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December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Just because we are a non believer does nt mean we wont go see him and eat the candy cane he gave. Like mommy like daughter, I guess. For all the "theres no God" lectures I gave while I was young, that did nt stop me eating Puliyodarai at the perumal kovils, did it? ;)

Happy Christmas, guys! We are off for the vacation from the vacation tomorrow. See you all in the brand new year. Wishing everyone all things wonderful in 2010!

December 19, 2009

Winter Holidays.

So we are in the US now. Mom, Hd, the girls and I. 3 weeks with my sister and Bil! Its all nice once we get home and eat hot idlis with gothsu. But the travel! OH GOD THE TRAVEL! So we left on Tuesday early morning at 6 am. Guess where Hd was the previous day? He was out of town and came home at midnight! And Ashu had a terrible cough and I did nt send her to school. Antu had such a bad cold that she was throwing up. My mom and I had sore throat. Shall I go on? OK if you insist... so the airlines screwed up our food request and did nt have vegetarian meals for us. For both the legs. So we survived on lettuce and juice for 19+ hours! Ashu and Antu were absolute dolls the entire trip. Hd on the other hand picked up a fight with the trolley guy at the Newark airport, talked back to the immigration guy instead of following "saringa officer" routine and got on my nerves like only he could! My mom? Well, she and Ashu had a kudumipidi fight for the window seat. My mom won!

Needless to say, we are having a ball here. Still not out of the jet lag. But that means watching TV at 4 am sipping hot tea and playing bowling and tennis in Wii, so I'm not complaining! We are all off for a mini vacation from this vacation for a week. More on that later.

December 10, 2009

Ms. Know It All.

A couple of days back, Ashu in a matter of fact tone told me, "Santa Claus is not real, amma"! I just nodded my head and went my way. The thing is we have never talked about Santa that much in this house. She has seen him on TV, read a few books with him in it. She went to see Sami Claus (Swiss Santa) with her class last week. So that's about it. Since I have never believed that Santa is real when I was a kid, it was nt such a shocker to me. But later thinking about it, I wondered how she knew. So I asked her tonight just before bed. Here goes...

Me - So? Santa is not real, huh?

Ashu - No amma. He is not.

Me - How do you know?

Ashu - I know.

Me - But what about the real Santa who comes through the chimney and gives gifts to kids?

Ashu - Hes not real. Only amma appa give gifts!

Me - huh? *wondering how she knows that. she does nt even get xmas gifts from us!*

Ashu - and also to fly in the sky and give gifts, he needs thousands and thousands of reindeers. but there are only very few reindeers in the forest. so Santa cant fly fast and give gifts without reindeers! *get the logic? less reindeers affecting gift delivery hence no Santa!*

Me - But Santa might know magic right? What if he does magic and sends gifts?

Ashu - No amma. Only people dress up as Santa. Like we saw Bob the Builder in Legoland.

Me - *faking shock* WHAT? bob the builder is not real too?

Ashu - amma! he comes on TV. so its not real. except animals. only animals are real.

Me - Wow! You are very smart, Ashu!

Ashu - No amma. Im super smart!

Me - !!!

Later, I read the book, Grandmother Winter to her before bedtime. In the book, grandmother shakes her feather white quilt and snow falls through the air and everyone prepare themselves for winter. So I asked her,

"how do you think snow falls, Ashu? in this story, grandma shake the quilt. Can you make up a reason like that?

Ashu - hmmm....

Me - You know what I think? Theres a big ice cream truck in the sky. And when the doors of the truck open, all the vanilla ice cream is falling down like snow!

Ashu - (laughs)

Me - So you tell me now.

Ashu - I think that the rain drops are feeling very cold and they become ice and they fall down as snow.

Me - Sigh!

I give up. Theres nothing left to teach.

December 07, 2009

Movies Galore.

It has been a movie marathon for the past couple of months.

About two little school boys who fight all the time. And their families.

It was a cute, sweet, real, feel good movie with a filmy climax. The two little boys were wonderful to watch without the over the top acting which is very common with child actors in Tamil movies. I could nt name even one actor in that movie. Every ones new but what a fantastic performance! I especially loved the female who plays Anbus mom. The way her expression changes when her husband disappoints her on their anniversary is fantastic. I always like movies with a rural touch in them. I fondly remember my Dindigul days, the Madurai slangs and get nostalgic.

A super natural thriller. A young wife dies. Her ex boyfriend whos now a Police officer investigates the case.

Brilliant movie. I was blown away by how sleek the movie was. Agreed that I had expectations since it was from Sankar productions but this from a first time director? Awesome. Not that the movie was without flaws but I could easily overlook them because of the brilliant dialogues, the cinematography and the wonderful performances by all the actors. A must watch. Sent a shiver down my spine when I went to the restroom after this movie and saw a red tube of hand cream on the top of the sink staring at me while I was washing my hands! :) Water and the color Red are a constant part of this movie.

Achamundu Achamundu
Set in the USA, its about an Indian family's ordeal when the guy who comes to paint the basement turns out to be a paedophile.

The movie was OK. Prasanna and Sneha have done a good job. The dialogues were good. Kannil Dhaagam song is awesome. But I did not like the story. What was the point of this movie? What does the director want to convey? One has to be very careful with messages like this in a movie. According to me, most of the target audience is going to take this movie in a wrong way. That these bad things happen only in the US.(since its set in the US and the painter guy is an American) That even little girls should be "properly" dressed and be adakkam odukkam in this Kali Yugam! And the people who will take the right message from this movie - well, they already are aware. So whats the point? I would ve liked it if this movie was set in India. And if the child were a boy. Now that would send the right message.

Wake up Sid
A carefree, rich boy gets life lessons from a girl with whom he falls in love with.

Cute movie. The one which would ve made my heart go flippity flip if I had watched it while I was in college! :) Ranbir and Konkana have given a beautiful performance. Actually, every one has done a good job in this movie.

A stupid movie about a stupid treasure.

Who does Akshay think he is? John Travolta? Oh please!! And Sanjay Dutt - dont put wordsu in my mouthu!!

Tha Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
Hostage situation. Sleek Villain. Smart Hero.

I can never get tired watching John Travolta scheming some bad, bad things! ;) and add Denzel Washington to the mix, its a treat to watch them just talk. One lazy Sunday last month, I just wanted a break(shut up, sis!) and took off to watch this movie alone not knowing anything about the movie. It was a good time pass.

Inglourious Basterds
Is it a war movie? Is it a Tarantino movie? Hey, its both!

Now that's what I call a movie! Oh boy! What a treat to watch a movie like this. Amazing, just mind blowing. I just did nt want the movie to end. Christoph Waltz steals the scenes. The first 20 or so minutes of the movie is so gripping that even if the rest of the movie had Sanjay Dutti in it, I would nt have noticed!

Another Doomsday movie. Yawn!

Agreed that the visual effect are mind blowing. But after a point, I stopped caring. Tell me this. When the ENTIRE world is being wiped out and billions and billions of people have died, do you really care if a big bunch of rich snobs and the protagonists family live or not? I dont. Die, die, die. Lets kill everybody, I say.

November 29, 2009

The One in Which Hd Gets Another Year Older.

Me: Dude! What do you want for your birthday?
Hd: iPhone?
Me: That you re going to buy anyway. What do you want from me?
Hd: I don't know.
Me: Come on! Help me out here.
hd: I cant think of anything.
Me: Lets go shopping. Pick whatever you want and that can be my gift, OK?

So on a Saturday, he takes Ashu for swimming class. Once hes back, gets the kids ready and drives us across the town to a mall. Mom and I get some groceries done on the way while hes in the car with the kids. Then we go to a mall. He takes the kids and my mom around while I look around a shop to buy something for him. No luck. But I end up buying gifts for my sister, friends, clothes for the kids,some glass bowls,... I join them and Hd says he ll go keep my shopping bags in the car and come back. In the meanwhile, I go to another shop and end up buying clothes for myself. Hd takes the kids on a toy train ride. I go to yet another shop and buy more stuff for me and the kids. Then I try to focus and get a generic gift for Hd. Nothing special. Hd goes to a shop and buys booster seat for Ashu. We meet and he takes all the stuff to the car again. I ask him not to peak into the bags. He promises. Then we do another round of groceries and he drives us back home.

Feeling guilty of making him slave to get him a generic birthday gift, I decide on a personalized gift. Some funky coupons would do. A dear friend(Congrats mayG!) had shared some coupon templates earlier and all I had to do was to type some cool stuff and print them out. And then I find out I cant edit word doc in my laptop. So when I tried to sneak in to Hds laptop and edit it, I locked out his login. Hd found out and he had some very urgent, important work to do and got very mad at me. After apologizing a million times, he let it go. But not without a warning. phew! Then I sneaked again(what did you think?) only to find out that the printer was showing error messages. Sigh! Clearly not my day. So I called Hd and asked him. He fixed the printer and I had to ask his help again to give a print command. I asked him to close his eyes and not to look at what I'm doing. He obliged!

I guess it shows that its the 10th birthday of his we are celebrating together. And he even had to clean up the kitchen once I was done with the cake baking! Poor guy! I think he ll use one of the coupons first thing tomorrow! :D (the coupon holder is free of any housework for one whole day! :)

Happy Birthday, R! I might hog the TV remote all the time. I might get mad at you for the silliest of things. I might never take the trash out. But I love you in my own way. By hugging you when you feel low. By encouraging you to chase your dreams. By being there for you when you need me.


November 27, 2009

17 months of Antu and 4 years & 7 loooooooooooong months of Ashu.

Bad news first. Ashu. Seriously. Im not exaggerating. Everything is a battle these days. Shes like how I was in my teens. So she gets up in the morning and comes to me and complains. Then she goes to Antus room and tries to pick her up from the crib, makes her cry. Does nt listen to me. Then depending in her highness mood, we throw a tantrum for anything. Like the other day, she asked me to keep her gummy vites near her cup of milk. So I did. But she wanted the gummy bear to stand. But like luck would have it, the wretched bear would nt stand and kept falling. So I propped it near her cup. But no, thats not done. So she refused to drink her milk, went to her room and sulked for a good 20 mins. And its only 7.20 am!

Hd and I call Ashu "Time bomb" these days. One can never predict when she ll explode. Once I accidentally dropped a toy of hers and broke it. She said, "Its ok amma" and went about her way. One other time, I breathed the same air as hers in the room and she pounced on me and said, "You are not my friend Amma. I wont talk to you forever and ever and ever". I dont know till this minute what caused it.

Antu is a very avid observer these days. I think she ll be doing all the above by the time shes two! God save me! Her sister is her everything and shes goes "akka akka akka" for everything. Oh, and Dora. She loves the dora figurines, stuffed toy, cushion, books,... "doya doya doya"...

Antu speaks a lot these days and understands every damn thing. Its beyond cute. Loads of times Im left wondering, "Was ashu ever this cute" and I go read the archives of this blog! :) I realized that if you successfully sleep train the baby and if s/he is a non fussy eater, theres nothing like that. Im a happy mom of a toddler this time thanks to this. As yet, that is!

Ashus school was off for 2 days last week and we decided to go with Hd to Geneva. The weather was awful but we managed to have fun in spite of it. My mom was glued to the 15th floor window of our hotel room with a fantastic view of the city. While Ashu did nt want to step out of the hotel room, Antu wanted to run around in the corridor and explore other rooms but not ours. We managed to visit Yvoire a medieval village on the French side and the castle at Nyon. Both have fantastic lake views but we could nt see a thing because of the fog.

We went to the transport museum in Lucerne the other weekend. The kids had an absolutely great time. Ashu watched her 2nd Imax movie. This time - African adventure. Her attention span is still short. Even for a 50 min movie! It was a 3D movie too and my mom and I were blown away by the documentary. Fantastic. The museum had both outdoors and indoors fun and the day was pleasant thankfully. Ashu and I raced with the scooters and rode bikes. Spent a good five hours there. The place is huge.

Whats a post without talking about the weather? The kids have an everlasting cold, mom and I just recovered from a throat infection and I feel feverish today. In short, the weather sucks. It gets so dark and gloomy even by 4 pm. These days I find myself eating dinner at 6.30 along with the kids and even after all the housework, its only 8 pm!! What do you guys in cold places do?

When we were in Geneva, we were walking across a bridge. Antu stopped to hold the rails and watch the lake. The gap was a little wide and I pulled Antu back. Ashu gasped and asked ,"what will happen if she falls down, amma?". "Well, she ll drown, thats what will happen. I cant swim so I ve shout for help", I told her and tried to change the topic. After a few seconds of silence, Ashu told me "I know a little bit of swimming, Amma. But I cant swim in this big lake" and held Antus hand very tight and walked the rest of the way. I guess, thats the good news.

November 22, 2009

Car conversations - part 2.

Remember part 1? Something along the same vein...

So we were driving home from school.

Me: Ashu! you know what? Amma got my first speeding ticket, boo hoo! *makes a sad face*

Ashu: oh ho! what ticket amma?

Me: You know theres speed limit on the roads? Amma went too fast one time and the police have sent me a ticket by post.*makes a sadder face*

Ashu: oh ho! so is Appa at home?

Me: No. hes at office.

Ashu: when will he come? will he take care of us?

Me: what do you mean?

Ashu: When you are gone.

Me: *knowing very well whats coming* gone where?

Ashu: When you are gone to the jail, appa will take care of us, right?

Me: !!!!!!!!

Like I keep repeating myself, that that person,...!

November 10, 2009

The One in Which He Knows Me Too Well.

(during a random conversation)
Me - So! When will you become VP of a company, huh?
Hd - Only if I start my own company, I guess.
Me - Dude! if you start your own company, would nt you be like the President or something? Not just a VP!
Hd - I was sure you would want to be the President there too! No?
Me - *grins* Thats true.

The man sure is catching up with me, is nt he? :D

November 03, 2009

Ashu & Antu at 16 months.

Im sorry but I cant help doing this! :) Especially when I still ve some of the old clothes! Bear with me please.

previous posts here, here, and here .

October 31, 2009


We carved our first ever pumpkin today on the occasion of Halloween. I bought the smallest pumpkin in the store, took the print out of a template and the carving instructions, laid out the table with newspaper, the required tools and the pumpkin, ofcourse. And then outsourced the dirty job to Hd.

Daughter and Father had fun together while I tried hard not to criticize the work of art in progress!! So heres the result. To actually see how small the pumpkin is, another one with Ashu in it. The pumpkin is exactly the size of Antus head now! :)

Happy Halloween, everyone! Boo!

Thanks Sundar for the inspiration! :)

October 21, 2009

Bloggers block. Bear with me.

In no particular order,

Diwali went well. We celebrated in Legoland, Germany. They had special fireworks to begin the Halloween season. The universe does conspire, does nt it?

Antu came back from India with Hd and gave me a cold shoulder. Was more excited to see Ashu than me. Whatever! I dont care. I dont.

Did a Diwali do for Ashus class today. Im a natural after all! whowouldathunk it? I had butterflies in my stomach today morning before I went to school like before an exam. But I aced it. The kids had a blast. Ashu was so proud and went around "my mommy, my daddy, my baby" to all her classmates. It was so cute.

Antu is in a stage where I want to bottle her up and gift it to everyone. Sigh! And then they turn four!

Winter is here. I ve decided to make the most of it. Im not going to whine. Im not, Im not.

I joined this gym a month back. It has a beautiful baby care and Antu ,though cries a little bit when I leave her, is fine staying there for an hour. It has been 2 weeks since I went for one reason or the other. Wondering if Antu will be ok when I start to go again. We are older and wiser now, you know?

Ashu is happy now that she can wear tights, cardigans, jackets, mittens, scarves and caps. Weird, this one.

The other day a friend asked Antu, "are you eating a banana" and she said "yeah"! Instant reply. It was so cute. I think this was the first time shes answered a Q on her own.

My mom might visit in November. Ashu is on could nine. Im sure Antu would be too if she understood the concept of future. Me? Im dreaming about the dinners and movies out with Hd. I am a simple girl, that way!

Ashu is at her silliest. Now I know why kids push each other a lot. Hell, I want to just push her, out of a window sometimes, when she just would nt see logic and want something absolutely impossible. Like what, you ask? The same pink cup her friend is drinking milk from. Wanting a friend to stay back after quarrelling with him the entire duration of the play date. The "I am right" attitude even when she spells Sofia as Sofea and I correct her. Only because she asked me if the spelling was right, ok? Otherwise why would I make the stupid mistake of saying Her Highness is wrong?

A word Antu picked up on her own without any one of us teaching her - Dora. Do I even have to explain this?

Got back in to mailing with some dear old college friends of mine and God it feels so good. Just to think about the college days. sigh! But then that means - no Hd or kids, right? Hey wait a minute! What am I complaining about? ;)

The other day Antu was looking at Ashu with so much adoration. I told Ashu, "Antu loves you, Ashu. She thinks you are the best in the whole world"! So Ashu tells Antu, "No Antu. Amma and Appa are the best in the whole world"! Kids do know how to play us, dont they?

October 08, 2009

Are nt conversations like this supposed to happen when she is in her teens?

Amma, I don't like you.
Its OK. You don't ve to like me.
I am not going to talk to you forever.
That's OK too.
You are not my friend anymore Amma.
(interrupting) I don't want to hear one more word from you.
I said ...
Can I say one thing, Amma?
I don't like you.

October 07, 2009

Antus sudden vacation.

You would never guess but Antu is in India. Hd had this official trip coming and he was to leave on Monday. On Sunday morning I ask him, "Why dont you take Antu with you? She does nt need a ticket. And conveniently my mom is in Bangalore visiting her family. So you can leave her there." Much to my surprise, Hd said yes. I spoke to my mom and she was thrilled. I was also feeling not too well and the thought of managing both the kids for one whole week while Im sick did nt seem like a good idea. So after a little hesitation, I asked him to call the airlines.

Ashu went to school on Monday morning protesting. "I want to go to India too amma. I want to see Paati Thatha too. Thatha told me that I can come there whenever I want." I told her we both can have lots of fun here and sent her to school. Dad and daughter left in the afternoon. The flight was ok, Hd said. Only a dozen people asked Hd, "you are traveling alone with the baby?" and helped him carry antu, carry the bags,.. Even a co passenger helped Hd to make Antu sleep, it seems! Not fair, I tell you! People actually shoved me and went when I traveled alone with TWO kids! So not fair!

My dad reached Bangalore the next day and Antu is having fun at my grandmas place. Poor thing is too young to know whats happening. I knew my mom could handle it. I could nt predict how Antu will be since shes a little clingy to me. Ashu had spent loads of time with my folks when she was a baby. Antu - comparitively less. My heart did break that Im sending her away from me. I ve not spent a day or night away from Ashu yet.(except during the hospital stay when Antu was born) She has never gone even to a town away. But now at 15 months, Antu is thousands of miles away from home. Its a strange feeling. I dropped Ashu at school today morning and came back to the silent house. I feel so alone. Not a good feeling. Whatever I did with my life pre kids? What did Ashu and I do before Antu? Sigh!

The duo will be back on Sunday. 4 more days. I ve all the time to do some shopping peacefully. But do I want to? Nah! Kids! They just screw our lives like nothing else does. Come back already, Antu. We miss you! Even though Ashu says she does nt, shes only jealous. And Hd! What were you thinking? As if you needed more brownie points!

September 22, 2009

Bringing up Vasu.

Dear Parul,

During my recent India trip, we were in Landmark. Sis, Bil, Hd and I. As usual, I was in the children's books section and wondering if it ll be easier to just shift to the book store rather than lunging the books back to Zurich. In the two minutes I had to browse through the adult section, I picked up Bringing Up Vasu. Even though I had planned to buy the book and had seen how the cover looks like in your blog, it was a total shock to see the book in the shelf. I mean, books. There were more than one copy. Dozens, actually! If I was thrilled so much seeing that, I could totally imagine how you would ve felt. I picked up the book and grinned from ear to ear and showed the book to the trio. "Oooh! Nice cover", said Sis. "So this is the book you went on and on and pretended you were nt jealous about, huh?", asked Hd. (Liar!) The clueless Bil gave a blank stare and I readily explained to him. "My best friend wrote this book. I have nt met her, of course. Shes a blog friend but nevertheless this is the first book that someone I know has written. Cool, no?" (shhh Parul. Bil does nt read blogs. We are best friends, ok? ok.)

And yesterday, I finished the book. I could nt go and read your blog posts or leave comments while I was reading your book. The one time I tried, I wanted to leave a comment asking if Vasu got into Teddy Footprints or not! And did you actually meet a film star couple in Goa? The exact blog posts came to my mind when I read the similar chapters. Guess, Im your true blue blog stalker, after all! And it did nt help that I was on a train when I read Chapter 19. Baby Boo in Public? I was laughing out loud thanking my stars that I did nt name my blog - Baby Boos talk!

What Im trying to say is, I cant review the book objectively. I could nt even read it without picturing you as Mira. But that only makes me go in awe of you to have written a novel. The way you ve interwoven fictional stuff with your actual life and come up with this great read is amazing. I think with unknown authors, we dont know how much of the book is their personal experience and how much is purely fictional. So we can choose to empathize or not and judge the book without any qualms. Not that I know whats what with everything about your book, but I have developed a general idea. Its a book written by a friend (best friend if by a remote chance my Bil is reading!) and Im not able look past it. Now you ve gained a fan as well, Parul. A loyal one, at that! Thanks for the wonderful read. Wishing you all things wonderfull!

Baby Boo :))

September 15, 2009

The Karmic connection between Saakku Pai and Ballet.

When I was in college, post grad, I used to take a bus or my bike(kinetic) to get there. Some days, my dad used to drop me in his car if he had some work in that area. So this one day, I was getting ready and he offered a ride. I accepted and we walked to the car. The scene that met me was unbelievable. You cant guess even if I give you a million years. Imagine! A 20 year old getting dropped by her dad to college. A car whose entire back is loaded with saakku pai (jute bags) filled with some stuff. My dads boss is sitting in the passenger seat. The office security guy in full uniform ,with a huge moustache to boot, is sitting in the back holding the saakku pais in place so that I ve room to sit at the back!!! I double backed and told my dad that I ll take my bike after all, I ve to go to a friends house after class. He gave me a look and said, "vandeela eru"! (Get in!) Not wanting to create a scene before his boss, I did,while cursing him under my breath. I mean, is he a Moron? Which self respecting girl will sit amidst saaku pai and get dropped in college? We made some small talk with the boss and neared my college.

As soon as the side gate of my college came to view, I screamed ,"Stop here, Appa. I ll go through this gate". But fate was nt on my side that day. "No no. You ve to walk a long way if you go via this gate. Let me take you to the main gate. Saar wants to see your college campus too", said the man! Why, God, why? What did I ever do to you? Was this because I made fun of Shanthi when she came to school one day with a shaved head when we were four? Or because I pulled Chitras legs since she and her 3 siblings came in a Maatu vandi(bullock cart) to school? Or was it because I sniggered at Gundamma Ratnamala who brought this huge tiffin carrier(It was anju adukku, for Gods sake!) for lunch? It had to be Karma coming to bite my behind!

So dad pulls inside the main gate. Oh yes, my secret crush is standing right near his bike talking to some friends. He had to be there, right? And some of my classmates too. Oh, goody! "Stop here, Appa", I say again trying hard not to yell. But no. the man does nt get a hint even if the said hint is dancing butt naked in front of his eyes with a huge neon sign! He stops the car at last, right in the middle of the parking area. All eyes are in the car. I try to open the door and wriggle out. But the security guy is faster and wanting to prove hes worthy of the pay check, gets down first and with his side of the door left wide open, comes running to my side and opens the door for me. As if the Maruthi 800 stuffed with saaku pai was nt enough, the security guy opens the door for me as well! If ever there was a time I prayed Mother Earth to swallow me whole, that was it! I just gave my best dirty look to my father and muttered, "You could nt have stopped at the side gate, could you?" and walked inside with my head bent. Nothing dreadful happened actually in college. At least nothing that lasted more than a couple of days. I could always count on Sharmila and her current new boy friend to take over any other news! But I remember the feeling of humiliation. Till this day. May be I over reacted, may be I was just shallow, may be I was just silly, but the embarrassment was true.

I relived this incident last week. But from this side of the fence. It happened when Ashu told me, "You dont have to come to school to help me get ready for the ballet class, Amma. I can do it myself." And if this simple statement can hurt me so much when in fact she said that because she believes shes a big girl now and can dress up herself, how much more will it hurt me when she starts getting embarrassed by me? Sigh! Refer to my Karma statement on Paragraph 2. Circle of life, my dears, Circle of life. Its vicious.

September 09, 2009

I only get jealous when I see such talents.

Ever since I heard this little boy sing this song,

Im hooked to this original song.

Why do I always, always discover songs late?

Needless to say, the song(both the versions) has been in non stop loop at Boo's! :)

ha! see the time stamp of this post? Cheap thrill. ;)

September 08, 2009

One of the reasons I love living where I live.

When I looked out of the kitchen window last week.

September 04, 2009

Get Well Soon.

First it was my sis breaking her ankle when she visited me here in April. Soon after, my mom broke both her feet.

Then I heard about people with fractures left, right and center when I was in India.

I come back and catch up with all the blogs and what do you know?

Sundar has an nightmarish accident and fractured his arm apart from other injuries.

Dipali fell down and broke her arm.

Tharini slipped and fell and fractured her feet.

Sur had a fall but thankfully she did nt break anything. (although reading about your fall gave me shudders thinking about my own a couple of years back)

This is to say, Get well soon and heal fast, people. And those who know me, just be damn careful and watch your step!

September 02, 2009

Update on this and that.

So much is happening here that I dont know where to begin.

Ashu started Pre K and is loving it. I still cant believe shes going full day.

She said she did nt want to go to school on the 4th day but she was ok a little later and skipped to school the rest of the week.

Fil left. Its pathetic to see Antu on her own. She was like an extra limb to my fil for the past 10 days.

I can at last see the sign of two teeth which are about to sprout in Antus mouth. About time.

Im sad at the same time because theres nothing like a gummy smile to melt your heart.

Im sure now that Antu came into this world just to show me how easy I had it with Ashu when she was a baby.

Unlike her sister, Antu does nt want anything to do with Milk. Give her solids anyday. Thankfully, she gobbles up yogurt and cheese. And I mix milk in her food. So we are doing ok, I guess. But Im still baffled that how a milk guzzler like me and Ashu ended up with an Antu.

Antu is already down to only one nap a day. I guess second ones are born with their own agendas. We are just obstacles on their way.

After 2 months in India cosleeping with Antu, Im now trying to sleep train her again. She howled and brought the roof down last night when I tried to leave her alone in her crib. But she was fine with me just patting her. So theres hope. I ll update in a couple of weeks if Im still alive.

Ashu on the other hand is so tired by the end of the day that she sleeps in her bed before her head hits the pillow. But on the days she is nt very sleepy, she complains that shes scared that a wolf will break her window and come in and bite her! So she lies down on the sofa in the hall and goes to sleep. Whatever!

I ve finally given up on Ashu with respect to her eating habits. She brings back most of her lunch back from school and makes a big drama of finishing it at home. So basically she has breakfast, then the lunch box she carries with pasta or sandwich is her lunch, evening snack and dinner. Whatever!

To balance out, Antu loves to eat all veggies and fruits. Finally I get to see how it feels when a child shows interest in her food and asks for more. Thank you, Lord Subramania!

Ashu still has to be taken once and sometimes twice to the bathroom during the nights. Some nights, she gets up and asks us to take her to the loo. Some nights, she does nt. Hd is this close to buying pull ups again for her. But I think its not fair for a 4 year old. He thinks its not fair that he has to get up in the middle of the night. Well, thats life Mr. Sperm Donor!

And oh, the girls have started that sister thing I was dreading. When Ashus school friend came home, she would nt let Antu enter her room because G is her friend and they are playing. And Ashu shut the door on Antu! Sigh!

August 26, 2009

I can safely say Good Bye to that Mother Teresa Award.

The unthinkable happened today. So I drop Ashu at school, then go to do groceries with Fil and Antu. I finish shopping and come back to the car park, load the groceries in the car, take Antu from the trolley, strap her in the car seat and while Fil stands near the car, I go to keep the trolley back and to pay for the parking. I come back to find that the car is locked and Fil looking at me quizzically. Thats when I remember that I gave the care key to Antu when she was in the trolley. Oops! So little Miss is locked inside with the car key and Fil and I are locked out! The little monkey! (Of course its all Antus fault!) I swore a couple of times, Fil was completely stunned and did nt know what to do and asked me if I ve a spare car key in my handbag! Yeah right! I looked through the window to see if I can see the car key in Antus hands and may be she ll press it again and unlock the car? No such luck. So I ask for help from a guy who parked his car next to us. Is it possible to open the car, I ask him? He says he does nt have the tools and asks me where the key is! I again look at Antu munching on a bread and being quite happy with the situation. I can ask Fil to stand guard while I take a cab, go home and get the spare key but it will take at least 30 mins for me and I was nt even sure the spare key was at home. Hd usually carries it with him and today hes not even in town! And what will Antu do inside a locked car for 30 mins? At least she was safe strapped in the car seat, I tell myself.

Then I tell Fil that I ll go ask help from the store people and walk towards the elevator. I pass the line of trolleys on the way and something tells me to look inside the last cart. And whaddayaknow? The car key is there!! Can you believe this? I let out a silent scream, grabbed the car key and ran towards the car. Fil was so relieved. So Antu had dropped the key in the cart and when I went to put back the trolley, the key got struck in the part where the kids sit and when it got folded, it had pressed the car key and the car got locked. Can anything be more weirder than this? I sent a silent prayer upwards and drove home thanking my lucky stars. Thorough out this very long 5 minutes ordeal, I had only one thought in my mind. A single thought that tormented me. The only thought which saw me through. "Why? Why? Why? Why did this have to happen in front of the FIL?" Sigh! Now the whole Madras and its Athimber will know. Next time you hear from someone about the loony mom who locked her baby inside the car, yes its me!

August 24, 2009

Why can't a woman be more like a man?

At times, I do wonder about the drama that our lives seem to be. It sure makes life interesting but a little complicated too. Take this for instance. How do I want my husband to behave when
a) my parents visit
b) my in laws visit
c) fil visits without the mil

c is our current scenario and even Hd who is a pro by now seems to be struggling even though it has nt been 24 hours since the Fil arrived. Sigh! I don't want to be in the husbands shoes, that Im sure of. Anyway, where was I? Yes, the husbands behaviour. When my parents visit, he should help as much as possible. No boundaries. Should never argue with me. Should take my side always. Simple. When in laws visit, he should help but not too much. We don't want the Mil to think that we are overworking her precious son, do we? But at the same time, he should nt watch TV while Im cooking. We want to show the Mil that we ve achieved what she could nt with her husband. So doing the laundry, yes yes yes. Cutting veggies - no no no. Surfing the net pretending to work while Im cooking - yes yes yes. Watching Tv - no no no. Asking if we can do a takeaway for dinner - yes yes yes. Volunteering to make upma - no no no. And on and on... you get the picture? When my mom comes, she completely takes over the kitchen so not much strategies needed there. We can make rules as we go. And a stern look at the husband does wonders to straighten any situation as you might know.

But with the in laws, the situation is a little more tricky. You have to make them believe that your husband does what you say WITHOUT you saying it and that he is ALSO happy doing it. Hah! And all this for what? God forbid if you think that she thinks that your husband is tied to your Saree end. That that is the truth is not the point, ok? She does nt need proof - that's the point. And now that Fil has arrived without the potential candidate, all bets are off. Unlike my mil whose eyes rarely miss anything, Fil is oblivious to who cooked his lunch and does nt care if the yogurt is store bought or home made. So today morning when I asked the working-from-home-Hd to change Antus diaper, he was a bit shocked. Are you sure, he asked! (which means "what about the Mother Teresa award you think you are going to get from my folks which I know is never going to happen but still you make my life hell by trying?") I'm sorry, my man. Your loss that your mom is nt visiting but this is my ideal situation to be in! While you are changing the diaper, give her a bath as well. :D

Ah, the web we weave.

August 21, 2009

Feed. Clean.

This is Ashus old but cool Tee. (Does anyone remember Ashus photo in it?) Antu wore it yesterday and I asked Ashu to read it. She did.
Feeb and Kleeaan, Amma.
Thats Feed and Clean, Ashu. Why do you think the arrows are for?
Why, Amma?
Where do I feed Antu?
In her mouth, so up arrow.
And then?
And then you clean the floor because there are crumbs down, so down arrow!!

Kids do have a clean mind, huh? ;)

August 08, 2009

With a heavy heart.

Last day at my parents'. Off to Madras tomorrow and then to Zurich on Tuesday. I don't know if Im relieved or sad. I told Ashu the other day, "Look Ashu, you should nt cry at the airport like last time. This time Appa is not here and Im alone with you and Antu. So you ve to cooperate ok?" My dad interrupted and said, "No,no.Sshes a good girl. She wont cry. Will you, Ashu?" "Yes thatha, I will cry", replied Ashu. Sigh! Was packing like crazy today. Seems as if I ve already developed roots here. The kids toys and books are all over the house. Our clothes are neatly stacked in the cupboard and I dont feel like packing them off and see an empty shelf. I dont know how my folks are going to bear it when they come back here from Madras to an empty house. Especially Antus soft babble and Ashus ear piercing "thaaaathaaaaa".

(Oh by the way, my knight in shining armor (Hd for the uninitiated!) is on his way to Madras fom ZRH right now. He ll reach tomorrow and then accompany us back on Tuesday. A sudden decision he took yesterday. I begged him not to and to please give me the ticket money in cash instead. The man would nt relent. But its such a relief. Suddenly I feel less burdened. As if someone took a load off my chest. Thanks, hon.)

In the evening, I was sitting on the terrace looking at the sky. Every evening, a flock of bight green parrots keep flying from one tree to another. Some 20 of them, either in small flocks or in one big flock. I can hear their loud "kee, kee, kee" a whole minute before spotting them. One cant see their color if we look at them against the blue sky. But when they all turn in unison against the backdrop of the huge neem tree, the gorgeous green color is sure to take ones breath away. It takes mine away every time. I dont think it can ever get boring. I have never been as blissful as I am at that moment. The going and sitting in the terrace waiting for the birds, then to hear their voice, then to see the flock and wait with bated breath just to get the glimpse of the green, the smile it brings to your lips, then just like that, the birds disappear. You dont know if you are happy or sad. But you are hopeful. That there will be a tomorrow. Somehow, all this makes me understand how my parents feel. For their grand kids. Sorry, Ma&Pa.

On that note (a la Tharini ;), wipe your tears and get ready for Ashus latest fad for silly jokes. Heres a sample.
Why did Tigger look into the toilet?

(scroll down)

He was looking for Pooh!


August 01, 2009

Mottai Returns.

Please read this post for the details and see the photo below. The same happened word for word on July 25th. Half the way through the mottai, Ashu declared "I dont like this, Amma. Im upset" and held my sisters hand and left the scene.


If anyone is on their way to Vaitheeswaran Kovil for a mottai, Sankara Madam is a good and clean choice to stay for a couple of hours. For Rs.25 per person, you can use the hall, bring the Barber there and get the mottai done in the front yard, use the bathroom at the back to bathe the baby and the baby sitter(!). For an additional Rs.50, you can also get a room if its not occupied. And its a stones throw from the Kovil. (near the entrance to the kulam) For Ashu, we went to the public Mandapam especially for mottais and it was very unclean.

July 24, 2009

Antus Ayush Homam.

Alls well at Booville. Antus Ayush Homam/star birthday went well. She sports cute ear rings now. (Ashus first ear rings!) She looks completely changed. She will be a Mottai kutti(shaved head) in a couple of days too, poor child!

Hd and Bil have left. So its just me, sis, Ashu and Antu at my parents place and needless to say, us girls are driving my dad crazy! Poor man has nt missed his Maapillais this much ever!

More updates once I safely reach Zurich which is in another 2 weeks.

July 06, 2009

What are we up to?

Antus birthday was a small affair. I bought loads of gifts for her. One of those press-button-make-noise toy from her dad and me, a noddy doll from Ashu, a wooden puzzle from her paternal grand parents, a set of 4 peter rabbit board books from sis and Bil and a silk paavadai from my folks. I bought blocks for Ashu as well for being a good big sister. Ashu said, "but sometimes Im a bad sister, amma. I hurt Antu". I told her its OK while rolling my eyes! Sometimes, indeed! Then the whole jingbang went to the Guindy park. I took Antu in the stroller and sat under a shade while the 2 set of grand parents took Ashu around. Then we went to Savera(Malgudi) for lunch. At the end, they brought a cake for Antu and we sang and clapped and ate the cake. Hd joined us on the phone. I told my mom how everyone was there for Ashus 1st birthday and the big party and how Antus birthday was such a low profile one. But I added, "instead of an Appa, she has an Akka present now. That covers everything, I guess." My mom took 5 whole minutes to understand who the said akka(big sis) is!

Then we left Madras the next day and drove down to my parents place. As always, Im hogging on mangoes, watching TV ("ulaga tholaikaatchicyil mudhal muraiyaaga..."), stepping out of the house only if Im dragged out and seeing Ashu only during meal times. Shes busy with her regular gang here who are at least a decade older than her! Antu is still only crawling and at the end of the day, the pants she wore for the day goes straight to the pile of clothes my mom keeps for mopping the floor! I bought her 2 pair of pants yesterday and both are in the pile now. Poor pants! My dad borrowed a inflatable water tub from a friend and both the girls have a ball in it for an hour everyday. Antu is getting used to going to sleep on my moms shoulder on the Oonjal.(swing) I think shes going to spit in the direction of her crib when we go back to Zurich next month! I dont have to worry about Ashu though. I don't think shes coming back at all.

June 30, 2009

Yet another test to get into Mommy Heaven.

The plan was to travel from Zurich to Chennai together. With Hd. But as always, work came up and Hd asked me to postpone. But me being me, asked aloud "whats the worst that can happen" and decided to travel alone with 2 kids. I knew Ashu would nt be a problem as long as shes not told to walk while shes sleepy. Antu would be ok too since I have sure shot way to shut her mouth, by breast feeding! Kodis Mom, who I think is being my guardian angel without actually knowing it herself, posted recently about her trip alone with the kids and that gave me more confidence. I prepared Ashu for weeks that she was muttering, "I ll cooperate, Amma" even in her sleep. I tried making Antu walk but no luck there. She had her mind set only on crawling. May be she ll change her mind once she saw the airplane bathroom, I told myself. So on 20th afternoon, Hd left us in the airport, shook his head one last time at my foolishness and walked away. This is it, I told myself. The ultimate test!

I carried only a backpack with the bare minimum requirements. Ashu carried a tiny backpack and also a small children's pullman suitcase. It carried a set of clothes, toys, books and snacks for her. It was very light and I could carry it if it was too much for her. But the poor darling, pulled it by herself everywhere. So it sure was a good buy. Emirates has a good in flight entertainment so from Zurich to Dubai, she watched Mickey Mouse Wonder house and Little Einsteins back to back, sipped juice, nibbled on the flight food and had a good time. Antu slept off during take off and slept for two hours in the bassinet leaving me to eat in peace and also visit the bathroom. Then I fed her some baby food, read to her, sang to her, changed her and kept her busy. When a kind gentleman smiled at her, I narrowed down the victim and plonked Antu on his lap and used the bathroom and came out in a record time of 5 1/2 seconds, thanked him and picked Antu and walked back to our seat before the man could realize what had happened! Ashu nodded off just before we landed in Dubai. Trouble, I told myself!

Ashu cried when I woke her up and asked her to walk. But she was ok within a few minutes. I found the complimentary strollers at the Dubai airport for Antu and after that, it was an easy ride. We window shopped a bit, had hot chocolate and I fed and changed Antu and it was already time to board the Chennai flight. We did nt get the first row seats with bassinets for this leg. But it was no so bad. Ashu slept the whole time. Antu was a little fidgety but otherwise ok. One thing I should ve done was to take Ashu to the bathroom and used it myself just before we landed. But there was no time and on hindsight, that was a big mistake. We landed in Chennai and I felt invincible and patted myself at my back not knowing what was in store for me!

I had filled all our immigration forms in the plane. When we walked out of the plane, there was a long line for the swine flu test. Since there are no complimentary strollers like in Dubai airport and we dont get our own strollers at the gate anymore, I had to carry Antu all the time and my hands almost died on me and fell off. Ashu seemed to decide enough was enough and refused to do anything I said. And then the swine flu testing person asks me to fill 3 more forms with all our details. What am I supposed to do with Antu? Leave her on the tobacco spat, stained floor and fill the forms? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, thats exactly what I had to do. The lady just felt Antus head for temperature, asked us if anyone has fever or cough and sent us off. When she tried to touch Ashus head, she wriggled and ran away! Then we stood in the immigration line for a long time. Just before it was our turn, Ashu started bawling and said she wanted to use the bathroom otherwise she ll just "go there"! I thought about it for 2 seconds, then took her to the bathroom which was way past behind the swine flu lines. Ashu took one look at the bathroom and refused to go in. Then she did nt know how to use the Indian style toilets, I did nt know what to do with the small suitcase or Antu. Thought its ok to lose the suitcase than Antu and took Antu inside leaving the suitcase outside. Ashu created all sort of mess you dont want to know about and after almost slipping and dropping Antu in the toilet, we came out unhurt but not the most hygienic!

Then we came back to the immigration line and when I requested a person in the front if I can go before him since I was standing in the line before, the man REFUSED! I thanked him and tried the handicapped and diplomat line. Since there were many wheelchair bound people before me, it took almost 30 mins for our turn. Antu cried 29 mins of it and both my hands were completely dead and I would nt even have realized if they had fallen off! Ashu was the most cranky by this time and when we reached the hand baggage screening area, she refused to part with her backpack. The kind man at the security took one look at me and waved us off. I crossed the exit to go to the baggage claims where my father and father in law waved at us. I glared at them and if I had a third eye, they both would ve been burnt to ashes in 2 seconds. As luck would have it, I got my stroller and the two checked in suitcases after 40 minutes. By this time, I was beyond caring and left Antu on the floor where she was crawling and almost getting trampled by people and their trolleys. Ashu was a little recharged after seeing a glimpse of her Thathas and looked out for our suitcases which showed up at last. The porter helped me with the baggage and after what seemed an eternity, we walked out. I plonked Antu to the first pair of hands that reached towards me. Thankfully, it was my fathers.

Verdict: Doable journey with a nightmarish end.

June 27, 2009


Dear Antu,
I was really wondering if I can just leave this link to the letter I wrote to Ashu on her first birthday and ask you to replace Ashu with Antu. I was hoping you would nt mind hand me down letters since you dont seem to mind the clothes! Then I totally forgot about you birthday because of the India trip and your Ayush homam planning. Then today when I was sitting on the Dentist chair with my mouth wide open and a tooth being drilled, I felt that I would rather take labor than dental work and told myself that I should be hit with a shoe if I go near a chocolate again. And that's when I remembered! Oh God! Almost a year gone by since my labor! Its you birthday in less than 2 days and I had no plans, no letters in draft. But you are very happy amidst the two set of doting grand parents, in Madras during the peak summer, playing in the beach, happily staying with one of the grand parents while your mother goes shopping. And my eyes truly welled up at the moment. Damn the painful dental procedures!

Sweetie pie, I love you. Happy Birthday! I thought Ashu was the perfect baby until you came along. Prove me wrong in the coming years too if you want me to live long and write birthday letters to my grand kids!


Long back, my mom told me that my dad came to see me only after 22 days after I was born. May be she did nt realize what a potent weapon she was giving me by telling me that bit of information because I have used that line to blackmail my dad on every occasion and I still do. And I cant deny your weapon, Antu. Your dad is nt here for you first birthday. Go get him. ;)

June 18, 2009

End of a Pre Schoolers Era.

Today was Ashus last day of Pre School. Went in the afternoon, collected her port folio and all the other stuff, said thank you and byes by dozens to the teachers, Moms and kids and came back home with a heavy heart.

I cannot believe that from August,

Ashu wont be among the youngest in her school.

that shes going to attend full day.

that shes going to go on field trips.

that her class is upstairs.

And what the hell am I going to do with all that extra time? *shudder*

Last night, Ashu and I sat and made Thank you cards for the teachers and Ashu drew something and wrote "Love, Ashu" by herself in all the cards. But today she refused to say thank you and bye to her teachers when we were leaving. And one of the teachers said, "Thats ok. Ashu has her own special way of saying Thanks. Thats what makes her Ashu. She would nt be Ashu otherwise." I grinned while I was seething inside. But when I think about it now, she does make sense. THAT I HAVE A STUBBORN BRAT FOR A KID! Special, my foot!

I thought I would never say this. But grow up, Ashu. You have to become a precocious pre kindergartener pretty soon.

June 17, 2009

One cant fight genes much, I guess.

Remember the quote in Friends when Rachel says, "Oh my God. I've become my father. I've been trying so hard not to become my mother, I didn't see this coming”? Its almost the same case for me. I was trying so hard not to become like my dad that I have become a deadly combo of both my mom and dad. Yesterday for the first time I called Ashu as Antu and she gave me a stern warning. "I'm not Antu, Amma. Don't call me Antu." Oh, man! Why am I having a Deja Vu?

Other things I say which I ve invountarily borrowed from my mom -

~ "I have only two hands. Cant you see?"

~ "I'm a human being, not a machine".(Funny when you say it in Tamil, manushi and machine rhyme!)

~ "If you can't help, at least don't trouble me". (ubayogamaa illennaalum, ubathravamaa illaama iru!)

~ "Kadangaari!" (literally means someone who owes you money. But its a common term to scold a child in Tamil.)

~ "If you keep doing like this, I ll just leave ok?" (Leave from the world actually but I keep that part open ended!!)

~ "What gall! Have nt sprouted three leaves and you talk this much?" (enna thimuru! mulaichu moonu ilai vidalai, enna pechu pesara?)

~ "If you talk like this, I ll leave once for all!" (and then mutter to myself because I cant bring myself to tell her yet - "afterwards you can cry Amma, Amma but I wont be there!") I know, I know! I'm a meanie!

~ "There are kids who are going hungry every day. Eat your food and don't waste it."

~ Rendum rendaappa, rendum keyandaappa! (Im baffled here for the translation. Literally means, "I ve two ladles and both of them are useless" and here the two ladles refer to Ashu & Antu!)

The most annoying thing my dad said which I'm repeating now:

"Ashu, everything has a lifetime. That zipper in the bag can be pulled up and down only like 100 times. If you unnecessarily keep doing it, it will stop working soon."
Replace zipper with light switch/TV remote/ballpoint pen/drawers/doors/windows/curtains/clips/fan/buttons,... and I use the same dialogue for everything!

*bangs head against the wall and then realizes that that's something her mom did too*

June 12, 2009

Interview with the Diva.

I really loved this post by Kodis Mom. I asked Ashu the same Qs as soon as I read that post and saved her answers. Only now I remembered to write them here. So here goes... (It is a list of 20 some questions that you ask your kid, then you write up their responses and blare it to the whole world so they will never forgive you. ;)

1. Me - What is something I say to you?
Ashu - You are saying a question!
Me - (translates the Q to Tamil)
Ashu - You say "answer me"!
Me - *gulp* (first answer laye aappu!)

2.What makes me sad?
When Im hurt.

3. What makes me happy?
When I make you happy by doing silly things.

4.How do I make you laugh?
You say silly questions.
Sa says the sun flower.

5. What do you think I was like when I was a child?
Good girl. (muahaha)

6. How old am I?

35 (31 or 35, what does it matter? sigh!)

7. How tall am I?


8.What is my favorite thing to do?

I don't know.
Clean up and shopping.

9. What do I do when you’re not around?
Stay with Antu.

10. If I become famous for something, what will it be for?

Whats famous?
Very popular. Everyone in the world will know you.

Like Obama?
You will become Gods favorite, Amma. (where did that come from? And more importatnly, am I going to die a dramatic death?)

11. What am I really good at?
Dancing. (this one was truly a revelation as I did nt realize that she knew how much I love dancing!)

12. What am I not really good at?

Nothing. (hee hee hee!)

13. What do you and I do together?


14. What is my job?

Laptop work!

15. What is my favorite food?

Salad. (I think she knows me better than my husband!!)

16 What makes you proud of me?

When you say "I love you".

17 What is something that you do that makes me proud?

When i finish my lunch, finish the puzzle.

18 How are we both the same?

When we both are wearing pink dress!

19 How are we both different?

When you are black dress and Im pink dress. (profound, huh?)

20 How do you know I love you?
when I say I love you, you say you love me too!

21 What is the one thing you wish you could change about me?

Nothing. (atta girl!)

22 What do you wish you could go and do with me?

Ariel puzzle.

Do take it up as a tag if you wish.

June 09, 2009

“To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.”

He does something stupid. I tell him so. In trying to defend himself, he digs a deeper hole for himself. I yell and scream. He ignores me. I throw things. He walks away. In frustration, I rant to my mom. She asks me to be patient. Tells me not to yell and scream and throw things because its wrong. I yell at her. She tries to calm me down. Tells me that my temper has always been my worst enemy.

What about the person who started all this? He goes scot free. He gets sympathies. Hes patient incarnated. People think he puts up with me . Hes a saint. But hey, but what about the stupid thing he did? Its all forgiven because I threw things and that's pretty stupid too and how can I be so hyrpcritical and accuse him? The end.

my sis perhaps will take my side. But that's because shes biased. So no one will pay heed to her.

June 07, 2009

On a good day.

There was an unsual silence in the house. Antu was napping. I was in the kitchen.

Me - Ashoooooo! Where are you?
Ashu - In the bathroom, amma.
Me - Whatcha doing?
Ashu - Im doing something naughty, Amma. (vishamam panren, amma)
Me - Like what?
Ashu - Im wasting soap and wasting water, Amma.
Me - Why?
Ashu - Because I like it.
Me - Ok. Are you done?
Ashu - Yes, Amma.
Me - Dont waste water, ok? Lot of people are suffering without drinking water.
Ashu - Ok, amma. Sorry.
Me - Its ok. Go and play.
Ashu - Ok. (runs off to her room)

And I continued cutting the vegetables without even moving a step from the kitchen. Sometimes, this parenting gig is easy. Sometimes.

May 29, 2009

Photo Blogging for Dummies.

Since no one read the previous post and only went gaga over the pictures, heres one more.

Heres how to do it.

1. Find yourself jobless. When the older one is in school, younger one is napping and the husband in traveling. Or you can just shut yourself in the bedroom while the above mentioned threesome are wrestling in another room like I did.

2. Go through the older ones baby photos and narrow down on the ones where you have still kept the outfit.

3. Dress up the younger one in the said outfit while convincing the jealous older one that its an old dress!

4. Position the subject of the photo in the same way the older one has posed. Try to take the photos in the one second that the subject keeps the pose.

5. If the older one is willing, use her as a prop to make the subject look up, look down, look here, look there, etc...

6. Click. click. click.

7. Make a collage of the old and the new photos to generally confuse the hell out of people.

8. Dont forget to send it to the target audience - the grand parents.

9. Blog about it, of course!

10. Ta da!

May 27, 2009

Apples & Oranges.

They say you should nt compare the siblings. But I so do that. Sharing some of the lesser of the evil comparisons here.

Breast feeding was a huge struggle with Ashu. Being new at it, I totally blamed myself. But with Antu, things were so easy that I could nt believe it. Only then did I realize that it was nt my fault the first time and Ashu was just a lazy bum baby who thought it was too much trouble to drink from the breast and bottle was so much easier.

Ashu was and still is a fussy eater. When she was under 1, she preferred Cerelac to Kanji. Ate only bananas and apples. Would nt even taste biscuits, cereals, rusk, ...Survived mostly with milk. Antu can chomp off your thumb and eat it if you hold it near her long enough. As yet.

Ashu went from breast to bottle to sippy cup to regular cup like a text book child. Antu is still swatting away the sippy cup filled with water. Im wondering how shes going to drink cows milk when she turns one. (any ideas?)

Ashu was easily scared. Pressure cookers, hair dryers and vacuum cleaners used to terrify her and she screamed when she heard the noise. Antu crawls towards the source of noise and tries to operate it on her own! With a smile to boot.

Even by 6 to 7 months, Ashu used to stop in her tracks when I said a stern NO. An aunt of mine has nt stopped telling about it to anyone who would listen how she listened to me even long after Ashu has stopped doing that!! Antu took her time but shes getting there. Today I yelled NO ANTU from the kitchen when I heard her crawling towards the bathroom. A minute later, I walked there to see that she was quietly sitting outside the bathroom wondering whether to go in or not. Now I can sleep in peace knowing that my dad will be cursing me for being a tyrant to both the kids not just his favorite! ;)

Though Ashu learned to crawl and cruise earlier than Antu, she was never too mobile. She ll only crawl towards a set target. And settle there. Antu is an explorer. While Ashu was always in the same room as us, Antu is a daredevil. Half the time, I dont know which part of the house she is in.

Ashu loved sleeping in her tummy. On our shoulders. And never learned to sleep on her own until recently. Antu is a pro. She never bends her back nor puts her head on our shoulder but sleeps on her back and goes to sleep on her own.
Ashu was never so wriggly while changing her diapers. She used to cooperate and I remember my mother mentioning with wonder. I thought it was the adoring grandma speaking. Now I know and how!! Try dressing up an octopus. Thats Antu for you. If you hear me yelling at Antu, then you can assume that Im changing her diaper.

Ashu was very patient. Even when she was hungry, she used to wait without crying until I made her bottle or mixed up her cereal. Antu is a different story. Even when I lag a second or two between spoons, she lets out a growl!
Stranger anxiety just about set on Ashu around this time and even when she used to let a stranger carry her, she used to keep an eye on me. Antu happily goes to anyone and does nt even realize if I leave her and go!

By this age, Ashu already had a favorite book, favorite toy, favorite place, etc... Antu does nt believe in material things as yet.

Ashu was very adjusting too. She ll come for a bath without fuss, leave the tub without fuss,.. Antu is already screaming when I take her out of the bath tub and wants to stay in the tub forever! But Ashu used to and still screams when she gets water in her eyes. Antu on the other hand would give Phelps some competition!

By 10 months, Ashu had a couple of teeth. No sign of anything as yet in Antu. We ve been telling like puli varudhu puli varudhu for the past 6 months, "may be shes teething" even when she farts loudly!! But zip!

Ashu stood on her own without support around 10 months and walked just before her frst birthday. She cruised like a pro even before. Antu is just about learning to cruise and standing without support for 2 seconds.

With Ashu - I could nt wait to see whats next and was always in a hurry to see her grow up. Still am. But with Antu - I want her to take her own sweet time to do everything and actually want time to go slow. Also because I know whats coming. *shudders*

Antu is 11 months old today. One WHOLE year next month. Sigh!
Ashu is 4 years 1 month old today. Wheres my little baby?

May 20, 2009

I think God reads this Blog.

Why else would He test me if I'm fit for mommy heaven so soon after this post of mine? So yesterday I get a reminder email from school informing about the alphabet day today and to dress up the child. Sounds easy, no? Except that its the first time Im hearing about it and did nt get any email or information earlier! It was 6 pm already and Hd is out of town and I had to act fast. Thanks to Tharini who was asking for ideas about Alphabet costume in this post and thanks to Kodi's Mom who had left a link in that post, I came up with a simple idea. (Ironic that I left a link in the same post, huh?) U for Umbrella. So I followed this project to the last detail, punched holes on the card, tied a string and hung it around Ashu's neck. For good measure, sent her with a pink umbrella to school. Shes going to say, "I am U. Do you know what goes UP when the rain comes DOWN? An Umbrella. U for Umbrella." But I can bet my last penny, that she would put a finger in her mouth, look down and refuse to say anything when the teacher asks. May be I should have kept her home today and sent a mail to the teachers saying, "Ashu is going to be absent today. A for Absent!"

May 18, 2009

Paadhi kaadhal paadhi mutham...

Hd is away again. For 4 days. Today is Day 2. Though he has been away at least one night every week for the past one month, you did nt hear me whine because I have grown up now. About time, huh? OK, who am I kidding! More like Antu has grown up and if I let her, she ll take care of even Ashu. Loads of people go, "you are managing two kids on your own? I can never do that. Hats off to you" and probably muttering to themselves, "Should make husbands favorite food for dinner tonight." Whats the big deal, I ask? Antu is in the glorious phase where she can play with a cup and a spoon for hours. Ashu goes to school for 3 1/2 hours. Add 1 to 2 hours in the park. Both sleep for 10 hours. Antu takes two naps in the day. An hour of TV, some time in craft and puzzles and books for Ashu. Antus a good eater and Ashu starves herself by her own choice and I ve stopped caring. Whenever Hd is nt home, I hardly switch on the stove. Easy Peasy Japanesey! The fact that I miss the man like crazy is altogether another issue. Especially in the dead of the night when I have to take Ashu to the loo. :D

Oh, I found a song this time too. (read this post and this one for a little history) Though it is nt as mind blowing as the previous ones, its good. And its on non stop loop and thats what matters. Miss you, dear!

The song is Paadhi Kaadhal from the movie Modhi Vilayaadu. (Music by Hariharan and Leslie. Sung by Bombay Jayashree and Sunitha Sarathy, what a voice combo!)

Thanks Deej for the mujik. :)

May 11, 2009

Bake a Birthday Cake - Check.

As if the class party and the play park party was nt enough, Ashu had another birthday party yesterday. We had invited some of our close friends and their kids. I decided enough is enough and baked a cake myself. And wonder of wonder, it turned out awesome and you guys were spared an alu paratha post!!

Since yesterday was Mothers day, I decided to write "Moms Rule" on the cake instead of a boring "Happy Birthday". Now that Ashu can read bits and pieces, I thought I ll pull a fast one on her when I still can. But Ms.Smarty pants would have none of it. "Wheres the H in Happy, Amma", "Wheres A for Ashu?", she asked. So I had to come clean and asked her to share since its Mothers day too!!

On Saturday night, I was making chocolate muffins. Had the crazy idea to make mini muffins and bought those mini muffin paper cups. I could put only half a teaspoon of batter in each cup and I ended up making batch after batch for hours!!! I went though the 100 cups in the pack and I had still some batter left which I threw out before I could change my mind! Phew!

For the record, I made Carrot Cake with cream cheese frosting, mini(!) chocolate muffins, Spaghetti with Pesto sauce, mac and cheese and salad. Served store bought mini pizzas, chips, dips, ice creams, ... Got small toys and candies as return gifts for the kids and some pretty candle holders for the moms to mark Mothers day. Went with everyone to the play area downstairs and the kids had a blast. I had also bought a bead kit to make some Key chains with the kids in case if it rained. But thankfully, it did nt. So all in all, the party was a hit! *takes a bow*

Now that I have baked a birthday cake for my child, Im sure Im eligible for Mommys Heaven. Next in list - Make a costume. (yeah right! Which direction did you say Hell was? ;)

baby growth