Friday, December 28, 2007

Its been a while and too many things to say

Its been some time since my last post and a few things have eclipsed everything else thats been happening the year round. A few days after my last post, I got severe cramps on the left side lower abdomen and slightly panicked, we ran to the hospital. The doc suspected a scar thinning and kept me under observation while mentally preparing us for an emergency C-section anytime that day. Luckily for me, by afternoon the pain was gone and so they concluded a cramp and not scar thinning and let us go free!! I've been a bit more careful about bending, lifting and sitting in odd positions after that!
Another very very important and psyching incident happened on Christmas day. Kaustubh had been suffering from fever the past one week and we took him to the doc early 25th morning. He asked us to keep giving crocin every time he has fever and wait for another 2 more days before starting antibiotics. Now, by 5 in evening his fever still hadn't subsided and we were due for another round of crocin by 7 in the night. Karthik was carrying him when his eyes suddenly rolled up, hands and legs started shaking and his head was rolling back and forth without any control. Karthik and I were screaming 'kautu' 'kautu' at the top of our voice as though the level of volume can somehow make the nightmare go away. The din woke up my sleeping mom and she came running out to catch us both shouting and patting the unconscious baby. While I called up the doc in panic, Karthik and mom ran with kautu to the car and sped away. Without taking a cell in hand. Later I found that kautu had gone blue in the face and his hands were stiff. My mom, in panic had done the right thing of giving him mouth to mouth resuscitation at the back seat while Karthik was driving, screaming and crying at the same time. Kachi was crying for him to be taken too and I was crying miserably for my child. He say be so broken down and stopped immediately. I took him and my Hanuman Chalisa book and sat by the pooja room crying and singing all at the same time. I was imagining Kautu's smile, his voice everywhere and praying with all my heart and waiting for the cell to ring. But when it did, my hands were shaking and it took some courage to lift the call. Karthik had been to the emergency of the nearest hospital and they had put him on oxygen mask and given an injection. Kautu was breathing normally, and was either asleep or unconscious, but the situation was not serious. Thats when my breathing turned normal and I rested my hanuman chalisa after half an hour of singing and crying. He had suffered from Febrile seizure which normally occurs due to increased body temperature. We transferred him to a bigger hospital that evening itself. My uncle came over and I went with him to the hospital. Karthik and I stayed back with him in the hospital that night, infact, he was there for a full two days. Some investigations, an EEG were all normal. An infection was found to be the cause of the fever and he was started on antibiotics for that. I too suffered from fever, chest congestion and sinus in the hospital and the ENT prescribed the same antibiotics for me too. All's well that ends well. We now need to be really careful anytime he gets fever till he is 3 years plus, cause once this convulsion happens, there is increased possibility of it happening again.

An experience we will all remember for a lifetime, talk about for a lifetime and with all this, how can we not but treat the kids as though they are the most precious things in the whole world? Now when I see both of them running around and playing, my mind automatically goes back to that incident and a small thank you is send heavenward for making it end up like this.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The debate settled unfavorably

On whether this delivery should be a ceasarian or normal. The repository online seems to suggest that it is possible to have a normal delivery if it is after 18 months of a previous c-section (called VBAC, Vaginal Birth After C-section), and that the risk of uterine rupture(the previous C-section scar tearing) is very small (around 8 in 1000). But, the doctor I consult is totally against VBAC, says there is a high possibility of uterine tear and she cites a case wherein she was operating on a patient and another patient with a uterine tear was waiting for an OT. None was available and an emergency c-section had to be performed in the minor OT. Cases like these, I am sure are not common, but, they do occur.
On one hand, I do believe what she says when she mentions how traumatic it is for the surgeon, an emergency operation and a risk to the mother and baby. On the other, is this worth forgoing a normal pregnancy and going in for a major operation without even giving it a trial, just because there is a .0something% risk of complications? Left to me, I would like to go the normal way, but the doc here is even refusing to consider it since my delivery is within 3 years of the previous one. What are the options left to me now? With an understanding doctor who would stand by me through the labour, closely monitoring signs of any complications, I could I believe go through a normal delivery. But I would go in for it only if I have complete belief that the doctor feels as strongly as me the need to have it all normal this time. For me, it is more of a challenge..after the severe complications of the previous delivery, it was my challenge to my self to have everything normal (though nothing is in my hands except my attitude...and my attitude was one of complete normalcy. When the last time I spent almost the entire day in bed, this time, I spent it in office, cooking, taking care of kachi and kautu and the house, when the last time I traveled just once a month for the check ups, this time I made 5 inter state trips two of which were road trips). Of course, if there is substantial risk of complications, I am not the one to shrug it aside and be stubborn about the normal delivery just to prove a point to my self, but then, if it is possible, I would have loved to have it my way.
As of now, it is kind of too late to search another Gynec, and I do not want to get into an argument with her when she might be the one ending up holding the knife over my stomach. So, the date is being fixed, and the players are getting prepared for an operation anytime after Jan 5. Hands crossed, everyone?

Edited to add: A question raised by gettingtherenow was what was the complications that brought on the first C-section. Actually, there was nothing other than that a bacterial infection caused the OS to open, after which I had an OS stitching done (this was in the 28th week). I was bedridden in the hospital for a month after which labour pains started (33rd week) and they performed the C-section cause the babies were breech. Considering all that, this time, its just a single, and so far, touch wood, I have had no problems, shouldn't it be possible to get it all normal? If so, we need to either convince the doc. or search another one. I shall keep you all informed!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Of the fire and more

Our office caught fire last week, the result of which was a week's vacation in Chennai and a complete 'work from home' for me till after maternity. I was planning on a Jan 1st deadline for work from home, but the big guys decided to save up office space and pack me off home a month earlier! So, now I am fulltime working, on the kids, the home, the food and ofcourse my code! The baby inside is acting up a bit these days...I get a pain at times in the lower abdomen and my back gives some problems once in a while, but overall, it has been a great pregnancy so far and I do hope it remains so throughout! Scary to think its just another one and a half months more to go and even more scarier to think that by this time (33 weeks), Kachi and Kautu were out into the world and lying in the NICU with drips and UV lights! My stomach was literally twice the size it is now and the discomfort, twice as less. Now I realise what it really means to have twins!!
I often think about how this would look..would it resemble Kachi/Kautu/Karthik or me...or as these guys are, become a mixture impossible to sort out! Would it drink milk and sleep peacefully or like them, make a fuss right from the word go? The baby is actually kicking more than either of the two ever did...so, does it increase the possibility of it being a girl? I hope to god it does! People say I am looking very pretty this pregnancy (I don't mind hearing that at all!! Afterall, the last one I barely left my mom's bedroom!) and so it must be a girl. Don't know what the logic is, but whatever it is, I hope it is true! I am now eager to see the twin's reaction to another baby. We have told them that there is a 'papa' in their mom's tummy and they kiss it goodnight and whenever they feel like it, but they also manage to stamp, hit, smash and throw toys at the tummy. So, I can take a good guess how they will possibly react to the next one..another toy? Something funny to explore? A crib is what we hope will solve the problem, but haven't got it as yet.
In spite of the hundred things running through my head daily, the sparkling of thoughts for the next one have started to come. I knew it would come as the date nears, and now, the anticipation of just how much our lifestyle is going to change and that of a new life is beginning to take precedence over whether these guys are eating and what mischief they are going to be up to next!!!!!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Sawaariya....

I don't know who has written the below review, but whoever it is, deserves a big hug and complete credits for it! I haven't watched the movie myself..and after this review, would love to catch a peek at just what the "horrendously ridiculous"ness is all about!! Go ahead and read...


Sawaariya is one long song with some breaks for dialog. And by dialog I mean girly giggling by the chic and some punch-me-in-the-face expressions accompanied by pig-like grunting by the hero. One wonders if all the actors are the props and the set is the real star in this movie. I came really close to concluding that the bridge-over-the-fake-river is the central star of the movie, because everyone of the other actors looks like they were made of rock. And the rocks had moss growing over them. And the rocks were painted blue To say Saawariya is a crappy movie would not be correct. Horrendously Ridiculous comes close, but it doesn't really capture the essence of the absurdity that this movie is. After watching this movie I felt like tying up Sanjay Leela Bansali alone in a room, forcing him to watch a cockroach chase a spider round-and-round a water fountain for 3 hours. That too in blue light. Because seriously, that's what this entire movie is. It's two grossly untalented kids, who probably got kicked out of college for lack of attendance and ended up on this set to spend the rest of the day. And for the love of God, I can't figure out why the whole movie is in blue! Maybe the director was trying to get every frame half-black half-blue so that the WinZip compression would work better to save some electrons, what with all the global warming and all. That's the best explanation I could come up with, because nothing else can explain the lack of daylight (or plain light, for that matter) in this movie.

Monday, November 19, 2007

One year and a half year update..

Times flown and here I am, sitting down the capture the one and a half year of an experience called "bringing up the twin terrors!" kachi and kautu (I don't know why it is in this order, may be because Kachi was responding to us much earlier than Kautu, who remained interested only in his toys till a few months back!) have been a part of our lives since May 18th, 2006 and managed to show me a few home truths along the way.

Kachi shows me how sloppily I drink tea...with a slurping sound and a blissful expression on my face, which till now I was ignorant of!
He shouts out for Appa, Amma and Aautu much in the same veins as the paperwalla shouts for paper early in the morning..a hoarse fishmonger cry that has Karthik n me wondering if this is how we actually call each other!
Kachu still remains with the six teeth he had four months back. We are yet to take him to the doc, but maybe, we should start back the milk that we've been denying him at 2 in the night.
He repeats every single word we say and the latest is "Adi" which means hit. Now he does something we would surely not like and comes to us, says Adi and hits our hands before proceeding to do exactly something else we would not like!
If he wants food, he screams "Mammu", sits on his mini chair with one leg up and keeps screaming "Mammu" till I rush with the hot food and the place the first spoonful in his mouth. Till this happens, only a cotton plug can save your ear.
Till a few weeks before, if we do not give him milk in time when he wakes up in the middle of the night, he throws away the bottle when we get it to him! One whack from karthik got rid of this habit, but we soon put a stop to the untimely feeding.

Kautu....is still the restless child. He just cries if he is hungry, thirsty, sleepy, cranky and wants something. So, it is left to us to figure out what it is that he wants and more often than not, we somehow manage to get it right!
All his words are single syllabled. He gets away with a 'Ka' for kaka, kaal (leg), kai (hand), car, a 'Pa' for paal, papa and so on!
He climbs on to everything with horizontal steps, and has fallen so many times that I have seriously considered having a custom made helmet for him.
Making him sit still to eat is the most difficult job of all. I feed him and Kachi alternatively and on most days manage to finish off in less than 5 minutes. Thats the max he will sit. And after that, no matter if he is hungry or not, its a no no.
He is on his legs every waking moment of the day. To see Kautu sit still is like rushing to take a snap of the rare moment.

One and a half years...and I am still trying out different techniques each day..for feeding, scolding and teaching. I wonder if I will ever be complacent in parenting, if I will ever settle into a routine with them and when I will start feeling comfortable being a mother. Maybe, when the next one comes along??!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Whatz up?

Whatz up here in Kachi Kautu world? Lots and lots!! A 750KM car trip to Coonoor with just the dad, a 7 month pregnant mom and the two of us!! Wow! This was last week for Diwali and guess what? Neither of us had a problem..in fact, we enjoyed being pampered by the grandparents so much that we wouldn't have minded if the parents had left us back in Coonoor, but my poor mom fell sick on the way back!! She caught a cold that soon turned into a sinus and chest congestion and is just beginning to get back into shape. So, while we run around like brigands, she's been sitting by the inhaler with steam blowing all over her and spouting from her ears every time she sees dad...mainly for taking her on a trip that cost two days of travel by road and that seems to have broken her already bent back!
Anyways, for us, we find more joy in each others company now a days...in fact, even fighting has its merit when we can run to dad and mom with a bruised cheek or hand and get the other guy into trouble. Why, we even bang our head (ofcourse mildly, but the parents don't know that) just so that they give us a good massage and a kiss! What do we not do for a hug and a petting! We find just about anything ridiculously funny these days. The other day, we were traveling to Coonoor (Thatha and pati's place, which is quite close to ooty). We were in our usual place at the back..mom and dad had stuffed the space below the seat with bags and put our blanket over it with a dozen or so pillows for us to play with and made it so cozy that we hardly ever bother them on these car trips. And so, to continue the story, Kachi had a thread hanging from his pant and I found it exceedingly funny! I would pull it and both of us would end up rolling in laughter at the back. Dad and mom would look back and smile at each other, but would never interfere..cause the moment they did, we would try to attract their attention and stop our games all together! So, we fight lots more, play with each other lots more and in general, we get this feeling that we are the court jesters here in our house! All mom and dad seem to do is sit and watch us romp around and we too..play every trick in our sleeve to get them laughing....so, till the next time we get a break from our hectic schedule, its tata from both of us...

Loads of luv,
Kachi and Kautu

Monday, October 15, 2007

God works in mysterious ways

Now, I had mentioned in my previous post about how Karthik undertook a solitary drive over 360 KM to reach Kachi and kautu to the safety of their Grandma's house. He reached at 7 last Thursday evening and left from there at 6 in the morning the next day. Left for office in half an hour after reaching here and by evening, his left eye had begun to swell. And by night, it was oozing water and had turned bright red. My right eye that had swollen to the size of a cherry was just begining to allow light through the tiny slits. Both husband and wife lied down that night, each holding a towel to the eye and slept grateful that they were the ones suffering and not their kids, imagined the kids playing happily with their grandparents and thanking god that they were saved from this pain.
Next morning, I got a call from mom saying that Kachi's eye had begun to swell too! Ah..for all the well laid plans! They had booked tickets to take the kids to Kerala that day evening, now all that was thrown out of the window! Amma and Appa, along with kachi and kautu took the train that night from Chennai and reached here the next day morning, by which time, Kautu's left eye too was beginning to look red and kachi had just slits for his eyes! Mom's eye looked suspicious and were sure she had succumbed to it as well! Appa was the only one left out. He remained in the kitchen the entire morning, cooked enough food to last us a week and left the place with just a toothbrush in hand! Got the afternoon bus back to Chennai..and last I heard from him a while ago, he's absolutely fine! But, the kids managed to give the red eye to the driver in Chennai, who has a new born in his house, so, I am praying day in and out that the baby is alright.
In all, theres now a house in Bangalore (may be just one of many, looking at the sheer number of red eye cases here) that has all its inhabitants pouring drops into each others eyes, towels hanging out of every corner and everyone looking like pictures out of the gross horror flicks. Still, on the brighter side, Karthik n me get a whole week with the kids..no ones gonna come and interrupt this wonderful interlude for the fear of infection and my mom has a few extra days with us as well!! So, exclude the pain out of the equation, we are all fine...infection and all, kids are recovering fast, I am almost through it and mom and karthik's eyes do look red, but they too are in the last stages..and we still have three more days at home!!!
God's ways are not known, what we propose, he often disposes, but as I have seem ample times in the past, what ever happens, it always has a reason, a purpose and works out for the best. It is up to us to work out the reason and to draw our conclusions from it. There might be a few hidden lines in this post that might show what the reason might be, but, for now, let it just remain in my thoughts alone!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The missing kids...

I have contracted the dreaded conjunctivitis, and so, Kachi and Kautu have been packed off to their grandma's place in Chennai. More miserable than the pain in the eye is the pang of being without them. Hubby started on his long solitary drive in the afternoon today, and is yet to reach Chennai. Last I heard from them, both of them are being absolute gems, not cried once the entire trip and remained in their back seat like the great guys they are!! So, till tomorrow afternoon, am home alone..and letting my poetic skills wild and free...heres an ode to my kids...


It takes but a wink
To obliterate an entire link
What was before you a while ago
Is just now just a small memory or so.

Walking about the lonely house,
Devoid of both children and spouse
I hear their laughter, I hear their cry,
I feel them talking to me and sigh!

This is their book and that is their chair,
These are the toys they just won't share.
This is the bear with the missing drum,
And thats the doll which used to hum.

I am sitting by the table writing these lines,
They would have climbed on me like the clinging vines,
If I ignore them for a minute or two,
They would turn on each other to bite and chew!

They are funny, they are sweet,
They are a pure visual treat.
The biggest thing I right now miss,
Is hugging them close and giving them a kiss!!!

..I miss you guys!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Hip Hip Hurray!!!!

This Monday was the D day. Packers and movers came at a real late 11.00 in the morning. We had earlier gone to the new house (a pretty old one, actually) and finished the 'Palkachal'. My mom and dad were with us, so, things moved at a very fast pace. Once the P & M got things started, dad, mom, me and Kachi and Kautu moved over to the new place and started cleaning it head to toe. We saved the owner so much trouble that when he came to fix some pipe, his eyes literally popped out at the cleanliness of the place!! By afternoon, Karthik and the P & M arrived and then, started the work! Dad and I sorted out the kitchen (this is smaller than our previous one, so, had to dump out loads of vessels to the loft) while mom took to taking care of the kids and doing the kids room. Karthik busied himself with the living room and would you believe it, by tuesday afternoon, the house was looking spic and span and it felt as though we had been living here the past few years! The curtains were up, carpets were down, all the paintings and wall hangings were in place and we even got the carpenter to finish the extra grill on the railings to make it children safe by the afternoon!!
We even had guests that day (dad's elder sister and her family had come visiting) and they said they couldn't imagine that we had shifted in just the day before! Every thing was fine, except that I got a severe back and abdomen pain by the evening. All the bending and folding took its toll on me and there I was....lying down for a good part of the evening. Still not too bad, by the time dad left on Tuesday night and mom on Wednesday night, we were all settled. Theres just our room to get done, my items (Karthik calls it "Make up and stuff"!) to be unpacked and then we'll call it a week!! Shall post the pictures of the house soon. Right now, I am just soaking in the light, the trees, the breeze, the sound of birds chirping and waking up to the gentle ruzzle of the leaves. Leaving you guys with a rozy picture to imagine...

A cup of tea at 6.30 in the morning on the big wide balcony, facing the neem and mango trees and Kautu standing nearby talking to the cat that still hasn't woken from its sleep. It takes me a solid half and hour to get back to reality.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Shift in house, a shift in perspective!

The first update is that we are shifting houses!! Yes...moving from the lovingly decorated house with a very much used swimming pool, beautifully maintained garden and a spacious children's park and most important of all, our very own house to an 8 year old rented one! Well, things reached such a peak last week that we had no other option but to go house hunting. Being anti brokers, hubby and I scoured locality after locality, much on foot, and some by car searching for 'to let' boards and asking the local shopkeepers and apartment security. Believe it or not, we found a lot of houses by just spending three days on the hunt and finally settled down on a very old world, charming house. It is bang next to a montessori school (what we liked best about the school was the ample space for kids to run around, loads of trees and benches, in fact, it reminded me of my childhood in the open skies of Kerala!) and is owned by the people who run the school. The front room has french windows opening to a neem tree and there is a veranda by the entrance that faces a mango tree. In fact, the mango tree has a very horizontal branch that I have set my eyes on to put up a swing for the guys and me!!! There is a small garden by the side of the house, at present very unkempt, but for which I have made great plans already!! Every window in the house faces a tree..what more can I ask for? I have wanted to stay in such a place all my life and had lost hope..so what if it is rented...so what if it is going to be for a short while..I am going to make the best of it!!
Now for why we had to go in for a change..the traffic in Bangalore has come to such a state that what used to take me 20 min to reach back home from office now takes a good solid one and a half hours! Need you ask more? Plus, the bad roads, constant accelerator and clutch gives the now 5month old pregnancy a tough time. So, for now, till the next baby comes along and mostly till the traffic somehow gets better (lost hopes on that a long time ago!), we are moving close to my office..and I am going to get a garden and lots of trees for at least another year or so!!!! Keep your hands crossed...am gonna be moving soon!!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ridiculous??

Just yesterday I was reading Winkey's ways and humming Tharini's amazingly meaningless song to myself. Its catchy and racy and I was wishing there was a way to get the tune she was using!! And Kodi's mom tagged me today to give out Kachi and Kautu's names! So I went back, and read her list of names, to discover just how much we moms have in common! All of us associate our kids with Lord Krishna..it is almost instinctive. Deep inside, all of us would have wished for kids who are as mischievous and as cute as krishna. For us, the word Kalla (thief) is an endearment. Like how Krishna stole butter and hearts..our kids too are stealers and keepers of our heart. Ordinary words that, if called an adult would seem an insult, becomes terms that we regularly call our kids. Words that seem ridiculous roll out of our tongues with ease, confident in the knowledge that neither we, nor the kids can understand what it means, but can get the feeling with which it is said. And I have noticed that during sudden spurts of overwhelming love, the language deteriorates to the mumble jumble even a caveman would have been ashamed of!! If there is a psychologist out there reading this, could you throw some light on this phenomenon? Anyways, now for the actual ramblings!!

I will start out with a song my dear husband composed and that went on to become the song we put them to sleep with, every night. Infact, once when we went to Kochi for a wedding, our song became so infamous that we would catch someone humming it in his bath!! Various distorted versions sprang up, and each time we started singing it, those high pitched, off tune, laughter mingled versions filled our head, and by the time we returned from the trip, both hubby and I were cured of the song!! Luckily for kachi and kautu!!

This is for kachi..

Kachapu kalachapu
lacha lacha pu
dingitipu dingitipu
dingiti dingiti pu

Can also be sung as --- Kachapam ka lachapam etc. by converting all the 'pu' to 'pam'!!
Same goes for Kautu if you just replace the kachi with kautu.

One version is...
Kautapam ka lautapam
lauta lautapam
trinkitipam trinkitipam
trikiti trinkiti pam!!

Well, the names that we have concocted for them goes as...

Kachi kalla...if you ask kachi who is kachi kalla, he promptly and proudly points both his hands to himself and says.."huh"!

Kautu bhuji...This was coined by my neighbor..Akshara..a 5 year old whose main pastime was entertaining these guys. The moment they see her, their eyes will light up, a huge smile transforms their face and the three of them play together like old friends!

ammu kutti, pattu kutti, chella kutti, kachi chellam, kautu chellam, ammulus, pattulus, chakare (sugar), sundarus(handsome!!) and so on..are all used interchangeably with no noticeable reaction from the kids!!!

I'll sign off with the traditional song I sing for them (I sing it in Malayalam, but have translated it here in English) when giving them an oil massage...

Let the little legs grow and grow (while oiling the legs and cycling them, stretching them and crossing them over each other)
Let the little hands grow and grow (take both their hands and cross it over the chest repeatedly)
Let my little baby grow and grow!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Walking the tight rope

I knew that going back to full time work would be tough. But I did not anticipate the first three months of light work load. I was put into a project which had a dependency on a deliverable from another site. And this, in plain english, meant that I was let off till that site delivered their work. So I just spent the last three months going over documents and giving presentations, which meant going to office at 11AM and being back by 4PM and doing the reading and most of the presentation preparation from home. Things seem rosy, right? But here is where the egoist in me took over. The work schedule was fine from the home front. But I wanted to be more productive in office. I started getting restless, though, as a mother, I should have been happy to let it go this way. The initial high over being able to work full time and still getting ample time with the kids wore away as I started feeling underutilized and could take no pride in the output I was producing. So, being the unreasonable me, I requested my manager for more work and there, bang! I got landed with a tough nut to crack. The mother of all problems was handed over. And now, I spend the night and day pouring over an issue that is threatening to loosen all the screws in my head.
I tried telling myself that I should spend more time in office to complete this, and that somehow, the more time I spend there meant that more work was being completed. This was true some two days last week when I had a whole lot of meetings etc. to complete the task handover from someone else. I would drive back at 9 in the night and come to a silent home. The kids would have slept and Karthik would have prepared my dinner for me. It worked for those two days. After that, I could really not miss being with the kids in the evening, and so, on Monday, I returned home by 5. Surprise after surprise, I found the missing urge in me and worked on the issue till late 12 in the night! And tonight, at 11.37PM, I have finally fitted in the last missing piece in the jigsaw and winded up the task. Phew! So, with the kids put to sleep, Karthik gone right off to deep sleep after the excitement of the Indian win, having finally solved the issue is like someone whispering to me that all is right with your world!! You are pregnant, a mother of two 1.3 year olds and currently enjoying the work you are doing without it being a strain on you. What more can a person ask for at this juncture? More strength and will power to keep it going as it is? More wisdom to manage everything and not let any disappointment get undue importance? More energy to keep running through the day, yet feel that there is nothing much to it all? Ye god...let me do all this and more...and most importantly, let my kids be this happy and more as we go along!!

I know you guys are all with me..so, here's to a happier journey ahead!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The before and after

This ones taken a day after the massive hair cutting effort ...

And here's the one taken a month back..the curls are not obvious, you gotto extrapolate the hair to a month later!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The first hair cut

When the clock struck twelve, the two of them stood with a scissor and a sheet of paper in hand. They crept silently towards the room, opened the squeaky door with pounding heart and looked at the sleeping baby. "No" he shook his head " the light is not enough." "Shall we dare switching on the light?" she asked. He nodded and the light was switched on. The baby blinked in his sleep but did not stir. Picking up courage, she held a few strands of hair up and he swiftly butchered them. The piece of paper was quickly filled with lovely soft black curly hair that she slowly threaded through with awe. The hair that was on the baby when he was born..the hair that he had in her womb, the hair that first saw the world. She knew she was being sentimental, but there was something spiritual about cutting your baby's first hair. They turned the baby slowly to his side and started clipping the hair at the back. He cut it real fine at a spot and they looked at each other, laughing. "Just because they can't complain, we really shouldn't be cutting their hair like this!" he said. "We'll see tomorrow just how good barbers we are!!" and they had a good laugh together. "Come on, its time for the next" so saying, she emptied the paper in the bin and they moved to the next room. The baby was lying with his hand covering his eyes and so the light was not an issue. Professionals by now, they quickly finished clipping his hair and they could just but control their laughter at the almost bald sight their previously long brown haired baby presented. Hand in hand, they moved from the room and hugged each other for another milestone completed as parents...The first hair cut of their babies, which they had the good fortune to do themselves!

p.s...the next day brought in a lot of complements! The kids were looking great and the two first time barbers were applauded for the great work!! yipeeeee!!!!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

MISSING!

Found missing since November 2005...

The person who used to be on her toes every second of the day, the person who used to believe that every second of life should be lived fully and till a few years back used to get anxious if she was not doing something worth remembering a few years from then (tho' she doesn't really remember all that she wanted herself to, so badly), the person who fell asleep trying to capture the myriad of things done during the day and failed because she fell asleep by the time she recounted till the noon, the person who at times felt like slowing down and relaxing like everyone else, but didn't know how to go about it, the person who got worried if a weekend was wasted by idling, a weekday was wasted if not working till 9 PM, the person who caught on 3 movies and a beer every week, the person who walked at 100 kmph and talked at 1000 words per sec, the person who did crazy things like ride the pulsar on the crowded highway, climb trees and play truant during final year college practicals, tonsure her head at age 20 and proudly go back to college without bothering with a hat, join an all boys club and go on two years later to become its coordinator and bring out the best performance with a team of majority girls and dare to fall in love with a person she met for 30 days in first year of college and managed to stay in love accross a distance of seven seas and a few continents........

I miss her a lot. If anyone finds her, kindly bring her back to me. She means more to my husband than me. If I could rewind the clock a bit, I would never have let her go, but she slipped so slowly from my grasp that it wasn't untill very late that I realised that she had gone. I am rediscovering her again, help me out, won't you?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Battle of Kruger!!!

Oh Wow!! Theres nothing more smashing than this video! If you wanna know more about family values amongst the animals, this is the video to watch!! The commentary is original and completely spontaneous and what more..its a classic case of suspense, thriller and drama all rolled in one!!
Go ahead and treat yourself!

Edited to add: This is an amateur video shot at Kruger national part and has had more than 90 lakh hits in YouTube. A few questions I have that anyone can answer?

Please do read this only after watching the video...
1. How did the buffaloes communicate that they need to go back and rescue the young one?
2. Did you notice the way they prod the injured young one into their midst and quickly form a barricade against the lions. The image of a buffalo was so far that of a lazy, dumb animal..my opinion has drastically changed. What about yours?
3. The lions who fought with the crocs to claim their prize let go once they saw the herd of buffaloes. What amount of decision making has gone on in their minds...is there something in this video that makes us rethink all our preconceived notions of animals?

Monday, August 6, 2007

Pro-choice...

I am definitely pro-choice..in that, you have a choice whether you want to conceive or not, not whether you want to retain it or not. For us, knowing that we have our hands full presently, and that we definitely want a second attempt for a girl child, it was just a matter of deciding when, and the fact that I have a PCO problem made our mind for us. The earlier the better. So, we waited for a year and then didn't mind it whenever it happened.
But does the rest of the world think so? A prominent doctor in a prominent hospital we went to, to confirm the pregnancy propped this question to us the moment I showed her the self pregnancy kit and told her that we are parents to one year old twins..."First tell me if you want to keep it". Wow! It was quite a shock as that was the last thing on our mind. Here we were sitting elated because I had conceived without any doctor intervention especially when my previous gynec was convinced I would need another set of follicle study and the paraphernalia to conceive and here was this lady...asking us in that harsh and totally unfeeling voice if we want to keep 'it' or not! We never went to her after that. The very next day we took an appointment with another doctor in the same hospital who thankfully didn't react the same way. A relief for us..for, we really didn't want to hunt hospitals down looking for a humane doctor.
And what about the reactions of others? I somehow think the main attitude was..."Does she really need this after having two boys?" Two is the mantra these days and no one could understand my need to conceive once more. There are relatives very close to my husband and me who have not congragulated us even once or mentioned this fact when they come visiting! I do all the house work, cooking, looking after the kids and not once will they talk about the pregnancy, or if my morning sickness is causing any trouble...sorry guys..not talking of it will not take it away! And then, there are others, like an elderly friend of my mothers who said that you should not conceive till till you first kid is atleast 2 years old..and proudly went on to tell me how she had two abortions after her first kid...and for no reason other than that her first baby was just one plus and she doesn't want the added burden of another right then. Solid enough reason to take a life? I am a strong believer in god. What he has given, he alone has the right to take. We can prevent..thats our choice..but after that, its no longer in our hands. Infact, more sordid stories started coming out from relations and friends once I told them I am pregnant..another friend of mine in office had an abortion when her first child was a year old..and why? cause she was already having issues in office and didn't want her career to get affected again. Then why not take care, godammit? Why be careless and then take a bloody decision? Well, I do truly believe in divine retribution and the lady who promoted abortion and got two herself lost her husband at a very tender age..I am really sorry for her, but I believe that we reap what we sow..and nature has a way of getting back at us.
This post might be a bit harsh, but, I have certainly gotten to know a few things I would have been better off not knowing and gives me a relief to vent it out at this forum. No matter how difficult things are for us now, and we know that they are going to be worse in the year to come, we are jolly well glad that another kid is on its way and Karthiks and my love for each other and the sheer joy we get by being with our kids is enough to take us through it all. We just choose to enjoy every minute we get with the kids..every minute with each other..and in fact, every minute of the day..so, won't you say its a wise choice we made??!!

Edited to add:
I think I am biased by the fact that I had a tough time conceiving the first time round ..and for an entire two weeks, spent time with dozens of wanna be mothers undergoing IVF. I saw their trauma and empathized with them so much that a baby has now become something very sacred..something that has to be worked for. And thats why we were so surprised, shocked, elated and grateful when I became pregnant out of the blue this time!! Maybe if I was not exposed to the other side of it, the side where people have been praying for a baby for years on end and suffering untold miseries, emotional and physical, I would not be so harsh on others who take the personal choice of ending it. But I truly well understand, as Anitha points out, that a kid who is not wanted should not be brought into this world by unwilling parents, but here again, we are sympathizing with the kid, not the parent. Is there truly anything that will make you sympathize with a parent that decides to let go of a life? The only other acceptable reason can be finances. But don't all strata of society bring up kids? If a life was truly important, we would definitely make the best efforts despite being financially tight. Lifestyles might have to be compromised, but it is just an inconvenience, not an impossibility. I can understand, but shall still be judgmental about couples who decide to abort because, somehow, every reason when you rip it apart, still boils down to either selfishness, an unwillingness to compromise and an aversion to physical pain. I know it is their decision, my feelings are not going to matter a bit, but, this blog, being my outlet, lets me vent out the steam inside and guys, please lets argue it out..is there something I have missed out that can shake the conviction I have?

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Guess who??

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After thwarting off a hundred attempts to hijack my laptop, I finally let Kautu have a free hand with it..and the above is the result! Needless to say, after that, he pulled up the start menu and all kinds of pages started appearing and thats when I dumped him off the ground...before he lands up here again..am posting it

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Missing and mushing...

One week kachi and kautu were in chennai with my parents. And that was a week that had me up a roller coaster ride...missing them one minute and savoring the freedom the next! I took a day off and finished the seventh Harry Potter...something that would have taken me a week or more with the kids around! Hubby and I caught a late night show, visited friends and made it a point to not return home before 11 every day of the week!
But for all this, almost half an hour of our time together, be it shopping, or in the car, or sitting face to face in a quite and secluded spot in the costliest of restaurants and trying to recreate the magic of yester years, kachi and kautu were in our thoughts and words! We would be discussing something and suddenly I would exclaim " you know, if kachi was here, he would be making a beeline for that plant there..." and karthik would say.." yeah..and kautu would be sitting on the table and swiping away its contents in a jiffy!!"..and we would laugh...a pure laugh of sheer enjoyment no other discussion of our could ever have brought out.
So, whats the freedom I was talking about? Its just an illusion that having more time means freedom. That one week has brought this to me... freedom is the ability to do what you want to fully well knowing its consequences. It is not having the time to do what you want to do. For instance, it is purely my choice, influenced by no other that I decide to sit here typing away than being in office..I know I am doing it while the kids are sleeping and I didn't go to work today cause they are sick. To me, this symbolizes freedom. When the kids were in Chennai, I went to office every day of the week, spent the evenings roaming around with Karthik, but those were things that we did purely because we had the time for it. Not because we weighed the consequences and took a decision. Being unoccupied or having ample time seems to be a bondage that bonds you more towards things that are not in fact essential for you. What is the use of time when your mind is occupied elsewhere? When your mind is happy, it is free to think, to philosophize and create. And happiness to me now...is in the smile of my kids and karthik's relaxed and contended face. And I am striving to keep these permanent with all my heart!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Back from the dead!!

I have resurrected from the ashes..yup..the phoenix tears brought me back. Enough of this melodrama..it was just to tell you how happy I am to be back with all of you.

And why did I have to sign of the past two months? Nothing much, except that I started fulltime work and I am pregnant again!! I am three months into the pregnancy and you can imagine how it must have been, with morning sickness and suddenly finding yourself rushing to office and taking out on the rest room floor and missing your kids through the day! Am I forgiven for the months off??

Update on Kautu and Kachi..they are walking now...that cute baby walk with hands held to the chest and legs as stiff as a stick!! And they refuse to sit in a place..feeding happens only if I run around behind them, or in case I decide to sit down, they take a mouthfull, go exploring and come back and say "Amma" once their mouth is empty!!

I am feeling good now. Nausea is almost over and office work is pretty light these days. I still do only partime from office and part time from home, so, manage to get good enough time with the 'vanarams'. Have been catching up on all my favorite blogs, but its taken me a solid two months to adjust to the new lifestyle. Looking forward to hearing from you all, been missing the contact, and thanks everyone who expressed concern on my absence.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I've been tagged!!

Oops...and to think I could forever escape introspection. The one thing I hate accepting is my mistake and now, to pen all my idiosyncrasies down for posterity is like asking me to take a cold water bath, drink cold tea and burn all the books in my study. Anyway, I am determined to make a sincere effort and here it goes...

1. I am a better mom when others are around (Took this line from utbt, it was just so unbelievably true and this is the first time I have seen a mother publish this fact for all to see).

2. I can't positively ever in my life have food, tea and milk less than boiling hot. Tea has to drunk out of the stove and I should be able to see the boiling water in the soup before I drink it.

3. I don't really enjoy driving the car, but have always acted as though I am the coolest behind the wheel.

4. I am really lazy when it comes to work. I achieve the best results only under pressure and I often take initiative to schedule presentations with very tight deadlines so that I do some decent work.

5. I enjoy being with my kids most when hubby is also around, or when I can show them off to their grand parents!

6. I can't stand hypocrites. Anything else goes with me. Selfishness, criticism, bad mouthing, and even false attitudes are fine with me. But, hypocrites and back stabbers have no place in my life.

7. I loved pregnancy for the attention it gave me.

8. And here it comes...the worst of all.....
I have assaulted my husband twice ... Once was this blazing fight when I threw a spoon at him and he got a minor cut on his eyebrow and the other time was when he tapped me and I tapped him back, but it did hurt the both of us. Both the fights were forgotten in minutes, but the fact that I did actually hurt him is causing me a lot of pain now!!

I think I have to tag somebody else, but almost everyone I know has already been tagged by someone else I know. So, when I know someone who knows less people who know them enough to tag, I shall tag them and let you all know.

Monday, May 28, 2007

On three wheels or four?

I picked up my bag and rushed out of the door. And then, suddenly remembered that I had not taken the car keys. Should I or should I not? Shall I just give in to the temptation of taking an auto? Ah..for the pleasure of the three wheels to the four.

Have you not spent a good auto drive, chatting nineteen to a dozen with the cheerful driver? Or, spent an equally morose time with a grumpy one? No matter what, most always respond to commonplace questions from me, and the sure shot response is obtained when I comment on the bad state of the roads. A bit of concern for the auto neatly does the trick and before I know it, in a mixture of kannada and tamil, the trip passes by peacefully. Theres this real pleasure of sitting idly, watching the trees and houses go by, observing the attires and attitudes of people, grimacing at the rash driving of some and laughing at the antics of the traffic police (really, some think they are heroes entertaining the public, and others, villians to catch you even if you as much as cross the line by a millimeter). But, there inside the auto, insulated from the real life, you can let the tensions seep away. You know he will reach you in safety and anyways, its not in you hands, so why worry about it? You can sit back, and enjoy the roller coaster ride, reading the identity plates they have put up now a days behind the drivers seat, giving his name, place, fathers name and so on. There is never a dearth of entertainment, sometimes its the gas that got over, at others, a minor break down. Either way, the driver ensures that you are safely deposited in another auto before he repairs his own.

The only thing burning is the wallet. You are cool for you have had an entertaining ride and just begin heating up at the meter towards the end of the journey. Somewhere along the way, it decided to skip numbers or lost its maths and landed at an astronomically large value. Bargaining usually happens before the drive in many places (like Chennai), but here, it is almost always after. You inform them that you are a seasoned traveler and give 5 Rs plus your normal amount and pack off.

But ah..the joy of driving.. AC is a comfort in summers and the Radio Indigo blares all my favorite westerns. I love the feeling of overtaking a particularly irritating piece of vehicle and especially those 'we don't care a damn for others' BMTC busses, but nothing beats the joy of beating that which overtook you and then turned back to confirm if it was a lady who is driving! The freedom to change plans in the wink of the eye, the thrill of the near misses and the comfort in the rain weigh against the fact that I just cannot let my mind wander. I love to trace thoughts and hold on to it while traveling. In fact, this very post was thought of verbatim in an auto drive!

All said and done, are there many who would want to be behind the steering wheel in the maddening traffic when they can be behind the driver and his interesting license plate? I would rather not!

Friday, May 25, 2007

My hubby turns a year older...

A year older, but retaining,
...All the charm that you had when we first met, over seven years ago.
...Your childlike enthusiasm and penchant for going overboard in doing whatever you love
...the innocence in spirit and willingness to believe the best in everyone
...the sincerity towards work
...deep love you have for me, in spite of me being a bitch most of the time!
...the worlds most horrible sense of humor, it can't even be called a PJ or a VPJ, its just P or VP!
...the athletic figure you always had without having to work for
...the high BP you developed four years back
...the deep bond for your parents that holds strong in spite of the strife we have had the last year
...the status of the online railway ticket booker for your in laws
...the receding hairline, by which I mean that it has stopped receding the past year!! Its still at the half bald state we left it in the last birthday!
...all your friends and adding more. You just can't fight with anyone except me, can you?


Ops!! You have come back from office..so, lemme publish it and give you a surprise. I will definitely add more later!!

Edited to add: Happy birthday, dear.

You are a year older and changing...
...to be a good dad to Kautu and Kachi
...to take a whole lot of responsibility on your head, yet, keep laughing and enjoying life to the fullest
...to manage the ever negative finances, which took a heavy beating during my pregnancy
...to support a slightly hysterical wife, whose depression after delivery is yet to heal.
...to rationalize more before taking a decision
...to put family first before everything else
...to tackle emotional issues with elan, when before you would have been the first to run away from anything that involved a fight or word war. You now hold your stand, yet, try to keep calm and keep me calm during any of our fights! Whether you succeed or not depends on my mood that day!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In reply, I bared the one month of....

This is almost a guest post. I got the following email and with her permission, I am reproducing certain parts of the mail. It is so heart wrenching that for a long time yesterday, I was putting myself in her shoes and composing my reply over and over again.

Sheila wrote ....
.......................................................................................................
"
First of all, Belated bday wishes to Kachi and
Kautu(may i address them that way?). They are cute. Ur
blog is good. I visit ur blog but feel shy to leave
comments online. Besides I wanted to share a personal
matter. So, thought of writing u a mail.

My name is Sheila (name changed), am married and in Chennai.I love
to surf the net and came across ur blog. Actually i
surf for medical information and got linked to ur
blog. I had two premature deliveries in the 21st and
24th week and lost two babies due to incompetent
cervix.

I read in ur blog that u also had OS stitched and had
to be on bedrest, bedpans etc all of which i went
through. Please if u dont mind can u share some basic
information of ur pregnancy with me. I would like to
know at how many weeks was the cervical stich put for
you and what type of bedrest u underwent ( i mean just
getting up to go to loo or not getting up even for
that purpose). You mentioned that u were in hospital a
month before delivery and had to undergo sponge bath
etc, do share some details of that. At how many weeks
were the boys born and in which hospital?? My second
boy was born at 24 weeks in spite of a cervical stitch
and complete bed rest, but my water bag bulged out and
last 10 days before his birth , i was in hospital
using bedpan. My baby did not survive.

A sincere request, as i wish to keep my details
confidential, in case u happen to write abt my mail in
ur blog pls do not mention my personal information.

"
.....................................................

Sheila,
First and foremost, my deepest condolences for your loss.
But I do know that you have moved on from the very fact that you
are trying to learn more about what happened to you.

As for me, I have a condition known as PCO -Poly Cystic Ovary, due to which I
had to go in for assisted pregnancy. As a result of which, there were chances of
my uterus misbehaving. So, right from day 1, I was advised complete rest and a tablet called Duodilan (which helps in relaxing the uterus and preventing contractions).
I was started on this tablet the moment the doc knew I was having twins, as there is more chances of miscarriages with assisted twin pregnancy.

In spite of all the precautions, in the second month, the ultrasound brought out a
blood clot (called retro decidual seperation) just above both the embryos. I was
immediately hospitalized and given drips of the same tablet, Duodilan for four days till the mild pain reduced. I had brown discharge the next couple of days, but the pain never recurred. It was bedrest after this till the next scan. I would get up to use the loo, but was lying down all the rest of the while (and pretty boring it was, too! You cannot read or watch the TV much as your eyes start hurting after a while, so, it was mostly sleep and think and read a few pregnancy books!).

The next month scan was fine, the fetuses were growing well and the clot had
disappeared. The injections (HCG, to sustain the pregnancy) I was taking were stopped and that helped bring down my vomitting.
I had not used any tablet to bring down the vomiting, but after it went on for four and a half months, I took one in the morning for five days and that, combined with the stopping of the injections completely stopped the vomiting. Complete rest, except for a small evening walk was the mantra for this month.

Just before the scan for the 6 th month, I started bleeding. The hospitalization routine followed and this time it was duodilan drips for five days. But, all was fine after that. The month flew by and before I knew it, it was April 18th.

That day morning, I got this long white discharge in the morning. I called up the doc and she asked me to lie down and get to the hospital immediately. My mom brought the car, grandmom tied a dupatta tightly below my waist and I was taken to the hospital lying down in the back seat. I was totally cool, and was eating my breakfast when Amma rushed in with the car. She took one look at me and said that no one can react the way I did when labour was pre maturely starting! But, by the time the car reached the hospital, my leg weighed
a ton and I could not even lift myself from the back seat. My back was paining and lower abdomen felt very heavy. I was taken to the emergency labor room and the moment the doc did an internal examination, she said that one baby's head is almost out and that they need to do an OS stitching immediately to try and keep the babies inside. In half an hour I was wheeled into the operating theater and it was all over in another hour.

When I regained consciousness in the room, my mouth was parched, back was paining miserably and kaustubh (he was the baby lying lower down) was kicking away at the OS stitching. Every kick was misery and he just refused to stop. I wanted this misery to end...wanted the kids to come out then and there and wanted to just go home. All the bravado had disappeared by then. I was on drips and my stomach had reached much beyond a normal single delivery
full term uterus. And, this was my 28th week. Babies were 1.1 and 1.3 Kg. And I know now what would have happened had they been delivered then.

The nurse mistakenly asked me walk to the loo with the catheter on, just hours after the surgery and she got the showdown of her life from the doctor. After that one time, I was horizontal till my delivery. And that means, one month of lying down, bed pan for all natures calls, continuous pain whenever Kaustubh decided to make his presence felt, CTG to get their heart beat, hot flushes in the night and hubby and bro and dad and mom to support me day in and out. Every other day, hubby would give me a sponge bath and mom and dad would help out in washing my hair. I would put my head out of the bed and they would slowly wash and shampoo my hair. I would feel fresh and rejuvenated after that wash for the
next whole day. The antibiotics were one of the worst experiences this one month. After the cervical stitch, I kept getting infections and was injected antibiotics through an IV in the hand.

One was so viscous that after the injection, my palm swelled to the size of these giant frogs
you see in Discovery and they removed the IV from that hand and inserted it in the other. Now, all the veins in one hand suffered from Thrombosis, and two in the other also suffered the same condition. These were the times I begged the doc to take the babies out..that I can't suffer any more. She rightly told me that I would suffer more if they come out earlier, but, at the state I was in, I was just praying that the doc would decide to operate anytime. She would come for rounds every day and every day I would eagerly wait for her verdict. It was always, you still have months in the hospital to go. I remember begging
her to allow me to sit for just a second, but she was adamant. She also got me
some stuff to put on my legs to prevent muscle wastage from continuous lying down. Hubby would massage every night so that I can get a few hours of sleep.

At the 33rd week, I started getting back pain again and by then, my lower abdomen was astonishingly heavy. My tummy had grown so big that I needed Hubs help to lift it when I turned side. CTG was put again, and the internal examination showed that the stitches were beginning to come out. By evening, the drips too had no effect and the pain started coming in shorted intervals.

The rest is all history. 9.54 and 9.55 PM on the 18th of May, Kaustubh and Kashyap were born, 1.9 and 1.79 Kg birth weight. The next ordeal was about to begin. NICU was going to be my next home for the next few weeks and that is another post on its own.

But I know that I have suffered less than a lot of people. And I went through it all with a big smile on my face! Yes..the doctors and all the visitors I had that one month in hospital told me how I was always cheerful and how in spite of the eager wish to be rid of all this, I kept my spirits high. My husband was with me day in and out, we used to lie next to each other on my hospital bed and say Hanuman Chalisa every night, he brought the DVD player to the room and used to get english classics for me to see, dad n mom used to make trips every afternoon getting me lovely home food so that I don't have to suffer the unpalatable hospital food and much much more. I had all the physical pain to suffer, but my family made sure that emotionally I was kept happy. I know that I have never been this happy in the months following the delivery.

I hope I helped you, sheila. I hope all goes well for you.

Lots of love and prayers,
Krishnapriya

Monday, May 21, 2007

B'day snaps...

The day after the birthday party...Kachi and Kautu have decided that one year of fighting is enough and they will be nicer to each other from now on!
My dad and mom having a great time with the kids!!





Kids and their new toys...only, their elder friends decided that Kachi n Kautu are too small to play with these, and were almost snatching it away from them!

Having a free hand with the cake..
Just decided that the cake is a pretty harmless thing and their hands won' t hurt if they smash it up!


Grandparents feeding the kids..
Lighting the lamp and cutting the cake!




Angry at not being able to touch the knife..

First birthday bash

Kachi and Kautu turned 1 last Friday. We thought and thought whether to have a big b'day bash and decided not to go in for it. For one thing, we really didn't believe in blowing out candles and cutting cakes (we are supposed to light lamps and bring light into their lives, rather than blow out the light!) and for another, we would end up the most harassed, all running around for the party and no time at all to socialize with all the different crowds, wondering whom to spend time with, if one party will feel left out when we spend time with the other. But I did want to do something special for them.

So, we finally ended up celebrating the 18th with just my mother and the four of us. First got a lovely suit for them, and then proceeded to Dominos to eat our hearts out. Kautu slept within minutes of reaching there and Kachi swept the whole place with this new pants. He also acted as the doorkeeper, waiter, shoe polisher and table cleaner for everyone. We raced back home and kautu refused to wake up even during the rough ride home. Kachi meanwhile, spent another one hour entertaining all of us at home. He was crawling around his room, climbing in and out of bed, switching on and off the lights and fans, hitting every solid thing on the floor and making noise, singing and shouting and we were encouraging him every time he did something. And he is such a sucker for praise, that whenever he feels he has done something we would appreciate (like reaching up and catching something I have asked him not to take), he will turn back and look at us. After he switches on the light, he turns back and sees if we are appreciating his effort. And so, any way, he spent the whole hour entertaining us, and was there to wish me a 'happy delivery time'!!! Dad also called up at 9.54 pm and wished both the guys a happy b'day time! (Kautu was born at 9.54pm and Kachi at 9.55). And we then hugged both the guys, put Kachi to sleep and spent the night reminiscing 'this time last year'.

19th was a Saturday and we decided to call a few people home for dinner. Pretty late to round up people, but since we were calling only those whom we were really close with, we thought it didn't matter. And so, spent the whole morning shopping for stuff and rounding up our friends. Got a lot of satin ribbons and did up the house. Blew a few balloons and let Kachi and Kautu have a field day with them. Amma was busy the whole day making Channa curry and 'puttu' (a kerala rice item) and Karthik was incharge of the ice cream and fruit salad. Kachi and Kautu were incharge of recharging us. So, on the whole, the day passed very fast and it was soon time for everyone to come.

Our neighbors arrived first and the rest of the friends slowly tickled in. Once my dad arrived from Chennai, we set the table for the cake cutting. And as I mentioned before, we let go of the candles and brought out the lamps from the pooja room. Kept it in front of the cake and karthik and I lit it holding Kachi and Kautu. We cut the cake, fed the guys and then.....let them free to enjoy their cake on their own!!! Check out the snaps for that! The rest of the evening was fun..chatted with everyone, fed them to their hearts content and played with the guys. Kachi n Kautu were such darlings, not one moment did they crib or were they uneasy the whole evening. In fact, they took to all their new toys and started dissembling them immediately!

A tired family plonked out, tired but awesomely happy that the first b'day went off so well, happy that the kids have turned 1 and their age is no longer counted in months, happy that from a mere 1.6 Kg last year this time, to 9.5 Kg, they have come a long way, happy that they got over all the initial hiccups of infections and aspirations, happy that they respond to us so well and finally, happy that they are such happy and healthy little boys.

May god bless these two and give them a long and healthy life. The rest of it, they can make for themselves!

Check out the snaps in the next photo post!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Good housekeeping!

You might have to squint your eyes to read this, but it is definitely worth it. We talk of feminism and male chauvinism, but this one definitely takes the cake. I stumbled upon this while searching for housekeeping tips and couldn't but share it with you all!! Let me know what you think!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Its been a wheezing week...

I would have wished for the past week to have whizzed by, but it wheezed by! My sense of humor is not exactly first rate, so, you should begin to expect lines as these! But yes, Kautu got a bout of wheezing after the mysore trip we had taken last to last week (I didn't write about that as I didn't want you all bored by the details of a journey where nothing happened, except that Kachi shat in the car!) and the poor guy has been suffering since. We did give him his prescribed medicine (Deriphyllin), but cut down the dosage as he seemed to recover fast. However, he still hasn't made a good recovery and has bouts of coughing and sneezing and a running nose the whole day through. The home remedy that sure shot works is inhaling. But as you can imagine, no child of one year is going to peacefully sit through your attempts to butt his head into a cauldron full of steaming water. And so, every morning and evening, the house is filled with his desperate cries, till his parents can't stand that wet hair, leaking nose, red face and loud cry anymore.
After that I rush about getting a blanket and covering him up totally so that his body doesn't cool fast (This is something my mom used to do to me too, ahh..yes, you guessed right, I too had severe wheezing and asthma problem when small, which disappeared mysteriously when I turned 10 years!). And does he look adorable, all wrapped up, basking in the attention he's been getting over Kachi and trying his level best to wriggle out of the tight wrap.


Kachi's been feeling left out the past week, so, decided to get himself a cough AND stay awake the whole of yesterday night coughing. I did give him his drops, but no relief here. So, I spent the night putting a coughing Kautu to sleep from 12 to 1.30 AM and a coughing Kachi to sleep from 4 to 6 AM, so, was pretty much bushed by the time Kautu woke up at 6.30. Luckily for me, my in laws have been here the last two days, so, they took full charge of Kautu till I got my real needed sleep.
Bringing up twins is a good load of work (bringing up a single kid is too, and I really admire the parents who have to cater to the needs of their first born and the completely different need of the second, the infant or toddler) but on nights like yesterdays, I feel that the toughest situation a mother can ever face is a pair of sick twins!!!! Both need to be carried around, massaged, steamed, syruped, fed, patted, rocked and sung to, for them to forget coughing for a while and fall asleep. And since their dad has to be in office the next day, the burden falls on the mother, who for all intents and purposes is supposed to be at home, and so, can 'rest' during the day!!! huh?? But no complaints here, through the hard work and effort, theres the satisfaction that the babies slept when I rocked them, when I sang to them, they cling to me when sick and they need me to be with them all the time, as long as their nose is leaking and their throat is itchy. And for all the cribbing I seem to be doing, I would not have anybody else take care of them when sick. Not even their dad. I can't sleep in the other room hearing the cries of the other baby. I am able to assure myself that the baby is fine and not really suffering as much as his cough seems to indicate, only when I am the one holding him while his little body rocks in the spasms. This is not to say that the dad doesn't feel all this, he is affected too, but, by now, he has kind of gotten used to Kautu getting a wheezing attack once a month and Kachi getting a running nose once in a while. Also, he does not get to see them suffering the whole day through, and I think this gives him a chance to practice 'I don't see them, so, I assume they are fine' syndrome. Its a great syndrome that enables one to work efficiently in office leaving the kids at home!

They will not need me a few years from now, and I am enjoying their need and their single pointed devotion while it lasts!

After the wheezing whizzes by,
And the coughing crawls away,
A tired mother lets out a sigh,
But never ceases to pray.

p.s. I like rhyming words too (if that makes it a poem, so be it!).

Sunday, May 6, 2007

No one has written...boo hoo..

I think I have got addicted! One day has passed and none of my favorite bloggers have written a post! I have an assignment to finish and my kids are screaming out here, but all I can think of now is that I have nothing interesting to read.


Whats a morning now a days if I don't sit by the table with a hot cup of 'Chai' and start browsing my favorite blogs? Yup..thats the very first thing I do, even before brushing my teeth. Their dad has to go to office, but I grab this time from him and relish the first half an hour of the day! After he leaves, I rush about, feeding the kids, playing with them, giving them their bath (this is a good half an hours activity, they splash around the tub, go nosing into all the buckets, in fact, Kashyap has recently started putting his head into the bucket full of water and blowing bubbles into it!), give their milk and put them to sleep. And then, I do what I am doing now!!!!!

First, go through all my favorite sites (I am very picky here, I go in the order of my preference), comment on relevant topics, start playing around with softwares etc. that I can insert into my site to make it more pleasing (I haven't scored much here!) and then write my own post. I have just discovered what a pleasure this networking is. It has given me the boost to strive further in being a mother and a working professional. I have read very well thought of, very well written and very meaningful articles on both Stay at Home Moms and Working Moms. I have read about the movie Mozhi, the pangs of leaving college, the humor on board flights and the nasty things that can happen there too, the perception of mother and much much more.

The beauty of all these posts is that they all come very true from the heart, from ones own experiences. Much unlike the articles you find in the newspapers or magazines. They just lack the lustre when compared with the blog posts. Each post by each person is unique. In most cases, they want to convey their experiences, their feelings, thoughts and argue about things they hold very dearly. And most bloggers are very well read and have beautiful language. I feel it is almost like an interactive 'Chicken soup for the soul'. With immediate responses and solutions. I have got great advise for two of the issues I face and let me tell you, I value it all the more because it has come from people who have had the first hand experience of it.

So, do you wonder why I say 'boo hoo' when there hasn't been a post from anyone?? I love the stimulation and I love the writing! I am a certified book junkie, but you bloggers have turned me into a blog junkie as well! So write please, and make my day.

Friday, May 4, 2007

As they are about to turn a year...

I am wrestling with a few identity problems. On the one hand, my husband wants me to learn further, pursue my higher studies and on the other, I want to spend time with my two.
He has a valid point. Its just a matter of two years till I finish my MBA and then we can build a totally new different life together. And that these guys are definitely going to be proud of what their mother has achieved once they are grown up.

But I can't even begin to imagine the amount of sacrifice I need to make for that. I need to get in somebody to take care of my babies, I will miss being with my husband and when I come home in the weekends, I will notice the diminishing attachment in their eyes. The problem here is that most of the reputed MBA institutes insist that you stay on campus. This must definitely be frustrating to married students. I am not sure if there is any exception that is made for them, but as far as my limited knowledge goes, there is none.

This is a call that I have to take. It is not necessary that I get admission, but in case I do, then what? What if it is to an institute in another city? Would I be fine visiting my family once a month and for a few days at that? I will be missing out two complete years of their lives, is it worth it? On the other hand, its just two years compared to the lifetime of comfort and pride that I can give once I am through with this. And, on a personal note, MBA is something I have always wanted to give.

According to my husband, I should think of it this way. I have two fine children, my finances, though still running negative with all the pregnancy expenditure, is beginning to stabilise and my husband's career is going forward in full force, so, it is time for me to start thinking about myself. Time to put things in perspective and say that..kids are kids, they will grow up to realise that their mother and father are not just mom and dad, but also individuals who have hopes and ambitions of their own and that they should care their parent's ambition as their parents care for theirs. I know they are too young to realise all this, they are just going to miss their mom, no matter what. But later on, when we tell them how much they helped their mom reach where she is at that point, don't you think they will be proud of both themselves and me?

Another factor here is my husband. He truly feels that I can do much more than what I am doing right now. Agreed I am working from home, but he feels that I should have pursued my MBA dreams a long time back and wants to make amends for it. He is feeling guilty too, that while many of my peers have gone on to study further, I am still where I am. I told that it is really no issue at all, I am fully well enjoying myself now, but he still is worried. Worried that I had to give up something for the family and that I am wasting the faculties that the good lord has showered me with.

So, in all, its still a confusion. Theres a lot to give and take on both arguments. We still haven't decided. I still haven't applied for CAT and GMAT. I still don't know if I ever shall. But let this go down on the internet chronicles that we both wanted something and if we didn't go ahead, it would be solely for our sons and if we did, it would be for ourselves. Both are justifiable, and the step would be taken with absolutely no regrets! So long, guys, wish your mom and dad all the best.
They are going to take steps that just might change your lives altogether!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Why one blogs...

I have a few links (1,2) that explain beautifully why one blogs. The conclusion you can draw from these two blogs is that, one blogs for absolutely one's own reasons.
In fact, writing a blog does not need a reason. Do I sound confused here? Let me explain. There is a theory in psychology which states that some people behave as they do, only because they can. Behaved rudely only because no one stopped them, used something only because it was available. Though this might have been how they started off, very often, it becomes a behavioral condition, or a habit. For e.g., I read an article about how a child, intelligent, well respected in his school and a great favorite with his friends, behaved abominably at home. On analysis, it was found that there was nothing wrong with him, except that, he daren't behave the way he does at home elsewhere. He didn't face any parental censure, so, behaved as he wanted with them!
For all the number of words I wrote above, the fact I wanted to convey was just this, I write blogs only because I can. I started out like that, and now, its become a habit, a compulsion. The pride that one associates with growing up something, be it a child or a blog is the same. I take pride in the comments my readers write, in the number of htmls I add to my blog, in the number of posts I put up and what I write in them.
But, over and above anything else, I take pride in my children, my work, my husband and my home, for I take effort over everything only because I can.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Recipie for a better self esteem...

Mind you, being fat, overweight and obese didn't make me loose my self esteem. I told my self several times over and over again that it is the person inside that counts. No matter what the outer wrapping is, I am a great person inside, confident, understanding and intelligent. It shouldn't matter to anyone who really loves me, what I look like.
But no matter what said and done, no matter how well I carried my self, theres always the shopping experience to pull you back to reality. It was when I would go to buy a dress that I would lament my weight. I would end up looking at my self in the dressing room mirror and see the frustration mirrored in my eyes when a dress that I fell in love with, would just not fit. Towards the end of an hour or so, I would grit my teeth and take the only ones that would fit me. It would not hold a candle against the ones I really liked. Thats when I would resolve to loose weight. But this feeling kept roller coasting.
Around January this year, I started getting severe knee pain. I could not even stand for five minutes at a stretch, leave alone bending and picking up the kids. The orthopedic told me that there is nothing wrong with my leg other than the weight I am putting on it. This gave me the scare of my life. Me, a 25 year old active woman, being reduced to this? That challenge was enough to get me going.
....What I did...

The first three weeks, I just spent in slowly reducing my intake. I started out by replacing all the high calorie food with lesser ones.
  • milk -> slim milk (Nestle, Amul etc.)
  • sugar -> sweetner
  • rice -> atta (whole wheat) noodles
Rest of the care I took:
  • no oil
  • slim milk and muesli for breakfast and dinner
  • loads of vegetables and noodles for lunch
  • diet rusk for tea
  • fruits whenever hungry

Thats it!! Lost quite a lot of weight with this diet (around 3 KG per week) and then moved on to General Motors Diet the next week. It is quite a difficult diet to follow, but is supposed to cleanse your system and give a good weight loss. A scientific program that ensures that you stay healthy but remove all the extra deposits.
I found only the first day very difficult to follow, rest of it was pretty much smooth sailing. Did feel a bit weak at times, but since I am at home, could take adequate rest and recuperate.
Lost a total of 4.5 Kg that week and have been maintaining that weight till now.

P.s: A small note!! I followed the healthy diet through the week and relaxed on weekends. It was more to let go off my craving that I ate a bit of rice and the usual food I serve my husband, and less of the need to give my tummy a change, a small reward for managing to stay off the fatty food! Do go through this note about metabolism and diet. I think I did just that. Reduced my daily diet to a healthy one and once my knee problems were gone, started exercising to build up the muscles.
I feel good now. I no longer have the urge to keep eating everything in sight. My hands don't rush for the oily snacks on the counter nor my eyes wander to the high calorie food on the menu. But I still do eat them once a while to remind myself that I am not missing out on much. Just some oil, some fat and a bit of taste!!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

inspiration...

I just realized that I am an inspiration to many. There are lots of categories in which I could be, but, what I really am is in my weight loss. I got a call yesterday evening from a mother of two, the youngest being five months old, telling me that she read my blog and was amazed at the metamorphosis that I underwent.
We then shared my dieting experience and what all I am doing to maintain and reduce further. I really loved the fact I could make a difference to somebody and I hope that I can help out more. I am publishing two snaps of mine, not unlike the 'before' and 'after' snaps by the slimming institutes. I am just happy to be rid of all that 20Kg and want everyone else to be rid of theirs too.
But a disclaimer here, I started the weight loss struggle only after my kids refused to breastfeed. Till then, it was an uphill task to eat as much as possible, prompted by the wrong age old notions of, 'you get as much milk as you eat'! Though a feeding mother does need to eat well, it surely doesn't mean finishing off half liters of ghee in a week, eating rice three times a day and drinking two litres of milk a day. And god forbid, your child doesn't suck enough to get a tummy full of milk, you face the wrath of these 'know alls' who say you compromised your child to loose weight. These self righteous women drive me crazy. They might have left their kids off with their parents, or got the servants to feed them, or agreed, they might have taken care of them themselves, but that doesn't give them the right to question how others are rearing their kids. I am venting some hard feelings here, but the fact remains, and I say it again for all the self righteous people who are reading blogs to find faults with others, that I started the weight loss after my kids STOPPED FEEDING off me.

The 'before' snap: Taken just before their Namakaranam in Chennai, Aug. 21, 2006 when kachi and kautu were three months old. I was 96 Kg then.

The 'after' snap: Taken at a cousin's marriage in Nanjangud, April 26, 2007. I am 76 now, still raring to loose some more.

Do share with me your experiences. I would love it if I could help someone out.

Monday, April 23, 2007

15 minutes in the life of 'Vanara Sena'

Kachi is singing to himself standing by the computer table and Kautu is talking to himself sitting under the dining table with a bottle in hand. Their dad has just gone to take bath and here I am typing away. It might seem innocuous to you, but any minute things can change. As I type, Kachi has left his table and is making a bee line for Kautu. Kautu in turn is now stranding up holding the dining table chair and biting away at my lap top charger and straining to go 'ay' (Its our way of saying 'he's trying to shit!'). Kachi meanwhile has left Kautu to himself and gone in search of his dad. Found him outside the bathroom door and is now tugging his leg to let him inside the bathroom.

That room is their all time favorite. The moment they are bored of my company, they head straight for the bathroom and drum on the commode. And we are careful to keep it closed..you can imagine where they would get their hands to otherwise!

Dad's just come out of the bed room all dressed up to go to office and Kachi is looking lost. Kautu has joined him there to relieve his boredom and they are now fighting over a bag of mine my mother gifted. Kachi has it in his mouth and kautu's pulling it away from him. Kachi is giving his war cry and pulling it back from him. Our maid is in the room and talking to them, trying to maintain some semblance of camaraderie.

Kachi has donated his bag to Kautu and is now standing holding the bed. He's got today's paper in his mouth and is pulling it vigorously. Once he ate some paper and vomited all the food he had earlier. So, I just rushed there to pull it out of his mouth.

Maid was keeping the bottles in the sterilizer when Kachi, reached out and pulled the sterilizer down. So, she unceremoniously planted both Kachi and Kautu outside the room and they are now circling around the dining room.... My brigade by the sterilizer

My husband calls them the 'Vanara Sena (Monkey army)' and if this is their activity in just the last 15 minutes, you can imagine how much 'Vanaram' work they do by the end of the day!