Category: Running around

Uncertainty..changes..tears..looking ahead

I was to start back at work when Bugz was six months old. The transition did not worry me as much as it did the first time around with Buzz, but decisions still needed to be made and we decided that we wanted her to stay at home for a little while more before she went to a daycare or school. We started looking for a nanny, talked to more than a few over the phone, met 4 in person. I can’t pinpoint on what/why we settled on the nanny we did, call it instinct, call it a feeling, but looking back I can only be thankful for it. The love and care Bugz gets from S is unmatched. Bugz said, Bugz did, Bugz wants – this is what I walk home to everyday. Every interest of hers is taken care of, every dislike preempted. As a parent, while your heart swells up with love for you child, it also gives an extra tight squeeze when you see an outpour of love for him/her from someone else. I have lived with this feeling for over two years now and I still can’t find the right words to tell S what she has done for us.

Change of course has to come and as unbelievable as it sounds, Bugz starts school soon. S was involved in the entire process of finding the right fit of school for Bugz, applications, acceptance letters and when things were in place she booked tickets back to her home town for a long overdue visit before she started her next nanny job. We have all known the dates for 6 months now but as the numbers come down to single digits, the heart sinks a little. I come home to S holding Bugz a little tighter, her eyes moist and promises of phone calls. I look the other way as I blink away the tears. Goodbye were never my strong suite for a reason.

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Buzz is coming to the end to her school year and with it comes the next set of changes. She will be moving to a different branch of her current school due to a few different reasons. From a small, cozy 5 class rooms, all in one hallway school, where everyone knows everyone else, she is moving to 3 floor, six hallway, big school.

Her current school has been amazing for her. She has played and laughed and danced and performed and kicked a ball and skipped over rocks. She has made art and collected jewels from the yard and made friends and shared her toys, she has found ways to express herself and has grown in confidence.

The fact that she is moving to different branch of the same school, helps calm me down. I know the main core of the school is the same, I have loved the various focus points of the school and I know that is not going to change. A couple of teachers and a lot of kids from Buzz’s class are moving as well, which will help with transition big time. In all I am fairly relaxed about the move, but the fact that I walk in to her class with teary eyed teachers upsets me. How do you thank teachers that get so attached to your kids? How do you find words for all they have done for your kids?

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Re-orgs happened at works a few months back and a new project came online. It seemed interesting and I signed up for it. It was exciting and new and a great learning experience. As I was getting in the rhythm of things next set of re-orgs happened. Since I was committed to the first set of work, I was asked to continue till the end of June after which I transition the work to someone else. The first part is set to release by the end of the month and as I spend a lot of hours finishing as much as I can, I also prepare handoff documents for the person unknown to take over. There is a part of me who wants to see it to the end, but the practical part tells me, learning is done so move on. The silver lining of course is that I will be coming back to my original team and they are counting days.

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Momentum is building – bye bye S, yearend performance, bye bye school, deliver on work, bye bye project and it all ends with us getting on a plane for a vacation in the sun.

After all the anxieties of June we will welcome July with open arms for it brings calm along. Buzz and Bugz will be going to the same school, I will have my old team back, things will find a way to settle down again. Till then the countdown is on – 17 days to the vacation we have all been looking forward to.

She is like this wonly..

Bugz, my little baby is growing up and as she does, her big personality within her little body is coming out in full force.

As we stand at the top of a ragging waterfall she runs towards it because all she sees is water and water only means one thing, swimming. As we hold on to her tight, she kicks and screams, angry at the idiots (us) who don’t understand the simplest of things.

The word swimming/swimsuit are met with only one reaction. Her tugging at her clothes, to get out of them and to get her swimsuit on. Once at the pool, who has the time to wait for parents, these adults take too much time getting in. She jumps right in and by the time parents franticly get in, she has drunk half the water in the pool.

Fiercely independent, she wants to do every thing on her own. Clothes, food, water, poo, pee. Try doing something for her that she wants to do and you will be met with anger as she taps her chest with her hand as she explains that the task is for her to do.

To balance all the ‘do self’ attitude comes the need to be held. In the middle of her games, she suddenly comes running, climbs on our lap facing us, one leg on each side, her head on our chest and hands holding us tight. If the gesture is not met with a tight hug in return, she demands her right. Thus we sit minutes on end, holding each other.

Refuse to do something her way and she is seen crying at the top of her lungs, running in circles, laying on the floor. Let her go on for a few minutes and she quickly figures out it is of no use. She runs back for her hug, and then moves on the next big thing.

Ask her to say anything new and she responds with a ‘no’. Keep saying the same word every now and then and she will say it all on her own a few days later, almost perfect in her pronunciation. There is thyankee (thank you), gum (gummy bear), bhoo bhoo (dog sound), key, shoe, car, tuck (truck), meme (herself), aaanty (aunty), ungle (uncle), igg (egg), bead (bread), dudhu (milk), ninoo (sleep) and so many more.

Her favorite sentence has to have ‘Poo’ in them. ‘Mumma Poo’, ‘Papa Poo’, ‘Didi Poo’, ‘BhooBhoo Poo’, ‘BhooBhoo Car Poo’, ‘Meme Poo’. There is a running commentary in our house anytime anyone goes does their business and is announced at full volume till someone acknowledges what she is saying.

There is no need to teach her any of the big transitional things. She looks at others, tries them out and learns all on her own. She potty trained herself. She would tell me ‘poo’ (pee and poo are the same for her), I would check her diaper and find them empty, so I started putting her on the pot. Now she sometimes even gets up in the middle of the night to scream, ‘POO, POO, POO’ till one of us wakes up and takes her to the bathroom.

Similarly she taught herself to drink from a glass. She says, ‘Pati’ (pani), takes the glass from our hand, we say ‘munh band’ (close your mouth), immediately she does. And we repeat with every sip she drinks.

Her counting starts with two, because well everyone else says one, and ends with thee (three). We tell her ‘Bugz one kissy de de’ as we kiss her cheek. She moves her other cheek towards us and says, ‘two’. As we kiss her again she happily says, ‘thee’. And we kiss her three. Our repeating three only gets, ‘done’ in return.

She has the loudest, hurt your eardrums, gives you a headache, scream. She has the happiest, melt your heart, make you laugh along, laugh. Stubborn, happy, tantrum throwing, doing things her way, independent, demanding love – this is our Bugz.

Diet and exercise

Two kids, a full time job and a house to take care of and the pregnancy weight was going nowhere. I know my body well and know that weight loss does not come easy to me. I have to really work towards it.

I looked around and diet seemed to be the easiest of all the options available to me, but there my mental barrier against dieting comes in to picture. I don’t do diets but more importantly I believe kids look up to parents in most everything and try to emulate them as they grow old. With two girls, who probably will have body image issues like most girls in their teens do, I did not want to set up a precedence of extreme diets in my family.

While talking to a friend on this issue, I was telling her, “as a late teen, early 20 year old there were always a couple of kilos I wanted to lose or a few inches gone from this area or that. Looking back I was a thin tall girl. Can’t imagine what I used to think at that age”. She came back with, “we all used to think like that because we were stupid and immature”. “True”, I told her, “but our kids will be stupid and immature too”.

At least in my head, I want to sit with my kids and eat whatever it is they are eating. I can restrict the quantity of what I eat, or not apply ghee to my roti while they eat ghee soaked rotis, but I want them to see me eating all the same things they do. This meant all the no carb diets which have the best results were not an option for me.

After giving it a lot of thought, I made small changes to my diet. I let go of my fav. cereal for breakfast in favor of boiled eggs, a loaf of bread and a glass of milk. I moved from white rice to brown rice for lunch. I gave up my evening snacks in favor of carrots and fruits. I cut down on one roti for dinner but added extra serving of vegetables and lentils. The change is so small at that it almost went unnoticed by the ever observant Buzz. The only change she really noticed was the egg for breakfast and that is also because the change was made for her as well. Every now and then she says she wants to eat cereal and she gets it. So really it becomes her choice to eat something different from the rest of the family and not me standing out with my diet.

I gave these changes a little time to see if I felt deprived or unsatisfied. I don’t! Because I haven’t really given up on anything, I don’t miss not eating any of it. Every time I feel l want to eat cereal, I do. If I feel like having some form of sweet, I have a little. Moderation for me is the key.

The next thing I started doing was adding exercises to the mix over the weekend. Finding time during the weekdays was an issue for various reasons, but weekends I could make time. I used to run a lot pre Buzz, and used to have dreams of me running while I was pregnant. To realize that I could not run for more than a few minutes was a shameful realization. About a month back a friend send out an email to ask I was interested in running outside since summer was here. Prompt “yes” was my reply. We started meeting every Saturday morning at a park nearby and kept it easy. Run 3 mins, walk a min and see how far we could go. Running outside makes such a big difference than running on a treadmill.

I have improved a lot since and now have slowly added running a couple of days during my weekdays as well. I am ready with even my shoes on when D comes home. I mostly wave  bye to him as a greeting and go for half an hour run. I don’t go fast but that I can run for 30 mins without a break makes me feel happy.

The weight loss is happening slowly but surely. In fact I am at my lowest weight since I had Buzz but it is not really a motivating factor right now. At the end of every letter to my kids I write – be happy, be healthy. That is what is motivating me. Every evening as I sit down with my bowl of carrots and fruits, both the kids ask for the same and not the usual crackers. Every time I go for my run or D goes to the gym Buzz asks what about her exercise and Bugz pretends to run around the house. If my kids gain a positive body image, if they learn the importance of healthy food, if they take in the importance of exercise, that will be the best gift I will receive at the end.

Year End

There is cheer everywhere. People are celebrating. Everyone has a smile on their face. I as usual stand on the other end of the spectrum.

The ever so organized me (NOT!) pushes out the non-important things like err..eye appointments, dental checkups, yearly doctor visits to when I will have some time and then come December the clock starts ticking. There is mad dash to get all the various appointments before the benefits for the year expire, schedules are checked and rechecked to shuffle all the various visits. Add to the mix are the kids’ pick up and drop offs for their various doctors’ visits and work that does not stop.

End result is a crazy, cranky, stressed out me.

We almost always add last minute unplanned vacation to the already crazy timeline, which ends up needing figuring out airplane tickets, accommodations, car rentals, packing.. argh

Between D and I, we  dropped Buzz off to school, attended work for half a day, went to my doctor, dropped eye glasses prescription, went to D’s doctor, went shoe shopping (yes yes all me :D), searched for and booked airline tickets, planned the trip and booked various hotel rooms, booked rental car, picked Buzz up, shopped for gifts for a friend’s kids, visited the said friend’s house and spend a couple of hours there, clean the house (yes that is also all me. Stupid idiot that I am, needs the house clean before I go on a trip), pack up for the trip. All in one day!

Is it any wonder that I am not fond of end of the year? And not fond is putting it mildly.

But finally all the i’s have been dotted and t’s have been crossed. Vacation, here I come. Year end, I am ready to enjoy everything you can throw my way. Life, I am ready to unwind for a bit.

Hope you guys have a great last few days of 2012 now that the world has not ended. See you all on the other side of 2013.

Secret Tot Society – Rules

1. When one kid cries the other has to milaao taal se taal and cry along – after all there is strength in unity.

2. When Mom is feeding one kid, the other has to make sure that s/he poops – that is the only way to help each other looking half-starved and mom feeling guilty forever.

3. When one kid sleeps the other has to be up and rocking – else mom would get some rest and that is not allowed.

4. When Mom is eating one or the other kid has to get in to some kind of mess and come to her crying – which means we move to rule 1. Which in turn means the food is forgotten for a good half an hour till the kids are calm. Then we come back to rule 4 all over again.

5. Mom’s lap should never be left empty – always keep one eye on her and the minute she sets one kid down, the other should be there to be picked up.

6. If tiredness takes over both the kids at the same time and both are asleep and mom thinks to catch some shuteye, send thought waves out to the world at large so that the phone or the door bell rings.

7. Should Mom act smart and take a bath, throw up on her the minute she steps out – after all the default perfume for her is called ‘The Stink’.

One hour at a time

hmm I feel something in my stomach. Should I wake up? Oh but it is so nice and cozy here. Maybe in a little while.

Stomach is starting to complain, I should open my eyes. But that is so difficult to do. See open eyes and they shut off on their own. Open again, close again. Maybe I should make a little noise.

ummm ummm

Did she see, did she? I should have kept my eyes opened to see if she did.

This stomach thing is not happy. Where is she? Why is she not here already? Let me try again, just a little louder.

ummm aaammmm uuummmmm

No still not here. What is wrong with her? See now I HAVE to open my eyes. Nope, can’t see her. Turn head to the left. Not there either. Turn head to the right. Aahaaa there she is. What is she up to? Oh! the dishes are more important than me? I will show her.

aaaaaaAAAAAAAA AAAAAAnnnnnnnn AAAAAAAAANNNNNNNN

Take that, now you come running. You just had to make me cry, did you not? Now a days seedhe ungli se ghee he nahien nikalta. Yes yes! Pick me up quick and do something about this stomach.

No no no! Not the diaper. We can do that later. Oh come on! That does feel good I have to say. What a relief. Now where did she go? grr forget washing your hands, come and take care of me NOW.

Phew! Milk finally. Yum yum yum. Why did she have to wake me up for this? I was happy sleeping. Why could she not give me my milk while I was still sleeping? OK the diaper thing was a good idea. I will give her that. God knows how it gets so messy every single time. Woman stop playing with my feet, can’t you see I am busy? OK one kiss and then shooo. Milk milk milk. Uh oh! I feel this acid thing coming up. Should I stop? Naah, just a little more and then I will. Oops too late. Pick me up quick quick and hold me upright against your shoulder. Much better. Come on burp, come on.

BbbbUuuuuRrrrrPpppp

Nice! Now you can clean me up and oh well yourself as well. ern..how do I tell you this..OK let me just come out straight and tell you, ‘you stink’. Maybe after you are done taking care of me you should go change your T-shirt. BUT only AFTER you are done taking care of me. Aaahh yes, more milk. And remember from last time, help me burp sooner. Gulp gulp gulp. All done. Burp and done.

What don’t sit me down here. I am sleepy. Your t-shirt can wait, swaddle me first, rock me for a bit, put me to sleep and then you can do whatever you want. What else do you have to do while I sleep after all. No No you are doing this rocking this all wrong. It is 2 rocks to the right, 3 to the left, 1 right, 1 left, 1 up, 2 down, 3 right, 2 left, 2 up, 3 down, 4 circle and repeat. There much better. Almost there. Sleep. Keep rocking, don’t you stop. Rock 1 2 3, shake 1 2 3, la la la, zzzzzzz

Oh no no no, don’t put me down. I am telling you don’t. There see what you have done?

aaaaaAAAAA AAAAAAnnnnn AAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNN

Now we have to do this ALL over again! Start rocking. Rock 1 2 3. Oh no, you are doing it all wrong again. How many tries will it take for you to get it right, I wonder? Gaah some people are so slow. Rock 1 2 3, shake 1 2 3, la la la, rock 1 2 3. Noooo don’t sing woman. See now we need more work. Give me some milk to get over the shock of your singing. Bliss! la la la zzzzzz…

You took away my milk? I should teach you a lesson but I will let it slide this once but continue to hold me, else there will be hell to pay. This is nice. I like! Nice and warm and rock rock rock 1 2 3..shake shake shake 1..2..3..la..la..la……..zzzzzzzz

What is happening? Oh she is putting me down again. Eyes open. Come on eyes open. Oh too much work, plus she will start singing again and who needs THAT? I like the song she was singing though. Very apt for how I feel about her. I will let her rest up for a bit as I think of the song.

Till the next hour then. zzzzzzzzzzz

Trip report

  • Talks about doing something together one late evening after dinner with friends.
  • Email confirmation on who all would join.
  • Two amazing women search, call, repeat to find a place to accommodate everyone.
  • Hope given up, owing to lack of place to stay.
  • One place found.
  • Let the planning begin.
  • While the guys sorted out drinks and things to do, the women got down to the most important thing.. ‘What to eat’.
  • Endless emails.
  • 15 adults, 7 kids, 6 cars, 4 hours road trip, 3 houses close by, 1 house designated the central meeting place.
  • Grill cleaned and manned to produce grilled – corn, burgers, pineapple, chicken, paneer, onions, bell pepper.
  • Sitting in front of the bonfire late into the night playing antakshari with gems like ‘Nain ladjayehe’.
  • Marshmallow samores for company.
  • Breakfast of eggs, pancake, hash brown, bread, cereal, poha, cut fruits.
  • Packed lunch of cold sandwiches with different kinds of spreads (pesto, mayo, butter, roasted garlic, chocolate peanut, green chutney), cheese (cheddar, american, pepper jack, fresh mozzarella) , bread (white, 8 grain, baggette), veggies (tomatoes, onions, basil), phel puri mix to be made on location.
  • Dinner of chicken biryani, veg pullao, dahi wada, papdi chat, pineapple + suji halwa.
  • Fireworks of all shapes and sizes.
  • Ending the trip with breakfast of potato sandwiches, waffles, fruits and anything and everything leftover.
  • Trips to snow covered mountains.
  • Hiking in the snow
  • Kids snow sledging their way up and down a small slope with parents for company
  •  Impromptu stops at lakes to sit, talk and relax
  • 3 days of not knowing where your kids were.
  • Bigger kids taking care of younger ones.
  • All adults keeping a general eye on all the little people.
  • Buzz becoming a tail of a 8 year old didi.
  • Didi’s little sister and Buzz arguing over didi where ‘My didi’, ‘No my didi’ were heard about 100 times a day.
  • ‘This one cries anytime she is hit’ (as in even lightly touched) heard from the mouth of a 6 year old. Buzz sweetheart, very true that.
  • Buzz just as she is about to sleep, ‘Star, mere tim tim star?’, as she remembers the glow stars glued to the ceiling of her room.
  • Kids laughing out loud while watching Mickey Mouse on VCR while Buzz, the lone ranger, hording all the colors and scribbling non-stop on a paper, carpet, her t-shirt, hands, mouth.
  • No cable TV, cell phone reception, internet connection.
  • Good friends, drool worthy food, calm of the woods, gorgeous vistas, happy kids, laughs all around.
  • Perfect!