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Dear Ariya, The last day of school was June 5th. And you were so sad to say good bye to your teacher. You found out that your teacher is not coming back to your school, and the thought that you … Continue reading
We are going through week 4, 5, 6, and 7 of quarantine. And you are missing school so hard. You turned 7 on a Saturday, the day before Easter. It was tough. It was so tough. I tried to make it special for you. I asked all of our friends and family to send me a video clip for you, wishing you a happy birthday. And man, that video was 14 minutes long. So many people love and care for you. And even though Daddy was working so much, I tried so hard to make it special for you. I ordered a peacock cake from Crumbs and Crumbles. I decorated the eat in table with peacock colors, balloons and streamers. I tried not to go overboard with the presents, but I think you favorite present was a new bike. A NEW BIKE. To celebrate your new skills. You are 7!! Where did the time go?
It’s crazy not having a regular schedule. Ariya has her school work to do, and we try to do school work, “fun sheets” for you. There are times when you say “what can i do?!?!” We color. we do crafts. We paint. You ride your bike and scooter with Ariya. You have your zoom ballet lessons just like Ariya. And it’s been tough while we’re trying to get this house ready to sell. We had to move a lot of the toys. Your stuff is packed up, in storage, in the other house. You just want things to go back to normal. You just want to see and play with your friends. You just want to go to the park and swing on the swing set, or slide down the slides. Sorry, sweetie, there are still too many unknowns. But we’ll figure it out, I promise. In the meantime, you are so great with baby Anika. You love to make her laugh and you play with her, with her toys.
You’re 9 months old!! And you started crawling! Stop growing so fast. It happened all of a sudden. One minute you were on your hands and knees. The next, you were rocking back and forth. And then you were off! I still can’t believe it.
What can I say? You love saying da da da da, ba ba ba ba. You love playing with your toys. But really, you love following your sisters around everywhere. Whatever they are doing, you want to do too. If they are cuddled on a blanket, you want to play with that blanket. If they are sitting down, you’ll crawl into their lap. They love you so much.
As we’re getting the house ready to put on the market, I have so many mixed feelings. This was the house that we brought all of you home to. Ariya and Asha had so many firsts in this house. So many memories. And I’m sad that we won’t have those memories for you. But I’m trying to focus on the present. And I’m trying to take as many pictures as I can, to try and remember everything.
It’s a new year, and I think we’re all over this holiday vacation. My birthday was January 1st, and you all really wanted to make it special. Daddy was working so we decided to go have lunch for him at work. It was a nice day, I think you all were just ready to go back to school. We tried to go for a walk but Anika started fussing, and then Asha started fussing and you were so frustrated.
Not much happened this month at school. There was visitor’s day at ballet, where we could see all the hard work you’ve been putting in there. It was cute watching you dance and seeing all that you’ve learned.
I gave you and your sister a disposable camera, for Christmas and finally got those developed, so I thought I’d share a few of those. Also, I wanted to try a weekly portrait project, so you and Asha have become my main subjects for trying portrait photography, with backgrounds and lighting. Thanks Ariya!
The Christmas season was so exciting, but I think you were ready for (or needed) a routine. School couldn’t start soon enough. Other than getting back into a routine, not much was happening. You had a visitor day at ballet, and it was so sweet seeing you show off your moves. I enjoyed it thoroughly. At the Little Gym, you’re now 4, and one of the oldest in the class! You’re still enjoying it though. You also enjoyed taking photos on your OWN disposable camera.
You’re six months old! It kind of breaks my heart that you’re growing so fast. You’re so curious and always aware of everything going on around you. I have the hardest time nursing you with a cover, you’re constantly grabbing at it, wanting to see what’s going on around you.
You’re trying new foods! You’ve started with apple puree, and then pears and sweet potatoes, bananas, avocados and carrots and green beans. Of course you like the apples, pears and sweet potatoes best.
Here are some photos from your disposable cameras, along with our January.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.