Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Definitely on the nice list

one of the great gifts Indio received.
Indio is finally old enough to really *get into* Christmas traditions. We weren't traveling over Christmas this year [a rarity for us since our extended family is scattered all over] so we were able to begin some of our own traditions.

donning our new pajamas on Christmas morning.
Yesterday afternoon, we watched, Elf, a movie that is loved by all in this house. We had a small dinner party with a few family members who live in the NY-area and we are looking forward to seeing other cousins later today.
Indio slept in until 8:30am this morning. That was a Christmas treat for me and E that I hope turns into a family *tradition*! He was so excited to open his presents and completely enthralled with each one. I was a bit worried he might throw certain gifts aside [clothes, books] in an effort to play with the more *fun* things like his action figures and vehicles, but he really did seem to love them all.
Indio laughing at me as I unsuccessfully tried to capture Cassius in front of the tree.
Indio wasn't the only one that made the nice list. Instead of conventional presents, E and I decided to book a trip to Punta Cana! I can't wait to feel the sun on my face and sand on my toes!
I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas. What traditions do you have? Which ones have you created for your own family?


Monday, December 24, 2012

From our family to yours

Merry Christmas! May 2013 be full of love and laughter. xo


Saturday, December 15, 2012

4th Trip Around the Sun

Happy birthday to the funniest, snuggliest, most adorable 4 year old I know.

[zombie face painting at a classmate's bday party]
Dear Indio,

You have made my life so much sweeter. Your smile is enough to get me out of bed in the morning, even if it is at the crack of dawn. As you grow into the little man you are, you continue to amaze me with your curiosity and love of life.

 I didn't think it was possible, but I love you more each day.


[Of course, I had to include a look back to day 1.]
fresh out of the oven.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

'Tis the season

. . . for our annual Santa Snapshot.  Indio wasn't enthralled with the idea of sitting on a strange man's lap, but he warmed up quickly enough to get one decent photo.
And just for fun, here's a look back . . .
We don't have a photo from 2008 because Indio was only a wee 10 days old on Christmas Day.  Have you started preparing for the holidays?  What traditions have you started with your family?


Sunday, November 25, 2012

My baby is growing up

 . . . too quickly!

I can't believe three months of school are almost up.  This year is even more momentous because Indio is finally old enough to attend the Montessori school I teach at.  He is a "3" in a class of 3-, 4- and 5-year olds with two of the calmest teachers I've met.  There is a lot of energy in this class, especially with the Kindergarten-aged boys, and both of Indio's teachers seem to handle it all with such grace.  Of course, my kid is attracted to these rambunctious, older boys, especially on the playground where games of "Aliens and Vampires" are the norm!

Luckily, Indio also loves the classroom work and routines.  I had often thought about how my own child(ren) would be in a Montessori classroom and listening to Indio speak about the Montessori materials he uses in class brings my Montessori training from 12 years ago full circle for me.  I'm so glad we made this choice.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy 38th Anniversary

. . . to the best parents in the world!  Wishing you many more years together.  Love you.


Thursday, November 22, 2012


for so many things, especially my little family.
Happy Thanksgiving!  Gobble!  Gobble!


Monday, August 6, 2012

A few days in paradise

landing in nassau in the rain
After being home for just over a week from camping, we packed up and headed on another family vacation . . . to the Bahamas!  Our good friends, Denise and Davidson moved to Nassau about 2 years ago and we were super-excited to see them again along with their adorable daughter, Mila.  Emil's mother and youngest sister, Addie, also joined us on our sojourn.

Much to our dismay, we landed at Linden Pinding International Airport during a summer storm. Thankfully, it was the only one during our short trip.

Indio, Emil, and Addie spent most of their days in the water -- ocean and pool -- while Emil's mom and I relaxed with music, reading material, and drinks on the beach. After a hectic few weeks, it was a much needed break.

the water was ridiculous! softest sand, clearest water.
Each evening, we met up with Denise, Davidson, and Mila for dinner.  We feasted on Bahamian specialties such as conch fritters, grouper, and rice and peas.  We were on a mission to find the best conch fritters on the island, and I have to say Frankie Gone Bananas at the Arawak Cay Fish Fry won, hands down! It was so wonderful to sit and catch up with our old friends, though it made me miss them even more.

how lucky we were to have such gorgeous hostesses: denise and baby mila!
my little mer-boy
coconuts on the beach
my sunshine
We spent one evening at Davidson's parents' house, which sits right on the water. The views from the house were mesmerizing. Imagine waking up every morning to the sound of the waves in your backyard! Of course, we also heard tales of the many hurricanes that have hit the Bahamas. Davidson's mom, Ada, cooked us a delicious West Indian meal of beef curry, coconut rice, plantains, and daal puri. The meal was completed with a traditional Guyanese dessert: cassava pone.
the view from davidson's parents' deck . . . crazy!
Though this was a vacation to a foreign land, it was a treat to feel so "at home" with Denise and Davidson and his parents. Our time with them made this trip even more special.
bahamians love canadians
the comforts of home

Our time in paradise was fleeting and it seemed like we were packing up for home just as we got used to it all. We were welcomed to New York by a huge thunderstorm only moments after we landed. It seemed fitting that our trip ended with a [meteorological] bang since it began with one too.

landing at laguardia


Friday, July 27, 2012

Camping? Camping!

It's hard to believe it's already been just over 2 weeks since my very first camping trip! Emil, Indio and I headed north for 5 days to a KOA Kampground near Lake George, NY with 17 other friends.

I have to admit, I was not initially looking forward to spending 4 nights sleeping in a tent, worrying about mosquitos and when my next shower was going to be. Emil allowed me to back out of the trip until the very last minute, but because I really thought this would be a great experience for Indio, I sucked it up and went along. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would actually have as much fun as I did! [Up until this point in my life, camping was on my NOT to-do list!]

Luckily, KOA sites ar equipped with electricity and running water on each site, showers and flush toilets nearby, and get this, free wifi! Our friends who organized the trip also ensured that we would have the comforts of home: freshly made coffee every morning to go along with a hot breakfast, Emil's iPod playlists, and more food and drink than we could consume.
playing hide-n-seek at our site
floaty overload! [campsite pool]
Each day, we ventured off the site, which I think was key to me enjoying the trip. I don't know how much fun I would have had sitting at a campsite all day.

On our first full day we drove to Corinth Beach, where despite the cold water, the kids and dads jumped in for a swim.
That evening, we ventured to Lake George Village for delicious ice cream. [I think the chocolate peanut butter ice cream from The Pink Roof may have been better than my all-time fave: Haagen-Dazs choc pb!] We also got to see the weekly fireworks show over the lake.
shark eating goldfish while a mermaid looks on
rare family photo [+will!]
The next day, we went tubing down the Hudson River with Tubby Tubes Co.  Indio was in awe of all the tubes floating not-so-lazily down the river and loved that we stopped so he could swim in the river.
floating down a river
On our last full day, we rented a pontoon from Chic's Marina in Bolton Landing, NY and cruised Lake George for 3 hours. It took me back to my childhood when I spent a lot of time at my cousin's cottage. It took us awhile to figure out the anchor, but once we did, we all went for a swim. 

el capitan
piggy back rides are always more fun in the water

bbq chicken lunch before taking a dip
smiles after a swim
tuckered out
I am so glad that I had the chance to try camping once. Even sleeping in a tent wasn't bad [other than the last two nights when it was unbearably hot and humid]. Indio had the most fabulous time and Emil and I made more family memories together. I don't know that I'd ever go again, but at least I can say I did it once.
cozy campsite
indio was enamored with all the "big boys"


Saturday, June 30, 2012

From the mouths of babes

In an effort to stay cool during the current heat wave, yesterday evening we walked over to McDonald's for soft-serve cones.

Indio: Mama, I want the one with chocolate on top.

Me: You want the chocolate sundae?

Indio: No, Mama!  I want it now!  I don't want it on Sunday!

not taken yesterday, but seems like this has already become the summer of ice cream


Sunday, June 17, 2012

World's Greatest Dads

Though it's not always easy and sometimes it seems like we're doing things blindly, I couldn't be the mother I am without having you be the father you are. Happy Father's Day, Love.
circa 2012
And to the man who will always be my "World's Greatest Daddy",
Happy Father's Day!
circa 1979
Your favourite child.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Card Catalogue: Behind the Beautiful Forevers

I haven't done a book review post in awhile because, well, I haven't been reading as much as I'd like to.  But in the last two weeks I started and finished a fantastic new read.  It was so good, I'm having a hard time starting something new for fear it won't measure up.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo is a nonfiction book about the "undercity" of Mumbai -- particularly one slum and its inhabitants.

Katherine Boo does for Indian nonfiction what Rohinton Mistry did for Indian fiction [for me] with A Fine Balance.  As a person of Indian descent who has visited India, I've always been aware of the slums in India, but have never read a nonfiction account of life in the "undercity."  I've always felt that India is so acutely divided by haves and have-nots, but this poignant book really takes that to another level.  After reading BTBF, I was both amazed at the lives of the slumdwellers and ashamed that I had not taken notice of those same lives in a more substantial way.  India's big cities truly cannot run without these people who are essentially invisible to both the wealthy and the government.

Boo's writing captivated me by giving such a thorough depiction of life in Annawadi, a Mumbai slum, that I had to remind myself this wasn't a fabricated story.  I really felt like I "knew" the characters in this book, and my heart ached along with theirs as they lived through such poverty and hardship that I can't even imagine.  The hardest part of this book was seeing how corrupt India actually is.  My first instinct was to research charitable organizations to somehow help the people of the slums, but after reading Boo carefully point out that even the "Western" charities didn't follow through with their aid, I'm really at a loss of what I can do from here.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes anthropological studies, but also loves a really well written story.  At no point was I bored or tired of this book. Definitely a top contender for my best book of 2012.

What have you read lately?  Suggestions would be much appreciated as I'm at a loss of what to read now.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Oldies but goodies

I haven't been using my cameras much since getting an iPhone, but found these photos from a visit to NYC last April. Now that we live here again, I don't always stop to relish in the beauty of the city.

making our way into the city as the sun comes up

blooms in the 'Heights
mini bridge in Cobble Hill
my favorite house in Cobble Hill


Sunday, May 27, 2012


Like many so many other owners of iPhones, I have become addicted to using the photo app, Instagram.  I love modifying my photos with their filters and frames, though I do find them limited at times. [I use Camera+ when I need a bit more oompf! and then I import into Instagram to post to my feed.] I love that I can share my photos with other Instagram users I connect with. [My profile is private so I can control who sees my photos.]

But along with sharing online, I wanted to have hardcopies of some of my prints.  Luckily, there are a ton of companies out there that will print your Instagram photos!

E and I drink a lot of tea, usually ending our day with a cup.  Because tea is such a ritual in our house, it's really hard not to buy every cool mug I come across. [I'm under strict orders from E that if I bring a mug in, one has to go out.] Lucky for me, even E couldn't resist the super-fun Magic Mug from Snapfish. These mugs are black when cold, but once you pour in a hot liquid, your photos magically appear! I create two different collage mugs [to make use of the most photos] with my uploaded Instagrams.

getting hot
all warmed up!
I also had a coupon for Shutterfly so I decided to create a photo book of my Instagram shots to see how they would print on a larger scale.  I was very impressed with the quality of the book and my photos! I chose the padded hard cover for my 8x8 book, which gave it a shiny, slightly puffy feel like some of the picture books Indio has in his collection.

Some screenshots of pages from my book:

I think the next project I want to create is a case for my iPhone since my current one is on its last legs.  Have any of you used Casetagram? What do you do with your Instagram shots?


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