Like Duck to Water, thats how I have taken to life :). This blog is the saga of love and adventures of a small duck in a large water body called LIFE....

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Of mouse and girl :).

Lots of things going on with and around me these days, but I just don't have the time (more like patience :-p) to sit and even write it down. But today's story, I just have to post :).

I've mentioned before that we don't really allow Snugli to use the computer. One main reason for this, according to me personally, is that I don't want her to "grow up too fast". I mean these days, parents seem hell bent on proving that their kids are geniuses that the kids have access to everything, and hence I somehow feel that it takes away the simple enjoyments of childhood. Moreover I want her to spend time with her toys rather than stare at a computer screen or a TV screen for that matter.

The exception to this rule was today. As usual we headed to the library and reached there pretty early. The children section has some computer consoles and I wanted to see what kind of games they have and switched one on. Found a simple game on Disney (a connect-the-dots-by-knowing-numbers) and told her to spot the numbers while I scroll with the mouse and click. She grabs the mouse, spots the numbers and moves the mouse and clicks them herself! I was stunned, stunned stunned!

Believe me, we have never taught her how to use the mouse (and its certainly not easy for a beginner to control it). Once we came back home for lunch, I put the game at home and demonstrated the entire "action" to Sri. I can still see the look of amazement he had on his face! We both were like, "a mini software engineer in the making" :-D. My God! Where do these kids learn this from? It shows how much she observes each and everything we do. It now feels like she wants to grow up fast and I'm holding her back :-\. From now on, I've decided to allow her 1 or 2 games per day, after all she has earned it ;-) :-D.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The war...

The war

Tumultuous waves bombard the very cores
Of inert rocks and long forgotten shores..

Incessant rain erodes the broken earth
Insensitive of the damage to home and hearth..

A strong wind turns into a hurricane gale
Crushing the spirits of trees, already frail..

Fires rage south and north, west and east
Scorching on their way, all man and beast..

Thoughts harass, pester and never retreat
Until the battered heart admits absolute defeat.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Camp rocks :)

Since I have already given you a clue about this in my last post, I don't think I have to mention that no, this post is not going to be about the teen movie :-p. After 3 years, we went on a camping trip. It was obviously Snugli's first camping trip, unless you count the fact that the last time we went I was pregnant ;-).

Well, the story happened on 13th August, Friday, that too pretty late in the day. We have been planning to go camping right since the start of summer, but something always came up (its funny how things always come up in summers and there's absolutely nothing to do in winters :-p). That day we faced a tug of war between going and not going. The weather was predicted to have rains in the night and camping is certainly not fun with thunderstorms (well, I disagree, but I digress :-D). When we checked at about 6Pm in the evening, the weather prediction had miraculously (yup, I am being sarcastic :-p) changed to clear skies :-D. After a little bit of to and fro, we simply decided to get going.

Packed up all we needed, bought the rest and got to the Lake Kincaid park (where we camped 3 years ago). We liked having the lake right next to the camping sites and thought that with Snugli around, the place would be a known devil scenario :-D. Plus the place has proper restrooms (albeit a bit far from the camping site). We were able to find a site (without advance booking) and started setting up stuff. Everything was smooth except that there were clouds near the horizon and it got dark pretty fast.

It was amazing how we put the tent together in a matter of minutes (another thing you never forget once you learn how :-p).

It was a little too dark to get stuff ready for cooking in the fire, but that part was manageable. The parts that weren't were the heat (it wasn't pleasant in any way) and Snugli's bewilderment. She was not really scared, just that being outside in almost total darkness with the sweltering heat was a strange experience for her. There were a few times when she hung onto me and refused to let go. But I did manage to distract her with the stars (that was one of the reasons we went - for me to try and photograph stuff ;-) :-D) and chirpy cricket sounds :-D. We somehow managed to eat up our usual camp diet of roasted corn, roasted veggies, roasted panneer and roasted burgers in the dark (we made a note of lanterns as things to buy for the next camp trip :-D). Later pumped up the bed and settled down for the night.

Or Sri and Snugli did ;-). I got up at around 2 AM to first catch some more meteors if possible (I saw around 25 meteors on the previous night, but no photos since I don't really have a lens wide enough top cover the entire sky :-\) and photograph the dark non-light-polluted skies. I did catch about 5 meteors, but again no snaps. It was literally Murphy's law :-p. So presenting the Deepthi's corollary to Murphy's law -

"If your camera is pointed to a specific part of the night sky, then the probability of meteors appearing in that particular area is much much much lower (almost close to 0) than that in the rest of the sky".

Sad, but true :(. Anyways I did manage to capture some pretty pics including this one of the Pleiades star cluster and emerging dawn (click to enlarge) :).

And one of Jupiter, the biggest "star" in the pic below (Before you jump to correct me, I know its a planet :-p).

I did take lots and lots of snaps (I think I was up for more than 2.5 hours! But the thing is without a tracking mount (which is helpful in contradicting earth's rotation), the only way to take good pics is by taking multiple short exposure photos (minimum 25 of each object!). I still haven't gotten to the post processing of images, so maybe will get back once I do :).

Went back to bed and got up after 8:30 AM :). After finishing our morning ablutions, Snugli got to play in the playground for a while..

And then we had breakfast at camp (yeah, I took the photo with a timer, had to run to and fro from the tripod :-p)..

Snugli enjoyed the morning camp much much more than the earlier evening (she surprisingly slept well and didn't fuss at all in the night). Here's her posing from the tent..

We then proceeded to dismantle the camp and head home :). All in all the trip was pretty much a success. It was great that the adventure lamp is still burning brightly within us and Snugli enjoying most of it was a bonus :). And photographically, it was another successful experiment :). Here are 2 daytime snaps I am pretty proud of :).

Very much looking forward to camping once again before winter sets in :).

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Snoogli bear, off to school!

Have a load of posts to shed ;-), but somehow time keeps slipping away from me, like this quote I heard recently -

"Time sneaks up on you like a windshield on a bug." - John Lithgow.

One of the huggggge reasons for me not being aware of the time is that we finally started sending Snugli to a daycare/school since about 3 weeks back. Its more of a daycare than a school, I'm planning to search for a proper pre-school once she completes 3. Right now she is going thrice a week for only 3 hours each day. But the hours are from 8 AM to 11 AM and hence its been pretty bad for me as such. We changed our schedule to fit in with her school needs a week earlier - so we finish breakfast and all our baths by 8AM. Her school's lunch timings are 11 AM to 12 PM, so incase we plan to put her there for the entire day, we are also having lunch at 11:30 AM now. Which is all well and good except for the fact that my mornings are hectic to say the least. Yes I do get time for myself when she is away, but half of the time goes in cooking. And the morning work takes such a toll that all I want to do in the noon is lie down. I hope that as I get adjusted to the routine, things will be a lot better :).

Sending her to school hasn't been easy, it was pretty bad the first 2 weeks. Now she has adjusted to it, so things are a lot more smoother. So as I was saying, Monday August 16th 2010 turned out to be her 1st day of school :). The obsessive parents we are, we both went to drop her off at 8AM. She said bye and everything was fine till about 10 AM when her teacher tried taking her to potty and it somehow triggered something off (maybe because she isn't used to going with anyone other than us). She started crying for us and didn't stop until I got there (the place is just 5 min away from home). At first she just wanted to get out of there, but later she slowly confesses that "School chennagithu" ("School was nice") :-D.

Yet, the 2nd day, the hesitation started at the school door itself. She wouldn't let me say bye to her, so I had to sit in her class for half an hour (each time I got up to say bye, she'd come running and tell me - "Lets go" :-D). Then finally I convinced her that I had work to do and had to go. She did say bye, but later the teacher told me that she cried for me for a while and then forgot all about it. She did stay for the entire 3 hours that day (though she didn't go to potty :-D) which was certainly an improvement.

The 3rd day was the worse. She started crying while taking her bath and wouldn't stop. We tried not reminding her of the school, but she'd remember and tear up. Her big eyes would fill up with tears and her lips would start trembling. God, it was a struggle from bathing to feeding her breakfast. I stayed in the class again for a while, then got out. While I was signing out, she opened the door of her classroom and was bawling her heart out. I felt very bad leaving her when she was crying like that :(. I was totally upset the entire 3 hours and was wondering whether sending her at 2.5 years was even the right thing to do, basically second-guessing the decision. But guess what I find when I go back to pick her up? She was playing happily and her teacher said that she was fine just after 5 min (while I was stewing away at home :-p). She was even taken to the park to play and the children had a wonderful time playing with bubbles! That was it, I asked Sri to drop her off from then on (her school is on his way to office) :-D.

The 2nd week, once she started going with Sri, there was a 5 min crying period just before he left her there, but it was a lot better. On the 2nd week, 3rd day she had a cough and so we didn't send her to school. Despite Sri's protests, I told her that she wasn't going to school because she wasn't well. Come this week Monday, I tell her she has to go to school and guess what? She coughs dramatically (like the overacting old men in our old Hindi movies :-D) and says in a pretend-tight-throat voice -

"Cough bartha ide. School beda" ("I have cough, so no school")

My God! How fast they learn :-D. Sometimes she is so brilliant that I wonder whether all 2.5 year olds are this smart :-D. Anyways things have been a lot better this week, she even went to the restroom in the school with the help of a teacher. As for me, I somehow miss her quite a bit when she's not around. I keep listening for the sound of her anklets behind me and find myself wondering what she's doing (well, she misses me too as evident by the tight hugs she bestows upon me after coming home :-D). A part of me is obviously proud of her for adjusting so well so soon, but another part is saddened by the fact that I'm back to being alone (I've hardly been alone at home after Snugli came into our lives). I know I know that its only for a few hours, but well, there's no convincing the heart right? :).

Anyways, I have a camping trip post coming up (its been 2 weeks already since we went) and then we are out on another of our long drive trips for the long weekend. Lots and lots to write and don't know when I'll get to it. For the umpteenth time, where's a mind-reading blogger when you need one? :-p.