Posted in Uncategorized

Food Talk

I made the mistake of taking a closer look at Hari’s school cafeteria menu. So very McDonaldy is all I can say. Granted, there is some protein, a fruit here and a veggie there, but overall the menu leaves one feeling that all the kids are served is junk food in disguise. Hari admits that the choices are not great but still wants to do it once a week for all the perks that go along with it.

I googled a bit and it turns out the issue is more complicated than what I thought. It’s not a question of offering the right choices, it’s about offering the right choices without compromising on taste while keeping it scalable and affordable. Easier said than done.

Speaking of food, Ram’s theme book at school for April is Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. For project time,  his teacher has been making a favorite food of each child in the class. Oh, I tell you,  they cook all drool worthy food – banana bread, french fries, brownies, spaghetti, mac n cheese and what not.. All made with the kids contributing in some form or the other.  Really cool and brave of her, don’t you think?

Posted in Me, Work life balance

Working from office

After a long time, I worked from office rather than home today. It felt good to wear something other than activewear. To “rest” as I drove after the morning rush. To listen to NPR news. To compartmentalize work and home, and focus on one thing at a time. Don’t get me wrong, I fully appreciate the flexibility to work from home, and the resulting work life balance I am able to maintain. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But there is also something to be said about working from an office, and being part of the culture. For better or worse, most of the team members that I work with are not in the same location as I am, so it’s all the same to me.

Posted in Introspection

Every little bit helps!

Yes, that’s the theme running in my head. Coincidently, this post by Seth Godin showed up in my reader.

To overcome an irrational fear…
replace it with a habit.
If you’re afraid to write, write a little, every day. Start with an anonymous blog, start with a sentence. Every day, drip, drip, drip, a habit.
If you’re afraid to speak up, speak up a little, every day. Not to the board of directors, but to someone. A little bit, every day.
Habits are more powerful than fears.

This post came as reminder to never underestimate the power of little. You will be surprised with how far just a little, if done consistently, can take you. The beauty is there is no excuse to not do only a little. 

And that’s how I intend to plow through our week this week.  On that note, have a good week folks!

Posted in Experiences, Little Moments, Wishes

New toy (Little Moments Thursday)

I am a laggard when it comes to adapting to the latest and greatest in technology. Da has lavished several gadgets on me over the years – the Personal Digital Assistant, the MP3 player (the ones that were in vogue prior to ipod days), the Kindle Fire, the iPad, and what not. I have consistently maintained a saint like detachment towards them. An attitude that is hard to fathom for a gadget lover like Da – how could you not play with it? aren’t you curious? don’t you want to know?

Despite several failed attempts, Da recently bought a new smartphone for me. I didn’t choose it, it chose me!  And boy, do I love that thing of beauty, that piece of elegance, or what? Oh I get a kick out of swiping on the keypad. No more stubby thumbs. I have been capturing everyday moments and getting my feet wet on Instagram (I know late news!). I am organizing the home screen, moving applications in and out, and giving it a personal touch.

This experience of playing with a toy, not being able to put it away, is a new one for me. I am loving it.

Posted in Holidays, Introspection, Little Moments

Happy Earth Day

Presenting to you the cherry blossom from our neighborhood on Earth Day. She is a sight to behold, isn’t she? Just a few days back, I spotted tiny buds on the branches. Just like that she is full of life in what feels like an overnight. In another two weeks, the flowers will be replaced by leaves, which in turn will make a grand exit in fall.

The cycle is predictable. A privilege to witness year after year.  A constant reminder, an ultimate reality check,  of the transient nature of life and the curve balls it throws at us – this too shall pass!

Cherry Blossom

Posted in Experiences, Hari Katha, Holidays, Milestones

Happy Patriot’s Day

At the crack of dawn, Hari and I headed out on a little adventure. To see history being recreated within a mile from our house.

The American revolution began in the town of Lexington, so Patriot’s Day is a very eventful time in Lexington. The celebrations typically start over the weekend of Patriot’s Day and continue throughout the week. Tourists come flocking to the town at this time of the year.  In the morning there is a reenactment of the battle of Lexington, followed by a formal parade. In the afternoon,there is an informal parade in which residents are encouraged to participate. The parade has sizable representation of desi population. Even better, this year, I heard there was going to be Jagannath Rath Yatra – that’s something isn’t it? Unfortunately, the weather played spoilsport and the afternoon parade got canceled.

Given Hari’s love for all things history and geography, we at least had to attempt to go to the reenactment this morning. Not knowing what to expect, we headed out in the dark and were surprised to find plenty of parking spots at the center. We didn’t get a full view of the reenactment but managed to watch it in bits and pieces. All in all fun experience with lessons learnt for next year.

Have I told you how cool it is to have a child that is growing up to your shoulder height? “Mom, do you want to take a flashlight for the dark?”  Hari is an extra pair of eyes, my helping hand when we head out on trips like this. Today, he sat on the front seat for the first time in the car while I was driving. I felt like I got a glimpse of what he would be like when he becomes an adult..!

Posted in Kids, seasons

Bikes and biking

This weekend has been all about bikes and biking.

  • Last year Hari and I got into the rhythm of biking over the weekend. We are hoping to do the same this year and have kick started the biking season much earlier than we did last year.  We hit the bike path this sat. We didn’t bike as much and we huffed and puffed a lot for the small distance that we biked. But oh the wind on our face was as delightful as it was last year..! Reminded us why it’s all worth it!
  • We took out the tricycle for Ram this weekend.  We didn’t do much biking with him last year, so the child is still learning to pedal. He was eager to try this morning and when it was harder than what he thought, there was some reluctance. We have our work cut out for this season.
  • Our neighborhood held a bike swap this weekend. Folks came with the bikes that they have outgrown. In exchange, they could take a bike that fit their needs. No money exchanged, no obligations to take a bike in return, and no need to bring a bike if you don’t have one that you have outgrown. Whatever was left behind would be donated. Now, it doesn’t get any easier than that, isn’t it?

On that note, have a good week folks. It’s going to be a crazy week in our house – kids at home on spring break but parents working.

Posted in Uncategorized

To scratch or not to scratch?

The itch is becoming more and more unbearable with every passing day.  Yet, I muster all my willpower and resist because I know all it will take is one scratch. The first will lead to the second, the second to the third, so on and so forth until one fine day when the itch and the scratch have taken full control of me.

You do realize I am not talking about bodily itch right? I am talking about the itch to declutter my house, the itch to make place for everything and have everything in its place. I actually enjoy it very much but the trouble is it will come at the cost of other priorities – time spent with kids, time spent writing, time spent reading, and what not. So I resist, knowing really well that sooner or later I will have to succumb to the itch. Because there is only so much of ignoring one can do.

Posted in Little Moments, Us

Thursday specials

The week is winding down, and the weekend is on the horizon. I love my thursdays. What do thursdays mean in your household? In ours,

  • groceries are mostly done on thursdays
  • Hari has only half a day of school, he is home on most thursday afternoons
  • dinner has to be something “interesting”; read to please the palate of the 10-year old in the house. He gets to eat what I cook from monday to wednesday and I get to cook what he likes on thursday – and that’s that!
  • it’s my day to celebrate the little moments of the week with heartfelt gratitude
  • what-do-we have-for-the-weekend conversation starts on thursday
  • and best of all, new episode of Grey’s Anatomy airs on thursday. I watch it only on friday, but the anticipation is half the fun.

Talking about sunday evenings, that’s a different story altogether. Let’s not go there, living it is hard enough!

Posted in Humor, Ram Leela

Words

Very often we forget that Ram is still in the early stages of building his vocabulary and throw words at him without realizing that he may not have internalized the meaning.

Many times he would stop us, and ask for the meaning.

Me: Ram, leave a couple of cookies for anna, ok?
Ram: But what does a couple mean amma? is it two or three?

What does according to mean mama?
What does based on mean amma?

Sometimes he would use the words without knowing what they mean.

I like your drawing anna. It is terrible.
My leg is bleeding amma. But there is no blood outside.

To that add the dynamic of using tamil with english.

Amma does sorkkal in tamil mean circle in english?
Amma does nenju in tamil mean ninja in english?

Ram: What does mean mean amma?
Me: There are two meanings for mean kanna. One mean means rude. Another mean, we use it to ask the meaning of something like how you asked what does mean mean?
Ram: No mama, not that mean. I am asking about things like bird and  tree
After thinking about it for few minutes, I finally figured out what he was asking: Are you asking what does the tamil word mean mean?
The child nodded away…!