Monday, July 31, 2006

The Weekend - Questions from Friends

Its been a couple of days since I've posted and I feel so far behind. I'll try to get you caught up on our weekend and some of the more common questions we are getting asked....

The Weekend... (pictures soon to follow) ...

We went on a tour of Bangalore on Saturday and it was really cool to see all the history, traditional neighborhoods and modern conveniences all in a 3 mile radius. We saw a Hindu temple, a market, a traditional laundry, all the British colonial buildings, Winston Churchill's church, a mall, a Chucky Cheeses, ate at McDonalds, saw cows, donkeys, chickens, eagles, dogs and sheep ....All in the city.... All within 3 miles ....Amazing. Talk about stimulation overload!!

Then on Sunday we invited 3 other families for brunch. There were 18 of us total, with 10 of them being kids. They had a blast playing together and swimming. It is nice that we are meeting other families, its really making a difference for the kids (and Tom). You'll be happy to hear that we are taking our role of hosts to this country as well:)

The Questions....
So... does it feel like Target?
It feels like Target in a different time warp. Lots of Target stuff all over, but the communication is different. Less direct. Also it takes 3x's as long to do anything. Even refilling the copy machine is a pain. They don't have office supply stores here, so when you run out of paper, you have really run out of paper. Weird.

Do you feel like a rock star being driven around all the time?
The driver thing is nice actually. The traffic here is so scary I cant imagine trying it myself. But, it is hard to have to call someone every time you want to go somewhere. I feel like I have to be polite all the time too. Sometimes it would be nice to just get in a car and go. Also, because we are driven everywhere, I have no concept of space or distance. Things could be 1 mile or 10 away. They could be east or west. .. no idea. I cant say I dont like it, but it is a surreal feeling...

How are the kids?
Good, they are finally over jet lag and are back to their happy selves, making friends, playing, swimming. In fact, their new chant is ... swim, eat, nap ... swim, eat, nap... swim, eat, nap .... you can tell what they have been doing everyday. The people here really indulge kids (and we thought Korea was bad!). Any time any of them makes a peep, they put chocolate in their mouth or pick them up and carry them around. Its not unusual for one of the kids to "disapear" during dinner for 5-10 minutes and come back happy and full of chocolate. It is making discipline a bit of a problem ...

What else.... We get to move into our house on Saturday, yeah!! We got the kids school applications in today, hopefully they'll be able to start Monday and we can get into a routine. Our stuff has arrived and is in customs (double yeah!) So... by this time next week, I hope to be moved in. It will be so nice to be able to eat breakfast in my pajama's and to not all be living in one room . I cant wait!!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

New digs

Well... The kids are having a hard time with the time zone adjustment. Billy was up from 2:00am-5:00 yesterday and Jimmy was wide awake at 5:30 today. . Needless to say Tom and I aren't getting much sleep. (Although the health club is dead at 5:30am and Nick Jr is on cable here! So, I got caught up on Blues Clues with Steve.)

But... We saw our house yesterday. It wasn't cleaned and it'll be painted when we move into it but.... The grounds are beautiful, even though the inside is a bit small. That's probably ok since the common area is amazing... There is a full size kid pool, adult pool (including swim up bar), tennis courts, full workout facility, restaurant, etc. I guess when you live in a tropical area, the inside of your house doesn't need to be as big as it needs to be in Minnesota.... :) We even have a banana tree and papaya tree! You will love it when you come visit!!

A small world experience happened yesterday too. There is a family from New Jersey that has 2 kids (Katherine - 5 and Quint - 4). They are moving into Palm Meadows as well and have been "complaining" that they didnt get the house they wanted, they got house # 85 instead. They wanted # 83. Well, guess who got #83?! We did. So, they are literally going to live right next door to us.... Weird.

We also went to see schools yesterday. Neev is a very spendy prep school (aka ages 2-7) and Jimmy could go to kindergarten while Kay was in a preschool. (This is where Katherine and Quint are going). However, I suspect its expensive. They wont give rates over the phone. They want you to come in to "see it". I guess its so nice that they figure that price will be no object once you are there.

The other school (Gopalan) is a traditional Indian school. Kay could attend Nursery and Jimmy would be in prep (aka kindergarten). However, they have a written exam that he needs to take, including Hindi. We were a bit taken aback. What 4 year old could take a written test ?! But, I guess that is common here they learn to read and write at 4.... We'll see, everyone keeps telling me that the written test isnt what I am thinking, more naming colors, shapes, counting, etc.... It'll be interesting... I didnt know SAT's were required for kindergarten!

I'll try to keep the posts coming...

Take care, we miss you all!

Monday, July 24, 2006

We've arrived!!

We are here!! After almost 30 hours of travel, we arrived Bangalore at 2:oo am Sunday. We "lost" our car seats, but the airline promised they'd find them. Sounds like car seats are a hot commodity here. They kids did pretty well. They didnt want to eat when the food came out and then were hungry when everyone else was sleeping. They also didnt understand that we couldnt pause and reply the movie on the plane. But, they did sleep and had some cute moments of playing with each other.

Our first day at the hotel was perfect. On Sunday's the hotel brings in playground equipment and has a big brunch. We met 4 families that were in the same position as we are ... expats with kids ages 3-8. The kids played with their friends for 4 hours. It was wonderful! We exchanged names and numbers with the families and got some good tips on where to go and what to do....

Today is a little more hairy. Billy and Kay slept through the night but Jimmy has been up since 3:00am (its now Noon). Billy is a little sick, no fever but an upset stomach (aka throwing up). I am sure its just the time zone change, but we are all laying low in the hotel today. We found the Disney channel so all is well for the moment. Jimmy drew a picture this morning (at 4:00am) of all 5 of us holding hands. He said we were sad that we left. Then he drew a picture of the 5 of us with smiles on our faces. I hope these are both a good sign of his initial adjustment.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Vacation in Michigan with the Cousins

Left to Right we have...
Georgia (3)
Kay (3)
Billy (18 months)
Joey (2)
Cedric (4)
Jimmy (4)
Missing ... Solomon (2) - he's not allowed to eat suckers.

This is our cousins vacation in Michigan. We had a great time playing with our cousins/grandparents, swimming, hiking the dunes and swinging on the playground. Not to mention the ice cream for lunch and popcorn for snacks!! We spent 10 days with our family. I think we managed to fit in a couple years worth of memories for the kids (and us).

Jimmy's new glasses

Hi there
I'm Jimmy and I have new glasses. My dad says I look like the kid that breaks the curve in class. He would know I guess:) I really like them, but its hard not to touch and twist them all the time. Its amazing what you can see with your glasses on!

Love to you all!