Saturday, October 17, 2009

Feeling the Fullness of Diwali

Although the thick aroma of spice still permeates the house, the guests have all left, our Indian princess has been sound asleep for a couple of hours and the dishwasher is washing it's second load of the night. Moments ago, I was soaping up my wrists to remove the glass bangles, purchased in India, that barely make it over the bones of my hand. Each time I wear them, I can vividly recall the girl who sold them to me in Jaipur after teaching Karen and I how to fold in the fatty part of our palm to make them fit. My bhindi has been removed, and the salmar kameez I was wearing has hit the dirty clothes bin after a full afternoon of preparing our Diwali feast. Inside, I am filled with pride and joy; not over any of the little events of the day or my ability to follow recipes in an Indian cookbook. My swell of emotion stems from teaching my child about some of her Indian heritage, the pride she feels in learning and celebrating Diwali and how excepting my family is in learning about this part of Devi that is so important to the three of us. How lucky we are to have been given the opportunity and responsibility to relate this to our child in a way that bolsters her self confidence while broadening our own knowledge. This is a true blessing.

Our Diwali celebration actually started on Friday as we discussed our grocery list over dinner and did our Diwali feast shopping together, picking up the ingredients needed for our six course Indian meal.

As Devi drifted off into nap time today, daddy and I went into high gear to clean, prepare the meal and decorate the house for our guests. When Devi awoke a few hours later, she was ready and eager to put on her Indian clothes, bhindi and bangles and tackle the rangoli on our front stoop. The rain stoped just long enough for us to rush outside and scribble a few designs with our sidewalk chalk that due to our changing weather, will most likely be packed away now until next spring.

Soon our house was aglow as each of the guests, Papa and Gail, Oma, Aunt Joan and Uncle Bill arrived and were asked to light candles throughout our home as a symbol of how they bring light to our lives. The three candles in our center piece represented those no longer with us. Our menu started with cocktails and samosas with mango chutney, bhel puri and a few cashews. Dinner consisted of Chicken Makhani prepared crock pot style; recipe courtesy of Nancy, another adoptive mom. We also prepared a few of our other favorites; Muttar Paneer, Channa Masala, Tandoori Jhinga, and Cabbage Raita, followed with a little naan to scoop it all up!

I wonder if I like this holiday so much because it stresses the eating of sweet treats? That we did! After dinner, we continued our feast with mini pumpkin cakes that Devi and I made, mango ice cream and a box of assorted burfi and jammen treats I purchased from Punjabi Sweets. Throughout the meal we chatted about new beginnings, good health and prosperity all things promoted through this holiday that we hope will come to those loved ones who entered our home to celebrate with us tonight.

With a full head, heart and stomach...Happy Diwali and Namaste!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shuffle, Shuffle, Arabesque, Neigh

So proud to be in real dance clothes!

Stating the obvious, Devi has started dance class! The one hour class is offered every Thursday at her preschool and so far the hardest task for both of us has been locating a leotard in XXXS. Although wild in her attempts to accomplish specific steps she is able to pronounce what they are called, but when dad and I try to mimic her, we are always doing it wrong. So far, dancing is not necessarily her forte, but her heart is definitely in the right place as we catch her quietly practicing from time to time and every movement is done with such gusto.

I believe this is an arabesque!

The face given when I tell her it is time to take off our dance clothes.

Busy and stressful seems to sum up the last few weeks for us. What gets us through these times are the thoughts of a toddler that is never at a loss for words

Mommy, when I grow up can
I wear glass slippers?

Mommy, when I have a baby sister can
I brush her teeth and tuck her in?

When I asked what she would like
to bring to school for
Show and Share
day, she replied, "You!"

Devi riding Snickers, the horse all by herself at the Farmer's market.

One of our last nice days I picked Devi up from preschool and we headed to the water park at the zoo. She had great fun trying to figure out that squirting water. I loved the mommy/daughter afternoon and trip out for pizza afterwards.

We took Oma with us to the annual Puyallup Fair in September. Devi talked about riding the carousel for weeks before we went. She was adamant that her horse would have pink on it. Such a brave soul, I was only allowed to stand beside her horse, but not touch it. I tried to get her to wave to daddy, but she told me she couldn't because she needed to hold the pole with two hands. That's my first! We did our usual....looked at the animals, pet sheep in the petting zoo, held a baby pig, ate a crusty pup and guessed the weight of this year largest squash....over 1000 pounds!

Daddy and Devi making crunchy pumpkin bars. Crunchy...because Devi got to crack the eggs. Tap, tap on the side of the bowl is no problem, but then when you have to put your fingers into the cracked area to open it, she just squishes them. She does know all the names of the ingredients and is great at helping to measure things. Aprons are a must when working in the kitchen, even for daddy.

Arriving home from a classmates birthday party.
Asleep, but still clutching her goody bag.