Time change!

It’s time for the dreaded time change! Honestly, losing an hour of evening daylight drives me nuts during the fall (although the late sunrise isn’t a picnic either). I really miss hanging out at the park or even just outside with A as the sun sets early and the days grow shorter.

That apart, the fact that A is a stickler for time makes these time changes hard to deal with. The “Spring forward” and “Fall back” usually bring with them a minor jetlag, with the child wanting to eat/sleep an hour earlier/later.

Tonight, we put her to bed later than her usual bed-time (something which A was actually excited about!) with the hope that she’d sleep in tomorrow, as opposed to waking up an hour early. Well, here’s hoping!

Turning No into Yes (a theory)

Like any typical toddler, my little one’s current favorite word is No.

Me: “Do you want milk?”
A: “No!”
Me: “Do you want to sleep?”
A: “No!”
Me: “Do you…”
A: “No!”

I have been trying out a little hypothesis of mine, where instead of asking her if she wants something, I offer her a choice between two viable options. For example,

Me: “Do you want milk OR crackers?”
A: (thinking) “crackers!”

I’ve been trying out this little experiment all day, and so far it seems to be working. However, toddlers are smart and evolve very quickly 😉 We will see how long this lasts!

Couch-star-gazing!

Kids learn at an amazing rate. It’s hard to keep up with them! It’s important to nurture that thirst for knowledge and encourage a spirit of life-long learning. It’s also amazing how early they establish interests. Some kids like cars and other modes of transport, others like everything about dinosaurs. My daughter established very early on that she liked anything and everything to do with “stars”, and all things space. It all started when she indicated that “Twinkle, Twinkle…” was her favorite nursery rhyme. She then moved on to a fascination with “sun-moon-stars” (in her words). Over a period of time, she amazed us by learning the planets, and constantly asking us to read her books on planets and space!

We have been working out ways to encourage her curiosity. As I’ve said before, I strongly believe in learning through play, so that learning stays fun. I’ve often heard that we should not pressurize children into learning, and I fully agree. However, I believe that we can encourage learning without putting pressure on kids, and that a child who wants to learn must be nurtured and encouraged. It’s also wonderful when children can choose their subjects of interest. In that vein, I’ve been working on ways to feed her curiosity about planets and space as long as she is interested.

Here’s a really easy one. We all have an excess of empty paper towel rolls. These double up great as telescopes! A has been playing with these empty rolls for months now as her pretend “telescope”. The next logical step was to bring the solar system to our home. Print colorful images of the planets, stars, the moon, anything really. (We downloaded ours from here, and I love the posters! Bright, attractive and detailed!) Stick these up all over your home, hand your kid the “telescope” and let them “star-gaze” from the comfort of your home.

There are a number of ways you can play around with this activity. You can start off with whatever your kid likes, of course. Play around and switch locations every now and then, add/remove elements, making it a fun new game each time!

Further, I’ll bet this activity would work to convert your home into any new realm for your kid to explore. Wildlife would be a fun one, for example. I imagine another popular choice could be dinosaurs. I’m sure everyone has their own great ways of implementing this, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

Honored to be featured on Women’s Web!

I’ve been following Women’s Web for years now. They are a contemporary women’s magazine with articles on career, parenting, family and more. They’re one of my favorite online publications. I always felt that it was about time women had a good resource just like this!

Today I was honored to find my post published by them, on STEM toys and kiddos, which readers of this blog my find familiar. If you haven’t read it already, head on over here and catch up on the post.

Thank you, Women’s Web!

Instant dosa mix

A quick shout-out to Hebbar’s Kitchen for their recipe for Masala Dosa Mix! If you have a stove and a tava or a frying pan, and a few simple ingredients, you’re all set! Our AirBnB provides a stove and a non-stick frying pan, so that’s what I used. I also carried with me, from home, the prepared dosa mix (made with the exact recipe in the link), lime juice concentrate and Eno fruit salt. I bought a few staple groceries once we reached here, which included yoghurt (plain!) and salt. Honestly, the batter took less time to come together than the pan took to heat! I whisked 4 tbsp of mix with 1 tbsp of yoghurt, and then around 1/2 cup of water. I added a tsp of lime juice and 1/2 tsp of Eno fruit salt. Made the dosas, and they came out perfectly! Happy toddler, happy mommy!

Thank you, Hebbar’s Kitchen!

Appreciating discipline

A shout-out to my mom and dad for inculcating the early habits of discipline, both before and after A 🙂 We have been very particular about A’s bedtime, nap-time and meals pretty much since she was born. We were taught about babies and their circadian rhythm in the hospital itself. Well, A is 16 months old today and I am pleased to share that the rigorous setting of routines has paid off! She is very particular about her schedule. Even if I try to take a day off, she ensures that I provide her with food and she is put to bed at her specific times. I realized this especially now as she’s been following her routines as per CA time, while in HI! She’s been getting cranky if her dinner isn’t provided within 5:30 PM, and 8:00 PM is like the middle of the night for her. I decided to allow her to eat and sleep early, not bothering too much about jet lag and such. The only difference it makes is that she is early to bed and early to rise, and that isn’t too bad in my book! As long as we follow her routines, she is happy but should we deviate too much, she brings the roof down!

I don’t like to dole out parenting advice, but one of the few tips I would share is to establish a routine very early in your child’s life. There is no such thing as an in-disciplined child, any child can be disciplined if this is introduced early enough in life. To say babies cannot have a bed-time for the first 3 months of their life is a myth, in my opinion based on my experience. By establishing healthy eating and sleeping habits in your child, you are setting them up for a healthy lifestyle. The best thing? A’s routine has reinforced a sense of discipline in me!

And that’s the end of my advice-sharing session. Suffice to say, this worked for me and I hope it works for you. I’ll add that just like anything else, there are good days and bad days. But overall, A is cool with her sense of discipline. I am a proud mom!

 

First family vacation!

Tomorrow morning, we leave for our first family holiday! We’re off to Hawaii! Although we have traveled plenty before A was born, this is our first big holiday with a baby. We traveled to India when she was younger, but since that was to visit grandparents and more like going from one home to another, it was very different.

This time, we’ve tried to pack all that we can think of… clothes, diapers, wipes being the least of ’em. Toys that can keep her occupied for longer, beach toys, favorite books, items of comfort, basic medication and of course the biggest item on the list being FOOD. Let’s hope we’ve remembered everything important, and that if we haven’t, we can find it there locally. Let’s hope everything goes well! Excited and nervous. Fingers crossed! Yay!

Biggest change since parenthood

I used to love sleeping in, 5-minute snoozes on my alarm were my favorite thing and the longer I slept the fresher I would feel.

If you’d told me then that my best days after parenthood would be by starting my day early well before A wakes up, doing chores while the coffee brews and enjoying a quiet cup, I wouldn’t have believed you then! And yet, today these are a few of my favorite things 🙂