July 18, 2015

An ideal bedtime routine #FridayReflections


“Bedtime routine? There isn't time to have a routine, per say. All I can ever do is first, get my child to go to sleep and then, you call it a day.” :)

Ask a mother of a 22-month old toddler for her bedtime routine and you think you already know the answer. Right? 

Wrong !

Most moms in my apartment complex (heads up - there are 3 other toddlers on he same floor  as us and of the same age) would swear by the above-stated routine. 

As for me, my day literally starts or (gets even busier) once the baby is down. And that doesn't involve any of my personal ‘want-to-do’ items. Well not all of them.

For one, the dirty dishes need to be sorted out so that the household can face the next day pandemonium with a fresh mind (and a clean kitchen sink). After that, it’s the turn of the living room and dining area. The strewn toys get picked up and stashed in the toy box, the chairs need to be stationed back in place and oh, how can I forget the mail envelopes that need to be cleared up from the million places where they always end up being rather than the super-comfortable and well-organized wall pockets. *Take a hint atleast now, my dear hubby* :P

And then the favorite part of my bedtime routine. Once everything is back in place, it’s time to read or maybe write or even explore creative options for my dance school. While I ensure none of these activities run past midnight, there are those ‘days’ when creativity just holds on to you at the weirdest hour and it’s hard to break the continuity.

And while we are still talking about routines, my toddler also decides to go off-track on some days because kids, apparently, like having spontaneity in their schedule. So just when it seems like they have retired for the night, they may surprise you by waking up after a short nightly nap to emerge fresher and much more active than during day times. 

So the one thing I would like to change in my bedtime routine is to move all those ‘want-to-do’ items over to the early hours of the day. So as to be able to drop dead asleep at night. So as to wake up ‘early’ and consistently too.

But until then, I’ll just put my baby to sleep, battle the drooping eyelids and tip toe to the next room to read or write or… zzzz :)

Tell me, what's your bedtime routine like ? Is there anything you would / wouldn't change about it ? 

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July 10, 2015

10 things to feel grateful for... #FridayReflections

Central Park, New York
1. Thanks to the fluctuating levels of mercury and humidity this week, things have been pretty rough health wise. The toddler in the house decided it was time to pass on her flu and which better candidate than her own mother? My sore throat and runny nose were enough to send the dear hubby off to cook the meal of the day and wash the dishes before he left for work yesterday morning.

For that (and for a million other reasons), I am grateful to him and happy to be relieved of the everyday chores even if it's just for a day. 

2. When nothing seemed to help my aching throat and irritated nose, a nice hot cup of chocolate at the mall, did a great job to soothe and calm the illness. Sure, it may not be the recommended cure for a bad cold. Nevertheless it definitely cheered me up both health and mood wise. 

Grateful to have finally achieved some ‘me' time while Baby Girl ran through the mall with the hubby close behind.

3. Time and distance change any relationship. For this reason, I believe in long-lasting friendships that stand the test of time for years and years to come. Many a time, certain people who started off by being a mere acquaintance at college or work turned into one of my closest friends in life.

Likewise, I've also learnt how one fine day, a good friend could suddenly decide to call it quits, cease all communication and transform into just another acquaintance. I am grateful to those friends of mine who, in spite of being miles apart, always treasured the friendship more and remained the way they are. You are living proof to the fact that no matter what, things never change between true friends.

4. I must admit that once every few weeks I seem to be swamped with whatever life throws at me. This puts me off blogging and writing in general. However when I return to my blog after a dormant phase, there are pleasant surprises waiting for me. Goes to show how kind and generous my readers are. 

Earlier this year, during the A-Z April blogging challenge, my Facebook page reached a very important milestone of crossing 100 likes. After 4 years of blogging, this definitely looked like a huge deal for me. But the next 100 appeared rather quickly. This week, in just about three months since the last milestone, the page exceeded 200 likes. 

I am grateful to my readers who visited my blog irrespective of my long absence.

5. I am sure all of us have heard this before - 'Parenting is tough’. Maybe as a word of advice from our own parents or as a random rambling from a dear friend. But the actual truth is that it doesn’t get said enough. Whatever knowledge is shared between friends or family is of great help. Reality is when you finally get to experience it. 

You can plan and plan and plan some more but eventually babies (or toddlers) more often than not, prefer to have a schedule of their own for everything.  If you think they adapt well to a routine, don’t be surprised if they decide to stay off it for no apparent reason. 

Thanks to the parenting experiences this week, I have a new found respect for my parents, who single-handedly brought up 2 children, in a far-off land away from family, or any other source of help, whilst perfectly juggling between work and home. Seriously, how did you do it without going insane ? And without social media ? :P

6. Earlier this week, I chanced upon a family photograph at home. I miss those times when photographs ruled our world. Holding onto a memory in your hands, traveling back in time to remember the moment, looking at the happiness cast on faces of the entire family - every time a fresh breath of nostalgia. It reminds me of a simpler time and almost instantly a feeling of appreciation gushes through my heart. Today, although I am happy being able to click pictures at my will from the ease of my phone, I am grateful to have been born in a simpler time when photographs meant more than just a click. They conveyed untold stories and captured memories like never before. 

I almost feel bad for my Baby Girl, who by the time she grows up, will end up using more advanced ways of photography.

7. When it comes to adapting to new places, I must say I fare well. After the initial glitches of any new place, I clear my head and vision to focus on the good aspects. Visiting Manhattan in New York for the first time wasn’t the best trip in 2011 . I didn’t get to do much sightseeing, I hated the hustle-bustle and the crowds of the city. 

The second trip to New York came a few months later again in 2011 during the Christmas holidays. I still didn’t like the place as much as I thought I would but that didn’t stop me from appreciating that Christmas is indeed a great time to be in the city. 

Now it’s been over 2 years living near the ‘city that never sleeps’ and it amazes me. I love how there is never a dearth for places to visit. True, natural beauty is something you won’t find as easily in the concrete jungle. Even so, finding something closer is far better. :) Last week we had friends over in the city and we had an amazing time whether it was admiring the New York skyline from over the Waterfront at New Jersey, taking the ferry ride over river Hudson to New York, visiting the beautiful St. John's Cathedral, strolling through Central Park or walking at night over the Brooklyn bridge. 

I am grateful to witness new sights and places in New York during every trip.

St. John's Cathedral, New York
8. Two years ago, my health wasn’t in the best of spirits. Even after the delivery of Baby Girl I still continued with a lot of my unhealthy eating habits which made it difficult to lose the extra flab. Thanks to constant inputs from hubby dear and a lot (when I say 'a lot’, it actually means a whopping 'lot'!!!) of research, I decided to straighten up my eating habits and stick to them. While there is still room for further improvement of my diet and while I still encourage my sweet tooth cravings from time to time, there aren’t any extra chocolates stocked up in the fridge or cookies stashed in the cabinets any more. The result - I feel good, I feel healthy and some people tell me I look good too :P

Just this week, I received compliments from my friends making me feel grateful to understand the importance of healthy eating and making better decisions to improve my lifestyle.

9. Even though I didn’t enjoy a good night’s sleep last night, I was up at 5 AM today thinking of how to productively spend my time till the toddler is up. Found time to read, enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee and blog at ease without any interruptions. 

I am grateful to enjoy the solitude of the early morning and doing what I like - writing. 

10. Last but not the least, I am grateful to Friday Reflections (not just this week but every week) for giving me that extra nudge from behind to take notice, sit up straight, reflect on the past week, write my thoughts and share it with the world.

So what’s on your gratitude list for this week ? I would love to know.

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