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My Pleasure - My Pride!

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My Pleasure - My Pride! - Page Text Content

S: Your story told my way ..

BC: I gave you life, that I am proud of dear; you are my purpose, it's all very clear, In my world, a teeny little girl you are, there you will prevail so, like a blazing little star. Memories we twine together are so sweet, you grow way too fast, you little cheat! You taught me everything I now know, to be a mom and so much more, such a joy you are - never a bore! Your giggle, your contagious smile, a personality so versatile When I see you,I beam with pride, like an artist adoring his own piece of work, delicate and perfect, that needs no rework. It breaks my heart when you cry; it's a tough world out there, I won't lie.. but remember - there is always a soul that will try, to help bid all your blues goodbye. I watch you grow and I know; when its time, it's going to be tough to let you go For now, I want to rejoice life with you, so come on little one – let's put on a beautiful show!

FC: Down 0ur memory lane.. | Natasha

1: We found out today that we are going to be parents. What a great day to know something this special. Festivities everywhere and at home Knowing I am pregnant, brings in all these emotions that I have never felt before. Nothing compares to the excitement of seeing those two lines on a pregnancy test and knowing your life is about to change forever. Celebrations were humble but the excitement within was immense. Dad gave me a nice little peck on my check and took me out for dinner. That day as we ate, we knew there was another soul in me,with us, at that table,getting cozy in my tummy.. | 12/25/2010

2: Dad and I went this morning to peek into your world for the first time. It was an experience that was out of this world. We were both thrilled to say the least. I didn't have to wait too long to go in for the ultra sound . I had scheduled the first appointment that morning. The technician looked around and said that you were normal sized and kept moving that little hand held instrument around. We couldn't take our eyes off the monitor. We were seeing you for the first time, and it was love at first sight. You were just a little blob then, but even like that you looked cute all curled up in there. | 01/21/2011 First peek into your home.. | Suddenly, she focused and we heard the heartbeat!! It was there, clear as day, quickly flickering away at 186 mps. It seemed like you were floating around with joy, having met your parents . I have a feeling you like it in there! You are such a little being ,still in the making yet you manage to bring so much joy! We got the first picture of our little baby bean.

3: When we came out of that hospital, we were both elated .We had seen our precious little one and it was time to let everyone know. So we called our small world of family and friends. We let them know that the little one is due on the 28th of August. The bitter part about the day was that we had to get back to work and dad dropped me off. When I got off the car, he said Its not fair you get to take the baby along everywhere you go..” and that I thought that was very nice. He made me smile the whole day. I could hardly concentrate on work. You were in thoughts constantly and knew I was developing an obsession that will last a lifetime - OBSESSION FOR MY BABY....

4: 02/01/2011 A shot random note | The anxiety and joy is building up .In our minds we are planning everything starting from my baby shower to your room to your life. You are dominating our conversations these days. Almost feels like you are in control of our thoughts. We can't wait to see your face and hold those little hands and touch those little feet. I have so much to share with you every day and I know even now you are listening - though they say it is going to be a while before you can hear me. I have to accept though, some days, I wish August was here .Feels like time is moving at snail pace. These are days when I am very sick ,throw up everything and my back hurts bad. Your dad tries his best to help. There is one thing though.When I feel exhausted all I have to think about is this tiny beautiful life growing inside me and then its not so over whelming anymore. "Its a blessing to be a woman" I might not say this on a bad day when my hormones are all whacked out but today this is how I feel...

5: is in the air.. | Valentine's Day 2011 | What is not to love about you? You already know to make my days better. I have had beautiful visions about your life with me.. I listen to this meditation CD called Heart Strings as soon as I wake up every day in the morning It helps me build a connection with you and refreshes my thoughts. They say I will feel your soft nudges and kicks when I sleep. Not yet.. .Maybe its too early for that. I cannot hear a peep from you but I know you are there. Your dad loves to feel mom's belly to check if you are growing inside me strong and beautiful. He is more paranoid then I am. A few things that he worries about... Did you eat? What did you eat? Why are you eating that? Thats not healthy. Don't crunch when you are sleeping .You are not giving the baby enough space. Drive slowly every bump will be like an earthquake inside for the little one. Did you take your medications?” ... As I sleep through the nights and work through the days, I know you are there with me all the time, watching me,listening to me and loving me. I got to be in my best behavior you know :).. Hey by the way , I am already so much in LOVE with you and you will hear this more often than you would like to ;)..

6: 02/15/2011 “YOU WILL BE A GIRL” | I feel great today. You have been very nice to me. I am not throwing up anymore and my back pain has reduced a lot. Work is slow but I am trying to get as much done, so that I don't stress later. I see a cute little bump now and everyone around is telling us its going to be a girl. This morning a nice lady at work looked at me and said “You are carrying well and you are glowing .I think its going to be a girl”. Gosh I have tried every way out there to know if you are a girl or a boy. The old wives tales, the Mayan method of gender prediction, the Chinese calendar of gender prediction everything points to one single conclusion. “YOU WILL BE A GIRL”. Lets see how good those predictions are. I will know for sure on the 25th of March. Dad and I don't like surprises So we have decided to find the gender Until then the suspense is going to kill your dad and me.

7: 03/10/2011 First Kick | I am pleasantly reminded that I am not alone when I am at work, driving ,running errands or talking on the phone. Out of sight but you are always there lingering in our dreams. This morning I was sitting in the car and feeling awful about being stranded in traffic for an hour. Thats when I felt you kick me for the first time. It felt like you already knew how to make mommy happy. I went from being absolutely frustrated to being extremely elated. Its our little secret only I can feel. It made me smile and I am sure you heard me talk to you all the way along after that, like I do every day when we drive to work.

8: Today we saw you again, just that this time you have grown a little bit more. You weigh 5 ounces and you have grown from the size of a blueberry to the size of a mascara bottle. One of these weeks you were the size of an avocado and dad used to ask me very lovingly.. “How is our avocado doing today?”. Oh thats how small you were then. We saw you and I felt you looked so fragile and soft. Watching you inside me was breathtaking. I am connecting with you at many levels. I am sure you can feel all that admiration and wonderful energy that surrounded us when we saw you. Dad looked at me and I knew he was sitting there proud, excited and a little anxious. I was sure every emotion that was going through me was going through him too at that point in time. | 03/25/2011 Thank heavens you are a girl..

9: Its Official... | You had your legs crossed and wouldn't let the technician find out if you were a girl or a boy. It took a lot of cajoling to let us find out that you are our pretty little angel girl. Oh it was music to my ears when I heard the technician say "IT'S A GIRL!"" When I was growing up, I was fascinated by dolls like most girls are. Here I have my own doll made in me just for me.. They measured every part of your body and the doctor said you were “the perfect baby” and that if he could, he would clone you. Turn back to the entry on the 15th of February, you will notice that all the predictions turned out to be true.

10: 04/15/2011 What we want you to be | We want you to be so many good things but one thing that your dad and I have always wanted is a child with a great soul and I am sure you will be. I want you to be everything I have not been able to be and much more. I never took risks in my life. Always trusted what seemed to be real and only believed what I saw, never what I felt. Now by having you, I am starting all over again, taking a chance, trusting the unknown and wanting to see the unseen. Its a great feeling and I like what I have become all because of you. You can be what you want to be. Look into yourself, let your imagination and see what fits the best. As for me, I want you to explore all the adventures of your curious mind and become extremely knowledgeable of what you'll find.

11: 04/ 17/2011 Bird's Nest in our tree | Last evening, I watered the plants, filled the bird feeder and took it to a tree in one of the flower beds. Just when I was about to hang the feeder there, I saw this cute little bird's nest in between two branches on which was sitting a pretty bird . She had a very sharp beak and adorable eyes. Boy was I happy! I ran inside the house and took this picture when I could get both the birds sitting on our backyard furniture. I have not seen inside the nest, but I am sure there are eggs in there because she did not move for a very long time and I am guessing she is trying to keep the eggs warm. The entire evening, I sat in the lounge chair and enjoyed every bit of watching this new family. Dad got me 2 squirrel garden figurines today. They are very cute and adorable. Flowers and birds make my life much more fun and lively. They ,make me feel like there is a lot of life I am responsible for.

12: Sometimes the thought of being a mom terrifies me. I always catch myself wondering what kind of mom I will be. The only way to figure out, I guess, is by being one. You are going to teach me all that I have to learn. In my mind's eye, this “mom – daughter” journey is going to be wonderful – one that we will both cherish. I would like to see everything through your eyes first and understand you. I am not sure I can give you everything your heart wishes but you will always have two souls wanting the best for you.forever and ever! I thank God for the life he has shared with me and for trusting me to take care of you . I am sure I will always see what a blessing you are. One thing I know is that your life will bring immense love and joy and we will make a great family. | 04/20/2011 What kind of mom

13: You have already shown your dad many precious moments and I am sure this is just the beginning. He talks a lot about what he will let you do and what not. In a way it seems like he is expecting too! He is a man of few words, but when he talks about you, I see his eyes sparkle. I can see him giving you piggyback rides when you are his little girl and teach you ride a Harley when you are old enough to do so. I can see him pushing your swing, watch you slide in a park and walk by your side in every walk of your life. No doubt its not always going to be play. He will be strong and strict when need be, yet kind and diligent when that's called for. He will definitely be your hero because you will soon realize, he is the best person to go to and he will definitely be there when you need him, I feel he has opened his heart wide for you and you will always have a place just like he did to me. | 04/27/11 Dad and you - My mind's view

14: 05/07/2011 Mother's day | This morning I woke up and as usual went to see the nest. I was elated to see that the little birdies are out. They were so beautiful, I couldn't stop watching them. It is amazing to watch what nature shows you in its own simple ways. I feel you are this curious little soul watching everything through my eyes, hearing everything through my ears and loving through my heart. So I try to keep my outlook positive and those negative thoughts at bay. Can you see now how even before coming into my life you have already made me a better and happier person? I went out shopping with my friend Lupita and we had lunch in a nice restaurant. I could feel that you were very active all the while. When we were just about to get into a babies clothes store, I could feel you kick me hard and so did my friend, That was the first time someone other than I could feel your little toes. We were both so excited; we couldn't get over it for a long time.

15: This will be the last birthday when I am going to be given any importance and so I am soaking every bit of the attention I am getting. When you come around, you are going to steal the limelight. I had to work the whole day today but spent the evening with Srdjan and Sophia. They are our very good friends. We talk about you all the time. I feel nice when everyone around me talks about you. I am very curious to see what a beauty we have made. As days go by, I am getting heavier and miserable. The weight is too much to carry around but it’ is just the feeling that you are growing beautifully inside me that keeps me going. I want to keep you safe and make sure you are fine. You are our little girl, our creation, a part of us and you're all ours. We have so many places to go together, so many times ahead, we have only just begun our journey. However miserable I feel your cute little kicks make me feel better. I am trying hard not to make it very tough on your dad. I want him to have good memories of my pregnancy and cherish these days as much as I am. | 06/08/2011 I turn

16: I woke up this morning with beautiful thoughts lingering in my mind. I believe you are God's way of letting us know that we can make good parents - and we are ready for this. A couple of months for you to meet us and I am already living a life with you. We can't seem to wait to hold you and wrap you in our arms. Can't wait to count your tiny toes, watch you play and kiss your boo-boos away. Can't wait to cuddle you, rock you, read to you and kiss you good night. Can't wait to guide you and teach you all the good things we know. Every now and then we pull out the ultra sound pictures ,our hearts skip a beat. Dad threw a grand baby shower that was pulled together perfectly by friends in our beautiful little backyard. We had nearly 30 people come and shower us with wishes and gifts. It's a humbling feeling to see how much we are loved. I forgot to mention something important before. The day we found out you are a girl, I went and bought a "climbing Hydrangea" and put it near the post box. . This is one special plant that I will transplant with me wherever we go. | 06/18/2011 Baby shower

17: Memories that were made | The Cake that was cut....

18: Some days I don't want to fight it, I just lie myself down and admit defeat. These are days when I have to go through - oh the pleasures of pregnancy. But in many ways you help me to keep my chin up The movements of your little tiny feet are magical. Like the warmth of a loving hug, I feel you everyday. Tossing and turning about, you move in every direction. You are a little gymnast. You greet me every morning with a stretch, and you kick me softly to sleep. I let dad touch my belly and he is happy when he feels you too. For some reason when he touches my belly, you slow down and stop moving. His explanation is that his touch soothes you. I just think you are very shy. Every Sunday you grow a week older, I count down the days until you are due, and I'm sure you are just as excited to meet us as we are. In my mind there is this beautiful picture of you and it keeps coming back to me whenever I have a conversation with you to think about you which is - all the time. | 07/03/2011 Tough days

19: I can feel you grow everyday and I can tell you are on your way already. The doctor confirmed this and said you are already head down. Its a lot of pressure on me now. When I walk I can feel you pushing. I have been talking to you and asking you to stay in there as long as you can so that you are fully baked. I have been having sleepless nights and I can feel you move. Time is moving slowly; Sometimes I am filled with fear sometimes anxiety and most of the time happiness. I know it's all worth the while. You are a life not yet known yet loved dearly. | But tell me something - isn't there any other place you can stand on beside my bladder girl. I hardly sleep these days because the restroom seems to my favorite hang out. Telling myself that this is all just practice for getting up in the wee hours for feedings, diaper changes and general fussiness. The one difference: Cuddling you in my arms for a feeding would be way better than having to go to the bathroom for the sixth time in the dark. | 07/06/2011 Making a

20: Drawing nearer the time of delivery, my thoughts lean towards you. I think about your delivery and safety throughout the entire process. I don't know where I stand in terms of my spirituality but I find myself meditating and creating a picture about the labor. I pray that you will be safely guided on your journey to this world. And I ask for the strength, courage and the power to give birth. I want to open my body and mind for you and want us to gently become two. I have some visions of how I would like the whole event to go: contractions are brief and painless and in one push out you pop to the background music of a sweet lullaby. I know that the truth is going to be way far away from this picture that I have been painting in my mind but for now, I am going to live in denial. One thought that keeps coming back over and over again is that you and I will never get to be this close again. Soon you will be this tiny person no longer inside me – kicking and hugging me. So I am going to enjoy your presence inside me and I am praying for you to have a safe trip to this world outside. | 07/15/2011 Visions about labor | Come to us safe & sound baby!!

21: Your grand mom reached on the 25th. Grand moms are like a frosting on a cake. Yours comes with an extra dosage. She came in today and I am so relieved. I feel like a huge burden has been lifted off my shoulders. Right away she took over everything at home. Taking care of me, cooking cleaning and, most of all giving me the support I need. She made sure I kept my sanity. The transformation in my own mother-daughter relationship began when you came by. It struck me: My mother had probably felt this way once about me! All those tough times I gave her suddenly seemed ridiculous. I feel like so long I just existed. Now with you in my life teaching me the truth about life, I have started to live. Natasha, bringing you to this world has given me a perspective of all the things my mother has given me. Her sacrifice, her devotion, love and tears. She cared for me with never failing love and gave me the strength and security when I needed it. And then she did the hardest thing of all – she let me go so that I can make my own life with your dad and now you. I know I am going to be miserable when I have to send you away, but guess thats the beauty of being a parent. Right now I am just going to love you and enjoy every single moment with you. | 07/25/2011 Grand mom's here

22: 07/26/2011 Seemanthum - Celebrating you the traditional way.. | Picture this - Rangoli in the entrance of our house, my hands adorned with mehandi by Prasanna aunty, a traditional saree and hair do lovingly put together by grandma and grandpa, invites sent out to relatives and friends by your dad and grandpa, the clinking of the bangles and to top it all mantras being chanted for your well being. How much more perfect can it get! I was very pensive that day and prayed with all my might for a healthy baby | A story that always keeps coming to my mind is that - God gave you a choice to pick your parents and you chose us. It was you all the way that picked us. So we want to make sure that you feel you made the right choices even before you came to this world.

24: We are getting more and more prepared for your arrival. I finished up the last of our childbirth classes and the nursery is almost ready. Dad made sure that your room is the most creative I have ever seen – no decals – no stickers – no childish stuff like a princess or a Mickey mouse. I don't know if any amount of words will do justice to the thought your dad put into creating it. He got help from Tanya who did an amazing job. A deep blue sky, a beautiful tree, a tint of light pink shade on most of the walls and in your closet and most importantly a beautiful white moon. This picture here is how your room looked and you will see from it is that - Your dad literally hung the moon in your world. I love it and you can even grow into it as a teenager unless we move or you think its passé. But the best thing about this room is that we are going to have so many wonderful memories together that we will cherish. | 08/02/2011 Your room

25: We are blessed with amazing friends. Friends who are more like family. Sridevi and Srinivas are one of them. They drove all the way from New Jersey, It wont be an exaggeration to say – they made sure our life is a lot easier when we came back from the hospital. I even got an hour long foot massage form Sridevi. It was nice having them home. They left that evening and slowly as the day passed I started to feel different, weird – not tired but felt like my body was getting ready for something. I was right. My body was getting ready for you. The contractions started that evening but they weren't anything to send us into frenzy. Our bag was packed a month ago and we were ready. Of course we didn't get much sleep that night Your dad and I had such a ball of emotions—excitement, nervousness, bewilderment—that we barely slept a wink. . We downloaded an app for timing my contractions. You should have seen your dad. If he doses off a bit he would wake up all startled. He kept holding my hand tight and kept reassuring me. He wanted to sound as if he was brave and this does not worry him. Secretly, between you and me, he was a nervous wreck. Soon I called the nurse and I was asked to come to the hospital. I have to go now. You are crying in your crib. Oh wait! YOU ARE ALREADY HERE! I have been seriously slacking on this journal. I still haven't even worked on your birth story. It's too special to be rushed on. I have no fear of forgetting to pen anything down because if you dig me from my grave and ask me, I can tell you all about it. So at this point, lets wait for your birth story. | 08/22/2011 and 08/24/ 2011

26: Birth Story | We got to the hospital just in time and I was quickly taken in. It was only a short wait and within the hour, I was sporting the ever so attractive hospital gown. The doctor came in shortly after and by 3 pm my water had been broken (which really hurt). That was such an odd sensation. After that the nurse inserted my IV and started the fluids bag—one of six, I would go through before it was all over. The initial contractions started pretty quickly and were entirely manageable by my standards. There was no need for any sort of intervention at this point. But slowly the pain was unbearable. I chose to take an epidural. By 5:30 pm on the 22nd the pain was subsiding and I could feel pressure for sure but not the excruciating pain that I had been feeling with each contraction. This would continue for a long time now. Grandma was right beside me all this while. I would have been so lost w/o her. She was there in the room, supporting me in every possible way. Felt like the epidural has slowed down the entire process of dilation. I was a 10 cms dilated at 01.15 am on the 23rd and the nurse checked and said that its time for me to start pushing. And boy did I push....Eight pushes and you were out. All my visions about my labor came true.

27: It's amazing the emotions that engulf you when you are anticipating something so exciting in life. So huge, that you can barely wrap your mind around the reality of it all.. Here is something I cannot go without sharing with you. The doctor was holding you near my leg ,your head facing the other way and I couldn't but help calling you by your name – NATASHA - you turned , looked at me with those little puppy eyes . I couldn't wait to grab you. Almost immediately they laid you on me and my first thought was that you are the most perfect thing that I have ever seen - like an angel from above. You were born at 1.53 am EST and weighed 5 lbs and 15 ounces. Tiny tot – but so beautiful, I couldn't take my eyes off you. Imagine how it feels when you see the best looking face ever in the whole entire world. Thats how you looked -- a fully bloomed pink rose – very fragile, very beautiful . This will be the best moment of our lives that we will treasure forever. They wrapped you up after the pediatrician came in and gave a big thumbs .Your dad was too nervous to be in the room with me but when he came in, I could see that he was elated. To be honest, I have never seen him that happy and excited, in the last few years I have known him. I kept you beside me both the days in the hospital - refused to send you to the nursery and kept admiring you. The first time you cried , I did not know why you were crying, I cried with you because I felt helpless. It took me more then a month to get over my fears and understand that babies cry sometimes for a reason and sometimes for no reason :) | Your first moments

28: Moments at the hospital August 23rd & 24th 2011 | PM | Magical Date 23rd August 2011

30: Although it's hard to imagine life before you or without you, it seems hardly possible that you've been in our life for a whole month now. I remember how tiny you were when we first brought you home. Nights are getting better with you sleeping well and I have even been blessed with nights where you only wake up around 2 a.m. and then not again until 5:30 or 6:00 in the morning. I thank you for that after many, many nights of getting up with you at midnight, then again at 2:00, 4:00, and 6:00. My favorite part of your sleeping habit has to be right after that 6 am feeding. Some days when you are done and have been burped I lay you down in bed with me on my chest and we sleep together for the next couple of hours. I know that soon you will be too big to do that anymore and so I cherish these memories. On your first month birthday we had to take you to the pediatrician for a hepatitis shot. I am so glad I wasn't there to watch them prick you with that dreadful needle. But the good thing is that you have grown – my little monkey is a little chunkier now. From being 5 lbs and 15ozs you weigh 8 lbs 9 ozs and I am very happy. I now know for sure you are getting enough from me. So though I have to get back to work in a month and half, I have decided to nurse you because that just seems to be the right choice. | 09/23/2011 First month birthday - My Chunky Monkey

32: 10/10/2011 Back to work | Just as I am getting used to being home with you and work life feels like a distant memory, I realize that my time off has come to an end. The thought of waking up at 5 a.m. and racing off to a job after being with you all this time seems impossible. This could easily be the toughest decision I have taken in my life. No matter how long and hard I've thought about it and how sure I am that it's the right choice, I still have mixed emotions. I have had my dosage of low days. The worst is today, when I had to leave you behind. I feel like someone has ripped my heart and soul from me. It hurts badly and I am an emotional wreck. Not being able to see you for more then 9 hours is going to kill me because there's the guilt that I am missing all these beautiful moments with you. I would rather be spending this time with you then in front of this crappy system. But I also tell myself I am doing this for a better living, for us and our family. But the best part is coming back to you and holding you. Your smell, your eyes, your smile and everything else about you is what I think about on my way back home. Its going to be torturous – the one hour I have to drive back home. Dad has sent me a picture of you sleeping peacefully and it gives me the satisfaction that you are happy with granny and dad. You are my little monkey, my peanut, my sweet potato and I am glad you are there in my life. It shouldn't surprise you that I came back from work within 2 hrs.

33: I say this all the time, but it really is amazing how quickly time flies. All the clichés are true: I have heard et all "They grow up too fast." "You never know this kind of love until you have your own" . I guess that's why they're clichés. I want to pause my life now and just hold you close. Before you came into my life, when people talked to me about their kids - it felt like I was being put through a lot of pain. Parents never stop raving about their babies - period. Its like talking with someone from England about weather. If you want to keep your conversations short, you wont bring it up . But guess what – I catch myself doing that now. When someone asks me about you, I never seem to stop. Your dad just beams with pride. | 11/21/2011 Just another update | Every day your personality shines more and more. You are such a happy baby. You're getting more vocal and cute sounds are squawking out of you all the time. You chat, you laugh, and you make these little expressions with your beautiful eyes that I can die for. You seem to love to talk to us these days. Of course in a language that only you understand. Daddy calls you a raccoon lovingly. The one important thing you have done this month is sleeping through the night. You have gone to bed by 10 o'clock and not gotten up until after 5 the next morning. That is awesome beyond words.

34: One of your other favorite things to do is to look at the ceiling fans. You are so fascinated by the blades going round and round and when the fan is off you'll look at us very inquisitively. You cry and will not stop unless we turn it on again. You love it when I sing hush little baby. One day you made me sing that song so many times that I could hear that song ringing in my mind even in my sleep . That seems to be your favorite lullaby alright! .This week you have been very fussy. Guess I have told that you are a very easy baby too many times to too many people. I cant believe I have jinxed it myself. Am I pampering you? YES! Am I worried about it. NO! In fact if I could, I would stop time and keep you close to me all the time. | 12/09/2011 Everything cramped in here | I am sure you think your dad and I are the funniest people around. He has been playing this game with you where he'll rub your nose and ask you, "Where did you hide the wipes Natasha?" You find that so hysterical! You laugh so much – its almost contagious.

35: I was excited all day long. We were planning to take you on your first Carousel ride at the Concord Mall in Charlotte NC. Yeah thats right - when it comes to you such small everyday things excite me. I held on to you and dad took a video during the ride. Looked like you enjoyed it but then, you have to be a bigger girl to let us know if you actually did. In reality, I had a lot of fun taking you to the mall. This was the first time, you were in such a crowded place. You did great! As always almost every other passing person commented about how cute and beautiful you are. We never use the stroller because your dad loves to hold you and he proudly digs into these remarks from strangers. I think of days when you will be a big girl but I have made a promise to myself - I am not going to look back nor look ahead when it comes to you. I am going to cherish every moment NOW with you. | 12/15/2011 First Carousel ride in Concord Mall | EAT,SLEEP,PLAY REPEAT!!

36: Look at the very first entry in this book; you will realize that this was the day I found out I was pregnant. Since then you have made sure that every day is Christmas in our household .This was one of the reasons we named you Natasha – born around Christmas that and because your name contains ours. You are us. The tree has been down for a long time now all decked up and your dad has put up the lights too. The rein deer is out watching over our house and the spirit of Christmas is great this morning. We got you your first Christmas ornament which I will keep safely and dad even got you a little stocking for Santa to fill his gifts. | December 25th, 2011 | Christmas – was low key this year. We three cuddled and spent a lot of time together. Its time off from work for us and we are cherishing every single moment with you. I expected a white Christmas. Not this year. Guess we just have to wait until you can tell snow from ice... | Now that we are at the point of discussing your name let me tell you the other names we had in mind for you. Some very strong contenders were Nikitha, Isha, Akansha, Roshini, Aanya, and Ananya and Rashi. In retrospect, you cannot be anything else but Natasha. What a beauty you are in name and character!

37: Pongal update (Temple trip) Today is Pongal – the harvest festival in India. Dad and I have decided to take you to the temple in Cary, NC. Being Hindus, we have a lot of festivals to look forward to every year. This and Diwali are my favorites. Your dad carries you with pride wherever we go and today was no different. He says when you sit on him; you have reached your throne. You got all the attention you sought for and more in the temple. Everyone in the temple were looking at this little happy baby. At the same time, you don't like to be held by anyone other than your parents . In short this was a nice laid back day we all spent together. This is what your dad and I believe. Spirituality is a good way of life. The focus should be on being a good person and to touch at least a few lives. You must be wondering - then why does mom insist on celebrating these religious festivals? The answer is simple. I don't want you to loose touch with your roots. Understand it!. Its my duty to pass it on. The choice is yours.

38: When I was growing up, I had no cousins I was close to or even interacted with. I am glad you have so many of them. Count your blessings. That matters a lot! Periyamma (my older sister and her family) Today my sister Gomes had delivered a beautiful baby girl - Maeva Kota . Another cute addition to our family. How do you express this feeling of becoming an aunt?. Want to hold her and love on her so much so that she gets confused who her mom is and who her aunt is :).. I anticipate a lot of fun times for you guys growing together and knowing each other. You both are just months apart and that is going to work just fine. I am envisioning summer vacations, painting nails, dress up and show off days when you girls grow up - Oh its going to be fun! Mama (my older brother and his family) | Your Niece Maewa Kota & the rest our beautiful family | Your uncle - my brother is very loving and will do anything for me. He is very fair in his ways and very helpful. His two kids are Oviya and Guhan. They are very naughty and keep my sister in law on her feet. She is a great person herself. Its a shame, I have not yet met them and it hurts me that they have grown big without seeing me. I just have to make up for lost times somehow. He lives in the Middle East. | December 26th-2012

39: I kept the best for the last - GRANDPARENTS :) | We are all scattered in different countries and it is not so much fun being away from family. I am thinking I have to go meet them. Especially now that you are here, I do not want you to miss out on anything. I want you to understand our roots, our family and stay close to them all your life. I want you to have memories of playing with your cousins, visiting India, meeting grandparents and having lots of family time. | All I can say about all of them is they all love you to the moon and back. I am not going to put adjectives in here and make this page look cliché. I will let you savor them. I have to tell you this - though Your dad's mom is no longer with us, she will remain your guardian angel watching every step you take and every move you make. | Your aunt , your dad's sister is a great mom and a loving sister. Her husband is very smart and always full of ideas and plans. It is very interesting to have discussions with him. You always take back something. They have two children. Vishwa and Varshini. Vishwa is a very smart guy and Varshini reminds me of a butterfly, very free spirited and fun loving. I am sure you are going to have a lot of fun with them when you all meet. They live in India. | Athai (Dad's older sister and her family)

40: This year is all the more important because you had come into our lives. What an awesome journey it has been so far. You have completed our lives in all possible ways and if there is anything I have to tell you today – it would be that, our journey together is just beginning and we want it to be the most wonderful experience for you and us. Your dad knows to throw the best parties ever. This time we had a garage party and the whole neighborhood and friends were invited. The cake was all about your grand dad. It had his picture on it and we made sure it was a birthday he would never forget. Happy New year little one! I cherished every bit of this year with you! | 2012 | Its time to say goodbye 2011 – the best year of our lives. An eventful year that has bought some meaning to our very existence. We had a huge party because we had too many reasons to celebrate - the 75th birthday of your grand dad, a new year with you.

41: Breastfeeding and the saga continues Jan 14th 2012 | Breastfeeding did not come easily for me – it was quite honestly one of the hardest things I’ have ever done in my entire life. I struggled with over supply from the beginning. As months passed the experience became very painful. I remember being stranded in traffic and using a hand pump to relieve the pain. But I had taken a very strong stand that I will continue feeding you for a year come what may. I enjoy the bonding experience with you. I know that this won't last forever . So I’ m soaking up these moment with you as much as I can .I am so glad I am sticking with it, despite all the challenges and the seemingly never ending uphill battle I have had to face. | I hadn't really thought a whole lot about breastfeeding you aside from the fact that it was something I planned on doing. I wasn't stressed about it and thought it will be a snap. After all its natural and women have been doing this from the dawn of time right? WRONG!

42: I have had the pleasure of holding you, nursing, singing to you, loving on you and providing for you - but every now and then, when you need some extra comfort, its daddy that you want. He took you alone in the car for the first time and you should have seen what a kick he got out of it. He was beaming with excitement and. even told me “Sashi please note this down in the journal you write. I want to treasure this experience”. That's how I got to know that he likes this idea of writing down everything for you. This entry was ON DEMAD. See how a little person like you can bring in so much happiness into our lives. The two of you have spent a lot of time together while I rush off to work. I love to see him bonding with you. This is a guy who hated to be in pictures and now you should see him – the moment he spots a camera, he picks his sunshine up and poses. | Feb 10th 2012 First ride in the car with Dad minus mom!

43: February 15th 2012 First trip to the mountains with you. Your dad and I love the mountains .Its the place we get away from our ever buzzing life. We usually rent a cabin and stay there for at least two days. Its our dream to own a home with breathtaking views, up in the mountains where we can spend our summers when we get older. This time it was extra special with you around. We had a blast - grilled, played pool, relaxed in the hot tub, went for horse rides and took you to a zoo. I have to say this Natasha, you are very well behaved and a great traveler. You love to get out there and have fun. Now you are all mine and I get to spend all my time with you. I am soaking every bit of it. I complain to your dad that he doesn't help me enough with you. Secretly, I enjoy doing everything for you. In fact I might not even have liked it if he had done too much for you. Thats how possessive I am about the time I spend with you.

44: Oh yeah – you have started on solids too. You seem to love the idea of trying different foods and I have not been shy of letting your taste buds have at it. | You are 6 months old today and I cant be more proud. You are so beautiful and you're beaming with personality... What amazes me is how confused I am. Sometimes I miss that little doll that was 5 lbs and needed me all the time and sometimes I cant wait for you to grow so that we can do things together. I cant wait to experience it all. | It seems like each day you accomplish another milestone and it makes me happy but honestly I am not motivated to push you into the next milestone. I know that crawling will lead to cruising ,cruising will lead to walking and well that will lead to - Natasha is playing with her friend and has little time for mom. | At six months you are really digging into this world and you want to explore every inch of it now. I want to explore the world with you and see it the way you do. Your attention to tiny details and the small things that make you happy teaches me something. Who knew that a silver wrapper from a snack bar could be so enchanting or a lifeless toy turtle could cause enough interest to make you yank yourself off my lap just when you were about to sleep? | My Chunkier Monkey Feb 23rd 2012

45: There are a lot of things parents do to care for a child. Your dad took the toughest decision. He left his angel - YOU behind, and took up a job in Columbus, Indiana. It was very tough to see him leave and he sure left with a very heavy heart. He calls me everyday and checks on you. I send him pictures and videos to keep him going Well I try my best to keep up with it. These are things that help him to hang in there. He drives more than 20 hours every two weeks to spend a day with you. | Dad's absence Feb 24th 2012 | Today it was time for another Dr Visit which meant time for more shots . You weighed 15 lbs and 15 ounces. That makes it exactly 10 lbs weight gain from the day you were born (75th percentile). You did not want to have anything to do with the nurse or the doctor and when it was time for shots you cried so hard, I started shivering and my legs were ready to give way It took me a while to calm you down and make you sleep. There is nothing nice to discuss about this visit. I am hoping by the next visit dad comes back and we can go back together so that you can have someone to cling to who is more reliable then me.

46: You continue to be the most gracious baby and your cute toothless smile makes me crack up. I wake up every morning in a way that never fails to amuse me. Being a lite sleeper, the moment I hear you stir, I am wide awake. But I keep my eyes closed ,wait and brace for what's coming. You use those tiny little hands and start playing with my nose. I make a weird noise - you stop and look very confused. You proceed to pull my eyes – then my hair until I finally give in and say “Good morning Natasha”. . You laugh and we hug each other like never before. Then reality hits. Mom has to get ready for the usual grind. With a heavy heart, I leave you in your play pan and get ready. You sit there and watch my every move - Oh yeah did I mention you now sit like a champ. When I have to leave, I kiss you good bye and wave to you. You have learned to wave back and it breaks my heart when I pull out the car. I know with granny around, you are in very good hands. She takes care of your feeding, napping and playing until I come back. You both seem to have a lot of fun together. I wish we were closer to her so that I have this support system intact. Once she is gone, I will loose all this luxury of keeping you at home and I would have to send you to a day care – an idea I hate with all my heart. | Our Routine March 4th 2012

47: After the book it’s your bath time. Then I change you into your night clothes, I feed you and put you down on my bed to sleep with me. Oh well though we have a crib set up for you in your room, mamma cant let you sleep alone. I am a big advocate of co sleeping. You snuggle your little body right into me and play with my hair just before you doze off into dreamland... A | Evenings are more fun. Though I have a painful drive back from work, I have something to look forward to everyday – Your reaction. You act as if you have hit the lottery when you see me. . I know if you could, you would run up to to me and squeeze me. If I don't pick you as soon as I come in, you throw a tantrum. | Once you are my arms, you know its play time. Granny takes care of you the whole day and mom comes back just for you. This is our routine – First and foremost is chatter time about how your day was and how mine was. I like to whisper gibberish in your ear. I hear back this loud laughter that I can die for. Then we go from room to room hunting for your favorite toy and when we find it, you know its time to read a book.

48: Motherhood and me... 8th of March 2012 | I hope when you read these entries. you get the same warm fuzzy feeling that I do when I write them. Sometimes it's tough to be abreast with updating this journal but I try to remind myself that my experiences with you are too important to not be recorded. When I sit back and read the entries, very so often I find myself shaking my head in disbelief over how much I have learned from this experience. I feel like motherhood is a great equalizer. It has taken away a lot of my pride, my stubbornness, my “know it all tendencies” and has pulled the rug right out from underneath my legs because with you every day is learning.

49: All the literature I read these days is about babies. If my search engine had a mind of its own, it would wonder why I am so obsessed with baby poop... In a way reading all that stuff out there about what stay at home moms do for their babies doesn't help much. I feel the pressure when I look at these mothers who are sewing adorable clothes for their children, cooking 3 course infant meals, spending hours every day taking them for walks, to parks or organizing exuberant parties. They make me wonder if I am doing enough. But somewhere deep down, I know I can't beat myself for trying to hit a work life balance. I am doing all that I possibly can to keep you happy, comfortable and safe. You have grown to be a very happy baby and that's all that matters.

50: Feels like you had a wish to see places. Charlotte did not suffice for you and so we are moving. In reality job situations changed for dad and me. Had we tried harder we could have found something here, but we both seem to need a change. We are moving to a small town called Columbus in Indiana. The drive to work and the time I spend on the commute is way too much in Charlotte. That time is way too precious to be spent on the road. I would rather make memories with you. Now grandma is here to take care of everything. I have nothing to worry about but when she leaves, things will change. I have heard that everything from work to stores and day care are a stone throw away from the place we are going to live in. Let's give it a try and see what Columbus has to offer. Change excites your dad and me. If we don't like it there we will be back in a jiffy. Life is all about trying new things and learning! | Move to Columbus Indiana

51: April 25th – 27th 2012 What a nightmare! We moved and set up our house in Columbus and the next thing I knew is that we were in the emergency room. You had respiratory issues and had to be rushed to the hospital. They sent us back with an antibiotic and a prescription to buy a nebulizer. All the way you were wailing. Felt like you were trying to tell me something. There was a moment when you stopped screaming and looked intensely into my eyes. Instantly I knew something was wrong. So we turned around and went back to the emergency. At the hospital, I was so stressed that I felt my legs giving way. You were screaming your lungs out and I stood there trembling - all nervous and scared .I tried to explain to the nurse who had just discharged you,that I "felt" something was wrong. Luckily she did not fuss about it and took your vitals immediately. Your oxygen was down in the 70's which is too risky. There were nearly 20 doctors and nurses reviving you. It broke my heart to see you like that. They admitted you right way and after that we spent a day in the hospital giving you breathing treatments every two hours. When you fall sick you don't want anyone else to hold you except me. So the next 24 hrs we held each other, you seeking me and me carrying you and walking in the room. There was this one thought in my mind - WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?

52: I am also looking at natural holistic approaches to cure you. I don't want to see you in the hospital one more time. I have started including Garlic, ginger, oranges , honey and pepper into your diet. I am making it a custom to give you fresh juices every single day. It might seem like a lot of work but I know all this will go a long way to make you strong and healthy. I have this hatred to the nebulizer, though its a life saver. I consider it my personal responsibility to make sure you don't get the cold. I am using homeopathic medications and a lot of rubs. All this seems to be helping but I am going to wait and watch. You have not even had a bad case of ear infection or any other issues. If I can fix your immunity to handle the cold, you will do just fine. There is one thing about you Natasha. When you fell sick, you like to cuddle with me and that seems to be the best medicine for you by far. Your dad is a nervous wreck too but handles it much better than I do. | Things that changed May 20th - 2012 | A lot of things after we came back from the hospital this time around. The worst feeling for a parent is knowing that their child is suffering and not being able to help. Its a sense of helplessness and guilt that takes over me when I see you having breathing issues .The weather in Indiana is a bummer too. I cant breathe when I step out. I can only imagine what a struggle it must be for your teeny little nostrils and lungs. Winters are cruel and unforgiving here. Our move back to Charlotte is somewhere in the near future.

53: In many ways, the force of tradition and culture has not touched your dad and me. This time though, we were swept away by its tidings. We chose to ride on these waves while keeping you above waters. I had to fight my own fears to have your hair shaved and your ears pierced. I had nightmares. In them, you had nicks on your head and you were looking at me pleading to stop when the lady was shaving your hair. I had fears that your ear piercing wont go well. Two weeks of thorough frustration.l From the time you were born everyone who saw you noticed one thing about you - YOUR HAIR. How beautiful and lofty it was. I am scared, very scared. But wait - In India, babies get this done all the time. We all survived and nothing bad happened. In fact that was my only real consolation. The day came for you us to do this. We went to a photo studio and you posed for pictures. You really enjoyed this shoot. All smiles et all. Then we went to the salon, equipped with the ipad. I had downloaded some of your fav videos from Super Simple learning. It worked like a charm! You were a happy baby. | Shaved your hair & pierced your ears .. June 31st 2012

56: How gracious you look even w/o your hair . MY BABY DOLL! So pretty and adorable. I will make sure your head is always decorated with hair bands until those pretty locks come back again. I have always been kind of addicted to adorning you with hair bows. Your head looks naked without a bow or 2 on it .I am devastated to say the least. When I walked out of that salon I told myself - I will never do this ever again to you! We then went to the mall to have your ears pierced. It was done at CLAIRE'S. As per tradition, you sit in my brother's lap when this is done. You sat on DJ uncle's lap as my brother lives far away. It was quick and you cried for maybe 10 seconds and then started playing in the mall. For one I am glad its all over with.

58: First two steps away from mom and dad July 23rd 2012 You have learned to smile, laugh and crawl, blow a kiss, sit and stand. You love to go out shopping and laugh incessantly when I play disappear and peekaboo, You can walk now with a little help. Today evening you even took two steps on your own. When I went to your day care to pick you up, you were standing in one corner holding on to a table and when you saw me, you crawled very fast (faster than usual), as if you were trying to tell me something. Intuitively I waited for your teacher – Miss Alitta ,to come back to the class and asked her if you did fine. And bingo she said, you took your first two steps today. I was elated and knew instantly that you wanted to tell me about your achievement. If you could talk, you would have told me, “Mom I walked today”... At the same time it does bother me that I am missing those precious moments with you. So during my drive back home, I felt very guilty. It was a roller coaster of emotions today..

59: I remember avocados and strawberries being my staple food when I was pregnant and its a treat to watch you enjoy them now. You make a big mess when you eat them and that what makes it cuter. You also seem to love the powder that grandma sent with lots of healthy stuff in it and of course loads of love. There are plenty of your messes that I could do without - the alphabet blocks strewn through our living room, your expensive organic face lotion spilled all over the counter, or a piece of bread on the floor - but I’m hopelessly sentimental over tiny hand prints on the mirrors . I let them sit for weeks sometimes on those tall closet mirrors. Every time I finally cave and clean them off, I take a moment to make a mental note of just how small those tiny fingers are but bigger than the last pair I wiped away.. | You've eaten lots of different veggies already and we've been successful with almost all of them. Green beans, squash, carrots, peas, sweet potatoes and corn. The pears are super yummy. I think even when you were in my tummy your taste buds were active or you seem to like all that I loved when I was pregnant. | Food you love and Our Routine August 2nd 2012

60: One year since this world became a little brighter!! | Aug 23rd 2012

61: . | I couldn't let this day pass without writing about it. As I sit here writing the night of your birthday, I look back at the last twelve months in awe, and sheer amazement. Today is your birthday and we are celebrating. Celebrating this beautiful tender life that God placed in our hands–trusting us and counting on us, to take care of one of his best creations.. I could write about how much you mean to me. How I can see our features plastered across your beaming infant face. How silly, notorious and amusing you are and how I'm always laughing. I swear it is not just the delirium from lack of sleep. I could write about the past year's roller coaster of events. How we've hurdled minor barriers and fought our own struggles. From, work challenges to unwanted health issues. And all this time, a tiny, tender soul watches us without judgment, growing rapidly in front of our eyes and changes from a heavily-swaddled baby to a vivacious wee girl.

62: I could write about how you make sure you are the focus of our attention and how we miss you at night when you are fast asleep in your bed, when the house becomes quiet, both a blessing and a shame. How the days you spend in day care seems never ending and when Friday peeps in, we both get excited to spend the next couple of days with you. Or I could just talk about your first birthday party How it was the party to end all parties, We celebrated it on a lake, where there were cotton candies, food to relish, handmade decorations and games for everyone to have fun. We even had a Piñata and the kids loved it. But of course you wanted to hold that stick which was much bigger than you. How you made a grand entry to this party, walking and holding my finger. Where you wore this colorful dress and looked like an angel on earth, I picked the most colorful dress I could lay my hands on and a cake to go with it. You smashed that cake as hard as you could .You loved the lake and yes also the pebbles on the ground that I caught you with in your mouth. This is a love that I neither wanted once upon a time nor expected. A love for a miniature person, my own making that is both inexplicable yet makes perfect sense. But I won't talk anymore about these things today because this one day is about one person and one thing. You baby and your first birthday! Happy birthday Natasha from Mummy and Daddy, for we love you and we love you and we love you...

64: S

65: September 5th 2012 Random Jotting This past month has been a whirlwind for you.- We do so much exploring together, that teeny little things are becoming fascinating even to me. Just when I thought the world is getting to be a boring place, you came in and everything is so much more fun again. There is more meaning to everything once more. I have started paying attention to really small details. I am actually making time to stand and stare at things. When you get mesmerized by sights or sounds that I do not usually pay attention to,I wonder how that must feel for you. To experience for what might be the first conscious time in your life, something like the sound of water dripping in the tub ,or the sound of a plastic bag. That attention to small details that grown ups miss out on. It's way too cool. But there is one sound you absolutely hate and that is the whistle of the pressure cooker. It makes you cry every single time but I make your favorite dal rice in it. I try and update this journal about all the amazing things you do each month that I don't want to forget. Of course, everything never makes it here, since you are the epitome of cuteness and words fail me.

67: Do I have a handle on parenting? I don't know. I definitely try to nudge you along your path to timely milestones. And there is not a single milestone you missed so far. In act you have been ahead with most of your milestones. So I am thinking I am doing just alright. If there was one thing I would patent and keep to myself it would be you. And patent I got alright :). There is a certain element of beauty and mystery about you. I wouldn't get caught up in semantics - saying you are a miracle is simply a way of saying how awe-inspiring your journey has been so far. This journal is too precious to me. I am not a natural at this whole writing business and I am not disciplined to keep up with a journal, but when it came time to doing it for you, it came quite naturally. As much as I love writing this, I have no intentions of creating an encyclopedia of Natasha's life. The plan is I will end this journal with your first year and after that for every birthday, I will write you a letter of how the year has turned out. Hope you have enjoyed reading about your first year.

69: Milestones October 3rd 2011 – You flashed your first smile at me October 5th, 2011 – You started sleeping through the night. That's an early milestone you have hit. December 25th, 2011 – You turned over on your left side January 14th, 2012 – Turned to the right Feb 24th, 2012 – Solids Introduced. The first food you tasted was rice cereals. Mar 7th, 2012 – You started to push forward and crawl. April 10th.2012 – You have started to sit up on your own. July 23, 2012 – First two steps at Day care. August 8th 2012 – Today my little champ has started to walk. Not just a few steps but a lot of tiny steps . August 23rd – YOUR FIRST BIRTHDAY – YOU ARE A YEAR OLD. You walk and run like a champ. What an awesome baby you are! No milestones missed. We are on track baby girl September 01st - You gave up your bottle and moved to a sippy cup. November 29th 2012 – You kissed me on my cheeks the first time today evening

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  • By: Sashi R.
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  • Title: My Pleasure - My Pride!
  • Written and designed by Sashi Sivarajan.
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  • Started: over 5 years ago
  • Updated: about 2 years ago