Saturday, May 30, 2009


I kept thinking to myself yesterday....what a perfect day! Despite the fact that Puneet had to leave on a weekend business trip - yes, you read that right and yes, I do trust him fully that it was a business trip, I was having a good day. I pulled out a new top that I had bought at Nordstrom (their half yearly sale is still on BTW- incredible deals) a week ago.

The entire Consumer Marketing team was going on an offsite - lunch and a movie at the Big Picture in Redmond Town Center. The kids woke without any major drama, I handed them over to Mom and Dad and sailed out, dressed up and feeling great. The meeting before the movie was great. I always love it when I can sit in a big group and be part of a bigger vision - I contributed, I learned and it was great. The movie we watched was the Transformers - not the movie I would have picked but it was still fun...I kept thinking how much Arjun would enjoy it.

Headed home after the movie and saw a vmail from Arjun's school on my cell - without listening to it, I knew it he had missed his bus. I knew it because that's what I would do as a kid - he's alarmingly like me in that respect - off in his own world, thinking, dreaming. I picked up Mom who was waiting at his bus stop, picked up Arjun and Saanya and then off to swim lessons and then to the school - Hoe-Down. If you didn't know what a Hoe-Down is, join the club. I panicked the first time I heard Arjun say that and resolved to speak to the school about the kind of language he was being exposed to at school. But I learnt that it was something to do with dances and music and calmed down soon thereafter.

After doing the cha-cha and hula hooping, I was exhausted and craving some nice, spicy Indian food. Bribed the kids to go Udipi - I promised them rose milk and a movie the next day. At the restaurant, as usual, Mom kept after the kids to finish their food. It's an obsession that evades me - the Grandma desire to see the kids stuff themselves. Anyway, if you've ever been to Udipi, you know there is a giant rock outside the restaurant. I promised Saanya she could climb it if she finished her milk, which she almost did. As they ran to the rock, I saw Saanya hesitate near the bottom. I knew something was wrong and despite my instincts, I approached and asked her if she was OK. In response, she threw up her entire meal all over me and my new top - 4 times. Throughout it all, I shocked myself by continuing to hold her and tell her, it was all OK and she would be fine. So anyway, thanks to swim lessons and my gym bag that's always in the trunk of the car, we wiped up as best we could. I changed into my gym shirt and we headed home. As I was giving Saanya her bath, Mom appeared on the bathroom door asking if she should give Saanya some milk. I was incredulous, to say the least. "What," Mom challenged, "you want her to go to bed on an empty stomach?"
Sigh...the way I see it, the day was still perfection, a lovely day capped off by a learning experience. Dont stuff kids - they know how much want to eat. As Saanya mumbled while falling asleep, "That's why I threw up because my tummy is not big enough yet." And the Mom who would happily feed you Ramen noodles for a week will transform into a Grandma who will obsess about the nutritional value of each morsel your kids eat. It's all good!!
And the movie I promised the kids, we going to see UP...I've heard great things..very excited. It's all 5 stars reviews so far, check back for mine.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Controlled Chaos

There's somethings I am ..structured - check, organized - semi check, disciplined - check. Yet, there are things, you might think complimentary things, that I am not and can not aspire to be. I've never mastered the art of routine and schedule. 10 years of living in America and 7 years of raising children in the land of the scheduled kids have given me enough real life examples of smack-dab routines that, if deviated from, have the real potential to drive Moms crazy. As appealing as the idea of a set routine in the morning and a sharp bedtime at night sounds, I cannot stick to it. i start out strong and then by Wed, I start to flag in my enforcement. I want to take the kids out for ice cream when its sunny out or we want to go to the park. Then we come back and I want to just hang out for some time..and on and on and before we know it, bedtime has come and gone and we're just having too much fun. The fun escalates into panic when I glance at the clock and then screaming and threatening ensues.
When the kids are dragging next morning, I blame the unstructured night before. I scream some more and general chaos reigns until we all exit to our destinations. Of course, every day I struggle with the right decision - am I spending enought time with my children? Am I harming them for life by working (I think I have an answer to that one..its an emphatec NO), will my kids languish at the bottom of thier class since they do not get enough sleep. I've given up on getting it right, for now, I am letting the controlled chaos rule. I'll figure it out by the time the grandkids come along.

In light of the above mental see-saw, it was nice to see this New York Times article about Michelle Obama and her confession to the same dilemma - she keeps it real and that's what is so refreshing about her. I feel like she gets it.

On the Home Front, a Twist of Candor , By RACHEL L. SWARNS

In a continuation of the crazy mommy vein, I also enjoyed this article also in the NY Times about the camera crazy lifestyle of today. The other day, Arjun was amazed at a camera where " you couldn't see the picture when it was taken."
Wife/Mother/Worker/Spy: Have Camera, Will Shoot, and Shoot, By MICHELLE SLATALLA

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Westport, WA - Beach Vacation, with a twist

For the Memorial day weekend, we went away to Westport, WA - which promised a relaxing beach escape. Wilfully ignoring the Northwest weather and briefly lulled into ignorance by the 48 hours of sunshine we had, I unpacked the tropical vacation gear accumulated in Maui - read shorts and straw hats and sunscreen. Imagine my horror when I woke to people strolling on the beach in warm woolly hats, fleece jackets and boots! For a girl who never saw a beach for the first 25 years of life, I've seen a few of them now - from Jones beach in New York to the Jersey shores and sunnier climes in Hawaii and Mexico. jackets and sand just don't tumble out of my mouth in the same sentence.

Once I got over the cloudy, cold-ish temperature though, I was able to admire the beauty of the wide open beach. We had a gorgeous sunset view from the condo - I literally saw the sun dip and disappear into the horizon right before my eyes. It was rather amazing.

An "un-sunny" beach also meant that I didnt have to feel guilty about lounging around inside for a good portion of the morning. We could drink our coffee in peace and venture out when it was warm enough and then stay out till late- my kind of vacation. The kids had a grand time - climbing sand dunes, go-karting (yes, there was a go-kart thing around the corner) & collecting strangely beautiful shells - anyone know what these round shells with a flower mark on top are? I've never seen those before.

They wanted to stay there forever, as they do with every vacation we take. I also realized that we take a lot of trips - in the 3 years we've been in Seattle, we've been to New York, India, Hawaii and Mexico, 4 trips to Vancouver, 4 to Portland and countless little sojourns to islands close by. No wonder these kids are experts at packing their suitcases! I'll be adding more pics to FaceBook.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

MInd Bending Images/ What Makes Us Happy/Beyonce Video/Coolest Office ever

Want to know what makes us HAPPY? In a seven decade long study conducted by Dr. George Valliant on a group of Harvard men unearths that there is just 1 thing that really matters. (I read that John F. Kennedy was part of this study for a period of time but withdrew after his political rise). Warning - its long but makes for a good read. What better way to invest your time than to discover the secrets of life?

Supreme Court Hopefuls - Diane Wood & Elena Kagan - The Washington Post reports that President Obama is intensifying his search for his Supreme Court nominee and has interviewed Judge Diane P. Wood of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago. The other name reported to be in serious consideration is Solicitor General Elena Kagan.
Judge Diane Wood, Solicitor General Elena Kagan Seen as Supreme Court Hopefuls
by Robert Barnes and Shailagh Murray

Ready for some mind bending? Check out these images from WebUrbanist -
Faux Photoshop: 15 Incredible Images That Look Altered but Aren’t
from WebUrbanist by Steph

Think your office could use a makeover? Check this out for inspiration
SelgasCano Architecture from Design Milk by Jaime

Beyonce fans...or not - check out Beyonce's latest video - Ego. What do you think?

Finally, to end on a conspiracy theory, check out the Huffington Post to see pictures of LTTE leader Prabhakaran and read the story on Tamils around the world being convinced that he is alive.
Tamil Tiger Leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran Survival Conspiracy Theories Emerging

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Interactive Recession Map, Hot When Wet Contest, Wall Street Bonuses and President Clinton in Haiti.

Derek Jeter, Britney Spears, Tiger Woods, Hilary Clinton, Korean pop star Rain and Obama... where you find all these people together? In the Huffington Post slideshow where you get to rate who is hottest when wet. Check it out here.

Wondering where exactly we are in the recession right now? How bad is it where you are? If you are in the US, check out this interactive map that lets you click to find out the state of economy in your neck of the woods.

Those banks are determined to pay their bonuses, however undeserved. Now they are using life insurance from their workers to pay the bonuses. The WSJ has the full story.

President Bill Clinton is UN's special envoy to Haiti and will help the poorest country in the Americas in social and economic reform. While Haitian's celebrate, there is also caution about reading too much into the appointment.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


In India, the ruling Congress party returns to power, defeating the predictions of analysts. While this puts to rest the fears that the country will be ruled by a shakily cobbled together democracy, it means that the stronghold of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty on India continues. I sigh with relief that Dr. Manmohan Singh will continue as Prime Minister, I do wish he would develop more Independence from the Gandhi family. With the spectacular rise of scion Rahul Gandhi during this election, the hold will only grow stronger.

I've been rather amused by the latest British scandal. In a departure from the usual British sex scandal, Britain has been rocked by allegations that the Members of Parliament have been claiming some rather dubious expenses. MPs have been milking the system and claiming expenses for everything from a home theater system to manure to helipads to maintenance of a moat. Read on for the gory details

For a real scandal, read about Father CutiƩ (that name!!) - a Catholic priest who was cuaght necking with a woman in Miami. He says he supports celibacy but he just "fell short"

Friday, May 15, 2009

A book abut Mothers, Participatory Design & Randon Cool Site.

This morning I heard a great interview on NPR. Ruth Reichl (Gourmet magazine's Editor-in-Chief) was talking about her book "Not Becoming My Mother." It was a great interview, I had to pull into a parking lot for a few minutes because I found myself too absorbed in listening. You can listen to the interview at the KUOW website. The topic - Mothers - speaks to most of us, differently, of course. I enjoyed the interview and I probably will get the book. If you end us getting it, please share your thoughts.

Just for Fun!
Here's something cool for you to try. You could help out a friend in need, or just get some cool points -

Need Inspiration?
Heard of participatory design? Check out theWhereBlog to get up to date on this cool project in India where poor urban women are working with designers on a housing project.

Thursday, May 14, 2009


So, I'd never heard of the term before I heard this story on NPR today. Apparently, in Utah bartenders couldn't hand drinks to patrons right over the counter. All bars had this partition mostly glass separating the alcohol prep area from the customers. The partition was supposed to make drinking taboo. Not sure how the glass partition helped with that but anyway, its a thing of the past. The Zion curtains started coming down today. You still cannot order alcohol in Utah without ordering food too...and here's something else, the curtains come down for old restaurants but new establishments have to prepare alcohol in a back room. Forbidden fruit, anyone?

On another note, I've been looking for a nice pretty but not too teenage-y skirt that I could wear to work and also casual gatherings. This one by LA Stylist Mom is great because it is pretty, simple and best of all - does not break the bank!! My kind of fashion.

I love books, I've loved them ever since I can remember. I don't just love reading them but the objject itself, the book jacket, the pages, the look of the letters on the page..its all sublime. I'll just say that I do not feel the same about Sarah Palin. I wont go into politics here but it just upsets me beyond belief that Sarah Palin now has a book deal. Its not that I grudge her the cash or that I dislike her politics, its just sad to me that books are commodities to be sold & marketed. At least I know what I am getting with Sarah Palin's book. How many times in the recent past have I been disappointed after buying a book that had 'glowing reviews'. I grew up a little the day it dawned on me, "It's just a business, that's all it is."

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Did you know the answer to that? The answer is 5 - the Bengal tiger, the Siberian tiger, the IndoChinese tiger, South China tiger and the Sumatran tiger. There are only 30 of the South China tigers left :-(
I learned all this because I spent 2.5 hours today helping my almost 7 year old finish up his report on tigers. His class has been working on the project for 2 weeks now and he still didn't finish it. Of course, husband is on a business trip and the 4 year old wants to be entertained and the 7 year old wants to do everything but his report. He says it he couldn't get it done because he couldn't find enough facts during class and it was too noisy. Even though I know he has a time management problem, I have to agree with the noisy part. I've been in that classroom - its like a zoo. The teacher is able to ignore everything and gt on with her work but I am not sure a 7 year old who tends to the queit, sensitive side can do the same. How does a kid go two weeks without making any progress on his project and the teacher does not know? Especially when she knows he tends to lag in such projects? What's so disheartening is that this is one of the best school districts in the state. Is this the case in all public schools? Or all schools for that matter? Are private schools better? Do kids actually get to talk to their teachers there? I didn't grow up in America and my schools ( I went to 6 before I graduated High School - Army brat in India) were a mixed bag. But the one thing we had was order and ample time with teachers. They were in control, perhaps too much, but for the most part, students could chat with teachers. I realize there are different values being enforced here, but for the sake of
wallflower kids, I'm starting to think a little more discipline wouldn't hurt. What do you think? do your kids go to private or public elementary schools? What are your experiences?

To finish up on the tigers, check out this cool video - you'll love it - I promise although you might tear up a bit! Enjoy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

News and Views on May 12th

In the News
Iranian American journalist Roxana Saberi released from prison! Yay for that. I was listening to an NPR interview with her father a few days ago where he was discussing her hunger strike and how she was so frail. It was upsetting to hear that, so I'm really glad to hear this news today.

Time flies so fast these days. I couldn't believe it has been a year since the terrible earthquake in China. Really sad pictures of the mourning that continues in China.

Do you need a little inspiration to walk to the coffee shop instead of driving? Maybe biking would be easier. Check out this story of a german suburb (yes, suburb!!) that's given up on cars.

I've been following this story of the former auto worker and alleged Nazi war criminal. At 89, he has finally been deported to Germany to face charges of his war crimes.

Speaking of war crimes, Sudan's president, Omar-al-Bashir denies any war crimes & killing of civilians in Darfur. If nothing, he has nerve.

The economy might have brought a lot of remodelling projects to a screeching halt, but look here for inspiration on something different to try when you get around to updating your bathroom. The site has plenty of house tours and apartment pictures but I find that most do not work for my suburban lifestyle. I still visit for inspiration and adaptation though.

Check out this home on Design*Sponge - although I generally gravitate to more modern looks, I love the hallway and the kid's room. Very easy, practical and yet beautiful.

Random Stuff
If you're often out and about and hungry to boot with no time to sit down for a meal, check out this review from Salon that provides edible options at fast food chains.

Rush Limbaugh vs Wanda Sykes..sounds interesting?