A Day In The Life Of Raaga

I always loved watching those videos where they show a day in the life of a celebrity. Our toddlers aren’t any less busy! Just like stars have managers, our tots have us moms! Kinda got me thinking, how the day to day might look mundane from a distance but if we look close at our kids’ lives, their days are filled with the most fascinating stories of new experiences and explorations. I’m sure you know what I mean if you have a toddler.πŸ™†β€β™€οΈ.

So I wanted to let you in on little snippets of a day in Raaga’s life and what we do together on a typical week day. It defintely keeps changing from time to time. I try to keep the routine going for the most basic things like lunch/dinner time and nap time. But play and activities are always flexible.

So our day typically starts like this –

Raaga wakes up at 9/9:30 and we say our bye byes to daddy as he goes to work. Then she drinks her milk and she chooses a book to read. We love reading books as we munch on a fruit. Sometimes she wants to read more than one book. Meanwhile my masala chai is in on the stove top simmering.

So while I have my tea , I give Raaga a fun activity to do. Usually at this point I’m definitely more inclined towards some quiet play so I can have my tea and not engage with her for several minutes. This includes activties like Stickers sticking on a sheet, playing with an open ended toy (which for now lasts only for 5 minutes) like the wooden rainbow stacker or the color block puzzle. Pompoms are great too.

If the weather I good, we love to go outside and enjoy the warm sunny day. So I boil an egg for Raaga and cut it into pieces and a little bit of salt, we take it with us. I buckle her up and she eats her snack as we watch ducks in the pond, and the water fountain and trees and flowers. Some days we just walk together without the stroller.

The spring time is here and with Summer coming up , I prefer to let her enjoy the breeze and the outside more.

If you follow me on Instagram, you know I share a lot of the snippets of my everyday life and my #momentswithraaga . Do follow me there if you don’t yet!

Then we come back home and start prepping for lunch. It takes around 45 minutes for me to make lunch (sometimes less) . If there’s anything I’ve put in the cooker or on the stove top for simmering, I take Raaga for a bath at this time. After her bath, I switch on the TV or give her the ipad for sometime until I wrap up my work in the kitchen. So when I’m in the kitchen, I constantly don’t need to keep an eye on her during screen time. This is when she is walking around in the kitchen behind me ,trying to take spoons and dishes to pretend play with🀣 somtimes I find these spoons in her toy trunk πŸ˜….

Raghu comes home for lunch everyday and so we all have lunch together. Around 2pm or so, our nap time starts.

Raaga usually sleeps for 2 and Β½ hours to 3 hours. This is the time for me to catch up on house chores. Also somedays, I let those things be and go ahead and spend some time writing a blog post or just scrolling through instagram.

After her nap, Raaga wakes up around 4:30 or 5 and its snack time again. Avocado toast is one of her favorite evening snacks. Or I give her some puffed rice/murmura. And she also likes to munch on biscuits as we have our coffee/tea.

After this Raghu takes over because on all weekdays, I take music classes for kids and this is the time for Raaga and her dad to bond. Now that spring’s here, they are off on a long walk again together while I teach my classes at home. My dinner prep starts during Raaga’s nap time and once my classes are done, I make dinner. After having our dinner, this is the time we practically leave Raaga alone. She just kind of wanders around the house, plays with her noisy toys and stuffed toys. Her sleep time is around 10pm. Sometimes even later. This is because we want her to wake up late in the morning. We live in a one bed + one bath apartment and its just convenient this way. This works well for us and it might not for someone else . We like our routine and sort of fell into a rythm for now. The routine changes as Raaga moves into another phase of growing up but like I said, the basic things don’t change!

So thats our typical weekday routine. Somedays are different when we have more work on our plate or have somewhere to go but otherwise this is pretty much how we roll every day. Its fascinating to see a child grow slowly into this person you are meeting for the first time. I love every moment I spend with Raaga. Yes its hard and it takes a lot of patience but its the littlest of the little things I’m counting on and I know I’ll cherish these moments forever.

Tell me about what is your favorite part of YOUR typical day. The time of the day that you enjoy the most. Tell me in the comments below.

3 Things In My Life I Am Eternally Grateful For

As a child and a teenager, my younger brother and I were always encouraged to count our blessings. We grew up listening to stories about our parents’ journey towards success and financial growth. I come from a hindu family with strong devotion towards our culture, customs and traditions. Its because of this devotion , we were first taught to thank god for everything we have in our life. And to this day its going strong.

Gratitude plays a great role in my life. I believe that we receive more when we are more thankful for what we have. When we can make something out of what we already have, a way is paved for abundance.

Today I want to share with you all, the 5 most important things in my life that I am eternally thankful for.

MY ATTENTION TO DETAIL

This one is big for me. I say I’m thankful for this because the littlest of little things catch my eye and most of the times these little things are reasons for our happiness. When I meet someone for the first time, these little details are what I observe and take away.

My attention to detail has so much to do with my senses. I always remember the smell of rain on a summer afternoon, the feeling of cool breeze on my skin, the taste of the first cup of chai on a chilly morning. And I think this attention to little things makes me live life fully. Take things in and really experience them. It helps me remember traits of people, patterns of behaviour, and expressions too. I am always thankful for having this quality in me. It makes me a sensitive and compassionate human being.

MY FAMILY

Belonging to someone is so fulfilling. For as long as I can remember, while growing up, I always dreamt of having a family of my own. My family is everything to me. I’ve grown up with my mom and dad shaping us into people we are now and family was always their first priority. Doing things as a family, enjoying quality time and travelling together always brought us close to each other. And havingcthese memories of childhood and teenage made me believe in marriage and raising kids. It inspired me to have priorities in life and focus my energy on a few things. This made me always look back and collect memories from my childhood and try to recreate them again with my kid. I’m thankful that my husband and I share similar thoughts and dreams when it comes to family. Its so important to spend quality time with our kids and travel with them and expose them to more life experiences over material things so that they know what truly brings satisfaction in life.

THE TIMES WE LIVE IN

I am thankful to technology and the information that is put out there and wasn’t readily available to our previous generations. Apart from recommendations and suggestions from family, ancestral methods and old traditions, the information we have all around us is simply amazing because if used appropriately and in moderation, it acts as a powerful tool in helping us lead better lives. Using the resources available online, and just even the thought that its now possible to ” look up” everything, just gives us the freedom to unlimited guidance and in many ways, brings the world closer.

I am so thankful for that and for the generations that follow, when our kids will have even more to look forward to.

I’m always grateful for the life we built and for everything around us. Its this gratitude that gives me more.

Now tell me in the comments, what are you grateful for? And go follow my on Instagram. There are so many little snippets of my life that I share there!

Thank you so much for reading!

8 Things I Learnt In My 1st Year Of Motherhood

After letting my coffee get cold endless number of times, after being judged for little to big things on how I parent and after many eyes looking at me with pity for being a first time mom navigating through motherhood with no clue, after being asked time and again whether I am able to produce enough milk for my child πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ and how my weight reduced quickly… I now know questions won’t end, they will just change. Now I answer with a straight face and sometimes I just give them a straight face and its answer enough if you know what I mean ! πŸ˜‚

I also learnt so much in the process of being absolutely clueless and starting my journey on a clean slate like every first time mother does. I had help and support from family and that gave me the strength. Below, today, I’m sharing with you 8 of the most important things I learnt in my first year of motherhood.


1. Your Breast-feeding Journey Does Not Define Your Relationship With Your Baby

Okay this is a huge one and controversial if you want it to be. First of all, Breastfeeding is a choice! All that matters is whatever you choose to do or whatever YOUR PARTICULAR SITUATION makes you do, its all good!!! There is no right or wrong path here. I started to really breastfeed Raaga after the first month and until she was 11 months old. But she wasn’t exclusively breadfed. I always needed to supplement with formula . I am not guilty today but I was for the first few months. Its sort of like peer pressure. But to speak of our personal journey with feeding… it just has to seem right to you, what feels best for your body, your time and much more. Don’t let people take you on a guilt trip when they say “do whats best for your baby”. Your relationship with your baby has nothing to do with breastfeeding if you don’t want it to be. Your guilt consciousness might make this true for your but it actually isn’t true! There are so many other ways you can bond with your child in the first year so DON’T beat yourself up by comparing your feeding journey/style with anybody else!

2. You Will Breakdown Way Too Much More Than You Would Want To

Sometimes letting off steam is the only way out of pressure, stress and overwhelm but I never imagined it at this magnitude. When Raaga was 10 months old, I broke down everyday and cried myself to sleep for 2 weeks straight. Hormones are no joke. And they are forever by your side ready to raise to the surface at the slightest hint of tiresomeness!

3. Your Instinct Is Always Bloody Right!

Never ever underestimate your instinct. Its something I learnt in the first 6 months. It is a rather slow process to trust yourself with every little thing when you’re a first time mother. Hell, I called my mom for the tiniest of my doubts. And always checked what Aunt google had to say. In-spite of all the support, my gut still said the right thing at the right time. I took baby steps toward my instincts. But it helps to know something and I’ll tell you – your gut will never go wrong about what to DO. It sure is a dumbo when it is about what to SAY πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ πŸ˜‚..

4. You Are Not Alone :

This one is soooooo important. Its something we keep saying out loud but its in those dark nights of lonely feeding sessions with hurting nipples, those long nap-less afternoons when the baby is crying her lungs out and you have no idea why, those early morning hours when your baby finally sleeps “like a baby” and you just can’t take your eyes off of her but want to catch a snooze yourself…… In those moments, you HAVE to believe that you are not alone. Because I see you, I get you and every mother gets you. You are not alone….

5. It Is Just A Phase :

“And before you know it” they say, but the truth is , its always “after you know it” ! You will go through a phase with your kid , experience it , feel the pain of it , have those fretty times and then the phase will pass. The only thing that keeps you sane is the hope that it will pass soon because its just a phase. You will never let a phase go untouched. You will always know it… every moment of it. But there are some wonderful moments in these phases too and they will pass too … so try to have a sense of humor and don’t take yourself too seriously.

6. You Will Be Judged

I’m not sorry for saying it out loud because unless you live in a cave, (with no humans other than you and your kid) the truth is you will be judged and criticized ! Whether you believe in organic or don’t , whether you breastfeed or bottle feed or formula-feed or pump or dont pump. You will be judged for your baby’s weight and for your weight….Hell, you’ll even be judged for not going through the pains of labor. And it will make you furious but remember that this year is all about learning. Learning how you can smile through it all, learning to do your own thing and not justify. I’m not trying to be negative here but I’m trying to be as honest as I can! Bring it on witty answers if you’re the kind who won’t let it go without a fight. Or you can just dust it off. Its entirely up to you but whatever you do , do not let it add to your mom guilt because it will become unmanageable if you let people and their opinions get into you.

7. You will find your tribe :

Initially everything seems like no one has ever set foot in your shoes and has no idea what you are going through as a new mom. But eventually, you will find and meet your tribe, moms exactly like you, similar to you , and ones that have a new and fresh perspective to bring to the table all the time. These are some people you should closely observe because , as much as we think we can do it all, and follow books, internet sources etc, real time experience tops it all and what better than having a village around you right?

8. You weight gain is the least of your concerns :

“So how are you planning to shed all the baby weight” A friend asked . Its overwhelming to hear this! And I answered ” first I gotta focus on my baby’s weight” . Don’t get intimidated. Answer right back and stick to it mama! I say this because I know a lot of us can stress over the extra pounds we gained during pregnancy but its really the least of your concerns. You need to produce milk and that meals you need to eat high calorie food and thats all that matters because your baby matters most. To be honest, I was never a weight watcher but I thought somehow I’d shockingly put on too much weight that I’l become conscious about it after my delivery but nothing of that sort happened. I naturally came down but gradually and I did not rush the process to fit into my old jeans! Because thats not important! Sleepless and tiresome nights, feeding, caring for a new tiny creature, are stressful enough and you don’t need this extra cloud over your head at this point. I always knew this and it just got reinforced in the initial months of giving birth!

Snack and Meal Ideas for Kids – 15 to 18 Months

I don’t remember a time when I did not have snacks in my bag, or in a bowl next to me while I’d doing anything. I always need a snack! You know what I mean? I grew up in a snack loving family and having nuts in my pocket or a bunch of grapes in a box in my bag was too normal growing up! I remember having raw mango cut into long pieces and sprinkled generously with spicy paprika and salt , on the street just outside my school. Ok! probably doesn’t look like a hygienic scene to the ones reading it now, but we as kids, used to love it! For every season, there was a specialty snack sold in the street markets. Guavas, Cucumbers, Watermelon and others of the sort are sold in the same fashion as the mangoes in their respective seasons.

Well, If your mouth isn’t watering yet, Lets get on to what I actually want to talk about today. I know there’s some of you out there who have no idea why I started out today’s post the way I did. The reason is simple. To me, a snack is even better than a meal. It adds flavor but is eaten in limitation and if chosen properly can be really beneficial to us. Our kids too love snacks for the same reason. I do give Raaga gold fish and crunchies as much for a snack too but her food chart keeps growing and I get to experiment with her growing tastebuds! She is 17 months old now. She’s at a phase where she loves to snack on fruits more than anything. And I’m introducing a lot of healthy options at this stage. other than that, I have tried a few recipes for lunch and dinner too. But, My main objective here is to encourage her to eat in the same fashion as we do. And I certainly don’t believe in either forcing her to eat and finish up everything I offer her or even going behind her, running to every corner of the house feeding her except if we are travelling and its a new environment for her (in which case she might be too curious to sit down for a meal). I just make sure she is fed and likes what she is having. Every family is different and their eating habits are different. I always believed that there’s not one specific way! Nothing bad or good, nothing wrong or right.

A few months back, we made some changes to Raaga’s food and eating habits. We did not diligently use a high chair until a few weeks back. but slowly she got used to it and now she knows that she has to sit on the high chair to eat lunch/dinner. I am going to proudly say, she eats what we eat, (thanks to her teeth now finally coming out fast) with a few exceptions but its pretty much what we do at this house.

We also increased our intake of fresh fruit as a result of this change. Her lunch and dinner menu is the same as ours. So, to add more vitamins and minerals and fat to her daily diet, we buy more fruit and slowly are getting used to consuming some amount of fruit daily along with her.

Like I said, and as you know, every family is different and I’m not an expert but I do want to share some snack and meal Ideas with you all. If you have any other ideas or suggestions, Please comment below. I’d love to introduce new foods to Raaga slowly.

MEAL IDEAS

  • Vegetable Khichdi – sweet potato, corn, carrot, peas, tomato and beans (you can add some or all of these veggies and more for a whole some lunch or dinner)
  • Spinach rice – I tried spinach rice in many ways for Raaga and she seems to enjoy the garlicky flavor in it. Recipe : Chop spinach finely. Add oil in a pan. once the oil heats up, add few chopped garlic pieces and some jeera/cumin. Let them fry until garlic turns golden brown. Add a pinch of turmeric and some corriander powder/ dhaniya powder . Now add the chopped spinach and fry on low heat for a few minutes until spinach changes color and reduces . Then add salt and stir. Add cooked rice to this and mix well. This tastes very good and goes great with a few heaping spoons of plain yogurt.
  • Paneer Parantha (with extra asafetida and lots of chopped cilantro)
  • Alu parantha – goes without saying that we are fans of Alu parantha in this house and love to eat it any day of the week! A dash of ketchup and some jam to go with it , That’s Raaga style.
  • Vegetable rasam and rice
  • Tomato/ Mango dal and Rice : A staple in our house.
  • Vegetable upma with cauliflower, peas, carrot and tomato. Its the best way to blend health and taste in a meal ! I’ve always been a fan of Upma and truth be told, Its easy to make too!! haha
  • lemon Rice – We are still slowly getting used to this. Raaga loves it but doesn’t have too much at once so it can’t be considered a meal yet but we’re coming along slowly.

SNACK IDEAS

  • Avocado toast ( dash of lemon , pinch of salt and we’re done!)
  • 3 large strawberries and a few blueberries
  • Half an omelette or half of a hard boiled egg.
  • Some gold fish and a cheese toast
  • Half of a large orange and some milk biscuits
  • Milk and cereal ( she loves chocolate milk!)
  • 1 dosa or 1/2 Besan cheela
  • homemade banana bread : Raaga loved it and kept asking for it all the time πŸ™‚

So these are some of the foods that i try to offer and reoffer to Raaga on a daily basis. Slowly but surely we’ve been making way for some healthy yet yummy eating. If you have tips or recipes that work for you and what I can offer Raaga going forward , please do let me know in the comments below. If you like this post, Please click the star below . That motivates me to write more. I’d love for you to check out my instagram handle @ramyakirtana

Thank you for reading. Will be back with another post soon.