Toddlers Special



The period between one year and three years is the most fun part as toddlers behave like little adults. They behave exactly like you and even remind you of your unconscious mannerisms. As any mother would agree with me, it is difficult managing a toddler. They keep running as they take pride in the fact that they can walk and run. Their curiosity knows no bounds as they keenly observe and explore their surroundings.



Choosing toys for toddlers:


1.       Ensure that the toys are soft and comfortable for handling as babies like to pick them up and see them. The toys should not have rough or sharp edges.

2.        Choose toys that are reasonably big in size. They should also be colorful as such toys are more attractive.

3.       Moving toys are very popular with them as it gives ample opportunity to exercise their new skill- walking.’

4.       Music with toys is another favorite for these tiny tots. If there are toys that can repeat what they say, there is nothing more fun for them.

5.       They are fascinated with the daily objects that they see around the house and will make an attempt to grab them. Toys which resemble such common objects they can hold, like spoon or plastic keys are an instant hit with them.

6.       Animal sounds which they are able to relate to and the toys which make noise like car honking or speeding all capture their attention.

7.       Avoid remote control toys till they are old enough to understand how to operate it. They are in a stage where breaking a toy is as much fun as playing with one.

8.       A big no to fur dolls because tots find is amusing to chew on such furs, which in the long run may prove harmful for your kid.

9.       Avoid toys that are easily breakable or have many small pieces put together. There is the hazard of a baby breaking and swallowing the smaller part.


The top five foods that every toddler would like to have.

Milk – Yes you heard that right. Milk is their favorite. Make a variety of recipes like fruit shakes or porridge with milk. Avoid instant foods as much as possible because their digestive systems are still sensitive. 


Biscuits – The main reason why this could be their favorite is that it can be carried everywhere and consumed at will. This is especially good during their teething period as they can bite a biscuit to their hearts’ content. They can be cooked easily using some dough rolled in your choice of healthy ingredient and baking it.


Soups – This is your chance to feed your kid healthy food which he would not eat otherwise. Make a soup with a little bit of spice and salt and see how the cup empties fast! But make sure the taste is compatible with the babies’ taste bud.


Bread - Go for wheat bread or ragi bread instead of plain white milk bread. This is more nutritious and can be had with a tall glass of milk.


Fruit salad – Toddlers love to see their plate filled with colorful food. Go for a different mixture of easily digestible fruits. Your toddler will have great fun in picking each one up before gobbling them.



Bonding with tiny tots:



1.       Just sit with him and watch him do his regular things. He will be happy with the attention you give him and will be eager to show his skills.

2.      Appreciate even his tiniest efforts. My son claps when he has found out something new. Appreciation is a big booster for kids.

3.      Make him a part of your daily activities : are you washing a car? Ask him to pour some water over the car. Kids love being treated like adults.

4.     Sometimes it is difficult for us to listen to the same things again and again. But that is how they are tuned. You just have to listen to them patiently. Soon he will start reciprocating it.

5.      Tots love music. The minute they start jumping up and down to their favorite tune, join them. Let them know you enjoy doing things with them.

6.      Though your kid does not completely understand the concept of television, they love watching it all the same. Give them company.

7.     Sing to them and tell them small stories at bed time. They will be happy to snuggle next to you and sleep peacefully.

8.      Be generous with your hugs and kisses. They will love you in return.


Summer tips for toddlers:


Dressing:


This summer give their wardrobe a colorful look. Go for big floral prints and sleeveless dresses. Buy floppy hats (to screen the face from the sun) and light weight shoes.Dress them in light cotton instead of heavy denims. Dresses should be loose fitting and comfortable. For girls, complete the look with a hair band and matching chains. 


Drinks:


Give your kids a lot of water and juices to minimize the risk of dehydration. Since their physical activity is very high, they always need high energy.  Fruit juices and fresh fruits are an excellent addition to their normal foods. Include water rich foods like cucumber, water melon in their diet.


Hygiene:


Bath them at least twice daily. Teach them to brush their teeth regularly. Make sure their hair and nails are tidy. Toddler skin is too sensitive for any kind of creams or cosmetics. Use only what is recommended to them. Apply lots of coconut oil to their hair and body. This is a natural sunscreen for them and keeps their body cool.


Plus size is cool

There are a lot of notions that being plus size is unhealthy and unattractive. What if I were to say that being your way is fabulous ( as long as you are not too obese that is!). Such ladies are invariably low in confidence. So this might come as a booster to all such women. Please wake up and realize how beautiful you are. This page is dedicated to all the plus size beauties. You are the new cool. I'm going to list out awesome reasons why you are at an advantage compared to a lot of other people. After reading this, you will be surprised by how ignorant you were till now. Those who know what I'm about to say please share it with others who need it. You are as special as you think and more. 

20 reasons why fat is the new cool

Physical reasons:
1. They live longer.
2. They have better immunity to diseases.
3. They have the strength of Hercules!
4. The adipose protects you against cold (Its true!)
5. According to the British Medical journal, such healthy women have lesser heart problems.
6. People with higher Body Mass Index have a more youthful look than people with gaunt faces.
7. They have more chances of conception than people who are underweight
8.They have lesser risk of osteoporosis. (a deficient bone condition)
9. They are very good at giving hugs.

Psychological reasons:

1. Such people are the most cheerful people.
2. They are tolerant and can accept themselves even when others hesitate.
3. They don't have the confusion of choosing a dress. They know their section and what suits them the best.
4. They are much kinder and helpful under pressing situations.
5. They think they are Fabulous and Talented.
6.They are more sensitive to the physical appearance of others.

Fun reasons:
1.They have more space to tattoo
2. Children genuinely like them
3. Their curves make skinny people jealous.
4. People don't mess with such people in general.
5. They are perceived as good at dancing. (Probably because of the sway of their hips)

Be Positive



The power of P

Positive thinking is a very interesting topic and many eminent speakers have spoken on it. In plain language positive thinking means being happy and confident in your own skin. Our mind is a high-speed vehicle tuned only to speed. It is our responsibility to take it through the right direction for it to achieve happiness and contentment. How is it done? By staying positive, you not only energize your mind, you also keep it disciplined and under control. In some simple steps, I'm going to share the importance of being positive. It is the most straight forward route to a contented life.

Why should we stay positive?
If you notice your mind closely you might have observed that negative thoughts come naturally to your mind while your mind has to be trained to think positively. I know it is a big effort. But it is worth the time and energy in the long run. When you are positive, your body and mind are relaxed. You thoughts are clear and your ideas are sharp. You are more happy and more focused on your task at hand. Your brain has the energy to break down complex structure to simple bits that can be solved. Most of you are in high profile jobs and lead a fast paced life. This enhances the importance of teaching the mind to relax and stay tuned to its surroundings. People are more inclined to be near people who make them feel comfortable. So if you are not positive and happy, how will you make the next person comfortable?

Is positivity overrated?
Sometimes you might think that there is too much hype around this topic. Maybe! But you know what they say.. Aim for the moon, you might reach the star. Being positive is an exercise which in the long term yields results. People try to be positive for a short term but forget the long term goals.

The easiest ways to stay positive
Be ready to be inspired by even the smallest of wonders. How does a baby survive in this world with absolutely no prior knowledge of anything? How do things around us happen every day? Take time off from the hustle and bustle of the daily life and enjoy your surroundings. You will be surprised by the focus this simple exercise brings back in your life.

Beauty makes all of us happy. But they say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, which means beauty is a completely subjective term. Learn to observe and appreciate beauty. It could be anything. Your family, nature, a good photography or a simple gesture.

Be grateful for all the good that has happened so far. This one reminds you of how many people have touched your life positively. It will further inspire you to emulate them and help others. Count your blessings. Always remember, it could have been far worse than what you thought was worse.

Practice random acts of kindness. Helping others gives self-confidence. It makes you feel good about yourself. We always tend to do things that make us feel good about ourselves. By this random act not only you learn to care about complete strangers but also help such strangers see things in a different way.

Always remind yourself that you are good and are becoming better day by day. Most of the things in life seem different when viewed in retrospect. This is the reason we have regrets. When you believe you are good and capable , you tend to give your best shot in any situation through which you will have lesser regrets.

Live in the present. It holds a lot of promise than the future if only you can realize what is happening at the moment. Keep your eyes and mind open to possibilities that you never even considered earlier. You might surprise yourself by the positive results.

5 love lessons from the railway track

5 love lessons from the railway track

Mom, I Understand You!

Yesterday I was busy doing something on the computer when my son (almost two years) walked into the room and started messing with the keyboard. This had been happening since I came to stay at my parent's place for the vacation. I'm settled at Chennai and I come here to be relaxed or so I thought. I called for my mom to take my son away for a few minutes while I fiddled with my keyboard.
Mom, I understand you!

Whenever I called for my mother to engage my son while I worked on something else, she would always hurry to take him away. Until yesterday when she was stitching a new dress for me.

"Mom," I said, "Can you please take him for a walk?"

"I just want ten minutes to finish this dress. After that I can take him" my mother replied. But ten minutes turned to thirty and I was losing my patience. I repeatedly kept calling her though I was not doing anything useful.I just wanted my mother to take care of the baby.

At some point I got really angry about her delay and yelled at her.

"Mom, why can't you understand? I come here to be relaxed. If I were to take care of him and do all the work why would I come here? You don't even give me that basic comfort." I complained.

My mother tried to reason with me. " If you share my responsibilities, both of us would have enough free time to do our work. Now since I end up doing everything, I'm on a tight schedule. Even now, I'm in the middle of stitching a new dress for you."

"I don't want a new dress mom. I just want you to take care of the baby." I yelled at her, gave an exaggerated sigh and walked out of the room. My mother took the baby for a walk after that. She did not say anything further but her face fell.

That night I could not sleep. I switched on the bedside lamp and turned to see my mother and my baby. Both were sleeping peacefully. I felt so guilty on realizing that my mother was no ordinary woman but I was forcing her to be one. For you to know the intensity of my guilt, you should know something about my mother.

My mother is fifty years old with the enthusiasm of a twenty year old. She is fond of stitching clothes and writing. She cooks, cleans and washes everyday without the help of a servant maid. She writes two blogs - one in English and one in Tamil which are popular all over the world.She has been into exciting business ventures and is always full of new ideas. Her zest for life is unparalleled as she does what she can for the society in her own small way. For instance, for one year, she taught at the local school without any salary. She conducts tuition and helps under-privileged children with their studies. She reads a lot of books and takes care of our family with so much of love and care. Our family is big and invariably there are guests at our place everyday. She manages the chaos and keeps everybody happy , God knows how! All in all she is a very special and talented woman who chose to stay at home and raise us instead of going to a well-paying job.

I felt guilty because I was forcing her to be an average home-maker whose only world is nothing but her family when she was much more intelligent and capable. I expected her to be a grandmother whose only world was her grandson. I wanted her to fit into the mold of an average woman when she was meant to stand out. I took her for granted and failed to realize her sacrifices I was forcing her to make. If her own daughter would not understand her, who else would. I did not want to change my mother while unknowingly I was forcing her to change and was setting limits to her capabilities citing her age.

The next day, I apologized and explained to my mother. I told her what I felt the previous night. I told her she had always been a special woman and I would help her reach her aspirations no matter what. I promised I would not take her for granted and vowed to work closely with her on household responsibilities so that both of us had time to do whatever we liked. She accepted my explanation with a smile and a hug and just said, "I'm glad you understand."

Sometimes it is very easy to blame our mothers and take them for granted. But to remember that she has  a right to her life and dreams is not easy. We have to always remember that the relationships closest to us need the most work. You are part of your mother's blood and soul. So no one should be able to understand your mother like you do. To appreciate and acknowledge her efforts is the greatest gift any child can offer her mother.

Know Your Worth

Know your worth

Hillary Clinton’s Best Advice on Succeeding in a Man’s World


The former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has been breaking into the men’s club all her career. She shared some of her hard-won wisdom about how that’s done last night at the opening of the Women in the World Conference in New York.


Clinton sat down with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chief Christine Lagarde in a joint interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman. Both women had the crowd laughing and applauding at their no-nonsense takes on everything from intimidating men, to Russia, to the world economy.

On the double standard for women:

There is a double standard, obviously. We have all either experienced it, or have seen it. There is a deep-set of cultural, psychological views that are manifest through this double standard…Some of these attitudes persist, and if they persist in as open, and in many ways transformational society as ours is in the 21st century, you know how deep they are.

On what we should do about the double standard:

That’s why it’s important that we surface [the double standards], and why we talk about them, and help men and women recognize when they are crossing over from an individual judgement…into a stereotype. Into applying some kind of gender based characterization of the person. The double standard is alive and well, and I think in many respects the media is the principal propagator of its persistence.

On advice for young women on how to handle workplace sexism:

I always say that you have to play both an outside and inside game. On the outside, you have to find ways to raise these issues that are truly rooted in sexism or old-fashioned irrelevant expectations of women’s lives. Not just to score a point,
but to change a mind. I’ve often been the only woman in a room, and have had the experience of talking about women’s issues and seeing eyes glaze over and the mind[s] wandering. You have to think of some way to bring it back, “oh, I know you have a daughter you must be so proud of her.” You have to think of ways to keep focus on what it is we are trying to convince the other person—predominately a man—to believe.

On the qualities women need to succeed:

The inside is equally important. One of my predecessors and personal heroines was Eleanor Roosevelt. And she famously said back in the 1920s that if a woman wants to be involved in the public….she has to grow skin as thick as the hide of a rhinoceros. So even back then, this was an obvious point of concern and contention. Too many young women are harder on themselves than circumstances warrant. They are too often selling themselves short. They too often take criticism personally instead of seriously. You should take criticism seriously because you might learn something, but you can’t let it crush you. You have to be resilient to keep moving forward despite whatever the personal setbacks and even insults that come your way might be. That takes a sense of humor about yourself and others, believe me this hard-won advice. But it is a process. You need other women, you need your friends to support you, and you need male friends as well as female ones. You need good role models all of that is true. But at the end of the day, you really have to be good if you have high aspirations. You need to be well-educated, prepared, and willing to take your chances when they come your way. Cut yourself a little bit of slack.

What young women are doing wrong:

At this point in my career, I have employed so many young people and one of the differences is that whenever I would say to a young woman, I want you to do this, I want you take on this extra responsibility, I want you to move up, almost invariably they would say, “do you think I can?” or “do you think I’m ready?” Well, I wouldn’t be asking you if I didn’t think you could and that you were ready. But I know that is often the first response from a young woman. When I ask a young man if he wants to move up, he goes, “how high, how fast, when do I start?” There is just a hesitancy still of women’s worth and women’s wok that we are going to have to continue to address so more young women feel free to pursue their own ambitions and be successful.

On the state of women’s rights worldwide:

There are still some horrific situations. There are still girls who are born, who are not even registered at birth, they are so considered secondary. There is still a disparity, particularly in Asia, driven by China and India because of their large populations. Between the population numbers of girls and boys, there’s about a 3 million plus gap. Girls are still the last to be fed, still denied health care, still forced to labor, unable to go beyond primary education, marry at very young ages. We know we have those obvious discriminatory laws, regulations, practices that we still have to tackle. But then there are the more subtle obstacles. The ones Christine and I have talked about and she’s been highlighting through the work of the IMF or World Bank and UN and so many other organizations in both the private and public sector.
So I think it’s important that we really look at this broadly and say yes we’ve made progress let’s be proud of that, but we can’t rest. For many of us, the argument for women’s equality was first and foremost a moral argument. And it was a political argument. But I think where it is now as an economic argument, in many respects is a maturing of the case that women’s rights are human rights, but also a very important way of enlisting greater support…[The world] can’t really be flat if you have half the population either discouraged from or discriminated against when it comes to economic activity because you will not be as productive as you will otherwise…It’s very strategic. Where women are more equal, you have less instability, fewer conflict, greater democracy and a powerful government. These go hand in hand.




* Article sourced from time.com


They Taught Us

They taught Us

Music and Memories

Music and Memories

Bellaganji (New Mothers Special)

Bellaganji is a very nutritious food for women in their postpartum stage. It has to be taken twice every day for a fortnight.
Ingredients:
Millet rice – 250 gm
Palm sugar – 50 gm
Salt to taste
Water as required
Ghee – 3 tablespoon
Cleaning Procedure:
Boil the millet and dry it. Remove the husk and separate the rice. Rinse the rice thoruoughly with water
Boil the palm sugar with water till it melts completely. Filter the top liquid without disturbing the sediments in the bottom of the vessel.
Procedure:
  • Mix the boiled millet rice with the palm sugar.
  • Add water ( four times the rice) and salt to taste and cook it in a pressure cooker.
  • Remove from flame after 15 mins (normally as you would cook rice)
  • Add ghee and serve hot.

Spontaneous and Happy

Yesterday I went to the mall along with my family. My son who is twenty months old was super-excited about the local mall. The attractive colors, the loud music, the trendy dresses, I can only say he was captivated beyond imagination. He not even once asked me to carry him. We were in that mall for more than six hours and he walked for all those six hours like adults. It is always a pleasure to take babies outside, especially tiny toddlers like him because they have the capacity to bond total strangers.

He just randomly waved at people all the time and surprisingly everyone returned his wave. He did not have any self-consciousness as he strutted along the corridors exploring one shop after another. Occasionally when he liked a shop (he likes shops with bright colors and loud music), he just entered it and started running around the aisles. I had a difficult time running behind him all the time. Mothers are generally over-cautious when it comes to their children and I was no exception.

We were on he third floor of the shopping mall and there was a very famous music store in that floor. We were idling in the corridor next to it when my son who was excited gave a loud giggle and darted towards the store which was crowded. I was scared that I might lose him in the crowd or he might break something. But then something extraordinary happened. He just stood next to the speaker near the entrance of the shop and started dancing. And by dance here I mean full on high energy shaking of legs, arms and hips. He was totally enjoying the experience and letting it show. I knew he was distracting the other customers, so I just went in to get him. And that's when I realized the store was silent expect for the music playing from the speaker. I looked around and saw that all the customers were happily cheering him on. Some were amazed, some were clapping according to the tune silently, some were taking videos of him doing his master dance.

I quickly wanted to capture a picture of him myself and show it proudly to all my friends, but somehow I could not take the eyes off him to search for my phone in my handbag. He danced for nearly five minutes while people next to me gave me appreciative glances. At the end of his amazing dance,he entire store erupted into loud cheers and applause as my son happily came running towards me. The store owner gifted him a Tom&Jerry DVD for his wonderful performance. I was beyond happy.

As I carried him back to my waiting family, I could not help but wonder how spontaneous children are. They don't care about what other think about them and go on to do what makes them feel happy. Somewhere along the line when they are growing up, we teach them to become self-conscious there by replacing their spontaneity. But just so you know it is perfectly alright to be spontaneous once in a while. I learnt that from my little buddy.

PeraKu (The Buttermilk Rice)

Ingredients:
Butter Milk – 3 cups

Little Millet – 250 gm
Water as required
Salt to taste
Butter – 1 tablespoon
Procedure:
  • Clean the millet rice thoroughly with water and filter the coarse grains and small stones
  • Mix all the above ingredients and cook them in a pressure cooker (like normal rice)
  • Cook for 15 minutes and remove from flame.
  • The cooked rice should be in the consistence of a jelly.
  • Add more butter while serving hot.

BelaKu (Round Jaggery Rice)

Ingredients:

Rice – 250 gm
Dried beans – 50 gm
Round Jaggery – 50 gm
Water as required
Salt as required
Cardamom – 2 pcs
Coconut ( Cut into small pieces) – 1 small cup)
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Procedure:
  • Soak the beans overnight.
  • Mix rice with all the above ingredients along with the soaked beans.
  • Add water as required.
  • Cook on medium flame till the rice is well-cooked.
  • Remove from flame and stir it well with the help of spatula and make it into small balls.
  • Serve hot.

Yes I'm FAT, So What?

So you had a baby and the weight gain during pregnancy is just refusing to come down to normal again. You think it is just a few pounds here and there but your husband has a new word for it - FAT. He thinks you are fat and does not hesitate to say so. What about your friends and relatives? They too call you fat and look at you with sympathy. For what? For gaining a healthy look.

For a lot of Indian mothers gaining weight after pregnancy is much expected and is taken little notice of by the ladies. But for the guys and especially the husband, it is a different story. So dear husband here are some of the answers that I always wanted to tell you for your set of stupid questions.

1. You used to be gorgeous  but now you are fat?

Ans: Yes but not by over-eating. I have brought a new life into this world. I have endured pain and discomfort to a level that you can't even begin to imagine. My weight is just a by product of my achievement of which you are clueless.

2. When are you going to fit into your old jeans? 

Ans: We wear dresses according to our size. When did it become otherwise. If my old jeans does not fit me, I will get a new one. What to do if my old husband does not understand?

3. When are you going to look like your old self again?

Ans: Why do I want to look like my old self again hubby when I feel more happy , more healthy, more blessed and more content now? Sorry I don't want to be my old self. I'm the new and improved version of the girl you married, don't you see?

4. When are you going to hit the gym to lose weight?

Right now I'm busy feeding and changing diapers to bother much about how I look. I'm tired of cooking, cleaning and washing. My sleep is non-existent and I don't have time to have a leisurely meal. So first of all, understand that I don't have time. Even if I do, I would prefer catching upon some lost sleep instead of running on a maniac machine. The answer to your question is that probably I never would.

And oh dear husband I have one final question to ask...

When are you going to stop badgering me about my weight?!!

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