Saturday, February 23, 2013

What Time Is Grandma Coming?

One of the books I remember most from my childhood is "What Time is Grandma Coming?" by Peter Seymour and Kathy Allert. Who knows why this book sticks out in my mind? Maybe it's because I always really looked forward to when Grandma was coming!

Well, I wish I had a copy here in Delhi to read to the boys because their grandma is coming to Delhi! (Actually, this will be the second grandma visit of the year, as Chad's mom has already made an appearance. Our boys are so lucky to have two loving grandmas!)  I never thought this would happen, but the allure of grandchildren must have overcome any fears of long flights, overcrowded markets or traffic congestion that defies reason.

In any case, only a few short weeks until she arrives!

Love and Peace, 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Research: 12-18 Month Behavior

I often joke with others that we're running our own little twin experiment, and usually leave it to them to figure out which twin is serving as the control group. What would happen if we only let one listen music performed exclusively by Dolly Parton?

Ever feel like things are getting away from you?
In all seriousness, here are some things I've been reading about development and behavior from 12-18 months.

Here is a brief summary of what play looks like at various ages, including 12-18 months.

Here are some behavior management strategies for pre-toddlers.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a quick two-pager about eating habits, behavior management, growth development and vocabulary development for this age.

And, a bit about non-violent communication just for good measure.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Problem Solver & The Freaker Outer

You can tell at a glance when Ezra is planning something. His wheels are always turning and he is looking for something to get into. When something stands in his way it only takes a few seconds for him to manipulate the situation and overcome.

Last night we were all playing in the nursery. The couch sits against the wall and part of the window is behind the couch. Until last night neither of them could get on the couch unassisted. Ezra decided that he wanted to look out the window and quickly realized that he needed a boost. So, he used our makeshift drum (a.k.a. an empty Trader Joe's coffee container) as a stepping stone. He was elated with accomplishment and smiled ear to ear from the top of the couch. King of the mountain!

Ezra has always been a bit more independent, whereas Cedric has always been more aware of the people around him. He's not scared by large crowds or loud noises and will sit through an hour-long concert. He loves being with people.

And Cedric is definitely our freaker outer.

When something stands in between him and what he wants, he spirals into a tantrum, going from zero to sixty in two point five seconds. He has never been very independent, and he will often cry when he is not getting enough attention.

We have observed Cedric playing both with Ezra and alone, and he takes things very personally. A few nights ago he was pushing a toy car around the nursery. Keeping in mind that a car only does a few things--i.e.,  forward, backward, turns on side, and turns upside down--Cedric was getting visibly frustrated at the toy car, but we don't know why. It would appear the car was doing something "wrong" since his reaction was to scream and bite the car in retaliation. We have witnessed said biting on several occasions and nothing is immune. He'll bite coffee table for bumping his head, the door stop for keeping the door pinned open, and the blanket for getting twisted around this legs... all things that need to be told to behave, I assume.

We do our best not to react to these outbursts as to not encourage the behavior, but we are not sure how the nannies are responding when this occurs. When we stopped reacting to Ezra's head banging it went away on its own, but my fear is this will take longer to disappear and will advance to biting people.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Love and Hate

Our contracts were due the day we returned from winter vacation. It was a little harder decision this year, but we signed up for year six in Delhi. The love/hate relationship continues.

Two of the coping mechanisms that we have developed are traveling and buying rugs. Last Friday we attended a rug party and came home with two new rugs.  These two pictures hardly do them justice.

50 years old from Bukhara (now in Uzbekistan)  

90 years old from Maharashtra 

Love (and hate),

Thursday, February 7, 2013

ER: Indian Style

Chad and I have been living in India for close to five years now. It can be expected that over that amount of time we've had our fair share of trips to the hospital for this and that. Personally, I think I've had more than my fair share of doctor visits in India, but that's a different story for a different day.

In this version of our continued saga living in Mother India, Ezra made his first trip to the hospital for anything other than a routine check-up. Let me just say, it was as positive an experience as we could have hoped for, and I'd like to thank the doctors who took care of us yesterday evening.

Here is the play-by-play:

After our family walk, Ezra and Cedric were playing in the nursery while Chad and I started to get dinner ready. After about a minute or two of play, we heard Ezra crying. When we went in and checked on him, we found him with a bloody lower lip. He was sitting right next to the door, which both he and Cedric love to play with. I can only assume that he got a little to close to the corner of the door. The cut doesn't look too bad in the picture, but it was pretty deep.

We called our resident PA who lives a few doors down from us, and she recommended taking him to the hospital. Our employer has a contract with Max Super Specialty Hospital, and our school doctor arranged for a physician to meet us there. We also called our dear friend Mary, who was in the middle of a massage, but stopped everything when she heard her phone ring twice and hurried over to the apartment. Mary agreed to come along with Ez and me while Chad stayed home with brother Cedric.

Driving to the hospital, which is about 8 miles away, takes forever in Delhi traffic. On the way there, the doctor from Max called to check on us and see how Ez was doing. We told him we'd be there in 30 minutes. In reality, it took more like an hour. At the hospital, the emergency room was crowded, but impressively organized and clean. The doctor looked at Ezra (who was in his usually cheery mood), and determined that the plastic surgeon needed to be called.

We waited for about 45 minutes for the plastics doctor, and when he arrived he gave us two options: general anesthetic or local anesthetic. We opted for local. In the end, though, it was determined that due to the location of the cut and the size of Ezra, that no aesthetic would be used at all. Oh my!  This daddy's blood pressure went up a few notches. We held Ez down while the doctor quickly worked at putting in four stitches. Ez screamed louder than I ever cared to hear any child--let alone my own--scream. But, the pain was quickly over, and Ezra recovered his usual mood after a few minutes. By this time, it was about two hours past Ezra's bedtime. We got the bill taken care of, stopped off in the chemist to get some medicine, and headed for home and Ezra nodded off for dreamland.

A few takeaways from our experience for any traveler to New Delhi, or any IPs coming for surrogacy.
1. Max hospital is definitely a number you need to have on hand. They're a good western-style facility.
2. Indian hospitals, including Max, are quite crowded and the idea of personal space is not the same as it is in the West.  (Our only experience in a non-crowded Indian hospital was at BLK hospital, where the boys were born, which seemed to have plenty of room for everyone... does the exception prove the rule?)
3. You have to pay at the time of the procedure. Have your credit card or cash on hand. FYI: four stitches cost about $175.
4. (apologies ahead of time for the generalization) Indian doctors typically have really poor bedside manner.

That's all for now.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Happening Now

Ezra and Douglas are on their way to the hospital to get stitches on Ezra's bottom lip. Mark your calendar for tonight as our first trip to the emergency room!

A huge thanks to Auntie Mary for co-piloting the mission across Delhi to Max Super Specialty Hospital.

Update with pictures tomorrow!