Lucky And Vin

Our Imagination let loose; Opinions raging; Views bouncing between the pros and cons; Inventions and Solutions; Recipes for Success; Confusion of Relationships – All this and more under one roof between Lucky and Vin

   Dec 01

Parenting with your parent

MOM!!!

The first word that comes to mind when you are in trouble, when you want help or when you want to talk to someone!!

My sympathies to the working mother who when you look at it has already chosen her career over her child. The increasing trend for an Indian working mother is to have her mother come down to look after her child. Grandma looks after child while mommy darling rushes off to work early in the morning and returns late at night. Father dear tries to involve himself as less as possible except to play with baby for half an hour or so. A different maid each quarter of the year..sometimes every month too! And then what? Grandma comes to the rescue once again!

Now, I am NOT one of the exorbitantly wealthy and neither am I uneducated. But, I have always believed that when I give birth to a child, it is MY responsibility to look after him, feed him, bathe him, sing songs to him, play with him, educate him and so on…And I have stuck with my principles too. That does not mean I do not want a career. It just means that I have prioritized my life the way I think is right for the time being. [My husband helps out as much as he can too. Thank God for that!!]

But, I know of so many friends and friends of friends and even some relatives who are doing the parenting with-the-parent thing. I mean, don’t get me wrong. If you want your parents help, you should ask for it and they WILL help. It is not wrong. It is not incorrect. But I strongly feel that the one who needs help must go to the person who can help you. Not vice versa.

When it happens vice versa is where it gets all wrong. There are those mothers who has her mother staying with her in a foreign country while her father is in India. There are those who have their ailing mother staying in places with harsh climates to look after their children. There are those who even have their moms travelling up and down, back and forth between their own homes and their children’ homes!! I just find it so UNFAIR! It is the time for our parents to relax and do whatever pleases them..to be able to rest and enjoy their peace. But these days that seems to be a rare luxury…[in many cases, only enjoyed by a boys parents!!]

That brings me to the next topic of why the boy’s mother is never being pushed around and it is always the girl’s mother??! Maybe it is the saas-bahu thing (which is a topic for later someday) That seems to be the only answer there.

I grew up in a joint family. But now, I have my own nuclear family..the way I have always wanted. When you live in a joint family, there  are a lot of benefits but you have got to look at the other side of the coin too, right? A joint family pretty much has three generations living under the same roof! Now, how is that going to be? Think about it. The first generation thinks of themselves as the ultimate parents always ‘parenting’ the second and third generations. The third generation is easily pampered by the first generation and gets their way most of the time.

Now, the second generation. The middle zone is who gets stuck. They can’t diss their parents. They can’t diss their children. They don’t get their way and their voice is not heard most of the time. It is a horrible thing. I never realized that until I became a parent. But the good part is that you can get lots of help and advise. Most times, too much advise!! Also, when you try to parent with your parent around, there’ going to be a LOT of difference in opinions and lack of control.

In the end, after all that the grandparents have done for them, children still look upto their parents for approval and once they become adults, most side with their parents. Then what about all the grandparently love that was lavished on them throughout their childhood? Isn’t it a sad situation for our old parents?

OK.. Taking a step back.. I just want to let you know that I do realize that parenting is huge work and hence easier with familial support. Hey!! Many times I wish my mom were with me.. but then like my Dad says.. Parenting is the one job in which there is no right or wrong way. Everybody learns to be the best they can.

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   Feb 22

My heart beats for you…

Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone

 

My son

My son

To say I love my son very much would be an understatement. I don’t have words to explain how much I love my baby boy.

 

You, my baby,

are my sunshine..

the one who makes me smile so bright..

When you look up at me and raise your slender hands

needing to be within my warm embrace,

When you pull me by my hand

to where you desire to go,

When you hug me around my neck,

and cuddle up to me in bed,

my heart fills up with an elation that knows no bounds.

 

Your giggles upon being tickled,

Your high-fives and flying kisses

are all so adorable.

 

You complete our small family..and make us feel blessed.

Sometimes I may feel the need for me-time.

Other times I’m too tired to run around the table with you.

But at all times, I love you with a ferocity that runs real deep.

My heart beats for you.. my child,

And I am always going to love you, my little baby boy..

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   Jan 24

Kodi Kura – Andhra Chicken Curry

We wanted to try something spicy but non Keralite for a change.. and thought an Andhra dish would be just the thing. That’s when we chanced upon a recipe online with appetizing pictures (Savitha’s Kitchen). Initially, though we could make out the authentic aroma of an Andhra dish, honestly the curry didn’t look too appealing. But upon putting those final masalas, OMG!!! It looked as good as the aroma:))

This curry came out so fabulously that we felt as though we were dining at Nandhini in B’lore!!! ;-) We thought we could share the recipe  so that you can taste this excellent dish. Though it is spicy, you’ll still find it finger-licking good! :)

Kodi Kura - Andhra chicken curry

Kodi Kura – Andhra chicken curry

The recipe goes like this:

To marinate the chicken:

Chicken – 1 pound

Curd – 2 tbsp

Chilli powder – 2tsp

Salt  – 1/2 tsp

A pinch of turmeric powder

To prepare the gravy:

Onion – 2 large

Tomato – 1

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

Cumin powder – 1 tsp

Pepper – 1 tbsp

Oil – 3 tbsp

Fennel seeds – 1 tsp

Cashews – 6 or 7 soaked in 3 tbsp warm milk

Cinnamon – 1 inch

Cloves – 3

10 curry leaves

Salt to taste

Cilantro (Coriander leaves) for garnishing

Few curry leaves

Method:

  1. Wash chicken well and rub with turmeric powder. Wash again (This removes the raw odour of the chicken.) Marinate chicken, with the marinade for half an hour.
  2. Soak the broken cashews in warm milk for about half an hour and grind it to a fine paste.
  3. Dry roast the cinnamon, cloves and curry leaves separately,without burning or blackening it (If so, the curry may taste slightly bitter). Once they are cooled, grind into a fine powder in the mixer grinder.
  4. Take a pan, add oil, splutter with fennel seeds and few curry leaves. Add the sliced onions and saute till it becomes pink.
  5. Add the chopped tomato and sprinkle some salt. When the tomatoes are mixed well, add the ginger garlic paste and saute till it looses its raw smell.
  6. Add the marinated chicken, and saute till it is cooked 80%.
  7. Once the chicken is cooked a bit more than halfway, add coriander powder, cumin powder, pepper powder and mix it in. Add enough water to the curry and bring it to boil.
  8. Now add the ground masala powder (Cinnamon,clove & curry leaves). Close the pan with a lid and allow to cook.
  9. Once the curry is cooked completely, add the cashew – milk paste.
  10. Turn the stove to low and cover the curry with the lid. Cook for 10 minutes more or until the chicken is tender.
  11. Garnish with cilantro and serve with roti, naan, parotta or rice.
Kodi Kura - Spicy Andhra chicken curry

Kodi Kura – Spicy Andhra chicken curry

This is a very spicy preparation. So those with a fragile tummy, beware!! ;-)
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   Jan 24

A letter from a father to his son’s teacher

There is this world famous letter written by a father to his son’s teacher, guiding him to teach his son the true value of being a good man.

It was the first time I was taking my baby boy to a kids play area so that he could mingle with other babies his age. I remember the unexplainable catch in my heart when I let go of his tiny little fingers and he ran excitedly into the crowd of kids – of all ages!! There were kids who were almost 4 feet tall!! And my son was just a little over 2 feet and such a cute darling at 1.5 years! There were older kids who simply pushed him out of their way and when my lil one fell down I was right beside him, furious as hell that someone else would do this and I was helpless!!! I stared dagger eyes at some kid who was surprised that someone dare cross him!! But my baby just got up with a smile on his face and ran to play again.. My heart just melted and I knew at that moment that my baby boy, who had my heart in his hands would have to mingle with other kids and would encounter heartbreaks and disappointments someday..and that letting him ‘socialize’ would be one of the hardest things I would ever have to do!!

Mother & Son

I knew then that I would do Anything to keep my baby happy..to give him the best and let nothing or none else come in my way! I believe that ALL children MUST be taught manners at home.

I remembered this poem on my way back home. I remembered reading this letter in English class at school. I had thought all this while that Abraham Lincoln was the epistle of this masterpiece. However, it is considered, by most if not all experts, to be something not actually written by Honest Abe himself. Surprisingly, it is impossible to even trace this letter back to Lincoln as, to quote one particular expert on the man “These phrases are not 19th century phrasing and definitely not Lincoln’s language patterns.”

Teacher, take my son by the hand. He starts school today. It’s all going to be strange and new to him for a while, and I wish you would sort of treat him gently. You see, up to now, he’s been king of the roost. He’s been the boss of the backyard. I have always been around to repair his wounds and I’ve always been handy to sooth his feelings. But now things are going to be different. This morning he’s going to walk down the front steps, wave his hand, and start on a great adventure that probably will include wars and tragedy and sorrow.

Take him by the hand...

Take him by the hand…

To live in this world will require faith and love and courage. So teacher, I wish you would sort of take him by his young hand, and teach him the things he will have to know.
Teach him, but gently, if you can.

He will have to learn, I know,
that all men are not just,
all men are not true.
But teach him also that
for every scoundrel there is a hero;
that for every selfish Politician,
there is a dedicated leader…
Teach him for every enemy there is a friend,

Steer him away from envy,
if you can,
teach him the secret of
quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that
the bullies are the easiest to lick…
Teach him, if you can,
the wonder of books…
But also give him quiet time
to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky,
bees in the sun,
and the flowers on a green hillside.

In the school teach him
it is far honorable to fail
than to cheat…
Teach him to have faith
in his own ideas,
even if everyone tells him
they are wrong…
Teach him to be gentle
with gentle people,
and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son
the strength not to follow the crowd
when everyone is getting on the band wagon…
Teach him to listen to all men…
but teach him also to filter
all he hears on a screen of truth,
and take only the good
that comes through.

Teach him if you can,
how to laugh when he is sad…
Teach him there is no shame in tears,
Teach him to scoff at cynics
and to beware of too much sweetness…
Teach him to sell his brawn
and brain to the highest bidders
but never to put a price-tag
on his heart and soul.

Teach him to close his ears
to a howling mob
and to stand and fight
if he thinks he’s right.
Treat him gently,
but do not cuddle him,
because only the test
of fire makes fine steel.

Let him have the courage
to be impatient…
let him have the patience to be brave.
Teach him always
to have sublime faith in himself,
because then he will have
sublime faith in mankind.

This is a big order,
but see what you can do…
He is such a fine little fellow,
my son!”

Oh.. my baby is such a fine little fellow… He is clever and smart and happy and so lovable!
I hope I can teach him all this and help him be the man that all mothers want as a son and all girls want as their husband…or even just help retain through the years the same sparkling personality that he has now..
Don’t we all feel this way? Wouldn’t this world be a much better place if all our children were taught to practice this?
[PS: You must be wondering who wrote this excellent poem. Me too. I thought till yesterday it was Abe Lincoln. But apparently, it isn’t.]
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   Jan 09

My first LEGO set

Our son’ now 15 months old and we felt it was high time we introduced him to building blocks.

After careful deliberation, I came to the conclusion that as it would be his first building block set, we should buy BIG blocks – easy to hold,  cannot be swallowed and cannot be lost. Hence my choice of  MEGABLOKS – First Builders. We bought this 80 piece set from Amazon.

MegaBloks First Builders

MegaBloks First Builders

I was so excited waiting for the package to arrive, fondly remembering the building blocks of my childhood, the small bucket it came in and all those towers I built with my sister.. Little one was inquisitive when it first arrived. He checked the bag all around and when I ‘poured’ out all the blocks, he ‘investigated’ them and then put them all one by one back into the bag – repeating the emptying and refilling of the bag!! It was so surprisingly cute, I even got a video of it on my phone!!

Megabloks

Megabloks

But within the first couple of days, I realized that these blocks were an utter waste! I mean.. it Really did not live up to the glowing reviews that some of the Amazon users have given this product. Firstly, these blocks just would not stay  – they fell apart at the slightest adjustment/ touch!! And now, this as all of you know can be very hampering to the process of ‘building’!!! So, we returned this product (By the way, the Amazon customer service is just fab! :))

However, before returning the Megabloks, we went to the Lego store nearby wanting to check out if it was really worth spending so much money to buy a LEGO set as a first blocks set… Frankly, I was not very impressed. The blocks were small – compared to the Megabloks. Plus, there wasn’t much options in the LEGO store and it was SO filled with kids aged I think between 5 and 10!!! We got out of there as fast as we could.

But, LEGOs are LEGOs… and we thought we would give it a try. I know some of you may think it is too expensive and others might Yahoo our choice, but we placed an order on the Lego website via eBates and awaited the arrival of our brand new Lego set!! All the while, little one was playing with his Megabloks (I build, he breaks it down ;-)) and other toys in complete oblivion to my research and wait…

But when it came and I opened it for our baby…

LEGO Deluxe Duplo Set 5507 for 1.5 to 5 year olds

LEGO Deluxe Duplo Set 5507 for 1.5 to 5 year olds

Ooh boy!!! Was he excited, or what?!! I’m sure any thought of Megabloks must have flown from his mind because there he was, huddling around with the new LEGO blocks..with all its fascinating shapes and extra colors and two human figurines!! It was WONDERFUL!!! I LOVEd the box the LEGO blocks came in (though once all the packaging was removed, the 102 pieces barely filled up half the box!!!)

LEGO Deluxe Duplo Set 5507 for 1.5 to 5 year olds - The baseplate

LEGO Deluxe Duplo Set 5507 for 1.5 to 5 year olds – The baseplate

LEGO Deluxe Duplo Set 5507 for 1.5 to 5 year olds - The unopened building block packs

LEGO Deluxe Duplo Set 5507 for 1.5 to 5 year olds – The unopened building block packs

LEGO Deluxe Duplo Set 5507 for 1.5 to 5 year olds - The unopened building block packs all laid out on the table

LEGO Deluxe Duplo Set 5507 for 1.5 to 5 year olds – The unopened building block packs all laid out on the table

The Duplo set is made for little kids. This deluxe brick box is for ages 1.5 to 5 years old – the blocks are not too small for little hands and neither are they too big for a 5 year old. It’s the perfect size and there are so many different shapes..and colors.. Ooh! The colors.. even transparent colors :D (Megabloks only had yellow, blue, green and red. But LEGO has yellow, red, orange, white, black, 3 types of blue, and 2 types of green!!!) There are windows and flowers and picket fences too!!! The boy figurine is however, much more friendly looking than the girl figurine who looks like she has an ‘agenda’!

Seeing me bent over the LEGO building manual ‘constructing’ their various ideas, my husband thought out loud that maybe I bought the building blocks for myself ;-)

My creation using the LEGO manual

My creation using the LEGO manual

Oh!! But all three of us LOVE this set!! Little one was holding the boy figurine in his hands all the time while breaking down what his dad built ;-)

My husband's creation for our lil boy :)

My husband’s creation for our lil boy :)

I sure would recommend this set to anyone who is interested in buying a toy set for a pretty long period of time.. I mean 50 USD for something you can use till you are five and even afterwards as an addition to more blocks (if interested) is a good deal. However, if Shoprunner was activated on the Lego site, I would have been much happier!!! Just the S&H and tax made the total upto around 63 USD!!! Man!! That was a bummer!! But otherwise, its a good set.

Even though the building blocks of my childhood were not of any particular brand, they were the normal shapes, colorful, sturdy and I loved them. But, I’ve never owned an original LEGO set before… so in a way, this is MY first LEGO set too :D

Which is your favorite LEGO set?? :)

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