Happy 18th Pattu-Leelavathi-Thangam!

Warning : Long Mushy post ahead!

Today Rad turns 18, 18 months that is.   I was totally unprepared for her arrival 18 months ago, still very much in love with Na, always wondering how I would be able to accomadate Rad also in my heart.  But the past 18 months have shown me how naive I was, how easy it is fall in love again and again and again with the tiny hands and feet, the toothless grin, the pouty face, the ticklish belly,  the innocent laughter, the sleepy sigh, the gussa – OMG the gussa!

I really wanted to celebrate this milestone(feel bad that I never did celebrate it in style for Na, but maybe that’s why I got a second chance :)) What better way to do it than record 18 memories for posterity? 

  1. With Na, I never laid eyes on her for almost 6 hours after birth. It kills me to this date that I did not see her as soon as she was born. So though Na was my firstborn, I will always remember Rad’s face immediately after she was born. I will remember the soft feel of her cheek against mine, my attempts at a groggy kiss, my hands strapped to the table in the operation theater itching to hold her, my anger at being unable to hold her and just drift off only to wake up an hour later and long for that soft touch again.  I started calling her and still call her “Pattu“(silk).
  2. The first month went by relearning all that I learnt about taking care of a little one. I remember being so desperate to sleep that late one night I lost my temper with Rad. I know, I know, she was only 2 weeks old, but please don’t judge me(at least not as yet). My mother who was nearby lost her’s with me and asked me the usual questions, did you feed her, burp her, change her diaper?? Light bulb moment , checked her diaper and she had pooped! Well what do you know, I changed her and the poor child was off like a light.  Makes me feel guilty to this day that I yelled at a two week old 😦
  3. While for Na we had a thottil ceremony in India, we did one for Rad here. The day before the pooja though, she was extremely gassy and kept crying for a very very long time(coined the name ‘leelavathi’ for her, after the kannada drama queen) .  We had almost decided to cancel the pooja, but went ahead with the pooja, after she calmed down late at night.  Friends of friends lent us thier child’s bassinet which was duly decorated with festoons and paper flowers. We had a pooja and the thottil ceremony, invited lot of people and found out that people adjust even if the house is small. It was an awesome event, went off really well. Highlight of the day tough, I fell down from the stairs, twice! I was okay, just a badly bruised behind for a couple of days! Thank God, I’m well cushioned 🙂
  4. Parents went to visit my sister in Denver. Though I was very very apprehensive, I learnt to manage both the girls and realized that I enjoy it. I also learnt that the girls love each other’s company when left together and as long as I watched them, they were going to be okay and not kill each other like I had always feared! To this day, they love to play with each other and Rad very very cutely ape’s her sister.
  5.  Parents came back and decided to stay for an additional three months. Need I say all of us were thrilled! NaRad enjoyed with thatha and paati and we all celebrated my parent’s 39th anniversary together. Rad was slower compared to Na in rolling over and around this time was just about trying to roll over, very unsuccessfully though! We went for our first camping trip with our family friends. Though it rained cats and dogs after we pitched our tent and we had a 10 minute window before it started pouring to put everything thing into our minivans, wait for 2 hours inside the van with two wailing kids, pitch the tent again at 2.00 in the night, and sleep in dripping water, it was a great experience! Rad learnt to bond with A and R and would flashy her gummy grins at them.
  6.  June went by anticipating my sister’s visit. Na started taking her sisterly duties seriously and would report back anything that Rad did very dutifully to amma and me. Rad learnt to roll over and started trying to move forward in the swimming position.
  7. July, Rad went on her first visit to Niagara falls. I climbed with her right to the very top in the “Cave of the winds” ride. Today when I think back, I feel as if I was possessed to carry her all the way to the top. One slip and I could have dropped her into that water. I shudder when I think about it.  But as a family, we had loads of fun, 6 adults, two kids and lots of food, laugther and masti.
  8. August – coundown began for parents to leave after staying with us for 9 months. Rad was going to be 8 months old and it was hard to believe that someone who was so little, had by now grown taller, moving faster and babbling a dime to a dozen 🙂  She had also gotten her third nick name – Thangam. She had this habit of catching hold of mine or amma’s thali chain, slipping it between her fingers and sucking her thumb with the chain around it, which led to the name.
  9. September, parents left to India.  NaRad missed them terribly, Na was very vocal about it and Rad kept searching for them. But, we did get over it and prepared for the Navaratri celebrations like we have every year. NaRad loved getting dressed and going for chundal and the goody bags.  Rad got her own goody bag everyplace we went and boy did she hold onto it tight with her little fists 🙂  She had started walking/running around this time. One time, I was helping Na in the downstairs bathroom and I heard Rad crying. An unsuccessful search for Rad downstairs by me and Na, sent us up to see her sitting there and crying for us.  Though I was quite stunned that she climbed up all the stairs, I was proud of her also 🙂  
  10. October, our first India trip as a family!  Went for a month with H and NaRad. Though it was a whirlwind trip, we had a great time with the four weekends packed with three trips across three different states and the trip ending with H’s birthday and Na’s three year birthday celebrations. Rad got to meet the entire family and she bonded quite well with all of them. But the star of the visit was definitely Na who charmed everyone with her talks.  Rad had her head tonsured, she cried quite a bit but looked very very cute after the tonsure 🙂 Oh! she started sprouting teeth also around this time.  
  11. Came back from India, Na started going back to school. Had Rad’s ears peirced. Did not go as bad as I had feared it would. She had perfected her walking/running and climbing stairs by now and would play many games of hide and seek with me 🙂  We also had some bonding time in the morning after dropping Na off to school.
  12.  More teeth, some hair, a lot of walking, some babbling, umpteen smiles and tons of attitude just about sums up her 11th month.  We realized she had a temper to match or beat mine, would not take No for an answer, marched to her own beat. With Na, we could reason with her and mostly she would listen. Not Rad, this child has mind of her own. Around this time, she started saying “Akka”.  We celebrated her first Christmas, setting up the tree, baking cake and NaRad helped us make the christmas ornaments.
  13. Rad turned a year old. Could not believe that she was a year old already. We just went to the temple on her birthday, no big bash. Spoke to family, best friend visited and we had a small celebration at home.  
  14. For her star birthday, we organized a pooja and a small celebration. It snowed heavily on that day(over 3 feet). We invited a very small set of people, who braved the weather and made it to our place. Thank you guys! It was a 100% homemade celebration. I cooked, baked and made the return gifts. The return gifts I submitted to Shruti’s Jan challenge.
  15. We celebrated my birthday, went to the temple. I was very sick that day,down with cold and fever. H and the kids made me feel like a queen with all their pampering. For the first time since we have known each other, H was successful in throwing me a surprise birthday party!  Thank you H 🙂   By now, Rad was babbling a dime to a dozen and generally keeping us on our toes. We put child lock on all our cabinets since she was pulling all the utensils out.  The first time she realized we had locked the cabinets, you should have seen the look on her face! I wish I had a camera handy all the time sometimes, just to capture the moment 🙂
  16. Rad got very playful. Though she would still search for me, especially after 8:00 in the night(this continues till date), she learnt to be with her dad. This gave me time to go out and get some shopping done. This was also the time, I started focussing on crafts and writing more. My blog took flight and shape and I bonded with all you wonderful folks out there.
  17. Though she was not as friendly as Na, did not smile easily as Na initially, something changed in Rad after she turned 15 months. She smiles a lot at strangers, greets them with a Hi, says bye to people when they leave.  She has a lovely smile and I’m glad that she is finally flashing it 🙂  She still panics if she does not see me in the vicinity,she is more clingy than Na, but she does give me a breather and stays with a couple of people for sometime now-a-days. She has also become very good with distributing wet kisses and awesomely tight hugs 🙂
  18.  She has gotten very vocal offlate. She has picked up “Baapaa”(backpack) from Dora, but her all time favourite phrase is “Ko-away”(Go away). Though I should be discipling her and telling her not to use those words, the cute way in which she says it makes me just want to cuddle her and ask her to keep saying it.  She loves it when I read books to her(just like Na), eats her food without too much of a fuss(more eager to try spicy food than Na). She loves thair chaadam, but it has to be plain white(no trying to sneak in veggies). She loves to dance and very cutely shakes her bottom to any fast music.  She has learnt to mime to the rhyme “Twinkle Twinkle” and has so much fun showing off.

Though this list does not cover everything, at least it is a start for me to start recording little details about NaRad. 

Happy 18th once again Rad, my kutty, my pattu Leelavathi thangam. I hope and pray you have a long, healthy and happy life, filled with joy and laugther that does not “Ko-away”. God Bless!




  1. Hema said,

    July 19, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Happy 18th to your little one! Lovely post:)

  2. Laksh said,

    July 19, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Awwwwwwwwww. This was one cute post. Loved all the little details. BTW are you guys home next Saturday? Wondering if we can brave a trip to Bridgewater with the kutties.

    • Shankari said,

      July 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm

      Thanks di. I wish I had done this when Na was little too 😦 Sent you an email about saturday.

  3. Titaxy said,

    July 19, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    Precious 🙂 Happy 18th month to her 🙂

  4. Timepass said,

    July 19, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    what a sweet recap…very nice read

    • Shankari said,

      July 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks TP 🙂 It took me three days to put it all together!

  5. Swaram said,

    July 19, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    What a lovely idea S 🙂 Happy 18 Rad 🙂 LOL @ drama queen Leelavathi 😉
    I love the pet-name Thangam 🙂

    Ko-away sounds so cute 😛 😛

    • Shankari said,

      July 19, 2010 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks Swaram. Ko-way does sound very cute, especially when she uses it even for ants that come closer to her 🙂

  6. Sands said,

    July 19, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    Such a lovely way to record the memories. Happy 18th month b’day Rad. You sound like an adorable child 🙂

    • Shankari said,

      July 19, 2010 at 7:11 pm

      She is adorable, all times except when she is bull headed!

  7. PV said,

    July 19, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Happy 1.5 to Rad ! Thanks for the highlights recap

    • Shankari said,

      July 20, 2010 at 1:07 am

      Thanks PV. Couple of years down the road, I know this post will perk me up 🙂

  8. Varada said,

    July 20, 2010 at 7:22 am

    Cho Chweet. Cho cuuute….

    Happy 18th to Rad and Na and their Ma and Pa 🙂

    Lots of lov,

  9. Priya said,

    July 21, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Cute. Love her nicknames…
    Precious memories 🙂

    • Shankari said,

      July 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm

      Both of them keep getting new names from me very often. People that know me find some of the names very wierd, but it brings a smile on my face 🙂

      • Priya said,

        July 22, 2010 at 5:19 am

        Oh ya.. I know. Even Ammu had several nick names. Only Ammu has stuck!

      • Shankari said,

        July 22, 2010 at 9:59 am

        Yep, I know what you are saying. It is easy to distribute nicknames to them till they get tickled by it 🙂

  10. July 22, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Loved all her nicks. Im not an expert in the baby dept. but it seems to me, her milestones were real early.. Bravo Leelavathi kutty.

    • Shankari said,

      July 22, 2010 at 7:45 pm

      Thanks 🙂 She does have quite a few! Her milestones in everything except talking have been much earlier than Na. Others who have noticed this say that second kids learn faster since they have an older child to observe and grasp from.

  11. Pooh! said,

    July 24, 2010 at 3:52 am

    What a sweet recap! I wish I had the patience to pen down the words about kuttyma like you did! Happy 18th month lil girl!

    • Shankari said,

      July 24, 2010 at 4:29 am

      Thanks! Lil girl is growing up so fast, needed some medium to jot down her progress. This blog thingy is definitely helpful in more than one ways 🙂

  12. Chitra said,

    July 25, 2010 at 4:10 am

    nicely scripted…..very fun to read…feeling proud of your writing talent 🙂

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