Monday, November 26, 2007


We are back from a well deserved family break in Newport, OR (if there is such a thing as a break from a toddler!) For the last few years we have been looking forward to getting away on this long weekend, and escaping the obligatory invitations to join family dinners. Really, whose idea was it to serve Turkey of all meats as a centerpiece at this rare American family gathering?

So we head off and our first 'you gotta be kidding' encounter was at a little state park campsite called Ellmaker, where we stopped for lunch and the needed potty break. An old couple on their way to TG dinner stop by, and the gentleman asks us where we are from, we say Sri Lanka, and he says with confidence 'subha udaasanak wewa' and as astonished as we were, we were able to mutter a 'esema wewa'. Turns out this older gentleman was stationed in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf war and the compound had a lot of Sri Lankan laborers employed (who knew!). We all agreed that it was INDEED a small world.

We spent the weekend walking on the beach and checking out the various tide pools and watching the waves. For anyone who has not seen the Oregon coast, it is just out of this world amazingly beautiful in a haunting way. Its not the 'lay on the beach with a margarita' kind of coast but a harsher, commanding coastline with two low and high tides each day. Anjali loved the water and the tide pools, and I realized that like some others in our family she is drawn to the ocean. Once, she just marched right up to the crashing waves and a few minutes later fell down in the freezing water as the waves dragged back to the ocean. The girl still didn't want to budge from her perch.
We topped off her beach experience with a visit to the Oregon coast aquarium supposedly one of the top 10 in the country. Its just amazing to watch Anjali absorb all the information in her little brain as she observed all sorts of weird sea creatures like moon jelly fish, sharks and Japanese crabs. I keep thinking that I had no idea what an anemone was until I was about 17 and here she is just 2 and probably can identify a dozen or more sea creatures. Its all about providing that experience.
Other highlights from our trip were a visit to the Rougue brewery for amazing beer, fish and chips, and chowder, Yaquina Head lighthouse, and the Zia restaurant in Corvallis for some yummy carne adovada (haven't tasted anything this yummy since being in New Mexico).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A first...

After just recently getting hooked on some cool momma blogs, here I am on my inaugural launch of RoshAmmi. For someone who loves family, friends and all things beautiful and unique I thought what better way to capture the seemingly mundane and the extraordinary. I tried to think of some sort of theme since there are thousands of momma blogs out there, and yes everyone thinks their kid is the best (and you should!); so I have decided to primarily chronicle my role as an Ammi through its many bi-cultural intersections. This will also allow friends and loved ones to be a little closer to our lives, and afford me an opportunity to tell a story as opposed to just sharing photographs. And of course the coolest thing is that I will have documented the nature and nurture of Anjali beyond the three pages I managed to create in her baby book and journal. I am hoping this is going to be a fun journey and welcome your comments.


For the past few months (and definitely till December), Anjali has been engrossed in the idea of going to Sri Lanka and India and especially to attend "Nandi's wedding". She went to my friend Dana's wedding on October 14th and thought this was a superb party that happens all the time. For example she will be having lunch and say "can we go to Aunty Dana's wedding?". I tried to explain at best that this is an event that we all wish would only happen once! So now the focus has been on Nandi's wedding. So I have been trying to prepare her for all that she is going to be experiencing on this trip, since the last time we went to Sri Lanka she was only 8 months old.

I am dreading the two 10.5 hour trips to Japan and Colombo, and scared to death
about the types of germs she might encounter in India, although really its not too different from Sri Lanka. So I will probably arm myself with all sorts of prophylaxis for her. We have been talking a lot about planes, airports and trains as she will be using all these. She is really into the whole airport/airplane concept. I think she got infected with that this summer when grandparents and relatives came to visit 'through' the airport. She has memorized every line of Byron Barton's Airport book. And we have found some cool European train on pbase that we show her on the rare chance we are online (he..he)! This is an awesome site for any cameraphile like Ranjeewa.

I am also trying to get her psyched about the weddin
g ceremonies in all its glory. So I found this book about Saris. I thought she might be into it since this summer her Achchi wrapped one of my remnant pieces of long flannel around her to make a Sari and she was highly excited by it. She would walk behind her grandma begging her to dress her up again and again saying "Achchi can we wear sali (she still has the hardest time with her R's). This book is very colorful and reminds me of my childhood wearing my Achchi's sari's and Amma's high heels and pretending to teach all my dolls and stuffed animals. I am sure Amma remembers this! The reading level of the book is a bit advanced for Anjali but I love how she draws parallels and asks questions about what is a bindhi, etc.

The other preparation i
s getting her ready for all the dancing at the festivities. This has been a hilariously fun experiment! Ranjeewa got these Bhangra workout DVDs from the library as he thought I might enjoy them, and so would Anjali. Now we have a moratorium on Anjali watching TV (more on that soap box issue later) so this was a big treat for her, but the amazing thing was how much she got into what she called the "aunties dancing" she kept watching the moves and following them but only about two steps behind. It was so funny watching her that Ranjeewa and I snuck in a camera and video behind her.