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A Travel Back in Time: Visit to City Palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan

Last weekend was a memorable one for me and my kid . We visited the City Palace in Udaipur (Rajasthan, India). The beauty and grace of this magnificent historical monument cannot be described in words. The construction of this beauty was started by Maharana Udaisingh, but was gradually enhanced by his successors.

The Palace is located in the heart of the city, just a few meters away from the famous Jagdish temple. It is easily accessible by auto rickshaws. You need to purchase tickets at the entrance. Cameras are allowed, but with fees. You can also opt for a boat ride in Lake Pichola. As the palace is located on its banks, the boat ride gives you an exquisite view of the palace.

The palace has numerous domes, towers and totally comprises of 11 beautiful palaces, each exhibiting a different insight into architecture as shown by the person who built it. You can see amazing artwork created with the use of marble, glass, tiles and mirrors as well. The Sheesh Mahal and Mor Chok (peacock courtyard) shown in the images below are two of those.


As you ascend through the mysterious passages and stairs, the balconies on each floor give you a picturesque view of Lake Pichola on the banks of which the City Palace resides. There are numerous galleries exhibiting paintings, art and the memoirs of the various rulers. It takes you more than 2 hours for a walk through. You cannot help but admiring each and every aspect that you see.There are numerous Mahals, choks, balconies in the palace.

The beauty of the palace has been maintained and the rich heritage has been conserved by the management. The delicate artistic sections have been covered and protected by glass. The rich antiques are exhibited but amidst proper security.

The visit was a historical treat for all of us. My kid got a better feel of history through the visit than what he had been reading in the books.



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Harry Potter: The Super Hero of my Little Hero

My association with Harry Potter has a different story.
Like every other child, my kid too has his favorite series of super heroes. Ranging from the age old favorites like Phantom, Spiderman, and Superman, he has been coloring his imaginations with a lot of them. But since he's started understanding these fantasies and imaginations, one hero has remained constant throughout and that has been Harry Potter. This character has so much been into his and our lives, that finally I decided to write a post about this!

I do not need to introduce J K Rowling or Harry Potter. There is hardly anyone out there who is not aware of the mind boggling series of novels and the movies based on them. The Harry Potter series takes you away to the land of wizards, witches and magic. Its fascinating not only for the kids but for the elders as well.
As for us, we all are fans of this magical series. Though I have not read the books, I have watched every movie with equal excitement.The movies have done equal justice to the imaginative skills of the author. Hats off to the team who has worked on them.
But my kid? Well, he's probably the greatest fan of the author and the series. He had finished reading the complete series when he was 10 and has always loved to have discussions on it as well!



Being an avid reader, whenever he finds time, he gets hooked on to the books, needless to say, preferably the Harry Potter ones. As he became a die hard fan of this kid, his imaginative world spread around us too.

So now, Harry Potter, Ron, Hermione are our friends too. We give a patient listening to what Albus Dumbledore, Rubeus Hagrid and Minerva McGonagall  do, we listen to how Voldemort has dark shades in his character. The constraint of space restricts me to discuss the other exciting characters, but they exist too.

Moreover, there are discussions and debates on why Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the best and how Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is exciting of all. There is an analysis of how he feels that Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is more fascinating as a movie than as a novel. Same goes with the other novels as well.

Finally, the bottom line is that the character Harry Potter and the imaginative world is not mere a child's play. It has helped my kid evolve a lot. He's got the fascination for reading complete novels and understanding them at an early age. As the stories fix him on to his seat, he's developed the perseverance too. He has learned to think and analyze. He compares the two media and is eager to project their comparison.

Isn't this a lot more than what parents can expect from children's literature? Thanks to Rowling and to Harry too.
 


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Raising Kids: Are we on the Right Track?

I met my friend last week. Her son is 4 yr old and she is a career woman. Yes, I won't say working mom, I would put it as a career woman. She has kept her work life balance with the help of her parents and a lot of maids. The kid goes for 3 hours to the playschool and she meets him late evening, when she spends some so called "quality time" with him.
Like every mom, she feels she needs to give the very best to her kid and look into his all round development. These are the measures she adopted:
Being a single child, she wanted him to socialize, so she fixed up his 2 hours in a day care.
She wanted him to be a bit religious, so she fixed up his hour at a coaching that teaches the chants and prayers.
Like any other kid, he's not very keen in studying (which is actually not a big deal at playschool), but she is worried of his school grade and put him on to tutions for an hour.
All this didn't seem enough for the worried mom, so she engaged him on to extra curricular activities for 3 hours on Saturdays.
Well, I was shocked at all this. And, I was disgusted at the way she was justifying her decisions. I couldn't imagine a 4 year old running from one coaching to another training all the week round. Does the little soul even realize what he was into? Does he know the reason to do all this?
He's not the only one. My neighbor's seven year old is a Brown belt in Karate and  performed her Arangetram  in Bharatnatyam! So she is mastering classical dance and martial arts at the same time, along with a hectic school routine.
It is true that kids adapt to routine easily and are fast learners, but as parents, we should decide on how far to stretch their patience. They have to grow up and face a big competitive world ahead. That is the time they will need to be on their toes. For this they need a calm, peaceful childhood. If we engage them at this stage so fiercely, they will already be exhausted by the time they face the world. If we put ourselves in their shoes, how does it feel to run around at others whims? Should we not wait for them to grow a little and express what their interests are?
I sincerely think, it is time for parents to introspect today.

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Confessions of a Working Mom

I recently came across an article on Working Moms on CNN Living. Long before I became a Mom, I had intended never to be a working one. But, destiny had something else for me on its plate. I took a break when I had a baby. Three years after Jatin was born, I had to take up a job for financial reasons. I kept convincing myself that there would be a day, when I would sit back at home and raise my kid. We decided to have a single kid so that we could provide him with the best of everything.

Years went by. We gained financial stability and moved on quite well. Our standard of living rose and so did our expectations from life. Since I was not a career oriented person, I gave up several opportunities but carried on with work. After all these years as I look around, life seems to have taken a very fast pace. Commodities that were luxuries have now become necessities. Costs of education, travel, pleasures are ever rising high. And I must admit that not just our kid, but even we have become used to this style of living.

So, I am in a dilemma time and again. I remember my resolution of taking a backseat. But the other resolution of giving my little angel the very best, forces me to carry on. Some day I hope my little one scales the heights and makes us proud.

I think the working Moms out there would definitely agree with this. What do you say?

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Kudos to Varsha Gupta - The Winner of doodle for Google India on November 14, 2011

The doodle of Google India was special for all the Indians today. Well, it was designed by a 7 year old tiny tot from India - Varsha Gupta. The doodle shows the classical instruments that represent Indian classical music and traditions. Google celebrates Children's Day India by displaying this doodle on the homepage.

Moreover, the drawing has emerged successfully from the scrutiny of eminent judges. It is indeed an honour to get one's art exhibited on the homepage of a search engine giant. We as Indians appreciate the efforts taken by Varsha and congratulate her parents too.

Please refer the news on Rediff for further details.

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Happy Children's Day!

Today its Children's Day in India. This day coincides with the birthday of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, memorizing his love, affection for children. It is also for the recognition of his efforts for the education and development of kids. There are numerous programmes organized in school, in cities and towns and by the media, to make this day a memorable one.

So, what have you planned today? For me, I first plan to wish my kid when we both get home from a hectic day. Then of course, prepare his favourite stuff for dinner and have fun as per his definitions.

Children do not really expect a lot from us, do they? Kids from different age groups have their own sweet definitions of enjoyment. So why not fill up those few hours with sheer happiness for them and make this a memorable Children's Day?

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Kids' Clothing and its Maintenance

Baby and kids' clothing and fashion wear have gone through an evolution in the last decade. Fashion designers have exhibited their talent not only in girls' wear but in boys' clothing too. When we shop for our kid, we make sure to get them the best, no matter what the prices say.
But there is one thing that I have experienced. We get lots of varieties for our boy and in a short span of time, he outgrows these clothes. Secondly, the wardrobe is stuffed with so many sets, that some of them hardly get a chance to get displayed. This has taught me few lessons to manage my kids' wardrobe:
  • I usually keep rearranging his clothes every week. This gives me a chance to get the unused ones in the front row and they are not left unobserved.
  • Initially when he was a baby and then a toddler, I had the habit of keeping the best ones for special occasions, just to find that the dress doesn't fit him anymore. I do not do this now. I make sure that the clothes get into use.
  • When I realize that any type of wear is going to get short for him, I sort it out. I donate these sets.
  • This way we make sure that our kiddo gets to use all the best stuff that we get for him and it also reaches the right place where it is used by someone else too!









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Back After a Break!

We are back after a break that occurred due to some reasons!

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How to Get Beautiful Baby Shower Party Cards

You are all excited about the baby shower party that you are planning for your sister or a friend and you are on with the preparations. The cake has been chosen, the menu, the decorations, everything is done and now the next thing on cards..yes-the invitations. You go to the market, gaze through the range of varieties and get even more confused. There are the traditional ones and those based on modern concepts and designed creatively. Selecting an appropriate invitation card is an interesting process. These are the ways you
can go about it:

Traditional Cards: You can follow the traditional method and pattern of invitation. There are traders or brands that design the conventional baby shower invitations. You can order handmade or printed cards depending on your choice.

Theme-based Cards: If there is a theme planned for the party, your card has to go with the theme. In that case, creativity can be applied to make it more innovative.

Customized email invitations: If the guests are based at distances, email could be the right way out. The mails could be designed efficiently based on templates that are available on websites. You can hire designers to design these invitations. 

Simple and Elegant invitations: Other ways are selecting simple paper cards for invitations. The paper could be printed with designs of baby pictures, baby items, cartoons, or floral themes. It all depends on your creativity.

Personalized Cards: Some cards are personalized. They could be available with the name of the mom-to-be. You can go in for gender specific or theme specific cards as well.

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Top Tips on Baby Skin Care

Nowadays, a fair and glowing and glowing complexion is not only the concern of women, but men as well. Guys and girls get conscious of their skin right from their preteens and then start experimenting with costly creams and face packs. However, the secret of a healthy skin is proper nutrition and timely sin care. You can contribute to your kids skin care right from the infant stage. Here are some important tips:
  • Be careful when selecting baby products. Do not experiment with too many variations. If possible, go in for natural or organic products but of a proper brand.
  • Baby skin is sensitive, so do not use harsh creams or oils on it.
  • The sensitivity of skin may be inherited, in this case you need to be extra careful. In such cases, certain brands of oils or creams do not suit the kid.
  • A balanced diet and lots of fluids are prerequisites for a healthy glowing skin.When you start with external feeds, you need to take care of the nutrition. Proper food habits are very important and often get carried over in the future as well.


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Basic Care to Protect your Kid from Common Infections in the Monsoons

The rains get the possibility of several types of bacterial, viral, and other infections with them. The most susceptible class to these infections are the kids. Since their immunity is still in the developing stage and also as they are least bothered about rules and regulations, they are vulnerable to various infections. To add to this, schools, day care centers, play areas are the places where they come into contact with other kids who may be carrying these infections. There are certain basic things to remember to avoid getting these infections:

Unhealthy, uncovered, and unhygienic food should be a big NO in these days.
When the children return home, no matter from where, make them take a shower or at least clean up with a sanitizer or disinfectant.
Eye infections are common in these days, so make sure to take proper care of the eyes and to keep away from friends who have these infections.
Contagious diseases like viral fever, malaria, jaundice are also likely to spread. If your kid has any of these, strictly avoid sending him or her to school and day care. Please do not spread the disease!
Teach them to keep all their belongings and their room clean and dry- over the year and especially these four months. 





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How to Get your Introvert Kid to Mix with People

This is the question that bothers the Mom of every introvert child, just as it did me. Being introvert is a part of one's nature. Kids either have it in them as an individual or they have taken it from the genes. My kid is just like his dad. He takes a lot of time to open up, hardly talks with strangers and is selective about friends.
Though you cannot change this aspect completely, you can help your child to be a normal individual and not the one who locks up oneself completely from the world outside. Also, this change takes up time and a lot of your patience.
You can give this a try:

When the kid starts going to school, things are better. In that case, make it a habit to discuss the events of the day over dinner. Make this appear very casual and invite his participation too. When kids observe that Mom and Dad are enjoying discussing about their day, they give their inputs too. In this way they make sure that they have something to discuss with you. This really works!

It is always preferable that your child has close pals. It could be a sibling or in case of a single child it could be cousins living close by or friends. We had neither of these options. So we opted to send him to a Day care.

My boy doesn't really opt to go out and play, he's comfortable at home. But we have often encouraged him to do so and now he's started enjoying that.

Introvert kids have their spells of solitude. Do not force them to be out during those times. When my kid insists that he wants to be alone, we allow him to do so. After a while he's back, cheerful and ready to mingle.

If you are not the social type, you need to develop those skills for this chap. This way the child will get a chance to interact with family friends and relatives. Though he or she may not mix with elders, but they will be used to having people around.

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Make your Child an Avid Reader

We are the lucky parents of a 12 year old who loves to read. When I meet the parents of other kids and hear them complain that children are addicted to the television, computer and mobile screens, I feel proud of my little one. He does love outdoor sports and these screens, but reading remains his passion. His reading hobby can be traced long back, to his preschool years. Here are few tips I want to share with the parents out there:
  • The love for books can be induced easily at a tender age. Once the kid grows up, there is nothing much that you can do about this. You can keep on encouraging but you have to leave it on the child and time. So begin early!
  • Early does not mean infant reading! Early means when the child understands what books and pages are, when the kid can differentiate at least between a picture and a text!
  • If your kids' school has a good library, you are lucky. However, this does not mean that will make him/her a reader, but yes, they will be exposed to reading and books.
  • Read with him. Children follow our example. We often have a scenario where all three of us are sitting with books and the room appears to be a reading room.
  • If your toddler shows interest in pictures or stories, do not hesitate to buy books. It is the most important investment you are making. Go in for small but significant books so that you can get your kid some variety. Don't buy a huge collection and then expect the little soul to sit and digest it.
  • Teach your kid to respect books. Love and respect go hand in hand. Eventually the child will learn to care for the books and you won't need to worry about issues like tearing pages and scribbling.
  • Crossword is the word! Take him to bookshops like Crossword (Make sure your kid is not the one to mess up with books). This is the place where you can freely scan through the books of your choice. This is real quality time!

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Real Beauty- Explore it within yourself!


I would like to introduce my definition of 'Real Beauty' with this beautiful sanskrit subhashitam:

Kim api asti swabhavena sundara va api asundaram
Yada ayva rochate yasme bhavet tat' tasya sunadaram!

(Meaning: Whatever exists in the world, is it beautiful or ugly by its own nature? Of course not! It is beautiful because someone fancies it to be beautiful!)

My thought process regarding 'real beauty' reminds me of two things:

The movie "Thodasa Rumani Ho Jaaye", where the protagonist Barishkar (the Rainmaker) leads the girl Binni and her family to believe in themselves and their dreams. He teaches them to be optimistic. Binni is an elderly lady, a spinster who has a very low self-esteem. She's not beautiful or feminine in the worldly sense. This guy brings about a drastic change in her where she starts believing in herself..in her inner real beauty! "Main Sundar Hoon" is what he teaches her and this belief changes her life. She learns to smile, to laugh, to admire the beauty in herself and in her life. The rain that he claims to get in the small dry town is symbolic to the hopes and aspirations that he gifts the people with.

Another incident that led me to think about 'real beauty' was something that I observed in my college days. We had a ladies' room in our college. There were two mirrors in the room. Girls used to visit the room intermittently for freshening up or sometimes just to have a chat amongst themselves. Whenever we used to sit there, I observed one thing. Almost every girl visiting that room would make it a point to have a look at herself in the mirror.

I found this very amusing initially. But then I started observing this fact closely. As the world defines... some girls were pretty, some were really beautiful and fair, and some of them had average looks while there were some who were dark, short or even ugly as the world may classify them. Yet, every girl looked at herself in the mirror with the same admiration. What was it that every individual was observing? Complexion, features, make-up?  In some cases yes...but not in all.

It was more of an admiration for one's own self, one's identity that was far more precious and relevant than the outer looks. It was this self-esteem that brought a smile on the faces of even those so called "average" looks when they peeped into the mirror. This incident taught me that every individual is beautiful from within. No matter what our height, complexion and features say, we believe in ourselves from the bottom of our heart. This makes us stand apart from several other faces in the crowd.

Yes, its true that life is beautiful, so is nature. The sunrise, the moon and stars, the mountains and the sea, the flowers and the dew..everything is beautiful. But all this seems beautiful when we have the vision or perception for this beauty. And this is possible only when we realize our own real and inner beauty. A person who is depressed will never even bother to take a look around, let alone appreciating these things.

The insight into this beauty leads us to realize our virtues and nurture them. It teaches us to introspect and also work on our vices. Last but not the least, there is a fine line between self-esteem and pride that decides what real beauty is. One who is beautiful from within is confident but never proud, and one who is proud can never be beautiful no matter what the features say!

I would close the article by some more pearls of wisdom from Sanskrit that truly reveal what real beauty is all about:

Narasya abharanam rupam, rupasya abharanam gunaha
Gunnahas abharanam dnyanam, dnyanasya abharanam kshama!

(Meaning: Beauty is like an ornament of a human being. Virtue is an ornament of beauty. Knowledge is an ornament of virtue and forgiveness is an ornament of knowledge.)







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Here comes the Monsoon!

The cloudy sky, drizzling showers and roaring thunders are back again. Everyone seems to take a review of the closet to take out the rain suits and the umbrellas. At the same time, it is the school shopping that goes on with equal vigour!

The task for Moms is to let the kids enjoy the rains and at the same time keep them away from infections and diseases that come in with the season. Special care comes in for those kids who are allergic or prone to infections of various types.

Antiseptices and antiallergic cleaners, cleansers and sanitizers prominently make their way into our homes. Especially kids need to be instructed to keep themselves dry and clean.
 
Outside food, beverages and water are something we need to avoid for the next four months. Switch on to mineral water or preferably carry a water bottle if you are out. Avoiding uncovered, unhygenic foods is something we have learnt from the school days and so have our kids.

Keep a check on the diet health and hygiene and welcome the monsoon!

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Essential Qualities for a Day Care Centre

If you are looking for a day care centre where you can enroll your child, here is what you need to ensure:

  • The day care provider should be not only be professional but caring and loving too. It means that when there is an emergency of any kind, the provider should go beyond the call of duty and be there for your kid. This makes the kid more comfortable with the caretaker.
  • The centre may provide food and snacks or may ask you to do so. In both the cases, the child should be fed well and on time. Nutrition is something they also need to look into as much as you do. Along with it also come cleanliness and hygiene.
  • The day care centre should have a thorough know how of baby and child care. A tie-up or contact of your paediatrist, the list and knowledge of administering first aid or medicines to the baby when required are some of the very essential things.You cannot sit biting your nails in the office wondering if your kid has been given the afternoon dose of medicines.
  • The day care centre should be clean and hygienic. This applies to the place, toys, bedding and kitchen. So also the way the baby is taken care of, the nappies changed and disposed, wipes and bibs used properly. For older kids, the hygiene manners should be inculcated properly.

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Introducing Healthy Food Habits in Your Toddler

As your baby grows up with the recognition of tastes, you have a tough time feeding certain dishes that are not welcome. As a toddler, the problems get worse as the kid gets adamant about eating. Junk food items, fast foods are an added attraction to this. You wonder how to cope up with this and also worry how to supply proper nutrition that your little one needs.
Remember a few basic rules:

There are several recipes that are yummy and nutritious too, but this cannot be an everyday game. Your child needs to get accustomed to eating the staple and complete diet.

Draw the line for your kid regarding meals and breakfasts. Do it tactfully but make sure the kid knows who is the boss. At the same time do not completely eliminate junk foods, they are fine once intermittently.

Strictly adhere to two things during meals- Sitting in one place and NO TELEVISION! Once you get this done, half the problems are resolved.

If you have not introduced your kid to all the important tastes earlier, its not too late. Start with different veg soups and add various flavours to it. The toddler will learn to develop the taste buds.

Make eating time interesting by all of you joining together and chatting over.

Food can be fun with attractive serving and feeding items. Use special kids' bowls, dishes and spoons that are attractive and colourful. Your young one will love that.

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The Do's and Don'ts of Internet Access for your Preteens

Preteen kids adore accessing the Internet time and again. The net provides loads of information and is instrumental in developing knowledge. It is tempting to be a part of the social networking sites where they can hang on with friends, to download the top 20s on music charts and the latest games. They can brag among their friends about the updates they receive.Though it is essential for your young one to be in touch with the technology, it is your duty to recognize the pitfalls and make sure to be present as the guide. Some of the risks and the ways to manage them are:

Risks
  • Preteens is the age span that loves adventure and risks. The kids can land up getting in touch with strangers and thus may become a victim of sexual abuse or cyber crime.
  • This age has a curiosity about sex related topics. This may result in the access of adult sites or spam mails depicting adult content.
  • Internet surfing can become an addiction and thus result in introvert personalities and disinterest in studies and extracurricular activities.
  • Preteens is a comparatively immature age. Kids can reveal their personal information or information related to finances or family to strangers without realizing the gravity of the situations.
Solutions
  • Just like television, restrict the time for Internet surfing. Maybe 1-2 hours everyday.
  • You cannot sit with the kids all the while they access the net; moreover they resent this intrusion into their privacy. But it is important that you periodically monitor the surfing. The best way out is to make friends with your young one.
  • Talk to them about the possible risks of chatting or mailing unknown people and set the rule for the same.
  • Encourage them to surf good sites that really enhance their general knowledge.
  • Do not commit the mistake of putting a ban on the net. That may make them a rebel and they might turn to external resources which is a greater risk.

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Choice of a Career after the XII Examination

Well, this article is meant for the parents as much as for the teenagers who are just out with flying colours from the HSC board exam. This is a period of lot of anxiety and dilemma. The possibility of not getting admission for medical or engineering, or the confusion of opting for traditional sciences or applied courses. The future MBA craze and the urge to do something offbeat!

The next two months are very crucial in your life. Parents in some cases are stable and wise to guide the confused kid through this phase, while in some cases they seem to be much more anxious than the kids. Some parents are keen on getting their dreams realized by hook or by crook, while some feel that low percentage means a lost battle..."ab kuch nahi ho sakta!"

As admissions speed up in the next quarter, these are the few days when you guys need to study yourself and the market as well. List out your options and prioritize them. Your options should include careers that are close to your heart and in the field that you will love to work in for a lifetime. In your first three options weigh the possibilities of admissions on the basis of the University/Institute, merit and the fees that your parents can afford. Else move on to the next.

BUT APPLY EVERYWHERE! Just because you think its out of reach, doesn't mean you won't get it! So keep trying. But don't get disheartened if you don't get through. There is always a still better option waiting for you round the next corner!

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Kids and Vacations

Kids' vacations get along several things with them. Travel plans, movies, games are on for the youngsters. For moms it is the change in schedule, shuffling household tasks, extra cooking and shopping and moreover, keeping the little devils engaged. Things are more trivial for working moms. Keeping in pace with the day care and the kid is very difficult.
Nowadays there has been a trend of engaging the kids in summer camps and other allied activities. Some parents prefer to enroll them for short courses. However, when doing this, we tend to forget our own childhood and the yearning for vacation so as to live life as we want to. We conveniently decide what is best for our kids and go ahead with the plans.
Learning something new is not wrong, but the way it is implied is wrong. Before you decide to dump your little one somewhere, give a thought regarding the age, liking, skills, duration, distance and the timing. Your little boy may just want to lazy out or go over to his cousin, your young girl may not be willing to rise early for some sport of your choice. Perhaps they deserve a break of a month or two after a hectic round-the-clock routine of a year. Then why are we keen on creating sports and rock stars?
Isn't it time we discussed with the kids what they actually want to learn and how do they really want to spend their vacation? Let them grow up and realize what their interests are. You are always by their side, aren't you? So relax and enjoy the vacation with your little one.

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Being a Mom..

The news of pregnancy, the sequence of 36 weeks and finally awaiting the D day when you and your family awaits the little bundle of joy! It is a long journey to be a Mom and it takes a lot of patience too. Finally you hear the cry in the labour room as you are nearly broken down with pain and fatigue and tears of joy roll down your cheeks. Your little angel has arrived in this world! You have never bothered to think once whether its a boy or a girl. The doctor smiles and shows you your baby..revealing the news..Its a boy or Its a girl!

At that moment you understand what it means to be a Mom. That little bundle becomes your world. You understand that you need to be there for someone round the clock. You need to strive to get a smile on that face, you need to be there to wipe the tears, to soothe the fears and for every other little thing. You make a promise to yourself- to give the very best of everything to your sweet little angel.

After all "Mom is the Word!!"

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Pamper Your Little Princess on Women's Day!

You have always felt great being a woman, haven't you? Your role as a daughter, wife, sister and now as a mother has revealed to you the several shades of feminine nature that have added more flavor to your identity. A woman is blessed by nature with the gift to give birth to new life, to create and nurture the next generation. Apart from this, a woman has multiple assets like beauty, talent, patience and intellectual as well. Women's day provides an opprotunity to feel these aspects of your identity.
 
If you have a baby doll at home, enjoy this great feeling of being a woman with her. If she is too small to understand this concept, just make her day pleasant by gifting her something.

If you have a young adorable daughter, discuss with her the joy and pride of being a woman. In fact, this is a great day to let her learn about the women who have been achievers in various fields like science, literature, fashion and business. That will inspire her a lot!

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How to Select a Toothbrush for Babies and Toddlers

The teething process begins from the age of around 6 to 8 months, though it may be a bit late in some children. When the child gets around 3 to 4 teeth and also starts having external feeds, it is time to brush the teeth. The jaw, gums and teeth are very sensitive in this age. Hence selecting the right toothbrush is very important. Here are some tips regarding this:

Your baby's first toothbrush should ideally be a finger toothbrush. It fits around your finger and is gentle and soft bristled. This enables you to clean the few teeth without hurting the baby. The baby can also bite into it with no harm.

As the number of teeth increases, introduce a proper kids' toothbrush. This again should be gentle on the gums and teeth. In this case you can buy bright colored attractive brushes that make brushing an enjoyable task.

Toddlers usually insist on brushing teeth on their own. Hence, for kids above one year select a toothbrush which they can grip properly.

Even when the kids insist to brush on their own, you need to take charge and supervise the task of brushing teeth. Also induce the habit of brushing teeth twice daily.

Any toothbrush needs to be replaced after at least 2 to 3 months. Also teach your toddler the basic etiquette of brushing like cleaning the toothbrush and proper gargle.

Tips: Avoid using a toothpaste for babies.Start a toothpaste when the kid can gargle it out, say from around 18 to 20 months of age. This may vary in each child depending on the teething process and understanding.

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Top Tips on Birthday Gifts for a One Year Old

 When you receive an invitation for a first birthday party, the toughest decision to make is the selection of a perfect gift. Since the occasion is special, you want your gift to be special too. But more the options, the more confused you tend to be. Here are few tips that will help you decide the special gift:

Toys: This is the obvious thing one would buy for a kid. But with the huge variety, the decision is difficult to make. Toys can be educational like jig saw puzzles, blocks or they may be entertaining like dolls or soft toys. Whatever you buy, prefer a good quality, brand and absolutely no hazards for the kid.
Clothes: The fashion and designs for young people are tempting nowadays. You may very well go in for this gift. But you need to remember two things- prefer a size that's a bit bigger. The baby will use it later. Secondly, as kids grow rapidly, clothes will be discarded within a few months no matter how costly they are.
Books: This is a great gift. There are books designed exclusively for this age group. They have large bright colorful pictures and hard tough pages. Kids enjoy that!
Accessories: Tricycle, baby play yard, walker and other such equipments are also a great idea. However in this case too, quality and safety assurance are a must.
Tips: When you gift a one year old kid, always make sure that the object is safe, free from hazards and of a good brand.















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Top Five Tips to Care for Your Baby's Hair



Hair pattern shows a lot of variation in infants. Some have very sparse hair while some have a nice thick hair cover on the scalp. Sometimes, the initially sparse hair gradually become thick and grows nicely. Hair care in infants and babies is a delicate task. Along with hygiene, you need to be careful in handling and styling them too. Here are some tips regarding this:

Always keep your little one's hair clean. Prefer to use mild baby shampoos and dry the hair gently but thoroughly. Use a clean, soft wide toothed comb for brushing the hair.

Take care to cover your baby's hair when you travel or are out in the sun or cold.

If you intend to grow the hair long, especially for girls, go in for regular trimming after say 2 to 3 months. This will avoid hair splits and also keep it manageable.

Irrespective of the length, take proper care of infant hair. Adopt a schedule for daily oil massage to the scalp, preferably before the bath. This nourishes the hair and benefits in the future.

Select the hair accessories carefully. For smaller kids, avoid pointed, sharp hair pins or hair bands that are too tight. Also avoid accessories that the baby can manage to pull out or those that can pose choking hazards.

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Top Five Tips on Buying Gifts To Be Given During Pregnancy



Pregnancy is a mixed baggage for any woman. The experience of nine months followed by the child birth brings about many emotional changes in her. She is happy, excited, dreamy and nervous all at the same time. Though there are occasions like baby shower to gift her, you can casually present her something to share her joy. Here are few tips:

Home spa gift sets are the best option for any stage during pregnancy. The lady goes through several physical changes that make her uncomfortable. A home spa bath set gives her real comfort and ease. Go through the range carefully and select the one that is soft and harmless during this period.

Branded maternity items like specialized attire, footwear and accessories are also welcome. She can use them readily.

Certain symptoms during pregnancy are tiring. You could gift her something to ease them. For example oils or creams to reduce stretch marks and itching. Make sure again that the quality is good.

You may gift her some really good books, pictures or good and soothing instrumental CD. This helps her to get calm and this is good for her and the baby as well.

Gift vouchers of brands like Mom & Me can also delight her. She can purchase the items of her choice even online.

Note: Pregnancy is a matter of health concern, hence do not compromise on the quality of any gift items.

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How to Help Your Toddler with the First Day at the Nursery School

Every child perceives the first day of school in a different way. Some are too excited about it, while some just brush off the topic of school itself. Sometimes they may just want to imitate the brother or sister. However the scene is many a times different when you actually drop your toddler to school. Here are few tips on how you can help out your little one:

The first thing to remember is that this is a very special day in your child's life. So make it special and start preparing for it in advance.

If your kid is a late riser and the school is early, set up the sleep patterns a few weeks prior to this date. Make sure the kid is fresh n smiling when off to school.

A new place and routine can give goosebumps to anyone. So manage the breakfast and potty routine at least on that day and if possible everyday.

Be positive about school and teachers to your kid during discussions.Children are very sensitive about everything you say.

Buy all the accessories and school items in advance to avoid embarrassment.

Most of the children change their minds when they reach school. Even those who are excited, start crying when they see the other kids yelling and crying. So anticipate every adverse reaction.

Some schools allow parents to stay over while some of them are strictly against this. Assure your child that you are waiting outside till school gets over. Keep your promise and be there to pick up your little one.

Discuss about things that happen in school and encourage your toddler to go to school more positively the next day.

Keep patience till your kid gets over the fears and settles down in school.Some kids take a pretty long time in this case.

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Make this Valentine's Day Special for Your Kid

Valentine's day is usually considered as a day for couples or lovers. However, in a true sense Valentine is conveying a message of love where it need not be your spouse or lover. You can express your love to your family or kids as well. Plan something special for your kid on this Valentine day. Depending on the age group you can have different plans and a great time together:

Toddlers and preschoolers: They are too young to understand this concept, but you can tell them that mom and dad wish to express their love and care on this special day. This age requires your special attention and time. Plan some interesting craft activity or take them for their favorite outing topped with a toy gift.

School going kids: They love when they realize that they are an important part of your life. Involve them in an interesting activity. You could paint a beautiful picture or watch their favourite movie or cartoon. Spare time to chat with them, they have a lot to express. You can gift them their first wrist watch or something special for their room.

Preteens: These are slightly difficult to please. Assure them this day that you do care a lot. Watch them a few days before Valentine and surprise them by gifting them something they really wish for. They can be best entertained by going for a trek or swim or may be just for a long drive.

Teenagers: They are most sensitive about the Valentine day. If they do have time to be home, take them along to bake a Valentine cake for their friends or you may gift them one to take along. Arrange for a bouquet or a special gift for them.

Note: Irrespective of the age group, when you gift the kids, be sure it is something that they'd love to have.

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Planning the Family Budget with Expected Baby Arrival

The news of a baby arriving in your family brings not only joy but also the concern for planning the family's future. It is very true that you need to start planning for the budget even before your baby's birth. Here are some guidelines to proceed with some of your plannings:

Maternity leave: If you are a working lady, you need to know the details of the maternity leave as soon as you conceive. The duration and terms of payment for this leave vary in different countries and companies as well. You also need to take into account the lapses that could possibly occur due to health related issues in the pregnancy.

Medical insurance/reimbursement: Delivery indicates hospitalisation and related expenses. You need to estimate them in advance. This includes the monthly checkups and tests in the nine months. Find out the details of the policies if you have any or you may even go for a new one.

Preparation for arrival: This involves a long list. Towards the last trimester you can begin working on this. Talk openly with family friends if it is possible to arrange items like crib, pram, car seat and others. Also enlist the necessary baby products and draft the approximate expenses that are expected. These involve baby food, diapers, clothes, toys and so on.

Future expenses: Along with the necessities, you need to spend for vaccinations, pediatric expenses which is quite frequent in the first five years.
Last but not the least you need to save for education which costs high in some countries.

Taking into account the liabilities, you need to work on the family budget as well.

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Coping with the Darkness Fear in Toddlers

Your little toddler may often get scared of darkness due to a number of reasons. This could be due to some monster or witch in a fairy tale or some fearful scene on television or it may be simply due to darkness. As a result the kid may refuse to sleep alone or may hesitate going from one room to another. There are ways to deal with this fear:

Do not coax or blame the kids for this fear and do not be overly protective either. Be with them initially and teach them to manage themselves gradually.

If the kid is not willing to transit from one room to another, offer to goo with him or her. Keep the lights on in other rooms so that the kid is comfortable.

Bedtime atmosphere needs to be changed in such cases. Change the stories to humorous ones or put on some soothing tunes.

Offer to sleep with your toddler till the fear is overcome.

Make sure that the kid has had a complete meal and the other daily chores are taken proper care of.

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How to Choose a Jewelry Gift Item for a 0-1 Year Old

You may be invited for functions like baptism, naming ceremony, baby shower and so on, where you wish to gift the infant. Jewelry is an ideal gift for infants, be it a boy or a girl. However, you enter the shop and you are even more confused as to what exactly you should select. Here are some things to consider:

There are several options in infant jewelry like earrings, bracelets, anklets, necklaces or chains and even finger rings. But in all cases, comfort of the baby comes first.

Never go in for imitation jewelry for infants. Their skin is too soft and sensitive. Always prefer gold or silver only.

Buy jewelry items that have absolutely no choking hazards. Do not go for suspended beads, pearls or small diamonds which can fall off or can be plucked off.

There should be no sharp cuts or edges in case of bracelets or chains. The baby should feel comfortable with the piece on. If the size is small, opt to get it changed immediately.

You may talk to the parents if they are fine about using these items for their infant. They may not be so in some cases. Also some parents are allergy conscious in case of infants.

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How to Read Books with Your Toddler

Introducing your toddler to books and reading proves to be very beneficial in the long run. At the toddler age, kids are not very patient, you need to develop this passion in them and it happens gradually. Just buying books is not enough, you need to give some time too. Once they get to like books, they develop into avid readers ahead. Here are some tips to work into this:

Start with small picture books designed for the age group of your kid. These books have less content and big colorful pictures. Kids enjoy these a lot. You can begin with picture books like vegetables, flowers and others. Then gradually introduce them to short picture stories.

Let the kid explore the book. Kids love to explain or narrate things to elders. Give them the scope to do so. The kid books are normally hard bound, so relax. Also, initially let the kid skip back and forth in the book, do not impose rules immediately.

Spend some time regularly as reading time. Your toddler will look forward to it. Do not hesitate to buy new books if the kid loves them. The investment pays off well.

For kids around a year old, start teaching them the systematics of reading. Also teach them how to care for their books and arranging them properly.

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How to Keep Your Toddler Busy While You Work in the Kitchen

 Toddlers are busy little souls. They like to utilize every moment in exploring the world around them and hence need to be watched over carefully. Things become very difficult when you are busy with cooking and there is no one at home to take care of your little devil. Keeping your toddler occupied as you carry out the culinary tasks is a big task in itself. Here is what you can do:

They can be put into a child rocking chair or high chair with safety belts or straps that keeps them at one place at least for sometime. You can entertain them by singing or chatting.

Toddlers usually love music and videos. Keep a collection of rhymes, songs and cartoons ready for such times. However be careful that they do not get addicted to these things.

Drawing, coloring, painting and writing are great tasks. You can hand these guys paper and colors and just watch them squeeze out their imagination! However, some toddlers require an interaction in this process while some prefer to be left alone.

Sometimes kids love to imitate Moms, so your toddler may want to help you out in the kitchen. Give them things like pretend n play kitchen items or some utensils or vegetables that are safe to play around with.

These kids won't be caught up in a single task for a long time. So make sure your bag is full of variety of entertainment items that you can keep on changing from time to time. The moment they get bored, they start off with their exploration and keep you tied with them leaving your work aside.

Note: No matter what you keep your toddler busy with, always keep an eye to check that the kid is safe. Do not ignore any moves and do not let them handle any objects that could cause a risk.

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How to Select a Halloween Costume for Your Baby

Your baby's first Halloween calls for a celebration indeed. You can make this a memorable event by inviting the kids around and it will be a pleasure to see them dressed at their best. Halloween is known for the unique dressing up of kids which they as well as the parents enjoy. Your little one can also be dressed very imaginatively. Here are some of the ways in which you can go about it:

You can select a theme for the dress up. For infants, you can opt the costume of flowers, fruits or vegetable. They look really cute as a daisy or carrot or an apple!

If the baby is a little older, you can go in for pretend n play costumes like doctor, soldier or something else.

Kids who are around a year old can start indicating their choice as well Their favourites include cartoon characters that are in latest trend or those like Disney characters that are all time favourites. Girls may be overjoyed being Cindrella or Snow White while the little guys may enjoy being action heroes.

Whatever be the style or character, make sure that the costume is comfortable, made of soft fabrics and does not irritate the kid.

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How to Choose a Shampoo for your Baby

XFQMMTZ8BEEV Bathing your baby is an enjoyable task. With a range of baby products and variety of bath tubs and bath toys, it is even more exciting. As you select the right soap, oil and talcum for your infant, so are you very particular in selecting the right shampoo too. Shampoo selection is important as the product should not cause irritation of eyes and be gentle for the hair as well. Here are a few points to think over when you select a shampoo for your little one:

For infants up to two months of age, shampoo is not necessary. You can wash the hair with a good baby soap.

Search the Internet and study various baby products. Opt for good and branded baby products. The infant scalp and hair is very delicate, do not perform any trial and error by using unknown products.

There are many branded tearless baby shampoos available in the market. These do not cause irritation to the eyes.

Organic or natural or herbal shampoos are also a good option.

When using the shampoo for the first time, watch out for adverse reaction or allergy and consult the doctor immediately.

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How to Choose a Theme for your Baby's Nursery

When you set up the decor for infant nursery, you can select a theme of your choice. You may then select the nursery furniture and decor to suit the theme and it will give a pretty and gorgeous nursery. Here are few tips on how to make a selection of theme:

If you are setting up the nursery after the news of baby's arrival, the best way is to go in for gender specific themes. So baby girls can have a set up of Snow White, Cindrella, dolls while the baby boy can have Pinnochio or prince themes.

Floral themes are also a great choice as you can opt for bright as well as soothing colours.

There are nature based themes where imagination knows no bounds. You may use rainbows, moon, stars, snow, forests, animals, fruits and many more ideas in this case.

Once you have finalized on the theme, you need to plan the settings and shop accordingly. Right from the crib, lamps, wallpaper or paints, everything should be in synch with the theme.

Irrespective of the theme, you can use add-ons like nursery rhymes, cut-outs, and suitable pictures or photographs of your infant.

One thing remains constant though; the room should project a soft and soothing look. Even if you use bright colours, make sure you do not make the room look too vibrant.

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