Around here (03/16)

  • I can’t believe Medha is in First Grade already! It only feels like I got her enrolled into Nursery a few months ago! She’s super-excited about her new class, new subjects and new friends. I hope this love remains when she starts having weekly tests and school until 3 in the afternoon! Poor kiddo!
My Favorite Animal is Lion
My Favorite Animal is Lion
  • I used to be paranoid about keeping her White (!!!?!?) uniforms spotless and bright, but not anymore! Who cares if there are a few squiggly pencil marks or a dull splotch of ketchup on them?! Not me! Why drive myself even crazier than I already am?! It only matters to me that she is happy and safe… nothing else! Or so I tell myself…
  • It’s raining Birthday Parties here and we are having a grand time attending each one! It just melts my heart when the kids come and thank me for taking me to parties! I swear they do! Even the littlest one has just one thing to ask as soon as he gets up- “Where are we going today? Party?”
  • Madhav is enjoying playing memory games and preschooler games on my tab. This guy is so patient. He’ll keep working on something until he has it nailed down- like drawing circles to make tires of a car, sorting toys or socks and arranging them in proper places, etc..
  • I’m journaling everyday (I hope I’m not jinxing this by proclaiming it to the world!) the first thing in the morning, and I love how clean my mind feels and how empty (in a good way) my head feels after I’ve dumped all that sh*t on paper.
  • It’s so so hot here, it’s crazy! We’re trying to beat the heat by staying indoors as much as possible, drinking lots of Lemon and Mint juice, sitting under the fan and slathering sunscreen when heading out.
  • I’m getting better and better at wearing Sarees, even Medha has noticed my progress! The other day, after I wore one for a function (Why have functions when it is this hot?!) she tells me “You’re getting better at this mama. If you keep practicing more and more, you’ll get it!” Talk about bouncing my own lines back to me!
  • I bought a sewing machine. Yay! And I’m practising on it everyday. Learned how to thread the bobbin and the machine, read the whole manual, learning the basic stitches, stitched a small bag (that everybody made fun of, but which I’ll keep as a reminder of my beginnings at sewing) and just trying to do SOMETHING at the machine every single day.
  • Watched 3 movies- Loved one (Zootopia), In awe of another (The Revenant) and still figuring out what the heck the latest one was about (Batman Vs. Superman)
Movie time, Snack time!
Movie time, Snack time!
  • Tried my hand at Scratch Art. It was fun! Will be doing more whenever I find time-

Scratch Art
Scratch Art
  • Most of the time the kids fight like Tom and Jerry!
Sibling love
Sibling love

Such affectionate moments are few and far between…. And watching them makes me want to just hold them tight and smother’em with kisses!

  • There’s nothing like staying home, away from the harsh sun! So we aren’t traveling much. We went to Kothagudem on a Business trip and were too happy to be back home!
Badrachalam Temple vicinity
Badrachalam Temple vicinity
  • ¬†Waiting for Madhurya to get back from a vacation and share her big news with you all… ūüôā

I hope all is well with you guys…

Love,

Manasa.

Around here

Around here-

  1. I’ve been feeling kinda down lately, like I have a ton of things and thoughts swirling in my head needing my immediate attention and weighing me down.
  2. I’ve not been able to read anything for a longer stretch of time, except browse other blogs and recipes online. I picked up my favorite “The Happiness Project” and couldn’t read further than a couple of chapters. I started “Gilead”, another bestseller, and I had to toss it aside as I could not focus.
  3. I’m trying to get Medha to learn the parts of Body in words for a test without much success.
  4. We’re figuring out how to use my brand-new Morphy Richards Convection Oven: Butter Naan came out hard while Whole-Wheat Pizza came out doughy. No more Baking for a while!
  5. Rains have been few and far between, and Mosquitoes have swarmed the place.
  6. I tried a lot of new recipes I found online; None tasted as good as I hoped.
  7. I haven’t finished a Birthday Project I began with Medha.
  8. I feel like I need a change, but not sure what sort of.

Sounds depressing, right? Don’t worry (especially you, mother). I’ll be fine. Everyone feels this way- confused, scattered, down, sad, worried- now and then. It’s mostly due to exhaustion and less sleep. It also happens when you do not take things light and slow.

I need to do one thing at a time, work on one thought at a time. And forget the rest… until it is time to focus on the next. ¬†And smile, and laugh a lot, even though sulking and complaining comes easily.¬†And, of course, be grateful for all the big and small joys and an ordinary, uneventful life.

Yeah. I get it!

So let me have another go…

Around here-

  1. I’m trying to be mindful of what I eat- fruits instead of desserts, dry fruits instead of biscuits.
  2. We’ve been cooking and eating a lot of bottle-gourds, colocasia leaves, drum-sticks, and banana flowers fresh from our Farm lately.
  3. I’m meeting and befriending new Moms at Medha’s Tennis lessons- Very accomplished and down-to-earth Women.
  4. We’re looking forward to our next weekend getaway to the Black-buck Resort in Bidar.
  5. I met Medha’s teacher, Subhashini Ma’am, at the Parents-Teachers-Meeting and learnt that Medha is doing just fine at school. She just needs to overcome her shyness towards her Teachers and practice a few words everyday.
  6. I just began reading Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s “An Autobiography”. The description of his childhood and his Voice (I can almost hear it!), that sounds as if it is dripping with honey, have kept me engrossed for now. I want to read this to learn a bit of Indian History and also in honor of the upcoming Independence Day.
  7. Medha and Madhav know the appropriate use of words like “Thank you”, “Please” and “Sorry”. Their gesture, coupled with their gentle voice (especially Medha’s), ¬†just melt my heart down and make me feel like I have the sweetest kids in the whole world (Not always, but very often).
  8. I’m coming up with ideas to write blog posts even when nothing much is going on or my mind is a blank space, like right now!

See… I feel so better already. Like I say, Writing everything down is a sort of conversation I have with Prasad or my Sister. It helps me clear out the fog in my brain, make sense of what’s going on and come up with solution. It cheers me up and makes me feel like myself again.

If you’re reading this, it means you’ve taken the time out of your busy schedule to learn what’s going on in my life. My most humble, heartfelt gratitude to you. Thanks for letting me share my stories, my life with you…. I hope YOU don’t forget to write ¬†and share yours too.

Love,

Manasa.

Life in India-so far

They say the first year after a big change is the hardest, and that if you stick it out, the rest is smooth sailing. It’s been a year since we moved to India, which means we have made it past the turbulent phase of new beginnings and novel experiences. ¬†And on this occasion,¬† I’d like to list the (mostly) good and (a few) bad things about our life here, so far:

1. Although it isn’t all fairy tale, living in a big family, I’m truly happy we decided to move in with our in-laws. Having them around to help us raise our kids has been a blessing. They play with the kids and teach them a thing or two about our culture.

2. Where once even using the restroom was a “communal” event, now I can leave the kids under their grandparents’ care and supervision to grab a few moments of solitude.

3. Domestic help is easy to find and not too expensive. Having someone to help me clean the house or do the dishes frees up my time.

4. I find more time to do all the things I enjoy doing like reading, blogging, cooking exotic dishes and spending time with the kids at the park.

5. All that free time from not having to look after the kids 24×7 is helping me nurture other relationships that matter to me, for e.g., my marriage!

6. My mother-in-law is such a perfectionist when it comes to cooking that it is helping me polish my own culinary skill.

7. When a crisis arose in my family, I was able to join them to provide support and comfort. It would have been difficult to undertake the LONG journey home with the kids from the US at such a short notice.

8. There are so many temples to choose from when I feel the urge to soak in some spirituality.

9. I’m better able to strengthen bonds with our extended families. The kids grow up knowing and spending time with their aunts, uncles and cousins.

10. Although I’m a careful driver who doesn’t drive too fast or skip signals, I’m relieved that I don’t have to worry about breaking traffic rules all the time, like I used to in the US. Rules are meant to be broken in India, which is pretty scary when I think about it!

11. There are so many restaurants and cuisines to choose from, one is spoiled for choice here.

12. There are so many National Parks and places of cultural and historical significance to visit, but sadly, most aren’t well-cared for.

13. Many people here only care for their personal hygiene and the cleanliness of their own homes and do not think twice about dumping their garbage in front of their neighbors’ homes.

14. I have friends, other moms, I meet at the park or at school, but, other than that, my social life here sucks!

15. I buy books and diapers online and pay “Cash on Delivery”, which I find very amazing!

16. I don’t know how to bargain with shop owners, which means I always end up paying more than what the thing’s worth for.

17. Trains are dirty, Public toilets are dirtier. But they don’t bother me much. I suppose having kids raises your threshold for tolerance towards filth!

18. India isn’t the India I once lived in as a young girl. So many things have changed, for the better. People are educated, aware of the mess around them and are willing to “clean up the mess”, instead of just blaming the higher authorities or acting as if it is none of their business.

And I think we moved to India at the right time.