Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What`s up ?

Trying to mind-map the several 'whats' going on in my lazy busy brain. Here`s to finding some connect somewhere. Amen !


- I need : A steaming cup of coffee with just some droplets of actual coffee and heapfuls of sugar (Didn't I tell you I`m a wannabe coffee person. Have been, perhaps always will be :D

- I want : The husband to roll-back into being the bff he was and listen to me rant and rant some more and stroke my hair in return

- I should do : Tick the remaining 109 items off my daily to-do list

- I am doing : Vomiting words and thoughts alike before they assume a physical form

- I plan to do : Call Daddy and whine a bit, coo a bit and scold a lot

- I plan not to do : Accede to the meester`s plea for a few centimetres of extra bed-space tonight (He shouldn`t make these huge-ass demands off new-mommy and tiny-human. Tch-tch how insensitive of him !)

- I dream to do : Take a holiday on this Dream Cruise ! (New-mommy can day-dream can`t she)

- I`ve been procrastinating : Squat Challenges, Abs challenges, Push-up challenges.. you get the drift, don`t you ! ( C'mon Snape, brew me a tummy-flattener potion quick, will ya ?)

- I`m craving for : To get back home and nuzzle with tiny-human and be happily scratched back in return ( Tiny-human`s past life analysis - angry kitty !)

- I`m thankful for : Family.Period.

- I`m bitter about : Post-partum hair loss. (Ughh !)

- I`m sore about : Tiny-human`s first words being 'Babababa' (Daddy`s girl already :S !)

- I`m happy about : The Meester landing in town from S'pore tonight (Uh well, more happy-skippy about the dark-chocolate Toblerones actually :D )

- I`m excited about : Doing up our first home this fall. (Yippeeee!)

- I`m bored of : Nursing bras. ( La Senza, Beware you`re gonna be raided soon !)

- I`m irritated with : Haggling with B'lore autowallas. (Why is a meter installed in your ricks, again ?? :S)

- I`m loving : Juggling roles of a mom, wife, daughter, sister, bahu and a consultant. Every minute of my life :).

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Grateful. That is the emotion that seems to have taken over my being these days. Grateful for the life I have. Grateful for the people in it. Grateful for the person I have become. Though it is natural to thank God and be grateful to Him for all of this; I haven`t really been much of a believer in religious manifestations. But I do have faith on a supreme force somewhere up there that makes things happen the way they happen. So, though I don`t know whom to address my thanks to, but thankful I am.

I hadn't expected my life to change the way it did when I become a mother. Nor had I expected my life to regain the level sanity it has now, 6 months down the line. And for this I thank that Supreme Force for creating this entity called 'Family'. Both the ones at home and at work.
I have been surprised at the support I have received from work folks throughout my pregnancy and still continue to receive, all these months down the line, without being given feelers of the rumoured glass ceiling. Heck ! I got promoted while I was 7 months pregnant and now being given additional responsibilities alongwith the required support. Nothing more nothing less. Just as it should be.
I wake up to my husband's smile, baby`s nuzzle and a steaming cup of mother`s supplement made by my mom-in-law. I reach office with a tummy full of fresh and nutritious breakfast and go back home to both sets of parents waiting to have tea with me. My baby has turned out to be this generally happy little thing who loves her cerelac and mom`s milk in equal parts. She also happens to love baths, maalish and walks and naps without creating much fuss. My in-laws and parents dote on her and take care of her in a way that I`m tempted to term as 'pampering' (she actually eats with a silver spoon !).Her Dad has turned into this expert at putting her to sleep, a mothering skill I still haven`t been able to get a hang of.She is growing up with her grandparents and feels safe and loved and for all of this I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude.

I don`t know what tomorrow has in store. But today I am a happy content woman. Whoever thought the last three words would co-exist in a sentence, eh ? :)

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Take the trash out ..

Today while getting ready for work I reached out for my favourite red lipstick. It smelt funny. I looked at the watch which said I had exactly 32 seconds to wear my shoes and grab my ID and be out of the door. As I reached for the door shuffling with my shoes I vaguely remember having dumped the lipstick into the trash-can.

On my way to work, all I could think of was the red lipstick. How insensitive of me to have dumped it. Just like that. Now, I have no shame in admitting that I am a hoarder. A compulsive one at that. Every expired makeup or skincare product that had very woefully been bid a good-bye earlier, had been put through an intensive deliberation about an alternative purpose it could serve before finally breathing its last. I`ve been known to use expired and funny smelling moisturizers as foot creams. I`ve mixed sunscreen and expired hand creams and used them as hair masks before jumping into a chlorinated pool. I`ve also been vain enough to use expired foundation mixed with some eye-shadow or bronzer to air-brush my stretch-marks and cellulite on evenings out that had demanded a short and slinky LBD. The point being I`ve always feared and tried to procrastinate break-ups. Breaking up with things as inconsequential like expired make-up, clothes that don`t fit anymore, shoes that pinch the life out of my feet, hard-backs that have already been bought on the kindle, medicines, vitamins, fancy hangers, used-up stationery .. I can really go on here.

What looks like clutter to any sane person, look like halo-ed objects revealing a story of their acquisition to me. Before I take anything that has any bit of life in it to the trashcan, I form some sort of emotional connect with it. A dress gifted with a lot of love, an eye-liner that I flicked from my sister, a lipstick that mom and I shared eons ago, a book that has been signed by both of us with a date of its purchase, a pen that Dad might`ve handed me while I filled out some arbit form, a pair of shoes that I bought on sale during a particularly romantic christmas break. I try and subconsciously connect some dots. Never mind the distance between them. It just isn't a part of my DNA to toss away something that has been a part of my relatively short life, in whatever capacity.

Today as I sat down to clean up my room keeping in mind the final head-back that is 2 months away. I found used-up but fancy moisturizer jars, that I`d kept aside to store ear-studs in, cardboard covers and leaflets of expensive skincare product that were using up my already jam-packed dresser drawer space. I cringed. I sat back and got my head around the sheer number of such ridiculously useless objects and knick-knacks that were crowding my drawers. Hell, I even had a bunch of miniature plastic cars green, blue and pink from last years christmas party favours. I cringed. An overwhelming feeling of disgust rather, to put it mildly.

The symbolism was hard to miss. Take all you can gather from the world, shit included, and cram it into your perfect little world to make it imperfect and stinky bit by bit. Even the goodness that wants to creep in, if you let it in the first place, becomes tarnished. Where is the space to keep its goodness cling-wrapped amidst all this staleness ! Maa often says 'Jo nei chaiye, jo nei pehenna hai, feeka pad gaya hai usko out kar do'. Now how do I let go of that dreadful feeling that I might 'chaiye' it sometime in the future. What if the feeka thing is destined to bloom some years hence and I rob it of its only chance to do so. The permanency associated with that 'Out' was the scariest thing. Paranoia comes in all colours I say.

I have always found it difficult to let go. Of relationships, of setbacks,of impulsive material joys and of meaningless friendships and acquaintances. I`ve lost count of the number of days I have wasted moping about long foregone things and closed chapters. Always wondering about that black hole of a 'what if'.My whole being gets riddled with guilt and starts calling itself selfish and beating its own self over the thought of casually dismissing off anything without a painful and long-drawn scrutiny and analysis. No matter how caustic or clingy it might be. Typically Virgo, they say.

But off late I have found myself relenting a bit. This over-analysis of the future value of a currently useless thing has seen a decline in the past few years. A happy marriage and contentment in a relationship does bring about of a host of other interesting add-ons it seems. Impending motherhood has but strengthened this new feeling of wanting to have fun with minimalism.
This oven is in the mood to be squeaky clean to bake one fluffy bun at a leisurely pace giving it all the nice warmth I can provide without having to deal with any random fritters or leftovers eating away into any of that warmth.

Now off I go to take the trash out, funny-smelling favourite red lipstick included.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

What doesn`t break you makes you stronger ??

So yeah, I`m in Rome.

A full 5 years ago I had traveled here. On a student ID card, a second-class Eurail pass and a backpack that contained more of apples, ready-to-eat food packets and bread than clothes. Clad in skinny jeans and sneakers a bright blue and white polka dotted dress and a red biker jacket - I felt on top of the world when I got down the train at Roma Termini - "I`m in freakin' Caeser`s Rome.. in the history-book Rome..How wow is that !! Another tick off my 'Things to do before I turn 30' list. We were a bunch of 5 which got split into 2 and 3 'coz of some inane tiff and I was stuck with miss hoity-toity who insisted on doing walking tours wearing 4-inch high heels. "Nevermind, Im in freaking Rome !!!", I`d think, "Wait till I put up the pictures and make people back in college jealous. Yeehawwww !!

And it so happened, every piazza every fountain I got clicked in, all I could think off was that I need to come back here with mom and dad and a guy I love and kiss him thoroughly in fronta these fountains (when mom n dad would be busy admiring the half-naked sculptures rising out of these fountains). I prepped myself up on all the places I`d take my guy to, where we would eat the most delectable gelatos, the alleys we would try and get lost in, the works. I remember having thrown 2 coins into the Trevi fountain - one to get me 'True-Lovee :D' and another to get me back here with that trueee-love. And .... surprise surprise - They came TRUE !! :D

A carefully planned Italy and Austria trip, with the planning having started way back in mid-December, with weekly To-Do lists as a run-up to this trip - This was going to be my dream trip to Europe with S and I was adamant to make it a trip that he would remember and reminisce about with much fondness. I`d gone to Boots pretty much every alternate day in the whole of last month, picking up stuff we would and wouldn't need :D on this trip. Detailed our itineraries to the hour, planned out outfits, ran that extra mile on the treadmill to look fit and toned and pretty in those outfits, drank enough water to send me scurrying to the loo every half an hour at work (needed that fresh pimple-free skin for the pictures you know !), got my hair cut and styled differently (after what ? growing them out for a year!!), got myself hot-pink sneakers (I know that was dumb.. but heyyy I was going to Eur-freakin-ope !!), bought a nice big-ass hold-me-all tote-bag to carry my world with me (as is my wont! :S), bought travel packs of toiletries and lipsticks in atleast 3 different shades of red and pink, accessories and bling to go with the shoes and outfits and shocking nail-paints in as many shades .... Din`t leave much room for spontaneity did I ?!!

And then came the signs ...
Not able to apply for an Italian tourist visa = prospect of trouble 'coz of my schengen business visa
A new pope = freaking hordes of pious (and rogue) crowds thronging to Rome
The whole italian marines fiasco 2 weeks before our travel = Strained India-Italy diplomatic ties = More possibility of visa trouble
Both of us down with bad bouts of flu and cough a week before our travel = Irritable travellers ? = Not quite the recipe for a romantic trip is it ?
Parents getting sudden cold feet on the eve of our travel and asking us if we can bypass Italy = Me getting pissed at their unnecessary paranoia :|

Needless to say, all of these signs could not hold their stead against our grand 'dream trip' plans. I had to get into that Gondola with my guy and float by, under the crumbling Venetian bridges before that quaint city drowns under its many canals.
And so we landed in Rome after buying ourselves new flashy and crazy-expensive Raybans at Heathrow and a fancy layover at Copenhagen. S puts up our itinerary " Copenhagen-> Rome -> Vatican city -> Napoli -> Capri -> Venice -> Vienna -> Salzburg -> Innsbruck -> Linz -> London" on FB, switches off his phone and eases into his seat for the long flight ahead.

I should've been beside myself with excitement as we waited for our luggage - this was my dream coming true. But all I felt was this strange sudden tiredness and nagging foreboding as we made our way to our peppy youth hostel. I had insisted upon getting the same room and youth hostel as the previous time. Had this strange obsession of wanting to relive Europe like the earlier time - as a backpacker - but this time with my guy walking beside me. We didn't get the room we`d requested for - another hint.We anyways retire for the night and all I could dream of was peering down the Colosseum in S's arms and a life-is-good smile on my face.

The next day we get to the station only to find that the Colosseum is closed - the only day in the year it is closed, coz of Good Friday. Now this was not going as per my carefully charted out plan...another hint ! The virgo in me is a little annoyed, but quickly recovers and decides that we take on the Vatican today and keep the Colosseum for the next day. So we get to the Vatican and take this really nice guided tour around the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel. By the time we are done and head over to the St. Peters Basilica, it has closed down for the today. Now, I start getting extremely irritated at these out-of-plan things cropping up. But S seems to be enjoying himself, so I compose myself and we set out to discover Rome on foot with a map in hand. The Pantheon too has closed down for the day, but I`m past caring. I`m having fun walking beside S, pointing out nice photo-ops to him. He seems pleased with what his lens is capturing. We reach the Trevi fountain and all my annoyance dissipates at the sight of the beautifully lit up fountain. I whisper out my thanks to the fountain for having kept its promise and happily snuggle against S at the thought of some-wishes-coming-true-afterall. So far so good....

We walk back to our hostel from Termini, tired but happy. S is walking a couple of steps ahead of me looking out for an internet cafe. Work mailboxes needed to be checked out and cleared before we head out of Rome the next day. I feel bike lights blinking at me and I notice that a scooterist has climbed onto the pavement and is heading towards us. I think that the poor guy wants to take a shortcut to the next turning and I politely make way for him ...... and the next thing I know ... or feel.. is my handbag .. my trusty new tote getting snatched away from my shoulder by this scooter borne thief and he speeding away. I shout out and run behind him ... S chases after it ... We`re shouting out for help trying to flag down cars/bikes .. anything that would stop and help us .. but there were none. The thief takes a turn at the next crossing and is gone .... Our passports, my phone (a birthday gift from S .. having priceless family pictures and loving texts in it), my wallet and assorted credit cards and a very important PAN card, our exquisite scottish scarves, our new raybans, S`s fave ipod, my carefully picked out makeup, the comb that I always was very touchy about .. hell even that one lip balm I had packed ... ALL GONE ! In that one fraction of a second where I was too polite and unsuspecting to be giving way to a suspicious character who had climbed onto the pavement in those very minutes where I feel behind S and looked vulnerable. I remember mumbling 'this is not happening ... it can`t happen to us' to myself when the robber had disappeared from our sight. I remember ...... how the world around us operated as normal and unbothered as it could as our world seemed to be crumbling around us ... getting robbed of our identity papers in a foreign, unfriendly land ... How the people around us just looked on puffing away on their smokes as we hapless souls tried to calm ourselves .. how cold S's hands felt as my hand shivered in them ... how no car no bike .. hell not even a single person came to our help when we were running on the streets crying out for help.... How we got pushed from one police station to another as no policeman seemed interested in writing down our complaint ...

This was last Friday ... We`ve run pillar to post in this dirty filthy city, in rain and a hailstorm, trying to get papers made that will re-establish our identities as dignified law-abiding persons and not one of the million refugees-turned-thieves that thrive in every lane in this lawless city .. We now know who our friends are and how at the end of the day it is family and family alone that really gives a damn about you...

These past few days have taught me how much it means to have S with me .. beside me .. to just look at his face and know that it ain`t the end of the world as long as he`s around ... We wait for the hours to go by ... waiting at times in despair and other times in the hope of something better that tomorrow might reveal.

They say what doesn`t break you should make you stronger.I don`t really know about the stronger part. What I do know however is that letting go isn`t half as difficult as the thought of having to let go. Even more difficult is coming to terms with the former without being prepared about the possibility of the latter ...
Heavy stuff ?? Well, what else did you expect :)

Monday, November 05, 2012

So I had another crappy day at office. Which got crappier when it got pitch dark and I was still at work (well, it was just 4 PM but still ! Indians aren`t used to staying in office 'der raat' tak :D).So I go for my I`m-pissed-with-work-with-life-with-everything fix at the mall just to take my mind off sick 'n' styoopid office politics - doesn`t work. Come back home, switch on the radiator, plonk myself in bed, dial S up and off I go - like a kid who is straining against his mom`s grip in a toy store and is suddenly let go. S listens to me , never interrupting, ever generous with well-timed Ohs and aisa kyas and hmmms. While im on this tirade I do get these faint alarms of 'there`s something else I needed to speak with S about .. something important' which get auto-snoozed as I retch and double up over another bout of verbal diarrhoea. At one point I sense that my lips have gone dry and throat is parched so I reluctantly take a break and take a couple of gulps of water and then it strikes me - a much petrified S had got a Root Canal treatment done that evening and a picture of a swollen face nodding 'hmmmms' and 'ohs' flashed in my head making me feel like an absolute dick (that I think I pretty much was in those entire 45 minutes of non-stop ranting about how miserable I am, in this miserable country in this miserable weather in this miserable city with a miserable boss and down with a miserable pre-fever sore throat). Selfish selfish selfish ol' me ! And my darling S - The quintessential 3-am bff :) and ... oh yeah who also happens to be the husband by the way :) It soon is going to be 2 years of being 'Mr. & Mrs. Neogi' and I think by now I pretty much know what the next 20 years of being a missus to this man are going to be like. The types who sit up late in the night lending a patient ear to inconsequential rants about inconsequential things in life. I remember hissing a completely off-track 'why in hell aren`t you a CEO already !' to S to which the reply is an indulgent 'See, I`m this lazy bum who needs to stream and watch Bigg Boss every night and wake up and have tea and marie biscuits in the balcony and play Temple Run while on the pot and watch SaReGaMaPa Bangla with Maa and analyse US Elections with Daddy and look up recipes for Peri-peri chicken and yeah needs to clock in a coupla hours over phone with you.Such a lot to do ! Where do I fit in a CEO into this !

Have I landed a keeper or what !! :))

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Happy Birthday Princess ! :)

Pechun .. pechi .. gudun… Chunkuda … Chingudi .. I have lost count of the various endearments u answer to . What I haven`t lost count of is that you complete 21 years of your life in a few hours from now. Overwhelmed mightily. Protective certainly. Possessive .. but not overtly so. Glad. Worried. Proud. Enormously overcome with love. The emotions do not seem to follow any trend. But they have been piling up within since last night. Watched on T.V. a certain fat-lipped female actor sashay down the red carpet in a powder blue satin gown. I, being me , should’ve made a mental note of how awful/beautiful the colour looked on her. Instead, the brain does a lightning fast memory jolt and replays the memories of a 3-year old you, who had put on a powder-blue and white satin frock of mine. Was probably one of your annual trips to Bhubaneswar as a snooty Bombay kid. You refused to speak in Oriya, were this plump little thing who had the most weird sitting posture, kept asking ‘Mummy hum Orissa kab jayenge’ sitting right there in BBSR and wore all my nice ‘bahar-wala’ frocks which I`d have outgrown but not-fallen-out-of-love with. Mummy and Daddy would pamper you to no end. Maeen and Mamu would fuss around you and Appa (being Appa :P) wanted to hug you and hold you all the time. I did not like you at all. Period. All those people who made up my world had moved on to hovering around you, much to my annoyance. I was so mighty pissed with you. I think I might have punched your favourite stuffed toy black-n-blue. :P

But then you used to go away and Appa and I would smell your used oil-massage cloth (we used to beg Maeen for one :P) for days afterwards and wail ‘Chunky ki yaad aa rai hai’. I was confused whether to like you ‘cause you were my little sister and I was ‘supposed to louuve you and take care of you’ , or whether to continue being jealous and dislike you for dethroning me from the ‘youngest-in-the-family-hence-needs-to-be-pampered-silly’ position. Then one day you came home looking proudly smug and beaming and announced ‘Pata hai abhi main STANDARD ONE mein hoon …standard one’. I think that was the day I knew I had no option but to love this little imp who thinks she is all grown-up coz she`s in ‘standard 1’ :P. But, along with the love started the worrying and occasional anger as well. Anger, ‘cause we always seemed to like the same things – the same toy, the same chocolate, the same actor, the same dress, that one lap of Dad`s :P (our moms were worried that we would wanna get married to the same guy :P). The worrying ‘cause I thought you were growing up to be a stubborn, short-tempered my-way-or-highway kid. The former was nicely managed – we got 2 sets of toys and chocolates and every dress was made into 3 sizes - for you , me and appa and poor Dad had no option but to seat us on each leg during those long Orissa-bhraman tours. The latter alongwith my childish assumption that single-kids-turn-into-spoilt-brats, was what worried me constantly. What I had failed to notice, was how you shared every chocolate with everyone, irrespective of age, in the family, how your 10-year old self baby-sat every infant perfectly, how you firmly reprimanded Dad when he and Mom would be having the most ridiculous of fights.

Somewhere along the way we stopped squabbling and became a package deal. It was an understood fact that you would tag along with me , when I went over to my friends place or for swimming classes or for any functions or shows. We became partners-in-crime who had an inexplicable fetish for tasting anything from wild-berries to pickle to cerelac to pepperminty toothpaste. I would hear you giggling under the duvet , when I made those discreet late-night calls while I was flitting in and out of relationships, and would wink back at you knowing that all my wicked secrets were safe with you. You in turn would fill me in about all the puppy-love abounding at your school. I would wake up to your feverish mugging-up of Sanskrit vocab. And would silently mumble a prayer “God, please give her all those marks she wants, so she could snuggle in with me inside the comfy quilt and not need to go for tuitions for this ancient language. Who speaks it any which ways ??”. I loved it when you would hug me tight in your sleep, blissfully unaware that you might wake up next to a strangled/asphyxiated body the next morning ! No holiday or trip used to be complete without having you around.

You amazed me with the focus you had on academics, with your love for numbers and Mathematics, your disdain for meaningless rules and rituals but above all with your maturity. I could breathe easy if you were aware of the person I was dating. It was as if I was seeking acceptance from someone in the family and who better(or convenient :P) than you. It did worry me when there was this phase when you thought I could do no wrong. I`m way more comfortable now, when you`re aware of all my follies and misgivings.

I remember having this weird feeling when you went away to Dubai. I was worried sick. You were my little baby , leading a protected sheltered life back home. How could you fly the nest, a mere 16-year old! My maternal instincts went into overdrive. I`d never imagined that you would adjust so beautifully to Hostel life in an alien country that too. I was worried that you might fall into bad company or get involved with some hopeless guy. Probably part of me was praying that you don’t turn out to be as vulnerable as I was when I left home for the first time. I wanted those four years to be the best years of your life. You amazed me yet again when you chose the nicest people as your friends (the dance performance by your friends on your first birthday at the Hostel was probably the sweetest thing ever! God Bless them all). Was I glad or what, when you made it clear that you don’t have the time or inclination for casual flings or loser boyfriends. Wish I was that wise at that age!

Before I committed myself to Saby, it was important for me that you both shouldn`t just be comfortable with each but like each other genuinely as well and you did ; so beautifully at that - I couldn`t be happier ! Then came my wedding and you made me proud like never before. The way you went around looking into every minute detail of every arrangement, the way you organized the sangeet, the way you took care of the guests, the way you ensured everyone has their plates full during the feast – I was misty-eyed during the ceremony looking at you all grown up and beautiful, running errands ever so gracefully in a saree. You made me proud, so very proud ! I knew at that time, that you had grown up – grown up into this responsible, caring and delightful little girl who has her mind and feet firmly in place.

Now you have physically moved farther away from me and all of us, but surprisingly I`m not too worried. Protective surely, but very little of the anxiety or worry remains. I`m so glad that you have proved my childhood self so wrong and are nothing like the stubborn , spoilt brat that I had imagined you would grow up to be. You are this beautifully balanced person today who could teach all of us a lesson or two on life. Wonderfully uncomplicated, values in place, humble and responsible to the T and the funnest person to have around. All I wish and pray for is that, you live a full and happy life wherever you are and get to share this life with someone nice and fun who`d treat you like his princess and make you smile when the going gets tough once in a while. Wish life gives us more than just an annual holiday week to spend together, ‘cause I miss you … in more ways than words can explain. You will always remain my soul-sister, my friend, my trusty confidante and my baby – who sleepily opened her eyes and clenched tight the finger of a five year old me and went back to sleep again nestled against my lap ….
See ! you taught me what falling in love was all about … :)

Friday, May 06, 2011


Was spring-cleaning my old hard-disk drive off the pile of b-school assignments overload, to make some space for movies...and look what I found scribbled in on a notepad file...

"I might keep nagging about how u`ve changed ... how things aren`t the way they were in carefree penniless days of books and bliss ...
But I know it is my boy .. when the bike goes for a skid and fall, right in the middle of crazy traffic, and the first thing you do is turn around and hold a stunned me and check me out for bruises .. your voice breaking with worry ...

And there .... amidst all the honking and screeching and petrol dripping out from our beloved bike lying twisted on the road ...

.. I fall in love with you all over again ...."

This was written way back in late 2007, I guess...
I look at the sprawled form lying beside me in deep slumber ... Can`t help but smile .. Have we have come a long way or what !!

Tadaaaa.. Time for me to snuggle up next to my boy :)