Friday, October 29, 2010

Michael Strahan

The other day, Ross told Kate that she looks like a cross between Tinker-Bell and Michael Strahan.

In case you don't know Michael Strahan is the former defensive end for the New York Giants and has a gap in front teeth that is as wide as the Grand Canyon.
Michael Strahan

Tinker - Bell
Strahan + Tinkerbell = Kate

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"The Goat" and "One Shoe"

I took Connor and Kate to the doctor today for their flu shot. When I picked the kids up from school, I found Connor at the table eating his snack. They're learning to drink from open cups in his classroom. Connor, of course - dumped the entire contents of his cup on the table leaving a very large water puddle to play in. He had also taken his shoes off on the way to snack time - leaving one in the doorway and the other MIA (missing in action). I also gathered that whatever they ate for a snack contained a fair amount of chocolate because he was wearing at least 1/2 of it on his shirt. I love my boy - but my God, it is impossible to keep him clean.

I put the one shoe back on his foot while Ms. Victoria searched for the other. After a few minutes she came back - no luck, we'll have to get it tomorrow. So I turned to Connor and said "Come on 'one-shoe' (his Cherokee name) we've got to run or we'll be late for the doctor", and I started to walk down the hallway - Connor chasing after me with a slight gimp caused by wearing only one shoe.

When we got to Kate's room, I could tell that she had a messy day too. She was in her "emergency" change of clothes with no pants, shoes or socks. At this point I didn't even stop for an explanation. After all, it didn’t matter – we were going to look like hobos at the doctor’s office and there was nothing that I could do about it. I scooped her up and headed for the car - Connor hobbling behind me the whole way.

On the way out of daycare, I stopped long enough to give both kids a sticker from Ms. Brenda's desk. I placed one on Connor's hand and the other on Kate's hand.

By the time I reached Dr. Bourland's office, I noticed that Kate's sticker was gone. Not thinking any different, I just assumed that she had peeled it off and dropped it in the car. It wasn't until we were in the examining room and she began coughing and her face started turning bright red that I realized that she had eaten the sticker!!!

I ran out into the hallway (‘one shoe’ awkwardly running after me) and found a nurse. I quickly told her that Kate was choking on a sticker and I needed help. By the time she put gloves on and pried Kate's mouth open the sticker was gone.

Back in the examining room another 15-20 minutes later I start to notice that Kate's tongue is rolling around in her mouth - like she's chasing something from cheek to cheek. By this point the doctor is in the room and I'm telling her how Kate had almost choked on this stupid sticker. Then (almost on queue), as I say "and then she swallowed it", Kate sticks out her tongue and on the very tip is that damn sticker. I grabbed it quickly and threw it in the trash.

My little goat strikes again....

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pumkin Patch 2010

Connor and Kate are growing up so fast. While I'm so proud to see their progress, I'm also sad that my sweet babies won't be babies much longer.

Connor has started showing interest in potty training and he's had several successful attempts! And Kate will be done with formula soon and is eating solid foods like a champ. 

Before I know it, they'll be off at college and Ross will be convincing me why we should sell the house and buy a travel trailer. It will happen, I promise. Check the blog in 17 years and I'm sure you'll see a post about how he's spent our life savings on a travel trailer and how I retailiated by cutting the nipples out of all of his Auburn shirts.

BTW - Secretly, Ross and I are planning to buy a G6 with the money we'll save when we're no longer buying diapers and formula. :) Gangsta!

Pumkin Patch!!!

Sleeping at the pumpkin patch

Fun at the park

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Holy Cow!!

I think I've overstayed my welcome in India. Today, my co-workers tried to kill me...not with a knife or gun...but with spicy food. I think it was their way of telling me to go home. They even laughed at me as I was gasped for air and reached for the water.

If only they could talk to the waitress at Thai Lao in San Antonio. Surely, she would tell them about the maximum level of spice that I've endured there. In general, I'm joking but I wonder what type of ulterior motives led to this type of cruel and unusual punishment. :)

Honestly though, my distaste for India hasn't gone un-noticed. My driver - who is probably the proudest Indian to ever live - seems disheartened by the fact that I've only taken pictures of the drive to work and back. So today, completely against my will he took me on a sightseeing tour of Bangalore (making me an hour late for work in the process). He showed me the parliament building, a palace, City Park and the planetarium. He also made it clear that we were continuing the tour tomorrow.

Communication with him is a challenge. Sadly, I understand my beloved Blanca more than Divakar. Keep in mind that Blanca speaks no English and I speak no Spanish. Divakar DOES speak English yet the conversation goes something like this:

Divakar - I take you for photos tomorrow.
Me - No, thank you. I need to get to work.
Divakar - Ok, I pick you up at 9:00 and we go to temple, palace and mosque.
Me - Oh, what the hell. It's just easier to agree.

So after spending a week here, I've figured out a few things about India.

1. Indians are very proud of their country. And when you stay in your 5 star hotel eating Italian food the whole time, they notice. Any they consider it their mission in life to introduce you to the culture, the food and the history that makes India truly remarkable.

2. The people here are some of the poorest in the world. Yet they do not feel sorry for themselves. They are happy with what they have and do not try to live outside their means (take note Americans). Even though I would compare India to border town Mexico only worse - they are proud of what they have. Proud of their culture, their heritage and their people. You know, it's really hard to feel sorry for someone who doesn't feel sorry for themselves.

3. Don't trust Indian's when it comes to food. If you do, make sure you have a paramedic nearby. Whoa Spicy!!!

Tomorrow night my co-workers have offered to take me to a steakhouse. WHAT?!?!? I'm not sure they realize that I'm from TEXAS - where we eat steaks for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating steak in India is like eating Mexican food in Canada - plus, I'm fairly sure cows are sacred'm not feeling very confident about this decision.

4. If you're anything like Ross, then read this one twice. Please what ever you do, start being nice to your Indian call center reps. We've all called a 1-800 number and had an Indian voice on the other end of the line. This is usually about the time that Ross pulls out his "special cuss words". However, after working with an Indian call center I have to say - the agents who get cussed at all day by wealthy Americans are the lucky ones here. They're thankful for their jobs and they're trying their hardest. I don't agree with the offshore business model - but after seeing it first hand - I think we should treat all humans with a certain level of respect. I'm just sayin....

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Illusion of Paradise

India is an interesting place to say the least. It contains some indisputable crown jewels like the Taj Mahal, magnificent temples/mosques and scenic seasides. However, I have yet to see the charm. Think I'm being too harsh??? 

Here's what Lonely  has to say, "Rebranded Bengaluru in November 2006, the city more commonly known as Bangalore is not an obvious charmer. The crazy traffic, associated pollution and creaking infrastructure of this IT boom town will fast drive you demented. However, even though locals rarely sing Bengaluru’s praises as a tourist destination, it’s not a dead loss. There are a handful of interesting sights."

(BTW - the Taj Mahal is a 4 hour drive from Bangalore. I know what you're thinking...I just survived a 21 hour flight to get here, what's another 4 hours in the car...right? Well I have no plans to go - I'm sure I'll regret the decision one day, but my only focus now is getting home safely to Ross and the kids.)

In an effort to be more positive, I've found a silver lining - it's the ITC Royal Gardenia Hotel.  My friend Shawn was right when he said, that I would have the time of my life as long as I didn't leave the walls of this hotel. Here are some pictures to show you what I'm talking about.

Lobby of the ITC Royal Gardenia Hotel.

The Pool
The Pool

Ok - now after taking a picture
of the pool, I turned around 180 degrees,
walked 5 steps and looked over the
retaining wall and this was the view.

A few over the retaining
wall from the opposite direction.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Banga - what?!? Banga - who?!?

I'm typing this from Bangalore, India - which is a place that I never thought I'd find myself. One of my co-workers described it best when he said "You'll have the time of your life, as long as you don't leave the hotel"...I thought he was being a smart a** at the time but NOPE he was being honest.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for world travel. I even majored in International Business at Baylor and I'm no stranger to visiting unusual places. In the past, I've found myself in Kuwait, Dubai and even Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. So I could handle one week in India - right?!?!

I knew I was in trouble when I went for my vaccinations. I thought I'd run in and out - a few shots and I'm done. I expected it to be a :30 min appointment...2 hours later I walked out with 9 different shots - all containing multiple vaccinations. I also received a booklet at least one inch thick telling me about all of the diseases that I could die from in India. One is called "Dengue Fever" - it's contracted from a mosquito bite and will make me feel like every bone in my body is breaking. FANTASTIC - sounds like fun!!!

The second clue was a little more complicated and began thousands of years ago. India's High Court was scheduled to announce a ruling on a decades old case involving a piece of disputed holy land (Hindu's vs. Muslim's). The whole country was bracing for mass rioting with security forces reaching 10,000 in the capital city of Delhi. This verdict was supposed to come out on the 21st and was postponed until the 28th and postponed again until the 30th - which is the day after I arrived in India. So I basically spent the entire day in lockdown at the hotel - on pins and needles. In the end the disputed land was divided and no-one rioted. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I DO NOT GET PAID ENOUGH FOR THIS!!!

In the end, I'm here...I'm safe...and I'm counting the days until I can come home.

Bangalore, India. My drive to work.

Bangalore, India.

I guess this cow had to get to work.
I wonder which office he was headed to.

Trucks in Bangalore, India.

These guys were re-creating the
Virgin Media logo in colored rice.

Virgin Media logo written in colored rice.
FYI: Virgin Media is one of Accenture's biggest
call center clients. We have almost 900 agents
dedicated to this account - and they are the
primary reason that I'm in India now.