Letters to My Children – July 2019

Dear Ariya,

July is finally here!  In addition to some really cool camps that you got to do (Needle Arts Camp at the Discovery Museum, Intro to Dance with SCAA, and The Little Nature Camp), we’re having a baby!  You are so excited to meet your baby sister, Anika.  You’ve already told me about all the things you’ll do to help me take care of you.  You’re going to be such a great big sister.

The camps were amazing.  I knew the Needle Arts Camp would be one of your favorites.  Your aunt, Priti Masi, bought you a sewing kit a long time ago for Christmas.  And I bought you a sewing machine for your birthday.  But I think you’ve always been frustrated by the limitations of the plastic needles.  So this camp was perfect.  You learned how to thread a needle, make puppets, and now you have instructions how to make other things.  You were so excited every day when I picked you up.  And Asha was happy your camp was at the discovery museum, because I would take her there to play while we waited for you.

The Intro to Dance camp was great as well.  It was with your favorite teacher, Ms Abby.  The camp taught you ballet, jazz and tap.  You’ve never learned jazz or tap before, so this was a great introduction.  Of course the camp was during baby Anika’s big day!  I didn’t get to see your big performance, but your daddy went and recorded it.  You were amazing!  I think, if it was up to you, you’d sign up for jazz and tap for the year.  But since I told you that you could only do 2 things starting out, you’re sticking to ballet and gymnastics for the school year.

The Nature Camp was amazing!  I think this was the one camp that you can’t wait to do every year.  You learned a lot about nature.  You played in a mud pit and threw mud at each other, you canoed in the stream, caught bugs in the meadow.  So much outdoor fun.  Your best friend Asher told you about this camp, and thank goodness he did, or else we never would learned about this camp.

Anika came on July 10th, unexpectedly.  And I think you thought that I’d go to the doctor’s office for a check up and come back with the baby.  You didn’t realize, and I think we did a poor job of explaining it to you, that I would stay at the hospital for a few days with the baby to make sure everything was ok.  You were pretty emotional and didn’t understand why I couldn’t come home with you.  It was tough explaining it to you and Asha.  And one day, you’d be calm and cool, and Asha would be an emotional mess.  And the next day, you would be emotional and Asha was the cool calm one.  So weird.  But once we came home from the hospital, it took an adjustment.  Luckily, Nani and Nanu were here, as well as Daddy to help with the transition.  And you became so in love with your baby sister.

Dear Asha,

There was so much excitement in our household.  You didn’t understand why I was washing the baby’s clothes, or getting her room ready.  You didn’t know why we were cleaning all of the baby’s toys, but you were ready to help.

On the day of Anika’s birth, your daddy was post call and did not get a lot of sleep.  And we needed some help taking care of you, and taking Ariya to camp.  Our friend Niki was so sweet to take you to the pool to play with Asher and Marni while dropping Ariya off at dance camp.  We had to wait until Nani and Nanu came up from Richmond.  You know something was happening, but I don’t think you really understood that baby Anika was coming.  But you were so ready to give her the toy that you picked out, a baby Shark stuffed animal that sang Baby Shark.  I think you picked it more for yourself than for your sister, but surprisingly, all 3 of you love that stuffed animal!

You couldn’t wait to hold Anika at the hospital.  You and Ariya both loved on Anika, and tried to gently give her hugs.  You were both smitten with her.  But you had a really hard time not being the baby anymore.  The transition was tough for you.  Anytime your daddy or I held the baby, you’d want attention.  In a way, you regressed.  You stopped using your words when you wanted something.  You wanted hugs all the time.  And you couldn’t understand why we were always holding the baby, and why we couldn’t cuddle or play with you like we used to.

We tried to organize fun things for you and Ariya to do, while Nani and Nanu were here.  You saw the Lion King when it came out, and Nani came with you and Ariya.  Nanu and Daddy took you and Ariya to the pool.  You went to the kid zone a few times with Ariya, while Daddy, Nani and Nanu worked out at the gym.

Luckily, Grandma came to visit with your cousins Mekai and Phelix.  It was chaos, and you loved it.  You ran with the boys and Ariya, you got to play with Grandma at the pool.  And Grandma got to bond with baby Anika too.

Dear Anika,

Well well well.  You arrived a few days early, quite unexpectedly.  The plan was for you to arrive on Friday, July 12th.  The plan was for Nani and Nanu to come on Wednesday or Thursday, just go get used to the girls’ schedule before I went to the hospital.  But something told me that things would not go according to plan.  I had a stress test scheduled for Wednesday July 10th. And on Tuesday night, I thought to myself, maybe I should ask Nani and Nanu to come earlier,  JUST IN CASE.  Your daddy was working Tuesday night, and of course didn’t get any sleep, so Wednesday, he was delirious.  Which, of course.  He was post call for Ariya’s birth and for Asha’s birth.  It’s like you girls are giving Daddy a taste of what it would be like, sleep deprived nights worrying over you girls.

So, during Wednesday’s appointment, the sonogram showed that apparently I had been leaking amniotic fluid, because there wasn’t much left.  Which mean I had to go to the hospital as soon as possible.  I was in a panic.  Nani and Nanu had to drop everything and drive in from Richmond.  We had to line up childcare for Ariya and Asha.  Luckily we have awesome friends, and our friend Niki was able to take Asha to the pool and Ariya to dance camp and gymnastics.  Daddy and I went to the hospital around 11am.  Of course I didn’t have a big breakfast, because I had been managing my gestation diabetes and trying to be healthy with a half english muffin with peanut butter and 1 egg.  Well, I couldn’t eat anything for the rest of the day.  We were hooked up to the fetal monitor and everything looked great. And my favorite doctor, Dr. Leonoard, who delivered Ariya and Asha, also delivered you!

C-sections and the recovery was tough, but to finally hold you in my arms made everything worth it.  You were born at 5:42pm, and weighed 8lbs 5 oz and were 20.5 inches long.  I thought you’d be this huge baby, because Ariya and Asha were both about 6lbs.  But you were still so tiny.  So much hair, just like Ariya and Asha.  And from the start, you were lifting your head and looking around.

We were so happy to finally take you home.  But that 4th trimester is a real deal.  All you wanted to do is be held by Mommy and Daddy.  Poor Nani and Nanu, they would try to hold you, but you would cry and cry and cry.  And your cry is a wail.  It’s a shriek.  It’s loud and insistent and surprising to come out of such a small little body.  I think it took 2 weeks for you to finally get comfortable and let others hold you.

I think I panicked the first time Daddy had to go back to work and Nani and Nanu left for Richmond.  They stayed for 2 weeks, and they miss you and Ariya and Asha, but they were ready to get back home, to their routine.  And we had to make our routine.  I think I’m getting the hang of it.  Baby wearing is key.  You love to be held, it’s the only way you’ll sleep.

We did learn that you had a tongue tie, so we had to get that lasered off.  But after that, breastfeeding has been a breeze.  You are growing and thriving.  We are all so in love with you, your smile, your baby coos, everything about you.

                            

Letters to My Children – June 2019

Dear Ariya,

Wow, it’s June already!  A lot of countdowns happening.  Last day of school….. baby #3’s arrival in July.  Lots of summer camps in between. The start of summer.  Pool time.  Lots of great things are happening.

Gymnastics is underway and you love it so so much.  You’ve started practicing handstands and cartwheels.  You’re doing an awesome job.  And the best part is that your closest girlfriend Claire is in the same class as you!  How fun!

You also started a Bollywood Dance class once a week with your friends from Balvihar.  You started learning some classic moves that are in all the Bollywood movies.  I can tell you want to perform on stage.  Maybe for Diwali in November.

The last soccer game happened.  We had a celebration at Sherando Park, where you got to play with all of your teammates.  You got a trophy and had an ice cream party!  I think the coach even realized that dance and gymnastics is more your thing, since you talk about it all the time.  Soccer was fun while it lasted.  We’ll see if you miss it in the fall.

The last day of school happened.  And just a few days later, we took a little road trip to Hershey Park.  You had so much fun!  You and Asha and Daddy rode so many rides.  Got your faces painted, ate cotton candy and junk food.  It was a pretty great day.

The next day, we went to an engagement party for Neil uncle and Melanie Auntie.  They are getting married next year, and we got to see a ton of family.  It might have been overwhelming, but you did make friends with Melanie Auntie’s family, so that was cool.  And we even got to see Nani and Nanu!  You and Asha had the cutest matching outfits on.

June was a pretty busy month for you.  I figured since we weren’t doing our annual beach trip, I’d sign you up for a ton of cool summer camps.  You did one summer camp at the Children’s Discovery Museum, with ms Erica, called Storyland Art Camp.  Since you love art so much and wish you could do it every day, I thought it would be a great fit.  And you loved it.  The only problem is that Asha wanted to join you, or at least stay at the children’s museum to play.

The following week was Grandma/cousins camp! Jayden, Mekai, and Phelix were at Grandma’s house, and wow, you had a blast.  You always have a great time with your cousins and Grandma.  Blowing bubbles, coloring, watching movies, just playing.  So much fun spending time with family.

AND you lost your first tooth!  It’s crazy, your adult tooth is growing in as your baby tooth got wiggly.  Luckily, the Tooth fairy was able to find your tooth, and you got $2 in coins.  How lucky are you!  She said you’re doing a great job brushing your teeth and to keep it up!

Dear Asha,

You had your last session of soccer shots.  And you were so upset when you couldn’t make the goal.  But you went after the ball and ran up and down the field, so maybe soccer is your thing.  Maybe in the fall, we’ll sign you up again, see how you like it.

Cousins/grandma camp was lots of fun.  When you came back, you kept saying for days “I wish I could go back to Grandma’s house, I miss her, I miss my cousins”.  And to think, I was worried that it might be tough for you to be away from us for a whole week.  Of course you did fine.  You loved it!

You even had your own summer camps!  You are so lucky, Ms Abby (who’s Ariya’s ballet teacher, and will soon be your ballet teacher) was teaching a space camp AND creative movement camp, back to back.  So you had a whole morning of Ms Abby, learning about the solar system AND getting your dance on.  I’ve already signed you up for creative movement (intro to ballet) in the fall, and you can’t wait!  You’re such  dancer, just like your big sister.  You two love to have dance parties in the evenings.  Your favorite artist is Beyonce and Ariya’s is Ariana Grande.  And the dance moves that you two put out there are amazing/hilarious/so much fun.

Letters to My Children – May 2019

Dear Ariya,

We celebrated Apple Blossom the first weekend of May.  Your daddy ran the 10K and we went to the fair.  Your favorite part is the cotton candy, with the rides coming at a close 2nd.  You and Asha went nuts over the rides.  And since I couldn’t ride any rides, I just ended up taking lots of pictures, as usual.  It’s a great family tradition that we have 🙂

The countdown is on. You’re ready for summer, and your class is doing the ABC countdown till the last day of school.  Which makes you pretty excited every day to go to school.  A for stuffed Animal, B for bubbles, C for Crazy hair and clothes, etc.

You also had field day.  I missed my chance to volunteer but it looked like a lot of fun!  Outdoor games, a bounce house, water guns, etc.  I think you had fun.

You’re also wrapping up soccer, with maybe a month and a half left to go.  You like seeing your friends at soccer, but going to practice and the games are like pulling teeth.  Once you’re there, you have fun.  But you don’t love soccer like you do ballet or gymastics.  I think maybe we might have to take a break from soccer next season.  We need to pare down the number of activities you have anyway.  I feel like we’ve over scheduled you.  It’s like you don’t know how to just BE.

Ballet is wrapping up and it’s time for your yearly ballet recital.  Nani and Nanu came to visit, and to see you on stage.  Asha loved watching you perform as well.  And when your performance was done, you loved seeing all the bigger kids perform as well.  It’s a pretty amazing time watching all of the dancers perform.

We also went tulip picking with our friends.  you loved the tulips so much you just HAD to save the bulbs.  I don’t have much of a green thumb, so we’ll see if they last until October when it’s time to plant.

Dear Asha,

Pre-school ended this month.  We had a mother’s day lunch and a father’s day lunch with your class.  It was so great seeing you play so well with your friends.  You’ve come a long way this year.

You also had soccer with soccer shots.  We didn’t go to as many soccer lessons.  Vacation, nap time, etc. It was my mistake planning to go at 3pm, when you’re usually so tired.  But you were awesome at chasing after the ball.  And listening to the coaches was tough at first, but you got it after a while.  I think after the baby comes, we’ll have to look into signing you up again in the fall.

Asha, you’re such a big girl now.  So big, that you get your own big girl bed!  We are re-painting your old crib/toddler bed for the baby, so went furniture shopping and picked out a full size bed with a book shelf attached for you.   In the mean time, you and Ariya helped paint the crib for the baby, which took a lot of work.  But you did it!

Tulip picking was fun for you, you were with your best friend Aliyah!  But you were pouting because you wanted to pick ALL the flowers, not realizing that Mommy had to PAY for all of the flowers.  and then you’d leave the bulb in the ground and just snap the flower off.  But that’s ok, we still had a great time!

 

 

Letters to My Children – April 2019

Dear Ariya and Asha,

Wow, it is the beginning of July and I’ve realized that I have not written a letter to you in ages.  I’m so sorry.  This pregnancy has been wearing me out, and I’ve just been trying to keep up.

April was a great month.  It was your 6th birthday!  We had a mermaid themed party at Kids First Swim School.  We invited your class and a few close friends.  You had a blast.  Asha kept thinking she could keep up with you, but I swear, she was going to drown a few times.  Good thing there was a lifeguard there!

 

Your daddy had a conference in Las Vegas, and we all got to tag along.  You both LOVED going on a jet plane.  Direct flights are the best.  We stayed at Caesar’s Palace, and you girls LOVED staying in the hotel.  You two even slept in the same bed, which was nice.  We had some fun adventures.  I was 26 weeks pregnant so walking around was kind of tough, but I wanted to show you a good time.  We walked, we ate lots of good food.  We saw dolphins, white tigers and lions at the Mirage.  We had ice cream at Sprinkles.  We saw flamingos at the Flamingo.  Asha, you had an obsession with escalators.  Every chance you got, you HAD to ride the escalator.  We hopped in the pool one afternoon, but oh man it was freezing.  You two didn’t notice, but I sure did.  Oh man, I was freezing.  But you had fun.

After the conference, we took the rental car and drove to Seven Magic Mountains.  There were some pretty cool art installations, big colorful rocks.  Asha crashed as soon as we started driving.  But Ariya, you loved posing in front of the rocks, and even creating your own mini rock creations.

We drove to Palm Springs, California, to meet our friends, the Sigmons and the Spinellis.  The air b&b was amazing!  a heated pool, a modern house within the desert oasis.  There were so many fun things to do.  We went to the Living Zoo, got to feed some giraffes and play at the children’s museum.  We even went up into the mountains and saw some snow!  And in the afternoons, we would hang by pool and get plenty of pool time in. We even celebrated Easter there!

You both were ready to come home, but once we were home, you missed Lily and Jax so much.  The slumber parties were so much fun.  Having a buddy around was really nice.  But, now it was time to get back into a routine.  But before April ended, we celebrated Holi with our friends!  One of our favorite festivals to celebrate.  It was windy and cold, and the water guns were probably not the best idea, but it was still so much fun.

  

And here are just a few favorite photos for April

Letters to My Children – March 2019

Dear Ariya,

March was a decent month.  The excitement for April and spring break, and our trip to Las Vegas and Palm Springs was building up.  We were just ready for some warm weather.   But the exciting thing that happened in March is that you started gymnastics at Shenandoah Tumblers.  And you are in heaven.  You get to see all these big kids do some amazing things on the parallel bars, balance beams, the pit.  I can tell that you definitely are more into gymnastics and dance than any kind of sport.  You still love ballet, you can’t WAIT for your recital in May.

Dear Asha,

So, we tried to start you at Shenandoah Tumblers as well.  It would have been so awesome and perfect since your class was the same time as Ariya’s.  But you were just so overwhelmed.  The class was too structured and you just wanted to run around and play with the equipment, like you did at the Little Gym.  In fact, you kept asking to go back to the Little Gym.  We’ll figure it out sweetie.  We’ll get you back there eventually.

I’ve discovered how much you LOVE makeup.  Oh my goodness.  You are obsessed!  It’s like painting…for your face!

 

Letters to My Children – January and February 2019

Dear Ariya and Asha,

Well, it is a new year.  We started off the New Year celebrating my birthday in Alexandria.  We went to the ICE exhibit at the Gaylord Convention Center at the National Harbor.  It was soooo cold.  This year they did a Charlie Brown exhibit which was pretty cool.

Ariya, it was time to go back to kindergarten.  And oh man, you were not feeling it.  Getting back into the routine of school was not easy.  You hated waking up for school.  You would come home from school saying you were bored.  You would talk about missing pre-school and Ms Jeanne’s class.  We had ballet as an activity but I guess it wasn’t enough. You have been asking for gymnastics, so I’ll eventually sign you up.  I think you’ve outgrown the Little Gym, so we’ll try Shenandoah Tumblers or East Coast Gymnastics.  We’ll see.

And Asha, you want to do whatever your big sister does.  You follow along in her footsteps.  You wear Ariya’s old ballet slippers when she puts hers on.  You want to do ballet, just like her.  And you hear her asking for gymnastics, so you want the Little Gym.  I’m sorry Asha, but the schedule just doesn’t work out.  But we’ll figure something out.

You two are OBSESSED with the Greatest Showman, a movie/musical.  Of course, I downloaded the album and now that’s all you two ever want to listen to.  It’s kinda cool to see you, Asha, know all the words to A Million Dreams.  I mean, wow.  You two love listening to the album while I do dishes and just dance dance dance.  It’s the cutest thing ever.

Daddy and I had some special news to share with you two.  You both are going to be big sisters!  We’re having another baby girl, due in July.  And you two are just so excited.  Ariya, you keep giving me hugs and rubbing my belly.  Asha, you keep sticking out your belly and saying that you have a baby in there too.  It’s the cutest thing ever.

Nani and Nanu went to India.  We wish we could go too, but Nani promised she’d bring back some pretty Indian clothes for you both.  We ended up going to Richmond for a weekend in February to see Auntie Anjuanette, Uncle Kashiff and Grandma.  And Uncle Eric was there!  What a special treat, seeing everyone.

It’s been a long winter.  We’ve had a few snow days, a few really cold days, a few delays.  I think we’re all going stir crazy, wanting some warm weather.  So we’re planning a trip to Las Vegas to hang with Daddy while he’s at a conference.  And then we’re driving through the desert to Palm Springs.  We rented a house with a pool, and I can’t wait for all of us to just soak up some sun and play in the water, and go explore.  April can’t come soon enough!

 

 

 

Letters to My Children – December 2018

Dear Ariya and Asha

The countdown is on!  We are going to see your cousins, Eila and Kailas, Niraj mama, Hyeon mami (they are your uncle and aunt, and Eila/Kailas’ parents) and Nani and Nanu!  We’re flying on a plan to San francisco!  We rented a house in Sonoma for 5 days and a house in Santa Cruz for 5 days.  It should be fun!

BUT!  Before we go to California, we have some other pretty exciting things happening.  We went to go see the Nutcracker at Handley High school.  Your friend Marni was in it, and you were so excited to see her on stage.  Ariya, you got a little upset because you wanted to be on stage too.  Asha, it was during your nap time, so you were a bit of a mess, but I think you girls both enjoyed it.  You especially loved the sugar plum fairies.

Asha, you celebrated your 3rd birthday party!  We went to the Little Gym and invited all of our friends.  You had a blast.  Your party was decorated with unicorns, and your cake was even a unicorn!  It was pretty awesome celebrating your special day.  I’m afraid to say, I didn’t take a lot of pictures, but I did take a lot of video, and I’m hoping to make a video of your birthday party one day soon!

Ariya, you are disappointed that you don’t get to spend the holidays with your friends at school.  There were a lot of celebrations that we missed.  You missed your Christmas carol singalong, pajama day and hot chocolate party, for meeting your reading goal each month.  And Asha, you missed your Christmas celebration at preschool, your first one.  I was a little sad to miss that too.

We flew directly to San Francisco at night, and you girls were just so excited, you would not go to sleep. We put the tablets in front of you, and you were good to go.  Lots of games, movies and tv shows were downloaded on your tablet, so we were prepared.  That and a bunch of snacks, and the flight was alright.

We rented a car at the airport and off we went, on our way to Sonoma.  It was dark and it was late, and we were so happy to fall in to bed.  When we woke up, you girls were so excited to see everyone!  The house had a pretty awesome game room filled with legos, and toys and books.  There were beds where you could have a slumber party if you wanted to.  We were surrounded by trees and vines, and there were walking paths all around us.  You both had so much fun playing with your cousins and running around.  Unfortunately, the weather was not the best, and it rained most of the time we were there. We went to an arcade one day, we went to a winery another day.  But most of the time we spent at the house, just hanging out.  You all got to open up a few Christmas presents under the tree, so that was cool. And, Rikin Uncle and Eisha auntie came down from San Francisco to visit for a few hours.  How fun was that?!?!

After a 5 days, we hit the road and went to Santa Cruz.  Since I was bummed about the weather and wasn’t able to photograph as much as I would have liked, I decided to take you girls on a detour, and drive on High way 1 to Point Reyes State Park.  It was a cold, windy rainy day, but the detour was WORTH it.  WE SAW AN ELEPHANT SEAL.  And it was HUGE!  Oh man, it was huge.  And it had this barking call.  It was pretty wild.  We saw reindeer and cows on these cliffside grazing lands.  It was beautiful.  We stopped at this AMAZING restaurant called Side Street Kitchen. I think we had the best food ever during that lunch.  This was all before we passed San Francisco.  We still had to drive to Santa Cruz.  The rest of the drive was long, you girls were on the tablet.  Nani took a nap. It was a long day.

We arrived at the Santa Cruz beach house pretty late.  Everyone else was there, and you girls had fun exploring all the rooms.  It wasn’t as big as the house in Sonoma, but it was a pretty school space.  The house was a block away from the beach.  We had a beautiful day at the beach one day.  It was sunny, and you girls had a BALL playing in the sand.  Running toward the waves, screaming and running away from it.  Asha, you even asked for your bathing suit! The water was COLD, but you girls did not care.  You tried to build sand castles, you dug moats, you carried buckets and buckets of water.  I took lots of pictures.  It was great.  Your daddy even found a place to check out tide pools!  Oh my gosh, it was so cool.  We had to climb up some rocks to get there. We saw anemone, star fish, mussels.  It was pretty neat.

There was a boardwalk with rides and games near by as well.  Oh man, did you all have so much fun.  Only a few rides were open, but you kept riding them over and over and over again.  Niraj mama won you a stuffed animal, and then I won you a stuffed animal too!  Daddy tried, but he couldn’t hit the pins with the baseball.  But I did 🙂

We tried to make it to Ano Nuevo State Park to see more elephant seals.  But I didn’t realize that you had to make an appointment to see a tour. Plus there was no cell service, so we got separated from Eila and Kailas.  But we did take a side trip and visited Big Basin  Park.  Oh my goodness, we saw so many sand dollars.  It was the coolest thing ever.  you could jump on these rocks and searched  and searched and searched.  It was definitely one of the highlights of our trip.

We celebrated Nani’s birthday while we were in Santa Cruz.  Ice cream cake and balloons, sparkling wine and fun.  I think you girls were really happy to spend so much time with family.

After 5 days in Santa Cruz, it was time to go back home.  We were on the same flight with Nani and Nanu. And you were rockstars, you did such a great job flying back.  we still had to make that drive home from DC, and we were all tired.  10 days was a long time to be away and we were ready for our beds.  I also think that Asha, you were tired of sharing Ariya with your cousins.  While you had a good time with your cousins, and you were so gentle with Kailas, you were having a rough time with Eila.  You loved playing with her, but you also fought with her like you fight with Ariya.  And not everyone understands your dynamic with your sister.  You two fight.  You love hard and you play hard and you fight hard, and you love hard some more.  You also JUST turned three, and you’re still learning to communicate.  And you get frustrated pretty easily.  And you strike out when you’re frustrated. I get you.  I know that with time and repetition, learning to use your words and not your hands, you’ll mature, and do better.  But your amazing strong stubborn opinionated self, I hope you never change.  Because I know those qualities will serve you well in life.

Ariya, I know you had a great time with your best friend/cousin Eila.  It’s a shame that they live so far away and we don’t get to see them that often.  You two played so well together.  You had your ups and downs, as friends and family do, but overall, you liked the same things and were happy to play together.

On Christmas Eve, we made the trip to Grandma’s house.  It was so nice seeing Grandma and all of the family, playing with your cousins on your daddy’s side.  It was so refreshing to see you girls go crazy with your cousins and I didn’t have to worry about a thing.  There were so many cousins to play with!  When it was time to go, Ariya, you cried and cried.  It was tough getting you in the car.  That’s when I know you had a really good time.  I know it was such a short time to spend with family.  Christmas was nice, you loved all of your presents. But what was most important was that you spent quality time with family.  And you’ll see your cousins again in the summer time, I promise.

New Year’s Eve, we drove to Alexandria to spend the night.  We had this amazing Indian dinner at this place called Namaste.  It was so nice to spend New Year’s Eve with my family.  We played Jenga and Uno, watched tv and basically hung out together.  We didn’t make it to midnight, but that’s ok.  It was worth it.

2018 was a great year, with lots of changes.  Asha started pre-school, Ariya started kindergarten.  But, I’m pretty sure 2019 is going to be even better!

Letters to My Children – November 2018

Dear Ariya and Asha,

November’s been a pretty cool month.  We had our Diwali celebration, where you girls performed a song about Ganesha and danced on stage.  That was pretty fun, you two had worked so hard.  Nani and Nanu came to visit too!  There was no school for a few days because of Election Day, but we also ended up having our first snow for the year.  We had maybe 8 inches.  It was pretty great.  We helped Daddy shovel the drive way, we built a snow man, you both went on the sled and FLEW down the front yard.  I ran down the hill chasing Asha, I was so scared she was going to make it to the road.  And we made snow cream, which is always a nice treat.

Asha, you and I had a dentist appointment.  And you did so well!  You didn’t want to get out of the chair, even when it was my turn to get my teeth checked.  The dentist and dental hygienist was so impressed that you weren’t scared at all.  And after that day, you asked and asked and asked when we could go back to the dentist.  You would get so upset when I said not today.

We also went to Richmond for a few days.  Spent some time at the children’s museum, which is always fun and nice.  I swear, if it was one thing you’d remember about your childhood, it was that we were always taking you to some children’s museum, science museum or aquarium.

Thanksgiving was pretty low-key.  Daddy had to work, so we spent it with our friends, the Ryans.  You had a blast playing with their kids, and you both cried when it was time to leave.  But the ride home was glorious because you both passed out, and I was somehow able to put you to bed without a fight.  It’s the little things.

The countdown is on to our holiday trip.  But Ariya, you’re so upset that you can’t celebrate the holidays at your school with your friends.  It’s a constant conversation trying to get you excited about going to California when you’re missing out on the hot chocolate sing a long party. But it will be worth it, I promise you.

 

Letters to My Children – October 2018

Dear Ariya,

It’s been a great month of exciting things happening in Kindergarten.  Your first field trip was at Wayside Farms.  What a fun place to go.  I was able to chaperone and take pictures.  There were animals, a pumpkin patch, an pretty awesome playground.  We learned about the life cycle of a pumpkin, and how the rain affected the pumpkin patch this year.  There was story time too.

Then you had the Race for Education with your school.  It was so cool, it was like a Ninja Warrior theme.  Lots of obstacles.  And you were running like crazy, I could see the look that your daddy has when he runs.  It looked really fun.

We went to garba in Winchester this year.  It was nice, you were really into it.  You danced by yourself, and you really wanted to do dandiya sticks too.  But poor Asha was not having it.  And Daddy had to work so it was just me trying to make you guys happy.  But we came, we got to dress up in our pretty clothes.

Soccer ended this month.  It was a shame that there was so much rain.  We missed some practices, we missed some games.  But there was a pizza party at the end of the season and you got yourself a trophy!  I’m so proud of all the hard work you put into soccer, you did awesome this season!  And you had fun doing it, which is important!

Your school had a Monster Mash Halloween party which was so much fun.  You and Asha both went crazy playing the games, trick or treating, and running around and dancing in the gym.  Then we went to a Halloween party at the kid zone at the gym.  And then finally, we went trick or treating with our friends the Patels’, the Stephens and the Carter Family.  It’s definitely a tradition.  And I’d say you got plenty of use out of your witch costume.  One thing that we thought was so funny is that you cried after getting m&ms at one house.  We laughed it off and said, don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get some candy that you like at the next house. Well, at the next house, you got m&ms AGAIN, and you almost threw a fit.  I know I know, you don’t really like chocolate.  You’re more of a skittles/nerds/twizzlers kinda gal.

Dear Asha,

It’s been a pretty low key month for you.  We have our schedule, and I haven’t figured out a way for you to get into your activities.  I want to sign you up for the Little gym, but I know you don’t really listen to the teacher, and all you want to do is tumble.  Maybe in the new year, we’ll get you signed up.

Halloween was a success.  Kunal auntie gave you one of her daughter’s old ballerina costume, and you loved it.  You couldn’t wait to go trick or treating in your new ballerina costume.  You loved running from house to house with the big kids getting candy.  I think your favorites were skittles and lollipops.  No chocolate for you either.  Are you sure you two are my kids?  Because I LOVE chocolate.

Diwali practice was ramping up for both you and Ariya.  Oh man, the first year that you perform on stage for Diwali!  Asha, you have been so awesome.  There were times when I thought you weren’t ready.  But then you’d break out in song and start doing the dance and I’d think you were going to be fine.

Letters to My Children – September 2018

Dear Ariya,

You’ve been in school for a few weeks now, and it’s been a breeze.  You’re learning a lot and mastering a lot of you what you learned in pre-school.  You love riding the school bus.  And this month, you started 2 new activities….ballet and soccer!  Every Thursday, Asha and I pick you up from school so we can get you to ballet on time.  You get to see all of your old girlfriends from pre-school.  Mikayla, Emie. You’re always excited to find out what costume you’ll wear for the recital in May.

You’re also on a soccer team with your old friends Finn and Asher from preschool!  And Finn’s mom is the coach!  It’s been an interesting season so far.  We’ve had so much rain that practice has been cancelled pretty much every week.  The games have been fun even though we haven’t scored any goals….BUT!  the last game in September, YOU SCORED THE FIRST GOAL.  Your daddy and I went NUTS!  We were so happy and excited for you.  You did such an awesome job!

You’ve really connected with this sweet little girl, Claire, from the gym of all places.  When I go to work out and would drop you off at the kid zone over the summer time, you really loved playing with Claire.  So I made friends with her mommy and we had a few play dates.  Wow, I’ve never seen you like this before.  I’m so glad that you’ve made such a great friend.

Dear Asha,

You are growing to love school.  Sometimes I think you’d rather hang out with me, but I know you’re doing some pretty cool things at school.  Everyone at school keeps calling you Ariya and I don’t blame them.  I get deja vu every time I see you walk out of the school with your teacher for pickup.  It’s pretty wild.

You are very opinionated about the music we listen to in the car.  First it’s kidz bop.  Now it’s the original versions of kidz bop.  Your favorite song is The Middle, and No Tears Left to Cry.  I’ve introduced you to Beyonce and you can’t get enough of Run the World (Girls). It’s kinda cool to listen to these songs, but also kind of inappropriate when you ask for “Turn Down for What”.  I think you just like the beat.  I hope you’re not paying attention to the words.

You had your last swim lesson with Super Splashers.  And you lost your damn mind.  You wanted to stay in that pool.  It was around your nap time, so I get why you were so cranky.  But you were screaming at the top of the longs when I brought you out of that building.  And I realized that yeah, we’ll take a break from swimming until maybe the spring, definitely the summer.

We’ve developed this habit of you going for a car ride for nap time.  I don’t know what it is, but listening to music and driving around really does it for you.  And some how I’ve perfected the art of transferring you from the car to your bed.  Sometimes it fails, but for the most part it works.  Thank goodness!