Thursday, 21 June 2012

Arigatou once again:-))

A BIG Thank You to all of you who responded to the previous post, my mails and messages.

Special Thanks to all who delurked for the first time and after a long time, thank U also to the lurkers who have voted:-)). 

The competition closed last night. The drawings as of now are placed in the 11th & 12th place. I’m not sure we stand a chance to win the prize but we are HOPEFUL.

The kids were thrilled with all the attention and comments except for a comment which was full of hate. Poor things were totally taken aback by that one comment. I encouraged them to look beyond that it but it was difficult. I myself was a little disturbed. But atleast I understand that there are all kinds of people making this world.

There were other minor issues too….like Nikita who simply couldn’t understand how Naina all of a sudden got ahead of her in the votes tally;-D.

And Naina the eternal complainer is still walking around with a gloomy expression because she got lesser comments than her Chechi. She is not bothered about the votes all that much. Talk about priorities;-/.

They also brought in quite a few votes by telling their teachers, classmates & friends in School. And when they saw another kid in the competition posting messages in each contestants comment box asking for votes they asked me if they could do the same. And quite a few responded backJ.

We also learnt that there was a bit of hera-pheri going on. Some of the contestants were accused of using proxy sites to vote for their drawing. I was not exactly sure how this worked & so couldn’t explain to the kids when they asked. All I could tell them was that there was a suspicion that a few contestants were bringing in votes the illegal way. At first they were hopping mad but later on hopeful that the organisers will see through it and then they’ll stand a GOOD chance of being selected among the 5 finalists.

All in all a very good experience. I normally don’t push the kids to do anything they don’t like or are uncomfortable with because I remember my own hang-ups as a kid. Believe me I had a lot of them. But when I see enterprising parents all around me I feel I need to encourage them more. After all how do they know whether they’ll enjoy it or not until they try it.

Spelling Bee Competition is next. Naina has on her own come forward and asked if she could take part whereas Nikita is not very interested[she knows the hard work involved;-P]. I have cunningly[reverse psychology people, reverse psychology;-D] got her to register. If I’m going exert effort training one kid, for the same effort I can do two, right. Plus I need something to occupy them in the summer hols.

Which brings me to the next part……….I have tentatively decided to take a break from blogging. Maybe till September or October. We’ve decided not to go home this year. Which is why this blog-break doesn’t make any sense even to me. But I feel like one. But like I said I’m not sure. I still haven't forgotten my last blog-break, I almost didn’t get back. And that is my one and only fear.

So I’m thinking I won’t close all avenues. If I really feel like posting something… pictures or interesting forwards I’ll do that. And whether I post or not I’ll be around…checking on all of you whether you guys are behaving yourselves and ofcourse posting my ‘valuable’ inputs on your posts….hah you can’t stop me there;-D.

And yeah IF we win I’ll definitely tell YOU about it;-D.

Thank YOU once again for all the support!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Moo's the word....

The first I heard about it was when the kids brought home a promotion pack from school in early June. The pack contained lots of puzzles, questions, stickers and facts about milk and things related to Milk.

“What’s the occasion???” I wonder.

“It was World Milk Day on June 1st” the kids educate me.

The UAE Ministry of Education was working alongside a popular Milk Brand to raise awareness about the importance of milk in the diet of growing children. Hence the goody packs.

The kids were also talking about a picture they had to draw & post on a website which will win them exciting prizes. I was okay with them doing the puzzles and reading up facts but since they had unit tests coming up I sternly told them they could work on the drawing after the tests. Anyways they had time till June 20th to upload their picture didn’t they???

As the week passed I could hear them discussing amongst themselves about the other kids who posted their pictures and collected ‘n’ number of votes, all the while throwing hopeful/dark/beseeching looks at me. All the emotional blackmail didn’t affect me..…the unit tests were not a joke, a percentage of the marks were added to the final examination total. We couldn’t afford to sit back and take it easy. 

A week or so later after the kids left to school, I found the competition form while I was clearing up and decided to read what the whole hullabaloo was about. One of the things which caught my eye was the prize. There were 3 prizes….each was an all-expenses paid family holiday to New Zealand, the home of Anchor. My heart stopped beating for a moment; I dropped everything and sat down to read everything about the competition.

Anybody who has followed this blog for more than 2 years now, know about my fascination with New Zealand. You've noticed right, how every meme which asks “Favourite Place to visit” has New Zealand plastered on it. 

You get what I’m driving at……it seemed like a sign. It was like somebody sitting high up above was telling me “You always wanted to go there right, I’ll give you a chance to work at it”. A feeling of guilt I was trying to fulfil a dream of mine through the kids also ran through the mind but was quickly dismissed to focus on more important matters.

The subject for the competition was “Draw your Dream New Zealand Farm” and the only condition was that the farm should show pasture, cows and milk. Didn’t sound too hard huh???

When the kids came back home I magnanimously told them they could get started on their drawings provided they finished their lessons first. The kids were so thrilled that post lunch, foregoing their usual reading time, they sat down and finished all their portions in one go.

Nikita had a vision of what she was going to draw and was soon involved in it but Naina as usual dawdled, every once in a while craning her head to look at her Chechi was doing and trying to emulate her. You see, Nikita can draw from the images in her head whereas Naina till today drew from picture books.

I was not even sure whether Naina was going to finish her drawing but it was important that she tried because…..

She needed to be given the opportunity.

She needed to build her confidence.

She’ll eat our heads and make all of us miserable complaining that we didn’t even give her a chance. That she was never given any importance because she is youngest. That she wished she was born eldest. That life is so unfair. That she is SAD. That nobody understands her. That…..

By now we are all ready to pull our hair out.

Naina draws well but has no confidence in her abilities. The better-half & I are so tired of telling her she is as good as her sister if not better. Anyways, fed up with the whining I picked up a few picture books and asked her to find pictures depicting farm life and take inspiration from that. She took one look at me and knew I had reached the end of my tether & quietly started going thru the books.

It took them both 2 days to complete the pictures. One day to draw & the next to colour. On the 2nd day again Naina was found loitering around disconsolately. Her grouse…her picture was not as ‘full of details’ as Chechi’s. Personally I liked Naina’s picture better but how do I tell her??? Nikita was sitting there colouring her picture and her ears were trained in this direction. And even if I took her aside and told her the 1st thing she’ll do is go and triumphantly tell her sister what I said. And now for goodness sakes, now you guys don’t rat on me.

I gathered every ounce of patience I had[I was this close to telling her to quit] and sat with her till she finished. Finally we posted both the pictures on the site. And voted.

1 vote each.

We then checked out the rest of the competition. And that was when it hit us. VOTES. We needed votes. Lots of them. And that was when I realised how much they lost out on because they hadn’t posted their pictures earlier. I set to work immediately and sent out an SOS to almost all the names on my contact list, then sent messages to many FB friends. Almost 96% of you replied back within a day to say you voted. 

Thank U!!!!!!

A special thanks to Sakshi who not only voted from all the machines/ipad/smartphones in her house but also personally went to her husband’s office in the evening and forced all the people in the office to vote for 2 little kids she has never seen.

In the course of one week my children accumulated 300 votes and stood first from their school. In this process we learnt a lot. Atleast I felt like I woke up from a deep sleep. For all my dreams about going to NZ I didn’t put much effort, just mailed everybody and thought I did my bit. But as the votes kept mounting and good wishes poured in the kids were so happy……..ecstatic about EACH & EVERY vote they got. Every comment was precious. It was infectious. I too began to feel that my kids actually stood a chance. I began thinking about what else I could do. 

To be honest I was not going to post it on the blog at all. I felt a bit silly. Like I was advertising or begging even. And all for what….for my daughters’ doodles. Now emails are different. How different??? I am not sure…more kind of private-like, I suppose. No logic, I know;-).

So I then scanned my contact list again & mailed a few people who I had omitted when I sent emails earlier. Like aunties who I don’t keep in touch all that much, who will think ‘Oho she needs help, so she contacted us now’. Like Uncles who held important positions in their companies, who might laugh at this niece who has no other work than to bug people for votes for her daughters’ scribbles. 
Guess what??? 
In reply they all called me, discussed with me how they could help & with child-like enthusiasm promised me they would forward it to all their contacts and even post it on their Facebook accounts;-D.

I mean, seriously?????

I was so touched. From my friends yes I expected & received support but people who I never expected any attention from, it just floored me. Made me think.

The votes have crossed 400+ now and we have just 2 days[last date: 20th June 2012] to accumulate another 400 votes to be on par with the others. Tall order I know. The kids are enthusiastically campaigning for votes at school. The better-half has finally started telling his friends about it. And I am posting it on my blog and asking you ALL to go to the link given below and vote. I’ll go as far as to ask you to vote from every single laptop/tablet/smartphone around the vicinity[they've got this 1 machine=1 vote funda] and plus mail people you think will help. If you are too busy it's okay because even your ONE vote is precious. That I know you will give me. Thank YOU already:-))!!!!!

The links:


We may or may not win but we are determined to go down trying!!!!

p.s: Just as I was ending the post I realised that I could have just copy/pasted the short mail I sent to everybody earlier but you know me...on the blog I metamorphosize into this alien being who needs to explain in great detail the whys & wherefores.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Of Colds, Cakes and Curtains

My original intention was to let the pictures do the talking.  I thought for once I'll spare you the long-winded monologues and come directly to the point. I'm sure we all agree that original intentions are always usually well-meaning ones. If I had followed my original intentions I'd have climbed atleast 2 mountains by now, served as a librarian in my spare time and raised money for charity inbetween. 

Note to people who wandered in for the first time: Now is the perfect time to get out of here, most posts on this page are about the blogger and her 'frog in the well' existence. A perfect example is this post...she is updating on what happened to her between the last update and today. 
"What happened???" You ask.
Why, nothing!!!
Aaaah you are getting the gist!!! 
Thats right, the blogger loves to believe people are interested in her ramblings. 
What about all the people who comment on her blog????
They are all people with hearts of Gold, I salute them for their patience and kind-heartedness.
So just go, Go, GO before you get entangled in her nothings!!!!!

Without further ado......

We caught a cold.
We medicated ourselves and successfully managed to turn it into an infection.
We are now dutifully following the doctor's instructions. 
Naina was the only one who was excited. 
The doc prescribed antibiotics in the form of tablets[instead of the usual bitter syrup] for her. 
She makes a big production out of it. First time you see. 
  • Tablet - check
  • Water - check
  • Chair to sit on - check
  • Table to place water & tablet on - check
  • Jug of water closeby in case she needs more - check
First she drinks a little water to moisten her mouth.
Then she places the tablet in the centre of her tongue.
She raises glass of water immediately to mouth and swallows 3-4 gulps of it in quick succession.
Then grins at me triumphantly as if she is the only kid in the world who has swallowed tablets.

I cater to all her whims.
Just grateful she eats them without a fuss.

Reason: I hated tablets when I was young; my mum went thru a harrowing 20 minutes every time it was time for my medicines.

I think we fell sick because of this stoopid, stoopid park. It's right behind our apartment. I leaned far out and took this picture from my balcony to show you; the things I do to keep you guys entertained. 
We knew summer[the horrid humid months] was around the corner so we wanted to make the most of the good weather. I went for morning walks & badminton, the kids played till they dropped & the better-half exercised & played volleyball. 

Moral of the story: People who are couch-potatoes by nature should not attempt heroics.

Remember this plant??? 
Oh dont mind the Aloe Vera, it cant decide whether it wants to live or die. 
I'm talking about the tiny stalk in the brown pot. 
The one I got from the park from my morning walks. 
The one I planted over Naina's plum seed. Remember??? 
Good news: It blooomed;-D. 

Bad news: Naina is expecting to eat plums very soon.

At school
Coming back to how we fell sick, there could be another reason. Last weekend we sat outside in the humidity for more than 2 hours waiting for Nikita's program to start. It could also have happened because we went hunting for black stockings in the hot sun the previous day because Nikita piteously cried about how they would throw her out of the song if she went without them. 

Reaction: Hopping mad when I saw more than half the kids were not wearing them;-/.

The only good thing about infections is that we stay put. 
No energy to move equals more puzzle pieces finding their groove. 
Move....groove......gosh, I'm waxing poetry now;-o
What do u mean you can't make out any difference from the last picture I posted and this???? 
I fixed the mountains and 30% of the forest. 

Favourite Quote: Believe you can and you are halfway there ~Theodore Roosevelt

Like I said, no energy to move means no energy to light the stove.
Now I really have to set aside a separate book for poetry.
What's the point of cooking something we can't taste right??? 
But one must make the effort.

Heights of Perseverance: We dragged ourselves to the nearest burger joint and forced ourselves to eat.

I claim no credit for the white scribblings
When complaints of 'no taste in the mouth' rose to a crescendo it was time.....
Time to let go.
Time to raise the bar.
Time to bake a cake silly;-).
That box with the blue lid.....there's a perfectly good reason why it's there in the picture.

Honest Truth: It's got cupcakes. 

Now my original intention was to end this post with the cake picture.

Way back in April I wrote about my glass window & the need for curtains. 

Everybody agreed I needed curtains.

The next post when I talk about my complicated thought process, you comment "Did you put up the curtains???"  

Then when I blog about the anti-social elements I'm raising in my backyard and you are "Don't tell me you haven't got those curtains yet????"

I don't blog for 2 weeks and I get tongue-in-cheek mails asking if I was busy shopping for curtains???

So settling all doubts & queries in that direction.....

Proof: The curtains!!!!