New Year Resolutions 2017

Another New Year, another new beginning, another time to set up resolutions, though I agree one doesn’t need to wait till New Year to make resolutions to improve, however there is something wonderful about it, to set goals as the New Year rolls in. To be very honest, I had completely forgotten what my resolutions were for  last year – so before I go about listing my goals for this year, I wanted to update on how I fared with them. I hit some of them, so that’s a plus.

  • Lose the baby pooch –, I did lose close to 10 pounds and got back to almost pre-Nivi weight. However, I need to lose 5 more lbs to go back to pre-Nonu weight, and my pooch is still there, fortunately, I don’t look 4 months pregnant now –so I will mark this as work in progress
  • Write more – I kind of failed with this one. I still maintain my two journals, and I started another one for my daughter but my frequency of writing is still erratic, rarely I wrote twice a week as I had hoped and planned, so another partial work in progress
  • Try to do one creative project every month – I think I did ok with this one – I made my annual scrapbook, made another scrapbook specifically for my daughter’s birthday documenting her first year, made 2 different calendars – one for my house and another for mom and dad, created tons of decorations for my daughter’s birthday party, baked cupcakes, complete with icing and decorations  for the first time, planted my veggie garden, enjoyed a paint party, and so on. So, I ended up working on something creative every month
  • Try to spend less time watching TV or being on the social media – Now this was doomed from the start. Since I didn’t quantify it there was no way to measure it, but I have cut down on my television hours, I hardly watch any shows, and most of the time I am always multitasking when a show runs in the background. While the social media usage is still the same. However, because of social media, I was able to fundraise for my charity and also started working for another charity organization, met few new friends, so I think social media did help me in some way. So, I will mark this one a work in progress too.

I am glad that I was make some kind of progress on my resolutions, I didn’t achieve them all, as they say slow and steady wins the race, I did move ahead. So, now coming to resolutions for this year

  • Lose the baby pooch , this is constant from last year– already started working on this one, me and my friend are doing the 30 day Jillian Michael shred, it’s been 7 days and we have been going strong, hoping that we complete it, and then the plan is to do the 6 weeks ab exercise and so on.
  • Do as much good as I can – I agree this is kind of vague and not quantifiable as of now but my plan is to get more involved with both of my causes and be more kind while dealing with everyone
  • Have special dates with my son – I feel that he gets little of my attention somedays as Nivi needs more of me at this point in time – so my goal is to plan special activities just me and him once a month- it could be as simple as going out to a movie or something big as a day trip or paint party, I have some plans for the next few months, so want to get this started
  • Make more local friends – I have very few friends who live in Boston, so this year I am making a concious effort to broaden my circle here.

In addition to these long term resolutions, I have started tracking monthly goals or most of the times they end up being monthly tasks on my phone, so that helps with my monthly progress

So, do you make resolutions? And do you follow them through; I guess that’s more important question

Birthday Celebration as you grow older

I just completed another year around the sun. I am very grateful and thankful for the numerous wishes that I got on social media, mainly Whatsapp and Facebook, text messages while some friends and family called me and we ended up having lengthy conversations. As the morning rolled by, the ground got blanketed with snow, and it was such a pretty sight, I considered it as a gift from Mother nature. We were invited to a birthday lunch/party for my friend’s son’s (how ironic), and as it continued to snow, we were in two minds, but finally ended up driving an hour to the party. It was good thing, she was very happy to see us and my son had a wonderful time playing team games.
We came home from the party, lounged around and had dinner plans. After cutting the obligatory cake, taking birthday pictures, and feeding the little one her dinner, it got to the point that do we really want to go out now? It was cold and dreary and then getting the kids ready and bundling them would take an insane out of time. So, finally decided to just get some take out from this new Vegan place and spend time vegging out at home, playing with the kids, television running in the background. And that’s how I spent my birthday, pretty low key compared to few other years but still fun I should say.

Well, I also got a tattoo done as a birthday gift to me, I always wanted another one, and somehow had hoped to get one before my birthday. I had mentioned this to my friend, and she was on board and we decided to get it together, a week before my birthday. She and I got our first tattoos together too, so getting tattoos together has been our thing to do. And, I guess it is so much easier getting a tattoo with your friend. My bffs (cheesy isn’t it, but it’s true) also got me an elegant Swarovski necklace and my hubby got me a gift card for one of the stores that I frequent. While, I bought a pretty dress and a black hand bag for myself, calling it my birthday present to me. My seven-year-old, woke up and wished me first thing in the morning, and that kind of made my day.

And that’s how I celebrated my birthday. What are your rituals or traditions on your big day ? I 

She is tiny but she is fierce 

She walks now, and when she tries to run and falls down, she gets back up and off she goes to another adventure. The baby who wouldn’t crawl on her fours till almost 11 months doesn’t stand still for a minute. For a long time, she crawled on her tummy – like a wiggly worm, slowly and steadily she went from one toy to another, from one corner of the living room to other. Then she pulled herself on her fours’ and started crawling around – she would go a little further, then go back on her tummy, wiggle around a little bit and then back again on her fours. And now she is everywhere. Takes few steps, starts running and then falls down and gets up and repeat. She has a little baby tummy, which I love to the hilt, love blowing raspberries on that, so when she walks – it always looks like the tummy is leading the way followed by her legs, and because of that she is very wobbly – but does that make her stop? No way, she doesn’t care.

She loves climbing the stairs on her knees and hands. With hardwood floors all over, I am amazed by her determination and her resolve – I don’t know how her knees don’t hurt going over the stairs. I tried and gave up within few steps but she strides on. Finally a month ago, we put up baby gates, just didn’t want her venturing out on her own on the stairs and getting hurt. But that doesn’t thwart her, if we leave the gate open even slightly, she chances on the opportunity either to go up or to close the gate herself.

She wants what her brother eats, even things which are difficult for her to chew – she will throw a fit if we don’t give her. The other day, Nonu was coughing, so we gave him cough medicine and Nivi threw a tantrum when we didn’t give it to her too. She loves her milk, had no trouble transitioning from formula to whole milk. Every few hours or so, she will lie down on her monkey pillow in the living room and drink her milk on her own. It melts my heart when I see her getting so self-sufficient, how did that happen so soon?

She knows the tones for some popular nursery rhymes – Ba Ba black sheep, ABCD and so on, and so many times I hear her babbling words to their tunes, and the moment I take my phone out to record, she stops.

She loves going to day care, typically never cries when we leave her in the morning, and when I go to pick her in the evening, the moment she sees me she starts crying –asking to be picked up. And from the time she is crawling/ walking, she will crawl over toys, pillows towards me making it one of the best moments of any given day, when I hold her, all my work tension disappears, as I revel in her baby warmth and her baby smell and I just wish that time would stop and linger here for a little longer so that I get to enjoy this phase of hers.

Getting Fit

After having my baby #2 one of my goals was to get fit and lose the pounds that had piled up during pregnancy and the mom body meaning the remnants of the pregnancy tummy. I used to run before the baby, and had run few 5Ks, so jumped back to the running wagon to achieve my fitness goals. I stalled after deciding this till I woke up one morning in mid-June and decided to just run for few minutes on the treadmill. As is with anything new, the first few days, I could hardly run for 10 minutes or so and then as days passed my body got into rhythm of running, I could run a mile with ease. The other thing that helped me to build my stamina and lose weight was walking for atleast half an hour every day. My office’s campus is near a residential neighborhood, and there is a walking trail that leads through some internal roads and nearby cemetery. I never knew that I would find walking through the cemetery peaceful, reading the tombstones, saying a prayer sometime for the people lying underneath, shedding a tear when I see a baby or a young kid’s tombstone.

Another thing that helped was registering for a 5k. I had run the same race, organized by a public library two years ago, with few of my friends, and that was last 5k before my pregnancy. When I saw they were organizing one this year in early September, I thought it was a sign from above to get back into the groove of running. Secondly, I am one of those people who gets motivated to run regularly when I have an upcoming race. I asked a few of my friends who had shown interest in running but none of them were keen on registering. I decided to do it anyways.

After registering, I ran one or two days in a week for a mile or two either early in the morning before packing lunches for school and getting the kids ready or late in the evening after the kids had gone to bed, but I used to go out for a quick walk almost every day. And then, as mid-August hit I started making time to run regularly, the 5K was looming, and my goal was to run the entire length and not walk as much as possible.

The day of the run Nonu and hubby came to cheer me. I did pretty well, I ran most of the distance, but did stop and walk a little here and there but mostly I ran all of 3.2 miles. The best part was as I reached the last few blocks, Nonu saw me and he ran over to me and then held my hand and we ran all the way till the finish line!! It was great feeling! We have talked and the plan is for him to come with me for some practice runs, and for him to participate in a 1 mile run in next year while my goal is to continue running, and probably aim to run a 10 k next year! Well as far as losing my baby weight, running definitely helped me to lose pounds and to almost get back to my pre-pregnancy weight, however I still have a good pouch that hangs tight and refuses to budge. Well baby steps, I guess I will take that!!

Bunker Hill Monument 

Our old house where we lived few years ago was very close to Bunker Hill Monument; we used to drive by it multiple times in a week.This monument was erected to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill – one of the first major battles fought between Patriots and the British; it’s an obelisk and looks similar to the Washington Monument in DC. For the last few years, every summer or fall I would tell my husband that we should go visit the monument, spend a day there but it never materialized till now. Few weeks ago, one of the summer weekends we were at home just lazing around with no specific plans, and I thought this seemed like a perfect day to check out the Bunker Hill Monument. We packed some lunch, lathered some sunscreen and drove to the monument site
After reaching the park, we realized that one needs tickets to go to the top and tickets can be obtained at the nearby Bunker Hill Museum. Typically I research all this online but as this was on the spur decision I was a little clueless. As we went to get the tickets, they looked at me carrying baby Nivi in my infant carrier and told me there are 294 steps to climb the top. Well that didn’t deter me to get a ticket for me and Nivi (the tickets are free, they just need to know how many people are going up and then they give you a time slot to get in, they try and manage the number of people going up a down as it’s a tight fit inside and the stairs are pretty narrow.)

We spent some time at the museum, reading about the war, how the Patriots were outnumbered and still fought hard before being defeated. I had read about the war long back, since I didn’t learn any of this growing up during history lessons, I find it all fascinating and like to devour as much information as I can. Also, I love to just stroll through the museums reading and trying to fathom the “what ifs” and “what nots”. There was a map that showed how the region looked in the 17th century and all the current bustling towns were just some hills back then, so much history the places have seen.

At our given time, we walked up the stairs to the top of monument. It was a little strenuous carrying a baby but between me and my hubby she changed hands every 50 odd steps and we reached the top. You get a beautiful view of Boston through the windows. We spent around 5 to 10 minutes looking out and then headed back down. The lawns around the monument are very inviting, so we spread our blankets and let the kids play while we cloud gazed and soaked up the sun.  It was a pretty good afternoon and the monument is totally worth a visit, I am not sure why it took us more than 7 years of living in the city before we visited one of the landmarks. Better late than never!

I had totally bizarre (in a good way though) experience – while I was pushing Nivi’s stroller  apparently my wallet fell off from my backpack and I didn’t even realize it. A couple nearby saw the wallet but didn’t know whom it belonged to, however they had seen someone walk by with a stroller. Few minutes later they saw my husband with a stroller and this guy walks up to him asking did he lose a wallet and obviously my husband says “No”. And then my hubby told me about this encounter, while we were hanging out near the monument waiting to go up. I don’t know why but I have this insane urge to check my backpack and lo and behold, I find my purse missing. I run back to that couple and they hand over the purse to me, I was so thankful to them. They were just packing up, planning to leave and were at odds on whom to hand over the purse. I was so grateful that I didn’t lose my wallet and my IDs, my CCs, library cards, health cards and all the hundreds of things that somehow end up finding its way into your wallet. Just restored my faith in humanity, mostly people are good and will help others as much as they can.

Has something similar happened to you before? 

Mother in law Saga

Well I am a daughter in law (DIL), and like lot of DILs before me, I have a Mother in Law (MIL) who doesn’t like me. I am not sure why she is critical of me, but it just happened. That doesn’t mean we have the saas-bahu fights that you see in Hindi serials, we are far too civil for that. She wouldn’t openly criticize me but I know she is judging me, sometimes I can see her snorting her displeasure, cataloguing my behavior and sharing it with my Sister in Law (SIL). Same thing could be said about me, I don’t criticize on her face or for that matter even tell her that I don’t agree to her thoughts, though I have shared few of her idiosyncrasies with my mom, my friends and many a times with my husband, so I guess that makes us even.

Why is this relationship so hard, is it because it is two women who are unwilling to let go of their control over the way the house is run, the kids are taken care of, and is unwilling to accept other person’s point of view. Why is it that rules are different for a daughter and DIL and I think the same could be said for mother and MIL? Why are we willing to ignore the faults of one person and not of another? Is it because in the case of a mom or a daughter one knows them for a long time and have played a role in molding them or being molded by their love? Why isn’t there similar turmoil in relationship between a son in law and father in law or for that matter a daughter in law and a father in law? Is it because two different genders come into play and we are more accepting of the flaws of the other gender? Again I don’t have any answers but I have been thinking about this for the past few months. And no I don’t think any of this is going to make my relationship better with my mil, I currently see no choice but to just continue the way we are trying to be polite to each other.  The best thing that works in our favor is we don’t see each other often as we live on the different parts of the globe and meet each other only for weeks most of the time. The only exception to this is when she is visiting us, she stays for close to 6 months, but she is not keen on coming back again when she leaves this time, because the travel takes a toll on her. I think that is something we both agree on.

Apparently my mil didn’t have a favorable relationship with her mil too, but that didn’t change a thing for her, and that is something I get to learn from her. I am hoping that when I become a MIL, I will be more cognizant of my relationship with my dil. My relationship woes will make me a better person.!!!

Things I am grateful for

Sometimes situations in life cannot be controlled and there is no option to just get on with it and hope things will get better. Not going into details here, but there are some personal circumstances with respect to family that is making me very unhappy. And I am very optimistic person, excited for the next adventure- be it as mundane as cooking food or a weekend get together, so I don’t like this person I have become, trying to dissect and control every action at home. Here I was at work between meetings, feeling miserable for me and I thought let me jot down things that I am really grateful for and acknowledge them. It’s a matter of less than three months when I know things will change and go back to way they were before, and I know the days are long but the years are short, hopefully looking at this list will help me ignore the noise and just be thankful for my life.

1) Food on the table and lucky enough to eat anything that I wish

2) Two beautiful healthy kids and a good loving husband

3) My hale and hearty healthy body

4) Lovely house in a beautiful neighborhood –(even though we have years and I literally many decades of mortgage to pay off)

5) Good job in a great company that pays my bills and leaves me some to enjoy

6) My husband’s wonderful job  

7) My healthy parents whom I can call and talk with anytime, though I don’t get to see them often in person, so thankful for the technology that helps to reduce the distance

8) My few good friends whom I can call and talk their ears off.

9) Easy commute to work – glad that it’s such a shorter commute than before.

10) The beautiful weather in my part of the country.

11) Some money saved in the bank

12) My ability to lose weight – I had put on tons after my second pregnancy and now with some exercise built in to my daily schedule (mainly walking) I can see the results in the mirror. So, thankful for that. I know off friends who exercise a lot but don’t see the effects soon enough!

And so on. Well now I feel a whole lot better. I am going to keep this list on my desktop so that I can focus on these positives everyday!

How about you? What do you do when you are feeling a little sad?

Disney Vacation

We visited the Disney World in Orlando during the February winter break. Nonu was very excited as he adores Disney movies and shows, and loves the characters, his favorite character being Goofy. During our last visit, he was a baby, hardly a year old, so had no idea about Disney or the parks or any of its associated perks. And most importantly, we were all looking forward to some sunshine and warmth. The winter wasn’t as bad as last year but it was still cold, and one needs a break from wearing a thick winter jacket.

We have taken multiple road trips with Nivi, even a long 8 hour drive to Niagara with my parents when she was barely 9 weeks old but this was her first flight trip. And totally clueless on how easy or difficult it would be to fly with her. Also, packing adequate homemade baby food was another challenge. I had literally packed the entire house as we were flying on Southwest Airlines and I made complete use of two free checked bags deal. Flying with her was no problem at all, she slept for some time, smiled a lot at our antics and the passengers sitting behind us; had her bottle and some food, all in all was a great flier. We had a stopover and had to change flights, and honestly I was tired by the time we reached Florida, but she was a trooper.

We had reservations in Port Orleans – Riverside, one of the Disney Resorts, which was a first for all of us. The advantage of staying in a resort is you get picked up at the airport by their bus, so you don’t need to rent a car, save some dough and take a nap that is if your 6-month old lets you. But the disadvantage is you just can’t leave when you want to, like we ended up waiting at the airport for the bus to accommodate all the passengers. Its’ some give and take!

On reaching the resort, we checked in, had dinner at the cafeteria, and walked to our rooms. The rooms were pretty decent, honestly not the best rooms that I have stayed in, but the facilities made up for it. There were tons of walking paths, so many flowing streams and bridges; bicycles fitted with infant and/ or toddler carriers to rent to ride around the property. Another advantage of Port Orleans Resort was the access to Riverboats or River taxis that took us directly to Disney downtown.

The next day we woke up pretty early, had some breakfast at the cafeteria and then headed to our first adventure – The Animal Kingdom. We took the bus from the resort; it was fully packed but dropped us at the park within no time. Our first stop was Mickey and Minnie character visits. Nonu was so happy to see them; he ran towards them and hugged them while Nivi was totally surprised. She kept touching their face and nose; she was very fascinated by them. Made for some fantastic photo opportunities!

Totally enjoyed “It’s a Bug’s Life show, never had thought about how difficult it would be to be a bug. The Kilimanjaro Safari was a big hit, such a picturesque setting with the acacia trees, tall grasses, huge boulders  and between them you spot different animals – from antelopes to zebras to giraffes and wildebeests, we were even lucky enough to spot some elephants. 

The Festival of Lion King was a beautiful show, I was so enthralled by their acts, but had to miss a part of it because Nivi was fretting and I had forgotten my nursing cover in our stroller so had to get out. And what I can say about the Mombasa market place, though I didn’t buy anything, the details and the dramatic set up were a treat for my eyes.

In the Asia section of the park –we did the Maharaja Jungle Trek – that led to many questions from Nonu on the Bengal tigers and the huge vessels and the dramatic ruins as props. Nonu and my hubby went on Everest ride and apparently it was great fun. Nonu was very scared but he still couldn’t stop talking about the “Yeti” and the caves and how he wanted to get out of the ride and be there at the same time. Later on we had some yummy samosas and watched the peacocks, geese and some other birds that were just being friendly. Nonu had a ball running behind them, trying to catch them. Another fun thing was the Bollywood dancing on the streets of Asia; it was pretty exciting to see people dancing to Hindi tunes. We then spent some time at Dinoland and finally decided to get out of the park.

Our day wasn’t done yet, we decided to go to Downtown Disney – another perk of staying in the resort was access to all these buses from the Park that would take us to any Disney resorts or locations. Downtown Disney was good fun, like every visitor  we visited the Disney store and then the Lego Store. We wanted Nonu to get something other than Lego, so we took him to multiple stores like Star Wars, Captain America, and funnily every store we went to he just gravitated towards their Lego collection. So, finally we decided, no use asking him to get something else, Legos it is. We got him two Lego sets and he was on cloud nine. We then caught the Disney River Boat and headed back to our resort. It was such a long but an amazing day. My Fitbit hit crazy milestones for the day, and Nonu didn’t even complain that his legs were hurting till the time we reached the resort, and then he finally caved in, asking me to pick him up. That made me mush. We really had a magical time and couldn’t wait for our next day visit to the much awaited “Magical Kingdom”

Day 2

Like yesterday, we took the bus from the resort and arrived at Magic Kingdom within no time. The park was already bustling but that was kind of expected. The first thing that you see as you enter the park is the beautiful castle, a perfect backdrop for a Kodak moment. This time Nivi was too young, but probably the next time we visit we might have to spend some time in the princess boutique, try all those dresses, probably get her hair and makeup done and take some pictures with the princesses. There were so many little girls walking around in their princess outfits, couldn’t stop going gaga over them. Well this time, it was all about Nonu and the rides and shows that he could enjoy.

I loved the “It’s a small world ride”, it was whimsical to watch dolls from the different parts of the world and see them singing, was tickled to find an Indian snake charmer boy in the mix too. Nonu has this “President”fever going on, he always want to know more about them, keeps asking tonsof questions, lso the Hall of Presidents was a big hit. From Buzz’s Lightyear, Carpets of Aladdin to Pirates of the Caribbean, to the Enchanted Tiki Room, Monster Inc Show, Mickey’s Philirmagic show, we got to enjoy all of those. We also did few rides in the Tomorrowland and Frontierland sections of the park. Thinking back I am amazed at the number of rides and shows we were able to squeeze in with a kindergartener and an infant and the varying schedules. When talking to friends, I realized that we were lucky that it was February, so the park wasn’t overcrowded as it usually is most times of the year. The hubby and I would alternate for any rides that didn’t allow infants, so both of us got to enjoy some rides and wait for some. Also, we didn’t attempt any rides that Nonu couldn’t ride, none of us were keen on riding solo.

We loved the parades – got to watch two of them, one in the day and the other at night. The night one was spectacular with the lights and the shining stars and I guess fewer people so we got prime spots to watch, and wave, sway and just enjoy the grandeur. We kind of missed the fireworks because as it started we were about to board the Jungle Cruise and by the time we got out, we just watched the final burst of light. We were so ravenous then that I was more intent on eating dinner and feeding the kids. There is so much to do in the park that you always end up missing something and I guess that’s one way to ensure people keep coming back. I have seen the fireworks during my earlier visit so I know it is pretty awesome.

The park was open till midnight that day, a perk of staying in the resort, and we were there till they started closing the rides and I am not sure how Nonu didn’t drop dead of exhaustion. Atleast Nivi got to sleep in the stroller but this boy was up and raring to go all throughout the day. It was such memorable day, month’s later Nonu keeps talking about the parks and how he can’t wait to go back again.

Day 3

Our day 3 plan was to visit one of the Universal Parks. I have been to the Islands of Adventure Park before, and thought the rides were catered towards older kids. Nonu loves Shrek, Minions and Transformers, so off we went to Universal Studios. Our first stop was the Terminator 3D show, I liked how they built the story, all the actors running around making it feel so real, and the entire 3 D effect, Nonu got a little nervous but it was good fun. The Animal Actors show was fantastic, even Nivi was enthralled. I spent some time walking around the Curious George playground, it was so colorful and pretty, I will admit, albeit I am not a huge Curious Goerge fan, I actually loved looking at the giant storybooks while Nonu and the hubby went on the ET ride. Nonu and me then went on the Woody Woodpecker ride, he loved it so much, that he wanted to go again. Fortunately the wait time was less than 10 minutes, so he went again on the ride with his dad while I enjoyed some ice cream with Nivi.

We got to see the parade, got the first row seats here, the parade was ok. It was not as grand as the Disney one, but still fun. The Shrek show was hilarious; we were laughing our hearts out by the time we walked out of the 4-D theater. We walked through Krustyland, didn’t get to go on the Simpson’s ride as it had a long wait. Hubby went for the Men In Black ride, whereas I waited with the kids, the wait time for the single rider was less than ten minutes. I loved taking in the views, walking along the Beverly’s Rodeo Drive, admiring the London architectural site, from the King’s Cross stations to the different structures, the buses, and the London waterfront to name a few. As the park closed, the final show is the Universal Cinematic Spectacular, showing snippets of the most iconic Universal films against a beautiful fountain, lively fireworks and soothing music in the background; a fitting tribute to 100 years of movie making. It was a wonderful day, we were sad that we were leaving back to Boston the next day but glad that we got to spend so many beautiful moments together.

The next day our flight was in the evening, so we got to spend couple of hours just walking around the resort, there were so many trails and pathways, there was a giant pool, but we didn’t go, probably for next time. The flight back was uneventful; we reached home late at night, the kids were totally tired and asleep but all of us were happy and content and already making plans to visit Disney next year. !!!

Memories from past

I have been thinking the past few days, how much can anyone remember from the time they are young – like really young – say in elementary school? I am trying to remember particulars of a routine day, and for so many of those instances I draw a blank – like I know I went to elementary school in the morning and then I was back home by  noon and then what? What did I do? I know one day a week I had a dance class but then the rest of the days, what did I do?

I remember my mom celebrating my birthdays in a grand manner; I remember for one of my birthdays, I wanted to wear a white flowing dress with a veil (bride’s gown). Living in India and that too a tiny suburb of Mumbai, finding such an outfit for a young girl would have been so difficult. I remember us going to multiple shops and finally finding one. I don’t remember what age did I turn for that celebration but I can still remember how I looked, though I don’t have any snaps here with me of that occasion. But funnily other than this particular birthday, I can’t remember what I wore for my other birthday celebrations.

Another thing I vividly remember when I was around seven years old, it was my uncles’ wedding and I wore “pattu pavadai” for the wedding and 8 fingers rings one adorning each of my finger. For another cousin’s wedding when I was around the same age – I remember wearing a red stitched saree, with tons of flower garlands in my hair. But I don’t remember any days before or after these occasions. Some of the occasions just are stamped into your brain, and so many of them just float away and try as you may you can’t remember.

I was 8 years old when my sister was born, and at school the teacher asked my class mates what was so special about that particular day and a boy loudly stated that my friend’s sister was born. That was special for me, but the teacher had asked that question as that particular date format (dd-mm-yy) was sequential (an increasing sequence). I can’t remember what I learnt that day or any other conversations that happened at school, except for this specific one. I can picture my class room, the teacher, this boy, me in my mind.

Have you seen the Disney Pixar movie “Inside Out”? I loved the concept how one’s experiences turn into memories and how every night they are sent into long-term memory whereas the happy ones or probably the ones that triggered a different response than the routine events are stored in a place in your mind that you could always refer to. This resonated so much with me, I guess that’s the reason some of memories from my younger times are so far out of reach, and some I can remember after years! Why do you think some moments stand out while most just vanish from our minds to be forever forgotten!!

How can it be 9 months already?

It’s hard to believe that my baby girl, my little Nivi is already 9 months old. She has now spent as many days outside my tummy as much as inside. I had hoped that by the time she turned 9 months, I will have lost my baby pooch, but well that is a story for another day.

Also, I joined the workforce the day she turned 9 months, another major milestone for us as a family. I was supposed to join work in mid-April but somehow that project and the job never materialized. She had already started going to daycare for a few days in a week to prepare her and I guess me for the transition from being home to going to daycare to be cared by someone other than me. She did so well that it totally surprised me. From the time she was few months old, I have noticed that she loves company and is not scared of strangers, smiles at everyone and anyone and is very happy when she is around other kids and adults. Even at home, when Nonu plays with her, I get worked up because many a times he forgets that she is a teeny tiny baby and he needs to be gentle with her and not pull her leg or her hands or touch her head as he would do with kids his age. However, she is hardly bothered by this and enjoys his company. When he comes home from school she gets so excited to see him, I guess she knows somehow in her mind, that this is my brother and he is come home now and I can play with him.

The first day I left her at daycare; I came out the facility and cried my heart out while she did pretty well. She didn’t cry when I left her with the teachers, all the toys and the babies probably intrigued her. She ate her lunch, took a nap and fed from her bottle; all in all she did so well. The first time I left Nonu he hardly ate anything and was very unhappy for the two hours or so he stayed there on the first day. So, I was expecting a similar response but was so glad that she enjoyed her day there. The next day was the same, and so on. Nowadays she cries when she sees me when I go to pick her up in the evening. Probably complaining why it took so long for you to come back but overall the teachers always tell me that she had a good day. That makes me so glad, and happy, that she is becoming her own person, trying to adapt to a new environment, new people and new challenges.

Did I mention that she has two tiny teeth now on her lower jaw? The pearly whites makes her look so naughty when she smiles and babbles, which she does all the time. I was hoping her first word would be “Mama” but it is “Bye – Bye”- and she waves every time she says that. Isn’t it funny that even such a mundane thing brings tears of joy to my eyes while my heart swells in pride! She can also clap her hands and loves to wiggle when she hears a song that she likes. And boy can she roll! She hasn’t started crawling yet but that hasn’t stopped her from reaching towards a toy, laptop cords, shoes or any other shiny or not so shiny object that catches her fancy. She loves to experiment with food, and wants to eat what we are eating, so unlike her brother. Hopefully he is a better eater than him and he learns from her. Well this mama can hope!