Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Little MAN

My little man just turned 2 and I still can't believe it. The time has just flown and I just want to hold onto every memory so snug and tight so I never forget just how precious this little soul is. He has grown So much and has come SO far that it blows me away with every step he takes and word he utters.

Kavan, in these last 2 years and even when I carried you for 9 months, you have taught me so much about life and how to live it. You have taught me to love unconditionally, to slow down and appreciate the finer moments, to smile constantly - even in our hardest times. You never stop amazing me with your affection, energy, curiosity, laughter and love. You surprise me everyday with your new discoveries and every daily achievements. You have allowed me to witness and be a part of your learning in motion. For being such a little lion, you have Such a big spirit. I love u dear Kavan, mama loves u ferociously.

I used to sing Carly Simon's Love of my life song to you everyday since you were born and it is so true ........"From the moment that I saw u, the second that u were born - I swore that u were the love of my life...quite simply the love... of my life."....

Here is a trip down memory lane for my sweet little lion Kavan.

Meri jaan hai tu (U are my life) 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Life is nuts.....

..... for us right now. I know I am out of the loop. I have been insanely busy - giving my grandma TLC, wedding stuff with my brother, getting the house ready for Thanksgiving here and planning my little bean's 2nd birthday the same weekend. It is just nuts. Just wanted to check in and see how everyone else is doing. I'm starting to realize, it's always this nuts and always will be - is it nuts for everyone else too? I need to start scheduling "nothing" for the weekends. Til then - I will be plugging away.

Here are my little lions the last few days. Uff. As i sit here in the calm of the 5 o'clok hour waiting to watch the sunrise, I just look at their pictures and think - thank u God. Thank you for my crazy, wild, sweet, silly, beautiful children. Be still my heart. Boys, mama loves u more than u could ever imagine.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Impromptu Chocolate Chip Muffins

Have u ever been in a crazy rush but need to get something made and just use the first recipe that comes up on google? That's what happened to me yesterday when the first batch of blueberry muffins my husband made turned out not so hot. I am sick with a cold and hosted a playdate at the house yesterday. Why? Well - sigh, because that's ME and my life. :/ The hubs wanted to help so before he went to sleep he made a box of blueberry muffins I asked if he could whip up - for those that don't know him - I must share that he LOVES TO BAKE. I was shocked they didn't come out well. It can't be him - it must've just been a cheap mix or something because they were terrible and he really is quite the baker.

As soon as I realized these weren't going to work, while still in my towel from getting out of the shower I said alright no worries and I googled chocolate chip muffins sine I knew I had choc chips on hand and muffins are just perfect for a morning playdate at the house. I used this recipe and frantically worked away. As I'm mixing and stirring, my eyes scan down the page and I'm reading the reviews of these muffins being awful and starting to realize this is how they're going to taste?! so I start adding and recreating a new recipe - bad news. Why is following a recipe so difficult for me?!

Well it turned out they were perfect and scrumptious and quite a hit. Here are some pics! Can't u just smell them through the screen!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Today is Diwali

Happy Diwali to all that celebrate it! Diwali is known as the festival of lights and is an official Holiday in India as well as celebrated by many South Asian religions all over the world. Diwali celebrations are chock full of family traditions, lighting candles and fireworks, getting together with loved ones and sharing snacks and sweets. 

In Hindu Mythology - the story of Diwali signifies the victory of good over evil. I am not so versed in the Hindu stories of Diwali but there are beautifully written accounts of them here

Those who celebrate Diwali light candles outside their home or put up christmas lights around the home. The significance is that this light should illuminate ur home and heart and empower us to commit ourselves to good deeds which will bring us closer to God. In India, during Diwali, lights are everywhere inside and outside as people light firecrackers and incense and celebrate this holiday. (Source)

It has become more than a Hindu - festival - it has become a cultural holiday much like Christmas for those who choose to celebrate it living in the United States.

In my religion, SIKHISM, we celebrate Diwali for .  In Sikh Historydifferent reasons and call the Holiday Bandi Chor Divaas. In Sikh history - Diwali signifies the release of our 6th guru. In 1577, the foundation stone of the Golden Temple - our most holy temple - was laid on Diwali day. During the life of our 6th Guru, Guru Hargobind, the Muslim emperor Jahangir imprisoned Guru Hargobind and 52 kings along with him. People all over India begged the Emperor to release them and the Emperor agreed to release the Guru but the Guru said to also release the kings. The emperor agreed but with one condition - that only those kings who could hold onto the guru's cloak can be released so our GUru made a gown with 52 pieces of strings attached to it for the Hindu kings to hold. They were all freed on Diwali day. Lights were lit all over upon their release. The guru's mother was so happy her son was released that she ordered food and gave sweets to everyone. Many people float colored light candles on teh water at the Golden temple along with a big firework display.

A great version of the story is told here

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pray for my Nanima

My Nanima is my beautiful grandmother. She is my mother's mother and she is sick. She is very sick. She had a massive stroke a few months ago in India and has since had a series of problems after the fact. Last week my uncle brought her over here to America on a plane, sedated. She is one strong lady to make that 24 hour flight. She was immediately put into the ICU at the hospital when she landed  and has been there since. This past weekend was the first time in a few years that I got to see her. We are extremely close and it BROKE my heart to see her helpless in that condition. Her right side is paralyzed - she is not eating, not talking, not moving, not anything. She was otherwise SUCH a vibrant woman who LOVED just Loved to laugh and giggle and chat and share secrets and get dressed up and get manicures and wear revlon's toasted almond lipstick :) I brought my 2 babies to see their great grandmother in the hospital and thru that one eye she has working, I saw a emotion. I saw recognition. She laid her hand on their heads and gave them her blessings. She looked at me in pain. I don't know if she is physically in pain but she moans and groans and is understandably uncomfortable. I know she wants to live and I know she wants to fight. I have been a walking zombie since seeing her and can't think of much else these days but her. I love her dearly and need her. I don't have my mother anymore and my nanima is a piece of my mother that I have left. I need her - we all do. I know things are not good right now but I will continue to stay positive and hope for the best. She deserves it. Without her, none of us would be here. She is an amazing lady and she deserves us fighting for her, rooting for her, willing her to continue to want to live. I believe with time, prayers and therapy, she can show improvement - anything better than this.

Please pray for her - Please pray my nanima gets better soon.

Friday, October 22, 2010

What in the...

Who knew squirrels ate pumpkins?! Who knew squirrels would devour the pumpkins we worked so hard at "picking" (selecting and placing on wagon). This was a MAJOR bummer to wake up to in the morning :( Overnight our beautiful pumpkins that we decorated the front steps with turned into these! EEK! I guess the little rodents feasted didn't they. They didn't seem to be fooled by the fake pumpkins in the lot. I haven't caught any of the pesky little rascals in the act but I'm pretty positive they are squirrels as I've heard of this happening before but it's never happened to us before. I guess it's a whole different life now we live in the "Country". :)

Two cute little stores that sprung from this:

  1. My 22 month old toddler is speaking much more now and lately he has been saying OH NO BOKEN - meaning, Oh no, broken. When we walked out and saw these pumpkins I said Oh no! He examined them and said, "Oh no, boken!" :) I just had to laugh. At least he realized this isn't how we had the pumpkins to start with and
  2. We had a playdate at the house a few days after this happened and one of the mammas commented on the intricate pumpkin carvings I did with the kids. haha As if this was deliberate?! How strange that would've been :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

In the News...

My religion (Sikhism) and the President's scheduled trip to our most holy temple in India has recently been in the news. It is difficult for me to use words to even capture the significance of what the Golden Temple symbolizes for Sikhs. It is a site of great religious and historical importance for Sikhs. Thousands of Sikhs and Non-Sikhs alike from India and all over the world come and visit this temple daily. It is built in the middle of a pool of water and is covered in gold. It is absolutely beautiful. Whenever I go, I find such peace and serenity there - it is truly majestic.

The gist of this issue in the news is that President Obama's camp is not satisfied with the forms of head covering he must wear during his visit for how it will make him appear and what it will look like to the outside world and America. When one enters any Sikh place of worship (gurdwara) including the Golden Temple, their heads must be covered while in the presence of our holy scriptures called the Guru Granth Sahib. President Obama only has 4 days scheduled to be in India. Of those 4 days, he is scheduling a trip to visit the Golden temple, the only religious visit he is making. However, Obama's camp fears that he will look too Muslim if he covers his head with a headscraf or skullcap. They feel it is not a good political move in light of political sensitivities around the world and in the United States regarding rumors of him having Muslim beliefs despite the fact that he is openly a very devout Christian which he has stated time and time again. His head must be covered but a baseball cap falls short of regulations and appears insulting. 

MY THOUGHTS: I am saddened that this is even an issue that would prevent our President from visiting a respected shrine of the world. I'm not sure why limited suggestions like a headscarf, skullcap or baseball hat are being considered as the only options to cover his head. Plenty of sojourners that come off the streets pretty much will tie a handkerchief on their head or a bandana and that is completely acceptable. I am also shocked that it is cited that about 20% of the American population "suspect" the President is Muslim by citing that his middle name is Hussein and mentioning his Kenyan heritage. He is a publicly devout Christian and shouldn't be bothered about his religion. It is absurd to me that American citizens waste time debating about whether the President is muslim or not. Even if he was, so WHAT. His religious affairs are his business, his private concerns that no one should be second guessing or speculating about. Moreover, even if he "appeared to be Muslim" (which I just loathe the connotation that gives off since it shouldn't even matter if he appears Muslim or not), ANY person regardless of religion, race or creed is welcome into the Sikh Golden Temple and would never be ostracized or shunned away in any manner. The place where the temple sits - Amritsar, Punjab - is VERY close to the border of India and Pakistan and it would not be odd to see any person of the Muslim faith entering the Golden Temple (at least I hope not). Last, I am disappointed that the President's camp didn't have the foresight to have known to address this issue BEFORE scheduling a trip to the Golden Temple. I can imagine how many Sikhs were so excited and now just disappointed. It would be an honor to have the American Present visit our holiest of temples as should HE feel honored and blessed to be in such a sacred place that is special to SO many Sikhs in India as well as the Diaspora. If his trip is cancelled, it would be a disappointment to say the least. The President would be missing out for an issue which has many solutions.

Here are some pictures of the Golden Temple:
during the day.
At night.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No Sew Halloween Costumes

I already bought the boys' halloween costumes last month (grumble grumble). BUT if I had seen any of these amazing ideas earlier, I would have totally had the boys dress up in something more creative, no sew and homemade. If ur a mom out there trying to get last minute costumes together, any of these are completely doable. Don't be shocked if u see my kids in some of these in the upcoming years :) Here are some of my favorites!


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Book Review: Zoo Story

I just finished a book called ZOO STORY by author Thomas French. I loved this book. I've always had a love for animals of all kinds and love seeing them in their natural settings and love seeing them even at zoos. Many a time when visiting zoos I felt bad for some of the larger animals in the unspoken word "cages". It didn't feel right or fair for them to be stuck there but you give it a moment's thought and move onto the next exhibit and the rest of ur day and don't really think about it again unless it's a passing thought. 

The book basically takes you behind the scenes of a zoo called Lowry Park in Tampa, Florida. It dives into the difficult issue of the truths, difficulties, benefits and challenges of keeping wild animals in captivity. It was downright fascinating to say the least and I learned a great deal. One of the reviews of the book is true - I can never visit another zoo again without recounting the images and stories from this book and the plight of most of the animals there. 

One of the best parts of this book was the way it was written. The author is a journalist and writes for newspapers and teaches journalism at a university now. The writing was excellent. The way he described the conditions of the zoos and what the animals could be thinking or how humans interfered with their lives really made u feel for each party involved and made u feel like u were right there. As a writer you tend to take a tone with which "side" u agree or disagree with and I feel his tone was most definitely clear that he disapproved of the way in which certain animals were kept in the zoo and the way in which it's CEO (for 20 years) ran the place. Even when he put a spin on the events, he still raised room for questioning each side and gave u plenty to think about. Should we support the institution of zoos which help to save certain animals and educate our society and young children about animals and have a first hand exposure to them even if this means they're being held against their will or should we leave these wild animals be in their natural habitat even if this means they are subject of mass killings by the country in which they live due to their overpopulation and running rampant in the wild and causing mass destruction wherever they go. 
Accurately, the author says it's the animals that get caught in this struggle between protection and control. Surprisingly, I found myself on one side of the table before reading this book and throughout reading I was constantly questioning my thoughts and feelings on the subject. It is simply fascinating and I highly recommend it to anyone who has a love for animals.

My boys...

There's no specific subject for this post. I'm just taking a rare moment to sit here and look through pictures of the end of this summer and smile.... at my boys. I love them more than I could ever imagine loving anything in this life. If I had to imagine a few years ago where I would be and what I'd be doing now, I would never forsee this ... but I wouldn't paint a better picture. These little men that occupy my days make me smile and laugh so much. They provide me with  so many new and different challenges I'm only experiencing now in a way only a mother could. I hope I remember all their little sweet and silly moments. I plan on telling them all about it when they grow up. For the meantime, as exhausted as I am - I am so thoroughly boys. 
Child Labor in southwestern CT

Hi Bright Eyes!! 

Mama love..
Kavan in a cozy chair

Kavan playing Goldilocks trying out different chairs :)
Boys - I am so blessed to have u in my life and so honored that I get to be ur mommy. Mwa.