Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Windy City.. phooooooosh

So its been a year since our family moved to the Windy City. Smile. The year has been very nice, besides V turning one, both our parents and family's visiting, exploring the city, both loving our new jobs and our parenthood...A good work life balance for me; and for him if you call coming home at midnight to leave the next morning at 7am a good balance, then ok, good balance for him (Yes, i am being sarcastic). Having said that, it’s actually ok, i mean he did like his work in DC as well, but i think a tiny baby and flying out to some city for five days of a week, not fun! Midnight schedules are better [at least for V and me ;-)]

We both love this city. I mean the charm of living in the midst of all the hustle bustle of Chicago downtown. SD always says, in US this is one of the few city’s where you can actually live and love in ‘downtown’. And hence he insisted on moving to the city, even if he has to drive to work, an hour one way everyday!

But for us, just grabbing V's stroller and walking down a mile to the Pier or the Magnificent mile.. is amazing. Being able to hear the cheers of the Bears game in Soldier field, listening to the historic Obama speech right in our bedroom (not TV! we live 1/2 a block to the Grant park), watching the weekly summer fireworks from our building roof top.. i mean its amazing. The food, don’t even let me start.. OMG!! Is yummy! and you can tell by looking at our most recent pictures... calories have to go somewhere you know! And to top it all, again for me, having my work and V's day care within a 2 mile radius.. its simply amazing.

So the catch, how do i say this, hmm, well windy city is a bit too windy! :-( I mean come on, it’s almost April and it just snowed this weekend! Yes, before moving all our friends and the weather channels told us...this city is brutally cold in winter.. but man... what i didn’t expect is the length of the winter. Seriously! From Chicago standards, i would say its cold when the weather is 32F or below! So it’s been this way since November! Yes, we did have the last two weeks of amazing spring weather (45-55F), but winter.. Damn. its back with the snow this Sunday.

And it’s not fun when my brother and sis-in law in San Diego say its only 65F there but they could manage some BBQ and beach stuff in the cold weather! Fuming!

I can honestly deal with the 30 below zero with wind chill making it feel like 50 below, simple, churn up the heater in my living room and staying home! And if its a weekday, dressing all of us up in countless number of layers and parking my car as close to office doorstep as feasible! And to be honest it may be a couple of weeks that it happens, and you dress appropriately for winter. And if you live in Chicago, you know already, there is not much outdoor stuff you can do in winter.. so have your friends number on speed dial!

But, what i really don’t like is the after effect. All of us have fallen sick once in this winter pretty badly, to the point that my brother was visiting only for a week, and he could barely get out of bed the entire week! But V, i think her case of sniffles have been on since November. There may be a couple of days in a month that she doesn't have a runny nose or a cough, then its back. I think we have kind of accepted that as a part of her. (Sob sob, sniff sniff). She is fine, i mean doing all the stuff kids her age do even with the runny nose and smiling through it all...... The doctors... all say only one thing, its the weather, and it will be fine, all kids have it in their first winter... she will be better by next winter.

Well, honest to god, i hope that’s true! We really do!
I mean we both really love living here, though we miss our friends back in DC and neighboring Philly and NYC like crazy! But this city is great, work wise, family life wise and SD wise. He is enjoying his work a lot. In addition all our friends here are amazing, and it’s awesome to gather up with them and enjoy the snowy nights laid back in some one's living room. I know V ponders, “Last night when i peeped out of my bedroom, the road was grey and the building was red... why is everything white this morning?" There is this question in her eyes and confusion in her face!

I know spring will come and summer will come..and V will enjoy the endless Chicago festivals, the pool and the beach, and the pain of winter will go away or at least subside!
To feel that mood, and to signify the spring, we did our share of spring cleaning to pack away all those heavy jackets and sweaters, and to top it all= me the brown thumb, went and got a plant for the house!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Time will go by fast- clichéd but true!

So, it was an ordinary Sunday afternoon. My brother was visiting V (now I say, V and not us; since genuinely, all he wanted was to spend time with her). Back to the point, so bhaia, SD, V and i stepped out for a nice afternoon stroll. Walked to bhaia's favorite coffee place and got our 'Turtle Mochas' the adults got chatting.. while V started exploring the coffee house.

I drifted away from our discussions of "these tough economic times" to just gaze at V. She was oblivious to us, oblivious to our conversations... she was wobbling in the coffee house, observing strangers as they walked by, gazing out of the glass doors on the street: A kid trying out the two wheel scooter while his mother had a watchful eye on him, a homeless man looking for change fallen on the ground, a cute hurried couple walking in the store, the server wiping the tables.. and she'd occasionaly look back and smile at us..knowing that we were watching her with the corner of our eyes....When I started to wonder: What goes on in this little mind of hers.

What does she think, when she looks at all these things, all these small things which we take for granted, are all new to her. Every situation, every place, every new face.. . What goes on in her mind? Wonder/ Amazement/ confusion/ anxiety/ excitement…..what?

I know the time will come soon, that she would say what she "wants” the pink scooter instead of the red one, the Dora dress instead of the Mermaid one...she will tell us exactly! .......and honestly i can’t wait (SD frowns).
But i know, this time of her constant gaze and admiration of the world with those innocent eyes will go away soon! Very soon!

Every time we have friends over, or go somewhere.. it’s a ritual for her. The first twenty minutes or so, all she will do is look around, stare at everyone’s face to observe, and then slowly start walking around and investigate the house/ store.. to see which places where she can play without getting a “Uh- OO” from us. Just familiarizing herself!

Every morning, we take the elevator to go to the car parking, and in that small space she will stare at the “Gimme more coffee” struck faces of our building people… until they are forced to smile at her with those sleep deprived eyes.. and yes, then she will repeat the same process with the next person in the elevator. Trust me, the ride is may be 30-45 seconds, but she does this, every morning in our elevator!
While SD and I just look, just look at those cute, naughty eyes!

I say repeatedly, to one and all.. Having a child is a big de-stressing factor in our lives (Yes even those sleepless nights!). Minute i walk out of office to pick her up,i forget everything else.. all presentations.. all meetings and all due dates......... and all i can think of is what game do i play with her tonight! Its new every evening.. sometimes a play date, sometimes a fussy evening, sometimes her toys and me...sometimes us singing nursery rhymes and dancing to kiddie music with no care in the world, all leading up to the finale.. SD entering our home! The delight in her eyes, the excitement in her voice....and V throwing her arms up for her dad to hug her.......forgetting all her toys, sniffs and sobs and mum.... is the best part of the entire day for me!

And i know this time will go by fast.. very fast! Clichéd but true.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Funky Friday's!

I dont about anyone else... but my feet have an extra swing in them on Friday's.. especially after the clock strikes noon. Man, i cant wait for the time that i change in my snow boots and head out of work to pick up V and not to come back to work for 2 whole days... its wonderful.. And then.. next Friday- same story!

Two full days of whatever.. doesn’t really matter... it may be extensive plans, or just a chill back and relax, may be shopping, may be movies..... no matter what those two days hold, i am pretty much running through my meetings on Friday’s, continously calling SD with my plan(s).... and hoping no fires happen at work.. so after i leave and pretty much for 48 hours.. not think about work. And those 48 hours are then all for V!

Its amazing how this conversation rules my household every Thursday nights while V is snoozing- jaan, what’s the POA for weekend? reply: lets keep Friday evenings free..

this is one evening, we both love to unwind ourselves, have a lazy dinner and pretty much do nothing. If we do meet some friends, we ask them to come over...
Exactly opposite of what it used to be just two years ago.. When Friday night, never ever lazy, either out with friends, or having a get together or just partying out.. if nothing else, picking up SD from airport (he travelled a whole load back then) going for some fancy ass dinner, and then meeting friends for something or the other.

I could say, may be its cuz of V, but honestly, i know its not! cuz she's a sweetheart.. happy go lucky gal, who wouldn’t mind any plans we make with her. (Come on she is 14 months!) May be the cold Chicago weather.. and may be we are just enjoying this one evening.. when we pretty much do nothing and love every minute of it..

For both of us, we prefer not to have any household work for weekends...for me, weeknights (except Friday) is when we complete all the chores like: laundry, house cleaning, cleaning V toys, groceries and all the other annoying tasks...... both SD and I love to have weekend free. Weekends are for us to dote on V, to see some new chicago festival, to laze around, meet friends, walk in the city, shopping.... anything... but mostly never house chores!

It's amazing to see how i feel things have progressed:
In undergrad....weekday/ weekends seemed all the same.. College on weekdays.. and some computer class, tuitions some stuff on weekends.. and rest of the time, anything.. didnt really matter.. family dinners, catch up with friends, some marriage functions, some guests over at home.. only thing which was certain.. was sunday lunch at home with everyone sitting together and eating together some yummy marwaari delicacy that mum made.. it was so much simpler

In Grad school... well i dont know when was day and when was night.. forget weekdays and weekends.. man those were super duper busy days... the only thing that i remember distinctly, almost the entire first year...we were three girl friends who would call a freind to drive 60 miles from OC to pick us up from LA and then drive the same 60 miles back to his house.. no wonder he called us "Teen Hatya! ;-)" our reason of making him drive so much..we didnt have a car.. and we were too lazy to take the train which was ten minutes from college campus!

Then the minute work started, and then started weekend planning.. never home on Friday nights, always meeting up friends, travelling, some place, some restaurant, some thing or the other.. and when SD and i were dating, same stuff and rest of time, on phone or him making a few surprise visits to LA.. and then .. slowly progression to where i am now... very happy.. making no qualms of really loving a funky Friday office day and equally relaxing Friday evening..

Yes, we do meet our friends on Friday evening .... but they know us, and they come over and relax and unwind from the week.... .. and if nothing else.. we'll go someplace where we can walk with V in the city.. and be home after dinner for a good game of Poker while V is blissfully dreaming of her weekend fun and frolic!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


So.. i have been thinking of doing this for a while.. and i think i am happy doing this! i.e. writing on the World Wide Web!
Well, OK i may be ahead of myself right now, may be not happy writing on the blog for anyone and everyone seeing this.. right now, lets stick to Apprehensive.

Why you may wonder.. most of the people i know will consider me outgoing, friendly and open! And i think of the same of myself (Do i see some frowns). Anyways, for the longest time ever, i am opposed to expressing personal opinions, views and thoughts so openly on the net.
Dont get me wrong, i am a very opinionated person and will not think twice before saying what i think about something (My darling husband smiles!) and not that i am scared of net...i am techie myself, engineer to be precise. So technology doesn't scare me.

Its just the thought of someone you may or may not know reading your innermost feelings, thoughts, hopes and pretty much day to day stuff. It's kind of weird to me.

So i am trying to overcome this fear! I do enjoy writing, i think words can do wonders, just the way to say it, way to phrase it.. and way you describe it... can take you places, make you smile, frown. What i am trying to convey is, you can do wonders by writing and invoke the emotions we did not know exist.

I am comfortable writing.. i used to be one of those girls who maintain a diary of the deepest emotions! And i'd freak if someone even laid a finger on it.... and i know this post is nowhere close, but writing so openly is a big step for me.

I think now i am overcoming my anxiety and getting closer to being happy about doing this.

SD will vouch, i always have hundreds of ideas, loads of plans, loads of wishes... come on. as girls I have the right to! This way, it will be nice to just actually spell them out.
One of the other things about writing, i gave up writing my diary years ago...Just got busy with studying, work and life.
But i remember, when i was down in college, or just upset, reading those pages, would always invoke tears of joy in me. It would make me appreciate what i had become cuz of those little incidents in my life. And i dont know why, but it will always make me smile and understand, that for whatever reason that i am upset is another learning experience.. and after a couple of years, no matter how bad the incident was, it will make me smile!
And it makes my belief stronger- "Whatever happens, it happens for a reason and its always for the better. I may not know why is it good today, but in the long run, i will understand that Its always for the better"

Phew.. okay.. thats a good start for me i think.. Finally i "blog"

PS: And about the diary i had, i still wont anyone lay a finger on it! SD dont even bother.