Scholastic Haul book review 1

I had blogged just few days ago about the 9 book purchases I made. And it’s time for some reviewing!

1. Who wears Glasses? by Ana Galan, Illustrated by Seb Burnett

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Batool simply loved this book, being a spectacles wearer herself she was happy to see animals wearing them just like her. The book itself is well written, the content rhymes, and is funny too. Batool understood the humor in the book, and one would think that it’s going to be a book that won’t provide any substance to the reader beyond the satisfaction of others wearing specks, but it has depth. The specks are animal appropriate, relating to their physical features, interests, environment, activities etc. Each animal has it’s own personality, which can be understood by their specks.

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CAM03053 This is a great book for children who like animals, have siblings or friends who wear specks, they can learn to respect them instead of bully. And obviously for the child who wears specks this is going to be confidence build up.

2. Clifford goes to the Doctor by Norman Bridwall

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As mentioned, I was looking forward to introducing Clifford to Batool. She enjoyed reading this, found it incredibly funny how the whole check-up with grown up Clifford went. This was a good first book for her, she’s already asking me to start reading the other two! so that’s a great response.This book is about not rejecting, and solving a problem. In the beginning Clifford is a tiny puppy, and has his first appointment, and by the next one he’s a giant healthy dog, but the Dr. doesn’t ask him to leave because he can’t fit through the door, she instead transports him on a truck, weighs him on an industrial weighing machine and does the whole check-up. This is a lesson for kids to not give up, and try to find creative solutions to problems.

She could relate her doctor appointments with Cliffords, one of the reasons why I picked up this particular doctor visit book is because she’s having vaccinations lined up this year. And it’s been quite a while since she’s experienced one of those. Will be reading this book again, before her vaccinations next month, just to ease her into it. I liked also that the Clifford book didn’t have any inappropriate illustrations, the doctor was not wearing unreasonably weird clothes, and the colours in the book are vibrant and illustrations easy to visualise for her.

Observations and tips:

1. Batools picking up books and trying to reach phonically on her own now.

2. Introduce sight words to your child, and initially let them read a word or two on their own while reading with them. Praise them when they try also, this will make them feel proud, and motivate them

3. Make reading an enjoyable experience, books are not to make yourself feel lonely, they’re to make sure you can enjoy your own company. Take pics, make memories.

4. Batool laughed heartily while reading the Clifford book, the Dr. having to climb on his tummy, and entering his whole mouth to check it. She laughed out even later remembering it all.

5. Reading a tiny book with children is a great way to bond with them, they won”t judge you so make it fun for yourself, change your voice when delivering dialogues of different characters, re-read funny names, spend time exploring the illustrations, ask the child ‘imagine if your dr. entered your mouth’, they would relate everything.

6. Answer questions when the child asks while reading, they are visual and so will have questions about the illustrations more. And while that may seem to us like they’re distracted, they’re actually trying to relate the image to the story. The illustrators of childrens books are no ordinary people, they spend endless hours trying to make it the most stimulating experience for the child. Let them absorb the vibrant colours, shapes and scenes. Let the child visit the vet, the doctor, the market etc. through the illustration.

7. As parents we should read the book alone first, try to derive hidden lessons in them, and then give a full experience to the child. Childrens books are meant for educational entertainment. Because they’re at the peak of learning and absorbing, it’s a great way to give them exposure to long term wisdom through tiny books, with funny stories and endless illustrations.

Have you read any of these books? What are your tips on reading to your child?

Scholastic book fair haul

Batool school is having the scholastic book fair on at the moment. And to me that’s just an opportunity to buy more books (9 to be precise). I think it’s almost like a disease. I haven’t received the scholastic book order I placed via school yet, but that didn’t stop me. Naah! Never!

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In fact right now all our stuff is in cartons and suitcases, we will be moving once the house construction is over. It’s only when I was packing up her and my books that I realised we hCAM03020ave quite a collection. A variety, mine are mostly text books and the few books I’ve mentioned already in the blog. But hers are truly a variety, from behaviour books, to story books, picture books, activity books, educational etc. I gave a few of her books that she has outgrown to cousins. I think that’s a good way of letting go of books, Batools attached to some of her books, those are the ones she wants to re-read, and always enjoys. Those usually are succumbed to so much love they look rather shabby. I won’t part with those. Will keep them for her to cherish and revisit when she’s older.

Moving on;  I will post a detailed review on first  impressions and review, as and when we explore them. The first book I picked up was ‘who wears glasses?’ by Ana Galan. I am also looking forward to introducing Clifford and Dora to Batool. She’s has recently started showing interest in stickers, (I was waiting for that phase) so I made sure I pick up books that will satisfy that craving.

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What books have you enjoyed reading with your kids? Any recommendations?

Accepting Ignorance

I just came across a quote that inspired me to write this post. This is going to be deeply intellectual and thought provoking readers….

“Whoever abandons saying, “I do not know” meets his destruction”- Imam Ali (as)

The above quote holds great significance in my life. It has been my point of realisation of many people and mentalities around me. This isn’t specific to Hyderabad per say, even though here is where I came to my realisations. I will break this quote down into three…Child, parent and society

1. Child-A child will never be afraid to say “mommy I don’t know”. He is willing to learn, and so he understands the only way to do so is just express that he doesn’t have the knowledge. This eventually dies in some kids, we call it lack of confidence or self-esteem, when the child returns home and has so many doubts. “why didn’t ask your teacher?” we say. This issue arises partially due to the extreme pressure on students in schools. When it comes to education we want children to be top notch, ‘know it alls’. But a child who isn’t willing to accept his ignorance will never learn, simply because he will never ask questions.

2. Parent- As parents we are the role models, we are older, more mature, more experienced than our kids, and this gets to our heads. Accept it! Many of us are guilty of this; we change topics when we can’t answer the questions of our toddlers, we are embarrassed when we don’t know something, and even more embarrassed to accept it. This happens to teachers as well, they will ask the child to “keep quiet”, “this isn’t part of your syllabus” instead of being human and accepting that they don’t know. Our kids didn’t come with a manual, and we are only humans, so why not accept our ignorance with finesse? This will be a great model for your child to follow at school too. He will not be afraid to face the truth, and ask questions an make and effort to find out the answers.

3. Society- This is very tricky, because this is the land of adults. In families I have noticed when the elders have a mind set of “i am infallible’ such dialogues occur. You can’t move forward with time if you’re not willing to constantly educate yourself, and for that the first step is to accept that ‘you don’t know’. The lack of this courage in turn sends the message to the whole society that once you’re a certain age, or become the only elders alive in the family, you can do whatever, no questions asked; in other words Being unreasonable is your right. What sets us apart from animals is our capability to evolve intellectually, learn, educate, move forward, and if we can’t accept that we don’t know something, we are definitely headed for destruction. No one likes a person living in denial of the obvious. We shouldn’t be proud about things that are going to make us backward, everyday is a learning opportunity, and to make the most of it, we need to accept that God has created a world for us to explore and educate ourselves.

Winter baby care by Himalaya Herbals

Hello mommies, I’ve been a big fan of Himalaya since Batool was born, and I love that the products are all herbal and child friendly. I was ecstatic when the company representative contacted me to share with you all some tips and tricks from their experts.

This particular article talks about caring for your babies skin during winters and is written by Dr. Jayashree B Keshav who is an Ayurveda expert and In-charge of Scientific Publications at The Himalaya Drug Company. Read along:

During winter, skin tends to lose moisture quickly, which makes it extremely dry. This is especially true when it comes to baby’s skin as it is already prone to dryness. Therefore, as winter sets in, it becomes more important to ensure that your baby’s skin remains healthy and supple.

Winter Fix-it!

Winter is associated with cold winds and low humidity, both of which dehydrate the skin, resulting in its flaky appearance, itching and redness. Here’s what you need to know to ward off dry skin in babies:

Heat rash: Contrary to what you may think, heat rashes occur during winter too! Bundling up your baby too warmly can make him sweat and irritate the skin, which can result in a bout of heat rash. So, dress your baby in breathable layers to allow proper ventilation. As cotton clothes are sweat absorbent, it is preferable to dress your baby in these first, followed by other ‘warm’ fabrics like wool.

Dry skin: Dry skin can occur anywhere on your baby’s body, so you need to be prepared. Ensure that the bathwater is not too warm, and only mild baby products are used. Hot water dries and shrivels up the skin, while stronger skin products remove the body’s natural oils. Remember to add a few drops of oil in the bathwater. After bathing, pat your baby dry with a soft towel and moisturize thoroughly. Choose a mild, herbal moisturizer, and allow it to be fully absorbed by the skin. Keep moisturizing every four to six hours during the winter to keep your baby’s skin supple.

Massage: Massage has multiple benefits. It improves the blood circulation and keeps the body warm. Regular massaging protects

and softens the skin, and also prevents chafing. Make sure to massage your baby in warm, comfortable place, preferably early in the afternoon. Also, remember massage should never be given just before or after a feed.

Seven Herbs for Winter Skin Care
For generations, certain herbs have been used for topical wellness in babies. Ayurvedic texts also recommend the use of particular herbs to eliminate skin conditions in babies and children. Here’s a list of herbs that you can look out for when buying baby care products this winter:

• Olive Oil, enriched with Vitamin E, nourishes, protects and softens skin and prevents chafing. It has soothing and antimicrobial properties, which keeps baby’s skin healthy and soft.
• Almond Oil is an excellent skin softener, which gently moisturizes baby’s skin.
• Country Mallow, an antioxidant, has nourishing properties and protects baby’s skin from germs.
• Licorice protects and soothes baby’s skin. Applied topically, licorice helps in relieving symptoms of itching, swelling and redness.
• Fenugreek is a perfect natural moisturizer, specially formulated to hydrate baby’s dry skin.
• Green Gram makes baby’s skin soft and supple.
• Aloe Vera is used extensively in Ayurveda for wounds, burns, dermatitis and other skin ailments. It soothes and moisturizes baby’s skin and also acts as an antibacterial agent.

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Did you find this article helpful? Leave comments below…. Have a cozy winter with your little ones…

What mothers can do, in an unsafe country like India

I have been through a roller-coaster of emotions and thoughts since the rape and molestation cases in India have been the buzz. I am not talking about any particular case, all rapes are wrong, there aren’t levels to it. All types of physical molestation are wrong, no matter which part of the body is involved.

I always try to look for solutions and ways of being pro-active. It is important to me that all female  humans of India keep aside their aspirations, and desires and chose to be safe than sorry. Because in the end of the day, it we who are going to be exploited. Till a change comes in this country it’s all about being safe and not raising your voice for small skirts, late nights and drunken nightlife. We have to be educated and practical.

No one is guaranteeing a change right now, not even the women. But as mothers there are several things we can do.

1. Mentor your son– In India women are treated as a liability. This thought process is most commonly seen amongst women, women are the worst enemies of women here. When the women themselves are projecting themselves and their daughters and other women in general as inferior, or as a pain or liability, then the boys/men are sent the message of ‘ go ahead and dominate all you want’. Accept it, we are at fault here. As mothers it’s important to make sure that your sons especially, know that women are human beings just like them, they are important, they are equal, they have feelings and need to be treated with respect NO MATTER WHAT. The reason why men are able to grope, or rape, or tease or molest is because they have been taught from the very beginning that the woman is a slave for the world. And women enticing men on bilboards, and movies isn’t helping either. It sends the message that woman are willing to ‘bear all’ for money and to entertain the men, and let’s not be hypocritical here. Denial isn’t getting us out of rape nation. Raise boys to become men of honour, who can create a safe environment, who respect, value and protect women.

2. Communicate with your schools– Yes!, the school, get involved, ask your school if they’re having any program for students about ‘good touch/bad touch’. Are the boys and girls being educated about basic morals of physical conduct and boundaries. Compel them to conduct such workshops at-least once and year, and have class teachers remind students about these concepts in class regularly.

3. Educate yourself– There are workshops and seminars conducted for school faculties AND parents on this topic. Go with your husband, call your friend mommies, expose yourself to the psychology and thought process behind these happenings. Learn about the symptoms, signs, and experiences of the victims. Learn how to communicate with your children, figure out how you can discuss these issues openly in your circle of family and friends and come up with solutions. Don’t chose to be ignorant about it, don’t blame the victim and think you’re safe. Advice your childs school to actively participate in such workshops, or I would suggest change the school to one that cares about your child!

4. Communicate with your kids– Keep a healthy communication with your children girls AND boys. Make them comfortable enough to be able to tell you anything and everything. Make sure you teach them about  physical boundaries, what is expected out of them in terms of conduct with the opposite gender, at school or otherwise. Build trust, tell them you won’t be judgmental, that you’ll always support them. Make sure you know who they hang out with, monitor their television, cell phone and internet usage. Remember that you’re the adult, and how positively you project adulthood will reflect in your childs enthusiasm in growing up and being one him/herself. Speak to them about good and bad touch, there are books available online to buy, visit a library, ask your school counselor to help you out. There are videos also on YouTube that can be a great aid to this communication. There’s no excuse, your resistance is going to turn into regret, if you don’t take responsibility as the adult.

5. Better safe than sorry– Make this your motto. There are many things in life we want to do, but we don’t because of a variety of reasons. The same goes with your wants to wear certain clothes, speak a certain way, live a certain lifestyle etc. just like the many things you compromise, compromise a little on this for YOUR OWN safety. Reality check: we’re not living in a perfect world. Maybe in the future there will be a time where women will feel safe wearing anything they fancy, doing anything they fancy, at any time of the day. Hopefully that day will come. But till then it’s better to be safe. Carry a can of pepper spray, it’s 100% legal, be ready to knock anyone out, you have all right to protect yourself. Mentally prepare yourself and your daughters to be safe, and this will automatically reduce the fear that we are carrying around on a regular basis. The fear is not only there because men with ugly souls are around us, the fear is also there because we know we aren’t prepared enough. The fear is there because somewhere our poor parenting is resulting in such men also.

Please be proactive, leave comments below, start a discussion, voice your opinions, share your thoughts and knowledge on such issues. Be an educated, proactive and safe mom.

Hello and introduction

Hello all you hardworking, tired, frustrated, exhausted, multitasking moms out there! I am here to remove the lonely feeling that comes being part of the madness called motherhood.DSC01998

There are good days and bad days, and well, we have a task to keep our heads above the water and not lose our own identity in the process of attaining perfection. Welcome to my blog, let’s have a conversation, share our experiences and spread the love of motherhood, Hyderabadi style.

This blog is all about being a mom in India; specifically in Hyderabad. We have our own issues, our own fun times and our own little world. I will be sharing motherhood advice, education tips and tricks, fashion information etc. and all in all keep you updated and in tune with the you, that has maybe got lost.

Have fun and happy reading moms! you deserve the best!