Saturday, December 31, 2016

Customary year end post

It's the last day of the year already and now I am sitting down to draft my year end post! Phew! What was I thinking? Uh well as long as this post makes it before 2017 breaks in - am good. 

What a year it has been. So full. So sumptuous. Started with the care of a little baby. Those tumultuous months of frenzied nappy changes, feeding, post partum care and the mandatory  weight loss attempt. Some things were harder this time around while some were easier. The most special bit was making the trip to Bradford with the two kids and mummy in tow to get the travel documents for Pumpki. Both the days were cold and wintry and rainy. But with the warmth of the ones who love you, it is so special. 

We moved to a new place. We bid goodbye, packed, searched houses, booked tickets, unpacked and rearranged, settled down and started afresh. 

It was followed by the lovely Indian summer! We laughed, we ate, we roamed, we shopped, we wept as we bid goodbye. The moments, the time, the feel of being home - something I will hold very close to my heart. 

Back in the UK with a lot of heartache we resumed life. It included school, new work, a bout of sickness,trial at new ventures and the wait with trepidation for results. 

This year has been fabulous. Extremely busy and full to the brim with activities. I read a lot. Wrote a lot. Spoke a lot. Heard a lot. Loved a lot. Lived a lot. Here is hoping a tranquil 2017. Here is hoping a successful 2017. Here is hoping a healthy 2017. Here is hoping a year we are at peace with. Happy new year everyone!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Diwali nehi Christmas sahi

Remember how I said that I totally missed Diwali this year? But there was Christmas to be celebrated.

Being in the UK for the past 6 years, I have honestly not been able to understand the big deal about Christmas. In India it was more of a religious thing. I remember the nativity plays and the carol singing in school. Later I was more in tune with Christians going for midnight masses. Yes with a large number of expats coming back the malls in bigger cities started getting trees and hosting sales. 

In the UK it seems an entirely commercial event. The purchases start from September. There is a wild frenzy with 'Christmas adverts' and 'sale season'. I know it's a bit like Diwali in north or south India or Durga Puja in east. But come on we don't go berserk like this!

This year we did! We had Pumpki 's birthday party planned for the 26th of December, since 28th - her birth day was a working day. The 'party day' being boxing day - the official start of post Christmas sale was bang in the middle of a long weekend. People have plans. So we extended the invitation right in advance. K had a few out of town colleagues. I started getting on with the venue and catering.

Since it was a long weekend many had out of town vacations. Some had work related issues with year end release from projects. So K had a few dropouts. The venues and catering were also a bit difficult to get because of the holiday season. We took a leap of faith and decided to host the party at home. Since we were looking at a small gathering, we decided to cook at home and maybe get some of the items from restaurants. 

Weeks before the party I started fussing over the return gifts, the menu, the cutlery, the decorations, the attire and all the other details. Things got thrown a bit off balance with the chicken pox season hitting the family. With K and Pumpki contracting it a couple of weeks before the party, things seemed more doubtful. Thankfully a speedy recovery was on track. 

Two days before the party the frenzied cooking started. There were numerous trips to the town centre and supermarkets to get this and that. Sticky tape, tumblers, gift bags - no matter how much one plans there are still the last minute dashes.

We had a quiet party with few of K 's closest friends. It was really lovely. I totally enjoyed Christmas. I totally got the fuss. If I was having panic attacks  planning a party with a few people and deciding the return  gifts for a few children - imagine the stress of organising one for your whole family with gifts, food and what not! 

I had a thoroughly enjoyable Christmas. The best thing was I could celebrate the little one's birthday within my maternity break. Here is hoping to make the most of my last week before work. Wow time......  Where does it go?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Tagging along

Remember those times when tags were so popular. I used to do one a month I think. Finally Amy did a tag and it was simply awesome.  She executed it so nicely that I could not resist it. Here goes...

1. If we didn’t work to earn money, what would I be doing?

Cooking :) I aspire to be a tea stall owner :)

2. What would I say in my own eulogy?

A thoughtful person with her heart in the right place. But also her head in the right place which made her seem like an emotionless b. :)
It's my eulogy, I can swear :)

3. Where do I see myself in 10 years?

I hope to have made my peace professionally and enjoying my time with my girls who would be just the right age then - not kids nor adults, not clingy nor indifferent.

4. Do I receive more than I give, or give more than I receive?

Always equal. For me the scale seems balanced. Maybe I tune my giving to what I receive. 

5. What is the one thing I can do better than others?

Debate. I am too logical and can nail a debate.

6. Whom do I want to be like?

Michelle Obama - those killer arms, that wit, that intellect, those gorgeous daughters and that cool husband! 
But really - I have always wished to be like my mother.

7. What have I done for which I’ll be remembered after I am gone?

This blog - I hope. 

8. Who are the ones who make me happy?

I am a very selective person, and anyone within my circle makes me happy.
Mummy, Papa, Lichie, K, Chiyaa, Pumpki, Ashu, Sam, roomie dear 

9. Do people miss me if I’m not present in a gathering?

No. I am nondescript in gatherings, why would I be missed?

So would you take a shot at this tag?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

A meh birthday

Mehbe.... Depends.... You decide ;)

As I might have told umpteen  times I just love my birthday. Just love it. December starts and I start planning the lovely day. Well this December hasn't been the usual cold rosy December of other years. It started with Chiyaa being ill. Chiyaa is getting better and though she has a cold I hoped that she would be ok in time for my birthday. But sadly last Saturday  I noticed some spots On K 's back and neck. Having had an interaction quire recently I suspected chicken pox. K had contracted the disease earlier. Since one is immune lifelong generally after getting it once, we had our doubts. 

We anyways called the 24 hours helpline and K got an appointment the next day with the out of hours clinic. I think those doctors must have gotten used to seeing our family over the weekend. I was very sure it was chicken pox by Sunday morning since he had all the classic symptoms. He headed to the doctors and he was seen by two because it is pretty rare to contract the disease twice. But it was concluded as the chicken pox and K was asked to keep an eye on any worsening symptoms.

K kept his pain under control and generally retired to netflix. Last year the impending birth of Pumki stole my birthday thunder. And this year it was going to be daddy. 

On the eve of my birthday we ordered food from outside. The food turned out to be delicious. It was an Indian/ Bangladeshi place. I ordered Brinjal bharta and tarka dal and the seasoning with mustard oil was simply superb. It was not the style of cooking we were used to in Leeds. It was a very pleasant surprise. 

Birthday morning K felt particularly weak. He asked me to drop Chiyaa at school. Now if the weather is nice and sunny and you are in no hurry, the buses run spot on time. But it is raining, you need to get in time an  in a nutshell you need a bus - it is never ever on time. Yes Murphy and his laws. I didn't want to risk it so booked a cab. But the cabs were not around from the 0820-0840 slot. The slot we needed to reach school on time. But we had one for 0815 and booked it with alacrity *rolls eyes*.  To get ready 10 minutes early we had to rush. I didn't have time to feed and linger behind Chiyaa. So I made her sit with her breakfast and kept yelling at her intermittently to shove food down her mouth. Not ideal. Not what you want to do on your birthday. But then who said reality is all rosy dandy. 

We reached school real early. And I had to keep her amused by making observations. It was fun actually. At one point I remembered and said 'you know it is mummy's birthday today '. She hugged me and said happy birthday! A far cry from last year when she used to think it can only be her birthday in a year. She used to get so upset if we said it was anyone else's birthday.  A birthday for me but my child had grown. 

I could catch the bus back home but then thought about a walk. It was dark and damp but what better way to up the birthday spirit by getting some endorphins via exercise. So music on full blast I walked back home. 

Back home I gave the meds,  tea and general tlc to K. After sometime to get his mind off the pain, he put on some series on netflix. The binge watching started. A week ago it was CBeebies and now it was The Good Wife. The tv is an overworked appliance in our house.

Evening keeping with the norm if me not entering the kitchen, we ordered some food. It was good. Finally an awesome thing happened! Roomie dear made a video call. It was weird talking with our kids on our laps. But it was wonderful. We should have done it sooner and should do it more often time permitting. A has started working part time now with Thursday Friday being her non working days. And once a week  we catch up. I have never felt more connected. Thank god for the Internet revolution.

I could not have asked for a better birthday gift than K being around.  And in a distorted way I got it! Maybe it was God's diabolical way if ensuring that we spend the day together! I know not ideal. But then isn't perfect boring. 

Coming back to the case in point. What do you think - was it a meh birthday or a yeah one?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Limping back

Chiyaa started school today after a gap of 8 school days. She is still not 100 percent but the school office encouraged that if she feels well in herself and has no new blisters she is ok to be brought in. Poor kitty has not been sleeping so well. The scabs itch a lot and she has trouble sleeping. In fact she is very scared and conscious of the blisters which look more prominent in the scabbed out format. She kept telling 'I have  boils and am poorly I shouldn't goto school'..but we tried to convince her by saying that her teachers and friends missed her. We all went to drop her. Reaching back she was given lots of hugs by her friends. She cried a bit when they all settled down. I promised we would take a bus ride home. She really loves a bus ride :) Her teacher was also very considerate and inclusive. There will be no cbeebies running endlessly at home. I had started to hum the tunes of some of the shows Chiyaa watches :) K was like seriously?  :) what to do, the tunes are catchy.

Pumpki did miss her sister today. The sisters have a way. I play with her but I cannot match the fun she has with big sister. In fact I have a video call with mummy in the morning. All the way in India across the window she felt the emptiness of Chiyaa not being there. In a way things are slowly going back to normal.  Even I stepped out of the house after a span of 15 days. All my outings in the interim has been visits to hospital or pharmacies.

If by normal I mean my work then the countdown has started. My 'suspended' account was reinstated yesterday. I had to search the house to find my work laptop - which I eventually did! I guessed my login password and voila was greeted by this

Going back to work will be such an experience this time around. It reminds me so much of the previous time. We have lot of things being the same, the most important is having mil  back. She will be here with us next week. She is raring to go and with her prior experience feels much more confident about  handling the little one. Things will be a bit different. Since I have moved to Ipswich I have a different working arrangement. I will be travelling to Leeds twice a month and will be working from home for the other days. Seems so much better than being away at work. I will be around hopefully mil can have her lunch in peace , or get help setting  the pram  (last time she was nervous about a lot of things like how to put the struggling toddler in the high chair or how to get the pram sorted. She eventually managed it but had her initial apprehensions. The good part was K was right across the street, so he could run to her aid anytime - meetings permitting). But I have worked from home before and it is a challenge with kids. I am not sure if I will be permitted to be efficient. Kids have a way of throwing a fit when one is  right in the middle of a very crucial discussion. I will also be travelling and in January when I join, I will be away for 2 nights. It will be interesting to see how things evolve, we are still open to the option of kids travelling, but given Chiyaa's fragile health, are not fully convinced to travel yet. 

The coming days are the last sprint. It fills me with nostalgia. How time literally flew! I wish I could just make it all stop. But stop we mustn't, for we got a party to host. Yeah Pumpki turns one in 3 weeks!