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2016-01-27_07-24-40

It was such a beautiful day out today! The snow banks now look like crushed ice! It was beautiful! DC has a stadium parking lot to dump all their plowed streets. Arlington doesn't know where to put all the snow! They are having to drive further out and all our garbage is piling up as they have recruited all the garbage trucks to transport snow!! But it's all good! Did you know when the weather is dry, the garbage doesn't stink, you need humidity to add/worsen the stench!? ;) Things you learn after couple of years of diapers.

Glad D's camp spent most of the day outside. She however is done with the snow. It's colder she said and they make for terrible snow creatures! So, any patch of green she sees amidst the snow, she declares, "it's SPRING!"

March, my dear girl, March. Maybe even April or May (like it was two years ago when we celebrated her birthday in winter coats!!) before spring arrives!!

So, yes there are folks complaining. But somehow today, I was feeling very grateful. For all that I have. For the work that's piled up, for the girl who drives us crazy, for the hubby who took care of the home (laundry, meals, and child pickup/drop-off) today, for the jackets that keep us warm, for the people we are surrounded with. Am just thankful!

I am also thankful for the metro, as I believe as I type they are predicting a terrible commute home. The temperatures have dropped and the melted snow is turning icy and everyone in this region loves driving bumper to bumper!
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Posted on this many times before. It's still a thing and will be for generations to come! But good to see someone talking about it in public. More awareness at least. And nothing gets the message across better than with some humour added into it! ;) Brilliant work on a very pathetic subject matter.



More about the video, especially for the non-Indians: Wilbur's New Video Sends A Message: 'I'm Very Dark And Proud Of It'

Dark is beautiful! (and yes, all shades are beautiful... we are just sticking to one topic for now!)
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I cried reading this article Words of Wisdom from a Single Mom. Brilliant words and advice!

“Own your choices. Don’t feel ashamed about what you’re doing, trust yourself that you’re a good parent, don’t let anybody else shame you, and, certainly, don’t shame yourself,” says Jarrett.

So so true!! For every thing! I am forever grateful that both N & I work in organisations that value the person's life and choices. Both my immediate boss and higher up are child-free. And they both are supportive of our lives, whether it's taking care of my kid/family or pursuing a sport (like my colleague does). Whatever makes us a better employee and at the end a better person. I wish such a workplace for so many others!

goodbyes

Jul. 13th, 2015 12:28 pm
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Goodbyes. People in general believe hearing my story that I should be used to it by now. Used to in the way that, I should be able to handle it better than the average Jane. That it’s not a big deal. It happens and you move on. How wonderful it is that I have friends all around the globe. That wherever I go, I have a place to stay. People forget that it takes money and time to actually go to these places and reconnect.

And, the way I end up handling it is staying closed and taking forever to open up to someone. LJ folks might find that strange as I am so open here with everything. But in real life, I take forever to get close to everyone. Easy right? Don’t get close to anyone, and when they leave it won’t be hard? But damned it, there are some wonderful people with whom you end up close with and then they leave and you just get all mope-y and sad and angry. Angry that you let it happen. And then of course, you admonish oneself for it because opening up helped form such a wonderful friendship, wonderful memories.

And you take every moment together left together a happy one. You have prepared yourself for this last day for months now. You always knew it was coming. From the day you met, you knew it was in the plans. You spend that last day together and remembering all the fun, sharing the fun day and when we get to the car it hits you, like a rock, right at your heart. You know there’s no, “Oh see you next week!” or “so will see you at the next outing” that we would have discussed during the get together. You are standing there, refusing to budge. As if that will somehow make that fact of departure go away and the world will be ok again. And you realise it doesn’t work that way and then the heart tugs, the tears role. Thank goodness for sunglasses that allow you to hide. Your body is hungry but your appetite isn’t there. You just feel numb the rest of the day.

Sure we are grown adults. You are told to keep it together. To be strong for your kids. Sure there’s skype, there’s facebook and all the other wonderful technological advances. But it doesn’t replace the closeness one has when one is together. And you make a pact with oneself to ensure that next time you meet someone, your one condition of friendship will be that neither will leave town, for like ten years at least.

Right.
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What are we in Switzerland?! Any time I happen to catch my friend living in Geneva through Skype or the phone, she is usually busy working on her laundry. It's serious business as she is allotted that particular time during that particular week to do it. If not, she would be wearing the stinky clothes for the following two weeks or something. The Swiss apparently take their quality of life very seriously.

All fine and dandy. We are living in America that survives on 24/7 of convenience. Except it seems in our apartment building. They had a few months ago sent in a reminder that laundry rooms (we have 2 washers and 2 dryers on each floor, and you can use any of them) are open from 8am - 10pm. Well, it was an honor system.

It seems the building folks had no honor. A fine was put in place for anyone breaking the rule. But it probably wouldn't cover having a staff monitor and enforce it. What was the poor employee to do? Sort through the clothes and figure out whose it was? Or stand guard in front of the laundry room to see whose it is?

Guess a simpler solution was to install new door handles with locks on them and lock them up promptly at 10pm. See how much our management cares for the neighboring apartments' peace and quiet? Maybe if they invested in some newer machines that wouldn't run so loudly that would solve the problem. The newer once are also more energy efficient. But alas they will probably wait till the government sets out a tax credit for use of such machines. :X

Anyway, I digress. It's 11pm and as I change into my pajamas it hits me! I forgot to pick up my clothes from the dryer!! They would have been done at 9:30pm and dang it the doors are locked! sigh. sigh. sigh. Each and every shirt will be all wrinkled.

I hope we are not fined for this. Having to bring out the iron is punishment enough.   
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Polar vortex has left us and we are back to our usual winter saga. A balmy muggy 35F with lots of rain. Of course, yesterday there was a lot of excitement about 2-4 inches but it was also 50F the last two days so you don't need a degree to predict that it would be just rain. Sure enough. Nice to have the humidity back! Wednesday again it's to hit 50F and back to 32-40F for the rest of the week! Love our winters! Doesn't mean we will stop complaining about it or panic at the next big forecast..it makes our lives exciting!

So, we were outside the whole weekend. Who cares if we are still nursing colds and coughs. Never take warmth for granted! Apparently we will have winter for another 6 weeks. I don't get the whole groundhog thing. If he didn't see his shadow it will suddenly be spring in February?

Still can't believe about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman. How very sad and what a waste of talent.

Watched Gangs of Wasseypur II. We didn't see the first part. And my goodness makes the Godfather seem like a friendly guy. I never knew how gun happy North India is. wow..the film is based on true incidents in the poorest of poor state in India, Jharkhand. And everyone really kills everyone the whole time of the movie. It really was too much. All it showed was violence and didn't really give much depth into the story of the people. And yet it is how it is and leaves more depressed and hopeless for the people living in the state! And then of course you are reminded it's a movie and they have changed the reality a little bit to make it more dramatic.
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River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh (part of the Ibis Trilogy)

The first book of the trilogy, Sea of Poppies, I had picked up at the library randomly on the "new books" shelf some time ago. Really liked the books - both of them! It's a slow paced book, kind of like a sea journey I imagine, but filled with a lot of stories. It was so very interesting to learn and read about times of yesteryears in the Asian region. And even back then the huge impact China had on world economy. Duh! I know, nothing surprising, but it's a part of history I never got to learn in school. Cultural bias of international schools? Where all you learn is of western hemisphere. We did touch a little on Indian independence and the only time we ever jumped to South East Asia was the Korean War & Vietnam wars and China was always the bad guy.

Obviously this is fiction. But is based on correspondence left behind by the protagonist in the story, Neel. I can't wait for the third part to come out!

I picked another random book from the library: The Round House by Louise Erdrich. I didn't even notice the big "New York Times bestseller" sign on the front cover.

Another random book I picked at the library while my daughter was singing loudly in the library was Susan Cain's Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking Just amazing! I don't think a book has touched me as much as it did this! I bought her book! There's so much to write about here! I read this 3-4 months ago and have been wanting to write down many of my thoughts over it. Just never got down to it. Maybe one day. I was crying over every page!! A must read for everyone, an extrovert or an introvert! 
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Life in a grid

Left to right:

  • Library had a book sale last week. I vowed not to go since D's bookshelf is overflowing. N keeps a fare share of books away, but D always finds them. So today and tomorrow I have to sort them and donate them to the library or have them picked up on freecycle, when she is not around! But I went and bought like 20  books from the sale! Many of them were small stories that we could also take on road trips, fit in my purse, etc. We can't leave home without a book!

  • D likes this particular smoothie from Trader Joe's that has beetroot in it. We tried making it at home but she wouldn't drink it. We now, saved the bottle and make it and refill it and seems to be working. Bad sneaky parents, I know. But we have to save money somehow! She loves the purple mustache it creates! We call her Joker (from Batman)

  • Once in a while she asks for ponytails! She had three on and yesterday it was 4!

  • She rolled chapatis! She actually rolled nice circles but she kept making them into balls and rolling again...never made it to the pan. Maybe in a few more months (years) before she makes consumable chapatis!

  • We are ready for snow! Well, I am wishing we get maybe 3-4 2-inch snowfall this winter! Yes, I am very careful what I wish for!! :P She & I got snow boots! Hers were found at a consignment sale (actually so did the sweater, & the hat! The sweater is "boys" one - it was cheaper and thicker!!

  • I dug out the patch-quilt I had started making for D 3 years ago. I realised it was actually done, needed batting and sewing the back. But now it would be too small for her and so am adding more to it. I need to buy the batting material and will be done!

  • D's first ice cream cone! She never liked ice cream! Until, a month ago!! Now we can't keep any at home as she will want it for lunch/dinner! :S

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grid

  • Went to Great Falls today! What a beautiful day it turned out to be! Friend called up and asked if we were free! We sure were! D & Anju had a nice time walking through the trails, having lunch and just enjoying the outdoors. They loved watching the waterfalls! (pic below) There were several kayakers too braving the waters that caught their eye! They both vowed that's what they will do when they are big!

  • D picked out her langa/blouse and wanted to be a princess. She said she won't go to the park or the dress would get dirty. She got on her bangles, bindi (dot on forehead), In the photo she is shouting "cheese!"

  • One evening she decided we were going to have a picnic dinner! It was the day we stayed home all day!

  • Went to see a magic show. She was completely mesmerized. She didn't want to sit with me either.  Teenage years seem to have come on early in our household!

  • She wrote her name!!! She got the first three letters! We have never sat down and taught her! She just observed us writing and seeing her name spelt out in various places!! She has been scribbling her name for a while now and she is now making definite shapes that do look like her name!! She loves to do it all the time, any time she finds a paper & pen!

Read more... )
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These days D has been insisting we do everything together! We all have to go places together. No leaving dad behind or mom behind.

And then there are days she pushes dad away... oh the mood swings... but I prefer the first one. It has made us do more things together and been fun! Has made our lives busier and yet so fun! 

oh..time to go to the park..together!
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It's like we live in a twilight zone. Neither here nor there. Geographically we are in a great location! We are close to everything! We can get to the nation's capital and all its attractions within half hour (on good metro days)! We can get out to nature in less than that too...with so much greenery in the county. And yet it's so hard to meet other moms. We go to the park on weekdays, there are a lot of kids, most are accompanied with nannies. We go to DC or to Fairfax there are so many moms and their kids out and about. By chance there is a mom here at the park with the kid, it's so hard to break the ice sometimes. It's a very transitionary county, at least where we stay. 

One is either a foreigner like us, and probably be here for another year or two. Or, they move to the suburbs within an year of having a kid, to get into a good school zone and a house. Or they are nervous about speaking in English, because it's not their first language. 

D has helped in breaking the ice in many occasions. I have met moms from China, Turkey, Ukraine, Japan, Russia, Serbia, and a few other parts of the world. Funny, how we never run into Americans. Although they are the ones who form a group and have their own thing. And it's amazing how mothers in a group form such a click that they often are in their own world and won't even smile at you! 

DC moms feel Arlington is a world away. The suburban moms think anything past us and the capital is too congested and they can never find parking. It's very amusing. At some point we will move to the suburbs as this apartment will get small for us. But I wil truly miss being here. But then again, why do we need to move? Do we really need to get into the mode of buying a place and it be a house? Do we really need to trade the no-commute for N, walking distance to school, public pools, library, car used rarely for just grocery runs or meeting friends in the suburbs, metro access for a house that will be so far away from things interest us? Am sure as D grows, our interests will change. Having space at home for her to explore will also be helpful! The longer we wait the harder that transition will get. And yet, I love it here.
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I realised scrolling through my journal that almost all my posts here have become about pregnancy! And it might get you to wonder how it's hard for me to talk about it in real life! ha!

I have books with me (non-pregnany related) that I am trying to read but I have such a hard time focusing on anything. I have gotten tired of following politics. The closest I have gotten to see a politician was the Oprah's Christmas Special at the White House - I ended up missing N even more (when watching Pres & First Lady interviewed together!

Copenhagen has become such a joke really (not the city, but the summit being held there). Sad, but my optimistic self is slowly becoming a huge skeptic. Is that possible?

Work is the usual. Life has become such a routine?? Not to say that I was talking about much more significant things all before pregnancy or anything! But yeah...At least I had a bigger variety of topics to ramble on about.

Any ideas?

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