Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Few Good Moons ...

There was a time when seeing the moon high up in the sky meant sweet dreams and a wholesome night of ZZZZs. This was when I had the luxury of eight whole hours of sleep (an hour or two thrown in like that surprise second raisin in rava ladoos), a late night movie, and that book I just had to read cover to cover all night long.

But, all that and more is a distant dream, now. Literally.

So, what's changed, you ask. Well, for one, I am significantly older (funny how a decade or so can turn you from a nocturnal creature into one of habit. By that I mean my parents, who need to turn in by 10 pm. That right there, is life playing its sadistic little joke. All my life I (privately) snickered at people who followed the early-to-bed axiom. But, what do you know? Now, that I am one of them believers, willing and ready to dim those lights by 10 pm, it's apparently too late.

As the cynically-wise would say: if you want something bad enough, chances are you won't get it. And if my six-month-old can help it, I certainly won't. Actually, if she can abet, neither will AM. This to a man, who all his life has been one of them early-to-bed people. Someone, who could well sleep at 9 pm, if he could help it, and wake up with our resident woodpecker at 4 am.

Of course, that's in the distant past too.

These days both of us clutch every second of sleep as babies do their binkies. Very tightly, indeed. In fact, I suspect, if someone were to try and pry those extra minutes from us, they would also have to contend with our digits, two pairs of flailing hands, complete with broken wrists.

Sometimes though, when we chance upon a good night, neither of us quite knows what to do with it. Take for instance last night. After almost an-hour-and-a-half of rocking and singing, the wee one was finally snoring softly. We waited with baited breath for 10 minutes. She didn't stir. So, we waited another, just in case. I was certain she was going to be up soon, and wanted to convey to the other-half to be on the alert. Under the given circumstances, as you can imagine, speaking audibly is out of question. As is speaking in hushed tones -- just coz she is snoring, in no way implies, she is asleep.

So, these days we mime.

But, apparently we need a lot more practice. At miming and at doing it without a giggle and a squeak. Between our furious miming and the muffled belly-laughs, we woke little Hitler (that's what I was trying to mime). I think we even woke up little Gracie next door.

And, we were back. With fewer ZZZs than we started, our dreams of counting sheep on a back-burner, and a childhood lullaby for company ...

"Nimbonichya zadamage chandra zopla ga bai,
Aaj mazya padsala, zop ka ga yet nahi
Gaay zopli gothyaat, ghartyaat chiu taai,
Parsaatlya velivar zoplya ga Jai-Jui
Mit papnyaa dolyanchya, gaate tula mi angaai
Aaj mazya padsala zhop ka ga yet nahi ... "

(The moon has fallen asleep behind the Neem tree,
But, why won't my little deer calf fall asleep tonight?
The cow has fallen asleep in her stable, the little sparrow in her nest,
On the trellis sleep the twin flowers, Jai-Jui,
Close your eyelids little one as I sing you this lullaby,
But, why won't my little deer calf fall asleep tonight?)

♣ A Sip of the Moon

AM and I have taken quite a shine to a White Hot Chocolate recipe that we discovered in our Better Homes and Gardens (BH&G) edition.
Every so often, as the little tyrant slumbers, we couple the hot chocolate with a couple of almond Biscotti. What can I say? After a long, long night, it's our very own heaven in a cup.

You need:

3 C half-and-half (BH&G suggests low-fat milk or evaporated skim milk to cut fat)
2/3 C white chocolate baking squares, chopped
3-inch cinnamon stick
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla essence
1//4 tsp almond extract
Ground cinnamon (optional)


Combine 1/4 cup of the half-and-half or low-fat milk, chopped white chocolate, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg in a saucepan. Over low heat, stir until the chocolate melts. Pour in the remaining half-and-half, and stir to a slow boil. Discard the cinnamon stick, spoon in the vanilla and almond extracts, and sprinkle some ground cinnamon over each serving.

This post is not complete without mentioning that I, in no way, want to minimize or condone Adolf Hitler's despicable actions and only mean to use his name as a hyperbole to exemplify baby tyranny.


Satyakrut said...

Hi...Khup chhan lihites....n pics r just marvelous....will surely try d recipe;but reading ur innate writing & strolling through such beautiful pics;itself is a wonderful treat. Thank you & Keep Blogging!

Sheetal Kiran said...

Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, Satyakrut! Please keep dropping in :D

A-kay said...

That hot chocolate recipe definitely sounds mouth-watering. I have a feeling I will get hooked to it as well, especially now when the rain and cold winds have set in :)

Sheetal Kiran said...

Oh, yes a-kay ... it's so very perfect on cold windy days!

Manasi said...

Sheetal, the next time you want to give instances of baby tyranny it would help if you didn't put up adorable pictures of the muchkin! Makes it difficult to sympathize with you :) The hot chocolate sounds good in this weather. Starbucks has launched a couple of new hot chocolate flavors and though I'm not a fan of their coffee, I thought the Salted Caramel HC was pretty good. Tu try kelas tar sang mala what you think about it.

Manasi said...

LOL at the second raisin in laddoo! What are you, my kumbh ke mele mein bichdi hui sister? I once ate an entire box of laddoos for the raisins. Strange how it never occured to me pick the raisins out :)

Sheetal Kiran said...

That photo was taken in the morning, ... you should see her at night Manasi, you won't believe it's the same baby :D salted caramel sounds just divine, will try it.
Eating the entire box of ladoos for raisins .. that's definitely the right course of action!!

Cynthia said...

Hey Sheetal, how are you my dear? I'm just trying to catch up on all that I've missed.

Sheetal Kiran said...

I am doing quite well, thanks Cynthia ... enjoying the last few days of fall and its beautiful colors. Hope you are doing great too.

DEESHA said...

yumm .. i love hot chocolate .. soo soothing on winter nights .. Rava laddoos N raisins Nice reference :)

Manaswini said...

Your baby is soo cute touchwood!!
Also I wanna thank you for the recipe. I am big fan of hot chocolate. I can't cope with bitter English coffees here. Be it latte, mocha or anything else. So my choice in cafe is always a Hot chocolate. But honestly I have never put that much thought in it. For me it was always Cadbury's drinking chocolate stirred in hot milk :)
Lazy me!!! But I am definitely gonna try your recipe and already amended my weekly shopping list with white chocolate n nutmeg. Thanks again for making my day


Sheetal Kiran said...

Deesha: I hear ya ... nothing quite like the warmth of hot chocolate and snug socks on cold winter nights!

Manaswini: Thank you :) I am not a big fan of coffee myself, frankly coffee always makes me bounce of walls :D
I hope you like this recipe ... do try it with almond biscottis, it's to die for!

deepu said...

Sheetal I must tell you the miming and the rocking pushed me back to my toddler's infant days. It was a neat post and trust me the white hot chocolate has a long way to go. Between your little one is adorable.

Sunshinemom said...

I have heard that lullaby! Very nice - the post, the cute baby and the hot chocolate:)

Sheetal Kiran said...

Deepu: I do hope the white chocolate sees us through all the sleepless years ahead :D
Sunshinemom: Thank you so much ... keep dropping by!

white on rice couple said...

What an adorable picture! Your writing is poetry...
I need to read more....

Happy Day to you! XO!