Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The year of extremes, the dramatic year

2104 will be that for sure: The dramatic year!
Thankfully nothing extremely bad, but enough to take stock of life and count your blessings. Thankfully everything good was very very good.

On one end we were hiking on Volcanoes, swimming with fishes, dancing at weddings, engagements, road tripping, chilling with family and on the other extreme: we had couple of ER visits, car accident, calendar blocked with just medical work, more medical work. I have had MRI, MRA, CT and all poking and prodding possible. There has been lots of work stress, stress related injuries and in general just one day high, other day low moments.

But its me, its me always trying to look through it all for some silver linings.
The kids stayed strong, they massaged my aching arms, and they kept chirping around, they made the stress disappear. And for those blessed evening and weekend hours we get with them, all was forgotten and smiles ruled.
We danced a lot, we sang a lot, played a lot of games, colored, ate, cooked. Bliss.
Sumit, my partner in crime stood by me. On one hand he was making ice water bath for me and on the other hand he entertained the girls. He took care of both girls un-interrupted, flew alone with them and made me feel completely at ease. I can't imagine anyone making me laugh away the pains the way he did. He encouraged me to take another sip of water with 104 fevers, he cheated me in another round of exercise for the arm.
I guess timing matters, through my worst illness, my mom was over for her 'just like that’ trip. And it was perfect, well the illness not as much. I fell ill 4 days after my mom arrived. So for those three weeks, I was clueless about everything around me. It was my mom and my husband doing everything for me, the kids and the house. Everything functioned well and I am thankful for them for being around.
My parents, brother and sis in law gave all the moral support I needed
I guess through the thick and thin, it made me take stock of some friendships & some relationships. Some I called sobbing to in the middle of the night, some I just could not even pick up the phone to. Some stood through my weak health moments and others made it a conversation point. I renewed some friendships, made some amazing new ones and some I am letting them slip by. It hurts, but it's fine. So all in all, I think facing the not so good helps to see you more clearly.

For all of our trips and vacations this year, I happy to say we had a lot. I am content. Yes, you read that right, I am content, there could be no more, no less vacations. It was amazing reconnecting with cousins, planning, meeting friends after years, some after days. We travelled a lot and it makes me smile.
It's our thing, travel, travel with the kids, make them have memories of a lifetime and above all, chill and enjoy the moment.
But the year of extremes: I am done. I want a simple event free healthy year. An average year would be just fine!
 I am happy for 2015 to come, I am happy for the new beginnings, I am happy to say adieu for a year dotted with drama and happy memories.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

It's Just Hair? Right? ... May be not

It's hair, its vanity, beauty, identity, depends on whom you ask. For my almost 7  6 year old, Chatter Box, 'It's my decision'
Let me elaborate.
For the last year, Miss V has been patiently growing her hair. For as long as I remember she has sported variations of the 'Dora Hairstyle'. They have been short, manageable. However most of the girls in her class have long hair. When I say long, waist long hair sporting buns, fish braids etc. Playing 'Salon Salon' in break time was the thing for the girls. And Miss V wanted in!
So she grew her hair, went for the customary 1/2 inch trims, but she grew them.  She understood the importance of good hair, so let me oil them, wash them, tend to them.
And oh yes, I was happy. It was like; I have a little doll who tells me each day what she wanted. One pony, two ponies, side pony, open hair, buns. I was happy waking a little bit earlier just to play comb her hair for being school ready.
She enjoyed the pampering as well.
Then one day, in art class, the hair came in way of painting. The hair started bothering her and she was not enjoying the detangling each morning and my nagging of 'lets keep them tied' (Gosh I am turning into my mother)
She said, I need a haircut.
I delayed it; oh let’s wait for Diwali Party. She agreed.
She said, I need a haircut.
I delayed it; oh let’s wait for our DC trip.
She said, I need a haircut.
I delayed it; oh let’s wait for the Dance Recital
She said, 'I need a haircut. It's my decision'.
And I agreed.
We went for her hair cut, removing 6 inches off her lovely long hair and she was happy.
She spent time on my phone looking for the cut she needed, decided the length she wanted and the minutia details of it all. I asked her 20 times at the salon ‘Are you sure?’
She said, I need a haircut.
I think one hair cut taught an important lesson to both of us:
'It may be just hair, but one does not need to conform to fit in' And I completely am enamored by my strong kiddo….. and No I am not looking forward to the teenage  years.
Her friends still sport the long hair, but she is happy. They still play ' Salon Salon' and she comes home with 'funky' clips. But she is happy.

But I am thoroughly enjoying watching her rocking the awesome A line bob!



Saturday, November 8, 2014


It was the perfect timing; my husband Sumit had his birthday on Monday and then we had tickets for Camelot at our favorite theatre: Drury Oak Lane

Now, I have seen a fair number of shows at this gorgeous theatre, but somehow Camelot fell short. The sets, production set up left a lot to be desired for. Considering this was set up in the ‘King Arthur’, to me it felt very plain, very ‘non-grand’.
The music scores however were fabulous. They were perfectly timed and well delivered! The cast and the crew were impeccable. I loved Lancelot, I think he had the grandeur and the ‘make-me-weak-in-the-knees’ quality about him. The lovely song ‘I would leave you..’ was so simple and romantic. And me celebrating Sumit’s birthday there made it all the more special.

I think ‘Merlin’ was astounding. The screen presence, the delivery of dialogues, the worries were so well depicted.
Ken Clark, as King Arthur. Well my first impression was, hmm, wait; he is The king? But I must say, by the end of Act 1, I was mesmerized. It was such a powerful close and an awe-inspiring presence on stage.

I have not seen the original Camelot production, but from what I gather it is fairly long. This production, the first half and the second half were disproportionate time wise. Act 1 was a decent 75 minutes plus, however after the interval, it was very short and it felt that the play suddenly ended. However I do understand it is hard to compress such a grand production; I wish Act 2 could continue to build on the ‘grandeur’ of ‘King Arthur’

Overall, I did enjoy the production. Mixing a celebration with a lovely theatre evening is always good. And with kids peacefully sleeping at home, I did enjoy my evening out.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy New Year

 Come on, you know I am talking about the Bollywood blockbuster, Happy New Year HNY and not the New Year which is alarmingly close now.
 Naah, I am not going to do a movie review. I am going to say, I loooooved it!
We went on a lazy Saturday afternoon with my 6 year old and almost 2 year girl. This is how the movie shaped up for us.
The 6 year old- Miss V aka the Chatterbox, was laughing hysterically at all dialogues and the comedy of errors in the movie and the almost 2 year old, Little Lady was standing on seats and clapping through all songs.
And with this funny drama unfolding, Sumit and I were giggling, sometimes at the kids, sometimes on screen and in general were just super happy enjoying the 'Happy New Year'
The best part about the movie, no double meaning, no jokes that need explanation, no closing eyes for the kids, no nothing. It was meant to be a family entertainment and it definitely left our family entertained.
So until the next Masala Movie is released, both Sumit and I smile and the simple concept and adorable delivery of the movie with my 6 year old' favorite star: Mr. Shah Rukh Khan... SRK! I must add, the Little Lady is getting mesmerized with the man with the ‘almost real’ but fake abs!

PS: Image taken from Google Images

Friday, September 26, 2014

The Other side of: ' A letter from a sleep trained baby'

Recently on one of the social sites, I saw this article "A letter from a sleep training baby" I read it and as predicted, I was misty eyed and then common sense kicked in.
I am like, seriously?
Now, I think I am all about: To each their own. Parenting is definitely not 'One Size fits all', you bend, you learn, you adapt. And move on. I very strongly believe in 'You are the best parent for your child".
I have two girls with independent personalities. What I learned with my first, I am unlearning with my second. What I am doing with my second, I don’t remember doing with my first. So even in the same house, rules have adjusted based on the child.
I must add; confrontation and I really don’t go hand in hand. I am happy left sulking and stomping my feet when no one hears. So this post is not meant to hurt anyone, please. To each their own.
I am just sharing the other side of the story,
So here is my "A letter from a sleep trained baby"

Dear Mommy,
I was happy, happy sleeping in your cuddling arms, being rocked, being sung to. But the minute I hit the crib, I woke up not knowing what to do. I would wake up and since I didn't know anything else, I would cry. You would come in my room, try rocking me, I would drudge back to sleep and then again, in a while I would wake up. We did this for a long time. Every morning, I would wake up cranky, since I didn’t get the rest.
I was confused, why did you have the red eyes, why were you not smiling at me though you picked me up every 2 hours the night before? I know you love me just as much!
I was confused.
Now I am not.
When you started the sleep training, I got thinking: What's with this 'routine'? I love the stories you read to me, but what's this new thing? Laying me in my safe crib, kissing me, starting the music in the room and hushing me to sleep and leaving my room. Oh, the music is no nice, and I can hear you just outside my room. I know you love me just as much!
But what's this new thing?
I know I screamed and cried the first few days, I didn’t know what to do! But I like the routine, the knowing what's happening to me. I liked you coming back to my room. I liked the reassurance of knowing you are there. Slowly I learned, no matter what, you are just outside loving me just as much. Slowly I learned how to sleep on my own. Wow, it is so simple and so relaxing.
Now even when I stir in the night and wake up, I can wiggle around a little and fall back to sleep. I dream of the lovely stories you read to me. I know you are just outside, loving me just as much.
When you pick me up now in the mornings, I see your smile back and your eyes light up.  Now, I am happy, rested and relaxed. And oh yes, I have the energy to go back to playing, learning, crawling, laughing.
And I love you laughing with me. I know you love me just as much!
Your "munchkin"

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

We are fishes in disguise!

I really don't remember when I learned swimming; it was just something I did with my dad. Every morning, he would wake my brother and me up early, really really early. We would go for a swim, race with each other, learn new strokes, play, and shower, come home for breakfast and off to school. This was our routine for most of my formative years.
I love water, water based activities and so much so that, when Miss V was 5 months old, she was in the swimming pool. That was the one thing, I knew I wanted to do with my kid(s), swim, enjoy in the water and laze by pool side.
Sumit and I make sure there is at least one beach bumming vacation a year.
 Over the years, V has continued with swimming lessons, playing with us and just 'chillaxing' in the water. Her first 'Big Girl' water slide was in the cruise ship when she was just over 4 years old. She was scared the first time, and then was on -repeat rinse- mode. There is no stopping her.
For Little Lady, S, the water story is similar. We introduced her to the pool early on and she has her moments, but all in all, once in the pool, is hard to get her out. She has the biggest grin when in water and the 'splash' game never ceases to amaze her.
This weekend was perfect for us: A water park.
 Not far from city, five families meeting there was fun in the indoor water park/ resort. 6 kids and the water, oh my gosh.
Little Lady was on the slide. I am not exaggerating when I say that she went up and down the water slide for more than hundred times! And Miss V, she scaled the largest slide, the slides in which even I held my breath for the first few seconds. She was scared, but she kept on going and going.
Miss V and Little Lady ruled the water, we were with them. Sumit making sure Little Lady came down the slides as many times as she wanted and I ensuring Miss V went on the craziest water rides/slides as many time as pleased her. It was fun to be in the lazy river with Little Lady napping on me and Miss V and I holding hands and relaxing. We are fishes in disguise!
 Needless to say, Sumit and I laughed, did the slides to our hearts contents, enjoyed with our friends and really loved to see all the kiddos bond so well. After the water, kids slept, dads hung out together and the moms had a PJ gossip session. Was perfect.
I can't wait to do this in peak of winter when in Chicago it will be just snow outside and heated indoor water park and us. Along with laughter, water slides, amazing company and laughter, lots of it!

Monday, September 22, 2014

I am proud of you

 As parents say, I wonder if we say that enough, we don’t want them getting too full of themselves, but at the same time, we want to appreciate them for the small and the big things.
I struggle with it, since I wonder which 'mom' I am, 'Good job baby, you are awesome!' or' That was nice, how about we do this next time'
I try to balance it and not 'keep appreciating' all the time. I think I am stern, I get angry, I scold but at the same time, I try to appreciate for things that need it.
Like this one: During dance practice I was chatting with another mom. Her kid just joined Miss V's school and she was telling me about her experience etc.
Though she didn't know my daughter’s name, turns out our kids are in the same year just different classes. What a small world!
So here is the conversation, she asks me: 'Is your daughter’s name V?'
Garima: 'Hmm, yes, how did you know?'
Fellow mom: 'Oh when I went for the school tour they showed me V's books as sample student etc'
Garima: 'Woooh, what! That is awesome'
It was really a good feeling that my child is considered as a 'sample student'. The school thinks her performance is 'worth exhibiting' to prospective parents.
I was happy and proud. Proud of her, she is 6, and I told her the story and ‘Baby, I am proud of you
She smiled and asked if there was some snack in the car!