I was in Boston earlier this week for a business trip. The last out of town business trip that I went on was in November. Of 2001. Before little N was even on our radar.  Amazes me, given the ambitious career woman image that I put out (and actually have of myself).  But I am happy that it’s worked out well so far for me.  I dislike any time away from the family, and don’t think frequent business trips are my style at all.  Spent my one free evening wandering around Quincy Market (shopping for little gifts for my munchkins).

The upcoming months are full of travels.  N is off to India this week for 10 days to spend some time with his mom.  He will spend part of his birthday there, and part of it here – should be interesting!  I have another business trip to Virginia coming up in May.  The trip to Boston was to prep for the upcoming trip, so I can’t whine about too many business trips coming my way back-to-back (but I sure will if even one more pops up on my radar this year).

N has two other business trips coming up in June.  I have totally lost count of his travels.  Find myself wondering why it’s (relatively) easy for N to up and leave for business trips, while I churn and plan and schedule every tiny bit of detail endlessly.  Perhaps because N’s word is “Work” and mine is “Mom”.  I wrote about this almost five years back (  Deep, no?

Speaking of trips and more trips, we will be off to Indonesia and Singapore later this summer for two and a half weeks of pure sun and fun.  Now, that’s one trip you won’t hear me complaining about! 😉

Blackboard Wisdom

Blackboard wisdom has been going strong for two years now.  I don’t change the quotes every day (not so much vetti), but have been changing them pretty consistently once every week or so.  My cleaning lady, H, totally enjoys reading and commenting on them, so I remember to change my quotes at least before she shows up.

Here’s the latest.

Nice, no?

I am currently in fantastic oasis situation (mentally, of course).  Just got through two weeks of intense craziness at work, and am looking ahead at (and dreading already) a couple of really crazy weeks coming up at the end of April and in early May.  However, at this moment, I am poised at the beginning of a (relatively) light week and working from home (spring break!).

Think I will use this fabulous (and rare) idle time to sprout lots of blackboard wisdom.  And hopefully remember some of it when s&^t hits the ceiling in a couple of weeks. 😉

Chinchilla Time

On the first day of school, back in September, little A was thrilled.  “Our class has pet chinchillas, they are super cute and fluffy”, she exclaimed.  I smiled at my little one’s happiness but gave no further thought to the 5th grade fluffies.

Then came October.  Mrs. W sent out an email to the class parents asking if we wanted to host the chinchillas over Christmas.  Little A couldn’t believe that the fluffies were up for grabs, if only for a week or so.  I have told you before that we are not really pet people, and have successfully warded off requests for pets from the girls over the years.  Still, I couldn’t resist little A’s puppy eyes, so I wrote to the teacher offering to host the class pets.  But turned out I was too late.  The chinchillas had already made vacation plans with another family over Christmas (didn’t realize that there’s a line for everything in our Type A school district).

But Mrs. W held out another carrot.  “Little A can host the chinchillas over spring break, if she likes”, Mrs. W offered.  Little A was ecstatic at this second shot.  I thanked Mrs. W and agreed to host them during our 10 day spring break.  Which, back in October, seemed far, far away in the future.  But somehow spring break arrived. Yesterday.


N was traveling, so little A and I brought them home from school, and little N helped me assemble everything.  It’s unbelievable how super cute and precious they are!!  There are four of them in there – Bam bam (the dad), and his kids Roseo, Puck, and the baby of the family, Simba.  The mom (Chi chi) passed away, apparently (that tidbit really tugged at my heartstrings, I have to say).

After mildly (ok, majorly) dreading the coming of spring break and wondering what extra work the chinchillas are going to pile on me (and whining about it to several groups of friends), I am so incredibly surprised at how much I am loving have them in our home.  I mean, I woke up smiling this morning, thinking of the chinchillas settled in downstairs.  Is this what they meant by kallum karaiyum? 😉

We’ve been to Disney Land, Provence, and Paris over spring break before, and we did some really cool things over there.  But I think I am with little A when she says, “this is going to be the best spring break ever”!! 🙂

Touche 3

I am losing count of Touche posts inspired by our little resident sage (read my posts titled Touche and Touche 2, you’ll know what I mean).  So.  I told you earlier that I sometimes leave notes at night for the girls on their pillows.  Little A was around one night while I was doing this.  She was much intrigued, and decided that it would be so cool if she wrote me a bedtime note instead.

This is what I got from her a couple of nights back.


Deep, no?

P.S. Briefly considered doling out some parental disapproval for use of the “s” word, but decided to excuse a little profane in the middle of all the profound. 😉

Exploring New Worlds

What’s better than stalking your first born on Instagram?  Getting a life, and getting your own instagram account.  I have always wanted to do more with photography.  Maybe getting an instagram account will be the nudge that I needed.

After I signed up for a wordpress account, I hung out for another three months before I wrote my first post.  Perhaps my instagram account will follow the same path.  But I feel hopeful.  I really think I will do better with instagram.  After all, how hard is it to post a picture every now and then?  Plus, I have already made progress.  My first picture is up and everything (although, you’ve already seen this particular picture recently).

So.  Look me up at (is this how you say it?) momto_2cuddlebugs.

See you over there! 🙂


There’s more to life than increasing its speed.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

I recently realized that I have a preference to rush through things.  Especially, mundane tasks where I don’t see a huge return or value, or when I am doing something for myself.

Like when I am out getting a haircut, or shopping for myself, and it happens to take more than a half hour.

Thinking back, wondering when this might have started (yes, I had some fantastically idle time this week), went all the way back to grad school.  A strange era when, on my own for the first time, I did grocery shopping or laundry (ugh!) only when absolutely necessary.  Just so I didn’t “waste” precious time that could have been spent on studying and research.

The more aware I am that I do this, the more I catch myself doing it.

This evening, after making dinner, decided to do yoga to stretch my aching muscles.  Went upstairs, got settled, and started my warm-up exercises.  First thought that crossed my mind?  “I don’t have time to do 18 repetitions of the warm-ups like they do in yoga class, so I am just going to do 5 repetitions.”  I heard this chatter and found myself wondering “why?”  Dinner was ready, N wasn’t back home from work, Amma was reading, little N and her friends were working on a group project in our living room, and little A was doing her math homework at our kitchen table.  Who in the world was looking for me, and why did I feel like I didn’t have enough time for yoga?

Within a couple of hours, caught myself feeling the same thing again.  I was putting away the laundry upstairs, when I felt like I had to finish quickly and go downstairs, like something or someone needed my immediate attention.  When in fact, N and little A were playing a game of chess, Amma was still reading, and little N’s was in the middle of a violin lesson with her teacher.  I was not even on anyone’s radar.

So, WTF is this, this thing in me that’s urging me to go quicker, and get on with the next thing?  I know that there’s no getting to the end of that to-do list.  Ever.  So what gives?

Hmmmm…. something to think about, huh?

I Wish I Could Tell

Sollathaan ninaikkiren…

Sorry, this is not a post about some deep, dark secret (although, wouldn’t that be fun!).  Some other time, ok?

This post is totally about something else.

Last week, little N had a s&^t load of school stuff to get through one night.  Fabulous supportive mom that I am, decided to give her company (without realizing that she was going to go on till 1 am, but that’s another story).  Made her some masala chai around 10:30 pm, and tucked myself in on the couch across from her.  I usually don’t watch movies on my own, but didn’t think little N would tolerate my just sitting there watching her toil (and let’s face it, making small talk).  So.  Decided to see what was up for viewing in the old tamil movie world.

Landed on “Sollathaan Ninaikkiren”.  Normally, N and I would have by-passed such ancient offerings (N just refuses to look too far back).  But I was left to my own devices, and happened to notice that the movie was made in 1973.  Not such an old movie, I thought to myself.  Hmmm… does everyone have this delusion that the year they were born in was really not that long ago?.  Anyway.  Print was surprisingly decent, so plodded on (and finished it) despite several instances along the way where the resting feminist in me felt quite riled up:

  • Father of three girls: “Oh, one must never be born a girl.”
  • Girl’s family to potential groom’s family: “Girl is a teacher.  But if you don’t want her to go to work, just say the word and she will quit tomorrow.”
  • New bride to husband: “Now that you have tied the thaali around my neck, I am just overwhelmed with respect for you.” (adiye!!!!)
  • Potential groom to girl’s father: “I don’t want to marry your older daughter.  I want to marry her sister.” (And the sister agrees to marry this rat!)

But the movie was not without its plus points.  Chennai from the 1970s looked so uncomplicated in black and white – empty streets, PTC buses, old cars, saree-clad women, sambraani.  Felt soooo nostalgic.  Also, bonus – I only recall seeing Sivakumar act as Rama or Vishnu in most old movies (always oru blue color and constantly smiling, che!).  Watching this movie now, I was totally struck by the young Sivakumar’s resemblance to the Singam (mmmm…got my money back right there, I say!!).

Overall verdict (feminist outrage notwithstanding) – not too shabby for a solo late-nighter. 😉