Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Second Birthday My Child

Dear Little N,

You turned 2 almost a month ago now and I've been meaning to write you this huge milestone letter since then but you have been so busy at keeping me busy that I hardly found time to pen down all the stuff you've been up to :-) But I guess that's how toddlerhood is supposed to be. And trust me I am loving every moment of seeing you grow up so big so soon! Its like all of a sudden you've found soooooo many words that you are able to join them all in various languages to express everything you want to say! I mean to me it sure sounds like you are suddenly talking like a grown up coz it took you longer than most kids to start talking in the first place given that you poor little baby were exposed to 4 different languages since you were born. So ofcourse you took your own time to process it all and then finally picked your preference which interestingly was niether your papa's or your mom's mothertongue - it was a third medium altogether - English. What were we thinking right ;) Its almost like you went to school and suddenly within 3 months picked up a whole new language along with all its grammar and everything. You amaze us when you construct complete sentences such as "Ant coming to take my chhota ball" or "Want to play ball" or "N... fell down from bed here" and millions of other such things. The cutest part is you don't yet use the words "here" or "there". So when you want to say these words in a sentence, you point to the place and make a sound aaaiiinn (can't quite figure out how to spell it but it sounds like hain).

Other than talking up a storm, you also know your numbers (1 - 10), alphabet (A-Z) and your colors so well! I mean you are just 2 years old for godssake and just until a few days ago everytime you counted anything, you said "8,10". And now you rattle off "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10"! Even with colors, I was shocked one day when you started opening your box of pencil colors and took out each one telling me what color it was. I mean until just the day before that, you kept just guessing the colors without really looking at the object or knowing which is which. And then suddenly it probably clicked in that cute little head of yours and you started telling me "this crayon is pink", "this is red", etc. Such thrills I tell ya! You love singing your ABCs in the nursery rhyme form and your numbers in the poem 1,2 buckle my shoe.

You have such a huge collection of songs you keep singing these days too. Some of your favorites are "lakdi ki kathi", "itsy bitsy spider", "who made the twinkling stars", "row row row your boat", "om shanti shanti (prayer at school)", "oh isn't it fun to walk in the sun", "teddy bear teddy bear", "johnny works with one hammer" and sooooo many more. Most of these you hear at school and some from our laptop at home (courtesy Best is these days when we play any nursery rhymes DVD, you look at the kids do dances and imitate the steps. Like the Boogie Woogie song, you look so cute dancing along with the babies on TV trying to put your left leg in and shaking it all around!

Oh and how can I forget - your favorite show on TV these days is DORA! Ofcourse it isn't telecasted here in India so we have ripped quite a few Dora DVDs from friends and that is ALL you want to see on TV these days. This craze started a few months ago and has only gotten more intense each passing day. Earlier you always had your breakfast cereal with Dora on TV but lately you want most of your meals propped in front of Dora. Earlier you just watched Dora without batting an eyelid. Nowadays, you actually get down of the sofa and start dancing at songs especially the "We did it" song! Its sooo cute to watch you so thrilled by a character like this that we even dedicated your second birthday party to your favorite character. Yes - I arranged a Dora themed party for your second birthday inspite of not finding a lot of Dora stuff in the markets here. Here's what we did for the Dora theme:

My friend B and I hand made the party invitation cards with all the scrapbooking material I had at home. We spent a lot of time and effort on the invitation cards and the envelopes. It turned out to be a pretty neat looking Dora themed pull out card with ribbons on the envelopes, eyelets for a pullout ribbon and all that jazz. We were so inspired by our own creations that we decided to launch a home based business making greeting cards exclusively! :-) Here's a pic to show you how they looked:

For decorations, I had a friend who bought me huge Dora and Boots rubber stickers which we put on the walls in the party hall. Other than that, we did crape ribbon and other decorations in the Dora color scheme of purple, pink and orange. Thankfully we had a lot of decoration stuff left over from her last bday party in the US. And they were all color co-ordinated too. So it was great to be able to reuse all of that. Another friend gave me a nice Dora and Boots Happy Bday banner and a Dora bedsheet that we used as her cake table-cloth. So it all came together pretty well inspite of me being new to Bangalore and not finding a lot of Dora stuff in the market.

Luckily, I found Dora eye-glasses for the kids to wear other than the party hats and the blowers ofcourse. I also found Dora forks and spoons just enough to serve with the cake. We catered food from Saraswati Sweets and the menu was dhokla, poori, aalu bhaji and jalebi. Other than that, we had lots of snacks like cookies, finger rings, muffins, etc. for everyone - kids and adults.

For games, our main attraction was an automatic bubble blower machine. We just kept it near the entrance and it blew bubbles that just thrilled the kids to no end. After a while though, the floor got so slippery that we had to shut it off. Other than that, I'd researched a lot for Dora themed games and had planned quite a few but time limitations allowed us to play only 2. So for the first one, I had printed out a lot of Dora activity and coloring pages from the Nick Jr. website. Gave all the kids 2-3 sheets each with tonnes of crayons I had bought to be used. They had fun getting creative and showing off their coloring skill. The next was a fishing game in which I filled a tub with water and used around 10 bath floating toys as the fish in the pond. The kids were then given strainers (chai chhannis) and asked to "fish" the toys out one by one. This one was a huge hit and none of the kids wanted to stop doing it at all!

The cake was the part I was most skeptical about but Sweet Chariot did a great job with their computer printed Dora cake. We loved the looks and the yummy taste (Butterscotch). And the most important part of the party - the return gifts. No kid can leave a party without their surprise filled goody bags. I used cute paper bags (again left over from N's first bday party) pink for the girls and green for the boys. Luckily I had found Dora stickers at Oddessey and used them to decorate each goody bag. For the gifts, I had found magic sketch books at the same store which I gift wrapped and threw in lots of stickers and tattoes of various kind and candies in each bag. Parents loved the idea of a magic sketch book coz it is absolutely something non messy and you can hand it to the kids and let them be busy at it for hours. Basically the pages in the book seem blank when you look at them until you rub a pencil on it. That's when the picture appears in the form of a sketch. Pretty neat huh :-)

Here are some pics so you can visualize all that I described:

Gosh - where did I start this long wound post and look where I ended up! Sorry dear N, I got carried away with all the joy of you turning two and mommy getting a chance to express her creative side somewhere! I can never thank you enough for giving us so much joy in life little N. I never really knew what I missed in life until I had you. God bless you and all the other kids in this world with all the joys, happiness and love they so deserve.

Side Note - me and my friend B have decided to commercialize this interest of ours and will be glad to be of service if you ever need an event organized in a particular theme. Just let us know when and where and we can take care of the rest. Now with all the research done and all the material bought, we are quite enjoying this and are getting better at it.


Poppy said...

Oh wow ! That sounds like a lot of effort and well done, the decorations look great! We had a Dora Theme too (yeah yeah my little one's a huge fan too although at 4 now I can see the interest beginning to wane in the shows) but, we only did the cake (and not the printed one but the indigenous decoration). Sweet Chariot did a fab job with ours as well. And that Safety First tub! :) Good use you put to that.

I know of folks who like you arrange theme parties ( and they did a ok-ok(and maha expensive) job with the bday party we had for my little one last year. We need more players in this segment I say!

And before I forget - Belated Happy Birthday to you little one! A virgo baby (like my older one) or Leo (like my younger)? :)

Anonymous said...

Whats with Lil girls and Dora?! :) I wonder if Ash will also turn into a Dora fan. And she knows Alphabets, colours etc, thats great!

The party sounds super, and you want to be an event manager- Cool! I'm sure you'll get lots of projects to work on. Have Fun!

Jyoti said...

Cool Divya... what a milestone and what a party!!! I think I will have to do a thomas tank enging theme for him. He is just crazy about the engine. I love love love this stage of their lives... I judt dont feel they should grow up :)

Jyoti said...

Oh and do send some photos or post some on fb.

Divs said...

Poppy: Thanks for the wishes. LOL on the Safety First tub. I knew one of you would recognize it :-) I was looking for a plain old round one but had to make do with what I had in the end. And btw, as much as I'd like to be, I'm still not "one of those folks who arrange parties"...YET. Not sure abt but the others I had contacted had zero knowledge abt characters like Dora. Quite disappointing.

Nyways, belated bday wishes to dear Poppins too. So she's a Virgo too huh? So is mine. And wow you got a Leo as the second? Good luck raising a Leo ;)

Divs said...

@ Memyhubbynbaby: Yeah really...what IS with little girls and Dora?? :-) I used to think my N was not into it until one day I showed her one DVD a few months ago and that is all it took. Let's see which character Ash picks up...I'll be curious. Thanks for the compliments on the party. Let's see what else I get to do...will keep you posted.

@ Jyoti: Thanks Jyo. So Kabs is into Thomas Tank Engine huh? I'm sure it'll be fun to do a theme party around it. His huge second year milestone is coming up too na. Wish you were here so we could all celebrate together :( And yeah, I'm so with you on their cuteness age factor!

Hetal said...

Hey Divs:
Belated Happy Birthday to little N and good luck on your new venture! I had planned Ishaan's sixth birthday with great details and most of the party was with home made stuff right from the inviations in a bottle to the party decorations. BTW, his theme was Spongebob Squarepants. If you need ideas for that theme, I can definitelty email them to you.

Jyostna said...

Hey hi Dhivya,

This is the first time i came across ur blog...and i was so much impressed by ur way of expressing ur delightment and love towards ur little one.I have a 12 month old kid and I was actually looking for Daycare for her in Koramangala and that got me to your blog.I feel she needs activity other than me.24/7 she clings on to me and i sometimes feel that iam running out out of my skills to delight her an teach her.I guess Day care might help me in this.These apart ,
Where do u stay in Koramangala..Even we recently shifted back from US and are new to the area.

monisha mehta said...

hey , nice blog , like it ,
won't be nice if i u can clickover to my blog page too ,
& post some suggestion

MindfulMeanderer said...

Hi divs,
I have already featured the dora invites in a previous artsy-craftsy :) So sorry can't link it again.