Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Junayd, Yasmine and I just dropped my dad and Fred off at the airport to catch their flight back to Toronto. It has been an emotionally charged week, with a reunion, my dad meeting my husband, and my in-laws, adjusting to life that is India and then saying goodbye.
Having Junayd meet his daughter for the first time was an amazing experience, he instantly feel in love with her and has not been able to keep his eyes off of her. Although he loved her because she was his daughter, meeting her, touching her, smelling her and hearing her amazing sounds never did justice an ocean apart. The pictures just do not do justice to how lovely and sweet this little one is.
We had a nice week, did some shopping for Yasmine (bought a bottle sterilizer, a comfy little chair for her to sit in and some clothes. My dad and Fred could not get over the traffic in Hyderabad! I think if you were to ask them what shocked them the most, it would be that. But they handled themselves with grace and kept an open mind about their experience. I have to say I am impressed and really proud of them.
Of course Yasmine was the star with my in-laws falling head over heels in love with her! They couldn’t stop taking pictures, kissing and hugging her. My dad also really liked my in-laws and I think it has put his mind at ease knowing he was leaving me in good hands. Most importantly, my dad and my husband Muscles got along well.
It was hard to do a lot of sightseeing because Muscles is taking a programming course during the mornings and working until 130am, so I was the guide and we didn’t go too far as we also had Yasmine. I took them on their first auto rickshaw ride, with Yasmine in her carrier on my dad’s lap. Now you have to understand we go at pretty low speeds. But they enjoyed the ride, I tell you! Fred said a number of times how he almost crapped his pants!! For an 85 year old he was certainly a trouper!!
Once the weekend came, I took them to the Taj Krishna, a 5 star hotel and one of the nicest in Hyderabad for lunch and meet some of my girlfriends. Fred and my dad enjoyed the continental food too –no Indian food for them!! Not that they are fussy eaters, but spice just does not agree with both of them. Fred especially enjoyed my mother-in-laws tea, which is cardamom based! My dad even enjoyed a cup or two!!
On Sunday my father-in-law took Fred and my dad out to do some sight seeing, as he felt they could not leave Hyderabad only seeing the posh malls I took them too (HAHA). He took them to old city which has the most traffic, the most people and probably the most pollution! They went a museum, a park, and then later in the evening Muscles, my sister-in-law and I took them to see the seven tombs! I never brought my camera so once my dad figures out how to extract them off his memory card I’ll post some.
My mother-in-law also went all out to cook them a feast of non-spicy Indian food, so that they could at least get an idea of the kind of food we eat here. She made chicken biryani, beef cutlets, a beef stir-fry, and fried potatoes. And for dessert they had gone to a nice sweet shop and served gulab jammun which is like donut holes (timbits) in a sugary glazed sauce. The meal was a success!! Of course my mother-in-law cooked all afternoon to please her guests, and please them she did!!
On their last day in Hyderabad we just spent the day chilling out, and my dad spent time with Yasmine, as he wouldn’t see her in a long time. It was really hard to say good bye, as my father has been a huge help in my life since I had Yasmine. I lost my mother and became a mother in the span of 11 days, and not having my husband there with me was so difficult. But my dad was there for me and Yasmine through it all. The labour (though not the pushing part), sleepless nights, her first laugh, her first bath, and the long 17 hour journey back to India! Yasmine has been important in my dad’s life and has helped him to heal, and although I know my life is with my husband, saying good bye was especially hard, mostly because of our circumstances, and losing my mom. My dad always said that Yasmine was the new woman in his life! Even though she will continue to hold that special place in his heart, it will be done from afar!
I will be sure that Yasmine knows how much her grandfather loves her and how much she means to him and everything he has done to make her transition from Canada to India as easy as possible!!
I hope my dad comes back to visit and stays longer than a week next time!! I know he has to move on with the next phase of his life, a new path that he never expected to take, but life has to go on!
Yasmine will miss the early morning hang out sessions with Granddad, as mommy slept, watching hockey night in Canada with granddad and of course getting burped by Granddad, as he always managed to get the stubborn burps out!!
Thanks for everything dad!!! You are a wonderful father and grandfather, and I’ll never forget how much you have helped me!! We’ll see you really soon and until then, we’ll skype and get to see each other on video!!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
On Monday we fly to India, and as you all know my mom passed away 2 months ago. So my dad was having a chat with Yasmine and he said to her:
"On Monday when we fly to go and meet your daddy, maybe we'll see your nanny, because we'll be so close to heaven."
I love you and miss you mom, and on Monday night, Yasmine and I will be looking out of the airplane window and up into the heavens for you.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sorry for the disappearing act for the last few months, but those who know me, family and friends you all know the story. For those of you who are random readers, I came back to Canada to have my baby because my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I was 34 weeks pregnant and flew half away around the world to be with my family. My husband was my biggest supporter and made sure I left as soon as possible to be with my mom.
Sadly, she passed away on September 6th, 11 days before her granddaughter Yasmine Rose was born.
But this post is not about losing my mother, because I am not ready to write about that yet. The feelings are still very raw and new, and sometimes I think i am still in denial.
This post is about my daughter, Muscles and my daughter. She was born on September 17th, at 37 and half weeks. I had the support of my Aunt Anita and her daughter, my cousin Sheila in the room with me. They were amazing coaches and took my husbands place. My dad was also in and out of the room supporting me through the labour. i was in labour a total of 15 hours, but only about 6 of those hours were hard constant labour. Yasmine Rose was born at 4;45pm and weighed 6 pounds 4 ounces. She's perfect!
I plan to head back to India in about a month or so after I get all the paperwork done and after my sister has her baby.
Yasmine has been a blessing in our life, and has helped us heal from the death of my mother. She has no idea what her birth has done for us, and what her presence has meant for all of us, my dad, my aunts, my cousins, and my sister and I. One day when she is older she will understand the magnitude of her birth and timing of her being born. She was born the day before my parents were to celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary.
Here are some pictures of her birth and a few weeks after.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Here is some of the list of things that have been said to me, or advised of me during my pregnancy:
- Don't eat papaya as it will cause a spontaneous abortion
- Do not drink cold water as it will give the baby asthma (I have a hard time drinking room temperature water and always bring a bottle of frozen water to work so it lasts for hours)
- I shouldn't be walking or taking the stairs in my condition (pregnancy is a condition)?
- During a solar or lunar eclipse, a pregnant woman should not be outside and should only lay flat and not move for those 2 hours. Going to the bathroom is out of the question, making food (chopping or cutting of any kind). The result is if you cut food, the baby will be born missing a limb or finger, or have a cleft palate, or could have some kind pf permanent birthmark on their body. There was an eclipse 3 weeks ago I think. Luckily it was between 5:30am-7:30am and I was asleep anyway. My pregnant boss (who recently had her baby) sent me home early from work to make sure I was home and ready to sleep by 4am!! I work night shift.
- During the 8th month (weeks 32-35) I should be extra careful no running, no stress, nothing that could cause me to go into labour basically, because babies born in the 8th month don't live! (HOW MORBID IS THIS)? This is straight from my mother-in-laws mouth. She said babies born in the 7th and 9th month are fine, but not the 8th. When I told her it was a stupid superstition she freaked out and was like no, it's medical!! WTF?
- After a baby is born, a woman must stay home for 40 days (not 30 not 39 but 40 days, and do limited amounts of activity (not much reading or watching television) because it will affect your health in the future. My friend just told me this (she had her baby 11 days ago) and then she asked me, do women do this in the west? I was like, never heard of this IN MY LIFE!!! I am not staying home for 40 days unless I'm too sick to move!!! and I am certainly not going to stop reading and watching television!!
- Also during the 40 days the baby should not leave the house for fear of the evil eye. People will send evil thoughts and put curses on the baby because they are jealous of how cute it is. Apparently people think Muscles and my baby will be really cute (of course it will) and have told me very seriously to be careful about the evil eye, and to keep the baby at home and to put kajal (black kohl) on it's face or eyes so people don't get envious of the cuteness of the baby. For GOD'S sake. Are you kidding me. The worst thing is that my husband actually believes this.
I am now 32 weeks pregnant, and am so anxious and excited than soon I'll be able to meet this little feisty boy or girl that has been inside me! But I also wonder what new and interesting things will come up on how to deal with a newborn in India, then how to deal with a toddler, etc. I am sure there will be lots of new anecdotes, superstitions and advice thrown my way. Should be interesting to say the least!!
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The waterfall has pretty much dried up, but after the monsoon there should be a lot more water. But for us it was just the point of getting away more than seeing a waterfall, I mean come on, I've been to the Niagara Falls so many times in my life, no other waterfall could really do it justice (ok yes there are a few others that could in South America I think), but really, it was just about getting away.
Not much to write about, so I'll let the pictures do the talking.
A tree growing withing a tree
28 weeks pregnant
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
But with arranged marriages, communication can be a problem, there are so many expectations, and getting to know each other, and trying to please one another. This girl Celine, has taken a liking to me, she always asks for my advice, and it's probably because I tell it to her like it is (for me from a westerners perspective). Here is a conversation I had with her recently:
Me: So once you get home from work what do you do? (she would get home around 10:30pm)
Celine: I have to cook for my husband, he waits for me to get home from work.
Me: Oh, OK, do you have to cook every night?
Celine: (looking puzzled) of course, don't you cook for your husband everyday?
Me: (laughing) No, I don't cook for my husband everyday, when i cook it's for me AND my husband and I do it when I have the time and when I feel like it.
Celine: Oh, that's sweet
Me: So what time do you sleep and get up?
Celine: I sleep around 1am and, well my husband gets up at 5am to go to the gym and he likes it when I get up with him to make him his tea.
Me: At 5am??
Celine: Yes, he says I should get used to getting up early to get my work done around the house.
Me: Man, I feel so lucky. My husband gets up before me and always tells me to go back to sleep and rest.
Celine: it's probably because of your condition
Me: My condition?
Celine: You know you're pregnant
Me: No, no, no, it's just I'm not a slave. Sweetie, when you got married did you become a wife or a slave?
Celine: (laughing) it's just Indian culture
Me: No it isn't. My father-in-law gets up for 4:30 am prayers and makes his own tea, so I know wit's not all culture.
So that was my conversation with Celine, but guess what? She told her husband about our conversation, and her husband told her she didn't have to get up, he thought she liked getting up and making his tea (duh). So when i saw her the next day she said to me that she felt so fresh because she had slept for 7 hours and didn't have to get up to make tea. I told her arranged marriages were the same as "love" marriages in that you needed to have communication and understanding, so that she should speak to her husband if something makes her uncomfortable
Marriage really is the same no matter where in the world you are!
Sunday, June 14, 2009
The best was when my husband finally felt our little one kick. I think it definitely helped him to bond with our baby!!
So here I am!!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Anyway, yesterday, my husband was on the computer typing something out and i asked him what he was typing and he said that his uncle has been trying to find a husband for his daughter for the last year, and so he was typing up her matrimonial bio to give to potential suitors. Muscles cousin is 19 years old and the father is starting to feel desperate that he won't find a husband for her. Geesh!
So I wanted to share with you what a matrimonial bio looks like. I asked Muscles if I could post it, and he thought it would be funny to share.
Name:- Salma Begum
Age:- 19 Years (1990)
Height:- 5’ 5’’
Religion:- Islam (Sunni Muslim)
Qualification:- B. Com (Final Year)
Madina Degree College
Fathers Name:- Esa Khan
Pharmacare Laboratories P.Ltd
Pattedar Village Akhunchaguda Dist. Medak
Grand Father:- Late Mohammed Khan Sahab
(Paternal) Ex-Pattedar Village Akhunchaguda Dist. Medak
Grand Father:- Late Mohammed Abdul Wahab Sahab
(Maternal) Retd. Deputy Collector
Uncles:- Mehmood Khan
(Paternal) Pattedar Village Akhunchaguda Dist. Medak
Pattedar Village Akhunchaguda Dist. Medak
Uncles:- Ahmed Abdul Waheed
(Maternal) Retd. Deputy Director,
Directorate of Geology and Mining,
Ahmed Abdul Rasheed
Retd. Field Manager,
Khaja Ismail Ahmed
Pharmacare Laboratories P.Ltd
Sheik Ishaq Ahmed
Sr. Executive Manager,
S.B.I (Head Office)
S.B.H (Masab Tank)
Brother:- Adil Mohammed Khan
Al Habeeb College of Engg. & Tech.
Interesting to note that Muscles cousin isn't really that fair, but putting that she is will increase her suitors. And also, see that there is very little written about her, and more about the kind of family she comes from and the jobs that the men in her family have or have had. Also notice that there is no information about her mother, or her sister, just her uncles, father and brother.
I`m really open to cultures, and I try my best to understand and accept, but arranged marriages and misogyny is still very very hard for me to wrap my head around.
For instance, one of Muscles friends (who really isn`t his friend anymore) told me he knew my baby was a boy. (note: We are not finding out the sex and keeping it a surprise) I replied, why does it matter? And he said well prophets are men, and so it does matter. So I told him I was going home to pray for a girl. Seriously, I can`t handle stuff like that. Muscles and I just hope and pray for a healthy baby, whatever the sex.
So there you have it, if you are looking for a spouse in India, just open up with The Indian Times, you'll have loads of people to select from!!
Monday, June 8, 2009
Here are a few pics of that wonderful day!!
NB: Also the most amazing, and crazy thing of all, is that my sister and her husband are also expecting... 3 weeks after me!!! My parents are in a wonderland of grandchildren, and couldn't be happier. In early Feb they had no grandchildren then by March they were expecting 2!!! Amazing!!! it's amazing going through this at the same time as my sister who is 20 weeks along now. It's just too bad I am so far away. Thank you VIDEO SKYPE!!!
My sister (who is beside me) and her husband bought this for the baby. How appropriate!
My cloth diapers (which is so much more environmentally friendly)
My amazing grandmother!! Who is 85, can you believe it!
My two long time friends Kim and Shelley who is pregnant with her third!
My cousins Sydney who made me a special collage of pictures and bought me my baby book along with my two other cousins Summer and Taylor (not pictured)
My amazing friends Amanda, Kim, my wonderful mom and cousin Sheila
I'll post some pictures of my wedding and my baby shower, YES that's right I'm pregnant. Most of you know this by now and others who I know in the blog world (my dear blogger friends Amy, Amanda and Jen) this will be news to you. I started my 6th month yesterday and all is well. I'm due October 4th!!
So I'll leave you with some pics of my wedding and baby shower, then I'll just pick up from where I left off, and tell you about married life in India while expecting a baby. Still adventures of a wanderlust, but more like a wanderlust mommy!!
I'm glad to be back!!!
Getting Mehendi done the day before the ceremony
My sister-in-law helping to get me dressed
Karen, Laurie and my mehendi and bangles. Mine is the arm with the copper bangles
Karen and I
Little Ayesha (a friend of the family and me)
Exchanging our rings
My dear friend Laurie who came to India for the wedding (with Karen) and also to see India too ;)
On our throne
My lovely friends and new husband
My new family (little Ayesha just wanted to be in the pic and the lady in white is my father-in laws sister)My
My mother-in-law (the day after ceremony called the valima (pronounced walima)