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August 27, 2012

Antu starts Preschool again!

Antu started her new pre school and today was her first day without me. She missed the cut off by 2 months for Kindergarten this year so she has to go to pre school again. Now that we know we will be going the local school route for her too, we have changed her preschool to a bilingual one. Last week was induction and she went for a couple of hours each day but I stayed with her too. Today madam got ready and I left her in her class and could nt even stay for a few minutes because I had to go for my physiotherapy session. I just waved a good bye and left. When I went to pick her up at 1 pm (From next week, she ll be there full day until 4.30 pm, 3 days a week) she was happily getting paper and color pens from the shelves and refused to come home with me. I stayed with her for 5 minutes until she finished her coloring and brought her home. The preschool group head said she was absolutely fine and even ate good lunch which was... wait for it... salad, country potatoes, green beans, bread, cheese! Of course I refuse to believe it until I see video evidence! And when I asked Antu if she likes the school, she said, "That girl E said she is my friend. And there are real bunnies in the school, Amma and they really LOVE me!" Of course its all about "me" when it comes to my little diva. Such an attention seeker, I tell you! 

And that reminds me we went to the rope park again yesterday after a long time and now that Antu is four, she can do the kids beginner course there. So we got her the harness, helmet, etc.. and it was hilarious to see her literally shaking like a leaf while walking the course! She stopped at one point and absolutely refused to walk and there were 10 kids behind her waiting for her to move! And we had to call for help and the lady working there had to climb up and rescue her! Talk about being a drama queen! If she does nt get attention, she ll demand it I guess! Of course she said she wanted to go again and got stuck again! Uff! I had thought that Ashu would be a scaredy cat and Antu would be more of a dare devil but its the other way round. As yet.  

August 26, 2012

Just Married, Please Excuse by Yashodhara Lal.

The very talented and funny Yashodhara Lal whose blog I have been following for a long time is out with her first book as well. I think I have to dedicate a whole book shelf for bloggers turned writers and label it "Books written by people I know!" ("I think I know" does nt sound so good!) Congrats Y and wishing you all things wonderful!

If you're one of those people who know that married life can have its hilarious moments, please pay attention to this one:

It's really very, very simple - 

1. You write a post on your blog, describing an incident aboutsomething funny that has happened to you as a part of married life, preferably when you were 'Just Married'. (By 31st August 2012)

2. HarperCollins and I select the 20 best entries and they will be sent copies of my book; and 10 Delhi-based bloggers get to join me and VK Karthika, (Chief Editor of HarperCollins and all round super-cool person) for a leisurely Saturday lunch at the new Mamagoto outlet in Gurgaon for some really great food ( I'm told the Khan Market outlet is never less than packed, and for good reason). Oh, and there'll be some good conversation too :).

Some things to keep in mind to be eligible for this contest: 

1. The Title of your post should be The 'Just Married, Please Excuse' Contest 
2. Please include in your post a link back to Y's post.
3. Please leave a link to your entry in Y's comments section to this post.
4. In case you don't have a blog of your own, do leave your entry in the comments section to Y's post. In case you face issues while commenting, email your story at yashodhara dot lal at gmail dot com (But only up to two such comment/email entries can win, so you better make it funny)
5.Note -If you're not married, but still want to participate, you can do it - just tell us about a funnyJust Married story about someone you know! 

August 23, 2012

You Never Know When You'll Get Lucky by Priya Narendra.

When I said its raining books this season in my last post, I was nt kidding. Blogger Priya Narendra is out with her first book "You never know when you'll get lucky". And there is a fun contest to participate. Take a picture with Priyas book and send it to and lucky winners will get books worth Rs.2000. Click the banner for more details. Hurry up and win!

Congrats Priya and keep rocking!

Have You Seen This? by Arthi Anand Navaneeth.

Its raining books this season from loads of fellow bloggers and one special book is written by none other than Art Navy from our very own IndianMommies corner! :) We are so proud of you, Art! Cant wait to lay my hands on this pretty book.

Have You Seen This?

Text : Arthi Anand Navaneeth
Pictures : Roomani Kulkarni

It's a very mixed-up world where flowers talk, doors run and trees fly! The goofy text of this mad little bilingual spins on wacky illustrations that whirl the reader along. Available in 8 language combinations it can spark off any child's (or adult's) imagination!

Target age- 3-7yrs

Here is a review of the book at Saffron Tree.
You can buy it  online from Tulika and at Flipkart

August 20, 2012

2. Klasse

Ashu started 2nd Grade today. On any day, I would be crying and getting senti over it. But this is a big change in so many levels.  We switched her from the international school (IS) she has been going to for the past 4 1/2 years to the local school (LS). Even though IS was a 15 km/20 minutes drive and now LS is a mere 250 metres/5 mins walk from home, the huge change which was giving me sleepless nights (just a figure of speech. I slept like a log!) was the language. From a complete English environment with a bit of German lessons twice a week, she would be going to a completely German school. And last month when we went to meet the class teacher, he had a translator present for our benefit!! With self doubt every step of the way, I was worried Ashu will catch on to it. But bless her little soul, she was quite brave about the whole change. Today I walked her to school with the intent of going upto her class and have a few words with her teacher but when we went there was not one parent in sight! (All kids are supposed to walk to school on their own!) What a sharp contrast to the IS where truck loads of parents can be found outside school at any given time of the day! A little girl from Ashus class figured out shes the new girl and asked me if she can take her inside and Ashu was ok too. So I just left her there and walked back home. *sob sob* 

And you know what? Shes going to come home for lunch at noon! Thats what all the kids do. Or go to the Hort where they can have supervised lunch bought from the cafeteria. They cant take packed lunch. And she has a one hour and 50 mins lunch break! Have you fainted yet? If not, another bit of a shocker. She has only 3 full days in a week. Wednesday is a half day for everyone anyway. And her class is off on Friday afternoons too. So she will be home at 11.50! There goes my full day plans! I left the house at 11.45 today to pick up Ashu for lunch and she met me half way! She came running and hugged me and had a huge grin on her face! Phew. And then she dropped a bomb that broke my heart to million little pieces! She said, "Dont come to school anymore, Amma. I can walk on my own!"

August 10, 2012

French Riviera.

We were off to South of France last week and had a fantastic time in the coast. Seven days of bliss. We stayed in a beautiful apartment in Nice with swimming pools and the girls had fun. It was very hot during the day so we did the beaches only after 5 pm. While it is completely a pebble beach in Nice, its sandy in Antibes and Cannes. Mind boggling really since they are so close to each other and yet the beaches were so different!

Monaco was so pretty. A funny thing happened. I was entering Monaco in the GPS while driving from Nice and the damn GPS just would nt recognize. We just went in the general direction and once we were in Monaco I tried again to find some place and it did nt. I thought it went kaput and then the light bulb hit me. I had the country selected as France and I had to change it to Monaco! duh! The Oceanographic museum and The Exotic Garden in Monaco are must see.

Ashu enjoyed the Matisse museum and seeing his works kept repeating "This is easy! I can do it!" loudly much to my embarrassment! :)

We went to Marineland in Antibes one afternoon and man! did we choose the hottest day ever! The killer whale show was worth it. The entry price is ridiculously expensive though!

The medieval villages in Vence, Grasse,... were simply beautiful. The cobblestone roads, the narrow alleys, restaurants, cute shops and galleries,.. It was so nice to just walk through the numerous alleys!

We visited a perfume factory in Grasse, the perfume capital! One would think that the perfumes would be cheaper to buy there but no sirree! It was an interesting tour though.

Cannes is so beautiful. We visited the Palais des Festivals and took the customary photo standing on the red carpet! Not as glamorous as you think since you are sharing screen space with a dozen other strangers!!! The beach is great. Anitbes too. But Nice is the best since its all pebbles and no mess! :) And the kids loved to throw the pebbles in the sea! Win-win! But be warned that the kids will collect pebbles in all kinds of shapes and sizes and insist on bringing them home! I was just glad that I did nt bring my mom to this trip. She would have sure emptied the beach and brought all the rocks home!

Driving around the coast means lots of toll booths. We set the GPS to avoid Toll after the first day and that was the best decision ever. Not only did we save money but also drove through more picturesque roads with spectacular views!

I kept nagging Hd that I wanted to ride a jet ski the entire week and at last on the very last day, we found a place. Ashu was quite shocked! "Are you going to ski", she asked me with a worried look! Grr.... Hd and Ashu went first to test the waters and God! Was frustrating to look at them! Hd should get an award for the slowest jet ski rider ever! Then it was my turn and Ashu who was ready to ride again realized it was with me and wisely refused! The rat! I had fun though I realized why Hd was so slow. The sea was so rough since it was late evening and could nt go in a straight line at all! I kept going in circles! Thrillingly scary! I had no watch on me and did nt know how much time has passed and the guard had to come and escort me back! So it was paisa vasool! :)

We survived on pizza, pasta or panini for every lunch. Managed to cook dinners with very limited supplies in the apartment. Was so nice the four of us sitting in the spacious balcony and eating and chatting. I realized how relaxing it is when I don't have to do everything by the clock. Dinner was at 9.30 and kids went to bed at 10.30. We all got up late, had breakfast and stepped out only to find a restaurant for lunch. It was a true vacation. At home, Im such a stickler for time that to get the kids to bed by 7.45 means that  everything has to work like clockwork the entire day and its so stressful. 

A week flew by and I hated to leave. Hd tells me, "We are going back home. To SWITZERLAND! And you are sad?" Hmph! Whatever!
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