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Creative Ways of Announcing the Birth of Your Baby

This is a guest post by Lauren Roland. Lauren is a guest blogger on behalf of Expecting-Parents.com and PaperStyle. She enjoys spending time with her adorable baby boy and spreading tips for new mothers.  


 Nothing beats the happiness of new parents whose excitement cannot be concealed over the birth of their new baby. There are many ways to make birth announcements. It usually depends on the enthusiasm of the parents in showing off their new child to the world, but if you're someone who wants to make announcing the birth of your baby a big deal (and a special one) then here are some sure trusted ways to get everyone swooning over your baby love.

1. Blog about it

The topics you can read about on blogs are endless. It is not surprising that baby blogs are also very popular. There are ways in which you can kickstart your baby blog. Some people start theirs during pregnancy, the birth, and until the baby has his or her first experiences. You can also start the blog by announcing the birth of your baby and continue by making regular updates on your baby's progress.

2. Post a status about it on social media sites
If you're reading this on the internet, then it is impossible that you do not have at least one account on a social media site. Some of the most popular networks are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest and many more. These sites do not only allow you to post simple text, but they encourage you to embed videos, post photos, share links and many more. With these exciting options alone, you are sure to not run out of ideas on announcing the birth of your baby. Plus, most of your friends, family, colleagues and all your other acquaintances are all on these sites. You would be able to spread the word to more people. Moreover, if you have accounts on the four biggest social media sites, you don't have to make the updates for each. You can just link the accounts and have everything covered.

3. Make creative paper announcements
Some couples want to make it traditional. This method will make the announcement special too. After all, weddings and other special occasions always have paper invites. So, why not make the announcement on a nice paper with your baby's picture on it along with some crafty and creative designs? Then, you can set aside one copy, frame it and hang it on the wall of the baby's room in your home.

4. Make phone calls and text messages

There are other couples who are keen with their privacy and rather conservative when it comes to their personal lives. Another traditional way of making the announcement to close family and friends is by personally informing them about the birth of your baby through SMS or through a phone call.
The birth of the baby is the most precious memory that parents will keep for the rest of their lives. It is only right that announcements are made to welcome the child into the world with much love and anticipation. The announcement is just the start. Pretty soon, there will be other major events in the succeeding months from his or her birth that you need to announce, like baptisms and other firsts.

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Important Tips to Plan your Teenage Girl’s Birthday Party



Birthday celebration for a teenager is a joint venture. Your little one who was depending on you for all the things till a couple of years ago, suddenly starts trying to take control of all the things. Teenagers are as usually referred to as young adults and they perfectly fit this description. They form their opinions just like adults, but they need your help to make them work. 

So, if you are thinking about managing the birthday party for your teenage girl, here are few things that you need to take care of:
Giving due consideration to her plans
You may have some ideas about her birthday, but try to know about her plans. Does she have any ideas about the celebration? It may be a party at home or a celebration outside the house. Do not oppose outright even if you do not agree with the idea. Discuss the ideas with her, plan out the celebrations and take her suggestions. She might have better plans. If you think her plans are not acceptable, try to convince her gradually about it. Sudden or outright opposition may cause a rebel.
Going ahead with the plans
Once you decide on the celebration, there could be differences in opinions about the other plans too.  Especially if your teenager is stubborn, you may have a tough time. What seems trendy for her may turn out to be expensive or absurd for you. Do not lose your cool and work out options.
Assigning responsibilities
Give her due credit and respect for important tasks associated with her celebration. Let her take the call regarding the menu, the type of decorations and such other tasks. If she is a mature lady, let her go ahead and organize the party. You can be there as her guide or mentor. Girls are very sensitive and emotional about every little thing around them. It could be her friends, the birthday theme, flowers, or may be the cake too.
Avoiding family interventions in the party
All the family members may not understand your teenager. Teenagers prefer to keep their parties a private affair. So if you think dad is interfering by nature or her sibling is going to poke his or her nose into her party, make plans to keep them away. You might as well plan some outdoor task for them. If her folks are friendly with you and can connect with you easily, they’ll invite you occasionally to join them. But don’t be inquisitive about their intimate discussions.
Respecting her privacy
The D day for your teenager might start with text messages or lot of phone calls. Do not be over inquisitive about this. You can discuss about her friends later, not that day. Same rule applies for gifts as well. At this age they have special friends, boys and girls. And for a teenage girl, the gifts given by these special friends are always very special. She might not want to reveal everything to you. Give her the space she needs and she will come up with her secrets with you or with dad.
Thus, realize that your girl is growing up and you need to make a note of her opinions and emotions when planning her celebrations.

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Exams, you, and your Kid

With the term end exams just round the corner, Moms have geared up with full energy and enthusiasm. Notes, question papers, important tips are the major discussions going around. Health awareness, nutrition, adequate sleep, less play, and control on gadgets are the items on the to do list. Starting right from Grade 1 to Grade X, the exam fever is heating up the atmosphere.


I have never understood the cause, but as a mom I can say that exams usually affect the Moms more than it affects dads. Dads are pretty cool about things and either act as silent spectators or peacemakers! And kids? They are entirely in a defensive mode.

Things are more complicated for working moms. I do not say they are simple for at home moms, but working mothers are aware of the restriction of time. Tutions are not enough for last week preparations. When you are away at office, you need to be well prepared to keep you kid engaged with a task related to his next day's exam. This task needs to be monitored over phone calls if necessary and follow up occurs in the evening. Evenings are again dedicated to a final revision and mom's strategical planning for the next day. I am sure every working mom wishes that she was a work from home mom during this week. Things turn out to be more strenuous if surprise meetings or calls pop up at office followed by extended hours.

Another challenge for every mom is health.These are the days when the kids are likely to come up with stress related symptoms like stomach pains, headaches, and even fever in some cases. Managing health and exams is a crucial thing.Then there are challenges on the home front as well. Your maid may not turn up or there could be some emergency related to a family member or some issue related to the younger one. Apart from all this the show must go on with the minimal daily chores.

Does this sound too much? But it is a fact. Every six months, there are a couple of weeks when Moms act as jugglers balancing numerous things. Finally it is the relief and satisfaction, that your kid has faced one more test in his life and you know he is surely going to emerge as a winner in his own way, irrespective of the marks that he gets on his scorecard. The numbers on the scorecard do not matter so much. It is the efforts, the understanding of challenges, the will power to face it and the courage to  accept the results is what matters to you. Isn't it true?

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Kids and Gadgets

Are these synonyms? Well, in today's age the answer could be Yes. We can find very few kids around us who can really turn their back towards gadgets. Be it a cellphone, an ipad, iphone or a tab, they definitely have some knowledge about it and basic skills to handle it.

When I brought my new cell, I realized that my young chap was eagerly looking forward to it. So now it belongs to us. The basic functions of call and messaging are handled by me and rest all by my kiddo!

Kids have adapted to this revolution very positively. But this poses a major challenge for parents. In this revolution of gadgets, we cannot avoid keeping our kids away from them. If I block his access to these he is going to learn about it from friends. The best option is to make sure that whatever he learns should be in a positive way. This affiliation for technology should develop as a skill rather than an addiction.

However, there is always the other side to a coin. When imparting freedom to kids regarding the usage of gadgets, there are two things that every parent should remember:
  • A supervision in a correct way and required measure is necessary. Teenage kids do not like to be interrogated or supervised. But you need to find out ways to keep a track of their progress in this field.
  • Giving them access to these gadgets does not mean satisfying undue or unrealistic demands for new gadgets. 
  • Constructive use of gadgets is important. For example, using kindle to enhance reading skills or using the tab for memory games or improving language skills.

So, with all these sets of do's and don'ts get ready to enjoy the tech world with your kid. He will lead you there and guide you as well.

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Kids Say the Darndest Things

My 12 yr old boy reminded me of this phrase last week.

 It was a weekend with the final exams going on. I was at home to receive my little devil. I love weekends as I get to play the role of a home maker.

He returned from school and after breakfast we were having a chat about his day at school. "It feels so nice to be at home and recieve you. You also must be happy to find Mom at home, right?", I remarked.

There was a moment of silence and my little smart angel (I take time to accept that he's growing up!) replied, "You know what, Moms who are housewives are dumb. Working Moms are smarter." Now it was my turn to be silent for a moment. I recovered from the moral shock and asked him, "Why do you think so? I mean its not really true." He replied, "You see, working Moms are in touch with what's happening in the outside world. They are conversant with computers, they know a lot about internet and can connect with their kids."

"But, then you don't get to connect to your Mom till evening if she's working. She is not available to pamper you." I took out another card. It was then maybe he realized that he has said a lot. He tried to make up for that. "Well, I think it is okay if Mom works for few years and then opts to be at home." That was possibly the best solution that his little brain could come up with.

This conversation indeed had something to take. It gave me a glimpse of the issues that these little minds discuss and the depth of it that can reach upto. Parents should indeed discuss a lot of topics to bring out these thoughts and perceptions and give them the correct direction where necessary.

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Multitasking is the Word!

With exams going on and simultaneous deadlines at work, you hardly have any choice and time left for yourself. All I could type randomly for my blog were these few lines.

As I run and jump from one task to other, at the end of the day I feel completely drained out. Both the fronts are equally important and there is no scope to prioritize things.

At work it is submissions, reviews and meetings. At home it is looking into studies, the daily chores and food with special attention to nutrition. For two weeks this has been my schedule. Now just looking forward for a relaxed weekend that I deserve.

Ek break to banta hai!

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The Boom of Child Actors in Hindi TV Serials

Hindi serials no doubt rule the television world in India. They now have their own little world in respect of their launch, schedule, gossips, TRPs and awards. We can say that there is a tiny Bollywood that's shaping up through these serials.

Most of the plots in these serials provide scope for child artists. The script involves child characters and thus these kiddos enter this glamor world. As compared to the serials a decade ago, we have a lot of serials today that involve child artists performing prominent roles. Apart from the exclusive kids' serials, there are many other serials in which we come across kids. A few examples can be listed as:

Balika Vadhu had Anandi, Jagya and Phuli as kids and now has Varun, Shagun and Nandu
Parvarish has Raavi, Raashi, Ginni, Rocky and Sunny
Chotu in Diya aur Bati Hum
Addu and Nanhi in Na Bole Tum Na Maine Kuch Kaha
Megha in Me, Aji aur Saheb
Bulbul, Rano and Rajbir in Kya Hua Tera Vada
Kanha, Mukta and the babies in Uttaran
Vikram and Neha's kids in Bade Achhe Lagte Hain

                                          Link: Youtube.com

The list goes on... The plots of these serials is intended for the adult audience. Kids enacting these roles thus appear to be much more mature for their age at times. They are seen discussing and commenting on trivial issues in life and relationships. Examples where Nanhi plans her Mom's remarriage or when Anandi has to go through a lot of tiffs in her child marriage at a tender age.

Another example that deserves a mention is the work of kids in episodes of Crime Patrol. Kids as victims of crime cases or a part of families of criminals are portrayed here. I feel this appears too loud.

Though acting is a great career option and child artists have been working in films and on stage since ages, serials is a different issue. Serials are not occasional, they appear day in and day out and go on for years at times. Secondly they do not have a well defined plot like films and dramas and are constantly modified based on TRPs. I am not against kids in serials. I personally feel that child roles in serials meant for adults should be respectable and well tailored.  

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Growing up with Motherhood

If there is any experience that is 100% real, close to nature and that really made me grow up, is when I became a Mom! The reason for this particular moment to be eligible for this article is three fold:
  • Motherhood is a blessing that nature has gifted to a woman. She has the credit of being the creator of a new life. 
  • Secondly the experience of delivering a baby is as good as being reborn. That moment of delivery is not only crucial for the mother but also is looked forward to by families on either side and involves the emotions and sentiments of the father and entire family as well. It is indeed 100% real!
  • Last but not the least, growing up is a relative term. You grow up biologically, emotionally and psychologically as well. The moment and further process of being a parent makes you more mature with every passing day and you really feel you are growing up in many ways!

My pregnancy news gave me butterflies in the stomach. I have been very outgoing, carefree, and a daredevil at times. But I was also always a Mom at heart and so was very much excited when we got the news. The feeling that a new life is getting created in your womb is amazing! I enjoyed every moment of it. As the intial moments passed on with morning sickness, I started reading more about prenatal care. I couldn't believe it, the impatient and careless individual in me was changing. I had become particular about my nutrition, my medical check-ups and the do's and don't s of pregnancy. Every time I was about to do something "hatke" I gave it a thought now. The last trimester made me more mature and I started dreaming about baby care. Grandmas at both the ends were not very confident of infant care. I discussed this with hubby and one fine day resigned from my job as a research assistant. I was aware that I was not only leaving my doctoral opportunity but also my dream career in Earth Sciences. But I knew that the little soul needed me the most. I also wanted to enjoy every moment of the baby's growing up.

Finally the D day arrived. The doctors tried their level best for the delivery to be normal, but finally they had to go for a C-section. I was calm and patient. On March 7, 2000, I delivered a cute healthy baby boy. The moment of being a Mom was beyond description and has etched a fond serene memory in my mind forever. That particular moment is linked with so many moments before and after that.

When I took my baby in my arms for the first time, it was a mixed feeling...a feeling of joy, pride, love, care and responsibility. I looked on at the little bundle of joy. As I took his tiny fingers in my hand, I realized that I will have to hold this hand till my baby is capable of confidently facing this world. I saw his cute little face and his eyes closed as he was dreaming away and I knew I had to be there for him round the clock keeping aside my priorities if necessary.

And then he suddenly smiled in his dreams. Me and hubby both looked at each other and made a promise to ourselves and to him - we would try our best to keep this smile always on! Now as we look back at this span of 12 years, we feel that we have been growing up with him since that moment. Every experience of parenting has been teaching us a great deal, as we try to be better parents and make our kid a good individual. Finally a day will come when his wings will strengthen up and he will fly off in search of his own world. All that will remain with us will be these moments that were 100% real and natural!

We have been raising our kiddo with all the love and care like all the parents do. But  I still cherish that moment when God blessed me with a baby.

This post is a part of the Kissan 100% Real Blogger contest on Indiblogger.

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Justin Bieber: Truly the Teen and Tween Sensation

I had been acquainted with the personality called Justin Bieber through my niece who's a teenager and a great fan of him. So I knew him as a teenage sensation. But recently my I found my kid, who is 11 yrs old, chatting with friends and downloading Justin's songs. I was quite surprised.

                                                                           Video source: www.youtube.com

And I decided to Google.I was amazed at the huge success that this young lad has achieved. Discovered by chance, yet pursued his career with efforts and dedication; handled his success with caution and kept up his passion for music. This is how I would describe Justin. I need not describe the endless recognitions and awards that this young man has got. So also, this post would not give me enough scope to write about the records that his songs and albums have created and broken as well. His website does it all. His fans website and the music website has it all.

This post aims to delve into the logic of Justin being not just a teen but also a tween sensation. It is true that the tween usually imitates the elders and seniors. So getting into the trend of fan following is possible. However, other than this, I feel that these youngsters can relate to his music and his young age as well. He is the teenage icon for them. In the early adolescence, when they learn to correlate to romantic songs, the soft and foot tapping tunes like Baby, Somebody to Love, Never say Never come easily to them.
Whatever it is, Justin has made his way to the hearts of these young people. So nowadays, Justin tunes rock in our house too!



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The Shin-Chan Series: What Should Parents Learn from it?

If you have a kid, you invariably are aware of the anime series Shin-Chan or Crayon Shin-Chan as it is more popularly known among kids. This anime series has highly impressed the kids all over the globe but has received mixed views and reviews from parents. Why are parents so much concerned about a popular cartoon series?
To introduce, Shin-Chan is the 5 year old kid of Misae or Mitsy Nohara and Harry Nohara. He has a little sister Himawari. The themes of all the episodes are woven around this family. A little brat that he is, Shin-Chan is extremely witty and mischievous. Mitsy is a homemaker while Harry is a stereotypical Japanese salaryman who works in the office time and returns home tired. Shiro, the pet dog of Nohara family is as good as a family member and a significant character.  

Shin-Chan is up to mischief just like any other kid and also exhibits all the traits like children of his age do. Yet he stands apart due to the over smart answers that he gives his elders and also some of his weird habits. Commenting on ladies, creating a menace for his parents due to his strange behavior and actions and justifying those by his rude and outspoken dialogues are some of these. Mitsy is often portrayed as a lady who tries to be a sophisticate and ends up in a mess. At times she is shown to be the target of Shin-Chan's pranks. Both the parents when targeted by his pranks are often rewarded by his sarcasm. He does receive punishments but by then he's already delivered his share of thoughts.

If you watch Shin-Chan as an entertainment, it is funny. But I have observed in case of several kids around that regular watchers often start imbibing the values that they notice on screen. When this happens in case of Shin-Chan, you start getting all those weird comments. I have seen kids change their accent and body language to be like their idol! This then becomes a task for parents to get the kid to normal terms. So finally it becomes a lesson for the parents to draw the line for this entertainment when it starts filtering into the day to day life.

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Kellogg's Muesli: A Product Review

Disclaimer: The review is based on my personal experience with the product. I have not been sponsored or gifted a sample product for the review.



As a Mom and as a homemaker, I have never encouraged packaged or canned foods. So when we got the pack of Kellogg's Muesli for the first time, I was a bit hesitant. However, to my surprise it turned out to be a delight for all of us. From my experience with this product, I can present the review as below:

Kellogg's Muesli is available in four different varieties:
Extra nut delight: It contains multigrains, raisins, dates, and almonds.
Extra fruit magic: It contains apples, mellow peaches, papaya and Californian raisins.
Extra muesli crunchy fruit and nut: This contains crunchy Californian almonds, Canadian dates, Californian raisins, apples, mellow peaches, and papaya.
Extra tropical bonanza: This contains mangoes and mellow peaches.

We have tried out Extra nut delight and Extra fruit magic flavors. This product has given me the satisfaction of providing a combination of taste and nutrition for my family as compared to the junk food items in the market. It is a delight for kids and I can garnish it with fruits and dry fruits of my choice. Due to the yummy taste, having milk is also welcome nowadays. As a working woman, it saves a lot of time in the busy morning hours too.

As with all other food items, repetition makes the taste monotonous. Hence, having some other alternatives for breakfast is a must. 

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