Last week during our playgroup, Sasmitha suggested that we have a potluck on friday. We thought that it would be a good idea. We decided to have a chinese theme for our potluck. Since it was lunch, it was for the mothers and their kids. It was a lot of fun. After our Spanish play time, we went straight to Sasmitha’s place. I made gobi machurian (which turned out very well), Bhargavi made fried rice, Sasmitha made chow-mein & bread and artichoke dip, Mona made spring rolls, Meenal made tofu curry, Samruddhi made brownies and Rashmi brought chips. The food was yummy and we all had a wonderful time. The kids are finally getting to know each other, and they are enjoying being in each others company. Shreya, Sasmitha’s kid has a small couch that opens up into a bed in the living room. Ruchi loved it so much, that she spent most of her time sitting on it. Later Vanya joined her on the bed, and finally Ishan wanted to squeeze in at the foot of the bed. It was so cute watching all three of them trying to relax on a 3′ x 2′ bed and share and equally small blanket.
I had plan so many things for Praveen’s birthday, but in the end, his on call duty messed up all our plans. Poor Praveen was up since 2:30 in the morning attending some production call, which meant we could not go out for a dinner and a movie as planned. I am just glad, we cut the cake at midnight. Speaking of the cake, thanks to my sister Samatha, this is first time I made a wonderful cake from scratch for Praveen. It was a pineapple pastry cake, one of our favorite cakes. Since Ruchi usually goes to bed around 10:30, I tried putting her to sleep at that time. But for some reason she did not want to go to bed. It was as if she knew she had to stay up till 12:00 to wish her dad. A few minutes before midnight we took out the cake, and presents. Ruchi was so excited to see the colorful cake, with candles on it. As if she knew the celebration was over, as soon as we ate the cake, and opened the presents, she rested her head on her dad’s shoulder and fell asleep in ten seconds. It was nearly one by the time we went to bed, and by 2:30 Praveen was up again to attend his office call. In the morning, when I saw him still working, I knew we will have to postpone his birthday celebration to the weekend.
Since it was supposed to be a nice warm day today, we decided to take the kids to the park at around ten in the morning. What we did not realise is that it was not warm, it was hot outside. The worst part was I did not realise how hot it was until I reached the park. I let Ruchi ride in her toy car to the park, instead of her stroller. Unfortunately there was no sun shade on the car, so we had to borrow Vanya’s cap protect Ruchi from the sun. Inspite of the heat, the kids had a wonderful time. But after half an hour, we decided it was not safe for the kids to be out in the hot sun for long hours, so we headed home. In the afternoon as soon as Ruchi settled down for her nap, I started baking Praveen’s birthday cake. I first had to make a sponge cake for my pastry. I was a little tensed, because I had never made a sponge cake before. Thankfully the cake turned out great. Later in the evening, I put together all the other ingredients to make a beautiful pineapple pastry cake. It turned out so well, that I could not wait for it to be midnight, to see the surprised look on Praveen’s face. We even had all our gifts in their respective gift bags, including the beautiful armani perfume set that Sam sent for Praveen.
It is at times like these that we realise how there is so much goodness in the world. Since yesterday I was so worried about still not finding my driver’s license. Today we did not go out anywhere. Ruchi and I stayed home. I took care of some household chores while Ruchi played with her toys. I wanted to go grocery shopping to buy chichken and other items to cook for Praveen’s birthday and for a potluck I have on friday. Unfortunately we could not go, becuase Praveen was on call and I did not have my license. Late at night after I was done with all my work, I was going through the mail that Praveen had picked up on his way home, and I was surprised to see my driver’s license in it. I felt so happy to have it back, and that to so quickly. Whoever that found my license must have dropped it into a mailbox and the postman delivered it to our house. Thank goodness for having an up-todate address on my license. I just feel strange that someone out there has helped me and I cannot thank them, because I have no idea who it is.
It is definitely not a great feeling when you loose something as important as a driver’s license. This morning as usual I accompanied Mona in the morning, to help her practice driving the car. She is planning to take her driving test in a couple of weeks. After the driving, we started our usual early morning walk in the neighborhood. When I got back, I realised that my driver’s license was missing. I searched every where in my jacket and cell phone and couldn’t find it. I called Mona and asked her to check her car, but with no luck. Later when Praveen was ready to go to work, he gave me a ride in the neighborhood so I could look for my license, but with no luck. Disappointed I came back home, and Ruchi and I got dressed and went to our tuesday morning playgroup sessions. After the playgroup all my friends offered to walk with me through the neighborhood to look for my license once more. We retraced our walking trail with no luck. Someone must have picked it up. I was hoping against hope that they will see my address on the license and will return it to me. I decided to wait till friday, and if my license does not show up by then, then I decided to apply for a new one. By the time we were done with our second round of searching, we were all very exhausted, and the sun did not help either. As soon as we reached home, Ruchi had her lunch and went straight to bed for a three hour nap.
After a very busy weekend, we decided to stay home today and relax. We decided to go watch Angels and Demons movie in the afternoon. But I was so tired by afternoon that I decided to take a nap, instead. I did not know how exhausted I was until I woke up from my nap. I slept for two hours without knowing what was happening around me. Luckily Praveen was there to entertain Ruchi when she woke up from her nap. In the end we were so lazy that we did not even go to the park in the evening. But Ruchi was content playing with mom and dad at home. Basically she found her Elmo toy somewhere in the corner of her room. She pulled it out and asked me to turn it on, and I did. She started pressing all the buttons on the toy. She was so excited to hear Elmo sing songs and talk, she ended up playing with it all day.
Ever since I set foot in Seattle, the one place I wanted to go visit was the Mt. Rainier National Park. Mt. Rainier is fourteen thousand foot active volcano. It is the highest mountain in the cascade range and can be seen from anywhere in the Seattle area. Now that summer is here we couldn’t wait to go see it. The weather was very beautiful, so the drive was good. Ruchi slept in the car andwoke just in time to see the beautiful waterfalls at our second view point. She missed the Nisqually dam which was our first stop. The waterfalls were beautiful. Since they were so close to the road, we just had to stop the car to get out and enjoy the falls. There were many waterfalls along our drive, but the two most prominent ones were the Christine falls and the Narada falls. As we kept getting closer to the top, the mountain looked much more beautiful. It was around two o’clock when we reached the main viewpoint Paradise. This was the best part of the trip. We could see the peak of the mountain, and it looked so beautiful against the clear blue sky. For some reason it reminded of pictures of Mountain Everest and our trip to Jungfraujoch, in Switzerland. Mt. Rainier has 26 glaciers and this was one of it. It was so close to the parking lot, that all we had to do was park our car and walk into the snow. The best part was the beautiful warm weather (it was 70 degrees). So we were playing in the snow with just our jeans and short sleeve T-shirts on. Ruchi had a wonderful time here. She was so excited to play in the snow, especially since she did not have to wear a jacket. Now I know how our Indian actresses dance in the snow in such flimsy outfits. Now I have a perfect place to take my niece Eshitha, if she visits us. It is her dream to play in the snow.
She really enjoyed the trip to the zoo this time. It was wonderful to see her getting excited every time we spotted some animals. We were lucky enough to see the Hippos, monkeys and elephants, but the tigers had gone in to sleep and the lions were too far away from the viewing area. We were a little disappointed that she could not see two of her favorite animals. We did however see an orangutan eating leaves and gorillas lazing around. It was fun and Ruchi kept talking about them even after we came back home.
This past one week, Ruchi has shown strong signs of her interest in dressing up. It started a few days ago, when she wanted to wear my chain. Since this was the first time she had asked me for a chain, I thought she wanted something to play with, so after letting her wear the chain for some time, I gave her my pearl necklace, thinking she might like it better. And she did. But not for playing, but to wear everyday. Now after I give her a bath, and dress her up, she pulls me to the dresser and asks for the pearl necklace. She has been wearing it for at least a couple of hours everyday. Jewelery is not the only thing she likes to accessorize with. Some of her other favorite accessories are hat and hairband. She even likes to pick what she wants to wear sometimes, though I usually end up dressing her in something comfortable. Since it was a beautiful sunny day I dressed her in a frock today. I wanted her to wear just the dress, but she went to the closet and insisted on wearing a pair of stockings. Later when we were getting dressed to go to the park, she wanted to wear the pearl necklace and the hairband too. She took out the hairband after some time but she wore the necklace to the park. She did not remove it until it was time to change into her PJs at night.
This has to be the fastest recovery from a cold for Ruchi. Though her nose was still a little stuffy, by late morning, Ruchi was back to her old self. She was running around the house playing, making me read to her and in the afternoon, she even wanted to go out to enjoy the beautiful sun. Unfortunately we missed our morning Spanish circle time at our playgroup. I did not want to expose the other kids to Ruchi’s cold. Mona was doing craft work today, and I really wanted to take Ruchi for it. Anyway I am just glad that she is fine. I think she wanted to compensate for her lost play time yesterday, because today she was exceptionally hyper.