Home is where the heart is!

I Am backkk! Well the last 2.5 weeks we were on a trip back to the homeland, the best place on Earth- Chennai India. This was trip was an unexpected one this year and it made it all the more sweeter.

We survived the long plane journeys and 11 days in India, with a function every single day, and are back and settling down. We have been back two days, the little one was home 2 days with Grandma, adjusting to the jet lag, and went to his daycare today. I get a call couple of hours ago saying that he is sad- tears my heart. He has been spending every waking moment, mostly being attached to me (Ajit calls him a magnet) for the past 15 days and now, he is back in his new class, which I guess can be overwhelming.

Now this post could be a really long one, but I am trying to just do a short and sweet recap, the milestones and a take on managing a child with allergies on a trip back home, where nothing is labeled and ghee is staple in any preparation.

So before we went, I as usual did my long list. But due to my thyroid issue, and the fatigue, memory loss that come with it I was SO scatter brained and I hoped that I would not forget anything. So the most important thing, I would suggest for anyone who is packing is, pack the MEDICINES first. Make a list, check it twice and be sure you take it all. Never know what you would need. With Avy, the Epipen was a must for me.

The next issue comes to his food. Last year I carried his Gerber, which now he scowls at. So it made things harder. So I made a list of all his meals and what he eats, and figured what I can give him there safely and tried to carry the rest. So, main food, rice, paruppu (lentils) (never knew paruppu sadam itself would become a battle), dosai, idly etc I could always make it there. So one issue down. Then, he LOVES fruits, I knew I could give him banana, apple and orange safely there. It was his Rice milk that was the biggest issue. So after big debate, on whether or not it would survive the travel, I packed tons of Rice milk, the small juice pack size, hoping that it would last and it did do really well. I also took his favorite cookies, wafers, Lollipops, Chocolates, anything and everthing I could think of, adn everything came handy.So people out there, take it with you, best idea!

Now comes the actual air travel issue, while going I packed a lot for him, knowing airline food cannot be trusted even for us, let alone him, I packed, Idly, Dosai and Venpongal (Rice and lentil dish). The first flight to Dubai was 13 hours long, we all slept nearly 10-11 hours, so food was not a major issue. We had ordered Vegan meals for all of us, that way we can give anything to Avyu if the need arises. So once we reached Dubai, I tried feeding Avy the rice, but it was soggy, so he refused it and he had not eaten in nearly 15 hours. I gave him some juice, and got him fries at the airport and some fresh watermelon juice, which satisfied his hunger.

Once we reached Chennai, all of us were jet lagged and then started the whirlwind 11 days. We left to Coimbatore the same night for the Upanayanam function for my nephew and were in Coimbatore for 3 days, where we got Avy’s head tonsured (Oh my, how much he cried, I am not sure I will be able to put him through something like that ever again). Since we were staying in hotels and the mandapam, we had to carry rice, lentils, idly batter etc and a portable gas stove and cook for Avy everywhere, every day that we were in Coimbatore!!!! Made everything so hard. However since he was jet lagged he barely nibbled on the food. Just jucies, water and Rice Milk is what helped him be hydrated.

Once we reached Chennai back, the rest of the trip was kind of the same, we would pack food for him every day and leave the house for the functions and come back at night. Also, at some places I would get rice and lentils at the function, but Avy did not like the taste of it and would refuse to eat. So he sustained himself on appalams and Vadais . The first few times on the visit when we went out to eat he would eat Idly and vadai, but I guess he got soooo bored of it that he refuses to even look at an Iddly 🙂

This trip was different for me, because usually my Mom would be there when I go to India, she would help me, do stuff for us. I missed her so much every day morning, when I would get up early, cook and pack. I missed you, Amma a lot.

Our flight back was a nightmare, as we came through Mumbai. Our flight from Chennai reached a little late, which made the time to our connection even shorter. We had to take out our entire luggage, go to the International terminal which was sooo crowded. I must say that none of my previous experiences there has not been pleasant, but this time it was different, people helped us and we made it to the gate 15 minutes before departure only to find the flight 30 minutes delayed. Our connection was through Munich. We all slept the first flight and were mostly awake the second. Avy does really well on flights. Never have I been on a flight, where there has not been at least one person come up to us and say how well behaved he is. Guess he is calm like that. That made the arduous travel back a little easier.

In spite of all this, all the work, it was so so wonderful to be with family, to see Avyu forge bonds with his various Thatha’s, Pattis and cousins, to see him get excited at the sight of an auto, to see him so overwhelmed with joy seeing the dogs and cows on the street, to see him pour water form a well and play, to see family and friends, to enjoy the laughter, to see him roll on the floors and play, while hoping he does not catch anything, to see him impress everyone by doing his puzzles, to him laugh and cry while riding on the motor cycle, to see do namaskaram to older people, to see him enjoy the car rides with no belt, to see him enjoy his vadais and to always have so so many people around you.

I missed doing a lot this trip, missed meeting some of my close friends, missed shopping, missed seeing a movie, but then seeing Avyu interact with his extended family and to see them light up just at the faintest hint of smile from him made it all so worth it. Looking forward to doing all this all over again!!! (Okay now am off to get ready for the little one’s second birthdya party!)

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3 Comments

  1. MurLEE said,

    September 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    You have had one HECTIC trip. The number of poonals & avy’s mottai function. WOW… this is like a Super-Mom story.
    Renu just came back from India (3 hours back) & Srihari was also in the same state – not eating almost the whole trip.

    But its nice you could make it to so many functions. I know it is hectic, but you get to meet everyone without having to travel all the places. I have missed almost all my csin’s marriages & other functions.

    • avymom said,

      September 7, 2010 at 9:03 am

      Though it wa HECTIC, meeting family was a big deal! Was so happy we were able to do it!

  2. Telugumom said,

    September 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    Good that you had fun in your trip. The little ones have a lot more fun than us during these trips.

    Hope Avy gets adjusted to his new class soon and welcome back to the blog world 🙂


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