Photographs of Sunday Unwind Hour

It was a Sunday evening and our third event with The Little Gym Kalyan nagar.

After a round of story sessions for curious eyes and ears, we had the fun physical activities, play activities for kids.

Here are a few pictures of the event.

(The Little Gym Kalyan nagar team member guiding and playing with the kids).

(An enthusiastic mum ensured her little one finally did participate in the activities, after initial hesitation from the child).

(Little ones having fun with the activities scheduled).

(Storytelling session at the Sunday unwind hour held at the Little Gym Kalyan nagar).

 

 

 

 

Priyanka Kapur says a fit mum is a happy mum. Do you agree?

Meet Priyanka Kapur a mum who chose fitness to be her new identity and is now inspiring several other mums to take those steps essential for healthy living.

Priyanka is also the founder of the group of Moms of Vadodara and here’s what this inspiring mum got to share with Mums and Stories, “When my daughter was born I left my job where I was heading a branch of an esteemed overseas education firm. First year of motherhood was a roller coaster ride. During my pregnancy I had reached 93 kgs from 56 kgs.

I also didn’t realize I had post natal depression and that can hit very hard. Though the happiness of being a mom had me on cloud nine but juggling with that extra weight, gradual health issues and depression took a toll on my overall health.

This is the time when your near ones too don’t understand that what’s exactly happening with you. When my daughter was nearly 2.5 years old, I understood it was high time that I now focus on my health before it’s too late. I gradually started with small sessions of aerobics and gymming. As my daughter grew up and started going to school, I took serious note on focusing on my workouts and exercising.  I could see a drastic change not only in my body and health but also in my attitude. Yes, physical fitness is a gateway to mental good health too. I saw a difference in my mood, the way I interacted with people, the way I took things, everything was coming back to normal.

 

I gradually got into solo running’s too, which proved to be an amazing escape route from all my anxiety issues. Gradually I fell in love with running and did my first quarter marathon in January, 2019. Ever since then I have been promoting running in fellow moms and am a regular runner.

After all these experiences I thought that there must be so many women out there who must be sailing in the same boat as me, and I thought of helping them out in some way. That is when I started blogging at Life On The Run where I share my experiences with a hope it helps someone out there. The blogs have got a great response from people.

All these years gave me an opportunity to explore what I loved doing. Fitness is my passion, and these years gave me an opportunity to explore it. Today, I run my own firm where I coach students for IELTS and helps in the process of applying abroad for studies.

An active person with regular work outs helps build endurance, stamina, flexibility and helps you stay happy.

In all this, with a motto to help moms, I started a Facebook group called Moms of Vadodara,  the motive of starting this group was to help the mothers in whatever way I can. The group focuses on helping moms of the city of their work front, pushing their business through networking events. With the cultural events I try to create some smiling happy moments for mothers where they thoroughly enjoy leaving all their worries aside. Moms of Vadodara also has lot of fitness activities where we have a runners group which goes together for runs on weekends. We also conduct activities and sessions on importance of mental health, dealing with children and much more.

I am happy to see that this small effort brought so many moms together and they are specially participating in all the fitness events and are coming out of their comfort zone to stay fit and healthy. It’s a family outside family for all of us.

Today I am a happy mom , a fitness enthusiast, a runner, a dance fitness trainer, an IELTS Coach and a you tuber. I hope in future I can work more and more to motivate women  to come forward in all fronts and work on staying fit.

 

(Life on the Run Priyanka Kapur with her daughter)

I have  one strong message to women, ‘ Live with positivity and a smile on your face, take out sometime for yourself and get into some fitness regime, A fit mom means a fit family.”

Priyanka has a few tips on how various forms of fitness can turn into fun. She also shares why it is important to be a happy mom.

  • Aerobics :- This is one of the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. Aerobics doesn’t only help lose weight but for sure releases the happy hormones, one hour of aerobics keeps your whole day fresh, energetic and active. Even if you don’t like dancing, am sure you would fall for it if you try it out.
  • Gym :- If you have more time, picking up an option of gym is amazing. Along with the cardio, strength training is equally important in order to tone up those loose muscles post delivery and nothing beats than opting for a gym for that reason.
  • Zumba :- Everyone now a days knows about zumba, gain some fitness along with the happiness. Go do Zumba!
  • Running :- This is something I started off lately and I am in love with it. Run according to your pace, your time and your favorite music. The more you run, the more fit you would be both mentally and physically.
  • Swimming:- Take out some time this summer, and go for swimming. It is going to do wonders to your body and mind.

 

Is becoming a boarding school mom easier said than done? Blog by Paawana Poonacha

Mums and Stories has received this write-up from a mum whose child has just entered his boarding school life and this is her perspective on what happens during the initial phase.

Of boarding schools and harried moms!

Just when the motherhood cycle was gearing up to tackle teenage tantrums, I was accosted by a new kind of challenge. Not from my son, but mine own – I had become a boarding school mom sooner than I imagined!

We were only toying with the thought when my son, more than anyone else, made up his mind to go to one. Entrance tests and assessments followed. Confused with the quick turn of events, I wasn’t sure which way things were headed. It turned out, he was leaving home soon… to manage himself in a so-called strict, all-boys boarding school!

As I counted down on the days, I was making uneasy attempts to dispel fears about boarding schools, this one in particular. “What’s-life-without-some-adventure, or how-nice-to-be-growing-up-with-children-your-age,” I would tell him, forever reminding him to buck up to the disciplined, no-frills, packed life that lay ahead. My anxieties got worse when I couldn’t elicit the desired response. “I’ve heard you Mama, so many times,” he would say, looking bored. I even made a desperate offer of a fancy holiday if he managed a happy stay in the boarding that year. It seemed like my hysterics had been well accepted for a deal.

The day had finally arrived. He caught me tearing up in the lift. “You’re crying, seriously?!” he said, rather amused. Then we got in to the car and drove in silence. I insisted we stopped at his favorite ice-cream shop en-route. Hubby just played along, quietly – anything to please the son in the “final moments” together!

The mood in the campus appeared somber. After the initial round of meeting with the authorities, my son, who seemed somewhat quiet and confused until then, announced suddenly, “I think I am confident I can manage well.” What a relief to hear that! Most other boys looked cheerful too. But the moms had somewhat the same harried look, eager to start conversations with strangers and get the boys to quickly make friends with each other. Tears, hugs and kisses for the boys followed even as some looked embarrassed with the open outpour of affection. And before we moms knew it, we had bid goodbye to the boys, and left the campus like long lost soul sisters.

The best thing is, we get to visit the school every Sunday. They are filled with scenes of discrete groups of people clutching around their wards with snacks and smartphones, similar to those “anything to please the child” moments, and yet not getting enough of them. “The first two-three days I cried, but now I’m fine,” my son told me, very matter-of-factly. Holding back my emotions, I asked him in the same tone why he had cried. “I was missing you,” came another matter-of-fact response. I could only get myself to smile back at him.

He was settling down faster than I was. It appeared the same for other moms too. It seemed as if we were trying to make sense with the rising enthusiasm and optimism of our children. Anxious conversations with fellow moms resumed on the WhatsApp group—Has your son complained about hot water?, my son had a sore throat when he called today, Oh, my son didn’t call home, someone stole my son’s chocolates etc.—all such anxieties often ended with a hopeful “everything will fall in place” sentiment. Nevertheless, the pit in the stomach was palpable for most of us, for weeks.

Several Sundays, monthly outings, many letters and phone calls and dozens of picture exchanges later, the mood among the mothers seems brighter. Issues that were worrisome earlier are now endured with some humor. The discussions are most often on some school outing, a swimming competition won, study and meditation time and so on, as if happily acknowledging the grooming they were receiving. The journey of these boarding school moms seems to have caught up pace and going well!

As for me, the motherhood cycle is on the fast track. I am happy that my not-so-expressive teenager writes letters home, promptly signing off with “Love you” and “Don’t worry about me, I am managing well,” and so on.

Last Sunday, I checked with him specifically, “Are you happy here, Son?” to which he replied in his typical no-nonsense tone, “Yes Mama, I’m happy and I don’t miss you anymore!” Err… How I wish Diplomacy was a subject included in the school curriculum. 😉 🙂

Paawana is a mother of two boys and a Corporate Communications specialist in a global IT company.

Nora Bali talks on being an Internet savvy YouTube Mommy Blogger

Nora Bali is one of those moms who believes in going along with life phases and trying to balance work priorities and motherhood. She shares with Mums and Stories her journey. “Everything about my childhood was beautiful. When I was a child, the trees were higher, the colours were brighter, and every new day was more interesting that the last. We used to stay in a joint family way back in Bhubaneswar and all brothers and sisters used to play, fight, sing, dance in the same house and the most cherished time of my childhood was when our family used to sit on the terrace(which is pretty much the same till date) and play antakshari for hours.”

 

Talking about being a You Tube Mom Blogger Nora shares, “  I have a channel called  A Classic Mom  on YouTube. I gave up my corporate career in MarCom as I wanted to give all the time to my little bundle of joy who came into my life in the year 2012.

Spending the early years of motherhood with my little one was the most cherishing time filled with kisses, smiles, tears, hugs, a lot of poop, but most of all – a lot of love and joy! As I elevated from a toddler mom to a pre-schooler, there were many things I wanted to teach my son. Like most other moms, I used to take to the internet and YouTube to find answers to my never-ending questions about Parenting. I found hundreds and thousands of DIY videos and makeup tutorials on “how to look your best in a party” to “how to apply eyeliner in 30 secs” but there were no videos on “how to raise a smart kid”. I did not find anything on “how to make them confident?” or “how to travel with kids abroad”.

Incidentally, I had a long trip planned to the USA and had to travel with a 4-year-old and had no clue how to pack, where to go, what to feed etc. So, I decided that I am going to document every fun learning’s, tricks, and hacks, travel trivia that will help moms to plan their best trip with their kids. After I came back, I started my channel – A Classic Mom in  June 2017.

Every week I come up with two videos – one about the regular bouts of parenting experiences and tips on how to raise a smart and happy child; the second one is a cooking series where I cook new and interesting dishes for children.

My work like other jobs or careers has its pros and cons. Working with my child is the best possible thing I can do at this point of time. My son is extremely enigmatic in from of camera and he is very comfortable with it. In fact I think he is much better than me. He is so good that he runs his own channel – Lakshu Reviews. It’s a lot of fun during these video shoots but it is tiring too. I work according to his mood and schedule. I keep it very flexible.”

Nora believes in picking stories from everyday life. She goes on to explain, “ My naughty 7-year-old gives me enough content in a day’s time. Kids are so smart these days, no single books or methodology work when it comes to parenting. I create videos on ideas and tips that have worked for me. Maybe if you (as a mom) try the same giving your flavour it might give you best results.

(Nora with her adorable son Laksh)

I start my day early and hit the bed early with my son. When he is around it is pretty much running around him. I do my writing and scripting and part of my shoot when he is in school. Most of my videos involve my son too so I juggle his time in between his studies and hobby classes.’

This interesting mum shares she intends to continue being an Internet Yout Tube mommy for a long time.  Nora also says, the best thing about being a mom is to have this pint size human being around who makes you laugh, cry, sing, dance and do crazy things that you will not do normally.

Lastly, Nora has a few tips for other aspiring bloggers. “  I would say dive into blogging if you are passionate about writing your experiences about various aspects of motherhood. Don’t ride into this wave of blogging just for freebies. I would say because blogging has given the power to many to express and write what they feel, there has to be some sense of responsibility while doing so. Because we are in the age of Instagram and every moment is captured and showcased; lets collectively take a decision, to be honest to what we are doing. Only then the industry will take shape. YouTube is again an excellent platform to document and tell stories and it has opened avenues for so many talented people.

We at Mums and Stories wish Nora and her family the very best in life and we hope to see lots more interesting content and tips from this mum.

(All photographs are subject to copyright).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review of She Can You Can on Mums and Stories

#Littlebookworms
#Onlinechildrensbookstore
#Shecanyoucan
#HarperCollinsIndia
#Preownedbooks

We received this super inspiring book on amazing icons a few weeks ago and it’s indeed a pleasure to recommend this book sent by The Little Book Worm.

So here a couple of points for which we loved this book.

It’s on Indian iconic women in alphabetical order right from Arunima Sinha, mountaineer to Homai Vyarawalla, photojournalist to Kalpana Chawla, astronaut to Laila Tyabji, crafts activist.

Few are past icons and several who are present today continue to inspire millions. The illustrations are very appealing and do create the right impact. Each icons life reads like a story and mini biography, in a language and tone that can be understood by kids.

The book is great for 8 to 12 year olds. So 26 role models, their life stories are featured.

 

Let’s begin describing one of the well known faces in sports, Saina Nehwal. Apparently when Saina was born, her grandmother was so upset that the child was a girl, she refused to meet her grand daughter for a whole month. Little did she know this child would be an icon.

Another icon Deepa Malik was diagnosed with a tumor in her spinal column. Yet she didn’t deter her physical condition in achieving anything she set her goal on in life. An Arjuna award winner, Deepa is a swimming champion, won silver medal in Para Olympics and her paralysis from waist down hasn’t made her path easy.

We truly loved the book as it does have a strong Indian connect for our kids to be inspired. Researched and written by Garima Kushwaha, illustrated very well by Anastasia Damani, the book is a must-have in every little girl’s book collection.

A line we loved in the Introduction, ” Women, yes all women can do anything they set their minds to. That includes winning against men at sports, piloting robots in outer space and running billion dollar companies.”

There are many more icons and we hope subsequent editions continues. Also we are glad to talk on ‘She Can, You Can at the time P.V Sindhu, the icon from sports who has made India proud.

Little Bookworms curates books for children according to the age group from 0 to 12 years of age. These are pre loved books and are excellent in selection and condition.

You can find Little Book Worms on https://littlebookworms.in/

Mums and Stories gives She Can, You Can 4 on 5.

Book review of Flyaway Boy by Jane De Suza

#Flyawayboy
#JaneDeSuza
#Penguinbooks

We received this book sometime back and it is a book for 9 to 12 year olds. Flyaway Boy with the protagonist Kabir is about a boy who truly doesn’t fit anywhere, be it in school, home, neighborhood and often gets into trouble.

He is different and his ways of coping too are different.

Jane De Souza, has brought in humour in the initial part of the story where Kabir behaves, the way he does and the description looks interesting for the reader.

The story takes a different turn when Kabir goes missing and what happens next is for you to find out.

It is important we have books on topics that are sensitive and children read through these emotions of how parents, schools or even media reacts when one goes off the track, like a child gone missing.

We loved the style, story and do recommend it for kids who are in a capacity to understand what happens if you choose to do something like this or why you should forbid yourself from doing it.

A short excerpt:

When his marks came in, Kabir thought they were interesting. His marks across subjects skittered up and down, some climbing optimistically high and some dropping dangerously low. Like the range of hills that surrounded their town.

Kavni’s marks followed one straight line, high up in the sky. Like the jet stream of a plane flying over those hills. In fact, his social studies teacher called him to her table and told him, ” You’ve turned in a blank paper. What were you doing in the exam?’

Kabir thought of many answers he could give, but none that his social studies teacher would find satisfying.

Mums and Stories gives Flyaway Boy 4.5 out of 5

Sunday Unwind Hour by Mums and Stories and The Little Gym

Mums and Stories and The Little Gym presents the Sunday Unwind Hour.

Activities include
Story session
Play activity
Fun Time

 

Date: Sunday September 8th 2019
Venue- The Little Gym, Kalyan Nagar
Time-4.00-6.00pm
Age group- 3 years to 6 years

Hurray! We come back with another edition of fun hour at the Little Gym and this time for the older kids of 3 to 6 years. Join us as we bring the Mums and Stories and The Little Gym Experience curated for kids.

It’s a free event and registration is mandatory. Please note the age group is for 3 to 6 years.

Registration link- https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1coRBeDu4KmewCxwIvNpEUbTgD9aIEVZOWz5a6WWV4cQ/edit

You can fill the form or mail us at mumsandstories@gmail.com for further queries.

Terms and Conditions apply.

Samaira Mehta from CoderBunnyz talks on being the girl who codes and inspires others

Some months ago we read a story on Samaira and were fascinated on how as a ten year old the young one is literally crossing miles and boundaries. Samaira Mehta is a kid entrepreneur, runs her own company CoderBunnyz, she is a coder, a motivational speaker, a facilitator and much more which other kids perhaps aren’t at her age. She is also one of those lucky and more importantly worthy ones who has been offered a job at Google, has received a letter of appreciation from First Lady Michelle Obama, has spoken about her project to Mark Zuckerberg. Need we say more?

Mums and Stories reached out to this interesting kid and we can say that the kid is still like a regular ten year old, but with a difference. Here’s what Samaira has to say on her journey. “ So it’s a really funny story, now that I think back to it, actually. Few years back, my dad did a little prank on me. He showed me something on his laptop that had one button and command that said: “Press this if you are beautiful”. He asked me to give it a try, But when my mouse pointer touches the button the button disappeared. I was like, how did you do that? Am I not beautiful, what’s going on in here? He said this was made by coding and then I was like “I want to do that too” and that’s where it all started.

Most of the learning I have done is with the support and guidance of my parents and taking online classes. Yes, they actually encouraged me and showed me options. So after getting started at coding when I was 6, I have spent my past 4 years learning different programming languages and writing code in Scratch, Java, Python. And I have learned over the past some years that programming is such a powerful art. Almost everyone does it in their everyday life one way or another.

 

After inventing CoderBunnyz I have done over 150 workshops with my board game in Silicon Valley, teaching over 5500 kids, including over 50 at Google HQ.  I also started an initiative Girls U Code to teach coding to underrepresented girls. I have also been doing a lot of speaker events including being the youngest speaker at MWC19 Barcelona, C2 Montreal Canada, CMG impact Women in Tech, Microsoft SVF, Apinxt and at over 50  tech events in the US and internationally. I was also invited to be part of the NASDAQ closing bell ceremony. I started “Yes One Billion Kids Can Code” with the goal of getting all 1 billion kids in the world into coding and computing science by 2030. The mission has grown leaps and bounds and is now spreading in Africa, China, Japan, Singapore, Europe and other parts of world. I plan to bring that also in India soon. Overall, it’s has been a great journey and I am humbled by the support of the community for my work.”

Samaira’s family is indeed involved in getting her groomed with her mum supporting her to answer and manage social media, marketing, dad teaching initially coding and been the overall advisor and even younger sibling trying out new games invented by her.

 

(Samaira Mehta with her mum).

Talking about her meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Samaria mentions quite casually, “So I met Mark at his home during Halloween. It was a long line outside his home and after waiting patiently for 30 minutes, I got to go in and do “trick or treat”. He is an amazingly sweet person and I got to talk to him for a quick short while. I mentioned what I was working on and how coding has changed my life and my work for helping bring more girls in computer science. He said I was doing great and keep doing what I was doing to bring down the gender gap in technology.

For Google, I did two back to back CoderBunnyz coding workshops at the headquarter and I met their CCO Stacy Sullivan afterward. We were supposed to talk for 10 minutes but our conversation lasted for over an hour. She offered me the opportunity to join google once I am done graduating with college. It was very honoring.”

Talking about if life has changed for the young kid, Samaria shares with Mums and Stories, “To me, there is no difference. I am still a normal kid, school, homework, etc., but I invest time in doing workshops at companies, libraries, schools, towards my mission of ‘ Yes one billion kids can code’. It is my mission, by the time I go to college, I want to ensure that all 1 billion kids in the world that do not have access to coding tools have already started their path towards coding and computational thinking.  That would be by 2030!

My advice would be for all parents to provide options and support all kids to explore, observe, ask questions. Once kids have options they will decide what they like, what they don’t. They will actually build a lot of passion, all by themselves. For kids, logical thinking and problem-solving are very important and that’s something that we do every day. If kids are interested in technology and science there is so much awareness and programs today.

So encourage them to go ahead, explore programs and tools.  Find the one that matches you and pursue. Start with those small and then build up your base to match your interest and go up.”

Mums and Stories wishes this inspiring kid the very best in life and hopes kids like her are able to make a difference in sectors where required for a better future.

(Photographs are subject to copyright)

 

 

 

 

Photographs of Toddler Fun Hour event by Mums and Stories at The Little Gym

It was time for our second event of Toddler Fun Hour, in collaboration with The Little Gym.

The idea was to give the Little Gym experience and we also had two curated stories for the toddlers.

 

Here are some of the pictures of the event that took place at The Little Gym Jayanagar, Bangalore.

(The Team Leader from The Little Gym introducing the session).

Mums and Stories is a community led initiative and a platform where we feature true inspiring and interesting stories on moms, their personal journeys as mums, as entrepreneur mums, life decisions they took as mums. These we hope will help others to lead their lives too. Mums and Stories also does reviews of books for children, reviews travel spaces, spaces that are of relevance to mums and kids and organises events too for mums and kids.

The Toddler Fun Hour with The Little Gym is a curated event for toddlers from 8 months to 3 years of age.

(One of the favourite activities for kids and parents-The Rainbow-Umbrella activity).

(Kids are fascinated with the rainbow colors created when they stand underneath the rainbow sheet.)

To experience the fun, do watch out our announcements on the events on our website here on www.mumsandstories.com or on www.facebook,com/mumsandstories. We are also on Instagram where you can follow us.

To have your products, services (that are relevant to mums and kids) reviewed, or to collaborate with us for travel reviews or for events for mums and kids, do write to us at mumsandstories@gmail.com

 

Farm Outing to Chiguru organised by A Green Venture- A Review

Mums and Stories loves recommending awesome activities, destinations, journeys, things to do, books, restaurants, cuisines, spaces, utilities that can be of interest to mothers and children.

This time we found the opportunity to review a farm space close to Bangalore which can be done as a day trip. We will be sharing our feedback and we are trying to bring out the true essence of the space through this mini photoblog.

(The sight of fresh bananas is refreshing to the mind and soul)

Chiguru farm is located approximately around 1.5 hours away from Bangalore and the road once you cross Art of Living Ashram on Kanakapura road changes to pitch green and looks inviting.

So it was a beautiful drive to this destination Chiguru farms which is nestled very close to forest reserves.

So we were head to the Chiguru Farm , a farm visit organised by A Green Venture

A group of enthusiast ones reached the destination and it was peaceful to say the least. We had kids too in the group and after a sumptuous breakfast we headed for the farm visit.

 

We were blessed with excellent breezy weather and we went along the guided tour seeing, feeling and even eating a few fruits.

(Bananas everywhere and it made one green patch)

Activities like climbing the Banyan tree or going around the farm in a tractor was fun for everyone.

(Many of us went for a ride on a tractor for the first time).

You can reach Chiguru farms in about two hours from Bangalore and it’s a great way to spend the weekend. There are stay options too but this was a one day farm visit and we completely enjoyed it. Also the guided tour from A Green Venture brings in the experience of understanding the space, processes like composting, and the experience of a curated activity.

(When kids and adults try climbing and hanging by the Banyan tree aerial roots. It was fun swinging and testing one’s strength )

Kids were excited to see cows, dogs, cats, monkeys and a few insects too. There are lots of birds, fruit bearing trees, tour to composting and one of the best lunches you can have from vegetables grown from the farm.

(Farms aren’t curated gardens but you do get to walk around, enjoying the greenery and nature almost raw like).

You can also  laze on the hammock or read a book under the tree or get acquainted with nature in an interesting manner.

We got to see a variety of fruit bearing trees and even did some lemon picking from the plants and tasting a few varieties of fruits.

(One of the fruit trees at Chiguru)

( Walking on farms is a different feeling and you find it a mini picnic space when you get to sit on well thought of benches in the field).

 

(When you enjoy the beverage made of jaggery and lemon, given once you are back from the farm tour).

Mums and Stories gives it a 5 on 5 for its sumptuous food given, for the experience which is very different from other activities that you can do in the city, for kids and adults who want to enjoy nature and understand how food is grown. You have to reach Chiguru farms on your own using your own transport. We do wish they would think of pooling in options for many more mums to go together and save the hassle of driving to the destination. Yet we are likely to head back to this destination for a star gazing experience when it is scheduled or for a farm visit with lots of kids accompanying us.