Archive for March, 2007

Actually, not really ūüė¶ I’ve a ton of things to finish off at work (will probably be working late) and we have a LOT of packing to do. The¬†picture clip below¬†should explain my title ūüôā Obviously we would’ve appreciated the weather much more had we gone mid-winter, but still, we¬†are a long ways¬†from T-shirts, shorts and sandals weather.

S vs SJ

I’m just overwhelmed thinking about all the pending things to do. Plus the¬†luggage scene is¬†not very heartening¬†(especially for a couple who used to pride themselves on traveling light) – 2 car seats, 1 stroller, 1 hiking chair, 1 diaper bag, 2 back packs and 2 suitcases. Phew!! Of course, the back packs and suitcases are still empty. Gonna be a long night …

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S filling her¬†time¬†capsuleOn her 18th month birthday, her time capsule¬†¬†is finally sealed! I am not too proud to say that I did a terrible job putting it together. I didn’t even know about this concept until after A’s birth. A time capsule kit was one of the gifts he got and I hadn’t even looked at it until he was 10 months old or so. But after that, I did try to finish up diligently. We got notes from grand parents, uncles, aunts etc and somehow seemed more thorough (at least I put in more effort). The truth also is that he was the first grand kid on my side of the family and the uncles and aunts had more time on hand without kids.

Then we debated whether we should make one for her or not. Reason against was mainly that it wasn’t such a novel idea since we had already done one for A. But then we didn’t want her to feel left out, so we kind of felt obliged to do one for her too (Actually this is one of my constant worries – whether they will keep comparing what we do for each of them). When her 1st birthday came, we hadn’t done a thing – we had barely bought one of those kits that week. We first said we’ll seal it at 15 months, but kept postponing and we finally closed that chapter on Monday. Now I hope both those stay in good shape until 2026 and 2030 respectively.

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A’s new bike

A‚Äôs¬†bike¬†Over the weekend, PK assembled A’s¬†new bike (a S set to¬†bikeHarley¬†Davidson).¬†We were able to go on a ride in the neighborhood on Sunday and Tuesday. S too rides on a child seat carrier with me. Doesn’t she look cute in her princess helmet?

She seemed to like the ride but kicked up a huge fuss when we were back and she had to be taken off of the bicycle.                                   

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“Does everyone die?”, “If you are healthy, can you live forever?”, “How old is God?”, “Do you know who is the boss of the world – God!”, “What does he eat?” “Is God a desi?”.¬†

These days my time with A is spent answering questions as patiently and honestly as possible, but boy! he just doesn’t stop.¬†Main topics¬†of interest to him seem to be death and God. People who know¬†us know that we are not the religious type. Yes, we go to the temple for festivals and other occasions. On those same occasions, we do light a lamp and say a prayer, but other than that, there’s nothing of religious significance going on in our house. And we definitely haven’t been talking on these topics with¬†him. He’s hearing all this at school.

The other thing he is anxious about is losing¬†his teeth. Few kids in his class have lost a few teeth and¬†he is concerned that he is not losing any! Everyday he keeps feeling one of his front teeth and says it is loose, but when I check it, it seems fine. I’m really dreading the loss of his baby teeth and the new ones coming. The cute babyish face will be gone … Already he feels like a big boy – the way he looks and talks.

On Tuesday we got a new bicycle for him. He was very thrilled that he got to pick out one at the store. Every evening, he’s been nagging us about taking it for a ride. It is < 40 F in the evenings. So today, I got irritated and told him that if he pestered me again, I would return the bicycle. All the while PK had been listening and when A went and asked him, and he said the same thing. He blew his top. Started crying loudly, saying “Don’t you dare say the R word again!”. He’s really looking forward to riding it. Hope the weather cooperates this weekend.

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S’s health is not improving. In fact, Tuesday was one of the worst days in a long time. First got the news at her pediatrician’s that her ear infection looks really terrible even after the second dose of stronger antibiotic. Both ears were infected but one ear in particular was apparently very bad. I asked her what she meant and she said it looks like it could be hurting her a lot. Weird thing is this time she had had no fever at all, so I really didn’t expect this. I thought it must have healed. Her wheezing was also worse and she was under nebulizer 4 times a day. Anyway she gave a boat load of new prescriptions – antibiotics, inhalants for treating wheezing and another for preventing. I was feeling so down and we drove to the pharmacy next. I was at the drive-thru to drop of the prescriptions and they were taking a long time, so I switched off the car engine at the window and when I was done, it wouldn’t start! Just died. I panicked. I was due to pick up A in 45 minutes and I was holding up a few cars behind me. I asked at the pharmacy if they could gimme a jump start. I have AAA membership but that could easily take an hr or more by the time they send some one. I went to tell the cars behind me to go on inside since I was stuck and that lady had an idea – to put the car in drive mode and just push it out of the way into the lot. Now this was new to me. I have to admit I don’t know zilch about vehicles and just know enough to start an automatic car and drive. And I don’t drive anywhere else beyond my comfort zone of¬†25 miles radius around where we live. Work, home, errands around here. Anywhere else we go, anyway we all go together and PK is our official driver, including any long distance driving. There are a few exceptions where I drove the whole way from Las Vegas to Zion and back. I guess the 75 mph limit and straight empty roads were inviting. Anyway, I followed her instructions and we started pushing it but with in a few seconds it picked up too much speed. I was so scared since S was still sitting in the back seat. This lady goes, “Come on jump in, jump in”.¬†That is¬†when I realized that she wanted to me to jump into the moving car. Instead of braking I put the car in park suddenly and it came to a jerky halt. Anyway, this section of the lot was huge and empty, so not harm done to anyone, except I was really shaken. The store guy came and gave me unnecessary tension – “may be the tank is empty, did u enough gas?”. I assured him I did. “When did u fill up?” Then he attempted to start and then goes “This is not the battery. Battery is fine. The starter is gone”. Finally I asked him if he would just attempt the jump start and if it didn’t work, I’d call AAA. And when he did, sure enough it started. Some people just like to irritate. As annoying as he was, I was still grateful to be done in < 20 minutes instead of hanging around with a crying child waiting for a service guy to show¬†up. I think its time to replace my battery. It has died frequently in the last few months. I even left for servicing in November and asked them to change the battery at the dealership. They did other stuff (who knew whether it was even necessary), charged me $500 and said they were out of stock on the battery. But definitely need to do it this week.

On Thursday evening, we had all just gotten back. The kids were eating dinner and we were having our evening coffee. Suddenly A asks, “Mommy, are u gay?” PK looked panic-stricken. I calmly asked him what he meant. He just repeated. Then I asked him for clarification again and then he says I meant “are u happy?”. I said I was. Later at night PK was asking him why he had asked me that and he explained that 2 kids in his school were calling each other that and he had asked one of them what it meant and that was the explanation he had gotten from him. Now that other kid whom he asked is older than him and I don’t know whether he lied to A knowingly or if that’s all he also knew. Anyway, it was a reminder to us to be prepared to discuss any and all topics as these kids grow up and enter public school. Because frankly, both of us were like deers caught in the headlight. To be really calm and come up with an acceptable response without looking like we are hiding or avoiding anything does require some thought.

I registered A for school finally. I guess I am as excited as him. After warm temperatures in the week, everyone assumed spring was here. But on Friday, we got almost 8 inches of snow. PK spent few hours on Sat cleaning up the driveway, walkway etc. We also get hit particularly hard since we are the lone house on the cul-de-sac. Many times they block our driveway and mailbox, plowing all the snow from the cul-de-sac. Few are considerate enough to put it elsewhere and this is a constant source of tension and annoyance to PK. One particular time, it looked as though it was done on purpose and PK had to call the town and inform them the next day since it happened on a weekend. They tried to blow him off and he gave them heat about how they are on time with tax bill collections etc but lax on these. We had even taken pictures for proof.¬†Then they sent a second contractor to clean up.¬†Yesterday afternoon, we took the kids on a small slope nearby to do some sledding. A at 5.75 years is now enjoying it (after many years of being forced to even try it) where as S, at 17 months, just loves it. She has a wide grin coming down. The only problem is everyone else lugs themselves back up but since she has to be carried back up its tougher. I tried and gave up. She doesn’t weight much, but with her¬†snow-pants¬†and jackets it adds up, plus I would already be¬†clumsy and awkward with my heavy jacket and gloves.

PK has gone skiing on Wachusset mountain. Since the season is coming to an end, he wanted to. The kids are napping and I’ve a ton of chores. So I’d better go.

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Happens to be the day we spring forward (day light savings).¬† This year it is a full 3 weeks early and will also end 1 week late, giving us 4 extra weeks of DST. There are people who oppose this and they have theirs reasons, but I just absolutely love it when it is not pitch dark when I leave work, giving me a rushed feeling. The worst is the Dec end time frame when it gets dark by 4.15 pm. My dad found it so depressing – every few In a few weeks, it will even give us time to go for an evening walk, if the kids finish dinner early enough. As usual, some people predict a mini Y2K’ish catastrophe. I’m not really expecting any huge impact. After all, Y2K itself went so smoothly.

Both kids have a terrible cough, runny nose and wheezing. So long since they’ve both been healthy. So A hasn’t gone skating in a while. S is talking a lot these days. She sings rhymes non-stop. She also grabs anything and everything and whines “mine, mine”. Today she was sitting inside one of the laundry baskets and was calling A, tapping the spot next her and saying “sit”. It amused A too.

Much of this weekend was spent re-installing XP on our home PC. It had become extremely slow and office apps were croaking. PK suspected some spyware and so he wanted to wipe out everything and re-install. He did everything but it was my job to identify needed data and back it up. We don’t really have much in terms of data except lots and lots of pictures.¬†Then after the re-install, we had to put our add-ons. Only thing we installed is the antivirus software.¬†Other things will have to wait.

I’ve so many errands to run and more importantly I’ve to get A registered in school for fall. Last day is on 19th. I’ve been trying to take a day off to get all this done since it is very difficult to fit so much in during working days, but busy times at work too and hence haven’t been able to take any time off. I get 4 weeks vacation a year (now that I completed 10yrs) but PK only gets 2 weeks, so I can easily afford¬†some spare days for stuff like this. I also wanted to take A snow tubing before all the snow melts away. I haven’t been able to take him with any friends since¬†all the places¬†wants the kids to be 6yrs and/or 42 inches tall and most of the kids we know around our home are younger and shorter. So I thought he and I could go. Lets see.

One of my school friends was in Chicago the last 2 weeks on a business trip. Spoke to her for long hours a few times. Her trip went well but just before the day she was supposed to leave, she lost her purse. She lost a lot of cash but also the hassle of trying to cancel her credit and debit cards through her local bank in Bangalore. On top of that her husband was on a plane to China at that time, so her parents had to take care of it all. It all turned out¬†ok in the end, but she was¬†annoyed and frustrated that she couldn’t contact anyone to pour her heart out.¬†Luckily her travel documents were safe. My brother lost a ton of cash when he was in Italy a year ago. I guess no one warned him of the dangers of train travel, especially for a newbie. His pocket was picked on a train to Rome and he lost several hundred Euros and several thousand rupees. Left a sour taste on an otherwise good trip.

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A’s surprise for me

I don’t want to whine in every instalment about how hectic my life is, but I feel to fully understand you have to actually go through it. Anyway … The one bright spot in this stressful week was an incident on Sunday. After non-stop chores all morning, the kids and me had lunch and it was a huge struggle to get S to nap. To be fair, it was an unusal second nap for her. She naps only once mid-day for about 2 hrs, but she seemed sleepy and tired in the morning and feel asleep easily for about 2 hrs. Then she woke up, pretended (her input is so less and¬†her¬†“do it myself” attitude for everything is not helping)¬†to have lunch, but she still seemed very sleepy and was cranky. After she fell asleep, I found my golden opportunity to have a relaxing shower. I told A to do whatever he wanted as long as he didn’t disturb her. And when I stepped out of the bath, it was like being in a totally new place. All the clutter (toys, books, other household objects which are used as toys) were all over the floor when I had left. It was a disaster zone (the whole house is, really). A had cleaned up everything, put them in drawers and it was so tidy. I thanked him and he goes, “I was just sitting wondering what to do. Then I had an idea – instead of¬†just getting bored, I decided to clean up because I knew you would be happy”. How sweet is that! He did dash all those efforts with a meltdown in the evening at a friend’s place. He was the oldest of the three kids playing there (including S) and for some reason he got so upset. He was embarassed by his behavior I think, because he just walked up, wore his coat and shoes and wanted to leave right away.

The last few days have been very cold and windy. Yesterday’s high was 13 and extremely windy. In fact, the wind kept me up all night. Couldn’t sleep from the noise of the wind hitting the window. Today it was like 23 or something. Yesterday, Ani’s friend’s family had said that they would take him skating. He came from school, ate dinner quickly without any fuss (happens only on special occasions) and was all ready to be picked up – wearing his jacket and shoes. Then they called saying they couldn’t go because of the weather. I felt sorry for him. I seized this as a “teachable moment” that everyone talks about – to discuss with him disappointments and ways to handle them. It started well, he was doing good listening and trying to understand, but at some point he completely broke down. And then he tried to make feel guilty about some totally unrelated thing – how I had refused to buy him some inane toy a while ago.¬†The teachable¬†moment quickly vanished and after some attempts at reasoning with him and failing, I just ignored him. Only when PK called him and mentioned a small gift that he bought, he came back to his usual self.

Work has been busy last few days – mainly preparing for a 2 hr demo and presentation that¬†I had to do today. So many late nights and early mornings since I need to do everything while kids are sleeping. No way I can get anything done with S awake. So, I’m poofed. But the consolation is that it went quite well.

I’m finding all this time to write since PK’s flight is scheduled to land @ 10.45 pm. I was planning to stay up but it’ll be past 1 am when he’ll be home, so I’ll probably just go to sleep.

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S’s ear infection hasn’t cleared up and she is on a stronger antibiotic now. If she has one more after this, she’ll be seeing a specialist and that can only mean one thing – tubes. I’m so depressed … Actually A had it too and after his surgery he didn’t have another infection until almost 4 yrs later, so it is probably a good thing, but still … On two nights this week, she had fever of 104-105. PK stayed up and was continually putting cold compresses on her. We considered going to the ER but anyone who has been to the ER here knows what an awful experience it is, so we just managed at home. Good thing too that PK was around. He handles these things much better than I do. I panic easily and with A sleeping soundly, I wouldn’t have known what to do …¬† She has also become very fussy and cranky these last few days. Not sure if it is the ear ache or something else.

PK left today for San Diego for a conference. He’ll be back Thursday. The¬†USS John F. Kennedy is in Boston for a final visit before it is decommissioned end of the month. It was open for public viewing this weekend. A’s friend’s family was going and they asked if we wanted to join. But with PK’s plan to leave in the afternoon, I had a few errands to run – groceries etc. But they took A along and he had great fun. He couldn’t stop talking about it when he was back. Must have been an awesome sight. The weather was good too.

Work will be hectic in the coming weeks. This week will be especially tough since I’m the only one around. But my first wish is that S feels better. I had called home and my niece has had a terrible case of tonsilitis and has had several rounds of antibiotics and is still not recovered completely. A friend’s daughter has tonsilitis problems and another friend wrote that her son is having ear problems too. It is so depressing when kids are not well.¬†Hoping all the kids feel better soon.

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