Monthly Archives: January 2011

17 Months

Happy 17 Months Reva.

Man! she is getting naughtier day by day. I don’t know where she get all this energy ? Oh about her eating, we did some changes. Now she have her meal only upon her chair, no roaming here and there when it is meal time. I started her giving hals bowl of food instead of full bowl. I stopped expecting her to finish and respect if she nods for no-more, three nods and I stop. I aim on healthy food rather than variety of food. So as long as she is having fruits, vegetables and milk in her diet it’s all good and above all as long as she is active everything is good.

I grab the camera this morning and I try to capture some of her activities of the day, before I begin I wanted to add that her waking time has now increased from 3 hours to 5-6 hours this week, so there is so much to do for her in the day and seems like it never stops. I start from books, she love her books so much. Mostly she will be picking books from her box and bring to us for read or she will be sitting on the floor or her corner reading them and turning pages –

Her favorite is “the very hungry caterpillar”

She just can’t get enough of it. She will find this book from the bottom of the box and make you read hundred times and in the end if you are tired she would read for you 🙂 I am glad that she loves books. Now lets talk about her innovations –

This is Daddy’s slipper in living room with bread-sticks on it. She love and adore shoes and socks [she says shaa-yiks]. I gave her bread sticks to munch which she obviously didn’t liked and found the way of hiding the leftover this way.  Great !! no more bread sticks from now on. Speaking of shaa-yiks aka socks, she knows they are worn on feet and after numerous try of wearing them on her own, yesterday she found mine and was trying this –

Sometimes she just floored me with her cleverness [touchwood!!].  My living room this morning –

One basket is of toys and other one is of books and princess is on phone with queen chatting about the weather. As soon as I kept the camera on the table I found this happening –

This week she has mastered the art of floating under the bed. She even brought things which were supposed to be lost like – my hair-band, water bottle, her socks and lots of balls of dust.

The ball is always under the bed and if it is not she will kick it in there so that she will get chance to dive under the bed. And when she came out from the bed there are always something in her mouth – can you guess what ? Can you see some bits on the floor – that’s it. Still somethings are under there, one gloves, book and more. Also, she started to scribble. One day I was making grocery list and she hopped on my lap, grab the pen and started writing.

There are so many things to write and show but then I would never stop. Her tales are never-ending. Some times I get so frustrated of her not being easy on diaper change or getting dress or sleep but in few minutes I am back to normal because she knows how to make me smile. She will put her face on my lips for kiss or hug me and put her face on my shoulder. She is such a darling. These days when we give something to eat like biscuits so after taking few bite she will feed it to us. Bite after bite and watch until we swallow. Everything is ‘mummy’, ‘mumma’, ‘mimmi’ , daddy is mummy, distress call is mummy, she wants some thing it is mummy. We are on hunt of day nurseries for her so that she can have proper day and spend her energies in a constructive way. I am so confused, at one time I want it but second moment I am having cold feet. Just can’t decide and plus we haven’t found anything good yet. So Hope for the best.

God Bless my baby!

Love from Mommy and Daddy.

 

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Baking (no Soda)

Before I cry about my Baking disaster first I would like to tell you about my special encounter with the one of the contestant of the Great British Bake Off.  Yesterday we went to the grocery store and I saw Jas. I am sure very few of you heard of her or the show. I followed it religiously and I was thrilled her to see next to me. Show was about amateur bakers who love home baking and want to put their skills to the test. It was a nice show and Jas was the only British Asians contestant and I guess she stand fourth in the competition. I even talked to her [I know I am sounding like I saw Katrina Kaif but to me it’s the ground reality and I am happy to see Jas rather than Katrina].

In earlier post I told you about how I liked Gingerbread loaf and wanted to give it a try. So today was the day for baking the Gingerbread. I collected the ingredients a long time before but didn’t get the chance to bake it but today all-stars was aligned but unfortunately in wrong directions. In the morning I declared that I am going to bake The Gingerbread and under the breath Vishal said “finally”. I found the recipe on food-network through a very known blogger, I saw gingerbread in her blog post and was tempted, she also posted the recipe so I prefered to follow the tested one. And the process begins –

One of the different ingredient was Molasses, Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane or sugar beets into sugar, in hindi called gud and one of the common ingredient was Baking Soda. I always questioned this ingredient. I get conscious about it when I used soda and its quantity in the baking because in the past I had accidents because of its unpleasant taste. Today when I noted soda’s quantity I asked myself is it too much? But being a new recipe and different ingredients involved I thought may be it is required and I neglected my instinct 2nd time. Batter came out good and I placed it in sheet hoping for flying colors in the taste –

But I sensed of the disaster coming as I poked a knife in the middle of the loaf in the oven to check whether it was cooked or not. As I took out the knife the loaf collapsed. It never happened to my baking. Still fingers-crossed I waited to until it is cooked and cold. After 30 minutes or so I started cutting the piece –

Disaster !! And taste yuck !! [bhaanh!!]

It taste salty and bitter because of the baking soda. I was so excited about it but the result was so disappointing 😦

I immediately google about baking soda and found something similar happened to my loaf –

“Too much baking powder can cause the batter to be bitter tasting. It can also cause the batter to rise rapidly and then collapse. (i.e. The air bubbles in the batter grow too large and break causing the batter to fall.) Cakes will have a coarse, fragile crumb with a fallen center. Too little baking powder results in a tough cake that has poor volume and a compact crumb”

Baking soda is used to rise the batter when baked similar to what eggs does. So why Baking Soda ? So I have decided not to use baking soda going forward. I can’t let such disaster happen again.

A Princess who know how to Nod

I am in stress. Reva’s eating habits are stressing me out. Not much eating, she prefer bottles over cup and in the end she fill her stomach by drinking milk. Her current weight is also stressing me out. Doctor says to take things under my control but I don’t how ? I can’t judge where to make tough decisions. After multiple of refusals I stop giving her food and leave her alone. In five minutes she will turn all gloomy and show signs of sleepiness. And when you take her to the bed she starts playing and when you bring her back in the living room, she will play for 2 minutes and then again became clingy and sleepy. Then I offer her some to eat and she would clearly say ‘No’ and then I took her again to bed and same process After 20-30 minutes of repetitive cycles, I finally give her milk bottle assuming she want her nap but may be her stomach is not full so she is unable to fell asleep. And once the bottle is finished, she is fresh and ready to play for 1-2 hours. Aarrgghhh!!!

She has full control now. She ate little like she was 9 months old baby.  I try to give her all sort of variety of foods but she just nod her head like princess and walked away [Grrrrr!!].

 

Ramblings

For past couple of days we are very busy. Busy as bee. There are hospital visits, Friends visits, helping friends to search for apartments, cooking dinner for 4 and taking care of little one, little one who has stopped eating and sleeping, little one who just loved to do her swirls and twirls all the time and when there are guests in the house she can’t stop for a second.  Everyone is on toes for past 3-4 days.

Did this happened to you – you mourn for something which you never get to everyone you know and poof !! it’s everywhere, and it came so much that in the end you would say to yourself, I didn’t ask that much !! Yeah something happened to me past couple of days so I am now in excess mourning state.

Mourning aside, I baked Almond cookies this weekend.

I fell in love with cute little silicon muffin cases I bought few months back. They are such delights – reusable, require almost no cleaning and I like the shapes of cookies when they came out, all even. Classic process is to leave the spoonful dough of cookies on the greased pan or use parchment paper instead of greasing the pan but my dough some times has so running consistency that it doesn’t work for me. These muffin cases are perfect for me and they are so colorful, Reva loves to play with them as well –

Also I baked Banana-Walnut-Chocolate Cookies few weeks back.

We had grilled Salmon this weekend, it was so easy to made and so yummy –

Yeah I am stepping towards to become Non-Vegetarian. I started to have eggs, chicken and fish. People tend to leave non-veg but I on the other hand start eating it, I don’t mind because I am eating for taste. I still love dal-chawal with Vishal’s cooked Aloo bhujiya indefinitely. So why Non-veg ?? There is a story behind it. I might be 5-6 years old when my family used to eat non-veg. I mean proper types, we used to have big meals for friends and families on Sundays cooked by Papa with helping Mom and Aunties. Papa loved eating fish, chicken and lamb and so we little ones. Few months back when I told Mom that Reva is having boiled eggs in her breakfast then she told me I used to love sunny side up eggs [ !!! I don’t remember anything like that]. So you know that my family loves Non-Vegetarian food 20 years ago but then one day a unfortuante [maybe fortunate] thing happened and Papa decided to quit. My father is very religious man, seriously. I could write hundred of posts to prove it that he is the most religious man I ever seen. In 1989, my father was posted in Gwalior. His office was in the little outskirts of the city and the building was quite big and old. One day a group of Jain Saints came to the office campus looking for shade and water [classic story!]. You know about Jain saints – they eat before sunset, they stop before sunset, they only walk and never use any kind of transportations, they keep their mouth covered. It was about sunset and the group need some place to spend the night. They send one of their man to Papa’s office to see if there any possiblity for them to have some place for the night. A man came to the office and was asking help, Papa heard his conversation with some men in the office. He immediately alowed them stay in one of the building’s room. He arranged electricity and water for them. Ask one of his helper to stay back if they would need anything in the night. The man went back to his group with the happy news. Papa was about to leave for the day when that Man again came up and said “Sahab apko Baba bula rahe hain”. Papa was like “kaun baba”. He said “Hamare baba, aapse milna chahte hain”. Papa said ok, lets meet him. He went to the room relunctantly and the man asked him to go straight where a man aka Baba was sitting a little higher on the ground. Papa walked towards Baba and sat. Baba asked Papa’s name and about his village. Then he said, “do you want peace and happiness in life” [tell me one name who don’t want it!!], Papa said yes. Baba said, ” Then you have to quit one of your favorite thing immediately and forever”. And the only thing Papa remember was “Non-Vegetarian food” [d’oh!]. Then and there he quit eating Non-vegetarian food for peace and happiness [which I don’t understand how quitting your favorite thing leads to happiness and peace and why saint always asked to leave what we love the most – is this the true way of happiness and peace or they want to make our life as miserable as they have their own ?? – another whole lotta story].

Though I never had any non-vegetarian food for 20 years but I still got that taste bud and living with a foodie I got the reason to reactivate those taste buds. So far I am loving it :). I am aware of what I am having in my food and I made myself promise to keep my indulgence in a limit. For sometime I loved to eat out but now I started cooking. Fish particularly Salmon is a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids, so we decided to have it on once a week. I cooked in a simple way so that Reva also can have some bites.

Here I am cooking, baking and rambling on about life.

Sky

Sky this morning –

I don’t know what it is called but I find it similar to beach sand. Looks like an ocean wave just swept away and gave the clouds such a beautiful form.

I just loved to see clouds scattered like this in the sky

Puffs of cloud high in the sky

Beautiful things floating by – oh! it’s a Jet Plane, where is it going ? Is it going up or across ?? When I was little I thought they are rockets going to moon and frankly today also when I saw them my first thought was rockets. Also I don’t know where the plane going – up or across, do you know ?

Coldplay’s The Scientist was playing on the iPod when I was clicking these pictures and it was going perfect with the situation so here the song for you as well.

 

PS: Puffs of Clouds high in the sky, Beautiful things floating by – these lines are from Reva’s favorite show – Show Me Show Me 🙂

12th January – An Ode to my School days

Yesterday night Vishal asked me about the date, usually I am bad with dates and days but yesterday I was not.  Just a second of think-a-pow [used from Reva’s favorite program Waybuloo!!], I said 12th January.  Then he said anything special for the day, I said it was special when we were in school. This day was used to be our Annual Function day in the school.

In school days, I used to bite my tongue when someone ask me about my school’s name but now I can proudly say I spent my glorious 4 1/2 years studying in Maharishi Vidya Mandir. It was a normal school with extraordinary affairs like – Transcendental Meditation two times in a day for 20 minutes, unusual uniform (combination of mustard and white), “Jai-Gurudev”- instead of Good Morning and Good Afternoon to teachers, unusual dressings of male teachers (kurta pajama or dhoti kurta), hindi and english medium students sitting in same room and many more.  I studied their for 4 1/2 years but in mid of 12th std I changed the school [sigh sigh].  Those 4 1/2 years were my golden teenage days where I made gems of friends, met some great teachers, got the taste of sports, study sincerely [which happened rarely] and become the most active and happy girl.

First few months were quite difficult for me because my last class was not completed with flying colors. We were living in nearby district of Bhopal and 3 month before the final exam of 7th standard my grandfather passed away. My father is the elder son and he had to take care of all the processes and it was not possible for us to stay alone in the town and continue schooling so we stayed in Bhopal for 2 months and came to our town just 3 weeks before final exams. I don’t know how I passed those exams. Now we have to move to Bhopal for my grandmother which was not a big deal. We were settled in Bhopal for decades so it was not a problem for us to move their infact we loved that, the only thing I was scared of was getting admission in a proper school with my 2nd division marks.  We never ever considered the top schools because it was waste of time even trying, so my father was doing some researches and he found Maharishi Vidya Mandir, I think it was his dream school for us. He was happier than us, he was so floored to read brocheures talking about Meditations, traditional values, uniforms, about Maharishiji – I mean he was like he could do anything for it. When me and my sister saw the brochure we too kinda like it [you know how little ones are attracted to things to see their parent’s attraction]. So it was done from our side that we are going in to the school but it was upto the school to take us. Unfortunately I failed the clearance test and it was obvious because I don’t remember the difference of cell and tissues, I forgot the World Wars dates, I forgot the formula of area of parallelogram [please don’t laugh !]. My sister passed the entrance but I didn’t, my father went to visit the Principal’s office and explained my situation and he agreed on the basis of an undertaken application. If I scored more than 75% marks in first term than I can continue in the school else not [heh heh, I completed 4 1/2 years dude!]. So that was the little background of my admission.

Back to first few months, yes those days were quite difficult for me.  An hour-long assembly, greet teachers by “Jai-Gurudev”, two-time 20 mins Meditation  – with no idea for few months how to sit closing eyes, sharing class with hindi medium students, adjusting with some super strict teachers, new faces all around. It was tough for me. But in couple of months I was fine. Made new and good friends, play some unusual sports like – Kho-Kho, Kabaddi, Volleyball – I usually played piddu, badminton, loha-lakkad in school. I was having fun. We used to play in ground or in auditorium when it rains, where ever we can see enough space. By November I was quite warmed up and then came the word Annual Function preparation. I was quite surprised to know that school has fixed day of Annual Function that is 12th January because it is Maharishiji’s Birthday. Teacher’s were preparing for songs, dance, plays list and selecting students. I too in enthu gave some mini auditions for dance and songs and bingo I was in 2 and half dance, half dance means a little performance in a play. One was classical Sarasvati Vandana [I never did classical dance before] and other was Giddha [ I still remember one line of the song – kabhi hu karke kabhi han karke – heh heh!! so funny]. Function had many other programs, some of them were – Bamboo Dance, there was very funny skit and my little sister’s class performance [sorry sis I forgot but I do remember the next year performance of yours]. I was so damn excited about the function. The day came and my parents also arrived. Function went very smoothly, every action upto the mark. we were praised a lot. On way back to home I was so happy to see my parent’s face, they were so glad to see the arrangements and programs.  And in a jiffy my first year was completed with flying colors 🙂

In 9th standard I made my best of best friends and I am blessed with their friendship till date [thanks all for your love and ears :)]. I participated in the inter-school Kho-Kho competition and those were my best days, Now I ever think of sports I always think of my Kho-Kho days. In the end me and some of my team members were selected for District level competition. Later came Annual Function, this year I didn’t participate much in the programs except a funny fashion show [dont surprised to see fashion here, it was damn funny].  9th std also passed happily. Then came the most awaited year of the student’s life – 10th std. For few days it was like our teachers were more scared than us, everyone were singing song “be serious, it is 10th board”. I guess after listening this song over and over we became so carefree that 10th std became my unforgettable class. Me and my girl-friends [i don’t know boy-friends because they looked so damn serious all the time] had so much fun and did so much mischiefs that when we meet and talked about it we just ended on laughing laughing and laughing [O man ! it was fun]. 10 th std students were not allowed to take part in any curricular activities [what a fish !] but we still managed our own. I participate in Inter-school Kho-Kho competition that year too [:)]. 10th standard was also gone with flying colors. Now came the year of turning point of our lives, some of our friends switched to new schools [but it doesnt change much in our friendship, thanks to phone and Bhopal for being small city], some opted for different subjects, things were changing slowly as we were getting presure of competition exam and it’s coaching. Year was moving quite but later we heard the news of  Maharishi Schools’ Inter State cultural competition going to held in the 12th January week. Thats all we needed those days. I think that was my last cultural fest in the school times. Man! we had fun, we participated in song, dance and many other competition. What a splendid time it was, we win some of the competitions and enjoyed each and everyone.  11th standard passed on a happy note but last year was stressful. After first term I decided to switch school because it was going very hectic for me with all the early morning and late evening coaching with long hours school. It was heat breaking but I had to.

Those were the best days of my life. 12th of January gave me the reason to celebrate with my friends and teachers and now every year when the day comes I always remembered all the chaos in the auditorium, teachers yelling on us to get ready, we in the costumes getting desperate for our performances and eagerly waiting for the lunch which was provided by the school. Next day was declared holiday so it was fun too. I will never ever forgot my school days in Maharishi Vidya Mandir, Ratanpur, Bhopal.

 

Socialising

We socialize past weekend.  On saturday we invited some friends for lunch and Sunday we went for lunch. Both are Vishal’s good old buddies. When I came to London I was quite worried about our social life because back in California we didn’t have much to do socially and we didn’t mind. I never regretted in California for not being a social animal because we spent quality time with each other and that’s what we needed the most. Being with little one, every one needs social life, someone to chitter-chatter about kid’s requirements, some distraction for us from our chaotic life. In London I feel the need to have some friends and family around. But there is always a question in front of me about Socializing – do we really need it and to what extent ?.

I thought of this post  Sunday morning when sitting in sunshine [sunshine is my true inspiration of thoughts :D]. I was remembering those times when we kids used to go with our parents in their social gatherings. Usually we have once in a month parties for families. All was going well for little while when we completed primary school but as soon as we hit secondary class all gatherings become some kind of assessments for us. Mostly parents talked about their children’s report cards, minor tests, major tests, exams, preparations, achievements, awards, appreciations, sports activity, routines, discipline, gifts, dresses and many more. Every discussion aimed to prove how well one’s child is doing. Then later at home we were compared to other children, how they study, how well they score marks in maths and science, how well they behave, how they active in study and other curricular activities and many more. So later I stopped going in gatherings and felt better off in the home having fun with my sister and we both left wonder why our parents are not satisfied with our performances. This was my father’s professional side, on our family side we used to go to our close relation’s place and they came to our house. Usually food was to cooked 10-15 people at home, my poor Mom and Aunties. Those days not a single dish was bought from the market, everything cooked at home. Ladies gathered in the kitchen cooking all meals and Gentlemen in living room enjoying the weather, sports, movies or gossips. All the children had their own time-pass. Bonding was so strong that time and now no one wants to see each other’s face.

After two decades everyone is well placed, settled and some raising their kids.  And when I talk or think about gatherings, get-together my childhood memories always came to my mind.  I don’t want such type of socialization. I don’t want my daughter to suffocate in my gatherings. I don’t want to be suffocate in the name of socializing [you know when 2-3 people meet, then other bad stuff also begins like bitching and other stuff] and it makes me reluctant about it [though I love social life].

Our elders says “aajkal toh kisi ko ekdusre se koi matlab hi nahi hai, bagal wale ghar mai kaun rehta hai ye bhi nahi pata”. Actually I never mind it, and it doesn’t mean that we are self-contained neighbours or the others but we respect each other’s privacy too. Living away from our society is truly sad but it gave an opportunity for us to choose our own and understand what we really want.

Our weekend went really nice, meeting old friends, remembering old days and I enjoyed them most because I get to know things about Vishal which is usually came out when old friends meet after a long time. PT bunking in school, a quick brief of hostel life in college – all the hungama they made in canteen, their 10/- per coffee stall in college fair, Music band, FM radio shows. Gathering ended with singing old and new songs on guitar. I liked the way it goes, little one too enjoyed meeting people. In happiness and excitement she lost her appetite and sleep and now she is covering up. Well looking forward for more.