From N’s mouth

In the train on the way to Bathinda where my sister stays currently, N looks at me and says”Are you excited about seeing your sister?” I say “Yes”. N gives me a raised eyebrow look and says “Okay, but when you see her don’t go all hyper and run to her saying yayyyyyyyyyy”.

When did I ever do that???

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At my in-law’s place, I was helping my mother-in-law in the kitchen. N wanted me to play with him. I told him to wait till I was done helping daadi (grandmother). He crosses his arms and says “Hmmm now that you have got a mother you have forgotten your son. That is very nice (said with a sarcastic twinge)”.

Huh, too many Bollywood movies I say!

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N was having a candy bar. My mother asked him if he would share some of it. N paused, looked at the half eaten candy bar and said “Here you can have the wrapper. I can share that with you!”

I swear this is not what I have been teaching him about sharing!!

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While watching a show on Discovery Kids about how salt is made,

N: I know where salt comes from. It comes from water!

Me: How do you know that?

N: When we were in Thailand and I was playing with my friends in the water on the beach and the water came on my face, I licked it and it was salty. So I membered (for remember) from there.

Me: 🙂

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Walking back from the library nearby in Bathinda, N while walking in some sand: I am in Egypt mamma, want to join me?

Me: Why are you in Egypt? Where is Egypt here?

N: See there is sand below my feet. Egypt has sand dunes and camels. So this is Egypt. I read in Diego’s adventure in Egypt book.

Me (to myself): Fine! I will not hold a prejudice against Diego and Dora!

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The simple pleasures of life!

I got up today while the husband and the kid were still sleeping. Looked around the apartment and saw suitcases, big black trash bags holding stuff other than trash and a few heaps of laundry piled up. We are packing for a move, across countries, yet again.
It was quiet in the house. My tummy was rumbling. I walked out to grab a coffee and muffin from the tiny yet fully functional hole-in-the-wall coffee place just as I walk out of our building. I wonder if I will do that again some time soon. The coffee was heavenly and the day started on a good note. I had started one more round of laundry, folded the previous set, was done with my day’s social media catching up and had my breakfast. Ah the simple pleasures of life!

Last night I swore not to move again, no across cities, across countries moving. I want to settle down in one place and have a base. Packing for trips and holidays is just fine 😉

But like I say and believe “Never say never”. I think I will be ok if I have to move again. This particular move has imparted its share of learnings though.

1. Prioritization – The move to and from New Zealand has resulted in a whole lot of prioritizing. It ranged from things like which clothes to carry, how many shoes, what accessories, which books to what to leave behind in storage, what to donate, what to discard, what needs to be sold, what needs to be done first and last! It has forced me to see what actually figures on the top of my list compared to what I thought would.

2. Emotional detachment – The above process also resulted in breaking those bonds of emotional attachment to that dress that you love but haven’t worn in a year or more! It also taught me that everybody has varying degrees of emotional attachment. I was cool and emotionally unperturbed about giving away or selling furniture from my Bangalore apartment but my mother and my mother-in-law were a little concerned and asked me if it really did not bother me parting with all that stuff! 🙂

3. Sorting – My sorting abilities have definitely improved. When one does the exercise of keep, throw, donate for every material thing that they own, twice in 8 months it is bound to do some good in the related part of the brain. I guess! I wish I could do that for my emotional clutter too. Keep the happy memories and throw the sad ones.

4. De clutter and donate – S and I were discussing that we have cleaned out closets and donated stuff more than ever in our life time. If not for this move we would still have a lot of random junk that we did not use, wear or like! A lot of cleansing up and feel-good has happened. Of course the cleaner, less crowded closet shelves have prompted a few shopping sprees also. But I am also doing what I learnt from my mil, “When you buy 1 of something new, give away 2 of something old.” Try that, eh?

Life is nice. It is not all smooth, perfect and happy always but it is nice. I could ask for a li’l bit of this and that. But while I sip my mocha, looking out at some lovely downtown landscape through ceiling to floor glass windows it seems just fine in the big picture!

Day 30 – A limerick for Marathon Blogging

Today is the last but one day of our month-long blogging marathon. All the activity, buzz, chatting and frenzy will end tomorrow. There will be a void like the one after the annual school function finishes – you sudden have nothing to do and miss all the practices, masti and gup shup. I guess I will miss it, till something else fills that void. But I will definitely not miss the posting-every-day bit.

🙂

All of us will nod, when I say, we would like to take a break from blogging for a bit.

Here is my version of what this marathon was, in a limerick

An idea struck a lady called Monika who was always on the run

She discussed it with some friends who wanted to have fun

They pledged to write a post a day

And keep their writer’s blocks at bay

They all thought they couldn’t do it but ended up writing a tonne

The marathon had its highs and lows

Some got bogged down by its blows

Others continued to churn out post after post

About kids, pets, work, life, love and even coffee and toast

They all made new friends and no foes

Secret Santa was a mystery and thriller

It was like playing “Who is the killer?”

Outings were planned, meet ups scheduled

Wherever needed, people even pooled

To help, to heal and to write that occasional filler

Theme posts made us use our head

Didn’t matter if we sat on the desk or on the bed

This blogathon was like a trip to the zoo

All you wonderful people, it was a pleasure knowing you

Here is to Marathon Blogging and to an awesome year ahead!

 

Now I shall go and enjoy the next 7 days of my holiday 🙂 Happy Sunday!!

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012

Day 13 – State of limbo

S and I have been living in this constant state of limbo. This particular overseas assignment has been on unstable grounds since Day 1. I mean it was supposed to be a long-term thingy, say for a year or 2. That’s what we had in mind when we said yes to this offer. But things changed faster than we had imagined and by the time we landed here it was already clear that this was not going to be a smooth ride. Lots of reasons for that – new market, client not too sure about what they want, budget cuts in their orgs etc. So every few weeks we go through this phase where we don’t know how much longer we will stay here – few months, few weeks, few days? And this is not something new for the IT sector. Most of us who have worked in this area are familiar with this scenario. But when it actually happens the practicalities can be very confusing, irritating and can create chaos in your orderly world!

I was fed up with the constant confusion and I joked about it on a couple of occasions saying, I do not know whether to buy 6 onions or 10 at the farmer’s market this Sunday. The same holds true for toilet paper and dishwasher detergent shopping!

Cut to a meeting where S, his boss, his boss’ boss and a couple of other people were discussing different options. At the end of the meeting it was decided that S will stay here no matter what, coz they need his expertise for blah blah blah. Everyone said their byes and have-a-good-days and then some senior boss guy says “S now you can go and buy 2 dozen onions!!”

I am sure the laughter that followed could be heard 2 floors down. And they say men don’t gossip!! *Roll my eyes*

We are back in that state again and do not know what’s going to happen next. Things are in discussion stage. I am okay. I think. Not too happy not too sad, just hanging in there. This has been a lovely experience in many many ways. A lot of my to-do’s from my list of things to do before I die (yes I have one of those and will share it some day) were checked off here.

My brain has already started processing the moving-scenario. If we have to go then I will need to pack 2 different ways – one for the 2 week holiday coming up and another for the move across countries after that. I will have to sort stuff into donate, throw, take along. I will have to clean up the apartment. Aaarrghh!! Just what I did not need before a HOLIDAY 😦

All this when the girls at my regular coffee haunt knew exactly how I have my coffee without me spelling it out 🙂 That, I believe takes true dedication (from both sides) and excellent customer service. Sigh!

This post is part of the Marathon Blogging December 2012. 

Day 10 – Of holiday cheers and thank you’s

We do some Good night prayers as part of N’s bed time routine. So after the peeing, brushing, pjs and story(s) are done we start with this one

Thank you God for the world so sweet, Thank you God for the food we eat.

Thank you God for the birds that sing, Thank you God for everything!

At the end of this we do our personal one liner thank you for something that happened that day or whatever random stuff comes to our mind. We had had a long yet lovely Sunday, attending a birthday party, followed by singing Christmas carols by candlelight, at the city’s Christmas party in the park!

So I said “Thank you God for all the fun we had today and the warm, yummy and fresh doughnuts”.

N said “Thank you God for my glow-in-the-dark saber and for Santa (there was a customary Santa at the party venue).”

5 second pause.

“And thank you God for a beautiful mamma”

😀 I wonder what inspired that but now I know where I come in. After Santa!! Sigh, that smile on N’s face was the-very-cliched-yet-totally-true to-die-for-kinds, it made my day!!

Yay for the holiday season. Loving it with all the early celebrations 🙂

This post is part of Day 10 of the Marathon Blogging December 2012.

Day 7 – Travel light? What is that?

“1 suitcase! For 2 whole weeks!! Are you serious???” Sim looks at her husband in disbelief!

They were going on a Christmas holiday with friends.

“If you pack light and get rid of all the unnecessary stuff, one suitcase will be enough.”

“Unnecessary stuff? There is nothing like that. All I am taking is some tops, bottoms, shoes, make up, toiletries, swimwear.”

“That doesn’t sound like a lot. It should fit in 1 suitcase.”

“Hmm, let’s see. I need about 9 to 10 tops for 14 days.”

“10 tops!!” Sim’s husband says with eyes wide open. “Why 10?, There will be a washing machine in the villa honey, you can wash and wear stuff.”

“I can’t repeat combinations!! My pictures will look all the same” Sim says with a I-can’t-believe-you-said-that expression.

Sim’s husband gives her the Does-that-really-matter look!

“Oh well maybe I can carry a few tops and change the bottoms. But what about shoes? I can’t wear the same ones all the 14 days. What if we have to walk a lot, I will need my comfy walking sneakers for that. And I can’t wear sneakers with that new pretty white skirt so I need my flat white sandals. What if we decide to go on a grown up’s night out leaving the kids with a baby sitter? For that I will need my heels. So that makes 3 pairs. Hmm, but the white sandals won’t go with everything; so I need my black flats too. That makes 4 pairs. I think that should be ok. What do you think?”

By this time Sim’s husband has given up hope and buries himself in the laptop.

“Accha, do you think we should carry some of N’s toys, games and a few colouring books? You know, to keep him busy at the airport, in the plane, in the taxi and while we are doing nothing. There might be moments like that.”

At this point Sim hears her husband muttering under his breath “He has 4 friends coming. I don’t think there will be moments where he will be doing nothing.”

Sim goes on pretending she did not hear that.

“What about sunscreen – it’s going to be super hot and bright. Some mosquito repellant – who knows there might be mosquitos in Thailand. The beach towels and mat – why go there and spend some money to buy another when we have one. I also need to carry 2 of my books, will catch up on all my reading in the holidays. I just don’t get time otherwise!! And I so need to take the camera, both my lenses and the video camera. The last time we made a video was 10 months ago. We should really do it more often…….”

Wait a sec before you even go there, the Sim above is not me. I swear. All I worry about taking is the important stuff – passport, house keys, visa papers, a credit card or cash and prescription medication.

Cut to the airport – “Excuse me Ms Dhaliwal, your luggage is 5 kgs over weight. The extra charges are $100. Would you like to pay by card or cash”

I wonder why that happens to me 😦

 

This post is part of Day 7 of Marathon Blogging December 2012.

Day 4 – Gifts for N’s teachers or not?

It’s Christmas month!!!

Celebrations have started happening in this part of the world. My son N’s school had their Christmas function last week. The kids sang and danced to a couple of seasonal favourites. One of them is the Kiwi version of Jingle Bells. It reflects celebrating Christmas in the summer months 🙂 This is how it goes –

“Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
Christmas in New Zealand on a sunny summer’s day, ah!
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way
Oh what fun it is to have a Kiwi holiday!” 

The kids had made some calendars for 2013 with artwork made by them at school and gifted them to their parents along with a hand-made card during the event.

I had been thinking of doing something for N’s teachers at school much before this event. I believe teachers work very hard and are super patient human beings (after dealing with one handful brat at home, there is a whole new respect for teachers). And Christmas and New Year is a good occasion, among other days, to show gratitude.

But the big question is what should be given to the teachers. I was initially thinking a card, with what N wants to say, to each teacher. He has started writing quite a bit and so he can write some of it himself and I can help him with the rest. And along with that some cookies baked at home, maybe 2 kinds of cookies. But then I discussed this with a couple of girl friends and they expressed their views about gifting to teachers. And that discussion made me think (girl friends are good for the soul I tell you)!

– Do I need to add some gifts (could be cookies, could be anything else) or will a card be just enough?

– What is the aim of this? Teaching N to be thankful or letting the teachers know we (S, N and I) are grateful for what they do?

– If I do this, will it affect the teacher’s relationship with N? In what way? Good or bad?

I am still debating about what to do. In the end I will do what I am comfortable with and makes sense to me. Just that, I am waiting for that moment when things just go “Click” and you know what you want to do 🙂

But I would love to know, what do you fellow bloggers do? Do you gift the teachers at your child’s school at any time of the year? If yes, why and what? If not, why not? If there is a teacher amongst us I would so love to hear your views!!

This post is part of Day 4 of the Marathon Blogging December 2012 event.