The Beat in My Heart

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Hello 2016

When I think about 2015, I just remember a blur of details. It was a normal year. It had its ups and downs as usual. All in all it was a good year.

  • I was very happy about my parents visit in the summer. We went to a number of places here and it was a wonderful trip. Initially they weren’t planning on coming but, I really wanted them to come. They agreed to come just to make me happy. Aren’t they wonderful parents?
  • That fact that I was able to work freelance and get a decent client base. Getting the opportunity to work freelance is something I really cherish. Not everybody can make that choice. Freelancing finally gave me the freedom I wanted with my work and my time and I’ll say that that extra time was definitely well spent by volunteering at Sarath’s school and reading some new books.
  • I spent a lot of time with the kids after school. This is something I know I will cherish for many years to come. Thanks to my freelancing career, now I get a lot of time to spend with the kids. One thing I would like to do this year is to make more effective use of that time so that I can actually do all the activities I want to do with the kids.
  • I lost close to 6 lbs just by controlling my diet. This was a great achievement for me. I started maintaining a food log and though initially, it was difficult, I did manage to go with it for about 6 – 8 weeks. S did it with me and both of us lost weight. I am happy to say that I reduced a dress size and my tummy finally shrunk a few inches. Unfortunately, I did not exercise properly at all and after the 8 weeks, we lost the interest and both of us are now back to where we started ๐Ÿ˜ฆ The biggest resolution of this year is to eat reasonably and exercise regularly. I know that it is easier said than done but, I do want to make it a priority.
  • The one thing I regret about last year is that I did not blog about all the things I wanted to. Initially, I told myself that I do not have the time to blog. But, later I realized that I do have the time, I just need to use it efficiently. So, this year I plan to write regularly. That said, if I do this blogathon without missing a day, I am going to treat myself ๐Ÿ™‚

There are a couple of things that I am looking forward to in 2016. Sanjay will start his kindergarten this September. I cannot believe that my baby is already going to be in school and I will be a mom of two school going kids!!! A bitter sweet moment for me. The other biggest thing is that I am going to be an aunt ๐Ÿ™‚ My brother and sis-in-law are expecting their first baby this March. I am terribly sad that I won’t be there to see the baby as soon as he/she is born but, I am super excited as well. That baby is going to be pampered like crazy. I already have ideas about what to buy for the baby and I have enough things to fill a big box.

So, here’s wishing you all a Happy and Fun filled New Year. Hope all your wishes come true ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 myselfย 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 beliefsย and support my kids now matter what the world thinks.ย 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 creatingย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ And please remember to tag a few more mom’s you know!

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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.

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a really good trip and a much needed vacation. I will put up some more details about the trip soon.

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Out of Hibernation

I feel like I can breathe again. It has been hectic since January. Even though I was happy that work was keeping me busy, it also hit me hard that working as a freelancer is no piece of cake. All the stress of work and home are finally getting to me and I feel more depressed and lazy than ever. I just feel like curling up on the sofa reading a book just like I used to do when I was in college ๐Ÿ™‚ But, since I cannot afford to do that and also because I am tired of feeling like this, I decided that coming back to blogging regularly should help me. So, here I am after a loooong break.

So many things happened that I wanted to write about but, never made the time for it. Hopefully, I will write more often.

Sanjay is going to be 4 pretty soon. I cannot believe how fast the kids are growing up. Sanjay can read small words now and likes to read a book all by himself. Yesterday, Sarath was teaching Sanjay how to read. That was the cutest thing ever. Sarath was so patient. As for me, I am loving this current phase of life as I feel the kids are their best ages. They can play together and generally spend time together. Their interests are mostly similar. They can spend hours together building tracks, or lego’s. That also means that they fight like crazy. But, I do not interfere most of the times and I can hear them fighting, crying and laughing again all in a span of 5 min ๐Ÿ™‚

Sarath is in that cute age where he can neither be called a little kid nor a big kid. Sometimes he acts so mature and there are times when he suddenly behaves like a 3 yr old! But, I guess when he grows out of this phase, I am going to miss it. Over the weekend, I had severe throat infection and was very sick. Sarath made green tea for me! I gave him instructions and he did really good. He not only made the tea, but also carried the hot cup all the way upstairs without spilling one drop!!! I was happy beyond words. The one thing I am having trouble with is getting Sarath to eat lunch everyday. That has been driving my crazy. He is usually very good with food. He has his reservations with trying out new food but, otherwise he eats a variety of food. But, lately, the lunch box always comes back half full ๐Ÿ˜ฆ His usual complaint is that he does not have time which I agree to an extent. I am constantly trying out new combinations of snack and lunch to give him a variety of healthy foods to eat. Let’s hope that works.

Now that April is here, we are able to see more sun ๐Ÿ™‚ So, I am taking the kids onto the trail regularly and it just feels so nice to be outside. Can’t wait to start my garden (aka potted plants)! So, that’s it for today. How have you all been doing? I will hop over to your blogs and read your posts eventually.

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Music Monday

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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.

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Wordless Wednesday – Akaka Falls , Hawaii

Hawaii-018

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