Saturday, October 22, 2016

Best Children's Books About Halloween

Halloween is one of my favorite Western festivals and we are very excited about it this year! We just bought our pumpkin, and the next 10 days are going to be full of Halloween family festivities. Since our family is big on reading, I always celebrate by reading seasonal books. There are some wonderful, playful children's books about Halloween that we really enjoy reading together.

Here are some of our favorites:

Popcorn, by Frank Asch
(ages 2-8)
One of our friends gifted us this book and it's one of our favorites. After his parents go out for the evening, bear invites all his friends over for a Halloween party and they make too much popcorn. The illustrations are bright and primary, and the story is easy to understand even for the littlest kids.

Halloween Mice, by Bethany Roberts
(ages 18 months-6)
This is a sweet story about three mice that dress up and go out on Halloween. The language is simple and rhythmic, and it captures the fun and mischief of Halloween night. This one is a great book to start teaching younger children about what Halloween means.

Click, Clack, Boo, by Doreen Cronin
(ages 3-8)
For fans of Click Clack Moo, you will love this great follow-up story about Farmer Brown and his animals. Farmer Brown is very scared of Halloween so he shuts himself inside his house, but the animals have other plans!

Where Is Baby's Pumpkin?, by Karen Katz
(ages 6 months - 3 years)
This is a lovely lift-the-flap board book for babies and toddlers to start them about celebrating Halloween. Follow the baby as he plays peekaboo with all his home's Halloween-themed surprises.

Halloween Surprise, by Corinne Demas
(ages 3-6)
This book is all about the fun for kids to decide what costume they will dress up as for Halloween. With help from her cats, a little girl comes up with the perfect costume. This book also teaches kids that it's sometimes more fun to make your own costume, rather than buy one in the store.

The Best Halloween of All, by Susan Wojciechowski
(ages 4-8)
This book is about a little boy with classic helicopter parents who design their son's elaborate costumes. Finally at age 7, the boy decides that he will design his own costumes. It's a good reminder for parents to let their children decide their own costumes, although it's fun for us too!

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything, by Linda Williams
(ages 4-8)
This book is a good one to read if your children can be easily scared of Halloween. The story follows a fearless little old woman who is being followed by a spooky pumpkin man. Instead of being scared, she collects them and puts them to good use! The folk art illustrations are detailed and bright.


What books about Halloween do you enjoy?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Expecting Baby #2!

We are thrilled to announce that we are expecting Baby #2!!!

I'm sure some of you might have noticed my lack of posts this Summer & wondered why. I got several concerned emails from regular readers who noticed that I nearly dropped off the face of the Earth! Usually when I get pregnant, I really like to slow it down, take it easy, and just focus on day-to-day life and not push myself too much. Between the pregnancy, and handling my very active Maya, I have had my hands full! I have hardly had a chance to sit down at the computer, as I'm fully focusing on family right now - enjoying the last few months of Maya as my only child, and growing this little baby inside me.

We wanted this baby for so long. It took nearly two years to conceive, which was emotionally draining for us. We got to a point where we gave up trying, and only then did I get pregnant! The spirit of this child has been with me for a very long time and I am so grateful that it is ready to join our little family. I am so thrilled about having the chance to be a mom again to an additional little being. In hindsight, the timing turned out perfectly. My in-law's got their PR so I have extra support and companionship; our building construction is underway and should be completed by the time our baby is 3 months old; and Maya is old enough that she's so excited to be a big sister and a helper. It was totally worth the wait!

So far, my pregnancy has been much easier than my first. I only had a few weeks of nausea. I had a LOT of fatigue over the Summer and I found it very difficult to handle the heat. My cravings have been all over the place - not one specific thing - but I have a huge aversion to rice so I've had to completely cut it out of my diet which actually makes me feel a lot lighter. I have had recurrent back pain and sore feet so I am splurging by going for regular chiropractic care and foot massages once weekly. Other than that, I feel completely normal and I often forget that I'm pregnant...until the baby kicks, of course! This pregnancy has a completely different personality than my first, and I'm sure the baby will too!

Do you guys have any predictions - do you think we're having a boy or a girl?


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

My Latest Articles on Masalamommas

As many of you know, I have been doing a regular intercultural series on Masalamommas online magazine, which has been an amazing opportunity for me to have a larger platform for our cross-cultural community.

Even though I got behind on my blog this Summer, I made sure to continue writing for Masalamommas. Over the Summer, I published two new articles that I'd like to share with you guys:

Excerpt: "Picking a name for your child is arguably the first of many things that you’ll have to compromise on as parents and find a happy medium. Some couples try to honor both cultures, while some stick to the dominant culture or the culture of residence..."

Excerpt: "As soon as I started dating my husband, I had a feeling that his mother was going to play a big part in our relationship. He was the eldest son, and they have such a close connection to each other. My husband has always taken care of his mother emotionally and they are both equally protective of each other. Their relationship as a mother and son is sacred. Now where did that leave me, as a wife? As the unexpected Firangi Bahu?"

Don't forget to share & comment if you like it!

P.S. My article 9 Benefits of Being in an Intercultural Marriage is one of Masalamomma's all-time top reads!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Our Summer in Pictures

By now it's Fall season in full swing, with the weather cooling down and the leaves falling off the trees - my favorite season. The kids are settled back into their school routine, and Summer feels long gone.

This Summer was fun for us because my in-law's were both here and got to enjoy it with us. I usually do a lot in the Summer, but this year I didn't feel like doing too much because the heat was too hard for me to handle and it made me very tired (Thank God I didn't go to that India trip in May!). We also had the little munchkin off school for 2 months and I took off work for the whole Summer - essentially becoming a stay-at-home mum again - which probably added to my tiredness. We spent a lot of time at home, having frequent barbecue dinners, swimming, playing soccer, and venturing out to the beach. It was a pretty relaxed and calm Summer. It was great to take off of work and spend time with my daughter and family.

Maya had a lot of big milestones this Summer - she got her first ever hair cut - 6 inches off! I also signed her up for a soccer class which she absolutely loved. She was the only girl in the class and she was fierce - she definitely gave the boys a run for their money! Husband-ji also took Maya to her first-ever movie in the big theater - they saw "Finding Dory" and she absolutely loved it. We also had a big birthday party for Maya in June and she invited 25 of her friends - total social butterfly!

Here is our Summer in pictures:


Dear readers, how was your Summer?
Was it busy or relaxed? How did you guys spend it?
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