Per i parenti lontani

Per tutti coloro che non ci vedono da troppo tempo, un po' di Rajiv "live"!

A few videos: the first one has little one in the playpen, that was in a way the protagonist of my previous post.

Nel primo video il piccolino chiacchiera con noi appoggiato alla parete del box.

I like to call next video "Living Dangerously"...

Il prossimo video potrebbe essere intitolato "Vivere pericolosamente"...

Last, little one busy exploring his play area and chasing his mom.

Per finire, il piccolino nella sua zona giochi all'inseguimento della mamma (o forse solo della macchina fotografica...).


Daily wonder

NOTA: La versione italiana e' in preparazione. Un po' di pazienza: stiamo lavorando per voi...

Warning: in this post I rave shamelessly about my child.

Just because I haven't been diligent in reporting little one's progress it doesn't mean that he has been quiet, on the contrary! In the last month and a half we have witnessed truly amazing changes - you have to be there day after day with a baby to appreciate how incredible it all is.

I wanted to post this for the seven month birthday, but I am late as usual. Still, you can sort of consider this as a seven month update.

  • Rajiv started crawling around his six month birthday and in a few days he was already moving quite fast, especially towards sharp corners, hard obstacles and such. After about two weeks he was able to get off the bed on his own (I remind you once more that we are taking about a height of the order of ten centimeters here, but also consider that he is not much taller than that when he crawls...). He attracted lots of comments at the office for his early skills - good moments of motherly and fatherly pride! ;)

  • But of course his real dream is standing and walking, we have an ambitious kid! He pulled up to stand once in his early crawling days, but he only started doing it consistently after we came to India. Now when he is in the playpen he spends most of the time standing against the walls and looking mischievously at us - and biting the edges of the playpen, of course.

    When we put him on the floor he practices pulling himself up using every piece of furniture he can find or the walls. He used to be quite unstable at first, but now he doesn't fall down very much - although it is painful when he does, so we follow him closely.

    If you take his hands he immediately stands up and enjoys being walk around.

  • The next step in baby development should be "cruising", i.e. walking sideways holding on to something like a bed or a table. He attempted a couple of steps this way only once with some success. Sometimes he looks like he is trying to do it, but when he releases one hand he falls backwards. Fortunately he attempts this only when he is in the playpen, so his falls are well cushioned...

  • I mentioned in my six month report that he seemed to be taking his time with "speaking". Well, about a week after I wrote that he started babbling, saying "BABABA" and even "BLABLABLA"! (Kelly interpreted it as a bored reaction to her chatter...) His favourite sound is still "G" though and you can tell he is happy if he says "GHIIIIII!".

  • He definitely distinguishes between different songs now. If I sing something he hasn't heard before usually he will look puzzled, but if I sing one of his favorites almost invariably he smiles. We also have different songs for different purposes: "La gatta" to relax at feeding time, a counting elephants song for sleep, "Volare" for playtime and, for some reason, an over the top version of "La paloma" seems to have become the toilet song...

  • I kept for last what is to me the most amazing fact.

    In the playpen there is a music box that has a plastic fish hanging from each side. If you pull one of the fish, two similar fish start swimming in a circle inside the box (you can see them through the transparent plastic screen) with a funny music accompanied by laughing sounds (the fish are having fun and so they laugh).

    Anyway, the point is that I thought this toy was way too advanced for a child his age, but instead about a month ago I saw that he was trying to pull the fish himself. At the beginning it was frustrating for him, because he knew what he wanted to do but it was hard for him to reach the fish and he wasn't very precise with his movements yet. Soon enough though he got it and even in the middle of the night if I put it in the playpen to take a break he would "jump" towards the fish and pull them to start the "fish dance" inside the box.

    In short, this is called understanding cause and effect. Now isn't it amazing?


A retro look

I have wanted to post these pictures for some time, but I was trying to write something to go with them and I never got to do that.
Anyway, the pictures are from the same time when I took
the "King of Stripes" one. These ones are a little more subdued, but still a bit too energetic for that time of the night morning...

Queste sono ancora foto del Canada. Sono della stessa mattina di quella a quattro zampe di un po' di tempo fa, come testimonia la maglietta a righe...

And to conclude, my favorite big eyes:

E per finire, i miei occhioni preferiti:


Another birthday already

We have now officially overcome jet-lag! I am very much behind we all the things I wanted to post about, but I hope to catch up with at least a few now that we are all in better shape.

For the moment, here are our first picture of little one (and mom) in Chennai, from our walk at the beach early morning a few days ago.

Le prime foto del piccolino (e la sua mamma) a Chennai. Queste sono state scattare qualche giorno fa di mattina presto durante una passeggiata vicino alla spiaggia.

E tra l'altro... Buon complimese piccolino!


Blogging pause

We apologize for the interruption due to a severe case of baby jet lag. We are working to solve the problem. Blogging will resume as soon as humanly possible.


A gonfie vele con il piano B!

Abbiamo finalmente comprato i biglietti: saremo in Italia dal 13 al 27 marzo. S. arrivera' dall'India e io e Rajiv dal Canada; ci incontreremo a Milano e proseguiremo per Torino con il mitico "volo" Alitalia Mapensa-Torino.

E per non fare preferenze...

A casa al caldo

Little one is feeling a bit better. The blocked nose still bothers him and he has thrown up a few times, but we are keeping him warm at home and hopefully he will be in good shape for our upcoming trip.

Il piccolino sta un pochino meglio. Il naso chiuso continua a dargli fastidio e vomita di tanto in tanto, ma speriamo che tenendolo a casa al caldo questo malanno possa essere sconfitto in tempo per il nostro viaggio di dopodomani.


Sick Appu

Little one has a bad cold, so today we stayed indoors. Last night was quite bad because he has trouble breathing when he lies down and he also has trouble sucking, whether for food or for comfort. He is asleep now, but he slept much later than usual because he was uncomfortable and he is breathing heavily even now. He is also trowing up more than usual and waking up screaming towards morning, but some of this was happening even earlier, so it's not clear if it is because of the cold or something else.

He has been having stomach troubles for some time, which is one of the reasons why after the carrot experiment for his six month birthday we didn't insist in introducing solid food yet. Now I think we will delay it a bit more, maybe until we are settled in Chennai.

Il piccolino non sta bene. Ha un brutto raffreddore che non lo lascia dormire (e nemmeno noi, tra l'altro) e a volte fa anche fatica a mangiare perche' non riesce a respirare con il naso. Povero... Ha anche vomitato piu' del solito e a volte si sveglia urlando, ma quello forse e' dovuto ai denti che ci stanno mettendo una vita a spuntare. Oggi siamo stati in casa, anche perche' fuori imperversava la tormenta. Speriamo che tenedolo al caldo il piccolo Appu riesca a rimettersi in forma prima del viaggio.


La cameretta prende forma

Abbiamo deciso che e' giunta l'ora che Rajiv utilizzi la sua cameretta almeno ogni tanto per giocare, visto che sembra essere la stanza meno pericolosa. Niente cavi, cose pesanti da trascinare giu' dai mobili, ecc. Cosi' abbiamo svuotato gli ultimi scatoloni che tenevamo in quella stanza provvisoriamente da vari mesi e abbiamo riordinato e pulito la stanza. Quello che vedete e' uno scorcio della cameretta dal punto di vista di un bimbo a quattro zampe. Il lettino e' utilizzato solo come parco giochi per ora, ma prima o poi chissa', forse sara' utilizzato anche come letto. Il quadro di stoffa appeso al muro era stato fatto a mano (!!!) da zia Roberta (o mi sbaglio?) ed e' stato appeso nella camera mia e di zia Francesca per molti anni.

This is a baby-centered view of the room that contains most of Rajiv's stuff. He doesn't sleep in his crib yet, but he plays in it every now and then. We finally got around cleaning the room to create some baby-safe space for Rajiv to play, without tempting wires to pull, heavy objects to drag down and so on. As I am typing he is still exploring the floor of the living room, but slowly we will try to take the habit to spend more time in his room with him. By the way, the cloth picture on the wall is from my own childhood. It was handmade by a relative from my mother's side and now it is passed on to the new generation!


King of Stripes!

Visitor map

I am quite excited about the visitor map in the sidebar, that is now fully functioning. I just clicked on it and although I know who most of those red dots are, it is quite amazing to see us all there spread on the map.

Original thought of the day: "The world has become so small..."
Or otherwise worded: Go internet!


I nostri spostamenti per i prossimi due mesi:

7 Dicembre (Venerdi' prossimo) - partiamo da Toronto alle 19:30 con destinazione Chennai via Bruxelles

9 Dicembre - arriviamo a Chennai alle ore 1:40 del mattino. Sob...

23 Dicembre circa - voliamo a Calicut per le feste

1 Gennaio circa - ritorniamo a Chennai

2 Febbraio - io e Rajiv salutiamo tristemente S. e partiamo per il Canada...


Today's picture

Il piccolino fa un sonnellino sul lettone avvolto nella sua coperta preferita. Le tende lo proteggono il piu' possibile dal (pallido) sole canadese di fine novembre.

Little one takes a nap all wrapped up in his favorite blanket. Thick curtains protect him as much as possible from the (pale) canadian sun.


Latest widget

I want to thank Maash for the new sidebar widget, which should keep track of where the reader of this blog are located on the world map. That should be fun...

Eye-witness Report

-By our own correspondent S.

This morning, at around 9:45, K. Appu did the unthinkable: he stood up with the aid of some boxes of books piled up in our living room and the moral support of his parents. He first crawled purposefully towards the boxes; he then proceeded to put both hands on one box, lifted himself up, then stood up by placing his hands further up onto another box. This lasted for a few seconds before his dim-witted dad (that's me!) realized that the equilibrium was highly unstable and instructed Kunjappu to retire while on top. He did so without serious damage to himself or his parents or, more importantly, the boxes.


The six month report

Weight/Peso: 7.9 kg
Height/Altezza: 68.5 cm

(For those interested in graphs, growth charts and percentiles, go ahead and click on the picture below to make it bigger so you can actually read it.)

Just to have something to compare with, here below is the baby development table from Babycenter. For every age it give a list of things that most, some or a few babies are able to do. I thought it would be fun to compare the list with our own, based on our observations of little one's progresses. (Again, if you want to see the table just click to enlarge it.)

Let's start from the things he can clearly do. Yes, little one mouths objects and makes bubbles. His dad in fact will be very pleased to know that these are considered "milestones". He rolls, sits without support (but still keeping a hand on the floor to lean on), does every sort of push-ups and is beginning to crawl. He reaches for objects and drags them toward himself. He is also attracted by sounds and stops whatever he is doing if there is a sudden noise or a new interesting sound. He responds ("G!") if we talk to him. He seems to distinguish colors.

Then we come to the things that maybe he can do. I am not sure if he can pass objects from one hand to the other,I haven't really paid attention. We think he can recognize his name (we call him "piccolo", "little one" or "aaaaaapuuuu" in private), but only he knows if we are delusional.

Things he does not do. He doesn't really imitate sounds. For example, if mom says "G!" he says "G!", if mom says "ba ba ba" he says "G!" and so on. For the moment he is only using the consonant "g" and maybe occasionally "b", but mostly that happens if he tries to speak while keeping his mouth in contact with some object. He is also not really babbling yet, he doesn't put together syllables, but he still manages to make the cutest sound, especially when he wakes up in a good mood.

That's all for the moment. Have I forgotten anything?

From our window, early morning

This is what you see from our window if you get up early (we do, but let's not get into that...). Last night and today we had the first heavy snowfall of the season. You can't see the snow falling because it was dark and I had to keep a long exposure to take the picture, but it was quite pretty. The second picture, by the way, is the building where we work.

Questa e' la vista da una delle finestre del soggiorno di casa, di mattina presto. Volevo fotografare la neve che cadeva quando mi sono alzata questa mattina, ma purtroppo nella foto non si vede. Questa e' stata la prima nevicata intensa della stagione, quando siamo usciti avevo la neve alle caviglie in certi tratti.

Nella seconda foto, sempre dalla finestra di casa, potete vedere l'edificio dove lavoriamo.

Stamattina alle sette


More leaps and bounds

The pictures and video below are from about one week ago.

Le foto e il video qui sotto sono di circa una settimana fa.

Little one is now officially a mobile baby, the definition of "mobile" being "able to crawl out of bed if parents are too sleepy to stop him". It helps that his crawling is still quite slow and inefficient. It also helps that our bed doesn't reach more than say ten centimeters above floor level.

Il piccolino e' ufficialmente un bimbo mobile! E' in grado di gattonare - sebbene molto molto lentamente - fino a bordo del letto e oltre. Fortunatamente il letto e' a pochi centimetri dal pavimento.

Here above you can a demonstration of plank pose. This is what his father used to call strength demonstration or show off, because it didn't seem to anything to do with learning to crawl. However, for the moment that's how little one crawls: on his hands and feet instead of hands and knees.

Nella foto qui sopra il piccolo Rajiv da' una dimostrazione della potenza dei suoi muscoli addominali. Stranamente, questa e' la sua tecnica per gattonare, almeno per il momento: procede con mani e piedi, invece di mani e ginocchia.

In this picture you might think that he is crawling with the more standard technique, but in fact it is a fake. If I remember correctly he didn't move by a centimeter. It still looks good though...

Another thing that has improved is his sitting ability. In the last couple of days he has started to try and sit of his own accord, whereas earlier he seemed completely uninterested. He keeps both knees on one side and leans on a hand, it looks quite elegant (and what doesn't to mommy's eyes? ...).

As I said at the beginning, the video is from a week ago, so no crawling yet, only gymnastics and smiles! Crawling video coming soon.

Come dicevo, il video e' di una settimana fa, quindi non si vedono spostamenti significativi, solo ginnastica e sorrisi!



Little Rajiv has celebrated his first half year of life having his first introduction to solid food. It was only raw carrots, so he can't have ingested more than a few fragments and some juice, but I think he got the idea and liked it very much. So this is going to be carrot week. Cooked, next time...

Il piccolino ha festeggiato il suo primo mezzo anno di vita con un primo assaggio di cibo solido. Gli abbiamo dato due pezzi di carota cruda, quindi e' stato piu' un gioco che un pasto e non puo' avere ingerito piu' che un po' di succo e qualche scaglia. L'idea pero' sembra essergli piaciuta, quindi questa sara' la settimana delle carote! (Cotte, la prossima volta...)


Drama King! - Arte drammatica

Pictures from the weekend. Little one was practicing crawling - with great effort and little success - on our bed and I was trying to document his progress. But as you can see he couldn't resist doing a bit of acting for the camera.

Fotografie del finesettimana. Il piccolino stava facendo un po' di ginnastica sul nostro letto, ma quando ha visto la macchina fotografica ha pensato bene di esibirsi in una serie delle sue espressioni migliori.

This one above is one of my favorite pictures so far, but the one below is the cutest...


Giovedi' scorso

The pictures below were taken last Thursday. That expression on little one's face is normal these days, another sign that the teeth are almost out. We can see some whiteness under the gums, but who knows how long it will take to surface. Hopefully it will be over soon, because poor little Rajiv seems to be very uncomfortable.

Le foto qui sotto sono di giovedi' scorso. L'espressione da pesce e' abbastanza usuale in questi giorni, probabilmente per via del fastidio alle gengive dovuto ai denti che stanno spuntando. Si vede del bianco in trasparenza sotto le gengive, speriamo che manchi poco.

Thursday was an eventful day, because little one went to hear a talk by his dad. As I mentioned at some point, one of the baby-sitters has abandoned us under very shady circumstances and we haven't been able to contact her again. Not that at this point we would leave Rajiv with her anyway. So this week Rajiv came with us to the group meeting, because his dad was speaking and his mom didn't want to miss it.

Fortunately the meeting is quite informal and is held in a place with a lot of room to walk around, so Rajiv could sit in his carrier for about half of the time and sleep or explore the room (only drawback: mm had to be in constant motion). After a while Rajiv decided that he had seen enough of the room and asked to be taken out of the carrier, which I did, and we went away from the meeting for a little while - missing unfortunately the most interesting part. We went back towards the end and little one gave a couple of comments during questions time. Not too bad overall, he didn't scream or cry, just occasionally "talked". I think most colleagues were ok with his presence.

Giovedi' e' stata una giornata densa di eventi. Come ho accennato in precedenza, abbiamo avuto dei problemi con una delle baby-sitter, che e' scompara senza lasciare traccia in circostanze sospette. Non e' stata ancora sostituita e probabilmente non lo sara' per questo semestre. In conseguenza di tutto cio', il piccolino ha assistito al suo primo seminario di fisica, con oratore niente meno che il suo papa'! Era un seminario informale e io e il piccolino abbiamo potuto camminare per la stanza liberamente, cosi' Rajiv ha potuto distrarsi quando c'era qualche parte del seminario che lo interessava un po' meno. Nel complesso l'esperienza e' stata un successo, anche se purtroppo abbiamo dovuto lasciare la stanza per un po' proprio in un momento che era particolarmente interessante per la mamma (ma chiaramente non per Rajiv).

Another important event last Thursday was a visit to the daycare center that we might use part-time starting in February, when Rajiv and I will be back in Canada without S... :(. After the bad experience we have had with the last baby-sitter we have reconsidered the idea of the daycare center, because it seems a safer and more controlled option. We liked the place, at least compared with what I have heard about other centers. I wouldn't want to leave Rajiv there for the whole day though, we might just start with one or two days a week for a few hours, at least until he is a bit older.

Un altro evento importante di giovedi' e' stata la visita al nido. Abbiamo deciso che affidarsi alle baby-sitter riserva troppe sorprese e potrebbe essere meglio mandare il piccolino al nido per qualche ora al giorno, un paio di giorni a settimana. L'idea non mi rende felicissima, pero' e' una cosa che dovrebbe succedere a Febbraio, quando Rajiv avra' quasi nove mesi. Credo che a quel punto si annoierebbe a stare tutto il giorno in ufficio o a casa con me, quindi potrebbe essere alla fine essere una cosa positiva per lui.

Note: I wrote most of this post a few days ago, but there are still no good news about the teeth. The only change is that now Rajiv cries at night as well, which is very unusual for him.


Another cute picture

This is from a couple of weeks ago. Slowly I will show off all the winter wardrobe, kindly donated by several concerned relatives.

By the way, the careful reader will easily locate the soother hidden in this picture!

Questa foto e' di un paio di settimane fa. La zia Carla riconoscera' la tutina da sci comprata in montagna. E i lettori attenti troveranno il ciuccio nascosto nella foto!

A few of his favourite things

Some things that make Rajiv laugh or smile - Alcune cose che fanno ridere o sorridere Rajiv:
  • Somebody smiling at him

    Una persona che gli sorride

  • Singing a song to him

    Cantargli una canzone

  • Rolling on the bed with mom or dad

    Rotolare sul letto con mamma o papa'

  • Tickling him...

    Il solletico...

  • Kisses, including flying kisses directed at him

    Baci, anche i baci da lontano

  • Taking a bath and splashing the water everywhere!

    Fare il bagno e spruzzare l'acqua dappertutto!

  • Meeting again mom and dad after some time with the babysitter

    Rivedere mamma e papa' dopo un paio d'ore con la babysitter

  • Saying "Bububububu", "Baabaaabaaa" and such very near to his face

    Dire "Bububububu", "Baabaaabaaa" e simili guardandolo negli occhi

  • Being transported in a nice blue towel after having going to the toilet and having had his bottom well washed

    Essere trasportato nel suo asciugamano azzurro dopo essere andato in bagno e essere stato ben lavato

  • Being lifted by his armpits and cycling his legs in the air

    Essere solevato da sotto le ascelle e agitare le gambe per aria

  • The other baby in the mirror

    L'altro bimbo nello specchio

  • Rhythmic sounds and movements (he loves it when we make him dance!)

    Suoni e movimenti ritmici

  • Red objects

    Oggetti rossi

  • The noise of an empty can falling on the floor

    Il rumore di una lattina vuota che cade per terra

  • A shelf full of books

    Uno scaffale pieno di libri


Sidebar addition

I justed wanted to attract my readers' attention to the new feature that I added to the sidebar, "The Big Picture". I encourage you to go and click, I think it's awesome!

Volevo solo attirare la vostra attenzione sull'ultima aggiunta alla barra laterale, "The Big Picture". Se non l'avete ancora fatto, provate a cliccare.


Winter is here. Today morning it was kind of chilly and walking towards the office we were hit by the first snowflakes of the season. It has been snowing in big flakes until now, but it seems that we will be able to go back home dry after all because it just stopped. It didn't stick, so the landscape doesn't look white, just wet. Still, it was Rajiv's first snowfall, although he only experienced it asleep in the front-carrier, well covered and protected from the snow by a think scarf over his head...

The picture below is not from today, but he is wearing that red fleece jacket everyday, for the moment.

Oggi abbiamo avuto la prima nevicata della stagione. Venivano giu' fiocchi beli grossi, ma la neve non si e' fermata. Ha iniziato a nevicare mentre venivamo in ufficio questa mattina, pero' Rajiv non puo' essersene accorto perche' era addormentato nel marsupio e protetto dagli elementi da una sciarpona sopra la testa (in aggiunta al cappuccio rosso che vedete nella foto).


Foto del giorno

Terrified by the flash... Terrorizzato dal flash...


The neverending babysitter pain

This was going to be the first week in which we managed to have somebody looking after the little one on all four days that we need, two hours per day, for a total of eight hours by the end of the week. This has never happened before, in spite of all our efforts. And it is not going to happen this week either, because today the babysitter didn't show up at the agreed-upon time, so I had to miss a meeting and stay home with Rajiv. It is so frustrating...


Getting ready for solid food

Rajiv si prepara ad affrontare il cibo solido:


Leaps and bounds - Passi da gigante!

The pictures in this post were taken about a week ago, before we went out for a walk to enjoy a short return of summer here in Waterloo.

Le fotografie
sono di circa una settimana fa, prima che uscissimo a fare una passeggiata in un pomeriggio quasi estivo, l'ultimo per un po...

Little one is now able to flip over like a pro. As soon as he is put down on his back, like a spring he rolls on his tummy and tries to move forward. Since he has mastered this, about a month ago, he has been much more easily entertained on his own. We can put him down with a toy (or a paper cup, or an empty box, for that matters) and have a few minutes of uncomplicated time to be used as needed.

He is also trying to properly crawl. He practices pushing on his hands and lifting his tummy from the floor and he succeeds, but only for a moment. He also managed to move a knee forward a bit, so I expect new exciting developments very soon. For the moment he is very good at moving backwards instead, which is a source of constant frustration for him, because the more he tries to reach a toy the farther he gets...

He is able to sit without support for very short periods of time, but he doesn't seem to be especially excited about it. He prefers by far to stand (with our help...) or to work on his crawling technique.

Da circa un mese il piccolino ha imparato a rotolare con scioltezza e se viene messo sdraiato da qualche parte e' capace di mettersi a quattro zampe in un attimo. Sta provando a gattonare, ma e' ancora un po' difficile, anche se in questi ultimi giorni ha fatto progressi notevoli. Riesce a sollevare la pancia da terra per qualche secondo ed e' bravissimo ad andare all'indietro - involontariamente... E' capace di stare seduto dritto senza supporto per qualche secondo, ma poi si piega in avanti (come un piccolo gorilla, per intenderci) oppure se non e' ben bilanciato rotola di lato. La sua posizione preferita pero' continua ad essere in piedi, come nella prima foto in alto.


Viaggi - cattive notizie, purtroppo

Siamo finalmente riusciti a programmare i nostri spostamenti di quest'inverno, ma purtroppo ci sono cattive notizie. La mia idea era di passare in Italia a inizio dicembre, ma non siamo riusciti a trovare dei biglietti ragionevoli. La soluzione piu' economica era 2.500$ a testa e non ce la siamo sentita. Abbiamo scelto invece di andare direttamente in India, rimanendo qui una settimana piu' del previsto (il che e' anche positivo per il mio lavoro, se puo' essere di qualche conforto...).

Ora scatta il piano B, che consiste nel cercare di organizzare una gita in Italia attorno a marzo. Come al solito ci sono mille variabili, ma spero di riuscire a far quadrare tutto.

BCG vaccine update

Il piccolino sta meglio e oggi e' l'ultimo giorno di antibiotici. Non siamo sicuri che l'infezione sia stata definitivamente sconfitta, ma staremo a vedere che cosa succede nei prossimi giorni. La zona attorno al sito della vaccinazione e' di nuovo rossa e un po' gonfia, ma e' dfficile capire se questo sia il normale corso delle cose oppure no. Anche il dottore purtroppo e' nella stessa situazione perche' e' il primo caso di questo tipo che incontra (questo vaccino non e' utilizzato in Canada).

The little one is feeling better and today is the last day of antibiotics. We are not sure if the infection has been defeated completely or not, because there is again some redness and swelling, but for what we know that could be normal. We will keep an eye on it and check with the doctor if the swelling seems to be increasing.


On a lighter note...

This is a video from today afternoon. The voice in the background is Rajiv's dad, making him laugh.

Questo video e' di oggi pomeriggio. Come vedete, nonostante gli antibiotici, il piccolino mantiene il buon umore!


Per ora tutto bene

Just a brief update to say that Rajiv seems to be doing fine. He has no fever and is eating well, better in fact than he was earlier, which makes me think more and more that some of the problem we were having earlier were due to this infection. The only sign that something is wrong is that he seems much more sleepy than usual during the day, but sleep is a good for him anyway. We were having problems giving the antibiotics with the syringe that they gave us at the pharmacy, but we found that a dropper works better and now we are doing fine. The antibiotics smell disgusting and are messing up his digestion a bit. Six more days... :(

Rajiv sta abbastanza bene, a parte il fatto che sembra molto stanco. Non ha febbre e mangia con (moltissimo) appetito. Sta prendendo gli antibiotici e speriamo che gli facciano bene. Abbiamo avuto qualche problema a darglieli inizialmente, ma ora abbiamo trovato il sistema giusto e riusciamo a fargli ingoiare buona parte della dose. Purtroppo si tratta di roba veramente disgustosa: l'odore ricorda la crema depilatoria e il sapore deve essere simile. Povero piccolo...



Abbiamo passato la giornata facendo avanti e indietro tra casa e l'ufficio del dottore. E' confermato che c'e' un'infezione, perche' nel primo pomeriggio e' uscito un sacco di pus. Ci siamo un po' spaventati, ma Rajiv non sembra sofferente e non ha la febbre, quindi per il momento va abbastanza bene. Il dottore ha voluto fare una coltura per capire di che tipo di infezione si tratta (un'esperienza piuttosto spiacevole per il piccolino, purtroppo) e ha prescritto degli antibiotici. Credo che ci chiameranno se le analisi danno qualche risultato inatteso e altrimenti vedremo di nuovo il dottore la settimana prossima.

Cambiando argomento, Rajiv pesa adesso 7,24 Kg (con pannolino). E' stato pesato oggi dal dottore e tutto sembra nella norma.

Today morning we went to see our usual doctor about the problem with the BCG vaccine. He said that there was an abscess and it should be drained, but that he would rather not do it himself and he would refer us to a specialist instead. When we reached home however we saw that it had burst and a lot of pus had come out. We got a bit alarmed (not bad as an understatement...) and called the doctor again - S. also had rush and cancel a talk that he was schedule to give at the institute at the same time, the usual luck... The doctor didn't seem too concerned at first, but then he called us back and asked to go there for a couple of tests. It wasn't very pleasant for Rajiv, but at least we felt better seeing that something concrete was being done. We got a prescription for antibiotics and will go back to see the doctor next week.

By the way, as a side result of these visits we could check Rajiv's weight and he seems to be growing fine, in spite of a few feeding strikes of his recently. He is now 7.24 Kg, diaper included.


Not a good birthday... :(

Riassunto per i lettori italiani: Purtroppo il piccolino e' dovuto andare dal dottore oggi, perche' il sito della vaccinazione anti-tubercolosi sembra essersi infettato. Sapevamo che un po' di reazione e' normale, ma oggi abbiamo visto che c'era del pus. Il dottore non era molto contento, ma ci ha detto di tornare tra qualche giorno per decidere se dare degli antibiotici. Vi terro' informati sugli sviluppi.

Today little Rajiv is five months! Unfortunately, we celebrated his birthday with a trip to the doctor. His BCG vaccination spot has been looking red and swollen for some time, but we got reassurance from various sources that it was to be considered normal.

Netdoctor.co.uk says:
The BCG vaccine usually causes a hardened lesion that may ulcerate and occasionally discharge. It heals over several weeks or months leaving a small flat scar. You should keep the area dry to allow it to heal, but it is not necessary to protect it from water during washing or bathing. Avoid covering it with waterproof (airtight) dressings or tight clothing, unless for short periods such as during swimming. If the ulcer starts to ooze you can cover it with a dry dressing until a scab forms, but you should still allow the air to get to it. Airtight dressings may delay the healing of the ulcer and cause a larger scar. If you get a more severe reaction or the ulcer persists seek medical advice from your doctor.
So we were not too worried, but today S. noticed that the lesion had turned green! There is clearly an infection going on there and it could be the explanation for some of the recent crankiness - maybe instead of the phantom teeth that never show up, who knows...

We went to see the doctor and he didn't seem too happy about the situation. This could also be because the BCG vaccine is not usually given here in Canada though, so maybe he hasn't seen so many cases. Still, the visit didn't make us feel better at all. The doctor suggested to apply warm compresses on the spot and to check little one's temperature to make sure he doesn't get a fever, but no matter how things evolve we plan to go back on Friday for a check up. We also could not see the usual doctor today and we would feel better if we could talk to him as well. Maybe little one will have to take some antibiotics, but hopefully he will not have to be too uncomfortable. I'll keep you updated.


What's happening around here

I haven't posted for some time, so I feel I owe a few updates to my faithful readers...

  • The nanny problem seems to be close to a (temporary) solution. We are meeting on Tuesday with a candidate baby-sitter, which we have already decided to hire no matter what (well, unless she looks really unreliable, as in more unreliable than us...) because we are desperate. So we will have two different baby-sitters, covering four hours a week each. It is not ideal, but it's a start. We sort hope that next semester the first baby-sitter, Kelly, whom we love more than words can say, will ditch her current employers and give all her availability to us. Otherwise the hunt will go on...

  • Little one is beginning to get acquainted with the Canadian weather. The temperature has suddenly dropped and he has a cold. Probably our trip to the Italian Consulate Toronto on Friday with too long walks at too early hours didn't help. We are going back tomorrow - Indian Consulate this time, for even more fun... - but this time there will be more clothing and less walking in the freezing wind, at least in our plans.

  • Cold aside, Rajiv is really cranky. I am having more and more problems feeding him, even when he is obviously very hungry. He also cries more than he used to, even at night. This is new because although we were used to frequent awakenings through the whole night, he was always very easy to handle. Now even that seems to be gone. Maybe he is teething. I know we have bee suspecting this for a couple of months now, but the doctor said it could be a very slow process and maybe it is culminating now. I really hope to see some teeth soon, although S. and I feel sad at the idea of losing his charming toothless smile...


Wrapping pictures

This is from a couple of weeks ago. Not too good, but it was my first attempt at a hip carry. He seemed fine, anyway. We went for a walk in the park and he enjoyed the view from this new position.

These ones instead are from today, with my new "Maya Sling". Again, the technique still needs improvement (the ring is not supposed to be there in the middle), but I think that we were comfortable enough. We inaugurated the new sling at the wine and cheese Friday event at the institute and I think it was a success. We were certainly the brightest!


Social life

This picture is from last Saturday. We went for dinner at a colleague's house and little one was charming as usual, as you can see, before going to sleep for a few hours allowing us to eat. Of course this "sleeping for a few hours" performance never happens when I could also sleep... :(

Questa e' una foto di sabato scorso. Siamo andati a cena da due colleghi e il piccolino si e' comportato molto bene. Di solito dorme per qualche ora proprio attorno all'ora di cena, quindi abbiamo potuto farlo partecipare un po' alla conversazione all'inizio e poi metterlo a letto. Nonna Laura forse riconosce la maglietta?


Cuginetto in arrivo!

Per coloro che non lo sapessero, il secondo bimbo di Shalini - non so se mi e' consentito rivelare il nome - e' atteso per domani mattina (parto cesareo). E se nel frattempo vi interessa vedere qualche foto della nuova pettinatura di Arvind, ecco qua:


Cool or what?

Nanny update (an excuse for more pictures)

This is how we found little one yesterday coming home after our two hour long separation from him. Not only he seems to get along well with Kelly, and - perhaps more importantly at this stage - she with him, but she is also able to put him peacefully to sleep when he needs it. She also doesn't mind using some cloth diapers, which is not to be taken for granted. (By the way, new nappy post coming soon...)

Unfortunately our search for another babysitter for the days when Kelly is busy is not over yet. We thought we had a good candidate (where by "good" I just mean that her schedule more or less meets our needs) and we were supposed to meet her today, but she called five minutes before our appointment to cancel it. Last minute cancellation tendencies are not exactly what I look for in a sitter, but we will meet her tomorrow anyway and see how it goes. We will probably end up giving her a try no matter what, because we don't have any alternatives. And to make matters worse, the schedule of seminars at the institute keeps changing... ;(



We are trying to figure out the best child care solution for our situation. We need to find something for now, just for a few hours to be able to attend meetings and seminars at the institute, and something a bit more extended (but not too much) for when I will return to Canada without S. after Christmas.

As I said before, there is Kelly, the wife of another postdoc, who does babysitting at the moment, but unfortunately the schedule of meetings was changed last week and now it doesn't fit with Kelly's schedule anymore. She was able to help us this week though. We left Rajiv at home with her twice, for about two hours each time, and things seemed to go well. He didn't seem to be scared of being with a stranger, I think he is too young for that kind of reaction. I left some of my milk in a bottle for him both times - the expressing and storing milk part of leaving him with someone else is more difficult and stressful than I would have imagined - but he didn't seem to be interested. The first time he drank only half of the small quantity of milk I had left for him and the second time apparently he didn't want to drink from the bottle at all. Of course these were very short separations, but this is going to be quite important if I decide to leave him with somebody else for longer periods of time.

We might still use Kelly's help in the future, but we need to find some other solution as well, so we are looking into daycare centers, with no luck so far. Typically one needs to be on the waiting list for a couple of years before being accepted by one of these centers and most don't seem so attractive to me anyway. They have things like diaper changing schedule, meaning that all children are changed every so many hours at the same time. So what is "something" happens five minutes after the changing time? They sit in it until it's time again?

Small home childcare centers are also an option, but we haven't found anything good yet. We were referred to one lady who is apparently very experienced and accepts infants but she still has to return my call after a few days and anyway the same person who gave me her name now seems to have changed her mind and is actually discouraging me from choosing this solution. Apparently when she was checking out the place last week a child fell down the stairs... lovely.

The institute is supposed to help us sorting this out, but I think that our situation is quite unlike others they have had experience with. They promised to come up with some suggestions by next week, so we will have some updates then. For the moment the conclusion is that finding good daycare is very very hard and finding not so good daycare is very very hard anyway... :(


He crawls!!!

We saw some signs yesterday already, but today there is really no doubt. I'm talking about the commando style crawling, with belly on the floor, but he definitely moves. He can reach a toy put in front of him and he can also pivot on his belly if something - like his beloved father - attracts his attention. Maybe it is because of the smooth wooden floor here that makes it easier for him to slide, but I'm sure that now that he has experienced this freedom he will soon progress to move on tougher grounds (so maybe we should stop leaving him alone on the couch, now that I think about it...).

In other news, he has also learned to roll from front to back - earlier he was only able to roll from back to front - and he can do powerful abdominal crunches, the kind that his mom, not to mention his dad, can only dream of.

I have lots of other small updates, but I think that little one's athletic accomplishments deserve a post of their own, so I will keep the rest for later.


Getting taller

It seems that Rajiv is growing well. We went to the doctor yesterday and these are the latest measurements:

height 66 cm
weight 6.36 kg
head circumference 42 cm

The height is in the 90th percentile for Canada, which is really surprising because at birth he was a little shorter than average. It must be the good food (ehm...) and the physical exercise! The weight is in the 40-50th percentile, so it's fine. The weight increase seems to be slowing down, but I'm told this is normal so for now I will not worry.


How many string theorists does it take...

... to install a convertible car seat?

Uhm, definitely more than three...


Primi giorni in Canada

Here is what we have to report about our first days here... :)
  • Rajiv seems to like his new house. When we came in I immediately showed him his room and I put him down in his crib where I had arranged some toys for him. He played happily and he seemed comfortable. He will sleep with us at night, but the crib is a good place for him to take naps or play without risks of him getting hurt if we are not in the room. I am having fun showing him all the little things that we had got for him before he was born: little toys and books and so on. The clothes that seemed so big when I bought them now fit him just right!

    Rajiv sembra contento nella sua nuova casa. Appena arrivati gli ho mostrato la sua stanza e l'ho messo nel suo piccolo lettino bianco a giocare con i giocattoli che avevo preparato per lui prima di partire. Di notte dorme con noi, ma ha fatto anche gia' qualche sonnellino nel suo letto e sebra che stia abbastanza comodo.

  • We have introduced Rajiv to most of the people we know here and he has been adorable with everybody. Mostly we received comments about his bright eyes, which is also what I like the most...

    Rajiv ha gia' incontrato molte delle persone che conosciamo qui e ha fatto grandi sorrisi a tutti. Riceviamo soprattutto complimenti per i suoi occhi vivaci e la sua aria allegra.

  • We are having a few difficulties in getting around, because the rules here are very strict and a baby is not allowed even on a taxi without a car seat. Anyway as I already mentioned, we have bought a used car - and a new car seat that costs a significant fraction of the price of the car, so soon we should be able to move more easily.

    Abbiamo avuto qualche problema a spostarci, perche' qui le regole sono molto severe e i bambini non possono viaggiare neanche in taxi senza seggiolino. Abbiamo comprato il seggiolino e per il momento lo spostiamo da una macchina all'altra. Abbiamo comprato una macchina usata (Honda Civic 1997) e dovremmo entrarne in possesso tra qualche giorno. Nel frattempo andiamo oggi ad informarci su come ottenere una patente di guida valida in Ontario.

  • We have discovered one more way to make the little one laugh: he goes into hysterics if his hands - or feet - are rubbed against his father's beard. He says he won't shave anymore.

    Abbiamo scoperto un modo nuovo per far ridere il piccolino: impazzisce se le sue mani - o i piedi - vengono strofinate sulla barba di suo papa'.

  • Yesterday morning I went jogging with Rajiv for the first time. It was very cold so we stayed only for ten minutes (mommy already has a cold) but now that we have taken this first step I am sure we will go again soon.

    Ieri mattina sono andata a correre con Rajiv per la prima volta. Faceva molto freddo e siamo rimasti solo dieci minuti, ma il primo passo e' fatto!

  • We might have found a babysitter for Rajiv. Her name is Kelly and she is the wife of another string theory postdoc at PI. We haven't met yet, but our email exchanges so far seem promising.

    Forse abbiamo trovato una babysitter per Rajiv. Si chiama Kelly ed e' la moglie di un altro postdoc. Dovremmo incontrarlala settimana prossima, ma sono gia' convinta che sia una buona soluzione, almeno per un po'.

The rest later...

Il resto a un'altra volta...


Say hello... Dite ciao...

Questa e' un'altra delle foto recuperate da poco. Sto lentamente caricando tutte le altre su Webshots, con un po' di pazienza.

This is another one of the pictures that I took when he was about two months old, so it's not recent, but it seems cute to me so I thought I would post it anyway. I am (very) slowly uploading all the pictures on Webshots, I hope to be done soon.


The long journey home

We have reached Canada yesterday evening. This is one day later than planned, because our flight from Milano to Toronto on Sunday was canceled and we ended up taking the same flight the next day. Needless to say, initially we weren't very happy of this development, but in the end it wasn't so bad. We were put in a hotel in Novara, a nice town not too far from the airport. We spent most of the afternoon sleeping - this is itself was very very good - and then we went out for a walk. The town has a nice center and there was some dance festival going on, so the atmosphere was quite pleasant. We walked around, had good ice cream and bought a book about holes for the little one. It was a nice break.

Today was very busy and we managed to accomplish quite a bit. Most notably, we have bought a car. I would write more, but jet leg and small babies are a deadly combinations and I must sleep...



Our visit to Torino is almost over already and we are getting ready to travel to Canada on Sunday. We will leave early morning and reach Waterloo some time in the afternoon. I wish we could stay here longer, but it is time to go back to work...


Finally my camera troubles seem to be over! Now I am slowly transferring to my laptop all the pictures I have taken in the past weeks. This one below is one of my favorite, from when Rajiv was two months old. Many more pictures coming soon.

Finalmente ho risolto i problemi che avevo con la macchina fotografica. Ora pian piano trasferiro' tutte le foto di queste ultime settimane sul mio computer e ne potro' mostrare alcune sul blog. Questa qui sotto e' una delle mie preferite, di quando Rajiv aveva due mesi e pochi giorni.


A beautiful September day

We have reached Italy yesterday morning, after a tiring - but less than I expected - journey. unfortunately we again failed to get the bassinet to use in flight, so Rajiv had to sit or sleep on my lap for most of the time. It seems there were again more infants than available bassinets on the plane. I bet this won't happen traveling to Canada: the advantages of low reproduction rates...

My home town welcomed us with a fantastic weather, nice temperature not too hot but pleasantly warm and blue sky with white clouds here and there. The air was clear - and dry! I almost forgot how that feels - and you could see the mountains far away.

My mom picked us up at the airport (with support from a second car to carry the luggage) and we had some sandwiches with her at home before she had to return to work. Unfortunately she is experiencing an unexpected work overload and won't be able to take time off work to spend with us, but she is very happy to see Rajiv again and said she will come to see him every evening after work.

Then we saw briefly my aunt, while Rajiv was asleep, and we waited for him to wake up to go and spend some time outside and enjoy the weather. We took him for a short visit to his great -grandmother (bisnonna Lina) and after that we went to pick up Rajiv's new passport, that we had applied for before leaving to India. It is hilarious: eyes - brown - height -50 cm... By the way, he is much taller now already!

We walked around for some time and went to a bookstore that I hadn't yet visited since it was restructured last year. We got a popular science book on neuroscience by a Kerala guy who apparently is very well known - I suspect this must be the understatement of the century -
and a nice little book for Rajiv about a baby elephant that takes a bath at night and then goes nicely to sleep. Hope he will find it inspiring.

We came back home by bus and Rajiv by now was very cranky for some reason, probably a wet diaper. The people on the bus made every sort of nasty comments about how I wasn't taking care of the little one properly until I found it necessary to inform them that in spite of appearances I am actually Italian and I did understand what they were saying. I hate this kind of things, it almost ruined my day.

We reached home after six. Before dinner my aunt came to see Rajiv awake and bring us some icecream and then my mom came as well, on her way home from work. I am very happy to see that they are bonding nicely with the little one. Some time later my dad came to see us as well. He didn't get to see Rajiv awake, but that will be remedied soon. He commented on how much bigger he looks now and we had a nice chat anyway, in which my husband could finally demonstrate some of his knowledge of the Italian language. By the time he left it was quite late and we were ready to collapse in our beds.

Today looks like another very pleasant day outside and I hope to take Rajiv out for a walk later, maybe in one of the new wraps instead of the usual carrier. Maybe we will also take the stroller one of these days and see if now that he is a big boy he can sit and look around instead on lying down in the pram - which he hates and wouldn't do anyway.


Kerala trip in pictures

We have reached Calicut last Friday night. Unfortunately the trip was not as much fun as it should have been for S., who is only now beginning to feel better after his surgery. His brothers came only two days ago, so we have decided to stay a bit longer and return to Madras by train tomorrow night, accompanied by S.'s mother. Below are a few pictures taken this week by S.'s parents.

Siamo arrivati a Calicut venerdi' scorso. Purtroppo questa visita non e' stata molto piacevole per S., che solo ora comincia a sentirsi meglio dopo l'intervento di due settimane fa. I suoi fratelli sono arrivati solo l'altro ieri, quindi abbiamo deciso di cancellare il volo di ritorno e fermarci qualche giorno in piu'. Torneremo a Madras in treno domani notte, accompagnati dalla madre di Sujay. Qui sotto potete vedere qualche foto scattata in questi giorni.

Jaydev next to the Onam flower decoration that was made on Sunday morning.

Questo e' il mio nipotino Jaydev dietro la decorazione floreale che e' stata disposta davanti a casa domenica mattina per festeggiare Onam.

Un po' di foto di Jaydev e Rajiv.
Some pictures of Jaydev with Rajiv.

This was my first attempt at using a wrap for a back carry. I thought it would be best to try with an older child first and Jaydev kindly volunteered.

Qui sono io che trasporto Jaydev utilizzando una lunga striscia di stoffa acquistata a questo scopo. Jaydev gentilmente ha accettato di fare pratica con me prima di tentare la tecnica con Rajiv.

And below:
Rajiv with his grandmother.
E qui in basso:
Rajiv con nonna Padmini.


Ieri in Kerala si festeggiava Onam, la festivita' piu' sentita in questa parte dell'India. E' un po' come per noi il Natale: le famiglie se possibile si riuniscono e si scambiano doni, in genere vestiti. Tradizionalmente Onam coincide con il raccolto e la data dipende dal calendario lunare. Una volta era il momento dell'anno in cui venivano comprati abiti nuovi per tutta la famiglia. Probabilmente e' tuttora cosi' per molte famiglie povere, ma anche coloro che possono permettersi di fare acquisti in qualunque momento dell'anno festeggiano Onam indossando abiti nuovi e regalando abiti ai familiari, specialmente i piu' giovani. Un altro segno distintivo di questa festivita' sono le decorazioni floreali davanti all'ingresso delle case.

Onam e' anche collegato ad una leggenda indu':

La leggenda del re demone

Secondo la leggenda molto tempo fa il Kerala era governato da un re demone di nome Mahabali. Mahabali aveva esteso il suo regno ai tre mondi: la terra, il cielo e gli inferi. Era un re molto giusto e devoto agli dei, molto amato dai suoi sudditi. Gli dei pero' erano avevano paura del suo potere e chiesero a Vishnu di privarlo del suo regno. Vishnu allora si presento' a Mahabali come un brahmino nano nel giorno in cui Mahabali accoglieva le suppliche dei suoi sudditi. Il re era famoso per accogliere sempre ogni richiesta e quando venne il turno del brahmino nano gli promise qualunque cosa lui volesse. Il brahmino allora chiese di avere tutta la terra che poteva calpestare con tre passi. Mahabali a questo punto sospetto' la verita', ma acconsenti' perche' ormai aveva dato la sua parola. Il brahmino da nano divento' un gigante e con i primi due passi copri' la terra e il cielo. Poi chiese a Mahabali: "Dove mettero il mio piede adesso?". E Mahabali offri' a Vishnu la propria testa. Cosi' Mahabali venne sotterrato e relegato agli inferi, ma poiche' era un uomo coraggioso e rispettoso di Vishnu, la sua preghiera di tornare una volta l'anno dai suoi sudditi venne accolta. Onam e' il giorno in cui gli abitanti del Kerala festeggiano il ritorno del re demone Mahabali.


Piccole scoperte - Little discoveries

A few of the latest developments:

  • Since a few days ago little one seems to have realized that he has extremely attractive and interesting feet (of course we already knew that). Sometimes he stares at them and tries to touch them, batting at them like he does with toys. When he manages to touch them he seems fascinated. In fact it is not clear at all whether he realizes that they are attached to his body, it is quite cute to see.

    Da qualche giorno il piccolino ha cominciato ad interessarsi ai suoi piedi. Li fissa, li tocca, cerca di colpirli come fa con i giocattoli, e' molto carino. Non credo che si renda conto che sono parte del suo corpo, e' un po' come un gatto che cerca di mordersi la coda - solo un po' meno difficile...

  • He is acquiring better control of his hands: he is now able to pinch mommy, especially when he is hungry, and he likes to grab S.'s hair when S. leans over him.

    Comincia ad avere maggiore controllo dei movimenti delle proprie mani: e' capace di dare piccoli - ma efficaci - pizzicotti e gli piace afferrare i capelli di S. quando si china su di lui.

  • He is beginning to smile in response to things, as opposed to just randomly. For example he smiles if we make some unexpected funny sounds and he laughs like crazy if somebody kisses his belly. This morning when we woke up at around six I put him to sit on my belly and he stayed there for some time looking at me and smiling...

    Il piccolino adesso risponde in modo piu' evidente alle nostre azioni. Per esempio, sorride se facciamo dei suoni inaspettati o se riceve dei baci sulla pancia. Questa mattina quando ci siamo svegliati verso le sei l'ho messo a sedere sulla mia pancia e lui e' rimasto li' per un po' a guardarmi ridacchiando...


Plans - Progetti

We have been spending quite a few days at home now. S. had some minor surgery done last Saturday (nothing too serious, but still not fun) and he needs to take rest, as much as it is possible with a baby in the house. He is not allowed to lift the little one, but he is still helping a lot, so things are not completely out of control, yet.

We had planned for some time to go to Calicut for a few days to spend time with S.'s family and if there are no complications we will leave tomorrow evening. Fortunately we had already decided to go by plane, so the trip should be still manageable. We will come back on Thursday to spend our last few days in Chennai and then on September 4th we will travel to Italy, stop there for another few days to see my family and then continue to Canada, where we will stay until the end of November, more or less. Just in case you happen to look at a map and wonder where we are...

Sabato scorso Sujay ha dovuto sottoporsi ad un piccolo - ma fastidioso - intervento chirurgico e adesso deve riposare il piu' possibile, quindi abbiamo passato gli ultimi giorni a casa. Se tutto va bene pero' dovremmo riuscire ad andare a Calicut domani, come avevamo programmato da tempo. E' la nostra ultima occasione per vedere tutta la famiglia di S. prima di partire e in piu' questo finesettimana coincide con una festivita' locale, quindi ci teniamo in modo particolare ad andare. Una volta tornati ci sara' essenzialmente solo il tempo di fare i bagagli e sistemare un po' di cose prima di abbandonare la casa per piu' di tre mesi. Arriveremo in Italia il 4 settembre mattina e poi il 10 proseguiremo per il Canada, dove in teoria dovrei iniziare a lavorare, Rajiv permettendo...


These first three months (a Very Long Story)

Little one is 3! Months, of course, but he has really grown up a lot since we first met him.

Rajiv was born on May 17th in Torino, Ospedale Mauriziano, at 2:29 AM. The first thing that S. told me after he was born was that he had his ears, as I had hoped. That made me quite happy. I only saw little one properly when he was brought back to us in his little baby bed wearing the red baby suit we had given. He had his eyes wide open and looked very aware and a bit intimidating. Of course he wasn't aware at all and he couldn't see a thing, but the impression was there anyway. He was also very cute, I didn't expect him to be so cute just after birth.

We were separated almost immediately and we met again at around 5:00, when the babies are usually brought back to the moms after the night. Giving birth is very disorienting and seeing your baby on a schedule doesn't make things easier at all, so I was looking forward to going home soon, so that we could get to know each other. Unfortunately Rajiv had high levels of bilirubin and had to stay in the hospital for a few days for phototherapy. It just means that the baby spends many hours exposed to a lamp, but it was quite unpleasant for me and S. because it meant that we could see our baby even less and we were getting very frustrated. So we were very happy and relieved when on the sixth day we were allowed to take him home.

The first day at home was marked by fruitless attempts to quench the thirst of the little monster, I mean, the little bundle of joy. I didn't have milk yet, so we were alternating attempts of feeding at the breast and larger and larger quantities of formula. Rajiv only slept for a few hours when we took him to see his grandparents and especially his aunt Francesca, who had not met him yet. She was surprised to see how small he was and showed him to Nero, Piccolina and Peppino, the cat formerly known as Kichu. When we returned home the little one resumed his expressions of discontent and cried until 3:00 AM. During this time his dad's favorite phrases where "He can't possibly still be hungry" and "I don't like this greedy side of his personality". But eventually it was over and we all slept until morning - one of only two times so far that I was able to sleep for five consecutive hours.

During the next days we practiced feeding at the breast, which proved to be harder than I had expected. Little one seemed to think the milk was going to come out from my elbow and it took every sort of tricks to get him to face the right direction. Still, within a few days we managed to stop giving formula supplements. At that point little one was eating every two or three hours at most, and usually more frequently during the night, but we got used to it and soon S. stopped waking up during the night so that he could be more rested and help during the day. In particular since the beginning he took over burping duties, which is a great help because our son needs to be burped almost constantly (Maybe beacuse he eats constantly? Uhm...). S. takes great pride in his burping skills, and likes to be known around the house as the Burper Supremo...

For the whole first month of his life little Rajiv couldn't bear to be put down to sleep on his own, so somebody had to hold him while he slept. At night I could only sleep if I managed to put him to sleep on my chest. When he wasn't sleeping he was usually eating or trying to eat or crying, at least until he started enjoying playing a little. The two things that saved our lives were a CD with womb-like (or factory-like, as you prefer to call it) sounds and the baby carrier. The CD would calm down Rajiv within seconds. Unfortunately the sounds are a little less pleasant for an adult ear, but fortunately we could reach a compromise playing the Rain On The Roof track of the CD, which is tolerable. However, for a really cranky baby there is no compromise and only factory sounds will work.

And the baby carrier. We tried it when Rajiv was about ten days old and he fell asleep in it instantaneously. Thanks to this wonderful discovery we were able to handle all the excess of bureaucracy that usually surrounds our lives. We could stay in line day after day at the passport office, at the health care office, at the visa office, the passport office again, and so on. We even went for half a day to Milano for the Indian Visa and Rajiv was amazingly well behaved.

(This is one of the pictures I took while trying to get a decent shot - mouth closed and eyes open - for Rajiv'e passport. The background is one of S.'s shirts spread on the bed.)

When he was two weeks old he started getting a bit more interested in small toys and we could put him down to look at toys hanging over him for a few minutes. He especially liked looking at a small mirror that is attached to his playmat and moving the mirror around. He also enjoyed his "tummy time" and was able to lift his head for a second very early. It seems that we have an athletic kid...

When Rajiv was almost one month old we moved to India. My mother came with us for the first couple of weeks to help while we were getting started with things. While she was here we also traveled to Calicut to spend some time with S.'s family and so Rajiv took his first long train trip. I kept him to sleep between me and the wall during the night, all wrapped up to fight the air-conditioning and it was not as bad an experience as I had expected - although the woman that was sharing the compartment with us must have thought it was pretty bad...

After this I started writing the blog, so you already know a bit of how little one's life developed until now. He is much bigger and taller of course, he lost part of the black hair he was born with, but some thinner brown hair is growing underneath. The jaundice has subsided and he has been generally healthy all this time, in spite of all the germs that his parents have spread around him. He doesn't try to eat from my elbow anymore: we have every sort of other small feeding problems, but he does know where the milk is now, because a few times he has attempted to lift my shirt when he was hungry. He smiles in the most charming way and seems to recognize us. The baby smile clearly carries a great evolutionary advantage, because it makes it impossible for the parents to donate the baby to the neighbours, as otherwise they might sometimes be tempted to do.

peanut progress

pregnancy week by week