Thursday, July 08, 2010

Kick me!

Somebody please kick me! Kick me 'coz- I am way past my one month cut-off. I had made it a personal goal to post at least once a month. 3 months have gone by. 3 whole months! Sigh. All successful bloggers advise that you should be faithful to your readers and blog even when you don't feel like it. But when you're readership is limited to your other half, you don't feel so bad.

Kick me again and this time in the butt,'coz I managed to miss almost every single episode of Aarti Party on Food Network. :( For my imaginary readers who don't know- she's the charming girl who won this year's The Next Food Network Star.

The moment I found out there was a 'desi' looking girl contesting, I was 'googling' away. What would we do without search engines? Anyway, within a few minutes, I found her blog and her cooking show on YouTube. My entire weekend was spent ignoring my husband and my then 9 month old and watching her videos back to back- my heart warming, my mouth watering and my home smelling of her 'Dal'. I jumped with joy even when I saw the promos for the weekly episodes and my husband volunteered to babysit every time we were able to watch the show. How sweet is he! But then August came and we were traveling. I survived only on the video clips on the FN website. And I was in Vegas when I missed the finale. :(

Until her show started I would remind my husband to remind me about the show. And then came each Sunday, and I would be somewhere without a TV at that exact time. I think when the fifth episode was showing I was at home all ready to turn on the TV at 12PM only to find out that it was 12PM EST. Danged time zones!!

All is not lost. The last episode of the season airs on September 26th. I am going to post-it my entire apartment so I will remember to stay home and turn on the TV as soon as I wake up. Hah! And she's signed up for another season too. Yay!

This is one of my favorite posts on her blog. Its about an 'accountability group'. Sounds vague? Read the post. Its inspiring and she is a testimony that it works.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

All because of baby

Its been almost a month since I posted anything. Hmm...So I'm not the 'give me a topic and I'll write you a page' kind of girl. But don't we all have those 'bloggable' moments? Its just that getting down to collecting my thoughts and posting it never happens. Of course I have the baby to blame. Aren't new parents allowed to blame everything on the baby. From dark circles to dying house plants. Its all the little one's fault, isn't it? :-)

Last year this time, I remember religiously reading my 'What to expect when you're expecting'. I remember always being on watching how to videos and memorizing steps. How to swaddle the baby. How to bathe a new born. How to burp the baby. How to this and how to that. While the step by step instructions did help, here are some things I learnt, the not so easy way:

- Next time there's a screaming baby on your flight, don't curse. On another flight, that could be your baby.

- You will do anything to see that gummy smile. Yes, you will not hesitate to make a complete fool of yourself.

- Don't wear that beautiful dress just yet. Until they learn to burp on their own, many babies spit up a lot. And most likely it will land outside of the burp-cloth coverage area. If you do decide to wear that dress, its dad's turn to carry him.

- You want to put her to sleep, so that you can catch up on chores. But when she finally falls asleep you just want to sit there and watch her.

- Real men don't cry? Real men who have not had to watch their 2 month old get his shots that is.

- Nothing can gross you out anymore. You are going to deal with pee-pee and poo-poo first hand.

- Your longest minute is when your baby cries non-stop. Your shortest hour is when she wakes up from her nap and you have only checked number three on your twenty item to-do list.

- Your home will slowly but surely be taken over by the baby's things. He may be small but its amusing how many things he could use. Baby crib, changing table, dresser, swing, rocker, play pen, car seat, stroller, high chair, toys, toys and more toys.

- A whole nights sleep, a nice long shower and a good book might seem like a far away dream. There are days when you may even forget to brush your teeth.

- Theres always extra batteries for your camera.

- You lose hair. Some she'll pull. Some you'll pull. And some fall anyway.

- Your baby is always the cutest baby in town.

Many women transform into multitasking super moms. I am still waiting my turn. And meanwhile maybe I will persevere and be patient. *sigh* I wanted to find some good image that would go with this post but don't have the time. So this should do for now.

PS: BTW, swaddling is easy and babies sleep will longer when they are warm and cosy. Bathing them is tricky coz they are so fragile. And eventually the baby burps. The gas will come out one way or the other.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Soup of the day

I just opened up a can of Campbell chicken soup (no MSG, mind you) that I accidentally discovered in the pantry. I don't remember when we bought it. We don't usually buy canned soup. I think it was in preparation for some blizzard or tornado warning, last year. Yeah, its been here that long. But that's the nice thing about canned food, right? Shelf life. Yes I am sure; *trying not to roll eyes* I checked the expiry date-it said August 2010.

I was feeling blue. It's just been one of those days when something small goes wrong and then things accumulate (or you let them) and you feel overburdened and overwhelmed. Some past mistakes, some unburied grudges, some unhealed wounds, some missed opportunities. Add to that an 'out-of-town-on-work' husband that you are missing terribly and a cranky baby that you cannot soothe enough.

So finding that can of soup made my face light up. There is nothing more therapeutic than some steaming hot soup to warm you up and lift your spirit. It's been used for centuries to ease a runny nose and as a home remedy to make the sick feel better. I won't be surprised if every country has a version; a recipe defined by its culture and its people.

Mine had chicken, carrots, celery, onion, stock, garlic, egg noodles. Wholesome, right? But we Indians, there's never enough spice in our food. Everyone in my husband's family adds ground black pepper, tomato sauce and whatever other condiment is available on the table to turn up the heat in a sweet corn chicken soup. (Personally, I prefer to add just the green chilly marinated in vinegar. Lots of it. :-)) So I put it on the stove and added 1/4 teaspoon of soy sauce, a dash of vinegar and sliced up a whole green chilly and let it simmer for a few minutes.

The aroma made me feel better. I put the little one to sleep. I received a kiss emoticon from the husband. I turned off the TV. I waited for my soup. Pouring it from the saucepan to the bowl; Watching the steam rise; The bright orange of the carrot and the faded green of the celery; And the first sip to the last bite. Everything made me feel better. Even the heat from the green chillies, burning my tongue made me feel better.

I found the strength to count my blessings. The first being canned soup, of course! :) No, seriously, I know the things that worried me or saddened me today are minuscule compared to bigger troubles many others face. In fact, as I write this post, I cannot seem to remember what set me off into feeling blue. :-) I may not have everything I want, but I have everything I need, right now. I have a roof above my head, a place to lay my head, food on my table and clean drinking water, good health and a loving family. There may always be some mistakes that I will make, some grudges I cannot bury, some wounds that might take longer to heal, some opportunities that I may miss. But I guess all this comes with the package that is Life.

I guess your soup need not be soup, literally. On another day it could be something else- an unexpected call from mom, a joke in the Reader's Digest, a clear blue sky or maybe even a random blog post. Or whatever it is that gives you a pocket of comfort and strength in your bones when you are feeling down. Anything that makes you want to chin up and keep going. That could be your soup of the day.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A new beginning

I was trying to register a new blog and discovered that I had in fact done so in October 2006 and published (can you call it 'published' if no one has read it?)a post 'Sweet Dreams' and drafted another. I had completely, totally and entirely forgotten about it. I vaguely remember toying with the idea and a few topics, but nothing more.

What I do remember is we were busy, making an inter-state move that Christmas.My husband landed a job in the Windy city with Sara Lee. It was an exciting time. New job for him, new opportunities for me, more family to see more often, the four seasons and lots of yummy and free pounds cakes. We've been here since and things have gone well. He traveled to some great places - Rome, Paris, Barcelona, South Africa and Hungary, I landed a cushy job and worked for a year and half, we had great times with family, we love the spring, the summer and the fall and we learned that the snow looks its best on a Christmas card. We do not get any 'free' pound cakes, just some employee discount. But that's fine, they still taste great.
Snowy Chicago

So coming back to point of this post. I decided to stick to the old blog account and so technically my "First piece' post, is not really the first piece. But I am not changing the title. I guess its more like the 'new' first piece. Right now I am not very clear about what this blog is going to be about. If its going to be an online diary or about things that interest me or just some thinking aloud. I am just going to let it be and write when I feel like writing and we will see where it goes. Let's see if I get it past a couple of months. :-) My husband is daring me.

Everything about the blogosphere is new to me. I have not even completed the registration part fully. I still have to edit my profile, put up a decent picture and so much more. Any free advice for this newbie will be appreciated!!
Wish me luck!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Sound of silence

Aah! The sound of silence. Beautiful. I just found a quiet moment which, by the way, is quite rare now; considering I have an ‘almost’ 7 month old that has just recently discovered his crawling and other attention seeking abilities. Ya, he just fell asleep and now here I am wondering how to fully enjoy this peace and quiet.

Couple of ideas are running through my head:

- I could catch up on that half read ‘Parent’ magazine. That article about training your little one to sleep through the night seems quite enticing. Besides it could work wonders for those black circles I seem to have developed.

- I could catch up on that huge pile of laundry. There’s nothing like clean and fresh clothes- nice and warm from the dryer.

- I could watch a movie. A whole movie.‘Meet Joe Black’ has been on a cable for a few days now and I keep seeing parts of it, but never the whole thing. When I announced I was pregnant, my very good friend told me that I should watch all the movies I can and get all the sleep I can, coz that would be something I would miss doing. *Sigh* She was so right.

- Speaking of which, I could take a cat nap. *Yawn*

- Then there’s the mountain of mail on my dining table. Have you ever noticed that 3 out of every 5 items in your mail is usually junk and goes straight to the trash?

- I could vacuum my carpets… hmm… but that would ruin the peace and quiet, so what’s the point?

- I could send some long pending replies to those emails from friends. I always wondered why my ‘new mom’ friends took 2 months to reply to my email and I grumbled. But now I know, exactly how they felt. Trust me I check email every free moment I get and I absolutely love to see that “you’ve got mail’ sign and love to read from friends, but to actually hit reply and type up an elaborate response seems like a big job right now.

- I could play Farmville on FB. But considering how rare my free time is, I would not be able to water or harvest on time and my crops would die. The most I do on FB now is ‘like’ things. So easy to just click ‘Like’. It’s like you want to post a comment, but then either don’t have the time or the right words or both. I love the ‘Like’.

It’s so quiet that I can hear the clock tick. It’s been around half hour now – he is still sleeping like a baby and it feels great. I feel relaxed and though I did not do anything that I thought I could or should, I feel refreshed. I did manage to write a piece that might find its way into a blog, that I’d like to start work on.  That is…when I find my next rare ‘peace and quiet’ moment.