Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just recouping....

So much to catch up on... so many blog posts to read, to comment on.. and of course.. get back to life in general.. My vacation was super great. Totally re-charged! It was amazing time spent over lazy evenings with friends, gazing at V and relaxing with SD. Very different vacation from our usual... As i told my friend... Did a lot and at the same time didn’t do anything!
Yes... I know.. I have to announce my giveaway prize.... soon.

For right now,... I am just busy getting my mind out of the vacation bliss to business as usual... so a more wordy hopefully interesting post soon!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What's a vacation to you?

Is it just being away from home, work and daily stuff to relax, recuperate and enjoy? Is it visiting new places, doing new things, trying some new adventure? Or is it painting the deck, coloring the house, finishing up chores etc? Is it just actually doing nothing but bumming around the house and visiting the city you live in (I think the media calls it 'staycation').
What qualifies a vacation?
I have been pampered honestly. SD and my love for travelling has resulted in a lot more longish weekend trips, or just going once more to NYC, or visiting a new place with family, or even just beach bumming. V also has done her fair share of travel with us. I think for her vacation qualifies as no school, no schedules, eating as she pleases and oh yes... above all... running around non-stop.
By power of future push button publishing and my 'planning' as you are reading this, we are probably either swimming in our friends pool or visiting some museum, or just laying on the grass and counting the airplanes or more realistically running with V without a care in the world. Yes people.... I am on vacation!
Yippe Yeah.
A very different vacation from our usual ones. We are back to a place where V was born, where we spend our newly married lives, where SD first landed in US. We are back to a place where we fell in love, where we had our first home, where we both took endless hikes; met some very near and dear friends and where we pretty much started the story of GN & SD.
And what’s on the agenda... nothing. Just doing nothing…. Well actually going to our favorite restaurant, asking our friends to play the guitar one more time, walking along familiar pathways, driving in the forgettable traffic, re-visiting a place we called home and oh yes.. having V meet the friends who probably saw her when she was a day or two old!
As I imagine in my head right now, there is a familiarity of the old friends, of near and dear ones. The square footage (carbon footprint) of their abode might have increased, the hairline would have receded, the guitar tunes might have been forgotten... but what would not have changed is their affectionate smile and hugs and memories.
Right now, we are probably going down memory lane, creating new memories and above all... going back in time.. and still looking ahead.
I am on our vacation.. I think it qualifies as a Staycation: Since we are home though we technically are not home!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Power of No....

Two alphabets... ...which kids love to string together and form: N for Nose.. and O for Oranges.. forms a "NO" a big NO... Not so surprisingly my almost 2 and a half year old tot and all her 3 to 3.5 foot friends love the word No. Ask them anything minus do You want an M&M, the knee jerk response will be No. Then they might come around to agree going to the zoo or the walk... but first gut response is No.
Then these kids grow... and then words like Hmm, I'd love to, Sure, Yes, Why not, Yup come in the vocabulary. All the time. Though you might have a super packed schedule/ work load.. as adults it gets harder and harder to say the simple word No.
It's not like we all are human pleasers or love to get a kick out of stretching ourselves really thin.. it’s just.. if it takes some addition time, some effort to ease up someone else's life or just one errand.. we turn up saying yes more often than we'd like or probably should. It goes with the concept of "no man's an island" you can't do everything by yourself; you need to ask for help and help others to sustain.
It's just when the balance of too many yes's versus no's come about.. that all hell breaks loose. At least in the mind it does. Before you know it, you are over packed, over scheduled, over worked and over everything else. Though you seem enjoy the whole process, the point of saying No is lost and you are volunteered everywhere.
Now, by no means I am like the "Yes all the time person" I am describing above. But there are a lot of times when I should have said no instead of the yes or a yes instead of the no.
How the simplicity of toddler’s reasoning does transforms to an adult’s complications?
Kids are clearer with their needs and wants. They are precise and they are polite. And because of their cute innocence you understand their no or their simple logic.
--------------> A kid's conversation
Q: Do you want to wear the red dress?
A. No, I want pink one.
--------------> An adults’ conversation
Q: Do you want to wear the red dress?
A: May be I should wear it... but hey, the pink one is good too. Should I wear that instead?
Q: Sure why not.
A: I think red's fine too.. maybe I'll do red tonight and for the next weekend party, pink..
Q: Ok
A: Or should i reverse it... I mean.. i just wore.. blah blah blah..

The adult’s conversation, decision making process, thought process it just more convoluted with more vocabulary, more choices and more factors. Kids is easier.. A yes or a no. A simple question more often than not, needs a simple answer.
Adults tend to complicate things for themselves...Life can be as simple as we make it. Think about it, the last five discussions you had.. Would a simple Yes or a No solve the issue at hand? Did the follow up comments/ points really add value to the topic in hand. Would a child's mind resolve the issue faster?

Yes, I do realize I am rambling... but I think the kid's power of saying a No or a Yes or make a decision.. simply with no strings attached.. and at face value is amazing.
May be we should learn from them

And the introspection started at how my daughter chose her jacket this morning!

Note: The energiser giveaway is still on... so comment away!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Your Shot & A Giveaway!!!!!

I have been blog-hopping, going over picture stories, Wordless Wednesday’s and really leafing through the pictography of some amazing people. Photography is an art... a very patient art.
How about getting rewarded and challenged for the same? Does the prize of National Geographic Expedition for two to the Greek Isles sound exciting?
I kid you not....
The 3rd Annual Energizer Ultimate Photo Contest is happening now! Send in your best photos-in categories like Animals/Wildlife, Travel, and Weather-for a chance to win a National Geographic Expeditions trip for two to Greece and a feature in an upcoming issue of National Geographic magazine.
All you have to do is submit your pictures at his link in one of the categories. If you win ……….Greek Expedition is all yours!
I am already picking out my trip attire and oh yes the lonely planet guide and oh yes.... the shot to submit for the competition....
Hurry, go through your old pictures, archived one, just find it. The contest ends on June 30th. You really don’t need to have a professional camera. From what I read, last year’s winning picture was from a simple point and shoot camera. There are loads of other prizes.

And now about my own Giveaway……
A lot of you have been reading my blog and being supportive, commenting, sending emails, chat messages, facebook messages or simply encouraging and cheering me along. And all I can say is thank You... Well there is one other thing I can do, have a Giveaway How cool is that!!!! So while you figure out which picture to submit for the contest, I am having a Giveaway for the bunny!!!! The Energizer bunny that is. You can win an amazing 2 four packs of AA and AAA batteries package!!!
All you have to do is the following
1. Follow this blog. (The Google Widget on the right hand side!) and/or Mommy In Making blog.
2. Leave a comment here ... the wittier the better and yes
3. Do continue to read this space....

The winner of the giveaway will be announced on June 18th

And come on... we always need more batteries. It can be for the Wii remote which we shamelessly use for streaming videos more than playing the games, or the camera flash, or the kids toys, or the clocks, the TV remotes, the shavers or may be even your walkman! (Remember those!) Got you, didn’t I!

Hurry along, follow the blog, comment and then... just wait for June 18th and then the lovely Energizer Batteries are yours..
In between, if you do win the National Geographic Contest.... Can I be your Plus 1 ;-)
Come on you did hear it from me man!

Note: Energizer has sent me the batteries free of charge to tryout and share another package with one of my readers. The opinions expressed above are truly my own.

National Geographic Ultimate Photo Contest

FYI - Energizer® Ultimate Lithium AA and AAA batteries are the world's longest lasting batteries in high-tech devices. They last up to eight times longer than Energizer® MAX® in digital cameras (results vary by camera)-which means you can take your mind off your batteries and focus on capturing that winning photo.!!!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

So 'Lost'

I have never denied my love for the tube. I like to relax on my couch after a tiring day and just curl up and watch some TV, a good movie or some good old HGTV.
But I have never been addicted. Lately... that seems to be changing. I am addicted... to "Lost"
Fine, I am six years late in it.. but I am getting there. After much curiosity, SD and I started watching Lost on demand a la Netflix streaming... Super Duper cool!
I am at the edge of my sofa, holding on tight to my throw. The whole series is fabulous. We just finished with Season 1 and I can’t wait to start the next one. After dinner and winding off, my standard line is: "Dhande ka time khoti nahin karne kaa" implying "Let’s not waste any time of business!" Business of watching Lost that is.
If you have not seen the series, do start it.. and if you do.. please don’t kill the suspense for us.. Let us enjoy the process.
But yeah... with this addiction of lost, my "To-Do" seems to be growing and growing. My evenings which were earlier spent in finishing up chores keep getting put off. I am fine with folding the laundry two days later; I am fine with a comment being unanswered or a post left half way. I am in a rush each evening to wind off everything else around V's bed time, so after she sleeps we can catch the episode(s) un-interrupted. Thank god for on-demand a la Netflix Streaming and Wii, I don't have to wait one full week to see what happens next.
It's sad seriously. SD had to mail me and tell me categorically: Let's not get lost in 'Lost' tonight and get XYZ done. That's a first. I am the one on the receiving end of a To-Do list. ;-)
No No, there is no way I am challenging myself and letting go of my addiction. Far from it. I am just encouraging you to go see Lost. Hehe..
Jokes apart... tonight.. I will get a few things squared away before I touch the TV and Wii remote.
There is a funny parallel between V and myself right now. I tell V: Lets finish the dinner and then you get the toy. I am telling myself.. Lets finish the To-do's and then I get another Lost episode!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Game night anyone?

All right... So how do YOU spend your evenings with friends when not dining or clubbing away... do you guys chit chat, pull each other’s legs, talk about visa status, economy, job, gossip... or do you pull out some interesting board games and get together..
Do you have a Wii night, a Board game night, a poker night or just a night when you are learning rules of a new game you picked up!
Well we are the latter! We thoroughly enjoy a good board game. Something which will engage us, make us squabble like kids, make us laugh, get angst, competitive and all over a board game! I don’t know how we got so interested in board games. I remember playing them as a kid. Then in college, undergrad and masters, early working years, board games were so kid dish or boring.. or who has the time. In the past years, we have gravitated towards more and more board games for groups.
Our collection keeps growing every time we enter Toys R Us sales or Target! We have bonded over, fought, argued over countless board game nights. We apologize to a few people even before the game starts since we know we'd get argumentative in the game. We have stayed up till 4 and 5 in the mornings just playing a new cool board game. Surprisingly we can’t wait for the next time we get together to play more games. There are games which have been stricken off our list as too aggressive, too involved or simply it always gets someone too red. Risk tops the chart on this one.. i swear.
A few of the games I love are Life, Scategories, Taboo, Wits and Wagers, Rummicub, Sequence, Pictionary and some even simpler games like Sorry, Uno, Othello or even Connect four! Of course there is always poker and now my latest learning curve on 21 card rummy with four.

Yeah Yeah, we have those nights when we just hang out. We have even had times when we have played "Dumb Charades" with old funky TV ad's and not just movie names. Picture this.. a person running across the living room and pretending to come out of glass holding a bottle “Yeh bechara kaam ke bhoj ka maara”... the ad is: "Hamdard ka tonic Cinkara" go check it out... I loved Shilpa's post about the old and new TV ads.. I have fodder for the next round of such games.

So now, I am on the lookout for a new board game for us adults and for our daughter! Any recommendations?
What about you, which games pique your interest?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Weather wonders

Come on... tell me... haven’t you ever wished.. that weather was just a bit warmer with the cloud should just cover the sun.. and the breeze being just the right amount. Enough to not make you sweat and not blow you away as well.. And oh yeah, the sky be pristine blue and the smile on your face grows.
See I knew it! It's not only me... who wants the "perfect" weather.
My family is in India and I really should not be complaining of the sun or OMG it’s so hot.. its only 95F here while in India.. well its averaging 110. And when I speak to them.. they are way more cheerful than I am. I use V as an excuse.. oh only if the weather was XXX then she would do YYY.
Completely ignoring the fact that it's me who is complaining not her. I think kids mirror you. Yes I should have known before.. but here is what my winter baby does: Enters a perfect temperature room and shakes her hand and say: "Aaah! It's so hot!"

I have no idea where she gets it from.. I swear!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

An end and A beginning

Simple. I am extremely proud of myself. Let the drum role begin.. and yes even the marching band.. what the heck!
I am done with my 8 week of Getting Fit personal challenge.
Here are the highlights.
- No, I have not lost tonne of weight or wearing a size 2! Alas. But I feel leaner. The clothes seem to be fitting better and best of all... a few friends told me, you look like you have been doing something!
- Food choices, this was my biggest challenge in my attempt. I did not want to do something drastic. Just simple changes. And I think I am doing way better than before. My snacks are more spaced out. My unnecessary binges are controlled and above all, I am making better food choices to snack on: Case in point, After an exhausting and sleep less long weekend- I said no to a "Cinnabon" (which by the way is my favorite!) and picked up a pear instead! Wow! That's a first for me.
- Physical activity wise. Even in my long weekend trip, I managed doing a few stretches! Come on... give me some credit. And yes, I have my personal trainer- my 2.5 year old daughter V. She makes me run around the garden chasing a butterfly or even a flying paper!

The reason I can this post an end and a beginning is the following: It's the end to my weekly posts of my progress, personal rant or brag. But it is a beginning for me to continue practicing a few simpler things in day to day thing to keep me fitter, active and lighter.
I learnt a few things about myself:
- Staying hungry for longer or skipping meals just makes me crankier. Yes, SD you can say: I told you so!
- I can forsake the chocolate in favor of a flavored yogurt.
- Staying no to french fries is really hard.
- I can walk 1.5 miles in 18 minutes. Not bad with a huge purse in tow!
- I prefer walking on a walker than the street.
- By writing the food on a chart, makes you feel better the next day, since you accomplished something yesterday.
- If I can’t go to the gym every day. It’s okay. The yoga mat and TV will be perfect.
- I can do it = I can continue to be myself (foodie) and still not feel guilty or super bloated after.
The best thing of all...... It's okay to talk about the struggles. Chances are there are a few more that have similar speed bumps on their road to.... fitness!

FYI- I am planning to continue my 3 point guide, in case you are wondering
Point A: Write what you eat.
Point B: Workout. It can be stretches, walks, yoga, gym or even just running with V.
Point C: Chart the weight.. and yes keep it private! hehe

Thanks for sticking around with me on this one. It really helped.