The Beat in My Heart

Sharing my Thoughts with the World!

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This week is Read Across America week! It is Dr. Suess birthday on March 2nd and this week is celebrated in his honor. I have read a lot of Dr. Suess books to my kids. I so wish I had these books to read when I was little. It inspires kids to read more. If there is one thing I am really proud as a parent so far, it is the love of reading I gave the kids. I read to them diligently when they were babies. It felt silly at first reading to a 6 month old baby. What does he understand? But, I just went along with it. Slowly, it became a routine for us. I loved that time of snuggles and reading. By the time Sarath was 1, he already loved books. I started with Sanjay even before he was 6 months old. He used be on my lap every night when I read to Sarath. He picked up on it too. The kids love to read. There were many comments made about this routine of us reading books to our babies. For once, I did not care and I am so glad for it now 🙂

So, as part of the Read Across America week, I decided to share some amazing books I have read to them. Here is the first one. Sanjay got this book from his school library and was very excited to read this to me. He wanted to read with me on a weekday morning before going to school. That day luckily we had some extra time, and I sat there with my cup of tea to read this book to him.

Photo courtesy: Amazon.com

The book is about a town where are the people are squiggly with not straight lines at all. Even the houses and animals are squiggly. Then one fine day a person who is all straight comes to the town and builds a house with all straight lines. He is at first seen as the outsider and the people in town do not like him at all. Then a girl from town makes friends with him and gets married and they have kids who are both squiggly and straight.

An amazing book to show kids how to embrace differences between each other. It is rather a very nice way to show that different is not bad after all. We are all people not matter our appearances. I think this book is even more important now in the current political turmoil.

 

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Happy Mother’s Day!!!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful mom’s!

Today, I want to ask a few questions to all the mom’s. I am starting with my own answers and cannot wait to hear yours!

1. How do you feel as a mom?

I feel wonderful to know that I know so much about my kids that even S cannot guess. I can look at them sometimes and figure out what they need. It is an amazing feeling that two little people depend on me for their life and trust me with their heart. When I think about how little they were and how quickly they are growing up, I feel like dumping everything away and watching them every second of every day so that I will not miss out on their childhood. It has been an year since I quit my job for a freelance career and I couldn’t be happier. I love the time I can spend with the kids now.

I am constantly questioning myself about my parenting. I always feel like I am being judged as a mom. I am not sure how much of it is true but, I cannot help feeling that. Especially, when I visit India, that feeling keeps gnawing my insides. But, I have decided that, no matter how hard it is, I am going to do certain things my way. I know it is a lot easier to put it on my blog than doing it for real. But, I am going to stand by my beliefs and support my kids now matter what the world thinks. Like all mom’s I am learning as I go.

2. Hardest thing for you as a mom?

So far, the hardest thing for me as a mom is letting go. I think it is going to be more difficult as the kids grow older. The one thing I have to learn is to let go of the kids and let them be themselves as they grow older. I want to let them develop their own individual personality. I want to respect the people they become. They might not believe in the same things I do, but, they are still my kids. I want to show them how beautiful the world is and also how cruel it can be sometimes. I want to let them make their own mistakes even though it is hard watching them do it. This is going to be the challenging part of parenting. It is going to be hard not to rub my opinions on them. The most important thing I want to teach them is to be self confident. I just hope I will be able to do all these things.

3. Your Proud mommy moment (it can be more than one moment)?

There are a lot of things I am proud of doing as a mom. But, the one thing I would say is creating an interest in books for both the kids. I taught the kids how wonderful books can be. Sanjay can read small words now and he is constantly trying to read the bigger words as well. He can read little books now. Sarath’s favorite thing in the world is reading books 🙂 I always give a pat on my back for creating that interest in them. I started reading picture books to Sarath when he was about 6 months old. There were people who mocked me for doing that. But, I never gave up. When Sanjay was born, I used to put him in my lap while I read stories to Sarath. It is amazing to see how much they love books now and how they can keep themselves busy with books.

I am tagging DIL, R’smom, Saritha, Lifi, Bingo’s mom, Comfy. Anyone I forgot to tag can take it up too 🙂 And please remember to tag a few more mom’s you know!

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Concerned brother

Yesterday Sarath was sick and he had to stay home from school. Poor kid was throwing up all night and woke up with a mild fever. He was in a bad state. So, he was resting on the sofa in the morning while I was trying to get Sanjay ready for school. As soon as Sanjay realized that his brother was sick, he too pretended to be sick He curled up with Sarath under the comforter saying he is too sick to go to school. Somehow we got him ready. Sarath wasn’t up to eating anything so, I let him be. Seeing that Sanjay flat out refused to eat anything. I had to create stories for him to finish his breakfast.

All day in school apparently he was complaining that he was tired and needs to rest. Since his teacher knew what happened at home, she handled it somehow. After coming back home was the toughest part. Sarath still had high temperature in the evening and was just lying down. This was so hard for Sanjay. He did not leave his brother’s side for a long time. He was getting mad for every small thing. I think he was feeling bad that Sarath cannot play with him, jealous about the attention I was giving Sarath and totally helpless. I sat with Sanjay and cuddled him and talked to him for a while. But, nothing helped. Between Sarath’s refusal to eat anything and Sanjay’s constant plea for attention, I did not even get to make proper dinner yesterday. Finally, before dinner Sarath’s temperature came to normal. He was up for a little bit and both the kids sat together talking and reading their favorite book. Sanjay was so happy that Sarath was up.

Since, I did not get to work much in the morning, S took care of getting the kids to bed while I was catching up on my work. This did not help Sanjay at all. He did not fall asleep. An hour later, I had to go and cuddle him, give him lots of hugs and kisses and rock him for a little time, before he was ready to sleep. After all the extra attention, he was happy and finally decided to fall asleep.

When Sanjay fell asleep, I couldn’t help thinking how the kids minds work. It was adorable to see Sanjay being so concerned about his brother and at the same time wanting to get my attention. Sarath is now doing well. He does not have a temperature anymore and hopefully I can get him to eat something today.

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Feels Good to be back home

We just got back from a week long vacation to Orlando. We have been planning this trip for a while now and finally, we got good tickets using airline miles. We originally planned on leaving on Saturday and coming back on Saturday. But, the tickets were expensive due to Spring break. So, we left last Tuesday and came back this Tuesday. It was a really good vacation and I did not even remember which day it was most of the time. More than a couple of times, S had to remind me the day of the week 🙂 It was hot in Orlando, which was a nice change from all the rain we have been having here. The weather reminded me of Hyderabad and it felt nice to wear summer clothes, sandals and not having to worry about carrying jackets everywhere.

Now, it feels good to be back to the daily routine. The one main part of the trip that I did not like was food. The kids – especially Sanjay did not eat well on the entire trip. Given the fact that there was a 3 hour time difference and we ate at different times each day, he was not at all hungry most of the times. The kids refused to eat snacks as well. I let them eat how much they wanted and they did fine. So, I did not fret too much about it. On the other hand, I indulged in food and ate more than what I should have been eating at each meal. Although, sometimes I made some good healthy choices while eating at restaurants, most of the time I was eating junk food. I think I ate fries enough for a month or two in the past one week 😦 Anyway, it is time to go back to gym and healthy salads for a while I guess.

The best part of the trip was knowing that the kids would eat anything and also the fact that we did not have to worry about nap times or lunch/dinner times. These are the perks of the kids growing up. We also went prepared for hunger and melt down emergencies. We packed a couple of snacks and juices everyday with us and we ordered milk with kids meals most of the times. That kept them happy 🙂 We also made sure that the kids got enough rest at night. The only thing we missed were the fire works but, the kids were so tired by 6:00 in the evening that we did not dare stay longer at any of the parks.

I had lots of fun with the camera on this trip and I am really happy with some of the pictures 🙂 It was a really good trip and a much needed vacation. I will put up some more details about the trip soon.

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Conversations

Sarath hops out of the bus without his jacket.

Me: Where is you jacket?

Sarath: In lost and found..

Me: So, why didn’t you take it?

Sarath: Because, I was playing soccer and left it outside and forgot about it when I went to class.

Me: So, how do you know it is in lost & found?

Sarath: My teacher told me.

Me: So, why didn’t you pick it up from lost & found?

Sarath: Well, because I did not know it would be in lost & found.

Me: &^$^#*#(#)00!!!

After a number of iterations of the same questions over and over, I finally understood that his teacher told him about his jacket being in lost & found when he was about to board the bus. So, he did not have time to get his jacket. Why he couldn’t tell me this the first time I asked – I will never know!

 

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Sanjay was playing with his lego’s and he built a bank. He was talking about the bank and money and similar things.

Me: Why do we need money?

Sanjay: To put it in my kiddy bank.

It was the sweetest answer. I gave him a big hug. Ah! how I love the innocence!!!

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In the morning, I told Sanjay that if he comes quickly for his bath, he can later play with his lego’s for 10 min while I am in the shower. He immediately asked “Do you need 10 min to take a bath? that long?”. All I could do was laugh 🙂

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Books that we like

Sarath and Sanjay love books. We go to the library regularly to get books and I let them choose the books they want. Then, I choose some books that I want them to read. Everyday before going to bed, we have reading time. I don’t remember how we introduced reading time for Sarath but, by the time he was 1.5 years, he was used to books before bed. When Sanjay was born, Sarath always insisted that I stay with him during bed time. So, I would read to him while feeding Sanjay most of the time. So, for Sanjay, it was part of his day right from the start. I missed documenting their favorite books. But, better late than never, I decided to write here about their books on a regular basis.

Sarath’s current favorite: Rainbow Magic Series, Nancy Drew and Clue Crew, The Big Nate, any book about Dinosaurs or Space, Dr.Suess’s books

I never thought that he would read the Rainbow Magic books. It is about different fairies. They are very nice books. When he was in Kindergarten, he would not read any princess or fairy books because they are girl’s books. It took me a while to make him understand that anybody can read any book. But, now he loves these books. Many boys in his class apparently teased him about reading fairy books and his reply to them was :Boys will be boys, girls will be girls and books will be books. Anybody can read any book”. I was so happy about it.

Sanjay’s current favorites: Curious George, Chika Chika Boom Boom, any book about Planets, Dr.Suess’s books.

He can read small words now. So, any book he sees, he tries to read the title of the book. Most of the time he says it pretty good. One of his favorite activities is making words on the fridge with magnets.

 

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Conversations

Sarath was getting late one morning and he just wouldn’t do things any faster. I was constantly telling him to eat fast and put his socks and shoes. It was finally less than 5 min for the bus to come and he was coolly chatting. I was just furious. I helped him put his socks and shoes and when he was about to go, I pulled him into a quick hug and said “Have a nice day”. So, this guy instead of running to the bus stop, asks me “why did you hug me when you are already so mad at me?”. I just laughed and told him “even though I am mad at you, I still want you to have a good day”. He was perplexed by it. But, my mood instantly changed and I was not mad any more 🙂 Kids always know how to make us laugh. He did miss the bus that day and S had to drop him in the car.

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Now that Sanjay is in pre-school, they make him write alphabets and numbers. So, yesterday, I was trying to get Sanjay to practice writing numbers at home. He loves to write numbers more than alphabets. He was holding the pencil with all five fingers.

Me: Sanjay, that’s not how you hold a pencil.

Sanjay: amma, you are doing it all wrong. My teacher told me to hold it with five fingers.

Now, how can I convince him?

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We are at a store and I had to take Sarath to the bathroom.

Sarath: amma, what are tampons?

Me: Well… they are something that women use.

A week later…. the same question. I gave him the same answer only this time he was not satisfied.

Sarath: I know that women use them. But, what do they use it for?

Me: (thinking hard about what to tell him)…. well, I haven’t used it. So, I am not really sure.

Then I told him that they are private things and he shouldn’t go asking anybody about it. I told him to come to me or S if he has any questions like this. I was just not prepared for this type of conversation this early. Now, I think I should start piling up some answers. Sigh! Parenting is hard…

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Sanjay is obsessed about firefighters. He learn’t about them in pre-sschool and now he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. One day he asked me “amma – do you know why we need fire?”

Me: No

Sanjay: we need fire so that the firefighters can fight it.

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Treasure Photo 101

 

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This is the most difficult assignment so far. There are just so many treasures and it is difficult to choose.

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Moment – Photo 101

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I took this picture at the end of summer when we went for a drive around the Olympic Peninsula loop. Watching the kids enjoying the sea and nature together was a rare moment and I am glad to have captured that moment. 🙂

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Lazy weekend and Lego display

Last weekend was very warm and sunny and did not feel like October at all. I was feeling really lazy on Saturday. We had lots of left over food and I did not cook anything on Saturday. So, that gave me all the time I needed to do something productive or to catch up on pending stuff around the house. But, all did was laze around reading. I took a nap in the afternoon and in the evening, I made pizza. I did not feel like it, but I also did not feel like eating the same old stuff. So, when S suggested pizza, I was happy. I made spinach pizza with paneer marinated with schezuan sauce. It was amazing. I made the non-spicy version for the kids and the spicy version for us. The kids did not even notice the spinach in the base 🙂 Sarath also gave me the complement of the best cook in the house. When S said, “amma is the best cook in world..” Sarath immediately said, “well, there are probably many other cooks out there who are much better than amma. But, she is definitely the best cook in our house.”

Saturday night, we just relaxed, watched a movie and discussed Harry Potter. S is now reading the Harry Potter books. I read them last year and we watched all the movies together. Now that he is reading the books, we keep discussing how the books are so different than the movies and everything related to that.

On Sunday, we went to Seattle center where there was a display of Lego structures. It is amazing what people had build out of Lego’s. The kids liked everything so much that they were not sure what to look at. There were also tables where the kids could build stuff and put it on a display table. So, both Sarath and Sanjay created a couple of pieces and put them on display. They were so proud of it. After looking at all the display items, we got one Lego building set for each of them. This was Sanjay’s first big kid Lego set and he just loves it. He feels like such a big boy and wants to build it all himself. He woke up the next morning and wanted to work on building the digger with Lego 🙂

Here are some pictures from the Lego display:

Some of these trains were actually going around too!

Some of these trains were actually going around too!

 

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Seattle Space Needle

Seattle Space Needle

 

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PS: I had written this post on Monday but did not get time to upload pics until today. So, I am publishing it a week late 😦

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