Letters to My Children – September 2020

Dear Ariya,

Summer vacation is officially over.  School started after labor day and you are learning virtually.  It’s been….interesting.  There have been a lot of moments where we have had to just roll with it.  Technology can be a pain.  Having 16 kids in a virtual class can be tough.  I could see your frustration when you raised your hand and the kids would talk over you.  Or  when you would get through the material really fast but had to wait for everyone to catch up.  It’s been an interesting month of trying to figure out what would work to keep you engaged.  I bought a bunch of homeschooling material that looked pretty interesting and fun.  You’ve enjoyed a lot of the stories that we’ve gone through.  And we’ve also signed up for virtual art lessons, virtual ballet and even trying something new, like virtual Jazz.  This school year looks very weird.  There have been a lot of tears but we’re going to get through it.

We’ve had a few adventures, like going to the State Arboretum, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley to see the Bugs Exhibit or Harper’s Ferry.  Harper’s Ferry with daddy was quite the hike.  We didn’t go as far as we could have, but man, we were all wiped.  And with the dogs too, who don’t care for strangers.  Charlie had his muzzle on the whole time.  And Emmy tried to drag me down a few trails.  I had to hand the leash over to Daddy.  I think he has a calming effect on the dogs.  And you loved playing in the river, checking out the little fish.

Our home renovations are still in progress.  You’re still sharing a room with Asha, and it’s tough.  She wants to keep playing, you want to keep reading.  She wakes up early and is ready to play, and you take a little time to wake up.  You can’t wait until we can move into the new house.  Your new bedroom is waiting, your new bunk bed.  I know.  I can’t wait either.

Dear Asha,

It’s so weird not going to your pre-school for your last year of pre-K.  I’m so bummed that this year is so different and you can’t experience it all like Ariya did.  But, the person who would have been your teacher for pre-K offered to tutor you on her front porch outside, so that was really nice.  you still get your lessons, and we have material to work with. Ariya gets to take lessons with her too, but it’s more like science experiments and more hands on learning that she doesn’t get with virtual.

I also got some homeschooling stuff for you.  I think you liked some of the subjects we covered, but it’s very nature based, and I think you just want to do what Ariya does.  You are working on writing and doing a ton of worksheets.  You’re not a fan of coloring as much, unless I’m coloring with you.

And you like to play, a lot.  Your voice only knows one volume.  Oh man, you love to make Anika laugh so much.  You fight with Ariya a lot, but I think it’s because you love her so much.  You want to do anything that she does, you look up to her so much.  I understand that feeling, I used to look up to my brother so much too.  It’s so tough being in such a small place.  You want to be loud and wild and free.  But Anika naps upstairs once or twice a day, and Ariya is doing virtual learning all morning. It’s time for us to get out of this townhouse!

We got out and had fun in nature, that’s for sure.  Man, you both have been riding your bike like crazy in our little parking lot.  And the hike to Harper’s ferry, wow, you made it!  I am so proud of you! The bugs exhibit at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley was great.  I think your favorite part were the gardens, and all the bees, and the bamboo forest.  Yeah, the bamboo forest and the Japanese Garden was pretty cool for sure.

But, in the meantime, you are ALSO doing art with Ariya, and ballet, and tutoring with your pre-K teacher.  So that’s nice, having things to look forward to. you’re learning so much, that’s for sure.

Dear Anika,

Anika.  What can I say.  You are now 14 months old and you’re crawling up a storm.  You’ve learned to crawl up and down the stairs in our town house.  You follow your sisters around everywhere.  You’re into anything and everything.  When you get tired, you start crawling back and forth, doing laps around the town house.  Then you start crawling in circles and shaking your head back and forth.  That’s when we know you’re delirious.   And you love your “dada”.  You still have yet to say mama and it is killing me.  But that’s ok, I know you love me 🙂

 

Letters to My Children – August 2020

Dear Ariya,

We started the beginning of August at Nani and Nanu’s house in Richmond.  It’s been nice hanging out at my old house, with you and Asha playing with my old toys.  Especially my old barbies.  Nani saved up all these old fabrics and ribbons and just basically everything that I would have thrown away, for you to create dresses and outfits for your barbies.  Nani found a few old sewing machines that she and Nanu thought they could resurrect for you, but no go.  That’s ok, you still had a blast trying to create outfits for your dolls and stuffed animals.

We had so much Indian food, khakra and mango for breakfast, pav bhaji, rice and chole for dinner.  lunch would always be a sandwich or takeout.  But we had desert every day.  I know I gained 5 lbs.  But it was worth it.

Daddy came a few days later.  It was great having him here, even for a few days.  We hung out, enjoyed spending time with each other, taking walks in the neighborhood.  We went down to Monument Ave, a street that your daddy and I used to spend a lot of time together when we were at VCU and MCV.  It’s this street that has all of these monuments of confederate soldiers and generals.  It’s a piece of history that people love to glorify.  Well, we had quite a time trying to explain what’s happening to people that look like us, what police brutality is for, why there is graffiti all over the confederate statues.  It’s pretty deep and hard to realize that the world sees us differently.  How do we prepare you for the rude awakening that we are sure you will have when you face your first moment of racism?    When will that moment be?  We want you to be prepared.  We want you to believe so hard in yourself that no one will be able to tear you down.

Halfway through the month, we came back to Winchester and moved into a temporary rental, a 2 bedroom townhouse.  It’s been interesting.  You still have to share a room with Asha.  The dogs are with us and they are aware of every single thing.  They are very excited (and not in a good way) that there are neighbors and other dogs and cats around. You had a meet and greet at your school using a drive through.  We received your chromebook, your books and some supplies.  We met your teacher through google meet up and that was pretty cool.  Can’t believe summer is ending.

Dear Asha,

Aren’t you a lucky girl, you have been sharing a room with Ariya for the whole month.  You always wanted a sleepover, you’ve asked for it all the time, and now you get it.  But man.  You just won’t let each other sleep.  All you want to do is play play play.  And fight fight fight.  Fight over my old barbie dolls, fight over all of my old stuffed animals.  It’s a struggle.  You have these big feelings, big emotions, and it’s so hard to translate them into words.  You want what you want, and you have a hard time sharing.  But you still have so much fun with together.  You ran through sprinklers, and played with the garden hose.  You made mud pies and helped Nanu wash the cars.

Then we came back to Winchester.  We tried to get as much pool time in as possible.  It’s kind of tough when the contractors are working on the house every day.  But we made it work, and we had fun.

The realization that summer is coming to an end is hitting pretty hard.  I think the realization that your school is closed for the fall/winter is hitting pretty hard too.  Especially when Ariya got her chromebook, you said “what about me?”  I told you that you have to learn to read first.  So now you’re motivated.  You saw Ariya meet her teacher on google meet up.  And then you said “what about me?”  I was able to get your pre-school teacher to tutor you.  At least you get a break from me trying to teach you, and you have a real teacher teaching you some pretty cool things.  I think we’re going to be ok.  You are a smart, motivated girl that always needs to be challenged.  I bought a lot of homeschooling stuff for this year, I think we are going to have a great time.

Dear Anika,

Anika, you are a trooper.  You have been sleeping in a pack n play for the past month and you are amazing.  I remember traveling with Ariya and Asha when they were babies, and they HATED sleeping in the pack n play.  I don’t know what happened, was it the sleep consultant, was it just your personality?  I don’t know, but man, as long as you have your crib or pack n play, and we try to stick to your nap schedule, you are good.  Daddy and I have to share a room with you, and as long as we are quiet, you pretty much stay asleep.  It’s pretty amazing.  Or maybe we just know better this time around.

This was your first time at Nani and nanu’s house.  You had so much fun crawling all over the place.  And Nani and Nanu loved holding you and playing with you.  You started to crawl up the stairs, it’s only a matter of time before you start crawling up the stairs.

You have a 5th tooth growing in.  And honestly, I don’t think there was ever an issue.  I haven’t noticed you being more fussy or sleeping less or anything.  You’ve just been having a ball, playing in the grass, following your sisters, playing with all of your sisters old baby toys at Nani and nanu’s house, and basically just living your best life ever. 13 months old.  Wow, you are 13 months old and you just keep growing and growing.

 

Letters to My Children – July 2020

Dear Ariya,

The countdown is on.  We have been packing packing packing.  The offer on the house is in, we need to get the house inspected, and we need to go go go.  In the middle of the chaos, you had a few summer camps on zoom.  You did Storybook Ballet with SCAA.  That was a pretty fun week.  Your teacher had an activity planned every day.  You had story time and you did arts and crafts, along with a dance learned.  What a fun thing to do, even if it was through zoom.  You also had ballet once a week for the rest of the month. On top of that, we wrapped up your swim lessons.  You are getting better and better each time.  Once things go back to normal, we can look into joining a swim team, because I really think you’d enjoy it!

Grandma came to visit and help us pack the house up.  It was so great to have her here and you got to spend all of your time with her.  Asha and Anika loved their time with Grandma too.  And even Charlie and Emmy loved her attention and missed her when she left.

By the end of the month, we had the house cleared out, the movers came, and we tried to say goodbye.  It felt so rushed.  We drove down to Richmond to stay with Nani and Nanu for the next 2 weeks before our townhouse was available for rent.  No, our house is not done with renovations.  They are still working on it, and it should be another month or two before we can move in.  So Ariya, you’re going to have to get used to sharing a bed room with Asha.  It’s going to be tough, living out of a suitcase.  Hopefully we can get through this.

Dear Asha,

You had your own summer camp too, the Art Start Carnival, with SCAA.  You had the same activities as Ariya had.  But your story books were different and your dances were different.  We just love SCAA and our teacher, she is the best!  You got to see your friends on zoom, you got to dance and be silly.

You also had ballet once a week, which I’m so glad that you’re doing.  It’s nice to have activities just like your big sister.

You have made SO MUCH PROGRESS with swimming!  I was amazed to see you jump off the diving board into the deep end and SWIM.  I’m so proud of you.  And now I don’t have to worry about you as much.  You are still very fearless.  And you still make me worry.  Just not as much.

It’s funny, when we said goodbye to our house, I didn’t realize that you all wouldn’t be as sad as I was.  I know it’s just a house, but you and your sisters were just excited to be on the road, to spend time with Nani and Nanu.  I guess this was great planning on our parts, to have something exciting to look forward to.  Lots of Indian food, lots of hanging out with Nani and Nanu, lots of playing with Anika and showing her the ropes with all the toys that you have saved up at their house.

Dear Anika,

Oh my gosh, in the middle of all of this chaos, YOU TURNED ONE!!!  I am bawling my eyes out on the inside, because my baby, my last baby, is one.  You stopped nursing, you transitioned to a bottle, we went through all of the frozen breastmilk that I had saved up, now you’re drinking whole milk, and eating lots of different foods.  And you had cake!  Like your older sisters, I scheduled a cake smash for you.  And you were not a fan.  All the tears.  It didn’t help that the photographer, a good friend of mine, had to wear a mask.  And you couldn’t see our faces.  Everything was just weird.  The texture of the cake, the icing was different.  The whole experience.  It was interesting.  But really, I think you were just hungry for something you were comfortable with, and you were tired.

We had a pool party for you.  Grandma was here, and we had a few close friends over that we trust.  The kids had a blast.  You got to eat some pizza and then had some of that famous cake.  And you LOVED it.  It was a baby shark theme.  I couldn’t go all out like I wanted, but it was important that we were together with friends and family, and we were all happy and healthy and safe.

You became more and more comfortable in the water, which was awesome.  I think for our next session, we may have to learn survival just for water safety.  You haven’t started walking yet, but you’re still a crawling machine, and I’m worried that you’ll fall in and not know how to float.  So that’s next on our list of things to do.

We said goodbye to your room.  And it made me so sad.  You won’t remember anything except for the pictures we show you.  The backyard that we loved to hang out in, watch the dogs run around, watch the girls do their arts and crafts outside.  The kitchen where you pulled out all of the spices and would use them as shakers.  The tupperware that you would bang together in in the kitchen while I cooked dinner.  The basement where the big girls played and created jumbo castles made out of legos and then put you in.  The family room where the girls would watch tv and you would just play with all of your baby toys.  The bedroom where you would pull all the books off the bookshelves while I put away your laundry.  The driveway and front yard where we would just hang while the girls rode their bikes.  Man, we are going to miss this house.

But we’re going to see Nani and Nanu!!!  You haven’t seen them since February, and I don’t think you’ve ever been to their house.  So this will be nice.  So much Indian food to stuff your face with.  So many different toys to play with.  So much quality time with Nani and Nanu.  It’s going to be great!

Letters to My Children – February 2020

Dear Ariya,

February was a normal month.  The usual events happened.  You had theater class on Mondays, ballet on Thursdays, Balvihar and bollywood dance on Sundays.  We’ve had some pretty busy weekends, hanging out with friends.  You’re loving school as always.  But you’re really looking forward to our trip to California with Grandma the first week of March.  There’s this thing going on, this virus called COVID-19 (or coronavirus) that’s been spreading across the world, and there were some cases in California.  I was worried about going to California, but we had been planning this trip for a while, and everyone else thought it wasn’t a big deal.  So we decided to go.

Dear Asha,

You are thriving so well at school.  You’re learning so much and you’re so happy with all of the crafts that you’re doing there.  You come home with a cool craft every week.  You started doing a sports class at the Little Gym on Tuesdays, and one of your friends from school is there.  So that’s been great, having Ariya and Anika come to see you do your thing.  And you have so much energy.  Oh my gosh, you have so much energy.  Apparently ballet, the little gym and bollywood dance is not enough for you.  You are excited to go on an airplane to go to California.  And you can’t wait to sleep in a hotel, it’s like one big slumber party.

 

Dear Anika,

You, my sweetheart, are driving me crazy.  You are not sleeping at all.  You fall asleep for a few hours at a time.  Nursing you to sleep did not help.  I was at my wit’s end.  I ended up calling a sleep consultant to help.  We thought we’d get some healthy sleep habits established before we go on our trip.  And wow, you were a rockstar.  We figured out a nap schedule, you ended up only waking up once a night.  It was amazing.  So worth it.  We are all well rested because of it.  And next month, you’re going on your first plane trip to California!!

 

One roll of film one day – February 2020

Ok, so it’s already 2 months into the new year and I gave up on my film 366.  I don’t know what happened, I had dedicated one film camera (the Rolleiflex SL66)  and one film stock (Portrait 400).  And then I forgot about it until the end of the day, so I picked up the GA645w and used the pop up flash to take a photo.  And then I got all out of order, and then I gave up.  And I JUST got the roll back from the first 16 days of January, and most of the photos were OUT OF FOCUS.  So, I guess maybe it’s a good thing I gave up on it.  Or I’ll just keep trying, I don’t know.

I also kind of gave up on the 52 weeks of portraits.  I haven’t given up on the idea of portraits.  I do break out the strobes every week.  I break out the seamless paper.  But sometimes, the photos just don’t turn out.  I’m still trying though.

But, this project is pretty easy to stick to.  I thought I’d pop a roll of Kodak Tri X 400 in my trusty Nikon f100.  At first I started with a 24mm lens, but realized it was too wide for me, so I went with my trusty 35mm lens.  I rated it at 800 and pushed +1.  I did something else, I thought I’d try a new lab, just see what else was out there.  Nope, this experiment failed, I think I’ll go back to my default lab that I’ve spent years with.

Here was our day.

To follow the circle and see some pretty talented film photographers that are doing the same challenge, please check out Lillie Duncan here

Letters to My Children – December 2019

Dear Ariya,

It’s December!  The countdown is on for Christmas.  And you are so excited for Christmas break.  Asha turned 4, which was a nice day to celebrate.  Daddy went to Florida for a conference so it was just us girls for a week.  When he got back, it actually snowed so you had a few snow days, made snow angels out of the dust, ate a lot of snow.  But we did not have enough snow to make snow cream or go sledding.

We celebrated Asha’s birthday at the little gym.  You had fun with some of the older siblings, like Myra and Addison.  I think your favorite part was the cake because it made your lips look like you were wearing makeup.

We baked a lot of cookies for the holiday season.  We actually went over to Asher’s house to bake and decorate cookies, and hang out with Asher and Marni.  You missed Asher so much.  We also saw Marni perform in a play based on a Junie B book.  The play was interesting and you were enthralled with the acting.  I think you want to start reading the Junie B book series.  Personally, I’m not a fan, and I hope you realize that too.

Christmas vacation was nice.  Nani and Nanu came to visit.  A lot of relaxing, a lot of hanging out with your grandparents.  Daddy was off of work, so that was nice too.  You girls were spoiled for Christmas.  Santa must have thought you were a very good girl.

New Year’s Eve was pretty chill.  Daddy had to work.  I think we just watched a lot of tv and hung out at home.

Dear Asha

You turned four!!  Oh my goodness, you’re growing up so fast!  Daddy and I came to your class with cupcakes and to sing happy birthday.  We just wanted to make you feel special.  Afterwards, I took you to the hair salon.  You made the decision to chop your hair off, and we all love it.  It fits your personality so well.  And it’s so much easier to wash and brush your hair.  You don’t fight us anymore when it’s time to do anything with your hair.

Your friend from school, Lelia, turned four, so we went to her house for a princess birthday party theme.  oh my goodness, she had princess dresses to try on, jewelry to take home, makeup to put on.  You and Ariya both had a ball!  You decorated crowns and small jewelry boxes to take home.  I think you two had a blast!

Your friend Emme turned four too, so we went to her birthday party at the Little Gym next.  It was a pretty long fun filled day.  I think we were all exhausted that day.

We had a few snow days and had to miss your Christmas program at your pre-school.  What a bummer.  You missed the Christmas program last year because we went on vacation.  And now we missed it again because of the weather.  I don’t think you were too concerned, you were just happy to be on Christmas vacation.  We made a small snow man and you helped shovel the driveway.  But the snow wasn’t too impressive, not enough to go sledding or anything

You would think you’d be tired of the Little gym, but nope, we had your birthday there a week later.  You had so much fun, you just love the Little Gym.  The theme was outer space.  The cake looked like a galaxy.  It was pretty delicious too.

Christmas was a blast.  And lucky girl, Nani and Nanu gave you a bike for your birthday/Christmas gift.  A Frozen bike!  You love it so much, you don’t care how cold it is, you want to ride your bike in the back yard all the time.

I think your favorite present was the makeup set.  Any chance you get to put make up on, you’d take it.  You can be such a girly girl with your makeup and wanting to put on my heels and wear dresses.  But then you turn around and tackle Ariya to the ground and are so rough when you’re joking around and wrestling.  You are a character girl.  Wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dear Anika,

You are now five months old!  oh my goodness, you just keep growing and I can’t handle it.  You’re still waking up in the middle of the night all the time.  But that’s ok, we’ll get through it.

It was your first Christmas!  How special, spending it with all of us at home.  You have no clue what’s going on, but you are starting to pay attention to your toys, feeling different textures, grasping things with your hands. so that was pretty cool.

The girls love you so much.  They always want to hold you, or touch you. And you love staring at them.  Asha is always acting silly to make you laugh.  And you do, you laugh so much!  You’re giggling all the time at Asha.  And Ariya jumps around and tries to make you feel better every time you start to cry.  You are so lucky to have two pretty awesome big sisters.

 

One roll of film, one day – January 2020

It’s a new year, and I thought I’d focus on some new projects to get my creative juices flowing.  When my oldest was born, I used to do Project 365s, take one photo a day, to document her life.  That was almost 6.5 years ago.  When my second oldest was born, I got heavy into shooting film.  I was obsessed.  But I scaled back on the Project 365s.  I think I did 4 years total and then burned out. I kept shooting.  I just didn’t have any more reason to print photo books out.  I miss that.

So, this year will be different.  I have 2 years worth of printing photos.  And I thought I’d start the projects back up.  Now, I know me, I tend to go all in when I have an idea.  But sometimes those ideas are not sustainable, especially when I have a 6 month old at home.   I will do my best.  So, I have a film Project 365 that I’ve started.  I’ve also wanted to break out my studio lighting equipment and do 52 weeks of portraits.  It’s an excuse to break out the seamless paper that I bought and do fun portraits of the girls.  And even try to get a portrait of my husband and maybe even myself in the frame.  This weekend will be my third week of that project.

But I did join a Facebook group to try shooting one roll of film for one day each month.  Just document my day how I see fit.  I decided to choose January 1st, as it was a new year, new month, and it was my birthday.  But wow, what a dramatic roller coaster of a day.  It felt like the longest holiday vacation ever and the girls were off the chain.  Anika wasn’t sleeping well which meant I was not sleeping well.  And if I heard “Mommy, I’m BORED one more time…”

The highlight was that some girlfriends came over to help me celebrate my birthday….and of course I didn’t document that because I was having too much fun.  But here was our day.  All shot on the Contax N1 and pretty 50mm lens.  I used the flash in some photos where I knew I’d have trouble with low light.  All on Portra 400 rated at 400.

(A little context.  This was a pajama type day.  We had lunch with my husband at work, went for a short hike, and then was back home and chillin for the rest of the day.  I take a lot of pictures of my girls, I would like to slow down and document our environment, the house, all the supporting things in our life. )

 

To follow the circle, check out Celina Bailey’s post on her roll of film for the day here

Letters to My Children – October 2019

Dear Ariya,

You actually received a letter from your guidance counselor at school that you are invited to join the SCA.  You are now your class’s representative for the SCA and you get to do fun stuff around the school.  You meet once a month with other students from other classrooms and decide on important things.  For October, you got to take some time out of the day to go with the SCA to the farmer’s market to pick out pumpkins for the school.  I had a parent/teacher conference with your teacher, and she just loves you.  You excel at everything that you do.  You’re reading chapter books, you read so much ALL THE TIME.  At the bus stop, on the bus, at home, in the car, everywhere.  I love it.  I used to read like that all the time too.  I’m so happy you get lost in books like I used to.  Your daddy loves to read too.  He was the one that got us started on Harry Potter.

Let’s see, what else happened this October?  Nani and Nanu came to visit, and we went to Garba.  Daddy was off too, so we all got to go as a family.  Since you made so many friends from the Bollywood dance class, you had a blast.  You danced in the circle for garbage, you picked up those dandiya sticks and Priya auntie and I taught you and your friends how to do garba.  You ran around with Veer and Jai and Asha.  It reminded me so much of my childhood.  I remember running around with my friends at grab.  And following my mom in the garba circle, not really knowing how to do anything but still trying.  It made me so happy that you love our Indian culture so much.  You ask to listen to bollywood music, you practice your dances at home.  I wish I had that growing up, but I’m so glad that you have it for yourself.

We also took some time to go to our usual Pumpkin patch, Hill High Farms.  Right near our house, we go on a wagon ride to the pumpkin field.  A cowboy rides up to us and gives us a history lesson on the land, crops, and animals.  There’s a hay maze.  There’s also a cornfield maze, haunted house and escape room, but I think you girls aren’t ready for that yet.  Maybe the cornfield maze next year.

Let’s see, what else…  Not much…EXCEPT HALLOWEEN!  You didn’t want to go to the store and get a costume.  You wanted to make your own.  So we found this pretty dress on amazon, dressed it up with a flower crown and some wings and voila, you were a fairy.  And you loved your costume so much.  We had the Monster Mash at school.  We played games, won some candy, decorated some cupcakes.  Daddy came for a little bit before he had to go to work, but I think you were really happy to have him, Asha, Anika and myself there.

We spent our annual tradition of trick or treating with our good friends Priya auntie and Meetul uncle, and Jen and Stephen and their kids.  Azusa auntie and Uncle Ellford met us as well.  It was great…until it poured down rain.  We were drenched as we ran back home.  But we got a lot of candy, had dinner, and watched a movie.  What a great way to end the night.

Dear Asha,

It was a pretty good month.  You had fun running around at the Garba with your friends, but then you crashed pretty hard.  Good thing Nani and Nanu were there, because you were sleeping on Nani’s lap pretty much the rest of the evening.

You’ve been obsessed with this show called Haunted House on Netflix.  It’s actually a pretty creepy anime show.  After doing some googling, it’s from South Korea.  But man there are some scary concepts that you seem to think are hilarious.  You roped Ariya into watching them as well.  Well, with that in mind, when you wanted to pick out your Halloween costume, I thought you wanted to be a unicorn, or a fairy like your sister.  Nope.  You wanted to be a …….GHOUL (according to you, a ghoul is a type of ghost).  You loved seeing spooky.

We had your first field trip this year at Marker Miller.  We got to ride a wagon again and take a tour of the farm.  There was a story about Johnny appleseed, we got to pick apples and see goats.  And the best part was playing on the playground and eating your apple donut.

You came along to the Monster Mash and couldn’t get enough of it.  You could have stayed all night.  I think you can’t wait to go to Kindergarten.  Only a few more years, sweet girl.

You’re so different from Ariya.  you’re rough and tough, you love to scare, and be scared.  But you can be so girly too, with your dresses, and doing ballet and bollywood dance. You are definitely one of a kind.

Dear Anika,

You’re 3 months old.  And you’re moving, A LOT.  You’re learning to roll on your side.  Which is kind of good, and not so good.  Not so good because you’re done with the swaddle, which really helped calm your moro reflexes.  But great that you’re growing.  Now you just need to learn to move on your side and calm yourself.  I still wear you, but you’re also starting to sleep longer in your car seat, when we’re running errands, or taking the girls to and from stuff.  You are the sweetest little thing, like a doll baby. The girls can’t get enough of you.  At the garba, everyone wanted to hold you and cuddle.  I get it.  I want to hold you and cuddle you all the time too.  Slow down, please, don’t grow up too fast.