Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wishing one and all Merry Christmas !

Santa gifted me Wii ... and I am already loving it !
With some serious practice I may just be crowned the Tennis star !

Friday, December 18, 2009

Simple couple moment

This morning BP was bathing the kids and I was dressing them up. My sister had requested a song for her husband in a local radio station. I asked BP which song he'd expect if I picked a song for him.
And before he could tell me his choice we both started humming the same song at the same time :)

ps: If anyone is interested in knowing "The Song" ... it is Zara Zara from Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Language lessons

Me (*walking towards my van after a meltdown by Cantaloupe at a local store*)
Cantaloupe (*stomping right behind me*)

After about 10 mins driving ...

Me: Honey, are you supposed to scream inside a store?
C: (*face down*) No

Me: Do you think amma likes you yelling inside a store?
C: (*in tears*) No

Me: Will you shout at me inside a store ever again?
C: (*wiping her tears*): No

Pause for about 3 mins

C: Amma do you know "Scream", "Shout", "Yell" all the same ...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Advantage # 37 of working from home

You can enjoy a warm bath on a very cold day at 1:00pm and have a relaxed lunch !

I am in heaven today :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Akka - Tangi relationship


Kids grow fast .... Few developments I'd like to capture for my future reference :)

* Only few days back I remember showing Junior flowers ... birds ... trees trying to explain concept of different colors and now she is a full fledged color enthusiastic. Anything and everything will identified by its color. She can identify and call out Geen, Boooo, ellow, puple, lack, ite, own ... then there are other colors she identifies but cannot call out like Red, Orange, Pink and will fall into the "Tada" category. (in case you didn't follow the colors were green, blue, yellow, purple, black, white and brown)

* She is a number girl :) Anytime she hears a familiar number she will start counting from there. Picture this ... during the thanksgiving week, we were sharing some jokes when someone said "That was a good one" and my little one started counting Two, three, four, five ...
And then the other day my sister said three more days and it will be thanksgiving ... of course Junior started out four, five, six
Its kinda cute. She can count upto fourteen ... why fourteen ... because she refuses to say anything beyond that no matter what we try to do. She has a mind of her own. Once she says fourteen ... she refuses to listen to anything we say and just smiles and says "Clap clap clap". The numbers one to ten were taught by BP and rest four by her akka. BP took about a week to train her and I think it took about 10 mins for akka to get those four numbers ... so you now know now much she follows her akka.

* Akka is God to her .... period. No questions further. No matter what akka does, she follows her like a puppy. Akka does a somersault and Junior is not far behind ... akka tries skipping and the next thing you know Junior is playing with the skipping rope. Heck ... when akka is doing her homework, we give the Doodle slate to Junior and she is busy scribbling something.

* Junior got her 18months shot last week and it was not a pleasant experience. The moment she saw the nurse, she started bawling ... (the nurse is not really kid friendly ,,, I can tell you that ... but how did Junior figure that out just looking at her ... I am not sure) She got 4 shots and all the while she called out akkaaaaaa.... akkkaaaaaa . That was something I had never seen in any kid. I have seen kids calling out their moms and dads ... like ammmmmma ... and appppaaaaa while crying ... akka was something new to me. And when I returned home mentioned about the shots to akka, she jumped right next to Junior and started massaging her thighs ... sibling love at its best I tell you.

* Of course, for everything now, Junior wants Akka for company. Give her break fast and akka has to sit with her on the dining table and eat with her. Give her a lollypop ... she immediately asks one for akka.

I have already mentioned about her wanting akka beside her when she goes to bed. I am just loving this phase. Pray it lasts for many many many more years.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I am in a fix

Last week my company members made a presentation to make of a tool to one of our Business clients. Having worked with the Business client for sometime now, he and I were generally chatting and he mentioned that he could hardly follow the presentation made because of the thick Indian accent.
I was confused if I should let the senior person know that his accent was not followed in the meeting or should I let the potential opportunity to expand business slip by?
What would you do?

As you all agree it was a tricky situation for me. Fortunately the senior person who gave the presentation doesn't work in the same place that I do. I met with another person who works locally and told him that the client felt that our presentation was too quick for him to follow and that he could not understand and appreciate most of the capabilities of our tool. So I was going to arrange for another meeting with the client where we could walk over the tool. This was well received ... and tomorrow we have another demo with the client.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Wishlist - Bucket

Tagged by Starry ...

Lets start with the ones I wanted to do and actually was able to achieve it.

* I always wanted to study on scholarship and I actually passed a National level exam and managed to fund my education for most part.
* I wanted to be on the front page of newspaper for my achievements ... and it happened. Alas ... it was long long time ago ... but nonetheless it happened and I was interviewed too :D
* Driving in the US ... yep ... have been driving for 8 years now.
* Sponsor for my parents' US visit.... I did everything from researching, paperwork to financing their trip
* Have 2 kids of the same sex. (this one was something I wished and wasn't in my control ... but I am glad it worked out. Though I had no preference to boys or girls ... I just wanted 2 kids of same sex)

My wishlist:

* To see both my daughters well settled and happy
* To release my very own music album.
* To be event Manager. (I have hosted / organised several parties and most of them have had wonderful feedback)
* To crack the code in the world of stocks and share ....
* Travel the world with my family ... may I also add with no financial constraints (BP. kids and parents)
* Own a house by the beach

Ah ... I need to come back to reality from my dreams and start working towards achieving those. Wish me luck people !

Friday, November 13, 2009

The journey

2009 - BP's patent comes through, I travel with 2 kids for the first time.
2008 - Junior completes our family, ajja passes away
2007 - Dad's extended stay with us
2006 - Hawaii trip
2005 - FIL's death
2004 - We are proud parents ... Cantaloupe enters our life
2003 - Sister's wedding, We buy our dream car
2002 - FIL's heart attack while visiting us in US
2001 - First job in US, first visit to India as a couple
2000 - First job ever ... MARRIAGE !

Its been 9 years .... sometimes I'd like to say 9 long years ... sometime I wonder where / how 9 years went by.
Here is to us and many more years together !

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Test yourself

Source : Here

1) A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

2) If it takes five machines 5 minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

3) In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of it?

All 3 right ??? If not, some consolation:
When researchers put the following three problems to 3400 students in the US, only 17 per cent got all three right

Friday, October 30, 2009

Child's shortcomings

Are you open about your child's short comings or you don't talk about them with your friends?

As far as I am concerned ... I am not a very vocal person. I do not open up easily ... I take my time. Once I am comfortable with the person, I speak honestly. Mostly I underplay my kids ... that is something I am working on. I need to give them credit for their achievements and not necessarily talk about their short comings with friends.

But I have seen some moms who are very vocal right from the word go ... and all they talk is about how best the child is in sports ... academics.... etc. That amazes me actually.
There was one on one parent-teacher conferences 2 weeks back. The teacher set the expectations of each child and discussed on areas they could work on. For Eg: For Cantaloupe, the teacher said that she should really try to keep her hands to herself and not help other kids in her table. So when we mommies were discussing about how the conferences went, all parents maintained their child was almost perfect. Really ???

So, are you honest or you discuss your child's shortcomings as well?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How many hours a day

do you spend on your computer / laptop / blackberry / iphone and the like?

Would you be sane if these were confiscated from you for 3 straight days ?
I have a feeling there is a strong addiction to the kind above in our house ... especially BP has this affiliation.

Please tell me honestly ...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Story of my life - Limerick

I found this tag here very sweet ... it reminded me of my days as a young bride and the non stop questioning of those aunties around. I wanted to take up the tag ... Then when I hoped over here ... and I decided I'd give it a shot anyways though I wasn't confident.

So here goes ....

Something in his(BP) email clicked
And thats how we got hitched
Today when I look at the same mail I wonder
What was it that made me surrender ...
It worked ... and already nine years have ticked

Monday, October 19, 2009

Junior Updates

My darling Junior turns 17 months tomorrow ... yep 17 months already ... and I have barely 7 posts about her developmental updates. Hmm ...
She loves her family .. that is her sister, dad and mom and can express her love in action as well ... she comes around looking for us calling out akka .. appa... amma in the cutest voice and hugs us so warmly and starts patting us on our back. She might even plant a kiss if we are lucky. I hope she continues to express her feeling similarly for many years to come.
Her akka is her ultimate guru .... if akka dances, she begins to jump up and down ... err. ... dance. If akka does a somersault, (palti) so does she. Akka picks a book and a pencil, madam immediately demands she be given the same and it better be the same color akka has.
Just 3 night back, both girls were sleeping in their room when I heard a small wail coming out .... I slowly walked up to their room to see Junior awake. Most days I would have carried her and helped her fall asleep ... that night I didn't. I just paused and observed and what to I see. Junior looks at her sister sleeping next to her and calmly settles beside akka, hugging her. She is all secure and falls asleep. I was at peace at that moment ... I just stood there for almost 5 minutes too much consumed by the love I saw. I will never forget this incident ever ...
Just when I thought I had seen the best of sibling moment, another incident happened. This was when we came back from day care on friday. I had picked up grocery and was unloading the same from car. The kids got down from the car .... Cantaloupe carried her school bag and extended her hand for Junior. The little girl confidently grabbed the extended hand and started walking towards our house. We have about 30 stairs to climb before we reach our house I have carried Junior 90% of the time ... the rest of the times I have supervised her as she has climbed the steps. But that day ... she just confidently held her sister's hand and Cantaloupe patiently helped her sister climb up the stairs. In between while climbing, Junior would turn back and grin, almost challenging me to go ahead of her ... Once she climbed all the steps and reached our main door, I could see the sense of achievement in her eyes.
Junior now recognises some colors .. blue, purple, green, yellow, red ... loves to cuddle beside me while I read for her ... enjoys the music any time / all the time ... (she demands music be turned on by saying "Daddy daddy cool" :D)
Her vocabulary has improved a lot over the past few weeks ... most definitely communicates what she wants ... be it demanding her blanket which she calls "Talkie" (for blankie) .. or Toota (for water)... TeeVee (for TV) ... Nana (Snana or bath) .... Dapeeeeeer (Diaper) .. so on and so forth. For words she identifies but cannot spell out she uses a common sound "Thadaa".

She is the darling of our family currently and I hope she continues to be so.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Palkova - Continued recipe ...

Continued from here.

The family reached the temple bright and early. Amma called out the three names for archanam when Ravi added Anjali from behind. Puzzled amma looked over Ravi's shoulder to see a gorgeous young lady in saree. Memories of the past gushed amma's thoughts and she stood there still. The tension in the air was thick.

UPDATE: Continued here.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

When was the last time you relived your childhood?

Remember those carefree days as child when you jumped and splashed rain water .... you wore Hawaii chappals and walked without worrying about the annoying sounds it made while walking ... getting all soaked in the beach not worrying about your clothes getting wet or your body being exposed .... building sand castles for hours together and breaking them in minutes ... slurping on those lollies (popsicles) ...
Well I got a chance to re-live one of those moments last weekends. We were invited to a birthday party at this place.

Both the girls were excited from the get go. Cantaloupe wished the birthday boy and didn't waste any time in climbing one of those inflatables. Not to be left behind our Junior ran behind her sister ... but obviously couldn't climb up those inflatables and yelled out for her dad. I was exchanging pleasantries with the hostess and what do I see when I turn back ... 2 girls and their dad bouncing up and down in style. They then moved on to those giant slides. Without a hint of hesitation all 3 spent almost 30 mins on the slides ... when BP realised that there was another person who had accompanied him to the party .. ME !
He came towards me sweating because of all the jumping and urged me to try on the giant slide ... I was ill prepared for this kind of party ... had worn a skirt and refused his offer. But there was only so much I could contain myself. There was another mini slide beside and I just HAD to experience the thrill. I went in those inflatable dens (is that what they are called) and climbed up the stairs which I must admit was a daunting task given the wobbly surface and my long skirt and came down the slide .... AWESOME experience I tell you. I bounced up and down as if there was no tomorrow with my girls until my legs hurt. Actually No ... until it was time to cut the cake.

It had almost been ages since I felt so liberated doing such a simple task as jumping and going down a slide.
When was the last time you relived your childhood moments?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Morning Madness

I have started cooking in the morning ... and dishes are done at night.
But its not the cooking that takes time ... the dabba packing is really making me go mad.

I have to pack 5 dabbas
* One for BP and it HAS to be chapati and curry (one silver foil and one dabba for curry)
* One dabba for Cantaloupes' school lunch (sometimes its chapati and curry for her)
* One lunch box for Junior and one extra box with Yogurt.
* Snacks for both Junior and Cantaloupe which includes mostly fruits and a dabba with the day's breakfast (upma, idli, etc)
* One lunch dabba for self

Along with the above, I have to keep aside fruits for self and BP. I prefer apples, oranges most days since except for washing I don't have to do anything extra ... but then BP ends up buying mangoes, melons and I hate to see them go bad and have to cut these and put them in boxes as well.

By the time I step out of the house, I have another dabba of breakfast in my hand since I wouldn't have the time to eat it at home.

So what gets you mad ? Is it the cooking, doing the dishes or something else ...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

How do parents nurture their kids interests

I was reading Tharini's post on her decision to not put her son to Kumon classes and this set off a chain of thoughts in my mind. (the post below may appear random ... but thats just depicting the right state of my mind - Confused)

Cantaloupe is growing and is growing fast. I believe each individual is talented... some of them are lucky to recognise their potential and other's are not so lucky. And as a parent I think it is my responsibility to identify her talent and harness it.

I have always loved music and I wonder when my parents recognised this passion of mine. My mother being a trained classical singer herself taught me the basics of carnatic music until Varna after which I started taking music classes from a renowned teacher in our city. I remember starting my music lessons from my teacher when I was about 10. I started my dance lessons around the same time as well ... I enjoyed learning Bharatnatyam for the next few years and sometime during my board exams I found it difficult to cope with dance / music classes and studies and I quit dance. I continued learning music until I started working in a different city.

What should I do with Cantaloupe? She is just 5 now and I know she cannot tell me with certainty what she likes. She is most likely to be influenced by her friends. If a friend A goes to a certain class ... she for sure wants to go there. Its not the class that draws her interest ... but the friend's company. Cantaloupe has been taking her swim classes for almost 2 years now ... and she seems to enjoy it. Swimming as I see is more a requirement than anything else these days. I regret not learnt swimming for the silly reason of having to put on swimsuit. (I still cannot be persuaded to wear one)
Cantaloupe was enrolled in Ballet classes when she was 3 ... she was very young and we were naive. She didn't enjoy those classes as much and we discontinued and lost the money the we had paid. This summer, Cantaloupe attended Gymnastics. She says she loves it ... she was pretty good in her classes. We sent her to the community class ... but clearly if she wants to pursuit Gymnastics seriously we need to enroll her for some serious classes. But these classes are expensive ... I don't mind spending on these classes if she is really interested and continues to have improvise/ enjoy. But if she doesn't it seems like a total waste of money.

Any academic classes like Kumon I have decided she will not go - I enjoy teaching her. It gives me that extra time with her and I can afford it at this time. When I am not able to provide her the required assistance I may consider these classes later.

BP will be particularly pleased if she is enrolled in Badminton or Tennis classes. Again private lessons are expensive ... and she is not showing any particular inclination to these sports. But then what if she hasn't realised her potential ... I know kids at this age require some nudging before they realise their potential. She may really start enjoying these sports ...

Classical music, I would have loved her to learn ... but she isn't showing much interest in that front. She seems to be more interested in fast paced / rhythmic music be it bollywood, regional folk songs, classical. I know she likes dancing ... but dance lessons are offered for 6+ in some classes that I enquired around. She is interested in coloring ... but she is not very good with paint. (I know I know ... she is only 5) ... would arts and craft classes be good for her - I don't know :(

Some people around tell me, unless parents experiment on various options, there is no way to identify the kids interest ... some others tell me she is too young for anything. May be I should wait for atleast a year or two.

I am confused ... I wish I knew what she is good at so I could nurture her interests.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Doordarshan darshakon Ko Namaskar

Doordarshan completes 50 years of existence on 15th sep, 2009. And the serials I watched growing up on DD are so etched in my memory even today. I perhaps remember these serials better than some of the Survivor episodes I might have seen just few months back.
Recollecting some of my all time favorite serials on DD.

10. Neev (this was a serial about boarding school) - Sunday 12:00 noon
9. Vikram aur Bethaal - Sunday 5:00 pm
8. Showtheme - Saturday 3:30pm
7. Nukkad - Monday 9:00 pm
6. Kashish - Wednesday 9:00 pm
5. Chitrahaar - Wednesday 8:00 pm
4. The World this week - (Was it friday 10:30 ??)
3. Mahabharat - Sunday 9:00am
2. Buniyaad - Tuesday / Saturday - 9:00pm
1. Quiz Time - Sunday 9:00pm

Thanks DD for broadcasting some lovely serials.

Play date

Cantaloupe had a play date with friends from her new school on wednesday. I made few interesting observations:
My kid actually listened to what I said to her - there was a huge lawn in the complex and a fountain in the center. All kids love playing with sand and water ...thats a given. But this being a fountain put in for aesthetic purpose, all mommies didn't want their kids to play with it. While most moms struggled to contain their kids ... a simple "talk" was enough with my daughter.
She remembered to ASK : Once we went back to the host's apartment.... the kids attacked the cookies / sweets laid out on the table for them. Cantaloupe asked me if she could have one ... of course I said Yes ... but then she remembered the "No sweets after 6 on weekdays" made me really proud.
She was having a jolly good time when I reminded her that it was time to leave - she put in a small protest saying she wasn't done with her playing ... but gave in. There have been episodes in the past where she has negotiated about staying longer for more than 10 - 15mins. Not this time though :)
She Cleaned: Yes she did ... while other mommies just left with their kids. When I asked her to clean up, she pointed out that others had played but hadn't cleaned up. So I said, never mind what others do .. you do your part. She cleaned up some toys and I didn't insist on cleaning up everything. I had to be fair to her .. afterall I had seen her play with only a guitar and a truck most of the times. But nonetheless, she cleared some of the other toys as well.
She thanked the hostess, put on her shoes / socks and waved bye to her friends in the most dignified manner.

I couldn't possibly ask for a better behaviour :)

On a side note:
Mommy V commented that she is not used to wearing spaghetti tops but her son (5 yr old) may get curious when he sees others wearing it ... so in order to make it a norm, she was planning to start wearing them. - REALLY??
Mommy A1 said her 1.5 yr old son often twists / dislocated his hand bones (carpus ??) ... and she just twists it and brings it back to position. OUCH !
Mommy P said she goes to gym only to relax and re-energise herself. - WOW !
Mommy A2 said the kids bring out the inner devils in their moms - LOL !
Mommy C felt clean up after playing is part of play date and leaving the toys lying all over the place is not a good practice - THATS ME :))

Over all it was a nice time ... and I dont' mind doing this once in a while.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Moderated Words

The other day I was lazing around with my laptop keeping an eye on Cantaloupe who was playing with her toys. Cantaloupe used the word 'F***' and I was startled ... thankfully I didn't react. Then I followed her more closely and understood what she was doing. She was pretending to be a magician and was apparently saying a magic code "Fallammboo ... Footuta ... Filliata ... F***"
She went ahead and pointed each of her doll to be representing each of the magic words.

I somehow felt uncomfortable with her usage of the word and asked her to not use the word. As expected she asked me why she couldn't use it ... I mumbled something on the lines of it being a meaningless word and there were other words famously used by magicians like "Abracadabra Allaka Zoo" and that she could use those. May be she was too involved in her game to question me further and continued with her game.

What do you guys do when you hear your child speaking words not meant for their age? Do you disapprove of the usage immediately or you don't make a big deal out of it and leave it there hoping they will forget the word.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Two kids - One game

How do you balance out the interest of 2 kids of different ages at home ? Thats becoming such a different challenge for me to handle these days.

Anything I start out with Junior is baby game or boring for Cantaloupe and Junior just has her own rules when I attempt playing anything with her sister. Like the other day, I wanted Cantaloupe to not be left out of family fun and introduced her to Carrom, (this was a popular game with us kids while I grew up ... none of us came close to becoming champions, but nonetheless we had so much fun) So I arranged the carrom pawns on the board and stepped out for about 5 secs to fetch the powder and what do I see when I come back ?? Junior in the middle of the board throwing the pawns in all possible direction and thus ended my grand plans of carrom with Cantaloupe.
Also another day, Cantaloupe wanted to play -pretend doctor / patient with me. So I was the patient and she was my doctor. She had her stethoscope and pretended to check me and prescribed me some pills. She was bought to give me a shot / injection when she found the same in Junior's mouth. Apparently it tasted better than a lollipop to Junior who made such a hue and cry before giving up the syringe.
Board games are out of question ... there is no way the pawns will remain on the board ... triominos, snake and ladder - all gone for a toss.
We manage to play pretend games sometimes ... Cantaloupe is irritated when Junior disrupts her game plans, but I try to convince her that Junior is her assistant in the task and is only helping out. But then why would anyone call the idea of pulling out ones' hair helping when she is pretending to be a hair dresser.
I am running out of ideas on how to handle both kids together ... they manage just fine when they play with each other (well . most of the times ... ok sometimes they manage). So far dancing with music in the background or hide and seek have been working fairly well with both kids ... but then there are only so many spots in the house where one can hide :)

Ideas please ....

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Television time

Was watching House Hunters last night with Cantaloupe. I was amazed with the kind of observations she made ...
* There wasn't a refrigerator in the house ... we will not buy this house.
* Why do they keep rushing with "Lets move on to the next room" , why don't they allow us to see the rooms.
* Isnt' the paint too pale
* Lets keep looking for the house in our neighborhood and see if we can afford it

ps: These were the exact observations I made :)

Friday, August 21, 2009

The School choice ....

Cantaloupe started school this week and suddenly she is all grown in my eyes ! (* wipes tears of pride*)

It has been difficult on Cantaloupe to get adjusted to different schools we have put her in. There were several reasons for continued school / day care changes.
Initially we lived in a different town and after much enquiries found a home day care which we thought suited our requirements at that time. Cantaloupe was about 6 months ... the place was very close to our house and about 5 mins drive from BP's office. Within 2 weeks of her stay there, we realised it didn't work for us. The main reason being, we dropped her as early as 7:00am and picked her by 10:00 am and the day care provider would have just woken up around the time. So we moved Cantaloupe to a private day care institution. It was a Jewish center and teachers were very friendly and my dear daughter had got well adjusted to the place. We simply loved it. We bought a house and had to move cities.
We bought a house in the city where schools were considered "Good". We paid a hefty amount to just get ourselves 2 bed / 2 bath duplex .. reason being good school district. Anyways, we again changed Cantaloupe's day care. She was about a year now. But this time, we were more relaxed about her day care since my cousin provided home day care and she stayed in the same city as ours. Within a day or two Cantaloupe had gotten adjusted to my cousin. There were some older kids already coming there and she made great friends with them.
A year passed and my cousin was scheduled to make her bi-yearly India trip. She'd be gone for 3 months which meant, we had to find alternate day care options. Satisfied with our thorough research, we put Cantaloupe in a homely yet private day care center. Clearly Cantaloupe was not happy here ... she cried her lungs out when we dropped her... would be seated quietly in a corner and we went to pick her up, would hug us just start crying. It was as if she demanded to know why she was being sent to this place. Those tears broke my heart like nothing before and I was hell bent on changing her day care.... though BP thought it was initial periods of adjustment.
I stuck to my inner feelings and moved Cantaloupe to another place ... this time it was slightly further away from our house, but it seemed like a very caring place. There was visibly a large difference in Cantaloupes' moods within the first 2 days of her shifting to this new place. BP and I were greatly relieved ... Cantaloupe now spoke about her friends, her teachers and longed to go to her day care. She was two + now and was communicating very well. The teachers were so friendly, I couldn't have asked for anything more. It worked beautifully for us for the following year ....
And then we debated hard and long and finally decided to move her to one of the best pre-schools in town. Call it first time parents over enthusiasm ... but we did. The first week in this new school was not the best of her days. I had blogged about it here,
In a month's time, Cantaloupe just seem to be having a blast in the school. What was interesting was there were minor complaints about her occasionally about missing her afternoon naps or talking with her friends during circle / story time. But she seem to be one of teacher's favourites :) (The teacher took a break after the academic year ... but didn't miss taking a picture of Cantaloupe before we went) She moved from Pre school to Pre K in the same school.
We started talking to other parents about the advantages / disadvantages of Private / Public school. While it was clear Public schools were not too academic until 5th grade ... private schools which were a lot more like Indian schools with little focus on overall development. (read school I studied meaning "Academic focus") While I was not sure which one I wanted ( my reasoning being school focuses on academics, parents should focus on other activities including sports , music, arts whatever the child be interested in) ... BP was certain in his choice. He wanted "Overall child development" and not necessarily academic progress alone. His view was further validated by kids we saw who went to private and public schools. Of course private schools were a lot more expensive than public schools. (no fees as such, but donating school supplies and raising funds etc does cost) Another important point that BP had was the very reason we had moved to this area that being good schooling district ... so there was no point compromising on real estate and sending kids to Private schools.
So after much debate / discussion, we chose to enroll Cantaloupe in Public school. The public school "assigned" to us happens to be a decent school and is just 2 crosses away from our house. So Cantaloupe has been cycling to school :) (one of my dreams was to have my kids bicycle to school ... thats the way I grew up )
The first 2 days have been good ... the teacher seems efficient and knowledgeable and looks patient enough to deal with kindergartners. Only time will tell if our choice is wise ... till such time wishing Cantaloupe the very best in her new school :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Big Day for Me

Cantaloupe started school today ... Big Girl's school ... Kindergarten ... WOW !
I better start accepting her as a Big girl !

Monday, August 17, 2009

How can this be happening?

Junior announces (in fact runs from any corner of the house to find us) and announces "Poo Poo" and then does the act !!
Potty training was never in my mind ... why does this girl remind me of things I am not ready for ?

ps: I thought the first time was a coincidence ... it has happened consistently for the past week ... hmm ... really how can this be happening???

Thursday, August 13, 2009


What is the most dreaded thing for anyone ?
A phone call in the middle of the night ...

And thats what I have received several times ..... and I got one yet again.
The news was the same ... death of a loved one ... this time the person was my cousin.... my doddappa's son.

This is so much unexpected .... I had met him just about 10 days back during my India trip. We had had a good time ... as always he had recollected my toddler days and couldn't believe I was already a mother of two. Oh ... he had so loved the salted cashews I had taken from US.

And now ... he is gone ... just like that ... no sufferings ... no words ... just as he was getting ready to cheer his 9 yr old daughter in her TT match ... gone ! Shocking to say the least.

May his soul rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

US - India - US - Vacation updates and more ...

India trip was great ... it wasn't the like any of my earlier visits. This was the first time I was travelling with 2 kids by myself. I dreaded the flight journey ... I had expected the worst... turned out so much better than I had imagined. Infact the journey from here to India was almost uneventful and quite comfortable. It helped that our flight got delayed here in SF. That meant hardly any transit time in Hong Kong. We reached Bengaluru on time. Since I was travelling with my MIL, we had requested wheelchair assistance. So the porters in the Airport took care of our luggage as well. We were also given priority in the "Flu Screening" and Immigration / Customs queue. All our luggage arrived in less than 10 mins ... considering we had checked in 7 suitcases, it was no short of a miracle. In all we were out of the airport in less than 20mins of our flight landing at the airport. Pretty Awesome I thought !

I was visiting India after 4 long years and it felt very surreal to drive from the International Airport to BIL's place. There was hardly any traffic ... the highway was in excellent condition ... the airport itself was amazing ... the gentle breeze at 2:30 am felt very relaxing after our long flight journey.
I chose to spend most of my time in my hometown since my MIL had stayed with us for the past 4 months ... my parents especially my dad who was seeing Junior for the first time since her birth were anxiously waiting for our arrival.
The highlights of my trip were:
* My parents meeting both my kids
* The girls bonding beautifully with grandparents. (Cantaloupe instantly bonded ... junior took some time). I let them have their time and was only too happy to stay in the background and observe their bonding.
* Meeting my grandma for the first time since my grandpa's death last september. I had tossed and turned about my how frail my grandma would be (both mentally and physically). I didn't know how I'd begin to console her of her loss ... in short I didn't know how I would face her ... but she made it very easy on me. Indeed she had become very weak ... she had gained atleast 5 years of age in the last 5 months ... but then her warm presence was still there. Her love and warmth could never be missed. Junior, who had so much stranger anxiety jumped and clapped when we visited my grandma's house. It was as well Junior knew the place all along ... I was almost shocked.
* Seeing all my relatives after a very long time ... most of them had changed / renovated their houses. The family dynamics has changed so much since my last visit ... sigh ! (I am so glad I don't have to deal with trivial family politics on a daily basis )
* Shopping spree took a new meaning in my world ... never in my life have I made so many shopping trips. (note: I made several trips ... not that I shopped a lot ... small things required multiple visits... like the visit to the tailor or the visit to the embroidery lady or the visit to the electrician ... )
* I hogged ... hogged and hogged some more as if I was food deprived. Amma's Thair Vada / Bisi Bele Bhath / Tengolu / Obbattu / Plum Cake GTR Masala Dosa, Raghavendra Bakery Plain Cake , Veggie Puffs and Ajji's Kobbari Mittai still rock ! The new delicacy I tried "Jolada Rotti" is plain yummy !
* We hosted the first ever kids party in India. (Cantaloupes 5th year birthday party was super hit with her ... she met all her cousins and hosted the games) It was a very nice way to meet up a lot of folks whom I would otherwise have never got to visit. (due to lack to time)
* Showed most tourist attractions to Cantaloupe ... only to be disappointed with her constant interest in the snack bag :(
* "Nutty Delight" and "Mango Delight" still are the best "Joy" flavours.

Some of things I never considered before my travel:
* Jet Lag
* Jet Lag
* Jet Lag

Man ... they hit the kids ... and hit me hard. The kids woke up at 2:00am every morning for more than a week of our landing in India and I had to entertain them. Just when they were almost used to IST timings we flew back and had to deal with the same again !!

New challenges await us from next week ... Cantaloupes' school and Junior's day care are the most important ones in the list.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Blogging break

On a break till end of month ...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Heights of enthusiasm

So Cantaloupe gets a new activity book to work on before going to bed. Its a sticker book, where she needs to find various stickers and paste them on the right shadow ... making sure of the context on the page. (transportation, pre-historic, birds etc etc)
As always with new items bought, she was all excited to work on the same with me. Within 10 mins of us starting the activity she says "Amma, I asked you to look over my job ... not take over !!" (she said "nodu antha helde Madu antha hela lilla")

What can I say .... I still get excited working on a new project ... perhaps a little too much at times :))

Friday, June 19, 2009

What kind of mother

1. Doesn't let her 5 year old learn to turn on the TV by herself ? *
2. Doesn't let her 5 year old fiddle with the laptop for more than 10 mins? **
3. Hasn't introduced her daughter to the world of video games ??***

Hmm ... well ... that would be my kind of mother :)))

* She can very well turn on the TV, but its configured for DVD / VCR/ Cam Coder and other modes and doesn't know the concept of these modes
** Strictly Starfalls
*** Has never played with any thus far !

Monday, June 8, 2009

You know you have become a good story teller when ...

Your 5 year old daughter cheers for you loudly in bed when your name is announced as a winner in a story told to her about your school days :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Report card

Date: May 18, 2009
Time: 7:00pm
Place: Neighborhood Grocery Store
Mission Accomplished: Junior drinks Fruity with a straw
Note: Cantaloupe gracefully shared the juice first and quickly realised that Junior was a pro with the straw and demanded the pack from her quickly

Date: May 25, 2009
Time: 4:15 pm
Place: Junior land
Mission Accomplished: Junior successfully climbs up the "Spiral Stairs"
Note: Has climbed the same as a pro there after.

Date: May 27, 2009
Time: 7:20am
Plane: Junior Land, Bedroom
Mission Accomplished: Junior successfully descends from the bed taller than her
Note: Has realised that descending face down is dangerous and slides on her tummy before jumping and landing on her legs with hands outstretched (resembling the landing of gymnast)

Mystery Unresolved: Why didn't the parents realise that she might have acquired the skill set much earlier? And more importantly how did she learn them and execute it like a pro???

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Junior turns ONE !!

Oh my Sweet little Junior ...
what can I about someone whose smile just brightens the day for everyone in the house... about someone whose attention everyone seeks... who is barely one but has all of us including your stubborn sister tied to your little finger.
I still remember the day you started growing inside me .... this may sound crazy, but some how I knew I was pregnant way before I took the pregnancy home tests. Your dad was more keen about having you than your stupid mom who was scared of losing her sleep which she had barely gotten back. But the moment I realised you were going to come into our lives, my whole spirit was lifted and I was happy. This was going to be my last pregnancy and I wanted to enjoy every moment and I did.
You were a good kid inside me and did not trouble me much except when I forgot about you and organised a fun fair community event and over stressed myself when I was 32 weeks pregnant. Boy ! Was I scared I'd deliver a pre-mature baby at that time !! But you were fine and arrived just 5 days before your due date on 20th May at 12:49 pm. I was really alert when they operated me and pulled you out ... but once I got a glimpse of you and they took you for clean up ... I fell asleep. It was only after blissful sleep of 20 mins that I got to see you and I fell in love with you instantly. You were the most beautiful baby I had ever seen ... I still remember those lovely red lips and little eyes. Your dad and I argued about your eye color. You dad thought they were green just like his brothers ... and I hate green eyes ... and furiously shot back that they were brown. I am so glad you have such lovely eyes.
My mom, still maintains that you were the loveliest baby she has seen thus far .... an honor she had bestowed on your chikki (my sister) thus far :)
You were a great baby from the beginning .... a very happy and cheerful one ... you started smiling / responding very early and those dimpled simples always attracted people. In fact your chikkappa named you "Smiley".
I can see how different kids of the same parents can be ... while you adore your sister and almost worship the ground she walks on, you are very different from her. I can see that you have clearly inherited the love for pets from your daddy ... who I must add is very very proud of you for that. (he is tired of this grumpy mother of yours who is refusing to get a pet home)
You love music ... anything from carnatic classical to nursery rhymes to bollywood songs. But then you expect the music to be played everytime you are fed ... now that is proving to be challenge to change tracks for every spoon that I feed you. You are a very picky eater now and that is bothering me endlessly. It doesn't help that friends and family have commented that the once chubby you is now more like me. (I am extremely skinny and I am called Kaddi meaning stick). Its not that you do not know how to eat .. you had mastered eating chapati when you were 6 months ... you were fed rice when you were 6+ months ... and you enjoyed eating it nevermind you had no teeth to chew :)
Your first 6 months led all of us to wrongly conclude that you were a sweet little angel who just loved being by yourself and smiled at every single person in sight. The day after you completed 6 months, you turned out quite different... you learnt to sit by yourself , crawl, identify objects, switch to your daddy's side from being mommy's darling. babble, demand things when you needed .... it was as if someone switched on a button and you were a different person overnight. Your chikki who was in India during that period and came back after a long 3 months vacation could hardly believe the naughty little kid she was seeing was indeed you !
You have been a great baby thus far. You easily got adjusted to sleeping in your room in your crib. You refused the bottle but mastered to drink with a sippy cup from Day 1. You love parks, dogs, flowers, library, butterflies and birds.
You love your sister as much as she loves you. Please continue to brighten our spirits with your smiles.
God bless you !

Lots of love,
- Mommy

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekend that was ...

It was a perfect sunday here. Bright and sunny and I started mother's day rather early... woke to the bright smiles to my dear daughters. I almost felt honored to share the day with Junior first birthday. Her actual birthday falls on 20th May ... but per Hindu calendar, it was her birthday.
My darling ... the constant babbler ... the one with the warmest smile and cutest dimple in the whole wide world turned one. I don't want her grow so fast. I want to believe that she is not yet one ... she is still my little baby who will depend on me for everything.
We went out in the morning and bought her a very cute green polka dot swim suit. We headed out to the pool in the after noon and she had her first swimming pool experience. And boy ! She had a blast or what ! Everytime her God, her sister stretched her arms and kicked her feet (attempting to swim) the birthday girl jumped in joy. Tried to splash the water on everyone as if to say, I can do exactly what you are doing. Thankfully I remembered to carry the camera and recorded the important event. It was so hard to get her out of the pool ...
Later in the evening, we went out to cold stone and she got her first taste of Coldstone ice cream. The sucker for taste that she is, relished it just the way it should be. I had prepared special dinner which she enjoyed as well. I am so glad she appreciates good food just like her mom.

And oh! I watched the Amazing race and Apprentice finals. Both kids were asleep by 9:00pm and I decided to use the rare time to watch TV. Amazing race was ok ... but the Celebrity Apprentice was a stretch and waste of time. I could care less about who won. (and yet watched)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Study time for Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe and I have formed a routine of sorts now. 7:30 - 8:00 pm is STUDY TIME !!
She drops everything she is doing when I announce it is study time and obediently sits in the room after the gathering the books I ask her to.
We both say our prayer and invariably begin with an art. I ask her to draw something, usually something she has learnt in school that week, like a butterfly, spider, lady bug, house fly , bee etc etc.
Once she is done with the drawing, I ask her to tell me things that she knows / has learnt about the insect. She says 2-3 sentences sometimes... other times weaves an entire story around the bug in spotlight. I think this sets the right spirit for her to get going with her maths / phonics. We try to do different activities during this time ranging from a short dictation to addition to subtraction to patterns to crosswords to Kannada reading / writing. Some days go more smoothly than others and she really shows a lot of interest in doing her activities. Other days she needs some nudging, then some encouraging, then some more encouraging in the borderline of threatening and occasionally yelling :( Yelling is rarity ... but it has happened. I am working on it. But no matter what we sit together for atleast 30 minutes and spend quality time learning something. I think its important for her ... she is going to be 5 and will start Kindergarten this september. I am told that homework for kindergartners is close to 30 mins. Knowing Cantaloupe, getting her to sit in one place and concentrate on one activity at a time a big challenge and hence I am just trying to gear her up better for kindergarten.
I am glad we have a start .....

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Morning madness

Another thursday dawned ... the alarm went off at sharp 5:30am. I snuggled in my comforter and hugged BP to latch on the last few minutes of sleep. Within 5 minutes we both were up and headed to get our chores done. I took my shower and came down to see Junior in BP's arms. He trying hard to feed her the milk and she refusing it. I continued to add on spices to the boiling water he had kept for our morning tea. We had our tea and he rushed upstairs to get dressed to work.
I prepared breakfast (poha), packed 3 lunch dabbas for BP, Cantaloupe and self, set the cooker for rice and dal, prepared fresh coffee decoction and was cutting the apples for Cantaloupe's lunch when I heard her voice. Meanwhile BP came down and left for work. I went upstairs to find Cantaloupe awake and wanted to play with Junior on her bed. The little was only too eager to oblige. Good... I can prepare rasam I thought and headed back to the kitchen. I could hear the girls having a good time. 10 mins later I went upstairs ... Junior jumped at me indicating she was done playing there and I asked Cantaloupe to come downstairs. We turned on some nursery rhymes and were singing and dancing for some time. I looked at the clock and it was close to 8'o clock. I asked Cantaloupe to rush to the bathroom so we were not late. Thats when everything started going wrong.
First she reminded me that she had not studied in the morning. (we usually sit together and study / pray for 15 mins in the morning). I was kind of worried we'd be late to school, but couldn't refuse her because afterall she wanted to "STUDY" :) She took her own sweet time to write the alphabets pausing every now and then to play with Junior and just look around or yawn. I was getting irritated by every second she was wasting but tried to be patient with her. It was around 8:20 and she was finally done. Good ! Now come on ... lets go for the bath I said. I am sleepy ... can I sleep? She asked. I knew she had her mind set on sleep .. How long? I asked ... Just 1 minute she assured me. I put the breakfast in a bowl and heated her milk and returned back and ordered her to go to the bathroom immediately. But I want to sleep for some more time she tried arguing.
Fine, I will get dressed and then take you to school in exactly the same state that you are in I said calmly. She thought I was kidding and didn't take me seriously.
2 minutes later I declared, I am done ironing my clothes, if I don't see you in the bathroom now, you will not get a bath. Perhaps it was my tone that made the difference and she went to the bathroom. I bathed her and out she came for a new tantrum. I don't want you to pick my clothes... I want to pick it. I said, its already picked and if you don't want to wear these, you get another to wear. She did not protest much.
She said her prayer and I gave her milk. She tried to be extra sweet and requested , Amma can I have my TV while eating breakfast. (she is allowed about 10 mins of TV during breakfast during which time I feed Junior and get dressed to work) It was already 8:45 ... I looked at the clock and said, sweetie you have about 5 mins for breakfast, I can feed you today if you want. But you don't get TV.
She was very very upset with the proposal on hand and yelled out. I could care less and continued to feed Junior. She repeatedly asked me to turn on the TV and I continued to ignore her. There is about 3 mins left I warned her ... if you don't eat now, you will not get any breakfast today. I don't want breakfast, I don't want lunch , I don't want to eat anything today ... she shouted back. Fine I said, and pretended to pull out the lunch box from her bag. She realised that I was going to have none of her gimmicks today. I want my lunch ... I will be hungry amma ... please keep the green apples for me. Her voice had gotten much softer now and she seemed more calm.
As I changed to my office wear, put on your socks and shoes before I am done, else you will go bare foot to school I announced. I heard no protest but she was crying by now. I picked my office bag to see her ready ... but she continues to cry. I asked Do you want me to clean your face or you want to tell today's story to your friends at school? Please clean me up, she requested.
We drove to school ... we were late by about 4 minutes. She apologised multiple times on the way to school for her bad behavior. Do you want to have some breakfast now I asked ... Yes amma .. she said. I immediately fed her few spoons of Poha (I would have never been able to eat in peace if she had refused her breakfast and I was damn hungry :( ) I waived her good bye and drove to work.

Most days are not so bad ... Cantaloupe understands her routine and likes her school. But to get her ready on time is somewhat a challenge ... but today was exceptionally bad. Most times I would have yelled at her for her bad behaviour ... it started out the same today as well ... but soon I took a different approach to deal with her. I think this "Non yelling" method is much better than the other one ... only I need to be consistent with it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Around the world in 80 clicks

Reading the title of the post itself is sufficient for anyone to know what I am writing about here. I have been tagged by Kodi's mom to write about the 5 things I loved about motherhood.
Here goes my list: (A big HUG and thank you notes to Cantaloupe and Junior for this)

1. I love the fact that with motherhood I am able to let loose and enjoy life. All my student days I was the nerd who was quite content and happy with the limited friends I had. I was too busy with my books / music / essays / dramatics / debates etc to care about just relaxing and socializing Some mistook me that for egoism. Anyways, motherhood as liberated me. I have an extended social circle now .. motherhood introduced me to some great friends and I am thankful for the same. The quiet me has now become more extrovert than ever.

2. I love that I am able to don different professional hats in the name of motherhood. I am a fashion designer / hair stylist to my daughters. I spread out my artistic hands at times too ... I love shopping for my daughters. The transformation from a person who hardly went shopping in student days to an enthusiastic shopper is quiet amazing. I also love that I can bank on my girls for company :) (no more begging BP for company)

3. I love that I am able to love someone unconditionally. I know there are times when I may long for my solitude and quiet corner or peaceful nap and snap at my kids ... but deep down I love them unconditionally.

4. I have discovered new heights of respect for my parents. I am amazed by how they managed to raise us with so much love and care. I worship them now. I also have deep respect for my MIL for having managed to raise five kids on her own in a joint family with 25 people.

5. People who see me these days are stunned by my patience. My patience has reached new levels with no conscious effort from my end.... thanks to motherhood. My parents are especially proud of me for this :)

There are many many more things that I love being a mother ... but being a sucker for rules, I'll stop at five.
The whole world already seems to have done this tag ... but nonetheless would like to tag Noon, Asaan, Sujatha, Moppet, Poppins, Ceekay ... Ladies would like to hear about 5 things you love about motherhood.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Chak De India - complete analysis

Watching movie with my daughters is a rarity in our household. If we end up watching something together, it might be a Jungle Book or Lion King.
Last night I was tempted to watch Chak De India ... Cantaloupe was awake. I didn't think there was anything inappropriate in the movie and so decided to watch it in her presence. Bad idea ... the questions never seem to end
Sample this:

* Why is he shivering? (pointing at SRK who in the scene right after Indian team had won the world cup)
* Is Australian food very tasty ? (looking at girls filling their plates in one of the songs)
* Are they missing their family ? (when the girls are disappointed after their first game with Australia)
* Are they going to sleep in the saree? (the party scene where all girls are in saree)
* Why should they always listen to their coach ... can't they think?

And many many more ....

But this one is the best

* Does she want to use the potty?

She asked this question when SRK and his mother return back to their house after the world cup. They enter the house and SRK comes out and looks around. At first it didn't register in my mind why she has asked that question ... later realised that SRK and his mother had together entered the house and only SRK had come out and hence her question ....

Happy weekend !

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Every Individual is Different

When my mother stayed with us, she bonded instantly with the kids. Cantaloupe welcomed her grandma with open arms and Junior was just a baby to know anything. My mother enjoyed spending time with her grandkids. The thought of leaving behind her grandkids saddened her days before she went back to India. She continues to miss them now that she is in India. But she has established a bond with atleast Cantaloupe strong enough to stand against the distance separating them. They just connect with their heart.
My MIL is here with us now. The friendlier child that she is Cantaloupe has opened up to her instantly. Junior is gradually bonding with her. But MIL is showing some restraint. Her reasoning is that it is easy to get attached to kids when staying with them, but she is going to mighty miss them when she returns back to India. So she doesn't want to bond as much with her grandkids.

Hmm .... two different grandmas.... two completely different views ... Which one suits you better?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cantaloupe reads her first book

I slept satisfied last night. My 4+ year old daughter read Dr.Suess Hop on Pop all by herself !!!! She completed all 64 pages of reading in straight 10 mins. When I hugged her and congratulated her on her feat, expression on her face was priceless. She was so satisfied with herself and offered to read another book by herself.
WOW I never realised that her focus level had improved from reading 10 pages to 64 pages in one go.* Way to go dear !!

* Cantaloupe has been reading for a while now, only it was for short periods. This was the first time she read a book completely.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Me ... my family

We were functioning like a well oiled machine these days. Our schedule was fixed and almost predictable. Then came the day light savings and we seem to have an extra hour to spend in the evenings. It feels great since we spend this extra hour in the park as a family. Earlier, I always felt left out since BP went to the park with the girls while I came home and prepared dinner and completed the daily chores before they got back. Then we all spent the time together. Now, I get to go to the park as well ... the girls love the presence of both their parents and I end up exercising without my knowledge.

I am seeing gradual shift in the girls loyalties ... earlier Junior stuck with me all the time now she is daddy's girl. BP swears it is only because she follows her source of food ... now that I have weaned her, she tries to get those biscuits from her dad. (of course mama doesn't give her any of those). Cantaloupe is becoming my little girl these days. She is slowly but surely understanding that doing her math and reading is a guaranteed shot of winning mama's heart. She tries to initially get away from reading, but stern look on my face ensures she doesn't get away.

I introduced Cantaloupe to word building game sometime back and she took instant liking to it. She insists on playing it atleast once a day. Initially she had to just identify the last letter and say a word ... slowly I am trying to get her to spell the word as well. She can now comfortably read beginner's books in the library. I have new regards to Dr.Suess books these days ... they are simple and boast the kids' confidence.

Junior is the darling of the house. Each one of us whether it is BP, Cantaloupe or me want a piece of her all the time. Wonder if her cheeks hurt with all the kisses poured on her from us. Poor thing, just squeaks when she is irritated and forgets it soon. She crawls in and around the house most of the time and is on the look out for any tiny piece of dirt she can stuff her mouth with. She particularly loves to tear paper and mess up the neatly stacked DVD/CDs. Her favorite passtime is to grab any toy that her sister is playing with and throw it in random direction. Perhaps her way of involving herself in her sister's games. ("Amma, Junior is disturbing me... amma Junior is throwing my teddy is a mantra I hear all the time) Cantaloupe sweetly advises her sister "Kuchi (only she is allowed to address Junior as Kuchi), you never throw the toys ... you are supposed to play with them. Kuchi why don't you play with your toys".

BP and I love to watch the girls play by themselves ... though we get this pleasure for only a few minutes before it abruptly ends with either Cantaloupe yelling out her mantra or junior finding more interesting things like a small piece of rubber to chew.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Thus, I became a mom ...

IHM tagged me to do this one... and relive my memory... thank you !


Yes (always wanted babies after marriage)

I am already pregnant ??? Didn't we decide just few days back, we were ready for babies ??? Why isn't BP showing all the Bollywood style reaction. (BP just hugged me and said Congratulations ... lets call up our parents)

No way.

Well ... just old enough to have a baby :))

Good old home pregnancy test.

BP and I waited for the home pregnancy test results ... and couple of minutes later told our parents.

Cancerian ... though I think BP was hoping she'd be a Gemini

Nope.... sometimes wondered if I was pregnant at all.

Ate almost everything ... specially liked Strawberries :)

I rarely got irritated ...

A girl.

Not really ... but almost everyone had told me it was going to be a boy.

42 pounds ... I was huge !!!!!

Yes.... the very next day of my mom's arrival.

I knew about it ... what I didn't know was all the arrangements could be made in less than 24 hours and yet the event would turn just the way it should be.

Initially ... I had some spotting / bleeding. I was travelling when spotting started and I thought I had lost my baby... however BP was confident nothing was wrong. Was advised rest for few weeks ... and I was good as ever after that.


Four-Five hours.

BP.... we had to drive to the hospital at 2:30 am when my water broke ... BP kept blaberring something ... he was visibly nervous and so was my mom. I was cool as a cucumber :)

BP and the gynae team


You bet.

7.4 pounds

9: 42 am :)
The Doctor announced that the time was 9:42am when she pulled out my girl and I could hear the little one's cry loud and clear.

I was sedated ... was grinning, was overwhelmed ... could not react much.

Overwhelmed ... before I could react, I almost fell asleep. I think I slept for almost 24 hours on and off.

Nope ... I slept :)

Cantaloupe !

She is a four and half.

My first pregnancy was such a lovely phase ... I got ample rest and pampered lot during those days. I miss being pregnant :(

I'd like to tag Usha, Tharini, Kodi's mom, CeeKay, Boo and Poppy... infact all mom's are welcome to take up this tag.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Junior is already 9 months

My little daughter completes 9 months today. The progress she has made in the past 9 days is just amazing ... well did I say progress in 9 days ... yes thats true ...
We were at this community event last week and Junior loved it. We have always thought that Junior is shy and hates crowd ... she proved us wrong and clarified that while she hated being in the middle of adults, she just loved kids. No stranger anxiety there. If a kid of 5 years came in her vicinity, she squealed with excitement ... but when an adult stood looking at her she screamed and frowned and looked for comfort.
Whether it was this 10 month old baby that she saw crawling all around the community hall or whether it was firm carpet there ... but ever since we are back from that event, she has been crawling all around the house. It was as if, she mastered the skill over night. Earlier she'd crawl 2 steps and sit back... as if something was holding her back. Now there is no looking back ... she feels liberated.
She has already ransacked the DVD rack and Cantaloupes's puzzles .... today she almost entered the bathroom to play with the bin. From sleeping on her back, she rolls over and sits up straight and then crawls ... all in less than 5 seconds. Hmm ... I should try that ... couple of times a day instead of desperately trying to tuck my tummy in my jeans.
She babbles lot of sounds... most don't make sense ... but she CAN say "AMMA" ... also says it appropriately when she wants me to pick her or when she wants me to feed her etc. She almost says "Akka" (she says "Akkkkaaaaaaaaaooo ... Cantaloupe is only too pleased to hear that). Other words said are adda, abba ... and well you guessed it "Appa" :)
She loves going out ... a stroller walk in the park is something she loves best ... but unfortunately we have not been able to take her on walks because of the cold weather and rain. The moment BP puts on his jacket she looks at his feet just to ensure he has his shoes on and jumps at him. This is something BP loves to test every morning before going to work.
Junior is an early raiser ... she is up by 5:30am. Its nice in someways because that is the only time she gets sole attention. Most times, when both kids are up, one the parent is with each kid. Cantaloupe manages to sole attention in the night after Junior goes to sleep.
Junior loves chapatis. For the past few days she gets the same dinner as us and she is loving it. She now almost refuses to eat just rice cereals, unless she is extremely hungry.
She still has that infectious toothless gummy smile... but I have a feeling she is teething and is likely to have 2 teeth in the next few days.

Junior loves her sister ... any day any time, sight of her sister brings a smile on her face. In fact the feeling is mutual. I am so glad and thankful to God for this love between the sisters. May God always bless them both with the same feeling.
Happy Birthday Junior !

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cantaloupe's stage performance.

We attended a social event this weekend. There was a play where kids donned costumes of legendary Karnataka personalities of the likes of Sir M Vishweshwariah, Purandara Dasa, Basavanna ... and Cantaloupe was Onake Obavva. (Obavva was a soldier's wife, a brave lady who fought for her land) It required Cantaloupe to say a few lines in period Kannada. (slightly difficult and very different from Colloquial language) But I made her repeat her lines atleast 15 days before the event day and so she was pretty confident and comfortable with it.
I began costume hunting few days back. Obavva required to tie a saree ... in a different style than our usual. (almost like Lavni style) The saree had to be checkered matching the times of the character. After some searching, my mom's purple cotton saree was chosen. (Cantaloupe has just 2 blouses ... so I had to find a saree to match the blouse) I folded the saree to Cantaloupe's length and stitched it. (long stitch) I am not very good at tying saree ... so I had to request my cousin to help me out. She readily agreed but the problem was she had no clue about this special style of draping the saree. We tried 6-7 times, to Cantaloupes's frustration but still couldn't get it right.
So, I decided to give my best shot and if it didn't turn good, would settle for the normal saree style. I estimated the pleetes and pallu length and just ironed the same. And now I tried to drape the saree around Cantaloupe .... it seemed pretty easy. I was so glad to have figured out the technique finally.
The day before the event, I re-ironed the pleetes and pallu. On the day of the event, saree was draped around Cantaloupe in less than 5 minutes. .. her hair tied back with flowers, waste band and chains/ necklaces / anklets made her look so much lady like. In less than 15 minutes my daughter transformed from a little 4 year old girl to 20 something lady. She walked with so much poise and grace that she put me to shame. (I am somehow not very confident in a saree )When I asked her if she was uncomfortable, she said "Not at all ... I am like ajji ... I love sarees ... they are so comfortable")
She performed with confidence on stage ... perfect dialogue delivery and great conviction. I almost cried of joy ... my 4 year old performed with kids more than double her age and was the star of the show :)
Amma ... I may not know how to drape myself well in a saree ... but I am quite good in draping around others !!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Wardrobe Threat

Scene: Myself trying desperately to fit into those lovely designer jeans I once wore in style ...

The damn zip refusing to move, me trying harder, squeezing my ever bulging tummy.
Cantaloupe seeing this and commenting, "Amma, those jeans are not your size ... you need a bigger size. But those jeans are lovely ... may be you can preserve them for me"

My wardrobe is already under threat !!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Equal Responsibility

The weekend was rather nice ... bright, sunny and warm after those cold days. Post lunch we went out for a walk. We had to return the borrowed DVDs as well. (Watched Oye Lucky ... nicely made movie) Cantaloupe chose to put on her skates. (bad choice) The moment we were out of our apartment complex, she wanted them out ... but her dad ignored her tantrums and continued to hold her, while she skated. I was only to happy to push the stroller and enjoy the sun. Junior was just glad to be out of the house.
On our way back, we went to the library, where we met one of BP's good friends. (we were meeting this couple after 5+ years ... and they were coming to our current house for the first time.) They have a son and I generally asked the boy how old he was .... he was initially shy and later said four ... and his father smiled. He was a little shorter than Cantaloupe and was very shy and talked little. Cantaloupe was excited to have company in playing and willingly led the way home.
Once we reached home, the little boy and Cantaloupe got busy playing and I settled down to talk to the mom while feeding Junior her snack. As is the case most of these days, I asked her opinion on Public schools and if she intended moving the boy from the Montessori he is going to a public school this year. She said, he still has sometime ... I was rather confused. (Public school applications are being distributed in the neighborhood right now and anyone willing to change should have known the same). As we got talking, I learnt that the boy had turned 3 just few days back ...uh??? (So why didn't the father correct the boy earlier ??? I thought)
Junior needed diaper change and BP took her inside to do the needful. The boy's mom was rather surprised / pleased to see that. BP changes diapers?? she asked. Oh yeah .. he does I responded. In 3+ years, the boy's father has not changed a single diaper she said. If I am at a mall or some place away from home and his diaper needs to be changed, he calls me up ... I rush home and change the diapers ... she continued. You are lucky she concluded. Her husband also shamelessly admitted that he had no clue which school the child went to OR which public school he'd be going to next year. He just said mom will take care of everything.
BP and I looked at each other ... BP beaming with pride for the compliment the lady just showered on him ... and me proud to have him as my husband.

Later BP told me that his friend is one of the best engineers he has ever come across ... has very high reputation in office. But I pointed out that, it was rather sad that he was not an involved dad.

Seriously ... aren't dads and moms equally responsible for their kids? Isn't changing diapers one of many things they are responsible for?

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Today's conversation in the car while dropping Cantaloupe to school who was unusually dull
Me: Chinni, you are so dull today... what is the matter
She: Amma I am sad
Me (is she pretending again?): Hey ... you were just alright few minutes back ... what happened?
She: I want Ajji
Me: Ajji is in India
She: But why? Why can't she be here with us?
Me: She has to take care of ajja
She: Let chikki take care (chikki is my sister)
Me: Chikki stays here and has to take care of Chikkappa

She was silent for a few seconds and I could see she was sad ...
Me: Come on, cheer up ... I don't like my daughter to be sad ...
She: But amma ... Everybody has feelings ... I am sad. I really am feeling sad.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Junior gets her ears pierced

Finally ... I repeat finally we got Junior's ears pierced. She has lovely red stone / gold studs and they look great on her. (nevermind BP, who thinks she would have looked fabulous in those green stone ones) Her tiny ears with those tiny studs just make me start wondering when my earring collection will be attacked. They are already under threat from Cantaloupe, who has decided that the rings I am currently having on my ears are "Loaned" to me. She takes pride in that she has shared her earrings with me. The reason she thinks its hers is because I put them on her few months back, and she loved it and declared it was hers. I thought they were slightly big for her and said she could have them when she was old enough.

Anyways... coming back to Junior ... we had been pushing her ear piercing from the day she turned 2 months ... I think it was partly because we did not think it was our priority and mostly because I was too scared that my little baby would be hurt and that I could not bear to see her that way. With Cantaloupe, we got her ears pierced when she was 2.5 months and at that time, I was enthusiastic about the whole event. But this time, somehow I wasn't very sure. I have heard some people comment that baby looks all grown with earrings ... so I didn't want my baby to grow so fast :(

So after postponing the event for the past couple of months, we decided that the further we delayed it, the harder it would get to hold her while piercing. So off we went to the mall nearby. We went to the exact same place where Cantaloupe had got her ears pierced. The lady there was young and seemed efficient. (We watched her pierce for another client) We selected the studs from the available ones. I had loved a dark red set, but unfortunately those did not come with first time piercing ... so we settled for something close, a lighter shade of the same. BP sat down with Junior and Cantaloupe hovered around him trying to talk to Junior and explain the procedure to her. I had the camera and was capturing the proceedings. After a couple attempts the lady marked the spots for piercing on the ears ... by then Junior was getting anxious and did not want to be with BP and stretched and bended towards me. I didn't have any choice but to hold her in my arms for the piercing. I asked the lady which direction suited her best and held Junior firmly and closed my eyes tight. A second later I heard Junior shriek ... I knew why and did not dare to open my eyes ... few seconds later Junior did it again and I took the deep breadth and opened my eyes. My daughter was crying her lungs out and I think she was almost shocked that her mom did this to her. I tried to soothe her by distracting her with the kid store located opposite to the piercing place. Amazingly she calmed down in less than 2 minutes ... it took a couple of more minutes for me to be my normal self again. Sample popsicles were being offered at the corner. BP and I looked at our lovely girls in pride as they got busy with the popsicles.

Friday, January 16, 2009

2009 - New Sankrathi beginnings

This time Sankranthi was special in more than one ways.
First and the foremost, it was the first Sankrathi for Junior. Though she may not understand anything much going around her, it was special for me. I say me, because BP is not the kind of person, who holds very high significance to festivals. He is the kind of person, who will be happy if I celebrate a particular festival and will certainly not care if I didn't. So the whole idea of celebrating anything is solely lies with me. And I am a person who rarely misses an opportunity to celebrate .... it makes it hard when festivals fall on weekdays. This year Makar Sankrathi was on a wednesday ... right in the middle of the week.
For some reason I had imagined the festival to be on thursday. So, it came as a surprise when amma told me on tuesday that the festival was on wednesday. I had prepared the "Sakkare Achchu" (sugar candies) over the weekend. But the yellu prepration was still pending. The yellu we prepare basically requires yellu (til ...of course), roasted peanuts, finely cut copra, finely cut jaggary, and roasted chana dal. While I was busy mixing the rest items, BP quietly helped me with the copra (dry coconut). That was a surprise # 1. I had not seen this involvement from him in the past ... so I was only too happy to accept his help.
The day of Sankrathi started as usual with BP and I rushing to office and kids going to their school / day care. I had an unusually long day at work and came home late. Now I had to cook as well go to friends' places to distribute the "Yellu". (this is an integral part of Sankranthi). I was rushing through the cooking in the kitchen when I noticed that BP was readying the kids for the distribution ... I was pleased by the gesture. But knowing his choice of clothes for the girls, thanked him for the sweet gesture and dressed the girls myself. Then came the biggest surprise ... BP got ready himself and said "Girls ... lets go and distribute Yellu to your friends".
I was totally dumbstruck ... BP offering to take the kids out meant atleast an hour for my cooking !!!! I was so touched by this at that moment, all I did was just kiss BP on his forehead. He was happy, I had appreciated his gesture. Off the girls went with their dad for the distribution, while I completed cooking and cleaning before they were back.
My BIL joined us for dinner and we had a great time together.

Growing up, my dad always took my sister and me out for the Yellu distribution. I had seen several dads take that initiative in my neighborhood ... so I had kind of taken this fact for granted that dads take their kids out. But after I got married, I was in for surprise when BP made his choice clear and did not want to be dragged into this. He did not infact insist on me going out either. I was going for the distribution only because I wanted to. This year, I am pleasantly surprised with the change in BP. THANK YOU HONEY !! I know you are doing this only with the intention of making me happy ... Thank you !

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy Sankranthi

Enjoy your hot pongal / sugarcane / sugar candy (sakkare Achchu) / Yellu (til) !!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Junior starts day care

2009 has already changed a lot of things in our household. For one, Junior began her day care last week. My mom took care of her till such time when I went to work. Mom left over the weekend and Junior started day care.
Junior being a shy kid with a lot of stranger anxiety, is not doing great yet. My cousin who stays close to my office, runs a home day care and she goes there. The first day was hard on Junior and us ... the moment she saw my cousin, she started crying loudly ... I sat there for sometime and she stuck with me all the time and did not even look at my cousin. We had taken her swing and some toys, so she could be in some familiar settings ... so I slowly put her on the swing. After few minutes she calmed down and fell asleep ... and I left to work. I went there during lunch break just to see how she was doing. She was not very happy ... but she wasn't crying either. The moment she saw me, she started yelling out ... and 4 seconds delay that I made in carrying her, she started crying. I tried to divert her attention in all possible ways I knew ... but she continued to cry. After few minutes, she spotted the keys in my hand and wanted it. So gave it to her and made her sit beside me. My cousin went in and came back with another set of keys. So we gave her those and I took back mine and slowly slipped away from her sight. Called my cousin to enquire how Junior was doing. She mentioned that she was not doing bad on her first day. BP picked her up a little later.
There has been no change in events for the past week. She now smiles at my cousin, but only in my presence.
I know that my cousin is good with kids and has loads of patience, very much an essential when dealing with the kids. But there are a few negatives ... firstly, there are no other kids there yet. My cousin had taken a break from running the day for her daughter's wedding and has reopened the day care last week. So far Junior is the only kid there. That is an advantage as well, since that would mean 100% attentin for Junior. But on the downside, Junior loves to be in the company of kids, which she is not getting at the moment.
Another thing that I am unhappy about is, my cousin puts her to sleep for long times. She doesn't need so much sleep during the day. My cousin thinks that if she is awake, she might cry, so its better to put her to sleep. While I agree Junior obviously needs sleep during the day, but she can do with small naps.
We will see how she does in the coming days ...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Yaadoin ke geet

I love music ... I can listen to any kind of Indian music ... be it Carnatic Classical, Folk Music, Movie songs, light music, Devotional .... any type. For the most part of my stay in India, I always thought Western music meant loud drums, noisy guitars and songs with no concept of pitch. It was sheer ignorance on my part ... I really cannot understand why this idea got into me ... but it did ... and for quite sometime. When I moved to a different city from my hometown, I lived with my uncle and family. My cousins there always listened to Western or bollywood. Initially I felt being robbed of all my serene moments with Carnatic classical ... but soon I began to appreciate other types of music too. Anyways ... Music is an essential part of me. I am likely to be singing / humming something many times a day.
I also love to associate music with people. There are a lot of songs which remind me of a person and I relive moments spent with them during the course of the songs. Sometimes, they are pure magical moments ... other moments are not so pleasant. So, I'd like to list down the songs I associate people with ... mind you, they may not be the best songs, but they had an impact on me.
1. Minchu Hula, Minchadiru - My landing day in the US spent with my dear husband BP as a new bride
2. Deena Na Bandiruve - My dad ... even when I am typing this, I recollect moments spent with my dad ... I just long to run back to Mysore and spend time with him.
3. Kajra re - Cantaloupe - I remember this incident when I was listening to Jaane Kahaan Gaye woh din. The sad song that this is, Cantaloupe who was 2 then was crying profusely (for no other reason other than listening to the song which she obviously did not understand). Seeing her cry, I switched the song to Kajra re and instantly she started jumping with joy and danced almost perfectly to the beats :)
4. Doni Saagali Munde Hogali - My aunt and uncle. We were visiting them one summer and my uncle enthusiastically played the recorded duet he and my aunt had sung. My aunt had sung the song so perfectly in contrast to the below average singing of my uncle. None the less, the romance was definitely there in their singing :)
5. John Jonny Janardhan: The song my mama sang in his honeymoon. (did get to hear it ... but he repeated it for us once he came back from honeymoon)
6. Ek Pal ka Jeena: My cousin Y dancing to this song. He must have been 10 and was very shy. His mother, who was trying to build his confidence and encourage him asked him to dance to this song. (My cousin has a good resemblance to Hritik, minus those muscles) His dance was awful, but we couldn't laugh since that would insult him. So we waited for him to leave to his house and burst out :)
7. Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya: Those were the days my best friend and I were spending hours together on the office terrace, We'd talk to our heart's content with our respective guys and then order Pizza and endlessly talk. We sang this song almost everyday. (I hope my friend remembers)
8. Tera Milna pal do Pal ka (sonu nigam): I gifted this album to my sister with my 3rd month salary. She loved it and would keep playing it ... so this song reminds of the time, I used to religiously visit my hometown every week and just relax and catch up with amma, daddy and sister.
9. Laali Laali Sukumaara: My cousin R. She used to sing this song so beautifully when she was 3/4. It also reminds me of her mom, who passed away very very early. (when my cousin was 3/4)
10.Oduva Nadi Saagarava: My MOM: A lovely romantic song, which my mom never fails to sings with such enthusiasm.

I could go on and on with the list .... but let me stop here.
Do specific songs bring back your old memories as well ... I'd love to hear them.

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