Peppa Pig Birthday

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It was my son’s 4th birthday last week. Incidentally we ended up cutting 4 cakes!!!

First one on his actual birthday, 2nd in his preschool, 3rd and 4th for parties at home with friends and family resp.

Now coming to the theme, my son loves peppa pig and george pig, the adorable animated british tv program for children especially for preschoolers.

So when it came to thinking of a theme for the birthday party, it had to be peppa pig. Now there was only one slight difficulty and that is I live in the US and peppa in UK. So understandably with around 2-3 weeks for the planning, I could not get all the decorations etc off the counter here in US. I could order them online, but those would take around 4 weeks.

So I had to be creative and am glad I did.

I found a website which offered free printables of peppa pig and I downloaded them and made banners. Lots. I had to cut each triangle and then join them together by ribbons hoping they wouldnt tear till after the party was over!

Next, I ordered  cupcake rings of Peppa and george, a pinata and a giant balloon from amazon. I got all those within 2 weeks.

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I also ordered peppa pig books as favors for the children from amazon.

For games, we had two:

1. Putting the tail on peppa pig

2. Jumping on muddy puddles

For the first one, I printed a large picture of peppa pig and used the tails you get in the tailing the donkey game. For the second one, I cut out neat puddles out of a black table cover!

I put on a compilation of peppa pig songs video on tv, made the kids jump in the “muddy puddles” and stop when the music stops, if they continued jumping even after they were out! At the end of the games, I handed out “winner” medals to each kid. they were ecstatic 🙂

Now comes the important part of any party 🙂 Food

Most of the food we got catered from outside, apart from one sandwich which I made inspired by Manju’s chicken sandwiches.  http://manjuseatingdelights.blogspot.com/2014/08/chicken-salad-pinwheels.html

I made some changes i.e. used the basic ratio as mentioned of  the sour cream and mayonnaise.  Mixed the two and added Ranch dressing mix to it. Added one chopped celery and maybe half a chopped white onion. Spread it on the breads and cut them out in triangles and stored in the fridge cling wrapped. Everyone loved it.

The special part of the party was the cake! I made it from scratch this time even the icing which I’ve never done before. I was scouring the internet for recipes for 10″ pans and came across Manju’s reference to banana chocolate cake and cupcakes as shown on joyofbaking.com. Manju further instilled in me the hope that I could do it ! 🙂 Thanks Manju!

So here they are

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The big cake was cut on the day of the main birthday party event and the second cake you see was cut with the close family members party! I was in a cake coma!!  The cakes were yummy. I will do a separate post on the cake just so that I record the process for me in future and for anyone who has any questions like I had prior to baking these!

All in all it was a great party, the kids and adults loved it alike, I hope 😉

We sure did :))

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Carrot Cake

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Today I made a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting! I had to hurriedly make a birthday cake as a surprise for tomorrow when my LO is turning 4.  I had to make it before i go to pick him up from his preschool.

So here I am documenting the recipe in case I need to get back to it.

Recipe Source:

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/carrot-cake-xi/

1 cup All purpose flour

1 cup Sugar

2 cups grated Carrot

2 eggs

2/3 cup oil

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla essense

1/4 tsp salt

Walnuts(5-6)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch pan. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and eggs until thick and pale. Stir in the oil, then gradually mix in the sifted dry ingredients. Fold in the carrots and nuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 35 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Initially I wasnt going to frost it, but guess what the cake broke on me 😦

I was using a 8″ non stick cake pan and didnt feel the need to grease it before putting it in. ( I have baked cookies on the same brand non stick tray without greasing)

I think I tried to invert it too soon and with a force on the back of the pan, besides the cake was so spongy and it broke into 3 pieces.

It looked so beautifully cooked that I was devastated. So quickly I whipped up the cream cheese frosting, thankfully I had cream cheese for the upcoming party else I never have it!

Recipe Source:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/cream-cheese-frosting-recipe.html

1/2 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup butter(1 stick)

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla essence.

Method:

In a large bowl, beat together the softened butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar a cup at a time until smooth and creamy. Beat in the vanilla extract

I filled the cracks and actually decorated with a ziplock piping bag and sprinkles! Of course its not perfect but whats there to lose!

Lets see how it turns out tomorrow and I will post the picture then 🙂

Have fun!

 

 

Preschool – Day Two

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I was worried the whole night yesterday whether I chose the right preschool for my LO. Too much thinking?

Morning wasnt an early start and I had decided that I wouldnt fret on the small things to do in order to get LO ready for school.

He woke up at 9.30 and it took me approx 1 hr to get him to brush, eat, change and me to shower and reach the preschool. I had prepped him on the way and on reaching the school he was slightly in sobs and said lets go somewhere else but not here.

I told him that any other place also would be a school lets go check this out, and he agreed. I told him I would come pick him up at 12. As we entered thankfully, yesterday’s teacher reached out to him and led him to a room with books.

I went ahead to meet the director and told her all my concerns and things to take care abt LO.

When we came out, my eyes searched for him, and he was following the teacher somewhere so I left. I called the director back and she said he did call out to me as soon as he saw my car leaving! But then he was okay.

He was happily exploring the new place when I went to pick him up.

He is a shy sweet kinda boy and am worried to pieces that someone might hurt him as he isn’t aggressive at all.

Is this a novelty thing due to which he seems to be trying to understand his new surroundings. Will it wear off soon or in near future and he might start crying when I go to drop him off? We’ll see.

Preschool

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Today was my LO’s first day in preschool. I had been searching for a good one for a really long time, checking and un-checking every preschool based on my requirements list for a good one!

I ended up going with one which I had ticked off from my list long back! Sr. R said this looks good, lets go with it.

So here we are.

There is no start and end date for this preschool as its a play cum curriculum type of preschool! As of now, that’s what we think should work for LO as he likes both but hasn’t been in any group alone! This is more of an informal preschool but hopefully should also help him grow in the things he wants.

At times I get so overwhelmed whether I am making the right choice for him, that I am surprised. Perhaps I should stop. Let it be. Go with the flow. Wish I could do that.

I am really keeping my fingers crossed. I just cant imagine that my baby is growing up so fast. I miss him. All. the. time.

Does anyone feel the same?

Sleep

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Sleep is such a necessity everyone would agree! I was never a very good sleeper, rather a late night sleeper, could spend hours browsing, watching movies or study(when I was a student). Getting up early was like running a marathon for me like it would be for a non-runner!

I survived.

Then I became a mom. Sleep became ancient..history!! I craved for sleep atleast at night but couldnt have it for almost 3 yrs after my LO was born. Since last one month, ever since we returned from India, he’s been skipping his naps sometimes in afternoon and those days he gets tired and goes to bed between 9.30-10.30pm

He sleeps roughly 10.5-11 hrs for days he doesnt nap else its only 8.5 hrs if he naps 2 hrs in afternoon!!

So, the days he sleeps early say by 9.30, he wakes up early like 8 am but is tired by 2pm and takes a 2 hr nap, and goes to bed way too late at night eg. 11.30 pm or even later.

Next day, he might sleep over until 10.30 in case he is very tired, then that day he skips the nap.

So this is happening on every alternate day!!! Its leaving me as tired as I was during his first year.

Oh well. Never a boring day in a mom’s life..

Fried Modak or Talniche Modak

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Here is the recipe for my favorite sweet: Modak.

This is the most common sweet made in Maharashtra as part of Ganapati celebrations. My favorite god being Ganapati, I love his sweets too;) I wanted to make this on the first day of His arrival during the festival but this time we had to skip it due to some family reasons. So I made it on Anant chaturthi i.e. the 10th day.

Ingredients
Outside dough:
1 1/2 cups wheat flour
2 tbsps rava
1 tbsp ghee
A pinch of salt

Filling:
1 cup grated coconut( I used fresh one)
1 cup jaggery(I grated it)
1 tbsp poppy seeds(roasted)
1 tbsp cashewnuts(make small pieces)
1 tsp elaichi powder (i used about 6 cardamoms )

First prepare the dough by taking the flour, 1 tbsp ghee, rava and water. Make a medium consistency dough with it, cover it with a wet kitchen paper towel and keep it aside for atleast 15 mts.

Next, prepare the filling. On a medium flame, add about 1 tsp ghee and saute coconut lightly for about 1 min. Then, add the grated jaggery till just about it starts to melt. Switch off the gas and add the elaichi powder, cashews, poppy seeds and mix well and let it cool down. Dont heat too much initially else when it cools down, it will harden.

Finally, make small round pieces using the dough, I used a round cutter to make equal pieces to get equal sized modaks. Add the filling in each after pinching around the round pieces and close the individual modaks. Deep fry these on medium flame till golden brown so that they cook evenly.
This recipe made 26 modaks. I still had some remaining dough but the filling got over.

I kept 21 modaks for naivedya.

Enjoy!!!

Potty training update

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Pottytraining 1 300x273 Potty Training Top Tips

This is an important update to my attempt to potty training my son. I had started to train him around Feb, but then kept giving up after trying for couple of days after starting over everytime.

Around this time, he got constipated and didn’t go poo poo for 2-3 days and would almost cry while doing it finally in his diaper as it was hard.

Then he was fine again. Since around 1 month or little over i.e. from April, he started doing poo poo only on 3rd or 4th day every time! This was in his diaper that too forget potty. This was beginning to terrorize me and also I used to feel bad for him. I could see he would want to go but wouldn’t. I also spoke to his doc couple of days back to check for any health problems and she immediately asked me if I had started potty training! Apparently it is common for toddlers to try and hold back so that they don’t have to go! Bam!

I also read online somewhere that they get traumatized or terrorized about getting wiped down there during the whole potty training process. Dunno what it is, but this is my estimation:

1. He doesn’t like the potty.

2. After being constipated first time and experiencing the pain while going, he probably has got scared to do it, assuming it will hurt. So he holds it back and finally cant take it anymore because now I  give him plenty of fiber and warm water throughout the day, so finally goes on 3rd or 4th day.

3. Wiping him after his poop has become a struggle and I have a gut feeling this is the major factor in him holding back. He doesn’t want to be thoroughly cleaned, perhaps it hurts. Sorry for the TMI. But I thought this would help someone else. This is irrespective of potty training.

I had been struggling with his pooping every 3-4 days and with random people suggesting that I don’t give him enough fiber blah blah!

I will update as to how I proceed. But my plan is to keep him relaxed as well as myself, give him warm water etc. and not mention potty to him.

Till we are ready and his body is back to normal more so mentally I guess he needs to be prepared.