The First Five

It just feels like yesterday when we were just a couple and now we are proud parents. But if you ask me if I was ready for it, the answer is still unknown and am I enjoying the journey the answer is “yes I am very much” however it was not an easy ride for me.

dsc_0016

The First month

We were on our trip to London. Well, I was on a leisure trip and my hubby on a business. Leisure for me because I got to meet my friends there and her two little cubs who are very dear to me. I stayed with my friend while my husband was staying in a hotel. So, after enjoying my 3 days’ freedom and playing Kinect adventures with those kids, I finally went back to join my husband at the hotel. Was I missing him? Yes! I was… hehe.

While I was enjoying and roaming around, I suddenly realised that my periods were delayed by 10 days which usually are a week delayed always, expressed my concern to dear hubby and after loads of discussion, we agreed upon doing a pregnancy test. ‘Why were we thinking so much to take a test’? It’s because it was just a month since we had started planning for a baby and as per every one it generally takes 6 months to 1 year to conceive.

Finally after several pregnancy tests and seeing all the blue n pink lines, I finally took a digital pregnancy test, that approved I was 2-3 weeks pregnant..Voila!!

Surprised, amused, happy, confused… mixed bunch of emotions as we were planning for the baby but at the same time were too relaxed thinking it will only happen in the next 6-12 months. So that’s how I welcomed myself to “Motherhood”.

Second Month

I was in my second month or 1st trimester and the trouble had begun. I had heard about morning sickness but mine was evening which shifted to morning, afternoon and then whole day.

Due to this I wasn’t able to stand the smell of anything, not even my own. I love perfumes but even they made me puke.

Everybody kept assuring me that everything will be fine in few weeks. Even the midwife I met assured me that it’s just a matter of few weeks and I should be fine by next week.

Sigh, I kept waiting for the next week to come.

Third Month

Did I pass the puking phase? Answer is No! :-( Couldn’t even go out on Easter weekend and alas no one was there to take care of me as I was living far away from home in UK.

The only thing that kept my spirits up was the thought there is a tiny little body growing inside me and I am doing everything for it.

While I was puking and fainting, came the time for the 1st scan. I was all anxious to see the first sight of my baby.

With our hearts pounding faster, we went for the scan and there we saw the most beautiful thing of our life ‘Our Child’

Fourth & Fifth Month

We finally announced to our friends of my pregnancy and that a little one is going to arrive soon on 6th November which was my hubby’s birthday too and that made me happier. While I was happy thinking about the baby, my sickness didn’t leave a chance to make me sad. So with mutual agreement, I decided to go to India for few weeks as my husband was supposed to travel every week for 5 days to London and I would be left with no one to take care of me. Hence, I flew, back home.

On reaching India, my health improved drastically and yes, I was able to see a little bump and that happiness can’t be described in words.

I once again congratulated myself for having you inside me and felt the Happiness of Motherhood’  :-)

Our Overnight Cloth Diaper Solution

FullSizeRender (15)

Cloth diapering our girls overnight was something I was too hesitant to do, when I started thinking of cloth diapers. Both of them being super heavy wetters, too often I would find them in a pool of pee and a midnight diaper change was always a fail. They would just refuse to go back to sleep, which is why disposables were what we used for a couple of months until I finally found a solution that worked for us overnight.

So here it’s for you our nighttime cloth diapering solutions.

Solution #1

This is one of the favourite nighttime solutions for many cloth diapering moms. So the first thing I did was bought some BumGenius 4.0 pockets diapers from a local store, after reading a lot of moms swear by it. I use it with one of the two microfiber inserts it comes with, along with a hemp doubler which mostly is a HempBabies Hemp Doubler or Cloth Diaper Shop’s hemp insert.

So that’s basically double stuffing my pocket diaper to boost it’s absorbency. Four layers of microfiber insert plus 2 or 3 layers of hemp inserts have worked fine for us. You can also use a HempBabies Little Weeds (not available in India) and tri-fold it.

cl

I also use our EcoTush Cloth Diapers Fleece liner to make the pocket stay dry. Of course BG 4.0 is a stay dry pocket diaper but if it’s on the bum for a prolonged period of 7-8 hours, the baby  may just feel damp or wet sometimes, and an extra fleece liner makes it sort of ‘more’ stay-dry.

Most babies don’t seem to be bothered by the dampness and some tend to develop redness which is why I don’t really like taking chances.

 Solution #2

This is my got-to solution for our heavy/side and tummy sleepers. A Fitted Diaper. Most of the time I use EcoTush Fitted Diapers that I make with a waterproof cover over it. And can very easily go for 9-10 hours or so with out a midnight diaper change.

j

And recently I have also used this bamboo fitted diaper I was sent for a review by the Beetle Diapers (coming soon). Since fitted diapers are generally not stay-dry, you can use a fleece liner on the inside to make it stay-dry.

FullSizeRender (13)

You can alternatively use a wool cover with a fitted diaper, if you are not a fan of PUL covers.

So yeah those are the two nighttime cloth diapering solutions that have worked for us. Let me know your cloth diaper solution for overnight in the comments.

And if like you are reading don’t forget to give me a thumbs up on Facebook. :)

 

Four Photos | February 2015

This series Four Photos reminds me of taking more and more pictures every month. And I’m sure I will cherish all these moments for years to come.

b1

^^ I took this one on a lazy morning when I was standing at the window, doing absolutely nothing.

di

^^ Nothing excites me more than a stack of freshly launder cloth diapers. And I just can’t resist myself more clicking too many pictures of them! Obsessive cloth diapering momma, I’m!

cha

^^I took this picture back in 2009 when I visited Charminar with family! I obviously didn’t have a high-end camera back then so I had clicked it from my Nokia 5700! Throwback time!

doha1

^^ I took this one when we went out with kids to one of the beautiful parks in Doha. I just love this picture for that awesome reflection in water and the shades in the sky!

 I strongly suggests all of you to try and capture little moments in life, so you can look back to see how much fun you have had while snapping them. So go get your cameras and start making some memories!!

haajra

Productivity Tips for Work-At-Home Moms

FullSizeRender (8)

Often I hear people asking me how I manage three children( husband included ;) ), a blog, an online store, and of course a household. And all I can do is to blush away and say Alhamdulillah! Because sometimes it’s difficult to explain everything to everyone you come across.

I have been a work-at-home mom for quite some time now and as a mom of two young children I have been struggling to maintain a healthy balance between my work and family life. I feel happy that I’m not the only one doing this, there are so many women out there in the similar situation, struggling to have balance. And I proudly I have pretty succeeded at it. Alhamdulillah! And this is the reason I decided to share with you my top 10 productivity tips to ensure you have a merrier and more fulfilled time.

#1. Have passion for your work

No matter what you are, a stay-at-home or a work-at-home mom, or something else, having passion for your work will only take you higher! Because if you have passion and love for what you do, you can overcome any amount of hardship and still remain content at the end of the day. And if you have been following me for some time now, you already know that I’m very passionate about my blog, which makes me want to spend good amount time improving it.

#2. Wake up early

I used to sleep until the girls woke up. Then we would all be tired, trying to wake up and get some breakfast, and it would become chaos. Now I try to wake up before the girls so I can have some coffee and sit by myself and read some morning news or workout. Get yourself ready for the day during this time. Shower, get dressed, do your hair, brush your teeth; whatever your routine for getting ready is, do it in this time. That way if you do have to go somewhere, you just get the kids ready and go. Plus it’s a kick start to the day and that way you can get more work done instead of sitting in your pajamas all day. And if you are a person who doesn’t like changing into fresh clothes unless you are stepping out of the house! Then even that’s fine as long as you are doing everything else perfectly. Clothes don’t matter , you see ;)

#3. Maintain a schedule

Having a set routine is very important when you have young kids. Have fixed office times and family time, this will enable you to perform best in both roles.  And it can be extremely difficult to answer emails and write blogs with the kids running around (I know this from experience); hence it is essential to work in a relaxed peaceful environment.  Work around your family routine, e.g. answer emails and make calls when your children are having naps or at school.  I have met many moms who work for 2-3 hours in the morning and do the remaining work in the evening. Try different routines and see what works best for you and your family.

#4. Prioritize your tasks

To ensure you have a healthy balance between family and work life it is essential that you have top three or may be two tasks that you need to complete every day. If the rest does not get done its okay as long as you know those three/two important tasks have been completed. Also it’s very important to be realistic with your to-do list, there is no point jotting down 10 tasks for the day when you know you have a young family and very limited time.

#5. Set goals

If you want to have a productive month then it is best to list all the tasks you would like to complete and set goals for each day of the month. Writing down your monthly and daily goals will enable you to be more productive with your time as you would know what you need to do each month.

#6. Keep up on housework

Yes, at times this is impossible, especially with a three-year-old and a eighteen-month-old, but it’s best to try and stay on top of it! I’ve seen some people only designate one day a week as ‘cleaning day,’ or ‘laundry day’ however I find that with kids, it’s more efficient to do a little bit of cleaning everyday. Besides keeping up with the laundry and dishes, I try to do one room a day. It also makes everyone in the house feel so much better when toys are picked up before bedtime, so the next day you can start fresh and not with a leftover mess from the day before. When you keep up on the housework, it means more quality time with family.

#7. Learn to multitask

Are you waiting for the food to be cooked? Try to read emails in between. Is it your children’s scheduled screen time? Jot down ideas and concepts on a notepad while watching. Waiting in line at the grocery counter? Check your social networks. Use down times to multi-task and get those trivial activities out of the way to have more time for the actual job assignments.

#8. Include your kids in your activities

When you are cleaning or cooking, if your child shows interest in what you are doing, let them help! Most household activities kids can participate in with you, and it will make them feel like your big helper. It may take longer to get done, and more messier than you would do it, but it will teach them what you are doing and make them feel special. In the end they will be learning responsibilities and having fun with mom at the same time! And if you have more than one child, try to divide tasks among them, you can always do it, if they don’t get them done. The basic idea is to get them involved and to keep them occupied for some time.

#9. Seek assistance and take a break

As a mom, it is normal to feel overwhelmed from time to time; that’s why it is key to ask your loved ones for help. Ask your spouse or family members to watch the children while you work on a few blog post ideas, or just stop by at your favourite coffee shop and grab a cup for yourself, or may be just go and sleep for an hour or so. Just take a break from everything altogether. Often times, taking small breaks refreshes your mind and gives you new ideas and instant motivation to get back on track.

#10. Connect with your Creator

Last but not the least, spend at least some time doing a religious activity. Be it anything , offering prayers together, reciting some holy verses to your children or anything else. Let your children know that you are a God-fearing person. And getting them involved will instill the same ideologies in them. And in the end it’s important to keep that connect with your own Creator and be thankful to Him for all His blessing upon you and your family.

Also, writing this post, doesn’t mean I’m calling myself a perfect work-at-home mom. I’m only sharing what I follow to make my life a bit more merrier and content.

It obviously doesn’t mean these are any sort of guidelines you should be following. Because no one is just perfect, I have equal share of hard days, days when I literally drag myself out of the bed but then on the other side this is pretty much how I do it. So if you are a work-at-home mom like me, then try and see what works best for you and your family because at the end of the day we all want to make the most out of our lives. GoodLuck :)

 

 

 

 

 

Easy Hummus Recipe for Kids

hummus

Off late, the girls have been enjoying their raw or steam vegetables a lot. And as a mom I have to confess that I have been spending more time searching for some easy-to-make, delicious recipes out of those veggies. Also I generally try to keep the recipes very basic yet high in their nutritional value. Saves me good amount of time and effort!
Here’s my recipe for you.

Things you will need:

  • 250 gms Chickpeas
  • 4-5 tbsp virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt to taste
  • chopped cilantro (optional)

What you need to do:

  1. Soaked chick peas overtime. And mix them in a food processor with garlic cloves and cumin seeds to make a smooth paste.
  2. Add salt, lemon juice and olive oil and mix evenly. And that’s it!

P.S: I didn’t have Tahini at home, so I decided to add some peanut butter instead. And there wasn’t much difference in the taste. So if it’s available for you, you may just want to replace peanut butter with it.

hum

And my girls love it with fresh baby carrots and cucumbers. It also makes a delicious yet healthy bread spread. You can make it and store in an air-tight container for over a month. It’s super simple to make and highly nutritious. So just go and soak those chickpeas right away. And let me know if you have a better recipe for making it. I would love to learn it from you. :)

Thank you so much for stopping by! :D

 

Easy Homemade Play Dough {No Cook}

playdoh

I have two super active little girls at home and keeping them entertained through out the day, does sometime get tricky.

And as a mom, I’m constantly searching for super simple activities, also keeping in mind our tight schedule and budget. We can’t hop into the market every week to grab those harmful colorful dough!? And also since I let the girls occasionally help me in the kitchen. We started making this easy homemade play dough (Play Doh) more often now. It’s super easy to make and fun to play with.

I haven’t used cream of tartar in this recipe which is why the dough may not last for over 4-5 months. But then I wanted to make something that’s simple and I wanted to be able to find all the ingredients off my cupboard!

So here’s what you will need:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (you can use any)
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • Food colouring
  • Water

What you need to do:

  1. In a large bowl mix flour, salt and oil.
  2. Add desired account of food coloring, depending on the shade of dough you want to make.
  3. Knead it vigorously for a couple of minutes until all of the stickiness is gone. You may add a few drops of oil if it’s still sticky.
  4. You will need to make a perfect dough that has just the right consistency. And that’s it! You are done!

And believe me both my girls thoroughly enjoy making it. And every morning they are out of the bed, they run to their play-area to grab their play dough.

I currently store our dough in zip-lock bags but I will fetch some air-tight containers on our next trip to the supermarket. This dough can last for over a month. And I can only think of those at least 30 no-fuss hours a month?!? Which for me I think is totally worth those 10 minutes of hardwork! ;)

Tell me how you like your play dough in the comments. And if you like this post don’t forget to subscribe to my blog, The Mommy blog via email and give us a thumbs up on Facebook!