Monday, March 31, 2014

Happy birthday to me

Hi All, Thank you for the wishes. I had a wonderful birthday today. It was a lot of fun at work , when I came home is when I realized that I wanted to go back to that stage of my  life where I did not know what "Happy Birthday" really meant and was excited about that day and the  new dress that I can wear to school and distribute candies and then cut a cake and eat it without being conscious about the calorie count of it.
When I was young I wanted to be older. During exams when I was studying subject books my mom used to read magazines. I thought to myself when I grow older I can do the same but now, I want to be really young and sleep in my mom's lap and my parents will take care of everything for me.I dont know why my mind works like this. I now think of "Birthday"  as a reminder that I am losing one more year of being young. As you grow older more responsibilities fall on you. Mentally you are not ready most of the times but you have to act your age.As said "Time and Tide waits for no man", time will fly and I might want this age back. Being in the present is really a gift and I am telling myself to be happy with what I have now.

Finally a small tip if your birthdays are around the corner, you can find out if some of your favorite eat out places have some specials for birthdays when you sign in online in their website and become a club member. Some places offer a free dessert with the purchase of an adult entree and some places offer free entree. I used to do this long back but if you read this post (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/what-to-cook-for-week-some-ideas.html), you will know that I am not a big fan of eating out now at this stage of my life.You can find this out on their website and see if you can get free food. Have a nice day and see you soon with a nice topic.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Is there a right age to get married??

Hi All..Hope everyone had a great weekend. We got a lot of yard work done. Now waiting for our plants to sprout.Amazing spring weather in Austin. This is the best part of the year and I am loving it.
As I was thinking about my age, I was wondering how old I was when I met my husband. I was around 22 and after we decided that we were going to get married, when I told my brother his first comment was " Why do you want to get married so early?". Then I thought to myself I know this is the guy I want to marry then why to wait??. I got married when I was 23 and my husband was 27. I would like to list the advantages and disadvantages of marrying around this age
Advantages:
* We were  very young and could adjust to things easily
* Ignorant about most things, may be ignorance is bliss
* After coming to USA and sharing apartments with people was happy that finally we had our home.
* Had time to understand each other
* Was able to have 2 kids early
* Have energy to manage kids (At least we would like to think like that :) )
* No big dreams and did not know much about marriage
* Didn't expect much in a partner
* Can get done with responsibilities sooner.
Disadvantages:
* Very immature about things (At least I was )
* Did not know too much about ourselves
* Did not know much about what were getting into
*Did not know what we really wanted

When I see girls/guys waiting too late to get married I feel that by then they know too much about themselves and also expect too much from their partner and eventually get frustrated in the process. For guys I feel late 20's will be perfect as by 30 you will get more busy with your career and will also be more matured about things and for girls mid 20's will work out good.In arranged/love marriage parents do their part too in adding more pressure/frustration to the whole process. From my personal experience I feel that whatever age you get married marrying the right person is the most important thing. Please share your thoughts on this and please add comments in this format
Your name:
Age you got married:
Your thoughts:
Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and thanks for taking time to read this post.




Saturday, March 29, 2014

Parents

Hi All..Hope all of you are having a wonderful day.Coming to today's topic, I wanted to write something about a relationship which you dont get to choose yet it works out to be perfect most of the times.
I dont think we all would be here without them and we might have given them hard and sweet memories, in spite of all that they still wish good for us in their hearts till they die.
For most of us who are abroad I know how hard it is to have our parents miles away.  Whenever I see my mom/dad/mother-in-law/father-in-law the first thing that flashes my mind is "no one can escape from aging". I can see them slowing down day by day.


After becoming a parent myself, is when I am realizing how difficult it is to raise kids. Parenting is a very difficult responsibility for which no one prepares you . It is always on-the-job training. I wonder why we dont come equipped for it. Each and every age of a child poses so many  challenges and we have no clue on how to handle them. Our parents generation was different,they did not have distractions like smart phones/television/computers , but they had their own set of problems to deal with. I totally understand what my mom  went through when my daughter does the same things to me that I did to my mom. What goes around comes around.

When I was young I always used to think that I should be different from my parents and deal with kids better. I will be a cool mom and so on. After reality hit , now I feel if I do at least 40% of what they did it is a big achievement. I really feel that we take our parents for granted most of the times. If you have not  already please take time and say "Thank you" to your parents for all  that they did to you and do it soon before it is too late. Do share your thoughts on this.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Feeding schedule for 1- 2 year old

I hope all of you read my yesterday post on (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/03/feeding-schedule-from-newborn-1-yr-old.html). Today's topic is the continuation of that. Congratulations to all the parents of one year old  for  reaching this milestone. After one year you can pretty much feed most of the things that we eat.
*Thumb rule is anything you introduce new make sure you give it to your kid for at least three  days in a row just to make sure no reaction like rash or allergies due to the new food.
* Biggest challenge will be to switch to cow's milk as most kids dont like it at the first go.  First try plain milk and if they dont like it then you will have to try different flavors.


My daughter's feeding schedule is
First thing in the morning: Usually I start the day with a cup of plain milk for my daughter.
Breakfast :I give her bread toast +chocolate cream (nutella) or jam or peanut butter /oatmeal/waffle/pancake/cheerios(cereal) in the morning
Morning snack: Fruits (strawberry,apple,orange,banana,pear)
Lunch: see this post (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/03/kids-lunch-ideas.html), I will pack one of this for my daughter.
Evening after nap :yogurt with oatmeal cereal / fruits/ cheese/crackers/cookies(I pack only a box of yogurt other snacks she gets in day care)
After I pick her up:I will give her some cookies/raisins/figs/dates/some fruits.
Dinner:She will eat roti/ idli /dosai /upma /pesarattu/ stuffed paratha/methi paratha/ rava dosai/ noodles/curd rice  (whatever we make for us) + yogurt ,finally will give her some oat meal cereal (similar to cerelac)  if I feel she didn't eat enough of what I made for us that day.
Since she gets  most of the veggies only at lunch I always will try to add some boiled veggies along with her lunch like boiled carrots or peas or beans, cucumber, sauteed yellow squash.
Weekend: Only change will be for lunch she will eat spinach rice or dhall rice along with the veggie we eat. My daughters favorite veggies are beans,carrot,yellow squash,red capsicum, ladies finger,cabbage, sweet potato.So I'll make sure I make one of these veggie on Saturday and Sunday.
Most of the days she will refuse to eat, and is very moody about food and I dont have to mention about the mess. Still I'll be happy if she eats something. Also we give her a vitamin gummy prescribed by the doctor for vitamin D intake.Please comment on what you do for your kids so I can learn more and add some variety to my daughters meal. Thanks for taking time to read this post.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Feeding schedule for Newborn-1 yr old

Hi All, Today's topic is a request from my friend to go over the feeding schedule of my daughter.
For my son I had to substitute with formula after 6 months. He is 3 years old now and he is very normal now,so dont feel bad about feeding your baby formula. I know all moms try hard to nurse but for some reason you might have to substitute with formula which is perfectly fine.Again baby food is a billion dollar market. Dont buy all Gerber/Earths Best Organic  products,do try to make them at home , believe me you can do it ,it is not very difficult. This is what I did  for both my kids.
*Until my daughter/son was 4  months of age I nursed them. When I was away at work I used the mothers room , read more about what it is here (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/mothers-room-episode.html).
*Around 4 months I introduced some oatmeal cereal ,similar to cerelac that you get in India for dinner only one time a day.
*Around 6 months I started to puree some veggies like (carrot,beet root,sweet potato, avocado, butternut squash, beans) just boil all then and smash it in a mixer and this will be the breakfast and then milk for the rest of the day whenever hungry and then cereal at night. Of course they used to wake up twice at night for milk again.

*Around 9 months the main idea is to bring the schedule to 5 feedings a day + 1 feeding at night and substitute with water for the second milk feed at night. So
breakfast = veggie puree
morning snack= milk/formula
lunch = boil in cooker (moong dhall+rice+carrot+squash+beans+cauliflower+any veggies your kids love that you know from the puree items) and then smash it and give it .
evening snack= some fruit puree- apple+dates,banana,pear,(no citrus fruits and mango until 1 year old),strawberry, peaches just smash these in a mixer also combination of these fruits and give it
dinner =oatmeal cereal
night one feeding =milk/formula
and other one just plain water
* Around 11 months if your kid has some teeth follow the same schedule above and try to grind the everything  into a chunky texture and then slowly introduce dosa (soak in water), roti (soak in water),cheese,yogurt (no milk  until 1 year old) , some Gerber banana puffs and try to slowly stop nursing  at night and start giving water in a sippy cup.
All these are what I followed. I used to look at the varieties in Gerber/Earths Best Organic and try to make it at home for the vegetable and fruit puree. Have a few Organic Earths Best jars handy just in case if you want to go out and you cant make it at home.  Always consult your pediatrician to get more ideas on what food to give and what not to. Stay tuned to know more about 1 yr -2 yr food schedule.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Am I successful in life??

Hello everyone. Today's topic is something that I have always been thinking about. How to find out if I am successful??.Is it  
* Being healthy??
* Having a good career??
* Having a six digit salary??
* Having a perfect family??
* Raising kids well??
* Being a good partner??
* Owning a nice house??
* Travelling around the world??
* Being good to everyone?? (You can add your own to the list)
I dont think it is  possible to have the combination of all the above in life at the same point of time. For example Steve Jobs was a person who was very successful in his career, earned a lot of money  still he didn't have a healthy life. Micheal Jackson was very successful in his career he didn't have a healthy life,good partner,perfect family. Still they are "successful " people.


We all will achieve "success" in something at some point of time in our life and if  we dont appreciate it at that point of time and worry  about things you are not good at ,you will not realize how successful you are. Personally I have made a  check list of what all is important to me and my goal  to attain "success" on that and try to see what I have achieved till now and what I should get better at. I  have "being healthy " as the first one in my list.I believe  we cannot generalize this term "SUCCESS", it has different meaning to different people. So please dont judge people by what they have or what they do (Very easy to say,but hard to follow). Make your own list, then if you do a check on all that you have attained you will be really happy to see how successful you are in what you do.
One more thing to remember is "success is short lived". I understood this by writing this blog. My goal to attain success for this blog is to write more popular posts for which I am working hard everyday. Like wise all goals are short lived and you have to keep changing your goals to challenge yourself.Please do share your thoughts on this.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

California trip

Hi All, You all must have noticed that I didn't update my posts regularly. I was enjoying my vacation .Just came back today.You will know where I went if you read this post (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/03/happy-birthday-nethra.html). We went to California mainly Folsom and Bay area. It was a wonderful trip and got to meet so many people .Thanks to my brother for the comfortable stay. Me and my husband used to live in Folsom before we moved to Austin. Folsom was the city where I met my husband first. As we drove through the city lot of old memories flashed my mind.The first P.F Chang's restaurant where we met, the Chipotle restaurant where we used to go often. All the street names and the apartment where we first started out life as newly wed couple. At my niece birthday party I met few of my brothers friends whom I knew too. Everyone has changed and they have kids now.
We really enjoyed the bay area visit where we got to meet our friends there some of them have moved from Austin to Bay area.Thank you all so much for taking time to meet us and also make our stay comfortable.Since our family is miles away "FRIENDS" are who really help you out in the U.S.A. We are really blessed to have so many of you who really care for us. All friends that we met have helped us in each stage of our life. I used to have a room in one of our friends house where I first stayed when I moved to Austin. Another friend who  helped us so much during my second delivery to take care of my son and another friend who  helped me so much when my husband visited India for a week and I was expecting my second kid and my son was a toddler.
Apart from this we also met my college buddies and also my husbands other close friends. It was such a pleasure to meet you all and revive our old memories. I am really happy that all of you have been a part of our life.Then we came back to Austin and our friend picked us up and gave us awesome yummy dinner. What else can I ask for in this life, I am really grateful for all this and hope I can do more to help you all as well. Well I am tired now and going to hit the bed. Good night.

Fighting

Hi..Hope you all had a wonderful day. Today's topic is on "fighting". Generally when two people have different views on things they get into an argument. As friends when we fight on small issues it is different.If you have read my post on (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/first-year-of-marriage-lifedos-and-donts.html), I have already mentioned that don't argue too early, hear the other side of the issues too.
As husband and wife when we fight on things it is very different, each fight will teach you more  about your partner and their characteristics. It will either make the relationship more stronger or it will completely ruin it.

When we fight, usually we are always concerned about us and our view on things. Sometimes we try everything to make our point and we don't worry about others around us. We hardly hear what the other person has to say and also about their feeling on the issue. So when  it just the husband and the wife it is a different ball game. Once you have kids you have to be very careful. They listen to each and everything you talk and when you fight in front of them ,it really affects them a lot.
These days even when me and my husband have different views on something we make conscious effort to discuss about it later. Believe me it takes a lot to really practice it. There have been times when my husband reminds me that "Kids are here let us talk about it later" and I tell him the same too. After following this we are really happy that we are  providing a healthy environment for our kids and family. Please share your thoughts on this and how you handle "fight" in your life.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Birds of same feather flock together

Hi All , hope all is well.If you have read my post on (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/where-do-i-really-belong-to.html) you will know what my profile is . I have lived  in three different cities in the USA. Wherever I have been I have always searched for people from my country.I will  visit the Indian grocery store in those cities to see if I can find more people from India. When someone tells me they are living in a particular city I always ask them "Are there Indians in your city??" , if they say no I'll ask "How do you manage without Indian friends".
 So personally I am comfortable only with people from my country and I have very few friends who are Americans.I really didn't worry about all this, but now when I think of my son he deals mostly with American kids at school. It is surely a change for him and as kids they all play with each other and they get along well. Still his best buddy is an Indian kid. Will this follow for next generation also??, I always wonder whether they talk about their parents and what things they do at home.May be my son might say "My parents always hang around with Indian uncles and aunties".This reminds me of the saying" Birds of same feather flock together". Then when I searched for the reasons why we don't have many American friends, could the below be the reasons??


 *When I talk to some of my American friends I don't find much things common between us,  so it is this similarity that I look in all people??
*Language , may be I don't understand what all they speak ,their slang other than work related issues
*Don't know what they think about me and our way of living
*Culturally we are different and they don't understand it??
*May be they don't belong to my religion  and they don't understand my feeling towards it??
 I  think I need to get out of my comfort zone and make friends with the people of this country to know more about their culture and also see how they live their life. If most of you have already come out of your comfort zone  and made more friends from the country  where you live please give me some tips on how you did it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cousins

Hi All hope all is good. If you have read my post on (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/sweet-sibling.html) , I have written about siblings. Now when I see my kids playing with my niece I was reminded of my summer holidays where I used to enjoy with my cousins.
Most summer vacations when I was young, my cousins used to come from Delhi to my grandparents place and we all used to have a blast. Playing board games like "TRADE" which used to go on for days and we know all details on the board. Carrom board games (tournaments), card games,hide and seek, 7 stones, Kings we used to play so many games that used to keep us all well occupied.We also used to fight a lot on everything. Television was a luxury then and we had only "Doordarshan" channels and will watch very few programs on it.No video games or any other electronic devices. Life was simple and fun then. All this helped to create a bond with my cousins and I got a sister (cousin)with whom I can share things. Though we both live in different parts of the world I feel we face  pretty much the same problems.


Now during summer vacation I have to find a summer camp for my son and be worried about how he is going to take it. I feel kids of this generation are missing so much in life and I don't want to think about next generations to come.My biggest fear is that my kids will only know very few people as his/her  relatives. I have quite a few cousins and we try to keep up through a whatsapp group which is fun and helps to know what is happening in their life.
As we all know that  "All Indians are my brothers and sisters" , the first brother or sister you can find apart from your own ones are your cousins.So all parents please make an effort to teach your kids about their cousins and second cousins, so even though they don't meet them often or have fun with them , they will at least know they are there for them when in need.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dont I have the freedom to even cry??

Hope all of you are doing good...Today I want to write something about my view on"crying". Generally women cry easily as it is a form of expressing their feelings and men think this as a "tool" that women use to get things their way.
As kids we all cry there is no gender associated with it. After a point guys are generally taught not to cry (I think they want to portray men as strong people??), when they cry the statement made is "Are you a girl?? why are you crying like this??".
I used to cry a lot. As a kid, whenever I did something wrong,even before my parents raised their voice, I'll be in tears. Then they will scold me to stop crying. Those times I used to think "Don't I have the freedom to even cry??".  Even after my wedding I used to cry a lot on small things.I am pretty sure that there are many husbands who tell their wives "Do anything but dont 'cry'".
What I thought I did by "crying" was  I was expressing my feelings (sorry) that I did something wrong and  the person at the receiving end will understand this. But in reality ,when I cry it irritates the other person and creates a drama that deviates from the main subject in focus.



I did not realize the real meaning behind "crying" until I saw my kids. My son/daughter do the same thing. Even before I tell them something they will start crying and then I feel bad that I made them cry and finally I end up asking "sorry" and the real reason why I was mad at them is forgotten. These days I seldom cry on small issues.
 I agree,crying is a "tool".So ladies I think it is time for us  to think about this and see if we have to really waste our tears on small issues. Use this tool wisely, it is a great tool (only for us )that helps us to express our emotions, forget and move on with things in life.If you are already a strong person hats off to you.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kids lunch ideas

Hi all ,hope all is well. After reading this post Who is world's best cook,one of my friend requested to share what all I pack for my kids lunch. So this is for her.
Kids in general are fussy eaters. I always  tell my son that I put in a lot of effort to get your lunch packed so please eat it. Mostly I know what my kids like and I will show my son (as only he can understand and my daughter is too young for it) what I am packing so that he doesn't have any surprises. I will list the dishes I make for them and please add to this what all you wonderful mommies do so I can learn from you.
*Vegetable chapati : Throw in some veggies when you make chapati dough and spread some jam and role it up. Both my kids love this one.
*Veg pasta:This is  house favorite. They both love this.
*Veg uthappam: Usually they like only red bell pepper in it.
*Home made mini veggie pizza:This is a sure thing to fly. Check here on how to make it 
*Idli with some carrot scrapped on top
*Cucumber cheese sandwich
*Veggie+cheese quessidea
*Veg Ravioli: tried ravioli but both my kids didn't like them. Will re introduce it later
*Bread+Jam if I absolutely dont know what to make
*Paav Baji -we coat the baji on the bun and call it masala bun

One of my friend sent this pic that she packed for her daughter :



Also this is what I packed for my daughter today:



Fruits for morning snack, cabbage and veggie chapathi rolls for lunch and veggie chips fro evening snack.Usually I try to give yogurt or peanut butter in the morning for protein.

I keep rotating between these options, When I try rice items they dont seem to like. Each day is different though,some days they are moody too.Will post recipes for some of these soon. Please share what all you make for your kids. I always keep looking for new ideas. Any simple,easy and tasty dishes that you know of.       

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Does marriage change you??

Think everyone is getting ready for the week. If you have read this post Mother's marriage advice to her son  , we went to Costco today and got our P&G products worth 100$. I still cant understand how we always spend so much at Costco every week 100$ flies away just like that. Now we have to remember to fill the rebate and send it.
Coming to today's topic, "Marriages are made in heaven", I truly believe in this statement. Whether you had an arranged marriage or a love marriage I have already mentioned in my previous post (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/husbandwife_26.html) that husband and wife have to understand each other and act as a team to make things work. Everyone wishes that their marriage should not change who they are. Let us see what my marriage did to me.



 Only after my marriage
* I know how to enjoy life
*be in the present
*laugh a lot at my husband's joke
*be more social
*be more responsible
*develop give and take attitude
*besides appreciating my positives my husband pin points my negatives also which I am trying my best to rectify
*adjust with people
*get to know more about me and how I react to situations
*be more confident, he always tells me "If you don't stand up for yourself no one will "
*take things light
My marriage did change me a lot.I really thank my husband for all this, also I was open to change. This is a quality that I feel everyone should develop when you enter the wedlock.I do agree with age we mature more and learn more but I think marriage is a big turning point in everyone's  life where both husband and wife change and evolve. If some of you think that you are the same person before and after marriage, think twice. I am pretty sure that there is at least  one quality that you developed or quit for your spouse. If you feel all the change in you is for good then  you are leading a successful life. Please do share your thoughts on this and what changes you see in yourself after marriage. Even small ones like "I brush my teeth every night because of my husband/wife". Have a wonderful week and see you soon with another interesting topic :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Some snack ideas for a party

Hope all of you had a wonderful day. This post is a continuation of the post (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/03/party-time.html). We dont have much time to host parties often, still whenever we get time we try to call people home or visit others as meeting others rejuvenates me. Every time when I talk to people around me,I learn something, after all man is a social animal.

Coming to today's topic ,we hosted a house warming party at home (as we cant host it anywhere else). It was a Sunday afternoon timing was 3 pm to 6 pm. We served light snacks. The myth around house warming party is you have to have you house fully furnished and have the party immediately after you buy a house. We didn't take any pressure on us. We wanted to have it when my mother visited us so we can have help with kids. Also I had asked my mom to buy some nice gift bags from India as I wanted to give my  guest a really nice return gift.


As I promised in my earlier post ,some of the snack items that we had for our party are:
*We catered veg pakora and samosa
* We had lentil chips and salsa, lentil chips was a big hit!!(You can have any chips and guacamole or spinach artichoke dip check this out for more ideas http://www.cookingchanneltv.com/recipes/best-chips-and-dips.html)
* We made the fresh spring rolls at home believe me it was a lot of work and some peanut sauce.
*We made sweet and spicy sandwiches.
   -Buy any white bread and cut out the edges of the bread
   -For sweet add any jam or jelly inside and cut it into two triangles
   -For spicy we used mint chutney as spread and place sliced cucumber and american cheese between the two pieces of bread and cut in into two triangles. This was a hit!!
 * My mom made some sweet "Ghee appam" which all kids enjoyed.
  * We had some strawberry,grapes and watermelon spread on a plate
  *Some juice for kids (Honest kids)
  * Water and Mango lemonade (this was a hit!!) for adults. You can also try to make some punch,one of my friend shared this website with me , I haven't personally tried anything from this but let me know if you liked something (http://blessedmommy.hubpages.com/hub/10-Non-Alcoholic-Punch-Recipes-For-Your-Party)
  * Finally one of our friend baked some treats for us which was amazing with vanilla ice cream ;)  Another big hit !!(Thank you again for doing this. It was so nice of you)
Upstairs in our house we had some toys for kids to play. I really enjoyed the party but unfortunately we never took any pics of it. So all of you please keep in mind to take pictures of any party you throw , it will always throw a smile on your face when you see them later.

Friday, March 14, 2014

What is a COCKPIT??

Thank God it is Friday. Hope all of you had a wonderful day and looking forward to the weekend. I had a nice Friday evening, nice dinner and chat with friends. Like all of you , I am still following the news on the missing airlines (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/03/plane-missing-are-you-serious.html), the search area is expanded towards Indian Ocean as they suspect  that the plane flew for 4-5 hrs after it lost contact.Still it is a mystery and no one knows what happened. As we were chatting about this we were thinking of what all we worry about when we  travel on a plane

*Are we on time to check-in the baggage
*Check if the flight is on time/delayed
*Pass through the security to board on time
*Make sure our kids are safe in the airport
*Get to the gate and board the flight
*Make sure kids are not scared of take off
*Try to get a good seat if not assigned
*Then play or do something with our kids to keep them engaged
*Keep looking if we can get something to drink
*Eagerly wait for the food if you are very hungry and pray that your kids (if young ones) sleep when the food arrives
*For little ones take turn between husband and wife to change diapers
*Make sure you get the right food(veg/non-veg) that you ordered when you booked your tickets
* Since the food  served is less ,look around to see if you can get more bread/sandwich
* Try to walk around with kids
*Wait in big line to use the restroom
* Are there good movies to watch /complain about the movie collection
*Keep staring at the monitor to see how much more time we have before landing
*Make sure you follow the signs like seat belt on/off to move around
* See if you can get a blanket to sleep for some time
*Be happy when it is time to land
*Get off and look for connecting flight /go on when you reach the destination
Have you ever worried about what a cockpit is?? ,What do the pilots do there ??? Are we in safe hands??. We dont realize that we are placing our life in the hands of the pilot and co-pilot. May be it is time to worry about it now?? Please share your thoughts about this.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

In-laws

Hello everyone...Hope all is well.Today's topic is on in-laws. If you have read my post on "First year of marriage life do's and dont's" (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/first-year-of-marriage-lifedos-and-donts.html) I have mentioned that " Try to build a relationship with his/her family based on how they behave with you rather than being judgmental" Let me elaborate more on what I meant here.
According to me in-laws are parents who adopted you after your wedding. When you marry someone, you marry the whole family. Some things to keep in mind regarding this relationship are:

*They are your spouse's  parents. They are close to them. So if they are happy your spouse is happy. This equation applies to most families.
*During the initial years of marriage let the husband/wife deal with their respective parents. Wait till you have a comfortable relationship with  your in-laws.Never jump in and take charge to communicate anything to your in-laws. Make sure you both agree on it first and he/she has to communicate things to his/her parents.
* Always remember they are from previous generation. Their views on things will be different and you have to be mentally prepared to deal with it.
* Like any relationship it takes years to build trust. Just because you married their son/daughter doesn't mean you immediately become their close ones with whom you can share anything.
* Whatever said and done they are from a different family. You dont know how they grew up or their background as they dont know much about you.
*Do not compare them with your parents. There will always be some difference and share with your spouse on what you feel about it.
*Don't try too much to satisfy them. If you try that, you will not live your life. As far as you believe in what you do just keep going.
* Don't be too anxious about their visits. I still remember how anxious I was the day before my in-laws landed in US for their first visit after our wedding. Eventually everything went on well.
One thing that I want to stress is that, though they are not your parents they always wish good for you and your family. Your kids need them and as grandparents they will pour their love on them. I know some families where people are more comfortable with their in-laws than their own parents. Also there are exceptions where you have to deal with the worse. Everything takes time be patient until you build a relationship with them and remember that you will also become in-laws to someone in the future.Please share your thoughts on this.




Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Is the world really small??

Hope everyone had a wonderful day.Today I meet someone who knew one of my friends and we made a comment "small world". When I thought through why we say that it struck to me that it could have a different meaning too. Of course our world is very small when you look from a satellite  and we are a tiny point in it with a lot of ego thinking we are superior. I am not getting there, let us jump to today's topic.
I was following the news on the missing plane for more information read this post (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/03/plane-missing-are-you-serious.html). Looks like China has released some satellite images and they suspect that it could be the plane and it crashed.These were images from Sunday and they just released it today. There is really something fishy about this whole thing.No one has confirmed anything yet.
As I read more and more on this missing plane what makes me sad is that each country calls out the number of its citizens and doesn't care about others in the plane.I feel that the extra sense we have has helped us in so many ways at the same time it has reduced empathy for people. Self-centric approach towards everything is growing.All countries want to just focus on their citizens.
Another incident that really made me sad was the Andhra/Telangana split. I really didn't follow that news very closely but I got bits and pieces of information  about it from my friends. India as a country has so many issues to fight against to survive. We have so many neighboring countries with which we fight for our land and on top of it do we need this split??. If it really helps anyone or any cause please correct me here.What we are doing here is fight for a small land  for ourselves against our own fellow Indians and make it more diverse and call India as a land with "Unity in diversity". To me it looks like an act of some people  to get power and money.


All this makes me think that
           *All nations want to become super power and want to crush other nations and have a smaller world
           *Rich still get richer and poor  get poorer  and have lesser money
           *People's houses are becoming bigger and their hearts smaller
           *Power and money is all everyone wants and less empathy
           *More terrorism and less love
           *More technology advancement that helps you talk to a device and talking to people is less
           *Updates on phone is more important than a person standing next to you
I can go on..all this put together concludes that each and every day we are making the world smaller where we worry only about us. Good luck "my son" you will have lot more challenges to face when you grow up and I am sorry to leave such a world for you.Please share your thoughts on this and have a wonderful evening.
    




Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Party time !!

It has been an amazing month of blogging. Thank you all for the wonderful support and taking time to read my blog.I am still enjoying it and love to read your comments and thoughts.I am in a party mood so lets get to today's topic.
 This topic is a long due and has been requested by someone very close to me. If you read this you will understand who that person is (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/03/happy-birthday-nethra.html).
In general when you throw any party just keep in mind who all you are inviting and how you want to engage them.The main things to decide first are
*When??  Which date you are going to have it and what time is  the party is very important as  this will decide the food that you are going to serve whether it is breakfast,lunch,dinner or evening snack. If you are ordering food make sure you check with that restaurant/person if that date will work for them.
*Where?? This is the most important one as you have to decide where you are going to have the party. At home or park or a community hall. Weather plays an important role here so check all that before you decide and if something needs reservation make sure you have availability for the date you decided if not consider changing your date to make things work.
*Who?? We always make a guest list and count the number of adults and kids to have a rough idea of the number of people we are going to invite.
Once you decide on this go ahead and send your evite and always make sure you mention lunch or dinner or light snacks will be served. Dont let the guest in a dilemma as to what will be served.
(check my forthcoming post on some simple party snack ideas if you plan to make something at home)
*What?? Meanwhile make sure you buy the items for the party.Most items you can get from dollar store. If you are planning to buy things in "Party City" always look out for their coupons before you go shopping. They will have 10% off or 10$ off of 50$ purchase, you will be able to find something online.

Today I will focus on Birthday party. For birthday party make sure you pick a theme so it will be slightly easier to get things accordingly. If not also it is fine just make sure you pick appropriate colors on all items.Also pick a nice outfit for the whole family so you all look good.
*Cake this is the important one, dont forget to order cake. A table cloth to put on the table where you place cake.Then focus on candles, lighter to light candle and a blunt cake knife to cut the cake, plates and spoons and forks to serve cake and napkins.
 * Decoration items
 * Balloons
 *Party hats
 *Confetti
 *Streamers
 *Yard sign if you are having it at home
 *Tape to stick decoration items
 * Some art items like crayons or puzzles or legos so the kids who come to party are engaged.
 * Make sure you have your camera battery charged and also have someone take the pics for you as you cant do everything or hire a photographer.
 * If you are planning to have party some where else other than home make sure you take enough serving spoons, trash bags to collect trash there, some Ziploc bags or aluminium foil  to distribute remaining food if you dont want to get everything back home.
*Return gifts and gift bags count the number of kids and buy age appropriate gifts and pack them before hand so you can just hand it off during the end of the party.
 *Water or juice for kids and adults
*Order some pizza and have fruits and veggies that kids can eat.
These are the things that I can think of. Get enough help from friends for decoration ,food pick up and other small help that you need. I am pretty sure everyone will be more that happy to help you. Remember in any party things can always go wrong. Dont worry about all that and try to have a wonderful time and make it special for the birthday person. Do add things that I have missed and also your thoughts.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Mother's marriage advice to her son

Hope all of you had a wonderful day. I just learnt from our neighbor today that there is a P&G rebate in Costco.If you buy products for 100$ you get a 33$ Costco cash card in rebate. We have not  used it yet  but surely check it out form this website ( http://www.costco.com/pg-rebate.html), dont miss this :).
Coming to today's topic the bond between mom and son is something different. I always complained to my mom that she supports my brother more than me . Now I have a son and I know the reason why  and I can relate to it.I recently read an article about "5 marriage lessons that mothers should give their sons". This article clearly brought out that moms don't talk much to their sons about marriage as they talk to their daughters, which I agree. In general the view of earlier generations were that daughters should adjust and be good daughter-in-laws but sons get a free ride.The main advice's that the article focused on were:
        *Don't compare your wife with me 
        *Your wife is not your "mommy"!
        * Respect your life partner!
        * Help your wife at every step!
         *Never stop loving your better half!
                                 



I like all the above points but I will like to add more to it, if you read my post on (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/03/who-is-worlds-best-cook.html) you will understand clearly that previous generation men were not gives such advises. My advice to my son on this will be 
           *Don't compare your wife with anyone. Everyone is special and different.
           *Your wife is not your mommy and you don't try to be her daddy, just be her friend.
            * Respect your life partner and her parents/family as they are very important to her.
           *Help your wife in every step , I  think he will get this by seeing his dad everyday. So all men out there be nice to your wife and help her out  as that is what your son will learn.
              * Never stop loving your better half! -Yes this one will be love your better half more than anyone even your parents as she is the one going to stand next to you for years to come.
It is very easy for me to say all this now. I wish that I will read this post when it is time for me to really advice my son. Do share your  thoughts on this.

Plane missing are you serious??

Hi All...daylight savings kicked in yesterday and we lost an hour. I was running behind time to catch it and finally was very tired. I really don't like it when I suddenly lose an hour in a day. I'll never complaint when I gain an hour though.
I think by now you all must have heard the story of a Malaysian Airline plane that took off from Kuala Lumpur is missing. Immediately that struck to my mind was the Indian Airlines plane getting hijacked when it took off from Kathmandu to Delhi. I still remember watching this news in India around Christmas time of 2000. It was such a dreadful story where people who went on honeymoon to Nepal were also among the ones in the plane. I remember following it very closely and of course the media does their part too in keeping you updated.




Coming to the current plane that is missing ,there are speculations of terrorism that two people traveled with stolen passports one Italian passport and Austrian passport both bought under the same account, I was seriously thinking this is a similar story as the above  one. But there has been no information as of now and the airlines still claims that the plane is "missing" and does not confirm anything else.
It is such a pain for people whose loved ones are in there. I know how much mentally we all go through when our parents  have boarded a flight in India and are coming to visit us. The sad part is there is no way of communicating them even at international airports unless they send you a message or an email using the internet. My parents/in-laws  are not tech savvy and we are usually  very anxious until their plane lands an airport and we keep tracking regularly.I dont even want to imagine to be in a situation where I dont know what happened to plane in which they are travelling. 
Hope something is done and they find the plane soon. My heart goes to all who are suffering and like all of you I will also continue to follow the NEWS hoping for the best.Please share your thoughts on this.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

After all it is WOMEN'S DAY :)

Happy Women's day ladies. I know we are special and we deserve to have a day for us.I had a wonderful day. Met our very good friends  for some chai this evening. He makes amazing chai ,if you dont taste it you are missing something in life for sure.Then had a "chaat" night with our neighbors. Thank you for the wonderful paani puri and bhel puri.We have wonderful neighbors and  our kids are around  the same age and they have a blast whenever they are together. I am really happy to be blessed with so many nice people around me.
Today's topic is about the importance of women in any relation. Be it a daughter/sister/wife/mom/aunt. I really feel we make the bond more stronger in any case.
As a daughter most girls care a lot for their parents, they are the ones with whom parents can talk issues more easily and even they serve as outlet/supporter for their moms.Then as a sister they emotionally connect to their siblings. They are always a pillar of support. Any brother-sister or sister-sister relationship is easier than a brother-brother relationship. Men in general are not made to be expressive.Next as a wife she turns to be more responsible and  is the care taker of the husband and even more she does a lot for the family.She makes an attempt  to get to know the new family. In my household my husband's parents always talk to me to know more about what is going on than talking to my husband.As an aunt she pours her love on her niece/nephew.

Next is "MOM". I really dont know how she removes her heart and places it in her kids hands.Kids are always the first priority. Even when she is  hungry/tired she would make sure that her kids are taken good care of before she does anything for herself.This is the most beautiful relationship where she is selfless and is ready to do anything for her kids.
There are always exceptions in all the above, but still in majority of  cases I think you all will agree with me. That is why when a man is lost in the family some things are lost, but when a woman is lost everything is lost.
Wish you all a wonderful Women's day and keep the good work going and thank you to all the men who support us in this beautiful journey "life".Please share your thought on this :)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Is there anything called Work-Life Balance ?

Happy Friday everyone.To know what I do Friday evenings read this post (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/weekly-deals.html). I know that we all look forward to weekend thinking of getting more sleep but in reality will end up watching a movie or something and be awake for longer time than weekdays and be very sleepy and tired Monday morning :)
Today's topic is something that has been nagging my mind for some time.When I Google for the real meaning of the term "WORK-LIFE BALANCE"   it says "Work-life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between "work" (career and ambition) and lifestyle ("health,pleasure,family and spiritual development/meditation). How many of you have really attained this??
Life is not fair always. At home there are some things that has to be taken care of. In families where both husband and wife work it is always a tough call to who has to take care of what .Also at work no one gives you any special discount that you are a single/married or mom/dad when things  have to get done they have to. 
In my personal life there has been situations where I have to make a tough call as to what is important to me.Whether it is "my career" or "my loving kids and family". Every time when I decide on one, I have to let go  the other. So when I sway too much towards career ,I dont get to spend time with my family. When I sway too much towards my family I dont get a good review at work. In the process of trying to  balance both  I end up getting stressed.Recently I attended a  stress relief work shop at work and that is when I realized how much stressed  I am trying to manage everything. 


So I have decided to do the following:
*Take some time to do yoga or at least practice meditation everyday
*Keep telling to myself that "I am the best and I can do it"
*Do my best both at work and home and feel happy about it( not bothering  about the noise other people create)
*"Work out" to relieve stress
*Sleep well  and get at least 8 hrs of sleep and not stare at any monitors late night.
 Though both me and my husband  help each other as much as we can,  I still feel  that you can not satisfy both worlds. I am going to practice the  above things and will let you know if it helped me.If anyone of you have mastered the art of work-life balance please help me out here and let me know what things you do to make sure that you have a sane life. Thanks for taking time to read this post.




Happy Birthday Nethra

"Happy Birthday" to my wonderful niece...She turns "2" today the "terrible two" starts. Good luck to my brother and my sister-in-law on handling that.
I was just rewinding my thoughts  to how I felt when I knew  they were having her. I was so happy and as usual  gave in my  inputs on "What to expect while expecting" based on my experience. I did visit them during my sister in law's baby shower ,still I didn't get to see her :(. Few months after this I knew I was going to have my second one. Still I managed to make a trip to see the beautiful angel for the first time when she was around 5 months old. I was keen on noticing  all her movements and it is always fun to watch the little ones. I was happy to hold her and rock her to sleep.
I  Skype with her now and then and  see how she grows and talks .I will always know when she is not doing well. I will get a call first thing in the morning from my brother.  Being at different places in the US makes it hard for us to meet every now and then. But we make sure that we meet at least once a year.
Next time she visited us was when my daughter turned one. She was very quiet to see me initially ,she liked my husband more than me...(really !!). believe me it happens. She then played with her brother and sister and she had fun. Poor thing I had to discipline her by  teaching my brother and sister-in -law the trick (1-2-3 magic) to make her behave better. It was so cute to see how curious she was about her new place and everything.
I am really excited that I will meet her soon  for her birthday party. I am really happy that she is a part of my life and my only wish is that my kids get to know her better and they all are one "cool gang".
                                           

                                                       Happy Birthday Nethra
                                                    -from Athai,Athi,Pranav and Riya

All who have a wonderful niece/nephew you will be able to relate to this post. Happy Friday and enjoy the rest of your day.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Newborn Essentials II

I know that this topic targets only a few audience still I wanted to go for it so whenever people need it they can refer to this post.Continuing on yesterday's topic New born essentials, I missed to mention a few more items:
*In third trimester if you have problem sleeping try to get this body pillow, it was very useful for me to sleep without issues as it supported my back well. Even my husband would sleep on this pillow sometimes. It is very comfortable.
*If you are breastfeeding buy a bobby nursing pillow this will save your back big time. Also get this nipple butter cream please buy this and take it to the hospital very useful and soothing.
*Get a dresser and a changing pad where you can change diapers and also a diaper genie(if you can manage to throw diapers away everyday to your trash can then you dont need this).

*Baby bath items:Get a small bath tub. You will be asked to give a sponge bath until the umbilical cord fall s off. After that you can use this. Johnson's baby body wash and no tear shampoo., after bath usually apply moisturizer we buy cetaphil from Costco consult with your doctor on what to buy during your 2nd day appointment. Some bath towels.
*Basic health related items:Get a small bottle of  baby Tylenol and diaper rash cream,we use A+D ointment for diaper rash prevention and Desitin for diaper rash. You can get these later also after consulting with your pediatrician.
*Baby monitor:It is always a good to have. Don't go for too expensive ones unless the need.Based on your budget you can get one.
*Pacifiers: Dont use the pacifiers from the hospital. Get a orthodontic pacifier . I used pacifiers for my son. But for my daughter I didn't just for the fear of my son wanting it again. Use your judgement try to avoid using it.But if you give your kid the pacifier and you get some rest/sleep then go for it.I did not  have much trouble in making my son to stop using it.
*Rocker: You can put your baby in this during initial months so you can do your work as they watch you.We got this rocker 
 Also we used some gripe water whenever our kids got some gas troubles I bought a swing and a rocking chair  that was useful to soothe the baby.Get some basic toys so you can engage them as they grow.I think I have covered pretty much all, that I know of.You will figure out what all you need as the journey starts. Dont worry about anything now. It is really wonderful to watch your kids grow .So enjoy your days and be ready to welcome your new one. If  you have any questions you can drop an email in my inbox. I can always answer questions based on my experience.Thanks for reading and do share it so people can benefit from it.



New born essentials

newborn essentials
Hello everyone.  Congratulations to all  who are expecting their first kid and for people expecting your second read this post Sweet Sibling .For all who have read my post on Am I pregnant , in addition to all the emotional feeling of having a baby the biggest one is getting overwhelmed on what all you need for your newborn.I have been asked this question "What all do I need for my newborn?"several times and I have made a list that I share with my friends. So I thought I would post it here so all new parents can benefit from it. Kids stuff is a billion dollar market and all companies will make you believe that you need all the items in the baby registry. Think well before you buy anything. I am pretty sure you will make several trips to Babies R us or Buy Buy Baby after the baby is born you can get them even then.
When you are nearing your third trimester make sure you have a registry at Buy Buy Baby or Babies R us.Usually they give you a discount on all items not purchased by others on your registry.So you get a 10% off your crib directly.Also try to browse through some magazines that you see in your doctors office some of them might have coupons also dont forget to check and compare prices before you buy major items like crib,swing,car seat.One common rule is buy neutral colors on all products so you can re use it if you happen to have 2 kids (a boy and a girl)

Now coming to major essentials:
*Crib:Having a crib will help you put your baby in a safe place to sleep. But sometimes if you dont have enough space for it you can try a bassinet or a play pen .Dont buy fancy sheets as they cant be used much later and are very expensive.I have a twin bed sheet for my crib and it works fine.This is the crib we bough click here
* Car seat (you cannot get your baby out of the hospital if you dont have one) & stroller :See if you can get a 3-in-1 convertible seat, which will hold up to 65 pounds so you are good until your kid turns 4-5 years.If you are not getting a convertible one dont invest too much money on rear facing car seats as you will have to change to a front facing car seat when you kid is around a year old or weighing 20 pounds.We got a normal Graco rear facing  one and then got a Britax front facing .This is the Graco set and Britax car seat  Also get a nice stroller so you can take your baby for a walk when he/she is ready.
*Diapers and wipes :Get a box of new born diapers and baby wipes,I bought pampers for my first kid as I knew  they provided pampers at the hospital , but pampers are expensive compared to Huggies so I switched to Huggies for my daughter .Also get wipes from Costco if you are a Costco member. Newborns go through at least 12-13 diapers a day and initially you are also learning on how to put diaper on  a baby.So do buy at least one box before hand so you have some when you come home.Also get a diaper bag which you might need when you visit the doctor on the 2nd day and also get some bibs,1 or 2 pairs of socks. 
*Few clothes and receiving blankets: My advice on clothes is that dont buy too many before your kid is born.For my son I got too many and he out grew all of them very soon and some I never used as I forgot I had them. Get the max of 10-15 onesies and also one or two nice outfits. Also get  4-5 receiving blankets for swaddling.Also get some wash clothes ,you will need these to wipe of anything spit by the baby while burping .Get Dreft brand  washing liquid for kids clothes.
*Bottles and Formula:If you plan on breastfeeding ,try your best to breast feed your baby in the hospital. Dont pump milk in the hospital unless you have some issues and you have to.Try to nurse your baby as much as possible and your body will set things right.By all means try to avoid formula in first 6-8 weeks if you are planning to breast feed. If you are a working mom and you would like to nurse your baby buy a breast pump read my post on Dont miss this as you or your company pays for it  to know about how to save money on  a breast pump.Get some nursing bras , they are very useful and comfortable to wear them in the hospital and also some breast pads.
If at all you have to give formula for some reasons then get a 3 bottle pack Vent Air Bottles as it helps prevents gas in the stomach (colic) and also some slow nipples. Try to get some formula samples from the hospital. Later you can see what formula suits your kid and buy them if needed. Buy get a bottle brush to clean the bottles and a microwave sterilizer Microwave sterilizer  and a drying rack if you plan to formula feed.
*Baby grooming kit : Usually the baby grooming kit has a nail cutter,a thermometer(usually rectal)-get a nice digital thermometer from Costco we have this one Digital thermometer , bulb syringe(get a bulb syringe from hospital they have good ones),baby comb.
Looks like  I will need one more post to cover rest of the things.Please share it with people whom you think it might be useful.Stay tuned :)



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Homemade yogurt

Hello everyone, thank you so much for all your comments. I am overwhelmed and  happy to receive your suggestions on how to improve my blog. Will surely try to follow it.
Today's post is something that takes me back to my childhood memories.What's tasty, easy, and has lots of health benefits ?? Yogurt!!!I remember how my mom used to boil milk and make fresh yogurt everyday and I love the taste of fresh homemade yogurt. Recently when I got in touch with one of my school friend she told me that she still remembers "my lunch box and curd rice". Without knowing all the benefits of yogurt I used to eat it everyday.
On the contrary I married a man who hates the smell and taste of plain yogurt. He can eat raita  but not yogurt.Since he doesn't like curd rice, my intake of curd rice has significantly reduced :( . My biggest concern  was about my kids, I really wanted them to eat yogurt. .
The sad part that worries me is that ,the habit of making fresh yogurt at home is slowly vanishing. Here in US yogurt is sold in all major grocery stores and people just buy them. Also there are so many flavored yogurt which according to me can never come close to fresh yogurt in taste or smell and it has a lot of sugar in them.

All parents I see give their kids this flavored yogurt and eventually the kids dont like plain yogurt after they taste them.I always make yogurt at home and pack a box for my kids. Both my kids love yogurt just like me.
So what I suggest is that first try plain yogurt for your kids and if they dont like it then try the flavored ones. Making yogurt at home is very easy once you have the culture to start it.Easy simple 3 steps
                            *Boil milk (I boil in stove ,you can use microwave too)
                            *Cool until you feel it warm from really hot
                            *Add the culture (There are also many yogurt starters available in the market (http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=yogurt+starter&tag=googhydr-20&index=aps&hvadid=30933473661&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=2729732781090688010&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=e&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_62um3qmdfw_e).
                     
If weather is very cold  warm up the oven to 125 degree and keep your milk in there after adding the culture. Do try to make it and be happy that you are providing healthy stuff to your family. Do share your thoughts on this.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Who is world's best cook??

Hope all of you had a wonderful day.If you read this post (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/daily-routine.html) you will know my routine for the day :).  I think most of you will be able to relate to today's post.Initially after our wedding I was so enthusiastic and tried to cook all new dishes.I used to experiment a lot with cooking.If you read my post (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/first-year-of-marriage-lifedos-and-donts.html) I would have mentioned the same.
So whenever I made any dish and asked my husband how it tasted he used to say "my mom makes this even better". My mother in law is indeed an amazing cook from whom I learn a lot of recipes. Still initially I was not happy to hear that comment  since I felt that I put in so much of effort and prepared the dish and he never appreciated that. I really love cooking and I do try a variety of dishes each week. As I mentioned earlier in this post (http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/husbandwife_26.html) me and my husband are a team where I love to cook and he loves to eat.Years rolled by and now he is a seasoned husband.We really don't ask these questions anymore, still whenever this question pops up "Who is world's best cook?" he knows what to answer.

Now I have a 3 year old son for whom I  pack lunch everyday. The first thing I do  after I pick up my  kids and come home is check their lunch boxes to see if it is empty.If it is empty I will be really happy.During weekends I make sure that my kids get enough veggies to eat and  after lunch time whenever I ask my son "Who makes yummy mum mum (food)??" He doesn't even think a second and answers "Mummy" that really makes my day.Then I understood why I got that answer from my husband when I popped this question first.So who all agree with me that your mom is the best cook please do share this post and also your comments.Good night :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Oscars

Hope everyone had a nice day.It was gloomy here in Austin and we didn't get to go outside much.  I think all of you must be glued to your couch , watching the Oscars.Hope your favorite stars win.My all time favorite star is A.R Rahman whenever I think of  "Oscars" I think of him.
After I started to write this blog I have really started to admire and respect  people in show business. I have really not liked any actor/actress in show business.Let me come to that later.
People in show business create something novel and wait for reviews from their audience.Similarly I write a post and wait for your reviews. When I just started, I used to update my phone every now and then to see if I got any comments or if anyone shared their thoughts. Now I know that it takes"a lot" to make people come out of their shell ,make them read on what you think and comment their views on it.Now imagine how any actor or director or music director  would feel after their movies/albums are out.  For me this blog is just a passion to share my thoughts but they make a business out of it and they are more nervous. Reaching to masses is a very big achievement.


A.R Rahman received an Oscar for his "Jai Ho" but we all know that he didn't get there overnight. For example last week in our car we played  AR Rahman 90's hits. My son liked the song "Humma Humma" from Bombay movie and the song "Chiku Buku" from Gentleman movie. Just imagine how old these songs are, still they make the young kids really love them.That is what got him there.
I used to hate people in show business because I was judgmental of their personal lives and things go around  in that field.  But now I have started to respect the work they do. Everyone's  personal life is for them to worry about. Why should I care about it. They reach to masses  and make public pay money to watch their creations. I am really happy that there are awards that honor them and motivate them to give us even more better creations.Do share your thoughts on this. Hope you all have a wonderful week.To learn more about Rahman music check out this site (http://www.arrahman.com/).

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Dont miss these as you or your company pays for it

I am learning a lot through this blog experience. I recently learnt how to add  Facebook Like and Share button to my blog so if you like  my post, like and share it.It really motivates me to see your comments and your likes.

Today's topic is about some things that we should not miss as you or your company is already paying for it. These are some things that I think you should not overlook, initially when I came to US I had no idea about these.
*Talk to people and find out which health insurance will work for you and your family.
*Find a primary physician and get your physical/preventive check done if  it is free in the insurance plan you have opted for once a year and dont miss it.Ladies find your Gynecologist who is also an OBGYN so you can go to the same doctor once you decide to have kids.
*Dont forget to find a dentist and get your teeth cleaned twice/once a year based on your insurance.
* For working moms if you are planning to buy a breast pump to use the mothers room (to know what it is read this post http://preethi-pretty.blogspot.com/2014/02/mothers-room-episode.html) find out if your insurance will pay partial or full cost for breast pump. My insurance paid a partial amount.
*Never miss any employee stock purchase program offered by your company.Find out more information about this if you haven't already
*Find out if your company has  tie up with any child care and provides an employee discount and try to see if you can find a spot for your kid there before you start searching in other day cares.
*If you have kids dont forget to deposit money in DCAP  (Dependant Care Assistance Program) and claim it by end of the year.
*Once you decide to have a kid make sure you enroll in short term disability for that year as only this pays for FMLA(Family and Medical Leave Act).
*Find out information about HSA (Health Saving Account) and deposit money in it.
*Some companies provide classes and advise on investment. Do attend those and find out what better options you have to invest your money.
*If your company has a fitness center try to use that ,so that you can avoid getting expensive membership in other fitness centers.
These are some of the things that I watch out for. If you have any additional things please add to the list. I would love to learn and save more ;). Enjoy the rest of your day and thank you for taking time to read this post.

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