Friday, August 29, 2008


The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Many many thanks to Dottie and Mammamia for giving me this award. I think of these awards usually as something that just spreads a feeling of cheer and good will - no matter what the different kinds of awards are. So in some sense, I take it lightly - neither get too excited nor too sad if I get/don't get an award that I see going around. I don't particularly feel affected. Although when it comes to passing on awards, I really feel like including a lot of people who I enjoy reading - no matter what the purpose of the award is. It could be a most frequent blogger award - but I would still feel like passing it on to every one I like, no matter how infrequent they are at posting, in the spirit of spreading happiness and joy! :)

In some sense, when I saw this award, I really felt like, "Who me?!". "Brilliant weblog"?! I couldn't believe it because I don't post often enough and assume only a few people read it - so I felt a tiny bit undeserving of such an award. Nevertheless, who can deny feeling good about any praise about something you do?! In particular in this case, it is not even the award that made me feel good but the warmth in the words that came with the award. And especially coming from who I think are awesome writers whose posts I enjoy thoroughly.

Mammamia, I started reading you only recently when I chanced upon your writing while reading your namesake's. I think you write really well and to think you have actually read some of my posts and enjoyed it and think me worthy of an award makes me feel good.

Dottie, I think I have been reading you since your very first post. Dottie, not to gush over with emotions over this - but what you wrote is something that made me feel really happy.

"There is something about noon's posts that is very, very honest. No pretenses here. Always look forward to reading her blog".

Those are the kind of words I would like on my tombstone! Because it is something I strive to be but find difficult at times. Difficult because I feel at a loss when I try to be "normal" and "unpretentious" but still get mistaken, or not appreciated or just taken for a ride. And difficult also because I know people who are fabulously smart yet completely down to earth and some people who are so sincere in what they do even if their work is not glamorous and are so untouched by the flashy world around them. I strive to be like them - I really feel at peace when I am around such people. Now, let me not sound like a victim of this cruel world with that first line! :) This is a happy Oscar speech. But point being made is that, those words struck a deep chord and you may not know it!

I pass this on to - well, I am passing it on in spirit back to you both as well. But aside from that, I pass it on to:

Neera: She writes from the heart. There is such simplicity and warmth in her writing. Her life is an open book - well to the extent a blog can be - she says things without any strings attached. As is. Her recent post about her neighbors is testament to that. Very willing to appreciate people for who they are.

Usha: I love reading her posts. Quite often I read her posts and think - that's such an every day topic but it is so interesting when someone writes about it and that too in such an interesting way. There is a RKN kind of home grown/simple feel to her writing. You relate to it instantly especially if you are an Indian. But even if you aren't, you still relate to it because of the universality of some things that all people go through.

Terri: She has a unique style of writing. Nothing bombastic about her writing. Simple words strung together so elegantly. Her writing is so witty and different. And yet you can see the compassionate person (well, canine let's say) behind the writing.

Krishashok: I tried to not mention people who have already been awarded. But I am making an exception on this one - just so people who know my blog also get to read his blog posts. I don't even expect him to know he has been awarded yet again since I have not even commented on his posts. I don't particularly feel bad when I don't comment for the power bloggers (in my book - they post frequently, are quite dedicated to blogging and have a ton of people reading and commenting on their blog posts). In any case, the purpose of this award is to also promote other blogs. And for this reason, I wanted to put it in this list. I read his blog posts the first time one night and I found myself laughing loudly in the dead silence of the night. He is a brilliant writer and his posts are so incredibly different from any I have read so far.

Deponti: Some one with a zest for life and it shows in her writing. Variety of topics, different emotions, incredible pictures, poems, translations. I really enjoy reading her posts.

Poppins mom: She writes such candid posts - emotions, point of view, what ever it be - she says it as she feels it. And she writes in detail and you feel like you were there for that moment in time witnessing that slice of her life. It often reads like a story and I enjoy reading such posts. And she usually takes the time to respond to a lot of comments on her posts and it makes it all the more enjoyable to read her posts.

Kodi's mom: I love reading her posts about Kodi and Plane papa (recent addition). She writes with a gentle touch of humor and communicates the love she feels for her children in an understated way. I love understated emotions for some reason because I feel in some ways it conveys the strength of the emotion even more than plainly stated words. And the fact that our children are of a similar age group makes it even more enjoyable for me to read her posts.

Oh dear - rules rules rules every where! I am posting the rules at the end of this post - pass on the award and spread the cheer! :)

This award is for blogs whose content and design are brilliant as well as creative.The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere.
Here are the rules to follow:
1. When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back
2. Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
3. Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Brilliant Weblog’
4. Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).
5. And then we pass it on!"

Phew - I managed to finish writing this post before one of the kids wakes up crying for me in the middle of the night. But I am too sleepy to sit and edit this post. Am posting it as it is - forgive me please!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Lightning strikes! Thrice!!!

I have been meaning to write a post for the last few weeks. But I have had a lot of summer guests and just been busy. I usually am able to write only at night after the kids have gone to bed but I have also been watching the Olympics and going to bed soon after that.

And man, what an Olympics so far! After a long time, I feel like I am a fan of some athlete. I don't know, somehow I never was so enamored by some sports performance for a long time now. But I sat down to watch the 100m sprint and I was struck by lightning! Sheesh! Is that a human or a super human zipping through earth?! Lightning Bolt - he doesn't even show any nerves before a race! He does a cool dance, gets on track, races like the wind and makes it look so unbelievably easy! Three golds and three records! Now if this turns out to be a case of doping, I think I will go into depression from just cynicism after that. But I really don't think it is a case of doping. He simply is out of this world! What I love about the Olympics, especially the track events is the testing of human ability and endurance. And the drama of it all. The hope, the joy, the heart break, the competition, the crowds, the festivity...years of training for those few moments of competition. Sometimes it seems absurd, pointless in the face of all other human suffering that needs more attention. But while you are there watching it, you can't help but marvel and be moved by the human spirit and its tenacity.

I watched in awe each time Phelps snatched a gold medal. Is it luck? I mean this guy won by one hundredth of a second. Does luck also favor talent and hard work? Well, that's just one medal. But he is clearly a phenomenon. Little did I expect one more legend was coming up in the next set of events in track. Legend indeed! I am just glad to have been able to witness this kind of magic on track as and when it happened. How I wish I could have witnessed it live! One would think you cannot get any better than M.Johnson's record of 19.32 in the 200m race. And there he comes and breaks the record at 19.30, this with a head wind! How far can human endurance go? Can there be yet another person a few years from now who can do it in even lesser time? They thought MJ's record would stay for another 100 years. 12 years later, it's gone. A new impossible record has been set.

I was joking with my friend that I am now going to start feeding KG and KB a lot more yams (since Bolt's father credits his yam diet!). KB who watches the Olympics with me recognizes Bolt and whenever he is shown on TV he says, "Bolt Uncle Mamma! Bolt Uncle dhan fast! He is the winner of the race!" (In the same tone he uses for his "Lightning McQueen" cars book). I was telling my friend, "I am definitely a fan of Bolt now, I am going to make "2163" tee shirts for the kids". And she said, "You should make "I YAM a fan" tees for them". I think I will! Will be a cool tee shirt! But few may understand what it is about - but track and field fans will surely enjoy it!

Anyways - managed to write this while KB and KG are napping - for a stretch after a long long time. KB especially keeps waking up and has been napping for just 25 min or so every afternoon. He seems to be fast asleep now as I write this. He starts school on Sep 10th. Am keeping my fingers crossed and hoping it will all go smoothly!

Have fun watching the rest of the Olympics and enjoy "Lightning" footage (the relay) tonight!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Birthday celebration

Kutti girl turned one on June 17.08. We didn't really have a formal party for her on that day. Her star date fell on July.3.08 - so we had an "Ayushomam" celebration for her at the local mandir. It was a really nice and warm gathering of about 30 people. Kids had a great time because I had taken balloons and couple of air pumps. They were all pretty engaged pumping the balloons with the older kids acting as leaders dispensing off different colored ones to the kids.

I had requested people to not bring any gifts and instead make a donation in honor of KG's birthday to St.Jude. I normally feel bad about making such requests because people actually want to give gifts for little children and see their excitement. I certainly do. But this time around, I felt KG was only a year old and she wouldn't care either way. I left it up to them to donate money or not. Many people were very happy to donate to St.Jude. Some of them anyway chose to give gifts for KG. But overall it was a satisfying feeling to have been able to send a good amount of money to a great organization in honor of KG's birthday.

For Kutti boy's birthday (or should I start calling him big boy now?), we had a small cake cutting event at home. It was not really a party - just cake and snacks in the evening. We had invited three of our friends and their kids who are also KB's friends. KB had a great time because the crowd was not overwhelming and the party didn't last too long nor did it have defined time limits as it would have been at party locations. We met at our place and had samosas and snacks, he cut the cake, the kids and parents sang a Sanskrit song wishing him and then the usual birthday song - KB was quite kicked by being the center of attention and had a smile on his face while they sang for him. The kids played in the yard with party hats and party horns and couple of coupe's I had out for them. The weather was awesome too. After an hour or so at home, we headed out to the park behind our place and had a bunch of bubble contraptions out for the kids. Some kids played on the slide and the others blew giant bubbles and made merry. The hard part was when parents had to somehow get these kids to go back home with them - they wanted to continue on with the bubbles and were not happy about having to go back home for dinner. And that set me on the traditional guilt trip - oh no, I should have made it a dinner party for every one - but in reality it would have been too much to organize a dinner party for so many people and yet keep it a low key, relaxing day for KB. Over all though, I was happy that the kids and KB had a nice time. BTW - the cake was a Winnie the Pooh cake as requested by KB. Every one really liked the cake. Dottie, the baking queen, no I did not bake it! :) I will get there some day! :)

Leaving you with a picture of KG sleeping on her favorite giant elephant and KB, the loving brother giving her company and resting on the elephant!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Happy birthday KB!

I have written a lot about KB this past week - all leading up to this day - his third birthday. My little baby is now a little boy...only now I am able to think of him as a little boy at least - not a baby. He is still very innocent in a lot of ways - partly because he has been home with me and only interacts with other children in my presence. I guess when he starts school, I can see him as his own person without any influence from me at least for a few hours every week.

Both B and I have felt the passing of time the last three years. I can hardly believe KB is three but I also don't feel like time flew by. So much happened in the three years and KB has been a part of it all. I see so much of my father in him and for this I am thankful. I wish for him as good a life as my father had - even if he had tough times in his childhood - my father was such a confident, self made, generous, jovial, well respected, sociable and kind person. I pray to God to keep KB healthy, happy and safe. I sure hope that all the wonderful qualities in him remain so always and don't get tarnished by the vagaries of experience as he grows up. I wish for him good friends, good teachers and good fortune. If at all I came to know what it is to feel love that cannot be put in words, it is only after I had KB. He makes a yelling monster out of me at times, trying my patience with his compulsive and obsessive nature at times. But when I look at his innocent face when he is sleeping or when he does the simplest of gestures - like gently patting my neck as soon as he over hears me telling B that my throat is aching - with utmost sincerity and faith that that simple act can actually "fix" the problem - his innocence and loving spirit touch me like nothing else does. At those times, I realize what it is to love your child in a way that words can't do justice. I sometimes wish to capture the essence of all that is KB and hold on to it and never let go - all that goodness preserved. But I know he will grow up - I wonder how he will look as a young teenager, a young man...what his tastes will be like...there is time for it all to happen. I wish for him the very best every step of the way and I do hope that divine grace that protects us all in ways that we don't even realize is there with him protecting him.

Happy birthday to my dear sweet KB!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

KB's day - Friday - Aug.1.08

I found a little memo book in our shelf a few months back. In that notebook, on the last page, I had randomly jotted down precisely what KB did that day (when he was about 8m old). It was so much fun to read it. That he used to take two naps. I had written down what time he woke up and how many times he woke up that night. Having precise details like that somehow made me feel like I was going back in time and actually close to living out that snippet of the past. While I am on a roll with the KB series, I thought I would add that in here - KB's day - two days before he turns three.

Slept at 10.30 pm on July.31.08

Woke up at 12.30 am - crying loudly - because (I assume) he had a bad dream. Calmed down after me (angry) tried to pat him back to sleep and then finally after B took over and patted him back to sleep.

Around 4.00 am (I didn't hear it but B told me this morning) - apparently he laughed loudly - guffawed - for nearly a whole minute - looks like he had a funny dream!

7.30 am - woke up. Happy. Always waits for B to walk in and say "Rise and Shine" (after reading Elmo's "Rise and Shine" book, he has become fond of that phrase). Had 4oz milk in his bottle (yes, I don't really care to stop the bottle and move to sippy cup - I plan to do it when he starts school and gets comfortable with school - in my mind it's no big deal - bottle or sippy cup now - I know he will stop it soon enough).

9.00 am - cereal - Kix (main) with some coco puffs and whole milk

I then make their lunch, have my cereal while quickly scanning today's newspaper and come upstairs. Activate my new cell phone (while KB sits at the computer chair watching KG's Ayushomam videos - short one minute videos).
He is waiting for KG to wake up from her morning nap. In the meanwhile, he doodles in the card I have for B's dad - this is the Father's day card - still waiting to be mailed with a longish letter!

11.00 am - we walk in to see KG fully awake but happily lying down and waiting for us.
Nurse, change her, take KB to the bathroom. Get them both ready.

11.45 am - Head off to the store to buy some fruits and order KB's birthday cake (He wanted Winnie the Pooh). As always, soon after I finished buying fruits, he bugged me to get him yet another balloon from the balloon stand at the store. His innocent pleading eyes requesting me for a mere balloon - I just can't say no - it's just a little balloon I feel - so I indulge him and get it for him. Even though he has so many at home.

1.00 pm - Back home. KB had Motts Apple juice on the way back. Also gave him a few grapes while I got his and KG's lunch ready in the bowl. (Rice/Dal/Yellow Squash vegetable for lunch along with Danon La Creme Yogurt for KB).

1.20 pm - KG done with lunch.

1.30 pm - KB starts lunch. Done around 2.15 pm. No protests though. Read his new Eric Carle book I got at Kohls couple of days back. "Panda Bear Panda Bear, what do you see?". He loves it. Makes me read it twice back to back. Then read "Bob the builder" and "Rusty Red Wagon". (Each of them twice back to back - that's his new thing - read each book twice in a row!). Music in the background. After a long time he asked for Leonard Cohen again and played it while eating his lunch.

2.30 pm - Make my sandwich. Eat it while KB calls B like he usually does soon after his lunch and gives him the morning news. Where he went, what he did, blah blah...

2.40 pm - Give KG a bath. Change her. KB turns on the music. I leave her in the crib after getting ger dressed. He waits outside the door for me.

3.00 pm - Give KB his vitamin, sing "Mudakaratha Modakam" and make him nap on the little Elmo couch in the office room where the computers are.

3.15 pm - Go downstairs, make myself tea and come back up.

3.30 pm - Read email/respond/a couple of blog posts/news.

3.55 pm - KB is awake. I pat him back to sleep. Come back to my laptop. Two minutes later, he is awake. This has been going on for the past two weeks. He used to nap two hours but now he barely naps 30 to 45 min. I sure hope he doesn't loose his nap habit for another year. I still take the half an hour of nap for I can then drink my tea in peace.

I tell KB he should not get out of his bed before the big hand in the clock touches 12. He looks at the clock. Two min later - just around 4.00 pm - gets out of bed.

My friend calls and says she will drop by. KB is talking to me non stop. My close friend who has the week off calls me to chat since she doesn't have to be at work. Just then I decide to introduce KB to the "Starfall" site. Help him with navigating the site while talking to my friend.
10 min later, I take him downstairs for his afternoon milk. 8 oz Silk Soy Vanilla.

Come back upstairs since KG is awake and we hear her. Nurse/change KG. In the meanwhile, my friend has come by, rang the bell and I totally did not hear it. She leaves and later calls me after she gets home. KB, KG and I go downstairs. I do some putting away of toys. Since my friend is not coming, I decide to take KB and KG to the lagoon by the lake near our place. I get them ready, sandals on etc and start driving. Playing "Suprabatham" by A.R.Rahman (in the car) that another blogger had sent as an MP3. Go to the Lagoon and realize I forgot to bring the entry card with me. Drive back home and go to the park right behind our house. KB and KG play on the slide etc until 7.00 pm.

7.00 pm - KB has a bowl of grapes (about 15 grapes).

7.15 pm - feed KG her dinner. In the meanwhile, KB asks for water in his steel tumbler. Drinks some and finds a little bit of it splattered on the dining room floor. Immediately points to the spill on the floor and says, "Mamma, I had a great big spill, can you please clean it up?" and brings tissue on his own and starts cleaning up the spill.

7.40 pm - Give KB his dinner (Mac n cheese - easy Fridays meal).

8.15 pm - B is home. We decide to eat the left over pasta from two days back. I have an appointment for threading at 8.45 pm! I quickly eat another sandwich, get ready and left for my eyebrow appointment at 8.45 pm.

B said he was a little eager to know where I was but was calm otherwise. He cried some because he hit himself on the stairs a little. But over all when I got home (it's the first time I went alone in a long loong time). KB looked quite happy. As soon as I walked in the garage door he told me "Mamma eyebrowsS (that's his plural form) look pretty! (B told him casually once to tell me so and kid repeats it at the right time - as soon I get home!).

9.20 pm - am back home. Play balloon game and doodle pro scribbling with KB.

9.35 pm - KB has La Creme yogurt. No milk at night on Mac n Cheese days).

9.45 pm - cut KB's nails.

10.00 pm -B brushes KB's teeth.

10.15 pm - KB gives me a tight hug. The night time routine is for me to hug him tight and be talking to him while B brushes and come to get KB from me. And when B is done and is ready to take KB upstairs for bed time , he has to come to me (holding KB) and say "CanI CanI CanI" asking me to let go off KB. KB then gives me a hug and B takes him while KB laughs at being snatched from me by Daddy. KB says "Good night" to me and then says "Goodnight Lamp, good night stairs" and so son!

And now I am beginning to see lines in double, very sleepy now. So I have to say "good night" too!