Friday, September 8, 2017

Maya's first day of kindergarten!

We had a huge milestone in our house recently with Maya having her first day of kindergarten. Even though she has gone to preschool for a few years, the first day of kindergarten is one of many huge moments for parents and kids alike. It is a monumental transition because they are at school for the whole day and it marks the official start of their elementary schooling. 

I wasn't sure how I was going to feel sending my first-born treasure off to Kindergarten....would I feel happy? Sad? Anxious? Exhilarated? I tried not to project my emotions on to my daughter and let her take the lead on how she was feeling. I had some mixed emotions as I knew I would miss her during the day, but I tried to keep my parent poker face on so it wouldn't disturb her mood.

She was so so excited to start school! I thought she might feel sad to leave me and the baby, since we have had a lot of beautiful moments of togetherness this Summer, but she was totally fine. She was SO excited to start school and join all of her friends. 

The morning that Kindergarten started, Maya was thrilled. She picked out her own outfit, got dressed herself and was ready by the door with her backpack. I took her to school and it was so much fun listening to music together along the way, with my big girl. Just like my dad used to do with me. Husband-ji stayed at home with the baby and fed her breakfast, while I got some nice one-on-one time with Maya.

I thought I would have a lot of free time since Maya was at school all day, but the day went by so quickly. I spent half of the time trying to get Veda to sleep, and the other half chasing her around the house! Veda has gotten mobile, and very very naughty! She loves to get her hands on things that she's not supposed to be playing with - like putting the phone charger in her mouth. Licking the carpet, etc. Without Maya there to help me keep an eye on Veda's shenanigans, I really had my hands full!

I was eager to find out how Maya's day went when I picked her up. Would she be tired after spending the whole day at school? Did she eat her lunch? Turns out she was not tired at all! And she ate the whole lunch I packed for her. I was so proud. And I realized she was so ready to start a full day of school!

Now I am attempting to get into my new routine of school pick-up/drop-off, packing lunches, making an early dinner...and eagerly awaiting my mother-in-law's return from Australia!


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Summer in review

This Summer was one of the best we've had 'til date...mostly because we didn't plan too much. More and more these days, I'm favoring a simplistic parenting approach with the kids by trying to just enjoy our time together without over-scheduling everything. That's what Summers are for, right?

My in-law's left for Australia right before Maya got out of school for the Summer, so my life was all about getting into a good rhythm with the kids since it was my first time handling them alone all day. I wanted to see what their natural rhythms would be so I specifically didn't plan too much and preferred to stay around walking distance from our place. This turned out to be a brilliant idea, and I got into a great rhythm and it helped build my confidence that yes, I can do this!

One awesome thing that happened this Summer was that Maya discovered horseback riding...and loved it! It seems fitting, because she's so passionate about animals. She has loved it so much that we have decided to continue her horseback riding lessons during the school year. The riding school that we go to is very kid-friendly and they let the kids pick out which horse they want to ride. Then, they groom the horse and dress it with riding gear. And then the lesson takes place, and sometimes they even let the kids ride the horse on the road, which is very exciting for them. It has been a wonderful experience for my little animal-lover! I felt so proud of her to see her passionate about taking up a new skill.

We only did one vacation this Summer, which was to see family in the neighboring state of Washington. Maya had a great time playing with her cousins and it was the perfect first vacay with the baby. I even got to do some swimming in a river!

Unfortunately, we came back to a season of terrible wildfires which made the air very hard to breathe. There was about 10 days where I was completely cooped up with the kids indoors, in the Summer heat, which almost drove me mad! Luckily, the rain and wind pushed the smoke off of the coast but now, as I write this, the smoke is back again in the city. We are all praying for a long season of rain!

Other than that, we spend 95% of the Summer outdoors which was wonderful, having picnics and enjoying nearby parks.

Now, Maya has started Kindergarten, my father-in-law is going to be starting his new job soon, and my mother-in-law will be returning soon. I am eagerly awaiting her arrival!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Joint Family Road Trip & Summer Family Reunion!

We seem to be doing a family road trip every Summer. It's kinda become a thing. Now we've done it three years in a row, so I guess it's organically becoming a new family tradition! Last year, we ventured out to the Okanagan. The year before, we explored Yellowstone National Park. I absolutely love road trips because there's just so much that you can explore unplanned. It's been a great way to just spend time together and show my in-law's and the kids part of the world. And it was Veda's first official vacation!

This year, our road trip was more of a last minute decision. We had not planned to travel anywhere this year, until one of husband-ji's cousins got a job and relocated to Washington, which is the state right below us. We have not seen this cousin for over two years, so it was the perfect excuse to plan a trip down so we could visit them. We have three cousins in Washington (all from the Tamil side of the family, and each set has kids). My main reason for wanting to go was because I wanted to get all of the kids to play together and have some bonding time.

Boy, were they wild! They just had the best time playing together. From 7am until 10pm, they were playing, laughing and running around. Just as children should be. They are all close in age (7, 5, 5, 18 months, 5 months). It was really lovely - we made so many amazing memories together. It was a bit of a family reunion of sorts!

Here are some highlights from our trip:


Monday, August 14, 2017

Veda: 6 months old!

Well, this is all happening too fast. Veda's already 6 months?! It's officially her half birthday.

This month, Veda has really been getting a move on and displaying signs that she's going to be a very active tot. She loves to crawl and she loves being held up so that she can bounce her legs. We tried the Jolly Jumper out recently and Veda absolutely loved it, of course. She hates sitting and wants to be moving at all times. She detests being in the car unless she's sleepy, which means I have to be very choosy when I'm taking the car out. She is okay when you hold her (because she clearly likes to be pampered), but mostly she's happiest when she's on her tummy and ready to explore. I have to keep a very close eye on her because she is getting into everything. The other day, she made her way over to Maya's markers so I had to put them all safely away in drawers - nothing left out for her to get her curious little hands into! This all happened within 30 seconds when I was in the bathroom, of course - she made her way from one side of the living room to another - a determined stealth snail!

We've also been trying out all the new foods and flavors, one by one. So far, she likes bananas, avocados, apples, kale, pineapple, mango, and carrots. We still have lots more to try out. She does not like cauliflower or peas. It's a bit hard to feed her since she's so active, so we have to feed her quite quickly. 

Veda has not been sleeping well at night, so I am one tired mommy. She is teething, going through a growth spurt, and she also had her first ear infection this month. I assumed that she would be immune to such things like ear infections since I'm breastfeeding her, but no. Clearly, my milk has no magical powers like some of the other women have!

Veda starts out sleeping in her crib, and then by 4AM I give in and just co-sleep with her. Which is something I never did with Maya! With the breastfeeding, it's just easier to co-sleep because you can just pop your boob out. Veda sleeps much better when I co-sleep with her but I try not to do it unless I absolutely have to. No matter how tiring the night has been, Veda always wakes up so fresh and happy and ready to slay the day. She gives me a big smile and starts giggling when she wakes up which is so incredibly adorable that I can't be mad at her.

I also end up co-sleeping with her for at least one of her naps because by that time I also need a nap! Now she is down to two naps a day. I get nothing accomplished during those naps. For her morning nap, I always take the kids out for an outing while Veda sleeps in her stroller. By the time the afternoon nap rolls around, Maya has her quiet time and mommy is exhausted (snoring along with the baby) and counting down the minutes until daddy gets home!

We've also made it to 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, which I do have to give myself a pat on the back for. My favorite breastfeeding position is lying down because I'm so exhausted. We are still trying to get her to take my pumped milk from the bottle - with no luck. She only wants the boobs. Now I feel like I have no choice but to breast feed her, so I feel a bit stuck. Luckily, now that she is having solids, I can find a way to get out of the house kid-free for like an hour, but usually not more. That way I can at least hand over some of the feeding to husband-ji.

Veda's hair is not standing up anymore (like Elvis) because it's getting so much longer. Now gravity is pulling it down. I could actually put it in pigtails! Maya loves to pick out Veda's outfits and especially hair clips. It's funny because she won't wear a hair clip herself (being more of a tomboy) but she loves it when Veda wears one. I haven't been dressing her up too much because it's been so hot - usually just a simple cotton onesie. 

We ventured out to a restaurant for dinner the other night - the first time in 4 months! It went surprisingly well, but of course we had to keep it under an hour. Veda was very entertained by all the comings and goings of the restaurant people. She loves to people-watch and she loves to overhear people talk and eavesdrop like a senile Indian grandma. Veda has grown up in a joint family, so she loves it when there are a lot of people around.

We also took Veda on her first vacation this month....more on that later!

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