Archive | February 2018

Of high school elective orientation, surprise reader – Day 96

Monday evening, Adi and I went to the high school to attend the orientation for this specific “elective” that I chose for her (remember all the drama and how she finally liked it). The girl already decided to chose this elective in high school. Happy mommy πŸ™‚

It was mind blowing to be around the high school kids. They all were so energetic and so cool that I just want to go to high school again! It looked like college to me and all I was doing in that 1.5 hours was to picture Adi in that environment. My girl is going to high school in few months. Goshhh!!!! I am a high school mom.. OMG, OMG, OMG!!!! Someone stop me from jumping!!!!

Tuesday, I went to LHB’s school as a surprise reader. He didn’t know about it and was pleasantly surprised to see me πŸ™‚ So when I surprise him like this on some evening to go pick him up all he does is run towards me and I spread out my hands to wrap him up and carry as high as I can. That moment is a moment to cherish forever and ever. Coming back to the reader part, I read a book about “people in the neighborhood” – community helpers. My hero got to sit next to me as we read to the class. Each kid had so much to share and followed the rule to raise their hand and wait for their turn to be heard. I felt like a teacher for around 20 minutes with a bunch of 5 year olds sitting in front of me and those curious pair of eyes staring at me πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

I love these school visits. For that matter anything that keeps me closer to my darlings πŸ™‚

Today – Day 95

Saturday’s are usually busy day and today couple of more items were thrown in to it. No complaints though. Enjoyed all the tasks and happy that I got them all under control.

7:30am – Wake up
8:20am – Gym time (forgot to wear my Fitbit so lost recoding almost 3000 steps)
10:00am – Arrive home, have quick breakfast and tea
10:30am – Start with lunch prep (cauliflower biryani, veg briyani and onion raita)
12:15pm – Take shower
12:30pm – Sit with LHB to finish Tamil homework
1:15pm – Visit post office for LHB’s passport renewal
2:45pm – Drop LHB at Tamil school. Today he was supposed to dress up as what he wants to become when he grows up. He chose to be a police. Luckily, I was able to borrow police costume from a neighbor and the guy rocked it. Thanks to M for training him to say “Vanakkam, En peyar LHB. Naan kaavalar aaga pogiren, Nandri” (Eng: Good afternoon, My name is LHB, I am going to become a police officer. Thank you!)
3:15pm – Pickup a princess doll cake I ordered for a friend’s daughter’s birthday party. It was done by a baker from neighborhood.
3:30pm – Visit Adi at her friend’s place to drop some stuff that he forgot to take for the club meet.
3:50pm – Drop the cake at friend’s place surprising their daughters.
4:25pm – Arrive LHB’s Tamil school and discuss about annual day prep details
5:20pm – Indian grocery shopping
5:50pm – Meet neighbor and return the police costume
6:00pm – Arrive home, make Tea and relax for a while
7:00pm – Start cleaning home, brief visit of colleague and then neighbor
8:00pm – Continue with cleaning!
9:00pm – Friend and family visit to share cake and goodie bags from birthday party as we couldn’t go due to other commitments.
10:30pm – Load dish washer, clean kitchen.
11:00pm – Notice that Fitbit shows 9k. So, call Amma, walk and chat about Sridevi’s demise. Done with 10k in spite of missing Fitbit for morning gym πŸ™‚
11:30pm – Sit down to draft this post!!

Publishing it at 12:00am πŸ™‚

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Singapore vacation – Part 2 – Day 94

It was a 10 day trip covering top tourist attractions in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Here is the travel itinerary. Hope its useful to someone planning a trip!

Day 1 – We reached midnight and decided to take it light on first day. So, spent morning with cousin family, went to BFF home for lunch and then visited M’s school friend in the evening.

Day 2 – Jurong bird park. Surprisingly this topped Adi’s list when we spoke about favorites from the trip. Dinner with friend at Little India.

Day 3 – Flew to Langkawi. Spent the evening at beach and just roamed around the streets exploring options for next day.

Day 4 – Mangrove day trip, sky bridge and eagle square.Β The day trip is a popular package for any first time visitors. Spent most of the day in motor boat, visited bat cave, floating fish farm, eagle watch and spent some time at a private island beach. Evening went to sky bridge. The cable car ride was breathtaking. Then took a cab to Eagle square to just take a picture in front of that humongous eagle.

Day 5 – Skipped other plans and decided to spend the day at beach. We stayed just opposite to the beach and what I enjoyed the most was the hot breakfast provided by the hotel at roof top. Flew to Kula lumpur in the evening and retired early after deciding on the plans for next day.

Day 6 – The location of hotel at KL was unexpectedly far from city so we hired a taxi for all day that would take us to all places and then drop us at the airport in the evening. Initial plan was to explore local trains but we settled with taxi as suggested by hotel front desk to make the best use of 1 day at KL.

Started the day at 6am – visited Batu caves murugan temple, oldest Mariamman temple, Twin tower, Suria KLCC mall, Chinese temple and then reached airport. The driver cum tour guide was an awesome guy. He took family pictures from best spots and bought us a water bottle at Chinese temple. We chatted about Chinese culture and how things are changing with generations. I have couple of interesting happenings from today to share and it deserves a separate post. Boarded flight back to Singapore in the night.

Day 7 – Cloud forest, Gardens by the bay, Merilion, Flyer and dinner at extended family’s home.

Day 8 – River safari, Chinese temple at Little India, China town, Mustafa shopping, dinner with cousin family at Anjappar chettinad restaurant.

Day 9 – Sentosa (It has water park. we didn’t go prepared with change of clothes but still couldn’t let go of the water slides πŸ™‚ )

Day 10 – Legoland at Johor Bahru Malaysia. We took a tour package where the provider will ride us to/fro to the park and help with immigration clearance to enter/exit Malaysia. The uber ride in the morning to reach boarding point was an interesting experience. The guy we booked came on time but turned us down saying he doesn’t have permit to ride 5 year old, then we had to book another cab that took forever to come and we got caught in the peak hour traffic. It was a mad rush but we made it to the bus.

Day 11 – Fly to India. My cousin and her 2 year old came with us too.

Rest of the vacation time was spent in India with attending an engagement, marriage, LHB’s 3rd tonsure and ear piercing at family deity temple, first ever late night movie show with M, visiting local temples, friends, friend’s parents, relatives, solo weekend trip to Chennai, meet with college friends, meet with school girls gang, Ganesha making for Vinayakar chathurthi and unlimited gorging of all delicacies prepared by Amma.

Perfect day – Day 93

Yesterday was a perfect day after a long time..

  • We all woke up late, had late breakfast (crispy dosas with red chutney and molaga podi)
  • Adi and LHB put up tent in living room, arranged it with board games, snacks and I let her dream come true by granting permission to order pizza for lunch.
  • Gorged on pizza topped with pinnapple/jalapeno, chicken/onion combos and hershey’s soft baked cookie cake.
  • Watched a movie in the afternoon without disruption while rest of the clan had a siesta.
  • Nice long hot shower. It is a luxury these days!
  • Visited friend’s home in the evening
  • Had masala chai at their home and then we all headed out to bowling
  • Non stop chit chat with friend while kids had fun at bowling centre.
  • Go to an Indian restaurant for dinner at 10pm and ordering like 10+ dishes just when they were about to close the kitchen.
  • Have sweet pan and kashmiri pink tea on the way back to friend’s home.
  • Continue with chit chat while watching LHB dance to tamil video songs at their home.
  • Arriving home at 1am.

Perfect day πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

Singapore vacation – Part 1 – Day 92

A long due travel post. I will try to recollect anything that is left in my memory.

Last year summer, we decided to go to India as a family unlike the previous year when M and I took turns. So, we thought it would be a good opportunity to plan the first international family trip en route to India. We started the plan with Italy, moved to Dubai and finally settled with Singapore. Dream big and settle with reality πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Good side was we had extended family and friends at Singapore. A friend helped with visa processing and cousin opened her doors for stay. A special mention to cousin’s husband who prepared a detailed excel sheet for us to answer all our silly queries and helped with local itinerary and flight bookings. We would hop on to a call every other day to go over the details as the travel was getting closer. He made us totally feel at home and comfortable. Not everyone knows or follows this genuine art to make others feel comfortable.

The best part was all that chit chat the cousin’s husband, M and I had every night. After having dinner and settling kids, we will sit down around 10pm to plan for next day and talk everything but plan until 1 am or 2am. The cousin with a 2 year old baby in hand and a 7 month baby in tummy will be half asleep on the other room pleading us to retire soon. We were never out of topic. He even spent the whole night with us in Singapore airport from 7pm to 5am talking non stop with couple of doses of kopi/tea during our return journey to US. The plan was for him to just come and meet us in the airport to exchange luggage but he ended up staying to chit chat till it was time for us to board the next flight to US.

This is what I call as the highlight of the trip and made this vacation more memorable to me..

  • Stay with cousin family, cooking with them
  • dinner with a school friend who helped us with Visa. We saw each other after almost 20 years!
  • lunch at my BFF home. Seeing her after 12 years!
  • dinner at an extended family Akka’s home
  • impromptu evening visit to M’s school buddy’s home
  • family time not worrying about errands to run, train to catch or mundane tasks to complete

It was a trip filled with fun and laughter besides the customary visit to all top tourist attractions to take pictures and check from the list.

Day by day itinerary in next part..

Crochet ruffle scarf – Day 90

Craft exchange gift from the awesome Sri

I received it last month on an evening and promptly wore it to work the very next day.

It was an all day meet at work and I became quite noticeable in the crowd. Received so many compliments and was proudly saying “my friend hand made this for me”.

Thank you so so much Sri. This is a thoughtful gift to someone living on this side of the world.

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Shadow day – Day 89

Today is going to be an interesting day for Adi. She has been randomly chosen by draw to shadow one of her teacher. That means she will skip her classes and will be behind the teacher all day to experience a slice of teacher’s life.

Her friend was home last evening for group study and we were making fun of Adi as what will she do when she or the teacher wants to use the bathroom. We were gossiping for a while about who is going to shadow who and who is shadowing that famous quirky teacher. It was a laugh riot for few minutes and man I love these silly talks with the girls.

Pasta has been packed for lunch in the specific green box with a fork so it doesn’t look messy when she has to share lunch time with her 7th grade social studies teacher.

All ears to hear about her shadow day in the evening!!

Happiness #88 is – Day 88

  • Waking up at 4:29am and picking up the phone to see the time change to 4:30, the time you set the alarm for.
  • Having an evening chit chat with blog friend Indu – LHB’s dosa aunty and my tea/cake rusk girl. Hope you don’t mind our impromptu show ups.
  • Saying NO to cheese cake at work. This miracle happened yesterday and I want this to be recorded here. Though it was not “on the spot” happy moment, it made me feel so proud and happy later. I can now save those calories to gulp down some other junk right? Right!!
  • Forgetting LHB’s backpack at home but promptly taking the gifts we packed for his classmates and teachers. Hey we got our priorities right and that is what the teacher said too πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€
  • Seeing the boy dance away to glory at the dance event organized by his school for Valentine’s day.
  • LHB hugging, kissing everyone at home in the morning, wishing happy valentine’s day but treating me extra special with this necklace. I am wearing it all day πŸ˜€

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Inspirational – Day 87

Today, I attended the company recently appointed CEO’s first town hall. The usual self that buries its head into multi tasking the list in hand, today for a change thought it would be nice to listen to CEO speak in person. What if I was working from a remote location? Why do I always pass the opportunity of meeting senior executives in person when they are only few floors away from my desk?

So, I requested for a change of team meeting that conflicted with town hall time and reached the auditorium 20 minutes ahead to secure one of the last few seats available. It was great to feel the positive vibe in the air. He cracked jokes and kept the audience attention for almost 1.5 hours. What stood out for me from his speech is

“Speak up, don’t just speak up but collect your data and speak up with respect”

“Be diversified and inclusive”

According to me, being inclusive in a diversified environment is a big challenge and those who understand this are the real heart winners!

He also touched upon women empowerment.

It was very inspirational to hear his speech and I am starting to feel proud about my company and its brand!