6 Fool-Proof Parenting Hacks – or How to Parent Like a Ninja.

Ninjas are awesome. They are fast and nimble and think on their toes; they’ll do flips in the air and cut ya (I think you can already see the parallels with parenting).

Ninja Parent

While you have been basking in your instagram parenting fantasies, or your grandmas’ apron nostalgia… it’s time to snap out of it. Once you have kids, it’s survival time. Your ninja skills have to come out if you are going to emerge from this whole journey in one piece. Trust me, with two kids to keep me sharp, I’ve got a few parenting hacks to share. Just like that ninja throwing star you keep in your pocket… here are 6 sharp points to get you through the baby and toddler years.

Parenting Hacks

  1. LAYER THE CRIB SHEETS. Your child is going to be sick. It’s going to happen more than once and usually in the middle of the night. This brilliant idea will save you time and most importantly sanity. Line the sheets of your kids bed with waterproof liner, fitted sheet and layer – waterproof liner, fitted sheet, waterproof liner, fitted sheet. This way at 3AM when your child is sick, all you have to do is pull off the first layer of fitted sheet and liner and you are good to go. Your sick kid doesn’t have to wait for sheets to be changed and you can all go back to sleep… until the next round.
  2. PAINT BATH. To give you a few moments of sanity when you have a toddler ruling you life. Pour some washable paint into your bathtub and let your child have at it! Kids will love the novelty of taking a paint bath and you will have a moment to breathe! When you are ready to clean them off, simply turn the water on and rinse off. Arts education and parenting hack! Who said Jackson Pollock never painted nudes!
  3. PREEMPTIVE PAJAMAS. Kids fall asleep in the car. So next time you are out for a late dinner, change the diaper and put the kids into their PJ’s before they get in the car. This way they can go straight up to bed without any disruptions when you get home.
  4. BACKPACK I. Use a backpack as a diaper bag. This is the most convenient hands free way to tote all your baby essentials without having to fumble around with a large tote.
  5. BACKPACK II. Once your babe can walk around let him carry his own gear. Give him a kiddie backpack with one diaper, wipes, snack and a toy. This gives him some independence and gives you free hands to wrangle your toddler.
  6. TEETHING TREATS. To help with teething pain, small frozen mango or pineapple bits are the perfect antidotes. Kids will love the sweet tasty treat while also numbing the teething pain.

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Alright Ninjas… we’ve got this parenting thing down!

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Life as seen through my iphone5

 

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It’s Almost the end of the school year. We have one month left before summer vacation starts! This life of mine goes by so fast and most days it just seems like a blur. I love living in the age of iphones and smart devices which capture your life at exactly the speed which it happens around you. I hope Lily and Thomas will appreciate the documentation of their daily world as seen through my eyes. I know I take a ton of pictures but these subjects are so rich for my lens to capture.

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Thomas waits for Lily to come home from school everyday by the door. He wakes from his nap right around the time she comes home and I love photographing him and Jonah in their sleepy state. I’ve been working more lately, picked up a few clients and this little blog is offering up some collabo opportunities and so i’ve been out of the house which has been amazing for my brain and my sanity. It makes coming home to these babes that much meaningful. The_New_York_Mom The_New_York_Mom

Spring has been just a delight here in New York. I love all the seasons and spring did not disappoint this year. We dance in the blossoms of the shedding trees on our daily walk through the park. Lily has been riding her new bike a lot and her art pieces were selected for special display at school. She’s a one of kind gal. And she is going to change the world… just you watch.

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Thomas and Jonah continue to build their bond and don’t really leave each others side. While they do compete for my attention on the daily, the two of them are just the sweetest little boys you will ever come across. Jonah is so patient as Thomas climbs on his back and asks for horsey rides, or wants to play with his big sharp teeth or even wants to squeeze in for a good snuggle.

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This life of mine is blessed beyond what I ever imagined. These kids keep me inspired and renewing myself. While I do have my days of – i should be doing more– these images are perfect reminders of the valuable work that I AM doing at home. Raising little humans!

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The New York Mom

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On ice

Lily has been fascinated with Gracie Gold – the US figure skater who just competed in the Sochi Olympics.

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It’s still cold in NY and the ice skating and skiing spots are still very. much .open! (when is spring coming!)

So on a cold stir crazy saturday afternoon we headed over to our local ice skating rink to get some of our stir crazies out. Lily picked the tan ice skates because they looked professional. Her outfit… well that’s just her daily look.

I have to admit… i don’t like the cold and all these cold weather outdoor activities don’t do anything for me. It’s just too cold and too uncomfortable and I spend all my time chasing a baby around who face plants in the snow every 5 steps. Maybe next year I’ll learn how to ice skate so I can see what the fun is all about. Because of dancing, I never skated. I was always afraid I would twist an ankle or a knee or anything that would stand in the way of getting gigs. buuuuut since no dancing is happening these days… iceskating here i come – next year.

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We found this super warm snow suit for Thomas at Nordstrom Rack for a great price. It’s Boden Baby. Ever since working with BODEN last season, i have been sorta obsessed with their clothes and always find a great selection at Nordstrom. ( not an ad)

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Thomas was such a rollie pollie in his snow suit. I don’t know how he ever stayed upright in all that insulation.

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Thomas also liked eating the snow and since his hands were nice and snug in his mittens… there was only one way to eat the ice! as long as it’s not yellow snow! new york mom

I predict we have 2 more weeks of this cold weather and then all will be nice and warm and sun shiny and spring like!! fingers crossed.

 

 

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Wordless Wednesday

We had such fun visiting our parents last week. Lily and Thomas couldn’t get enough of the trundle bed at Grandma’s house. Thomas loved jumping from the bed to the trundle… endless fun!

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2 little monkeys jumping on the bed.

We’ve been so stir crazy in this house lately. Between Thomas being sick and the weather hitting below freezing almost everyday. This winter has been brutal…and it’s only early December!

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So what’s a monkey to do when she’s stir crazy! Jump on the bed of course!

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Thom is a quick learner and was up and trying his very best to join in the jumping fun.  These bitter cold days have sort of been fun… we have been spending time snuggled up in bed or reading books in the afternoons and of course spending endless hours in our PJ’s.

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I think we should all spend time jumping on beds don’t you! Every time we go on vacation and stay in a hotel room, the first thing we do is JUMP ON THE BED!!! all of us!

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I love having Lily and Thom is matching clothes. With Lily being an 8-year-old, these matchy matchy days are numbered. I have to squeeze it all in!

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We got our matching Pj’s at Polarn O. Pyret. The fabrics are so soft and the designs are super simple but classic.

I was invited to head over to their store in Tribeca last month for a media shop. Oh what fun! I picked out a pair of moccasins for Thomas, a couple pair of pants, tops, and striped PJ’s. While there are prints and sweaters and all sorts of options, I picked the classic P.O.P. stripes. Seeing these pics makes me want to be part of the matchy party! I shoulda picked up a pair for myself! 

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You can also visit POLARN o PYRET online. They are always having fab deals!

*This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. Thanks for swinging by and supporting my sponsors*

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Week in pics as seen through my Iphone 5s

Ok this Elf on the Shelf business is intense! I’m not sure we are going to do this with the MOTO. What do you think? Are you Team Elf?20131215-232144.jpg

Thomas has been sick all week. He woke up crying at 1:30AM on Wednesday with a fever of 103. YIKES! buuut this apparently is not a biggie and the Dr. did not seem to be worried. He still has a nasty cold and we just need to get the humidifiers up and poppin! 20131215-232211.jpg

Finally asleep. This has also been a week of NO SLEEP! I wake up exhausted everyday!20131215-232238.jpg

We had our first giant snow storm of the winter. I looove snow storms! Thomas… sick and all… went out in the snow to experience his first! and he loved it. Also this Stanley flask is no joke… it’s the size of my sweet moto!! 20131215-232256.jpg

We had a big ole grown up meeting with the principal and both of Lily’s teachers. It’s a tough thing when your kid is getting bullied in school. I’m going to write about this. It’s (bullying) a really important subject that needs a whole lot more attention than it’s getting. 20131215-232317.jpg

uh huh- we TRIED to make a gingerbread house…but Lily ate most of it before we could assemble it. so…..

We love the Trader Joes gingerbread house. It’s a Hansel and Gretel Gingerbread House. With a witch, Hansel and Gretel and everything! 20131215-232341.jpg

NYC in the snow storm as seen through the windows of the LIRR. Gorgeous. 20131215-232357.jpg

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one.

Guess who turned one today!!! I’m trying to write a post but it’s so sappy and weepy and I just can’t edit!

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One year ago… this sweet man was born into our lives. A year later I just can’t imagine our lives without him. I can’t imagine Lily not being a big sister. She is his protector and guardian and has already taken to teaching him all sorts of fun amazing things… like eating icing and jumping on the bed. Her kisses are magical and Thomas just lights up when he so much as hears her voice. His little body hops off the floor as he kicks his legs and wiggles in excitement at the mere sound of Lily’s voice. Almost every single day Lily comes home from school..singing. I can hear her outside the house and so can Thom. She tickles him to no end and when she stops he looks at her and in his own baby language… asks for more. The giggles are the sweetest sounds this earth could ever capture.

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I can’t imagine Jonah not having someone to play with all day. Thomas crawls all over his giant furry body and gives him hugs or uses him as him own personal gym… and my sweet Jonah sits there and lets him do whatever he wants. Thomas shares his toys with Jonah… but Jonah… not so much.

baby first yearThese two were linked from the very beginning and their relationship continues to build every moment. A dog and his boy… there’s nothing better.

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I love watching Matt with Thomas. I love watching Matt with Lily. But holding this baby and caring for him through all the midnight crying and diapers… Matt is a nurturer and Thom, Lily and I are most blessed to have him take care of us the way he does. Thom, like Lily, is a daddy’s boy. he recognizes the sound of Matt’s feet coming up the stairs and immediately goes into an excitement tizzy. When he sees Matt… he all but leaps out of my arms to give his daddy a huge hug. Lily does the same. Thom has Matt’s calm demeanor. My friend  said – I see you in his face but I see matt in his eyes and his thoughts. I think this is pretty accurate. Thomas, like Matt, is a thinker. He sits back and observes everything and then… just goes for it. No trial and error… just does it right the first try.20131204-175709.jpg

from his aunts and uncles, grandparents and great-grandmother who surround him and pray for him all the time… this little man is blessed.

In Lily’s words – ‘I’m glad YOU are the one who came out Thomas”.

Happy Birthday my sweet MOTO. This world is better with you in it!

* apologies for the typos and spelling errors. this is the umteenth draft and it’s the least sappy and weepy.* 

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The most important…

Tonight Matt was successful in getting Thom to bed early and was able to spend bedtime with Lily and JUST Lily.

The laundry waited, the kitchen waited, the stroller was outside and it poured down rain for about 10 minutes and got soaked… but that too waited. THIS bedtime with Lily was the most important…

It’s been so very long since Lily and I have had our bedtime moments. We read books, give each other facials, back massages, brush our hair and then tell stories about the day. She tells me things about her life – her feelings, her grand plans, her fears.

This is our bubble of a moment where nothing is held back and she can’t get in trouble for telling me things like “you know when you asked me to throw away the dirty diaper… I actually put it in the laundry hamper”. This is our space… we kinda naturally created this bedtime ritual space and it really hurts my heart to think about her growing up and ‘aging out’ of our snuggle time.

Lily lies on my belly when she goes to sleep. She used to fit entirely on my torso and as she has grown her longs legs dangle off and drape along the side of my body… but still she rests her sweet. thoughtful.  kind.  head on my chest and that’s all that matters.

I always say to her –

When you grow up will you still sleep on my belly? Even when you are in college and even when you’re an old grandma?

She smiles and says… yes! A true yes. one she means. And it makes me feel very very needed in her sweet life.

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You know sometimes us parents- who stay at home primarily with the kiddies- can get into a rut. An- everyday is the same- kinda rut.

There are routines that must happen in order for things to function- wake up at 3am for a feeding, wake up again at 5am for a feeding, wake up yet again at 7am for the day and not feel rested. Disappointment that breakfast was a glass of milk and banana and a granola bar because I’m too exhausted to make a proper breakfast… too exhausted and it’s only 8AM! Then there is playtime… we go through about 15 projects in a day.. all while trying to squeeze in naptime for the baby, laundry, cleaning the house (that was a joke), and keeping a sane mind.

Lily can talk for HOURS these days… about all kinds of amazing things… but for HOURS!  and then just when you stand victor over your day with your superwoman cape blowing in the wind… something in the corner catches your eye and it’s that clock giving you that cheeky face and saying… oh hella no no no mamabear… it’s ONLY 4pm!

So then starts the evening routine. cooking, bathtime, bedtime… witching hour.

These days are long. These days are exhausting. But these days go by really fast.

As I lay with Lily this evening singing my nightly set of – oh danny boy, in the bleak midwinter, angel we have heard on high and sweet child of mine- I realized something very important… the MOST important of all…

The people I influence the MOST and have the BIGGEST impact on are these babies of mine. No matter what my lofty goals – advocating for arts education, using dance as a medium for social change, working with a non-profit… building my media career… all takes a bask seat these days.

My work is here at home. My audience is ready and willing and will buy anything I sell and copy everything I do… so mama needs to get it together and be the very best during these routinely repetitive days.

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My most important work these days is… these two tiny beings who think I am their entire world.

What an honor.

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Life as seen through my iPhone

Delta Airlines gave Lily, Thom … and Princess Merida… their wings! Isn’t it so very cute that Lily is still into dolls. I love it! oh and notice her St. Bernard t-shirt we bought at Old Navy… thanks Old Navy for making big giant dog shirts! 20130720-022212.jpg

This little man-man does not sleep. Or at least he does not sleep when most babies in the land go nigh nigh. This is him watching True Blood with us and screaming at that blonde lady for being so mean to Jason Stackhouse! Get em Thom! 20130720-022229.jpg

On our flight back from Florida… Chef Roble from the BRAVO reality show of the same name… was a few seats away. At least if we had crashed on a deserted island.. he would cook us some amazing food! 20130720-022241.jpg

We brought some sparklers back to NY. And have been sitting on our front porch and lighting them at night. I love sparklers… reminds me of my childhood growing up in India. 20130720-022310.jpg

We all came down with a SEVERE case of the Summer Cold… and it was brutal. I mean.. sneeze fits so rough that I fell off the couch a few times or would have to brace myself against a wall… even pulled a back muscle while sneezing! Thankfully we are all better and back to the grind.

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Week in Pictures. A quick recap.

You know I have this blog as a scrapbook and I smile when I think of these moments and years from now when I’m old and grey sitting on a porch someplace sipping on my mint julep… I’ll look back at all this and think… “your life was pretty schweet little lady”!

Count your blessing everyone. Must take time to count your blessings often.

* little PSA… more for me than you.*

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on Pregnancy…

So here are a few things running through my brain about the status of my body these days.

  1. I think that when you have been deemed preggers, your doctors should have you attend a MANDATORY session on pregnancy and give you information about what to expect, what to do and just what’s going to happen to you in the next few months. I am really surprised that this does not happen. I mean… I had to sign up for a 2 hour GIRL SCOUT COOKIE SELLING session and I don’t get anything for bringing a human into this world? Kinda unbalanced no?
  2.  People need to stop rubbing my belly. It’s my body and attached to me and your strange hand is really odd and why do you think it’s OK to do that? It’s fine when close friends do this, but I have had acquaintances rub my belly!! You’re invading my personal belly-bubble-space-boundary. A “No-Contact” congrats will do… sans the rub down.
  3.  Pregnant people should get free massages. That is all.
  4. Saltines crackers needs to bank on the fact that it’s the GO TO food for most pregnant women. Almost every single friend I’ve spoken to about my nausea has sung the praises of Saltine Crackers… even my sonogramist last week told me to eat saltines before I get out of bed in the morning. JUST FYI Saltine company… you need get on this!
  5. Those pregnant people on the ROSIE POPE show embarrass me and I am not even related to them. I mean…really… how clueless are you! See proves my theory ( refer to point 1) that there needs to be a mandatory pregnancy seminar for all pregnant people!
  6. This week has been so full of such an outpouring of love from so many outlets of my life! I have chatted and connected with friends whom I haven’t seen in years, such exciting stuff!! The biggest thing is that I absolutely realize that I am surrounded by the best network of friends, family and coworkers ever! – One lucky gal!
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