March 24, 2008

Sound good?

Arun ends many of his sentences with a fervently earnest "Sound good?" As in "Hey mama! I go see train, go get ice cream, then go home and then watch Max and Ruby. Sound good, mama? Sound good?" Yes, it does, babycakes. Yes, it does, indeed.


As we all know, knitting makes the very best, most titillating of all blog fodder. Prop your eyelids up with some toothpicks and bear with me on this.........

I finally finished Anjali's blanket (I posted here about what this blanket has meant to me these past 8 months.) Towards the end, I was really struggling with my right hand going numb while knitting so it got to be s....l....o...w going at an excruciating pace (Sidenote: In general, this numbness has become a huge problem. Tweezing my eyebrows. Using a knife. Holding a pen. Holding a phone. Holding my baby. I thought it was carpal tunnel syndrome, but it appears it may be cubital tunnel syndrome instead. The cubital tunnel houses your ulner nerve - which is the whole "funny bone" thingie we all have going on our elbows. Except, it ain't so funny, let me tell you, because I may need surgery.) Anyway - I finally finished Miss Thang's blanket. I loved, loved doing this reversible cable pattern. I am not so happy with the border, but I was far too gone with it by the time I realized it was not working for me. If I could do this blanket over, I would have just done 9 panels of reversible cable portion instead of the 4 panels.

Regardless, I am quite happy with this blanket- it is a good yarn (Reynold's Signature) that is very, very durable for kids who tend to leak all varieties of bodily fluids on things. I have washed Arun's blanket over and over again with good results - in the washing machine, no less! I am debating whether to put up an official pattern for it, although I would really recommend just doing the 9 panels and seaming those together instead of using the garter stitch border.

March 21, 2008

Why are memes so under-rated?

Administrative Note: When I wrote about name changes the other day, I was not implying that mothers should have the same names as their children. I think in this day and age, folks do not really give a rat's butt about that kind of thing. It is just a personal hangup on my own part that I wanted the same last name as my kids.

So............... As I have said before, I think memes are the Rodney Dangerfield of blog fodder - I think they are fun. Colleen tagged me for one ages ago, but I had trouble with it. It was one of those "6 Random Things" meme, but we all know that "random" is just code for "interesting" and that no one really wants to know that your fingernails grow at an alarming rate (mine do and it is a pain in the ass). So yeah. It took me awhile to think of something not as random and maybe more interesting. Eventually, I just gave up and went with random. My apologies.

So, without further ado, here you go......
  1. I have to make our bed every day. Every.Single.Day. Without fail. Even if it does not get made in the morning (which is rare, so very rare), I will make it just before I hop into it at night.
  2. I hate the sun. HATE IT with the passion of a thousand burning ones. Bah. I prefer nice, chilly, damp, cloudy days. Bliss, they are.
  3. My hair has been going gray since my early 20s. I vaguely remember the actual color of my hair. Brunette? Once, someone asked X what the color of my hair was and he said he did not know because it changes every month.
  4. When I write with a pen or pencil, I use my middle finger to guide the pen, not my pointer finger as Normal Folks do.
  5. I love junkin'. One thing I miss about my Kid Free days is trolling through antique malls and flea markets. I cannot wait to take Anjali and Arun when they get older, but it is a little too stressful to drag them through those places now. The best places to go junkin' are the ones with crap piled a mile high and stacked in tight quarters. Antique malls are not exactly the kid friendliest of spots.
  6. I love maps. Two of my prized possessions are my great-grandmother's geography book from school (1907) and a physical globe that my Great Aunt P gave me (1950s). I have maps on walls throughout the house and treasure my atlas from the early 90s that I bought on payment because I could not afford to pay all at once. I thought having a GPS in our car was a total cop-out and I protested it, but in truth, I have had to so much fun with it. I use it quite frequently to find short-cuts or to take interesting detours. My favorite kinds of vacation involve flying into an airport, hopping into a rental car with map in hand or staying in a city and trolling the streets with map in hand. Add some public transportation into the mix and I am on Cloud 9.

March 20, 2008

What would happen if an Irresistible Force met an Immovable Object?

Last year, I purchased the Land Down Under Toob for Arun last year and it came with the little fella you see above. Arun called him "Daddy" for awhile. While X was mildly amused, I thought it was hilarious because besides not being Aboriginal, X is not even nearly as dark as that dude. So, I would giggle maniacally, which only served to encourage Arun even further. Naturally, Arun has always noticed darker guys and has usually been drawn to them. And I think it is sweet.

I have always thought it painfully trite to claim that "children do not see color" because truthfully, kids do see color - they simply do not assign a value to it. It does hurt me to know that someday, my children will encounter someone who cannot hide the fact that they think their father is a lesser person simply because his skin is darker and his passport foreign. It will be one of many disappointments in their lives that I will not be able to prevent.

But it begs a another question - what race will my children consider themselves to be? I doubt they will jump on the Indian Rickshaw of Ethnicity, but I hope that they at least harbor a sentimentality for their heritage - much as I do for things of the Irish and Scottish persuasion. It helps that my smoochy love affair with the Indian subcontinent of Asia began in 1989 and is still going strong - I am very excited to share that affection for India with my children. The fact that they both house some spicy, curried DNA of their very own only makes it all the more important for me to do so.

Recently, I was filling out some forms for Anjali for her pediatric dermatology appointment (she has sensitive skin and we needed to rule out eczema, which we did.*relief!*) On the form, there was a blank for "race" and I was puzzled as to what I should write. I wanted to simply write "American", but the form was medical and that would not have helped Anjali at all. So, I wrote "White/Asian Indian".

I am aware that many folks in America will never consider my kids "white" simply because they are mixed. I realize that most Indians will not even consider my kids to be "Indian". In the grand scheme, it is not such a big deal, I do not think. I love that my children are exactly what it means to be American. And besides, their father is living the American Dream - lock, stock, and barrel.

A few weeks ago, our Indian friend S from Boston became a US citizen. I was absolutely thrilled for her. No, I am not going to drone on about how this is the best country in the world blabbity blah blah. Actually, I am beginning to suspect the best country in the world is Sweden. But alas,, I would not want to live in Sweden. I would rather live here. Because this is still a pretty cool spot in which to live.

Okay...Okay.... I do not see all of us joining hands across America and singing in harmony as we drink our bottles of Coca-Colas. However, I would still argue that this country is a kinder, gentler country in which one can be "melted".

March 18, 2008

Who are you?

When I saw that train, I knew I absolutely had to purchase it for Arun.

You see, it is my maiden name.

Last year when I was pregnant and filling out some paperwork, I realized that I was okay with my married name. Not only that I was okay with it, but rather that I actually felt it was mine. I am K.G. (aka Cagey) now. That is me.

Then, last fall, for some inexplicble reason, I began using my full name - K.O.G. I am not sure why I did it - it was not a conscious decision, I just started using it. So now, when I am referring to myself when it is not in direct context to the kids, I use my full name.

When X and I were married, he was clear that he did not care which decision I made regarding a name change. To boot - his last name is actually his father's first name - many Catholics in India follow that tradition instead of a "family name". In addition, many, many Indian gals do not take their husband's names (changing visas and passports is a major heartache, so often, they do not mess with risking their visa status). So...... no biggie - I could keep my name, right?

Except that my parents are divorced and I hated it when my mom's last name was not the same as mine. Hated it. I really wanted my last name to be the same as my kids so the decision was a no-brainer for me. So, I changed my name sadly, but quite willingly for myself. End of story.

I do still miss my maiden name. And when I see a silly kid's toy emblazoned with it, it makes my heart go pitter-patter.

March 17, 2008

Where the hell are Max and Ruby's parents?

There is a picture of Max and Ruby's parents over the sofa, so they must be alive somewhere. But they are never even mentioned. Oh sure, you see Grandma - the lone bunny who represents the Responsible Adult Contingent for the wayward pair of bunnies known as "Max and Ruby", but let's face it - Grandma is a bit of a softie and is nearsighted to boot. She is waning in her twilight years and is is totally fooled by that scrap of a wench Ruby. Seriously - someone needs to step in and save the poor tortured soul that is Max. Cripes - that sadistic Ruby even takes credit for his work on her Bunny Scout projects. Someone needs to have her merit badges stripped, is all I'm sayin'. (On a serious note: I just totally love Max and Ruby. The 1940s decor and music really gets me. I hope Arun never grows tired of them, so I purposely try to space out his viewings based on that alone.)

HEY. I did get the swimsuit! I went with a red top and navy bottom situation in a desperate attempt to offset the whole Old Lady Swimsuit thing I now have going on. Man, oh man - I LOVE this swimsuit. I received it on Friday and took Arun to the pool on Saturday. For once, I did not feel a need to cover up in a burqa on my way to the pool from the dressing room. Should I mention that I am totally hot in it and that except for the fact that I actually eat food, I look just like the model? What? I DO. X said so (Dude, he knows what is Good For Him). In fact, I am so sexxy hott in my new Old Lady Swimsuit that you could fry an egg on my double digit ass. True. MILF that, sucker.


So, Little Miss Thang turned 8 months last week. She is really coming into her own personality-wise. She is easier going when it comes to sleep and such, but I am seeing such very strong signs of independence that I am seriously considering learning some Baby Signs to give her another tool for communication should her independent streak get too frustrating for her. I never, ever - not once - considered this for Arun, but I can see now where it may be useful to give Anjali an easier way to convey what she needs. I do not see her being such an easy-going toddler as Arun. Surely, lightening does not strike twice. I also think that Arun will have his work cut out for him because once Anju can stand up for her own self, he better watch out. Yikes. I almost feel sorry for him.

That said, I just adore her little personality. I am glad that she is showing some strong tendencies. I am just thrilled that she loves going places and seeing new things. She is always cautious but rarely scared or frightened of new people or situations.

Oh. Yeah. I do have another kid around here somewhere. Anyone who has great tips for photographing that rare, elusive creature known as "toddler" with Flash Gordonesque tendencies for avoiding flash photographing, assvice would be much appreciated and solicited at this point.

8 Months
All cheeks. All the time.

Car Baby
I took this picture because I simply adore the way her face lights up when she is in the car. She just loves getting in because she knows we will be going places.

Even after 8 months of this, we are still in awe of the fact that she will pass out just about anywhere. Obviously, I still feel the need to document it.

Point. Counter Point.
Yes, she grabs the nearby tomatoes. Yes, she bites into them. Yes, we are the worst parents ever.

She's a Doll
Again, the worst parents ever. In our defense, we did supervise this particular set of shenanigans.

March 16, 2008

What's cookin', good lookin'?

I love, LOVE scallops. Over the years, I have tried so many times to make them. I know how to cook them without them getting all rubbery-like (the trick is to pull 'em off the stove before you think they are actually done! You will swear they must be underdone, but trust me, they are not.) However, I was never satisfied with the recipes I tried. Yesterday, X did some digging around and found a yummy recipe. Oh my ever lovin' Nemo - these things are awesome. He found the recipe here on We used a chili-infused sesame oil, but other than that, we did not make any modifications.

Indian Style Scallops

1 pound seas scallops, 1-inch thick, rinse and pat dry
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

  1. Put the scallops and oil in a bowl and toss to mix. Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat.
  2. Place half of the scallops in the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes then turn over and cook for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe with paper towels. Repeat this process with the other half of the scallops.
  3. Mix together the orange juice, curry powder, pepper, and salt in a bowl then pour into the skillet. Cook for 1 minute over medium-high heat. Serve the sauce on the side.

Use more or less curry powder to achieve the desired spiciness.

March 14, 2008

Have you seen this?

The Ultimate Peep ShowThis is one of the funniest damned things I have seen in awhile.I had not seen this until today when my sister sent it to me. Pardon me if you have already seen this - my sister is just as uncool as I am. It is in our blood, as it would seem.

Anyway, I tried to find some sort of source for it, so that I could include appropriate Lawsuit Friendly attributions.

Also, am I the only person who thinks that peeps are some nasty tastin' stuff? *hork*

March 10, 2008

Where's the love?

Right here, babycakes. I am feeling a little Linky today.............

Monkey did not warn us that her Mummy and Baba were in town. Hello! You need to read today's post about her mother's newest "designer" handbag purchase.

Scribbit recently had an Out of Clothes experience. You absolutely must read this post about her experience with a wraparound skirt attempting to make its Great Escape. I still have not stopped giggling.

Soccer Mom Lisse wants a strong first spouse. She does an eloquent job of explaining how our society belittles the position of First Lady and why that is such a travesty.

On a more serious note, Tina has an excellent post on the "Do's and Don'ts" when it comes to your baby's hearing. She has some great info on newborn hearing testing as well which I think is very important for all parents to read before they head off to the hospital. I have a friend whose daughter had a cochlear implant about 15 years ago, so this sort of thing is always on my radar. I thought it was important enough to be on everyone else's, too. Bonus credit goes to MB of Speak Up!, which is where I found Tina's site.


I am putting together a FAQ post - I am tired of my messy sidebar and will be moving some things to the FAQ section instead. This is your big chance at asking me a question or two. Sock it to me................

March 7, 2008

Where is everyone on Fridays?

Seriously - why are folks not out and about in the blogosphere as much on Fridays? Where are they?

Anyway..... it appears that a dinner/lunch at Shalimar will be in order this July - if you are going to BlogHer 08 and are interested, please let me know so that we can coordinate.

I was really divided on going to BlogHer this year (I waddled my way through BlogHer 05 while pregnant with Arun and then sweated my way through BlogHer 06 because all the rooms were so damned hot.) Honestly, I did not really care for the Santa Clara and San Jose locations and was so disappointed I missed out on the Chicago location. However, the venue this year sold me. Union Square? DUDE. I am there. It is an awesome location and easily walkable to some fun spots - Chinatown, in particular. I am very excited about showing Anjali a bit of SF. Strictly speaking, she has already been to SF, but she was just an embryo. (Just a note to all the mommybloggers out there - I highly recommend getting a NON-drinking roommate if you are schlepping your kids along to the conference. Surely, Monkey will not mind watching my kid for me while I go clubbin'. No?)

Also, I am a smart one - I even included a line item for "wardrobe" in my BlogHer 08 Budget. Seriously - the last time I bought nice summer clothes was for BlogHer 06 and that would be pretty lame to have photos of me in the same damned clothes as before. Yikes.

Okay - enough about BlogHer - a very boring topic for those not going this year. Um, I remember distinctly how that salt in the wound felt last summer.

I was sad to learn that Rockstar Mommy packed up and left the blogosphere. I did not read her blog, but of course, knew about her. I seem to remember that she had issues with trolls and folks stealing her pics. I would imagine that would really take a toll on a person, not to mention all the time it must have taken dealing with that sort of crap. So, I do not blame her for shutting down. Still. I cannot imagine walking away from this and truthfully, I have had a huge existential blogging crisis lately. Why do I do this? Why do I care? Why do I spend so much of my free time on this? Why? Why? I still have not figured out the answers, but I do know that I cannot leave this yet.

In other fun news, I learned that Karen of the Naked Ovary is back! Her daughter Maya is doing awesome and Karen is pregnant and expecting another daughter in about 15 weeks!!! I was SO excited to see one of my favorite bloggers decided to come back. Now, if only I could twist Christine's arm - I so miss The Rabbit Lived. *Sniff*

March 6, 2008

Can you speak up?

Aunt Peggy's funeral was on Tuesday and I am so v. v. grateful for this blog right now. Not only was it cathartic for me to write about her last week, but that post also gave me a launching point for writing and then giving a tribute at her funeral. I am also appreciative of all of my public speaking experiences. I am totally not afraid to give speeches and have even given a speech in front of over 100 folks. While I cannot claim to be a great orator and most certainly my hands still shake and my voice quavers, I am glad that I am not afraid to give eulogies and that I have been able to give a few family members their dues over the years.

Our babysitter, T, had to take a public speaking course last semester. I was very excited for her and encouraged her all last semester through it because I knew that she would be learning a life skill. I will definitely be pushing my own kids to take as many public speaking classes as possible.

In other news.........................

It is official. Anjali and I are going to BlogHer '08. I hemmed and hawed about the whole thing, but I really, really wanted to go. The part that will be hard for me is that I will have to leave Anjali in the childcare thingie. Sure - we have a babysitter and we leave her at our gym's nursery, but Arun is with her and I am only leaving her for just a few hours. I am nervous about leaving her for 2 whole days with strangers and I am worried that she is going to freak out. And yes, I know that working moms do this all the time. Step off and give this spoiled SAHM a break. I suppose the worse that could happen is that Anjali freaks out and we spend the conference wandering the hallways. I wish I could bring Arun, but at least he is old enough that I can explain I will be coming back and have not abandoned him. Besides, he will be so excited to have X all to himself that he probably will not even notice that Anju and I have vacated the premises.

Anyway - I am really very excited to be going to BlogHer. Can I admit that I am just as excited about planning an excursion to one of my very favorite Pakistani places - Shalimar (the one of Jones st.)?

In related news, it appears that I have somehow managed to haveconned convinced Monkey in a Suit to share a room with us. *Insert evil laugh here* Sucker.

March 3, 2008

How is Arun?

In Thailand, Arun is also a girl's name. The owner of The Thai Place here in Kansas City just happens to be named Arun and was absolutely tickled when she first met our Arun. The rest of the folks there also get a kick out of him and invariably, an inquiry as to Arun's status is made whenever I call for takeout. Also, it has been my first experience being known as "Arun's mom". As in being asked "Oh, is this Arun's mom?" when I am ON THE PHONE.  Never you mind that I have been frequenting the place since college and have entered the doors with a variety of boyfriends. I simply did not exist to those people until Arun came along. *grumble, grumble*


Jackson Pollock (American, 1912–1956)
Untitled, 1948

Our carpet is quickly becoming some sort of mawkish tribute to Jackson Pollack. A smattering of coffee (The Roasterie), toothpaste (Crest), blackberry jam (Archer Farms), a variety of yogurts (Fage, Stonyfield, Yoplait), spinach (Earthbound Farms), applesauce (Mott's), curry (India) and the most lovely of all, pink Playdoh (which should just be called D'oh! because seriously. That shit is never coming out.) have all rendered our carpet a sight to behold. Sigh.


We had a gorgeous weekend. After the prior week of death, family politics, teething, and a household of head colds replete with juicy, runny noses, it seemed that some higher being took pity on me by granting the Kansas City area a weekend of temperatures in the 70s. Saturday morning while in the shower, I decided that we must go to the zoo. I threw together a lunch and off we went. It was fabulous - just Arun, Anjali and I walking around. Arun was over the moon - for a kid as obsessed with animals as he is, the zoo was a splendor. My favorite part was when he saw the seals and said "Whoa. Dat's a BIG seal." Then, he shouted for all to hear "HEY SEAL! I SWIM, TOO!!!!" Then, he jabbered about sleeping hippos, roaring tigers and orangutans (raintans) all the way home.

Officially, the Kansas City Zoo has lost money on us. Their memberships are a steal.

I will try to feel guilty when I renew it later this month.