Archive | April 2012

I should have known ahead

When there was a good day to cherish the brain should have warned me about the bad day that’s around the corner no?  Isn’t this is all about balancing life?

Okay before you panic it was not that bad at all but I felt it that way. On Saturday M was about to attend an all-day training so I asked if he can car pool with his colleagues you know so the mommy/daughter duo can have the car and plan an another exciting day.

His colleagues agreed to car pool, I woke up earlier, took head bath, M left at 8am, I woke up Adi, made strawberry banana milkshake for her breakfast, had my breakfast, we both cleaned up the house (the task that usually takes two hours was completed in half hour), prepared Adi’s milk, cooked lunch, dressed up, discussed about our plans for the day, packed bags, wore shoes and we were just a task away from stepping out.  Got to get the car keys from M’s basket in which he throws keeps all his belongings and fly out..

What did I find or rather what did I not find in his basket? You got it.. the car keys. The next 15 minutes was spent in searching for the keys under the couch/bed/recliner/TV and all other places except under the floors. We couldn’t break the tiles you see.. No luck.  Keys were not found.  Called M, his phone was switched-off as expected, remembered the call he made from his colleague’s phone during last week training, searched for the number in my phone logs, called that number, asked for M, spoke to him and found the keys but at the wrong place 😦 at M’s pant pocket. Owe it to his daily habits, as he was leaving he grabbed his purse/keys and put them in his pocket with no thought. I was furious to see my plans go out of the window.

Took a deep breath, explained the situation to Adi and we sat down there staring at each other.  After a while I took her to library, pepped up her mood by getting her own card (a long due one was checked that day),  spent sometime at library, read few books, checked out books with her card and returned home.  Then, she watched her favorite special show “My little pony-Royal wedding” in TV, we had lunch together and again sat down there staring at each other again.  Our initial plan was to go some places in the morning and then visit “Earth day fair” at Liberty state park in the afternoon.  Then, I looked out for public commute options to Liberty state park and we instantly decided to go. It was a long commute though. A train then light rail and then 20 mins walk thankfully the weather was good so we boarded the train, then the light rail and then walked for 20 minutes.

sat on the way huffing and puffing on the roads

shooed away the goose

blew off dry flowers as much as we can

and reached the park at 3:50pm.  Didn’t I tell you this day was meant to be a disaster? Most of the stalls in the fair were already closing, the inflatables were brought down and face painting line was closed. The fair was supposed to be there till 5pm. I thought we will have a good one hour to go around but they started closing at 4pm itself.  Then, we treated ourselves with ice cream, sat over there for a while (how else can I make this girl walk another 20 minutes back right away?) and started the return walk.

Met a colleague and her family at train station, played with the 7 month old baby and guess what we all boarded the train in opposite direction.  They were heading to the Sai Baba temple near my home and my good luck of the day dragged them along with us to the opposite direction 😀 but we were better off than the man who was in the compartment when we boarded, slept through till the last station, traveled back with us in the other direction, woke up just before we were about to get down and found that he lost his bag 😦 😦

To make the day better or at least to cheer us up I decided to join my colleague’s family to the temple.  Had a good darshan at temple after a long long time and then all was well. On the way back to home I took Adi to an Indian restaurant, ordered Samosa, watched her eating the hot hot Samosa shifting between hands and holding with paper, bought her some candies from a street corner shop and returned home around 8pm.

I didn’t forgive M for the blunder but does tummy know all that? All it needs is food, food and food so I shamelessly hogged on the bread upma made by him and called it a day.  I claimed that M took the keys knowingly because he couldn’t stand the fun day we had before. I know I sound cheap and silly but had that long mean face till yesterday afternoon and then got kind of cooled off.

Sunday was spent washing clothes, folding, cooking, cleaning, grinding idli batter and making other preparations for the week ahead… Such is life..

Did she do a fair job?

Presenting Adi’s art works from last few weeks.  She did all of them under no supervision.

Copy of her favorite doll Minnie

Is it me? I don’t have such a short hair!!!

That’s her friend. Sun and grass had always been her trademark and now a butterfly too.. Please to ignore the pony style change 🙂

Clifford

 

Caterpillar

 

Clay models – Minnie again

Unicorn – Inspired from a character in TV show

Princess – Inspired from a character in TV show

Butterfly

And finally the step by step procedure to draw a bear holding a heart. She learned this from the art class.

final output with colors 🙂

Which one do you like?

She owns a drawing pad and is “practicing to be perfect” (those were words from her) as she wants to become an artist when she grows up. This is as of April 2012.  I am recording the month and year as in March 2012 she wanted to be a dancer, in Feb 2012 she wanted to be a doctor and so on.  Now you know why I have planned her birthday theme to be based on arts and crafts..

Fun Friday

Last Friday was a day to cherish for rest of my life.  The mommy and daughter day turned out to be more than just perfect. We woke up around 8am, jumped into morning routine, had breakfast and got ready by 10:30am.  We reserved our car for the day as you know we had many many important commitments for the day.  So many places to cover in one single day. I wanted to visit all the art and craft places and studios I have shortlisted from internet to see if we can celebrate Adi’s birthday (that’s a month away) in one of that place. The theme for this year’s birthday would be arts and crafts as the girl is now more inclined towards it.  What better day to check the places than Friday where we don’t have to unnecessarily test M’s patience by visiting numerous places on the same day, give the girl a chance to choose the place she likes and allow us to take our own time at every stop again without testing M’s patience.

I had given enough heads up to Adi in the morning as we are only going to check the places and the party may or may not happen at all, as  I don’t want her to throw a tantrum end of day, as I need her help in choosing a better place but again we might end up not choosing any place too, as I am looking for her honest opinion about every place, as we will discuss the pros and cons of every place so on and so forth.. Phew I wonder how her marriage arrangements are going to be if I can’t just decide on a party plan for her 7th birthday.  So, we roamed around the whole day. Here is a glimpse of our Itinerary.

Bags were packed with water bottle, snacks, juice boxes, puzzle book, kindle. What if we were lost, get hungry on the way, Adi is busy in one of the crafts shop and I get bored. So basically we just left the beds and pillows at home and packed everything under the roof with so many what ifs popping out of our mind.  Isn’t this bound to happen when the mom-daughter duo is set to venture out whole day that too to unknown places just relying on GPS.

Our first few stops (A to D) were at places nearby and by the time we were done with D our tummies were already ringing bell.  I choose the local pizzeria whereas the “born-with-golden-spoon” girl  (or at least the way she was treated pampered by her father) choose the grand Indian buffet. Only later I came to know that the girl choose grand buffet for the cantaloupes they serve. Whatever I hogged on the food, she hogged on the fruits/desserts and we left the place with a happy smile and of course a happy tummy:)  By the way, from the places we visited so far Adi liked place B that was a small arts and craft shop where the lady plans the party theme based on kid’s interest and likes.

Second half was a long journey so much so that Adi started complaining that she feels like being on the road for the whole day.  Next stop was at a place where she played bowling, arcade games, won some 64 tickets and got a ring and tattoo as prize. When I agreed to let her play there she was shell shocked and asked “Mommy, why are you being so nice to me today?”,  “Is it because I helped you to cleanup yesterday?” **rolls eyes** I replied in an ek dum filmy style as “Anything for Adi”.. This is your day. Have fun.

Next stop was at an art studio where a party was already happening and kids were busy with painting on their canvas. It was a love at first sight for both of us but the studio is small,  I cannot make it a drop-off party considering the distance and the lady doesn’t have dates until mid of June to come to my home so our love is still on waiting list 😦

Next stop at the backyard of a lady’s house. We reached her place at 5:15pm and met her when she was running to catch a flight.  She does paper mache, face mask, painting and stuff but we were not impressed with the place.

Next stop at another craft store which usually closes at 5pm but was open till 7pm that day much to our delight.  Adi got to do an hour of craft there and we had an once in an lifetime experience on that store. We witnessed an egg hatching a baby chick. Adi was literally shouting in joy and I couldn’t thank my stars enough. I mean after spending more than 25 years at India especially visiting my village for every summer where chicks are quiet common I am here witnessing an egg hatching at US of A for the first time.  Can you believe it?

Here is a video I tried to capture in my phone

 

 

Didn’t I mention earlier that it was more than just a perfect day. Things were just falling in place for us. I never imagined that we will be able to visit all the places marked in my list but we did. Meeting up with a lady at the last minute, not missing even one single route on the way, driving hillside, visiting a craft store to see an egg hatching and what not.

The craft store we visited last was closer to M’s workplace so picked him up, reached home around 8:30pm, made amma’s trademark Kathirika gothsu (recipe coming up soon) as side dish for dosa, ate and hit the sack with back and calf muscles pleading to rest. To my surprise M appreciated the gothsu dish unlike his usual self that always complains about my Chutney’s and Sambar. I never get them right. never ever period. With his praise I had to admit that it is MY day.  A day that dawned just to make me happy 🙂

This day also showed me that the girl has grown-up beyond my imagination. She was analyzing every place more than me and jumped in with ideas. We are yet to decide on the option and she is perfectly fine with it understanding the pros and cons of every place. It was more like a girls day out rather than a mommy/baby day out. I loved every bit of it and saved all the memories deep inside me to cherish for lifetime.  The table we shared at lunch with both of us seated opposite to each other relishing our food, the songs we listened to and sang along while driving on lake side and hill side, the word games we played while struck on traffic, the laughs we shared.. ahhh is there any word superior than bliss?  This day also reminded me of the days I used to roam around Chennai with amma.  I assumed those good old days will never come back but this day proved me wrong.  I only wish to share at least half the kind of relationship with Adi that amma shared with me.. Lucky me to have Adi in my life.. Touchwood Touchwood…

Amma can you?

Amma can you work from home but not work? – from my girl who is highly fed up with appa/amma alternating work from home to cover up her week long spring break…

I have decided to take a day off tomorrow and roam around aimlessly with my kangaroo kutty (as I mention about her always).. You know that mother Kangaroo that carries its Joey in its pouch always? I sometimes fantasize myself as that mother Kangaroo 🙂 🙂

Spring break and books

Long post alert..

I start the post wondering what to type, proceeding to type few lines and then the post grows like a Hanuman tail forcing me to warn my readers. Does this happen to you too?

Spring break is here. The school was closed on last Thursday afternoon and is reopening on 16th April.

On Thursday afternoon Adi came home with her friend N as her parents requested us to pick up the kid. Both of them spent the afternoon at home, exploring Adi’s long touched toys, playing board games, watching Alvin and the Chipmunks and I was working from home watching over them. Around 4pm I asked the girls if they want to visit the nearby library. They agreed provided I promise to treat them with pizza. So, after mutual agreement we spent a good one hour at library. Adi was happy to find the latest Magic tree house book # 47 “Abe Lincoln At Last” and settled with it, N settled with few reading books and myself with “Palace of Illusions” on my Kindle. I was determined to finish it on that day and did finish it at 1am 🙂 . I know I know I must be the last one in the blog world to read this book but I deserve a pat on my back as at last I pulled myself to stay up late to finish the book rather I couldn’t really put it down.  It was mesmerizing to read about all those familiar characters again especially Karna though some details were contradicting to what I knew about the epic.  The very next night I watched the age old tamil film “Karna”  and listened to this song at least hundred times so far to quench my thirst. I have not got over it yet. The song sung by Krishna when Karna is at his death bed at Kurukshetra war. Krishna sings this song praising Karna’s qualities and the fate of his life.

Here is a translation I found from google search for the mind blowing lyrics by kavignar Kannadasan. Planning to watch the digitized version of this film that is soon to be re-released.

With this not being enough I have now started with the next book “Parthiban Kanavu” by the great legend “Kalki“. This is a re-read after almost a decade for me.  I am loving it :). Hoping to finish it in a day or two.  Special thanks to SnS who shared the books, Smitha and Scribby whose constant book reviews kept me reminding of the pile I had, all of you who have been posting book reviews as part of Blogadda book review program, to my daughter who is developing her reading habits and my friend who gifted me the Kindle :). I kept reminding myself if all those really busy people can find time to read I can definitely find the time to read and here I am.  Hope I continue with this 🙂

Enough of hijacking, coming back to Aditi’s spring break (sounds like a break to me from the post so far huh?) I took the girls to the library, we hanged out there until I reached my reading target for that evening and then took them to Dominos. Treated them and self with cheese pizza, chicken pizza and came back home. When N’s dad came home to pickup and asked how was the play date the girls said in unison that “I spoiled it by taking them to library” 😦 though they enjoyed the pizza on the way back home.

Friday was mommy/daughter day as M had to go to work. We set out in the morning, watched Lorax 3D in big screen,  went to a friend’s home as his wife called to check what we were doing on a holiday and invited us, played Carrom and surprisingly I pocketed the queen and follow :), had yummy food, a nice chat session post lunch, Adi watched back to back 4 Dinosaur Train episodes and left their home around 4ish in the evening. The girl was asking me about this big escalator at Exchange place train station. So, we walked to that station via a beautiful boardwalk and climbed the escalator at least 4 times 🙂 and then boarded the train to home. We reached home around 5pm and Adi right away started to play in backyard with the kid from next door when I was about to crash on the bed with my laptop. Man I wonder how does kids have so much energy?  Only the film was a planned, rest all was unplanned and the day turned out to be a pleasant day.

Saturday, the plan was to take her to an Easter egg hunt at a distant NY place but we dropped the plan at last moment, woke up late, then decided to go but again dropped the plan as it was already late and the place is around one hour away by drive. The girl was very much upset so I searched for some egg hunt at local, luckily found one and in the next 15 recording minutes we were there from the just-up-from-bed state to the park 🙂 I can assure that we brushed, don’t ask me about bathing and other sorts 😉 ok?. The girl hunted hand picked the plastic eggs lying around and had fun for next two hours. When I asked if she enjoyed the Easter egg hunt she corrected me that it was not a hunt but it was an “Easter egg pickup” event. lol.. She is using the language better than us :). Then, we had buffet lunch at an Indian restaurant near home and literally rolled home with an about to explode tummy.

Rest of the weekend was spent at home reading books, playing board games and having our own “ME” times without stepping on other’s shoe. We are good or rather bad in that ways. Adi at living room glued to her TV or craft or book, your truly at Kitchen or bedroom glued to her laptop or book and your’s truly’s other half at the other bedroom glued to his office laptop.

Oh did I mention it has become a weekend ritual at home. Adi making breakfast. She is so adamant about this and after enjoying the breakfast for past three weeks I can now proudly record it in this blog. No No No child labour and all. She wanted to do it guys and gets mad if we don’t let her to. So, as a so-called-democratic parent I sat back and said “Go ahead indulge me darling”.  She wins her share too as she can get all the things done from us for rest of the day. She goes like this “Guys since I made breakfast for you today I want you to ….”. We will hear this line at least a hundred times on the day she chooses to make the breakfast. This is what I am getting for my breakfast. Toasted wheat bread with Kissan jam spread. The fact that more jam finds its way to her tummy during preparation can be ignored. Can one of you please show her the other breakfast ideas too? You see I am already bored with just this one option 🙂

On Monday I was working from home and today its M’s turn. We will alternate this for rest of this week and I might take a day off but no plans  to step out 😦

Next post will feature her recent drawings and clay models. I am impressed with her work so far.

Chapathi Egg Pizza

As we call it 🙂  This is one of Adi’s all time favorite and easy for lunch box.

1. Beat one egg and make an omelette.
2. Make chapathi/roti following usual procedures.
3. Once chapathi is fully cooked, simmer the flame and sprinkle some grated cheese on top.
4. Once the cheese is slightly melted place the egg omelette on top of the chapathi and press is gently. The cheese helps to bind.
5. Flip it around, cook for few seconds and then flip it back. Squeeze/spread some ketchup on top of the egg omelette.
6. Fold it into half-moon shape. You can seal the edges with extra cheese if needed.
7. Cut it like shown in picture 7 above.

Voila Chapathi egg pizza is ready to serve.

The days I pack this for Adi’s lunch I can confidently expect to see an empty lunch box in the evening. 🙂


P.S: I have tried the same with dosa too.  For dosa,  just pour and spread the beaten egg on top of dosa once its half cooked on one side.  You can even roll the egg dosa, cut them into bite-sized roll and present them with layers shown on the top like place them in the plate in a circular fashion with the cut portion facing up.  Pizza sells quickly at our home 🙂