3 Simple Things I Learnt From My delivery | Part #3 of 3 | Recovering Postpartum

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After months of going through a difficult pregnancy, I couldn’t wait to look into my lil angel’s eyes and forget everything that had happened in the past 9 months. I was super scared for the delivery, and frightened to the extent of asking my doctor to just give me a General Anesthesia…knock me out…and hand me the baby like a pre-ordered much-awaited online shopping order. She wouldn’t have it. And I am mighty glad that my doctor had that kind of confidence in me…something which I lacked in myself.

You know how they say, that when you look at your baby…and hold him in your arms for the very first time…your whole world changes? It’s true. Within minutes I was a mother, taking charge of another Being (previously that would’ve meant looking after a drunk buddy post partying!). Each time I had hit panic button through my pregnancy, I distracted myself by dreaming about the beautiful phase awaiting. It was all going to be picture perfect from now on. I had everything organized in my head. I had a plan. And Oh!! How.Wrong.I.Was.

The first few days, are anything but easy. The following few weeks even tougher. If it’s easy making a baby, it’s a tremendous task in keeping the baby safe, healthy and thriving when they are out. I had faced a third degree episiotomy, breastfeeding was no walk in the park, getting up through deep sleep to calm an infant > change diapers > feed > burp > put them to sleep was all getting me brain fried. I was pretty close to punching faces who came to visit me and commented, “Isn’t motherhood bliss”. No. First month is anything but bliss. Its hard work, its crap. Yes, you see your baby and you WANT to do the best for them…but pushing your mental and physical abilities to endless limits is a test that requires a lot of patience….and a LOT of support from your spouse and family.

Here’s something I think that all women should be aware of post-delivery:

1.  Breastfeeding:

BreastFeeding is NOT easy, nor does the milk come in the way you expect. Don’t give up. Try try try and push for atleast a month before you give in to formula feed. I thought I was a pro after watching all those videos on YouTube, till reality hit home. Sore nipples, no ‘let down’ for a few days postpartum, everyone telling me that my baby was hungry so give formula, trying to pump milk to see how much I’m making (which isn’t even an indicator of how much milk one is making), major backaches due to constant bending over while nursing, and other such problems mounted. Not being able to even sit for nursing (due to stitches ‘down under’) just added to the whole stress. Correct latch was a problem for a month and I suffered!! Don’t do it to yourself. You will have other things to deal with as well. Remember…

  1. Please meet lactation consultants to help you and baby get a proper latch
  2. Use nursing pillows / lotsa pillows while nursing

2.  Support System:

I’m sure your spouse is going to pitch in as much as he can. But it’s an emotional and physical roller coaster ride for us. Boys can’t imagine what is going on, even when they ‘see’ everything and are a part of the whole journey with you. Be patient with him. But also TELL him what you want done. I think that the switch-over of roles (from being a daughter to a wife, and eventually from wife to a mother), comes much easier for women than for our men. It’s all too much to take in, and the lack of sleep is accompanied by a constant state of exhaustion with a ‘zombie’ like feeling. Brace yourself.

If you are lucky to have your mom come stay with you (which was in my case as I delivered at my parents home), she is going to be your bestest friend for some time. Don’t hesitate in learning from her. But also remember that at end of the day it’s YOUR baby, and they ALL have to follow YOUR lead. A lot of changes have come from when our mothers looked after us as babies, make sure you discuss how exactly you want your baby looked after and know what kind of assistance you need.

There are also many support groups online that provide you with an incredible amount of guidance and credible amount of information. I highly recommend joining them (search Facebook/Google).

3.  Always Remember:

We weren’t born pro moms. It’s OK to make mistakes, be unsure of what to do, and to ask for help and advice, from whoever you think will help you best with the particular issue you face. Everything will be trial and error till you and baby figure out what works best for you both.

Some Do’s and Don’ts At The End Of The Day :

  • Don’t EVER be guilty about not being able to keep everyone happy. The only person you need to think about is your baby for the next few months. Don’t even bother about what who thinks what. Haters will hate, talkers will talk.
  • Do take utmost care of your health too. If anything happens to you, who will the baby depend on? Your baby needs you for her existence, for a lifetime. Make yourself priority without any guilt!
  • Do Stay happy and healthy, babies pick up on positive vibes. And remember, each pregnancy is different.

So go without any pre conceived notions. Good luck and I’m very sure it’s all going to go smooth and perfect, as did mine <3

READ 3 Simple Things I learnt From My Delivery | Part #1 of 3 | Pregnancy
READ Simple Things I Learnt From My Delivery | Part #2 of 3 | The Labor Room

Montessori Inspired Activities for Toddlers #3 | Size Sorting & Colour Matching

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I made this simple and colourful activity yesterday to help my toddler understand the concept of size sorting and matching. Sorting according to the size of the icecream and matching according to the colour. I tried to keep the colour of the cone and icecream same because we were doing both sorting with the help of matching, to make it a little easy for her.

If your child is a little older, you can try it with different colours and concentrate on sorting or matching, individually. But since the Little Thing is only 23 months old, I had to do it relatively.

The supplies I used in this activity are same as the supplies I used in our previous activity, because I already had them available at home.

You will need the following things to do this activity:

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  1.  Card board piece ( I upcycled old carton)
  2. Foam sheets
  3. 1 colour paper
  4. Scissors
  5. Markers
  6. Glue stick

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First, I wrapped the card board piece with a coloured paper.

My card board sheet was a little bigger than the colour paper, which is why I put up a different coloured paper on the top. Of course I could have cut it small to match the size of the paper, but I wanted to make it a bit more appealing to my child. And the blue coloured paper actually makes a difference.

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Moving on, I drew four triangles on the paper and asked the Big Thing if she would fill colours in them. She happily agreed to help me with the colouring part. While I grabbed some coloured foam sheets and cut out the ice-cream shapes according to the size. And that’s it.

We let our almost-2-year-old pick and sort/match them on her own. And by far this has been her favourite activity because it’s got to do everything with ice-creams! Probably her favourite thing in the whole world! :)

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And if you haven’t already noticed the difference in the titles in each photograph, let me tell me you what happened. I wrote ‘Shape sorting’ instead of ‘Sort and Match’, which is why I went on and edited the picture instead of changing it on the board, photographing and uploading everything once again! Anyway, mistakes happen because I’m not perfect! :)

So that’s the activity we did today. Go see what activities we have done so far. And please leave a comment below and tell me which is your child’s favourite activity. I would love to know :)

So until next time, Happy Homeschooling to you! :D

Montessori Inspired Activities For Toddlers #2 | Easy Homemade Play Dough Recipe {No Cream of Tartar}

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If you have been following my blog for sometime, then you might have already read about the no-cook Play Dough recipe I posted a few months ago.  That recipe is still my go-to recipe for homemade play dough for my little girls.

But last night, kids slept a tad bit early, so I had some ‘extra’ time to experiment. And since we ran out of our play dough that I made earlier, I decide to try this recipe that doesn’t require cream of tartar.

And to those of you who don’t know what cream of tartar is, its actually a powder that gives the dough a bit more stability and volume. But I just decide to skip it, because like always I wanted to make something with the ingredients that I already had in our cabinet. And I loved the way it turned.

So here’s what you will need to make your own homemade play dough without cream of tartar:

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  1. 1 cup All purpose Flour
  2. 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil (or any other oil)
  3. 1/4 cup Salt
  4. 3 teaspoons White Vinegar
  5. 1 cup Water
  6. Food Colouring

Method:

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Put all the ingredients in a saucepan.

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Mix everything together and stir constantly over a low-medium flame. Until it clumps up together like this.

Turn off the flame. And knead it for a few minutes so that everything is mixed together nicely.

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They enjoyed it thoroughly. I loved watching them play.

And if you want to make play dough in different colours. Just rinse the saucepan and repeat the procedure. Store in air-tight container and it should last for a very long time.

UPDATE: I wrote this last week but published it only today. So this batch of play dough is still great going.

One night, I left a small portion of it, open to air to see how quickly it hardens up. And I’m glad it didn’t dry up a lot. I added a few drops of water in the morning and with little kneading. It was fit for play again :)

Let me know if you have tried any other recipe for making play dough and like it. I would love to try it too.

And if you’ve  missed our yesterday’s activity, you can go take a look at it. So that’s it for today. :)

Happy Homeschooling!

Montessori Inspired Activities for Toddlers #1 | Introducing Colours

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Yesterday, kids got up a bit early and I haven’t had a single ‘goodnight’ in the past few weeks (that’s a different story though). So  since everyone was up, I thought of making something colourful for the Little Thing, who is not yet familiar with colours other than Orange and Green.

This activity will helped my child in ‘matching’ the colours. I didn’t want to rush things up and confuse her. So as of yesterday, it was only matching the colours for her. May be in the coming weeks we can learn their names too. :)

So if you want to make this activity for your child, you’ll need the following things:

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  1. Foam sheets in colours of your choice
  2. Cardboard sheet ( I upcycled an old carton)
  3. 1 Colour paper.
  4. Scissors
  5. Markers
  6. Glue stick

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All I did was I cut out a large piece of cardboard and wrapped it with a coloured paper, so that it looks neat ( You can totally skip this part, if you have no time).

And then glued, foam pieces on to the card stock. Remember you will need two pieces in the each colour, for your child to match them with one another. And that’s about it.

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Initially, I put the pieces beside and asked her what she wanted to do with them. She twisted and turned the pieces and pulled them apart. My fault, I shouldn’t have asked her that in the first place. Hehe.

I then told her to match the colours and she did it in no time. MashaAllah.

Fun Fact:  The Little Thing is this type of a child, she knows what a Popsicle stick is and never forgets to asks for it when she wants to play with them. But when I ask her the colour of the sky, she instantly says green! LOL Now you know her personality. Her major source of learning is her big sister.

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This is how it looked once she finished it. It’s easy, inexpensive and fun. I hope you’ll give it a try.

Please comment below and let me know how you like it. So that’s all for today. Stay tuned because I have loads of fun activities coming up.

Happy Homeschooling Momma!

A Furrytail Of Babies

A long long time ago (4 years to be precise), there lived a husband and wife. Very much in love, very much the ‘newlyweds’, very much the travelers, and very much on their way to discovering what it was to live the life of an expat in a country far far away (Dubai) from their home (India)…

Time went by very fast, as they settled into their new roles (and lots of household chores). A little after the New Year celebrations of 2013, they decided to have a baby. It made sense, it was after all the logical thing to do. So they embarked on this mission with full gusto, and signed up on every ‘animal rescue’ site there was on Facebook (Dubai chapter). They didn’t have to search for long, their prayers were answered very soon. There she was… with the biggest brown eyes, a smile to melt your heart, and a tail that could wag faster than the propellers of an aircraft. It only seemed right to name her after the one store they loved the most. Zara.

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 The couple started spending much of their time training, feeding, grooming, loving their new Rottweiler. She was the best thing that had happened to them. Yes their travels decreased, yes their expenditures went up, but there was no denying that she brought in even more love and happiness than they had ever imagined. They did such a good job looking after her, that they thought to themselves, ‘What can be better than having this baby?’. The answer was pretty obvious, ‘Another one! This time around, the human kind. Now THAT would definitely complete this family’. They had, after all, mastered the art of sleepless nights, getting up anytime between 4 and 6am for walks and feed, and keeping this lil munchkin happy and healthy. A baby can’t be any tougher right? They won’t poo and pee all over the house, they won’t chew the furniture, and if you leave them swaddled in one place…they will remain there till you are back… Wrong. Wrong. And wrong.

One year after, they were blessed with a beautiful baby boy. That’s when it all hit home. It was hard work. HARD WORK. The loving husband pitched in as much as he could, but it was tough. The wife juggled between baby, doggy, husband, house. And like all other fairytales, this one had a villain too – Time. There were not enough hours in a day!!! It was tough keeping Zara and baby apart, even tougher together .

The wife started losing her lovely locks, and husband started looking haggard. Both became whiney and started nagging each other all the time. It was turning into a nightmare. The only peaceful moment in the house, was when the baby smiled (or slept).

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It took a lot of patience (and discussions) to understand the whole family dynamics and the change. Slowwwly but surely, they set into a routine. Their lives started normalizing, they rediscovered their friends and favorite restaurants… House was again filled the sound of music, husband played the guitar again and the wife sang songs. Both babies started understanding their place in the family, and the house once more burst with laughter, mischief and play.

 And so they lived ‘Happily Ever After’

 Well, till the day they discovered a tortoise outside their house! They looked at each other cheekily and thought, ‘Hmmmmm, now what can be better than having 2 babies? 3 of course!!!’

The End.

 Stay tuned for the next article on ‘Introducing dog and baby’ :)

5 Basic Tips on Handling a Newborn | First Time Parents | All You Need To Know

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If you haven’t already spent a lot of time around newborn babies, their fragility may be intimidating. But the newborn phase is one of the most cherished phases in any parents’ life. So today I’m a few basics to remember when handling a newborn. These tips are more of little lessons, I personally learned in the past years.

1)  Keep hands clean:

First things first, always remember to wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer before handling your newborn baby. We generally don’t bother much about this. But then, newborns don’t have a strong immune system yet, so they are susceptible to infection. Also make sure that everyone who handles your baby has clean hands.

2)  Carrying your baby:

Be careful to support your baby’s head and neck. Cradle the baby’s head when carrying her and support the head when carrying the baby upright or when you lay your baby down.

Be careful not to shake your newborn, whether in play or in frustration. Shaking that is vigorous can cause bleeding in the brain and even death. Try tickling your baby’s feet or blow gently on to the cheek when you need to wake her up.

Always have your baby securely fastened into the stroller or carrier whenever on-the-go. Limit any activity that could be too rough or bouncy. Your newborn is not yet ready for rough play, such as being jiggled on the knee or thrown in the air.

3)  Feeding your baby: 

Breast milk is the best you can give your child. So stick to it unless there’s a reason. Newborns do not need anything expect breast milk or formula. So do not offer water or any juice.

Newborn babies have a very unpredictable feeding schedule. They need to be fed on regular intervals, starting from eight to twelve times a day. So may be every second hour or so. Or when ever the baby demands for it.

When hungry babies will show signs of hunger such as making lip movements, sucking thumb, stirring or stretching. Don’t wait for them to get cranky and fussy, because that’s the next level of hunger.

Stop feeding when your baby stops sucking or turns her face way from the breast, it means that he or she is full. As your baby gets older, he or she will take in more milk in less time at each feeding.

Formulas are not interchangeable. Once you have started on one brand and type, stick with it. Every change in formula sets off a 3-5 day adjustment period for baby’s digestive system that can result in increased gassiness and fussiness. All changes in formula should be approved by the pediatrician.

4)  Bathing your baby: 

As long as you’re doing a good job of cleaning your baby’s diaper area during changes, two or three baths a week probably are plenty for a newborn.

A sponge bath with water is usually enough, especially until the umbilical cord stump falls off.

In the winter season, when skin is likely to become dry or flaky, you may want to bathe her even less. Whether you’re giving a sponge or tub bath, always test the water temperature using your elbow or the inside of your wrist (the water should be lukewarm). Remember hot wash can cause major burns to your baby’s delicate skin.

Always keep your supplies like towel, washcloth, shampoo and baby soap within reach before you begin bathing a newborn.

Stick with mild, unscented products formulated for babies. Do not use any homemade or over-the-counter products when it comes to a newborn.

5)  Diapering your baby: 

By the time your baby arrives, you might have already decided whether you want to cloth diaper or use disposables. Either way, check out the best deals around and have loads and loads of them stocked up much before the baby arrives.

Change diapers frequently, every 2 hours whether you are using cloth diapers or disposables or after every bowel movement. Always wipe the area gently with a clean washcloth or a disposable wipe. In case of diaper rash apply coconut oil generously all over the area and let the baby remain diaper-free for at least a few hours a day.

If you are using cloth diapers and having diaper rash, then it could be due to detergent built-up. Trying stripping your cloth diapers and use detergents that do not contain any fragrance or dye.  In case of severe rash, always see your pediatrician.

So once you have these basics down, I’m sure you be one happy parent to you little bundle of joy. And of course it does call for some extra patience and time. After all your a parent to a brand new baby. :)

 

** The above post, as stated is purely based on my own experience and isn’t a proven one. Always remember that every child is different. Something that worked for us, may not necessarily work for you.

The Story Of The Elephant | Children’s Book Review

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A couple of months back I received an email from a very humble lady at Shade 7 publishing, asking if I would be interested in reviewing their children’s book here on my blog.

The moment I went through the mail I knew I wanted to do this. For two reasons, Reason #1, Both of our girls absolutely love being around with books. I say being around because they are too young to read everything on there own. They enjoy flipping the pages over and over again, staring at colourful pictures and may be reading a word or two.

Reason  #2, Husband and I have been searching for good and simple Islamic books for our children for a long time now. We did buy a few books in India and carried them all the way to Doha, when we moved here. And this book seemed like a perfect addition for our stash.

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About Shade 7: 

Shade 7 is a global, multilingual publisher of premium Quranic pop up books and 3D digital interactive apps that help children learn about all religions but primarily Islam in a fun and engrossing way.

The company has partnered with READ, a charitable foundation, with a pledge to donate 25 books for every 1,000 copies sold, in order to make them accessible to children in all circumstances; we believe that education should not be a privilege, it is a necessity.

Currently, Shade 7 have an ambitious publishing schedule of 30 titles including 3D digital app versions of each of our publications coming soon.

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About The Story of the Elephant: 

The Story of the Elephant, is the first Quranic pop-up book by Shade 7 publications, which tells the much loved story of Surah Al-Feel from chapter 105 of the Holy Quran.

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So this book narrates the incident as described in one of the most beautiful verses in the Holy Quran. It’s basically a story that talks about Allah, the Almighty’s immense strength.

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It’s undeniable that the pictures that keep popping up from the book make everything so real and simple for little children to understand. We as parents, try to read the story to our girls, one part at a time but may be since they aren’t big enough at the moment, they don’t understand a lot of it but they still enjoy the lively illustrations.

The Big Thing, has memorized the names of the people and places in it. And the Little Thing, who will be 2 next month, very quickly recognizes Kaaba (This is my favourite part).

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Apart from many other beautiful illustrations like the huge green bird, hands joined together in dua, the page with a huge elephant in chains is everyone’s favourite. The best part is that children get to pull the long card attached to the elephant and it moves up and down and children thus understand that the elephant is chained and can’t moved beyond that point.

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At the end of the book, there is a little quiz for children, followed by all the answers. We haven’t taken up the quiz yet because I thought it’s too early for their age. Plus they haven’t memorized the whole story, to be able to take it up on their own.

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Last but definitely not the least this lovely pop-up book comes with a huge envelope attached at the back with an antique letter seal. This envelope contains some cards of elephants and a huge print out of map of the place where this story is based. I have saved this, for both the girls to grow up a little so they can both sit down together and do some fun activity.

What I like about the book, The Story of the Elephant:

  1. The huge size of the book, that catches your child’s attention instantly.
  2. Beautiful and lively illustrations that improves child’s imagination and creatively.
  3. Activities that come along with the book, especially the elephants on the card which are extremely travel-friendly. (You can remove them and pop into your diaper bag, throw in a few crayons and you are sorted for your next flight).

What I don’t like about the book, The Story of the Elephant: 

I’m so glad that there isn’t a single thing that I don’t like about the book. (This doesn’t happen too often with me! Anyway :))

Do I recommend this book to other children? 

Yes, I strongly recommend this book to all the parents who are keen on instilling Islamic foundations in their young children in a very fun yet interesting way. I’m sure your child will enjoy it as much as my children are.

Also I have to admit that I received this book approximately two months ago and my children still haven’t had enough of it. Every time I bring it out, I see their little faces light up with joy. That excitement to learn something new everyday is remarkable.

And this book is definitely going to stay with us for years to come. And I really hope Shade 7 comes with loads of other such fun, interesting and educational books for young minds.

My Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

** We were sent the book in exchange of a fair and honest review. I was not paid to write this post. All the opinions and images are my own.