Leaving Chennai, part 3 – Final Roundup

Today is our last day in Chennai, which means this is my last blog post from here. The packing is pretty much finished, there is mess all over the house, and all the furniture is getting picked up at varying times throughout the day by 4 different people. Pretty much all of it sold, except for the old water filter and microwave, though we may be able to get the scrap dealer, who has taken a number of our things, to buy them.

Sidney the cat is noticing the changes around here. She was outside on the balcony early and saw that I had the light on, so she cried her most pitiful cry. Then seeing as I wasn’t opening the door, she jumped to the window where I couldn’t ignore her. Now she is roaming the house meowing, looking for everyone else who is still asleep (it’s not quite 7 a.m.). I think she will miss us as much as we will miss her.

Now for some “I remembers”:


I remember the day Logan got his first crib. It meant a more comfortable night sleep for me. (14 months old)


I remember the shock of finding this rocking horse in a parcel shortly after praying to get one for Logan. (19 months old)


I remember how sweet Logan was with Lila, and how much he wanted to hold and play with her. (Logan 20 months, Lila 3 months)


I remember I was lying down and Lila was nursing, while Logan was making his puzzle next to me. He put the knob of each piece in his mouth and then stuck it in the puzzle.


I remember seeing Lila in this rare thumb-sucking moment, and thinking how cute she looked. It’s one of my most favorite pictures of her. (3 months old)


I remember how excited he was to get to pet this baby goat. He had been chasing the goats and they were all running from him. Then this man stopped and picked one up for him. (2 yrs. 3 mo.)

Nov 78

I remember this moment of bonding between Lila (19 months) and Scarlett (10 days).

March 127

I remember that Scarlett really loved our homemade popsicles. (16 months)

Apr 044

I remember how excited they were when I told them they could play tea party on the balcony. They brought everything out. (Lila, 3 yrs., Scarlett, 17 mo.)


I remember this day when daddy and Logan reversed rolls and had lots of fun on the roof.

Sept 015

I remember how much work it was to get those not-quite-perfect lines in Lila’s hair.


I remember they were so excited that it was Christmas Day and they could have chocolate and cookies for breakfast. (Lila, 3 1/2; Logan, 5 yrs.)

There are so many more special memories but I’m going to have to stop here. Tomorrow morning early we will be driving off towards Bangalore, where we will spend the night and head out the next day for Mangalore.

And now I’d better get going as I have a 9:30 dental appointment.

Leaving Chennai, part 2 – Special Events

If you missed the first part, you can read it here.


There have been many special days and events that have happened in the past 5 years since we moved here, but I’d have to say that the biggest and best of the special events were that Lila and Scarlett were both born here, in the same hospital, delivered by the same doctor.


Newborn Lila.


With daddy.

Nov 43

Newborn Scarlett

Nana Mable visited several times.

Nov 36

With newborn Scarlett. November 2010

Nov 61

Her birthday. That is Lila she is holding. November 2010

June 038

At the zoo. June 2012

Nov 088

At the beach. Lila was miserable and hated it. November 2012


Logan and Lila started school.

June 31

Logan on his first day of preschool. June 2011

June 056

Lila on her first day of preschool. June 2012


Logan’s first day of kindergarten. July 2012


We had some family vacations.

Mahabalipuram, just outside Chennai, February 2010.


Dinner at a sidewalk restaurant.


Going down to the beach.


Swimming in the pool.




Mango Hill resort and a visit to the Crocodile Bank Reserve park. July 2013


Checking out the crocodiles.



Learning to swim.


Such a water baby.


Fun times.


My handsome men.


At dinner.


So many memories, so little time to go over them all. I’m going to do one more post in this series, but right now I need to go get myself and the kids dressed for a little goodbye party that is happening at Glad’s office.

Leaving Chennai, part 1 – Parks

At the end of this week, we leave Chennai for Mangalore. We are leaving more than just a city – it’s been our home for the past 5 1/2 years. When you leave a place where you have been for so long, memories abound. Like I did for the house we are leaving, I’m going to do some photo posts of places we have visited and things we have done that will forever be embedded in our hearts.

Parks is the topic for this first post. I’ve got thousands of photos of park outings, but I’m choosing the best ones to show you. These are from about 6 different parks that we have gone to regularly over the last 5 years.


Logan at 19 months.


2 years old.


So handsome.


Lila at 11 months old. She had just started walking and loved the park.

July 14

This was to become our favorite park, being only a 5 minute drive away. Because of that huge tower, it is aptly known as “Tower Park”.
Logan, 2 1/2, Lila 15 months. You can almost see Scarlett popping out of my tummy.

Aug 07

Learning to slide on her own.

Jan 32

This is one of my favorites. Lila, 21 months; Logan, 3 years.

Mar 19

I recall that this day was sweltering.

Apr 71

One of their favorite things to climb – the snail. Lila, 2 years.

May 24

The main fountain at Tower Park.

May 26

Scarlett, 6 months old.

June 25

A good view of the tower. It has a ramp to walk up that circles the tower all the way to the top. but it has been closed to the public for years. I’ve always wanted to see the view from up there.

Jan 099

It’s a rare occasion when daddy can join us. Scarlett was 14 months old.

Jan 102

Who knows what lands this snail has taken them too?

Feb 073

Valentine’s Day, 2011.

Feb 116

First time alone on the swing. 15 months old.

Feb 134

Such fun, carefree times.

March 209

The day Logan graduated from preschool. Lila, almost 3; Scarlett, 16 months; Logan, 4 1/2 years.

May 001

Trying out the skates she got for her third birthday.

May 013

Fun times with daddy.

May 095


May 117

My climber. Nothing can ever stop her from reaching the top.

July 016

First time up in a tree.


Scarlett, 1 1/2.

Sept 047

These next few photos were taken at the beautiful botanical gardens.

Sept 056

Sept 086


Time for some tricks. Lila, 4 years; Logan, 5 1/2 years.


Spiral slides are such fun.


Their favorite way to use the snail now. Logan and Scarlett are sitting on the antennae.

And that brings me to the end of the park photo collection. We will have one last goodbye trip before leaving. Of all the parks in the city, we have used this one the most, and I shall miss it.

Memories From This House

In only a few short weeks, we will be leaving this house that holds so many memories. I thought it might be fun to do a photo post and take a stroll down memory lane.

We have been in this house 3 years and 8 months (as of the end of March 2014). There are so many special things to remember that it is hard to limit this post to the truly memorable ones from each year but I’ll try. To keep this as short as possible, I’ve not included Christmases or any special holidays, though those do hold some special memories for us.

Warning – lots of photos ahead. I’ve given links to some old posts but you don’t have to read them unless you really want to.


We found this house in June 2010 after a month of intense searching. We had seen many other places, including one just down the street from this one that we almost took, but this house was the one. The photo below was taken just before going to see it for the first time.


Logan, 2 yrs. 7 mos.; Lila 14 months.

We moved into the house in July. This is what the balcony looked like before we put the wire mesh up for the kids’ safety.


I took photos of the house when we first moved in, but the flash had died on my camera so they came out dark. If you want to see them, click here.

Shortly after that we bought a new camera, so the rest of the pics from that time are clear. The balcony became a favored play area, enabling Logan and Lila to be outside without having to leave the house. I was pregnant with Scarlett at the time, and did not always have the energy to take them to the park. This balcony is the main reason we took this house.

Aug 55

Sept 12

Sept 64

Logan celebrated his third birthday.

Nov 26

The big event of 2010 was, of course, Scarlett’s birth. You can read the story here and here.

Nov 53

5 days old.


Lila celebrated her second birthday.

Apr 91

And she caused me a great deal of stress. Read this story to see how she terrified me when she was only 2 yrs, 1 mo. old, and this one about all the trouble she caused as a toddler.

Logan began preschool.

Sept 27

He also had his first stage performance during his school’s annual day. Daddy had to stand with him to keep him in place.

Logan's Annual day pics

Logan is furthest right in the back.

Logan celebrated his fourth birthday and Scarlett her first.

Nov 30

Nov 62


Lila and Scarlett kept each other company when Logan was at school.

Feb 024

Logan had his first sports day at school. Click here to read the funny story of how he did.

Feb 084

We started making our own popsicles regularly.

March 042

March 041

And we got a new pool for the summer (and the rest of the year).

March 089


Logan graduated from preschool.

March 200

Logan and Lila went for their first summer day camp. And you won’t want to miss the story of the longest power cut we had in this house, that happened on this day.

Logan 4 1/2; Lila 2 weeks shy of her third birthday.

Logan 4 1/2; Lila 2 weeks shy of her third birthday.

Lila celebrated her third birthday.

Apr 103

Lila began preschool and Logan move up to kindergarten.

June 055


July 037

Lila had her first annual day performance. This was also her first public performance.

Lila is furthest left.

Lila is furthest left.

During an all-night power cut, I almost burned the house down.

Logan celebrated his fifth birthday and Scarlett her second.



We took the train to Mangalore to visit Nana Mable.



This year we sent in our applications for Glad’s and the kids’ visas, and began the long wait for them to be processed.

Logan and Lila took skating lessons for a few months. You can read about it here.


Lila had her first sports day.


Lila graduated from preschool and Logan from kindergarten.





Lila celebrated her fourth birthday.


Logan and Lila had a home school year, since we had no idea how long the visa processing would take. I’ve not covered grades so much as focus areas for both of them. Logan has focused on writing skills and printing neatly. Lila focused on learning to read and write. Both have made so much progress and have learned a lot this year.

Scarlett had her first major accident that scared me.

Lila and Scarlett both had their first beauty shop hair cuts.



Logan celebrated his sixth birthday and Scarlett her third.



And we ended the year by driving to Mangalore to spend Christmas and New Year’s with Glad’s mom, his sister and her family.

This house has brought us many adventures. I just spent I don’t know how long going over old posts, looking for things that have happened here that would make interesting reading. It’s good I’ve kept all these records, because my brain just can’t hold so many memories.

If you are really curious, and you have a crazy amount of time on your hands, you can read everything I’ve posted from the time we first moved in to this house. Just go up there where it says “Previous Writings” and select June 2010 as your starting point. Everything after that, up ’till now, happened in this house. Well, except for any travels, of course.

Then and Now

Do you ever take photos of your kids somewhere and then take them again in the same place a year later, just to see how much time has flown?


Pic #1: Logan was 4 years, 3 months; Lila was 2 years, 10 months; and Scarlett was 1 year, 3 months.

Taken February 14, 2012

Taken February 14, 2012


Pic #2: One year and one month later: Logan is 5 years, 4 months; Lila is 3 years, 11 months; Scarlett is 2 years, 3 months.

Taken March 16, 2013

Taken March 16, 2013

What a difference a year makes!

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Me – Linkup

Today I am linking up with Honest Mom for a get to know me post. If you are new here, welcome. Feel free to hang around awile. If you are a regular, tell me if you truly didn’t know these things about me.
Let’s begin.
1. My childhood obsession was Star Trek. I remember as far back as when I was 5 or 6, I would get so excited waiting for it to come on. And then I would imagine myself in the show. Ha. Seriously. And I would imagine myself in heels and make the clack, clack sound in my head. Somehow at that age I was convinced that guys were more into women who wore heels.
2. My teen obsession was Star Trek: TNG. I was 12 when I started watching it; it must have been in season 3 or 4. And yep, you guessed it, I spent an inordinant amount of time imagining myself in it. Except, being older, I would actually try to fingure out a better way for the show to end or would continue the story with myself solving the problems. No high heels then.
3. When I was 13 I kept a notebook with science info, newspaper clippings of stuff about planets and the Biosphere experiments, anything I found interesting. I loved visiting shops that had science experiments – and this love of science came from love for Star Trek. Ha. It was temporary as I’m not into it now, but I do enjoy science musuems. So much fun.
4. When I was a kid I wanted to be a ballerina, figure skater, and gymnast, just because they looked like so much fun. I didn’t think there was anything to them and had no idea of the years of dedication each one takes to perfect.
5. Before I had kids, the only reason I wanted to have a girl was so that I could fix her hair and dress her in cute dresses. Boys didn’t factor in for that reason.
6. I once skipped my workout to watch Joan Rivers when she had the whole Star Trek: TNG cast on the show.
7. I hate cooking and meal planning! I detest it. Yet I do it 3 times a day, and am always blissfully happy when I don’t have to cook.

Memories Captured – July Edition

It is again time to link up some favorite photos via These Little Waves monthly photo meme, Memories Captured.
Sitting in a tree is such fun … especially the first time you do it.

I love hairstyles. Maybe one day she will have the patience to let me do french braids.

Blue day at school for Lila.

Daddy and his girls. They love him to bits!

On a recent rainy afternoon we made a tent in between the dining table and the couch.

Even daddy crawled in when he got in from work.

What special memories do you have this month?

Memories Captured Linkup – June

This month…

Lila wore her first-ever dangle earrings and matching necklace….

I want those pants!

Scarlett claimed daddy’s whole bowl of ice cream…

Well, she tried to. Daddy managed to get a few bites.

I let my kids try something unusual…

Good place for a nap, no?

We saw white tigers at the zoo

And giraffes…

My very independent toddler.

Lila started preschool

We had lots of fun on the elephant slide (that just happens to be in the tiny park next to our house) …

These ones were taken just this afternoon.

So what did you do this month that you want to remember?

Today’s post is linked with These Little Waves photo meme, Memories Captured.

Lipstick Thief


I was 7 years old and I stole my mom’s red lipstick.

Well, I don’t think I saw it as stealing. She always let me wear her nail polish so I didn’t think she’d mind if I used some lipstick. I took the tube to my room, sat on my bed and opened it. I twisted it all the way up and put some on, rubbing my lips just as I had seen mom do.

Then came the oops moment: I forgot to twist it down before I put the lid back on. When I opened it again, the whole thing was smashed and I was scared. I remember the nervous feeling that rose inside as wondered what to do with it. I was so sure mom would spank me that I threw it under my bed and hoped she would never find it.

I never heard anything about it from her, so my guess is that she probably thought she lost it – at least until we moved from that apartment. I remember my room being packed up and seeing the tube there when the bed was moved, the scared-I-was-in-trouble feeling rising in my chest again. But mom never said anything about it. That was unexpected since at that point it was obviously my fault it was ruined. Maybe she had forgotten she had it. Maybe she was so busy with the move and packing and keeping 4 little rascals (I was the eldest) out of trouble that a ruined tube of lipstick was the last thing on her mind.

For my part, I was just happy to not get caught.

The above story was written for Mama Kat’s writers workshop. The prompt was to write about a time you stole something.

Lila’s Third Birthday is Here!

I started writing this on the 28th, but wanted to wait on the photos before posting it, and I had to wait for my friend who took them to send them to me. So it is a little late, but better late than never. Enjoy!

She’s been waiting for it, eagerly, and it’s finally here – her birthday! So it is time for a short trip through memory lane.

Lila was born on a hot day in April, 2009. I don’t think I’ve ever been so happy for air conditioners. I stayed in the hospital room all 5 days, and when we finally left, the heat wave that hit me took some adjusting to.

She made her first attempt to crawl at 10 weeks old. I’m not kidding. (Update: there was a post with a video of it but I’m currently not able to upload any videos so I can’t edit it.)

Her daring antics began early. See the first pics in this post.

She stood on her own at 9 months old. She started climbing then too. And she kept climbing.

Then she turned one, and grew more and more independent.

She had her first big accident.

Then she turned two.

And gave me my first big parenting fright.

She became a typical two-year-old with her naughty antics.

Well, since that point I have only done one update on her so it is time for some new stuff.

– She has gotten real naughty lately, teasing Logan and then yelling when he hits her for it.
– Her hair is super curly and so cute, but it is also now long enough to need to be tied up to look neat.
– She is getting picky with food, which is frustrating for me as she has always been such a good eater. At least my experiences with Logan getting picky last year are helping me deal with it.
– She is losing her independence, preferring to have me do for her things she long wanted to do for herself.
– She went to her first summer camp. Hopefully she got to know the teachers well enough that when she returns for school in June, she will settle right in.
–  Her birthday request this year was for a pink cake and pink doll. I couldn’t find red food coloring so there was no pink cake, but the candle, most of the gifts, the wrapping paper, and her dress were all pink. She was so happy.

So yesterday we took some cupcakes to summer camp for her birthday. It was the last day so I think it was a good end to the camps.

And tonight we had her party at home. Some friends came over and we watched “The Incredibles”, pausing it when Lila decided it was time to open her gifts and then again later when it was time for cake. On to the photos.
She had requested a pink doll and I found this adorable one.
Hair stuff, now that her hair is long enough for it.
I wanted to do a fancier cake, but she was happy with this.
She also got some pink skates, the adjustable kind that go over your shoes; a hat; some cute necklaces with matching earrings; and a children’s Bible.
You can see more pics here.
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