3 Lessons I Want My Children To Learn From Me

Sometime back while reading an article, I came across a question that got me thinking..."What are the 3 lessons you want your children to learn from you?" Now that was deep! As a mother I have often pondered about this and there have always been quite a few things I would want my kids to learn from me and the elders over a lifetime, life's lessons that we probably learnt the hard way. In fact there have been many situations I have found myself in, thinking to myself,  "I hope that at least my kids learn from this!" 

But if I were to pick only 3 of the most important lessons I would want to leave them with, they would be (in random order)......
I have grown up, like most around me hearing the words, "you are brave and brave children do not cry" or "boys don't cry." I flinch every time that is said to my kids and cringe at the thought of it affecting their mental health in the long run. I want them to know that it is…

Unknowingly I Fell In Love With Being A Mama To A Boy

I always knew I was going to have a girl. From very early on, even as  a little girl playing house or with dolls, I was sure I was going to mommy girls when I grew up. Despite playing rough with my boy cousins all the time, I knew I was going to have a girl. 
To me boys were strange beings, ones that I liked but couldn’t really decipher. I understood girls, boys - not so much, given the fact that 15 years on I’m still working to understand my husband and vice versa. There’s a reason why men are from Mars and women from Venus and I would have preferred to tip the scale towards Venus in our household. 

When we first fell pregnant, much to my husbands chagrin, I was confident of having a girl. Every scan was scrutinised unsuccessfully and every word our doctor spoke was dissected, all in hope to just get a hint of what the future had in store. 
23rd August, 2012 our world changed when we welcomed our first born, our SON into this world. Yes a Boy! How did that happen to me?! Surprisingly th…

The Ultimate Potty Training Tip That Worked!

When our son was born 6 years ago, we clearly didn't know what to expect. The adrenaline rush of being a first time mommy soon faded to give way to a feeling of constant guilt and unpreparedness. A feeling, though less intense, still exists 6 years on. All our parenting experiments and trails and errors are carried out on our first born and that paves the way for our daughter, who just breezes through every milestone, thanks to her older brother.
So when the time came to potty train our son, lots of suggestions started pouring in right from the time he was born! It takes a village, people! Thus started the potty training schedule, way too early at 18 months in my opinion. We tried it all - trainer pants, potty seats, mobile potties, potty training books and at the end...bribes. Nothing worked. At the first sight of his poopy face, if anyone tried to get him to the potty seat, he would run in the opposite direction and hide to continue doing his job in the diaper, or he'd hold…

My Reverse Bucket List

I'm sure we all have a bucket list of things we want to see or do before we "kick the bucket," either written down somewhere or a rough compilation in our mind.
I'm a big fan of bucket lists, there are so many positive things associated with them. In a way, it's a fun way to push yourself outside of your comfort zone and try new things, and in the process it can lead to all sorts of great experiences and friends.
But isn't is funny how quick we are to write off what we've done in the past and only focus on all the things we want for the future.
Well there is a solution for that, enter the reverse bucket list! This list is basically your gratitude list. Instead of focusing on what you haven't accomplished in life (yet), it makes you focus on the cool things you have already done.
Life today is tough with jam packed schedules, family, kids, friends, work....the list is endless. And to add to the already overwhelming list is social media, which studies …

99 Things I Love - Reflections

In May this year I started the #100happydays challenge where I put up a picture of what made me happy, everyday for 100 days straight (I got to 118). This little exercise taught me gratitude and how to find happiness in the little things in everyday life.

Today I'd like to try a different exercise where I reflect upon the 99 things that I love. I’m hoping this helps me dig below the surface and recognize things I'm probably not even consciously aware of, about myself. While I sit down to ponder about what's really important to me in life and what brings me joy, I realise it’s the littlest of things, the ones that are  usually taken for granted and so easily disregarded. So here's my gratitude list (in a way), in no particular order. 
My first cup of coffee in the morning ( preferably before the kids are awake)Our home, messy at times and usually chaotic, but I still love it My daughter's wild spiritMy bespectacled son's goofy grinsThe sound of my husband laughing…

That Spicy Curry May Be Better Than You Think - Indian Spices & Their Dental Use

Spices have been closely connected to magic, cultural traditions, preservation, medicine and embalming since early human history and have played a key role in shaping the course of world history. India is known for its wide variety of rich, earthy spices that lend immense flavour to dishes throughout the country.

Today's fast paced world has taken a toll on our overall health and dental health. The key to our health is our diet. Current research trends look at holistic nutrition as a way to not only feed our body, but to help it heal as well. Our own holistic culinary spices not only add aroma but also forms the base of all our dishes. In moderation, these spices can help us derive maximum health benefits. 
These world renowned exotic spices grown in India have so many dental health benefits :
Black Pepper - The King of Spices when mixed with salt in equal quantities, can relieve dental pain and reduce gum inflammation (swelling) when massaged over the gums. Black pepper has anti-inf…

Are You Brushing Right?

The most common question my patients ask me at the clinic is "I brush twice a day, but why are my teeth are still so dirty?" It may sound harsh when I say "It's because you are not brushing correctly," but that unfortunately is the bitter truth. 
This made me realise that a surprisingly large number of people are not aware of the correct brushing technique and so I thought to myself that since so many people I meet have this question, why not address this on my blog so I can reach many more and maybe help them understand what they could be doing wrong.
Brushing your teeth is an important part of your dental care routine. For a healthy mouth and smile it is recommended that you: Brush your teeth twice a day with a medium-bristled brush. The size and shape of your brush should fit your mouth allowing you to reach all areas easily.Replace your toothbrush every three or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth and…

Being Happy Never Goes Out Of Style - The End Of My #100happydays Project

When I took up the #100happydays challenge in May this year, I jumped into it with both feet not knowing which way I was headed. Honestly, I expected to give up after a couple of days and certainly did not expect to go beyond the pledged 100 days. But once done with the 100 days (118 in all!), I decided to go on with it, mainly because I enjoyed writing every single day. But as it always happens, life took over and the kids fell sick one after the other and then again, and it got too overwhelming for me to keep it going. My #100happydays challenge came to it's end naturally, ten days ago, and yes I have thoroughly missed it. I was hoping to go around the sun one time with this challenge. But like they say, all good things comes to an end and so did this.

There have been many ideas brewing that I want to write about and wasn't getting a chance nor the time all this while. For me to be able to put those ideas to paper, #100happydays has to end. A challenge which compelled me to…

Thank you kind stranger- #100happydays - Day 118

Every now and then things happen that restore my faith in humanity. Every woman knows how stressful multitasking can actually be, especially while grocery shopping when we are unsuccessfully trying to stick to a list, balancing our phones, bottomless purses and the grocery cart. Today I found myself in a situation like that and managed to leave my fully loaded wallet at a sugarcane cart outside the grocery store while trying to manage 3 bags. By God's grace I realised that my wallet was missing before I left as I couldn't find it in my purse to pay for even more purchases. Tracing back my steps I remembered having kept it at the sugarcane cart while paying him for a glass. The kind man that he is, he kept my wallet safe at the security hoping I would come back to claim it. Not a thing inside was touched and I am so very grateful to them. I can only imagine what I'd have to go through with multiple credit cards, debit cards, license etc which would have to be blocked and r…

Nighttime prayers - #100happydays - Day 117

When I was a little girl, I used to lay with my mom in bed at night with my mom reciting this Sikh Shabad, night after night. It was something I looked forward to everyday and today is one of my fondest memories of my childhood. So it was only natural for me to sing it to my kids while putting them to bed every night.  
This passage is sung before the final prayers of any devotional Sikh service. The Sikh Ardas, Tum Thakur Tum is a Sikh Shabad found in the Sukhmani Sahib on page 268 of the Guru Granth Sahib. My grandparents have been followers of Guru Nanak and we have been visiting the Gurudwara regularly. For me the Gurudwara is a place I love to go to. I can be there for hours just sitting and listening to the kirtans and paath. It fills me with peace and calmness, it's almost meditative. 

Now the kids have learnt it too and at times join me in singing this every night. If not, the request is to sing this on a loop and sometimes with other prayers too. 

THE MEANING You are our Lor…

Secret jokes- #100happydays - Day 116

A Parent's Prayer Thank you, God, for The children of mine Who teach me things That blow my mind. They entertain themselves In the funniest ways. I pray that the innocence They possess never goes away. I pray they will Grow up and be smart, And I pray that they will never grow apart. I pray that they will call home Whenever they are near a phone. I pray that they never feel alone. I hope they turn to you Through guidance and prayer And know that you and their parents Will always be there. © Althea A. Anker
This is a part of MY #100happydays challenge - a way to remind myself to pause and find happiness in the little things in life and to live in the moment. To be grateful for all that I have, every single day. Hopefully you will join me in this journey of self discovery and find your own happiness along the way.

Saturday gameplay- #100happydays - Day 115

The excitement has been building up the last 5-6 months and these two kids have been waiting eagerly for 7th September for the release of their Spiderman game on the Playstation 4. So needless to say, the game was bought on the day of release as soon as the shop opened in the morning and they have been at it since then. We now have a spidey at home jumping from window rails and sofas. Anything and everything is converted into Spiderman accessories to web people. And to add to the noise and drama, the littlest kid, the copycat that she is, has also proclaimed her undying love for Spiderman now. When given a chance she's got the remote in hand has taken some mean shots at the bad guys much to the delight of her brother and dadda. 

But I have to concede that the graphics of this game are simply mind blowing. We spent the first half of the day not actually playing the game, but walking around all of NewYork City, seeing the sights and climbing up the Empire State Building to see the pa…

Visarjan : Goodbyes - #100happydays - Day 114

Today we bid farewell to our Ganpati and Gauri. It is always a bittersweet moment, letting go of our favourites with a prayer thanking them for blessing us every year, apologising for any mistakes we may have made and asking them to come back again real soon.

Initially we used to go to the beach for immersion but a couple of years back they started an artificial pond close to home and every year since we have been immersing our idol in the pond. Until last year Ronav would cry to see Ganpati go and couldn't understand the concept and Samaya was too little to really understand anything at all. This year Ronav did't cry but Samaya did to see her Ganpati go. It was Ronav explaining to her that Ganpati needed to go see his mama and will be back again soon. Its amazing to see how just a year can make such a difference in a child's maturity level.

One of our very favourite traditions is even more dear to us now that the kids participate in it so beautifully.

Mooshik vaahan modak…

Bappa Morya - #100happydays - Day 113

वक्रतुण्डमहाकायसूर्यकोटिसमप्रभ । निर्विघ्नंकुरुमेदेवसर्वकार्येषुसर्वदा ॥
My absolute favourite tradition and time of the year is here again, Ganesh Chaturthi. For me it's been over 30 years since we have been bringing Ganpati home every year and even longer in my husband's family. My happiness knew no bounds when I found that my husband also celebrated Ganpati while we were dating. 
The 1-2 day celebration starts with Gauri Pooja usually a day before done by the women in the family. On the day of Ganpati Pooja, we all wake up early and have an oil bath. The men then start an elaborate Pooja with the Ganpati stapna and invoking life in the moorthi, followed by giving him all the offerings made at home for the occasion. It usually take over 2 hours to complete the Pooja and then post lunch we welcome all family and friends to come to take blessings from the God. Since we keep Ganpati only for a day, we usually have everyone over in the evenings and they join us for prasad and din…