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Down the memory lane

January 23

If you are even a tiny bit of a love-sick mamma like me; I am very sure that you also like to go down the memory lane (almost every night) when your baby is off to bed. We were recently in the process of backing up and cataloging all of our pictures. You can imagine the amount of pictures there were since the time mobile phone photography started. And they have increased ten fold since 2014 when our baby was born!

When I saw these bunch of pictures from exactly an year ago, I was kind of kicking myself up for not sharing them sooner. I do not know why, but this day is still crystal clear in my memory like it was yesterday.

We went to the Ballard Farmers Market, which is one of our favorites. The day was clear and sunny and cold, I carried my baby in the carrier, and he was a smiley little cozy ball of cuteness the whole day through!

So, I present to you the smaller version of my baby with gummier smiles, shorter ponytail, only socks because he wasn’t even walking then, and I hope these will cheer you up as they without fail make me happy every time I see them!

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P.S. If you want to know how we sorted through seas of photographs, I can ask the husband to a guest post….Probably! ūüėČ

How to visit a museum with a toddler

November 7

We love visiting museums. Every country we have travelled to, there has been at least one museum visit on the itinerary. And we keep the tradition alive at home! If there is a new exhibit which interests us, history or science museum; you name it and we have either been there or there is a rainy day marked on my calendar specifically for it.

One would think that museum visits become difficult with a toddler in tow. Yes, it comes with some challenges and it is a lot for them to take in a short amount of time but trust me, they enjoy it as much as we do. Agree you would not get to stand in front of an exhibit and read the details from beginning to end, but you see things from their perspective and explain them new things. In my opinion, it is a rewarding experience for both the parties.

And with some smart ‘strategies’, you can spend as much time as you want and come out of a museum ‘alive’! Here are some of my pointers…

Choose the right museum for right age

If your child is of the age when they are comfortable sleeping/sitting in a stroller, choose a museum which has exhibits that are not meant to be touched by tiny hands. For example, an art museum. For kids that like to run around to let out that never ending energy, go to a museum which is interactive in some areas or there is lots to see ‘behind’ the glasses. We took our then 19 month toddler to Museum of Flight¬†over summers, and he had a great time pointing to things, being fascinated by planes, putting headphones on and listening to an exhibit.

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Be mindful of your kid’s temperament

You know your child best. If your kid is someone who likes familiar objects more and is not an explorer; maybe start with a ‘smallish’ museum. Let them take in few things at a time. We visited MOHAI when our baby was just an year old and not that interested in touching things. He was happy to be in stroller and baby carrier taking everything in. He enjoyed sitting in my lap and playing with legos more than the actual museum.

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Time it properly

If it is in your control, time the museum tour according to your child’s eating and napping schedule. We used the morning chunk of time to see all the exhibits in the main building of Museum of Flight. Took a lunch break in cafe (which FYI doesn’t even has a decent coffee bar and food is below par. I suggest you pack your own snacks), tried to make baby nap (which didn’t happen) and then we did the other building which has the space gallery. So, we spaced it out for our tiny human to take it all in at his own pace.

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Learn to go with the flow

If it doesn’t work out as expected, be prepared to ‘abort the mission’. If there is no way you can keep your kid inside, take them out for some fresh air, try again! Still if they would rather be out, so be it. Try going in the gift shop, come back to museum again. At around 5 in the evening and without an afternoon nap, when our kid was getting ready to go home, we took a second break for some snacks and milk. And, we let him run free within safe limits. Just 10 minutes of such activity, and we were back looking inside the airplanes!

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Remember to have a good time

Whether you are able to see an exhibit you were so excited about, or you spent all your time and energy running after your toddler, remember you are together as a family, enjoying each other’s company and having a few laughs in between. Let that be your guide and just have a good time!

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I would love to hear which is your favorite museum and why? I need to add to my list! ūüôā

Restaurant Review : Stateside

September 19

We like to eat out. No, not saying it in contradiction to my last week’s post ; we like to cook elaborate home cooked meals too. Basically, we like to eat. And, eating out has become an essential part of our weekends. Being blessed with a toddler who enjoys it as much as we do (thank heavens for that), I thought it was time¬†to revive the restaurant reviews I used to write pre-baby.

Maybe it will give you some options for next time you are trying to decide where to eat out with a toddler in tow or dying to try something new. These reviews are sort of my diary which I often look back on when we have visitors and we want to take them somewhere tried and loved!

This weekend we tried the much acclaimed Stateside for some Vietnamese brunch. Often when we think of brunch, Vietnamese cuisine never comes to mind. Being a fan of Pho as my go-to ‘stuffy nose’ therapy, I wanted to see how those flavors would translate into brunch items.

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And Stateside did not disappoint. Coffee was strong with an intense flavor profile, Omelette was not in the least bland and loaded with¬†shrimps, Banh mi fresh and filling. Also, my neighbor’s avocado toast that I was eyeing looked like something I would want to get next time.¬†The place is done up nicely with¬†open layout and an airy feel; although it was a gorgeously sunny Seattle day and we preferred the patio sitting.

Give it a try next time you want to go for brunch and want to change up that eggs and toast routine!

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P.S. I am sure he must be showing me some bus that just went past!

What to do in 5 hours in Seattle

August 22

Recently we had some family from abroad and as usual I had made an elaborate list of where to take them to see, eat, shop etc over a period of a week. But things got in the way and they had only 5ish hours with us in the city. To maximise their time we tried to fit in as much ‘touristy’ things we could while still keeping a slow pace with 3 kids in tow! Here is a rough guide if you want to take a look!

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1. Meet at Seattle Center

Housing Space Needle, I feel Seattle Center is the pivot from where you begin all the activities. We have been in Seattle for almost 7 years now but never really went up the needle. But this time everyone on the party voted yes. Tickets are almost always booked and you would rarely ever get for an immediate viewing. So, buy the tickets for a later time and go inside EMP for cool exhibits. They have a permanent exhibit which will attract music enthusiasts more, but there is almost always something new which is on a temporary basis. This time it was Star Trek and Fantasy : World of Myth and Magic. Or, just while away your time strolling in Seattle Center, eating an ice cream, grabbing coffee. Want a more jam packed visit? Buy tickets for approximately 1.5 hours later and pop into Chihuly Garden and Glass.

 

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2. Take the train downtown

The monorail used primarily for commuting between downtown and Seattle Center may be your best bet to avoid finding a car park again in busy downtown. Plus, it gets you some brownie points from kids who may be squealing all the way there.

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3. Walk towards Pike Place Market

As soon as you get down from the train and outta Westlake Center on the road, take a right and start walking towards the water. Enjoy walking through the historic Pike Place Market and grabbing tit bits here and there. Get your ‘tourists’s’ picture clicked at the first Starbucks and then head next door to get some Piroshkys to go. Grab a coffee at Le Panier, head to the edge of market and enjoy your meal with a view.

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4. Walk to downtown

Depending on how much time you have got, start walking towards main downtown area for some window shopping. This time as we were time crunched and with a looming bedtime, we quickly went into the flagship store of Nordstrom and I made my cousin buy my favorite perfume at the moment. I just had to!

Let me know if there is a ‘must do list’ tucked somewhere in your phone notes that you refer to every time you have visitors where you live. I love to read such lists whenever I am planning a trip somewhere!