Superstar

Every time I venture out people go out of their way to meet me and say hello. It happens every time I step outside of the house. It’s almost as if they are drawn to me by some invisible force. I must be famous!

Sometimes people go to extraordinary means to get my attention. Some people make funny faces or gestures just to amuse me. Others simply smile and wave. There are people who rush over to speak with me, and there are those who are happy to hang back and admire me from afar.

At the grocery store when I am shopping with mommy, people always wave at me as I go by and the store employees always make it a point to say hello. At the park people come over to me and strike up a conversation. Even when I’m in my own yard one of the neighbours is sure to drop by to see what I’m up to. People seek me out and flock to me. It’s the price I pay for fame.

When I ride in the stroller people often ignore mommy but stop to greet me as I roll by. There are those who acknowledge mommy in some way, but I’m sure they do so just to get mommy to stop. As soon as my stroller stops moving they swoop in and make a fuss over me while mommy stands by forgotten and ignored.

Once a person begins a conversation with me, they hardly ever speak about themselves. They ask questions about me, or make observations about me. Mommy answers the questions and I try to acknowledge the observations. People are very curious and want to know everything about me. I am always the central topic of the conversation.

Among people’s favourite observations to make about me are those related to my appearance. They love to tell me how pretty, adorable, or cute I am. I know it’s not just people being nice either. Nobody speaks that way to mommy and daddy when they go out. People must be enchanted by my cuteness.

Peachy the superstar

I’m ready to meet my fans

A close second on the list of favourite topics is my wardrobe. People seem love to my style and fashion sense. Everything looks good on me. From the brim of my hat to the Velcro on my shoes, I’m always well put together and downright adorable. When it comes to my look it’s mommy that deserves the credit. She is my stylist and personal shopper.

The life of a superstar may not be for everyone, but I generally enjoy the attention. I like to meet new people and I find social interactions fascinating. I’m an excellent listener but I like to contribute to a conversation too. I don’t let the fact that I know only five words stop me from participating in a discussion.

When I attend social functions and events, the attention lavished upon me is even more extreme. Groups of people rush towards me and everyone competes for my attention. Everybody wants to touch me, hold me, and have their picture taken with me. At times it can be overwhelming.

Big groups of pushy people are enough to shake even the most confident person. Most people are significantly bigger than I am and it can be scary to have a mob of giants engulf you. I don’t mind being social but in a crowded room full of people I barely know I need some time to adjust and get my bearings.

Mommy can always sense when I’m uncomfortable. She is my bodyguard and she does an excellent job when I find myself at the centre of a crowd. Whenever the need arises mommy swoops in and demands that I be given the time and space that I need. I know I am safe when mommy is near.

A superstar must always make time for their fans. Fame brings obligations and I take my responsibilities very seriously. With mommy by my side to keep me safe I can feel confident, fearless, and ready to interact with all of my fans. Get the party started, Peachy the superstar is heading out.

Meeting Expectations

In less than two weeks I will be eighteen months old. That’s a year and a half! I am such a big girl. Mommy says the time has flown by but I don’t see it that way. For mommy it has been only a year and a half rushing by. For me it has been a lifetime!

It’s been a busy eighteen months and each day had been filled with exploration, discovery, and adventures. Whether I go out to explore a strange new place, meet a new person, or if I’m just hanging out at home surrounded by the comfortable and familiar, I always manage to find something new. That’s how I learn and I’m getting pretty smart and very clever.

Learning is my full-time job and just like most working people, I have goals and deadlines to meet. Most of them are set by my doctor and we have regular meetings to discuss the business of my progress. My next business meeting is fast approaching with the coming of my eighteen month mark. I have been very busy putting together my report.

My walking has been coming along brilliantly. I am getting much steadier on my feet and I can go pretty fast now. Mommy and daddy have opened up the downstairs for me which means I no longer have to spend my days confined to the baby zone. There have been a few bumps and bruises but the extra space has allowed me to practice walking that much more and the extra effort has really paid off. I have every confidence that my doctor will be very pleased with my progress on this point.

Peachy is on the move

I’m so fast that I’m blurry

I’m far less confident with my words. I haven’t made that much progress with learning how to say new things. My first word was uh-oh and it’s sill my favourite thing to say. I call mommy and daddy more frequently now and I know that each of our cats have names of their own. I have been practicing calling them but they run away even when I scream their names at them.

That’s pretty much it for the words I use consistently and that’s only five. Not spectacular for an eighteen month old big girl like me. What’s even worse is that it’s really only one word more since the last meeting with my doctor. One word in three months is not very good at all. I have concerns as to what my doctor will say.

I actually talk a lot. Most of the day I’m talking, but nobody seems to understand anything I say beyond my five words. I can’t really blame them. I can tell that most of what I say doesn’t come out sounding right. I don’t know what the trouble is. I know what I want to say but it comes out as a mess. Very frustrating and I get quite discouraged.

I do understand some more words now. I get very excited when mommy talks about milk. It’s my favourite and I lick my lips and search for the bottle whenever I hear the word. When I feel like it, I can follow some simple commands like retrieving items and going to mommy or daddy when I’m told. I understand some of the terms we use during playtime such as push the car, and I know when mommy is telling me to turn the page when we’re reading.

A few weeks ago I learned something new. Mommy called it a bit of a breakthrough. For some time mommy has been telling me about my feet during diaper changes. Now when mommy asks where my foot is, I point to one, and then the other. Being able to identify some body parts was on my to-do list. I’m very happy that I managed to learn at least one in time for my meeting.

I have conflicting feelings about my upcoming meeting with my doctor. On the one hand, I’ve very excited to show off the skills I’ve learned. I like it when people watch me do things and tell me I’m doing a good job. On the other hand, I’m uneasy about the areas where I come up a bit short. There are less than two weeks until the meeting. How many words can I learn in that time?

Cooking with Mommy

Most days daddy spends the day at some place he calls work, while mommy and I stay home or go out for adventures. On the days that daddy works, mommy and I usually get dinner started before daddy comes home. Making dinner is hard work. That’s why I always help.

We begin the process by opening the refrigerator and looking for the food we’re going to make. I can’t get the refrigerator open by myself, but as soon as I see mommy open it I get right in there to help make the important decisions. I grab the yogurt and salad dressing while mommy picks her own items. Then mommy takes my things from me while I close the refrigerator door.

Next mommy brings our things over to the sink to get them ready for cooking. Mommy gives me an onion to examine while she cuts the fat off the chicken. I get a bit bored and I go into the living room. Once I’m there I realize I’m still holding the onion so I put it down underneath the coffee table.

I hear the water running so I rush back into the kitchen to see what mommy is up to. It looks like mommy is washing the vegetables and I want to help. I squeeze in between mommy and the sink and I get up on my tippy toes but I’m still too short to reach. Mommy gives me a green bean to hold.

I decide to take my green bean for a little run. I do three laps around the kitchen island at a fast jog. Of course a run isn’t really a run unless you’ve got your siren on so I make sure to yell the entire time. Then I get a little tired and I sit down on the floor. This gives me a good opportunity to take a closer look at my green bean.

Half a minute later I’m back on my feet looking for some way to make myself useful. I watch mommy for a moment. She puts the chicken in the oven and heads to the pantry cupboard where she takes something out and closes the door. I decide to get involved. First I look in on the chicken for a moment and then I head over to the pantry. I fling the door open and consider my next step carefully.

Peachy checking on the chicken

Is it ready?

I pull out the bags of pasta and look at them with satisfaction. Next I see a box full of pouches that I recognize. It’s the fruit baby food that gets added to my oatmeal. I take them out of the box and scatter them among the bags of pasta. Finally I go for the jug of vegetable oil. It’s a bit heavy and I struggle with it a little but I manage to work it loose, get it out of the cupboard, and put it with the noodles and baby food.

Time for a little break. I head to the living room and over to the bookshelf. I sit on the floor and pull out some books. I like to turn the pages and that keeps me occupied for a few minutes. It’s nice to have a break after spending all that time helping with dinner. I decide that mommy could use a break too. I grab a book and go to look for her.

I find mommy at the stove putting vegetables in a pot of water. I walk over with my book and hold it up for mommy. She doesn’t notice so I nudge her with it a little. Mommy thanks me for the book as she takes it and puts it up on the counter. That was quick. I decide that mommy needs another book so I head back into the living room and repeat the process.

A dozen books later I figure mommy has had enough reading for the time being. Mommy tells me I’m being very helpful and that I’m a good girl. She says we both earned a break and that we can go in the living room for a bit while the chicken and vegetables cook. We play with my toys for a while.

After a little while the phone rings and mommy answers it. Mommy talks on the phone for a minute or two while I climb all over her and try to press the shiny buttons on the phone. Mommy gets of the phone, gives me a kiss, and heads back in the kitchen. I follow closely.

Mommy unlocks the cupboard with the pots and pans. While mommy searches for the small gravy pot I try to get in the cupboard. It’s not easy to get around the big soup pot. I almost manage to push past when mommy finds what she’s looking for, lifts me out of the cupboard, and shuts the door.

Mommy reaches into one of the drawers and pulls out a whisk. I like the whisk and I reach for it. Mommy gives me a slightly bigger whisk to play with and I’m satisfied with that arrangement. I sit on the floor behind mommy and we both whisk for a bit. I’m done whisking before mommy and I start looking for something to do.

I decide to try the pot and pan cupboard again. I walk over and try to get the doors open but they won’t budge. They’re stuck! I start to get frustrated a little when mommy hands be a cooked green bean and tells me to taste it. I put one end of the bean in my mouth and give it a nibble. It’s pretty good. I like beans.

I’m about halfway through my bean when I hear a noise in the living room. I peek around the corner and I see some commotion at the front door. I get a little closer and I see that daddy is home! I run over to say hello. Daddy scoops me up and snuggles me for a bit. I tell daddy about my day and show him what’s left of my bean. Daddy seems fascinated by what I have to say.

By the time we get back into the kitchen mommy has dinner ready on the table. It smells yummy! I’m suddenly very hungry. I don’t protest while I’m strapped into my high chair. I look at all the delicious food and I’m amazed by what mommy and I can do with just a few basic ingredients. Such a perfect feast and it all started with yogurt and salad dressing.

I Still Remember Review and Giveaway

I take up a lot of mommy’s time. Being my mommy is a full-time job. Mommy is busy feeding me, keeping me clean, teaching me, giving me snuggles, entertaining me, and making sure I get adequate exercise. On top of that, mommy takes care of our home to make sure that I am safe and healthy. There is very little free time in mommy’s busy schedule.

When mommy has a moment to spare, she usually spends it by reading something. Reading is a big part of mommy’s day. There are blogs to read, recipes to peruse, self-help books to study, research to be done, and of course there are my stories that need to be read out loud. On those rare occasions when mommy has some real time to relax, she likes to indulge in reading a bit of fiction.

Mommy’s latest indulgence was a book called I Still Remember by Priya Prithviraj. This e-book is the ideal length for busy mommies looking for a little escape. At around 5000 words, mommy was able to enjoy this digital short on her tablet while I had my afternoon nap. It was perfect for mommy’s little escape.

Peachy reading her book

I like to read too!

The book is a sweet little story about a young girl named Ji-woo. With dreams of becoming a writer, Ji-woo is giving college a second try when her first love makes a sudden and unexpected appearance. As memories come flooding back and unresolved feelings bubble to the surface, Ji-woo’s life is at risk of derailment. While her world goes into a tailspin Ji-woo can take the easy path and give up on her dreams, or be strong and keep her life on track.

Priya Prithviraj is a published poet entering the realm of writing fiction and I Still Remember is her first book. Priya grew up in Koshikode, India and studied at The English and Foreign Language University in Hyderbad. For more from Priya visit her blog.

Priya was kind enough to agree to an interview. Here is a glimpse into the mind of an author along with some advice for those who are just setting out on the path to publishing their own book.

This is Priya, the face behind the interview.

When and why did you decide to be a writer?

I don’t think there was a specific moment when I became a writer or even if I had ever made any conscious decision about venturing into writing. I used to write stories even as a child, mostly for school contests and later when I took up English for my higher studies, it was just natural to continue writing and also to take it to the next level by considering publication.

Is writing your full-time profession or a part-time interest?

To answer your question, I have to tell you that I’m not a full-time author. But my full-time profession is digital content marketing which does involve a lot of writing. So perhaps I could say yes as well.

What does literary success look like to you?

Success is always subjective and is dependent on your goals. So when I achieve the goals I set, pertaining to writing and publishing, that’s literary success for me. And my goals are not about getting into any lists, but about getting my story out there.

Do you find the writing process energizing or exhausting?

Writing can be both energizing and exhausting. It actually depends on your writing plan. If you set daily word count goals you may feel exhausted by when you finish, but if you go according to a story outline, it would be energizing as you see your story shaping up.

What is your favourite book and why?

I don’t have a favourite book. It’s hard to pick just one from the many books I hold close to my heart. But when I enjoy reading a book, I talk about it on my blog, which is where I share snippets from my life as a reader.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers who are just getting starting on their first book?

All I would say is to work hard with all your heart, and head.

Do you have any marketing tips for writers who just completed that first book?

Again, I would say work hard to get the word out about your book. Use all means of communication with your potential readers – your blog, your mailing list and your social media channels. With so many dedicated author service providers such as Writerly Yours, it isn’t very hard to get a helping hand either.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I would probably tell myself to read more, not just in English but also in other languages, because it all helps you as a writer. A writer is always a reader first.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

I don’t think much into the future, but I do plan on writing and of course, reading more in the years to come.

Thank you Priya for taking part in our author interview!

I Still Remember is a brand new book just released on May 14th. It is being promoted through Writerly Yours. There is a book tour underway for the month of May. Check it out for additional information and more reviews.

Now on to the good stuff. Priya is giving us two digital copies of I Still Remember for a giveaway. Two lucky people will get their very own copy of this e-book. That’s double the odds of winning! Click the link below for your chance to win.

Click here for your chance to win.

Contest open worldwide. Must be 18 years of age or older. Winner will be notified by email. Accepting entries until June 30, 2017.

* We were given a free copy of this e-book for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are honest and our own.

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Mommy and Me Banana Maple French Toast

One of my favourite things about mornings are breakfast with mommy. It’s not something that happens every day. Sometimes mommy is just too busy to eat with me and instead she uses that time to get things done. On those days I eat while I watch mommy load the dishwasher or tidy up the kitchen.

When I see mommy making french toast I know we’ll be having breakfast together that day. It’s one of our traditions. Mommy makes several variations of french toast and they’re all pretty good but one stands out for me above all the rest. This particular recipe is my favourite.

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

2 slices of bread

1/4 cup of milk

1 tablespoon of real maple syrup

1 overripe banana

  • Optional:
  • Strawberries for garnish
  • Butter to grease the pan
Ingredients for Banana Maple French Toast

You begin with these items

Preparation:

Peel the banana, put it on a small plate, and thoroughly mash it with a fork. You want a really ripe banana that will mash to a creamy consistency with minimal lumps. In a small bowl combine the eggs with the milk and beat with an electric mixer until it begins to froth. Add the maple syrup and banana and continue beating until there are no visible lumps of banana.

We like to use real maple syrup as it has a distinct flavour and is a slightly healthier alternative. If you don’t have maple syrup you can use the artificial pancake syrup, sugar, or omit it altogether. If you’re over a year old, you can also substitute honey.

Place the bread slices side by side in a shallow dish. We find that a pie plate works very well for this. Slowly pour the egg mixture over the bread, coating it as thoroughly as possible. Let it sit for a minute and then turn the bread slices over. After a few more minutes the bread should absorb most of the egg mixture.

Generously grease a large non-stick pan and preheat. We like to use butter for that extra creamy taste, but you can use whatever you prefer. The sugar in the banana and syrup has a tendency to stick to the pan so be generous with whatever you decide to use.

Place both slices of bread side by side on the pan and cook on medium heat until golden brown. Then flip each slice and cook the other side. Once cooked, remove from the pan and pat with a paper towel to remove the excess grease.

I like to have my piece of french toast cut into bite size cubes, but mommy prefers to keep her piece whole. We garnish our french toast with strawberries and serve warm. Any fruit would work as a garnish but we just love the fresh tangy flavour of strawberries paired with the sweet french toast.

Peachy's Banana Maple French Toast

Big piece for mommy and cubes for me

If you have mastered cutlery, you can add syrup or whipped cream on the top. I prefer to eat with my hands and those kind of extras just make me sticky. That’s why mommy puts my maple syrup right into the egg mixture. It makes me easier to clean after breakfast.

If you’re looking for breakfast for one, you could cut the ingredients in half and garnish with the other half of the banana. There is also the option of sticking with the recipe as is, and just eating both pieces yourself. I’ll leave that up to you.

French toast can be kept in the fridge for a day or two. It doesn’t come out of the fridge the same as it was when it went in. It’s still good, but it’s not the same. In our experience the best way to reheat french toast is in the toaster oven. That brings some of the crispy texture back and doesn’t make it spongy like reheating in the microwave tends to do.

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Toddler Humour

I have a great sense of humour. Laughter is an amazing stress reliever and everyone should strive for as many good laughs as possible. I make sure that I get my dose of the funny stuff every day. Very few things make me feel as good as a thorough giggle.

As I grow, I find that my taste in humour matures. When I was tiny I found it hilarious when mommy would stick out her tongue. As I got slightly bigger seeing daddy dance for me was the funniest thing. Then blowing raspberries was the big hit. These days my sense of humour is much more refined.

It may not be as easy to get me laughing these days, but there are several things that are sure to put a smile on my face. Here are ten of my current favourite activities for a good laugh. Favourites may change without notice.

Happy Peachy

Here come the giggles!

1. Tickles

I am putting tickles at the top of the list because this is a timeless classic. Nobody can resist a good tickle. My favourite tickles are those delivered by the tickle monster. My tastes may be maturing but I know a good thing when I see it and tickles never go out of style.

2. Being Naughty

Sometimes being just a little bit naughty can be really funny. The secret is to make sure that you don’t cross the line and get into actual trouble. You want to be just a little bit naughty, not a bad baby. It’s great fun when you get into something you shouldn’t, forcing mommy or daddy to get up and stop you. Then you run away only to return to the forbidden activity as soon as mommy or daddy sit back down again. If you haven’t tried this game already, you should give it a shot the moment you have the opportunity. It is a real riot and you’ll be giggling in no time.

3. The Pink Elephant Dance

I can’t help but giggle when mommy makes Pink Elephant dance. He hops from one foot to the other as his ears flop around and the rattle inside his head makes so much noise. The dance is great but when really pushes it over the edge is the song that accompanies it. It’s my favourite and it always makes me laugh.

4. The Airplane Game

This is another timeless classic which I have enjoyed for as long as I can remember. The airplane game only gets better with time. The bigger I get, the more flying around I can handle. I’m practically unstoppable now!

5. Chin Kisses

I can’t help but giggle when I get kisses under my chin. It feels so weird and giggly. Chin kisses come out of nowhere when I least expect them. One moment I’m on my back trying to see the tv behind me, and the next moment I’m rolling around in hysterical laughter.

6. Pillow Bonk

This is a new one that I have discovered only recently. It all started when I brought mommy one of the chair cushions from the kitchen. Mommy took it and said thank you as usual. Then she brought it up over her head and said “bonk” as she bumped her head with the cushion. It was funny, so I giggled. Then mommy did the same thing but with my head and it was even more funny! Now I bring mommy the cushion every time I want to play the bonk game.

7. Being Corn

This game is best when played with daddy. He picks me up on my side and calls me a tasty looking piece of corn on he cob. Then daddy nibbles my ribs. Next daddy says I’m delicious corn and he must give me a taste. This is followed by more rib nibbles. It’s great fun.

8. Toe Nibbles

If we’re going to talk about being eaten for the sake of comedy, we can’t leave out toe nibbles. There is something immensely satisfying about having one of your feet pretend eaten. That’s good comedy.

9. The Hat Game

When I’m in need of a good giggle, I like to wear random objects on my head as a hat. Usually mommy helps me with this game, but I have been known to play it all by myself. I am a big girl and big girls don’t always need help.

10. Sound Effects

I’m well aware that mommy and daddy can use their mouths for talking, but they can also make some very funny sound effects. Some of the sounds they can make are downright silly. If they can manage to make faces at the same time, it’s twice as funny. I especially like sounds and faces that I don’t remember seeing or hearing before.

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Mother’s Day 2.0

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day and I’ve been giving it some careful thought. I really want to make mommy extra happy on her special day. I’m only 17 months old and my gift giving options are limited. What can I do for mommy on Mother’s Day?

I have no money and I’m not very good at arts and crafts yet. I could give mommy one of the treasures I find at the park but it’s impossible to surprise mommy. We’re always together and mommy keeps a pretty close eye on me most of the time. I don’t know that many words yet so I can’t even wish mommy a happy Mother’s Day.

Last year Mother’s Day was extra special for us because it was mommy’s very first Mother’s Day and that only comes around once in a lifetime. I was smaller back then and my gift giving options were more limited. I didn’t even know how to give mommy a proper snuggle. This year there will be lots of snuggles. I can give really good snuggles now.

Happy Mother's Day

My snuggling capabilities last year

Even though I was tiny, we did still celebrate Mother’s Day last year. I wrote a letter to mommy and published it on my blog. Of course mommy had to help me with it, but it was a fun project for the two of us to work on together. My letter to mommy will always be there so that we can look back on the year mommy celebrated her first Mother’s Day.

We did something else last year too. We used mommy’s first Mother’s Day to start a little tradition. When I was born, mommy bought several kits to make keepsakes of my hand and foot impressions. For the first couple months of my life my hands and feet were regularly being dipped in non-toxic plaster and ink.

One of the kits consists of five tins that get progressively bigger. It’s called the “tower of time” and it is designed to hold one plaster handprint in each tin. You’re supposed to use one tin every year and see how much bigger your hand gets over time. We decided that we will do a new print of my hand every year on Mother’s Day. Tomorrow one of my hands will be covered in plaster once again.

I’m excited to see how much bigger my hand got in the last year, but I’m worried that I’ll mess it up. Mommy says not to worry because we have several attempts at it before the plaster dries. I just hope it turns out well. I don’t want to ruin mommy’s Mother’s Day tradition.

Mother's Day 2.0

I hope these hands cooperate!

This year I learned something rather unbelievable about Mother’s Day. It’s not just my mommy’s Mother’s Day. It’s also Mother’s Day for both of my grandmothers! What are the chances that all three of these ladies would have their Mother’s Day on the same day?

Mommy took me shopping for Mother’s Day presents for my grandmothers. We picked up two sets of greeting cards, two pretty potted plant arrangements, and two bottles of premium moisturizer. We also bought two lovely gift bags to put these things in. Yesterday I watched mommy assemble the gifts with some tissue paper and they look very pretty. I’m sure my grandmothers will love them.

When we went shopping, we didn’t really know what gifts we were going to buy. We had to browse around for ideas a little. One of the ideas we had was to buy some jewellery. We went over to the jewellery section to see if we could find anything that either of my grandmothers would like.

There was nothing that really looked like their style, but one piece immediately drew mommy’s eye. It was a necklace and earring set and I could tell mommy really liked it. She picked it up and took a close look at the heart-shaped pendant. Mommy hesitated and then put the items back on the rack. My mommy doesn’t wear much jewellery but I could tell she really liked this set. I insisted that mommy treat herself for Mother’s Day on my behalf.

Mother's Day is coming

Mommy’s Mother’s Day kit

I may be too little for a really good Mother’s Day present, but my mommy still gets a special day. I will insist that she wear her new jewellery tomorrow when we go out to the park. I’m going to try to be on my best behaviour all day, but especially when I do my plaster handprint. I will also make sure to give mommy extra snuggles throughout the day.

I hope mommy has a great Mother’s Day and that she knows how much she means to me. I love my mommy and I’m going to tell her as soon as I learn the words. Until then, my little tokens of affection will have to do the talking.

Happy Mother’s Day