Saturday, November 29, 2014

Long time no see

Quite literally.
This blog deserves to be woken up.
I've had quite a few changes in my life and that's what keeps me from writing. Not that the thoughts aren't there, the discipline to pen them down is not there.
I've had the best Thanksgiving vacation, I wish we had atleast one more of these breaks in the year. It's sad that we get just one of these.
We finally went to the Perot Museum. It's a really cool science Museum in Dallas and it's on 5 floors. We spent 3 hours there and could only cover 2 floors. We are naturally going to go back. What I learnt is that just like G and me, the kids also love everyting Dinosaurs. When we asked them which exhibit they wanted to see first - they both said Dinos. Ofcourse M wanted to see the solar system exhibit once she got a glimpse of it. Which we both love too- so it's really nice to see the kids also liking the things both of us like. They usually tell us a story how they have a house on Jupiter and Saturn. But when they were in the museum their stories became more alive. Such a fun experience.

We also found a gem of a place. A friend had told me about a Movie theater in Southlake which has a playcare attached. We finally went there to see Interstellar. The kids liked the place and didn't mind the idea of going back to the playcare. It is unbelievably affordable. I hope it doesn't go out of business for that reason. Very clean, enough things to do for the kids - what more can one ask.
Interstallar - graphically very cool, story line, a bit tedious to follow in the end. The last half hour was just words, I didn't follow much. Much like inception. Still a must see.

Lots of outside time this holiday. One thing I have yet to do is pack the leaves that are in our front porch. Too many :(

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. There is so much to be thankful for this year. Most of all health, happiness and my beautiful Family and their support. Love them bunches.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The vacation of my life

I have been away for a while, and quite literally also I was taking a work sabbatical for two months.
The kids and I went to stay with my parents in Nigeria for about 7 weeks. It was the best time ever for them and me.

The kids and I were really excited about our trip to Nigeria, the kids have been learning about continents in school, so they were excited to be going to a new continent. I learnt on this flight that M suffers from motion sickness just like me. Turbulence is not her friend, so when we landed in Frankfurt to continue on our second plane to Lagos, I promptly gave her a little dose of the med I myself was taking. We landed exhausted but excited in Nigeria. My parents were at the airport beaming happily. M's reaction on seeing the airport was rather comical. She said "THIS is Africa?" And the "THIS" was full of mirth. In her mind she had been imaging tropical beaches, white sands but no matter how much I told her we wouldn't be living on the beach, only occasionly visiting it, she thought this was a minor detail choosing to ignore it. So here we were in a hot and humid airport, with air conditioning not at par with an American kid's expectations.

I just want to tell you how super sweet my parents are, they had gotten snacks for us for the ride home, which was just a 30-45 min drive, but it felt so nice and loved that a lump in the throat had formed from there itself. Trust parents / grand parents to only think of such things.

Our stay in Lagos was full of food, relaxing, reading books, swimming, skating, watching TV, learning to ride bicycles. We had a simple routine, eat - have fun - eat - nap - more fun - eat - sleep.
There were days I went without checking my email and not wondering what the world was up to. I would get my information from all the NDTV my Dad would watch and I would be content with that knowledge. I wouldn't check facebook, twitter or whatsapp and my world didn't come crashing down. Yes that was said tongue in cheek. I didn't have a phone on me and this was most liberating. But the reasons are not valid now that I am back, because the kids are not with me constantly, I am driving, and G is in the same time zone and thus I need to be reachable.

I got to watch Cricket matches with my Dad, it's my favorite thing to do with him. He gets so emotionally vested in the game, he'll do his predictions, on overs, on scores and ofcourse the winner. It's exciting watching a match with him. I am really glad I got to do that with him.

The kids really enjoyed their time at Nani - Nana's house. After a really long time, they didn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn or go to bed as soon as the clock struck 8. I let them watch as much TV as they wanted, Nani fed them all kinds of foods, taught them shlokas and Nana tried to teach them skating. My kids have never been pampered as much as they were. They got a massage everyday, were taken to swim, cycle ride and skate. They ate what they liked and when they liked. The whole community would bring them chocolates and toys. The kids from the near by apartments would come over after school. Such a joy to experience this.

But all good things must come to an end and so did ours. We packed our bags and with a sad heart left Nani-Nana's home.

We met up G in Rome and had an amazing time there. We saw all of Rome and Pisa and Florence. G and I are history buffs so for us it was a treat. We loved the Colosseum and the Panteon. The Roman Forum was really special too. But for me personally Colosseum was the highlight. As a kid I have been in awe of that place and it lived up to it's hype. Such a colossal structure. Full of interesting facts. The trinity fountain, the Diocletian baths, the four rivers fountain. Vatican is amazing. Sistine Chapel left our jaws hanging. How Michelangelo managed to create those frescoes is really something to wonder when you're in there. St Peter's Basilica has Michelangelo's Pieta and to me it's the most beautiful sculpture ever. It felt like Mary and Jesus were really alive in that sculpture.    And so much more that I cannot recall right now. We then headed to Pisa - saw the Leaning tower. It's really pretty too. We followed Rick Steve's guide book, and it's so wonderfully laid out. We did all the walks he mentions and it's the best way to see the cities. We then headed to Florence. Florence is the most amazing city. I am so torn between Rome and Florence. Piazza della Signoria in Florence has the best sculpture I have ever seen. I think we spent a good two hours there admiring all the sculptures including a copy of David. We then went to the Academia to see David. I really don't get the hype, but well I am not the target audience for this. Dumo is the prettiest Cathedral in all of Italy. It's the grandest, most colorful and striking.

After being two months away from home, it was nice to be back, but we missed being with my parents alot. It was much a magical time. So much fun was had.

I am really glad I did this. I hope I can do this again when the kids' have summer breaks, but it will probably not be easy.

Friday, June 06, 2014

So much has happened

Where do I even begin.
I've traveled to two continents - Africa and Europe.
And Changed jobs.

The way I have worked for 10 years has now changed. Little did I know when I accepted the offer at the new company that I would end up like this. Don't get me wrong, it's all nice. Except when it's not. I don't have access to any google service other than search at work. I cannot access email or hangouts or blogger. I can go to some sites, but none of the fun ones like Facebook or Twitter. After complaining about it the first week, I stopped complaining because I don't have the time for them at work. I feel like I am constantly on calls. I have a lull in the day around 10-1, but other than that, I am constantly on the phone.

Here's the biggest change for me - LUNCH. I used to like my buddies at work in both my previous jobs. We would go out for lunch and it would be the time to destress. Here, I am yet to find the rhythm. I am surrounded by more than a 100 people, yet on a day like today, when I really wanted to go out for a bit, there was no one to go out with. I have to find 'friends'.

Things that one takes for granted - snacks, drinks, facial tissue in a small office are not in a big office.

Almost all of my team is in Ohio, except for this one guy. He's a cool guy. I think he's also glad that I am here :)

All in all - it's been ok so far. Except for the 6:30 am calls and then this one mammoth call coming up in a couple of weeks - it'll start at 11pm. Yeah, that's right :)

Alright, I gotta go. If there is someone still reading this blog - I love you.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Happy 4th Birthday Babies

Dear Manya and Neev.

I wanted to write a letter to  you so that when  you are older and wiser and can read more, you can read this and know how much I love you both. How much I think about you and cannot live without you.
I just dropped you off at school and I love that 99% of the times you guys love to go to school, it makes me feel good that you are happy even when you are away from home and 100% happy when we pick you up from school, happy to be back with Mummy Papa. You are generally happy kids, you like each other's company more than anything in this world. You love to play together, eat together, sing together and fight with each other the most.
Manya you are right now totally amazing me with your reading skills. You can read very well, you are really impressive. You are very curious about words and want to try and spell alot. We were out shopping the other day and you wanted a barbie doll and I didn't want to get it because well we have 4 already, and I told you this much and you said 'Yes, I don't think we want more'. Same day, you wanted another toy which was a kiddie toy and you agreed with me, I was happy that you could understand reasoning. You are not afraid of roller coasters or trying new things, you may get stuck later, but it doesn't deter you and this I love about you, because I am not like that. Now in life atleast.

Neevie, where do I start with you. Sometimes I want to have another one of you, because I can't get enough of your naughtiness and sometimes I want you to be with Daddy so I can get some time away from your naughtiness. You are super sensitive to smells. You wake up and know what you are getting for lunch and you come and tell me what you think about that particular lunch. Cannot say I like this all the time. Your puzzle skills are very impressive and I love it when both you and Manya do puzzles together, helping each other. I often hear: 'Let me show it to you'. You are becoming a fast runner and also love any ball game.

You are both into construction trucks right now and we have to slow down on roads where there are trucks so you can pin point trucks and get excited. Your enthusiasm for trucks is infectious. When I drive alone, I spot them and think how you guys would exclaim on seeing them.

You are now finding friends of your own. I notice you don't necessarily play with the same kids in school. I like this. Both of you like kids who are more playful like yourselves.

You are both slowly coming out of your shells, but Neevie you are very shy these days. I am sure in time, this will change.

You guys had a blast at your party today, we surprised you with "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" theme. That is the show you are currently obsessed with. Obsessed is not being used lightly ;)

I love you both so much. Your Papa and I are always talking about you two once you are in bed. Wish you both so much love and happiness for ever and ever. Be good always.

Lots of love

Monday, November 04, 2013

I was sick and I stayed home and worked

I am so sick and tired of people who claim to come to work 'even when I am sick'. Apparently you will look weak in the eyes of the employer if you take a sick day. What does that mean? If you are sick, you are sick. Do a favor to others around you and be home and don't come to work and spread the germs. That is how I feel and I would appreciate others to do the same. This nonsense about looking weak really irritated me. How is being sick, your fault? Why would your boss look at you and think you are weak if you have a cold?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Diwali on my mind

Excuse the poor quality. This is what I have been upto, trying to set the table for Diwali, making besan laddos.

Plus I made kalakand (milk cake) for the first time for Diwali. It came out really well. Am quite excited about the achievement. Next up is besan ladoo.

From the kids' mouth

We were all sitting in the car, on our way somewhere, G was driving, I was with him in the front and the kids in the back. We were in the left most lane and we wanted to move over to the right lane, so G slowed down to let the truck in the right lane pass. M says with wonder 'We're going backwards!' Because you know in comparison to the truck, it would seem like we were going backwards.


 We were staying in a hotel in San Antonio this past weekend. Supposedly M liked the suite too much. On our way back from San Antonio, she asked me ...
M: Where are we going?
Me: Home.
M: New home or old Home?
Me: Which is which?
M: New home is where we slept today.
Me: Oh ok, we're going back to old home.
M: I like new home more.
Me and G : :( :(


N likes new things, well who doesn't! But between him and M, N is definitely the more 'asking for things' kid. He likes mostly cars and trains and trucks and lately really badly wants a 'big kids chashma' (he means swimming goggles). So every few days without fail : 'Mummy, you go to store and buy me a big kids chashma'. If I am not wearing shoes or not dressed to go out 'Mummy you wear shoes and kapde (clothes) and go to store and get me big kids chashma'. When in a particularly benevolent mood he'll add 'for me and M'.


 So now that we know N likes new things, we were getting pretty tired of his 'requests' for these new and shiny things, G one day sat him down and had this conversation:
G: Do you know that we need money to buy new things from the store?
N: Yes
G: Where do  you think money comes from?
N: From papa's pocket.
G: N, money comes when papa-mummy work really hard.
N: ok.
G: Papa , Mummy go to office and make money.
N: ok.

This was on a sunday, G had to go to work and left a little later. N comes up to me and says:
'Papa has gone to office to make money?'


So the kids now understand that money is needed to get things from the store.
We recently cancelled our cable subscription because we don't watch as much TV. We couldn't explain this well enough to the kids, because they started thinking the TV is broken. So when G was going out one day to run some errands, N went up to him and gave him a quarter and said 'Take this and buy a new TV'.