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My Son’s First Broken Bone March 11, 2014

Filed under: Parenting — Reena @ 5:19 pm
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broken bones, children's fractures, kid's injuriesAbout six weeks ago, my younger son broke his thumb and it’s been quite an experience.  It happened at a friend’s house while my two boys were playing a board game with their kids.  You would think  a board game wouldn’t be a dangerous activity but my sons started fighting over some cards and then there were tears.  I checked his hand and I didn’t think it was anything serious so we carried on with dinner and playing.  The next day at school he went to the nurse since there was a lot more pain so I took him to the ER.  That’s when we realized from the x-ray that it was broken.  He was bandaged up, arm in a sling, and referred to a hand specialist.  The specialist put him in a huge splint and banned him from sports and activities for at least 6 weeks.  My little guy was being quite brave through all of it and enjoyed telling everyone that his brother pounded his thumb.  This of course put me in an awkward position because I was getting calls from the nurse asking how this happened thanks to the dramatic story that they heard.  I became paranoid that we were going to get reported to social services for basic rough-housing gone wrong!

Well things were going smoothly for about a month.  I helped him write his homework and get dressed but he was managing with most things.  At school he couldn’t go to recess so friends would take turns sitting out with him at the nurse’s office so he had company.  But then after 6 weeks, things changed.  The hand specialist told us to avoid activities for another couple of weeks because of the lingering pain.  We weren’t expecting that.  Suddenly my son’s attitude changed and frustration set in.  He started crying over little things and expressing how hard this injury has been on him.  He had an emotional outpouring about all the things he is left out of and how upset he’s been.  Since that day he has been hypersensitive about everything and though I understand it, it has been exhausting for me and my husband.

I suppose we got very lucky that he had such a good attitude about it all for many weeks.  However, I think we got used to that and took it for granted.  We should have realized that a little kid will not be okay with not playing or doing things with his friends.  Maybe as parents we should have compensated for his loss by giving him special attention for a while.  My mom guilt makes me feel bad about that now but a friend reminded me that this is a lesson for him that sometimes in life we have to deal with difficulties and people won’t coddle us.  It is a fine line between making sure you toughen up your baby and not wanting them to ever experience any pain!  I hope I’ve handled it well enough and hope we have no more big injuries to deal with.


Enjoy Your Present February 19, 2014

Filed under: Inspiration,Life — Reena @ 5:41 pm
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life balance, happiness, enjoy the momentLife has its up and downs but sometimes in a down cycle, we think it will last forever.  We get impatient and that can lead to frustration and depression.  We have to remind ourselves that this phase will pass and the challenge is not to let it change us for the worse.  Likewise, the good times don’t always last either so we need to appreciate them and not take them for granted.

Change is a part of life but it is a very complicated thing to deal with.  Some people (myself included) are not very comfortable with making changes.  However, when things are constantly changing around you then sometimes if we don’t react and change fast enough then we can feel stuck or left behind.  Then it is hard not to wonder when things will change for us too.  I guess it is about finding the right balance of welcoming change but also being comfortable while things are stagnant and not feeling in a rut.  It is difficult to find that balance when we constantly compare to those around us and judge ourselves by their standards.  Some people are waiting for the right partner, trying to have a child, looking for the right job opportunity, etc.  Most people are either looking for the next change or dealing with it.  While we wait, however, we need to focus on our present situation and enjoy it because we might miss out on something while obsessing over the future.

Maybe we’re single and don’t want to be?  Then we should focus on our personal growth or spend time with friends since that dynamic changes when in a relationship.  Maybe we are not able to have a child yet?  Then we should enjoy all the activities that would be limited as a parent and possibly build bonds with the other children in our lives.  Maybe we are looking for the next job opportunity?  We need to find something to appreciate in our existing position and provide value or take it a little easier and channel our mind into other things.  Basically no one thing in our lives will bring complete happiness so we need to find a balance and not obsess over the changes we are looking for.  I do agree that keeping an eye on the next thing can keep us going and fuel ambition but too much of it can just fuel dissatisfaction.

We should try to find a better balance and be in a happier place overall.  Everyone’s lives have a different path and a different timeline.  Yet each life has purpose and value.  Sometimes people want a greater purpose and are looking for greater success.  This desire can also be satisfied by doing good in the world.  Be a good friend or family member or serve in the community and you will feel more valuable.  This may also help us get over our insecurities during the down times and keep us from dwelling on what is missing.  It is easier said than done but baby steps can help us being happier in our present situations.  Think about the positive side of things in your life today!



Mommy Superpowers February 6, 2014

Filed under: Parenting — Reena @ 9:25 pm
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supermomI may not look like a superhero, wear a costume, or fly, but for my kids, I feel like I have superpowers.  This will, I’m sure, change as they grow but for now it’s great.  I’m sure many of you moms or dads can relate or maybe some of you can remember your parents in their ‘super’ phase.

My kids come running to me when they are hurt because my first power is that mommy’s kisses can heal all boo-boos.  My weapon of choice for that battle would have to be a box of character band-aids though.  A mommy kiss and a fun band-aid truly make my kids feel better faster.

Mommy knows all!  That is my second superpower.  Weapon of choice here would have to be Google search.  But the kids always look so proud when I seem to be able to help them with school work, projects or general information.  Maybe when they reach higher levels of math and science I will have to enlist their dad as my side-kick.

Mommy can cook like a master chef.  I’ve never thought I was more than an average cook but for the kids, mommy’s cooking is their favorite.  Though when we started watching the MasterChef show together, they started asking for much more complex menu selections.  For now, they rather have my cooking than go out to eat so I’m happy.

Mommy can ward off evil.  Now that is a pretty cool superpower!  I don’t know how I do it but apparently being near mommy makes them feel secure and not afraid.  This is a heart-warming feeling but I do want them to grow to be less scared and more independent.  In the meantime, I will chase away the creepy things and protect them with my hugs and humor.

There is a special joy in parenting and each stage has its own fun.  My kids are still young enough that they are still quite impressed with their mom and think she has super abilities.  It makes me feel like their hero.  It makes me want to live up to all their expectations and fulfill all their needs.  I’m sure they will get to another stage where mommy seems much more human and fallible but that’s fine too.  For now I will don my cape and utility belt and be their go-to superhero!



Making the Most of a Snow Day February 4, 2014

Filed under: Uncategorized — Reena @ 8:59 pm

Making the Most of a Snow Day.


Making the Most of a Snow Day

Filed under: Fun,Inspiration,Parenting — Reena @ 8:58 pm
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snowAs kids we were thrilled by snow days but as adults we are horrified by them.  Our minds start spinning with thoughts of how to manage the kids if we have to get to work and then we dread the idea of having to go out and shovel.  The kids just think about how much fun it is to play in the snow and go sledding or build a snowman.  It’s the difference between the joys of being carefree compared to the weight of handling responsibilities.  I think that is why adults seem so jaded about snow compared to the kids.

I’m totally guilty of looking at all the negatives when I hear a forecast for snow.  My back starts hurting at the thought of clearing it and I get bummed about being home-bound because of slippery roads.  I start anticipating all the activities and work that will have to be made up and thinking of how to keep the boys occupied.  Then, occasionally, I have looked out a window to admire the beauty of the blanket of snow across the landscape and the trees lined with white.  It really is a marvel when you aren’t busy being cranky and taking it for granted.  Not that those feelings aren’t normal when you’ve had so much snow.

Yesterday’s snow day was different, however.  Maybe I got all my stressing about missing work out by morning so I had the rest of the day to chill (no pun intended).  I let the boys enjoy their video games for a while and do a little bit of studying.  After that we enjoyed fun meals together, shoveled (painful!), played games and built a giant puzzle.  It wasn’t stuff we do on a typical day but snow days are random so they call for some random fun.  We all felt very accomplished after our puzzle was complete and everyone was relaxed and happy.  I didn’t hate the snow day.  I guess in the summer we need to take some time to smell the roses but in the winter we should take time to enjoy the snow!


Things I Should Do But Refuse To… January 6, 2014

Filed under: Inspiration,Life — Reena @ 9:37 pm
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break the rules, I refuse, rebel listThere are so many tips and guidelines for living healthier, looking better and being more successful in life but sometimes doing the wrong things makes us happier.  Living on the dark side in some little ways can give pleasure so I don’t care if it’s not right or differs from the norm.  This is my bad-ass list…

I should give up chocolate and brownies…but I refuse.  They give me a happy high and it’s safer than drugs.

I should more ambitious even if it means long stressful work hours…but I refuse.  I can live with less money or fame if I see my family more.

I should not shower with very hot water since it will dry my skin…but I refuse.  It melts away the aches and pains.

I should pat dry my wet skin after a shower instead of rubbing with a towel…but I refuse.  It just feels good and dries off better.

I should keep up with the Jones’, Patels, or Singhs…but I refuse.  The comparisons never end so it’s better to be content.

I should stop my kids from watching TV in the weekdays…but I refuse.  They do their homework, music and, get physical activity so what’s the big deal?

I should drink coffee or tea like everyone else I know…but I refuse.  Why get hooked on something I don’t care for just because it’s a social norm?

I should go on a strict diet or cleanse…but I refuse.  Maybe it helps, maybe not, but mostly I’ve seen people yo-yo on these things and I’d rather just eat more sensibly.

I should not read books from the kids or teens section since I’m an adult…but I refuse.  There are just so many great books that are more fun like Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, or Twilight.

I should regularly watch sports with my boys…but I refuse.  I don’t mind enjoying an occasional game but I’d rather spend hours on MY shows.

I should not waste money on watching so many movies in the theater…but I refuse.  Yes it gets pricey (so skip the popcorn) but it’s my favorite form of entertainment and it transports me to cool worlds.

I should not make Ramen noodles for my kids since it’s not a ‘healthy meal’…but I refuse.  It’s quickie food that they like it once in a while and if I put a bunch of veggies in there, I don’t feel guilty!

I should not go shopping in my sweats after working out at the gym…but I refuse.  Oh well, I might see someone I know and I won’t look glamorous but it saves me time since the gym in close to the shops.

I should save my money instead of going on trips and exploring…but I refuse.  As long as I’m not going into debt doing it, I think taking my kids on trips is an important learning tool and bonding experience.

I should not watch so much television…but I refuse.  I’m still a very productive person so why should anyone care how I unwind or enjoy myself?

So these are a few of the things on my rebel list.  They may be ‘bad’ for me or just go against the norms of society but I think they’re okay.  So don’t judge!  Just go break a few tiny rules of your own as long as they don’t hurt anyone.







Stay-cation for the Holidays January 2, 2014

family fun, stay-cation, holiday fun, family bonding, frugal funWinter break has come to an end and we’re back to our routine.  It was lots of fun even though there were no resorts, beaches, or exotic trips.  We were mainly home but did a few day trips locally.  Still, we managed to have an awesome time and even knocked out a few pending projects.  I think fun is much more satisfying after you’ve been productive.  Then you relish the relaxation because you feel it is well deserved.

We enjoyed a few holiday dinners with family and friends from near and far.  I think this was the best part since the holidays make you think of loved ones even more.  We ate, drank, played, watched movies and caught up with everyone’s lives.  Most of us love to shop so we even did that as a group activity which made it more entertaining and tolerable for the kids.  It didn’t hurt that they were able to use their gift cards to buy toys they wanted.

We took a trip to Philly to see the Pompeii exhibit at the Franklin Institute.  This was educational for all of us especially since both my boys are fascinated by volcanoes.  I was amazed at how the city was buried for close to a couple thousand years.  What was also incredible was that the artifacts they dug up showed a very advanced civilization.  There were medical instruments and building tools that looked modern as well as heated homes.

Another day we ventured into New York City with cousins that were visiting (double fun).  Though it was horribly crowded and made parking a nightmare, we managed to have a good time.  We readjusted our plans based on the parking and made good use of the subways and our feet.  This was great since I have been tracking my steps and trying to pump up my activity.  All the walking entitled us to a yummy dinner and lots of fresh guacamole at Dos Caminos (my boys’ favorite restaurant).  Walking down the city streets surrounded by thousands of people has a certain charm and it keeps you warmer!

On our way back from visiting their grandparents, my kids got a quick trip to the Maryland Science Center too.  They have some really cool exhibits.  My favorite was the Space section and I could have spent another hour in that room alone.  This trip was a spontaneous plan but ended up being great.  I think some of the best plans are the spontaneous ones.  It’s fun to go with the flow and do things based on your mood at the moment.

Last but not least, we had great quality time in our home.  We cleaned, painted and redecorated a bit so we felt accomplished.  The kids mostly played video games and built Legos but they also got started on some school projects.  It was a good balance of work and play (mostly play)!  I got to finish a great book- Ender’s Game and watched a good movie- American Hustle.  We played games with the kids, watched them be silly and dance.  There was also a lot more conversation since everyone was relaxed and not preoccupied.  This was the best because it was true quality time enabling me to bond and get to know my boys better.  They are growing and changing and it’s important to make yourself available to them for random chats.  I may enjoy vacations and travel but sometimes staying home, seeing loved ones and exploring locally can be just as wonderful!



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