Dec 31, 2007

Last day of 2007

We are getting together at Saritha's place tonight for a dinner of appetizers. I am making some things and Saritha some. I will post the recipes and how it went next year ;).

I don't make resolutions for new year, I don't look back into the previous year, I am just plain boring when it comes to making big deal out of New year's eve and New year :). However, I want one new year to go away with just Prabu and V so I can get my man to kiss me at 12 on new year's eve :).

So what you doing for this new year's eve?


It was dad's birthday on Christmas day and Prabu's the next day. Both the boys got clothes and home-made meals as gifts. Dad didn't want to make a big deal out of his birthday so we kept it that way. For Prabu, I made Chicken Biriyani and took it to his work for his lunch along with some balloons. He took the lunch but said, "No thanks" for the balloons. He didn't want to be embarrassed by taking in the balloons to work ( What's wrong with you men;)?).

Then I came home and took the grandparents out for shopping so they can buy something for Prabu. Once home, I started my cooking 6 different appetizers and a chocolate cake from scratch. Does this whole post sound like I am tooting my own horn? Well good, because that's how I intend it to be because I never worked that hard in the kitchen. Did he appreciate all the effort I put in? I don't know, go ask him ;).

Dec 25, 2007

Dec 24, 2007

I am right here

I didn't disappear into darkness. V's getting a tad better by the day. I have been very occupied with the usual working, cooking, cleaning and other domestic diva things. Mom and dad arrived from India today. Dad's turning 60 tomorrow:). I haven't bought him any real gift except some clothes. It's so hard to buy gifts for men (except my brother). Prabu's birthday is day after tomorrow and I haven't bought a thing. Actually that is the gift I am giving him this year. Not spending any money. He is getting home cooked meal, no cake and no gifts. He's gonna have a blast ;).

Oh, don't say I didn't warn you . We have decided to take over Vegas for a weekend or a week (depends) in March of 2008. By we I mean me and my girls, Dolly and Awesta. I am trying to bring Saritha to the dark side too so let's see. I told Dolls, we should start planning only in January but man, I can start shopping for the trip right now ;).

Note to self: You have 3 months to do those darn crunches and get that fat belly back in shape.

Dec 21, 2007

Yikes, Yikes and more Yikes

V's got stomach virus and hasn't gotten better yet. He's been on a clear liquid diet for last 2 days. Poor thing has no energy to even smile. Unfortunately there is no magic pill for this. I have to sit and wait for him to get better on his own. I am hoping tomorrow is a better day :).

Dec 20, 2007

What defines you?

I had an interesting conversation with someone in India. She also works from home and has a 16 month old. She said after her daughter was born, she realized that her daughter is very precious to her but her career is what defines her, so she went back to working from home. She has a nanny who comes in to take care of her daughter, a cook, a maid for doing dishes, cleaning the house and laundry. Her husband takes complete care of their daughter at night and weekends because she needs a break. I almost said can we switch places ;) but then realized I have it better(I always do;)). She asked me if I felt the same way and if that's the reason I went back to work. My answer to her was a simple, "No I don't feel that way", but I knew I wanted to say more.

Through out the trip, I thought about her question. I have a job, it's not my career. If I were to be a Chef, I would have called it my career. And even then I don't think I would have let it define me. This is me: neither my son, nor my work will define me. My kid is gonna go off to college in 18 years with a wave good bye and I will be retiring in 20 to 30 years. If I let these 2 define me now, I will be staring at an empty wall in an asylum on my 60th birthday ;).

Say "Cheesh"!

That's V's word for Cheese. I introduced him to cheese slices last week and from then on that's all he keeps saying. After he finishes his one slice, he shows me the fridge meaning, I have to take one more out :).

Porr guy hasn't had his "cheesh" in 3 days now. He's got stomach virus and has been on a liquid diet since yesterday. He stopped throwing up since morning which is good news:). As I type this, he is in the living room making Thatha and Paati dance to his

Here is a picture of him I took today. He wanted to help momma dry his bedsheets.

Dec 18, 2007

Found this

This is Chaitu and me. I think I was 2 and he was 3.5 years old. The outfit he is wearing is the Police Uniform of India at that time:). Mom says, Chaitu would hold my hand and say, "I will always protect Chelli" ( Chelli means sister in Telugu). Just remembered the pictures and him :).

India - My opinions

All you hear now a days is how much India's economy is booming and blah blah and blah. But no one tells you about the traffic, the population, the accidents, and so on...

I grew up in a small town in India. I am sure you have heard me mention Kadapa like a million times. It was a small town then and I knew everyone and everyone knew who I was. I grew up not knowing anything about city traffic and pollution and such. I was happy in my small world. Then I came to US and it became my home. Now I love it here. So for me to go back to India for visits feels very weird and strange. I do get, "Oh come on, you were born and brought up here, you are acting like you never knew traffic in India." Honestly, I didn't. Where I grew up and when I was growing up, I drove my bike to school and home and wherever I needed to without having to worry about my life. Yes, people died in traffic accidents and such but it wasn't this common. So now to go back the traffic scares me.

There are certain things you get to see now a days that you didn't back in the day. Now couples hold hands while shopping or walking down the road. It brings a smile to my face when I see couples walking hand in hand. For me it says they are in love. You could call me cheesy but do you see yourself holding hands of your significant other when you are mad or upset with them. I think it's cute :).Tad bit of public displays of affection adds a zing into your life;). Don't ya think!

Oh the money! Kids graduating out of college are making enough money that they don't mind buying a pair of Gucci glasses or a Prada purse. Their motto is very simple. Live your life right now. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? They are young ( I am too but still like saying that) and they want to enjoy. Don't put them aside thinking they don't know how to save. Surprisingly the kids I have seen know how to enjoy and save, which is good.

The life of a stay at home, working at home or even working out of home wives/moms is tad bit easier there than here. I have seen everyone having a maid, nanny and a laundry lady who does stuff. Some even have cooks who come in and make meals. I know what you are thinking, grass is always greener on the other side :). And the second I came home, I knew grass on my side is much greener and is shining brighter waiting for me :).

Dec 17, 2007

What next?

I wrote about the trip in general and what we did in India and the pictures. In next few days you will hear me talk about what I really felt during this trip :). Stay tuned....

Also, I started cooking the day after I came so I updated the recipe blog too :)

Links to all India trip pictures

Singapore and Chennai Pictures
Chennai Party
1st Birthday

India Trip - Back to Chennai

After going all over the map, we came home back on the 29th of November. The next day we had a dinner get-together at a restaurant for Prabu's college friends. Prabu had a good time meeting his buddies ( so did I). I got to hear all the inside stories from his college days ( including list of coughcoughPrabusgirlfriendscoughcough)

Prabu left for AZ on 2nd December. I stayed back for a week more, finished the rest of shopping and came home on th 9th with V, amma and appa:).

Dec 14, 2007

India Trip - Bodinayakanur

Bodi (short for Bodinayakanur) is Prabu's parents and grand parents place. This is where they grew up. Prabu's paternal grandma lives there still and so do all of Prabu's aunts from his mother's side. So we visited Bodi for 2 days. We took a train from Mangalore to Coimbatore. Had breakfast in Prabu's cousin Meena Akka's place and then headed off to Bodi in a car. V loved the over night train ride. The second we entered into the complex where Meena akka's family lives, I thought I entered into a town house complex in New Jersey or something. It had 2 security gates and the whole community was so quiet and peaceful and not to forget beautiful :). Here is Meena Akka, her husband Siddharthan, and her kids Divya and Keerthi.

My main reason to go to Bodi was to show V to Prabu's grand mother. She is 90 some years old and has bad memory but I still wanted her to see him. V will not remember this trip so I got pictures of him with her so I can tell him about her. Here is V with his great-grandmother, grand father and dad. I love this picture.

Bodi is a small town where people are so friendly and lively. They are very orthodox in certain aspects and follow traditions to the T but the love and affection they show makes up for it.

V loved the place and the people. He wanted to stay on the road all day and watch the dogs, the bullock-carts and any other animal and/or bird that passed by.

Dec 12, 2007

India Trip - Mangalore

V and I flew down to Managalore on 23rd. I got sick the morning of the travel but somehow managed fine. The fellow passengers and the Jet airways crew were great and so was V. Prabu's sister Banu, her husband Natarajan and daughter Nandu moved there couple of years ago. They were great hosts.

We visited couple of beaches a beautiful temple and spent a day in a boat house in Kerala.

If you guys have seen the movie "Bombay", you could see a fort/beach in one of the songs (sad song). We visite dthat too. Prabu refused to sing the song on the fort with me and take pictures like Manisha and Aravind swamy did in the movie, oh well. You can ask for only so much ;).

India Trip - Hyderabad

Prabu, V and I flew down to Hyderabad on the 15th. We had V's birthday party on the 17th for my side of family. It was like a mini wedding with 150 guests :).

Prabu left the day after the party while V and I stayed back for 4 more days. The one week I stayed in Hyderabad was awesome. Hanging out with cousins, playing cards, shopping, the jokes, the food.....hmmmmm....

Here is a picture of the 6 of us who grew up together.
Top (left to right) - Dolly, Chaitu and Yankee
Bottom (Left to right): Aditya, me and Toshiba

Dolly's real name is Mrudula. Chaitu started calling her Dolly when we were kids and now no one in the family knows her real name :).
Yankee's real name is Keerthi Priyanka and don't ask me why we call her Yankee.
Toshiba's real name is Prathyusha and my dad gave her that nick name.
Chaitu and I have nick names too. I will tell you what it is when you get some cash ready to pay;).

And then Sundeep joined us bunch of years ago and I think he regrets moving to Hyderabad and getting to know us;)

You can see all the Hyderabad pictures here.

Dec 11, 2007

India Trip - Real Birthday

V had 3 birthday's this year. One on the 10th, the real one on the 14th and another in Hyderabad on the 17th. On 14th we took him to the temple in Chennai and had a cake and all at home. Nandu (Prabu's niece) decorated the living room with streamers and happy birthday signs. Here are s ome of the pictures from November 14th.

India Trip - Tirupathi

We drove down from Chennai to Tirupathi. It was a 4 hour drive. V had his head-shaving ceremony there. Mom, dad and Chaitu came down from Hyderabad. As the maternal uncle Chaitu had the privilege of having V sit in his lap for the shaving and boy was Chaitu pissed. The guy who shaved V did a good job over all but since V was moving a lot, he got couple of cuts. Natarajan Anna, Seenu mama held him tight too but still he was moving a lot. After the deed was done Chaitu told me that if I ever decide to have another kid and do decide to do this all over again, not to call him because he doesn't want any part in making kids cry. Hahaha. Traditions are not all easy-rides my brother. Prabu's side of the family actually have ear-piercing and head shaving for even boys. We opted out of the ear-piercing.

Here is V clean shaven :)

Tirupathi has Sr Venkateswara 's ( or Balaji as called by some) temple which is visited by some hundreds of thousands of devotees every day. This god's income per day goes beyond millions of rupees. This is one of the over-rated temples where you have to be actually scared and careful as to not get killed in a stampede while trying to get a glimpse of the god.

India Trip - Chennai

Not knowing how V would react to the relatives and new place and all, before leaving we told amma and appa (Prabu's parents)to not feel bad if he doesn't come to them or to anyone immediately but he proved us wrong. The second he saw them, he jumped out of my hands into Amma's hands.

It wasn't a smooth ride all over. We landed on the 6th and V got an ear infection on the 8th with high fever. Rushed him to the doctor there and he put him on tylenol and some antibiotics. We celebrated diwali on the 9th. I thought he would be afraid of the fire works but he was so excited to see them and wanted to lit up few himself;).

Here is Nandu(Ananditha)

Me trying to lit up a few;)

More pictures here.

Amma and appa arranged a get together/party for his birthday on the 10th. Even though he was sick he still was in good mood and went to everyone and played with all the balloons and decorations.

India Trip - Travel to India

Prabu and I were prepared for some serious crying and fussy V thinking it's a 2 day journey and he will be cranky. To our surprise he was very well behaved and hardly cried or anything. As long as he got his food on time he was good. We flew through Singapore airlines and had a 12 hour break in Singapore. We took a open top bus tour. V had such a blast with the wind blowing his hair.

Singapore is really beautiful and clean. The guide and others kept mentioning that the only 2 activities or hobbies that Singaporeans have are eating and shopping and so you will find too many restaurants and too many malls. We visited Little India( What is it with Indians wanting to see traces of Indian-ness whatever country they go to?)

I am Back Baby!

Came in last evening. Everyone is healthy :). Will start posting today. Kept writing in a book so I don't forget anything :). Lots of things to share. Get ready for an attack of posts :)