Letters to My Children – September 2019

Dear Ariya,

September was a good month.  First, we started off with your uncle’s wedding.  Rikin Uncle and Eesha auntie are getting married!  We had to take Friday off, because you know how Indian weddings are.  We went to Pennsylvania for Pithi and Mehndi night. It was great to catch up with everyone, and you had so much fun playing with your big sister, Mala ben.

Saturday, we drove up to Connecticut for the garba.  Niraj mama and Hyeon mami came ALL the way from Singapore with your favorite cousins, Eila and Kailas.  It was so good to have someone to play with your own age.  You loved wearing the same dress with Asha, and we got to dress up too!  We saw all of the cousins perform a dance, how cool was that!

Sunday was the wedding and it was at a botanical garden in New York.  Wow, was it a beautiful wedding.  You had so much fun playing with Eila outside, enjoying nature, making up games, becoming forest children.  You didn’t want to say leave at the end of the night, to say goodbye.  But all good things must come to an end.

We’re still getting into the swing of things with school and your activities.  Since Claire is no longer doing gymnastics, we decided to move gymastics to another day.  We still find ways to see your friend Claire though.  There was an event at Blandy, called Nature Nutures.  It was so cool, there was a woman dressed up as Mother Nature.  You and Asha made a fairy house, and you worked with Claire to do a scavenger hunt.  There was even some stone soup and mud pies to be made, held by the local Tinkergarten group.  So that was a fun afternoon for both you and Asha.

You still have Bollywood dance, which you LOVE.  It’s time to get ready for your performance for Diwali in November, and you and Asha practice all the time.  And then ballet, which I don’t think you’ll ever give up because you love your teacher so much.

School is great.  You love school, you love your teacher.  You talk about your friends at school all the time.  Especially this boy named Luke.  I don’t know who Luke is, but your say his name a lot.  There was the Back to School picnic, which was fun seeing you in your element, playing on the playground.  And then there was Back to school night, where your daddy and I got to meet your teacher and understand what your day really is like.  We like your teacher too, and glad you are in great hands.

We still manage to make time for our other friends that don’t go to your school or activities.  You still go to Balvihar and see Priya auntie and Veer and Jai.  And we have dinner at their house every so often, which is always nice.  We made time to go peach/rasberry/blackberry picking wth Daddy at Marker Miller.  But we all get busy as the school year gears up.

Dear Asha,

School has officially started for you, after Labor Day weekend.  You are so happy with your teachers and your friends in class.  Your best friend Clara from last year is in your class again.  You’re learning so much, and always have fun crafts and reading to do.

The wedding was a success.  You only had school for a day before we went out of town.  Man, were you TIRED.  the whole weekend, you were just done.  You had a great time with your cousins.  Shiven bhai especially, I think he’s your favorite cousin.  But by the time the reception rolled around, you were laid out on the chairs asleep.  Oh man, it was tough getting you girls out of there, because you all were just dead weight.  I’d say it was a great weekend for us all.

On the days that you’re not in school, on top of the Little Gym and Bollywood Dance, we signed you up for ballet.  Finally, FINALLY, you get to have your own activities.  You have the same teacher as Ariya for ballet.  And your friend from school, Emme, is in your class.  It’s the sweetest thing seeing you two play and dance together.

You love love LOVE Bollywood Dance.  It’s kind of amazing, how you practice dancing along with Ariya.  We sing the songs in the car, and you even practice your dance moves in the car.  You’ve got that rhythm, you always find the beat.  Speaking of rhythm and beat, you have a new favorite album, a soundtrack for the movie Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse.  To see you sing “What’s Up Danger” cracks me up.  And I think your absolute favorite song is “Sunflower”. You could sing this song, and this album, over and over and over again.  I think Ariya is sick of hearing it.  I don’t mind though, I like it.

We are still working on your stubbornness.  Girl, you just won’t listen.  And you want to love up and hold Anika all the time.  You might actually love her a little too much.  But that’s ok, it could be worse, you could actually hate her, and that would not be good.  But no problem there.

Dear Anika,

You are 2 months old.  And you are the sweetest thing ever.  You fuss when you’re tired, you wake up crying because you’re hungry.  But once you’ve nursed, you break out in the biggest smile.  I still wear you a lot.  It’s hard trying to get into a routine with you.  You’re basically on the go whenever we drop Asha off at school, or if we take the girls to their activities.  But you do roll with it, and I’m so thankful for that.

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 – 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 – January 2018

Dear Ariya,

It was tough saying goodbye to all of our family and head back home.  You miss your big sister cousin, Tara ben.  But thank goodness for technology, because you had a chance to do a few video chats.  You grabbed my phone so fast so you could show Tara ben your toys, your dogs, the backyard.  It kind of reminds me of my big sister cousin Priti ben (your Priti masi).  Even though we both have 20 years of difference between our big sisters, they are like our best friends.  I know Priti ben was the first person I went to, to tell almost everything, when I didn’t feel like I could tell anyone else.  I hope you never feel that way, and that you’ll always come to me first.  But if you don’t feel like you can come to me, I hope you’ll have Asha, Daddy or even Tara ben to talk to.

We went to a one of your friend’s birthday party which was Princess themed.  I think you had fun.  You did love wearing your new Frozen dress up dress.  You got to put on lipstick as a game to kiss the frog.  I think what’s funny is that this might be what set off Asha’s obsession with princesses, bows in her hair, and wearing dresses all the time.

We had a few school delays and school closings. But no real snow.  I don’t know if you’re disappointed, but I know I am.  There have been a few flurries, and I made you and your sister put on a coat so we can attempt to play in the snow.  But yeah, there has been no real snow, and Mommy is so sad.

School has been great.  You’re always excited to go, and you’re always happy when I pick you up.  Your favorite things now are playing with legos, doing your puzzles, playing with your  “rocket ship” (which is really either a laundry basket or an empty Amazon box).  And you’re looking forward to your 5th birthday party, which is in April.  We’re still trying to figure out what to do, but I’m sure it will be great.

 

Dear Asha,

You are missing Mexico.  I think you got way too used to the pool and the beach.  Because you started stringing your words together and say “I want pool”.  Also, you’ve been paying attention to Ariya, because you use the same tone and manner when you say “I want Mommy, I want Daddy, I want binky” and you stamp your feet or throw a tantrum.  It cracks me up, but I hope this phase (the tantrums and stomping your feet) passes.

The princess bug has officially hit.  It’s Frozen and Moana ALL.THE.TIME.  You’re in love with Ariya’s Jasmine dress up outfit that she never wore.  I think it’s because you think you  look like Shimmer and Shine, another favorite show that you like.  You wear Ariya’s Belle dress like it’s going out of style.  This is happening a lot earlier than it did with Ariya.  We tried to hold off so hard on introducing Ariya to anything Disney.  But with you, you see your big sister enjoy her dress up clothes and watch her disney movies and shows.  And you want to be just like your big sister.  You love your dresses, you want to wear bows in your hair.

Your personality is so strong. We joke that you’re a terror.  But you really are a force.  I don’t think we’ll ever have to worry about you, you know how to handle yourself.  I may have to worry about anyone that gets in your way.

 

 

 

Letters to my Children – October 2017

Dear Ariya,

We’re getting into the groove of our schedule.  School, swimming, ballet, Diwali practice.  You are so excited to go on stage with your friends from Balvihar and wear your Indian outfit and dance on stage.  I’m so glad that we live in an area for you to have Indian friends and learn about our culture.  You were also in a play called the Ramayana.  Pretty famous play.  And you were the Goddess Sita.  It was so amazing to see you practice and really get into it.  You love reading books about Diwali, the Ramayana, Holi.  It’s pretty awesome to see you so excited about our culture.

You were also excited about Halloween.  I must confess, I’m not a crafty or handy mom.  I don’t make costumes.  Or never really thought to.  We went to Target.  You wanted to be Mulan.  Which is pretty awesome, because Mulan, while not a real princess, is like a warrior princess, right?  I’d say she’s pretty rad.  So you were Mulan.  We went to our friends Halloween party, went trick or treating on the walking mall, and then finally went trick or treating on Halloween night with our friends, the Patels.  They have an awesome neighborhood to trick or treat in.  It was a pretty fun time.  We’re still eating candy from Halloween.

You love learning so much.  When we get home, you may want to decompress, watch a few episodes of tv.  But you always want to work on your “fun” sheets.  Practice your letters and numbers, coloring.  You love when we read to you.  We go to the library and you grab maybe 5-10 books each time.  It’s crazy.  I hope I never lose those books!  But I love that you love to read!

Dear Asha,

You are growing like a weed.  I tried to keep the 18-24 months on you for as long as possible, but wow you grew out of everything so fast.  We had to turn around your car seat because your legs were so smooshed.  But you love being able to see everything, in the right direction.

You love going over the animal flash cards.  You know how to say Bee and that a bee says  “Bzzz bzzz”. You know that lions and tigers and bears say “ROAR”.  And you love saying ROAR.  You can say point to and say eyes and nose.  You know where your mouth, tongue, teeth, hair, head, fingers, toes, and “bee bo” (belly button) is.  I think you can say Please, although it sounds like peeeeeaaaaassssss. And the rest of it, who knows what you’re saying.  You do love to babble and make lots of sounds.  And I just keep talking to you.  You understand a lot, which is pretty amazing.  You’re just growing so fast!

For Halloween, you were Minnie Mouse.  And you were the cutest Minnie Mouse.  You loved the ears, you loved the dress.  But trick or treating at the walking mall was during your nap time and that was TOUGH.  We had to wait in lines to get candy, and you hated being strapped in the stroller.  But you did love the Halloween party and trick or treating in our friend’s neighborhood.

*all photos except the ones taken on Halloween are on film

 

Letters to My Children – July and August 2017

Dear Ariya,

I feel like this summer went by so quickly! We filled the days with swimming, playing and more swimming.  Like, a lot of swimming….We took advantage of this pool membership and tried to go as often as we could, and there usually was a babysitter there to help me out.  You love your babysitter Savannah.  And she was a lifeguard too, so she was able to help you swim when you weren’t having your lessons.

In July, we took a trip to Cape Charles, VA.  We stopped off at Nani and Nanu’s house to visit for a little bit, which was nice.  It’s always good to play with your mom’s old toys and hang out.  But we drove a few more hours down to the beach and got to check out the house that we’d be staying at.  Grandma and your cousins and aunties and uncles were coming too! Even Uncle Eric was there!  How exciting!!  The beach was fun, the water was shallow and warm, and I did not have to worry about any waves crashing down on you and your sister.  The only thing that creeped you out were the snails.  There were MILLIONS of them, just buried in the sand.  And the ocean seemed so far away, we had to walk OVER these snails just to get to the water.  Yeah, it was creepy.  But we had a great time.  We went to the aquarium one day when the weather was kind of gloomy.  And we went to the library another day, they had the most fun little corner full of toys and books for kids like you.  You had a great time with the cousins, even though there was a lot of fighting and yelling to share over all of the toys.  But we definitely made some memories and I was there to take photos of pretty much everything.

As soon as we got back home, you had music camp with your friend Asher at SCAA.  We love learning with Ms Karen, and you had so much fun!  This year’s theme was traveling the world, learning about other cultures and singing lots of songs.

And the NEXT week, we did camp at Sonshine, your preschool.  The theme for the week was STEM.  It was pretty cool, the experiments you did.  One thing that was funny was that every day I dropped you off, Asha cried and cried for you.  She missed you so much.  I don’t know how she’ll handle you going back to school!

You also got a big girl bike to ride.  It still has the training wheels on but you’re having fun.  You’re very cautious, and try to ride slow.  It stinks that we’re on a hill, we do have to be careful when you ride around our house.  We may need to take your bike to the park one of these days, so you can practice some more.

August was a great month too.  We got to visit my family in New York.  And THEY had a pool too!  You met a TON of your older cousins on my side of the family.  I bet you didn’t realize how many uncles you had.  And you got to see Mala ben again.  I think you were just in awe of having an older sister cousin. And we were there just in time for Rakshabandhan.  I was able to tie rakhis  to all of my brother cousins (missing Niraj bhai and Akash) that were there, and you were able to tie rakhis to your brother cousins too!  Hopefully we’ll be able to make this a yearly tradition and see everyone next year! Well, we know we’ll definitely see them next year, because we have an Indian wedding to go to!  Rushabh uncle is getting married to Nithi auntie and you get to wear your beautiful indian dresses!  I know you’re excited about that!

I think you’re finally getting the handle of this swimming thing. You even jumped off the diving board and swam to the side in the deep end on your last swim lesson at the pool!  It was so amazing, and you acted like it was no big deal.  You are such a rockstar!  You keep asking about when school will start, when you’ll be in the 4s class, and when you can start ballet. Soon, sweetie.  Right now, let’s enjoy this time together and soak up the last of the summer.

Right now you love giving hugs and you’re such a big helper and such a sweet big sister.  Asha is so lucky to have you, even if it seems like a pain, always fighting over a toy or stuffed animal.  Thank you for being so patient with her.  I know she’s going through phase where you can’t reason with her, she wants what she wants.  But you’re doing a great job of working through your emotions and hers.  You’re getting so big.  I can’t believe that I have a 4 year old.  Where did the time go?

Dear Asha,

You have become SUCH a water baby!  You love splashing in the water and kicking your legs.  We play humpty dumpty you jump off the side of the pool to get wet.  I will definitely have to enroll you in some Mommy and me swim classes when Ariya is back in school.  I know you’ll love that.

You had such a great time at the beach with your cousins.  The sand, the sun.  Oh man, did you love putting the sand in your mouth :-/  I think you even tried to PUT A SNAIL IN YOUR MOUTH.  Yeah, I was not too happy about that.  You were very independent in the shallow water.  You’d just do your own thing, you hated me hovering.

While Ariya was in camp, you were a mess.  I thought we could have some fun times, just you and me, but you were not having it.  So we went to the gym a lot.  And played at home.  I wonder how this year with Ariya in school will be for you? I do have some fun things planned, like music class with Ms Karen at SCAA, and the mommy and me swim class at Kids First. Should be good times.

Your personality is so big Asha.  We joke that you’re such a terror.  I don’t know if it’s a 2nd child syndrome, or what.  But you definitely let your wishes known.  You’re finally saying Mommy (but you say it the way Ariya screams it when she’s downstairs and I’m upstairs, like MOMMMMMMYYYYYYYYYYY.  When you say it, I have a mini heart attack because I think something’s wrong. Nope, it’s just you repeating what you hear), and you wave and say Bye bye, and when daddy comes home from work  in the morning, you say Hiiiiiiiiii.  It’s the cutest thing.  I gotta get you on video starting to talk.  you’re definitely making a LOT of sounds and it’s the cutest thing ever.  But when you’re not happy, you let it be known.  Scratching, pinching, hair pulling.  Poor Ariya gets most of it.  We love you and wouldn’t have it any other way. But, maybe if you could just grow out of this phase soon, that would be awesome. K?

*all photos shot on film

 

Letters to My Children – May and June 2017

Dear Ariya,

May was a great month. We went to the fair during Apple Blossom, and saw some fire trucks.  It was your last month of pre-school in the 3s class at Sonshine Learning Center.  It seemed like you had a field trip or a birthday party every few days.  You even had your FIRST ballet recital on stage, as Tinkerbell.  You had so much fun you didn’t want it to end!  It was a hard concept for you to understand, “summer vacation”.  That you weren’t going back to school, that you won’t see your teachers or most of your friends.  I had to explain all the fun things that we were going to do, all the fun things we had planned.  Like to trip to see Daddy’s friends in Port Angeles, Washington.  Or the beach trip that we have planned with your cousins in July.  Or the swim lessons and soccer lessons that you were taking with your best friend Asher.  It took a little while, but by the time we were on the “jet plane” on our way to Seattle, you were ready to start the summer!

You had a great time in Seattle and Port Angeles.  We got to hang out with Niki didi and meet her new husband Nikhil.  We went to the Pacific Science Center and rode to the top of the Space Needle.  And the Seattle Aquarium and Pike Place Market was pretty awesome.  Then we borrowed Niki didi’s car to meet Daddy’s friends Cindy and Mike in Port Angeles.  It was so much fun!  We explored new places, got to check out beaches and tide pools, mountains and lakes.

June was even better!  You got to spend some quality time with Grandma and your cousins.  It was Asha’s first time away from us and you were the best big sister, helping make her feel comfortable.  You had such a blast, for the next few days afterwards, you talked about how much fun you had at Grandma’s, and how you wish you could go back and see your cousins, and how you wish you could do it again.  Lucky for you, we’ll be seeing Grandma and your cousins and aunties/uncles at the beach in July!

You also started playing soccer with your friends Asher and Ishanvi.  And while you love the games and the dribbling of the ball, I don’t think you’re much of a fan of the sport.  You kind of hang out by the goal net while everyone else chases the ball. Swimming is definitely more your thing.  You’re getting a little more comfortable putting your face in the water.  You’re kicking and gliding and having a ball.  I know you can’t wait to go to the beach and show everyone your moves.

 

Dear Asha,

Your daddy and I were so nervous for you and our plane trip to Seattle.  But you surprised me!  Out of the 5 hour plane ride, I think you napped for 3 in the ergo carrier.  Thank goodness for that!  Sleeping in a strange place in the pack and play, that’s another story.  It wasn’t….bad…but it wasn’t great.  Our strategy was to keep you busy, make sure you got your naps in (thank goodness for the ergo), and kept you up later than your usual bedtime.  It worked for the most part.  You had so much fun seeing all the new sights, meeting our friends, exploring everything.  It was a pretty fun trip, even if you spent a lot of it on our backs napping.

June has been just another month.  We’ve spent more time running around for Ariya’s events, playing at the park when you really want to play soccer with her.  Playing at the pool while she takes her lessons (you don’t really complain, but you hit a wall when it’s nap time).

You’re doing some cute things lately.  You said your first word at Grandma’s house.  We were looking at the mirror, and I pointed at you and said, “Can you say “Asha”?”  And you DID.  You said Asha!  I pointed at Ariya, and asked if you could say her name. AND YOU DID.  You’ve been saying “Dada” for forever.  And when I pointed at me and asked you to say “Mama”, guess what you said……..”DADA”.  And now it’s a big joke to everyone.  We all laugh, and I’m convinced that you know what you’re doing.  That’s ok.  I’m patient.  I can wait for you to say MAMA.

You also started doing the funniest thing.  Every time you have a poopy diaper, I ask if you have a stinky butt”.  You pinch your nose and say “peeeuuuuuu”.  So adorable.  You let it be known when you’re upset.  You scream when Ariya tries to take something that you’re playing with.  You bring me your shoes all the time when you want to go outside and play.  Sometimes first thing in the morning.  You love animals so so much.  So much that we can’t get to the pet store to buy dog food because I’m busy chasing you down after you see a dog that you want to say hello to.  No Asha, not all dogs are friendly.  But you do love our dogs.  You pet them, you’re so gentle with them.  And you pat Ariya and me all the time, on our arms and legs.  So sweet, when you want to be 🙂  There’s this song that I sing to Ariya to signal that it’s time to go to bed. “Now it’s time to say good night, say good night say good night, now it’s time to say goodnight, we had lots of fun”.  Every time I try to sing the song to you, you know what it means, and you SCREAM.  Do you not like my singing?  I won’t take offense.  I say this all the time.  But I really need for time to stop, or slow down.  You two are growing way too fast and it hurts my heart to know that I’m missing it, or that I’ll forget it.  Which is why you’re probably used to seeing me with a camera to my face.  I don’t want to forget a thing.

Nikon f100, Portra 160 rated at 320 and pushed +1

Nikon f100, Portra 400NC rated at 200 and pushed +1

Pentax 645nii, Portra 400

Pentax 645nii, Portra 160 rated at 320 +1