Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Question about Celebrating Holidays

I have a question for the fellow bloggers (and lurker readers) out there, especially if you are of Indian origin.

Why do some Indians (or any immigrants for that matter) celebrate holidays, such as New Year's, on the day it occurs in their home country INSTEAD of the day it occurs in their current country? For example, my Mom - in - Law is celebrating New Year's Day tomorrow, the 31st because in India it would have already changed to 2009. She also celebrated me and my hubbie's birthdays a day before the actual date.

Is it just a love of their home country? When I was in India during my wedding, I celebrated the holidays (Diwali, Christmas) the day it occured in India. NOT a day later to coordinate with USA time.

I don't get it. Any explainations to help out an American Born Cute Desi? :-)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy Birthday G

We celebrated G's 34th Birthday on Dec. 19th. Since we were snowed in (this coming from a Minnesotan who transferred to Washington...sort of ridiculous) we kept the celebration low - key at home.

My gift to G was a homemade cake. G said he loves Chinese pineapple sponge cakes, but I couldn't find any decent recipes online (most of them required steaming the cake in a wok...too complicated for moi'). Instead, I used reduced sugar yellow cake mix. The water in the cake mix was replaced with evaporated milk, and the middle layer frosting was cream cheese mixed with vanilla flavor and crushed pineapple. For the top layer of frosting I used heavy cream whipped in the KitchenAid mixer (I love that thing!) with very little sugar added, then topped the whole cake with coconut and edible Christmas decorations. The cake came out not too sweet (some cakes are total sugar overload) but tasty. I could have easily purchased a cake from a bakery, but I enjoy doing stuff like this...I think in the future I'm going to invest in some cake decorating supplies and actually make the cakes prettier. Maybe borrow some books from the library on cake decorating. HAHA dream on...when I actually have time (which is never).
Anyway, Happy Birthday to my sweet, melt - in - water, cute cute cute, G.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Indian Christmas

12 Days of Christmas, Indian Style, Enjoy!

To Do

Many posts in my mind. Lots to blog about.
Need to read a bunch of fellow bloggers.
Need to update blogs I follow list.

Been a busy week....came back from Minnesota, then needed to unpack massive amounts of junk, then had to get caught up on studying, shopping etc. Hence blogging was neglected.
Stay Tuned!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

How I will look once I return from Minnesota

What I've consumed so far in my parents house...

  • Fried Chicken & mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs (in oil) with toast (white)
  • Cookies
  • 2% milk in all cups of chai
  • Chicken curry
And that's just in 2 days. Ack. Thank goodness I went grocery shopping today and got lots of healthy stuff to snack on here and not blow my weight loss (by too much!). Tomorrow I plan on cooking dinner, it's vegetarian day at our house (my parents don't eat meat on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays...too funny). Oh and I need to do some much needed cloth shopping for myself. Mom is home all day tomorrow so Om will stay with her until past lunchtime. He's been really fussy at his grandparents home...new place, new people, new sounds.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

To do

I've been studying the past few days, trying to get through a whole caboodle of lectures. They are SO boring. And I can't just listen to them mindlessly, I have to take notes and also pause the DVDs if I miss something (which is often).

Anyway, this Saturday Om and I are headed to Nana and Naani's house in Minnesota (maternal grandparents). I'm slightly anxious, because there are so many items to pack and so many items to keep track of in the airport.

I wonder how it'll go with Om through security with a laptop, video camera, and other junk in tow.

Mumbai Attacks

We watched the news on CNN over the Thanksgiving weekend. CNN and its sister stations did a great job covering the story. Everytime I see these sort of attacks my heart just sinks for the relatives of the people killed. I put myself in their shoes and imagine what it would be like if someone I loved was killed so senselessly. (Side note - I also do a mini prayer each time I see an ambulance zipping through the street). G's childhood friend, who was staying at the Oberoi, called us the next mornign. He heard all the shots and firing, but managed to get out safely.

Last night while pumping breast milk (I know, so glamorous) I was flipping through Newsweek and read the article by Zakaria (summary of it at http://www.newsweek.com/id/171248). His articles are always very informative, and for someone like me (American Born Cute Desi) who doesn't know much about Mumbai it's very educational.

My positive thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

One of a kind and forward looking, you're the first to introduce a wacky new trend to your friends. And even if your ideas seem weird, they get adopted pretty quickly.

First Anniversary

We celebrated our first wedding anniversary on November 26th. Here is a list of the events of the past year, in no particular order:
  • 9 months of sickness (AKA pregnancy)
  • Found out at 20 weeks that our gorgeous baby boy had bilateral club feet.
  • I moved from MN to WA permanently, big road trip across North Dakota, Montana, to transport my car etc.
  • We moved from G's apartment to a rental house. Various weekends spent looking for houses and lots of time spent packing/unpacking.
  • Purchasing new furniture/electronics for the house.
  • I traveled twice to Minnesota to visit my parents
  • G went to China twice (work related)
  • Trip to Cancun, Mexico (last vacation before baby)
  • G went to California for work twice, I joined him once and we visited my best friend in San Jose and his cousin's family.
  • Lots of dinner parties & outings with various friends.
  • I worked from home (on a contract).
  • A trip to Vancouver with friends (G's work related)
  • Weekend road trips to Cascades, Leavenworth, Lake Chelan, etc.
  • Baby shower weekend, two of my close friends and brother visited.
  • Baby Om arrived. My Mom visited for 2 weeks and then G's Mom came to stay for a while.

G took the day off Wednesday to hang out at home. In the morning I gave G his anniversary gift. Later, we had dinner at an Italian place in Snoqualmie, WA and then we went to Roaring River Bed & Breakfast in North Bend, WA. It was nice to get away from baby duties, especially since G's Mom is here to take care of Om so we did not have to place him with a babysitter. Nevertheless, I missed Om. :-)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I've been seeing them all over Facebook and the internet...reasons to be thankful. Made me start thinking as well. It's time to make another wonderful fantastic list! I am thankful for: (in no particular order)

  • My parents and brother, who have supported me, give me freedom to be myself (this is the most important...I can't stress how crucial it is to be yourself at all costs!), and lots of laughter, even if we don't agree most of the time.
  • My friends, who give me courage to stay strong, vent my feelings, and express myself.
  • My husband, for his love, affection, support, and patience.
  • My baby, because not everyone can have children and not everyone has the joy that comes with seeing your baby change and grow.
  • For acquaintances, for quietly helping me enrich my life and give me moral support at random times in life.
  • Ex - friends / boyfriends, for teaching me lessons and letting me make mistakes to help me get a better understanding of myself and what is important in life.
  • The health of my loved ones, my pets, and myself.
  • Always having something to eat, that tastes GOOD, place to sleep, bed to sleep, blankets, and enought money to pay most of my bills.
  • Laptop, cell phone, internet, TV, electricity, heat, good soap/toiletries, car, clothes (you get the idea)
  • My education
  • BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS...libraries.
  • privilege to vote, apply for any job.
  • SLEEP.

The End. :-)

P.S...in the above picture, isn't a little creepy that Snoopy is serving turkey (a bird) while his friend Woodstock, who is ALSO a bird, hovers above him? WEIRD.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Magic Shoes

"Momma said they was my magic shoes, they'd take me anywhere"
--Forrest Gump

Friday, November 21, 2008

Reglan Sucks

Reglan, or the generic version metoclopramide, is sometimes used in nursing mothers to increase the prolactin levels and thereby increase the milk supply.

I hate this medication. Don't get me wrong, it really works...compared to all the herbal products I've tried, this is the one item that will show results in as little as a 1 day. However, while it may help increase milk production, but it may do so while increasing the incidence of anxiety, depression, headaches, stomach cramps, diarrhea and sleepiness in the mother.

A depressed mother who is continously going to the bathroom and is so drowsy she falls asleep while doing normal chores (driving, feeding baby) is not a healthy thing for the baby (or for other family members), no matter how much milk he is getting out of the situation.

It took me about a month to find the pattern. When I took Reglan, I was so unhappy. At first I blamed it on general post partum blues, but then I found that when I was off of the medication I was in a better mood overall and didn't fret needlessly over Om. And when I say fret, I really mean FRET...I would imagine all sort of wild scenarious of what could possibly happen to my baby. Om falling off the bed, suffocating, getting burned, tumbling down the stairs with me, getting overheated, too cold, getting smushed, drowning, you name it. And I know these worries are normal, especially with new inexperienced Moms, but I was REALLY worried, more so than was normal. Constantly dreaming of these situations is not healthy. And then Reglan made me more emotional & tired overall so the crankiness factor also played in.

Anyway I'm tempted to take it again once in a while to get the milk going, but I am warning Moms who decide to take this medication. There is another medication called domperidone that is not approved by the FDA but widely used in Canada, but I have no experience with it.

Another breast feeding post

I am not going to get into it too much, because 1) It's depressing; and 2) I feel so guilty.

But, I have learned a great deal in the past three months about breast feeding. How come no one ever told me it would be so difficult? I've sort of comes to terms with it now though...at least my baby got SOME b-milk the first 3 months of his life. And he will continue to get a little bit more each day until Mom can't take it anymore.

There are so many foods and herbs to eat, so many ways of pumping and latching, such specific "techniques" to encourage milk flow and have the baby suck properly.

I took it for granted that it would just work. My baby would come out of my womb and magically grab onto the breast and suck like there was no tomorrow. Little did we know!

I can't even blame my Mom or Mom in Law. They had no advice because in their time everything worked so smoothly. They had no idea of the concept of pumping, or Le Leche Leagues, or that a baby can have a weak sucking reflex and the Mom can have inverted nipples.

Okay, anyway. In the next post I'm going to get into the horrible medicine called Reglan.

One Good Thing

Is there ANY positive aspect to your baby having a bar lodged between his stiff leathery shoes 23/7?

The diaper changes. It is SO much easier to hold both feet together when we wipe his little tush. Just grab the bar and lift!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

People surprise me

The other day had a major craving for a vanilla latte from Starbucks. Decided to go through the drive-thru, BAD idea when I ended up waiting more than 20 minutes! (I couldn't back out because there were drivers behind me). Well some lady in front of me was having some issues with her coffee so that was the reason we were being held up. After having a baby, I HATE having to wait for anything...I'm always in a rush to get in and get out of any store etc so I can get back home quickly. So I was in turmoil waiting, thinking of all the things I needed to do when I got home and if MIL needed to go for a nap/walk.

But, once I got the coffee, the server said the lady before me had already paid for my drink as a way to make up for my wait. How nice!

There is hope for people after all. :-)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My Boyfriend

Om, AKA chipmunk, AKA my boyfriend, turned 3 months on Tuesday. He is a smiley, giggly child who loves to look around at the surroundings and also excerise his lungs with lovely baby talk. Sometimes he gets REALLY loud. His favorite time of the day to babble is early in the morning. Often times I will wake up to him talking in his bassinet, and if it is before 6am I just feed him and put him back to bed while I go to sleep. He continues babbling until Grandma comes and gets him for his bath. :-)

Sweet picture of my baby!

"I like to wear my hat to the side, very fashion conscious." Sweet dreams.

All giggles for Grandma!

"This book is SO fascinating."

"Umm did you want something? I was in the middle of reading my book!"

Monthly Update

I have been so lazy with updating the blog, it's been too long...I keep thinking of things during the day to blog about and then never get around to actually posting. Meh. Of course now I've forgotten all the stuff I wanted to blog. Oh well.

The above picture is from Diwali (Hindu Festival of lights). We got all dressed up for a party, I had fun trying to wear a silk sari (one of the saris I recieved during our wedding). Got some much needed help from a friend (thanks Amrita!). Om wore a traditional outfit that was a bit on the large size for him.

We also celebrated Halloween by handing out candy to kids in our neighborhood. Om wore his very first costume, a little mouse. We had SO MUCH fun with him in costume...Does little mousey need some milk? Is mousey wousey sleepy? Hehe.

Picture of my two favorite men. G went to Behjing for a week for work, so Om, Grandma and I spent a week together. It was interesting because, without G around, we ended up going to bed at 8pm every night! Too funny.

ELECTION DAY - I exercised my right to vote on Nov 4th at a local church. Due to my last name change there was a bit of confusion (my driver's license still has my maiden name), but the election official (really old man who could barely see) decided to let me vote based on my YMCA membership card. Hehe.
I usually vote for the issues and not the people, but I just love that a skinny dark dude with a funny name was elected. Gives me hope for my children. :-)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Short Post

Okay so I haven't had a chance to do some "proper" blogging for over a week now...my last few posts have been pretty random!

To Do:

- Upload pics from past 2 weeks (for some reason when I sit down to the computer the camera card is several feet away from me - usually upstairs or downstairs!)

- Write updates for past couple of holidays.

- Update the blog roll list (need to add several new blogs, some are for desi mom's and some for club foot blogs)

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Got this from chubbymummy's blog at www.chubbymummy.wordpress.com... feel free to copy and make your own list to share!

8 TV Shows I Love to Watch:
I don't watch much TV, hate being addicted to shows! I'm a random channel surfer. But if I must list some:

- Seinfeld
- Simpsons
- South Park (hilarious)
- Project Runway
- Top Chef
- Oprah
- The Office
- Random shows on TLC

8 Favorite Places to Eat:

- My Mom's house
- My own kitchen
- Cheap Mexican places (Chipotle, Taco Bell, etc)
- Gas Stations (yes, seriously...I love cheap coffee & slushies)
- I'm not very creative in this section...I'm usually open to eating most places!

8 Things That Happened Yesterday:

- 45 minutes on the elliptical trainer
- Grocery shopping (how I hate thee)
- Got through 2 hours of a lecture DVD on a home study course for the patent bar exam.
- Gave Chipmunk a bath
- Ate too much random stuff
- Forgot to call Chipmunk's doctor (again)
- Blogged
- Vented my feelings about motherhood to a fellow Mom for an hour on the phone.

8 Things I Look Forward To:

- Sleeping straight through the night (both me and Om)
- Sleeping in the same bed with G on a regular basis.
- Becoming a nuclear family again. (Extended version at the moment)
- Chipmunk holding his head up ALL the time with ease
- Chipmunk being able to wear the brace for only 12 hours a day (down from 23 hrs).
- Warm weather
- Passing the patent bar exam
- Starting work again

8 Things I Love About Fall:

- The color of the trees
- Pumpkins and Squashes
- Socks
- The fireplace
- Hot chai
- Hot coffee
- Charlie Brown TV Specials
- Fallen leaves

8 Things on my Wish List:

- Housekeeper
- A daughter
- A huge brick home with seperate living quarters for visiting parents
- Weekly Massages
- Chipmunk's feet no longer needs the brace.
- Laser surgery for permanent body hair removal
- Job that I can work from home
- A house in India

8 Things I’m Passionate About (not in specific order):

- My independance (generic, I realize)
- Getting my nails done (hehe)
- Fairness (no one getting the short end of the stick)
- My baby
- My husband
- Dogs and small furry creatures
- Being a helpful person

8 Words or Phrases I Use Often:

- Okay
- I don't know
- I guess
- So...
- ...But...(ending sentences with the word)
- f***!
- Cool
- Eh.

8 Things I Have Learned From My Past:

- Memorize...Memorize...Memorize.
- Time heals all wounds.
- Get it in writing.
- Write that email, and then delete it.
- You plan, God laughs. Hard.
- Be appreciative, (through words or actions).
- Thank God for unanswered prayers.
- Help others.

8 Places I Would Love to Go or See or Visit:

- Ireland
- Hawaii
- Alaska
- Australia
- African Safari
- The Moon
- The Past
- The Future

8 Things I Currently Need or Want:

- naps
- lose 30 lbs
- privacy
- more exercise clothes
- a trip to the salon for various things
- for chipmunk's doctor to return my call
- hubbie to return from work trip to China
- a massage

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Post Partum Support?

Here is one conversation I had with someone that made me change how I think of her:

Me: I heard that M is about to have her baby, can you give my regards to her and tell her that the terrible symptoms will soon pass and if she's feeling a bit depressed it's totally understandable?

Her: Depressed? Why would she feel depressed?

Me: It's the life changes and hormonal fluctuations...I went through something similar, it's called the post partum blues.

Her: You were depressed? How come you never told me?

Me: You never asked.

Her: Wow if I had a baby I would be euphoric with happiness.

Me: Good for you.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Monday, October 27, 2008

Post Partum Weight Loss

Starting weight 10-27-08 : 168 lbs (Need to face the music) (Not sharing body fat %...too scary for Halloween)

Goal weight: 145 lbs

It's a serious birth defect folks!

Before Om, I had no idea what it meant to have club feet. To me, all foot and leg braces were the same. Now I realize that there are so many variations in the type of lower extremity birth defects. Some are more severe than others, and some are accompanied by other birth defects in different parts of the body. Each type of defect has a specified type of treatment which may or may not include a brace/special shoes.

Club feet is just one category of lower extremity birth defect. Within club feet there are variations in severity and also in what caused the condition. For instance, children can be born with bilateral or unilateral clubbed feet, with severe, moderate, or mild severity. There are also atypical club feet which are very difficult to treat. Om has bilateral club feet with moderate severity. The docs said it is an isolated (no other issues in Om) genetic problem. There was nothing we could do or could have done better (such as changing the diet etc). Om wasn't "cramped" inside me (he had plenty of room to kick the bejeezus out of his Mom).

Thus, I understand when people who hear about club feet for the first time say things like "Oh don't worry my cousin's friend's brother had this and he just wore special sandals and is totally fine now." How do they know it was club feet and not some other milder deformity that was easily fixed with special sandals? They don't, yet they are trying to be supportive and give us hope. So I listen. :-)

I also listened when my parents said that Om would "miracously" be healed in the womb due to prayer. They were convinced that club feet could be healed via intense prayer and that when Om was born we'd have a pleasant surprise. I knew in my heart that this would not be the case (I trust science too much) but I let them pray for my baby. They were just worried for their grandchild.

I listened when my mother in law conducted a puja (prayer) ceremony in her house in India and had a priest pray for the baby for several weeks after. Although I didn' t like the idea of the money spent, I didn't mind since she was just trying what she knew best.

What I don't listen to are when people say things like:

  • "You didn't get enough vitamins. You should have eaten (insert random food here) so that your baby would have normal feet."
  • "You didn't sleep in the correct position."
  • "Malnutrition causes this."
  • "You must have bent in an unusual position thus the baby's feet twisted inward."
  • "You should have prayed more during the pregnancy."
(These comments are actually quite entertaining at times. I can't wait to see what comments we get when we take Om to India for the first time in March).

Club Foot Gene Found

This is fascinating. Neither G nor I know of anyone on either side of our families that has club feet. However, the physician told us (at the 5 month ultrasound) that our case was most likely genetic.

Gene Plays Key Role in Clubfoot
Finding could lead to tests, therapies, experts say
-- Robert Preidt

MONDAY, Oct. 27 (HealthDay News) -- The first gene linked to clubfoot has been identified by researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who analyzed the DNA of 35 extended family members of a male infant with clubfoot.

Through their analysis, the study authors concluded that a mutation in a gene called PITX1 -- which is critical for early development of lower limbs -- was responsible for the condition. The mutation was found in all 13 affected family members and in three carriers who showed no clinical symptoms.

Other genes may also play a role in clubfoot, but this finding is an initial step toward improved genetic counseling and the development of new therapies, the researchers said. The study appears in the Nov. 7 issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics.

"To our knowledge this report is the first evidence for PITX1 mutation in human disease," Dr. Christina Gurnett, an assistant professor of neurology, of pediatrics and of orthopedic surgery, said in a university news release. "Once we identified the mutation, we proved that all of the individuals in this family with lower extremity malformations also have the mutation. Having large families to work with is very helpful in genetic research."

Clubfoot, which affects about one in 1,000 newborns, is "a complex disorder meaning that more than one gene as well as environmental factors will be discovered to play a role in its [cause]," study senior author and clubfoot specialist Dr. Matthew Dobbs, an associate professor of orthopedic surgery, said in the news release.

In about 80 percent of clubfoot cases, the cause is unknown, while a familial link plays a role in about 25 percent of cases, according to background information about the study. Males are twice as likely as females to have clubfoot, which occurs more often in the right foot. About half of cases affect both feet.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Club Feet - Goodbye Casts, Hello Brace

Last Sunday was the chipmunk's (AKA Om) last day with the correcting casts. In this picture the casts are pretty dusty after 3 weeks of wear. I couldn't resist adding a few doodles to the casts.

My little surfer/snowboarder! In the above pic, the casts have been removed. He is wearing a brace (Dennis Brown Bar) that consists of corrective shoes and a metal bar to hold his feet in place. We have to keep the brace on Om 23 hours a day. The extra hour gets divided throughout the day for a bath and stretching of his feet (special stretches that the orthotics folks taught to us) These shoes are not easy to put back on once we've taken them off. They are leathery and stiff, and Om cries each time we squish his feet into them. The bar is heavy so Om needs to re-learn how to kick up his legs.
If we don't follow the prescribed treatment there is a good chance his feet will relapse into the clubbed position. We take Om back for a checkup in 3 months. I'm hoping the doctor will determine his feet are satisfactorily stable such that we can limit the brace to only nighttime. That will be a huge relief from taking off and putting on the brace during the day.
When I hold Om without his brace, I think to myself "This is what it feels like to have a normal baby." Sigh.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Karwa Chauth (a little late)

Took me a few days to do a karwa chauth post. Karwa chauth is a Hindu holiday in which ladies fast all day and then eat at night. The fasting is for the long life of their husbands. I do it to participate with my Mom and Mom in law, and also to test how long I can go without eating. :-)

Here is a picture of me and Om all dressed up:

Here is a group pic:

An Ehem Moment

From urbandictionary.com:

1. ehem
an expression used when you try to clearly explain something in a manner and bring your confidence up when actually you're feeling down.
ehem , i didn't mean to hurt you. :) ehem, it's for you.

At the Mommy & Me store the other day:

Me: Can I check these out here? (place baby clothes on counter)

Clerk: (size 0 teenage girl wearing leg warmers) Sure. So how many weeks along are you?

Me: Ehem. I already had my son 2 months ago.

Clerk: (embarressed & starts to ramble) Oh sorry...you know my sister she was pregnant and became really swollen. The swelling of the belly takes a long time to go down... (goes on and on about swelling)


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

When you are having a bad day

It doesn't mean you have to treat others disrespectfully. Especially if you are working in a customer service type job (where the whole point of working there is solving and explaining issues).

I just got off the phone with the King County Elections office (I needed to make a correction on my registration status). A lady was SO incredibly rude to me. I was asking her questions to explain to me why something was a certain way (won't get into details too boring) and she was silent...then said "How else can I help you?" I was confused to why she didn't answer my question, so asked her again. Then she said "Why are you arguing with me?" (At this point I was super confused, I thought I was being very polite). Then she had the nerve to say "There are something called deadlines" and proceeded to DEFINE to me what a deadline was (I had actually met the deadline, that wasn't the issue, she just didn't seem to understand what I was saying). I was shocked that a customer representative could be so rude, so I said "Look at that sarcasm, can I talk to your manager?" She put me on hold, then came back to say "I'm sorry the manager doesn't want to speak to people who don't understand. You won't be able to vote." THEN HUNG UP on me.

I started crying (post partum hormones are very much running through my veins) and then called the elections office back, and got a NORMAL person to talk to me. She assured me that everything with my voter registration status was fine, and that the person I had talked to previously obviously had something wrong with her. She went and told the supervisor what happened and he's looking into who could have been so rude.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just a year ago...

I was living in my parents house in MN. Everyday I would go to work 20 minutes away at an ecommerce company. I loooved working...discussing problems and challenges with my manager, interviewing engineers about their inventions, researching new technology, and ultimately prosecuting patent applications. I especially liked managing my own time and choosing which project I felt like working on at the moment.

I would come home fairly late since I preferred arriving at the office later in the day and staying late. I would eat dinner on my own and then go excersise, usually run around my parents neighborhood. Sometimes I'd call up my friend George and we'd run in his neighborhood or we'd use his punching bag in his steamy garage.

I'd probably get a phone call from G on his way back from work (due to different time zones). I'd lay on my bed and chat with him about our day. Then I would get ready for bed and go downstairs to the basement to do 500 jumprope.

It was a simple relaxing time, full of excitment for planning a trip to India for our wedding and the trip to London to see relatives. Lots of shopping, planning sessions with parents and friends, etc. I was physically full of energy and healthy. I was also planning a trip to Baltimore to see a college friend.

I was looking forward to moving to Washington, spending time with my new husband, and eventually going back to work for the same company in Minnesota (either by remote work or by traveling every week to MN). My goal was to take salsa lessons and do lots of experimental cooking, and go travel with my husband.

Then we got pregnant. :-) And now I'm always tired, have odd aches in my body, 30 lbs heavier than I was, living with a mother in law along with a new husband (no privacy), pressured to finish one more exam so that I can find a good job, just getting out of a post partum funk (baby blues) and have a 9 lb mini-me sleeping in the bassinet next to me.

Life is full of surprises. I'm just glad that they are happy surprises.

2 months

Om turns 2 months old this weekend, and since I am SO bad at updating his activities on here on a timely basis, I'll just do it a few days early. :)

- Om coos and gurgles a lot now, talks to objects such as the toys in his baby gym. If in the mood, he talks to photographs and paintings on the wall.

- Om swats his hands at objects. I dont think he intentionally does it, but sort of randomly hits things in his way.

- Growing chubbier, taller, and cuter by the minute.

- My little man has a mustache. Takes after his Dad in body hair. :-)

- His hands are ALWAYS dirty no matter how many times we wash them.

- I remind myself of those primate mothers (chimpanzees, apes) that pick at their babies (and eat the bugs they find). I constantly remove eye boogers, nose boogers, dandruff, behind - the - ear - gunk, leftover milk cheese on his mouth, and finger lint. I've even bitten off his finger nails.

- Om hates sleeping during the day. Nuff said.

- Om makes the cutest frowny face when he's frustrated with something.

- Om has finally smiled intentionally. It usually happens once or twice a day when we are talking to him or when I find him talking to himself in his bassinet early in the morning. (I just wish he smiled more!! It would make all the work worthwhile).

- Om is finally eating regularily and finishes each bottle.

Don't forget to laugh

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Patent Bar

Not very many attorneys take the patent bar exam because you need a science background (coursework and labs in a technical degree) in order to sit for the exam. The pass rate is about 50%, up from 33% a few years ago. It's still much lower than the normal state bar passing rates.

Out of 100 questions I need to get 70 questions right. It's an open book test consisting of 50 questions in the morning session and 50 questions in the afternoon session. Open book means the exam is just that much harder...and there is very little time to actually peruse the book and find solutions to the answers. However, memorizing the MPEP (manual for patent examining procedure) is not feasible...the book is redundant and extremely detailed on the rules and laws relating to patents and what they mean. Even if I were to go crazy and memorize it all, the rules get revised and updated every so often (which drives me bananas).

I have books from 2005 and I'm worried that I'm studying the wrong material since the MPEP has been revised a few times since then. Also, I don't know anyone personally who is taking this exam. At least in law school everyone had to take the state bar exam. Not everyone needs to take the patent bar, hence my frustration...how do I know if I'm on the right track?

I have a feeling I'll end up paying for a course so that I can get some structure and the most current material. I've tried looking in craigslist etc for people selling past exams but haven't had any success. My goal is to pass this exam by end of February.


Om Updates

Om was given honey (I know, I know...risk for botulism) by his Grandma via his very own silver spoon and cup set. He smacked his lips afterwards.

A rare sight in our house...Om fast asleep. This little guy likes to wake up every hour and cause a ruckus (he gets really cranky due to lack of daytime sleep...aren't newborns supposed to sleep 14 hours a day? WHATEVER!!!) I think he takes after his Dad...has no idea of what it means to relax, and doesn't want to sleep.

Yummy hands. He's taken to putting his fingers in his mouth only to get frustrated when no milk is produced. I've tried putting the pacifier but he sucks on that for maybe 15 seconds before letting go.

Navrathri Puja - Invited young girls over and give them food and treats. I don't really like the puja part (my mom in law took care of that) but I liked making the little treat bags for the neighborhood girls. I'm glad the whole Navrathri week is over, too much random work involved. While growing up, my mom took care of a lot of these things and I would just need to show up for the puja. But with MIL, I need to help organize these events since she's not used to shopping and coordinating these things in the USA.

Om celebrated his grandma's birthday.

Monday, October 13, 2008


2 weeks ago Om had his achilles tendon on both feet snipped. The casts will remain on until end of October, and then he'll be fitted for special brace-like shoes. I can't wait to be done with the whole mess of casts. First, I hate going weekly to the doctor's office...second I hate not being able to feel his legs when he's in my arms, and third I miss giving him daily baths (casts can't get wet).
The mini-surgery went well, they first numbed his feet with a topical cream (he cried bloody murder while the nurse was manipulating his feet) and then Dr. Mosca (along with 2 doctors observing) cut the tendon quickly with a scalpal and then injected anesthesia into the incision. Then Om was re-casted. We gave him Tyenol with codeine for 24 hours to help with any pain. It was funny to see him react to the medication...he would drift off into la la land somewhere between sleep and awake...We had a very high baby during that day! :-)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Half my brain cells

Went to my child during pregnancy. Grammar, spelling, all have gone down hill.

Famous People born with Club Feet

Olympic goldmedal iceskating champions, football and baseball stars...

(From Wikipedia):

Many notable people have been born with club foot, including the Roman emperor Claudius, the poet Lord Byron, statesman Prince Talleyrand, Civil War politician Thaddeus Stevens, the comedian Damon Wayans, actors Gary Burghoff and Dudley Moore, footballer Steven Gerrard, mathematician Ben Greenberg, and film director David Lynch.[citation needed]
Kristi Yamaguchi was born with a club foot, and went on to win figure skating gold in 1992. Soccer star Mia Hamm was born with the condition. Baseball pitcher Larry Sherry was born with club feet, as was pitcher Jim Mecir, and both enjoyed long and successful careers. Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Freddy Sanchez cites his ability to overcome the defect as a reason for his success [7]. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman also overcame the condition en route to a Pro Football Hall of Fame career. Josef Goebbels, the notorious Nazi propaganda minister, had a right club foot (possibly incurred after birth as a complication of osteomyelitis)[8], a fact hidden from the German public by censorship. Because of this malformation, Goebbels needed to wear a leg brace. That, plus his short stature, led to his rejection for military service in World War I.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Does breastfeeding increase appetite?

It's either that or the prescription medicine I've been taking to increase the milk supply.

(Do not assume from the title of this post that Om's breastfeeding has been extremely successful...we are still working on it, right now he just uses the brown eyes for between-meal snacks and soothing himself to sleep. Oh well.)

I packed up all my clothes so that I wouldn't get depressed looking at them. Few items remain in my closet that fit, but I am still finding stuff on a daily basis that I have to put in the "wait until 30 lbs lost" pile. Keep pondering joining weightwatchers again.

I highly doubt I'll lose weight with breastfeeding like many women do. As with most of my pregnancy experiences, I'll probably be in the small percentage of women who GAIN or maintain their weight and lose it after their babies are weaned.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I was talking to a friend yesterday and she was surprised (or shocked) that I let Om's grandma (my mom in law) take care of Om so much. She gives him his daily sponge bath/oil massage and then the weekly bath once his casts come off, then she feeds him twice in the morning and does her daily prayer with him in her arms, then has him listen to her religous chanting music (bhajans) with her. This all happens until 11 or 12noon, then I take over while she prepares lunch. The rest of the afternoon I mess around with Om until his Dad comes home, then we all pitch in to take care of Om. Needless to say we are all his servants. :-)

Anyway, back to my point...my friend was surprised that I "allowed" someone else take care of my baby so much. Today, for instance, I studied in the afternoon so Om was with Grandma almost all day (until 6pm). I guess I'm missing that posessive feeling...I really don't mind if Om's grandma takes care of him so much, as long as I get some time in the day with him (I already spend 5 nights a week with him since I'm on night duty).

Is it wrong to not be territorial about one's kid? I don't mind at all if Grandma or his Dad take care of him. Most kids figure out who Mom is anyway, especially if they breastfeed. I like having some time during the day to sleep, and now with my patent exam still pending I like not needing to put him in daycare so that I can go study for a few hours.

One month old baby cakes

" Yo what's up later there's a party in my playpen, you should drop by...byob (bring your own bottle)"

"What is this nasty stuff Grandma is feeding me? I know I have a tummy ache but dang this stuff stinks! Thank goodness now Mom has to drink the stuff so that I get it by proxy."
(BTW it was fennel seed water...ajwain in Hindi...yeah yeah we aren't supposed to give baby anything besides milk but his grandma insisted)

Pondering life on Mom's chest. Lots to think about and analyze.

Little chipmunk passed out on a blanket...too cute.

"Need to have a serious talk with Mom about her choice of wardrobe for me."

"This is what I wore on my birthday, it was a gift from my uncle Varun." (who doesn't read this blog).

Monday, September 22, 2008

Club Feet Updates

Today was Om's 5th casting in a series. We go every Monday to Children's Hospital in Seattle to see Dr. Vincent Mosca, one of the top orthopedic physicians in the area. Folks come from far and wide to see this doctor...I spoke to one lady last week who was there with her infant son and had to catch a flight back home afterwards. Imagine doing that weekly! Sheesh what we do for our kids. We are so blessed that we live fairly close to the hospital.
Om keeps the cast on all week long, then Monday morning G removes the casts from Om's legs. Om doesn't like getting the casts taken off so is a bit fussy during the process. Grandma (my mom in law) gets all wet in the bathtub with him for his weekly bath (we wash him daily with a washcloth because the casts can't get wet or soiled). He also gets an oil massage from grandma. I dry Om and dress him after his bath.

In the above pic, Om's feet are clearly turned inward. This is before the casting series.

In this pic, Om was getting his first casts applied by Dr. Mosca. (He's content in sucking the bottle in this pic, which is not always the case!)

Above Om is getting his casts removed by his Dad. Again, he's quiet, but usually he hates when his casts come off (probably feels funny to the little guy!).

Here's Om before today's visit to the hospital. You can see the difference between this picture and the first one...his feet aren't as twisted anymore.

His feet are still odd looking, but MUCH more normal than 5 weeks ago! All the extra folds of skin are a good sign...it means the foot is changing to a normal shape and he will eventually grow into the extra skin.
Next week a procedure called a tentotomy will be performed on both of his feet. His achilles tendons will be snipped and then a new cast applied to last 3 more weeks. Fingers are crossed that Om suffers through it like the brave trooper he has been...and that all this work eventually leads to healthy normal chubby cute feet! Please keep us in your prayers / positive thoughts!