Wednesday, December 31, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR

2008 will be remembered in more one few way ... Junior arrived and completed our family. Cantaloupe's language has grown exponentially in both English and Kannada. My sister had her first baby ... mom spent a good part of the year with us.
My grandpa passed away, causing a lot of pain to all of us. I felt especially helpless ....

Hope 2009 will be fun filled and bring joy and satisfaction to one and all.

HAPPY NEW YEAR !!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Winter 2008

So our office is closed down for the Holidays (politically correct way of saying Christmas break). I had been waiting for this opportunity to relax and be home with the kids and not worry about some proposal / deliverables at work.
Turns out, I am not all that lucky ... I need to clear some certification exams to continue to get my pay check. Our company came up with this idea of having all its employees clear atleast 2 certification exams in a year ... failure of which will lead in serious actions. Failure to do so 3 consecutive years may lead to job termination. While I understand the need to be update with the industry standards and technology, I think they need to relax this policy to some extend. I can rant about this for days together, but the bottom line is I have not completed all 6 certificates in 3 years and now I am pressurised to do so before end of 2008. Lazy cow that I am about these things, I have scheduled to give one exam, which means, most of my Christmas break will be spent on preparing for the exams.
Well ... thats my story.
Moving on Cantaloupe ... she gave a spirited Winter program at school ... I loved the way little kids could match tunes and sang wonderfully those lovely Christmas songs. (Rudolf the reindeer, Frosty the snowman, You better watch out and of course Jingle bells and many others) They collect an insane amount of money as fees but ended up giving the kids just ONE CANDY STICK. Cantaloupe remembered our house rule of "No Candy" during weekdays and promptly gave the Candy to me. Of course, she got her candy during the weekend.
We also set up some lighting and Christmas decorations neat the fireplace. We went out shopping for a Christmas tree ... but it was not in our price range and we ended up decorating one of our potted plants. Cantaloupe was thrilled decorating the plant all by herself. We also bought small gifts for our daughters and another one for my nephew.
Cantaloupe got her first assessment card from school and I was thrilled to see all "A"s. She can now read uncomplicated words by herself ... is pretty good at addition and subtraction. Can tell the time pretty well ... and sings to her heart content, enjoys painting and playing pretend games with her toys.
Junior is already 7 months and is the darling of the house. She is at peace with family members which includes dad, mom, sister, grandma, uncle and aunt. Anybody else is a stranger and is not welcome. So it came a surprise when she was calm and happy when UTBT cuddled her. She can sit comfortably and is showing little interest in crawling. BP thinks she may skip that and walk someday. She has mastered the art of drawing attention when her loud "Hey" and loves the lullaby and "Ganesha Stutis". She loves watching her sister and dad play badminton and her favourite toy happens to be "Badminton Birdie". We have been putting off piecering her ears in our laziness ... hopefully she'll have those lovely studs in her ears soon.
Its been rather cold in the bay area. The snow tip mountains we can see from our patio look just lovely.
So thats the news from our household ... HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE !!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My acceptance Speech

I got awarded by Pixie ... it feels so good to be awarded. Thank you girl.



These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to more bloggers who must choose more and include this text into the body of their award.


I'd like pass this award to:
* Kodi's mom
* Noon
* Tharini
* CeeKay
* Boo

Thanks Again Pixie ... I am truly touched and Honored.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Zoom in ... Zoom out ...

Thanks Pixie for tagging me ... it was fun working on it !

Answer the questions below and do a Google image search on your answer,pick a picture from the results on the first page, with minimal explanation


1. The age you will be in your next birthday: 32
I didn't know I was so cute :)  


2. A place you’d like to travel to: Fiji
Are you listening BP ??


3. Your Favorite place: Mysore Ofcourse !!!
I miss you ... I truly miss you !!!!



4. Your favorite food/drink: Masala Dose / Hot Tea
I am drooling at just the thought ...





5. Your Favorite pet: No pets
I have two kids ... pets ?? No thank you !!

6. Your favorite color combination:
Don't you love this color combination?


7. Your favorite piece of clothing: Night Suit
You will find me in the same 75% of the time when home :)



8. Your all time favorite song: Kisi Ki Muskurahaton pe ho nisaar
Lyrics are simple, philosophical and music is just soothing !!


9. Your favorite TV show: Buniyaad
First serial I followed .... precious moments spent with family !



10. Full name of your significant other: No image close to his name :(

11.The town in which you live in: Guess ??

Friday, December 5, 2008

I am learning to let go ....

I was brought up in a house which was spotlessly clean. Guests flowed in any time of the day and were welcomed to a warm lovely house which made them relax instantly. My mother always believed in "Cleanliness is next to Godliness". Dad fully supported this idea. When I was young, I shared the room with my sister and grandparents. Dad always spread the mattresses / beds out and ensured that there was not a single crease after the sheets were set. Our blankets were neatly set. We promptly fell asleep with the ceiling fan running full speed. Dad again folded back everything and neatly arranged them in the cupboard.
My mom never hired a maid because she was never satisfied with the quality of work done by any one of them. My sister and I always asked her to hire some help ... but she wouldn't. Even today, she does everything herself from mopping, washing, sweeping to cooking. Having grown up in a house where cleanliness was top priority, I have felt strongly about it.

On the other hand, BP comes from exactly opposite background. I was surprised when I stayed in my in-laws house for the first time. The maid came in the morning, washed some utensils and left without mopping or sweeping since most folks were still asleep. The dried clothes were left on the terrance and no one had bothered to bring them back and fold them. The washed utensils were left on the dining table and were used directly from that place. No one kept it back in the kitchen ... I observed many other things which were totally different from the way I was brought up. I did not reason with them and tried to do some chores myself ... but then again they wouldn't allow me to do anything since I was the new bride.

When I came to live in the US, I found it extremely difficult during the initial days to manage all chores by myself. It irked me when BP threw a wet towel on the bed or walked into the bed room with shoes on. Later I learnt the reason why cleaning was not priority in BP's place. Until the time BP was 13, they had stayed in joint family of about 25 members, in a 2 bedroom house. They were not financially well off and each adult tried to work and contribute to the family. While the men went out to work, some of the women tried to stitch, grind coffee and earn some money. My MIL along with her MIL (BP's grandma) cooked for everyone. There were about 10 kids of various ages moving in and around the house. No matter how much they tried they could never keep the house clean. And they got adjusted to this way of living. So even when they separated out of the joint family, cleanliness never come to them as it had not become a habit.

Why now all this ramblings about cleanliness ... well, with spending time with kids, office work, cooking etc cleaning seems to have taken a back seat in our house these days. Its not like we are living in a junkyard of a house ... but it is not the same it used to be. I can occasionally see a bag of un-ironed clothes in the cupboard, couple of dishes in the sink, toys in the kids' room and the biggest culprit ... MAILS .... they are on the kitchen counter !!!!!!
It used to be extremely irritating and I'd yell at BP and sometimes at Cantaloupe too .... I wanted a spotlessly clean home and could hardly keep one. No matter how much I tried, either there was not enough time OR I'd be exhausted to do it myself. (BP pitched in ... but then someone was to take care of the kids and he would end up doing that most of the times) Then one day BP reminded me that though our house was not perfect, it was still our home where we needed to RELAX and enjoy as a family. I thought about it for few days and started believing in what he said.
Now, I still try to keep the house clean ... but the occasional wet towel on the bed OR the small truck under the stairs no longer irritate me ... I am learning to let go.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Sparkle in your eyes

When I meet people and the discussion shifts to their hometown, I have noticed that invariably there is that one place which makes them nostalgic. Of course the mention of hometown evokes that special feeling in one's heart ... but there are some places in the hometown which transports oneself to totally different world.
My dad was born in a very small village in Karnataka. He moved out of the village before he entered teens for his studies. But even today when someone mentions about his village, his eyes brighten up and one hint of that temple on the banks of the river and he is just re-living his childhood in his mind.
For one of my good friends it is the college mess ... she lived in a hostel and says that she had her best days in the college mess.
I was born in Mysore, but spent a good 10 years in a small town before moving back to Mysore again. There are various spots in my hometown which I am proud of ... be it Dasara exhibition or Kalidasa road, or my engineering college or the small temple close to my grandma's house ... each of them have special memories associated with them. But one mention of Chamundi hills and my heart skips a beat ... I have had some wonderful memories associated with the chamundi hills like the time, I pleaded my parents to let me trek to the temple with my dance friends, and then having lunch and breakfast on tree tops with the friends, rising early to go trek to the temple with engineering friends and returning back just in time for the 8:30am class, experiencing absolute bliss looking at the city of Mysore late evening from hill top ... locating our home, school, palace from hill top, having a blast with family every time we visited the temple... the list is endless and the details are crystal clear in my mind.

I would love to hear about your special locale in your town... that special spot which holds a special place in your heart.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Hi Milestone ...

Hi people,

Mom has a history of not posting about me regularly. Remember she forgot to announce my arrival
So fearing she would repeat the same about my 6 months update, I decided to do the same.

OK at 6 months ...
* I am a "Roll Over Champion". My family kept checking me regularly if I 'd roll over for the first few months. I decided it was time for them to bite them on that and now I roll over as soon as they put me down. (sometimes much to their frustration)

* I can move around in circles ... I am attempting to crawl ... but the carpet flooring is really not helping me make much progress.

* I can coo so loud, I hear the alarm clock sales in the neighborhood has fallen steeply. I wake up exactly at 5:30am, to help out poor office going souls. Of course I promptly fall asleep around 9:30am (hopefully all those people have gone to office by then)

* I tried communicating to my folks to help me sit up, but they wouldn't get it. Finally dad realised and help me sit. Of course I could sit by myself. Duh !!

* I recognize my family. Mom, dad and of course akka ... my grandma, chikki (aunt), chikkappa (uncle) and my cousin. Any body else is stranger to me and their sight just makes me sad. I scream at the top of my lungs if any stranger attempts talking to me. Hey ... I have heard my parents talk to my sister about running away from strangers. I am smart !!!

* I am at 50 percentile on all 3 counts .. height, weight and head circumference. Doc gave me 4 shots during my 6 month visit. I shrieked for the first 2 shots and was in shock and hardly could react after that. But mommy soon soothed me and I forgot about the shots and was a happy gal for the rest of the day.

* I respond to family with my coos and seek attention when required in my own sweet way as well !

* Once fed on time, I am a happy gal ... if I am not fed on time, I start sucking on my hand. If its night time, I yell as if to bring the roof down ...

I love my family ... I am glad to be part of this mad bunch !

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cinderella has a moral to teach me

I was in a mood to just irritate Cantaloupe ... you know one of those times you want to just have fun with your child.
She was pretending to be a princess and insisted I pick character as well.
Here is our conversation went:
She: Amma I am Cinderella and what shall Junior be?
Me: She is your sister chinni ... you tell me what do you want her to be?
She: Cinderella had jealous step sisters ... (looks at me from the corner of eyes and predicts that jealous step sister is not a good idea) but I don't my sister to be that ... let her be snow white
Me: Hmm ...
She: What about you?
Me: I don't know ... (lets see if she gives me wicked step mother)
She: Fairy Godmother ... that what you are.
Me: Uh ???

Now I want to tease her ...
Me: Putta, Cinderella did not go to school ... she never learnt anything from her teacher / mother ... I don't think she was a good girl.
She: But amma ... she was a very good girl. She played with the mice and squirrels.
Me: Yeah ... all she did was play ... when did she learn ..
She: Of course she did ... she learnt to play and be happy from the mice and squirrel.

WoW ... those simple words did the trick on me ... isn't that what is most important ... to be Happy !!!
My baby sure knows what her priority should be :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

8 years of togetherness

Dear BP,

I still remember the first email you sent me and my response to the same. You had sent it to my then office email id ... my official id has changed atleast 10 times since then and I yet I continue to save the email. Infact I have saved all your emails before marriage, though they were just one liners "I will call you at 10:00" or "Lets talk" or "Miss you" and the like much to my disappointed. I remember the time we talked for hours over the phone ... and then you mentioned you had coughed 1500 dollars on phone calls .... "Why didn't you think of using the damn phone cards??" is what I say now to you ... but back then I was proud of you for not caring about your phone bills and talking to me at leisure. I know it meant a lot to me ... we were getting married without seeing eachother and you had taken it upon yourself to put me to ease. Thank you for that !!
I also remember our honeymoon .... the snow-trek we took, the bison rides, the badminton game, our visit to the local temple, the rappelling and the "Hot and spicy veggie cutlet" we shared in bed ... every detail is still fresh in my mind. This is still one of the best times we spent !!
Remember the night we left India to come to our house in the US ... I was sobbing and in deep pain for leaving behind my parents and sister. You were my strength and handled the situation in the gentlest way possible. We reached our home around 10:00pm and you were super excited that night. We freshened up and made our first trip to the grocery around mid-night ... came back home and I cooked dinner for the first time in my life. (Puliyogare) You loved it (or was it your love that you didn't realise the taste???)
You were a member of the local cricket club and played cricket over the weekends. I came with you to all your weekend cricket matches ... enjoyed cooking occasionally for your cricket team ... we travelled quite a bit and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
And then Cantaloupe arrived ... parenting came naturally to you. We saw Cantaloupe grow and grew ourselves too .... and then Junior came. Now I can see that we are a complete family.
We have completed 8 years of togetherness ... alongside we have learnt and are still learning to accept each other's negatives and positives. I can only say our love has matured with time. I hope our love continues to grow with time ...
Happy Anniversary Honey !!!

Yours lovingly
me

Monday, November 10, 2008

Everyday lessons

Cantaloupe came from school last week and exclaimed, "My friend A said my food is yucky". I was red in anger and wanted to shout at A at the top of my lungs .. how dare she labelled our food yucky?? Sanity prevailed and I instead bent down to meet Cantaloupe's eyes and said, "Never mind what she says or thinks. Be thankful to God that he has given you food and always remember to not waste the food. Food is precious and never say yucky to food."
Cantaloupe continued, tomorrow I will look at A's food and say "Yucky" ... though that would exactly be the way I would do things some 20 years back, I reminded her again that "Food is precious and No food is yucky". But she protested, "She eats meat amma ... that is yucky". I explained to her patiently "Chinni, never say Meat is yucky because it is food for some people. We are vegetarians and we don't eat meat. But there are other people who eat meat and they like their food. So remember to never disrespect food".
Cantaloupe stopped the argument at that point. But I could see it in her voice and expression that she was really hurt with her classmate labeling her food "yucky".
Cantaloupe is getting older by the day and she is bound to meet more people who may or may not share the same principles as we do at home. BP and I try our best to remind her of what is acceptable in our house ... but every now and then there are arguments as to how some of her friends are different. Like, her friend S. Her mom, is OK with her kids watching TV. The kids tell me that they watch TV all afternoon since they are not allowed to sleep. They ask me to switch on the TV when they come to play in our house ... of course I refuse the request and remind them of all the wonderful toys they can play with.
Sometimes I wonder if Cantaloupe thinks we are uncool parents ... rather strict parents. Perhaps she does ... but I hope she will appreciate us some day.

How do you parents tackle questions like "Why can I not eat chocolates / ice cream everyday when S can eat?" or "Why do I have to write my alphabets everyday?" or "Why do I have to clean up after playing by myself?" (I insist that she clean up the toys even when we visit her friends and they end up spreading toys all over the place ... but I have seen very few parents doing the same with kids when they visit us. Obviously Cantaloupe wants to know why she has to clean when other don't do it in our house. And the answer I give is well, if you let your friends go back without cleaning, YOU will have to clean all by yourself... so better get help from friends)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai

Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai sure is a great comedy serial. The plot, dialogues and situations are simple. There were serials like Tu-Tu Main-Main and Ghar Jamai which had similar settings (though not exact) ... but this one with stands apart for its sheer dialogues. Of course, the chosen actors could not have been any better. Satish shah as Indravadan Sarabhai and Ratna Patak Shah as Maya Sarabhai were just awesome. Rosesh (Rajesh Kumar) and Sahil (Sumeet Raghavan) were highly competant.
I don't mind viewing the episodes of Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai repeatedly. One of the nicest serials in recent times.

Which is your favorite comedy serial? Which serial tickles your bones?
Do let me know.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick Or Treat - 2008

Halloween mood has been prevalent in Cantaloupe household from the beginning of October. Now that Cantaloupe is older and can read the Calendar, she understood that month of October meant Halloween. Of course, the school teachers told them stories, sang songs ("Spooky Songs" in her words), taught them crafts... in Halloween theme. So everyday her bag check revealed pumpkins, witches, ghosts art works. So to keep up with her spirits, we promised her a "Pumpkin Patch picnic" if she behaved for one entire week without throwing any major fuss over anything. And she did ... so we went to the pumpkin patch and bought couple of pumpkins. The rides there seem to scare her (for no reason, if you ask me) ... so we wasted some money in buying coupons for the ride only to be let down by her.
Anyways, my mom and I patiently carved the pumpkins and I must say the Jack-o-Lanterns turned out quite well. (the neighbors complimented our art work ... thank you, thank you) One of them was a simple triangular eyed Jack and the other was a little more skillful "Skull". We lit and placed the Jack-O-Lanterns along with our Diwali candles in our patio. Some of Cantaloupes' art work from school was also used to decorate the door bell, door knob and the like for some "Halloween" feel.

And since I believe in "Do it Yourself" concept, I decided to make the Halloween costume for Cantaloupe as well. Carved out the wings, attached lace and elastic to form wings. Bought feathers from the local crafts store and stitched it on the wings. Also stitched the feathers on one of Cantaloupe's cap ... made a beak and stuck it on the cap. Cut out two black circles and glued it on the cap for eyes. With all this and some feather to go on the body, Cantaloupe was all set to be transformed into a bird for Halloween. She was super excited from the time everything came together. Atleast once a day she put on her costume just to feel good about it.
So the day of Halloween arrived. Her class parade was to start at 10:45am .... BP and I both wanted to go and cheer her. BP has been busy at work for almost 2 weeks now ... but for him to take time off and come for the Parade was a very sweet gesture !!! Anyways we got to the school around 10:40am .. Cantaloupe put the costume in a jiffy (all her practice had made her a pro now :) and rushed to her class. All her other classmates were ready for the parade. She was on time for the parade. The class merrily walked around the school campus before they arrived at the auditorium. 3 other classes gathered there as well. The kids put on a musical program. It was a cute program :) Cantaloupe sang all the songs and kept looking at me and BP every now and then just to be cheered by me :)

It was very cold in the evening and Junior had to be taken care (bad cold) and BP was busy with some office work ... so we decided not to go out for trick or treating. But she had fun interacting with other kids who came home.
Cantaloupe loved her costume so much she declared she'd wear the same next year as well ... that will save me some effort ... but we'll see how that goes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Nostalgia - Deepavali that used to be ....

Deepavali or Diwali has always been a very special festival for me. For one, it spans for 3 days which meant No school / college for 3 days. (and if it were thursday through saturday ... even better) It also falls soon after Dasara ... so we are still in the festive spirit.

The festival of lights brings back a lot of memories .... the earliest memory runs when I was about 7-8 yrs old. We had this custom in our family (maternal side) where the entire family (3 uncles and 2 aunts, their spouses and kids and of course our grand parents) would gather in one house to celebrate the festival. So if it was Ugadi in uncle S place, it would Ganesha festival at my grand parents' house, Sankrathi is aunt Sh's place. So it was Diwali in our house that year. We were living in officer's quarters. It was a small 2 bedroom house with a huge yard. The yard itself could house 4-5 more houses. We had lovely Bougainvillea tree just beside the front gate with lovely flowers year round. The front yard had mostly several rows of flowers while in the backyard we had cotton, pomogranate, gooseberries, papaya, lemon, seetaphal. The sides had some more flowering plants and also guava trees. Now when I struggle to grow plants in a small patio, I wonder how my parents managed all these plants / trees. I don't ever remember them complaining about taking care of so many plants. My dad loved getting his hands dirty in the mud and making "Pathi" or small mud bridges to hold the water. My paternal grandma also loved taking care of plants. She specially loved the "Sampige" and "Tulsi" plants. Anyways ... I digress.

Coming back to Diwali.... that particular year, all my cousins (around 7) of them from age 10 to 1 arrived on the "Neeru Tumbo Habba" or the night before "Naraka Chaturdashi". This day is particularly important for us, since on this day, the entire house is cleaned (especially the boiler or "Hande" used for bathing) All kids were made to sit on the "MaNe" (small wodden seating) and my grandma massaged us with warm castor oil after doing the mandatory "Ahalya Draupadi Seeta". (this is process where grandma applied dots of castor oil on hand and massaged it before proceeding to the head and other body parts) After running around oiled for atleast 30 mins, our moms would start bathing us. There used to be some competition among the kids as to who gets to take bath first. Obviously the younger ones got bathed first and the older ones later. Once all the kids were bathed, the elders also took oil bath. It took about 4-5 hrs for the entire family to just get that elaborate bathing. Now began the fun part of us the kids ... the crackers :))

The thing about celebrating with the entire family also ensured that, we had large packets of crackers. Each family brought some crackers. We would mix all of them. And then, we divided the crackers for all the nights of Diwali and saved some for the "Utvana Dwadashi" or "Tulsi habba" which would fall some 15 days later.

Coming back to the first night of Diwali, we would place all the crackers in a huge tray and start burning them one after the other. The entire family witnessed this ... with one or two of the men taking charge of the kids. I am sure there would have been some small fights among the kids while dividing the crackers ... but nothing comes to my mind right now. So I can safely say the elders did a great job of ensuring all of the kids remained happy and satisfied. It was just not the kids alone, the ladies and men alike took part in burning the crackers. The night invariably ended with the burning of 1000 or 10000 "Sara Pataki".
This was then followed by an elaborate dinner. Still wonder, how the ladies managed to bathe the kids, take part in the cracker event and yet manage n elaborate hot dinner. After dinner, we would all go for a walk, catching glimpses to flower pots or chakras being lit in the neighborhood. We would mentally make note of all the papers lying in the yard of all the houses and feel happy if the "Kasa" or the papers from the crackers in our house was the most. In our minds, more the kasa, more crackers we had burnt. Once back home, daddy would spread the beds, mats etc and arrange for our night's siesta. We lived in a small 2 bedroom house back then ... still about 20 of us managed to sleep without any fuss. Of course we just lied on our beds ... we talked endlessly before falling sleep sometime in the middle of the night.

The next morning of Naraka Chaturdashi began with daddy and few others cleaning up the yard. After a scrumptious breakfast, we again would begin to burn the crackers allocated for that day. Afternoon would be spent either going for a movie or just playing some board games. The elders chatted endlessly or just rested. Come evening ... and we kids hopped around the yard with delight burning some more crackers.

The next morning, we burnt less crackers than usual. Evening saw the ladies perform "Lakshmi Pooja". They also lit the house with diyas. We kids ensured that our "Golka" or piggybank was kept for the pooja. Afterall, Goddess Lakshmi had to be kind to us to fill our piggybanks.

The last day of Diwali or "Bali Padyami" saw us spending time recollecting the past 2-3 days spent together. It also saw the aunts and uncles packing their suitcases. Mom decorated the doors with pyramids made of cow dung which our milkman used to bring. This was decorated with "Chand hoova". (I forget now what it was called). In the evening, daddy performed "Balindra Pooja". After the pooja, all the girls in the family performed "Vaara Doori" which required us to spill milk from a conch all over the house and sprinkle flower petals. This act was done to ensure the "Tavaru Mane" or the girl's house remained ever flourishing. We also lit few sparklers indoors near the place where pooja was performed. After this we of course burnt a lot of crackers. Most of my uncles and aunt left to their places on this evening itself ... some left the next day.

The next day was "Sodara Bidige" ... similar tradition as "Raksha bandhan" performed in other parts of India. My uncles gifted my mom and mom gifted them back as well. Daddy was usually not there for this festival, since he would go to his sister's place for the same :)

Other memories of Deepavali in our family:
* We always bought new clothes. The new clothes were worn either on Naraka Chaturdhasi or Bali Paadyami. If we got lucky we bought 2 sets of clothes.
* Most of the families bought the crackers through "Cheeti system". This system meant paying money in installments and getting the crackers at the end of it along with a nice "Silver" or "Gold" item as a gift)
* One of the nights of Diwali included "Kola Katte" on the menu. Usually it would be the night of "Neeru Tumbo Habba".


This year, we did celebrate Deepavali in the Cantaloupe house hold. We lit candles around the house. (we also carved few pumpkins, with Halloween just 2 days away) I performed the Lakshmi pooja while Cantloupe ensured her piggybank was kept for the pooja. We burnt few sparklers and flower pots. (much to Cantaloupe's protests ... she hated it) But, the charm was not the same. I missed the elaborate food, missed the endless gossip sessions, missed the long walks, missed variety of crackers .... above all I missed every single member of my family. Now everyone is spread all over the globe and I am not sure we all will ever be able to celebrate the festival together again.

On a brighter note ... My sister had a baby boy this Deepavali ... so it feels wonderful to become a "Doddamma". This sister of mine lives just few miles from our house ... hopefully my daughter and this little fella will make their own special memories of Deepavali in the years to come !!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Questions from Cantaloupe

The one thing Cantaloupe always keeps asking about these days is when someone will go to Maami (meaning death). This habit has perhaps increased since the death of my grandpa.
So every now and then, she comes to me and says.
I can drive when I am 16, right amma? Junior will be 12 ... But will you be around when I am sixteen or you will be with Maami?
I will start working when I am 25 right amma. Junior will be 21. I want to buy you the best Merc. But will you be around then?

You get the picture ... she not only asks me, but also her dad and her grandma!!

***************

Cantaloupe (C): Junior is my baby ..
Me: (jokingly): No, she is my baby just like you. Junior is YOUR sister, just like chikki is mine.
C: When I am 25, I will have MY baby ... right?
Me: mmm ... yeah .. may be
C: But who is my baby's daddy ?
Me: (after hopelessly searching for an answer): You will know when it is time. Maami will help you find that person.

Am I clever or what???

Bang

Last evening conversation with Cantaloupe

C: Amma, lets play a new game today
Me: What do you want to play?
C: I don't know ... you tell me
Me: Why don't you comb my hair?
C: Hmm ... lets play hair cut game
Me: Ok

She rushes to the bathroom to grab some accessories ... combs and hair clips
(Cantaloupe and I recently had been to the salon for a short hair cut)

Cantaloupe arranges her things and wets her hand and rubs it on my head.
Me: No more water dear.
C (serious tone): Which cut?
Me: Layered cut please
C: No bang?
Me: uh????? (where did she learn the word Bang from????)
C: No bang?
Me: No

She goes ahead with her business.
Meanwhile I am still thinking, does she even know what bang mean ? I am woken from my reverie by a rough rub on my head ... and I scream.
C: Oh ! Sorry ... you said No bang.
Me: Hey ... where did you learn this word Bang from ??
C: Oh!! At the salon ... you said No bang there .... right??
Me: Yes I did ... what does bang mean?
C: mmmm It means being rough ... "Banging" ... right??

What do I say ... it does mean that ... doesn't it???

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Creative Thinking

This morning I was bathing Cantaloupe. Here is how our conversation went:

She: Amma, I dreamt about ajja.
Me: Really ?? What was he doing?
She: We were in our old apartment. He had bought Wipes to give it to Junior. He pleaded on using the wipes he had bought. I agreed. After cleaning Junior, ajja played with us.
Me: (Of all things you dream about Wipes ???): So did you guys have fun playing? (Ignoring the wipes part)
She: Of course we did... He is my BEST ajja
Me: Where was I?
She: You were home ... you were in the living room. Ajja's are always fun ... right amma?
Me: Yes dear
She: (suddenly remembering that my ajja had recently passed away): Do you miss your ajja? I really miss muttajja.
Me: (well she has spoken to my grandpa several times and met him only once. Does she truly miss him???): I miss him honey
She: Where is he now?
Me (not knowing how to tackle this question): He is with Maami (God)
She: Why?
Me: Maami wanted to talk to him.... he was old and so maami decided to .. (still searching for words)
She: Can muttajja walk in Maami's place?
Me: Uh??? Its difficult ...
She: We can send him a wheelchair if required ... right amma??
Me: (spellbpund)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Driving is driving me crazy ...



Just noting driving tips for my reference to read almost everyday

1. The fellow driver who cuts ahead of you from the right turn lane he was supposed to make to your left turn lane in the last minute is just to be thanked. He is just checking you car brakes.

2. You must be indebted to the lady ahead of you who drives so slow in city limits that you miss the signal and now have to spend an additional 5 minutes waiting for the signal. She is putting on make up and in turn is reminding you to check yourself ... just so you arrive "Fashionably" late to your meeting.

3. The driver driving at 45 mph on the freeway in the left most lane is just trying to save your fuel. Remember driving at 55 mph in a 65 mph freeway saves fuel (Chevron Tekron tip) The driver is smart in mathematics and wants to save more fuel and is driving at 45 mph

4. The driver honking at you at the junction where you have stopped to allow for pedestrians is just checking his honk. May be you can use this knowledge and honk at the pedestrian and scare him. He dare not cross the road when YOU are driving.

5. At the STOP sign, you just need to pull your feet off the accelerator for a second. Did you seriously think the STOP sign meant a feet on the brakes ?? Hell no ... brakes are to be used for point 1.

I must READ and then RE-READ these tips everyday to make driving a pleasurable time !!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Cool dates

Reva pointed out that as of yesterday,

Cantaloupe was 4 years 2 months and 3 weeks
Junior was 4 months 2 weeks and 3 days

How cool is that !!

Thanks for pointing out Reva !

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I did it ... I did it ....

I bathed Junior for the first time !!!
Now before you conclude anything, let me explain the bathing process in our house.

We give a detailed bath to the little ones complete with Warm oil massage, lying the little one on your legs and pouring water on her. This usually requires 2 people involvement: one to pour water and one to put the baby on your legs, massage, apply soap etc. Its called "Yenne Neeru" in Kannada.
I had always done the massaging and water pouring part while my mom put the baby on her legs and soaped her. This arrangement was mostly because I couldn't bend easily after my C-sec for sometime and we couldn't wait till the time I was ready to bathe her. Since amma left, BP had taken to that part. But the bath tub seemed too small for him and he found it really difficult to sit. So I braved to do it yesterday. And surprise .... it came quite naturally to me !!! I didn't find it all that difficult at all !! I had always hesitated putting the baby between my legs ... but it wasn't that bad at all !! And yes, my experience with Cantaloupe helped me !

Friday, October 3, 2008

Changes this fall...

Many changes have happened in the Cantaloupe household for the past month. Just listing a few:
* Moi, me ... started work again. I started work on Sep 15th. Amma was still staying with us when I started going to office. After woeful commutes for the past 8 years, my office is about a mile from home. And that was the primary reason behind taking up work this month. I knew I wanted to get back to work sometime before the end of the year, but when was the question. When this opportunity came up, I didn't look further and started work. Junior is under her grandma's (my mother) care for now.
* My mother moved to my sister's place. She has been staying there for the past 10 days. My sister's baby is due this month and mom is there to help out. She has offered to take care of Junior as long as she is in the US ... but I am not very sure I can leave Junior with her after my sister's baby arrives. I think it will be too much to ask for, but amma seems to think otherwise. My cousin runs a day care very close to our house. Cantaloupe went there, she had fun. I am sure Junior will be just fine there as well. But the said cousin is on a break and will resume her day care services from Jan 09. Till such time we need to make alternate arrangements.
* BP and I have changed our work routines. We both are up before the quake of dawn .. up by 5:30am. He leaves to work by 6:30am. Before he leaves, I am ready with breakfast, lunch, ready for my office. The kids are up by 6:30am. I spend some time with the kids and drop them off at school and sister's place. I am in office around 9:00am. Thankfully school, sister's place and office are all at 10 mins driving distance. BP picks Junior and Cantaloupe by 5:00pm. I am back from office by 5:30pm. We get to spend some quality time in the evening.
* We moved Junior's bed into Cantaloupe's room, bought a baby monitor, reminded Cantaloupe of how much fun she is going to have with Junior (??? I don't think she bought this idea) ... but the arrangement is not going as smooth. Junior needs to be fed atleast twice in the night. I have to go to their room and nurse her there or bring Junior to our room and nurse her. This wakes up Cantaloupe and she is not too happy about it. Besides, Cantaloupe wakes up sometimes in the night and she needs to be comforted. Cantaloupe has never slept alone and if we moved Junior to our room and she is asked to sleep by herself, it is going to affect her badly. She is a very very sensitive child. We are not sure what we should be doing.
* My dearest Grandpa passed away this month ... I was very very upset and so was amma. It has been very stressful ....

Lots of changes happened this month ... and all of them happened around the same time. We are still getting used to it ... and slowly !!!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Girl Bonding

Is there an age when kids start realizing how much they are emotional attached to something / someone? Well, no kidding, perhaps even I have not known my attachment until I missed it.
Anyway, 2 nights back Junior slept early ... around 7:30pm. (Generally she is put to bed around 9:00pm). She had got 4 shots on monday during her 4 months visit to the Pediatrician. Her body was warm and perhaps aching from the shots, so she slept early. She had been feed around 7:00pm. So around 10:30pm motherly instincts kicked in and I remembered that it had been over 3 hours and Junior needed to be fed. So I was about to pick my baby from her bed ... when BP came up and said, he would change her diapers before her feed, so she could promptly fall asleep after the feed. He gently tried to pick her... when Junior started crying. She started crying so loud that for a sec, I got quite scared that she might choke. Cantaloupe ran down the stairs from her room, looked at Junior and started crying as well. When I asked her why she was crying, she said, I just can't see my sister crying. Why do you guys make her cry ... please don't do anything to my sister.
I was quite shocked (because she wakes the poor baby every now and then and its all fine ... but now she supports the little one) and pleased. Pleased because well, I know my daughters love each other !!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Changes in Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe has changed leaps and bounds in the past month and a half. The sibling rivalry / jealousy has taken new heights. When Junior was born, I thought she was the most excited of us all. She had all the while wanted a sister and God had granted her wish. She was so proud to be called a big girl at that time and behaved like one as well. A lot of my friends and family were really surprised to see how Cantaloupe had accepted Junior as part of her family. How deeply she loved and cared about her.
Infact, during our first few doctor visits, our Pediatricians talked to the big sister and thought we had we prepared her before the little arrived. Little did I know that those good / calm / peaceful days would be replaced by the current days.
I gave a lot of thought before discontinuing Cantaloupe from Summer school this year. Will she be able to get adjusted to school once she starts again? Will she miss her friends? Will we be able to keep her busy throughout the day? Will she get adjusted to my mom staying with us? I told myself that this would perhaps be the special time she will get to bond with her sister and grandma. Though it was going to be difficult to keep pace with her energy, we decided to keep her home. (BP was not very pleased with this idea)
She did bond with my mom during these days ... she did develop a strong feeling towards her sister and I do want to believe that overall she had a good summer break as well. (though she missed her friend A sometimes)
Cantaloupe started school without a fuss. But gradually it is turning out to be a big challenge to send her off to school. She makes a big fuss about brushing in the morning. It is sad ... but almost takes 30 - 45mins of negotiation before she brushes her teeth. An equal amount of time is taken to bathe her. Initially we did not want to believe it was due to sibling rivalry ... but now she is quite vocal about it. Why doesn't Junior have to brush her teeth everyday ... she asks. When we point out that Junior doesn't have any teeth ... she doesn't want any of hers either.
If we talk to her about good girls going to school and having fun there. ... she says I don't want to go to school ... I'll become a doctor if I go there. (note, no one ever asked her to become a doctor ... she was the one who got this idea of becoming a doctor, perhaps hearing us talk to my cousins who are studying to become doctors)
She is becoming stubburn by the day. With her testing my patience on trivial matters, I am losing my patience as well. I end up yelling her at times which makes her worse. I know I have to control my emotions ... but there is only so much I can take. Like the other day, she bit Junior's fingers. Poor little baby was peacefully sleeping in her bed when this happened. When I asked her why she bit her .... she said, she is not listening to me. She is not playing with me. Just 2 months, Cantaloupe always kept saying that babies don't start playing until they are a year old. What happened to her all of a sudden ? I look at her in disbelief !!
Few days back ... she had potty accident as well .... she hasn't had an accident for almost a year or so now .... what happened to her all of a sudden? The worst part is she is not sorry about it either. Perhaps in her mind, if Junior can do it, so can she. Thankfully she has not repeated this act again.
Its not that we don't spend time with her. Either me or amma or BP are with her all the time ... save for her TV time (about 1 hr a day) Its so hard to believe that my once friendly loving daughter is becoming so hard to deal with.
Everyone has been saying Time will change things ... I just hope she changes back to her loving self soon. Its heart wrenching to see her do petty things just to grab attention and get lectured (sometimes shouted) about it. There is no doubt she loves her sister and family ... and she knows we love her as much as well. I hope she becomes her oldself soon.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My daughters are related to Draupadi ...

atleast in their names.
Recently we met my friends' mom who complimented our choice of names for our daughter. She was pleased we had done so much of research in naming our daughters. We were pleasantly surprised when she mentioned that Cantaloupe (of course her actual name) was Draupadi's mother's name and Junior was Draupadi's mother-in-law's name !!
We had learnt about Junior ... but were surprised to learn about Cantaloupe. Enlightening fact indeed !
We thought we had modern day (lack of better word) names for our daughters. Turns out there are ladies already our epics with these names :)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Pre-K - here I come

Cantaloupe started school on Aug 25th. She was going to the same school last year as well. But then when we discontinued her summer classes so she could bond with Junior. So after a break of almost 3.5 months she started school again. Having thoroughly lazed around the house, chatting endlessly with grandma, pulling Junior infinite number of times, going to school was no small feat ... or so we thought. She surprised us by showing lot of enthusiasm and interest from the very first day. Actually on the 22nd, there was an Orientation session, after which she got to meet her class teacher. She came back very happy to have been allocated to a known teacher's class.
The first week of school was uneventful. She went only for 4 days though. We had a nice vacation in Disney Land / Sea World for 4 days. This was a planned vacation .. planned almost 6 months in advance. Our first vacation as a family of four. Wish it was not as hot ... but hey, rain or sun, Disney Land is always fun !!
There is so much going on here in our house hold ... me getting back to work, festive season (Gokulashtami, Gowri/ Ganesha Chaturthi, sister's baby shower planning) keeping this post real short

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

O-N-E is 1

So spells Cantaloupe upto T-E-N 10
and then it is O-N-E O-N-E for 11 !!!

Out of the box thinking ... what say?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Eventful July so far ..

Cantaloupe turned 4 yrs this month. The day she was born is still fresh in my mind. My water broke thursday night and we rushed to the hospital at 3:00am. I saw BP tensed for the first time in my life that night. I was cool as I could be possibly be in such situations ... mom, sister were tensed. BIL tried to keep them cool with some jokes. I was wheeled to the OT around 9:20am friday morning. I knew I was going to have C-section since she was breech. Cantaloupe was born 9:42am. For the time, BP and I became parents. And I cannot believe she is already 4 years...

Parenting has been such a learning experience for us ... thanks to Cantaloupe. I have learnt to get back to sleep within minutes to attending her in the middle of night (initially it was for nursing / diaper changes, then it was to give her bottle / blanket, soon it was for soothing her as she woke from a bad dream, then sometimes it was for bathroom visits) . I have also learnt to eat less spicy food (some credit to BP as well). I am not very fussy about eating cold meals any more and I have started practising music so she starts to appreciate Classical music. Mom recently gifted her a Shruti Pettige which has really motivated me to practise classical music for an hour everyday. I have not forced Cantaloupe to sing with me ... but she sometimes sits besides me and tries to sing "Sarale Varase" and sometimes puts the "Taala" as I sing. I have noticed that she has a special liking to "Vara Veena" in Raaga "Mohana".

This year we did not have a huge party for Cantaloupe's birthday. It was a simple kid's party. We had invited about 6 kids in the neighborhood. Cantaloupe had been waiting for her birthday for atleast a month now. She wore her new Khaki Skirt / Pink tank top and looked really cute. Her friends arrived soon and the roofs started flying. We had ordered a Mango Moose for her. It is the best Moose I have tasted to date. Cantaloupe and I had prepared Fruit Bingo Cards the previous day. All the kids loved playing it. They all played by themselves for about an hour in Cantaloupes' room, snacking on items arranged for them on the table. The parents were there to pick up the kids around 8:00pm. Cantaloupe was very pleased with the way her birthday was celebrated.

We bought her a pair of skates and a tennis racquet for her birthday. She absolutely loves her skates. She has been religiously practising skating for the past week or so with BP. Last evening I saw her skate by herself a short distance. Way to go little girl !!! She also seem to have developed some liking towards tennis. It could be because she saw one of her friends' play tennis the other day. Her friends' brother takes tennis lessons and the said friend was playing with her brother. Cantaloupe wants to learn tennis to play with her friend and her brother. Got to wait and watch if she sustains the same interest.

Cantaloupe can now swim for a couple of minutes without any wings. To put it in BP's words ..."She will not drown for a few minutes when in water".

She has gelled so well with my mom...sometimes, they forget my exsistance in house when they are busy with their activities. My mom has narrated over 100 stories to Cantaloupe since arrival here. Mom and grand daughter have a strict routine of atleast 2 bedtime stories and lullaby everynight.
Before going to bed Cantaloupe and I lie down on our bed and discuss the day's events. I let her speak for most part of the time. We first discuss the positive points of the day and then move on to negative points. Its a very special time we both enjoy. I hope we can use this time to discuss many more important aspects as she grows.

Cantaloupe can now write alphabets both capital and small letters, count upto 100, and spell numbers upto 10. Her phonics skills is pretty good and she can read most (of course uncomplicated) 3/4 letter words.

She loves her sister and every morning both girls lie on our bed for sometime. Its a precious sight I love to see :)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Junior is now 2 months old. She has gained weight reasonably and has grown tall by an inch and half in the past month. She can now recognise family members and always smiles when she sights us.
She can also read our moods.... when we try to make a sad face and talk to her,she starts twisting her lips and cries.... but when we just talk or smile at her, she makes our day with our toothless smile. She can push herself backwards when she wiggles her feet in excitement.
She always has her fingers in her mouth and lately that has caused her to throw up quite a lot. I have tried socks/mittens ,wrapping her blanket around her.... but nothing has helped :(
She got 4 shots last weekend and was down for 2 days... now she is back to her normal cheerful self.
Both girls are growing so fast .... I am just enjoying my time off from work with them. I know I will start work soon, so I am just trying to soak every moment with them.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Junior turns 1 month

A landmark is successfully crossed ... Junior turned 1 month few days back. This month just flew by ...

* She has successfully survived Cantaloupes' roughness. Cantaloupe has lifted her head with a single hand couple of times, managed to stick Junior's legs in the crib's railings, woken Junior over a dozen times a day with her loud voice.


* Junior now smiles by herself ... sometimes responds with a huge smile to us as well.

* She has gotten into a pattern ... feeds every 2 hrs during the day and 3-4 hrs once in the night.

* She seems to enjoy her oil massages and bath.

* She has been following objects /us 360 degree from day 8. Its one game we all play with her. We just circle around her to see her eyes follow us :)

* She listens to the tanpura(shruthi pettige) for a couple of mins.

* She is an early bird... is up by 4:30-5:00am ...coos and smiles until 6:30am and promptly goes back to sleep after a feed around 6:30am.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tidbits

Scene 1:

Cantaloupe comes to mommy few days (read 10 days) after Junior is born and inquisitely asks
C (cantaloupe) : Mommy was Junior the baby in your tummy?
CA: Yes Honey ... isn't she lovely?
C: But why is your tummy still big? Do you have any more babies in there ??
CA: (gasping) No dear ... no more babies
(CA to self) : Is she scared of another baby hogging the lime light ???
Alas! I cannot postpone the exercises to get back to shape ...

____________________________________________________

Scene 2:
C (Looking very thoughtfully at me nursing Junior): Mommy ... why is she kissing your chest?
CA: She is not kissing dear ... I am feeding her.
C (looking ever closer) : So thats the straw she uses to get her milk ??
CA: (wishing I could hide someplace to avoid further questions) Why don't we color your sketch book dear??

Monday, June 2, 2008

New Life style

BP started going to office from today. He had taken a break for 2 weeks after Junior was born. We had already stopped school for Cantaloupe early May. While BP and I are debating still over sending Cantaloupe back to school, we both agree that it is perhaps her only chance to stay home and the best time to bond with Junior. (she starts kindergarden next year)

The last 2 weeks have been quite eventful with lots of changes in our life style. But to have BP around made it all easier. Now with BP starting work, I was quite nervous this morning. Cantaloupe has been super excited since the arrival of Junior. But she is yet to realise how gentle she needs to be with Junior. We have already faced a couple of shocks ... like the time she escaped our glance and went to lift Junior from her bed all by herself, and the time she wanted to remove the blanket wrapped around Junior. So me, BP and mom make sure we are around when Cantaloupe is with Junior. (Sorry honey ... you still have to gain our confidence before we leave your little sister at your mercy)

BP left as usual around 8:30am to work. Breakfast and bath time went smoothly ... thanks to my mom. Around noon, mom and I were chatting when Cantaloupe came up with her hands / legs /clothes all coloured and said innocently "Mom, come I will show you my handwriting" . She had painted her hand and imprints of the same on a book (handwriting in her sense for you!!) She had managed to paint her entire dress, requiring mom to give her a second bath.

Cantaloupe took her afternoon nap with me. She had not slept with me for almost 2 weeks (we were scared of her kicks and my stiches) It felt so blissful to have both my daughters beside me for the first time.

Mom dressed up Junior in one of the handed down outfits of Cantaloupe. It was a light green hooded shirt. Aparently Cantaloupe did not like the hood, so pulled the hood from the head when mom and me freaked out to see junior lying on her tummy. (all it took was few seconds for Cantaloupe to find the right opportunity). The little one showed no sign of anger or pain ... thankfully she is ok.

There have been other small incidents on day 1 ... but overall I think me and the girls did ok.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

C-Section Vs VBAC - Birthing story

I am sure a lot of us mommies have gone through this dilemma of opting for C-sec or VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-sec). My dilemma about the same started as soon as my pregnancy with Junior was confirmed ... thanks to the print out handed to me at the doctor's office. I was instructed to read through the risks of VBAC and give in my consent in writing.... this during my first visit to the doctor. (Oct 26th 2007). I was very surprised at first, but didn't want to rush at things... so postponed the decision making by a couple of weeks.

All the while, my heart was set on the VBAC option. During pregnancy I came across some mommies for whom the VBAC option had gone severly wrong. They say the risk of uterus rupture during VBAC is 1% and 50% of the same could cause permanent brain damage to the new born. Though the percentage looks small, having seen first hand examples of the same always brought in some fear in my mind. No mommy would want to carry a healthy baby for 9 months only to risk the baby's health during delivery.

So while I postponed my decision (rather I postponed handing over the written consent to the doctor), my gyno always seem to scare me with the risks and hardly highlighted the benefits of the normal delivery. It came as a breadth of fresh air when my mid-wife examined me and suggested that the baby's head was down and that other things were going very normal during my 30th week check up. (why mid-wife examined me ... well my woe story with the doctor calls for another post). My mid-wife advised me to wait till the 35th week before I made any decision. But the doctor would not wait till such time. Even before I gave my written consent on my preference I got a call from doctor's office about scheduling my C-section for the 13th May. (my due date was 26th May). This irritated me to great levels. While one of the major benefits I was going to get by opting for C-section was a date of my choice, the doctor had deprived me of the same by just giving me one option. My mom was arriving at our place on the 11th and 13th seemed too close to schedule the delivery. Besides, I knew that I was making good progress and could go in for VBAC.

After a lot of discussion with BP and my family doctor, I opted for VBAC and gave in my written consent for the same. The doctor did not seem very pleased with the option though. The following exams went smooth with the doctor saying that the baby had started to descend. But my cervix remained closed till 37 weeks. During this time, I started developing ichy rashes all over my tummy. They were terribly irritating and kept me awake through the night. I was refered to a dermatologist who dismissed the rashes as an allergic reaction to the Cocoa butter cream I had applied. With the rashes reddening with each day, I was monitored for "Non Stress Test" for 2 weeks. During my 40th week appointment, the doctor examined me and said that I had made no progress at all since 37th week. The baby's position and the cervix measured the same. She also scared me that the baby was big and it could be a very hard delivery for me. (my built is rather small) I was just 6 days away from my due date and still there was no sign of labor and the baby was supposedly big ... thats when my fears got me and we decided to schedule a C-section. So the next day was chosen for the baby's arrival.

Mom got busy satisfying my last minute cravings and BP went and brought guavas (my favourite fruit) and zillion sweets to satisfy my taste buds. I was pampered a lot that evening :)

Anyways, we went to the hospital as per plan around 9:30am. I was hooked on to the monitor. As luck would have it, I started contracting within minutes. The contractions were regular and were about 3 mins apart. Yep ... I started having labor contractions. The nurses who were monitoring me repeatedly started asking me if I really wanted to go in for C-section which was scheduled at 11:30am. They felt I was making good progress in the short span I was hooked. My cervix was examined and turned out I had dilated to 2 cms. All these changes in less than 24 hrs of my check up with the doctor. The hospital nurse explained to me that I still had the option to change my mind to VBAC if I wanted. She said, that they could monitor me for a couple of more hours and see my progress. The idea suited me and BP (my mom was completely opposed to this idea) and we decided to wait for a few hours. I got a call from the doctor immediately ... I must say it almost sounded like a threatening call. She said if I didn't go for C-sec at the decided time, she was not going to be available for the entire week and that some random doctor from the hospital. We still continued to go with the VBAC option. When I asked the hospital nurse who my doctor would be, she said your gyno has asked to be informed about your progress. She will continue to be there for you. So all the phone talk that the doctor had with me was just to scare me ?????

A couple of minutes later, another hospital doctor came to examine me. She said though my contractions were regular, since this was going to be my first vaginal delivery, it could take hours before I delivered. She also confidently said that the baby's head was big and the baby would be aleast 8 lbs. She was sure it was going to be a very tough delivery. She also said, she was not a specialist in VBAC and that my regular doctor was the best doctor in town. (even better than her). Basically she scared us :( And there we gave in to the pressure and decided to go with C-section.

I was wheeled to the Operation theatre within minutes and my doctor arrived in less than 5 minutes. (don't ask me where she was all this while ....wasn't she supposed to be unavailable after 11:45am??? ) My surgery began at 12:38pm and 12:49pm Junior was born. I could hear the excitement in BP's voice when he screamed its a girl ... its a girl. Junior 's loud cries kept me awake the next few minutes.

She was weighed to be 7.2 lbs and measured 19.5in (not a very big baby you said ... well I thought the same too ... so I was tricked to believe it was a very big baby). Anyways she was healthy and that mattered most to BP and I.

And there ... the long debate of VBAC and C-section concluded dramatically in being a C-section.
Here is wishing other expecting mommies a very healthy delivery !!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Hi - Its me Junior

Hi All,

Its me Junior, Cantaloupe's little sister. I am a week old as of today (born on 20th May 2008, at 12:49 pm). Mommy did not make my annoucement to the blogworld when I kicked and kicked hard in her tummy to remind her of my presence. And now, I am a week old and she shows no sign of any annoucement ... so I decided to say Hello to blogworld myself. I couldn't wait to meet other mommies and my friends. I weighed 7.2 lbs at birth and was 19.5 in long.

My arrival was as dramatic as it could be. There was action, tension, suspense everything to the story ...but I think mom and dad are pretty happy with the end result. All is well that ends well.

I love my sister and I can see that she adores me. She is so excited about me and at times, forgets I am a little one. She squeezes, scratches me in her excitement ... it hardly bothers me. But it seems to tense up my parents and grandma. They try hard to make my sister understand I am little ...but guys, when I am not complaining, wonder why they are so protective of me !!!

Everyone has their opinion far as my resemblance to anyone is considered. Some seem to think I am just a copy of my dad and some think I have a fair resemblance to my aunt ... none seem to think I look like my mommy. (cheer up amma)

Amma looks tired ...she still cannot sleep on the bed through the night. The C-section scars seem to bother her. The first day we were home, she spent the entire night on the rocking chair,with a couple of pillows. Now she is getting better and lies for about an hour on so on the bed. Still spends most part of the night on the rocking chair. Daddy is tired as well ... with all the things to be taken care along with spending time with sis and me. He plans to start going to office from tomorrow. He is worried grandma and mommy will not be able to take care of both sis and me. He is insisting on sending sis to day care ... while mommy declares she will manage just fine.

As for me,I am doing just fine. Gaining back the weight I lost a week after birth. I will keep you all posted about other things in our household if mommy fails to write often.

Cheers
Junior

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Amma is here !!!

Mom arrived here sunday afternoon. Her journey was hasslefree ... touchwood. The flight arrived 45 mins early. It was supposed to land at 12:30pm and we checked the flight status online around 11:30am from home. It showed expected arrival as 11:40am. We have a good 45min drive from home to the airport. So we rushed ... but unfortunately amma had already come out and we missed hugging her as she moved out of customs to the arrival area.

Anyways, it feels great to have her here. Cantaloupe has been talking non stop with her grandma. We decided not to send Cantaloupe to school during the summer break. So she is home and having a great time with me and my mom.

I have been hogging on all the goodies that amma has brought from India. Today we performed a small pooja at home. Dinner promises to be fun with my sister and BIL expected to join us.

I have already been irregular with blogging ... I guess the rate is going to be only slower for the next couple of days. I have a lot of posts to catch up on ... will try to squeeze time in between our gossips :)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Apr 08 - recap

The past month has been eventful and I am guilty of not blogging about it. The main reason I started out blogging was to reflect back my thoughts on events and also to recollect back on events which otherwise might have been forgotten.
Before I forget about the events in Apr, I better make a written note about it.

My Birthday!!

Yep ... BP and cantaloupe celebrated my birthday in such a special way, I will remember it for many many years to come. BP worked till late night and when it was midnight, wished me right at midnight. Cantaloupe had asked her dad to be woken up too ... but BP dropped the idea since putting her back to sleep would be too much a task. Of course the first thing she did in the morning was wish me with a bright smile. I was not allowed to enter the kitchen ... while I relaxed on the rocker, I was served steaming hot milk. Yummy dosas with pickle completed the breakfast. The lunch was cooked and ready and BP left to work, promising to come back early and spend the evening with me. (he is usually home around 8:00pm)
For a week, I got suspecious that BP and Cantaloupe had planned / purchased some gift for me but never once did I get a clue of what it was. I kept thinking it was going to be an ipod or an iphone since we had talked about it a couple of days back. Anyways, breakfast done, BP leaving to work and Cantaloupe to school ... yet no sign of any gift. BP insisted he had not bought anything ... but I could not believe him. (not that he has surprised me with a gift every year... but this year, I somehow felt he was going to gift me. OK ... may be I wanted him to surprise me :))
Soon it was evening and BP came home a little later than promised, but much sooner than usual days. He handed over a packet to Cantaloupe and she promptly gave to me yelling surprise ... surprise. I opened the packet and it was a lovely Chocolate / icecream cake. Sure I was surprised with the nice cake ... but I guess I was expecting something else. My sister and BIL arrived around the same time. We enjoyed the delicious cake and headed out for dinner. My BIL wanted to get something checked on his new vehicle on the way. My sister said she was starving ... he promised it wasn't going to take more than 10 mins. So we went to the vehicle showroom. The sales attendant led us to the parking lot withing the building and then out of nowhere ... BP / Cantaloupe / Sister / BIL and the showroom staff start singing the birthday song while BP hands over the keys of our new Minivan ..... WOW !!! WHAT A SURPRISE !!! Not even in my wildest dreams would I have imagined this gift. Sure, BP and I had discussed about the minivan... narrowed our choice ... but getting it from him in this way was very very special .... It was a great feeling ... The sales guy went on and on about the features included in the van ... when I looked at him and said "The fact that we own this van is still sinking in ... more than half of what you are saying is not making sense to me !!!". I drove home the new vehicle and performed a small pooja and then we went out for dinner to a nice restaurant. Did I mention that the price of the vehivle was not disclosed to me till the next day ??? :))))

Community Event

April began with a bang with organising yet another community event. This time we organised a fun fair. The concept was new to the people ... the games were innovative ... the food was delicious and best part ... every one won something or the other. The event was organised with wide age group in mind. We had the following boothes: Riddle solving, Early bird special, Lucky dip, Mehendi, Face painting, Doll decoration (with supplies provided), Basket the ball, Dart, Bow and Arrow, Hoopla, Carrom, Rummy, Bingo .... The main attraction of the event was hot coffee counter :) It was such fun organising the event and the most rewarding was the crowd excitement on winning the prize. And guess what ... Cantaloupe won herself a coffee mug in the Hoopla and won the bumper Lucky Dip prize :)))

Cantaloupe's report:
This month was again rough with Cantaloupe refusing to sleep by herself. She sleeps for about 4 hrs and then if she doesn't find anyone around her, promptly comes to our room. This was the initial challenge as well ... and then she slept for a week or so through the night. Now she is back to her old habit. I really don't see an end to this soon.
The brushing challenge continues ... brushing at night is slightly easier than morning though.
She can read 3/4 letter words now (atleast straight forward ones)... is usually trying to read the signs / boards when we are driving. Holds the menu card in the restaurant as if she really knows what she is doing and tries to read it ... She is selected as the "Queen" in the skit the school kids will be enacting for the spring program.
She continues to go to her swim classes ... waking her and her dad early on saturday morning is proving to be big challenge. I hope we get a time change in the summer session... I can easily see a few classes being missed if we don't get a change.
BP is now so confident with her cycling that he has taken her to the nearby grocery / ATM / Library 0n her bicycle. (requires her to cross traffic signals)

Well... thats the summary of April. Looking forward to my mom visiting us next week. The next few months will be exciting :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ramdom musings

* Have you ever tried to explain the child birth process to your husband? If yes, let me know how that went ... if not try it and let me know.
I tried to explain the same to BP and most part of it, he gave me a blank look. I am sure he didn't know any of the body parts I was trying to explain him. (but for the obvious ones). When he did come out of the blank look to ask a question, it would be something like "What is the difference between Baby kicks and Contraction?" ... now that would end with a blank look on my face.


* On a completely different note, ever seen the tension on the face of the parent when they are trying to get their child (especially a pre-schooler or kindergardener) to school? Visit a near by school if you haven't .... the parents are dragging their child with a tensed look at the watch and trying to reach the school gate on time ... the child on the other hand is in his / her own world, bright and cheerful enjoying the morning sun asking simple question (only to the irritation of the parent). The sight is just hilarious.
Of course don't forget to see the victorious look on the parent once they manage to get the child on time.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Narada in the making ...

Its official .... Cantaloupe is becoming a "Narada"

Last night when we were hitting the bed, after rolling over a couple of times, she came to me and said, "Amma, its so hot. Can you please turn on the fan?". And I obliged.
The next minute she turns towards her dad and says "Dadda, amma has turned on the fan. Don't you think, its getting rather cold and your nose is going to hurt as well ... right?"

BP and I looked at each other and said in sync "Cantaloupe you better decide if you want the fan or not! Don''t play tricks on us"

Now now... what does she expect from her parents!!

ps: BP is not too fond of fan and I am more than happy to enjoy the cool air from the fan ! We usually negotiate on the usage of fan :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Dino and Sea animals

The school which Cantaloupe goes to has been teaching her stuff that I probably learnt in my middle school (perhaps not even as part of my prescribed curriculum). So what is that she is learning ???

The month of february, the kids were introduced to various famous Presidents of America. She clearly recognises George Washington, Abrahim Lincoln and the like ... she also can speak a few words about them. Hmm ... time for me to learn some American History coz, I knew the stuff she talked about and had one or two sentences to add to her knowledge bank. OK ... my knowledge seems to be pre-school level ... I am so ashamed ... before I can embarass my self any further, better use "Google" to good affect.

Cantaloupe has been talking about various Dinosaurs lately ... Tyrannosaurus, Apathosaurus, Trycerotops, Stratosaurus ... are my spellings are right here .... I don't know. Wonder how she manages to pronunce them let alone remember them!! I was shocked when she asked me one fine day, "Amma which is your favourite Dinosaur?" My answer was "Uh!!" and before I could remember my science classes ... she said, "My favourite is Tyrannosaurus Rex ... do you like him too??" ... "Ah ! I found my answer" I thought. "Yes dear... he is my favourite too" I mumbled.

She has learnt about "Transportation" ... Finally one topic I can hold a decent conversation on. But the pictures drawn by a three year old are pretty impressive. I appreciate the teachers for their efforts in helping the kids draw and come up with a "Transportation workbook".

Since last week, she has been learning about Sea animals. Today when I went to pick her up, she was in the middle of her art work and requested me for sometime. She wanted to complete her art before she left school for the day. When I asked her, why she was so particular about completing it today, she said, "Today is the last day we learn about sea animals. We will not be doing the art work on sea animals from tomorrow". I am beaming today to know the commitment / interest my little one has shown towards her school work. I never force her to do stuff at home. Of course, I teach her and have her read books ... but I am hardly pushy. We read when she wants to ... we draw when she wants to ... and we write / sing when she wants to. But she does realise that she needs to do some activity like sing / read / write / draw sometime during the day. Usually it is sometime around 7:00pm in the evening. Of course there are days when she is in no mood for any of the above ... those days we just end up playing with her toys.

One thing I am learning is that, its time I brush up my knowledge on some subjects.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A little music in life

Music has been such an integral part of me. I love music ... thanks to my parents who introduced music into my life quite early ... when I barely could talk. OK... that was in the form of lullaby... but based on what my family have to say, I started talking (meaningful sounds / words) when I was about 8 months. By 12 months, I could sing decently for my age. I sang on stage when I was 3.5 yrs for a singing competition. The competition was for the age group 6 - 10 yrs ... but I was enthusiastic and my parents did not want to discourage me and requested the organisers to allow me to sing ... and so I did! Though I did not win any prizes, the judges were impressed with my enthusiam and I was awarded a special prize.

I started training in classical music not to regularly from mom. Soon she realised that formal training was best suited for me coz there would be better commitment from me. At age 10 I started Carnatic classical music. I attempted learning veena and flute for a couple of months ... but soon gave up and just continued vocal. I found a great teacher, who was as much dedicated in teaching as much I was in learning. She was young and friendly ... had been married for 2 years and had a year old son at the time. I was almost part of their family .... the more I discussed / learnt music from her, the more I started appreciating the depth of music. She often encouraged me to go to concert to expand my music knowledge. I continued to learn music for until graduation.

Why all of a sudden am I talking about all this... coz, I talked to my mom last night and she mentioned that she had a special present for Cantaloupe for her birthday this year. Guess what it is ... she has bought a "Shruthi Pettige" (the Tanpura box) for Cantaloupe ... I was so touched, I almost cried. It brought back all the wonderful memories I had with my music teacher and my tanpura. I only hope my daughter shows interest and enthusiam in classical music. She sure enjoys music ... lets see her interest in classical music.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Crazy 8 Tag

Amma has been tagged couple of times, and she has not been so good with all the tags. So when Moppet tagged me, I got excited on my first tag.
So here goes...

8 Things I am passionate about:
1. Appa ... I lovingly call him "Dadda" these days. (Yes, yes, yes ... I am daddy's little girl !!)
2. Amma ... these days called "Mamma" (I know amma is already frowning seeing her name second ... but then she really knows me and it should not surprise her)
3. Ghatu ... He is my favourite toy / brother
4. Cantaloupe and Watermelon (no wonder mamma named the blog after my favourite fruit)
5. Coloring (amma thinks I pick odd colors ... but then whats the fun if I don't color atleast 5 colors on a car??? Amma always wants me to color green for leaves, red for apples etc .... but then I choose red for leaves and green for apples ... can't amma think of Fall colors and Green apples???)
6. Visiting the library
7. Jumping ... you ask where ??? .. well anywhere but the trampoline!!!
8. Sliding / Swinging endlessly in the park

8 Things I do that drives Mama crazy:
1. "Why" questions from me ... well if amma says something like, don't eat the banana yet, I need to know why. And then she gives me some answer like it is still raw, but never says why it is still raw. I guess amma does not have answers to my smart questions.
2. My sleeping habits ... I have always been a kid with less sleep. Even when the doctor suggested average sleep of 12- 14 hrs, I'd sleep 11 hrs a day. These days 9 hrs of sleep is more than enough for me. I sleep in school for almost 1- 1.5hrs... so I just cannot sleep before 10:30pm... but amma just doesn't get it.
3. Brushing my teeth ... its hard enough to brush once a day, but I am expected to brush twice.
4. Applying Moisturizer ... this one I do intentioally ... I love my parents crazily chasing me all over the house
5. I hate skirts / frocks ... it HAS to be pants and thats it. I don't care if amma has spent a fortune on all those girly frocks.
6. Story telling sessions ... actually this one is linked to No.2 Since I cannot sleep early I end up perstering amma on reading me atleast 1o bedtime stories.
7. I hate bread / bun and prefer only "South Indian breakfast" ... this one amma is to blame herself, its her genes.
8. Clean up after dinner ... I think food left behind on the mat / table / high chair is just indicative that I had dinner by my self .... wonder why she gets mad.

8 Things I say often:
1. Amma amma amma
2. Dadda is not listening to you ?? (to amma) OR Amma is not listening to you ?? (to dadda)
3. Right amma?
4. Appa / Dadda is late today
5. How was your day amma?
6. Am I behaving OR Am I a good girl today?
7. Lets play
8. What day is today?

8 Books I've read recently:
1. Panchatantra
2. Jataka tales
3. Prahlada
4. Dora : Storytime collection
5. Cat in the Hat
6. Outer space
7. Barney's eater eggs
8. My truck (this one, I am trying to read by myself )

8 songs I can (and do!) listen to over and over
1. On the good ship ... lollipop
2. Wonderful things about Tiggers
3. Krishna ne begane Baro
4. Ee meri zohara jabbein (Hera Pheri-2)
5. We'r going on a trip (little Einstein)
6. Anku Donku (Kannada - "Aapthamitra)
7. Vandemataram
8. Sho fly don't bother me

Friends (mine and amma's) from the blogworld ... pls do this blog ... its really fun !

Friday, February 22, 2008

General updates

Recap of events in the Cantaloupe household over the past few days:
  • My project ended as predicted on 13th Feb. Had been to the office to return my laptop / badge and clean up my desk. (there was absolutely no items to clean up ... my desk was just ready to be occupied!! Wish my house was as clean ... sigh!) Felt strange going to office after almost 4 months ... yes, had been working from home. The commute of 1.5hrs each way was costing a lot of precious time of mine and I had decided to work from home. Thankfully no one seem to complain ... of course they wouldn't ... I worked sincerely ! Three hours that was gained by "No commute" proved precious. I could not ensure Cantaloupe had the breakfast and was dressed just the way I wanted her to be for her school. It also meant that I could complete all the dinner prep work before Cantaloupe was home ... resulting in uninterrupted time with her till BP took in charge.

I was a busy bee when I was working and looked forward for a long weekend or a family outing. Strangely I am home now looking for my next client assignment, and it feels I have all the time in the world. I just cannot sit home like this ... I hope I start working soon.

  • My sister started her first job ... we surprised her with a cake and gift the night before she started work ... she was touched!
  • Finally watched Taare Zameen Par ... liked the movie ... but somehow with all the talk about the movie, my expectation were sky high and I felt the movie did not live upto my expectation. Had I gone without pre-notions, I would have definitely enjoyed it better I guess. Cantaloupe watched starting parts of the movie (I am sorry dear for putting you through this) and she was so involved and touched. A cheerful little girl suddenly looked quiet and pityful around the time Ishaan was sent to boarding. (of course she understood the movie in parts ... ) She could not stand the separation of the child from his parents. She started crying uncontrollably and just wanted the movie (torture for her) to stop. BP tried his best to cheer her up ... but no luck. Finally I told her that Ishaan would go back to his parents and that he was there at the boarding to collect his prize for his drawing. As you would imagine, we watched the second half of the movie in parts ... since we had to take care of Cantaloupe. But she was only satisfied when Ishaan was given his prize at the end of the movie. I just cannot believe my little girl has grown so fast !!!
  • Now that I am home, I have been preparing delicacies almost everyday!! Cantaloupe is more than happy to have them :) As always BP never says anything ... this man has never complained or appreciated food. He only cannot tolerate spicy food ... so as long as the food is not extra spicy, he just treats food the same. No complaints ... no appreciation.... hmm... is that good??? I don't know.
  • Dad is thoroughly enjoying his work. He is so happy and satisfied with the responsibilities he has got upon his return to work after retirement. Its not everyday we see, a person getting the same responsibililties and powers he enjoyed before retirement, after returning back. (and mind you, he took a break of over a year, before he was requested to join back. I am glad he visited us during his break and spent the summer with us)
  • Congratulations to all expecting moms in the blog world... summer promises to be a baby season !

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Moi Memoir

Noon has tagged me … I must thank her for this. I usually do not read my posts … once they are written, they are done. But Noon’s tag led me to go back the memory lane which I thoroughly enjoyed.

The tag says:

"Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better."

Family: Here is the post on how me and Cantaloupe spent our time when my parents visited us last year.

Friends: One of my good friends had a baby last year. Here is the post: I am ashamed to admit that I have not met these friends in a long time … though we have been in touch over the phone. Reminds me, her mom will be leaving in 2 weeks, should plan to meet her soon.

Myself: I crossed my fingers and hoped people did not stop visiting my blog after reading this post of mine.

My love: I write very little about BP and my relation … Cantaloupe gets all the attention. But I did write sometime back about how BP and I found each other. This post really really makes me nostalgic.

Anything I like: Here are more details about myself.

I would love to hear from Pixie, Aryan’s Mom, Poppins, Kodi’s mom and Cee Kay.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fresh Start - Project and Presentation

The past 2 days have been quite eventful.

29th Jan 2008:
The morning was nothing but ordinary. The usual rush to get Cantaloupe and BP ready (yes, a constant reminder of time is required for him as well. If not reminded he gets engrossed in his morning mail routine). Once they left, the office work was as usual as well. Later that evening, I was busy playing with Cantaloupe … our usual routine every evening. I heard my cell phone ring. I usually ignore phone calls when I am playing with Cantaloupe. It’s the only time during weekdays that I get with Cantaloupe and I want to give her undivided attention. I ignored the cell phone. Immediately I heard the home phone ring and it was from my office. I couldn’t ignore this one… so picked up. I was informed that our project was put on hold and all of us were released from the project … What ??? I gasped … after all the hard work we had put on this project for the past 8 months, this was too sudden a decision. I thanked the person who had informed me about it without any delay. Now my project hunt will have to begin all over again … its not something I enjoy! But somehow, I am more relaxed than other times I have been in the same situation.

Later the same evening, Cantaloupe and BP went to home depot to buy new light fixtures to the guest room. They came back after what seemed like eternity to me (even 10min past dinner time seems eternity to me) BP calmly disclosed the reason for their delay … “Our car was hit by another car” … BP was coming back from home depot, and had reached our apartment complex when he saw a car in reverse speeding towards him. BP sensed danger and stopped moving any further and just waited. The speeding car ended up hitting the side of our car. Then the insurance exchange formality and other discussions were completed… hence the delay.

Past dinner, BP was setting the bed and Cantaloupe was ready for her bedtime story when the door bell rang. An odd time for anyone to come home. We were pleasantly to find my sister and BIL … She told us that job hunt had come to an end and she had got her first job!!! A huge moment of joy for her and for us!! She had been longing to earn ever since I can think of her … she got married within 2 months of her Engineering and had to locate to the US. At that time, she had 2 options: Study further or Start job hunt. Though her heart was to start job hunt, she convinced herself that higher studies was a better option and that would open better job opportunities as well. Besides the job market was not very encouraging. Anyways, now she has found a job and will be starting next week!! A huge treat pending from her side now J

That was 29th Jan.

As mentioned earlier, Cantaloupe’s school had “It’s a small World” day yesterday. I was nervous about the presentation I had volunteered for. Thanks to some of the tips from blogging friends, I found my way. I took print out of various pictures, including the Tiger (to represent the National Animal of India), Camel (as I talked about Thar Desert), Peacock (National Bird), Taj Mahal, House Boats, Palaces, Himalayas etc. I took colorful pictures of Holi and Diwali as well.

I started the presentation by saying “Hi” to them, the Indian style … “Namaste” … the kids repeated my act and said “Namaste”. Their involvement during the entire presentation was great … they listed to what I had to say and looked at all the colorful pictures I had taken along with curiosity. I made the presentation a lot interactive by asking them questions frequently which they enthusiastically answered. For Eg: When I asked, do you like going on Vacation? They happily nodded and said they went only with their family. So, that set the context for me to tell the vacation spots in India like Taj Mahal. Similarly I asked them the festivals they celebrated and gradually introduced them to Holi. They were delighted to see all the colors … I don’t think a lot of kids in the US have seen farmers in their fields. Agriculture being an important occupation in India, I showed them green fields with farmers working hard. They loved the greenery. One of the kids had a question for me “Aren’t there frogs amidst the fields?” (he saw small streams of water in the fields which explains his question). I was dressed in a bright purple Salwar Kameez, complete with Bindi, bangles. I made Cantaloupe wear some bangles as well and dressed her in an Indian outfit. Cantaloupe’s bangles were a hit among her friends … they loved the jingling sounds. I had also prepared an Indian flag and had cut out Indian map.

Overall the presentation went smoothly and I was glad the kids were paying attention and were involved during the entire presentation. Later that night I asked Cantaloupe, what amma taught her at school … she said, “Namaste, Tiger, Peacock, Desert, Palace, Holi, Diwali and House Boat” … not bad, something has registered in her mind … thought this satisfied mother.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Its a small world

Cantaloupe's pre-school is celebrating "Its a small world" day on wednesday. The past few days, the teachers have been discussing about the cultures followed in different countries around the world.
On wednesday, the school requested few parents to volunteer and talk to the kids about their home country. I signed up hoping I'd be able to work on something over the weekend ... as predictable I could not get anything done.

Request creative people out there to give me ideas on what approach I should take to talk about India. I understand some props / pictures will draw the attention of pre-schoolers. I am running out of ideas ... plz ... plz help me
 

My circle of life with BP, Cantaloupe and Junior and much more | Desenvolvido por EMPORIUM DIGITAL