Friday, November 22, 2013

On her own two feet!

Since the last couple of days, M no longer needs support to pull herself to a standing position. She can stand up on her own and continue to stand without support for long stretches of time!

Slow and steady progress at the walking front too. She gets up on her feet on her own, and takes about 6 to 8 independent steps with her legs apart and hands straight front, in order to balance, I suppose :). And then she plonks down on her knees and continues walking on the knees (as against crawling on all fours). I wonder how the knees are not yet bruised from all the wear and tear :).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

DIY: Baby Blanket to Toddler Poncho

If you are a mommy of (especially) a toddler girl who fast outgrew her cuddly baby blankets - those that could once swaddle her don't even make a decent throw in her crib no - this post is for you. 
In a casual conversation with a mommy friend, I happened to mention about this and voila, she came up with such an awesome idea - convert the blanket to a poncho, she said!

Now, if you know me, I am a shirker of most house work. Needles, threads, stitching - all are really not my cup of tea. I am one of those lazy people, who stare at a trouser or shirt that needs a button, and wonder if it would be easier to just throw it away. (This is ofcourse in the lazy land - America - ouch, I am kidding, but no, seriously. Back home in India, I would just deposit anything and everything to a tailor to be put together for reasonable price.)
Okay, you get the picture. So, while the idea did enthuse me and sounded fairly simple even for my limited (read no) skills, I was a little iffy, till last night. I finally picked myself up and got down to doing it. At the worst, only an outgrown blanket was at stake.

But, I was pleasantly surprised. This one's a no-brainer! It is extremely easy - the end product very useful and cute! You know all those car rides when you can't get the baby with the tough jackets buckled up - and all you do is throw a blanket over only to have it keep sliding down - or when you'd wish the baby could hold her own blanket as you took her out on a chilly, windy afternoon in a stroller. Or for those irritable mall trips, when with all the pulling out and pushing off of sweaters - you'd wish the sleeves weren't there to make your life simple - well here's the easy peasy DIY poncho!

Step 1: Depending on your child's height, choose a blanket, which when folded into half diagonally, would reach barely below her knees. Mine measured 28in x 34in.

Step 2: Fold the blanket diagonally such that the front part is slightly shorter (about 2 inches), than the back part.

Step 3: Mark the center of the fold with a pen. It is around this that you will have to cut the circle for the neck.

Step 4: Keep the blanket folded, and around the marked point cut a half (when you open the fold, it will be a full circle). Remember to cut a very small half and then try it on your little one and then see if you need to expand it a little more.

Step 5: Hem in the blanket around the cut circumference (to ensure threads don't keep coming out). If you are the adventurous kinds, you can get creative with neck designs too. I just kept it simple! Gave it a ruffled look by folding in the reverse of the blanket.

And you are done! The poncho's good to wear. I already tried it on M and she loves it! (okay, to be honest, she doesn't really care, but I love it :P)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

It's all "thuhhtay" at 12 months!

An extract from M's dictionary -

Thuhhtay [adjective | aka known as dirty by lesser mortals]
 : anything that mommy does not allow to pop into my mouth <leaves, insects>
 : anything on the floor <fallen pens, key chains>
 : anything that mommy tries to scoop out from my mouth <buttons, carpet fiber.>
 : anything that mommy says "No" to <cell phone, chargers>
 : anything that can be pinched between my finger and thumb <dust, dirt particles, etc.>

For a while now, I have been trying to drill it into our little pumpkin on how what's "dirty" cannot be put into the mouth, in the hope that one day she will get it. Looks like she has got it all too well (and she doesn't mind if it is dirty, but that would be another story). For the last fortnight or so, she has been bringing to us everything that she possibly can and calling it 'thuhhtay'. It does get a little irritating sometimes, especially when she flings my phone away in such contempt, but then when out at the patio she doesn't put dried leaves or insects in her mouth but promptly hands them over to me, I feel good about the whole thing.

However, she has taken this dirt obsession up a notch. She called the Velcro strap of a toy in her Gymboree class dirty and promptly took it to the teacher, who tried explaining (in vain) that they wash everything thoroughly and it's not dirty! At her recent doctor's visit, she pulled out the roll of paper spread on the examination table, tore it into bits and handed it over to the doctor and me, calling it dirty. The cheek, I tell you.  Sigh. At 12 months, it's all thuhhtay!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The first year milestone!

Oh my! We are onto the year milestones now. I just did a little giddy he he he to myself :).

Okay okay, without getting too carried away, I shoot:
  • Our toothless tiger is having a tough time with those hard gums that refused to let the teeth out. The last week her irritability and crankiness quotient has been at an all time high.
  • Though crawling is the fastest and the preferred mode of mobility, M has been making some effort to walk too. She cruises with the help of furniture quite effortlessly. She stands on her own for about 10 or more seconds and takes two steps forward only to plonk down on the third.
  • We are beginning to switch to cow's milk - one feed a week. Fingers crossed on that one. So far we have had no trouble with the one feed swapped.
  • Her food intake is not great but atleast she doesn't fuss with what's served. Touch wood. It doesn't matter what you serve, she'll eat it if she in the mood for it.
  • Her separation and stranger anxiety comes in fits and starts. She is okay with guests at home or even with people at the stores, malls and her doc's office but when we are visiting someone and if there is a lot of crowd, M inevitably tears up, and becomes extremely clingy.
  • It has been proven adequately by now that she is going to be quite a talker. Her incoherent incessant chatter starts the minute she opens her eyes and ceases only when she finally goes to sleep in the night. I need to share some of her newly acquire vocabulary in another post.
  • Her favorite activities these days are getting books read by mommy and daddy, waving at a yellow school bus every morning, enjoying all the construction equipment on the road in front, admiring all the paintings and pictures up on the walls of our home!
And bracing ourselves for a very eventful second year. Let's rock on!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

First Birthday Celebrations

Manya turned one on November 6th! It being a week day, M's separation anxiety on the ascending path and not many parents with really young kids for M's company we know, we decided to keep the first birthday all about the birthday girl. And looks like we made a great decision. There were no crying fits, no anxious moments - just a lot fun and excitement.

On the night prior to the big day, we put M to sleep at her usual time and then both mommy and daddy sneaked to the living room area to spruce it up. I baked a Tres Leches cake - hoping that she'll like the milky sweetness. The picture and recipe on my other blog here. Vish blew about 30-40 balloons. Most of them were pink and black, along with the streamers, in keeping with M's main birthday dress! We put a huge bunch of colorful balloons on top of the dining table.

The next morning when M came down, the squeals of delight from her on seeing the decorations were such a source of joy for us. It's amazing how children instantly notice the difference. I am sure she had that inkling that this was a different day :). After Skype sessions with her thatha, daadi, nana, nani, mama, athai-athimber and her cousins, we cut the cake. We gave her a huge block to smash into and voila, how thrilled was our little devil. A whole piece to herself to do as she pleased! There was cake all over - she ate quite a bit too, giving me such a great sense of pride!

We ensured that we stuck to her food and nap schedule. Though we did manage to squeeze in atleast three dress changes and a lot of pictures in between! After her afternoon nap, we took her to the local zoo - a more of a petting center really. It turned out to be huge hit. There was an exclusive petting barn with sheep, lambs, goats and llamas - the animals are so used to visitors and kids that they readily approach you for food and even for posing! M spoke to quite a few of them. She loved the monkeys and the ducks at the pond. Even though she was too young for the pony ride, we let her watch it and clap hands as it trotted along. She didn't even spare a second glance to the more exotic species of snow leopards, foxes, and reptiles. The deer and the kangaroos were too far for her to really "enjoy" them. After spending a couple of hours there and letting her have her snack at the pond, we came back with great memories and pictures. 

Vish and I spent the late evening after her highness had gone off to sleep, reminiscing about the same day last year. I cannot say it enough, how fascinating it is to see how children change and grow up so much in 12 measly months! Amen.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy First Birthday, Our Little Tiger!

Dearest Manya,

You turn 1 today. Just like that a whole year has flown by. You are no longer the tiny, little, helpless-yet-the-cutest bundle we got at the hospital. You are assertive, you are wild, you are loving, you are ferocious, you are a cute pup and a terrifying tiger at the same time. The yummy little cupcake that you are and then how you transform to a sizzling fire cracker. Mommy and daddy have a handful for many years to come - but you know what makes it all worthwhile - your warm cuddles, your drooly licks for kisses, and the bewitching smiles that reach your eyes.

I can't help being the typical mom who tears up at the thought of her child growing up so fast. Having a baby is having your heart walk outside your body. I never valued the truth of that statement till I had you. You are a heart-breaker :). With those invisible devil's horns flashing, when you go diving down from heights, and rush after stink bugs and lady birds only to put them in your mouth, and twist mommy's and daddy's noses and ears in all sorts of directions, and kick us in our guts till we are screaming in pain, you ensure that our hearts are in our mouths - all the time. This one year was packed with more action than we had been forewarned :D. 

We have had our rough patches too, haven't we? You have had days that were down there and then I made them worse by getting upset. Mommy's got to be more patient - she is learning - ever so slowly. If we compare our learning curves, you are up there, and I am ashamed to look at my progress. I hope we get to improving that in the coming years.

However, keeping those resolutions in mind, today is a day for lot of blessed celebration and just like you have painted every day this past year in your own special vibrant colors, we hope and pray that you always have the honor and privilege of seeing and experiencing all the colors this beautiful life has to offer you. In the midst of the piquant crimsons, blistering sapphires, sunshine yellows, verdant greens, pastel pinks, there will also be seemingly dark grays and blacks - I'd wish to filter each hue that touches you but I sadly understand that is not even a distant reality. It is not possible nor would you like it :).
So, it is upto you to choose how you use each one to paint your canvas - make it unique, fill it with joy, love, and peace, and always ensure it remains a source of pride and inspiration for you and everybody else around. But, never forget, no matter what the colors, you will always be the rainbow of our lives!

Love you to bits!