A Photo a Week Challenge: Babies

What a wonderful topic and one that, coincidentally, is similar to something I had been working on for my own blog! This provides me with the opportunity to combine the two and it makes me happy:)

As some of you know, our baby girl recently turned one while our son will be turning five next month. I keep thinking where did time fly and wonder if it is hurrying past me a little too fast. Days flow into nights, some being more chaotic than others. Do you know what I mean? There is never enough time to get anything done, yet somehow everything does get done. It’s a different story that the house is no longer clean and my ‘to do list’ just keeps getting longer!

I have heard people, who have more than one child, say how their  kids are different from each other, and while it made sense, I never could grasp the meaning in its entirety till I had a second one. Our son and daughter have been different from day one, if I may say, and it is a whole lot of fun watching them grow with their distinct styles! The son- never slept in his crib till about 5 months old and preferred my lap; took his own sweet time to crawl and walk; would sit at a place and be busy with his toys, keeping himself engaged for a good amount of time; never picked up anything off the floor and put in his mouth during the crawling phase or never played with the power outlets; very friendly with no fear of strangers which meant no tears at social gatherings; a gentle boy. Even as a toddler, he was a wonderfully polite who never let us feel the ‘terribleness’ of the ‘terrible two’s and three’s”. He still is a sweet little kid who is gradually exploring independence. The daughter- has been the perfect sleeper from day one, sleeping in her crib long enough to let her tired parents get a shut eye; transitioned from crawling to ‘almost’ standing without support’ quickly; has quite a few shiny pearls that make her laugh more adorable; can never be found sitting at a place for more than a few minutes and is always busy; wants to cry at the sight of any stranger; wants us to keep her company at all times, if possible; finds the tiniest possible things off the floor and puts them in her mouth; loves toying with the power outlets! An energetic kid who keeps us on our toes at all times and teaches us things we did not learn the first time around:)

They are so different and yet bond with each other perfectly, probably like all siblings do when they are younger. They seem to understand each other in a way that is unique and precious and such a wonderful thing to watch. The brother is caring and very protective of his ‘little dolly’, as he calls her often and the little one is in awe of her elder brother. In the mundane inanity of daily life, my babies spark joy and make me look forward to the next morning.

 

Thanks for stopping by! Posted for nancymerrrillphotography.

Friendly Friday Photo Challenge: Christmas Preparations

A big ‘welcome back’ to dear Amanda!

Growing up in Kolkata, Chritmas was about having fruit cake and my hidden desire to get presents from Santa – as I thought that was what Christmas was all about. This was of course, when I was much younger and it ended probably when I was around seven or eight years old! My dad, who has always been very enthusiastic about everything, once bought us a plastic Santa Claus, about 6 inches tall with a very pink face. I was overjoyed. I remember putting it on the window sill, next to a very shiny ‘Christmas Tree’, that too was of a similar height and that was all the Christmas I needed. I did it every year, even long after I had gotten over the ‘getting gifts from Santa’ phase. I can’t really recollect why…but I guess that’s the fun part of being a child. Once, I remember, during my ‘Santa fascination’ phase, I had hung two school socks-one for me and one for my younger brother-hoping Santa would bring us some candies. While that was quite a last minute act, we were pleasantly surprised when we found some ‘5 star’ candy bars in them the following morning.

A lot has changed since then. We live in a country that does not let you miss Christmas. We too get in the festive spirit and put up our fake tree with presents underneath! Our son has a lot of fun decorating the tree with trinkets and keeps cookies and milk for Santa and some carrots for the reindeer. And every time I hang up Christmas stockings, I still think about the white school socks from many moons ago that I had hung outside my ‘moshari‘(Bengali for mosquito net). There are no more mosharis or the pleasant winters of Kolkata where the sweet winter sun embraces you in a strange warmth that I think only a Kolkata winter can bring. It’s usually all white and while the winter wonderland effect stays for some days, it disappears rather quickly when one has to dig out the car from under a pile of snow. But the snow does make things look pretty:

We are yet to put up our tree this year…may be we will do it tomorrow. But this year it has to be the smaller one, the one that is kept on a table top, as our baby girl has started ‘cruising’ and is very close to walking and a big tree, with what seems like a bit too many ornaments at times, probably would not be a good idea! Cards need to be sent out and  some household items to a  local organization that works with families in need, especially at this time of the year. The school/daycare our son goes to also does a similar thing and it helps the community to come together. While Santa will visit our house too, we try to make sure that out older one knows the spirit of giving that is part of this festive season. He is still small to fully comprehend the complexity of human life but the hope is to help him and his sister understand, gradually, to always do what is possible for those that need a helping hand.

20151213_162547

Christmas lights are up on our main street, cars can be seen carrying Christmas trees tied to their roofs, sometimes in a precarious manner, shops are overflowing with things red and green, front doors are happily displaying Christmas wreaths. People are preparing in their own way I suppose, some getting ready to celebrate with near and dear ones while some probably are dreading the sudden rush. Some choose to stay away and some choose to overdo. Whichever way you choose to celebrate or not, we wish you happiness and peace and hope the year ends with you looking at all that you have done in spite of all the negativity that might have tried to upset your balance. Hope the new year brings you possibilities and you continue on creating what you love.

The photos are of Christmas past and present.

 

 

Thanks for stopping by. Have a good weekend! Posted for the Friendly Friday Photo Challenge.

A love-hate relationship

       I have been in this country for a while now and am used to the snow. Or so I tell myself. About a decade ago, when my flight landed in Chicago and I was rushing to catch my connecting flight to Minneapolis, I remember a brief chat I had with this gentleman while waiting for the air train. He was elderly and had a cheerful demeanor that I still remember to this day. I was fresh off the boat and had been traveling for 16 hours with another 1.5 hours to go. I presume I was getting a little antsy which he sensed, standing a few inches from me and said the following  in a rather deep, yet silvery voice “Where are you headed to Miss? I hope somewhere warm!” And when I mentioned my destination, he broke into this hearty laugh and said “Oh my, you better bundle up nice!” We exchanged a few more words before I got up on the train and a short flight later, I felt the reason for his “Oh my!” as a -15F wind and a blanket of snow welcomed me in Minneapolis.

   I have both loved and hated winter time. I still harbor the same feelings. Once I settled in, I was enamored by the ‘magical winter wonderland feel’ but that passed soon, and the reality of having to dress up in a gazillion layers while running on ice to catch the bus settled in. And whoever has been in that situation knows well that it is not a fun one! I have hated when the heater in our student apartment broke and I have hated when the tires of our car kept spinning in the ice, refusing to move. I have hated every time we have fallen on black ice and that one time when the car skid and hit a pole on the sidewalk, leading to a badly damaged bumper (which we had to tape up later and keep it that way till it could be fixed!). I have hated 7.45 am classes and classes that got over at 8 pm. But I have loved being with my husband and getting to know him a bit more everyday, sharing our likes and dislikes. I have loved living our own life, sharing our hopes and dreams, living our truth. I have loved white Christmas. I have loved laughing and spinning memories with good friends in front of a beautiful fire place. I have loved walking with my husband on his birthday along this ‘picture postcard beautiful’  lane, dotted with twinkly lights, as the snow fell silently around us. I have loved making a snowman for the first time and I have loved watching the snow fall at wee hours and they have soothed my eyes that were tired from trying to finish assignments. This love-hate relationship with the snow that started in Minneapolis about a decade ago, has been rather special and continues to this day as we spend our ninth winter here in New Jersey. Challenges are different and so are the joys. I still love the first snowfall of the season and am still in awe at the captivating silence when it falls. We have little ones now and the sight of snow fills the older one with an amusement and wonder that only kids are capable of feeling! I remember the first time he walked on snow as if it was yesterday. There was awe and pure joy in that, and a bliss to watch. The other day, he held his baby sister tightly and they watched the first snowfall of the season together. I watched them and added the moment to my pocketbook of memories.

 

 

 

 

DSC_0081

 

Thanks for stopping by. Wherever you are, I hope you are adding memories to your pocketbook too.

A Photo A Day…November

Can you believe that November is almost over! And, the little bundle we welcomed last year just turned one… how is time going by so fast😅 It has been a bumpy month, with the kids under the weather for the most part, too much rescheduling of events and a still broken dryer! But, it has been a month filled with extra snuggles and gorgeous blue skies, some pumpkin spiced latte ( I tried it for the first time this season and I am semi in love with it🧡) and a whole lot of mouth watering cake. So, here’s the third segment of my photo a day project!

 

A totally fantastic coincidence ❤️

 

 

 

Grateful for all the silly laughs and crazy moments🧡 How has November been treating you?  It is expected to snow a bit next week here in New Jersey… not sure how I feel about that! But that would definitely make for a good excuse to bake some cookies and dunk them in that pumpkin spiced latte I have been loving of late!

Thanks for stopping by!

Fall…till we meet again

   Fall is almost over here and this year it seemed to go by in a more hurried pace. We have had the first flurries of the dreaded winter and I hear that this year it is going to be a bad one…not looking forward to that! I had grand-ish plans of taking Fall photos this year and had also made a list beforehand to guide me in that process. While I did take some, I  realized that I am still not cut out for very structured photography. A couple of days back  that brilliant blue sky was tempting me to go out with the camera to click some more from that list while a broken dryer and the need to dry a gazillion tiny clothes was driving me just a little crazy. Tiny clothes won. Later that night, I was going through the photos that I had taken so far, and probably for the season, trying to check the boxes from off that list…and I don’t think I fared well! But, who cares? I am glad to have clicked what I could and when I could and am thankful for the opportunities presented. Some of these photos you may have already seen in other posts, while others are new. Thanksgiving is around the corner and  I hope to be able to take  few more during that time to complete this season!

DSC_0959

 

DSC_0960.JPG

 

DSC_0968.JPG

 

DSC_1030.JPG

 

DSC_1031.JPG

 

DSC_1074

 

DSC_1110.JPG

 

6DDC1C6E-F0CE-47EA-8950-D81DBB38E568

 

2F3B9B88-111D-43E7-A03D-B0D366121E1C

 

leaves.jpg

 

IMG-2875 (1).jpg

 

DSC_1083.JPG

 

IMG-2878.jpg

 

IMG-3863.jpg

 

IMG-3922.jpg

 

IMG-3981.jpg

 

IMG-3974.jpg

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

November photo a day challenge: Old Fashioned

IMG_3960

We still have a few of these and a ‘walkman’ too that still works! While not really old fashioned for us, they sure are for our next generation. This particular one is from 1984 – home recordings from a time gone by…keeping the voices of  someone very dear to my heart, alive.

Posted for citysonnet’s November photo a day challenge.

 

Thanks for stopping by and have a good rest of the week!