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.

the mommy blog

 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).

 the mommy blog

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

Tips on handling a newborn the mommy blog india

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

s2

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.

s3

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.

sh

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.

gh1

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.

3

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).

c

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.

5

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.

0

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.

 

We Are Back + Exciting Announcement

the mommy blog

Hello Readers,

Hope you all are doing super well. 🙂

A lot has happened since I blogged last. And I can’t wait to share some exciting news with you all.

As you may have already noticed there wasn’t much happening here on the blog for two reasons. 1) I wanted to give myself a good break from blogging because of Ramadan, so I could give my one hundred percent to my family. 2) I have been thinking for quite a few months about starting my own YouTube Channel, The Mommy Blog TV, so I spent a good amount of time researching and figuring out things on my own.  I wanted to share with you a few videos of things I have loved, had questions about, some fun things going on with my family and so much more.

And one month fast forward, I have uploaded four videos on my channel, made loads to mistakes, learnt from them. And I will keep continuing it. So I would love for you all to go check it out and subscribe to my channel if you want to see more videos.

And as of The Mommy Blog, have no fear, it’s my first love and will remain the same forever. So be sure to check back every now and then because I have loads of exciting things lined up. So until next time. Take care 🙂

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

The mommy blog delivery

This post is second in the series on posts I have written on Simple Things I Learnt From My Delivery. Read the first post {here}.

Every woman goes through her fair share of ‘lessons learnt’ during her pregnancy and delivery. During the 38 weeks of being an expectant mother, I faced:

  • Morning (read all day) sickness
  • Lack of stamina and exercise due to this constant eckiness
  • Miserably failing my glucose tests (to the extent I had monitor my sugar 6 times a day everyday)
  • Eventually going for morning walks in the freezing cold (and nearly having my toes fall off due to the chill)
  • Spotting and bleeding for no particular reason (my heart of course stopped each time this happened).
  • Everything coupled with the usual backaches, heart burns & constant wanting to pee.

If my pregnancy was tough, the recovery, postpartum even tougher. The only thing that went smooth was the delivery itself, something which I had been dreading since the day I got pregnant.

I was induced on midnight of 15th Feb 2015, second capsule given at 3 AM, that when I started dilating. However my contractions were still weak and I remember telling my hubby “I don’t know if I’m getting gas or if is it the real deal”.

By 6 AM, when I got 3rd dose, contractions started coming hard this time. And while the nurses prepped me, the frequency and intensity amplified by ten times. I yelled Epidural around 8 AM and finally peace prevailed in my labor room. My doctor came to check me and said I wouldn’t deliver before the afternoon, so I cheekily asked for a snack as well as took a nap. Got a rude awakening by one of the nurses around 10 AM who said I was going into labor, I could feel a pressure as versus the previous pain. At 11:51 AM, with one massive push, I had my baby in my arms…just like that 🙂

So here are some of the things I tell my pregnant friends not to worry about in the Labor room.

 1) The Machines:

 From the minute you walk into the hospital, there will some gadget or the other that will be attached to you. Some as simple as the weight and BP machine, which you are already familiar with. And then there are those that you may have only seen in the movies or on some episode of the TV series ER. Don’t panic, these are constantly monitoring a) Your heart rate, b) Baby’s Heart rate, c) Contractions – frequency and intensity. These are not just hooked up to your body in your room, but also being monitored from the nurse’s station outside. A cool thing which I was not aware of, is that almost all these machines have volume control! Incase any of the constant beeping is troubling you, they CAN be hushed up.

 2) Your Privacy:

Well, be prepared to have your modesty fly out of the window. Rest assured, everyone in that room has a ‘job’ to do, including YOU. Follow the instructions of your medical staff and just give in. Don’t sit and worry about who can see what. If anything bothers you, speak up.

 3) Walk:

 I took the wheelchair from my room to the labor room, made me feel like ‘the movies’. Realised it was a big mistake as I reached my destination. The head nurse bellowed at me “Are you sick? Why are you in a wheelchair? Walk!!”.

She also came back to shame me when I was yelling through the intense contractions, “Why are you lying down? Get up and walk around”. I can guarantee you, her pearls of wisdom made me bear the pain till the point that I could. Nothing feels better than walking and swaying and sometimes sitting on the exercise ball. So on the day, when the pain hits the roof, ask your attending nurse and walk.

4) Epidural:

 If you are open to taking an epidural, please request for one when you think you can no longer bear the pain. For some the pain is quite manageable and they go medication free. Then there are people like me who yell their lungs out and ask for epidural shamelessly. This reminds me, its ‘ok’ to yell your lungs out.

5) Skin-On-Skin:

Regardless of the way you deliver i.e. normal or through a cesarean, make sure your baby is brought to you immediately for a skin-on-skin. Your newborn bonds through touch and smell, and her senses are tuned in to respond to your unique smell and the feel of your bare skin. This experience also helps your baby transition from the fetus to a newborn. Try your best to breastfeed at that point. Some benefits of breastfeeding and information on Colostrum can be found {here}

Stay tuned for my experiences post delivery 🙂

Ramadan Series: 3 Easy Tip For A Well Stocked Freezer

ramadan tips The Mommy Blog

The holy time of the year is just around the corner – Ramadan! And when that realization hits us, we try our best to try and prepare our selves for this month and get the most out of the blessed days. Alas, we forget one main concern: food.

It’s not so much forgotten as being unprepared for. We remember it as the month of being deprived during the day and feasting at night. However, with all our spiritual aims and goals of maximum ibadah (worship) during Ramadan, precious hours spent in the kitchen can drain us physically and emotionally.

This is going to be our first Ramadan away from India and as a of family of four. And two little girls under four years of age. I had to plan a lot of things beforehand. I started planning for Ramadan, 3 weeks prior.  And I have been meaning to do a blog post for all my Muslim mommy friends so they could make use of it.

And only yesterday, I shared a picture of my freezer on my Instagram, and from then on, I have been receiving a lot of emails and messages on how-tos, which is why I just sat down to quickly jot everything down for you to read and make the best use. 😀

Thank you all for your emails and messages, I feel so loved :)

And in this post I will quickly you give heads up on how and what to stock in your freezer, before Ramadan begins.

1.  Start by listing everything you need: 

Sit down peacefully and think of what fruits and vegetables you will need very often, those that go in pretty much every dish. For example onions and celery. Put these on the top, so you don’t forget them later.

Next think of the vegetables that you want to stock on and if you have kids, see what they like and quickly make a note of them.

If you have decided to freeze them, then you will need freezer bags or vacuum sealing bags, if you can find them. I used regular zip-lock bags and a straw to draw out the air from the bags, works just fine.

You will also need a clean towel or tissue papers to pat dry the veggies before freezing (depends on the type of vegetable).

2.  Pick fresh fruits & vegetables: 

Start by selecting the most freshest of the fruits and vegetables, you can find at the grocery store. If possible head to the farmer’s market and pick them up at the earliest ( when they are just out of the farm).

Avoid vegetables and fruits with blemish or marks. They generally won’t last you long.

If you don’t have time, ask someone close to pick them up for you, your husband or help. I couldn’t go out myself, so husband got everything for us. Yes he does better grocery shopping than I do! *sigh*

3.  Start prepping the fruits & vegetables:

Freezing is a process that lets you store fruits and vegetables without losing their nutritional benefits, over time, provided they are frozen properly. Now by ‘properly’ I mean that not every vegetable can just be chopped and popped in to the freezer, that way they won’t last you over a week.

So here’s the list of things I have frozen so far and the method I followed:

Freezing onions & capsicum:

  1. Selected fresh and blemish-free onions.
  2. Peel, wash and chop them into 1/2 inch slices.
  3. Spread it flat on a tray and pop the tray in to the freezer for at least 2 hours.
  4. Once all the pieces turn into solid, divide them into meal size portions.
  5. Put them into the zip-lock bags, draw the air out of the bags, with straw and seal.
  6. Then immediately put them back into the freezer.

Freezing carrots, corn. beetroots, beans and cabbage:

  1. Select fresh and blemish-free vegetables.
  2. Clean, wash and chop them into desired sizes (preferably small).
  3. Heat a large pot of water and start bringing it to boil.
  4. Once the water is boiling, put the vegetables in it.
  5. Grab your watch and keep an eye on it. You don’t want to cook the vegetables.
  6. When the water starts boiling again, turn off the heat.
  7. Quickly scoop the pieces of vegetables from hot water, and put them into ice cold water to avoid the vegetables getting cooked further (with their own heat).
  8. Drain the water.
  9. Pat them dry and store in the zip-lock bags.

Tips:

  • Keep an eye on your watch. So you don’t boil the vegetables for more than 2 minutes. Or they will get mushy.
  • Always try to keep the boiling time same as the cooling time. For example if you are boiling for 1 minute, then let then stay in ice cold water for 1 minute.
  • Boiling will kill all the enzymes and cooling then down will lock the nutrients in it. That way they will remain fresh for a longer period of time.

Freezing chicken for sandwich: 

  1. Wash and boil boneless (you can also use boned) chicken in salt and whole black pepper for 20-25 minutes until its cooked.
  2. Remove the chicken and let it cool a little.
  3. Shred it in to pieces using two forks (it’s easier that way).
  4. Divided into meal size portions and freeze int zip-lock bags.

I mix mayonnaise with shredded chicken. Spread it on a slice of bread. Top it off with slices of cucumbers and tomatoes for a super quick kids breakfast.

These frozen fruits and vegetables can be stored at least up to 6 months. Many people claim to be saving theirs for a year. But I can only talk from my experience, I had frozen beans in March and used the last batch only yesterday. And trust me when I say this I couldn’t find any noticeable difference, in the taste.

So these are all that I have frozen so far. I also plan on freeze a bunch of fruits soon. Let me know how you are prepping for Ramadan this year. I would love to hear it for you. Also please leave a comment down below and tell me if you found these tips useful for Ramadan 🙂

 

6 Best YouTube Channels You Should Not Miss

w4

I have to admit it, that every day I spend a good amount of time, watching YouTube videos, a lot of them actually. And I have been doing this for over two years now. And over time I have developed such amazing connect with these lovely vloggers and their channels that I thought it would be nice to share with you all and tell you how amazing they are.

I mostly follow a bunch of mommy/parenting channels and a few makeup/beauty channels, these are the subjects I have always held my attention. And in this post I will talk about six of my favourite and best YouTube Channels you should probably not miss.

1.  What’s Up Mom’s:

The Mommy Blog

Image Courtesy: blog.laurelandwolf.com/nursery-design-for-whats-up-moms/

This is probably the first on my list, for two reasons. This was the first YouTube channel that I ever started following. Second, I love the rapport between these young moms and their dedication to work. This channel was started by Elle, a mom of two. Now it’s a group of three moms who make it all happen. Meg shares kitchen tips, easy recipes. Brooke’s beautiful DIY projects and Elle does vlogs and tips videos. You should check out Elle’s Gangnam Style Parody. Their first video I ever watched, I remember husband showed it to me and we  both had a good laugh. That’s when I started following this channel.

2.  I’m A Mommy:

The Mommy Blog

Image Courtesy: www.facebook.com/ImAMommyof1

This amazing channel is by Michelle, a mother to 2 toddlers and a newborn. I have been following her for a long time now. And the reason I love her channel is because she’s so real and just herself. She’s one super mom I completely adore. Plus she always patient with answering all the questions posted by her followers (me included 😉 ). I love her hauls and monthly favourites videos most.

3.  It’s Judy’s Life:

The Mommy Blog

Image Courtesy: http://its-judys-life.tumblr.com/

Judy is a mom to a pre-schooler and twin girls. I started following her last year and have completely fallen in love with her vlogs. The way Benji, her husband is always helping her film the videos and backing her up every time/place is so remarkable. I mean we all need a strong support system. Don’t we?

4.  I Love Being a Mommy:

Elizabeth Rebecca, a sweet mom to two kids started this channel about a year ago. And I have started following her recently. I love the way she making her videos. They are just so beautiful to watch. Like really beautiful. I have to admit that I keep watching her videos over and over again just because I love all those subtle colours and music in her videos.

5.  Amanda Muse:

Amanda, is also a mother of two and a beauty enthusiast. I love her vlogs for her simplicity and uniqueness. I’m not comparing here. But then it’s so refreshing to find something new and exciting every time you watch her vlogs. Plus she’s such an energetic mother.

6.  Daily Bumps

w3

Image Courtesy: http://channelpages.com/dailyBUMPS

This is another channel I have started following recently. Daily Bumps is by Missy and Bryan, parents to a toddler and expecting their second child very soon. I love how lively their vlogs are. And the constant connect between this vlogy couple. They put up one video every single day, which itself says a lot about their teamwork and dedication.

It’s so inspiring to see how all these wonderful moms and dads manage YouTube, rare kids and still have a life. I’m completely addicted to these vlog channels and can’t wait to see their next videos.

And if you are like me and would love to watch some wonderful parenting vlogs every day/week, then go on and subscribe to these channels. And let me know your favourite mommy YouTube channel. I would love to subscribe to them 🙂

* This list is purely based on my personal preference and is not a proven one. I was not paid to do this post.