Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A vacation or was it?

So I decided on a whim to go away for a few days just to escape the heat, although there really is no escaping it as most of India is extremely hot. There are hill stations that one can go to, that are quite cool, but traveling there is long and tedious. Since I only had a few days I wanted the travel to be fairly quick and painless.
A few of my girlfriends also were looking to get away so we decided to go to Goa, India's answer to the Caribbean (kind of). It's a cute state, that is really lush, lots of palm trees and gorgeous resorts and oceans.
The weather in Hyderabad had hit an all time high of 46 degrees, and we were getting 3-4 hours of power cuts a day. It was enough to make me crazy. I decided to take Yasmine along as well, as it would be nice for her too.
It was only a few short days but it was really a nice time, although hot and humid. We spent most of our time by the pool, and usually around 11am it was just too hot to sit outside anymore, so I would take Yasmine up to the room for her one of two or three naps a day. She was a real trooper! This is the off season, so flights were much cheaper and only an hour and half long and we got a good price on the resort. It was a nice Spanish styled place with a large pool and nice rooms with jacuzzi tubs (bathrooms in India generally don't have bathtubs, so a nice plus).

What I did realize is that India in general is just not kid friendly or wheelchair friendly or a chivalrous culture, and it's funny because India boasts itself as being very family oriented. What I mean is that, there were hardly any ramps for the stroller, and I had to carry the darn thing up and down so many flights of stairs. Even at the airport, even though they took the stroller on the airplane, when I was getting on the transit bus to take us to the airplane, the steps didn't go down to accommodate the stroller (or a wheelchair), and people just starred at me as I lifted the stroller myself (or with the help of my girlfriends) to get on the three big steps of the bus. No one rushed to help us, or let me sit if I was carrying Yasmine either. Secondly, 90% of restaurants don't have high chairs for babies, so I had to take the stroller everywhere so she would have somewhere to sit at a restaurant. She is too big and busy now to sit on me, and she would have her hand and face in my food if she did.
So yes, even though it was a vacation, and I had a nice time, Yasmine and I were both pretty darn exhausted when we got back.

Sometimes India just kicks me in the ass!

We only spent an hour at the beach (too darn hot)

The ONLY high chair we came across, and not the best one at that....but at least there was one)!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's day

It's taken me 8 months to be able to write about my mother, but I think this is the perfect time to honour her memory and share my feelings about my mom, her death and the birth of my daughter and being a mom. Please know, this is one of the most difficult things for me to do, but I want to share my feelings with you.

Tomorrow will be both bitter and sweet for me because as I celebrate my first mother's day, it is also my first mother's day without my own mother.
It will be hard for me not to have a mother to call and wish happy mother's day, it will be hard not having my own mother call me up and happily wish me and my sister a happy mother's day. I know she was looking forward to seeing what her daughters were like as mothers and she deserved that more than anyone else I know.

Mother's day was a big celebration in our home, and I remember those days like it was yesterday. My fondest memories are of when were young, we would make sure our mom stayed in bed, and we would go into her bedroom and take her breakfast order. She usually liked scrambled egg, bacon well cooked, with toast, juice and coffee. My sister and I would diligently take her order and run into the kitchen where my dad would be waiting to assist us in cooking my mom breakfast in bed. He let us do most of the cooking, and usually when we were done, we had what looked like scrambled eggs, burnt bacon, and undercooked toast. On her tray we included the breakfast, her coffee and juice, and in those days, her pack of cigarettes, and ALWAYS a vase of fresh flowers that my dad kept hidden in the basement.
We would then jump into bed with her and help her eat her breakfast, and no matter how badly we cooked the food, she never complained and ate the food happily as my sister and I both beamed at how happy we had just made her. We then proceeded to give her gifts we made from school for her, and of course one or two gifts our father helped us purchase for her.
This happened every year for as long as I can remember. Later in life as we grew up and left home, my mom usually enjoyed a nice game of golf with my dad or with her sisters and friends. Even though I didn't always spend every mother's day with her, I always knew she was there, and a phone call away.

I miss her more than anything, and I wish she was here to see her grandchildren. She would be so tickled pink by how Yasmine is the daintiest little girl and so chilled out. She would be so proud of her grandson Quinn who is so strong and so happy that he always has a smile on his face. But most of all she would be so proud of my sister and I.

My sister and I will be great mother's because she left a legacy for us to follow. She was one of a kind and she made everyone feel special. i just hope that I can follow in her footsteps and mean to my daughter what she has meant to me.
Happy Mother's Day MOM! Even though you are not with us anymore, you impact my life every day and you will continue to live on through your grandchildren!!

I want to wish my sister a Happy Mother's Day, and I want to tell her that she means the world to me, and how special it was to have our babies so close together and to be able to lean on each other through the hard times.
I want to thank my dad, who made sure that even as very young children we knew how important it was to honour our mother and respect her.

Happy mother's day to all the mother's I know and love. Now I know just how special it is to be a mom and how important a job it is.
I would give my life for my daughter, and I know my mother would have done the same for my sister and I.

Quinn Michael (taken at 6 months)

My mom and I right before I flew back to India. I was 18 weeks pregnant.

Yasmine Rose (taken at 7 months)