Nov 1, 2015

All that's moving is... Walking!

We're sitting in the car, traveling somewhere and Adu gives a running commentary like this....
"Amma! Bus walking!! Amma, bike walking!!"

And when our car stopped at a red signal, "Appa... car innu walking beku"

And to kill time and keep him engaged i started asking him questions...

Me: So what's that bus doing?
Adu: Bus walking
Me: And whats that bird doing? (pointing to a bir flying)
Adu: Pakshi walking
Me: What is Appa doing?
Adu: Appa car-walking (driving the car :P )
Me: What's Adu's car doing?
Adu: Adu car walking
Me: What's Adu doing?
Adu: Adu kootho!!


Dec 16, 2014

Our little Clean-freak!

Ok, so Adu seems to have got a clean-freak gene in him, definitely not from one of us! And we're glad about it... may be we'll get a bit of it from him!

I taught him to put his toys away in his toy-box after he's done playing with them and he's enjoying doing the same by himself from the last couple of months. If he sees his toys littered he excitedly runs, err crawls to them only to point them to me, with a "Aaaaaaeee.. Aaaaaaeee.." and starts putting them one by one into the bag. Of course, I should tell him he's a good boy, applaud him and encourage him after each step!

While feeding him, if there are some spills - on his dress or mine, he immediately points it out to me implying me to clean it up as soon as he shows! The next morsel does not enter his mouth until the previous spill has been cleaned and His Highness is satisfied!

Any small bit of food or any rubbish that has fallen onto the floor first catches his attention. He carefully picks it up and calls me and hands it over to me, to throw it away.

The shopping bags and other things lying in the hallway, as we'd be tired to clear them up after returning home, would catch his attention in an instant and he wants it cleared immediately! He even helps me clear them by handing out one thing after another from the bags.

The wardrobes, if D has left them open in the morning rush, have him call out "Aaaaaaeee.. Aaaaaaeee.." asking me to close them, first thing on waking up!

In general, anything that is out of place needs to be set right and cleaned up for our little clean freak :) :) Swachh Bharath Abhiyaan at home ;)

Aug 19, 2014

Adu @ 10 months

Oh do i have a talkative little man here! We talk and talk and talk the whole day!! He's got many words  now and tries to repeat many of them too. he's now mobile with access to a lot of things and places!
  • Our little Adu is now mobile, crawling on all fours, exploring the far off corners of the house! That means mamma has to be very very active and careful now! His grandparents were worried that he's not started crawling even after nine months. We both however, were not bothered about it as he is otherwise a healthy baby. But he started moving on fours when he was about 9.5 months, initially in a funny way of using his legs, knees, hands and bum. and very soon he picked up proper crawling, initially at a slow pace and now with great vigor!
  • He's got so used to some of the regular words we use with him, and if we forgot to say them, he'd tell them himself in his language. For instance when I make his formula carrying him, I count the number spoons of powder that i put into the bottle and then pour the water and shake the bottle, saying out all the steps to keep him engaged. In Paris, we stayed in a small studio apartment in which the kitchen table was visible from the bed. One night he woke up in the middle of the night hungry and started crying. His dad rushed to make the formula for him while i tried to soothe him. He suddenly stopped crying and started saying 'tan, toa, te, ...'. I was surprised how he could stop crying when he was so hungry and then realized he was counting the number of spoons of formula his dad was putting into the bottle! We had a hearty laugh!
  • He once said Thatha, thatha to his grandfather on phone as many times as we asked him to, and surely his granddad was elated! Now his grandmas are waiting when he'd call them ajji.
  • The words he says mostly sound the same, but the tone matters. He just imitates my tone - the one i use with him to repeat the words. His favorite words are light-light-bright-bright when we switch on the light or open the window blinds, dark-dark when we close it or switch off, counting one two three while making formula, catch (a ball), nanna (water), nappy, tegi kai when he puts his hand in his mouth, and understands a host of other words.
  • We love to sing and dance the whole day! He has a few favorites from what I hum too! And he nods his head and shakes his body to some songs! Its cute to watch!
  • He has a set of favorite rhymes to, which he signs to be sung. Like twinkle twinkle, clap clap, baba black sheep, johnny johnny... If i don't sing one of them for a few days and then sing it he shows his delight at having recognized his old favorite! As soon as I start Johnny Johnny now, he says 'ahh ahh'
  • He  blows kisses now, waves bye bye, gives hi-fi, shakes hand, does namaste, hits his forehead as if to say rama rama, shows he wants to eat, wants water, and wants to sleep. Ohhhh its all so cute!!
  • But he's become a fussy eater now. He wants something different everyday, likes something one day but flatly rejects the same the next day, Hmmm... mama is having a difficult time trying to impress the little man.
  • On the allergy front, we met his doctor but the allergy test will be done only after he is one. Till then we are not to try any allergen on him. And we've now stopped nursing and that's a relief for mamma, though it was kind of strange initially, to suddenly start having all milk products! 
That's it for now!!

A week in Paris - Some tips for travelling with a baby

We're back from a week's trip to Paris with almost 10 month old Adu. And boy, are we glad he's inherited our travel genes! Being avid travelers as a couple, we're now so so grateful that our little one enjoys traveling too. It was a no-hassle, simple trip to just one place - Paris, for a week, with a lot of buffer to rest, with no hard and fast tick list and that helped us have a relaxed trip in spite of a 10 month old.

We covered the important places like Louvre, Eiffel tower, a day's hop on hop off and so on, but kept the rest of the trip to just walk around the city, and explore things at our own pace. Little Adu enjoyed his time in his stroller, babbling away happily, singing long notes, waving at strangers, giggling, and falling asleep when tired! And we walked around the city, a few kilometres everyday, exploring the city, clicking pictures, tasting amazing French food, and taking in every bit leisurely. Unlike our earlier trips, we'd wake up late and start from the apartment in the late morning, after Adu had his share of rest, pack food for Adu from home, venture out till evening when we ourselves would get tired.

Some of the preparation that helped us ease travel with the kiddo:

  • Pack light. Consider your baby also as a piece of luggage - a big and cranky one at that! Even when you're taking his stroller, your hands will be busy pushing the stroller. Also, you never know when the kid insists on being carried in arms rather than in stroller. So pack very light for yourselves, but make sure you carry the baby's most essential items.
  • Don't have a hectic schedule when traveling with a baby. You'll need a lot of buffer including resting times, unexpected delays, time to prepare the baby's stuff before every outing, more sleep time than usual owing to the added tire traveling with the baby and so on. Keep the plan relaxed. 
  • Be flexible. It is more important to enjoy the trip than to tick off places. There is no point in visiting every place on the tourists' guide when everyone including the baby is getting dead tired. Also, everything might not go just as per you plan. For example, you might plan to visit a place that requires you to set off early in the morning, but your kiddo might have given you a bad night, meaning all of you needing more sleep time in the morning to be fresh. So just push the early morning plan to a better day and do something else that is light instead.
  • Carry enough supplies of your baby's favorite food. Even if your baby is willing to try different stuff, it is better to carry his favorite foods. We had carried some fruit smoothies he's used to, his usual cereal, and some dosa flour. 
  • Book a place with a small kitchenette. Or carry your own little one burner stove and a pan. This really helps to dish out something fresh at least for the baby. In our case, we carried Adu's favorite dosa flour (not batter) (a mix of wheat flour, rice flour and a bit of methi powder) that we'd mix with water and make a tiny dosa for him that he'd be happy to eat after a tiring day out.
  • Keep a couple of his favorite toys. And we'd give him one when he's bored sitting in his stroller for quite some time. It would delight him to get his favorite toy suddenly and that would keep him busy for some time. And with small kids, a lot of other 'junk' things can be used to keep them engaged for long periods of time. Like Adu loves to look at and play with maps and brochures after we're done with, lids of throwaway containers without any sharp edges keep him busy for some time, he like studying tickets, receipts and such. Just make sure nothing you give the baby is harmful.
  • Reserve time to just spend with the little one everyday. That may be playing a silly game, singing rhymes, giggling with him, or just cuddling with him.
  • Make things interesting for the baby. Your baby will definitely not appreciate being on top of Eiffel tower or looking at Mona Lisa! What he instead enjoys is playing a peek a boo with you, giggling at the monkey faces you make, clapping hands with him for a rhyme and so on. So make sure you do it with him often, to keep him happy. Don't worry if the people around think you are a bigger monkey! They mostly will not and even if they do, that's ok.
  • Carry the essentials always. Always when heading out, make sure your baby bag has refills of food, water, nappies, tissues, bib, a snack and so on. Having a bit more is better than running out of something midway with a crying baby.  
  • Keep Emergency Numbers handy. That includes the local doctors, baby's doctor back home in case there is a need, you don't have to panic searching for numbers.

Jul 18, 2014

Adu @ 9 months

Our little Adu turned 9 months already! And we're having a gala time! Or rather ga-ga time, with him babbling ga-ga most of the time!! He's chatting away a lot these days, all in his own language, but i'm glad i can make out most of it ;) Or so I assume!! One day it is 'ga-ga-ga', and the next it is 'tha-tha-tha', and then it is 'ba-ba-ba', and so on. And sometimes it is a combination of sounds. 

I've been graduated from 'Ungaaaaa' to something almost like 'Amma'. It ranges from Amma, to mma, maammmaa, to ammmammaaa. And his appa is abba as of now! This has been the case almost through his 9th month. Once he starts, he goes on calling amma, amma and it feels soooooooooo good! Still I miss those Ungaa days.... Those days, he'd suddenly call me, 'Unga!' as if to tell me something. Or it's be a Ungaaaaaeee when hungry or when he wants something.

He loooooves singing! I guess he's giving back all that effort I had taken the past months to sing and keep him engaged. He's probably starting to take revenge on me ;) He still likes to listen to me or his dad singing, and continues or repeats as soon as we stop!

We've been singing a lot of rhymes these days, with all the baby actions!! And his favorite is 'Twinkle twinkle', followed by 'When you're happy...' and then 'Johnny Johnny'. He has now learnt to make the actions for all these three, and when he wants to hear one of these, he signs. And he sings with his babbles with one of these actions, and we'll know what he's singing!!

He loves palying with shadows, and whenever he sees a patch of sunlight from one of the huge windows here, he moves his hands and sees if the shadow falls there. Almost always, it'll not be successful, unless i carry him to a suitable position to make his shadow fall there. And then he keeps himsef busy for quite sometime.

He loves to experiment with the gravitational force too. When on high chair, he keeps dropping things and look at me to pick it up for him. Ok, i agree it's a favor he's doing me, to reduce those extra kilos that is still sticking on ;)

He's turning out to be a choosy eater. Not that he's a bad eater, but only if things are tasty. And if it is not repeating often. And if it is not bland baby food. And if he's not sleepy. And if he's neither not hungry not tooooo hungry when he turns cranky and wants only milk. Hmmm...... amma is having some real challenge these days!!

He is turning out to be a clear minded little fellow. He knows clearly what he wants and what he doesn't. And expresses it clearly and gets things done! 

He's learnt to do some signs to tell what he wants. Like he puts one finger into his mouth in a particular way to ask for more food. In another way to ask for water. He pats himself on his head, saying he's sleepy. Claps to say he wants to hear rhymes and it makes it so much easier for us! And when we guess it correctly and ask if that is what he wants, he responds too... 

He's picked up on understanding many words now, like the ones i keep using to him. And when he wants to say he almost gets the first syllable right. Like, ne for water (neeru), lla for light, cack for catch... ohh it is so much fun with a little one around!

Regarding allergy, he'll have his allergy test by the end of this month. I've been asked to try out other stuff like nut butters, egg once again but i'm just too apprehensive to try out. The first couple of times he had egg he was alright but the later couple of times he had heavy throw ups, so i stopped experimenting. And a small teeny weeny bit of naan that he had the other day at a restaurant caused him to come home and throw up a couple of times and sleep tired. Can't see him tired and dull... so just gave up on experimenting and waiting for the allergy test with fingers crossed...

Apr 25, 2014

Adu @ 6 months!

Oops! I'm so late in posting this!! I was too too busy when he turned 6 months.... was getting ready to travel back to Sweden. And i was to travel alone with Adu, so lot of preparations had to be done by myself... and not to forget the never ending shopping list too...

Well, Adu,
You had been a WONDERFUL baby this month! Each month seems to be the best one till then! You were awesomely co operative, non cranky, friendly, more communicative, more receptive, more vocal, started showing us some of your interests... and so on...

  • You spent an awesomely good time with your Chikki (my sis) which was the highlight for me and her! You almost got along with her as good as with me! I was so glad and she was more! I'd leave you with her to do my shopping and other errands, and you'd be a happy baby, hardly missing me! You'd even go to sleep with her!
  • You started rolling over, officially! Though you had done it a few times in the third month, you had completely forgotten about it for the next few weeks. And now that you have practiced holding your head up and balancing, and taking your hands off, you didn't hurt your nose, like they say most babies do!
  • You love music... you enjoyed the concert that was arranged in ajji's house, tapping your thighs for 'taaLa' and later started singing yourself..... Your songs lasted for more than a couple of minutes at one stretch! It was mostly 'ga gaaa gnaaaaaaaaa' currently.
  • You love it when we play with you with our hands, making different gestures and moving them around you.
  • You discovered that there are a host of possibilities with those little hands, apart from just mouthing them! You learnt to snatch things, hold them close to examine, learnt to tap our hands, started scratching us more, 
  • You started imitating many of our actions...
    • You learnt to do some gestures with your hand that your Ajji had taught along with a small verse. When you first were able to do it, you were delighted with yourself and wanted to flaunt it off to us!
    • You learnt to move your lips to kiss!!! That was sooooo cute! You started with making some weird sounds with your lips and then finally it came to the almost proper kissing!! How i loved to get those first few sloppy kisses!! And you gave it to no one else!!
    • You learnt to tap a single leg as against tapping both legs that you were doing till now. This you learnt seeing your Chikki do it. You started following her and found it was fun... 
    • Most of these, you learnt, flaunted off for a few days and then completely stopped doing it for the next few days! Apparently, after learning one skill, and mastering it, you want to move on to concentrating on new ones!!
  • Your thatha has certified you as a 'good boy', which is a great thing, considering how long I and Appa took to get such compliments!! ;))
  • Your Appa missed you quite a bit during this phase, especially seeing the videos that I sent him almost everyday...
And coming to my diet, well, I've somehow managed these past weeks. Its extremely hot here and I'm terribly missing those yogurt rice and buttermilks.... And not to forget the innumerable sweets that make their appearance on the kitchen shelves, but I'll have to show a lot of restraint as almost all of these are soaked in ghee.... Both your ajjis, are however inventing sweet delicacies with dairy-free versions so that I can have something... I've run out of the limited cartons of oat milk that i had carried long ago and waiting to drink some oatly choco milk! Appa would have stocked up the refrigerator for me and I'm waiting to go back to him!

All in all, it was a good trip and everyone had a wonderful time with you! Thank you baby!!


Mar 19, 2014

Adu @ 5 months

My darling happy baby,

It's 5 months! Five months already!!! Just cant believe how fast time is flying. Especially this month as we were in namma Bengaluru, enjoying the company of family and friends.

The journey was quite okay, and you did pretty well. In one of the flights, you wanted to be held close for the first few hours, but then you started enjoying staying in your bassinet, talking to everyone passing by on the flight. You attracted almost everyone around, with your sweet smile, non stop babbles, squeal and loud laughter... Most of the air hostesses had become your friends. People spoke to you in German, English, Marathi, and other languages and you responded to all of it with the same delight! It was such a sight to watch!

And back home, you were welcome with a lot of love. You got along with your ajji thatha as if you had been with them from birth! Right on the first day, you slept with them till you were hungry! This made them so happy, I cannot even express. They were probably apprehensive on how you'd get along with so many people here, but you were awesome. Your aunts, uncles, other relatives, Hima-akka, everyone is so happy to have you at home. You coped with the weather change too beautifully - a transition from sub zero temperatures to 30+ degrees here.

You had your namakarana with lots and lots of people around you, but managed decently. Of course you were stressed and we were sorry for that... Hope to have smaller gatherings in future where you can enjoy...

You are growing up sooo fast i already want to stop the time machine and want to savour this phase forever and ever.... You are learning new tricks everyday and becoming more and more communicative.... It is such a fun to watch you. You have become everyone's pet here and friends and relatives are visiting you often and want to play with you. I'm glad you don't disappoint anyone! You Always welcome people with your sweet toothless grin and entertain them with your antics...

You have learnt to grasp things now - your favorite being reaching out for our hands and playing with with them when we hold it infront of you. You also have started reaching for the toys around you or any other new or attractive objects around you. You are fascinated by the stainless steel plates and glasses we use for meals!

I'm happy you are welcome to new objects, people and experiences. You are not scared of new stuff, but get delighted when you see one. For example, you loved your swinging cradle that ajji-thatha had gotten ready for you. When at an
other ajji's house, the mosquito net fascinates you as crazy! Any new person speaks to you, you get delighted. We take you to people's houses for the first time, and you are happy looking at all that is there around.

The ceiling fan especially is your most favorite object in any room. You now know that something makes it ON when it is still, and you want it running mostly. The heat here does demand the fan to be ON anyways. I'm sure you're gonna miss the fan when we are back in Gothenburg...

You Love your appa's voice and turn towards the corner of the room he is speaking from, always... (You surely are going to miss him for the next month). Yes, we are staying back here in Bangalore for another month after appa leaves to Sweden. Let's see how it goes...



Feb 9, 2014

Adu @ 4 months

My dear Adu,

Ohh this was the nicest month of the last four. I and you had a lot of time together, bonding! We played, we sang and sang, we slept whenever we felt like, and had fun together! Of course, we also had tough times when you'd cry for some unknown reason when Appa was at office. I'd carry you around the house, sing for you, dance for you, talk to you, make you laugh and so on to keep you occupied through out the day. When none of these worked at times, and you continued Crying, I'd call up Appa and put him n speaker, and he'd call out your favourite nick name that he has named you with, and you'd get distracted for some time!

I didn't know babies as small as you get bored too! When you get bored, it is a signal for me to change the activity! Out of all the times, you favorite one, apart from feeding, ofcourse is to sit in the kitchen in your bouncer chair and watch me cook. We do it everyday, in the evening, before Appa comes and you squeal in joy and babble a lot of sweet words when it is kitchen time. One day, you watched me bake a brownie end to end, a lengthy recipe, which i feared would bore you. But you enjoyed right from melting chocolate until it was time to take it out of the oven - over an hour and a half! I was describing to you, like always, all that i did, showing all the ingredients, singing in between. At then end of it, i was really sad that I could not give you a piece of the awesome tasting brownie yet - wish you were big enough to have a bite.... Oh well, that time will come too... Soon!

On the allergy front, soy seems to be bad too, for you - it caused more reaction than cows milk.

Apart from that you have a pretty decent routine now, not very fussy, except on a few days. You love going out in freezing cold, you watch me in awe when i'm eating, loooove your bath time playing with water and you are generally a happy baby. I'm soooo thankful for that!

We're getting ready for our visit to Bangalore, to your extended family and Appa and I are eagerly waiting to show off our lil one to everyone back home...



Jan 31, 2014

Sing along...

I have been singing and singing and singing and singing and singing and ufffff... I've been singing all the time! With my besuraa, be-taal, voice, making up songs after songs, dancing along at times. And someone seems to be enjoying it so much! He in fact wants me to sing in a stupid way rather than listen to great singers' recorded songs. Uff... my boy!

And evening and weekends, D does the honors! Of course Adu wanting his appa to sing is understandable given the fact how much he used to sing for me and him during my pregnancy. There used to be some singing sessions when he'd sing song after song and I'd listen happily. After mom joined us, she too continued the trend and sang some forgotten songs. And she did continue it in his initial couple of months and he loved it.

But me? Why me?? With my infamous singing skills??? Well, one because I am his mother, and two I am alone with him the whole day and he does need some entertainment, doesn't he! Whatever be the reason, I've been singing along.

I'm glad I have at least got back my pre-pregnancy voice finally, after having lost it for many months, during pregnancy and initial days after his birth. And this is helping me recollect some forgotten favorite film songs, (how many lullabies can i learn!?). And some I make up songs with some funny words and those are his most favorites! I sing about his burps, I sing out his nappy change, call him a dirty boy, all in a self composed tune and voila! he loooooves it!!!

And the reward I get is his lovely toothless smile, more gurgles, some lying down dancing steps, and a happy baby! And I love it!

Jan 17, 2014

Adu @ 3 months

My fingers are so tasty!!
Adu turned 3 months a couple of days ago. Three months and so soon! They say the first 3 months are the most difficult period (during infancy only; there will surely be more difficult periods going fwd) for parents. And looking back, I don't feel it was difficult as such. Of course there were many sleepless nights, and times of confusion when we'd not understand what he wanted or why he was crying... but all those got sorted out pretty soon. Almost by the time he turned 2 months, we could associate his different cries to different needs, get better sleep, and so on. Of course there are a few difficult days when he goes on crying and we feel helpless, not knowing what to do, but that is quite rare.

A friend recently asked me how it was, the never ending, sometimes hourly feeding-nappy changing business. And frankly I said it wasn't as bad as they say. I'm really enjoying it all... Never once did i feel frustrated for having to wake up so often during the night. I am surprised myself, how it is so, for someone who needs so much sleep generally! May be having help of mom and D really helped too... And may be I was well prepared for this too!

We're finding this phase of his very very interesting, with him doing different things every day. He's exploring his surroundings, trying to make different sounds, makes out our different expressions both facial and verbal, shows his joy or sometimes anger too! It is such a joy just watching him or talking to him...

  • A little after he completed two months, he started looking at our faces and conversing with his coos and gurgles. This was not random sounds anymore and he would specifically look into our eyes and make different sounds with expressions, as if to narrate something. This has been the most wonderful conversation I've ever had!! It is so much fun, talking to him in his own language!!
  • He did roll over on soft surfaces a few times in his second month, but seems to have forgotten or given up on that now. His interest has shifted to communication from mobility!
  • He notices gadgets in our hands very keenly that's a point for us to take care not to use too much of mobile or laptop when with him. Of late, if we are engrossed in the gadgets and don't pay him attention, he complains quite noticeably! Good for us!!
  • A colleague of D has gifted him with a book made of quilt like material, of a famous Swedish cartoon Bamse, a bear. We've started reading to him from the book and narrating him and he LOVES it! He gets so involved in it and gets excited as soon as we take out the book!
  • He has been munching his fingers quite a bit! Of course mom does not give anything to chew on, and he still hasn't discovered the ability of his hands to grasp things, so he has not many options!
  • He clearly has names for the three people he knows I am Ungaaa, D is Ababu and ajji is Andhe! He cries out these words depending on whose attention he wants!!
  • BTW, his ajji left when he was just about 2 and a half months and he had been looking for her for a few days. And sometimes call for her and cry.
  • And he has been able to recognize her voice on phone or skype and feels excited and even responds! When my in-laws try to talk to him on phone, he would just give a confused look and not bother to respond. Now i deduce that it was because he is not familiar with their voices and tones yet, whereas my mom's voice is something he has been hearing from the beginning.
  • And another important thing is that he loves sitting in his rocking chair in the kitchen and watching me work! His first bake with me was a brownie, to which he gave me company happily, talking to me all along. And he got used to the mixer sound as well, when I demo'ed it to him after his initial fear! I felt so sad that I cannot feed him a bite yet! 

Ahh the amazing way a little being grows, learning so many things along!

Well, on the health side, he is happy and healthy when his amma is dairy-free and not otherwise. Unfortunately soya too doesn't seem to be working for him. I did try it a couple of times and he was upset for a couple of days. Eggs on the other hand he seems to be okay with. So I am an egg eating vegan ;) Well, I know i can't say that.. so rather can I say I am a dairy free ovo-vegetarian?! But I am happy to discover so many possibilities that I would have otherwise not done. So that's it for now!