Monthly Archives: June 2015

Baby Goes to Play School

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All set for his first day of Play School

My baby started Play School last week, and combined with the Mumbai monsoon it has been a little bit crazy. A lot of people (my parents included) were surprised we had decided to enroll him at 2 years, but there are people who are sending their children as young as 18 months. For us, it was not a race to have him in Play School, but to get him to be a little bit more independent, to interact with children his own age, and ultimately prepare him for when he begins Nursery next year.

The curriculum is very much activity based, and includes a lot of songs and rhymes to make it fun for the little ones. My son was already listening to a lot of poems over the summer, and he found it exciting to have some of the same being repeated at his Play School.

He spends 2.5 hours at school, and I try to keep myself occupied-get some ironing done or straighten out the closets-so that I am not constantly thinking about if he is playing, eating his lunch etc.

As with a lot of schools in India now, there is a stress on home cooked snacks/lunch that is to be packed, and to make it easier for moms there is a suggested menu for each day of the week. Mondays is wheat (rotis, parathas, daliya/porridge/ semolina), Tuesdays is rice (fried rice, khichdi, idli), Wednesdays is fruit (this is a bit difficult since most seasonal fruits that he likes to eat turn brown when cut), Thursdays is sprouts, and Friday is any meal of the kids choice.

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Interacting with fellow classmates

He enjoyed the first two days when I was allowed in with him, but after that it has been a lot of crying during drop off. But, it was expected, and we were prepared for it and we are hoping in another week or so the drop offs get pleasant for both of us.

We have never left him alone for this long a span, so it is an adjustment for both of us, a lot more for my baby since he still does not quite grasp the understanding of school and its norms. But, we shall get there one day at a time.

Today, was the first day he ate his entire lunch, and it made me so happy. It is a step-albeit tiny- in the right direction. Before I know it, he will be off to college, so I am going to enjoy his school going days for now.

Food Food: Childhood Food

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Food Food: Childhood Food

A few days ago, a friend post one of those posts about 90s songs that will instantly make you nostalgic. That, coupled with the fact that I am currently at my mom’s place and have the luxury of asking her to make some of my favorite dishes, prompted me to do a post on some of my favorite food items that immediately take me back to my childhood. Now, if I sit and think about it there are probably countless dishes that can make this list, but I will limit it to the ones that immediately popped into my head while writing this.

So let’s make it a quick 5 countdown…..drum roll…..

5) Dal Bati….this Rajastani delicacy may seem like a very peculiar choice but I loved eating this while growing up. My friend’s mother made the best dal bati and I loved the fact that she always called me over when her mom cooked this up. Till date, my friend messages me when she or her mother makes dal bati. Furthermore, in our neighbourhood, all the moms would cook delicious Dal Bati and have a “Dal Bati” party 🙂

4) Paprika Chips: These Thai potatoes chips epitomized my childhood. One of my first and favorite memories of my childhood consists of my parents driving my sister and I to a small Thai restaurant, while listening to some Beatles’ melodies, and there we would get to have a bottle of coke and Paprika chips. On my recent trip to Bangkok I absolutely devoured this chips in loads.

Paprika Chips

Paprika Chips

3) Ka pao kai and Kao Phat Kai: Thai food, obviously, makes this list again. Ka pao kai is Basil Chicken and Kao Phat Kai is simply chicken fried rice. These two dishes were basically my lunch staples. Luckily our school canteen would prepare these meals fresh upon request and trust me when I say it was total bliss!

Chole Bature

Chole Bature

2) Chole Bature. This Punjabi dish is probably one of my most craved Indian food. Similar to Dal Bati, my friends’ moms would always cook this when they knew I was coming over or would call me if they had prepared it. The fluffy, flour made, bature with spicy and tangy chole (garbanzo beans) was a match made in heaven. Back in the day I could gulp down at least 6-7 batures 😉

1) Wrap It Chicken Wraps & Criss Cross Fries: This is another school lunch related story, So the Wrap It Kebabs/Wraps were probably the MOST expensive thing in our school canteen. Back in the day the wraps were 85 Baht, which for a school student was quite steep. My weekly allowance was 200 Baht and me being me, I would “plan”  the day I would splurge on the Wrap and then figure out how to get through lunch/free blocks the next 4 days. Unfortunately, I was not able to have a fix of these during my last trip to Bangkok….but there are days I dream about them.

Aww, I almost forgot….I can’t complete this post without having this item: Pizza Company Bread Sticks & Cocktail sauce. Now what can be so special about breadsticks and a cocktail sauce? These breadsticks and more importantly the cocktail sauce, was like crack (not that I know how that tastes…but I can’t think of another way to describe it). I grew up in a boarding school/hostel with 60 other kids. On days we didn’t like the food prepared by the canteen, a few of us would form a group to order just these breadsticks from Pizza Company and this would be our dinner. Each kid could finish 12 breadsticks, usually even more, by themselves. And on special Thursdays when the boarding school itself would have a pizza night….ALL OF US, would be ready for dinner and waiting in line by 6 (an entire before dinner time) just so we could make sure we had our plate full of these wonderful and addictive breadsticks and sauce.images

Now I am just craving all of these items….but I hope you enjoyed this post and may be some of them reminded you of your childhood.

Fitness during and post pregnancy

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Fitness has been something that has always been of importance to me, probably because I struggled a lot with it for a good part of my life and only in the past 5 years was able to maintain a good fitness regime. When I found out that I was pregnant one question that did cross my mind was, “how much weight will I gain?” I have a tendency to easily put on weight and had heard stories of people gain 40+ pounds and post delivery were struggling to lose the excess weight etc.; honestly, I did not want to end up in the same boat. I had worked really hard to achieve a personal fitness goal and I was determined to have a healthy and fit pregnancy.

Stroller Time!

Stroller Time!

It was my mental determination more than anything that allowed me to achieve a fit and healthy pregnancy. Trust me, it was not easy and required a lot of discipline, but again, I kept saying to myself this is something I want to do. Luckily, my doctor provided me with a good and balanced eating plan. Towards the end of my pregnancy, my night meals were consistently salads, soups and a glass of milk. I would indulge once in a while, but 90% of the time stuck to this regime. Yes, now it did get a little bit monotonous, but then I would try to add different dressings or something to my salad to change it up.

Post Delivery

Post partum fitness has been a similar story. I had a c-section and therefore I knew it would be a good 6 weeks or even longer before I could do any sort of exercise. Upon getting the green light from the doctor at my 6 week checkup, I have started going on walks with baby. Today’s wide range of baby carriers has made this a breeze:) My baby absolutely loves being in the ring sling and snoozes off almost instantaneously. Yes, a c-section does come with its own aches and pains, but my rule of thumb was just listening to my body. If I felt good after a 15 minute walk, the next day I added 5 more minutes and so on. Being able to go on these walks has helped me mentally as well. The first month I was going crazy being at home constantly. Taking care of a newborn is exhausting and can get frustrating as well; there have been many a times that I have broken down. These quick walks have provided me with the much “me time” that I was so used to; furthermore they automatically put me in a better mood which enables me to take better care of the baby.

Morning walk with baby in a ring sling

Morning walk with baby in a ring sling

It is easy to say that baby takes up 24/7 of my time (which it does) and give a workout a pass. Just based on my experience, I just urge one to listen to their body and have a strong mind to give it a try….take the baby along with you and make these walks a good bonding time that breaks the monotony of being stuck indoors. I also acknowledge that each pregnancy is different and not everyone is able to stick to such a schedule, but if everything has gone smoothly pre and post delivery, I would recommend not giving up on adding these simple walks to one’s schedule. You will enjoy it and so will your baby 🙂