Preschool Days

From the time we found out we were having twins, we had this thought of hiring a nanny to take care of the kids. I honestly don’t even remember us talking about sending kids to a day care. We knew having two babies, it would be so much work to get them ready, drop them off, making them more prone to colds and fevers. The list is endless. We didn’t sign up for it with two littles ones and two full-time jobs.

Our first nanny was R. She was a wannabe-mom then. She took care of Abhi and Achu for almost 6 months. She had to leave only because I took a trip to India. We visited her recently and guess what, she has twins now too. Two cute little boys. R was great with kids. She took care of them like they were her own. She bought so many gifts for them. She was the one to buy kids their first shoes. I still remember how they looked. πŸ™‚ Not just her, her husband was so good with Abhi and Achu too. Every time they visit they take pictures, they pamper our kids.

Our next nanny was P. She started working for us when kiddos were just one year old. And she stayed with us until kids had to go to preschool-For almost two years. She was also so great with kids. On thing I will remember her mostly for is how active she was with kids. You know, she read them books (same ones again and again), she took them out in summers, but mostly during those cold days, I would always see her and the kids running around. Another thing I absolutely loved her for was how persistent she was with feeding kids. When she started working for us, kids were really in five percentile of their weights. They were so small. I told her it was one of my big concerns and then, it was easy for me to dictate the menu and even cook. But feeding two kids every day, three meals a day patiently is not easy. We found some ways, but she kept up with the portions and everything consistently. Then kids weights just spiked up. And stayed a healthy number for the whole time she worked for us. I also loved how patient she was dealing with two kiddos. No wonder kids used to call her mamma.

I feel like I have been blessed to have two nannies work for us who took such good care of kids. Like Abhi and Achu were their own. Everyone asks me how could I hire a stranger and leave kids alone with them. And I think you just know. I had a really waste-of-my-money nanny in between R and P and I could tell from day one she wasn’t a right fit. I had to find a nanny P in one weeks’s time because the bad one just left without much notice or help. And I left kids with P completely the second day. The very first day, I could see how she could make it work and how kids were liking it.

Okay, I know this is our preschool days post, but its only fitting to mention what comforts we had before that we lost it all to the preschool days. πŸ™‚ Kids started preschool after they turned three. We chose one school that was close to our home, is home-based. Not that commercial type, but also not easy on teaching. It was right for this age, we felt. Plus lunch was provided, which is a great help for me.

Funny thing about starting preschool was that we prepared kids for weeks before they started. First day of school, they were supposed to stay for an hour or two, but they ended up staying the whole day. First week went great. And then they realized this school thing, they had to do it every day. LOL. Poor things were probably thinking they will go just one or two days and that’s it. They were not prepared for school every day. Then, it took them a month to adjust. A LONG LONG month. Everyday there was non-stop crying and kicking. Only thing we did was talk to them everyday and be persistent. Finally, they realized no matter what they need to go to school and that everyone has a job to do. But even today, there is little resistance but its not too bad like earlier.

Life is so crazy busy with this school stuff now. We are always in a hurry. Wake up, get ready, drop kids off, pick them up in the evening, cook, clean, feed and bed. Its a cycle. Its a crazy cycle that I am not liking at all. I feel that I am losing precious kids moments because of this cycle. I took it easy on cleaning, that didn’t work out well. We started getting some food help, I am not sure how it is going. All in all, I feel lost. Compared to our nanny days and thankful to their care and love, this is so crazy. I don’t have time for yoga, quit it months ago. We don’t even have time to give kids a bath sometimes. Kids weights have gone down considerably. And I don’t remember when was the last time I read them books. Its all about getting through the day so that we can start another one, just like the day before. What a waste of these precious days.

I have been having some crazy thoughts to just quit my work and take it easy. I really don’t know where I am headed with that, but I know its not going to happen. Not for another year. I kind of determined that when kids start public school, I am going to quit. I have no idea if I will or if I CAN do that, given all the obligations I have. I have been trying to do some things to make it easy or may be we are still in that phase we are getting used to this crazy life style, I don’t know. Only thing I know is that I am hating it. I really don’t know if I will feel better about it anytime soon, especially with new projects approaching at work, work load and tensions increasing…I feel screwed. Sigh!!!!

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Rain… Green… Light

It rains for us over here about three fourths of an year. And you would think that if we saw it rain for another day, we all people will go crazy. Well, we do go crazy sometimes, but most of times, we are rain loving people. Once in a while, stuck in a bad traffic, cloudy skies or rain, gets annoying. But if we have a minute to relax and look at the weather really, it so pretty. So serene. This picture was taken from my front porch last October. See how serene and beautiful it is? This day especially wasΒ  a crappy day for me, but my mood got fixed and my mind was at peace later, all because of this serene weather.

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Last summer, we added this rocking chair to our front porch. I painted it yellow because we wanted it bright and shiny. I really loved the color. It was almost end of summer, and I would sit in this chair, sip coffee and enjoy the surroundings.

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Our front yard used to be very different. One day, we spotted a tiny little green striped snake in these bushes. We were told it was a garden snake and is harmless, but who wants to risk it, right? My parents were here that time and I didnt want them or kids to see a snake, lose balance and get hurt. Even if the snake didnt hurt, just randomly seeing one can make people go a bit crazy. So I proposed we clean it all up and keep it open and simple. Everybody agreed. And then I also proposed that instead of having someone come and do it, we clean all this ourselves. Everyone disagreed. πŸ™‚ That happens. Finally, Murali changed his mind and took care of this all by himself. My proposal was to do this together, but dont know why, he actually did it all by himself. You know, I really like how clean it looks right now, but I like it more because Murali took care of it all without paying for someone to do it. I mean, isnt that what makes all the difference? You see something and you love it more beause its a product of your labor. I am that type, I love doing some hard work than hiring people. This logic, however, doesnt apply to cooking at all. That I would happily pay someone to do it for me. πŸ™‚
All the clutter gone. Doesn’t the transformation below look beautiful?Β Β It was all Murali’s idea. He gets all the credit for this. Design and effort. πŸ™‚ I look at this every time we are here and think of all the effort he put in. Makes me so damn proud. πŸ™‚
WP_20150824_001Thanks to the rain, there is so much green in here. But the fall season and finally the harsh winter kills it all. Every tree and plant bares it all and just manages to survive. But this week, it looks like its almost time for the end of winter. There is tiny green things around the house, that such pretty fresh green leaves and grass growing all over again. So beautiful.
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Murali and kids have been working on planting some daffodils and Tulips bulbs in our front porch. And one naughty bunny is making such a mess. It smells the sowed bulbs, digs everything out and then leaves without eating. If the naughty bunny decides that tulips are not tasty, shouldnt it sow it back?
Abhi said naughty bunny needs to be taught a lesson. Achu said naughty bunny should come and apologize to us. Of course, they know none of that can happen, so they made this sign asking bunny to stay away from the garden. πŸ™‚ The bottom left corner picture you see is Achu sitting in her chair, waiting for the bunny. πŸ™‚
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Today, I was coming home from work at around 6 and I noticed how there was still sun light left. Usually at about 4, its all crazy dark skies for us.. for months. Finally, it was so nice to think of Spring and Summer. More fun times, outdoors.
Like a curse, every summer, my work life turns upside down. I know asking for it to be fixed wont help, but I at least hope that we will be able to enjoy more sunshines and outdoor time this time than the last years. πŸ™‚

Spooky stories

So, how long have I known that Abhi and Achu are really good at talking? How many times do I feel that every day? And yet, how come am I so amazed to listen to those words. Those adorable sounding words and the cutest expressions. Really, just minutes ago, I was listening to Achu tell me various things that happened at her school today and I was just looking at her amazed, thinking when did she learn to do all this talking? πŸ™‚ And I hear them blabber every day. πŸ™‚
Achu is really good at telling stories and singing songs. She follows tunes easily, turns regular sentences into some tune and sings. Recently she started telling us spooky stories and we are all fans really. Like, we are camping and all of us are sitting in circles. Abhi does well too, but soon he diverts into superheroes and people eating bugs :). So we have to stop or call ‘the end’ on his story. Achu’s stories are true camping stories. Last week, one morning, both kiddos wakeup and run to my bed and Achu starts telling a story. I remember the story well. A frog, dog and bear were walking in the woods. Then two monsters come in. One monster hits others. Another one bites. She says all this with so much drama voices. Then some scary things happen and finally bear teaches the two monsters a lesson. The End.
I was so amazed really at her story and expression, next time I recorded all her stories. It was so much fun to sit and listen to her.
Here is one bad witch’s story. Some of this, I think, was influenced was Rapunzel movie she was watching on the weekend. Witch turns a kid into flower. Then there were the slippery snow mountains. And the story went on. Then suddenly there was a sea monster. πŸ™‚Β Β  I was laughing out loud when she turned the whole story into the usual question these days. The one she always asks is, ‘can we go trick or treating now?’. Latest one, ‘when can we get a dog?’. I told her she can get a doggy when she turns 10 years old and she asks me everyday when she will turn 10. She managed to sneak in three dogs into the story, Elsa, Sugar and Ginger.
Here is another story of a good witch who shared and cared for friends, she is woken up by animals in the morning and then next to these animals is abhi,achu’s house. Then, she turned the story into a puppy story, again. And apparently after abhi,achu got the dogs, they lived happily ever after. πŸ™‚
Today, she told me about things that happened at school. I packed her snacks today and she apparently thought I packed her lunch. So she told her teacher she got lunch and then together, they both checked and then, lunch was ‘GONE!’. That was her expression. There are so many tiny tit-bits about how some kid went to sit on the thinking chair, how Abhi had a pee-pee accident, how some kid didn’t sit properly at circle time and on and on.
Abhi is good on his little stories too. His talks are, you know, always like free gyan. Like how somebody is doing bad behavior at school and why that wasn’t good. And soon, he would be doing the same thing he swore a minute ago was not acceptable. Its like he never said that πŸ˜€ Its hilarious with these kiddos.
I really don’t know when they got to talking like this, but I do hope it wont stop. πŸ™‚

The New Nightmare

Did I panic when I found lice in kids hair? Hmm. What was I thinking? If there is one piece of parenting advice you should know before you read this, this is the one. Do not panic. Not for trivial things like lice. Not for things like kids not eating or watching too much TV. Because, like it happened to me last Thursday, a real hell will break loose and a new definition of panic will be born, there by making any other panics feel like a picnic.
It all started in the afternoon. Its kids winter break. Murali and I were taking turns working from home and it was my turn in the afternoon to be home. I sent kid upstairs for their nap aka play in your room. I had ton of things to do, my career is a mess right now, so I didn’t even want to force them to take a nap. I really just wanted them to read books or play in their room like they always do, so that I could focus on my work.
Then there was the usual conflicts. I went upstairs, resolved them, gave them new books. I come down and three minutes later, I hear the scream. It was Achu. Something was not right. It was not the usual scream. I run upstairs and find her getting down from her bed, with a bloody lip. Okay, first round of panic hits. It is not easy seeing blood on a kid. I try not to panic, anyway. I pick her up, walk her to the bathroom. I keep telling myself, she just hurt her lip, that is all. No need to panic. Just cleanup. Once I get to the bathroom, then I notice. Her front tooth. Its out. Like its completely at 90 degrees with how its actually supposed to be. Super panic hits. I feel dizzy, she is crying so loud and there is Abhi crying saying ‘I love my sister, I love my sister’. I hug her. She is still bleeding. My dress is little bit red by then too. I tell her she needs to calm down and I cant think when she is crying like that. What was I thinking? I was asking a kid whose tooth is sticking out to calm down. I don’t know how those moments passed. Probably that’s what is called being in shock. Surprisingly, Achu calms down. I go get my phone, keep dialing Murali, guess what, this guys face is pretty much always hidden behind his phone and this one time we have an emergency, he forgets his phone (or so he told me). What a thing!
I calm down, now telling myself that its only a tooth coming off. Its her baby teeth anyway. Doesn’t matter. I get her down. Get kids into jackets, shoes, I don’t remember I was wearing. I sit in our backup car, without any car seats, I try to drive then Abhi tells me I am wearing my pajamas. I go change. Achu is still surprisingly so calm. Too calm. That was scary. I do nothing about locking the door, grab my purse and drive to the pediatricians office.
Luckily, that was close. Nurses let us in. Two doctors come in immediately. I am telling myself still its the baby tooth, then the doctor shows me. Her gums between her two teeth was torn. Like they are only joined at the top, that’s it. I was in such shock. I couldn’t believe this was all happening. I started crying. I am still dialing Murali, he is not answering. Doctors are telling me something, I wasn’t sure I was listening. I am crying. The doctor is asking me to sit down. I just don’t know how I got through it. Its so painful to watch blood on your kid and then to imagine that gum line tearing like that, what pain it must have been for her. Achu starts dozing off on bed. Apparently she was in shock too, hence not crying. Doctor actually woke her up and made her wake to make sure there was no neurological damage. Some time later, I talk to my friend A and then both Murali and he reach the hospital.
Apparently, there were no dentists on call then, so we were asked to go to the emergency in Seattle. I had no choice but to drop Abhi at friends place. I just wanted to focus on Achu because I wasn’t sure what I was doing. A offers to drive Abhi to the other friends house and luckily, Abhi was all excited to go. We head to Seattle. I still don’t know how I was dealing with it. Achu took a nap for a while. I don’t remember how many nurses/drs came to see her, but some three hours later, dentists arrive. They take x-ray, tell us she might loose the two front teeth. And then deliver us the next bad news, as if we didn’t have enough. She actually fractured her bone behind the two teeth. Whatever happened pull the bone right out of its place that the gum tore and her tooth came out. New shock took over me. Forms, anesthesia and consents later, they push the bone back. Her teeth go back a bit. But its not perfect like it was before. I think they were actually leaning to removing the two teeth, but I couldn’t agree. Not because of any cosmetic reason, but just not having those will remind of what actually happened and I didn’t want that. Her teeth will die now in an year anyway, so we thought we would deal with that later.
We got home almost at bed time. On pain meds, Achu slept okay. Okay for her condition, I mean. It was so hard. Its been five days now, almost. She is back to eating a bit normal. No more biting for her. Fracture will take at least a month to heal and she needs to be extra careful to not get hurt again. How could we expect that from a three year old is beyond me. I wanted her to stay at home today, or even this week. But she wanted to go to school. She did. Friends/colleagues who tried to help tell me kids are more resilient than what we give them credit for. May be that’s true. Still, I feel like there is some bomb that’s going to explode any minute. Next follow-up there might be a new complication. I mean, look at how this unfolded. One shock after the other.
Needless to say, it shook up my parenting confidence. I was so amazed at how well kids were at playing with each other and now this happened and I don’t know if I can let them play together again, out of my sight. We have an idea of how this could have happened, but still that doesn’t explain the intensity of the injury. All of this is kind of all hazy in memory now. Little bit of ignoring like I am trying to make myself forget what happened. What a nightmare it was. I see it now as something that’s over. I hope it really is.

The New Ottoman

Blogging seems like a lot of work these days. I don’t know why. It is not like I don’t have anything to write about. I have ton of stuff to write and try clear my head, and yet I write nothing.
Anyway, something that happened few minutes ago today is making me write this post. I am just excited at something I just finished. Another home decor DIY, of course.
Few weeks ago,Β  I saw these IKEA lack side table makeover ottoman and it immediately got my attention. Because we have two of those lying in our guest bedroom. I am really not a fan of those; They are very basic thing and definitely not my style. But the DIY project was to turn the table into an ottoman; That means the possibilities of making it over are endless. You can pick any kind of fabric.
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So, I just started prep weeks ago. Like my ‘one book a month’ goal, I also have ‘one DIY project a month’ goal. Otherwise, I keep piling on the list of things to do, without actually getting to it. So, making over the ottoman was going to be project for this month.
First things first. Supplies. This is the first time I actually bought a tool to make a project. It is called a staple gun and it may be my favorite tool yet. Honestly, I get a kick saying that I own a tool. No matter how small it is (What is it with me? πŸ™‚ ). It just is like a normal stapler, just this works on harder surfaces like tables, etc. I got the gun from amazon and then bought the staples locally. I was going to buy a crafts foam but I found this insulation foam from the local hardwood store, it was a perfect fit. I didn’t have to cut it nothing. I already owned some spray glue. Today I bought some batting and with Murali’s help picked a fabric. And then Ta tada…..da……

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See what I got now. A beautiful looking ottoman for the base of my bed. I need to finish the second one tomorrow, but I couldn’t wait to post it here. I may paint the legs a different color later, but for now, I absolutely adore this new table. πŸ™‚
Using the staple gun was SO easy, I went on stapling the whole thing. Awww! The projects I can do with this, canvas pictures I can build are endless. My whole house might be full of canvas pictures now. I might starting selling them. I am so psyched. I love my handy little tool and I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I turned the boring table into.
Achu (who is still awake at 11:30 PM – who also put me through a nightmare two days ago), was so cheering on when I bought the ottoman into the bedroom. I cant wait to see Abhis and Murali’s reaction tomorrow.
That’s all the writing for now. I will go and enjoy this mood for now. Tata. πŸ˜€
Posted in DIY

Firsts

January was a month of firsts. I don’t know why so, may be its something every month, but, this is the first time it seems there were many firsts.
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I watched a movie after a long time. And for the first time, I arranged to drop off kids at P’s house for babysitting with her. I have been preparing kids for babysitting, but I couldn’t convince myself to trust kids with some stranger. So I asked if P and her husband could babysit while we watched a movie and they were more than happy. I packed cupcakes, chocolates, coloring papers, books. I was worried even leaving them with me, knowing that, that was the safest baby sitting I can get. Even P was asking me to forget about kids and enjoy the movie. Movie was great. It was Star Wars and I so loved it. It all worked so well. Kids had a great time too. Achu got her nails painted, for the first time. If it was left to me, I wouldn’t have let that happen for few more years. Oh, well. Its one harmless girly thing. Its okay to let that happen.
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We have a Guitar at home. Then my parents bought my violin back (Which, honestly I haven seen in months. What ever happened to trying to relearn it 😦 ). Now we have one more musical instrument at home. This one. I just love this picture of Achu playing in the Christmas tree backdrop. I want to learn and play at least one song on the Casio. I think its going to ‘Twinkle Twinkle’. πŸ™‚ Btw, speaking of Christmas tree, we also removed the tree and all other festive decorations. Well, except for those two Halloween pumpkins. πŸ™‚
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One of my new year resolutions this year has to been to spend more time outdoors with kids, sunny or not. This weekend was perfect weather for a trip. Not a sunny day perfect, only no rain and not too freezing cold. So, we headed out to Olallie State Park. We were at this state park in last summer and it was a blast. kids and I got completely drenched playing in the water (It would have been in my summer post, if I ever got to it). My idea of a hike with 3.5 year old twins was to only stroll around for few minutes and then head back. For few minutes, kids were in their stroller, but kids got down after a while and walked around. Abhi went back quickly because he had to pee (He always has to. We are running out of places for him to pee when we go out πŸ™‚ ). Achu, after getting down her stroller, pushed the stroller all by herself, through out the hiking time. Normally, it would have been okay, but because of the stormy weather from last couple of days, the route was full of twigs big and small and she patiently learnt to navigate her stroller so that it wont be stuck. You would think things like this are simple, but for kids its something to learn. I taught her to check where her stroller was struck, front or back and lift the stroller or turn to go around it. She eventually learnt and navigated like a pro-stroller pusher. πŸ™‚ At the end, she was walking side by side with me, pushing her little stroller. It was so cute. Oh, in the middle of the hike, she also left her stroller and did a little happy dance for me. She didn’t tell me what she was happy about, but she kept on dancing. πŸ™‚
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And then the best first of the month. A gift for the all hard work I put in form of motherhood. A very own gift from my kids. Lice. yep. Lice. We have a lice problem at home now. And I so hate hate hate hate hate it. πŸ™‚ Seriously, Abhi caught it first. I don’t know from where. We gave him a deep hair cut that got rid of most of them and then I ran in panic mode to get a special shampoo, clean, pick and repeat. We constantly use the term nit picking at our work, but the very word annoys me so much. Then, Achu got it. Then, Me. Yep. Me too. Even as a kid, I hated when I had lice. Now I hate it million times over. I just hate it. I have been reading and researching everyday. I got olive oil, vinegar and combing. I cant tell if we all still have it, but I continue to nit pick in panic mode, every day. Aargh! I hate it.
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Are you sitting down for my next revelation? You better be. My reading goal for last year was one book a month. I failed, cheated and managed to read only six. But guess what happened in January? I read three books already. Three. I mean, THREE. Can you believe it? Me, I found time to read not one, not two, three books. Okay. I will cut the drama now. but seriously, I am so excited that I managed to make time for reading. Of course, this extra time came from compromising on sleep, work, cleaning or cooking. But it was so worth it. πŸ™‚