Friday, August 31, 2007

Twinkle Toes

Who knew the salon at the Boerne Walmart would deliver such a great pedicure? A sweet friend recommended WallyWorld (as she calls it) when I asked where she went for some pedi pampering. Took this shot to show off my pretty feet while Trevor was taking an airplane ride.

Pounding the Pavement

...or the gravel, I should say. Wednesday morning found Lisa and I taking a run around beautiful Boerne Lake. I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't even know Boerne HAD a lake... and I've lived here 3 years. Anyway, I couldn't ask for a better training partner/friend. Lisa is so encouraging, positive, and a wealth of information since she's trained for a triathlon before. We easily ran 2 miles, and while I had difficulty walking yesterday, it felt GOOD! Afterwards, we refueled at one of the best little restaurants in Boerne, The Peach Tree. Delish. Nothing like some good exercise and some good food with a great friend!

We'll eventually swim in this lake to train for that part of the triathlon. Lisa (who has swam in it before) assures me that no creatures lurk underwater ready to grab my meaty legs and pull me under. Yes, I've watched "Jaws" one too many times.

Not known for my shyness...I asked some fishermen (well, one of them looked like a fisherBOY who shoulda been in school...) to snap a shot of Lisa and I following our run. We don't sweat, by the way. We glisten.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Identity Crisis

OK--after weeks of trying on new blog formats for size, I think I've fallen head over heels for this latest look. Mostly because the oh-so-cool header designed by my talented friend fits perfectly in this template. I like change...just ask my we'll see how long this one lasts. But, I'm feeling kinda comfy here. Stay tuned...

Deep in the Heart of Texas

I give my husband a hard time. Poor guy...he really deserves a prize for putting up with me and my "comments." Always well-meaning, sometimes snyde, always honest (but maybe that's not a GOOD thing). The longest running digs I've dished out relate to him "moving me out to the country." No, he did not bribe me and no, there were no huge fights about it. Truthfully, I blame my hormones for allowing me to agree to the move to Boerne. We had outgrown our house in San Antonio, baby #2 was on the way, and on Valentine's Day, 2002, we were the proud owner of 4 1/2 acres in the middle of nowhere. Whoopee.

What was I thinking? I lived exactly 5 minutes from EVERYTHING in San Antonio. Now, it's 10 miles to a grocery store. I have critters I didn't even know existed taking up residence in my home. I tell the kids to "watch for the deer poop" in our driveway when they're playing. One day the pest control guy rang the doorbell and asked me calmly and politely, "Would you like me to take care of that BAT over there on your front porch?" EEK!

The house-building process was a blur...I selected doorknobs and paint colors after sleepless nights with a newborn. Meetings with decorators were interrupted by poop blow-outs necessitating a trip to the car for a wardrobe change (for both of us). Never mind whipping out my boob to feed my starving child while watching my 18-month (Priya) old try to swing like a monkey from light fixtures in the lighting store. It's a wonder I don't have fuschia walls and lime green carpet in the house.

It's been 3 1/2 years, and I'm finally settling in. Yes, it has taken me that long. But, whenever I take the time to stop and take in my surroundings, I thank God for blessing us with the opportunity to experience living in such a peaceful place. The stars really are brighter at night, the sun truly shines more gloriously during the day, and the silence that surrounds our little corner of the world is a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle we experience on a daily basis. Don't tell Animesh, but I'm sorta glad we moved here! : )

I never tire of this view on the road home's true what they sing..."The stars at night are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap) deep in the heart of Texas."

I stood on my back porch this morning and shot this amazing view. Yes, this is the sight I behold almost EVERY SINGLE DAY. Even when it rains (which has been a lot this summer), the view is still astonishingly breathtaking.

One of the most beautiful sunsets God has shown us in the last 3 years...the colors are even more vibrant in person.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Culture Club

Animesh and I had a big church wedding and an even bigger Indian wedding. Following those two big parties I had the best intentions of infusing Indian culture into our family's life wherever I could, whether it was by learning to cook the food or mastering Hindi.

Here we are...10 years and 3 kids later...and I am no closer to being able to whip up Chicken Tika Masala than I am to speaking Hindi. Now, I sure can put away the food (Mom Agarwal, yours is the BEST!), and I can sputter out a few words in Hindi, but using "nunga" (naked), "rani" (princess), "poochie" (kiss), and "bunder" (monkey) doesn't earn me an abundance of "oooohs and aaaaahs" in Hindi conversations. I bet you are wondering how I came to learn the word for naked....I'll never tell! Just kidding--it's nothing too provocative! We call our kids "nunga bunders" (naked monkeys) when they are streaking down the hallway for bath time. : )

I am eternally grateful for the gentle reminders from my mother-in-law as to when certain Indian holidays are about to happens to be Rakhi, or, in simple English, "Brother/Sister Day." I don't know of such a celebration in the Western world, but I sure am delighted that the kids have an opportunity to participate in an Indian holiday where they can celebrate each other as siblings.

It goes like this: the sister ties a bracelet on each brother's wrist. Each brother gives his sister a gift. Cool. Priya is set for life with 2 brothers. And, when they pick out High School Musical gifts, it's even more awesome of a holiday.

Priya did a good job tying the bracelets on 2 wiggly worms.

The boys model the rakhi bracelets Priya tied on their delicate wrists ever so carefully.

Priya opens her gifts from her adoring brothers. She is such a tremendously loving, protective big sister to those boys. They are so lucky to have her watching out for them.

School Daze: The Sequel

Deven could hardly contain his excitement on his first day at his new school. Trevor, on the other hand, wouldn't stand still long enough for a pic--but neither one cried when we left. Deven donned the obligatory bug spray the teachers were offering on the playground...and away he went.

Mama and her sweet boys...Animesh asked when I was going to stop dressing them alike. I said, "Um, well, when they tell me not to!" I didn't realize JUST HOW MUCH I missed them today until I was running errands and spotted a mother unloading a double stroller from her "mommy-mobile." Isn't it funny how the most unexpected things trigger memories?

Overall, a highly successful 2nd day in kinder for Priya and 1st day of preschool for the boys...both of them even SLEPT during nap time! Yea!

Monday, August 27, 2007

School Daze

The first day of kindergarten--Deven insisted on personally escorting his sister from the car to the school and Trevor carried Priya's lunch box...I think the boys are going to miss their sister during the day. Thankfully, Mommy held it together for the most part.

Proud Mommy and over-the-moon Priya...not being an early riser, she got up immediately this morning, dressed herself, and asked when we could get in the car to drive to school. We'll see how smooth the rest of the mornings go this week!

In a great big new school it will be reassuring to see good friends just a couple doors down the hall.

Priya and her sweet feels like it's going to be a great year!

After we took Priya to school the boys and I headed to a friend's house for a wonderful back-to-school brunch. We had such a great time (thank you, Suzanne!). Then, two exhausted little boys went home to take a nap. Check back for the "back-to-school" sequel when the boys start tomorrow...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Kindergarten--Here I Come!

I pretty much boo-hoo'd my way through kinder orientation last night...I cried when I met the teacher (wonderful), I cried as I listened to the principal (awesome), I cried when we saw Priya's chair with her name on it. But, our little (big) girl beamed from ear to ear the entire hour. I was (am) nervous about leaving her on Monday, but I have faith that her teacher will be just who Priya needs this year. I mean, who wouldn't love a teacher who reads "The Kissing Hand" to her class at their very first meeting?

I Hope You Dance

Dearest Priya,

So inspired by the invitation to write about being the mom to such a phenomenal little girl, I decided to accept. Please know that the tears are beginning to fall as I type--but also know that they are tears of pure joy.

It's going by way too fast. This thing called "time." You and your brothers are growing at way too rapid a pace. Interestingly, though, those very milestones that make me misty-eyed are those that fascinate me. On any given day the three of you do or say something that amazes me. I marvel at your creativity, imagination, reasoning, tenacity, and the incredible bond you share. I marvel at it not because you are not capable of such a vast array of emotions and insights but because you have developed these characteristics under my watch and care. Now I do not take full responsibility...I mean, it's highly unlikely that your imagination has anything to do with the food I feed you or the clothes I buy you. But, the love you have for one another? I certainly hope that this is due to my fierce (and I mean that in a loving way) fostering of care and respect for everyone in your family and others in this big, beautiful world.

I loved meeting your Kindergarten teacher with you last night--watching you explore your new classroom with wide-eyed anticipation and wonder. Our Girls Night Out was extra-special, too, since we rarely get this time for just the two of us. There were so many little moments that made my heart swell with pride and made those over-active tear ducts of mine do their thing. Here's a few:

*As I was doing your hair before we left, you looked up at me lovingly and said, "It was so much fun being the first one in your belly, Mommy."

*How you exclaimed on the way to the school, "Mommy, Kindergarten is going to be awesome!"

*While sharing a pizza, you smiled at me and said, "Mommy, you can have the last piece if you want."

*The countless "I love you's" and "Thanks, Mommy's" I received throughout the evening.

These memories stand out in my mind...but there were so many other little moments from the evening that I will keep tucked in my heart forever. I know that you need individual time with Mommy, but, sweetheart, you will never know how much I needed this time with you before you begin this exciting adventure that is elementary school.

Priya, we thank God for blessing our family's life with you. As the beautiful song says, may you never take one single breath for granted. God forbid love ever leave you empty handed. I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean. Whenever one door closes, I hope one more opens. Promise me you'll give faith a fighting chance. And, if you get the choice to sit out or dance...I hope you dance.

I love you to the moon and back again, forever and ever,

Monday, August 20, 2007

Last Hurrah

The three little Indians LOVED this oldie but goodie...but not as much as my breakfast. What is it about the food on Mommy's plate always tasting better?

Trevor loved feeding the ducks...slowly...piece of food by piece of food.

The three little Indians pose outside the Butterfly Exhibit at the zoo.

Yesterday began a fun-filled week for me & the kids before school starts next Monday. I'm waking them up earlier than normal to prepare them for an unbelievable departure time from the house, and we're attempting at least one adventure a day to mark the end of summer vacation (but not the end of the summer heat!).

Sunday we visited IHOP, and isn't it nice to know that in this day and age of high-tech gadgets and ever-changing fads that some things never change? I remember eating these smiley face pancakes when I was a kid. My heart danced as I watched the kids enjoy these yummy treats. Such a happy blast from the past.

Today we went to the zoo, ate our picnic lunch with the ducks & fish (and flies & bees, much to my children's dismay), and rode the train in Brackenridge Park. The plan is to make it to Sea World tomorrow and swimming Wednesday, but Hurricane Dean will determine whether our adventures continue to be outdoors for the rest of the week. Yep, you guessed it--I'm not ready for summer to end.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


"Feel the rain on your skin
No one else can feel it for you
Only you can let it in
No one else, no one else
Can speak the words on your lips
Drench yourself in words unspoken
Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten."

From the song "Unwritten" sung by Natasha Bedingfield

For days this catchy tune has been stuck in my head (and prompting me to get my groove on when I hear it on the Ipod) as I've contemplated the idea of doing my first triathlon. It's a SPRINT, mind you, but I don't view a 1/2 mile swim, 12 mile bike ride, and 3 mile run as anything less than a worthy accomplishment--provided I finish and don't end up on a stretcher headed for the nearest Austin hospital come June of '08. I've vocalized my desire and "not set in concrete" commitment to several of those closest to me...which, in my mind, makes this all the more real. In fact, blogging about it almost ensures that I will actually follow through. Maybe there's something to be said of those life coaches who preach about putting your goals in writing. Only time will tell. Until then, today is where MY book begins. The rest is still unwritten.

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Day in the Life and GO WILDCATS!

If you ask me what I'm thinking about at any given moment, you had better settle in and get comfy because you're gonna get an earful. My mind is constantly racing--in a matter of only minutes my flight of ideas can go from what the state of the union is to what shade of nail polish I'll choose at my next pedicure with a thousand other thoughts in between. I often warn my husband to stand back because my brain is on the verge of exploding with all the information it is trying to store, sort through, or forget. I'm amazed at my husband sometimes...not at how smart he is but at his ability to think about one thing at a time--especially where the children & house are concerned. Granted, this only serves to frustrate me at times (okay...ALL THE TIME) when he's not doing 27 things at once (and FAST). I have to remember that he doesn't operate this way on a daily basis like I do...and I've grown so used to multitasking on this level that I grow impatient when he doesn't.

You might be wondering what these pictures have to do with one another. Well, they're kind of a visual flight of ideas of our exciting Friday. We started our day at the dentist (exhibit A: Deven's pearly whites). Afterwards I visited an orthopedic surgeon for my ailing knee (exhibit B: my x-rays--don't turn me in for violating my own confidential information). And, no way, no how did I want Animesh to treat me himself. That's rule #1 in the marriage handbook. Luckily, it's only tendonitis...will have to do my exercises and wear my brace and see how things go. While I was getting fixed up, Animesh took the kids to Target where he finally understands my theory: when you shop with children, you always leave with more than you came for. Priya is now the proud owner a Gabriella doll from High School Musical (exhibit C)...which will sit next to us proudly tonight as we watch the sequel's premiere tonight on Disney Channel--yeah, that's me in exhibit D sporting my own H.S. Musical t-shirt. Who do you think is more excited?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Unexpected Moments

Today we visited our pediatrician's office. This is the second visit in a week...but, yes, when you have 3 kids the pediatrician is one of those people with whom you form a bond with...whether you want to or not. Priya has been coughing and wheezing for 5 days now, and (YIPPEE) she also has the rotovirus...complete with frequent mad dashes to the potty which has necessitated me clearing the path free from any roadblocks that may be in her way when she jumps up and shouts, "I gotta GO!" (I'm sure she'll love reading about this later---).

And, it's always a pleasure to tote the "healthy" kids with me to the office...because I am almost certain that a pediatrician's waiting room is one of the MOST sanitary places one can visit. Yeah, right.

So, as we're sitting in the little room waiting for our beloved doctor (we really do love him which is why we make the 45 minute trek from our home to see him) the kids shot these pictures of each other. Who knew that in between trips to the bathroom such artistry would take place?

Stepping Stone

"Never compromise a dream. Do what you must. The fears, beasts, and mountains before you are part of the plan. Stepping stones to a promised land. To a time and place that is so much closer than even you expect. So don't let your eyes deceive you, for even as you read these words, your ship swiftly approaches..."

Mike Dooley

What are your dreams?

Monday, August 13, 2007

MommyMobile Maintenance

I do not enjoy anything having to do with car maintenance. Oil change? Ugh. Tires rotated? Double ugh. I realize these things are very important, but I'd rather not be at a car dealer reading years-old magazines & offered thick, syrupy coffee that has been sitting in the pot since O-dark-thirty. So, when I realized I was 12 days overdue in getting the truck inspected, a large pit in my stomach developed. Worse, if it was something I was going to accomplish today, the little Indians were going to have to come with me.

Then I remembered I could go to the dealer, Ancira GMC, in Boerne. I knew this would not be a lengthy visit, but I also knew my precious offspring would not sit still in a chair watching the token T.V. show of the moment in the lobby (today's special: The Price is Right) while we waited for the inspection to be completed. The Ancira dealer has that small-town, friendly hospitality that I am growing to love here in Boerne...Shawn greeted me by name with a smile and said he would make this as speedy as possible (either for my benefit or to protect his lobby from any demolishing my kids might do if made to wait too long). Who cares what the reasons are? My little Indians amused themselves with Legos & Skittles (yes, I bribe with candy when necessary), and we were outta there in no time flat.

After a delicious, relatively quiet lunch we traveled home with my shiny new inspection sticker reflecting in the sunlight. Yes, a mundane task was accomplished, but even better was the "Thanks for the lunch, Mom" and the "That was fun going to the car place" remarks I received when we pulled into the garage. And, even though it is mildly exhausting dragging the kids to run errands like that, I hope in the long run they will benefit from being exposed to ALL kinds of things in life...not just the fun stuff. But, as is the beauty with children, to them--this WAS fun. Which reminded me to slow down and enjoy every minute I spend with my children...even in a car dealership lobby chasing the roaches and eating Skittles. At least it wasn't the other way around.

Friday, August 10, 2007


5 years and 10 months ago our precious Priya entered the world prematurely (or so that's what everybody says about a baby born at 34 weeks). At 5 lbs. 13 oz. she didn't have much to learn outside of the womb, and she only stayed in the NICU for a week--compared to so many other TINY little ones who were struggling with all of their might to survive. She thrived from the get-go, and her love for sunglasses clearly began when she donned them so fashionably in the little incubator when she was just days old. She is so many things to us: princess, funny, kind, sensitive, dramatic (hmmm, where does THAT come from?), and the best big sister to her brothers. It blows my mind to think how rapidly time has passed us by since she joined our family that amazing October morning.

In exactly 17 days my first-born enters the big world of elementary school. I hadn't thought much about it until a few days ago when I took the "cool shades" shot above--reminding me of her first encounter with sunglasses. Suddenly Priya looked so grown up! This realization set off a flood of emotions that have been creeping up on me--and will most likely intensify as the first day of school draws nearer. We love you, Priya, and are so proud of you. May you spread your wings and fly in all you do.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Who's Your Daddy?

Last Sunday we spent the afternoon lounging in my parents' pool. It was pretty much a little slice of heaven...lots of sunshine & even more laughs. The kids are so incredibly lucky to have 2 sets of grandparents that pretty much worship the ground they walk on, and we're even luckier that my parents live a short 15 minutes away.

The hit of any family get-together is Papa Jim. Count on him to start the ball-throwing fight or to get more excited than Deven when the remote-control speedboat races across the water. He's as silly as any kid--slam dunking at his pool-side hoop or splashing wildly while attempting a cannonball. And, for an "old" (no pun intended) Air Force Colonel, he is more laid back than most people I know. He's known affectionately by the kids as Papa or Pops or Popcorn, but to me, he's the coolest dad ever.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

Yesterday I took all 3 little Indians to the grocery store for some heavy duty shopping. We were pretty much out of everything from milk to eggs to soap. I'm pretty sure I don't need to say much more to you moms out there about this morning outing. It was quite exhausting. They were behaved enough, aside from the "I want that cereal!" to the "I have to go potty!" to the "I want to sit in The Wiggles shopping cart."

It's not the actual shopping that knocks the wind out of my sails. It's the homecoming. I have it down to a science (I unload the car, put away groceries, feed the kids lunch, inhale my own sandwich in between trips to the car & the potty to wipe bottoms, etc.). Is this sounding familiar to anyone?

So, after this juggling act and while the kids were "resting" I decided to ignore the piles of dirty laundry, the piles of clean laundry in need of folding, and the dirty dishes in the sink. I decided instead to light my favorite candle & relax in a hot tub while indulging in some intellectual reading material. I must say that for the first time in a long time I felt not a ping of guilt. I highly recommend playing this form of housework hooky--it was totally worth the chores that still awaits me.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Build Me Up, Buttercup.

Last Friday I took a deep breath, loaded up the kids, and went out to run some errands. I usually hold out until Mom or a sitter is able to hang out with the little Indians, but I decided I would muster up some courage and lots of patience and bring them with me this time. I was exceptionally tired from the night before (we went out for a FUN dinner with some friends), so I knew my tolerance would wear thin quickly. Regardless, into the car we piled.

As we stopped at various places, the kids were themselves...laughing, a tad bit need of a stern "talking-to" and "glaring-at" on occasion, but overall well-behaved. At each of our 3 destinations someone approached me about my children. The sweet lady at the Homestead Craft Store told me how she can't remember seeing such polite, happy children in a long time, and "how nice to see kids out of strollers and walking so nicely behind their mommy." A lady approached me in the Hobby Lobby parking lot soon after and said, "I noticed how respectfully you speak to you children...acknowledging everything they say. It's so nice to see that in this day and age." And later, at Taco Cabana, a mom with an infant said to me, "I hope that when I have more children I will be able to take them out by myself and have them behave as your kids did."

Now, I write none of this to brag. There are instances (as there were that day while we were out) when I lose my cool, act impulsively, and discipline in a not-so-pleasant manner. I write all of this because those compliments that day gave me a much needed confidence-booster...perfect strangers giving me a pat on the back in the area of motherhood...something that ALL MOTHERS NEED WHETHER THEY ADMIT IT OR NOT! As moms we tend to criticize each other and judge other's decisions. What we need to do more often is build one another up. As moms we belong to one of the coolest clubs in the universe. Why rag on one of our fellow club members when they are probably doing the best they know how and could really use an "atta girl" every now and then? I'm going to try and do that more often--both to my friends and perfect strangers. Who knows? That compliment you give could send that person floating on cloud 9 the rest of the day just like it did me. And, those strangers will never know it.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Chef Boyardee

All 3 of our little Indians have enjoyed playing "chef" at one time or another. Go figure...their daddy loves to cook and his quite talented in the kitchen. Their mommy loves to eat. It would make perfect sense that our kids would gravitate towards anything having to do with food.

It started me thinking that maybe our kids might not choose to go to college in the future and might spend a good part of their lives in a restaurant setting earning their keep in some way or another. It got me to thinking that all the lofty dreams and high hopes and expectations we have for our children may not be the dreams that they dream for themselves. And, that's okay. We will love them for who they are and for what they choose to make of their lives. We will do our best to accept them for all they are now and for who they will become in the future. Because, as parents, isn't that all our children really ask of us?

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Jeepers Creepers

Scorpions: piece of cake. Grasshoppers: no problem. Ants: been there, done that. But these centipedes...I just can't seem to get used to 'em. Never mind that we find at least 3-5 a year in our house. It's a hazard of living in the country, but I will never become accustomed to the sight of these creepy crawlies. My skin crawls at the mere sight of one. Poor Priya found this one in her bathroom tonight. I predict a very uneasy night's sleep for her...and me.

You Just Gotta "Bellive"

I tell everyone who crosses my path that I have lost brain cells with the pregnancy and subsequent delivery of each of my 3 little Indians. I am certain my placentas were boasting incredible brain power when they entered the world. I used to be organized, well-rested, on time, and, let's face it, SANE B.C. (before children). I wouldn't trade motherhood for anything, but it sure would be nice to know where to find the baby wipes I just KNOW I bought at Walmart only to discover that I have placed them oh-so-carefully in the freezer for safe-keeping. And if I didn't look at my calendar daily I would be totally lost. Seriously.

So, it shouldn't be any surprise to discover--DAYS LATER, I might add-- that the adorable sign I have purchased at Hobby Lobby to display in my family room is misspelled. I apparently left my keen attention to detail in the hospital when I quit working as a nurse. I'm part annoyed, part amused at this fact, it's such a hallmark trait of who I have become, I am tempted to just keep it and display it proudly on my mantle to remind myself that I just gotta "bellive."

You Are My Sunshine

To celebrate the sun FINALLY reappearing this summer, we invited our great friends to swim with us this afternoon. We had the best time with "Aunt" Lisa, Brett, & Brooke. It's always fun to spend time with them. The girls, of course, act like giddy sisters when they're together--even developing their own "secret" handshake, and my boys are so excited to have Brett around to rough-house with. What fun we had in the sun.