A Mom’s Mini Emergency Kit

When my kids were small, I had a variety of diaper bags – ranging from small, to medium, to large; colorful to plain; fancy to formal –  with everything I needed for outings with them. I struggled to carry a purse and diaper bag and eventually gave up on the purse altogether. Then I switched to carrying a large purse of some sort that was secretly a diaper bag with a small corner for myself, so that I could look a little more put together.

Having to lug around all the stuff that a baby or toddler requires was no fun. I often had marks on my shoulders from carrying a heavy bag that never got lighter. Sometimes I would remove something I felt wasn’t needed, only to need that exact item later that day (and it was never needed when I had it).

I was so happy that as my kids got older I could carry less stuff. No longer do I need to carry diapers, extra clothes, toys, bottles, blankets, etc. I can take all three of them anywhere with the clothes they are wearing, and perhaps a bottle of water, or something to occupy them with, depending on our destination.

The only permanent item I carry is a small emergency kit.

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I bought a small, transparent toiletry bag that measures 6 1/2″ long x 5″ wide x 3 1/2″ deep, and in it I keep several small items I always need when out with the kids. I chose to put them all in a small bag so that I can transfer it to whichever purse or shoulder bag I’m carrying that day. These are basic items that often end up in your purse anyway, but tend to get lost in the mess and can be hard to grab at a moments notice.

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Here is what I carry (from left to right):

  1. Tissues – always handy.
  2. Disinfectant hand wash – for those times when there is no water but they are hungry and need a snack “right now”.
  3. Antiseptic cream – for minor cuts and scrapes.
  4. Wet wipes – useful for everything from wiping dirty faces and hands to cleaning scrapes, or getting food off of clothes.
  5. Mosquito repellant – needed most of the year, though I usually have the spray instead of the cream.
  6. Bandaids – I use these a lot.
  7. Crocin tablets – for me. If I am able to curb a headache when out, things go much smoother.

There are plenty of other items I could carry, but these 7 are the must-haves that I can’t go without. Outings have been easier since I put this together.

Do you carry something like this? What would you add to it?

Books for Moms

If you are a reader like me, than you know the delight a new book can bring. Finding time to read a whole book, however, is not so easy. No matter what, it seems interruptions happen just as soon as I sit to do something for myself. (I’m surprised not one of my kids has bothered me since I started this post.)

I don’t get a lot of time to read, but when I do, I enjoy the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, and especially their books for moms. They are easy to read as they are full of short stories, so you don’t have to read the book through, nor do you have to start at the beginning. There are stories from mothers who come from all walks of life, and who have been through all sorts of situations. Some are famous, most are not, but all share their story from their heart and bring to life the true meaning of motherhood. Here are a few of my favorites.

Chicken Soup for the Mother of Preschooler’s Soul – This was the first book of the series I ever bought and it has become a special favorite. I got it when my first two kids were just toddlers and I have read it through several times. It will make you laugh and cry. If you have preschoolers or soon-to-be preschoolers, I highly recommend this one.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: Power Moms – This book comes from the perspective of stay-at-home and work-from-home moms. Since I am a SAHM, I found a lot in this book that made me think about how I can empower my life and be more than just “mom”. My favorite section is about mothers who became entrepreneurs and started their own from-home businesses, all the while managing home and family.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: On Being a Parent – Like the title says, it is on parenthood and is great for both mothers and fathers. I read this one and the previous one when I was in the hospital after my last delivery. Some of the stories are so funny that I had to skip them as laughing made my stitches hurt.

I recently bought a new book called Life Lessons for Busy Moms and as soon as I have a chance to read it, I’ll talk about it here. It is by the same authors for the Chicken Soup books so I’m sure it will be just as good.

While I have only bought books on motherhood up until now, my desire would be to have every book in the series, but I think I would need an extra large library for that as there are hundreds of them.

Do you enjoy reading? What is your favorite book or series? Who is your favorite author?

I Recommend … Chyawanprash

For quite some time, Logan was constantly getting colds, coughs, etc. He got pickier as he got older, and of course, he got sick more often. I was desperate for a solution. Then my sister-in-law told me that her son had the same problem for a long time and the solution she found was to give him chyawanprash daily.

Chyawanprash is an herbal mixture that is common here in India. It consists of a long list of spices and herbs, with the main ingredient being the amla (gooseberry) which is high in vitamin C. (The link above lists many of the ingredients.) It is often recommended for its health benefits. At first glance it may not look so appetizing, and the taste may take getting used to, but after almost a year of use, I can say that it works.
I give it to my children daily along with their multivitamins. At first I wasn’t sure if they would eat it, so I told them it was vitamin honey, and I made sure to give them just a small amount to taste. Well, they liked it right away and now ask for it daily. Even Scarlett has started eating it and she enjoys it. I give her about a 1/4 of a dessert spoonfull and the older ones have a full dessert spoonfull. I’ve even started taking it myself and find that I am not getting run down as often as I was before. The fact that it was recently released with orange and mango flavor added has inspired me to try it, since I didn’t like the taste so much before. The kids love it more with the flavor as well.
This is primarily an Indian remedy, but it is possible that it is available in other places. If you find it where you live, you may like to try it.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Babies and Toddlers

The season is now upon us: Christmas!!! I love Christmas, even more now that I have children to share it with. I have been excitedly buying and stashing gifts for them, some requested and some surprises.

Maybe it is your child’s first Christmas and you want to make it memorable. Or maybe you have opted to make their second Christmas special since on their first they were too young to join the fun and enjoy it. (I can understand this because two of my kids were born in November and were only about 7 weeks old on their first Christmas.)

But as a first-time mommy it is understandable that you might be stumped as to what to get them. You see so many great things, but what is best? My top recommendation is Fisher-Price toys. Why?

1. Quality – they are sturdy and solid.
2. Colorful – they attract children and are fun to use. I find them attractive for me too.
3. Educational – the majority of them teach some skill or educate the child in some way.
4. Most importantly – they don’t break. Toys that break after a few uses are a waste of money. Invest in quality items and they will last a long time.

Here are some of the Fisher-Price toys my children have or had.

 

This was Logan’s first Christmas gift and his first toy. It is still attached to my stroller even now and Scarlett is using it.

I bought him these trucks when he was three months old and we still have them, except for the smallest one. It got lost.

 

 

This was Logan’s first birthday gift. He loved it and played with it until it didn’t make noise any more. He just kept those songs going and going all day long. (Warning: Noisy toys can make mommies go crazy. So if you really want to get a toy like this, do yourself a favor and get some earplugs too.)

 

 

 

Another gift. See it in his hand?

 

Lila was 8 months old on her first Christmas so I got her something she could work with, as opposed to a rattle. She figured it out quickly.

 

For her first birthday, Lila got these two toys. Too bad the book got lost; they enjoyed it a lot. We still have the shape sorter and Scarlett uses it now.

 

Scarlett just had her first birthday and I got her this Tiger Stacker. She really enjoys it.

 

And for Christmas, she is getting this toy, the Growing Baby Musical Xylo Fish. I can’t wait to see how much she enjoys it.

While I consider Fisher-Price a top brand for small children’s toys, it is by no means the only good brand out there. Some other good ones that I am familiar with are Duplo and Playskool. I also love good wooden toys, though I don’t have a specific brand in mind for that.
I hope this is a help to you. Happy shopping!
Disclaimer: I’ve written this as an idea-giver. It is not a review for Fisher-Price toys. I was not asked to do this and all thoughts and ideas are my own.
What is your favorite toy brand and what do you think you will be getting your child this Christmas?
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