Monday, April 30, 2007
Here's the scoop...
As every year, this year too, me and my friends want to celebrate 'Mother's day' by taking a day (actually couple of hours) away from house chores/kids/husbands/or whatever. On Saturday, I was calling my friends one by one to check with timings and finalize the venue.
Well, a very dear friend of mine said that she won't be able to come with us. We always try to accomodate everybody so, I asked her if she wants a different day/time. But, she said that her in-laws are visiting them (they should to be here today) and her husband said that she should not go to such activities till they are here. To this I said that she can bring along her MIL too, but her husband said that he doesn't want his parents to think that she is getting westernized (partying without the family).
What? (my emotions exactly)
I know when my ILs are here, there are a few changes we do around the house. Like no non-veg, no poker nights or beers for my husband, no shorts/tank tops/swimsuits for me, no getting up late on weekends. And I am perfectly okay with it. Its not a big deal for me. But, all this is a way of showing my respect for them.
Is my friend insulting her family if she goes out with her friends for 2 hrs. I mean, come on she takes care of 2 kids (ages 7 and 41/2) every single day. And its not like we are going to a disco club or a strip club, just a nice quiet lunch. Is it too much to ask? I know I am a feminist(well not 100%) and now and then I have to be reminded that I 'm a wife/mother first and then a woman. And its okay to put your family first. But, I am really sad since I talked to my friend.
Am I being paranoid? My husband thinks I am taking it way too seriously. According to him its a typical Indian husband behaviour. I still don't get it.
Okay, let it come. Don't be shy to tell me that I am wrong in thinking that my friend deserves a couple of hours of 'me-time'. Maybe I do need to calm my 'feminist' side a little bit.
(Thanks for reading :) )
Saturday, April 28, 2007
I'm a mother of a 9 month old girl, M. My journey through pregnancy till now has been eventful, part of which I have chronicled in my blog. I have been reading all the posts here and I'm very glad that Sandeepa took the initiative to come up with a blog full of ideas & resources to help and support moms. The uncertainty and apprehension that parents go through at every stage in a child's development is made less so with sharing of experiences, thoughts and ideas. Thank you all for your contributions! I hope to be a constructive contributor soon.
See you all around, Desi Momz!
Suggestion: Can posts be categorized by age groups as well?
Friday, April 27, 2007
May 13th is THE day for celebrating motherhood which includes all of us moms and our mothers too.So let's begin the month of May, devoting 2-3 days of every week to mommies discussing mom related articles.Of course in India we don't have a particular day to celebrate our moms.Wonder why Mother's day is not catching up over there, when we choose to "celebrate" Valentine's day etc!!Hmm...! ;p
A DMC reminder:
As Sandeepa has discussed before here (please read the article and the comments to get an idea of what's expected) and this too with all of you, from Thursday to Saturday you could share greetings,experiences and funny stories about you as a mom and your mom too.(Let MOMS be the focus for a change and keep the kids issues for the rest of the week this month!) Other days of week are open for any other subjects you would like to share.Now that's said and done....
Do you ever wonder how did the Mother's day come to be? Here is what I read about the real background of what it's all about in a nutshell.
The Story of Mother's Day:
The earliest Mother's Day celebrations can be traced back to ancient Greece when they worshiped mother of Gods.
During the 1600's, England celebrated a day called "Mothering Sunday",commonly known as "Mothers' Day" in the United Kingdom, has no direct connection to the American practice. It falls on the fourth Sunday of Lent (exactly three weeks before Easter Sunday). It is believed to have originated from the 16th Century Christian practice of visiting one's mother church annually, which meant that most mothers would be reunited with their children on this day.They would honor their mothers by baking special cake called "Mothering cake".
Mother's Day in the United States was first proclaimed around 1870 in Boston by Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation, and Howe called for it to be observed each year nationally in 1872.
In 1907, Mother's Day was first celebrated in a small, private way by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, to commemorate the anniversary of her mother's death two years earlier on May 9, 1905. Jarvis's mother, named Ann Jarvis, had been active in Mother's Day campaigns for peace and worker's safety and health since the end of American Civil War. The younger Jarvis launched a quest to get wider recognition of Mother's Day.
The celebration organized by Jarvis on May 10, 1908 involved 407 children with their mothers at the Andrew's Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton (this church is now the International Mother's Day Shrine).Grafton is the place recognized as the birthplace of Mother's Day.
The subsequent campaign to recognize Mother's Day was financed by clothing merchant John Wanamaker. As the custom of Mother's Day spread, the emphasis shifted from the pacifism and reform movements to a general appreciation of mothers. The first official recognition of the holiday was by West Virginia in 1910. A proclamation designating the second Sunday in May as Mother's Day was signed by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson on May 14, 1914.
While many countries of the world celebrate their own Mother's Day at different times throughout the year, there are some countries such as Denmark, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Australia, and Belgium which also celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday of May." (Info from WIKIPEDIA)
Wasn't that interesting?! Now that you know the history of Mother's day,why not tell us about your experiences as moms and celebrate your moms with your posts. DMC will love to hear from you from Thursday to Saturday!
HAPPY (month long!) MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL OF YOU from me and DMC,have fun this weekend!:)
Before I say bye to you,let me say "Happy Mother's day" to my own mummy in B'lore!!
My grandfather who is 88 years old lives in Mumbai. He and a few other friends of his (in the 70+ age group go for walks each evening. We live in a small gated community with many children of all ages. A few days ago as he was walking with his friends, a group of 8-9 year olds were cycling full speed and one of them hit my grandfather with his cycle. I mean the kid was cycling so fast, he cycled straight into him from the back!! I am shocked and amazed. I child of 8-9, I expect should be responsible enough to know that he/she needs to slow down when there are others on the road. My grandfather was helped home by his other friends but the person involved just said "Sorry Uncle, didn’t you hear the cycle bell?" and ran off!!!! My grandfather was hit so badly his shirt was torn and he had to be helped home.
What do parents teach their children in the name of basic courtesy, manners and consideration for others? I mean a child of 9 years surely has enough control over a bicycle that they can stop and avoid hitting others. It's not that the roads are very steep or anything that he lost control of the cycle or it's speed. On a similar note, on my last trip to India, I noticed so many times little teeny boppers shouting at or ordering about older people be it their driver, maali or maids. It shocks me and I wonder have their parents not taught them even basics of respecting elders no matter how rich or poor they may be? Am I right in blaming the parents for this behavior? What can I do to make sure that a few years down the line, it is not my child doing the same? I'd love to hear what all you other Moms think about this.
My kids have neither :(
I am maharashtrian and my husband is gujarati. After marriage when I went to 'sasuraal' everybody talked to me in gujarati (even my husband). My sweet B-I-L was my translator. Ours was a "love marriage" so my first goal was to impress my in-laws. I made up my mind to learn gujarati. (mostly it was bcos I wanted to know what everybody was talking about me. It was easy for them they could talk right in front of me.) A few times (actually a lot) I sensed that my MIL said something very nasty but, I still don't know what.
Anyways, like a 'pativrata' I started learning the new language and so I was able to understan if they talked slowly. I was so proud of myself and so was everybody else.
Even after coming to US I continued to speak gujarati and now I am very fluent too. But, in all this marathi got lost somewhere. Though I still speak with my father/brothers/sister in marathi, I have started (already) losing the touch.
My son spoke gujarati till he started going to school. Now he speaks only if wants to 'butter' me. He is 9yrs old now. He understands Hindi a little bit and some of gujarati but no marathi - sob sob...
Now my daughter who is 4 yrs younger than him didn't speak any Indian language at all. Her first words were 'no'.
I speak with them in gujarati and always get the answer in english. My son used to go for Hindi classes at our local hindu temple. But, after the basic alphabets he quit.
It really makes me very sad that I didn't pay enough attention. I should have been consistent and should have made them speak our language. My dad and everybody from my side of the family keep telling me to talk to the kids in marathi. Its like starting all over again.
I wanted you ask you guys how do you deal with language issues.
If you ask my kids what is your mother tongue, they would say, "mm....pink!"
Its really interesting to read all the posts..this site is just wonderful.
Wanted to post something on "what to teach my 2.5 yr old" ? By this I mean, is it the right time to introduce alphabets? or numbers? or rhymes are enough for this age? etc etc.
By the way, all the tips from the "desimomz " are great..
Education system in Holland is pretty different. They aim to bring up the child in a very normal balanced pace. They also allow the child to be the judge of their actions from a very young age.
I will give you an example. Couple of weeks ago I went to register my son in a Dutch school. ( "A" will be going to school from sept 2008). While I was there, a senior teacher was showing me around the school and said that "this school is based on a system of education that allows students (4 yr olds) to "choose" whether he/she wants to do homework or not!"
Its a pity that I dont have a picture of my facial expression on hearing this!!!
For me this is absurd...SURELY my Indian upbringing makes me think like this. Times have changed..I agree, but still its very difficult to imagine a 4-yr old WANTING to do homework!
On the other hand, last time I visited India, found my friends daughter (5 yr old) carrying a school bag which weighed 2 kilos atleast, with books, note books, cursive writing workbooks etc etc..Here in Holland my 8 yr old niece goes to school still without books. Inspite of that, she reads/write fluent Dutch and quite good english.
I personally believe that no education system can be BAD..all have their good points and bad. The confusion arises when a person brought up in a certain system faces the other.
On one hand, "A" being treated like a kid, not being burdened with kilos of books makes me very happy. On the other hand, "A" not being able to cursive write at the age of 5 might disappoint me...
On a lighter note: Good that we cant see the future...because "A" with his DANGLA(dutch+ bangla) language is influencing me so much that I am afraid I might need to go back to school again.......
If only I could put the two education systems (dutch and indian) in a jar, shake it and use the final product .....
Thursday, April 26, 2007
I want to know how u plan Ur 2yr old daily activities and learning.Any suggestions that u can give me.As for me i make her do the ABC's in starfall.com in which they spell and teach.First i used to do her this but within 2 days she learned it.She is doing this from past 2-3 months.Now i just sit beside her and she does everything except some which r difficult for her.I observed she is thinking and using common sense and brain.I don't want to believe this but i am observing this.Ya.......she really figured out what to do and how to do.Yuppy............i gave her a kiss.I was awestruck by this performance.But i make sure she is not over obssesive regarding this daily i allow her to do for 1/2 hr.I don't like watching tv's also alot,but sometimes they don't listen.I make her draw something she is intrested or hear the Rhymes,dance or whatever she want.She loves playing in our balcony,if its sunny i allow her to go out.Before sleeping i read her a story.I have 2-3 books i repeat them,now-a-days i stopped but i like reading to her.once we move i will again start the routine.She even brings a book of her choice to me.Even in the morning she likes to hear about pooh and pigglet.I appreciate any suggestions so i can improve.Hear i miss my parents if they r around they used to tell lot of stories.My dad had a daily routine with her when we were in india.She used to llaugh laugh and sleep.Even i do the same but anyhow i too miss them.
Firs let me Congatulate all of us Mommies on our Desi Momz Club being listed in India Blogs 1.0. Lovely Tharini is there too and of course Saffron Tree. I had asked Amit Agrawal (the You Know Who of Blogging) to include our Blog and he sent me a mail saying he found the blog "Pretty interesting" and went ahead and added it.
Now to the rules of the game, errrrr, Club....
I think I should re-iterate some rules about the Club which either you missed or we did not mention explicitly
I realize that as Mommies, everyone is very busy and if you have a blog of your own it becomes more so. This is the reason I had mentioned that you can share posts from your own blog. What I had meant is that you can repeat/reproduce your posts from your blog at DMC, if and a big IF it is Mom or Kid centric. No way was it our intention to make DMC a place where you can just link posts to your own blog. There are places for that I am sure, but not the Desi Momz Club.
We just do not want DMC to evolve as an index page do we? No, we want it to be a community where everyone shares their views, ideas, story and then we have a strong arguments through the commenting box :D. So we can have general gup-shup, air our views, vent, rant and also focus on a particular topic …blah, blah, blah.
If in your posts you just put a link to your own Blog Posts, I don’t think it’s fair to The Club. It is no longer a single stop then, readers then have to blog hop to your blog to read the post.
- If you want to share a post from your own blog (a individual blog or a a group blog) or a blog which lets you reproduce the post, please repeat the post in its entirety at Desi Momz Club. You can add a link to your own original post saying its being shared after you have repeated the post at DMC.
- If you want to share interesting posts or stories from sources you are not responsible for, say newspapers, blogs you don't own etc. you can link them with appropriate excerpts and with proper permission if needed. We don't want a copyright violation right here. It would be good however to have your own view on the story/post you are sharing
- If you come across cool products or services for Moms or Kids you want to share please do that with an accompanying review and appropriate links. This might be review of daycares, school, kid products, kid food, products or service that makes life easy for Mom anything.
- If you want to share a post on Mom & Kid issues which you have on some blog/site which does not let you reproduce it any place else, let us know about your acclaimed post and we can put it on a sidebar bulletin board
We do really hope that you understand this and keep contributing to the club in true spirit.
Update: Lovely Tharini is maintaining a Craft Corner at her blog. Please share your craft ideas with her. If you are planning to make something for Mother's Day along with the little ones share at the Club and with Tharini.
The DT is having a event Kids Safety in The Kitchen. Check it out
A BIG CONGRATULATIONS to Maheshwari who is soon going to be a second time Mom.
Club Theme: Rememeber Theme for May is Mothers Day, so gear up with your views for the Month of May . Look out for Asha's post on this and also check this post.
Club Feature Question: Do you think a Bulletin Board on the sidebar would be a good idea where you can link exciting stuff from your own Blogs or other Blogs every Month ? Let me know and we can work towards it
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
All this food talk has made me also ask a doubt. What do u give ur toddlers for breakfast . Right now my 3 yr old daughter still eats gerber oatmeal cereal mixed with milk. She likes it & i didn't want to change it bcos its convinient & healthy .
Its not like she is not exposed to indian type breakfast, but i give that in the evening around 4 pm or for lunch/dinner. Now cereal has become like a comfort food to her as she asks for it as soon as she gets up . She doesn't like drinking milk , so this is hassle free for me as it has milk & also oats. Its heavy so i can rest assured even if she doesnt eat snack at school ( she comes home for lunch).
But now i feel that she needs to eat some grownup cereal & not baby food. i went to the store yesterday to buy quaker oats , but found gerber had more nutrition than quaker.
right now she goes to school just once a week . it will become twice a week from september.
so can anyone suggest some quick/heavy breakfast or atleast some good cereal which kids love. Or should i continue this gerber oatmeal? I dont want to give her those fruit loops, etc as they seem to have too much sugar.
P.S. we are vegetarians , but eat egg.
thanx in advance.
Thanks to Praba I found the above two products for my daughter.
Flavored Single Serve Milk from Horizon Organic. Comes in Chocolate, Strawberry, Plain, Vanilla. All of them were Reduced Fat though. Is reduced fat ok for kids less than 5 year if they are at correct weight ?
Pro: Good to carry to school or on the go, each has its own straw. Is organic.
Cons: I found only a 8oz carton, which my daughter cannot finish at one go
Flavored Yogurt Tubes from Horizon Organic: Comes in Strawberry, Strawberry & Orange cream, Blueberry in a box of about 8 tubes
Pro: Good to carry to school or on the go, is organic
Praba said they get it at their Costco. Praba which state are you in ? I go to BJ's but did not get it there. Found it at Stop & Shop where it was a bit more expensive.
Verdict: From all the comments I learned so much that I though I should update this post
I checked the Sugar in the Flavored Milk and it was indeed high. So I thought I will go back to my old StonyField Farm Plain + Ovaltin routine and have these cartons for special treats. If anyway I am pouring it out to send to school then the previous one works fine.
The frozen Yougurt is a nice idea though and kept in the freezer they taste better and is like a ice cream treat. Getting your child hooked on plain yogurt is better as some Moms say.
2% milk is ok for 2+ kids
Do you have any products for Kids or Moms you would like to share ? If you are residing outside USA please share your local products too. This gives us Moms a good idea about what to buy or not buy.
I'm a mom who packs lunch. What's important to a mom? Nutrition and speed: I want to feed my family nutritious food, but spending a lot of time on every meal isn't feasible. I strive to achieve balance between the two -- losing this battle would either have me waking up hours before everyone else to cook lunch, or reaching for a Lunchable processed lunch (the face of the enemy, pictured above).
Spending an hour preparing a weekday lunch is only going to happen in my house if it's a special occasion like a birthday or holiday -- I spend my morning getting myself and a preschooler ready to go out. Although ornate lunches shaped like cartoon characters and whimsical shapes are artistic and intriguing, I know my limits. I would burn out if I tried to do that every day. For me it's got to be sustainable over the long run, which is why I make speed bentos.
Monday, April 23, 2007
The Parents left over the weekend after a long stay, leaving both me and S miserable. Don't know about D though. It's amazing how guys never crib about their in-laws and yet lead a peaceful life, thus leaving no opportunity for serials like "Sasur bhi Kabhi Damad Tha"
More than me missing my parents I was worried about S who was extremely attached to them, more with her Dadai, my Dad. So whole of last week I kept explaining to her that Dadai & Didun are going back to Kolkata, because they have a house there which is also missing them. She took it nicely after my Mom promised to come back after taking care of the house. At the airport I told little S it's ok to be sad, even I am sad and she said she was "6" sad. Rating sadness on a scale at age 3 is pretty amazing I thought when I cannot even rate my pain in 1 – 10!!!
We gave her constant company over the weekend but grand parents are on another level and we can never achieve that. She used to almost bully my Dad and even tried teaching him Ballet !!! I really feel sad for little S. She is the kind of child who loves talking nineteen to a dozen but needs a patient listener who will also respond and ask the right questions. My mind strays many times during her chatter, especially in the car when I want to sit quite and think while she wants me to actively participate in some inane conversation. With my dad & Ma she used to spin stories, imaginary ones and have great time play acting.
Since S knows that her Dadai & Didun are not going to come back soon, the first thing she did after coming back from airport is call up her Thammi (my Ma-in-law) and she asks her when we should get tickets for her to come here. Thammi agreed to come soon but poor thing has had a knee replacement surgery and is in the healing stage. So we have to wait for her to recuperate.
This is when I feel "What am I doing so far away from my own country". The distance is so much that it’s not possible to hop on the next flight for a quick visit.
On the other hand I am amazed by the tenacity that grandparents seem to garner. The way my Ma would keep little S busy by doing little projects with her, teaching her Bengali Rhymes and Bengali Letters is amazing. I don't think I will ever make a good grandma. I can never do for my grandchild what S's grandparents (both sets) do for her. When I think of retirement I hardly envision myself sitting and playing with a 2 year old in my daughter's home, no I think of lazing in some private island with some good books in tow!!!
But both my parents and D's parents love spending time with S. They agree though that being close would have helped, then they wouldn't have to stay here for a long stretch and abandon all other aspects of life they have in India. But even then they are ready to pack their bags and come to spend time with her
Grandparents also have a very positive influence in the kids life I feel. I think they feel more secure and safe and learn a lot about our culture from them, especially the immigrant kids. When S's school was teaching family, she used to come and tell me about her friends’ Grandma and Grandpa. This time around she was very proud to have them visit her school too.
On a funny note, yesterday during afternoon tea time I was telling D, that tea time was more fun when my Ma was here because it was she who would make it when I would get back from work and we would sit around the table and chat over tea. Hearing this little S went away and came back with one of her cute play tea cups and offered me some wonderfully brewed make believe tea !!!
I am Shamala from USA, a mother of two beautiful kids. My son is 9yrs old and my daughter is 4 yrs old. Last month I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary with my wonderful husband 'sonu'.
When I started my own blog 'Saheli' (a very blank blog...) I was completely out. I couldn't write anything, I couldn't think about any topics or what to write. When I came across Sandeepa's idea about starting a momz club, I was like yeah! now we are talking. Its like my whole life is my family. My kids and my sonu.
I work parttime as a software programmer and ofcourse a fulltime mom :)
I 'm at work right now and I want to write so much. I have like tons and tons of experiences, joys , sorrows some advice too. But, most of all I am here to make new friends and get a little advice to deal with my pre-teen son and a drama-queen daughter.
till next time...
Considering that I was one of the first to sign up and join this club, Its a bit of an embarrasment to be so late in introducing myself. Sorry Sandeepa...but then, better late than never...
I'm Sunita and I live in Kesgrave, a small town in the south east of England, with hubby Dinesh and two adorable kids - Rengoni (5.8 yrs) and Agastya (4.8 yrs). For the last three years, I've been a stay at home mother, trying to give them a kick start in life. My hands have been more than full with the kids, neck to neck.
When I look back at their early years, I still feel a bit chaffed!! Those were really tough times. When I was five months pregnant with my first child, we moved from our hometown (Guwahati in Assam) to Kolkata-a new place, new people, new language, and most of all expecting a new born. I had resigned my job as a lecturer, because I did not feel we would have enough of family life with both of us in different places. But, along the way we made some really good friends, I learnt the language and it was fine. I had a very easy pregnancy with Rengoni. Apart from the extra weight that I had to tag along and the fact that the dresses no longer fit, I didn't feel any different. As I didn't believe in superstitious customs, didn't overfeed myself, I was relatively healthy. Just before the delivery, we brought my ma over...both my father and mother in law were no more. Finally, when Rengoni was born, she came as a beacon of light...that's why she was so called...'Rengoni' means 'a ray of light' in Assamese. We all loved her...she was a happy and bouncy child. Ma decided that she would stay for a few more months.
Rengoni was born in August, and by November, I was expecting another child...at that time we were in a dilemma...I still remember the worried look on my mother's face. I can still hear my elder sister calling up every now and then gently hinting at the repercussions that two deliveries so close to one another might have on my health ( the first was a cesarean section)
Dinesh and I consulted the doctor...a very nice man...Dr. R.S. Roy, with whom we are in touch even now. He was introduced to us by a surgeon, Dr. Mukherjee, who was a family friend of ours and a very good friend of Dr. Roy. I can still clearly remember what he said...he did not keep us under any false notions and said that if we decided to go on with the pregnancy, I will have the joy of seeing the two kids growing up together...on the negative side, my womb might burst. Actually I did not need the c. section for my first pregnancy. We were new to the place and unknowingly had fallen into the hands of a quack... But this time I felt safe with this gentle, soft-spoken doctor. I think his first prospect sounded more tempting and I made up my mind to go along. Dinesh was a bit apprehensive but in the end he gave in.
The first four months went by in a mix of the sweet and the sour...I was not able to be as active as I was with the first...As there was no one else I could call for help... Ma decided to give a hand and stay on till I delivered.
From the fifth month, the real trouble started. I had bouts of breathlessness and over the next four months, I had to be hospitalised for three times. At home, an oxygen cylinder had to be kept ready at all times. It was a chore to walk a little distance. And for me, to be so dependent was the worst thing. We literally had to count the days. At such times I couldn't believe that some day I would be writing about all that. Throughout these horrific times, Dinesh had always been there...a tower of strength...if he felt the nerves, he surely didn't show it. In fact once during my hospitalisation before the delivery, he went for a walk and his eyes fell on a small statue of the laughing buddha. He told me later that he felt a renewed strength after buying it ...and now, even when we are so far from that place, that statue of the laughing buddha is still with us as a reminder and also as a lucky charm. Ma was a great help...although we had domestic help, it was she who saw to it that everything in the household was running smoothly.Throughout Dr Roy was always there, at any time of the day or night. I once had an attack and Dinesh was at a meetin g where he had to turn off his cellphone...It was Dr. Roy along with Dr. Mukherjee, who took me to the nursing home. How can I ever forget them...
Agastya was also born in August, a week before Rengoni's first birthday, through anothetr c. section. When he was four months old, we again had to move to a new place...Gurgaon and after two months, Dinesh came over to the UK for six months. We decided that I would stay on with the kids. This time the hardship was of a different kind-raising two kids a year apart...the food was different...the patterns were different...although I tried my best to make them sleep at the same time. The days and nights flew by like a whirlwind. The six months were over,and Dinesh was back to a sort of shy Rengoni and a much grown Agastya...he had learnt to walk by this time.
Over the next eight months , Dinesh had to come to the UK again. But, on his third trip, we accompanied him and have been together since. The kids have grown a great deal...Rengoni is in year 1 and Agastya has started full time from today in Reception. In all earnesty, I think the quiet house is getting to me. For the last more than 5 and 1/2 years I've rarely stayed alone for the whole day...But then the kids really grow quickly...those early days of hardship are now over...although raising kids is never without new challenges...now, I've to ready myself to field Rengoni's 'questions' and Agastya will follow soon. Everyday, they too are faced with new challenges, and are reaching milestones. Just yesterday, they were successful in their first attempt at riding their bikes without stabilisers. It gives a sense of joy and pride to see them glowing at their accomplishments. I want to be there for them and give them the guiding hand whenever they need it, sharing their joys and disappointments.
When the announcement for this blog was made, I jumped at the opportunity to be able to share with and relate to other wonderful mums out there...yes, I've been reading every post and I must commend each one of you. Sandeepa, this club rocks!!! I just hope, I'll be able to keep up regularly...a little more time now.
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Note: I just posted this on my other blog My Two Cents too - couldn't resist putting it up here!
I am sitting in front of the idiot box with my daughter right now. It is 1 pm on a Sunday - we are kicking back. Watching "The first Wives Club" on USA - one of my favorite movies. After watching the scene where Diane Keaton's husband tells her he wants a divorce and she finds out he is involved with her therapist, my daughter said in a timid voice "I hope that never happens to you and daddy". Awwwww baby! It won't. Never! Anyhoo, this conversation led to the following being recited by her -
"Cee & J, sitting in a tree,
K I S S I N G
First comes love,
Then comes marriage,
Then comes a baby in a baby carriage"
She is growing up - my little girl :D
I replied with this -
"Cee & J were never in a tree
But there was some K I S S I N G
First came love,
then came marriage,
then came baby S in a baby carriage".
Know what she said? "Good. Now you have to get into a groove to say it!"
HUH?????!! She really IS growing up!
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Ever since we declared that we are expecting a baby, the one question that we get the most is "Who are you calling to come over and help you?" And then they are stunned to learn the answer - No one. Almost all desi families here do that. As soon as there is a baby on the way, one set of parents is recruited to come help them when the baby arrives. And I think that is a very good arrangement - if it works for you. That's a BIG if.
9 years ago, when I got pregnant with my daughter, I made the decision to stay with my husband and not go to my parents' place for the delivery, even though that was the tradition in our family. There were a lot of reasons .
- I didn't want to stay away from my husband. I was still very much in love with him (still am :P) and cried every time I left him to go visit my parents for 2-3 weeks ONCE a year. How could I stay away from him for 2 or more months?? Also, he had just landed a job with a company that was going to train him and then send him to the USA. We had already decided that he will go alone at first, find a project, an apartment and buy a car and then call me and baby over. This would be the best approach because neither of us believed it was good to bring the baby to an uncertain environment until you had at least a job and a place to live. With this, it meant that I would be staying away from him for at least 4 more months. So, the idea of going to my parents' place was scrapped even before it occurred to my in-laws :D
- My brother-in-law is a doctor and I thought I would be better off in Indore, in case some emergency arose since he would be around and all the doctors in his friend circle would be available too.
- My dad has hyper-tension and is the kind of person who gets stressed out very easily. I knew it would be difficult for him to stay stress-free during my pregnancy, specially since I was determined not to pay any heed to the superstitious advices one usually gets during this time (eat a lot, don't exert yourself physically, don't eat this or eat that, don't go out etc.) In fact I specially confirmed with my OB/GYN if it was safe for me to drive a scooter and she said yes. I asked her how much weight I could safely pick up/carry and she said upto 10 kgs. So, to spare both of us the tension, I decided to have the delivery in Indore - at my in-laws' home.
- I was running my own coaching institute at that time and there was no way I was going to close it down just for a pregnancy. I was due on November 9th and I decided to work until October 15th - which I did.
I could ask my parents to come help me. But I feel their help will be more useful when I go back to work. So my parents will come in the last week of August when I get ready to go back to work. They will stay for 3 months (or six - which ever works out for my mom as she is still working and it depends on how much leave she can get). That will help us keep the baby home, away from all potential infections one can catch at a daycare, for atleast 6 months.
So that leaves.... US! J, myself and S. And I am sure with a LOT of planning and some help from good-friends (which we have a lot of) we might just pull it off. It helps that the second time around one has a little bit of experience to help make things better. And we have one eager little helper in form of S too! Even getting through this pregnancy has required a lot of planning in itself what with my full-time job, S and her extra-curricular activities, the various problems I have faced through the months - High Blood Pressure, PUPP and now the constant Blood Sugar monitoring (I know I probably never mentioned the last two - a pregnancy update on these soon). And on top of that this was the year I decided to be more active with my daughter's school PTO (Parent Teacher Organization), the Technology Council at her school and Norwalk's PTO Council. Not to mention having NO house-hold help to clean or cook or do any other big and small chores around the house means MORE juggling and planning.
Our plan is that I will take off from work about 2 weeks before my scheduled C-section (June 12th), get some rest and get the whole place (the house, the nursery...) in order. Then, provided The Peanut doesn't decide to come early like his/her big sister, I will go in for my C-section on June 12th, stay in the hospital for 3 days and come back. J will take 2 weeks off from work to help me. After the first two weeks I should have recovered enough to take care of the baby during the day by myself. I'll sleep when the baby sleeps and all that good stuff. From experience I know it is difficult to do because when the baby sleeps, you have to take care of other stuff like cooking and cleaning. For that we are going to buy a freezer (soon!) and I am going to start cooking extra food and freezing it for those tough days. I am good at that - freezing food items! Manish, a friend of ours doesn't call me the "Freezer Queen" for nothing :D So the frozen meals will take care of J and S. And I will teach J how to cook Dal-Daliya and Khichdi for me. A friend has offered to send in some food to freeze for later too. I am accepting all help that comes my way. I am also planning to call in a cleaning service to come clean my house from top to bottom so when the baby arrives all we will need to do is maintain it (easier said than done though :P)
This time I plan on nursing. The last time I didn't lactate due to all the stress and S didn't latch on due to other factors so she was a formula fed baby even though I did try for TWO months. This time, I am going to put in ALL my energy into nursing the baby. For that I am planning to take help from another "source". We am going to rent a breast pump from the hospital and once we are sure that I am lactating properly, we will buy a pump (good ones are expensive - about 250 - 300 dollars a pop). Expressing and having some extra milk ready will ensure that even S or J can help me feed the baby when I am too tired or have some errands to run. That will also help me continue to nurse when I go back to work.
So this is the crude plan - I am still working the nitty-gritty details out but I think we CAN do it. If things get too out of hand, I plan on hiring a baby-sitter to come in for about 5-6 hours a day, 2-3 days a week, to help me with the baby so I can get some sleep and get some work done too. That should tide us over. I am pretty confident.
Now, all we need is to set up the Nursery AND FIND TWO BABY NAMES!! One for a boy and one for a girl. THAT is the biggest challenge for us right now.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Just sharing here a new craft that Winkie and I, did together yesterday. We are crafting in full swing now. He's been home nursing a cold, and so every afternoon, when he tires of his trains and computer games, we sit down to constructively use our hands. I plan to make a regular chronicle of all the odds and ends we craft together, because he has begun to enjoy it, and I dare say we can make some things that will be of some value around the house. Also, it will serve as a databank for anyone looking for ideas, and I can look forward to some feedback and ideas in return.
Project : Pencil holder
Materials needed :
Some plain cardboard material (I used the scrap cover from a clock I once bought)
Popsicle sticks (I got them from walmart)
Kid friendly non toxic glue
Scissors (the adult ones, you'll be doing all the cutting in this one)
Total Time required: 2 hours
1. Cut the 4 sides of the box to the measurements you want, and then cello-tape them together from the inside to form a box. I don't think glue would have worked for the joining. Also, cello-taping from the inside is better, otw, when you glue the sticks on to the sides of the box, they don't remain steady.
2. Then cut a square for the base and make it slightly bigger than the actual base of the box. Use glue to connect the box to the base. Let it remain for 15 min, so it holds firm.
3. Start glueing the sticks to the sides of the box to finish all four sides. You can use any permutation of colours that you like. Let it hold for 1/2 an hour.
4. Then cut off the extra bits from the base, so none of the cardboard sticks out. (pun unintended)!
5. Find a use for it. I wanted to build upon the riot of colours and use it to house his colour pencils. (*pssst*...this makes a great Father's Day gift, for Dad to display on his desk at work.)
PS - I appreciate any suggestions on how better we could have accomplished this. Also, its my desire to craft with things lying around the house, things that we may normally recycle or trash without a second thought, and not have to buy from the stores other than the regular stuff like colour pencils/paints, some basic craft paper, etc. Its going to be a challenge, but I'm sure its doable. It would be great if you all can also share your ideas towards the same and any projects that you have undertaken with your children. Age no bar on this one. :)
In my younger, leaner days I once made fun of how my mom's belly "laughed with her". I loved the way it jiggled with every laugh. Soon afterwards my mom changed her lifestyle completely by taking up daily exercise and controlling her diet. She lost weight (a LOT of it) and became very fit. I went on to get married, gain 22 pounds in a year, shed it, get pregnant, lose all pregnancy weight but gain it all back and then some, get pregnant again 8 years down the road, gain another 20 ounds during the pregnancy.... you get the picture. The other day my daughter said "Mommy your arms are so jiggly!!!" and kept calling me "jiggly mommy" for the whole week. Life indeed has come a full circle **Sigh**
Well, one thought just struck me - I think life didn't come a full circle. It goes around in the form of a spiral. I made fun of my mom's jiggly belly, my daughter made fun of my jiggly arms and one day her daughter might make fun of some jiggly body part of hers. One can only hope - right? :D
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
First of all a small prayer from all of us at DMC for all the students, faculty, parents employees at Virginia Tech who suffered both physically and emotionally.
First the Columbine school and then this. I do sincerely want the Gun Control to come into effect to stop lunatics from opening fire whereever they want to.
Another thing I noticed is the media harping on the Gunman as South Korean. Yes he was a South Korean immigrant but then he spent 14 years of his adult life in the US having immigrated here in 1992. Other than the parents who seem to have cut off all connection with S. Korea, if it’s a country who shaped his life which was it? Why is his nationality more important than the fact that he was the legal owner of a Gun? The NPR reporter went on to say how S. Korea was responding to the incident and how some of their Govt. Officilas were worried that this could strain their relationship with US.
“And from Seoul, South Koreans and their government appealed to Americans not to let the carnage generate racial prejudice against the 2 million South Koreans who live in the United States” -- Washington Post
Why should this situation even arise ? Why should S. Korea feel itself responsible for a cruel, lunatic boy who left the country 14 years ago to never go back and then open fire on his classmates in an American University ? If anyone is responsible its all of us, the entire human race and obviously the US Gun Control laws which sells Gun to all and sundry.
“Mihae Kim, another community activist in Virginia, was especially worried about the impact on younger Korean Americans who might be insecure about their place in American society” -- Washington Post
Living in a state where there is a good balance of all races I have not seen much prejudice here yet. However when your kid goes to an American school have you ever observed any such thing that stems from a difference in nationality or race though the kid is an Indian American?
As parents how safe do we feel the educational institutes are here for our children ? Does such incidents ever make you think of going back to our country? Is India more safe ? I have seen many Indian parents wrapping up and going back when the kids are in middle school. Is this one of the reasons too ?
Many of you probably know the gorgeous Nandita, she is doing a current series called "Inside The Indian Household." This week she discusses Fenugreek and gives a couple of her great recipes.
A new member to our team, JG has written a great introductory article for our Tiffin Tuesday session. JG talks about The Art of Japanese Lunchboxes. It's not only about Japanese food but about the concept of preparing healthy lunch boxes for your kids.
Lastly, I wrote a short piece on fruit and vegetables of the season. Spring Food discusses a few great fruit and vegetables that are now appearing in our produce sections and markets. Check it out and I would really love it if some of you would add your own fruit/veg of the season to complete the list.
Hope you enjoy the articles.
Today i want to discuss with u all about the gap between kids..
In the olden days ,i mean at our grand ma's days ,there used to be 10 kids ..as all u know .After their generation i mean in our mom's generation the count has became maximum 4.And as of speaking now nobody is eager to have more than two kids.
But what my concern is ..how much gap should be there between the two kids.?Is it good to have 6-7 years ?Is there any problem if only one kid is there?
Well,,Some body think that it is not good to have only one kid.They became so mischievous and also lonely and selfish..as the age goes by and the children who has brought up with brothers and sis will know about sharing and will have a nice mentality while mingling with others.But to my experience i have seen so many people who is only one child and with a good manners.They are friendly also .They achieved success in their lives .I don't know that every lonely child will be like this way.And also i have seen some people who brought up with bros and sis has became so arrogant and became selfish....
As i already told in the olden days the gap is also less compared to now.In those days delivery means it is so common and our grand ma's used to prepare for it just like an exam which will come every year..Isn't it?But now a days we young mothers are really worrying to have a second delivery..(most of us ..i am also one of them:-D)..is it because of our health condition?or is it because of lack of protein food?
Coming to the gap between the kids......
My elder co sis has two kids with only 1 year gap.She stays along with my MIl .When my co- sis is 2nd time pregnant my mil has taken a good care of the first one.But in my case it is not so..i mean because of my hubby's job we have to stay far.Not only me ..most of us are staying too far to the family members.Isn't it?I think this is the major cause for having much gap between kids.And also now a days it is so happening that the deliveries are becoming complicated to some people..and the doctors them selves are telling to make a gap of 5 years or more..(in my case it so happen).
I want ur opinions on the following....
- Is it ok to have a single child?
- Is it good to have a 5 years or more gap between the two kids?
1)Mama's Saris by Pooja Makhijani - Pooja Makhijani is an Indian American author from New York. Her latest picture book, Mama's Saris is hitting the bookstores this month. May be, some of you have seen the book already at your local Borders store. It's a neat crosscultural book with a theme all of us can relate to, and more so if you have little girls at home. Beautiful text and gorgeous illustrations! I was thinking of recommending the title to my local library as well.
2) Sheela, our newest team member who also writes on Desimomzclub has written a wonderful review on a book titled, Alphabeasts. Do check it out! It's lot of fun!!
Thanks a ton! :-)
I am Ramya from http://www.ramyascuisine.wordpress.com/ .I have a 23month old daughter Abhigna who is mischievous .As i have to say i am waiting for the invitation to write but when the time comes i don't have words.... no i have many but it what first and what is last i don't know.
I know all children are so.As she is entering 2 the 'trouble 2's' blues started for me.But they r sweet at times i laugh but how to control its out of my mind as i can't spank her(i don't like) only thing i do is shout saying no no no or telling her i will lock her in the room.But these doesn't work either she got used to those.The worst part for me is she drinks milk but for joy she spills with out drinking.This is a daily routine for me i will never allow her to be out of my eyes reach.
the diaper training:
I started it 2 months back.I think she knows when she wants to go but doesn't tell.Sometimes she herself brings the diaper and tissues for getting changed soon after she goes,but she won't tell me.I don't know should i appreciate her or to scold or shout for not telling.As we moms can't be harsh.And my hubby he is in full support to her.Only i can make her to go in the morning and night before sleep.My sister tells u have to be strict so that they will be trained soon even u can spank.But its a big no no for me.
Actually there is no worry for me in this case but i have too many doubts.My daughter like good baby she drinks milk 2 times a day,will eat an apple a day,grapes,blue berries,orange,strawberry what ever she like every day.Sometimes she just wants grapes all the time.And tiffin in the morning.Actually coming to lunch sometimes she doesn't prefer rice so then i give her omelet/boiled eggs(2 whites and 1 yellow)/chapati.is it good to substitute these with rice.sometimes i give her boiled potatoes fried little bit in 1 tsp of oil like potatoes curry which she loves.She actually wants to eat by herself.Apart from these juice,cookies,raisins.......there is a big list.
As this became a big post i will continue in next one.If anyone have suggestions for me do's and don'ts fell free to tell me.
Last but not least Thank u Sandeepa for giving us such a wonderful blog. And giving me an opportunity to write.Thank u so much.See u all with my next post.bye....... bye.......
It's wonderful to have a club like this. Thanks Sandeepa, Asha and IndoSunGod!
I'm Kay from Towards a Better Tomorrow (Well, It's now longer about 'Tomorrow'... It's all about living right now, this moment. So, look out for a name change soon). I like living life to the fullest. I care about the environment and do what I can, in the way of greener living. I like to avoid synthetic chemicals and make/buy all-natural stuff for body/hair etc and clean with vinegar/baking soda etc. I love to cook, sew, go on hikes, outdoor adventures, work out, take pictues, read books, do a bit of research (translates to 'browsing on the internet') and live healthily. Organic foods interest me very much and I've been trying to go-organic slowly. I'd love to do some gardening too (have dabbled in, before and loved it) when I have a bit of gardening space and time.
My daugther Meera is 6 months old, a bundle of joy, that is turning our world upside down. Till last September, I had absolutely no clue that I'll enjoy being a mom THIS much. :) Now that I'm a mom, I'm able to appreciate my mom even more.
I'm a relatively new mom when compared to you, expereinced moms. So, I'd love to learn from your wisdom and also share what I know.
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
(This post is written by Asha of "Foodie's hope" blog)
Here is a short post from me to motivate and request all of you to start a discussion about a topic which interests you and others.Most of the members still have not introduced themselves to us.If you are the one who have not yet, please do so before May 1st,when we are going to start our own "Mother's day" month!Sandeepa will confirm that later as well:)
By now ,some of you have introduced yourselves to us all which was truly wonderful.It's great to know you and your lives ,families and your trials and trepidation as you through life.We enjoyed the tidbits and hilarious incidents about our kids,laughed together and sympathized hearing about our kids when they went through rough times as well.
Now,it's time for us to get serious about topics and posts which are really enlightening and helpful to all of us and your concerns and questions as well.Please think about these things and start posting them.It doesn't have to be serious subjects though,something light and funny as well if you like.
May will be a month for remembering and paying tributes to mothers including all of us moms and our mothers for all that we did and will continue to do.Mothers day is celebrated at different times and dates in different countries.
We will dedicate every Thursday to Saturday of the week in the month of May for that reason instead of just on the 13th of May,so we all get to share our views.Rest of the week is free to discuss all the other subjects you like. We would like to encourage you to think about that and write something about your mom or your experiences as a mother,even about your sweet MIL and even grandmothers who might have raised you as some of us are!!
Last but not least, please remember that Desi Momz Club is created for you and should be running successfully by all of you! We urge all of you to contribute and enjoy your club.Thank you!:))
My question is, how do you deal with exhaustion? What do you do to relax? ..I used to do yoga, listen to music, enjoy the garden etc...but who has the time now?! So, looking for interesting tips :)
Thanks Sandeepa for giving me the chance to join this group.
It really feels good to hear the "mom-stories" from all over the world.
My name is Dayeeta. (I usually use Dee as a nick name , but it seems I have a "hum-nickname" in this site so I switched to DR.) I am based in the Netherlands. I have a 2.5 year old son "A" and a husband "A". To avoid confusion, I will use A-SENIOR for the husband!
I work full time outside home . A is a sweet kid ( though he DID break a wine glass yesterday)..going through his "terrible two" phase, has been saying NO to many things since he was 2, but now started understanding the meaning of it too!! , speaks a funny language called DANGLA (a mix of dutch and bangla- though we make it a point NOT to talk dutch at home), loves tandoori chicken and pasta .........will keep the list updated...
Will definitely try to keep the posting-spirit on....
Monday, April 16, 2007
I blog at My Two Cents. If you visit my blog, you'll see that I blog anonymously. I shall remain anonymous here as well. It is not that I think that anyone visiting my blog will cause me any harm if they know my identity. The reason is simply that, though I don't do it currently, I expect to write my frank opinions about matters concerning family/ friends/ work some day. I, being the ever-so-scared-of-direct-confrontations type, decided it was better if I did that under the cloak of anonimity. Maybe one day I will either lose the urge to utter frank opinions on my blog or, better still, overcome my fear of confrontations and decide to reveal my identity. Until then, please know me as Cee Kay. You can also call me "GettingThereNow" (my "pen" name?) or GTN as some bloggers address me.
I live in N9rwalk, CT. I work full time and juggle family which consists of a husband (J) and an 8 year old daughter - S (one more addtion coming soon!), community (I am an active member of my daughter's school's PTO and am also the school's representative at the city's PTO council), friends and a host of other things which may crop up from time to time. I love working outside of home. I DO NOT use the term "Working mom" to describe my full-time working status as I believe ALL moms, whether they stay at home or work outside, work very hard. So I call myself a WOHM (Work Outside Home Mom) as many others do. I strongly object to generalizations and you can find me voicing my opinions against generalizations occasionally in the blogsphere :D I love arguments of all sorts and try to be a graceful loser when I do lose an argument (except when I argue with my husband :P)
I hope to be able to be a part of this blogging community of Desi Moms for a long time to come and also hope to develop some deep, meaningful friendships over time as one does when one hangs out in any community.
So, Ciao!! for now. And I shall return with a new post soon.
The Club rocks and thanks to all of you for that.!!! You are so forthcoming with your posts, ideas and comments that the mood is really upbeat around here and that is what makes it a thriving community,
Some of the members are a little busy I guess but as soon as you get some time do drop in with your news and views too. We would love to know what you would like around here, a chilled Martini or Nimbu Pani or may be both in moderation and for that we want you around :D
To keep the community thriving I had a certain idea which was further triggered by Sheela’s post.
Now tell me what do you think ?
Every Month from May we will take up a particular issue/topic and that will be “The Club Topic for the Month”.
However as Asha had said we don’t want to narrow down things and so we will assign a single day each week when we will discuss the issue. So say, every Friday of a Month we will devote to the topic for that Month. All other days we can discuss all else under the sun. Does that sound right or do you want more days for it?
We can also revisit posts that have been already discussed if they are aligned for a particular topic
Now for the Month of May we have to choose a topic.
Following are my suggestions. Please let me know your suggestions too and let’s Vote for a topic for May.
May 13th being Mothers Day. We can devote it to Motherhood. What Motherhood has done to You ? Differences that you observe in your and your mother’s Mommy techniques. If you have a Mother’s Day memory or tradition to share please do so.
If you have any suggestions please please put in a comment.
So come on and lets pick up a topic for May and also pour in your suggestions
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Let me give a brief intro first, I am Roopa mom to two lovely gems of my life staying in Singapore. My first darling (Nidhi) will be 9 in July studying primary 3 and my second prince (Ankur) has just stepped into his second year of life. Life as a mom has been challenging i will try to contribute and i do wish to discuss issues what i faced and even facing in the forthcoming days. Basically i am working mom, i love to cook i share some of my flavours at my blog here.
Life way easy going until i realised i am going to be a mom for dear little one when my nidhi was born. She brought a lot of joy to all of us as we had just faced a very sorrowfull lose of my mom during my last term of pregnancy. IT led to lot of challenges in my life i had to face ups and downs not knowing where to look for, i started learning as making my little one grown in my arms of love. My hubby had been very supportive all the while. With my first daughter i did not have problems with eating and sleeping habits as i am facing with my second one. Here is where the problem is, if i think about my girl had been lucky to be with her mom all time as i was a Stay at home mom until my girl was 2.5 yrs. I had support from my inlaws which helped me to maintain my job and family life in the initial stages after birth of my second baby. Now my son is in the care of a home based helper, who looks after him thorghout the day. My dad/inlaws visit us for a span of 3-6 months so someone is around to overlook and at the sametime i have a feeling of kids growing with grandparents will have a bond to life and culture.
i have a lot more to share will try to contribute to the growing club.
Thanks to all!
I am writing about this topic because it interests me greatly and from time to time guilty(?!) of the same. Here is my understanding on the topic. It will be very interesting to hear all of your opinions.
Helicopter Parenting is a term I have not heard until recently but which I have come to recogonize and understand! Should this be viewed with alarm?(not exactly) but it is getting to be a popular word in the media. As Parents at one time or the other we are guilty (atleast I am) of helicopter parenting. This term is generally used to describe late baby boomer parents but it might as well aptly describe Gen X and Gen Y parents too.
Who exactly is a helicopter parent?
Parents who hover over their children at all times and are afraid of letting them fail. The lessons that we learn for life are the ones we learn from our mistakes. If we protect kids to such an extent and make them afraid of failures there will be no futute Einsteins.(that reminds me,Sorry to say but I am not a big fan of Baby Einstein videos which in itself is a genius marketing ploy!) If they cannot experiment and learn for themselves where will they get the spark that will prod them to achieve? Remember the pleasure we gained by playing for hours together in sand, mixing it with water and building castles? There are things we learned by osmosis, which is impossible with videos, computer games and other electronic toys. They are useful toys but they can never substitute the real deal. Kids learn a lot when they experiment, learn from looking at creatures (there are plenty in our own backyards) and from unstructured play. We over schedule our kids to such an extent that they cannot find things to do for themselves leading them to whine "I am bored!" at the merest hint of lack of stimulation. Over stimulation is common. In my opinion it is ok to be bored. Life is not going to be full of excitement all the time so learning to deal with boredom will be a well learnt life skill. ADHD which was uncommon couple of decades ago is common in kids today. Watching too much TV is one reason. There is a lot of research on this subject and everybody uniformly agrees that too much is not good. For ages 1-5 1 hour of TV is optimum is what I read.
Teacher and Educators confess it is harder than ever before to teach kids because at the slightest hint of lack of stellar performance parents are there arguing with the teachers to set it right. Stand in the teacher's shoe and think for a moment how frustrating this must be for her. What works for one child will not work for the other, how is there going to be balance. So teachers spend a lot of time putting out fires and see how frustrated they might be. We also jump up and do their homework all in an effort to make your child get the best grade. But we are kidding ourselves right? what did the child learn?
Parents especially mothers are more educated than ever before. We sometimes end up making child rearing a competitive sport. We define our efforts as parents depending on the number of extra curricular activities the child participates in and the extras we do for them.
So how do we strike a balance? It is only for a short time that they will be kids so how about letting them be kids. It is ok for them not be the very best at whatever they do. Let them enjoy the simple pleasures of being kids and let everything they see amaze them. Too much structure bothers me. As a kid I pretty much was allowed to do what I wanted. I scheduled my study and play and what a relief I did not have one scheduled extra curricular activity to deal with.
I have too many questions and not many answers. Dear fellow moms what do you all think? How have you solved this conundrum?
Friday, April 13, 2007
When Soeren started eating solids, I cooked almost only organic vegetables and fruit for him. That was five years ago when the "organic trend" had just started. Ever since then many researches and studies have been made that organic food is indeed healthier as it contains less pesticide and toxins. Today, when we buy fruit vegetables, diary and meat products, we still opt for organic and locally grown products. We have been on an "organic" diet consciously for five years. We do not buy organic products blindly though - only those that really make a difference, like fruit, vegetables, meat and diary products.
Out of my own experience I will say we do feel better. I myself have noticed more energy in myself (if that is ever possible LOL!) But I see the biggest evidence in my son. In comparison to my friends who chose commercial food, Soeren is really healthier and fitter. He does not suffer from allergies and is not ill at the slightest sneeze. I am not saying that this is all due to eating organic food but I believe it contributes to our health - and not to mention our environment.
Over at the Daiy Tiffin I had written a series of articles about Organic food. I would be very interested in your opinion about the articles on the DT and here I am keen to know if you use organic or commercial and why.
But, I am curious about fellow moms' thoughts and experiences with teaching self-feeding to their wee ones.
To set things up a bit, my wee one started feeding herself at 8 months. About 6th month, we introduced cereal mixed with mom's milk, maybe stage 1 foods and such. Around 7th month we started finger foods like zweiback toast, barley biscuit, fruit puffs and such around snack time, the kind that melt in the mouth with a touch of saliva. She still hadn't gotten any teeth around then, and my mum and mum-in-law assured me that her jaws are made for mashing, even if she has no teeth. But, just to make sure nothing gets caught in the throat and such, her lunches and dinners would be put through a food mill, with some texture - not fully mushy... and was easy as I was making her foods at home.
Then, we started putting the meal in a bowl on her tray in her high chair, feed her a couple of spoons, and leave the spoon handy to see if she felt like feeding herself... at 9 months, she would reach for the spoon from my hands and try to take it to her mouth.
It was very interesting to see her reach for the food and try to take it to her mouth. It was funny as well, of course, as her motor skills weren't all that developed, so she was not quite well co-ordinated :)
But, her pediatrician assured me she is more than ready to handle all that self-feeding and that it is good for her, developmentally.
Boy, was it messy, but, it was also fun. Only when she was sick, or exhausted, she expected me to feed her.
On the other hand, my littlest nephew refuses to sit in high-chair, he is 1½ years old, doesn't show much interest in feeding himself, and his mom runs behind him and tries to feed him. She has always fed him. She says she didn't really try to encourage him to eat on his own as it got too messy...
So, dear moms, what are your thoughts on teaching your babies to self-feed:
What age did they start eating on their own?
What sort of foods got them started?
Did you prefer to feed them yourself?
If so, did you prefer to seat them in high-chair or just walk/crawl around with them and feed them on the go?
Did nursing interfere with getting them to self-feed solid foods?
At what age did you establish regular meal times?
Did you let them graze every two hours in small portions?
When did you start giving store-bought foods for your baby?
When did they start eating pretty much what you eat - no special baby foods, just regular home food?
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The Sleep issue generated a lot of information and facts and figures and etc. etc. etc. Too much good information and instead of sleeping on them I right away started applying them. No not to myself, though I would have simply loved that, what with Asha mentioning lavender infused warm bath and the santoor playing on the background...ahhhhhhh bliss.
Ok so I started that at home for little S. I used to do the brushy-brushy, sleepy pajamas, story book routine but then I would lie down besides S to give my aching back some rest. So someone said -- sit not sleep. So that's what I did. I sat straight and then got bored sitting in the dark and patting away to glory, so after 15 minutes I told S I will be downstairs packing up lunch and she should shut her eyes and go to sleep. Saying this I went down and after 5 mins I hear a timid voice enquiring the english for "office", searching for the voice I found it at the top of the stairs in night pajamas :) Cute. Nah, oh come one, kids are allowed to do such things.
Anyway I took her back and put her back on the bed again, same bed, the one in our room. Then after a couple of minutes I again went away. And this time she SLEPT !!!! Yes, she did without asking me english for any other thing, she just slept. So technically she did sleep on her own and thats a big step. D thinks this is not going to continue, so lets keep our fingers crossed...
Thanks to all those wonderful comments and suggestions though so let me just compile all those thoughts here for quick reference
This is fine as long as you, the kid and the hubby is. Don't worry about the neighbours at least not in this case. Some Moms say "Co-sleeping helps bond with the kid, and they start sleeping better when you co-sleep. " Another Mom says "I like to think of "our co-sleeping" as a ritual where the whole family spends time with the children". So cuddle up before they shut the door on you.
Still better. Your life is easy. If you are reading this, do not read ahead you have achieved what every Mom is striving for or maybe not striving for yet...
But by the age of 3-4 maybe you can start the process even if you are an ardent co-sleeping fan. To support the economy someone has to buy those cute toddler bed sets, right ?
This is what The Experienced Mom says "Both my kids slept in my bed as infants every day from birth to the first two years although we had a crib.Then they asked me to buy them colorful kiddie beds and moved to another room on their own!!"
Bed Time Routine
Every Mom swears by this. Have a stable bed time routine. So if you want the child in bed by 8:30 PM start the routine by at least 8:00 PM
-- Give a Warm Bath or a Wash. This helps the Kid to relax. If you don't want the bath just wash hands, face etc.
-- Brush their Teeth
-- Change into NightDress
-- Read a Book. Do not give in to the kids demand and go on reading for an hour. Read for 15-20 minutes
-- Sing a song if your voice permits. My daughter allows me to sing only 3-4 songs , rest are so off tune that she prefers me to remain mum. Many parents said they chant hymns or recite slokas during bed time. That is a good thing too. Try to play some soft music if you prefer that. No "Krazy Kia Re" at bed time :)
-- Leave the room if your sleep time is later.
Day Time Naps
If your child is not sleepy by 8:30 - 9:00 at night curb his/her daytime naps. Day time naps should never extend to late afternoon or evening.
Try to include your child in some tiring activity, like running, jumping etc. in the evening. If the child has had along day at school don't force though.
Sit next to them, and read to them rather than lying down. Do not give in to that inviting pillow and rest your head on it.
For the smaller ones massage with baby oil might be relaxing
Get a blanket as one Mom says " I have never had to sleep next to my kids to get them to sleep and I credit it all to the blanket :) ". Not entirely necessary, don't rush off to the Mall. If it works for you fine, all kids migh not need a blanket, for some a blanket or a toy is security.
One more Mom Wisdom "Make sure he/she stays in bed (even if it means you need to be there beside him/her), be firm about no talking back to him/her. He/She may talk and talk, respond only a bare minimum, do not encourage more conversation."
However remember that all kids are not same and neither are all Moms & Dads. So work out whatever works best for you and your kid. These are just some generic rules, work around them.
Check out Tharini's Tale of Two Sleepers here. This is what she says describing her attempt to make Sathya (the second little one) an independent sleeper "Dear God...stay with this child and grace him with the comfort of sleep. Take my fears, and make me believe. And when I put him down after that, I did it calmly. I patted him for 2 minutes to get him to stop writhing about, and when he stilled, I gently walked out of the room. I listened outside the door for a few minutes"
Check Indian Mommies for some more useful links here
Useful Products that help at Sleep Time
Please let me know about CDS, Books that have helped you and I will update this
Leave comments/suggestions and this post will be updated
This is proving to be a very active board indeed. Its so hard to keep up with merely reading the posts, let alone commenting. :) Anyways, its good to have something to chew on with my cup of coffee every morning.
A lot of discussion has already taken place on the sleep habits of our kids. I missed posting on time in response to Sandeepa's survey. Today I just updated my blog with our sleep story. And I just wanted to share the link:
Read it if you get a chance and have the inclination to dip into the whole issue once more. :)
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Today here i want to talk about the urinal infections in kids.
At first i also thought that Kids won't get these type of infections.But later i was proved wrong..With own experience with my daughter.Now she is absolutely fine as she undergone all the medication and all.
So here i am giving u my experience and some suggestions to all of u moms..
HOW IT OCCURS:
The urinary tract infection will be caused by a bacteria.We can't say why?Mostly in baby girls it may occur.
Actually in some kids the pump which takes the urine from the kidney to the urinary tract will be in reverse direction also...means the urine will goes back to the kidney again..can u believe this..i got all this news from the pediatrician who diagnosed my kid.This problem will go away with their age..But with some regular tests and we have to take care of it..Because of the reverse direction there is a chance of getting the kidney infection also..
- frequent fevers...
- Bad smell in the urine..
- Irritation when urinating..
- Child crying when going for urination..
There is no need to worry because in these days so many medications are there .
If ur child is suffering from any of the above symptoms ...immediately do the urine examination.Don't neglect.if the urine has bacteria..they do the culture test for it.It tells which bacteria caused the particular infection.
Then take ur kid to a doctor .They will give some antibiotic syrup by watching the report.
There will be protocol of tests which ur kid has to undergo..Some will be painful ...but as i said already don't neglect.If u do that u will be the one to suffer along with ur child.
By doing all the tests and using the medicines as supposed by the doctor ur child will be free from this infections..
- Giving fluids regularly and taking him/her to do urinate will give u a better results.
- Don't keep the diapers for so long..it may cause the infections.
- Clean the urethra after the urination.
- Follow the instructions from the doctor .
- don't stop the medicine until the doctor told.
- for the girls, especially, as they are more prone to these types of infections, teach them to wipe from front to back after using the washroom...not the other way around- this stops fecal bacteria from entering the Urinary canal.
Of course, washing hands thoroughly afterwards..applies to all of us.
Here i have given this information on my experience as i already told...if u feel bad for this i am sorry...
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Thanks Sandeepa for warm invitation.
Hello everybody, Let me introduce myself, I’m Padmaja Shivapriya mom of little Nishant (will be turning 2 next month). My passion “Chess” and I teach few kids at my place.
I have been living in US from 2001. I was in CA for 3 yrs and the moved to VA. Back in CA, I used to be busy with school & friends. After moving to the east coast, everything seemed boring for me. So I started writing all my favorite recipes. One day my husband gave me an idea to put my recipes online, I was not really interested at first but then he really pushed me to start writing and he helped me setting up everything as I am not computer savvy. Slowly I started catching up with my blog and started enjoying my own little time.
I love to cook and experiment with recipes. Other hobbies include crafts (shadow box) and knitting. Other than these activities I do Internet Research for my uncle’s magazine.
I have been thinking a lot on some of these issues about kids growing up the American way. Please pour your opinions too.
My Son Aditya came to US when he was a 5 month baby, being a new mom, new place and all around me were strangers, even if he fell sick or starts crying for no reason I used to make calls to my mom and ask her what I should be doing. This way I have crossed a lot of hassles till now. But as many people say when kids grow up, problems too grow along with them. Here are some concerns which I would like to discuss with you all. Please share your ideas and experiences.
Artificial and commercial baby food: When Adi was 6 months old, he was feeding on formula milk and did not have enough nutrition. I wanted to start giving him some solid food. Now my question is how many of you believe in Gerber and other commercial products? I found them artificial and nothing can be compared to home made food like mashed dal rice, boiled apples, Idlis and Kanji (porridges) made of rice and other grains. Don’t you guys think that those ready-made foods make us lazy???
Loneliness and boredom: Staying at home, I didn’t feel it necessary for my son to go to a daycare. But until he starts going to school, how would he be interacting with other kids.
I felt that kids get pretty lonely after coming to US, especially during winters. Adi gets bored all day at home, just playing with the same old toys and watching the same old shows. I could take him to parks and library, but what more?
When kids grow up here they have a comparatively slow speech development compared to India.
He did not learn to speak until I visited India and when he saw a new world.
Lot of kids in the apartment we live just rushed into my house no matter what, with so much of enthusiasm and love for Adi.
But here hardly I see anyone interacting .The kid from my neighboring house came to play with Adi the other day. He told Adi “don’t touch me, I don’t like anyone touching me” I was so shocked to hear that!!
Then I learnt that it’s the school that teaches them to be that way.
How many of you have a good interacting community of kids for ages 0-3?? After that may be they start going to school.
Kids getting sick very often: This one is the most important. Kids losing resistance and getting sick very often.
Most of them start getting allergies no matter what season.
My Son often caught cold and usually they say cold and cough completes its cycle in a week or so but here?? It takes months together!! I start with Turmeric milk and then end with a doctor appointment and finally land on antibiotics.
After coming here not only kids but even we lose resistance.
While in India though we used to rough out in the sun, buses and auto rickshaws, we never fell sick like our kids, who fall sick even if I don’t vacuum the house for a week. They become so delicate.
Diapers, Diapers and Diapers!!! My Son has completed 3 and is potty trained but I still have to use diapers during night times and when we go out. I want to get rid of them but don’t know when!!! I heard my friend saying boys get rid of diapers a little late.
Sleeping along with Parents: I know that this is not an open topic to discuss but couldn’t stop myself. When we all were kids we never were separated from our parents even while sleeping. Cribs to toddler beds to separate rooms!! How much of you appreciate this. Kids start sleeping alone right from the time they are born.
I always love to sleep hugging my son. But after coming here he sleeps in a crib close to our bed all-alone. My husband wants it to be the American way. But I personally feel that it is not a great idea up till a certain age, as kids lose the basic love and attachment towards parents.
Explaining our Indian food: I have seen many parents convincing and explaining simple and basic dishes like idlis and puris to their kids at parties and gatherings. When I ask why, they say “ my kids love to eat only Mac & cheese, pizza or French fries etc…what does that mean?
When kids start their schooling here they start loving these food and parents have to convince them on having Indian food. How good is that??
Slow Education and learning: This question has been bothering me from a very long time. I had joined Adi in school at the month of September and then had to pull him out as he started falling sick regularly. I thought rejoining him in summer would be a good idea. While he went to school I came to know that the education here is pretty slow compared to India. They start teaching alphabets only at 1st grade. That is after age 5, which is a very long time. I felt that it will be too late then and started teaching him basics at home. Has anybody noted the way they hold the pens here? I am not offending anyone by saying this but felt that Indian education is much faster and better to give the kids a proper foundation.
What are your opinions? I was very happy to read about Asha’s Daughter doing so well at school. Wish I could take some tips from her on this.
If any of you have faced or come across these questions in your mind please let me know your suggestions, opinions and ideas.
Thanks Sandeepa for giving me an opportunity to be part of this wonderful community.
Just a little about me: My name is Sheela. I am originally from India. I have been living in the US for the last 14 years. I am thirty-something. Yes, indeed, I am one of those who can't bring herself to admit her exact age - not because I fear growing old, but, because I am afraid I haven't achieved much in the time I have been given so far :)
I am currently living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband Dustin and my soon-to-be-two baby girl Ana.
I work for a software company as a developer/programmer, which I enjoy for the most part. But, my "real" interests are cooking, sewing, crocheting, reading, photography, hiking/camping (which we restrict to Summers, especially after the wee one arrived).
I wear my Mommy Hat, Wife Hat, Daughter Hat, Sister Hat, Chef Hat, Yellow-Green Hat, and Crazy-Craftswoman Hat as best as I can. While I am the same person, I feel the Hat I wear adds distinct value and responsibility to my Life, hence I started three separate blogs last year and tried to keep them focused on three different aspects of my Life that meet and mingle beautifully - viz., Mommy, Cook, Just Another Speck In The Universe.
Blogging, when I started it, was intended to be therapeutic. Just my corner to record my thoughts and deeds that I am willing to share voluntarily, no pressure, no expectations. It is hard not to get addicted and obsessed, but, I think Dustin and Ana have kept me balanced so far.
Sandeepa was kind enough to mention that one of my posts struck a cord in her and suggested that I share it here: last July, early in my blogging life, I shared my thoughts wondering if I was asking for too much... Circumstances have not changed, and it scares me a little to think of welcoming another wee one into our lives now.
On a cheerier note, I am looking forward to reading and contributing as best as I can . Perhaps as the community welcomes more moms and we settle into a nice rhythm, we could pick a topic a month and have contributions from all member moms so we have a collective input on the chosen topic... just a thought :)