Monday, December 31, 2007

We finally dared!

Posted by Cee Kay of My Two Cents. This is also cross posted on my personal blog.

In the 12 years that we have been married, J and I have NEVER gone out on New Year's Eve. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT? We are more of homebodies than we would actually care to admit. At first we didn't go out because we were living with my husband's parents and they kind of frowned upon it. By the time we came to America, we had S and we didn't go out because we didn't want to disrupt her routine. Besides, we liked the coziness of our house compared to the chilly air outside. Now we have M too, so going out on New Year's eve is unthinkable. Or so one would assume.

Today, after I came back from work, it suddenly occurred to me that I didn't really want to be stuck at home eating leftovers for dinner. So I managed to convince J to take us out for dinner. Initially we planned to go to an Indian restaurant but cancelled the plans when we called them and were told that the restaurant was packed. Then we decided to go to Bertucci's - an Italian restaurant. We were still concerned about how M will behave as she was already tired and starting to get cranky. But this baby of ours is a social animal - we realized long time back.

So we just got ready quickly and left. M behaved really well for most of the time. She only started getting restless towards the end and we were ready to leave by then. I have found a trick to minimizing her tantrums when we go out. I DON'T feed her before leaving. Yes. That's right! And that is because she loves to eat. So I feed her when we get where we are going. That always works well and always gives us some time before she gets cranky.

All in all, we had a good time tonight. So this was our "Dare to" project this December - to give me fodder for this month's theme! I had a completely different post in mind but hadn't gotten around to writing it. Then, while returning from the restaurant, it hit me that this fits the theme better. So, now you know what we never did before today and dared to do today :D

Friday, December 28, 2007

Dare we party? Yes!

This post is written by Sue from Sunny Days. She is not a mommy blogger in that her blog is not only about her son (The Bhablet), but she is both a mum and a blogger. There's not much to say about her blog, really. It's about her thoughts and her days and depending on how interesting they are, the blog switches from being fun to dull to thoughtful. 'Nuff said!

I understand this month we've been dared to do something that we don't normally do. What I've been doing may not seem very exciting or especially daring to you but it's certainly changing the quality of our lives. My son is fifteen months old, very sociable and excitable and a very light sleeper. So for the last twelve odd months we have been coming home at his bedtime (9 p.m.), running our lives by his circadian cycle. This month I have been staying out late, keeping him up late, letting him play around with his meal times and nap times, going for midnight drives -- in short, doing the stuff we'd stopped for fear of ruining his night's sleep. And it's working! We're getting to do as we want but he's still falling asleep on schedule or at least falling asleep in our arms when tired (a real rarity when we are out and surrounded by bright lights and people). I'm not sure exactly what worked, but something has and I'm thankful this happened when the party season was in full swing!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Saturday recipe

I've been really inactive for the past week, what with work, travel and a seriously debilitating viral. Opened up DMC today and realised it was Saturday and the day for posting recipes. I know the rule for recipes is to post things that kids can take for lunch, but I came across a wonderful home remedy today that I thought I'd share. It's easy, fast and tasty, which isn't always the case with home remedies.

This is a remedy for stomach ailments - heartburn or nausea. Just boil 1 tsp each of ajwain ( carom seeds) and jeera ( cumin seeds) in half a glass of water. Once it comes to a boil, strain the liquid. Add half tsp of home made ghee and salt to taste, and glug it down!

Happy Holidays everyone!

Friday, December 21, 2007

A big hello

Hii Desi Moms,
I am Trishna, SAHM mom to a naughty little Princess,Aadya,saying Hi to you from the state of Texas. Aadya is 8 months old going on 2! Terrible 2's have already started and you can read more about her on My Sunshine . As for me,I am just thrilled to be a part of Desi Momz club.I used to frequently check this blog and always wanted to be a part of the fun! I love to talking,blogging,blog hopping and a good read. Oh and I also love cooking and trying new recipes- you can see some of my recipes here
Looking forward to knowing you all lovely ladies and having some fun :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dare to Care

[posted by Sheela at The Joy of My Life]

Hope Daring December will finally push me over the edge. Into proper humanness, that is.

At the risk of appearing to be an irrational chicken, let me continue with the post...

Some evenings when I am driving home and not taking the bus, I pass this particular traffic signal. Sometimes the light is red and I stop as required. And right at the same corner spot I see an elderly gentleman looking defeated and hopeless, yet, standing there in his inadequate jacket that barely shields him against the winter winds and the icy rains, holding up a tattered and soggy sign with barely legible letters: VETERAN. HOMELESS. HELP.

I have not had the courage to approach this homeless elderly veteran so far and extend some form of personal hand by way of conversation and aid. I simply pass by sending a silent prayer skywards. I have this irrational fear that he would take it the wrong way, scoff or outright yell at me for trying to give him what I can afford and offer at that time. Very Silly. I agree.

So far, we have been doing what little we can by way of charity in what can be construed as a fairly detached and anonymous way. It is easy to send a check to my parents who visit their local charities in Chennai, India (Udavum Karangal, or Vishranthi or any number of such charities in their city) on special days and dispense much-needed items there.

It is easy enough to pick a charity (local/nationwide/international) and send what we can - handmade crochet items, blankets, clothes, coats or even just a check. Dropping off non-perishables at Oregon Food Bank (OFB) collection points, and giving away old coats and blankets to Portland Rescue Mission (PRM) has been easy enough.

All very normal and behind the scenes. But, not hands-on. Fairly impersonal.

But browsing the items from PRM's Wish List for dropping off at their office had me exploring their website for the first time. And, something in PRM's website struck a cord in me - a practical suggestion: have a nutritious granola bar or something handy, attach a couple of TriMet bus tickets to the bar, add a coupon with meal times and directions to PRM, approach with a smile and offer "Would you like this bar of snack?".

I still haven't mustered up the courage to approach this gent. It is less painful to watch for the light to turn green and step on the accelerator. But, I do have a few granola bars, Trimet tickets and PRM's coupons handy in my purse. Perhaps I will finally have the courage to roll down my window and extend a granola-bar-laden hand his way, praying that he will take it...

Awakened and liberated...

[This post was written by Tharini of Winkie's Way.]

I read Kay's December challenge and thought to myself...what an amazing and unique idea for such an amazing month! Only a Saggittarian can think of something so liberating like this! :D

I thought to myself of all the things I'd like to get over! It forms a list! And here I go, dipping into that list and examining things one by one...

Swimming. I wish I could swim. I tried once a long time ago in school, and developed fear of water. I am ready to try it again, but not this year, or the next. Maybe after my trip to India. Right now, I don't see it as much of a priority on my list.

Singing. I can sing. Or at least, I reckon I can. And I want to. But lack the guts to do it for fear of sounding all off key and looking foolish. But this weekend might take care of that. For there is a christmas party with karaoke session at a good friend's place, and attendance means compulsarily singing. Hmmm. :)

A friendship gone awry. A long time ago, when I was in college, me and a very good friend of mine shared an apartment. We were close, we were inseparable. And then one fine day, we got into a misunderstanding. It was something that I did, which she misinterpreted to be something else, and I was so dazed and upset that she could think that way about me, that I never tried to explain. And because of that wounded ego, I let her go. And I never got closure. We'd meet in college and cross paths but would ignore each other. The awkwardness was terrible. 3 years of college ended and we completely disappeared from each other's lives. Just 2 weeks ago, we reconnected on Facebook. And I realised how much I had missed her and how much more easier it was to say all those things now, when the wisdom in my life had grown. So I got in touch, explained things from all those 12 years ago, and we laughed over it. She wished me on my birthday and made my day. We may not go on to rekindle the lost friendship to the full, but we hold no more grudges.

Feeling like a person. This is probably the most transforming thing that has happened for me as a result of Kay's post and theme for December. Her thoughts in it spoke to me long after I had finished reading it, and it has altered my attitude in the way that I feel sooooo much more open and willing to try new things. It made me realise what a RUT I had gotten into as a SAHM and made me want to break out of it and become fresh again. For instance, dressing up. There's not much need to dress up and look nice when the most outdoor thing that you see on a cold winter's day is the little trip to drop off my son to school, or at the most to pick up some groceries. Another instance, as a result of all my ideals to live simply and not get into the web of material wants, I had begun living like a hermit. In a way that was good as it served my ideals and proved to me that life can be kept very simple, but on the other hand, because I was not that spiritually advanced yet, I stopped feeling like a real person. With my own needs and wants. It just became all about the kids. I never thought much or cared about terms like losing one's identity until today. Today, I felt that I had let myself slip. I was living my life too intertwined with that of my kids and not enough for myself. Living for yourself is not selfishness. Its a necessary exercise to stay mentally healthy. So anyway, back to the hermit thing. I had become such a hermitess that I had forgotten how to even buy clothes for myself. I used to do that till last year. Refreshed wardrobe every few months. And now, nothing. The very thought of going shopping for myself was such an unpalatable proposition. (I know this is very hard to relate to, so just stick with me, I am coming to the point!)

Thinking about myself had become like a foreign feeling that its going to take getting used to again. But once in a way I want to do just that. I plan to go buy myself something nice to wear for that party. I'll go shopping on my own, just the way I used to and just swipe that credit card for material goods! *gasp*

Being in hibernation. Winter comes along and I seem to go into social hibernation. I begin to feel like its impossible to subject myself and my young ones to the brutal cold of the outside and so we stay cooped up at home and getting on each other's nerves. Add to that the feeling that I cannot go out much because its too hard to handle 2 kids by myself. What rubbish!! Kay, your post is making me see even this with a new eye. I am feeling more adventurous and willing to say to everything....WHY NOT? And so I am busy planning out Winkie's Christmas break of the next 10 days. I want to fill it as much as is logistically possible and keep our mornings busy and our afternoons light. I plan to call up old friends I haven't been in touch with in awhile and make plans to meet. I want to take him to the children's museum. So what if Thambi is around too. I am sure I can manage them both! At the most, the little one will cry because he is sleepy or hungry, that's all!

So Kay, that's my contribution to the awakening and liberating December. Your theme has made me look at myself in a new light and filled me up with renewed hope. I feel young and fearless and like everything is possible. Can I have this to keep forever? :D

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Birthday Cakes For Kids (and grownups too)


A few days ago, I wrote this post about baking and posted a picture of a cake (see left) I baked for my son’s (Chip) first birthday. A lot of people asked for recipes and directions, so I decided to do a post on it. Since I don’t want to put everything in one long post, I am going to do three small posts – Cake recipes good for birthday cakes, filling and frosting recipes, marshmallow fondant figures.




Nutfree ,Eggless, Dairy-free Chocolate Cake (Yield: 2- 8” rounds or 1- 9X13 inch)
This is very easy to put together and great for kids with food allergies.

INGREDIENTS
3 cups white sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda (NOT baking powder)
1 teaspoon salt (kosher preferred)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups water
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar (I use Heinz)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa.
Add water, vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla. Beat by hand until smooth.
Pour into a 9x13 inch pan or two 8” round pans. Bakeat 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.


Butter Pound Cake (Yield: 2-8” rounds or 1-10” Bundt cake)
If you are not in a hurry or on a diet, this recipe will yield a moist, dense and delicious, all purpose pound cake. The secret to making a good pound cake is to cream the butter and sugar well until silky. There are no leaveners in a pound cake.

INGREDIENTS
3 cups all purpose flour
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 ¼ cup butter
¼ cup buttermilk
8oz cream cheese
2 tsp Vanilla or almond extract.

DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C).
In a large bowl, cream butter, cheese until smooth. Add sugar in small quantities and beat until silky and fluffy. Add the buttermilk beat again until fluffy.

Add eggs one at a time beating well with each addition. Fold in the flour gently. There are no chemical leaveners in this cake (baking powder, baking soda). So be sure to beat well as only this will make the cake rise.

Pour into 2- 8” round pans and bake for about 50-55 mins. Check for doneness at 40mins. A toothpick inserted in the center of the cake should come out clean.

Do try these recipes for the next birthday celebration and let me know how it goes.

Just Arrived!!!!!!!

Hello Desi Mom's !!!!!!!
I have taken a short flight from a beautiful land called "Wunderyearz".The land which is ruled by a 11month old called"Jelly".The other person assisting her to rule is my dear husband "SM"(silent man).And of course me "Jelly's mom".
We had a safe journey..............and just arrived into this awsome land called "Desi Momz Club".New to this part of the world,but will try my best to get settled into this new enviorment.
Looking forward to learning a lot from all you experienced mom's out here .And with time will try to share the knowledge I have gathered.
Thank you for making me a part of your world.
You could have a glimpse of my world out here
http://www.wunderyearz.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 17, 2007

I wish I....

I didn't have to think hard about what to post for Daringly Different December. It was easy to come up with a list of half dozen. Here is the top one on my list. Thanks, Kay, for the push.

Please, no laughs and smirks. It won't help me get anywhere!
---------
I wish I could swim.

It is pathetic, I know. Not knowing to swim. As a kid, I missed out on swim lessons. My school built a brand new pool and made swimming part of curriculum with all the hard earned money my parents poured in. Unfortunately, it was a tad too late for me; the pool was inagaurated the year I left :(

It is not like I haven't tried since then. One summer, I thought I should just get an outfit (err...swimsuit) first and see how comfortable I felt in it. I spent about 15 frustrating minutes in the relevant section and convinced myself that they just didn't make any that would fit both my size and my inhibition. I called my husband on the phone, weeped my woes out to him and melodramatically ran out of the store.

The next season, I tried again. I figured I should pay the money and sign up for the classes first, and that would force me to shed all inhibitions and full sleeved clothes. One week before the payment was due, I discovered I was pregnant.

There ended that thought. Two years later, I am still in the "I wish I could..."
stage. But the dream hasn't been squashed, only fueled some more.

Here's my ray of hope - my son doesn't know to swim either! Maybe I could learn with him?

Hello, People

I am so excited to be here! I live in Virginia and am a working mom and have a 2-yr old, very, very active toddler. I blog about our daily adventures at Karma Calling . Looking forward to recieving nuggets of wisdom and sharing my thoughts!

Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

So thrilled to be part of DMC

Hey everyone, let me introduce myself. I am Kiran, I live in Mumbai and used to be a journalist in prehistoric times. Right now I am a full time bonded slave to a four year old brat who goes by the superhero name of Krish (rather apt, since he seems to think he cant fight evil all day, evil as embodied by evil mom, aka me). I blog at www.karmickids.blogspot.com and www.thirtysixandcounting.wordpress.com. And am always up for a good laugh.

Here I go!

Once in a while, I crave for a nice home made biryani.... Who doesn't? :) Especially in this winter? And whenever this urge came, I succumbed and made a quick fix (read: horrible) biryani made in rice cooker or using pressure pan. The rice cooker or pressure pan were not at fault, but my quick fix methods were. :)

And the cravings just increased (Noooooooooooo, I'm not pregnant!). I wished I could get off my lazy bum and make a real biryani but kept postponing it... half-cook the rice, half-cook the chicken in the masala, layer them and bake - just yummylicious!!! I do make a good biryani Should I say, used to make? So, when was it that I made a full length biryani? hmmm... It was when my mil was here...When was that? A year ago?? :o Wow, Am I this lazy?

So, you guys where this is going, right? I chose December's theme and I have to something that I wish I did........... So, I did it! I made the biryani yesterday evening - a full length biryani - a sumptuous one if I can say so.

And I didn't stop there... Last weekend, I invited some friends over for lunch and dinner. I love having people over. Ever since the baby came, I had just stopped inviting friends. And oh, that baby is a toddler now, so, you know how much time has passed. Thankfully I have great friends who kept inviting me and fed me and my family, but I never got to give back some of that love. So, last weekend, I had invited some friends and had a great time with them. :) And I plan to do this very often from now on. It wasn't difficult at all and I just loved it.

What else did I do? Ah!!! I went to the gym yesterday morning - first time in three years. yayyy! Before that, I used to be a health-nut before that and practically live in the gym. In the last 3 yrs, I had done some exercises at home - yoga sometime, pilates sometime, treadmill sometime but exercising at home didn't thrill me to bits like the gym did. It also helped that there is a very nice gym in my apartment building. I had been thinking forever that I should go there and see how I like it... I finally did it yesterday.

So, Anybody else joining me this month? Cmon guys, let's just do it.
Read more details at Daring December.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Why we blog

An interesting article about parent bloggers ( ring a bell, anyone?) at NYTimes today. Do you agree with the views or not?



Cross-posted at Rainbow Days.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Fun Indoor Activities for kids

Hi friends,

For some of us, winter is here and it is dark even before we get home in the evening. I feel quite sad for my daughter who does not get a chance to go out and play in the yard in the evenings or spend much time outdoors. My typical weekday rotuine is to get home spend about 10-20 min with her and just her and then start on my daily chores, cooking, cleaning, bathing her, feeding her, reading to her and gettign her ready for bed.

On weekends I try to fund fun things for her to do - now I mean physical things that actually help use up her endless energy! :-)

Last weekend I organized a playtime at Pump It Up (air filled slide, trampolines lots of bouncing and jumping), but it was a huge effort on my part trying to find 18 other moms willing to bring their kids. Now this went well, usually people have birthday parties here, but I organized a party and we divided the cost between the participating parents. Just that it is not really worthwhile with less than 16-18 kids. (I'll post pictures once I figure out how to edit out the faces) Anyway, I would love ideas of what else I can do with my toddler now that winter is here in Portland, it is dark, cold and rainy most of the time.

What do other moms do to keep the little ones occupied in the evenings when they are busy? Now please don;t say ask hubby play with them - not all the hubbies oblige on a regular basis. Little A does play by herself but I wonder if there are ideas that I could do for her to have some more fun.

Looking for ideas from other moms. Preferably indoor games activites that involve physical activity for toddlers and any other ideas...

Holiday crafts

Decoupage Christmas Tree

This year, me and Winkie have been really proactive and well ahead of time in getting done with some of our holiday crafts. First was the Christmas gift for his teacher. We made a little Christmas tree from scratch on regular craft paper, with bits of mulberry scraps and mounted onto a picture frame. It was very easy to do, and Winkie was able to help too. Of course, I guided him in the 'exact' placement of each bit of paper and he was careful to do that. And then, I had him do another one, all by himself, without me breathing down his neck, as a reward for following instructions so nicely on the first one. And this is what he came up with. Once he got done with it, he was more than a little upset that his didn't look like mine, and didn't look like a Christmas tree at all. I had to convince him that it was a special tree. But he could be mollified only after we got another frame to mount his on. Phew!

Beaded Ganesha

Taking off from the Christmas tree, I started thinking about New Year's greetings and general season's greetings, when a little container of beads that I had had on me for a long time, peeped out at me from the craft box. And so came into form this little beaded Ganesha. Again, an outline was drawn on some heavy craft paper and I glued little bits on the paper and positioned the beads, first forming the outline and then filling it in as best as I could. Winkie couldn't help me with this one, but he did watch for a while. It took me about 3 hours, done in little batches of time to finish it.

The best part of trying something new is that newer ideas come into being along the way. By the end of it, your mind is buzzing with ideas and it just gets better and better. An idea I had while doing this one, is that I could have gotten different coloured beads for the eyes, and for the different body parts etc. It would have looked more interesting. Then I started thinking about doing a little more elaborate work that could be mounted as wall art eventually. The possibilities are endless.

But for now, these 2 simple craft ideas for the holiday season! Have fun.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Toy Recalls

Just a quick note to help with holiday shopping for the wee ones in our lives... Here is one list of toy recalls I came across and was surprised to find many Fisher-Price toys listed there:

http://cbs13.com/slideshows/toy.safety.toys.20.592071.html?rid=0

I know we try to buy age-appropriate, safe, tested and approved toys, but, as these incidents of toy recalls are becoming more widespread, I have begun to rethink gifting commercial toys for my nephews and nieces...

Here's US Consumer Product Safety Commission's exhaustive list;
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html

(I will try to post the others as I come across them).

Sunday, December 9, 2007

This was long overdue !

Sorry that was a mistake ! i clicked on enter too soon. Well ! for the last 10 yrs that i have been in US i never learnt to drive. Being in downtown, it was pretty easy for me to walk down whenever and wherever i wanted to not depending on my hubby.I also had the luck of having many friends within the apartment bldg. But now there is a big difference. We have moved to the suburbs and the thought of being not able to go out scares me....I felt trapped though we go out on weekends and even mid week for other stuff.i had to be independent i felt to be able to go out and do what i want.

The thought of learning to drive sends shivers up my spine. Am I going to meet with an accident, is somebody going to hit me from behind ....i had nightmares. But then these things have to be overlooked. i decided what the hell just go and do it.
Well! i have given my exam and have taken a few driving lessons.I am not yet confident but i am on my way to becoming a new me. It is going to be sometime before i learn to fully drive and get comfy. Till then the heart is beating really fast. Can you all mommies listen to it !

This was long overdue !

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Posting GuideLines

(This post is from Sandeepa of Bong Mom's CookBook)

Before welcoming all our mebers I thought I would re-iterate the Posting Guidelines. This is just a guideline and if you want some changes you all are welcome with your suggestions.

1. Post/topic should be related to the subject of Moms and Kids. It can be personal experiences, your views, discussions anything. Just be yourself and post. If you are qouting other sources please put a link. Do not use contents that are NOT for public use. If not sure ask the author.

2. Please start the post with your name and blog name if you have a blog else just your name at beginning of each post should be fine (Ex: "This post is written by X of Blg Y")

3. After writing the post, please attach a meaningful label/category so that it would be easy to search all the posts in that category. Use meaingful labels For e.g.: Play, Infant Book, Toddler Books, Young Adult Books, Learning, Healthy Habits etc.

4. Please keep the language pleasant and polite. Don't be Rude and inappropriate, we are all your friends here, keep that in mind. Please don't hurt any one

5. Please participate regularly contributing a topic or responding to topics via comments, so that the community will be alive. As a evolving community, we need all the help we can. Share your ideas about how you want this blog to grow. This is YOUR blog, shape it as we all want. Contribute and comment.

6.If you want post photos I would suggest you do it at your own space in Photobucket or Flickr and just put the IMG url in this blog. That way your photo remains at your private space

7.If you have not been a active member for six consecutive months i.e. you have participated by neither commenting nor posting, the admin has rights to revoke your membership

As soon as you can login and post try to do a short post with an intro about your kids, their ages, interest etc. Just put information which you would like to share. This will help other Moms know you a bit better. Do not mention real names etc. if you are not comfortable

Shame

Lord...is there a safe place on this planet for ALL children ?

http://www.ibnlive.com/news/16-kids-die-in-fourday-strike-at-hyderabad-hospital/53657-3.html

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Admin Issues

The Club is going to get a little more pruned in the looks department. If you are unable to login or the blog is not available at times, it might be due to the pruning effort. But the down time won't be much so everyone should be fine I guess