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Staring at the screen

for more than 20 minutes and don’t know what to write. I am totally blank. I have few posts in draft but don’t want to post any of them.

ETA: I was re-reading this post and thought I have finished it abruptly. So, editing again to add some more details.

This year I didn’t find it difficult to do blogathon unlike previous years where I get panic, have few posts ready in draft, schedule my posts ahead of time. So much of planning. This year, I didn’t struggle much and just wrote the posts on the fly at night. May be because, most of the days I just went with the flow and chose to write about my day. More importantly the WP app in phone helped a lot to catch up on posts and write while in transit. Thanks to my readers who have introduced me to this app.

Thank you Maya for facilitating this year’s blogathon. It was definitely fun and I enjoyed reading all fellow bloggers¬†posts. New friends, new learning, lighter moments, virtual hugs, feeling good with comments and what not. Like I have mentioned before, blogging has become an emotion for me.

It was also my own personal time in everyday’s crazy schedule and I seem to appreciate this tiny break from regular work, something that I do to my inner self and all that.

I hope to write more often. It is okay if I don’t, I can always catch up in next blogathon ūüėČ

I remember how doubtful I was when Maya approached me about participating in blogathon. My confidence level was less than 25% to complete it. But, just started it for the sheer joy of reading fellow bloggers and not to give up this yearly tradition that I am part of for past 3 years. This is like a yearly virtual meetup for me and I will¬†not miss it unless I have a concrete reason to justify like the world has ended ūüôā

This was a great beginning and I wish you all a wonderful rest of the year. A big applause to all bloggers who have attempted this blogathon.

Let us please continue with this tradition in the years to come..

Take care all!!

Rant and my latest favorites

I had this post drafted couple of days ago. It is a compilation of my latest favorite tamil songs. I want to share it but at the same time now I want to rant too. So, let me just do both. First is the rant followed by the songs.

Today is one of the hardest day. I got to put my butt down only at 10pm after running since 7:30am.  So, this is how the day unfolded.

Woke up at 7:30am, spent some time with LHB, made pancakes and scrambled egg with veggies (MTW – inspired from you) for breakfast, fed LHB, made tea, cooked quick lunch with some leftover, went to drop Adi at her class, went to gym, came back home, fed lunch to LHB and Adi, took the kids to library, marathon run¬†to four shops to do weekly groceries, order birthday cake and¬†fix¬†goodie bags/snacks for LHB’s birthday party at school, came back home, took bath, read books to LHB, put him to sleep, pulled myself out of¬†the bed reluctantly with great effort, wash two loads of laundry, sort out¬†the things bought from store, wash/soak rice/dal for idli batter, wash/soak grains for tomorrow’s breakfast, make salad for my dinner, boil milk for curd, load dryer and finally sit down in the couch at 10pm with my salad. Tomorrow is no better. I already have a list of to-dos.¬†Sighh!!!

And another worry is the phone. It is behaving strange since yesterday. The battery drains pretty quick and doesn’t get charged sometimes. I have to do some tricks to make it charge only to see it drain in less than an hour. I was nervous today to be on road with kids and¬†a dead phone. What if something unexpected happens? Just the thought of it sends chills down my spine. Hope I get it fixed sooner.

If you are reading till here, thank you for listening to my rant. I¬†am overwhelmed with this constant running. Just hope that I don’t shutdown abruptly. I cannot afford to stop. It will cost me too much that even some of life decisions may require revisit. But, I really don’t know how long will I be able to run like this. I need more¬†strength.

Now, my top 10 favorite list from recent movies in no particular order. I am sure I would have missed few more but this is the list that came to my mind today.

 

 

 

Thoughtful kids

PFC – That is how they call it. Pray For Chennai

A bunch of girls from Adi’s school has approached¬†her principal at random times in the month of December about organizing a bake sale to help PFC. And the effort was paid off last week. The principal agreed and permission was granted to the last girl who approached her.

Adi and her friends were little upset as it was their original idea but they sorted it out with that girl who organized the bake sale. Adi even volunteered to help the girl at the sale but looks like she already had enough help.

The girls are still planning to conduct some event at our neighborhood. They named the event as “snow ball” and the concept is kids who visit this event gets to play multiple games like scavenger hunt and few other games for a nominal entry fee. It has some logistics issues but I wish they get to do it.

Proud of these girls!!!

Tag time

Birth story is done and now it is tag time in the blogosphere

BM maatha ki jai.

BM – kodaana kodi namaskarangal (millions of thanks).

1. What are you wearing?
Light purple tee with dark purple PJ

2. How tall are you?
You mean how short am I? 5′ 1″

3. How much do you weigh?
155 pounds. I was 143 beginning of 2015 ūüė¶

4. Any tattoos?
No. Scared of the pain while doing it.

5. Any piercings?
Ear piercing – the standard piercings.

6. Favourite show?
Could not think of any at the moment.

7. Something you miss?
My sleep.. I miss it very badly!!

8. Favourite song?
right now it is “Paaruruvaaya” from “Tharai thappatai”. Raja raja-dhaan

9. Zodiac sign?
Virgo

10. Quality you look for in a partner?
Good at heart, Respect others

11. Favourite actor?
No one in specific. It keeps changing based on acting in latest movies.

12. Favourite colour?
Ever Green

13. Loud music or soft?
Depends on the situation and my mood. Loud when with crowd and happy, energetic. Soft when alone or sad.

12. Where do you go when you’re sad?
I would love to go hit my bed but these days no time to even get sad. I just take a moment to standstill where I am for few mins, drop few tears if its too sad and move on with chores..

13. How long does it take you to shower?
daily shower – 10 mins. head bath – 30 mins

14. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
15 mins if you don’t include the morning chores to pack dabba. All inclusive – 1:30 hours

15. Ever been in a physical fight?
Yes. With my brother and cousins during school days.

16. Turn on?
Good act from random people.

17. Turn off?
Self centered and manipulative characters.

18. Fears?
Losing a relationship and loved ones.

19. Last thing that made you cry?
LHB. I was crying looking at him for no particular reason (I know!!) and the cutie pie handed over a tissue to me and gave me a generous kiss. He also asked “mommy crying? daddy pinch you?”

20. Last time you said you loved someone?
To Adi. We have this thing going on. I will show the ILU gesture to her with my 3 fingers at random times and she has to reply with “me too”. She says it relunctantly but who cares. The deal is she has to say it instantly.

21. Last book you read?
Rainbow fish – LHB’s book

22. The book you’re currently reading?
Hugs, Brush brush brush, Rainbow fish, counting 1-10 and who’s hiding. All are LHB’s books

23. Last person you talked to?
LHB – while putting him to sleep.

24. The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
Husband. Or life revolves around texting these days!!

25. Place you want to visit?
Top 10 tourist places along with family.

26. Do you have a crush?
Yes, if crush towards kids counts. LHB is at this cute age where he talks so much and melts my heart at unexpected times.

27. Favourite piece of jewellery?
Finger rings

28. Last song you sang?
It has been few days since I listened to songs as I am not using headphones due to ear discomfort.
Let me think, I sang this specific line while we were travelling in car as a family and was explaining to Adi how I love this line “Ennodu vaa veedu varaikkum. En veetai paar ennai pidikkum” from the song “Nenjukkul peidhidum maa mazhai” from “Varanam Ayiram” movie.

Aabath paandavan Tags vazhga!! valarga!!

Award time

Jo¬†was kind enough to bestow me with these awards. Thank you Jo. It has been very long since I got an award. Let’s not talk about my absence in this space.

 

Here are the questions she asked:

  • What do you love most about the city you live now?
    • I am thinking hard. Seriously. We moved to this city around one year ago and it has not actually grown on me yet. Maybe the easy access to India groceries and restaurants. But, if you ask about US in general, I love the public libraries here and the easy access to books.
  • What did you want to be when you were a child?
    • I never thought about it but I knew it is something to do with Maths as that was my favorite subject all through school and college years. It is Aptitude mathematics skills that fetched me the first job though my current work doesn’t require mathematics skills. I always jump right into solving¬†math involved puzzles that fall under¬†my ability.
  • Do you collect anything? If so, what?
    • I used to during school days – fresh leaves/flowers and press them in a notebook, my bus/train tickets, recently started collecting magnets but the new refrigerator doesn’t have space for magnets so I may not collect it any more. Any suggestions as where can I place my magnets?
  • Which is (are) your favourite online shopping website(s)?
    • One and only amazon. I hardly do online shopping.
  • How do you handle a stressful day?
    • I don’t know. I always focus more on completing the tasks for the day which pretty much takes my whole day that stress goes unnoticed most of the days.
  • In your opinion, what is the best blog post you‚Äôve written so far?
    • Not one but many. All my birthday letters to my kids and posts that talks about amma, maternal grandma, mama’s house, pongal celebrations. Any post that rekindles my childhood memory. They are treasures.
  • Can you tell me something about your dream house? (even if you already own ur dream house)
    • I like houses that are decorated with antiques at appropriate places but to me a dream house will be any house that is spic and span and has my loved ones. The minute I think of a beautiful house, the fear of maintaining and cleaning it occupies my mind more than its beauty. This is what Us of A offers you. Scrubbing and cleaning yourself.
  • What is your favorite social media?
    • WordPress.
  • When are you homesick?
    • When am I not? Seriously?
  • Three things you like about India in three words.
    • I will write about Chennai as to me Chennai is my India. Have not ventured much into other states of India.
      • Life. Chennai is where my heart and life is. That sense of calmness when I land there is irreplaceable.
      • People. people everywhere. It is hard to see anyone on the road when you step outside. But, in India I can see at least 10 people anytime I step out. I like crowd.
      • Access to places. I feel I am more independent at Chennai and I can go where ever I want to with less dependency. Thanks to my Alto.
  • What do you like more: sunshine or snow?
    • Sunshine always.

I enjoyed answering these questions. Thank you again Jo. My blog circle is limited and Jo has already nominated most of them I know. So, skipping the nomination part.

three day quote challenge

Thank you Sri for tagging me for the three day quote challenge.

Quotes are always inspiring and helps us to take a step back and look at life. It helps with some good thinking and put things into perspective if we tend to go off tangent.

Here are my three favorite quotes

  1. My all time favorite by Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam sir who lived and died as a teacher 

    Where there is righteousness in the heart
    There is beauty in the character.
    When there is beauty in the character,
    There is harmony in the home.
    When there is harmony in the home.
    There is an order in the nation.
    When there is order in the nation,
    There is peace in the world.

2. This is by Mahatma Gandhiji

The future depends on what we do in the present.

Isn’t that so true? I am a strong believer of this especially when I am in my parenting shoes. ¬†The quote is similar to “you reep what you sow”. So, better watch your actions.

3.  A colleague forwarded this quote during new year. It is by Swami Vivekananda.

We make our own destiny. Period.

quote

I am sure most of you have already taken up this challenge. If you have not done yet, please take it up.

 

 

To America in bicycle

Today I realized from where I inherited something.

Amma: K (that is the first letter of my pet name called at home), Lets go to your home di
Self: But, I haven’t booked the tickets ma
Amma: Its okay. You already know to ride bicycle and we have one. So, we can go in that. You take me in doubles.
Self: But Amma I don’t know the route
Amma: Don’t worry about it. We can either follow the train track or some good souls on the way will help us. (reminded me of that autowala anna’s whom I depend upon while driving at Chennai. Anna indha left ¬†Adyar poguma?)
Self: Ok, lets go and we set out on our journey to America in bicycle following the railway track.

Few hours later, we reach a distant country

Amma: K, I need some water di. Can you check in that shop?
Self: Bro, can we get some water please?
Shopkeeper: We don’t give it for free. Do you have money?
Self: Sorry bro. I don’t have any money. And just then Amma realizes that the shopkeeper speaks in Tamil and tries to develop the conversation with him.
Amma: Thambi, we all are from same country. Please show some mercy on this old lady. I need water to quench my thirst.
Shopkeeper: Ok ok take some!!!

Amma drinks water and we continue our journey to America in my bicycle following the railway tracks. Amma woke up before we reached the destination. It was only the two of us. No one else was there in the scene.

This was Amma’s¬†dream last night and she shared it with me during today’s call. I guess it is the impact of telling her about my plans to visit India this summer. It is only in today’s call I confirmed the trip details to her and she is sharing this dream with me. She might have been thinking a little too much about my trip. Now, I am worried if she can hold on to that excitement for another 5 whole months. I am visiting parent’s place after six long years.

No wonder my nights are filled with wild and crazy dreams. I could not think of a night or even a nap without dream. Sometimes they haunt me so much that I even miss the time to wake up and they continue to haunt through out the day sometimes even with a headache that comes from a bad sleep. My dreams are seldom pleasant.

It is an ongoing topic between M and me that I claim to have a disturbed sleep due to dreams and M claims I slept so well that I even got dreams. Which is true? What is your take? Do you get dream like me like every single night?

 

 

 

Winter wonderland

ETA: This is my 500th post ūüôā

Borrowed the title from MTW’s yesterday post. Thank you MTW!!

We woke up to snow montains and as it was fresh and clean so we decided to spend sometime outdoor. LHB played to his heart’s content and in most places the snow pile was higher than him. M started clearing snow early¬†and my neighbor lady who is single sighed “You have a husband”!!! Yeah, I do but she may not know what else comes along with it ūüėČ Neverthless, he did a great¬†job with clearing the snow off our pathway and car. We had quite a few neighbors ringing our door bell asking for a shovel looking at the way he cleaned but unfortunately we borrowed from our other neighbor.

I prepared Idli for breakfast, then we skyped with parents, followed by some cleaning, cooking and washing. Kids enjoyed fish fry for lunch which made me happy and in the afternoon few hours was spent with an agent to finalize¬†our flight tickets for summer trip to India. I am super excited about the trip. It is after 3 years ūüôā

Tomorrow schools are declared holiday so I might mostly work remote. That has slowed down my evening. But, mind is restless. A cloud of thoughts are bothering and disturbing¬†me. They are long living thoughts that surfaces now and then. Today is one such day. Some questions of life can never be answered. Why? Why? Why? I wish to put the mind to peace but it is not easy as there is no¬†way out. It is a dark tunnel and I don’t see the light at all and no hope to see it sooner either!!!!

Snow storm

The pictures speak better about the snow storm. It is snowing non stop since last night. ow it feels like winter. Though the snow came very late it has matched up to the whole winter. I heard DC and Virginia are worst affected than us.

I spent most part of the day catching up on my sleep. Had a good sleep after a long time filled with dreams. Me and my dreams. Its worth a seperate post.

Adi dared out to her friend’s place to play in the snow. I made¬†kesari, bread bajji for evening snack. Sorted out the clothes, prepared chutney for next week and made fish kuzhambu¬†for tomorrow’s lunch as it tastes better next day.¬†Marinated half of the fish for fry. Looking forward to tomorrow’s lunch.

Hope all my readers residing at East coast are staying safe. Take care!

Adi birth story – Part 2

Part 1

On 13th May, M and I left home around 10am for the regular checkup. The doctor checked and said I am dilating **rolls eyes**. That I have already dilated 2cms and should get admitted. So, I got admitted, called Amma, she reached the hospital in few hours along with paati and a big lunch box with the elaborate lunch she has cooked. She has prepared uppukandam kuzhambu ¬†(dry mutton gravy similar like karuvadu – dry fish. It is a month long process to prepare this and my chithi (amma’s sister) prepares this every year for us) and keerai poriyal. Unfortunately, I couldn’t eat those mouthwatering stuff as I was given enigma. The baby shower bangles were removed (I love to wear those dozens of glass bangles. I went to work with those handful of glass bangles for almost a month).

We waited in the room for almost 4 to 5 hours and there was very little progress. In between, M went back to his work **rolls eyes again** I was shifted to labor room around 4pm and the wait game continued. I had contractions and bearable pain but progress was very little. I got epidural in the evening and dilated only 5cms by around 9pm. That’s when the doctor decided to do an emergency c-section as Adi’s heart beat was slowing down. So much for spending more than 6 hours in labor room. M returned in the evening and stayed with me till baby was born. I was wheeled to the theater around 10pm. I don’t know what was going on in my mind then but remember crying the moment doctor said she has to cut me open to get the baby out. The doctor made a comment that “my baby is either adamant or doesn’t want to see this world”.

The anesthesiologist did her job and soon after that I was cut open. The anesthesiologist was standing behind my head and kept repeating “you are going to see your baby in few mins. almost there..”. She was right. The pink bundle was out at 11pm. It was a girl. I asked them to bring her closer and kissed on her forehead. Then, she was taken away for cleaning and showing to people waiting outside. Amma says that Adi looked like a laddu with two eyes. That she had her eyes wide open and rolling it when she was taken outside. She was looking chubby as she didn’t have to go through any struggle to come out.

I was unconscious for some time and when I woke up, the baby was next to me. I was able to feed her with help and we stayed in the hospital for next 4 days. I¬†had no major issues with feeding and it took me more than a month to get back to¬†my feet. We both spent most of first two months in the A/C bedroom at home where everything was served in hand. M was worried that I am spoiling his daughter keeping her in A/C most of the time but couldn’t do much about it as it was May and peak summer. Paati stayed with us for about 2 months to help us through the initial days.

I went back to M’s home when Adi was 5 months old and joined workforce when she was 6 months old. I did exclusive BF for first 5 months and then started solids for her. Oh my, those initial days of returning to work was a nightmare. I hear you Tharani.. totally!! FIL played big role in taking care of her.¬†I remember preparing a hour wise food timetable and sharing it with FIL¬†when I started work. He uses that to feed Adi on time.

I have kept my work timings different for first two years. I spend the morning with Adi bathing, feeding her and leave home at 10:30am. FIL used to feed her the lunch I have kept ready on table and put her to sleep in the afternoon. Evening, he will take her for a walk and by the time they come back home and freshen up, M will be back home. I usually return past 9pm, on time to feed her dinner. This has been my routine until she turned 2.5 years old and we traveled to US.

The rest is history and I have recorded most of her childhood in this blog..

Thanks to the person who started this birth story concept. I think it was Tharani but not sure. It helped all of us to sail through a day in blogathon..

Awaiting the snow storm here. It will be an IN day for all of us tomorrow. May be some family time if all are in good and happy mood.

Happy weekend everyone!!