Monday, August 21, 2017

Beware ! Kids Are Watching

I am often told that since becoming a mom, my life has turned a reverse gear. I am more of a child now than I was a few years ago 😁😁 
I don't mind. I mean look at the joy and fun in this moment. 
How could I just pass it on for the sake of being 'too old' !! This little person brings out the better me who is more fun, relaxed and just like him doesn't care about who is watching. When I am with him I am not afraid of being silly or goofy. He empowers me somehow. ❤❤

The line between who is the parent is sometimes so thin I barely notice. We are a team. A very strong one too. 😍
Kids are very observant and adaptive. We can teach them a lot through books and other media but nothing compares to how much they learn by just watching us and their surroundings.  Have had your kid pick up on a swear word you said only once under breath?? Yep. You know what I mean then.
This certainly works as an auto-correct for us 🤷🏻‍♀️😷😊

A few simple things I always keep in mind and in actions, especially when my little one is around -

👉🏻 Smile 
     Isn't a smile contagious? Seeing the happy face of your loved one brings calmness and control over your own emotions.  And lets face it. It's hard to get angry at a happy person. I mean a genuine happy person...not the sort who sits across the park and watches you duel with parenthood with a silly grin on his face.
And smiling helps developing the social skills too.

👉🏻 Be Kind
    In words and in deeds. To family and to strangers. How lovely it is to see my little one greet people with a nice big 'Hi' and a broad smile. How it fills my heart when he stops for anyone who is hurt or crying and wouldn't budge before giving them a hug. Kindness again is contagious. 
When your littles watch you being kind to others, they perceive it as a way of life. It embeds not as a teaching but as a quality that stays with them for life. And kindness done always ends with kindness received. It's time tested.

👉🏻 Be yourself
     Like I said, when I am around him I am not afraid of anything. Of who is watching, who is judging and how stupid I may look. Unh uhhh.
Nothing should stop you from liking who you are. When your kid sees you confident enough to sing horribly in a karaoke party or dance like a goofball and still watch you enjoy yourself happily..there is no embarrassment. There is only pride.  And joy.  One day he or she would need courage to be themselves in front of a crowd. And these little memories will be more resourceful than any pep talk. 

👉🏻 Use your words carefully
         I believe a lot in the power of words. My mom used to say 'na marta bhalon talwaar se, mar jaata hai shabdon k waar se' . Meaning - " Strongest of the warriors are killed by hurt of words."
It may sound hard to believe but I have never called my baby as 'naughty' . I don't have anything against those who use it but I just don't . Because he is not. Even when using it fondly, the word doesn't justify its meaning. I have a little, pure soul who is constantly growing. I wouldn't use any words with negative vibes. 
When I am really mad at what he has done, he sees it on my face (not the angry contorted face but a sad, disappointed one).
Instead of saying, I am angry , I say I am upset.
Instead of saying  he is being naughty, I say 'that's not nice.' 

You get the idea. 

There are so many ways around harsh words and honestly, we only use harsh,strong words to hurt the person we are angry with. And even though we may get furious as hell, I am certain no mom would ever wanna break her little ones heart. It would break hers too.

Also, goes without saying - the above applies not just to kids but to everyone around us.

👉🏻 Never make promises you can't keep
        Simply put, Fake promise = Lie.
        I don't like being lied to. Why should I lie to a kid?
        Yes, there are times during those inconsolable tantrums when nothing else would work. When no other way seems to come to rescue. But when we abate a situation on a lie, it only escalates later. (Check out my previous post on tantrum dealings 😊)
      I won't deny that I haven't ever used the " do this and we will get you new toys" mantra . But when all is well and my 2 year old asks me " go shop toys?" and I give him another just builds up on my mom guilt too much. And also, you run out of excuses pretty soon because two year olds can be really persistent ! 
     Better than this, I *try to* get him to behave nicely for a few days and reward him with a treat ( a toy, a cake , a candy, whatever the moment calls for).

These few bits are a part of my wish-list for my kid's personality. I don't know how successful I will be, but I will keep trying without ever giving up. And that's another thing he will learn.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

How to tame a tantrum in 10 steps

OR a 1000.

Gotchya !!
If you are here, I feel ya.
Sometimes I really wish the babies came with instruction manual on what to do when the system backfires (read tantrums).

But no, there isn't a rule book or a how-to manual on what to do when faced with a full blown toddler tantrum. At home, you may have a wide variety of options but when in public these little people know how to push our buttons and even shooting glares at the husband (who would be busy pretending he doesn't know us), doesn't work!

I am usually quite calm when it comes to my little guy but even so, there are days when I am driven to my limits. My usually happy little boy would someday suddenly decide to be adamant on some silly little thing (like taking off his pants in public *eye-roll*), and nothing, I repeat, nothing would convince him otherwise. And then he would proceed to throw a planking tantrum right in the middle of a busy public square on a Sunday (True Story). At this point, I can feel all judgmental eyes on me and hear people's thoughts on how my parenting is flawed. I can feel my ears going red from embarrassment and failure on how I am brought down to my knees by a two year old.

I give myself two choices in such scenarios -

First, be the other tantrum maker and scream at this tiny human being for doing what a two year old does. Yell at him and tell him how his yelling and screaming is wrong because you know, he is making a scene. Tell him off to behave properly while yanking him by his hand trying to get him to stand up. I can tell this kind, loving soul who hugs strangers and awwws at little babies and runs to help anybody who is hurt, that he is a bad boy for embarrassing his parents. I can drag him with a morbid expression on my face while he continues to cry and throw his limbs around to get free. He wouldn't even remember why he was crying in first place but now he would be crying because he is scared. Of me. Of the person who loves him most in this entire world.
Why would he be scared of me? I will tell you why.
One day, just as I was finishing off brushing my teeth and my toddler had been continuously banging on the bathroom door to let him in, I heard something smash and clatter on the floor. I was so mad by then, I screamed like a bear and happened to look up in the mirror. Gosh. I looked horrid. Is that what my kid saw each time I was screaming at him? That scary, frowned-up, angry, unhappy face? It is enough to scare my husband. No wonder it scared my little guy. Seeing the playful, lovable face of his mommy turn into this angry scary mask must be terrifying for a two year old.

Second, be the grown up in the picture. Remind myself that he is the toddler. Let him get his feelings out, which is loosely translated as let him cool down a little bit. Not expect him to behave like an adult and sob silently with a tissue. Let him know he is okay and I am here with him. I can tell him I know he is upset and I understand (even though I don't!). And while ensuring he stays in a safe zone, wait for him to calm down. Smile genuinely. Talk to him. Not try to reason because reasoning with a two year old? You would have better chances taming a dinosaur :D. Just distract him enough to catch his attention on something new. Mine has an attention span of 20 secs. So he is usually easy to distract and redirect. No fake promises or bribes. But rewards on good behavior . And most importantly, not seem to be embarrassed of his behavior. Every time he begins to get difficult, I can remind myself that he is learning. And I am an example right in front of him to follow. I gotta behave just as I expect him to. Keep my voice calm, yet stern. He would soon not even remember why he is crying. I can hold him and let him know he is safe and heard. I can tell him I love him and it makes me sad to see him sad.
It's so hard being calm in this situation but it is also rewarding in the end. 

Now, don't get me wrong here. I have long ago learnt not to categorize any parenting style as right or wrong. For me, it's just my parenting style or your parenting style. What works for one may not work for other. As much as I would like to always make the second choice, some days are just too hard to stay in control. The temper and the tantrums do sometimes push me beyond and before I realize I find self screaming and announcing time outs.

And then, at night when he is fast asleep, I find myself stealing tiny little kisses and whispering sorrys for being hard on him.

Mommying is way too hard and challenging than it looks. We are faced with these choices a hundred times every day. And yet we manage to maintain our sanity. Regardless of how we end up handling their tantrums, we love these mini-humans more than words can tell.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

It was his first day at day care

and it seemed like it would never end!

When my son was little..I mean littler, my husband and I would joke about never letting him go out of sight and getting him home-schooled so that I could always be near him. How naive of us.

I am not working at the moment and have the entire day to cater to my little one's needs. We spend all our days in each other's company, merrily and whole-heartedly. But I realized that my now 2 year old little guy needs more than just his mommy. He needs his own circle of friends. Well, apparently toddlers have their own social circle chemistry. Where they babble, baby-talk, laugh, cry and simply have a ball.

Sooo, off we went and enrolled him into a lovely place where all beautiful, 2 to 3 years old balls of fun can rock and roll themselves.
I couldn't sleep the entire night before his first day. Though I knew he would be OK there, it was myself I was quite nervous about. You see, it was not just his first day, it was mine too! Since the day he arrived in my arms from my belly, we haven't been separated for more than a loo-break! And now, he would be there for hours and my heart would either burst with all the nervous thumping or my eyes would swim out of my socket with all those tears. No, I am not being over dramatic. Yes, I know all kids go through this phase. But hey, I am an over emotional mess at the moment.

I cried some happy tears while I sat labeling his belongings with his name, realizing my boy will soon have stories to tell. Double checked everything he needed for the morning and then checked it again. Didn't ease me up on the nervous sighing.

The morning arrives and this boy happily runs to the room full of toys and new things at the day care. I ask him just for the sake of my melting heart - "Do you want mummy to stay, baby?" . "No , No mummy !" . Huh. So much for the bleeding heart *eye-roll* . Toddlers!
But I stayed. Silently observing him from the next room where he couldn't see me, watching him meet new people, new human beings at the eye level and explore his surroundings.

An hour gone and he realized I am not there anymore. He went over to the window overlooking the parking lot and kept asking for his mummy. He cried. Oh Gosh..and I cried! Tears just kept rolling down, knowing I couldn't rush and hold him (for their own good they tell me). One fire truck later, he was okay again and chirping with his new buddies. But now, my trigger was blown. I was drifting towards being that mom who suffers the worse end of separation anxiety. He cried again WHILE playing with his fire engine, which is like his most favorite of all toys, and it occurred to me that may be he feels I have deserted him. May be he thinks mummy is angry and gone! All I wanted to do was to hold him and tell him I am right here. I didn't. It felt terrible and I was already considering myself for the bad mom of the year award. How could I leave my little boy all by himself? How could I watch him cry? How mean of me!

Thankfully, the staff at his daycare is pretty good with toddlers, especially with those on their first days. They would distract him, read him a book, have a game of tag and he would be fine. I thought I was waiting too much to comfort him and should just go in and get him. But then came the snack time. And I saw something amazing. He sat at a table with 5 other mini-humans and actually ate his snack happily while enjoying his time at the table. He NEVER sits still at home. Watching 6 little heads around a table like a board meeting, discussing what  a cantaloupe tastes like, was so incredible. That sight was all I needed to know that I was doing the right thing. He is on his way to build his own social circle. One that doesn't involve me.  And you know what, I cried again. We moms are a volcano of emotions really.

So this crying and happy moments went on for some time and I stood there watching and living everything. Five hours. And they felt like eternity! When I went over to pick him up, he came running to me with little arms outstretched as wide as they could be and all was well in the world again! 
First thing I said to him was - "I was right here all the time ! I will never leave you alone !"
May not always be literally true but that doesn't make it a lie either. 

I know it gets better with time, but the second day comes this week and I am dreading it so very much. I suppose its much more difficult for me than him. And I thought separation anxiety was a phase in toddlers. No one warned me about how it rips apart a mom's heart.

Hopefully, I would do better this time and not cry out a swimming pool. 
Be still my heart - The Battle Has Just Begun.

This Mother's Day

I sat down today to write about who has inspired me as a mom. And I cannot decide on one single person. 

Some would say your mother is a good example to start with. But I like to think that rather than inspiring me as a mum, she taught me more as a human being. She has never needed to do anything 'inspiring' because every single thing she does or did, be it difficult decision making or watching TV, has been inculcated in me naturally. And it goes without saying, we all look up to our parents for lessons and so do I.

Inspiration can come from unexpected places. Be it a stranger or an ordinary person you have known forever, you may be surprised with a deed or thought that stays with you for life and somehow becomes a mantra to follow. 

There is an incident I would like to share. I had taken my new car to work that day and came back home with a dent. Although it was pretty minor and not really visible, I was heart broken being it my first day with my new car. I called home and my mum-in-law came down to the parking when I reached there.
She said, " To kya hua? Atleast you are okay. Chalo shagun ho gaya. Jab tak nayi cheez, sofa ho ya car, scratch na lage tab tak uski tension hi hoti rehti hai. Achcha hai ab nazar nahi lagegi." I said that I won't drive anymore. She calmly replied, " Galti ho jaaye to us se daro mat. Usko  sudharo aur aage badho. Aise hi to seekhte hain." She wouldn't let me be upset at all about that dent. Mind you, my mum-in-law is a brilliant driver and has never been in any sort of accident.
Now this may seem like an ordinary incident but her reaction to the entire episode was absolutely different to how my own mum would have been (my mum would have taken away the car keys from me forever :D ) and her simple words were all I needed to recover. Not only did I learn to not dwell on petty mistakes, but she also showed me how important compassion can be for someone in a difficult situation.
It definitely made a permanent change to my otherwise panicky-snappy-attitude, and now before I freak out at the 'spoiled milk' I always take a moment to re-frame my words.

Before I myself became a mom, I once met a lady my age, married, earning well-off and a regular student at the hip-hop classes I went to. Not only was she an amazing dancer, fit and intelligent but she also had a son who was 2 yr old at that time. I was awed by her personality and how happily she was doing it all. We never spoke as much but she inspired me incredibly without even trying to. I was motivated to put more effort into whatever I chose to do and at the same time enjoy doing it too.

Fast forward 5 years and now I am a mum of a 2 year old.  Since being pregnant, I had found huge respect in myself for all pregnant ladies and have always considered women with more than one kid as super-human beings. There have been so many people during this time who have inspired me in more than one way. Sometimes, they were total strangers. A person doesn't need a hard heart-breaking backstory to be inspirational. A cheerful happy life-story is just as inspiring as a growth story of hard times to a successful today.  I have been actively involved with social media over the past year and have come through some incredible women. Their stories are a mix of happy and heart-breaking but one thing is common in all. They are all strong and persevering women. They are doing all they can to set an example for their kids and I sometimes also see their kids following their tread. No matter how many falls, I have seen them get up and go again. They are fueled by the desire to not just live up to their children's expectations but also to their own. 

A prime example of how other mums have inspired me would be my own food blog. My Dad actually laughed when I told him I do a blog on food. Yep. Me and kitchen was a rarity even after marriage. And now, I have my own food forum with new posts every day! How did that happen! Coz one evening last year, I was bored of making khichdi for my little guy and decided to look up on Instagram for something. Who knew there were a million moms with a billion recipes ! I was fascinated. How much effort, patience , creativity and most importantly - love, went into those posts. It made me want to make a presentable meal for my little fellow. It made me want to give it a try. And soon, I was hooked. I still get my low days, but there is so much motivation being passed around for anyone who needs it. All I gotta do is reach.

There is absolutely no doubt that WOMEN are INCREDIBLE
But MOMs are 'Women with Superpowers'. There is almost nothing they can't or won't do for their family. And they don't cease to inspire. Not just other moms but anyone!

If "Inspiration" ever needed a word replacement, there wouldn't be a better fit than "Mom" .

Monday, May 1, 2017

Motherhood - A Pandora's Box

💕 Motherhood is yesterday's clothing, messy hair and 2 min showers.

💕 Motherhood is yoga pants, v-neck tees and tiny soiled hand prints all over.

💕 Motherhood is a sink full of dishes and a house full of laughter.

💕 Motherhood is realizing laundry is like weed - never stops growing and is frigging everywhere.

💕 Motherhood is a living room looking like a toy-tanic cyclone just hit.

💕 Motherhood is 3AM wake ups and 11PM bedtimes.

💕 Motherhood is loving a coffee reheated atleast 10 times.

💕 Motherhood is surviving on baby-food left overs and stolen scoops of ice-cream tubs.

💕 Motherhood is cooking, cleaning, feeding, washing, tidying and answering the phone/door. All at the same time.

💕 Motherhood is discovering a hidden Lego in the boots AFTER putting them on and taking a careless step. Ouch!

💕 Motherhood is hiding behind a closet door to munch on a chocolate, and pretending how disgusting it tastes when caught red-handed.

💕 Motherhood is the art of tidying the same place a 100 times a day and still failing.

💕 Motherhood is when cooking together in the kitchen and a sharing a glass of wine with your man becomes the definition of an ideal date.

💕 Motherhood is gummy bear bribes and chocolate cake for dinners.

💕 Motherhood is letting the dog clean up the floor.

💕 Motherhood is a messy house, unmade beds and happy hearts.

💕 Motherhood is bruised knees and magical kisses.

💗 Motherhood is promising one is enough..then having two more - Cookies, chocolate, glass of wine, KIDS.

💕 Motherhood is the fear of silence when in the bathroom.

💕 Motherhood is when a trip to the bathroom becomes your me-time.

💕 Motherhood is going from 'Yuck!' to 'Here, wipe it on my shirt.' .

💕 Motherhood is being on-call 24/7 - no pay and no day-offs.

💕 Motherhood is having the whole world in your arms when those little arms hold you tight.

💕 Motherhood is exhausting and refreshing.

💕 Motherhood is the hardest and the happiest hood ever.

💕 Motherhood is loving so hurts.

💕 Motherhood is being loved so hurts.

💗 Motherhood heals.

💕 Motherhood is changing not a thing and doing it all over again..happily!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Mommies get the best breaks. JUST KIDDING!!

Lately, I have been doing a lot of reading at every opportunity I get. By opportunity I mean sneaking to the bathroom with an iPad under my shirt. I have discovered that ALL women are workaholics..and hence, are exhausted, running on fumes and still giving it their all (whatever 'it' may be). When I say workaholics, I don't mean any employment. I refer to simply being occupied in one task or the other be it the job, home, family, etc.

I realize I am one of them too.

When my baby was born, everyone told me it will get easier in 6 months. Those sly foxes!
It never gets easier! It may seem hard and a 24 x 7 on-call duty when your little one is born but let me tell you - this is the most free and relaxed you ever will be from now. Once they start crawling...a whole new definition arrives at household chaos. All your senses will work full time and that is when you may achieve your peak potential of multitasking and not even realize it!
Since I brought this beautiful little person in this world, I have always been on the go. From 3AM wake-ups to 11PM bedtime refusals, from making breakfast for a tiny tummy to checking the diaper a 100 times a day, from tidying the house to re-tidying it again..and I always wonder where the day went! I have noticed (so has my family :D) that I continue like this for at most a couple of weeks and then my bubble bursts and I go from being 'Mary Poppins' to 'Cruella de Vil'  and all hell breaks lose.

It is bound to happen because I push myself too much. I admit it. The excuse is always 'it will take 2 mins to do' for mostly everything. The result is a super tired, cranky, nagging, no-good human being who has all her meal times mixed up and still won't be sleeping a whole night because of a wakey-wakey baby.

One thing that works wonders and is a definite solution to such emotional build-ups is taking a break. Now that's simple. Everyone takes a break, pauses down the rush-hour-life. There are a hundred different ways I can "break" myself free. How hard can it be?? Turns out - VERY.

No one in my family is against time-offs. Infact I have an absolutely wonderful husband who is always encouraging me to take some time for myself. But here's the thing - A mother is the 'Google' of the family. And "if it's something weird or not at all...Who you gonna call?!". Yup.
Husbands are hardwired to never ask for directions when outside the house and ALWAYS ask the whereabouts of something that is right in front of their face. Plus they have a certain ability to never keep anything where it was before use.
The toddler wouldn't even look at you when you are around him but the moment you step out of the room, mommy-radar starts beeping at the top of his voice.
Want the attention of the whole family? Just sit down, look comfy and reach for the TV remote. Within seconds, the baby materializes jumping on your lap, husband comes over asking for his wallet which is right on the table in front of him but is somehow invisible until pointed at and everyone is suddenly hungry!
And if by some miracle, none of this happens, it'll be my own used-to-multitasking self that will contemplate a hundred ways things might go wrong if I wasn't there. Like what if the baby cries and daddy can't soothe him, what if the stove is left on, what will they eat, what if the baby refuses to eat, what if he eats a Lego!, and the list is endless. I might sneak a few glances of my phone every minute to ensure there is no "what if" emergency and be suspicious if nothing comes up too! You see, I have gotten so used to worrying and doing things on my own AND MY WAY that a break (at times) brings on a guilt and an urge to rush back and assume the role.

I strongly recommend - Don't. Don't rush
It is tempting to just carry on hustling everyday because "I will do it in a few minutes" but it is also exhausting. Remember that when we are our nagger self, the most we complain about is not getting a few minutes to ourselves. Remember the airplane rule - Put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others. Only when the roots are watered, the tree would blossom.
So, take a break.

Now I don't mean go all revolutionary, ditch the chores and don't let anyone disturb you. I mean take a break from the urge of doing everything by yourself. Don't let the "it's my way or the highway" control you. Let the house be messed up today and the beds unmade.Take 5 mins longer in that shower. Of-course, there won't be any stopping the baby banging the bathroom door or the hubby asking every minute when will you come out. Take a break from coming up with a response. Order-in the dinner or let your husband show his culinary skills. Try not to chalk out a list of instructions (we do that, it's a women thing :D). And if you have one of those can't-cook-if-the-world-was-ending husbands, make him a khichdi. Resist the tadka. Spend a minute longer in front of the mirror, dress up, doll up and go out. Take a walk or hang out with your girlfriends. Choose to let any negative vibe bounce off you today. Keep that frown in check. A break doesn't have to be 5 mins, an hour, a day or a week long. Just long enough to rejuvenate and revitalize whatever makes you YOU. Just a time off from reacting to everything that happens around you, a time for just thinking about your favorite things, a time to just let everything be.

I say this like I do all of it. Of course not- as much as I'd like to, it is in no way easy. I may pull one or at most two of the above said in one day and I feel good!  If you are anything like me, a break would look like sporting my most comfy pajamas (practically my fashion statement for the past year), being couch-installed and trying to get past the prologue of a book I have been trying to read for the past 2 months. If I get past 15 mins of this without the toddler snatching the said book and ripping it apart, or throwing the remote in my face or his daddy asking (for the 10th time) where is the coffee mug that he bought and kept on the top shelf *eye roll* ...I will gladly, and somewhat suspiciously, consider it a break.

And while I try my luck at this, I am aware soon my little one would be a preschooler and his dad busy at work and my afternoons might be a bit too quiet for my liking. We mommies are a weird specimen of contradictory human emotions :D

PS.- Don't ever confuse a family vacation with a break. I did. Big Mistake. :D

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Dinosaur Drink - For your little Picky Eater

There are lots of chores and tasks we do everyday for our family, but as a mother, I feel the most rewarding is when a meal is successful with your kids. And I know it's not as often as we would like !

It takes quite a maneuver to get a picky toddler to eat without fussing and sometimes even the bribes don't work. It is exhausting, time consuming and also, discouraging when a lovely meal prepared with loads of love goes uneaten or frowned at. Now, we may blame the kids (because of-course whatever we make is for their health and growth and is also yummy !) but they are evolving and so are their taste buds. They may sometimes surprise you completely by loving something you assumed they would never eat in a million years.

My almost two-year old little guy has been a hard work when it comes to food. He had only four teeth at about 15 months so there was not much chewy food he could eat and a long way down the road he only preferred soft, mushy meals. Quite a hard work and limited choices.On top of it he wouldn't drink milk as is. It was during this time I introduced him to the world of smoothies and he has not looked back since !
Smoothies are a super delicious, full of health, easy blend of fruits and vegetables which packs all the goodness in one drink. There are many choices of flavor to play around with and not a lot of effort ! Whats more - they are the easiest way to get your kids to like the greens and there is absolutely no added sugar required !

Here, I am sharing a basic smoothie which is ALWAYS a hit with my little one. I call it the 'Dinosaur Drink' :-)
Dinosaur Drink -
1 Cup of fresh baby spinach (raw)
Half of a big banana
A couple of strawberries
Half cup of yogurt ( you can use flavored yogurt of your choice)

That's it ! Just blend it in a mixture and pour it in a glass. Do not strain it. It will be smooth and sweet without any added sugar. You can serve it in a glass, or pour it in a bowl and top it with sliced bananas, strawberries or any sliced dry fruit of your choice ! As for me, I sprinkle the smoothies with chia seeds.

There are a lot of other ways you can tweak the above with what's available with you. For example -

A cup of fresh spinach (raw)
A slice of mango
Half a kiwi
Half cup of coconut water
One banana
A little squeeze of lemon
Blend and ready !

Another one is -
The Very Berry Blend :-)
A banana
Handful each of blueberries, strawberries and blackberries
Half a cup of yogurt
2TBSP coconut water
Blend and yummy !!

Basically, spinach goes very well in all smoothies and you can flavor the drink with fruits at hand like kiwis, bananas, berries , apples , mangoes and use coconut water, yogurt, almond milk and any healthy flavor substitute your kid likes. Top them with sliced almonds, cashews, chia seeds, tutti fruities or just grate a little chocolate on top!

I make a glass of smoothie as a mid-morning snack or a post-nap energiser and hand it to my toddler while he is watching TV or playing or simple running around. He loves it and with each sip growls to show me how 'powerful' he is getting with the dinosaur drink :D
It was and continues to be a big hit with my toddler and also the rest of the family. And so, I wanted to share it with all you lovely people. It does take a lot of stress away to know your baby has had a good potion of veggies and fruits in one drink and makes all that food-fussiness a bit more tolerable.
Hope you guys try these and your little one (and you !) enjoy them too !

Author Note : Please do leave your feedback and experience in the comments below. I blog my baby's meals most of the time to keep a track of his eating habits and also to learn and help other mammas with different ideas to will their little picky eaters into eating! Do follow my page and you can visit my profile for the further details. Thank you.

Friday, December 9, 2016

In the loving memory of Sleep..

And using the bathroom alone..

And showering on time or showering at all !

And the day-offs, nightlife, hangovers, and just the usual sanity of life..

And many other daily activities that I took for granted before I had a baby. You can read a thousand books and attend a hundred classes but nothing can prepare you for what comes with a baby than the baby itself.
I went from sleeping 12 -15 hours a day (peak pregnancy bliss rest-hours) to 12-15 min naps every two hours or so. If anything contributed to my postpartum moodiness, that did. Clearly my baby wasn't the one to abide by "sleep like a baby" saying. Sleep like a Baby. WHAT A JOKE !

They are the worst sleepers awake on a creak of the door, or sound of retreating tired feet on a carpeted floor or even a slight whisper not louder than a breathe! Infact I have a suspicious inkling that the one who invented the said saying never had a baby or was referring to someone named "Baby" who had lost it on sleeping pills.

There is also an advice that is passed around a lot - Sleep when the baby sleeps.
I would if I had magical house elves around the house. I don't. Brushing teeth, showering, using the loo, cleaning the house, sorting the laundry, cooking and then eating breakfast, lunch or dinner (time loses meaning when you are on snooze mode for baby alarm)..things one would usually spend an entire day doing would now require to be done in 30 mins. And when you would actually sit down, put your feet up to follow on that advice..poof ! Time's up.

Now, it wasn't always like this, There were some rare occasions when I would successfully tuck in the baby for a nap and sneak out to the bathroom for a long awaited shower/bath. Run the water, 10 seconds in, I could hear the baby crying. Rush upto him and ofcourse, he is still calmly sleeping all snuggled up. Restart the cleansing and I could swear I hear him again! I would stand still concentrating, making sure that is exactly what I hear. 2 seconds later, halfway through my shampoo, I would again be running to my still peacefully asleep baby. This happened EVERY SINGLE TIME I went to use the bathroom. I called them 'phantom' baby cries. The irony is you can't ignore them because the one you ignore, mostly turned out to be the actual baby war-cry.

This paranoia is not of my making because now, 22 months down the line, not just me but everyone else who knows us admits that my little one is a real bad sleeper. I mean even now if he has been sleeping for four hours on a stretch, I get nervous and rush over to check on him. Once I overcome my initial shock of him actually sleeping soundly, I make a mental note of what is working for me - the ambiance, the temp ,white noise, etc. Ofcourse the same thing never works twice.

You know what, it's easier to make plans and create ideas around what kinda parent you would become, but its only when it actually happens that the complete significance of 'desperate time desperate measures' is understood. Like that time when you have been holding your pee in the anticipation that your cluster-feeding baby would let go of you for one tiny moment but he hasn't in the past couple of hours. And you then rush to the loo with that baby still latched onto you hanging for his dear life. YUP, sat on that seat with a nursing baby. Quite a few times.
Or dragging the entire crib to the bathroom to ensure the phantom cries don't bother you or also sometimes so the baby can see you. I tell you, these little human beings make the best trackers. Won't let you out of their sight.
Or when the baby won't sleep anywhere but on you. So they get used as tiny tables for lunch plates or books. Desperate time desperate measures.
The sacred-sanctum-me-zone that used to be the washroom, is now a forced-shared utility space where you always have a little person as an audience. It's either that or discovering how a fully baby-proofed house can be brought down to pieces by a 10-months old in about 30secs.

To be honest, I am not proud about the aforementioned, but it did give me a reality check.  It is not always easy or organised or ideal being a parent, but it has shown me what I am capable of achieving while functioning on a 4 hour sleep and meals that are mostly baby-food leftovers!
I am often told that this will not last forever and am certain it is true. Our little ones grow so fast and the time just slips by. But us..parents? Once a parent, always a parent. No matter how grown up my boy gets, I know I will never stop caring about him, losing sleep over him or making sure he still has a good night's sleep. There are and will be countless sleepless nights, meaningless tantrums and just the general whining. Nothing that the unconditional love that comes with it (and a glass of wine!) can't overcome.

Being a parent is the hardest and the happiest part of my life.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Just had my baby and I felt..


No, before your thoughts wander let me clear that nothing had gone wrong. I had an emergency c-section and had given birth to a beautiful, healthy baby boy. It was just me waking up post surgery, in an empty room and under the effect of pain-killers which aside from doing their job, were also making me all emotionally unstable.

My husband had just stepped out of the room for a few minutes when I woke up. First thought I had when I came to my senses was to try and feel the wriggle in my tummy. One caused by my baby doing somersaults when he inhabited it. There was nothing except my now squished 'paunch' felt like a big ball of jell-o. That's EXACTLY when I began to cry. I was sad. And alone. And angry. And of course, not in the right state of mind. I did not understand why I felt so. I ought to be happy and full of all those joyful emotions a new mom feels. Instead I felt like I lost a trophy and everything was unfair in the world. Sigh.

I didn't understand then why I felt differently. It wasn't until a few weeks later that an incident made me realize what caused it. I had not slept in weeks and the baby needed nursing round the clock and I was just too tired to take any more. My mother-in-law was with me helping around the house. She offered to take Jamie, my boy, with her for a few days so I can recover...that did it. That's exactly what made me feel sad, angry and what not post-delivery. No, not my mother-in-law! She is a true gem honestly. No, it was how possessive I was (and still am) of my baby boy. Thinking about my baby being with someone else..that made me realize..

I realized that when I woke up in the hospital room all alone , with an empty pouch of a tummy, I had to share. I had to share my precious baby boy with everyone else ! He wasn't just mine now and those little secret conversations, those little flips and hidden jokes we had over the past nine months were now open to all. It wasn't our secret anymore. I wasn't ready to share,not even with his dad. I wanted him all for myself. Selfish, yes. I blame it on the medication ! Also, it didn't help that I was the last one to hold my new born baby. All my family and friends had already introduced themselves to him and I was the last ! I felt so miserable and yet I couldn't express it. Mainly because I wasn't sure why I was feeling all that ,and also because it was nobody's fault. Emotional mess (that lasted a few sore days)..

It wasn't until a half hour later that I got to hold my boy in my arms. He was crying when they handed him to me and I whispered his name and he went quiet. Everyone went quiet.
He recognized me and I fell in love.

I must add here this was all me going through a strange mix of emotions. I couldn't have made it a single day without the unconditional care of my family and friends.. I was really a ticking bomb waiting to blow up any second but they stayed (must have really scaled on their patience tests :D )!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

"You are going to be a mom ! How do you feel?"

Ever since we announced my pregnancy at 12 weeks, I had to face this question a lot..sometimes from complete strangers too.

"You are going to be a do you"

Like a Pigosaurus.

Yup. That was the first response that would pop up in my mind. Of course I didn't say it out loud. For two reasons - First, my hormone-ridden moody-self couldn't be arsed into explaining what that meant and second, it wasn't the expected answer!! Thanks to the cover pictures on the various parenting and baby magazines, a to-be-mom is 'expected' to be that glowing image of a woman of perfect-shape, perfect hair, happily gazing at their perfect round belly while sitting in the balcony of her impeccable home, and did I mention she is always happily smiling at everyone! I was not any of it. Ha !

I couldn't actually decide how I felt. It wasn't as simple as a switch being flipped and turning 'motherly' mode on. Infact, when we went for our very first ultrasound, I didn't know what to expect. So when the technician told me that that loud drumbeat was the beautiful sound of my baby's heartbeat, I exclaimed loudly and said "Really ?? I feel like 'Ripley' from those alien movies!". I know I know, I feel really silly about it now, but gave us a good laugh then. It wasn't until my bump grew to a size of a football and I needed thrice as much space anywhere, be it the couch or getting into the car, that I started feeling different.

There were times though when time would stand still and I would be full of emotions I couldn't describe -
When we would wait in line for routine scans, fingers crossed, nervous as if my exam results were about to be announced (yup..geek to the core), and my darling husband would make a million nervous trips to the loo.. They may be Man-of-Steel but they get all Winnie-the-Pooh when it comes to their baby being born *eye-roll*  
When I would see a little fist covering tiny eyes  and a little mouth yawning...all this going on inside my not-so-little-now tummy, while the technician tried desperately to get a good view of the face.
When the baby did a somersault in my 'trampoline' belly and my tummy wobbled quite noticeably and freaked the hell out of my 20-something bachelor friend..who got so scared he wouldn't come within 20 ft of me. Poor chap.
There were times when I would be grumpy, whiny, tearful and just pure angry for no reason at all, making it very difficult for those around me and always getting my way. I would watch a comedy and cry my eyes out and eat a large double cheese pizza all by myself. Twice a week. I blamed it all on the hormones (and sometimes still do..with two 'kids'-an almost 20 months old and a 33 yr old's a necessity I say :D)

So how did it feel ? Going to be a mom..
Dunno..what would you say to a feeling where you feel incredibly happy, super cranky, tired, restless, sleepy, hungry, emotional, beautiful, fat, more hungry, sick, bloated, energetic, excited, scared, strong, vulnerable, overwhelmed, pee-machine, hot, cold-the-next-second, hungry again, won't move a muscle tired, motivated and lost, confused, confident, did I mention hungry...all at the same time. How do you describe "going-to-be-a-mother" feeling , which emotion do you pick? 

For me, it was feeling all of these all at once. I couldn't put a finger on which I felt more than the other..except that I should probably eat something while I pondered. So I would smile at the question, pick up my just delivered large pizza and put on another episode of Rules of Engagement while I ate my way through it...Like a Pigosaurus.