Where have I been?

Well, this has to be the longest I have not posted. Multiple reasons- very busy at work, too many doctor appoinments, medication side effects that left no writing skills ūüôā , an accidental milk incident for Avyu at his daycare (he is fine now, reaction was milder than expected and he has fully recovered now) and maybe a little bit laziness. And, this post is just a¬† filler in what is going to be another 2 week time gap in my blog. So till then, just some small snippets on the little monster and some updates:

– Thyroid medictaion working on and off for me, days when I feel okay, days when I just want to bury myself deep inside only to be dug out by a pair of tiny hands saying “Amma up, up, up”

– Little one is in major learning obsessions. He can now count to 20, finally mastered his colors, of course his first love, ABC’s are still in vogue.¬†As¬†I¬†am debating whether or not to teach him the small alphabets, he picks up a cpaital P magnet he has, turns it over and says “d”.Hmm, maybe I don’t have to teach him…¬†

РPuzzles was the theme of last week. He is solving his own 12 piece animal puzzle which he has been working on sometime now. But now he knows it only too well. So we have graduated to some animal puzzle from  Djeco here .
Well you see the Zebra is the hardest one. I suffered through it. And yesterday while I was helping him with the monkey trying to figure out what goes where, and Ajit got up to help the puzzle challeneged me, by then Avy had already found the piece fitted it and was clapping his hands in joy! Oh those young minds!!!!

– Nursery rhymes are also in vogue. He can almost sing most of them, though his words are not fully clear yet. He sings in both languages and knows some in both. He will sing along with us all the time.

– Last week at his daycare they gave him milk by accident, in the last 1.5 years the first time it has happened. I can only be happy that his reaction was mild and that they are taking this matter seriously. So after 2 days of shock and thoughts of quitting my job, he is back. I have expected this in the past, and it was a mistake, a costly one yes, but the one they handled with care after the fact. I have to trust my instinct again, I cannot keep him in a shell ….He has moved up in his daycare to the next class, so after the stressful first few days- new teachers- he seems better. When I picked him up yesterday they told me that he is talking a LOT. His shyness is slowing going away and he is bursting out of his shell. Good to hear.

After a week we all have settled down, little one is back to his form, and everything seems okay, but the fear is lingering in the back of my head and I am back to feeling, what if it happens again….I must get used to living with this feeling I guess…No one can can watch over him like I can. There is going to be time when this happens, why, I myself have fed him ghee laden chapatthi after a slip of my mind….dont even ask me what I was thinking…I spent a sleepless nights and many days not able to forgive myself for that…all I can say is no matter how obsessed you are it happens. That is why there is epi-pen and benadryl. I just hope another incident does not occur and I am able to come out this fully…

Edited to add: After Remya’s comment. Amma is the biggest strength for us right now, not sure how I can handle all this with this health without her! I hope to feel betetr by the time she leaves, otherwise I know that she will suffer more than me!!!!

So since am back to having good thoughts, let me leave you with¬†Avy’s version of Row, Row, Row your boat….

Amma sings “Row Row Row your boat gently down the ..” Avy starts “Steeeeeeem, Meow Meow Meow Meow life’sa dweeeeeeeeeeeeem”

LOL, Enjoy….See you soon, please come back ūüôā

World Breastfeeding Week

Disclaimer: I want to apologize to all those moms out there who CANNOT breastfeed. This is just my attempt in convincing those mothers who can, but who don’t. I am truly sorry.

As I am surfing through various Blogs I came across many posts supporting the World Breastfeeding Awareness week.  Go here to learn more about that. I so immediately wanted to do a post. This is one of THE most special experiences for me and the closest cause to my heart. I have had so many ups and downs in this process, so many days I wanted to quit, but I am happy I struck through and here is my 2 cents on this topic.

Lets us first start with the why’s and how long. How long- it depends, some people say first six months, some people say first two years. Here is what the WHO recommends. I say at least first six months and how much ever longer you can. Lets us get to the why- well because it is the BEST. There is no close substitute at all. But here are my top 10 reasons:

1) Packed with the much needed antibodies that your child would need for life. Breastfed babies have lower instances of sickness. Their immune systems get better with breast milk.

2) Breastfed babies have higher IQ’s.

3) It is good for the mother too- helps in post-baby weight reduction, helps shrink the uterus.

4) Breastfeeding makes you toddler calm, well cared for, makes tantrums easily controllable. Research shows more long term emotional benefits.

5) One shot way of making sure your baby’s diet is balanced- Breast milk has the exact right combination of protein, carbs and fat your baby needs. Breast milk changes consistency based on what your baby needs.

6) For us lazy ones- convenience. It is the ultimate best thing. I mean no packing separate bottles, water etc. Easiest way to control a crying, uncontrollable baby.

7) Sometimes the only thing the child can tolerate while sick. Gives the child the best boost he/she would need to keep away the infections.

8) The best thing I like about breast feeding is that it is not all or nothing. Do as much as you can. Even one or two feeds a day would give your child the benefit. I am a full time working mom, and I can tell you that one or two times a day is hardly difficult.

9) More sleep for the mom and the dad too. The biggest battle after childbirth is sleep deprivation for the entire family. Breast milk is like a natural tranquilizer both for the mom and the baby. Easier bed times, better routines. Even dad gets to reap the benefits of a well rested mom and child.

10) Finally, the bonding experience. I cannot say enough on how darn special it is to share those precious few moments with just you and your child and nothing else around. I remember fondly those early am feeds when we can hear the silence and I can see the smile on Avy’s face and the sigh of satisfaction that comes from him is priceless.

I know that not all working moms can pump at work and make sure they provide ONLY breast milk. I am not an advocate for moms to quit working and be home so that they can feed their kids. I did not do that and I will not suggest that too. I was lucky to have an employer who understood. With the new laws in the US, large companies would soon HAVE to give a designated space and time for moms to pump. I suggest that all moms try. It is HARD. Believe me I did for a year, but it is worth it.

And if you cannot pump at work, it is okay, try and make up for those feeds at home. As I said it is not all or nothing. Every little drop counts. These two years I have had moments where I have felt that my whole life has been taken over by that little monster in diapers, and then I realize that for that cute little monster I am the world, all he needs is from me, and I am THE only one who can give him, the BEST thing he need.

As I am writing this, we are in the final stages of weaning with no crying J. I miss him already. He misses me. He hugs me fondly and we talk about it. Soon he will forget it all.

But I won’t, it will be etched in my memory forever.

Endearing moments…

It is those small moments that can turn a sucky¬†day into, well a non sucky one…

Yesterday was a bad day for me, I was tired, could barely move, wanted to just sit and stare into the wall….¬†I picked up Avy from daycare and he was sad since his friends were moved up to the next class and he was missing them. His turn is next week and he will join them soon. So I took him to the new class showed his friends and we went home. I gave him to my mom (Sooo¬†thankful she is here now when I am going through this), and made myself some coffee and fell on the couch. Too tired to even talk. Wondering in my head if I would ever feel better…

I hear Avy talking to my mom, having his dinner, I hear him wash his hands, and I was watching tv,¬† I could hear the small feet running towards me…he¬†comes with his biggest smile and says “Amma, up, up¬†up…”. He by now has his kutty hands below my thighs in an effort to make me get up.

I ask “Enna¬†da venum? (What do you want?)”…he does not answer, but just keeps saying “up, up up..”

So I get up, and he searches and grabs my pinky on the right hand and pulls me into the kitchen¬†and says “Kokkkiii”. I smile, and ask him “Did you finish your paruppu¬†sadam (dinner)?”,

he says “YESSSSS”,¬†I see my mom nod and so I take out and give him a cookie. See normally, I take one too, and we eat it together, but yesterday i was just sad and did not feel like one.

He took his cookie and asked me “Amma-ku?”, I said “Its okay baby, you have”. I went back to my couch and coffee.

He comes with this deep thought on his face, stands with his elbows on my knees, and takes out the teeniest, tiniest bit of his oreo¬†cookie and says “Amma-ku”, and MAKES me eat it.

I see the relief¬†in his face after that, as though it was alright in the world for him to eat it, as his Amma had a piece…

I snapped right out of my funk for him, atleast for the next few minutes…

Hashimoto it is!

Well where do I start. the past few weeks have been foggy, well, the past few months have been too. Still debating the starting point for this post, but I know my conclusion. You know you body the best and ALWAYS, ALWAYS listen to it. I DID and I am thankful!

Last few months I have had the following feelings tiredness, weight gain, irritability, memory loss, brain fog and I as usual equated it to the lack of sleep that comes with a breastfed baby, long hours during tax season. All through Jan- April I looked ahead for the glorious summer months. But something happened that did not quite make it all that glorious and I started taking note.

All was fine till about mid- May, just about after our SFO trip. I used to be bubbly, wanted to cook new things, always upbeat. Then it all started slowing. I would come home and all I wanted to do was just sit, just sit in one place. Avy was THE only thing that could make me happy. I was sad a lot of times, and I used to tell Ajit that I am not sure why I am just sad. Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I like to smile, I laugh at the silliest of jokes, nothing anymore- everything reduced.

Then starting June I started to gain weight. I was not alarmed first, after all yummy mil cooked food for 2 months can make you do that. But I am not a big eater, and there is no way I could have gained 6 pounds in month and half. So I tried to lose it, but no avail, daily walking during lunch, strict diet, nothing helped, not even a pound budged. It just kept climbing. That followed by water retention, extreme fatigue¬†i¬†would sleep for 8 hours but still not be able to get out of bed. I never told anyone much, because¬†I felt, maybe I was just being lazy. I¬†used to be really proud of my¬†good memory, that started going away, I would forget what I was saying, what I did 2 hours ago, I would not be able to write properly. All scary to think about now. These symptoms used to be far and few, but from June first week it became too often. But I still had Avy’s appoinments in my mind and I just could not look at me more carefully at that point.

But my heart knew something was wrong, that coupled with some other symptoms, I decided it was my thyroid. (Thank you internet). Well I am against¬†self medication using the internet, but I am sooooo¬†for self-education. I read up what I can. I have always had a , for lack of a better word, lumpy throat. So doctors checks my levels every year. Last year we did an ultrasound and I met with an endocrinologist, and at that time I had no symptoms, so we did not proceed with any treatment.¬† This time around I was convinced. So I got to meet with my primary care, who heard my symptoms and asked me “Are you sure you are not pregnant?”…I said no, I am sure it is my thyroid.

So the result cames back and yeah, ladies and gentlemen it has conked out ;). So they started me on my medication, which would be for life, and after a very rickety first few days, some days I felt great, some days had some difficult symptoms, I feel okay today. I still went ahead and saw my endocrinologist today, who BTW looks exactly like patrick Jane from the Mentalist -handsome!(At this comment, Ajit wanted me to change my Dr ).

I like this Dr. he greeted me with a handshake and a congratulations saying¬†that my thyroid has finally given way. Well he did an ultrasound and said that it was nothing too alarming. I had Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. You can see all about¬†it here. So he has increased my dosage since he wants my goiter size to come down rather quickly. So let us see what that brings. I did lose 4 pounds of water weight in 5 days, so am beyond ecstatic ūüôā Will keep you gous on how I feel as we go along.

Well now we come to the conclusion of this post, I am happy that I did not ignore my symptoms, the first stage I thought it was getting worse I went immediately. Prolonged untreated condition lead to many complication relating to fertility, miscarriages etc. I would like others out there to please listen to your bodies. It is rarely wrong. If anyone out there is dealing with these symptoms -an inability to lose weight, frequent miscarriages, fatigue, memory loss, hair loss etc, get tested. Be firm with your doctor, you know your body better than them, sumptoms wise I mean. You need to be as clear in explaining your symptoms, and only then can they treat.

Use the internet as a tool it is AWESOME. I am¬†totally against self medication and self diagnosis. I believe in being an educated patient. I like asking questions, right from my OB to Avy pediatrician have laughed at my laundry list of Q’s. But hey, I am like that!!! ūüôā

Baked goodness…

I think this is going to be my favorite recipe, so simple yet so YUMMMMMM!!. So drum roll….please….introducing the soopertastic BAKED SAMOSAS’!!!

Here is the story behind this, I am an avid watcher of the Tv show , The Next Food Network Star. This season there is an Indian among them by the name Aarti. So it makes it even more special because I can relate to the flavors and spice combinations she comes up with. Anyway she has her own blog and I loved browsing through its history to find this http://www.aartipaarti.com/2009/11/04/aarti-paarti-ep-30-baked-samosas/.

Been meaning to try this out for a while, last Sunday was perfect. I felt like having some chaat, so I made Channa-Samosa but with the baked samosa and it was a great hit. I also made the filling different from hers, and used more veggies, potato, cauliflower, green beans and carrots. So here it goes:

For the channa: https://avymom.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/the-batura-weekend/. You could skip the whole grinding part and just  saute the items and leave it like a chunky channa, that is what I did this time.

Now for the samosas, you need to prepare the dough first.

You will need;

All-purpose flour (Maida)- 2 cups. Now next time I am thinking of adding some whole wheat flour or quinoa or spelt to make it more nutritious.

Oil- 1/4 cup

Water- As required, I would say about 1/2-3-4 cup.

Ajwain seeds- 1 Tsp

Salt- 1/2 tsp

Now add everything and keep kneading the dough.I skipped the buttermilk ,of course, that she uses! obviously the longer you knead the fluffier it will be. Then let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.

For the filling:

Potatoes- 2 medium, boiled and peeled.

Cauliflower- about 20 florets

Beans- about 5

Carrot 1, chopped into small pieces

Onion- 1 finely chopped

Garlic- 2 cloves

Green chilli- 2 numbers

Cilantro- a handful chopped

Salt- To taste

Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp

Coriander powder, cumin powder- 3/4 tsp each

A little bit of caradmon, cloves and 1 bay leaf.

Oil-2 Tbsp

Here is how:

-Put the cauliflower, beans and carrots in a microwave container and pop it in the microwave for about 7 minutes, till they become tender, but not too squishy

– Add oil in the skillet and let it heat up, now add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon sticks and bay leaf. Let is saute for about 2 minutes.

– Now add the garlic and green chilli and about a minute later add the onions. Let is all nicely brown. Now add the potato and other vegetables.

– After a minute, add the remaining spices-salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder and cumin powder and mix well. It should all come together like a mass, if not just press them with your spoon.

– Finally add the cilantro right on top and mix everything well.

So back to the dough. I did it exactly how it is on her video for the actual making of the samosas and baking part.

Once the samosas were ready, I added a little store bought tamarind and mint sauce and a little bit of chaat masala to each plate before serving!

So enjoy…