Friday, April 18, 2008

Our Automobile Adventures

Where automobiles vanish into thin (and pretty smelly) air.
Cuz' we've been hit by the Repo Man (uh, men).

Yes, readers, it seems our Deeksha car, complete with car seats and the various tidbits of our daily driving lives was reposessed en route from Palm Meadows to the Target office by 3 large and assuming men on motorbikes.

Upon calling the driver (we have a substitute because Raju was in a motorbike accident...) Bob was informed, "Sir, yes there is the car troubles." (Breakdown? Blown Tire? Keys locked out? Theft?) Bob, confused, is relieved to have Abhi at his side to translate the configuration of events.

Apparently our car lease company leases cars from private owners who do not own the vehicles they are leasing. Apparently, said "owner" has relinquished his right to pay his auto loan...

In the words of Grayce..."why, Mom, is this soooo foolish?"

That is, indeed, the question of the hour.

The Fischers in India

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Things on Owen's Mind...

"Mama, mama, mama. I was jus wonderin...why is water, why is it soooooo WET?"

"Mama, can you tell me...when we are dead...are we like statues?"

"Did you see? Did you? See me doin' all those neat twicks?"

"I don't like you, Mama. I don't like you any mo! Grrrrrrr" (insert door slam).

"No kissing Daddy. Mama! I want to gwow up so we can get mawwied and have a famiwy of ow own!"

"Mama, I onwy want to dwaw...I don't want to do any of dose MESSY TINGS!"

"I'm not eatin' dat, dat's YUCKY. But mama, you know, mama, I just don't YIKE it"

"Der are mummies all around Pawm Meadows, and dey are invisible and we aw settin' up some booby twaps to catch 'em."

"I wished we neva twaveled...neva! I wanna see my famiwy but I don't wanna go to Minneawopis cuz it's toooo FAW! But I wanna go to Singapo(re)...can we take da bus?"

Owen Fischer
Expat Boy in Bangalore

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Easter (yeah, yeah...that was last month, I know)

The Easter Jail..."why, why, why, won't they let us ouuuuttt?"

Ooo, ooo, I see one!

Release the Hounds... (er, easter egg hunters, that is)

Following the fab Easter Egg Hunt extravaganza hosted by fellow Target expats, Amber and Abhi Hedge, the Target Expat Children made their parents go to the Taj West End for an Easter Champagne Brunch. We met up with at least 20 of the childless Target expats and their invited guests... but we fed the oversugared Easter Goblins, first!

Silly Grayce, Ella the Balloon Girl (aka our friend Ella) and Owen (I swear it's water!)

Owen, "Glitter Boy"

Our pal Caden... We're going to miss you! (Caden's expat assignment is coming to an end and he will be returning to Minnesota).

Kay-Kay and Zachie take a spin on the "merry-go-round" at the Taj Easter Brunch

Our Favorite Easter Girl!

Me, Tracy Murphy (of LoudAmericans fame) and Angela Miller (Caden's mommy and a WacMiller) sippin' a little of that champagne...

Another Minnesota expat friend...Zach... He's leaving India in June and we'll miss him, too!

Our friend Cody at the Taj Easter Brunch...he's probably being an Easter Power Ranger??
Hope you all had a Good Easter, too!
The Fischers in India

Colorful Pictures in March...

St. Patrick's Day Green

Owen's first Holi... He was s-o-o-o excited to spray colors everywhere!
The Queen of the "colorful" pout!
Vimala comforts a tired, soaking wet Owen after the Holi Festival party
Daddy and Owen...

Where was Mom? Out having lunch and jewelry shopping with a friend!

The Fischers in India

Friday, April 11, 2008

Lackadaisacal Blogging, Our Pregnant Cat and the Fischer Military Academy For Children...

It occurred to me yesterday, that I'm not doing such a hot job of keeping the blog updated. I am sure that my basic laziness has nothing, whatsoever, to do with it. I want you all to know that I blog *all the time* in my head (which hasn't exploded yet, despite a rich and sometimes confusing inner life.) What, you say? You want me to allow you a ring-side seat at the circus of my subconsciousness? Glad to have ya'... Afterall, what fun is a blog if all you can *see* is the crusty outer shell? Everyone knows that the gooey center is the best part of any candybar.
Strange things go through my brain. Which is probably why I blog in fits and starts. My internal editor is a weird little dude... which is probably the reason I still have friends, but you're all so far away now...and I must confess I occasionally hold *real* conversations with many of you, in which I imagine what you might say.

me: "hey, want to meet somewhere for coffee?"
you: "oh, yeah... which of 137 choice coffee destinations with safe, clean and kid-friendly surroundings, do you want to meet at? 129 of those serve organic scones and 68 of them are next to parks where children's eyes are not easily gouged by PLAY ground equipment. Oh my, so many choices... What to do?"

me: "we could meet for wine and cheese, instead."

you: "Great idea. Do you want to check out the new Wine Bar, or should we go to Lucia's or Beaujo's or The Riverside Cafe or just stop by Surdyk's and pick up one of several thousand choices and head on over to that great park? Hellooooo. Are you still there? Is something wrong?"

me: (sniffling) "I can't make it, I live in India."

you: "Gee, that's too bad. "

Call this the "Friday Stream of Consciousness Report"...

I'd like to introduce you all to our cat, Ellen Degeneres. Ellen does not seem to mind that I am ferociously allergic to cats. Nor does she deem it at all important that she is, in fact, not a member of our family. She thinks nothing of walking in our open door, loudly mewing for food and is not affected by the number of times we shoo her out. I remind her daily that we are a DOG family and that she is a STRAY cat, but she pays me no heed and I find her asleep on the porch chair most mornings.

When we moved into Palm Meadows, the kids noticed the cat and 3 kittens playing on our narrow strip of grass (can't call it a yard, that's for sure) alongside the house and decided to name her Ellen Degeneres...(which made me wonder if they'd been watching Lifetime: The Channel for Women whilst we slept, but I digress). I warned them...don't touch the cats, don't feed the cats, it's okay to watch them but they aren't pets...

It's not that I don't like cats. I had a cat that birthed kittens under the covers at the end of my bed one night when I was 5. I have known and admired a cat or two as an adult. But they give me hives and make my tongue there you have it.

The kids have listened well but Ellen hasn't. And she's taken a great liking to ME, of all people. I'd kept my word about not feeding her and for about a month she stopped coming around but it didn't last. And then, one day a couple of weeks ago, I happened to look out the window to see a very pregnant Ellen struggling to upend our garbage can...and I thought of the leftover day-too-old-to-eat shrimp in our fridge and I caved. Now Bob is accusing me of midwifing the cat but, hey, NO pregnant woman should have to stuggle that much for a meal!
I'm thinking of bringing her to the vet to get her spayed after this litter...then maybe those over-sexed stray Tom's will leave her alone... She's not my cat, though. I swear.

On to another subject that's occupying my mind space these days...

Homeschooling! (Trumpet Blaring.) Yes, it's true, my conversion to Crunchiness is complete. I am a Homebirth Midwife student, I didn't circumcise my son, I drink raw milk (but not here), I do weird food things, like soak my grains and have seizures at the mention of High Fructose Corn Syrup, I breastfed both my children into adulthood (ok, not really, but you'd think by that by the reactions of *some* who saw me nursing my three year old,) I know how to make tinctures, salves and potions... the list goes on but I won't bore you with the details. No need to worry though, I still like to shop for shoes, really love expensive leather handbags, get my legs waxed and and my feet pedicured, beg Bob to carry home "People" magazine from his U.S. work trips, enjoy fine wine, like to cook with fancy-schmancy ingredients and continue to wear lipstick and mascara on a regular basis. I think it just goes to show you that labels suck...
I'm also a "to each her own" kind of gal. Which means that my way is the right way but if you want to do it *your* way...

No, no, no. I'm kidding. What it really means is that I used to have Hippies for parents and the apple doesn't fall as far from the tree as it thought it flung itself. Which in turn means, I do it my way and YOU do it yours and "judge not, lest you be judged" and all those harbingers of Peace and Tranquility in the World. And I'm still a really nice person and we still get to be friends and I promise never to badger you (unless you voted for Georgie, Porgie, Bushie, of course...then all bets are off.)

And what it really means is that we're going to be Homeschooling. Which was always *something I was interested in but never imagined myself doing* (which, consequently, is pretty much how any of it happened). Sometimes, cracking that door, leads you down a surprising, maybe, to...India.

The kids are on summer break now but check back for more "Homeschooling Fun" and perhaps I can help by answering the varied and sundry questions about whether I'll go more insane than I already am, whether my children will develop anti-social twitches or begin muttering to imaginary schoolmates (oops, they already do that...cross that off the list!) and last but not least, "how they'll learn anything if they don't go to school."

If you've made it this far...

Thanks for tuning in!
The Fischers in India

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Happy Birthday to the Amazing 4 Year Old!

Owen is officially "4" age when I am informed that he is "bigger than ever!" Given that he asks me 37 times per day to feel his muscles and bones so that I can be astounded by their awesomeness, it shouldn't come as a surprise that he wants to "be a Super Hero when I gwow up." He would also inform you that he is "such a good awtist" and recently that he won't be eating candy anymore because "vegebells" are better for you and that mommy should stop putting sugar in her coffee ( and what? Stir in the string beans?)

He is delightful and funny and he almost never stops to breathe while talking.... "mama, mama, ya know mama, ya know I can wide my bike REAAWWWWYYYY fast and ya know mama, I wike Supaman and Spidaman and, and, and Ultwaman, alot, lot, REAAAWWWWYYYY alot..."

He learned to swim the first day of swimming lessons and he has this terrifying habit of disappearing under the water and trying to hold his breath for as long as possible so that I'm always jumping up to make sure he hasn't drowned...

He is obsessed with "Hot Wheels." But he will still dress up and pretend to be a princess if his sister asks him to.

Owen is pretty happy in India but every once in a while, he will get very crabby and say, "I want to go back to Minnesota, Mama!"
He has our maid, Vimala, wrapped around his finger and frequently orders her to bring him chocolate (it's appalling and it drives me crazy but she just laughs.)

We had a low-key birthday...He went to art camp, rode his new bike, went swimming, played Hot Wheels, ate lasagna and chocolate cake... We lit four candles in honor of the past 3 years and the year to come and toasted Owen and what we liked best about him with a fine vintage apple juice.

It's hard for me to believe that my baby is four. He stopped nursing last month (the Spiderman Web Blaster that was up on a shelf for his "nummie" present was finally more appealing than the "nummies" themselves! Yes, nursing and weaning a preschooler takes some negotiation) For the longest time he was going to quit "on Thursday" and then when Thursday rolled around he'd shake his head wisely and say, "I didn't mean this Thursday!"

Owen's birthday just happens to coincide with Cesarean Awareness Month. Many of you know that I am a passionate birth advocate, a midwifery student and former chapter leader of ICAN of the Twin Cities. Please take a look at and and take a moment to remember the mothers, babies and families who have been affected by the cesarean epidemic. While a cesarean can be a necessary and life saving surgery, unnecessary and preventable cesareans put babies and mothers at risk. 1 in 3 babies in the U.S. are born by cesarean. The World Health Organization recommends a cesarean rate of 10-15% maximum and overall U.S. rate is 30% and growing. Despite all this intervention, the U.S. has one of the worst fetal mortality rates in the developed world. Take a few minutes and educate yourself about this issue or pass the above links on.
For a recent article on the cesarean epidemic, here in India:

Happy Birthday, to my beautiful, wonderful boy: Owen Patrick Fischer!

The Fischers
in India