Friday, December 5, 2014

Ten ways to get your kids into the Christmas spirit!

'Tis the season to be jolly but do you find the winter blues setting in and getting your kids into a blue funk instead? Maybe it's getting out of that warm, cozy quilt to deal with a school run in the biting chill of early morning; surly teachers (not so happy to be out of bed themselves); or a general winter melancholy that's bugging them, but if you find your kids not so revved up to bring on the Christmas cheer, here are ten sure shot ways to get them right back and rocking into the Xmas spirit! For some real fun leading up to the holidays, try these ten days before Christmas as a sort of Christmas Countdown and they'll be giving Santa a run for his ho-ho-ho's!

Day Ten: Bring home the tree!

That's right, its time to get the great outdoors in (and in this case, since its Christmas, plastic trees qualify too ;))! There's nothing that gets the Xmas-sy mood going like decking up your home with a beautiful Christmas tree. From the real deal to artificial trees, there's a whole host of options out there to suit every budget and living space. To get your kids into the swing of things, get in a bare tree and get your kids to help with the decorations. The range of Christmas baubles available nowadays from fake snowflakes to feather birds to glitter stockings can beat the meanest winter funk and you can add to the fun by making your own decorations.

When Nikki was two years old we brought home our first  tree to introduce her to the joys of Christmas. Unfortunately, we left the bag of baubles we'd also bought back at the store and by the time we got home it was too late to go back to get it, so we just decided to go to the store the next morning. We needn't have worried, since Nikki had already figured out a way to get her tree decked with some customized décor! Very soon pretty much all of her small sized soft toys were hanging up on the tree, along with her socks, cardboard glitter stars, real candy (who needs plastic when you can have the real deal?), cotton snow and some leftover birthday streamers (along with a party hat thrown in for good measure). I'd never seen a tree before with Tweety Bird, Minnie Mouse, toy giraffes, monkeys and snails vying for attention with giant cotton balls and Alpenliebe lollipops but it sure was one good looking tree and unlike any I'd ever seen before! This has become a sort of Christmas tradition with us; we put up our tree every year about ten days before Christmas and Nikki lets her imagination rip! This year Mister Cube will probably add his own touches to it as well :)

So bring in your tree and let the kids style it their way!

Day Nine: Plan an X-mas playdate!

What better way to get your kids into the Christmas groove than getting together with some friends to bake and decorate some Christmas cookies while listening to some croon-some Christmas carols (Rudolph the Reindeer & Jingle Bells are on a loop at ours when Xmas rolls around) and sipping on some hot chocolate? And the mums can kick back over some mulled wine as well! You can even throw open your tree to your child's friends and make the tree décor project a joint one. This is a great way to get both younger and older kids into the holiday spirit; just vary the level of cookie baking depending on your child's age. For younger kids it could be as simple as dipping Marie biscuits into some melted chocolate, letting them sit in the fridge for a while and decorating with sprinkles; and for the older lot you can go all out with the kind of cookies you want to bake and decorate. After all who doesn't like a fresh, warm cookie straight out of the oven, no matter how old they are?!

Day Eight: Write a letter to Santa!

Santa may just be a fat man in a red suit to us jaded old grown ups, but for a child there's something magical about Christmas because it has Santa right at its heart! So introduce your kids to the magic of Santa if you haven't already and better yet, get them to write him a letter. It doesn't have to be about gifts if you're not into the 'gifts for Christmas' scene; they can just write Santa a letter telling them all about themselves ( a brilliant way to get the pre-schoolers interested in reading and writing also!). And you can tell them all about Santa and his magical life at the North Pole in turn; his little helpers, the Christmas tradition of bringing gifts to all the good little boys and girls, the reindeers that help him navigate the snowy night before Christmas to deliver gifts through your chimney- no less! Yes I know, I'm a sucker for the Xmas razzmatazz! I even have a visit to the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi on my bucket list- for the kids, but naturally!

And if, like me, you love the whole gifts under the Christmas tree scene, you can get your kids to write to Santa asking for what they would like and why they think they deserve it. Nikki decides her gift at the start of each year (or maybe right after she's got her Christmas gift for the year!) and looks forward and works towards it (Santa gives gifts only to good little boys and girls remember?) all year long. The much awaited letter writing happens at the start of December, followed by a grand letter posting ceremony. The thrill of anticipation is only surpassed by the excitement of seeing that brightly wrapped package under the tree on Christmas morning and knowing that Santa had been there! I've found its a great way to get her to decide in advance what gift she'd really like to have, work towards it and patiently wait for it before she actually gets to own it. And the letter writing bit, explaining how and why she really, really deserves to have her gift is one fun ride I wouldn't miss for anything :)

For older kids who've outgrown Santa (sob!), you can rope them in to play Santa for their younger friends and siblings. One mom I know gets her circle of friends to pool in hundred rupees or less each and has her fifteen year old son and his friends buy gifts (each not exceeding hundred rupees) for her younger five year old and her gang of friends. The older lot have great fun playing Santa (they even get into the act by dressing up as Santa) and the younger lot get Santa and his goodies!

Day Seven: Make this Xmas about giving

In line with the Santa spirit, how about getting Santa into the lives of the underprivileged this year? Organize a giveaway drive among your friends and family to give away old clothes, books, blankets or toys- several of the things we often don't need, don't know what to do with and sometimes dispose of mindlessly; and give them to people who can use them -orphanages, slums, schools for the underprivileged. Get your children to gift one toy at Christmas this year- it could be that much loved teddy that nobody plays with anymore or that book that's still in great shape but hasn't been read in forever, wrap it up and let your child play 'Secret Santa' to another child who'd only be too happy to have his/ her toy or book. Just make sure the things you give are in good shape; it's going to be another child's Christmas gift after all!

Day Six: Make it an X'mas Movie Night!

From 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' to 'Miracle on 34th Street' there's a whole host of options out there to rock your Christmas movie night.

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Our personal favourite suited to our little munchkins (ages 5 and below) is the Original Christmas Classics collection which includes all the faves like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and The Little Drummer Boy, to name a few. And my personal favourite part about Christmas (since Santa doesn't bring me any gifts, sniff) is curling up on the couch with popcorn, pizza and eggnog and reliving my childhood by enjoying these all time Christmas classics with P and my two little dumplings.

Day Five: Discover Christmas through books!

Now that you've watched and enjoyed movie night, get into the Christmas cheer the bookish way! Books like The Night Before Christmas and The Joy of Giving (Berenstain Bears) probably need no introduction, but in these parts the resident five year old prefers Fancy Nancy (we're on a Fancy Nancy spree at the moment) with her Splendiferous Christmas. My personal all time favourite though has to be The Elf on The Shelf! Not only is the elf great fun, you can also take his invaluable assistance in getting your kids to bee-have, and if used wisely and well, all year long ;)

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Day Four: Make it a crafty Christmas!

Christmas means holidays and holidays have little creatures twiddling their thumbs all day long with their favourite 'Mom, I'm soo bored' expression always on express display. If you need a way to pre-empt this ( and also keep aforementioned little c's out of your hair), get them busy with some X'mas art and craft! From handprint reindeers to pom pom ornaments (which can be used for your tree!) you can get your dose of crafty inspiration on Pinterest- or just Google your way into Christmas craft heaven! For our holidays this year, I'm just going to go through the awesome list of  Christmas collages over at Artsy Craftsy Mom.

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Day Three: Cook up some Christmas cheer!

You can't have a list all about Christmas and not talk about all that scrummylicious Christmassy food out there! From divine, melt in your mouth mince pies, edible gingerbread houses (I just saw some last week at a Thanksgiving party), crumbling with flavour Christmas cakes and oh, how can I leave out pudding- Christmas can be a foodie's heaven! Why not try cooking up a Christmas storm in your kitchen this year with your little ones, with this easy chocolate cupcake recipe from BBC GoodFood. I can personally vouch, that if made right, these cupcakes are to die for- and they can be a perfect addition to your Christmas playdate or tree decorating party or even a great Christmas gift for friends!

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Day Two: Hit the malls!

Yes, that's right- I haven't gone off my rocker and started writing a whole new list here- hitting the malls IS a great way to bring on that Christmas spirit! Just hop over to the nearest mall and you'll know what I'm taking about. From snow flakes to glittering Christmas décor, indoor sleigh rides for kids to cookie baking workshops, malls these days are taking Christmas festivities to an all new level. And they have friendly mall based Santas too, who are only to happy to pose with your kids for that Christmas selfie and note down requests for last minute 'must-have' gifts! A trip to the neighbourhood mall is guaranteed to get your kids into the festive spirit while taking in the visual treats most malls put up on display as Christmas décor. They usually also have fun activities, workshops and Christmas bazaars around this time with a lot of stuff for kids to do. Oh, and you can get in some last minute Christmas shopping done as well since you're at the mall anyway (maybe just leave the husband out for this particular activity ;))!

Day One: A Karan Johar-esque X'mas

Because, like the man said, it really is all about the family! Christmas is about spending time with your near and dear ones so get your loved ones together for a meal or a movie and focus on spending time together as a family. Bond over your favourite activity as a family and relish the time together. It will make the holiday season that much more special and make for some wonderful festive memories over the years. And- more of a note to not-so-trigger-happy self- don't forget to take pictures!

Day Zero: The Day before Christmas!

Finally, its the night before Christmas and hopefully by now your kids are full of Christmas cheer and festive spirit! The night before Christmas don't forget to set out some cookies and hot chocolate for Santa (Yes, he prefers hot chocolate over milk- all that riding through the snow, don't you know) and drape some fairy lights over your Christmas tree for some extra cheer.

You're now all set to enjoy the big day when Christmas finally rolls around! Enjoy the holiday unwinding over some good food and great company. We're lucky to have friends with whom we go for midnight Mass every year at their local church and all the kids always have a great time. This is usually followed by a long, lazy Christmas brunch and a stroll around the neighbourhood to look at all the beautifully decorated churches. And when the day finally ends, it is with the anticipation of looking forward to bringing in the New Year with more good times to come!

Wait! That’s not it, we have a Christmas Bonanza – Online party happening!!
Come join a set of fabulous bloggers sharing their Christmas moments - Easy Holiday Crafts, DIY ideas, Recipes , Decor ideas and book recommendations with you.

Starting from today till Christmas and beyond, each one of us will be writing a post related to Christmas.
Participating blogs
ArtsyCraftsyMom - munniofalltrades - hfareensspace - roohiscollections - hellomommyhood - attachedmoms - totschooltotallyawesome - Themomviews - -
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onboardthemommyship - kwikdekoblog - thekeybunch - momzspace - whatscookingmom - coloursdekor - happypeopleevents - fantastic-feathers - beingzoesmom

So sit back, relax and check out all the fabulous Christmas Bonanza posts from our participating blogs in the linky. Support us by sharing our posts using the hash tag #ChristmasBonanza

This Linky is for participating blogs only, but We would love to see your Christmas Crafts too. Come and link up your Christmas post at

Thursday, October 30, 2014

That holiday feeling!

A holiday has always been a sure shot way to get me to instant bliss. So when its two back to back holidays, its a double scoop of super loaded, twice as much, packed to the brim blissfulness! Clearly I also ate too much ice cream on vacay (double fudge, chocolate chip loaded, with twirls of dark chocolate, nutty Oreo bits and oozing with decadence....sighhhhh)

Anyway, getting back to the point, we're just back from first, a short-ish holiday in Panchgani followed by a long-ish holiday in Dubai, with a gap of about a week between the two which felt like a quasi holiday in itself since all we seemed to be doing was unpacking, packing and planning for the upcoming trip! We've been back home for a couple of days now and both my children seem to be suffering from a severe holiday hangover. Bedtimes, nap times, waking up times are topsy turvy and meal times have been replaced by grazing whenever the fancy strikes (or not!). But none of that is bothering me right now because I'm still basking in the post vacay glow and not even lunch at 3pm or both kids bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5am can get me down right now (that and the fact that we have a few more days to recover before its back to the school routine and I'm forced to snap out of that holiday feeling)!

The Dubai holiday also ended up being a completely disconnected-from-the-virtual-world one for me because my phone died on me just a few days before we left and I found myself Facebook-less, Watsapp-less and also contact-less for a while so was pretty much cut off from everyone apart from P and the kids. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise (after I'd survived the initial panic attack) because it was just so refreshing to switch off from all of the virtual messaging and info overload; a lot of which can be mostly unnecessary. Anyway, so I also managed to fall off my hundred happy days of blogging wagon in the meanwhile so I'm just going to pick up from where I left off, with a couple of happy holiday posts thrown in in-between (and photo posts too, no less!). In the meantime here's to holidays, new and old, the ones that've left lasting memories and the ones yet to come. Like I read somewhere in a shop window in Dubai, your vacation starts the minute you begin planning it and in true holiday spirit we started planning our next one on the flight back from Dubai. Coz nothing can quite beat that good ol' holiday feeling!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Diwali party ideas for kids

We like to parday! No, that's not some vague pirate custom I'm suddenly into; it is how 'parties' are pronounced in these parts by the resident five year old and her bunch of gal pals thanks to 'Race 2' and the ever popular 'Parday on my mind'. 'Tis the season of light and sparklers and with Diwali round the corner, a friend and I are planning to co-host a Diwali Parday for our two five year old daughters and their motley bunch of party loving friends. Last year, inspired by all the Diwali parties for grown ups happening around us, we had hosted a mini Diwali party for the kids and it was a huge hit. The kids had a blast and the mommies were only too happy to get the kids off their hands and doing something fun while they did their own Diwali prep (we hosted the party two days before the Lakshmi Pujan day). It was also a great way for kids to experience the festival while bonding with their friends and have something to do during their break from school. This year, motivated by all the Diwali love we got last year, we're hosting a Diwali party on a larger scale for the little ones and I thought it would be a good idea to blog about it for other moms looking for some fun Diwali ideas for their children. So here's a quick lowdown on the 'Parday' of the season!

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Who, Where, How, When 
 These party ideas are most appropriate for children in the 4-7 years age group, but with a little tweaking and customization (ideas for some of which are included below) you can make this party rock even for children in a slightly lower or higher age bracket. We are hosting the party on the 20th which is the first day of Diwali and also the first day of the holidays for most kids. Perfect time to get the little munchkins into the Diwali spirit! The party that we've planned is easily doable at home for a group of between 6-12 kids; if you have some open space like a reasonably sized balcony, terrace or a usable common area outside your apartment/ house that's an added bonus. 4pm is the perfect time to start this party (Chaar baj gaye lekin party abhi baaki hai- another favorite with the five year old gang!) since it gives enough time to do the activities we have planned and get some Diwali grub into those little tummies at a relaxed pace. For more on the 'How', read on!

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The 'How': what does one do at a kiddie Diwali party?
Activity One: Rangoli Time
This is my favorite part about our Diwali parday; in fact this was how we got the idea for hosting a Diwali party for our kids in the first place. Nikki, along with some of her friends, loves 'rangolis' and everything to do with them and rangoli making is one of the biggest draws of Diwali each year. Last year, we thought it would be more fun to get a bunch of her friends together and do the rangoli making and voila, our mini Diwali party began to take shape.

Here's what you'll need to get the rangoli making off to a great start:
  • A couple of rangoli stencils: There is a whole host of shapes and designs of these available for Diwali. We used the basic shapes for our gang, but you can use the more intricate ones as well, specially for an older age group
  • Chalk
  • As many vibrant Diwali colours as you like! (Go for the organic ones since the kids will be handling them a fair bit)
  • Yellow and orange marigold flowers for flower rangolis and for decorating the colour rangolis
  • Loads of festive spirit :)

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For the rangoli making last year we used the beautiful open terrace area at my friend's apartment. We used the rangoli stencils and chalk to draw the outlines all along the perimeter of the terrace and then let the kids get as creative as they liked, filling up the designs with a multitude of vibrant colours! There were a couple of only flower rangolis happening as well for the smaller kids who were too little for using the colours. We had a couple of supervising adults helping out and guiding the kids where needed which proved to be a big help since we had a fairly large number of guests, but if you have less people to help just scale down the activity accordingly. For example, a bunch of four kids can work on a medium sized rangoli with one supervising adult. A closed indoor area could work as well with a smaller group but with an open area the kids can get as creative (read: messy) as they like without the party host having to worry about extensive clean-ups later! With older kids you can take it one step further by increasing the intricacy of the rangoli designs and can even try out the traditional styles with pattern dots.

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Activity Two: Designer Diyas
What you'll need:
  • Basic unpainted clay diyas
  • Acrylic paints in a variety of shades, the more the merrier!
  • Paint brushes and palettes to mix and match colours
  • Glue
  • Loads of eclectic diya decor: sequins, glitter, shimmer dust, the works!
This one doesn't really need any explaining. Just give the kids a diya and a paintbrush each and let them at it!
This is a pretty popular Diwali activity among kids and we're including this in the party this year since we have about twelve little party guests and the plan is to divide them into two groups of six kids each. One group does the rangoli activity first while the other group does the diya painting and then they switch activities.

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Once the kiddos are done with all that rangoli making and diya decorating you'll find that this section also doubles up as a how-to for DIY Diwali Decor :) Your rangoli area will be a riot of colours and flowers and you can line up the prettily painted diyas wherever you please! You can some more bling by putting up thermocol cutouts of diyas on the walls and hanging up some sparkly streamers (the kind you use for birthday parties) and paper lanterns all over the party area on the day of the party. Last year, we also got some fairy lights indoors and draped them at a few places around furniture (keep them out of reach of little hands though!) and switched them on after it got dark outside. The effect was magical and it was a big hit with the kids!

Since we're starting the party at 4pm we plan on doing both activities for an hour each. Even with a buffer of about an hour we should be done by 7pm latest, with our little brigade ready to hang up their paintbrushes and get those rangoli stained fingers into some Diwali goodies!

A Diwali feast to gladden little tummies
We've planned quite an elaborate (or at least I think so!) feast this year for our little guests since there's two of us co-hosting this party and between us we have enough help and helping hands on the day of the party. We've put together the menu based on the tastes and preferences of our little invitees, so feel free to go through, pick and choose what you like and design your own menu for your little ones.Here's the dinner menu we have planned:
  • Mini samosas
  • Corn and cheese fritters
  • Lemonade and Tang in industrial quantities for the tiny guzzlers
Main Course
  • Vegetable Pulav
  • Chhole
  • Palak puris
  • Aloo tamatar sabji (gravy)
  • Sides of lots of creamy dahi and cucumber and carrot fingers- hot favourite with the kids and usually among the first dishes to disappear!
  • Gulab Jamun
  • Fruit Custard
I'm not including detailed recipes in this post since all of these are pretty standard recipes, but if you need a specific recipe just write to me in the comments section and I promise to get back to you as soon as I can. Also, for mommies who would prefer their kids to avoid bingeing on the deep fried goodies, here are some tips:
  • The mini samosas can be made with whole wheat flour and baked (and loaded with as many veggies as you like!)
  • The corn and cheese fritters can be replaced with shallow fried corn and cheese patties/ cutlets( load 'em up with the green stuff if you want to as well)
  • Palak puris can be replaced with palak rotis 
  • Desert can be only fruit if you really must, but must you really? Its Diwali after all!
Post Parday Stupor
There won't be much energy to do anything post all that activity and (hopefully) tummy filling that happens (our lot went straight to bed last year!) but if you still have any little stragglers whose mummies or daddies haven't turned up to pick them up yet you can keep them busy with a quick game of cards (another great activity option for older kids) or some Diwali time story telling (for the younger lot). Send them home with their handpainted diyas and a gift of homemade chocolates or mithai if you like, and memories of a delightful parday that they will hopefully cherish and remember- at least till the next big bash comes around ;)

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Come join a set of fabulous bloggers sharing their Diwali moments , easy Crafts, DIY ideas, Recipes and book recommendations with you .

Starting from today till Diwali and beyond, each one of us will be writing a post related to Diwali.
Participating blogs
So sit back, relax and check out all the fabulous Diwali Dhamaka posts in the linky.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Telephone Etiquette 101

Tring Tring Baje Phone!
Hello, hello, kaun, kaun?

Or in our case, 'Hay, hay, kaun, kaun?' Coz the telephone is Mister Cube's newly discovered obsession and he just can't get enough of it! When he's not tinkering with the buttons, putting the phone on speaker mode and then listening on in rapt fascination to the melodious dial tone or trying to break the receiver into smithereens by attempting to dismember the phone by separating the receiver from the rest of the instrument, he is answering the phone (or so he thinks because said answering happens even when the phone doesn't actually ring!) in his own inimitable style. This consists of lifting the receiver, flinging it over his shoulder with a distinctly Shammi Kapoor-esque flourish as he tries to emulate the more mundane version of lifting receiver to ear that other members of the household follow, cocking his head to one side with a look of intense concentration and saying 'Hay?' He follows this up with some extensive gabbledy gook which his sister apparently understands and joins in and much merriment ensues as his little band of household admirers eggs him on between wiping away tears of mirth at this ongoing demonstration of telephone etiquette 101.

Never thought a telephone would be capable of bringing this much joy, or fun! And since we are ringing in so much merriment thanks to the telephone these days, this is what I'm gifting Monsieur Cube for his first birthday (can hardly believe its already been nearly one year since Mister Cube came into our lives!) coming up soon:

*Fisher Price Chatter Telephone image courtesy

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Leftover Parathas

I have a recurring nightmare about waking up to a fridge overflowing with leftovers. Domestic goddess I most certainly am not! There was a time in the distant past, almost eleven years ago to be precise, when the mother in law on her first visit to our first home as newly weds had been aghast to find a little mountain of seaweed growing in the refrigerator's veggie tray. Closer inspection and detailed analysis revealed that it was originally a slab of paneer that had congealed with some leftover dhaniya patta and festered over several days to what now resembled the grassy slopes of Mount Mansfield. What had transpired was this: the husband and I had been taking turns to do the groceries since both of us had hectic travelling schedules with our respective jobs and tended to be on the move about fifteen to twenty days in a month. On one such trip I had ambitiously bought a handsome looking chunk of paneer fully intending to turn it into a succulent paneer makhni. The next day I had to dash off to Vishakapatnam to look into some pressing work issues (stagnating sales of Iodex of the 'Iodex maliye, kaam pe chaliye' tagline if you must know) and had conveniently forgotten about aforementioned paneer. The husband in the meantime bought some fresh and sprightly looking dhaniya (to be turned into chutney, we were informed later), dumped it on the paneer (thereby successfully camouflaging it from human view) and dashed off to Shanghai for a sales conference. Needless to say, the fresh and sprightly dhaniya was soon relegated to an obscure corner of his memory. When the MIL went on her investigative expedition of the refrigerator a couple of days (or maybe it was weeks?) later the paneer had been reduced to a (greyish) shadow of its former creamy, chunky self and the dhaniya was a tragic reminder of better days that had once been lived through. United in their misery, together they just formed a desolate, green clump.

Skimming lightly over that unfortunate incident that has since been relegated to the Distant Past (lets just say, the MIL gets a greenish tinge reminiscent of Mount Mansfield if anyone says the word 'paneer') and coming briskly to the present moment, we have come a long long way since those days and such domestic disasters no longer abound. In fact I'm now quite the domestic diva thanks to the latent Paranoia Gene that was activated post motherhood along with the Health and Safety Sensors. However the traumas of the past do not fade lightly and I often have nightmares in which a shimmering green chunk slithers around an otherwise immaculate fridge veggie tray. My paranoia for Lurking Leftovers had gone into an overdrive yesterday because due to a series of unplanned and unforeseen events the food that had been cooked for lunch and dinner had not been consumed in the desired quantities and as a result I went to bed with a heavy heart and much anxiety about what to do with said leftovers. I needn't have worried though because unbeknownst to me, P turned out to be quite the star when it comes to converting Lurking Leftovers into Bedazzling Breakfasts, and I woke up this morning to freshly brewed tea and P's Luscious Leftover Parathas! Recipe below for those who are interested ( and those who may have shimmering green chunks lurking in their paneer, er, past):

Leftover Parathas

Half and half quantities of whole wheat flour and makki ka atta
Leftover kala chana gravy
Leftover lauki kofta curry
Leftover vegetable ratatouille

Knead all of the above in a large mixing bowl with dahi and some water. Adjust salt to taste. Serve fresh off the pan with dollops of creamy dahi! (And butter for the kids who are still young and don't have to worry about their burgeoning weight).
P.S. You can also add some grated paneer and freshly chopped coriander to the above ;)

Much leftover happiness today which has lasted well past breakfast!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Baby's first steps

And the baby of the house is now officially a toddler! Yes, Mister Cube took his first few confident steps today* :)

Technically these were not really his first steps, he has been on the verge of graduating from baby to toddler for a while now, with a few independent steps thrown in among all the relentless cruising, but today for the first time he didn't falter even once and took a few super confident steps without reaching once for Mama's hand. And once he had begun, there was just no stopping him! He was trotting around in no time with the trademark look of exhilaration clubbed with wonder that all babies have when they first discover walking independently. I still remember the exact same expression on Nikki's face when she took her first steps in our balcony. With her though, I'd been waiting for those first independent steps for what seemed like eons and when the moment finally arrived I was over the moon. This time round, it was more of a bittersweet feeling. My littlest baby is growing up. And he's growing up in what seems like fast forward mode! I don't know if it feels like this with all second babies but they just seem to grow way too soon. Maybe its because as a mother you just have more stuff to do caring for two children and you don't have the intense focus (read hyper paranoia in my case!) you did when it was just the one child, but it feels like time has just whizzed past the second time round. From helpless newborn babe-in-arms to little wriggler to his very own innocuous looking but rapid track belly crawl to sitting, cruising and now toddling, my precious time with my growing-too-quick baby has gone by in a flash.

You'd think with five years of parenting behind me I would've got used to it by now but clearly I haven't. I was really having fun with the cruising and the first few faltering steps which always ended with a frenzied dash into Mama's waiting arms for some much needed comfort before setting off on the next expedition :) But before I knew it (and clearly before I was ready for it, although I wonder if I would ever get to that stage!) Mama's arms were being impatiently brushed off as little Mister Cube discovered that his two chubby little legs didn't need no support no more! And just like that he was toddling, no brakes! And in his case no speed bumpers either, clearly our man believes in living life on the fast track!

And so yet another milestone is achieved and another little birdie gets ready to discover his new found wings. And the little birdie's Mama is going to try and put a lid on her melodramatic tendency to start weeping over her soon to be empty nest (just eighteen odd years away and at the rate at which they're whizzing past I'll probably be blogging about it here tomorrow!) and instead revel in the new found and incomparable joys of a toddler's first steps. Here's to that on #HappyDay4.

*Today was actually yesterday**
** No I haven't completely lost my marbles (yet), Mister Cube took his first few steps yesterday (Sunday the 28th). This post is appearing a day late thanks to the Gods of the Internet- hopefully their wrath will abate today and I'll be back to blogging on a regular schedule.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Breakfast Yoga

Kick started yoga today after nearly a year long hiatus.Its not the traditional yoga that I personally prefer; its closer to power yoga but the class fits in really well with my current weekly schedule and so I decided to sign up. Also, its a class I've done before and I really took to it the last time. Apart from the obvious fitness benefits, it really helped me get in touch with myself physically and mentally (looong way to go before we can add spiritually to that list methinks!). It has the perfect mix of postures, breathing and meditation and is just the right amount of challenging you to the point where you think you can't take it anymore, inter spaced with really feel good relaxation.

Perfect way to kick off a Saturday. Walk through early morning quiet to get to the class. An hour of yoga which felt really good to get back to. Back home to breakfast with the husband and kids only to find that the kids had been brushed and breakfasted (Go P!) and were really happy to see me home. Feeling limbered up, stretched out (in a good way!) and blissed much.

***The Day 3 post is appearing a day late because the internet decided to play hooky last evening for the substantial part of an hour and thereafter seemed to develop a serious bipolar disorder. Also, it was Dandiya night and I'd promised Nikki I'd take her dancing, so after much impatient persistence I gave up and decided to just post today instead.