parenthood

Guiding our little tribe

The Prophet Muhammad (s) said: “Every one of your (people) is responsible, and everyone is responsible for whatever falls under his responsibility. A man is like a shepherd of his own family, and he is responsible for them”(Bukhari and Muslim).

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“Your wealth and your children are only a trial, whereas God, with Him is a great reward (Paradise).” (Quran 64:15)

“Wealth and Children are Beautifications (Zeenah) for the Life of this world.” [Quran 18:46]

Qurrat A'yun Studios 2016

 

“O Our Lord! Grant us Spouses and Children that will be coolness of our eyes and make us the leader of the Muttaqoon (those who have taqwa).” [Quran 25: 74]

Qurrat A'yun Studios 2016

Matchy, matchy

Are you a mom who loves to have her kids wear matching clothes? I’M ONE! My boys are 2 years apart and I can get away with reusing clothing from my older one for my younger one. I do this for the most part, but I can’t help but buy matching outfits for them, especially if it’s a special occasion.

They might (most likely will) hate me for this when they’re older but for now I’m enjoying dressing them alike for as long as I can! I even like to make the hubs and I colour coordinate with them if it’s a really special occasion (like on Eid).

A simple way to have them dressed alike is to have a similar or identical item in their attire. In our case, it’s usually their pants or tops that are matched.

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Qurrat A'yun Studios 2016

 

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Do you dress your kids alike? How do you achieve it? And do people give you weird looks for doing it or do they compliment you?

Travelling with our little ones

 

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The hubs and I like to explore the world.  After having two babies within two years, we actually took more trips than we did pre-parenthood.  Some might say we’re nuts for doing this but for us it’s actually a good stress reliever. A good break from the everyday routine.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s hectic as ever trying to pack and organize the essentials for 4 people into two suitcases! And my idea of “essentials” greatly differs from my husbands’. I tend to overthink how many outfits we’ll need, how many diapers the kids will go through, what if they get sick – better bring ALL the *meds* they might need! I think after our second was born, I loosened up somewhat. But I’m still an over packer!

Packing lists. A good tip is to create packing lists. It sounds obvious but I find using this system to organize our packing greatly relieves my stress level.  I love mentally ticking off items from the list!  I made one when we took our first vacation as a family of three and have more or less used the same one since with tweaks based on where we’re going and for how long. Our list is based on each family member’s clothing essentials, toiletries, accessories, footwear and then general items that everyone needs (food, medication, toys, electronics, etc.). A packing list for your carryon/diaper bag is useful as well. If you haven’t guessed by now, I thrive on making lists!

This past week we took a mini road trip to Niagara Falls. It was a last minute trip and I packed just before we left. Since it was only a couple days and it was local, I decided to pack on the fly. It is the one time I forgot my pj’s!  Never again will I abandon my trusty packing list.

Busy bags. Another good idea is to to make “busy bags” for your kids to play with, especially if you’ll be travelling on an airplane or taking  a long car ride.  A clear, resealable bag with a few toys, books, games, crayons, blank paper, colouring books etc. is handy to have. It saves you having to rummage through your bag for a specific item. A good tip is to include a few new items. This will buy you some quiet time (hopefully) as your little one will be curious to explore the new items.  I like to organize these according to the items in them. So I’ll have one for books, another for colouring activities, stickers etc. If your child is old enough to carry their own backpack, just keep them in there for easy access.

Food. If your kids are anything like mine, they’ll want something to eat the minute you leave the house! I always have crackers and snack bars in my bag. But if you’re going to be travelling on a longer journey, make sure to stock up.  I like to include fresh fruits (pre-washed and cut if needed), yogurts, cheese, dried fruits, trail mixes, cookies and candy (for when you need to bribe them!). Pack whatever they like to eat as being in new surroundings and eating new foods can be a big adjustment for some kids. And use the perishable food items first (yogurts and cheese especially).

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Accommodation. On our first trip as parents, we booked an Airbnb condo as we wanted the comforts and convenience of a home.  It was useful to have a kitchenette to make quick meals for our baby and a laundry room to launder our clothes. On subsequent trips we’ve stayed in hotels that have laundry facilities (self serve) along with entertainment for kids (playroom, waterslides, parks  etc.).

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Itinerary. Always, always account for nap times! Being out and about all day long is tiring on everyone, especially little bodies. Prior to our trip, we create an itinerary of the places we’ll visit, things we’ll do and on which day we’ll do them. We make sure not to over schedule as a beautiful day exploring can quickly change with a cranky, overtired child.

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Yup, it’s time for a nap.

Strollers and baby carriers.  They make travelling easier. Plain and simple. And they work well for naps too! Win-win! We like our Maclaren umbrella stroller as it’s lightweight, reclines, and is sturdy. Ergo is our preferred carrier. I did a post a while back on baby wearing where I talked about our Ergo.

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Ergo came in clutch while exploring the Capilano suspension bridge and canopy walk in Vancouver.

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These are my  go-to’s to make my travels smoother with two little ones.  Hope you found them useful. If you have tips of your own, please share them with me as well.

 

 

Product review: washable nursing pads

Today’s review is my first ‘mom’ specific one. As any new mom knows, breastfeeding, in the beginning especially, is quite a challenge. Alhamdulillah,  I was/am able to breastfeed T. Throughout my pregnancy and now post partum,  I’ve tried to use products that are more natural and contain as little chemical ingredients as possible. So when it came time to decide on which nursing pads to use I was conflicted between the disposables versus washables. I bought both and tried them out. In the beginning I preferred the disposables as it meant less laundry and felt drier. However, after noticing the gel filling on my baby’s face I FREAKED! So I started hunting for better washable ones.

Up came Omees Boutique, an Etsy shop that sells a variety of handmade, eco-friendly mom and baby products. I decided to give the washable pads from here a try as the reviews were good, it was locally based and made and the colourful assortment of fabric appealed to the fashion-conscious side of me (hey a mom’s gotta look good too!).

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Pros:

  • four layers of flannel fabric makes them very absorbent.
  • no bunching up as with the stick on disposables.
  • no irritating scrunching noises.
  • soft flannel makes it’s more gentle against the skin.
  • size is appropriate – not too big or too small.
  • holds up to frequent laundering very well.

Cons:

  • if not washed in a lingerie bag, it can get ‘lost’ when doing the laundry! I’ve misplaced  2 already 😦
  • needs a bit of flattening out when it comes out of the drier (I haven’t ironed them but that might be a good solution).
  • if you have a heavy let-down, you’ll need to double up.

Overall, I LOVE these and would highly recommend them to breastfeeding mamas!

This is what they look like after washing and drying.  Notice how it got a bit fluffier….that’s the four layers of flannel at work! 😉

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