The UnGlam Fam

I now blog at www.constantcircus.wordpress.com!


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Blog Change!

Guys, I’ve changed blog names and will now be writing at http://constantcircus.wordpress.com/. Please change your bookmarks accordingly.

Please please please do not forget to check back or think that I’ve stopped writing because this page won’t be updated any more. All this content, and more, is awaiting you at my new home at the Constant Circus!

PS: I changed because a) This blog name doesn’t really describe me and the family because, really, we are glam (ha!), and b) I just really like that name much more. πŸ™‚

So, come on over…


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An Afghani Saga.

Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini is a storyteller. His latest novel makes ordinary stories rise above their monotony and become something true; they own themselves when heard through various people, different perspectives.

The book tracks the lives of Pari and Abdullah through a heartbreaking childhood in 1950s Afghanistan, torn from each other to lead bifurcating existences on different continents. We finally see them reunited at the end of the book, after having been led into the lives of para-relatives and friends and their own individual stories. The strength of the book lies in its lyrical prose interspersed with Afghani folklore. We see Afghanistan as it once was, war-free and open and liberal. We also encounter the Taliban, albeit fleetingly.

A common thread of unshaken guilt, unexpressed remorse and unadorned truth of feelings weaves through the entire novel. The twin feelings of guilt and shame that I reckon all of us expats feel when visiting our origin countries struck home. This emotion is most often expressed as apathy — Hosseini is not afraid to confront it head-on. The perspectives of women aren’t tacky either.

The best part for me, however, was the Afghani folk story the novel begins with. Such poignancy is seldom encountered in a story retold. I read it aloud to V today, on a grey afternoon that begs for a good story to be told snuggled in a warm blanket. We both got a bit teary-eyed, him with the story, me with the idea of our days of such intimacy being short-lived.

The library lent it on a non-renewable, 14-day loan. I’m done in a sporadic-reading 3. It’s that good.


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We are Flint Hill School.

Hi. My name is Puja, and my kid goes to a private school.

I’m not sure if this is an emotion shared by others, but whenever there is a discussion about schools with other parents, I’m extremely reluctant, almost ashamed, to admit that my kids attend private school. Living in a county whose public education system is nationally recognized as one of the best, I feel like people will judge or draw inaccurate conclusions about me or my lifestyle.

The truth is that when we moved here we didn’t know where we were going to end up living and, as the school year was already underway, we got V enrolled in a private school in an area we were interested in. I could’ve transferred him to our local school later but he’d already started to settle into Flint Hill and so we let him be. Gradually we’ve all come to adore the community feeling of the school, the personalized attention, and the friends we’ve made (him and I both) at FHS. It might not be the most academically enriching school in the area, but if your kid whines on the weekend about not being able to go to school you’ve got to believe something is right.

Last week our class representative hosted a parent dinner at her lovely house for all second-grade parents. We were requested to bring appies and dessert for sharing while she provided the mains. Guess what my contribution was? πŸ™‚

FH Husky PawThe Husky Paw is an official symbol of the school. Our kids take pride in being called the “Flint Hill Huskies” and recitation of the Husky Promise at home usually helps in reminding V to look at a disappointing situation anew.

The Blue Flames are the official logo, while the Husky banner is waved at important school events.

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Every so often, V likes to take out the school year book to look at the pictures of older kids and alumni, fantasizing about himself at age 12 or 16 or whatever, which sometimes leads into a discussion about adulthood and family and such. Last year’s book was signed by his first-grade classmates in their kiddie scrawl, some of whom aren’t in this school any more, but who he still remembers and talks about.

I had much fun decorating these cookies; the look on V’s face when he saw the plate was all the compliments I could ever ask for these.


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Playdate cookies

In case you’re wondering what’s happening to my cookie hobby, well, it’s going as well as it can with the kids hovering over any attempt at baking. When it becomes a family activity, cookie decorating becomes more a work in progress than a work of art. πŸ™‚

This week R was invited to a friend’s house for his first-ever drop off playdate. It was a playdate of a few firsts: he was the intended guest not his brother’s addendum, he was to stay over for a short time without the mom buffer (so asking for the bathroom or snack manners would be all on him), he carried the sole responsibility for being invited over again or not. (Going by his friend’s goodbyes though I think he did extremely well.)

We made some cookies for him to bring to his outing as a gesture of his appreciation. The family is from The Netherlands so I decided to go with the Dutch colours on the icing — red, white and blue. (These, incidentally, are also the colours of the American flag and a few superheroes including Superman and Captain America.) I made chocolate letter cookies spelling his friend’s and her sister’s names. Simple, quick and a treat for the kids.

Since this baking wasn’t going for a special occasion I couldn’t help using leftover icing for some silliness. Result? A tie out of a blob cookie and a pepperoni pizza lookalike with a slice out of it.

Nothing fancy but loved nonetheless. Just like us. πŸ™‚


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AWOL.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I have, I just have 2 blogs to update now so if you don’t read both it may look like I’ve totally slacked off. I have visitors, what can I say. Between sightseeing, shopping, meal planning and going on with regular life with the kiddos (who suddenly want their milk warmed by mama only, or want to hit tennis balls with only mama), computer time has just seriously gotten reduced to a quick email and FB check a few times a day.

If you do want to see what I’ve been up to, check out these cookies I made for a friend who was hosting a baby shower forΒ her friend. This cookie decorating business is taking on a life of its own… and I couldn’t be happier. πŸ™‚

Outside the Presidential residence with the kiddos and their nani. Nani excluded.


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Florida, here we come!

Spring is here! Off to Florida for a short but enthralling vacation for the kids. We’re hoping to overload our Lego-obsessed kids with a trip to Legoland apart from some badly needed beach time. Hopefully it won’t turn out to be one of those getaways that you need a vacation from when you return. Enjoy the turn to warmer weather, y’all!

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Some sun, some sand, many memories. πŸ™‚