Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Tough Crowd

My kids haven't eaten many veggies since their Gerber days. I realize I'm partly to blame for this, but I've also read that children have more (or less--I can't exactly remember which) taste buds so foods taste differently to us than to them. I'm hoping that the little Indians will be like me...a late bloomer...and enjoy veggies once they get older. In the meantime, I have decided to become creative.

Ok, so I last night I cracked open Jessica Seinfeld's "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook, pureed veggies till there was broccoli and cauliflower spewing onto every surface in my kitchen, and whipped up 2 "deceptively delicious" dishes for my family (all of this while wearing a frilly apron & smile on my face while pirouetting around the kitchen as I hummed "Whistle While You Work").

Okay, I actually just made myself crack up. Really. I truly just let out a chuckle and Trevor just asked me, "Mommy, why you affing?"

The actual scene that unfolded last night as I blended, steamed, chopped, and frantically hurried to get dinner on the table: Trevor and Deven were doing dive bombs onto the coffee table from the arm rest of the sofa. Priya was running in circles trying to get our elderly, sickly dogs to chase her. Apparently very hungry, Trevor would periodically take a break from his acrobatics to bite his brother and sister if they did something to annoy him...or just for kicks. The tattling was incessant. The shrieks of pain after Trevor's nibbling were eardrum-shattering. My wine glass was emptying. OH, THE HORROR!

I finally got the chicken nuggets (secretly coated in broccoli) and the mashed potatoes (mixed with cauliflower puree) onto the table. Let me just say that it's not easy to hide broccoli. The first words out of all 3 kids mouths were "What's that GREEN STUFF?" "OOOOHHHH! GROSS!" "I'm not eating that!" I told them that it was just spices on the chicken, but Priya, who is too smart for any kind of mother-fib, said, "I know it's broccoli." Eventually, though, she did eat--and actually enjoy--the food. And, so did Trevor! Deven totally fought it, but I'm blaming part of that on his willfulness and not taking a nap yesterday. The mashed potatoes were a hit, however. Thank goodness.

They were a tough crowd...but I am as stubborn as my children. I refuse to quit trying. There are other recipes I want to try before throwing in the towel. I'm determined to get some healthy foods into the 3 little Indians...somehow, some way. Even if I have dried up veggie puree stuck to my ceiling.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Happiest Place on Earth

We spent this week in Orlando, Florida--home of Mickey, Princesses, and all things magical. What a whirlwind trip filled with fun memories. The parks were more crowded than usual given the time of year, but we managed to cram in almost all we wanted to see and do in 4 short days.

Cinderella's castle is still so breathtakingly beautiful to me in the daytime...

...and decked out for the holidays at night. Gorgeous.

Have you ever watched "Toy Story 2?" Where the two Buzz Lightyears try to beat each other up? This is what I thought of when I took this shot--watching my own Buzz showdown.

I was sad that Priya no longer wants to wear princess costumes to Disney as in years past, but this photo made up for it. The best clearance costumes I've ever purchased at $4 bucks a piece. And, you shoulda seen how STOKED Buzz was when the boys ran up to him looking like this!

Animesh and I enjoyed drinking our way through Epcot. Here we are toasting in Paris (with the Eiffel Tower in the background).

Naturally, this was a highlight for our own little Wildcat, Priya. What a great street show this was at MGM Studios.

Sometime during the trip Deven began exclaiming (whenever he saw something cool which was about every 5 minutes) that it was "totally awesome!" This was one of those moments. Trevor had his costume on, too, but was scared away by Mr. Incredible.

The absolute highlight of the trip for Deven was meeting Remy and Emille from Ratatouille. He's still talking about them.

Trevor and Priya opted for some face painting one day...how cute are they as a little puppy and Cinderella princess?!

The 3 Little Indians wearing their pirate Mickey ears (well, Goofy ears for Trevor, which is oh-so-appropriate!).

You'll notice a little Indian missing from this pic. All week long Trevor had been shouting "Hey, you!" when he would spot a character. Well, lucky Jimminy Cricket got a special greeting on this day. Trevor ran up to Mr. Cricket and said, "You poo-poo." Animesh was mortified and whisked Trevor away from Mr. C. We cannot even imagine the look on that person's face underneath the mask. I imagine that he's probably been told a lot worse. I hope.

Trevor shaped up in time to visit the petting zoo at Animal Kingdom...where the animals actually DID smell like poo-poo.

Our last day was spent at Animal Kingdom...home of 2 of the most amazing Broadway-caliber shows--"Finding Nemo: The Musical" and "The Festival of the Lion King". Two must-sees if you're headed to Animal Kingdom.

Holiday Mickey was there, too, and I made us take a family picture at the end of the night. I was worn out and it shows in the picture, but we weren't gettin' outta there without taking that darn picture with M.M. in his festive duds.

That's it for now. I'll try and get some gallery compiled in case you're dying to view all 216 photos from the trip. So, as the sign says in the "It's a Small World" ride...my favorite ride of all time:

Friday, November 16, 2007

Thanks Be to Thee

We leave town tomorrow, and I couldn't let my last (whiny) post linger all that time. With Thanksgiving upon us, I couldn't help but make a mental list of all that I have to be grateful for. There's no way I can name them all here, but some of them include the love of my family and friends, our health, freedoms of speech and to worship God, Animesh's job, our home, clothes, and food on the table...our 3 LITTLE INDIANS who never cease to amuse, inspire, and teach us on a daily (HOURLY) basis...I'm sure your list might include some of these same things.

Today I'm grateful for the cooler temps and the bright blue sky...

And, I'm thankful that yesterday I got to share in my 2-year-old's Thanksgiving feast at school. I'm SOOOOO thankful for the beautiful card Trevor's teacher gave to us...THANKING US for sharing our child with them. How sweet is that?

These were the table decorations at Trevor's feast. Each child was transformed into the CUTEST PILGRIM EVER!

He sat on my lap the entire time and only ate a roll and a cookie for lunch, but the loving glances he threw my way the whole time were the best gift a mommy could have gotten.

Today, I'm specifically thankful for the boys playing so well together while I frantically washed clothes and packed suitcases. Every so often one of them would pop in to say, "I love you, Mommy" or Trevor's fave, "Mommy, you're booful" (beautiful). I'm thankful for Trevor's sensitivity when we took the dogs to the vet to be boarded this morning; he cried all the way home that he "misses Kirby and Spridle." Before lunch we drug out just a few Christmas decorations, and I'm so thankful for the magic and wonder I saw in the boys' eyes when some of the house was decorated. Deven repeatedly told me "the house looks so beautiful!"

Then, they wanted to take a picture with some of their fave decorations.

The list could go on and on...but basically, I'm so grateful for this life God has blessed me with, and I hope that you, too, will take a minute and jot down all that you have to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Bet your pen will run out of ink before you're done writing them all down.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Things I've Learned From Hannah Montana

Last night was awful. I mean, horrible. I felt tired, grumpy, on edge. Animesh was working, so I had zilch for parental assistance. The kids were still recovering from our trip to Dallas...their sleep deprivation transformed them into three little OUT OF CONTROL Indians--and their mommy was in no shape to deal. I lost it. I mean, punishments were flying. And, 2 out of 3 went to bed crying. Without bedtime stories.

Then I went into my room and cried. Not even "Dancing With the Stars" could cheer me up.

Animesh called, and I cried some more. I felt overwhelmed and exhausted beyond comprehension. I felt like I had wounded my children's spirits and souls for life. I felt like a failure.

I have been wanting to post about my fave Hannah Montana song for awhile now because I love what it has to say to all those hysterical young fans out there. Priya (along with most other young girls) is a huge fan...so I've been introduced to her songs repeatedly. Hannah Montana just happened to be in town last night--which strangely coincided with my "worst-night-ever-as-a-mother."

In her song "Nobody's Perfect," Hannah Montana sings:

Everybody makes mistakes, everybody has those days
Everybody knows what I'm talkin' 'bout...everybody gets that way.

Strange that I would find solace in a teeny bopper tune...but I do. I also quoted it in my emotional apology to my daughter this morning...telling Priya how sorry I was and that even mommies make mistakes and have bad days.

Nobody's perfect, I gotta work it
Again and again till I get it right
Nobody's perfect, you live and you learn it
And if I mess it up sometimes...nobody's perfect.

Today is a new day, thank goodness. I feel much better. Ready to start fresh. Ready to learn from my mistakes and move on. But, I also know that there will be more "horrible days" to come. I just need to keep repeating Hannah's wise words over and over in my head.

Next time you feel like it's just one of those days...
When you can't seem to win...
If things don't turn out the way you plan,
Don't stay down! Try again! Yeah!

Wise words to live by. And, to teach my children. You rock, Hannah Montana. And, for what it's worth, my 50-something guitar teacher thinks you do, too.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Family Traditions

We don't visit Animesh's family enough. It's hard now...traveling with 3 kids. But, the pressure's on since his parents have moved into a bigger house in order to accommodate us.

So, this past weekend we ventured up to Dallas...flying the friendly skies instead of driving. The last few trips saw the usual 5 hour road trip turning into 8-9 hours thanks to our 3 gigantic blessings who possess 3 not-so-gigantic bladders. Subsequently, Southwest Airlines got some of our business this weekend.

While in Dallas I got a chance to sneak away to visit my high school friend of over 20 years. Vanessa and Dominic have the most gorgeous 3 month old twin boys, so I hung out with them Saturday and got my baby fix. Those boys are simply delish! Can you believe I forgot to take any pictures? Too busy holding, cuddling, and cooing those adorable babies.

My mother-in-law got rid of so much junk when they moved, but I love that she has kept so many of Animesh's childhood play things. I remember being so bummed a couple years ago when a friend of mine gave the kids a Weeble Wobble play house...because the Weebles aren't the same as they used to be. Now, THESE Weebles...well, they're the real thing, and the kids couldn't get enough of them.

Does anyone remember this COOL toy from the dark ages? I'm proud to say that I did, in fact, own one of these bad boys, and for once I'm so happy my mother-in-law keeps EVERYTHING so that my children can enjoy a toy that doesn't light up or require batteries.

So, the main reason for our Dallas visit was to celebrate Diwali...a "festival of lights" which commemorates the Indian New Year. Mom A. led a prayer ceremony on Friday night which commenced with us eating Indian sweets amidst the multitude of candles flickering on her bedroom floor. Sweets and candles...a wonderful combo if you ask me.

Saturday night was the big Diwali party...which means donning our dressy duds for the celebration.

My 3 little Indians in their 3 Indian outfits...precious.

Even after 10 years I can't figure out how to wrap the oodles of yards of silk around me...thankfully, my mother-in-law puts my saris on me cheerfully, even if she does tell me every single time (while smiling) that I'm "too tall."

Playing dress-up...it's always fun to be adorned with jewels and dressed in sparkly outfits.

Family portrait before the (large) family arrives for the party.

The highlight of any Dallas trip for the kids is a reunion with their cousins. Kids shed their Indian formal wear for some comfy jammies...perfect for playing chase up and down the stairs.

I am so happy that our children are being exposed to a part of culture...THEIR culture...something that makes up a part of who they are. While these aren't customs and traditions celebrated in our own home, I hope the kids will be more aware of their heritage and where they come from as a result of this exposure.

Back on an airplane again on Saturday...Mickey Mouse-here we come!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Pretty Piggies

So, this month's Girls Night Out was at a fun new hot spot...Spa Jane. 7 of us gathered for some munchies and drinks while having our piggies (as we call them in our household) transformed into works of art.

Now, who wouldn't enjoy drinking these fun wines with these fun names? I was feeling a bit "cab-u-lous" if I do say so myself...

Nothing quite like a pedi with your friends and a glass of something...uh...refreshing. These are Jade's perfectly manicured hands working magic on someone's piggies. Jade and I got a chance to talk before everyone arrived, and Jade tried to persuade me to get extensions, tatooed eye-liner, and microdermabrasion--all on my next visit. Guess I wasn't looking my best tonight for her to want to transform me so dramatically.

Dawn, Amy, & Michelle share a laugh.

Group shot in the round pedicure room.

The finished products on full display.

We missed you, Angelia and Maile! Better join us next time!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Lazy Days

Most weekends are a blur for us. Animesh is either working or out of town, or we have so many activities jam-packed into 48 hours that we are literally running from one thing to the next...as if our kids happiness and intelligence depends on the number of birthday parties or theme parks or pumpkin patches we've attended over a 2 day period.

Thankfully, we only had one social engagement this weekend, and it did not include children. Animesh and I spent Saturday morning celebrating my friend Susan's mom's 70th birthday at the most yummiest breakfast place in San Antonio. If you haven't visited The Guenther House, well, you're missin' out. It's totally worth the trek downtown to dine on the most yummy food in the most quaint setting.

Susan and I have been friends for about 13 years, so I've known Pat for almost as long. Susan and Pat have one of the most special mother-daughter relationships around--something I want for Priya and I in the years to come.

Animesh and I ran some errands after we filled our tummies...we didn't tell our babysitters (my parents) that one of those errands included a Saturday afternoon wine-tasting at Beeman's where you'll find some of the nicest people offering to pour you some of the nicest wines. :)

When we returned home we did some grillin' and then whipped up sort-of-home-made ice cream (with a mix Animesh bought at the Guenther House). Dawn & Shaun gave us this cool ice cream maker as a wedding present. Too bad we've waited 10 years to use it cuz the ice cream was DELISH!

Deven added M&M's to taste...it was almost like eating a blizzard.

Animesh made pancakes with the cool molds he bought--you guessed it--at The Guenther House. And, he calls ME the shopper in the family.

Check out the Longhorn mold...did anyone catch that amazing game yesterday? I'm not even a football fan, but that was some last minute victory-I know my brother-in-law was LOVIN' that game...right, Russell? Hook 'em, Horns!

We've just hung out around the house doin' a little bit of this...

--and a little bit of that.

The next couple weekends are going to be crazy-busy, so we're putting in as much effort as possible to be as lazy as we can. Yawn. I think I feel a Sunday afternoon nap coming on.

Friday, November 2, 2007


Ok, ok...I've had so many requests for Incredible Family pictures (via email...obviously more of you read this than the comment section reveals...) that I thought there would be no real harm in sharing them. I hope.

Here's where it all started...Halloween 2006...when Animesh and I became destined to dress up with the kids for as long as they'll let us.

Mr. & Mrs. Incredible, Violet, Dash (which is what Trevor called Deven up till about a month ago because Deven continued to wear his costume almost daily in the months following this Halloween), and Jacky-Jack (whose "fiery" personality--for those who have seen the movie--strongly resembles Trevor's).

I love Deven's exaggerated pose. You can tell he was newly potty-trained.

Um, you're laughing with us, not at us, right?

I should mention that just 5 days before this picture was taken Animesh had major surgery on his neck. He was kinda limited in what poses he could do, and he (against doctor's orders) took off his cervical collar for the shots. I've always said that medical professionals (well, mostly doctors) make the worst patients.