Priceless..

Carton of Milk: $3.50

Bread: $1.50

Bunch of Cilantro: 30 cents

Bannana: $1.25

Walking 5 times to the car to get 2 bags of grocery on freshly watered, slushy grass, with a small hand clinging on to you tight- PRICELESS….

Advertisements

Almost forgot…

To document this momentous day in history. After nearly 22 months, I finally slept for 8 hours straight last night….9.45pm to 5.45am…..it happened!

Life is good…and everything is so pretty! 🙂

And even more, my little boy slept for 8.5 hours straight too…..

Moms hold on it will happen soon…..

🙂

Gobi Manchurian :)

I have been asked for this recipe in the past and I finally found a reason to post it….I made it last weekend 🙂 The traditional version involves soy sauce, however due to the soy allergy situation in the house, I have been trying to make this as good, without the soy sauce and I achieved it last weekend.

I think it doubles as a snack for Avy, without the gravy etc, and a wonderful dish for adults.

So here is how I know it:)

For the sauce:

Medium size Gobi (cauliflower )1

Turmeric powder

Red Chilli powder

Asfotedia

Salt

Spring onions

Tomatoes fresh (about 2) or the sauce about 1/2 a small can

Vinegar

Lemon-1

Green chillies (finely chopped)- 2

Medium Onion 1 (finely chopped)

Garlic 3 (finely chopped)

Oil

For the florets:

10 Tbsp for about -Corn flour

6 Tbsp for about -All purpose flour (Maida)

Turmeric powder

Red Chilli powder

Asfotedia

Salt

Sauce:

Make the sauce first if you want crispy Manchurians J

Add 4 Tbsp oil in a skillet (I use canola) and sauté the onion, garlic and green chilies till the onion turns golden brown.

Now add the tomatoes or tomato sauce (I prefer non flavored plain tomato sauce) and let it simmer in low-medium heat for about 15 minutes (closed).

Then add 2 tbsp vinegar, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp of corn flour mixed with water.

Again let it simmer on low heat for 7-8 minutes. Give it a taste and if you feel it is not spicy enough add red chilli powder, usually it is pretty tasty by now.

I turn off the heat, add some lemon and keep it closed.

If you feel the sauces is too thick or too less, add water, and add the same ingredient-vinegar, corn flour with water to that.

Now make the florets and add them in this sauce and gently toss them, so as to not break the florets.

The florets’ preparation:

Wash the Cauliflower well and break them into florets, bite size. If you have one too big, please cut it down 😉 Makes for better frying.

Now mix the Turmeric powder (1tsp), the red chillie powder (1tsp), the corriander powder (1tsp), salt (1/2 tsp) in a big dish and coat the washed cauliflowers and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

Get enough oil in a pan to deep fry the florets and let it start on the stove, while you mix 5 Tbsp of corn flour, 3 tbsp of Maida, a pinch of salt, a pinch of turmeric and 1/4 tsp of red chille poweder. Add water and it has to be in a consistency where you can coat the florets entirely. This mixture would coat about 10-12 florets. Repeat the same mixing process for how many ever florets you have.

Once the oil is frying hot, coat the gobi and deep fry it.  Remove once golden brown. I give it to Avy at this stage, makes for a wonderful snack. You can also add any kind of healthy flour to the mixture before frying like Spelt, Quinoa, powdered green gram dal etc.

Best when served hot. Top with chopped spring onions.

Hopefully you enjoy it! Avy Loved the cauliflowers deep fried, the actual Manchurian was too spicy for him!

Recall Alert..CEREAL

Kozhandhai Manasu (Kid’s heart)

Yesterday evening was especially hard. We had to take Avy to have blood drawn for his allergy check up next month. In my infinite wisdom, I had called the doctors and asked them to run the test before the appointment so that we have something to talk about. I have no idea why they would not do this on their own, I mean there is nothing much to talk with no test results. Anyways, so we have his appointment on July 9th, and we took him yesterday. Also a lead test was pending for him, so we wanted to get both done together so as to avoid the double poking.

I was restless all day yesterday and we took him after Ajit and I got home from work. He was his happiest self, and I had not given him his usual allergy medications in the chance that they may affect the testing. He got all ready to out “outhhhaaaii” (outside) and was in a very cheery mood. Telling his A.B,C’s, 1,2,3’s and Sa, re ga ma..while I was already so tensed. Ajit and I talked about putting a brave face, telling him that it is for his own good and not trying to scare him. Little did I know that what I was about to witness was going to rip my heart.

While I was doing his paperwork, he was running up and down, cheerfully greeting everyone. They had big pillars in the hospital which for some reason appeared to him like a …yeah you could never guess…LOLLIPOP!!! lol, he would go hug it and touch it and kept shouting LOLLIPOP!!!. He has never had one, he has only seen one in one of his books, which i know surely does not look like a pillar. If the wait to finish the paperwork was nerve racking, we went to the lab and the nice gentleman was trying to get us started. He brought out his book, doing his research on how much blood to draw etc. I felt thankful at least he did his research before they poked Avy. Last time that guy poked him and then started discussing how much then needed which left me mad as hell.

So he called for more reinforcement, a very serious looking lady. Ajit has him on his lap and I sat in front of them on the floor, holding Little A’s hands. I could see the fear creep up on his face and that moment left me so helpless. They first tied the band on his right hand searching for a vein, and Avy was in tears already, bawling, and since they were not able to find one, she moved on to his left hand. Luckily they got one. Ajit held his head and chest, the other guy held Avy’s left hand out and I held his legs and his kutty right hand was buried in my hands. The look I saw was “Amma, why are you not doing anything about this”…..I fought my best to not let a single tear out.

He bawled, cried his little lungs out, while I kept saying on what a good job he is doing, how much of a strong person he is, I tried it all, but they had to get quite a bit of blood, so it was probably about a minute or minute and half (Ajit correct me if I am wrong!!) but it seemed forever. I even offered to sing his single most favorite song now, Old Mcdonald…Ajit started singing his lullaby (chinna paappa).My hands ached from holding him, and his eyes looking deep into mine to help him, and I just thought of what he is going through. He was red all over and then it was done. Avy still held his left hand out crying!!

I took him, and we wiped his face and offered him his favorites, wafer…he said no, we offered his oreo kinda cookie..he said no..finally it was grapes!! (Daaep-as he called out. I am lucky I always pack all his favorites leaving nothing to chance :)). Then we put a bandaid on which made him freak out again. He kept complaining pointing to the “mama” (uncle?). He then pointed outside and said “Outhhhai)..I scooped him up and carried him out. We showed him the plowers (flowers), the cars…with every few second being interrupted by his complaints about the mama that poked him. I was almost in tears, which Ajit kindly reminded me to keep it in as Avy was just getting over this.

I sat with him on the back and kissed his hand every time he held it out for me saying “mama, oova (hurt)”…and he kissed it himself. The drive home is about 8 minutes, he was talking other stuff with an occasional hand-out for a kiss:). As I was taking him out of his carseat once we reached home, he asked “E, I O?” (he remembered me offering to sing when they were drawing blood)…I said “Surea paadaren, chellam”…and started..

“Old Mcdonald had a farm…E, I, E, I, O…

And on that farm….only to be interrupted by Avys voice going….”ha…some…cowss”….this was the FIRST time he sang so many words together….

E, I, E, I,o…with a …Avy continued…Mooo, Mooo with the cutest cow impression…

We walked in, his patti (grandma) greeted him, and he seemed to have forgotten, so we asked her not to ask about it…but after 5 minutes he runs up to her and shows her his hand saying…”Maama, Oova”..and gets his kiss from paatii, then it is Thatha’s turn…then he showers his own hand with kisses…:)

I could no longer stand it, I went up, changed my clothes, had a good cry…I had to let it out. I cannot forget that face pleading with me. I told Ajit that he had not seen what I had, that crying little face. I feel bad for saying that now, because I know it was very hard on Ajit as well. But I like it that he is stronger person in these situations, it helps me let my guard down and break down if I want to. A good cry always helps!

But something happened, Little A had forgotten all about it. He removed his own band-aid, proudly pronounced it “Tassh (trash)”, and went and put it in the trashcan. He continued playing, talking cute things, we had a long silly bath, with him pouring water all over me, his favorite “Thothai(dosai)” dinner…and the bedtime love…and a goodnight sleep.

I guess this is what my mom often says “Kozhandhai manasu”…he got over it so quickly. He became happy in the daily things that make him happy. His truck, his home, his people, his bath, his bubble, his blocks, his stories…and I went to bed next to the peaceful soul, thinking why can’t we adult be more like that? Why do I still feel like a piece of heart had been ripped out? Why can I not be happy that he is? I learnt something new…I am going to try to…have a kozhandhai manasu…and find my own E,I,O…to pacify me!

Here is a old but one my favorite pics of Little A.

The mommy guilt

My friend N sent me this and asked me to submit my entry. So Thanks N! So I already submitted two of my prior posts, however I think we have to write a new one and since it is not a hard topic to write on 🙂 here is my 2 cents of guilt….(visit http://www.womensweb.in/family/fight-that-mommy-guilt.html)

Pre pregnancy: Now see what many of us do not realize is that the guilt starts from day zero or even subzero. As many moms out there would know by now and any would be mom please note, PRENATAL VITAMINS!!! See we are to take each one and I was religious about it and it had to be taken around the same time everyday. But there have been days when I have missed it and it all started there. Thoughts on how bad a to be mom I am to have missed it and how it would affect my baby and so result- I put reminders on outlook to eat it everyday:)

While in the womb: The single happiest day of your life is here…you are pregnant. Then comes the restrictions on no caffeine, no this no that. See I was a chocolate paithiyum (mad). I would have a bar everyday at night. I loved tea twice a day and coffee once a day. I gave it all up- however towards the end of my pregnancy- I would have it once a week, Friday evenings and even that pushed me into guilt…thoughts on how I was damaging my baby’s brain…is this small sacrifice even not possible… (Let me tell you, when you are huge and tired and cranky sometimes a coffee is all you need :p:p)

Just out of the womb: Those initial days, so good, so confusing, so fulfilling, so frustrating, and soo near impossible. So much guilt then…I would try to sleep and would hear the baby whimper in the other room, I would pretend to sleep, hoping the baby would stop magically, not wanting to get up for the 15th time that night….only to feel guilty on how I ‘ignored’ my baby!!  I would get so frustrated and tell him in those wee hours only when it was him and me, ‘ why can’t you just understand?, why can’t you just be with someone else?’, and would let him cry a little longer because I would have been washed out…only to feel a pang of guilt and shame to have talked to him like that.

Food: Breastfeeding is hard. It takes so much from a woman, at the same time if you tough it out one of the most enriching experience. I had issues with Avy not latching and got a help of a lactation consult. But the worst was yet to come, I developed Thrush infection. It is THE worst, painful thing. He developed it on his tongue and gave it to me, and every time he would feed it would be like needles poking. We got treatment but it was a whole 3 weeks ever before I started feeling better. I had times when I would wish he did not have to feed, I would be scared of him, I would pump milk just to avoid him feeding from me, only to become a huge wreck form the huge guilt of depriving my baby, and the worse feeling of me trying to avoid him. I used to think ‘What kind of mother does that?” Just avoid her own baby?” I would come back crying and feed him, crying all through the process due to the unbearable pain.

Care: The biggest one yet, Daycare!!! I do not want to portray myself to be the poor mom who was forced to work etc. I was not. I wanted to work; I always wanted to go back. I never wavered in that thought. I did my best to find the best alternative for him. That did not mean I did not feel any guilt. I was panged by guilt to even go to work when he was home with his doting grandparents who probably took much better care of him even more than what I could have. Just the thought of leaving him, thoughts like ‘What if he wants me? What if he wants to drink milk?”…again the same thoughts. I fought through them!

More food: Avy is allergic to milk, soy, egg, peanuts, oats and chickpea as you all know by now. We did not get the diagnosis until he was 10 months old and already suffering. The guilt that we did not find it out before, the guilt that we let him suffer for so long, is something I still cannot shake off. As he grows older I hope this will start to fade.

I think most moms agree that during a single day they feel guilty about at least one thing…from the decisions of what diaper, to what shoes, to what food, whether to let them watch TV, to those extra sneaky snacks just to keep them quiet, to those days when the mind wishes you can get 5 minutes of just you time…..

At the end of all this guilt is the purest form of affection. As moms we do everything in our power to make our kids feel good. We do our best, sometimes the best is not enough! I have learnt to keep the guilt on the low side and think I do everything in my power to make him happy, to keep him smiling, and that is what helps me sleep at night!

To all mommies out there, get rid of your guilt……you all are doing soo great!

 

To dearest Daddy!

Dear Appa,

Happy Father’s Day. I choose today to celebrate you. I do not want to get involved in this big debate on whether, all these days are just a Greeting card company sadhi (plot), but I like the idea of this day. A day to thank and cherish the most influential man in my life.

I have learned so much from you, your patience, your optimism, your always happy nature I think I got it all from you 🙂 You have been such an influence on my life. I think we share a special bond, I think a lot of father daughters do, but I do think ours is extra special:)

Trip down memory lane just reminds me, of all the fun we had, how you were THE person in the family everyone wanted to be around, how you never said no to anything we wanted, all the road trips, all the nicknames, all the teasing we used to do to amma and how no matter what anyone did you were always there to help.

I learned how to be immensely strong form you. After your ’95 accident, the way you never lost your spirit and was up and running 🙂 in no time. You were a hero then, you are a hero now.

I recall all those talks on how you would never get me married the ‘traditional’ arranged marriage way. Maybe that is why I selected my own partner:P. But here is the true reason, I admire what you and amma share. You are such a nice husband and the way you care about her feelings till today, it feels like you guys just met. I want my marriage to be that way 40 years down the line.

I also want to say I admire you most for the way you followed your heart in your career. Not many of them can say they do what they are passionate about, but you fought your way through life and still enjoy it as much. I can never ask you to retire because that would mean you would stop doing what you love. Thanks for letting me experience the love of dogs, and they played a such an important role in my life. Though I miss them now, soon there will be no void, because your grandson has taken after you. He runs behind any dog, with no fear, and I want you here to see it and nurture it.

You were the ‘cool’ dad to all my friends. The way you could converse with them with at their level, I think you are such a youth at heart, if I must add ‘youth baba’?. I think you are such a kid at heart, so innocent that I do fear for your heart! You get hurt so easily !! 

I love you appa. Thanks for being everything to me. Leaving you after wedding was the hardest thing I have had to do all my life. I think I am still only trying to be okay about it, because I miss you a lot. I miss being a daddy’s girl, I miss fighting you for the remote and winning every time, I miss making you watch my absurd reality show and yelling at you every time you ask me what is going on,I miss fighting you to take solo pictures, I miss taking daddy and me pictures with you,I miss teasing you on your spoonerism, I miss you fawning over me and spoiling me, I miss just being around you.

Come back and spend more time with me. Today I celebrate you! Happy Father’s day to the best dad in the world!

Love,

The luckiest daughter in the world!

The Green Gram- so versatile.

I know I know. It has been a long time since a recipe. This murukku (savory snack) is a recipe from one of our closest family friends. P & R have two kid, T & T 🙂 She made this for Avy especially because due to his allergies he cannot have the regular ghee etc that go into it’s making. This is a combination of green gram flour and rice flour based murukku. It comes out beautifully and sooo yummy every time she has done it. So I tried my hand at it last weekend and it came out great! Avy had some of it, while we had the rest of it 🙂

Here it goes…

Green Gram dal (green moong dal): 1/2 cup (Here is the wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mung_bean). I love this bean, so healthy, so powerful!

Rice flour: 1 cup

Salt: 1 tsp

Oil: 2 tbsp for the mixture and more to fry

Green cardamom powder: 1/4 tsp

Asfotedia: 1/2 tsp

1) First dry roast the green gram dal till then turn to a brown color on medium heat. I would say it is about 5 minutes. Make sure you do not ignore it, as it will burn very quickly.

2) Then dry roast the rice flour powder on medium heat for about 5 minutes.

3) Grind the green gram dal in a food processor till it reaches a soft texture.

4) Now mix all the dry ingredients, and then add the 2 Tbsp oil and let is sit.

5) Set the oil and wait till the oil gets really hot, if you drop a morsel of the dough it should fry immediately.

6) Now take the mixture little by little and add a little water and make it into pliable dough consistency, and use the star shape plate on the mould and to make the murukku directly on to the oil.

7) Wait till they turn into a brown color and then it is ready to be served

Pointers and tips:

Now due to the fact that it has the green gram it will not come out in beautiful round shapes, it would come out only in smaller straight pieces. I say it is okay because easier for the kids to eat.

Also, if you mix water to the entire dough at the beginning it will dry out the entire mixture. So add little by little and fry it immediately.

So after all this, Avy ended up having only few pieces…I guess he was just not in the mood 🙂 Here are some pictures of the same.

Thanks to the lovely P for this one!

This is the photo op picture 😛

Then is one of the Little monster attacking the whole pile…

Then is where he offered to me and when I said ‘no’, he left it promptly on the stairs…:)

“Pillow” Talk??

Ahh, the best things happen early in the morning. Well yesterday night was good. Avy went to sleep with no big fuss, woke up only once at 4.30 am, and even then went back to sleep immediately.

Usually he is up by 6.30 am, and he is my morning alarm clock, as he starts wiggling by 6.15am. This morning, I was woken up by the sun shining brightly on my face only to realize it was 7am!!!!! I was shocked, because I try to leave to work by 7.15am. Avy was lying next to me curled up sideways facing his right side. I saw him move and open those beautiful little eyes…the sweet tender moment came to a halt….

He started whimpering “Amma, Amma, Amma…”, the cutey did not realize I was on the other side….:) I then called out to him and heard a relieved “Ammmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”. He was just soooooooooooo happy to see me. I think THIS is what the best days are made off. It does rock your world when you know you are THE person for the little one.

He then lay down on my tummy, and every 2 second looked up to me and gave his biggest grin, he was just a happy camper. Then he saw all the pillows around him and started saying “pillo, pillo, pillo…” (pointing to each one)…”mannn, twooo, thuweeee…”, and again buried his head in my tummy.

I have no clue why I got off the bed….I should have gotten myself more “pillo” talk….

Weaning…Is it Avy or Me..Part 2!

June 8, 2010.

 A day to remember, because I think finally heart of hearts I am ready to wean. I think many moms would agree that weaning a baby is so emotionally draining to a mom. You are already confused with so many feelings and tiredness that comes from constant sleepless nights, and then to top it all once you decide to stop you suddenly come up with so many reasons on why you should continue. Here is my pro/con list:

 Pros:

1)      I can avoid any chance of allergen entering his body through me.

2)      He will sleep better with not having to wake up for a feed.

3)      I can sleep better and function better.

4)      It is time, the longer I push it will be harder.

5)      His dad can help in making him sleep…

6)      Avoid potential tooth decay

 Cons:

1)      It is MY baby!! I feel like I am losing a connection.

2)      The basic benefit of breastfeeding.

3)      Well, he was using me more as a human pacifier , so the worry on how I would console him.

So you see, the emotional reasons to continue feeding him is more than the other reasons. So anyway, before this date there have been many failed attempts at this. Ajit has had a couple of successful days where Avy would sleep without me, but then the 3am feed would have Avy screaming his lungs out and crying and throwing a fit.

So after months of discussions I decided that it has to be me. I mean he has to understand that I cannot feed him anymore. And that sleeping next to me would entail him to milk in just a cup. As you can see this is a stressful time for me.

So, on Monday (june 7) night after a brief allergy mishap, Avy was up scratching, and I tried feeding him. But he was up for 2 hours and feeding him was not getting him to sleep either. So in a moment of frustration I told him “Avy, amma-ku mudiala, amma-ku uuuvaaa”(Avy, I cannot any more, I am hurt). The little darling that he is, he saw me for a moment like he understood something and asked ‘uvva?’(hurt?), I said ‘Yes!’, he stopped asking and settled on my hand for me to pat him to sleep.

That was the Eureka moment for me. We had talked about trying neem oil or something, but then I think I found my “Neem Oil”.  So tonight, I was armed with sippy cup of milk and took the little one to sleep.

I was telling him all evening on how I am ‘hurt’ and cannot feed him. So once the time came, he whined a little bit, and kept asking about the ‘oova’, but he never asked to drink. We read a book, I sang for him, took about 25 minutes but he fell asleep on his pillow, but here is what tore my heart apart, before he finally slept, he hugged me and gave me a kiss to make my “oova” all better.

I could not take it anymore and burst crying. I felt so guilty and felt one of the lowest points of my life. All of a sudden the moment I was waiting for, the moment was horrible. I loved the feeding times, it was so precious, so personal, filled with silly laughs, silly giggles and a time when it was just him and I in this whole world.  I would tickle his feet and he would smile, while feeding and milk pouring out of this mouth and eyes half closed, the best moment in the world. So I do not know why I cried, it could be anything. Maybe because I now feel I would be ‘less’ of a mom? Maybe because the one bond that only him and I shared is coming to an end? Maybe because he is growing up? Maybe because I feel we will not be as close? Or maybe the sweetest thing that he is, he controlled all his tears (yess I saw the trembling lips as he tried to control his tears when he thought I was hurt) and I felt such a low person for lying to him?

Well  I do not know what. I made sure we hugged enough and I lay down with him staring into the ceiling thinking what today signified. He got up at 3.30 am again and we tried this whole not feeding thing till about 5am, but by then I was engorged and had to feed him. But even then he drank it all and once I said it was over, he did not throw a fit that he normally does, he just fell asleep. I am positive that this is it, in the next few weeks would be the end of the MOST fulfilling thing I have done in my life.

At this point I hope all this is for his greater good. I still have no compelling argument that it is what I should be doing. I could still come up with million reasons on why I should continue…but I guess I need to let him grow up…..it still tears my heart as I lay next to him cuddling him…and realizing that this is the BIGGEST change he has faced in all his life….and he is being such a CHAMP about it…

UPDATE:

 I wrote this the same day we started it all June 8th. I did not post it till today..we have pushed a whole week with just the early am feed and he is doing great! He spent the last weekend just hugging me for no reason, guess he is missing it all. He would come and hug me and sit for a few minutes and then run away to play. That has reduced now…so I think we are close to being fully done….my heart is still torn…I miss my baby…..

More: Submitted this to http://www.womensweb.in/family/fight-that-mommy-guilt.html

« Older entries