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Create Memories With Zoomin

Our son is 4 years old and our daughter recently turned 6 months. And believe it or not we still have not printed any photos of them. Don’t believe it?? even I can’t believe how come we have not yet printed any photos of them. Blame it on technology or on our laziness or on our hectic lifestyle. There are thousands of photos in our mobile phones and computers but not a printed one.The only printed one our son has is with his school friends clicked at school itself.

Gone are the days when having a camera was a luxury and clicking photo was not an everyday affair. We had to plan in advance like from buying a film, deciding the occasion, at which moment to take pictures and counting the numbers of pictures clicked. And one has to be very careful while taking pictures as one spoiled picture means less numbers of pictures and money wasted. And not to mention how eagerly we would wait for days to see those pictures and I am sure each picture had a story to tell.

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Reference Image

With photographs we not only create memories but we also cherish those beautiful moments spent.

 

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Having a second baby with a toddler

Having a second baby with a toddler

Having a second baby with a toddler? Here is how I prepared my son for the arrival of a sibling

 

The arrival of a new member in the family can be a difficult transition for older children if not prepared in advance. Integration of a new baby into the family can create an emotional crisis for children. If you have planned for a 2nd baby or you just discovered that you are going to be parents again, it is better to involve your elder one in your pregnancy journey right from the beginning.

Having a second baby with a toddler
Having a second baby with a toddler

 

 

Here are few points which I would love to share that helped me in having a second baby with a toddler:

1) Try to know/ understand what they feel about babies in general.

Ask them would they want someone to play with or share their toys? My son would get excited whenever he sees a baby. He would tell me “mama I want a baby”.This was one great positive factor for us

2) Take them to your doctor’s visit and scans.

I would take him every time with me for all my doctor`s visits and sonography and before going for sonography I used to tell him that today we are going to look at the baby and see what is the baby doing inside( is the baby sleeping, or is the baby dancing or is the baby doing potty). This would make him laugh and curious.


3) Let them talk to your unborn child

I would ask him to talk to the baby. Let him ask questions.

4) Keep telling them that they will become Big brother/Sister of the baby. With that, they will have to change the baby’s diapers, apply cream, make them sleep, etc.


5) Let them choose or take their opinion before buying something for the baby.


6) Let the father or other members of the family take charge of the elder one.

E. g dropping or picking up from school/bus stop, taking bath, feeding them, making them sleep without you.

Tell me moms who have 2 children what did u do? Would love to hear from you.

 

You can also read: 5 Best Books on Pregnancy

 

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The Baby Dilemma

I was happy to put up an exhibition of my products. I was elated as I was able to start my work again in whatever little time I had now. Now I don’t have to plan days in advance to go out with my 3 year old son. Now I get time to watch movies or go for long walks alone. I was happy thinking about the trip with my son to Pondicherry. I had already started planning for our next trip. But then ” Oh Again! Oh Yes wow ! No not now! Oh I am pregnant again! Thousands thoughts came to my mind.

My husband and myself both of us had thought of 2nd child. I had a hard time while trying to conceive the first one. Taking medications, hormones injection, regular visit to the doctor, monthly sonography.. !!It was taking a toll on me. I didn’t want to go through the same process again for the 2nd time. But then this time I easily conceived. It was planned but unexpected I would say.

Having only one child was also fine with us. But the thought of what will happen to our son if/when we are not there? Both my husband and myself have siblings. The bond shared between siblings is above friends and parents. My son also started asking for a baby. There are many ifs and buts, pros and cons of having a child or 2nd child. It is everyone’s personal decision.

I have friends and cousins who are happily married for years and don’t have any kids nor do they plan to have any. Some have one child and wish to have another but can’t due to various reasons. This dilemma of having kids or how many or not to have is never ending.

I would like to know from my friends, specially mommy friends what do u feel ? – 1 child, 2 children or no kids at all.

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International Travel-Dubai Diaries

 

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We traveled to 4 countries covering 15+ cities when our son was 22 months old for almost 35 days. Love for travel didn’t stop us from traveling with a toddler. Traveling with kids can be frustrating at times so be prepared for that.
We first visited Dubai en-route Turkey, for 3 days.


Day 1: On the day of arrival we visited: > Dubai Mall > Aquarium and underwater zoo > Dubai fountain

Dubai Mall is one of the largest mall in UAE. Â The Aquarium and underwater zoo is located on the Ground Level of The Dubai Mall, is the largest suspended aquariums in the world.
It houses thousands of aquatic animals, comprising over 140 species.

The Dubai fountain is a choreographed fountain show, next to the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. We saw the evening show. The evening shows starts at 6.00 pm until 12.00 midnight ( shows in every 30 mins). These are kid friendly places and can be easily covered in 4-5 hours.

Day 2: Our friend took us to few important landmarks. Because the weather was hot and we just managed to get down from the car and click some pics. Little one was sleeping inside the car. Evening was spent spending time with friends and relatives.

The other places to visit are: Miracle Garden, Dubai Village, Butterfly Garden. We couldn’t visit those places as we didn’t have time and we wanted to come again when our son is little older, as now he will not remember anything, and it will be him who will enjoy the most.

  • It is very necessary to carry a stroller if you have a baby or toddler.
  • Our son suffered from loose motion for 2 days. So don’t forget to carry all the necessary medicines with prescription. Small children may fall sick due to change in weather and new place. Be prepared to face the unexpected and take necessary remedies/ precautions for the same.
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Product Review- Bamboo Toothbrush

Bamboo Toothbrush

Bamboo Toothbrush
Bamboo Toothbrush

Recently I switched to bamboo toothbrush. I bought them from Almitra Sustainables at a Vegan festival held in Mumbai. A small step towards minimizing our contribution to the plastic landfill. What so great about bamboo toothbrush?

  • The handle can be 100% biodegradable
  • It has anti-microbial properties, which prevents bacteria feeding on your toothbrush
  • Suitable for both children and adults

You can also make a switch towards a more sustainable lifestyle. To buy visit their website : https://www.almitrasustainables.com

or to buy from other brands click here: bamboo toothbrush

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Monsoon Care Tips For Children and Moms

With the arrival of the monsoon bringing relief to our body and mind, rains at the same time bring uninvited guests in the form of disease-spreading germs and mosquitoes. There are few things a child, a new mother, and expected mothers should keep in mind to stay safe and healthy. Here are some Monsoon Care Tips For Children and Moms:

Keep your hands clean: Monsoon Care For Children and Moms

It is very important, especially for young children to wash their hands and feet thoroughly after they come back home from outside. They keep roaming around, play messy games, and through hands germs find their entry into kids’ bodies. New moms keep your hands clean before engaging with your newborn. Always carry hand sanitizer while stepping out of the house.

 

                                                                    To buy other sanitizer click here: hand sanitizer

Eat seasonal and fresh fruits and vegetables: Monsoon Care For Children and New and Expected Moms

Have fresh fruits like Jamun, mangoes, litchi, pears, plums, and freshly prepared vegetables. Vegetables like bitter gourd and bitter herbs like neem, turmeric powder, and methi seeds help in preventing infections.

Remember to soak fruits and vegetables in salt/vinegar water for some time to get rid of harmful chemicals and worms.

Especially new and expected moms need to avoid:

  • Street food
  • Cut Fruits as flies are carriers of many diseases
  • Eating raw leafy vegetables

Keep dry fruits like almonds, cashew, walnuts, pista with you when going out. They come in very handy. You can pack them in small containers or wax food wrap instead of aluminium foil. I bought these wax wood wraps from @iktaraeco_zerowasteindia,

Monsoon Care For Children and New and Expected Moms
Organic Food Wraps

 


Drink homemade soup, juice, and coconut water:

Like avoiding outside food during this rainy season, it is also better to avoid drinks from roadside stalls. Instead, make juices at home and drink them immediately.
Coconut water which is easily available is not only refreshing but also includes minerals like potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, fiber, carbs, protein, sodium, calcium. Expected moms should include coconut water in their diet.

I always my travel cutlery pouch to avoid those plastic straws. (Travel cutlery pouch bought from @iktaraeco_zerowasteindia).
A bowl of a piping hot soup made at home from mushrooms, dark & leafy vegetables, meat will boost your immunity. And adding spices like cloves, pepper, cardamom, ginger, garlic will add a fresh flavor to your soup and aid digestion. You can buy straw here stainless straw and cutlery pouch

Keep your child clean and dry:

Humidity in the air during monsoon makes clothes difficult to dry quickly. It is preferable to use warm iron over these clothes before storing them, to remove moisture. Extra sets of clothes, nappies, and diapers should be kept ready, specifically for babies. Keep checking for any kind of fungal infection underarms, neck, waist, toes, and diaper area.

Change diapers/nappies frequently or go diaper-free:

Change diapers and nappies frequently during the rainy season, as little ones pee more during rains. A wet nappy or diaper could give your child a cold, diaper rash and provide a breeding place for bacteria. During the rainy season, you will need to build a huge stash as it takes more time for cloth diapers to dry. Also, let your child go nappy/diaper-free for some time. Check some cloth diapers here

Monsoon Care For Children and New and Expected Moms
Cloth Diapers


Keep mosquitoes away:

Dress your kids in long pants and a full-sleeved top to prevent mosquito bites. Keep your baby`s bed /cot/pram covered with a mosquito net when they are sleeping. Use mosquito repellent made especially for babies and toddlers while going out.

Clear mosquitoes breeding grounds

Buy mosquito repellent for kids here:

Monsoon Care For Children and New and Expected Moms


Treat any cold, cough, fever immediately and take the required vaccine:

Treat any cold, cough, fever immediately, rather than waiting for it to resolve itself. A warm massage with mustard oil and garlic can do wonders. Doctors may recommend getting a flu vaccine.

Also Read: 5 Best organic baby food brands in India 2020

Keep child and expected mothers away from sick people

Keep children away from sick people as their immune system is still developing.

Invest in good rain gear and wear appropriate clothes: Monsoon Care Tips For Children

Invest in good quality rain gear and wear appropriate clothes. Invest in a good quality raincoat and umbrella, bigger in size that will last 2-3 years, rather than buying that cheap one which can be used only twice or thrice in a year.
With changes in temperature and humidity, let your child wear comfortable clothes. Take an extra set of clothes if going for outings. Firstcry has some wonderful collections of raincoats and umbrellas. To buy click here:https://clnk.in/jfBn


Monsoon Care For Children and New and Expected Moms

 

P. S: Views expressed here are personal opinions.

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Product Review- Beeswax Wraps

I have recently stopped using aluminium foil to wrap food items like sandwiches, fruits etc. and have switched to beeswax food wrap. I bought them from Iktaraeco and very happy to include them in my sustainable lifestyle. These wraps are handmade, washable and reusable.

These pretty wraps made from organic cotton and natural beeswax, are the perfect natural substitute for single-use cling wraps and aluminium foils.

Plastics and foils are known to slowly leach harmful chemicals into the food they enclose. Beeswax, on the other hand, has antibacterial and antifungal properties – so not only do these wraps not harm your food, but they actually protect it from contamination.

HOW TO USE

These wraps are ideal to store any food in the fridge including cheese, half-eaten fruit, green vegetables or as bowl covers. The wraps can also be used to wrap rotis and sandwiches in the lunch box.

Just fold it closely over the desired item, and the wrap seals itself around with the heat of your hand.

CARE

1. If you find the wrap a bit sticky for your liking, refrigerate it before use.

2. Keep away from steaming hot food, which would cause the beeswax layer to melt.

3. Wash with cold water using a mild detergent when required. Avoid scrubbing the wrap too vigorously to retain the beeswax layer.

4. The wraps last up to 100 gentle washes.

For more products from Iktara visit their website https://iktara.org/

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Sustainable Travel Tips With kids

Zero waste travel tips

                                      Sustainable Travel Tips with Kids.

 

We have been practising a sustainable lifestyle at home for some time now and this time I adopted the same while traveling to Pondicherry with my 3 years old son. We have been trying to lead a sustainable lifestyle by adopting green methods like a composting wet waste at home, buying plastic-free packaging materials, making our own cosmetics/toiletries, floor cleaner, using reusable straws, cups, cutlery, etc. giving away all kinds of plastic items and food pouches for recycling.

One of the most important things, we can do to protect our environment is, to find ways to reduce waste. There is not a perfect zero-waste solution, but there are some little sustainable travel tip things we can each do. It just requires some advance planning.

Single-use items like- water bottles, cups, straws, have an impact not only on the environment but also on us.

Here are my sustainable travel tips that I followed:

  • Packed our own food in reusable containers (or reusable food wrap) instead of buying that are wrapped in plastics
  • Carried our own water bottles and refilled them after security check-in. Refilled at regular intervals from drinking water station
  • Carried reusable, steel straw handkerchief, steel cup, cutlery, and containers
  • Cloth diapers(in case of emergency)
  • Cloth pad and menstrual cup (in case of emergencies) (cloth pad)
  • Loose green tea leaves
  • Electric kettle
  • Carried toiletries like- shampoo bar, detergent powder, soap,
  • Steel straws, spoons, snacks in small containers for the little one
  • Requested the hotel staff to provide drinking water in a jar instead of water bottles
Sustainable travel tips with kids
Carried our own utensils

 

 

Cloth Diaper:Sustainable travel tips with kids
Cloth Diaper: Sustainable travel tips with kids

 

 

As a result, I could save 10 single-use straws from going to the trash. No unnecessary buying of water bottles.

 

Trash that we generated:

  • One water bottle was kept in the hotel room and my little one was feeling thirsty
  • 2 chocolate wraps someone gave it (which I got back with me)

I am most guilty about the carbon footprints that I contribute while taking a flight. I know flying is bad for the environment and all, but unfortunately, it was my only option. Otherwise, we mostly travel by public transport or on foot once we are at our destination.

Planning ahead for the trip will not only help you lessen your environmental impact, but it will also make your whole traveling experience more enjoyable. It was my first attempt at making a sustainable travel and I am glad I could attain it to some extent.

Read 3 Days in Puducherry: My 1st Trip with my son

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3 Days Pondicherry trip

3 Days in Puducherry: My 1st Trip with my son

3 Days Pondicherry trip. Yesssss!  Diwali vacations were approaching and I wanted to utilise these two weeks rather than sitting at home, getting bored by doing household chores, and trying numerous ways to keep my little one engaged. When the little one is at home, I just can’t do any productive work like reading a book, working on my laptop, etc. As my husband was busy with work and traveling, I decided to take a 3 days Pondicherry Trip, with my 3-year-old son. The thought of traveling with a kid is enough to make you sit at home and regret the days lost. I challenged myself to take this trip as it will be a kind of experiment with Agniv as I will know how to keep him entertained/occupied and the difficulties that come our way which will help me `in preparing for our next trip. The fear of what if will not let you travel.

Agniv has shown keen interest in traveling in whichever mode of transport we have taken. He observes his surroundings, enjoys watching what is happening around him. Kids at this age can`t be at one place even for a minute, so I keep him engaged by talking to him about everything and anything happening around us.

Pondicherry officially known as Puducherry is the capital and the most populous city of the Indian Union Territory. Though very small, it was the largest French colony in India and the city has a long and interesting history of trade and war. Did all the bookings well in advance.

Two weeks before traveling, I prepared a list of items to carry in my handbag and what to pack in the suitcase. Flying with kids could be disastrous if you don`t plan and prepare in advance and you can`t travel light with kids. The handbag mostly had Agniv`s stuff like a water bottle, a coloring book with crayon colors, few toys (1 or 2 new toys), cloth towel, an extra set of clothes, hand sanitizer, old newspaper, snacks in different small containers, tissue paper, paper bag, spoon, straw, stole, etc. (I prefer a backpack over shoulder bag) Planning and making a checklist of items to carry has always helped me in taking a trip. And this is what our 3 Days Pondicherry Trip (My 1st Solo Mom Trip) looks like

 

 

Pondicherry Trip
Basic Essentials for the trip

 

Pondicherry Trip
What I carried to keep Agniv engaged

 

 

Day 1 of our 3 Days Pondicherry Trip:

Our flight was at 7.25 in the morning from Mumbai to Chennai which would take around 2 hours. The day before traveling I didn’t let Agniv sleep in the afternoon (he sleeps in the afternoon after coming from school for about 1.5 -2 hours). As he didn’t sleep in the afternoon he went to sleep at around 7 in the evening. On the day of our journey, I got up early, took bath, made breakfast, packed some snacks.

Took some effort to wake up Agniv. His father had to wake up also who just came at night from Guwahati.

 

 

Pondicherry Trip
Inside the Aircraft



Pondicherry Trip
Sleeping peacefully inside the aircraft

 

I have been telling this Agniv for quite a few days that we will be traveling on a plane soon. Agniv already had the experience of flying and was excited to get into a plane. A few minutes after takeoff he went off to sleep and got up just before landing. And I was sooo…..happy, what else do u need? After reaching Chennai airport we took a cab to PMBT(bus station)and from there we took a bus to Pondicherry. The bus ride took almost 4 hours. Agniv enjoyed his bus ride, looking out of the window, munching on some snacks. He slept for an hour also then he kept popping through the window and would ask me every 15 minutes if the bus ride over?

 

3 days trip to Puducherry
At Chennai Airport

We reached Chennai at around 3.30 in the afternoon, checked into the hotel, freshened up, had our food, and after that, we stepped out to explore the nearby places. Google map was our constant companion. Our first visit was to a nearby cafe called ZUKA CakeShop.

Before commencing this journey, I checked where is the hotel located, which are the nearby cafes and restaurants, how far are the tourist places from the hotel with reviews online. I ordered one Hot-chocolate after reading the reviews online. They served in a tiny cup of coffee with 2 pieces of chocolate block and one spoon made from chocolate. Never seen or had a chocolate spoon before. Agniv was looking at me with amazement when I took a bite of the spoon.

 

Hot chocolate at Zuka Cake Shop

 

From there we went to the Sunday bazaar, which was within walking distance. It is flocked by locals and tourists who come here to buy the wide range of products which are available at very affordable rates. Didn`t spend much time here as there was nothing of interest and the market was very crowded. We hardly spent around 30 minutes and from there we headed towards Xtasi cafe. Heard so much about this place online. Can’t afford to miss visiting this place. Ordered one wood-fire pizza. After a long time, I had an amazing pizza. Agniv also enjoyed his share of Pizza. It was an early dinner for us as I was tired and sleepy and I wanted Agniv to get proper sleep and rest so that he won`t get cranky the next day. It is very important to get proper rest for children and better to sleep early and set out early the next day. Walked down to the hotel and went to sleep at 8 o`clock.

 

3 days in Puducherry
Waiting for our Pizza
3 days in Puducherry
A Slice of Pizza for the boy

 

Day 2 of our 3 Days Pondicherry Trip:

I got up before Agniv, had some tea, took bath, packed the bag for the day, which had some snacks like biscuits, dry fruits, cake, 2 water bottles, 2 stainless straws, one empty tiffin(to pack any leftovers), cash & card, sunscreen, a set of clothes for Agniv, tissue/towels, antiseptic cream for minor bruises.

 

Breakfast at a local joint with the locals

After Agniv got up, took him for a bath, got dressed, and we were all set for the day. Agniv was very excited and I was praying everything to move smoothly. After breakfast at a local roadside restaurant, we took an Auto for the day, which was waiting outside the tourist information centre.

Our first stop was at Aruimigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple, a traditional Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ganapati. My auto rickshawala Mr.Murugan guided me through the temple, explaining to me about all the deities placed there.

From there I went to Aurobindo Ashram which was nearby only, the favourite tourist destination. Though Agniv was about to turn 3 they didn`t allow him inside as kids below 3 years are not allowed. I left Agniv with Mr Murugan (I took a risk here) and quickly finished off. I wanted to spend more time here but, maybe next time. I was worried for Agniv and came out in 10 mins. And there he was with Mr Murugan, such a relief.

From there we headed towards Auroville. The main attraction here is the “Matrimandir”. After reaching Matrimandir a shaded 10-12 minute walk leads from the Visitors’ Center to the Viewing Point. A free electric shuttle service is available for those who may find it difficult to walk the approx. 1 km distance each way. Free bus service is available for the return journey from the Viewing Point to the Visitors Center for all those who wish to avail of it. We took the shuttle services. We spent about 45 minutes there looking at the dome covered by golden discs, reflecting sunlight. Clicked some pics, went to the washroom and refilled our water bottles.

3 days trip to Puducherry
At MatriMandir

From here we went to a local restaurant for lunch and then to paradise beach. Agniv went off to sleep after lunch and I had to carry him to the booking counter for a boat ride. He woke up before getting on the boat.

At the beach

Paradise Beach is situated in Chunnambar, close to Pondicherry town. The beach is very clean with a beautiful view. The boathouse Is the entry point to the beach. The tourism department runs the cruise with a capacity of about 15-20 passengers with an interval of 30 minutes. It takes about 15-20 minutes to reach the beach from the boathouse. The cost per person both ways is Rs 300. Agniv was enjoying this ride with beautiful backwater all along.

Ended the day`s tour after visiting The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges, and Immaculate Conception Cathedral. Mr.Murugan dropped us near Rock beach. Did some shopping at Handicraft Emporium.

Pondicherry
Agniv with Mr.Murugan



For some quick snacks, we stopped at Lecafe which is located overlooking the beach. Great location with options to sit outside and inside. After spending an hour around rock beach we headed back to our hotel.

Happy Agniv

 

What an eventful day it was and I am surprised to see that Agniv enjoyed it more than me and he didn`t trouble me at all.

 

 

Day 3 of our Pondicherry Trip:

Breakfast At New Banana Cafe & Restaurant
New Banana Cafe & Restaurant

 

 

After having breakfast at a local restaurant, we went to see the museum which was closed yesterday. The museum is especially noted for its collection of fine lost-wax bronzes from the period of the Chola Empire.

The Museum’s collection includes 81 Chola bronze sculptures, ranking as one of the largest collections of Chola bronzes. We spent around 15 minutes there and from there went to Bharti park. Bharti govt. park is within walking distance from the museum in white town. A good place to sit and relax in the midst of mother nature. This park is surrounded by Government Hospital, Pondicherry Private Club, the Legislative Assembly, and Lt. Governor’s Palace. From there we walked down, exploring the by-lanes of the white town, visited 2-3 shops, enjoying a stroll.

 

Indian Coffee House

 

We slept for some time then in the evening I decided to visit the Indian coffee house for some quick snacks. The place was packed, but we managed to find one table in a corner. It’s a restaurant chain in India, run by a series of worker co-operative societies. It has a strong presence across India with nearly 400 coffee houses. Our day ended with an evening stroll along the wide pavement of rocky beach, followed by dinner at Cafe Xtchi.

 

 

 

Dinner At Cafe Xtchi
Dinner At Cafe Xtchi
Cafe Xtchi

 

The next day we took a bus back to Chennai and from Chennai to Mumbai we flew down With that our 3 days in Puducherry came to end and I am so glad I took this trip with Agniv.

What I learned from this Pondicherry Trip is that the key ingredients to a smooth vacation when traveling with your little ones are to pay attention to their needs. Kids can adjust to any situation very easily provided there is the right balance between rest time and activities. Now I am very confident to take up any trip with just two of us.

Our Itinerary at a glance of our Pondicherry Trip:

Day 1:

Sunday bazaar

 

Day 2:

Aruimigu Manakula Vinayagar Temple

Aurobindo Ashram

Matrimandir

Paradise Beach

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Eglise de Notre Dame des Anges

Immaculate Conception Cathedral.

 

Day 3:

Museum

Bharti Park

Indian coffee house

Rocky beach

White town

 

 

 

 

 

At Rock Beach


Also Read: Traveling with Cloth Diapers: My Experience