Archive | June, 2015

The suite life

25 Jun

So the last ten days our family of three has been living in a small studio style room in an extended stay hotel.  The room is maybe 300 sq feet but we seem to be doing okay so far. We have a small L shaped kitchenette with a two burner stove, a few pots and pans, a full sized fridge and dishwasher which are both saviors for the cooking we do, two desks, a pull out couch that we haven’t pulled out yet, a queen sized bed and then a little attach bathroom and closet for our suitcases. The laundry room is outside our room and there is a gym too. All in all, the whole situation isn’t bad at all.

Compared to living in a room a quarter this size in Malaysia for almost  a month and having no kithcenette , this is luxurious almost. The whole setting is really quite cozy here. The last month or more of living in various hotel rooms in different countries has brought the three of us closer than we were which is funny as anyone would think we would be getting on each other’s nerves with being in a small constrained space .This coziness is making up for the last few months in NYC which were hard for us as a whole in so many ways. We knew we were moving, we had guests , cooking took over my life, I was guilty for ignoring Bandar – but these last two months together has seemed to magically fix a lot of this.

Living in this small space together comfortably, made me wonder why I always insisted on a  2 bedroom 2 bathroom set up for us from the point we were married. The answer is obviously the junk we have and the guests – read family  who visit. Living out of suitcase of clothes, doing laundry regularly, trying various permutations and combinations of outfits for work and play , three pairs of work shoes seems to be working for me right now.  The husbadoo hasn’t complained about his clothes at all (I suspect he brought more than I did) and Bandar’s suitcase not only had her clothes , but games , books and toys and she seems content. The kitchenette just has enough utensils for cooking and serving a meal each day, but apart from missing a blender and an oven for more full fledged cooking and baking, it all works. Less utensils to use, means less food being cooked at a time and this infact means less food prep each day. Not sure why I didn’t do this since forever – I usually make copious amounts and food prep takes forever.

To make this hotel room feel like home, one another thing I have been trying hard to do is stay organized and neat – things in their place as much as I can help. Space is so limited that putting things away is essential.

Bandar calls this hotel room “home” and she in fact was upset when we suggested a sleepover this weekend at our friends’ place . (We selfish parents wanted to play a few games of Settlers of Catan after Bandar slept). She has clearly refuted this though and insists we return “home” to sleep. Even this little Queen bed which we at glance thought seemed too tiny works for now and we haven’t had to draw out the pull out couch yet.

Guess these are lessons I can take with me to our next real home : downsize – get rid of clutter in our lives , stay organized, cook in small quantities , do laundry regularly. Hope I don’t go back to my old ways of living in excess, waste and chaos when the time comes.

So much to say and yet so little

15 Jun

Maybe I am still jetlagged and really tired out with all the travelling this week.We have been on 4 different flights this week – 3 of them international , and I for one  won’t be disappointed if we don’t even see an airport for atleast a few more weeks.

So what did we do and where are we? We returned to the US from Malaysia earlier this week, spent four days in NJ jetlagged but working and caring for toddler and repacking . We then caught another flight today to Texas to spend the next 7 weeks,  before we make our way to……. wait for it, San Diego, California! Yes, that is where home will be for the next few years. I will post again soon about the decision we made to end up there but I can finally say I am excited.

We are in Texas right now for my work and for us to pack up the remains of our life here from 2 years ago – a quarter of our household in packed boxes and our car.We are staying in a sort of extended stay hotel and the room is heaps nicer than the Malaysia one – and we have a kitchenette and stove.

I am exhausted from being up since 3 am today for our flight, unpacking to some extent here, meeting friends and prepping to start work in person here tomorrow. Its nice to be back in Austin, with Bandar and the husbadoo in tow this time – Austin will forever have a part of my heart. That said, life is chaotic as we try to make this new hotel room home for a few weeks, work through other logistical issues and come up with childcare solutions . But the most important thing of all is that we are together and going through it with each other. The rest of the stuff will work itself out as we go through each phase of this journey together this crazy Summer – East coast to Asia to South Central and finally the last leg in a few weeks to the West coast (home! – still feels weird to say that!). Thanks for following along here!

All about the Monkey

4 Jun

Bandar is at a super fun age. I seriously love having an older two year old. She has an uncanny sense of humor, she understands and is listening to stuff around her all the time ( even when we think she isn’t), remembers random stuff and repeats it days later in the perfect context.

One not so nice thing is that she has developed a little bit of a potty mouth though and I don’t know where from. By that I don’t mean cursing , thank God, but literally using potty related words all day long. “Poop”, “Poopy”, “Eating Poopy”, “You are a poopy”, are stuff we hear all day long from here. We made the mistake of reprimanding her every time she said the word at first and that obviously made her want to say it more. So now we just ignore her or distract her with something else. Nevertheless I am called a “poopy mama” several times a day , I assume mostly out of affection as she says it as she gives me a big hug and a kiss. I can only hope she outgrows this stage.

Other random nicer things she has said recently:

“I want a sister and a brother. Both.I will push their stroller.”


(While sitting in the cable car). “This was fun but the part before this was not fun.” (she meant a stimulated silly ride prior to that)


She has started calling out to us sometimes as “Husband” and “Wife”. It’s quite funny to hear. It used to be “Boy” and “Girl” till a few weeks ago.

  • “Wife, you need to sit here and the husband needs to sit there.”(during pretend play)
  • ( Again during pretend play) “You go hunting and I will cook dal and subji for you and your husband wants coffee and cake, so I will cook that for him”
  • Calling out to her dad – “Amma’s husband, come here”
  • “Is it fun to have a wife? You are appa’s wife.”_______________________________________________________________

Excitement about birthdays,

“Guess what? First its your birthday , then its Mimi’s birthday, then it’s my birthday”


“What will I do on the plane to New York? I will watch tv, read, eat mamu, nap, drink juice.But can I drink juice? I get rash from juice” (she gets mysterious hives which we think is a juice allergy but we aren’t sure yet)


About the move,

“My toys are on a truck right now” ( she means storage)


“When you got married where was I? In your tummy? “(errr…don’t think so baby)


“When I am big, I will get to eat subji. Spicy Subji”


(After eating too much ice cream) ,” My tummy hurts now from eating too many vegetables”

Me:I think it’s the ice cream.Too much ice cream

Bandar – No , it was the vegetables.


She wants to befriend everyone ,especially the local kids here that she sees in the mall. However she is hesitant to approach them.

“Do you think they will be my friend if I ask them their name? ”


She likes to pretend pray. So funny. She semi closes her eyes and folds her hands in prayer, murmurs a few hindi sounding words and then the remaining is gibberish. She calls it her “Spanish” prayer. She insists her teacher taught it to her but I don’t believe it..

She does this pretend pray at the drop of a hat – last night she stood by the big window in the hotel room and said “I am saying a moon prayer”. And then a string of gibberish.


She has a strange coping mechanism when I leave for work. She is understandably confused that appa stays with her, there is no school, we appear to be on vacay but amma goes to work.Now instead of crying, she has started saying this quite cheerily-

“Go and eat a duckie. Ride a horsie. Hug a beetle.”

Totally nonsensical right. But somehow she came up with this and it helps her cope. And we both say it to each other as I hug and kiss her good bye everyday. This is different from the previous coping mechanisms she had when one of her parents left for work – she used to insist the missing parent was just “buying apples for her at Wholefoods” and not at work . Now it’s the eating duckies thingee. The duckie bit came first and then she added the horsie the week aftger and now today it was the beetle bit.

It’s utterly cute and somehow makes me and her both so happy to say it each morning.


Dear Bandar – This has been a tough month for you in some ways. We yanked you out of your home and school and dragged you across the world to a new country. You miss all the stuff you are familiar with but somehow have adapted in some strange way.

Food has been strange and I worry if I am hurting your nutrition and health. I do the best I can given the resources but hope its not causing permanent damage in any way. Anyway only a few more days of this and we will be in a place with a kitchen (yeah!) and I can nurture you again.

I have been working around the clock and miss our evenings together in NYC.I yearn for those again. We are actually going to go to a place with decent weather, baby . So I will be taking you the park hopefully all year around.

You are more or less day potty trained but insist on a diaper for poops and prefer holding pee pee till we are home (at the hotel) to use the potty rather than use one outside. You do this feat for a good 2 hours and it scares me. But then I had “publish potties” too( as you call them) and I kind of understand it.

You have grown a tad braver this month. You have been in the swimming pool with appa each day and though still in your float are gaining more confidence by the day.You had some thrills on your trip with us to Langkawi and were a good sport overall. You went to a fun trampoline park here and jumped for the better part of an hour with us. And you got to zip line! This last feat, mommy couldn’t do but you did! High five , baby girl! Hope you don’t pick up on my silly fears and instead grow and blossom into a courageous little lion cub.

You refer to us currently by our nicknames which though cute gets a few stares and comments from family and friends. More so now that we are in Asia. I want to nip this in the bud but appa thinks this is adorable and wants it to stick. He claims he doesn’t mind being called by name even when you are older , but I do hope this habit doesn’t last all that long and fades with time.

The books we have been reading have been surprisingly advanced but I love the fact that you listen and ask smart questions. You love snuggling with me at night and asking to be read to and we do close to seven books on most nights. I can’t wait to introduce you to some of my childhood favorites soon.

You have way too much interest in phonetics and I really need to prepare myself well to answer some of the recent questions you have posed.

You have grown into a little bit of a cry baby this month too. All the staying with parents all day long and no school maybe. School really did you heaps of good with the kind but firm disciplining that we somehow fail to do well at home. I do hope we find a new school that works for us in the next few months and that you are happy and well cared for and of course, disciplined well in soon.

That’s it for now gooseberry. Love you and signing off,