I just started Weight Watchers this week and things are going well. Staying within my daily points is hard but things like earning activity points and keeping track of portions helps out. EatSmart has a digital kitchen scale that would be great for measuring out portions and All The Weigh is giving one away! Just click the link and follow the instructions in her blog post to enter: http://www.alltheweigh.com/2012/01/who-wants-to-eatsmart/#comment-15663
Here are my goals for 2012:
1. Get my CPC-H certification.
2. Get my CCA certification
3. Join Weight Watchers and lose 2 lbs a week.
4. Start Master’s Degree in June.
5. Go with the kids to India in January and put them back in school over there.
I know I’ll go back over to India…I just don’t know when. Probably no later than 2013, I’m hoping. No matter when I go though, I am determined not to go back over as a fatso.
Yes, I admit, after my hubby returned from Iraq, we celebrated by eating out one too many times. My hubby is a bad influence on me anyway because he can seemingly eat whatever he wants and not gain a pound. (Likely a result of his Indian genes!). I however, can look at a piece of chocolate cake and can feel my pants getting tighter! So you can imagine what constant dining out has done to me…
So, as the scale does not lie, I had known for awhile now that something needed to be done. I don’t have a problem with exercise–I actually enjoy it–but have stubbornly not changed my eating habits. However, as the reality of going back over to India comes ever closer, a new fear has crept into my heart–the comments from the Indian relatives.
As it was, I already had one comment by an in-law before I came back to the US in March (I think by that time I had put on about 20lbs.). Sometime after the kids and I arrived at his house in Delhi on our way back to the States, he made the comment, “I think you’ve put on weight since I’ve seen you last.” (I mean, what do you say to something like this? “Yes, you’re right, I have been packing on the pounds, haven’t I?” or “I think you are mistaken–according to my scale I haven’t!”) One thing about Indian culture I’ve noticed is that people can be brutally honest with you–even when you aren’t willing to be honest with yourself.
So my new determination is to lose weight so as not to invoke any more of those “comments” I know I’ve let things get a bit out of hand with my weight and there’s no reason to wait for someone else to tell me that. (As a matter of fact, I would love to make above mentioned relative eat his words when I get off the plane with my new, svelte self!!)
Well, hopefully more than just a dream. Today I took a picture of my little travel bag and the contents within that I received free in the mail. Yes, that’s right–I’m a freebie junkie, but that’s another part of my life that I don’t want to bore you with. My travel bag is packed and ready to go in anticipation of our journey back to India.
I also took a picture of my ring that I got in McLeod Ganj. I wear it as a reminder of my connection to India and the hopes that I will soon return.
As I get ready to go with my hubby to an Army Hail and Farewell, I leave you with the pictures…
I have been busy lately with my CPC-H course and have been just coasting along. I have been trying to convince my hubby to let me go back to India with the kids around March of next year. Financially, it will definitely be feasible, but trying to convince my hubby of that will be a different matter!
I have already decided that due to the debacle that happened with Sunil’s family the last time we were in India, we will not be able to go back and live in Ferozepur–even if it’s in our own place. Not only was small town life in India a bit stifling, but I missed the interaction with other foreigners that will only be possible in another city.
Right now I am looking into Delhi because another family member of Sunil’s lives there and would be a helpful presence in case I ever needed a male for, well–you know–those “male things” in India. Like renting an apartment or doing resident paperwork.
The next step for us is waiting for Sunil to get his paper orders for his new assignment. At that time we’ll know more about when he has to report and when his PCS leave will be.
For now I have restarted my Hindi instruction, beginning with UK India’s Learn to Read Hindi. I think it should be renamed Hindi for Dummies–it’s absolutely too simple and easy to learn! Let’s just say it’s so easy, my seven year old can teach me to read Hindi. How cool is that??
I love to get freebies–just the other day I got a free Veggie Tales full length movie DVD with free shipping!! Now how cool is that? We have a big family and I’m always scouting for deals…
Today you can enter to win An Aveeno shampoo and conditioner from the NOURISH+ Revitalize or NOURISH+ Volumize lines from the Freebie Junkie. Enter to win here: http://www.thefreebiejunkie.com/2011/09/aveeno-nourish-living-color-shampoo.html?showComment=1316000505553#c2736724929678096286
So, the night in shining armor arrives–Pankaj.
Right away, there were necessities that had to be purchased. Pankaj lived in a small, two-story house in town with an air conditioner in one room-his bedroom. This is where the family slept: him, his wife and daughter, and his paralyzed, bed-ridden mother. Obviously, his mother couldn’t tolerate six new additions to her living space-especially the five rambunctious kids-so she let us know in no uncertain terms one day by scooting step by step on her backside downstairs to the other bedroom. So there she stayed and she needed to have an a/c to keep her comfortable–and of course, we paid for it.
From there the expenses snowballed. We felt that because we didn’t know a bit of Hindi (at the time-which in that small town of Ferozepur was a very big deal because not many people knew good English), renting a house for the kids and I to stay in was not as good an idea as staying with Pankaj (who would always be right there to help us). So we decided to stay with Pankaj and because we knew that we would be there for at least a year and that the kids needed an actual sleeping place (other than on pallets on the floor). We were told that building a room on the top of his house would not be that costly. We were given estimates and felt that the amount was reasonable and we started the project.
Perhaps unlike a project here in the States where estimates are usually in the same ballpark as the final cost, things in India are a bit different. There are several different people involved in a building project from the man that you get the cement from, to the carpenters, masons, and plumbers. The mason gives you an estimate as to how much cement, bricks, and other materials he will need. But the price balloons up from there depending on the time it takes and the materials he needs. The whole time, it was most likely that Pankaj was pocketing quite a bit of money himself and would often tell us that the mason or the plumber or the carpenter said he needed more materials and so in order to get the room finished in a timely manner, we had to “make it happen”–as my husband likes to put it.
So as you can imagine, I began to feel like we were being put in a cider press and being squeezed of any money that we had coming in. This was the biggest factor in why came back to the States, forcing us to put our dream of an Indian education for our kids on the backburner–for now.
I was reading back over my blog this morning and sadly realized that it is seriously lacking in any reaccounts of experiences I had while over there. I know I went to India, had a good time over there with many new experiences, but there was one dark cloud that overshadowed the event and will probably remain if even at the back of my mind–for the rest of my life.
When my husband got orders to go to Iraq, I dreaded the thought of being here in Texas alone with no family, taking care of the kids by myself. So, to make something good out of the deployment experience, we decided that this was the opportunity for us to send our kids to school in India–a dream that we’d always had. So we decided to pack up six months prior to Sunil’s deployment(I knew that soldiers are always busy in the months prior to deployment with little time to spend with family and I absolutely dreaded the thought of attending the farewell ceremony!) and fly to India.
Now, we thought we had carefully planned out our trip to India–getting all the proper shots, budgeting for the plane tickets, even who we would stay with. We had talked to his mother for months beforehand, making sure that it would be ok for us to stay with her. She assured us that she was looking forward to us coming. So without much further ado, Sunil drove us to the airport, we said our goodbyes, and boarded the plane.
Oftentimes, no matter how much you plan something out, work it and rework it to make sure, you still come up with unexpected circumstances. Our trip to India was no exception. I think of it to this day–I should have know better than to listen to the assurances of a woman who was not quite mentally stable(Sunil’s mom) when it came to us staying with her. She met us in Delhi, we stayed in a bed and breakfast and then left on a train headed to Ferozepur Cantt. When we arrived at her house, or rather tiny 1 bedroom flat, we realized that our living arrangements would not be suitable. Add to this that fact that my mentally unstable mother-in-law also did not realize what she had gotten herself into by taking in six guests-and she did not handle it well. She would not help us with anything–she would not take us to the store to get some cots to sleep on(as there was only 2 beds in her flat), she didn’t want to cook for us, etc. etc.–using the excuse that she was “tired” I lost my temper at the way we were being treated and said some unregrettable things. I was about to move the kids and I into a hotel when Sunil’s cousin, Pankaj, showed up.
He was surprised to see we were here, wanted to know why we didn’t talk to him beforehand. He could have told us that we wouldn’t be able to stay with my mother-in-law, she doesn’t have air conditioning (oh yes, indeed, it was hotter than hades as we had come in July[mother-in-law had claimed she was going to get one when we got here but we unfortunately realized too late that she had trouble parting with her money] and this was one of the reasons for me moving us to a hotel–for the a/c!!), we need to stay with someone who can take care of us as we wouldn’t survive here by ourselves. Pankaj was like our knight in shining armor at a desperate hour. How could we have refused??
Part II tomorrow…
We make plans…they change. That’s life…
Our sons started in boarding school back in March and they are presently home on their vacation. At this point, they will not be going back over there due to several factors, some of which include underestimation of the total cost involved in sending them to school over there(and they actually go to one of the more inexpensive schools over there!) and lack of funding to support said cost.
I am disappointed to say the least because I felt they were doing well over there-but apparently God must have other plans for them and for us. From here we must move on and replot our course. A future course will hopefully involve sending them back over there at some point, hopefully by next school year. We’ll have to see what time brings. Today I am adding a picture of my husband and I because I believe that my blog must also now chart a new course, since the main focus for now will not be on education in India(although I will still inevitably mention it from time to time!)
For now-that’s about it. Nothing much is happening since it’s the summer and kids are out of school. I’m trying to find a job-hasn’t been so successful as yet, but I’m not going to give up. Me finding a job is the necessary ingredient to being able to send our kids back over to school in India. So I leave you now to hop back on the job trail…(and a secret commitment to myself to try to blog more often!)
Not too much has happened since the last post except my husband came home from deployment this month. It’s great to have him back home and we didn’t have any problems at all readjusting to each other. What I have to get used to all over again is the ridiculousness of the people in charge at his unit. I think that could take more effort than getting used to the deployment did!
It is about that time now-the kids are getting ready to finish the school year over in India. I have to go over to get the boys admitted into the boarding school and the three little ones will be coming back over here to the States until they are old enough to go to the boarding school. Lilly will wind up being here with us for about the next three years. I hope that Sunil keeps the language up with them like he says he will, otherwise, they will probably lose a lot of it. Not that they can’t pick it up easily when they go there again, but still.
This time when I go over there, I intend on taking alot more pictures of people and places. I did do a fair amount of it the last time, but I still feel that I could have done more. I’ll have a lot of time on my hands-so I should be able to accomplish that goal! Now back to packing…