Who says I always have to dress like a girl?!

Oh, and that’s my reaction to -“How does Zoya laugh?!” πŸ’“πŸ˜˜ Happy Friday, everyone! 🌸🌸 #zoyaschronicles #babyblog #babyfashion #toddlerblog #toddler #toddlerfashion #proudmama #mommylife #momlife #mommyblogger #mblogger #mblog #momblog


From my little baby to my little girl…

Where do little girls come from? I don’t mean anatomically. I’m going to have a hard enough time explaining that to my inquisitive little Z when she is older. So, let’s not go there now.

But more figuratively. Where DO little girls come from? Yes, yes, we do have the sugar and spice and all things nice. But I’ve realised there is so much more.

Big puppy-dog eyes, expressive gestures, stinky diapers, dirty bloomers, unkept hair, drooly t-shirts, butterfly kisses, warm hugs, curious minds – this is what transforms a baby into a little girl.

Z has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last month and a half. As this is a blog to document these milestones, I would love to highlight some of them.

  1. Little Ms. Fashionista

Z is now pretty particular of what she wants to wear. Too many ruffles, too big, too itchy and she’ll try taking it off before you can say, “Please baby, just for an hour!”

She hates hairbands and we are lucky if we can sneak in a hairclip without her knowing every now and then! Or else Mama has to take action and make the clip-wearing process a lot more fun!

She’s old enough to appreciate beauty around her and says,” Wowww” every time she sees pretty flowers, a big tree or her aunt trying on a gorgeous dress.

2. Forrest Gump

Z is in a ‘marathon runner’ phase at the moment. She runs and runs and runs. Everywhere. All the time. As I type this, I see her running across the living room to give her grandfather a big hug; and it’s hilarious because her legs are still a bit wobbly and her arms flop around behind her almost like wings.

3. Dancing Queen

Z absolutely loves dancing. And even more so, when there are lots of people around. It’s almost as if she’s performing. We went to a night market a couple of days back and there was some lovely live music playing. While we were busy with eating and drinking, little Z danced and danced and danced the night away, entertaining all those around her.

4. Little Marie Curie

Why say Einstein when you can say Marie Curie, right?

Anyway, I believe Z is incredibly receptive to information and knowledge right now. A cute little sponge, if I may. It’s incredible how quickly she is learning things. From counting 1, 2, 3 to saying A for Apple and B for ball; from making a funny face to saying Hi and Bye to strangers without anyone prompting her; from knowing all the actions and most of the words from her favourite rhymes to knowing there is food in the vicinity just at the crunch of a packet – it’s amazing to see her learn and retain all this. Granny is currently teaching her to say, ‘No nonsense!’ and she repeats with a whisper, ‘No nanas’.

Sometimes, she shocks us with little sentences – ‘Cat there’, ‘Tutti there’ and ‘Mama here’. She has her own little gibberish language and it annoys her when we can’t understand what she is saying, especially when she feels like she is communicating so beautifully! Oh and she calls herself, ‘Vova’ or ‘Joya’ at different times!

5. Little Foodie

In true Menon and Rao style, Z loves her food too. Her favourites are rice, chicken, ‘sheez‘ (cheese), ‘offan‘ (orange), chocolates, ”ship‘ (chips), and those little colourful jeera sweets. I’m pretty sure the word she uses the most is ‘amm‘ which means food. She also pretends to take little chunks out of her arm or couch and puts them in her mouth to tell us she is hungry!

6. Show-woman and clown

Z is definitely a little clown and show-woman – all rolled into one! She lives for the applause and ensures she does things to make you laugh. Even when she’s not trying to be funny, it’s hilarious. For example, when she sees anyone dressed in all black, she starts making monkey sounds! Because she’s seen black gorillas in her books. Can you imagine how embarrassing that can get at the mall or restaurant? She also goes into look nooks and corners to sing little gibberish songs to herself.

7. Ms. Manipulative

Usually, Z gets what she wants. And if she doesn’t, she manipulates people into getting it. She’ll kiss, hug and scream ‘love yous’ just to get her way. And if the person doesn’t give in, she moves on to the next person and repeats the whole process. So most of the time, it’s a win-win for everyone! Having said this, we are also very strict with her and she is very receptive to our ‘No’ and ‘No touching’.

Anyway, that’s all from us for now. It’s so lovely being able to witness these amazing changes to a little person – changes that will eventually make her the awesome person she is!

Thanks for being part of this crazy ride with us.


Z and Mama



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’“


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.



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.”


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!


Z & Me!