About Mommy Center

About Mommy Center

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Children's Ailment Symptoms - What They Mean?

Here's a link on Baby Center that I thought would come of help to us parents to diagnose what may be the underlying ailment of the symptoms your child shows when he/she (God forbid) is unwell.

http://www.babycenter.com/symptom-guide?scid=preschooler_20100928:3&pe=2Uj7C8Z

It's a keeper. Save it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Off To School!

To start with, let me thank Vijaya and Pallavi for putting up posts on Mommy Center. That gave me enough inspiration to do this post which has been long over-due.

In Jan 2010 my little one turned two years old, we were thinking of putting him in playschool. I know two is a really tender age....but still, we began seeing the need for him to have more social exposure. Not because he was any sort of an introvert or self-contained, but simply for him to develop inter-personal and communication skills. I know, I know.. these are awefully heavy words to be thrusted on the shoulders of a two year old...but, let's face it - It is a Big Bad World - And we, for one, have to give our kids all their ammunition as soon as they can learn to deal with it!

So before I start sounding like we have to train a warrior , let me jump straight to the point. There are several things that change when you put your child into school - of any sort. Starting from emotional and physical needs to financial and time related issues that get involved the moment you enrol your child. I've tried to put together some consice guidline as to what you might expect and how to prepare for your child, as he/she enters this new world!

FINDING THE RIGHT SCHOOL
You might need to do a bit of groud-work before you zero in on a particular school for your child. This becomes easy when you talk to people who have kids the same age. Do so! And, of course you have the internet to assist you with all the other information you need. Once you have a list of preffered schools based on all the logistical aspects (Distance, How you would commute, Who drops baby etc.), look into the other things like
- The school being recognized by an Educational Board/Government
- What all timings/sessions they have for children belonging to age group that of your child
- Do they require the child to be potty trained. If not, do they assist with  the same
- Food and snack requirements
- What kind of activities they do for various age groups
- Teacher-Child ratio
- Cleanliness/Hygiene

Visit the zeroed-in schools with your child. If they allow you to take a tour, do just that. See how the teachers are interacting with the kids and how they greet you and your child when you go visiting. If possible, spend a couple of minutes with the concerened prospective teacher to get more information and a feeler of the class in-progress.

What we did
Distance was a big contraint for us, because I had to not just drop S but also my hubby every morning. So we found 3 schools that were close by and then filtered them down based on distance, timings and price. He now attends school from 8:30am to 11:30am. Sad part is he gets no snack in this (long!) time-frame. But, he has got used to it (because he is now having fun at school), so its fine. It also eases all the fights I used to have at lunch time. He gets so hungry that he eats without a fuss!

MENTAL MAKE-UP
Once you have decided on a school to enrol your child, take him with you each time you visit the school to drop off papers/forms. This will familiarize your child with the school and its surroundings. Keep talking to him about school frequently throughout the day and about all the fun things they do there. You could even introduce him to some other older kids around your neighbor-hood who go to school and ask them to talk to your baby about all the friends he will soon be getting.

What we did
I spoke to S about school for about a month or more before we got him enrolled. That helped to a large extent. Also, since he saw all the toys and other kids he knew that school was not a torture arena. I have nephews here who attend middle and high school. I asked them to talk to him and that I guess worked too, because he got first hand experiences, albeit made-up *wink*

LET'S GET SHOPPING
Now that you've cajoled your little one into going to a new place where Momma dear would not be around to watch his tantrums - get shopping! Again, involve your child in this, too and tell him that all this is for him when he goes to school. Stash up on all the things you think your child will need. Clothes, diapers, pull-ups, wipes, sippy-cups/glasses, snacks, a nice bag - and yes, CLOTHES! (My laundry has begun growing exponentially ever since S started school).

What we did
In S's school, each child is provided with a cubby (short for cupboard, I'm guessing!) to keep his bag of things. Apart from pull-ups and wipes (since he is in the process of being potty trained) I keep two sets of extra clothing. Check about what your play-school requires you to keep and do so accordingly.

WELCOME GERMS!
Yes. Yes. Yes! You heard me. Get ready to have germs and viruses entre your house-hold without notice. How? Oh from school! Did you forget already? One child catches a cold and its passed on and on and on. But do not fret. This is the only way your child will get his immunity to the thousands of cold, cough and flu causing viruses there are. So, make sure you have all medication handy at home. Although I recommend that you use it only if the ailment is too severe. Keep checking expiry dates on all of them, for these germy fellas do not know to knock the door - They just barge right in!

Most importantly - You might want to check on all the immunizations/vaccinations that your child has received and update the records. Schools like to have a record of this.

What we did
S's school required us to give all his medical information and a permission from the doctor that he was ready to attend school. The rest, the germs took care off!

GETTING READY FOR THE BIG DAY!
And its not all about having your child mentally ready for school - Before you are cerain about putting you child to school, make sure YOU are ready for the big change. Are you okay with having another person deal with your toddler? Are there any concerns in your mind? If so, make sure you talk it all out first with your partner and then with the school authorities. Leaving your child in his/her classroom the first day and walking out as he/she is screaming out for you is no joke. So make up your mind about being stern with yourself.

Putting your trust in your little one's teachers and school authorities is the first and fore-most important thing to do. Talk to them everyday just so that you know your child is safe and you can rest assured! The first few days are hard for both you and your child. But there has been no child (or parent) who has been in this period forever! So cheer up!

What we did
On S's first day at play school, I just did as adviced by some good friends - I dropped him and waved good-bye and drove back home. Of course, the moment I got out of the car and started walking towards our house my knees felt like jelly. My mind went wary as I opened the door, and it hit me just how lonely I was without him around. Yet, I consoled myself (and talking to a couple friends who had been thru this in the recent past helped) and time just flew by.

Also, the longer you hover around your child in the class, he is going to expect the same each and every day - Thus, making peeling him off to independance a far worse task than you thought. And, who is the culprit? You! So just leave. The teachers are trained to take care of kids. They know better!

AND THEREAFTER...
It does not end with the first day. In fact, it does not even begin on that day. Why? Simply because your child (if he is like S and is a people loving) will not realize that this is going to be a daily affair. It is only the second day onwards that your child gets to know about this and wails out louder than you have ever heard him. But, stay strong. He'll be fine. Make sure you are, first!

What we did
Of course, S got really clingy for about two weeks after we first started him at play-school. If we were grocery shopping and I left him with his Dad to fetch something from the neighboring aisle, he would go bonkers and run for me. I did upset me and I was left wondering if he'd ever get over this insercurity. But he did. And boy, the process of them settling into school is weird. So is their behaviour. I still remember on his third day, he cried, oh yes! But, he cried, got off my arms and went towards his teacher!! Then on, there's been no stopping. (or crying!) :)

In conclusion, here's a little note to all those Mom's planning on putting your toddlers into school for a couple hours each day. Do not be under the impression that your day will be so much more relaxed with your child away. It gets a tad bit hectic in the mornings, with you pacing around trying to get food into your child's tummy so he wont starve his day off at school. But, it is all worth it when they're off and you put up your feet, even if its for five minutes, after the crazy morning before you get back to your own life.

Then, before you realize it its time to pick up your little one and time flies by. And just as I end this post, I sit back to read up the new curriculum they handed me at school. S just graduated from play-school (where he spent 4 months) to prep-school. I should've done this post four months back... but oh well!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Birth story - Vijaya

Well, all of you can afford not to write even after that threatening post from Deepti but unfortunately I cannot take the risk. I am meeting Deepti this weekend and I thought I better write in something I have been meaning to write my birth story before I forget the details and so here it goes. Krish is now 14 months but as I am trying to recollect the events of the day, it seems like such a long time.


My husband works in New York and it is a 3 hour drive from our place, one way. So, it was lucky that I woke up at 4 in the morning with a slight pain. It was very slight but it was enough for my husband to decide to not go to work that day. Now my motto in life is ‘Do not do something now that can be postponed and done latter’ and so accordingly my hospital bag was not packed and along the same line, I had some work that I had to complete before I went and delivered a baby. By 6 in the morning, the pain intensity had increased but the interval was still long. So, in this interval I sat with the laptop trying to finish work that unfortunately could not be postponed anymore, all the while giving instructions to my husband about what to put into my hospital bag (but honestly, the only thing I finally needed and used were my bathroom slippers and the dress to come back home in).

The interval kind of shortened and then we left to the hospital around 10 (there was also some bad time that we had to cross, my in-laws were there and so you see no arguing there). It’s around a 40 minute drive to the hospital and as were driving, I kept thinking how the next time I am on this road, the baby would be out and with me. So anyhow, we reach the hospital and I go walking in and seeing me the nurse predicted that it could be false pain. Sign, I should have come in a wheel chair. They monitored and checked me and since I had not dilated much, they decided that the baby was not coming anytime soon and that I should go home. And so went back home on the very same streets I thought I would be coming with a baby the next time I remember speaking to my mom on the way back home and she was quite shocked that they wouldn’t admit me in. The concept of limited hospital beds, insurance etc. did not mean much to her. However, on the way back I realized that my pain was increasing in intensity. Now, the doctor in the hospital had told us that I may take from a couple of days(minimum) to a couple of weeks(my due date was anyway a couple of weeks away) and they also told us not to come back until the pain interval was less than 4 minutes apart . My brother-in-law and sister-in-law had also arrived by the time we reached home. My pain slowly started getting worse and unbearable in the afternoon. But we did not want to go back to the hospital because the doctor was so confident about it not happening anytime soon and obviously the doctors know it better!

I can still picture my bedroom, I am trying to sit, walk, sleep, anything to make the pain a little better, my husband and BIL timing my pain, my MIL and SIL massaging my back and walking with me. Given a choice, ladies, please have an epidural. I wanted to have one! I could and still cannot understand when people say they do not want to have one. I am still so cheesed off by the fact that in this 21st century, having the option of not having to go through the excruciating pain of childbirth, I went through it!:) The previous day, I had my appointment with my gynic and she had told me that my effacement was more than 90%. My guess is they only considered my dilation and did not take my effacement into the picture when I went to the hospital. From what I understood in the birthing class, both the dilation and effacement have to happen. A lot of times the dilation happens and it takes a while to reach the 100% effacement. But in my case, I think I started dilating pretty quickly in the afternoon and since I had completed 100% effacement, I was directly into the pushing stage.

By 4 in the evening, the pain had passed and I was at the pushing stage. We then rushed to the hospital. I asked my BIl to drive the car and asked my husband to sit with me in the back in case I delivered! As I had mentioned earlier, it is a 40 minute drive to the hospital and I did not think I could last that long. I should thank my BIL for getting me to the hospital in a record time by breaking all speed limits and skipping a couple of traffic signals! My water broke in the car. Krish was born 10 minutes after we reached the hospital! He was almost a car baby.

I remember the nurse in the birthing class telling all of us, mostly first time moms how the delivery is the easy part, what comes latter is the challenging phase. And fourteen months into this roller-coaster ride, where no two days are the same, I so agree with her.

I end this post with a picture of Krish on his first birthday.


Birthday Party Ideas


I was heartbroken when Deepti said she may shut down Mommy Center...so I decided to push myself a bit and make this post. Would be awesome to hear everyone's stories too!

1st Birthday Celebration Ideas
Courtesy: Friends/family/self

If the big day is almost upon you(or upon you yet again if your kid's older than 1!), then here's a little help with planning!

Theme parties

Very popular and as much fun to organize as they are for the lil ones.

Popular themes seem to be:
1. Zoo/Jungle/Farm theme - since most 1 year olds are fascinated by animals. M loves butterflies so her party HAD to have a butterfly theme!

2. Cartoon character theme - works well for kids who're hooked on a character from a book, a soft toy or game. Popular ones include Pooh/Mickey Mouse/Disney characters


3. Flowers/Pretty garden theme - works well for girls or metrosexual boys!
4. Water theme - lends itself to great outdoor party with splash pool/water based games, but needs more supervision. Attempt only if all the kids are escorted by parents!


CAKE: The big advantage with theme parties is the cakes are simple to plan since you already have a basic theme. The only decision is - bake at home or buy? Tip**: I combined both and bought a basic chocolate truffle cake and did the decorating at home. FOOD: Cookies in line with the theme. You could make cut-outs in the shape of the theme characters/flowers etc. OR make basic round ones and ice them with easy to pipe royal icing.

DECORATIONS: Buy ready giant size posters/cut outs in the theme, pick out pretty paper plates and paper tissue with prints to match the theme. Balloons are always a delight! Tip**: We used thin fish wire to string up cut outs of animals all along the ceiling of the house so whenever M looked up she would see an animal.

FAVOURS: Pick up party favours with some elements of the theme on them, make your own personalized gift bags(or buy them ready) with thank you tags with a little printed image of the birthday boy/girl and some element of the theme. Tip**: For the grown ups, its easiest to just get some sinful filled chocolates, we got a mix of truffles, liquer centres and nutty dark chocs. Pop them into a pretty gift bag with some theme related confetti(lots of teeny silver butterflies in our case) and you're good to go!

Picnic in the Park

Nice if you have a great spot to unpack a lovely picnic meal for a small group(or if you have a park with BBQ stands/lots of play areas then works for a big group too).

CAKE: The cake won't last long if this is a summer party, so cut it first and then get on with the games!

FOOD: Keep it simple but tasty. If its going to be a 'cold' picnic then pack things that taste just as good cold. Sandwiches(make sure you buy really good bread and only the very best butter for the base), Salads(Potato/Thai/Chaat/Fruit), Cheeses, Vietnamese rice paper rolls are crunchy and fresh, wraps that you assemble just before eating. If you have a BBQ that opens up a whole world of options! From basic burgers, to tandoori food to satay and grilled meats! Baked potatoes work well and you can make some 3-4 different fillings and let people pile on their fave flavors(chili, cheese, butter, hung curd with greens/capers...)

DECORATIONS: Nothing really, just remember to carry lots of rugs/mats, paper tissues and plenty of garbage bags to clear up after you're done!

FAVOURS: Keeping with the picnicky theme, give away the favours in miniature cane woven baskets that resemble picnic hampers. Or give the kids frisbees or other outdoorsy game stuff with a red and white checkered ribbon tied around to match those picnic rugs!

A visit to the zoo/aquarium with just mom n dad

If you'd like to skip all the hype and hoopla and have a simple day out together, then this may be just what your lil one will love too!

Tip**: Watch what your lil one enjoys doing most when you're out together to help you plan. If its meeting other kids, then maybe you should go somewhere he/she can meet other lil kids...even a toy store! If s/he likes reading then spend an hour at a bookstore allowing her/him to pick put some fave books for their birthday. If your kid loves watching little fish swim around in the tank in a restaurant or at a friend's home then plan a trip to the aquarium followed by a snack lunch or tea at the beach. Or hit the zoo! While you don't need to worry about party favours and decorations, a few balloons and a little cake would be nice to remember the day by! And don't forget your camera :)

Make someone else's day special

Take your kid to visit their great grandparents/grandparents or family members who would love to see how big s/he has grown! And from the money saved on the party expenses, sponsor a child's education/healthcare or clothing for a year via World Vision or GiveIndia or similar charities.


Happy Birthday to all the lil ones who turn 1 this year!

Chrs,
Pallavi

PS: Happy Party Planning to all the Mommies :D










Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Last Call!

Ladies, THIS is it!

Looks like we're all too busy to write even a single word here, let alone a post. So, if you all agree I'd just shut this whole thing down. So much for a slow death, might as well turn it off altogether!

And, it is not just all/any of you but me too who is to be blamed. Life does get hectic with growing kids. So much that even though we mean to write here, we don't! So its fine. Nothing lost!

But, if there is anyone out there who believes this blog can get back to life...write a post. NOW. This is your last chance. Else, I delete it!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Superfoods for kids

Baby Center recommends these superfoods as a must have for kids. So, even if you have a picky eater, try to work these wonder foods into their meals using fun ways and sit back and watch the nutrients glide into your little soldiers tummy!

Click here for the super duper list!

Friday, June 18, 2010

I. Me. MYSELF!

They do not call it the 'terrible twos' for nothing. There are definitely two things happening. Of course I know that that is not the actual meaning of the term. The real meaning is about the phase that toddlers go through anywhere between 18m to the end of toddlerhood. Some kids, they say, get on the 'terrible' wagon much earlier.

I know many moms out here who would have already gone through this phase. But, here is a little fresh take on it. There is, of course, the whole 'gaining personality and independance' thing happening with your toddler. But, there is another thing happening side by side. And that, dear mommies, is the regaining of our personality and independance. Your once teeny, weeny helpless baby has blossomed into the most energetic, I-can-do-it rebel that you never imagined you would see. And as he/she peels away from you causing bittersweet emotions, you youself begin to realize that you are regaining control over your own life.

I can, personally, see the difference. These days I can at least think about doing something that I like and not worry about too much disturbance from my little one. Just give him some crayons and a paper and he is happy...and I am happy too! Yea, one side of the whole thing makes me sad that he is now a person - all on his own. Not 100% free yet, but almost there. And on the other side I am like "Hooorah"!

Did any of you experienced moms feel the same way? And those of you yet to get here...hang tight. For the terrible twos give you a lot more than just truck loads of tantrums!

Peace & Smiles
Deepti!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

how to get single children to entertain themselves?

hiya ppl,

i am a regular 'visitor' of mommy-center and a great fan too :) a friend of pallavi's she introduced me to this wonderful group last year when i was expecting my first. i have a lil girl Urvi who is now 6 months old.

as she is growing older, i am a little concerned about the fact that she needs a face in front of her/ around her at all times. she is happy to play on her own with no one around - but that time is the morning time for a brief 20 mins. in the evenings, once husband returns home, she is still happy to play on her own - but only when she can see our faces. which means she is privy to our discussions. which is ok for now. but as she grows up, i am sure i wouldn't want her to be privy to ALL of it.

any tips on how to manage this.

cheers!



Friday, April 30, 2010

How Mom's Can Stay Sane!

Hey Ladies!

I found this interesting read on baby-center.. Of course not all of them may be practically possible... but its worth a try, is it not?

http://www.babycenter.com/0_indulgences-how-mothers-stay-sane_3421.bc?page=1

Check it out when you get a couple minutes of free time :)

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Kids Reading List- ideas!

If you're wondering what books you'd want your kids to read, this is a nice link a friend forwarded to me recently, check it out!

http://www.saffrontree.org/

Friday, April 9, 2010

Mommy Talk!

I've come to this stage in motherhood, where I think I simply cannot carry on a conversation without mentioning a little something about my son to the person in context, especially if my lil man is around/in the vicinity. It's pretty funny how I can go on and on about how he plays with his blocks in such a dramatic narration that I do not bother if the other person is even interested or not. How moms can get carried away with 'Mommy Talk'!
But, then there is another side of this coin. And that comes into play when the other person involved in the conversation is not a mom or a parent. I've discussed this with many mommy friends and they all agree, that it simply is not the same kind of conversation that we normally would have had pre-baby! Every now and then I hit this void (especially with new contacts) and then the ice-breaker is invariably some new antic that my son would have picked up over the past couple days.
Have I forgotten how to converse 'normally'? Or is this just the way we moms are...I do not know. Do we out-grow this as our little ones grow up? Because I think my mom knows to talk to people without mentioning me. I am pretty darn sure about that! It is probably more common a 'syndrome' among stay-home moms because we are seeing our kids 24/7 and there is really nothing more than we can talk about. I mean, I cannot discuss the number of dishes I washed or what I have cooking in my kitchen with everyone I meet, can I?!!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hello Ladies!

Is there anyone out here? I know I myself have not been writing too much out here off-late... but why am I the ONLY one who has been writing here? I understand that with kids growing up it does take up our entire day... but we're here to share just about anything - Not just baby/kid related stuff.

Come on and let us breathe in new life to Mommy Center. Share your latest scoops..even if its just a day out at the park with your little one, or a terrible day at work. Bring on the posts...yet again!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Dawn of Bribery

Well, its something we all have encountered as kids. "Do this, and I'll give you that.." or the very famous, "Eat your food, and I'll get you that new toy you always wanted!"

I never thought I would use these exact same phrases. But time has come! It is one thing to make a statement and another to keep it up. There have been times when I have said to my little sonny that I'd give him a new set of ABC' fridge magnets if he'd finish drinking his milk...but no matter what the outcome, I would not keep up my word. Not because I dont remember it once he has/has not had his milk, but for reasons better known to me (I'm already tip-toeing across the floor with toys all over!). But, just the other day, he asked me where the new set of ABC magnets were and I lied (again!) saying the monster took it away.. just so that I could save the same tactic for his next I-dont-want-milk tantrum.

Is it right to do this? Would they stop trusting our words? I fear that from the bottom of my heart.

Do any of you do so? Share your thoughts!!

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Big Question

...and it lurks in the minds of most people who have had their first experience with a baby already - Should we have another one? Its not uncommon I would think, but what kind of feelings are associated with this decision, no one can tell. And it pretty much depends on a lot of circumstances, as with many major decisions.

Yet, beyond everything that's going on with your first child, do you still believe that it is a necessity to have 'just one more' (lol, do I sound like I'm asking for an extra cookie with guilt)? More so that your first child will have a companion to grow up with...and someone he/she can call family when we're long gone?

I know you all must be thinking now, "So, have you decided to have a second one?". Well, sorry to disappoint you - No. Not yet. I'm in a state of confusion myself. More so since I am dealing with the terrible two's phase I find myself yelling on most days and saying, "God, I don't want another baby!". But I've not decided. Ya, its a very personal thing... but there are some aspects of it that I thought I could put out here.

For starters, I have lived a good three decades of life without the need for a sibling. So, I do not quite know what it even feels like to have one. No, I'm not complaining. In fact, I'd say I would think I never ever had a problem being alone. Even today, I don't feel that having one would make my life any better. And I'm not against those of you who have siblings. I'm sure that is a good life in itself.

Besides this, I wonder, maybe a second child will help the first to learn a lot of things. Like being responsible, sharing and caring for another person. And this will further extend to the second one since they (Ive heard) in most cases ape the first.

What do you think? What's your answer to the Big Question?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Where is everybody?

Let me guess. Enjoying the holidays and having trouble getting back into the routine?? At least that's what has been happening in my case. Its been so long that I even logged in to blogger. Too bad. But hey, nothing is lost.... Let's reconnect ladies!!

I hope you all have a fantabulous 2010 and an even better time being 'Mommy'!!

Get blogging!!
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