0

What a little rockstar! *Update*

Z and Mama have arrived in Pietermaritzburg finally! And can I just say – little Z was a complete rockstar! If you read my previous post on my fears of flying with a toddler, this post is just an update of what happened…

We had to wake up at 4:30 am for our 6:30 am flight. I thought I would let Z sleep in and carry her out of the door in her pajamas. But little Ms. Alert that she is, she woke up at 4:35 am when she realised something was happening; she obviously has a bad case of FOMO and did not want to miss a second of the action.

She did a whole dance and jig in the car to ‘Despacito‘ and was wondering why it was so dark outside. Oh, did I mention the temperature was 4 degrees!

At the airport, she was a bit overwhelmed with the thousands of people and suitcases and sounds. And she decided to lie on me and take a power nap. Little did I know that she had one eye open and was watching every single thing!

We walked into the airplane and she burst into tears. She was so scared of the tiny cramped space and a hundred people staring at her. I was thinking to myself – “Oh, no! This is going to be a disaster!”

We were lucky enough to have a seat with no one next to us. So we had all the space to put her bottles and books. Before take off, she made a little friend who was sitting behind us – a little 16-month old little boy called Brody. The fascination was mutual and they ‘talked’ animatedly to each other for 20 mins.

She loved the little window, which she insisted should be opened and closed every 30 seconds.

After takeoff, she was fascinated by the clouds – a word she learnt only a few months back. She was awake for most of the flight and it was only by the end of it that she decided to take a nap. Afterall, she did wake up at 4:30 am 😘

So all in all – she was a complete little rockstar! And I was worried for nothing.

0

Omg, I’m flying with a toddler!Β 

Z was pretty much a seasoned traveller as an infant with all the international flights we took to India. But that was 6 months ago. She is now a full-blown toddler with a mind of her own. And guess what? We are taking out first flight since then TOMORROW!

I’ve been up since about 6:30 am, trying to make a checklist in my head of 1) Things I need to pack for her (obviously!) And 2) Things that can go wrong! (Aaarrgghh!)

So, these are my top disaster situations during travel. Any advice or even plain lies just to make me feel better would help! πŸ˜‚

1. Screaming baby aboard plane:

This is something I’m terrified of. What if she has a ear ache due to the pressure or feels claustrophobic because she is stuck in one place or just feels like crying?! I do know a lot of passengers do understand (most don’t though) but it’s something I really want to avoid.

2. Poop explosion:

I think this should have been point number 1. Pampers, you better be listening and do your job!

3. Toddler running aimlessly around airport:

Z is in a very independent place in her life. She would rather walk around than be carried. She would rather eat on her own than be fed. So picture this: Z running around Joburg airport with me trying to keep up while carrying the baby bag and handbag. Oh and did I mention I’ve hurt both my hands? 😢

4. Flight is delayed

I guess this shouldn’t be too bad as long as I have snacks and cartoons in tow, but I would rather avoid it in an ideal situation.

So these are my little fears about travelling tomorrow. I will update the blog on how Z was as soon as I land! Wish us luck 😊

Z and Mama πŸ’“

3

Be Fierce!Β 

What I pray for my little daughter –

“Be fierce, be kind,

Be someone that has strength of mind. 

Never be afraid to be yourself,

For, trust me, you are the most unique piece on the shelf. 

People will come and people will go,

But you, my little one, must learn to go with the flow. 

You have one goal in this amazing world, 

Just be you and watch the magic unfurl.”

It’s natural for a mother to think forward. Before I was pregnant, I wondered how it would feel to have a little alien moving around in my belly. When I had my little bump, I wondered what the baby would look like. And now that Z is here, I keep wondering what kind of a person she is going to turn out to be.

There is only so much a parent can do right? Provide them with the right values, teach them right from wrong (but that can be subjective), train them to be respectful of others and offer timely advice. This is what I learnt from my parents. 

But a number of times, we forget that our babies have little personalities of their own too. They aren’t mere reflections of who we are as people, but power packed little people in their own right. And that is something we must not change. Unless they turn out to be serial killers, of course! 

Don’t we owe them the chance to be the best and realest form of themselves that they were meant to be? 

I have seen Z’s personality change a couple of times in the last year. She began as a little lump of cuteness who was scared of loud sounds, strangers and any household appliances (read the pressure cooker!). However, after the 8-month mark, I saw her emerge into this amazing little girl I think she is today. 

Independent (sitting up on her own, trying to crawl without help, picking at little morsels of food), hilarious (she figured out that certain actions made her parents laugh and did them over and over again), protective (she hated Dada giving Mama a hug), intelligent (as she started saying her words very early) and of course very loving (with the hugs and kisses she is known for!). 

Now at 15 months old, she is a strong-willed little girl who knows exactly what she wants. She hates shoes, loves dressing up and has hair with a personality of its own! 

The Hair and its personality!

She doesn’t throw tantrums and seems thoughtful very often. 

Little Ms. Independent

She still has an amazing sense of humour and is very intuitive. She loves her cat, enjoys dancing and making funny faces!

The funny face!

And this is exactly what I want her to be. To be honest, I can’t take credit for any of this. As I mentioned previously, they have predisposed personalities of their own and all we can do as parents is to help them shine through. 

I want her to be fierce. I want her to be loving. I want her to be intelligent. I want her to be caring. And if she is none of the above, she’ll just be a whole different kind of awesome. Which is also great. Afterall, I’m the one who’s blessed. 

Z and Mama πŸ’“

2

Baby Secrets – Z Spills the Beans

What Mama and I have realised in this one year is that we babies are much smarter than you all think. Maybe even more than the adults at times.

I’m Z. And I can be very manipulative. I twist Mama and Dada around my little finger. And I have covert operations that ensure this. But I’m willing to share these with you. As long as I can kill you after.

Google Image

So, as a baby, I can tell you confidently we are all secretly making fun of you adults. We have a few cries for every situation that ensures we get our way. I must admit not all are foolproof but most of them are brilliant. Read on to find out more.

The Pout

This delicate act of defiance usually says, “I’m not hurt enough to cry, but I’m telling you I’m upset.” It’s an ‘awww-inducing’ move and works wonders most times. As Mama and Dada’s hearts break, you will definitely get your way.

The Pout

How to perfect The Pout:

Drop your lower lip as low as you can and turn on puppy eye mode.

 

The Whimper

This next stage of defiance is usually on the quieter side and thus, not very effective. It consists of a range of tones and is usually met with ignorance. Even sad eyes don’t help this one!

How to perfect The Whimper

Start with a low groan and move on to a high-pitched whine. It’s some effort but hey, you win some, you lose some, right?

 

The Hiss

This move is particularly common for those of us babies with cats. But it would be wrong to blame the cat as it is usually more well behaved than us. This move must be used when you don’t care much but need to show some kind of objection. Doesn’t work most times.

How to perfect The Hiss:

Pretend to be an angry cat.

 

The Scream

This is where we get to the more interesting ones. The ones that require a fair amount of performance and drama. Did you think it was easy being a baby? 

The Scream is the first cry that involves aggression. It is used in a number of situations – when you want to do something independently but Mama picks you up instead, when someone takes the toy you want, when someone else is sitting on the swing you want to etc. It also helps marking your territory – easier than peeing right? This move hardly ever works and is met with a death stare from Mama most times.

How to perfect The Scream:

Feel the pit of your tummy. Focus on it. Ensure the long, piercing cry comes from within. It’s a lot of effort for a move that doesn’t work, but hey, it strengthens your lungs too. Or so I’ve heard.

 

The Hangry

This combination of angry and hungry works wonders every time. It is usually one of the most customisable cries – you can pretty much do what you want and has everyone around scuttling around to get you some food. This is my favourite move, for sure!

How to perfect The Hangry:

It HAS to be a surprise attack. Anything premeditated will be realised and shot down by the adults. While playing with your toys, start screaming/shouting/whimpering all of a sudden! Patting your tummy or touching your mouth at this stage helps too.

 

The Plea for Help

This move is used in extreme situations when one needs assistance from the adults – when a stranger picks you up (and you feel like you are being kidnapped), or when your legs get entangled in ribbon. It’s usually a high-pitched screech that intensifies until appropriate help is received.

How to perfect The Plea for Help:

Look helpless. Channel the inner baby in you. And let the emotions fly. Tears and drool (maybe mucus too) are an added advantage.

 

The Pretend

According to the adults, this is the most entertaining move. However, for babies, it really drains us. The Pretend is the most used and abused cry and obviously never works. I try it a few times a day, especially when I need to make my presence felt. It usually elicits laughter or nonchalance. Very frustrating.

The Pretend

How to perfect The Pretend:

I can’t tell you how to pretend. Easily customisable according to the situation.

 

The Big One

Guys, let’s get serious now. This is the mother of all cries. The Big One. This move is usually used when you fall or hurt yourself. It can also be used when Mama or Dada leave the room and you feel they may never come back (though they always do, magic!). Works like a charm every single time and usually ends with lots of hugs and kisses.

How to perfect The Big One:

I’m perfect. I can’t teach you perfection. You must find your own path.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading all my trade secrets. There is a baby ninja outside your window right now waiting to assassinate you.

 

Love,

Z and Mama

7

The ‘purr-fect’ life!Β 

‘A true friend leaves paw prints on your heart’. πŸ’“

I’ve grown up with dogs my whole life. When I was born, my parents had Bozo, the (ahem!) Labrador with the tail that refused to uncurl and who barked the house down when I fell off the bed!

When I got older, we got Leo – who definitely looked the part, but had the personality of the cowardly lion from the Wizard of Oz 😊

And finally, I had my Sterling – a name that was part of Mom’s hangover from a trip to London. We had him for over 10 years and he was a thorough gentleman. He was my best friend, my brother and one who kept us all in check at all times! πŸ˜‚

When I moved to South Africa, the only thing I wanted was to get a dog. However, as luck would have it, every home we moved to restricted us from doing so. So, instead, we got a cat – a beautiful Russian Blue mix who was the runt of his pack.

Tyrion

screenshot_20170528-085555_01.png

Our little boy

Our Tyrion is such a beauty, but we do believe he is definitely half-dog. He loves giving affection, follows us around the house and outside at the park, cuddles with Z and so much more.

It’s strange that people say pets know when there is a baby on the way. When I was pregnant, Tyrion would spend hours lying next to me, with his face on my tummy. It was almost as if he could feel Z (or maybe he wanted the large watermelon he thought I had swallowed!)

Tyrion would spend hours on my tummy

After Z was born, it was a period of confusion for him. We wouldn’t let him get too close to her in the initial weeks and I’m sure he felt left out. But we would try our best to give him the attention he needed and spoil him with loads of kitty treats.

Once Z was 6 months old and a bit more interactive (rather than being a little lump), Tyrion was allowed to get a bit closer. He would rub himself against her bouncer and meow at her as if to say – “Okay, it’s about time you come down here and play with me.”

screenshot_20170528-090506.png

Beginning of a friendship?

Once Z started focusing on things, Tyrion was the first thing we showed her. She would squeal with joy everytime she saw him. And he would spend hours next to her. We just knew that would be the start to a great new friendship.

I love him!

My Tyrion!

Today, she is 13 months old and he is almost 3 years old. And they still love each other. I’m truly amazed at how patient he is with her – she screams into his ears, pulls his tail, climbs over him to hug him and he just lies there. And purrs. πŸ’“

However, there is just one rule and that is repeated every single day – “Z, you don’t hurt Tyrion!” And she slowly withdraws and pets him as gently as she can. It’s actually quite sweet to see the two of them together.

Having a pet growing up is beneficial in so many ways. It teaches children to be gentle and not be scared of animals. It always upsets me to see little kids hurting their pets, while the parents just smile and make a joke of it. One little smack, that’s what you deserve, little one!

A pet in the house helps build a stronger immune system, with God-knows-what kind of germs coming from God-knows-where!

Children also learn to be more mindful and nurturing of others, especially with animals. Pets help build great family bonds. And of course, they are great sources of comfort always. Be it in times of sorrow or just when you need someone to talk to. πŸ’“

I would love to hear your pet stories and see your pet pics. Thanks for reading!

Love,

Z & Me!

3

This is ‘egg-xactly’ what I needed!

So, I’ve felt for a while now that I need to give Z more veggies. I do give her spinach in Dal and veggies on pizzas, but I didn’t think her breakfast was nutritious enough. I had an adult version of the ‘Egg in a Cup’ and I thought I’d just tweak it a bit for her! She absolutely devoured it and I was thrilled with all the greens and reds that went in with it πŸ™‚Β I made two and I’m not shy to say I annihilated the other one myself. Do try it out sometime –

Egg Muffins – Z style

Ingredients:

Eggs – 2

Spinach – a few leaves

Carrots – grated

Onions – Just for the crunch

Tomatoes – Just for the juiciness

Red Chilli powder – Because Z cannot do food without spice

Salt

Pepper

Butter

Cheese – optional

 

Method

  • Cut/grate/chop up all your veggies and keep them ready.

 

  • Whisk the eggs with salt, pepper and a bit of red chilli powder.

IMG_6579.JPG

  • Brush your ramekins with loads of butter
  • Add the spinach leaves, carrot, onions and tomatoes to the ramekin. Top it with the egg mixture and a bit of cheese.

IMG_6583.JPG

IMG_6585.JPG

  • Let this bake for about 15 minutes at 180 degrees.

So, while I made this little quickie, Dadda and Z were having quite the bonding session.

IMG_6542.JPG

My colourful little family

IMG_6568.JPG

Waiting for Dadda to pounce on her

 

And 15 minutes later – voila! Look at these lovely little egg clouds –Β they were fluffy and delicious!

IMG_6588.JPG

IMG_6587

Do let me know if you try it out! I promise you will be ‘egg-static’! Ok, I am going to stop with the egg puns now – I can almost see the ‘eggs-pression’ on your face. Sigh.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

Z & Me!