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.


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.


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. 🙂 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_0174When we were leaving, kiddos found this little log house and pretend camped. We need to take them real camping some time.


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….. 🙂

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? 🙂 ), 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. 😀

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. 🙂  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. 🙂

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. 🙂 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. 🙂


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 –  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. 🙂 We had mudda pappu and avakaya, with ghee, and its a very special food for us.  Everybody loved it. I was told I could have just made that ready and not order any other food. 🙂

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. 🙂

P.S: How do I say one more time that Murali turned 40, so I can annoy him more? 🙂 Wait, I just did. Heheh. 😀


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 . 😃

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 🙂 . 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 🙂 ), 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. 🙂 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. 🙂

“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. 🙂


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 🙂 . 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. 🙂

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. 😀


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. 🙂 So come back and check on later, in 5.5 years, we will be getting a puppy then. 🙂

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. This one I haven’t heard in months now. So, I guess it’s not important that mom is happy anymore. 🙂


Life With Kids

I was reading a book Saturday afternoon. After a long time I found a book that I couldn’t put down and so after our lunch was done I went back to reading it. I took the kids upstairs to our bedroom hoping to make them sleep. But like any other four-year olds, Abhi and Achu hate nap time. So they decided to go against my suggestion and left the room to play.

I let it go and told them not to come back and disturb me. That ask was promptly followed by a dozen “Okay. Amma” and they left. And then this happened.

Minutes later they came back. Like I didn’t say anything about letting me read my book. Of course I knew that was expected. So I smiled and continued on with my book.

As usual, Achu comes up with a new game.

“Abhi, let’s go play – Brother and sister parties all day all summer long.”

Obviously the game also needed them to call each other brother and sister specifically.

“Okay, let’s go sister”. They are off again.

Few more minutes, they are back.

Achu all shy and calm and smiling. “Amma,  I am so nervous to tell you this. Will you be mad if I tell you something?”

“No Achu. I wont. Tell me”.

Abhi walks in with a yellow paper balloon that was supposed to be hanging from the roof.

“Achu was throwing some stuff and the balloon fell down.” I was actually relieved to hear that. I thought she climbed something and pulled the balloon down. Achu is still smiling (She always does that; When she knows she has done small things like these, she actually is shyly smiling with her tongue sticking out).

I take the balloon and send them away, again.

Few more minutes, they are back. This time with a song. Achu is obviously over whatever feeling bad she was supposed to be over the balloon.

“Today is the day. Today is every day. Beautiful summer day…”

Achu was the composer and I am watching Abhi sing in chorus, both of them running around in circles. I keep smiling watching the rhythm and the words Achu is making up.

All right. Gone again.

This time Abhi is back. With something wrong he has done.

I tell him its okay and send him away. Like every other time, he leaves saying a dozen I love yous. He says I love you, keeps looking back at me, almost like he doesn’t want to leave. It’s so adorable to see his face when he has to leave, even if it is to the other room. It’s like he thinks I wont be there when he comes back and he wants to see me one more time. This is all probably just in my head, because that’s what I fear. Fear that these kids are growing up too fast and I wont see these giggles, silly songs and faces after some time.

This time, though, in addition to the I love yous, Abhi says, “Amma..Air hug”, from across the room. He extends his hands around empty space as he is hugging someone. He just made up something silly new. I smile again. “Air hug, Abhi”. I air hug too.

Achu comes to get him now. “Common…. Brother”.

Okay. Gone again. Continue with book.

This time Murali walks in with a bowl of grapes. Apparently he was trying to make and eat Cheese Tomato Lasagna and as lasagna was unavailable, he settled for grapes (Almost the same, right? 🙂 ). And yeah, you guessed right. Kids are back for their snack.

“Guys, if anyone offers you Anchovies, say no. They are fish”. Murali offers a little education to the kids.

But four-year olds are not interested in Anchovies. They surely are about making fake fish names and finding another reason to laugh.

 “BlahBlahBlah is a fish too”.

“Hmm. Thats a good point Abhi. AnotherBlahBlahBlah is also a fish”.

As if I didn’t have enough entertainment for the afternoon, Achu goes onto put on a one girl show about making up meaningless fish names and pretend feeding them to us. Abhi, Murali and I laugh out loud non-stop at this gal’s antics.

Kids leave the room again. Saying I love you wasn’t enough, so Abhi decides to even spell for me. “Amma, LOVE MOM. LOVE DAD”. “LOVE ABHI”, I tell him.

From the room, I hear their bathroom breaks. Achu waiting outside singing Shiny from Moana while Abhi was in there.

Few more minutes, they are back. Apparently Achu didn’t know how to jump from the bed before and Abhi encouraged and helped her achieve that. Great. One more important thing I was supposed to know about.

Entertainment was not done. They went on to do more silly things. Randomly stopping by the other kid, “Hi, Abhi”. Or saying “Hi, amma”, even though they saw me just 30 seconds ago. They were more kisses, I love yous, real and air hugs from Abhi; There was more of Achu’s fake Telugu. More and more silly things surely.

I got to read and finish my book that evening. But I was thinking later, what a sweet afternoon it was when I got to sit and just observe kids. This is our life with kids. In addition to all busy-ness, challenges, craziness and exhaustion, this is exactly how our silly life with kids is. 🙂 And I am glad I at least have memorized one afternoon of it.


Little Dreams

One of things Abhi and Achu constantly did in the mornings for few days, is tell us what they dreamt last night. Now, I have no way of validating if they are just making up some story or if this is what really happened, but its amusing to hear about their dreams. Sometimes, I find them in the mornings discussing their funny and silly dreams with each other.

One morning, Abhi tells me, “Amma, In my dream, there was dust on my tongue. And when I was trying to spit it out, my tongue got longer and longer, like a lizard”.

One of Achu’s dreams was scary for her. She mentioned she was being chased by a dinosaur and what happened after that was so scary that she couldn’t even repeat it. Poor thing, judging her voice and face, I think this really happened. Don’t worry Achu. It’s a good thing if we are being chased by dinosaurs. 🙂 We get to see them, for real.

Dream another morning was a scary one too. For Abhi. I was in the dream with him, he said. We were walking by the ocean. A part of shark shows up in the water. And somehow Abhi drowns. He got so sad when telling me this, he said even I couldn’t save him. Oh! boy. That was a scary dream. So I decided to distract him.

“Abhi, you know what I will do? I will use my magic and freeze the water around the shark and then shark can’t move”.  He liked that.

“And then, I am going to put a bicycle under you, so you can just bike out of the water”. He loves that idea too.

“Amma, You have to put two seats on that bicycle. One for you and one for me”.

Before you know it, we continued to build the bicycle and finally it had 11 seats. For his friends and family. And then, he requested one giant seat.

“For what, Abhi?”

“We will take our house with us too”.

There you go. We will be that family riding the ocean on a huge bicycle with 12 seats; For all of us. 🙂

I thought kids said the silliest things, but looks like they even dream the silliest things.  🙂

For some reason, they have taken a break from telling us those dreams these days. I will have to ask them first thing in the morning next time. 🙂