Monday, June 30, 2008

When panic strikes

This past Saturday, we had another "first -time" event with LittleTiger. This time a scary one. He was getting his daily massage with home-made ghee, and his skin suddenly develop an irritation/allergic reaction. His entire diaper area became red and big white bumps started forming all over. All within a space of minutes.

We have been using ghee for his massage for many months now without any problems. But this time we had him sit in one of his new plastic toy seats before giving the massage. Some chemical on the seat in combination with the massage had probably caused the reaction.

I panicked so much that I was ready to call 911. Thankfully, I had more sensible people around me. LittleTigers's Papa was calm and could still think straight. He suggested that we give him a bath since water should wash away the irritant. We quickly placed him in the kitchen sink and hosed him with the shower connected to our kitchen tap. For the next one hour Papa rocked him in his arms, while I called the doctor's office. Since it was a weekend I had to wait for the advice nurse to call me back. And when she did, she gave me the exact same advice - give him a bath! She suggested that we add some baking soda to his bath. Apparently, baking soda neutralizes acids on the skin and washes away oil and perspiration. She also had another suggestion - to wash any plastic before we use it for our baby (and now I hate plastics even more).

Fortunately, LittleTiger's skin was already better by the time the nurse had called. He seemed happy again - as if nothing had happened. Later, when I had the time to think, I was very surprised at how I had reacted. I was nothing close to the strong and composed mother I had expected myself to be. Only a minor allergic reaction had caused me to burst into tears. I know there will be a lot of ups and downs to be witnessed in the future. I only hope that I will be able to develop the strength to support myself as well as LittleTiger through them.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Weekend Outing

Last Saturday LittleTiger went for an outing into the city with Mommy and Mommy's friend who was visiting from NJ. Finally posting some pictures from the trip...courtesy Mommy's friend's iphone.

First stop was Pittock Mansion for a beautiful view of the city. Can you spot the snow - capped Mt Hood in the back?

Followed by a walk on the Willamette riverfront

We then cooled off at the waterfront park And then the best part: dinner & dessert at Papa Haydn!
LittleTiger had a lot of fun. He kept smiling at all the people waiting for their tables.

It was a fun fun trip! We dropped my friend back to her hotel and drove back home. It was the first time Mommy drove the car with the baby alone in the back seat. All the way back home, I kept singing his favorite song - chanda mama door ke- on the top of my voice so he would know that I'm around. I got some pretty strange looks from other drivers on the road but thankfully LittleTiger slept through the entire drive.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Does he know me yet?

The first couple of months after he was born, LittleTiger showed little interest in life around him. He went about his normal routine of sleep, eat, poop, play without being bothered about the people in his life.

With time, he started getting more responsive. He started smiling at people and got restless when he found himself alone. But at the same time, he would go to strangers easily and not seem to mind them. He is still more or less at the same level though I think he has now developed some preferences. For example, he is always very easily amused by his Dadaji. Just a little action from Dadaji can make him laugh and gurgle. While the rest of us can try the best of our tricks and still not get the same response. Yet, he is fine in his own world even if he doesn't see Dadaji (or for that matter me) for the whole afternoon. He hasn't got to a point where he would consciously express a desire to go to a particular person. Sure, he does turn towards me with an open mouth when he's hungry but that doesn't count because that's his natural instinct.

But this morning, for the first time, I thought he made an action to indicate that he wants to come to me (when he wasn't hungry!). I could be imagining it, but I would like to believe thats what happened. He was playing with his Dadaji and suddenly started crying. Dadiji picked him up and started to rock him. When he wasn't pacified, I went near him. When he saw me, he stretched his arms a little and pushed his body weight towards me. I took him in my arms and he seemed pacified! I never thought such a basic action could be such a heart warming experience for me! Again, I could be imagining the whole thing but I hope that this is a start of a new type of bond between us. It could also be the start of new troubles like stranger anxiety, but I know it'll be well worth it!

Update: I went back to play with LittleTiger in a short break from work. And as I went forward to pick him up from Dadiji's arms, he turned away! So I guess I had imagined the whole thing afterall!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

He's on a roll..

...and you can't stop him!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Quick update

I got to spend a lot of 1:1 time with LittleTiger this weekend. From our excursion to the city with a visiting friend to our first mommy-baby shopping trip to the mall - I have a lot of fun stories to share. Unfortunately I have a super busy day ahead, so these stories will have to wait. For now, I'm going to leave you with a pic from last week.

See what his shirt says? Its a gift that Dadiji got from India :-)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another milestone

After a few days of trying, last evening our LittleTiger finally managed to roll himself over!

I had kept my camera handy in anticipation and I'd start recording every time he made an attempt.

Unfortunately, I couldn't get it on camera when he finally did roll over. We had some friends over for dinner last night and we were discussing how LittleTiger is really close to rolling over. And ten minutes later, he had done it! Our friend was the first person who noticed it and before I could reach for the camera, he had already turned.

I think he surprised himself at the outcome. He stayed in the tummy-down position for some time, frantically kicking his legs in the air.

He can't roll back to his back yet so eventually we had to go rescue him!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ticklish baby

Playtime with Dadaji this morning..

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tiger Claws

They are tiny, but LittleTiger's nails are very potent. Here's some evidence:

click on the pictures for a close view

Two weeks ago when I was trying to clip LittleTiger's nails using an infant nail clipper, I nicked his finger. It was one day after he had got his four-month shots and I could swear he screamed almost as bad as when he had got the shots. I felt so bad, I didn't have the courage to try again for some time.

Of course, using mittens is of no use any more because it only takes him a minute to take them off. So, I've now got a pair of scissors that I'm going to try out. It has an LED light in it, so I'll actually be able to see what I'm doing. Hopefully this choice will be less painful for both Mommy & LittleTiger!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How do you trick a baby?

For the past month or so, putting LittleTiger to sleep has been one of our biggest challenges. The only way he happily goes to sleep is when he's being rocked in our arms or in our lap. The challenge with that is, once he's asleep you either have to continue sitting in that same position for as long as possible, or you have to transition him from your lap to a place where you can lay him down. NOT EASY!! They may be small, but babies are very smart. They seem to have a sixth sense for recognizing human touch & warmth even in their sleep.

We have experimented with a lot of things; some have worked to a certain degree while others have failed miserably.

Singing calms him down. From dadiji's chanda mama door ke to dadaji's jane wo kaise log the , any song will make him stop squirming (ofcourse, this has to be coupled with constant rocking in your lap). He will listen intently, looking at you with wide eyes. Next, he will decide to join you. Thats right. He will raise his eyebrows, shut his eyes and start making his own singing sounds. That's an indication that he'll be asleep soon. If you can keep up the rocking rhythm and the singing, he will usually sing himself to sleep in the next five minutes or so. Then you must wait for an undefined amount of time to make sure that he's really asleep. Because sometimes when you think he really is, he may pop his eyes open without any warning to check if you are still doing the routine.

Once you are sure that he is in deep slumber (a good check is to lift his arm and see if it drops down without waking him), then you need to start looking for a way to gradually slip him down on the bed/bassinet from your lap. This is where we are clueless. I have tried lifting him from my lap with both hands, still continuing the rocking motion and carefully putting him down on the bed. But the moment you put him down, he will start rubbing his eyes with both hands, lift his legs high up in the air, pout his lower lip and ...its time for us to go back to step one...sighh..if this seems funny, it sure isn't when it happens at 3am. every night.

We have noticed that another place he falls asleep easily is in his car seat. His car seat fits into his stroller, and usually when we take him out for walks in this stroller, he comes back home asleep. Something about the rocking motion of the stroller does the trick.

So last week when we were at our wits' end trying to put LittleTiger to sleep (at 3am on a weeknight), we had to resort to the inevitable. We got his car seat up on our bed and transitioned him from Papa's lap to the car seat. It sounds terrible. But it worked! He slept for three hours straight in the car seat that sat on our bed.

We have been feeling pretty guilty about doing this. When we got to a point where even his afternoon naps started in his car seat, we knew we had to do something about it. Dadiji has been saying from day 1 that the best way to put a baby to sleep is to use a traditional desi cloth swing. She even spent time and energy sewing one swing for LittleTiger. But there is no prop strong enough in our home which can support the weight of the swing with the baby in it. Our heavy iron chairs came closest to it - and we even tried tying the swing to the back of two chairs, but it didn't seem like a very safe choice.

Finally this past weekend we did some research online. There's got to be an American version of the good old desi swing! I was surprised to find that the only swings available are pretty hi-tech and are either battery operated or need to be plugged in. They are made of plastic and have a whole lot of straps to secure the baby. Of course they all come with nice music and a mobile or some toys hanging from an overhead bar. The only thing that came close to what I was looking for was this hammock, but it didn't have good reviews and worked only for babies till 6 months of age. Out of desperation we decided to visit our local BabiesRus and bring home the best choice available.

We ended up selecting this travel swing. It is compact and it had good reviews. On Sunday (Father's day), Papa started his day by quickly putting the swing together. With much anticipation, we introduced it to LittleTiger.

hmm...not sure how to interpret that reaction. He seems tentative at best. The only part that caught his attention briefly was the little bee on the toy bar. We're hoping that if he spends some time in the swing every day, he will start liking it and decide to nap in it.

For now, we are out of choices. And he is back in his car seat. sighh...

Baby Carrier

Guess what came in the mail yesterday? A brand new baby carrier! For the past four months, I have been meaning to do some research to find the best baby carrier. I had done enough reading to know that there are a gazillion choices out there, but simply couldn't find the time to research more. Finally this week, I realized that I had already lost four months of baby carrying time in my quest to find the optimal carrier. So on an impulse I got on to amazon and bought the most popular choice : BabyBjorn. It can only be used for the next few months or so but that will atleast buy me time to find the carrier I really want for longer term.

It arrived in the mail yesterday and I couldn't wait to try it on! LittleTiger and Mommy went for a nice walk in the park and even stopped by a friend's place to say hello.

LittleTiger loves it! And Mommy loves it too!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Aao twist kareN!

Looks like our LitteTiger has reached a new developmental milestone.

He's four months now. He's yet to roll over or be able to hold his head steady. But twist dancing? Sure!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Strawberry picking

We had gorgeous weather this weekend so we decided to go strawberry picking. Where we live we are surrounded by many u-pick options. We chose to go to the Laurel Valley Gardens.

LittleTiger decided to take a power nap while we got started.

These strawberries are grown without any sprays or fertilizers so we could taste them as-is while we picked! The season has just started so there were quite a few that weren't ripe yet. But we could find enough red and juicy ones to fill our appetite and even bring some home. Out LittleTiger was soon up and joined mommy in admiring the beautiful red berries we had picked. Too bad he can't taste them yet!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Lets start from the very beginning

My little tiger was born on Feb 9th, 2008. Since then I have had new stories to share with friends and family almost everyday. And so I finally found a reason to start a blog.

I hope to fill this site with tales of my adventures as a new mum and with stories and pictures of my baby. For now, I'll sign off with a picture from the very beginning.