New Year Obsession

As a new year approaches, different people have different ways of celebrating and look forward to partying, dining out, family get-togethers, ringing in the new year at some holiday destination etc. The one thing I am passionate (obsession in D’s opinion) about is collecting new year calendars offered for free by supermarkets, shops etc. 😀

It is such a middle class 90’s generation kid thing no? Every year my father also used to hunt for calendars and we used to get them from local grocery shop, Life Insurance Corporation uncles who worked as agents, State Bank branch where father had account etc. The Bengali gold jewellery shop used to give Bengali new year calendar in April. Then there is my mother who loves changing the calendar page every month of every calendar at home. My father, even after seeing the old page, doesn’t change it and waits for mom to do it when she gets time. So sweet!

So when I set up my home, having two calendars (one for living room and one for bedroom) was a must, though I have seen my friends and similar age relatives’ homes and no one hangs a calendar anymore!! All are dependent on gadgets. I guess calendars at home have become a passé. When I was working, I used to keep a desk calendar and marking the holidays in it by red circles made me so happy! So hunting for new calendars became a new year thing for me.  D calls it the crazy time of the year and dreads it as I drag him to all sort of places to hunt for calendars and ask everywhere. 😀

But here in Bangalore neither we have LIC agents (actually we dont have LIC now that term insurance is in) nor any fixed local kirana store. And State Banks are misers in giving out calendars. Actually with internet banking and all other facilities, we hardly visit any physical branch of a bank. So,horror of horrors,I have to buy calendars here and that too only two are available in English – Deccan Herald and Bangalore Press. D’s office also used to give a calendar each employee but they discontinued since two years. But, as I luckily discovered 4 years ago, there is one hypermarket in our area which gives new year calendar for free to every customer who ask for it till stocks last. Sadly, they stopped this year. 😦 😦 Booo hoo hoo…I guess cost cutting is everywhere now.

Sigh…looks like we need to pay a visit to our State Bank branch and we need to make friends with a LIC agent. 😀

 

 

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New Beginnings

Is it only me or did WordPress not send annual stats about one’s blog this time?? Considering that I did not write a SINGLE post in the year 2017, WordPress had nothing to say about my annual performance. Sigh!! Not a single post in a year..in 365 days. Was I so busy being a stay at home mother or was I so uninspired or was I so lazy? My primary blog..this one where you are reading the post…my first blog….my passion, my escape and hobby once upon a time…had so much potential but due to whatever reasons I let it die a slow painful death.

Pump..pump..pump…

Phuuuu..phuuuuu..phuuuu

That’s me doing CPR on my blog and trying to revive it. 🙂 😀

Since it is a new year…a symbol of new beginnings..new promises..new vows…I have taken few resolutions and one of which is I will return to blogging and be more regular. So taking baby steps, first of all I decided to do the NaBloPoMo thing on my blog this whole month and write a post daily.

As for the year gone by, it was a good year overall. Some quick updates:-

#Parenting – Keya completed two years and is a 24×7 full time entertaining and keeping-parents-on-toes toddler now. 🙂 Very cute, very adorable, very much edible and a total doll. Earlier it was taking care of baby and now the actual parenting has begun.

#Travel – There were two vacations last year ..one to Kolkata in April and one to Bhilai from Dusshera till Diwali.I went to my hometown after 4 years and for the longest duration since I moved to Bangalore. All previous visits were of just one week usually.

#Family – Sister and family moved back from abroad and we sisters spent the most wonderful time together for two months. Keya got to enjoy the company of her Mashi and a cousin sister 24×7. It was a learning experience for the two cousin sisters. Had a great time celebrating Durga Puja with complete family (parents, sister, me and our families) after so many years.

#Work – I took up some technical content development work which is mainly project based. So when any project came, I had got busy with that..working at nights after Keya slept. It is impossible to work in day with a toddler around and no nanny, no babysitter, no other family member.

#Friends – Even after leaving job, my group of colleagues-cum-friends have kept in touch with each other and we had some great get-together occasions last year. I also caught up with a colleague-friend in Bhilai too. I even made friends with one of the neighbors who has a son 3 months younger to Keya. Its uncanny how kids make you social, how you start interacting with other moms.

That’s it I guess…don’t remember anything else worth mentioning.

So HAPPY NEW YEAR!! HAVE A GREAT 2018!! See you around.

Birthday Party Planning Experience

As you may remember from my earlier post that I was in a dilemma. In the end I decided to listen to my heart and take the chance of hosting a birthday party of a one year old. God help us!

One top tip – Start planning at least 1.5 months ahead because cost comparison takes time.

And more so if your husband leaves you with all the responsibility and goes abroad. At least we finalized on the venue and menu before D left.

After that I was in simultaneous discussion with 8 – 9 home bakers (because the commercial ones don’t make much customized designs), 4-5 decorators and 9-10 photographers.

First the decorator. I realised I have stepped into the market with a measly budget for decoration. Leave the new party planner “mompreneurs”, even a direct balloon guy was not ready for that. And some mompreneurs don’t even work in that budget..they start with 8k. Such a momentary thing as decoration is so costly. What on earth will I do with a welcome board with kid’s name after the party? Save it for next year and clutter my home? They just try to convince you that you need balloon arches, balloon pillars and god knows what even if you keep insisting you want SIMPLE decoration.  Then there are themes.. rainbow, barnyard, princess, minions, hello kitty and the most popular FROZEN (yes the movie)!! If only I had few young and willing relatives and a balloon blowing machine!! Anyway I managed to finalize one with a little increase in my budget and according to my needs. Hope the hall will look good.

Then this whole home baking thing….so many of them around..finalizing how much weight for around 50 guests..deciding flavor..phew!! After analyzing everything I decided to go with the party planner lady only for cake too. Even though she is the middle person, the price was good and I guess she has her reputation to think of so must have hired a good home baker. I decided to go with black forest flavor as it is very popular. Fingers crossed!

Then photographers!! Oh Boy! do they charge a bomb for just giving soft copies! There are experienced professionals and then there are young students who own DSLRs and want to make some money on the side. Let’s see how the photographer I have selected does his work.

Then entertainment for kids. So many options…tattoo, balloon modelling, magician, caricatures etc etc. Earlier I thought there was no need for this expense as Keya is not going to enjoy this and we want the party to be over soon. Then I thought there has to be something to keep the small guests busy and entertained. So I decided to go for balloon modelling as Keya loves balloons …she may enjoy watching the guy do his thing.

Lastly return gifts. That is one thing still remaining because people have not RSVPed yet. Have to ping them again to get a headcount and then finish this last pending thing. What is the most polite way to ask people to RSVP on their invitations???

So planning a birthday party increased my knowledge of many new things. Now let’s just hope everything goes well.

P.S. Thankfully Mr. Modi didn’t announce just before the party. Else the cash payments would have become impossible. That’s a good sign.

 

Irony

So I don’t even want to count the number of posts by which I am lagging behind NaBloPoMo. It seems my “a month of daily post challenge” is going to run for two months to make up for the missed number of posts!!

To be honest it is not that I don’t get 15-20 mins to post a few sentences but there are a lot of factors which lead to my no-show.

#1 If I post, I want it to be a good one so I am unable to write just anything to be done with it.

#2 When I get the “me-time” to do something that I like without hindrance is after 12 midnight and I feel too lazy to sit and blog. I had thought my smart phone will help in NaBloPoMo but due to numerous falls, it has started to slowly die on me.

#3 I rather spend the “me-time” watching movies or some downloaded episodes of TBBT on my mobile, than force my brain cells to work anymore.

Now for the irony

I came across an ad looking for content developers with electrical engineering background in one of the Facebook groups. I decided to mail and take the thing forward to keep in touch with my profession. It looks like I may become one of the SME (whatever that stands for in the content developing world) and isn’t that going to be ironical???

Here I am unable to write few words as a blog post daily which takes hardly half hour and I am thinking of working in a time bound fixed delivery schedule to write technical quality stuff!! Mad or what!!

Sigh..I can’t even say the money will motivate me. If that was the case, this blog or my travel blog could have been so big in the years gone by.

Anyway lets hope I am able to do it. Fingers crossed!

Blank Passport

So as you know D has gone off to Netherlands for the third time. During the weekend he visited Hamburg with my sister and her family who came from Denmark….Killing two birds (meeting and sightseeing a new place) that’s my sister. She has lived in Paris, Lisbon and now Denmark. She has visited Italy several times and seen Venice, Rome etc. D has been to Sweden and Netherlands and now Germany. My parents had visited my sister in Denmark.

And me?? Nowhere…zilch..zero. My passport is blank as the face of many students studying engineering…as empty as the ATMs nowadays.  Boo hoo hoo!! Sob!! I fear I am going to die with a blank white passport without a single visa stamp in it..not even of Nepal!

So I asked God ….Google god not the other one…”cheapest countries to visit for Indians” and the gist of the many places, he enlightened me with, and the ones I find interesting are as follows:-

1. Seychelles

2. Bhutan

3. Thailand

4. Singapore

5. Vietnam

6. Malaysia

7. Indonesia

8. Dubai

9. Nepal

10. Sri Lanka

11. Maldives

12. Cambodia

13. Hungary

14. Costa Rica

Hmmmmm…….

So I should start working on my bucket list,eh?

 

What A Day!

So I almost gave up on NaBloPoMo. My usual blogging time is night but since D is away and grandparents go to sleep early, I am left alone to handle Keya. I am lagging by three posts I think..need to check.

Anyway, so what a day today, huh folks?? PM Modi created a storm with his announcement yesterday and today Donald Trump become President of USA. What were Americans smoking? Did it all come down to Hillary being a woman? Would Americans rather vote for a misogynist, nonsensical, absurd man than a woman? Shocking for THE top developed nation. In the first place, why were there no good candidates? Why people had to choose between fire and frying pan?

Let us see how Trump’s presidency proceeds. What walls and other ideas he comes up with.

As for our home ground, I am stuck with two 1000 rs notes. Can get deposited only after D returns. Thank goodness for online shopping options. But kudos to the PM for taking such a bold step.

Piya Gaye Rangoon

D left for Netherlands just few mins ago…gone for two weeks. Thankfully my parents came to help me out during the time. Kudos to those moms who handle a baby 24×7 alone!!

I have done it only once till now when D went on a 4 day official trip to Pune in October. It went well but two weeks??

The day he had returned from Pune, it was already midnight.Keya had slept off at her usual time. At around 4.15 am she started doing regular restlessness..I tried soothing her as usual…in that she must have opened her eyes and saw someone was there. She curled up to me and started peeking ..peek and hide….peek and hide. Then she confirmed it’s a known and loved person…crawled to her dad and started giggling so much, slapping her palm on his face (her way of showing adoration), laughing. It was so touching to see. She became full awake and I told D “all yours” and slept off. 😀😀 He fed her, changed her… she slept at 6.30 am.

Let’s see how Keya responds when she sees him again after two weeks.