The Scorpios

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Friday, October 30, 2009

10 Commandments of Parenting?

Copy Paste from Kiran
1. When you get angry, pick them up and hug them. Instead of scolding or spanking or time outs or other controlling methods, try love. It's a much better response, and you're teaching your child through your actions rather than your words.
doesn't work- I need to chase them with faux nose boogie or fake fart in their face

2. Make this your mantra: treat them with kindness, treat them with respect. Seems simple, but it's surprising how little respect we giveto kids, because they're kids.
agree - often feel I take advantage of their size and bully them

3. Drop your expectations of the child. Often parents have high hopesof the child doing well academically, or in sports, or of becoming a professional, when that's not what the child wants. Or the parent hopes the child will be a certain type of person, and tries to steerthe child toward that — a mild, kind child, or a bright, cheerful child, or a studious, hard-working child — but that's not who the child is. Drop these expectations and celebrate the child, as she is.
offcourse I often imagine myself crying bucketful of emo-tears in a sa-re-ga-ma-pa kids

4. Let her play, let her explore. Stop being so overprotective. Allow the kid to be a kid. Let her run around outside, ride a bike, explorenature. Teach her, of course, about safety and dangers, but let her be a kid.
Need I say anything?

5. Say yes, or some version of yes. Instead of saying no. Often parents have an instinct to say no. But this is controlling and stressful, to both child and parent. Stop trying to control the child and give him some freedom. That doesn't mean you can say yes all the time, but it does mean you can say "Yes, we can do that … but perhaps later, when I'm done with what I have to do now."

I mean what I say and I say what I mean- old wonderland saying...they pretty much can catch my yes-mood or no-mood and they know what exactly they should be doing on the sly as Mamma is surely not going to agree. The advantage of being a team of two is that one stalls me en route discovery of the mischief while the other carries on happily with the mischief
6. Stop trying to overeducate and get out of the way. Parents try to impart all kinds of knowledge to the kids. So do schools. But kids learn naturally, without us. Get out of the way, stop trying to force the kid to learn what you think he needs to learn. Encourage him to explore and read and figure stuff out. Get him excited about things. When he's excited about something, he'll learn. When you force it on him, he'll do what he's forced to do, but not learn much other than you're controlling.
But I like doing I will. (it's about me me me). But the child did floor me saying he is thinking (I did not teach that word)
7. Just focus on making the next interaction with them positive. Many of these changes are difficult to make for parents, as we have deeply ingrained habits, stemming from our own childhood. So just focus on the next interaction. Just try to make the next one a good one. Don't worry about when you screw up — just apologize if you've broken a trust, and move on.
I just want them to know that I have clay feet- when I have a bad day- just get out of the way and be good

8. Take a moment to pause, and see things from your child's perspective. If you get angry, it's because you're only seeing things from your perspective. The child has a completely different view of things, and if you can understand that view, you won't be mad at the child. You'll try to make things better for her.
so tell me, what will you do with so many toys under the pillow or in the car, why is it important for me to velcro the umbrella while I am driving, why should the visitor ring the bell twice- so that each one gets to open the door, why don't you ask Tejas directly what he said rather than expect me to tell you.. i am trying to figure out, I really am....

9. If the kid is "acting up", try to figure out why and meet that need. Often it's a need for freedom, or attention, or love, or to be in control of his own life. Figure out what that need is, and find a more productive way to meet it.
If only they talk without crying or screaming- but yes, patient questioning does help one figure out
But threatening them with fake bug/ plastic lizard/ old man who takes teeth away when they cry and rats you think the stomach is a toilet as there is no food in that and therefore shit there... works
10. The kid is already perfect as he is. You don't need to change him. You don't need to mold him into the perfect person. He's already perfect, just as he is.

Perfect they may be, but still they are my clay to mould too!!! I need to put my nose into it. Compulsively

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Road Safety

I attended a road safety workshop last week.
Key pointers that I want to jot down here
  • carry a small hammer in your dashboard (not boot)- for emergencies like flood when one is unable to open the window or auto locks
  • carry water & snacks
  • Seat belts off course
  • check side & rearview mirrors before starting
  • give a warning right signal when starting after parking by roadside
  • follow lane markings- a dotted line means you are allowed to switch lanes, a solid line is equivalent to a median- do not even atempt to cross
  • road signs have 3 categories- mandatory- within a circle, warning- within a triangle, information- within a square
  • the right distance of your seat from the wheel is ajudged by seeing the angle that your hands/ legs make- 155 degree on the steering wheel or pedals
  • the optimum distance between you and the car in the front is 2 seconds- gives you time enough to react when the front car brakes suddenly- now how do you see whether you are at a 2 second distance- say 1 thousand 1 pause pause 1 thousand 2 when the car in front reaches a fixed pole or spot- when you say 2- you should have reached the fixed spot too (while i was counting and maintaining this distance- a car from the next lane filled the spot by the way but that is matter for other post)
  • wheel rotation is important- do not leave the 5th wheel new- tyres do wear out- retread/ change
  • change wipers- they wear out with time
  • Do not look at the speaker while driving- eyes on the road
  • switch off mobiles if possible
  • The time taken to Observe, Judge, Decide & Act takes 3/4th of a second- so eyes on the road
  • Let others go- you be cool
  • learn to change tyre (no they did not tell this at the workshop- our tyre punctured and there was no help in the vicinity)- Hubby bravely started but could not get the wheel out-

-lessons- loosen the nuts on tyre before jacking up

- its easy to jack up- if you are finding it difficult you have put the jack wrong!

- Finally- if you cannot- look for a driver of another car to help- most of them know how to change tyres!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ready Steady.....

Birthday check list
return gifts- check
more return gifts - pending
guest list- check
cake- design- check
cake order- pending
snack boxes- contents- check
snack boxes- ordering- pending
balloons- check
paper plates- cake guy will give
paper cups- pending
water arrangement- pending
what games- decided
games materials- pending partly
prizes- check
inviting people- GROAN......
birthday dress- check
birthday gift- check
candles- check
plastic spoons- check
polythene bags for take aways- check

How do I score?
The party is on Saturday

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kailash Parbat

finally went there and sampled their chaats.
a dahi papdi chaat, a corn -aaloo chaat, bhelpuri - bombay style not Bihar style- :(
and a tall glass of jal jeera....simply yumm
the right degree of tanginess, I think the curd is critical. it has to be just right- not overtly sour but just curdled.
we went to the one next to Lady Andal School in Harrington Road.
and i love their plates.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Isn't My Life Full?

Diwali and Vijaydashmi were milestone events with a whole host of cooking and planning I have attended 2 birthday parties this month.
Planned and executed a large do for the company.
Decluttered the office room

I have 2 major official trips to take the following 2 months
The kids' birthday party needs to be executed - and this has a theme too!
Atleast 3 dinners to be done at home
A lunch or 2 is due
Shopping for the trips
I have major plans to revamp my kitchen menus & perfect my baking among other things
Declutter by November end
Revamp the home
Revamp the garden and add more color
Weight Loss
Plan a family holiday

And among the above things, I have a job to do, friends to catch up with, neighbours to socialize with, family to talk to.
So why am I complaining and sweating the small stuff?

As hubby says- Think of the bigger picture, move ahead and not become part of the problem!! Or rather let not the problem overshadow the above blessings!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Twisted Logic

So tejas & Ojas were busy flashing at each other.
I tried scaring them that old man/ frog will take away their "lengu" if they show it to all and sundry.
Tejas- nahin, Lengu tooti nahin ho sakta hai (the said parts cannot be detached)
Mamma- it can be tooti
Tejas- Nahin, lengu kya stitch kar sakte hain? to kaise tooti kar sakte hain (can the said part be stitched? so therefore it cannot be broken)

But I somehow managed to convince them that it may be taken away so they put on their pants.
After sometime I asked them to undress, take a wash and wear their night clothes.
Both of them refused to do so as the old man/ frog may take their important parts away!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Very Easy & Tasty Chicken Recipe

A yummy chicken recipe borrowed from the neighbour
Chicken-1 kg
Onions- 5-6 large
Tomatoes- 2
Coriander Powder- 4 tsp
Chilly Powder- 1tsp
Ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Add all the above ingredients in a kadahi and cover cook until the water evaporates.
Now add 0.5 tsp pepper powder (or as per taste- check if spice levels are to your taste and add acordingly)
Add 0.5 tsp anise powder, curry leaves and 5-6 table spoon oil.
Stir cook until the chicken browns well.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Add water to make gravy if needed but I recommend it in dry form.
Tip- the anise powder and curry leaves make a world of difference (and offcourse not adding turmeric powder and garam masala- try and add these 2 and all the different flavours cancel each others' effect- and don't ask how I know that!!!)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Brown Brownie in the Kitchen

My brownies have become a big hit in the neighbourhood. Favours in the form of brownies have been sent across in the neighbourhood and so much so the husband is requesting me to make the brownies as favours for his relatives!!
I would love to say that I perfected this recipe after many trials and errors in my kitchen but that would be a white lie.
So Andy gave me the taste of her brownie (and that was like tasting blood) and I pestered her for the recipe. She directed me to this amazing food blog which posted a very easy brownie recipe for a person who does not like too many steps in her cooking

I used her recipe with just one change to make it easier for me- added baking powder though it is not necessary. The egg and butter are good leavening agents anyway.

Amul Butter (salted)-50gms - (salt and walnuts are the key to a brownie)
Sugar-little less than 1/2 cup - (I don't bother powdering - Parry sugar is fine enough)
Morday Dark Chocolate (sweetened)- 100 gms - (available in Nuts & Spices)
Cocoa powder-3 tbsp- which means 30 g but I use lesser I assume - cadbury cocoa powder works out cheaper than the local types- I got 200 g in a nice round jar.
Vanilla essence-1 tsp is recommended but usually 2-3 drops should do
Flour-1/2 cup
Nuts of choice-1/2 cup- I even added raisins and dried cranberry - nice.
Baking Powder- 0.5 level teaspoon
Melt chocolate & butter together in a pan stirring constantly. Put the butter in the base and the chocolate bits on the top as chocolate takes longer to melt if it is straight from the fridge. I recommend remove the chocolate slab from the fridge a few hours before making so that they break easily and melt faster. Take care that the chocolate does not burn.
Remove from heat when completely melted. Add the sugar, vanilla essence, and mix well.
Leave it to cool completely else the egg will coagulate.
Add the eggs and whisk well.
Add cocoa powder, flour and baking powder and fold into the mix (you could seive them together before adding to the mix)
Grease a baking dish and pour the mix.
Bake and hog!!
I use a convection microwave to bake- combi mode, 180 degree, 6-7 minutes of baking.
Use a deep dish- the cake comes out better and fluffier as it has enough space then

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One Day

The kids got together to wash their chappals.
Dadda gave them one scrub and then let the kids do their own thing with the brush and water.
Dadda mentioned with the eyes glued on TV - what about Dadda's shoes?- meaning his Crocs.
Ojas promptly gets up and dumps Dadda's Badminton shoes into the water.
Seen above the shoe rescued by Dadda.
Serves him right for ordering about and not checking what they are doing

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Diwali

The mood was a little too buoyant this diwali. I was a little over excited this time and prepared well in advance - buying lights, lamps, clothes, making plans & lists. More so because we became parents on Diwali morning! Which is why make a little extra effort on Diwali and try to make it a little more special.

So this time we lit up 3 windows using serial lights - our bedroom
and the living room

and even that did not seem enough.

I made (semi-disaster) gulabjamuns (no pics that's why) & easy laddoos, nimki, kadhi (another first), paneer, among other things- over a period of last few days. The sofas had already got a makeover And we put new bedspreads too to add to the festive feel- a traditional applique one in the bedroom and a festive orange in the other room.

We did the flower rangoli for the first time- using marigold and jasmine. The marigold on the ends of the star are the kids' idea. They enthusiasticaly did the flower decor along with me.

The highlight of the day was the gharaunda. A cardboard home on which we would do the Laxmi puja. Ojas & Tejas were most excited about this part. They were peeping through the door like an oversized Alice in the rabbit's home! And pushing their arm through the tiny windows. They decorated the house with animals and cars - do not miss the spider on the window, monkeys on the tree behind, aiming for the banana on the terrace and the fish pond in pink with their plastic fish towards the side!
(Offcourse after arranging all this I went for a nap inside the room and the kids pushed the entire setting in the room and began playing with the toys and the house), apart from eating the lava -mudhi even before the puja- from lunch itself.

We did the Ganesh- Laxmi puja & the Tulsi puja wearing our Diwali finery and then lit the lamps, apart from attacking with renewed energy on the lava (Tejas) & Mudhi (Ojas).
Check my floating candles

Matka lamps painted in a red bandhni print
Lamp & Lanterns
Lamp on a metal frame (courtsey sis) Lamps on the flower decor

Lamp on stick & cloth frames & the hanging terracota lamp on the side
A bit of cracker ….the fingers never really came off the ears…

Friday, October 16, 2009

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

Tejas- Chockat (Munch Pops) garden mein gir gaya
Mamma- Bring it in I will wash and give you
Tejas- No you bring
We walk out to search for the munch pops, however none were there.
Tejas looks at Ojas still munching at his Munch Pops and says sternly- Ojas? Did you eat it?
Liar was hoping i will ask Ojas to share his

We got identical set of rackets for Ojas- Tejas & the neighbour's twins. Tejas' racket handle was looking a little ragged. He conveniently and quietly exchanged his with the neighbour's and refused to give it back saying this is his, until we convinced him we will buy him a new one!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

On Ayudha Puja Day

We washed our cycles in the garden with lots of water.
Then did the puja with fire and flowers and the works.

We had the Bihari Daal bharke paratha and the South Indian Navratri special Sundals and Malpua - or what Mamma says is called Malpua- she really needs to perfect them- else Bihari ke naam pe kalank hai!

Updated Diwali List

-A colleague just gifted me a whopping box of crackers containing 35 different packs of crackers. I am passing on most of them to the maid and have asked the neighbour to not buy any this year. They also have small kids and will mostly not enjoy bursting them! And my kids are too chicken anyway!

- Serial lights purchased and mounted on the windows. Ojas was not very happy about it initially as he thought the frog may come and take the lights away. But now they are very excited about them Got the "100 rice" string for Rs 60 and a 36 LED bulb string for 90 bucks! But methinks I should get another string or 2 to decorate a couple of more windows. Suddenly the lights do not seem enough.

-The kids carried a box of sweet each today to school and were in their traditional attire.

-Made a box of "nimki" and purchased some murukku and banana chips. I think I am done.

-Got 2 delicious boxes of sweets from the office. On paper I am still keen to make gulabjamuns. Lets see!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Diwali Checklist

Clothes- done- Fab India silks-They have considerably improved in terms of pattern and cut
Candles, diyas- done- got the dirt cheap wax diyas encased in aluminium foil that can be even floated- Rs 30 for a dozen. Anyone interested in the Auroville fragrant candles & diyas? They smell really great
Serial Lights- to be done- the older ones have been damaged courtsey the kids

Gold- Not done!! waiting for the prices to fall :(

Mithai- plans on paper- shall I buy or shall I make?

Final cleaning of home- to be done

Sofa & Dining Chair covers- changed! Finally

Crackers- to be bought
And the grandest of all-
What's your Diwali checklist?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

En Route East Coast Road

As we were overtaking a bus, I couldn't help but manage to see an ugly seen of a person vomiting out of the window.
I exclaimed- eeew he is vomiting.
Said Ojas, the ever attentive- kaun kiya vomit
Mamma- woh bus mein
Ojas- vomiting kaa color kya thaa
Mamma- not wanting to dwell on it- cheee pataa nahin
Ojas- Brown thaa ?
Mamma- Haan brown (not wanting to remember that actually it was yellow- eew)
Ojas- Vomiting kaa smell kaisa thaa
Mamma- *puke puke*
And this went on in 20 minute intervals

And here's another sample-
Ojas- Humlog kahan jaa rahe hain?
Mamma- Chennai
Ojas- nahin ..birthday mein (as per plan)
Mamma- haan birthday mein
Ojas- kiska birthday?
Mamma- Surya
Ojas- kaun Surya?
And so on......every 20 minute interval

And in a party...
Mamma- Tejas don't sit on that chair- that is aunty's chair
Ojas- Kaun aunty?
Mamma- Nila aunty
Ojas- Nila aunty kaa name kaise hota hai?
Mamma- N- I- L- A
Ojas- N I L A..repeats n number of times
Mamma- Tejas I told naa it is aunty's chair
Ojas- Kaun Aunty.....
And the series continued despite the fact that he had just memorised the spelling of the said aunty.

Mamma- on phone- you know Ojas was discussing color and smell of vomit
Ojas happened to walk in
Ojas- Mamma, Ojas kya bola?
And the series continuation is inevitable

Friday, October 09, 2009

Mud Play

I must have mentioned upteen number of times that I had a huge open space in the house where I lived in my younger days. It offered immense potential for mud play, running around, playing- so much so that at one time, 7 sets of us were casual playing badminton - and that was just one side of the house.
We used to spend the entire winter morning & afternoon in the garden - studying, reading, eating oranges or playing in the mud, making mud houses, shapes, collecting pebbles, leaves, flowers.
Off course summer holidays meant collecting fallen mangoes!
We would plant methi, pudina etc if the gardening bug bit us and spend ages sitting at the ground floor verandah if it was too hot to be outdoor.
I carried this childhood imagery of a home as I grow older and one conference, I spelled out my passion - I want a house with a garden.
In a matter of days, we booked this home with a tiny garden space on both sides of the living room. It is tiny still it is something with mud. And offcourse the complex had huge open space. Close but but quite I wanted - next time I need to be a bit more specific in terms of size and quantum of direct sunlight - good-enough-to-grow-rose- marigold-jasmine, I want daily to reach my garden.
Anyway, I am glad that I bought this apartment because if nothing else, it replicates closely what I had when I was growing up.
The kids spend the entire weekend outdoor- playing with mud, leaves, flowers (wish they don't pluck the flowers though), looking at butterflies, watching lizards & chameleons, cycling & tricycling, trying to play badminton

And the best part is- so much of mud play has solved their pincer grip issues- without my really doing anything.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Eager Beaver

Dadda, you finished your juice?
Dadda- Yes
*extremely eager*- Shall I throw it (the can)?
Dadda- yes
*Takes a hopeful swig at the can for some dregs*

Ojas- Nahi chahiye... (don't want the juice)
Tejas- *ears perked up*- kisko nahi chahiye? (who doesn't want)
Ojas- Humko nahi chahiye
Tejas- Toh humko do (Then give it to me)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Older Brother Indulges

Ojas carrys a basket in Nuts n Spices
Tejas brings a packet of candies to him and shows him.
Ojas looks at it and says- Ok, we will buy and places it in the basket.

Power supply goes off. Mamma is groping in the living room for the candle with Ojas holding her dress and tailing her. Tejas is bawling in the bedroom.
As soon as Mamma manages to get the candle lighted, Ojas rushes to the room, brings Tejas to the living room holding his hand and says- see Ojas helped you, he lit the candle and brought you to this room.

Tejas is complaining about some kid in school. Ojas says- don't worry, I will not buy a chocolate for him.

Ojas is swinging in the school and Tejas is generally frowning. Ojas says- don't be sad, I am not afraid of the swing. I will get you chocolates.

I say bye to Ojas and leave for office. I go back and peep into the bedroom window. Ojas has woken Tejas and is telling him- Mamma has gone to office but I am there

Monday, October 05, 2009

And The Sons Have Promised...

That they will buy me placemats with my name written on them..
Ah well, they cannot send me to a world tour yet, but for the moment, placemats will do!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Term Report

A little overdue. I had every intention of posting it as soon as I was done with the PTA meeting but somehow I realized I couldn't recall what they were marked on. And since most of them were developing/ established, I never bothered really as the teacher did not ask me to reinforce anything at home.
But yes, things are coming back in pieces to me and as I recall, the most interesting part was the page that the teacher showed me which contained all that they answered during question time.
Tejas had mentioned he likes banana & apple and Ojas had mentioned he likes juice (while it is actually the opposite). They had named healthy foods, seasons and various other concepts that were being covered in class.
There is one thing that I am worried about however. Ojas is definitely seen as a star with great grasping power and eagerness to and quickness in writing and completing his work. Whereas Tejas is seen as the more laidback, non proactive type!
A little unfair because I know that in reality, Tejas is as enthusiastic as Ojas and in a crowd, he tends to withdraw into his shell.
There are days he comes complaining that while Ojas got 2 stars, he got only a single one or none. While it breaks my heart, I really cannot judge the teacher as I am sure she is being objective. And as perceptions go, they are a little difficult to change.
Probably thats why they say that twins should be in different classes as one tends to overshadow the other and one may get too comfortable in the presence of the other and not make an effort at all, even in making friends.
Maybe in time my baby will understand how to market himself! Or maybe not, because his Mamma is exactly like him...diffident, never gives away her abilities, so much so that her own classmates in college were shocked that she was among the only 6 who competed in the placement entrance exams in college for a particular software company.
And off course I am not worried about Ojas as he is exactly like his Dadda- charmer, maintains a good reputation of himself, super confident and outgoing.