Archive | June 2012

Summer break

Where do I start? Okie all is well at our end and thanks a bunch to all of you who have emailed to check on us.

Adi’s school closed for summer on 15th June and she is enjoying the summer at home with my parents. Yep, it was all a rapid decision and my parents landed here before I could blink my eyes. We discussed on Wednesday, checked with amma/appa on Thursday, booked the tickets on Friday and they landed here on the following Wednesday. I couldn’t find a good summer camp for next two months and even the ones I have registered her to are closing at 3pm in the evening. I have got additional responsibilities at work. Work is pressing for both of us and we cannot afford to take off or work from home often this summer 😦 . So, the only option was to fallback on the god gifted support system (read as grandparents).

It was also one of my long pending wish to let Adi take it easy and spend time with grandparents on summer. You know like getting up at her own time, laze around the home, brush at her convenience, enjoy the hot brunch (the girl is getting up at 10am these days), laze around again, bury her nose in books, watch TV (of course with a limit), play with grandparents. She is living this dream of mine now to every detail. Appa is teaching her chess (we had a daddy/daughter game on Father’s day. I paired up with Appa and Adi paired up with M. It was a tie as M’s my team had to give up at every stage :)).  The deal between grandpa and granddaughter is that she gets $1 from thatha if she wins and $1 from me if she looses (win-win situation for her :)).  Appa is also keeping himself busy with his regular walk, park visits and exploring the neighborhood.  He is now giving us directions to the store at the other corner of the city that we were not aware of.  Amma is cooking yummylicious dishes for her granddaughter, playing board games with her,  letting granddaughter talk for no reason and fascinating at her English accent, enjoying the way granddaughter struggles to converse in Tamil, catching up with all the TV shows she missed to watch at India and generally not stepping out of the four walls in contrary to Appa.

I am still pinching myself now and then to check if its all real. At office, work is overloaded and after reaching home I am acting like that hutch puppy following Amma. I have lost my thinking ability at home.  My mind is not functioning. The fact that Amma is with me is still sinking in. My laptop usage at home has plummeted.  We spend evenings sitting at backyard deck talking nineteenth to the dozen. It has been ten days now and we are not done yet. We have so much more to talk about adhutha veetu athai, pakathu theru periamma, ethir veetu mama, chiti-oda onnu vita anna-noda ponnu, namma oru pookaramma, palkarar and all that important stuff.. Appa pitches in to share his knowledge on every topic.

I have showcased some of my cooking/baking skills to amma already. She is going all ooh and aah 🙂 at least I made her to do that 😉  I baked Marble cake and prepared bhel puri for M’s birthday, made paneer paratha and chinese style noodles the other day. Also, showed her all my food pictures from albums. All she knew was that girl who gets her hand burnt while trying to boil water in the stove. She is awestruck looking at my kitchen skills or so do I think 😀

On another happy note my reading has improved. I have finished my recent reads  “Steve Jobs”, “The most beautiful thing” recommended by Smitha and started with “How to Eat a Cupcake” by “Meg Donohue” that was borrowed from local library.   Can you believe I discussed the book “Most beautiful thing” with Adi. She is my tracker with reading. I have this habit of telling her how many pages I finished every day and also discuss the plot with her.  Ah a blissful moment.

Adi will stay at home for rest of June,  go for Swim summer camp in the month of July, go for another camp for two weeks in August and stay at home for rest of August and September until the school reopens. Appa will pick her up at 3pm from the summer camps. I cannot put my relief in words. Of leaving her at home safely with grandparents, Of letting her wake up late in the morning, Of not rushing her through any chores, Of letting her have free time for whole week at home.  It is indeed a big deal for me as she has started her daycare from the second day of reaching USA at the tender age of two and a half years and continued with it till this month.  Hope, this summer will turn out to be one of the best for all of us though we don’t have any vacation plans.

I want to savor every moment of my parent’s visit and spend the maximum time with them on this summer. They will stay here for next two months and I am already missing every second that is passing by.  We are staying together for more than a week after seven long years. Pinching myself again.

Hope you all understand my emotions. This is my first official break from the blog world. Though I read your posts between work I am not able to comment on them as work is demanding and at the same time I also try to go home early in the evening to join the grandparents/granddaughter club. I will try to comment whenever possible.

Thank you all once again for your emails. I will come back after couple of months may be when Adi is ready to start her second grade. Btw, Adi cleared first grade with “First Honors” 🙂 🙂 and we celebrated it at a local pizzeria with a lunch treat.

Leaving you all with few pictures… The same day uploader of pictures in me took more than two weeks to upload below pictures. Can you believe it? Such is the power of having parents around 😀 😀 😀

This is a “fabble” that Adi wrote on last week of school, inspired from Anant Pai’s “Amar chitra katha bird stories”. I admit that it was a shabby work and she took one whole day to do this. She read the story and penned penciled down the same in her own words. This story book was created by her under no supervision. The paper clip idea to make it as a book, title of the story, bird picture everything was done just by her. Though M was not impressed with the work, I didn’t have the heart to make her redo the work that took one full day of her time.  I wanted to try this out someday. Instead of sitting next to her and correcting before she makes mistakes or reviewing periodically I wanted her to own the complete work.  Hope she had learned something from this.

Front cover

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3 –

Page 4

Below are the art works sent home on the last day of school (please to ignore the repeated story book images. WordPress gallery settings doesn’t have selective display. It displays all images from a particular post).  If anyone is aware of selective gallery display please share the details. The art images are also added on the First grade art page of this blog.

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Adi and her friend received below gift from their after care teacher on the last day of school for being good helpers. Her teacher told me that they were the only two kids who helped her throughout the year to cleanup the room before leaving the room. (remember my mention about this in the birthday post?)… 🙂  🙂 Its so nice of her teacher to appreciate their efforts.

See you all on the other end. Till then take care you all and stay happy 🙂

Inspiring – We are one

ETA: This is my 250th post. Just noticed after publishing. An Apt one to make it for 250 🙂

The girl has been practicing this song for the past few weeks with sign language.  The first graders are singing this song today for eighth graders at their graduation. Every time she sings this song I feel good especially when she holds her hands together and say “We are one”. The lyrics are too good that made me share it here.

By the way the dad/daughter duo have now moved on to be Simba/Kiara from Mufasa/Simba. I didn’t blame them until the dad said I am the hyena 😦  why me?

Highlighted the lyrics that touched me (I ended up highlighting all the lines so took off the highlight).

As you go through life you’ll see
There is so much that we
Don’t understand

And the only thing we know
Is things don’t always go
The way we planned

But you’ll see every day
That we’ll never turn away
When it seems all your dreams come undone

We will stand by your side
Filled with hope and filled with pride
We are more than we are
We are one

If there’s so much I must be
Can I still just be me
The way I am?

Can I trust in my own heart
Or am I just one part
Of some big plan?

Even those who are gone
Are with us as we go on
Your journey has only begun

Tears of pain, tears of joy
One thing nothing can destroy
Is our pride, deep inside
We are one

We are one, you and I
We are like the earth and sky
One family under the sun

All the wisdom to lead
All the courage that you need
You will find when you see
We are one

The kids are watching this movie (The Lion King 2) on Friday with Popcorn and that marks the end of this academic year at school. She is set free for next 3 months 🙂 🙂

Kathirika (brinjal) gothsu

One of amma’s favorite and popular dish. I don’t know what took me so many years to try this dish. It could be because of my aversion towards Brinjal that still exists. This is for M and all those Brinjal lovers.

Its very easy to make

Ingredients

To Pressure cook
Kathirika
 (Brinjal) – 2 medium-size
Onion – 1 medium-size
Tomato  – 1 medium-size
Green chillies – 4 to 5 numbers or according to your taste

To Saute
Mustard
Split urad dal
Curry leaves
Onion – finely chopped (handful). Optional
Ginger – finely chopped (a small piece). This is optional.  I added this as M likes the flavor of ginger.
Salt – as required

1. Steam the ingredients under “To Pressure cook” list in cooker with some water for 2 whistles.
2. Drain excess water, let it cool down and mash the cooked mix with the back of a ladle.  No need to grind in mixer as the ingredients are already well cooked and they will be easy to mash with hand.
3. Sauté all the ingredients in “To Saute” list one after the other. 
4. Add the mashed mix, drained water and bring it to boil for few minutes.

Voila Kathirika gothsu is ready to serve.  (Kathirika is the tamil name for Brinjal)

P.S: You can make it watery or thick. Its up to your like.