Thursday, June 21, 2018

Half Yearly Report

School’s have ended, summer has almost started and kids have hit their ½ year mark, the grand parents pampering has begun… so as always… here you go.

Miss V, the decade old lady with the wisdom of a century old person and the sassisness of a 16 year old!!!

This past school year she switched schools. So though she is adjusting well academically, musically and sportingly.. it has taken time to adjust socially. She has a lot of friends around her new school, she laughs, she cannot get through the corridor without the hellos and good byes, but she misses the deep friendships. And that's where her wisdom kicks in, she knows it takes time. So the wise lady says... lets be patient!

She calls herself a "Ten-Ager" now and that's actually true. Times she is a baby and will snuggle and cozy up and deep meaningful conversations and then there are times she gets all sassy and unreasonable and says "shut up" and gets mean. The dichotomy!

At times she will sit with her little sister and help her with math and challenge her to speak backwards and contrastingly, they will fight over "which lollipop is more pink!"
Miss V a list maker, a planner and her toughest critique. Being your own critique makes very driven- she will keep at it until it’s done! She will also get equally frustrated at times in the process. She is now realizing that the world is not black and white and hates that!
With the world cup now on, there is only ONE discussion for my budding Soccer Superstar!

The Conquerer

Little Lady:
I wonder how I put this nick name for her, she is true for it- Little Lady. She is a charmer, a pleaser, head strong and amazingly caring personality. Her empathy often leaves me dumbfounded and awe stricken.

Her latest obsession is with hair- my hair specifically. She will patiently braid my hair, play with them, and comb them. On a school day, she demands different hair styles for school and has gotten "better" at eating vegetables since I told her- it’s good for the hair. But to be clear, she still is a VERY slow eater.

Can I brag a little? She has started reading Harry Potter- I am not sure she comprehends it all, but has started reading it with ease now! She was Dorothy in her school production of "Wizard of Oz". From the shy kid to her commanding the stage is so amazing.

Oh man, remember head strong, oh well, she is a cute head strong. She knows exactly what she wants and will bat her eyelids, throw in an extra hug and get her way and you won't know what hit you! Ohh- and she can bike now WITHOUT Training wheels
Little Lady

Summer is here now in Chicago and we have sort of compressed them- We have hit the beach, plucked strawberries, drenched in crown fountain, biked Lake Shore, shared picnic in the park and even BBQ'd!

Half year mark has been wonderful and I am excited for the next 6 months of these little wonders until I start the Birthday Planning Cycles.
I heard at a comedy show recently: "The only person who you can love unconditionally is your children" and that is so true.... no matter how annoying, messy, clumsy these girls get. To me, they are MY perfect little ladies!

Chicago Summer

Thursday, June 14, 2018

I fought the weather and Won!

It's middle of June in Chicago. We should be at the parks, chilling at the beaches, grilling, complaining its too sunny, drinking cool lemonades and really lathering the sun block on.

But no, here we are.... still complaining, wearing light jackets, being wet and being cold!

That's it, I've had enough. A few of us packed a picnic and decided last minute to go to a Strawberry farm close by on a rainy and cooler day! We messaged feverishly in early am, will it rain, will it be cold, will we survive... and then I said: "You know what, lets just go "

It was the perfect-berrilicious day!!!

We enjoyed the festival, admired beautiful flowers while snuggled in the sweaters, picked gorgeous strawberries under the umbrella.

At the festival, we challenged each other on the obstacle course, raced on the kiddie bikes, played soccer and got our asses kicked by the kiddos and then icing on cake: We played, Lagori or Pitthu or Sitolia or a game which we grew up playing in India in the building compound. We re-lived our childhood memories and passed on the love of this game to the next 'ABCD' generation.
Of course, my team won.

But that's not the point! Point is, the weather didn't relent and neither did we. We got wet, muddy, slushy and we had a blast! The tired and content smiles by the end of the day was the victory against the weather!

I am now using the 10 pounds of hand picked strawberries for new concoctions...
Strawberry Smoothie, A strawberry crumble!

When life gives you rain, you take an umbrella and skip in the water!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Bollywood: Cacophony or Harmony?

I am confused by the two movies released this year which are polar opposites in content, in characters, in story, but somehow they both strike cord!

I am not here to say which one I like more, which one was hmm. It's my opinion and I can well "word" it here!

Movie One: Padmavat-i-: The story of valor and courage of Rajput Princess, married to a kind and an honorable king and being the object of affection of a malevolent person! A story of grandeur, Love, sacrifice and above all honesty and grace! Opulent sets and a beautiful and powerful performance by all three stars!
A movie which caused a lot of controversy before its release!!
A movie I coudn't wait to see in the theaters with my mom.

And then

Movie 2: Veere Di Wedding: The story of 4 chicas gallivanting in uber modern clothes and pretty much confused in what they want in life, oblivious to what they have while riding in their Bentley's but for sure displaying the tumultuous relationships of girls! It’s a story of how they navigate through failed or failing or restoring love lives. As for the stars... one new kid left me amazed as the Dairy Queen, one left me quite impressed as the divorcee  giving the nosy Aunti-ji’s exactly what they deserved and then the for the rest I am going to stay quiet!
A movie which is causing some controversy after its release!
A movie I could not even imagine watching with my mom.

And that’s the cacophony, in today's day and age how does such opposite content survive? Are we are audience confused in what cinema is? 
For me, what drew me to the theater for both these movies is the following: 
Movie 1- the story and the clothes!!!
Movie 2- the lack of them both!!! (Yep, tongue in cheek!).

Here is the harmony of Bollywood for me: Polar opposite content but still female driven movies! Which is so inspiring.

I am not here to give a movie review, trust me. What I am here to say is- I am confused! I enjoyed them both in unique way’s and that what leaves me confused.

Imagine a movie to be a canvas painting: Each scene is a stroke of brush, unique and all adds to the final canvas! When you look at it from a distance, they both are appealing and the canvas is the director's representation of the story!!!

Kudos to these story tellers, these artists!

For us, the consumers... we see, we cherish, we critique and we move on to the next canvas.
But honestly, Bollywood continues to confuse me and I now await the next canvas!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Spring is new beginnings... they say

Green Thumb is defined as 'A knack for growing plants and keeping them healthy'

For all these years, i say, I have a "thorn thumb", i touch a plant and it dies.
I will often joke: 'I have kept my two kids alive and they are thriving, plants, well there is only so much i can do'
It is so bad that one year when Miss V was in India, she used to call her father and say- you water the plant and please don't let mummy touch it.
And i think the breaking point was killing a succulent which my friend and I spent an evening taking a class and making together. Killed a succulent! Uff!

So you get the idea!!

For Spring, its said- new beginnings.... So I am trying to change my thorny thumb. I made Sumit come with me and buy planting supplies, plants, potting mixes, some pots and on and on. A couple of hundred dollars down- i have the following plants trying to ' thrive survive' in my house

1. Mint plant, home and backyard: Hopefully ready in time for the summer yummy lemonades
2. Basil Plant: The smell, of fresh basil on appetizers, yummy!!
3. Serrano Chili plant: Spicy.... you know you need it!
4. Range of flowers - 3: a pink, a white and an orange: no i do not remember the name!! But they look gorgeous!!
5. Orchids- Yes, i have had them since my birthday and they have been good for the past 6 weeks!!!!

About a week in, they are still living, I have my doubt on the the white flowers: Seemed to me this morning that I over watered it... so its sitting in indirect sunlight today. But the rest haven't become sloppy, or yellow and injured (Yet).
So I continue to monitor, care and have a mini freak out for every leaf that falls down!

And yes the family is sitting with pop-corn and enjoying my "New Beginnings" mood swings!

Monday, April 23, 2018

Hot Coffee Day-Bonus: in a Cup

Coffee is a must for me... yada yada yada. You know this, so I am not going to go on and on how without my morning cup, there is a hugs gap in my mental alertness!

I will (for once) get to the point. What I do need, is the coffee hot. All weekdays, I am blessed with my Coffee Carrier and I sip on my coffee as i perform my rushed mornings things: Kids drop offs, chats, calls and roll into work. And I don't have luxury of time to do it any other way and have also stopped complaining about it now (most of the time).

But Saturday, not Sunday, now Saturday with no soccer games on the calendar, I need to enjoy this hot coffee in a grown up Ceramic Cup!

A ceramic cup when I can dunk my biscuits in the Coffee and enjoy it while I enjoy the peace, no rush morning and may be also have a conversation with my mum and "Chill"

And now my girls know it: Saturday Morning: No asking me for anything for those 20 minutes when I Sit, sip and really smell the coffee that I am drinking.

And this Bonus of me sipping my coffee in a cup has me more happy, more content and then I am back to the thick of task master mode "do this, do that" with the girls!

Monday, April 16, 2018

A tale: From shorts to pants

Changing back into Pants From Shorts... how simple can that be. Very Simple.

But recently such a task was "Oh man" moment for me.

With my parents visiting, we had an impromptu trip to Florida for part medical and part Lets take a break! I think Sunshine brings out the best in us! I was happy when I landed from Chicago in mid 70's at 10 pm in Florida. We were in flip flops, shorts, singlets and hats and sun glasses. We carried lemonade through the day to keep us hydrated and enjoyed the sun shine.

The short trip was good. Always nice to get a decent bill of health and in addition soak in some sun!

On our way back at the Florida airport, kids were asked to remove the shorts from their sun kissed selves and wear full pants, long sleeved shirts and their sweaters.

And that's when it came all flooding in!!! IHATE the weather in Chicago in April!
Its should be Spring weather at least, may be mid 60's instead of snow!
This time is for

  • Kids to stomp on the playground and smell fresh flower buds, instead they are covered in layers.
  • We should trade in the heavy jackets and bring out the bright and cheery sweaters.
  • It should be the time that sniffles die away.
  • It should be a time of green, sun and breaking away from the dreary grey

To be transparent, I don’t mind winters at all, don’t get me wrong, its manageable and sipping hot tea and enjoying fresh snow flakes has its charms, but still in April: Cold, Grey and Snow is VERY depressing.

As I settle back in my routine with layers and jackets here in Chicago, I await the moment when I can trade my warm pants to something cotton, light and colorful and shorts!!!!

And may be in the next 6 weeks, I can wear the shorts for a brief 6 week period, if we are lucky here in wonderful Windy Chicago

Friday, March 23, 2018

Tradition.. just because

At the doctor's for the kids annual exams, I have a tradition, the girls dress up in the 'Paper Dresses' and I snap pictures of them.
Since 2014, so I can call it an annual tradition right?

Look at those faces, aren't they adorable. The nurse walks in just as I was coercing them to 'smile naturally' for this amazing tradition and the nurse chuckles and asks- Why?
I respond, I love the story of 'The Paper Bag Princess' and ever since I read that story, I do this... It's like an ode to the book written in 1981. They did know the reality even then!!
If you have not read it, please do.

What is a silly tradition that you have in your family? just because!

On a side note, Here is my Little Lady's new installment on 'Kids Say the Darnest Things'
Evening time, while the kids sip on their milk and argue about the silliest thing, this conversation ensues

Little Lady: " Did didi (Miss Chatterbox) grow up in your tummy?"
Me, the smart mom: "Yes honey, she did"
Little Lady: " Did I grow up in your tummy?"
Me, the smart mom: "Yes honey, you did too"
Little Lady: "Oh that means we both met each other in your tummy and have been friends since
Me, the smart mom: "Uh well, not exactly since you both were in my tummy 5 years apart"
Little Lady: "But we both were in your tummy and I know her since then! I remember!!. We used to fight even then"
Me, the confused mom: "uh- okay"

And then as always, laughter ensues!! "She remembers the fighting!! Is this her justification, man... I am creeped out. I think.