Monday, April 23, 2012

The beginnings of a sisterly tradition

all the way in New Orleans. But, let's back up a bit.

My sister is 6 years younger than me, which meant things were somewhat different than most people think of when they hear there are just 2 of us girls in the family. People have visions of best friends, gossiping together, sharing clothes, etc. I left India when I was 18, an all knowing teenager out to conquer the world; which meant my sis was 12, a little girl. I did not really see her again till she turned 16, and that was only for 2 weeks. She'd grown into a teenager without me seeing the transition. And I was  world weary 21 year old who looked down her nose on this precocious (typical) teenager. After that, we saw each other one more time when Jeff and I got married in India in 2006. But, once again, for 2 weeks and that too, a very busy 2 weeks. So, my sis and I didn't really connect then either.

Then, a few years later, she moved to the US and we lived together while she finished a graduate program at Johns Hopkins. This is when we really "grew" up together. We shared shopping trips, sometimes even clothes, we gossiped, we fought, we laughed at stupid jokes, we argued ... but there's something about having missed so many years of growing up together that it never felt natural. And, then she moved away to NC. And, now our visits are relegated to short spurts of Oliver mostly, no time for us to really talk.

So, when she invited me along to New Orleans for a weekend, where she had a conference, I jumped at the chance to have 2 whole days of just us 2 girls, no husband, no child, no parents, just the 2 of us.

And, it was so much better than I expected. We talked, we stayed out late, we tried the local food and drink, we connected as 2 adult women, we reconnected as sisters.

St. Louis Cathedral
Horse carriage by Jackson Square
We saw history on foot and by horse carriage.

We saw Bourbon Street by night and we saw it by day.

And, of course, we tried the famous beignets at Cafe DuMonde.

And, I believe we have the beginnings of a tradition. One weekend a year, the 2 of us will go somewhere. Maybe it'll coincide with a conference for her, maybe something for my work. Or, maybe we'll just pick new places to go see together. Because, I would love to repeat this weekend with my sis again and again, for as long as we can.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I survived a solo flight with toddler!

I should get a medal, a sash, a pat on the back, well, at the least, I deserve the big bar of Russian chocolate I inhaled yesterday at my desk. Last weekend, I flew with Oli down to Wilmington, NC from Saturday through Monday, on a total of 4 flights. I mentioned in my Christmas vacation post that he had a terrible time with landings. So, I was really dreading these flights, and he didn't have his own seat (booked too late, too expensive yada yada, next time I'll pay through the nose but he'll have his own seat).

Let me back up. We flew out at 5:15 a.m. Saturday, with a layover in Charlotte, finally landing in Wilmington at 8 a.m. He was pretty fussy the first flight, didn't want to sit still in my lap and my back was killing me by the time we landed from containing him. He cried on the landing because of his ears and this was after Ibuprofen, Benadryl and a pacifier. Needless to say, I was dreading the second flight, and he screamed the whole take off. I had to hold him so tight in my lap, but he just wanted to run. I felt horrible!!! But, he fell asleep as soon as we were in the air and stayed asleep till we landed in Wilmington.

He had so much fun at my sister's house with her and my parents. He was proud of himself as he walked up and down the 2 flights of stairs. We went to the NC Azalea festival, where I tried alligator and shark kebobs. Shark tasted like fish, and the alligator had it's own unique taste. I can't say if I liked it or not because it was new. And no, it did not taste like chicken.

I was so afraid of my flight back on Monday, at 5:24 am, with both legs being full flights and no empty seats on the planes. But, it couldn't have gone better. He slept on the first flight into Charlotte, and he was pretty entertained with the iPad and his Baby Signing DVD for the second flight. But, as soon as we landed, he wanted to be off and running down the aisle. Started crying when I wouldn't let him go. I stood up and rocked him in the aisle till he quieted down. Everybody around me was so nice, the guys started talking to him, and making jokes with him about being stuck on the plane.

I survived my flights with the toddler alone. He survived his flights without his own seat. We survived them together. But, it just reinforced my decision to try and always have his own seat on a plane. He was soo good overall though. Thanks bubs!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A body in motion ...

Running shoes that should be replaced soon
tends to stay in motion and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. We've all heard the Newton's Law of Motion. It's usually taught pertaining to one instance in time, for example a boulder rolling down a hill. For me, it applies to my life as far as exercising and fitness is concerned. How? Let me explain.

If I start working out, I go to the gym daily. Which leads me to make choices like drinking 10+ cups of water a day, taking stairs instead of the elevator, lite Italian dressing instead of my favorite Caesar, park farther instead of stalking the walker through the lot, giving up chocolate so I can save myself for my 1 free Godiva truffle every month ...

But, the instant this momentum is interrupted, I get sick or go out of town, it's like my body forgets how good it felt to exercise. I'll go days just sitting around thinking about going to the gym. I'll eat the Hershey Kisses sitting at the co-worker's desk even though I don't care for them. I'll take the elevator going up or down 1 floor. I even go a whole day having had just a couple cups of coffee and no water.

So, if I start exercising, I can keep it going for days, weeks, months ...
Once something happens to stop me for a couple days, I am stopped.

Guess my goal now is to identify those spots and not let them stop me. I have been going for 3 weeks now, got sick one day and went right back to the gym the next day. I have 2 out of town commitments coming up this month and I have to ensure I don't let those derail me either.

So there, I am putting myself on notice to keep the momentum going in spite of any hurdles!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter, 17 months and WHOA tantrums

Oliver turned 17 months old this past weekend. What does that mean for us?
  • grand total of 14 teeth, top 2 canines being the last ones to cut through.
  • he's sleeping in his own room, in a big boy bed. Actually, in a big human queen sized bed. He can climb in and out easily, and usually walks out in the morning and comes finds me to wake me up. It's awesome to wake up to a tiny head on my side of the bed "talking" to me.
  • He's "talking" constantly. I have no clue what he's saying 99.5% of the time but it's obvious he's speaking sentences.
  • So, us not understanding him? Means we get loud, back arching, feet stomping, floor hurling, big fat tear crying tantrums. Because we didn't understand him and get him what he wanted before he finished saying it. Which is why Easter morning started off like the photo on the right.
Speaking of Easter, this was bub's second Easter.
  • He sort of enjoyed the basket we made him. He ate a marshmallow bunny ear, only because Is tuck it in his mouth. He had a piece of peanut butter chocolate egg and that was all he'd have. What he absolutely loved were Pop Rocks. It was hilarious, we could hear them popping in his mouth and he just sat there enjoying them. He also preferred the eggs with the cheerios and crackers in them to any of the toys we got him. Teaches me to spend money on him.
  • We went out to brunch to Alexandra's at Turf Valley. It was ok, but I think we've reached the limit on going out to meals with Oli. He's at an age where he wants to run around. I can confine him for 10 minutes at home while he inhales his food but then he gets to run around. Not so at restaurants. So, I am seeing a lot less going out togetehr for the 3 of us for a few months or so.
  • Funniest part of yesterday was when he looked at the big ol' white bunny and said "arf," patted his leg and said "da," which is dog.
Easter 2011
Easter 2012
Look at how much he's grown in a year. Last year, he could have fit in that basket!