Here we come Feb!

5 Feb

So Jan went by in some sort of blogging, working, traveling, recovery from the holidays haze. The Blogging Marathon though I completed it successfully, was not super enjoyable – especially weekends and especially some hectic weekdays too. If I ever attempt this again, I swear I will take some time to come up with 31 writing prompts for myself, rather than summarizing my day as I had to a few times. I also found myself in several social events at 11 pm and not being able to enjoy them as I was worried about blogging. And the quality of posts reflected this stress too as they were poorly written and not very well thought of. Anyway, we live and learn.

Onwards to Feb!

Stuff that I am looking forward to this month:

  • Getting into an exercise and eating clean regime. I was very up and down in Jan, but Feb shows promise. I started my favorite Jillian Michaels videos yesterday and can feel the burn in just one day. But I am one of those people, who loves the pain post workout – makes me feel I have done something worthwhile and I want to keep at this. Of course, I went and ate some chips today , but now it looks like all junk food from our short weekend trip is finally done and inside my system. So I can get along with no distractions.
  • I am aiming at not touching work after Bandar comes home from school, and this has again been a little tough. A few nights , I have had to ask her to lie in bed while I wrap up a call or emails and though she complies, her call out for me makes me vow to work only after she is asleep. But that means I have to drag myself away from cozy cuddly baby and bed and that’s so hard. But I enjoy those moments with her so much each night that I am trying to implement this.
  • Having some new books to read. I am reading chicklit (the new shopaholic book) and a Jeffrey Archer right now. So I am fairly occupied and happy. I have also ordered some new Enid Blytons for Bandar and I can’t wait for them to arrive.
  • Park time with Bandar. The weather seems to be getting better and I know this means the husband will start cricket over the weekends. Bandar and I will be left to our own devices but I am hoping I can fill these in with some playdates and park time.
  • Connecting more with family – parents, in laws, sister . I was awful at this in Jan but all three parties really await our call and as I am the only one amongst the H, Bandar and I who actually talks, this ones on me.
  • Blogging regularly – atleast thrice a week is what I am aiming at. I feel that is a good pace around here and something I can strive for.

 

What do you have planned for Feb? Go on, share!

 

 

Day 31 -Snow and more snow

1 Feb

A 2.5 hour drive that turned into an eight hour journey  through a snow storm.What a fine way to end the weekend!

We used our common sense and started our journey home fairly early at 9:30 AM, knowing fully well that we were in for a fine snow storm. We had chains to go over our tires and stopped to install them about 30 minutes in. But after but the husband and I being soaked to the bone trying to get them on,we realized something was probably wrong with the chains. They were the incorrect size. Anyway, we drove back about 30 minutes to another store and bought a new pair, but again they were the wrong  size. I finally went into the store again and asked for help which was available at a price of course. The guy finally got us the right chains and installed them and we were on our way at 20mph down the mountain, 2 hours after we had intended.By that time, both H and I were soaked to the bone – him more than me. I wish I could have helped more with the whole chains thing but apart from standing outside for moral support while he tried to get them on, I could do nothing much. Well, atleast I got the guy to help.

We finally made it down safely and stopped for lunch at 4 pm at the foothills. Olive Garden was the highlight of my day. After a 1200 calorie meal , we finished the last 1.5 hours of the journey in rain to return home safe and sound.

Hot baths, some small unpacking and a sorry little blogpost is all I can manage for the day.More at my own pace at the other side of this marathon!

 

snow 1snow 2

 

 

Day 30- Day at the slopes

31 Jan

– Every time we go skiing I crib about how long the whole process of getting your skis and getting on the slope actually takes. But then I conveniently forget about it before the next time we go.

– And this was the first time we did the whole thing with a child. It puts a whole new meaning to the term ‘ long day’

– Bandar was a sport all day. Putting up with long waits and public restrooms for 8 hours , all to attend a 2 hour boring ski lesson for toddlers.

– The husband had fun snow boarding but is pretty sore by now.

– I have eaten way too much junk food and have not regrets not skiing.

– Blogging on vacation with others is awfully boring and socially rude and I am totally blogged out at this point

Day 29- Zoo time!

30 Jan

Apart from the beaches, the biggest excitement for me about moving to SD was the zoo. I have always had a strange fondness for zoos for the longest time. I always try to find a zoo when we are vacationing and this was even before we had a kid!And to top it , off late,  fortunately I have ended up living in cities with some pretty amazing zoos .

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The husband and I had visited SD for our first wedding anniversary in 2010 and we spent a whole day at the zoo. We talk about that day even now in vivid detail and have some amazing pictures too from then.
So its always a fun experience for me to take Bandar to the zoo now that we have moved here. I am leaving you a picture of one of our favorite exhibits the Panda.
We learnt on our most recent visit that Pandas are fairly territorial and don’t like to share. As Bandar is working on her sharing too, she totally relates to this personality trait and often chimes that she simply is like a Panda!
Happy weekend all!

Day 28- Games!

29 Jan

This is our small connection of board games and puzzles. They lie on the top shelves of our study and are hardly used nowadays. But they much loved indeed.

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Settlers and Ticket to Ride need atleast 3- 4 people to be any fun and we really don’t have another gaming family to connect with here.For this simple reason I cannot wait for Bandar to grow up! I have a long list of similar games on my Amazon wish list but I might as well hit delete on them for a few years.

A few are two player ones – Scrabble, Chinese Checkers, Mancala and the Husband and I have spent many an evening playing these during the first few years that we were married. Once Bandar  came into our lives we simply haven’t had the time.
Maybe we should restart our weekend tradition  of a two player board game. Bandar is probably old enough to not eat the pieces now and might let us play.
I grew up playing a lot of these games with my family and its one of those traditions I want to incorporate in this one as well. One of my early memories is coloring at the table at maybe age 3, while my parents played a game of Scrabble. At 6 , I joined them playing 4 letter words. And then at 10 years old we played with my infant sister playing on a mat by our feet. 10 years later she beat us all hollow with her superior vocabulary!
Chinese checkers was another family favorite. My parents have actually fought over that one – they are both sore losers. That one I learnt to play at 5 or 6 and while Scrabble was a weekend favorite, Chinese Checkers was a weekday night activity before bed  .
When my dad visits me in the US in recent years, I make chai for us both and we sit and play and chat – the best bonding ever. Wish we could this more often!
Mancala I associate mainly playing with my sister. Someone gifted her a set when she turned 5 and we have played that one for hours on end holding mock 5 game tournaments.
With Bandar at present its only Candyland and Snakes and Ladders so far. She already seems to be s sore loser like her grandparents and we are working on the ” its fun to play and okay to lose ” messaging here . But I do hope to integrate board gaming into our lives a little more this year.

Day 27- Random blues mid week

28 Jan

I have too much on my plate right now at work and no real time to compose a good solid post. So these scattered thoughts have to do for now. Most are woeful ones anyway.

– I have been 5 days more or less sugar free and am about to give in with work stress. I say more or less as I am eating peanut butter on toast most days for breakfast and it has sugar. Mostly I am off all desserts, juice, candy and other snacks with sugar. I am tired of the whole thing now and I have brownie mix that is calling my name and banana bread that wants to be baked.

– I am worried about the weekend to some extent. We are spending a weekend with 2 other families in the hills and I am wondering how it is also going to be.

– This week seems to be dragging for me but at the same time I am glad that  were longer to give me time to get work done.

-The day after a fight with the spouse are awful, awful days. We fought last night and it was actually a real fight after maybe 2 months. Anyway, we made up before falling asleep like we usually do but I feel drained and bruised emotionally today as expected. This leads to extreme clinginess and neediness on my part.  And as its a working day for both of us packed to the height with meetings , we don’t have the luxury of giving into the clinginess at all, except maybe a few texts and calls. In a way, I guess work helps take ones mind of the emotions.

– I have stopped making salads off late. My eating habits for almost 6 months after we moved here were clean – I mainly ate a finely chopped salad for lunch which energized me and made me feel light and nice. But laziness to chop mainly has driven me to eat a carb loaded lunch of bread or idlis nowadays.

– I  am also back to cooking more food than we consume and wasting. Need to get a handle on it.

– I feel like a bad daughter as I simply haven’t picked up the phone and spoken to my parents much off late. We speak almost everyday but off late they have tiny calls , not long and leisurely.

Day 26- Bunnies in the yard

26 Jan

When I came to the US about 10 days after I turned 21, I was picked up by my cousin at the airport and taken to her house where I stayed for a few days till my future roommates arrived in the US and we moved into our grad student style awful house. My cousin and her family were all at work most of the day and I was left alone in this house and was slightly awe struck. So many things were different and I missed my life back home in Bombay .
The unwieldy huge gallon for milk in the fridge versus the small familiar steel utensil of milk on the stove that my mom miraculously always found time to boil in the mornings, even if she had to leave to teach a 7 am class. The humongous mugs for tea and an assortment of teabags and instructions on making myself some in the microwave. The yummy granola bars that were left out for me as snacks were nothing like I had before, well maybe a little like dry fruit chikki from Lonavla. The pre cooked from the weekend desi food in the fridge that I was told  to put on my microwavable plate and heat for lunch. And it was okay to reheat an eaten off unwashed plate for seconds in the microwave too. Blasphamous in my house in Bombay:) The intimidating many remotes for the TV and also the complicated directions to call India through Reliance call cards. I barely understood most of it as instructions were being doled out…blame it on jetlag and overall confusion in general. Then they left – they drove their cars out if the two car garage with it giant automatic doors and they were gone .
So when the house was empty, I sat down at the little kitchen nook table and looked around me. The house with its grand staircase. The kitchen with its wonderful island. The two sets of couches in the formal living and the den. The little kitchen table and the massive formal dining room. Americans obviously didn’t do things in half measures.  And the yard – I saw a family of jack rabbits playing about and amused myself as I nibbled my granola bar.  Remember I had no smart phone then and really no mode of distraction, all the time in the world to just take things in. So this was the sweet American life obviously.  A nice house and bunnies playing in your yard. Obviously, that is when one has finally arrived in America and made it, I reasoned in my simple 21 year old head.

So like everything else in the last 9 years, this scene somehow moved around in my head. We have lived in about 6 homes together in 7 years and about 4 each before that individually, give or take. In the last 7 years itself though, many a time I have had the feeling of “making it”. It is really just a state of mind and doesn’t matter where you are , my 27 year old self told me a few years ago. You are independent,  making a living, have a wonderful husband and child – if this is not making it, what is?
Anyway,one day last week like any other day,  I woke up at the crack of dawn to work and pottered down to the kitchen to make my tea and I set my laptop down at our kitchen nook to work . I picked up my microwaved tea with its tea bag, and set it down besides me and looked up to see one little bunny wandering about our tiny yard! I looked around me at where I was and told myself I had finally arrived but the journey had been a blast!

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