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!

Letters to My Children – August 2018

Dear Ariya,

And now it’s on.  The countdown till Kindergarten starts. You are so excited for school.  you are ready.  You mention your old school, and your old teachers and friends.  You miss them.  But you’re looking forward to the new adventure that Kindergarten holds.

In the meantime, we’re soaking up the sun and pool and trying to enjoy the last of summer before school starts.

Kindergarten Orientation and Meet the Teacher was a success.  You were scared about riding the school bus, but after a quick trial run at orientation of riding the bus, you were sold.  I wasn’t sold, I was nervous for you.  But the look on your face when you walked towards the bus stop said it all.  You were ready.  Your school bus driver is so nice.  You made friends immediately.  I couldn’t have asked for a better start to Kindergarten.

You loved kindergarten SO much that on Friday, when I jumped on your bed and said that tonight, you can stay up, tomorrow you can sleep in BECAUSE IT’S THE WEEKEND, THERE’S NO SCHOOL……what was your reaction?  You cried.  You cried because you wanted to go to school.  My mouth dropped wide open.  Amazing.  You love your teachers.  You love gym, art and music class.  You love playing on the playground and eating lunch with your class.  I’m super excited for you.

You’ve started reading these BOB books that Azusa Auntie gave you for your birthday.  Wow, the confidence you have, you are a rock star! I’m so proud of you.  You WANT to learn, you LOVE to learn.  Every day you ask for homework.  You wish your teacher assigned homework.  We do your fun sheets when you’re in the mood, but I don’t push it. I love that you love learning, and I want to keep this momentum up.

 

Dear Asha,

It’s the last month of summer fun before you start Preschool!!  We’ve been going to the pool as much as we can.  It’s weird having Ariya in school, with just the two of us at the pool.  You loved it.  You would live in the pool if you could.  Every day, it’s all about the bathingsuit, noodle and country club.  But all good things must come to an end.

You’ve become more opinionated about what you wear, the clothes you wear during the day, and at night.  You have your favorite pajamas, some that you’re outgrowing.  The purple elsa nightgown is your absolute favorite.  But man you are growing.  That nightgown is a 2t, and you’re already wearing 3t dresses and 4t shorts/pants.  It’s crazy how much you’re growing, you’re so tall!

Preschool orientation was a piece of cake.  You’re used to preschool because that’s where Ariya went.  You’re used to your classroom because that’s where you go for bible school when we go to church.  You start after Labor Day and I know you’re ready to start school.  And I’m so excited for you.  Great things are going to happen this year for you!

    

 

Letters to My Children – July 2018

 

Dear Ariya,

The countdown is on….for beach week!  It’s our annual beach trip with the cousins!  Your Grandma, Auntie Anjuanette, Uncle Kashiff, Uncle Eric, Mekhai and Jayden were with us for most of the week and it was glorious.  It rained…alot.  But there were pockets of time when the sun was shining, and we would race to the beach.  We did spend the day at the aquarium.

The waves were fun.  You tried boogie boarding for the first time and you loved it.  You were so sad that we didn’t have our own boogie board.  I think next year, we know what we’ll need to bring to the beach.

Mekhai introduced us to youtube kids, and you were hooked.  What is up with the obsession of watching OTHER kids play with their toys?  It just boggles my mind.  But you loved it.  Watching the tablet, watching youtube kids, was an addiction.  When we came back home, we had to wean you off of it, because wow, did it put you in a cranky mood.  20 minutes of tablet time was never enough.  You wanted more more more.

 

Dear Asha,

We spent a lot of time at the pool.  You watched Ariya and followed her lead.  You started taking a deep breath, putting your head under water, kicking.  I had to sign you up for swim lessons, because you were getting it.  You wanted to jump off the diving board after Ariya (with your noodle, of course).

The beach was great.  you loved playing with the sand….a  little too much, if you ask me.  You would eat it.  I don’t know what the big deal was with sand, but you wanted to eat it.  Drove Daddy and me crazy, but you loved eating sand.  You were a huge fan of the water and the waves.  Spending time with Grandma, your auntie, uncles and cousins were great too.  You got to stay up late, and sleep in.  There was a bunk bed and you always wanted to sleep up top.  But Daddy and I thought you were maybe a bit too young to sleep up top by yourself.  You were not happy about that, but you did love sleeping with Mommy in the king size bed.  Poor Daddy had to sleep with Ariya because she didn’t want to sleep by herself.  Maybe next year, you two will be able to sleep in the same room together.

 

Next month will be the last bit of summer before kindergarten starts for Ariya and pre-school starts for Asha.  Let’s soak it all in.

 

Letters to My Children – June 2018

Dear Ariya,

Summer summer summer time!  It’s summer time! It’s been a wet start to summer, raining a lot.  But we managed to spend a lot of time relaxing.  Mostly going to the pool whenever we can.  I was worried at first, trying to manage you and Asha.  You’re so close to really *getting* how to swim, and Asha does whatever you do.  You don’t wear floaties, she won’t wear floaties.  You jump off the edge, she jumps off the edge.  But we got the hang of it.

You also tried tennis camp for the first time.  AND YOU LOVED IT.  I used to play tennis when I was younger, so I’m pretty excited that you’re into it.  You thought coach Jaime was the best, and you made so many friends there too.  Afterwards, we’d go to the pool and enjoy some time in the water.

Your uncle, Rushabh (my cousin) was getting married at the end of the month.  It was your first Indian wedding, and first wedding that you could remember.  I would get out our wedding album, and we would watch our wedding video.  We even went shopping for Indian clothes for all of us.  You had a blast playing dress up.  But even you couldn’t handle the craziness that come with an Indian wedding.  You got some mehndhi (henna) done.  We did pooja at Rushabh uncle’s house with a priest and you got to spend more time with your cousins and uncles.  The garba was that night, and you were TIRED.  You didn’t want to dance much.  But you played a lot with the fun uncles.  The wedding was early and you were CRANKY.  But after a nap, you were ready for the reception and you were a dancing queen.  It was so much fun on the dance floor with you!  Now you know what an Indian wedding is like, and I’m sure there will be more Indian weddings in the future.

After our weekend in New Jersey for the wedding, we came back to you doing another summer camp.  It was a theater camp, singing, acting, dancing.  And you loved it!  I wonder if you’d be interested in doing it as an activity throughout the year.  But I wonder if maybe you’ll be overloaded with too many activities, especially with you starting Kindergarten.  Plus, I don’t want us to get burnt out.

I know the summer will fly by, I just want to soak up every bit of it with you.

Dear Asha,

Summer vacation is like any day for you.  Except, you’re excited to have Ariya home every day.  It’s been nice sleeping in, not rushing to go to school, being able to stay in our pajamas.  You are obsessed with the pool.  It’s all about the pool.  You won’t wear your floaties or your swim vest, which makes me crazy.  Because you think you can swim, but you can’t.  You’re so independent, or at least, you think you are.  You just want to keep up with Ariya and do everything that she does.

Every time we dropped Ariya off at tennis camp, you cried and screamed to go with her.  And then you wanted to go to the pool, even though it wasn’t open.  You just HAD to go with me to the gym, or to go grocery shopping or to run other errands.  No fun at all.  That’s ok, your time will come.

I think Rushabh uncle’s wedding had you in a daze.  You were up, you didn’t sleep much, and you watched a lot of Netflix on my phone.  I think my phone was dead pretty much the whole weekend because you and Ariya were glued to it.  You weren’t in the mood to play with anyone at all.  And you hated wearing the Indian clothes.  Oh my goodness, how you hated it.  And Daddy hated you in it.  You kept tripping over your skirts., you tried to take your clothes off a couple of times.  I knew I should have just put you in one of your favorite party dresses, but I couldn’t help it, you were just so cute in your Indian dresses!

I’m loving the time that we get to spend together.  Before you know it, the summer will be over, Ariya will be in Kindergarten and Asha will be in pre-school.  And I’ll miss you two. I’m trying to soak up all this time, all these moments with you two.  The fighting.  The playing, the laughter.  The tears.  All of it.

     

 

Letters to My Children – May 2018

Dear Ariya,

Your favorite cousin, Tara ben, came to visit from Canada, and you were ecstatic. We had a lot of fun showing her all of your favorite things.  We picked tulips at Burnside Farms and played with the bouncy house and the playground.  You showed her how much progress you made in swimming.  And it was Apple Blossom time!  We went to the fair, rode a bunch of rides and saw some pretty amazing fireworks.  It was a pretty great time.

You also performed in your ballet recital.  Your second year with Ms Abby.  And you were amazing!  Nani and Nanu came to visit and saw you up on stage, along with Daddy, Asha and myself.  And we were all so impressed!  We are so proud of you, Ariya.  My perfect little ballerina.

And you JUST graduated from pre-K! How in the world are you about to be a kindergartner?  I know you’re prepared, I know you’re ready.  But I’M not ready.  I admit, I shed a few tears watching you on stage with your certificate.  My baby is growing up.

To celebrate your graduation, we went away to Wintegreen with some old friends.  We went on a hike, went to a brewery, some wineries.  Sure, it was more for the adults than for the kids, but you had fun with your friends too.

After wintergreen, we dropped you off at Grandma’s house.  And you were in luck because you got to spend some extra time with Auntie Carmen and Phelix as well.  After the week was done, and right before we left, Jayden, Mekai and Auntie Anjuanette came as well. Family time all around.

Dear Asha,

You are still obsessed with your ballet leotards and bathing suits.  And your party dresses. You’re so opinionated.  It’s a struggle every day trying to put some clothes on you.  Or pajamas at night.  You are so strong.

You loved seeing Ariya perform on stage.  You wanted to do everything she did.  When Ariya went to get her portraits, you screamed bloody murder to get your photos taken also.  (Kensie M Photography is amazing, they took photos of you in your leotard, even though you weren’t a student of SCAA.  And the photos of you and Ariya are beautiful!)

You are now obsessed with Dinosaur Land.  We went once when you were a baby in a stroller, and you remember nothing from it.  But this time.  Oh my goodness.  All you ask for are yellow dinosaurs.  You loved walking around dinosaur land, sitting in King Kong’s hand.  It’s hilarious to me, but to you, you think it’s amazing.

You did a great job keeping up on the hike at Wintergreen.  I was really impressed.  Daddy had to carry you a lot.  But you and your sister had a ball.  You loved running around with the older kids.  And you’d go off and do your own thing too.

Grandma says you did a great job at her house.  Your daddy and I were worried that you’d be a mess.  But we know Grandma can handle it.  I’m sure there were moments where you and Phelix and Ariya fought.  But I’m sure you enjoyed spending time with family.

Letters to My Children – April 2018

Dear Ariya,

You turned 5!!  My big girl, how you’ve grown and keep growing! Let’s see, how did we spend your special day (week) celebrating you?  We started off with Strites Donuts for breakfast.  I dropped you off at pre-school with a whole bunch of cupcakes that we baked for your class, and Asha and I had her swim lessons.  We picked you up and dropped you off at your swim lesson.  (Asha was not happy, she was ready to jump in with you!).  Then Daddy and I took you two to Chuck E Cheese. Which was great, because on a Wednesday, it was practically empty. You had so much fun.  Then we came home to cupcakes and presents.  Your actual birthday was pretty much perfect.

On Friday, I took you to see my hair stylist.  You got your first hair cut!  Really, it was a trim, but still, you got the whole deal.  A great hair wash, head massage, trim, and blow out.  And your hair was SO LONG even with your hair straightened!  Afterwards, we went to get a manicure and pedicure.  I think you got bored pretty easily because after they were done with you, they started on me and you were just ready to get out of there.  So I couldn’t really enjoy my mani/pedi.  But oh well, it was all about you.

Your birthday party was at the Little Gym. And all of your friends and their siblings were there. You and Asha had a great time, and I think your friends did too. It was a beautiful day to celebrate your birthday.

What are exciting month.  We ended up taking a short trip to Baltimore.  We went to the Baltimore Aquarium and the Port Discovery Children’s Museum.  And oh my, that children’s museum was AMAZING.  You had so much fun, you didn’t want to leave.  We did promise you that we’d come back one day soon.

We celebrated Holi this month with Namaste Shenandoah at the Hindu Cultural Center location.  It was so great.  Your daddy had to work but we still went and had a ball.  It was too cold to break out the water guns and water balloons but we still had fun with all of the colors.  And you know I had a great time capturing everything on camera!

Dear Asha,

You keep growing and growing and growing.  You’re talking more, you’re stringing more words together, you’re asking more questions.  You’re more independent, or trying to be.  You think you can do anything.  You’re following Ariya around, wanting to be just like her.  It’s really amazing.

Swim lessons are a success.  While frustrating for me (since it’s an Advanced Mommy and Me class, and you want nothing to do with me in class), you are having a ball.  You use the noodle and are swimming on your own.  You love jumping in the water, but you forget that you can’t really swim by yourself.  But you’ll get there!  You’ve been asking for the beach and the pool, wanting to wear your swim suit every day.  You are persistent.  Don’t worry, summer is right around the corner.

You’ve started wearing Ariya’s old ballet leotards and ballet slippers.  And it’s the cutest thing.  When Ariya gets ready for ballet, you insist on wearing your new ballet outfit as well.    It’s pretty serious, you want to go to bed in it, you want to wear it all day.  It’s pretty hard to convince you that it needs to be washed.  It’s a struggle.

Bed time has been rough.  You’re still trying to drop that nap, but you need it so desperately.  So either you fall asleep in the car when we’re going home from Ariya’s swim lessons or on the way to Ariya’s ballet lessons.  You fall asleep on the way to Ariya’s soccer lessons. It’s such a late nap, that you won’t go to bed.  I keep reminding myself that this is a phase.  This is a phase.  We’ll get through this.

Letters to My Children – March 2018

Dear Ariya,

Destination Imagination happened!  And you rocked it!  There were some hiccups, one of your teammates was sick with strep and couldn’t make it.  We had to ask one of your friends to learn her lines.  It was tough, I know, asking your team to memorize so many lines.  Many thought you all were too young.  But I think you were excited to be in the parade and act out your play with your friends, Veer and Sei.  And you had to think quick on your feet with the instant challenge.  I think it was a great introduction to Destination Imagination.  It sounds like you all want to do it next year.  I thought it was fun, and I think you did too.

You saw your friend Marnie act and sing and dance in a play called Aladdin Jr.  And you loved it.  You loved it so much you were crying when we left.  Because you wanted to be on stage.  You wanted to act and dance and sing.  I reminded you that your ballet recital was in May and you’ll be on stage soon.  But you reminded me that you wouldn’t act or sing, you’d just be dancing, and you wanted to sign and dance and act NOW.  I guess I’ll be signing you up for some theater camps this summer.

We realized that we can now stream Netflix at home (with satellite internet, we couldn’t, and it was painful.  But now that we have a hotspot that streams pretty well, netflix is on all the time).  And you and Asha watched Leap for the first time.  And it was love at first sight.  You stay in your ballet slippers all day long.  You have Asha wearing your old ballet slippers and leotards.  You are leaping and jumping and spinning.  And Asha wants to be just like you, spinning, and twirling as well.

We’ve started swimming lessons again.  Gotta get you ready for the summer.  Practice makes perfect, right?  And you started soccer again, with a new league, BRYSA.  And you LOVED the first practice!  There were maybe 20 kids your age.  A few of them, you knew from preschool, including Asher.  And you did not want to leave.  Oh my goodness, it was so cold and windy during your first practice, but you could have stayed out there all night.  I had no idea how into it you were.

You’ve been asking for gymnastics for a little while so I finally gave in.  You’re taking classes at the Little Gym again.  And you love doing your somersaults and trying flips, jumping around and swinging like monkeys.  It’s crazy.  It’s turning out to be a busy spring.  You love staying busy.  But I have a feeling I’m going to burn out from all this running around. Between you and Asha, you girls are wearing me out. But I’m glad you’re doing all the things I used to do as a little kid.

Daddy had a week off from work, so we took advantage.  We spent a few days with Nani and Nanu in Richmond.  We went to the children’s museum, and spent quality time coloring and playing with your grandparents.  And then we went to Pittsburgh to see our good friends, Raj Uncle, Shilika auntie and Medha.  We went to the Natural History Museum, the Children’s museum (our favorite), and the Phipps’ Botanical Gardens.  It was great getting together with friends, eating out and playing in new and different places.  A change in scenery is always nice.

In April, you turn 5.  I can’t believe it, my baby turns 5.  I’m going to be a mess. We registered you for kindergarten, and I was a mess there.  I just can’t believe my baby is growing up.  I love you so much Ariya.  I can’t tell you enough how lucky I am to be your mommy.  I’m not always patient, and we have our hard times.  But please know that I’m trying my best to be the best mommy that you deserve.

Dear Asha,

Well.  You’re still not napping.  You’re still delirious. You’re still overtired and not falling asleep at night.  I don’t know what to do.  Do I need to wear you out in the morning?  It seems like the only way I can get you to sleep is if we go on a LONG car drive.  And I can’t do this every day.  Girl, you need to go to sleep!  We got rid of the bottle and that doesn’t help at all. Drinking milk out of the straw frustrates the heck out of you.  You’re so angry when you can’t chug your milk. Another way to soothe yourself, taken away.  I’m so sorry baby.  But you’re not a baby anymore.  It’s time to be a big girl.

We started swim lessons and the little gym for you.  And you are OBSESSED.  Especially with the pool.  You ask to go to the pool EVERY DAY.  You want to wear your bathing suit EVERY DAY. And you just don’t understand why we can’t go to the pool every day.  Or why you can’t swim with Ariya, even though you had your lesson already.  It’s tough.  You want what you want when you want it.

We had a snow day in March.  And you were not a fan of all the snow gear, the hat, the mittens, the snow pants and coat.  You hate wearing your winter coat, so all of this was just too much for you.  You loved eating the snow though.  Just like Ariya, you were a fan of the snow cream and the hot cocoa.  But you hated your mittens and took them off every chance you got.

I love you Asha basha. You wear me out, but I wouldn’t trade you for the world.