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My Little Two-Year-Olds Birthday

 Abhi and Achu turned two last Thursday. 🙂 🙂 🙂 I cannot believe it’s been two years already. If you ask me what we have done in the last two years, I have to say we had just normal days, but we made so many memorable memories. I was thinking this morning that with kids how life is all about little moments of happiness. There are no big vacations or trips or promotions to matter anymore.

All of our friends expected us to throw a birthday party for Abhi and Achu. But I had different ideas. I wanted the day to be about them rather than us running around to get the birthday planning done and see Abhi/Achu cry in the party. I will write about the alternate plans later when I finish what we had planned on.

The night before, I made Gulab Jamoon for kids. Wished Abhi and Achu deep asleep in their cribs at midnight. They have no idea about the special day, right! 🙂

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Little decoration. This room was actually supposed to be our family room. But we converted it to play room for kids. (I am working on it being so empty part)
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Sleepy Abhi at midnight.
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Sleepy Achu at midnight. With all that hair, sometimes I have to carefully look to see where her face is.

Murali and I took the day off and we also gave our nanny a day off so that we can spend time together on the birthday. We bought kids three gifts and some balloons. Abhi and Achu love balloons. In the morning when kids woke up, Abhi and Achu came downstairs and I remember the expression on Achu’s face. She was going to go touch the TV, but spotted the balloons in the play room and ran straight to see them. 🙂 “So many balloons”. She likes to say. 🙂 For few minutes they didn’t even see the new toys.

Abhi and Achu got a cute train set, two trucks and world map puzzle for gifts from us. (Not showing interest in the trucks for some reason; Nanny’s kid is playing with the toy set more than Abhi,Achu; And Abhi wants to eat the world map. 🙂 ) Toy train set is the cutest. In the morning, I started assembling and playing with it, you know. We gave Abhi and Achu bath and left for Temple. Achu wore a Chudidar set and Abhi, a kurtha and jeans. I got both the sets from India last year. They looked adorable (of course, it’s the mom talking 🙂 ). Achu, kindly allowed me to put the bangles on. Three bindis I put disappeared almost immediately (I am sure they landed in Abhi’s mouth). I usually pack the bindi packet on days like this when we go out. It comes in handy.

It was a short visit at the temple, with Ms. Achu refusing to stay indoors. When we take them to new places, Abhi likes to explore while Achu hates it until she gets comfortable and knows she doesn’t have a choice. So, she just sat in my lap and did nothing. Abhi roamed around a bit.

Our plan, next was to head to WiggleWorks, a play place for kids. Guess what, when we reached there, we were told there was an hour wait time, at least. Sigh. It was not worth waiting there anyway, so Murali found this farm and we headed there.

It was called Kelsey Creek farm with barnyards for different animals. Despite being a cloudy day ( and me forgetting to pack jackets) we roamed around for a good hour. Abhi and Achu had fun watching the animals and more than that, just running around in the new place. They spotted goats, cow, horses, pigs etc. Its funny how we think pigs in India are disgusting, but here, I was showing Abhi and Achu to see pigs. 🙂 For some time, Abhi and Achu ran around like there was no tomorrow. We did a bit of nature walk. Later, Abhi apparently touched a bunny and scared it while Achu insisted that instead of seeing the animals, she wants to push the stroller. You know, these days I have no need for any face masking software. I don’t have a single good shot of the kids capturing their faces. (Because of all the running around).

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Achu was very kind to say that she will feed cows, macaroni mammu and rasam mammu.
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Abhi does this run something like horsey run. And for some reason, he did horsey run through out the farm.
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Look at that amma … Horsie…

I had big plans to feed them lunch at a restaurant (They never ate a full meal out yet), but I fed some boxed food in the car since they were hungry. So, at the restaurant Abhi eats something and then vomits the good food I fed him. Hmm. Birthday or not, vomiting has to be there. (You know sometimes he stuffs his fingers in his mouth and vomits EVERYTHING out. Imagine how frustrating it must be for us. 😦 )

Anyway, we got home for their naps. Evening some of our close friends came home to wish Abhi and Achu. Nanny and her family, P with her husband, A’s family and of course on Murali’s special invitation, HIS friends, U and K (They were my friends and he stole them). My friend L got a pattu langa for Achu and Kurta for Abhi when she was coming from India. AA wore those dresses for the party. They got some cute gifts too. (Hahhh.. It’s so good to be kids, we all agree, right!)

Abhi and Achu went to sleep pretty late that night. Hey, its their birthday right. They get to stay up late and have as much fun as they can. 🙂

Proof

Me: Achu, Please don’t stand in your crib. Lie down please.

Achu: Why?

Me (Quite surprised at her first ‘why’ ask): Because its jo-jo time.

Achu: Why?

Me: Because you need rest.

Achu: Why?

(I answered and she asked another 10 whys. So I stopped. She was right anyway. What was I thinking. She doesn’t need rest.)

***

Abhi and Achu are attacking the laptop they just found, touching keys, screen, everything. Now, Abhi wants it all for himself.

Abhi: No Achu. Don’t touch Achu.

Achu: Why no touch Abhi?  Abhi is touching kada? (Abhi is touching, right?)

(Hearing this from the other room, I was simply shocked at her response. Even the tone was just like something we would use. She is going to be a bossy girl. And I am very proud of that 🙂 )

***

Achu was trying to crash something and I asked Abhi to tell her to not do that as it could fall on her.

Abhi: Achu. Don’t touch tree Achu. Okay, I will go now. (More than I want to, I tell them that I will leave if they don’t stop doing danger things like touching power cords)

Abhi stays in the room. But, goes around the fan keeping an eye on her. Then stands at the corner waiting.

Achu: No, Abhi. Don’t go Abhi. I am not touching now.

(If only this was happening all the time, I could let them take care of each other and relax. Don’t you think?)

***

Abhi wakes up in the morning, standing in his crib, crying. I ask him lie down and to go back to sleep. He keeps crying. Achu who was sleeping wakes up now. Looks at Abhi and says in the most soothing and calm voice ever,

“Abhi, don’t cry Abhi. Please Abhi kanna”.

***

Me: Abhi, How old are you? (Trying to teach them to say 2 years old)

Abhi: Biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig.

There it is. That’s all proof that Abhi and Achu are growing up.

Time With P

P moved out this week. She has lived with us for almost an year. I didn’t have anyone stay that long with me. First month, adjusting with kids was very tough. Once that happened, everything was perfect. We found a better nanny by then (our current nanny). Every evening, we would come home to Abhi and Achu, take them out for stroller walk, get the grocery shopping done etc. On Fridays, we had dance party when we all four danced. When Murali visited on the weekends, it was even better. We had fun times, good conversations, good food, teasing one another. Fun.

And then a month later, she got busy at work, a time when I needed it most. We used to barely see her. It was getting tough for me doing work, home and kids all on my own I had no choice, anyway. Many times Abhi and Achu were sick, she didn’t even know because she used to come after kids slept and left before they were up. I dealt with all that too. She was my guest and I couldn’t ask more from her. She was trying to help on the weekends anyway. I got over it and had good times with Abhi and Achu as much as I could. This was also the time I stopped cooking except for kids and ate whatever I made for them.

Right around the time  Murali was back to US, P’s work got better too. She was spending more time with us again. Helping us out whenever she could. Despite all the work, she took care of Abhi at nights for the most part of the year. Each time, each night I went to check on Abhi, she sent me away telling me that she is taking care of him. Honestly, except for my parents, I can’t think of another person who helped me that way in my life. This was the time I needed it THE MOST. And she was there whenever she could.

Those were such good times. We laughed so much. I knew that I had a habit of talking to myself while working (since there is no one else to talk to). I had that habit for years now. I know it looks weird to people who see me talking to myself. P got rid of that habit. She told me each time she heard me talk like that. So I stopped doing that. More than that, she was there to talk to me so I didn’t need to talk to myself anymore.

That was the time we spent together. I was really really crazy mad on her sometimes. Especially when she totally bailed out on me when Abhi and Achu were sick. When she added to my troubles because of the way she thinks and talks. But, the next time I saw her, I forgot all about it. I guess it comes easily to us to forgive our best friends.

I have been pretty mad and upset about the move and other things in the past one month again. Like how she is neglecting my advise to go see a doctor, how I am excluded from all the shopping and fun things they do while I get them involved in all of mine; how I am taken for granted. So many things. But, it’s all okay. I wont let all that bother me. May be, temporarily yes. But, not for long. All because of last one year. Specifically, because of that one night when she helped me until Murali came home. I was so terrified that night, out of my mind that I ran out of MY house literally with Abhi and Achu, not even buckled in their stroller. Without wearing shoes or jackets at 10 PM in the night. P came running behind me. Safely took me back home. God knows what I would have done that night. I know what I could have done. I would have put the kids in the car, and driven straight to a friend’s house at that time in the cold dark night, in to the mountains. I don’t think I would have reached my destination though. I was literally shaking. I didn’t do that only because P was there. I cried my eyes out that night. I had the worst headache of my life. And she was with me every minute until Murali came home. I think four of us owe her A LOT for that. For just that.

Her husband is joining her from India this week. She has been waiting for this week for over a year now. I am both happy and sad for her. And that’s because of their relationship. I have done my best in telling her to start fresh and forget everything that happened. If he needs to feel important, make him feel that way. Do whatever it takes. Start from scratch. I told her everything. More than I needed to. Since she is my best friend and she needs to know what she is doing wrong on her side. From what I see, she seems to like it when things go wrong. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know why. She feels better in responding to him with a sarcastic comment than try to be in good terms with him. Sometimes I think, she doesn’t want to be happy. I know she tried all she could and probably gave up. But, there is nothing like giving up in our relationships. She is not going to take any drastic decisions to separate (even though she has support from her family and us), so she might as well try harder. That’s what I think. As much as I am hoping she would do what we think is right, I don’t see that happening. I hope I am wrong. I will be very happy if proven wrong. She deserves to be truly happy.

We had such good times. And we will miss her so much. Despite the past, I truly hope that they have good times again and she gets to be a mom and be happy. Please do wish her good luck.

P.S: I have a post about work that I need to write, but I don’t think I want to make it public. And I don’t want to obligate any of you into reading it, so please ask me for a password and I will send it over. 🙂

Talk…Talk…Talk

So, gone are the single word or sentences Abhi and Achu say. Now, its time for conversations. Not that all these conversations make sense. But, questions are asked; questions are answered; Most of the sentences we say or repeated. In funny funny ways.

***

Achu is in crib, talking to the owl on the crib bumper.

“Owl, I am not biting you. Right. I am running. Fighting. Okay?”

***

We are on stroller walk when we spot the moon.

Abhi: “Half moon”

Achu: “Kissent moon” (Crescent moon).

Murali: “What happened to the rest of the moon?”

Abhi: “It fell down”

Later, Achu looked at the moon and said, ‘Eat it’. She also said she would just swallow it and it taste yummy. If you don’t know the see the moon tonight, you know what happened.

***

Abhi, Achu and I are playing with animal toys. Abhi takes out every animal and asks me, “What is this?”. Even though he knows what it is. I act like I am thinking and give him the name. Next time, he repeats the same answer. Picks up an animal. “What is this? Emmesee..Emmeseee. I think its tiger” (Let me see).

***

Abhi and Achu are big fans of timeout. Unlike other kids, they want to be timeout. True. They think they get to see the exotic closet when they are in timeout (until they realize they are alone in there). I did time-outs like few times until they got the real idea. We don’t do them anymore since just the word timeout is enough for them to understand that they are doing something wrong. Nevertheless, they dictate each other to go to timeout, very often. Achu does something wrong. Abhi tells her, ‘No Achu, go to timeout’. Achu says no and stops doing whatever she was doing (that was the best case scenario btw, half the times, they ignore each other).

Now, Abhi finds the cow toy and throws it in the bedroom, closes door and says ‘Cow, go to timeout’. I laugh and explain, cow didn’t do anything wrong and doesn’t deserve  a timeout. Abhi opens the door and talks to cow like we talk to him. “Good morning cow. Did you just wake up?” (See, he just exhibited a multiple personality in there 🙂 )

***

Abhi tries to bite me and stops. He knows he shouldn’t. Looks at me and repeats the whole conversation we would have had, had he bit me.

“No biting Amma. Okay? Go to timeout? No. Then, No biting Amma. Okay? Okay”. (I tell him he shouldn’t bite and he would go to timeout if he did.)

***

Abhi really wants to insist that I don’t go anywhere. That is why he always tell me, “Nont go amma”, instead of ‘Don’t go’. Makes sense. Doesn’t it?

***

Few days ago, Abhi learnt how to use the word ‘And’. Now the word pops up in all the sentences and he uses it correctly too. “Where is Nanna and Achu?”, “Bear and Haathi are sheeping” (sleeping) (LOL. Bear, Haathi are sheeping). Achu picked it up too. One night I was putting her to bed. Achu has this habit of holding few selected round things when going to sleep. Like a small ball. Now, when I put her in crib, she tells me, “Achu wants potatohead amma”. “Achu wants Yoyo amma”. “Achu wants potatohead and yoyo amma”. “Achu wants potatohead and yoyo and spider and corn amma”. All in one big sentence. 🙂

The First Week

So, its been about a week that we moved in. Like I mentioned, we didn’t settle down the way I had hoped. I took off work all of last week and had hoped I would get the settling in stuff, furniture shopping and decorations done by end of the week. Yes. I was a stupid to assume that. Abhi and Achu literally drove me crazy with their non-stop crying. Well, this is not the first time this happened. But, I had such high hopes to see my new home all set, so I was majorly disappointed and annoyed at their crying. Never mind all that now. I realized I cant have what I wanted and moved on. So, talking about what I liked in the first week,

♥ We bought a dining table this time for our new home and attached Abhi, Achu’s booster seats to the table chairs (That’s how they were supposed to be from the start). So, this was the first time Abhi and Achu were sitting at the dining table and eating. They settled in comfortably, facing each other at the table, while nanny or I sat in between to feed them. During lunch, they sang ABCD EFG song in complete chorus, looking and smiling at each other, while I watched them from the kitchen, all amazed, trying to lock the moment and the smile in my mind forever.

♥ Murali has been demanding non-stop that they add signs at every street turn that say ‘this way to Murali’s home’. If this was something at the entrance, I would have considered, but at every street turn leading to our home? Sigh. I imagine really adding something like that one day and surprising him. 🙂

♥ Speaking of Murali’s demands, another demand is now that we Murali moved to this community, the city add an extra road lane to reduce the traffic. Really. An extra lane from his office to our home. Maybe, the city can keep this just for him. Hey, that will also make adding ‘Murali’s home’ sign at every street easier.

♥ Murali and Pama figured out how the pipes work (two geniuses really. They just turned the knobs) and watered the backyard (which is quickly becoming my favorite place). It was a wonderful sight to see them water. Yayy! I have a beautiful backyard. 🙂 (and think about this. I have never been a garden person). I really cant wait for my mom and dad to come and see the backyard. They will just LOVE it. I think my dad will stay there all day and night. 🙂

♥ We have done what we always wanted to do. Moved Abhi and Achu’s crib into the same room. Our room, for now. This means that kids and us wake up many more times than earlier, but we are doing this. For few nights, Abhi and Achu even slept on the same bed. Achu’s sole objective that time was to find Abhi, put her legs/hands on him and disturb him.

♥ What happened on the moving day while inspecting window blinds will go unmentioned.

♥ Abhi and Achu have learned two new words now. Uptairs and Downtairs. Of course, the two words are continuously looped around. ‘Abhi wants to go uptairs’. ‘Abhi wants to go downtairs’.

♥ Abhi and Achu visited what would be their first school. Umm. That would be 3 years from now. 🙂 You know, some 5 years ago, Murali and I were in CA and visited P who was here, we came to this area; Particularly this school. We even hiked around this place. We had no idea then that this is where our future home would be. 🙂

♥ Dining table is still standing strong. So, someone did a good job assembling it.

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♥ Ex-residents of the home left a bunny seat around and Abhi, Achu liked it instantly. Here is Achu hugging the bunny, calling it ‘cutie cutie bunny’.

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♥ Of course, Sunday morning means, kids have to wake up early. Abhi and Achu woke up at 7 in the morning and ran straight towards the door. Oh! There is that big world and a new home to be conquered, right!

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Home Owners

So, on the 26th of June, Murali and I stepped out from work in the evening and bought Abhi, Achu a car each and the tiny little key to our new home. What a wondrous thing! Abhi and Achu turned both car owners and home owners in the same day.

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The next day, we picked a time that’s good for us to do the house entering ceremony. Stars were not aligning properly to give us a best auspicious time to enter the house. So, we picked one and let Abhi and Achu set foot in the house first. Problem solved. 🙂

Then came the moving phase. I don’t have a moving day to write about, because I have ‘moving days’ and ‘moving night’. Okay. Not that we had so much stuff to do, but it just worked out that way.

Anyway, its been a week we moved in, trying to settle in has been hard, especially with two kids continuously crying, ‘Amma, come here’, ‘Amma, come here’. You have no idea how much demand I am in right now. I got little things done here and there, but have so much more to do to setup my home. I have been waiting for this for so long now, so, I am going to take my time and get it done the way I want (I hope so).

And work, home and kids have been eating all my energy and time and I am postponing writing a lot. I need a push or the one thing I have always been asking for – Thoughts to Post Converter.