The Biography of a Gracious Mother

This post is brought to you by Rima Desai

Parent of the Month (May 2015): MRS. PUJA RAMCHANDANI

Today on May 13th, I am fortunate to celebrate the most memorable birthday – The Birthday of my ‘Adopted Mother’! Haha, yes! I call her my adopted mother. Well ideally, she adopted me as a child just a heart-to-heart connection, no official adoption, etc. She my best friend’s mom whom I found in my college years when I was lost, depressed, missing a mom figure in my life. My biological mother died when I was 6 and (Puja Ramchandani) Mom came to my life as an Angel!

This is the bio of a Parent who has faced numerous challenges in life with the best of courage and smiles. Even though she lost her mom at a crucial age of 17 years, she turned that difficult phase of life into a powerful journey. She has taught many of us to LOVE unconditionally, and to pass through the fogs with might. She epitomizes the word ‘Mother’ esp. for me as I call her ‘Mom’. Welcome our Parent for May 2015 – MRS. PUJA RAMCHANDANI.

Dedicated to You Mom, from all of us!

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As a child, she was reserved, shy, and could not speak openly with her parents. After losing her mom, her elder sisters were there with her only for a few years. (In India, girls got married very early in those times). Her dad was strict and disciplinary. She learnt important values from him but it also created fear within her. Losing a mom at teenage feels like losing one’s spine. Not having guidance, and support, she turned out to be an innocent person. When she got married, she was scared to travel by the local trains. She would want to visit her sisters who lived in town, far from her home. Her husband helped her a few times but eventually she gathered the courage to go by herself.

She steered through the challenges of her newly married life and built great relations with everyone within the immediate and extended family. After finishing house work, in the afternoon, she would find time to experiment with new recipes and soon her recipes were the ‘talk of the town’. She was always identified as a person who took great care of everyone in the family, her in laws, her children, and many others.

Mrs. Ramchandani’s life called for sudden and heavy adjustments. Often the dynamics altered between joint and nuclear family. Both of the family systems have their grave challenges and imagine having to make arrangements in the home according to how the family structure changes. Over and again, she took care of extended family members who lived with her for several months and being a mother, I can understand how that impacts one’s daily family life. The beauty is that she embraced each situation and ‘change’ with grace! Each time it was a different type of adjustment required and she stayed up to it powerfully.

Personally speaking, I have seen the small house they lived in. Having two young children, the way in which she adjusted in that short space and yet made it into a beautiful home is admirable! Even though she had a lot of family responsibilities, she ensured her children grew up with fun. She encouraged them to participate in activities, competitions, sports, and academics while also caring for all the other family members. She has always been very involved in her children at all stages and given them all that she has missed in life. I have also witnessed the dedication with which she cared for her ailing, bed-ridden father-in-law for more than 8 years. I am in awe of her!

In her mid-life, her husband and son relocated to a new country in their need to support the family and take the upcoming opportunity. It was a massive change. The responsibility of finances, caring for the home, in-laws, and getting her daughter through with her education, all fell on her shoulders. At this juncture Mrs. Ramchandani came out even stronger than before. Like the saying goes – The difference between ordinary and extra-ordinary is the ‘extra’.

We have a lot to write about Mrs. Puja, but we have more to hear: heart-warming words from all of her children. Her son recently got married and now her family feels complete!

Son: NILESH (NEEL)

“Mom, you know I do not express much with words but you mean the world to me. You are the most amazing person I know. The things you do, not just for our family, but for everyone are greatly appreciated… You have given me strength, values, and love. You are the best chef of the world. Your food has healing powers! You are the Angel of our family Mom, Thank You for everything you do!”

Daughter: SARITA (HANISHA)

Mom has given me so many gifts by just being the person she is. She has given me ‘LIFE’ and an opportunity to be a part of GOD’S Manifestation and a bond which is going to last forever. I cannot thank her enough for all the lessons and values she has given me as a priceless treasure.

“Mom you lift me up and never let me fall. You see me through and you see the best in me. You inspire me to be a better mom. Most of all, I cherish your hugs. Even when you scold me, when we argue, I am learning something from you. I am grateful for all your teachings. You are the Miracle of my World. You have Shaped me to the best of me and You are the reason, I am me. I am blessed that God chose me to be your child, my love for you is infinite!”.

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Memories with You MOM:

  • Story time with you as a child; esp. the bedtime spiritual Gurbani was just so relaxing and every night you gracefully taught me to face life with courage and moral values.
  • You stayed up with us for studies and exams like it was your test. I still remember how you stayed up praying and studying with us in our crucial years. You made us coffee / milk to keep us awake. You were so involved with Neel and I that we felt our classes and projects were as much yours and our competitions were incomplete without you.
  • After Neel and Dad relocated, I saw a stronger, different person in you. Those days are memorial to me as we shared our tough times together adjusting and making sacrifices.
  • You spend an awesome time with Nishika; you make a wonderful grandmother!

5 Special qualities of Mom:

  • Very helpful: You go out of her way to help others
  • Compassionate
  • Multi-tasking
  • Active and energetic
  • Quick and spontaneous on any task
  • Forgiving – even when people do bad things to you, you move on without grudges
  • You create happy surroundings wherever you go
  • I appreciate your chirpy, jolly, and hard-working nature

Daughter-in-law: PRIYANKA (SIMRAN)

“Mom, I am lucky to be your daughter-in-law. You give me the strength and power to adjust in a new place and you also make me feel comfortable. Even though I am away from home, I feel at home :) You are a special person because of the priceless heart you have. You are so loving and affectionate!”

My special memory with you is our welcome dinner dance on the song – “Tera mujhse hai pehle ka naata koi”.

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Son-in-law: AMITH MELVANI

When I came to India before marriage, mom made me feel extremely comfortable and because of that I enjoyed my wedding shopping with them.

“Mom, this is the perfect platform to share that when Sarita and me needed you the most during my challenging times, you were super supportive; you helped us immensely even with relocating our store. I was very moved by that. Mom I have known you as someone with a heart filled with so much love for everyone. You go out of your way to be of help without bias, even if that person hasn’t been nice to you. I am fortunate to have your daughter as my wife because she has imbibed your forgiving and caring nature. By law you may be called my Mother-in-law but I relate to You as my Mother!”.

from all of us :)
from all of us :)

 Notes from me: RIMA


 Writing my heart out to ‘Mom’ can be the toughest thing for me because there is so much for me to express that a sea of emotions explode. I am grateful, I have received this opportunity from the Universe to write about Mom. After God sent her down to earth, he listed – “No more in production”. Sounds hilarious but she is the Only one of her kind. ‘Grateful’ is a very small gesture I can say to her.

When I lost my mom at 6 years of age, I grew up feeling ‘greatly deprived’. I had a lot of internal pain from hearing other children use the word MOM. I had no one whom I could call Mom and as simple as that sounds, it is extremely painful for a child. Many people would SYMPATHIZE with me but mom was the the only one who went a step further. I was a complete stranger to her. She didn’t know my family, had never come to my home, and knew nothing else about me besides that I was her son’s classmate in school. Our religions were very different too. In those times, not many would openly embrace a person from a totally different religion.

Unlike all others, Mom made me her ‘Daughter’ and allowed me, in fact, declared that I refer to her as ‘MOM’. There is no other gift I can receive that can be more PRECIOUS. After so many years of lull, it was hard for me to even speak out the word ‘MOM’.

Year 2005, India
Year 2005, India

For several years, I had nobody to talk to, nobody who loved me unconditionally, no one who cooked food of my liking. I craved all of this deeply and often cried several hours at night. From all the friends and family – tons of cousins I knew, I was the ONLY one who belonged to a Single Parent family. This feeling slowly got healed as Mrs. Puja (Mom) made for me a place of great love in her heart and home.

Mom would invite me at her home and hear all that I had to say. She would go out of her way to cook food of my liking, food that she hadn’t cooked before. Being a Jain by religion, I wouldn’t eat onions, potatoes, carrots, and garlic at all. Cooking food without these ingredients was a challenge because it was totally new and unknown to her. But she LEARNT to make my favorite vegetables EXACTLY the way I liked them. She made the most delicious BHINDI (OKRA) veggies – the taste of which from the year 1999 is still in my mouth! Who would do all this for a stranger?

The way she has brought up her two kids speaks volumes of her character, her courage, her strength and her love. I will fall short on words and space to write for her.

“Mom you are way too special to me and I there is no way I can repay You for all the love you have given me. In cold, screeching blizzards of my life, you covered me with a warm blanket that kept me going safe and strong! You came specially to my engagement ceremony, that meant a lot to me. Thank You Mom.

I am more than grateful and I sincerely hope God will give me a chance to SERVE YOU, to CARE FOR YOU in return. Your love, comes out in your food and in your talks. You are so much fun, so loving, spiritual, courageous, and such a sweetheart. I know it is not only me, you have opened your heart to many children, many people, and helped many more than we all even know. I am far from you since several years but yet, I haven’t felt that distance. Even if we talk once in several months, you are there, just the same.

I was happily surprised to know how much Simran knew about me even before I spoke to her. Thank You for introducing me to her, even in my absence… what more should I say?… My eyes are full with emotion. I am sure there is a great reason why my Mom’s bday and your bday are next to each other and why I met you in this life-time! Over the years, you have allowed me to be myself and loved me unconditionally. I remember how I used to save money and call you from phone booths to talk to you. I LOVE YOU MOM”.

Husband: VIDU RAMCHANDANI

Puja is a very cordial, loving, and caring wife. I credit her for raising mature, wonderful kids and adjusting gracefully when both of us had to be away. She is very affectionate and very well organized in caring for the home and entire family. I am lucky to have such a loving and caring spouse who has blessed my family with her presence.

“Puja, you are the perfect wife and the perfect mother. I admire you for who you are!”

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This post is brought to you by Rima Desai Copyrights reserved ~  Will love to have your comments and likes to this post. https://rimadesai.org/

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Also read: https://theguidingstar.org/2015/05/14/www-lettertomymom-com/

Parent of the Month: April 2015: LATE KASTURBEN SAVLA

Although we may see fault in the ways of people and clearly mark out ‘souls’ that bring love and light vs. those that create painful surroundings, I intend to appreciate the greatness shown by each person in some way. Many film stars display heroic qualities but there are many more real-life unspoken ‘stars’ that have left behind examples of inspiration. I began the ‘Parent-of-the-month’ series with an intention to celebrate these ‘Parent-Heroes’, acknowledge their greatness, (leave aside any of their shortcomings), and inspire the ones on the road.

                                 THE BIOGRAPHY OF A LADY WITH GREAT VALOR

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Today I am introducing an Iron Lady who proved her buoyancy over the consistently frosty waters of life during her 91 years of courage and commitment.

Read her short story to know how she waded through the troubles of poverty coupled with many mouths to feed.

Kasturben (Ba in short) was overall a cheerful, outgoing person. In India, 80 years ago, girls got married as early as in their teens and the cultural tradition demanded a troupe of children. It sounds funny to hear but I can only imagine the burden that comes with it.

EARLY LOSS:

Kasturben lost her husband at the age of 35, leaving 9 young mouths and a 10th one (my mom) on the way. The tragedy of life was emphasized by severe scarcity of finances. She had some experience in running the provision store with her husband but after his death, it was a tough balance to create between her work and so many children. At that juncture, she did receive remarkable help from her brothers; yet, the path ahead was for her to carve.

Without a doubt, she worked day and night to ensure enough food and shelter for her little ones but there were severe challenges with her business. Most of her clients were construction workers on the airport building. Often, customers crowded at the same time after their work was over in the evening and this demanded bone-breaking work from her. The fact that women were considered as the domestic, weaker section of society, and many of her customers as well as workers would be males, demanded that she step up with exceptional bravery to assert her power.

Running a provision store requires work not only when there are customers but also before and after: bring in products, arrange them, clean up, manage the accounts, ensure that groceries are free of insects, and much more. Even after her workers left, work demanded her presence and it left her requesting help from her elder son and daughter. Her children showed similar qualities of courage and hard work and they all stepped up to drive through the dark times of life.

Ba’s sense of responsibility was very high. She looked after her parents until the end, while being dedicated to her 10 off springs, on a limited income.

WORDS FROM HER FAMILY:

Narration from one of her daughters:  “She would ask us to recite poems and tables before going to sleep. As a result, our studies were not neglected. In fact, she taught us the importance of education and sent my elder brother to USA in those times when there weren’t even proper flights from India and only 1% of the population ever left the country. It encouraged me to do my Masters and eventually I became a successful college teacher, because of my mom’s dedication and support. Had it not been for Mom’s hard work, we would not have had a shop at Church gate and a home in Juhu scheme. (Both are one of the best suburbs in Mumbai). We younger siblings were lucky to study in the prestigious -Mithibai College. Everything that she did helped us in our lives tremendously”.

Her very special religious table and family photographs corner on the cabinet and the sofa that folded into a bed... brings back special memories
Her very special religious table and family photographs corner on the cabinet and the sofa that folded into a bed… brings back special memories. With one of her daughter – Vijyaben

BA’S INSPIRATION:

As per the Indian tradition, a widow must wear only white saree (Indian dress) and Ba willingly followed that tradition too. Even though times were horrendous, she had the determination to keep moving forward with faith and courage. While fulfilling duties of the family she also became very religious. She did every possible fast from her religion and attended several religious ceremonies. Highly inspired from her, her elder daughters continued the religious tradition of fasts, known as ‘Tap’ in Gujarati and until today, they remember her for that.

LACK OF A FATHER:

While Ba was swimming against the odds of her life, all of her children had their own trials. They did have a powerful mother to show them care and strong will, yet they missed the roof of a father that would shade them from the heat of life. They deeply missed having a father figure to give them the confidence to bring themselves out in the world and guide them through. Her children showed their own kind of courage which cannot be worded in any way. Later in life, her son who flew abroad gave her continuous and immense financial support.

FURTHER TRAGEDIES:

As if life had not offered her enough trouble, Ba had her biggest blow with the untimely death of her last born (my mom) at a very young age. This was an irreparable loss for her that left her completely shattered. She also steered through the pain of losing her sister, eldest son, and her grandson! Ba showed her high morals and helpful nature by caring for her Special Needs’ cousin brother and for her sister’s children like her own.

BA with her GRANDCHILDREN:

Ba had a lot of affection for her grandchildren and enjoyed cooking for them. I remember how she would insist we eat (more than we could) to show her care. Most of us enjoyed her white dhoklas and rice flake treats (mumra ladus). Her cooking clearly reflected her motherly love for us. One of her daughter-in-law says that Ba’s cooking skills sparked interest in cooking for her.

One of her grandchild says – “She did not have just will power, she had horse power, she was such a strong person”.

MY MEMORIES:

My memories with my maternal grandmother are surrounded by the moral stories she narrated. I saw very little of her until my early 20s but the time I spent after my 20s was highly memorable. The fact that her face would light up just when we entered, told me a lot about her affection for my sister and me. Last, I saw her in 2007 when I had visited my home country. She had severe health problems, yet she would daily give food to the birds on her window roof.

Ba was extremely strong-willed and I applaud her for the way she waded through getting her children to study, the girls to get married, sending her son abroad, and being at the funeral of her own children. Wherever you are Grandma, know that it is my honor to write about you and be inspired with courage and determination like yours! We all Miss You and Love You!!

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————-Original article and copyright by Rima Desai May 3, 2015—————–

      www.rimadesai.org

Fun with Phonics: Teach Phonics in a Fun Way (Re-post from ParentEdge)

This is a RE-POST of my article from The Indian Magazine: ParentEdge: http://parentedge.in/fun-with-phonics-teach-phonics-in-a-fun-way/

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Ideal Age: 3.5 years – 6.5 years

It is fascinating to see our children grow through their different phases and one such thrilling phase is when they begin to put words together into sentences. Next, they begin picking up sounds of letters to make more sense out of them.

In simple words, learning Phonics is about learning the sounds of each letter so that they can be put together to make a word. This means that instead of rote learning CAT with the letter C, A, T, the child would learn to ‘develop’ the word CAT by saying the sound of each letter as in C-A-T. Today we will learn simple exercises to boost your child’s phonic awareness in powerful ways.

I want you all to know that the activities I list here are the activities I do with my daughter sincerely and many of the activities in my articles are MY OWN ORIGINAL ACTIVITIES which came about with the need for ‘creative play’ with my daughter to teach her more by spending less!

Magnetic lettersACTIVITY ONE: The first step is to get your child interested in the alphabet per se. We need a magnetic surface and magnetic letters. Place toy letters on the fridge top or a magnetic surface to attract your child’s attention. Playing A-B-C nursery rhymes and showing them letters in their environment makes them more aware that letters give meaning to our world. When we are waiting for our train ride, or parking at the airport, my daughter and I have fun playing I Spy and spotting letters.

ACTIVITY TWO: We need lots of blank white paper, a dark color marker, and some cello tape. We are going to write names of simple objects around the home and then stick the paper on that object. E.g. Write DOOR in big bold letters and tape the paper on any door. Same with Fridge, Wall, Chair, Table, and so on; this helps your child associate words and letters to objects in their environment and learn spellings at a later stage.

spelling objectsspelling objects 2

ACTIVITY THREE: We need some wooden plain blocks, (preferably rectangular) and a marker. Along with your child, write the name of each of your family members on a block. Encourage your child to place that name block on the dining table assigning each family member a place to sit. This way the child learns to spell names and gets more involved in mealtime preparation.

Another alternative: take more blocks and write one letter on one block to spell out names of all family members. This is an advanced version in name spelling and can create a lot of fun for your child especially if s/he likes challenges.

Below you can see I have used the same block to write both words on opposite sides. This way my daughter learns the spelling of and associates both the words. Similarly, you can take 3 cubes and write M on one, O on the other and M on the 3rd one to help them spell it out literally by themselves.

spelling block

spelling block 2

ACTIVITY FOUR: This is my daughter’s favorite activity. We began it when she was 4.5 years and now 7 months later she enjoys it just as much.

We need – pencil, paper, eraser, you and your child in a place comfortable enough to write.

Pre-requisite: Child must know sounds of each or at least some letters and must know how to write them.

Aim: To help your child spell a word, write it, and then draw a picture of it.

How to: You will begin by thinking of a word, let’s say STAR. You will now tell your child that you are going to spell out the word for him / her by saying the sounds of each letter in your word. Begin with ‘S’ (just make the sound of S, don’t say S). Your child has to guess which letter it is and write that letter on the paper. Next letter is ‘T’ (Just the Tah sound) and so the child guesses and writes T. In this way, you finish S-T-A-R and then allow your child to guess what the word if. If s/he cannot get the word, you say it for them by putting the sounds together like ‘St’ ‘ar’  = Star. Now s/he must draw a star in any way s/he can.

Remember, it is ok if the word letters and pictures are not aligned or in order. The presentation is not important here, the learning is!

Below is my daughter’s paper at age 4.7 years. She spelled and guessed all of the words below and drew pictures. Mostly we do this when I am cooking in the kitchen, she sits nearby, and we enjoy the game together. spell testMy other articles from ParentEdge magazine:

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Falafel Fiesta – Yum!!

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right
Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

Although Falafel is a Mid-East recipe, every Indian knows how to incorporate his /her own taste and definition to a recipe from around the world. In case if you haven’t already heard, Indians are good ‘Creative Copy-Cats (CCC)’, the way I put it! lol

So here is my CCC Falafel half inspired by me watching my talented aunt cook Falafel a few years ago and half inspired by my crazy mind. This purely Vegetarian dish can also be made VEGAN by keeping out the Optional Ingredients and can be awed for its nutritional fillers- high proteins, calcium, iron, with moderate carbs and fats.

We need:

  1. Butter as per needed on the bread slice when preparing final serving
  2. ½ Onion – white or red (in India onions are way smaller in size, may require to use 2 onions, refer to my picture below to know the quantity)
  3. 2 inch stick of cinnamon
  4. 2 cloves
  5. 1 tsp black pepper – crushed or powder
  6. Sesame seeds – ½ cup
  7. * Optional ingredient: Yogurt – ½ cup
  8. Salt as per needed for each time of use
  9. 1 cup chick peas or garbanzo beans soaked for 6hours.
  10. 1 big palm sized potato or equivalent number of small size
  11. * Optional: Paneer – cottage cheese, crushed to make half to one cup. Make at home by boiling and tearing boiling milk with vinegar or lemon. You can find tons of recipes for how to make paneer at home or get Ready paneer from store. In Usa, you will find Paneer in the frozen section of Indian stores
  12. * Optional: Cheese – 1/4th cup
  13. Tabasco: 4drops
  14. Sriracha Sauce: 1/4th to ½ tsp (as spicy as you want

HOW TO COOK IT

  1. 20150408_181124 Roast white sesame seeds in a non-stick pan on med to low heat until they turn light brown. Stir every minute, making sure you are tossing those seeds around pretty well. They do love carousel rides!
  2. Once light brown remove from stove and allow to cool in a cool area of home, preferably out of the kitchen and under the fan (make sure your fan is clean ;))
  3. Meanwhile, we will prepare the base of our stuffing.
    20150408_180147 chop fine. Red onion is ok too.
  4. Pressure cooker or any untensil to boil the garbanzo beans.
  5. In med. to big sized Pressure Cooker (or Rice cooker), 1 Tbsp of oil; when hot, add 2 inch stick of cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 tsp crushed black pepper or black pepper powder.
  6. add onions, roast on med to high flame till translucent in color.
  7. Add garbanzo / chick peas and fill water to 2-3 inches above chick peas.
  8. To make the chick peas softer, add salt to
  9. Boil in cooker with 6 whistles. (Adjust whistle no. as per your cooker)

20150408_180303 Kept to boil in pressure cooker

10. Meanwhile we will make our own version of ‘ Tahini Dip’. Crush the cooled sesame seeds in a dry grinder 1st 20150408_183101

11. Once crushed, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the dry, ground sesame powder. Churn it once if needed. Add 3 Filled Tbsp of Yogurt (*optional, this is my own addition) and store this dip in a tightly covered container to preserve the flavor.

12. When the pressure cooker cools, separate the potato from the chick peas

13. Peel potato skin. Mash the boiled, peeled potato and add paneer – cottage cheese. Top with salt and 1tsp of red chilli powder (add more or less as per requirement)

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14. Add quarter cup cheese

15. Mash the chickpeas, potato, paneer all in one

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16. Add salt, tabasco 4 drops, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (as spicy as needed)

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17.  images All the parts are ready. Unlike Traditional Falafel, I do not make them into balls. I leave it like a paste.

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right
Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

18. Take your Bread slices, add butter, layer with tahini dip, chick peas paste, bite into this delightful dish!

Anthony Nguyen – April 2015

This article is brought to you by Rima Desai ~ Copyrights reserved. It aims to appreciate young dads for their contribution in caring for their kid/s. 

ANTHONY NGUYEN – April 2015

Anthony Nguyen is our 2nd dad today for Young Dad’s Appreciation for this month. His toddler son is telling us a fun story about how Fantabulous his Dad is. He is celebrating his Dad’s 30th B’day on April 4th!

a 2 Congratulations Daddy! You have been selected as Month April’s Super Hero. You must show the world your extra-ordinary tricks. All the other boys keep saying that their dad is a Super Hero – Super man, Spider Man, Flying Man ;) but I can tell you my dad is truly a Ninja!

 Ninja Dad

Okay you guys think I am kidding right? Alright I’ll tell you what.

I know all the things that makes my Dad great. At least once every day he changes my

Diaper

and often he lets me roam in it too… because he knows that it unleashes my power within – ‘Freedom from Pants Power Roooarrr’. He has changed more than

365diapers in the last one year! And while changing my diaper, he wont mind if I shower him with my love. He is ‘Cool’

 yo

Dad also knows how to change my

clothes without even holding them. He makes them fly! You must watch him do it: One kick and my shirt is off, another kick and my shirt is on… yesterday he even cut his cake like that (Umm… I mean the shoe hit the table and the cake sliced with the table earthquake… something like that… haha)

an. ngy

Do you know why I am not the Dentist’s best friend? Because my dad tooth brush my teeth, at least 5 times in a day. No, really! and if they still look not as white, he takes a few drops of paint and ….. O I was supposed to Shh that. O boy..

Thanx to dad I smell so good – he remembers to shower me at least once a week + he can give me a bath almost anywhere. He says it is ‘TRUE CREATIVITY’

b

He remembers to trim my nails when they begin looking like Dragon paws

nal

Now did you say my dad is not a Ninja?!

nt

Anthony Nguyen
Anthony Nguyen

Dad You are so Awesome, I decided to write you a message in the Sky for everyone to see

hb

a

 

Anand Krishnan – April 2015

This article is brought to you by https://www.facebook.com/parentingbooth. Copyrights reserved by Rima Desai. This post is to appreciate young dad from our generation for their contribution in caring for their kid/s.

Hello everyone,  

 super cool dad

I am just 5 years but I am very creative, my name is Aryan and I am my Dad’s only child.

This is Him and Me together

  super cool dad 

Well, I am the one with the normal eyes, he is the one with the fountain on his head. In this picture his hair is not well done. He has 10 hair on his head but the person who drew this thought my dad had too little. Funny people!

In reality, my dad is very very big, so big that I can’t calculate his age. He is also a

 magic

 because he has a solution for everything, every time I am stuck. When I get hurt, he is my

 doctor 

and when I want to speak my heart out, he is the paper and I am the pen. I can share all my feelings with him. We do lots of thing together like:

Play

 football       bicycle  and much more..

 I give my dad

1st

for Bathing me every day, since the time I peed in his pants (3 months onwards).

 Did you know that in a way my dad and me are a  telephone

Everyday he wants to hear what I did in school and he tells me what happened in office. My dad says this is called ‘Clear Exchange of Information’.

There is lots more I can tell you about my dad. But Shhh.. some secrets too! When My dad laughs, it sounds like this _____________ And his fav. food is Pani puris

 

 gol gappa

 

But I wouldn’t tell him to cook for me because then the house would be on fire!

cook

 

Guess what happens to dad when I cry or I am upset… He feels like this patience hahaha . .. at that time he is the bigger baby!

 But He is ‘The Bestest Dad’ ever. Happy Birthday from Jr. Anand

happy bday

anand krish

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Mr. Kapil Sharma – March 2015

Copyrights of this article/ post: Rima Desai ~ Founder of Parenting Booth: https://www.facebook.com/parentingbooth

Today we begin our ‘Young Dad of the Month’ Series. Typically, moms get more appreciation than dads do and hence we wish to start a new tradition. The purpose of this series is to do a quick short, honor to young dads (below age 45) for their contribution in caring for their kids. It is less of a biography; more of just a fun-run for what makes these dads special.

Welcome our Debut ‘Young dad of the Month’ 

Kapil Sharma 34years

kaps

This super dad does everything that he can to entertain his kids from playing WWF, to dancing on Bollywood songs and even making funny faces. Even after a full day’s of work, he is bursting with

energy

Maybe because 5 year son Aarthav feels dad is just 25 years young but 35 feet tall

35 feet
and as strong as an

ox

Of course, an Ox    cant cook

or do anything about helping with H.W.  H.W.

But then, 7 year Adya is sure that Dad fits well into the 7 feet tall ‘Woof’ category!

“We are such cute

pup        and dad is a very caring and protective
dog    “

No wonder he helps us get ready for school in the morning and makes sure we eat our food, no matter how much we hate it! A 100% Dad is great at having us follow us the rituals of home and at

discpline

Just one thing that dogs aren’t good at: Being patient with arguments. This is what dad’s face looks like when we argue:

impatient

hb   WE LOVE YOU!!

kaps

Fun and Educational Games for Kids

This is re-post, it is my article from Parent-Edge Magazine: http://parentedge.in/blogs/fun-and-educational-games-for-kids/

Feb 28, 2015 Activity-Led Learning,


Last week I came across a post on Facebook that reminded me of a game my dad used to play with us. Dad has always been great with kids. He attracts kids the way magnets attract paper clips. Besides fun, play, and stories, he was great with constructive activities to sharpen our I.Q. I will give dad a lot of credit in helping me be a Parent Educator today.

Hence, I dedicate today’s article to all the activities that dad played with us.

 Ideal for ages: 6 – 10years

All the activities require:

  1. Either more than two children or an Adult and a Child
  2. Pen and paper per person

Winner: For every game, the winner is the person or group with most correct answers or points.

Activity 1: NAME PLACE ANIMAL THING

 Aim: To get as many words as possible per row.

How to play: Each player draws a table on their paper as shown.
NPAT

The 1st player begins reciting letters A to Z silently in his head. The 2nd player shouts ‘stop’ anytime. At this moment, the first player must mention which letter was playing in his head at this time.

Let’s say that alphabet was ‘G’

Now, each player must write G in the letter column and then write one word in each column. One name beginning with G, one animal, one place and one thing with G.

The game stops whenever players decide to stop or when they complete all the letters.

Alternatively, players may simply go alphabet wise from A to Z on paper and time themselves or they may pick up letter cards from a face down pile to avoid any cheating.

Scoring: 10 points per correct answer. 5 points if another player has the same response as you.

 Activity 2: WORD VOCABULARY

How to play: An adult assigns all kids one long word. They all get the same long word written on top of their paper.

Word vocabulary

E.g. – ‘Elephant’ or ‘Superabundant’ or ‘Idiosyncratic’

Aim: From this big word, make as many small words as possible in three mintues. All words must be more than 3 letters and they must have a meaning. Older kids may generate 4-letter words and more.

 Activity 3: WORD RACE

Again, this has to do with picking a letter of the alphabet. Then within a minute, players must note down as many common nouns as possible. No proper nouns, verbs, or names allowed here.

Word race

Activity 4: DUMB CHARADES

This game is more fun when played in a large group, but it is possible to play it with 2 players also.

How to play: The adult or an opposite team member gives the player a word secretly in the ear. The player must enact that word only with actions. He must not speak anything, not even a sound.

If there are only 2 players, the other play must guess the word and gets a point on guessing the exact word within the time limit. If there are 2 groups, the enacting player’s team must guess the word to win a point.

Activity 5: WORD DUMB CHARADES

 One player picks a chit of words or gets a word from an adult. This player cannot announce the word. Let us say the word is ‘Water’.

He must now speak out related words that will help the other player guess the word WATER. He cannot say the word Water in any language but he can use other related words to indicate water. He must speak only single words, not sentences.

E.g. – : here he may say – blue, swim, sky, etc.

Points are given to correct guesses within the time limit. Pre-decide the time limit, like 3 minutes or 5 minutes, depending on age and difficulty.

 

Activity 6: WORD PLAY VARIATIONS

 We can create many variations for word quizzes.

E.g. – An adult writes a list of words for all players. Players must then write as many synonyms or antonyms of those words as possible, within a time limit.

Similarly, we can do a rhyming list challenge with younger players.
Word play variations

Make your own variations. These activities are great fun at sleepovers and casual parties.

Biography of an Incredible Mother

Parent of the month: March 2015

MS. KYEONG (MRS. NGUYEN)

Kyeong An

 

“Kong sim-eun-dae kong-na-go, pat sim-eun-dae pat nanda”

This popular Korean proverb translates as – Beans come out from where beans are planted, and red beans (팥) come out from where red beans are planted. In short, this means: ‘how good the outcome is, depends on how good the input was’.

Today I am introducing a mother whose parenting screams this proverb aloud and clear. She had a strong vision for her children and her persistence brought success to her endeavors. At a budding age, the boys excelled in Taekwondo, received awards, and even became thriving, yet humble entrepreneurs in the field.

Happy Birthday


Parenting Booth wishes Ms. Kyeong many more years of good health and happiness

Mrs. Nguyen has two boys only at a year’s distance. It was tough to care for them while working full time. Daily at lunch break, she drove 30minutes one way for their care and then returned to work.
Later she found full time work from home.

As easy as it sounds, if you are a work-from-home mom, you know how challenging it can get. Let us read how Mrs. Nguyen journeyed through this for 17.5years with the intention to keep her children as priority no. 1.

How tough was it to be a work-from-home mom?

It definitely needed a lot of commitment. I had no time to look after myself or make friends besides the ones I met at church, just 1 hour a week. My workday started at 6am until 7.15pm daily and mainly involved phone calls. I would have to be on the phone while I dropped and picked them from school, often in my pajamas.

After school they both had the same class but at different times. I could not stay there because of constant phone calls. First I would drop Anthony, come home with Johnny and 20 minutes later take Johnny there. I helped them with H.W. until elementary school, but later they took care of it themselves. They were responsible and bright.

I am happy to have dedicated my life for their care. It helped them be successful at an early age and they loved it. I thoroughly enjoyed it too. I could not have done all this without the support of my husband. He has been an excellent father. He has encouraged me to give children time and spend money where it was needed.

Did you prioritize your children over you?

Yes I wanted to do that. For me, my family comes first. I chose my job over further studies so that I could add to the household income and give our kids even more opportunities to learn and grow.

What were your prioritizes for the boys?

1. Sports:
We lived in a very rainy state and so I could not keep them outdoors for long. At age 5, I signed up Anthony for Taekwondo close to home. Anthony willingly joined. Johnny observed Anthony well and later he joined too. They both did wonderful. They supported me in correcting their postures and practicing at home daily, didn’t go against me. This told me that they had great liking for Taekwondo.

One year we attended 9 tournaments – some in-state but most out-of-state. It needed adjustments in our daily routine but we kept up to it together as a family. The boys got selected for wrestling, basketball, and baseball. This is when I realized that they are born with sports’ skills within them. As our practices increased, my husband would take one son and me another. We both felt proud and delighted to watch our boys succeed.

2. Love for music:
I feel music adds joy to life. My husband and I both play guitar. Hence, I enrolled them in guitar classes and they loved it. Later they created their own band too! Anthony also played guitar at Church.

3. Love for God:
Every week we went to church. They made many friends there. We invited their friends and had fun times at home. Slowly even their parents came as we all bonded well. This helped the boys be social, friendly, and hospitable while also having fun.

4. Moral Values:
From a young age I taught them:

• Always stay united as brothers.

• Be polite to everyone esp. elders. As per our culture, also bow. Hence, they were and still are very good at greeting others.

• Respect others and that way gain respect back.

• Dad works hard for us; keep up dad’s respect.

• Stay united as a family. We set this example for the boys. My husband and I attended all their tournaments to encourage them and even if they lost in matches, we praised them for their effort.

• During matches, when they lost I said, “Don’t be discouraged, learn from it. To lose means someone is better than you are and so now, it is time for you to work harder to be better than them.

• I valued discipline but wasn’t overly strict. I cooked their favorite food, played games, and taught them in a fun manner like 3 of us ran like a train around the home while singing Math Tables.

Your message for your boys

“There were times when I got depressed but when I woke up and looked at both your faces, I felt brighter, happier and inspired to have another great day with both of you. I was extremely feminine in dressing and thinking but then my personality jelled in with yours. I have thoroughly enjoyed bringing you’ll up. I have NEVER felt the need to have a girl because both of You were so supportive, obedient, and mature. I’ve always heard good things from your teachers and other parents with no complains. I am very proud of you’ll. Extremely proud!”

A message from Anthony Nguyen – son

Some Special memories:

With Dad’s busy work at Intel, you found a job at home to take care of us. You allowed us to grow and gave us a chance to try hobbies that sparked our interest – that is how we found our life’s path in ‘Taekwondo’. Attending our graduations and being proud of us.

Special qualities of Mom:

1. She’s the best cook I know – Korean, Vietnamese, American, Italian, you name it!
2. A great listener and advisor
3. A very caring mother and grandmother too
4. She’s strong-willed and continues to be strong everyday
5. She’s beautiful!!! :)
6. She’s a gifted singer

Childhood memories with Mom:

-Watching me at tournaments and various championships
-Teaching me Korean language through studies and music
-Going to beaches in California
-Going camping and fishing

Mom you taught me to:

-Be patient
-To love
-To play the guitar
-To be a good sport in winning and losing both

For you my mom:

“Although we may not say it every day, both Johnny and I are grateful to have such a caring and loving mother. We love you a lot and know we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all this without you. You are the bond that keeps our family together. You are the music, the glue, and the love that runs through our whole together. Thank you for being You.”

————————————————————–

Copyrights – Rima Desai

The Biography of a Devoted Father

This post and copyrights belong to Rima Desai

Parent of the month: Feb 2015, Part II

MR. PRADIP UNADKAT

pradeep uncle smaller size

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Our parent today is an exemplary hero who adds breath to this proverb. Wading through the worst tides of life at an early phase of parenting, he was convinced that nothing took precedence over the well-being of his children.

Let us welcome Mr. Pradip Unadkat on our platform today as we celebrate his 59th Birthday on Feb. 27

Mr. Unadkat was born in Geita city of Tanzania country, East Africa. He grew up in Katunguru but the lack of finances refrained his education. With a stone on his heart, he began traveling to Mwanza daily to fetch money through work. Later he moved there permanently. At the age where other teens were talking fun and style, Mr. Unadkat had started full time work and with his blood and sweat, he built his business.

 hb 

Wishing you many more years of great health and happiness from Parenting Booth

 

A message from his son: Vineet Unadkat

My mother fell ill when we were very young. I was 8 years and my sister was 4 when she passed away. It was the darkest phase of our lives. Only someone who has lost a life-partner and a mother that early can understand the pain we all went through. Now that I am a parent, I can understand with more depth how dad must have endured the situation. I still remember the things he would do to make us happy. He did everything to ensure we don’t miss mom.

In fact, dad wanted to remain single but he realized that we both needed the love and care of a mother. Hence, for us, he remarried. This was very helpful to us because mom helped us learn moral values, be well mannered and she gave us the strength to fight against all odds. I can’t imagine growing up without her! Both Chandni and me are here today with mom’s unconditional love and support for all of us. Thank You dad for taking that step for us!

Dad also had to go through considerable financial hardships. Several nights he stayed up late to complete his work so that he could get his share of money to send us to school. It was only through his dedicated hard work that we completed our studies.

To fetch me a brighter future, he had to send me to another city for school and college studies. I was 15. This was the toughest decision on dad. Having lost his first wife, and then sending me away for studies was like another hollow at home but dad was tough as a rock. He knew he had to do whatever was needed for my progress. I lived with my uncle. It was only later that I realized dad and my mom had a play in large part to keeping up with my studies. For years, dad and mom sent several items to Uncle, including Pickles they made and Papad (thin, crispy lentil tortillas), in a way to repay what they owe.

If you know the Indian culture, pickles and papad are a very important part of our daily meals and hence considered a good trade. Making either of them is a tedious task.

                                                          

Special Qualities of Dad:

  1. Dad is the most helpful and generous person I know. He has dedicated his life to helping and serving others. He has helped several people in small and big ways. Mwanza is a closely-knit Indian community. Dad is one of the strongest pillars for others during their personal and during community’s cultural events. He attends to the guests, helps in serving food, and is also there to volunteer during medical trips or emergencies. Several times dad has left behind his work to help and serve others.
  2. Even though dad’s position was not financially strong to get my sister and me through our studies, he worked a lot more and ensured we complete our education. No words can express my gratitude for it.
  3. Dad is extremely forgiving by nature. Even if someone was mean, rude or did something very wrong, yet he would forget, forgive, and be helpful to that person.

“Dad from you I have learnt to be Patient. You have taught me that we will always get what we deserve and that everyone has to pay the price of his or her Karmas. Hence, I learnt from you to do good to others no matter what they do to me and as a result, ‘goodness’ will come back to me. I have applied this principle in my life and seen it work. You are amazing dad. I love you and I am proud to be your son! I am thankful to You and Mom for everything that you’ll have done for us.

A message from his daughter: Chandni Unadkat

When I was done with my school, I wanted to work but during those times, in my family girls weren’t allowed to work. Unlike other dads, my dad stood up for me, against the social norm and allowed me to work. He gave me the strength and became the biggest support of my life. In fact, due to dad’s support, I was able to contribute to the family in times of need, esp. when my brother was still struggling and trying to settle in USA. Every step of the way, my Dad has supported me, whether in my job or with the choice of my life partner. I was 4 when my mum passed away of cancer. These were the darkest days of dad’s life. Dad’s decision to remarry was tough for him but he did it selflessly, just for us. Being a girl and so young, he did not want me to be without a mother and because of that I feel my dad is a Hero. I love you Dad. You are my Hero, my best friend and God’s gift to me! I am blessed to have such wonderful parents in my life. Mom and You make our lives complete.”

Also read: https://mystyrimz.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/biographyofadedicatedparent/

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