Sunday, October 28, 2007
We called one of our friends who lives nearby (and is blissfully enjoying the single life), and pretty much said that we were going to visit him. I haven't done an unannounced visit on anyone in a long time and just doing it made me feel so good. It was nice to go somewhere and just relax. The guys decided to have some beer and they very thoughtfully bought me a bottle of root beer (non-alcoholic beverage that somehow reminded me of iodex). So i was trying out to relive my single life, having a drink out of a bottle as opposed to glasses and must say this - it was quite liberating. For once, Mihir, who loves exploring every nook and cranny, had a go at everything in sight and wasn't told off (although i set about protecting their much loved gizmos by blocking his access with chairs, tables, pillows - anything in sight - he still enjoyed himself and didn't complain and seemed to be quite interested in just discovering some way past it). He loved the indulgence - no toys in sight and nothing else that he could really destroy. He also did them a great favour by licking their tables clean. I was very worried and feeling guilty about trashing their place - but they assured me its much worse when their friends come over (yes i guess a toddler is never competition to partying single adults).
Having pizzas, eating a lovely tiramisu and having a swig of root beer, made one hell of a relaxing evening. And the icing on the cake was a happy child who was in dreamland by the time we got back home.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
We chatted about everything under the sun while having lunch and then sat together in the living space and started talking again. We had some yoghurt and icecream and little Nayaz was very keen to taste what we were having. So he crawled to his father for a bit of yoghurt.Faisal gave him some and he loved the taste so much that he kept making sounds to ask for more whenever he finished what was given to him. We were very amused by his expressions!
Meanwhile Adi and Iba started playing and the two buddies, as usual, started fighting over toys. We tried to mediate and when our efforts failed we decided to let them sort out their differences themselves.After a while they started playing together and it was clear that they were enjoying themselves. I looked at them and sighed. Iba would really miss little Adi, her first friend in Singapore.
When my hubby Faisal got a job offer from Singapore and decided to go for it, the first thing that came to my mind was thank god Neelum would be there! When Faisal came, Amol helped him find a place to stay.We purposely rented a house in close proximity to Neelum's so that it would be easier for us to socialize with each other. My hubby came first as I was pregnant with my second baby at that time.
On most weekends Neelum and I and our hubbies would go out somewhere and have good fun. Apart from being our close buddies, Amol and Neelum were also our "help hotline" in Singapore. Anything we needed to know, be it the bus route to "Little India" or where to buy an oven from, they were our constant guides. And they were always eager to help us out.
Neelum and I would talk over the phone almost everyday and meet frequently along with the kids. My daughter Ibnat is very fond of playing with Adi and also talking with him over phone. One place that we used to visit regularly was the Library as Neelum and I share a love of reading.
When it was time to leave neither Neelum nor I could hold back the tears. It was a poignant moment. Bidding farewell to friends is never easy, as I had realized once before in my life when I had set off for my home town, leaving all my friends behind, after completing my studies.
We said goodbye to each other, vowing to keep our friendship and the blog alive !
Friday, October 26, 2007
For the time being I have made the following changes in my lifestyle :
- I am doing "cardio" four times a week
- I stretch three times a day (my stretching sessions are very short...around five minutes)
- I am doing abdominal exercises thrice a week (I follow Denise Austin's abdominal exercises)
So for the time being I am only concentrating on the exercise part and have made no changes to my diet. I just wish I could lose the weight overnight like in the "Atkins Diet" but I realize now that there is no healthy short-cut to weight loss!!!!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
At night, goddess Laxmi is worshipped and night vigil is observed. According to a folk-tale, once a king fell on evil days, and was in great financial straits, but then his queen observed this fast and night vigil, and worshipped the goddess of wealth, Laxmi. Consequently, they were blessed by the goddess and they regained their prosperity.
Some people believe that on this night Laxmi moves about from place to place asking, "Who is awake?" ("Kojagarti?") and shows her pleasure on those she finds awake. Hence, the night is spent in festivity and various games of amusement, in honour of the goddess. So people sit in the moonlight singing songs, or keep themselves entertained in some other way. They observe fast from solid food and take only fluids like coconut water or milk. Milk is boiled until it thickens, and milk masala (a combination of dry fruits) is added to it and drunk. There is also the tradition to have cool Milk & Rice flakes on this night. It is a harvest festival and is celebrated throughout the country, particularly by us Maharashtrians i.e. by people residing in Maharashtra.
I particularly remember this day (or should I say night); Mom would thicken the milk & add all sorts of dry fruits to it. After dinner, we would then sit in our balcony & allow the milk to soak up all the cooling light of the moon. The milk is kept in the moonlight as it is believed that the moonlight has some special cooling medicinal properties on this night. In olden days queens & other ladies made their kajal on this day, and it was stored in a silver box & allowed to bask in the moonlight all night long. This tradition of making kajal is done even now, the reason again is that the cooling properties of the moonlight will benefit the kajal that is applied to cool the eyes. As kids we sat, talked, shared jokes and had a good time. The milk was consumed & then it would be time for bed, as these would be school days. We were never allowed to stay up all night.
Coming to think of today again, I have made the masala-milk, thickened it; & plan to take it to a place where it can soak up some moonlight (just pray that it is a cloud-less night). I want to tell my son why this is done & that what fun it is!! This will also be my last festival in Singapore this year. I am of course sad to leave my dear friends behind specially Malins whom I met coincidentally after our student days & it was so nice that our kids got to know each other & have grown fond of one another. Aadi will also miss Aaba & baby as he calls Malina's beautiful kids.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
However, now I have decided to take this weight gain in my stride and work towards some lifestyle changes which will help me lose a bit of weight before I go to my hometown in December. I want to look good for my son's birthday which, god willing, we will celebrate in December.
People say that women never really lose the weight from the second pregnancy and I think that there is some truth in it. Not that I believe that this statement is true but I feel that it is much more difficult after a second pregnancy. The weight kind of clings onto you and does not want to leave. I have been nursing and I don't think that makes much of a difference!
In the coming days I'll be writing more about my lifestyle changes!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Ibnat loves going out and her initial excitement when we go out is infectious. Her initial excitement may be transient and be replaced by tantrums at a later point when she is hungry or sleepy. She does not like to be in a pram these days and prefer walking and exploring things by herself. She is also very very reluctant to hold hands but I have made it clear to her that not holding hands is something that she will not get away with but she will still sometimes create a big fuss over it and cross her arms over her chest so that we are unable to hold her hands.
When I am out with Ibnat I take the opportunity to teach her about the world. She now knows the "green man" and the "red man" while crossing the road. Thanks to her frequent supermarket visits with me she can identify a number of vegetables and fruits. All salespeople in "Shop 'N Save" , the supermarket where I frequent, are now very familiar with her and therefore her supermarket visits are more like social outings.
We have taken Ibnat to the "Night Safari" and she was really thrilled. She also loved the "Underwater World" as fish is something that fascinates her. A zoo trip is something that I am looking forward to with her and I can imagine that she is going to have a lot of questions about the animals.
I try not to make trips with Ibnat too elaborate because even on a small scale they may be tiring to a child. And successful outings with toddlers depend a lot on the right supplies so I always carry the following things in Ibnat's bag:
- a diaper
- water bottle
- some cheese in a Ziploc bag
- one of her favorite toys
I also love taking nature walks with Ibnat and it doesn't have to be a fancy place.....the nearby park is usually the place where we go. The birds in the tree, the grass and the butterflies are all enough at the moment to get my toddler thinking and learning about the natural world.
Friday, October 19, 2007
A dream pillow is a small bag or pillow filled with herbs. Tucked inside your pillowcase, the herbs will be crushed slightly as you sleep, thus releasing their subtle aromas. Making your own dream pillow is simple. Use any aromatic herbs of your choice and which you find relaxing for example rose petals, lavender, lemon balm, & chamomile.
You will need: One 5x12 inch natural fabric strip in your favourite design. A handful of cotton batting or fiberfill. 1/2 cup of dried herbs.
Method: Fold your fabric into half with the right sides together, so you have a 5x6 inch piece. Stitch up two sides of the pillow, leaving the folded side & the open end -not sewn.
Wash and dry this with a on-fragrant soap & softener to remove any dyes or any other unpleasant odours. Turn the right side out and place a ball-sized amount of cotton or fiberfill in the bottom of this pillow. Now add the 1/2 cup of herbs and top it off with the remaining cotton or fiberfill. To finish this fold over the open end & sew it up to close it.
Voila !! your dream pillow is ready & you have to just insert it in your pillowcase and lay down on it & relaxxxxx......
Thursday, October 18, 2007
During my pregnancy I used to love reading about it in books and in the internet. My favourite website for looking up information on the various stages of pregnancy was http://www.babycentre.com/ and a book by Heather Welford about pregnancy was my constant companion. In my first pregnancy I was very busy as I was working but I managed to do antenatal exercises which really helped me a lot and I think it was the major factor behind my normal delivery. My second pregnancy was unplanned and I did not really take much care of myself during that time. During my second pregnancy my hubby accepted a job offer from Singapore and so towards the end of the second birth the process of relocation had already started. So it was a time of some major changes in our lives.
However, I have one BIG REGRET and that is I did not maintain a pregnancy journal. I think if I had done it then it would have been wonderful to look at it a few years down the line. Neelum did give me the idea of writing a journal but somehow I could not get myself to start it.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
- i love the fact that its all goody goody and glossy. And i just simply love the fact that the Principal loves reading harry potter.. now that's a school i would like to go to.
- the army connection - and the way in which the principal always messes up with the ranks. Just so that you never ever mess it up, i have listed them here.
- Army Officer Ranks: General, Lt. General, Major General, Brigadier, Colonel, Lt. Colonel, Major, Captain, Lieutenant
- Army Junior Commissioned Officer Ranks: Subedar Major, Subedar, Naib Subedar
- Army Non-commissioned Ranks: Company Havildar Major, Havildar, Naik, Lance Naik, Sepoy
- Navy Officer Ranks: Admiral, Vice Admiral, Rear Admiral, Commodore, Captain, Commander, Lt. Commander, Lieutenant, Sub Lieutenant
- Air force Officer Ranks: Air Chief Marshal, Air Marshal, Air Vice Marshal, Air Commodore, Group Captain, Wing Commander, Squadron Leader, Flight Lieutenant, Flying Officer
- The violins and huge fans blowing whenever the gorgeous Sush makes an entry - makes it the ultimate 60's Bollywood fantasy.
- And the inspiration from other movies - Sholay (the cycle rickshaw called Dhanno), Matrix (all kinds of elasticated movements), RD Burman music (i must say not distastefully remixed), my all time favourite Amol Palekar's Golmaal, a touch of Masoom, love triangles- all expertly weaved in - to make a chocolate entertainer. I wonder if there is a little bit of Die Hard at the end what with hostages and fire in the background.
- The weird teachers - the Hindi teacher Mrs Kakkad who keeps knitting, and the physics teacher who keeps spraying everyone, and of course the chemistry teacher who sets every guy's heart racing - i am sure this will remind us all of our school and college days - and the perfect touch of the office window of the i-card office closing just when you finally reach it.
- And last but not the least - there are some hilarious originals - like "he is one of those sata savitra types" that have you chuckling all through the movie.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Saturday, October 13, 2007
I want to make some yummy snacks & watch the finals, watching with friends around would be more fun....so I will ask Ranz to stay back.
Today we have been invited my Malina to her house for lunch as part of the Ramzaan Eid celebrations. So I am looking forward to some good time with friends and good food !!
Hubby dear wants to go & check out some new mobile phones so my guess is that our evening will be spent in the phone shops....
But I also want to eat Chaat, some good stuff; but then again we'll have to go to Tanjong Katong or Suntec City both are far; so I don't know how we're going to do it all !!!
Aadi had fever 2 days back so don't want to make it too hectic for him either, so we'll be fighting to strike a balance.
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Than settle for the one available.
Best to wait for the one you love
Than settle for one who's around…
Best to wait for the right one.
Life is short to waste on the wrong person....
It is better to meet the person, who will truly love you later,
Than meet someone now who promises to love you but sooner or later leaves you forever.....
Never try to impress someone to make him/her fall in love with you
If you do, you will be expected to keep the standard for the rest of your life...
Fate determines who comes into our lives. The heart determines who stays...!!!
Monday, October 8, 2007
So my bookshelf now has these additions:
The yummy mummy's survival guide - thats a handbook written for mothers to help them deal with what their babies will throw at them, written in the legally blond style - lots of emphasis on self-pampering there - i quite enjoyed it - although its not one hundred percent me - i was glad to know that i am not the only one facing the baby challenges and reacting in not so very pleasant ways.
Michael Palin's Himalaya - this a travelogue about Palin's travels through the great Himalayan mountains - i am reading it right now and love every minute of it - just waiting for the day when i can do such a journey.
An introduction to child development - this looked very interesting and have just started reading it - Psychology has always fascinated me.
Mythology - this is one of the eyewitness guides - love all the pictures in this book and since i have always been interested in the Indian and Greek mythological stories, this tells me there is a treasure trove out there from various other civilizations.
Babies and Young Children - Certificate in Child Care and Education - i just picked this book up because i wanted to see what the prescribed curriculum has to say on the subject.
Mihir's bookshelf now has:
Thats not my train...
Thats not my tractor...
Maisy Dresses Up
Play with Spot
Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes (dual language version with English and Albanian)
And as if thats not all, i also went and borrowed some DVDs from the local video library
I now have the Harry Potter movies - Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire - just thought i would revise before i got around to borrowing the latest
and one Jennifer Aniston movie - cant remember the name.
So now that my bookshelf and DVD shelf is well stocked - this week should be a breeze for both of us - till Baba gets back home.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
And yes...I am finally going to use the iron-wok that my Mum sent me!!
Zee TV is broadcasting the Sharukh Khan movie 'Badshaah' in the afternoon so that will be a good watch with some good lunch in hand. Evening time we hope to make it to the park with Aadi and his new cycle. I want to also meet up with Malina & meet Naazu who is finally recovering from a bad bout of Roseola. I just hate it when kids are ill, especially since they can't tell us what is happening to them & how they are feeling.
Yes..before I forget, I must tell you guys about our dinner last night. We were at the Food Republic at the Suntec Convention Center, and Ranz told us about this place for good chicken-rice. We all dug-into the tender chicken & lovely fragrant rice. These were accompanied by a very tasty soup, some red chili paste/sauce & ginger sauce. I must say that this was the first time that I had ginger sauce & it made the entire meal very yummmm
Some steamed greens were served with soya sauce. I enjoyed the meal & Aadi also liked the rice, he kept asking me for "bhaat-bhaat". The lovely dinner was finished off with a watermelon juice. Post dinner we scampered off to the Merlion near the beautiful Durian shaped Esplanade Theater.
Chalo hope you guys have a wonderful & restful Sunday!!
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
I had heard about the "terrible two's" from my dad a long time back when my sister was around two but nothing prepared me for what I faced with Zunairah. It seemed that almost overnight my daughter had turned from an angel to a mutinous little person. Everything that my hubby or I say is met with an emphatic "no". Because of this trait of hers we are sometimes tempted to use reverse psychology and it does work.....for example on weekends when I want my hubby to take her out for swimming I'll say,"Today I will take you for swimming" and she will promptly respond by saying, "No, no....today "baba" will take me.".
Mealtimes and bedtimes are ofcourse times of intense emotional upheavals for my tot. Previously I used to be really flustered about my daughter not eating properly. Now I offer her a variety of nutritious food and I have come to accept the fact that Zunairah will not always be hungry enough to "clean the plate". Thanks to books on toddler nutrition ,I now know that children do not suffer from malnutrition that easily.
I did not know that toddlers can be as fussy with clothes as teenagers. My daughter practically brings her wardrobe upside down atleast twice a day all because she often cannot decide what to wear. She is nowadays rejecting "girlish dresses" such as frocks and skirts. I am now left with atleast a dozen of newly stitched beautiful dresses and I don't know what to do with them! Often after a lot of fussing my tot will decide to wear whatever her little brother is wearing and she will persuade us to take off his clothes and put it on her.
My toddler is a major "drama queen" and she will throw a huge tantrum over seemingly unimportant issues. She will sometimes shriek and scream ever over something as minor as a slightly tight shoelace. I also face the proverbial "supermarket tantrums" and it is very tricky to deal with them now that my tot understands the concept of buying things from the shop.......
Yes, toddlerhood can be challenging but it is also a time of excitement for parents. A toddler is a boundless source of energy and his zest for life is infectious. A few days ago Zunairah was nagging for an icecream and so I bought her a cone icecream. As the icecream on top of the cone started melting in little rivulets my tot became very excited and made silly faces and started licking the cone very furiously.......Only a toddler can be so happy over something as mundane as an icecream.....It really made my day! My hubby and I also love her pronunciation such as "attim" (icecream) and "tottape" (scotch tape). I will miss them for sure when she starts speaking like an adult.
These toddler years are over all too quickly and I am going to miss them when my tot grows up. Also, now I am the centre of her universe but that will no longer be the case a few years down the line. I am going to miss that, too......
One UPS that was functional also tripped due to overload leaving the one emergency frequency — used otherwise to tackle flight emergencies — operational.
This one frequency, sources said, was jammed as all aircraft tried desperately to seek instructions through this only available channel for communication. All that the ATC could do was ensure that the aircraft didn’t change their altitudes. In short, sources said, the situation was “very dangerous”. The only radar partly working was the one monitoring the southern side of the airspace in Mumbai region.
Sources said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has sought an urgent report on the reason for such failure given that several measures had been put in place after a similar incident took place a year ago. However, unlike this time, there was a blackout then. In this case, poor maintenance planning created a “dangerous scenario”.
While Mumbai airport officials sought to play this down, DGCA sources said such an incident must not happen in one of India’s premier airports as all effort has gone into placing several back-ups so that the ATC does not stop functioning