Friday, December 17, 2010

My Card Creations

My card creations are on display at  123 Please feel  free to use  them .
aynzan's card creations

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Milk Tooth And The Tooth Fairy Saga

My six year old son is beginning to lose his milk teeth. The other day, a little upset, he  showed  his wobbly front tooth. I appeased him saying  he was going to be alright. Later that evening when my husband came home from office he sat with the six year old and made interesting conversation so as to keep him focused. In no time, he pulled out the wobbly tooth without any hassles what so ever. I remember vividly, when my older son, who was about the same age, two years ago, had the same experience. But unfortunately we didn’t know what to do at that time. .I became  panicky and made it worst  for him. Ultimately a visit to the doctor set things right. He talked to my son and made conversation with him just to calm him down and keep him focused and within a matter of seconds his shaky tooth was removed by hand, without anyone notice it. Hence I have  gathered a teeny bit of courage  to handle  with ease all kind of  tribulations.
Now coming back to where I started.. Within a week, the younger son lost two more of his teeth and the older brother found it so amusing. Witty as he is, he kept teasing him, saying there was a tunnel carved inside his mouth. This made him even more uncomfortable and as a result refused to go to school that particular day.After that episode ,he became so inhibited, that he kept his mouth closed most of the time especially when he had to talk to visitors. He was also to go on an excursion with his class during that week but repudiated to go the last minute .When his class teacher, who knew that he was all agog about this trip, asked him why he didn’t turn up. He responded with  a wide  grin. She didn’t need further explanation, she understood!
 A cloud of doubt hangs over him these days as he looks at his reflection in the mirror to see if new ones are visible. He often questions me if I had really prayed to God asking for his new teeth. Nonetheless he is terribly upset that I flushed his broken tooth down the toilet bowl. “Why did you do that?” he said. ‘I would have got one ‘Riyal’ (Saudi Arabian currency) keeping it under the pillow – reference to the Tooth Fairy that he had heard about from the older siblings. ..   
I think a brief narration of the myth of the Tooth fairy would make my story clear: The Tooth Fairy  is supposed to  give a child money in exchange for a baby tooth that has fallen out . Children  place the tooth under their pillow at night.. And  this swap takes place when the child is fast  asleep.. Ah!!!! Such wonders of fairy tales…
By the way, this I may say  in lighter vein , the next time my son loses another tooth , I should write a note addressed to the tooth fairy and leave it under my son’s pillow. Which would read like this ‘ My son doesn’t need  the money , a new tooth would do’ …..

-I created this picture blog using stickers and embellishments provided by

Monday, October 4, 2010

Summer Vacation

As summer approached we all got excited as we were homeward bound. ' But why only two weeks ', asked my children in dismay. Yes I knew two weeks was not adequate for a vacation in the native land, but due to my husband’s work commitment in his office here in Saudi Arabia, we had to get back as scheduled. We were going to meet the rest of our families back  home after a gap of two years . Our Home country, has many places of interest .During my schooling days, I had the opportunity to visit the historical sites of Sri Lanka,which was then organized by the school. How I wished ! My children too would get the opportunity to see all the wonders of our country. But then again..two weeks was all we had ! We could n’t tour all of those beautiful places , but one such place My husband recommended captured our hearts and the camera too!

In Kandalama -My son posing for the camera-

My family and I took a trip to a holiday destination (a place in Sri Lanka ) called Kandalama , located in a historic area, secluded from the city. The journey took us about 5- 6 hours on the road..We spent three wonderful days in this breathtaking resort hidden amid a thick, woody jungle. The vicinity which is in a most exceptional site in sri Lanka’s cultural triangle's heartland and is closely hemmed in by the Sigiriya rock , a lake and a sanctuary to birds and wildlife. Even though this place was not bordered by the beach (our usual holiday destination ), we were captivated by it’s serenity , which would be interrupted only by the echoes of nature. Thus made our holiday even more meaningful.

                                                                 - nurturing the young -

We experienced close encounters with Monkeys. We were warned that they could be a menace.I found them to be harmless .Their comical tactics kept us amused. It was evident that they became disruptive during our mealtime especially during the buffets outdoors! The waiters had to use some of their tactics to keep the monkeys at bay.

We also visited the elephant orphanage at Pinnawela. Here we had an opportunity to see them at close quarters. All the elephants here had been brought in from the wild, either abandoned by the herd or attacked by poachers or the local farmers , who are agitated by these beasts wandering across their fields and destroying their worthy crops .

In loving care

I ‘ve only read about our marvelous elephants that help produce paper out of their waste! Wasn’t I privileged when my husband took us to the site where this was being done. Although in an earlier discussion , I had told my children about this wonderful paper being created out of elephant dung ,I knew they wouldn’t have actually taken in the story .How surprised they all were when they got to see it in reality ! I even bought back a souvenir ,made of this paper.. My children loved every moment .I am so appreciative to my husband who planned and organized our 2 –weeks vacation and made it memorable for all of us.


                                                      - note book made from elephant waste -

Monday, September 6, 2010

Of Sons, Buns And What Not....

My children are still on holiday. School reopens here ( Saudi Arabia ) after the Ramadan.Ramadan,is the month in which the Muslims refrain from eating and drinking, from dawn till evening.As it is considered the holiest month for the Muslims, we take extra time to pray and read the Quran ( our holy book ).And thats the main reason for being away from the computer.

Even though I had decided to lay my hands off the computer for a while ,I cannot resist ranting about the excitement happening in my house . My two young sons are fasting,with a lot of motivation and support from the daughters, who have been duly following the one month obligatory ‘fast ‘, since the last few years ,And it’s wonderful to see the two girls encouraging. The children are keeping me fully occupied making me prepare their favourite food for iftar. ( the time to break the fast). Hence the other reason for the short break from cybernet.

My husband and I didn’t strictly impose on our sons to fast , as its not advisable at this age and as also children under the age of puberty are exempted from fasting.It took all of us by surprise at their endeavour. May God accept their fasts …

From the beginning of Ramadan ,I have tried my hands at various recipes . Even though sometimes it doesn’t exactly turn out as I like them to, I am happy that I did try. Until quite recently , the buns that I made never raised but hunched into disastrous flops.. But all of it changed this Ramadan, watching Jamie Oliver demonstrate the recipe for bread dough on the cookery channel. I seized the opportunity to follow the instructions carefully. From that time on I have been happy with my baking . Furthermore every one is enjoying ! Hurrah!! to Jamie Oliver and to the buns!

Another much preferred I made this time for Ramadan is - a dish with pasta and meat , topped with cheese . I have still not given this dish a name ,So my children call it ‘Mama’s Macoroni’. In fact , most of the time, I do make something with pasta, because the children love it, But this is one favourite that I enjoy cooking, even though it takes a lot of my time and effort. I make an attempt to try out various recipes, to satiate my family’s taste buds..And silently , I blush when I get a rating from my children, my  best culinary critic .

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sound Effects

Since the beginning of last month , we are being drastically traumatized by atypical kind of monster.Oh! No! not what you think.. No!! Neither King Kong nor Godzilla that scared the guts of the people in the reel world. What I’m talking about is an equally monstrous-like, but of a different kind. The type that is laden with adjustable devices here and there ; a heavy equipped machinery that vibrates, and makes thunderous sounds in the real world. Yes. I am talking of those heavy duty machineries and the equally large trucks that move them around and do a great deal of rigorous labor, in breaking and making roads, so much so in the process, conquering the stillness of the morning.

There is some road construction in progress nearby my home and everyday from the crack of dawn ,we have to get prepared to pay heed to the different sounds of this apparatus at work.At the beginning it was kind of annoying to be awakened by this ear piercing sounds and sometimes I wondered if our home , which is housed in a building close to this construction site would get affected by the vibrations.We really could feel the tremor.

Now having said that ,I have to point out that I noticed something good come out of this whole hullaballoo..My two sons who were at all times glued on to the Television, now had something else to focus on .Everyday after school both of them would sit by the window and watch this heavy machinery do the hard labour. They would watch every movement it made and soon were learning new things and explaining to the sisters and me, what these heavy duty tools were used for. Their conversation nowadays is all about, how strong each one is going to be to handle such heavy equipment etc..

Subsequently with this paraphernalia in the spotlight,life is a lot easier for me as well .The children are eating the greens without much of a hassle ,because these days they believe that eating all their vegetables would indeed help them grow strong ,fit and healthy to drive that incredible digger. This is one of the many whims and fancies they presently rave,hence I take it all in my stride as I know this is just one of the phases of childhood.

However, extraordinary little things like this have some long-term effects on children.Sometimes they carry it with them through their adolescence and put into practice with whatever they have experienced in their childhood or forget about the whole episode when they begin to explore outside their immediate surroundings and make new interesting discoveries. All in all I do believe as parents we should support and encourage and help motivate their interests, so as to pave the way to develop their learning skills, as a consequence broaden their knowledge.

Just as much as my children are enthusiastic about the special sound effects of a digger.. I’m all agog to see the new road paved, so that we could journey through, without any hitches and moreover relax in the serenity of the morning hours sans the blaring noise .And when everything is done and returned to normal, I will be in anticipation to embrace again the familiar echoes in my surroundings, the one that I am accustomed to, the one which obviously would soothe my nerves away: The swish of the warm - cool breeze sweeping across, the delightful coos of the pigeons, perched atop the TV antenna and the occasional reverberation of airplanes from an airport distant away.

My Sons' recent leisure pursuit- jigsaw puzzle depicting heavy duty trucks...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lasting Friendship

This is something magical. A beautiful poignant moment…..

I watched this video clip yesterday, This is an actual story that took place way back in the late 60s but of late have been going the rounds via You Tube .It’s never to late to catch a glimpse of this amazing tale ,that has captured millions of hearts and now has mesmerized mine too. It's simply astounding. It tells us how animals too have feelings just like –human beings. Animals also show emotion.They are as friendly as people and treat humans with respect and love as shown in this clipping, that I have attached for your perusal. ( courtesy You Tube) . This tells the story about two friends who had a Lion cub as their pet. And when the cub started maturing ,he became a little too big for their apartment, that they had no option but part ways. Consequently, the owners made a decision to introduce him to Africa and resettle him into the wild. This footage shows that even after adapting to the new environment and after a lapse of one year this ‘Faithful Friend’ did not forget his two best friends who raised him.

This in point of fact teaches us something – about friendship. Friends are eternal, even if distant apart.It is a profound rapport between individuals . Friends should learn to pass through the many obstacles that come their way with a non judgmental attitude.And that's why! A solid foundation based on mutual trust and understanding , paves the way for a lifelong friendship. This way,undoubtedly, the bond that is established would be cemented for a lifetime.

Most of the time, the changeover from being just friends to true friendship takes place with time. Friendship is preserved by way of contributing our time - caring, listening and talking, with one another. Accepting each others defeats and failures is another factor to build an everlasting friendship... It takes time and effort to strengthen an association. It is built gradually.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Let's Face It...

Facebook is a social network, where friends and family can connect with each other no matter what the distance is between them. One can chat live or write contents off line. Leave comments that are clear and explicable to the profile owner or leave them stunned or baffled with sardonic remarks. Though I was aware of this social network, I didn’t advocate on becoming a member until a few months ago when I was invited to see some family photographs that left me with no option but to join the network. I joined this network with the sole purpose of meeting with family and friends, to get to know their well being and maybe see some of them digitally.

Now we have the opportunity to meet with friends and family whom we have not met for decades and or living poles apart. Social networking has become a fashion icon amongst the younger generation and an analgesic to us the Forty something….Once you get on Facebook, there is no way you are going out of it, even if you wanted to and that is why, I termed it as an ‘analgesic’ because you get hooked to it one way or the other. For many it’s not only as regards to the social contact and communications that draws them toward Facebook but also because of the countless games that entice them . Nonetheless it has become a popular leisure pursuit on cyberspace.

Getting to know new people is a wonderful idea, but we got to be careful with whom we befriend on Facebook. Some add unknown people just to increase their number on their friends list, some for fun and yet some to stalk people and scare the hell out of them. There are many positive and negative aspects of being connected on a social network like Facebook. Advantages are the user gets to be In touch with friends and family on a daily basis - gets to know what friends are up to and where they are. In addition, to this, the comments written on a friends wall post could make or break their day, either with a smile , a blush or leave them wondering “what the hell !".

As much as the many positive attributes of social networking , there’s the malevolence side too. Users soak up so much into it, that they tend to write their personal issues and squabbles, thus create a mockery within the group of people .Then there are some who are likely to get irritated or agitated with the comments that is writen on their wall posts or cast lewd remarks on the photographs that are displayed which subsequently cause a rift between the people concerned .Sometimes the comments are irrelevant. The mode of commenting shows the attitude in us, so let’s employ kindness in our writing and cheer up the person on the other end of the line.

Every now and then we are put into uncomfortable circumstances when someone we didn’t know sends us a friend request, If we actually didn’t know the person , we must not feel bad about ignoring that request, after all we have to be careful and on the look out with whom we communicate on the network. I say this ,because there are malicious people using fake profiles who would lure us under the pretext of friendship., So let us always be on the alert.

Face book is also used in a nonsensical manner, a medium to vent out the frustration on friends, family and others, an easy way of expressing ones anger and hatred towards one other. It may be used as a platform to criticize, ridicule and abuse others.
Let’s not put anyone in an embarrassing or awkward situation, if we wish to criticize another user, utilize the message box instead. Many youngsters I have observed ,when they wanted to be expressive cynically or otherwise , become a fan of one of the many love – hate groups available , pick up a related -subject matter and thus make their opinion known publicly on the Home News Feed .Another discovery I made on Face book is the badge/ button/ or emblem ( call it whatever you may) which says ‘See who is viewing your profile’? I wonder who else view our pages besides the friends we have on our friend list? Cats..dogs ..kangaroos??

As for me while lazing on a quiet, hot mid-morning here in the Middle Eastern desert land, I get contentment in cyber space not only from communicating with family/ friends ,but also at the prospect of embracing the different seasons on the other side of the globe .Not surprising though, I get the opportunity ( all in one go- without even boarding a flight) to vividly, view the picturesque lush greenery and the sweet Spring blossoms in Europe, the snowy white caps in the mountainous Pacific or to feel the warmth of Asia that rekindle sweet memories of yesteryear. Even if those visuals are only virtual - who cares? That's facebooking !

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How I Coped With PPD

As March dawned memories came flashing back .It was as if yesterday that I had endured the nerve-jangling experience. I still picture that moment so vividly.Six years ago precisely, I was expecting my fourth child and during my routine check up at the hospital, I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard my gynaecologist say to me, ,“You have to prepare for a c-section”, .I started to panic as I had presupposed it was going to be a normal delivery. Prior to the doctor’s assertion, I had politely declined mother’s suggestion about delivering the baby back in the native land, basically because my daughters would miss three months of school work if I had accepted her proposition.

Than came the due date...I did all right delivering my fourth baby, a healthy baby boy (a play mate for my older son, who was three that time.). It was the first time that I experienced the trials and tribulations of bringing up a newborn without any womenfolk around for help. It was my husband and I taking turns and doing the chores together. I was exultant at my own approach in handling the situation at ease.

Everything was going on effortlessly, when after a few days, out of the blue something took over me. It was progressively creeping into my system.That was something atypical. Those fleeting thoughts seemed insignificant but I chose to hang onto them.At that time it didn’t become apparent that it was my hormones doing the jig, owing to the bodily changes in me. Initially my husband and I assumed it was due to being stressed out because of the sleepless nights that followed after the baby’s birth. Before long I realised it was due to high levels of anxiety and hence decided to discuss this over with someone who was well-informed in this subject and seek medical advice promptly.

Coming back to normalcy after this stressful experience, I turned to various informative resources to learn more about this condition that some women encounter during the phase of motherhood. Post partum depression or PPD is a common hitch in new mothers. New moms should always get additional help—someone to lend a hand with the chores around the house and someone to watch the baby while she gets some much-needed rest.

Unfortunately, most women overlook the symptoms of PPD. Some distinctive symptoms of PPD are trouble sleeping through the night, mood swings, difficulty in being focussed and loss of interest in activities which you had earlier enjoyed with your older children. Antidepressants play a vital part in the healing process but it should be taken only if advised by the doctor. Regrettably, women with PPD, feel embarrassed to talk this over with family/friends. It is advisable to get prompt medical attention if mood swings go beyond a month or so after childbirth.

I have been fortunate to have encountered PPD no more than moderately and have completely got over it with therapeutic assistance. I am ever thankful to the Almighty for being by my side to protect me and my loved ones from any calamity. As I reminisce the years gone by, I feel at ease for not letting the PPD take control of my life totally, I am appreciative - to all my loved ones’ intervention. Their constant support and encouragement helped me muddled through this condition with a brave outlook.

I am relieved that I was able to alleviate myself from the clutches of prolonged PPD sooner than expected and thus have gathered courage to get going and cope life’s challenges optimistically.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Language Twist

Children love to imitate adults..They mimic..they act and recount words used by adults..However , as much as it seems unpleasant at times ,don’t we all love children , who delight us with their naive viewpoints or so to say, their uncorrupted philosophies. So today I want to share with my 'blogger friends', my article, with some anecdotes of my children , which appeared in a Sunday Paper a couple of years ago.

To dye or to die

Alarmed at the silver streaks which was quite visible in a few of my tresses, I hastened toward the washroom, with a packet of ‘henna’ and an old toothbrush, bumping on to him as I tried to dash ahead and my seven year old, wanted to know why I was in a hurry. Without elaborating, I told him in plain language, I was going to ‘dye’.

Immediately after spilling that doubled meaning word, I knew what a grave mistake I had made. In actual fact I had really confused him. I could see his baffled face and his tiny mouth opened wide. In an instant, I had made my son miserable. Cross at my own rashness, I immediately sat with him (my Henna experiment forgotten for the moment) and explained to him the difference between dye and die. I didn’t exactly clarify ‘die’, in depth...nonetheless he was convinced...and me? Wasn’t I reassured when I saw his toothless grin...!!!

On the whole, children still cannot grasp the meaning of some of the words used by adults. Hence we have to be careful with our phrasing when dealing with children. Employing simple and uncomplicated expressions make it easier for them to comprehend the language. At times, words which have two meanings should be used with great care where they are concerned.

If we notice our child to be disturbed over something we have said, let us make sure to rectify the problem immediately, by doing this there wouldn’t be any room for misunderstanding. Children every now and then, pick up a specific word by listening to adults conversations, although they may not know the meaning or the gravity of it, they try to apply it in their vocabulary; it is then the duty of the parents to let them know whether it is appropriate to use it in that context. They should not be reprimanded but have to be told in the kindest possible way which word is appropriate and which is not.

Kids often take us by surprise, like the other day at home, during bedtime (which is usually quiz time) when my two young sons drilled me for the umpteenth time. I must confess that I am consistently at a loss for words, in the midst of these two, for often, they pose questions intended for Martians!!! However, on this particular night, the older of the two, wanted to know, “Why people die?” Just imagine the plight I was in? Now...How would I define ‘die’ in the proper sense to my seven year old, whom I had already scared the wits out (during my Henna trial). How-so-ever after a thorough brain wrecking session, I gave him a kind of a structured reply by saying “someday, people grow old, someday, they become sick and someday, they eventually die” (I didn’t have a better response than this) and he, like an obedient student quietly took in, what he had just heard. And then all of a sudden looked me in the eye and said, “ come??? YOU didn’t?” Didn’t he bowl me over, with that witty remark? Recalling that moment, today, it brings me a great sense of pride, to realize the immense pleasure our kids bring into our ever strenuous lives, even if it is sometimes, not a pleasant thing to hear.

Children look to their parents for everything and see them as role models. Bearing this in mind, we have to set good examples at all times whether in speech or in action, for they often imitate what they see and repeat what they hear. Parents should endow them with an extensive range of good books; help them read and make them understand. Motivating them, to ask questions based on their storybooks and textbooks, to heighten their confidence in their communication and comprehensive skills.Being a bystander in the initial perplexity of the’ dye or die’ hullabaloo, my youngest, (whenever he sees a packet of Henna in my hand) very solemnly pronounces, “Mummy’s old and she is going to die’.

He’s four now and has just entered kindergarten. Thus, I’ll encourage him to learn new skills in his class. Perhaps I’ll wait for another year to go by, to undo the tangle and teach him, the difference between ‘dye’ and ‘die’!!! And then, probably in a few more years, when he really comprehends the whole situation...wouldn’t I be relieved to hear him say “Mummy’s grey, so she’s going to dye...”!!!
Incidentally, my hair ‘dye-ing’ - scheduled a few hours from now - is going to be simply enchanting, for my snoopy ‘foursome’, who are in eternal anticipation to know how those silver streaks disappear every time I touch the hair with my magical wand (the old toothbrush of course!!!)
As a consequence, it will be demonstrated with out much ado, to the delight of my enthusiastic audience.

Click here to view my newspaper article

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Smitten By The Bug

One afternoon,my five year old came running to me, shrieking with excitement , “Mom!!, I caught the bug.!”. With mixed feelings and uncertainty, I exclaimed ‘What?’ What do you mean? . He then paused for a while and stuttered, ‘But I hit it before it bit me’. Before I could act in response, he opened his miniature palm and showed me a harmless dead Beetle. It took me a while to realize why my son was so hysterical, he was in fact telling me that he had just killed the carrier of the Swine Flu. Yes! The swine flu has punched everyone at home - Oh no- God forbid -we have not been bitten by the bug but more or less smitten by it. Hence the trail of destruction: the chaos and the confusion that it has brought alongside..

A few days back, the children’s school had organized a field trip to the Dolphin show. My son was so thrilled that he was talking nineteen to the dozen about the forthcoming trip. Alas! His dreams were shattered when the school cancelled the program, because many parents didn’t like the idea of their ward mingling with a large crowd in close quarters, due to Swine Flu. Outdoor games and sports activities have been postponed due to this latest bug fear! The school also sent out circulars, to keep the children at home, if they had a minor cold or a cough. Although this sounded absurd! I silently agreed…

Whenever my youngsters wanted to venture out for the weekend, I would just get alarmed and would coerce them into agreeing to go to a less crowded place, so that they wouldn’t have to inhale any contaminated air. The girls have stopped coming with us to the market place because they fear the perpetrators could be mingling in the already congested area .And then, one weekend, when we eventually decided it was no point being wedged at home and set out as one big enthusiastic family, when out of the blue, a thunderous sneeze from a passerby, made all of us jump up in panic, apprehensively wondering if with that kind of sternutation (which I assumed was a replica of ‘Achoo Syndrome’ ) , all the air around got multiplied with the transmittable germs .With visions of the flu - bugs clouding up the air ,we quickly left the vicinity.

Even with all the extra guidelines especially to the children, on how to prevent themselves, from being hit by this particular virus, they tend to forget about it once they get out to play their usual rough and tumble games. As we never know if the playground is already tainted with this airborne bug, I often wonder how they would get the opportunity to clean themselves in case of a fall and when they get all messed up during playtime at school. In all probability, they’ll come home in that state carrying all the contagious droplets with them, which I think would be too late to purge those microbes out of their system.

I am, like everyone, deeply concerned about this flu which has already affected many people globally .This air-borne virus haphazardly harms both adults and children. Isn’t its time we educate ourselves in all aspects of this subject . It’s never too late to cautiously learn more about this bug that keeps bugging us, so as to be in a better position to deal with this latest flu-influenza, which is better known as Swine Flu, when in actuality ,drifts toward us.