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From my little baby to my little girl…

Where do little girls come from? I don’t mean anatomically. I’m going to have a hard enough time explaining that to my inquisitive little Z when she is older. So, let’s not go there now.

But more figuratively. Where DO little girls come from? Yes, yes, we do have the sugar and spice and all things nice. But I’ve realised there is so much more.

Big puppy-dog eyes, expressive gestures, stinky diapers, dirty bloomers, unkept hair, drooly t-shirts, butterfly kisses, warm hugs, curious minds – this is what transforms a baby into a little girl.

Z has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last month and a half. As this is a blog to document these milestones, I would love to highlight some of them.

  1. Little Ms. Fashionista

Z is now pretty particular of what she wants to wear. Too many ruffles, too big, too itchy and she’ll try taking it off before you can say, “Please baby, just for an hour!”

She hates hairbands and we are lucky if we can sneak in a hairclip without her knowing every now and then! Or else Mama has to take action and make the clip-wearing process a lot more fun!

She’s old enough to appreciate beauty around her and says,” Wowww” every time she sees pretty flowers, a big tree or her aunt trying on a gorgeous dress.

2. Forrest Gump

Z is in a ‘marathon runner’ phase at the moment. She runs and runs and runs. Everywhere. All the time. As I type this, I see her running across the living room to give her grandfather a big hug; and it’s hilarious because her legs are still a bit wobbly and her arms flop around behind her almost like wings.

3. Dancing Queen

Z absolutely loves dancing. And even more so, when there are lots of people around. It’s almost as if she’s performing. We went to a night market a couple of days back and there was some lovely live music playing. While we were busy with eating and drinking, little Z danced and danced and danced the night away, entertaining all those around her.

4. Little Marie Curie

Why say Einstein when you can say Marie Curie, right?

Anyway, I believe Z is incredibly receptive to information and knowledge right now. A cute little sponge, if I may. It’s incredible how quickly she is learning things. From counting 1, 2, 3 to saying A for Apple and B for ball; from making a funny face to saying Hi and Bye to strangers without anyone prompting her; from knowing all the actions and most of the words from her favourite rhymes to knowing there is food in the vicinity just at the crunch of a packet – it’s amazing to see her learn and retain all this. Granny is currently teaching her to say, ‘No nonsense!’ and she repeats with a whisper, ‘No nanas’.

Sometimes, she shocks us with little sentences – ‘Cat there’, ‘Tutti there’ and ‘Mama here’. She has her own little gibberish language and it annoys her when we can’t understand what she is saying, especially when she feels like she is communicating so beautifully! Oh and she calls herself, ‘Vova’ or ‘Joya’ at different times!

5. Little Foodie

In true Menon and Rao style, Z loves her food too. Her favourites are rice, chicken, ‘sheez‘ (cheese), ‘offan‘ (orange), chocolates, ”ship‘ (chips), and those little colourful jeera sweets. I’m pretty sure the word she uses the most is ‘amm‘ which means food. She also pretends to take little chunks out of her arm or couch and puts them in her mouth to tell us she is hungry!

6. Show-woman and clown

Z is definitely a little clown and show-woman – all rolled into one! She lives for the applause and ensures she does things to make you laugh. Even when she’s not trying to be funny, it’s hilarious. For example, when she sees anyone dressed in all black, she starts making monkey sounds! Because she’s seen black gorillas in her books. Can you imagine how embarrassing that can get at the mall or restaurant? She also goes into look nooks and corners to sing little gibberish songs to herself.

7. Ms. Manipulative

Usually, Z gets what she wants. And if she doesn’t, she manipulates people into getting it. She’ll kiss, hug and scream ‘love yous’ just to get her way. And if the person doesn’t give in, she moves on to the next person and repeats the whole process. So most of the time, it’s a win-win for everyone! Having said this, we are also very strict with her and she is very receptive to our ‘No’ and ‘No touching’.

Anyway, that’s all from us for now. It’s so lovely being able to witness these amazing changes to a little person – changes that will eventually make her the awesome person she is!

Thanks for being part of this crazy ride with us.

Love,

Z and Mama

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Creating memories…

I’ve had a lot of people appreciate this blog in the last few months and ask me how and why I decided to start it? The answer is simple. I’m making memories.

Don’t we all strive to create memories? Don’t we all want to look back9 ll and smile (or even frown) at days gone by?

I, for one, enjoy going through old albums of myself and my family. How dapper my cadet dad was (and is) and how beautiful my mom was (and even more today). I love seeing pictures of the grandfather I’ve never met (he looked amazing in his army uniform) and the grandfather who I was so close to (who inculcated the love of knowledge in me). It’s such a pleasure seeing how happy my parents looked when they got married or during their honeymoon, how uber cool my aunts have always been, how adorable my husband was as a baby and of course, how impish I was as a toddler. So why wouldn’t I do the same for my little girl now?

For any young moms (or anyone for that matter) looking to create memories, these are some of the things I did and am continuing to do. I can hopefully show these to Z when she is an annoying teenager getting on my nerves and guilt-trip her into being a bit nicer! 

‘Pre-Z’ Memories

1. The standard pregnancy pictures: 

I, unfortunately, did not do the weekly pictures as I had a tough-ish pregnancy and was hardly ever in the mood to pose. But I did try to take as many as I could of my not-so-little bump.

Month 8

2. The Announcement:

Varun and I wanted to do something fun for the announcement and we loved the idea of a movie poster! What was hilarious is a couple of people actually thought it’s a real movie and asked to be part of it! 😂

3. The scans:

I was lucky enough to be able to see Z every single month! We got lovely 2D and 3D scans from our gynecologist and I used to treasure them. The 3D scans were especially amazing as we could see her smile, hiccup and even react to her name!

4. Apps:

I must admit I was a bit obsessed with apps before Z was born. I mean that’s the only way to keep track of the baby’s development, right? I had apps that could tell me how big her hand was and which animal or vegetable she could be compared to (size-wise)! 😂

Apps I recommend: Ovia, The Bump and BabyCentre

5. Milestones:

We would document every milestone before she was born. We took pictures of her nursery, of when we bought her first bouncer, or when we went to the hospital on D-day!

The nursery

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D-day

6. The WhatsApp group:

We had a lot of family and friends around the world who wanted to know what was happening on the day. As I knew I was scheduled for a C-section, we started a WhatsApp group just to let everyone know she was here!

Post-Z Memories

7. Pictures, pictures and more pictures:

I guess this just goes without saying. I have multiple hard drives filled with pictures and videos of my little Z from day 1. I mean how can you not, right? Even them staring into nothingness for hours is an opportunity to take a video or picture!

8. Private Facebook group:

When Z was just a couple of months old, I decided to start a private FB group, which I update everyday with videos and pictures. I can also go live, share statuses like which new words she says and more importantly, keep my family (who is so far away) updated on what’s happening with her.

9. The Blog:

Well, this one’s pretty self-explanatory, I guess!

10. The Memory Diary:

We have this little red diary, which is dedicated to our walks every day. Z collects any leaves and flowers (she’s not allowed to pluck though) and we come back home and stick them onto the book. She loves looking through these pages later and it’s amazing how she still remembers every bit of the walk.

11. The biggest saviour of them all – The Cloud!

I use Google Photos and OneDrive and I think I might be running out of space. But these are such a blessing for moms like me who are constantly clicking away!

So, these are just some little ways with which I document my Z’s life. I’m sure you all do most of these but I would love to hear if there are any other innovative ways that I’ve missed out on. I’m not sure how many of these I’ll be able to sustain, but I’m making sure I create as many memories with her as possible – on and off camera 💗 😊