Summer 2014

What are we up to this summer?

Adi can now solve cube (inspired from Amma. She has been eyeing it ever since I solved it last year and have got to it finally). I have to admit that Adi solves it better than me.. She learned it in 3 days.

 

She is practicing the carnatic songs she learns from pattu class in piano. She has been doing this out of her own interest and getting pretty good at it.

 

She is part of Fizz Boom summer reading club at local library. Not making great progress but reading whenever she gets time in-between other craziness.

She wants to put-up a lemonade stand but I am still fiddling on that idea. I mean I need cooler, crushed ice, pitcher, table.. Ok forget it for this summer is all I say to myself every time I think of it but there is still tiny little hope. Let’s see.

She is going to hang out for a day with two of her friends from school this weekend.

She has a journal but writes only when bored or when reminded of its existence.

She is having a very good time at the summer fun program organized by the mayor for our city residents. They take them to pool, bowling and field trips.

I should say this is her best summer of all years. A visit to beach and couple of other places would make it perfect.

Party updates – 2

What better post can I choose to write about the little girl’s party details than my 400th one :) It just happened..

I am sad to say that none of you came close to the theme. How could you forget the love affair she had with watching Cake Boss episodes back to back? But, your responses made me wonder about a book themed party. May be in one of the coming year. So, it was a baking themed party this year.

Invitation – check

Please don’t break my heart by saying the invitation looks like an ice cream. It is supposed to be a cup cake.

invitation

Decorations – check

cup cake shaped card was sticked and ballons were hanged around our vasantha maligai (home aka palace) at random spots.

decoration

Food (home made) – check

I didn’t want to buy pizza so made vegetable pasta and mac n cheese at home. Adi made the toasted cheese sandwich, cut it into triangles and placed toothpick on each piece with absolutely no help from me. I also planned to make chicken strips but forgot :( And then there is always juice and ice creams.

food

Crafts – check

Kids made chef hat and colored cup cake shaped foam pad. I was also planning to make them decorate their own apron but few days before the party, I got some colorful aprons from store so skipped this part. Do you see the chef hat and apron on the pic?

coloring

 

Games – check

We played walking inside two straight lines from one end to another with eyes blindfolded (it was so much fun) and bingo.

games

 

Cake cutting – check

It was home made marble cake

cake-cutting-021

Saved the best for last – Making of cake pops.. It was this close to become a disaster but M came to my rescue. The trial Adi and I made few weeks before party came out very well. I guess murphy was waiting to visit me on the day of party. The pops were falling apart, frosting was getting thicker before we could dip the pop and all that was not supposed to happen was happening.  At one point, the girls gave up and I was about to burst out, but M helped to pull it all together. He used milk as thinning agent for frosting, found a technique to keep the pop safe from breaking apart. It continued to be a disaster for few pops but still we managed to pack 5 pops for each kid as a return gift.

I made the cake base the previous day, crumbled it and kept it freezer. On the party day, the girls made the balls, dipped the balls in frosting to make pops and decorated it with toppings. Trust me, it doesn’t look as simple as it sounds. I called the parents and requested them to come one hour late for pick-up. One of the friend who agreed to help on the day ditched me and I was left there alone to handle everything by myself. Through out the party, my hands were shivering and I could not hold the pop or staple the chef hat. I don’t want to talk much about the friend in this happy post. It took me a long time to recuperate from it. My relationship with the said person is not going to be the same as before. This day made me better understand the word “better-half”. M exceeded my expectations for once and gave me a hand when it was needed the most. Without him, I would have called it quits.

The girls made few pops and as M and I were making and packing the rest, they watched the movie Jumanji.

cake-pop-022

Return gift – check

Cake pops, apron, chef hat, colored cup cake foam board and chocolates. I have individually wrapped the pops and then wrapped it in a purple film and tied a bow.

pop

I don’t know if it was true but Adi said later the day that this was the best party ever, that this has exceeded last year’s fruit themed party and thanked me a million times.

The effort and tension was worth her happiness.

This party happened on the weekend following her bday. On her birthday, we took her to Carlos bakery as a last hour planned surprise visit and bought a birthday cake. It costed an arm and leg and don’t start me with the taste. None of us really liked it but the look on her face when we were in front of the bakery was worth the visit. M took a video of her reaction.

carlos-collage

Phew, there I wrote the birthday updates after nearly two months. I can sleep better now.

 

Party updates – 1

Better late than never. I guess most of my posts in this blog start with this line. So, here are the updates about Adi’s 9th grand (not-so) birthday party. 

April: I started thinking as what to do for Adi’s birthday party. I was weighing all options considering our present situation and was left confused as it happens every year. We live in a small apartment, so calling in families is ruled out, arranging at a party place had budget constraints and other practical difficulties, not having a party at all was not convincing, so after much thinking I decided to just call three of her best girl friends (only kids) home and arrange for a simple party with no theme. 

Beginning of May: On an evening, as we were returning home from library, I opened the topic with Adi, explained all options and asked for her opinion. She was okay with my decision but wanted it based on a theme. I could not exactly recollect, how we arrived at this theme, but by end of the conversation in that ten minutes walk, the theme was decided and the girl was jumping with joy on the street as that happened to her her favorite theme. Within next few seconds, we have made rest of the plan. 

Any guesses on the theme?

 

bad parenting

I shouted at Adi today.. Uncontrollably like a histeric person and feeling shameful to say that I broke the top part of a lid as I was working at kitchen at that time. I feel bad about myself. I don’t have the energy to explain why and the details but I feel bad.. very bad. Tears are flowing non stop.. I am sitting at living room typing this post and Adi is at bed room lying upside down on the bed. I don’t know how I will make it up with her.. Something is bothering me.. I am not able to pin point at the issue and something is bothering me very much. I have become a whining girl, crying every other day for no reason. Absolutely no reason from the surface but there is a reason deep in my mind that is triggering all this. At this point, I am not able to decipher this reason and even if I do, I don’t know if I will have a solution for it. So, why bother to know the reason? Is this how life treats every body? why is grass is always greener on the other side? where does all my gyans for others vanish when I am at it..  Like I always promise myself every time, I promise now that I will not shout at Adi anymore and be harsh to her and sincerely hope that she will erase this incident from her memory… Today is just another bad parenting day!!!

Knock knock

Anybody still looking at this space? I promised myself to write only after reading all the pending posts in my reader and commenting on them but looks like its never gonna happen so thought of saying a quick hello.. Hope all of you are doing well. Have got some breathing space at work today so utilizing my lunch time to do a quick post. Hope this will get me back into the blogging world that I have been missing so badly.

We are slowly getting back to routine at home. I have started cooking after almost two years and I must give it to M and Adi for adjusting to the taste. The food was horrible in week 1 but still they ate. I am not able to understand how a fish kuzhambu can taste so pathetic even worse than plain tamarind water though I have followed the procedure to T and no ingredients are missed. When I narrated the procedure to Amma over phone she said it sounds perfect but only that the family couldn’t taste that perfect dish in the perfect way. I am still clueless about what did I miss. I felt even worse after watching “Un Samayal Araiyil”.

LHB was down with viral fever for past ten days. He was affected by HFMV disease. Looks like with this, the kid will developer fever for few days, then tiny bumps in Hand, Foot, Mouth (HFM, thus the name) and it will take several days to clear off. There was no medication except for pain reliever and M managed him quite well. Poor chap went through a terrible phase and gave us hard time for every meal. LHB’s love or should I say craziness, madness for Appa is growing strong day by day. I wonder if they were the famous laila majnu or ambikapathy amaravathy in previous birth. He clings on to M’s shorts always and refuses to stay in the room where M is not there. Adi and I are treated as untouchables by him. Even in deep sleep, when transferred to the bed from crib he wants to be by his Appa’s side.. He is definitely going to pay for this one day.

Adi’s summer vacation has started and she is at home for few weeks. We are alternating working from home and leaving her at neighbor’s home. I haven’t asked her to study anything in these holidays and let her do anything she likes. Neighbor girl “N” and Adi has made a treasure box for this summer. They are adding something special to it everyday, maintaining an Index card of what they add, why its special and planning to display it to the families by end of summer. The girls are having some fun together and its good to see Adi have a company of her age. They come up with  random stuff to present to the family. Like they organized a send off party with art exhibition for parents, executed a skit for both families on a weekend based on “cap for sale” story and so on.. It reminds of my childhood playtime with neighborhood kids. Good to see her spend the holidays the way it is supposed to be.

I will try to soon capture Adi’s birthday party moments before they fade off my memory and catch up with all yours posts.. I see some light at end of tunnel so there is hope.. Expect me at your space.. Coming soon!!!!

Amma

is in the airport now. Wishing parents a very safe journey. The help that she has been to us in past six months is beyond words and we are in debt to her for lifetime for the timely help.  As if its not enough, in spite of my strict no, our refrigerator/pantry has been fully loaded with

1. Idli/dosa maavu enough for three weeks
2. Puliogare mix enough for six months
3. Lemon rice mix
4. Onion/tomato thokku
5. Bitter guard kuzhambu
6. Snake guard kootu
7. Beans usili
8. Beetroot poriyal
9. Fish kuzhambu
10. Fish fry
11. Pudhina chutney
12. tomato chutney
13. red chilli garlic chutney
14. Chapathi – enough for a week
15. cut veggies in freezer
16. Sambar powder – 2 varities
17. jeera powder
18. pepper powder
19. cardamom powder
20. fennel seeds powder
21. idli podi
22. garlic podi
23. rasam
24. health mix for LHB

and few more that I will be able to recollect when we savor it.

Image

 

I am speechless. I was even angry at her for stretching beyond her physical limits. My only wish is to reciprocate at least half of her selflessness to my kids as a mother. I am far far away and not sure even if its possible.

Will miss you Amma.

Mother’s day 2014

Better late than never.

Thank you all so much for all your lovely birthday wishes to Adi. I am really really sorry for not replying to the comments in earlier post. I have not read any of your posts either. Life is crazy at this moment with everyone leaving me.. At work front, my counterpart is leaving in one week and every minute at work has been utilized to the most. Ever since I landed on this country again,work seems to take me on a toll. Working across time zones and more work coming my way before the work in hand takes some shape. Good part is I am learning something new everyday. Gone are the days when I had the luxury to read few posts in between work or at lunch time. As if this is not enough, Amma is also leaving me around at the same time. I think I have ranted enough about it already. Last weekend I did laundry at 11pm on Sunday night. But, I was telling myself that harder days are ahead!!!

Something that made me step away from craziness and smile. How can I not share it with you all?

From Adi: She bought this from Plant sale at school with her “own” money.

flower-pot

 

From LHB: Looks like he scribbled those lines and that’s his hand print.. He tore the cards before we could go Awwww but I managed to click it :)

 

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