I am obsessed with food and cooking. I can’t imagine not cooking at least one meal a day and part of the reason for the obsession is that my mother was a lousy cook. I grew up eating kanji & payaru every night for dinner, because Amma didn’t see the need to cook anything fancy. My oldest sister finds it challenging to boiling a cup of water and relies on other people for her daily meal. I always believed that good food makes everyone happy and insist that my children learn to cook. All three of them can cook without any problems, however if you give Yaya a choice, she would rather starve than cook.

I procrastinated a bit thinking that Uni classes will start not on the first day and found that I have classes until 4.30 PM on Monday. I had to take Baby for her Basketball training at 5.30 and obviously didn’t have time to even think what to cook for dinner.

As I was leaving, I heard this little voice that asked me ” Mom, do you want me to cook dinner?”

I had to take a second look to make sure that I wasn’t hallucinating and there was Yaya, sitting on the floor in the living room, doing her home work and offering to cook dinner.

It felt so good.

She made couscous, salad and lemon chicken. My son is not fond of couscous, but the rule has always been the same, “you eat what is served or fix your own meal” and since he didn’t want to make his own dinner, he ate the couscous.

As a mom, these are the greatest moments.. to see your children taking responsibility when you least expect them to.

Full time

Today I started studying full time at University of Queensland.

Part time study was really frustrating and I felt I wasn’t able to give my studies the attention it deserves.

Financially this is one of the biggest gamble I have ever taken and I hope I wont end up regretting it.

I am one of the oldest students in my class and it does feel very odd. It is even more odd showing the bus driver my student ID to get concession fare. Talking about bus fare, I am now forced to take public transport as I can’t find any car park at the Uni. The good thing about taking public transport is that I can read during the commute.

Yesterday as I was sorting my Uni papers, my son came to me and told me ” I am proud of you Mom, proud of the fact that you never quit striving for your dreams”

I guess, we will see this time next year, if my gamble was worth it.


Last week ( two weeks after school reopened), my youngest lost her pencil case which held all the new pencils, pens etc I bought for the new school year as well as her mobile phone and gocard. She had bought a fashionable, albeit small school bag and it wasn’t big enough to carry her new laptop, her Bible ( aka Spanish dictionary ) etc. I told her to carry the laptop in her hand, the advice she ignored and as she walked back from school, her pencil case fell out. She borrowed money from her friend for the bus fare and when I came back home, she mentioned very casually ” mom, I lost my pencil case, you will need to get me a new gocard and a phone”

I was really annoyed and angry with her, because if she had listened to me and carried her laptop in her hand, her pencil case wouldn’t have fallen out. But more than anything what bothered me was the fact that, she wasn’t afraid to tell me that she lost her phone, her gocard etc. When I was growing up, if I had lost something, then I would have been so worked up to tell my mother.. I can still feel the fear and trepidations of facing my mother’s wrath.

I scolded my youngest, she apologized and told me, “I didn’t set out deliberately to lose my stuff Mom, but I am sorry. I also went to the school office and reported to the lost and found” and off she went to watch the cartoon on telly.

I was so annoyed because all those things cost a lot of money and the fact that she didn’t get worked up like I used to.. As I made my tea, I wondered if I am really  being a hopeless mom because I felt I was much more careful with my things for I really didn’t want to face my mother’s wrath.

The very next day, my son came to me to tell me that ” I am sorry mom, but I lost my lunch box  and I don’t know where and how I lost it” ( Brand new thermos lunch box)

How can you not know where you kept your lunch box?

I scolded him for being irresponsible.

I want my children to learn to be responsible, but I don’t know if I should use fear tactics to make them learn responsibilities…

Good Morning

It is actually a beautiful morning here. After 4 days of incessant rain and strong wind, this morning appears to be like a dream, as if the past 4 days didn’t happen.

Friday morning, I had a feeling that the weather might turn nasty and told my children to stay home. Yaya had maths exam and photo day at school. According to her, when she becomes famous, the senior photo of her is what will be ( first) in the public domain and she wants to make sure it is the best. If you missed photo day, then you have to go to the school office and they take your photo and it wouldn’t be professional. She was also not willing to skip her maths test. ( I did wonder briefly, if all is well with my child)

My son felt, sitting at home all day is too boring and decided that he too wants to go to school.

“If my siblings are not staying back at home, I am not going to stay at home alone”, said the youngest and she too went to school.

There is only one road connecting my home to rest of the Brisbane and it lies in the flood plains. As I left my home, I noticed my neighbour who is the local SES ( state emergency services) chief had the SES boat parked outside his house and I knew the weather is going to be bad.

By mid morning, my phone started buzzing with txt messages from the city council warning me about the flood danger and I decided to take leave, went to my children’s school and picked them up. ( Yaya managed to get her photo done and sit for the maths exam by then)

Every time, there is a flood event, TV news will be bombarded with the message  “if it is flooded, forget it” ie, don’t even attempt to drive through flood waters. By the time I reached near my home, there was water over the road.  I had no choice but to drive over the flooded road with my children chanting “if it is flooded forget it, Mom you are going to kill all of us”

We got home and I found that the backyard is flooded.. One of the drains was blocked and I asked my children to help me. They did, by jumping up and down and spraying each other with water and then they started to play tag ( tiggy) and ran around the house and then inside the house. Then they made paper boats and floated it down the monsoon drain and fought with each other as to who really was the winner. When the paper boats soaked and disintegrated, they decided to float old leaves..

Meanwhile, I cleaned the drain, cleaned the wet floor inside the house and made myself a cup of tea. They came back after a while dripping wet and walked through the clean dry floor .. I mopped the dried the floor again. An hour later, I heard the brother ask the sisters, “Shall we go out and play again” and they did.. again, I mopped and dried the floor.

I was annoyed with them for making me work like this.

But you see, this unbridled joy of being a child, my children will lose that bit by bit when the reality of life starts to make its way. I will not be able to give these moments again and so I cherished hearing their laughter and watched the flames of life glowing in their eyes..and heated a wheat pack for my back.


In the middle of flood warnings.

My children are at school and I am at work. Later this evening, I may or may not be able to get back home..I don’t even know if I will be able to pick up the kids from school.

It is raining very heavy and the road near my home is already flooded..

I am terrified.

Colour in?

I read this article

( and I thought I would write about my son’s best friend D. They have been friends since grade 5. He often comes over to my house every other weekend  and spends the night.

He is a mediocre student, barely scraping through with lots of B’s and C’s. In Grade 5 and 6, he spent most of his free time on his BMX bike. Grade 7, he quit BMX and decided to do longboarding. He was on his skateboard even at midnight ( to the extent that his neighbour called the cops because he was making too much din on his skateboard ! ). Grade 8, he decided to give up longboarding and picked up surfing. Middle of grade 9, he went for a dinner with his parents to their friend’s house and they owned a piano.  After dinner, the host played couple of oldies on the Piano and D asked if he could have a go. The boy who never touched a piano key until that moment or learned an instrument could play every song the host played. On the way back, he asked his parents if they would buy him a piano. They talked to him about how he always gives up whatever activity he starts and explained to him that buying a piano is not cheap. But he insisted and they bought him a Piano. 6 months after he got the piano, he won the local talent competition beating kids who have been learning to play the piano for more than 10 years.

Some mornings, I walk by his house and can hear him playing the piano. I have heard about children born with incredible talents, but never met anyone until D started playing the piano. He is the best pianist I have ever met. When you see him playing the piano, It is like his fingers just move on their own volition.

What I really liked about his parents was that, they gave him a wonderful childhood. They didn’t go after him because his grades weren’t good. They didn’t stop him from doing what he really wanted to do, for they knew eventually he will find his own niche..

You don’t need to colour in your children’s lives..they will do that on their own..

Slow dancing.

I had the most awesome Valentines day and I didn’t receive flowers, card or a gift.

25 years ago, I never thought I would write the above sentence and think my life is awesome. Then Valentines day was theatrical and true love was equated to red roses, chocolates, a sappy romantic card and a candle light dinner..

Now, love is about lazing in the bed while your partner makes you a cup of Kusmi tea ( even though he hates Kusmi tea), fighting for the newspaper as to who gets to read the main section first ( he wins, because he went out to collect the paper from the driveway) and spending time together while doing the mundane things like hanging the laundry, weeding the garden etc.. In other words Valentines day was just like another day and I didn’t think it was a crime not to have made a big deal out of it.

My children on the other hand had a great time. Yaya received plenty of rose flowers and few are from secret admirers. My son bought flowers for his girl and baby went to watch a movie with her friends.. They think that I am a dinosaur for not getting all excited for Valentines day. I didn’t say anything because I know 25 years from now, their children will think the same way..

As you grow older, you will learn that life is a slow dance..and its gentle rhythm sooths your soul..

Those one liners..

My son is away on school camp and I miss him.

No one is playing A new error by moderat, his favourite music at the moment and my house is so quiet.

But more than anything I miss his quick retorts. He has a knack in making me laugh by the things that he says. Dinner time is the worst  and I was feeling a bit gloomy yesterday..

My youngest asked me ” Mom what time is it?” and I replied ” same time as yesterday”

“Very funny” she said and told her sister ” Mom is so annoying”

“Annoying?” I asked ” I never annoy anyone, I am an angel” I replied.

Without missing a beat she replied

“So is Lucifer Mom”

I haven’t laughed this much in a while.

Away until Monday.