December 15, 2010

Satya matya is 2 months old



Our Satya bear is 2 months old this week. Unbelievable. Here's what he's been up to:
  • Growing well. Around 50th percentile for height and weight and a bit bigger for head. He's outgrown all of his hats!

  • Sleeping well--5-7 hours per night. And unlike Suchitra at this age actually has some self-soothing skills. I put him down for naps awake and he goes to sleep on his own! Amazing. We are so grateful that everyone get a good night's sleep most nights.

  • More alert when he's awake. I think he's starting to recognize me and Suchitra especially. Hasn't smiled yet, but we're working really hard on it!

  • Loves the outdoors. He stares out the window happily for his entire awake time. During walks, when he is in the wrap, he refuses to let me tuck his head in for a nap--wants to be up and looking around the whole time!

  • Absolutely hates the car seat. Trips to pick up Suchitra from preschool turn into 30 minute screaming sessions, with Suchitra chiming in "It's ok baby" every few minutes.
Meanwhile Suchitra is almost 2 years old! There's been so much going on with her that I'll write another post in the near future. For now, suffice it to say she's pretty amazed with Satya :)


November 15, 2010

One month in


Whew! Did we really just have a baby last month? It feels like such an eternity ago that Satya joined our family, I can barely remember the days of one child! But between recovering from childbirth, Suchitra's adjustment, and Satya fitting his way into our daily life, we're doing pretty well.

Suchitra is showing herself to be the most empathetic of big sisters:
  • Her first question upon waking in the morning is "baby??" as in "what you have done with my little brother, irresponsible parents?!"
  • She's constantly listening for Satya's cries, refusing to allow us to ignore them even for a minute ("baby crying! Mummy hold baby!").
  • And she loves to help "burpoo baby"!

Of course she doesn't much like sharing with Satya...never mind that the sharing involves toys she played with 18+ months ago! She's also shown more clinginess to both mom and dad. Overall though I think she's done really well with this significant change in her life.

Satya...well, what can I say about our sleepy, laid back sweetheart? So far he's a good eater, good sleeper (4 hours at night!) and willing to go with the flow of the household. We're thankful every day for his flexibility and willingness to allow Suchitra to pat his fuzzy head!

All in all, we're having a wonderful time with our two kiddies. Can't wait for Satya to be old enough to return his big sister's kisses!

November 2, 2010

Musical beds

11:30pm Satya's last feeding of the day

12:30-2am Satya awake and looking to play

2:30am Satya fed again, almost asleep

2:35am Suchitra screaming inconsolably in her crib, brought to our bed. Satya moved to pack n play to make room for Suchitra in bed

2:40-4am Both kids alternately awake or crying

4:05am Satya moved to Suchitra's crib in hope of allowing both to sleep

4:30am Suchitra still awake and looking to play

4:35am Satya (now asleep) back in our bed, Suchitra back in her crib

4:40-5:00am Suchitra patted and sung to, unwilling to sleep

5:05am Mom leaves Suchitra to put herself to sleep. Suchitra screams.

5:15am Everyone asleep.

7:45am Everyone awake.

October 19, 2010

The story of Satya's birth day

I was so excited when we reached 37 weeks in this pregnancy. Suchitra was born at 35 weeks, and she caught us completely off guard. Though we were so fortunate that she was healthy, she did some have issues early on because of her preemie status. Feedings were difficult, some developmental milestones were delayed, and her physical growth was slow until she turned 1. Nothing compared to what many parents face, but certainly challenges for naive first-timers like Sameer and I!

This time around, with the help of our great doctor, we took multiple measures to ensure that super #2 stayed in the womb as long as possible. We still had a scare around week 35, but thankfully caught it early on and persuaded baby not to make his appearance just quite yet.

Last Tuesday I finally hit the magic 37 week mark. Because we were trying for a vbac, and needed to avoid induction, Doc S performed an "aggressive" (read: OUCH) exam to try to get things started. I don't think she expected "things" to begin moving along quite so soon! Tuesday evening I started having regular contractions. They continued into early Wed morning, at which point I woke up Sameer and told him we better get ready to head to the hospital for real.

After taking care of some last-minute details (like scanning and emailing Sameer's college degree for new insurance!) we said goodbye to our "chicha" and headed to the hospital Wednesday around 8am. Upon arrival, the nurse infomed me that I was farther along than she expected--2 cm dilated and almost 100% effaced. She said to expect a baby by sometime that evening! Over the course of the morning, contractions continued to get closer together, but still manageable.

Around lunchtime, Doc S came by and broke my water. Almost immediately, the contractions multiplied 10x in intensity...at least it felt that way! It took some time for the anesthesiologist to arrive, but thankfully I got some relief via an epidural around 2pm. At that time the nurse did a quick check and announced, "you're 8 cm"! WOW! Sameer and I began to prepare ourselves for the fact that our son was going to arrive very soon.


At 3pm, Doc S arrived once more. She said that I was ready to have the baby. It finally dawned on me that we were going to be successful with this vbac thing--I was NOT going to have another c-section.


So the pushing began...I had pushed for about 10 minutes when Doc S started getting concerned about the baby's heartrate. It was going way down before recovering, over and over again during each contraction. She pulled out the vaccum and told me she wanted him out now.

At 3:22pm, Satya made his entrance. He was very pale, so off he went to the warmers for a bit while I got stitched up. Sameer was able to hold him, but I was kept waiting for about 10 minutes...finally a nurse brought him over. Our baby boy, the "victory of truth":


He was still somewhat in shock from the birth, as you can see from his color. So off Satya went to the nursery for some more "warming". By 5pm, though, he was back with us and ready to stay:


The next morning, Satya met his big sister for the first time:


She is completely in love with her "fuzzy" baby brother, as are we all:

October 16, 2010

October 15, 2010

Introducing Satyajit

We are so pleased to introduce you to our son:

Satyajit Mehta Doshi
Born Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 3:22pm
6lbs, 12 oz and 19 inches long

Here is Suchitra meeting Satya for the first time:


We are all home now and doing well! Look forward to posting more photos and updates soon.

September 23, 2010

The home stretch


I figured I better post a Suchitra update before October...we're getting really close to the time period during pregnancy when she was born, and I'm getting more and more nervous with each passing day. Hopefully #2 will stay put for a few more weeks.
In the meantime...here are some things "Chicha" has been up to recently:
  • She started at her new preschool 2 days/week. Still crying a bit when daddy drops her off, but otherwise enjoying her new teachers and friends. If you ask her what she does all day, answers include "dance," "blocks," "night night" and "outsiiide!"
  • She knows all of her colors and some letters and numbers. Favorite letter is "S", favorite number is "2". Favorite color continues to be purple.
  • Learning new words like crazy. Mom and dad's current favorites are "all right!" "everywhere," "new car", "I don't know" and "there he is!"
  • She's got the possessive tense down, so we're waiting for some short sentences now.
  • Very sweetly helped mom pick out a gift for baby. Manages to restrain herself from playing and/or chewing on it most of the time.
  • Working on learning 2 important social/household skills: sharing and cleaning up after herself. Its hit or miss with both, but at least she's understanding the principle of the thing.
  • Has used her toddler toilet a couple times, but not showing too much interest. We'll probably wait until after baby is born and she's a bit older to speed up the process.
  • Sometimes lets mom take a short nap without throwing things at me for up to 10 minutes :)

We're having such a great time with our little girl...and excited and ready for her baby brother!

August 19, 2010

19 1/2 months old


We finally got to the doctor's for Suchitra's 18 month checkup. She's grown SO much! 80 percentile for height and 20th percentile for weight...even though her appetite has decreased considerably since leaving daycare, good to know we're still managing to stuff some calories into her.

As for Suchitra's development, there are a few big changes I've noticed recently. For one, her language acquisition is skyrocketing! Everyday it seems like she picks up another word or two. Today, she suddenly starting point to every tree during our walk and exclaiming "leaves". And of course she learned "doctor" during our 1.5 hour visit :)

She's also becoming more and more feminine, if that's possible! Every baby we meet is pointed out and fawned over, and babies' cries bother her to no end. Her growing menagerie of stuffed animals lack for no attention. She loves to kiss new acquaintances, whether they be bugs, flowers or reflections in the mirror. If anything, she'll be OVERprepared for #2's arrival :)

On a more challenging note for mama, she's also showing increasing signs of independence and defiance. We haven't had a full-blown tantrum yet, but I'm bracing myself. We're in for a wild ride these next few months!



August 1, 2010

Michigan

We had another great trip recently, our last big one before baby #2 arrives! We spent a week in Ann Arbor, visiting Shail and my parents.

Some highlights:
Ann Arbor Art Fair--it was alternately hot and rainy, but we got to hear some live music and create some neat art of our own.


Hands-on Museum--what a great place for kids 1 and up! We could have spent all day here!


And of course, some quality time with nana and nani:



On a related note, Suchitra finally learned her first Gujarati words during our trip! "Nana" means maternal grandfather, but Suchitra decided it should be equitably applied to all non-parental relatives! So we have lots of "nanas" in our lives now :)

July 18, 2010

"We're going on a hunt"

Suchitra and I spent our first real week at home together investigating preschools. I say investigating because you really have to try to dig below the surface when visiting these institutions of early childhood education. I get the sense that in Southern California, especially in certain neighborhoods and with certain price tags, many schools appear appealing on the surface. Teachers are teaching, kids are mostly happy, and the learning environment is stimulating.

However, once you dig a little deeper, then the differences in educational philosophy and how kids are actually learning emerge. We visited completely "developmental" schools, where kids ran about most of the day without too much structure (and no doubt having a ball at it). We visited more "academic" schools, one in which 2 year olds were actually expected to sit for 45 minutes and color in a worksheet! Don't ask me what I felt like doing after spending time in that classroom.

And we visited the school that Sameer and I think will be the best fit for Suchitra--a lovely Montessori school with bright classrooms, interesting learning materials, engaged teachers and expansive outdoor play areas. Suchi was completely taken with the school. She took a step into the Montessori classroom, took in the kids working on their individual tasks, and almost ran to the shelves to grab some materials for herself. She was so much more interested in these types of "toys" than in anything at the other schools we visited. I think she also liked how kids were working individually, something I think will be good for her too. She'll certainly have plenty of time for outdoor play, art, music and other good preschool stuff during the rest of the day. But 30-60 minutes a day learning focus and discipline is not a bad use of time in my opinion.

So she starts in September, 2 days a week. Hope I can keep her suitably stimulated until then!

July 7, 2010

San Diego

Lessons learned from our most recent travels:
  1. Suchitra absolutely loves new places and people. Doesn't really matter where, as long as its "outsiiide".

  2. Any trip involving water is bound to be a hit. Or incite a tantrum upon leaving. Probably both.

  3. Ditto for trips involving animals.

  4. Suchitra is more flexible than both her parents when traveling. She'll sleep in strange places as long as we turn on some "sleep sounds" (radio static). She's getting better about long car rides. As for food, she's not a great eater, but definitely less picky than dad or mom.

  5. If baby #2 is anywhere near as a good a traveler as Suchitra, we're set!

July 2, 2010

Stay-at-home child

Today was officially Suchitra's last day at daycare...she might "drop in" now and then over the summer, but otherwise she's staying home with mom for the forseeable future!

I've got some mixed feelings about this change. On the one hand I'm so grateful to have the next 3-4 months alone with my little girl, before super #2 arrives. There are so many art projects, music classes, and bike rides that I've been planning, and now we finally have time for all of them. No more coming home after a full day of work and daycare, everyone (except Suchitra of course) too tired to do anything but eat, bathe and go to sleep. We have all day to play and learn! What more could a teacher want?

On the other hand I already feel sadness on having to leave behind most intellectual pursuits for at least the next year. I've got a few part-time gigs in the works, but nothing compared to the daily immersion in history and politics afforded by an actual classroom.

I also think that Suchitra genuinely enjoys social interaction with other children and adults...as well as the variety in play afforded by a school setting. So I'm looking for part-time care options for her. Hoping to find a well-respected preschool that also offers a toddler program, so she doesn't have to wait until 2 years old to start. It probably won't hurt her to have other adults showing her attention once the baby arrives, either.

In the meantime, we'll enjoy our days together. And I'll switch over some of my "light" bedtime reading to more substantive historical tomes :)

June 4, 2010

The perfect pair


Who's that? My soon-to-arrive baby brother and I, of course! I'm so excited!

But baby brother, you should know mom's idea of a gender neutral color is purple. And dad's idea of a varsity sport is badminton. On the other hand, I love playing outside and my favorite Sesame Street character is blue Grover. So don't worry. We'll get on like two peas in a pod!

See you soon!

June 1, 2010

All 3 Syllables

Suchitra has begun saying her own name. Or at least she's trying:


video


The overplanning parent in the household (guess who?) has also been thinking of new baby names for a while now. I feel kind of bad giving Super #2 another polysyllabic one. But if Suchitra figured out all three of hers, then one more can't be too difficult?

May 2, 2010

Suchitra conquers the slide

We've been too lazy recently to go to our neighborhood park (all of 3 blocks walking distance), but this weekend the beautiful spring weather forced us all outside. While at the park, we discovered Suchitra is growing up to be a daredevil! She loves to climb, is not afraid of heights, and prefers going down slides headfirst. See her demonstrating her latest skills for us:

video

April 27, 2010

On your 15 3/4 month birthday

Dear Suchitra,

Please forgive us our sentimental ramblings.

Your favorite words are "outside," "frisbee" and "agua"
You love to play in the dirt and run down hills
And if you could, you'd spend every day going "bye bye"
Exploring first the baby birds outside our kitchen window
And then the wide world that awaits

Did we mention, much to mom's chagrin
That your favorite color is pink?
Pink flowers, dresses and shoes
Pink stuffed animals and blankets
Sometimes tempered with a purple crayon

Though your favorite books still feature babies
Whom you have just learned to call by name
You are quickly outdistancing them
When did you become a little girl
With a toothy grin and hearty laugh?

We try to picture you in 2, 4, 17 years time
But our imagination fails us
We will content ourselves with the image
Of a glorious "super"
Running, with outstretched arms, towards the adventures that await.


April 18, 2010

A message from Suchitra


Sure, I'm just a little tyke myself, but that doesn't mean I'm afraid of filling some big shoes. Big sister shoes, to be exact!

Yep, that's right. My mom and dad have jumped on the baby bandwagon again.

My little sis or bro will be here around November 1st. I'm super excited to play with, pat to sleep and pull the hair of "super #2". Super is my nickname, in case you were wondering. It suits a valley girl like me, don't you think?

Keep tuning in for updates on our new family member and, just as importantly, me!