Archive | January 2013

Fun ride and a break

Wowww !!!! I can’t believe that I participated in a month long blogging marathon and completed it. It is something I never imagined to sail through until last month.  I have seen bloggers doing NaBloPoMo and always told self that its not for me and I can never do that or even make an attempt but today proved me wrong. Thanks to LLT for initiating this and SnS for pulling me in.

I must admit that I was able to do this only because this month the work load was not at its peak and I was working from home on most days that saved my daily commute hours.

The way I did this was whenever a topic comes to my mind I will add it to the draft and start composing the post on my mind. Everyday, whenever I get a chance during daytime I will pick one of the topic from the draft, start composing it for next day, complete it before going to bed and schedule it for 1 am next day. If there was more time then I had scheduled posts for 2 days too. During the last few days the list in my draft was coming down and surprisingly this was the last post from my draft. It reminded me of Archer’s novel “Not a penny more not a penny less”. I didn’t count the draft items to match it with no. of days and it just happened. Had it been even one more day in January I would have racked my brain for a topic. Isn’t that cool? Talk about simple joys of life 🙂

It was a fun ride all through this month where blogging and bloggers occupied the brain cells most part of the day. You yearn for something special to happen and always watch out for moments that stand out so that you can make a post out of it. In retrospect, I am not able to recollect all my 31 posts and still pinching myself to check if its real.

Thanks to you all and kudos to all the bloggers who have attempted this marathon. A big salute to all bloggers who had hectic work schedule, travel plans and other unexpected happenings and yet put in their best efforts to be part of this marathon. It feels like going away from a close knit where we were in touch through our words every single day.

With this I will take a break for a while until there is a significant update to be made 😉 though I will try to be active in reading your posts.

Will miss you guys very badly. Take care you all and have a wonderful February.

Tata for now,
Ani

Starving madness

This happened last to last week when Adi and I were returning home in the evening. It was not that one day but happens on most of the evening these days. I pick her up and as we step out of the school and it starts

Adi:Amma, do you have anything to eat?
Amma: No pappa, we will reach home in 15 minutes. Then, you can have whatever you want.
Adi: I am starving amma. Can you please buy me something from the shop?
Amma: If I go to a shop to buy something then we might miss the bus and it will get late to reach home. We have loads of snacks at home. Just bear with it for few minutes and we will reach home by then. I can even fix your dinner itself really quick.

I repeat the same line every single time this happens. Seriously every single word in spite of being aware that my words are not going to cool the situation.

By this time we reach the bus stop

Adi: “Holding her tummy” Hmmmm I am starving, starving, starving!!!!!

The lady or others waiting in the bus stop stares at us mostly at me. I can hear their mind voice saying “cruel mom”.

Those five minutes seems like five yuga to me as I stand their impatiently with the girl who pulls my dress and keeps chanting “starving, starving, starving”. I try my best to avoid those stares which is uncommon at US. People usually mind their own businesses here but who wouldn’t stare if a kid acts like this in public?

We board the bus and this girl continues to repeat the same so now the staring from few people will be extended to the whole bus !!!! Okay not the whole bus but at least people in our vicinity to whom this girl’s chanting is audible. My annoyance grows every passing second but I am forced to maintain my zen state by gritting teeth with nobody’s notice.

We get down the bus and reach home.

Amma: Pappa, I can fix a quick dinner or can reheat the food in the fridge by the time you get refreshed. Let me know what you want.
Adi: NNOOOOO !!!!! I don’t want anything and settles in the couch without even removing the shoes.
Amma: Aren’t you starving?
Adi: No response
Amma: So, were you lying?
Adi: No response and tears flow down her cheeks.

I go about with my chores and the girl takes her own time to get back to normal, refreshes herself and comes to kitchen for her snack. It might take anywhere from 15 minutes (on lucky days) to one hour. All this while, I keep mum and continue with my evening chores.

I think all she needs is to buy something from the shop and I must admit that she is getting too much addicted to snacks these days. To those individually wrapped chocolate flavored bars, oreo cookies, go gurts and crackers. I pack two snacks everyday to her school and then she gets one more at home in the evening. So, three snacks per day. Is it healthy? I am not happy with this at all.

That’s the reason I am not even carrying anything with me to give her at school after pick up. That will only increase her snack intake count by one more.

Even on weekends when we have family lunch she will munch her food for a long time, leaves half the food on the plate. When asked she will say she is really really full and cannot take even one more scoop of food but the very next minute she will ask what’s for dessert eyeing the snack cupboard.

I want her to eat more meal portions and intake less snack. Is there any trick for this?  Any suggestions?

How many snacks do your kids eat per day and what all do you give for snacks?

Pancakes upgraded

Last week, Adi and I were watching Food Network. Have I mentioned it before? Its one of our pass time, to watch Food Network. We are a different combo that way.

So, last week as we were watching a show in this channel, a lady from family owned local restaurant shared her restaurant’s trademark pancake recipe. Adi loved it and was requesting if I can fix it for her weekend breakfast. I agreed. Ingredients were bought on Saturday by M and I made this for her Sunday breakfast.

What I like about this girl is the way she sportively accepts when I try to explain something to her. She wanted this special breakfast on Saturday morning and was about to reach peak madness when I said I can’t make it. Then, I made her sit next to me, explained patiently as I can’t make it because not that I don’t want to but we don’t have the ingredients and strawberries at home,  promised to ask M to buy them on the same day and make the breakfast on Sunday. Though, she was upset she understood, agreed and settled with cheese sandwich for Saturday’s breakfast.

Over to the recipe. It is a simple but upgraded version of pancake to make it look appealing for the kids.

Ingredients
Pancake flour
Flavored yogurt
Strawberries
Blueberries or any kind of berries/fruits that your kid likes.
Granola

Method
1. Prepare the pancake batter and make pancakes. Make it slightly bigger so that it would be easier to fold on both sides with stuffing inside.
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2. Smear flavored yogurt over the pancake. We used one Go-Gurt tube. The actual recipe used vanilla flavored fresh cream.

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3. Fill the middle with fruits of your choice. Cut them into tiny pieces and contrast color fruits are better. We used Strawberries and blueberries.

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4. Fold it on both sides as shown in the picture. It sticks well because of the yogurt filling. Top it with another layer of fruits.

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5. Add granola on the top.  We didn’t have granola at home so topped it with the “oma podi” (sev) brought by ammachi (grandma). That was our twist to the recipe 🙂 You can even pour maple syrup or pancake syrup over the fruits if your kids like syrup flavor.

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Adi loved it and polished off 3/4 of it within minutes. The quantity was a little too much for her so I ended up feeding her the remaining after a while. But, I am sure that she would ask for this special breakfast again.

 

Parents visit

They have reached here safely last Saturday and the travel was smooth. Snow welcomed them and they are still in the process of getting settled with the winter.

Appa, unlike his usual self has not stepped out yet and Amma is happy inside the house wearing her fleece all the time and settling inside the cozy blanket. They are still on jet lag sleeping most part of the day but just their presence around gives me some calmness. Not to mention, amma had landed with all possible goodies along with goodies from in-laws side as well. There is no space at dining table to even accommodate one more sweet box. We are trying our best taking turns in visiting the table to free up some space there 🙂

We are still catching up on all the stories form homeland and looks like we will never be done with it. Adi is super excited and she made this snowflakes pattern to welcome them. Obviously the snowflakes pattern took her lot of time to make but it was a good time pass as we both were impatiently waiting at home for parent’s arrival. She made four of them one for each of us.

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Once they reached home Adi was not sure how to react for few hours. She wanted to do something special so asked them for their favorite shape and made this painting for them.

Jan 2013

I prepared poha with peanuts and potatoes for dinner (it was a new dish for them) and filter coffee for amma. I don’t know if she liked the coffee or not but she was more than happy that finally someone else is serving her a cup of coffee after so many years of cooking and coffee making by herself 🙂

I prepared the lunch on Sunday too as amma was still recovering from the jet lag and guess what appa said. He said my kuzhambu (curry for rice) was better than amma’s but he said that at her absence 😉 otherwise he would be at trouble for food after returning to India 🙂

Kitchen has been promptly taken over by amma from today and there I get some time to breathe now. Bliss is my state of my mind now.

Tower power

That’s the science project assigned to Adi by her class teacher. This is her first science experiment. Every week two kids from the class were selected to present their project and this week was Adi’s turn. There was no chance to squeeze our brain as the topic was given and step by step procedure was also explained in the Science textbook. Can it get any better? Though we would have had some fun if there was some thinking and creativity.

With this project all she had to do was to record her observation and execute the experiment in the class.  She bought home the textbook and scoring sheet last weekend and since then our discussion has started on how to present the project. The scoring sheet had categories defined with ratings from 4 to 1 (highest to least). The girl was targeting to get 4 in all categories so worked hard on the presentation.

The project was to explain why water towers are constructed high in cities. How does the height help in flow of water through pipes to homes and businesses?

We bought a big poster board and decided to have sections like question, hypothesis, materials used, method/procedure, results and conclusion. She had to explain the details for each section in writing. I helped her with the outline of the board and sentence formation for each section. Rest all was taken care by her.  It was she who decided to use different color construction paper for each section and to use a white sheet on the construction paper to write the details. We also decided to make a water tower with newspaper and stick it on the board as a model.

That’s the girl at work. She had worked on this poster board for more than 7 hours perfecting every detail.

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Poster board – end product. Apologies for the poor quality picture.

It was her idea to cut out the wiggly papers and write title in bubble letters. The sheets are

green – materials used
blue – question
purple – hypothesis
orange – method/procedures
yellow – result
pink (last one) – conclusion.

She first wrote the details in pencil, corrected the mistakes and then traced the words with markers. She even had to redo some of the papers and did them with no fuss.

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Next, she had to execute the experiement at class. The execution procedure was to place a baking pan in a flat table, connect a transparent flexible plastic tube to a funnel, request a friend to hold the funnel and tube, pour water through funnel, raise and lower the funnel to show the water flow in the tube. As the funnel is raised higher the water will flow faster and squirt out of the tube into the pan. This explains why water towers are constructed higher. It is to have faster flow of water through the pipes.

I didn’t think much through this and was prepared to just buy all the materials but M came up with this brilliant (!!) idea of using a bottle instead of funnel. That way she can close the cap and handle the bottle with water and tube by herself and it will be less messier also. It becomes simpler, fill the bottle with water, have the tube connected via the bottle cap and just invert the bottle whenever you want the water to flow through the pipe. We loved the idea and that’s what exactly she did. M bought the plastic tube from Home Depot and helped to fix the tube to the bottle cap.

That’s the girl trying out the experiment at home.

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We had dry run of the complete presentation at home and she did well. We also gave her idea to involve her classmates in the experiment by inviting them to try it by themselves. They can raise and lower the bottle to see the water flow in the pipe. Looks like she did so and all her classmates volunteered to try their hands.  I think her teacher was impressed with the class participation and guess what’s the score? Adi managed to get 4 for all categories and scored 100.

Scoring sheet:

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My contribution was minuscule to this project and all the credit goes to M and Adi for his planning and her execution. If she had used funnel then the execution would have got messier and her classmates would not have tried it as that involves more than one person’s help like one to hold the funnel and tube and another to pour the water et all.

On a different note, she did well on all subjects in review exam.

Kudos to the daddy-daughter duo.. I was happy as I got a topic for the marathon 🙂  Talk about priorities 🙂

 

300

Whoooaaaaa!!!! This is my 300th post. A post that I am supposed to do after many many months given the snail pace at which I was posting at this site. A big big thanks to the blogging marathon and everyone associated with it who made this miracle happen.

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Pic courtesy: http://www.blackenterprise.com/money/numbers-that-can-make-or-break-your-personal-finances/attachment/number300/

The main character of this blog is Adi and the purpose of this blog is to record her milestones and special moments. This blog is her online journal which I am planning to gift to her someday. So, one post per week was more than enough and I was content with that.  But, as days passed there crept in a category as “myownself” and “incidents” and without my knowledge I have started writing about things that caught my interest.

As an individual, I cannot confidently say that I am one hundred percent true to this blog.  I don’t record all the aspects of my life here. There are grey areas in my life that have appalled me beyond imagination and I have refrained from talking about them in this blog.  I hardly write about my opinion on social issues as when I analyze them I tend to associate them with my life thereby not able to process unbiased thoughts about the issue. There exists unanswered questions that shatters my core values of life and I am still struggling to come to terms with them. I don’t know if I would ever succeed in conquering them and this blog never showcased that side of me.  Alright, there I got it out of my system. Something that I wanted to confess in this blog for a long long time.

But, as a mother, I have been one hundred and one percent true to this blog. This blog represents my transformation as a mother ever since Adi was 2.5 years old. The journey has been incredible and reading the archive is always like travelling in the time machine. It never fails to transform me to the past, to those precise moments of happiness which I would have long forgotten if this blog didn’t exist. I am glad to have captured them to cherish for rest of my life and hope to continue with this for many many years to come. This blog represents my life as a mother. No matter how bad my day is or how much of my emotions are drained and tested, the moment this blog is opened the mother in me gushes out and occupies every cell of my body. I enter into a new world where I can even do a post about a funny incident about my child when the inner self is battling with grey areas of life.

There are certain things in this world which will spread only positive vibes and makes you feel good about yourself. It can never go wrong. Blogging is one such activity. I had never thought or learned anything negative from this blog world. It only shaped me as a better person by time and have introduced me to wonderful and lovely people I have earned for lifetime.

Thanks to all the goodness that blog world offered me. Not to mention, I have definitely improved on my vocabulary and the way of expressing myself.

All you readers, your encouraging words and comments are the heart beat of this blog. I don’t know about others but if I had not received feedback for my posts in the form of comments I would have shut this blog down long back and that is the truth to be accepted from my heart.

“Thank you” is a small token of my gratitude and love to you all.

I thought of writing a mushy mushy happy post for 300 but this one sounds like a mixed bag of emotions.

“Thank you” all once again for making this happen.

Blogging, bloggers, readers and commenters rock… Happy blogging to everyone out there !!!!!!!!!

 

Exploring Indian Mythology

After all that reading of Indian mythology children books about Ganesha, Krishna, Shiva and drawing the representation of some of the Indian god the little girl now has some questions that I am struggling to answer with enough justification.

1. Why is God’s skin in blue color generally?

2. Why do each artist draw the same God in different way and different colors?

3. Who is Vishnu’s wife? Why does he have different wife in different avatars?

4. Why do God’s have many wives?

5. Why did Kamsa kill all the kids if only the 8th kid of Vasudeva and Devaki is a threat to him?

6. Why do you put that white and red stuff (she is referring to Vibhuthi and Kumkum) in your forehead after praying to God amma?

7. Will whatever we pray to God really happen for sure?

Saving the best for the last

8. Is God real amma?

Can someone help me plueezzzzeeee?

 

Just for laugh

The girl is not disappointing me ever since I started writing this section. Today it was again M’s turn

She was getting ready to read for the 6 hour reading program and the ritual is one of us have to press “Start” in the stopwatch of my iTouch exactly when she starts reading. You see, she doesn’t want to press Start and then start to read as that means she is cheating for that one second. Today, as it is supposed to be M’s turn he volunteered to press Start.

Adi said she would say “Go” when ready and he has to press Start. He was all ready with the stopwatch screen and the index finger very close to the Start button and all that. The girl sat next to him, opened the first page of the book, looked at both of us and said “Cupcake”. By this time M pressed Start. Then, she was teasing him as why did he press start when she didn’t say “Go”.  She was like “Appa don’t you know how a “Go” sounds like?”

The look on his face cracked me up totally 😀 😀 😀

 

Happiness is

when you make a quick visit to a local store to buy something specific and chance upon something that’s in your “to buy” list for a long, longer time 🙂 🙂

See what is adorning one corner of my kitchen counter top now. Cups holder in brass…

I am in love with this corner now 🙂

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Just for laugh:

This time it was M. Looks like this girl is taking turns on us.

We were at my doctor’s office and the other two were playing with the weighing machine as we were waiting for the doctor.

At my absence
M: Checks his weight. The scale shows something above 200 pounds
astonished Adi: Oh my god!!! Only an elephant can weigh so much!!!!!
M: Swiftly gets down the scale and takes his seat.

After a while (at my presence)
M: Do you think our bed is enough for all three of us? You are growing pappa.
Adi: (not missing a beat) Yeah that’s true.. elephants should probably sleep in their own bed… Its not me but you are growing appa!!!
M: !@#$%^&*

I had a good hearty loud laugh forgetting that we were at a public place though later I corrected the girl that she should not tease her appa as elephant anymore and she readily agreed. 

fyi – M is 6 feet tall and looks fit (just looks okie) for his height. He needs serious workout to be really fit.

Weekend updates

The last weekend was lil different with some outings and trying new cuisine after a long time.

Saturday – We went to the local mall where Adi attended a kids event based on dinosaurs theme. She had fun for around two hours making macaroni dino, painting dino eggs and listening to couple of dino stories. That’s the girl with her dino mask. Remember the sweatshirt she is wearing? Its the one that Santa gave to her this year 🙂

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Then, we decided to try out this new restaurant very close to our home. We have always seen waiting line on this restaurant. It gave us that “Saravana bhavan” feeling while looking at the crowd waiting outside indefinitely. Still, it took us more than a year to step in. It was a Philippine restaurant. Heard as one of the very popular chain of hotel at Philippines. This is our very first time trying out an altogether different cuisine and we ordered

Appetizer
French fries – the only appetizer we could identify and order from the list.

Entree
Pancit Canton – egg noodles stir fried with shrimp and veggies.
Half fried chicken
Laing Tilapia – tilapia fish fillet deep fried in a rich batter, topped with Laing (taro leaves).
Sisig chicken – chicken chopped to bits and cooked with onions, celery and mayonnaise topped with chili fingers.
1 cup of garlic rice

Dessert
Buko pandan – tender coconut with green gelatin, cooked tapioca and a scoop of ice cream on top.

Drinks
Buko juice – coconut juice with tender coconut strips.

Food was edible and not bad. Though we didn’t really enjoy it managed to not waste anything. We were the only Indians at the restaurant surrounded by big gangs of Filipino people and only them. They were busy in butchering steak and pork whereas we indulged our tummy with fish and chicken.

After lunch, strolled to the library to renew Adi’s books and then reached home. Watched a movie online and guess what I did in the evening? I threw up all the food and got an earful from M. After all, it was my idea to try that restaurant on that day. Then, settled down with a glass of lemon juice and went to sleep.

Sunday – Adi had dental appointment to fill some of her tooth. The dentist was so cool, kept the little girl engaged all through the procedure and filled only few tooth. We may have to go for few more sittings to fill the rest. As I have mentioned earlier if there is one thing that tops my worry list about Adi, its her tooth. Hope, at least we take good care of the permanent ones.

I woke up early, made her favorite yellow bean kuzhambu, rice and papad so that she can eat before going for the appointment. This is one food that the girl eats till the last grain.

We came back, had lunch and lazed around till evening.

This was the main reason for my yesterday’s post to get reshaped into a rant. As evening was nearing I got all worked up as none of the weekend chores was done. Luckily, Monday was a holiday for Adi and myself. Still, we already had plans for Monday. Adi has review exam all days this week and her science project is due on Thursday. We were planning to review for test and do science project on Monday. So, I reluctantly collected myself up, washed/dried clothes at 8pm, swept/cleaned the house at 9pm, blogged/blog hopped at 11pm and went to bed at 1am.

Monday –  Woke up earlier than usual, packed M’s dabba as he had work, sorted out the dried clothes, made pancakes for Adi’s breakfast. Once the girl woke up we had breakfast together and then started with the science project. I will do a separate post on that project once she presents it at school. The whole day was pretty much spent on the project and reviewing for the test. Oh, and the girl read books for like two hours today. She got a note from school to read for 6 hours to win a free ticket to six flags. She has so far recorded around five hours in the reading slip.

I was also planning to bake chocolate chip cookies with her today but there was no time. Most of our her time was spent on the paper work for science project itself. She worked from like 11:30am till 7:00pm with only two half hour break. Tomorrow she has Maths and Science test. Hope she does well.

Just for laugh: 

A pearl of wisdom from the little girl to me

Adi: Amma, why do you always smile when you talk?
Amma: really?
Adi: Yes, you even smile when you talk about sad things.
Amma: No, I don’t. May be I smile when I say nice stuff to you that way you will also feel good.
Adi: Yeah, but remember don’t get too much excited about everything okie? It is okay to smile just once in a while. Otherwise you will go crazy about everything.
Amma: !@#$%^&*

Have a wonderful week everyone…