Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Old McDonald vs Shah Rukh Khan

This happened on Friday 23rd May, 2014. Megha loves Old McDonald had a farm rhyme. I mean, she really loves it. On Friday evening, we listened to it for maybe at least 50 times and she still wanted to listen to it again! So, the silly-me put on Chammaku Challo video from Ra-One. Here is the conversation that followed:

Megha: Momma! He is not Old McDonald!
Me: I know sweety, his name is Shah Rukh Khan
Megha: He is not singing Old McDonald!
Me: Ya, he is singing Chammaku Challo
Megha: Momma! I want Old McDonald! Old McDonald!!!

So, we watched Old McDonald until she was tired and ready to go to bed! Nothing I did persuaded her to stop asking for Old McDonald :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

Activities for 2 to 3 Year Old Toddlers

Kids around this age (generally) love stickers, activities and anything which is creative. I realized Megha loves stickers around Halloween time last time (almost at age 2) and since then, there is no stopping us. We try to do at least 1 craft a week, apart from what she makes at the daycare.

When A is working, usually megha and I go to Walmart for our weekly grocery shopping on Saturday mornings. After her nap followed by lunch, we did the below things in the past few months, starting with most recent one:

By the way, it doest include what I had shared as part of "Megha's Journey".

Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon: Edible Flower Arrangement
I drew a small pot in an A4 size paper and made a flower shape using glue. I started this in the hopes that I can show her a few textures, colors of different lentils/seeds and their names. She also smelled the coriander.

Things used are Spaghetti noodles for stems, split pea lentil, sunflower seeds, coriander seeds and Orange lentils. I tried to teach her the names but mostly she played around, randomly pouring the lentils/seeds on glue.
Picture 1:

Picture 2:
Final version:

Picture 3: After the glue dried, I pasted this paper on the wall in our hallway.

Foam Shapes and Stickers:
As mentioned before, Megha loves stickers. I bought some flowers, sticky and glittery butterflies. In the last few weeks, I also bought sticky foam alphabets and numbers. She made me so proud when she identified all (well, most) alphabets and all the numbers from 1-10!
We also used glue and glitter to make lovely flowers. This is on the hallway wall. I used this for Pongal decorations (April). I started in early april and keep adding new ones and remove the old one's. As of today, these 4 are still on the wall.

Have you ever come across a toddler who doesnt like bubbles? I haven't! Anand bought this for megha a couple of weeks ago and since that day, almost every evening we 'must' play with it! Nice past-time for the whole family. Megha absolutely loves it when we three play together. This picture was taken yesterday evening. Remember, kids need supervision when playing with bubbles.

Magic Tree!
How beautiful is the age when we believe in fairies, magic and and and Santa! Here Megha made her very own magic tree. It has everything a fairy land will need. Beautiful trees, fire flies, glittery mushrooms, flowers, grass etc. She made a 3D version by sticking one sticker on top of the other! Loved it :)
Close up:

 You are my Sunshine: This craft is inspired by one of our favorite rhymes, "You are my sunshine, My only sunshine"
Here, I used an unused mirror and child-safe water color. Using your finger, gently apply the yellow water color on one tiny feet. While doing so, you may tickle if you want. I did and Megha loved it :) we had so much fun.
Gently place one leg on the mirror. turn the mirror slightly and paste the impression of the feet again. Re-apply the yellow color so that it doesnt fade. Repeat the process until the sun is full :)
Here is our Wall of Fame: After all the crafts we do, our wall is getting full. Here is the pic taken right now. Some of it is from the daycare too.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Love is in the air...!

There is so much love in the air that we can almost touch it :)
Your turn Dayeee!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Pigs in a Blanket recipe

Who doesnt love hot-dogs?! I love them and so does Megha. We also bought some veggies hot-dogs. In order to make it more interesting for Megha, I made Pigs in a Blanket and she LOVED it! Here is the recipe:

Crescent Dough: 1 portion
Hot-dogs: 3 (regular or veggie)

Preheat the oven to 375 D F. Dust surface of the kitchen counter with flour. Roll out one triangle from the crescent pack (A standard pack contains enough to make 4 croissants). Cut one big triangle into 6 small thin triangles and keep aside. Slice the hot-dogs into 2 pieces. Place the hot dogs into the crescent and roll ensuring the end of the triangle stays on top.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12 minutes. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homemade Strawberry and Apple Popsicle/smoothie for Toddlers

Megha loves Popsicle's and she asks me for it almost every day. Here is recipe# 2 for yummy homemade Popsicle.

Apple: pealed and cubed, 1 (I used Gala, the sweet one)
Strawberries: 3, sliced
Milk: 1/2 cup
Yogurt: Baby yogurt (Optional)

Method: Blend everything together until you get the smoothie and pour in the Popsicle moulds! That's it!
I used yogurt because Megha loves the taste. You can completely skip it if your loved one doesnt like the taste. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Guilty mom

Sometimes I feel that being a mom is so hard. For example, I hate leaving her at the daycare early in the morning and I feel guilty about it all day. Last year when she first started daycare at 13-14 months, I thought this feeling will go away, I thought I will feel less guilty and that it will get better. But none of that happened. With certainty I can say, I still feel as guilty about leaving her at the daycare as I was on day one. What happened was that I got used to having guilty-feelings, so it doesn't hurt as much (is that what is called healing?). I guess this happens with every mom, irrespective of where they work (I love working...but still).
I hate waking her up; a child should be left alone until he/she wakes up all by herself (unless of course she is starting school). So, when Anand is home, I absolutely love it...she gets to sleep in.
Written yesterday/posted today.
Same thing last week; Anand and I were dropping her off at the daycare at 6:15 AM. Usually one or the other drop her off but that day was an exception. She thought we were all going together. Maybe I should have just let her be until we reached the daycare. I just blurted out that we are still going to daycare (so that she doesnt get disappointed and start crying when she sees it all of a sudden). her face immediately fell :(
The big mouth that i have?! While I know my intentions were right, it ended up being sad for me the whole day! I literally thought about it ALL day and started feeling better only after I hugged her in the evening.

This evening:
My megha has curly hair. I mean REALLY curly hair and I need to brush it every day so that there are no knots. She hates it when I brush her hair, even though I do it gently. This evening when I was brushing her hair, she didnt want me to. I didnt brush last night too as she had cold. So I 'had' to do it today. So, I persisted. Maybe it hurt? She started wailing :( :( Oh baby...I wish you never have to cry!

Enough of sad stories...here is my wild and dandelion amidst the real dandelions :); taken 2 days ago at the park overlooking our home.
Isnt she adorable?

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Best ever Selfie!

You think only celebrities get to take selfies? no no no no! we can too! This was taken 2 weeks ago (beginning of May)...Megha loves to click and here, we clicked together. Looking happy, feeling loved.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The questions begin!

A lt of my girl friends have advised me to keep an eye open for the fun stage called, "why, Where, What". The three W's! Looks like today Anand experienced "W".
Here is the conversation between him and Megha (as posted by him in Facebook).

"So Megha and I were playing with the bunny and all of a sudden she turns around,

Megha: where is bunny's shirt
Me (Anand): well, ummm, oh, he has fur; so he doesn't need a shirt.
Megha: where is bunny's socks
Me (Anand): bunny has furry legs, so he doesn't need socks. Crossing my fingers that I am not going to get more of these out of the blue questions!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Those who know what they want!

It was last Saturday that it finally struck to me that Megha is growing up to be a very independent young lady! She had always displayed her strong like or dislikes to me from the very beginning. She has some favorite songs which she listens to over and over again. Then there are things she isn't exactly fond of, like me brushing her hair. She always made it a point to verbalize her likes and dislikes.

On last Saturday, we (Neeta, Naomi, Anand, Megha and I). One kid from the neighborhood (Harman) also joined us a few minutes later. He is a year older than Megha. They both played on the slide for a bit and Megha somehow decided that she had enough of the slides and she moved on to plucking dandelions from the grass. Harman joined her. After plucking quite a few dandelions, Megha still wanted to pluck more but Harman wanted to go on slides. When asked Megha if she would like to go on slide, she said, "no. Dandelions". Harman can go on slide if he wants but she was happy picking the flowers! It made me happy to see that she does what she likes instead of following someone who wants different things. Eventually she did go on slides but only when she wanted to.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Homemade Fruit Popsicle's for Toddlers

Megha, like any other toddler out there, loves all things chocolaty, ice-creamy and juicy. About 2 weeks ago, I made juice popsicles using Tropicana orange. Since then, Anand has bought a book about healthy eating and we decided its about time we start going All-Natural as far as possible.
This evening when Megha asked for juice pops, it immediately occurred to me that I might as well make some at home from the scratch. What I am about to make sounds more like frozen fruit yogurt in the form of a Popsicle.

Yogurt: 1 (I used the regular Activia flavored yogurt).
Whole milk: About 1.5 cups
Papaya: handful of cut pieces (Papaya because they happened to be in the fridge)
Vanilla extract: few drops

In a blender I mixed them all together until smooth and transferred them into individual Popsicle mold. When i tasted it, it seemed like it could use some sweetness but I took a chance and didnt add any sugar. Lets see if she likes it tomorrow :)
Edit: She LOVED it!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teaching Colors to Toddlers

Megha is now 2 years and 4 months. As you probably guessed by now, she is a very fast learner. She usually remembers things soon with out me having to repeat the same thing several times.
It applied to rhymes, number, alphabets, shapes, animals..etc

I had some challenge with colors though. Challenge in the sense that she seemed to struggle a little and was feeling confused which color is what. Of course there is no rush per se, I think I only learned my colors in 2nd class (grade 2!) lol.
It could also be just my imagination that she seemed confused. Kids learn things differntly from one another. What works for one child may not really work for the other. I am going to mention a few tips below given by some of my good friends. Excellnet tips! One of them should sure work :)

After some research on internet on how not to confuse them, I reached out to a few friends of mine to get ideas about how to make the process easier for her. Of all the things that I was advised about, the below game helped immensely! I ordered this game called "The Post Box Game". It came all the way from England! It was recommended by a friend of mine who lives in Europe. We tried this game this evening.

Game is fairly simple for beginners (from an adult perspective), though, you can get creative about it. You basically have 4 post offices (the blue one was kept aside to make it easier for Megha) and 4 sets of postcards containing 4 of each colors (so in total you have 16 postcards made out of 4 colors). Child needs to look at the color of the post box and post the respective postcard in the slot provided. While it sounds easy enough for adults, it may not be just as easy for the tiny brains. But Megha did an excellent job! I showed her 4 cards explaining the concept to her and she caught it! She progressed from slotting 2 colors in respective post boxes to 3 colors in 3 post boxes!! She can differentiate colors!!! Any doubts about that were laid to rest today :)
Here is the Post Box Game box. There are several ways to play this game but we started with basics, as is the case with everything else.

Some of the advises I received to help toddlers differentiate colors are:

1. Don't stress, she will get there, she doenst have any vision problems (damn internet!).
2. Showing her to sort building blocks by colors, which didnt work.
3. Dipping hands in water colors, which didnt really work either.
4. Choosing the right words like "please bring me the chair which is red in color" and not "red chair" which may confuse her into thinking the name of the chair is red-chair.
5. The color Kittens book...which we just started reading 3 days ago. Nice book.

Yes, this is what I do in my train ride to work. I worry. More often than not, needlessly.

P.S: I must rush to add, I am in no hurry to get her to learn colors. I just wanted to make sure she is seeing different colors, thats all. I understand that every child is different and understands the concepts at different  time/age.
Megha did excellent in this game!