Vishu in Dubai

This year our Vishu celebration wasn’t that great. What is celebrations without family and friends ? As Vishu was on Sunday ( a working day here, in Dubai ) we were in office on Vishu 😦

Anyways, we arranged a vishukani with available items, Babs wasn’t much thrilled to be shown the Kani as soon as he got up. But as soon as we gave him one Dirham coin as Kaineettam, a glow came on his face. Then he was happy to see the Kani and had something to blabber about the items kept for Kani 🙂 I was reminded how Kaineettam was the best thing about Vishu for all of  us as kids. Didn’t know this love for pocket money would start at the age of 16 months 🙂

I came home a little early from office and prepared a small Vishu Sadhya for dinner . The sadhya was spread on a plaintain leaf and surprisingly Babs enjoyed his first Vishu Sadhya ( last Vishu he was just about 5 months old ). Not only did he have stomach full from his plate (plaintain leaf), he wanted a second helping when I sat down to eat.  So that leaves a happy baby and a happy mummy and of course a happy daddy 🙂

 

PS : As I was posting this, I felt the tremor of the Earthquake. This is the first ever time I actually felt the Earth quake.

Baby Sitting – Woes to Bliss (Part II)

Continuation of Baby Sitting – Woes to Bliss (Part I)

We met Patti Amma. This time our antennas were up. We tried our best to get to know her well. We were convinced enough to try. The location was an issue. Her flat was little off the route and 15-20 minutes walking distance from our Villa. I convinced my cab drivers to help me, but on the evenings when they have tight schedule, I would be dropped only till the Baby sitter’s place. I and my husband decided to meet at the place, pick him and walk to our Villa, on those evenings. Anything was fine as long as Babs was in safe hands.
babysitting-kangaroo-animals-birds-pelican-3093First week, he cried when I left and when I went to pick him. But I felt he was comfortable with her. By the second week he stopped crying, though he looked sad and was reluctant to let me off. I could see the change in him. He had connected with her. He was of course not happy to leave me but yet was not unhappy with her.
Opposed to the first Baby sitter’s view, Patti Amma told me that Babs was an easy child, any baby sitter’s dream child. He stopped crying as soon as I was out of view. When he wanted, he ate and drank without any fuss. He happily let her bathe him and groom him. He befriended other kids there easily but was shy and scared of outsiders. He would cling to Patti Amma on seeing any outsider. I was happy to see how he became everyone’s favourite at her house. On evenings when I went to pick him, I could see through the door left ajar, Babs sitting in Patti Amma’s lap and Patti Amma singing a Tamil Rhyme, Babs making sounds in tune with her and tapping his little fingers on her cheeks.
We were happy and relieved.
Patti Amma was planning to go on a vacation in December. Other kid’s parents were also fine with the vacation schedule. I too applied for leave and the request was accepted. But then we got a blow, when my husband’s leave application was rejected as his colleague was going on vacation at the same time.
Now we had to look for a new Baby sitter. We were really worried how it would affect our baby, to be left with a new person again.
Luckily for us, there was this couple who had moved to our villa in November. Their son was doing graduation in Kerala, the husband was working and the lady, S was a homemaker. Being in the same villa, we met her often in the evenings and between conversations came to know that she had Baby-sat a 3 months old kid till he was 3 yrs old. She had also expressed interest to baby- sit as she was idle at home and felt lonely. She is a sweet and cheerful lady. Babs was also familiar with her. So we requested her to baby sit him for 3 weeks and she happily agreed. Surprisingly Babs connected with her very fast. He cried only the first 2 days and from the third day he happily went to her arms. He seemed to very happy with her.
Then we went for the month long vacation . After coming back we were in a Dilemma. Both Patti Amma and S were good and loved our baby. Finally we decided to send him to S, because he seemed happy with her and being in the same villa and seeing familiar kids and people around, he never felt he was in strange place or away from home. We wouldn’t have the transportation issue also. There was no bus to Patti Amma’s place from my office and also from her place to our Villa. Getting a taxi to her place was easy but from her place to our villa was difficult. Where as there was a direct bus from near  my company to our villa. So I need not worry about dropping and picking up my baby even on days when I don’t get my company cab.

But our woes didn’t end there. On the fourth day after Babs was back  with S, S had to rush to Kerala as her mother had fallen and in the ICU. For 3 days, my BIL who was staying with us, did the Baby sitting job. Despite being a bachelor in his twenties and no experience with small kids, he did a great job. But then the sad news of S’s mother’s demise came. S would be back only after a week. BIL had come here on Visit visa, for job search and he had to attend interviews.
So once again I sought Patti Amma’s help. She was happy to care for Babs for one week. Babs hadn’t seen her for nearly two months now and so he again took time to connect with her. For me and Raj too it was a tiring week because that whole week I did not get transportation from my company, as the cabs were busy with deliveries at project sites.

After a week S came back and from then on she is baby sitting my son again.
Curious to know how he is doing ?416-daycare-cartoons

– as mentioned in the first post  , he is eager to reach there in the morning.
– in the evening he is excited to see me but not in a hurry to leave.
– one night, he spilled water on his night dress and when I removed his dress and was fetching another dress for him, he snatched a dress from the cupboard and in his language asked me to dress him up. He gave the socks to his dad and showed his foot indicating he wanted to wear it. Then he slid down from my arms and took his bag in the table and said ta-ta hurriedly to dad and pulled me, pointing towards the door. From his actions, it was clear that he thought it was morning already and was eager to go to his Aunty’s place.
– one night we were just having a walk outside the room. S also was there and he went to S arms and then he was not coming back to me at all, instead he was asking S to take him to her room.
Then S said ” go to your amma dear, its night, your sleeping time, I am only your vallarthamma, I can’t keep you with me at night, she is your pettamma who will be there with you always.”

Am I upset that my baby is happy to be with his Baby sitter ? No definitely not . I am happy and relieved, because now he is not just with a baby sitter but with another Amma, who loves and cares for him . Am just praying that the bliss continues.

PS : Vallarthamma – Foster mother. Pettamma – Biological Mother

Together we have turned One…

An year has passed… an year with you in our lives. Last November you were in my arms, too small that I had to hold you so carefully, it was so difficult for me to breast feed you and today you are sitting alone on the bed and nibbling away a biscuit. On the third day you were born, I was still finding it difficult to

breastfeed you. The nurses were scolding “Why are you not holding him properly”. Your Acha still pulls  my leg telling, how I cried hugging you tight and said “Oh my baby, you are a new born and I am a new mother, we both have to learn.”

And we learnt together. Every day was a day of discovery, of new emotions.

From the first time you smiled to today when you are laughing out loud  blinking your eyes ;

From your first cry to the shriek you gave when we just took away the dirty shoe you were going to eat ;

From breast milk to the parippum chorum (rice and dal) you had today;

From your first black poop to the pampers full of shit we just put in the bin ;

From the first see through cotton dress you wore to the kurta – pajama you are wearing now ;

From the first day you flipped on your tummy to today when you are trying to stand on your own ;

From the rattles you shook with your hands to the toy car you are trying to drive today;

From the first sound you made to nonstop blabbering you are doing now;

From your toothless smile to the 4 sharp teeth with which you bite us whenever possible;

From drinking out of a feeding bottle to the straw sippy bottle ;

From crying at small sounds to enjoying fire crackers on Diwali ;

From the day you first crawled on your knees to today when you are keeping small steps holding the bed ;

From the smile and attention you gave to the music from your toy to the way you shook your hands and head in tune to Gangnam Style beats ;

From crying on leaving at the baby sitter’s to the silent acceptance that your Amma have to leave you there even if you cry ;

You have come a long way. (Darling tu pehle se kitna badal gaya 🙂 )

Its not that the last one year was a walk on cake. There were struggles, both emotional and physical. There were times you took away our sleep, we got tired, anxious and sometimes at our wit’s end. But then the joy your innocent smile gives us can wash away all those pains.

You may not understand yet why Amma and Acha have decorated the house today with balloons and colours, why Amma held you in her arms and blew a candle on the cake, why Acha made you cut a cake and offered a piece for you to have, why your little friends have gathered in the room and clapped hands and sang “Happy Birthday to you”; But darling you would understand in years to come that we were celebrating the day you came into our life, you would understand how much you mean to us, how much you have changed us and our lives.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LITTLE ONE”

PS : My sunshine celebrated his first birthday yesterday – 25/11/2012.

The Anniversary Rusk

Spandana’s Mug Cake

I wandered into this Blog and saw this recipe . I have never baked a cake. I do not have the equipments to bake in an oven and I am too scared to bake in the pressure cooker. I have this weird feeling that my pressure cooker will burst if I keep it on stove for more than 10 mins. By the way, I also have this weird feeling that my oven will burst if I keep it on for more than 5 mins. I have previously used the oven only to heat the leftover meals.

So this recipe gave me the chance to bake a cake using regular coffee cups, that too in 5 minutes time.. I thought of surprising Raj with this Cake on our fourth Anniversary, yesterday.

But my first baking experience didn’t go well 😦

My mistakes :
1. Filled up to 3/4th of the cup,  when my cup was smaller and I should have filled only 1/2 of the cup. 
2. Baked in the oven for 5 mins exactly, going by the recipe, ignoring Spandana’s advise ” The baking time might differ depending on the microwave, so keep checking for every minute after first two minutes.”
So poor Raj ended up eating over baked cake renamed as ‘chocolate Mug rusk‘ .
As for Baking, I have not given it up yet. I know my mistakes and am hoping to make a perfect mug cake, the next time.

PS : I also gifted him a pair of formal shirt & trousers. Whoever says shopping for woman is nerve wracking, please try shopping for my husband. He took 2 hours to buy just 1 pair of shirt & trousers . By the time Raj’s shopping was over, Babs was so bored that he started pulling my hair and when we walked out of the shop, my hair was a khosla ka ghosla. My new hair style got many admiring glances on our way out of the mall.
 UPDATE : I made the mug cake again on Thursday and it came out perfect!!
Raj absolutely loved it. Thank You Spandana for the recipe.

Smart Birthday !!!

July 16th2012  
My Nokia 3110 Classic, decided to drown in the water, not in chullu bar pani but table bar pani. No, it was not a suicide and noting that
wasn’t aware that the water dispenser kept on the table was leaking, it was neither a murder. It was an unfortunate accident. After being with me through the thick and thin, surviving at least 5 falls a week for 3 yrs and 10 months, it finally said goodbye.  
July 17th2012 
Raj : Lets go and buy a mobile. Anyways you needed a new mobile phone, the phone you had was an antique piece, no one carries such old models now.
Me : No.. not today, now that I have to buy a mobile, I want to buy a smartphone and this month we cant afford it. If only I could get an old phone to adjust with for this one month.
 
Next 2 weeks , a friend was kind enough to loan me an extra mobile set she had. 
 
Aug 2012
 
Raj : Lets go and buy a mobile.
Me  : No.. not this month, we cant afford it. If only I could get an old phone to adjust with for one more  month.
My sister who was in Kerala enjoying a short vacation had come back and she lend me her old mobile set, Nokia 2600 Classic,

which she had given her 7 yr old son to play with. My nephew was kind enough to trade his toy with chocolates, just for his beloved ‘elemma’ (mother’s younger sister ).

Sept 2012

Raj : We have waited long enough. Lets buy a new phone, I have checked the smart phones in the malls, Sony Ericcson Xperia seems to be good and in our budget.
Me : Ya.. but not yet. Lets wait and see if I get an increment this month.
 
Still using the Nokia 2600.
 
Oct 2012
 
Raj : My colleague has bought Nokia Lumia 900. Its good. Lets buy Nokia Lumia 800,  that would be in our budget.
Me : No. Smart phone will be a luxury. I keep dropping phones. This Nokia phone is good and can survive my rough handling. I use phone only to answer calls and rarely to make calls. And yes  as alarm also. I don’t need any extra features in the mobile. Can think of a smartphone next year. May be.
 
29th Oct 2012
 
My Birthday and guess what my Hubby gifts me : Samsung Galaxy S duos.

And my reaction : Oh my God !!. Why did you spent so much money on the phone ? It would make a big hole in our pockets. We could have bought it next year. May be I would have got an increment by then. Why did you…………
Raj : My dear please…….. What’s the use of saving money, if we can’t spent a little on such essential luxuries. ( ya, that’s what he said “essential luxuries” ). 
Me : But I don’t need…
Raj : I know you wanted it . This is NOT a waste of money. This is what we earn money for, to fulfill our small desires.
Me  : Oh ok. ok.. ( by now I was impressed with the phone and giving more attention to it than my poor hubby )..it’s nice, looks good..  Thank you dear…
Raj : But don’t expect any other gift on our 4th Anniversary that comes 12 days after, and “mummy Seena’s” first birthday that comes 27 days after and the 4thanniversary of our first meeting which also happens to be today.
Me : One gift, for 4 occasions ? Oh God! You are such a miser. Mr. Kanjoos!!
Raj : Kanjoos!! but just now u were against spending ………..
( I walk away tapping on my new Samsung Smartphone) 


On another note :
Did you know Google does customized birthday Doodles for those who have Google account ? Well, I didn’t. I was pleasantly surprised on seeing this when I logged in Google on 29th morning.

Babs & Elephant, Jalebi & Kappayum Meenum

My Babs is a true Mallu. Yesterday he had his first encounter with the Elephant. He was so excited to see the Elephant, he was shouting , clapping, touching it , pulling it’s nettipattam  , pulling and tapping on it’s trunk and was hanging on it’s tusk. Fortunately (for the Elephant of course!), it was not  a real Elephant J
This happened when we went toDALA’s  (Dubai Art Lovers Association) Keralotsavam 2012, which was taking place just opposite to our villa. They had put up a life size Elephant statue, and our son’s reaction to it was really amazing.

Carricature of my 11 months old son ‘ Babs’ by Artist Sadanandan

We also got his caricature done.

And we registered ourselves for blood and organ donation. And also for lucky draw contest which am sure we would never win. Am so unlucky in lucky draws that I would not win even if I am the only person participating.

And also one of my long time wishes was granted. I ate garam-garam jalebiyam for the first time ever. I ate Jalebiyam many times but somehow never got the opportunity to have ‘garamagaram jalebi’ right out of the kadai
Image Source

No, these are not the Jalebis I ate ( though looks exactly the same), I was too busy eating to think about clicking.  

They had put many stalls, including this Jalebi stall and tattukada  (street food stall ).
Raj ate some Kappayum Meenum (tapioca & fish curry – typical Kerala / Kannur food) from the Tattukada

Image Source

No, this is not the Kappayum Meenum he ate. I was too busy playing with a balloon, and keeping Babs attention on it, in an effort to keep him from pulling the plate off his dads hand, to click.

I too wanted to have kappayum meenum, but decided not to, after hearing Raj’s comment  “ udayathe kappayum, meeninte thalayum, mullum mathrame enik kiyttiyullu, allengillum Bharya villambi tharunna pole aavullallo  ” ( All I got is half cooked tapioca and skull & bones of fish, afterall I cant expect them to serve like my wife ) He likes only the tail part of the fish and whenever I cook fish, I select and serve him only the tail part, not that I like the head part but as they say if your loved one loves tail, you would have to start liking the head J.
I like my kappa mashed, as in the picture above. It was one of the things I craved during pregnancy. But I was advised by everyone around to avoid it since it is believed to cause gastritis. But my sweet sister finally made some for me to satisfy my craving. I devoured it and also proved that it did not cause gastritis ( at least not to me ). And then I made some myself, and once back at home for delivery, I convinced my mother to make some more.
You would be wondering, we went to DALA’s Keralotsavam and all I wrote was of food and the Elephant. Well, there were many programmes going on the stage, but Babs made sure we do not watch them, he loves moving around than sitting/standing at one place for long. And afterall the main reason we went there was to entertain him and not us, although we ended up entertaining our stomachs as well.