Mother’s Day Weekend

On the first night of Mother’s day weekend my family gave to me,

The chance to go out and watch Iron Man three!

On the second morning of Mother’s day weekend my family gave to me,

Two twins fighting and the chance to go out and watch Iron Man 3.

On the second afternoon of Mother’s day weekend my family gave to me,

Three older children screaming, two twins fighting and the chance to go out and watch Iron Man 3.

On the second evening of Mother’s day weekend my family gave to me,

One gone out with friends husband, three older children screaming, two twins fighting and a chance to go out and watch Iron Man 3.

On the Sunday of Mother’s day weekend my family gave to me,

Pancakes doused in syrup, one gone out with friends husband, three older children screaming, two twins fighting and a chance to go out and watch Iron Man 3.

On the Sunday evening of Mother’s day weekend my family gave to me,

A fridge depleted of groceries, a poop filled litter box, fifty loads of laundry, innumerable dirty dishes, crayon decorated walls, Cheerios covered carpets, one seriously in trouble husband, five brawling children and I don’t even remember seeing the damned movie.

On the Monday after Mother’s day weekend my family gave to me,

An empty house full of serenity.

This is what I got Sunday morning.

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And two hand-made one of a kind bracelets made from fuzzy pipe cleaners and beads obtained from Dollarama.

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This is some of what I dealt with when everyone was finally out of the house.

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There were twice as many dishes in the sink and on the counter, and some were extracted from underneath beds and desks.

What were you treated to on Mother’s day?

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All pics courtesy of moi.

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Spring Cleaning

I need to stay away from the internet if I want to finish writing my book. I’m on chapter 8, and I also wrote the last chapter and some stuff in the middle. That is also how I read novels. I often read the middle and end first just because.

So I am trying hard to resist the temptation of Facebook and reading blogs. It’s very difficult. I tried to  read some stuff on writing and I wanted to bang my head against the wall when I read this: Revision and self-editing.   I hope it helps any of you who are in editing stages. I clicked on the links which although maybe very useful I found to be well, very difficult to follow. Since I am not at the editing stage I hope to forget all about it for now.

Unfortunately I can’t sit and write all day because apparently family members need to be fed and the house can’t clean itself. There are lots of things for kids to throw garbage in when they are tidying up. Don’t forget to check all your vases when doing the spring cleaning.

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I like vases. All shapes. All sizes. All colors.

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I do not like what I find in them.

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The start of a Guinness record holding rubber band ball. I am not adding the picture of some ‘organic’ material I found. It was either a dead animal or the remains of a school lunch sandwich from before last year’s summer vacation.

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This is how I know one of my twins got hold of my camera.march 26 014

There are other things besides spring cleaning that keep me from writing that NYT best-seller.

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This is one of them.

What distracts you from doing that great thing you were born to do?

(All pics courtesy of my camera and my willing feline model)

Tag, You’re It!

tag

I was tagged by thelostkerryman for “Tagging Thyme“, thanks. You have to answer 11 weird questions then tag 11 people who would be willing to answer weird questions. I am grateful for weird people.

1. What is the strangest thing you have ever eaten in public?

Nothing terribly exotic here. I don’t eat gross stuff like escargot,  chocolate covered grasshoppers or fried snakes. And I never will. I did eat paan,ONCE,  when I was in Pakistan. That is betel leaf with yucky stuff like slaked lime (yes), tobacco and betel nut (which will break your teeth) wrapped in it. It is bitter, causes cancer and tastes like crap. Every South Asian has a thing for it. I spat it out right there in the street while being stared at by amused onlookers. I was not amused.

2. If you had to go on an adventure, with elves, dwarves, or hobbits, who would you take and why?

Well what do you think eh? Orlando Bloom, John Rhys- Davies or Elijah Wood? The elf, duh! I think the ‘why’ is self-explanatory.

3. You are at a rural retreat lodge somewhere deep in Wisconsin or Canada. You are approached by a taxidermist who hands you a stuffed badger and asks you to put it in your lap. What do you do next?

I like animals alive running around the forest with the elves.  I will probably beat the taxidermist then stuff him.

4. If you were given biscotti, would you prefer it with coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?

What the hell are those? I will have to go buy a pack, try them and get back to you. Don’t look at me like that! I have five kids, all I know about is chocolate chip cookies and Tim Horton‘s. But I like strong tea and French Vanilla Supreme.

5. In your opinion, who is the funniest man or woman alive today (comedian)

ELLEN! I love you Ellen. And you already know I love Bill Cosby. And some guy named Sugar Sammy because 1. he’s Canadian 2. he’s Indian and 3. he’s funny.

6. If you were given thirty seconds on television to say something, what would it be?

“Eh, nice weather eh?”

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7. What is your idea of the most romantic date setting ever?

I’m married to a South Asian. What the hell is romance?

8. If you could go on one date with a movie or television star, who would it be and why?

Don’t know. Ok I just don’t wanna tell you! He won’t be South Asian that’s for sure!

9. What is the worst song you have ever heard?

I don’t know about the worst song ever…actually there was one by Paul Lekakis, must be the worst ever. Whenever I hear ‘Locked out of Heaven’ by Bruno Mars I change the radio station. It really bugs me, don’t know why.

10. If you could live anywhere else, where would it be?

It would still be Canada. But I would love to be able to travel to places like Malaysia.

11. Who- in your opinion- was the greatest person to ever live?

That would have to be more than one. The Prophets, all of them. They are the best, no one can compare to their personalities.  Now I am tagging :

1. http://www.darlenefoster.ca/

2. http://mikeallegra.com/

3. http://theurgetowander.com/

4. http://snapflycook.wordpress.com/

5. http://addictivestory.wordpress.com/

6. http://catherinemjohnson.wordpress.com/ 

7. http://imdbwords.wordpress.com/

8. http://erinbradypike.com/

9. http://remediesforhealth.wordpress.com/

10. http://iamawriterdangit.wordpress.com/

11. http://seyisandradavid.org/

There were a lot of other people but I could only pick 11. I know some of you write serious blogs, but it is good to have fun once in a while!

(Pic from Google ’cause I couldn’t find the pencil sharpener eh. The other one is mine.)

What to do on a Snow Day

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I am sick today. And I sit here with a box of tissues, a bottle of hydrasense and a clove of burning garlic shoved in my aching ear. I am too sick to do anything but have random thoughts and watch boring shows on TV. Daytime television is bleh. There is more snow coming. “When the snows fall and the white winds blow…” the bus ain’t coming cause school is closed.

For Moms:

1. Make a huge amount of hot chocolate. Pour in a bottle of Benadryl. Give them as much as they like, they’ll all be out before you know it.

2. Send them outside and offer a ‘ten’ for every igloo they make. They’ll stay out of your hair the whole day. Then give them a dime for every igloo. What?

3. Send them over to Grandma’s. That is what parents are for. (Be sure to move to Florida after they get married and have their own kids.)

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For Kids:

1. Make your own hot chocolate.

2. Offer to make breakfast and let Mom go back to sleep.

3. Clean the house while Mom sleeps.

4. Take care of younger brothers and sisters while Mom sleeps.

5. Make chicken sandwiches for lunch, feed everyone, then clean up the kitchen while Mom sleeps.

6. Make Mom the best cup of coffee/tea ever and serve it to her on a tray with a flower in bed.

7. If you can’t manage all the above, take all your brothers and sisters and go over to Grandma’s. Stay there.

Any more ideas for the next snow day?

(All pics courtesy of moi taken on Feb 8)

Ode to husbands

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Oh dear husband so loyal and true,
How do you manage to make me so blue?
Could it be all those rolled up, smelly socks
That is putting this extra gray in my locks?
Why do you so kindly offer to cook?
Then be cruel and not let me read my book?
I hand you every ingredient, chop everything up,
Then have to wash every pot, plate and cup.
You have to look after the kids too you know,
It’s not like I brought them in my trousseau.
Just how they drive me nuts, you have not an inkling,
As you sit in front of the computer screen blinking.
I think it is time you cleaned up your act,
Time to grow up as a matter of fact!
Your dirty laundry lying behind the bathroom door,
I ain’t gonna pick that up no more!
While I lug the groceries you let the door slam in my face,
I think I can arrange for your neck to be in a brace.
So become a gentleman or watch your back,
Before you find yourself tied to the train tracks.

(sketch courtesy of me-because every picture I googled was copyrighted :0)

Black and white cats are awesome

Our cat, Patchy Patch, is so awesome. Most cats are. And she loves to jump. This is her:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=YxZorzMIcYE

My daughter put her video up on You Tube. She is the most adored member of our family and can get away with murder, but she is such a sweetie. She doesn’t have any Diva demands like many cats, she does not come and sit on my head at 6 a.m demanding to be fed but waits patiently for everyone to get up and then she wants to be petted first. Her stomach is her second concern not her first. The only problem she does have is falling into the toilet whenever someone forgets to put the lid down. Which is often.

No, this is not Patchy, I would not embarrass her by posting a picture of her at her worst. This is someone else’s cat I found on Google Images. How could anyone do that to their cat?

She is the subject of many photographs shot by my five-5-year-old, Twin 1, who knows more about my cell phone than I do.

I don’t know how Patchy manages to keep her patience with a persistent five-year old who continuously sticks a camera up her nose.

Twin 1 takes pictures of everything. She says she is going to be a cake decorator when she grows up. I seriously doubt it.

(Cat in the toilet is courtesy of Google Images the rest are courtesy of Twin 1)

It’s Always a Good Time

I yelled at the kids to go to sleep early one Saturday night in the summer vacation so we could get up early and be out of the house by eleven at the most. I woke up at 11:21. Everyone was up before me. No one realized that they could not actually leave the house if I was still snoring away. So I had to start yelling again as soon as I woke up. They just wanted to let me sleep in, isn’t that sweet? The day I need to wake up early, they finally let me sleep in. My kids make sure my vocal cords get plenty of exercise every day. The thing is I don’t really dream of being an opera singer.
After ranting about the height of negligence that my kids and their father have been endowed with, I started making brunch and packing picnic food. I had marinated the chicken the night before. Good thing I have an obsessive compulsive disorder with organization. Unfortunately this does not go good with my absent-mindedness. But that is life. Isn’t it ironic, don’t ya think?
Picnics are loads of fun with five kids. I pack enough stuff to make you believe I was going away for a month. 5-year-old twins mean you need lots of extra clothes and towels. You never know who is going to decide to get carsick. They’ve been trained to give a 5 second warning so I can catch it in a plastic bag.
So I make an Olympic record for the best time in the ‘make breakfast, feed kids, pack picnic, yell at kids to get ready, close all lids on toilet seats, feed cat, and push everyone out the door’ event. We get in the car and as soon as we are in the kids start fighting over seats. No one wants to sit at the back with the twins. I can’t blame them. Who the hell enjoys catching vomit in a plastic bag?
We had to stop to buy buns and drinks. And coal. And lighter fluid. Because husband does not have any sort of obsessive compulsive disorder and efficiently tunes out when I start listing off ‘things to do’. So I sit in the car while he buys stuff, and try to ignore the kids who are arguing about who will sit where on the way back. I receive a phone call from husband, “I can’t find the buns”.
By 1:45 we were sitting outside the second grocery store because husband could not find coal at the first. After 25 minutes he comes out smiling. Success. It took two people 25 minutes to find lighter fluid. We finally move on. On the road husband realizes someone’s door is not closed right. At the first red light we all open and slam the doors really fast, green light we drive on but one door is still not closed right.  Change radio station because no one likes the song. Yell at kids to stop yelling at each other. Next stop light, door open, door slam, door still not closed thank you ma’am. Kids still yelling at each other about whose door is not shut properly. Teenage daughter only has enough strength to hit her brother in the back of the head and that is all. For anything else her hands seem to have no life. Have to change radio station every two minutes. Husband wants to know why all the songs sound exactly the same. We pull into someone’s driveway and husband gets out to close the door shut.
Teenagers are now commenting on all the ‘swoggy’ people they see on the way. As if they are full of swag themselves. Change radio station.
At the lake finally, more bickering among offspring. Who will pick up what and why they get to pick up that particular object. Deciding on the perfect spot takes about 20 minutes, but by now I have started to tune everyone out. It is such a beautiful day. Warm and sunny. We are finally settled, I just want to get in that water. I walk in and my longed for peace is replaced with horror. The water is freezing. God dammit!
“We don’t even have to try it’s always a good time..O o o ..”
(All images are from Google Images)

 

Parents Just Don’t Understand

Sometimes after I have finished yelling at my kids, I wonder what it would be like to be in their place. Then my imagination goes a little wild and takes on different personalities, like a desi teenage boy. Here is an article I wrote for Dawn when my imagination was him.

Yo! You have crazy parents dude? Man I’m telling you they don’t understand anything. It’s like after 30 their brains stop working. And if your parents are Desi, man you have the worst type of parents ever! Desi parents? They speak desi, they think desi, they act desi, they spend desi. You can’t help but think “Yo old man why are we here? You should have kept us all in Desi Land!” And they tell you they came to give you better opportunities than they had. But man they can only think with desi brains and all those opportunities go out the backdoor. All my white friends, they don’t have it half bad. They’re lucky man. At least their parents speak the same language. Don’t believe me?

I had a pain in my tooth, had it for days man. Kept telling my mom I’ve got to see a dentist, you know what she tells me?

“Aye Allah! Who knows what that man will do to you putr! Here put this in you mouth.” Then she shoved a broken clove into my mouth and shut it so hard I almost bit my tongue off.

“This tastes like ‘bleep’ Ma!” And I tried to spit it out but she grabbed my face in her hands. Dude you won’t believe the hand muscles desi women develop from kneading all that dough!

She made me stuff cloves in my tooth for one month. Then the dentist told me I’d have to get a root canal. My old man wasn’t too happy about that. Not the pain I’d go through. The cost man! Dude, desi parents have desi wallets. Literally. My old man bought 42 wallets from his last visit to Desi Land. He got them off a thela for Rs45 each. That’s less than 45 cents. You can’t imagine his joy when he tells everyone he meets how much he saved on those wallets. You can’t imagine mine either. Anyways he tells the dentist,

“Just pull the tooth out! He doesn’t need that one much, he has plenty of others.”

“Mr Chaudry we need to eliminate the infection otherwise…” says the dentist.

“Otherwise what? No one will be willing to give their daughter’s hand in marriage to him?” says the old man.

That night he tried to pull my tooth out himself with a pair of pliers. Lucky for me I’m the only son and my mom beat him off with her rolling pin. Those desi wallets are like black holes, nothing ever seems to come out of them dude. Asking desi parents for money is like asking the cute white girl in your class to a high school dance with you. The answer is always ‘NO!’ Desi parents wait till Boxing Day to buy you stuff. Yeah they don’t give you the money. They take you shopping dude.

“Oh putr, look at this! 70 per cent off! And in your size too!” says Ma.

“Ma it’s got a picture of Justin Bieber on the front, everyone will think I’m ‘bleepin’ gay.”

“Tauba tauba! All that ‘bleep’ was not enough for you? Now this ‘bleepin’ stuff!” She’s least concerned about the Chinese couple who have covered their kids’ ears. “What is wrong with being happy? And he is such a decent boy, look at that innocent smile.”

“Ma! It’s something a kid would wear.” I try to drag her away.

“Are you not my kid?” The old man asks loudly and everyone in the shop turns to look questioningly at Ma.

“Man! Stop being so loud Dad, come on…” I try to drag them both out.

“No, this matter must be settled!” He glares at me then at Ma. “Is he not my kid?” By now there is a crowd wondering at my legitimacy. I pick up the Justin Bieber T-shirt.

“Alright! I love Justin Bieber and I want to buy his ‘bleepin’ T-shirt because I’m happy ok?” I scream and everyone gasps.

The seven dollar shirt hangs in my closet. Justin Bieber smiles at me every time I open the door to get the Rs800 Leisure Club shirt my cousin managed to send me with the old man.

Thanks

Thanks Fortyteen Candles for nominating my blog for the One Lovely Blog Award.

No that is not the Award, this is:

And you don’t just get an award and then do nothing but be happy about it. There are some things you have to do.

1. Give credit to the person who nominated you. Which I have done.

2. Describe 7 things about yourself. Which I have not done. Yet.

3. Nominate 15 other bloggers. Which I suppose I should do. Even though it is Friday afternoon and I am feeling very lazy.

7 Things About Me

1. I need breakfast first thing in the morning. Other wise this happens…

2. I have an obsessive-compulsive disorder for putting things in the proper place. None of my children seem to have inherited this. They insist on inheriting all my husband’s genes. They will be sorry when they one day grow up and find their houses are on “Hoarders: Buried Alive”. And I will be watching and laughing in my spotless living room.

3. After I had kids I started using Mommy language. This consists of standard sentences such as :”who ate all the ice cream?” “who didn’t flush the toilet?” “who put the cat in the freezer?” as well as “no I don’t have money” “no I have not cooked anything else for dinner besides the four course meal on the table” “no you can’t use my lipstick”. And most commonly, ” I can’t wait till you have kids of your own!”

“who took my tweezers damn it?!”

4. I forget to close the lid on the toilet at night even after reading “Good Habits my Cats Have Taught Me” by http://misanthropology101.wordpress.com/.

And my cat falls in without fail.

5. I got my eyebrows threaded and no longer look that much like Russel Brand. But my daughter still calls me Russel. 

6. That is not a picture of my eyebrow. Mine are better.

7. I don’t really care whether Robert Pattinson moved out or not. He is not really Edward Cullen people, get a life!

15 Blogs I Nominate:

1. Story Addict

2. Communicating.Across.Boundaries

3. smileinstyle

4. clotildajamcracker

5. the urge to wander

6. yummyfoodmadeeasy

7. Ashley Jillian

8. Words From The Woods

9. Writerlious

10. heylookawriterfellow

11. Paddy’s kitchen

12. Nazar Blue

13. Life Behind the Pages

14. Life As We Show It

15. Fabulous 50’s

(All pics are from Google Images)

Immigrating Granny

This is an article I wrote for July 1st’s Dawn newspaper, the editor asked me to write about settling in a new country. Since I was moving back home and it was not a new experience for me, I wrote from the view point of an old lady moving abroad from Pakistan for the first time. If you want to read about interesting things that happen when you move out of North America go and visit this great blog : http://communicatingacrossboundariesblog.com/

http://dawn.com/2012/07/01/rant-and-rave-allah-tauba/