Small joys

I had Kohls store gift card so decided to treat LHB with a little something for his birthday that is just 3 days away which is very unusual as you know the aftermath if you take a kid to a store not knowing what to buy.

We went to the shop today afternoon, he choose few spring jackets from clearance section and we went to fitting room to try.

I handed him the jackets one by one to try and see this t-shirt in between the 2nd and 3rd jacket. I did not pick it and have no idea about how it landed in the pile. Maybe it was there in the rack and I picked it along with other jackets or maybe it was left behind in the fitting room by someone else.

But think of the odds of us visiting a cloth store few days before birthday to get something for the birthday and this shirt magically landing on your hand! He is turning 7. Isn’t it magical? Small joys of life 🙂



LHB talkies

#1 – Amma in Kitchen:
Amma: Kutty, can you please get my phone da?
LHB: If I were youuuu (he stretches that u with a ragam) Amma, I would get my phone myself!!! (in a zen tone)
Amma: Searching for the wall nearby to bang her head. Amma thinks all the walls in the house would be blessed with her head bangs soon.

#2 – At home
Akka screaming as LHB took some of her stuff
Adi: LHB, I need you here right now!!!!
LHB: (Walking at snail’s pace towards her with bum bum shaking left to right and says) Calm down baby!!! I am coming!!
Amma was literally ROTFL seeing this scene

#3 – Bedtime
LHB: Akka, you need to give us some space in the bed.
Adi: No, I will not
LHB: Akka, are you going to listen or not?
Adi: You hurt me so I am not moving!!!
LHB: Amma, she is suuuch (again stretches u with a ragam) a drama queen ma, such a cry baby. Let’s just go and sleep somewhere else.

#4 – Shop hopping:
LHB: That’s it. I am not coming to the next shop with you. Can you drop me home and then go to all shops?
Amma: Okay then, I am not going to come to the star wars party at Library. You can go by yourself.
LHB: NOOOO. Let’s go to the shop Amma. I will come with you wherever you want me to come!!!!
Amma: **evil laughter**

#5 – LHB on the way from his class with Appa and calls Amma
LHB: Amma, what do you have for me if I come home now?
Amma: Huh? what do you mean?
LHB: I mean, what is your plan for me if I come home now? will you make me study or watch TV?
Amma: (who always wanted to play with her kids): Of course study da!!
LHB: Ok then, Appa I will come with you to pick up Akka. I don’t want to go home now. What is the point? She is not going to let me watch TV anyways and promptly cuts the call $#@!%^&

#6 – LHB doing his Math
Amma: Dei nallavanae, (means good boy) why are you taking 1 hour for just these 2 additions da? Can you please just get done with it?
LHB: You don’t understand Amma. Math is not my thing. TV is my thing. I am a TV guy ma!!
Amma: Okay%^&$#@!

Exhausted but happy

Apologies for the long post.

Today evening was very exhausting and chores drained almost all my energy but I was happy and content with the way the events unfolded.

I can’t go to sleep without reliving the moments from today’s evening that will make me smile wide. Writing it down here is equivalent to recollecting those moments at least 10 times and these precious moments will help me to stay up at least for next few months. Reminder to self is to come back and read this post when I have a bad day.

I went to office today and came back home at 6:45pm. The situation at home was normal. LHB was watching TV and Adi was in happy mood as she finished all her work for the day. She was waiting to watch Master chef with me. That’s the latest show we watch together.

I got refreshed, finished my dinner and had a cup of coffee. Then, started with kitchen work right away while the kids were fighting over TV. LHB wanted to watch one more episode but Adi wanted to take it over. I let them fight and continued with my chores. Started preparing tindora usili (one of my recent improvisation. why only beans usili? why not tindora?) and spinach paratha. I already had the dough ready in refrigerator for paratha.

I have been reminding LHB that he has to come to the kitchen table to start with his work. That today he has to do his work by himself as Amma have lot of kitchen work. It was a rough start. He came to the table after some whining and finished his school work reluctantly while Adi played Master chef in the TV. But he finished the work and that is all mattered to me and I didn’t lose my cool.

Then, it was his tuition work. He had to finish two english workbooks. He did few pages of first book and declared that this is too much work and he is done. I continued with my cooking and said if that is the choice he is making then I am okay with it. I told him verbatim “we all have choice to make in every single step and it is the choice we make will define who we are”.

He went upstairs, came down and then started a random chat with me. Usually, I don’t encourage such talks while its study time but today I went with the flow. We spoke about random things. Then, again he went upstairs and got the rest of first book done with Akka’s help. He then declared that he is not going to do the second book. I repeated in a zen tone that I am okay with it if that is his decision. I said “It is your decision so I have nothing to say. Just remember that you are making this decision”. Honestly, I didn’t have the energy to spend with him and was prepared to accept if he doesn’t finish his work. There is no point in raising my voice while he is trying.

He came back to the kitchen table, ate two hot spinach paratha (the special puffed ones) and one banana while chatting with me. I continued to chat and this time we talked about food and his classmates. Then, out of the blue he asked “Do I really have to do the second book Amma?”. I least expected that from him. So I replied “Its your choice da kutty”. To my utter surprise, he started working on the second book. I extended help when asked and he finished half of second book with no whining while I was wrapping up cooking, cleaning and washing dishes. The deal was to do his work till I have work in kitchen so he can give me company as I love having company while doing kitchen work. I actually taught him about singular vs plural vs irregular plural and he listened!! This was a big win for me.

Then, we both went upstairs and he wanted to watch TV. I told him that I have something to say and he can decide on what to do after hearing me. That his decision will be final. I told him how watching TV just before going to sleep is not good for eyes and instead he can play with his new truck. He replied “Oh yeah, I almost forgot about that. Thank you for reminding me. You are the best Amma. I will play with my truck” **I was pinching myself at this point to see if this is all real** as on a normal day he would throw a big tantrum in similar situation. The difference today is I handled it with a calm mind not expecting the outcome to be my way.

He played with his truck for a while, then we read “Chintamani, the magic cow” book. Spoke about cows, had other random conversations and then started with bedtime routine.

I told him that he filled my bucket many times today and I am very thankful to him. He replied “You are the best Amma”. We exchanged hugs/kisses and he drifted to sleep.

I had a quick hot shower after that and felt very peaceful though body was yearning to rest. He didn’t finish half of second book but somehow today I had this gyan moment that its okay to not finish the workbook rather than finishing it with not focusing and whining just because I force him to do it.

Some small change in my reaction and attitude in spite of having chores busy evening made a big difference in the way LHB and I interacted today and this evening will stay in my memory for long time to come. On other days, I freak out and that energy is radiated to him as well that makes both of us cranky. It is really okay to let go sometimes and this letting go does wonders!

Now tell me, how can I go to sleep without writing about this exhausted but happy evening? Tomorrow will be another long day. I have to leave early to work and have few important meetings to tackle. But, I am ready to handle it.

When there is peace in mind, there is harmony in life. Nighty night peeps!

LHB-Family birthday party

LHB’s birthday is around the corner (don’t think like 4 or 5 days, we have above 15 days left) but the little guy started bringing it in conversation since December.

So, this year I told him ahead and got approval to celebrate it in 3 ways
1. Family day out to an indoor water park.
2. Simple party/play date with handful of boys from his class at home.
3. 7 gifts for turning 7 on the day of his birthday. He wanted a set of 3 cars from local pharmacy store!! (I know we buy toys from all stores) so getting two set of those cars will itself make it 6 and then I have to just buy one more gift 😀

So, today was the day to fulfill #1 as it was a long weekend holiday and there were no classes for kids though Adi was freaking out about her pending homework.

I made pongal and sambar for breakfast. We couldn’t wait to eat it during the drive so hot hot pongal with hot hot sambar was transferred to plates from stove and savored at home itself. Went to the indoor weather proof water park that was around 1 hour away from home. I got some deals from groupon for this park.

We spent about 3 hours at the park and the clan was bored. I mean what else can you do if they don’t want to go for any ride that is high, that needs you to lay flat on tummy on a slider or the least surfing. We spent most of the time in lazy river, warm pool, played basket ball in the pool and called it a day. Kids then spent next one hour in arcade and said they liked the arcade better than the water park **I was shaking my head heavily**

As we left early, decided to stop by a restaurant on the way to have late lunch. We went to Chili’s, Mexican restaurant and ordered as if there is no tomorrow. Ate most of it, packed the left overs and returned home in the evening.

The waiters sang happy birthday song for LHB and he acted shy as expected 🙂

Choice of 3 appetizer
Classic Nachos
Southwestern chicken soup
Chicken quesidilla
Chicken Fajita
Cheese pizza
French fries
Mandarin oranges
Strawberry lemonade
Lava cake with ice cream

That’s LHB reaching out to M’s plate.

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Once back home, all of us took head bath and then went about getting ready for the work week. Adi did her homework while LHB and I got some long pending tasks done. We took down the Christmas tree and ornaments. LHB was such a big help in taking down all the ornaments and we had a nice chat while doing that.

I took off the serial lights from front yard, took off Christmas decorations at family room and packed them all neatly to be saved for next year. Cleaned and wiped kitchen, came to bed at 9:30pm and put kids to sleep sometime back.

I am typing this post while both of them are sleeping peacefully next to me. This is something I started following after moving to this home. To be part of kids bedtime routine so I give them the time to share anything about their day. We spent about 30 mins together before sleep doing things like reading, siblings fight, brushing, talk about random stuff and doze off. I love this routine.

This is a big change for me as on some days I have to force myself to get to bedtime routine even if the dishes are not washed yet. Its not easy but I have learned my priorities is all I can say!

Three days holiday has gone past in a jiffy!!!! Happy week ahead to all my readers.


Feel good day

Today it is!

Woke up at 7am. Quickly boiled eggs for breakfast, fixed lunch (potato fry with some left over sambar and kootu)

Left home at 8:45am along with Adi to attend the orientation for volunteering at a senior care centre nearby. It was a task to make her get ready by 8:45am on a weekend but no complaints at she at least made it.

It was a lengthy process. I downloaded the application in November but submitted it only on December as we should have taken a TB skin test at recent time. Adi was complaining that I will be the only mother in the whole world to make her daughter take a blood work for volunteering. I hope she understands it all some day but again no complaints as she doesn’t throw a tantrum or totally protest. After processing our application, the centre invited us for a 3 hour orientation today. I loved how they had it all well organized. They gave overview about all safety measures and a tour of the facility. Most seniors were staring at us like aliens as we had the tour walk but one lady repeatedly said how nice it is to see so many people. She said love you all, God bless you all, kissed the coordinator’s hand multiple times and said we all look so beautiful. I could see the twinkle in her eyes and could fit myself in her shoes. That’s probably how I will be in my old age. Yearning for more people around me.

The orientation itself was an overwhelming experience for me, I don’t know how I am going to volunteer there but I am sure I will love it. Looking forward to it. I will get my badge in next few days and then I can walk in anytime to volunteer. This will be the second best thing I will engage myself with in this new neighborhood. First will always be the temple.

Stopped by Kohl’s after the orientation and bought two charming bracelets one for me and one for Adi. It is so rare for us to go for shopping and this is the first time ever we even got a charming bracelet for us. On the way, Adi got a strawberry based cold drink from Starbucks. I just parked and waited in the car while she walked into Starbucks with my card and came back with the drink. I literally treat her like my friend these days and even look up to her at certain occasions. We walked into the cloth store, I was in one corner, she was in another corner, chose what we wanted, met near the billing counter and walked out with the bag. I don’t have to babysit her anymore. She has her choices and these days I go with her preference. I was so happy that she liked the sweater shirt I bought for her as Christmas present. She is now saving that shirt for special occasions and I grin wide 🙂 I digress!!

Came back home, had a satisfying lunch and watched a movie with LHB and myself tugged under the same blanket.

Did my workout in the evening and then the painful session started. While Adi and M were gone for her class, LHB and I setup our sun room for his study session.

Brownies – check
Chocolate biscuits – check
Water – check
Almond bars – check
Bags/Pencil/Eraser – check

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Actually, it was a productive session today. He got done more than I expected though we stay put at that spot for almost 2 hours to get it all done. We talked about universe, needy people, India, pooped in between, pee-ed a few times, used timer to get the math problems done, cheated the timer, took a break, ate brownies, danced a bit and got the work done in rest of the time!!!

At the end, I stood up and did a sashtang namaskaram to him saying “It was very nice doing business with you today. Our business hours are closed. See you tomorrow” 😀 😀 Then we did a happy dance together.

P.S: Kids don’t know about this blog yet. He saw me writing my post yesterday and shouted “Akka, this lady is putting our pictures in internet or something. She is doing something with it Akka. Come and see, come and see”. Luckily, Adi ignored him and I changed the topic 🙂





Holiday gifts

LHB is all about giving and I love this nature he possesses. Mind you he doesn’t giveaway things he own. He wants to save everything for memory and takes a dozen pictures everyday for memory (I exactly know who passed down this gene to him. Let’s not talk about that 😉 ). I think I already wrote here about how he wanted to keep the torn Nike shoe that doesn’t fit anymore. For remembrance is the right word but he says “for memory” and I am sticking with that.

For holidays, he bought thoughtful gifts for each of us and gave gifts to all his teachers. I gave him about 6 gifts to give to his main teachers. But, he wanted one for the school security Mr.B, for the music teacher he meets once in few weeks, for his gym teacher, bus driver and the high school assistant in his class. I gave him 3 more and said he has to decide whom to give. His fingers were not enough when we counted the teachers he wanted to give gift 🙂

I opened the gift he bought for me the same day and wore it right away. But, he told me I am supposed to take it only on the day of Christmas. So, took it back from me, packed it carefully and put it under the tree.

He bought mood changing pendant for me (It really changes color, I don’t know how it works), a big marker for Akka and a coffee mug for Appa and a rattle snake for himself. OMG the little brain has overworked to buy thoughtful gift for each of us. What more can I ask for?

I wear the pendant and show off to him just to see the pride in his face 🙂


LHB talks

#1 – On our way to township board meeting as LHB’s class was chosen to sing a song for Vetaran’s in that meeting:
Amma: Kutty, do you remember your lines da?
LHB: You know Amma, I am squeezing my brain to remember the lines. I will let it go when we are done and the brain will forget everything. Silly brain!
Amma: I don’t know why but this response from him made my eyes wet instantly. The little boy is trying, trying and trying his best to remember and recollect facts. I remind myself again. It is absolutely okay if he is not at par with academics for his age. He is a happy, healthy boy and he will find his way to survive. He tries and doesnt give up. My duty is to only give him a safe and happy childhood. He will figure out his life.

#2 – On our way back from school:
Amma: So, what did you do in school today?
LHB: We played Heads up seven up game in aftercare.
Amma: What game is that? I have never heard about it.
LHB: Omg! It’s a lot to explain. I will tell you later!

#3 – At home:
Amma: (Screaming) LHB, why don’t you finish your homework now?
LHB: (in a very calm tone) Not in the mood baby!!
Amma: She was looking for a wall nearby to bang her head!!!

#4 – On our way back from township board meeting:
LHB’s class sang a song for Veteran’s in that board meeting and there were many veteran’s present in that meeting.
LHB: Amma, did you see the Veteran’s in the meeting?
Amma: Yes da!
LHB: Are they all very old Amma?
Amma: Yes da!
LHB: How come they are still alive but Raju thatha is not ma?
I went speechless and changed the topic eventually!!

#5 – Bedtime:
LHB: Amma, why do you always keep saying Ammadi whenever you sit or try to stand?Amma: Because, my back hurts sometimes and I say it mostly when I feel tired.
(then he was mocking me for few days especially when I retire to bed with a very loud “Ammadi”
LHB: Then, he came up with the phrase “Ammadi, kannadi, chennadi”. He claims to be the proud owner of this phrase and I pretend to him that it makes all my pain go away.
Amma: You know da, I feel much better when I say it
LHB: I know Amma, that is why I created this for you (with a proud face) 😀

More saved for another post 🙂

It has to get better

Just remember this whenever you have a bad day or hear bad news. It has to get better and that is how nature balances it so hang in there!

In the past 10 days I have heard about 4 losses. They all have lived life to the fullest still I was mourning deeply as each one of them have an impact on who I am today.

On Tuesday night, LHB and I was playing connect4 just before bedtime and he suddenly lost balance and fell off the high rised bed with head hitting the carpet and landedon the floor with a big back flip. He was shell shocked and just curled up in the bed. Thankfully he wasn’t visibly hurt, we checked him thoroughly and went to sleep but I couldnt sleep that night. The visuals of him falling down and the after shock look of his face kept flashing in my mind and I wasn’t sure how the next day is going to unfold. What if he was internally hurt? What if the school calls in middle of the day to report that he is unwell? Will my Life be the same again? The mind is at constant fear these days!!!

I couldnt control my thoughts and dozed off just before the dawn. I had to go to work next day so woke up soon after and went ahead with regular chores. Adi left to school at 650am. I kissed the little boy and left to work at 7am. I was very restless that day and left work early. Same day I heard about my friend’s cousin being admitted in hospital and kept in ICU. I was not myself until I saw the little boy. I picked him up and we drove straight to temple. It was a divine visit as there was not much crowd and my heart was filled with peace looking at the little boy praying to every God with utmost focus. He did thoppukarams to Pillayar. I broke down while praying but had a huge sense of satisfaction upon return.

Had a sound sleep that night hugging the little boy, thanking God for not shaking my life.

I was woken up next day at 530am by a phone call from other side of the world…. This post turned out longer than I expected so will write about my next day in next post!!

Best secret keeper

LHB was invited to a play date with 3 other boys living in the neighborhood. They all go to same class. I bought brownies to take it to the playdate and told the boy to keep it a secret and not tell his friend G about the brownies when he sees him at school.

Me: Can you please keep it a secret da?

LHB: You know Amma, I am the best secret keeper. Do you know how?

Me: How?

LHB: Because I forget everything after a minute

Me:?? !!!!! Whatever!!!

Next day morning:

LHB: Amma, remember the secret you told me? I don’t remember it anymore so I won’t tell G. No worries

Me:?? !!!! Whatever!!!


Adi went to pick him from bus stop and this is the conversation they had

LHB: Akka, guess what? I didn’t tell the secret to G. I am the world’s best secret keeper.

What do you guys think? Did he tell G or not?

Bonus point: Now I know how to make him remember something **evil laugh**

Of shoes and choice of kids

Scene: Driving back home after dropping Adi at her class

LHB: Amma, these Nike shoes doesn’t fit for me anymore!
Amma: Okay baby. Let’s donate it
LHB: Actually, can you keep it for memory (he meant for remembrance)
Amma: Okay, we can do that
LHB: Like, I can keep it or even give it to my kids!
Amma: That’s nice of you (and the mommy brain got quirky)
Amma: So, how many kids are you planning to have?
LHB: One
Amma: Are you sure?
LHB: Yeah!
Amma: Boy or girl?
LHB: Boy
Amma: Hmm, you don’t want a girl?
LHB: I don’t know. What if the girl wants a girl? (by the girl he is referring to his wife)
Amma: I didn’t get it!
LHB: Like it’s her choice. What if she wants to have two kids or she wants to have a girl? I can’t say anything. Its her choice Amma!
Amma: I just can’t be more proud of this little boy. I told him he made me shed happy tears and my happy meter has reached the top for the day.

I know its coming from a 6 year old but I sincerely wish for him to stay the same and show respect to his life partner’s interest and choices. God bless him with a deserving life partner and may the both make loads and loads of happy moments and memories.

Oh my god, a mother’s imagination is endless! It’s so hard to stop it once it kicks off!!

If I share all this with some sensible person, they would say first let your son pass elementary and make his way to earn his own bread! Finding a deserving life partner comes after that ! True that!