Little Moments

It was one of those mornings. It was my turn to take kids to school. I was already late, tired too. Add to that Abhi and Achu need to be told to brush, get dressed, eat etc etc, just about a 100 times.

Finally I get them into the car, trying to buckle Abhi in. Now the seat belt starts acting up. I am trying to push it in. It wont click. Sitting between both the kids, I keep getting more frustrated. “Oh. Commonnnn”. I yell in frustration. Achu who was right next to me, puts her palm on my hand and gently rubs my hands. “Its okay Amma”, she says, trying to calm me down.

That, if you ask me, is one of the most precious things a four-year old can do. Showing compassion.

***

Abhi and Achu sleep on their own, but by the wake up time, they usually end up in our bed. Even though Achu is in our bed, she usually just wants to cuddle up with her blanket. Unlike Abhi, who is all into cuddling with me. He comes to my bed, I make space under the blanket and he sleeps on my hand as his pillow. And when I wake up in the morning, if he is awake he gives me the most beautiful smile. That’s my morning routine; To wake up and find him smiling.

Yesterday morning, he was sleeping on my hand pillow as usual and I asked him to move. My hand was hurting and so I told him he could go play. Instead, he asks me, “Amma, remove your hand”. I move my hand and he goes to sleep on the pillow directly instead and tells me, “I still want to sleep next to you, Amma”. πŸ™‚

The other day, I was full asleep. I know Abhi was up; he was poking my nose, trying to open my eyes. πŸ™‚ Finally, he gets up to go play and before he leaves, gives me a sweet little kiss on my cheek and walks away. πŸ™‚

I can’t stop going aww on my morning routine with Abhi. I so wish Achu was more cuddly too. But she is pretty happy snuggling with her blankets. πŸ™‚

***

Just this last weekend, when we were out shopping, Abhi was running around and fell down. He scraped both his knees pretty bad. This one, actually, was the biggest scrape he got, needing biggest band aids etc. You and I might feel bad about kids getting hurt, but kids actually are fascinated about getting band-aids. I mean, we don’t even have the fancy ones, still. This time, I had Abhi sitting in my lap, I was trying to clean him up and instead of caring for the pain, he was comparing his scrape to the one Achu got last time, discussing with Achu, which one was bigger. All of us surrounding him were worried because this looked like a bad one, with more blood etc, but he wanted to know if he was getting band-aids and if his hurt was bigger.

I couldn’t stop smiling that time over silly things kids to. He is better now, still has his bandages.

***

While we call kids Abhi and Achu at home, they also have various other names. Murali calls Achu, Lalli. Sometime back it was Chikki. Now I call her Chikki too. I also call her Achamma, Achu Talli. Achu Kanna. I think I may have forgotten half of the names already. I also use the same names for Abhi. I call him Abhi Kanna. And one day he decided to call me back Amma Kanna. I was so amazed. I mean, I know kids love me, but when they decide to show that love even in tiny form, I feel so amazing. It’s not just the words he uses, but the way he calls is special too. He is the only one who has pet names for me.

He also calls me Ammi. Possibly because it rhymes with Abhi. “Abhi, Ammi – Β Best friends”, he says. πŸ™‚ Recently I started also calling him “Chinna Babu”. Which means “Small kid”. I think I was trying to remind myself that despite all the complains I get that he doesn’t listen, he is just a small kid and he doesn’t have to listen. So I call him that and made up a song for him calling him “Chinna babu. Cutie babu”. Now he asks me to sing that song for him. He loves to hear me say those words to him.

All this love and the way he cuddles and hugs me all the time, I sure hope he will do that for a long time. πŸ™‚

 

Picture Post

Because I am so overdue on my blogging and I need to write something quick and easy, I will do a picture post today. πŸ™‚

This one because it shows our sunny shiny summer weather, and also Abhi’s necklace. Abhi made this shell necklace on a knitting thread, with help from Murali and he wore it for the longest time. He didn’t take it off for days. He lost it when the thread finally wore out and broke. But he looked so damn cute with his shell necklace. πŸ™‚

IMG_0109

Here are my little kiddos having a chat in the front porch. I have a yellow rocking chair, and I painted a tiny lilac colored rocking chair for them, still my yellow chair is their favorite.

IMG_0369Achu is obsessed with her treasure box. This was something she hung on to for days. She still hates to wash her hair. Giving her a headΒ  path is big challenge for us. But when she finally does, I put her in this koppu sometimes and that’s my reward looking at that cute head. πŸ™‚ Here she is calming down after a crying session, with help from her treasure.

IMG_0676Kids come up with the weirdest stuff. We were dining at P’s house and kids came up with this motorcycle cum sleeping station.

IMG_0687

One another treasure collection from Achu.

IMG_0703

I really love how kiddos have picked up on their reading skills. While they have so many other distractions, reading always calms them down. Here is my little gal reading on her own, sitting for some reason in the middle of the play room.

IMG_0796

One thing I wish we were doing better is with taking kids biking. We don’t give them the opportunity much, taking two bikes in our tiny car to a flat place where they can bike without distractions is a hassle for us. Hopefully next months will be different.

But when we can, we use the garage to make space for them to bike.

IMG_0822

Summer time is also about carnival rides. As kids grow up, they are continuing to show interest in rides. And I love the rides too. So I am glad. Achu is more into rides now. This one below was at their little friend Y’s birthday party. I took all the three kids on the rides. While Abhi and Y were scared and wanted me to slow down, Achu wouldn’t want to slow down. Later on, I took her on this ride again, just she and me. I got almost dizzy with how fast we went. She and I both just loved it.

We were at another Summer carnival just last weekend, and I got to go on a ride with my dad. Kids did their own too. Abhi tried Bungee Jumping (more like a bigger trampoline πŸ™‚ ). Achu went on a big-ish ride, all by herself. At some point during the ride, she actually looked bored. She looks ready for more.

IMG_0849IMG_0876

Did I mention how much we love reading? We definitely don’t do enough of it anyway, but when we do, we love it. This one was one hot weekend, we settled in the backyard and read books.

IMG_1014

Yeah, talk about silly things kids do. One of my summer goals was to go on as many walks as I can with kiddos. Last week, I said let’s go for a walk and Abhi heard that as – Lets pack our school bags, books and toys and go on an exploring camp. Achu tagged along in the same way, of course. So I took them on a little trail instead of our regular route, and they pretended to collect random things. At some point during the walk, Achu was walking on the trail with her school bag on the back, reading a book. Right. Walking is when you read books. πŸ™‚

IMG_1034

We celebrated Tatha’s another birthday this month. Just two years ago, my parents were here and we got to repeat it this year.

IMG_1049

Tattadadaaaaaaaa.. Look at our new toy. An inflatable pool for kiddos (and adults too. πŸ™‚ ) Kids love it. And have been playing games, slides, cooking shows in the pool, every other day. Here they are making water-angels. Thats how I get Achu to get wet. Otherwise, she would be in the pool, the whole time and not get wet at all.

IMG_1177

Camano Island State Park

I swear I want to write about every weekend as it ends, because spring or summer weekends are such a big deal for us and we want to cherish them as much as we can, to remember the whole year. But then life happens, laziness happens and I forget. Our San Diego trip happened a year ago and I still haven’t written anything about it. Sigh! I may have already forgotten those happy moments. I should have written them down.

Anyway, coming back to this summer, like I said, we are trying to make our weekends special. One outing at least one day of the weekend.

Weather has been super crappy this year for us. I know I have said this before, but seriously we lost all of Spring to rain and now summer sunny days are sparse too. Just this weekend and today, it feels like we are living on a hill station. You know the weather? Foggy, little drizzle, bit cold, etc. And to call this almost summer, sigh!.

Among the very few sunny days we had, our first weekend trip was to Camano Island State Park. We live real close to the bay and there are ton of parks around with water and views. Murali and I visited this park in pre-kids era. I don’t remember much from that trip but this one with kids was a good one.

IMG_0123

This day was still a bit windy, given its next to the water, but also warm enough so the wind wasn’t a bother. We got here some time in the afternoon, with food packed. Place wasn’t too crowded and kids had fun throwing rocks into the water, eating pizza while playing.

IMG_0126

One of the funniest things that day happened when Achu was eating her pizza, a dog came in and just snatched her slice. Achu let go of her slice but wasn’t scared at all. It was so funny – dog ate my pizza. πŸ™‚ We laughed about it the whole day. While kiddos played by the water, Murali and I took walks (not together of course), ate food. I got to sit calmly and read a book. Murali even got to take a nap.

IMG_0170

IMG_0174When we were leaving, kiddos found this little log house and pretend camped. We need to take them real camping some time.

IMG_0183

It was such a quiet and relaxing day. A good summer day. Seriously, we need to be rid of this weather and need our summer days back. Please give us our summer back. Please….. πŸ™‚

Special Birthday

Murali celebrated a milestone birthday last month. He turned 40. And as he keeps cringing about me publicly labeling that he turned 40 (well, he did. Didn’t he? πŸ™‚ ), I keep on doing it. My super awesome plan was to do something extra awesome special because it is a special birthday, but I also ended up planning it super awesomely but not doing anything until exactly a week before the birthday.

So on T- 5 (okay, less than a week), I look around and realize I haven’t planned anything special and also realize that I should have. Too bad. It was too late anyway for anything fancy. So I decided to throw him a simple party with few friends. We threw him a total surprise birthday party back in 2014, and I know he is not a big fan of surprises or even celebrations, so it should be okay keeping it simple.

Murali conveniently turned 40 on a Saturday, so that was a win for us. So, on Monday before , I pinged a couple of our friends; Literally sent them a save the date text with little details. Ordered cake on Wednesday. Food on Thursday. Confirmed timings to friends on Friday. That is it. That was all I did (Yes, disappointing for a 40th birthday, I know).

Oh! I also ordered special 40th birthday T-Shirts for him to wear. I didn’t leave any opportunity to remind him of his new age. πŸ˜€

On the D-Day, Murali went fishing in the morning with his colleagues. I actually super encouraged him to go so that I can get some chores done while he was gone. You see, I didn’t even get a chance to buy any birthday decorations, and I had to do all that on Saturday, dragging kids with me.

Abhi and Achu, though were very excited about birthdays and celebrations, and I am glad they are. I want them to be like me when it comes to birthdays. πŸ™‚ Β After Murali left (which was pretty early), I got kids ready and headed to the party store first. We got some decorations, paper plates etc, again, all of them to remind him about turning 40. πŸ™‚

And while heading back home, we stopped at a spa and made a massage appointment for him, for the same morning. We all went home and our plan was to decorate before Murali came in but he was early and pulled-in right at the same time. We hid some of our decorations. Later Murali put on his new t-shirt and we sent him to the massage and got the decorations done. Went to store again to pick up few more party stuff and also the birthday cake.

Initially, we wanted to do an India theme birthday party for him, since he just came back from India and wouldn’t stop talking about the food and his trip, in general (even before he left). But that didn’t work out. You know because of my super awesome planning skills. πŸ™‚ So, I at least wanted to get him a fun cake. I found this on a T-Shirt on the internet but couldn’t find the shirt anywhere. So I got it on a cake. πŸ™‚

image.jpg

Few friends couldn’t make it to the party, so they came over in the afternoon to greet. Then, we passed time until friends came over. Took a trip to the near by water preserve – Β a little hike with kiddos. Evening time, our close friends (our Friday meetup gang) got here first. So we had time to just enjoy by ourselves. Soon, others started arriving. I love to see my house full of people. Everybody chatting, drinking, and having a good time. One thing i ordered special for the birthday was food. I ordered all of Murali’s favorites. I ordered his favorite mirchi bajji that we have been gobbling down every Friday for past couple of weeks but took a break. Dinner was the same. His favorite Andhra foods along with cut mirchi again. People were confused but I wanted him to have all of what he liked the most. πŸ™‚ We had mudda pappu and avakaya, with ghee, and its a very special food for us. Β Everybody loved it. I was told I could have just made that ready and not order any other food. πŸ™‚

Some time later, kids blew the candles, we cut the cake. People were already full on heavy snacks and nobody wanted to eat soon anyway. P came up with this idea to play dumb charades and by the time we started to play all the guests were Telugu speaking people. And the next two hours was so much fun. We all laughed out loud. Everybody had fun. We did girls vs boys, and turned out boys were very bad at playing the game. We pretty much won. It’s been a long time I had fun laughing out loud like this. Totally loved it. Kids also played on their own, somewhere in the house, and had fun on their own.

Way late into the night, every body ate and left. It was almost mid-night. This was also the first time kids stayed up this late.

All in all, even though I didn’t plan to throw a most awesome super fun party for a special occasion, we all had fun spending some lovely time with friends.

Here is wishing more of happy birthdays and happy celebrations. πŸ™‚

P.S: How do I say one more time that Murali turned 40, so I can annoy him more? πŸ™‚ Wait, I just did. Heheh. πŸ˜€

 

This and that, again

I don’t know how to get into a rhythm again. Until then random things it will be.

  • Finally after seven generations of iPhones, Murali and I decided we should get an iPhone. Even with that I wasn’t sure, but for Mother’s Day, Murali just went ahead and gifted us both the new phone. Why is the dad receiving a gift on Mother’s Day is something I will ignore. 😊 I do like the phone, but what I like more is that we bought something we really didn’t need. Something of an nice to have but not necessary. We don’t do much of that at all.
  • I watched Guardians of the Galaxy movie recently and I love the idea of coupling action sequences with old songs. Especially the soundtrack they have in the new movie. I so love watching movie these days.
  • I swear there is a better reason for my lack of blogging. Two reasons actually. I have been recently trying to make time for things I need to. Successfully that is. First one is more exercise. I have joined the yoga classes again and I simply love it. And thanks to a work friend, I have also been making walking trips more than I did before. Bought a fitness watch to go with the routine and now I am serious about making 10k steps every day. I hope the hard work pays off and I lose couple of pounds. All in all, I feel better just getting som exercise into my day. Second reason being that I am also able to make time for reading books. More on what I am reading later, but I am happy what I am getting to read.
  • Weather’s been not so great this year. It’s supposed to be summer for us now. Temps are better but the days are cloudy still. Rain keeps coming back now and then. It’s not so great but at least it is better than crazy winter cold, right?
  • One of my highlights of the past couple of weeks is our Friday evening gathering. We have been trying to meet with couple of friends every week. Except for one or two instances in the past couple of months, we did this regularly. And it is so much fun. Initially there used to be so much snacks that we never got to dinner. Then we started skipping snack. With summer evenings, we head out for walks some times. Kids hang out together and we used to play cards. Last weeks we have done late night movie. It’s so much fun and this is one event we look forward to every week. Hope we continue this routine. We so need this.
  • And that will be the end of my random things post. Also the first one I wrote from my phone . πŸ˜ƒ

This And That

Every time I decide to take a little break from blogging, I don’t intend to go long, but I start putting it off by day, another day and suddenly I haven’t written anything down for a month. And when I finally want to, I have no idea what to write. There are just so many things, I could take this as my third full-time job πŸ™‚ . But I wont. So, I will resume with some random things.

***

As Abhi and Achu grow up, I love sometimes how I can have little grown-up conversations with them. As the only person in the world caring about Abhi and Achu learning proper Telugu (its true, I am the only one trying πŸ™‚ ), I play Telugu songs on our drive to school. One day, Achu asks,

“Amma, What is this song about?”

“It’s about falling in love Achu”

That was a guy singing the song, so she immediately asks, “With a pretty girl?”

Now, how this concept of pretty girl came up is unknown to me, so I tried to correct her.

“With any girl Achu. Or even a boy”. I threw a boy in there as well, just to show her its okay. πŸ™‚ She didnt have any other further questions about falling in love with a boy. Goes to show what standards society sets on kids and us. Doesn’t it? They know nothing about color, gender. Society or we teach them all these things.

Today, she asked me what another song was about. It was just a party song and instead of mentioning it, and since they don’t understand the language anyway, I started to tell her about little things, they need to know about. Even though Abhi is not an active participant in some conversations, he is ALWAYS listening. πŸ™‚

“This song is about how every one is special, Achu”.

“Ohhhh..”, she goes. And that leads to a little conversation between Abhi and Achu about how we all are special. Mission accomplished. πŸ™‚

***

Murali just got back from a 2 week-long business trip to India, that by all stories sounds like it went awesome. He had fun and ton of good food. He toured Mumbai, Delhi, Agra and Hyderabad in 10 days πŸ™‚ . I am so glad he got to go on this trip.

I have to say this though. This trip just proved how negative I get in my thinking. From the moment his whole trip was getting planned, I was joking in my head, with all the things going on now, how will he go to India and come back in 2 weeks. I was sure there would be something coming up. But every time I had this negative thought, I remembered how much he wanted this trip to happen. So every time I thought something would not happen right, I reminded myself, “Why not? Why would it go wrong?”. And looks like it didn’t (Touch wood) and he had super fun.

I, on the other hand, had a terrible time managing kids and home and work. I don’t want to talk more about the time. Murali came back with a box of Jilebi and that made up for the accidents in that week. πŸ™‚

I also realized what my dream vacation is. It is this: Check-in to a luxury hotel. Not leave the room. Order room service. Only Indian food, of course. Watch TV and eat. No kids or other grown-ups allowed. πŸ˜€

***

Weather here sucks SO MUCH for us, you have no idea. Its been a month almost Spring season sprung up on us, but only in theory. Its been raining for months now. We haven’t had a good warm and sunny day this year. Last year this time, we already toured multiple places, without jackets. And this year, we are still stuck with thick jackets. I hope weather gets better.

 

Important Questions

As three-year olds turning four, there were few things very very important to Abhi and Achu. You know, for you and me, its like can I have put healthy food on the table on time? Am I being a good mom? Are we healthy?, etc. For kids, it’s quite different.

For example, favorite color. That day or even that hour. Kids casually ask us all the time, “Amma, Do you know what my favorite color now is?”.

For some time it was purple for Achu. Black for Abhi. And that did change several times after that. Achu was at Orange last week. Abhi is back to Black and Grey.

This week she made some slimy blue thing at school. I told her that was good she tried a new color and she says, “But amma, you know I don’t like pink now. I like blue and yellow”. When she joined her old school she went through a pink crazy phase. And we tried a lot to make her pick all colors. Hopefully that’s working now.

Now, another quite popular one. “When is Halloween Coming?” This is really hard to answer, especially on the day after Halloween.

“It’s a long time away Abhi.”
“Nooooo”. World war breaks out.

Then I learnt to give better answers.
“Its only 11 months away, Abhi”. I say with a super excited voice.

“Yayy! Halloween in 11 months”. Poor things. They can’t tell how long the time is yet.

On a related note, Achu asked for a puppy for the longest time. Like, every night, before we go to bed, that was her question. she is also very good with petting dogs. While she might be better to take good care of dogs, they are still lot of work. And I am not over taking care of these babies yet, so one day, I told her, she can get a puppy when she turns 10.

Now, I was ready to hear her protest and all, but she was okay. Poor kid again, she doesn’t know that her turning 10 is a long way from now.

Well, good for me. πŸ™‚ So come back and check on later, in 5.5 years, we will be getting a puppy then. πŸ™‚

All of last year, question was “When am I turning four?” Now that they are four, next question is, “When am I turning five?” “You will be five in 5 months”.

They are patiently waiting on counting down months.

We are not done with favorites yet. Next important thing is, “What is the favorite season?”

Obviously spring and summer are top choices. But sometimes Abhi goes, “Its fall. I can watch leaves fall and change colors”.

The most important question of all, “Are you happy, Amma?”. When they were three or almost four, they would ask me this question every day. It mostly came from when one of them did something wrong and comes back with an apology, they ask me if I am happy to make sure we are back to normal. The other one does too, just to make sure he/she is not in trouble for whatever happened.Β This one I haven’t heard in months now. So, I guess it’s not important that mom is happy anymore. πŸ™‚