A Perfect Day Out

Ahh. God knows how long have I been craving for a proper vacation (Hmm.. more than 3 years.. Now you know too). Each time someone calls my last India trip of 4 months a vacation, my blood boils. That time was nothing like a vacation. I was doing nothing but working 24*7 (No one will believe it, I know 😦 ). One day, I went out with a friend and for two other days, I was dehydrated and sick, that’s all the time-off I got from my slavery. Murali promised me a Europe trip, but, you know, of course it didn’t happen. We were thinking of a trip to Hawaii; Guess what, it’s not happening. There was another planned vacation to the mountains with kids. Hmm. Now you know what I am going to say.

You might be wondering why I am starting off my post titled, “Perfect Day Out” with such negativity. Well, It’s lack of that vacation time is what made my one day off in many years perfect.

So, after my multiple beggings and reminders, Murali took one day off from his work. Really. One day off. I am telling you. Most of our teams disappear from work starting Thanksgiving and are gone the whole month of December. It’s considered a great time for time-offs and Murali took one day off. Sigh.

Anyway, We planned to visit the deception pass again. As it involves a little hike and lots of scenic views. I wanted to be sure we get something good out of our trip. We left in the morning after nanny arrived to take care of kids.  We grabbed yummy donuts for breakfast and set out for deception pass.

Interesting thing – the maps on my phone thinks that when I ask for directions, it can just give me a route with ferry on it without telling me. So, we drove for an hour and arrived at a dead end road, bay with ferry boarding and nothing else. Only when we arrived at this ferry boarding, did we completely realize (despite Murali saying that he thought the route was different 🙂 ) that we had to take the ferry instead of a road trip to get to the destination. So, that moment, we decided to ditch our original plan and instead go visit the Whidbey island through the ferry. (Of course, right. What trip goes according to the plan? 🙂 )

Ferry was readily available. We boarded it (we get to drive our car onto ferry too) and as soon as we parked, we went inside the ferry to catch the views. We took Abhi and Achu to another island on ferry in the summer. All that I wanted to do on the ferry that day was to watch the views along with kids. But all that Abhi and Achu wanted to do was run around inside the ship. So, nice thing, again. I got to stay quite and enjoy the beautiful views from the ferry.

Weather was chilling cold that day and it was cloudy too. Didn’t bother us much because we like it that way too 🙂 . We called it, “The day of Selfies”, as Murali clicked a ton of pictures of the two of us and ofcourse the beautiful views. It was cold but the breeze was enjoyable.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was a short ferry to a place called Clinton. Murali decided to go to Fort Casey state park. Apparently there was supposed to be a lighthouse in here that he HAD to see 🙂 . And he did. He kept driving until  he saw it. The views along the drive were so beautiful and I was okay with stopping anywhere in between, but he had to drive until he saw the lighthouse. Thanks to him we landed at the actual fort. The view of the bay from this fort was so beautiful. Add to that the sound of crashing waves. AMAZING. I love love love the sound. Apparently this fort was used to fire the barrels as you can see. They are HUGE. I didn’t read about the history here (no time), but I imagine it must have been some drama. I cant imagine firing those things onto incoming boats. Wow. Scary.

Being a cloudy day, it wasn’t crowded at all. We had some peaceful time enjoying the views, admiring the surroundings. We didn’t get to the bottom of the cliff to get near the water. We walked all around and were making sure that we don’t want to be those unfortunate people who fall down the cliffs while taking selfies. Seriously, the views were amazing, but it could be dangerous.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Here is one video for you (I seem to be liking this youtube video insert feature, so you may be delighted with more of these from now on. Consider this a warning. I also know I am very late to exploring this feature).

After that, we headed back to the nearest town for some shopping and lunch. Like a good homemaker 😉 , I packed some lunch, but, you know Murali. He will skip my food for anything else 😀 . We were looking for some nice restaurants, and there was this one little street with all the stores. That was the town’s happening place. After some scouting, we found a great looking small diner. Food/ambience was just superb. We had a sumptuous late lunch. These small towns are great for some little shopping too. The thrift store are my favorites. There are many interesting items to buy (for cheap prices too. We bought a flower vase, some time ago, for $3 that’s sitting on my island currently). We headed to a biggest thrift store around for some shopping (for home décor, of course) and left buying books for kids. Most of Abhi and Achu’s books are old/reused. And we bought some interesting books for them.

Then, we took the ferry back. Enjoyed the views a little more. On the way back, we headed to a toy store to get some Christmas gifts for Abhi and Achu. We usually buy them some toy/book, 24th of every month. So, this was that too. We got some puzzles, musical instruments, books, the most-fought-for toy as-of-now, a firetruck 🙂 .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the evening, we also did the musical band singing kids songs with the new musical instruments. That was so much fun. 🙂

That was our perfect day. Everything fell into place, despite the weather and changed plans, it was still perfect and enjoyable, most importantly some me-time for Murali and me. 🙂

She Has A Point, You know.

Those moments when Achu reasoned with us over something  quite validly (and was even right sometimes).

***

Abhi and Achu were jumping on the comforter set or something on the carpet, falling over each other. Murali got afraid that they were going to hurt each other when they fall on each other like that, so he told Achu not to do that and moved her away from Abhi.

Achu responds , “Sorry Nanna. I was just trying to cuddle with Abhi”.

***

I was on the bed at night, putting kids to bed (basically waiting for them to sleep so that I can sneak out of the room). I was hungry so I got a pack of biscuits with me and was eating it. Achu asked repeatedly if she can also eat the biscuit. I said no, because she already had her dinner and thought she might vomit everything. After repeatedly telling her she cannot have the biscuit, I told her seriously again.

Achu responds, “But Amma… I was just trying to eat food with you”.

***

Every night, when its their sleep time, I play some sleep songs on my phone. It’s mainly for Achu. Abhi doesn’t care much for these songs. Achu insisted for many nights, that only “Hush little baby” be played. One night, she asked me to play “Hushaby and not lullaby” song. I didn’t take her seriously and played the “lullaby, Good night” song because I thought that was the one she was referring to and thought she was wrong in naming the songs. As usual, she complained very much and I pacified her and told her ‘Lullaby’ was what she wanted. She didn’t give up. Every night she would ask the same. Suddenly, one night, I realized that there was indeed a song titled “Hushaby”. I felt sad that I ignored her and she was actually right all the way. I apologized to her and from the day on, she asks, “Amma, play hushaby not lullaby” and when I do it right, she tells me, “Yeah. This one Amma. This one.”

***

Once, I told her that I don’t have my phone with me and so I cant play the songs (get tired of all kids songs, you know 🙂 ). Achu obliged that day. Next night, she first asked me if I had my phone with me. I smiled, said yes and then she asks me to play her song. Now, she always checks with me first and then requests her song. 🙂

***

We were shopping on Costco once. Abhi and Achu were sitting in the cart. I was navigating the cart with Achu in it through the crowd (you know how it is). For a second there, I was checking out something towards my right and almost hit something. I avoided that at the last minute and turned the cart. Achu turns, looks at me and says,

“Amma, be careful. Don’t be scared.”

***

Each time, she tries to convince Abhi when he is crying. Like,

“Its okay Abhi. We can go to the park after we wake up.”

“Its okay Abhi, you can play in the bathroom after you do potty.”

“Abhi, first my turn. Then yours Okay?”

***

Achu found some stone work on my dress and asked me what it was. Just for pure amusement, I told her it was diamonds, told her to go to nanna and ask him to buy diamonds for me. Achu goes to Murali and asks,

“Nanna, can you buy diamonds for Amma? Can you buy diamonds for Achu? Can you buy diamonds for Abhi?”

I laugh and tell her that I only asked you to ask diamonds for me.

Achu replies, “But amma, I just want diamonds for everybody”.

Isn’t she generous? 🙂 That’s it. Diamonds for everybody. Murali is buying 😉

The Music Kids

So, we all are music people, right! We all love love love music. Let me tell you that we were serious about naming our daughter ‘Sarigama’, even before there was any kid in our lives. But then twins happened, that too a boy and a girl and we couldn’t find a good name that rhymes with Sarigama. So we went with something else.

Anyhoo, in particular, I love singing (okay, fine who doesn’t). I did my best to learn violin for couple of years. Three to be precise, but it still counts as couple of years. I am like RajniKanth, that way. However, the skill set I gained was nothing like that. Whereas the other adult in our family, learnt to play veena for many many years. He is the one who can pick an instrument and start playing it. Also can listen to a new song and play it pretty much neatly.

And when there are two little kids in the family, you can guess whom we want the kids to be like. Well, I don’t know if they will get to be like their dad yet, but Abhi and Achu, sure are our little cutie singers already.

Okay, if you thought, which kid doesn’t like music or sing, scratch all that above. Consider this is just a post about two kids singing randomly. I have totally lost track of what I wanted to write and blabbered. Plus, the delete button on my laptop isn’t working. Just kidding. I don’t want to erase all that I wrote. I am not drunk, I swear. I am just lost and hungry.

*** Actual post starts here ***

When my mom was here, she pointed out to me that Achu was good at singing. I knew kids were singing songs, but I noticed her better after my mom pointed it out. Achu was indeed singing more number of nursery rhymes, songs I sing with her etc. Abhi did too, but it had to be one of his favorites or some common nursery rhyme. I found her singing one of the Telugu songs I used to sing, repeating it pretty well too. My first super surprise came when Achu was talking to our nanny, responding to her questions and made a song out of it. I just couldn’t believe my ears. Nanny and I just watched her sing in complete admiration, “Okay Mamma. Okay Mamma…” (and something else, I forgot 😦 ), in the tune of a nursery rhyme she knows. I was just amazed. She saw us admiring her and she knew she has done something good. 🙂 So she continued her singing.

Other times, I would see Abhi and Achu singing rhymes or songs in chorus. The other day, I told them it was their nap time and sent them upstairs to sleep. Guess what they did. Sat in their beds and sang “Itsy bitsy spider” aloud and in chorus, finally skipped their nap time.

The day before, Abhi was saying sorry about something, and he sang, “I am so sorry” in a tune, repeatedly. I was just laughing.

For dinner tonight, we had moong dal and guess what Abhi and Achu sang, “Pesara mammu is yellow. White mammu is white. Amma’s dress is green. Nanna’s dress is purple” (We call yogurt our white mammu).

So, we parents did the right thing and got Abhi and Achu a set of musical instruments (That too on a deal). A set of maracas, tambourine, a triangle etc. The day we got the set, Abhi and Achu were super excited. Each of us picked up an instrument and marched in the living room, singing few songs kids know. Oh. That was pure joy. For few minutes (well, that’s what you can get with active toddlers), we were a perfect band; Singing songs, playing the musical instruments. I have seen them play with the instruments randomly, but we should do the band again. That was so much fun.

Tonight, Abhi and Achu were in bed after dinner and Abhi starts to hiccup. Since he is an vomit expert, I thought getting him out of the bed and letting him play for a while would stop the vomit. And that’s how we had our first family concert in bed. Again, singing nursery rhymes.

Here is one weird looking video of the wheels on the bus song they sang tonight while Abhi also provided some dance entertainment. For a minute there, I didn’t turn the camera light on because with that, kids would stop singing and start poking the light coming from the camera.

Just until few days ago (and even until now), I was amused and super happy about Abhi and Achu talking and I just cant be amused enough about their singing now. As their mom, I think they are just amazing singers. 🙂

*** The end… Of post ***

Run away now or the blabber begins again..i am still hungry.

First Snow At Home

So, I think I will just share the pictures of our first snow after we moved to our new home and not say anything. Honestly, I don’t need to. We have been waiting for our first snow and to see snow in our backyard from the time summer ended, that I think the pictures are just so beautiful. Of course, snow makes everything beautiful right.

This was also going to be Abhi and Achu’s first official snow. Last time it snowed back in February, we showed them a little peek of the snow from our patio and that is it. We didn’t dare take them out. However, Murali, P and I had fun making snow angels and with some snowball fights. 🙂 Huh. Good days.

So, the thanksgiving weekend, snow was predicted. It was no surprise because it was getting freaky cold. Literally, freezing cold. So much that I had to start wearing shoes to work (I hate wearing shoes but I love boots 😉 ). And so the waiting began. We constantly checked out to see if it was snowing. There was little hailstorm but no snow yet. All night, I kept checking for snow, gave up and went to bed.

Next day morning, Murali wakes up and voila! There it was. He wakes me up and we go check out our first snow at our home. 🙂 And then a ton of pictures happened. I turned into blanket queen and dragged that blanket all around the home, checking out snow. At first, snow wasn’t sticking that much, but slowly it increased. In an hour or so there was snow all over. And the whole place turned into a small part of Narnia. I sat by the bedroom window and just watched it snow.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Next thing to do was of course, wait for Abhi and Achu to wake up. As usual Abhi woke up first and we took him to the bedroom window to show him the snow. He wasn’t as excited as I was, but he watched all the whiteness around, smiling. Achu woke up a bit later, saw the snow. She was okay then, but later, she told me, in her words, “It is all messy Amma. You should not touch the snow. You should not build a snowman”. I thought she was probably the only kid who says that.

Untitled

We had donuts for breakfast. well, I did, mostly. I blackmailed Abhi into eating, but Achu just plainly refused. She said, “Donut is all squishy”. Hmm. Look at this kid. She doesn’t like donuts. She doesn’t like snow. Who doesn’t like snow or donuts. 🙂

 A while later, we took the kids outside, for a short walk. I never feel comfortable getting such young kids out into snow. We dressed them up right for the weather, yet I wasn’t feeling good. Anyway, we took kids to our neighbors backyard, where the other kids were playing. We only stayed for couple of mins. Achu refused to move in snow. She stood by what she said about snow being messy to her. We took couple of pictures with snowman and walked back to our front yard to play a little. Achu, of course,  said no throwing snow on her. Abhi and I threw snow at each other and had fun.

WP_20141129_066
Our home all snowed-up. 🙂

We went back inside and lived in the winter wonderland for another week. While I took care of the kids, Murali clicked all these awesome pictures. Snow started melting a day later, but the backyard and rest of it stayed in snow longer because of the cold temperature. Murali stepped into the backyard and built this snowman. Did I mention he was wearing shorts then? I don’t understand him sometimes. 🙂  On my awesome advice, he used almonds for eyes, mouth and nose and guess what, a bunch of crows emptied the almonds few hours later. Our snowman of course didn’t say anything (because of no mouth, you know 🙂 ), but for few days, Abhi and Achu remembered the story of how crows ate snowman. 🙂

WP_20141130_005
Achu named our snowman, ‘Skeleton’. Hmm. 🙂

Neighborhood was so beautiful too. Kids around slided a bit on our road. After it stopped snowing, sun was out and the place felt more shiny and beautiful. We are definitely waiting for next snow. This time I hope we will get to spend more fun time for Abhi and hope Achu will agree to touch the snow. 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Home Project – Backyard

So, guess what is happening? I have dreamed of owning a home for so long and now that we own one, I don’t have time to write about it. But of course, that doesn’t mean I am not enjoying it or having fun decorating it. I am doing that very much :). In fact, I go home décor shopping almost every week. If I were given a chance, I would do that everyday. But, as there is a budget limit for everything, once a week is good 😉 . So, today I thought I would finally start writing about our home, starting with our backyard. Hmm, because I have some pictures ready and also because it doesn’t look anything like it used to before. 🙂 Yep, Murali and I are officially on track to kill every plant in the backyard :). First, the hot weather helped us accomplish our task. Then it was extra rains and now the cold weather plus snow. Like I said, we are on track 🙂 .

Anyway, when we were house hunting, we didn’t have bigger backyards in mind (given our lack of gardening skillset and my extreme fear of insects). But, when we came to see this house, we just instantly liked everything. We loved the backyard, the space everything. In fact, our backyard is one of my favorite places in our home now.

Right after we moved in, the weather was just perfect for us to enjoy the backyard.  Walking in the grass, exploring the plants (confirming that the blueberry looking fruits from plant were indeed blueberries; That was some serious risk we took, you know, tasting the unknown  🙂 ), having tea, eating, reading, napping, we have done little of it all.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was very easy for me to buy décor for the backyard. Since I didn’t have any expectations on how my backyard should like (well, except for insect-free), I liked many pieces I saw. In fact, that patio table was the first piece of furniture we bought for the house. I had to buy these flowers for my kitchen island, but ended up moving it into the patio, along with an old water filter as a vase, because I liked it better here. (Or I needed something better for my island 🙂 ).

WP_20140712_007

The day I bought this owl, I decided spring will always be in my backyard, regardless of the season 🙂

WP_20140731_010

And now the front side.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So, now the state of the backyard is little lot different. Well, at least for the last one week, it looked better than before because of the first snow. It was so beautiful. I will save that for another post.  🙂