Hump day (Quiz inside)

Wats up? Life is boring. Don’t feel like writing boring mundane details about how much work I have to do and how I don’t like how much stuff JSK has to do online. But the teachers are amazing I should say they are slowly building up for online learning making sure kids know etiquettes and how careful they should be and sample ‘assignments’ for kids to do to help them know what to do. Her teacher is so calm and nice, I can literally see JSK’s behavior change around her. One thing I have learnt this week, teachers are special and are much more valuable than we think. The way they give feedback, the way they encourage kids to extend their learning. Hats off!

Anyhoo because I am bored, let’s play a guess where game? Will send a small surprise once this virus madness is done to the winner 😂 for real. The more details the better. Hint : it’s all places I have been to, the list becomes much short then.









Week 2 done

This part hasn’t changed. Weekdays are stressful, Weekends are relaxed.

I haven’t gotten a chance to pick the right chair so my back hip pain is getting worse along with my mouse hand giving me weird chilled hands. Need to fix this.

All of us were able to get workouts/walks/runs in more often which is a win. I went back to healthy eating with pearl millet, lesser oil, lesser salt etc, and lesser junk. Planning to up my intermittent fasting window to neutralize my squatting all day and moving around less.

JSK starts out energetic on Monday but by Thursday she OBies on a lot of things, ‘ I need inspiration’ she says while writing and pretending to think writing few words. Circle times with teacher are starting this week which means more work for her which means I have to help her and I don’t know how I can during work hours. And by evening all of us are really done and just want to relax.

There was this thread about what you learnt about your ‘spouse at work’ in these times. DH thinks I work too much. Yes, because I don’t have any excuse to pack up at 4:30 for any pickups. JSK says I have an ‘English accent’ 😂 when I talk at work. Apparently I talk in Indian English with her. DH is the funny guy at his work I realize, the one that livens up conversations. Expected.

JSK is in my room most times reading or working on her stuff. She will promise to be silent. But if mood change she would scream loud. Happened many times in meetings. I have learnt to ignore them, but the folks I am talking to slow down. 😂

Friday a VP review was done at 3, I told I should not be disturbed! and I was AVKPO after. Virtual Happy hour at 4:45, was fine. Sorry no enthu to do something creative or productive with JSK. We watched movies, she caught up on Mo Willems lunch doodles, read Find Outers series, Harry Potter rereads, made up her own concoctions with all the sugary items in the house, because non sugary items cannot be mixed and taste good as is.

Saturday was good though. I made Pongal and Gothsu again this time it came out better than last time, don’t make it often because of all the ghee! Is it even Pongal without ghee? DH and JSK made Gulab Jamuns. JSK thattified vadais. We watched Harry Potter movie. I am discovering all the items I can cook with this quarantine, I never have time to. Like literally everyone in the world. I was also like everyone else hoping to bake something but no flour in the stores. 😂

Sunday was a mor kozhambu beans paruppu usili day. Mom used to make it so yummy, this will always remind me of her. I was liberal with the oil and the salt for this and it was so yummy JSK also liked it and ate well.

We wanted to make some bajjis and make a vegan processed sugar free dessert but Dulquer came in the way 😂

Watched Kannum Kannum Kollaiadithal, is a pretty beat movie with tons of twists. No seriously. It starts out slow and you wonder if it is a love story. Love clicks easily, and then you wonder if this is a modern internet thieving story. They vow to become good. And you wonder if this is a cop chasing robber story. And then they get caught. And then you wonder if this is a revenge story to get back at the love interest. And then they catch the lover soon with no revenge in sight. Then you wonder if this is a proper robbery story. And then they don’t get caught. So it is all that in one with plenty of twists. If I have a lot of the story away, sorry, but it is a good watch! Highly recommend for all the twists and wonder.

So Saturday DH brought home two people. I was so pissed. They are buying a investment property close by with same specs as ours and wanted to see our place. DH has the common sense to not let them inside the house just the lot. But spent talking for 15mins. Bugged me big time. If any of us gets covid it is because of him! This is after religiously sanitizing every grocery bought from the store!

Our plans are at the next level structural drawings. However I don’t know if any work can start this summer. What if we start and then fall comes and work stops due to covid again or something?

Dreaming of the additions. More space! Not that we need much space for ourselves but rather for the stuff.

Sigh coming weekend we were to fly out for our spring break. This time is forcing us be at home together. I am enjoying spending time with JSK learning more about her quirks and her mannerisms. She has a good sense of humor like DH and enjoys a good laugh.

She is running with DH more often and is starting to enjoy that too. She loves cooking and making stuff in the kitchen. She is starting to enjoy making her own piano music which is heart warming. When we do paatu practice often times I cannot get the song out of my head and end up singing humming long after. I caught JSK singing a Geetham in the shower and I knew my work with her is taking effect. And then we made up English lyrics to Carnatic Geethams, which got her in splits.

And so we keep ourselves busy.

Another busy week ahead! Ready for whirlwind of working and home managing and schooling! And staying healthy! Bring it on!

Stressful day

So wanted to rant.

Woke up from a dream with my mom in it. Her jolly self. And started missing her so much. Surgery times rolled in my head. Traumatic. Thoughts about how would she have felt. If things had gone well this coronavirus would have been deadly for her with her immunosuppressant drugs for kidney transplant, or on dialysis without surgery. Apparently anemic folks are at risk, something about less oxygen to go around, also kidney disease folks, something about the virus potentially attacking the kidneys.

I have not been anywhere except neighborhood walks where I strictly maintain the distance. We visited Whole Foods on our walk one day and people were clearly not maintaining social distancing. I froze as I neared and didn’t go in. I saw a guy walking by talking and wondered if some virus touched me. I was nervous. DH has been doing all the grocery runs.

It is here thought. The district has confirmed a case in a middle school. My company has a confirmed case in our site. A parent in a colleagues school community in San Jose died. And a few families are positive. A poor family in San Ramon where the grandfather died catching the virus enroute US from India through UK, the father passed away recently with mother in ICU. Grand mother and kids at home tested positive. No one to help. How about a funeral and last rites etc? It is horrible.

And it is reaching India. A case suspected close to dads place. Cleaning lady at dads house stopped coming. Dad said he will keep the house clean himself. Cooking lady is still coming, would she rather come or should dad cook for himself? He is not a great cook. With the 21 day lock down he may have to cook for himself. I am worried for him.

Friend’s dad is slowly recovering but frail old body is not able to take it, it will be hard to see your own father in such a vulnerable state. She is disturbed, I cannot even help her in anyway except pray.

So today JSK has a tantrum in the middle of a meeting. DH has started his new job, it is not a great time to move jobs with a recession definitely in sight. His boss encouraged him to get ramped up quickly and start contributing. Like it is his second day! So he is busy.

I seem to be working more too with no strict boundaries, people set meetings at 7am and 6pm. I am sitting literally 10-12hrs. And still not getting my slides done!

Morning starts out well, I was in one room , DH in the living room, JSK in her room. But slowly JSK gets bored and comes to my room. Of course every child would like some company. Sometimes she literally is on me, leaning on me or sitting on me. Poor thing.

Had a chat with her teacher and she gave some pointers for writing. If she wrote on her shared drive the teacher can give her feedback. So she started doing that while I was in meetings. Suddenly she got super frustrated because she didn’t know how to indent and center and literally threw a tantrum. I had to excuse myself for 5mins in my meeting. It wasn’t enough. I rudely kicked her out of the room and continued my meeting. ;–( I felt so bad. A lot of fires, so it is pretty busy and everyone is managing somehow. My team was nice and understanding of course but still.

After the meeting I did what I shouldn’t do as a last resort, gave a small chocolate as a sorry and helped her continue writing. She is writing a mystery story. Teacher is okay as long as they write something.

Didn’t have time to go for a walk. Because meetings till 7 and then I took a shower and helped JSK with piano and dance practice and then I wanted to relax, just be. It was drizzling after.

Our GM showed her boys on a webcast and my boss showed his baby in staff. All that is fine. But it also means such tantrums. Math and reading I can let her be for the most part but that only 2 hrs of the day! If this homeschooling is supposed to go anywhere I need to sit with her. With such long work days I don’t see that happening.

I feel sorry for JSK. Today I saw her sitting alone while me and DH were in meetings and wondered what the hell are we doing. Most days she is fine reading a book. But if she needs to be educated we have to be engaged. I cannot just let it go and let her do what she wants can I?

But this too shall pass.

Happy thoughts?

JSK and I had a small competition in between meetings, jumping/hopping/ skipping from one side of the room to the other who does the most rounds. She was so excited and happy.

She said ‘ why don’t you look at this book instead of looking at your cellphone’ giving me the Oliver Twist, she mocked at me.

I suppose the balancing act just goes up several notches now. It is tiring!


Week One Done

My life is boring.

Every morning I wake up and when I remember that we are in a lockdown, I  double check to see if I am in a dream.

No matter how active I am at home, my step counter doesnt get anywhere close to where it used to get to when I went to the office.  Need to fix that this week.

My diet is getting messed up because of working from home, because the kitchen is so close by.  Need to fix that this week.

Friday was also busy at work, ugh, by the time my last meeting ended at 4PM I was so ready for the weekend. The quarantine times calls for more demand, coronavirus in China has hindered production for a few weeks, net net, we have a supply demand issue, which makes execs want to make drastic decisions not exactly helping our revenue which is also important considering the market is tanking and the future doesnt look great.

But the relaxed weekend was good. We watched Clue Friday night, contrary to some opinion, JSK enjoyed the movie quite a bit and kept thinking of possible reasons why someone could be a murderer. Saturday night we watched Murder on the Orient Express along similar lines, it was a bit dark for JSK but she still enjoyed most of the movie. The scenery is mind blowing, making me want to travel. ;–(

We have been going for walks in in the evening, JSK has trouble getting out of the house, but once she is out, she has fun, starting trouble. She bikes and enjoys the wind on her face.  Or DH and her play soccer with a pine cone in the middle of the road. Or like today as it rained, she watched out for earthworms and helps them cross the road safely.

With no strict plan this weekend, my only requirement for her was a bit of math, and her practices. So she was generally happy, reading her books. Everytime we call her, it is ‘let me finish this chapter’ ;–D Books are her TV. She is happy with her books. Like I used to be when younger.

We cooked a lot this weekend. Pongal and eggplant gothsu. paruppu urundai kozhambu and paruppu vadai. JSK helped me make the urundais which were not exactly urundais. :–D But she had so much fun.  DH made upma finally today,  DH and JSK made Banana blueberry yogurt smoothie in between. JSK inspired by my cooking, made her own concoctions, first with indian spices, like tamarind, coriander powder, salt, oil, carrot just mixed in, I dont know what else she put. Then she made a sweet concoction with maple syrup, brown sugar, jaggery, chocolate syrup, banana, vanilla, cinnamon. ;–D  Of forgot Bournvita.

This past week JSK and I spent our free time building an amazing replica of NASA Apollo Saturn V in lego, it was so amazing, I am super awed. The attention to detail and the precision is unmatched. The little hinges and connection points are done to perfection. Now I wish I worked for Legos to think of these amazing ways to keep the kids entertained.  Hats off really! Now I want to build something else, but I dont have space to display all these things, decided to keep this rocket as a show piece in the living room, when it gets done. Locked up only to marvel from behind the glass. ;–D  JSK doesnt believe she can keep it safe in her room with too many kids visiting. 😉

Here it is for a short while

Now I need another such project!!

Seeing a new side of JSK we don’t spend such leisurely time with her except on vacations which is when we realize how she is growing up. Will write more on that later.

Work starts soon! Who is ready?!



Day 3 #lifeismessy

Staying indoors as a family and all is fine, but how to handle the mess! Everyone is home and everyone is eating non stop, well that might be just me, too many coffee cups and snacks bowls. Notebooks and papers all over.

Cleaning lady will not come. And there is a request to pay these poor cleaners and Gardeners because this is their livelihood. I will. But I need my house cleaned ðŸĨš

I am actually liking this setup, I can hop on and work like anytime! This may be bad but this is slowly blurring the lines of work and home I had beautifully set up. I would rarely open my laptop at home, phone for critical emails only. Yesterday I sat and worked all the way till 10 with a break in the evening for a walk and dinner. Today I took a break for some kids exercise video because it is drizzling and we cannot get out, and dinner. And also sat with JSK to work on her lego project I will share once it is done.

Tantrums were there. kids get frustrated just being home. FaceTime with her friends helps a lot. They just play with filters mostly.

Today I tried to be as active as I could when in meetings. Some squats and lunges and pacing up and down the room, helped with my back ache. Told boss about the backache and he said i should buy a chair and expense it. 😂 Didn’t I tell you my boss is a keeper?!

I see people fully in work mode in calls, hair brushed, work clothes, some VPs are preferring to see the person talking on the camera. I have been in my Jammies not even changing my glasses, I would be a mess to see on video. Tomorrow I have three reviews, I plan to dress up hip up, lenses and all and do a fantastic review and then slop on the bed like something hit me.

What else.

Cases in California are rising at an alarming rate, I am waiting for the slope to get negative, somehow because I maintain social distancing I hope the numbers will just die down but unfortunately the virus doesn’t work that way. People don’t even meet your close friends that you know very well, you don’t know how you may kill someone vulnerable. Essential means essential, social visits are not. Know some folks who are still doing it. 😖

Schools have reached out with potential work kids can do. JSK has been following her schedule so far, I am running out of math things to give her without frustrating her because she does them largely on her own, I haven’t sat with her to teach anything yet, those are reserved for Saturday’s and Sundays. She literally writes a couple of pages after reading pages which is amazing. She is planning to write a mystery story, plotting the characters the twist and the clues etc etc. Reading about Nelson Mandela as part of Social Studies. That’s it pretty much. Trying to keep her away from laptop and online games, but schools are suggesting Khan Academy and such.

She got her second trimester report. Teacher seems happy with her. Hardworking, works to perfection, perseveres ðŸ˜ķ Not at home. Above grade level in reading and writing. In Math she is meeting expectations. Teacher continues to challenge her, putting with kids at her level. Hmmmm. Let’s see when school will happen again!

Piano on zoom was not all that good. I buckled and ordered this stand to keep the laptop so the teacher can see her fingers properly. Also ordered Find Outers by Enid Blyton because err I wanted to read them too. ðŸĪŠ don’t want ebooks somehow I don’t like them. Audio books are okay for me but doesn’t exercise kids brains appropriately.

Ok rant over, your turn if you feel like it!

Day 1 #lifeinthetimeofcoronavirus

A full day of work.

Lunch as family.

Walk as family. Make up stories as family.

Marvel at JSK’s focus and attention span and diligence. Day 1 is like that I suppose.

DH not working helped immensely.

Worry about upcoming reviews. Why can’t I relax err just worry about coronavirus?

Light back pain from non ergo chair. Wondering if I should get the chair from office too.

Loving the desk set up at home.

Performance review! More money is always good.

Allow FaceTime with her friend. Chat with friends to feel connected. Plan zoom dinner plans 😂

Allow JSK to record and comment the making of coriander peanut chutney. What am I getting her into?!

One good thing is I can cook often, may be even have two dishes for one meal like Sambar AND poriyal together 😂

No TV per week day rules.

Piano/ dance practices done!

Daily dose of coronavirus news wonder if I have it.

Shelter at place in effect from tomorrow.

How long is this going to last?

Humor can help us get through?!

Stay safe peeps.

Life in the time of coronavirus

Wow are we like living in a book? Going through a historic period? I have often wondered and yearned to be part of a historic period that goes in books and looks like it is happening.

Social distancing. Work from home. Use of video conferencing tools. Schools out. Online learning. Not meeting friends. Avoiding gatherings. Confined to the house. TV. Walking. Biking.

Scarcity of toilet paper and sanitizers. 🙄

It is hard to focus on work, really. And there are some reviews coming up that need me to be focused and diligent. Working on the laptop at home is fine if I am only doing meetings and emails, but PowerPoint presentations are hard. So I went to the office on Saturday to get the whole set up, keyboard monitor mouse and even headset. Only we dont have an office space ;–(( The small house will not be more challenging than now. I really missed office and my desk and the whole camaraderie. Let’s see when things would return to normal.

One good thing is DH is changing jobs, he is to join next Monday so this week he will be taking it easy, and not really working like full time. And anyway without orientation at the new company he may not have a ton of work to do.

On Thursday the district didn’t want to close schools, but by Friday Health Dept recommendation changed and schools closed for a month. In the mean time the superintendent was roasted with inconsiderate remarks. It is not easy being in such positions but I trust them to make the right decision based on the data they have. And they can change the decision based on new data.

I pity the teachers who had to hurry up and send whatever they could with the kids. A MacBook Air came home. I didn’t know kids were getting something other than Chromebooks and iPads! Some sheets of work came home but it was not much. I am expecting teachers to come up with a plan early next week.

Now how can we manage this 3rd grader at home?! ðŸ˜Đ these two days have been hard enough. Tempers flying, impatience and general mood flares. I don’t want to do too much TV. Or too much books. She can read forever, with no realization of happenings around her.

I need to work at least 6-7 hours. She needs to learn for 5 hours. We need exercise.

Here is her plan so far.

Keeping times flexible based on our meetings and things she can do independently. Hopefully it wouldn’t end up being like this. 😂

We almost went to visit friends on Saturday but returned home since friend has just flown in from India and it was risky. #flattenthecurve The fact that many of us may already have it but just are not tested is not lost on me. I was sick but I didn’t have fever or shortness of breath, or general body ache, lethargy etc, just lingering cough. But symptoms are different for different folks.

Church mass is also moving online.

Anyhoo. We opened an unopened lego box and started working on it. Should keep her busy for a week. And then there are more Kiwi crate kits to do. My fear is she will run out of books to read and libraries are closed. Then I guess she would go back to re reading wimpy kid and Malory towers and St Claire’s.

What else

How are you coping with this social distancing? How do you plan to work from home and keep the kids engaged?

What are some of the hacks you can share with me?

I will probably write more often. Cheers!