Friday, November 30, 2012

Standing in line ... holding a seat

Ok ... So I am going to take a punch at it again... Child raising and basic etiquette in public places.

I am at A1 .... the most annoying super market in our 5 km radius. ... Oh wait ... it is the only super market in our 5 km radius. The only reason for going was  - my cook insisted on making Chicken biryani. I am still paranoid about the local slaughter houses and the wariness of the impending or passing Bird flu.

So I decided to visit this disorganized place called A1 Super market. I got my chicken and got a bit side tracked by the cold storage with ice cream bars in it. I thought I would pick up a couple for Isaac and Ziva. The cold storage's in India (Well some of them) are top loading. So I slid the door open and put my hand in to dig for some ice cream. This girl of 10/11 years comes along and decides her time is too precious and pushes open the other side of of the same cold storage. I pull out my hand right in time to not get it jammed. 'hiiiiiiiiiiii!' Exasperation on my face. Luckily her father came  to .... MY rescue. Yes I was shocked mostly we see parents who want the very best for their children letting go when it comes to things such as these i.e. standing first in line ... getting your way not matter what.

Father : 'Let aunty take her ice cream first'. Girl looks at me sulkily. I rummage a little bit more and don't find what I want.
Me: 'Thank you - I am done'
Girl still sulky stares at me!
I go over and pick a few more veggies and come to the billing counter. Almost as if there was 'fire emergency' this same Girl scoots past me and pushes her goods in front of the line. There is one more person who is ahead. For some reason she thinks it's OK to push her goods onto the billing table. Again her dad comes to the rescue and tries to call her to the back where he is standing. I really do not know what kind of hurry she was in but she shook her head indicating she was not planning to budge from there. Had my good friend Becky Kurikeshu been there this girl may have got a good 'Whooping'
Isaac's next memory verse is going to be ..
Mathew 20:16 : The last shall be first and the first shall be last.
Someone mentioned that the difference between homeschooled children and those that went to school was that those that went to school learned to stand in a line! I wonder!!!  I guess the order of the line just depends on their mood!

This second one: I am guilty of too ... holding a seat
We are at this famous eatery chain called Adayar .. where you have to sit next to absolute strangers or stand and eat. You get the best Masala Dosa there. We decided to visit last Saturday and as we walked in at lunch time it was rather crowded. I finally stood next to one chair where there was a family of 3. the fourth chair was empty and the fifth chair had some bags on it. I moved Isaac closer and said ' May I'. The mom in the family immediately pounced on the chair that had the bags
'Not this one ... only that one' Pointing at the empty chair.
Sure lady ... its not like I asked you to write me in your will or something. The finished off their meal in time and ours arrived. I was very thankful since we had 5 chairs to ourselves. I was kind of hoping that Ziva would sit on her own. Even though I was pretty sure that was way out there. I held on to four seat and let a lady sit with us. Someone came to take one of the chair's (Ziva's) and I quickly pounced on it saying ' My husband is coming'

Rohini George pleads guilty of 'SEAT HOGGING"

Monday, November 26, 2012

Australia: Quotes from Isaacland

So Suresh is trying to convince me to go out somewhere on a lazy Saturday morning.
Suresh: Where should we go? Cuban park, petting zoo ....
Me: I dont know ... where should we go?

Much like the vultures in Jungle book we push the question back and forth a bit.

Finally Suresh decides to ask Isaac
Suresh: Bumbalooosse where should we go?
Isaac: Australia!

Yes we leave all major decisions to the 3 year old!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A theme a year

Did you ever feel like you were living a theme. I was reflecting on some verses and began thinking of the past 3- 4 years of my life. It seems that every year has had theme ... a song that kept ringing in my head... or a verse from the word of God that keeps coming back. So here is me just sharing

2008: 2 Corinthians5:8 -- Absent inthe body ... present with the lord.
This verse gives me a hope that soon one day, I will meet my father again. My earthly father went to be with the Lord in February 2008.  I live with the hope that one day we will all meet again. During one Sunday service the pastor while talking about someone who had gone to be with the lord mentioned this verse. When Suresh and I watch Isaac play ... imitate people and come up with crazy things to say - we both often say our Appas (Suresh and mine) would have enjoyed watching this vboy. Alas the lord took my dad away too soon!
1 Corinthians 15:26 --- The last enemy to be destroyed will be death.

                                               Top my dad got before he passed away .. I got it after his death

2009: Habakkuk 3:17-19 ----- Yet I will rejoice in the Lord.
In the beginning of this year we were still not sure whether we would have a child. We (Suresh and I) had been married for 6 years and I was slowly loosing home.
Song: 'I' m waiting on you Lord ' .........  Fireproof
And then suddenly all prayers answered ---- Blessings poured down and we awaited the arrival of our first little boy ---- Isaac
Pslam 127 :3 Children are a heritage from the Lord; the fruit of the womb a reward from him.
 Me with Isaac

2010: 2 Chronicles 20:15 --- The battle belongs to the lord
Our prayers  were not heard. Let me correct that our prayers were not answered in the way we wanted them to be answered. We did not get a yes ... instead my mother-in-law went to be with Lord on July 28 2010.
Psalm 46:1 --- A very present help in time of need
Between August 2010 and December 2010 ... we found ourselves alone, scared, hopeless and exhausted. I was working part-time and Suresh full-time. We decided against sending Isaac to day care in the hope that my mom would soon come back and help us with Isaac. But it was 5 months before she came back and at the end of it we were DONE.
We did get one good news during this time of hopelessness Ziva. She was our Good news ... the instigator of the India movement ... the realization that we had been far away  from home too long.
Song: Blessings

                                                                      Isaac July 2010

2011: Being pregnant and taking care of a toddler (1 year old to be specific) is not an easy task. I was constantly tired and there seemed to be a constant challenge on my being a mother since I had no energy to spend with a very energetic Isaac. I felt people all around me being judgmental.
This verse from Philomen by brother Bill Teubl was the best thing I had heard in a long time .. I wish more pastor/ elders were like Bro. Bill
Phil 1:7: because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed by you, brother.

In February of this month I made one of the scariest decisions every. I quit my job! Even before Suresh got the job in GE ... I went in one day and told them that I would not be coming back to work once baby number 2 arrived. The main reason : They wanted me come back as a full time faculty. I thought it the most insane thing to do since I could not handle one kid and a part time job ... how was I to do two kids and full time work.
We did find the most wonderful neighbors! Didi and family on one side and Mitel and family on the other.
The only thing that kept me going was the move to India. I kept praying that life would suddenly improve when we reached India. But we had other issues to deal with. Taking a toddler and displacing him from his most secure place is not the easiest thing to do. While we worried about how our dogs would adjust we forgot that Isaac .... this little person 'Isaac' ...would take the move the hardest.  Tantrums ... missing dad ... and other fun stuff kept this song going in my head.
Song: Life is not a snapshot

 2012: Song: Give them all Are you tired of chasing pretty rainbows .... are you tired of spinning round and round.
Have you heard this song. We heard it December last year at a church we visited.
Most probably because during any part of the day I felt myself being tired and many a days just wanting to give up. I also seem to keep questioning the Lord on whether 'this is what he wants me to do I.e. raising my children or whether this is  'where'  he wants me to be ... at home raising my children. This question normally comes to mind when I lose my temper with Isaac or it seems like I am constantly complaining about one of the kids to Suresh. As the song goes
'Give them all give them all ... give them all to Jesus. And he will turn your sorrows into joy.'


Good Boy : Quotes from Isaacland

We have been teaching Isaac a few basics of gender. Isaac is a boy, Ziva is a girl, Appa is a man, Amma is a woman, Grace chechy is a lady. The need arose when Isaac wanted to wear Ziva's earings!

So Ziva is being all fussy and whiny. The cook goes

Cook: Ziva bad girl, Isaac good girl
Isaac: Pathiamma ... Isaac good boy ... Ziva good girl ..... Isaac -- boy ... Ziva -- girl.

The boy is on a correction spree!

The ABC song: Quotes from Isaacland

Quotes from Isaacland

So I was singing the ABC song to Ziva

Me: ABCD ... EFG .....HIJKL ... MNOP......QRS ....
Brain freeze (or as my good friend John Spindler would say: Brain fart) and a few seconds later

Isaac: Amma not UVW
He has a look of exasperation on his face
Isaac: Its QRS .. TUV ... WX ...

Teaching Isaac ABC ... priceless
Getting corrected by him ... Mastercard!

Friday, November 16, 2012

35 going on 13

35 going on 13. My niece said this while we were jumping into our pool. I was doing all kinds of crazy stuff and not able to keep up with the 13 year old. But I had a blast with Grace.

Grace decided to come a week earlier than my sister and family because she wanted to travel on her own. I had planned lots of things ... a few worked out ... a few didn't. Baking class, lasagna, Thanksgiving dinner, movies and bowling. Of course a regular occurrence would be swimming. With the weather being so foul before she reached I was afraid that we would not be able to go swimming. But for the 10 days she was here ... it was bright and sunny ... well not warm  ... but swimable.

The day after she reached we went for a baking class at Lavonne ( and had a blast. Some one at the class asked us if we were sisters and we got a kick out of that too! We went for a course called 'breakfast pastries' and learned how to make croissants and doughnuts. I never thought we would make it after we reached home. But we tried it two times after that and had good success!

Grace and me 2012

We went for a movie leaving the kids with Suresh. 'Student of the year' was such a teen movie and it got me back to the day when I watched 'Kuch Kuch hota hai'. Super fun! At the interval I even asked her: 'What is the name of the ugly guy' and she said  'Which guy do you like?' Me:'The poor guy' She: 'Me too!' and we both squealed in laughter!  We both junked on chips, fries, chicken pop corn, ice tea and cold coffee.

We went swimming and jumped so many times in the water that towards the last day I had a backache and a headache.  My sister reminded me that I was 35!

We were watching this song from English Vinglish after Grace had left and Suresh said 'That girl is so cute ... she reminds me of Grace' (Sridevi's second niece in the movie). I realized it was not the girl that reminded him of Grace but the relationship we had with this13 year old that we could see ourselves dancing at her wedding!

Grace this song is for you ... I look forward to dancing at your wedding some day :). (Will also pray for the worlds best man for you!)

                                                          Grace my flower girl 2002

The gift of ...

Ephesians 4:11

11 He is the One who gave some the gift to be apostles. He gave some the gift to be prophets. He gave some the gift of preaching the good news. And he gave some the gift to be pastors and teachers.

Whenever I read this verse, I look for myself in there ....which one of these gifts do I have. Every time I leave the verse ... disappointed.  I feel like the little drummer boy who sang 'I have no gifts to bring... pa ra pa pum pum' 

Suresh clearly has the gift of teaching in addition to others that come and go. He is an amazing teacher whether the bible or any other subject. The most important thing is he never puts you down when he is teaching. I call that a sign of a good teacher. Encouraging.

Then one day it clicked me ... what has god gifted me with  .... I have the gift of ... Haggling! Yes.

Why do I say this. Well a couple of incidents to back my gift.

When we arrived back in India, I had clearly lost my skill for haggling. Any market I went to I just paid what they asked from me. So much so that once a vendor sold me a kilo of Taro (cheppankizhangu) for Rs. 40. I did feel a little cheated and my suspicions were confirmed when Suresh, the cook and the maid all yelled at me for not haggling. The next time I went to the market I looked at the fish asked the prices and directly reduced Rs. 200. I ended up getting it for the price I asked for and left a very annoyed fish vendor. I got him to smile when I said ... 'Arre ... at least smile when you take the money!' He did smile ... but now whenever he see me pull up I think he doubles his price.

Another story. We were searching for a water softener since the water at our place was causing my hair to fall. I called a couple of vendors and realised that the price was nowhere close to fixed. So I called two vendors home for a demo/site visit. I suited myself up in my 'haggling gear'. The first guy came and went and gave a quote. Then the next vendor came and the demo was the same old ... a couple brochures and showing me how 'hard' my water was etc etc. I was standing outside the house showing them the water tank and my cousin was walking around listening. Their demo was almost done when I pulled in the dialogue ' Well vendor X is giving me this price ... call you beat it ... there is no difference in your products'. My cousin had this look of disbelief on his face and then a slow grin that almost gave up the whole situation as I put on the look of  'I am dead serious'. As the vendor left ... my cousin said ' Good one Kuttu chechi!' The next four to five days were spent with phone calls where I kept getting the price reduced till one of them finally backed out!

Another story: We needed a few closets put in. So we looked around for a carpenter. Since we had already had one guy come put up a few things for us, we called him and showed him what we needed done. He said 'This plank ... that plank ... the other one  ... Rs 5000' My cook who was listening to the entire conversations yelped 'Rs 5000 ama ... ama'. The carpenter then took us to show some sample pieces of work he had done in another house. When I got the silent eye look from Suresh that this was the person who would do our work ... I started the haggling process. He quoted the price ... I reduced it by Rs 20000  without a calculation ... he did some calculation and quoted another price ... I increased Rs 5000 and got him to agree to to put up our curtain rods and picture frames as well. When we reached back home, the cook called Suresh and said 'Please dont mind me advising you and your wife ... but when these guys come to work for your and quote a price, please ask for less' Suresh smirked 'Amma you dont have to tell my wife that ... she is the queen at that art'

 There are several other stories .... but I wont bore you more. I think you got the point right. But to close up listen to this one conversation between Suresh and me.
 We were planning on buying a car. Suresh and I test drove a few and we were talking about accessories etc. I finally was not sure what I was talking about when it came to alloy wheels and other crazy stuff. So I told Suresh ' Please dont just agree to any price they quote ... please bargain a bit' Suresh's response 'Why dont we got to the showroom. I will point at the car I like and you get it for the best price' he winked!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I spy!

You know how you have these moments in parenthood that you feel so proud that either your head will explode or your chest feels like its going through a heart attack! Well I had one such moment this morning. Well it wasn't head exploding or heart attacking but it was very special.

I have been teaching Isaac this game of 'I spy'. This is a card game puzzle that comes in two pieces. One piece says 'I spy a horse and a choo choo train' and you have the find the matching card. The matching card normally has a lot of a object on it all cluttered together with no theme! There are about 12 such sets. It is for the age group of 3-6. I have shown Isaac this puzzle bit a couple of times and he never seem interested. He always got bored and walked away to something else.

This morning I ran through some phonics and numbers with Isaac and was trying to get him to sit down and write lines. He, however wanted to play with his trains. I decided to move on to some cleaning and started rearranging some boxes. He came to me about 5 minutes later and asked me to open the 'I spy' box. I opened and continued with my cleaning. 5 minutes later Isaac came to me with two sets of card joined. 'See amma ... see'. I thought he had just shoved random pieces together so I nodded. 'See amma the horse is on this card and on the other one'. I stopped ... that was how I taught him to put the sets together. I looked over and he had put two set together correct. I was super proud but I thought maybe beginners luck. So I went over the the other set and told Isaac 'Can you show me more Isaac?'. In a matter of a few minutes he had put all 12 set together all by himselves.  I just wanted to hug and squeeze him ... not because he had completed the 'I spy' game but because he had actually listened to all my instructions.  I guess perseverance does pay!

Next step ... getting Isaac to derive e=mc2       ;)
One super proud mom ... gloating! :)