Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 58: The Little One Goes to India!

The day arrived!

The little one's first visit to India, in fact her first trip anywhere outside of Singapore. That in itself is a big deal. An even bigger deal is the fact that I traveled with her ALL BY MYSELF.

Our first stop in this trip is my place in Kerala and it started off with a four hour flight. Even though the flight is only four hours, it meant spending about 6 hours or so with just the two of us. While I was looking forward to this special mummy-baby bonding time, I can frankly say that I was terrified of it as well. One never knows how the little one, a completely developed human with her own strong mind and will will behave at any point in time. So yes, I was nervous, terrified, excited, all at the same time.

But I am very happy and proud to declare that it all went off very smoothly! In fact I think the little one is quite a traveller!

At the Singapore airport, she greeted - which means she smiled, cooed and gurgled - at pretty much everyone - the security officers, the immigration officials, the fellow passengers, air hostesses, everyone. Some of them were so charmed by her that they stopped me for ten minutes at the gate, just so that they can play with her and she readily obliged too. On the flight, she fell asleep immediately and slept through the four hours. Only bummer was that I couldn't place her on the bassinet due to the turbulent weather, so I had to place on her lap for the entire journey which pretty much meant I had no dinner or loo break. But that's a small price to pay for such a peaceful journey!

Upon reaching the Kochi airport, I handed her over to her overexcited grandparents and went to collect my luggage. When I handed her over, she was continuing to exude her friendly charm and things were all rosy and happy. But just after I had collected my luggage, one lady security official came towards me and informed, "Your baby is crying." OK, thanks. I realized that my baby was not simply "crying", it was more like she had pretty much brought the airport down with her bloodcurdling wails and horrified everyone around. Awesome.

But then something actually really awesome happened. I picked her up and she quieted down immediately and cuddled really close to me. I can very well say that this was probably the first time I actually felt, like really felt from the bottom of my heart, that I am her mother. In the sense, not just someone who has to take care of her but someone she actually feels the closest to. In other words, we bonded.

A great welcome to India that was! 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Days 53 - 57: Too Many Things!

22 - 26 February, 2013

It's been crazy busy thanks to the upcoming India trip! I am gonna travel alone with the little one which is going to be quite an event in itself and even the pre-trip logistics has proven to be rather overwhelming. It's been packing, shopping, packing, shopping, packing! But there were quite a few rather lovely events squeezed into the breakneck schedule!

1) Inganeyum Oru Katha on Malayalatam TV channel in the US - So yes, for the first ever time, a film of mine has been aired on a TV channel! Pretty awesome feeling, that!

2) Sitting in for a friend's short film rehearsal - It's the short film I had helped with the screenplay for, and my friend wanted me to watch one of their rehearsals. And that was super fun! It's the closest thing to movie making, other than scripting, that I have done in more than a year and it was a fabulous experience!

3) Meet ups - I also managed to meet up with a few friends after several postponements and cancellations. It didn't look like I will be getting any social life before I leave but somehow that happened after all. Pretty happy about that!

4) Dinner at La Nonna - Actually the main course was strictly average but their Bruschetta and their Pannacotta were super yum!

5) Dinner at Haxenhaus Restaurant at Robertson Quay - I absolutely LOVED their wine cocktail Kir which is red wine with Creme De Casis. It's the first time I was having a wine cocktail and I wasn't disappointed at all! The main course too - the Bier Bratwurst was pretty good. Quite a satisfying dinner indeed!

6) Inch loss - Looks like I have managed to lose another inch of that pregnancy gifted flab! Small but very welcome progress!

7) Little One's first birthday plans - I already decided how to celebrate the little one's first birthday and am pretty close to locking all the plans. We are gonna make it a short trip to a holiday destination together with both sets of her grandparents. I figured that there is no better way for her to spend the birthday than a close family affair with her grans and have made the plans accordingly. This is gonna be fun!

8) Reading together! - The little one and I have started to read together, starting with the inevitable fairy tales. She manages to hold her attention for almost an entire book in one sitting and I find it a lot of fun to read out to her, complete with the expressions and animations! Probably the closest thing to theatre that I will be doing for a while.

8) Packing - done! I am all done with the shopping and packing. In other words, all set to go. Finally.

Overall, all good days.

Tomorrow, it's the little one's first trip ever. It's time for Kerala! 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Days 49 - 52: Malayalam Short Story, IOK on TV, Yoga, Packing and 50!

18 - 21 February, 2013

Quite eventful four days! So eventful that I am gonna squeeze everything into one short post vs. separate entries. Here's the list:

1) Completed one short story in Malayalam for an online Mallu magazine from Singapore. It took me four days to complete it as I had to work it around the little one's schedule. But I have finally managed to complete it!
2) Two very good yoga classes. Also got a good on a new pose - the backward bend!
3) Got confirmation that my short film Inganeyum Oru Katha will be telecast on a TV channel in the US! It will be the first time that's happening to any of my films!
4)  I have begun packing for my upcoming India trip. I am gonna travel alone with the little one this time (and her first trip ever!) and I can't stop making lists of things to take, checking, re-checking, packing and being rather obsessed with the whole thing. The good news is that I have made quite some progress so far!
5) Last but not the least, I have completed 50 days of this new blog. That's always a reason to celebrate!

All's well! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Day 48: The Little One & I!

Very interesting day, indeed!

It was the first ever time the little one and I were left to ourselves pretty much for an entire day! No hubby, no helper, just the two of us!

To be honest, I had my doubts about how smooth the day would go, but thankfully not only did the two of us survive, we survived rather well! I found her reasonably easy to manage and I believe she found me reasonably entertaining for the whole day.

I feel so grown up and so.. umm.. motherly! 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Day 47: A Farewell at Maison Ikkoku!

A friend's leaving to pursue MBA in India and today we had dinner & drinks together to bid him farewell. This of course means having a good time with the "gang". Not only those few hours were a lot of fun with mindless chatter, I also discovered two new places for dinner & drinks.  

Dinner was at Ala Turka which served some really good Mediterranean food. This was followed by drinks at a very interesting place called Maison Ikkoku. It had a novel concept - you don't tell them exactly what drink you want but you tell them abstract stuff like "I want my drink to be refreshing with a tinge of grape and sweetness" and they will conjure something along those lines for you! How fascinating! All of us had a fun time ordering all kinda things and then waiting to see what those guys would come up with. Most of the drinks were pretty good on the taste department as well. Overall a wonderful experience! 

And thus, over some great food, interesting drinks and good conversation, we bid the friend goodbye. Until next time! 

Friday, February 15, 2013

Days 44 - 46: Miscellaneous Fun - Yoga, Writing, Valentine's Day Sponge Cakes!

It's been not-very-eventful but rather fun three days.

Quick list, due to severe lack of time:

a) Managed to exercise all three days - 1 long walk and 2 days of yoga.
b) Managed to get a few things checked in yoga - Camel Pose: Check!, Fixed Firm: Check, Balancing Stick: Check! Awkward Pose (part 1) - Check! - Pretty good work for two days, ya?! So happy!
c) Made a little progress on the friend's screenplay.
d) Celebrated Valentine's day by buying the hubby and myself cute, little sponge cakes and joyously consuming them. You see, I don't believe in Valentine's AT ALL! I would rather celebrate those days which are special to just the two of us like our anniversary and shared birthday. But I had a great yoga class and I wanted to treat myself to something nice, so colourful sponge cakes it was! And given my generous nature, I happened to share them with the hubby too, thereby converting it into a couple celebration.

In short, pretty good three days! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Day 43: An Anniversary of Payasams, Ear Piercings & Le Bistrot Du Sommelier!

The hubby and I completed six whole years of marital bliss today! Phew, how time flies!

Given that this anniversary is the first one with the little one around, we wanted to spend time with her as well as just by ourselves. So we ended up having two outings for the day!

But first, I must mention the nice lunch prepared by our helper Lakshmi. She was sweet enough to even make payasam to go along with the vegetable rice and cauliflower curry. God bless her!

Post lunch, the first outing was to Orchard Road with the little one. While we were there, we decided to get her ears pierced. Yeah! Her pediatrician had recommended to get it done after the first three months and  also recommended a place which is popular for getting this done for babies. When we came across the recommended shop, B'Dazzle @ Wisma Atria, we decided that now is the best time to get this done. And sure enough, the procedure took less than five minutes and hardly any tears, much to our surprise. After the ear piercing, followed by a Starbucks visit, we dropped the little one back at home and then set out again, just the two of us this time.

We walked around window shopping at Raffles City for a bit and then made our way to the French restaurant Le Bistrot Du Sommelier at Armenian Street. This was highly recommended by a friend and it was our first time there. And man, we fell in love with the place!

Firstly, the service was really good. For instance, when we couldn't figure out which wine to order, they let us taste all the house pour options so we could decide. When we ran out of the bottle of still water just as dinner was ending, they came and quietly refilled it without making us buy another bottle. When they realized that I had kept my purse on the floor, they brought an extra chair to keep my purse on it. They took a good five minutes and explained in detail each of the items on menu to us. So on and so forth.

The great service was then topped by greater food!

We ordered:
a) Ouef Cocotte (Starter) - Baked organic egg in cocotte with chicken and foie gras brioche/mushroom toast - YUM YUM YUM
b) Catch of the day - It came with white wine sauce and roasted potatoes. - YUM YUM YUM
c) Cuisse De Canard Confite Aux Choix - French duck leg confit cassoulet style with streaky bacon, pork sausage, lamb shoulder baked in a white beans stew - YUM YUM. (This one gets only double YUMs because the quantity was too much and we couldn't finish it up, which is a less than ideal scenario)
d) Creme Brulee a la vanille de Madagascar - Creme Brulee with fresh vanilla beans - YUM YUM YUM

Nett, it was a beautiful anniversary day that I spent with my wonderful family over some wonderful food and time spent together.

Here's to many more! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Day 42: The Lovely Aunty & Her Lovely Family!

I had written in my 1000-day blog about a big, beautiful family I had the good fortune of being friends with here in Singapore. It all started with me being introduced to the oldest aunty there, who is the first of six siblings and gradually I had gotten to know the rest of the siblings, their spouses, children and so on.

Today, the hubby, little one and I, paid a visit to them. Knowing that we were to visit, the entire family had come together. Over lunch, while I got to catch up with everyone, the hubby got his chance of being introduced to all the lovely people there, most of whom he hadn't met before.

Once again, I was amazed by how closely knit this family is, how easily they welcomed us to be part of their gathering and how there seemed to be so much happiness and merriment around them always! The hubby too shared the sentiments and couldn't stop talking about it afterwards.

So lucky to know these people and have them as part of our lives! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Day 41: Paulaner!

We made a new discovery today.

I badly craved for "western" food today and by that I meant something like grilled chicken or fish & chips.

So at night, we went to Clarke Quay, and walked around looking at the menus at the various outlets there. Finally we settled on Paulaner, a Bavarian outlet and apparently famous for their beers.

It was our first time there but no regrets! I thoroughly enjoyed my "Fried Sea Bass in Beer Dough with Mashed Potatoes"! Super yum! Even though I do wish that they had more of the sea bass more and less of the mashed potato. But no issues. The "beer dough" more than compensated for it.

There are quite a few other dishes I wanna try out there. Will be going back to this one for sure!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Day 40: The Early Morning Weekend Walk!

It's the 4-day long Chinese New Year weekend and mine started off pretty well with a 7:30 am (yes, that IS early!) walk with the hubby! We had never done this in all these year! Nope, not even once, so this was really quite a nice experience. After a cup of tea along with Marie biscuits, we set off on our walk which was complimented by a lovely cool, breezy weather! Of course, such walks are usually accompanied by good conversation, which is always welcome.

A great start to the long weekend!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Day 39: Message from a TV Station!

I received a message from a Malayalam TV channel in US, asking to feature my Malayalam short film Inganeyum Oru Katha on their channel!

Of course I agreed and they are now to get back to me after they fix the schedule.

Such small appreciative gestures are always welcome! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Day 38: More Progress!

Another fantabulous day at yoga, with progress made on a few more postures!

Quick list:
a) Half moon pose - I was at my flexible best at this today! Instead of looking like a stout banana, I have managed to look somewhat like the half moon, close to my pre-pregnancy standard!
b) Awkward pose (part 1) - This has never been my strong posture and to get a "Good Shilpa!" for this was amazing! I don't think this has happened before, ever!
c) Standing head to knee (part 1) - For the first time post pregnancy, managed to do one set on each leg. I had been unable to do this so far due to a pelvic injury sustained during a fall during pregnancy, so this is quite some progress.
d) Standing bow pulling pose - Managed a "Good!" here, again!
e) Fixed firm pose - Managed to get my knees to touch in this, first time post pregnancy!

Great progress indeed! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Day 37: Da, Di & Doo!

In the last episode of Da & Di from my previous blog, we had established that Di was pretty pregnant.

Now Di has given birth to baby girl Doo, and is no longer pregnant.

Here's a glimpse of what's happening in their household!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Day 35 - 36: Saved by the Girlfriends!

I had two pretty terrible days thank to some severe sleep deprivation, splitting headaches, weak yoga practice, and general lethargy, causes for which are currently unknown.

But then by evening, things looked up significantly, thanks to the visits by two of my closes girlfriends, one on each day. I had a great time with them, chatting, gossiping and at the end of day feeling a lot happier!

God bless them! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Day 34: Longest Outing!

It was an awesome day because the hubby and I figured out that we can take the little one out for as long 5 whole hours without having her cry or get cranky! Can't even begin to express how good I feel about that!

Previously the maximum we have taken her out is for a meal - so that's about 2.5 hours maximum, including the commuting. But today, we had lunch at Ichiban Boshi with her, we had Starbucks drink with her (YAY!), we even went shopping for clothes with her (double YAY!)! When one of us was in the fitting room, the other one looked after her outside and we took turns like that (on a side note, this also ended up with us burning a hole in our pockets but we are happy about it!).

The best part was that the little one was wide awake through the whole outing and not once voiced any displeasure!

A big milestone crossed, I feel! 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Day 33: Market, Bargains, Breeze, Silver Linings Playbook, Da Luca!

What a fantastic Saturday it was! Thoroughly enjoyed it!

It all started with a trip to the neighbourhood wet market with the hubby. Interestingly, I have been living in this house for about 4 years now and it's my first visit there in all these years! And I felt like a royal fool for having missed out on this fabulous little place right next to where I live! I fell in love with the place because...

1) The low cost, variety and quality of the vegetables, fruits, fish and meat were just awesome! OK, I bought only grated coconut on the request of my helper, but still it was fascinating to just walk around and observe all the shoppers, everyone in shorts, singlets and slippers or even pajamas, evidently just walking out of the house to the market, early in the morning. It was a very vibrant atmosphere indeed, with everyone from uncles, aunties, young couples, maids and kids of all ages walking around, shopping, having their morning breakfast in the numerous hawker stalls that seem to occupy every little space available in between the shops. Loved the atmosphere!

2) Not only did the wet market have the groceries and vegetables that you would expect it to have, it also had several shops selling clothes, mattresses, hardware materials, stationery etc. at unbelievable bargains. I was thrilled at the super low prices... seriously, they might as well give them away for free... and I bought myself quite a few cotton tops and bottoms to wear for my yoga class. And the best part? There were obviously no fitting rooms in the market and I was just taking a gamble given that the prices were so low, but the fitting was perfect! Awesomeness!

3) We were aware of an Indian store in the wet market - one that ensured we are never out of atta, the million varieties of daal, the highly acclaimed ponni rice and other such groceries required for Indian cooking. But I was pleased to discover a cute little shop called Sharada Indian Flower Shop that sold well... flowers, but also small Indian necessities like incense sticks, puja items etc., which in turn contributed to a lovely fragrance all around the shop. I felt so happy seeing it and in the spirit of supporting the local Indian flower shop, we bought a pack of incense sticks.

4) As mentioned earlier, the visit to the wet market was together with the hubby. The "Us" time, early in the morning on a Saturday was very welcome of course.

5) The whole experience was enhanced by the strong, cool breeze that was blowing on our walk to and fro the market. Thoroughly enjoyable weather for a morning walk!

As you can see the day started off really well.

In the evening we caught Silver Linings Playbook, an absolutely wonderful film! I love it when they take a simple family theme and make something so freaking fantastic out of it! I loved every bit of this film and will go as one of my all time favourites for its screenplay and performances!

This was followed by a super yummy dinner at the Italian restaurant Da Luca. Over green peas soup, grilled chicken and molten lava chocolate cake with pistachio icecream, the hubby and I had a great time! This place is gonna see a lot more of us in the future!

In short, a really fund day! 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 32: Standing Bow Pulling Pose - Check!

Yup, making super slow but steady progress with Yoga!

Got a "Good, Shilpa!" for the Standing Bow Pulling Pose today!

Feels good!