Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Baby in the Womb

Went for a 4-D Ultrasound over the weekend, and here are some of the results! Raina kept asking why he was orange.

It was just astonishing to see those chubby cheeks, that tiny nose, those big big eyes, the little fingers and toes squirming around. He had his left foot up to his forehead -- crazy little guy! We saw him open and shut his mouth like a little guppy. One hand was tucked under his plump butt, and when the ultrasound tech tried to zoom in on the family jewels, his other hand promptly covered them up. A shy one -- or maybe just bidding fair to be uncooperative like his Big Sister. (At her 4-D, Raina presented her butt to us viewers. We have a lot of butt pix.)

At one funny point, the tech prodded my belly gently to get him to move his hands, and as she prodded, you could see him grimace and frown, none too happy about the disturbance in his comfy little world. Then he smiled.

We came away stunned and awed. He looks so much like his daddy, it's not fair. At least one kid should look like the mom. But there was relief, as well. He has 10 fingers and 10 toes, and we didn't have to wait for his birth to count them. Is technology amazing or what?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Sex Tag

Hey, if that headline doesn't make you read this post, nothing will! Have been tagged willy-nilly by Mad Momma (themadmomma/blogspot/com -- can some tech-savvy person puh-leeze tell me how to do the link-thing on a mac?? My posts are littered with URLs *grumble, grumble*). Tag's about how do I have rocking sex -- ok, any sex at all, any way, any kind -- apres-babies. Cool! Sundry tagged bloggers are worried about parents reading this post; moi, I merely have to face the wrath of my very very embarrassed husband. So that makes it OK, of course. ;P

P and I get it on usually on weekend afternoons. Sunny and soporofic weekend afternoons, with the 3-year-old tucked in bed for an afternoon nap. If it's summer, ummmm, the overhead fan's whirring slowly. I don't know what it is about that fan. It makes me feel all sleepy and sexy. So we start off cuddling, thinking we're going to take a nap ourselves. Yeah, right. At some point, we have to get up and lock the bedroom door. After the deed is done, we take that nap we'd been originally planning. Mmmm... nothing like post-making-love naps!

Dunno what we're going to do once Raina stops taking afternoon naps -- we'll probably bribe her. And after Baby 2 emerges in October, in the august company of the in-laws, afternoon sex just may take a backseat. But then, there's always the backseat. Dang, you think that's too much info?

P.S.: Am tagging Terri's mom (terristurf.blogspot.com), Rads (kowthas.blogspot.com) and s.b.!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Introducing Detective Herculee Pikerot

Detective Herculee Pikerot's green eyes gleamed with a strange light. After much exercise of her uncommonly few grey cells, the criminal had been deduced. It had been no easy work. The crime had been executed to near perfection. After all, it was easy for mere mortals to be taken in by the innocent demeanor of My Little Pony. But the cunning pony had reckoned without the superior intellect of Detective Pikerot. Now Scotland Yard was on its way. All that remained was to hand over the suspect. But how to detain said suspect until the Yard arrived -- tardily, as usual? Pikerot's majestic moustache quivered. In the end, there was only one method.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Some thoughts on NRIs

Or I should say, some thoughts of NRIs.

I was reading Anamika Mukharji's latest post (righttowrite.blogspot.com) on the 60th Indian Independence Day. In one graf, she pointed out she was tired of Non Resident Indians (NRIs) who criticize India while comfortably enjoying life outside des. Couldn't agree more with her, and I would like to think I refrain for the same reason.

Then I got to thinking about the NRIs I knew. Attend any desi party any time and the favorite topic of conversation isn't India-bashing. It's bashing the U.S. -- the country the desis I know have chosen to live. If they aren't grumbling about how their white boss passed them over for a promotion (racist bastard of course), they are grumbling about the weird habits of their black/Chinese neighbors or the laziness of their Mexican gardener or housecleaner. Which attitude doesn't make them racist bastards, merely superior.

Indian heritage, culture, traditions, food are praised to the skies -- I am talking specifically about Hindus here because my experience is limited to them. On the other hand, NRIs claim Americans have no culture, no history and zero moral and family values. Because these folks may have a bad influence on Indian family values, NRIs do not fraternize with whites (derogatorily referred to as goras) -- forget the Chinese, blacks or Mexicans (you don't want to know how they refer to people belonging to these races). The only friends their children have are the desi offspring of their parents' desi friends. It's either that, or these children know early on not to bring their non-desi school friends home, aware that they won't feel welcome or comfortable.

It's hardly any wonder that these kids grow up confused (everyone's heard them referred to as ABCDs -- American Born Confused Desis). After all, they go to school and have to interact on a daily basis with non-desi kids. Soon they discover that American parents are pretty much the same as desi parents when it comes to doing homework and generally being involved in their kids' lives. Then they go to India for vacations. Thanks to the magnificent portrait their parents have painted of India's beauty and culture, they are doubly shocked to see the Unwashed Masses, the garbage piled on street corners, the careless disregard for the poor, the lame and the destitute. Then they see their parents hobnobbing with the resident Indians, glorying in their NRI status and complaining about the heat, the dirt. When will the country improve? they lament.

Eventually, these kids learn an important lesson: their parents are hypocrites.

Not all NRIs are this bad or racist. But we're all guilty to some extent of creating/participating in little mini-Indias where non-desis are deliberately excluded. If we can't interact normally with our American neighbors -- be they white, Southeast Asian, Hispanic or black -- what example are we setting for our kids? We have to accept that just as we will always be Indian at heart, our kids will always be American. And being American means accepting others, while celebrating what makes each one unique -- that Indian heritage that we will pass on to our children. A heritage to be proud of at all times -- one that acknowledges that tolerance for others is the backbone on which it has been based. Unity in diversity, remember? Indians and Americans should have at least that in common.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Raina The Geek

In the midst of a crying jag (yes, these are quite frequent), Raina suddenly asks, "How do you spell 'cry'?" Followed by "How do you spell 'tear'?" As the husband says, referring to her mommy's nerdiness, the fruit doesn't fall far from the tree.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Nine Weeks and Counting...

The thing with cliches is that they make so much sense. Like the one about time going fast when you're having fun. In 9 exact weeks at this particular moment, I should be holding my baby boy. I can't believe how fast this pregnancy's gone. After the first trimester, the days have just been zooming by. On the one hand I can't wait to see the baby, though I'm terrified of the nursing, diaper-changing zombiedom that will follow. There's excitement, yet that sinking feeling in the pit of my belly that overwhelms me occasionally. Worry that I'm not prepared, that I'll never find a decent changing table (!), that I've forgotten something crucial for the baby's survival or my sanity.

And right now, I'm just plain clumsy. A couple of weeks ago, when I was going down the stairs in the pitchdark, I missed the last two steps and landed on my big toe. Used up all the cuss words in my vocab. And why hadn't I turned on the light? Oh yeah, common sense has been a recent casualty too. Was limping around with a sprained toe for a few days. Then last night, as I was putting on jammies, I lost balance and fell like a stone. No, more like a mountain. Lady with big belly should not balance on one jammied leg, while putting her other leg through. Another titbit of common sense learned.

On the whole, I'm doing pretty good and have the pregnancy glow down pat. But now that I'm slowly getting used to this pregnancy thing, it's almost at an end. Yesterday I looked at Raina and suddenly realized that the days when it was just going to be the two of us pottering around at home were ending too. She wasn't going to be my only baby for long. And I wish I could buy her a few more months, just to protect her from the pain of change. Mostly the onus is on us to make sure that she adjusts well and gets enough attention. But I tend to be such a bad-tempered, impatient, MEAN person when I'm sleep-deprived. How do I protect her from myself?

Just another worry to tack on the list.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What's in a Name?

I know -- out of all the Shakespeare quotes that have become cliches, this one is prime. But really, since this post is about a name for my baby boy, I couldn't think of titling it any other way. So sue me.

Am in such a pissy mood these days, this post is one long whine. You've been warned.

Began my final trimester a week or so ago, and my mom's still bombarding me with baby boy names every time we talk. Which is, like, twice a week. Don't know what part of "it needs to be easy for non-desis to understand" that she just doesn't get. Her recent contribution: Moksh. Yeah, try that on any American and watch his eyes glaze. At least it was the first time she'd mentioned that one. She's been trying "Karan" for weeks now. OK, months. And I tell her for the gazillionth time, Karan's going to become "Karen" the first day of school and my 5-year-old boy will come home and murder his mom for naming him so thoughtlessly.

Who knew it was so hard to come up with desi names that's not only easy for non-desis to pronounce, but won't be perverted by the first obnoxious boy my boy meets? My husband's king of coming up with ways names can be perverted. He was the one to warn me about Karan/Karen. When we were thinking names for our daughter, it was he who pointed out how Anusha could be messed around with (Anus-ha, see? Duh Mommy!)

But even he couldn't have predicted how his friends' kid's name could be messed with. Our friends recently had a baby boy who they named Ravi. Simple? Check. Easy to pronounce? Check. So you would think. My daughter still calls him "Robbie." And how could one possibly come up with a way to tease a kid called Ravi? "Ravioli!" announced another friend -- a German-born American. Thanks, dude.

Thinking simplicity, I ran "Aditya" by some friends. They looked at me vacantly. And these are Thai-Americans, mind you, not themselves known for the easiest names. I tried "Varun" by a Filipino-American friend. Similar vacant look. She didn't even try to say it. Varun, for crying out loud. How much easier can one get?

After all this hullabaloo, we've come up with Rohan. Yeah, "row, row, row your boat..." but at least most people can say it OK. And it's got some coolness factor, thanks to The Lord of the Rings. Plus, it's kinda global: When we googled "Rohan," we came up with West Indians, Irish, Sri Lankans... works for us. Of course, my mom hates it. HATES it! So twice a week, she comes up with new ones to change our minds.

Which brings us back to square one. Moksh? God, I need some Nirvana...

Friday, August 10, 2007


Seen on the vanity license plate of a black BMW convertible driven by a gorgeous brunette on a balmy Southern California evening: "IMSMELY." ????

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Not for Future Einsteins

A friend forwarded me this crazy article on time.com (http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1650352,00.html) on kids watching the popular Baby Einstein and Brainy Baby DVDs. In brief, according to a study conducted by University of Washington researchers, babies exposed to the DVDs don't grow smarter than infants not exposed to the DVDs. In fact, they show LESS language development than them.

This would be the moment I would pat myself on the back. I never bought into the hype that watching TV -- any kind of TV -- would make Raina smarter. Instead, we did a lot of talking and playing together -- with a heavy emphasis on music and singing.
Not to boast or anything, but Raina's verbal and vocabulary development has always been far ahead of her peers, and I totally believe it's because of the one-on-one interaction.

Anyhoo, so there I was, getting ready for the back pat with a smug smile forming on my face. Then my mouth fell open. As I continued to read, the article mentioned that the researchers found 40% of infants 3 months and younger REGULARLY watched DVDs, videos or TV. There's more: almost 90% of kids upto 2 years of age spent TWO OR THREE HOURS in front of the television every single day.

Unbefuckinglievable. Excuse the language, but that's pretty dang close to parental negligence. I mean, why have kids if you are going to plop them in front of the TV? I know mommies need to get things done, and sometimes, the TV can be a convenient babysitter, but TWO HOURS EVERY DAY? That's just nuts, people!