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Motherhood

If Your Kids Play Roblox, Read This!

I recently (finally!) sat down and really spent some time on Roblox with my daughters.  After spending hours on the well known gaming app, my kids had become addicted and I needed to figure out what it was all about.

In case you are not already aware of this, Roblox is a game-creation website where users design and upload their own games.  This basically means that there are thousands of games buried on the app.  As a parent I find this VERY difficult and frustrating to keep up with.  On the app they are constantly selling games and ‘Robucks (in game currency)’ to keep the children engaged and active.  My kids have asked for Robucks for their birthday, wth?!?

Talk To Your Kids

As a rule, I usually reference Common Sense Media before downloading apps to get an idea about what parents are saying about a particular movie or video game, but with Roblox – I admit – I went along with the masses (250 million downloads to date), so that my girls could play with their friends. 

Games That Disgust

Currently they are playing a game called “Broken Bones.” In this game, a player jumps off a building or cliff, depending on the number of bones they break they are paid money to ‘level up’ to a jump off a higher ledge where they have the opportunity to break more bones and make more money! As my husband put it, “What idiot made a game like this!?!?”

(Note: with parental controls, my kids did NOT have access to Broken Bones or another ridiculous game called Growing Up)

Similarly, a game called “Fashion Famous” that my girls love is a popularity contest based purely on appearances.  In this game, players dress up according to a theme and then are rated by other players and then ranked. Yuck!

There are so many others, Jailbreak, Growing Up, and so many more.

In Game Texting
This is a screenshot from Growing Up where chat rooms are disguised as phone texts.

Tips for Parental Settings

If you feel the same way I do about what I have learned, I have a few tips for you before you hand over the ipad to your child tonight:

  1. Know your child’s login and password (our kids had set up accounts using their school email addresses and forgot their own passwords which made all of this extra frustrating).
  2. For users under 13 years of age, use parental controls to enter into safe-chat mode, better yet, disable it all together.
  3. Set a 4 digit PIN that will be required anytime changes are made to the account.
  4. Adjust the security settings to only allow access to age-appropriate games only (but these standards are according the administrators, so be weary)

For more, read the Parents Ultimate Guide to Roblox and definitely see what other parents are saying on Common Sense.

Roblox’s free-and-open communication policy –including the ability for unregistered users to chat — means that your kids’ interactions can vary widely, from legitimate player engagement to potentially risky involvement with predatory users.  ~ Common Sense Media

The Takeaway

If I could do it all over again, I would not have downloaded it, here is why:

  1. It is highly addictive, 10 out of 10 times when I ask my kids what they want to do, they say Roblox.
  2. The parental controls are just OK, you can in some cases block the chat features, but that does not mean that you can control the content that they are exposed to.
  3. I can’t keep up! I try it be a diligent parent, but with so much content on the app, it’s just too much!

This summer my girls were gifted a Nintendo Switch and suddenly Mario Cart and Just Dance aren’t looking so bad.  For now, I have deleted Roblox from their ipads and my life (much to their dismay).

Read more about the Hidden Dangers of Roblox on WebSafety here.

Bottom line is keep your kids offline for as long as you can!

Let me know your thoughts on this.  I feel helpless in this fast paced world of video games.  I really prefer to revolve my life around a dozen or so ‘known’ things like board games, family friendly movies and tv shows, and of course getting into nature.

I cannot stress enough how much I love resources like Common Sense Media for things like this.  I acknowledge that our kids are exposed to so much already on and off the computer, in and out of the classroom, but I don’t want them to ever see ‘broken bones’ as a good thing.

** Please note that not everything on Roblox is bad, you just need to keep a close eye on what games your child is playing.**

Rules
Rules as stated in a game called Gymnast Gymnastics

Thanks for reading,

Your Chick,

Rina 

Breastfeeding – Maintaining and Increasing Supply

Many Mommas want to know how to increase milk supply at some point during their breastfeeding journey – whether you think you’re not producing enough or you had a cold and your supply dipped. 

Here are a few things that helped me breastfeed both my kids  until age 1 and donate some for NICU babies. 

Nursing often in those beginning weeks. This is what everyone probably tells you, but I know as a mom how daunting it can feel to think that you baby is not getting enough. A little patience, and a lot of nursing, those first few weeks will set you up with a good supply. Beware: your nipples will hurt and ache, but it will get better! I used Earth Mama’s nipple butter to help with any discomfort.

Try to nurse on both sides at each feeding to ensure your body knows to make more milk for baby. I also used the Haakaa manual suction pump on the opposite side while I fed. This helped with losing any leaked milk and to signal my body that we need the milk. GUYS I CAN’T SAY ENOUGH ABOUT THE HAAKAA – JUST GET IT! Using a nursing pillow will help with holding your baby properly and support your arm and back. 

Another good way to increase your supply, if you are really feeling that it’s low – try to pump right after a feeding to empty your breast completely – hence telling your body you need more milk. This always helped when I got sick and my supply would dip a little bit. I use the Medela Pump in style pump with my first and the Spectra S2 with my second. They both worked well for me. I did like the Spectra s2 a tad bit more because it was a quieter pump. 

Make sure your baby has a proper latch. Often times your body is producing the milk but your baby might not be feeding properly and getting all the milk due to a poor latch. I had this issue with my 1st and seeing a certified lactation consultant early on helped my nursing journey. You can find a certified lactation consultant near your through https://www.ilca.org/home

H2O, H2O, H2O – lots of fluids. I lugged my camelback water bottle around everywhere. Water sometimes gets boring, so switch it up with some flavored water. I don’t know the science behind it but COOL BLUE gatorade helped my supply significantly.

Healthy diet – it is SO hard to maintain a balanced diet during those first few months of chaos. I always kept stashes of lactation bars and mixed nuts on my night stand. Avocados were my go to during the day – they also helped to make my milk more fatty. 

Lactation Bars

As an Indian mom, my elders made me consume tons of organic teas and foods. Dill seed and fennel seed tea – soak the seeds in water and then boil. I drank this every morning religiously for 4 months. 

Fenugreek sweets (Methi pak), you can also just take the fenugreek capsules.  

Supplements

Sunflower lecithin – The product helps with increasing fatty acids in your milk. It also helps clogged ducts, pushing milk through the ducts – hence increasing your output of hind milk: the fatty part of your milk

Legendairy Milk – A company that has various organic supplements to help with various breastfeeding issues. I occasionally took their Liquid Gold Supplement which helped with making my milk more fatty. 

Take the prenatal vitamins that your obgyn or pediatrician recommends for you. 

I also took an extra vitamin C to help through winter cold months. 

Surviving Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a tough and stressful journey. Try to let go a little, at the end of the day happy mommy makes for a happy baby. No matter the situation: FED IS BEST whether through breastfeeding or through formula. You are the best Momma to your baby!

Your Chick,

Neema

Mommy Must Haves From An Experienced Mom

We’ve reached the 8 month mark with our second child, Ayan, and now that we’re in a groove with sleeping, nursing and hormones have even balanced out, I wanted to share a few of my favorite newborn necessities. The 4th trimester is no joke and while it’s easy to accumulate so much unnecessary baby gear, I 100% recommend all of the items here.

Snuggle Nest

The first few weeks are such a struggle and blur. The endless nursing, the long nights, and over fatigue from birth recovery. The snuggle nest goes directly on your bed and it’s so easy to just reach over to grab baby in the middle of the night to feed. No need to get out of bed!

Baby Jogger City Select

We bought this stroller with my daughter, Nara, in hopes to expand it when we had our next child. It has been the perfect double stroller for my two littles! My toddler sits in the front and the baby goes directly on top with the car seat adapter. LOVE this stroller and how it has grown with my family.

Earth Mama – Natural Nipple Butter

The battlewounds of breastfeeding are real. SO REAL. The first two weeks of breastfeeding are never fun for me. In fact, they’re down right painful. Even with my second, I just know I have to make it through those two weeks. This nipple butter is god-sent: easy to apply and don’t need to wipe it off before feeding. It healed me overnight!

Windi

Why I didn’t think to buy these with my first child beats me. IT HAS SAVED MY BABY’S TUMMY AND MY PEACE! A gassy baby is a cranky baby. Occasionally we have used the windi to help immediately relieve Ayan’s gas pains. It literally whistles as they pass gas. It’s the craziest thing only parents find amazing.

Dohm

The amount my newborn sleeps vs. the amount of noise my toddler makes. A constant battle. Having the dohm sound machine in my newborns room during the day has helped drown out my toddlers loud, high pitched, voice. Results: A well-rested baby. WIN.

Boppy Nursing Pillow

Used this pillow with both kids. It really helps with support in holding baby while nursing and not putting as much pressure on your arms. It is also great to use for tummy time and casual laying post feeds since it keeps the baby elevated

Baby Ktan

Baby wearing is something I love to do. Especially when we go out in the early days with a newborn (no one can get in their face with germs), but also around the house when they are napping and you can’t afford to hold them for endless hours. It provides a great opportunity for skin-to-skin in the early days.

Water bottle

I’ve never been more thirsty in my life. Having a water bottle by my side is 100% a must-have. I need one that I can hold a lot of water and can operate with one hand—because let’s face it, that’s all I have these days.

Gentle Baby Essential Oil – Young Living

I use this daily on Ayan. I mix one drop with almond oil and massage his whole body before bed. It really calms him down and he smells glorious. I give credit to this oil for making bedtime so easy with my little.

Lansinoh Nursing Pads

Lactating stains are not hot. I’ve been there with my first – sitting in a restaurant with a huge milk spot on my shirt. I quickly invested in these disposable nursing pads and still using them with my second.

Haakaa Manual Pump

I cannot say enough about this. I came across it with my second child and did not have to pump for a very long time. While I was nursing on one side I would attach the Haaka on the other breast to catch all the leaking milk. I just don’t have enough good things to say about it.  TRY IT!

4moms Breeze

The most compact and easy to travel with pack and play. I can even move it around my house with easy or place it in the back yard while I play with my toddler. It really is the most efficient pack and play.

There are a ton of great baby items out on the market! I surely have not been able to try all of them. Pick the ones that suit you and your parenting style.  Check out some of our other posts on parenting here.

The Boutique

Hope that you found this helpful!

Your Chick,

Neema

Check out my post on the importance of Dry Bushing here.

 

 

Dear Mom, You Kept Us Close To Your Heart When You Did This

There is not a day that goes by without the thought that everything I do and feel for my children, my Mom most likely felt for me at some point.  It is such an overwhelming realization when you squeeze your child and smother them with kisses to know that the intensity of that moment was once felt towards me by my own mother.

A Photo of Us With Our Mom
A Photo of Us With Our Mom

Small Gestures and The Circle of Life

As I look back, and appreciate, all the “little things“ my mom did for my siblings and I, the one “thing” that stands out was when she would reach back and grab my hand while driving.  It was the smallest gesture that literally meant the world to me!  I am tearing up as I am writing this because I’ve carried this tradition on with my own children.  It wasn’t always fun and games with my Mom.  Just like most mothers, there were good days and there were bad bad days, but every time my mom would reach back for my hand, it was our reminder that she, and I, were going to be okay.  I can feel that same energy when I reach back for my own children’s hands.

Let’s be honest chicks, the reality is that one day our kids will grow up, go to school, get married and then settle into lives of their own.  With each stepping stone in life, a Mom begins to miss their child a just little more.  I recall how hard the first day of school was for me, I can only imagine what an emotional mess I will be when they move out.

Keep The Kids Close To Your Heart

For Mother’s Day I wanted to find a way to be with my kids all the time and I came across a personalized collection by Landon Lacey jewelry. I love the idea of keeping my kids close to my heart when they are away at school by wearing this adorable necklace.  The necklaces from Landon Lacey look good when layered or make a statement all by themselves.

The designers at Landon Lacey jewelry also use their pieces to inspire adventure by weaving travels of their own into each piece.  These Chicago based ladies hand make all their jewelry and are super affordable (the set I am wearing is on sale for less than $20 right now and it is 14k gold)!  They even use colors and stones from around the world to inspire their customers.  Their minimalist designs make the perfect addition to any event day or night. I am personally obsessing over my kids first initials on this necklace.

14k Gold and Dainty

To all the Mothers out there – you are amazing, you can do anything, and you will find a way to do it right.  Don’t second guess yourself, trust your instincts, and always believe that the glass is half full.  I’m hopeful that the little “things” that I have carried on from my Mom will be just as meaningful to my kids.

Happy Mother’s Day to you all!  Keep your kids close to your heart this Mother’s Day with these adorable personalized pieces!

Your chick,

Sonia

 **Thank you Landon Lacey for this beautiful and heartfelt collaboration.**