Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Preparing for Adi's 3rd birthday bash- Space Theme Party

It's amazing how a 'not yet 3' year old can want a birthday party with Andy Astronaut!

Adi's Christmas Gift
Christmas 2010 Santa gifted Lil A a rocket with an astronaut. I'm sure you'd not be surprised that we named our new friend Andy (apart from Jim, Andy happens to be popular name for an astronaut). Now that we had Andy as a playmate our imagination sparked off with vivid make belief games; so much so that we are now deeply interested in the sun, moon and stars. Can't stop mentioning the backward 10 to 1 countdown, now also a ritual while playing 'peek-a-boo' games!

Adi at the museum
Sometime in May this year, owing to his new found queries on the solar system, we took Lil A to the planetarium. Who could hold back the budding thoughts thereafter! :D Shooting stars, moon rock and solar dust were all we were talking apart from how exciting it is for Andy to embark on new missions!

So, one may just wonder why am I so 'surprised' about my little bundle of joy and his 'Space' escapades'...aren't we fuelling his imagination? :) OK, now that he's got his set of preferences in place there was a clear demand; Lil A wants a cake with Andy and the space ship! I should have guessed that this was going to hit me sometime!

With a clear agenda, I began party planning around the theme of 'Astronauts & spaceships'. The first on my list was the invitation. I designed this using 'Microsoft office' resources like clipart & publisher (was pleasantly surprised with the program especially since I am not a 'photoshop' pro) and then had it printed on simple color card paper. It was fun to see how my imagination actually found a form! Took me a day to have this one sorted. Here's a peek at the invite...

Invitation Card

Reference for the
Next came the bigger task of finding a cake that does justice to all the excitement that was building up around our cozy little home. I managed to do a whole lot of google searches and eventually zeroed in on a reference. Needed to brief the cake vendor on the shape and it was helpful...they managed to make a replica of what I shared (not that I had briefed them to work as copy cats)! This took around a week to get sorted but now I was confident that the 'Space' theme party would eventually 'Blast-off'! :)

With 2 big pillars of the party sorted came the 'entertainment' bit. This included the decor of the house as well as the games we'd play with our 3 to 5 year old. Quiet a vast set of audience as far as their motor and intellectual skills are concerned. After a lot of reading and scouting for idea's we finally had a fun list on our side. This is what we decided to do:
  1. First up, we will register our Lil Astronauts and hand them a kit filled with packets of activities for the evening.
  2. Begin the warm up with 'Do it like the Astronauts' dance. A set of steps like the moon walk with fun music to be copied by our little guests. Expecting this round to get them all charged up!
  3. DIY 'Alien in my spaceship'
    Moon rock relay, a game where our little friends use tongs to transfer moon rocks (made out of crushed newspaper balls layered with silver foil) from point-A to point-B. Tough enough but has a fun element attached!
  4. DIY 'Alien in my spaceship', an activity where the little guests make their own customised spaceship with an alien riding it. A little goody that they take back after the party and something that keeps them intrigued. 
  5. DIY 'Space Globe', again an activity where they build their little glitterful space globe with big and small stars that they can keep by their bedside. A fun gazing goody that they carry back from Lil A's b'day bash.
  6. Finally time for more goodies with the asteroid game. A sort of musical arms game where the arm gets replaced by a huge parcel of silver asteroid. Everytime the music stops the player holding the parcel needs to open up the layer of foil which returns a little goody for their goody bag. Once they have the goody the player exits. By the end of the game the last participant gets a goody and in the process the entire layered asteroid gets demolished.
  7. We'll cut the cake and serve the snacks.
  8. Finally, it will be time for the 'khoi bag' fun.
  9. Lastly, handout the most researched and finalised return gift- Roaring Rockets written by Tony Mitton & Ant Parker. I ordered it on Flipkart.com 5 weeks prior to the date of the party especially since it was the international version and required 25 working days for delivery. Was one of the most fretting activities during the planning phase!
Now that the overall entertainment list was sorted it boiled down to the food menu. Since there was enough jamboree happening at the entertainment bit I thought we should keep the food simple yet fun. So this is what we did:
  1. Pasta in Tomato & Basil Sauce
  2. Coriander chutney sandwich
  3. Chicken Coleslaw Sandwich
  4. Cucumber & Carrot sticks with hung yogurt dip
  5. Lots of fun chocolates filled in a deep bowl
Simultaneously I worked on getting the decorations in place. Custom designed the planets & stars for the decoration. Outsourced the balloon decor to a friends resource (They did a fabulous job. Had the planets, stars and balloons in place within a couple of hours).
Glittering Stars (hanging from the ceiling)
Rocket soaring in space

Glorious Sun peeks amidst the stars

Saturn creates a prominent space like image!
The most memorable part was getting the astronaut kits in place. My sisters, brother in law, husband and Lil A helped get it all sorted. Here are some pictures of our work of art!

Finally, we were ready and set to celebrate Lil A's 3rd birthday in full steam! Was not a very easy task but when I sit back and re-live those moments it gives me the rush...!!!

Not sure if I'd attempt another one of these with as much detailing but given that almost all kids had a gala time I may just have a change of heart next year! :) You'd need to be really patient to read through this long post. Thanks for spending your time reading through our madness!

In case you'd want to know, the 'planning+part execution' phase lasted for almost 6 week! :)

Monday, July 25, 2011


Waiting for my piece of cake.

Looks like that helping is for me!

Now that I have my share let me eat like 'it can last forever'!

Well, it had to finish afterall!!! :P

Real Life, Real Emotion @ 3

This weekend ( July 23rd / July 24th, 2011, Adi and me spent a lot of time together. Picking vegetables, flowers, having a hair cut, being out in the rain with his umbrella and getting reprimanded by him for not having taken him to the temple. It was shut by the time we got out on Sunday.

After coming home, we sat on the bench near our house, enjoying the breeze, and I mentioned to him that "Adi, I enjoyed the time I spent with you....."

8 minutes later, with his head on my lap and looking at the sky, he says " Papa....I also enjoy my time spent with you....."

Sounds filmy but true. Don't know how much it means to him or his understanding of what he said. For me it was a time really well spent.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

9th June, 2011- Advaita's first day at school

9th June, 2011 will be etched in our book of history as the day that begins Adi's long journey into the world of education. A moment of pride and anguish in almost every parents life.

PRIDE that your little swaddled package of love is now stepping out to win the world with his new found skills and ANGUISH because now you will have to emotionally cut that umbilical chord for good!

Getting ready for school
 The day preceded with almost a week of excitement getting ready for school. As for Adi, he was still not sure what exactly this meant; other than the fact that Mumma seemed to be planning something really special for him. Everyday would introduce him to some new acquisition...a Noddy School Bag one day, followed by a Pooh Bear tiffin set with matching bottle on the other and school uniform sets from 'New Big School' on another new day.

Oblivious to what was about to come in as a rude shock, all Adi did was to shout out with glee 'mera new BIG schoon' (my new "BIG' school) every time we crossed path with our 'soon to be' frequented destination! Today it's exactly the opposite...we detest the sight of school!!! :(

As we got closer to the 9th I could be termed 'crazy'. Obsessed with school socks, tiffin idea's and almost everything 'school-like' thoughts flooding my mind. Perhaps I was living my own 'back to school' post vacation day's with Adi.

Orientation at the school happened on the 8th and both Satya n me went over in our crispest best. We were handed over the school diary and the rules. Such a nostalgic feeling to have. Had opened a school diary after almost 2 decades ago. :D Just dawned how long back we went to school! Some things just don't change.

8th felt like a day of celebrations! My family gathered that evening looking through all of Adi's preparation. So much excitement around and all that my little baby did was to participate with higher levels of innocent enthusiasm.

All set to face the new challenges

9th we had a fabulous start to the day. Breakfast had early. Lunch happened at 11AM. Earlier than normal as he goes to afternoon school. Pasta packed for his tiffin break. Crisp new uniform worn. Happy family all set to drive to the new challenge ahead. Prayed at the alter at home before setting out, a ritual we all follow at home and one that Adi enjoys the most.

Now begins the numbing experience for our little boy. We landed up 10 minutes prior to school time. Full of parents, grand parents, escorts, etc. At the main gate Adi was greeted by his grand parents (my folks). Adi's face was beaming the moment he saw them and just when he was about to leap with glee he pulled back. He encountered a hysteric fellow batch mate. Suddenly the smile faded out and then came in the 'constant frown' look on Adi's face. Silently he kept observing all the children around him in an utter state of confusion. Even having his buddies from back home didn't seem to be entertaining anymore. My folks and us kept making jocular statements to bring him back to some good spirits...all in vain!

The big bell rang. All of us began proceeding towards the class. I was closely followed by Satya and my parents. Adi clutched onto my hand like he just wouldn't ever let go. I was so sure he was feeling sick of everything around him, mother's instinct perhaps! Near the class the children were being led in until a set of wails were let out and then began the mayhem. Suddenly all the kids were getting snatched from their parents and gathered inside the classrooms by a set of butchers er... teachers while the anxious parents scrambled to take a final look before leaving the lil ones behind. I wanted to run back with Adi...waited till all the chaos outside subsided before I finally gathered some courage to drop him in. Knocked on the door...no response. Did that again...no response. Just when I was about to turn back to leave the door opened and like a studio live in recording came the sound of despair from the little almost 3 year old! I was silently weeping too....and even before I knew Adi was in his class and the door banged on my face. All I could hear then was the supervisor's voice...'PARENTS, LEave NOW!'....How could we?
End of Day-1 at school

Thankfully I had my mother with me and we decided to wait a bit before leaving. Satya and my Dad left for their respective places of work while a large set of parents decided to hang around the place. We spent considerable amount of time hovering around the school and finally decided to break for lunch at a restaurant near by so that we could be in time to pick him up.

Back to the warmth of the familiar world

Painfully we inched closer to 2:30. I was early and was the first mother to sweep my little baby off his feet the moment it struck home time. All looked well. Rushed out with him into the open air. All I could recall is little mumbles from Adi.

Settled is what I recall having said to myself. No red eye's, my baby didn't cry. Was too early to exclaim. Advaita came home in a fresh set of clothes from school...he didn't cry but he VOMITED!

Long journey ahead my boy...while his vomiting bouts have closed crying every morning before leaving has become a ritual.

Care free weekend for my bunddle of joy!

Hoping that soon we will both be as happy as we were before the nightmare actually hit us! Wish our systems of acclimatisation become a little more child friendly. This aspect was just the way any of us began school almost 3 decades back. What happens to advancement??? 

Leaves me wondering, are we a progressive society or is regression the only way to be? 'Tried and tested' needs some 'child friendly innovation' now!

Thank God we have the weekend to helps us live our cocooned life for at least 2 days in the week! So much for our need to grow up soon!!! :D

Thursday, December 9, 2010

My little artist in the making!

There is so much action in Adi's world. Latest excitement is about painting! Clicked him a couple of weeks back while he was busy dabbing colour...on himself as well! :)

The look in the second picture is in response to my complains:
1. Why are you out of your room?
2. Why are you colouring your hand?

So I have decided that I shall click every such annoying moments and post them thereafter. Must be fun to watch after a lapse in time!
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