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Archive for the ‘Lui’ Category

Dearest Lui and Shobbs,

I’m visiting these pages after ages! For no fathomable reason, I had stopped writing. I convinced myself it is because I’d rather ‘stay in the moment’ than mentally take down notes to blog about it. I wanted to be an active participant of your life than be an observer of your growth (of which I’m guilty at times!).

But I was wrong.

Capturing the precious moments of my life with you is what makes this blog so special to me. Each time I pull out an old post and read about your antics, it brings a smile to my face 🙂 . I may not immediately remember the incident, but reading about it does jog my memory and everything becomes clearer, as if it happened recently. I’m sad that these last two years, which have brought about such tremendous changes in you, have not been penned 😦 . It is my fault and now that you are turning 7 (Gosh! I still can’t believe it !!), I think its high time I do justice to you and my blog.

But first, a confession.

I sit here sobbing a little as I type. Tears flow down my cheeks because I feel overwhelmed. You two have turned out to be so terrific in every way that I feel incompetent as your mother, your guardian. I can’t think of any single good deed that I did to deserve you. I sob because I want to give you all that you desire, but you never demand. You both derive pleasure from the smallest things in life, making me realize that it isnt money that buys happiness. I’m proud to say that you both are my sunshine. You are the brightness that fills every crevice of my heart and make me giddy with joy 🙂

Lui sweetheart,  you are our resident angel, bet you already know that 😀 . You can spin me and the BF around your little finger just as easily as you did 7 years back! The only difference being that you’ve got a loud mouth to go with it now 🙄 ! I have watched you grow into a wonderfully confident little thing, quiet unlike the shy, gawky me of yore. I puff up with pride at your grace, your kindness and generosity, your impeccable manners and your readiness to apologize for your mistakes. Believe me darling, it takes people many many years to achieve all that! You are just seven, but I have seen how wonderfully  you go about making friends, being kind towards the underdogs, helping out friends and classmates as best as you can and pleasing your teachers with your impish smile 🙂 .  These are not things that I have ‘taught’ you, they come from within you. I can only pray to Allah to keep this warmth in you forever.

Shobby darling, you are our bundle of joy, wrapped in multiple layers of humour and mirth 😀 . I can’t believe that a kid as young as you has a wicked sense of humour, but you do! It is a great gift and I seriously pray that it stays with you forever, for there is no medicine like laughter, right 😀 ?! You are seven but people ask me if you are 4! Some even ‘recommend’ that I feed you 🙄 . At times I feel offended, but then I realize that those people don’t know how tough your beginning was. You put up a good fight champ and and in the last 7 years I’m grateful to Allah for giving you a healthy constitution. Though tiny, you are sturdier than most kids your age. Like Lui, making friends comes so easily to you! This is all the more surprising because earlier you were quite the shy guy, offering nothing more than a smile! Your confidence has blossomed and I’ll confess that I preen a little when people complement me on your kind disposition.

Seven years back today, as I lay on that hospital bed, I marveled at the beauty of Lui and the fragility of Shobbs. Today, I see character in Lui and strength in Shobby. So much has changed, for the better I’m glad to say (Alhamdulillah) and I can only pray that you progress towards your own betterment. I have not set any benchmarks for you, I do not expect you to do great things, frankly, I feel just honoured being your mom.

We’ve reached the lucky seven, you and me together, although for me, it is twice the luck 😉 . You are neither little kids nor young adults. It is a difficult phase for me because you have grown curious about so many things. You ask questions and I do my best to answer them (ex: What does showing the middle finger mean?) . It is difficult to gauge your level of comprehension and I worry that I might push you across the border of innocence (frankly, NO mother likes to believe that her kids grew up!), but there are so many things you need to be prepared for. The world today is not as kind as before, people around you would be quick to judge, quick to blame and quick to demean. But you need to hold on to the goodness in your heart. Keep that flame of kindness alive, no matter how others treat you.

And laugh. Laugh as you laugh today, from your belly, with abandon, with the sparkle in your eyes.

Because that’s all it takes to make your world a better place to live in 🙂

Many Happy Returns of the Day my Babies…….!

PS : Here’s a little collage of you two over the last two years! Am sure you’ll find pictures of before somewhere in this blog 🙂

Six to Seven :)

Six to Seven 🙂

 

Love you forever 🙂

Yours,

 

 

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Shortcut Mein Update

I’ve been asked many times what I was up to in the last 5 months . And each time, I’d say, “Nothing…just regular routine…nothing new”.

But thats not all true, of course 😀

A LOT happened in the last few months . I’ve been meaning to do individual posts for all of them but since I’ve put them off for so long, I regret that I don’t remember the entire sequence of events. I’m quickly jotting down the remnants of those events in my collapsing memory. So here goes (In no particular order. That would be too cruel on my poor brain) –

The twins finished Kindergarten with flying colors. Well, they ought to ! After all, they spent an entire 12 months doing just KG! ( Their session started in India in the first week of July ’13 and ended here in Chicago in the last week of June ’14).

Their teachers were pleased with the English, Math and overall obedience of the two . I howled and wailed that they must have got my kids mixed up with someone else’s but they wouldn’t listen. To prove their point, they gave the kids medals for perfect attendance and slapped a certificate at me which declared me the parent of the month!

I kid you not!

Our gifts

Our gifts

I got The Egg. Though hand-painted and exquisite, it kind of epitomizes what I really deserve!!

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We finally had Summer!! Not the dusty, hot summer of India, but a quaint, dainty summer which lasted exactly 90 days. The temperature never dipped enough to make you sweat, unless you ran or did some major physical activity ( It was hot enough for the Americans to shed their clothes and their inhibitions, though!) Overall, it was the Spring of India passed off as Summer of Chicago.

The sunny weather was the perfect opportunity to make use of the swimming pool on our terrace top. The twins splashed and jumped and had the greatest time of their lives. Whenever we entered the pool area, people already in the pool would look at the twins, grin and decently come out one by one. So the kids had the pool to themselves most of the time (The people here can be really, really kind towards kids). I did my best to teach them to swim, but they were too enamored by the water to pay me any heed 😦

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Shobby and his “Zebu”

 

The other water source was the beach of Lake Michigan. Enough sand was dragged back home for me to make my own private sand castle.

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Digging sand for the castle

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The twins undertook the Summer Reading Challenge to read and record the amount of time they read each day. It was a wonderful way to spend the summer vacation and the twins loved the visits to the library which was conducting the challenge. Apart from selecting books, they had book-reading sessions, crafts, lucky draws, etc each week. The twins won books and binoculars in the lucky dip 🙂

The library also conducted workshops on puppet-making and introduction to the insect/reptile world (which was seriously good). They got to touch real live pythons and alligators and black widows !

 

With Puppets and Miss Annie

With Puppets and Miss Annie

Picking up the python

Picking up the python

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The BF’s parents came down for a visit and it was YAY! time all around 🙂

After a long time, I could take a siesta without worrying about the kids. The moment the kids spotted their grandparents at the airport, they forgot they had a Momma or an Abu. For the next two months, they only spoke to Dada and Dadi. Just as well 🙂 . Sometimes, it is good to have the kids off your hands, even if its for a little while !

Once the in-laws came, it truly felt like home once again 🙂 .  Me and the MIL would cook together, all of us would have our meals together, there would be talks and discussions, jokes and spats,  just like old times. I think I spent more time with them here than all those years back in Pune when we would all meet for hardly a couple of hours each day!

The in-laws would go for long walks around the neighborhood.  FIL made more friends around the area than people I know!

Keeping an eye on their grand-kids

Keeping an eye on their grand-kids

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We finally visited the Niagara Falls.

It was Amazing! In fact, “Amazing” doesn’t even begin to cover the experience! It was mind-blowingly magnificent!

The power of nature at its best!

The twins drove me nuts on our drive till the falls. It was a long way and they were rather fidgety, being unused to getting strapped to their car-seats. The lack of movement, couple with the long distance made them eat the brains of the only person on their row. Me!

Lui : Mumma, have we reached?

Me : No, not yet.

Shobby : When will we reach??

Me : Maybe in another hour.

2 seconds pass by.

Shobby : Mumma, have we reached?

And so the loop went on. Somewhere towards the end, I lost my head and asked the BF to pull over. “Anything wrong?” he asked. “Yeah, I just want to leap off this window and jump into that river below”, I said. The in-laws found it funny! But of course! They weren’t the ones enduring those pesky , ranting, whining kids!

Desperately waiting to reach the falls

Desperately waiting to reach the falls

The Falls

The Falls

The torture was well worth it! One look at the falls and I realized the insignificance of our existence. Tonnes of water cascading down the gorge, the terrific sounds, the multiple rainbows over it, it was too beautiful! Almost exhilarating, yet bringing us down a bit. Nature’s creations are supreme. Nothing man-made can come any closer (SubhanAllah).

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The rainbow

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Since the In-laws were with us, we made a trip to the Water-park capital of the world – Wisconsin. I thought the title was exaggerated, but you have to visit the place to believe it! I think I have never seen so many water parks (and I’m talking about really large ones here) on one road! The resort we were staying at was called Kalahari, with a jungle theme and loads of indoor/outdoor water rides and an indoor theme park. The indoor water park even had temperature controlled water, so it wasn’t cold, a little on the warm side. In the toddler’s section, there was actual warm water flowing/splashing around!

We had great fun there. Even the MIL got down into the pool to play water basket-ball 😀

The friendly gorilla :)

The friendly gorilla 🙂

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The climbing wall

The Kalahari trip was by far the most entertaining. Apart from the time we spent in the water, we all also got to do a lot of indoor fun activities like the sky-walk, go-carts, bowling, ferris-wheel, climbing walls, carousal and a dozen other arcade games.  It was nearly midnight before the twins agreed to be dragged back to our rooms!

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The in-laws visit also gave us an excuse to go sight-seeing around Chicago, something we’d been putting off for reasons unknown. We covered all the tourist sites, except the museums. The kids aren’t too fond of museums yet and they get irritable if we spend too much time on one! So we did the rounds of Millennium Park, Buckingham Fountains, Architectural Boat tour (Where they take you on the Chicago river and give a brief description/history on the landmark towers/buildings in downtown), Magnificent Mile and the likes.

Overall, it was an amazing two months, not only because the parents were with us, also because we got to spend a lot of quality time together as a family. Thats precious 🙂

On the boat tour

On the boat tour

At the Buckingham Fountain

At the Buckingham Fountain

At John Hancock

At John Hancock

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And then, the school started! The kids are in Grade 1 now, older and much wiser than before. They give me enough reason to take refuge in my blog once again 😀

New Academic year begins!

New Academic year begins!

Thats it folks. A quick summary if there ever was one 🙂

I’m a house-wife, still. I did get my work permit, but didn’t have the time or inclination to hunt for a job. InshaAllah, with the in-laws back home and the kids back in school, this might just be the right time to think about a profession again.

So wish me luck.

Adios.

 

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Today was Columbus Day in US. I believe it is the day to honor Sir Columbus who discovered America.  The schools had an off today, but I guess the offices didn’t have a holiday (Saw the usual rush of professionals at the bus-stops).

The kids had brought back poems on Columbus from school last week. Lui was reading the poem, when the BF asked the kids, “Who is Columbus”?

Lui immediately started off with the tale she must have heard at school, about ships and voyagers and high sees and she seemed to go on and on but we were not close to understanding who was Columbus 😐 (brevity is so NOT her style !)

So the BF turned to Shobby and asked him the question. Shobby gave his typical reply –

Arre Abbu, Woh Columbus Pune jaane waala tha, Chicago pahunch gaya“. (Oh Dad, Columbus was heading towards Pune but reached Chicago).

Succinct, I say!

We were rolling over the floor laughing for a good five minutes after this 😀

Needless to say, Shobby has a better understanding of the heart of the matter 😀

Anyhow, since Columbus Day doesn’t really ring my bell (Am more used to Gandhi Jayantis), I woke the kids up early this morning. Pestered them for brushing, toilet, bath, etc. Got them ready and off we went. Only after reaching the school did I realize that something was missing –  the rest of the students ! And the faculty! And the school buses!

*Groan*

(The above line was from the kids. Ever heard a collective groan from two disgruntled kids? It sounds terrible!)

The twins admonished me all the way back home.

“Momma!! You ruined our holiday” (this one’s from Lui. Believe me, she used those exact same words!

“Momma, you should have seen the calendar”, said practical Shobbs.

“Yeah, yeah! Why couldn’t you two have reminded me?”, I shot back at them.

So we reached home and I tried to divert the twin’s irritation with some cartoons (bad parenting example. Guilty *gulp* ).

Now, Lui has this bad habit of fingering her ear-lobe, to the extent that the piercing developed some bruising, After nearly a month of keeping her away from ear-rings, I had put in a stud just that morning, to check if the piercing still existed. Luckily, it did, so I asked Lui to wear the earrings till evening.

Now Lui being Lui and fidgety to boot, started fingering her ear again.

“Mumma, can I remove my earrings now”, she asked.

“No. Not now. Later”.

“But Mumma, I want to remove it”.

“Leave it sweetie. We don’t want that piercing to close, do we?”

“But Mumma, it is MY body. I should decide if I want to wear the earring or not. You cannot decide for me. Right Mom?”

*POW! WHOOOSH!! THUD!! *

(That was the invisible sucker punch to my gut and the subsequent fall of my pride).

I couldn’t speak for a while. There were myriad images running in my mind, of Lui as an adult, with multiple piercings and tattoos all over her body, telling me that it is her right to do what she wants with her body.

Whew!

Shook my head a bit to clear that image. There were bigger issues at hand here.

“Sweetheart, its your body, I agree, but right now, your ear piercing is close to getting closed forever. If it does, it’ll hurt when you pierce it again and if you don’t, you won’t get to wear all my earrings that you adore so much”!

There, that did the trick.  Lui agreed to keep the earrings on till evening.

A girl’s vanity always comes to the rescue , doesn’t it ?! 😀

 

"And that's how we fake a smile"

“And that’s how we fake a smile”

 

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I’ve made it a point that we all have dinner together at the table after the BF gets back from work. We have an early dinner, around 7:30 PM, so that we can start packing the kids off for sleep time around 9pm. Given the cold days and even colder nights, the twins are reluctant to come out of their comforters in the morning. Unless of course if they have slept well. Then they get up bright and early.

So dinner time is when we all get together and break bread. I mean that literally! The BF had bought two loaves of bread one day (on my insistence that two was better than one). The loaves were huge and had a zillion slices each. So we gave up on rice and rotis to finish the damn slices before they got stale 😦 . Anyhow, the kids love talking about the day at school, the teachers, classmates (no friends yet !), their Pune friends and mostly lots of idle talk . Lately though, we’ve been having some rather interesting things to talk about. Hear this :-

1) We were talking about why the twins need to eat the vegetables when suddenly, Shobby had a brainwave.

Shobby : Abbu, mai bhi apne bete ko vegetables khane bolunga.

BF : Huh?! What?

Shobby : (gives a loud sigh and explains as if to child) Jab mujhe bhi baby hoga, tab mai bhi unko vegetables khane bolunga.

BF : Ohh! Okay, good.

Lui : Shobby, aapko kitne babies chahiye.

Shobby : (promptly) TWO!!

Lui : Boys or girls??

Shobby : Boys!

Lui : Abbu, mujhe two girls chahiye.

BF : (looking totally baffled by now) Huh?!

Lui : Shobby, aapko girl chahiye?

Shobby : (After a thought) Yes. Two girls.

Lui : Ok. So you have 2 boys and two girls. That is four. I will have 3 boys and 3 girls (counting on fingers) Six children.

Both the kids look pleased as punch and beam at us.

Sitting across the table, the BF and me just shake our heads in wonder. Or was it sorrow?!!

2) Another day, another time. We are all having dinner. The BF was to leave us for a short trip to India (He’s left already even as I type this) and he was preparing the kids for his departure.

BF : Lui, I will go only for a few days. Be good and don’t trouble your mother.

Lui : (with all solemnity) yes Abbu. I will be good. But I will miss you so much.

(Here she makes her puppy dog face and the BF and barely control the pricking of tears in his eyes )

Lui : But I promise I will NEVER leave you and go.Ever, ever, EVER!

BF : What about when you get married?

Lui : Koi problem nahin? Mere husband ko bhi hamare saath rakhenge.

Here, both the BF and I almost choke on our food.

Me : What??

Lui : (looking very decisive) Dekho mummy, shaadi toh mai karungi hi, lekin, mere husband ko hamare ghar lekar aaoongi rehne ke liye.

The feminist in me did a fist-pump and cheered for her. The BF knit his brows…probably, the future worries him 😛

3) The BF isn’t here. While we were having dinner, the twins got talking about the Pune home.  I realize that they miss the space to run around, not only in our house but also our neighbours. They even miss the trips to the grocery store on the ground floor of the building to buy a packet of Maggi or Chocos (Oh the luxury of it all 😐 ). But I didnt realize that what they missed the most were the bathrooms and wash-basins 😐 . The twins started talking at length about how each of them could brush at a different sink without needing to share or how they could both attend nature’s call at the same time ( 🙄 ) . For the record, we have only one washroom in the apartment here which has a large sink, commode and a tub . As I mulled over the things the kids were talking about, Shobby turns to me and says,

Shobby : Mummy, dekho. If I am taking bath, aur aapko bahut zor se toilet jaana hai, toh aap andar aa jana. Waise bhi curtain hai, aap mujhe nahin dekh sakte.

Lui : Haan mummy. Hum aapke liye adjust karne ke liye tayyar hai.

Me : Ya Allah!! The sacrifices these kids make for me 😐 😐

😀 😀 😀

Here are pics of the two struggling with chop-sticks. For the record, they did manage to finish their dinner with it 🙂

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“MUST get this damn noodle into my mouth!”

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“Its going to be a long night, I see!”

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The Tantrum

Last night the MIL told me that she had bought “bhindi” for the next day’s lunchbox for the kids. Now, Lui had taken a keen liking for the ladyfinger a few months back, so naturally, the MIL assumed that Lui would love to take it in her lunchbox.

The minute Lui heard it was going to be bhindi, she started jumping and howling,”No Mummy, no, no NO!! Don’t want bhindi. I don‘t like bhindi!”

She shouted and cried, stomped her feet, her tears spilled all over her face as she vehemently refused to take bhindi in her lunchbox.

After a couple of minutes of her raging tantrum I was on the verge of snapping at her, when she comes up to me and with puppy-dog-eyes asks softly, “Mumma, what is bhindi?”

😐 😐 😐

:mrgreen:

The MIL burst out laughing.

Me? I’m still searching for the nearest cliff to jump off from !!

 

 

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The Nurses At Home

We were settling down for sleep last night. The twins were done with their goodnight prayers and begged me to tell them a goodnight story.

I wasn’t well, had a bad cold and cough, was even coming down with fever, so I croaked,” Cant tell a story today pumpkins, I’m not feeling well”.

Shobby immediately comes up to me checks my forehead with his tiny palm.

“LUI”, he yells, “Mumma ko bukhar hai“.

Lui scampers up to me and checks my temperature.

Haan Shobby”, she says solemnly, “Mummy has fever. Mumma, please don’t go to office tomorrow”.

“Why baby? I’ll be fine by tomorrow”, I said feebly.

“Lui, humko kal chutti leni chahiye school se“, says Shobby to Lui.

“But why??”, I croak a little louder this time.

Arre Mumma, agar hum school chale gaye, toh aapka khayal kaun rakhega?”, says a very concerned Shobbs.

Abbu ne humko bole thhe, Mummy ka khayal rakhne ke liye. Thats why we will not go to school tomorrow”, adds Lui.

Cue for me to break into tears *Sniff* .

I hugged the two and thanked Allah for the millionth time for giving me two priceless gems as kids 🙂

This morning, the kids got up, dressed for school and didn’t make the fuss that they usually do every morning. They seemed a bit disappointed that I was up and about 😀 😀 😛

“Mumma, if you are not feeling well, then call me from school. I will come”, said Lui as she boarded her school van.

Again, *Sniff*

😀 😀

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Soft And Silky??

I catch Lui washing her hands at the basin and once again, her sleeves are wet till the elbows.

“Lui”, I thundered, “How many times do I have to tell you to roll up your sleeves before washing your hands?”

“But Mumma”, whined Lui,”Maine roll-up ki thhi. But my hands are so soft and silky ki sleeves slip hokar neeche aa gaye!”

😐 😐 😐

Too much of Vaseline body lotion ? I wonder 😐

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