Archive | January, 2016

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 .


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.


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!

Day 25 – Desi Birthday Parties

26 Jan

Bandar and thus I, have been in  about three birthday parties this month alone!Ample opportunity for me to people watch as I barely know any one here. Here are the typical sights of a desi party :

The toddler Birthday child could care less about the event.

I think the age is maybe 5 or 6 years when the child himself starts enjoying the birthday. Atleast in most other parties that are not desi, a big deal is made of the little birthday child. But in a desi one, the child is seen wandering around looking quite confused while mom and dad entertain the guests and the guests entertain each other and the older kids play.

Elaborate Food

The food is never limited to snacks. It is always  a meal – lunch or dinner. And quite elaborate. I really don’t know how the sandwiches, samosas, chips, drink, pop corn , cake , jello, pizza ONLY  culture can be brought back into desi birthdays and REPLACE meals.  That is what the menu looked like for my birthday parties growing up. But as I am sucked into the system and have eaten many a meal, I will end up falling into the same food trap for parties I throw too.

Outsourced games

Off late, there is an entertainer who is hired and does magic/balloons/games/face painting etc. He effectively takes the kids off the adults hands giving them time to mingle.  I miss the fun, simple games my parents and I sat and planned and executed for our parties. This is one thing I want to bring back to any parties I organize for my child.

Random adult asking poor , scared child if he/she recognizes them

I have witnessed this in more than one party and poor helpless child depending on his/her age either truthfully says no( below age 5) or smartly fibs with a yes( over 5)


Mealtime media


Its meal time and the 80% of the kids as small as 1 year old are glued to their parent’s mobile or tablet as their parents stuff food into their mouths . The standard distract the child and stuff their mouth routine.

The Gossip all around

You can hear – “Oh how fat/thin you have become” atleast a minimum of thrice in any party if you eavesdrop on conversation around you . The favorite topic among the ladeez. Apart from that, there is a lot of gossip in general going around. As I am fairly new to the scene, I am watcher at this point and not a participant, though that can change given the situation.



Day 24 – Musicals

25 Jan

Today was the we took Bandar to see her first musical performance on stage – Disney’s Frozen on Ice! I really did not know if she was going to enjoy it or even understand it, but trust Disney to their thing. For a child who has never seen a Disney movie , and barely knows the characters through books, she actually enjoyed the whole show and even laughed at the jokes!

The Husband and I love watching shows on stage ourselves. We have seen a few performances of travelling Broadway shows before Bandar was born. Our favorite of course was Phantom of the Opera. My least favorite was maybe Wicked. Would have preferred watching Wizard of Oz, which I have heard is really good.

Another wonderful musical experience was Lion King. This is one that both the husband and I wanted to watch together. Funnily enough I saw it with my mom and sis in London and he saw it with his sister in Austin.I think this is even off Broadway now , so chances are we won’t get to see it together ever:(

Ironically, we didn’t see a single Broadway show when we lived in NYC. I blame it on Bandar being too little and us too scared to leave her with a sitter. Oh well, guess now that she’s seen her first show, I am just excited for seeing some more in the future with her.