text

DECOUPAGED OLAF PENS – endearing aren’t they?

4

Know where this little guy – or rather 2 little guys are from??

YES, FROZEN it is :)

Besides Princesses Anna & Elsa who stole our hearts, he was the other small one whose funny and endearing ways we carried back with us long after the movie was over. Learn how to make your own little DECOUPAGED OLAF PENS by following this quick, easy tutorial below.

Materials needed:

  • Pen
  • Newspaper strips
  • Wallpaper paste
  • White craft glue
  • White, black and orange acrylic paint
  • Black felt scraps
  • All-in-one water-based sealer, glue and finish

Directions:

  • Start by inserting the end of the pen in a small Styrofoam ball and wrapping the pens with newspaper to build out the body. Secure the newspaper in position with sticky tape.

1

  • Tear up some newspaper into little strips and use wallpaper paste, with some craft glue added, to glue a layer of the newspaper onto the pens. Just one layer of paper mache, left overnight to dry, is all you need to create a sturdy shell

2

  • Paint the entire paper mache surface in white, give it two coats to make it a solid, bright white. When dry draw Olaf’s funny little face with a pencil and then paint over the lines with black paint, and of course orange for the carrot nose.

3

  • For the twig hair glue some small strips of black felt on to the top of Olaf’s head.
  • Seal the entire surface of the pen with one layer of all-in-one water-based sealer. It goes on milky but dries clear to give the pen a shiny, wipe-down surface.

 

Reference: http://family.disney.com/crafts/papier-mache-olaf-pens

text

20 Sci-Fi Books for Little Readers

Why does science have to be BORING & DULL??

Science can be exciting & fun too and rather than the doom and gloom that many SciFi books for young readers, these books are all about imagination and how your little one can have fun with the story.

This list of 20 Sci-fi books is about getting kids hooked on a certain science fiction series or character to demonstrate the pure fun of reading a story that is out of this world.

20 Science Fiction Books for Young Readers

# 1 Aliens for Breakfast by Stephanie Spinner

#2 NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society by Michael Buckley

#3 Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold

#4 The Adventures of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey

#5 The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman

#6  Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies by Andrea Betty

#7  The Wonderful Flight to the Mushroom Planet by Eleanor Cameron

#8 My Teacher Is An Alien by Bruce Coville

#9 Star Wars Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

#10  The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

#11  Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith

#12 Charlie and the Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl

#13 Space Case by Edward Marshall

#14 Space and Beyond (Choose Your Own Adventure Series #3) by R.A. Montgomery

#15 Earthlets As Explained by Professor Xargle by Jeanne Willis

#16 Zathura by Chris Van Allsburg

#17 The Wump World by Bill Peet

#18 Space Invaders by D.J. McGhee

#19 Commander Toad in Space by Jane Yolen

#20 Mars Needs Moms! by Berkeley Breathed

text

SUPER MOM Naomi George

naomi

Love yourself, says Naomi George, first time author of Mum-Me and our supermom of the month. Possibly, the best advice for all of us mums who tend to put ourselves last. And Naomi tells us just how to do that through her book, after battling through the universal motherhood trials. She works, juggles two kids, exercises, parties and stresses on the need for some romance time. Yes, absolutely possible. It is all in the book!

Naomi George has done it all—from discovering that breastfeeding does not necessarily mean maternal bliss to stalking her daughter in playschool to finding the perfect job—before she learnt to find the right balance between being a mother and being a woman. She offers tips from hard-won experience on how best to express milk, sleep-train a baby, handle sibling conflict and choose the best pre-nursery. More importantly, she tells you how to fight self-doubt and baby blues, and focus on a life other than mothering. Eat right, find time to get back your flat tummy and slim legs, take short breaks to romance with your husband: these are the things that will make you healthier and happier.

IMG-20141201-WA0001

A book on motherhood and life around it. Tell us how it has changed your life.

I have learned to love myself and not apologize for it. When I do things for myself, including going to work, fitting in a yoga class in the day or meeting friends on a Saturday night; and my children want me to stay at home and do none of the above, I do feel guilt. But I’ve learned to manage the guilt and acknowledge that I need to take care of the ‘me’ within to be functioning at my best for both my children and myself.

2. What got you thinking about writing it all down?

The book was inspired by my mummy-blog which I began when my daughter Tamara was about 5-months old. It was all about my experiences and feelings as a new-mum and began as an outlet or even release for myself. However as women began to respond, sharing their feelings and frustrations in the process, I realised that we’re all telling the same story.  That raising babies and toddlers does take a toll on a woman’s sense of self because she is so busy trying to be that perfect mum!

I know other women face the same dilemmas and frustrations that I do as a mother and through Mum-Me I wanted them to know that they are not alone in what they are experiencing. That it is absolutely natural and indeed healthy to want to do something for oneself separate from children and home.

The blog and the response to it from mothers led me to the idea of a concise self-help book that would provide handy hints and information on raising babies and toddlers, but written with an empathy towards the woman within.  I have learnt that living solely for children is not healthy, and that while nurturing our babies is a given, women must also nurture themselves.

3. How different would a typical Naomi George day be from everyone else?

Well as a mother I am sure it is no different than any other mothers –juggling, planning and attempting to stay on top of the roller-coaster mummy-ride is just about any mum’s life, especially those in the toddler/baby category.

Personally, I always make time for fitness (three times a week, and as far as possible I don’t take lifts – I climb stairs. I eat consciously, keeping indulgence for those times when it is worth it like the weekend or special nights with friends/ my husband.  Fitness and a trim body are important to me and I manage my habits/routine accordingly.

And I am a sunscreen fan – too much according to my husband, who is convinced I have vitamin-D deficiency, but so far so good!

4. A self-help book for moms, but how can we help the dads? Any tips for them?

Dads should read the book so they realize just what motherhood entails and that it is not without challenges.  When a woman says she is hormonal there is a reason for it, baby-blues and PND are linked to hormonal changes in the body as it changes from pregnancy mode to one that facilitates breast-feeding.

Being mother takes an emotional and physical toll on a woman and if men realized that , it would help them to support their wives better.  Women and men need to help each other out as parents. Working together also helps to strengthen the relationship between partners and lessen feelings of isolation that a woman or man may experience when babies arrive because they can be all-consuming.

When both parents pitch in and help to shoulder the physical and emotional demands of parenting,  then each has the right to ask the other to understand and give importance to their individual or personal needs.

5. As someone who has lived outside of India and then back home, what advantages does parenting in India have?

Well the obvious ones are that in Indian domestic help is a huge help.  Maids and cooks to help with the cleaning, cooking of a house takes a massive load of any mother’s shoulders.

In India the social fabric is strong and so dropping in at a friends’ houses or asking them for help with baby-sitting or just to step out with you to get a cup of coffee and a chat is a whole lot more spontaneous than it can ever be in the West, where the onus of parenting, managing homes and careers are solely on the parents, albeit with help from grandparents.

In that regard I feel it is possible to have a social and subsequently personal life even when one has babies/toddlers as opposed to the West where a life other than that of the families or work is difficult and doesn’t happen without considerable advance planning.

6. A supermom tip?

I am not too much in favour of this term because it implies that mums are prefect and we can never go wrong. We should each knowledge to ourselves that we are human and fallible, and it is okay if we don’t get it right, things go wrong and the days goes completely off our carefully charted plans.  Let’s cut ourselves some slack!

No supermom tip other than what would apply to all mums –  to prioritize the needs of the day or the week and take it from there. Effective planning and putting in place structure helps to get that task-list done!

Naomi George has done it all—from discovering that breastfeeding does not necessarily mean maternal bliss to stalking her daughter in playschool to finding the perfect job—before she learnt to find the right balance between being a mother and being a woman. She offers tips from hard-won experience on how best to express milk, sleep-train a baby, handle sibling conflict and choose the best pre-nursery. More importantly, she tells you how to fight self-doubt and baby blues, and focus on a life other than mothering. Eat right, find time to get back your flat tummy and slim legs, take short breaks to romance with your husband: these are the things that will make you healthier and happier.

text

CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE- If you don’t stop it, who will??

CSA

An issue which we do not like to discuss or even think about, CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE (CSA), is alarmingly common in India and around the world. As recent news reports have brought to our attention, the majority of abusers are someone known to the child, or in a position of trust and responsibility.

KEEPING OUR CHILDREN SAFE

Good communication is important. Listening to our children allows them to share their feelings and concerns with us.

Childhood should be a carefree time and we don’t want to worry our children, but we need to give them some guidelines on keeping safe, in a way that is appropriate for their age and understanding. Try adding simple conversations into your normal routine about staying safe.

The UK charity NSPCC has developed The Underwear (or P.A.N.T.S) rule as a guideline for talking to your child.

CSA

 

TELLING WHETHER A CHILD IS AT RISK

The majority of children do not report abuse. They may fear they will not believed or have been threatened by their abuser not to tell anyone.

Changes in a child’s behaviour may be the first sign that something is wrong.

One or two of the following changes may be a normal part of development but more should raise suspicion of possible abuse:

  • Nightmares or sleeping problems
  • Becoming withdrawn or unusually clingy
  • Changes in personality, become more insecure
  • Problems with studies or missing school
  • Excessive anger
  • Sexual language or behaviour (inappropriate for the child’s age)
  • Going back to younger behaviours such as thumb sucking or bed-wetting
  • Sudden changes in eating habits
  • Become secretive, not talking
  • Shows signs of fear of, or avoids being alone with, a particular adult.

SHARING THEIR CONCERNS WITH YOU

It takes a lot of courage for a child to confide in someone. Even then they may not be able to tell exactly what has happened. If the adult does not believe the child, or makes them feel ashamed, they may never risk telling anyone again and the abuse will continue.

For example, a child may say, “I don’t like that Uncle.”

If the adult replies “How can you speak like that, don’t be so rude!” the child will feel scared and not give any further information.

However, if the adult responds, “I see, what happened?” the child is able to reveal the reason, which may, or may not arouse suspicion.
An abused child wants two things:

  • to be believed
  • for the abuse to stop

If a child confides in you about abuse

  • Acknowledge the child’s feelings and praise them for having the courage to come and tell you.
  • Tell the child it is not his or her fault. Do not blame or accuse the child, even if they did not report the abuse when it started – the abuser is the one at fault.
  • Do not ask the child to “forgive” “forget” or “adjust”
  • Do not confront the alleged abuser – it may give them an opportunity to silence, confuse or threaten the child about speaking out. It may also place the child in danger.
  • Tell the child that you would like to take the help of other trusted adults (close family members, child welfare services, medical professionals or police) to help, with the child’s permission.

Childline has a national toll-free number – 1098 – which an adult who is concerned about a child can call for help and advice.

 Toll

 

In Bangalore, 3 new Collaborative Child Response Units have recently been set up at M.S. Ramaiah Hospital, Bangalore Baptist Hospital and KIMS Hospital. They liaise between children, their families, doctors and other authorities to provide medical, psycho-social and legal assistance. More CCRU’s are to be set up in other districts of Karnataka. It is possible to contact the CCRU’s directly, but they also receive referrals from the police, Child Welfare Services and Childline.

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN WRITTEN BY MOMMY BLOGGER, VIVIENNE MENDONCA