Thursday, March 31, 2011

India: Our own rock band!

I don't think it takes much to explain this post, does it? 

Bino Uncle loves music and has a lot of different instruments in his arsenal.  These were used to make some rockin' music.

Biju, Ajay and Bino on guitar, Alex on harmonica.

Echachan came in to play a tune.

Hmmm....I think ya might have it backwards....

No need to stop rockin' anytime soon.
And, of course, a little video to go along with it all...

video

One night Bino Uncle took Ajay to see his real band practice.  You can bet Ajay loved it. 


Plus some rockin' days of the past....




Long live MUSIC!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sweet!

Sweet!  My friend Kyle is having a giveaway on her blog and it is to a place that I can't WAIT to go check out.  The store is called Sweet Cheeks.  (You'll have to go to her blog to see what all this store carries - it rocks, I can tell already!)  I'm hoping to find a weekend when I can go there sans kiddos and spend a crazy-long time browsing around.  After all, I am in desperate need of a few new items for baby.  (Like a new diaper pail bag since the elastic has all but torn completely off of my old one.  It is 6 years old, for goodness sake!  I'm also on the hunt for a new ring sling and a diaper bag.)  Really hoping I can find them there. 

Oh, and just FYI - I had an OB appointment this morning and everything is hunky-dory with baby.  Heartrate was 137, fundal height was 32 weeks (I am 32 weeks and 2 days).  Lookin' good!  

Monday, March 28, 2011

India: Drinking

Some of you may be thinking to yourself "Golly, what do they drink in India??"

What, you weren't thinking that? 

Oh. 

Well, you're about to find out what we drank while we were there anyway. 

As most of you know travelers are always advised not to drink the local water.  With my first two visits, we would run out and buy bottles of Aquafina to drink as we needed them.  The 3rd time I went we ended up buying bottled water by the case.  It was much less expensive than buying the water bottle by bottle.

This most recent trip, however, was the easiest in terms of having drinkable water on hand. 


While it was harder to get the big bottles home (Echachan would drive to town on the scooter and bring two of the big green jugs home at one time) they lasted a lot longer and have been, by far, the best bang for our buck. 

I'm thinking we should've used this water to brush our teeth, too.  We didn't think anything of it, but Biju and I both ended up with sores in our mouths much of the time we were there.  Ajay had a few sores, too, and I'm sure Alex did but didn't say anything.  Next time we'll have to be sure we use the bottled water to brush!


Tea.  We drank tea twice a day.  Not the big mugs of tea like we would drink here in America, but a smaller "teacup" amount.  This is the reason you saw the recipe for tea on one of the "Recipe Wednesday" posts.  This was a great way to get in some servings of dairy. 

Mom boiling the tea.
Alex drank the tea decently but Ajay was more drawn to the coffee. 


This was one of our cups of coffee on our train ride to/from Kerala.

You can guess that we tried not to give them too much coffee.  We even limited the tea towards the end of our trip.  They were wild and crazy enough, they didn't need the help of the caffeine!  (Mom was lovely to use mostly milk when making the coffee to try to cut back on the coffee flavor/caffeine.)


Horlicks was the drink we turned to when we thought the boys needed less tea/coffee.  We just wish they drank it!  Biju didn't really care for it, either.  We did come home with a bottle of the powdered mix.  It's chocolate flavored.  I think it is pretty tasty.  (It's a malt flavored drink made w/ milk.) 

Juice was hugely popular.  This was the main drink for the boys.  While it was not exactly inexpensive, we always kept a box or two in the fridge.  They had this for most meals and quite a bit throughout the day.  Hey, since they weren't eating much, we wanted to get anything into them! 




Kingfisher.  It's beer.  It is something Biju was looking forward to drinking for quite awhile.  Funny thing, when I first went to India and was pregnant with Ajay, I LOVED the smell of this.  I had even tasted it and it tasted lovely.  So on my second trip, when I wasn't pregnant, I tasted it and it was NOT as yummy as I had remembered.  Funny what pregnancy can do to you!  This trip, though, pregnancy didn't influence me any.  I did take a little sip and it still wasn't that great.  I guess I'm just not a beer drinker overall. 

Oh, Biju and I did get to go out without the kids once.  It was the day after Valentine's and we went to town with Bino.  We stopped at a restaurant that Biju always has to go to when we're in India.  We had some soda to go with our "burgers" - no beef, but I had a chicken burger and I think both the guys had lamb.  We had fries on the side and dipped them into a honey-mustard dip.  The burger was m.e.s.s.y!  The drinks were similar to ours but not quite the same. 

Fanta - still orange, but just tasted different.  Thumbs Up - like Coke or Pepsi, but didn't taste exactly like either one.
See what I mean about being messy??
Other pics from our outing:



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Yay for drinks!!

Friday, March 25, 2011

India: Visiting Family

Our first Saturday there we headed back into town to visit family.  We met up with a cousin of Biju's at her college.  It took about an hour and a half to get there.  I had never met her before since her family lives in Dubai.  She's very sweet.  Ajay took right to her, holding her hand as we walked, but Alex played all bashful.  He was fine with accepting the chocolates she had for him, though.


Then we headed over to visit Sheena Auntie and her crew.  There were many people to visit as her brother and his family live in the next door apartment, plus their parents were in town for a long visit.  She served us Chili Chicken - she knows how much we love this dish of hers!  For dessert, she served a fruit salad - chopped fruits in a pudding.

Jenny (12yrs) supervising Ajay on the keyboard.
Jestin
Jestin and Alex playing.
Me with Jenny.
Biju talking with Reji Uncle on the web-cam - who happened to be in the US while we were visiting India!
Much of the family.  Everyone was anxious to see if the boys would eat (but of course, they wouldn't).
Alex handcuffing Biben (or Bidgen?  I can't remember which - and I'm unsure of the spellings) with some sort of belt.
We put the boys into their jammies before we left for home since we knew they'd fall asleep.  Here is Ajay standing next to Jestin, who is 18 months older.

We didn't get home until after 10pm.  With all of our trips to town we've taken the boys' pajamas so they can fall asleep in the car and we can just transfer them to bed.  We woke early today (Sunday) so we could make it to 7:15am mass.  Afterward we grabbed a breakfast at a favorite local "hotel" (restaurant) - We had Masala Dosa.  Yum.  Yum.  And now we're home, letting the boys run around the house.  I don't think we've got anything planned for today, just some nice R&R.  I'll probably work on more crochet, Biju will enjoy some Indian TV and the boys will keep everyone entertained.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

India: A movie and McDs!

On another outing we went to a mall to see the movie Tangled - in 3-D!  For all 7 of us to attend, it cost $40.  (It didn't cost to get Alex in.)  We did have to put a 100rupee deposit per 3-D glasses (about $2ea) that we got back when we returned the glasses.  This, as you can guess, was a real treat for everyone.  None of us had ever been to a 3-D movie before and I loved that we could get the experience without having to pay the American prices!!  Ajay sat enthralled (he even reached out at one point to try to grab a lantern).  Alex went through 2 different seats plus 3 different laps but overall he was well-behaved. 

Indian movies always have an intermission.  Since American movies aren't made with intermissions the people running the film just stopped it in the middle.  We took this chance to grab the boys some popcorn and a 7-up.  (We were running too late to do so in the begninning since traffic was so crazy getting there!)  I sure do wish I could've gotten pics of the boys in their 3-D glasses!

(Taken in front of the Tangled poster at the theatre - from Bino's phone.)
After the movie was another special treat - McDonald's!  I was so relieved to see they actually had McNuggets.  The boys had nuggets and fries and it tasted the exact same as it would've back home.  Finally, the boys were eating a decent amount of food!!  I had a regular McChicken but Biju opted for the spicier version, a Chicken Majaraja.

Our waiter (yes, a waiter at McDs!) brought the boys some masks to play with while we waited for our order.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

India: Fun World!

We had plans to go to the circus that was in town one day but when we arrived we discovered that it had left town the day before.  The boys were disappointed but quickly got over it - Fun World was located right next door.  We had plans to go to Fun World the following day so we just bumped those plans up.  It cost almost $5 a person, no matter the age, to get in.  Even if you couldn't ride the rides - like me, since I was in a family way.


We stayed there close to two hours.  Mom and Dad didn't go in, they stayed outside the gates and ate corn on the cob and looked around.  Biju and Bino rode a few of the adult rides and Ajay and Alex rode every kid ride they could find.  Their favorite was the Monkey Jump.  It was a vertical ride and I thought it would shoot up then shoot right back down.  Instead, it rose fairly slowly and then bounced all the way back down.  The boys rode this quite a few times - afterall, it was very similar to bouncing on a bed.  (Ignore the warning that children under 7 shouldn't ride - we sure did!)

video


Here are a few more shots from our visit.  And while I'm here, I'll add in a few shots of our Fun World visit two years ago.... 

Biju is in the front car, waving, and Bino is in the second car.

Sitting on the park's train with Uncle.

Finally, a "ride" I could go on!

Daddy and Alex.

Bino Uncle and Ajay.

Riding on the merry-go-round.  (The second time they rode Alex was trying to get off and he fell.  Woops!)
The smaller version of a merry-go-round 2 years ago. 
Almost like a roller-coaster for kiddies. 
Ajay, 2 years ago, riding the same ride.

Hanging out watching Daddy and Uncle on a ride.

A calm water ride.