Tuesday, January 26, 2010

He amazed me

Of late, I have been carrying tension and worries from work place to home. In the evenings, it is about getting up early and driving 45 minutes to work. For a change, last Friday, when I got a verbal acknowledgement from my manager that my work is on track, I felt I should hold on to that for that whole weekend.
I left home to take Nikhil to his close friend's birthday party. My mind was light and I was joking to him and teasing him. We got on the car..and I decided to test him.
Wanting to see if he has noticed anything about my mood, I asked him.
"Hey Niks, what do you think about Amma today?"
I worded it such that it does not give him any clues that I am asking about my mood today. I wanted to see if he interprets it that way and if so, what does he think about my mood.
He said: "Amma, you are joyful and happy today"!
I was astonished - not only did he figure the meaning I intended, he also responded with the correct answer. It is true that the kids can see what all emotions we are going through. It affects them more than what we imagine. And they can understand everything!
I told him 'Kutta, I am impressed how well you read my mind'!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hakuna Matata

We rented the Lion King CD from the library the other day. Nithin has been playing it over and over in the car since then. He demands a song by number and it has to be replayed till eternity. After couple of reruns, you start hating that song.
But this song left me pondering and wishing for a state of "Hakuna Matata" - a state of no worries - it is a 'problem-free' philosophy.
A big change in me in the recent years is something I never used to do before. Worrying has become my hobby now. I find it so hard to control my mind when the thoughts spin and spin.
Looking from the outside world, I am in a comfortable state and there should be many blessings I have to count. I do recognize that and I am grateful for my life. But all said and done, I have become much more emotionally weak than even before. Different people have different worries. Mine has been related to job/work/career for sometime now. The layoff experience has left me petrified. Adjusting to new work life has been an uphill. It is getting better - I would compare it to the first few months with a new born baby. People say it gets better over months - but each day has to pass, it is a struggle every day - feeding and diapering and wondering why he/she cries. Some days are easy, some are crazy, but no matter what you have to live through this phase to get to a point where you can enjoy the baby. I think that is what I am going through now. Taking life one day at a time!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Disney and beyond

From my unprepared state, I very quickly drifted to the 'too-much prepared' state once I started this book B had taken from library. It is called Unofficial Guide to the Walt Disney World. Here is a link in Amazon to the latest edition of this book. It acted as a bible to me on all days of the trip.
We had a connection flight from Charlotte. This was the first time we ever booked a connection flight. Just as I was thinking 'hey, it is not too bad' - when the flight from Philly landed Charlotte smoothly and earlier than scheduled time, little did I know that trouble was on its way. We were ready to board the connection flight and they announced technical issues with the aircraft and said it won't fly! We waited for couple of hours in the aiport - there were no seats on any other flight to Orlando because of the holiday rush. Everyone was going to the counter and saying the same 'dukh bhari kahani' of theirs or yelling at the poor man who was in charge of dealing with angry customers. We were stranded , felt helpless. If we don't reach that night, we would have issues with rental car, hotel and losing a valuable day of Disney fun. Thank God - finally, they found a substitute aircraft which was ready to fly in an hour or so. It was relief - at that point, I did not mind even if it reached Orlando in the middle of the night, we just wanted to be there before the next day.
I should say I was proud of us four - having gone through all the airport waiting etc and reaching at midnight at the hotel in Florida - the kids were up at 7 and we were ready to roll.

Every day, I would read the chapter related to the park we will visit the next day. Since I am super scared of 'rides', I wanted to know about every ride in detail. I also was referring to Suman's spreadsheet as a quick reference on what to see. A print out of the spreadsheet was in my purse always. Nikhil and B focussed on the roller coaster kind of rides. Nithin did not qualify for those height wise, so i had a nice excuse of going on baby rides with him. We loved those cute rides in Fantasyland. I personally enjoyed all 3D movies. Nithin got scared in a 3D movie when spiders jumped down from roof. He refused to enter any movie hall and absolutely refused to wear 3 D glasses from then on. This meant that I go for them by myself while B watches him.

In short, we had a blast. It was over so quickly. Here are my tips on Disney:
  • Inside the parks, the cell phones do not work very well. So if you and your wife split up and do different things at the park, be prepared that when you try to reach him/her, it won't be until you have tried a few times. I was alone with Nithin, trying to reach B and Nikhil over phone and once it gets dark, it is a nightmare. Even if they are somewhere near, you could be looking for them all night if the phones do not cooperate.
  • Do not try to coordinate with a bunch of friends. Everybody has different interests and once inside the park, it is so hard to find someone/some place even with the maps. You will be wasting time doing coordination.
  • FASTPASS is a life saver. Many people still do not know about it. In fact, I advised a family who were standing in a 1 hour wait line to go get a fast pass. They thanked me and went. Some parks have a restriction of not issuing fast pass for 2 hours if you already have one. Some parks do not. So don't assume anything and just hit a fast pass counter - it prints out the ticket if you cannot take one because you are holding one already.
  • Start early. You cannot sleep late if you want to get a head start on the park events/rides. The goal is to reach the park as early as you can.
  • Be prepared to stay longer through the night in Ecpot and Magic Kingdom to see the fireworks. Both were truly impressive. Magic Kingdom on Christmas and home theme almost made me cry.
  • Going in November during Thanksgiving is a better bet - but Christmas decorations won't be there. It was really cold during Xmas and it is too crowded.

Chalo, bye for now!