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Guriya’s Baby Showers – Costa Rica & USA

May 21, 2010 Leave a comment

We are very lucky to have been the recipients of the love and generosity of so many of our friends and of course, family. This past weekend (May 16, 2010) I, with help from Beena didi and Ritu, hosted a surprise baby shower for Guriya. This was the USA edition of the celebration to welcome our baby. We had Guriya’s first baby shower in Costa Rica on March 07, 2010. It was hosted by Papaji & Mummyji, and was not a surprise…in fact, Guriya did much of the planning and took care of most of the logistics herself. Pobrecita mi vida.

Baby Shower #1 (Sunday, March 07, 2010)
Guriya was in Costa Rica a few “loooong” weeks before I joined her. I was supposed to be with her on March 04, 2010, but a series of interesting events delayed my trip by a day. I reached Costa Rica on the night of March 05th, and was greeted by an earthquake. I have never experienced an earthquake first hand, and was fortunate to not have felt this one either. I think I was in the baño para caballeros when the tremor occurred.

Guriya had started recognizing Kabir’s movements a few days before I arrived, and I was eager to feel his kicks too. I just had to wait until we were in bed and a few patient minutes later, he obliged me. My hand was on Guriya’s pregnant belly, and I felt a flutter and a little poke. It was such a magical moment. How can you even begin to explain the emotions of feeling your baby’s touch, when it was only a photo and heartbeat until then. Words cannot do justice. The photos and heartbeat are extraordinary too and generate the same feeling when you first see/hear them, but a touch is tangible.

Guriya had planned for the baby shower in great detail. The baby shower invitations were designed by her friend from high school. We had them prepared in both English and Spanish. They were made in two designs – a chewing gum sleeve and a cute box with chocolates inside. Guriya saved enough for Kabir’s keepsake book, and one for each family member.

The venue was Restaurante del Colegio de Medicos (Medical College Restaurant)
The table center pieces were absolutely beautiful…and in great demand. To make sure her gynecologist got one, Guriya was to ask Dr. Gonzalez (Dra. Alfaro’s husband) to listen carefully to the question the compere was the ask next. Guriya had asked the compere to ask “What is the full name of Guriya’s gynecologist (Dra. Alfaro)?” The centerpieces for Kabir’s room are currently with his masis for safe keeping and care.

The food was delicioso and the gifts preciosos. We received plenty of clothes and toys for Kabir. Little Santiago made the gift-opening session even more fun.
[Photos]

Baby Shower #2 (Sunday, May 16, 2010)
Guriya had always hoped for an intimate gathering of close friends at our home as well to celebrate Baby Sharma’s impending arrival aka Baby Shower. I started planning for it as a surprise for Guriya and called Beena didi to invite her. That was the best thing I could have done for this event. From that point on, didi practically did all of the planning and coordination, though she had to plan another baby shower and also attend birthing classes with her friend. I cannot thank her enough for her help. Everybody loved the decoration and the games. Didi, Ritu and Beckah did all of the preparations on the morning of the event, while I took Guriya out to run a few errands.
I planned it such that Papaji and Mummyji could also attend. They arrived the weekend before. The invitations were sent online.

Mummyji cooked Chole. They were expectedly a hit. A number of guests took home additional servings. We had rest of the food (Aloo papri chat and samosas) catered from Kashmir Garden restaurant in northeast Philadelphia.
I ordered custom party favors and an announcement banner from BabyShowerStuff dot com. The favors included scented candle tins with personalized lids. They were made even more beautiful and elegant by Beena didi by adding the boxes and ribbons.
We also received two cakes – one from Kiran (2 tier with pregnant lady figurine on top) and the other from Beena didi (single tier and lined with cupcakes). Ritu’s friend from Pittsburgh also sent a big diaper cake.

The ladies enjoyed playing the usual baby shower games. Most fun was the one where you took another persons ribbon necklace if they spoke any one of the words outlawed for use during the party.

Another party hit was our neighbor’s (Mike & Lisa) son, Ethan. He is a happy child and his face lights-up the moment he sees his mother.

We received some wonderful gifts, and are very thankful for them. Everybody who saw the nursery, loved the ultrasound photos framed on the wall next to the crib.

We had great fun and hope that everybody who attended enjoyed the time too. A number of close friends could not come, and we hope to see them soon.
We are so excited to welcome Kabir in the next few weeks.
[photos]

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Categories: Pregnancy

Sharing the news!

February 16, 2010 Leave a comment

I am not a big fan of surprises.  I like to wait in anticipation, maybe worry about the outcome, sometimes nervously, sometimes excitedly, play all possible outcomes in my mind over and over again, never hear or utter anything negative and stay positively realistic.  Certain life situations like illness of a loved one, however, reveal the inadequacies of the human resolve to be 100% positive.  Prayer is then the last refuge.

Well, that introduction to my dislike of surprises was to share with you the creatively endearing ideas of Guriya for sharing the news of her pregnancy and more recently the gender of our baby.

News of a pregnancy is not a surprise in most cases.  If you do the deed, you have to expect the result.  Of course, we were hoping to go from couple to triple (we really wanted to have twins, but there is only so much a human being has in control), and were waiting for enough days to go by before the dipstick test.  An understandable combination of excited anticipation, curiosity and anxiety had Guriya do the test earlier than we had planned.  I and Papaji-Mummyji were invited for lunch at Arun’s place.  Guriya was invited too, but wasn’t feeling too well, so decided to stay home.  Thinking back, maybe she wanted to stay home to do the test and prepare a surprise for me.  Anyway, we talked a few times while I was at Arun’s, and Guriya mentioned that she was outside taking a walk…needed fresh air.  What she was doing in fact, was taking a walk to the closest store to get a beautiful “pregnancy announcement” card to break the news to me.  [photos]   The gift bag you see in the photos is the bag we have used since our first anniversary to give each other gifts in…sort of like a family heirloom.  The joke is that we will ask the OB doc to hand us the baby after delivery in this bag.  😛

Next, we had to share the news with our families.  Guriya had always wanted to be able to do this in person, not over the phone….too impersonal, and one is left wondering all the fun things being said and the blissful smiles on the faces of the news recipients.  Fortunately, Papaji & Mummyji (India) were already with us, and Papaji & Mummyji (Costa Rica) were going to be with us in a few days too.  The night Papaji & Mummyji arrived from Costa Rica, it was really late by the time we got home, and I tried dropping hints (I asked Guriya to not lift any bags, walk carefully, etc.), but they did not get it…probably, they were too tired.  Finally, when I told that Guriya had stopped drinking coke for the next nine months at least, there were tears, smiles, silent prayers with folded hands, hugs and kisses.  Phone calls followed to announce the news to Ritu, Radha and Sheena.  Joy all around!  God had granted Guriya her wish, and we now realize how fortunate we were to be able to share the news with our parents in person.

Now, we had to wait for 18 weeks before we could find out the gender of Baby Sharma.  In the meantime, the Philadelphia area was experiencing the start of what is now a record-breaking winter.  Guriya was starting to have health issues due to the cold weather.  She was diagnosed with migraine triggered by the cold winter weather.  Not wanting to give-up her job, she persisted for a month, before it got unbearable.  She was hardly getting any sleep due to the constant headaches.  We decided that in the best interest of Baby Sharma, she would apply for leave from work and go to Costa Rica for some time…warmer climes and family.  We however, wanted to find out the gender of Baby Sharma before Guriya left for Costa Rica, so that we could enjoy the news together, not long distance.  Alas, it wasn’t to be.  The ultrasound, on the Thursday before Guriya left, was not revealing.  Disappointed, Guriya talked with her OB-Gyn friends in Costa Rica and scheduled an ultrasound for Tuesday, less than 24 hours after landing in Costa Rica.  We had decided that I would be on the phone with Guriya, when Dra.Alfaro performs the ultrasound and the doctor would announce the gender on the phone, so that both of us would hear the news at the same time.  However, Guriya had something better planned.  Instead of 7pm (I was told that the ultrasound appointment was for 7pm), she had the ultrasound done at 5pm.  Ligia and kids went with her.  I was still working when mi vida called me (before she shared the news with anybody else) and asked me to go check behind the TV stand in our basement.  There lay hidden the bag holding the big news.  Boy!  First thing that came to my dumbfounded brain was – “How did Guriya know we were going to have a boy before she left?” 😛  It turns out, before Guriya left for Costa Rica, she had prepared cute cards and notes and hid them in different spots.   One pink bag (in the walk-in closet) and one blue bag (behind the TV stand).  And, depending on the outcome of the ultrasound, Guriya would direct me to the proper bag.  Such endearing ingenuity! [photos]

As for me, I sent a txt to Subbu to inform him that Baby Sharma has “Something big in between.”  The fun nugget is that when Subbu and Sushma were informed that they were going to have a girl, Subbu out of sheer curiosity asked the doctor, “How do you know it’s a girl?”  The doctor turned-out was a smartass and pointing to the ultrasound TV screen answered “There is nothing in between!”

Categories: Pregnancy

2009 – Flashback

February 11, 2010 Leave a comment

2007 made me a husband.
2008 made us (Guriya and I) understand the real meaning of marriage.
2009 made me a home-owner and a to-be papa.
2010 will make me a papa and Guriya a mummy!
2010 will also make my parents, dada-dadi, Guriya’s parents, nana-nani, Ritu a bhua, Radha & Sheena a masi, Adolfo a tio (he doesn’t like how mausa sounds ;-p)!!
What a wonderful year we have ahead of us!

Back to 2009.
Everything (happiness & sadness) has a reason, and one savors happy moments more if one has been through sad times. My belief is – “Remember the sad times, but don’t dwell on them. Focus on the good & happy.”
So, here goes the list of happy times (in 2009) I am thankful for.

  • Healthy family members & friends.
  • Guriya and I truly becoming one. The year brought a reassuring stability to our relationship.
  • Making our house a home. As the popular ad (at least from a few years ago)…
    Rent an apartment -$875
    Buy a house – $290,000
    Make it a home with family – Priceless

    Doing things around the house with Papaji and Mummyji was a blessing I wish for every son. We did everything from hanging mirrors/paintings on the walls, hardware shopping, gardening, painting the patio, putting together furniture and much more. Guriya and Mummyji organized the kitchen. Hanging the curtains was a family affair with everybody contributing. [photos]

  • Stable jobs for Guriya and I. The economy was in doldrums and a number of our close friends lost their jobs, which made us appreciate our stable jobs even more.
  • Guriya’s pregnancy. Best news of the year.
  • Announcing the pregnancy news to our parents in-person. Guriya had been praying for months to be able to share the pregnancy news with our parents in person, not over the phone. God granted her this wish.
  • Sheena-Adolfo’s wedding. They got engaged a few days after our marriage in April 2007, and finally became a man & wife on April 25, 2009. [photos]
  • Radha starting her pediatrics residency. This smart lady cleared the board exams at the first attempt, right after finishing her internship and will soon become a wonderful pediatrician.
  • Subbu-Sushma. Gargi was born. They also bought a beautiful house.  Gargi just turned one! [photo]

I look forward to another fantastic year full of happiness and love.

Categories: Family, Friends, Pregnancy

It’s a Boy!

January 27, 2010 Leave a comment

Ultrasound at 10 weeks

Guriya and I are blessed and looking forward to welcoming our son in about 19-20 weeks from now.
He will be the first in his generation for both (Sharma & Nandwani) families.

Categories: Pregnancy