Monday, March 30, 2009

Typical Saturday

At our parent teacher conference S's teacher suggested that S could use a little more dad time (ouch). So maybe it was out of parenting guilt, or maybe it's because he just likes to play, Phil spent a GOOD chunk of Saturday building this airplane/space shuttle with S. It even has retractable landing gear, I'm impressed.

Then it was time for haircuts. N's first, and in typical second-child parenting style, we didn't take any pictures. S's first haircut was documented with video and still shots, and extended family pitching in. Dang.

And a late afternoon trip to Jantar Mantar. They are these huge astronomical observatories built in the 18th century. Phil could actually figure out how they worked. I just marveled at their size and climbed around a bit.

And you know what's cool? Sampling the watermelon before you buy... in March.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Turtles at the Taj

The boys lost interest pretty quickly on our recent trip to the Taj Mahal. Luckily there was somewhere for S to perfect his turtle impersonation. And lots of doorways to run through, and hide behind.

Earth Hour

So, you gonna do it?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Books I've Never Heard Of

I started reading My Father's Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett to S this evening, it was recommended by the school librarian. Published in 1948. So far it's perfect for us: S can understand it with only about one stop for vocabulary/page and there are enough quirky things to keep me interested. Why haven't I ever heard of it before?
We're on the hunt for some good chapter books. We enjoyed Charlotte's Web and Ralph S. Mouse (me less than S on that one). Stuart Little's vocabulary was a little too old fashioned for us. I quit the Ramona book after the first chapter, we're not ready for Ramona yet. Have any favorites we should check out?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Holi

Happy Holi. I hope you have a good one.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

For Mom

N is finally doin' a little communicatin'. A little. Mostly it's just confusing.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


So, I'm taking a beginning Hindi class. No, I can't really say anything and I understand even less when spoken to, but it's really interesting. I'm learning all sorts of insightful things. Like tomorrow and yesterday are the same word: kal. Maybe that's the issue with the plumber?

Or that there is no word for "have." What you say is that something is near. So "I have a pen" is "Mere pas pen hai." (yeah we're not bothering much with nouns in class), or "The pen is near me." Maybe that's why whenever they boys leave something in the car it disappears, only to reappear the day after I ask the driver about it.
Tuesday: S leaves stuffed snake in car.
Wednesday: Where did the snake toy go?
Thursday: Snake sitting on the seat. Near me again.

Weekends II

Dang, I had some witty title thought up this morning but it's gone now. Gotta agree with Marissa on this one.

Last weekend we went to the Mughal Gardens at Rashrapati Bhavan, which is the president's residence. A bit like a visit to the Rose Garden. The gardens are only open to the public for a few weeks in the spring, so we went. The gardens were beautiful, really stunning. But because of security concerns you can't bring cameras. There's nothing that grates on Phil quite like being told he can't do something, so we spent a good portion of the outing pointing out to each other the futility of such restrictions. I mean if you really want to bring a camera for some nefarious purpose you're not going to be stopped by a few pat searches (though the lady was a little mystified by the underwire, so they are pretty thorough). Besides, Google Earth? Anyway, I digress, beautiful gardens, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Then the wedding. The invitation said wedding 7pm, reception 8pm. We got there at 7:45, slightly nervous that we might miss something. We were probably the fourth group there. Gave us lots of chance to take pictures of the scene: the full on stage (real flowers, I checked). The paan table, the fruit stand. By the time the groom arrived (who is a co-worker of Phil's) our boys were done, and we slipped out about 11pm. Never really saw what the throne N borrowed was for, hope that if we cursed their marriage by sitting on it cultural ignorance will count for something.

I wore another saree. It was too short. A few different women filled me in (Gee, thanks). I'd hitched it up so there was no gap between the blouse and skirt. You don't want to see my very white, post-two-nine-pound-babies stomach, you just don't. I have much better ankles, believe me. There were a few other foreigners in sarees. They had strapless blouses, which I've never actually seen on an Indian woman. I wonder if anyone told them their shirts were missing?