Monday, September 16, 2013

You don't know the value of your teeth until you lose them

The title of this post is a Bengali saying which means that people take the little things for granted. That's what I realized today. For the first time in a long time, my husband had something to do after work today. As he was walking out the door, I had a moment of panic. There were two hungry kiddies running around the kitchen, there were unwashed dishes in the sink and to top it off I had a huge todo list to complete including some work related items.
The funny thing is he used to take a course a few years ago when children were smaller and needed more care, but I never felt this way back then when he left me alone with the kids. So what did I do? I took a big breath and dove in. I -
1. Fed the children
2. Put away the dinner mess

3. Cooked fried rice for the kids school lunch tomorrow

4. Built a trio helicopter with the kids

5. Helped my son with his writing

6. Made a puzzle with my children

7. Played hide and seek with them
8. Changed them into their PJs
9. Brushed their teeth

10. Read to them/with them
11. Said prayers and put them to sleep
12. Finished my work assignment
All the single parents out there, stay at home moms for whom it never stops and those women whose husbands just never help - I have a new found respect for you! I am exhausted. Also I very much appreciate my husband. Not only is he a good father and husband, but he is also a major cutie! I scored!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Shoppers in training

We took the kiddies and their cousin shopping with my parents. It was a shopping marathon. We usually leave them home with their daddy. I mistakenly thought they would enjoy coming along. This is how they felt:

They spent a lot of time waiting in the lounge areas in the middle of the mall with my husband. Maybe I should have just left them at home again!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Making of the gorur chok

Growing up my mother was quick to point out women who sported the gorur chok look. The literal meaning of gorur chok is cow eye. Have you ever seen a cow eye?

In Bangladesh, gorur chok is slang for heavily made up eyes. Due to this slightly cultural bias against heavily made up eyes, I've never really learned how to do a proper cateye. My sister decided to give me a tutorial.

Here is my eye without any makeup.

Here is the after:

What do you think?
My husband, whose opinion is most important of all says he doesn't like the curly bit! Oh well!

Update: tonight was makeover night for the little people too!

Stress by 1,000 papercuts

This morning I woke up grumpy. I growled good morning at my poor husband. I scowled hello at my children and then realized that I didn't want to spend my whole day being grumpy. Especially not a beautiful sunshiny day like today. So I decided to go for a morning walk to degrumpify myself.
Within the first few steps outdoors, my thoughts were full of all the things that were annoying me. They were tiny little  problems, such as an issue with one of my documents at work, my son trying to adjust to first grade and disliking the amount of toy clutter there is in my house. Small problems that are not difficult to solve at all but for some reason, all together, it felt overwhelming. 
I tried to outrun my problems but my mind kept going back to the same thoughts. Finally I realized ithat I needed to try to "not sweat the small stuff". So that what I'm going to do today. By the time I sauntered back up to my front door, I was even smiling.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Stormy weather woes

I am terrified of storms. My fear of storms can be traced back to my infancy, when as a baby my father would frighten me to sleep by repeating "Jhor! Jhor!" (Storm in bengali) at me in a deep and somber voice until I would close my eyes and bury my head under the pillows and fall asleep. (Don't judge his parenting skills, he came from a generation and culture in which men rarely participated in raising a child, much less putting a child to sleep.)

We lived through some pretty horrific storms in the Philippines - signal 4 typhoons - which are severe tropical cyclones where winds exceed 185 km/h. I used to love typhoon announcements, because it meant classes were cancelled, but once the storms actually hit I was scared but also in awe of the ferocity of mother nature.

My fear comes not only from by own experiences with inclement weather, but also from the long history of weather related tragedy passed on orally in my family. My dad has told me stories about how a whole branch of his family (relations of my paternal grandmother) including children, perished during hurricane season in Bangladesh. He recalls watching families, clinging for dear life to the rooftops of their homes as they were swept away by the currents in a flooded river, never to be seen again.

Given all this history, I was happy to move to Ontario where there is a very low risk of encountering a hurricane. Well no place is perfect - Ontario is home to another weather threat - one that actually terrifies me more than any monsoon, cyclone, hurricane or typhoon ever could -TORNADOS!!!!

Granted there are less tornados in Canada than there are in the States, but nevertheless, over the last few years there have been a few that have touched down in southwestern Ontario and not far from my doorstep. There was a devastating one in Goderich a couple of years ago and one was spotted forming a few miles north of where we live in 2012 - but thankfully it never reached the ground.

It would be normal for someone with my background to be anxious right? Try explaining this to my husband! He laughs at me every time I make my family hang out in the basement during a tornado warning. You would do the same right? Some of you must have been hiding in your basement during tonight's tornado warning too right? It wasn't just me =).

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The last hurrah of summer

It's officially summer until sept 21st so we are trying to enjoy these last weekends of warmth. Although my husband and I workout a few times a week on our own, as a family we are very sedentary. We are more likely to spend time enjoying a meal than enjoying the natural beauty in our own backyard.

This past few days though were so beautiful that we really made an effort to be outside.

Guess what happened? The kids were so unused to the heat that they wanted to go back inside!!! What kind of children are we raising?

Update: we found a way to get them outside!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First day of school part 2

The good news is that I managed not to physically shed tears today as I dropped my little girl off to her first day of school. The truth is, I was crying inside . A strange feeling set into the pit of my stomach well before we set foot into school. I had my moment in the kitchen whilst packing quarters of quesadilla and a mini frittata  into a pink disney princess lunch box. My baby is all grown up!!! She was uncharacteristically shy at drop off, but after many hugs and kisses I managed to leave her in the classroom and head off to work.
On the way to work my husband and I had a moment of euphoria. We were alone in the car!! We can finally talk to each other freely without having to spell out the things we don't want the children to understand - how liberating!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First day of school part 1

It was my son's first day of first grade. He's already had two "first days" I thought I was over getting emotional at drop off. I just can't believe he's in first grade already. My daughter's first day of school (ever) is tomorrow - she starts junior kindergarten. I better take some tissues along when I drop her off!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Four things my son learnt from my parents

1. Love of eating salad
2. Eating apples with salt
3. How to sleep without a stuffy in the room
4. How to make his bed

I love it when he visits my parents...but also I missed him terribly