Cayman Islands


I found this picture from the our Amazon cloud drive. The cloud drive shows pictures from “This day” and shows all the pictures taken on a particular day in different years. So, today it showed me this pic and I couldn’t help but share it here 🙂

This was 7 years ago when we went to Cayman Islands. Sarath was only an year old and we bravely took the 2 week trip to a new country. It was an amazing trip. Our hotel was just a couple of minutes walk from the beach. We went to the beach everyday and Sarath had loads of fun playing in the sand.

The boat in the picture is the one we took to go a few miles into the ocean where the depth of the ocean was only about 5 feet.  There we could see a lot of Sting Rays swimming around. The tour guide actually let us touch and feel the sting rays under the water. It was a unique experience.



Lessons learned in 2015

Everyday I get blogging prompts in my email. A couple of days ago, the prompt was “What’s the most important lesson you learned in 2015”? When I saw this prompt, my immediate reaction was that “did I really learn something?” I thought hard and yes, I did learn a few things.

  • I learned to plan well during trips with kids. When we went to Orlando, FL for a week, we booked all the theme park tickets ahead of time and took all the printouts necessary. We booked comfortable flights even if they cost a bit more. S had gone on a business trip and flew to Orlando from there. I flew with the kids to Orlando. Since, I was flying alone with the kids, I planned extra carefully. All that planning paid off. We had a excellent trip and we were not that tired when we got back home. We also went to visit places with my parents in the Summer. Even then, we did an awesome job planning with the trip and the food. My mom does not eat garlic and she does not relish many foods here in the US. We went with proper ready to eat foods and other stuff which enabled all of us to have an enjoyable trip.
  • As a mom who always questions herself, I have learned that as the kids grow up, I really need to pick my battles. There are things that I simply have to let go and let my kids be themselves. They are too little to be themselves all the time but, I realized that I need to let them make their own mistakes and learn from it.
  • I realized that I have been doing the right thing by not bothering the kids about various activities outside of school. I let my 8 yr old have some free time in the evenings and I can see how his creativity comes through during those times. I have also learned to listen to my gut feeling even though the others do not agree with me.
  • I have learned to control my temper a little bit. This is a huge achievement in my case. If I get upset or mad, I used to yell at the kids or talk a bit harshly with S. I am very happy to say that I have changed a lot. I am not 100% there yet, but I am more than 60% there. Hopefully, I will keep that temper under control more often this year.

There are probably more things I actually learn’t but cannot remember much now. I would like to hear about the lessons you learn’t in 2015!! Blogatho


Family Time

Holidays here are usually time for family re-unions. People here meet for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Somehow in the past 4 – 5 years, that has become the tradition for us as well. After we got married, we never traveled to India during Christmas. I don’t know why. We always travel to India in Summer cursing heat but enjoying the mangoes 🙂 So, during Christmas holidays, we have been having family re-unions here. My BIL and SIL live in the US and so, we meet every year. It has been fun. Last year, my BIL had a baby and we went to visit the little one and we had a blast for 10 days. My SIL was there too and the kids had a gala time. This year, my in-laws are here from India and we were all together for about two weeks. It was fun. The kids as usual had a blast. When we came back, my in-laws and BIL & family came with us to visit Seattle. It was fun week.

My BIL’s son (1 year old) was the center of attraction for all these days. It was so much fun to watch him babble and walk around pulling everything he could get his hands on. Luckily, he did not have any stranger anxiety and played very well with all of us. They just left and the house looks all empty 😦 Luckily my in-laws are here for a few more days. So, the house is not all empty at once.

From tomorrow, it is back to work/school after a 3 week break. It’s going to be a tough week adjusting back to the routine. For the past 3 weeks, I have been so lazy waking up at 8:00 or 9:00 in the morning. The kids did not have a routine either and it is going to be so difficult to get them out of bed tomorrow morning. Though, I am partly glad to be back to routine, I am dreading this week. Hope all of you heading back to work tomorrow have a peaceful week.

Dear amma,

I never thanked you for all the wonderful things you taught me. I never appreciated everything you did for me until I moved out and started earning on my own. I never thought that being a mom is so rewarding and terrifying all at the same time until I became a mom. I don’t think I ever told you this, but you are a great role model for me. I grew up seeing you working hard at your office and at home. You taught me that we could really have it all. You taught me that patience is golden. With patience, many problems can be solved. When ever you yelled at me for something very small, I always got mad. Now, I understand why you did it.

You taught me that hard work is everything. And the bigger part is thinking that we can actually do it.

When nanna was not well, you were the rock to our family. All of us owe you everything for nanna’s speedy recovery. Me and D were little at that time. But, I remember a lot of it. You just ignored people who were rude and made rude comments. You only focused on what you needed to do for our family and you did it. You took help when ever you needed it and you always knew to ask the right people. You were amazing amma!

You were and are still the only person who can get me to talk and forget my migraines. You are the only person who can understand all my non-sense phone calls when I don’t have anything to talk. Before I got married, remember I lied down in your lap and cried like a little girl? I was terrified amma. I was really scared about getting married and moving in with another person for the rest of my life. I know that I chose to marry S and I knew him and his family for a while before we got married. But, I was still very scared. You let me cry for as long as I wanted to and comforted me. Crying on your lap was such a relief.

You are very good at finances. You and nanna always took care of finances together. I regret the fact that I never learn’t that from you.

When I was pregnant the first time, I was so happy and also sad that I could not tell it you in person. I did not understand why you were so worried about me having the baby before you could get here. But, anyway, it was a relief when I saw you. I let out a breath I never knew I was holding until then. You were an amazing person even then. We did have a few fights about what I can do and what I cannot. But, you took care of me and the kids until you left. You also let me do things so that I would be okay once you went back to India. Thank you for all of that. The best part was when I could walk in the middle of the night to your room and give the kids to you. That used to be such a relief. I used to sleep in peace until the next feeding 🙂 I missed that the most when you left for India.

I am really happy that Sarath is able to learn music from you even we are continents apart. It is so nice to see you two practicing music and you teaching Sarath new songs 🙂

Anyway, I could go on and on about all the amazing things that you did for me and taught me. The list would be endless. I just want you to know that even though, there are so many things that we do not agree upon, I will always love you just like you love me. Thank you for everything that you taught me. I love you amma 🙂

Little of this and that!

Ok, I am back in the blogathon wagon to finish the ride! The last two days have been just so hectic that I did not have a chance to sneak some time for my blog. Right now, I am happy and sad at the same time. My freelance business is picking up and I have projects lined up for the next couple of months. I had to even turn down a couple of projects because I cannot fit it in my schedule now. All this is good right considering the fact that about 6 months ago, I had no idea where I would go with all this. But, it also means that I have to struggle to manage everything. S does help me a lot. Even with that, sometimes it feels like crazy. I think I still have to learn to manage my work efficiently so that I don’t have to end up working on the weekends.

I was working almost all day today. But, compared to before, I don’t feel as bad about working on the weekends. During the week, I get to spend a lot of time with the kids. I am even volunteering in Sarath’s school a couple of days. So, on the weekend, if I have to work or go to a meeting, I don’t feel as guilty.

The volunteering at the school is so much fun. I go for reading and math volunteering. During the reading session, the kids have to read a book aloud for 5 min and then re-tell the story or facts from that book without looking at it. I then need to write a two line report on how they did. They have been told how to choose the right books for their level and they choose really well. So, there is this one girl who cannot understand or speak English. The first time she came to read, I was really surprised that she did not know anything. Later I learn’t from Sarath that they just moved from Japan and she is slowly learning. So, the next time, I knew what to expect. I read the lines and she repeats after me. After that session, I talked to their teacher about what we could do to help her and we discussed a number of strategies and things that we could do. The teacher was very happy that I brought it up and also happy that I was willing to work with this girl differently. During our conversation, the teacher said “it must be so frustrating for the kid to be in class all day without understanding much of it”. I had never thought of this situation from the kid’s point of view. It really must be frustrating. But, even then, she does not complain about coming to the reading session.

When I come across situations like these, it’s like a wake up call for me. We seem to complain for very small and silly reasons on a daily basis. Overall, they don’t even matter. The supposedly educated grown ups that we are, forget the little things in life we need to be thankful for!! I honestly think that we can learn a lot from the kids.