The bathtub

I told her to read her a book till I was back from my bath. Nothing out of the extra ordinary. That was our routine for the past few weeks. She had finally started reading on her own. I made use of that to take a relaxed bath. That day was no different.

 

 

I ran a warm bath. To be true, I liked the water hot. As I stepped into it, I could feel the warmth of the water almost physically straightening my curled up cold body, taking away my stress and calming me. I always promised her it would be a quick bath. But it was hardly ever quick. Once you hit a tub of warm water, your reflexes slowed down automatically. Your hands didn’t move fast enough. Your brain neither.

As I finished soaping myself, I unplugged the tub to drain out the water. And that’s when it struck. I felt a hand on my naked butt. I think I froze for a second. I was all alone in my bathroom, in my bathtub, closed from the only open end with the shower curtain. There was no way there was anyone in my bathtub, leave alone a hand.

I turned and saw it. High on adrenalin, I fathomed “it” was floating in the water. Upside down. Head under water. My shriek caught in my throat, I did a double take. And just as quickly as it had appeared, the adrenalin relaxed, and a silly nervous laugh followed. It was her doll. She had left it in the tub, yet again…

 

An ode to 2017..

Saying that this year was life changing for me, would be an understatement. The year started with us planning a trip to Thailand for our 6th wedding anniversary. It was a great vacation, with beach visits and lots of family time. 3 months later, H was packing off to US. Goodbyes are never easy. And it is always a difficult time with S, missing him and being totally uncooperative.But in the middle of that life, I got an opportunity to visit Leh with my parents, while the grandparents babysat lil S. Leh trip, as expected, was incredible. We traveled from one mountainous region to another, braving hot sun, rain, and even snowfall. It is one place where the pictures don’t do any justice. The panoramic view is something that you take in and remember. You can’t ever capture the magnanimity of the landscape.

But the cake for change has to be, our move to this country, that I am now trying to call home. I have gone over this decision a thousand times in my head, and each time I came out convinced that it was wrong. I love my country, my city, with all it’s fallacies. I didn’t want to move here. Leaving behind my job, my financial independence, my parents, and friends. To start a new life. All over again.
But then, who said, Life was fair. H convinced me that it was best for our daughter who was really struggling with the pollution levels in NCR. And thankfully has been doing great health wise, ever since we landed here.

There are some things that you can never prepare yourself for. Like, being at home, tending to the house and cooking all day, without a “job”. So here I am, with a lot of time which I am utilizing to watch all the movies I missed owing to the “job”. Life is definitely coming a full circle, right? I am also finding it really difficult to maintain a routine because, you guessed it, no job. The first month was miserable with a feeling of listlessness and total loss of control. Slowly, I am beginning to really enjoy all this spare time and revel in being totally aimless. Until it’s time to get back to the real world.

And finally, I am slowly conquering my fear of cooking. I have never had any interest in cooking, and always made sure to avoid it. In fact, during my 3 year stay in Bangalore, I never took up a flat because that would require maintaining a kitchen. And so I always stayed put in a PG where a maid cooked for us. The maid arrangement continued after our marriage until…now. Never say never, right? After I moved here, I have been cooking at least 3 hot meals a day. I even managed to bake cookies which, if I may add, turned out quite yummy.

Home made cookies, anyone?

The way life has been throwing curve balls at us every year, I am quite convinced that I don’t really need any New Year Resolutions. I should just learn to swim with the flow, and learn the lessons along the way. How about that for a New Year Resolution? 🙂

The Friendship Special!

Hello. Welcome back. I was away. Again. Not something that I like, but something that I can’t help either.

The husband has been travelling far too much for my liking. That left me with the little one, and a whole lot of more work. Plus the fact that she’s been not keeping well for quite some time now 🙁 We have visited numerous doctors, and finally we think we know what’s wrong and we are taking steps to correct it. At this point, our whole focus is to really see her healthy. And so, the husband who had hardly been home for 10 days during the last 3 months finally came back last week. Since then, life is looking up. It’s feeling like a non-stop party. The little one is super excited to wake up to both parents 🙂 And her health is half way better with daddy without any medicines. I really hope this phase stays longer.

I am so sad for not having done my birthday post this year. So I’ll do a little recap here. Because it is Friendship’s day today, and these very friends made my birthday so special.

Like last year, this year too, the husband was not supposed to be in town on my birthday. So I had booked tickets to travel to Ahmedabad (where he was stationed at the time). However, the little one fell ill at the last moment and I had to cancel my tickets. So apart from the loss of 5000 Rs, we also lost the entire special-birthday-meeting plan.And so I went to office (the little one was feeling better with the medicines) with no plans as this was a last minute change. But my awesome friends made sure that we went out for lunch. They also got me a cake and a card and wrote the sweetest messages. The evening was supposed to be a daily affair. I picked up S from the day care and went home. I was going about the usual housework when I got a call from colleagues cum friends who informed me they were coming over to celebrate my birthday. And so we had the second cake cutting of the day. We ate cake, sat around and indulged S who was really excited to have people in our house, other than her mum. They also got me one of the books that I have been wanting to read. you can imagine how euphoric I might have been! By the time they left, my sister called to inform me she had made some really nice dinner for the birthday. S and I reached their house when I got a call from another of my friends, who lives in the same society as us. She said she was coming over to wish me. She came home armed with delicious cupcakes. And so we had a third cake cutting of the day with my friend and S. The little one was really happy and majorly confused as to why we were singing the birthday song over and over that day. But she did enjoy all the attention and some cake. By the time I went to have my dinner, I was so stuffed with cake that I could hardly eat anything that the sister had made. I really felt bad and said as much.

My office friend, S and I

 

The cake cutting at lunch with friends 🙂

 

When S insisted she would feed me cake and my friend decided to capture this. Sweet, right?

You can imagine how loved and blessed I have must have felt that day. Lots of people called, messaged and watsapp’ed their wishes. But these people who really took the time out for my big day are so special. Not that I am really big on birthday celebrations. But because it made me realize how truly blessed I am to have so much love in my life. AND. The birthday celebrations weren’t over yet. One of my friends (we go way back to college, and then together in out first company) called me and asked me what book I would like for my birthday. I told him that I hadn’t read Steig Larsson’s Millenium trilogy. So he could send me the first book, and I would order the rest if I liked it. The sweetheart that he is, he sent me the entire box set of 3 books. That’s not all. He also sent me a sweet note which said “They say, very few women admit their age, and very few men act their age. But yo do both of it and with equal grace. I wish you a very Happy Birthday ~ although belated. Enjoy!” So much love, my heart could explode.

Really, thank you guys, to each one of you. You know who you are. You are loved and revered. You are in my wishes and blessings. Always!
This is for all my friends – Happy Friendship’s Day! Now and always 🙂

PS: While I was away, I also won a contest. Yay! You can read about it here and here.

Product Review : Dabur Baby Massage Oil

And so, we are back with a product review. Dabur baby massage oil. I was quite an obvious choice for the review as I have a kid who falls into the maalish waali category. And so, last week I received three packs of Dabur baby massage oil from BlogAdda for review, as a part of the #FirstLove activity.

As soon as I opened the neatly done package and took out one bottle to generally have a deko, the little one neatly got hold of the other two, one in each hand, and ran away. And then, as is usual, she threw them on the floor as soon as I asked her to return them to me. For her it’s a game. But I think I had a minor heart attack. The two extra bottles needed to be given away. But lord bless the guys! Since it’s a baby oil, they must have figured that the babies can go for the bottles once in a while. So the non-glass/plastic bottles fell on the ground. And that’s that. Nothing happened. So even before the review started, a point had been scored. Make baby products baby-proof 🙂

Ever since the little one was born, we have been very particular about her massages. Everyday, half an hour. Our mothers and grandmothers have waxed eloquent about its benefits and the husband and I have been really sincere with the massage routine from the beginning. In the initial months, a massage helps relive the tensions in a baby’s muscles as they cannot move around on their own. I remember how every day during the massage she would fall off to easy sleep. We sometimes tried to do it at night to make her sleep too. I, for one, can personally vouch for the fact that a massage really helps growing babies. As the little one started growing older, we could see that her hands and legs were strong and she sat, eventually started crawling and walking, all in good time and pretty confidently.

 

Since the beginning, we have used mustard oil and desi ghee for her massage, as these oils help build the child’s muscles. We have also occasionally used Johnsons’ baby oil when we were travelling and didn’t have access to the above mentioned oils. There are some other alternatives like Olive oil, and Almond oil that are popular for baby massages. Dabur baby massage oil combines the goodness of both olives and almonds into this oil. The oil is clear, not very thick and has a pleasant smell to it. The packet cover and the bottle have a very cute and colorful design with a chubby elephant dancing and the text sprawled across in rainbow hues.

I have had a really difficult time massaging my little one ever since she learnt to crawl. Because that means she can run away during the massage. So this cute little cover came in quite handy to keep her occupied for a little while I quickly got to work. The oil has a sweet smell and is non-sticky. Of course, I cannot say how effectively the oil is helping my child grow as it is something that is dependent on a lot of factors. But the fact that a popular and age-old brand like Dabur is associated with it, it makes me want to believe in all the goodness mentioned here like being Parafins free and no artificial colours.

 

Some children do have extra sensitive skin. And if you have such a child at home, I would advise you to first do a skin test by applying the oil on a small patch of skin and wait for a couple of hours for any allergy to show up.

I am writing about Dabur Baby Massage Oil with the goodness of olive and almond for the #FirstLove activity atBlogAdda.

I am! We are!

I know I have written a lot about how motherhood has been the best thing to have happened to my life. And how my little one is the storehouse of a million sunshines that light life everyday. However, like good things, this one has a flip side too. And that is, the time H and I get to spend together. After she was born, we have hardly had any time to spend with each other. The days and nights melted into each other, blurry with a flurry of activities. And then, when she was only 4 months old, H had to travel to Germany for work. It took me a long time and a lot of effort to get both of ours’ passport and visas done to be able to join him there. But I didn’t have too many expectations of a different life there, as I was travelling with all-day-work i.e. my almost-9 month old hyperactive princess.

H and I are travel enthusiasts. But, of course, we hadn’t traveled much after we came to know of the pregnancy. But to my delight, as soon as our travel dates got confirmed, H booked our flight tickets and made hotel reservations for our Euro trip. Something we had been planning for a long time. And so, even as I had not come over the initial euphoria of seeing him after so many months, he surprised me with the travel plan. I had never imagined our Euro trip would happen with our 9 month old. I was as happy as anxious It was going to be our first travel with the little one. How would we manage? We were first time parents, after all. And this was a new country. We had one week to settle in the new place before the vacation started. We settled in, all too soon. For nothing do they say “Home is where the heart is” I didn’t feel like I was in a new place at all. And that first week was the best ever. I would spend the day, cooking and cleaning and playing, and in the evenings, went out to explore the city we lived in. It was pure bliss.

And then the trip happened. We had quite an eventful trip. I loved the croissants in Paris, and the hot-chocolate in Zurich. Berlin took us back in time to the First and the Second world wars. But I had the most amazing time in Amsterdam, Venice of the north. I think I found Amsterdam to be the coolest European city. Or maybe because it was summer when we visited. The hustle bustle at the central square was so inviting. We saw the most number of freak-worthy stuff there. No points for guessing it though 😉 The way the city transforms itself in the night is just mind blowing. If you are a directionally challenged like moi, you are most likely to find yourself at the exact spot you visited in the day, and not know it! But the best part about Amsterdam was being able to visit the Anne Frank house. I was finally able to see in person all that I had read in the book. The Secret annexe, Anne’s room, her pictures and all the other small things that she had described in her little diary. I had read the book while I was still in school, and now visiting the house while holding my 9 month old was quite an experience. When I had read the book, I was scared if I had to face a situation like that someday too. But while in the house, I think my heart just broke into a million pieces. I am so glad Anne’s mother died before her. I cannot imagine what a mother would have gone through to see her child suffer like that.

 

Our Amsterdam postcard

When we walked out of the house, the little one was peacefully asleep in the husband’s arms. We sat around one of the numerous river side cafes to grab a bite. I think I must have sent a thousand prayers for the happiness God has bestowed us with. I worried about not being able to spend time with the hubby and that he had to travel away from us. In hindsight, God was just setting a stage for our Euro trip. So we could make up for all the lost time in the best way possible. To be able to relive our past. And to be able to make some brand new memories. We were #together through it all, and that’s what matters the most, right?