And We Saw Snow For The First Time

It was Sunday morning. The weather has been totally in love with Elsa. Her magic has spread all over Tasmania, I think. We witnessed snow in our backyard..well not snow really but more of raindrops which had thickened enough to fall as fake snow. R and I tried to catch the fake snow drops on our tongues. We both pretended that we caught it but I doubt she did and I am sure I didnt:)

Then Sunday morning, just as I sit cribbing about how cold it is and we should get the fire going, RD says lets go see the snow! What, what, what, I say. Are you mad? Its so darn cold there. I will freeze. I go on and on but he has bundled up the girls, got me my 7th layer to wear and is already pushing us into the car.

Amma, quips the elder one, stop cribbing and start enjoying. I shut my mouth. 

Off we go up the hill. We see cars coming down with snowmen on their bonnets. I can hardly contain my excitment. I am ready to park the car halfway and walk up. Apparently the whole of Tasmania wants to see the snow too. R says “why is everyone coming to see the snow? They see it every year no?” 

And then there is a jam. RD being RD, the intelligent guy just takes a u turn, parks the car and says lets walk.

So we walked. And met miracle. I could not believe I was seeing snow. Not only seeing it, I was touching it. R was enamoured. R2 looked around her and shrugged her shoulders at our excitment! The grand old lady isnt too impressed eh?

R and I built a lopsided tiny snowman. RD hit me with snowballs. R defended me. We would have played snowball war if R2 didn’t make a fuss everytime we hit RD. She is such a daddy’s girl😉

It was half an hour of sheer joy. I was drenched since RD hit me on the back of my neck with a snowball, cold snow trickling to freezing water, down my back. Surprisingly, I didnt complain. The sheer joy of being in snow just made up for everything. R2 fell and drenched her bum! ( Thank God for diapers)

We had the best time ever! Sometimes, I am glad RD insists we listen to him:)

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Seriously? What Was I Thinking!

…rather what were RD and I thinking when we decided to have another kid!!!

The first one is already giving me grey hair and the second one will ensure I have NO HAIR left!

R2 is a riot really..and I am at my wits end at times, dealing with her..She is like this bunny with a never ending supply of battery always jumping and shouting and screaming and dancing..I go to bed every night so exhausted that most times I am asleep even before RD says good night to me!

R, on the other hand, is turning into this If-there-is-a-question-you-must-answer-it-or-I-will-bug-you-so-much-that-you-will-have-no-choice-but-to-answer …search Google Amma she told me the other day when I told her I don’t know what silver tailed dragons are!

I mean really!!!! gee thanks baby!

I tell RD I need a new kadai for my bday..one of those flat bottom ones which will work on the great electric stoves…

But Amma, you already have so many patrams..ask for something more exciting na! says the older brat!

Or when I ask her to go and have a bath… Amma, our teacher said Tasmania is facing drought conditions so I think I will skip having a bath every other day so that I can help save water..

This is like the height of laziness!

Or when I am in my crib mood telling RD about not being able to find a job and how frustrating it is!

She says ‘Look Amma, you cribbing all the time wont work! You will get a job..dont worry about it so much..if you stop worrying, you will get it faster!’

I didnt know how to respond to that one!

Or when she asked me for a chocolate and I refused saying eat it tomorrow..She said ‘Amma, why did we buy the chocolate? To eat it na! Let me eat when I feel like eating..it will make me happy..dont you want me happy?’

I just gave her the chocolate!

Or when I was trying to complete a job application and R2 woke up..I looked pleadingly at R..

She not only made R2’s milk, she also made her drink it sip by sip and put her on the potty..She would have even cleaned the bum if the guilty me hadn’t gone to clean up:)

Guess this is why RD and I had R2! *Makes note to self to come back and read last part of post whenever I get bugged at R*

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The Queen Of Jugaad In The Kitchen Part 1

I can write a book on the mad stuff I have done in the kitchen after coming to Tasmania…

Part 1 is all about my frustrations with an electric stove! Honestly, I seriously believe an electric stove is one of the most unwanted inventions among all the inventions made in this world. Why, why, why on earth are there plates which take 10 hours to heat up and then are so hot that they take 10 hours to cool down!!

So imagine its 7.32 am and you need to leave home at 7.53…thats 21 minutes right? In a gas stove this means making 10 dosas with an average of 2 minutes something seconds per dosa…but if you are a novice to electric stove cooking…the darn plates take 22 minutes just to heat up…which means you can either forget the dosas or forget to leave home on time..!!!

Like a friend said (who by the way is Tasmanian and has lived here all her life!) the first pancake takes 5 hours, the second takes 5 minutes and the third is burnt in 5 seconds! That happens every time..I swear EVERYTIME I make dosas!!!

When we came here..our stuff hadnt arrived so RD got me a set of basic nonstick utensils to use..one kadai, one pan, one tava..you get the drift eh? And I thought..gosh what am I going to do with so much patrams when my stuff arrives…

But I feared unnecessarily…really faltu mein! I burnt EVERY SINGLE VESSEL!!! E.A.C.H Of them!!!!! It was sooo frustrating…and I could not even use those vessels anymore since the teflon coating went for a toss!

So then it was tapping friends time..The lovely Srividhya and the super Pixie gave me some tips to survive before I burnt the kitchen down in frustration! I even sent pictures of my stove and oven to Srividhya who actually search a manual for me online and told me to follow the settings! I cant be more thankful to both of them..

Then, of course, there is the curious case of the dried coconut and the frozen green chilly…but that is a story for next time!

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 The Difference Between Raising My First Born And Second Born….

….is that with my first born I was ultra careful about everything! and I mean EVERYTHING!

From ensuring that her baby clothes were handwashed till the age of two to panicking everytime she sneezed to not allowing her a gadget or watch TV till she turned four to giving her junk food only after she turned 5…you get the drift eh? I was this ultra careful mother…I remember once she slipped from our hands when she was about 11 months and with one tooth just sprouting out, it cut her mouth with some blood flowing out. While my MIL told us there was nothing to worry, RD and I rushed her to the hospital (drama really!) till the doctor looked at us and said it is just a small cut which has already sealed (facepalm moment!)

On the other hand, the younger brat has managed to pour blood all over the cupboards by cutting her hand and the blood flow wouldn’t stop! R got so bugged at my sheer coolness about it saying ‘Amma she will lose all her blood and become a bloodless R2’ I told her not to worry too much! The more bugging part seemed to be cleaning up all the blood marks she had put on the white cupboards! (for those who are worried, R managed to keep holding the kerchief over R2’s squirmy tiny fingers till the blood flow stopped completely) 

Or when I take her for a plaything and just let her slide down a slide which is as tall as me:) The teacher told me that she thought I had a lot of confidence in my brat’s sliding abilities:)

Or the fact that I give her whatever we eat. Including pizzas and chips. The only thing I think I have not let her have is aerated drinks but that too because we dont drink it anyways!

Or the fact that she watches TV whenever R watches..I dont stop her!

Or when R2 has cold and cough or loose motions. I am so much more calm and relaxed…its like I know I should worry too much until a certain point..

Is this confidence in myself or is that by the second child is born, I realised that panicking is not taking me anywhere?

My friend N who had her kids nearly two years apart met me with her family when I was pregnant with R2. I had warned R before meeting her, warning R not to ask for any juices since N’s daughter R was really small and of an impressionable age. When we met, N asked R if she wanted juice. A sudden hushed silence fell on the table as if she had spoken the name of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. R looked at me in horror while RD smirked. The little darling daughter of N started saying ‘juice juice’ N looked at me perplexed. BUT BUT I started…N being N the practical friend said ‘ Oh she drinks all juices..can’t give it to the older one and not give it to the younger one, eh? She then went on to tell me how the second born usually gets things so much faster.

And she is so right! R2 gets stuff a lot earlier than R:)

So parents to two or more kids….does the same hold true in your house?

We should be in the shelf..not the patrams! Amma does not understand that!

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Dear R2

I really don’t know what to do with you. When you came into my life, I thought you were the cutest thing ever and felt so proud of you.

But slowly I am realising you don’t really like me much! Otherwise why would you keep pushing me away? Whenever I come to you, the first thing you do is push push push!

I was all alone waiting for someone to pick me up. When your parents saw me and instantly agreed to take me, I could not have been happier:) Here was a cute little girl whose feet I can be in. You picked me up and said ‘toots didi, toots’ rushing to your sister who had my friend in her hand. Both of us were so happy to be a part of your family!

Then I realised your favorite passtime is to just throw me away from you. As soon as your Amma, Appa or Didi put me up on you, Wh you go and then giggle away to glory pointing at me ‘amma toots toots toots’ I cant help laugh at your antics!

When your Amma goes to pick up your didi in the bus stop of takes you in the stroller to the library, you ensure that you make her stop at least 10 times, throwing me off saying ‘toots, amma,toots’ hehheeheheh!

But I realise you do love me because you are always ready to put me on. You give me kisses and cuddles and even lick me when your love is really too much. I do hear your Amma go eeewwwww but remember I love all this attention:)

So, dear R2, I promise to protect your little feet from this harsh cold for at least 2 years more! 

I promise to let you jump in as many muddy puddles you want and I promise to let you run around as much as you want.

Like they say in India (I have an Aussie accent but I sure know Hindi after being with your family for 2 months now) ‘Ja beta, jee le apni zindagi’

Lots of love and cuddles

Yours

Chug Chug Boots

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Dear Food Bloggers Of This World

Thank you for being you. And thank you for what you are doing. I personally think it take a lot of effort, dedication and love to come up with recipes and pictures and giving step by step instructions and everything and sharing it on the blog. I, for once, can never ever ever do it! 

But here are few things, I think, you can perhaps do to help hopeless-in-the-kitchen-but-will-experiment-to-show-off folks like me!

1. Please cross check if you have used all the ingredients in the ingredients list in the recipe method. More often than not, I realise I suddenly have not used the slice of lime anywhere in the recipe and scramble about to grab my phone (which would be hidden under the cloth covering the microwave) and by that time my dal would have burnt to bit because I am still trying to find out that stupid piece of lime which was in my hand all the time! You do get the drift eh?

Or that time when I attempt to bake a cake and follow each step listed to the T (thats important while baking,no?) and then realise that my cake looks more like a hapless lump of chapati dough which has been beaten by R2 with the belan! And I realise I did not use that baking powder anywhere in the recipe. 

Or the time I baked a pumpkin cake without the pumpkin. Don’t ask me the details. I am still reeling under the shock of it.

2. Please let us know whether the oven needs to be preheated or the onions need to be finely chopped BEFOREHAND!

Like I said, I always follow instructions to the T ( That I dont get the desired results anytime shall not be dwelled upon!) So you need to tell idiots like me in the first step to preheat that oven before telling me to pop the cake mixture into a preheated oven because my oven has not been preheated in the first cake and is as cold as a block of ice in Antartica!

Or chop that onions finely before hand because my onions are chopped as big as the head of a squirrel with a cold! And then my curry has this strange pieces floating in the gravy which R looks suspiciously and asks ‘When did you start cooking chicken, Amma?’

You do get the drift eh?

3. The Difficulty levels

I am not a big fan of this difficulty level thing really. So I pick up a recipe which has an easy level. As I proceed step by step I realise it says fold the egg whites (I dont even know what that means and who can separate the eggs whites from the yolk really!!!) into the flour taking care that the sugar gets added bit by bit,while stirring the mixture in a gentle clockwise direction. By the time I finish the entire procedure I have concluded that I need five hands and three legs to even attempt that ‘easy’ recipe!

4. The Masterchef pictures

All I have to say is I AM JEALOUS!

No matter what I try I can’t get the food to look as wonderful as yours. 
Thank you again for putting up recipes on the blog. I can’t thank you enough really.

Much admiration

RM

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8 Things About Australia I Am Still Getting Used To…

1. The scenic beauty

I must confess, I really can’t get enough of this place’s beauty. I couldn’t thank God more for giving us these years in Tasmania. Everything..I mean it..everything is so gorgeous! Even my backyard and frontyard:)

Whether its the quaint houses, the picket fences, the roads, the trees, the mountains, the valleys, the plants, the water, the flowers…I could go on and on! I just can’t put it in words on how pretty this place is!

Everywhere we go, I keep turning my head so fast to keep checking the prettiness that I am surprised I havent developed a neck sprain till date! 

The walk to R’s school takes us through a waterfront, with the mountain casting a beautiful background! And R’s school is this sprawling big campus! Its so wow!

2. The Library

The LINC of Tasmania is easily the first place I am ready to live in. Its unbelievable how they have such amazing libraries. And its free. yes FREE! You can pick up to 15 books in one go! Its so astonishing! The first time I went in there to register myself, they said I could even register both the girls and each of us is entitled to 15 books each at one go. It was I had landed in heaven. Apart from that, they have sessions (Free) for kids every week and special craft activities for kids during school vacations. All you have to do is pre register your kids.

Their collection of the kids story books is so so amazing…R2 has a ball of a time there throwing all the books down there.And no one tells her anything! 

3. The Up And Down Roads

I will never get used to the roads of this place. They go up and down and up and down all the time:) Driving here is like going to Pavagadh everyday or something:)

4. The Road Rules

And the fact that everyone follows them! There is a book of the road rules I am studying. Having driven in Bombay and Baroda, I drive like a typical well…you know what I mean eh? So for me to follow road rules is very difficult:) I am still learning.

When I was talking to someone in R’s school  about being  scared to drive in Tasmania..she asked me twice, Where are you from? I looked at her and said India. She look at me and laughed so loudly so loudly that everyone started looking at us. What is funny? I asked. She was like you drive in India and you are scared to drive here! I admit its the road rules that scare me:)

5. The low volumes of the people

I think I am personally very loud. Plus when you live in a country of 1.25 billion people, you just tend to speak loud to make yourself heard.

When we shifted here and I took R2 to the rock and rhyme session in the library where they sang rhymes for kids ( from birth to class 2) or something..it just astonished me that the mums AND the kids sang in such low volumes. I was the loudest andI didn’t   even know the rhymes! The kids were so well behaved that R2 was a rowdy in front of them!

6. The manners of the school kids

R’s school has assembly every Friday. I don’t go for obvious reasons. Taking R2 there is letting a mad enraged crazy bull into a china shop and all that. She makes more noise than the 400 odd kids in R’s school. And I exaggerate, NOT!

I went to attend it twice. Once when her class was reading some poetry and the second time when she was saying some poem she had written on rain. (which I did not understand At All since she was mumbling into the mike like some bumblebee!) Anyways, I digress.

The point is that when I went to the assembly the kids were so so well mannered and silent! Not one kid murmured or talked or whispered for 45 mins. They were so silent and sat in rapt attention listening to whatever was going on!! And these are kids from class 1 to class 6.

Wow is all what I can say!

7. The cool moms!

Growing up in India, I have seen new moms not coming out after a baby delivery for a minimum of 45 days. This included me:)

I take R2 to a concept called B4 in R’s school for one day a week for 2 hours where the kids play and dance and stuff. The parents have to be with the kids. There I saw 2 ladies visibly pregnant.

Then the B4 closed for 3 weeks. After that when I went back I saw one of the ladies. Like a duh, I exclaimed ‘oh my God, your baby came out!’ She laughed and pointed at a tiny being asleep in a small crib. I stared at her and said ‘but but the baby was inside you 3 weeks ago!’ She said ‘I delivered 15 days ago.’ I was like an you are already out!

She seemed to be a bit confused by the question and looked at me weirdly. I hurriedly went on to explain to her about the Indian concept which I had followed. And to be honest, even if I wanted to go out in 15 days, I doubt I could have. The mere thought of having a bath used to tire me at that time. And here is a mom who comes after 15 days of delivery absolutely fit and looking perfectly in place! And she is not a one off incident. There are loads of moms with babies I see doing this here!

8. People have more than 2 children

Well, most folks I know have 2 kids in India. When we joined B4, I met this mom who had a baby a bit younger than R2. She was asking about us coming to Tas and wheb I mentioned R, she said she had a daughter in grade 3. 

RM: Oh great! I thought we were the only ones with such a big age gap among kids! Guess you guys also have a huge gap between your kids

She: Errr..actually our first born is in grade 3, we have two more girls between the first born and the one here

RM: You have FOUR kids????

She: yes

And I just shut up after that. But here it is so common to see folks with 3-4-5 kids.serious respect!

Jeez! This turned out to be a looonnnggg post eh?

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