The One With Four Trips In A Day

Last Saturday didn’t start off well for me. Despite heavy disappointments on Friday, I had an awesome day, that day, doing something I always wanted to. That evening felt glorious, but as the night passed, the disappointment kept coming back to me and Saturday morning felt crazy. But there was this new confidence and good feelfactor with me because of Friday and I decide to go for a walk. This was probably the first time I ever went for a morning walk in a long long long time. But I came back to crazy kids and my restless mood. Day was getting hotter and kids, more crazier. So, I took them out to their favorite swing park. Swing park time for me means, switching between the two kids swinging, pushing their swings, say, every 30 seconds. Despite my mood, it wasn’t bad.

We headed home some time later, my mom fed them lunch, we got them to their afternoon naps and I decided to do something about fixing my mood. What else can fix my mood? Shopping for home decor. 🙂 I had a list of things to shop for and I headed out with my parents to my favorite place. Any store that sells home decor. 🙂

My mom is very fond of malls and then we went to was not that big, but it was very nice. I bought a pair of wind chimes for the front porch (same for amma, too). We spent quite some time deciding on what flowers to buy for the vase I was adding to the loft. We also bought flip-flips for everybody, like 6 pairs. We bought one of each color available. 🙂  I was looking for a summer wreath for the front door, but I instead bought two wall hangings; One for my living room that says, “Enjoy Your Summer” (which we plan to) and one for kids room that says “You Are My Sunshine” (Yes, they are). There was this baskets I was looking for, for flip-flop storage, but didn’t end up buying any. We also bought new flip-flops for Abhi and Achu.

I do like shopping on my own now, but it was very nice to have someone to talk to actively and decide what to buy. There was also this candy my dad picked up, which we emptied, pretty much before we got into the car. Shopping happily, eating candy, with people who care. Bliss. Even otherwise, shopping really puts me in good mood. I came home a happy gal.

See, this is why I need to shop regularly for home decor. 🙂 It helps me heal and forget things. After we came home, we got the kids ready and took them to the nearby park, that we all have come to love. And this park trip was such fun, I almost forgot all about my bad mood. There are some farm animals in here, a little trails around, swings again, a special tire swing. Just such a sweet one. Even though Achu insisted on swinging again, we took the little trail to get to the special tire swing, only to find kids ditch the swing and occupy the park bench with us. My dad, who loves to freely lie down on the grass (and thinks all the grass here is clean – comparing it to India :)) just relaxed on the grass. Next Murali joined him. Abhi then. And Achu. I didn’t try, but it was such fun way to relax. We all teased amma about not packing pulihora and vadalu, because food would have made that trip perfect.

This is how we relax
This is how we relax
A weird tree and a dancing Achu
A weird tree and a dancing Achu
Check this tree out
Check this tree out
Happy people
Happy people

But of course, there was food. A new restaurant opened up near our home and while all the guys, headed down there to get food, us ladies, stayed back in the park and enjoyed more of swing time. Well, Achu and me did. Amma relaxed next to us on a nice bench. I love the swing settings in this farm. It overlooks the end of the park, a nice road and huge trees. It’s just so beautiful to be swinging over there. If we ever do a party for kid’s birthday, this might be the place. Kids didn’t even go see any farm animals this time, but they did pet a cat and Achu, of course, pet a doggy named ‘Dynamo’. She LOVES dogs. 🙂

We came home and amma, again took over the dinner duties feeding kids, while I enjoyed a super yummy Mango Kulfi, Murali saved for me. It was so yummy. The day before, I promised Achu, I would take her on exclusive bike ride time (our second bike broke, so kids had to share one and Achu didn’t like that at all). So, past dinner, we made another trip to the school park for more kids fun time.

A nice summer evening
A nice summer evening

This is the beauty of summer. Outdoors time is endless. We can stay outside as long as we can and as late as we want (well, I mean, a little more than usual).

This was one truly nice Summer day and we used it to the maximum. Four trips in a day and I, actually, went to bed that night with swollen legs, but no complaints 🙂 We love you, Summer. 🙂

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The Sleep Story

Kids sleep story has always been a crazy one. First, with both of them sleeping in the same room, then split to different room, then again, back to one (because of necessity), split again and then finally, after we moved to our home last year, sleeping in the same room with us.

After I started prepping Abhi and Achu’s bedroom, few weeks back, I was really hoping that a new room would motivate me and the kids to sleep on their own beds and in their own room. But it wasn’t happening. The reason was me. I, somehow, couldn’t come to terms with kids sleeping in a separate bedroom, without my supervision over-night. It was something I really wanted to do, because I know kids needed that, but also something I didn’t have the courage to do so. Well, it wasn’t like, if there was an intruder at night, I would fight him and save the kids, but if there was an intruder, I would at least like the kids to be in the same room as I am. I knew it wasn’t practical, but I couldn’t just do it.

Enter the crazy kids. Abhi stopped wanting to sleep in the crib. Achu wanted to sleep late and wake up early. Abhi wanted to do the opposite and wake Achu up early. Resulting in a cranky Achu. Well, and me. So, I thought I would separate the kids again. One of them would sleep in the kids bedroom with Murali and the other one with me in our bedroom. That way, all is well. Everybody gets to sleep and kids are monitored at nights.

It turned out kids had different plan. Because of the brand new room, and crazy big beds. Aha. Who wouldn’t like that right? First night, I was going to move Achu into the new room, Abhi tagged along. Don’t remember how, but we were talking about who will sleep on the yellow bed first and how they will take turns. They still wanted one of us to stay in the room until they fell asleep (They take a sweet one hour every night), but at least they were not complaining about not wanting to sleep in cribs, or about wanting to sleep in our big bed. Okay, I gave up. If kids thought they were ready, how can I deny that? I have to say, even after they fell asleep, I would constantly check on them every hour to see if they are still in the room. I thought Abhi would roll-off the bed, despite the rails, so I checked again. I pressed and pressed the baby monitored to make sure it was working. For few nights, it really wasn’t going well for me. But, slowly, I got used to that idea. I still worry a bit, but I am better than before, I guess. Even now, I tend to run crazy every time I hear them wake up (which is at least once every night, if I am lucky).

So that was going well, I guess. The next thing to do was to make them sleep on their own, without anyone staying in the room. It’s not that we have to help them sleep, only stay in the room, browsing on my phone until they sleep. I still wanted to get rid of that habit, so that I could go eat or work. This was the time when my favorite “Powerpuff girls” show came up (Bubbles is my favorite). Abhi and Achu were crazy about the show, only because we didn’t let them continue watching it (we didn’t think they were ready yet). I just used that craziness to make them sleep on their own. I told them, they could be strong and brave like Powerpuff Girls. It took couple if nights for that talk to sink-in, but it worked finally. That one night, Achu told me, “Amma, you go out and don’t come back. I will sleep on my own and I will be stronger like ButterCup”, I was so on top of the world. Seriously. 🙂 Soon, there was requests for big hugs and big kisses, a little bit of bed time reading and lullabies playing, and we left the room in few minutes. I still have to answer a ton of questions over baby monitor. Like if they could do susu in diaper or if I am done eating or ” when is my father coming?” 🙂 Yesterday night, Quite a few times, one of them asks “I want my amma or nanna” and the other one says, “Amma is eating mammu. She will come after she eats”. 🙂

After the switch, the morning routine was a bit crazy too. Me shifting one of the kids into our room to let the other one sleep, but, overtime it got so much better. Cut to now, kids wake up on their own schedule, and walk into our room by themselves for an extra nap with me. Last week, they woke up at the same time, talked to each other for few minutes and came to me, telling me “We got everything we need”. Everything was  a book, two blankets, a green dinosaur toy. Achu, almost always want to nap with me, while Abhi wants to go and play already.

The schedule keeps changing once in a while, especially with sick kids and Murali’s tendency to fall asleep with kids, but its pretty nice to feel that we crossed another milestone. Kids sleeping on their own, in their own bedroom, own twin beds. But of all, them waking up in the morning and coming to me for cuddles. That is the best part. 🙂

The one with Rainbow Ice-creams and Splish Splashes

I made a mental note of my summer wish list recently (Well, given that there are some 100ish posts that I wanted to write about, but never did, mental note will have to do for now) and the main goal is to make most of the sunny evenings and weekends. And hopefully write about those eventful weekends.

So here is how the last weekend went. Saturday was still part of our sick week. As expected, it took a full week. Sunday to Sunday. It was super hot that day, but I wanted to let the kids rest and make up for the low energy levels (only in my mind, of course) and sleep deprived kids (and adults). So we stayed home most of Saturday and headed out for a Costco trip after kids woke up from their nap. I bought a little cute dress for Achu and I cant wait to see her in it. While heading back, I was a little guilty of making kids spend the sunny day, grocery shopping, so we decided to take a detour and take the kids to the town center. There is an open escalator that is some what of a thrill ride for the kids, plus a musical play area, which is fun for kids.

Or so I thought. But kids had other plans. While we were getting to the escalator, what do we see? A Splash place. I have no idea why kids didn’t splash here before. But, once they walked near this, there was no backing off. Kids were just getting off of the cold and cough, but neither of us stopped them. We just couldn’t because they were so excited to jump right in and get all wet. Abhi, especially. And we didn’t even have backup clothes for them. Just in about five minutes, Abhi was all wet, laughing out loud each time he splashed his face with water. Achu was warming up, getting wet here and there, still happy and having fun.

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One of my summer wish list items is to dress up Abhi and Achu in shorts as much as I can. I just love to see them in shorts. They look the cutest, Don’t they? 🙂 Okay. I know. It’s the mom talking. 🙂

Achu usually does take a little time to warm up to any place and I don’t believe in forcing her (Once in a while I do, when I know she is all right, but only a little hesitant). I think it is always better when she decides on her own that she is comfortable with the place she is at and she decides what she wants to do. Abhi was all wet that evening, like the rest of the kids. But Achu only a little. I wished she could get all wet like Abhi and have more fun, but if I really forced her into it, it wouldn’t be fun for her, right? I let her choose her definition of fun, and as long as she is happy, we should be too.

Anyway, after a while, we forced kids to get out of the place. We really had to drag Abhi out in fear of him getting sick again. 🙂

Later, plans were made for the next day to go to the Zoo. It was only post lunch on Sunday when we finally headed out. That was after a lazy backyard breakfast, cleanup, backyard playtime, forced lunch etc. And what I didn’t anticipate that day was how hot it was. The zoo we drove to ended up being a smaller one than the last one we had been to and I was actually very thankful for it. The weird thing about this zoo was that it was equally expensive like the big one and then there were more number of bronze animals than real animals. What kind of zoo has that? Abhi observed that all the animals (bronze ones) were hot and we had the opportunity to teach them why. Also, lucky us, we got to see the cougars and tigers. And a beautiful beautiful white tiger. My! Was it majestic? Although I don’t want to be anywhere close to it. It was so hot that afternoon, most of the animals didn’t seem to be in the mood to stroll. Except for a pair of macaws, screaming like crazy (which according to Murali’s diagnosis is also due to the hot weather). There were lemur, many beautiful birds, Lama, and so many bronze animals (that is what I remember most). There was also a bronze dinosaur with a weird structure and tail named T-Rex, and now I am doubting the authenticity of the zoo.

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So, alright. Zoo wasn’t as much fun as we had hoped. But what came next, certainly was. Ice cream. Murali gave in to the hot weather and bought us ice-creams even before I asked (in fact, he apparently was in mood even before we took a tour of the zoo). Two rainbow and two vanilla ice-creams were bought and we watched the kids make a majestic mess. That rainbow ice-cream was everywhere, given how hot the weather was and how slowly kids were eating. Ice creams, were of course, exchanged and changed hands couple of times. Achu was so sure she wanted to keep her rainbow ice cream. Abhi wanted to eat everything. Even the same one the other person had. My cone ice cream broke at the bottom and it was a big deal to him. Achu, in turn, spent more time cleaning up the dripping ice cream (from her dress, her hands, her chair) than actually eat the ice cream. Murali and I quickly finished  what we were assigned last and literally waited for the kids to say ‘we are done’, so that we can finish those off too. Only the little champs didn’t. They made their best effort to finish it. Half of it melted, the place was a mess and memory was beautiful. 🙂

Did I mention the little red kids? Since I didn’t anticipate it was going to be that hot (C’mon, we live near Seattle), I didn’t carry any sunscreen. And just few minutes into the zoo, Abhi and Achu turned all red. It took a while for the whole thing to cool down. And I am sure what happened next, helped them cool down too.

Since we were getting off early from the zoo (we had seen enough bronze animals), we took the kids back to the Splash place. This time I had backup dresses everything (or so I thought) so we daringly let kids get fully drenched. Some kid picked up a cup and carried the water from the splash to dump it somewhere else. And monkey see, monkey do, right? Now every kid had a cup and were dumping water everywhere around. Abhi stole a cup from some where and Achu got a nice clean cup (we actually had to buy). While Abhi got super wet, Achu picked up cups of water and watered the plants around. Kids have so much fun. 🙂

After spending some decent time (in our universe. Not kids’), we wanted to head home for dinner. Again, I had to drag a crying Abhi out of the place. He just loved it so much (I am wondering what would happen if I let him play as long as he wants to). I cleaned up kids in the trunk and changed them into their dry clothes, only to find that I didn’t pack a top for Achu. And that is how our Achu travelled top less in the car for the first time, covered in her blanket 🙂

Oh. It was such a fun and eventful weekend for all of us. Rainbow ice creams and first splish splash runs will be a beautiful memory forever 🙂

More Random Things

Alright. What would you write about if you are forcing yourself to write something? There is no cure for the block. Is there? So, I must write whatever that comes to mind. Aka. Random things, again. I know. I know.

Our little miss highness started something last week. It is usually our other mister highness that brings home fevers, cold, coughs etc. But, for a change, Achu bought home a cold. And how smart of her. She bared it for about two days and passed on the full version of cold, sore throat, fever, headache, etc, –  the whole package, to me. And then I did my job and passed it on to Abhi. Little boy took it up another notch by adding dry cough to the package. Hmm. Needless to say this week has been a crazy week. I almost forgot what it used to feel like. But one thing I did notice is how kids are grown up from the last sickness weeks we had (almost a year ago). Achu vomited at three in the morning. Not on the bed. In the bathroom sink. No fuss, nothing. After she was done, she told me, very calmly, she wanted to sleep in my room and after I agreed, she calmly walked to the room, all by herself and waited for me to come to her. You have no idea how big of difference this is. Compared to dealing with babies being sick, this was much better. It still hurts to see them sick though. Add to that me also being sick this time, made my whole week a mess. We are still waiting for this to pass. And you know, each time someone gets sick, it always starts on Sunday. Always.

Speaking on messed up weeks, Murali is back from his trip. His trip was good. I managed all the work with kids fine too. I did set some limits to myself to not push, get over tired. I gave up on cleaning the playroom, kitchen etc everyday. I asked nanny to cook for kids so that I don’t have to spend time on that and I managed eating something out of the box. Murali enjoyed his trip as well. Ireland is beautiful place. But, the highlight of the trip was that he lost his phone in the cab. Again. This is not the first time he lost his phone in a cab. Sigh. Good thing was that for few days he was phone less, so, you know, he was more present in home. Memorial day, when I was heading out, he looked up and told me that my hair looked good. Hihih. Yes, I am blushing. I was actually on my way to a facial, shopping and haircut appointment and I postponed the haircut for few days 🙂

Murali’s birthday was also on the week he was not here. I made a little video with kids singing him “The Dad Song”. It was hilarious shooting that video. You can imagine how hard it must be to make two three-year-old sing and do some little dancing and say happy bday at the end. It took me about 15 takes, different cues and finally a bribe. But I got it. I loved how natural they looked especially with the happy bdays at the end.

When Murali was coming home on Sunday, we made plans to surprise him with cake and balloons. But he kind of surprised us by reaching home earlier than expected. Only, kids and I were not home then, so we rushed home quickly. By the time we reached home, kids were asleep in the car and lucky me, got a nice big little hug that made me very happy. Achu who woke up first, immediately was all awake looking at him, saying excitedly, ‘Nannnnna’. Abhi only woke up when he heard that Nanna got some gifts for him. We all did get some nice little gifts. I got my Eiffel Tower for my fireplace mantel. I would have planned something big for his birthday this time as well, like his surprise birthday last year, but he wasn’t here, so he missed it. His loss, really 🙂 .

In other news, my parents are coming over next Wednesday for a 5 months long trip. This is the first time I am looking forward to having them to get some extra help around. With all the chores, kids and work, Murali and I are getting so tired that I want us to have a break from cooking at least, to make a little more time to spend with kids, etc. I am also looking forward to getting Murali to eat something nice. I feel like I haven’t cooked much in about a month. When he was gone for a trip, I didn’t cook at all. Next week, kind of got lazy and then I got sick and didn’t cook. We have been managing left overs, togo food etc., but I would like for Murali to have something nice to eat. So I am looking forward to having mom and dad come here and spend time with us and kids. But I am also equally scared about the trip, because of how gran parents over pamper kids. I have to be extra hard on kids only because they don’t follow or set any limits. And I don’t like that. I believe that every member in the family should equally pamper and discipline the kids, which is what Murali and I do. But with over pampering grand parents around, it gets so tough for me to set limits for kids. No amount of trying to make them understand helps because they are not ready to listen. Huh! It’s a long battle. We will see how it goes.

Weather has been great around here. Except for last one week. We are trying to take nice little trips as and when we can. Sunny Summer days are so much fun to have. 🙂