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January 29, 2012

Ashu's Entry for Shruti's Artsy-Craftsy Jan 2012.

Ever since Shruti announced the "Paint your Van Gogh" theme for Artsy-craftsy challenge in her blog, I have been asking (OK, nagging!) Ashu to come up with something. I knew this was something she would enjoy. Ashu was thrilled with the idea of drawing something famous. We have a few books bought in museums which has loads of prints by famous painters and Ashu went through it and selected two.

But the artist was nt very happy with her (copied) works and told me not to take photos of it! (So I took the photos after she left for school!! What? She ll thank me one day!)

And then we totally forgot about them. Until today. I reminded Ashu that tomorrow was the last day for submission and if she wanted to try a new one or can I send the other two to the competition anyway. She thought for a while and said "I like Van Gogh, Amma! I ll try something by him!" The trip to the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam paid off or what?!!! While I was asking if she wanted to draw Sunflowers, she reminded me that theres a Van Gogh print hanging in the kids bedroom wall! The Almond Blossoms! We saw the original in Amsterdam and she selected that particular print in the souvenir shop even though I wanted the Sunflowers. I think the fact that Van Gogh painted it for a baby (his nephew) stayed with her. To cut the long story short, the painting was brought down from the wall and Ashu spent all afternoon trying to recreate it on a paper with a pencil, brown and blue crayons and a pink pen. Ta-da!

Shruti - So heres the final entry and thanks for giving us a lovely afternoon together. Heres to many more Artsy-Craftsies! :)

January 28, 2012

The One with the New Ipad.

I am alive! I am alive! Acute bloggers block and a busy,busy January made me neglect this blog for quite a long time. It has not even been three weeks since we came back from the US but feels like a year already. Numerous school events, dinner parties and potlucks and organizing a surprise baby shower made my life super busy. Not to mention the new dining table, coffee table and side board we bought which we had to assemble all by ourselves. The side board is still lying on the floor in various pieces. Wonder when its time will come!

The kids? Oh, they are enjoying the winter. Its snowing outside right now and Antu is doodling in her doodle board while Hd and Ashu have gone skiing. Life is good especially from the indoors! :)

Ipad has made an entry in our lives as well. A very indulgent Bil (and Sis, I should add!) gifted one to our family. I say family but he gave it to Ashu!! Now you know why we visit US very frequently! ;) Anyway, what with Bils Ipad and the new Ipad, both kids were sitting with one ipad each all the time while we were in the US. If not that, there was the TV of course! What it being vacation and all, I tried to let it go. And since I was coming back alone with the girls, (Hd left a few days earlier) I gave in and loaded all kinds of apps in the ipad for the kids to play in the flight. (Because stupid American Airlines does nt even have a TV and its a loooooooong flight!) While going from here, Ashu drew and colored page after page in her drawing book. Antu read her books again and again or heard music. But of course everything changed while coming back because we have the ipad now!! And to top it off, both of them refused to take turns and were fighting for the ipad! Hello? I was bored too! I needed the ipad to play Temple Run as well!! And once when Antu howled and refused to take turns, I completely lost it! Shoved the ipad in my bag and told the girls that they are being total brats and they are grounded forever! The rest of the flight was quite peaceful, I should say. Once we reached home, I sat them down and told them that they are nt getting any screen time the rest of January and they agreed. And from February 1st, we ll go back to our usual routine. Which is 30 mins TV on Wednesdays and one movie on Fridays. Weekends are flexible. They can watch a bit if we are home.(and depending on how crazy they drive me!) And they can choose if they want to play something on the laptop or watch TV. This was how it has been for the past one year.

It was quite a shock to Hd more than the kids when the new rule of total ban was imposed! Especially in this cold weather when we cant even go to the park after school! He was sure I ll become even more badhrakaali than usual and started coming back late from work! But problem came from a new angle. Antu got up the next day after the ban and asked first thing in the morning, "Is today February the first?" "No, Antu. Its 11th January." She came back from school at 11.30 and asked "Is it February the first now?" "No, Antu. There are 20 days more to February." 3 pm - same question. 4 pm - ditto. By 5 pm - I was ready to switch on the TV!!!! But resisted and let Ashu handle the questions! Ashu dragged her to a calendar and showed her that February is long time away and not to make it any longer by asking this question every hour!!! Ashu had technical doubts though. "Does it mean no TV, no ipad, no laptop?" "Can I still check the weather in the itouch like I do everyday?" "What if I need to used the laptop for my homework?" "Can I see photos in the ipad please?". When the answer was NO to every question, she knew I meant business. Once we went to a friends house for dinner, she refused to watch TV there with the other kids saying that its not Feb 1st yet! Antu has no such qualms, of course!

Honestly I thought that the ban would last a week and I would be at wits end by then and give them a talk and lift the ban! But by one week, they did nt even ask for TV or Ipad anymore and started inventing so many cools ways to play that I was so thrilled! They made a TV out of the packing materials of the dining table one day. And once the dining table was assembled, they pretended that the narrow glass top of the table is TV and camped under the table and watched "Tangled"! (Hd tried to over rule the ban right about now!) The long white thermocol piece was painted and used as a road and they played with cars! Books were read by dozens. Shelves were organized and Antu were perpetually dress-upping all the time! Like today, they spent an hour playing "One hundred adventurers". Which is to run around the house with a measuring tape and hunt for things which are exactly 100 cm long!! Innovative or what! It has been so much fun that Im looking for a loop hole to continue the ban all of February! But Hd being the softie he is has told me sternly that I can not do that! All because he forgot about the ban and showed something to Antu on the ipad one day and she came screaming to me saying, "Its not february 1st yet, its not february 1st yet!" What can I do? I cant help being a terror to my kids!

Anyway, I totally get how some people dont have TV in their house. Its so liberating. Even though TV was always rationed in our house, it always bugged me that they watched TV when they could be doing so much fun stuff! Especially with Antu. At least Ashu would always prefer a book or a story or painting over TV. Antu was/is a total addict! She would even sell her parents to watch Dora! But then, the apple does nt fall from the tree. At the ripe old age of 16, I skipped +2 physics tution class because the timing clashed with Doogie Howser MD! One cant fight Karma, thats for sure!

January 13, 2012

Congrats, Kiran!

If you have nt heard already, the fantastic blogger and a good friend (ahem!), Kiran Manral is out with her first book, The Reluctant Detective! Im sure whoever reads her blog knew it was coming since she is a wonderful, wonderful writer.

To learn more about the book, visit Kiran's brand new website

You can buy the book from Flipkart here.

I love the cover and I cant wait to get my hands on it. Wishing you all things wonderful, Kiran!

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