Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kaiden talking to daddy

Kaiden and I talk with daddy at least once per day, both on the phone and via skype. Today we chatted with daddy on the phone and Kaiden walked around, played with his toy rickshaw, multi-tasked up a storm. I have no idea where he learned to do that. Enjoy this video - it is adorable. We miss daddy very much. xoxo

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hello from Mysore

It's Sunday evening, 1-22-12 and I'm sitting in the living room of the house with Kelli :) She and Emerson arrived last Monday morning and we have spent the week being mom's in India together! This is an experience I'm grateful to be sharing with Kelli, and the boys get to share with each other. I'm starting with photos of todays adventures to the Mysore Palace, So much fun!

Friday, January 13, 2012

What a day!

A few pictures for your enjoyment. Some of daddy's last day here.

In my mission to fill Kaiden's day to the brim, I've totally exhausted myself :) But I wore Kaiden man out too and he's sleeping so soundly in bed as I type. A feeling of gratification I never could have understood before motherhood - to play so hard with your child so they can sleep very, very deeply.

I recognize now that my posts won't be as frequent because of the little man and all the attention he needs at all times, but they will be quite long because I'll get the chance, once in a few days, to sit down after he's fallen asleep and just let me fingers start talking....

I need to go ahead and admit my grand aspirations of total potty training in India are probably a little too grand. Yesterday was a complete debacle in every sense of the word. Apart from the joy I experienced waking up to my child to find that the rash was gone, and I mean gone - the constant lathering through the night seemed to have worked....and apart from a wonderful and much needed practice, I was a total mess all day long missing Kwang, feeling overwhelmed, being exhausted, feeling sad for Kaiden. After practice I came home and thanked Aliya for watching Kaiden so I could take practice - Aliya said he was great, which made me feel better for leaving my son with someone realitivly new to him, with his daddy no where to be found, so I could selfishly go do yoga!!! I needed my mat so badly, but the entire time I spent on it was consumed with thoughts of my child.

After Aliya left we got ready and headed over to Tina's. It was obvious from the start Kaiden was feeling alot like me - just off and tired and sad. He refused to pee in the potty all day long, and I had no choice but to put him in a pull up to go to Tina's. She really wanted me to check out the school that her father runs here in Gokulam as she knows I have loads of work to do remotely while I'm here and thinks it will be good for Kaiden to be around other children - and I do agree with all of the above...Once we got there we hung out for about half an hour before making our way to the school. It was a delightful place, super clean, colorful, full of life and energy. When first walking in there is a rockin play area filled with sand, toys and a a slide. Kaiden got so excited he jumped right in and forgot he had a mother :) He literally played in there for an hour by himself, in total bliss. While a teacher and Tina kept watch of him another administrator gave me a tour of the school. I was super impressed with everything about the place. Before we left I took Kaiden downstairs to the classroom he would be in if I send him there - he seemed really sad when I put him down next to the other students and left. He came looking for me. But then he found a ball and was ok. I left the room again and he settled himself but kept far away from the other children and the teacher. When i came back in the room a few minutes later he was soooo happy to see me he jumped up and ran to me. We said goodbye and headed upstairs and back home. I thanked Tina for taking the time to take me to the school. I wanted to talk to Kwang and Kelli before making any decisions. It would be from 9:30-1pm Monday-Friday and part of me thinks it would be awesome for him to be with other children his age, be in school in India, have a clean and safe place to play and learn. But part of me doesn't want him to be forced into any structure the short time we are here - he has so much structure at home and I never get to spend loads of time with him back home. Plus, when Kelli arrives she'll be bringing her son Emerson with her and I want to see how that pans out - will she want to send Emerson? Will the boys do great at home together and we can work out a play and work schedule between the two of us and with the help of Maureen when she arrives end of the month? So many questions swirling around in my head, it wanted to burst!

Once we got back home I was sure he'd take a nap after all that play, but, as Kaiden would say, "no way man!" He wanted none of that. Nor did he want to pee pee in the potty. He refused to take part in any potty business today and I was already so emotional and so tired, I just threw in the white flag, and feeling like a complete and total loser, I shamefully put another diaper on my child. As an aside, I am feeling much better about it all today realizing that my son is in a WHOLE new environment, his daddy is gone, I'm alone, and we are in India where things are intense and everything is magnified times ten, I'm not gonna force this - merely keep slowly working to show him its so good and fun to go pee pee in the potty.

We headed back out about an hour later to get a coconut. While we were there we ran into Karen Breneman, the very person who introduced me to Ashtanga Yoga a decade ago at a World gym in Casselberry, Florida :) It was really delightful to see her - and she and her finance were headed to a music performance - so we graciously tagged along. I don't even know where the performance was, somewhere quite far away but we took a rickshaw. Once we arrived and sat down I realized there was no singing involved, which I knew would not go over too well my my little guy - I only went b/c he loves music, but this wasn't his cuppa, and he was starting to get really tired and irritable. I tried for about 20 minutes but then he and I quietly exited the music hall and headed to the road to wave down a rickshaw. As I stood there in the dark street of India with my exhausted child, in an area I didn't know, I found myself feeling uneasy and uncomfortable and wanting to get the hell out of there. God was watching over us though because the rickshaw driver we happened upon was very kind, and when I asked him how much, instead of trying to cheat me or haggle over price he ACTUALLY said, 'meter' - I was like, oh thank you thank you God! He got us back to the house safely. Poor little guy was dunzo, he was asking for night night as soon as we got in - but we had to fight for a few minutes more so he could get bathed. Once clean and dressed he laid down and was out for the count. I very soon followed!!

Today was filled to the brim, and far better for both of us than yesterday! I was up about 4am and Kaiden soon followed me out of the bedroom to start his day too. He played as I cleaned the house, showered, made chai, and got ready for practice. We walked over to the shala and he was so happy....until people started pouring out of the shala. My friend Jake came up to me and asked if I was finishing or just going in - I said going in. He tried to help me b/c it is sooooo busy here right now and people are crazy for their spot and there just aren't any in led classes these days. He tried to take Kaiden but Kaiden didn't want to go - then he was going to take my mat inside right as Aliya exited and saw us. Jake took Kaiden and Aliya was there and Kaiden was screaming - I feel like the whole of Gokulam could hear him. The guys told me to go it was ok and I almost lost it - my poor baby screaming for me not understanding. I knew in my heart he would be ok a minute from now but god that was a hard moment. When I got inside there were NO spots anywhere - not in the hallway, locker room, shala, stage - nothing!!!!!!!!! I tinge of anger swept past me as i thought, this is what I get for handing off my child so I can go practice. I forced a new spot in an already jam packed row asking a girl to please move her mat as I moved other peoples a bit here and there to squeeze in my mat on top of the hump in the rug. A man I ended up practicing next to came out of the men's change room and started to move his mat back over and I said sir I need to put my mat there - he just looked at me in disgust and let it be. Despite the turbulent start, or perhaps partially because of it, I had a really great practice today - my body said thank you to every breath I took, every asana I moved in and out of - a total release of tension, anxiety, frustration, everything. It was just what the doctor ordered.

I nearly ran out of the shala after practice to go to Kaiden, and he and Aliya were right outside the gate of the shala. Kaiden was playing and looked up and saw me and ran to me :) melted my heart - the whole darn thing! Aliya promised me Kaiden was fine a minute after I left, and that they walked alot and played and had coconut. I was so relieved and grateful to Aliya - he is really my savior right now - loads of love to you my friend!!!

Kaiden and I went home and showered and had a bite, and then Kaiden went down for nap - I was relieved he wanted to nap for a bit as i knew he was tired. I called Kwang and spoke to him for a few minutes, then cleaned the house until Kaiden woke up from his nap. Then we called Daddy together and skyed for about twenty minutes and that was just wonderful - I think for all of us.

Then Kaiden and I got ready and made a trek up to Chamundi Hill today - we didn't stay too long, but I really wanted to take him, and he enjoyed it there - we didn't go into the temple today - it would have been too much I think. On our way back home we stopped at a store I love to frequent when I'm here - they have amazing stuff for kids and adults and I picked up a couple toys for Kaiden, one being a wooden pull train that he quite fancies :)

Once we go home I hoped and prayed Kaiden would nap, I wanted to so badly and thought he would b/c his nap this morning was only half an hour. But 'no way man' he wasn't interested. So I let him play while I did some laundry, and then we headed out yet again, this time to the park to play. I tried to get a rickshaw near the coconut stand but the drivers refused to use the meter and told me 30 rupees there. Now understand 30 rupees isn't much but it is double the cost from there to the park and I know that - this isn't my first time in India! I told him 20 he said no 25 and I was really annoyed so I just walked away with my son in arm. Next rickshaw told me the same thing, 30 rupees - I said NO, use your meter - he said some bull about it being a 30 rupee minimum in Gokulam - I looked him in the eye and said I've been to India many times and I'm not stupid - either 20 rupees or you use the meter. End of conversation as he stopped trying to cheat me and took me to the park for 20 rupees, which is still 5 rupees more than it actually cost.

I don't know the name of the park but it is near the Vikram hospital - a lovely park with a play area for children. Oh my goodness Kaiden loved it, loved it, loved it! All the stuff here was really for children much bigger than 20 months old, but Kaiden didn't care - he acted like he was ten trying to climb everything in sight. I was really nervous the whole time and stayed right by his side catching him everytime he climbed too high or on something just too big for him. Out of about ten things there, only one didn't give me mega anxiety - but I knew this was exactly what Kaiden needed, so I just dealt with it, and kept catching him and letting him go again and again and again. He was jumping and laughing and running and climbing and climbing and climbing. He said Daddy numerous times while we were there - it seemed to me like he was thinking to himself how proud daddy would be if only he could see Kaiden being such a big boy playing so hard on the big boy jungle jim's. I really feel like that is what he was thinking - 'I wish daddy could see me - he would be proud of me!' - meanwhile I was thinking, 'I wish daddy were here to play with him on this equipment because mommy is so uncomfortable and waiting for Kaiden to eat it.' - I knew one thing for sure - we were gonna leave with Kaiden crying - either because he hurt himself, or because he didn't want to leave.

After nearly an hour there I made the executive decision for us to go - I could tell Kaiden was getting fatigued, even though he thought he was the energizer bunny. He didn't want to leave of course, but didn't put up much of a fight.

When we got home I made Kaiden some dinner, gave him a bath, and put him in bed...two minutes later Kaiden was in la la land and he's sleeping like a little baby. It's been a really long and exhausting day but one I will hold dear forever.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Goodbye baby!

It’s around 9pm on Wednesday evening and I’m sitting in the dark in my bedroom while Kaiden sleeps deeply amidst the covers. Kwang just left about 30 minutes ago, and I really quite sad he’s gone. These last 10 days literally flew by and I’ve no idea where they have gone. It has been delightful being in India with my husband and my son and it was so helpful to have Kwang by my side as Kaiden made his first trip to my favorite place in the world. The flight here wasn’t horrible, but would have been immensely more challenging had it just been Kaiden and myself. I’ll get to experience that when we make the trek back to America in March, but I was blessed to get to make the trip here with Kaiden and Kwang.

Kwang, baby when you read this blog post, please know how much I love you, appreciate you, miss you, and look forward to seeing you in two months. We have spent great lengths of time apart in the past ten years, but this trip will certainly be the most difficult. I’m so grateful we were able to make some amazing memories as a family here in Mysore, and pray you will get to come with us again next year. I hope you have safe flights home, and are able to get some much needed sleep. I love you baby!

Kwang, Kaiden and I spent our last day together running errands, playing, walking, and just hanging out at the house. It was really lovely, except for the nasty rash Kaiden has developed on his wee bum. We’ve been working hard to potty train him, and he’s doing awesome! But he’s still wearing diapers when we go out places and at night…and today when we were in the city he got so sweaty and I think that is the reason for his very uncomfortable diaper rash. Perhaps a blessing in disguise, for he’s sleeping totally naked right now and will never see the likes of a diaper ever again! I plan to follow the advice of my friend Aliya and try to stay in the house for the next four days following naked Kaiden around until he is totally potty trained. He understands a good bit, just a matter of getting in the habit, and the confusion between diapers at certain times was of no help at all. I’m reminded of my best friend Sasha and her son Xander – he got a pretty bad diaper rash at school some time back and as a result, no more diapers! Sash, we will be thinking of you hourly this week  And while this is a really good thing, poor little Kaiden was so sad earlier. He’s very uncomfortable and really wanted me and Kwang to ‘fix it’ because we can usually fix things; but not this thing. I bathed him, held him, lathered him in cream, and held him some more til he finally fell asleep. He’ll feel loads better tomorrow I know but he’ll have to wake up to daddy being gone. Makes me want to cry thinking how sad he’s gonna be when he can’t find daddy, when daddy doesn’t come back to the house.

I want to send a HUGE thank you to Aliya! He’s been so gracious to offer to watch Kaiden, for the next week, until Kelli and Emerson arrive in Mysore. Aliya will practice in the first batch, then come over so I can go practice. He even came over the other day to play with Kaiden so he was comfortable with Aliya and Kaiden took to him immediately. I spoke with Sharath today to make sure it was ok to come in later for practice for the next week and he told me that was fine. Once Kelli gets here she and Emerson will live with us, and I’ll go in the first batch while she stays with the boys and then we will switch. I look forward to their arrival, I look forward to Kelli’s companionship and I know Kaiden looks forward to Emersons. But for the next few days Kaiden man and I will be here by ourselves, mastering the art of pee peeing in the potty : )

Monday, January 09, 2012

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Mysore Zoo!

Yesterday Kaiden, Kwang and I went to the Mysore Zoo! It was totally awesome :) Little Kaiden was pretty knackered by the time we arrived at the zoo because he's still adjusting to the time change and wanting to party his face off at 1am in the morning. But even though he was tired, he still managed to muster the energy to make the most of our very first zoo going experience. He enjoyed all the animals but was especially fond of the giraffes, gorilla, and elephants.

I went to the Mysore zoo once back in 2007 and it is well worth the trip when in Mysore. They have wonderful conservation programs and education programs so your foreign fee to get in seems to be put to very good use. It's a definite must do when you bring your wee ones with you to Mysore, along with the train museum, Mysore Palace, Regalis pool, and water park (all of which are on my and Kaiden's to do list this year :)

This is a whole new experience for me having my little guy in India...I've made this trip so many times now, but this time feels like the first time in alot of ways. Without a doubt, I highly recommend all parents bring their kids with them to India! It is a magical experience for everyone!

Kaiden, Kwang and I send love and joy your way :) until next time...

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Enjoying Mysore

Our first few days in Mysore have been wonderful, apart from a wicked bout of jet lag, and a wee bit of delhi belly. Kaiden and I both dealing with it, but of course Mr. G.I. of steal, Kwang, is just fine and dandy eating anything his heart desires! He's always been that way though, and whenever he and I travel ANYWHERE I usually get a little off and he's perfectly fine..well except that one time in Thailand but that story is for another day :)

Its crazy how the days are already starting to sort of mesh together like one big moment. Kaiden is so adorable I just can't stand it - he loves coconuts, cows, rickshaws, horns, pigs, traffic...all the little details of India that make her so unique.

No words can truly express my gratitude for this moment in time, I shall truly savor these days for the rest of my life! I selfishly wish so deeply that Kwang could stay longer...he leaves us on Wednesday. I cannot describe how amazing it has been to be in Mysore with Kaiden and Kwang - to be away from the busy busy busy days in America, teaching at the Shala, Ivy Hawn, privates, managing the shala, meetings and phone calls...its been a blessing a curse that I'm without a good internet connection or phone services here, but certainly more a blessing while in India...Kwang, Kaiden and I have spent more quality time as a family these last few days than we ever have. I wish I could bottle this time and keep it forever. I feel lucky and grateful Kaiden and I will have another two months together here - i know it will be very magical, I only wish Kwang could be here too.

The Yoga Shala on Groupon

The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida is being featured on Groupon today. If you have never done yoga, never done Ashtanga Yoga, never tried the Mysore method, or never been to The Yoga Shala in Winter Park (just outside Orlando) - well then there is no better time to try it than right now!

This is an AMAZING deal folks - we are offering this deal through Groupon to encourage you to stop thinking about trying yoga, and actually come in and see why so many people are trading in their gym shoes for a yoga mat! For a mere $29.00 you can experience authentic Ashtanga Yoga for one month at The Yoga Shala to see what this stuff is really all about.

1st year anniversary, October 2010

While normal monthly tuition is a great deal more expensive, a full month studying at the shala under the guidance of our wonderful and highly trained staff will help you decide if your health and wellness, our teachers, our space, and this practice are worth the cost. By the end of one month you will look and feel better, and I'm quite sure you will realize that cutting back a bit on eating out will help you magically generate the additional funds to pay for your new found love - daily practice at The Yoga Shala in Winter Park, Florida.

Owner, Krista Shirley

From our little Yoga Shala family we wish you a wonderful Saturday ahead and hope to see you on the mat soon.