Parenthood, Uncategorized

Surviving travelling with kids #superbloggerchallenge #instacuppa

Travelling with kids can seem tedious. It might even be scary for some. I myself used to dread travelling with the kids. In a nutshell, we have hardly taken any trips after having kids. But following certain things has helped us a lot. Sharing them with you all in this post. I wont be covering points like hotel booking etc, as these are already well planned. Well you cant travel last minute with your kids can you?

AIR TRAVEL

Flight timings– Preferably fly during the child’s nap time. You can even try catching the early morning or late night flights. As the kids just want to sleep that time. And dont bother changing their sleepsuits, they are going to sleep anyways.

Clothing- Now this makes a big difference. Wear them in soft, light breathable clothes. You want them to be comfortable. Always keep a t-shirt or two or a jacket handy, if they feel cold. Layering up is easy. Clothing should be easy to don and doff as well. Saves a lot of time during loo visits (inflight and on the airport). Also avoid shoes with laces. Instead opt for shoes with velcro straps or even better slip ons. These things even make security checks easier.

Strollers & Carriers- Keep these handy. You can ditch your regular big stroller for the smaller travel friendly version. And yes, you are allowed to carry them on flight. If you are baby wearing parents, then carriers and slings are even better. In case of infants, i would recommend baby wearing. Keeping them close to you helps reduce their anxiety and stress free travel. And in case of toddlers, who want to runaway everywhere, you can try on the kid harness/ leash. I know some of you might not like the idea, but do whatever keeps your kids safe and makes travel easy.

Busy bag- Now even if it is an 2 hour flight, and in case your kid doesnt sleep, you will need to keep him busy. Kids hate being restricted to one place. For toddlers the magnetic doodle pads are a great option, or board books, and some papers and colours. For elder kids story books, colouring, rubik’s cube, 3D cube maze puzzle box, hand held plastic dexterity moveable squares puzzle, word search booklet, magnetic board games etc. And sometimes you might want to give them that ipad, or phone as a last resort. In that case do not forget to load them with their fav shows or rhymes before leaving home.

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Snacks- Mostly airlines serve snacks no matter how short the flight time. But you might want to keep spme of their fav snacks handy.

Pack light- Remember you have to carry all that luggage on and off the flight. So pack wisely. Disposable diapers can be bought anywhere, so do not carry a whole pack of it. And if you are used to a particular brand, then try some other easily available brand for a few days before travel.

Lastly, air travel with kids has its own perks. Like priority in security checks, passenger lines, helper staff etc. PLease dont hesitate to use them.

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CAR TRAVEL

Most of the pointers are same for both kinds of travel, so jotting down pointers only specific to car travels here.

Car seat- It took me 5 years to convince my family to get a car seat. Finally we got one after we had our second child. Trust me, even if the journey is for a few hours or an entire day, carrying your lil one is neither easy for you nor comfortable for the child. They stay at ease in a car seat, plus they can sleep in it comfortably as well. And then there’s the added advantage of safety, because you cannot wear a seat belt over your child when you carry them.

Car seat organizer- Being on the co- driver seat shuffling through the diaper bag on the rear seat can be uncomfortable. Better to have a organizer hanging at the back of the driver’s seat. Stuff it with all the things you might need like, wipes, tissues, some snacks, hand towels, handy games for the kids etc. Grabbing things from it is much easier.

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Busy bag- In addition to the above mentioned options, try out the printable activities for kids. These are very useful in keeping them busy.

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Sickness bags- These are useful for all. We faced motion sickness problems with our 18 month old son last year, so sickness bags is a must. Now, they might not puke into the bag all of a sudden, so make sure to teach them to do that a few days before travelling.

Water- Pack atleast one bottle per person. Opt for re- usable ones instead of the disposable ones.

Coolers- In case you want to carry food for the kids. I usually, just carry snacks. Whenever, we stop for a food break i opt for options like idli, dosa, sandwiches for the kids, as these are all freshky made. Ideal snacks to carry would be nuts, dried & dehydrated fruits, fruits like banana, apple, pear, oranges, bag of chips, homemade cookies and homemade cake.

Trash bags- You can expect a lot of trash when with kids. Either keep one big bag or a couple small ones and dispose off wherever you can. Helps keep the car clean.

Sun shield- You are definitely going to need these, especially with kids in the back seat. Invest in some good quality ones that would last long.

And MOST IMPORTANT, do not lose your calm. Kids are not used to travelling and shouting and yelling at them is going to make it even more difficult. So, stay calm, be patient and travel will be easy.

So, these are our travelling essentials for air travel and car travel that has made it easy for us. Lemme know if this post was helpful and if i missed out on something.

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This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com https://healthwealthbridge.com/,  Allaboutthewoman.com https://allaboutthewoman.com/  and powered by Instacuppa http://blog.instacuppastore.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge is not responsible for any infringement caused.”

Parenthood, Uncategorized, WOMEN ISSUES

GOPI & GEET- A DAY IN THEIR LIFE

Its 6:00 AM, my alarm beeps. I snooze it and catch up on 15 more minutes of sleep. My second alarm goes off at 6:15 AM, I want to sleep more but its time to wake up! I stretch a little and enter T’s room to wake her up. it takes me around 20 more minutes to get her on her feet. Meanwhile my 2 year old toddler ‘P’ wakes up Gopi. I start preparing breakfast and tiffin in the kitchen while Gopi gets ‘T’ bathed and ready for school. Once i am done i take charge of the kids and Gopi rushes to get ready for the office. I lay down the breakfast on the table and rush down with the kids to catch the school bus. Like every day, ‘P’ insists on playing on the swings and in the sand pit. It has become a daily ritual for us now. and as i turn back i see Gopi leaving for office.

Its 9:00 AM, we are back home and ‘P’ asks for his milk. After having his milk he insists on playing with the blocks and dolls. I settle him on his play mat and finally make myself a cup of hot tea. Thats when i realised that i forgot to have my morning glass of warm water (MENTAL NOTE: kal se pucca, will jot it down in the to-do-list). I scroll through my social media as I sip my tea and watch my son play. Its now time to go through the to-do-list for the day. I make a mental note of all that needs to be done and add a few things here and there in the list and stick it on the fridge. Well, did i mention my “DRINK WATER” post its that i have through out the house, because i often forget that as well, with all the housework and work assignments.

‘P’ starts getting cranky as he is hungry again. Its time for breakfast. I reheat the Poha and we enjoy it with some tea in our balcony. He loves to look at the birds, cars, buses and people passing by while having his breakfast in the high chair. Finally after all the messy eating and some more play I bathe ‘P’ and put him down for his nap. PHEW…I go through all my work mails and pending assignmets while he naps (Oh i am a architect by the way and i freelance). While completing my work i catch up with my mother and MIL, and then have a bath.

Its 1 PM and the bell rings. Its our househelp. As usual she gives me a disgusted look and enters the kitchen. As usual, i ignore her looks and instruct her what all needs to be chopped for lunch and the evening snack. I love cooking. It takes me another hour to prepare lunch and prep for the evening snack. Oh look ‘P’ is up from his nap and is hungry. I feed him lunch and some water and he wants a story. So, i read him a story. While doing so, the maid leaves the house, again giving me a disgusted look as always. After reading the story 5 times, i decide to settle him for some cartoon time while i could have my lunch peacefully. Post lunch I decide to lie down next to him while he enjoys his cartoon, but he decides that he wants to jump on me and wants me to play.

My 4:00 PM alarm goes off and its time to go downstairs as ‘T’ comes back from school. I help her change her clothes, we talk about her day at school and she insists on doing an activity kit on her own. I let her have some “me time” while i keep the toddler busy. Its 5:30 PM and time to make some tea. The kids want their snack too. Its vegetable tikki today. The bell rings and the kids rush towards the door. Its Gopi! Gopi is showered with kisses and hugs from the kids (makes me jealous sometimes). Soon enough the maid is here. I ask Gopi and the kids what they want for dinner and instruct the maid accordingly. Dinner is prepared while we sip our tea in the kitchen and discuss about our day. As the clock struck 6, the kids insist on going down to play. Both I and Gopi go down with them and stroll around the park a little while watching the them play.

Finally its time for my dance class. Gopi takes ‘P’ back home while ‘T’ continues playing with her friends. And after 1 hour of exhausting Bollyfit lessons and exercise, I rush back home with ‘T’. The kids keep away all their toys in place and we all have our dinner. We take charge of one kid each (usually its Gopi and P and Me and T) and manage to put them to bed by 9 PM. And alas, we enjoy some “us” time. Somewhere around 11 PM we doze off to sleep. Oh wait!!! I forgot to soak rajma for tomorrows lunch, and the school uniform needs ironing too, i need to soak the clothes as well, Oh and i need to check whether is enough milk in the fridge for the night as ‘P’ wakes up for his feed at 2 AM.

OK! 12 AM and i can finally go to bed. I promise tomorrow will be a better day and I promise myself to take out some “me” time from my schedule. and yes, i need to join the gym too.

GN diary and TC.

Geet’s journal (Father to 2 and husband to a working wife & mom. Well, why else do you think the maid gives me disgusted looks? And yeah i know the dance class part and chatting to mom and MIL part must have made you think that i am the wife. But I am here to break the stereotypes, I am here to make a change. I am proud of the fact that Geet works from home while Gopi goes to office. I am proud that our parents never discriminated between me and my sister and I am here to raise my children the way i was raised.

This post is the part of a campaign on #agenerationwithoutgenderbias
Join us as we raise our voice to speak against the invisible and visible boundaries that limit boys and girls.

#agenerationwithoutgenderbias #teachthemright #sharetheload #teachthemyoung #humansneedrespectandlove #manorwomanweareone

DIY/ Craft, Parenthood, Product reviews

SMARTIVITY LABS SUPER DUPER PROPULSION CAR- DIY KIT FOR KIDS AGED 6+

@smartivitylabs
SUPER DUPER PROPULSION CAR “SPEED THROUGH THE STREETS THROUGH YOUR AIR POWERED CAR.” @smartivitylabs Has been our favourite ever since we won our first kit in a giveaway. It was a rocket launcher. The second prize we won was a kaliedoscope. And now @smartivitylabs Thanks for sending us this awesome project.

THIS KIT HAS TOTAL 120 ELEMEMTS
.
What i really like about the kit is:
👍Super easy to understand instructions.
👍Perfectly rounded wooden parts.
👍Easy to assemble.
👍Re-usable. Can be dismantled and used over and over again. The parts are of great quality, so they wont break.

👍Engaging activities. It took us just about half an hour to build, but post that it kept my almost 7 year old busy for about an hour. She was so excited to see and learn the pneumatic power mechanism. She even asked me why cant our cars run the similar way, would reduce so much pollution (the recent topic in school).
👍Non-toxic and safe for children.

👍Helps in building the spatial awareness, cognitive & analytical skills and creativity.
👍Comes with a cue card explaining the action & reaction, elasticity and speed mechanisms.
👍MADE IN INDIA.

@smartivitylabs kit tops our list of FAVOURITE DIY kits.

Once again, thank you so much for making such amazing and engaging diy’s for the kids. Totally helps in reducing their screen time and fuels their imagination and creativity.

Click on the link 👇To get yours. And do checkout their other amazing diy kits.

Smartivity Super Duper Propulsion Car

#smartivitylabs #activitiesforkids #diykits #creativity #imagination #practicallearning #lessscreentime #buildingcognitiveskills #kidsofinstagram #keepingthekidsbusy #holidayfun #diyactivities #science #technology #engineering #maths #buildingconcepts #momblogger #bloggermom #punemomblogger

 

STAY TUNED FOR MORE..

DIY/ Craft, Parenthood, Product reviews

XPLORABOX- FUN & EDUCATIONAL KIT

Xplorabox is a educational activity subscription box for kids 2 to 8 years old.
This is a theme based box with fun, exciting and easy to do projects, diy’s and a story book.

✅The various activities aim at developing the motor, social and cognitive skills of the child.

👉We received a box for the age group 6 to 8 years old and the theme was SPACE ADVENTURE.

👉The activities in our box are-
1. Aliens face race (2 player game)
2. Space ball (2 player game)
3. Space path game (DIY activity)
4. Create your telescope (DIY activity)
5. Story book- A space adventure

✅The instructions for each game and activity is super easy to understand. So much so that the other day my almost 7 year old (4 months to go) did the space path activity on her own the other day.

✅Each activity helps in learning various things. For example, the space path activity taught her the names of the planets and that Saturn has rings and also about magnets.

🤗The product quality is good as well.

🤗These activities keep the child engaged for quite some time. So lesser screen time.

🤗We really loved the space ball game. Infact I was more interested in tossing the ball into the holes. And mind you its not easy.

🤗The alien face game is another favourite. It helps develop observation skills, hand eye coordination, motor and cognitive skills. All you need is good observation skills and quick eyes to win the game.

🤗The telescope did need a little help from our side, but mostly she did it on her own.

Overall I loved the box.

Ever since I have had my younger one, I haven’t been able to prepare DIY’s for my elder one. And whenever I do, giving her the needed time becomes difficult sometimes. This box is a savior in these situations. No prepping plus she can do it on her own.
I have found this to be a great way to keep her busy.
Good work xplorabox !!

To get yours click on this 👇 link

https://www.xplorabox.com/

#xplorabox #learnthroughplay

baby care, Parenthood, Product reviews

Mamaearth bamboo based wipes

🎈India’s first organic bamboo based cloth wipes, unlike the other polyester ones. certified by the Made Safe Organization.

🎈 Thicker, stronger and better absorbing.

🎈It has the goodness of almond oil, shea butter, aloe vera and lavender oil which we all know is so good and soothing for the skin.

🎈Hypoallergenic, pH balanced and clinically tested.

🎈Easy dispensing method. Open the lid, remove wipes as required and then close the lid. This lid is a big plus point for me, as my 20 month old can easily remove and throw the hygienic seal. He has done that for all the other wipes we have had. So now firstly he cant open the seal himself and still if he does, the lid will prevent the moisture loss.

🎈Be it dirty hands and feet, chocolate covered mouth or a soiled bum, Wipes are an essential for every mother. Infact we are best friends. These wipes are super soft on the lil ones skin, doesnt cause any rashes and provide moisturization as well.

🎈And they smell great.

🎈 Priced at 249 Rs. for a pack of 72 wipes.

Thank you @mamaearth.in for these amazingly good wipes.

baby care, Parenthood, Product reviews

Nap nap mat- putting your baby to sleep made easy.

There is one thing that every mother dreams about. “Someone putting her baby to sleep while she catches up on her sleep as well”. It takes us at least half an hour to feed the baby and then another half an hour to put then to sleep and by the time We think of relaxing a bit, its wake up time for the little one. Motherhood is beautiful, but at the same time its tiring and exhausting. March 2018 I had my younger one and I don’t remember sleeping for 6 hours straight since then. How we wish if we could put the little ones to sleep in a jiffy.

This is when THE NAP NAP MAT comes to our rescue.
It can be used for newborns to kids 2 years old.

A super soft outer cover made up of Egyptian cotton for your baby to nap.

It is extremely light, can be folded easily and is travel friendly as well. It comes in a cloth bag making storage easy.

You can place it on the bed, in the crib, carry your baby in it while breast feeding, can use it for air travel as well, can also be placed in a bassinet, stroller, pram, car seat and sling.

It has 6 modes of vibration to soothe your little one. 1 to 4 progressive frequency modes and 2 heartbeat modes. The modes and vibration vary according to the age of the baby. And it has a special mode (mode 4) for expecting moms as well. Especially for moms in their 3rd trimester to relieve their back and leg pain.
The vibrations work for 15 hours straight on a single charge. It has a auto cut off mode as well, wherein the vibrations wont work when charging. Also, the mat stops vibrating after 20 minutes of continuous use. So no chance of any harm to the baby.

It maintains the good posture of the baby, is durable, PUC free, radiation free and cordless.
And if that was not all, it is waterproof as well. So cleaning it is super easy. You just need a moist cloth/ wet wipes.

Wait!!! That’s not all. USE MY SPECIAL PROMO CODE “NAPGAYATRI10” to avail a 10% discount on your purchase.

How I wish I had this during both my pregnancies . Dealing with the back pain and sleepless nights during kids sickness would have been so much better.
So, what are you waiting for, go get your very own nap nap mat now and catch up on some much needed rest and me time.

BECAUSE SLEEP IS IMPORTANT.

Parenthood

The 3 magical words..

As parents, it is our responsibility to teach them about good manners, so as to make them respectful individuals. Today’s post is about the three 3 magic words that we need to teach our kids so as to raise helpful and grateful individuals.

We as parents do everything in our power to fulfill our child’s needs & wants, no matter big or small. Our parents did the same for us. But wouldnt it be nice to express a polite and grateful attitude in return. They do everything to make our life happy, content & comfortable. However, sometimes uternknowingly, kids fail to acknowledge their efforts. Especially kids this generation. They get everything even before asking for it. We often overlook their mistakes saying its Ok, he/ she is a child. But somewhere all of this is leading them to ignore/ not know the importance of these magic words. The best any person can show gratitude towards someone’s efforts is by using these 3 words- SORRY, PLEASE AND THANK YOU.

Now, why really is it necessary to learn these mannerisms.

  • For better interaction/ communication with peers and everyone else. So better social inclusion.
  • They change the perception people have about us/ positive reaction.
  • Increases level of socializatio and hence helps in better adapting to environment and surroundings.

Teaching these values requires patience, efforts and preseverance. You need to repeat them again & again for it to become a habit. It is important that we teach them that all relationships work by the give & take policy. And that this is the best way to give in return. To begin with we need to teach them the meaning of these words. Why and where are they to be used.


THANK YOU– Shows gratitude towards generosity. It is a hallmark of civility. It will teach them to be grateful and will help them value other’s efforts.
PLEASE– teaches respect. We have to tell them that they need to use PLEASE whenever they need a favor. That they can get something only if asked respectfully. Let them understand that others have the right to share or not. It expresses both respect & consideration, changing a command into a request.
SORRY– To teach them to recognize their mistakes and work towards correcting them. It is an act of courtsey and maturity. It is one of the simplest way to end volatile fights. One should take responsibility for their actions. Also, it is one of the simpleast way to express sympathy & regret.

Now comes the how to..?

  1. Lead by example– this is the best way to teach. We all know children learn more by observing. Use them in your daily conversations with your children, friends & family.
  2. Learn with fun– device a fun way to teach them the relationship between good manners and positive outcomes. Teach them through games, stories, songs or role play.
  3. Make them feel– I kow some of you might not agree with this. But kids learn a lot of things through practical demonstrations. So once in a while let them feel how not using these words develops hurt and negativity.

There is a chapter in my daughter’s english textbook called “The Magic Tree’ which talks about a boy and a tree and these words. At the end of the lesson there is this beautiful quote, which actually inspired me to write this post. It goes-

It is often said that a man’s true character/ worth is measured by how he makes use of these three words.”

Parenthood

The better half..

These days we see a lot many men helping their wives at home or with housework. They are being more involved in the household work. It is not like the olden days, where the only role of a man played was of bread winner. Why do you think this scenario is changing? Or why didnt this scenario exist then?

I feel the important thing is to let the men help with the household chores. Do not criticize their efforts. That would discourage them easily to not try at all.  A lot many men fall short of being involved  because they dont know how. Sometimes we women underestimate the capabilities our husband’s possess. It is important to trust them. Maybe they wont do it up to our mark/ expectation, but we should let them try and appreciate them for it. That’s when they will take the initiative to be more involved. In today’s generation fathers play an important role in raising responsible adults. He cares, teaches, provides, forgives and protects. There is no doubt that the kids need their moms more but they equally need their dad.

My mother often tells me that i am ucky to have a husband who helps out with the house work and the kids. Yes, he is an amazing father and husband. He is equally involved in the house and our kid’s lives. But the important part is, he wants to be! In today’s generation if it is important for both the husband and wife to be working, then so is both of their involvement in parenting.

My husband being in the defense services, we are always on the move. It is not possible for us to be with our parents all the time and even for them to be around always. In this scenario it is really important for both of us to share all the responsibilities. It is important to work as a team. Being in a indian setup there are some chores that i wont be talking about like doing the dishes, sweeping, mopping, dusting and maybe laundry as here we mostly have maids to do these chores. But following are the chores that i feel the husbands can be helpful with.

  • The husband can sometimes share the cooking duties with you. Maybe you can decide the days each of you would be cooking.
  • You both can take turns with the kids homework and schoolwork. Even taking them out for various hobby classes.
  • Take turns in looking after the kids when either of you is at the gym. Parenthood doesn’t leave us with much time on our hands, and then the fitness takes a backseat. But this is how you both can work it out. And thats what we have been doing for all these months.
  • If you are a SAHM, then ofcourse you will be responsible for the parenting duties during the day. So, let your husband take over these duties after his work hours or on weekends. This will allow you to have some “me time”, which is very important for your sanity.
  • They can take turns waking up with the kids, playing with them, in the bedtime routines or getting them ready for school.
  • He can come along with you to run errands like grocery shopping or mall visits. Or even better if he dives in to do it on his own.

Every household is different and so are the chores. It is not necessary that what Husband A does, should be done by Husband B as well. Maybe Husband B is better at other chores. The basic idea is to trust them and let them help around. Let them help with what they are good at. It might not be perfect but the efforts and willingness count.

These days our lives are so busy.. There are so many things on our mind. We strive to do what is best for us and our family. So, if you need help from your better half, ask him for it. Tell him that is expected to do that. Remember it is a teamwork and not a single player game. So work it out together. In the long run, it is beneficial for all including your kids.

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, you have to be present in their today”- source google.

Parenthood

Kids helping with household chores

Every household has this discussion of whether and when to involve the kids with the household chores. A coin has both sides. There are people who feel it is best to start and teach them young and there are people who believe in letting them enjoy their childhood till it lasts.

I, happen to be one of those who believe that it is best to teach them young. It’s never too early to get your child involved in the household chores. It is best to lay the foundation for skills useful later in life. It is necessary for them to learn that it is part of daily life and that everyone needs to contribute in running a household. After all, these life skills are necessary when they have their own house, job and start their own family. It might be something very small, but it will teach them to cooperate with others and that helping around the house is important. Kids always copy what mommy and daddy do. So what better way to teach them by example and by starting young. It helps to build their confidence. And yes, don’t forget to praise them plenty, for all their efforts.

Here I have mentioned a few chores that kids of respective ages can help with. There is no hard and fast rule, chores can be different according to every household. This is just a general idea I have in mind.

  • Young kids (around 5 years old) can help with folding small clothes, keeping things (especially their toys) in place, setting up the table at meal times, they can help in making the bed like placing the pillows and sheets, wiping surfaces, serving their own food, handing out clothes while hanging the laundry and throwing the trash. It is best to start with things that they can relate to. Don’t look for perfection. Their effort and willingness to help is what matters.
  • A little older kids (7 to 9 years) can help with dressing themselves up, packing their lunch box and water bottle, setting up their school bag, keeping away their school bag and shoes, sorting everyone’s clothes in different piles, polishing their own school shoes, cleaning up the table after mealtimes, watering the plants and feeding the pet.
  • Once the kids enter their teens, they would like more responsible work. For them it’s more of being part of the real life than just play. Like grocery shopping, cook simple meals, walk the dog, or taking care of the pet, help their younger siblings with schoolwork, baby sit the younger ones when parents are out, mow the lawn they can even help with the laundry, sweeping /mopping/ vacuuming, and wash the utensils. They can even earn some pocket money this way. In fact, in the western countries, teenagers even take up part time or weekend or vacation jobs to earn that extra pocket money or maybe contribute to household finances. This will help improving their confidence, self-esteem, problem solving skills and self-reliance.

 

Remember:

  • Let them help as soon as you think they are ready.
  • Initially make it fun.
  • Remember to do it as a team.
  • Encourage and praise them for however small their effort.
  • Reward them with whatever you feel is ok.
  • Never use it as a punishment.
  • And most important. All chores have to be gender neutral. Learning to cook and do the laundry is equally important for boys as is learning to wash their car for girls.