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Fri-yay!

Who says I always have to dress like a girl?!

Oh, and that’s my reaction to -“How does Zoya laugh?!” πŸ’“πŸ˜˜ Happy Friday, everyone! 🌸🌸 #zoyaschronicles #babyblog #babyfashion #toddlerblog #toddler #toddlerfashion #proudmama #mommylife #momlife #mommyblogger #mblogger #mblog #momblog

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Thank you, Z! πŸ’“

Seeing her run towards me like this just makes me realise how far we’ve come and how soon! Gone are those little chubby legs that needed my support to crawl or walk. Gone are the inaudible ‘gaga-googoos’ and words like ‘bread’, ‘button’, ‘ant’ and ‘door’ replace them. However, what remains are the warm hugs, the constant screaming of ‘Mamaaaa’ and little jigs every now and then. And I hope that remains for the rest of my life. Thanks, Zoyu, for choosing me as you Mama πŸ’œπŸ’“πŸŒΈ

#zoyaschronicles #mblog #mblogger #momlife #mommylife #momblog #mommyblogger #toddler #toddlers #toddlerblog #baby #babies #babyblog #growingup #familyblog

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From my little baby to my little girl…

Where do little girls come from? I don’t mean anatomically. I’m going to have a hard enough time explaining that to my inquisitive little Z when she is older. So, let’s not go there now.

But more figuratively. Where DO little girls come from? Yes, yes, we do have the sugar and spice and all things nice. But I’ve realised there is so much more.

Big puppy-dog eyes, expressive gestures, stinky diapers, dirty bloomers, unkept hair, drooly t-shirts, butterfly kisses, warm hugs, curious minds – this is what transforms a baby into a little girl.

Z has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last month and a half. As this is a blog to document these milestones, I would love to highlight some of them.

  1. Little Ms. Fashionista

Z is now pretty particular of what she wants to wear. Too many ruffles, too big, too itchy and she’ll try taking it off before you can say, “Please baby, just for an hour!”

She hates hairbands and we are lucky if we can sneak in a hairclip without her knowing every now and then! Or else Mama has to take action and make the clip-wearing process a lot more fun!

She’s old enough to appreciate beauty around her and says,” Wowww” every time she sees pretty flowers, a big tree or her aunt trying on a gorgeous dress.

2. Forrest Gump

Z is in a ‘marathon runner’ phase at the moment. She runs and runs and runs. Everywhere. All the time. As I type this, I see her running across the living room to give her grandfather a big hug; and it’s hilarious because her legs are still a bit wobbly and her arms flop around behind her almost like wings.

3. Dancing Queen

Z absolutely loves dancing. And even more so, when there are lots of people around. It’s almost as if she’s performing. We went to a night market a couple of days back and there was some lovely live music playing. While we were busy with eating and drinking, little Z danced and danced and danced the night away, entertaining all those around her.

4. Little Marie Curie

Why say Einstein when you can say Marie Curie, right?

Anyway, I believe Z is incredibly receptive to information and knowledge right now. A cute little sponge, if I may. It’s incredible how quickly she is learning things. From counting 1, 2, 3 to saying A for Apple and B for ball; from making a funny face to saying Hi and Bye to strangers without anyone prompting her; from knowing all the actions and most of the words from her favourite rhymes to knowing there is food in the vicinity just at the crunch of a packet – it’s amazing to see her learn and retain all this. Granny is currently teaching her to say, ‘No nonsense!’ and she repeats with a whisper, ‘No nanas’.

Sometimes, she shocks us with little sentences – ‘Cat there’, ‘Tutti there’ and ‘Mama here’. She has her own little gibberish language and it annoys her when we can’t understand what she is saying, especially when she feels like she is communicating so beautifully! Oh and she calls herself, ‘Vova’ or ‘Joya’ at different times!

5. Little Foodie

In true Menon and Rao style, Z loves her food too. Her favourites are rice, chicken, ‘sheez‘ (cheese), ‘offan‘ (orange), chocolates, ”ship‘ (chips), and those little colourful jeera sweets. I’m pretty sure the word she uses the most is ‘amm‘ which means food. She also pretends to take little chunks out of her arm or couch and puts them in her mouth to tell us she is hungry!

6. Show-woman and clown

Z is definitely a little clown and show-woman – all rolled into one! She lives for the applause and ensures she does things to make you laugh. Even when she’s not trying to be funny, it’s hilarious. For example, when she sees anyone dressed in all black, she starts making monkey sounds! Because she’s seen black gorillas in her books. Can you imagine how embarrassing that can get at the mall or restaurant? She also goes into look nooks and corners to sing little gibberish songs to herself.

7. Ms. Manipulative

Usually, Z gets what she wants. And if she doesn’t, she manipulates people into getting it. She’ll kiss, hug and scream ‘love yous’ just to get her way. And if the person doesn’t give in, she moves on to the next person and repeats the whole process. So most of the time, it’s a win-win for everyone! Having said this, we are also very strict with her and she is very receptive to our ‘No’ and ‘No touching’.

Anyway, that’s all from us for now. It’s so lovely being able to witness these amazing changes to a little person – changes that will eventually make her the awesome person she is!

Thanks for being part of this crazy ride with us.

Love,

Z and Mama

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What a little rockstar! *Update*

Z and Mama have arrived in Pietermaritzburg finally! And can I just say – little Z was a complete rockstar! If you read my previous post on my fears of flying with a toddler, this post is just an update of what happened…

We had to wake up at 4:30 am for our 6:30 am flight. I thought I would let Z sleep in and carry her out of the door in her pajamas. But little Ms. Alert that she is, she woke up at 4:35 am when she realised something was happening; she obviously has a bad case of FOMO and did not want to miss a second of the action.

She did a whole dance and jig in the car to ‘Despacito‘ and was wondering why it was so dark outside. Oh, did I mention the temperature was 4 degrees!

At the airport, she was a bit overwhelmed with the thousands of people and suitcases and sounds. And she decided to lie on me and take a power nap. Little did I know that she had one eye open and was watching every single thing!

We walked into the airplane and she burst into tears. She was so scared of the tiny cramped space and a hundred people staring at her. I was thinking to myself – “Oh, no! This is going to be a disaster!”

We were lucky enough to have a seat with no one next to us. So we had all the space to put her bottles and books. Before take off, she made a little friend who was sitting behind us – a little 16-month old little boy called Brody. The fascination was mutual and they ‘talked’ animatedly to each other for 20 mins.

She loved the little window, which she insisted should be opened and closed every 30 seconds.

After takeoff, she was fascinated by the clouds – a word she learnt only a few months back. She was awake for most of the flight and it was only by the end of it that she decided to take a nap. Afterall, she did wake up at 4:30 am 😘

So all in all – she was a complete little rockstar! And I was worried for nothing.

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Omg, I’m flying with a toddler!Β 

Z was pretty much a seasoned traveller as an infant with all the international flights we took to India. But that was 6 months ago. She is now a full-blown toddler with a mind of her own. And guess what? We are taking out first flight since then TOMORROW!

I’ve been up since about 6:30 am, trying to make a checklist in my head of 1) Things I need to pack for her (obviously!) And 2) Things that can go wrong! (Aaarrgghh!)

So, these are my top disaster situations during travel. Any advice or even plain lies just to make me feel better would help! πŸ˜‚

1. Screaming baby aboard plane:

This is something I’m terrified of. What if she has a ear ache due to the pressure or feels claustrophobic because she is stuck in one place or just feels like crying?! I do know a lot of passengers do understand (most don’t though) but it’s something I really want to avoid.

2. Poop explosion:

I think this should have been point number 1. Pampers, you better be listening and do your job!

3. Toddler running aimlessly around airport:

Z is in a very independent place in her life. She would rather walk around than be carried. She would rather eat on her own than be fed. So picture this: Z running around Joburg airport with me trying to keep up while carrying the baby bag and handbag. Oh and did I mention I’ve hurt both my hands? 😢

4. Flight is delayed

I guess this shouldn’t be too bad as long as I have snacks and cartoons in tow, but I would rather avoid it in an ideal situation.

So these are my little fears about travelling tomorrow. I will update the blog on how Z was as soon as I land! Wish us luck 😊

Z and Mama πŸ’“

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Be Fierce!Β 

What I pray for my little daughter –

“Be fierce, be kind,

Be someone that has strength of mind. 

Never be afraid to be yourself,

For, trust me, you are the most unique piece on the shelf. 

People will come and people will go,

But you, my little one, must learn to go with the flow. 

You have one goal in this amazing world, 

Just be you and watch the magic unfurl.”

It’s natural for a mother to think forward. Before I was pregnant, I wondered how it would feel to have a little alien moving around in my belly. When I had my little bump, I wondered what the baby would look like. And now that Z is here, I keep wondering what kind of a person she is going to turn out to be.

There is only so much a parent can do right? Provide them with the right values, teach them right from wrong (but that can be subjective), train them to be respectful of others and offer timely advice. This is what I learnt from my parents. 

But a number of times, we forget that our babies have little personalities of their own too. They aren’t mere reflections of who we are as people, but power packed little people in their own right. And that is something we must not change. Unless they turn out to be serial killers, of course! 

Don’t we owe them the chance to be the best and realest form of themselves that they were meant to be? 

I have seen Z’s personality change a couple of times in the last year. She began as a little lump of cuteness who was scared of loud sounds, strangers and any household appliances (read the pressure cooker!). However, after the 8-month mark, I saw her emerge into this amazing little girl I think she is today. 

Independent (sitting up on her own, trying to crawl without help, picking at little morsels of food), hilarious (she figured out that certain actions made her parents laugh and did them over and over again), protective (she hated Dada giving Mama a hug), intelligent (as she started saying her words very early) and of course very loving (with the hugs and kisses she is known for!). 

Now at 15 months old, she is a strong-willed little girl who knows exactly what she wants. She hates shoes, loves dressing up and has hair with a personality of its own! 

The Hair and its personality!

She doesn’t throw tantrums and seems thoughtful very often. 

Little Ms. Independent

She still has an amazing sense of humour and is very intuitive. She loves her cat, enjoys dancing and making funny faces!

The funny face!

And this is exactly what I want her to be. To be honest, I can’t take credit for any of this. As I mentioned previously, they have predisposed personalities of their own and all we can do as parents is to help them shine through. 

I want her to be fierce. I want her to be loving. I want her to be intelligent. I want her to be caring. And if she is none of the above, she’ll just be a whole different kind of awesome. Which is also great. Afterall, I’m the one who’s blessed. 

Z and Mama πŸ’“

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TrΓ©s Jolie – Review

When you have a toddler, you tend to look for places that are child-friendly or meant just for them. For me, there is no greater joy than seeing the look on Z’s face when she sees something that fascinates her or makes her squeal with happiness.

The last weekend, we found one such place – TrΓ©s Jolie (near Honeydew, Johannesburg). The website was unassuming but we were sold when it mentioned it had all the farm animals including sheep, goats, roosters, horses and even camels! Z loves farm animals right now and rattles off every animal sound possible so we just had to take her there!

We got there a little after 11:30 am and initially were shocked at the sea of humanity! Babies and kids of all shapes and sizes, prams, toys, parents, waiters, animals, stalls – it was a lot to take in! But then we started walking around and realised what an amazing place it was! We first saw the two majestic camels who were busy munching on some hay. My little nephew thought they were donkeys, which was actually quite a good guess. Z was awestruck as she had no clue what they were! 

Camels at Tres Jolie

We then walked towards the far end of the venue and got to the real treats. Z saw horses (Mama and baby) for the first time and wouldn’t stop saying “Neigh, neigh”! We saw sheep, goats, roosters, bunnies and even an emu who seemed to be fascinated by us!

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The over-friendly Emu 😊

 Z enjoyed running after one stray rooster that managed to escape the henhouse πŸ˜‚

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Z and her new rooster friend

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Fascinated! 😘

If this wasn’t enough, they also had 3 or 4 jumping castles, jungle gyms, swings, see-saws, merry-go-rounds and more! There were 3 birthday parties going on at the time, but that just added to the fun.

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A big factor that impressed us all was the food! It was absolutely excellent and the service, impeccable. We had everything from the honey-basted pork ribs to fried fish, from blue cheese and steak to calzones. Every single one of us loved what we ordered. Not to mention the yummy sangrias!

Yummy for my tummy 😘

I know for a fact this is going to be our go-to place from now on. Do visit with your little ones for an amazing amazing day! Thanks, TrΓ©s Jolie, for all the fun!

For more on our adventures, follow us on @Zoyaschronicles on Instagram!