Weather Update – 3

This place has made me crazy about weather and watching it change. I have already written 2 posts on this and the last one was this:  https://wordpress.com/post/lifeslittletwists.wordpress.com/3720

I see the yellow flowers all blossomed near numerous ponds around.  For the past couple of weeks we have been having major thunderstorms lasting days and rivers and ponds overflowing. On sunny days it does not get dark until nearly 9pm but when there are thunderstorms, it gets so dark by 4pm that we need to switch on lights inside the house like how we do in peak winter.

A couple of pictures to keep this place in memories:

 

 

 

 

Here are a

 

https://wordpress.com/post/lifeslittletwists.wordpress.com/3720

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Weather update – continued

Hello,hello! Here is a new week. I have a weekend post to do, but I will come back to it later during the day. But what makes me happy when I wake up in the morning, are the pink sky and the blooming trees and the fresh green grass. It seems to be an instant mood uplifter, I somehow feel that I accomplish more during a nice bright day than a gloomy, cloudy one! Is it just me, or does it happen to you too?

I wrote a post for the Jan blogathon on the weather and how I watch that one road:

https://lifeslittletwists.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/day-26-weather-update/

and this is how it looks now:

20170417_142614

Here is another view from the room: (yeah, ignore the edges) 20170420_102402

 

 

Becoming a soccer mom

Hello there again! I know its been 3 months since I came anywhere near this blog, but what can I say? I have just been lazy or busy devouring books from the library. Have you read “The Girl on the Train” or the “Book Thief” or “Me before you?” – go read them. I enjoyed them all.

But that is not the reason for this post. I thought I have to document these happenings somewhere because I am slowly becoming what they call here “a soccer mom” – in my understanding is a mom who drives her kids around for all their various activities and kind of dedicates her life to them?

a. Last week on Wednesday, Sam had a school field trip to watch a live show of ‘Madagascar’ at a theatre near by and we got the chaparone slip home the week before. I kept thinking if I should take a half day off and do it (I chaparoned last year in NJ when we went to the Crayola factory – and I see that I have not documented here! tsk, tsk)  or not. Sam came home on thursday and said “Amma, tomorrow last day – did you give that pink slip saying that you will come?” There, that did it. I sent the slip with a warning to Sam saying that its last minute and its going to be a lucky draw so I might not be selected and he shouldn’t be disappointed. In less than an hour of school opening on friday, I get an email from his class teacher saying that my name was drawn out of the hat! So, we went, sonny boy and me – all happy happy, sitting next to each other in the bus and at the theatre and it was a half day well spent.

b. Hubby has been travelling for the past 3 weeks and had to be at work on saturday too. So, all the driving Sam to classes  has fallen on me. I managed the 1 mile drive to ice-skating and the 1.5mile drive to the swimming pool on saturday and sunday and still went along with a friend for the evening swim lessons. However, this past saturday, Sam had soccer from 10am to 11am and ice-skating from 11.05am and the soccer field was a good 4-5miles away. I panicked. I told hubby to ditch soccer and ice-skating I can manage. Huh! Which husband listens to his wife? 😦 Nothing doing, he said. So, I packed ice skaing clothes, water,coat etc; got Sam ready and off we went driving all the way to the soccer match. I left home 10mins early, just so that I don’t panic while driving. Once his soccer match was done by 10.50, I told him, he needs to strap himself and then change clothes in the car while I drove. Surprise, surprise! the boy who is always lost day dreaming managed to get his cleats,long tight socks, shin guards and change from soccer shorts to fleece pants and regular socks and managed to drink the juice – all in the 10mins it took me to drive from the soccer field to the ice-skating class!

I was thrilled, I felt so happy and confident that I wanted to dash off this post on saturday, but I felt silly too. So many moms do this on a regular basis when the husbands travel. So, I slept over it, mulled over it, but it still feels like a personal achievement for both Sam and me! Now, I can say I can drive the kid to all his classes without sounding fake! yaay! I can drive! *wait wait-I am still not going to drive to walmart though 😛 *

 

Day 25 – Cleaning before a trip

OK here goes this post on cleaning not just before a trip but also before we head out anywhere. A constant topic of irritation and many many arguments in our household.

According to the husband, I have a cleaning OCD. Before we head out for an evening, when I know we will be late coming home and I will not have the mood or energy to clean then, I spend sometime making sure the house is in order.

I have a confession to make. I hate washing vessels. It is the most tedious, most irritating task. Even more so, when I wake up in the morning and see last evening’s dishes in the sink and I have to wash them first thing in the morning. So, if we are going out in the evening, I wash everything, clean the kitchen counters and kind of make it ready for next morning. Be it weekend or weekday. Many a times this has caused arguments between hubby and me for this reason – that I will be cleaning 30mins before we need to leave and hubby will be watching TV. If I ask him to get ready, he says “you are doing something else and will take longer to get ready, so I will get ready once you are ready” which means we never start on time and are always atleast 15mins late. That gets me too…going late anywhere (ok, that is perhaps for another post).

I HAVE to narrate this incident here. One day, last year, 2 families made plans to watch a night show movie on a Tuesday night. Post dinner, the family of 4 came home to have coffee and then start for the 9:30pm show. So made coffee for all and I just could not leave the cups there – I washed them all while they waited. How long does it take to wash 4cups? Well, hubby was irritated that we made them wait and we argued on the way to the theater. Movie done, we returned and slept at 1am. At 3:30-3:40am there is loud banging on the door, there are police and fire engines standing outside and we are asked to evacuate the house immediately. The warehouse next to the apartments had caught fire and was quickly spreading. We rushed out, called the friend again to pick us up as we were not allowed to take out the car either. It took 4-5 days for the fire to be doused completely and the health authorities to deem the air fit enough for everyone to return. Imagine, if I had not washed those coffee cups that day at 9pm? euuwww! After that incident, hubby now reluctantly agrees that it is good to cleanup before we leave. It took a fire and evacuation for him to start seeing things my way now 😛

Like I said, before any trip, I clean up the house – sweep swab/vacuum/toilets cleaned,bath tubs cleaned, vessels washed, kitchen counter cleaned, fridge cleaned,perishables used up, milk that would last until we return stocked, water purifier cleaned and kept for drying, tables and TV cleaned, bed made, laundry done and trash discarded as we step out. The only laundry that is allowed is that day’s. I plan these activities and span them across 2 days so that I don’t get stressed. But everytime, hubby does! He starts, why are you cleaning the bath tubs now? We can come back and vacuum, we have to anyway do laundry as soon as we return,nobody is coming home, we are going out etc etc;

Here is the deal for me.Before I go on a vacation, I have the josh and I will be looking forward to the  vacation, so these tasks get done in a positive frame of mind. On returning I will be upset that the vacation is over and I will already be writing a new to-do list in my head for the following week. I do not want to carry forward tasks that I should have done already. I do not want to come home and scrub the sink, clean the stove or the toilets or make the bed. I want to come home and feel happy coming home and feeling that the house looks clean and neat – just like how I would’ve felt entering that hotel room. Does it sound silly?  These tasks feel like a burden if I have to do them once we return. I want to live in the euphoria of the vacation for at least 1 day before landing in reality.

Vacations are fun when planning and executing, but the returning really sucks. Doesn’t it?

 

 

Day 14- Sankranthi SubhashayagaLu

Wish you all a very Happy Sankranthi. May this festival of harvest bestow everyone with plenty of joy and happiness and good health that comes with good food 🙂

I have written earlier about Sankranthi being a festival of going out to give yeLLu to all neighbors and family – a very busy, fun day.

How has today turned out to be? My plan was to finish Sam’s ice skating and head out to temple and then the regular groceries -atleast we would go to the temple if not yeLLu Beeru. The plans were thwarted  by the dear hubby who said he had to work today. We still thought we could just postpone the plans to the evening, but you know how that goes…

Hubby left at 8:20am to work while I had an early bath so I could cook pongal and do a small naivedya atleast. Got Sam ready and got him to talk to both sets of grandparents while I cooked both sweet and khara pongal and we both had breakfast. The advantage of the hubby’s office being close [5mins drive from home] is that he came to pick us up and drop us for the Ice skating class. We had hoped that hubby’s work will get done by 12pm so we thought we could still head out to temple in time for lunch 😀 That’s the most important part of going to the temple right? Unfortunately, hubby said his work will not get done sooner than 2pm and since we (Sam and I) had nothing better to do, I asked him to drop him to the library. I had put a few books on hold for Sam that I had read on Sangi’s blog and wanted to pick them up. At 1:45 hubby calls and says his work will take longer but by then we were beginning to get hungry. So, poor hubby again picked us up from the library and dropped us home to go back to work. Frankly, the library and the ice skating all being within a 5mile radius, we could get away with such circus today.

Sam and I came home,finished lunch and while he watched TV, I obviously couldn’t wait any longer before I picked up one of the library books. Hubby finally came home by 3:30 and said once we eat let’s go. Post lunch, “Do we really have to drive 1hr to the temple?” OK, temple idea dropped, 15mins later “Can we finish groceries closer home rather than drive all the way to Patel”…hmmm… OK… another change of plans. OK…another 15mins later “I am feeling very sleepy, do we HAVE to go groceries today?” looks at me and says “OK OK,I will take a quick 30mins nap and then we will go at about 6pm”. It’s now 6:20pm, he just woke up, watching a movie and Sam is having a playdate while I am typing this…

Meantime, neighbor visited us and has invited us to her house for dinner. I told her that I have pongal, she just dismissed it “get that also”  she said. So there, my pongal day has been a complete contrast to what I had imagined… But, that’s ok… I think I have now grownup enough to let such change of plans not get to me (too much) Tomorrow is another day, and I am going to start writing my grocery list now so I can send the boys out tomorrow to shop while I get the house vacuumed.

So long then…see you all tomorrow… hope you all had a sweet pongal 🙂

YeLLu bella thindu oLLe maataaDi (Eat yeLLu bella and talk good words)

 

 

Day 11 -Community living

Our whole purpose of looking for a apartment community with more Indians was to feel comfortable. Our house in NJ, like I have said many times, had no immediate Indian neighbors.

Contrast it to the community we are here. Filled with 80% Indians, all here for 3-5yrs with kids of various ages. The reason being, this is a very good school district. While Sam had just 1-2 Indian kids in his class in NJ, here his class is filled with atleast 50% Indian kids. There is 1 school bus dedicated to the community and picks up nearly 70kids – 95% indian. There are 2 kids on the 3rd flr – 1 an year younger and another an year older than Sam and the kids spend the evenings with playdates for 2+ hrs in one of these houses. So, Sam is very happy. While I worried that he did not have friends in NJ, I worry that its getting tougher everyday to get him to sit for homework or dinner or even stick to a sleep time!

As for us, our building has 6, 3BHK houses – all Indian families. The ladies send the husband and kids to school and meet for potlucks and Thursdays are chanting days where they meet in someone’s house and chant Vishnu sahasranama and any other Devi stutis. Mom enjoyed it here during Navaraatri going from one house to the other those 9 days. There is one aunty here, who is most sought after. For helping with poojas to helping with new borns. The women help each other despite the small nitpicking that I seem to hear.  They have a ladies group on whatsapp, a potluck group etc etc; and helped me meet everyone here and got me involved in the DeepawaLi dance though I haven’t met these ladies after that.

As for the hubby, he got company to go play Badminton and I see some other cricket fans here and worry that come summer, its going to be tough getting hold of him during weekends!

Best of all, it doesn’t worry me if hubby has to travel. I know that there are people around I could ask for help if needed. I am all willing to return that favor as well.

 

Day 5-The work changes

Time to talk about my work now. Thankful for my job that allows me to work from home sitting in a different time zone than that of my clients and get the job done. how ever the bosses that be wanted me to do a week long trip in November to meet with everyone and I grabbed the opportunity to take a break from everything at home. With Mom around, I did not have a worry. Took the flight on Halloween and spent the week until Friday meeting the team, taking training, meeting friends for dinner in the evening without a worry.

The downside of working from home is that I need to log in to the calls at 7am which is the same time as waking up Sam and sending him to school. Its a mad rush with me on ear phones and laptop on the kitchen counter along with breakfast and dabbas. Most days hubby’s calls  get done by 7:30 and he helps but on days he needs to leave early, just the thought of those days are stressful. Also, all those new clothes I bought in joy have all gone back into the suitcase. I wonder now, when I will wear all those formal tops and skirts and feel good about going to work!

Once the 2 boys are off, I get my job done without any breaks and try to log off by the time the little fellow returns. Not having to go to work and no company to talk to, gets the job done faster than what it would be in an office. I can login again at 9pm once Sam goes to bed.Another positive right now is that I don’t need to get ready and head out in this cold anywhere and I continue to have the fear of driving. Also, I have the energy to head out in the evening if needed and I am thinking I should pursue some hobby, come spring.

I only hope the status quo continues on this front through the whole year!

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mothers I know here on blogsphere!

All these years it was never a big deal-this mother’s day. But this year, there has been a buildup to May 8th all week – thanks to the little boy’s school. Every activity class he has, he has been making Mother’s day gifts for me 😀

All day Friday, at work too, everyone was talking about what they want to do for Mother’s day and I was joking that the husband has already told me that I will get something from the little fellow and so, he doesn’t have to put in any effort. On Friday, when he came to pick me up from work, he said “Amma, I have a surprise for you, but its a surprise OK? I don’t want you to see it. I will give it to you on Sunday-Mother’s day.” Not wanting to disappoint him and wanting to wait for the surprise myself, I restrained myself (with a lot of difficulty) not to open his bag and see what he has got.

Friday evening, as usual, the hubby went out to his gym post dinner. Or so, I thought. An hour later, he called me and asked me to keep the little fellow awake for sometime. Then, I got my gift! A new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Wow! I can be cynical and say that a new phone was on the cards for sometime now. My 4 yr old phone was slowly giving up life and I knew I had to buy a new one, I was thinking of buying it for my birthday, if I could push until then. So this was a really pleasant surprise! I am super happy that I got this as a surprise for Mother’s day! Along with this the hubby thought I need to get some exercise in my day and bought a fit-bit and a wireless charger and an expensive cover for the phone – all of which cost nearly a 100$ and I promptly returned them. Of all the things, I really didn’t want a fit-bit. I’m happy being my lazy self! 😛

Then, yesterday, first thing in the morning, the little fellow woke me up,wished me, gave me his gifts – a sweet card and a book that says “A book about Mom” 😀 We went out for lunch and I had a new haircut, was a day well spent. The weather Gods too smiled and it was nice and bright and sunny…

This is a Mother’s day that I want to keep for posterity here. So what did you all do?

PS: See that pencil drawing above “I love when my Mom takes me…” ? That is supposed to be him and me 😀

Letter to Chutku

Inspired by RM I thought I should write some of my thoughts to Chutku too. But ofcourse, I always feel, Im not clear of what I want and how I want things to be, myself, so am I even eligible to advise him? Here are just a few things
that I would want him to know though:

Chutku, here are a few of my thoughts that I want you to know, that as your mother, these are a few things that I would want you to learn.

Study – Lets start with Education, because now at 5 years of age, you know what going to school means. Learn all they teach you there and also dont stop questioning. Questioning is what helps you find those answers. If you think, this is how something should be, you can never think of an alternative to it! Like how you park your car at the edge of your 3 story
lego home and dont care about how it reaches there-thats your imagination and I never want that curbed. Education is important, but let that not hamper your growth. You need the education that school gives you to grow up and be able to compete with any crowd.

Play – Play hard and play by the rules-It will teach you discipline. Learn every game possible. Its ok if you are not the best or if you loose. It will teach you that you cant win everytime, it will teach you how to handle the loss. It will also teach you to appreciate a fine game when you see one and help you learn better-if you want to.Whatever you play-play because you enjoy it, play because it makes you smile and laugh-play because it will get you involved in a group.

Music – If you dont want to learn music, thats totally fine with me. But, I would want you to listen and appreciate, atleast enough to be a bathroom singer….There is something about expressing your state of mind through a song…just humming your favourite song to yourself is enough to make you smile, its a mood lifter-for that, I want you to open your mind to music. Any music is fine, you can enjoy the drums, the background music, the piano or violin or flute or even the lyrics of a song-whichever appeals to you-will you share it with me too? 🙂

Money-Ofcourse, now you are beginning to understand that everything needs money. Yes-it does. So, earn your own money-through the right means, by your own hardwork-nothing gives you more satisfaction of getting that salary at the end of the month when you feel you deserve it! And nothing gives you more satisfaction than buying something essential with that money too.
But-understand that money comes and money goes-dont hanker for it- as long as you have enough to get you all that you NEED, its enough. It need not get you all that you WANT – save for your wants and then spend it when you have saved enough.In the meantime if there is a NEED – spend it and start saving for that WANT again-no big deal…It will make you evaluate and respect  that Want and keep you grounded.

Friendship – Make friends, loads of them. As your mother though, I hope they are good company – so judge wisely whom you want to make friends with. Like the saying goes “Tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are”. Be that 2am friend to somebody. Thats what friends are for. Let go of small arguements when you value that friendship. But dont let them walk over you either-let go, if you have to. Its ok not to be in touch everyday, but have friends that you can call at anytime and start from where you last left-off – thats friendship. Make those 2am friends for yourself-but think twice before you call them at that time-call them when its most important to you,so they know it must be important to you to be calling them at that time – dont take them for granted.

Fights and arguments – are a part of every relationship. No two people can have the same thoughts and ideas. No two people can think the same thing always. So its ok to fight and argue. But try to never start a fight if you can avoid it. Think if its your fault and apologise if required. An apology can instantly resolve a lot of differences. But dont say sorry if you dont mean it. And stand up for yourself in any argument when you know you are right.

Love and Marriage -Love like crazy, like its blind, like there cannot be another. Express it-if you dont say it-they wont know it.Dont just say-act on it too-Actions speak a lot more than words. Not just when you are wooing, through out your life.Express it in different ways-in ways that matter. Give your trust and respect. Like friends, never take your partner for granted.
But, expect the same. Its a relationship of 50-50 partnership. Dont depend on anyone for your own happiness-have your own space too. Dont give so much that you cant take it back if things go wrong. And IF they go wrong, dont hesitate to end it either.

Job – Remember I told you, you need money? So you need a job.Its a long long way to go, but still, we cant take care of you all your life. You need to make a living on your own. Do something,anything as long as its not negative and antisocial! Work for your living. Enjoy what you do and take pride in it. Pride in a job well done, pride when you get rewarded too.
But dont let that get to your Ego that it stops you from growing and makes you an obnoxious person for others to work with – always be humble and learn from the others-there will be something thats better in someone else. As simple as a shortcut in an excel sheet or as complex as time-management.

Religion – I have kept this for the last sweetheart, because for me its the last thing that matters and the toughtest thing to explain. Dont let anyone fool you that religion means God. Its not. God is a belief, a faith, a hope that keeps you going in tough times – someone you imagine is your own fairy that you can fight with and demand and expect to make things right for you. Religion is made by the people-so they can divide and rule.Dont fall for that at all. Again-religion and culture are 2 different things-dont follow a custom if you dont believe it it. Go to church or a mosque or a temple-anyplace that gives you a feeling of peace. A feeling that things will work out at the end. Celebrate a festival because it gives you joy in sharing, giving and meeting family and friends. Dont do it because our ‘religion’
demands it. Dont be forced to read any scriptures or perform any rites if you dont think it matters to you-all those rites and scriptures are for keeping the mind at peace-they will not serve the purpose if it agitates you further!

I know that most of these has a ‘but’ part too…There is just no one way for things Baby. When I think of what I should tell you-I question myself if I believe in it or not, if I think it is right or not-these are just the surface of such thoughts – answers to very basic questions-they cannot explain everything or give you 100% answers sweetheart.  Infact, You teach me something new everyday Chinna-keep doing it!

Distance makes the Heart grow Fonder?

Its now been a month since the hubby has left for the far shores and I have been quite comfortably managing myself and Chutku. The stress of his travels and work was pretty high and I have to admit there were a lot of arguements in the process. The Rajasthan trip was a good break with company that ensured that we didnt have the time for any arguments!

But there are times when suddenly, I miss him – Just a fleeting thought before I get back to doing whatever it is that Im doing. Even though I dont want to admit it to myself or him that this happens! After reading LFs hugs challenge -I thought how sweet is that! I really appreciate the couples who make time out to nurture and cherish their relationship. Yes, we are all professionals, parents, children, friends and have a million other things to do, and in the due course, promptly ignore, take for granted the one person who we trust and expect to be there shoulder to shoulder in everything! Or rather dont realise when they are around? I thought WTH, if not now, then when else – he is anyway not here and if he reads it too, I hope he would also have a happy moment and a happy day 🙂

The day my friends and I took a short break and went shopping – though I liked a couple of things, I just couldnt buy anything – I thought, wish he were here, he would’ve told me if its worth spending the 3K on those boots. Or even told me to indulge and I would’ve been guilt free spending so much…

The day I took Chutku alone to the indoor play gym near the house-Wish here were here. We couldve comfortably let the little fellow play and we could’ve had a cup of good coffee in peace like the other couples here – I had told him, when he was here about it, but sadly we never got that chance..

Chutku’s birthday, well, nothing more to say there…Who else could be more important?

The day I went to the supermarket and was looking for the right veggies-when he would say”You pick up the greens and I will choose the tomatoes and onions” knowing I dont like doing that choosing.

“Do you want …. or should we pick up that particular juice?” “you never buy that pumpkin or sweet potato” . “Lets try this for Chutku”…”Lets start green tea from tomorrow”…I missed all these….

I know I’ve cribbed enough about us working in the same office and same floor, but I now miss looking up and seeing his head from across all those cubicles and just knowing that he is there…I dont like to see some other nearly bald head sitting there anymore 😦

Someone to take Chutku to midnight bathroom breaks, or silently giggle at his midnight speeches.

Someone to just look at and roll eyes when we are out in not very good company and laugh about it later. Not having him around in any gatherings adding his own version of really silly PJs. Not having him for festivities – I didnt even celebrate Pongal because it just
felt so boring…

The 2hr bus journey home, wish we could go home together!

And on the other side, when he tells me that he bought a crockery set and hopes I like them, he thought about what those pans would be useful for-thinking about me cooking, how he went to the Indian store and wished I were there so I would know what to pick up, or how he went to CostCo and thought if I were there I would have asked a million questions before buying the stuff…Or just that he suddenly messages “Come here soon, very lonely and boring”… I know he is missing me in those fleeting moments too and it makes me happy…

But but, he calls and we argue – about so many things, trivial things, vital things or
sometimes dont even spend a couple of minutes talking to each other before the bus horn cuts the signal (yes!) or Chutku wants to speak or he gets some other call, or he is rushing off to work…

I think this is enough for 10 years worth of marriage – Isnt it? Its not like we cant live without each other, but we would rather be together just out of habit and feel a little lost without the other? Such fleeing moments are when all other hurts and differences are forgotten and a smile spreads knowing that we still mean something for one another…

So LF I might just take up your challenge – might persuade hubby too…But I would like to start from the month of June when I hope we will be together again and is also the month of our 10th anniversary 😀