Archive | September 2009

10 tips to manage work and home time

Here is the article I submitted for the 1000 words essay competition. Did not make it to the winners list.
Anyways this is my first article and I am happy that i made the attempt. I am still a crawling baby with respect to writing skills.

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Maintain To-do list
This is simple but effective means to track the tasks. I always maintain a stick note with the to-do list where I list down all tasks from preparing batter for Dosa at home to facilitating a meeting at office. I have it stick at refrigerator for personal use and have a draft mail/notepad with subject as tasks for office use. I revisit this to-do list often to make changes as and when required. Simple tip is to use pencils to accommodate changes easily.

Make a Schedule
Schedule dedicated day/time for certain task. For example, at home we always purchase grocery every Friday evening. I have inventory check/grocery list preparation on my Thursday to-do list. Now, my little kid can easily say we purchase groceries on Friday’s. Saturday’s breakfast will always be noodles. It’s a compromising situation where my kid enjoys what she wants and also I have better control on her in-take of junk food. At work conduct KSS every Tuesday. At one point we will become like well-oiled machine to do our tasks without dependencies. I setup reminder for everything including taking my pills. Challenge yourself for each task on how quick you can finish. Even when sleeping, my kid could list her routine for the evening. She will strangely look at me if I switch on television at early evening as she knows that television time is only after finishing her home work. Very importantly adhere to the schedule without a break until the schedule is well observed by you and especially with kids.

Prioritize work
This is a vital key to manage anything under the sky. We will end-up nowhere in attempting to focus on all items in to-do list. I had this problem in the beginning of my career by wetting my hands on everything but later learned this over time. At office the first thing in the morning should be to re-prioritize the to-do list. Focus to complete the top three tasks along with other ad-hoc requests. Be flexible to accept re-prioritizing anytime based on criticality. The rule for prioritization should be the deadline for completion rather than complexity of the work. At home cooking, kid studies and cleaning house are always top three in my list.

Pattern planning
Planning is a small word that makes a big meaning. Plan the tasks for evening when you commute back home. Plan what you should teach your child today, what is dinner etc. Planning in advance will help in a great way which I realized by experience. I would even suggest you to plan your relax time. Follow a pattern while planning so that you can easily remember things.

Avoid procrastination
Believe in your mind that just like brushing, bathing every day at home – cooking, helping kid with studies, keeping house clean , at office – adhering to schedules, meeting deadlines are the primary responsibilities of a woman. This understanding will not allow you to adjourn any work that you are responsible for. It’s your responsibility to make sure that the work is done though you might get help from others around you.

Sharing upfront
Do not hesitate to ask for help at home. If you feel tired and are uncertain about whether you can perform all work at home then call your better half and share it with them upfront. Delegate responsibility and convey him how you feel like and request for help. Again remember it as a help they are doing for you and still it’s your responsibility to complete the work.

Act professionally
At work be on time and leave on time. Lessen lunch hour and break time and practice to do more work at less time. The best tool would be concentration. Do not dive deeper into anything immediately. Take time for analyzing before starting the work. This will avoid confusions and rework. Believe in what you do and maintain good relationship with coworkers. Speak out boldly.

Self esteem
Maintain self esteem. Feel proud and talk to yourself often. Constantly look for improvements in time management. Compare yourself with the busiest lady you know and analyze how you lag on time management. Get up thirty minutes early than usual at least three days in a week and see how cool the day is. You will have ample of time for many things. Accept changes gradually and make one change at a time. Very importantly keep yourself physically fit. Subscribe to forums and look at how others handle different situations. Be ready to learn from others.

Encourage others
Maintain a positive vibration around you. Even saying “Good Morning” makes a big difference. At home encourage kid when he/she cleanup their toys, places their clothes in place or does any minor/simple work. Make use of the technology we are blessed with instead of trying to remember everything. I use my mobile calendar exhaustively. Be in touch with your friends constantly that helps you for a personal space. Surprise the family with new recipes when you have leisure time.

Reward yourself
Enjoy small things in life. Wake up late on a weekend. Give rest to kitchen for a day in a month. Know your interests and stick to a hobby. I maintain my own blog to write about interesting daily happenings. Always remember that the power relies on what you think and not how you work. Mind is powerful than body. Reward yourself as if you finish all work before 8 pm then you can relax an hour. The moment you think about relaxing an hour the speed of working increases and you will not feel the tiredness. It’s all about responsibility, ownership, willingness and self esteem. Hope this write-up helps at least one working parent. Eat healthy, serve healthy and encourage people around you to drink lots of water.

Maternal grandma

is no more. She is called by everyone as “ayimma” and for us the grand children she is “pattatha/chinnatha”. Her real name is “Pattammal”

Last time we were together was when Adi was born. She reached home when my due date was nearing and stayed back till Adi was 2 months old. She was in the hospital when Adi was born. She took care of E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G even bathing me for the initial one week. She prepared all medicinal value food for us and massages Adi with the baby oil at least 30 minutes before she takes bath. She was handling all the home remedies and old aged good stuffs that a mother and new born should take care of.

She has 9 grand children and 14 grand-grand-children. She was a part of almost all the birth stories of these grand and grand-grand children. Maternal grandpa passed away almost 15 years back. Till yesterday she was cooking self.

She is an expert in making south Indian sweets (especially somasa (not samosa) and jangiri). Till my school days I spent all summer holidays at her place with other cousins. She enjoys buying matching stuffs (bangles, ear rings, skirts) for me and my younger cousin sister. When we are with her she prepares idli batter with the “aatukkal” and makes idli for us as we may catch cold if we eat the “paazhaiya sadam” that she eats. She will be behind us for every meal as we roam around. The proud in her face when we walk along with her on streets “en pethi leave-kku vandhirukka (Eng: My grand daughter had come for vacation”)”. The tea she makes mid morning. We keep her super duper busy for that one month. Like normal patti’s she doesn’t carry advising/complaining nature with herself. She handles things coolly and better understands this generation. At her middle age she was a commendable partner for my thatha in field works, and milks the cows herself twice every day once early morning around 4:30 am and another mid afternoon around 2:30 pm. She doesn’t sell them during our stay. She knows to ride bullock cart. My mom after serving us through out the year enjoys food at her hand when she stays with my patti. She was a living role model to many people in our village. She was staying with my mom for the past one month and went back to village just a week back. Guess, the whole village would have assembled there by now.

I am blessed to have experienced so much of care and love. My thoughts are after you chinnatha. This post brings back all sweet memories. I don’t know how else I can pay my tribute to you other than dedicating this post to you.

May your soul rest in peace.

Swim classes

Last Saturday Adi started her swim lessons. It was an indoor pool close to our home.Fall classes were starting on that day and the heat for this year was switched on only on that day.Adi was okay until she was outside. The moment she was asked to step into the water she started mumbling.She sat on the edge holding the rails for some time and then a lady instructor carried her into the water.They were in for about 10 minutes and all that time she was staring at me that meant “en ennai ippadi kodumai paduthareenga? Wish some good people push you into the water at 12 feet level right now”

The lead instructor then declared that the classes are cancelled as the water is too cold. You should have seen Adi’s face. Thousand watts bulb was glowing.

Hopefully the classes should happen next week as the heat system should resume to its normal working condition.
On the way back home Adi said “Amma naa en swimming pannala theriyuma because the pool was very big and there was too much of water. I would not have cried if there was little water”

M commented “Ok pappa I have a plan after we go home I will give you a glass of water and you can learn swimming in that is that a good plan?”

Adi gave a dirty look to him and walked  strolled along with me. Of course she was too tired to walk after the looonnggg swimming classes!!

These days anything and everything you want to convey Adi should start with “Pappa I have a plan” and end with “is that a good plan”. At times you get a happy “yes” response and sometimes you should be ready face the mad girl.

A mad girl can do anything from “throwing away things on hand” to “hitting you gently so that it just gets swollen for just couple of days”.
Last statement is a little amplified just to show the mood of a mad Adi.

Also she is now totally infected by an “I am a big girl” virus.

Saraswathi pooja

saras-pooja-collage-final

was Simple as I did not make an effort to prepare new/complex dishes. The picture says it all. I just made vermicelli payasam and sundal. Adi’s books took precedence and she read/wrote today morning. She woke up 30 minutes early than usual, we sat together in front of GOD for about 15 minutes and she followed all that I said religiously. We touched upon all subjects. Read a story line in English, wrote an English word, one Tamil letter and one Math addition.

My cute little girl I love you ttthhhiiiissss much (with hands widdee open)…

PTM (Parent Teacher Meet)

pre-k-classroom

Happened on last Friday. Adi was more geared up than us as she wanted me to see the behavior chart. She has got stickers on it. You can see the pictures here. Children were not allowed so M was baby sitting her and I attended the meet.

This is where my little girlie spends almost 9 to 10 hours every day. She is dropped around 8am by Dad (sometimes even at 7:15am if M has to work early) and picked up promptly at 5:30pm by Mom. No other choice as the school closes at 5:30 pm. She intakes breakfast, lunch and snack from the school.

Daily schedule includes circle time, craft time, nap (2 hours), story telling and coloring time. Not to mention Adi’s favorite TV time too.

I believe Adi enjoys her school. She is at her best in the school. The teachers were very friendly. This is a kind of child care cum private school.Her teacher said she is a good helper for everyone and there was nothing in specific to discuss about her.

She was all excited to hear about the meet. Also, gave me a special hug and a kiss for capturing the behavior chart.

I try my best to drop her once in a fortnight/month when she says this with a sad face followed by a minor protest.

“Amma neenga ennai school-lae drop panni romba nalla aachhuu”
(Eng : Mommy it’s been long time since you dropped me in school)

She also adds this by bending herself “Just one day amma please please please I will not ask you again for another few days”

It happened this morning so I am planning to drop her some day this week which needs some planning as my office timing is 8-5.

 

 

Boo boo and on demand I love you

boo-booAdi’s first big boo boo. She had minor tummy ache on Sunday and threw up couple of times. To ease the condition M took her out for a walk. On the way she fell down in the curb and landed with her face. It has become like drawing a big line next to the small one. Her tummy ache has taken the back seat now.She is at home for past 2 days. I stayed home yesterday and M is staying back today. We were upset more than her. We are not sure if this will leave a scar in her face. Googling around said the scar will fade off as she grows. But, she was strong than expected. Had the antiseptic cream applied in intervals and did not make a big deal.She didn’t want to show or talk about her boo boo to anybody. She even kept away from joining the patti’s club next door in the evening.She didn’t want to go to school as her friends might ask her about it. I had a conversation with her and told her that its okay if people around speak about it and she can just respond that it will go away in 6 days. She was okay with that and is looking for next Sunday so that her boo boo will be gone.

A dialogue for smile:

Adi: Appa, I don’t love you
M: Thank you very much pappa
Adi: But, I love you tomorrow
M:???
Adi: That’s because you are going to stay with me tomorrow right.
(8 out of 10 dialogues from her will start with “That’s because”)

Today I love mommy as she stayed with me and I don’t love you but tomorrow I will love you 🙂

Questions Questions Questions!!!

Home is filled with questions these days. Worst part is I am on the answering side. Few samples…

Scene 1

Me: Adi can you please change your dress and come to the kitchen to have your snack?
Adi: Ammmaaaa am I mummy? (Bathil sollunga am I mummy? – Answer me am I mummy?) – By mummy she means old enough
Me: Nope
Adi: then, how can I change the dress and remove the buttons all by myself. Don’t you know that I need your help?
Me: !@#$%!@#$%&*

Scene 2

We both were watching super singer and I started singing along when one of my favorite was sung by a contestant

Adi: Amma stop (I didn’t) stop (I didn’t) now as loud as possible “S.T.O.P it I said” (I stopped and looked at her puzzled)
Adi: Are you contesting in super singer (with same tone bathil sollunga – answer me)
Me: Nope
Adi: then why are you singing? Just listen okay? You are bothering me. I am not able to watch the show.
Me: !@#$%!@#$%&*

Her modulation and face gestures are more enjoyable when she gets into the questioning/correcting state. I should record it one day.

The number of bulbs I get from her is increasing exponentially!!!

Reading – celebration

 

Adi had completed HOP Kindergarten reading level. The poster is here for your glance. The family reached the poster’s point from reading room with drum rolls. Poster was glued at a place that has her constant attention. M was whistling loud and I was singing (shouting) her favorite “dandanakka danakunakka” all the way. She was walking in between us with all pride. Literally, we were over acting and she didn’t know how to react. She was lifted up after sticking the “I did it” label and the house was filled with celebrating mood. The stars are the labels she sticked after finishing each lesson.

Ballet class – spoke too early


Adi had started her ballet dance lessons on 09/12. There were four toddler girls in the class. I have been preparing her for more than a week and she was also all excited about the class. She responded well and did all the simple steps taught by the teacher. She was also observing on what two other kids were doing. I felt light hearted and happy that she accepted the class but still waited in the studio for a while. One of the kid was crying from the beginning and her mom was with her.

After sometime myself and the crying kid’s mommy went to the waiting hall and we were talking about how kids react at different situations. She praised Adi very much. She said Adi co-operates very well. I was on cloud nine and started chattering more about Adi. After 10 minutes the crying kid was brought to the waiting hall. I (being the proud mom) started convincing the other lady that her kid will be perfect in the next class bla bla bla… While continuing my lecture I just turned back to see Adi standing behind me whipping her tears. Oh man I was dumb struck. Can you imagine the reaction on my face and the other lady’s face? She gave me a look that had thousand meanings. I managed to take Adi back into the studio after 10 minutes and she continued the lessons. On the way back home she declared that she doesn’t want to learn ballet anymore. Need to prepare her again before next class.

We should never trust kid’s behavior anytime. Watch out on praising your kids. They will put you down any moment.

Show N Tell

Show N tell starts at school from today with letter “A”. This will continue every Friday. Her version of last year’s show n tell (as we heard from her – it took me almost 6 months to make her share this)

Good afternoon boys and girls.
My show and tell for today is Airplane start with letter “A”.
Then ding ding ding make a round to show the toy to other friends, place the toy in your cup board and go back to your seat.

In addition I also taught her the spell the toy’s name and speak two lines about its color/feature. My version was

Good afternoon boys and girls.
My show and tell for today is Airplane start with letter “A”.
It is spelled as A.I.R.P.L.A.N.E
My airplane is yellow and blue in color. It is a part of air transportation.
It flies as zoom zoom zoom (with actions)

She said this for first two weeks but then didn’t want to say anymore as her friends did not say. Okay I left it to her though we spoke about my version at home just to make her aware of them.