbles is a sure way to perk him up when he is having a tough morning. His teacher at ECFE deliberately blew it on his nose to get him to uncontrollably giggle out loud. He finally got the hang today of blowing silently rather than the loud 'phrrrr' that he used to do earlier.

Painting Fun!!

Vansh is quite into colors these days and had fun painting with water colors last morning. After much effort, he finally recognises 'ello', 'oraenge', 'red' and 'geen' :)

Monday, June 18, 2007

Peep peep ZOOM!!

Vansh is so very fascinated with cars and trucks these days. From running to the patio to watch each and every garbage truck that comes to pick up trash from our and the adjoining apartment buildings till the very end to the cars that pass by when we go for a walk, he keenly observes them all. He holds the logos of the one parked in the parking lot and goes 'Peep peep zoom!!' I am absolutely certain that he can differentiate the different makes - Ford, Mercedes, Nissan, et al already. When he enters the car to go somewhere, he definitely takes a chance by asking us to sit in the driver's seat, secretly hoping that we'll let him be in-charge some day if he is persistent. Needless to say, his favorite toy these days at home is a school bus which makes sounds and moves at the push of a button. And the latest is that he now places his foot or knee in that bus and says "जाना है".

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Haircutting (mis)adventure!!

Its always been a terror cutting/getting Vansh's hair cut ever since his 'mundan' at 11 months. Boy, does he cry!! He howls at the top of his lungs. Its impossible to distract him even with a cell phone which he is otherwise totally addicted to and we try to keep it off limits for him to save it for situations where we need him to be distracted like cutting his nails, at times feeding him. Its an exhausting project to hold him reasonably still to get the work done. We have tried showing him on TV when a child is getting his hair cut. We have tried with dad being the first to go so that he knows what to expect but there is no getting used to the barber's chair for him. So as of now, its uneven hair cuts and a 3 hour long nap following the uneven hair cuts for Vansh!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Tough tough tough!!

Vansh is being an extremely tough eater these days. He's way too picky - on one particular day he eats only the cucumbers from his lunch not even touching the roti and the sabzi, on another he would eat plain roti giving the rest of the meal a royal ignore. He refuses to be fed too by me or anyone for that matter most of the times now. And lunch is the toughest meal; as a result he takes a pretty short nap and wants to have milk at all odd times. Add to that the terrible two's he's going through. Its exhausting to have a cranky hungry toddler at hand who's learning to exercise his independence.
I try several things; the one that works not very well but somewhat better than others is to give him his food about 10 minutes before everyone else so that he doesn't get too much attention on the table (read 4 people asking him to eat something) and praise him when he takes a bite himself - this still doesn't ensure that he tries everything on the plate. Another strategy is to keep him busy with my cellphone or one of his favorite movies - I know not exactly the right one but don't know what to do if he refuses to eat anything and I know that he is going to become very cranky soon after as a result.
Suggestions are most welcome, desparately needed in fact from friends reading this post!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A fun simple craft

I got Vansh to try his little hands at a simple fun craft a couple of days back. We first cut out small pieces of colorful paper from a children's magazine (Vansh used the scissors too under my supervision) and then stuck them on a plain paper using a glue stick. Just looking for ways for some workmanship when he gets up from his afternoon nap and finds it so hard to control his urge to wake up his granddad immediately :)

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Como Park Zoo

We spent a fun day at the Como Park Zoo today. It was a great outing for reasons more than one. The biggest plus point was there was a lot to see in a very compact space and manner. In other words, we had to walk less and still were able to see quite a lot of all the major animals (ones easily identifiable without having to look at the name plates outside their cages :) .There were monkeys of various shapes and sizes; tortoises, flamingos and seals; lions, tigers and leopards; giraffes; zebras and even a couple of playful polar bears.

An added attraction was the Como Town with the kiddie rides; where fortunately Vansh enjoyed as opposed tohis strange behaviour at the Mall of America rides a couple of weeks back. He had a lot of fun in especially the car rides.

Friday, June 8, 2007

My Baby Shower

Some of my friends got together today and gave me a cute little baby shower. Its touching as well as so very pleasant to have caring friends who share your joys and go an extra step to make you feel special. It was indeed lovely to enter Shalini's house and see cute decorations spelling out 'Neera's Baby Shower', streamers and balloons and a chair covered with a lovely yellow silk saree.

To begin with, all my friends did a small puja, putting haldi and kumkum on my forehead, put fruits and rice in my lap and prayed for the baby's good health. They also gifted me a Target gift card, which I'll put to good use for baby shopping very soon :) We then had a photo session with all the kids :)

Yummy treats followed thereafter with a mouth watering menu of pav bhaji, pulao, idli sambhar chutney, gajar halwa and gulab jamuns.
Finally the kids had a lot of fun with each other, palying with balloons and toys and generally turning the room into a mess.

Click here for the entire album

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Vansh is getting ready ... seems, for the new baby. Ever since we took the maternity unit tour last Saturday and Vansh saw a couple of tiny new born babies there and quite intently at that, he could probably make the connection with what we had been telling him for the few past weeks. He's been telling us in his own broken language "Baby car लाओ/चाहिऐ" standing for "Lets get the baby from the hospital in the car" I am naturally very glad and relieved to see at least his initial excitement and eagerness to get the baby home. Before this, I had no idea whatsoever on how Vansh is going to react. At times I felt he might be very interested and at others I felt, he just wouldn't care. Jealousy, of course would take over at some times. I got him this book 'I'm a Big Brother' from the library on's recommendation. Its a neat book with nice and appropriate pictures on everyday situations like feeding, changing diapers, going to the park, how the baby needs extra care and how the Big Brother can help, at the same time reinforcing his individuality as well. We have also been working particularly on teaching him the concept of 'taking turns/waiting for his turn' at swings/slides in the park or even while speaking to each other when at home emphasizing when its the elders' turn to talk and when its his. It is sinking in gradually, I feel, as he himself uses words like turn and wait in the appropriate context. I also encourage him to share whatever he is eating with his dad and his grandparents who are also here these days. So much for preparation, ultimately I have my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Vansh is upto ...

Just a few quick updates on what Vansh is upto these last few days :

  • Counts from 1 through 10 when in a good mood. Doesn't correspond number of things with the correct number though. Counts them randomly - 1, 4, 6, 10.
  • Says the स्वर's of the Hindi वर्णमाला - अ, आ, इ , ई, उ, ऊ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ, अन and then laughs out loud
  • loves to sing along the ABC song (just the tune) and fills up at points where there is a stop like G, P, V, Z, etc. Recognises all the alphabets pretty consistently now.
  • Still shouts quite a bit when angry, happy, excited.
  • Usually just says the last word or the last 2 words when asked to speak say a 4 or 5 letter sentence. eg. 'Papa office गए' would be spoken as simply 'गए'.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

36th week OB appointment

I had my 36th week OB appointment today; they become weekly from now on till my delivery!All was well. I gained 2 pounds since last time which was 2 weeks back (Thank God!! I was expecting that I would have gained at least 5 lbs from having devoured all the goodies recently arrived from India), putting my total weight gain, by far, at 22 lbs. My blood pressure was normal at 110/66. The nurse chose to skip testing my haemoglobin this time as all the previous readings were excellent(according to the nurse) at 12.9. I also had a Group B strep test. The baby's heart beat was normal ranging between 148-152 beats per minute and the uterus measured fine as well.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Maternity Unit Tour

We took the maternity unit tour today at the Fairview Southdale Hospital where I am scheduled to deliver the baby. Its a tour to familiarise you and your family with the hospital, from things like parking to the floor on which the maternity unit is situated; what to do and whom to approach when you arrive in labor; a peek into the labor and delivery room; the nursery and the post partum unit (which unfortunately the nurse conducting the tour could not take us to because none of the rooms were empty). It prepares you to a good extent so that you are comfortable about knowing all the above when you actually arrive there at the stressful labor hour and know exactly what to do. I couldn't help but draw comparisons between the Sutter Hospital in Sacramento, CA where Vansh was born and this one. The rooms in Sutter were bigger and had more comfortable chairs and recliners for the mom to be and the spouse. I had spent a lot of time on the rocking chair while in labor with Vansh and that is not available in the rooms here. but I guess its okay one because I am almost counting on the fact that I'll have a much much much shorter labor this time (with Vansh it was 53 hours from start to finish ..phew!!) and two because they do have birthing balls which is also helpful. Secondly, the cord attaching you to the screen where they monitor the fetal heart rate and contraction rate is just 6 feet; in other words, that's the radius of your freedom of movement and they do not have cordless monitors for the same. Which means, if they decide to constantly monitor the fetal heart rate (which once again I hope, they don't this time - with Vansh they had to because my water had broken before labor began and that is considered a condition for constant fetal monitoring); I wouldn't have the freedom to take walks in the corridors; again something I had done a lot the last time - kind of took my mind off to see all the nurses and other people bustling in there with activity. Well to be optimistic, lets hope I wouldn't have too much time to do that either :)

Getting too tiring at 35 weeks!!

I have been telling my friends that pregnancy just should not be as long the second time round. Chasing a two year old 24/7 is a full day task in itself and a physically, mentally and emotionally challenging one at that; top it with cooking, cleaning and the daily household chores and what you have is a totally exhausted me by the end of the day!! Settling down at night is no longer easy either with turning sides seeming like a Herculean task in itself. But I am really thankful to God for giving me the strength and patience; I am not losing my sanity at Vansh's quirky behaviour as much as before; I am indeed proud of myself for still going down on my knees several times in a day while taking him to pee in the restroom or to scrub the kitchen/bathroom floor. I do get shaky legs at the end of the day and had a couple of severe cramps too in the middle of last night but thats something that cannot really be helped with it being almost time for the new addition to the family. And as distinctly as I remember (and somewhat dread!) the sleepless nights, the 'so frequent' feeds, the backaches once the little one arrives; yet once again I am longing for this phase to end soon and just as I write this, wishing for at least 6 more months to fly by so I have a settled, routined, sleeping through the night baby in my arms ..ha ha, wishful thinking :)