About You, Abhi….

Dear Abhi,

I have written multiple posts about Achu and you in my head. I write them every day. About everything you do during the day and night; How you change every few days, how you do new things for the first time etc. etc. Unfortunately, not one of them made it here. Don’t ask me why. I have no good reason. Anyway, now that I see both of you getting more mobile and active, I thought I would at least sum up what I remember you, as in your last few months back at our home.

When we bought you two home, you both were silent babies. And then Achu started being the crazy loud baby and you were the mellow one. After few weeks, you two reversed roles and you turned into the crazy loud baby. You cried and cried whenever you woke up, before you slept, most of the times. Poor thing, may be you were scared. We couldn’t tell. We hugged and rocked you all the time. You were so crazily crying all the time that when we decided to make you two sleep in different rooms (one with me and one with Pati) to avoid you two waking each other up, Pati was very worried to have you sleep in her room. And so you started to sleep in our room with daddy and me. (Lucky pati thought she got the mellow one. She couldn’t have been more wrong. ūüôā ).

Few weeks you remained this crazy baby, swaddling seemed to comfort you some times, so we did that religiously. After few weeks you seemed to have realized that everything around you was secure and started to calm down (By then, Pati was already having fun with crazy Achu and her sleep schedules ūüėõ and she wanted to have you in her room. I didn’t let her switch.). The good thing I remember about you is your sleep schedule. When you turned 4 months old or so, your awesome¬†mommy¬†decided to sleep train you both. Like many other instances, when it came to trying out new things, you were always the first one we tried things on (because you know how crazy your sister is, she makes everything difficult). This was one of the best things we did. Before we got into a routine, you cried whenever we left the room. I would go back, calm you down and leave the room again. We had a small routine before going to bed; We would go into our bedroom, turn on the closet light, shut the blinds and head to our bed. I would sing to you lullabies (and many other meaningless tunes and words) and you would sleep. After few days, you started sleeping through out the night, all by yourself (Something I didn’t like you do because you started skipping eating). I know you wouldn’t remember this, you were literally in love with that light in the closet. I didn’t know why, but you stare at that light so much that you go to sleep staring at it, you wake up and you are staring at it. Sometimes, we would take you into the closet and you would be all eyes, turning your little head to see as much as you can. When we go back to our home, I hope you would have another closet and light, just like the old one. If not, I will surely get you the one that you will like again.

Another thing you loved was listening to music on my phone. In the mornings, after you woke up (you used to sleep around 8 ish and you were generally up by 5), I would play some movie songs on my phone and you spent hours just listening to the music and of course, staring at your closet light. Btw, Thanks for letting me sleep :).

You were a thin baby and you continued to be so. You ate little, threw up quite a few times and when we went to the doctors, we found out that you dropped to 25% of weight range. I am sure you are still in the range now, despite eating better now.

Of you two, you tried to roll over first and then you gave up. Maybe you thought it was boring. I remember you trying to roll over, only a few times. All that I remember is that one day you just rolled over. But after you rolled over onto your tummy, you didn’t know how to turn on your back again, so each time, one of us would put you back on. And again, I don’t know when you practiced, but one day you started rolling all the way neatly. ūüôā

One of the toys you loved the most was the Jumper. We, initially got it for Achu because she was showing interest in sitting down, but you took sudden interest in it and would just jump and jump. You wouldn’t stop jumping as long as you were in it. I remember you even slept in it once.:) You caught the jumping bug so much that when we came to Hyderabad, I packed it in our baggage, just for you.

How can I ever forget your cycling? While Achu was putting her hands to good use, you were using your legs. You were cycling so hard and fast that we even received complaints from our neighbors downstairs (Like I said before, dad and I were very proud of it. ūüôā ). Your cycling was one thing that amazed everybody. Everyone who saw you cycling your legs that way just went awww. We were sure you would be a runner or something.

You had so many more wonderful things about you, you had such cute hair; You smiled the cutest; You so enjoyed your bath time; You teethed first too. You had a tiny little one on the left side. Despite me complaining and trying to get rid of the habit, you continued to suck on your fingers a lot for soothing.

Best thing I remember is how I loved watching you sleep and how you would slowly come closer to me during the mornings, sometimes even waving your little hands at my face to wake me up. When we opened the blinds together in the morning and you would stare outside, I loved watching your face and your expressions. You looked so curious. And that’s what the nick name your dad has for you. Curious George. Your dad once said that Abhi will learn by watching/reading and Achu will learn by doing. I quite agree. You were so taken into books. You loved when dad read to you. That little book of vehicles, red fire truck, green tractor..you loved it so much. Your dad even read a chapter of Harry Potter to you already.

You are still the mellow baby now; You are the good baby of the two of you. ūüôā That’s what everyone says..for now. ūüôā Even if you decide to change again …Please be the good little monkey..

This And That

If we ever move to India, I am told that I would be terrible in managing maids. I somehow seem to be treating them differently than others do around here. For starters, I keep calling them andi (like in¬†Hindi…with a ji). Last week, our maid just finished eating and Achu was pooping at the same time. As the maid just ate I thought I would clean up Achu. Apparently, instead of doing it myself, I was supposed to ask the maid to clean it up. Interestingly, maid also seems to think that its okay to be asked to clean a poopy diaper just after she finished eating. Last time I was in India, I went thanking every shop keeper when we went shopping. My friend actually made me enter sort of an agreement that if the store doesn’t give us a good deal, there will be no thank you. I said sorry and agreed. ūüôā

************

Why are many of us so obsessed with gold? Apparently, last week or so gold price reduced and every one I know was at a jewellery store. Even Abhi, Achu and I were dragged to the store. We three sat silently and watched all the hustle bustle around while my mom purchased two bangles and my sister bought a necklace. I was the only one in store not looking to buy any gold item. On a related note, my friend P asked me when I was going to get the diamond earrings I was talking about purchasing for over an year now. I told her that I was actually waiting for Murali to bring it up and she said unless I drop a hint it’s not happening. So here it is.

************

I may have uncovered the most awesome invention ever; At least, from the perspective of a mom who is trying to keep her twins away from mosquito bites. Its called a mosquito bat. In case you¬†haven’t¬†heard about it yet, its like a small badminton bat that has an electric mesh with minimum power, so when we swish the bat at a mosquito, mosquito is killed instantly. I may have laughed when I was first told about this item, but after I used this as the last resort for getting rid of occasional¬†mosquitoes, I understood its real potential. Honestly, it’s so much power in your hands. I already killed the 4 mosquitoes I saw with the bat and feel like a super woman. Also, you can tell Abhi, Achu and I are one family because we three have red swellings from mosquito bites on our left cheek.

************

Seeing Hyderabad everyday reminds me so much of my life here 6 years ago. Especially all the expectations, dreams and hopes I had for future. I now realize how most of them¬†haven’t¬†come true. Well, I may be over most of those but its not easy to let go of few no matter how much I try. I now seem to be wanting what I wanted more again, just because I am reminded everyday of what I dreamt. Well, at least there are two little people to cheer me up (and keep me busy).

************

Here comes another issue I anticipated with¬†India¬†trip and it worries to see it come true. Weight gain. I knew that if I didn’t have a balanced life or didn’t keep myself occupied all the time, I would gain weight instead of losing all the weight I gained with pregnancy. Seeing the obvious weight gain in me is my ultimate depression starting point. I¬†haven’t¬†told anyone, but for the last few months I was in Seattle, I was seeing my weight drop, now I seem to accumulating it all over again, because all day, there isn’t anything hard work I do other than sit around twins, feed/change and play with them. The minimum time I spend on exercise when I can wont help me even a bit.

************

It rains almost 300 days in Seattle, but when it rained here last week, I could feel the real rain, not the drizzle we have all the time. I took Abhi to the balcony to show him the rain. I hope he smelled the smell of dirt after rain.

Reading Time…

Look what mommy did yesterday! For the first time, she stepped out without the babies (who btw were deep asleep) for some 20 minutes and got herself three books to read. And these would be the first time she will be reading some fiction after over a year. Nice, isn’t it?

WP_20130420_033[1]

When I was buying these I had a suspicion that I already read this Dan Brown book. But I¬†wasn’t¬†sure as I didn’t remember the¬†story line¬†and the book was missing the leaf cover. I anyway bought it as dad said he can read it later (part of big plan after he retires). And it turned out that I did read it. So I ended up with two books to read for now. Not that I have time to do that now, but I wanted to at least pick one and Abhi did that job for me.

WP_20130418_015[1]

I remember few years ago, when I used to buy books in Hyderabad I specifically used to look for old books while all the road side book sellers would try to sell me the pirated copies. I used to argue with them that they¬†shouldn’t¬†sell the pirated copies; Not that they cared, but I still argued. That time, these guys would sell used books for less because they are torn out and have that old look on them. They really didn’t know the value of old books. But when I was buying these yesterday (all for Rs. 500) and my dad was trying to bargain, the store guy told us that he would sell us the same pirated books for less. I still got the old ones and was glad to find out that people are at least now realizing the value of old books.

P.S: The book title page is no longer attached to the book, but can now be used as a book marker.Thanks for taking it out Abhi. I really needed a book marker. ūüôā

First Snow

Last winter we hardly had any snow in Redmond. In early 2012, ¬†we had quite an awesome snow fall that everything shutdown for a couple of days. Luckily we¬†didn’t¬†lose power so we had a comfortable time enjoying the beautiful snow¬†surroundings¬†from our apartment. This time I was hoping for snow so that I can officially call it ¬†Abhi and Achu’s first snow, but it¬†didn’t¬†happen during winter.

Luckily, during one of the days before we¬†traveled¬†here, it started snowing one morning. I¬†wasn’t¬†watching any forecasts (or¬†in fact¬†any kind of news) so I¬†didn’t¬†know if this was predicted and it came as a pleasant¬†surprise¬†to me. It snowed for few minutes, may be, but snow did stick to ground. Abhi and Achu were awake during the snow and did see it snow. I know, I know, they cant tell anything different than that something exciting is happening outside again and mom wont take them there, but I will still go ahead and call it Abhi and Achu’s first snow. ūüôā Here are few pics I could click from our window.

WP_20130322_017 WP_20130322_016 WP_20130322_015 WP_20130322_009 WP_20130322_014 WP_20130322_019 WP_20130322_018

Of Bad Choices And Results

<Quite a long and crib/sad post. I need to let it out. Thanks if you read till the end.>

There were only two people whom I would blindly trust with making any decisions for me. First one, I lost confidence in couple of years ago. Losing confidence in the second person and decision to not trust anyone anymore blindly happened just last week.

When Murali’s project work at Vancouver came along, there were couple of choices on what I can do. Most of them needed me to take a break from work. Out of all the options, when my dad suggested I take a break from¬†April¬†and spend 4 months in India, I agreed blindly. Not that I was okay with that decision, but rest all seemed unsatisfactory anyway. For ex, staying in Seattle with a live-in nanny to take care of kids and me going to work – This one didn’t sound right to me. Surely I didn’t want to take a break from work, but not at the expense of living without my family. As I settled on going to India, I was damn sure I would be so bored in India, but partially I was okay with this as I thought Abhi and Achu would get good care. Plans were made for dad to come to¬†Seattle¬†to assist me and the twins in the journey as any airlines wont let one adult travel with two infants.

I let everyone at work know that I will be gone for 4 months and started making travel preps. My only goal was to make sure Abhi and Achu don’t suffer during the travel and have a comfortable journey. We made travel arrangements earlier and dad was expected to fly that week. The¬†Friday¬†before the week dad was supposed to arrive in Seattle,Murali comes home and asks me how I am going to travel without my passport. Some news that shocked me as I had no idea my passport¬†wasn’t¬†with me. Murali then told me that when he was applying for a work permit for Canada, he also sent a work permit application for me along with my passport for processing. That was quite a shock to me to realize I don’t have my passport, especially just days before my dad was expected to arrive for the sole purpose of taking me to India.

And then the waiting game began. We requested Canadian consulate for urgent return of my passport without processing my application. We didn’t receive any kind of response despite multiple reminders. Dad arrived as planned hoping that passport would arrive on time. Our scheduled day of travel arrived and yet no sign of my passport. We waited till the morning and rescheduled the travel to a week later. Through out the waiting time, I remember everyone around was feeling bad that my passport hadn’t arrived on time. But I¬†wasn’t¬†feeling any sad. I was very neutral because I didn’t want to go in the first place. Although I agreed to the option, during the week we were waiting, I gave quite a bit of thought to why I was so hesitant to go. a. I am not the kind of person to spend all time at home. b. I like to stay busy and have a balanced life, some time at work, some time at home is all I need.¬†Knowing all this¬†didn’t¬†change my mind as it was already too late for a change.

After quite a bit of drama, passport arrived just the morning of when we were supposed to fly out. We were all packed and ready and we proceeded to airport and checked-in. And then the worst happened.

As this was first flight and that too a long flight for Abhi and Achu, I planned quite extensively on what to carry and what to do during the flight. Being the cleanliness freak I was for Abhi and Achu, I read a lot and packed everything right to keep Abhi and Achu healthy during the transit. The unfortunate part of travel was that I planned it all right but had the worst partner to help during the flight – my dad. when my dad said he would assist me in our journey to India, he somehow assumed that all the help I need is with checking-in, boarding, finding out at what gate etc. And this was definitely not what I needed. I needed someone to help with taking care of one of the babies or at least holding or keeping them occupied.

Being¬†their first flight travel, Abhi and Achu got very scared of the new surroundings and new faces around them. Neither of them wanted to go to my dad as he was still sort of new to them. They wanted me to hold them all the time and it¬†wasn’t¬†easy for me to hold them both and pass through the gates, board the flight. My hands were killing me, I tried putting them in their stroller, Abhi and Achu were so scared that they didn’t want me to leave them anywhere. Through out most of the travel, I carried them both in my arms, finally gave up and had to let them cry it out. I was feeling so bad inside and to add to the trouble, my dad¬†wasn’t¬†even trying to help. Which ever one my dad was holding, would cry and I had to switch the baby and now the other one would start crying. I had no idea why my dad¬†wasn’t¬†able to help. Not that he is not good with kids, the other two grandchildren adore him. But it turned out that he is good with making a happy baby happier. When it came to basic necessities he had no skills. During the travel he actually told me that he doesn’t know how to change a diaper and I was very surprised to hear that. In fact, during the take-offs and landings I had to leave the babies in a seat (and not in an adult lap as they should be in), because they were so crying to be with my dad.

Through out the travel, Abhi and Achu cried the most they ever did and even cried themselves to sleep. They didn’t travel in the most sanitary conditions I planned for them. In my condition, keeping the twins in a sanitary condition as I wanted them to be in was actually a luxury to me. Their bottles were washed in the bathroom, their blankets were on floor, I had to finally give up, spread a blanket on floor in Dubai airport and let them play on the floor. I even let a complete stranger hold Achu in the hope that he could calm her down while I was calming Abhi.

If the horrible flight journey¬†wasn’t¬†enough to make me feel go back to¬†Seattle¬† there was more waiting for us in Hyderabad. Abhi, Achu and I reached home completely exhausted. I was hoping things would get better after we reached home. After all, I was told I would have help here and I can rest. But that¬†wasn’t¬†the case at all. Abhi and Achu’s schedule changed completely because of jet lag. Because this was new place, they were still scared. I was exhausted too and for different reasons I had zero help even at my home as my mom¬†wasn’t¬†in any shape to help me. I think its best I don’t go into details anymore here because this is not something I would like to remember.

My health which was already bad through the flight took turn for worst despite me being on many medications and that made my daily life even more miserable.¬†And there is more. The main reason I came here is that Murali wont be in Seattle anymore. Now, because of some visa delays he is still stuck in Seattle; when he will travel is not yet known and¬†that’s¬†something that voids my coming here.

I wouldn’t call this trip any vacation. I know I am stuck here for a long 4 months, this is exactly the part I dreaded all the time and still agreed to do because it meant best care for Abhi and Achu. But when that best care isn’t happening, there is nothing left for me than just suck it up.

I cursed myself so bad for not going with my gut instinct and taking this trip. I was so mad with Murali for putting me in this situation, my mom and dad for promising me something that they can’t give me and myself for trying to satisfy everyone and making the worst choice. Things may seem better tomorrow, but what Abhi, Achu and I went through is not worth anything. Worst thing I remember during the transition is that out of Abhi and Achu, because Achu cried the loudest, I had to attend to her first and let Abhi cry it out. Its been just more than a week since we started out from¬†Seattle¬†and I can still remember Abhi weakly crying laying some where next to me each time. Its not a memory I can ever forget.