Category Archives: children

Black and … Clear

I recently experienced my first parenting fail moment and thought I’d reflect on it and share.  We attended the nutcracker ballet last weekend, as we do each year, and I promised both girls they could pick out a nutcracker to take along.  Target had them on sale, but I thought they were regular priced at $10.   Due to the sale, not much stock was left at our local target, so the kids had to pick from a limited selection of left over, picked over nutcrackers, most of the ones left were painted black or brown.

20161218_181600My oldest picked an angel nutcracker, as you can see from the picture and there was also one Clara nutcracker left, but my youngest really wanted a soldier.  She calmly and quietly said, “I want a soldier, but I want a clear faced one, not brown-faced.”  I couldn’t help but look around, considering I am and they are Indian-American.  At that moment, their mommy became a whopping mixture of both brown and red-faced.  No one heard, but I couldn’t help but wonder where I failed as a parent that my child wanted a white nutcracker; a child, mind you who was born a month after the Obamas entered the White House and hasn’t seen any other President yet in her short lifetime.

Then I realized as we talked more in detail that they are just not exposed to multi-cultures here in our homogeneous, yet firmly liberal city or town.  My daughter said when we go to the shows, no one performing is like us, nor look like this soldier (the one she opted to buy).  She said everyone on the shows we watch are also clear-faced so she wanted what she thought was most appropriate for the nutcracker.  I told her in larger towns, and at the the traveling DCPA productions, multi-cultures are indeed represented, and it’s just that the local productions we see are reflective of the population in our local Colorado.   From the mouth of babes, though, it helped me understand that I do need to take more steps to expose my children to more Indian activities, and Bollywood productions, and perhaps even different cultural events.   At the Nutcracker ballet, a sweet young boy came up to my daughter who was hiding her nutcracker at first, and exclaimed, “I have the same one but mine has a pink face.”   I was screaming on the inside considering how embarrassed my daughter was earlier.  But, I also noted that color was indeed noticed by children this little, and that this is the reality of our world and it’s our job to educate and mentor our children.  I replied, “oh great… this is a unique one and can do the same things yours can.  Isn’t that great?”  He smiled and took off, but this small event really did open my eyes.

obama-cover-750x1125It made me realize that no matter how innocent kids truly are, they perceive things through activities, shows and such, and what we expose them to.  The American girl episodes do not help either with its cast of characters, or the TV shows they watch from time to time.  Everyone is “clear-faced.”  Children certainly don’t intend to discriminate in the same illegal manner that adults may, but they distinguish attractiveness based on what they see and experience, and TV and movies are a huge part of this.  My sweet young daughter was embarrassed about what happened, so I don’t force the issue any longer, but when possible, try to show her things I think will help her self-image, and perception of the world around her.   Ironically, as we checked out at Target, the people magazine cover struck me and my daughter smiled too as I showed it to her, but she was indeed embarrassed about her innocent comment earlier.  Black or white, it does not matter, but I hope we can see past race some day in their lifetimes.  Judging from who was elected President recently, his appointees and what he proclaims to stand for, I say we have a long ways to go.

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Don’t miss Elf Training Camp at The Melting Pot, Littleton, Colorado*

mplogofullIf you enjoyed Fondue Fairytales, Superhero Sundays and fun-due Scarytales, then don’t miss out on Elf Training Camp at the Melting Pot, Littleton, Colorado!  Saturdays and Sundays (Dec 3, 4, 10, 11, 17th and 18th) are for fondue fun with the whole family. Enjoy food, drink and elf-themed training, and you can meet Santa’s head elf!

doubledippingfun1The melting pot is a great experience for kids and you can put those etiquette or cotillion classes into practice.  Hold on to your skewer, this is the only place adults and children can indeed double dip, love every minute of it, and no one will complain.  Adults pay $45, and children ages 4-12 are $25, with kids 3 and under free – this price includes the fun and food.   Reservations are required and space is limited, so call 303-794-5666 to reserve your spot, and dip, dip, dip away!  With four courses, each elf in your family, and the parents will leave here full and ready for holiday shopping.    The entire four-course meal and fun took about 2.5 hours, so be ready for some food and fun for the kids.  It’s so well-organized and paced just perfectly.

doubledippingfun2Finally, please remember to dress in layers as the activities are in the tents outside, but honestly, it was so warm in there with the heaters, we were all comfortable and toasty.  As you can see from the pictures, the kids had a great time, and it was nice to spend some uninterrupted time with them… okay, the elf interrupted a lot with a ton of activities for them but we thought it was good to keep the restless little ones busy and working.  All in all, kids and parents were super happy.

Disclaimer: My family and I were compensated in exchange for posts/social media coverage of this event.  We were compensated with free fondue for all of us.  The views expressed here are my own.  NOTE:  This post was delayed due to a family/life emergency.  

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My break up with the Mirena IUD one year ago- must read

Required disclaimer: I may wear scrubs each day but I am not a medical doctor, and this is my personal experience and opinion. Every one of us is created different and your body may react differently, but this is my story….

My experience with the Mirena IUD didn’t start off bad, nor go poorly, but I always felt more bloated and like I just couldn’t lose the weight despite working out, eating right and staying healthy.  Since we were not sure whether our family was complete yet, neither my husband nor I considered more permanent options and since I heard people used the Mirena for a long time, I assumed it was safe.   But last year, we changed all that.

After about 5 years of having it, I started experiencing vertigo and other symptoms and tests ruled out tumors or other causes so I wasn’t sure what was causing them. Last year, around Halloween, I was experiencing these symptoms again and was the heaviest I had been since having the kids or getting married.   Despite a solid work out routine, I felt unhealthy and had a huge gut. At a mere 61 inches tall, 133 lbs. is a lot to carry around and a very unhealthy BMI.  I had tried giving up soda and alcohol and didn’t shred a pound. By January of 2015 I had already replaced the Mirena once, so last year, I went in and had it removed and completely changed my diet at the same time. I reduced sodium and sugar from my diet and eliminated all microwave meals which are super high in sodium. I was told by the doctor to give it one year to see if the Mirena was the culprit for my weight and symptoms.

It’s now a year later and for the past 3 months I have reintroduced Chinese food (without MSG), normal salted foods, and maintained a healthy diet and the weight is not back.  But I remain true to my habits- more fruits and vegetables, smoothies, protein, and replacing soy sauce and canned foods with healthier alternatives or home-made options.  My gut that was pretty prominent is gone and I feel better.  Once 132-133 last year at this time, I am now 115-116.  I was wearing size 10 shirts and large size t-shirts but now am back to small shirts and size 4 pants. I was wearing size 8 pants at this time last year.  I even squeezed into size 2 earlier this year and was so excited- I have never worn size 2!   I still don’t drink soda but I drink wine and beer in moderation and eat a balanced diet and I haven’t felt period pain and experienced spasms and cramping like I did on the Mirena.

Think about it – something that stops your periods completely over time just isn’t natural and naturally your body responds by retaining water and fluids, or other things.  For me that fluid retention was very harmful and resulted in unhealthy conditions.  Again, will you lose the weight and the gut I did if you break up with our IUD?  I am not sure, but I do know that the Mirena IUD was simply not right for me, and now that I am hormone-free, I feel much better and more energetic.  I have not done anything with my eating habits to lose weight, nor diet, and I am still keeping the weight off.   There are other life stressors for me now, but going natural without hormones or any artificial things inside my body has been the smartest decision I made.   I have a friend who tried Essure (two of them) and it didn’t go well either.  Some others swear by it.  For me, I prefer nothing inside me that is unnatural or unhealthy and do not want any more surgeries or artificial options.  If you are lucky to have a husband who can shoulder the permanent birth control option, I urge you to do research, consult your doctor, and make informed choices. 
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For my mom – Mother’s Day 2016

Note: This essay is published at Mile High Mamas for their mother’s day essay contest, but I have permission to share it here too. 

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I love this quote from the Disney© Movie, Odd Life of Timothy Green, “There are 2 people in the world who want you more than anything. They will do their best, they will make some mistakes, and you only get them for a short time, but they will love you more than you can ever imagine….”

I only realized how much my mom sacrificed for us after I became a mom almost 9 years ago. She was 25, and married off to a man she hardly knew (arranged marriages back in the day).  Then, she was immediately setting sail (okay, she flew) to a country almost 10,000 miles away from her home for a new life.  She left behind all she knew, the languages she spoke and the people she loved.  Over the last four decades, she also moved all over the country for dad’s career, and stayed at home for us.  She shuttled us to all our activities and school events.  When we were sick, she stayed up all night worrying and caring for us.  Her love didn’t end when we went off to college.  She was always thinking of us.  Mom sacrificed so much for us.  She’s my hero, not just this Mother’s Day but every day.

This mother’s day is especially special for us.  Mom recently started a journey that will be both difficult and have its triumphs too.  Mom is private about her life so I won’t share more but we know she will do great! She is the strongest person I know because of all she did for us and all she sacrificed.  Only a strong person can do that! My mom is unique and special, and loved by all who meet her.  While I may not have mirrored everything she did, I am better off because of the choices she made for us.  This mother’s day, I want her to know that she is my hero.  Because of her sacrifices, I am here, living in a country with amazing opportunities.  I am all that I am because of what she taught me and how she cared for me.  I have her personality, her smile, and people often mistake me for her when I call them.  There is a saying that “we live on through our children.”  Well, if this is true, mom, I have lived and breathed you for 43 years, and will keep doing so as long as God allows.

Thanks for being one of two people who wanted me more than anything and doing your very best.  Your children and grandchildren are proof that you do more than your best.  Thanks for making mistakes along the way.  We made better choices as a result of them.  God has given you to me for 43 years and I pray he loans you to us for much longer.  After all, he still wants you to teach your grandchildren a few things we didn’t want to learn.   Finally, thanks for loving me more than anyone can ever imagine.  Now that I am a mom, I actually don’t have to imagine.  I only hope I can be half the hero for my children that you are for us.

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DIY hair detangler using essential oils

My kiimageds wake up with bird’s nests and scream and holler when we try to comb their hair the next morning.  I got ideas for this recipe and then modified it to work for us.  It is a great, all-natural recipe for no-tear de-tangling of the kids’ hair and mine.  🙂   You can substitute any of these ingredients but make sure to add in rosemary and tea tree oil because those are known to repel lice too, so get two potions in one here.  Make sure to check out the lice spray recipe too, so you can decide if you want to combine them into one.

I should caveat that I make mine slightly oily so their hair will be oily, but you can substitute almond, coconut and vitamin E oil with conditioner or witch hazel or just plain water.   I add 1 teaspoon of Almond oil and Vitamin E, plus 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and melt these to add into water. I used a glass spray bottle as seen here from Amazon (affiliate link):

These spray out and have a protective stop (you can put back on to travel with them), so it is perfect for a detangler or the lice spray. I filled the remaining bottle with water, and added these essential oils:  3 drops of Ylang Ylang, 3 drops of Tea tree, 2 drops of Rosemary, 3 drops of Lavender for a nice scent, and 3 drops of Cedarwood (prevents hair loss too).    Learn how to get 24% off your essential oils and your very own starter kit with 10 oils!   Shake it up, and it is ready.  Shake before each use.

2016-01-09-16.07.28.jpg.jpegIt’s simple, smells good, and y2016-01-09-16.06.41.jpg.jpegou can see the before/after results here.  Also, a friend recommended a satin pillowcase to help prevent tangled hair too.  But I will still use this spray because it helps me style the kids’ hair and it is all natural and chemical-free.  Their hair washes more smoothly and just looks nicer.   Plus, for us, I grew up being told oils are good for the hair.  So, we like it with a little oil. Happy de-tangling!

  Accessories for your oils:

*Disclaimer:  These statements are not FDA approved.  The statements made here are my own and not attributed to young living.  The experiences are real, and my own.  I received no compensation for this or other posts on essential oils.  I am a distributor of these products because I believe in them.

**If you want pure essential oils for this and other great things, don’t forget to read all my posts on Essential Oils, and get started on the starter kit.  It is a life-changing journey.

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