Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Apture Highlights on my blog!

Got to know about a cool little widget. Images, videos, information anything you name it, you can get to it by just highlighting any word. When a word is highlighted, you can click on the Learn more button and it pops up a window to list all kinds for information. Once the browsing part is done, the user can simply close the window and be right back on your site. And the best part, it's FREE.

BTW this window is not blocked by pop-up blocker, which is REALLY nice. How you ask? This is what is there on their website "Nope! Apture’s windows are filled with content, not advertisements and are designed to complement the content on the page. They do not use traditional pop-up technology and are not filled with traditional pop-up advertisements…"

Experience it on my blog, just select a word ( not words like the, a etc, select Wikipedia and see what it gives you :o) ) and it should give you a little
button. Click on it and you can see Wikipedia definition. It can link up to youtube, twitter and more. Hopefully this will help the traffic to stay on my site and search rather than moving away from it. :o)
Here is an example of me trying to look on Wikipedia.

Enjoy blogging. :o)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hurdles at the Airport!!

Our journey is never less in excitement. And usually to add to it we always have anxious moments at the customs. Last two times that we were at the airport we had those moments. One when we were travelling to India a year back. After looking at the papers, the security guy said that they were not enough for our travel. Showing AP didn't help. He said that's for us to come back to US, but not for travelling out of States. Infact, we don't have a legal status he said.! I was completely dumbstuck. In that moment, my happiness of travelling to India, preparing for it for months, everything came shattering down.. Then, we pulled the last card our of the folder. Which he took and said, oh, you should have shown me this first. And he let us go.! Whew....

Rewind back to 2 days ealier, Yogi was keeping all the required documents in a folder and I casually asked him if he took EAD card. He said that's not required. I insisted saying it's just a card, doesn't hurt keeping it. So he agreed and kept it in the folder. We both were so happy that we decided to keep that. Otherwise we would have missed the flight and may be an enquiry would have put on us... You never know.!!!

Last december we went to Cancun (if you haven't read my previous post :o) ) 4 or 5 months before we had started preparing for it. Main thing was to get AP and EAD ready. Someone said we need Mexican visa. So we started looking at probably going to Chicago to get it done. Then Yogi came across a clause in the visa requirement. It said, if you have a valid US entry papers then you don't need to have Mexican visa stamped. So he called up their consulate just to make sure and they confirmed that we don't require visa stamping, coz we have valid papers to enter back to US.

So in all excitement we reached the airport. No issues. At the stopover, we had time to grab food and then go checkin at the gate. So we at lunch and went to the counter. We had about 1/2 hour to our flight. He looked at all passports, since my kids carry american passport they were good. He held onto ours and said, you guys don't have Mexican visa stamped. I started to explain to him the clauses, he would not listen. He kept saying that if he lets us go, we will be immmediately deported back!!!!! My son who was in all excitement of vacation, heard this and started crying out loud that he won't be able to do the things that he thought he could do!!!! While Yogi tried to handle both kids, I started expalining him more about talking to consulate etc. Then he called his supervisor. She took our passports and other documents and said she would try to call Mexican consulate and come back. Just as she was leaving another counter lady asked for help and she asked her to wait and left. Lucky for us that she was called first at our gate!.

Here we have only 15 more mins to the flight!!! Those last 10 mins were agonizing!. Imagine we were all packed and thinking of this vacation for last 6 months and these last 10 minutes were bringing all that imagination down. I must have thought about all the Gods and all the good deeds. Atlast I saw that lady coming back and not looking at me. My heart almost sank and she came close by and said, let them go.!!!!! YEY !! Those were the best words I had heard in a while. :o). So... we got to sit in the plane and continue to imagine all the good things that were in store for us at Cancun. :o)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

As I said goodbye to 2010....

I kept thinking that this was a most eventful year! Just thought I will recap my year. I am just writing in points so it's easy to read and not coz of any other importance. As many know me say I give importance to every little thing! don't know if it's a good thing though!!

* My baby girl turned one! Oh what a year it was with her. She has so much personality. From walking to running she has progressed so much that it's become hard to catch her when she starts to sprint away from us. She has a knack to get what she wants! I can't believe I am saying this, but she does. Even when I want to say no to her, I end up saying Yes.! When she widens her big eyes and rolls her lips to mouth 'pleassseeeee', there is no way any one of us could say No to her!!!! Talking up a storm in both our native language and English. Nowadays literally repeats whatever comes out of her brother's mouth!. Not a good thing always.

* My boy is growing into handsome little thing, with heart up his sleeves. From beginning of the year till the end, he has already changed his decision on marraige. Well, specifically about who he is going to get married to! Come to think of it, it isn;t that bad... He's just on his 4th or 5th one!!! He's doing well in his 1st grade. Still loves dinosaurus, knows tons of facts about them. His profession choice changed this year from horse trainer to scientist or a palenthologist. ( Whew!!!!! )

* Got our concrete patio and landscaping done this year. We had a slope back there, came up with an innovative design to cut into the hill and create a little sitting area and fill up the whole yard to make it flat. Couldn't believe that we had so much usable space out there. Put in a playset for kids and whole summer it was difficult to keep them away from there. Even the little one, as soon as she learnt to walk, she would walk over with a waddle and start climbing up the slide (yeah, you heard right, up the slide!!!). She is more interested in climbing than sliding.. And the play area gave them innumerable oppurtunity to create stuff out of sand! I love my side walk and front walk and ofcourse all the beautiful path lights!

* My little sister and nephew came to visit us this summer. I seriously don't remember any day just sitting in summer. It was so busy and fun that I miss that lovely summer of 2010. I am so thankful to my BIL for sending her to spend time with me. And for her to making that decision to come over to see us. It was a total blast with my kids fighting over the attention of my nephew, who happens to be right in the middle on the age scale. We had a first hand experience on "If I had three kids!", which wasn't that bad, considering three adults were matched against three little ones. Oh, Thanks to Yogi for helping with kids, when we sisters went on tons of shopping trips. :o). Shopping, that gets me to another point..

* I don't think I have shopped as much as I did this year in any other year! Year was started in India, so ofcourse I shopped quite a bit before I came back. Then as soon as my sis decided to come, started shopping for that. After she came we shopped even more.. Consider this, when she came, she got two bags full of gifts only.. First weekend we were shopping, and at the end she took back 4 bags worth of shopping. In the meantime, I shopped for myself too. ;o). Then came the suprise from my hubby for our 10th anniversary, so I shopped again! I (rather everyone) have started noticing that my taste have changed in clothes. Hopefully for better. ;o)

* Multiple trips were on card this year. Beginning of the year we came back from India. In May went to Boston for my cousin's graduation, along with my sis. Then went to Niagara, which was a complete waste, since it was freezing out there, we didn't do anything but come back. Great trip in all, coz got to meet some of my beloved friends. Then decided to take my uncle/aunt and sis to Chicago. I dropped out at the end and they went with Yogi. Later friends decided to go to Chicago in Sept. So we all went over the long weekend, stayed in a hotel and just chilled! Then again in december my beloved friend visited me from CA, so decided to drop her back in Chicago! So for Christmas we drop again. Chicago friends might be already bored to see us so many times this year. :o)

* This was the year, we completed a decade of togetherness! So Yogi wanted to surprise me by booking a trip. But then he got a cold feet, thinking what if's.. So he decided to let me in on the surprise.. He had already planned where and when to go.. It was sooooo very romantic of him to decide to take me on this trip.! Also got a big rock as a gift for our big day. ;o) Diamonds are girls best friend right? :) :) Our Cancun trip is for another day blog probably. To summarize, it was the best trip I have ever had till date.

Here is a hoping that all coming years will be as eventful as this one was for us and everyone out there..