Monday, July 30, 2007

Pink explosion :)



Since I was home on a working day i.e. sans_DH_And_DS, I had to keep myself busy. So I managed to do 2 loads of laundry, fold 2 (older) loads, clean the master bath, load dishwasher, and attempted to straighten up playroom. I did take a nap as well. Did 2 layouts and went for a walk in the evening.

I wanted the blog to appear clean and fresh after the dark theme I had going since March. I believe this is the longest I've gone without making changes. I do like the pink (though I already think there is too much of it). It is reminding me of Umbridge LOL. As long as there's no lace, we're good!

Weekend ups and downs



Stitching GTG at Debby's was good. I learned knitting. I liked it. Until I screwed up. Now I'm unable to fix it. I'm pretty sure it's fixable, but I just don't know how :(

Boating on Sunday was great. Our community has a nice sized lake where we can do boating. Only available to members, so it was pretty much like this. "Hey, the weather's nice." while passing the lake "Let's go boating." "Ok. Let's go." Lunch after boating was good too (Love Baja Fresh).

Upon reaching home around 4, friends called and said they're dropping by. Sure, I'll just check my work email meanwhile. Hadn't heard anything about how testing was going. They were supposed to start this morning. I had finished all my work on friday and was only supposed to support the testing effort, and stand by to fix issues. Well, that's where the trouble started. After placing a few calls, I made them start testing (not part of my job but we *all* would be in trouble if something isn't working). This issue has been escalated *already* to the highest level in both my company and the client. They're expecting everything to work on Monday. Don't you think it should be tested? Turns out that out of the two *very time consuming* tasks I had done friday evening, one file has gone corrupt. No recovery from that. It's an xml that is generated by the software and it can't be hand-fixed. The other developer had to delete a whole bunch of data (and took hours to do that) and I had to redo part of my work after that. Fun. I finally finished at 2 AM. I do have to say that DH stayed up with me until 1 AM and made me a mug of Tim Horton's before going to bed. He's a sweetie pie :)

The upside is that everything is working now, and that I took the day off. They better compensate this. Grrrr.

So I'm grumpy today. I don't like taking naps but today is a day for it.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shoot me!



There is a lot of work drama happening that started with my asking a very valid question. Sigh. I did the right thing, but many others are under fire. I might even have to work on Sunday because of all this (their) mess.

I refused to work on Saturday because I have to go to the DC Area Stitching GTG that I've tried to attend before (3 years ago!) and couldn't. Mehul had decided to make his appearance that weekend :) Work isn't going to stop me this time around. Now I just have to find the time between now and Saturday to do grocery shopping and make the dish I want to take.

The friend I had mentioned here before, the one who was pregnant and separated from her husband, she had her baby girl yesterday. They are both doing well. I hope to get away on Sunday for a little while to see them. The idiot husband has not returned her message about the baby and not visited yet. He's pretty much out of the picture now. Grrrr.

I have this LO uploaded that hasn't been posted yet. The picture is of a lamp on my nightstand.

The journaling is about taking pictures and my Rebel. I'll have to increase the font before printing!
Credits: Shadows are by me following Misty Cato's Realistic Shadow Tutorial
Rest of the credits will be updated later.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Finished! (no spoilers)



The series has ended. I finished reading yesterday afternoon. Didn't want to rush this one so I kept the book down several times. Not through the last couple of chapters, though. Lots happening! I am going to start rereading today. I always find things I'd initially missed.

Friday, July 20, 2007

I can hardly stand it!



Harry Potter comes out in less than 14 hours. I wasn't thinking of going to get in line at midnight but I just might. I don't think I can wait until the morning. It's getting hard to concentrate at work! I can't wait for the evening to arrive. I have to read the last few chapters of the book 6 tonight too. So excited..

So there might not be any blogging until I'm done with the book 7 :)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Take Two meme



Stolen from Erin. Feel free to snag.

Two names you go by:
1. Shalini
2. Mama

Two things you are wearing right now:
1. Black top
2. Khaki Pants

Two things you want (or have) in a relationship:
1. Fun
2. Understanding

Two of your favorite things to do (at the moment they are):
1. Digital Scrapbooking
2. Reading

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
1. Vacation so I can finish Harry Potter Book 6
2. Harry Potter Book 7

Two people who will fill this out:
1. No idea!
2. Really no idea!

Two things you did last night:
1. Read Book 6
2. Scrapped our 'Rainforest Cafe' photos

Two things you ate today:
1. Rye Bread
2. Funyums Onion Rings

Two people you last talked to:
1. Mehul ("Bye Mehul! I'll see you in the evening.")
2. DH ("Bye!")

Things you're doing this week/weekend:
1. Reading HP7.
2. Scrapping when my eyes get tired but my brain doesn't want to switch off!

Two longest car rides:
1. Northern VA to Toronto (9.5 hours).
2. and back. (LOL!)

Two favorite holidays:
1. Diwali!
2. Christmas (since last year when we got our own tree and ornies)!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Busy weekend



I took 'Work from Home' day today. There are about 6 loads of laundry to be folded. I didn't get time to do it last weekend. I also need to get to the library at some point today as 2 books are overdue. The weekend activities include - house warming party at a neighbor's, a birthday party at ChuckeCheese for one of Mehul's classmates, and Car puja (rites) for the new car. Busy busy. Work is thankfully very light at the moment so I don't feel guilty about staying home..

This morning, I put Mehul in the new 'Cars' underwear. So far we've been in Training pants and now we're trying the next step! So the conversation went something like this -

Me: Mehul, you've got Lightning McQueen on your underwear!
Mehul: Lightning McQueen! Kaa-Chow!!

LOL! He's so cute. We've been doing ok on Potty Training. He's had one accident at the daycare so far and a few at home. Daycare is much better about regular potty breaks. Whenever he has an accident, DH starts talking about putting him back in diapers. Ugh. He IS ready. We have to be ready too. I haven't pushed Mehul in potty training *at all*. Whenever he started resisting sitting on potty, I eased back. But I'm not about to let go of all the progress just because it is easier. Ok. Now I'm ranting.

I got new shoes! At a bargain to boot (no pun intended). This is the first time I've had blue shoes. Or polka dots.



A few LOs I'd done before leaving for vacation.


My beautiful kitty. I miss him still!
Credits:
Lisa Whitney's Little Dudette kit at ScrapArtist.


Credits:
Miki Ferkul's Paraiso at Scrapbook Elements


Credits:
Diamante Designs by Lori Wiley at Scrapbook Bytes (and very soon her own store at loriwileydesigns.com)


Credits:
Ribbons, background from Michelle Coleman. Various kits.
Bronze button from Lori Wiley
Swirl from Lori Wiley - Swish
Clock, string knot over button from Ztampf
Staples from Jenn Patrick at The Digi Shoppe

Off to fold the laundry! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Part 2 (contd..)



Sunday July 1st, 2007 - Canada Day

We slept in this morning as we were still tired from the previous day. Had a late brunch and decided to go to Niagara Falls to watch the fireworks at night. We wanted to go to the CN tower as well so thought we'd do that first and then go to Niagara at night. Plan sounded good at that time not realizing that EVERYONE will be going to see fireworks at Niagara that night. It was Canada Day, afterall. Gawd, the traffic! A 1.5 hour drive took 3 hours. Anyhow, the CN tower looked good :) Visibility was excellent that day.


Taken by Sony DSC P73


Taken by Canon Rebel XT


Taken by Canon Rebel XT

I found it very disheartening that there was a Starbucks but not a Tim Horton's at the CN Tower. That just isn't right ;) Anyhow, we had tea and snacks there and hung around for more time than we should have. We had used our 'Express passes' to get past the crowd downstairs, and were confident we'd be using those. Not so! The passes are only for the first floor. Here, we had to stand in the queue for 1 hour. Crap. Anyhow, more pictures -





We went down to the Glass Floor while Arjun was holding our place in the queue. I JUMPED on the GLASS FLOOR at the height of 1,122 ft. Eeeekkk! Girish didn't even walk on it. Just put his foot there to take a picture. Mehul and I were all over it. LOL!


Technically, that isn't my foot but that's a better picture with someone else's foot. The floor is made of 2.5 inch thick glass. No way it would break :0

Anyhow, more pictures were taken from the Sky Pod, which is at the height of 1,465 ft. I'm sure they're mixed up with the photos above. By the time we came downstairs and met Uncle and Massi, it was 6:30.

Karan had gone to work in the morning and was back home by this time. He had called and upon learning we were still in Toronto, he wanted to go along with us to Niagara as well. We went back home to pick him up and Mehul stayed home with Uncle and Massi. No way it was appropriate to take him with us now, since it was so late. So we went and sat in traffic for hours. Watched the fireworks from the car. I think we finally reached around 11PM. Had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe at Niagara. We have been to the one in a mall at Boston but Karan and Arjun were there for the first time. They LOVED it. Wish Mehul was there with us. We have one in Tyson's mall here in VA that we'll be taking him to very soon. Girish's birthday is coming :)

I hadn't charged my camera battery the previous night. Crap. I was not letting anyone review the images on the viewfinder. We got out of the restaurant at 12 and checked out the area around. We FINALLY went to see the Falls at 2 AM. The lights were OFF. Damn. I didn't take a single picture of the falls that night. Too depressing LOL! Surely we'll be coming back next day in daylight and staying till night.

We went to the Casino after leaving Arjun at the Arcade. He's underage to go to the Casino. I lost money at the slot machines. Girish and Karan made double at some table. It was a lot of fun. When we went back to the arcade, Arjun had won so many tickets. I think he had something like 1,200 tickets collected. He got some cars for Mehul from the loot.
We reached home at 4:30 AM. Mehul was sleeping in Massi's bedroom with them. He'd pushed uncle to the side of the bed. LOL!

Monday July 2nd

Woke up late as usual. Mehul was already up and playing with Uncle. He slept well the previous night and asked for me one time only after he woke up. That makes me feel good. Both that he asked for me and that he was distracted soon after. Hehe After shower we (Karan, Arjun and me) dressed him as a punk. Complete with the gel in his hair. Alas, the hair was too wet for it to hold up. Look for yourself -


The clothes are 3T hence they're oversized and long. Adds to the punk look we were going for. The waist was altered to fit him.

Ok. The first picture I have of the Falls was taken at 6:30PM. I have no idea we were that late.


American Falls view from Canada



Canadian Falls (also known as Horseshoe Falls)



I love this closeup of Horseshoe Falls

.

Girish and Mehul



And finally, one more time because it's so cool.

Falls at night


I love this picture. I took it by setting the camera on a surface. Hand holding the camera was making the night pictures blurry. I took a ton of bad shots before I realized exactly what was going on. And I realized the same thing had happened in the Aquarium at Zoo. I love that there isn't any noise in this photo. That can happen in long exposure situation.

Tuesday we just took it easy and didn't do anything. Just rested, roamed around the local area and had chinese food for dinner. Back home on Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Trip to Canada, June 2007. Part 1.



I've put off writing about this trip for almost a week. Let's see if I can still remember the details. My memory isn't good with these. I tend to jumble events up so it's good to write it down when it's still fresh.

Friday evening - June 29th, 2007.

We went and got the rental car. Having sold our Honda Civic 2 weeks prior and not wanting to take the gas-guzzler MDX for such a long trip, we had decided to get a rental. We got the Volvo sedan. It was nice, easy to drive. I was supposed to drive when DH got tired, however, I only drove the Volvo for twenty minutes from the rental place to home on Friday. Girish drove it to and from Canada. Yes he did! He said he wasn't tired but I know he was.

We were supposed to get to bed early and start the morning early, while Mehul was still sleeping so we could cover some distance in peace. I was afraid of him throwing tantrums every 2 hours. But we didn't go to bed until 12 that night. Mehul was showered, dressed for the next day (Yes, that was the plan), and in bed at his usual time. We kept the suitcases in the car at night. Snacks were to be packed in the morning.

Saturday - June 30th 2:00 AM.

Mehul started stirring in his bed. We have been transitioning him to a separate bed in our bedroom. We have kept it in the adjoining sitting room so it is easy to get to him as needed. Eventually, he'll be transitioned to his own room. So he started to wake up. Girish and I woke up. Girish went and calmed him down. Repeat at 2:30. And then at 3:00. I got up and said I'm wide awake. Can't go back to sleep. What's the point anyway? Plan was to start at 4AM (though we were sure that was just on the books; never to be actually carried out). Let's just get ready and go. He concurred and goes off to get ready. By 4AM we WERE on the road! What an achievement LOL! Mehul was sound asleep for the next 3 hours until his usual waking up time. We covered a little less than half of the distance by 8:15AM. We wanted to stop for some breakfast at 8:00. Made a mistake at the PA turnpike. We were on the toll road, Girish tried to take an exit but it had a toll plaza (and the toll was steep) so we turned around from the plaza and accidentally took the road back, which made us go back 13 miles before an exit was visible :\ So we took the exit and came right back. Anyhow, we had breakfast after crossing the PA Turnpike. Funny, we had made the same mistake on our trip 5 YEARS BACK. Think we'd learn?

I had taken 'Private Practices' by Stephen White along for the trip and managed to read about 200 pages the entire trip. Reading in car makes me sleepy so I tried to do very little of it. Mehul kept himself entertained with the 'Cars' DVD though I had packed some puzzles, writing pad with eraser thingy, books, crayons for him. Never touched any of those. Next time, I'm just packing the DVDs. The next time would be very soon. I love Niagara Falls.

Incidentally, no pictures were taken on the way (or back) which is unusual for me. I usually keep the camera out but didn't for this trip. Anyhow, the rest of the trip was pretty much uneventful. Mehul nodded off at some point and woke up when we stopped by the duty free shop at the border to get some liquor (For uncle. Girish doesn't do hard liquor). I think we reached their place around 2:30 and were hungry as anything. Massi (his aunt) had prepared lunch and they were waiting for us. After lunch they shoo'd us to our room and kept Mehul to themselves. He wasn't sleepy but we were! Had a good nap and went to Downtown Toronto at night.

And it was COLD on June 30th in Toronto! I was thinking will I ever experience any hot weather in Canada? Do they have such a thing? Last time I was there, it was -22C and this time it was about 15C. Not that cold but still! DH's cousin said it only got cold this week, last week was perfectly warm. Ofcourse it was :( I had to borrow Massi's jacket and Girish borrowed Karan's. Thank goodness I had packed Mehul's sweater and jacket. On the trip 5 summers ago, I had to buy a jacket at Niagara gift shop. Never trusting Canada's weather again.



L-R: Arjun, Massi, Karan, Me, Girish, and Mehul




A Red and White CN Tower for Canada Day!



I had taken the Canon Rebel DSLR for this trip and discovered 2 things why it's not a good idea to just take that one.

1. I didn't know how to take good night shots with it. There is a night shot auto setting but without critical knowledge of light conditions and exposure, it was useless. I took some really crappy pictures (as seen above). Eventually, I realized what was happening and was able to take exactly ONE good photo (the one shown here in an earlier post of Niagara Falls at night). But that was towards the end of site-seeing. Boohoo.

2. One day the battery wasn't charged. It takes proprietary batteries so there was no recourse. I just took very few pictures that day.

Man, this post is getting long. I'll have to break here and recap the rest tomorrow. Hope you'll be back to read the rest of it :)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Trying hard



I don't want to be at work. Having a hard time coming out of vacation mode. Anyone have any tips? I need a nice tall cup of Tim Horton's French Vanilla rightnow. Alas, there aren't any in the US. I do have a box of it at home that I got on this trip, but I need it NOW. Ah well..

Oh, and the BIG news. Actually, I have two. Both are equally good. Only a mother can equate a NEW car and a Potty Trained Toddler. LOL! Yes, I have a brand new Honda Civic! And Mehul is ALMOST POTTY TRAINED!! He has been staying dry for a few weeks in the morning and mostly throughout the day. He is almost there! Soon we will say goodbye to diapers!

My new toy - Honda Civic 2007 LX - Royal Blue Pearl.



We had a busy weekend. Saturday was our regularly scheduled Potluck dinner (5 families). It was my turn to host this time. I'm good at snacks and main course dishes. I'm not good at desserts hence the request for recipes a couple of weeks ago (Thanks, Suz). I made something similar to the recipe she posted - premade Dessert cups (made of cake) with whipped topping, strawberries, and strawberry Jello. Everyone liked it. The kids LOVED Jello. I should have made some extra. Even the resident non-eater loved it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Back from Toronto



We reached home around 6:30 last night. Had a great time. Took lots of pictures. I'll be writing a detailed post with pictures soon. For now, one of my favorite shots of the Niagara Falls at night.