A Trip To The Beach

In this year, yesterday was our third beach trip. Of course it was unplanned. But the little kids said ‘Beach’ and Dad immediately decided it was the beach. I love beach trips as well. But given that we had a big beach trip to San Diego few weeks ago, I wasn’t very excited. Plus that beach is a 4 hours away and we spend less than the total travel time over there. But, yesterday, beach it was.

We set out a little early, but not too early. We stopped over for lunch way before we reached the beach. We ate pizza at McDonalds. Don’t ask.πŸ™‚ Things we do for kids are uncountable. Beach town we were going to head down to was WestPort. But we told kids it was Seaside. We were at SeaSide beach for kiddos third birthday and for reasons only known to kids, only that place was acceptable for beach trip. So we did what any parent would do, took them to WestPort and told them it was SeaSide. Kiddos happy; Parents happy.πŸ™‚

Surprisingly, by the time we reached the beach, we got down and realized, it was COLD. Not too crazy winter cold, but it was cold. And guess what, in the back of our trunk, we found one of my jackets, one kid jacket, that’s all. Luckily we had bunch of backup clothes. Like a dozen of them. I know it was a lot of help at that time, to warm the kids up, but now that I think about it, I don’t why we had so many clothes in the car. Well, I am not complaining anyway. Abhi wore three shirts and said no to jacket. Achu wore like 3 tops and then put the jacket on. I had my jacket for a while but decided to hand the jacket to Murali and bare the cold. See, things wives do for husbands, uncountable too.πŸ™‚ I am happy Murali was warm, but I have to say, now all our pics are odd with Murali wearing a girls jacket. He was also wearing Achu’s kid yellow sun glasses.πŸ™‚

In total, this was our third trip to WestPort, so we knew where to go. But this was a good surprise. We were walking towards the beach and we found this hut built by logs around. Not sure who took the time to do this, but this was just amazing for us to go settle down in. Especially because it was little cold, we all settled down into this cozy logs hut and warmed up a bit. It wasn’t windy inside. Pretty good view of the beach as well. What else do you need.πŸ™‚

We all cozied up inside for a bit and slowly headed out to play in the sand. Sand was just beautiful. So soft and cozy. Murali and kids played the great act of ‘legs disappearing in the sand’ and ‘warriors coming out of the blocked sand’, while I spread out the beach mat, lay on my tummy and rest. When it was time to leave, it was really hard to get up because I felt so relaxed. Don’t know if it was the sand or the breeze or just the beach itself, I left the beach very relaxed.

When we got to the beach, it wasΒ  bit foggy. And that was beautiful view as well. Soon it cleared out and yep, that was beautiful too. Okay, I change my mind. I will be more excited about a beach trip next time.πŸ™‚

Kids had so much with their beach toys, digging in the sand that none of us even stepped in the water. Yes. We went to the beach and didn’t step in the water. This was the first time I did that. I have learnt that water in Washington is never warm enough. Cozy log hut and was good enough for me this time.πŸ™‚

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While heading home, we took a little detour of the marina. Bought some candy and we all had a little candy fest in the car. Eating, sharing and fighting for yummy chocolates. Dinner later, my choice, was a disaster. I am still trying to forget the disappointment. I made a rule for myself to not eat at restaurants as long as we are in town. And on trips like this, is when I want to enjoy restaurant food. But this restaurant was a major disappointment and I wish I had home food to eat. Anyway, next time, we will choose better.

We got home after some 10 hours trip. I bought some shells home, still got to decorate with them in my book shelves. I think I can say that we wont be doing any more beach trips for this year. Unless we plan to go to Hawaii. I am always okay with that.πŸ™‚

Thoughts Tonight!!!

Past couple of days have been exhausting for me. Well, actually last four years have been exhausting actually, but, specifically last three weeks were more crazy than usual. Work commitments and expectations, falling sick like ‘need antibiotics’ sick with cold, cough and non-stop headache. Add to that the usual ‘not spending enough time with kids’ guilt, plus ‘my home is not clean’ craziness. All of them packed together into one.

Oh! There is also the new work commitment at work, that will begin next week. And once again, there is the usual ‘prove yourself’ job. I am sick and tired of doing this actually. If not this, there is another scare in my mind right now, which I can’t even get myself to type. All of this might be a result of the horrible thing that happened last year. I don’t know if my brain is already processing this unconsciously, but, it will be a year soon the last shaky thing happened to us. Thinking of September, actually scares me in a way. Like some bad thing is going to happen again.

Well, too bad just feeling that wont stop anything from happening. I got to let go of that feeling, right? Especially this week. I took time off work. Kids are not in school this week. So I am hoping we will all get to do something fun. Even if it doesn’t mean a trip to somewhere. Just relaxing, nothing to worry inside my head. No emails to worry about. Etc.

I have plans to do some painting, spend time with kids, watch TV, do some painting before Summer ends. And blog of course. My friend V and I are planning a hiking trip this Friday, hopefully that happens too.

By the way, Halloween is a good two months away, but we are already super excited about it. Today (and almost every day) Achu, Abhi and us talked about what new decorations to buy, how to decorate our front porch, visit to the Halloween stores to visit spooky attractions. Buy more Halloween decor. of course, we talk about what costumes to pick, almost every other day. This time, we might have a party for everybody dressed. I would like to dress up too. Just the mere thought of Halloween cheers us up. Like I mentioned before, Halloween has become our Deepavali.πŸ™‚

I can’t avoid what’s going to happen now or in near future. I can only distract myself and pray to God that life wont be hard like it was last year.

So, I plan to write more. May be I will make a mini blogging challenge. Write a post every day, at least until next week. Lets see if I can live up to my expectations.πŸ™‚

Birthday Weekend In Pics

Because I need to write something and picture post seems like an easy option.πŸ™‚

Our little decorations. We kept it really simple. Kids don’t really care about the decorations, right? Its more for us. We did have lots of balloons. There were benches all around the spot and we covered them with nice table covers and more balloons.

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WhenΒ P and I were birthday shopping, we found these face masks. I wanted to leave some coloring pages for kids at the party, in case anyone wanted to sit down and color. But we picked up these face masks. And I got a bunch of crayons, markers and left them on the table. Yeah, I know itsΒ  a park and everyone said why do you need coloring pages. But guess what. Every kid colored and took a face mask home. At one point, I said, “kids, lets go see the animals” and they we like, “no. We want to sit and color”. It happens.πŸ™‚ I am so glad our idea was a hit.

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Another hit thing from the party. We bought this gazillion bubble blowing tiny machine. What a hit it was. All that I needed was ton of bubble liquid, which I had. And then gazillion bubbles it was. It was SO much fun.πŸ™‚

Presenting the cake…..πŸ™‚ You should know that I ate most of this.πŸ™‚

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We were supposed to go see the farm animals at the park. But by the time we got there, barnyard was closed. Luckily, we have been here a zillion times and I knew the trails well. Few moms and all kids, we all went on little trail walk. It was so different from the indoor play places.

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Of course, why shouldn’t the moms have fun? I am the one dressed in the red chudidar. You know, I wore the same dress for Abhi and Achu’s first birthday.

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Β And a special mention to the BFF who made it to our little party with the two month old A (sleeping in the stroller). I feel so happy to remember that this party was also little A’s first outing.πŸ™‚ Isn’t that amazing?πŸ™‚

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Day of the birthday. A nice picnic trip to a nearby park. With friends, of course. This view is from the bridge we cross to get to the other side of water and trails. You see the little sand patch on left side, that’s where we were stationed for our water play.

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The other side of the bridge. Beautiful day.

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Little guy is fishing.πŸ™‚

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Water fun.πŸ™‚ See how calm the water is. It was perfect to relax.

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Water fun is done. Time for some ice-cream. We also went to the splash pad kids loved last year. This year, they aren’t that big fans. I think they are used to the sprinklers at home. Here is Achu in her second birthday dress. Abhi wore a blue fire engine dress.

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That was some of the birthday fun in pictures. Next time, I wont cheat. I promise.πŸ™‚

FOUR!!!

What has happened to my blogging interests? Honestly, what? I choose to be spending my little time and energy on happily binge watching Netflix, but blogging? Nope. Seems like a big task.

I have so much to catch up on. I looked back few days and it seems like we haven’t done anything this Summer. And summer is almost over. I don’t remember much because, I don’t write that down. It’s some type of thing with me. If I don’t write it, I forget. This is why all my school/college text books will be full of random notes.πŸ™‚

Anyway, I must catch up now. Too many memories lost already. And especially because a very special event happened last weekend. Abhi and Achu turned four years old. I want to say time flew, it did a bit, but for some reason, it doesn’t feel that fast this time. Last birthday I could swear time just flew.

Unlike their last birthdays, this time we did a birthday party. There is the kids favorite farm park. That even we have come to love. If we ever did a birthday party outside, that was our first choice. And I am so glad we went with it. Kids actual birthday was on Sunday, and we did the party on Saturday. That way we could celebrate more than one day.πŸ™‚

Day of party was so cloudy (honestly, summer this time sucks big time). I was so worried about having to cancel the party. But lucky us, sun shined bright and just right, just in time for the party. Even though the party was just kids pre-school friends, I decided to invite my best friends and family. For some reason, I can’t imagine a party without them. And oh boy! that was the best idea. It was just so much fun to celebrate with P, her husband and our other friend family (included a bunch of visiting kids, more the merrier.πŸ™‚ .

P and her husband V were so helpful in arranging, decorating, watching kids. Everything. It is just the best thing to have people. They treat our kids like their own. Isnt that amazing?πŸ™‚ I feel so lucky Abhi and Achu know people that love them so much. P put mehendi for kids. Even Abhi got “Star Wars” written on his hand. Oh, star wars. Yes that was our theme. This time we let Abhi and Achu pick dresses. We did the whole shopping, trial room thing, etc. Abhi picked a Star Wars shirt obviously. And Achu got a Black dress with loads of tiny golden stars on it. It was the perfect dress for her. I was indeed looking for a black dress for her. I didn’t want it to be flowery and this one fit the bill perfectly.

Most of Abhi and Achu’s friends came. Party being outside, I didn’t arrange any activities. Instead I got the kids, couple of balls, Jump ropes, Bubbles, coloring face masks, etc. And it was such a success. All mom and kids set out to go see the animals, but the barnyard was closed. So instead we all walked on the trail and everybody had fun. I bought these bubble maker machine that blows gazillion bubbles automatically and it was such a hit with kids.

We had Pizza, cookies, juice. All easily manageable. Cake was of course Star Wars, BB8 themed. Even we moms had fun.πŸ™‚ After all guests left, couple of close friends stayed behind and we had extra fun, taking selfies. Even cleaning-up was fun. You wont believe it.πŸ™‚

We got home by kids bed time, put them to bed and I watched a Telugu movie online with P and V after a long time. We had Pooja scheduled for the day of kids birthday, that got cancelled unfortunately. So we packed food and set out to a nearby park for a picnic.
Enter Murali, who finds the close by and hidden, beautiful park. With awesome river access. It was so picturesque. Weather was just beautiful this day, despite the otherwise crappy summer. And then the long walking bridge, over the river. Campsites. And the water; Just amazing.

We all had food and fun. P and I went again into silly girls mode and spent most of our time in water. V helped Abhi score his first Peeing incident, out in the wide open. When we were talking about where he did it, Abhi said he will show me where he peed and he asked, “Are you excited to see where I peed?” Hahah. Okay I was a little bit.πŸ™‚

It was such a beautiful way to spend kids birthday weekend. Four years old. Okay, I will say it anyway. Time did fly. Very happily too.πŸ™‚

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The Talk Show

The show that never stops; Of course hosted by Abhi and Achu.

To start with Achu’s rhyming songs and sentences.
“Butterflies flutter flutter flutter….Do they need water?”
“Cock a doodle doo. My rock in the shoe. Sitting on the couch, I fell in soup.”
“Darthvader Darthvader, don’t go into space. Because there is dust and meteors at base”
***
Abhi: If a dinosaur was chasing me, I will put mucus on the dinosaur and make it stick to the ground.
Kids find weird ways to save themselves from dinaosaurs..dont they?
***
Murali: Where do apples grow? (We have a map of US states with what the places are famous for. So answer he was expecting was Washington).
Abhi: Apple tree.
Can you blame him?πŸ™‚
***
Abhi: “Amma, I know how to spell ball. B.A.L.L”
Me: Nice Abhi. (I was amazed)
Abhi: “Amma, I also know how to spell cat”.
(I get ready to be amazed again)
Abhi: “T. A. C”
Hmm.
***
And then Achu tells a story with a bunch of characters.
Saline drops said “Lets get wet.”. Jill said yes. Jeanie said No. Creakie shouted. “I know lets call her Jolly the ladybug.”. Then Millie fell sorry for him. Jolie started crying. Millie, Creakie and Ollie lived happily ever after. End of Beautiful story.
I have no idea who Ollie is. Or in fact, rest of them.
***
The main thing, I guess, I teach Abhi and Achu these days is to focus on what they are doing. You know, to make them brush instead of sticking the toothpaste on mirror. So “Focus on your job” is something I repeat pretty often. One time, Achu was sitting and crying. I ask her why. She says, “I am focusing on crying”.
Yeah, that she can focus on.
***
Out of the kids, Abhi was the first one to refuse wearing night time diapers. I was praising Abhi for that. Called him “He is our NO-Diaper pioneer”. Achu, who then hated getting wet and hence was still on diapers, called herself, “I am YES-Diaper pioneer”.
***
Murali: Who invented gravity?
Abhi: Achu did.
***
And of course, we will never forget Halloween.
“Five little butterflies going into space. First one dressed as pumpkin. Trick or treating with space shuttles”.
I hope that happens someday.πŸ™‚

This And That

Because today is Friday and I swore to write at least once a week and I can only write down random stuff.

I declared our last weekend was ruined. Because it was a beautiful sunny day and we didn’t step out of the house until 4 in the afternoon. Tell me, isn’t the day ruined already? There was some shopping to do, so I headed out to do that with my shopping buddy (Achu), and the rest of the family tagged along. And en route I decided to salvage rest of the sunny day and go to the nearby Watershed Preserve instead. This place is so close to where we live, there is a swamp, bunch of trails and some horse poop (which a certain little boy might have stepped on to test it. I am always proud of his explorations even if his feet smell bad and I have to hold himπŸ™‚ ). Recently, people around our communities have spotted a cougar going around, so I was worried we might end up seeing one, but we didn’t. Yeah, I panic more than I need to. Although we never got to the swamp, we walked on a nice forest-y trail. Achu wanted to show off her running skills and ran off on the trail while Abhi and I chased her. I have to tell you I didnt run any slow to catch her. When I chase her these days, I have to run at full speed. She is pretty fast.πŸ™‚

Did you know that I made a new resolution on Mother’s day? I read a post about how mothers are not part of any pictures and that stuck me hard. I can barely find myself in pictures in the last four years, especially with kids. I always think I am looking tired and not dressed etc or am just too busy to include myself in the picture. This post I read, talked about how kids don’t remember the young and fresh faces of their mothers, only remember the exhausted look. That’s how I remember my mom and dad as well. I know how they looked when they were young but that’s not the picture that comes to mind, right? Anyway, starting our San Diego trip, I started talking the ever so popular Selfies with kids (I know I am so lateπŸ™‚ ).

Did anyone tell you that as kids grow up it gets easy? Yeah, they are wrong. They are all so wrong. No it doesn’t. And I didn’t find out about this now. When Abhi and Achu were babies and every time somebody told me it will get easy in a year or two, I didn’t think it would be true. Just look around for parents with older kids. Challenges you face with older kids are much serious than changing diapers, worrying about cold and fevers. Take us now for example. Abhi and Achu are out of diapers. Potty trained, except for occasional accidents. Sleeping through the night (at least not disturbing like earlier). In fact, weekend afternoons, sometimes, Murali and I take nap, after telling Abhi and Achu to stay upstairs. We don’t even have to watch them like earlier.

So, is it all easy now? Nope. It’s not. Because now I worry about far more important things like their attitude, their social behaviour, the way they get scared when trying something new. Point in topic being Abhi was enrolled in swimming class this week. And just as I expected, he cried most of the session. It worries me looking at other kids who seem to just jump into the water without any hesitation; Why does it take so much crying andΒ coercing to get these two kids started on anything? Achu still cries everyday to go to school and I watch painfully while other parents (who don’t even get down from their cars) just cheerfully wave bye to their kids. This is a pattern and it takes a struggle to get them to try anything new. Sigh. My kids are too behind on the playground; Other kids seem to know a lot of things already. My worries are endless. I, myself hate change. So I don’t know why I expect kids to be different.

Attitude towards life is the utmost important thing in life. It determines how happy you will be no matter what you have or not have. I see folks with plenty of that problem and I fear if Abhi and Achu will be the same. Why do we expect kids to be just better versions of ourselves? I need some convincing. After all, challenges we face now are far simpler than those in future when we talk about grades and life choices. Oh, God. Lets not talk about that.

Unexpectedly, Sunday turned out to be an eventful day for kids. I took them to their friend’s place for a play date. And all the kids had a blast playing with water. It was a really hot day. What was good was that I enjoyed the outing as well, chatting with other moms.

Abhi and Achu are turning four next month. Unlike last two years, this time there will be a birthday party. We are planning on doing this at our favorite farm park. Lot of things need to be figured out. Hopefully they will have fun at their own party.

Catching Up….

Did I just go two months without writing anything here? I did. I have no reason why. I swear, everyday I was saying, I will write something tomorrow. So, I am allowed one quick wrap-up, right? I have so much to write, but this is what I can to do now.

* We got back from an awesome week long vacation to San Diego. It was awesome mainly because I was hoping things to go wrong, but everything went great. I was thinking kids would not do well, but they did great. I am really so proud of my little dears. I need to write more about every day of this trip.πŸ™‚

* Weather is getting better here. I know I say that all the time. But when I say that, some how, Weather Lady senses that and goes back to the crappy weather. Hopefully, it wont this time. Sunday is supposed to be the hottest to date. I cant wait to let Abhi and Achu run through the sprinklers again.πŸ™‚

* I may have not finished decorating my home yet, but guess what I am doing. I am redecorating. Before our living room was complete, I proposed we sell our black leather couch. I didn’t think Murali would agree easily, but for some reason he did. So the half decorated room earlier is now completely empty. We just ordered a gray color couch online. And I am already worried about it. We tried out the couch in a local store here, we liked it. But still, online shipment and how the couch will actually look in our living room, I am not sure of that. Especially after selling a perfectly good couch. The only reason we sold it was that it was black and making the whole room darker. Well, we will see what happens. Fingers crossed.

* Our schedule with two pre-school kids and two full time working parents is still crazy, but its much better. We found one thing to help. Since I hate cooking and Murali and I both need clean kitchens, we outsourced cooking. Instead of Murali or me cooking everyday, or once a week, I order food from two home based cooking services. Kids eat the same, all though we still make them their favorites fresh every other day. This is so much help because our cleaning work is cut down in half. I need to get that dishwasher repaired and that should help too (I don’t know why I take too long to do things). Thanks to no cooking everyday, I find time for some house cleaning. Everyday, I clean something. Even if it takes only 5 mins and is all like turning our Chitti (Robot vacuum cleaner) on. Its a lot easier than focused one day cleaning marathon. I still need to get better at sticking to this rule.

* My dad is on WhatsApp; My sister is on Facebook. That’s the technological changes in our family. And let me tell you, I am loving it. No. I AM LOVING IT.πŸ™‚

* Kiddos are doing great. Kiddos are driving us crazy. Kiddos are making it so hard for us. Kiddos are making it so rewarding for us. That’s the parenting summary. Abhi and Achu will be finishing one year of pre-school this month. I know I am not happy with the teachers but for lack of better options and not make life more hard for us, we are letting kids continue here for next year. One more year and I will take a break, right. That plan is still on.

* I haven’t resumed my furniture painting this year yet, although I took some easy DIY projects. I still need to finish it. Hopefully this weekend would be a good start for the painting. We bought two awesome book shelves last weekend and I can’t wait to give it a nice and lively color.πŸ™‚