Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Happyness Project

Around the time Varun turned one,I began thinking about how quickly the year went by. I mean, when he was born and we were going through sleepless nights, struggling with breastfeeding and in general adapting to this new life, his one year birthday was a milestone I could not wait for. It was my belief then that things would change for the better by one year mark.

To be honest, some things are better ( no more pumping at work or making formula) but other’s are more or less the same (such as sleep) or even worse (mobility, feeding time mess etc).And to add to this, there is always work. Sure, I can think about scaling back or maybe doing something less stressful but I really am enjoying what I am doing ( finally I am working on some meaty stuff) and I will really regret giving that up.

At about the same time, a couple of my friends posted on their Facebook page, articles and quotes about ‘Loving your life’ and ‘Changing things that don’t work’. While these are idealistic goals to achieve, they cannot be achieved overnight. Heck, even sleep training using Cry It Out method takes atleast 3 – 7 days to achieve. I was discussing these amongst other things with Vipul and his simple answer was: ‘Change your attitude’.

If I complain about every sleep less night, how long it takes to get Varun to sleep, fret about his multiple night wakings, or stress over every deadline and get upset over what someone says at work – I will never be happy. Rather we will never be happy. And no matter what anyone says, no one loves their jobs/lives/looks/skills etc 100% of time.The grass is always greener on the other side and simply switching lanes at every ‘slowdown’ doesnt really take you to your destination quicker- It just adds to the angst.

Now changing attitude is not trivial. I can’t just read a book or take a class and boom its done.It has to inculcated and come from within. And most importantly you have to take make the time to do things that make you happy.

These days, nothing makes me more happy than spending time with Varun. My goal for Varun’s second year is to do something fun and special with him every week ( every day would be too ambitious and will definitely fail!). Then, even if he takes time to sleep or wake up several times at night or make a mess, atleast I will enjoy the ride.

Without further ado, this is what Varun and I did yesterday afternoon once he began to feel a bit better (he has yet another ear infection and is back on antibiotics).

Played with Vegetables!

Took stuff out of drawers and even took clothes off!

Played peekaboo with mama!

Lastly, made a pesto margherita pizzette for Daddy!

Well, he just helped me knead the dough and we had flour all over the floor but it was fun afternoon spent together.

Happyness quotient = 10!!

Varun’s One Year Party

We celebrated Varun’s one year birthday today with our dear friends here in Seattle. I have been looking forward to this day since the day he was born. For the past 3 weeks I had a blast planning Varun’s one year party – decor, food, drinks etc.

We had locked in a Mod Monkey theme early on with this Save the Date that was sent to all friends and family about 2 months ago so that they could make travel arrangements.Those who could’nt come -we missed you all!

We timed the party for afternoon since Varun typically took 2 naps when we sent the invites out- one late morning and another in afternoon. But for the past week, Varun has switched to one nap a day and slept through part of his party. Luckily everyone could stay till he woke up and we could cut the cake!

We delibrately chose our backyard as the venue so that Varun could sleep and be comfortable and not get anxious as so many friends and family gather together and generally create a ruckus that we are famous for! I think that worked out perfectly since with his last min ‘2 nap to 1 nap switcheroo’ we could simply take him upstairs to his room to sleep and come back down and be with friends.

Back to the actual party – for once, I will shut up and let the pics do the talking.

I wanted something that is simple to make and says ‘party’ without being too themish. Well, nothing says party quite like Martha Stewarts pompoms. A handful of pompoms in our theme colors floated and swirled gently above us and instantly elevated the mood in the room. The Queen of entertainment sure knows what she is talking about.

A handmade banner added to the decor without being too themish or babyish. I plan on reusing it for furture birthdays!

The deck and patio were cleaned and we set out balloons to add to the party mood. These helium babies are fun to watch and play with but are a pain to drive home with. I somehow shoved 20+ balloons in the back seat and drove home with no rear view visbility. Luckily there was almost no traffic in the morning when I picked them yesterday. Oh, they were lined with Hi-Float to help them last more than 8 hours.

 We set up a little photo booth to take everyone’s pics – a fun way to capture the theme and photos.

We deliberately kept food simple so that Vipul and I could mingle with the guests rather than fuss with the preparations – cheese and olive platter, artichoke and spinach dip, chicken meatballs , tomato -boccocini salad and veggie pasta (everything from costco) followed by Garlic Jim’s Pizza.  Since it was warm we had water, tropical punch on hand along with some home made kumquat vodka – which was a big hit!

The simple food and drinks let the star of the day shine – A monkey themed cake! Designed, baked and filled by yours truly and decorated by none other than fab Athika! The mango filling complimented the elaichi cake perfectly and was a touch of ‘Indian amrakhand’ dessert in a modern American way.

After Varun’s nap we cut the cake and he seemed to like it as well.

Simple goody bags customized with kids initials and home made banana bread as party favors kept the little kids and the little kid in everyone happy. 

And I think it turned out to be a great party – something we will remember for a long time.Thanks everyone for joining us and making our day special!

Varun’s One Year Old

…Yup, per the Hindu Lunar Calendar, Varun’s a year old today. I just can’t believe it.

Its been a long year with many sleepless nights and nursing challenges, with fevers and inexplicable fussiness, with tears (both Varun’s and mine) and frustations. But its been filled with even more gurgles and gaggles and squeals of laughter over numerous peek-a-boo’s.

Those mischevious eyes have me smitten! And cliche it may be, but its been the best year of my life…and its only the begining!

Here’s to many more years of happiness and joy and adventures with Varun.Happy first birthday my little one!

P.S- Its a banana bread cake from Smitten Kitchen!

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