Sunday, December 12, 2010


The tree has been trimmed, stockings have been hung, and gingerbread houses have been made. Its Christmas time! Our friends have a great tradition of getting the kids together to make these fabulous gingerbread houses (all from scratch)!. I think it really sums up the season. There is sharing, friendship and lots of sugar. Its hard being a minority in a majority culture, so we embrace it with some exceptions: there is no Santa (so no lists get made) and this year we focused on giving (instead of getting). Deep in my heart I feel like the holidays exist to make the winter bearable and festive. P.S. I got crafty with the stocking.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Slug Bug

There is no escaping a game of "slug bug" when we are in the car these days. This started sometime around the end of summer. At first I had no idea what Anjali was talking about (a sign of things to come) as she was yelling out "slug bug" as we were running errands in the car. Then Ranjeewa brought me up to speed that inhabitants in our car need to call out slug bugs (VW beetle cars) as we see them and accumulate points, of course the one with the most points wins. My observations skills are pathetic, I wont notice if an elephant is sitting on my lap. Anjali and her father, on the other hand are sharp... I mean really. This whole game has gotten so out of hand we cant have a conversation in the car anymore. There are extra points for 'old fashioned' slug bugs, and now includes PT cruisers, smart cars, MDXs and Mini coopers. Anjali can spot any of these cars blocks away and sometime as far away as 10 cars deep on the opposite lane. To add insult to injury the winner sings "I am the champion" (adapted by Freddy Mercury) to the loser. Having felt pity on me for my lack of observation skills, they now 'give away' points to me!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ain't no picnic

We are parents of a big kid in a real school... or so I am reminded every day. Public school is just overwhelming as a first timer. And the parent involvement is no joke. This is a snap shot of what it entails:

- every first wed of the month is PTA
- There are fundraisers for EVERYTHING. This month its selling wrapping paper, candy and fall bulbs
- There is a committee for the school auction, the school carnival, the school garden, and well just about everything
- there are field trips you could chaperone kids to
- there are clubs and gathering on how to raise your kids
- there is even an inter-generational cross country track meet next week (yes your whole family can run!)

Phew... quite honestly its all a bit too overwhelming. And I have decided to sit back and observe this year since I am a very inexperienced public school parent.

So what did I volunteer to do? Well I am managing the scholastic book club for our class (kids and parents order books and the class gets bonus points to get free books and educational products), I volunteered to organize the sewing of a quilt for the class auction(!), and I am attending a discussion group on “raising our daughters and sons takes a village” moderated by Dr. Kathy Maserie. The rest of the time I try not to get noticed.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of school week!

... How did it happen so fast? Since this is the last week at home I am feeling a little anxious about Anjali leaving to go to 'big kid' school. We just got back from a week of vacationing in Florida, and it suddenly hit me that I need to make school lunches... EVERY DAY!
That send me spiraling off thinking about lunch boxes, and healthy lunches. In keeping with the greening efforts around our home I settled on a Lunch Bot. And of course I had to get my sewing machine involved! So I decided to make some custom napkins. Don't you love? I think I am going to make one for every day of the week.

Monday, August 9, 2010


We are having a relatively cool August (70-80), which makes me yearn for some hot days just so we can splash in the water. Like me Anjali loves water. We have enjoyed quite a few rivers and lakes this summer and it just amazes me how kids can entertain themselves in the water. I just loved this late afternoon trip to the Deschutes river in central OR. She filled this plastic bag with river water, carried it up to where we were sitting, and dumped it on her Achchi :-)

Monday, July 26, 2010

5 years and counting

Anjali turned 5 this week... and like I wrote on her card, I cant imagine a day without her. I feel like its a major milestone. Luckily her birthday fell on a Monday which means we got to have a family birthday celebration (including Achchi) and a big celebration with her preschool friends the following Sunday. We ended up doing ice cream instead of cake for our family celebration. She wanted mint with chocolate chips and candles on top, of course. Then we went to our favorite water fountain at Jamison park for some frolicking, followed by her favorite dinner... home cooked Ravioli. She even shelled some peas that she grew in the garden for dinner. I broke some rules and got her a Barbie... her first, a gorgeous Indian Barbie. Thaththi got her a more practical scooter which grandma took for a spin. All in all it was a perfect birthday for a near perfect girl. The party with her friends was a lot more rambunctious.

Friday, May 7, 2010


There is nothing as sexy as a man in a sarong, right?
Well Anjali loves to pretend that the sarong is a nest. She loves to sit on it and hide, and chases her father around asking to play nest. I found this old photo showing that she always enjoyed it (here with her uncle, 'CD mama')

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


A cleaning her shoes
After having read this article (p.24) in our fabulous FREE Portland Metro Parent magazine, I decided its time to give Anjali some responsibilities. We started off with setting the table, clearing the table after dinner, making the bed and miscellaneous clean up (when Ammi remembers!).
So far its going well. She knows what is expected of her, though she needs some reminding sometimes. At other times she sighs saying "why do I have to do everything".

It really bothers me that "entitle-mania" is rampant in this kid-culture. And its not quite their fault or even a parents because its the passive option. There are a zillion choices of food (mostly with empty calories), toys, gadgets, entertainment, you name it. Its tough as a parent to walk the talk.
The other night after dinner Anjali asked for dessert. Having had dessert two nights in a row during the weekend (with friends) she assumed she was entitled to some on a Monday night. I said no we dont have dessert every night; its an occasional treat. To drive it in further I reminded her that half the kids in the world probably went to bed hungry, let alone with dessert. She got the point.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sourcing Food Locally

I'd blogged before about how Anjali is a rice and curry girl. She especially loves her 'mas curry', so we finally paid a visit to the farm where we get our meat from. It was a truly amazing experience for our family. First, I never realized how much work it is to farm (Deck is a family farm and the entire family works EVERYDAY rain or shine, kids included). Second, our food comes to us at a great cost to the environment, and the industry is corrupt with farm subsidies and big industry. Third, animals are cute! Its hard not to have a relationship with your food when you really know where its coming from (at the end of our visit I was in love with a dairy cow named Seamus).
Christine the owner is fabulously smart and a great advocate for 'food as it should be'. And she has a no-nonsense attitude that I loved. After watching the sow breast feed the piglets and goats jumping over the barn fence, petting the horse, herding the cows to the milking pen, Anjali was put to task cleaning Duck eggs. At $0.75 an egg I was incredibly nervous about her handling them (after all she is an urban gal!). But she loved it, and most importantly brought home the message that putting food on the table is no easy task, and that everyone even kids have chores they can do. The duck eggs were yummy!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


This note greeted me when I arrived back home last week. Since I rarely travel for work it brought tears to my eyes that I had not seen my daughter in two days. It’s hard to remove myself from the role as Ammi who makes sure her clothes are laid out the night before; breakfast is ready, teeth brushed, etc, etc. When you are traveling alone (through airports especially) you find yourself with more time to ponder what its like to be an individual. I have been engrossed in reading this book by Adele Barker: Not Quite Paradise: An American Sojourn in Sri Lanka which led me to think about the importance of simplifying life (she has a whole chapter on how she learned to live with ants). This wiki how was a catalyst to my thoughts. I like #3 Do less each day, and #9 Create solitude. #4 is my favorite, Leave space between tasks and appointments. As a mother you don’t get much solitude, but the opportunity to live in the moment, for every hug, smile and the “I love you more than hot lava coming out of a volcano.”

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Anjali (and kids in general) have amazing memories. I think its because our brains are so cluttered and stressed and theirs just aren’t. Her recollection of things I wore two years ago or what we saw scares me sometimes, because I feel like there is some video camera in her brain that records all these details that I don’t!

This morning as I was standing in front of the refrigerator looking at our calendar,

I said: Gosh its almost March already

A: That’s right and the Cats are coming in March

Me: what cats?

A: Cats the musical

Me: huh! That’s right

I had told her about Cats a few months ago and showed her a Youtube of the song Memories.

Immediately she wanted to go see it, and I found out that they are coming to Portland in March, but at $125 a ticket I thought it was too much and forgot about it. But she did not.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Artist in making

Until very recently Anjali was just scribbling for art. But almost overnight her skills have evolved into something more. This seems to be the case with her. She likes to process and ponder things before she actually executes them. A favorite feature of mine are the eyelashes that she draws. Just the other day she drew this 'Mickey Mouse' on the sidewalk, and of course the eyelashes were disproportionately awesome!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another quilt

I've been bad at keeping up! But hey its been a busy winter and now almost spring! Yesterday it was 60 and sunny here in PDX. Never mind its raining and 50 now. Spring is certainly in the air because my garden is waking up with spring bulbs!

I digress... I wanted to show this quilt I made for our nephew Vihaan. Combination of vintage Micheal Miller transportation pieces. I love Micheal Miller.
My sewing machine has been threaded for weeks... my other projects will debut here soon...