Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Digital content at the public library

One of the advantages I have to reading hard copy books was that I could go to the library, get a bunch of books and read them at leisure at home, for FREE! How could I possibly do this on an e-reader? Well I shouldn't have worried. Because my public library is up with the times, and has a ton of content online. Now I don't know if this is the case with all libraries (though now it does seem so), but my library has a certain amount of good content available for download for free.

My longer commute and 'active toddler' are leaving me with less time to curl up with a book, so I needed to find better ways to do it. On the public library's page, I found the link for e-books and audiobooks, both of which could be transferred to an iPod/hone/ad, a Nook or a Sony reader ( I don't know why not Kindle, but I hope they are working on it).

The process to actually get the books was time consuming- I had to download this app called 'Overdrive Media Console' which apparently many libraries use to loan out their content. Once that was installed on the iPhone, I could go to the library's website through the app, select the book I want, check it out (it's a little tedious, but not too bad) and then download it on the iPhone.

After that I can access it for the checkout period (7 days usually) and also transfer it on up to 6 devices. Which is a VERY good deal, considering that that means I can transfer it on my computer as well, and read it from there, to reduce battery consumption.

So far, I have downloaded one e-book and one audiobook (I had downloaded one the past, but by the time I could figure out the app, the book was overdue). Both are very good quality to read and listen to.

I was very, very impressed with my library and hopefully they keep adding more titles to their digital collection.

I am not sure though, how the checkout system works. Do the overdue files simply stop working, or is it an honor system. I guess I could find out next week.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Sweet Corn Chicken Soup

Aarti Sequeira is one of the very few people whose recipes I can like and can easily replicate. Other TV food show hosts who claim simple dishes in 30 minutes, seem to just dunk everything in a glob of cheese and call it amazing dinner.

This is the second recipe of Aarti's that I tried (first here). It's not 'her' recipe in that this soup is sold at every single Chinese establishment (cart or upscale restaurant) in India. But corny commentary aside (oh who am I kidding, I love the corniness) the recipe she uses seems so simple that it would be stupid not to make it at home.

Followed the recipe to a T,and yes the result was as yummy as the local Chinese gaadis and stalls around Mumbai. To make the experience closer to home, I cut up green chillies and added them to vinegar and served as a companion to soy sauce. If you know a better way to make that amazing clear stuff, let me know.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

How it went

I survived the first day.

Two days ago, I was all tensed up because I didn't know if would be able to get back on track with the whole 'get ready and out the door by 8am' with Aditya. Since his diet has changed substantially now, there is more food prep involved, as is eating breakfast and getting the whole daycare bag ready.

But it worked out. The fact that I couldn't get much sleep last night worked to my advantage. Here's what happened yesterday and this morning. Notice how things are broken down in 15 minute blocks. That's how tight things get for me to make it.

Mon Jan 31, 2011

  • 5pm - 5:30pm Back home: Baby VERY tired. Grandma feeds baby snack, while parents get their coffee.
  • 5:30pm - 7pm Play time with Baby: Chasing around the house, climbing stairs and reading books.
  • 7pm - 7:15pm Dinner for Baby! Rice and Lentil with Veggies. yumm.
  • 7:15pm - 7:30pm A little play time before bath and bed.
  • 7:30pm - 8pm March upstairs for bath and Bedtime
  • 8pm Baby cozy in crib
  • 8:15pm - 8:45pm Dinner for the adults.
  • 9pm - 10pm Get Baby's stuff ready for tomorrow: Prepare formula, rice and lentil␣mix for lunch. Cheese and cereal for snacks.
  • 10pm - 11pm Upstairs for some Zs!
Tue Feb 1, 2011
  • 6am - 6:30am Wake up! Shower, coffee and reheat Baby's meal.
  • 6:30am - 6:45am Start making baby's breakfast: Mashed bananas with wheat cereal
  • 7am - 7:15am Baby UP! Sponge baby down and dress him up.
  • 7:15am - 7:30am Get downstairs,Grandma feeds breakfast, while I get ready for work.
  • 7:30am - 7:45am Of course we have a poop diaper! Change that. Get trash out the door.
  • 7:45am - 8am Get baby bundled up and OUT THE DOOR!

Now as you can see, things went quite smooth sailing. We had two things working for us: 1) Baby fell asleep with 15 minutes of rocking, and 2)My mom was in charge of preparing dinner for the adults, so we could focus on baby related things until 8pm.

It is going to be a challenge to squeeze cooking and doing the dishes in between 8 pm and 10 pm. When the baby is awake 100% attention has to be given to him, since its only 1.5 hours in a day that we get with him anyway. But if as usual we cook only every other day and get our teamwork approach in full aggression, we should have a schedule by the beginning of next week.

Here's hoping.