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Tour of our playroom

Presenting our art and play space- tada!!!

Earlier in June we decided to dis-enroll Varun from school and have him stay home with a nanny or us/grand parents.  In preparation for that we started modifying our home environment. We have been wanting to design a dedicated play space for the little one since Dec 2012 and we finally did it!  We have been enjoying this space for about 5 months now and slowly making more additions.
Our house came with a huge/long formal dining living room that we hardly ever used. It used to be a junk yard of sorts. Some time last year we emptied and threw away most of the stuff. After some research we finally did some planning and created the space for him. He loves it! We love it and it is the most favorite place in our home for me right now.

In here you see about 1/2 of the room. That is the main entrance to our home. So this is the first thing any guests see as soon as they enter Smile

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The pic below is what you see from the main entrance. That easel is from Ikea and so is the play kitchen.

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This is the south facing wall. Yes! Lot of sun light streaming though those windows.

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A close-up view of our play kitchen below:

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Below is another space for stacking/sorting kind of work. These benches double up as storage for putting away larger toys.

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I made this felt board for him and this is our story telling corner.

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I also put up his art for display in one of the corners (this is the south east corner of the room).

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Towards the west wall of the home we have a large-ish indoor slide and on particularly rainy days this slide provides a lot of much needed physical activity. The photo wall you see there has some highlights since his birth.

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another view of the room

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Final notes: We bought almost all of this from Ikea. We loved the soft edges, the colors and the various options. All the furniture you see here cost us about $1300. If you would like to know more about the individual pieces leave a comment.

I hope you enjoyed touring our space!

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State of the Child–Nov 2013

I want to do a mid-month “summary” post about the little guy. I realized that my first SOTC (State of the child) post was on Oct 16th. Let me see if I can do this every month. Now that I said that, I am sure I won’t be posting any more.

We had only 1 ER/Urgent Care Trip since our last post. That was a little traumatic because one late night suddenly he got these hives for no apparent reason – we hadn’t fed him anything foreign and everything around him was freshly washed and clean.  He was given Benadryl and all was fine.

I took a day off after his ER Trip and we made the most of our day off by visiting a pumpkin farm. This was his first time in a farm and his excitement knew no bounds. Although it didn’t start out that well for us. The farm had this giant balloon thingy and he was scared but the sweet people at the farm turned it off on our request and I couldn’t thank them enough for that. Animals were petted, hay rides were taken, water was pumped via a hand pump and all in all it was a fun day!

Then came Halloween. Halloween was fun! Because of the ER Trip I was little stressed out and couldn’t figure any costume out. He is obsessed with PBS’ Daniel Tiger series and I decided last minute I could put something together (huge props to the neighborhood Dollar Store). Last minute plans, sometimes, are the best! So it was that I assembled a costume at about 4pm on Oct 31. He loved being Daniel Tiger (in fact the next 2 days he insisted on wearing his tail so we had to pin it to his jammies Smile with tongue out). He still does not get trick or treat so even though we participated in Halloween festivities not a single piece of candy (with his food allergies, I can’t deal with trick/treat candies…so I just never told him about it and he is ok not knowing. so far..) was consumed. Let me see how long I can push this Smile

And, then it was Diwali time. Friends, family, cousins…way too much fun was had. He also handled a sparkler for the first time. He loved handling the sparklers and was very careful. In fact on the day of Diwali we had 5 kids with their sparklers-  4 of them were 2 yo and 1 almost 4.5yrs. So yeah too many little people but happy to report that no accidents occurred.

He is bonding with his maternal grand mom very well…and it is almost time for her to go back home to India. He picked up even more Telugu these past few weeks. Some of his phrases:

“jarugu koncham jarugu” (move, just a little, move)

“malli malli tirugutundi” (it is rotating again and again)

“lechara? baaga padukunnaara” (did you wake up? did you sleep well)

“ayyo, rama chandra” ( Telugu version of “Oh, dear God!”)

Of course he knows most of his verbs – thinnara (have you eaten), padipotav (fall down), parigettaku (run/don’t run), katteseyyi (shut it off), ra (come), vellu (go), paadayipoyindi (it’s broken), raatam la (it is not coming). vasthunda? (is it coming), vachinda (did he/she come = he uses the same for both genders). I think his magnum opus is mastering this little rhyme (he knows many other Telugu rhymes as well, but this one was taught by a thatha in India)

“okati okati rendu, thiyyani mamidi pandu,
rendu rendu nalugu, tene vanti telugu
mudu mudu gaaru (aaru), musalayya gaaru
nalugu nalugu henimidi (enimidi), meka pilla chinnadi
ayidu ayidu padee (padi), aa pedda car maadi”

He is getting an understanding of tense and gender but I doubt he will fully master that. I have a feeling that when my mom leaves and we get a nanny to care for him, his Telugu won’t be that good any more Sad smile I will be lucky if he still speaks any Telugu.

I don’t want to jinx this but we can go through most days with just about 1 meltdown only and even when there is a meltdown there seems to be a reason always – hunger.  However, there are a LOT of arguments/negotiations all the time and at the moment I don’t have a good way of handling this except trying to gather all the patience I can. So hard!

He learnt to cut some soft  veggies with a dinner knife and is ever so careful about it. We are also thinking of introducing him to scissors because he shows a lot of interest practicing with a toy version. And one more thing, he knows to break eggs into the bowl now! There is some spillage but that’s not a big deal.

On gross motor skills, we got him a balance bike sometime last month and he was initially very hesitant to even touch it. Now he cruises throughout the home without accidents and loves riding it to his “office”.  May be it is time of some wheels, I think Smile

Imaginative play is reaching an all time high entertainment quotient. For example, this month -at any given point of time there are multiple dinosaurs chasing us and we scuttle together in our hiding place. There are red dinosaurs, blue, green…you name it. Recently though, we befriended one and I will report on our friendship in the next post.

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DIY: “Sand paper” Letters

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I love making Montessori type learning material for my little one. The process of creating something from everyday things is such a lovely experience and stress buster for me.

I bought all the materials from Michael’s craft store.

Materials:

  1. ArtmindsTM Wooden discs (29c each) – 26
  2. Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint – Carribean shade – 1 bottle
  3. Sponge Brush – 1
  4. CreatologyTM  Glitter Foam Alphabet stickers – 130pc – 1 packet

Procedure:

  1. Paint the wooden discs:
    1. I painted them only on one side. the other side has this nasty sticker that was a pain to remove. Do a double coat to get that beautiful blue color (wait until the paint is completely dry before proceeding with a second coat).
    2. After double coating, wait until the paint is completely dry. Peel the alphabet stickers and stick them on to the painted discs.

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It was really easy and I did it during lunch breaks and after-hours. So pysched to show this to V.

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