Saturday, January 24, 2009

We took Avi out for a little culture at the Houston Natural History Museums. I love the Natural History museum in New York. It is smaller here but the best thing about it is the butterfly garden. It is a large enclosed green house with greenery, flowers, a waterfall and filled with butterflies.

Butterflies landing on Avi.

Getting Sleepy.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Yay Friday!

Work has been getting me lately. Staying in the hospital until 8 or 9 PM routinely for the past few weeks. Tons of surgeries and patients to take care of. Which I love doing, but having late nights for days and weeks at a time gets overwhelming. I worked hard all week though and went from over three pages of patients to less than one page. I went to clinic, got done early there, then I discharged all of my floor patients. Victory!
I had time to pump, leave the hospital while it was still light out. On my way out I called Ryan, and he was actually leaving too. We met at Starbucks and had a little salted caramel hot chocolate date before going home. Got to relax at home all night and we read the Ramayana together.
Good day.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

10 years ago..

Today is a very special day for my family. Probably the most amazing part is that I didn't even remember it until my mom called to tell me about it. When I was in high school I was always vying for more independence with my parents, especially over driving the car and a school trip to Italy. I was seventeen and not allowed to drive the car by myself even though I had my license for months.

One day when my mom was at work and Dad was out at the gym, I had to watch my little brother and his friend after school. It was a pretty regular day and I remember the boys were getting bored. I remember hearing the garage door open and figured one of my parents was home. I was totally dumbfounded when I opened the door to the entrance way and saw my dad getting out of the van covered in sweat. If you know my Dad, he will shower upto five times a day if he does anything strenuous. Turns out he had already showered at the gym. I could hardly register what he was saying as he was telling me he had to call 911 and I needed to go stand outside to flag down the ambulance. I didn't believe what he was saying and thought somehow that he was exaggerating or something. I almost didn't want to go outside, but after I saw my dad get off the phone and pop a bunch of aspirin, I figured I better take a look. Almost incredulously, I went outside to flag down the ambulance. This made me feel very silly, why wouldn't they know our address? I'm not sure why I was being resistant to this, but I eventually did see an ambulance on our street. Two paramedics rushed into the house and found my dad. They immediately hooked him up to an EKG and got a quick history. I thought, "Hmm, they seem pretty calm everything must be fine. I'm sure that EKG is okay." It was not. My dad's EKG showed acute ischemia and that he was about to go into V-tach. I had no idea of that at the time, but I did hear the EMT say there was a problem with the EKG and they had to go to the hospital. My dad was then laid down in the stretcher so they could take him out. I for some reason didn't think it odd that he wasn't walking to the ambulance on his own. I stopped to kiss his cheek as he was going out the front door when I heard a huge beep. His heart stopped and he was crashing. They EMTs rushed him out or front door and down our front steps so fast that the broke the stone steps on our walkway. I ran after them, then watched as they kept shocking him over and over again while bawling. The EMTs worked on him for at least 30 minutes. For weeks afterwards I would see their medical debris littered on our lawn and shudder, but I could never bring myself to pick it up. I ran inside to get the phone and call my mother to tell her what happened. She was already on her way home from work and told me she would go straight to Lehigh Valley Hospital. Later she confessed that after my phone call she didn't think she would see him again.

My dad was lucky though, he was in the cath lab within thirty minutes of reaching the hospital. My mom's friend came and dropped me and my brother off at my friends' house. I even got to see my Dad and Mom later that night in the hospital. My Dad was still out of it, can't remember now if he was intubated or not. I just took one look at him in the hospital bed, left the room and started sobbing in my mom's arms. I was traumatized for months after my Dad's heart attack. He let me drive the car now by myself while he was in the hospital. I knew God was punishing me by giving me what I thought I wanted. I was also consumed by emptiness, remembering the moment when I saw my father's heart stop. I felt no God at that moment. It took me years to realize that was not the case and to stop questioning him.

My family had been through so much, but managed to come together. We could have fallen apart so easily. But someone was really looking out for my dad. He is the most amazing father and I don't know how I would ever get along without him. I am so lucky and blessed to have him with me.

We were blessed in so many ways.
My dad had the presence of mind to recognize his symptoms and call 911, (even if he did stop to shower first).
The paramedics arrived before his heart stopped and were able to shock him back.
We live five minutes from the regions premier cardiac center.
My dad was able to get a stent and did not require open heart surgery.

My dad is still healthy and his heart looks better than ever now! That's why I hardly even remembered it had been ten years since his heart attack when my mom called me today. I am blessed that we are not always mindful of his heart attack. It did, however, teach me to treasure my family in a new way, which I am always mindful of.

You tell me...was this meant to be or what??

Monday, January 5, 2009

More Disney Stories

Day 4

Of course my parents slept in that morning, but we dressed Avinash up as a little monster and went to Animal Kingdom early anyway. Anuj and I went on the Everest coaster together while Ryan watched the baby before we all went on Safari. Unfortunately the monkeys were not on the Temple grounds like normal and we missed them during their active morning phase. The elephants and rhinos were out, but the lions were already sleeping at 8 in the morning. Then it was off to Dino land for my little monster! He basically slept through most of it, but woke right up in the gift shop. Just in time for me to take an adorable picture of him with his 'twin', a green stuffed T-rex. When my parents came we went to the little Nemo show, which was beautiful. The characters were like marine versions of the Lion Kind broadway show, but the music was sub-par. I think Anuj even fell asleep, but Avi loved it!
Then my parents of course wanted to see the India section of Animal Kingdom, even though it is technically called Asia and probably should actually be Nepal given the Mt. Everest ride, but all of the decor and posters are in Hindi and look Indian. Ryan and I were so annoyed that Disney couldn't have added some vegetarian or Indian food in that section of the park. Instead it's all very Americanized-Asian food. Although when we did ask about vegetarian options at Yak and Yeti, the chef actually came out of the kitchen to talk to us and made us all our own entrees to order! Oddly enough the sticky rice was the best part. Of course, after that I couldn't resist putting Avi in his adorable "India pants" (as we call them) and taking pictures in front of all the beautiful Disney landscapes. They are the same pants from his birth announcements and I can't believe how different they look on him now. They were so billowy and cute before, and now they are definitely tight around the waist and don't go all they way down past his feet anymore. My little baby is growing up so fast!
We went to Hollywood Studios that night and got to ride the awesome new Toy Story ride. The room you walk through while standing in line is absolutely gorgeous. It is decorated like a kid's playroom with larger than life toys, board games, building blocks, drawings and an interactive completely robotic Mr. Potato Head doll that makes of people waiting in line. Unfortunately we only got one picture of the beautiful room, but at least it was of Ryan's and mine's favorite building block - the half circle that fits under the bridge piece, but has so many other uses as well. Hopefully it will still look shiny and beautiful when we come back! The ride itself is full of carnival games which you play from a moving car. Avinash loved it too, he just very calmly sat in our laps while we all played the game, even my parents. Somehow Ryan managed to get the lowest score, except for my Mom who was holding the baby and trying to play at the same time.
That night back at the Saratoga resort, I was so sad that it was our last night all together. It was so adorable watching the way Avinash responded to everybody. My mom is always trying to teach him different things. She started out with the jeeb game- sticking your tongue out basically, then moved on to making clicking noises with your tongue and the roof of your mouth, making raspberry sounds and now blowing bubbles. Well, Avinash was just so excited to blow bubbles whenever he was with her that he would drool all over himself in his attempts to show her how well he could do it. He was really quite pround of himself. And of course, I have never heard Avi talk so much as when he is with my Dad. He just looks up at him and knows he has found a kindred spirit.
And when we had gotten home from the early that day, I pushed the stroller in the common room with a sleeping Avinash in it and walked into our little bedroom for a minute. When I came back I couldn't find him anywhere. I walked all around the suite trying to remember what I had done with him, then I walked into Anuj's room to find him cuddling up in the bed with football on. "The baby wanted to watch the game with me."
We had bought Anuj these red pajamas as a joke for his birthday a few months prior, and so when I found a similar one for the baby I of course had to buy it. I told my mom to bring Anuj's red pajamas along so they could wearing matching outfits, but didn't think he would go for it. Can you believe that he did! He happily dressed up to match the baby and I even have pictures to prove it. I think that Avinash is probably the reason why Anuj took time out of work to come on the trip, our first family trip in years. Avinash definitely loved hanging out with his Mamaji and would obligingly stick his tongue out whenever he saw him. After so much attention, I hope he doesn't feel lonely when we get back home.

Day 5

Our last day at Disney World, very sad. We thought about just relaxing at the resort in the morning since we had to leave for the airport in the afternoon, but we pretty quickly decided that we had better go to Hollywood Studios one last time. We met up with my friends Jess and Dean, who had just gotten engaged. Originally we had planned on getting breakfast or brunch, but instead made them ride the new Toy Story ride with us 3 times in a row, followed by Rock'n'Roller Coaster (that was just because my mom said that the vibrations of that ride felt like a good neck massage). We had tons of fun, but I think Jess was a little surprised by the number of food breaks that the Kumar family makes. We then rushed to a quick Beauty and the Beast show and that was it.

After a nightmare flight home, involving long lines, flight delays, a last minute gate change leading us to almost miss our flight, no one letting us sit together, no extra seat for the baby, a disgusting layover in New Orleans, and lost luggage, we finally made it home. Sigh. And back to work at 5am the next day. Being back home feels surreal, but I do still have this amazing feeling of happiness with me.
Even though, as everyone keeps telling me, Avinash will probably never remember this trip, we all had some amazing memories with him and I am so blessed that I got to spend so much time with my whole family! Hopefully, he won't be too embarrassed by these pictures when he's older ;)

Friday, January 2, 2009

Disney World!

Day 3
Because we are Disney World maniacs, Ryan and I got up early again, despite having been out past midnight two nights in a row to go to the early Extra Magic Hour at Magic Kingdom again! We even dragged Anuj with us this time (who loved going on Winnie the Pooh and Philarmagic by the way). We ran over to tomorrowland first where everybody was lining up for Space Mountain. I made the boys go to Buzz Lightyear with me instead and we ended up being the very first family on the ride that day. They gave us free 8x10 and 5x7 pictures of all of us on the ride and everything. It was cool to feel special at Disney World which is usually so mobbed and crowded. Unfortunately we had left Avinash with my parents in the morning so he wasn't in those pictures. My parents did bring him a little later dressed in his Santa outfit. My parents were getting stopped by people non-stop who wanted to admire the baby in his cute outfit. We all went to the new Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor which is an interactive comedy show. We had submitted a joke the day before but they didn't pick us. Ok, tell me you don't like this joke -- What does a pea say when he answers the phone? Nothing, he just mutters! Ha! Apparently they didn't get it. Well, today, even though they still didn't pick our joke, they asked the audience if they wanted to see the cutest thing ever and then put Avinash up on the big screen as Santa's Little Helper!! It was so cute, and he was laughing and giggling the whole time they had him up on screen. He loves being the center of attention. It wasn't really much of a joke, but I think the producers just wanted an excuse to put the cutest baby ever up on the screen, and that is saying a lot because Disney World is full of babies. Most of the little girls at Disney World are all wearing princess dresses, but none of the little boys wear costumes there. Seeing him up on the big screen had to be one of the highlights of our whole trip.
We stayed at the Magic Kingdom to see the nighttime Cinderella's castle show, where they to do a little play with all the characters about lighting up the castle for Christmas. I think it is the holiday version of the usual Tinkerbell flight. Watching the whole castle light up with my family was really magical (even if Avinash need a big diaper change in the middle of it- which is why his pants are off in the pictures, ha!). After that we actually went home early for once so that we could make it to Animal Kingdom for Safari in the morning.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day 2

Day 2 - New Year's Day The parks were still totally packed, but we went to Magic Kingdom in the morning for the awesome Extra Magic Hour. Unfortunately this required us to change hotels at like 6 in the morning so we could catch the bus on time. We got to go one at least half a dozen rides in an hour. Still, probably less hectic than a typical day at work. We took turns holding him in our laps on the rides while he looked around in utter astonishment. Seeing his eyes light up at all the new colors and sounds was so amazing, even if he never is going to remember any of it! Today Avi was dressed as a little lady bug, with feet that said LOVE BUG on them, but he was a boy lady bug like the one from "A Bug's Life." We took him to the Bug's Life 3D show inside the Animal Kingdom Tree of Life, though he kind of slept through most of it. He may have been really tired out by all of our running around on New Year's Eve and rides on Spaceship Earth and Magic Kingdom. We took a midday break and met up with Ryan's friend Mike for New Year's day brunch at the Old Key West resort. My parents and little brother got in that afternoon, so we met them at the hotel for dinner. Avinash was so ecstatic to see his grandparents. He just started telling my Dad the laundry list the minute he picked him up. It seemed like he was saying, "Hey Nanaji you will never believe all the stuff I've been seeing here! I have to tell you all about what Mommy and Daddy have been doing to me!" Ryan and I, however, took the opportunity to have a baby-free night. Epcot was having Extra Magic Hours later that night and my parents offered to babysit Avinash while Anuj, Ryan and I went to the park. We did every single ride in the park (except for Test Track!) before heading back at midnight.
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