Bommala koluvu 

When me and my brother were kids, every year during Dasera we had bommala koluvu at our house. My grand parents also had one. Infact pretty much everyone in our family had one. We used to have fun setting it up, decorating and everything. We usually had holidays all 10 days of Dasera. So, we used to set it up in our place and go and compare it with the one at my grandparents place. It was so much fun.

After I got married, I was not sure if I could still continue doing all this. When I asked my MIL, she told me that we did have the tradition in the family. So, I took it upon myself to do it. I have been doing it almost every year. I might have missed a year or two in between. This year, I was. not sure if I wanted to have the koluvu all 10 days. I was thinking about setting it up on Saturday evening and have it for only 7 days. But, Sarath wanted to set it up yesterday. He did help me with the setup and decorations. I was a bit sad that we only have a few items to put in the koluvu. I wish we had more so that I could set up a bigger one. Hopefully I will collect more over the next few years.

Sarath is now starting to learn more about our festivals and traditions. So, I am planning to make these 10 days of Dasera kind of special. I have plans to make a different sweet everyday and also make some yummy foods over the weekend. Hopefully I will be able to blog about it. Happy Dasera to everyone who celebrates the festival!!

Advertisements

Scribbleville

This week is Read Across America week! It is Dr. Suess birthday on March 2nd and this week is celebrated in his honor. I have read a lot of Dr. Suess books to my kids. I so wish I had these books to read when I was little. It inspires kids to read more. If there is one thing I am really proud as a parent so far, it is the love of reading I gave the kids. I read to them diligently when they were babies. It felt silly at first reading to a 6 month old baby. What does he understand? But, I just went along with it. Slowly, it became a routine for us. I loved that time of snuggles and reading. By the time Sarath was 1, he already loved books. I started with Sanjay even before he was 6 months old. He used be on my lap every night when I read to Sarath. He picked up on it too. The kids love to read. There were many comments made about this routine of us reading books to our babies. For once, I did not care and I am so glad for it now 🙂

So, as part of the Read Across America week, I decided to share some amazing books I have read to them. Here is the first one. Sanjay got this book from his school library and was very excited to read this to me. He wanted to read with me on a weekday morning before going to school. That day luckily we had some extra time, and I sat there with my cup of tea to read this book to him.

Photo courtesy: Amazon.com

The book is about a town where are the people are squiggly with not straight lines at all. Even the houses and animals are squiggly. Then one fine day a person who is all straight comes to the town and builds a house with all straight lines. He is at first seen as the outsider and the people in town do not like him at all. Then a girl from town makes friends with him and gets married and they have kids who are both squiggly and straight.

An amazing book to show kids how to embrace differences between each other. It is rather a very nice way to show that different is not bad after all. We are all people not matter our appearances. I think this book is even more important now in the current political turmoil.

 

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mom’s!

Today, I want to ask a few questions to all the mom’s. I am starting with my own answers and cannot wait to hear yours!

1. How do you feel as a mom?

I feel wonderful to know that I know so much about my kids that even S cannot guess. I can look at them sometimes and figure out what they need. It is an amazing feeling that two little people depend on me for their life and trust me with their heart. When I think about how little they were and how quickly they are growing up, I feel like dumping everything away and watching them every second of every day so that I will not miss out on their childhood. It has been an year since I quit my job for a freelance career and I couldn’t be happier. I love the time I can spend with the kids now.

I am constantly questioning myself about my parenting. I always feel like I am being judged as a mom. I am not sure how much of it is true but, I cannot help feeling that. Especially, when I visit India, that feeling keeps gnawing my insides. But, I have decided that, no matter how hard it is, I am going to do certain things my way. I know it is a lot easier to put it on my blog than doing it for real. But, I am going to stand by my beliefs and support my kids now matter what the world thinks. Like all mom’s I am learning as I go.

2. Hardest thing for you as a mom?

So far, the hardest thing for me as a mom is letting go. I think it is going to be more difficult as the kids grow older. The one thing I have to learn is to let go of the kids and let them be themselves as they grow older. I want to let them develop their own individual personality. I want to respect the people they become. They might not believe in the same things I do, but, they are still my kids. I want to show them how beautiful the world is and also how cruel it can be sometimes. I want to let them make their own mistakes even though it is hard watching them do it. This is going to be the challenging part of parenting. It is going to be hard not to rub my opinions on them. The most important thing I want to teach them is to be self confident. I just hope I will be able to do all these things.

3. Your Proud mommy moment (it can be more than one moment)?

There are a lot of things I am proud of doing as a mom. But, the one thing I would say is creating an interest in books for both the kids. I taught the kids how wonderful books can be. Sanjay can read small words now and he is constantly trying to read the bigger words as well. He can read little books now. Sarath’s favorite thing in the world is reading books 🙂 I always give a pat on my back for creating that interest in them. I started reading picture books to Sarath when he was about 6 months old. There were people who mocked me for doing that. But, I never gave up. When Sanjay was born, I used to put him in my lap while I read stories to Sarath. It is amazing to see how much they love books now and how they can keep themselves busy with books.

I am tagging DIL, R’smom, Saritha, Lifi, Bingo’s mom, Comfy. Anyone I forgot to tag can take it up too 🙂 And please remember to tag a few more mom’s you know!

Concerned brother

Yesterday Sarath was sick and he had to stay home from school. Poor kid was throwing up all night and woke up with a mild fever. He was in a bad state. So, he was resting on the sofa in the morning while I was trying to get Sanjay ready for school. As soon as Sanjay realized that his brother was sick, he too pretended to be sick He curled up with Sarath under the comforter saying he is too sick to go to school. Somehow we got him ready. Sarath wasn’t up to eating anything so, I let him be. Seeing that Sanjay flat out refused to eat anything. I had to create stories for him to finish his breakfast.

All day in school apparently he was complaining that he was tired and needs to rest. Since his teacher knew what happened at home, she handled it somehow. After coming back home was the toughest part. Sarath still had high temperature in the evening and was just lying down. This was so hard for Sanjay. He did not leave his brother’s side for a long time. He was getting mad for every small thing. I think he was feeling bad that Sarath cannot play with him, jealous about the attention I was giving Sarath and totally helpless. I sat with Sanjay and cuddled him and talked to him for a while. But, nothing helped. Between Sarath’s refusal to eat anything and Sanjay’s constant plea for attention, I did not even get to make proper dinner yesterday. Finally, before dinner Sarath’s temperature came to normal. He was up for a little bit and both the kids sat together talking and reading their favorite book. Sanjay was so happy that Sarath was up.

Since, I did not get to work much in the morning, S took care of getting the kids to bed while I was catching up on my work. This did not help Sanjay at all. He did not fall asleep. An hour later, I had to go and cuddle him, give him lots of hugs and kisses and rock him for a little time, before he was ready to sleep. After all the extra attention, he was happy and finally decided to fall asleep.

When Sanjay fell asleep, I couldn’t help thinking how the kids minds work. It was adorable to see Sanjay being so concerned about his brother and at the same time wanting to get my attention. Sarath is now doing well. He does not have a temperature anymore and hopefully I can get him to eat something today.

Feels Good to be back home

We just got back from a week long vacation to Orlando. We have been planning this trip for a while now and finally, we got good tickets using airline miles. We originally planned on leaving on Saturday and coming back on Saturday. But, the tickets were expensive due to Spring break. So, we left last Tuesday and came back this Tuesday. It was a really good vacation and I did not even remember which day it was most of the time. More than a couple of times, S had to remind me the day of the week 🙂 It was hot in Orlando, which was a nice change from all the rain we have been having here. The weather reminded me of Hyderabad and it felt nice to wear summer clothes, sandals and not having to worry about carrying jackets everywhere.

Now, it feels good to be back to the daily routine. The one main part of the trip that I did not like was food. The kids – especially Sanjay did not eat well on the entire trip. Given the fact that there was a 3 hour time difference and we ate at different times each day, he was not at all hungry most of the times. The kids refused to eat snacks as well. I let them eat how much they wanted and they did fine. So, I did not fret too much about it. On the other hand, I indulged in food and ate more than what I should have been eating at each meal. Although, sometimes I made some good healthy choices while eating at restaurants, most of the time I was eating junk food. I think I ate fries enough for a month or two in the past one week 😦 Anyway, it is time to go back to gym and healthy salads for a while I guess.

The best part of the trip was knowing that the kids would eat anything and also the fact that we did not have to worry about nap times or lunch/dinner times. These are the perks of the kids growing up. We also went prepared for hunger and melt down emergencies. We packed a couple of snacks and juices everyday with us and we ordered milk with kids meals most of the times. That kept them happy 🙂 We also made sure that the kids got enough rest at night. The only thing we missed were the fire works but, the kids were so tired by 6:00 in the evening that we did not dare stay longer at any of the parks.

I had lots of fun with the camera on this trip and I am really happy with some of the pictures 🙂 It was a really good trip and a much needed vacation. I will put up some more details about the trip soon.

Conversations

Sarath hops out of the bus without his jacket.

Me: Where is you jacket?

Sarath: In lost and found..

Me: So, why didn’t you take it?

Sarath: Because, I was playing soccer and left it outside and forgot about it when I went to class.

Me: So, how do you know it is in lost & found?

Sarath: My teacher told me.

Me: So, why didn’t you pick it up from lost & found?

Sarath: Well, because I did not know it would be in lost & found.

Me: &^$^#*#(#)00!!!

After a number of iterations of the same questions over and over, I finally understood that his teacher told him about his jacket being in lost & found when he was about to board the bus. So, he did not have time to get his jacket. Why he couldn’t tell me this the first time I asked – I will never know!

 

*********************************************************

Sanjay was playing with his lego’s and he built a bank. He was talking about the bank and money and similar things.

Me: Why do we need money?

Sanjay: To put it in my kiddy bank.

It was the sweetest answer. I gave him a big hug. Ah! how I love the innocence!!!

*********************************************************

In the morning, I told Sanjay that if he comes quickly for his bath, he can later play with his lego’s for 10 min while I am in the shower. He immediately asked “Do you need 10 min to take a bath? that long?”. All I could do was laugh 🙂

*********************************************************

Books that we like

Sarath and Sanjay love books. We go to the library regularly to get books and I let them choose the books they want. Then, I choose some books that I want them to read. Everyday before going to bed, we have reading time. I don’t remember how we introduced reading time for Sarath but, by the time he was 1.5 years, he was used to books before bed. When Sanjay was born, Sarath always insisted that I stay with him during bed time. So, I would read to him while feeding Sanjay most of the time. So, for Sanjay, it was part of his day right from the start. I missed documenting their favorite books. But, better late than never, I decided to write here about their books on a regular basis.

Sarath’s current favorite: Rainbow Magic Series, Nancy Drew and Clue Crew, The Big Nate, any book about Dinosaurs or Space, Dr.Suess’s books

I never thought that he would read the Rainbow Magic books. It is about different fairies. They are very nice books. When he was in Kindergarten, he would not read any princess or fairy books because they are girl’s books. It took me a while to make him understand that anybody can read any book. But, now he loves these books. Many boys in his class apparently teased him about reading fairy books and his reply to them was :Boys will be boys, girls will be girls and books will be books. Anybody can read any book”. I was so happy about it.

Sanjay’s current favorites: Curious George, Chika Chika Boom Boom, any book about Planets, Dr.Suess’s books.

He can read small words now. So, any book he sees, he tries to read the title of the book. Most of the time he says it pretty good. One of his favorite activities is making words on the fridge with magnets.