Friday, August 31, 2007

Who's who?



Vansh looks at his own baby pictures and insists that its Jiya and not him. Everyone has been telling us off late that Jiya has started looking exactly like Vansh. I am sure even I shall not be able to tell who's who in the pictures after a couple of years.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Its great to have a caring big brother ..

 


Jiya loves being cared for - given a bath, getting powdered - by her bhaiya Vansh. It shows on her little face :)
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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Happy Rakhi!!




Time to celebrate the beautiful bond shared by a brother and sister. Time to tie a Rakhi and eat 'Chotlate'! Time to thank God for being so kind to watch over both our kids and to pray for their good health, prosperity , good values and for sharing a close bond.

Ash Nee are upto ...

Yeah, you read it right. Had to write a post about ourselves. Never before have our lives been so happening and never ever shall we forget this time.

- We spend our evenings discussing or rather trying to discuss how I survived yet another day with Vansh's tantrums and exclaiming "Oh God! Just what were we thinking before we decided to go ahead and have another little one!" Vansh fooled us by being such an adorable little guy listening to and following what we told him when he turned 18 months (not that he's any less adorable now but now the adorability is strictly restricted to the fact that he's our son. His behavior contradicts the adorability!). Thats when we thought "Hey life is simple after a kid turns 1-1/2!" We had NO idea what terrible two's are all about.

- We hear more NO's in a day today than probably we have heard in our whole lives! Brushing teeth is a no, eating meals is a BIG no, cleaning up is a no, saying hello is a no, going to sleep is ...you guessed it right, again a NO!! What is truly intriguing is the fact that things that Vansh enjoys doing like taking a bath is also a NO! And when we comply, he wants to take a bath after an hour when its time for something else. Whosoever said 'Understanding women is impossible' hadn't dealt with a 2 year old for sure. Like a friend says "Everything in our house is an issue!"

- As Jiya becomes more responsive and hence more playable, we try to steal moments to play with her and see her toothless grin when Vansh is in another room, lest he gets tempted to explore what makes this little toy laugh and what makes her cry.

- After renting a movie for a week and still not being able to find the time to watch it, we decide to keep it for another couple of days and pay the fine and are still not able to watch it! Phew!!

- After the usual "How are you? Great!" with good friends, we urge each other "Now lets be honest!" and are refreshed to hear answers like "Terrible!" With strangers, we (I and Ashwini) exchange satisfactory and "Yay!! We are not the only ones" glances when we see another child having a tantrum in the mall or on the street!

- As much as I want to go on writing, messy rooms, dirty dishes and a HUGE pile of laundry beckon!!

Bye till next time! And even though I just read an article about living in the present moment, I can't help but think that when Vansh reaches the "good" age of 4 (as claimed by some friends who have older kids), Jiya would be 2!! The saga continues ...

Monday, August 27, 2007

FUN ...



At Chuck-E-Cheese where I was bold enough to venture alone with both the kids for Vansh's playdate!! We managed fine - that we had to leave in just 45 minutes with achy arms is another story. But both the kids had fun (yes Jiya too - she is becoming increasingly observant when we go out now) and that made it all worthwhile :)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Como Park Zoo is always fun!!

Enjoying the last few weeks of warm weather outside; utilising them to the fullest with fun outings.










Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Heartwarming milestone

A quick post to note a little but truly heartwarming Jiya's milestone. For the first time, she actually put her teeny weeny head on my shoulder today when I held her upright to burp her. Till now she used to either hold her neck(as much as she could) stiff or just squirm her bitsy body. What a feeling!! :)
Even though we remember the major milestones, thought I would fill in a sprightly entry for this one :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

Click!!

I tease Ashwini these days that a wife's photographic value is only till the time 2 kids arrive on the scene :) So as friends complain about not seeing me in pictures any more, I utilised the timer feature of our camera which was surely invented by one such mom of 2 kids and thichik!!; here's the result.

Friday, August 17, 2007

What a steal!!



Vansh is so fond of huge trucks these days and of course they cost huge. So these days I can't stop enumerating the many benefits of garage sales where you can buy so many things (we are interested in toys these days) for dirt cheap. I bought him a bulldozer, a dump truck and an electronic toy guitar, all for a total of $5. What a steal indeed!! Finding them in your area on craigslist is a snap. All you need to do is go on the garage sale listings under the broader category of for sale and type in the name of the city/area you are staying in. You can check here to see if you are lucky to have your city listed.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jiya is upto...

At 6 weeks, Jiya is ...

- becoming fond of posing for the camera just like her brother has been ever since he was so little.
- lifts her head up for brief periods when put on her tummy.
- starting to make few sounds like 'coo' and 'aaa'.
- loves being massaged and bathed. Displays her contentment by making pleasant faces.
- has special smiles reserved for Vansh whom she watches quite intently when he is playing or doing a special dance just for her.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Vansh is upto ...


At 29 months, Vansh is ...

- extremely exploratory as to how his little sister functions :) Sometimes she's his phone where her face or her little tummy is the receiver, at others she is his toy whom he wants to pick up immediately and at yet others she serves as his little teddy whom he wants to feed everything he is eating, especially Cheerios. Most of the times, she happily complies. I joke with Ashwini that she must be considering all this a part of her daily care :)
- reading random letters on a particular page and then saying the word corresponding to the picture on the page. For instance, say on the title page of his book My Car is written 'My Car by Byron Barton', he would read M, C, R, B, look at the picture of a car below and then proudly pronounce Cars. But at times reads all the letters of a particular word in the correct order.
- is corresponding the correct number (at least upto 5 or 6) while counting the number of things if they are not too randomly placed.
- still loves to play with his blocks and is making structures other than just tall buildings made by stacking blocks one on top of the other. Loves to 'spill them' even if he has a minute of free time - probably likes them lying that way on the living room floor.
- quite understandable in what he is speaking 70-80% of the times, at least to us. Leaving the nuances like correct verb usage, tenses, etc for later, he is using the correct labels for almost all everyday things and the correct action words. The funny part is that when the kid he was closest to was his friend Arnav, everyone used to be "कर रहा है, जा रहा है" etc, now that its Jiya, it has become "कर रही है, जा रही है" and so on :)
- also becoming increasingly vocal about feelings like happy, sad. Our hearts melt when he says things like "mummy/papa sad hai?" We are trying to make him express his anger in the same way rather than shouting or hitting.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Splash!!









We went to the Oak Hill Splash Pad in St Louis Park today. There were bubbling hoses, water nozzles and sprinkler arches for tots to enjoy and play in. It was the equivalent of running through the sprinklers on a grand scale. Obviously Vansh had some splashing fun. It was a delight to watch him squeal with glee, more so because even though he loves water, somehow he no longer enjoys real lakes or beaches or even our apartment swimming pool. I believe their largeness is overwhelming for him at this age. So at home he is limited to the kitchen sink, the bath tub or on some days his little pool in the patio. It was fun to watch him run around splashing after an initial hesitance to go in.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Rattle fun!


Got the idea from 'Teletubbies', one of Vansh's favorite TV shows and took out 2 types of dals (lentils) amd rajma (kidney beans), a few bottles, cups and spoons, made a couple of paper funnels and Vansh was ready to practise his fine motor skills to spoon the dals inside the bottles using the funnels and shake, shake, shake :)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Having fun!!

(From L to R)

* Vansh doing what he enjoys doing most - the ABC activity at starfall.com
* Vansh and papa strike a pose to show off their latest creation as Jiya looks on.
* Jiya turning her head to look at me clicking her from the gym.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Books Vansh is enjoying these days

I am really glad to be spending a lot of time reading with Vansh these days. He demands a lot of my time and attention and I am able to do that while feeding Jiya. Even though he wants to read and re-read the same books again and again but like they say 'Repitition is the hallmark of toddler years'. Once he learns something, he enjoys repeating it because he can anticipate what's coming next.

Well as mentioned in several posts before, the fascination with cars and trucks continues. Some of his favorite books are :
Trucks by Byron Barton - Garbage trucks, tow trucks, cement trucks, delivery trucks delight him every time he sees them. He now likes to identify their colors and count how many of them are going on the bridge or through the tunnels. He has been reading the pictures now for over 4 months and it still is undoubtedly his favorite. There have been times when the book has also acted as a comfort object for him. He wanted to have it with him while sleeping when I was in the hospital for delivery. :)



My Car by Byron Barton - Vansh loves this one for its bright, bold illustrations and calls the main character Sam as 'Sam Uncle' who fondly takes care of his chunky little car. He also likes to point to traffic lights saying 'Red means Stop, Green means Go' and likes to read letters of words like 'WALK' , 'SLOW', 'BUS', etc.
After his great liking of these two books by the same author, I got a few more for him from the library and hope that he enjoys them just as much.





Cars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard Scarry - I didn't know before just now when I searched for it on Amazon that this one has been around and a favorite for many many years and am not surprised to know that. There are so many vehicles on any one page of the book that Vansh can sit with one page open for almost 3-4 minutes and likes asking me pointing to each one "mummy क्या है ये". He loves to see interesting situations like tomatoes and oranges falling out of trucks; all vehicles crashing with mayhem all around and off late has also started giving sound effects to the same.

Well as of now, I really hope and wish for this interest to grow and blossom.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Moments

Snug after a warm massage and bath

Happy drumming away to glory

Read an excellent article on Raising an Imaginative child on babycenter.com and have been putting some ideas to practice. Vansh loved the home made band which kept him busy for quite some time and also gave him an opportunity to let off some energy and listen to some loud self made sounds. Have also been making sounds for the cars and trucks or situations like things falling down, etc while reading story books (after getting the idea from reading the article) and Vansh shows renewed interest in reading them complete with sound effects. Its also helping him add words like 'ambulance' and 'siren' to his vocabulary, as also 'elecent' standing for 'excellent'.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Farewell Arnav!!

In LA, Mar 2007.
We bade farewell to Vansh's best buddy Arnav and our close friends Sarita and Deepak as they left for India today. Ashwini was going to the airport to see them off and Vansh insisted that he wanted to go too. Ashwini was a little nervous as to how he would react on seeing Arnav leave, considering that he is so very close to the entire family and spends almost every evening playing with him, but Sarita re-assured us that she'll take care he is fine. I called Ashwini when he was at the airport and he said Vansh was fine and was sitting in Sarita's lap and giving Arnav 'big hugs'.

I know, Vansh is too small right now to understand Arnav's going away to India for good. He thinks he's just going for some time and will return by probably tomorrow evening to play with him again. I know he'll really miss him. Hope he's able to adjust well!!

Friday, August 3, 2007

How we are managing!

A lot of friends ask us how we are managing life with 2 kids (especially after my in laws left last week) and I tell them we are trying our best to manage time. Hats off to those who have been there and much good luck to those who'll be there at some point cos the journey has been far from easy.

Here's whats been happening at the Sukhwani household

- As of now, we have a low maintenance new born (any parent with a high spirited toddler will know what I am talking about) and a very high maintenance toddler at hand. Jiya spends most of her time feeding or in her crib. On the other hand, Vansh spends his time exploring his new sister - her hands, her toes, her reactions when he makes funny faces and does silly dances for her, as well as, when he shouts in her ear or even swats her.

- Tempers obviously run high when we see the latter happening. Its hard to see a child, who now seems to be so much bigger than the little baby at home hit her and then make a satisfied face on top of that.

- High tempers translate into a lot of yelling ourselves and as much as I hate to admit, even a smack on the hand or on the bum. This leads to even more unacceptable behavior from Vansh including more shouting, getting uncontrollably mad, banging doors, tantrums et al.

My intention is certainly not to scare away expectant or prospective 2nd time parents but rather narrate our experiences one so they can be prepared and two somewhere in their heart of hearts, they can find solace in the fact that they are not the only ones facing this. Well, of course we had to do something and we did and things are certainly getting better now. Here's what worked and what didn't :

- We really had to work hard on maintaining our cool. Come what may, we promised ourselves not to yell, not even raise our voices at Vansh. Of course, that didn't mean there wouldn't be consequences for something that he's not supposed to do, but it had to be without us losing our cool. The objective was to teach him gentle ways to deal with his own anger. The first couple of days he was really surprised to hear no yelling but he's getting the hang of it. I searched for articles on aggression, hitting, shouting and found excellent ones at babycenter.com and read and re-read them everyday with Ashwini to get answers to all our questions.

- Reading a book or working on a puzzle with Vansh while feeding Jiya works particularly well. It makes Vansh look forward to the feedings because he knows I'll be doing something fun with him at that time.

- I get up early to finish off the cooking (lunch and dinner) before the kids wake up so that I have the most important task out of my way and am able to spend more time with Vansh (my experience says you need to spend lots and lots of time with the elder one to make up for the divided attention now). Other chores like cleaning and laundry, I have learnt not to get stressed about and just accept that things will take longer than they used to earlier.

- We are having dinner pretty early at about 6:00 pm these days and then go out for the evening walk. Because what was happening was, when we came back from the walk at about 7:30, Jiya needed to be fed and Vansh too used to be getting hungry and I had to still make the chapatis. So basically there was lots to do with two hungry kids at hand ...too tough!!

- Sending Vansh with Ashwini to do grocery shopping on weekends leaves me with some time on my hands to clean up the house or just rest for some time.

- With getting outdoors being limited, indoor physical activities like hide and seek, or generally hopping around help Vansh burn off some extra energy and of course have fun as well.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Jiya is upto ...



At 1 month, Jiya is upto ...

- nursing and sleeping most of the time (he he he!!); periods of wakefulness are gradually increasing though. Sleeps fairly well at night - wakes up once to nurse.

- is becoming increasingly active when awake. Likes to move her arms and legs when placed in the baby gym.

- likes to watch mom active in the kitchen from her bouncy seat.

- focuses on our faces now and we like to think that she gives us responsive smiles :), special ones reserved for Vansh भैया :)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Say cheese!!

Like brother, like sister.
Vansh wants to click Jiya's pictures all day long, who obliges happily :)