Friday, September 28, 2007

Good Morning!

Nice and fresh after a good night's sleep!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Apple tree craft





We hosted an apple tree craft activity today for our MOMS club friends. A couple of my friends and their kids were over. The big old forgetful one that I am being these days, it struck me that I should have taken pictures only after they left. So I engaged Vansh once again and took a few :)

We used -



- Tempera poster paints (I got a great idea of mixing some liquid soap in the paint to make it easily washable from clothes, etc)


- small sponge pieces


- clothepin to hold the sponge pieces


- duct tape taped to the end of a pen to paint small apples

And here's what we got :

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The wonder named ECFE!

I cannot stop raving about the marvels of ECFE this year and its not without reason. It was incredible to observe the kids in their classroom from the parent room today at. Stephanie, the parent educator has told us that we shall be having such observation sessions every 2-3 weeks where in we switch off the lights in our room so the view in the adjoining well lit children's room is absolutely clear. So about 15 minutes prior to the class ending, Miss Nadi, the kids' superstar teacher tapped the window to signal that we could begin observing. I almost let out a squeak on seeing each and every child sitting on a chair assigned to him/her and looking at Miss Nadi with rapt attention. As she later told us (we could see them but not hear whats going on), she was hiding a felt worm cut out behind one of the apples out of three while asking the kids to shut their eyes (which only about 3 were doing) and then asking them to guess where it was - asking them questions like "Is it behind this one?" and encouraging them to answer "No", "No" and eventually "Yes!" and clapping and squealing with delight! We also saw little felt apples in each child's hand which they had to hand back to Miss Nadi at the end of the group activity when there name was called. As soon as she asked them to do that, 2-3 kids started walking all at once to her but they were asked to get back and wait for their name to be called. Finally they were asked to return their little chairs to their original place.

I was amazed at how well thought of and power packed little activites are here teaching such a variety of skills - listening, observing closely, following instructiions, using their imaginations, waiting for their turn, adding new words to their vocab - to name just a few. And it was impossible for most of us moms to believe that our child was capable of doing that.

I now wait so eagerly for the sound monitoring where a nursery monitor would be placed in the kids' room with the receiver in our room so that we can hear what all is going on.

Monday, September 24, 2007

THE LAS VEGAS




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Dazzling as ever, stunning to the tee, ravishing in its grandeur, the city that never sleeps didn't disappoint us even one bit even the third time we were there on a short trip for 2 days. Ashwini had a training and I couldn't resist the temptation to tag along even if it meant packing and unpacking for 2 kids - now anyone with even 1 child would know what that means!! With the upcoming training in the morning and the fear of having to deal with 2 over tired cranky kids, we couldn't devote a share fair of time that a huge city like Las Vegas demands. Still the Botanical Gardens at the Bellagio, mesmerising as ever, was the first spot we hit, followed by the grand Caesar's Palace on the first night we were there. On the second evening, we literally ran with the stroller and the diaper bag to see one of the newest addition to the Strip - the Wynn. Tantalising, indeed!! We took solace in the fact that we have been here before and enjoyed the place thoroughly.
We were also lucky that Star Tribune, our local Minnesota newspaper, carried an article on Vegas just the week before and got to our attention a great Thai restaurant Lotus of Siam. We had the best Thai food ever. I am sure just the thought of the Panang Curry I had there would fill me up with the fresh and delicate flavor and the savory aroma and stay with me for years to come.
That I had to spend one afternoon with Vansh sleeping at a bench in Mc Donalds and Jiya in her stroller because considering the huge distance of the room from where we were, that was the best option; I have huge piles of laundry waiting to be washed and an equally huge one to be ironed; Jiya now sleeps according to PST instead of CST (Las Vegas time instead of Minneapolis time, that is) are some other stories altogether.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Let's share ...



... the memories, the times, the special bond of love and .... the toys :)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Its been 2-1/2 years ...





..Wow!! Time sure does fly! As Vansh celebrates another half birthday, his third(!!), a few updates on what he is upto these days ...

- Is becoming more and more aware of feelings and emotions. He understands when he does something which angers us or makes us sad from our facial expressions. And takes corrective steps like saying sorry or lowering his volume when he upsets us by shouting.

- The picture is not always so rosy, however! The "terrible two's" continue big time (better than before though, I have to admit! :) - so its still screaming and tantrums galore - but then he's just acting his age and as long as he makes an effort towards expressing his anger in acceptable ways, I am more than happy. Its heartening to see him raise his hand as an impulse to hit one of us when he's angry and then just hit it in the air and whine a little. Similarly, if he gets angry at the table during a meal, he now hits the table and cries a little as opposed to giving a hard blow to his food filled plate landing it on the carpet in a mess.

- Is becoming fiercely independent. From wanting to go to the toilet to pee all by himself one day to taking off his shorts the next and putting them on by himself the day after that, he is asking for less and less help with every passing day. Its encouraging to see your little one grow into an independent toddler, no doubt, but at the same time a little saddening to a mother's heart to hear her child saying "No mummy!" to things that he needed help with till yesterday.

- Is being such a good and responsible big brother. Its magical to see the look of concern on his face on the rare occasions when Jiya cries too hard. With his increasing repertoire of words, he now asks her "क्यों रो रही है?"; "दुदू पीना है?"; "sad है?"; runs to tell me at her first whimper when she wakes up from her nap; tries to involve her in each and every activity that he is doing at least by telling her what he is doing.

- The latest passion is the movie 'Cars' which he calls 'Mo car' in short. Is just so excited on the weekend because he knows he'll get to watch it then. Speaks phrases 'Ka Chow', 'Stop it' (!!) and noises 'Vrooom', 'Zoom' from the movie very often.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Look who's talking!!



The age old adage about girls being more talkative and boys more active holds true for our kids at least. Vansh was much more active at 2-1/2 months and Jiya is much more responsive and talkative. Check out the video - I know its kind of dark but the lady wants to chatter away at night-time :)

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Life's been busy...

...the past week with both the kids, leaving me with no time to write about our daily hustle bustle. We have been getting out more now, considering the last few weeks of being able to go outdoors before winter strikes BIG time. Last evening when we went for a walk with the outside temperature being 10 degrees, it took us half an hour to get everybody dressed making me nervous as to what's going to happen when we have to put on one layer after another to beat the -15 outside. The few minutes from the car to the mall/store demand an elaborate dressing up and undressing amounting to more time doing that than the time spent outside.

Anyways, ECFE re-started yesterday for Vansh. He sure had fun in the two year olds class. This year the separation is total. The moms are with the kids for the initial half an hour and while the kids eat their snack at the end of the half hour, we move to another room to be with the parent educator for an hour. (Last year, we used to be in a sort of a compartment attached to the children's room where they were free to come and go.) We were able to observe them from the window (the flashy kinds that were all over on cars in Delhi where one can see from inside out but not vice versa) and with the exception of a couple of kids facing some difficulty separating, it was heartening to see the rest do so well. Vansh did look a little confused initially and I could read his lips calling for me after he finished his snack but after a teacher helped him throw the napkin, glass, etc after his snack, he was fine and played happily. I have a feeling this year this class is going to do him much good in terms of playing peacefully(!!) with other children, sharing, taking turns ..all those golden words we hope they'll get someday! I heard him shouting once and many kids after that and I was so sure he had started the whole fracas but later the teacher told us that the bubbles had invited all the squeals! I'll take some pictures soon and post them here. As for Jiya, well everytime I go out alone with both the kids, I learn something new, the calculation as to when to feed Jiya so she stays calm in class (I am allowed to take her till she turns 6 months after which she'll be in the sibling care classroom a few rooms away); the juggling of time to get one kid ready when the other sleeps and such other things in order to avoid what I had to do yesterday after comimg back - feed Vansh with one hand and Jiya with the other.

I do have a few nice pictures to share from my b'day though. We went out for dinner to a Vietnamese restaurant and managed to dine successfully with 2 kids in tow ..quite an achievement!!




Monday, September 10, 2007

To mummy and papaji, with love...

On my birthday today, as I look back the 29 years spent, 25 of those - each and every day with you as one of the most loved and cared for daughter of the world, I am filled with the deepest love and gratitude for both of you. Especially now, being a mom to 2 kids, I remember and understand when you so often said "जब आपके बच्चे होंगे, तब आप समझोगे :)" I indeed समझो :) now.

- For starters. I know what you mummyji must have gone through for 9 months plus the unnerving labor hours to bring me into this world.

- When my back finds it so difficult today to bend down again and again for changing disposable diapers, I can't even imagine how you managed with chaddhis innumerable times and then having to wash them.

- Taking care of your child's eating, sleeping, health, behaviour are routine things for everyone but the time, energy and patience a mom and dad put into it is something one can understand only after becoming one. And so thank you for each and every moment one spent on all these things, howsoever small, but to think of it, the key to fit and healthy survival.

- The thing I have been thinking about lately is when today with so many channels and programs to watch on TV, when I try hard to not get irritated when Vansh doesn't let me watch one; just how did you find the patience to even forego the one single Sunday hindi movie and take me to Children's Park/India Gate when I demanded it at that very time.

So many more little things which makes you the absolutely great influences you are in my life - running to/from work to drop/pick me up from the school bus stop; taking me to Appu Ghar at the end of all exams even if you felt like doing something else; motivating me just the right way to do something well; teaching me the right values; being there to share my triumphs and failures - I cannot even begin to list down everything that you have done for me.
And today I want to let you know how much you are loved and thought about each and every single moment. The loving husband and the adorable kids I have today with your blessings and the very best wishes for us join me in thanking you for what you are and all the love and wishes you shower on us.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Appreciating Papa ...

Jiya and Vansh thank their doting papa for the fun and loving moments he spends pampering them, juggling between his work and home responsibilities and accomplishing them to the tee.
- Vansh wants him to sit down with him and make downtown with his blocks as soon as he comes back home from his downtown office :) He happily obliges.
- Vansh loves to cycle with help from Ashwini at our evening walks.
- Playing ball, running with dad are Vansh's favorites when we go out to parks.
- Reading a book and then asking for 'just one more' and being granted the wish by the indulgent dad is part of Vansh's bedtime routine these days.
- Our little Jiya, whom Ashwini lovingly calls Miss Universe also senses the ultra-attention showered by dad and expresses in her own little ways her fancy of spending the evenings (and weekends) in his lap even though she is happy playing by herself the rest of the day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Jiya is upto ...



At 2 months, Jiya is ...

- so into observing her hands and feet. The look on her face is so intriguing as if to say 'Are these really attached to me?' :)
- looking at big bhaiya in awe is still her favorite pastime.
- doing well on her tummy. Is able to raise her head and at times her chest to look up at what's happening from a different perspective as opposed to the usual lying down angle.
- follows us with her eyes from one side to another.

All I need when I dance is ...

A dance partner

and an appreciative audience

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