June Weight Check-in

(This is the first of several backlog posts. This one should have gone up on June 1st. )


It is pouring rain outside as I sit to type this. The worst of the summer heat is over and we are getting a touch of the southern monsoon. Our monsoon won’t start until the end of the month. May brought intense heat this year, with the peak heat being 43oC on Sunday, May 26th. Was I ever happy to be working indoors that day!

Since then the heat has gone down to a more manageable 35 – 37oC. Lots of clouds have meant less direct sun, and more time spent outdoors without having sweat pouring off of you.

In order to beat the heat, I always work out early in the morning, around 6 a.m. Yet it has been muggy at that hour and when I finish my exercise, my clothes look like I have been swimming in them.

My weight loss is picking up again, after the difficulties I had in April. In May I lost 1.1 kgs., bringing my current weight to 73.7 kgs. (As of June 1st.) I’m so happy for this. Slow and steady really is the way to go with weight loss, ‘cause it means the weight doesn’t come back.

I now fit into a size medium for most of my clothes, whereas back in January I was in XL. Over the past few months I’ve stuck with only buying cheap clothes so that I didn’t feel bad about getting rid of them when they got too big, and yes, I’ve already had to change all the stuff I bought at the beginning of the year. But that is a good thing when you are losing weight.

I’ve also moved down a bra size. All my life I wore a 36C, but I didn’t know the proper way to tell if a bra fits or not and that resulted in many uncomfortable bras. I’ve learned that the bra should fit snug on the outermost hooks when you first buy it (and you move in to the other hooks as it gets stretched from use), and the cups should lie smooth with no wrinkles or bunching. It is also important to try on different styles of the same size bra, because some will fit better than others. Try each one you are thinking of buying; it should be so comfortable that you forget you are wearing it. I think I’m now in the size I should have been wearing all along, a 34B. For the first time in my life I feel comfortable in a bra.

This month I will be making some changes to my exercise program to spice it up since boredom is beginning to set in. I’ll let you know how it goes.

School? What School? We’re Still Home.

So after the bliss of sending them off to school yesterday, today the rain gods decided I needed to have them home longer. Heavy rains are predicted for this whole week, and when the rain is heavy, most schools close, especially the preschools and primary schools. So I woke to a message from Logan’s school saying it was closed, and a call from Lila’s school. The counselor was trying to call Glad but he kept hanging up on her and trying to go back to sleep (it was barely 7 a.m.) so she called me. He then had no choice but to get up and send a message to all the parents about school being closed – and then he went back to bed. Ha.

I do have a topic I want to write about but I’m gonna stick it in a separate post, a new My Thoughts on India post. Look for it soon. For now, here comes a photo update of random stuff that hasn’t been posted yet from October.

Logan made a new friend.

My girls have a stick obsession. Lila will collect sticks at the park and often looks like she is aiming to start a bonfire.

She was “fishing”.

 I did a test run of my fruitcake recipe and it turned out much better than expected, thanks to some tricks I learned about making fruitcakes. When I do my Christmas batch, I’ll write it up.

I snuck a photo in a toyshop that forbids photography. Naughty, naughty. 🙂

Scarlett is now without a bed, thanks to Lila for jumping in her bed and breaking the frame beyond repair. We had to throw it out. She is now on a mattress on the floor, and will most likely be there until we move as we are not investing in any new furniture this year. So far she is ok with it.

Goodbye to yet another faithful friend. It was used by all 3 of my kids but I guess it just couldn’t take the strain any more.

 I found this shirt for Scarlett. It sums her up completely. Logan and Lila think the caption is refering to the cupcake on the shirt. Ha.

 This one really doesn’t need an explanation.

So here’s to more rain, no sun, and being driven crazy. It is only 9:30 a.m. and Logan is asking every 5 minutes when we can go to the mall like daddy promised. In between he is making up fake words to “Jingle Bells” and teasing Scarlett. Save me already!

School Holidays + Monsoon = Perfect Recipe for Pulling My Hair Out

It is pouring rain, yet again, as I sit down to write. The kids are taking a late nap since they got up late. You see, school is out and the winter monsoon is here. Logan’s last day of school was last friday and Lila’s was last tuesday; both have holidays until the 28th with school starting again on monday the 29th.

Watching the rain.
We had grand plans for what we would do with 2 weeks of holidays. We were going to go to multiple parks, have picnics, go to the botanical gardens again, and perhaps even the zoo, plus a few malls. Ha. Wendesday morning the pouring began and it has yet to let up. Oh it stops for a short while but then it pours again. There is nothing quite like being woken at 5 a.m. by a thunderstorm and Scarlett crying to get into your bed.
So we have been housebound since wednesday. Not fun. The temperatures have dropped too, and I find myself wearing a sweater all day. Yesterday the high was supposed to be 29 deg.C but I don’t think it got up to there. Today is even cooler. Yet in the house we still need the fans, albeit on low or else it feels hot from the humidity. The evenings have cooled down enough that we no longer need the air conditioners. (And if you are thinking that is hot, summers around here get over 40C!)
They insisted on the hoods, even though it isn’t that cold.
Every few hours the rain starts and stops, slows and speeds up. This has resulted in flooding in the city, since the storm drains are never clear enough to keep floods at bay. While the summer monsoon is more sporadic, with ligher rainfall and still warm enough to make you want to run outside and cool off, this rain is colder and soaks you through.

Yesterday afternoon it cleared a little and there was even a hint of sun, so we went to the mall near our house. Of course it had to pour while we were there, but at least it was a change. And we barely made it home in time before it began raining again!

Here are a few pics from the mall.
Matching outfits – while they will still let me. 🙂

Wow, I just realised how much Scarlett looks like I did at that age!

 They always want to visit the jewelry shop that has a fish tank in the floor.

Feeding the fish.

I think they are Koi and there were some new ones, huge black catfish that were a good 12″ or more.

 Our next stop is always Landmark. They sell books, toys, stationary, movies, games, etc. and they have a Lego display for the kids to use. I snuck these photos cause I wasn’t sure if they had a no photography rule.

“Mommy, come see what I made!”

 The mall routine always involves multiple escalator rides, and then they want ice cream at some point. When I can afford it, I take them to a nice ice cream shop that sells scoops by weight and they have some amazing flavors; when I can’t, we go to McDonalds. Ha. Cones are cheap (rs.15 each) and they don’t care that there is only one flavor available.

She was looking so cute I took too many pics.

Today I tried to clean the house a little and the kids made sure to really be at each others throats, hence the late nap. I’ve been trying to keep them busy but they only last so long and then are begging to go outside. The problem is that there is nowhere dry to go play; parks and playgrounds are flooded, as are many streets. Walking is not an option. So I will again today put on music and try to get them to dance or run, and they will jump and fall all over each other on a mattress on the floor, and I will pray my sanity stays intact long enough to survive another week.

Here is a cute video I got of Scarlett last week. Notice how she has also inherited daddy’s singing ability.

I love how she goes up a key at the end and then goes back to the song. In case you didn’t catch that, she is singing “Old Macdonald” but it is her own version. She is saying “had a, had a cow, EIEIO, had a, had a pig, EIEIO. Neigh, neigh here, neigh neigh there.” Then repeat. 🙂

Yes, I’m Still Alive

I can’t believe it has been so long since my last post, but I have a good excuse, honest I do. The kids all got colds, one at a time, then I got it, and just now are we starting to get over them. I’ve spent the better part of ten days covered in coughs, snot, pee, and sneezes, plus holding feverish kids, putting on countless videos or t.v. shows, blowing noses, and more.
I think I really lost it when I was going to blow Lila’s nose, but instead ended up at Scarlett and told her to blow. She can’t do that yet and I wondered what was wrong with Lila before I realized I was holding the hankey by the wrong nose.
To top it off, the rain has continued, relentlessly. Every day, all day it’s rain, rain, rain. Don’t get me wrong, I like rain. But it’s almost been two weeks and shows no signs of stopping yet. I can’t take the kids anywhere, so fights have escalated since no one can go outside to run and play. Logan was finally well enough on thursday to go back to school, so he got out for a short while, but the rest of us are beginning to feel like caged chickens.
Yesterday I took the girls out for a short walk and we got hit with a sudden downpour. You don’t know heavy rain until you have been in monsoon rain. Fortunately it wasn’t cold and we were close to home, but wow, wading through streets-turned-rivers while carrying both girls and trying to keep us semi-dry with the umbrella is not my idea of fun.
So today when mom’s parcel arrived, two wild chidren sat quietly on the couch looking at the new books she sent. They hadn’t been that quiet all morning. Thanks, mom. The books were a success.

Nov 02
Nov 03
Nov 01

And you haven’t heard about the laundry yet. (Maybe you don’t want to. It’s ok.) Because it is normally so hot, no one here owns a dryer. It would be an unnecessary expense since it would sit idle for most of the year, only to be used during the rains. If I had one now it would be getting me my money’s worth, cause with all this rain, nothing is drying. I have the rack under a fan 24/7 and it still takes up to 48 hours for things to dry through.
With little kids though, daily laundry is a must, just to keep up. So that fan is going to keep spinning until the end of the year if it has to, or at least until the end of monsoon. At least we no longer need the air conditioners. 

Some Random News

With heavy rainfall over the last two nights, the weather has cooled down drastically. It is overcast outside right now, yet amazingly I still need the fan on to not feel too hot.

Last night was amazing. Around 1 a.m. we had a thunderstorm, bright lightening, loud thunder, pouring rain. It was so loud it woke me up, so I thought I’d better check on the kids since something so loud was sure to wake them. Surprisingly, all three of them slept through the night, not waking once. Me, well, I woke with the storm, then later to change Logan’s wet pants (second time, to be expected in a downpour, I guess), then later to let Glad in when he arrived from the train station. He had gone for a day trip to a town a few hours from here and the train only came in at 5 a.m.

Logan and Lila are slowly getting better at sleeping through the night and in their own beds. It’s been up and down since I started the push to get them to sleep in their own beds. Some nights one comes to our bed, some nights both; the past 2 nights, nither of them. I hope this keeps up.

Scarlett is getting so big now. (I’m still kicking myself cause I haven’t gotten the camera repaired yet. I’m missing so much.) She is eager to eat anything I give her. She also demands food from whoever has it. Lila is willing to feed her, but I have to keep a check on that to make sure Lila isn’t feeding her something she shouldn’t have. Last night Lila was having oatmeal after her dinner. I was busy with Logan and left both girls alone in their highchairs, next to each other. When I came back, Lila was spoonfeeding Scarlett, or trying to anyway, and Scarlett was grabbing the food with her hands and it was all over the both of them. At least they were having fun, and with bathtime as the next activity, it didn’t matter that they were a mess.

Scarlett also has a new trick. She has learned to shake her head no. I don’t think she actually means no when she does it; it is just something new that is fun to do, especially when I’m trying to feed her. Ha. I have to hold her head still to get the spoon in. I figure that if she didn’t want the food she would spit it out, so the headshaking is just another skill to be practiced, anytime, anywhere.

She also has an earsplitting scream/cry combo that she uses whenever:

– she is hungry and tired;

– Logan hurts her;

– she is mad;

or whenever else it suits her fancy. Mainly though, it is when she is tired and wants me “RIGHT NOW OR ELSE”. I’m sure all the neighbors around can hear it and the only way to get her to stop is for me to pick her up. She is instantly quiet when I pick her up.

At other times if I try to put her down and she doesn’t want to go, she stiffens her body and then arches her back to fight it, all the while screaming. Sometimes I just lie her down when she does it, or force her to sit and show her a toy at the same time. After all, I can’t carry her when Logan has run from the bathroom unwiped and is ready to sit on the couch, or Lila is dumping the laundry soap into the sink (did that this week, and emptied my brand new bottle of stain remover too). She will then follow me and if I stop walking she will grab my leg and stand up, trying to get me to pick her up again. She also gets really mad if I don’t let her crawl out the front door when it is open.

So know you know who really runs the house. I’m just the slave and better get back to my duties before she wakes up. 🙂

Monsoon is Here

With the arrival of the monsoon, things have cooled down considerably here. The daily high has been around 33 deg. C, and often overcast, so it feels cooler. It has been raining every night for about a week now.
In a way it’s good that it only rains at night, cause we can still go out in the day without worrying about getting wet. Yet I love daytime rain. I find it soothing and calming…unless I’m stuck in it and getting wet. Monsoon rain isn’t just a drizzle; it is a downpour that can beat any umbrella. The roads turn into mini rivers and your shoes will get ruined. No one wears rainboots here. Rubber sandals are more common and the best if you have to walk in the rain.
This drastic change in the weather is probably what is responsible for the colds we’ve all had this past week. Lila is ok now, and Scarlett is slowly getting better. Neither of them like having to take the antibiotics, but this particular one is rapidly effective. Logan used it a few months ago when he had something similar to what Scarlett has now, and this cleared it up quickly.
I remember getting caught in monsoon rain many times in the past, particularly when I lived in Bangalore. There the rain usually came in the afternoon. It would hit suddenly and so intensely that there was no hope of staying dry. It would actually rain sideways. Riding in an auto in the rain was always an experience too. Since the sides are open, you still get wet. Some of them have a curtain to roll down and that will keep you fairly dry, though you can’t count on it. I used to open my umbrella and place it on the floor of the auto by the open side so that my feet could stay dry and warm.
That is another thing. We get two monsoons here – the summer one (right now) and the winter one (around October/November). The summer one is more refreshing since the temperatures don’t drop as drastically, but I always find myself freezing during the winter one. When temperarures drop into the 20’s, you find people in jackets and hats. There is actually a shop near our house where they sell winter clothing that I never thought anyone here would use, like the kind of jackets usually worn in snowy weather, knit hats, gloves, scarves and sweaters. I went in there last winter to get a sweater for Logan and was surprised by what I saw. The owner said they maninly sold stuff to those who were traveling to colder countries; makes sense to have such a thing available.
I did pull out the children’s sweaters recently but Logan is the only one who gets cold enough for it, probably because he is the only one who doesn’t have the necessary body fat for keeping warm. Normally though, they only wear them in the winter when it does get cold enough for them. We just use sweaters though. I haven’t found it cold enough for jackets or hats and mittens were only for when they were babies.
Of course all this rain brings beautiful growth from the plants. Everything turns green again and looks great. The downside? The mosquitos return. Our house in particular gets a lot of them and we use every mosquito-fighting invention available, yet we can’t keep them out. The one thing I enjoyed in the summer was no mosquitos. It may have been too hot for us, but it was also too hot for them and we enjoyed not having them around.

Rain and Christmas Musings

It’s still raining, heavily. Parts of the city flood when it rains like this and for sure tomorrows paper will be full of stories about it. With the rain has come cold weather. I like cold weather but am no longer used to it. Today’s low was supposed to be 21 degrees, not factoring in wind chill. For us, that is freezing, considering the average year round temperatures hover in the mid-30’s and up over 40 in the summer.
While I have dressed the children in layers and am chasing them to keep their socks on, my crazy husband goes around the house in a t-shirt and shorts and sleeps with the fan on. Yes, on low, but still on. I’ve shut all the windows that can be closed to try to warm the house up, and I sleep with a sweater on.
(You Canadians who are reading this had better stop laughing at me. I am not used to cold any more.)

Something I’ve had to adjust to living in India is the fact that Christmas is not a major holiday here like it is in other countries. While malls and big chain stores might decorate and use it as another time for selling, christians are the only ones who actually celebrate it. That means that most shops will not be decorated, hardly anyone decorates their houses, so there just isn’t that same Christmassy feel in the air like in places where everyone is celebrating it.
I’m having a hard time getting the feel in the house. I play Christmas songs but that is about all I can do. We can’t really afford a tree or decorations this year. It is the first year that it will just be our family and I would really like to make it special so I have to look into some low-budget ideas for it.
Logan and I put up our Christmas countdown poster from last year and every day he reminds me to take a number off, but he keeps taking all the numbers off. I’ve glued them back on several times. We have some Christmas movies to watch together, and I’ve been putting on more Christmas videos for the kids, anything to remind them of the season.
I’ll let you know how we get along.

Rainy Days and More

We’ve just woken up to another rainy day. These depressions that come over the ocean, I don’t understand just how it works, but somehow, they bring rain at odd times. This isn’t monsoon season, yet it is raining non-stop and the streets are flooded. Drainage isn’t very good on most streets so they become small rivers, so even when the rain does stop for a while I still can’t take the kids out. I do love rain and rainy days, but this unpredictable rain makes you stay home all the time, unlike monsoon, where you know at precisely what time of day it will rain and you can plan your outings around it. At least half the day will be sunny and the other half rainy. But right now, I can’t even remember when the sun last came out.
Anyway, we are keeping busy in the house. There is still work to be done, meals to make and cleaning to do. Laundry doesn’t stop. I have the laundry rack in the spare room under the fan all day so that it can dry. I can’t afford to have the laundry pile up. One problem I’m facing is that Lila wears cloth diapers in the house, and in this weather, they really pile up. She will sometimes come to me to tell me that she needs to go potty and will get the potty and even sit on it herself, but her diaper is rarely dry. Keeping up with that isn’t easy, especially since I don’t have so many of them. When it isn’t raining there isn’t a problem since they dry quickly in the sun, but drying them in the house takes longer and we run out quickly.
I’ve been debating whether to complete her potty training now or wait until after the baby comes. See, Logan was potty trained before she was born. I did that because I was sure it would make things easier, but then I had to spend 5 days in the hospital and Logan was with daddy the whole time. Since Glad had to take Logan with him whereever he went, he put him back in diapers and Logan regressed. I had to start over again with him once I was able to bend again. So I figure it would be better to wait on the full potty training until after the baby comes. She does use the potty daily, especialy for doo-doo, and will sometimes come and tell me when she needs to go, or she will bring the potty to me. I don’t want to discourage this. I’m happy that she is getting the point of what the potty is for, and I’m sure she could have been fully trained by now had I focused on it. But I’ve not had the time or willpower or energy to do it. It is harder to do things when you have two kids then when you only have one. So I think I will wait until after the baby comes. Probably will have to wait out the cold season too, but that won’t last long. Baby is due in November and it will be cool until about the middle of January. By then I will feel more up to it and I’m sure it will be easier all around.
I’m also waiting until then to work on night time training for Logan. I figure, why stress myself out at night when I don’t have to. I know night time training takes longer, and it isn’t a big deal for him to wear a diaper at night. It’s good that he and Lila both wear the same size diaper, cause they don’t come larger here. I could get pull-up’s but they cost twice as much as regular diapers and you get less in a pack. But I may have to if they outgrow the size they are wearing, which is the largest one I can find.
Ok, no more about potties and diapers. I’d better make some food for the kids. They have been happily playing with blocks but I know it won’t be long before they start to pester me for food. I give them a cup of milk when they first wake up and that holds them until I get the breakfast ready.
They are both better now. Logan’s appetite is back and he is eating better, so it won’t be long before he regains the weight he lost last week. I’m happy he is feeling better, for many reasons, one of which is that he is not prone to burst into tears when I say no or wait when he wants something. He would do that when he was sick and it was so frustrating. He just lost all the patience he had, but now he is doing better at that. I realised it yesterday when he asked for a video in the morning and I told him that since he wasn’t sick any more, he couldn’t watch videos all day and that he could watch one later at the usual time, which is while I make dinner. And he waited, and even kept saying that it wasn’t video time yet and was very good about it the whole day.

Logan watching a video last week when he was sick.

Daddy and Lila enjoying a cricket match.

What Should I Write About?

Ok, what have I been doing since my last post?? What did I post about last time anyway? Oh yes, my trip to Chennai and here I am sitting in Chennai.

We moved here last week on Tuesday morning. Took the train from Bangalore to Chennai and arrived at 4:30 in the morning. I was just finally falling into a deep sleep when we pulled into the station. Oh well, I caught up the next day, but it took Logan a few days to get back on schedule. Then he got sick. He had a fever off and on for three days but is feeling better now. I hope it was just teething. Before leaving Bangalore there was the usual packing and finalizing of all those last minute to-do’s that you always tend to leave to the last minute – like picking up Logan’s birth certificate. We have been trying to do it for the last year and only did it now because we were leaving.

We also celebrated Logan’s birthday. It is hard to believe that my baby is one year old! He is such a big boy and so active. He tries so hard to communicate. There is a dog here, a 4 year old golden retriever named Sinbad and Logan absolutely loves him. He talks to the dog and crawls up to him as close as he dares, but should the dog do so much as yawn, Logan will burst into tears and call me. This dog is really harmless and wouldn’t do anything to Logan but I still watch him closely just in case.

Oh yes, I just remembered something funny that happened a few days ago. We were eating lunch and someone gave Logan a whole tomato. He likes tomatoes so started eating it but after a few bites he threw it on the floor. So then they gave him a whole raw onion, just to see what he would do with it. Well, he bit into it, and after a few bites he cried and cried. I took the onion out of his mouth but as soon as I did, he bit it again. He kept biting the onion even though it was stinging his mouth and making him cry. Ha.

Well, it is different here in Chennai. The weather was quite hot when we came but is a bit cooler now as the monsoon has started and it rains 2 to 3 times a day. I am getting to know the neighborhood by walking around with Logan in the stroller. Today we found a grocery store nearby that is decent. This part of town is rather old so the way it is built and the way the roads are are different from what I am used to, but it is so nice to be somewhere new.

I really have to put all those pictures on the computer. I must remember to do that. And I never noted why I haven’t posted in so long. The place we were moving from had problems with the internet and the wireless was down. Since moving Logan has been sick and I spent a few days unpacking as I could only work when he was sleeping or with daddy as he wanted to be carried all the time. I have to find a way to get him off of this.

We put up the Christmas tree today. It’s finally starting to look like Christmas, at least in the house. Only big shops that cater to foreigners will put up decorations for Christmas and there really aren’t any of those around here. The only thing I miss about Christmas in Canada is the snow (only for the Christmas season) and candy canes. You can’t get them here. Every year I look for candy canes but can never find them and have to make do with the local chocolate, unless I can find some of the good stuff, but it is expensive. I hope Logan will enjoy Christmas this year. Last year he was too young to know what was going on.

Oh look at the time. It is past midnight and I need to get to bed. Logan will be up early. He doesn’t care if I want to sleep in after being up late. He just gets up and wants to eat, right away. So maybe I should go to bed now.

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