Origami

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The kids and I tried our hands at origami today. Making origami objects is a great way to encourage children to use the fine motors in those adorable fingers of theirs. It requires very limited resources (just paper) and hardly any time to set up. Origami can be enjoyed at any age. So sibs of different ages and parents can all experience the soul satisfying process of folding paper and creating little pieces of art without anyone feeling left out. Simple origami designs like hats, sail boats and houses are excellent choices for a budding origamist aged 4. A more serious contender of 7 can take more challenging objects like dolphins, crabs, tulips, or boxes. And a parent can attempt a dragon.

the video is from Jo Nakashima – Origami Tutorials on youTube.

The takeaways from crafting origami are many. First of all the fine motors get some exercise. Second kids learn to follow instruction. Both video instructions and picture instruction have their advantages and both should be tried. Third, it’s good for their emotions — curiosity, patience, commitment, achievement, these little humans will learn to deal with all of these. And finally, after all the hard work kids can have fun with their creations and use them as props in their game play.

The kids and I created some very beautiful things.

I usually find difficulty in following the pictorial origami instructions. However, there are so many channels of origami artists on youTube with video instructions, which the kids and I found much easier to follow. So all those out there who feel origami is a lost battle, don’t lose hope just yet, try out video instructions.

Good luck with origami crafting!

Ramadan Craft and Activities

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Ramadan, the most important month of the year is here. All of us (except the kids) wake up before dawn for breakfast(sehri) and abstain from eating or drinking anything the whole day. The fast is finally broken with snacks and dinner(iftar) when the sun begins to set.

Ramadan is the only month that our family has meals on the same table. It’s the only month I get free mornings and afternoons as all the adults in house don’t have breakfast or lunch. Its the only month where our BPs are too low for arguments and fights. It’s the only month the kids are on the best behavior since iftar treats are a great motivation for reform. All in all ramadan is my favorite time of the year.

Religion and moral values are the hot topic in the house all through the month. Husband discusses the bayan’s (speech) of the Imam in the masjid or what he read in a book or some verse from the Quran. I discuss fundamental moral concepts of Islam with the kids. This year discussions are revolving around speaking and supporting truth, helping others, caring for your parents and neighbours and not speaking ill of another behind their back. Nabiha who is almost seven is participating most excitedly in all the discussions. Giving lots of examples from her school life. Abdullah who is four, listens distractedly and doesn’t have much to say as yet.

Ramadan also comes with its fair share of crafting projects and activities. Our first activity was creating a Ramadan calendar with the lunar dates, gregorian dates and the dawn and dusk timings. We used the leftover invitation cards for my wedding (still plenty left 8-O) and packing foam of some new furniture we got for the base. The calendar turned out great. Along the way Nabiha learned how to read the sombre looking ramadan timing chart and Abdullah learned to stay still during the preparation of each date card so that he could paste the final border to decorate the card.

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That does it

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Yesterday was the worst of the worst days. I was fuming over my company’s slow paced resignation process. My emotions were swinging between anxiety and exhilaration about my upcoming life as full-time-stay-at-home-homemaker-mom. I was so engrossed in my thoughts that… I scratched somebody’s car while rearing out of the parking lot. I scratched someone’s car pretty bad. :'(. Ruining another employee’s fairly maintained unscratched car in the parking lot on the last week of work. A parting present for the employee and rest o’them at office to remember me by. This is the stuff nightmares are made of. Anyways the car belongs to a manager. She said she will talk to her husband about this since she has no idea about cars. Of course, I don’t know much about cars either. So my husband and her husband can negotiate any damages that need to be paid. Of course, I’m paying.

The lesson I learned from all this is. Do not think about your life when you are driving. Just drive.

AK

Looking Ahead

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I looked back on my abandoned mobile app project. I reeled at the sight of the well written code. Can I do this again? I wondered. I can do this again. I have two options. 1)Rework the Expense Manager app I was working on previously or 2)Start on a new idea I have. Looking through the code, I feel like I should not waste all the effort I put on the Expense Manager. So I have come to the decision.  I will complete all the design changes in the app and republish it.

 

Resigning

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Ok so I am resigning from my job. Actually I have resigned verbally but it will be official when my resignation notice is signed. Hopefully that will be done by Monday. I’ve been working for this company as a data analyst since February 2015. My decision to resign is correct, I am quite sure of it. I will be regretting this decision later, in a few weeks. I am quite sure of this at well.

Why did I decide to resign in the first place? I leave my kids at my moms place and I was not entirely satisfied with this arrangement. In Pakistan, well I don’t know about Pakistan. In Karachi, daycares is a rare luxury only the richest can afford. Even if I could afford it, there is not a single daycare in my area. So my one and only option was to leave the kids at my moms.

Why will I regret resigning? Very simple I have too much energy to be contained with the housekeeping routine and rearing children (though the later is quiet exhausting). I want to learn, explore and apply my skills.

So I am back to square one on this blog. I think my initial posts were about working from home . I guess that’s all I will be talking about from now on.

Of Time

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Time is quiet unpredictable.

Sometimes it languishes away in hours. 

Othertimes it leaps and bounds through them.

When important tasks are at hand.

 It’s slips away like a slitherly eel. 

Then on days you wait, it waits with you. 

Like a loyal dog it’s at your heel. 

Like disiplined soldiers that march in sync. 

They cannot be the ones to blame. 

They do not speed they do not heed . 

Yet some mystery is at play.

Maybe time is not the clock.

Maybe time is what you felt. 

How much was done, how long it took.

And only you know what you felt. 

Only you know the time that passed.

I love you Mom

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My son is three. He says he loves me every day. He says this by holding my cheeks in his little palms. He continues to say this for atleast 10 minutes it can get extended to as long as ever if I am in a middle of a conversation with some one. He wants me to maintain eye contact with him while he professes his love or he just says “mamma mamma mamma?”. He makes the most eloquent confessions.

“Mamma I like you very much. I like your cheeks”

“Mamma please don’t do any work. Grand ma can do the work.”

“Mamma you are so nice you make my food. You tell me stories.”

“I will never leave you. I will sit on your lap for ever”

“I like you more than my blue car”

And I have to quit whatever I am doing and give him his cuddles and praise him in return otherwise his love has no bounds.

The thing is I am a working mom. So sometimes I really don’t have the time at the point in time he wants the attention. Initially I would even snap at him to leave me alone. Later I realized it’s very important to him to express his love for me and require me to assure him I the same. I also realized heis learning how to converse. Since he is most comfortable at talking about how much he loves me he does it over and over again.

Writing down this post I have come up with another idea. Next time he bestows his attention on me, I will try to lead the conversation into new directions to encourage him to express himself on other things.

Driftwood

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Been drifting around like driftwood on the ocean of this life

Once I struggled for direction but got nowhere that seemed right

I searched for the ship wreck, the place that I called home

But then I found it to be a shipwreck and no more

So now I drift like driftwood, the waves carry me where they want

They know all about the ocean, I follow in their accord

Hide tides, they will surely break me, but they don’t

and I continue alone, only I know what I went through

And on the days, when the currents caress and kiss

I wonder, if I am ever missed

 

I think if I float a few more days, I’ll come by a boat or raft

That they may be in need of wood, and then I’ll be on my way

Or maybe I’ll see a sandy shore and I’ll lodge myself there

Watch the algae grow upon me, and that’s where I will stay

If there is purpose to my life, it is to explore

If there is a reason I survive, it is because I hope

 

 

The horizon stretches out in welcome, possibilities abound

So there I go a’drifting on the ocean of my life

*

Aside

Finally I’ve started feeling that I can get back to serious app development work. Nabiha is all settled in the prep school routine and prefers to do most things on her own. Abdullah, turned 11 months on the 5th of march. Other than his teething crankiness, he is a very peaceful, self regulating, piece of work. So far I’m getting ample time to follow a course on Coursera a great website that offers courses that can be taken from home. I listen to weekly lectures, give quizzes and submit assignments, sometimes I browse through the forum too just to see how the rest of the “class” is doing. Getting back to studying learning something is really a lot of fun (Only a full time housewife could say it with the enthusiasm I’m feeling over this). 

The course is called Programming Mobile Applications for Android Handheld Systems offered by University of Maryland conducted by Dr. Adam Porter. The course started from 21st January with the last lecture on 18th March. This course is the first of the three courses that will lead to a Specialization. Since I signed up through the Signature Track. If I manage to complete three courses and the Capstone Project at the end of the courses, I will receive a Verified specialization certificate. All this will cost me $196 (of which $49 I’v already paid) and around 8 months (of which 7 weeks have already passed). 

I’m glad I took this course. It has cleared out so many of my concepts and also increased my confidence. I have started work on the new version of Expense Manger which I will probably release as a new app (since I unpublished the last Expense Manager quite a while ago). This time I’ve started work with the interface design. 

Will post a video of my piechart screen soon to show off the sleek animation I coded into it. 

And now I will get back to my assignment about sensors, location and maps 

🙂