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Posts Tagged ‘Svara’

Lately Svara has been enjoying baking more.  But it can’t just be any baking – it has to be baking as much as possible BY HERSELF.

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At seven years old I certainly can’t let her have free range of the kitchen, so I help her get out the ingredients and materials needed.  She reads the recipe to find out everything she needs, and then she does all of the mixing, measuring, etc.   I help with the oven.  Maybe in another year or two I’ll take another step back and let her get out the ingredients, clean up, and even place things into the oven herself.

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For now it is enough ‘herself’ for her to proudly exclaim that she has made these goodies ALL BY HERSELF.  She couldn’t be more proud.  Neither could I.

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Svara’s favorite cookbook is Live Learn Love Eat (you can find it for sale here by the author).  This book is written by a vegan mother of three.  The recipes are very child friendly and family friendly.  It is both the fact that the book has children in it AND the fact that she can easily read and understand it herself that appeals to Svara.  I love this cookbook as well!

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The recipes Svara made on this particular day were the chocolate cupcakes with raspberry frosting.  Mmmm!  The recipe for both are here on her blog.  The only thing we did differently was that I put the raspberry puree into a sieve to get the seeds out.  I wanted a smooth frosting.

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Svara had a blast making these cupcakes, and of course eating them as well!

I’m sure it’ll be a matter of days before she’s in the kitchen again paging through the cookbook for another recipe to make 🙂

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Perseverance

Several months ago Naren decided to take Svara’s training wheels off of her bike.  The same day her bike fell on its side and the pedal broke.  So she couldn’t ride it for awhile.  When Naren found time to get the pedal replaced she begged him to put the training wheels back on.  Instead he put on a kickstand and said it was time for her to learn how to ride her bike.  It’s been a long 3 or 4 months of practice (I’ve lost count!).  Some weeks she didn’t practice, but most weeks she practiced at least a few times.  Usually she only got 10-20 minutes of practice a day, between dinner and bedtime.  Many days she would end up saying things like “it’s no use”, “I’ll never be able to do this”, or “I’m not going to try ever again!”    But by bedtime, or least by the next day, she was ready with a smile and a “I KNOW I can do this, I just need to practice more!”    And practice she did.  And fall she did.

And slowly she got better.

Until this past week she finally REALLY got the hang of it!  She’s not perfect yet, but she’s almost there.  She’s SO proud of herself and it’s so great to see that.

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I wish I had more pictures, but it’s SO hard for me to remember to take the camera when we go out in the evenings. Usually it’s just Naren or I who goes out with both girls while the other person cleans up after dinner.  But occasionally we both go out and this was one of those days and I remembered to take the camera.

 

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Svara has been known for making funny faces ever since she was a baby.  Just a few of her funny faces are documented here, here, and here.   I think it’s about time for some of her updated looks!  Here she is posing with Mrs. Monkey, a gift from her Aunty Saffy (my sister) and Uncle Nelson.  I asked her to smile nicely so she did, and then she asked me to take some more photos.  “How about this one?”  “And this one?”  And so on!   Anyone who has skyped with Svara might recognize some of these faces 😉

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Thankful for Papa

I have a sweet story about Svara that I wanted to post so that I will be sure to remember it in the future!

The other day Naren was away from home for a couple hours in the afternoon.  The girls and I were in the kitchen, getting a few things done.  I had some almond milk to use up, so I was making some cashew cheese with it as well as some chocolate pudding.  Svara was sometimes helping me.  While making the chocolate pudding she said, “Papa loves chocolate, this could be a surprise for him!  I know!!!  Let’s have a surprise thank you party for Papa!!”  During the next couple of hours she planned out her party.  She was quick to mention that we didn’t need to make decorations or anything, since she knew that would be a pretty sure “no, we don’t have enough time for that” from me, hehe.    She decided that we would turn out the lights, hide, and jump out and yell “surprise!” when Papa came home.  She would then present him with a card that she made specially for him as well as the pudding treat.  She would then sing him a made-up song just for him about how she is thankful for him.

We had just gone back inside the house from playing outside and closed all the windows and curtains for the day when we saw him drive up to the house.  Perfect timing.  We hid in the kitchen and she executed her party plans just as she wanted.  During the song she was listing things she was thankful for such as him taking us all out places, giving her treats, being loving, teaching her things, etc.  Naren thought it might have been something I put her up to, or that I had been talking about being thankful or something.  But nope, this time it was all Svara!  I love seeing Svara’s sweet nature shine through 🙂

I don’t have any photos of that impromptu party, but I have this photo from a couple weeks ago.  Whenever Svara is hugging Naren, Talisa just HAS to crawl over and get in on the hugging action too.  Too cute!

 

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I mentioned in a post several months ago that I am trying to find craft activities where Svara does the majority of the work and they are learning opportunities for her.  So I decided to start Svara on occasional sewing projects!  I started sewing when I was a few years older than her, but I think she’s old enough to do very simply sewing projects.  We started with making a felt pouch that she could use with her dolls.

I cut a piece of felt and folded it in half.  Then I tied the knot for her and showed her how to make whip stitches.  When I do this next time I’ll use actual thread instead of yarn because it was kind of difficult for her to pull the doubled yarn through the needle hole.  When she was finished, I sewed the handle on for her (she had had enough sewing by then) and she glued on a ribbon and buttons for decoration.

I have a photo of the work-in-progress on my (broken) computer.  I’ll add that when I finally get access to that data.  For now, here is a photo of the finished piece:

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I enjoy helping her with projects like these where she is actually learning something herself.  Lately she has been begging me for another paper mache project.  I think I said last time that it’d be another year before we did one, but it’s only been six months.  She wants to make a factory for her polly pocket dolls.  She is envisioning using toilet paper rolls as tubes so she can put things through and pretend they are being made.  Sounds cool, but it sounds like a lot of work for me.

 

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Happy 6th Birthday, Svara!

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Dear Svara,

I can hardly believe you are 6 years old already!  You have grown a lot this past year and I am in awe watching you become your own person.  You are so full of enthusiasm and energy for life.  You want to do everything and you want to do it NOW.  I think you must get that from Papa, because I can hardly keep up with your energy!  I hope you never stop, the world needs your kind of energy!

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You show your helpfulness and caring every day.  You love to do little spontaneous things to help out, like take my dishes to the sink for me, get a drink of water for me or Papa, and always always help out with your baby sister.  The way you love and care for Talisa always brings warmth to my heart.  You love to hold her, talk to her, make funny faces at her, and do anything you can do make her smile and laugh.  If it were up to you, you would be taking over all care of her including bathing and feeding (you’d probably still leave diaper changing to me).  You are such a wonderful and caring big sister!  You love to help out when I am cooking/baking as well, and I hope you are always my kitchen helper! Pretty soon you’ll be able to start cooking by yourself!

You have been working hard on developing your flexibility, patience, and respect this year.  Some days you do an awesome job, go with the flow, and find things to be thankful for even when there are disappointments.  Other days you have a rough time, but I know you are trying.

I smile when you say things like: “Come say morning prayers with me, Mama, my soul is hungry for its breakfast!”

You have a strong sense of fairness and justice, and you wish everything would be fair.  Of course you know that’s not the way  it is, and that’s hard sometimes.  When you practice thankfulness you realize that even though not everything is the way you’d like it, you are still pretty lucky!

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You have developed your friendliness this year and now you are able to make friends more easily which is great!  You got to spend time with and be great friends with your Uncle Xander, which was awesome!  You’ve also made some great friends at Feast and at Baha’i children’s class.

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You have always been creative, and this year has been no different.  You have learned how to draw anything you want, color and cut carefully, think of SO many stories to act out with your dolls, and more.  If it were up to you we’d do  art and craft projects every day!  The good thing is that you are now old enough to do some art and craft projects all by yourself, so you don’t always have to wait for me.

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You are, as you always have been, my funny girl. You’ll do anything to get a laugh!  This year you learned how to tell a knock-knock joke!

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Your favorite color this year has definitely been PINK! Anything is better as long as it is pink!

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We have been homeschooling this year and you have enjoyed lots of things, but you show the most enthusiasm for science experiments! You have done a great job learning to read, and you have quite the aptitude for math!

This hasn’t been the easiest year for us.  I haven’t had all the time to focus on you that I would like as there were many other things going on this past year.  You have tried very hard to be understanding and you have been very helpful to me.  I am hoping that this year I will be able to focus more of my time with you as you continue to grow and learn.

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Happy 6th birthday, my dear Svara!  I can’t wait to see what the next year brings and to continue watching you grow in so many ways.  I am so proud and thankful to be your mother!  I love you!

Love,

Mama

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I haven’t talked about Svara’s creativity lately.  She has always been a very creative child.  Arts and crafts have been at the top of her list of fun things to do for as long as I can remember.  And it’s still that way!

I have to admit that I am often too tired and exhausted to get into crafts.  When she suggests doing an art project I heave a very large sigh.  Sometimes she wants to do projects that are very advanced for her and she ends up watching me doing the whole thing.  She ends up with some cool project/toy, and I end up resentful because I spent all that time working on it when I should have been doing other work.  Not the most positive of experiences.  So I’m trying to find things that either I can make that she can play with (like the cloud dough below) or projects that she can do mostly by herself, with my supervision, and she can actually learn skills from.

So first up is cloud dough!  Playdough has always been one of Svara’s favorite activities.  But sometimes it’s fun to mix things up.  So when I saw cloud dough on pinterest I had to give it a try!  Basically it’s a mixture of 8 parts flour to one part oil.  Most people use baby oil (it probably stays fresh longer that way) but you can also use any vegetable oil.  I used a mix of baby oil that I had a sample bottle of and some canola oil to top it off.  I used 4 cups of flour and 1/2c of oil.  Actually I ended up adding an extra tablespoon or so of oil because it seemed to dry.

Cloud dough is kind of like soft, fluffy sand.  You can pack it together, but then you can easily break it apart as well.  It’s quite unique and fun!  Svara likes to add some little plastic dolls and animals for role playing.  We are keeping the cloud dough in a plastic container in the fridge so that it stays fresh longer.  It also feels nice when she plays with it cold.

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Svara’s drawing has taken off exponentially in the past couple of months.  For quite a long time she was drawing only people, and they always looked the same.  Then she’d occasionally add a new item to her repertoire such as a  flower, the sun, a butterfly.  But suddenly a couple months ago she started drawing anything that she wants!  Without seeing how it is drawn, without asking how to draw it, she’ll just think about it for a few seconds and go ahead and draw it.  It’s pretty amazing me to me how she came to this jump in her art abilities without any prompting, urging, etc.  I think it shows that in some respects learning really is internally motivated and things happen at their own times.  Here are a couple of her recent drawings:

She loves drawing ocean scenes.  The stuff on the bottom is seaweed.  The bigger fish is a whale.  She likes writing Svara, Mama, and Papa on her drawings.  And notice how she colors in the empty part of the letters, that is also a new thing she likes to do.

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This one is a cow. I must admit I thought the red thing in the front was a milking stool or something.  Turns out it’s actually the cow’s udder.  She is definitely focusing more on detail these days, I’ll just have to point out where the cow’s udder is next time she plays with her plastic animals  hahaha

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A cute bunny 🙂

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