Halloween in London For Families.

Trick or Treat!

Halloween is here and if you and the family have already figured out what to or who to dress up as. You may have done some Halloween themed arts and crafts and even plan going trick or treating in the neighborhood. Halloween time can be so much more than that and there are lots of fun places to go in London.

1. You can celebrate the festivities at retailers like Harrods have the best spooky displays and ghoulish treats for the whole family. Why not pop in for some fun day out.

2. Go to the Mayfair’s Haunted Mansion for some spook-tacular time!

3. Go to LEGO Land Brick or Treat – fancy dress, face paints, pumpkins or just loads of treats, Kids love Lego and kids love Halloween so this is a perfect combo for the family. Follow a trail through the park and solve the mystery of the missing potion ingredients then build your own Lego pumpkin.

4. Halloween at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo – Pumpkin Trail, quiz, free Spooky Story Time and Colouring In sessions at 12pm and 2pm; plus Make a Trick or Treat Bag drop-in sessions from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 3.30pm; and Spooky Face-painting from 11am to 1pm and 2pm to 3.30pm.

5. Crystal Palace Halloween Funfair in Crystal palace park. You will need to buy a token.

6. Late Night,Haunted Hall,Forty Hall,Enfield,London,children 4 – 8pm October 31 2018

7. Sea Life London: Halloween Ascariumm in County Hall, South Bank, Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7PB. Date: October    31 Sea Life London Aquarium

8. Screamfest in London Dungeon, Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7PB

9. Mischief and Mayhem at Lee Valley

10. Lastly you can take the kids to your local shopping mall, there bound to be something spooky going on there.

Childcare in New York City

Being an expatriate in New York City can be both exciting and challenging. You are looking for who to take care of your kids when you go back to work and you want the best for them because you know that early education is crucial to their future development and success.

One of such child care providers with branches in Manhattan is KinderCare. Kids at KinderCare ranges from infants to five-years olds, which is a crucial time in their developmental stage. What is unique about them is not only the large spacious and clean environment, or the caring and enthusiastic nature of the teachers helping the kids to build self confidence , it is the kind of program they teach the little one. They have cleverly woven learning into play through their curriculum.

Other than their regular early years education curriculum, they have add-on programs like Before and After school Programs, Learning Adventures and Bilingual Mandarin Immersion Programs.

I was privileged to attend their New Music Explorers Program which is part of the Learning Adventures Program with my 7 months old daughter. The class teaches music and mindfulness. During the musical session, the children were learning about the season – Fall. They were asked questions and encouraged to think and use imagination in a fun, playful and relaxed atmosphere. It was very relaxing. The kids ranged from 2-4 years old. Although the programs seems to be more suitable for the older children, but my seven months old daughter enjoyed the music season.

I observed them for a while and noticed the way the staffs listened to the children, the children’s voices were heard and listened to. They are encouraged to speak up their ideas and were supported to learn new things. Encouraging new ideas and helping them to build skills are needed when they start school.

Other enrichment programs in KinderCare include: Cooking Academy and Phonics Adventures which helps children to read and write. There were diverse group of staffs and children working together like one big family. Most of the children at KinderCare looked more than ready for first grade and no doubt they would excel in school.

Here’s what to look out for when looking for childcare in your area.

1. Pay them a visit. More than once if necessary. Go with the kid and one other person where possible. There might be something you missed that the other person can pick up on.

If can’t go and visit, contact consulting service like us using the contact page on http://www.thelondonmom.com to see how we can help you with your relocation needs.

2. Do your research, what programs do they offer? What is their curriculum? What is a typical day like? What is their policy on diversity? Your kid is going into the real world in five years time, they got to know that the world is filled with different kinds of people.

3. How accessible is the place? Can you get there in less than 30 minutes from home or work? Is there a bus or train to get there or do you intend to drive – is there car park?

4. How’s their facility like? Are there variety of toys and learning resources? If they don’t have an outdoor space, how close is the nearest park and how do they intend on getting there and back.

5. What’s the menu like? Can they meet the cultural and spiritual needs of your child if need be? I will advise to allow your child to be a little flexible in some aspects of things like food (except when dealing with allergies) because, again we are preparing them for the real world. He may not always have his way or have what he wants.

6. Do your child need medication? What’s their medicine policy on giving medication to a child? Is there a trained or qualified staff always on duty?

7. How do they communicate children milestones with the parents?

Parent guilt is real. It’s unavoidable but always being in the know helps a little with that feeling. Little things like “Today Faith took her first step”. “David wrote his name”. Little things like that will put a smile on any parents face.

Finally remember to ask questions when going or speaking with the center. Don’t be shy about sounding silly. No question is silly. Take note, jot down your questions or worries and take them along with you.

Baby Ear Piercing

We moved to Manhattan from London and after the birth of our baby girl we didn’t know where and when to have her ear pierced. How do they do it in America I wondered.

During her six months pediatricians appointment I talked about my worries and concerns with the doctor and she advised me that after their two months shots, they can have their ears pierced. Wow I’m I already falling her I thought, she’s nearly seven months old already. I was only worried because I didn’t want her to feel the pain, but this pain is vary different from male circumcision for example. The baby boys have to have it done as babies because it is a very painful procedure(even as babies) and especially worse when they are older.

But with ear piercings you don’t necessarily have to have it done by two months. It is not that painful nowadays. I know this for a fact because I had my second piercing done when I was at uni.

The doctor also informed me that there was a lady that comes to the clinic to do it. She emphasized that the lady is not affiliated with the clinic. But that she’s a nurse and very clean and sterilized.

Another places some mom friends pointed me to was some children hair salons in Manhattan.

Then one day as I was driving past broadway on the upper west Side of Manhattan, I saw Claire’s. I used them for my older daughters ear piercing in England so I was really glad to know that they are also in the US. I went in and asked about it. It was basically the same process.

We decided to do it at Claire’s, So that they could both have that little thing in common. I love little things like that that have a continuity from our lives in London to our new life in New York City. My oldest two were born in England and with the baby being the only one born in America, I didn’t want her to grow up feeling like she doesn’t have connections with her older siblings.

I went with the small diamond for her. Although more pricey than I had anticipated but I was glad I did. It is very very small and she basically didn’t feel anything when we got home. She slept on the side without a flinch.

Now I hope to finally stop being asked if my daughter is a girl or a boy 🙂

3 Fall Accessories that will dramatically transform your look

As a busy or tired woman we don’t want to wear our feel on our sleeves. Especially if you have an event to attend or even if you are having brunch with your friends.

This few accessories will dramatically transform your look from a tired beat down lady to a fabulous glamorous one in no time and with no effort.

1. Sunglasses. They are not only for summer or even the sun (as the name may implies) nowadays, they are many ladies God sent to cover tired eyes. They come in different colors and designs.

Even when you have a good 8 hours of beauty sleep, if you don’t have time to apply full eye makeup, sunglasses are your best friend. I try to use fewer and less heavier makeup this days, simply because I don’t have as much time as before to take them off properly, so sunglasses just covers a good proportion of my face and I can move on with the day.

you can get these fun ones here

2. Belt – A belt will not only give you definition but also transform your look. A basic outfit can instantly look glamorous by simply adding a belt. You can add color or frame your waist with a belt.

3. Handbags – handbags are not only functional accessories for your bits and bobs, they are fashion item that can transform your look. They can add ascent to your outfit, compliment your style and even say a little about your kind of style.

These three little accessories can transform your look. Remember when you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside!

You can get the handbag here

Breastfeeding Beyond 6 months

I have breastfed my daughter for over six months now and like I had done with the other two, I wanted to stop. I wasn’t enjoying breastfeeding this time around. The latching was good, supply was good and baby was happy.

There was just too many issues with me breastfeeding, back pains, restricting my diet because a lot of the food I ate gave her gas. Lack of sleep because she would wake up every three hours to nurse. And my daughter just loved it so much that she wasn’t really sucking to feed but to comfort. And then the weight issue. Formula fed babies are more chunkier and I wanted her to be chunky(?) but she wasn’t having any of that and I wanted to stop after six months so I can put her on formula and puréed meals. Then all the pains will stop and I can finally get my sleep back. How wrong was I. This is what I experienced when I stopped for five days.

1. Stomach cramps like I’ve never experienced before. I know pains, I have been on labour before and I usually have cramps when I’m in my period but this one was on a whole lot of different level. The pains was excruciating and paralysing.

2. Formula is so damn expensive. I would buy two for nearly $30 and it won’t even last two weeks.

3. Washing and sterilising bottles aren’t fun.

4. Baby cried for the whole five days every night. So no sleep. But it wasn’t all bad.

5. Baby was chunkier

6. Baby learnt how to use bottles. But then

7. Baby COULD become ill.

No 7. Was the deal breaker for me. I noticed that last week when we were all dealing with the flu, she was feeling unwell too. This had never happened in the past. Then I remembered that breast milk contains antibiotics.

My daughter had never been ill in the last six months and now she was unwell. I had to get her back to nursing. You could express and feed her the milk but I didn’t want to add expressing to my ever ending to-do list. If I was in a better position, that was what I would have done. But I went back to nursing her and she was more happier. I noticed she started feeling better (there might not be enough scientific fact that breastfeeding babies are less likely to fall ill, it’s just something I personally experienced). My cramps stopped gradually.

Although every other issues with breastfeeding listed above are still there, I’m continuing for now. I don’t know for how long. Maybe until she’s two years old but I will take each day as it comes. One day at a time. And I’m just happy she’s continuing to get all the ‘good stuff’ that will help her fight any illness especially as we are entering the colder weather. And if you are stopping after six months, of course there is always medicine your doctor could prescribe for any illness your baby might have. I am not against antibiotics or any medicine. As parents we all do what WE think is best for our babies. No one method is better than the other.