Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Last post this year

A bunch of random things..

Kuttipa can dance now. At least it looks like dancing. He stomps his feet continuously as if dancing to the beat of 'thai thai thai thai'.

He has 10 teeth now. Halfway there to a mouthful

He still cannot say any word except 'Amma'. But Amma refers to just about anything, including Me, his father, food etc.

He is running around the house busy with who knows what, as I type this.

He loves playing with wires, garbage, bottles, shoes...Basically anything that he shouldn't play with but he'd rather play with than his 3 boxfuls of toys.

I am reading a book called "From high heels to bunny slippers" written by a psychologist about women needing to stay at home with their kids. It's simplistic and biased and quite interesting (given my current frame of mind).

Another splurge - we paid $90 for a cleaner to come in yesterday and in four hours she managed to get the kitchen and 1.5 bathrooms clean. And we've almost caught up with the backlog of laundry. So feeling pretty good looking at a somewhat cleaner house.

Did I ever mention how grateful I am that I can sing to Kuttipa? Well, I just did.

I just might have the nicest husband. He has gifted me a ticket to go see 'Chicago' this coming Saturday at Jubliee auditorium.

I still haven't started to catch up with my work as I originally intended. Neither has my husband, I think. On the other hand, we borrowed a few movies from the library last week and have caught up with them nicely. :D

We bought cards for the New Year but were too lazy to write and mail them on time. So instead this evening we'll be emailing out ecards (with a photo of Kuttipa attached). I hope.

Whatever your plans for New Year's eve are, hope you have lot of fun! See you next year!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Twitter

I still don't quite get it but it seems like fun. Although, why bother?

Kuttipa through our new camera

Boxing day mania

We got a camera today from Sears! Our previous camera was kind of broken and we've been planning to buy another for a while now. So it's awesome. And we got it for $250 instead of $300. Granted it's not a boxing day bargain like some of the other things but it's a bargain nevertheless. So I was all excited!

And then we saw all these people walking out from Sears carrying big screen flat panel HDTVs.
"How can so many people afford to buy these? And what are we doing wrong?" My husband wondered.
A flat screen HDTV is not high on my wish list anyway but his question made me think.
"Maybe it's because we travel? We went to India this year and usually go someplace or the other every year?"
"On come on! Everyone travels! Our neighbors go to Disneyland every year."

Hmm, that's true. So what WAS it? I wish the answer was that we have investments all over the place and we're saving aggressively. No, the answer is simpler. We bought a house when the prices were at the very peak and we're probably paying a mortgage that's twice as much as our neighbors. And then we had a baby. And then I stopped working (except a few random hours here and there). And that's why our big splurge in 2005 was a trip to Vegas and LA. And our big splurge this year is a digital camera that costs a fraction of the cost of the trip. I gotta wonder what our splurge next year will be?

I am sounding like a spoilt brat eh? I didn't mean to whine. I know my life is abundant with good things and I am really grateful for all of them. Wouldn't trade any of it for a flat panel HDTV even if I could!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Discovering Disney

I borrowed a CD with classic Disney songs from the library to play to my son. As a result, I've become enamoured with 'Colors of the Wind' from Pocohontas. The lyrics are awesome and the singer's voice is so sweet!

'You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew you never knew'



Thursday, December 11, 2008

It was on a long weekend 6 years ago and I was driving back home to New Haven after visiting a friend. I chanced upon a banner that announced the local K-mart in Derby was closing and decided to check it out. I found a couple of things that I wanted and stood patiently in an impossibly long line. I looked around and the woman behind me in line smiled at me. I smiled back and said something along the lines of how crazy it was.
"Yes, it's sad isn't it? Now there is one less alternative to Walmart around here." She said.
I was a bit puzzled. but I figured she was one of those people who hated big chain stores. But if that was the case, what was she doing here at a K-mart?
"Oh I love Walmart. If these guys couldn't keep up with the competition, they deserve to go!" said another woman in the line.
"Do you know at what price they keep things cheap?" The first woman asked.
The other lady just shrugged and turned away from the conversation.
"No, I don't but if you don't like chain stores, why are you here?" I asked trying to understand.
"Oh, I am just showing some support for the competition when and how I can."
"Why Walmart specifically?"
"Because they're the biggest and the worst."
She sounded so earnest and intelligent about it that I went back home and googled for info on Walmart. And I found plenty. It is so easy to hate Walmart! There are too many reasons and at some point you just realize its easier to hate it rather than go through the entire list. And so I've pretty much stopped going there.

I wish I could tell you I am supporting local business and going to the Farmer's Market for all my weekly grocery needs. Alas and alack - I am but a hypocrite, an armchair activist with great intentions but little action. So I go to the Real Canadian Superstore every week. I'll admit I've no idea how they measure up in different things against Walmart.

I do have a couple of good reasons for liking them though. And I am not talking just about the low prices (who knows at what cost) and their convenient location (4 min drive from my house).
1.) I like their policy on plastic bags. You need to buy them or if you brought your own, you get rewarded with points for groceries. Although, this doesn't really cover those flimsy bags you put bunches of carrots or beans in. So its really only a halfway measure but its something...
2.) I like most of the PC branded food products. They don't seem to have too many preservatives and stuff and actually taste pretty good. I especially love love love their cheesecake...

And I might add a third reason. I kind of like the commercials with Galen Weston Jr even though I think he looks like a dork. But that's just my opinion. Apparently there are a lot of women who find him attractive. He even has a Facebook fan club!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another link from NY times

I really liked his closing sentence.
"If we had wanted to preserve the Big Three, we would have bought more of their cars."

How true! You can read the entire article here.

And thats the way the cookie crumbles..

The title of this post was inspired by Kuttipa's crumbling of some cookies I baked yesterday. It was cute to watch. I put him in his high chair and put some cookie pieces on the tray while I fixed his lunch. He ate a piece and decided he didn't want to eat the rest. So he systematically crumbled the remaining pieces till all that remained was brown powder.

He has also learnt how to spit mouthfuls of food and takes great delight in doing it. Mealtimes are often a struggle with us scrambling to find some food that he will actually eat. There is no constant. Yogurt may be a hit today and a dismal failure tomorrow. He used to love cheese but not anymore. And so it goes.

"And how are you?" my friend asked since all I talked about was my son. "I am fine." I really am. Lots of work to catch up on - work work and house work. Instead I watch episode after episode of 'Two and a half men' on TV every night. Or spend hours chasing meaningless links online. But I am fine - for now.

Speaking of links, here is one to an interesting OP-ED in NY times about the auto industry.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Nothing to write about

Or to boast about.
Been okay with keeping on time except for Friday when I canceled going somewhere because I was running an hour late. I was late because of poor time management and not due to any unforeseen circumstances. So it was bad. Other than that though, I've been okay.
Also doing okay on calling up. There are days when I don't call because I am too tired and I compensate for it the next day. It has been good talking and catching up.
I am currently reading Faulkner Fox's book 'Dispatches from a not so perfect life'. I might write more on it after I read it fully. It has been very thought provoking and has made me think and question things about myself and my life. Is that good or bad? Dunno!
I downloaded a trial version of Photoshop Elements and have been having immense fun playing with it. I love the colors and the brush effects and all that. Maybe I should take up painting again? Who has the time though? I am so behind on work and everything else.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mid week updates

Monday: Late by 10 minutes - to Gymboree, to pick up my husband and to the gym
Tuesday: On time, to storytime at the library and to pick up my husband in the evening.
Wednesday: On time to Gymboree and to the gym.
Doing good on calling up people, but I did the easy ones so far. There are still some easy ones left. It will get interesting next week or so when I start calling people I've not talked to in years...

Moving on to other things, remember my pet peeve about women judging others on their choices? It is especially so when it comes to motherhood. There are so many charged topics like cosleeping, solid foods, preschool, TV watching, swimming classes and so it goes on. For example if you're breastfeeding you can feel smug about doing it and attack the others for depriving their kids of immunity and the potential for higher intelligence. If you're not breastfeeding you can exchange notes on those weirdos who breastfeed for years and years and years. They can't be normal can they? Can they?

There are so many choices when it comes to each issue and there are always women who feel passionately about them one way or another. Which is okay. I feel strongly about certain things too. What is not okay is getting all judgmental about other people's choices and attacking them for it. Why does that happen though? I read this article yesterday by Faulkner Fox and I was really taken with it. I've placed a hold for her book at the library and am looking forward to the read.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Another challenge

Concurrently with my ongoing challenge of being on time, I am going to add another one. I am going to call up 30 different friends or relatives over the next 30 days. I've been terrible at keeping in touch and could use this as a motivation. Will post my progress on this on a weekly basis..

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yeah!

Made it on time. Left at 11:00 am sharp, thanks to a very supportive husband who offered to take care of preparing Kuttipa's lunch. Reached 17th Av at 11:20am. Spent 5 minutes circling around trying to find parking. 11:25 am, I'd paid at the meter and I was there at the salon to meet my friend at 11:30 am. She however showed up at 11:50 am. Not a surprise because I am usually late and I keep her waiting. So I got a chance to see how it is like on the other side - to be the waitee.
Could have maybe been a bit better about returning home earlier though.

Still, progress has been made. I am happy! No appointments tomorrow to be kept. The next one is at Gymboree on Monday morning at 9:15am. Last time, I was fifteen minutes late (for a 45 mintue class). Hope I do better this time.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My 'late' habit

I am not a smoker. Nor am I an alcoholic or a gambler or a drug addict or a swinger. Yet I have vices that are just as deadly although considerably more boring. Like what? Well, I don't exercise enough or eat healthy or...there is a big list here you know and I aint gonna type it all in.

One thing that has irked me a lot in recent times is my seeming inability to get anywhere and I mean ANYWHERE on time. Its nothing new. I've been that way for as long as I remember. I used to miss my school bus almost every day when I was young, till my father decided to start urging me everyday. Have you packed your bag? Is everything there? Are you dressed for school? Why don't you wear your shoes and then read your book? If you're ready, why don't you leave right now when there is still 5 minutes to spare?

With him urging me, I made it on time more often but then one day I had to leave home and go to college. I was back to my late ways again. Classes started at 8:30am and my department was a good 20 minute walk away from my hostel. At 8:15 am though, I'd still be in the mess, eating breakfast. And then at 8:20 I'd make a mad dash to my department and arrive at 8:35 am or 8:40 am out of breath and slightly sheepish. On some days one of my seniors with a bike would take pity on me and offer me a ride and then I'd be on time. Then I got a bike. Did that change anything? Nope, what happened was I started leaving at 8:25 am or even 8:30 am and was still late!

Then I came to the US for grad school and of course I was late there too. My department was located down the hill downtown and I lived up the hill, near the main campus. A good 20 minute walk here too. Most mornings when I had a class, you could see me running down the hill maniacally desperately trying to make it on time. Some days a kindly bus driver would stop on seeing me even though there was no stop there and give me a (free) ride downtown. Then I got an advisor who threw tantrums when any of us were late. That made me behave for a while. Only where he was concerned though. Other times, I was still late.

My friend had a theory that people were late only when they hated being somewhere. If you're looking forward to being somewhere and doing something, you wouldn't be late would you? It made a lot of sense and made me question myself and my motives. In the end though, it didn't make a difference. I was late everywhere regardless of whether I wanted to be there or not. It could be a meeting at work or a dinner at someones house.

Needless to say I was late every morning at my jobs too. My job in the US and my job here in Calgary. Not a whole lot late, but typically 5 or 10 minutes and I always made up for it in the evenings.

So what has changed? Why am I suddenly irked by my lifelong vice? Because I've taken it to a new dimension after Kuttipa's birth. I could dash out the door previously and still make it within 5 or 10 minutes of the original time. Now dashing out the door is impossible. I've to make sure his sippy cup is packed and there is a snack packed just in case and that he has socks on and perhaps a jacket if needed. I need to plan well in advance and get my act together if I need to be on time anywhere. But I am not doing that. I am still behaving like I can dash out the door 5 minutes before the appointment. What's the result? I am REALLY late - 1/2 hour or sometimes an hour late. Late to doctor appointments, late to library classes, late to meet friends, late late late everywhere, everytime.

A couple of days ago I stumbled onto this post by Steve Pavlina. I'd never heard of this guy before but am starting to go through his site. I like his writing style - its sensible yet inspiring. At least the stuff I've read thus far anyway. So inspired by this article, I've decided to do a 30 day challenge of being on time. It actually started today but today went bad. I was supposed to meet a friend at an indoor play area at 2:00pm. It was a 25 minute drive and I left home at 1:30 even though I intended to leave at 1:15pm. Construction delays and some wrong directions from google maps set me back and I reached at 2:15pm. I would have been on time had I left at 1:15 like I intended. But there are still 29 days left. I am meeting a friend at 11:30am tomorrow. Let's see how that goes...I'll write again tomorrow night.
I've been beating myself up for missing the deadline to the Vibe 98.5 Cute kid contest. Sure, there are like 2400 kids entered in it but still Kuttipa would have had a chance, right? I am not sure which photo I'd have entered though. Probably the one below, taken a few months ago when it was still summer.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Plum yum rummm....

Christmas didn't mean much to me when I was growing up. It wasn't as flashily celebrated (back then) as Deepavali or Pongal or even New Year day. The only thing I associated with it were the colourful illuminated stars displayed on the facades of people's houses. We had two Christian neighbors for a while and every time I passed by their house, I'd stop and admire the stars. The other thing associated with Christmas was cake, or more specifically plum cake. My father's friend gifted us a large plum cake each year at and it was soooo good!

My attempts at finding good plum cake here in North America have been unsuccessful. Every year I succumb to the supermarket displays of fruitcake and end up buying a package and then being quite disappointed with it. This year was no exception. So I wondered if it was maybe a good idea to make it myself if the recipe was easy enough. A search for fruit cake recipes yields thousands of results and many of them are from the site cooks.com. In particular though, I LOVED this recipe.
http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1619,159163-255200,00.html
You won't have any fruitcake at the end of it, but hey you'll be so drunk, you won't notice! Yeah!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ha, another Monday!

So soon too. This Monday wasn't bad though. Busy but not bad. Both Kuttipa and I had a cold most of last week. I know I am almost over it and I hope Kuttipa is almost over it too. He seems to have a bit of a sore throat or something. Or maybe it's just general fussiness in eating. I wish I knew exactly what was going on with him sometimes when he cries. I know that a lot of moms say they are pretty good at reading the cues but somehow I am not there yet. Maybe its my reduced brain power. I am never quite sure when he cries. Is he sleepy? Did he hit himself? Is he not feeling well? Is he sleepy? Is he throwing a tantrum because he wants something? Does he not like whatever it is that I am trying to feed him?

My friend will be delivering her baby soon - today or tomorrow. Hope all goes well for her.

When you're pregnant your greatest worry is getting the baby out. It's only when you have the baby that you begin to realize that your worries are just beginning. A lifetime of worries, big and small. No one ever told me that you have to start being mentally strong when you become a parent. Even if they did, it wouldn't have meant much. Just words. There is so much advice everyone gives you when you're pregnant but mostly you learn it all first hand before it sinks in (and then you advise others ;-)). So I wouldn't have taken it seriously if someone had warned me that I'd need mental strength. But its true! If you broke down at the slightest of worries, you'd be a nervous wreck in a week. But again, you have to somehow understand when to worry and when not to. I wish I knew how that worked!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes, we can!

The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his Heaven -
All's right with the world!
-Robert Browning

Yes, I know that Obama is not a superhero. He cannot work miracles. I am still celebrating though! And so should you!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Just another **** Monday

And I am not even working anymore...So I've no reason to complain about Mondays really. And coming to think of it, my grumpiness has nothing to do with it being Monday today. I am grumpy because - well so many reasons really, petty stuff all of them. Sure sign that I need to be having more fun with my life. If you're busy having fun, there is no time to be grumpy, is there?

Today I became part of the herd of moms who enroll their children in Gymboree paying $$$. Why? Because I truly think Kuttipa needs to have more interaction and needs more stimulation beyond what I can provide for him at home. So Gymboree we went and joined. It seems pretty good too. I was impressed with their obstacle course and toys and everything. The instructor seemed pretty fake though and that would be the only thing I wish I could change. I also attend the free programs at the library. They don't have colorful toys there but the instructors are very warm and genuine. Oh well, can't have it all.

So its D day tomorrow - US elections. I was getting worked up about it and feeling resentful that I had no control over the results. But then really, even if Obama wins, are miracles going to happen? Oh don't mind me. I am just cynical and grumpy today. If there is some US citizen who does stumble upon my blog today, I would still encourage you to go and vote tomorrow.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or treat

Kuttipa went trick or treating today - his first. Or should I say, I took him trick or treating? It's not as if Kuttipa walked out the door bag in hand and went knocking on other people's doors asking for candy. In a couple of years he might.

We also went to Market mall today for their Maskoween event. I was there for an hour and a half and spent most of my time waiting in line for a photo at the pumpkin patch. The end result wasn't that impressive, despite the cuteness of the subject.

It was nice looking at all the interesting costumes though. Lots of princesses, bats, pumpkins, superheros and such. There was even a kid dressed as a toothbrush. Pretty unique, right?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Deepavali

Feeling very wistful since I just called home to wish my parents in India. My uncle and aunt from Bangalore have joined them and they all seemed to be having a good time. I could hear fireworks in the background. My mother described the scrumptious meal they had the night before and doubtless there will be more tasty treats today. Everyone sounded so happy! I wish I could be there enjoying it all, soaking up the festive atmosphere instead of here, writing about it in a few minutes snatched between Kuttipa's dinnertime and bedtime. Oh well, hopefully next year...

I called up a cousin today and we took a joint trip down memory lane to the Deepavali of our childhoods. Growing up as an only child, I really looked forward to Deepavali when all of us could meet up. We played silly games, sang silly songs and had so much fun!!

The festival of lights is here...
Let's sing! Let's dance!
Let's celebrate joyfully!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lucky you! Lucky me!

I've always considered myself medium-lucky. I don't typically win lotteries or lucky draws or prizes in casinos. On the other hand, I've got an awesome kid, an amazing husband and things like that. I was lucky to be born where I was born instead of some war torn, famine ridden part of the planet. I was lucky to have parents that loved me and raised me responsibly instead of being potheads or something. I am lucky to have the luxury of typing this blog now instead of worrying about shelter and food tonight.

Yeah, so I didn't win the scratch n win thing at Safeway. So what?

I am fascinated by people who win those things though. Some people tend to win such things more often than others do... or it seems to me. Some people also tend to suffer misfortunes in life more often than others. No matter how much we like to think we're in control of our lives and destinies, I think luck has a HUGE part to play in this. A control freak might wonder if you can control your luck! Fans of 'The Secret' will probably say yes. The ever helpful google turned up 8,270,000 links when I searched for 'How to be lucky'. Much as I like wasting time, I didn't have the patience to check them all out, but here is an article I found interesting.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/2622567.stm

Monday, October 13, 2008

Burn her! Burn her!



In these times of hate mongering by Palin, this classic video from Monty Python takes on a new relevance...

He walked!

Since Saturday, Kuttipa has been walking a few steps at a time. I am so thrilled!!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

How to lose friends and alienate people

I've not seen this movie yet but would like to. Catchy title. 'Could apply to you', my husband said. Why? Because of my comments on the LLL in my previous post. But, I wasn't being sarcastic! Really, I truly, sincerely believe that the LLL is populated with noble selfless wonderful ladies. They've given me tons and tons of help and support when I needed it the most and I enjoy attending their meetings. I really wouldn't dream of being sarcastic about them. Seriously.

'You still have a knack of saying the wrong things to the wrong people' my hubby says. Maybe he has a point. Maybe I do antagonize people. Even my own cousin thinks I am a terrible person. I mean I spoke with her a few days ago and here is snippet of our conversation.

She: How is the baby doing?
Me: Great! He turned a year old a couple of days ago.
She: Wow! Convey my kisses and birthday wishes to him.
Me: Sure will.
She: So, how did you celebrate?
Me: Nothing much. I baked a cake and we went to the temple in the evening.
She: That's nice
Me: Yeah. We're planning on performing the Aayush Homam on the 23rd. And then on the 25th, we're having a party.
She: (very astonished) A party??? You have friends???

Now, I happen to know that she is in general a sweet person without a sarcastic bone in her body. She seemed genuinely surprised that I would have friends. So what can this mean? Of course, it just confirms that I am a terrible person! If I weren't a terrible person, would I posting this conversation here at all? ;-)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Chief nourisher in life's feast

Shakespeare certainly knew what he was talking about when he referred to sleep that way. Sleep nourishes you and helps you enjoy your wakeful hours so much better! I've wanted to write about sleep for a while now - Our lack of it, my growing obsession with it and my failed attempts to impose some kind of schedule on Kuttipa.

Before I launch into my sleep diatribe though, let me tell you about something cute that Kuttipa did recently. We were at the library for a Mother Goose story and rhyme session for babies recently. Midway during the program they serve snacks to the babies - this time it was Cheerios in a small paper cup, the kind you drink water from. As soon as Kuttipa sees the cup he opens his mouth and tips his head back and tries to drink from it. So whats the big deal? I actually thought it was pretty smart of him - he associated a cup with drinking. I know....I know...just a mother's pride in silly little things - but I cant help feeling happy when I notice things like that.

Now onto sleep. I happened to see a bit of Oprah the other day and the doc there was talking about how pregnancy shrinks a woman's brain by about 9% (ouch!). The good news is that it grows post delivery back to its original size but there are two things to do to enable that growth - eat plenty of Omega 3s and sleep a lot. Apparently the growth hormone is secreted in sleep and so being sleep deprived is going to kind of fry your brain. Oh, so that explains it all! But how are you supposed to sleep with a newborn on your hands? No one expects you to. But by the time your baby is 6 months old, they expect you to start catching up on those Zzzz s.

Excuse me, but I have a one year old baby here who clearly missed the bulletin sent out about sleeping through the night at 6 months. He wakes up every couple of hours - sometimes every hour and even worse, at times will stay awake for a couple of hours sometime in the night.

Stop whining! The problem is the cosleeping and breastfeeding. Stop both. Wean him and move him to his own crib in his own room. Sure he'll cry up a storm initially but watch how fast he learns to sleep on his own. Both of you will be feeling much better. This is advice I get constantly from friends, from the public health nurses and from even random people on the street.

Hmm.. Tempting. Tempting. Especially since I see all the non-nursing independently sleeping babies around his age sleep 10 or 11 hours straight and also take 2 hour naps at daytime. But I chose this lifestyle for a reason didn't I? Besides, am I strong enough to watch him cry for hours on end? Erm...maybe not...('Sucker!' my friends hiss)

So whats a co-sleeping breastfeeding mother to do? Why don't you night wean him, my husband asks. What a great idea! I think I'll ask for tips at the next LLL meeting. And so I do. They all look a bit shocked. "How old is your baby again?" one lady asks. Another says "It seems a bit early to be night weaning. The optimal age is 22 months." TWENTY TWO months? Clearly LLL is filled with stalwarts of selflessness who have no trouble waking every half hour if needed. But I am clearly not one of them.

Frenzied googling on the subject yielded a very promising link.
http://www.drjaygordon.com/development/ap/sleep.asp
Dr.Gordon, I've not heard of you before but you give me such hope with your words. So I've decided to give this nightweaning a try. Wish me luck and then some more!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Remembering the details

This time last year, I was in my final stages of labour. The nurses and doctors were scrambling to get ready since I'd come to the hospital almost ready to push the baby out...Well, not almost but then they did make me wait for an hour in the corridor since all the rooms were full. I was practically passing out from the pain but paradoxically the pain also kept me conscious. I was screaming my lungs out after having put up with it all quietly for more than 10 hours. At that stage I was beyond caring. I didn't care if my screaming annoyed anyone; I didn't care how it would appear; I didn't care if I could be heard beyond the hospital. I just screamed because it felt good to scream.

And then suddenly - very suddenly, it was all over. The doctor plopped the sticky slimy slippery baby atop my tummy. I know this is supposed to be a beautiful moment, the happiest moment ever and all that - but really I just felt strange and disconnected. If I could have talked I'd have probably said 'What's this?'. I was too weak to talk and totally out of things. Someone - a doctor or nurse whisked the baby away to be cleaned and examined. I didn't take an epidural or drugs (by choice) but I was still feeling distant and foggy (I was losing blood). I heard Kuttipa crying and crying and suddenly quietening down as soon as my husband spoke to him. And so for the next hour my husband kept talking to him while the doctors were bustling around me. Things started looking up after we left the delivery room and were moved to a recovery room. The nurses were awesome and very supportive. My husband and my parents were there. Kuttipa was right with me, asleep on my chest and I savoured the delight of becoming a mother.

A year later I can look back and say this has been a crazy year, a happy year, a beautiful year - what a trip! And my darling babe, my precious one, my love, my life, my dearest kuttipa, happy birthday to you! Wishing you health and happiness and lots and lots of birthdays!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Aromatherapy

Apparently sniffing vanilla can slim you down. The theory here is that the smell of vanilla gives you the satisfaction of having eaten a baked goodie without actually having done so. I should give it a try! On the other hand, I do remember using my friend's vanilla scented hand soap and feeling distinctly hungry every time I used it! Why does hand soap need to smell of vanilla anyway? Or raspberry? Or melon? Do they(manufacturers) want people to start eating their hands? Did my friend owe her wonderful figure to the vanilla hand soap? Did she ever try biting her hand? If used continually, would it actually work the way it says? Will Elizabeth May win even one seat in this election? (I liked her best in the debate tonight, but I can't vote!) So many questions....

Meanwhile if you're interested in the smell theory, check out the link below.
http://www.quickandsimple.com/diet-weight-loss/be-happy-stress-relief/scents-moods

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Changes

Am going to experiment with some of the blogger settings and gadgets. Don't be surprised to see a couple of changes in the coming days - mostly temporary ones!

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

My sister stole my man!

Sounds pretty sensational eh? Yeah? Maybe?
Well, I don't have a sister and my man remains unstolen. So no sleazy story of mine to be told here..

A couple of days ago I happened to read a post by someone who said that her boyfriend married her sister. She was all cut up about it (understandably) and accused her sister of being a man-stealer. It was sad. It also reminded me of the movie/play Chicago where Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta Jones) is in Jail for murdering her sister and her husband upon catching them together in bed. "My sister is now unfortunately deceased!" Too funny!

Now I know that there is stuff like that on TV shows all the time with people confessing all over the place and resorting to curses and blows while the audience cheers on. I don't watch them though. It's almost as distasteful as watching someone go to the bathroom or something...

I do wonder how that must really feel like though. Husband stealing by sister I mean. How could the other sister do it? Feelings for the sleazeball of a guy are more powerful than any feelings for dear sis? I don't get it! Thankfully, I will never have to!

Another fall photo

A walk along the river in the Northwest offers some spectacular views. A photo cannot do justice to the experience of being there, seeing the shimmering water, enjoying the gorgeous (hot) weather and seeing those splendid trees with yellow leaves. Nevertheless, here it is - a photo from today.

Monday, September 29, 2008

'And they wither with the wind...'



We went to North Glenmore park this Saturday. It was so beautiful there! It's that time of the year again.

I wonder...

Both my husband and I love to eat. We also love to sleep! So how did we end up with a Kuttipa that doesn't like either? I wonder...

On a different topic - I was driving back this morning after dropping my husband off at his bus stop. The radio wasn't on and Kuttipa was unusually quiet in the backseat leaving me alone with my thoughts. I started thinking about all the fledgling friendships I've made in the recent times and some of the not-so fledgling friendships. Why is it that friendship among women is so complicated? There are layers and layers of feelings and stuff (for the lack of a better word) regardless of how superficial or deep your friendship is...Being friends with a guy is far less complicated (unless there are romantic feelings involved). On the other hand, there is less potential for the deep meaningful emotional connection that is possible among women...Is it worth all the complexity though? I wonder...

Yet another topic - Why is such a big deal being made about the layout changes to Facebook?I thought it actually made things look less cluttered. Is that such a bad thing? I wonder...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

At the baby show I attended a couple of weeks ago (Yes, I bought the teething necklace. No, I am not sure how it works yet) I was given a couple of issues of Mompreneur magazine. I'd never read it before or even heard of it. I was flipping through one of the issues and came across an interview with a really inspiring woman - Kim Lavine. She is a woman who has built a successful business with a product that's not very remarkable through sheer hard work and persistence. She has also written a book about it called the Mommy Millionaire. I might read her book one of these days. Meanwhile I'll find inspiration from the following words in her interview

'I tell people in my book that it's easy to be negative in this world; what's hard is being positive. Every successful entrepreneur I've ever met has been optimistic and positive. You need to consciously get up every morning and make the choice to be positive; it's amazing magic that will transform your life.'

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A kutti update

Kuttipa has a cold and a fever. With a stuffy nose, its difficult for him to eat or nurse and we keep trying to clear it using saline drops. He hates that of course and any attempts to wipe his nose and clean his face etc. are met with howls. But in general he is cheerful and keeps trying to stand up again and again. Since Saturday, he has been able to stand up by himself without holding onto something for support! So that's the new thing he is trying these days. And its good that he is cheerful because that tells me he is not seriously ill. Now if only I could be as cheerful..

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Kozhakattais

Considering that 'Vinayakane Vinay Theerpavane' has somehow led a couple of people to my site, I have to wonder if they were searching for a kozhakattai recipe. The one I used is simple enough and by no means my original creation. I got it from Tarla Dalal's website since I subscribe to her newsletter. Here is a link in case you're looking for it. Having tried it, I assure you it works well.

The first party

Photo taken yesterday at the common birthday party held for all the babies from my prenatal class from last year. They're all turning one year old soon, starting from tomorrow. It was a good party and Kuttipa had a lot of fun scampering on the grass and destroying the cake. He ate quite a bit of it too! The weather was awesome and there was plenty of food and conversation. And there were tons of other babies though I didn't want to post a pic with the other babies. I mean, what if I get sued for loss of privacy or something?
I almost didn't go because my husband hadn't been feeling well for over four days and I was a bit under the weather too. I am glad I did go though!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hazelwood

Kuttipa is teething, I think. He seems to be having all the classic symptoms and is also incredibly cranky. He has 6 teeth so far and I think the 7th broke ut today although I am not sure about it.
Just over a couple of months ago he had no teeth and I was getting flak about not giving him enough calcium or something (which is not true btw. He had enough calcium. Also, the teeth are already there; they just need to come out. So its unrelated to calcium.)

I am hoping to go to the Calgary Baby Show being held in the Stampede Grounds this weekend and buy him a hazelwood teething necklace. When we went to Golden a couple of months ago, we stayed at a B&B whose owners had an 8 month old daughter. At that time I think Kuttipa was getting his second tooth. The baby there was wearing one of these necklaces and her mom told me that it seemed to be really effective. I tried to buy one there but somehow circumstances intervened. I hope they don't intervene tomorrow and that I do get to buy one. I am really really curious about them..

I tried googling info about them and I saw many sites which promised that hazelwood necklaces were the cure to everything right from teething pains to colic to migraines. I was excited initially and started checking every bulletin board I came across which had a reference to hazelwood necklaces. Then I saw that the same post was being posted by one 'momof3cuties' in a wide range of bulletinboards totuing the benefits of these necklaces and saying how her child's eczema was cured because of them. Er okay, was she so happy with them that she felt the need to spread the word far and wide? Well, it turns out that she owns a company that distributes them but she doesn't really say this when she posts about the benefits of these necklaces! So much for free advertising!

Well, I'll get to see if these things really work I guess... though I'll be fifteen bucks poorer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A tad depressed

I was in New Haven four years ago, when Dubya was re-elected. I left for Calgary within a couple of weeks of his reelection. The timing was just a coincidence but it felt good nevertheless to tell my republican coworkers that I was leaving the country because I couldn't stand Bush! And I couldn't stand him is the truth.

I cannot believe its been 4 years already so soon! And over these years I've watched Bush f**k up the country and the world repeatedly. Well, that just makes things easy for the Democrats right? Wrong! If people were logical, Bush wouldn't have been re-elected. I wish the average voter in the US knew how much power he had - power that will influence not just his country but will influence events in th entire world! Some voters will probably realize that and will vote 'Democrat' but the rest will just bleat the same old same old and vote Republican. Why is 'evolution vs creation' so much more important than actual people or lives? Why does invading another country make people feel safer? So many questions.

And now there is this woman Palin. I think many women will be voting for her simply because she is a woman! So much for women's lib! If the purpose is to show that men and women are equal, shouldn't Palin be judged as a person and not as a 'woman'?

After such a disastrous rule, will the country still vote Republican? Have they turned into a nation of cows? I hope not, but the possibility is depressing.

Oh and speaking of cows, I found this post amusing. Check it out!

Kuttipa update

Kuttipa has been standing up by grabbing onto things for about a week now. He is becoming increasingly persistent about it - like waking up at 3am and deciding to practice his skills by grabbing onto our sleeping (now awake) bodies and using it to support himself. Its cute when he does that during daytime but not so cute at night...

He has become more temperamental of late. Eating, sleeping, everything is a more difficult than it used to be. But it makes his smiles and laughter that much more precious and adorable.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Vinayakane vinay theerpavane

Today was Vinayaka Chaturthi - one of my favorite festivals from my childhood. What I probably loved best about it were the Kozhakattais or Kaduvus depending on which grandmother I spoke with. My mother's mother made absolutely awesome kozhakattais. Soft and white filled with a delicious coconut-jaggery mixture. I just need to close my eyes and I can almost taste them... ahh..

I do remember trying to help her make the shells from rice flour a couple of times when I was a child but alas, I never did learn her recipe. I didn't learn any of her recipes for that matter and she was such an awesome cook! Now she is confined mostly to her bed and can neither walk nor talk. I could have even asked her for some of her recipes as recently as a couple of years ago when she was able to communicate in bits and pieces. Life is full of such regrets but strangely once the initial pang passes we don't seem to learn much from them. At least, I don't seem to...

A few years ago a friend of mine passed away unexpectedly. She was young and full of life and close to my heart. I kept in touch with her in random intervals when she wrote an email from someplace or another. I always intended to write to her more and maybe call her up 'one of these days'. All of a sudden I got an email from her mother saying that she had passed away after an accident. That was such a shock! I realized that I couldn't take anyone's presence for granted and made an effort to stay in touch with anyone I knew, anyone who mattered.

Its been 6 years since that happened. And I am back to my old ways. I don't call my friends regularly. I don't write regularly. I don't send photos of Kuttipa regularly. Heck, I think a few friends of mine may not even know Kuttipa exists. Sure there are countless reasons - such as my not having enough time or enough sleep. The fact remains that I take their presence for granted. Somehow I think 20 years from now or whenever it is that I find the time, they'll still be around and interested in what I have to say. Have I learned anything?

Somehow this became a morbid post. My original intention was to brag about how well my kozhakattais turned out today. I made both kinds - salted and sweet. On that note, I'll end this post. Good night!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


The photos are from Chestermere Lake where we went last Saturday. So, yes, we made it to one of the lakes after all! Our original plan was to go to Eagle Lake in Strathmore. Upon driving there and finding it not very happening (kind of boring actually), we stopped on our way back at this lake. It seemed to be a nice place and it was a nice day too. There was a paved walkway there with people sitting on deck chairs, lounging and looking at the lake. Plenty of seagulls flying around hoping for some of the snacks that people might have brought with them. There were people like us with babies in their strollers, out for a leisurely stroll along the lake. There were people motorboating and jetskiing and getting their thrills from the water.

However, no one was sailing or swimming or kayaking or pedal boating or in any way exerting themselves and their muscles. Oh, and every house we passed by had an RV parked on their driveway.

Friday, August 29, 2008

before sleep musings

Found myself at the zoo again today, this time meeting up with some of the other moms from my prenatal class of a year ago. I last saw most of them in March and how the babies have grown!

Nothing much to write of other than we had a good time. Kuttipa looked at the Hippos at close quarters. He also seemed interested in the wild hogs. One of the ladies is pregnant again. I am a tad envious of her and also amazed at how she is willing to go through all of this again so soon! I would like at least a month or two of good sleep before I even consider going this route again. Why am I envious then? Because its actually a pretty cool feeling to be pregnant. Because in a logical way it makes sense to have the babies spaced close so that you're done with the child rearing in a few years and can resume some kind of a career. But logic is mostly a matter of convenience - you take whatever argument suits you better. If I am tired and zonked out (which I already am even with only one kid) it wont be fair to either baby, will it?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Finger foods

It was about a week ago that Kuttipa was taking cheerios to his mouth but not knowing that he should release them there. So he ended up with messy fingers from clutching onto soggy bits of Cheerios. All of a sudden for the past few days he has been releasing things into his mouth like a pro - looking nonchalant, if he had always done it. Unfortunately the 'things' released into his mouth also include non-food items like an apple seed and God knows what else...

I now need to actually start cleaning the house! :-(

Sunday, August 24, 2008

At the zoo!

The previous post made me want to go check out Simon and Garfunkel's song. I found a version at Youtube.

'It's all happening at the zoo'

It certainly seems like it, judging by the crowds there. Last days of summer before school starts I guess! We went there because after hours of endlessly planning our weekend and discussing places to go, we somehow landed up at the zoo.

Seems to happen every weekend - not going to zoo I mean, but endlessly planning and doing something completely different in the end. For a month now, we've been planning to go to a lakeside beach before the summer is over and things turn cold. Possible places included Lake Minnewanka (Banff) and Gull Lake (North of Red Deer) among other things. Somehow we've just never managed to get there yet. And the leaves are already turning yellow in some places!

Take for example what happened last weekend:

Me: We've to go somewhere today! Somewhere!
Hubby: How about swimming at Cardel Place?
Me (scoffing): You want to waste a fine summer day in an indoor pool?
Hubby: Okay, where do you want to go?
Me: I don't know. You decide!
Hubby: How about Gull Lake? I've heard it's really nice.
Me: What? Thats 2 hours from here! Let me find a place closer to home.
So I browse for an hour or two interspersed with feeding kuttipa and things like that. There may also have been a game or two of Bubblewords that happened in this time.

Me: So, looks like there is a lake in Strathmore called Eagle Lake and also a lake in Chestermere. Both look kind of closer than Gull lake.
Hubby: Did you read any reviews?
Me: Sort of. Someone somewhere has recommended it on 'Yahoo Answers'.
Hubby: Let me check them out.
So he browses for a while looking at reviews and playing the occasional game of Bubblewords. This takes somewhere between 15 minutes and half an hour.

Hubby: Both lakes have gotten bad reviews.
Me: Well, there are always going to be people who have something bad to say about everything!
Hubby: Yeah, but why drive to a dirty lake?
Me: Eagle Lake's website says there have been no recorded cases of swimmer's itch. Isn't that enough? And look, apparently there are all kinds of exotic birds that come there.
Hubby: Birds? I thought you wanted a lakeside beach...
Me: Well....I just want to go somewhere...
By now Kuttipa is making impatient noises the kind that means he will become cranky and sleepy in a while. We also realize that its around 3:00pm which means there are only a couple of hours to work with before his evening dinner and bedtime routine begin (more on that in another post). So we decide to go to the zoo and hastily pack up - snacks and a sippy cup for Kuttipa, water for us. We get in the car and head towards the zoo.

Me: Do you really want to go to the zoo?
Hubby: What now? We're almost there! Why do you keep changing your mind?
Me: I think it might be nicer to take a walk in the Inglewood sanctuary. Do you remember the place? It was along the river and so pleasant.
Hubby: Okay, whatever you say! (Kind of grumpy at my vacillations though)
Moments later, we arrive at a park. Its NOT Inglewood sanctuary. Clearly we took a wrong turn somewhere and ended up there. But there are tall trees and green grass and lots of people on picnic benches grilling burgers and the river glistens somewhere close by. It all seems very pleasant, very inviting...

Me:(reading sign aloud) Pearce Estates Park.
Hubby: We're not in Inglewood. Are you very particular on going there?
Me: I guess we could walk around a little and see how this place is.


And so we had a very good walk at Pearce Estate Park. The pathways were nice enough for a stroller. We saw huge pelicans at the weir. The weather was good. Turned out to be a very happy accident! The end. :-)

Friday, August 22, 2008

Is the grass greener either side?

Its Friday again! Another week gone amidst diapers, baby cereal and facebook bubble words. Oh, but I did read a book - a very good one. So thats a plus for this week! What was the book? 'The other mother' by Gwendolyn Gross.


It was a very intense and insightful book and I really enjoyed reading it. The book is narrated alternately between Thea a stay-at-home-mom and Amanda a career woman mom. Both feel superior to the other for their own choices and both are also jealous of the other for the things they cannot have. Thea envies Amanda her freedom away from the house and her being able to have a self that wasn't only mother. Amanda on the other hand feels perpetually guilty for being away from her baby and hiring someone else to do the mothering.

I can empathize with both sides. There are days when I just want to run away; When I envy my husband being able to go off and work and be part of a different universe; When the list of chores seem repetitive and dull and overwhelming; When Kuttipa's constant struggle to sleep or eat gets under my skin and I want to scream and swear.

And then there are times when I wonder if I can bear to stay away from Kuttipa; to give him away to a daycare provider or a nanny and walk away. I just returned to the computer after unsuccessfully trying to extend Kuttipa's nap. All the while that I was trying to put him back to sleep, Kuttipa grinned at me partly adoringly and partly mischievously as if daring me to try to make him sleep again. He grabbed my hair, stroked my cheeks, grabbed my nose and was generally being the baby that he is! Can I stand the thought that he might look equally adoringly at a nanny who came instead of me? Of course not! Would the nanny even try rocking him to sleep? Would she worry about what he ate and what he didn't? Maybe she would, but I don't want to take a chance.

Which is why I stay at home.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Monday evening post

Kuttipa is crawling - finally! He has been trying to do this for at least 4 months now and I thought he would graduate to standing and walking w/o ever crawling. Especially since he has been standing for a couple of weeks now and will even walk a few steps if you hold both hands and encourage him slowly.

And then suddenly two days ago, he crawled. Not a very coordinated crawl but nonetheless a crawl. In his frenzy to discover what the multicoloured rattling box in my hand was, he crawled towards it before he or I knew what was happening. And then today again he did it- multiple times for short stretches. So now when his grandparents/our friends/ random people ask me if he is crawling, I can finally say 'Yes, he does.' Like when people kept asking if he had teeth and suddenly in the past month he sprouted not one, not two but five teeth.

Is it such a big deal? It is and it isn't. I am happy for his newfound mobility and also terrified about the new dangers he will now get into. I am also happy to temporarily assuage the fears of others - especially over-anxious grandparents. But we all know how temporary that is! After too short a time they'll all be asking "Is he walking yet?", "Is he talking?", "Is he planning to go to college?". It never ends.

I read a very good article about control and our thirst for it. Very thought provoking and moving!
Check it out.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another year older

What have I to show for it? A gorgeous kid brimming with life and energy, thats what.

Haven't blogged for a while mainly because I was again wondering about the tone and content of this blog. Its so random! No wonder no one reads it. On the other hand, do I want anyone to read it? If so, for the past few posts I was starting to see a consistent theme of Kuttipa. Well that's a no-brainer! If my life is centered around him obviously my blog will too. I wonder if I should convert this to a mommy blog and then start visiting a ton of other mommy blogs and try to stay in some kind of loop...

Nah, too much effort! Otoh, there is so much to be gained if only I made the effort. New friendships, new insights...

Saw 'The Dark Knight' last weekend. What an amazing movie! Thoroughly enjoyed it. And that's my random non-Kuttipa related event of the week. Good bye.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The first step

Hi my name is Jeevita and I am a Bubble Words addict (app on Facebook).
There, I've said it! I don't know how much time I've wasted today stringing bubbles of words but it must be considerable....

If you're not on Facebook you can find this game at
herdaword.com
The best part is you don't need someone else to play it with. You can get addicted all by yourself!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Perspective

Me: (reading from a book) It says here that Toddlers are inherently aggressive and that they learn to tone down their aggression as they grow up.
Hubby: Uh huh
Me: So what would you do if in a few months Kuttipa beats up another kid that he is playing with?
Hubby: Nothing! Toddlers are inherently aggressive, aren't they? What can I do?
Me: Okay, what if another kid beats up Kuttipa?
Hubby: The other kid had better watch out...

Hmm...

Photos from last week

Buckler Farms
Close up of the berry bushes
Our pickings.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fruits and flies

Went to Superstore yesterday for my weekly shopping as usual. Was delighted to see local produce - fresh tomatoes grown right here in Alberta for an incredibly cheap rate. Usually when the tomatoes are priced low, you know that most of them are almost rotten and they're trying to clear the stock. Not yesterday though! So I bought lots and made thakaali saadam today. They had locally grown cukes as well. So velrikkai raitha was the accompaniment. 'Fairly good!' was my husband's verdict.

Didn't buy much fruit since we'd planned to go fruit picking in the evening. So we went to Buckler's farm near Cochrane to pick some fruit and veggies. It was 4pm and almost all the strawberries were gone. We did manage to pick an entire pail of em in the next hour though. A pail full of strawberries for $12. Very reasonable when you consider that grocery stores typically sell them for almost twice as much and they're nowhere as sweet as these. I guess the stores pick them unripe and then ripen em whereas we had
the luxury of picking the ripe sweet ones. Will post some photos tomorrow of the place.

Speaking of fruit, we have a terrible fruit fly problem in our kitchen. They seem to be everywhere esp the garbage can. My husband did some heavyduty cleaning today hoping that would discourage them but so far they're still all around. As usual, I googled for info on getting rid of them and found a rather interesting site with tons of murderous but effective ideas. Am doing the bowl trap thing and it seems to be working.

There is a hornets nest under one of our deck chairs. It was pebble sized about 3 weeks ago and is now football sized. The hornets seem to increasingly dislike our presence on the deck. Been wondering how to reclaim the deck. So we actually bought a spray for killing the hornets, nest and all. I feel a bit bad though - all that murder! But whats the alternative? Stay away from our backyard through the summer? What will happen to the lawn when no one mows it?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Seize the day

Or whatever you can seize from it.
Here I am trying to type up a post, seizing moments when Kuttipa is sleeping. I could be doing the laundry instead. Or mopping the kitchen floor. Or mending my pants...Yes, my house (and my life in general) is quite disorganized. Somehow I can never keep up. Instead, I blog.

Earlier today I was trying to seize some time for a walk outdoors with Kuttipa. He didn't have one yesterday thanks to thunderstorms. It seemed that today might be the same but the sky seemed to clear up somewhat and we went on a mini walk around the block. The sky became overcast again by the time we were done. Now, among my many phobias, fear of lightning ranks somewhere at the top. So we scrambled back home and I decided to go on a drive instead. Kuttipa fell asleep during the drive which sort of defeated the purpose - fresh air and change of scenery. OTOH it was a good thing because it got him some rest.

Speaking of rest, I could use some. It's been over nine months since I had this baby and he still wakes up approx every couple of hours! Apart from the tiredness, I find I am also getting stupider if thats even possible. One of the theories for night waking babes is that if they get enough calories during the day, they wont wake up as much at night. So after some brainstorming, my husband and I discovered that Kuttipa's diet is almost entirely carbs. So I've tried to add some more protein today - although the paruppu saadam wasn't well received in the evening.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

All over the place

Been intending to post for the past few days on a few different things.

On Saturday I was intending to write about all that I had learned from meeting up with my friend at Deerfoot mall. Thanks to her, I've now started giving Kuttipa cheerios and fairly big pieces of baby biscuit. Iam also trying to incorporate more variety in his meals since then, because I learned that a refusal to eat something does not necessarily mean that he is full. Oh and I learnt an alternate to the usual applesauce - adding crushed oatmeal to it.

On Saturday I intended to blog about bread since I'd read an interesting rant about it at

http://www.leftoverqueen.com/2008/07/01/speaking-of-baked-goodsbread-rant/

This didn't quite inspire me to go start making my own bread though. Did I mention I am lazy? What I did was merely toddle over to the fridge and check the ingredients for the wholegrain sliced bread that I buy from Superstore (store brand). To my surprise there was NO modified cornstarch or high fructose corn syrup or enriched flour or xanthan gum. It was merely all the grains in the bread, ascorbic acid, water and yeast! Good stuff I think! Fairly cheap too! I can get similar good stuff at the farmer's market but for approx twice the cost! Now if only I could find some organic baby cereal without all these additives! President's Choice makes some different ones but the only variety I can find in my neighborhood Superstore is rice cereal. The closest other brand with minimal additives was from 'My Organic Baby' which I found at Shoppers Drug Mart. Perhaps Iam looking in the wrong places?

On Sunday I had planned to blog on the Stampede if I had made it there like I intended to. Since I didn't go there after all, I couldn't blog about it. I did go to a stampede breakfast at the Coventry Hills Centre which is nearby. Can't write much since we went at the very end and just about got breakfast and caught the last song in the live entertainment. Seemed like we'd missed a lot of good stuff though! From there we went to the library at Cardel Place where I got a card for Kuttipa. Can finally enroll him in the library storytime sessions and such.

Yesterday I intended to blog about how my classmates from Vikaasa had suddenly discovered each other and were mailing away like crazy. I am more of an observer than an active participant though I did send in a recent pic and a life story of sorts like the others...Its strange to see how some people haven't changed at all after all these years and I don't mean in terms of appearance!

The day is still young today and if anything happens today, I'll write about it tomorrow. Or the day after. Or one of these days...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Par Pappu can't dance saala

Not really a fan of Hindi movies since I don't really know it well...but saw 'Jaane Tu ya Jaane Na' last night and can't get this song out of my head.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mall walking

I am headed to the mall in a little bit since I am meeting another mom from my prenatal class from last year. The women from the class have kept in touch and meet up at least once a week. I've not been as regular in meeting up mainly because of the 3 month India trip that came inbetween.
So anyway we were all supposed to meet up at Heritage Park today but that got washed out because of the potential thundershowers. With everyone else making alternate plans by themselves, it left two of us interested in meeting up and having a coffee perhaps. I've not seen this mom and her baby for almost 5 months now. I can't wait to see how her baby has grown and to show mine off as well...Kuttipa just cut his first tooth this morning. You can see just a tiny bit of white if you peer into his mouth (if he lets you). At any rate you can feel a tiny sharp edge when he bites your fingers (which he does . A lot!)
Nothing much else to write about anyway. So tata! I am off to Deerfoot mall (not exactly my favorite but it is the closest one to my house).

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My current read

is a book called 'Discipline without Distress' by Judy Arnall. I read good things about this book and so decided to check it out. It's a bit early for discipline books considering my babe is only 9 months old or so I thought. Apparently it's never too early to start with the kind of things that she talks about. Now, I've read only about 40 pages of this book (in a book with approx 400 pages). But I do like what I've read so far...At least it all sounds good and logical. Only time will tell if it really makes sense in the context of my parenting this child.

Arnall (who is from Calgary btw) makes a case for not punishing children using the standard methods of time-out, spanking etc. In fact she advocates not punishing them at all. What? Won't the kids be spoilt rotten if we don't punish them? No, because discipline is not the same as punishment. Discipline can be gentle and it can be as simple as two way communication between a parent and child. The kind of discipline she talks about requires some rethinking about what the parent-child relationship really is.

A couple of excerpts* that I liked.

"Children are equal to parents in some ways. Their feelings, dignity and sense of self worth are equally as important to them as adults. In the workplace - just because the boss has more knowledge and experience doesn't mean she can call you names, berate you in front of the client or hit you for not getting your work out on time......Your feelings, dignity and sense of self-worth as an employee are equally as valuable as hers and must be mutually respected. Therefore children have the right to feel all their feelings, to have their bodies' dignity respected and are entitled to expect to be treated worthily."

"Controlling another human being is very much next to impossible; children have their own little minds and feet to follow. The goals, hopes and dreams we have can only be realized in our minds. They are not guaranteed for our children."

The above sentence reminds me of Khalil Gibran in the 'Prophet' when he writes about children.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
The entire section is beautiful and can be read at this link:
http://www.cs.rice.edu/~ssiyer/minstrels/poems/1194.html

* I hope quoting from the book was okay and hopefully I am not violating copyright laws or something.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Should be working

Kuttipa is napping. Will wake up any minute now. He slept way much better last night though. Who knows why! I am just grateful...

I tried making Pasta Primavera last night and it turned out quite good even if I say so myself. Now I have to concoct something for the afternoon and for tonight. I wonder how my mother and millions of other women keep cooking morning noon and night on a daily basis without getting sick and tired of it. I like cooking the occasional specialty dish but other than that....bleaghhhhhh

Went to the zoo on Saturday. We enjoyed the trip even though Kuttipa was busy looking at the trees and the leaves instead of the animals and the birds. We particularly enjoyed looking at all the colourful butterflies in the conservatory. Wish I had a better camera, but here is a pic. Yeah, that thing that looks a dead leaf in the plate is actually a butterfly!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Its Sunday again

Where did another week go? Started the day today with the Stampede breakfast at INCA. It was fairly good for free fare - Puris, Cholay, Bajji, Kesari and Jalebis. Met some people there who we knew and who were seeing Kuttipa for the first time. Incidentally Kuttipa turned exactly 9 months old today! That means he has been in the outside world just as long as he was inside me. I don't know if thats significant in any way...not to anyone else but me I guess. So he was all decked out in his Sherwani and looking gorgeous as usual. Didn't smile and socialize much with others though.

Now father and son are down for a nap while I am typing this. Haven't had lunch yet though its 2:35pm. Lunch is simple fare though - paruppu podi rice, raitha and curd rice. Shall cook something better for dinner if Kuttipa cooperates. He keeps waking up and crying and I wonder if its just teething or if he is in some sort of pain...How to find out? Maybe we need to see our doc just in case.

So I've received the drawings from my office. Need to do a lighting layout and send it in tomorrow. Thats right, I am planning to work a couple of hours a day from home and see how it works out. Wish me luck!

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Another day is done

Still a bit achy especially in my back. The class is only once a week. So today I went for a long walk with Kuttipa to sort of keep up the tempo. That was about the only time he was reasonably quiet and happy today. Well, I guess the day started off right. But as it progressed he became increasingly cranky and started crying for the smallest things. He especially became upset if I left him in the living room to go into the kitchen for some reason or the other. So I cleaned the kitchen floor and took him there so he could be with me. He didn't quite like it there either. He is very cranky and I am not sure if its some phase or if its teething or what.

One of the times I left him to go to the kitchen, I heard him cry suddenly. When I came back to the living room, I found him sitting up. I had left him lying down. This is the first time he has done this! Yet he didn't seem to be as thrilled about it as I was. I kept watching him eagerly the rest of the day to see if he would repeat it, but he didn't. It wasn't from lack of trying though.

Nothing much else to write about except Kuttipa Purana, since I don't seem to be doing much else except keep watch over him the whole day, prepare his food, prepare our food, nurse him to sleep and go to sleep a little later myself. Wake up the next day (not to mention all the night-wakings) and it all starts again...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Stroller fitness

Here is the photo from yesterday.
Won't write much today. Joined an exercise class for women with babies. After months of atrophy, all my muscles ache! Gotta sleep. Goodnight.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

July 1

Happy Canada Day! Our own little Canadian baby came with us on a stroll to Prince's Island Park today where there was a lot of stuff going on. Lots of people, lots of food and lots of entertainment. He seemed pretty engrossed with all the happenings but methinks he might enjoy it more next year. It was such a gorgeous day!! Although it threatened to rain when we arrived, by the time we left the sun was shining on the Bow river with all his might.

Tomorrow, I might post a pic of Kuttipa holding a little Canadian flag even though I intended never to do so (Privacy and that sort of thing)... But what can you do when a baby is so cute?

Monday, June 30, 2008

Food

Trying to eat right again after months of not. Last month especially was pure greed. People go to India and visit temples and embark on holy pilgrimages. Our pilgrimage consisted of visiting different restaurants in Chennai. And there are so many more restaurants this time than even 3 or 4 years ago! Clearly a lot of people love to eat... My inlaws live in West Mambalam where you can find something suited to your tastebuds in every price range. So we didn't even have to venture far away from home if we didn't want to. Of course that didn't stop us from visiting Mainland China in Nungambakkam or Saravana Bhavan in a couple of different locations. For the most part though we stayed in T.Nagar enjoying places such as Matsya, Gangotree and Sandeepa. And on the days we dined at home there was always evening tiffin from Venkateswara Boli stall or from Bakya fast foods. Did I also mention the scores of relatives who invited us over for lunch and/or evening tiffin and/or dinner?

So now you can understand why I am trying to eat right and maybe shed some of those pounds...
Of course temptation exists here as well. Just a couple of days ago, I saw John Gilchrist of CBC fame at the farmers market and bought a signed copy of his book - 'My favorite cheap eats'. It covers restaurants in Calgary and surrounding areas such as Banff and Canmore where you can get good food at reasonable prices. Some of the places mentioned there sound really really tempting....Hmmm....

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Weekend

Went to the farmer's market for the past couple of days. There is so much happening there and so much to see - not only for me but for the baby as well (I'll call him Kuttipa from now on).

On Friday I met a friend there who is pregnant and halfway there. How time has flown. Last summer, I was in her shoes and this summer I am pushing a stroller around, looking out for a place to change a diaper and wondering if there is any place to nurse. It doesn't feel like that long ago that Kuttipa was born. Of course I had tons of advice for my friend. Go to Bradley classes instead of the Calgary Health Region prenatal classes. I couldn't attend the 12 week class last year because I found out about it only towards the end. But I did attend a 2 day crash course thing organized by the instructor here. I also attended the Calgary Health Region thing because I had already signed up for it. The Bradley classes really really really helped! There was no way I would have not had an epidural if I had not known so much about working with my body and aiding labour by relaxing and breathing.

This time last year or sometime thereabouts I was researching a lot of info on cosleeping, breastfeeding and cloth diapers. So how's all that going? Well, I still do cosleep though I am starting to wonder about moving Kuttipa to a crib mattress next to ours. I am still nursing Kuttipa. The cloth diapers though - I hate to admit I've been very lazy and am using disposables still.....

Can ramble on more today but Kuttipa needs to put down for a nap and we need to have breakfast. So, Tata!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ello

After months and months and months of silence, I am hoping I can do this blogging thing again. Its not like I was writing profound thoughtful stuff anyway. Rambling is easy...should be easy...

My baby is 8 months old and then some. I've been in India for the past few months and before that I was in a sleep deprived stupor where I barely functioned let alone blogged. Still somewhat sleepless but things are better...I think..

Enough said today. Will blog more tomorrow.