The Hot Pot Blog

March 5, 2014

Motherhood, etc.

Shiloh in grey-1

Motherhood has taught me…

the value of waking up at 5:00am and defining a 20 minute sprint on the treadmill as “me time.”

And that it’s better to err on the side of being washed and dressed by 6:00am so that no matter what comes next, at least one of us is ready to be out the door in time for preschool.

That classical music playing softly in the background does amazing things for the mood in our living room and that getting outside at 4pm is usually the only way to beat the witching hour.

I’ve learned to keep a kilo of roasted almonds and a full glass of water on the kitchen counter at all times because a handful of protein and a sip of water makes powering through the day possible even when sit-down meals are not.

I now understand why my mother always cleaned the kitchen and straightened up the living room before going to bed because I do the same thing too.  It’s just so much more pleasant to start the day with clean dishes rather than dirty ones.  It’s easier to summon up the motivation to help build duplo “car carriers” when you know where all the pieces are.

And as much as I love blogging, I’ve come to realize that when I’ve only got about 30 minutes of so called “free time” in the day, it is so much more satisfying to spend that time on something I know I can actually accomplish in 30 minutes–a workout, a recipe, an Italian lesson–rather than something that I’ll wish I had 3 more hours to devote to–like blogging or fixing up my websites.

There are lots of things I would like to write about, and eventually there will be time enough between feedings and night wakings to make more time for this space, but for now just managing to wash my face, do some push-ups, get Will to and from preschool in Delhi traffic, coordinate some playdates, make dinner and study Italian all in one day feels like enough of a triumph for me.

And the truth of the matter is that with a newborn, a sick toddler and a husband working hard, we simply haven’t been up to anything very exciting lately. In case anyone wants an update or in case I need an update a few months from now (likely) here’s a sampling of what we’ve been up to:

Taking advantage of newborn portability and the relatively clean air we’re enjoying to get out for a few walks around the neighborhood:

Malcha marg #delhi #India #vscocam

Going out for cheese-less, tomato-less pizzas (for Will and I and dairy/tomato averse baby) and cheese-ful, tomato-ful pizzas for everyone else at places with artistically arranged empty wine bottles:
One of these is not like the other #India #vscocam


Near daily dosa and watermelon juice dates with NaiNai during her visit.  Will now asks for dosas every day on the way home from school.
"What color juice Mama?" "You tell me Will" "watermelon color Mama" # #India #freshjuice #vscocam


Will has no idea how lucky he is to have a NaiNai as fit and fashionable as his:

Will and NaiNai-2

I’m once again addicted to my morning coffee and have augmented my (microwaved 3 times before I actually finish it) ritual with a delicious new homemade butter-less biscotti habit as well (We will miss Blue Tokai Roasters out of Karnataka when we leave! Fantastic freshly roasted beans):
It might not be a leisurely cup of coffee but at least it's a good one. I'll miss #bluetokai roasters when we leave #India #buildingduplotowersrequirescaffeination

Last weekend we made xiao long bao from scratch
About to get steamy #xlb #xiaolongbao #foodporn

Don't let it #pop #xlb #xiaolongbao #homemadefood #shouldhaverolledtgewrappersthicker #stilltastesgood


Sibling snuggles:
Not captured: the moment when he reached over, gently touched her closed fist to his own and said "fist bump Shiloh!" #bigbrother #babysister #likefatherlikeson

Visiting the train museum and waiting 60 minutes for a three minute toy train ride with 5 toddlers who miraculously kept their cool for the entire wait (and then got hysterically dirty playing in puddles afterwards)

choo choo railroad museum with friends-2

Railroad museum-1

Railroad museum-3

choo choo railroad museum with friends-4

Lots of playing outside in the dirt with our trucks, lots of diapers, lots of spit-up and of course lots and lots of snuggles with this little girl.

Good morning sunshine! #shiloh

Guys, she is just so snugglicious. She’ll be 2 months old tomorrow and every day she seems a little less startled by the world around her and a little more curious about it. She stares at us with such intensity in those big dark (brown? green?) eyes that it’s hard to get anything else accomplished once she’s caught me with her gaze. When she’s happy (most of the time), we’re all happy. She smiles and coos and suddenly we’re all powerless to stop babbling in high-pitched baby-talk nonsense.

It’s been so sweet to watch Will with her. He gets very stern with me if I ever put her down in her swing to do something with two hands (direct quote: “Mama, hold Shy-Shy”). He loves giving her fist bumps, gently petting her head and pointing out all of the trucks he sees on the road to her (direct quote: “Look Shy-Shy! Tow truck!”).  He wants her with us all the time and loves to help check on her when she’s napping.  Now if only he can start sleeping through the night by the time she does…

Throw in a few minor illnesses, some bureaucracy, and some new traffic insanity on our way to and from preschool, I think that just about sums things up for the last month or so. Oh and I have I mentioned yet that we are hopefully moving to Italy this summer?

13 responses to “Motherhood, etc.”

  1. Jessie says:

    Italy!? That’s amazing, where is your next post–is it a post? After back to back China an India, you guys deserve EUR!

    • Dani says:

      Thanks! We are pretty psyched. We’ve never been EUR people–neither of us have ever even BEEN to Italy in our lives so this is a whole new adventure!

  2. Mom says:

    Danielle, not only are you a fantastic writer, you are a fantastic MOM!

  3. Ana Gaby says:

    She’s so sweet!!!! Congrats Dani!!!

  4. alex says:

    And, despite having so little time, you still managed to say it eloquently!

    • Dani says:

      pssshh you are making me blush! When do you guys leave for Mexico? Do we get at least one in person meet up this summer? Babies need to meet! 🙂

  5. Tiffany says:

    She is so precious! I only have one baby, yet I can completely relate with you on so many levels. My poor blog has been neglected, but I’ve replaced it temporarily with snuggles, open-mouthed kisses, and drool smiles from my son. Can’t wait to hear more about your Italy plans!

  6. bfiles says:

    Good to hear from you, and it’s totally understandable to take a bit of a break for now! Having two so close is exhausting and wonderful! Love the photo of Will being chased by his nainai. And really? xiaolongbao from scratch? you are amazing!

  7. bfiles says:

    P.S. Shy-Shy is adorable!!

  8. Alexis says:

    Fist bumping the baby? He is totally his father’s son! (PS: Hugs!)

  9. Vilma says:

    Sounds like you are managing things very well. Is the second baby easier (as “they” say)? Good luck to you all packing and a new start in Italy 🙂

    • Dani says:

      Second baby is easier than first baby, although I wonder if it just depends on what kind of kid you get first!

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