Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Grandma's visit and my Marathon

What a week ..... I'm definitely feeling a little older as I'm having to think about all the events from last week. Where do I start?

Soccer Update.....none! We were rained out again so the kids enjoyed another week of absolutely no form of exercise what so ever. They'll moan with disapproval but quickly find something to entertain themselves at home. We were really looking forward to the games last weekend and Rits was playing against his former team mates from last season. We have a friendly banter going on saying our team is better. At U8level, we don't even have make-up matches so we may need to arrange something on our own. As for Niks, we were looking forward to another great game and his team has finally realised that playing as a unit is more beneficial than trying to get the glory on your own. We'll have to wait for a couple of weekends before our next game because we have Spring Break next week.

Sunny is home again and his mom is doing great. We really missed him so are glad to have him back. We don't realise how much the men folk do around the house until they are not there....I'm grateful to have him in my life, for sure. The kids missed him too, especially his little Rits...He's a bit of a daddy's boy.

My mom decided to visit for a couple of days so the kids were excited to see her. When ever she comes, she spoils all of us and cooks some great food...mmmmm! She is such a strong woman who never seems to tire and continues to find something to do all the time. She cleared my vegetable patch for me, so it's ready for spring. I'm not much of a gardener so I always look forward to her coming and setting me up. Now all I have to do, is remember to water the plants regularly. She'll even call me to remind me.

My mom found out that Rits is having a few problems at school...he can't keep his mouth closed when it needs to be. He is a master chatterbox and finishes his work quickly so he can talk. I started a new plan at home for him. We made a deal...OK, I made a deal. The first time he came home with a note, I made him write 2 sides of a regular sheet with the following:"Listen more, Talk less". Nice and simple and to the point. The deal is that every time he brings a note home, he has to complete an additional 2 sides. At his last count, he completed 6 sides....we haven't had a 4th note so far.

His Grandma is using her own method to help him...I actually think he is doing better because of her. She has promised him $1 for every "E" he brings home for conduct. If he brings a note, he owes her $2. Money seems to be a great motivation for Rits. I never use money because I feel it's not a good thing, but who can stop Grandma?! I'll keep you posted with his progress.

Niks, meanwhile has been accepted into Duke TIP, because he did well in his SAT test. This is a great acheivement for him and we are extremely proud of him too. We know he is very bright and this has shown us that he is above average and now we are trying to offer the best opportunities to him. There is a three week camp in the summer which he can attend, but we are not sure of all the benefits. Many of his friends are not attending so we'll do more homework before we decide....again I'll keep you posted as we only received the information a couple of days ago.

Now it's my turn...Last weekend was the ING Half Marathon....the one my friends and I have been training for, for the last few months. WE DID IT!! It was and amazing experience....even though we walked most of it. My official time for completing 13.1 miles was 3hour 37 minutes...not bad if I say so myself. We were up at the crack of dawn because we took the train into downtown and the race started at 7am. My legs seemed fine until our return journey. Seeing as we were famished, we decided to stop for lunch, which was a great time for my knee to seize up! Boy, did I feel old. I couldn't wait to get home and rest my legs. I strapped my knee with some tiger Balm and was as good as new the next morning.

I've even managed to keep up with the walking doing slow 20-30 minutes worth just to keep my leg muscles motivated. We've decided to do another walk later in the year so we have something else to look forward to. It's a great way to keep in shape and gives us an opportunity to hang out on a regular basis as it forces us to make time for each other. I may even encourage Niks to join me, if he is old enough.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Update for the week!

It's been a while since I last updated my blog so get ready for my update....

It's been a busy week with the kids and home life on my own. Sunny is back on Friday and you'll be pleased to know that his mum is doing well. She had heart valve transplant surgery last week and is almost ready to head home. It has been a long two months for her, so I'm sure she is eager to sleep in her own bed.
I'm fortunate that neither the kids, Sunny nor I have had to stay in hospital, only the minor things likes scrapes and bruises and for me, my two pregnancies. Even then, I was home the very next day after having both kids.

That was a very long time ago...I know 12 and 8 years is not that long but as far as my journey with them is concerned, it feels like a lifetime sometimes. We were rained out for the first part of the week which meant make up soccer practice. Thursday and Friday evening were spent on the soccer field where I walked as the kids played. I'm fortunate to have quite a few walking partners to give me company. It's starting to feel like a real community park now because, we enrolled the kids for soccer when they first started and have grown with the rec department. Many of the parents know both Niks and Rits, and watch over them as I walk the trails. It's good to know that there is a good support structure for us.

Niks and Rits had really good report cards so I decided to take them out to dinner on Friday night, after soccer. It was Niks turn to choose, so we ended up at Carabas...Italiano!! He enjoyed every mouthful of his meal while Rits and I quitly finished our Chicken Alfredo. This is not a favorite for us so we've decided to spice things up next time when it's Rits turn.

We were up bright and early on Saturday as Rits had a 9.00am game. Unfortunately we were unable to keep our status as the unbeatable team, conceding to a 4-3 loss. As soon as his game was over, we ran across to the larger field and set up camp for Niks' game. Now that was a great game...yes, we won 4-1!! The kids were overjoyed.
I left the field as soon as my niece came to help me out with my busy schedule. She waited at the park as Niks had to referee a game at 12.30 and was to go to his friends birthday party/sleepover later in the evening.

I, in the meantime, was off to a baby shower.....ladies kids!! Bliss!
We had a wonderful time as we were entertained with some very amusing games, as we caught up with many of our friends, and family. I came home to a lovely, quiet see, it's always quiet when there's only one child in the house. There is no one for them to squabble, or fight with. I should send them away more often.
I spent the evening with my sister-in-law, and watch that long talked about teen movie, Twilight. To my surprise, I enjoyed watching it and felt is was suitable for the kids so decided to let them watch it one day.

Sunday was another day of running around. I picked up Niks from his friends house to learn that he only had about 10 minutes sleep....not good!! He was in complete denial that he was tired, and I was contemplating taking him to his soccer game. I didn't want to let the team down so asked him to get ready after lunch. I guess he had a sleep attack and fell asleep in his room. I woke him up, and to my amusement, he came down with his soccer shirt, inside out! It was the funniest thing to watch him acting almost drunk with sleep deprivation. He didn't even realize it was inside out and refused to listen to me as I tried to tell him between my giggles. The fact that I couldn't stop laughing didn't help matters as he only got more annoyed at me. We had to travel a good 45 minutes to his match so he fell asleep again....he awoke when we reached the field. The fresh air must have helped freshen him up as the match went on.

The first part was a lot of yelling and shouting from the coach, trying to get the kids to play in position with a more relaxed second half, as we were winning. Final score 4-1....great game again. On our way home, Niks decided to take the foetal position, and sleep all the way home. Both boys were given early bedtimes, to make sure they can function in school in the morning. Fortunately, soccer practice has been cancelled for Monday, so I decided to use the time and let them watch Twilight.
All in all a busy week.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Miserable Rainy Monday

It's Monday and what a miserable day. It's been raining all weekend long and soccer has been cancelled so we have to look forward to make up games. Both boys become restless and agitated because they can not go outside to play and release all their pent up energy. Having said that, they have been behaving much better than expected and I won't say it too loud in case my words backfire on me.

Niks was at his school academic bowl tournament all day Saturday and later in the evening I was babysitting a friends two boys. It's always good to have other kids in the house because my own two, become preoccupied with their buddies and keep busy playing games. You rarely hear a sound from them and they always finish eating in a timely manner due to the rush to get back to their games. Why they can't behave like this when they are alone is beyond me.

We're all missing Sunny as it feels a little too quiet in the house...I'm sure two weeks will fly by, with so much to juggle with the kids schedules. At least the weather is going to clear up tomorrow , so they can play on their bikes after school.

We've been told to start preparing them for their CRCT's which will take place after Spring Break. Niks tends to be a natural and should breeze through it. As for Rits...he has to prepare. He has practice tests to do, and he manages to get them done quickly as he does know the work. He tends to rush through it and make careless mistakes. I'm always on his case to slow down and read through things. He's not much of a reader and has to be encouraged constantly, unlike Niks who will read at any chance he gets.

I was out shopping for a baby shower gift today and saw "A Diary of a Wimpy Kid" 3. Rits has actually been mentioning this book as he has read the first two in the series. I decided to buy it for him and to my surprise, he was overjoyed when he saw the book on the table. He has already read 32 pages, so will be finished with the book pretty soon.

I also splurged on buying two foam $1 swords for him to play with. When Niks got home, the two of then played with the swords for about an hour, while I was cooking dinner.....not a peep or a squeak out of them. They were giggling and laughing as they played!! Yes - no arguing or fighting...simply playing. It was nice to see them making an effort to get on with each other for a change. I hope they keep it up as the atmosphere in the house is so much better.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Busy Busy Busy........

This week seems to have flown by with so much happening....between Niks and Rits and Sunny, they sure know how tho keep me busy. Niks has been going to school early, as he is representing his school in an Academic Bowl Tournament this Saturday. He knows school has to take precedence over sports and seems to be ok with it. Although he'll be out for pretty much the whole day, I still have to do my rounds on the soccer field with Rits. At least I can watch his game in peace without running from one field to another like last week. I hope the weather doesn't spoil it for him because he is excited about playing his game.

Practice is more organized and the team is really coming together...a few new player are adding a new pool of talent...go Grizzlies!! I'll keep you posted with the outcome this weekend.

Niks is in Team C again and hopefully will be better this week. I'll be missing most of his day and thankfully one of my neighbors is taking him in the morning. This is one the best parts of living in a small and homely can count on them to help you out. Normally Sunny and I would split the task, but he left for UK today. Not a pleasure trip....his mom is ill and needs a heart valve transplant. He wanted to spend a couple of weeks with her and the family, so is flying over the Atlantic as I write this post. Two weeks really isn't enough time, but better than not going at all.

His mum is a strong willed woman so I know she'll be OK, and running around before we know it. I hope I have her and my moms strength when I get to their ripe age. I see so much strength in their generation and often wonder where they get it form...I guess it's from the hardship they faced growing up in poverty in India. We, as a family have come a long way....from India to Africa to UK and for me, here to USA. I should write a book as I'm sure I could fill a few pages!

This is the first time I have been home alone with my boys, without Sunny, so it'll be interesting. I've been away from home, visiting my parents with the kids before, but that is different. The house seems quieter...probably because there is only so much conversation I can have with the kids. I was quite surprised today when Niks told me he misses his dad...I did not expect him to say that. You see, Sunny and Niks always seem to be at each other for one reason or another. It can be something simple like sitting properly, to forgetting to make your bed...I think daddy's going to be surprised to hear that Niks is missing him.

In general, Niks is my baby...a mommy's boy and Rits has always been a daddy's boy! Little Rits is really missing his dad, and it'll hit him more in the morning because he always slips into my bed every morning, for a few minuets while I'm getting his clothes ready. I've told both boys to email their dad regularly so he can catch up with what they are doing.">
I've also been very busy with my business over the last few days....Seriesse started a new program last week called Shop Seriesse and to my surprise, I was the first person on the company to register her first 10 people. It was lovely to be acknowledged by everyone and to receive phone calls form top execs to congratulate me. It really made me feel good about myself and I have my friends and family to thank, for participating in the program. They are really supporting me in my new venture and rooting for me to succeed. It's a lot of hard work, but you can't get ahead without putting in some real hours.

It's time for Greys Anatomy so another day is over...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Soccer and Sleepovers.

What a great start to soccer season....both boys played well and scored for their team, and won. We signed Rits up for indoor soccer during the winter months...a drills and skills, 10 week camp. Let me tell you that the time and effort was worth it. Not only did he score most goals, he was also commended for improving his ball skills and playing well with his team mates. He lucked out this season as he has the same coach as last time. It's always good to be with a familiar coach because they already know how your child plays and behaves, but mostly, how to motivate them to play well.

His coach has a simple technique....have fun, enjoy the game and then learn the skills. His paractices are fun and educational. He has the ability to teach the kids skills without them even realising that they are learning. You see other coaches yelling at these little kids, or doing laps or stretches. I guess every cosch has their own way of teaching, but for now, we are very happy with ours.

Niks has his regular coach too.....same as the last 4 seasons. He knows Niks to a tea, and used to have him do many laps and push ups. Even though he is twelve, he still has problems with listening to directions and behaving in general. So far, and it's early days yet, he has been OK, by actually listening and doing the drills and skills. He prefers scrimaging but is learning that you need to have good ball skills to have a good scrimage. They played their game well, and hopefully will continue the season in great form.

A few weeks ago, I had pronmised Niks that he could invite a couple of his friends for a sleepover. I guess as we get busy in day to day activities, we tend to put things on a back burner, but kids do not forget! He has been emailing his buddies and finally convinced me to take action......he had his first sleep over for 2009. His friends are a great influence for him because they are a little more mature than he is. They are twins...and really get on well with one another. It's good for Niks to see that two brothers can not only play together, but actually look out for eachother.

We had a lovely barbeque because the weather was warm and sunny...and we all know that kids love a BBQ and we finished the evening with our crepes. We had to get Rits to sleep earlier than the other boys because he was exhausted after a long day. He thinks he is all grown up and tries to keep up with Niks, only to tire much quicker. Niks stayed up till 2am...playing board games and a little Wii.

Sunday morning was pretty calm. They were all up by ten and after a light breakfast and lunch, it was time to go. All in all, the kids had a really good weekend.
I spent the afternoon with my walking budies and walked to my brothers house and back, a total of nine miles. We are well on our way to do the half marathon, but my legs are sore. It's the first time we pushed ourselves to walk this much, and the route was full of up hills and down. I'm about ready to call it a day...I'll watch my regular Brothers and Sisters tomorrow.

Friday, March 6, 2009


I've got that Friday feeling after a long day scrambling around getting organized for tomorrow. Soccer season officially starts tomorrow and just as can be expected, both boys have games at the same time!! to be on the field for 8.30am sharp.

Although the day time temperature is going to be nice and spring like....the mornings are freezing. My trusted mommy van is usually covered in frost so that should give you some idea. At least both games are in the same park so I'll be able to run from one to the other, to try and watch bits of both games. It gets hard when Niks has to play at another park.

I have been volunteered to be team manager...that's the new fancy word for team mom! I get a real title...whoopee!. I guess I must have done a good job last season so the coach asked me to do it again. Either that or no one else volunteered. It's all good, I really enjoy it because I get to interact with all the other parents,because I have done it before I won't have to devote too much time to it. I'm blessed that I can give my time to the kids now that I am working from home. That is one of the biggest down falls of working away form home. I used to miss school activities and many other little things involving both boys.

Being team mom, I also went ahead and volunteered myself to do snack duty for both teams. Better to get it over and done with at the beginning and hence my scramble today. I had to run out to trusted Walmart to get the Gatorade and snacks, followed by a quick trip to the farmers market for my weekly dose of fruit. Niks and Rits are both big fruit eaters...they have a variety everyday after school and sometimes again in the evening. They've even learnt how to make a mean milkshake with bananas, strawberries, mangoes and avocado!!

For those of you cringing at "avocado milkshake"....give it try, it is delicious and we all love it. It might be an Africa thing because anyone of my family members who are from Africa, all love it. Besides, it's really good for you too. Anyway, it's Friday and I have things to do, places to go.......
Catch up soon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Birthdays and Bedtimes!

I had a great day yesterday...not only was it my birthday, I also had the pleasure of having my kids home with me. Yes, we had half an inch of snow on Sunday which iced overnight, which menat NO SCHOOL!!!

Normally I probably would have been annoyed but I was in a great mood and the kids were trying extra hard to be nice. That's right, they were being nice, not only to each other, but good in general. They burst into my room together with my birthday card and hugs and kisses. We deicided to have a nice "healthy" breakfast. I was given a wonderful crepe recipe by a friend of mine and decided to try it out.
mmmmmm!! delicious! We topped our crepes with Nutella and some with strawberries and lemon juice and sugar. I think we are offocially addicted. We're thinking of having them for dinner one day!!

The kids are still on time out, from one another but somehow manage to evade the rules and end up playing, chatting and getting on with each other. I only needed to give them gentle reminders here and there, so all in all, a great day. They decided to take me out for lunch and seeing as Thai food is one of my favorites, we went to a local reataurant. Both boys behaved in a very respectable manner and undrstood that this was not a place where you see kids at lunch time. I told them they should be seen not heard and that is exactly what they did.

I think they finally understand that when they are not loud in public, it is a more pleasant experince for everyone, including themselves. My neice cooked dinner and we ended the evening with a nice chocolate cake topped with about a high calorie diet!
Like I said...a really good day.

Today was back to normal with school and work...the long weekend was over. Morning routines are quiter now because we made a deal with Niks. He has a habit of scrambling for all his things just as it's time to leave the front door...many times almost missing the bus. What's the deal? Simple realy....he has to have everything ready in the evening before with his bag placed by the front door. If for any reason he forgets....I knock off half an hour from his bedtime! As every mom knows, all kids hate early bedtimes. So far so good. It's been a few days and he hasn't forgotton yet.

I use bedtimes as insentives all the time because I know they always want to stay up for as long as they can. I am a real stickler for setting bedtimes because I believe kids perform better in school when they are better rested. So do we as adults. I think most of us get too little sleep and therfore do not function at our best. Most of Niks' friends have much later times then him, so he is always trying to barter with me. I usually win because I am MOM!!, and I know what's best for him.

Thankfully soccer practice was cancelled so I was able to get my chores done and spend a little time on my business. Wish me luck as I think I have some one else intersted in the opportunity, so I get another chance to make a real differnce in someones life.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Kids Updates, and... It's Snowing!

I know it's been a few days since my last update and I apologise to the few who are awaiting the news of my sibling separation! You're probably wondering how it's going?
For Sunny and me....not quite the walk in the park I was hoping for.
For the kids....harder then they thought it would be!!

Yes, they actually talk to each other more then they realize. It's not until we remind them that they are not supposed to be talking to each other that they stop and move on. If one, is in the kids room, the other has to be either in the family room or upstairs. They interact a little too often for my liking, because I have to constantly be on my toes....reminding them...separating them.
I actually think they miss one another....a little anyway! I can't expect miracle now, can I?! I'll give it one more week and assess the situation again to see if they can be nicer to each other.
Why they can't get on is still baffling to me but as they say...we can't all be the same.

Rits is learning to be nice to his friends and seems to understand where he is going wrong. No more negative updates from his teacher so fingers crossed that he has learnt a valuable lesson in life. I still need to fix his ears though! Listening to us, the first time he is called, is still very difficult for him. When asked why he doesn't listen, he simply says "I don't know". Today I asked him to clarify what I don't know means and gave him some suggestions of what not to say when I ask him again.
"I didn't want to come"
"I heard you but couldn't be bothered to answer you"
"I didn't want to answer"
"I wanted to finish what I was doing before I came"
He has been told that I only need a "yes mom" to know he heard me, followed by "I'm coming" or "can I quickly finish....".
I'll work with that....if his answers are from my first list of suggestions then he gets time knocked off from his bedtime. My home isn't a mansion that he can use the usual excuse of not being able to hear me!

That's enough of my updates....I've had a good weekend. Busy with Niks on Saturday and home's snowing outside so not the best weather to go out in.
But...go out the kids did! They were so excited to see it snow...nothing grand like a foot...barely a little here and there. More than enough for any kid. They spent a grand total of 20 minutes outside and came to the door completely soaked! Slush is not a good mix to play in but try to tell them that. I guess it's better than nothing. They're both dry and warm now, trying to pass there Sunday afternoon without any Wii or DS. Niks can play but not too good without company.
I've allowed Rits to have some TV time and educational sites on the computer. He seems to be content with that so the Wii may be kept away for longer. I do miss playing Guitar Hero with him though!!

Niks has been busy with school commitments. He joined the Academic Bowl Team after Christmas, after his teacher asked him to be on the team. He thought about trying out for it at the beginning of the year, but his soccer season was well on the way and it would have meant missing some games and practice times. He faced the same issues this time but didn't mind so much. He participated in his firs tournament yesterday, so we were out from early in the morning to late afternoon.

He was on placed on team 3....managed to get to the final 32 and lost in the play offs. His school is represented well with team 2 getting to the quarter finals and team 1.....well what can I say....they won!! It was fun watching these kids perform and answer questions which blew me away. I had no idea how much knowledge these young kids have. Niks is new...he'll have to do a lot of catch up work to get to their level. I can tell you this..I could only answer 3 questions from the whole tournament! Says a lot about my general IQ.

Looks like school might be closed tomorrow so we'll have to think of some things to do, to make there day productive. I'll probably set them some tasks to do while I do some work. I've learn a few more skills as far as my business is concerned and my team is doing very well. Be sure to read my business blog to learn more.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sibling Separation!!

We're doing OK so far...that is with helping Rits learn how to be nice to his friends. It's amazing how kids can change right in front of your own eyes in such a short time. If anything, Rits was the most thoughtful charming little boy, and still is most of the time. I'm probably making a mountain out of a molehill but believe I need to nip it in the bud!

His week of grounding is taking a toll on him, as he realises how much he is missing out on. The hardest thing is early bedtimes, followed by not playing with his neighborhood buddies. He can play in the garden or on his bike...but, alone! Now that's tough for him because he is so used to being around other kids.

How is the Sibling separation going?

It's harder to achieve than I thought! As soon as they try to interact with one another, we have to remind them that they are not supposes to. I told Niks about his little brothers behavior and how I believe it stems partly from his negativeness towards him. I'm not talking about brothers fighting and not getting on....I'm talking about constantly demeaning someone, no matter what they do. Rits can be eating and make a slight comment about any topic, and you can be sure Niks will counter act with a smart answer and try to take merit. His aim is to make Rits feel bad about himself!

As a parent, I find this very hard to deal with because although I had little squabbles with my siblings, we still looked out for each other. I wasn't taught any of came naturally. Then why do I need to teach my own kids about this? We're not a family where we have fights, or use bad language, or watch anything out of the ordinary. Probably the complete opposite! Aren't children supposed to learn from watching their piers? I thought so but I guess they are exposed to so many outside factors that it's hard for us to monitor.

BUT, monitor it, I will! I'm on their heels constantly, almost like a bodyguard. I know they don't appreciate it, but they will, when they are older. I'm remaining constant in my communication with them....from the usual "sit properly, say please and thank you", to saying kind words like "well done, that's nice, great point" and many many others. I did this anyway, but probably not enough. Pointing out mistakes they are making, and giving them an alternate way to get the same message across, seems to be helping. I keep telling them that there is nothing wrong with the message, it's how you deliver it!

All this, along with the usual daily routine seems to keep me energized, I guess it's the green tea I drink! I'm managing to spend enough time in growing my business, and cook, and clean, and take them to soccer, and..........

As always, the list goes on!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Negative Behavior

What a weekend....yes I did manage to stay awake to watch the Oscars. What a night for Slumdog Millionaire! Who would have thought that gangster life in the slums of India, and the chance to escape it, could make for such a thrilling film. I would definitely recommend it if you haven't had a chance to go and see it. The music speaks for itself, and if you want to hear and see more, just do a quick search on YouTube.

Today is dedicated to 24...another one of my must see TV shows. It gives hope to people that good will overcome over evil!! It's good to be able to relax after a long day. One hour outside in the freezing cold was more than enough for me.
As I have mentioned before, both my boys have started soccer season.

Niks is well into his game and learning that he needs to listen to his coach. I've tried to get him to understand that his coach is a coach for a reason. He has a lot of knowledge about the game and it's up to them to listen and take as much as they can, to help them play a better game. Hopefully they'll win a few games this season as they continue to grow.

Rits had his "meet the coach" day today and luckily we have the same coach as last year. A few of his team mates are returning players too, so as expected, Rits was on a high. He really likes his coach because the first thing he stresses is that the game is supposed to be fun. Amongst all the playfulness he still manages to teach them some valuable skills. Listening is always a difficult thing for Rits so we're hoping this year is a little better.

You see, Rits is going through a "bad" phase at the moment. It almost feels like I don't know my own son! He has this strange attitude problem like he is better than his friends and the best at everything. I love is self confidence, but a little too over confidant for my liking. He upsets his friends by teasing them and saying demeaning things. This is very out of character for him so we need to put a stop to this and get to the root of the problem.

Part of the root is his brother Niks! You may wonder why I say this...well, he is always mean to his younger brother. Even though we are constantly telling him to be nice to him, he continues to taunt him whenever he gets the chance.

To try to tackle this problem, we have decided to separate the two boys as much as we possibly can.... Almost like a grounding from each other. Hopefully if they are separated for long enough, Rits won't hear negative comments made towards him and stop doing the same to his friends. We will wait and see, and as always, I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Behaving Correctly.

Once again it has been a good weekend and I write this as I watch the Oscars. It looks like Slumdog Millionaire is going home with lots of Oscars. They have won two already! This is a film I enjoyed watching but do not want my children to watch. Not only is there violence in the film, it also portrays a very dark side of India. Sure, a very small part of India is shown in true light but MOST of India, even though it's poor, is a very beautiful country. I don't want to put them off going there in the future!

We always try to shield our children form harm and bad influences and hope we are doing enough for them. I know I try very hard to limit what they watch on TV and what kind of games they play. Then why is Rits in trouble at school? His teacher has said that his behavior with other children is not good. When he came home on Friday, I sat him down and asked what he has been doing.

His eyes are the first thing to give him away! He knew what I was talking about and told me that he says bad things to his friend like "looser". I was shocked to hear him say that because I though I knew my son better. How do I deal with this?
Firstly, I proceeded to tell him about the rights and wrongs of how to speak to people and refrain form using bad language. We are not a family who like to use foul language so I needed to look into this further.

He is also grounded for a week with all his "fun" things taken away. He can not watch any TV or play with his DS or Wii. I may give him limited TV time after a week but I think the other things will have to earned back slowly.
Now I need to look into the why part of his behavior. After talking to a few people I think we have it narrowed down.

Rits is the youngest in our family...I don't mean just my little foursome, I mean our extended family and friends. He is around older people and children all the time, many of whom are teenagers. We think he has picked up a little here and there and thinks it's "cool" to relay what he over hears to his friends.

For the time being, we have put a stop to his behavior issues and need to be more vigilant when we have our usual get together. I'll keep you posted with any progress or the lack of!

p.s. He is fully recovered from his sore throat and thanks to everyone who asked about him.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Learning New Things.

I am guilty!! yes, I caved in and let Rits stay home today!! He was up at 2am complaining of a sore throat, so I gave him something to make him comfortable and decided to let him sleep in. He woke up at around 8am and still felt a little off color. Luckily he didn't have a fever so I knew it wasn't anything serious.
Staying home seemed to feel like a treat to him so we had to balance some TLC with a little school work.

Once he was ready and feeling a bit better he had to read and do some of his work book. He tried to distract me from doing some work, but once I explained that I need to do a couple of hours of work because this is when I usually do it, he understood and left me alone. I was quite impressed! He had another outlet for all his energy....he hung out with his dad instead. I called it bonding time!!

I find that in today's society it's difficult for kids to get equal time with both parents. One or sometimes both parents are usually out of the home, working hard to support the family. We were in the same boat when we had our business. Sunny is still trying to find something else but meanwhile helps me with my home business. I chose this avenue because I want to be home for my children. I can do my chores while they are at school and be available to take them to their out of school activities...mainly soccer.

For the first time in a long time, I feel like I am actually in control of my life...don't get me's a a lot of work, but I can juggle it around my schedule. I'm learning more than I knew I was able to, and enjoying the process. I hope this is a good lesson for the kids so they realise that you are never too old to learn new things.

I do believe that if you set your mind to anything you can achieve success. I have set a goal of two years for me to start seeing residual income. Wish me luck!
Hopefully I can help others to do the same, so that they can grow with me.
My kids have a real lesson to learn here....the feel good factor when you help others!

By the way...Rits is fast asleep and hasn't complained since lunch time. that means school tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Home from school!

This morning I awoke to Rits complaining about a scratchy throat....he said it felt like there were pins in his throat. My immediate reaction was oh no..not strep! My memory of strep is nightmarish and something I do not wish upon anyone, especially children.
I made him my trusted Indian herbal remedy of turmeric, holy basil and honey mixture followed by salt gargles. He seemed much better and temperature free. Breakfast went down just swallowing problems, so off to school we went.
Once Niks left with my neighbors for middle school I settled down to breakfast, followed by some work on my home business.
In the midst of emailing I get a call from the school clinic telling me about Rits and his pins and needles throat. I ask if I need to pick him up, only to be told that he wants to be picked up, and I should because she doesn't see him in the clinic often! Go figure.
Once he is home, I give him some Tylenol for the pain (again, no fever)and ask him to sleep. "I can't sleep". He wants to play outside on his bike!!!!

Time for home school !!.
Now we do not have a happy bunny in the house as we ask him to read for twenty minutes followed by some pages in his work book. We make sure he is kept busy at home so he doesn't think it's easy to get out of school. This is a first for him and we want to make sure it's the last, unless of course he is truly ill.
Another dose of my mums magic home remedy and he seems to be ok.

Do we let him stay up to watch Knight Rider? Oh need to sleep early when you are not well so that you can get better quickly. Once again we manage to send him in to a frown, but none the less....a lesson learned.

Tomorrow is another day so lets hope his throat heals as he sleeps. I felt like a cruel mom today but feel we need to be every so often. I'll keep you posted about his progress...fingers crossed.

Niks has his own issues of the day, but I'll get into that another day as I don't think I have enough time today! Mostly relating to manners and respect.
Sometimes I wonder why it's so difficult to teach kids the basics, but I guess that is a mothers challenge! We keep going and trying to help them have a better future for themselves. Perhaps one day, they will come back and say thank you.
Until then, I'll keep on with my day to day juggles.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Soccer Season.

My daily routine just got busier again with the start of soccer. Niks and Rits are both into soccer or football as we call it. It's only a natural thing, seeing that we are from UK. I am told by their coaches that they are skilled players which I find quite amusing.

Niks is a bookworm....he loves to read and is a bit of an intellect. When he was younger he was a very sore looser. Whether it was tic tac toe (naught & crosses) or Monopoly....he would have tantrums if he lost and ruin every one's mood. He still has many issues we deal with but learning to loose gracefully is coming form sports.
I enrolled him when he was 6-7 years old so he could learn how to loose!! I know it sounds rough....but, mission accomplished. Where he used to gripe and moan about loosing a game for what would seem like forever, he simply says he played well but the other team was better. It took a couple of seasons for him to simply enjoy the game no matter what the outcome. Having said that, he is still very competitive and will do his best to win. It's taken a long time, but he is finally understanding the concept of playing as a can't win on your own merit.

Rits on the other hand isn't so much a bookworm...probably the opposite, but intelligent none the less. He is more of a social bunny and loves the game. It means he can spend time with his buddies. He thinks he is the best player on the team and shows off a lot. My aim is to teach him to play as a team and include everyone no matter how good they are. He sees how other kids are as talented as him, if not more so, and enjoys their company. If he looses a game, it motivates him to play better the following week.

My wish is hoping they have similar practice schedules so It's easier for me to ferry them around. Niks is going three times this week and Rits is still waiting to hear which team he is on. This gives me one more week of rest as I know next week is going to get hectic. Once we're at the fields, I get a chance to walk...good practice time to train for my half marathon!

My friends and I managed to walk 7-8 miles on Sunday....and my legs were sore that evening, but not the next day. I was expecting to be in a lot of pain, but I guess the gradual training is paying off. Laziness crept in this morning so I missed my walk...I'll catch up in the evening. Promise!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Manners and Dediction.

Another busy weekend has flown by with yet another party to attend. This time is was bowling and I raise my hand to anyone who can strike those pins. I reverted to helping the little kids and eating pizza! Even both boys play better than I do.
How did they behave? Not bad today...we sat both of them down before leaving and asked them to do a few things. Both boys have a tendency of interrupting. They feel like they should take part in every conversation we have, with whomever! I don't get it....I daren't cut into my parents conversations when I was little. Why do they lack basic manners? Where are we going wrong?
I hear this from many of my friends and feel it's society today. I'm not sure of the answer but I will not give up in finding the cure. I asked both boys to do a simple pause for a few seconds before they do anything and ask themselves a question. "Am I going to make my parents proud of me of will they be disappointed with me?". They are both very smart intelligent boys so are very aware of the answer....they simply need reminders.
A simple example would be when the pizzas were served. On a normal day, my eldest would act as if he never gets fed at home and scavenge his way through the food. Today...he ate like a mature kid and asked before he could have seconds! Now that's what I call progress. My younger son...well he's trying very hard too. He didn't stare at the birthday cake like he'd never seen cake before. I'm hoping that if I keep reminding them about the question, they'll eventually understand how to behave and become well mannered little boys.
They both played up in the morning so were told that they would have early bed times. I'm sure this motivated them to ask themselves my simple question. Tomorrow will be another day, and, hopefully a good one.

My friends and I decided to train together for the half marathon we have signed up for, so I left the party early...left my husband with the kids! Yeah...he manged just fine.
How did the walk go?
For the first time since we signed up, we walked 7+ miles and I can feel it. My legs hurt and so do my feet.I feel a shopping trip coming up!! Even though my muscles are in pain, I have to get out there tomorrow and not give in. I know I can do it....I'm not going to let my girls down.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

It's hard to believe that Valentines day is here agian....the last year has flown by. The morning started out really well with some nice red roses and cards from my husband and children. What do we do for the boys today? Well, we had decided to take them to watch Pink Panther 2. They loved the first one and watch it over and over without tiring of it, followed by dinner at Taco Bell! ( their choice, not mine).

My older son decided to talk back rather rudely to his dad saying some hurtful things. I let my husband deal with it while I listened on from the kitchen. I hear him say that the afternoon plans are cancelled and he has to miss out. This is followed by shouting and yelling and eventually a sort of calm.
Whilst they were in the midst of their conversation, I grabbed my camera and recorded their debate about who started and who was to blame and so forth.
After lunch, I hooked the camera to the TV and played back on high volume! son came running down and fretted to try to turn it off. I made him listen to get an idea of how bad he sounds when he gets into his "I know better than you" mode. He didn't like it very much and appologised for his behavior...

What do we do now? Do we ruin his valentines day or do we let him go and watch his movie? Is it good to give in? What will he learn if we give in?
So many questions with no real answers. We have to parent to the best of our abilities, so my husband and I talk it out and decide to let him go. We gave him some conditions though....he has to give up his new I-touch for one month and do certain chores in the house.
I hope we have mad the right decision and more so, I hope our son learns to compromise and do the right thing in the future.
p.s. Happy Valentines Day.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Friday the 13th!

It's Friday the 13th and many of my friends are very superstitious.....unlike myself. My 8 year old son came home to tell me that bad things happen on this day because of the date. Obvioulsy, I reply very casually telling him that it was not true and bad and good things can happen on any day. He proceeded to tell me that the swing at school broke today and a little girl was hurt (nothing serious).
I went on to tell him how the horrific plane crash in Buffalo New York happened yesterday on the 12th.
I went on to explain that we don't have any control over certain things, but not to worry about it being worse on a certain date. I do hope he doesn't become superstitious and sees life through reasoning, without worrying his little mind with the fear of bad things happening.
As for the victims of the Continental Connection Flight 3407, may their souls rest in peace and may god give their families strength and hope to continue with their lives. I know grief is a very difficult thing to go through so I pray they all have a good support structure around them, to help them get through these difficult times.
I will say a prayer for them today, along with many others.


Now that I have signed up for a half marathon, I have become much more exersize consious. I actually wake up and feel like I need to work out so that I can finish my 13 miles that I have commited to. I will be walking it instead of step at a time. Does this mean that once the marathon is over, I'll revert back to my usual do nothing routine? I certainly hope not.
I feel more energized now and I'm barely breaking a sweat so I know I can go much much furhter in my routine. I've found a couple of good walking partners who motivate me and keep me going. My legs feel more toned already and it's only been a week or so. Maybe I will budge those few extra pounds that have crept up over the last couple of years. Now that would be a huge bonus.
Believe it or not, I actually feel more relaxed, even though I'm doing the same amount of work and then some. I've managed to fit walking time into my daily routine withoug giving up time with the kids. It's amazing what we can achieve if we really want to. It's a shame that I had to sign up for an official marathon to realize this.
I encourage anyone to take out 30 minutes a day for a brisk walk. My 2 boys came with me last night before dinner, and we talked about all sorts of things from music to school to even politics. My twelve year old is very enquisitive about life and "grown up" topics, so it was nice to have a realxing conversation while my 8 year old rode his bike along side us.
I feel I am more productive with my business too....good all around!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Working from Home

Discipline, discipline discipline!!!
I can't stress it more than that. In order to achieve any kind of success from working at home, I have had to realise that I HAVE TO create time for myself, to actually work the business. Family and friends have not yet realized thay I am BUSY and actually working to support my family. The thought me being at home makes them think that I am free all day.
Part of the reason is that most of us work in a traditional environment...away from home. It's a matter of educating the people around you so they understand what you do. Working form home is turning out to be pretty good, as I am learning more now than ever before. The difference is that I set my own hours and have finaaly got the will power to sit and devote my time to my business. I like to read and found many tips online about how to get organized at home.
Once my boys have left for school I sit and start to advertise my products and write plans on what to implement next etc. the housework can be doen around the kids routine once they are home. I consider myself a bit of a TV addict, but since starting with Seriesse, I actually don't mind working while I watch my programs.
I urge anyone who wants to earn more money or simply want to work because they are "Domestic Engineers" to look into Seriesse. I'll get into the business in my next post.
Both of my boys watch me while I work and realize that it's not that hard to sit and concentrate on what you are doing. Homework time is easier now because they sit and get it done. My older son still has a few issues and tries to drag it out to no avial. I set time limits for him so he can learn time management. Like I said earlier...Discipline, discipline, discipline!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Self Esteem

I'ts been a busy weekend with parties for the kids followed by get togethers at friends homes wich last late into the night. It takes a toll, as getting up on Saturday morning for soccer is next to impossible. Alas, we have no choice and manage to get to the sports center for a miserable game which was lost by a landslide. The kids still have to be told how they played well and tried their best and as always followed by "better luck next week".
Are false paraises a good thing? I'm not so sure but am told that is the way to go so that we do not harm our children's self esteem. I'm always told to praise their posotive efforts and let them know how well they are doing. Do not reinforce their negative behaviors.
Truthfully, my son played terribly in his game. They didn't work as a team and were simply beaten because the opposing team played much better and were concentrating on the game. I start by telling him it was ok to loose and the usual shpeel about doing better next tongue gets the better of me and I start to critisize. I try to do it in a constructive manner by explaining where he had made mistakes and how he could avoid doing the same thing next time. He took it quite well and hopefully will improve next week. Again, that will depend on his mood when he wakes up. Part of this weeks failure is because he didn't get enough sleep so I guess I take responsibility for that. It's difficult to avoid social commitments, especially when it involves close friends and family so the kids will just have to learn and adapt to the odd late night here and there.
Did I harm his self esteem? I don't think so ,because he reamined adamant that he played a good game and bad luck made them loose. A little over confidant perhaps, but better than lacking in self conficdance. His little brother seems to be learning from all this and should do ok for himself too. He believes he is the best player in his team. Ah, the wonders of children!

Friday, February 6, 2009


A new day, a new task to set. It was a good morning today because the kids were golden and went to school without any tantrums or complaints. In fact, they get bonus points for reminding me to cut their nails!!
Why Motivation?
My friends manged to convince me do the Half Marathon in march so I signed up. I'm not sure if I did the right thing because I haven't hit the treadmill for a very long time. the most running I do is behind the kids and clearing up or at the mall every once in a while.
I have to get motivated...what do I do? I have half an hour to spare while my son gets ready so I get on my flying machine (gazelle) and start. Not bad actually, as I feel better for it. My legs are a bit sore, so shows how unfit I am.
I'm hoping to shed a few pounds in my quest to get fit and be able to walk/jog the half marathon. If I mange this then I'll call it my bonus check!
Once the morning routine is done, it's crunch time. I've decided to start work from home so I can be here when the kids come. Daycare fees are too high for me, so I've taken a leap of faith and pray that I can be successfull.
I feel like I'm back at school much to learn. I wish I had more experience with computers. Each and every step I take is on a new curve so I'm learning something new everyday. Wish me luck and I'll keep posting my progress and pitfalls. Hopefully I can help someone else in my journey.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

At Last!

Hi and welcome to my blog.
Why "At Last", you may be wondering....well, it's taken a long time to start my blog.
As many of you mom's will know, it's not easy doing a mothers juggle when you're trying to keep up with the rest of the world.
It's late at night and the kids are fast asleep so it "me time". That means I can sit in front of the TV with laptop in hand and start to type my thoughts without being disturbed. There's only one glitch....YAWN....that's right, I'm now feeling tired after a long day. How I look forward to Sundays as it truely is my only day of rest. Saturdays are filled with sports for the kids and many other tasks.
My alarm is set for 6.30am and back to the grindstone...wake up, get ready, don't take too long in the shower, sit still while you eat, hurry up or you'll be late.....and so on. One out of the door and time for the other one. You'd think it'd be easy with a middle schooler, but you couldn't be more wrong. Now they have mouths that talk back and their minds think they can do everything on their own. Why in that case do I still have to yell to get him out of the door on time so he doesn't miss his bus? Alas, a mothers juggle seems never ending.
Peace at last, now let the work day begin. I'll get into that on my next post so keep tuned.