Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Are you sure...

...you are going to eat so much??? This guy asked me. A guy whom I had met only twice before and had not exchanged more than hello's...

After a concert, a group of friends including me and this character in question went to dinner at IHOP...and I ordered myself one of those exclusive french toasts with fruits and the whole deal, including eggs, hash browns, etc, etc,..and when my order came, this dude asked me this.

I asked him, if he had any problem with my weight gain issues.

That shut him up...

It is a secret...

They told me when I asked if they had found out about the gender of the baby. Of course they know about it but want to keep it a surprise, they told me.

I asked G, for whom is the surprise? Should the surprise not be for the parents? Because for everyone else it is just a peice of information that they pass along to the rest of the world. It is definitely not going to make a difference to their life in any form.

Yet the proud parents thought it was going to be a surprise...and I could not help laugh.

G and I made the choice not to find out about the gender of Babs. Because we want it to be a Surprise for us and not for others...and a surprise it was :) But then if you decide to find out the gender...then why not spread the joy...

Actually if you look at it...the news, the gender of the baby, is a surprise to you no matter when you find out...so what is the big deal?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pachai Nirame Pachai Nirame...

Well, if you do not know what the title means...it is from the movie Alai Payuthe...Pachai Nirame.

Anyways, the entire world seems to be going GREEN now. Everyone is talking about getting environmental friendly, hybrid cars, no plastic, no styrofoam, no this and no that. So I decided before I took the LEED exam that I will also do something that is Green. 

First step, we stopped printing random things. We are now trying to write down directions in a small peice of pre-used paper instead of printing it. GPS, you say? I say, no dabbu (money).

Next, we decided to use kitchen towels sparingly and use towels to clean the kitchen and wipe hands (separate ones). I wash and recycle them.

I am not using any chemicals for cleaning now. It is water or water with vinegar in most cases. I do have the Super 409 just in case of emergencies and hard stains.

We use plastics at a minimum too.

I keep lights turned on only in rooms that are occupied. All dead and live electric loads are also kept to a minimum. We use dimmers when we are watching TV.


Even the A/C now does not cross 71 degrees in summer even in the night. I have changed the comforters to really thin blankets that keep us cozy but not hot. Also I am planning to buy portable A/C so that we can cut down more on the electricity use and bill.

I am doing other small things and hopefully will reduce my contribution to the world's garbage...and hopefully you will also do something similar. It not only reduces the burden on earth but also on your pocket. So will be something for you to consider doing...

One thing I wish I could do is to take Babs off her diapers...which would then reduce her carbon butt print...but for that I have to wait another 4-5 months :)

Pachai Pachai...

Love
ART

No Appa only Naana

So I have this conversation with a lot of other Desi mom's who live in the Us with their little kids. All parents tell me that it is difficult to teach their kid their native tongue and though the child understands what we speak at home they do not want to respond back in that language. I have seen that too, in my brother's house. My neice Z, used to speak such good Telugu that it would put me to shame till she was about 2-1/2 but now at 8, she refuses to speak in Telugu and responds in English to questions asked in Telugu. And When I ask her why, she tells me, "that's how it has always been."

So when the kids go to school and learn to speak English with their fellow classmates they come home and start speaking in English at home too. Now, if parents put their foot down then they can stop their kids from speaking in English, but most parents do not, like my bro and SIL. But again I cannot comment on this right now because Babs is still too small and I will have the FOOT in my MOUTH... :) and will be scampering to delete this post :)

The reason I thought I should write about this is because, my family, a Telugu speaking nuclear family lived in Trichy in the heart of Tamilnadu. Our school had a strict "English only" at all times policy and "Hindi only" during Hindi class policy. Of course all of used to chatter away in Tamil when the teachers were not looking. 

When I used to get back home I would sometimes carry on in English and Tamil but my parents would put a stop to it. My dad once got angry with me for calling him Appa instead of Naana. I never repeated it ever again and that was the end of any Tamil speaking in the house. 

Not that my father cannot speak Tamil, he can read, write and even knows more than 150 Kurals by heart but he wanted us to know our mother tongue. Father knew that when we were not at home we speak in English or Tamil so he wanted us to remember our mother tongue too. It is not like my father did not know English, he did name all three of us after his favorite English authors...

So I wonder if I followed strict rules like he did maybe, just maybe Babs might want to speak in Telugu and Konkani and Hindi and English...now am I asking for too much? Really? My logic is, if Babs can speak Konkani then she should be able to speak in my mother tongue too. And if she can speak both then she should know Hindi too. And of course to survive in the world she should know English. She can definitely choose to learn French and German on top of it. I won't object that  :P

At this age when they know not about different languages Babs tells me, "Amma, Kucho, sit, bais" or "Amma, pettu, keep," or "Amma, yo, come," "amma, Nahana, Bath," or "Amma, taati, sleep."She mixes languages up but it is cute and she tells you the same thing in all three languages she knows. Now, I have learnt Konkani and G some Telugu...but I hope we do not forget the language that we grew up speaking because the little one grows up speaking only in English. Plus, speaking multiple language is only good for the child itself, research says. And I really hope knowing so many languages will help Babs out in the future...

hehehehe...hopefully she can speak at least one language decently...what good is it to have a jack of all trades and king of none?!!!

Once again, a confused amma...
ART

PS: Bharatanatyam, Kathak, Kuchipudi or Ballet for Babs?? Any suggestions?

Monday, May 18, 2009

So many things to do...

Yet, there is always so little time right? After I got pregnant, I put my life on hold and told myself that I am going to be a mother so no high heels, no make up, no partying, no this and no that and changed the way I was. Then after I had Babs I continued on the same path. No chain on my neck or jewelery on my fingers, no high heels still, and no lipstick, not much TV anymore for me, and so on and so forth. I did this so that I wont hurt Babs. Now, I will never claim that I am the BEST mother on planet earth, because I don't know what the job description for that is, but I am doing my best and I am happy when I go to bed at night, well, at least on most days. I have not done anything challenging or adventerous and I am living life as it comes...

So, last month as on off thought I told G that probably, just possibly I could study for an exam just because I had a little time at hand. G told me that I should absolutely do it. What I did not realize at that time was that I would go crazy trying to pass the exam. I set the date for May 1st thinking that it would give me three weeks of solid preparation and I would be ready. Two weeks into studying I realized that I did not have all the study material I needed. A friend, MK gave me the books she had used to pass her exam. She gave me useful leads and I re-started studying because my original study material only covered about 40% of the exam.

So, now I started studying again afresh and started taking mock exams scoring only 50% or worse. I was scared. I kept telling G that I would flunk for sure. I did not want to tell anyone about it because I was sure I would flunk it. The last serious exam I took was GRE and that was more than ten years ago. I had not felt butterflies in my stomach since then for exams. I was freaking out and NO one except G knew about when I was taking the exam.

So I postponed the exam to May 18th because of my apprehension and prepared more aggressively. I did not want to fail. Which will mean I am not good any more. Which will mean that my daughter is being raised by a failure, so on and so forth. I was seriously freaking out. I studied during day and during night. I was in crappy moods a lot and snapped at G like it was nobody's business...

Then on May 10th, I told G, I was ready. I was ready to take the exam the very next day. So we logged on to Prometric website and rescheduled once again to May 15th. There was another reason why I wanted to be done with it. My friends were coming into town 15th night to spend the weekend with us. Those two days were going to be useless and I would not have studied anything and if at all, would have forgotten all that I had studied for. So I spent the next four days finessing my study materials and test prep and got prepped for the 15th.

And then I went for the exam. Finished it in 40 mins. Got to revisit my answers thrice and left the hall with a great score and a smile on my face wondering, "this is it? For this exam I studied so much? It was not tough at all." But I have to thank my friend MK again for giving me the most important study materials for the test and reference sites.

So now I am a LEED AP. Finaly some initials after my name :) And I feel so much better with my confidence returning to me. I feel good. I have not felt this good in a long time. This one is for you G and Babs for standing by me and adjusting to my awful moods...

I am still tired and exhausted from all the preparation and the fun filled weekend...

PS:
For LEED: www.intheleed.com and www.greenexamprep.com are very good resources. Use them :)

PS2: I am sure I have pissed off a few of my friends by not telling them about me taking the test. But people, you have to understand and if you are really my friend then you would celebrate me passing instead of brooding over me not telling you something that would not make any difference to your life anyway. I did not want to face the embarrassment of being a failure and hence chose to keep my decision to take the test a secret until of course I was on my way. Please be kind and nice and patient and loving to me...I need it :)