Tuesday, September 25, 2007

When counting sheep doesn't work....

...put a Strawberry Shortcake baseball cap on your face to keep out the light. Think Priya will be happy when Daylight Savings Time arrives next month. We absolutely cracked up when we found her snoozing away like this. At least she gave herself a giant nose hole to breathe through.

Is there anything more precious than a child's face when they are sleeping? I think not. Good night, my precious angel. Sweet dreams.

Monday, September 24, 2007

First--Worst, Second--Best, Third--You're a Nerd

It's an interesting subject...this thing about birth order. Being the oldest of 3 I just naturally assumed that I was the more intelligent sibling (just kidding, Kristin & Jeff!). The Birth Order Book has some fascinating tidbits about why we are the way we are based purely on when we joined our families. The author states that I would be a totally different person had I not been born first. While not all of the first-born adjectives describe me, I can say that qualities such as being a people-pleaser, reliable, and a list-maker are fairly accurate. I also easily fall into the "compliant nurturer and caregiver" category of first-borns. I guess this is why I became a nurse (besides the wonderful work hours and the oh-so-fashionable scrubs).

I am especially fascinated with the "middle-child-syndrome." My sister has her own stories of being a middle child, but I'm really interested in this theory because I have been able to witness changes in Deven since the birth of his baby brother. In The Birth Order Book the author states that middle children are a bit of a mystery. I laughed out loud when I read that. There's no better way to describe him! The book goes on to say that middle children often feel they were born too late to get the privileges and special treatment the oldest inherits by right. And, they are born too soon to enjoy the lightening up of their parents when it comes to discipline. Poor kid! Deven may be developing a complex and he's only 4! Just pile that onto the already existing "mother guilt" I've got goin' on.

It's so amazing to watch Deven transform himself from "middle child" when his sister and brother are around to "baby brother" when it's just he and Priya to "big brother" when it's just he and Trevor.

When Priya started school a month ago I noticed Deven felt a bit lost...not sure what to do with himself or what to do with Trevor. He told me he missed Priya...which isn't surprising since they're only 18 months apart and have been extremely close from Day 1. I know Deven still wishes Priya were around on the days he isn't in school, but he and Trevor are finding their niche together...doing brotherly things and driving their mother crazy just trying to keep them alive (why do boys inherently jump off every piece of furniture in the house?!).

Gotta love little guys in uniform...Deven loves to dress up...a past-time he learned from his big sister. His baby brother will do ALMOST anything Deven wants him to. Which isn't so lucky for me. Did I mention the jumping off every piece of furniture in the house?!?!

Tow-mater and a very serious Lightning McQueen zoomed around the house for awhile.

"Excuse me, Mommy, while I take this very important phone call."

Man's best friend--Kirby cuddles up with his biggest fan, Deven.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Clownin' Around

Yesterday I took Priya and Deven to a fun birthday party complete with a visit from LuLu the Clown. He's a stitch...getting the kids (and parents) involved in his antics. Thank goodness nobody captured me on film when LuLu grabbed me to do one of his silly stunts. Priya even got to be an assistant...and every child walked away with something special. The highlight for my kids, however, were the balloon animals. Something so simple yet so delightful for a little one.

I try to put myself in a "Mommy Time Out" at least once a week. This "time out" requires me to physically leave the house in order for Daddy to be with the kids so as to remind them that he is oh-so-capable of caring for them. He doesn't get that opportunity when I am home...I mean, why do they think Mommy wipes bottoms better than Daddy, anyway?

Today my "time out" was conveniently located inside a Starbucks, a scrapbooking store, and a couple shops at La Cantera. While I was gone Daddy had taken the kids to Walmart to buy clown balloons (inspired by the party yesterday). I arrived home to find all 3 children huddled around Animesh--who was staring intently at this computer screen and whipping out all sorts of creatures much to their delight. What a great daddy.

Even I was impressed with this one...For Priya Animesh made the heart first and then configured (whew, big word, huh?) the two love birds to sit inside it.

Deven shows off his blue doggie, but the yellow balloon sword is his fave.

The great thing about being "2" is that hammin' it up for the camera just comes naturally. Saying "cheese" almost always accompanies a cheesy grin...Trevor has mastered it.

Animesh was pretty proud of this "monkey" he created for each of the kids. I thought it looked more like a poodle with an unusually long tail...but who am I to burst a man's...uh...balloon?

I think it's safe to say that if this doctor thing gets old, Animesh could very well have a future in balloon-animal-making. At least his kids think so. And, to a parent, well, that's all that really matters.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Time of My Life

I guess I can call myself a musician. I've been playing the flute for about 27 years now (yes, even in church in my adult years). All my attempts to ditch this instrument failed. I begged Mom and Dad to let me quit in the 4th grade because I couldn't STAND to practice 30 minutes a day--getting those practice cards signed by my parents was mandatory for band class. My other band geek friend and I tried to abandon our musical talents in the 8th grade in hopes of joining the "cool" pep squad in high school. Our then-band-director sat us down and gave us a firm talkin' to. We were too talented. Why did we wanna give up on something we had worked so hard for? We both rolled our eyes at him, but in the end we listened. Band was good to us in high school, both musically and personally. Some of my best friends and best high school moments were in that Taft High School band hall and on the football field performing the half-time shows.

So, when I decided to fulfill a life-long dream and learn to play the guitar, I thought I had it made. I mean, I could read music well, so how hard would this instrument be to tackle? Piece of cake, right?

Wrong. Turns out that reading music doesn't help you ONE IOTA when it comes to the guitar. It's a whole other monster. And a sometimes frustrating one at that. Here it is--a year later--and I am just now feeling like I am SORT OF getting the hang of this. Sort of. Thank goodness for Richard, my guitar teacher. Laid back, easy-going, hilarious Richard. He comes into our house once a week and doesn't care if I've practiced 5 hours or 5 minutes. He is relentless in helping me reach a goal of mine...to play Green Day's "Good Riddance." In that song the lyrics say "I hope you had the time of your life." While learning to play the guitar, I really am.

When we married, I told Animesh that he would NEVER get me to drink red wine. Ever. In a million years. He reminds me of this now about 3 times a week when I am enjoying a glass of a Cabernet (yes, I even have my red wine PREFERENCES now...). It's truly an "I-told-you-so" moment for my husband. And, he's not had many of those in the last 10 years. : )

However, about 3 weeks ago I started sipping on THIS Mexican delicacy (loaded with fresh limes) while I had my lesson. Miraculously, I began playing better. I guess I felt more relaxed--less inhibited--less embarrassed that I hadn't practiced everyday for an hour and that I didn't have those callouses that are so trademark of die-hard guitarists. Richard says that drinking a beer while I play is a good start to becoming a tried and true rock star. Rock on, I say. Let the music play.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Flyin' High

My BSM this week--fly over there to see more at Picture This.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


About 3 1/2 weeks ago when I CASUALLY mentioned to my friend, Jeanne, that I wanted to do a triathlon next summer, she asked if I would join her in a triathlon relay. I hesitantly agreed to do the 5K run (her least favorite event). I quickly shopped for a good pair of shoes and began training. Did I mention that I haven't run in 8 years?

Today was race day, and I awoke at 5am (after not sleeping much due to intense nerves) to watch Jeanne do the 400 meter swim & the 15 mile bike ride before I did my thing. It was amazing to watch the transitions and how everyone moves from one event to the next...and I also realized that we could easily go BROKE investing in all of the GEAR needed just for the cycling!

Jeanne is awesome...a wealth of information for this first-time triathlete and so much fun to hang with.

The swim pics didn't turn out so hot, but here she is--coming around the mountain.

This is me chugging along towards the finish line after conquering the mountainous hills at UTSA (okay, maybe MOUNTAINOUS isn't the right word, but they sure felt like it). I can honestly say at this point I was about to keel over from heat exhaustion.

The blurriness of this picture has NOTHING to do with Jeanne's photography...it's because I was running SO FAST when she took the picture. :)

Crossing the finish line. It seemed like I ran for 2 hours, but I actually finished 10 minutes ahead of my usual time. Maybe my IPOD slows me down.

Jeanne and I were thrilled not to have drowned, crashed, or twisted an ankle during our respective events. We are the champions, my friends!

Our race numbers were written (in permanent marker) on our arms and thighs...

...while our AGES were displayed on our calves for the world to see. It was amazing to see those out there 45 and older. What inspirations they are.

Before she headed back to Austin, "Aunt" Jeanne joined in some playtime. The kids absolutely adore her.

Thank you, Jeanne, for inviting me to do this and for being such a great supporter, encourager, & friend. You rock, sister, and I love ya.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Labor Day Laughter

Wordless Wednesday is here.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Table for 5

I'm sure you've had a few sleepless nights wondering if we did, indeed, use the fine china I told you we were going to use this past weekend. Well, we did. The kids were psyched to eat in a room that is actually MADE for eating but never utilized in that way. They even help me set the table.

I ditched the hot dog idea, though, and came up with a pretty decent chicken parmesan. My meals never LOOK that pretty compared to Animesh's (Mr. Chef whose mantra is "presentation is everything"), but it tasted yummy enough.

Daddy & Trevor toast the meal.

Of course no fine meal is complete without the kids crawling under the table. They used the towels meant to protect the chairs as entrances into their little tunnels. Such fine table manners I'm instilling in them.

Yes, that's an Incredible costume Trevor is modeling. He is our feisty little Jacky-Jack.

I remember why I never use that fine china...it has to be washed by hand. Ugh.

Daddy made it convenient for us to eat in the "formal" (I use that term loosely) dining room because he was in the middle of a project and had every tool he owns on the breakfast table.

These awesome pendant lights are the finished product!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pump Up the Volume (Brothers & Sistahs!)

I am a music fanatic. I mean it. I know almost all the words to almost every song that ever aired on the radio in the 80s and 90s. Not only that, but I can tell you how old I was, who I was (or was not!) dating, what shade of blonde my hair was, how much I weighed (okay, maybe I wouldn't divulge that info), which hospital I was working in (I was a job-hopper), and which apartment I crashed in (I was an apartment-hopper, too...).

Not only do I know the words, I really do love the music...especially from my high school years (the 80s). Before Animesh and I could leave the children behind and go out of town I made him do our wills. He thought I was joking (and a bit morbid) when I told him I wanted the soundtrack to The Wedding Singer played at my viewing. I am totally serious about this. No, really. Totally. Serious.

Times have changed, but I still love music--though until recently the choices have not been my own. I've developed an appreciation for the rockin' musical sounds of The Wiggles, and I have to admit that I have been known to really cut a rug when my all-time favorite cartoon song serenades me in the mornings..."Rescue Pack" from Go Diego, GO! (C'mon, admit it! That tune just SCREAMS salsa...).

So, when my hubby called me 2 weeks ago on the first day of school--he timed this so perfectly--to tell me he had reinstated my satellite radio, I was, well, psyched! Not only do I have the 80s to rock out to...but the great dance tunes (C & C Music Factory, anyone?!) and rock hits from the 90s, too! Totally RAD!

Now, I've got 3 WHOLE DAYS A WEEK to jam to whatever I want to in the car. YEE-HAW (I know, that's so Texan). So, if you see me on IH-10 (East or West...I totally LIVE in my car on both sides of that highway), then you better move on over and let me pass. Because, like Sammy Hagar sings, "I Can't Drive 55."

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Friday Night Fever

In the previous post I mentioned that we were "plan-less" for the weekend. Not entirely so. We actually went out to dinner Friday night and had a great time. If you live in the San Antonio area and have never visited Scenic Loop Cafe (& Bar...a very important quality to have in a restaurant!), well, you're missin' out. The food is pretty good, but the best part is the outdoor playscape for the kids right there on the patio. It's heaven for parents who want to meet other families for a decent meal. While we were still eating, the kids excused themselves to go burn off some energy on the slide, etc. The grownups actually got in a few intelligible sentences (in between hurried potty breaks, of course).

We met some new friends there...and Priya was excited that Eleni's daddy is from India, too.

Joining us were some great friends and neighbors. Deven & Brandt...two sweet boys...who says men don't hug?! : )

Trevor & Barrett are in the same class at school. They are so fun to watch interact with each other.

This last shot of Trevor thoroughly enjoying his ice cream is my Best Shot Monday. Check out Tracey for more.

little bsm button

Friday, September 7, 2007


I am not much of a collector. My mother has a trillion collections...Lladros & Hummels (expensive European figurines), angels, baskets, etc. I remember watching her dust them, and I told myself that I would never go down that route. Because I despise dusting. Which is probably why I hired someone else to dust for me.

One thing I can never have too many of, however, are candles. I burn one (or more) every day. Yes, every single day. I have 3 going right now in different rooms. It's not only a way to disguise "the dogs haven't bathed in a month" odor, but it also symbolizes 2 things for me: peace and hope. Peace in the sense that there is something so calming about soft candlelight illuminating a space--any space. Hope in the sense that deep inside each of us is the capability of being candles-- lights in this sometimes dim world. Light for our spouses & friends. Light for the grouchy store clerk and the tired postman. Light for the stranger standing on the street corner. Light to other moms. And, especially, light for our children.

Speaking of candle-like reflections....I had many opportunities for reflection of my own yesterday. My mom underwent what is hopefully her last procedure to relieve severe arm & shoulder pain, and I kept Dad company in the waiting room. I reveled in the quiet while driving to and from the hospital...thinking, pondering, and analyzing...a far cry from my usual solo drives when my Ipod is blaring at a dangerously high level. In the spirit of the beautiful list that Maile made on her 33rd birthday (and to mimic the reflections Oprah shares in the last pages of her magazine) , I compiled my own "things I know for sure," in case you're interested:

1. I really love spending time with my dad.

2. Like Maile, I realize I will never be the perfect parent.

3. However, we are ALL the perfect parents for the children we've been given.

4. I am not able to change other people, but I am capable of changing myself.

5. No matter how many mistakes I think my mother made in raising us, she did the
best she could with what she knew. And, she loves us the best way she knows how.

6. When I am true to myself, I am a good mom.

7. Making mistakes is a part of parenting. We all make mistakes. No one is

8. Nothing drains me more than comparing myself to other mothers.

9. I must try harder to live the lessons I am trying to teach my kids: be a whole, well-rounded individual, filled with self-care and self-respect.

10. Saving something for a "special day" or occasion means that I don't value each
and every day as I should.

Have a great weekend. For a change, we have absolutely nothing planned. But, you can think of us at dinner time as we eat our hot dogs on the wedding china we have used only once. Because today is special enough to use it. Today is a gift. That's why they call it the present.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Labor Day Continued...

After our Labor Day luau (and since we had erased any hopes of napping the kids with bedtime was only a few hours away...) we decided to take a drive on the golf course. It's filled with breathtaking views and serene surroundings...and it's the closest you'll ever see me to playing the game that is about as exciting as watching a pot boil. Give me the Spurs and the Coyote any day.

Of course, all 3 little Indians wanted their turn at the wheel. Priya did pretty well when she wasn't covering her eyes in fear when Daddy stepped on the gas. This caused her to steer us off the path which led to her screeching, "DADDY!" I think I'll be at the mall when he teaches her to drive.

We stopped (several times) for "Princess Potty Breaks" (for Priya)...Daddy took this one while we waited for her Highness to finish.

I am obsessed with my children's feet (we call them their "piggies"). Are they not they most adorable feature on a child?!

"I see golfers! Hurry before they hit us with a ball!" (an infamous Deven quote)

The 16th hole is my favorite with a gorgeous waterfall (and a scary cliff leading to the river WAAAY down below...Animesh said he's lost many a ball WAAAY down there...)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Let's Hula Since We're Out of School-a

We celebrated Labor Day at our neighborhood clubhouse where they hosted a luau-themed lunch. It was especially nice since we were able to hang out with our great-friends-soon-to-be-neighbors.

Natalya & Priya...breathtakingly beautiful.

Handsome boys enjoyed eating cake for lunch.

Fun, kid-friendly activities included a water balloon toss...

...playing catch with the beach ball...

...doing the limbo--how low can you go?....

...practicing our hula moves...

...and making our own lei bracelets.

Before leaving the kids asked to "dip their feet in the pool." This translated into getting soaked from neck to toe...but their facial expressions made it all worthwhile.

It is so special to be able to make memories with such special friends. What a fun day.