Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tabla 101

I suppose its in his genes :)

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Time to vent

Life has suddenly become very busy and hectic. My work load had been steadily increasing at work since I re-joined after my maternity leave more than four months ago. It has now reached a level where I'm finding it truly challenging to maintain a balance between home and work. I feel like I'm being stretched in many directions. Fortunately, my work has become far more interesting than before, so I am actually enjoying the hours that I'm putting in. However, its difficult to sustain this with a little baby at home.
On the home front, little Kabir is now getting 3 new teeth (all upper teeth this time), and he seems to be in a lot of discomfort. He finds it difficult to sleep well at night. Which means very little sleep for me too.
I know this too is a part of being a mom, and I am trying to take it my stride the best I can. I do tend to get quite irritable at times - and the people closest to me (read: my husband & my parents) have to bear the brunt of it. But hopefully this phase won't last too long. The good news is that my parents are going to arrive from India this Friday. And I'm sure that will make all my troubles go away. Afterall isn't that what parents always do?! :-)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sweet nothings

Kabu talking himself to sleep...

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Destination: Angel's Rest

Last Saturday, we finally had the opportunity to go for our first hike with Kabir. We chose to go to Angel's Rest in the Columbia river gorge. I hadn't hiked in more than a year, and had been looking forward to this day for a very long time. I had hiked up to Angel's Rest before, and remembered it to be a beautiful and easy hike, gaining about 1500 ft in elevation over 2.4 miles (4.8 miles round trip) with breathtaking views of the gorge from the top. The summit is like a balcony on top of the Columbia river offering 270 degree view of the gorge. In my experience, the view from the summit is unlike any other in the gorge.

This time though, our goal was not to reach the top. It was to have a good time with Kabir and make sure we only go as far as he would be comfortable with. We recruited our dear friend and hiking buddy nicknamed Chandu Chacha, who was a great companion as well as a patient photographer through out the hike!

We started from home around noon, and first got to NW Portland to pick up Chandu Chacha. Took a short break there since K had got fussy in the car and needed to be fed. We were all back in the car at about 1:30pm for a short (~40 mins) drive to the Angel's Rest trail head. Things weren't looking very good at this time as K seemed to be quite unhappy already. To add to it, it was a hot hot day with the temperature around 100 F. Yes, I know it sounds stupid to be doing this on such a hot day. But we have no air conditioning, and our home gets so uncomfortable that this seemed like a great idea in comparison.

We hit the trail around 2:30pm with Saurabh holding K comfortably in our baby carrier. The trail starts with a steady climb and (did I say this already?) offers beautiful views of the Columbia river from the very beginning. K seemed to be engrossed in the scenery around him and kept looking around inquisitively.

About 10 minutes into the hike

Passing Coopey Falls We took a short break on the way up. Since it was so hot, I wanted to keep K hydrated and took the time to feed him and sponged him with some cool water.

Mama-beta both in smiles after the break

After this break, which was at about a third on our way to the top, Saurabh decided to try holding K on his back instead of holding him on the front. This turned out to be more comfortable for both of them, and within a few minutes we found K to be soundly asleep!

K enjoying the ride on papa's back

The last 0.5 miles or so has patches of tree cover and there are some areas with barren rock. When we got to that point, we wondered if it would be wise to continue going up with the sun beating down on us. We decided to ask for advice from some hikers coming down the trail. They encouraged us by suggesting that we should keep going. And we were glad that we did so! We reached the summit around 4:15pm and found a spot with some shade to rest, eat our sandwiches and pose for pictures.

some well deserved rest

K snacking on sweet potato

Time for posing

"are koi meri photo bhi to lo"- Chandu chacha

After spending about half an hour on the top, we headed back down. K promptly went back to sleep in his carrier and so the way down was mostly uneventful. Except that we decided to stop at Coopey falls. We woke K up so he could experience this as well. He saw the falls with wonder in his eyes, but wasn't very happy when I tried to make him touch the water.

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We were back to our car around 5:30pm, thrilled with the experience. Full points to Kabir for being such a good sport and making this such a memorable trip!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I don't blame him..

..I hated spinach myself as a child. And today was his first time trying it. He disliked it so much, I had to mix a little sweet potato with it and keep him distracted by letting him play with my sandwich wrap. He did better than I had expected! Ofcourse I had a lot of cleaning up to do after he was finished.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Busy Mom Busier Son

I decided not to take the day off today so I've been trying to work as well as look after Kabir. A few minutes ago, when I looked up from my computer, I found him to be very busy too. He had rolled away from his play area to do some reading himself.

almost done...I'll be ready for a test soon!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Crossroads

Life continues to be exciting. Yesterday, two days after Dada-Dadi left, our nanny decided to quit. Turns out she needs to divorce her husband whom she found to be cheating on her. She gave me an explanation for why that means she needs to quit.

Anyway, I firmly believe that every cloud has a silver lining. Yesterday, for the first time ever, I spent the whole day with Kabir. I gave him his massage, his bath, rocked him when he needed to sleep, fed him his lunch, invented many new games to make him laugh and ofcourse, washed his one thousand diapers. I think I learnt more about him in one day than I did in the last six months. Today again, I'm home taking care of him. I already feel much more in control and some of the fear I had yesterday is already gone. I understand his routine now, and his signals. He's enjoying being with me. And me with him.

Now what about my job? Ive taken the day off from work today, but what about tomorrow? I don't know the answer yet. I definitely need time to think through this, but I can tell you that I'm done with nannies. My problem is that I get too invested in relationships, even if its one with our nanny. And I don't want myself or Kabir to invest again in another nanny only to find ourselves in the same situation again. The overwhelming emotion I feel right now is that I don't want to depend on anyone else to take care of my son anymore. He is by far, my highest priority and I am convinced that no one can take care of him the way I can. Simply no one.

So where does that leave me? I certainly can't think of quitting my job. I love my work - I just want to be able to put it on hold for some time. Or somehow make it more flexible than it already is. I will need to discuss my options with my employer. My decision won't be rash, but it will certainly be an emotional one. Let's wait and see what destiny has in store.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Six month birthday celebration

Last weekend also marked LittleTiger's six month birthday. It was the day that we had been looking forward to for a long time since we had decided that this would be the day when we would feed him solids for the first time. We were especially looking forward to it because we had assumed that he would start sleeping though the night from that point on (which ofcourse still hasn't happened..but more on that later).

As I noted in an earlier post, we couldn't wait till the six month mark and decided to have his Annaprashan about 2 weeks ago. Since then we had been feeding him some rice & oat cereal mixed with breastmilk. So this weekend, we decided to take it a step further and feed him veggies & fruit for the first time. I made some sweet potato and some applesauce for his first "real" food. The first spoonful was fed by Dadiji.
Though he seemed a little unsure at first, it turned out that he really liked it.

check out his outfit - the yellow dhoti-kurta. This one says "Makhan Chor" on the front!

I'm glad that he has been so open to trying new foods so far. Nothing is more satisfying than to see your baby eat well. Touch wood!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lonely three

Dadaji & Dadiji said their goodbyes and left this weekend. After almost eight months of having parents stay with us, its a lonely lonely feeling. LittleTiger has got used to getting spoilt by his grandparents, first by Nana-Nani and then by Dada-Dadi. And now he's just got us.

Yesterday was a difficult day, with all three of us trying to make sense of the silence & the vacuum left behind. Today, we are back to our work routine and busy lives with very little time to think of anything else. But my heart goes out to LittleTiger. He may forget the presence of his grandparents around him soon, but he will certainly miss the love & affection that was showered so generously on him.

I hope that LittleTiger can be with his grandparents soon and more often. And I pray that he will be fortunate enough to experience their presence and their love & wisdom for a long long time.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bottoms up

As you may have noticed in some recent pictures, LittleTiger is now learning to sit upright. He's still a little wobbly, especially when he takes his hands away and tries to balance only on his bottom. But he's been spending a lot of time sitting up now, and unfortunately, falling down too!

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Rosy Baby

Last Sunday, we took LittleTiger to Portland's Rose Garden & Japanese Garden. These pictures show his excitement better than any way I could describe.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Saturday evening in the park

Now that LittleTiger can sit up with some support, we can take him to the playground in our local park. This past Saturday was his first time on the swings & slides in the park. He wasn't scared one bit and enjoyed himself thoroughly.







We got to climb into parts of the play-structure ourselves and enjoyed being kids again! We're sure to have many more visits to the park this summer & fall.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

Pradosh Puja

Two days ago, Dadaji kept a special vrat and puja for LittleTiger.


This was the perfect opporutnity for LittleTiger to model in his dhoti-kurta that Dadi brought for him

He enjoyed the puja, and wanted to be as much "help" as possible (saying the mantra, offering fruit, water etc..as you can see for yourself)!


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