After searching for almost a year for a map with animals of the world, I gave up and bought Ruchi a USA state map and a World map a few weeks a ago. Like they say, you will find something that you really want only when you are not looking for it. Yesterday while shopping, I came across a bin full of the maps I was looking for, only bigger and better. Ruchi was very excited too. We couldn’t wait to get home and put it up. As soon as we put it up, she started to look for animals she already knew and asked about the ones she did not know. It will be quite some time before she learns the names and location of all the animals on the map. The map was the lat thing she saw before going to bed, and the first thing she went looking for as soon as she got out of bed. It is great to see her interest in finding out the names of all the creatures. The map is way better than any book or video. She likes the fact that she doesn’t have to wait for someone to turn on the TV or read a book for her to be engaged. She just walks to the poster and lists out the names of all the animals she knows, starting with her favorite, the humpback whale.
Today we went to Salang Pass for dinner with Siddhu and his family. The kids were in an exceptionally excited mood (this usually happens when Ruchi and Siddhu get together). As soon as we were seated, Siddhu saw the waiter serving ice cream at a nearby table. So when the waiter came to take our order Siddhu kept asking the poor guy to get him some ice-cream. After telling Siddhu that he has to finish his dinner to get his ice-cream, the waiter made a deal. He said if they finished their dinner he would get them some ice-cream. Every time the man came to our table Siddhu would ask for his ice-cream, the man said don’t worry its on me. And true to his word, when we were done, he bought pistachio ice-cream for Ruchi and Siddhu. The ice-cream was one of the best pistachio ice-cream I had tasted, and definitely better than the desert we had ordered. Ruchi who likes only chocolate ice-cream, took one bite and gave the rest to me. So thanks to the kids, we grown-ups ended up getting some extra dessert for free.
Every morning, the toy that Ruchi picks up after her bath, ends up being the toy of the day. It is actually two toys, one very small toy that fits in the palm of her hand and another toy that she can hold and hug. These toys can range from soft huggable stuff toys, to generic dolls, to the hard not fun to hug toys. Most often these toys are the pleasant stuffed toys, or woody or Barbie. But once in a while she decides she wants to hang out with Buzz, or her binoculars. Yesterday the toy of the day was the leapfrog alphabet caterpillar. I had a hard time convincing her that it was not a ideal bedtime toy. If the big toys are one hassle, the small toys are another pain. She likes to hold them and sleep. Every time she drops it, we have to wake and find it for her. This happens four or five times every night.
If there is one thing Ruchi has been consistent about, it is drawing and painting. Though she can’t draw a single shape or sensible thing, she enjoys anything to do with colors, whether it is drawing with a chalk in the backyard, or with crayons and pens on paper or painting with water colors. Her favorite among all these activities is painting. She likes to play with her paints atleast once every day. She asks me to sit with her while she paints. I should draw the shapes and she fills them with color. One consistent picture in all her art work is a volcano blowing hot lava. It is her favorite. For her, a picture is incomplete without it. Of lately she is so much into her painting that she even sleeps with her favorite red paint brush in her hand. Maybe I should seriously consider enrolling her in some kind of art class.
After wondering for years what was so great about Star Wars, I finally decided to see for myself. So when they aired the complete series on the television, I recorded them and watched them, this past week. I have to admit, though I was a little skeptical at first, I ended up liking the series. Needless to say I loved the original trilogy better. The second trilogy wasn’t as much fun, especially since I knew the fate awaiting Anakon Skywalker. Ruchi gave me company during my week-long movie-fest. She enjoyed the movies due to the presence of the variety of aliens and robots. In the end what I realized was that Ruchi did not just enjoy the movies, she actually loved them. Now for her television time the only thing she wants to watch is star wars. Sadly though I accidentally deleted all our DVR recordings recently. Surprisingly it didn’t take her too long to correct us, when we tried to pass Avatar as another Star Wars movie. She knew immediately that is was not Star Wars. It was quite evident that she did not care much for it. I think she likes Star Wars so much because she relates it to the Buzz Lightyear series. According to her Luke Skywalker is like Buzz and Darth Vader is evil Emperor Zurg. Maybe I should record the series again when it airs. As for me, watching the movie once is more than enough.
Today Ruchi spent the morning watching the soccer final with her dad. Though she had no idea exactly what was going on, she was very excited to pass comments about the game. It was fun watching her say “oh no daddy they missed”, and “oh no daddy they lost the ball again”. Needless to say we heard those dialogues many times until Spain made the winning goal at which point she was a little surprised to hear her dad shout “Gooooaaaallllll”. And then she joined in the excitement.
Being the explorer that she is, we have been spending a lot of time in the backyard in the evenings exploring bugs, flowers and leaves in our backyard. She loves to look at them, through her binoculars. But today was a very special day for Ruchi and me. While we were in the backyard, we were pleasantly surprised to see a humming bird fly and sit on a tree in our backyard. It was so beautiful. Neither of us have ever seen a humming bird and it was really very beautiful while in the air. Sadly I did not have a camera to take a picture. Upon doing some research I found out that humming birds pass through the bay-area as part of their migration. Now we are going to spend some extra time keeping a look out for more humming birds.
Until today Ruchi’s favorite hair accessories have been hair clips. It was impossible to get her wear or even look at a hairband. But lately that has changed drastically. Now all she wants to wear in her hair are hairbands. According to her the hairbands are more prettier than hairclips. Looking at the way she changes her taste in things, I can’t imagine what it will be like in her teen years. I’ll probably be hearing “Oh mom that’s so last season” a million times.
Ruchi’s protective gear for her bike finally arrived yesterday. Now we can take her outside to ride on her bike. She loved the gear so much that long after she was done practicing her pedaling she was still wearing her helmet and pads for her knees and elbows. She wanted to go to bed in them. Realizing she should not get them wet, she agreed to remove them to take a bath before bed. That was enough distraction to hide them away for the night.
Today my friend Vasavi came over with her son, sister-in-law and niece for a playdate with Ruchi. Ruchi who had slept in late took a while to warm up to the kids, but once she did, there was no stopping her. She constantly kept asking them to follow her upstairs to her bedroom. She loves to welcome people to her room. Even when we prepare to go to bed in the evening, she calls out to us to follow her and when we reach the loft, she says, “welcome to my bedroom”. She loves to show off the things in her room. Same goes for her toy room. Today she was in an even more great mood because she really loves the dress that her Sam pinni made for her. When I put it on her this morning, she looked in the mirror and said, “Amma, my dress is beautiful, I look very pitty (pretty)”. Thank you Sam.