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.

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Letters to My Children – September 2018

Dear Ariya,

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

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

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

Dear Asha,

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

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

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

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

Letters to My Children – August 2018

Dear Ariya,

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

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

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

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

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

 

Dear Asha,

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

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

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

    

 

Letters to My Children – July 2018

 

Dear Ariya,

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

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

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

 

Dear Asha,

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

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

 

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

 

Letters to My Children – June 2018

Dear Ariya,

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Asha,

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

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

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

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

     

 

Letters to My Children – March 2018

Dear Ariya,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dear Asha,

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

Letters to My Children – February 2018

 

Dear Ariya,

It’s been a pretty good month. You’re still loving your school and learning so much.  We’ve been going to many Destination Imagination meetings because the tournament is next month.  You love seeing your friends every week, but I think you just want to play with them and not have to rehears the play that we decided on, or work on an instant challenge.  I promise you, it will be worth it all in the end.  And I think you’re looking forward to actually presenting on stage.  You’re such a performer.

You’re also looking forward to your ballet recital.  It will be in May, and you ask your teacher every week if the costumes have been ordered.  I love that you love ballet.  And now you want to sign up for gymnastics and swimming.  Girl, I can’t keep up.  There’s a whole lot of activities going on, but we’ll try to make it work 🙂

Lately, you’ve been obsessed with your legos.  You love going upstairs to your room, to build your disney lego sets.  It’s pretty amazing how you went from this phase of always wanting to play, and not being able to play by yourself, to doing puzzles by yourself and legos, painting rocks and seashells.  You’re growing up so fast!  Registration for kindergarten is next month and I’m not ready.  I know you are, but I’m not.

You turn 5 in a few months.  And you keep talking about when you’re 6 and 7 and 8, when you’ll be able to drive, when you’ll be able to help with grocery shopping, when you’ll be able to put me to bed and sing me lullabies.  You are such a sweet girl.  Thank you for thinking of me, of us, of everyone around you.  You’re so good and kind.  Even when you’re going through your tantrums and fits, I know you’re still my sweet little girl.

Dear Asha,

You are still obsessed with disney princesses and playing dress up.  You saw Ariya in her princess night gown one night, and that night changed everything.  No more sweet footed onesie pajamas.  I had to pull out all of Ariya’s old night gowns for you to wear. And then I had to ransack the 2 Targets that had night gowns.  And then I had to get more matching nightgowns for Ariya.  We’re a mess.  A house full of princesses.

Binky had to go bye bye.  And you were SO upset over it.  It was the only way you were able to soothe yourself and go to sleep.  But you chewed a hole in the plastic and I had to throw it away.  I’m sorry.  I wish I hadn’t.  Because now you’re going down for your naps later and later.  And falling asleep at night is getting harder and harder. I keep reminding myself that this is a phase.  I remember when Ariya went through this, and now you are going through it too.  I just hope this phase passes quickly!

My strong girl.  You said “I love you” for the first time.  And it warmed my heart. I went away for a weekend, for a photography conference.  And you kept saying “I miss you Mommy”.  I love the little snuggles and hugs you give me.  I just want to hold on to you and squeeze you and keep you little forever.

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 – December 2017

Dear Ariya,

December has gone by so fast!  Asha’s birthday was in the beginning of the month, but since Daddy had to work, we celebrated it when he came home.  We had a few cupcakes, opened a few presents.  She’s now 2!  And you both love her new presents.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I decided to create a Destination Imagination team for you and your friends.  I thought it would be fun to try something different, have a new challenge, learn something new. Your friends Sei, Veer, and Elizabeth are on your team. The tournament is in March, and we have so much work to do!

Christmas vacation started after your Christmas program at Sonshine Learning Center.  We left for Richmond to celebrate Asha’s birthday at Nani and Nanu’s house.  Grandma, Auntie Anjuanette, Uncle Kashiff, Jayden and Mekai came to help celebrate.  Even the neighbor’s daughter came over to play with you, how fun!  The cake was the best part, as always.

That night we went to Lewis Ginter’s Botanical Gardens to check out all of the holiday lights.  Wow, It was sooooo cold, but the lights were beautiful! And you had so much fun with Grandma, but I think getting hot chocolate was at the top of your list.

Christmas was a whirlwind.  Nani and Nanu came to visit while we celebrated Christmas Eve.  I think both you and your sister loved your presents from Santa.  Your favorites change from day to day.  One day you love the Frozen puzzles, the next you love the Ice cream counter that Asha got.  The work bench has been a huge hit with both you and Asha. Too bad we couldn’t have enough time to play with your new toys, as we had to leave for our trip!

We travelled to Canada on Christmas day to spend time with our family.  The last time you were in Canada, you were 1 1/2 years old!  And my aunt, uncle, cousins and nieces had not even met Asha!  So it was a fun Christmas party.  You got to wear your pretty Indian clothes, which made you so happy!

The day after Christmas, we left for Mexico!  You were so happy to hang out with all of your cousins, but I’m convinced that Tara ben is your best friend forever. The plane trip wasn’t so bad, but it was a long day of travel!  Our hotel was beautiful, and our room was a suite with a kitchen, patio, king size bed and jacuzzi tub. It was very helpful having all that space, because your sister took a while getting used to her routine in a new place.

All the swimming that we did! The sandcastles we built.  The dancing we did with the instructors, the New Year’s Eve part that we let you stay up for.  It was amazing that you and your sister lasted as long as you did. You eventually fell asleep in your stroller with your sister as we all rung in the New Year.  I think you’d say this trip was the best.  The hardest part was leaving our family, but we made sure that we’ll video chat and call every so often. We’re even planning our next trip to see them!  Don’t tell Daddy that, because he thinks I’m always thinking of our next trip.

Ariya, you are my sweet, smart, soulful, funny, emotional, first born.  You’re having a hard time dealing with disappointment but we’re working through that.  Your first reaction is to scream, huff, stomp your feet and slam doors, but you always apologize after you take a time out and some deep breaths. You also have no patience, and love instant gratification, just like your mommy.  I know where you get it from. You’re growing up so fast.  And I’m trying so hard to keep up with you.

Dear Asha,

You’re 2!!  Where did the time go?  How are you now 2???  You are so strong willed, loving, affectionate, playful.  You feel your emotions 100%.  You learn everything from Ariya.  Your love for dresses, for playing dress up with her princess dresses.  You want to brush your teeth like Ariya, get your hair brushed like Ariya.  You miss Ariya when she goes to school, and you’re so happy when we pick her up.

You loved your Frozen themed party. The cake was a masterpiece, it was a cake of Anna.  and it was so delicious!  You were happy to have your family around you to celebrate.

Our travels to Canada and Mexico were a struggle.It’s hard, being confined to a stroller, confined to a plane seat, confined during security and customs.  But you survived.  And had a blast!  You watched Moana and Frozen over and over again.  You now know how to say “I want Anna!” (Frozen or Moana, I still have a hard time figuring that out) or “I want Mommy” .  You were a bit standoffish with meeting your cousins and aunties and uncles, but by the end of the trip, Tara ben and Priti Masi had won you over, and you would go over to them, play with them, sit in their laps.  I’m so happy you gave them a chance, because they love you and your sister so much!

Your vocabulary has grown so much.  You  learned to say “pool”, “goggles” (for swim goggles), “beach”, “boots”, “socks”, “shoes”.  And so much more.  It’s crazy how much you’re trying to talk.  Amazing.

We ended the year in Mexico on an amazing resort in Playa del Carmen.  Who knows what 2018 will bring?

Letters to My Children – November 2017

Dear Ariya,

Diwali happened!  You loved seeing Nani and Nanu come up from Richmond to help celebrate Diwali with us.  Your favorite part is dressing up.  But what was fun this year was that Grandma and Auntie Carmen came!  And our friends that aren’t in Balvihar came too! You played with Sei and Hideshiro, Declan and Ayden, Sheya and Feye.  And who could forget Asher and Marni!  You miss Asher and Marni so much. Hopefully when the holidays are over, we can find a time to all hang out!

Let’s see, what else happened. It was election day (time to vote for the Governor, Lt. Governor, Attorney General, and our delegate) and school was out.  So we made a day out of it and went to the Air and Space Museum near Dulles.  It was cold and rainy.  But seeing all those airplanes and rocket ships was pretty cool.

This past April, I went to a film workshop and we went over flash photography and lighting.  So, I got this GREAT idea to bring all of my lighting gear to our friends’ house and having a “photoshoot”.  When your friends are around, you don’t have a problem posing for the camera, and I loved every second of it!

You’ve been practicing for your Thanksgiving feast.  You and your classmates dressed up as pilgrims and sang songs.  It was the sweetest thing ever.  Asha had a ball and really enjoyed dancing to all of the songs!

We drove down to Richmond for Thanksgiving.  We stayed and Nani and Nanu’s house, and while you love seeing them, you were so excited to play with your cousins at Auntie Anjuanette and Uncle Kashiff’s house.  And Uncle Eric was there!  And Grandma!  so much fun!  But the fun didn’t stop because then everyone came back to OUR house so we could celebrate Phelix’s birthday!  You were so excited to have Jayden, Mekai and Phelix there to play with you.

Your baby sister is turning 2 in a few days.  And you’re in heaven picking out presents for her. I think you’re just picking out presents that you would love to play with.  But that’s ok, because sharing means caring! I think you’re having a hard time understanding that we’re going to have a party for her a few weeks later, at Nani and Nanu’s house, and not on her actual birthday.  Daddy has to work on her birthday, so maybe we’ll do something small.

Dear Asha,

So, you weren’t a fan of Diwali.  You woke up from your nap so cranky, and how dare we make you dress up in pretty Indian clothes! You played with my phone pretty much the entire time.  You did love the Indian food, and were happy mixing the rice and daal up.  And when the stage was open and full of kids dancing, you were all over it! I think you even tried to take the stage backdrop down!  That’s when we knew it was time to go.

We’ve been going to music classes at SCAA with Ms Karen.  And you love it so much.  You’ve been saying YAY every time we go.  And you’re singing your baa baa baas with the microphone.  You’re definitely enjoying music class, dancing with scarves, and playing with the instruments.  I’m so glad I can do this with you.

You loved seeing Ariya perform with her classmates at the Thanksgiving feast.  I could see you dancing a long and spinning in circles.  I think Ms Jeanne thought you were going to steal the bells, and tried to lure you away, but you were not having that!

Your schedule was so out of whack for Thanksgiving weekend.  Weird naps, weird bed times. But it was all worth it, to spend time with family.

I can’t believe you’ll be 2 soon.  Where did my baby go?  I’ve been looking at a lot of pictures and videos of you as a baby.  It just makes me wish I could go back in time, just for a second.  Let’s see, your favorite things right now are to tell me animal sounds.  “What does the cow say?” “MOOOOOO” “What does the horse say?” “NEIGHHHHHHHH”  And you love saying No, even when your joking, I guess.  Like, if you’re taking unzipping your coat when we’re outside, and I ask “Are you unzipping your coat?” you’ll say “Nooooo” with the cutest smile.  And you love it when Ariya says her favorite joke, because you’ll join in on the punch line.  Ariya will say “Knock knock” and I’ll say “Who’s there?” and she’ll say “The Interrupting cow” and I’ll say “the Interrupt-” and you BOTH will say “MOOOOOO”.  Yeah, she got that joke from Home.  And you both love it.

Soon, we’ll be getting ready for the holidays.  And spending time with family.  And we can’t wait!

 

*all images taken on film except for the last 3