Logan’s 6th and Scarlett’s 3rd Birthday

(January 15, 2014: I feel so bad that this post never went up when it was supposed to. I was waiting for hubby to take the photos from his phone and put them on the computer. Can you believe he hasn’t done it yet? I need to pester him hard for it this week. I will add photos to this post once they are available but for now, here is the post so you can read it.)

Originally written November 21, 2013. Photos added February 11, 2014. See, even getting those took a long time.

 

You know you needed a break from blogging when you don’t even care that you missed important milestones, like birthdays. But better late than never, right?

Logan had his sixth birthday on the 11th and Scarlett had her third birthday on the 13th. With their birthday’s being right on top of each other, sometimes it feels rather overwhelming to make each one special and not lumped together. This year we kept them separate and simple.

Logan wanted a cow cake. By now you should know how he feels about farm animals. He’s twice had a farm cake, and once had a drawn cow cake, but this time I went with a sculpted cake.

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SAMSUNG

We invited some friends and went to our favorite park which is only a 5 minute drive from the house. Since his real birthday was on a Monday, we chose to celebrate the day before, on Sunday, so that daddy could be there. The park was crowded, as is typical for a weekend, but we settled ourselves in the small amphitheater so as to have a place to sit and place the cake. (Picnic tables are not available here.)

My kids love running up and down the rows of seats and on the small stage of the amphitheater, so it was the perfect place for them to play. They ran with daddy and played games until they couldn’t any more.

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Then it was time to cut the cake. I made sure to only cut the outside parts of the cow shape and I left the middle round cake intact. Why? Because I came up with the brilliant idea of removing the frosting and reusing it for the butterfly cake Scarlett had requested. Glad thought it was a sane idea that would prevent us from having loads of cake to eat later. So I did.

Glad decided to stay home the evening of Scarlett’s birthday (he still works most evenings, but can cancel the classes if needed). I cut and frosted that cake that had once been a cow’s body and turned it into a butterfly. Not my best decorating attempt, but she was happy, so I didn’t go for perfect.

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SAMSUNG

She picked out and ate all the chocolate gems before I could get a good pic. You can see the dents they left.

Logan, as usual, had requested more animals for his gift. I told him maybe, then bought him a book instead. 🙂 I want him to get used to the idea that there is more to the world of animals than small plastic toys, so I picked out an abridged version of “The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle”. We have been reading it a chapter at a time before bed, and he and Lila are enjoying it.

He also picked out a farm puzzle for himself, and our friends got him a scooter, plus a small bag of … you guessed it – plastic animals. He was delighted.

Scarlett is easier to please. Her only request was a pink butterfly cake and gifts were up to me. She picked out a tiny cheetah stuffed toy, which we named Itsy Bitsy, and I got her an ABC puzzle set as well. On the weekend we took them to the same Bunny Bounce Funland play place that we went to for Lila’s birthday and they enjoyed it.

Understandably Lila feels a little left out at this time of year, since her birthday is six months away, so she tries to get in on the act by making her cake and gift requests now. This year she told me that she wished her birthday was here already, and she also asked if it could be moved to Christmas. She has a cousin who’s birthday is on Christmas Day and she thought it would be great if her’s were there too.

Fortunately for her, Christmas is just around the corner and she will have forgotten the birthday feeling-left-out-edness (ok, I know it’s not a word) in favor of getting to spend Christmas at Nana Mable’s house and visit with some cousins she has never met.

Christmas is shaping up to be exciting this year.

Scarlett’s Accident

(This is a backlog post. It should have gone up June 3.)

There comes a time in every child’s life when they experience something that can make a mother’s heart stop.

With Logan, it was his premature birth and 10 day hospitalization. With Lila it was the time she drank turpentine at 2 years, 1 month old. Scarlett had yet to do something to freak me out severely (other than running off in a bookstore and hiding when she was 18 months old), but that changed last week.

I will have to begin with some background.

It was Monday, a rather stressful day for me because it is grocery shopping day. I used to shop alone with Scarlett while the other two were at school, but now with the arrival of summer holidays, I have no choice but to shop with all three kids.

Logan was already fussing when we got to the mall because we were only doing grocery shopping, and he wanted to go to the arcade and toy shop. He has no patience for shopping so he was running around, touching everything – every display, every shelf, every food item. He broke candy bars, crushed bags of chips and grabbed everything he could. Normally he is fairly obedient and can manage a trip to the store without too much wildness, but this day his hyperactive nature had taken over and it was all I could do to not yell at him right there. (He has ADHD.)

He continued to be wild during lunch and rest time, and on into the afternoon. He was mean to the girls and kept making them cry. Any sort of punishment didn’t faze him at all.

I finally decided to take the kids to the playground near our house, hoping that some outdoor play could burn some of his energy and tire him out. Yet he continued to be wild. Several times I had to pull him aside from his play as he was biting and pinching the other children. He even bit his own lip when he fell as he was racing up the slide.

The whole time I was keeping half an eye on the girls as they climbed the jungle gym. They are both quite good at it, so, while I stay near them, I don’t have to be right there. At one point I had to go to Logan again, and I didn’t see Scarlett follow me, nor did I see her climb the straight metal slide (not the ladder but the slide) until she was at the top.

She learned to climb the slide some time ago (barefoot), but I’m always next to her as there are no safety rails and she hasn’t yet figured out how to turn from her climb to sitting without putting her butt over the side. I’m sure you can guess what happened next.

It was almost like seeing something in slow motion. I saw her at the top of the slide. I saw her begin to turn, and then I knew she was going to fall. I was too far away to get there in time to catch her. I left Logan and forgot his naughtiness as I ran to my baby.

The slide was about 6 feet at the highest point and she fell from the top, landing in the sand flat on her chest and tummy, hitting her lips hard on one side. Horror stories that I had heard of kids dying from falling off a slide filled my mind, and I struggled to push them away so I could focus on Scarlett. At first she cried while I carried her to a bench and tried to clean the sand off her face, but then she was quiet, scarily quiet. She just sat on my lap and looked at everything. I kept asking her questions but she wouldn’t answer. I managed to round up Logan and Lila, and we rushed home. All I could think of was getting her home, putting ice on her ever-swelling lips, and helping her recover from the shock she was in.

She wouldn’t let me put ice on her lip, nor did she want me to get the sand out of her mouth, both of which made her cry. I was afraid she had some internal injury since she was so quiet. I called Glad, who was working on the other side of town, and told him what had happened.

He asked some questions and then reassured me that she was probably fine but to keep an eye on her.  I held her close and told her how sorry I was that I hadn’t been close enough to catch her. I couldn’t do anything but rock her. After about 30 minutes (from the time she fell) she began to move around. I put a video on for her and then went to my room to cry. The guilt I felt was massive. How had I not noticed her following me? Why wasn’t I paying more attention? Why hadn’t I been right there to catch her? It was awful.

Finally I realized I had some hungry kids on my hands so I forced myself to get up and cook dinner, even though I wasn’t very hungry and could hardly stand to look at food. Surprisingly, Scarlett ate a good dinner! I thought she might just have some yogurt because she could hardly open her mouth, but she figured a way to slip the food in on the side that wasn’t sore. (Fried chicken liver, French fries, and cucumber slices.)

Afterwards she was perky and climbing around, even jumping! She was fine as I showered everyone and got them ready for bed. I let her lie in my bed and she went to sleep quickly.

Glad kept checking in every hour, and he was sure she didn’t have any internal injury, since she was breathing well, had eaten and didn’t throw up, nor was she complaining of any pains other than her massively swollen lip and a sore chest. I, however, was still freaking out inside.

I kept her in bed with me all night. At one point she scared me by waking up and just sitting there and staring straight ahead. After what seemed like forever, she told me she wanted water and to get up, but it was only about 4 in the morning so I convinced her to go back to sleep.

In the morning her lip looked scary. The top one on the right side was big and puffy, the bottom about half the size. Above, below, and on her lips were all the tiny scratches that had scabbed overnight. Scarlett herself was perky as ever, ate a good breakfast, had a normal bowel movement, and showed every sign of being ok internally. But just to be safe, Glad took her to the hospital for a checkup.

I didn’t feel relief until they got home. The doctor had confirmed that she had no internal injury, and her lip was going to be just fine. The swelling went down rapidly over the next two days, so fast, in fact, that we could see a difference from one hour to the next. Now, exactly one week later, all the scabs are gone and there is no evidence that she had such a bad fall.

Since that day I’ve made sure to stay right next to her at the park whenever she is climbing. She is daring, like Lila, and will climb on most anything, so I can’t let her out of my sight. She may be a good climber, but she is still a toddler and doesn’t have as good balance as Lila does.

I shudder every time I think back on that moment when she fell. I’m thankful she fell from the 6’ slide and not the higher spiral one that she so loves. I’m thankful I wasn’t far when she fell, so I could pick her up right away. I’m thankful she wasn’t seriously injured. And I’m most thankful she is still here.

What has your child done to freak you out?

What My Kids Have Been Up to Lately

School is now out for the summer. Lila’s last day was the 10th and Logan’s was today, the 12th. With summer comes setting up the pool and water play, making popsicles, summer camps and more. Lila’s birthday is also around the corner.

I figure now is a good time to write up some backlog of what the kids have been up to recently.

February 17th: Logan and Lila began roller skating lessons. They have made a lot of progress in this short time. Logan doesn’t fall as much as he did at first and Lila is getting fast. Her role model is a girl probably no more than a year older than her who skates like a pro already. Lila watches this girl zip around the rink, rarely falling, and tries to imitate her.

February 21st: Lila had her first sports day. Unlike Logan last year, she did a great job and ran when she was supposed to. I missed seeing her dance since I had to drop Logan at his school first, but saw it later on video.

The children march around the stadium. Lila is the last one in the red shirt.

The children march around the stadium. Lila is the last one in the red shirt.

Preparing for their dance. Lila is second to last in the red row on the right.

Preparing for their dance. Lila is second to last in the red row on the right. You can also see Glad back there directing things.

Doing her part in the relay race.

Doing her part in the relay race.

Lila's class after the races. Lila is on the left next to the teacher.

Lila’s class after the races. Lila is on the left next to the teacher.

March 30th: Lila’s preschool graduation. I still don’t get why they do it two weeks before school actually lets out. But Lila was super excited about it. For about a month before it happened she asked me daily, “Is tomorrow my graduation?” We took a family photo together like we did last year, and we should get it soon.

They were running around the stage and I finally got them to hold still for 10 seconds. Love seeing them all so smiley.

They were running around the stage and I finally got them to hold still for 10 seconds. Love seeing them all so smiley.

April 4th: Logan had a dress rehearsal for his school’s annual day. Scarlett and I accompanied him for the long bus ride to the place an hour away from his school where the children from all the branches of his school were practicing their shows. Last year at his annual day performance, daddy had to stand with him to get him to even stay in place to perform. This time it was great to see him stand in place and dance with his class.

On the bus.

On the bus.

April 6th: Logan’s annual day performance. It was being presented in a large theater and there must have been over a thousand people there – parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, etc. All the children did so well. For some of them it was their very first time on stage.

Logan danced really well with no prompting needed from the teachers. We didn’t stay for the full performance as it was 1 1/2 hours and Scarlett was fussy from the beginning, though she did pay attention during a few of the dances when they were songs she knew.  We saw the full performance from one school and half of the one from Logan’s school, as his dance was in the first song his school presented.

Afterwards we went out for ice cream, partly to celebrate and partly to cool off as the day was a sweltering 36C. We went to a place that sells the ice cream by weight, so they give you huge scoops. The kids each got two, and surprisingly, both Logan and Lila said it was too much and couldn’t finish. 🙂 How often do you hear kids say they have too much ice cream? Ha.

Logan’s school didn’t have a graduation ceremony like Lila’s did, but they took a class photo (print only, I don’t have a soft copy), and had a party with the kids on the last day.

And those are the updates to date. I will include more photos as they come. Monday summer camps start for Logan and Lila; they are excited to go again, and I’m happy because it will give me some time without them daily – for the next two weeks. I really need my sanity so it is good when they go places.

Mommy Fears and Heart-stopping Moments

From the time Logan was small, one of my greatest fears was that someone would grab one of my kids in a public place and run off with them. When Logan learned to walk and could get away from me, I kept my eye on him like a hawk. I remember so clearly how hard it was for me to turn my back for even a second. I literally would have to tell myself it wasn’t awful to glance in another direction for a second.

It got harder when Lila came along and began walking and both wanted to go in different directions at once. I think if it had been possible, I would have turned into some version of Inspector Gadget with extendable arms and a 360 degree rotating head. Ha. Taking them to the park was crazy, and we only survived the mall because of the stroller where one of them would always be confined.

I’ve since learned to watch them closely but I don’t have my eyes glued to them at every second. I spend most of my time anywhere moving my eyes from one to the other to the other and back to the first one again. 🙂 Well, I can sort of trust Logan, and sometimes if the girls want to run to the small lake and Logan wants to be in the adjacent playground where I can see when he is on the top of the slide, it’s okay. Or if in the toy shop he wants to look at books over in the next aisle where I can’s see him while the girls play with the Lego display, it’s okay. I do check on him often and he’s fine. But I can’t trust the girls.

Scarlett loves to run as soon as my back is turned, and has given me more than one fright at the skating rink. Often someone will see me looking wildly for her and will point me in the direction she went. And last week at the rink, Lila decided she didn’t want to finish the exercises with the teacher so came looking for Scarlett and I. I was at a place where I could see them with the teacher, but she managed to sneak out, and then went and asked some lady to help her find me. I was proud that she remembered what color I was wearing but upset that she left, and after I spotted her and called her back,  she got strict instructions to never leave the rink if I wasn’t in sight.

What makes it harder for me is how people here in India are so attracted to them, because of their light skin color. People constantly sneak photos of them, touch them, pinch their cheeks, and want to be near them. The very few who do ask for photos first always get denied. I mean, why do they need pics of my kids? The rest can be glad I don’t go smash their phones. It’s so rude of them to just take their pics but what can I do?

Kidnapping is a very real fear here. At least once a week I read about one in the paper, often with sad results for the child. My kids being white could be targets so I do have to be careful. Even though most people are just being friendly, it’s better safe than sorry.

Just last Friday, while at the skating rink, I saw what I thought at first glance was my nightmare coming true. There is a balloon vendor there every day, and of course Scarlett spends lots of time watching the balloons. I was seated on one end of the rink, further from the balloons than normal, but I could still see her clearly so I let Scarlett walk over. I was watching her the whole time, so I jumped when I saw a man run and grab her real quick. I ran through the rink to where he was standing, but before I could exit the rink, a cow with large horns ran in front of me, with her owner at her heels.

Once realization dawned, I was grateful to this man for having gotten Scarlett out of the way in time and I thanked him, knowing that he wasn’t trying to take her but was saving her from being injured. But those few seconds when I didn’t see the cow and thought he was running off with her were heart-stopping.

What is your biggest fear regarding your child’s safety? How do you deal with it?

Then and Now

Do you ever take photos of your kids somewhere and then take them again in the same place a year later, just to see how much time has flown?

 

Pic #1: Logan was 4 years, 3 months; Lila was 2 years, 10 months; and Scarlett was 1 year, 3 months.

Taken February 14, 2012

Taken February 14, 2012

 

Pic #2: One year and one month later: Logan is 5 years, 4 months; Lila is 3 years, 11 months; Scarlett is 2 years, 3 months.

Taken March 16, 2013

Taken March 16, 2013

What a difference a year makes!

Our Move – Progress Update 2

It has been crazy busy since the new year, which has meant prioritizing my to-do’s and unfortunately, my blog often suffers because of it. Putting aside the care of the kids, housework, school stuff, etc., there were two major focus points. One personal one (exercise and weight loss, more on that in another post), and of course finalizing our legal work so we can push forward with this move to Canada.

The papers are all filled now, everything is sorted, signed, and organized. Pretty much everything is ready to go – we just have to make a payment for the immigration fees and then mail the papers. After that it will just be waiting to hear back.

Of course we had to get new photos taken of the kids since immigration photos have different requirements from passport photos. We all know how fun it is to try to get kids to pose for pics. And sit still. And look at the camera. And smile. All at the same time. If you have kids you know what I’m talking about.

Scarlett wanted to go first. She remembered sitting there for her passport photo just a few months ago, and right away went to the stool, climbed up on it and sat down. I tried getting her to smile, but she kept smiling after the photo was taken. This was the best of 3 or 4.
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Lila went second. She actually likes to pose, and while she won’t stay still for long, she will move around into model-like poses and smile real big. I think hers was a one-take. As you can see, she recently had a haircut, her first. (I hope her curls come back. The ends were dry and damaged and I had no choice but to cut it. Yes, I did it myself. She isn’t quite ready for a barber yet.)

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Logan went last. He had already caused trouble when upon entering the room he found a switch and turned it off. It turned out to belong to the main computer and the photographer had to reboot everything. (All electrical outlets here have switches to turn them on and off without having to unplug anything.) Then he tried to rearrange the chairs and mess with the lights and mess with the equipment.

Once he sat down, the photographer couldn’t get him to sit still, sit straight, look at the camera, keep his eyes open or face normal. Really the only time Logan is ever still is when he is sleeping. I kept telling Logan to look straight, so he’d look at me. Then I’d say, “Look at the camera.” and he’d look down too low. Then the photographer would tell him to look up and he’d look at the ceiling. Then he’d say, “Chin down.” and Logan would grab his chin and pull it down with his hands. (The girls were in the hall, keeping busy by  looking in the large mirror and re-combing their hair. 🙂 )

I finally went over next to him to try to coax him into position long enough to get a good pic. The guy had already taken about 5 and none of them were usable. He finally had to get someone else to come and take it. The other guy right away talked to Logan, which distracted him long enough to get one good pic – the one you see below.

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So now you know what’s been keeping me so busy. They are just so curious about everything that they get into trouble everywhere we go.

Memories Captured Linkup – December Edition

Scarlett is my youngest, and such a doll. She is almost always happy and cheerful; only when she is tired or not well does she fuss and cry. She loves helping daddy polish off his meals. She follows the other two around, trying to get into their games. She is happy when included and complains to me when they push her away.

Nov 013    Nov 059

She talks all the time now and has an amazing vocabulary for a 2 year old. The words I most love to hear her say right now are “tookie” (cookie), “nabit” (rabbit), “nap” (lap) and “tode” (cold). She tells Logan and Lila off if they bother her, wagging her little finger in their faces and shouting her reprimand. Twice recently she had a firm retort for some strangers who asked her for what she had in her hands. In one case it was a book she wanted and she said, “No, it mine!” In the other, she was holding a jute shopping bag for me, and when one of the shopkeepers tried to take it from her she shouted, “No, dat mommys!” Ha.

Nov 022     Nov 090

She loves having her picture taken. And drawing with my pen. And going for walks. And watching “Minnie Dactous” (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse). She is the one who will snuggle and say “I love you” with such gentleness, and then lick my cheek because she thinks it’s funny that Logan does it. She climbs into my bed at least once a night, then tries to sprawl, kicking Glad and I in the stomach (or worse) until I wake up enough to move her back to her bed so we can be comfortable.

 Nov 010            Nov 042

Scarlett is a cuddlebug, always wanting to be carried or sit on my lap. “I sit you nap,” she says each evening at storytime. Then if Logan or Lila try to get in she says “No, I sit mommys nap.” She loves the color pink. She points it out everywhere and wants to wear it all the time. She loves to announce whenever she burps or farts (courtesy of Logan’s training), and is the only one who has stepped on daddy’s sensitive parts more times than he can count.

She recently celebrated her second birthday. I don’t want her to grow up because I don’t want this cuteness to go away.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Nov 063

  

Today I am linking up with These Little Waves for the monthly Memories Captured meme.

November Birthdays and More

I can’t believe that I missed blogging about my kids birthday’s. Well, maybe I can. All of last week they were sick with some sort of tummy bug that had them vomiting for about 12 hours straight, each of them. It started on Tuesday morning with Logan. He spent 2 days on the couch watching t.v., not getting up for anything. The evening of his second day sick, both girls came down with it at the same time – both vomiting, both wanting comfort, both needing me to rush to them as they almost simultaneously threw up for hours on end.

Once the vomiting ended their bowels were hit. Everything coming out that end for over a week now has been liquid. Gross I know, but now you know what I’ve been dealing with. Poor Scarlett woke up several times with bigger diaper blowouts than she ever had as a baby, and she hated it. She is already toilet trained, so it scared her to be such a mess. I had to reasure her she was ok and clean her up while holding my breath and trying not to gag. It was that bad.

Snuggling with daddy while she was sick.

Somewhere around here Glad got it too (no, it didn’t touch me), so no one was eating much of anything. By Friday they were feeling slightly better, not perfectly, but enough to go to school. Lila had a Diwali party and Logan was having his class birthday party. Scarlett and I passed out muffins (carrot rasin, yum recipe) and small gifts for each of the kids in his class.

Saturday morning Glad’s mom arrived. I spent all of Friday afternoon and evening cleaning the house, then Saturday morning after my walk, I took down all the screens and washed them before she showed up. Glad and the kids were still taking it easy, not eating much, resting, watching lots of t.v. I spent the day making Logan’s cake for his birthday.

Sunday was Logan’s 5th birthday. We don’t make a big deal out of our kids birthday’s. There is never any plan or order to them. The only constants are a cake of their choice and gifts. Sometimes there are guests, sometimes not. Sometimes we do special activities, sometimes not. So when I got home in the evening (I work a few hours on Sunday), we had the cake right away together. I had picked up Logan’s requested gift, more plastic animals. I offered to wrap his gift but he said just give it to me, so I did.

Our neighbors daughter, who sometimes plays with my kids, dropped in, so we invited her to stay for cake. It was very informal but just right for us. Logan was very happy with his cake, even though my attempt at a farmyard was pitiful.



Click here to see more pics.

 Monday and Tuesday were school holidays because of Diwali, so everyone was home. Glad had those two days off work, but rest had to wait as Monday was the kid’s passport application appointment. We were there from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. – a long time for little kids. I had packed up snacks, books, coloring books, and Logan’s new animals to keep them busy the whole time. Glad had to take each of the kids in separately to do each application, which is one reason it took so long. Also, the place was packed, but they had a good processing system, unlike most Indian legal venus, and the kids had priority entry. Once we got home they were tired and napped and we rested for the rest of the day.

Heading out to the passport office.

While there were firecrackers most every night since Friday, Tuesday was the big day so they began early, at 6:30 a.m. My kids do not enjoy firecrackers and fireworks. So with them going off all day long around us it was rather chaotic and there were lots of tears and freakouts when some of the louder ones would go off.

Tuesday was also Scarlett’s 2nd birthday. She was so excited, saying “It my boofday” all day long. We took the kids to the mall that morning for a family outing. Nana had given each of them (Lila too) some birthday money so they bought some gifts and treats. Then they had fun on the rides at the arcade. All too soon they were hungry and tired so we had lunch at KFC and Glad and his mom took the kids home while I stayed to do the grocery shopping.

In the afternoon I gave Scarlett her big gift, a baby doll. She loves it and has carried it around all day ever since. At the mall she had picked out an alphabet animal wooden puzzle and a Minnie Mouse stuffed toy, and she got some clothes and books. Logan’s gifts were a large floor puzzle, the animals, a shirt with cows on it, some “big boy” cologne, and a Winnie the Pooh finger puppet theater game, which we have yet to put together and use.

Click here to see more birthday pics.

Oh, and Wednesday was Children’s Day so both kids had special activities at school and today, Logan had a costume party. He wanted to be a dancer, but had to wear track pants (his favorite) so he went as a rapper with his tracks, t-shirt, and oversized hoodie. I even gelled his hair and he looked good.

Lila dressed up for Children’s Day, and playing with Scarlett’s new toys.

Happy girl with her new baby doll and her favorites of Logan’s new animals – the cow and cat.

Now I’m tired just thinking of it all. Until next time.

Just Some Random, Recent Stuff

Logan:

Logan’s last day of school was a celebration in preparation for the Dussehra holidays. (See link below in Lila’s section. I’m writing the post in reverse and wrote about Lila first.) They were also celebrating Grandparent’s Day, but since Logan doesn’t have any grandparents here with us, I was invited to come.

We made our handprints on a large sheet of paper.

There was a huge display of animals and Hindu idols. Each of the kids contributed 2 animals and Logan is still concerned about his. They are labled though, and he will get them back later.

Having a snack.

We left shortly after that because I had to pick Lila up, and besides, I wasn’t interested in joining the Hindu prayers part. 

Lila:

You know how we’ve had so much rain this past week? Well, yesterday morning we finally got some sun and I decided to take the kids out in the morning. Good thing too because it poured later. It was also one of the many days in the festival of Dussehra, a Hindu celebration. One of the things Hindus use a lot in their worship and celebrations is a ringing bell. It has a tinkling, sort of jingly sound, and we hear it a lot because most of our neighbors are Hindus.

As I was getting Lila ready to go out, she hears one of these bells ring and stops in her tracks.

“Do you hear it, Mommy?”

“What?”

“It’s Santa’s bells!”

She was dead serious. She ran to her bedroom window to look outside, so sure that was what she was hearing. I thought it was odd because I have not told my kids that Santa is real. I’ve told them he is a symbol of Christmas and represents the joy and fun of the season, but I don’t want them to believe in something, only to have their hopes dashed in the future.

So I reminded her, “You do know Santa isn’t real, right?”

“But, Mommy, I hear the bells.”

As she looked out the window, I heard them too and of course knew what they were. So I explained that the neighbors use the bell because that is what they do in their religion when they are praying. She just went “Oh” and that was that.

I wonder what was going through her mind at that time, though. Was she wondering if Santa really was real? Did she expect to see cartoons come to life?  Both she and Logan have expressed the desire to be in a cartoon. Yes, actually in a cartoon, interacting with the characters.

I just asked Logan what cartoon he would like to be in and why. He want’s to be in “Winnie the Pooh: Springtime With Roo” so he can play with Roo. Lila wants to be in “Finding Nemo” so she can play with Nemo and the sharks will get her. Ha. My crazy kids.

Scarlett:

She is now a 2 year old in every sense of the word. I’ll write a longer post about her for her birthday, but right now I’m gonna write some of the things she says.

It mys – It’s mine! Anytime she wants anything.

1,2,3,4,7,8,9,10 is how she counts.

She has figured out how to lecture Logan when he doesn’t listen to me: “No, Loden (she used to call him Doden), top be naty!” said in a stern voice with finger wagging. 🙂 (Say it out loud if you don’t know what she is saying.)

I hongy – how she lets me know she’s ready to eat.

There is never a dull moment with them around.

School Holidays + Monsoon = Perfect Recipe for Pulling My Hair Out

It is pouring rain, yet again, as I sit down to write. The kids are taking a late nap since they got up late. You see, school is out and the winter monsoon is here. Logan’s last day of school was last friday and Lila’s was last tuesday; both have holidays until the 28th with school starting again on monday the 29th.

Watching the rain.
We had grand plans for what we would do with 2 weeks of holidays. We were going to go to multiple parks, have picnics, go to the botanical gardens again, and perhaps even the zoo, plus a few malls. Ha. Wendesday morning the pouring began and it has yet to let up. Oh it stops for a short while but then it pours again. There is nothing quite like being woken at 5 a.m. by a thunderstorm and Scarlett crying to get into your bed.
So we have been housebound since wednesday. Not fun. The temperatures have dropped too, and I find myself wearing a sweater all day. Yesterday the high was supposed to be 29 deg.C but I don’t think it got up to there. Today is even cooler. Yet in the house we still need the fans, albeit on low or else it feels hot from the humidity. The evenings have cooled down enough that we no longer need the air conditioners. (And if you are thinking that is hot, summers around here get over 40C!)
They insisted on the hoods, even though it isn’t that cold.
Every few hours the rain starts and stops, slows and speeds up. This has resulted in flooding in the city, since the storm drains are never clear enough to keep floods at bay. While the summer monsoon is more sporadic, with ligher rainfall and still warm enough to make you want to run outside and cool off, this rain is colder and soaks you through.

Yesterday afternoon it cleared a little and there was even a hint of sun, so we went to the mall near our house. Of course it had to pour while we were there, but at least it was a change. And we barely made it home in time before it began raining again!

Here are a few pics from the mall.
Matching outfits – while they will still let me. 🙂

Wow, I just realised how much Scarlett looks like I did at that age!

 They always want to visit the jewelry shop that has a fish tank in the floor.

Feeding the fish.

I think they are Koi and there were some new ones, huge black catfish that were a good 12″ or more.

 Our next stop is always Landmark. They sell books, toys, stationary, movies, games, etc. and they have a Lego display for the kids to use. I snuck these photos cause I wasn’t sure if they had a no photography rule.

“Mommy, come see what I made!”

 The mall routine always involves multiple escalator rides, and then they want ice cream at some point. When I can afford it, I take them to a nice ice cream shop that sells scoops by weight and they have some amazing flavors; when I can’t, we go to McDonalds. Ha. Cones are cheap (rs.15 each) and they don’t care that there is only one flavor available.

She was looking so cute I took too many pics.

Today I tried to clean the house a little and the kids made sure to really be at each others throats, hence the late nap. I’ve been trying to keep them busy but they only last so long and then are begging to go outside. The problem is that there is nowhere dry to go play; parks and playgrounds are flooded, as are many streets. Walking is not an option. So I will again today put on music and try to get them to dance or run, and they will jump and fall all over each other on a mattress on the floor, and I will pray my sanity stays intact long enough to survive another week.

Here is a cute video I got of Scarlett last week. Notice how she has also inherited daddy’s singing ability.

I love how she goes up a key at the end and then goes back to the song. In case you didn’t catch that, she is singing “Old Macdonald” but it is her own version. She is saying “had a, had a cow, EIEIO, had a, had a pig, EIEIO. Neigh, neigh here, neigh neigh there.” Then repeat. 🙂

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