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Long weekend tales

I am so grateful to get this one day extra off over this weekend as today was spent differently and I feel better

The day started with

  • Ragi uthappam with idli podi for breakfast followed by filter kaapi
  • Went for a long walk with next door neighbor
  • Visited another neighbor’s home, had relaxing chat over amazing chai with her and a common friend. When the family called me as it was lunch time, she gave me a box of tamarind based curry and asked me to just cook rice πŸ™‚
  • Picked up LHB from a play date from another neighbor’s home
  • Returned home in the hope to sit down and stretch but Adi asked with a puppy face if I can make a snack. How could I deny that? So, made almond flour muffins. They tasted very good.
  • Cooked rice, had lunch/dinner and muffin for dessert
  • Cleaned kitchen
  • Burned 300 cals in new treadmill
  • Oiled my hair with a short massage (what a relief)
  • Played a quick 10 minute family board game
  • Prep work for tomorrow’s lunch
  • Help LHB wrap up some of his work
  • Play bedtime story and tuck in LHB to sleep
  • Catch up on messages/emails/plan for tomorrow’s work
  • Write this post πŸ™‚
  • I will do my bedtime meditation and go to sleep after publishing this post.

Past two days were spent in binge watching “Lupin”, catch up on cooku with comali (based on high reco from Indu who was influenced by SS and Tharani). It was a stress buster for sure.

Cooked kung pao chicken for the first time and spent some time with LHB catching up on his cub scout activities (bird feed building, dinosaur museum virtual trip, making of dino snacks, making of thank you card for first responders)

Leaving you all with some pictures

Weekend tales

Saturday:
Went to temple, ate temple cafe food for lunch (yum) that demanded a siesta, lazed around in the evening, watched Maara in the night and called it a day. The movie was slow but I liked it. Its romantic drama genre. A relaxing day after a very very long time.

Sunday:
If Saturday was spent lazy then Sunday has to be productive to balance the weekend right? Right, so first half of the day was spent in Kitchen making

Fish fry
Idli batter
Curry leaves powder for Idli/dosa
Onion coconut hair oil
Filter coffee powder for next week(I have to grind store bought ground powder to make it finest to work in Indian filter coffee utensil)
Jeera powder
White rice

Later half was spent

  • Wrapping up Christmas decorations (Wish I could keep it for a little longer but its wise to do it when I get help)
  • Attend a Sewa session where inspiring stories about giving was shared.
  • Catching up with LHB’s school work (we can’t delay it anymore that this as they are Friday’s homework!!). He had a meltdown session today morning throwing tantrum to attend Math class. Am I still not famous for jinxing? He is a happy boy in general and doesn’t cry that easily unlike me but today he cried in front of his teacher and the teacher and I had to coax him about how Math is important for life **shaking my head heavily** Teacher got worried and called after an hour to check on him. She is planning to add some Math games from next session **shaking my head again** Sighh!!
  • Art session with LHB. We drew Ninjango Kai by following Arts for Kids hub video tutorial. We sat next to each other, drew step by step and colored it. It was very therapeutic for me.

Not bad for his first attempt. I am planning to do this more often with him. An hour well spent in the evening!

Thank you

Thank you all for your encouraging positive comments. I am working on lifting my spirit up and stay focused on things that need my attention. Its okay for the dark thoughts to come and go, its even okay if tears flow down, just let it flow or wipe it and continue to do what you do. Don’t sulk and give in to negative emotions!! I am repeating to myself often!

Kids have resumed school today after 10 days and I am able to breathe easy. Naughty LHB took his own time to get ready and made me drop him at school!!

Just for laugh:
Amma: LHB, please come over to take your medicine
LHB: Arghhhhh!!! Its that time again!!
Amma: LHB, please da, Amma paavam da, please come and take your medicines da
LHB: Amma, you don’t understand. My life! My choice! I can choose to not drink the medicine
Amma: **passing out instantly** and Adi rolling on the floor laughing..

If only Amma had even 5% of this wisdom!! My life, My choice it seems…

Adi and I were laughing over it for rest of the day by randomly saying “My life, my choice” and she kept mocking me “You don’t understand Amma”!!

Weekend highlights:

  • Adi attended a sweet 16 surprise party at old neighborhood.
  • LHB and I killed time at Chuck e cheese while the girl was partying
  • LHB won second place in a cub scout boat race. Don’t ask me how many participated πŸ™‚ its 3!
  • Adi attended “Make a blanket” event at the temple. They made blankets to be distributed to terminally ill children at the hospital.
  • Quick stop at friend’s home to wish their daughter for her birthday.
  • I have started watching “Super singer junior” and had a very good laugh. Though I don’t like the way the kids are engaged, some lighter moments and laughter is guaranteed and I need them very much right now!!

We spent a solid 3 hours in making this boat last weekend. LHB chose to paint them red and blue.

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Hugs and love to you all.

Weekend

Note: I wrote this yesterday (Sunday) night but dozed off before I could publish it so publishing it as is!

Recording about this weekend so I can come back and read this on a day I can’t pull myself through a demanding day to remind myself that I have done it in the past and can do it!!

This weekend became super crazy with couple of makeup/adhoc classes, mall shopping, conference call, potluck, guest visit all thrown in these two days. I got all of them done but not happy at all as its past 10pm on Sunday and none of us are in the right mindset to start a fresh week!!

Wish I learn to say NO to myself but I don’t know which one of this I could have said NO to. All of them sound equally important to me at this phase of life!!

Saturday:
8am – Wake up, prepare breakfast and part of lunch
10:00am – Drop LHB at his makeup class
10:15am – Drop Adi at her adhoc class
10:30am – Come back home and continue with lunch prep
11:00am – Pickup LHB
11:10am – Come back home and continue with lunch prep (Sambar making was literally done in parts today, like saute onion/tomato, switch off stove, step out of home, come back, add veggies, tamarind water, switch off stove, step out of home, come back, add dal and finally call it sambar!!)
12:30am – Drop LHB at his class
1:15pm – Come back home, LHB takes shower/eats part of his lunch. I gobble up my lunch and pack dabba for Adi!
1:45pm – Pickup Adi, drive to nearest mall (She wanted to get a gold shade dress to attend a sweet 16 party next week and I wanted to get some supplies for the low key birthday party for LHB at home next weekend). Kids eat lunch in the drive!
4:!5pm – Leave from mall
4:45pm – Costco grocery shopping
5:30pm – Return home, put away the items bought from mall/Costco and wrap up dinner
6:30pm – Leave home, take Adi to her class
8:45pm – Return home from Adi’s class
9pm – Login to a conference call for volunteering
10:30pm – Wrap up the call, spend some time on online shopping as Adi couldn’t find a good dress in the mall.
11:30pm – Call it a day and go to bed!!!!

Sunday:
8am – Wake up, prepare breakfast, clean home, wash dishes, make semiya payasam (big tray)
12pm – Get ready for Pongal/Sankranti potluck at LHB’s Tamil school
1:30pm – Arrive at the venue, help to setup, serve (we had banana leaf serving style), eat yummy lunch and watch cultural programs.
5:30pm – Leave the function in the middle as Adi wanted to comeback home to finish her homework. I missed watching ladies dance 😦
6:00pm – Arrive home, clean home, make Tea
6:45pm – Guests arrive. High school girl with her parents. They wanted to know more details about the volunteering opportunities
7:30pm – Guests leave. Start with vegetables chopping (prep work for kids tomorrow lunch box)
8:30pm – Sit down with LHB to do his homework
9:30pm – Draft this post while eyes are begging to go to sleep.
10:00pm – Waiting for Adi to come to bed as she is still working on her school work!

LHB is giving me such a hard time today with homework. We both are not in our best state of mind and he is just sitting on one page of Math for past one hour!!!! Doing Math/English work is such a painful process for him and I seriously don’t know how to help him. He hates it when I nudge and I hate to do it too but is there any other way out?Β  I even stopped nudging him often. All I asked for was just 1 hour each day this weekend and he made it a painful session for both of us!!

Pictures from potluck:

LHB sat with his friend in a different row and ate by himself. Proud moment πŸ™‚
Look at all the munchkins in Veshti.. LHB is 3rd from right!

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 πŸ™‚ 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” πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ 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 πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

01-11-2020

Today is one of those days I wanted to get away with a quick post but just couldn’t get around it so decided to write about last weekend.

Last Saturday, we went to NY. It was a visit to check multiple items from our list

We left home around 9am. I made Poha for breakfast and packed it in multiple boxes for everyone to eat during the drive.

Main item in the list is Adi playing piano at Carnegie Hall. This is her 3rd time performing at this prestigious place. It was a winner’s recital held for young musicians who secured first/second place in a competition conducted in December last year.

Next stop was at Washington park in the hope to savor the dosa made by NY’s best dosa man but unfortunately he was not available that day. May be next time!

Then, headed to NY’s best grilled cheese shop that Adi wanted to visit for a long time. Do you see the cheese in picture below? Kids also enjoyed the best Mac and cheese from that shop.

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Next stop at pop bar. Their hot chocolate on a stick was to die for. The taste is still lingering in my tongue. Kids bought waffle bar dipped in chocolate and topped with nuts

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Next, it was time for momo’s from a street vendor. Chicken momo’s with basil pesto garlic sauce

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After wrapping up the food marathon, we went to the recently popular spot – the Hudson yards. The structure of Vessel building was intricate. We walked up to the top, then visited the nearby mall. For those interested, Vessel has limited free pass everyday. It costs $10 per head after the free pass is over. So, book your slot 1 or 2 weeks ahead of the visit.

The mall had an interesting Sequin art wall which anyone can play around with. It was pretty cool. Adi and LHB drew and wrote some stuffs. Can you guess what Adi drew here?

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I had a latte from the mall. Don’t ask for the price.

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Then went to the place that is a yearly tradition to visit every year during winter holidays and take a family picture. Rockefeller centre to see the big tree and ice skating rink. The place that never ceases to amaze me. It is one of my wish to skate in that rink with someone dear and near.

Last stop was of course at a street food vendor stall. Bought chicken and rice from the famous Halal guys and walked to the car. The car was parked in same garage all day and we took subways/PATH/cab to go around the city.

Drove around times square to see the ball that drops on New year’s eve and some other busy streets and then headed towards home.

This is probably the first time we drove to NY and it was a fun experience. We always prefer public transport as NY always has more traffic and parking is expensive too.

Came back home around 11pm and went straight to bed!

Sunday was catching up on all chores day with all of us at home but in our own world to get ready for next week!

 

 

 

Hiking

A dream come true that turned into a happy memory. The kids and I went for hiking in local park last week. Hope to make this a frequent family hike if I succeed in getting the clan out of the home on weekend mornings.

We went on the smallest 0.5 mile trail and pretty much rushed through it for multiple reasons.

reason #101 – It was our first time going inside the woods
reason #202 – M couldn’t join us. It was just me and the kids
reason #303 – We were scaredy cats pretending to be brave

Nevertheless, I was happy with the attempt made and kids loved it

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Special Saturday

Today, M went to Pennsylvania to play Volleyball. Did I mention? The man has restarted his passion after school years and is going crazy about it! I am saying passion as I have never, never seen him this interested in anything! He goes for practices at 11pms and 6ams. He works around and makes adjustments to his schedules and duties to make time for this practice. I am happy and glad to see him involved in something like this.

So, yeah he was out the door by 6am and I played dual role of mommy and daddy today πŸ™‚ But, told Adi that I will not play as cool daddy buying them junk snacks!

8am – Made sweet and karam version of paniyaaram for breakfast with leftover dosa batter and fed the kids.

9:45am – Took kids to their respective classes at the local club. After the classes,Β  all three of us played ping pong for a while. Another father/son duo joined us and it was an impromptu fun time. LHB tried to trick me to get snack from vending machine but I did not budge *proud look*

12pm – Took kids out for lunch to Taco bell. Another impromptu trip! This was a surprise to LHB as he started complaining at recent times that only Akka always gets to choose everything.
The complaining happened when we decided to dine out at Olive garden last weekend based on Adi’s choice. When asked, what is his choice assuming he would not be able to pick any, he surprised us all by yelling Taco bell! So, TB it was for today’s lunch!

1pm – Tamil homework time and parallel kitchen work (Idli batter prep)!

1:45pm – Give a shower to LHB allowing him to play in the shower with his toys for a while!

2:30pm – Quick clean of home, get ready to go to Tamil school.

3pm – Tamil school, today I volunteered as substitute at LHB’s class as his teacher was out sick. OMG! the kids kept us on toes, trips to bathroom and answering all their curious questions took more time than actual learning! This was my first time volunteering and it was a fun experience. I am happy to have chosen this in spite of the splitting head ache! Otherwise, my plan was to take some rest while waiting outside!

This is LHB at the Tamil school parking lot. He demands a click whenever he sees a different looking/colored car. And, the shirt he is wearing is special. Will write about it soon!

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5pm – Back home, made dinner (Poha) and continued with cleaning home (never ending task *rolls eyes*)!

6:30pm – Took Adi to piano class while LHB stayed back with the just returned Appa!

8:30pm – Returned home! Loaded dishwasher, cleaned kitchen and finally finally stretched my legs in the couch!

11:30pm – Watched a Tamil comedy movie with kids, laughed out loud at couple of scenes, applied oil on Adi’s hair and wrote this post!

Oh, and yesterday Adi made a Chinese veggie dish for us. It was made of yellow peppers, carrot and all types of condiments and sauces. It was yumm! This is how she presented it to me πŸ™‚

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Good night!

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend visitor – Day 97

We had a visitor this weekend from LHB’s school. It was Penny the puppy (I would have run a 100 miles if it was a real one). Penny takes turn every weekend to spend time with a child from LHB’s class. This week was LHB’s turn and the boy was super excited. Penny came along with couple of board games, books and a journal to record the details.

This is what we did over the weekend with Penny πŸ™‚

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