The IGP experience

As a mom the most frustrating times I have are when I am unable to get out of the house and buy my friends or family members a gift on a special occasion. It is extremely annoying and makes me feel like a proper failure. There are gifting portals online, but I have never been able to find anything interesting or found the websites reliable. However now I do have a savior. Tried and tested! The Indian Gifts Portal aka IGP were kind enough to send me a voucher to try out their website and also purchase gifts. Here’s a lowdown of my experience and what I purchased from the website:

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IGP is Indias largest online gifting store in India, they started their website in 2001, which also makes them the oldest and most experienced in the industry. They specialise  in personalised gifts, flowers, cakes, festival merchandise among others gifting ideas. The website is clean in design, simple to browse and such that you can find a gift easily because of the various links on the home page itself. They have a simple animated video on ‘how it works‘ for anyone who is new to the website.You don’t have to browse through the whole website to find what you are looking for, they have four major categories ; ‘Personalised Gifts‘, ‘Gifts by recipient/occasion‘, flowers and cakes‘ and ‘Gifts by country/city‘. Apart from these, you can also find other filtered links like ‘Gifts for anniversary’, ‘gifts for Birthdays’ etc. They keep in tune with any special days that come up in the calendar like valentines, mothers day, etc. All this helps in streamlining the search and finding the gift.

I had taken this opportunity to buy gifts for my kids; purchased two for Baby Abbas and one for Batool. Fisher-Price Rock-a-stack and Snap-Lock beads and Funskool Sun Catchers. The price sticker for all of these was either removed or scratched,  which is very important if you’re having the gifts wrapped and delivered directly to the recipient. All items of the order were delivered together and on time, I shall leave you with pics of the same now…

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I am aware of a couple more gifting sites, but haven’t dared to try them. It was very nice of IGP to approach me to try it out as a courtesy.

My experience with the customer support was satisfying, I was having some issues with placing the order because of crappy internet, and wanted some information on a product as well, so I had reached out to their customer care and they were very helpful. The helpline operator, made a note of my query, gave me an estimate of when she would get back to me with the information I needed, and she stuck to it. I was very pleased with their service. When it comes to buying gifts for someone you want to make sure that everything is perfect and there should be no room for mishaps.

Nothing in the world is perfect is it? Critically analysing the website makes me want them to have a larger range especially for little kids, it would be nice to purchase products that I or anyone may not otherwise find on other retail stores in India as gifts. Also, since I was placing my order around the Mothers day the website was very slow, which also I got clarified by the help-desk that it was because they were constantly working on the website by adding new products for mothers day. But still it kind of was annoying.

Having said that , I will give IGP 4/5 and will definitely turn to them for future gift purchases. Especially since many of my friends and family reside in Dubai I always tend to lose out on doing something special for them, sending a bouquet of fresh flowers, or a personalised gift from here, would enable me to express my love for them. IGP delivers to over 90 countries, and over 350 cities have same day delivery option! Isn’t that impressive?

Highly recommend the site, have you ever purchased anything from there?

Moms we should be talking about

Mothers Day went by and brought a lot of joys for moms across the globe. The social media exploded with posts, photos, heart warming messages and quotes, videos and loads of competitions/giveaways. There was happiness everywhere. I am a mom too, and I pondered over my life and the many moms that I know of. Deep thoughts made me realise that we don’t discuss some mothers. We are too caught up in the normalcy of life, and the struggles we see in common around us that we do not think beyond them to realise a fellow mom exists who isn’t in the same state as us.

This Mothers day I thought deeply of the moms like me, Moms who visit the courts to fight for their childs custody. I at-least have baby Abbas with me now, to feel more like a hands on mother, but what about the mothers who are struggling in our judicial system fighting in court for the best interest of their child? Dealing with an ego-centric ex-husband, not being allowed visitations! Thoughts led me to think about the moms who aren’t living the ordinary life. They don’t get a card or gift from their child, because their child passed away….Moms who are trying to make a living on their own as single parents, moms who have just separated or divorced and are trying to figure out the dynamic of their new life…moms who have child/ren with disabilities….moms who have children fighting for their life in hospitals..moms who chose to be moms and adopted children…..moms who have recently lost their moms…moms who may be battling a life threatening disease…moms who have been separated from their children due to war, moms who are unable to meet their children waiting for visitations rights….Moms who have children who have not turned out to be morally sound….Moms who are consoling daughters/sons who have been through abuse…..moms who became moms due to assault…They are all moms aren’t they?

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From my personal experience I have learned that; yes, in our country and culture moms are given much respect. But a lot of that is in words. “Maa” they say, but sometimes a mother can be another mothers worst enemy. I guess it’s only when you go through certain experiences do you recognise the honest people from the big-talkers. Everyone says moms are the most important person in the lives of children, yet we aren’t as aware of the severity of mommy struggles that surround us. Truly mothers are the strongest creatures on earth. I remember my moms prayers, whenever she used to hear the sound of speeding sports bikes in the late hours of the night, she used to say “May Allah give patience to the mothers of these boys”. I’m talking about school days, the thoughts that used to come to my mind were ‘oh cool, they’re going by like lightening…or I wish I could ride a bike that fast…..or why can’t be quieter….’ But since my mom voiced her concern as the mother, empathising with the moms of those biker boys I realised that there is such a solid perspective to this. How many times a day or month or even year do we think from the mothers perspective? How many of us have tried to think about the experience of the mother whenever her child goes through something?

I tell myself during my mommy struggles that, at-least I have faith, and the faith in God is the best. I am grateful that I am not a refugee separated from my child, I am grateful that my child hasn’t died in a shooting at school, or been killed by terrorists or extremist groups. As a mother I think it’s important to empathise, put ourselves in the shoes of other mums, even if it’s just in our thoughts and try to understand what the other moms are going through. Only a mom can understand another mom.

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This may not have been the most chirpy, candyfloss and balloons kind of a post, but important none the less. It’s extremely important for us to discuss the societal issues, and value EVERY mom, and think about the not-so-common struggles of a mother, and if not be able to help, be grateful that we aren’t facing them 🙂

I request prayers from everyone for my pending custody case, hope to get my daughter back soon and give her the life she deserves.

Baby Skin myths busted

Us moms have heard more than our fair share of unsolicited advice and have been bombarded by information that’s just false!. Some of us discover through experience, or via reading, or from using our own brain that some of these things are just not worth paying attention to. It’s only a matter of time that we realise that our instincts are the most reliable and mommies know what’s best for their children!

Here’s a post I wrote on World Of Moms on the same….Click below to read up and share the love!

http://www.worldofmoms.com/blog/things-people-told-me-about-baby-skin-care-and-what-i-eventually-learnt/1280/2?utm_source=vidya_suri&utm_medium=hyderabadimom.wordpress.com&utm_content=ithings-people-told-me-about-baby-skin-care-and-what-i-eventually-learnt&utm_campaign=influencer_campaign_baby_dove

 

 

Welcoming baby boy and quick life update

The miracle pregnancy has gotten over and concluded on Feb 15th with a miracle baby boy. I call it a miracle because never had I imagined to deliver a full term baby with a bicornuate uterus, it was a done deal, every doctor was expecting the pregnancy to go up to max 32 weeks. But keeping hope, taking precautions, staying healthy and a tonne of prayers sprinkled with the mercy of God has made this pregnancy progress into week 39!

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Baby Abbas was born via an emergency C –Section after normal just didn’t seem to happen. I am just glad that he and I both got through everything healthy, no NICU involvement and a decent recovery for me. A month has passed now, I can’t believe how each day passes so quickly. Loving every bit of caring for a little baby, some nights are definitely more exhausting than others, but I try to make-up for the sleep deprivation during the day time, when little Abbas is asleep. I have no experience with a full term baby, everyone seems to say things settle down in the first few months and a routine can be formed. Love routine!

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I had placed an order for a copy of What to expect the first year, and so far it’s been a decent guide. Only issue is, there’s not much time to read! I would recommend parents to buy one during pregnancy and go through the topics and book mark pages that may be seem relevant. I had read up all about breastfeeding during pregnancy as well, as I have never experienced it. I also read up the bathing baby topic, basically these were my top concerns.

Been taking a lot of pics, he seems to be very creative with his hand positions. Trying to get a hang of maintaining sanity while sleep deprived; but it’s been good overall. The baby is nothing like me in looks, hoping for the chatter box personality of mine to kick in soon. Till then, will enjoy every adventure, a running clock, and hopefully be able to blog more often along the way.

Kompanions Solar System KUBE review!

I was sent this amazing educational game box by Kompanions a couple of weeks ago to review. I have to say I was intrigued from the get-go when I received their E-mail. I had never come across anything like this and didn’t know the Kube existed! I was sent the Solar System Kube targeting ages 9+. Read on to know more….

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The Kube is India’s first 3D Educational knowledge cube, it aims to revisualise education by making it interesting and fun for learners. So far there are 8 Kubes released by Kompanions, and as I mentioned earlier I was sent the Solar System Kube. The conception of idea is very unique in not providing theoretical knowledge, but also making it interesting, and giving a holistic understanding of the topic. The Kube is actually a cube box that houses all the content for learning the topic, a companion App of each topic and the Kompanions App help you as a parent and the child explore various features of the product. Here’s a list of content that comes in the Solar System Kube:

  1. Creative expression journal
  2. Fascinating Trivia Book
  3. Skill development kit
  4. Informative illustration of The Solar System
  5. Captivating Board game
  6. Exciting Edutaining App
  7. Manual of the Kube
  8. Brain Booster activity booklet
  9. Virtual Reality Kit
  10. Vocabulary builder

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The design team have made the Kube very user friendly, children who can read and have basic comprehension skills will be easily able to follow the manual,. It has been organised step wise and doesn’t hold lengthy written content. It’s visually appealing and of good quality. Children who are able to understand and speak English can learn a lot from the Solar System App, they can enjoy and build their interest via using the virtual reality kit and as they become more interested, can refer the poster and the book of content.

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Nothing about the Kube is boring, it is meant to give your child all the information about the solar system in various modes, the child can read the journal and make note of any questions he/she has, or simply write their own observations. The spiral bound book is a good size to carry around if you wish to enhance your childs learning by taking him to your local planetarium. When scanned via the app you can visualise each planet in 3D. For the parents, the Kube is a great edutaining gift to give their child, it’s got the information of an encyclopedia without the blandness of one.

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Screenshot from my phone of the Sun when scanned through the App

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Screenshot of Mars while scanning through the app. Information about each planet is on the right page.

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This is what the book looks in real, the 3D image comes after scanning.

The audio on the app that describes the solar system and the font of pointers in the Kompanions app are apt for any child. Parents can participate with the children in playing the game and not just learn themselves but also reinforce the knowledge. When your child is exploring the Kube, you know he’s not wasting his time, the games are educational, and yet very entertaining, even the time spent on the App is not wasted as it provides a heap full of knowledge. This is a great mode of teaching children with varied learning styles, you could have one child or multiple, it will excite all ages, just a basic grasp of the English language is required.

I love the packaging of this product, it makes it very organised, even the children will know to keep all content back in the box. The box also comes with two handy strings to be able to carry it, and material of the box is sturdy. Personally I think it’s a great gifting item for any child, it has the elements of fun games and education all in one. Even the most disinterested child will cultivate interest in the topic with the variety of modes to learn provided by the Kube. It’s a well thought after product, especially designed for the tech loving children and parents who want to enhance the learning experience of their children.

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You can find the Kube for different age groups they provide quite a variety of relevant topics per age group namely; Animal Safari, Marvels of India, Wonders of the world, Shapes and Dimensions, The Human Anatomy, Modes of transport . The age groups are Kindergarten(up to 6), 6-9, 10-12, 12-15. There’s no strict rigidness to the age, you can pick the Kube that your child will enjoy the most and take it from there, after all there’s no age for learning!

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The Kindergarten Kube retails at INR 4,499 while all the others for INR 2,499, they can purchased from the store on the Kompanions website or from Amazon.in from the links above.

Pregnancy Tag

It’s been long since I did a tag. In fact only did one! Hehe Pregnancy tags are always fun to read and well here I answer questions from my first ever pregnancy tag:

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1. How many months are you?

6
2. Family’s Reaction?

Pleasantly surprised!
3. Do you know the sex?

In India no options there….I wish I could know, I think it helps with mental prep, not to mention shopping. I had a strong gut feeling with Batool that it was a girl but this time that’s missing. Praying for a healthy baby regardless of gender.

4. What did you want?

I secretly want a girl, but having a boy would be good exposure to variety 😉

5. Do you want more?

Considering that pregnancies take a toll on my body I do not wish to. However, not going to get any procedures done for steralisation.

6. Biggest craving?

Chicken shawarmas…OMG!

7. Best part of being pregnant?

The ever growing pampering from the hubby…..baby movements….the growing belly….

8. Worst part of being pregnant?

Restricted movement….and Hormones injections….

9. Names picked out?

Yes! For both genders, the husband and I are super prepared!
10. Who will be with you during labor?

Probably my mother or husband, don’t know what the hospital policy on that is as yet. I don’t mind the idea of just doing it solo.
11. Birth plan?

Trusting my doctor since this is a high risk pregnancy and a birth plan would most probably be useless!
12. Will you film it?

No
13. Natural or Medicated?

Natural…all the way….fingers crossed….I didn’t take an epidural last time and don’t want to as well.
14. Scared about labor?

Not scared, as I have been through it twice…but I guess with deliveries each is different…Anxiety is natural isn’t it!
15. What do you look forward to after pregnancy? Being able to go out and meet people and walk, and lie on my tummy and jump…..movement basically….
16. Breastfeed?

100% I wasn’t able to feed Batool as long as I wanted to, always had to express and feed her. I am hoping I would be able to experience breast feeding in all its glory…and for two years….
17. Plan to work or be a stay at home mom?

I have already put outside work on hold. I am a freelancer and a student. I am looking at not joining any committed work schedule for min 2 years for the baby…That may just increase to 4 who knows?! But I don’t consider work or anything along those lines priority when there’s a gift of a child in your life. I may mostly put my education on hold even though I am studying through distance mode. However I don’t wish to have any added stress/responsibilities, the baby deserves my 100%.
18. Will you make your own baby food?

Yes most definitely. I have already been getting excited about various ideas and pinteresting away…
19. Do you have nursery ideas/themes?

I am freaked out about SIDS. And research shows that the first year is crucial and co-sleeping is the best, apart from being practical as a breastfeeding mother. I plan to keep the baby in the same room and co-sleep for the first year for sure.

Playing the victim

I am only 27 years of age. Sometimes when we get into the true adult struggles at a young age, we tend to start feeling like we’ve seen it all. I have to remind myself that there’s much more to learn, this reality especially strikes when my husband tells me that the world isn’t as simple as I look at it. And well while it is difficult to hear those words, I have learned to accept it, because it is the truth.
There have been various experiences I have been through, till date I have gotten married twice, had multiple miscarriages, a pre-term baby, co-founded a non-profit organisation, worked and volunteered, and now growing my family with my husband. There have been problems, and being an observant and empathetic person I always tried to put myself in the shoes of others and be forgiving. But that doesn’t work for all, not all the people are deserving of that. And now I have learned to draw boundaries. I have explored my personality strengths, both in my professional and personal life. I have discovered many characteristics about myself that I need to love and respect, and several I need to work on and eventually let go of. One of the major lessons I have learnt is that there’s always scope to grow, and the right people will bring out the good in you, and help you work on the not-so-good bits about yourself. These people are the ones who are worthy of patience, care, empathy and love.

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What’s the purpose of this post? Well, I wanted to discuss a classic characteristic of people I have come across- Victimizing yourself. The people who just won’t accept their fault, and their ego is too big to accept any weakness in themselves, and when they know they’re wrong, they turn to playing the victim. Blaming you for the problems you are in and they are in as well, instead of owning it. You may have come across such people in your life. What I have observed is such people tend to become the way they are due to backing from their parents, family or friends. Poor parenting results in irresponsible children, who just refuse to take ownership of the rubbish they have created, they also tend to be liars, lazy, selfish, and inconsiderate. If you’re a sensitive or naïve person you will very easily fall into the trap, and start feeling like the problem, because of their skills in playing victim. They do it with confidence BTW.
Fact is, when it’s a stranger you will behave differently, but when your own friends or family are like this you tend to be more forgiving and hence are taken for granted. This is where the damage on you starts while the other person just enjoys the attention and pampering. Anything wrong that happens becomes your fault by default. Point to remember here is; you are strong and don’t need to manage anyone’s rubbish. I learned this the hard way. In the end it’s a logical discussion to have in your mind, take a deep breath and be sure of yourself, be rational in analyzing the scenario and try to see from a third persons eye if it truly is your fault. And don’t worry about how elder or younger the person is, if they’re wrong they’re wrong. You need not be their ego polisher, that’s not our job on earth.

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A recent experience just boiled my blood, and I for the first time stood my ground and didn’t give in to the emotional manipulation. Makes me feel so strong it’s indescribable. Experiences mold us, but we can choose to change our reactions to every situation, see what works best for us. As human beings we have a natural pre-disposition to gravitate to goodness. Let’s liberate ourselves from the negative people in it who unfortunately walk the earth. And make sure we aren’t contributing more of such types, through strong parenting.
Be strong, be right!