Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Looking for Printables for Your Children or Students?

Being an Early Childhood Education Expert, I love classroom teaching - not the formal instructional part of it, but the finer nuances of ensuring that the children pick up the specific language learning intricacies and weave them around their everyday communicative competences. 

My love for teaching and the fact that I was trained by the wonderful and encouraging U.S. Department of State in the United States to imbibe the finer nuances of English language teaching-learning process and Leadership Qualities, gave way to the foundation of my baby venture called The English Language Studio

The English Language Studio is my haven in this big, bright and beautiful world - a tiny oasis of enthusiastic English language learners of all ages. We start from Kindergarten & Toddlers and go up to IELTS. 

  
With children from the Very Young Learners Group (Grades 1 & 2)


As an educator, I always make it a point that my learners receive but the best - an engaging classroom session followed by equally engrossing activities, exercises and handouts/worksheets.

My favorite go-to website for most of my worksheet based requirements is education.com 

Learning English in a fun way.

My wonderful learners

I am often asked by teachers, parents and other learners about the sources of the wonderful concepts and worksheets that I use in my classroom. I would happily like to share that it is none other than Education.com. With a wide array of printables, games, and resources, it is a one-stop destination for all our language learning needs. 

Head over to education.com now and explore for yourself! :)


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

10 Confessions of a First Time Mother


Motherhood is an experience that is beyond the array of even the floweriest of words. It is a state of mind that is eternally euphoric, challenging and overwhelmingly precious. As a young girl, I often looked up to my mother as an epitome of compassion, selflessness and love. I used to be over the moon about the fact that perhaps, there was one person in the whole, wide world who would always put me before herself and wish nothing but the best for me. In a world reeling with selfish ad competitive people around, I thought this was something way too valuable! Little did I realize at that vulnerable age that this was a blessing that perhaps, every child in the world is bestowed upon with. Right from the cradle to the grave, every baby that arrives in this world tags along a guardian angel in the form of a mother.

My little bundle of joy
The masters of wisdom have waxed eloquent about the purity, selflessness and undiluted affection that mothers effortlessly ooze and are cherished for, since times immemorial. Motherhood is undoubtedly, a life-changing experience. It transforms a woman in ways that are truly miraculous and unfathomable. I remember how overjoyed I was when I found out that we were going to be parents! My husband was thrilled but slightly nervous with the thought of bringing a new life into this world but I was on cloud nine. I knew this was the next big thing that life had planned for me and I was more than happy to take on the responsibility that we were about to be blessed with.

The largest piece of Momma's heart
I can’t even begin to share my excitement when I saw my baby boy being taken out of my uterus in the operation theatre. Despite the nausea of the anaesthesia, I clearly remember every single detail of the birth of my first-born. My family was beaming with joy with the arrival of a grandchild and celebrations were in the air. Everyone wanted to join in the mirth and celebrate his much-awaited presence. However, I was equally enthralled with the dawn of a new role in my life – the day my son arrived in this world, I was reborn as a mother!

It’s been a year of wonderful motherhood – we’ve already made countless memories together, filled in a thousand photo albums, relived my childhood all over again. My baby is the best thing that has ever happened to me! He has now made me realize what it feels to have your heart beat outside your body. His thoughts consume every waking moment of my life and I can’t begin to thank the Almighty for blessing me with a gift so special!


However, no matter how much I adore this new life, I would not hesitate to confess that it wasn’t particularly an easy ride! The joys of motherhood are also accompanied by numbing struggles, everyday transformations and unprecedented circumstances that may trigger a host of newfound emotions, hormonal changes and unpredictable mood swings.

Here are some of the confessions and recommendations that I would love to share as a first time mother.
  • Life isn’t going to be the same anymore! The fact that you’ve just taken on the responsibility of bringing up a tiny version of yourself could be quite daunting in itself. The reality may knock you off your senses in the early days.
  • Motherhood is going to be difficult, demanding and exhaustive. It may tire your bones to the hilt and topsy-turvy your life completely in the initial few days bit it’s all going to be worth it. You are about to usher into the golden phase of your life. So just sit back and relax. Eventually, everything is going to fall into place. Do not allow the teething troubles to dampen your mommyhood spirit!
  • Learn to get over the ‘Mommy Guilt’! Your baby is going to be fine and might take some time to adjust in the new world that he/she has just arrived in. Remember you and your family are doing your best, and you alone are in no way responsible for your baby’s discomfort during the early days. By and by, everything is going to fall into a rhythm. Let time spell its magic! Be patient.
  • Be prepared to witness your body undergoing a frenzied mayhem of hormonal changes. It’s inevitable and there’s nothing that you could do about it. Reach out to your husband to get some much needed warmth, encouragement and pampering!
  • Embrace yourself to be swept away by a wide array of overwhelming emotions. Being a mother is an instinctive journey and it definitely doesn’t come with a manual. You will learn on-the-go and be a pro at it, as time rolls by.
  • Post-partum depression is a reality! Eventually the exhaustion of child birth and hormonal disharmony are going to take their toll on you. Remember it’s perfectly natural to feel low and not appreciate the ‘new you’ for the initial few days.
  • Perhaps, nothing would gross you out anymore! You would find yourself having a brush with poop, puke and other not-so-pleasant experiences on a very frequent basis. The worldly filth wouldn’t really bother you much henceforth. It would also bring out the humane side in you and teach you a thing or two about compassion and empathy.
  • You may miss indulging in the simple pleasures of life. A midnight coffee,a solitary walk on a quiet evening, a clandestine dinner date with hubby or a reading spree on a rainy day may now be a thing of the past. You are now going to be surrounded with responsibility 24X7 and would need to be around for your little one all the time, sacrificing your much needed rest or recreation.
  • You may not appreciate or swallow all the mommyhood advice coming your way! It’s going to rain a plethora of unsolicited suggestions, recommendations and warnings. Don’t get bogged down by their overwhelming volume. Be a patient listener but a picky follower! Follow your instincts and you are anyways going to learn-on-the-go. No one’s born as a perfect mother!
  • It’s natural to be hit by pangs of nostalgia as you struggle to settle into your new role! You may definitely want to go back in the sands of time and relive the carefree, reckless and unfettered days of independence but these are just ephemeral emotions and would gradually fade away. You’ll find yourself being increasingly consumed with thoughts of your little bundle of joy!

Life is a beautiful collection of memories and motherhood is the most perfect album to preserve and nurture those memories for all times to come. A little patience, perseverance and optimism is all it takes to be a healthy, happy and exuberant mother. Happy mothers raise happy children!

Monday, April 16, 2018

15 Remarkable Things from My Childhood that My Baby Won’t be Able to Enjoy Anymore


Being a parent is a wonderful feeling – one that gives us a chance to take a trip down our unforgettable childhood all over again. Reliving one’s childhood memories and nuances with one’s baby can be immensely joyful and thrilling!

As a new mom, I love every single moment that I get to spend with my baby. Watching him grow and evolve is a feeling that is beyond words. Perhaps, it’s the most gratifying experience that I’ve ever had. As I witness my year old baby boy grow, explore and experience things in a world that is replete with technology, internet and everything ready-made and super-quick, I am often reminded of my own childhood back in the 1990s which might not have been immensely technocratic, fast-paced or spent in the lap of uber luxury, but it was certainly worth remembering through a lifetime.

I am sure all parents, moms and dads alike, who spent their childhood during the 1990s would agree that ours was an era of satisfying complacency, steeped in traditional homely values and spent among the protected four-walls of trustworthy peers, neighbours and acquaintances who brought us up like flowers in a garden. We may not have been bestowed upon with an individual tablet or ipad each, might not have been stuffed with the most updated burgers or tacos every second day, may not have been to the coolest foreign destinations on the face of this earth every summer or might not have had our personal Facebook, Snapchat or Whatsapp accounts, but we were definitely way ahead of the current generation when it came to being knowledgeable, utilitarian or worldly-wise. Not to forget, we were definitely more complacent and gratified when it came to possessions, rewards or demands and enjoyed a blissful childhood brimming over with innocence, experiences and love in its purest form.

I am sure that the children born in the current era are definitely smarter, confident and much more articulate than we were but I just wish that in a world that is constantly battling with the perils of consumerism, hoarding and flamboyance, there could be some respite. When I see children of today decked up in their flashy G.A.P and U.C.B outfits, sipping out water from their expensive Chiccos and MeeMee tumblers and holding ostentatious learning tablets or Augmented Reality toys in their hands, I often look at them with pity and wish they could enjoy the pangs of undiluted fun and merriment that we had through small, pocket-friendly or sometimes even free things and opportunities.

Some of the most prominent features of my childhood that I wish I could share with the children of today would be the following in no particular order:

Ø  Painting and repainting our difficult-to-maintain but adorable white Batas. I remember spending many a Friday evenings trying to make them look spotless white the next day.

Ø  When Ladki ki Kaathi used to be our childhood anthem and no Annual Function would be complete without at least one class dancing on it to its fullest while the parents joined in as the supporting chorus.

Ø  When rainy days were reason enough to quickly tear away the last page of our school notebooks and create paper-boats. There used to be very many adept boat makers in every class and they would happily demonstrate their adroitness to the eager amateurs like me.

Ø  Much before Annabelle entered the world of horror and sent shiver down young spines, we had our very own desi bone-chilling versions in the form of Aahat and Zee Horror Show episodes that were absolutely not to be missed and painstakingly watched hiding under a duvet each week. Who cared about the reeling after-effects though? I spent many a Saturday nights sleeping clutched to my Mom’s bosoms unable to get over the intensely frightening scenes that I would dare to watch week after week.


Ø  Much before Taarak Mehta and Bhabhi Ji forayed into our lives, we had our uber cool uncle and aunty icons in the form of the cast-and-crew members of Shriman-Shrimati and Hum Paanch. Yes, we loved singing out loud while opening the doors because we wanted to look as cool as Sweety!

Ø  When we devoured packets of Lays and Cheetos not for their taste, but for their free tazos.

Ø  Our first brush with tattoos din’t take place in a high-end tattoo-artist’s den but through our 1 Rupee Big Babol that tagged along a free tattoo with every purchase. Kids would blow up their entire earnings accrued on Kanjaks on these tattoos way back then.

Ø  Kanjanks meant VIP treatment at the neighbour’s house with respected Uncle Ji washing our feet with water followed by the application of dark pink paints (alta) while Aunty Ji served us with delicious food that had a carefully folded 10 rupee note placed on top of the halwa over an expertly puffed poori.

Ø  The only television ad that made sense and enticed us was Washing Powder Nirma, Nirma! We bet one could never remember it without singing it out loud involuntarily.

Ø  We din’t have to look for youth icons in Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga, we had our very own Utterly Butterly Delicious Amul Girl to guide us through the way. Who din’t want to have that cutesy high ponytail and polka-dotted frock and roam around for compliments?



Ø  For quenching one’s thirst, one din’t had to open cans of Pepsi or Mountain Dew, we had our all-times favourites that included Frooti, Rasna, Jumpin and the sada-bahaar Rooh Afza. Nothing aerated, just pure fun!

Ø  Who knew about Halooween’s back then? We enjoyed our Fancy Dress Shows and rocked them like a pro. Be it a doctor, teacher, tree, fairy, Shatkimaan, Chandrakaanta or Cindrella – we’ve been there and done it all! Some of us even dressed as Madhuri Dixit, Indira Gandhi and Gangu Bai. We were spoilt for choices back then.

Ø  Most of us lost our hearts to Suppandi as the most favourite cartoon character. The Doremon, Pinnochio and Pokemon came much later on the scene. Suppandi was and shall always remain a legend!

Ø  We din’t need Facebook or Instagram to know our friends better. We had our very own powerful tools called Slam Books that laid bare everything down to basics. We made many a trips to the nearest Archies or Hallmark Store and always kept our collection updated.

Ø  Packing a school bag meant spending at least 10 minutes filling and re-filling our dearmost ink or fountain pens with signature camel blue ink and painting our fingers indigo blue. Interestingly, the ink always found its way to our faces and school uniforms much to our ignorance and amusement.


Din’t you just go through an overwhelming pang of nostalgia remembering all these wonderful nuances of your childhood? Tag a friend and remind them of the wonderful childhood that you were undoubtedly blessed, to be a part of.


Saturday, March 31, 2018

A Quick Check-List for Baby-Proofing Your House

Many common household items can be potentially dangerous for babies. Baby-proofing a house can be challenging and exhausting. The best way to go about it is by trying to think on the lines of a curious, excited toddler who loves to crawl, climb and explore spaces in his/her own way.



It could be a streneous job identifying objects that can be put into mouth, cause choking or even strangulation, be knocked over, cause poisoning or may even result in accidental drowning.

Keeping a house baby safe is an important parenting goal. Necessary care must be taken to ensure that all major hazards inside the home must be done away with. Don't forget that it only takes a matter of seconds for a child to fall prey to an injury.

Toddlers love to challenge their newly-acquired skills and are therefore, all over the place - jumping, crawling and putting things into their mouth. However, a little planning and some careful execution can ensure that babies remain injury-free within the four walls of their homes.




Following are a few pointers to babyproof your house and allow your baby to explore his/her surroundings in a safe, unfettered and rest assured manner.


      • Safeguard your washroom entrance, basins and other frequently wet areas with non-slip mats. Chasing a naked, wet baby through the house can be dangerous.
      • Don't forget to replace all electronic sockets within baby's reach with childproof sockets.
      • Never leave insect or mouse traps in places accessible to your baby. God forbid!
      • Keep cosmetics and medicines away from your baby's reach.
      • Make sure your bathroom and kitchen cleaning supplies are safely tucked away on a high shelf or locked in a cupboard. 
      • Take measures to ensure that there's no way the baby might end up locking himself/herself in the restroom. Installing a lock at its entrance might be a good idea.
      • Keep plants out of a baby's reach. They may cause allergies, choking or turn out to be poisonous.
      • Keep your dustbins or recycling-bins away from a toddler's reach. Babies consider them to be toy boxes full of alluring stuff that is colorful, quirky and attractive.
      • Keep remotes away from toddlers. Their soft and colorful buttons emitting flash-lights entice the kids to pounce on them. However, the coin-size lithium batteries could be potentially fatal and may cause choking hazards. 
      • Put up safety gates in front of any stairs in the house.

Follow this checklist and sit back with ease as your child learns to explore the world in a zealous, unconfined, and ecstatic manner. Let the baby take on the world with a new-found confidence and unbridled enthusiasm!

Happy Parenting! :) 

Friday, February 9, 2018

To Hubby, With Love!



I am thrilled to be participating in a five day “LOL-a-thon” organized by “The Momsteins”. Join us to read some wonderful letters written by 25 cool bloggers. Stay around to read some amazing letters coming up. Today’s prompt is writing a letter to the beloved! 



Dear Hubby, 

Born on the same day just a year apart, it wasn’t easy for two hot-headed Taurians like us to make peace during the initial times. But I believe, every relationship goes through a similar trajectory. Like a rocket launcher, it takes a hell lot of energy and agitation to launch a successful married life devoid of misunderstandings, miscommunications and mistrusts. I am sure we fought so much in the formative months of our marriage that if we wish, we could stay peacefully for the rest of our lives now.

We had been madly in love when we got married, but there were a myriad emotions that eventually took birth as we spent more together. With time I have realised how much you have influenced the course of my life. I admire you so much. You are not just my partner in crime, but my 4AM friend, confidante, co-conspirer, punching bag and worst critic. 


I love you for the way you guide and encourage me to move ahead in life. You are the backbone of my professional accomplishments. Had it not been for you and support, I wouldn’t have been able to make a mark and establish myself as one of the most successful ELT experts in this part of the country. You are the wind beneath my wings. You made a simple girl like me into an entrepreneur and now a happy mompreneur. Striking a balance between work life and home wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for your support, motivation and encouragement. There have been times when you have supported me, stood up for me even against the wishes of our near and dear ones. You’ve been a braveheart and weathered all the storms directed towards me. Your charisma and poise still spell a charm on me!


Of course, I feel proud to be your wife but more than that, I feel happy, content and blessed in the mini universe that we’ve created for ourselves. Thank you, for being the son, that my parents never had. Also, thank you for pampering me and taking care of my little needs.


You weren’t particularly sentsitive towards my ideas or innovations when we got married but the way you have warmed up towards my needs and aspirations is commendable! There may be many things that I love but you may not be interested in. Believe it or not,it doesn’t even matter now because the things that we enjoy doing together are the only one that seem significant now.


You’ve been the best decision of my life and I am not going to let you go, for the rest of my life. You’ve been captured and imprisoned for life now.


Thank you for coming in my life and making me realise that after all, fairy-tales do come true. Ours has been a roller-ride replete with bumps, speed-breakers and road tickets but in the end, it was worth the destination that we’ve finally arrived at.


Love,
Wifey

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Letter to Older Self

I am thrilled to be participating in a five day “LOL-a-thon” organized by “The Momsteins”. Join us to read some wonderful letters written by 25 cool bloggers. Stay around to read some amazing letters coming up.

Today’s prompt is “letters of love- to your older or younger self”.



Dear Older Self,


It feels extremely bizzare yet gratifying as I pen down this letter. Listening to one's inner calling and retrospecting from time to time are indispensible ingredients for an enriching and satiated life. I have often taken time out to reflect, retrospect and replenish life with new zeal and enthusiasm, learn from  lessons and prepare for future. This letter is another step forward towards the same - a process of self evaluation.

I hope that you are proud of the life that you've lead so far - a lifetime replete with professional, emotional, familial and spiritual roller coaster, bumpy at times but truly memorable to the core. I hope you've lived a life sans any regrets. There must have been times when you would've felt hurt, betrayed and weak but I am sure you would have bounced back with double vigour and vivacity.

I hope you thank Almighty every day for bestowing a life, so grand and blissful on you. You should know that you have always been God's favorite child and would continue to remain so for the best of your life. With Kunal and Kabir by your side, I am sure you have lived the best life that you could have asked for! Also, don't forget to thank your stars for having such loving and doting parents around who have always been the guiding force behind all that you have achieved or aspire to do so.

I believe you would have accomplished most of your travel goals by now. If not, continue to embark on the journey. The world has countless spaces that demand to be explored and documented. I hope the writer in you has quenched at least some of its thirst after being a best-seller for very many years. Now its time to pass on the baton to perhaps, Kabir. I believe he's already given you enough reasons to be proud of. Isn't he the best child that one could have asked for?

Your house looks as charming as a vintage art gallery. Let it breathe in some much needed respite. What about your dream of building a cottage up the hills? Have you been venturing out for more conceptual photography walks? Don't leave any of your desired unfulfilled! Do you still take some time out for star-gazing or talking to the moon? Has Kunal stopped taking you out on secret dates or does he still like to venture out at night with you by his side? I hope that he's finally started enjoying the Italian cuisine. Do you still find yourself on a bistro hunting spree in your city or have you settled for some permanent favorites?

I am sure you are still as energetic and chirpy as ever without a trace of age or fatigue catching up on you! Just keep yourself ready for all the adventures that life brings along. Don't let anything bog you down - sunshine or rain - keep shining on like a crazy diamond and continue spreading love, laughet and cheer around!


May the Force be with you! Amen!



I would like to thank Sripriti Somasundaram for introducing me. You can read her post here https://sriprithi.wordpress.com
I would also like to introduce my fellow blogger Aritra. You can read her wonderful post on the prompt here http://thelattemom.com/




Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Letter to My Bestie

Dear Anshita,

Words cannot suffice the joy and relief that is rushing through my veins at this juncture. Finally after a hiatus of many moons, I am fufilling a promise long overdue. An important part of our childhood was spent in exchanging letters - letters of longing, affection, nostalgia, anger, excitement and fun. Today when I look back at the sands of time, I realize that our friendship that blossomed way back while we were in Grade 4 is one of the most priceless blessings of my life.

You've not just been a bestie but a soul-sister, mentor, confidante, guide and trouble-shooter. I have had the privilege of counting on you through my childhood, teens and even now. I can't even begin to tell you how much I value you. I know I have hardly ever reciprocated the warmth, affection and love that you've been showering on me so effortlessly all these years. I've been a slipshod, for most part. While you always stood by me through thick and thin, I always remained elusive and yet I always found you embracing me, my rants and ruminations with open arms. 

I remember how you were over the moon while I was getting married. Your incessant calls, messages, images and suggestions din't make it seem that we were continents apart. You were always around. I wish you were there in person but even in your absence, you were always around seeking minute to minute updates from others bridesmaids. Kunal was equally worried about making sure that you were being provided with the latest updates because even he could sense the special & unfathomable bond that we share. He was zapped witnessing all the affection we shared despite staying apart for close to two decades. Distances might have separated us physically, but the wonderful bond that we shared since we bacame childhood transcended all barriers and stimulated us to stay in touch through letters, emails, phone calls, chats, skype, social media accounts and many other ways. You were that one friend whom I could count on, even at the dead of night when I had no one else to share my dilemma or excitement with.

The last meeting that we had was perhaps, in the year 2000, a day before I moved to another city. I can recall those moments so clearly as if they happened just yesterday. You had come to bid us goodbye with aunty and Maasi. Mumma had served ice-creams. We were looking around my house one last time together. While the elders were busy discussing their things, we had been feeling nostalgic and thinking of ways to stay connected. That's when my mom popped the idea of writing letters. Honestly, I had thought that we would write to each other once or twice and then get over it. Back then, I din't know that this was a relation that was bound to stand the testimony of time. Your first letter reached me barely weeks after we settled into our new life in Patna. I wrote back describing my new life extensively. You reciprocated my new found fears with great warmth and encouragement. Perhaps, this was the time we realized what we meant to each other.The distance made us realize the value of our timeless friendship.

There are countless memories that keep flashing through my mind when I think of us. But some of the most special ones include the quiet lunch that both of us used to enjoy sitting on the windows (yes, you got that right!) of the assembly hall, stealthy visits to the senior wing's garden area, plucking tamarinds from a tree near our school stop, sitting together hand-in-hand in the tiny tempo that used to ferry us to school, paying visits to each other's house for collecting notes, playing with  kitchen set and barbie houses in my beautiful room upstairs, buying things from Mangal bhaiya during lunch hours, exchanging friendship bands and relishing the lovely times in our trio - Aesha, you and me. Back then, I always thought that Aesha was a friend who was meant to be retained and that, you & I, would forget each other too soon and easily. But fate had other plans. I din't know that the girl from Sinker House was meant to befriend a girl from Darling House for all times to come.

I wish I could meet you soon and engulf you into a tight bear hug. I have imagined a scene so many times in my mind wherein we are meeting crazily like two long lost soul sisters at the Heathrow Airport and leaving the onlookers stunned with the hullabullo. I am sure there shall soon be a day when either you would be soaking the Chandigarh sun or I would be enjoying the Birmingham rains. 

I hope I shall receive a reply to this letter like the countless others that preceeded it. From inland letters to postcards, couriers to greeting cards, orkut, yahoo messenger, skype, viber, facebook, whatsapp, email to blogs - we've definitely come a long way!

May the force be with you!

Loads of love, 
Aena




I’m thrilled to be participating in a five day ‘LOL-a-thon’ aka Letters of Love Blogathon organised by ‘The Momsteins’. Join us to read some wonderful letters written by 26 cool bloggers. Stay around to read some amazing letters coming up. 

Hop on to read an exciting letter penned down by versatile bloggers, Aritra and Aparna J Raj, and show them some love.

This post is based on the second prompt which was to write a letter to an inanimate object.




Monday, February 5, 2018

Letter to a Feeding Bottle

Dear Feeding Bottle,

In a world full of stay-at-home breast-feeding mothers, I consider you as a bosom friend. While these mothers have the privilege of nurturing their little ones with their feed throughout the day, working mothers like me have to resort to you for ensuring that our babies get nursed and remain well fed as and when required. 

It is an open truth that you serve as a surrogate mother and look after our babies in our absence, tending to their dietary demands like a natural mother. I remember how envious I used to be when I would see Baby K longing for you during times when he should have ideally been exclusively breast-fed. But I was equally thankful to you for filling in for my absence and providing him with the much needed relief during times when he suffered from severe hunger pangs during my absence.



I vividly remember how you were my only ray of hope during times when Baby K's weight was a matter of concern. The memory of my pediatrician recommending me to increase Baby K's bottle feeds still remains etched in my mind. She had clearly suggested me to keep my motherly aspirations and ego aside, and introduce bottle-feeds as a remedial option for curbing my little one's weight loss during his initial months. However, she had also forewarned me about the perils of bottle feeding. Baby K easily took to bottle-feeding and thankfully, reached his body weight milestones. However, the comfort and ease that the bottle feeding brought along clearly declined his inclination for being breast-fed. It almost shattered my heart to pieces but I somehow kept my calm and allowed my grief to bottle-up. But as fate would have it, I came across many other moms who had similar stories of not being able to bring up their babies as exclusively breast-fed and with time, I decided to let go - the grief, guilt and dilemma. 

Today, Baby is a happy and healthy baby who loves to eat practically everything edible under the sun. From fruits and pureed veggies to cereals and sweets, he loves to gulp it all. I shall eternally remain indebted to you, for having taken care of my baby during his crucial formative months. I may have failed as a mother to cater to his growing needs but you stepped in as a god-mother and nurtured him in more ways than one.

Even today you remain his closest confidante in times of excruciating hunger and sleepless pangs. Thank you, for filling for my shortcomings and letting me bring up a charming boy that he is. I am sure you have left no stone unturned in helping him become the finest version of what he could have been. 

Forever indebted,
Baby K's Momma


I’m thrilled to be participating in a five day ‘LOL-a-thon’ aka Letters of Love Blogathon organised by ‘The Momsteins’. Join us to read some wonderful letters written by 26 cool bloggers. Stay around to read some amazing letters coming up. 


Hop on to read an exciting letter penned down by a versatile blogger, Pavneet, who has written a wonderful letter to a mirror. 

This post is based on the second prompt which was to write a letter to an inanimate object.






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A Letter to Late Mom & Dad In Law

A Letter to Late Mom & Dad In-Law

I’m thrilled to be participating in a five day ‘LOL-a-thon’ aka Letters of Love Blogathon organised by ‘The Momsteins’. Join us to read some wonderful letters written by 26 cool bloggers. Stay around to read some amazing letters coming up.

This post is based on the first prompt which was to write a letter to parents/in-laws/kids. Hop on to read the letters of love being penned down by fellow-bloggers, Dr. Pooja Kapoor and Pavneet and show them some love! :)

Dear Mom & Dad,

I wish I could see you, if only for once. Destiny has joined us through an umbilical cord that transcends generations as well as sands of time. As bizzare as it may seem, but we are all now a part of common history. I am connected to you not just by way of a biological family tree but through a countless memories, objects and emotions that lie strewn all over your house which I now call 'home'.

You left this place for your heavenly abode many many years ago, perhaps around the time I was in my teens unaware about the loss of two precious people who were to going to be such important pillars of my life. As fate willed, we never met. I never had the honour of being blessed by you but I have imagined how good life would have been and how lively our home would have been had you two been around. 

I am reminded of your painful absence every single day when I look at your picture that adorns and blesses our living room, a silent testimony to all the joys and sorrows that dwell in the house. The masters of wisdom have perhaps, rightly suggested, that a picture speaks a thousand words. Yours speaks out much more. I have looked at this picture ever since the day I entered your home decked up as a bride. I remember looking at it during all the highs & lows of life - during my first moments in your house as a bahu, on my first Karwachauth longing for an affectionate sargi (from mom), on our first wedding anniversary, on your birthdays & death anniversaries and most importantly, on the day we discovered that we were going to be parents. I wish you were around to see the love, joy and companionship that Baby Kabir has brought in our lives now.

How do I write to you about the vacuum that we feel in our lives? I wish you knew how much we miss having you around. Every morning before Kunal steps out of home, he looks at your picture, nods down and then leaves. Every night when I turn the lights off, I bid a silent goodnight to you, contemplating almost every day how life would have been with you.

Ever since a child, I remember telling my friends that I would be my mother-in-law's favorite once I got married. I wish this dream could come true. Mom, I have often missed having your around dearly. Your jewelry, utensils and other material remanents often speak volumes about your enthusiasm towards life in general. I wish we could go for a shopping spree together some day.
Dad, I wish I could cajole you into siding with me and making fun of Kunal over trivial things. 

Words cannot portray the loss and emptiness that I feel without both of you. This house would have been a home had life not taken this ugly turn. I am sure Kabir would have had a much more blessed and playful childhood had you been around to mentor him and lead him ahead.

Time is a healer. The family and your son, have moved on with your loss but your memories are still as fresh. They come oozing out in the form of tears of longing and inexplicable silences. I have always felt my stomach churn at the very mention of the word 'in-laws'. To me, you both shall always be the parents that I so long for. 

I hope that you know how much we love, respect and value you both. You are my pole star in times of happiness and sorrow, silently blessing me and showing the way around. Miss you!

Love & Regards,
Bahu


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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Sourcing Books for Early & Young Readers?

Raising literature friendly kids is no child's play! Helping children inculcate a genuine appreciation for books is every mother's cherished dream. I was fortunate enough to be raised to be a mother who loved to read and encouraged my own love for reading. Therefore, it's only natural when it comes to my inclination towards helping Baby K become an eager and enthusiastic reader. As an ELT Expert, I get to witness the multifarious benefits of reading among children and adults, on a daily basis.

It is an open truth that children who are well-read happen to be better learners, great at communication skills and are far better conversationalists than others of their age who lack good reading habits. It goes without saying, that book lovers are more confident, vocabulary enriched, quick-witted, well-informed, creative and quick to innovate. I have already waxed eloquent about the benefits of introducing children to reading habits at an early age in an earlier post here

Sourcing the right kind of books for a baby can be quite overwhelming for working moms or mommypreneurs like me who somehow always suffer from paucity of time. It was while on a lookout for child-friendly online book stores that I discovered Young Readers Den, a closed Facebook Group run by a mommypreneur, Snehal Bhaswath. 

Young Readers Den is a haven for parents like me who wish to accrue the right kind of child-friendly books for their little ones but are hard-pressed for time or options. The books on sale include pre-loved. pre-loved as new and fresh. Snehal is a perfect combination of wisdom and patience, and is all ears for parents' queries, confusions or recommendations. Unlike other materialistic vendors and websites that are merely interested in the commercial aspect of books selection and endorsement, Snehal is a gem of a facilitator who is quick to respond to a parent's need and inquires with the warmth of a fellow mom. Not only this, she gives one the liberty to take one's own sweet time in selecting, filling and getting the cart shipped.

Book postings happen four days a week between 2-3 PM and members are allowed to get their desired books blocked. She even provides an elaborate preview of the books on request. The blocked books are shipped over the weekend. The cherry on the cake remains free shipping, on orders exceeding Rs.750. Recently, she has come up with a Whatsapp Group too that can be joined through an invitation request.

I am so glad to have discovered her through a destined serendipity and can hardly resist placing orders for books that Baby K would eventually read through his growing months. If you too have discovered a books facilitator or vendor who's favourite, kindly share their details. I would love to swing by their store. If not, try Young Readers Den and let me know if you had an experience as good as mine! 


Friday, January 26, 2018

The Right Age for Introducing Babies to Books

Raising well-read and linguistically impressive kids is every mom's dream! Who doesn't love a child who loves books? It gives me immense happiness when I see my 10 month old baby boy affectionately turning the pages of his board books and smiling away to glory! God knows, what he deciphers as he browses through the pages, but I am sure that the practice makes him book friendly, to say the least.



Helping children warm up to books at an early age offers a plethora of benefits. Not only it paves way to nurture an appreciation towards books and literature, it also opens up avenues that are non-violent, parent-administered and child-friendly. Very young children or toddlers who enjoy flipping through board books or sound books are usually more likely to develop into serious or voracious readers as they grow up. The fact that a toddler is happy around books gives a mother an exciting hope that he might soon want to be able to understand the written word and pictures with some help, or on his own.

Science recommends exposing children to books at the age of 4 months. Since times immemorial, babies have shown a keen interest in books. Their interest in exploring books is often conveyed by way of touching, chewing, grabbing, shaking or throwing them around. It therefore, needs to be kept in mind that the kind of books they are exposed to are safe. Cloth books, board books or vinyl books are some of the most popular options when it comes to infant books.

Usually by the age of 6 months, children try to observe the content of books instead of merely mouthing or toying with them. At this milestone, they must be encouraged to turn over or flip through the pages and glance at the content. Using board books at this stage is a good option since the little ones are able to keep their small fingers between their thick pages and flip through easily. Such individual and autonomous exploration gives their curiosity a much-needed boost and momentum.

Following are a few of the benefits that introducing books to children at an early age offers:
  • Language acquisition skills are at their most optimum during the early years. Therefore, continuous exposure to written or spoken word helps children imbibe the language skills naturally.
  • It helps them warm up to sounds, words and speaking abilities at large.
  • Exposure to books also assist children in understanding the difference between real and imaginary. It also gives an insight into the world around them.
  • Persistent exposure to written word helps babies warm up to languages more easily. Reading skills are also better developed when a child is provided with frequent exposure to the written word. Repetition and intuition help them acquire reading skills faster.
  • Reading aloud to the kids from a book helps children develop early literacy skills like listening, comprehension and understanding. It also renders them a chance to try and learn intuitively.
  • Books help stimulate children's creativity, imagination, curiosity and have a positive cumulative effect on their cognitive development
  • Books or stories based on specific places or cultures also help children develop a sense of understanding about their society, culture, norms, etc. It assists them in imbibing the expected cultural norms and practices.
  • Gives children a chance to have a better understanding of doing familiar things such as eating, sleeping, playing by looking at the illustrations.
  • Books help children inculcate an understanding and appreciation for pictures, colors or art in general.
  • It helps them explore more about themselves or others around their own age.
  • It stimulates a plethora of cognitive skills that include recognizing, imitating, understanding and sharing.
Doctors and pediatricians often share that by the time a child reaches his first birthday, he would have naturally acquired or learnt all the sounds needed to communicate in his mother tongue.Therefore, the more books that he is exposed to or the more stories that he is read aloud, the greater would be his exposure to the language and therefore, better would be his stint at mouthing words and learning to speak correctly. 

As a Mom, I am trying my best to help Baby K become book friendly and inculcate an appreciation for literature, stories, written word and art. What about you? :)

Looking for Printables for Your Children or Students?

Being an Early Childhood Education Expert , I love classroom teaching - not the formal instructional part of it, but the finer nuances of ...