Last year today we were all excited for the beginning of 2020. No-one ever thought this year would bring huge changes in our life. We saw many heart breaks(physical and mental), loss of job, loss of family and close ones. This beginning of 2021 gives us strength to get up and start the new year full of hope, admiration and support with compassion for each other.
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After moving from Illinois to North Carolina, we spend the first two weeks at Residence Inn at Charlotte(that was provided by his company). As our place was not ready to move in and would take another week, we thought to utilize this time by exploring around.
We started with 5 days of renting an Airbnb at Myrtle beach. It was a one-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and living room. And a beautiful view of the beach from the balcony and access to the beach anytime. But it was a bit cold during those days and him being busy with work, I couldn’t take the kids to the beach. We waited for him and on election day, we spend the whole day enjoying the beach and going around the city maintaining the social distance also wearing the mask all time. Both the kids enjoyed their time at the beach. We thought to extend our stay but the place was already booked for the weekend.
Kids were sad to leave the beach but we found another exciting place for them. It was a farm near Charleston, far from the city and this Airbnb was located inside the farm. We reached late in the evening, had dinner, and went to sleep. The next morning both the girls with daddy were all set to explore the farm. They started the morning with a relaxing swing ride on the tree branches. Followed by going for a walk around the farm. Girls were happy to see horses, hen, and rooster. Suddenly a herd of goat with a pony came our way, my eldest was so delighted to see the goats. She went near and wanted to pet them but those goats had big horns even I got scared. She didn’t mind going to see the goats, but the caretaker took them into their shed. We spent the entire day on the farm looking around the horses, where they were enjoying their graze on the grass fields. We even fed them with carrots given by the owners. We meet another family who was also there for a few days with their 2 years old. We watched Baby the huge dog and lots of cats enjoying their fun time in the stable. We feed the animals with the cookies given by the employees. We ordered a to-go for lunch and after the kid’s nap time, they got a ride from a horse named Lolipop. Both the girls enjoyed their ride and yes we saw a big pig, which was so different than “Peppa pig” for them though.
We had to leave the farm on Saturday morning as it was already booked for the weekend, therefore we headed to another destination. We explored around beaches at Sullivan Island, Fort Moultrie, Pineapple Fountain then rested that night at Charleston. My eldest even asked when are we going back home, I don’t want to stay in Hotels anymore 😜. Finally, Sunday morning we headed back to Charlotte to start our first day at the new place.
With the pandemic many of the get together has become virtual. But, I think it’s for the better. We want to be part of the event, why not try and change according to the situation around us. Everyone is washing hands and not touching their face so they can take care of their own and others around them.
Some of the events that I attended virtually maybe through apps or just sharing that day with family and the things we did to make it memorable.
Online Classes for my 3 years old
This was something we had never thought of or planned of doing, but it just happened. My eldest daughter had get together with daycare friends and teachers through the ZOOM app. And started to attend some online classes, which she doesn’t understand much but still gets a few pieces here and there. We tried free online classes through Zoom from sea animals, drawing(which i was basically doing instead), story time, singing and even space visits virtually. After so many online classes, she is not excited anymore to attend them.
World NEWA Day
We celebrate this day on the last Saturday of May, Newa around the world comes and celebrates this day in different parts of the world. Usually NAD (NEWA American Dabu), Chicago held a cultural program with Samaya Baji. Newa around Chicagoland would come together to celebrate it. We couldn’t meet this year, everyone made Samaya Baji at their home and shared the pictures with the people in the community to celebrate it together.
Online Temple Day
NAC (Nepali American Center) holds puja at Shree Radhey Shyam Temple, Bloomingdale, IL first Saturday of every month. A group of people sponsor the puja and make prasad from home so everyone can enjoy prasad for lunch. Since it’s been a while we couldn’t attend it. May month sponsor decided to do it online. We have Buddha Puja for the month of May, we all came together to make it happen through ZOOM. We did meditation, sang bhajans, chanted and kids did art related to Bhagwan Buddha. Now it happens every month and many more come together to make it happen. It is updated live on the NAC facebook too.
This was the most memorable event we celebrated virtually. If it wasn’t for pandemic I wouldn’t have been able to attend it. Since it was virtually from Texas, I could attend it from Chicago. We enjoyed the ceremony from around the world even in different time zones 😍. First part of the wedding was conducted by pandit ji at Texas residence and later was done as part of our culture under the guidance of elders from Nepal. We took lots of photos and I even dressed up for the wedding with a meal and drink 🥃. After the virtual wedding I attended another drive through baby shower of my friend.
NAC took a huge step by utilising this time of pandemic to make it memorable for everyone. Nepali from different ages participated in the talent show, they had 4 different age groups to make the event more exciting. My 3 years old participated and I even sang 😉 for the talent show. We attended a virtual concert, heard Nalina Chitrakar sing her favourite songs after so many years and made us dance at our home. Many local talents also performed, other award ceremonies along with talent show awards were conducted. We stayed late to enjoy the event. Overall, it was fun to participate.
My Cousin , gender reveal also happened virtually. We all came together, played games online and revealed the gender. The couple took the online platform to another level with all the new ways to play games through Kahoot. We all suggested names for the baby and enjoyed the evening together virtually😉. This virtual thing is getting more fun, we are learning new ways to celebrate each day.
Online Summer Newa Class 2020
NAD had been conducting Summer Newa classes for 4 years to encourage the community kids and adults to learn Nepal Bhasa. This year due to pandemic it was made virtual, kids and parents participated from different cities and suburbs of Chicago. Kids enjoyed both vocabulary and hands on craft. We started the class with a musical performance by traditional Newa instrument and shared about Juju Dhau(King of yogurt). Then following weeks the vocabulary classes were food related, kitchen items, weather, leisure and music. Whereas on art and craft after juju dhau, twaa dewa, mandala(only after class i came to know its said Manda), traditional Newa houses, syabaji, dhimay baja and newari attire. On the last class all the kids performed something to conclude the end of the summer class. Being part of the classes, I learned so much about my own culture and heritage through it.
My nephew Weaning ceremony(transition to solid food) was held in Texas, and we couldn’t be present there physically but thanks to the internet we still got to attend the event virtually. We saw all the foods prepared for the ceremony. From bathing the baby to feeding her the solids by everyone we enjoyed every moment. She is an adorable bundle of joy in the family, much love and blessings to her 😘.
Buwa ko Mukh Herne din
In Nepal we celebrate Buwa(Fathers) ko mukh herne din, where we show our gratitude to our father for all he has been and done for the family. Even so, we, all the siblings are from different places around the world,we could attend, thanks to Zoom. My youngest brother and sister in law were on the zoom call. We felt being together when they gave sagun to dad and mom, and not to forget the gifts too. We saw them enjoy the celebration from beginning to the end with a delicious dinner 😋.
LaliGuras Teej Talk 2020
Every year LaliGuras has been hosting Teej Program for a few years now in Chicagoland for the Nepalese Ladies on the occasion of Teej festival. We would all dress up for the program with red, green and yellow sari. Many ladies would perform single and group performances, sharing the feeling for the day to the remembrance of this day in Nepal. But this year it wasn’t a good idea to meet for the festival, the group thought to make it more memorable by making it virtual. They had Teej Talk about the significance and why it is important to preserve our festival far from home. How future generations take this festival and hope for future and love for the tradition, overall they talked about everything and not to forget we danced in between the live program.We all participated by watching it live on FB and commenting. Oh! that was so much fun.
After gender reveal, we had to make a baby shower happen. Thanks to his brother and wife, we had a wonderful time participating in the baby shower. Everyone had sent the gifts from the registry and wished both mom and dad to be ready for a new phase in their life. We were all dressed up blue coz it’s a boy. Oh Boy! We played many rounds of games and I won a few times along with the Bingo too.
Crisha 4th Birthday
Crisha(my eldest) turned 4 this year, she had been so excited for her birthday. With the pandemic, I didn’t know how to make it happen. I planned to have Anna and Elsa present through Zoom but had to cancel since they were not available in the time we wanted. But that turned out to be better, both my girls were Anna and Elsa instead. We had storytime, coloring, Bingo, Scavenger hunt, singing along and finally cake cutting with her few friends and my sister through Zoom. This made her birthday more memorable, we wish we had more friends to join but had to do what was important during the pandemic. So we still had fun virtually and together.
Farewell are never easy, either it was leaving Biratnagar, Kathmandu, Bangalore, Nepal now Chicago ☹️. I have always been nervous when thinking of leaving my comfort zone. The thought of moving isn’t easy, the new place, new circle, new surroundings, new atmosphere and leaving known, close friends who made that place more meaningful.
My sister always says “wherever you go you will shine.” But it’s not easy when you have been surrounded with many people who supports, encourages and alway been teaching me in one or other way. Only the thought, that ,at least he is with me makes it not so complicated. It puts me at ease we will deal it together wherever we go.
First it was with parents and siblings that I moved from my birth city to capital. Then with him after we got married and now with both of my kids. Adding new experience and learning throughout the way.
I will miss everyone here, you all have always guided and helped me to be better. I am thankful to the community who made far away from home not so far. Moving to new place, I wish to learn more about myself and the place that is welcoming us.
Good Luck to us and this is not a farewell just a beginning of new pages in my life. Welcome us North Carolina !
We have been living in this apartment since 4 years. Both of my daughters were born here. We have collected many beautiful memories in this place. My daughter’s first bath, first solids, first walk, first words and lots of other memories. This place will always have a special place in my heart and our memories.
Ever Since the pandemic we are trying our best to just live peacefully and safely not only for us but also the community as a whole. We are trying our best to stay safe and healthy. Kids are the one who are going through more psychological impact compared to adults. We have to tell them not to go outside, wear mask, don’t do this, don’t do that, etc. which they had never experienced before.
On top of that since last two month my new neighbor downstairs is causing trouble. First, she started complaining that my kids jump around when she goes to sleep. My youngest one goes to sleep by 9 – 9.30 pm almost all the days except sometimes when we go out and come back late. Even then since it’s already late we freshen up the kids and they go to bed right away. Both of my girls aren’t those who jumps around the house or make loud noises. When my youngest goes to sleep my eldest studies, she traces her preschool book or colors until she goes to bed.
So, the other day the neighbor came to my door and knocked at 11.30 am to complain that she was trying to sleep, and we are too loud. Also, she feels like someone was knocking from upstairs in the front room, that room is office space for my husband who works from home. After hearing her we stand there clueless about what she was talking. The kids do not even go to that room when my husband’s working, they either spends the time in living room or the kitchen while i cook.
Again, after few days, she came at 8.30 am in the morning and knocks at our door. I got scared because she was yelling from outside and my husband was in a meeting and can’t come outside to open the door. I tried talking to her from inside, but I couldn’t understand anything what she was saying. Kids started to get scared, so I had to open the door to know what’s exactly happening. Then, she said she can’t concentrate in her zoom class and her teacher was asking where the noise is coming from. I asked her which room the noise was coming from because my husband was in meeting and kids just finished their breakfast. She said the noise was coming from living room. Now I am stunned because the first time she said the noise was coming from front room and we were disturbing her morning sleep. Now she was in her living room taking online classes and complaining that kids are disturbing. My nerves got me, and I asked her if I should tie my kids in one corner so that they don’t walk around the house.
She keeps adding “Can you be a bit respectful to downstairs neighbor because we live in an apartment”. I was so nervous and shocked that I couldn’t even tell her “doesn’t that apply to you as well”. The apartment we are living is an old building made of wooden structure. Even I hear my upstair neighbor walking around even at the middle of night. Since its a wooden floor I can understand and ignore it. But what she is doing feels like torture. She bangs from downstairs when my husband walks from his room to the restroom or kitchen to grab a coffee or water. Kids are scared even to walk around, knowingly or unknowingly they know someone bangs from downstairs.
On top of it, last night around 9.45 pm I was putting my youngest to sleep and I heard someone knocking at the door again. My husband said it’s a cop, I am surprised so I check the window first to see the police car. Then we opened the door and no wonder there was a cop standing outside our door. He said our downstairs neighbour called them saying upstairs are making loud noises. This was shocking because we were not even walking around the house and partying (to make loud noises) would be the last thing in our mind during this pandemic. Even the policeman was feeling bad because he knows we have little kids and little bit of noise was inevitable. I felt I was slapped on my face because looking at her attitude she is just using kids as an excuse. She would have created all this trouble even if there were no kids involved. We asked our landlord to settle this issue, if this continues, we don’t mind vacating the place. But we have many beautiful memories in this apartment, and don’t want to leave this place with bad memories. This is my story of annoying downstairs neighbor.
Back at home, as kids, strawberry was something that wasn’t available whenever you wanted to eat. As time changed, country changed, i grew up, now most of the fruits are available nearby, even throughout the year. Strawberry’s been favourite fruits for most of the kids and my both daughters love it so much that they can finish few lbs just in one sit.
We been going to this farm for last many years in strawberry picking season. My eldest daughter could finally pick her own strawberry and my little one enjoyed all the picked ones 😉. This was our third visit after we came to USA. Stade’s Farm & Market has been our place of joy for strawberry picking every year. They have lots of other pickings too but we enjoy strawberry the most.
Due to the pandemic we chose to go as early as possible. We reached before they were opened 😉. The smallest is, one quart $5 then $10 and $15. Everyone going for picking must at least have the smallest bucket for pick but below 2 are free.
As we planned, it was less crowded and social distancing was possible since it was early in the morning i.e 8.30 am. We all enjoyed picking our own strawberry, eating few quarts, walking around and talking some pictures also. My eldest was happy to see snap peas, apple, raspberry too. We nearly spend 2 hours enjoying our time.
We got big strawberries this time, as we returned home, i was thinking what should i do with all the strawberries but it just lasted for two days. Both of them just finished it, in two day, wow. Hope to go in future and make more memories to treasure.
Everytime as we return from picking we make a stop at Lakefront Park. They have children play area and few picnic tables. We could see many people enjoying fishing, boat ride and having there own picnic maintaining social distance. But it was a bit crowded for us, so we just took a deep lake breeze and headed home thinking about the wonderful morning we spend together.
COVID 19, this word has changed people’s life. Pandemic, left the people around the world shattered and still recovering. Children, adults, seniors and even animals have been impacted with it. World is recovering from this situation. People are trying to go back to their normal life and trying to keep themselves and others safe.
Kids are out of schools but parents aren’t sure if its safe for them to play around with their friends and family outside home. What are the activities that can be started or not and still in dilemma. This pandemic taught us to be more careful about things which we might have taken for granted. All the little things in life that’s more important because we don’t know what lies in tomorrow. We have been busy thinking about tomorrow that we forgot to live for today. But, everything has come to halt. We hear nature has paused itself so it could heal from the harm human beings have done to it.
Let’s pause so we can heal and look after ourselves from all the harms we have done mentally or physically. Take a break so we can heal and be back to where everything starts. Like a starting point to where everything looks like a mirage.
We enjoyed so much in gender reveal that we were quite excited for the Baby Shower. Even though, I was planning to move to another state, we still started to make plans for the baby shower. But sometimes things don’t turn out the way we plan. COVID 19 pandemic hit the world. But that still didn’t stop us from celebrating the big event.
We looked for all kinds of options from doing a small ladies only gathering to prepare DAHI CHIURA wishing for good delivery and healthy baby and mom. Another way was maybe we could do virtual baby shower and the last option would be Drive Through Baby Shower. Whatever we planned to do, had to make it memorable.
We planned a surprise Drive Through Baby Shower. Their close friends who would say that they are having baby shower just by themselves since COVID 19 restricted them to have crowded gathering. They decorated the place and we all met somewhere before the house so it could be like a parade. Then we coordinated with their friends and all drove outside the house. Both of them were shocked and surprised to see all of us driving through and wishing them for the new chapter of their life.
We were 10 cars back to back driving before the house, we took few pictures maintaining the social distance. Everyone was excited and happy to enjoy the baby shower in a different way. We planned to do our traditional DAHI CHIURA later but her water broke on 36 weeks and she delivered her miracle baby boy. Let’s welcome both of them in this wonderful journey of parenthood and can’t wait to meet the little miracle. Today he is 10 days old, Happy Nuwaran baby boy.
Wishing you both will have a wonderful and most beautiful journey with a new member in the family. Take care and stay safe.
We have known both of them for a while, we have seen them engaged to getting married and I even danced on her wedding reception with a baby bump 🥰. I was so happy to be part of their celebration. The day you both announced you were pregnant, I still remember, I was so shocked and happy for both of you. And had to do something to make your first baby, every moment special.
Since we are planning to move to a different state, gender reveal was something I wanted to be part of. So that I can feel and enjoy your step on been parents. This gender reveal was something none of us had done before. We were all excited for it. Later another friend joined us and she helped us with the decorations and we were happy to be part of it.
We had arranged for potluck and three of us took the initiative to do the decorations. Being mother of two I wasn’t able to do most of the pre planning things. But on the day of gender reveal, I was happy to do all the things for the reveal event.
We had planned few games for both the guests and parents to be also. One fake gender reveal and one true reveal 😜. We were worried they would be sad if we did a fake reveal but it was worth it. Both of them were so nervous and happy with all the decorations that they didn’t even think it might be a fake reveal.
We started with welcoming them inside and enjoyed looking the decorations we had done. Then we told let’s do the reveal, they were so anxious that mom to be was almost crying. When they saw the board saying “Just Kidding Not Yet 😉 ” they were both happy and excited for what we still have for them.
We had snacks which was followed by ping pong game for the guest and parents to be. Then next was “Old Wives Tales” . We had a small surprised prepared for them. We collected videos from families and friends who couldn’t attend the event. They were so happy to see all the guesses and wishes from them. Then we had the reveal done. And most of the people guesses were correct “It’s a Boy”.
Both of them were so happy about it. We had our lunch and started games for the parents to be “Guess who Mummy or Daddy”. Then we did gift unwrapping game. Where all guests made a circle and passed the wrapped gift, which had been wrapped with many layers of wrapping paper. That was also a fun game. When the music started the gift was passed and when the music stopped whoever had the gift had to unwrap one layer until the last one was left with the final gift.
Another game was a name race, writing the baby boy name from A to Z within a minute. We had raffle, name suggestion and guess pick game at the end. At the end both mom and dad to be gave prizes to all the winners of the game. Overall, everyone enjoyed the day and all our hard work were worth it.
Can’t wait to see what will come for the baby shower. Wait for part two.
This was my latest travel to a place I always wanted to check out, because this place is so much like my country full of mountains and the roads they all reminds me of my country Nepal. I never thought we would take our first long drive with my 7 months old baby from Chicago to Omaha then to Colorado. We planned to take a road trip from Chicago to Omaha but then made another unplanned visit to Colorado, from there. It was nearly 8 hours from Omaha but we took a divert on the way before we reached Colorado.
On the way we made a stop to check out the beautiful Pioneer Village which says “The Story of America and how it Grew”. This place is one of the largest private collection of American anywhere. We could experience how the American grew ahead of all the countries in the world. By paying an entry fee of $14.25 per person, we can spend the whole day checking 26 buildings in the area. With lots of antique cars, machines, many other household and day-to-day requirements are placed to be checked for the visitors.
After having lunch in one of the nearby restaurants we headed towards Colorado and resting in many of the rest areas on the way. As we approached Colorado state we could see many mountains welcoming us and few had white carpet of snow over it. The view was quite soothing after such a long drive. The weather was pleasant so next day we took our tour towards Royal Gorge. First we headed to Royal Gorge Route Railroad. The ticket price is $44 per person for 2 hour round trip ride. The guide provides the glance of history of the gorge and the mesmerizing view makes the ride more spectacular.
After the ride we had the quench to view one of the worlds highest suspension bridge at “Royal Gorge Bridge & Park“. We can see the miles and miles of natural beauty of Colorado. One can enjoy $2 discount if you buy tickets online or else buy the ticket at the visitor center for $26 per person. It includes Aerial Gondolas, Children Playland, Plaza Theater and Historical Expo and Royal Gorge Bridge. By paying some extra money we can also try Cloudscraper Zip Line and Royal Rush Skycoaster.
As we approach the bridge, we could see people taking pictures in front of their state flags and the view from the bridge cannot be expressed, it can only be felt when you are at the bridge. The cold breeze and the warmth from the sun makes the walk more memorable.