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Crazy Monday!

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Yesterday was one of those days where you show up at your child’s preschool ten minutes late  with peanut butter stains on your shirt, hair and dupatta in disarray and no makeup. No makeup might not be an issue with people blessed with a glowing complexion but trust me without makeup my pale complexion can rival any vampire’s :p

harried mommy

It all began when a nasty flu bug infected daddy, mama and H. Of course it really does not matter if mommy has the flu or not, she is allowed no sick days.

sick day sick mom

So come Monday morning I hit the snooze button one too many times and ended up oversleeping. And then little H refused to wake up and threw a tantrum when asked to change clothes. Another tantrum when asked to have her hair combed. And one more when asked to eat her breakfast. So just 20 minutes later I was totally at the end of my rope! Finally when I managed hustle a screaming H and her breakfast in the car I realized I had forgotten teddy. Did I tell you guys teddy has to go everywhere with H. Sometimes he even goes to the bathroom with her! So rather than risk a mid way meltdown I choose to go and get teddy now. Another 5 mins gone.

teddy

So that is how we arrived a full ten minutes late. And to top it little H choose that day to start crying when I handed her to her teacher. Sigh.

baby crying wiht mama

I did not have a chance to have tea or even a glass of water before leaving so  by the time I reached home my head was throbbing like anything. I do not know about you guys but if I do not start my morning right my whole day is stressed and hurried. I like to wake up at Fajr, then get dressed, make everybody’s breakfast, have my breakfast peacefully before waking H up and getting her dressed. Attempts to make her eat breakfast are usually futile and she just nibbles a bit on the way. My ideal morning routine would be to get up at least half an hour earlier and get in some Quran recitation, walk a bit and then start getting ready. This had been on my to do list for a full two months now!

mama n tea

Anyway to reward myself for enduring the crazy morning I made myself a huge cup of steaming green tea with ginger and lemon and downed it with a lovely chocolate doughnut. That was my happy place for the day 🙂 What do you guys do for relaxation after a crazy morning?

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Butterfly Tutu Dress Tutorial

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So little H was having Yellow day in school where all the lil ones were supposed to dress up as something yellow. I choose her to be a yellow butterfly! Although on second thoughts her costume ended up being more appropriate for a bumble bee but there is something irresistible about a cute little butterfly so I stuck with the butterfly idea! I had been looking on tutu tutorials on pinterest for quite some time and was itching to make one. This presented the perfect opportunity. So here is my version of the no sew tutorial.

What you need:

  • Measuring tape.
  • 2.5 yards of Yellow net (I got mine from Gulf) cut into 6 inches by 22 inches strips.
  • Black ribbon.
  • Clothespins.
  • Sewing scissors.
  • Pen to mark.

Things needed

  • First you need to measure your toddler. Take the waist measurement as well as how long you want the tutu to be. You can have a very short tutu or a nice long flowy one. Mine was somewhere in between. Little H’s waist measurement was 19 inches and I choose the tutu length to be 11 inches.
  • Next measure out your ribbon. Add 40 inches to your waist measurement. That ensures you have a lot of ribbon left to tie a nice big bow. So for me it was 40 inches plus inches 19 inches i.e. 59 inches.
  • Now mark the center point of your ribbon. Add half of your waist measurement i.e 9.5 inches (19/2)  on either side.. Mark this length with clothespin or safety pin as you can see below. The 19 inches length between the clothespin is the area where i will make my tutu.

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  • Then measure and cut your net strips. Whatever your tutu length is you need to double your strip length because we will be tying it. So my tutu length was 11 inches and my strip length was 22 inches. Each net strip needs to be 6 inches wide so we can get a nice poofy tutu. Hence each strip will be 6 inches by 22 inches. The best part is you do not have to be very neat in your cutting as you can see below. In fact a bit of jagged edges give a nice rustic look to the tutu. Of course if you prefer a neat tutu then by all means be meticulous in cutting it out.

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  • Once you have all your strips the longest part is done and you can not start tying the tutu strips which is sucha breeze. Stretch your ribbon around your chair and secure it with another clothespin as seen below.

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  • Now start tying the strips. Each knot goes on top. Do not tie the knots tightly. They should be loose enough that you can slide them across the ribbon. Continue tying until you fill all 19 inches between your clothespins. A note here, the puffier you want your tutu to be the more closely you need to tie your strips.

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  • Once your are done tying all the strips tighten the knots and adjust them so no black ribbon is showing.

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  • Take the tutu off the chair and tie a big black bow. You can now add any embellishment on the bow or on the tutu itself if you want. Tada your tutu is ready to be worn. Assuming your toddler is open to wearing it. Mine wasn’t and I had to bribe her with chocolate to put it on for 5 minutes! Please ignore my foot in the picture. I was too lazy to crop it 😛

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  • Now that we are done with the tutu, we need a pair of wings. For that you can just draw wings on yellow cardboard and cut. If you are not sure what shape to draw there are many butterfly stencils available on google. Once you are done with the stencil, cut it and draw butterfly pattern on it with a black marker. Alternatively you can decorate it as you like with glitter and stuff. I only wanted it to be black and yellow so did not venture into any other colors. Here is my version.

haniya butterfly

  • To attach the butterfly to your toddler’s back use punch two holes in the cardboard and string yellow ribbon through it. This ribbon is then tied across the two shoulders as can be seen below. If your toddler is open to wearing something on the head then you can make a headband with antennas. I am lucky if H even lets me brush her hair so I did not bother with the headband but it looks very cute.

haniya butterfly back

Funny things my toddler said to me!

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Toddlers come up with the most interesting of things that more often than not leaves you speechless!

H to me (while i was busy checking Facebook at bedtime), ‘Mama put that phone down quickly or a bug is going to come take your phone away and it is going to do bitey on your arm!’

One day when i told her to pick up her toys, she emits a long sigh and says, ‘H so tired mama, you pick it up’. Nicely played Little Miss.

On my 100th reminder to her to change her school clothes, she tells me very solemnly, ‘Kids do not do that’. That was my line 😛

When I was busy chatting on the phone and ignoring a very whiny H, she came up with an innovative way to catch my attention. Little Miss bit her finger and then comes crying to me, ‘H bit meeeee!!!!’

And of course the embarrassing part. H hates having her ears cleaned so i have to coax and bribe her to get them cleaned. Lately she enjoys pretend cleaning mama’s n daddy’s ears. I know weird. So one day in the car she looks at the driver’s ears and comments loudly, ‘Mama, there is dirt behind driver uncle’s ears.’ Mortifying.

To Nap or not to Nap

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So I have been having some nap issues with little H lately. Ahh,  the beloved nap time,  the precious time when mamas get to take a shower, catch up on chores and if they are lucky enough,  even have a cup of tea and surf pinterest.

ah toddler nap tiem

Little H has always been a poor sleeper and fights naps and bedtimes till the last moment possible. But it has steadily gotten worse since she started preschool.nap boycott

I have to follow a strict nap schedule now because if I let her nap till late she doesn’t fall asleep on time and is then cranky in the morning. But despite my best efforts she takes ages to fall asleep at nap time. Often I have to spend 1.5 hours to get her to sleep. I kid you not. This involves a lot of random stories, patting, back rubbing and eventual scolding. I realized how much yelling I was doing at nap time when one day I heard little H telling her teddy in a sot-to voice ‘Teddy, go to sleep NOW, mama is getting angry!’  Sigh.

if toddler voted for president

Yesterday I went shopping with little H. By the time I got home it was too late for a nap so I decided to settle for an early bedtime. I was thinking around 7. But then this happened during dinnertime.

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Except that my toddler went to sleep on her high chair. After taking lot of pictures and videos I transferred her to her crib and then had the awesome realization that it was just 630 p.m. and I had nothing to do! Now this is something I want to do every day! So now the dilemma is either cut the nap and have an early bedtime or let the nap stay but have an hour long bedtime battle. I hear the sleep experts tch tching. Overtired children crash earlier but do not sleep soundly, also naps are important to fuel growth blah blah. I hear ya. Naps are also important for mommy’s sanity. A 12 hour day with little H without a nap does get too much. And at the end of the day mommy is often found popping a painkiller. But I am just wondering what is easier, have an early bedtime and have lots of me time or go along with a nap and have a much needed midday break. Well the jury is still out.

The Dreaded Terrible Twos

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crying toddler

My daughter just turned two this august as well as started preschool.  These two major milestones proved too much for her little budding self! The result too many tantrums and one very exhausted mama. The typical day in our house begins with little H waking at 7 and demanding Meek as she calls milk in a loud cranky voice. God forbid if the cup of milk is not already ready and there on the bedside table. Because even a 2 second delay triggers a massive tantrum. Now you ask me what about brushing teeth, going potty etc. Well I will be frank here, I am lucky most days if she brushes her teeth willingly. Mostly it is a battle in which I pin her arms and legs and swipe at her teeth with the toothbrush while she tries to claw at me! I have tried everything from bribing her, to buying her new toothbrushes with cartoon characters to letting her watch me n her daddy brush. But so far nothing has worked. Suggestions are desperately needed.

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Then dressing up, combing hair, breakfast is again a battle of wills. I prefer picking my battles and usually end up taking a toddler with an out of the bed hairdo to school. Sigh. And don’t even get me started on the diaper changing diaper. Many a times I just let her run around with a poopy diaper until it literally starts leaking (I hope that was not TMI!).

 toddler diaper

Toddlers are fickle creatures. One moment they will be happily playing, the next moment they will be thrashing on the floor on all fours screaming like a banshee. Anything and everything can tick them off. It is like living with a ticking time bomb!

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Here is my take on how to tackle and minimize tantrums:

  1. Have a set routine: Having a schedule helps bring order to H’s days. She knows what is coming next and when she has a set bedtime and nap time there is less chance of her being overtired, hungry or just plain overwhelmed. And any mama knows that most tantrums happen when the kids’ sleep cycles are messed up.
  2. Distract: Of course every child is different but in the case of H if I am able to distract her just before something is about to trigger a tantrum that tantrum can be averted. For example after coming home tired from preschool she starts whining about having biscuits. That whine will grow and grow till she is sprawled on all fours screaming. If I am able to offer her alternative choices like an early lunch or maybe distract her with some activity then disaster averted.
  3. Ignore: Once the tantrum begins the best strategy is to ignore while making sure the child does not hurt himself/herself or others. Initially I would try to comfort or cuddle H. That would just lead her to screaming noooo even more violently. Soon I learned that if I just sit calmly nearby when she is done crying she would come to me herself and ask for a tichoo aka tissue. And she has hardly ever cried for more than ten mins.
  4. Keep calm: This one might seem pretty obvious but it is kinda difficult to stay calm in the face of a screaming toddler. But staying calm is your best bet. Remember kids can pick up your emotions in an instant. So if you start feeling frustrated and angry it would be harder for your child to calm down.
  5. Encourage your toddler’s independence: Toddlers are just beginning to realize that they are separate beings and they can do so much. Of course they cannot always do what they want to and that leads to frustration. I have seen many parents discourage the “me do it” stage by telling their child you are too small to do it or simply no you won’t be able to do it. I believe it is imperative to develop their confidence by letting them do age appropriate tasks even if it means they will make a mess or take three times longer. I know easier said than done. Sigh.

Ok I hear little H screaming about something. Time to take a break and good luck to all you toddler mamas!