Things baby bring with them to occupy our house!

Look at those tiny little feet! They don’t seem big enough, but sure they do come with a huge package. Most of you will end up buying every cute thing we find in the store for those squishy bums. I did that not once, but twice.

For my first pregnancy, I was refrained from buying baby items due to some customs as per Indian grandparents. But I still managed to get few items. But not as much. I didn’t have that great knowledge of what babies need and what my mom knew was the outdated version. Somehow I managed to get few things and we moved to US when he turned 5 months. After coming here, I learnt the most important things that people get here for babies are, not considered important back in my place at-least among my family.

Hence, when I got pregnant for the second time, me and my husband made a list and budget for the baby and started shopping the moment we knew the gender. And before we knew the gender, we always window shopped. The most popular store in here “BABIES R US” was going out of business and we would hit their store every week for the best offers. We got lots of stuff for Nevin than what we got for Jivin and I don’t regret most of my buys. I also managed to get some used gear, to reduce our expenditures. I wanted to share the top items I felt that was useful and few items that were not so impressive.

Before I list out the items, I want to let you all know that. There is purely my opinion and I am saying, “you should/should not have these items”. My parents and their parents grew up more than fine without almost all these items. According to me, these are the luxuries that we are providing for our kids. All the babies need is Love, affection, Nurture and lots of kisses and cuddles.

First, let me list the basic important items,

  • Car seat – whether you have the law enforced in your country for installation or not. Please make sure you get one. It is important and definitely safe than a baby in our arms.

(I got it for half its retail price in a store, this particular piece dint come in its original packaging)

  • Stroller– The only place you will feel you can go out with a baby is a mall. You get food, you can shop and most of the malls have nursing rooms. So the stroller lets you navigate easier, lets your baby sleep in a safe place while you have your food or do your trial room fittings and you get a place to hold all the diaper bag and stuff in a place.

(From babies r us closing sale)

  • Crib– If you prefer co-sleeping, It’s not worth it. With Jivin I preferred him sleeping our side and now with the second, I got a crib. No particular reason. It’s just that I get to sleep only 4-5 hours a day and at that time I want my space. I already shared my body space and my bed space I couldn’t share.

(Found in the Facebook marketplace)

  • Bouncer/rocker/swing – For the first few months babies sleep like a baby and for those who don’t a rocker comes in handy. We got a 2 in 1 swing come rocker.

This came in handy I used it as a swing in his nap time and as a rocker for his play time while I cook or get my chores done. Plus, it’s a space saver.

(Found in the Facebook marketplace)

  • Bathtub– Bathing a baby is like handling the most expensive china pattern. So, have a bathtub to make your work easier and also the baby will enjoy the bath time.

 

These are the big items which are needed and bought by most of them.

I am listing below some of the lifesaving items I got for myself which I thank for, again and again.

  • Boppy nursing pillow – If you are nursing mom, close your eyes and get one. No questions needed. I still use it. It has saved me from the shoulder and back pains. I missed this when I went to India. We think we can use our normal pillows. No, they are not the same.
  • Sound machine – Babies might find it hard to sleep when it’s too silent as a small noise can make them up easily. I found one of this in the Facebook marketplace. It has options for white noise, birds chirping, waterfall, rainforest, and few lullabies too. We might have an app for it. But you can keep your phone on for a whole night or during the daytime. What if someone calls you? Don’t risk it.
  • Swaddler– As I already said the newborns can sleep like a baby. But if they are not, they need a swaddler. The swaddle blankets are good, but if you are like me who suck at swaddling get those velcro swaddler. The swaddle me brands are great. They have swaddlers for up until a year old and sleep-sacks for up until 2 years old.

We use the 3 and 4 now whichever works at that time.

Nevin has the startle reflux and he needs to be swaddled from waking up frequently, by frequently I mean every 5 minutes 🙈.

  • Nasal aspirator/Saline drops – Imagine those tiny little noses facing difficulties in breathing due to nasal congestion. Any medications is usually not recommended for babies under a year old in such cases, all you can do us suck the boogie out of their nose. In 6 months, Nevin had cold/ cough for at least three months and major part of it was in his newborn phase. You could have found me having a bulb syringe most of the days when Nevin was a tiny squish.
  •  Car seat cover – 

Similarly there are few items I have felt was definitely not worth the money and efforts I have put in.

  • Crib mobile – I got not one but two different kinds of them, which were not worth it. At least for my kid he would never even have a look at it when he is crying ininconsolably or he would get distracted mostly by the music, so he never went to sleep having it on his crib.
  • Baby toys – Most of the baby toys were definitely not needed for us. I got one for his car seat which was expensive but he never was interested in it. Then I got one for a very cheap option which he likes.
  • Feeding bottles/drying rack/bottle cleaning liquid – Let me be clear, I am an exclusively breastfeeding mom, who always has and will support only for breastfeeding a baby. I have nothing against moms who decide to formula feed though. It’s their choice. I tried hard to pump and feed Nevin so that both my husband and myself could take turns. But my baby was so particular about not taking the bottle. I barely drank from bottle for like couple of weeks and stopped it all of a sudden, And then I found myself comfortable nursing him as I could do anything and everything while nursing him. So I the bottles and stuff I planned for him never ever worked out and they stay untouched in a corner of our house.
  • Pacifiers – For a baby who hated bottles also hated pacifiers after 4 weeks. Since he was ok taking pacifiers for the first few days, we thought we should try different kinds and tried all shapes. Now the pacifiers are used as chew toys for both my boys 😂.

These are the few things  that was on top of my mind I had used/just bought up until 6 months now and I put them together. Please share what things you found useful or waste, when you had your baby. If you liked this post, I could do another post on this too.

 P.S . I realized I forgot a major item. A baby carrier, as previously promised will do a separate review on that 😊.

 

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If you see a Mom, Smile !

It was a couple of days before we went on our India trip. I wanted to get a pedicure badly. Since Husband was working all through the weekdays, it was really hard for me to find time for myself. So, one evening I decided to take Jivin with me since he also needed a haircut. I thought I could get my pedicure while he got his haircut in a nearby salon. When we reached and they said they didn’t have an appointment for Jivin. I already had an appointment, I got some snacks for Jivin from the nearby vending machine and got ready for my session. Just then the person who was attending me told that I can’t have a kid with me while I was getting my services in there. I told them, it would take some time to drop him and come back as it was snowing and my appointment time might be done by that. They checked with their supervisor and the supervisor suggested Jivin had to be seated and not get down on the floor. I had no other choice so talked to Jivin about that and he sat in there for the whole 45 mins while I got my pedi and Mani done. I myself was so amazed because I even was not sure he could stay put for the whole session. But, I was more worried about the baby, whom I left behind at home. so, I kinda was in a hurry all panicky. Just when I was about to pay my bill, the ladies in there(customers and employees ) kept praising Jivin which I just smiled it through as all I was thinking was about Nevin.

One kind lady came up to Me and told me, “Your son did a good job and you should be proud. I can see you have put in a lot of hard work raising this little man “. Honestly, I wanted to hug that sweet lady, not because she appreciated me but because she was kind to me “a complete stranger”.

Yes, people! I don’t think moms do their thing for appreciation or recognition. They do it out of love only pure love. So, when they do it all they expect is LOVE not hate, not dirty judgmental looks. A mom might be smiling but you don’t know what is running in her mind. On that particular evening though I had a well-behaved 4-year-old with me, I was rather worried I left a 4-month-old baby home. Some people might frown that I have been selfish taking care of myself rather be at home with a newborn. Though I show up as if I don’t give a shit about other people’s opinion on me, I still let it affect myself. When a really kind lady approached me to appreciate me all I wanted to do was hug her, but I didn’t. I didn’t want her to think I was crazy.

I have a very open confession. I have been judgmental before I got married after I got married, while I was pregnant when I had only one baby. I realized it all was a mistake.

NEVER JUDGE A PARENT (full stop). NO MATTER WHAT, NEVER DO THAT.

Every mom has her own struggles and she is fighting her own battle. Please let her be. Smile at a mom, in school while picking/dropping your kid, in a mall when she is managing a kid who is throwing a tantrum, in a play area where her kid seems to be rude and she is standing there helpless.

During my first pregnancy, I saw a couple of people carrying their babies in a carrycot. I judged them totally, I thought why do these people have babies when they cannot carry them in their arms. I learned my lesson on my recent trip to India. I missed my baby’s car seat very badly. Every time I got tired of carrying him in my arms, I used to think I wish I had his car seat with me, so I could get a minute.

Back in days before my marriage, I was in Chennai and my aunt wad there to visit us along with my cousin. My cousin was probably 10-11 years old girl and I was in my early 20s. We visited a beach and she was hating that the sand stuck all over her legs, my aunt was not happy with her and we (me and my sister) helped her to dust all the sand away. My aunt told me I would be a very good mother all patient and calm.

BREAKING NEWS: I AM NOT. My son throws the same tantrum on our every visit to the beach and I end up getting frustrated. Why is that I was patient and calm with my cousin and not with my own kind. I question myself. I doubt myself a lot as a parent. I keep thinking, my kids deserved a better mom. But, at the end of the day, that is how a mom is.  she is tired and exhausted but never stops thinking about her kids.

I came across this wonderful message on Facebook, which I wanted to share.

“Smile at a mom. I’m positive she is doubting herself, and your smile is reassurance that she is doing a good job. You have no idea how much that means to a mom who thinks she is failing”

 

Mommy’s airport tips

Recently I and my husband braved ourselves to go on an international trip to meet our families. The reason I said “braved” is, our travel was with a then 4-month-old and a 4-year-old for 24 hours.

I knew what we were getting into, It was a mess a whole lot of happy mess though. We finally survived it. I thought I will jot down a few tips on how we survived a long flight.

1. IGNORE – The major part of us will always be wondering what others comment when you are traveling with a crying baby. Don’t worry about the dirty looks or stares. What is important is making your baby safe and comfortable throughout the journey.

2. AVOID NERVOUSNESS – Babies always sense your feelings. If they sense your nervousness chances are they might get a little cranky.

3. BABY CARRIER – Actually this is my top requirement for travel. It was a blessing. When you know your baby is safe in a carrier with you, you can concentrate on other stuff like checking in luggage, handling other kid, transferring terminals. Security checks. Our travel was less messy in many ways just by the use of a carrier. I will be doing a detailed blog on this alone later.

4. MINIMAL HAND LUGGAGE: We (Me and my husband) had a backpack each with a kids trolley for the kid and a cabin bag for us. That way we had our handsfree mist of the time to just concentrate on kids.

5. GET IN EARLY FOR A BASSINET SEAT: Check with the airlines for a bassinet seat. They usually assign it on FCFS basis. It really gives you lots of handsfree time. Also, you can sleep for a while.

6. CARRY SNACKS: Always carry snacks for older kids. They are always hungry(Bored) and will need a snack.

7. SCREEN TIME: Most International flights have movies, games and fun stuff. Utilize it for the kids. Yeah screen time is bad and all that. But a mindful travel is important too.

8. SLEEP: Make kids sleep as much as possible in flight. That way they don’t trouble or disturb other Passengers. Also, this will allow them not to be drowsy while transiting.

9. TRAVEL TOYS: Carry play-doh, papers crayons, pencils to keep the kids busy and quiet. Some kids get bored of movies easily.

10. TRAVEL PILLOW: Get a travel pillow which is inflatable and can be used in the leg space of your kids’ seat. That will let them stretch their legs and younger gets can sleep as they sleep in their bed.

Day 21- top five tv shows

How will I miss this one 🤣❤️?

Here is my list

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

I have seen some haters for this show and I don’t know what could be the reason! I have seen this entire 10 seasons like 5-6 times. And still watching it whenever I feel down! It will always make me feel lighter 😍❤️.

Grey’s Anatomy

I love this show for two reasons meredith and christina, meredith and derek. Both of which no longer exists and I still watch this show and catch up on the latest episodes whenever I can. It is definitely the most emotional series I have ever watched! Yeah ! It is annoying sometimes still I cant stop watching it.

Game of thrones

At first when my husband suggested watching this I refused completely for its too much adult version. Later during my first pregnancy we slowly started to watch this ( those who wants to judge me go ahead I don’t mind). I finished the 4 seasons during that time. After moving to US, we made sure we saw every episode the same day it aired and so we would make Jivin to go to bed as early as possible 🙈. Eagerly waiting for the finale season.

Boys over Flowers (korean )

The only Korean series I have ever watched. It is all cinematic kind of series. It felt good during the Time I watched it, Drooling over the main male lead and his love interest. Typical indian movie feel 😂😍🤣.

The Big bang theory

My favorite TV character ever is “Sheldon”. Oh! I definitely loved his role since I saw the first episode of the series. I am not following the series now. I think I have watched till 8-9 seasons. I want to catch up on his proposal and wedding ❤️. I wish they aired the series on Netflix.

Yes! Having access to Netflix, was the best thing for my sanity. Moving to a new country with a baby and knowing very minimal people around me, the only thing that saved me was the access ti Netflix account.

Day 17 – Top five blogs and reasons why you read them

Before being a mom, I read only blogs for recipes, it was padhuskitchen, sharmispassion, sailuskitchen for the starters. I preferred written receipts than the video ones as I never had that patience to watch videos. Once a Mom all I started reading was baby related and mom related stuff. I got introduced to many great mom bloggers. I really enjoy some of the blogs, I learn from some of them and I can relate myself with many of them. So, Here is the list of the top five blogs that I read regularly.

Littlefingersatwork by Melani:

URL : littlefingersatwork.com

I came across this blog through one of the Facebook groups. The blogger Melani Rayen is also the owner of the same group. When I started to follow her, she had a little boy almost the same age as Jivin. I was struggling with speech development for Jivin at one point,when I took early intervention for him. At that time the activities suggested for him by his special education teachers was more or less similar to the blogs and activities in her blogging pages and Facebook posts. I was very impressed with her blogs and since then I have been following her blogs/ instagram accounts religiously 😊.

LazyParent by Anjana :

URL : http://thelazyparentguide.com 

The first that comes to my mind when someone said her name is  “Babywearing”. Yes! I became a fan of hers through the baby wearing group. I loved seeing her cute little boy grow just as Jivin. I was so amazed by the fact that she has actually been a Radio jockey before this whole motherhood journey. Her way of parenting is so impressive. How she moved from Chennai to coimbatore to Theni and choosing to live away from the city impressed me a lot. She is now a mom of two, a boy and a girl, who are less than 2 years apart. I can relate to her on how I sometimes never feel like parenting or being an adult. Its always good to know that you are never alone.

Twin Cities Moms blogs:

URL: https://twincities.citymomsblog.com

This is blog has been my essential guide for surviving motherhood away from my country, my city and my place. This is a blogging site created and maintained by a group of moms who mostly belong to Minnesota (around the twin cities area). I don’t have an idea how I came across this group. May be when I was looking for local baby wearing groups I think I could have bumped into this one. But, I am so glad I did bump into this group. It is guide for me which says”How to mommy in Minnesota 😊😉?” They have different moms come up with various blog and really wide parenting topics. Recently the one where “How to prepare the toddler for the new baby?” gave me some hope of being a parent for the second time with a toddler. If you are in Minnesota, you must definitely follow them,

The Grace Log by Gracelyne:

URL: https://thegracelog.com

How can I miss this mom who had inspired me to write my own blogs? Though we were college mates, motherhood was the something that brought us closer. She and her little munchkin “Z” who is 2.5 year old now are such a fun team. A successful mother/entrepreneur/IT professional what not. She wears so many hats at the same time. I am and always will be so impressed by the way of her parenting. Also, she gave me the opportunity to share my journey with Jivin on his speech therapy through her blog. Her guide on parent/baby products is a savior for the new moms. Please do follow her reviews on various products. She is also the co-owner of “AZtuckerbox”,  the subscription box for babies and kids and expecting moms too. She is the first one to bring this subscription boxes for clothes in India and that too in a very affordable prices.

TimesofAmma by Swetha:

URL: https://www.timesofamma.com

If you are on Instagram/Facebook or on any other social mommy network, I’m pretty sure you must have heard of Timesofamma. This amazing mom of two kids, is an expat mom who found  a network of moms  and helping many expat moms like me through it. She not only shares her journey through her blogs but also various other moms stories and journeys. I love that how is she so proud of her roots, inspire of being an expat mom for almost 10 years now and tries to embrace it through her posts. She speaks her mind through her posts to every mom. Im following this month’s feature for Mother’s Day special, which is bringing out the stories of various moms. I always look forward to what her next post would be about.

So, Here is my list of blogs and bloggers whom I follow. This feels like a continuation of my yesterday’s post 😊. I really enjoyed sharing my favorites.

 

Day 16 – What (or who) inspires you?

This morning On my way to drop my husband at work, I was seeing a lady riding a bicycle and getting closer, it was someone I knew. She is working in a food joint even though her husband works in a IT company. She is just utilizing the opportunity she has got which thousands of woman in US are seeking for. I instantly felt so proud to have known her.

Now when I opened up to see my topic for day 16, All I could think was today’s morning event. That is it! Im inspired by that woman. She is strong, bold and independent. I am inspired by strong independent women. I have always been.

Let me start with my teachers of my school days. Though every teacher was an inspiration, the teacher whom I always admired and wanted to be liked was my Jyothi teacher (she was our Hindi teacher). She was straight, bold and strict. He principles inspired me a lot. Again going to my high school days, It was out Iris miss (physics teacher). I really loved being in her class.

When I joined worked, All my wonderful superiors whom I worked with different projects were ladies. Every single one strong working and taking care of the family kind of people. I just loved how they managed the work life balance. It was never easy on them to succeed on work while working having families at home. I loved working under the female leadership. I have learnt a lot from these ladies.

In such ways, Every time I think about people who has inspired me I can only think of women in my life that I have met, known and been along with. One of my greatest inspirations of all time is my grandmother. She is one hell of a iron lady according to me .

A Indian lady, born and brought up in Malaysia and Singapore, in a doctor family. When she came to India for a vacation,there was an unfortunate death in her family. It was her maternal uncle, she immediately had to get married to her cousin as per the elders wishes. She was 15 years old then. She managed to stay in family where her husband was the sole breadwinner with a mother in law and couple of sisters in law. A young girl, became a responsible lady and she made it through all the obstacles in her life. All her dreams got crushed at that very young age. She had no consent on her own life decisions. But she never gave up. She earned her driving license at the age of 65 ❤️. She still never ceases to learn. She tries every single thing she wants to do in spite of her age. May be if she hadn’t gone through such tough circumstances, I would have never got to admire such amazing women.

May be The reason I adore strong women is I grew up surrounded by these strong ladies. My mother though she seemed very calm and quiet, to me she was really strong raising two girls whom she always wanted to be strong unlike her. But she still doesn’t understand she is more than what she she thinks of herself. She cannot raise two amazing women(me and my sister) without herself being that amazing.

All the blogging mommas, I salute you guys. To me now writing a blog daily is so hard and don’t even ask about sharing it on social media. It takes lots of work and Courage to do while you are a stay at home mom. Every women I have met has inspired me in a way or the other.

This blog has nothing to do about feminism or women power. Its just that Im so much humbled and inspired by such strong women. From the women whom I used to admire from my tallest office, carrying her newborn baby and doing the construction work to the women who rock in highest position in their office everyone has been admired by me ❤️.

Day 15 – List Highs and Lows of the Last year

Without thinking for a moment, I could say the high was me finding out that I am pregnant. The first time or the second time, the feeling on seeing that 2 pink lines is the best feeling ever.

On the morning December 8th 2017, we (my husband and me) were nervous, sick, terrified. No! It had nothing to do with me finding out that I am pregnant. It was “Jivin”, the previous 2 weeks we were struggling with his decayed tooth. We went around every dentist in the city to look for options to remove his teeth without the option of sedation and OR (Operation Room).. I read and re read so many blogs on how an upper molar tooth decay can affect kid’s nervous system.It was a terrifying and dreadful period for us. Jivin was a month away from turning 3. It was  a lot difficult on Jivin. But  the way he bettered himself in each dental visits amazed us.

As, I was saying on the morning of December 8th 2017, we were observing our last chance. if that visit dint go as planned, we were left with the one option that we dreaded all along(surgical removal with anesthesia in an operating Room).  That morning we prayed to God to give our little guy all the strength in the world. We entered the dentist office, made Jivin comfortable with rhymes and stuff. We opted to wait outside as he panicked more on seeing us there. He was given laughing gas. After 5 minutes a nurse was walking towards us, me and my husband decided that they are coming to tell us that they couldn’t do it as Jivin was non cooperative and he is very small (which we heard in every dentist office for the past 2 weeks). To our surprise she said, “It’s done. He is doing good”.  That was a greatest relief for us. We were shocked and surprised. Of course, Jivin was scared and crying but the worst part was over for us.

That day, on our way back home I wanted to get him his favorite toy, he has been asking for ever “mcqueen car”. So My husband pulled over near a Target. I ran in to get the toy, then I remembered I needed to get the pregnancy test kit too. For the past 3-4 months, I kept getting the kit but was of no use. I was in a dilemma to buy or not. But I went ahead and got two. I thought I might need one the next month if not this month. Then once we were back at home, I comforted Jivin, had our lunch together , then sneaked myself into the bathroom.  I couldn’t wait till next morning to take the test, so I took immediately. I was absolutely nervous and just then came along that positive result. I called Tanej and showed him. We were too happy that day to believe that 2 good news could come along the same day. We told ourselves not at all to get excited and to keep calm, untill we got it confirmed with our first scan. Both of us were so excited but its just inside 😀.

So, That particular day was the day where I had my high and low on the exact same day.