Dec 31, 2011

Beginning Of The End Or The End Of The Beginning

It's already 2012 somewhere on the earth. It's still 2011 where I am. I hated New Year's Eve as a kid. Hated it with the utmost passion. You don't have to know the reason :). New Year's Eve always ended with me thinking (as always), "When I grow up and make a lot of money, I am going to have the best, happiest New Year's Eve". That was the time, I associated money with happiness. It took me a while to figure out, I can make the money, I can bring happiness, but I might still hate New Year's Eve. Don't get me wrong, I love celebrations. I love parties. But a dull and dud New Year's Eve, I hate.

So this year, to make it exciting, my client is going live on January 1st :). Yup, in another 3 hours we go live and I will be in a meeting at 12:01 AM :). Woohoo. Nope. Not being sarcastic at all. I bought a dress. I am going to get ready and sit at my laptop working away. You know why? Because there will be bunch of us and we will be talking, joking, working getting nervous and getting excited. That sort of day I like. A boring day is not me. I can not have it and I will not have it. This year will be the beginning of the end of the New Year's Eve hate and the end of the search for new beginning.

Dec 24, 2011

Merry Christmas - Take That Political Correctness

Merry Christmas. Yes, you heard me right. I said it. No happy holidays. Just plain Merry Christmas. What the heck holidays are people talking about? My client is going live on New Year's eve and it's official that I will be holding champagne in one hand and will be on the phone with my team on the other on New Year's Eve. I am also retracting my vacation and will be working part of next week. So spare me the 'Happy Holidays' and just wish me Merry Christmas. I have been "celebrating" Christmas since last year. Why the change? Well, I am glad you asked ;).

You see, V came home last year from pre-school ad decided it's time we have a Christmas tree because, well where else can Santa keep his presents. This year he is in Kindergarten and the same deal. You would think people will leave the 'political correctness' bullshit aside and actually teach the kids about what Christmas, Hanukkah and other festivals are all about. Nope. Christmas = Santa + Gifts + be good so Santa gets you gifts + did I say presents? Hanukkah = Recipe about Latkes. Here's what is ticking me off. Look, you want to teach my kid about Jesus, Christianity, Jews, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and whatever other things there are - go for it.  But don't just teach the non-sense and not the real thing in the name of being politically correct. So the kid has no clue why Christmas is celebrated, what Hanukkah is all about but all he knows is Christmas = presents from Santa.Yes, I am the mother and I do let him know the real deal. But you know as well as I do that when lessons come from school, it makes a huge impact than the parents. Especially at his age where these kids think whatever they learn in school is the Gospel. If you are going to teach them, teach them from A to Z, not just some PC crap. Thank you very much.

He brought home a wish list he wrote for Santa and a worksheet of recipe on how to make Latkes. That's the extent of his knowledge on Christmas and Hanukkah. I need to go torture my friend C to give me a first hand account of Hanukkah as celebrated in her family than looking up Wikipedia about it. Then I need to explain him what Christmas is all about. I will be the first one to admit, anything that has gifts/presents tagged to it, I am all for it. Hell, I want some presents from Santa myself (Santa, if you are reading this, get me some love, diamonds and Loubutins). But I know the real deal too.

On that lovely ranting note, here's wishing every one a Merry Christmas :).

Dec 10, 2011

Five Years - Dr.Seuss Themed Birthday

V is into Dr. Seuss's books and I ran with it as a theme. I did not bake, I did not cook. All I did was enjoy it as much as he did.  This birthday felt extra special to me because Vodina was here to celebrate and I must say she made it perfect. I had the idea but she brought it all together with these little touches that made it extra special and extra beautiful :)

I will talk less and let the pictures speak for themselves. Most of the ideas were picked up from searching google,pinterest and other sites. The t-shirts were from Etsy. Party hats, cloth banner are from Target. Happy Birthday banner - Prabu put it together (Yes he is awesome and no you can't have him;)).

Birthday Boy

All the 'Things'
 Gold Fish crackers :)

The hats are from Target

Banner is from Target. Goody bags contained A Dr. Seuss Book, Pencil and an Eraser

Coloring Packs we made for kids as an activity

This cucumbers and carrots inc ups was an idea I saw on pinterest

Instead of regular cake, we ordered cup cakes (Mini and Regular).
Vodina and I made the toppers with toothpicks and Dr.Seuss Foam Stickers :)

I love the way Vodins decorated this :)

The 1-4-3's (Loves) of my life ;)

V in his class on his birthday :)

Nov 13, 2011

Halloween 2011

This year V was Optimus Prime from Transformers. He has never seen the movie. One of his friends in school brought a transformer toy from show and tell and from then on he is into transformers.

Sep 27, 2011

Pity Party For One Please

Well, that's what you do when you are alone in a hotel room with your laptop and no one in sight to talk. You throw yourself a pity party. You can also say to hell with it and go have a real party but then there won't be much to talk about ;).

I'm in Chicago for the week on a work trip. It was very last minute but one that was very much needed. The family was great and supportive and had no problem. Then why the hell am I having a pity party. For one, I am dreading going back home. When I got home after the last work trip, the little brat was waiting for me at the airport with flowers and a big hug and it was super sweet. But then I got, "We didn't miss you much. It didn't matter if you were here or not. V was fine and we did great with out you" from my mom. Ouch. I love you too mom, want me to get out of your way now? I don't think I want to hear anything remotely close to that again , so yes, kind of dreading going back home.

The more I think about it, I wonder if it's 'female brain' thing or if I am having mixed emotions because it's actually the first time I am staying alone without the family around. Funny thing is, I have never heard mom say it when Chaitu or Prabu were travelling (Oh yes, I am comparing and I will:)). It also doesn't help that I get zero calls from home when I am away. It's usually me calling and trying to talk and it's never the right time for a decent 10 minute conversation. Now that my bitch-fest is over, here's the deal. Finally I am at a place where I can honestly say, I love my job. Mother can give me hints but that's when I have to remember that she was born in 1954 and I wasn't.  It's hard to explain to her about the adrenaline rush you get when you accomplish something, so it's easy to bitch about it, shake it off and then go on with the work :). And to quote one of my favorite author, "The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me."

Sep 13, 2011

Why I Do What I Do?

I used to sing
Sing to forget the pain
because singing made me happy
One day I stopped
Singing was annoying people

I used to cook
Cook to forget sorrow
because cooking eliminated the bad flavors in my life
One day I stopped
Cooking was not paying my bills

I began to work
I work hard, I work long hours
It gave me recognition
It gave me friends
It gave me money
It gave me happiness

I do not have any guilt
I played the cards I was dealt
I will not take the money to my grave
To say no now is not brave
I will buy that house
I will pay for those diamonds
Stop me if you can
For I am about to rise
Karma will take it all away
And I will be back
Singing, Cooking and Making Money

Aug 11, 2011

"I Am A School Ager"

That's what V's been saying for past few weeks. He was so excited about starting kindergarten today. He couldn't sleep last night because, well god forbid sun doesn't rise and he misses first day of school :). It was way too cute to watch him so happy and excited about school. I hope it lasts another few weeks :). Today we had to drive him and we got to meet his teacher and see his classroom. It was only for an hour. Tomorrow my boy will be riding the school bus. It will be from 9 - 1 tomorrow and Monday. From Tuesday onwards it's full time which is 9 - 3 :).

Here's him getting ready for his first day of school today.

Jul 14, 2011

"An Affair To Remember"

Couple of months ago I went out to do some grocery shopping leaving the boys alone at home. When I walked through the door V announced that he had dinner and threw up afterwards. I noticed Prabu cleaned up the carpet and was washing V’s clothes. Can I help you, I asked, and my man declined saying he’s got it under control. All was well. Few weeks after that, I took out the big bad vacuum (I have a tiny one I use every other day and keep the big bad one for monthly). I thought the bin was full and decided to empty it out. Boy oh boy! As soon as I opened the bin, I shut it back in and called Prabu at work. I was seeing red by then but was very composed on the phone (Surprise, surprise) ;).

M: Did you use the vacuum 2 weeks ago to clean the carpet when V threw up?
P: No
M: Are you sure? Because I just opened the bin and I can’t even explain.
P: No. Why would I? I used the wet scrubber we have.
M: Ok. Then I guess I have to believe that there are ghosts or something paranormal.
P: What?
M: Well, I didn’t do it, you didn’t do it. But then the vacuum is looking and smelling like hell if you open it. So yeah, I think there are ghosts in the house. It’s ok, I will see you at home.

He came home, went straight to the vacuum. Took it outside, opened it and came back to clean it. I told him to throw the filter out and he has to scrub the bin down. Ok. Awesome. He does it all and comes back to say “Sorry. I think I did use this vacuum that day. You can buy a new one.” Here is where I should tell you that I had my eyes on a new vacuum since last year but didn’t want to argue with, “We Americans are all about the next new thing”. But the second he said you can buy new one, I was all over it. After few days, he says why don’t we just order a new filter instead of a new one. And I was just shaking my head going, “Men”. I got a new filter and all that jazz but I can’t shake the smell out of my head and the feeling of ewww looking at this damn vacuum.

Finally, last night, I decided to have the affair I always wanted to have. Oh yes, you heard that right. I decided to have an affair with ‘The Dyson’. I took the plunge and ordered my new toy. He will be at my door in 5 to 10 days. He promises to clean the house better as long as I promise to guide him through the rooms, the corners, and the hard to reach places. He also said he will be with me for the rest of my life and if I am not satisfied at any point, I can send him back. Come on over in few days, if you want to meet my new boyfriend ;). At $200 less than retail, this will definitely be an affair to remember :).

Jul 10, 2011

Finger Puppet Holder

It's ridiculously hot in Phoenix and there is only so much of playing V can do inside the house. So every now and then, I tend to do something fun for him that keeps him occupied for few hours to days (depends on what I make). The jail I made is still going strong in the 'play' department :). I was in a major cleaning/tossing/organizing mood this weekend and noticed these plastic pins that I saved from the flowers I received from sis-in-law for my birthday (don't ask me why I saved them, I do those kind of things). I also had some Styrofoam from the packaging from Ikea. And I present to you finger puppets on flower pins ;). I only had 7 pins so for others I used some cardboard I had. We bought these puppets from Ikea when v was 2 years old and it worked wonders for our drives :).

Ikea does sell the puppet holder that you have to screw into a wall or any other surface. The way I did, I don't need no nails or screws ;). And I don't think I have to tell you that it was a hit with V :)

Jul 7, 2011

Chick Hicks In Jail

Few months ago V saw a Police Station/Prison set in a toy store and said, "It's just for looking right. We can't borrow it right". So I told him yes, we can't "borrow" it. I thought I would make him a jail. I made one for him yesterday using some Styrofoam bought at home depot, patterned paper and this wooden "thing" I bought long time ago from Joann's for 59 cents. You can see my lovely ridiculous work. I can't cut things straight for the life of me nor am I that "artsy". The walls used for this jail are made with cardboard from a shoe box (Note to Husband: See how important it is for me to buy shoes ;))

V loved the jail and played with it all day yesterday. Today he called me into his room to show me a "Truck Festival" he is having. It was very cute. He arranged all his trucks on the wooden planks and was explaining about each one to me. After few minutes I thought, "Let me take some pictures." By the time I got the camera and went back to his room, I saw this:

Me: Vikram, what happened to your festival? I was going to take pictures and show it to Attha and mama.
V: Chick Hicks came in and crashed all the cars and trucks
M: That's not nice of him. Didn't you tell him not to crash.
V: I did and he didn't listen to me
M: Well then may be chick hicks would like a little time out
V: Don't worry momma. I put him in Jail. Look here momma.

Jun 7, 2011

Where The Mountains Are

Aha! So this is what it feels like. Something happened over the weekend and I am trying my best to 'let it go'(If any of you know tried and true methods on how to 'let go', let me know. I am all ears :)). It's hard though. I am sure you all have been there, done that. I don't have to specify what it is. It can be anything. Anything that makes you want to scream 'F you all' in an empty house. Anything that makes you go from "I am feeling good" to "Bite Me" in 3.3 nano seconds. These kind of things happened before. This time though I am caught between "Screw convenience" and "Come on, stop being a brat Sowjanya". It is not a fun place to be at.

Yes, I will come out of it by not being a brat. I already wasted 2 days sulking about it. Time to shape up(literally) because anniversary weekend is ahead of us and I want to look awesome. Time to remind husband what he got himself into eight years ago :). You need to exit now because it's about to get 'cheesy', 'corny' and what not. See the guy in the picture below. He's the reason I wanted to get to the top of a mountain 10 years ago and scream, "I am in love". And I still want to do it from time to time. This weekend, I might actually do it as we are headed to the mountains in Tucson.

May 10, 2011

Thirty Going On Thirteen

Couple of weeks before my 13th birthday I asked my mom if I can have three new outfits for my birthday. Both of us were surprised I asked. Me, because I never asked anything for birthdays. I didn’t have wrapped gifts waiting when I woke up on birthdays. My mom was surprised because I asked and that too not just one but three outfits. Few days later, she said it’s not possible and we can afford only one new dress. I sucked it up. My aunt who was visiting us said, “Well, when you get married, you can have your husband buy you as many dresses as you want”. I told her that day that I will never wait for someone to buy me anything and If I want something, I will work for it myself. I wasn’t arrogant about it when I said it. It felt very ‘matter of fact’ for me at that time. I am glad my parents didn’t just get me everything. It definitely gave me motivation and I got the taste of my first paycheck when I was 16, three thousand rupees (Less than $100). I worked as a news anchor for a local cable channel (I still can’t believe I did that. What was I thinking?). Surprisingly I didn’t go out and buy any new dress. That money was spent for my TOEFL exams and other things. But the whole ‘new dress on birthday’ just stayed with me. So for the last 12 years (After moving to US), I made it a point to buy a new outfit for my birthday.

Birthdays are always special to me. I know for some, it’s just another day but not for me. I am here, I am alive then I am celebrating that day. I love birthday parties, I love everyone making a big deal about it. This year was my big 30th and I was away from the family. I didn’t have the ‘hoopla’ I envisioned that I would do for my 30th. But I finally made my “three outfits” into reality. I got me a reservation at the spa for some pampering. I made reservations for dinner and I made sure I kept me happy that day. And I didn’t have to ask anyone for anything. I was able to do it myself.

Few days later it got me thinking though. Am I still 13? Does being a 30 year old mean I have to start saying “Oh it’s just another day. I am getting old”, even though I don’t mean it? Does it mean I will stop ‘celebrating’? Nope. No way, no how. I worked way too hard to be where I am and nothing will bring me down from feeling how I feel. Thirteen or Thirty, you still have to rely on you and only you for your happiness and no one can hand it to you. Would it be nice? Yes. Can it happen? Not always. That’s when you tell yourself, “Suck it up butter cup”. That’s when you decide which route you want to chose. The one where you are pissed off and sulking or the one where you are still pissed off, but are able to work on getting over the anger and finding ways to cool off. Both ways are difficult. Personally I have chosen both routes at certain points of my life. Part of growing old, you see yourself choosing the second route more often than the first :). That's the difference between 30 and 13 ;).

Here is a pic of the familia at the birthday dinner:

Apr 26, 2011

'You Get What You Get'

Few weeks ago V came home to announce his teacher told the class "You get what you get and you don't throw a fit". I ran with it. I have never heard it before and I love it :). Fast forward to yesterday when Prabu was cutting a cantaloupe and asked V to get him a box to store it. Here is how it went down:

P: Vikram, could you get me a box to store the fruit please
V: Here appa
P: It's very tiny, could you give me the big one.
V: You get what you get and you don't throw a fit appa
P: Well, I am not throwing a fit. You can say that if I was asking for something that's not there. You can see the fruit I cut up won't fit in the box you gave right?
P: You see a big box in the cabinet?
P: Well, then you can not say that in this situation because we have a bigger box to fit the fruit.
V:Oh, I am sorry appa. Here is a big box.

I wish I recorded the conversation. I was in the living room when the conversation between the two started and towards the end I locked myself in the bathroom laughing hysterically (Sorry I just can't believe the brat gave it back to us.

Here's him in Atlanta making funny faces like his cousins:).

Apr 11, 2011

Get Some Wine For This Cheese (A.K.A Love Story 2001)

"Oh My! He is hot"
"I think she is the boss's daughter"
"So he is a consultant here eh."
"Really? She works here?"
"Good lord. He is shy"
"She is very talkative"
"I think I will just ask the gang for a movie"
"I want to take her out for dinner on my birthday"
"Nice, finally he's got my number"
"I will call her after work"
"My dream phone voice. My dream phone voice"
"Ok. So girls are crazy"
"I bet he thinks I will pick a chick flick"
"I can't believe she picked Blair Witch 2"
"I can't eat. My stomach is full of butterflies"
"No wonder she is skinny. She hardly touched her food"

"Her name is Sowjanya and I want to marry her"
"His name is Prabu and I just asked him to marry me"

Circa 2003 :)


Apr 8, 2011

All 'Growed' Up

April 4th was Ugadi. I am back to working crazy hours but decided I should cook something different considering it's a festival. So between debugging and deep-frying, I didn't have time to take V to the park. I asked him if he wanted to go by himself. He gave me a look of surprise and then got all excited that I am letting him go by himself. It's right across from our apartment. So he got ready with is helmet and bike and I gave him a list of instructions :).

Me: Play nice. Don't talk to strangers.
V: Yes amma
Me: If your friend says, "Come to my house and play"...
V: I shouldn't go right. I should come to your house.
Me: haha. It's our house honey :). If your friend wants you to come, you need to come and check with me and let me know where you are. You can't just go without asking permission because I will be worried.
V: I will come back in 10 minutes and tell you.

So off he went. He came back and was super excited. It's like he accomplished this major task by himself. Now his favorite thing to say is, "I will be five soon amma. I am all growed up". Yup that's his 'word'. Now you know why we have him doing reading at Kumon :).

Here's him wearing Kingsley Flood T-shirt (It's mine - he is 'sharing'lol). He calls it 'Naseem Uncle's shirt' :).

Mar 29, 2011

Take Me With You

I tried walking
You ran away
I tried running
You flew away

I tried writing
You can't read
I tried singing
You can't listen

I am here now
You are not
Take me with you
For I want to fly

Mar 23, 2011

Questions And Statements

V has been sleeping in his room by himself for a while now. Before bed ritual now includes tickle time with Prabu, brush, book and bed. Right after he gets into bed, he loves to chat and call us every 2 minutes :). For few days he tried, "Amma, I need 10 hugs and 10 kisses today". And I fell for it. Then I realized, he would hug me and won't let me go. Brat I tell ya :).Then he would call me or Prabu saying, "But I have a question". Here is last week's conversation between him and Prabu

V: Appa
P:Time to sleep Vikram
V:But I have a question
P: Ok, what's your question?
V: Amma recorded new Mickey Mouse for me today
P:That's not a question. That's a statement. When you ask something it's a question. When you just say things that happened that's a statement. So call us if you really have questions. And even if you do, ask them during the day if you can :).

Fast forward to today. I pick him up from pre-school and he says, "Amma, I have a statement". I had to try very hard not to laugh. So I said what's your statement honey. "I had a great day at school. How was your work?"

Gotta love the brat at times :). Here's a latest picture of him. He tries very hard to dress like Prabu :).

Mar 8, 2011

I am Mad

PS: This is a political, purely opinionated 'I have to get this off my chest' post. Not about V or about his cuteness. You want that, click on some picture links on the right ;).

Like I have never been before. I get angry. Angry to the point of yelling and screaming and wanting to throw something ( I think I might have done that too few times). But my anger today is going to cross all boundaries. Here is the reason for my 'I-can-punch-someone-right-now' anger. Texas approves bill requiring sonogram before abortion. The shortest version of that news article is that Texas state approved a bill that now 'requires' a woman to get an ultrasound if she wants to have an abortion. Because you know women wake up every day and say "Yippie,how fun. I am going for an abortion. Let me have a party".

Are you effing kidding me Mr. Perry (Watch it dude, I heard Karma is truly a bitch)? What's next, you will tell me if I should use pads or tampons when I get my period. Do I look like your puppet? Are constitutional rights for select group of people? You would think these idiots would work on making birth-control pills easily accessible to woman. But no. Let's cry and scream and say "My tax dollars are paying for your abortion". You know what, screw you again. It takes more/all of my tax dollars to raise the 8 kids that an idiot decided to give birth to because she thought she is the next Angelina Jolie than to someone who needed an abortion because she was raped.

I had to have a colonoscopy when I was 19. Why don't you make a new law that says every one who get's that procedure done HAS to (oh in your words is required to) watch the procedure after wards on video? Sounds good? You know damn well why you passed this bill. Get off our back. I will have sex if I want to and I will have an abortion if I want to. It's my choice. Let me say it again in case you can't hear it. It's my choice. Now back off.

Feb 24, 2011

Lying My Way Through

Mom left for Atlanta few days ago to visit cousins. Dad left for NJ today. I tried preparing V for it but every time I brought up the idea that the grand parents might be going away for few weeks would make him sad and he would start crying. So I decided to deal with it when the day comes. The day after mom left he asked me where she was. I said she went out and will be back. He came home from school and didn't find her. I gave him the same response. He then went to check their room to see if she is may be "tired and sleeping". I felt so bad for the little guy. He was crying/upset last three days asking for my mom to come back.

Today he came home from school and noticed my dad missing too :). He had tears in his eyes when he asked me where Maathe and Thatha are. I just lied my way into it and surprisingly he did not cry and almost seemed like he was ok with it. Here is the conversation we had:

V: Where are they amma?
Me: They went to visit a friend who is sick honey.
V: Did he hurt himself?
Me: Yes
V: What did he hurt?
Me: His leg
V: Right leg or left leg
Me: Right
V: (Pulls his pants up on right leg), Can you point to me where he hurt himself?
Me: Here on his knee
V: Oh ok. So maathe and thatha went to make him feel better.
Me: Yes

Couple of hours pass by and he comes to me and says:
V: What's the name of their friend amma?
Me: Ram I think ( Why can't I come up with a name quick enough is beyond me. Don't ask)
V: Haha. That's a funny name. Doesn't sound like a real name right?
Me: Well there are lot of people with that name that we know
V: Yeah, you are right amma

I don't know what I did/said was right or wrong. All I know is it was just sad to see him be so upset and I wasn't ready to have a "Deal with it, people come and go" conversation with him. This way at least he knows they will be back soon :).

Feb 10, 2011

Can you get a new program?

I logged into work this morning and had an email ready about an error in production. I got into thinking mode on how to fix it and Vikram, who was getting ready to go to school noticed. Here is the conversation (Yes he knows about mainframe. Don't

V: You ok momma? you have angry eyes.
Me: Oh no hon. I am just thinking about an error.
V: What's an error?
Me: Well, amma made a mistake in a program I wrote.
V: In your mainframe?
Me: haha yes, in MY mainframe :)
V: Why don't we go get a new program?
Me: lol
V: I have a great idea momma. We can may be get new mainframe.
Me: Yup. That's it. Thanks honey for your help.

"I have a girlfriend and she is so red"

Jan 10, 2011

Spread the Love, Send a Hug, Say a Prayer

A year went by since I wrote this blog post. Last year, this year and coming years, the answer is always love. 2010 took me and the family through a beautiful wedding, truckin' birthday and a Disney trip. It was also the year we had to say good-bye to our good friends who moved back to India. V and I are hoping they will come back this year :).

Everyday since January first, I would say, "Ok let me update my blog today" but never happened. First V was sick for a bit and now I am sick and then tragedy hit our near by town on Saturday and I can not stop thinking about it. It's still raw. Every one is walking around searching for answers to "Why them?", "How can this happen?", "Where are we going like this?", "What can we do?" There are no finite answers and I don't think we can have an answer for any of this madness that will help anyone heal. I wanted to write so many things here today, my anger at some of the stupidest things I have read about the tragedy, idiots who don't know when to shut up and the most ridiculous opportunists I have ever seen. Then I have to stay away from it all because the more attention I give them, the more angry I get and it wasn't helping anyone or anything. So I end with this again:

Spread the Love, Send a Hug, Say a Prayer.