Zoe’ Outfit : Pippa and Julie Alice in Wonderland dress, Pediped mary-janes

Last week Zoe resumed her school, four months after the lockdown started. Getting to the decision of having her go back to school was a tough one. I’ve had many sleepless nights going over so many questions, reading numerous articles, talking to a lot of parents, even our doctor. Never in our wildest ideas had we thought that we would be in such a situation, where the entire world would be riddled with such a situation. Lockdown, quarantine, social distancing – these were words we had never encountered. And here we are, as parents taking decisions about whether your child should go to school or remain for another session at home. What about meeting so many people. Will kids wear masks? And how would office and house work be managed. Do online session even work for kids at this age ( less than 3 year olds ). And how do you keep a toddler away from their friends. How do you meet friends but ask kids to keep distance. SO many questions. Should we keep the children home one more session and see what happens. All valid and all tough ones.

After I shared last on social media that we were resuming school, there were numerous messages I received regarding the how, why, when, whats behind that decision. I completely get it – I spent four weeks, every minute of the the four weeks to get to that point. Knowing the state required measures and the school’s detailed plan was very helpful and that got us thinking about that we could explore going back to school.  We had numerous questions and went over every detail, every measure in depth with the school administration. The other factor that we considered was that we have started  meeting a few friends. Its a limited group – but that opens up the circle from what we were in the first  three months – i.e. completely quarantined / socially isolated. I also spoke to our doctor and took his advice. Although this is not a medical decision – I wanted to get the thoughts of someone  who I trust completely. His thoughts resonated with our thinking. Some families have resumed, it’s at half capacity than previously and it makes us so happy to see the kids having so much fun and being excited to be back.

This decision is different for each family. So many factors to consider. Every person has a different threshold for meeting people and everyone has a different situation. So it is a truly personal decision. Whatever decision you make – know that there are people doing this way or another way or a hybrid way. None of them are right or wrong. Just what works for each family.

The night before Zoe was going back to school, I was very emotional. And sat down to pour my heart from that moment.

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One of the things I wanted to do last year was to get back to reading. Reading besides books saying goodnight to the moon or going over what the caterpillar likes to eat.
I was hoping to read 1 book a month or may be even 1 book in 2 months would also be okay. Because with the speed of 1-2 pages at night and falling asleep somewhere in the middle of the 2nd page because the exhaustion is real! ⁣⁣I was just recapping all the books I read for a blog post – and wait – turns out I read 17!  17 books last year. And whilst a small feat for some – it makes me so happy. ⁣⁣
Here are a few things that helped me keep up with being able to read – ⁣⁣
▪️ no phone on the bed. Replacing that mindless scrolling with the book.
▪️ always having the book ( or iPad if I was reading the e-version of it ) in my car. So instead of spending time on the phone while waiting for a friend in the parking lot or if early for a meeting – read⁣⁣
▪️ while traveling on planes – the inflight entertainment can be so exciting. But instead of catching up on the movies, I read my books. ( also God knows I watch ENOUGH tv on at home. oh hey Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hotstar, Hulu, HBO … its embarrassing now to list the amount of TV consumption and then complain – no time! )⁣⁣
▪️ this one has a been a habit I got into recently – stop reading a book if you are not into it. I used to feel compelled to finish a book if I started it no matter how much it wasn’t serving any purpose. Just because a book is on every best seller’s list – doesn’t mean you have to like it⁣⁣
▪️ and this one, which I’ll admit dint happen much may be thrice the whole year but I’d like to do more of – just sitting down with a book and chai and reading for an hour. IT FEELS SO GOOD⁣⁣

Outfit : Show me your Mumu pullover, Spanx leggings

// Becoming – Michelle Obama
-This was one of the best books I read in 2019. The writing is just beautiful, it evokes a roller coaster of emotion as you read through the former first lady’s journey. She exudes grace, dignity, strength and it all comes across through the story. It also gives a good insight into the process of elections, how does the first family deal with that position, the challenges, the sacrifices, the sense of duty. Definitely a recommended read. A+

//  The Alice Network – This was another one of my top reads. Some of the historical fiction books I’ve read have been so painful and after a trip we took to Berlin, I had stopped reading anything related to World War. Some of those stories live with you long after you have finished reading  the book. But I picked up The Alice Network because it was on so many lists and I am glad I did. This was a page turner – characters intertwined between World War I and World War II, the stories of the women-spy network. If you haven’t read historical fiction ( world war related books before ), emotional trigger warning. A+

// The Bankers Wife – Another good book. Fiction, suspense thriller – I think I finished this one staying up late a couple of nights. Such a page-turner. A+

// Erotic stories for Punjabi Widows – I mean if the name is anything you know you are in for something fun! Funny story : I recommended this book to my mom and after the first few chapters she berated me for recommending soft porn to her ! LOL . But I promise after you get past the first few pages – the book is so much more beyond the fantasies described in the book.  Aside from the funny, erotic stories that are shown as figments of imaginations of the women in the book, it has layers of bold, strong themes woven. About the gender divide, patriarchal society in certain cultures of India, women not having a voice in society but full of dreams and fantasies. It is a funny, emotional, beautifully written book. A

/The Guest Cottage– Nancy Thayer novels are always such palette cleansers. A nice beach-read, with a light storyline and happy endings. B

// One day in December – This is literally a script for a Christmas movie. Sweet, happy ending, a little movie-like-dramatic-but-romantic ending. A

// That month in Tuscany – This was another sweet book. Reminded me of The Holiday movie. A-

// Little Fires Everywhere – This book has been on every book club’s list which is why I picked it up. But to be honest, I wasn’t quite as blown away with it. It seemed rather unfinished and I was hoping for more. B-

// The other women– OMG the protagonists in this book have weird, somewhat twisted personalities. But you want to keep reading to see what’s going to happen. Like you are cringing but really hooked on to see what would happen next.It was a good read and I am glad I dint stop mid-way. B

//The last house guest – Mystery, intricate plots and a few twists that makes this a page turner. The other books by this author also seem to have to good reviews, putting them on my list. B+

// Winter in paradise and What happens in paradise–  These are the 2 books in an anticipated trilogy. The third book isn’t out yet. The plot overall is good – but both the books are extremely slow in narration. And it doesn’t seem like they are going anywhere. But now that I am invested in the plot – I will read the third one when it’s out – but really hope that its fast paced and closes the open ends.  B-

// Revenge wears Prada– I don’t know even know what to say – except that this was really disappointing. This book is the sequel to Devil wears Prada and considering how much I loved the movie ( hadn’t read the book ) – this story is just blah. B – –

//The Matchmaker’s list – This story is probably intended to be a slight satire – humor and shedding insight in the arrange marriage culture. But the I wasn’t slow blown away by it. There are some good parts in the book – a strong take on the different aspects of love, societal pressure, family dynamics. Overall probably a B- .

//Magnolia Story This is the book about the stars of Fixer Upper ( the TV show ). Even if you haven’t seen the show, the story of how Chip and Joanna built their business, the TV show, the other brands, their challenges, the triumphs. B+

// Something in the Water – I really loved this one. It keeps you on the edge of your seat kind of thriller. The build up was really good, but then towards the end it became quite predictable. Nevertheless, it was a good book, very well executed. B+






I wont lie, today has been kind of low day. Taking down the Christmas decor, stripping the windows and outdoors of the lights and replacing the fireplace mantle with the usual clock is the not so exciting part about the holiday season. When Zoe realized all the decor was getting packed away – she rushed to the Santa mailbox ( decor thing) and started pulling out random things that she had stuffed in the mailbox which we had no idea about – crayons, socks, a PJ shirt along with the letters we had written to Santa. Hah! That innocence!

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