Saturday, February 28, 2009

At last

I have been planning to put up some art-work, and a few picture frames for more than 3 weeks, or shall we say weekends..
Well today I finally got A to get going and help put them all up.
Here is proof:

This is my bathroom mirror, I stuck some jelly-stars on it to just spice up the white and bland canvas.

Here is a close up of the same mirror

This was something we had bought in Singapore from Ikea, and had not put this up in this house yet. I put this in the master bedroom, facing the before I doze off and when I wake up I can see this picture with the cool blue colours.

This is another corner of the master bedroom, The big one with three photographs was clicked at a professional photo studio, again in SG, and we had not put it up yet. The two picture on the adjacent wall are kind of motivational (more of that later in another post). The two smaller ones are of my in-laws on the left and my family on the right.

This art work is actually a Warli-painting done by my Mom, I love the green, red and the white figures on it. This I put up in the guest room. This piece we placed according to the center of the bed, we could not go by the position of the lamp because the lamp's position defies all logic. Below the lamp, you notice a brown frame like thing....that is a long mirror (not ours) so we have not touched it.

Finally this one is the Living room, this is the dining area.

Now that the photos, and art-work is up on the walls, I have realised that I don't like bare walls. Some personal artifacts do warm up the place and make it really feel like home :)

I have been to many expat homes and was often appalled by the bare walls, their reason being that they did not want to have nails on the walls and spoil the house...the landlord may create a scene while checking out.
My reason for bare walls (in this house) till now was laziness.

Hey but I did not put a single nail through any of the walls, I used the wall hooks by 3M, and also a new product called 'Picture Hanging Strips'. This is an amazing product, and what it basically is that it has pairs of strips, that are coated on one side by a plastic-Velcro and on the other side by the adhesive. So when you stick one strip to the wall, and the other strip matching the position onto the frame, you later just Velcro the two strips together. And BINGO !! you have frames on the wall minus the nails.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

random thoughts

something got me thinking...some great movies that I see with Aadu are all about father & son; the mother is often 'just another' character. The movies in point are 'The Lion King', 'Finding Nemo', 'Madagaskar'.
They focus on the father-son bond, the way their relationship matures, seasons, and finally they come up as a winning team !! All very fantastic, but my point is 'what about the mother?'
In Finding Nemo, the mother dies when Nemo was just an egg, so fine there is no scope for a mom-figure. But in the other two, it is too obvious that it is a father-son movie.
I have no issues that they are so; I am just concerned that they happen to be my son's favorite movies; and do not wish him to have an impression that father-son only matters. Well I may be going a bit too far with that...but hey .....these are random thoughts !!

I was reading to Aadu one of his 'I wonder why' series books about Mothers & babies, and found some very interesting stuff there. Here are some for you:
  • Best mother: A baby Gorilla has one of the best mums, the mother may look frightening to us, but she is loving and gentle to her baby. She grooms her baby and feeds it for upto three years and protects & helps it for longer still.
  • Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Gibbons & Orang Utans all make good moms.
  • Tree Shrews are part-time moms. They leave their babies in the nest, only popping in to feed them every other day.
  • A baby Elephant has lots of aunts: that's because Elephants love in large family groups of up to 50 animals. In fact a new calf has plenty of aunts, grannies, sisters and cousins too.
  • When a Hippo mother goes off to feed, she leaves her calf with a baby sitter !!
  • A mother giant Panda gives her cub so much love and attention that she can only cope with one at a time. By looking after her cub for a year or more, she is helping to make sure that her baby survives.
  • If a hungry hunter threatens a Plover's nest, the mother pretends to be wounded. She flaps a wing as if it were broken, and flutters weakly along the ground moving away from the nest. She wants the enemy to think that she is injured and would be easy to capture. That way the enemy will go after her and not her babies.
  • The badger is known for the cleanest nest that is provides to its babies. The parents regularly line their burrows with fresh dried grass & leaves. They even dig special holes well away from the burrow, which the entire family uses as toilets !!
  • One more about Elephants: when a baby Elephant is being naughty, it's mother whacks it with her trunk !!
I feel I am becoming a Panda !!!
Which Animal Mom do you most identify with? Send me your answers....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Paper clips

This Sunday (I know I have to do a write up about the entire day and the mall-hopping) we went to 'The Curve'; and specifically to the 'Daiso' store located on the 2nd floor. First of all let me just tell you that I like this mall, because it is spacious, not too crowded, has plenty of seating to plonk onto when one is tired from all the window gazing.
Well now back to Daiso, the store is a 5 RM store; meaning that all products are priced the same at 5 RM. The Daiso stores in Singapore have a flat rate of 2 SGD; which means that the Malaysian store-products turn out to be slightly expensive than the Singapore ones.
The store is also much smaller compared to the Daiso in IMM Mall @ Jurong in SG. Product wise also SG stock is more.
But none the less, Daiso is Daiso...I enjoyed myself in the store. It is stocked with amazing goodies, stationary, car-stuff, gardening, photo frames, tools, cleaning tools, brushes, sponges, cleaning liquids, laundry bags for every kind of clothing imaginable, hangers, beauty products, kitchen ware, crockery, plates, neck ties, belts, etc. etc.
As you may know I have a fetish for stationary, and can not leave a stationary store without buying something. So the same thing happened at Daiso, where I saw these amazing paper clips, more like small wooden clasps or clamps or pegs, like the one we use for holding the laundry in place when we put it out to dry.
These are made of wood, and have cute animal faces on the front side. I loved them immediately, and had to buy them. I am going to use it to clamp together some sheets of paper. I love them...I love them.....

Monday, February 23, 2009

Our Saturday

(Aadu at 'our-spot' at the Lake Gardens)

Plan for this weekend was to do the outings on Saturday and then chill at home on Sunday. But we did the exact opposite !!
On Saturday, we did our usual ritualistic visit to the lake gardens, where Aadu and Papa had a game of cricket (now wait...they tried to would be more apt) ...Aadu got some pearls of cricket-wisdom from his dad. I plonked myself on the mat and drove my hands down the bag and fished out my neatly packed bottle of nail-polish-remover and cotton squares !!! Amol was so shocked when he saw this...he was like 'did u come here to do THISSS?' well 'yes' I said and continued to rub my nails ;)
I also had my February issue of O Magazine, and just when I was thinking of getting it out, the grass-cutters decided to make it more noisier for us !! Can you imagine, chopping off grass with those noisy chopper on a Saturday morning when there are a lot of families at the lake gardens to relax, play and chill??? It drove me MAD. We decided to go to take our butts to another green spot, but decided against it and just went to the car and drove off to Amol's office, he had to pick up his laptop, and some other stuff.
While at his office, I noticed that his cabin looked pretty shabby, so the "good girl" in me voiced herself, by offering to straighten-up his work place !! He obviously was overjoyed with the God-sent offer and accepted at once. I got to work, threw off some very old magazines, calendars etc and stacked things in 3 categories. Then explained to him what the stacks were (Don't want him calling me on Monday morning..'where the hell did you keep xyz?') !!
After office, it was time to drop off our Singapore bus/train cards etc at Anand's place in Taman Desa. Aadu and I stayed in the car coz the little one decided to take a nap.
Back home, very hungry, cooked some palak-daal and rice and sat back and saw a couple of episodes from Monk's second season.
We did not yet again put up the photos on the walls !!
I was pestering the two A's to go to Ikea, but they did not budge !!
So Sunday had a lot of carry-over activities.
All of our Sunday in the next post with photos !! Coming up by evening....

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

online stores for Bento goodies

Taking my Bento fascination further, I looked around for online stores that sell Bento products.
Some of them are:

From all the blogs that I read about Bento, one store being mentioned throughout is 'Daiso'. It is a Japanese company, and they have stores in lot of countries, the link below shows the countries where they are present and once you click on the country, it gives you information about the store address in that country.

I found another interesting blog, this lady has taken the pains to explaining all the equipment, why it is needed, what you can do with it etc. Do visit it.

Then there is always the good old Ebay, for purchasing any Bento product/equipment.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Finally Aaditya's blog !!

As promised the much talked about and much awaited blog is here.
The title: 'Fruit of my labour'

The link:

Please do visit it. It is just the basic blog, and I have still to add any features. I will do that eventually.

I will write a post of the relevant day in the past (remember this blog is about Aaditya's journey through his Open Heart Surgery); and also do a parallel post about his progress on the present date.
Sounds cool?

Do let me know and also tell me all your suggestions. I am Listening !!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oh what a day and what a night.....

Yesterday the 14th of Feb

While most people were celebrating V-day, we three were heading to Pantai Medical Center just to say Hi to Aaditya's doc, and have a general check up. It was a good hour and half before our turn came, and even though we had a mental list of what we had to discuss with the doc, we ended up missing out 2 points !!! grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....
OK the good news is that all's well with Aadi and the doc told us not to fuss about his weight and instruction to be given to school as it might lead to a situation where the teachers get too careful with Aadi and restrict his play etc. Now that his 6-month total recovery period has passed, he is as fit as any other kid his age; and has no restriction what so ever now. We agreed with the doc on this account and decided not to tell too caution the teachers again and again, we have spoken to the vice principal and he said we should speak to the class teachers on day-1 of school. So that will happen only in April.

After Pantai we went hunting for the '100 yens' store in PJ, we had to do a bit of looping around the same roads to locate it but once we got there it seemed to be an easy location to find. It is a very small shop compared to the 'Daiso' in SG, but it had some Bento stuff which I bought.

We came home around 2 PM, then lunched, watched some episodes of the 'Monk' series-1.

I put Amol with the task of finding a good layout for Aadi's blog, I din't like any of the blogspot themes and switching to wordpress is like being a traitor to google...which I am not going to do!!
So he searched the WWW for free templates, but we still din't find anything that we like!!

Late evening we watched 'Hidalgo' a movie that Amol wanted us to see together, he loved it when he saw it so wanted us to see too. We liked it a lot, and while the movie was on, I was trying to write a blog-post with very little progress.

I knew I had to do my daily post and also start my blog about Aaditya. But the laptop and Internet were both not on my side. I stayed up till 2:30 AM trying frantically to get my laptop to run FASSSTTT but it was just now budging, coz for two days it's been busy burning some DVDs!! poor thing must have been exhausted ;)
Amol's laptop is so slowwwwwwwwwwwww that you can start explorer, enter your website name, and go and have a stroll around the house, but still it will not load the site fully. It's not THAT bad, but yesterday it seemed to be on 'vacation'.

Anyways, Aaditya's blog will be up today for sure.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My new found fantasy...hobby to be

Bento - this is my new found wonderful world of creative food preparation and presentation.
Bento is a Japanese term, which roughly means a single-serving of multiple course meal. The Japanese have these special Bento-boxes, which are compartmentalized to hold each course of the meal.
Some photos to help you see.

I came across Bento while following some mom-blogs and they use the Bento concept to create wonderful, healthy, nutritious, beautifully presented lunch food.
Again some photographs to enthrall you.

Once I had seen and read about Bento, I was immediately hooked on, as it is an amazing way to present food to the little ones and it actually entices them to eat the food while in school or day care.

Making Bento requires some basic equipment, like cutters, rice-shapers, sushi rolling mat (we can use this to roll rice or even sheera or upma), there are tiny pans in all cute shapes for shaping those pancakes (think Dosa, Uttapa here), there are some egg-moulds, I think one has to put in a boiled egg inside the mould. The orange and green paper you see in the first photo is actually edible, and is used to make leaves/flowers, animal ears etc.

Once you have some basic equipment one can experiment and come up with ideas for lovely creations. I went to the '100 yens' store in SS2 section of PJ and got myself some. In Singapore you can get it at 'Daiso'. I hear there is a 'Daiso' at 'The Curve', but I have to check it out to confirm. Basically any store where you can get Japanese stuff. Isetan is also a good option.
These equipments are not at all expensive, and the good thing is that they can be used for a really long time so your cost is actually just one time.

The above photographs are from some of the Bento blogs that I follow. These are moms who take all the trouble to make these amazing meals for the kids, and most importantly never forget to photograph them. One needs creativity, enthusiasm, whimsical, patient to do Bento. But at the end its great fun.

Some blog links for you to look up more Bento:

Do visit them for endless inspiration!!
I've got mine, and with the newly acquired Bento equipment in hand, I am ready to try and brush up those creative skills of mine !!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

My to-do list

Today was a stick to to-do-list-day. I have to get these things done TODAY !!
Well it's not too big a list but still it is a 9-item to-do list.
1. Write to FIL for A's medicines
2. Pay water bill
3. Fix date for Astro installation
(It's got nothing to do with astrology !! the sole cable company here is called Astro)
4. Check payment transfer status
5. Find Camera USB cable and Sony phone charger
6. Work on list
(I am trying to help A with some of his mountain of work)
7. Email for Mangala
(Mangala is my maid, and she is a refugee here, and wants me to write to my friends in other countries to hire her through the UN Refugee office)
8. Email a friend who is supposed to come home for lunch/dinner tomorrow that we should postpone it coz it struck me only today that tomorrow is the 14th !!!
9. Call Aadu's Paediatric for tomorrow's appointment.
Tomorrow marks the 6-months to Aadu's OHS, so just want to show him to the Doc and get his opinion on his weight!! And most importantly instructions for school etc.

Out of all the above I have done all except two. Number 5 and 6.
I wasted my entire morning working through drawers and cupboards in every room, at the same time using this opportunity to tidy them as well. But those two things are no where to be seen !! The camera USB should be in Aadu's toy room that's the only room that has not gone under the radar; and the Sony Hand phone charger...well the phone first of all is 5 years old, what's worse is that it's not working !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The last time I must have used the charger was more than 4 years ago !! How am I expected to know where it is?? I know I keep my things in order and know where most of my stuff is, but 4 years of "Out of sight" has definitely made it "out of mind". And I have zero hopes of retrieving it.

Well it's now 4:45 PM and I have enough time to do Item no. 6.

When we went down to the management office to complete items 2 & 3, we carried some juice to sip by the poolside...good idea? NO VERY BAD IDEA !!
Here's what happened: While I was paying up and fixing up the date, Aadu decides to peel off the plastic from the straw that is attached to the juice tetra pack. In doing so he a small piece of that plastic gets stuck in his throat and we leave the office in a hurry, to the passage leading up to the pool, he is coughing, throwing up a bit...I am trying to ease his agony...and finally it is out, and Aadu manages a weak "Mamma I am OK".......
Then knowing the clean-bean that I am (well of sorts) I ask the man (he is the owner of the small shop that is near the office) to help me find some water, and he runs off to find me a bucket. OK Bucket in hand...but water? He says "water in bathroom madam"...well I may be living here but I don't know the bathroom near the management office!! So he offers to fetch it for me (Bless his soul). So now water in bucket and bucket in hand I get to cleaning the little mess as best as I can. That done, and suddenly Aadu spots his favourite Milo in the shop. So we go in and buy it along with a small (est) pack of Cheezels.
So now after the drama mom and son are relaxing on by the pool-side, and sipping on Milo etc. After some Milo has entered his system son is in a mood to pose and asks me to click, so we got some cute and funny shots !! Shall upload on facebook !!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Proud moment ...way to go India !!

Can you believe it...The Government of India has an online Grievance forum at


Can you imagine this is happening in INDIA ?...our India???

The govt. wants people to use this tool to highlight the problems they
faced while dealing with Government officials or departments like

1) Railways

2) Posts

3) Telecom (incl. Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) &
Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL)

4) Urban Development (Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Land &
Development Office (L&DO), Central Public Works Department (CPWD),

5) Petroleum & Natural Gas

6) Civil Aviation (Air India, Airports Authority of India, etc)

7) Shipping, Road Transport & Highways

8) Tourism

9) Public Sector Banks

Allahabad Bank Andhra Bank Bank of Baroda Bank of India Bank of
Maharashtra Canara Bank Central Bank of India Corporation Bank Dena
Bank Indian Bank Indian Overseas Bank Industrial Development Bank of
India Ltd National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development Oriental
Bank of Commerce Punjab & Sind Bank Punjab National Bank Small
Industries Development Bank of India State Bank of Bikaner & Jaipur
State Bank of Hyderabad State Bank of India State Bank of Indore State
Bank of Mysore State Bank of Patiala State Bank of Travancore
Syndicate Bank UCO Bank Union Bank of India United Bank of India
Vijaya Bank

10) Public Sector Insurance Companies

GIC of India Life Insurance Corporation of India National Insurance
Company Ltd. The New India Assurance Company Ltd. The Oriental
Insurance Company Ltd. United India Insurance Company Ltd.

11) National Saving Scheme of Ministry of Finance

12) Employees' Provident Fund Organization

13) Regional Passport Authorities

Regional Passport Office, Ahemadabad Regional Passport Office,
Amritsar Regional Passport Office, Bangalore Regional Passport Office,
Bareilly Regional Passport Office, Bhopal Regional Passport Office,
Bhubaneswar Regional Passport Office, Chandigarh Regional Passport
Office, Chennai Regional Passport Office, Cochin Regional Passport
Office, Coimbatore Regional Passport Office, Dehradun Regional
Passport Office, Delhi Regional Passport Office, Ghaziabad Regional
Passport Office, Goa Regional Passport Office, Guwahati Regional
Passport Office, Hyderabad Regional Passport Office, Jaipur Regional
Passport Office, Jalandhar Regional Passport Office, Jammu Regional
Passport Office, Kolkata Regional Passport Office, Kozhikode Regional
Passport Office, Lucknow Regional Passport Office, Madurai Regional
Passport Office, Malappuram Regional Passport Office, Mumbai Regional
Passport Office, Nagpur Regional Passport Office, Patna Regional
Passport Office, Pune Regional Passport Office, Raipur Regional
Passport Office, Ranchi Regional Passport Office, Shimla Regional
Passport Office, Srinagar Regional Passport Office, Surat Regional
Passport Office, Thane Regional Passport Office, Trichy Regional
Passport Office, Trivandrum Regional Passport Office, Visakhapatnam

14) Central Government Health Scheme

15) Central Board of Secondary Education

16) Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan

17) National Institute of Open Schooling

18) Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti

19) Central Universities

20) ESI Hospitals and Dispensaries directly controlled by ESI
Corporation under Ministry of Labour

Many of us say that these things don't work in India .
Couple of months back, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation laid new
roads in his area and the residents were very happy about it. But 2
weeks later, BSNL dug up the newly laid roads to install new cables
which annoyed all the residents. A resident used the above listed
grievance forum to highlight his concern. To his surprise, BSNL and
Municipal Corporation of Faridabad were served a show cause notice and
the guy received a copy of the notice in one week. Government has
asked the MC and BSNL about the goof up as it's clear that both the
government departments were not in sync at all.

So use this grievance forum and educate others who don't know about
this facility.
This way we can at least raise our concerns instead of just talking
about the 'System' in India .

Invite your friends to contribute for many such happenings.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Stanford Commencement Addresses

The first one is Steve Jobs; the man who gave the world the Mac, the iphone, PIXAR...and much more...
This one was in 2005.
A great one to listen to and pay attention to the minute things that shaped the man !!!!!!!!!

Another Stanford Commencement Address, this time from my favorite Oprah Winfrey, and I just love the way she goes 'O -8' coz it's the 2008 commencement !!! Watch it and enjoy

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Amazing kid of mine...

Today after the regular tooth-brush routine, I sent Aadu to wipe his face while I busied myself with my tooth-brush. While I try to get to the tooth right at the back, I hear an impatient 'Mamma...mamma...look at me..' I turn and look at him to convey that it is not the best time to call for me; but then I notice the clothes in his hands, he has brought his pooh-shirt and a coloured shorts, and then tells me 'mamma, I got my day-clothes'. !!!
I ask him to wait but he is really impatient he goes to the room and takes off his night dress shirt and wears his pooh-shirt !!!!!!!! ON HIS OWN !!!!!!!!!! Wow I was grinning with the froth and the tooth-brush still in my mouth !!
Then he wears his shorts (this he has been doing for 1.5 years almost)
I was super impressed with him, and sent up a silent prayer of Thank you to my friend in heaven for sending me Aadu :)

I am hoping to have a little something special for the 14th of this month, as it will mark the 6 months to his surgery; I am thinking of doing a blog-book writing about the entire experience that we had as a family, special focus on me the mother and Aadu for enduring all that. What say? Should I do the blog-book?
Blog-book coz it will have limited entries...or should I make it an on-going blog?
Suggestions please!!!!!!!!!!!