Category: Friends

Smiles

– All my work backlog is done. There is still a lot to do but at least it is only my work that I need to do. Plus the project I am working on is new (to me), super high importance but more importantly very interesting. #LearningNewThingsAndExecutingWellOnThem

– Ski season is done and dusted. Snow is melting away to give way to flower filled meadows. Buzz has gotten used to lazy Sundays again. No longer does she demand to be taken to the mountains. #FreeTimeForAChild

– For two weekends straight we stayed at home. The house was cleaned from top to bottom. For every place I cleaned, the two helpers cleaned the same place twice over. #SparkelingCleanMessFreeHouse

– Buzz has half an hour swimming class every weekend. I started taking Bugz to the pool as well. Bugz loves water, a flotation device keeps her safe, I let her do as she pleases. There will be time for learning the skills, this is time to have fun. She loves to play in water but was scared to jump in while standing at the edge of the pool. It took me 3 or so weeks but the fear is no more. Now jumping in is the new favorite activity. She is in and out of the pool every 5 mins #JumpRightIn

– Buzz’s school had an art show recently. They save three art works for each child through the school year and then display it on a particular day. To see art done by your child, presented beautifully is an experience. Buzz loves art, she is forever drawing, coloring, creating but this year’s art show was an eye opener for me. The things she imagined and how well she executed on them. We redecorated her room with the new art she has been doing and the ones we got from school. #JoyOfCreativity

– Bugz was a miser when it came to kisses. My younger one not giving me kisses went against my right as a mother so I started working on it. “Bugz kissi,” became a mantra. Now we have it down pat. I get a kiss each on each cheek and so does she, after which we grin ear to ear. She continues to be a miser with everyone else, Paa included. #ProudMomMomentEvilMomMoment

– A friend recently had a baby. I was on standby all day Friday to drive her parents to the hospital as soon as the baby was born. I got the call at 5:15 in the evening, “baby is here!” I called D to pick up Buzz,  buckled Bugz in her car seat, drove to pick up Uncle and Aunty and then to the hospital. Besides the parents and the hospital staff, I was among the first ones to see the little guy. Adorable is the word. You forget how tiny and fragile they are and how absolutely precious. Bugz was besides herself going “chotta sa baby!” #HoldingPreciousnessInYourHands

– A trip has been planned, tickets have been booked. We are still a couple of months out but the excitement level is high at home. We can’t wait to get through the school year and then relax for a week before starting summer school. #DreamingOfSunSandAndBlueWaters

– I started running again. The ankle is almost all good and to test it further, I went for a run. Minor soreness and nothing else and so I started. I try running about 3 times a week, 40 mins, 3 miles. The muscles are sore, body asks what the heck am I doing, but I go on. #GoodSoreMusclePain

– D does not travel out of town as much any more. When he switched jobs early last year, it resulted in constant travelling for him. He was gone a couple times a week, every week. It took a toll on all of us. Buzz would have a meltdown every single day he was not home. “I miss Papa!” she would cry. Bugz would follow in tune of course. There was all the travelling for D and all the extra work for me. We were a total mess. Re-orgs, upper management decisions and crafty deflections (from his side) and he has only travelled a couple of times this year. #TogetherWeMakeAFamily

– Wedding preparations are in full swing in India. Every call made ends up in discussion of what the kids will be wearing, what I will be wearing (D no one cares about). Given how my tastes for India wear runs toward cotton which is a big no no for a wedding, but again given how no one is sure what I will like, there is constant talk but no end result. The latest is that I have told them, find me a tailor who is ready to do all the stitching in a week’s time and I will take care of the rest. #ExcitementOverAFamilyWeddingAfterYears

– Buzz can’t wait to go to India. Her demands are long and ever growing. “I want to eat paranthas everyday. Paneer paranthas are my favorite! I want mehndi on my hands! I want to wear a saree. Please can I wear bangles? Can I get holes in my ears? Will there be mithaa to eat?”. #FirstWeddingCelebrationForTheLittleOnes

 

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Journey..Friends..Introductions

When in a group, I find little need to say anything. When everyone is talking, I rather sit back and listen. Till I am not sure I have something that adds to the conversation, I mostly don’t say anything. I guess as per standard behavioral labels, one can say, from an introvert child, I grew in to an introvert adult.

This blog is probably one of the few truly out of charter things I have ever done. But true to nature I have tried to keep it as anonymous as I possibly can in the world of blogging. Birthdays, anniversaries, kids names, personal pictures – have never showed up here. When I started here it was with two aims, to write about kids as I see them. Pictures and videos capture the moment but don’t capture my feelings as a parent at those moments. Words, I thought, would be the best way to preserve and at some point look back at the feelings aspect of motherhood. The other was to capture my feelings about the various trips we took. Now 4+ years down the line and a very busy life later, a lot of what I started with has been left behind. That I have not been able to capture a fourth of what the kids do, has to be my biggest blogging regret. But this is life and I am rolling with the punches here.

On the other hand what I did not expect, when I did start the blog, was the human aspect of a public blog. The readers, the comments, the getting to know each other even if through posts, the connections, the shared joys and sorrows and most importantly the friends. What I did not expect were the emails when the blog goes silent or the hugs when I write something sad or personal messages when something touches the readers. What I did not expect was to become part of a group that cared so much, even about people they have never met.

In all these years I have been part of birthday surprises, wedding showers, baby showers, contests and so much more – all on the blog, all for people I have never met. But looking back it all started with one simple comment on my blog.

Hey! Can I have an email id where I can contact u? Urgent!

I did not know what to expect. Had I broken some unwritten blog rule? What it turned out to be was an invitation to join a surprise blog shower for a blogger I read. And hence started a lot of blog firsts for me. Blog shower (that turned in to blog showers), planning, laughing, chain email threads, first blog friends, first blog personal emails exchanged, first real introduction to the blogger community.

That first blog shower is very special to me, that first blogger who we celebrated the blog shower for is very special to me, those first few friends that I made are very special to me, the first few blogs I started to read are special to me, that first blogger who wrote that comment is very special to me.

One morning I woke up to my inbox bursting at the seams from emails from various bloggers, all with the same comment.

She deleted her blog!

She did? My first reaction was a selfish, ‘how could she’? How can she keep us away from the amazing writing of hers? And for what? My next reaction was to calm down and go directly to the source.

Life with its twists and turns, so many unknowns , so many changes and still true friends are the one who stand by us through it all. If there is one person I know, then she is the one who is rich in friends. She has walked hills and valleys with her friends and they have in turn held her hand when clouds surrounded her like never before. Today I  re-introduce her to every single person who wrote in, who read her, who wondered where she went, who worried about her, who cared.

Revs, you know you are special right? Your writing, your wit, your joy, your giving – it is all you. All part of who you are. Never ever give any of that up, not for anything. Stay happy, stay healthy, stay you!

Oh and keep writing. Always!

Now go people read the brilliance that she is 🙂

Wise words

We as parents often times over do the whole parenting thing; they should learn this, they should be protected from that, they should not eat this, they should not watch that, they are too young for this, they are too old for that; kids do fine and grow up just fine till we get the basics rights. We all did too.

I look all around me – people from different countries, different backgrounds, different economic status growing up – all good humans beings. And I think to myself that yes I am over doing it all, over thinking it all. I need to take a long breath, exhale and trust that I will not mess it up, my kids will grow up fine, just like we all did.

Akka came on bacashion

Endless chat sessions, long phone calls, about a dozen Skype dates and countless dreams about what we would do when we finally met. Work schedules, university schedules, different continents, life in general and a certain someone’s sheer bad luck when it comes to travel plans and meeting face to face seemed almost impossible. And still we kept on planning. Expectations were kept low to the point where a couple of days before she was to fly to our part of the world, I told her ‘I will believe you are coming over only when you land here’. She did start that conversation with floods in her part of the world, am I really to blame then?

First step was a call from the same continent and I started to feel more hopeful. Second step was a phone call telling me she was on her way to my city. Excitement grew. I would actually see her (unless she somehow missed her connection). No further communication, I took as a positive sign, which meant in my excitement I strapped both the kids in their car seat and drove to the airport to bring her home. And and got to the airport on time. The airline folks has other plans, alas, which meant there was the wait at the airport, followed by lost and found phone calls, till another drive around the arrival area and I spotted her.

As I parked the car and stepped out, the one thing that constantly played in my head was, ‘it is OK if she does not give you a hug, you need to give her her space’, remembering all the conversations where she spoke about being uncomfortable with people invading her physical space. And what does she do? She opens her hands wide and gives me a big hug. Ahh! I could not stop smiling while all she did was gush over the fact that both the kids came to pick her up. hmmp! I get no importance, I tell you.

What followed was me playing awesome host. NOT! One meal was all I cooked for her in the 3 days that she spent with us. She was dragged to Bugz doctor’s appointment, Buzz’s school pickup, an overnight trip with complete strangers (for her, not me), some random stuff D and I had to take care of in town and we abandoned her, all on her lonesome, in the middle of town. She cooked amazing sambhar and dosas for us while D and I sat and ate. She entertained the kids while we drove 4 plus hours for our overnight trip. While most everyone ran after kids (and God knows what the guys did, what did they do, do you remember?), poor soul was left to man the stove. She was made to sleep on the couch. She held on to a crying, wiggling Bugz while I ate my breakfast and fed Buzz and was so good that Bugz finally slept on her shoulder (and that never happens with anyone but me and that too if I am very lucky). She sat through another 4 hour drive and Bugz spitting all over her and then came home to make Biryani while I sat and talked to her. Oh and made enough that it lasted me two days. I so needed that to remind myself that she really had come and was gone so quickly.

I think I lost count on the number of times I cursed her itinerary which has her spend so much of her time on the various airports but I got to see her in person and got to spend three days with her. And the highlight for me was the hour long walk we took along the river, talking about Amma, Jani, Paati, the kids but even more the fact that I could stop and give her a hug when she had tears in her eyes. Full moon and the beauty of it all only added to the reason why that walk was so special.

You know how when we think about meeting someone, we picture things a certain way? I had a similar image in my head. But in my head Buzz and her interaction with her Akka was a big part of my image. I say this constantly (biased Maa alert) and I will say this again, Buzz is a happy, social, friendly kid but one never knows when the shy bug bites kids, so I held my breath on how these two would interact. There was the need for translation every now and then when Buzz spoke to me (Akka we need to teach you some Hindi, you know 😛 ), there was a little bit of being shy on Buzz’s part, there was all her kiddy friends on the trip. But they did spend some good time together and the big ice-breaker came at the tail-end of the trip. D was helping a friend by fetching something from the car, I was busy feeding Bugz, Buzz standing at the edge of the lake while Akka took off her shoes and stepped in. Buzz of course wanted to follow. I told her that she could only go in if she held on to Akka’s hand. Aah the instant looking at Akka with eyes shining and voice dripping with honey, ‘Akka will you please take me?’ What followed was being held from one stone to the other by Akka, laughter galore and some amazing pictures for me to hold on to.

As Akka said her bye-bye Buzz made sure she pointed out that Akka was to come back for her next bacashion, which Akka promised and we will hold on to. Till date Akka’s next bacashion is talked about, the chocolate Akka got is talked about, the dress Akka got is looked at with longing (we are eating well to grow up to fit in to it). On the other hand Bugz stays blissfully unaware, lucky her.

Rev Akka when do you come back? We miss you already.

Happiness

In the chaos that is my life, my office is my haven. My office is where the inherent need for order part of my soul gets satisfied. When marriage happened, a careless about what goes where husband happened, fights happened, understanding the uselessness of fights happened, Buzz happened, toys all over the place happened, stubborn refusal to pick up the toys by the little hurricane happened. More and more my small office became the one place where order reigned supreme and calmed me down enough to live with the complete disorder at home.

Life and its never-ending changes means Bugz came by. Life went from crazy to over the top cuckoo. Work hours got further reduced, which of course did not mean work load reduced. It just meant, I put my head down and worked non-stop from the minute I came to work, till it was time to head home. Who had time to see what the office was like. The basic order was there, but somewhere papers started to pile, old, useless sticky notes started to grow, dust started to make home in the back corner of the desk. Happiness quotient dwindled with each passing day.

Work people decided that more change was needed. Awesome planning, reorgs, need to have teams closer together or some such. All it meant was everything needed to be packed in boxes and moved to a different location. In my crazy busy life, I did not even go look at my new office before the move happened. I heard people crib about the new space, but I figured I would deal with it once I got there.

Thursday morning, I walked in to my new office and went it to a total slump. From a beautiful view when I looked out of the window (which I had not in a while, but still I could if I wanted to), I now was looking at concrete floor and a glass wall some 6 feet away. Added to it I had a giant structural column in one corner of my office. The already limited space got shrunk further. I was so disheartened that I refused to take any of my things out of their boxes. They could stay there for all I cared.

The doom and gloom I guess showed enough that my friend pulled me out of my office to take me shopping. Shopping for little plants to brighten my office, that is. Plants for all thumbs and none of them green me? I walked from one plant to another, the practical me taking note of what could work, when a glimpse of one leaf caught my eye. I ran to it and I had exactly what I wanted. Once my base plant was selected, we narrowed down on two more small ones to balance things out and I smiled for the first time that day.

Three plants on the window sill and I could not wait to add my things to the mix and make the office my own. It took me a couple of days to unpack and set my office just right. A couple of creepers got added in vases and I am smiling ear to ear. I turn around and take in my office every now and then. As I walk out for the day, I glance at it all and smile. I walk in every morning and the sense of calm comes back. My haven is back and so is another reason to be happy.

Trust issues

There are about 8 or so guys from D’s college/class who work and stay in the area, which means we have a big and strong social circle. We had all gotten together at someone’s place for lunch and talks about college and work and the economy and the latest gadgets was going on, as always.

Now we are all at a point in life that everyone has kids or is having kids. It being post lunch, most of us were also juggling cranky kids, kids ready for nap and putting kids down for a nap, which of course moved the conversation to kids. The girls got talking about how it would be nice to get a break for a day or two to just be us, the way we used to be before the kids came along. Things snowballed from there to dreaming of a two day girls only trip.

One of the guys suggested why only dream about it? Why not go, it was after all only for a couple of nights? The rest of the guys promptly supported the idea with all of them stating that it was no big deal taking care of their respective kids for 2 nights and days.

This had the guys excited that they could do the same. It would be like being back in college. Just the guys. Excited plans started being made, on where they should go and what all they would do.

Then came arguments against it all. Started with one girl not wanting her husband to go on such a trip and a few more agreed. When asked for reasons why, the answer was, who knows what all the guys would get in to. They would drink like crazy. And oh what if the guys decide to go to a gentlemen’s club?

There was no talking the girls out. And the plan eventually fizzled out. No guys trip and no girls trip. This was almost a year back.

This past weekend the guys got together at night for dinner and poker. Over dinner they started talking about heading to a club instead of playing poker. From where it moved to a few guys saying they would only go if all the guys promised not to tell any of the girls. When questioned why they said, ‘if even one girl knows the whole thing is sure to come out as part of some conversation and then there would be hell to pay for them’. Post lot of talks and leg pulling they went on to drink a glass or two of wine and play poker.

I was floored both the times, because I don’t think in these terms. For me it is a matter of trust. I trust my husband completely. I trust him to conduct himself correctly. I trust him to do the right thing. Even if D was to go to a gentlemen’s club, he knows what he can and cannot do. He knows what would offend me and where to draw a line. And I would like to believe that because I don’t put such stipulations on him is the reason why he comes back and tells me these things. I would like to believe that because I don’t make a big deal about these things is why he does not hide things from me.

Maybe I am wrong but I have a few basic questions for all the girls who don’t like their boyfriends/husbands talking to other women or put a limit to how many drinks they can have on any given day or keep an eagle eye on what they do and where they go – How do you know they are not doing any of what you so think they are capable of when you head to India for your 2 month yearly trip, or when they go out of town on business? When you expect complete and total freedom and don’t like your husband to ask any questions on your whereabouts, why do you not return the same courtesy? When your husband has never given any reason for you to doubt him, why do you doubt him? Oh and if your answer is, because guys will always be guys, why are you even with this guy?

As I said before, for me trust is the key. And I trust D totally and completely. Till he gives me a reason to otherwise, I am going to continue to trust.

Am I completely stoned here? Am I missing something? What do you guys think?

Reasons to go awww in the week past

Video from a friend where the little munchkin says

Sheeee

and breaks in to a giggle when asked,

Cooker says?

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An email from a friend who knows little or no Hindi with one line written in Hindi were half the sentance made sense and the other did not.

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D looks at 2 remaining rasmalai pieces and says,

You can have both. I don’t need to have any.

Especially when I know how much he loves rasmalai.

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Looking at baby pictures of a friend.

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Ping on IM from friends even when I am not visible and bombardment with questions that I have no answers to. Followed by pouting and being called mean.

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Me singing ‘Chidiya Chun Chun karti hei’, Buzz repeating after me. Were the

Yeah sab mere saathi hein

sounds (accent wise) just like Indi saying

Tum vishwaasghati ho

in ‘Indiana Jones and the temple of doom’.

As I sing,

Happy Birthday to me

she says,

Happy Birthday to Mumma

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