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Archive for February, 2008

Blessed …

I know each child is different, so I’m not trying to make any sweeping generalizations here, just writing my own thoughts on our experience. With both of the children, we didn’t find out the gender of the baby, so it was a surprise. Whenever we discussed what we would like to have (or if others asked us), I didn’t have any strong preferences, but PK grew up in a male dominated (numerically) family, so he always would say, “I just wouldn’t know how to relate to a girl, what kind of activities to do” etc. And then when AK was born, he didn’t have to worry about how to bond.

Few years later, when we were expecting again, similar conversations would happen and we got the range of opinions (unsolicited, of course!). A colleague remarked that for my sake he didn’t want me to have another boy. His experience was that two boys were too much to handle, with all the hyper activity and physical games. Others said siblings of the same gender bonded better and gave several examples. Yet others said that one of each is the ideal. And then SK was born. And we are so happy and proud to have a girl. Just in two years, we have seen such a different, yet similar personalities in the two of them. But the thing that has blown me away is her emotional development/intelligence. AK had it too, but hers seems to be much stronger. The way she displays sympathy and affection, and the way she gets hurt when we are upset with her for one or the other tantrum, it is too much. The way she is so affectionate to me, I told PK that she must have been my mom in a prior life. Whenever I pick her up, she constantly caresses my hair, face, cheeks, gives tight hugs and kisses. I truly feel blessed to have such a wonderful family.

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Winter weather blues

Since last weekend, SK has had a bout of wheezing and cough. We have been doing nebulizer treatments regularly and it has helped a bit, but she’s still not completely ok. She had one last month too and it took a week’s treatment to get better. I was just feeling a bit happy earlier in the month that she has done better this winter. Last winter, she really struggled with monthly ear infections and antibiotics and endless doctor visits. Its tough to see such young ones struggle with health issues.

Although winter takes its toll on the health of the younger ones, in general the kids have had fun in the snow. We have been sledding several times and AK has been skiing a few times. I had promised to take him snow tubing but just haven’t had the time. But now, I’m really ready for spring. Tired of the cold weather, the heating bills and the longer time it takes for all of us to get dressed and out the door.

This evening when I picked her up, it was snowing lightly and I wanted her buckled in the car seat quickly, but she was not co-operating. So, I raised my voice a bit. She goes, “Don’t be upset, mommy. I’m your best friend” and then gave me a hug and a kiss. Just melted my heart.

Some background to another funny comment of hers: Since she has been coughing so much, she throws up easily. And sometimes she aggravates things by putting fingers in her mouth or talking constantly while eating/drinking, making her gag and throw up. So whenever she shows the slightest sign, I tell her to eat/drink carefully. This weekend, I had been the one putting her to sleep both at nap time and bed time and she had made me read one particular book over and over again. So, on Sunday night, when we were heading upstairs I told her that if she made me read that same book again, I’d throw up. Her response “No mommy, don’t puke. Read very carefully, ok?”.

And she’s becoming a better back seat driver each day. She tells me when to start driving again from a stop sign, where I should park etc. Now I have to check with PK if he’s getting the same treatment or not.

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40 things

I was just vegging out in front of my laptop (I know I have a ton of other things to do!). I was surfing other wordpress blogs and found this interesting. A set of 40 questions to gauge how well rounded a person is. I’ll say upfront that some of this is probably unique to the U.S, so if you didn’t grow up here (I didn’t), it may be hard to do it. So here’s my attempt.

1. Been to a play: Yeah. But probably only one (excluding the ones in school).

2. Bungee jumped or something similar: Something similar yes – but not solo, tandem with my husband. I don’t know the name for it, but have seen it in many theme parks.

3. Been a mentor/big brother/big sister: Nope.

4. Read at least one of the classics (War and Peace, The Great Gatsby, The Red Badge of Courage, Beowulf, Crime and Punishment, etc): No, they are all too long for me. I enjoy light reading.

5. Stood up for someone publicly: Probably not.

6. Been on a major roller coaster: Been to the Superman, ride of Steel in Six Flags.

7. Been to a drive-in movie: Yes, in Bangalore, India. I don’t think it exists there anymore.

8. Done something at a drive-in movie other than watch the movie: Nope, have been only once – as a kid, with my family. So, there.

9. Done volunteer work: So this concept was new to me after I started working here in the U.S. Have done a bit, but nothing to write about, considering how long I have been here. The desire for this has increased since AK (my son) entered the public school this year and I’m trying.

10. Given a toast at a wedding, a eulogy at a funeral, or some similar, meaningful speech: Again, from where I come, the weddings, funerals etc are all very different from here, so there really is no toast or eulogy. I haven’t been to any funerals here and the weddings I’ve been to here, I can count on one hand and none were close enough to me that I was asked to toast.

11. Been to a major sports playoff game: No.

12. Thrown a costume or theme party: Nope. Not into this. Neither thrown one nor attended one.

13. Been on or near the set of a major motion picture: Nope.

14. Taken a compliment well: I don’t know if I can say yes yet, but I’m learning this and think I’m doing better the last few years than before.

15. Planted a tree: I’ve helped my husband, does that count?

16. Been stung by a jellyfish or something similar in/near the ocean: No, and chances are slim. I’m not a beach junkie and can’t swim – so no water sports/activities for me.

17. Quit a crappy job:  No. Where I grew up, we mostly only work after graduation (Yeah, parents fund education!). So have had only 3 or 4 real jobs. And the changes happened due to change in circumstances rather than quitting because of the job itself.

18. Been on a blind date: No.

19. Done something kind and unexpected for a stranger: Nothing that I remember.

20. Had a major surgery: Not sure what counts but I’m young and reasonably healthy. Only surgery I’ve had are dental (wisdom teeth extraction) and child birth related, none of which I consider major. Although, a friend was out of commission for 2 months after what I thought was routine dental surgery (similar to the procedure I had)! That was scary – she had major infection and couldn’t eat for weeks – only liquid diet.

21. Taken a car/truck road trip that covered at least 6 states: Yep, 2 that I can remember. Drove from Lubbock, TX to Florida with friends – TX, LA,  MS, AL, GA, FL and then PK and I went from New Jersey to the Outer banks, NC for our 2nd anniversary. (NJ, PA, DE, MD, VA, NC)

22. Been in 4 or more countries: Easily, the travel hound that I’m. I counted 14 countries – not sure if I missed any – mostly many parts of Europe, Russia, Israel, Mexico, Canada, Singapore etc.

23. Spent New Year’s Eve somewhere special: Times Square, once, if you consider that special.

24. Visited an ancient landmark: Yeah, Church of nativity in Bethlehem and other places in Jerusalem.

25. Been face to face with a celebrity by chance: Yes – too tired to elaborate.

26. Given to charity in the past two years: Yes.

27. Helped a stray animal: No, at the risk of sounding heartless, I’m not an animal lover (I’m a vegetarian, does that make up for it?).

28. Dated someone you met online: No.

29. Won money on a long shot: Never won anything.

30. Won your office/family/friends NCAA tournament pool: Nope, my work place doesn’t allow these things and I’ve never been interested.

31. Won an award/medal (even if something “small”): Probably, several (My dad may even have some saved from school!).

32. Driven a foreign sports car: No. Probably never will. A car is just a commuting medium for me.

33. Been in the front row for a concert: Nope.

34. Attended a symphony orchestra performance: No.

35. Caught a criminal in the act and did something about it (reported it, smacked them in the head, etc): No, and I don’t want to be around any such action.

36. Sung solo on a stage: Probably, before 5th grade. The things I’ve done in elementary school. Sheesh!

37. Witnessed something supernatural: No, and I don’t want to either.

38. Covered for someone (who deserved it) at work: Yes, often. My boss, she’s wonderful. And another good buddy at work, when he went on sabbatical and he returned the favor.

39. Overcome a major fear: Stage fright/public speaking. Its been a bell curve for me. Until I was in 7th grade or so, I was very bold and never afraid to be up on the stage for anything. Then, I don’t know what happened, I turned very shy and retreated into my shell and always wanted to either behind the scenes or the sidelines. But the last 5 yrs, as a part of my job, I’m also expected to do some training – groups of 5 to 20 people. So, I’ve gotten better at this. Not to say that every time the opportunity comes, the jitters don’t come back. But it has also given me the chance to visit unexpected places where I probably wouldn’t have gone on my own.

40. Mailed a surprise care package to a loved one: No.

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This last week, I was dropping of SK at her day care in the morning. She usually hangs around with me while I complete the routine (sign-in sheet, hang her coat, hat & mittens, put her lunch box in her cubby), but this morning she headed straight into the puzzles area and sat down with one. So, when I was done, I was just very curious as to what she was so drawn towards and had a bit of time on hand, so I drew up another tiny chair and sat with her at the table. She didn’t even look up and continued working on it. After about 2 minutes, she gave a sweet smile and said “Go home, mommy”. Taken aback, I said “what?!”. So, she corrects herself “Go to work, mommy”. She is all of 2 yrs and 4 months! I remember AK used to be around 5 when, he really wanted to get rid of me to hang out with friends. This girl is growing up too fast. And anyway, all this independence is only as long as she is her day care. As soon as she’s home, she needs to be picked up and held all the time. That’s probably a sign (I hope!) that she indeed misses us during the day.

I have not been able to capture even a tenth of all the fun things she does or says. A few months ago, when we were driving to AK’s school to pick him up, I had to brake hard suddenly because some one cut me off. So, I just instictively said “Sorry” as I braked. So, now whenever there is even a small jerk or tilt, she goes “Say sorry, mommy”. What’s more, the other day we were riding in a friend’s car and he did some huge swerves (based on confusing directions from his GPS and his wife) and she asks me to say sorry to her. And today I realized she has become a complete backseat driver. I was going at the specified speed limit, but it was a bit of a down hill and she goes, “Slow down, mommy. ok?”. I hope she’s not going and telling her preschool buddies about her mom’s driving! (I’m not really that bad), but she was the last one I was hoping to get a lecture from.

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