Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Our Mermaid turns 6!

For months, both girls have been throwing out suggestions for their birthday parties. Devi’s birthday is in November, but Treya’s does not turn 4 until January. So as the days grew closer to Devi’s big day, naturally more and more of the details were decided and there was much party planning going on. 

 Mixing her own birthday cake!

Though months away, Treya has been in constant chatter about her birthday as well, going over and over her guest list and telling me what I should get started on. She tends to be Devi’s little echo, copying everything she says and does, much to Dev’s dismay. We’ve tried to explain that there are many other holidays that need to come first, but none of this matters to Treya. She just knows that in the line up of birthdays in our family, after Devi’s comes hers and that is that.

 Receiving flowers from DiAnna and Tim

 Healthy treats for her class mates!

"Shells from Different Places" won a prize.
Earlier in the week on Devi’s actual birthday, she brought healthy treats to her classmates, we went to The Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner and she blew out a candle on her spumoni ice cream. Later she opened a few small gifts from daddy, Trey and I, and of course, added one new charm to her bracelet. No doubt, there was a lot of attention directed at Devi over the course of a few days as festivities seemed to all land on the same day including the School Science Fair. This and Treya’s premature excitement over her own birthday, I thought she would be a bit pouty the morning we awoke to find the house transformed to the bottom of the sea for Devi’s magical mermaid party, but in true Treya fashion, she took things in stride pointing and explaining what she wants just the same as Devi on her birthday.

Both girls were giddy wandering through the house discovering the hanging paper plate jellyfish and twisted crepe paper seaweed. Hours before the guests were to arrive Dev was begging to put on her mermaid outfit and stand by the door to let them all in. When at last party time arrived, the house suddenly was overcome with the laughter and giggles of eleven little girls eager to become mermaids too. It just so happens, our first activity was creating magical seashell necklaces that would do just that. Each girl strung a seashell of her choice on a cord and decorated the rest with cut straw beads and flowers. When complete, Devi lead them swimming through the house to the music “Under the Sea”. 

Once seated at the lunch table, each girl chose a sand bucket filled with a napkin, silverware, goldfish crackers and a juice box and I served shells and cheese and octopus dogs, veggies and a fish bowl jell-o with gummy fish swimming inside. The maids ate heartily, though a little suspicious of the octopus dogs, wondering if it was really octopus or just a hot dog made to look like one. Obviously, disguising food must have been used on this set of kiddos somewhere along the way.

Ready to play some games, it was noticed that mermaid Marena had a clue taped to the bottom of her plate that sent the girls to the dryer to retrieve a fish net bag full of puzzle pieces. Working as a team, they quickly solved the puzzle that instructed them to look in Pat’s pocket. There they found a treasure map and another clue. Bounding down the stairs to our “place where one swims, but ours holds no water”  (the pool table) they found balloons to sit on and pop, which revealed yet another clue. Two floors up they went to Devi’s room where they found  word jumbles "where Devi slumbers". The girls were challenged to sound out their word and once completed, had to tell us what their word was. On the back of one of the cards was the clue that lead them to the fireplace where a playful dolphin waited. Each girl tossed rings onto his nose and when they had successfully landed 6 rings  they received their next clue.  Staged on the kitchen table was a huge Rubbermaid container filled with moon sand that I made. Each girl took a dig until the final clue was discovered wrapped in plastic at the bottom. It read “Ding Dong!”.  The scream at hearing this clue was deafening, but the girls were so proud that they had figured it out. It was so fun to watch their excitement mount as they worked together to figure the puzzles out, following the map to the treasure. 

On the doorstep was a treasure chest that evidently had been lost at sea for quite some time as was evident by the shells and netting that had become tangled on it's edges. The chest was filled to the brim with party favors for everyone. Stuffed turtles, rock “coral” candy, seashell necklaces, mermaid stickers, chocolate gold doubloons and  Devi’s favorite -  real starfish and sand dollars were all packed inside. Once the loot was divided evenly amongst the mermaids they gathered around the table for a round of the birthday song and clam cupcakes. Six candles is a lot to extinguish and it took a few tries to get them all, the last one brought cheers from her friends. Gifts containly lots of sparkly pink and purple things were opened and thank you hugs were distributed all around.

After everyone had gone and the excitement had died down, I put Treya down for a nap and Devi was taking some quite time. She climbed into my bed, stuck her thumb in her mouth, the ultimate “I’m exhausted” move and pulled my ear close to her lips. She whispered, “Mom, I forgot to thank you for the best party ever!” and she kissed my cheek and closed her eyes. It is hard to believe that she is six years old. Wow. The time has just flown. The girls change so quickly that it seems I can hardly keep up. Last night as we were getting ready for bed Dev said, “ Mom, for my 7 year old birthday, may I have a girl pirate party and another treasure chest?” I guess the first one was a hit! 

Upon hearing Devi’s request, Treya, the echo, chimed in - “ is who is coming to my boys...all girls...". As I closed the door to their room, her authoritative voice giving instructions continued to trail off. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

40 and 46 in 60 seconds

Coming up for air, I'm taking a quick breath to catch the blog up with our busy lives. With the chill of fall has come another change of size. It was like I woke up one morning and both girls were wearing high waters, though I know the leggings were full length just yesterday. Needing proof, I backed first Treya and then Devi, up to the measuring wall and sure enough both girls have grown another inch and a half in height. Treya is now 40 inches and Devi is 46. So what was once in Devi's drawer, now resides in Treya's and I was sent out shopping to find longer pants with a smaller waist for Dev. 

Treya has begun testing for speech therapy again but this time through our school district. If she qualifies it is a free service for children that are preparing to enter school. Treya came through all the assessment tests with flying colors, though they agree that speech and her gross motor skills could use some work, which for now, require more tests that will take place next month. Treya is excited at the prospect of going to Devi's school on Fridays for speech, making her a big girl who goes to real school too. 

Halloween, in it's own sneaky way, snuck up on us. We managed to find two pumpkins in record time this year because when we arrived at our favorite pumpkin patch, the skies went gray, opened up and dumped buckets of rain. It was the first good heavy big drop rain storm we had had since last year. How quickly we forget the power of mother nature and how wet one can get in just a few minutes weathering the elements - especially daddy who was in shorts!

Happy faces all around, we decided that our pumpkins would be all jolly this year. My pumpkin was happy because it grew in our own garden, and all the others, though hand picked at a patch, through their size and shape just seemed happy as well. Treya actually put her hand inside the pumpkin this year, though she still does not like to have dirty hands AT ALL. This was a huge step for her with this strange tradition. She still had to stop and wipe her hands after each individual seed she extracted and would rather be wearing gloves or using a  spoon.

The friday before Halloween, we all dressed in costume and attended the Halloween Ball at Devi's school. It is hard to believe she is old enough to be attending school, let alone be having dances. It took seconds for her to find a group of her friends and head to the dance floor to dance (jump up and down) to the tunes being spun by the DJ. Dev won a bag of goodies for best costume and Treya was in seventh heaven over the cotton candy she sweet talked daddy into.

Speaking of school, Dev has finally settled into kindergarten life, with library day on Wednesday being her favorite day of the week. Checking out books takes careful consideration, according to her. She is done reading about princesses, or Captain underpants stating, "Mom, I want to read about something that is real".  Our dinner table is now full of "Mr. Stanley says..." quotes like, "Mr. Stanley says there are chemicals in the nacho cheese they serve at school." (Hmm...maybe that is why MOM won't let you buy lunch on nachos day). Treya continues to blossom, getting more bold by the moment. It is as if  she has unzipped and shed her heavy coat of shyness and this loud, giggly nonsensical girl emerged. She likes Wednesdays, which is her dance day at school.

When Halloween finally arrived, the girls had had several opportunities to wear their costumes this year. We were surrounded nearly all week by a mermaid and a princess. Now, I realize it may appear as if Treya is Snow White, but let me assure you, if you mentioned that Treya would go into a tirad explaining very clearly, " Momma, I no Snow White. I a princess with yellow skirt, blue shirt and red sleeves". Okay, I have to admit I got a chuckle out of teasing her by saying "You mean you are Snow White?" "No momma" and she would again go through the whole story as many times as it took for things to be clear.

A traditionalist, I just don't understand going to a mall for Trick or Treating. We go to our neighbor's houses like I did as a girl, and by the third house down from ours this year I had to double back because our arms were completely full of bags of toys that the neighbors spoil our daughters with. Dev and Treya have such a warped sense of what Halloween is all about. By the 10th house, Treya's legs were done so we ended our evening on the driveway across the street at Ms. Carol's, to warm our backsides around her annual bon fire and sip some mulled wine.

Now, weeks later, the candy has been counted, sorted, and grouped over and over and a few pieces have actually been eaten. Basically the wrappers have become worn out by all the handling. Just as soon as the Halloween decorations came down, up went the Diwali ones. Our full schedule didn't allow for the big party we normally throw, but I managed to cook a small feast anyway. We had pickles, samosas with chutney, aloo gobi, muttar paneer, tandori shrimp, naan, rice and mango lassis for the girls. They had a parade in Indian outfits  and muscial instruments and decorated a plate of treats for Lakshmi. Over dinner we all talked about those who bring light to our lives. Mr. Stanley, Devi's teacher, was first on her list and Treya was glad for mom and dad. Good girl!