Movie day gone wrong: lessons learnt the baby way.

Hmm, so here’s my story….. I’m a movie person, before marriage, i could watch move all through the night till day break, i could and i did. I really enjoyed watching movies and luckily there was always supply of chocolate from family and friends so it just complemented each other. If you know me from way back, you know chocolate was my weakness.

Back to the gist. Unfortunately since Mally’s 4th month of inception i.e since i was 4month pregnant with Mally, i haven’t being to the movies (that was my last time) and that’s about two years now. When i had her, i obviously couldn’t go to the cinema cos i don’t subscribe to taking babies to the cinema (if i had earphones for her, would have been better) and i didn’t want to leave her with anyone (most moms won’t judge me for that decision).

Recently, i decided now that she’s more aware, plays well and more used to the environment, we could go together without a hitch (mo tanra mi * i did myself). So i started saving for the date o, serious savings o cos ko easy (you’d think how much is a movie) wait till you have your priorities set out well.

So yesterday, i called my Mushroom to come home early, checked online for the movie (ocean’s 8) time (5:20pm) and started planning. I included eat out lunch (cos girl got tired of cooking). Hubby had to work late so we had to decide to make lunch later and rush to the cinema, got two tickets for (#2000) a whole 2k o, we entered and settled in then the wahala started……

Firstly, it was like the cinema bought a low quality version of the movie, it wasn’t clear at all then just when hubby and i were whispering about that Uhn, Malika just started crying (apparently, the cinema was too dark and scary for her) i begged her to stop and directed the phone light to my face, she no gree o. I had to quietly walk out and wait a bit. We sat at the ticket point for a while and hubby came saying “I’m not enjoying the movie at all, knowing you guys are outside” i told him not to worry that we’d come in after a while which we did that time she didn’t even take time to cry out loud, i rushed out and that’s how we didn’t see a scene of the movie, 2k fiam, gone.

So i thought let me go to the game arcade, that’s more age appropriate. Uhnnn, ase God was still collecting my sara money, apparently, i haven’t done enough charity in a while. I bought #500 token to ride her on the aqua dragon, my daughter screamed like her village people i had to take her off. Ejo, se koye kin koko test e kin to ra token, iro, mo ma koja aye mi lana o.

That’s how #2500 go o. We went downstairs and her father started throwing her up and down, her laughter was out of this planet (see how, she had fun at no cost).

Then we went to buy Habib yoghurt to console ourselves. Hmm, in fact, it was God’s consolation for us, Malika was licking her cheek, yes her cheek. It was that good. BTW, the Habib yoghurt was just 1k for 1ltr.

I won’t talk about the late lunch which was out dinner but let me just say I’m also going back to my principle of not eating veggies outside my kitchen. I don’t eat salad or veggies in general out. I’m very particular about it and that yesterday just reminded me.

Lessons: 1. Don’t go to the movies with kids under 3 and when they’re 3yrs, don’t take them for adult movie. They’re now very conscious of what they watch.

2. Test everything before doing it. I should have bought one ticket first or done a dark room test for her. Also, i should have put her on the swing before buying tokens at all.

3. Best fun for kids is outdoor in nature. Most artificial play isn’t healthy, they don’t enjoy it and it’s costly.

4. Know what works for you and your family and stick to it.

5. Motherhood might mean sacrificing for years, accept it.

Conclusion/ note to self: no cinema for the next 3yrs for me. Accept it.

Anniversary Homemade Dinner: Iftar inspiration

If you follow my instagram page, you’d see that i promised to do a post on this anniversary meal from April, well, i finally did it.

Been meaning to put this up but so many things have been in the way but again, maybe this is the right time as it will come in handy for iftar.

This was originally posted on a vegan food recipe blog but i incorporated my taste into it to enjoy it.

Roasted sweet potato and cucumber

Mashed avocado

Sliced carrot

Efo riro (for a life without pepper is a fragile life)

Roasted sweet potato/cucumber: in order to add some spice, after cutting the potatoes into small sizes, i put it all in a bowl and sprinkled a bit of salt, powdered ginger, garlic, seasoning and mixed it all together.

Laid the oven pan with a foil paper and spread it out on it.

The duration it spends in the oven will be determined by the temperature so check from time to time.

For the cucumber, I’d never roast it again. The taste is awful. I prefer it fresh and raw.

Mashed avocado: slice the avocado and peel away the back, mash it in a bowl with a spoon. You can add salt if you so desire but i like it more without salt.

Every other thing you eat with it depends on your taste bud and appetite. You can have it with some of these options :

1. Fish sauce

2. Egg

3. Stew in egg/fish sauce

4. Sausage

7. Yaji (suya pepper)

How will you enjoy yours? Share with me, i need to try new recipes.

Benefits of this meal method: roasting is more beneficial compared to frying as you do away with oil.

Avocado is a good source of natural fat and it’s full of numerous benefits.

It’s lighter on the body.

It’s less in calories.

P.S: this meal wouldn’t have been nice without the apple drink. It was the icing top.

How I met my husband: Anniversary Special.

I was going to share the story of how we met but somehow I didn’t have the time to put it together and also, I don’t know how to write short stories. I tend to write long narrative but today, I’d try to summarize it all.

I met “my mushroom” (in uni) through my very close friend who happens to be his cousin. Though I had noticed him (in 100level) before talking to him and I remember I thought “who’s this igbo guy that thinks he can just walk around anyhow” (later I told myself, I was just beefing unnecessarily, can’t admit it’s a crush).

We however never said hi until 200l when I officially met him through Barry (most of you know Barry, you just don’t know the name). That day Barry wanted to pass an information to him and I was there when he came to see her (she already told me they were cousins and I was most surprised that that Guy!!!!! I always see him like someone I’d never get to talk to) and we said hi (I was cold, can you tell I had a crush) then they started talking and he spoke Yoruba and in my mind I thought “wow, is this guy human?” ( I had earlier thought he isn’t Yoruba, he’s not nice, he doesn’t talk to girls, we can never be friends)

Seriously, I can’t remember how the weeks after that day went and trust me, I really can’t remember who collected numbers and made the first call but we got talking and I’m proud to say I used to call more though he says he calls more.

We got talking a lot and knew each other more. It happened that he was the class rep in his department, always attending class, sits in front roll, good grades and all but your girl was a class stabber (secondary school tradition that didn’t leave me), I sat at the back, always submitting assignment at the exact deadline, no notes (that’s OK, don’t shame me). All these changed because I had to up my game, I had to show I was worthy of our friendship. He’d check to make sure I had done my assignment, I was I’m class and all that.

To cut the long story short, January 2012, towards the end of our third year, we made our intentions known but we were coy about it for a really long time.

Throughout uni days, we were inseparable. He was the shy person, I was the “who cares” person. We totally transformed each other, it was like we were just birthed and really we were. Our lives together was, our relationship was, our love was.

Somehow, along it all, we became a sensation on campus. The rest is history.

What kept all through then till now are very simple.
1. The ultimate: GOD my Rabb forever.
2. Sincerity, truthfulness and openness
3. Communication (extensive communication)
4. LOVE!

Here are some family portraits from this year’s anniversary.

Fun kids activity: My impromptu Tea Party

I had this small activity with my little ones since last year but I thought with the holiday coming in and the kids being around, most parents might need some fun activity to do with the kids and this is a good one.

So, here’s the story behind this Tea Party all about my niece Salma.

She’s six years old and it was her dream to have a pretty tea party with all the family members in attendance, including my parents who are her grandparents and mind you, we do not stay in the same city, she expects us all to travel down. She even did a proper invite for the event.

Unfortunately, we could not go but fortunately she came down to Ibadan and stayed with me so I found a really nice way of telling her that I won’t be able to make her pretty girly tea party (which is her first ever party, not even a birthday). She accepted it in good faith and said “awwn, ok let’s have our own here tomorrow”. I thought that’s so much better and it struck me what am I going to do, use, prepare? I didn’t have anything planned prior to this.

Immediately, I started planning in my head all the little cute tea cup I’ve had since way back and all sorts. Also I thought of what could make up the menu and I came up with these:
Tea (of course)
Bread
Sausage
Eggs (scrambled)
Wafers/ biscuit/ shortbread
Some fruits: apple, pear, berries are good ones that will come out colorful (slice them into different shapes and sizes)

These are just few things that I think should help in pulling off a really successful intimate children tea party without breaking the bank.

What are your suggestions, what will you do differently and how will you pull off your child’s tea party. Share your experience or ideas. Here are some pictures from ours based on the things we had available in the house at that particular time.

Remember, you need to let the kid know they are important and their realistic wants can be provided.

My Early Childhood Homeschool Education.

When I say I don’t want my daughter to go to school till she’s five, I get so many wired look I can’t even begin to describe.

Yes, she’s not going to school till she’s 5yrs and even then I’d still have to see about it because I intend to home school her.

Don’t even let us make this a debate because we all have our different opinions on diverse issues. Now, if you choose not to home school your child, it doesn’t make you less of a parent of course not and it doesn’t mean your child won’t turn out just as good considering most of us did, same goes for me who’s opting for homeschooling.

Now, let me mention some of the reasons I opted to home school which BTW, I’ve had in mind even before I had my child. First is I’ve never liked the idea of school at least considering the education system we operate here. It’s too rigid, theoretical, expensive, not creative, limited among others. I’d break it down in the most concise way.

Let me first talk about the curriculum, yes I can talk about it because I have a copy of the Nigeria preschool curriculum and I’m sorry to those that worked tirelessly on it, it’s not good enough. Nothing on character building and development, nothing on morals and religious knowledge, nothing on history, geography and the likes and no, they’re not to small to learn all these.

Secondly, it’s the most rigid and theoretical curriculum, I bet all these private Montessori schools don’t make use of it or maybe they actually do because I visited some and they only make use of these Montessori ready made activity models without researching about the objectives behind Lady Montessori’s method of teaching and other things that should be used as a teaching tool.

Also, is it just me or these “good” private schools are just very, too expensive? A school year old moving from kindergarten to preschool now graduates which is OK but me as a parent has to pay for it? Whattttt???!!! Why na? I visited one and the fee for my 1yr old is almost #150,000 and I couldn’t see what they were offering.

Also, the time these children spend in a formally arranged serious class is too much, so I’d just pass on schooling formally till she’s five and if then my I’m still not impressed, we’d continue with the homeschooling (God help us).

So, I researched, I read, made enquiries and did all I could and came up with my curriculum and time table so by God’s grace, we start in September the Montessori way, the practical way, the reviewed way.

Want to see a summary behind why I’m doing this? This is my why.

“I started this project to redefine academics. To fill the lapses in our early childhood education system which limits learning to a one way, never reviewed curriculum. To prove that ABCs and 123s are not a determinant of a child’s abilities nor potentials. I started this so that the early childhood education my child receives will not kill her talents, dreams and abilities before she even discovers them. To teach that morals, character development, passion, good cultural, religious social and life values are major factors that moulds an individual and contributes majorly to the success of her life. I started this to teach not just academics but life education and to teach it at an early stage, to lay a foundation.”

P.S: I want my daughter to socialize while she’s getting the best education I can give her so if you have children her age (by September 1yr 7mos) please feel free to ask about my curriculum so they can join the learning process. Thanks.

How to make stew under #1000.

It occurred to me recently that I do most of my things on budget; shopping, planning an event, buying food/ groceries and many more and I’m proud that I do. I mean, it saves a whole lot of money and regardless of how “boxed up” you are, we can all use some extra and save some more.

I was going to do some shopping and cooking for the week and I realized that like I always do I was doing it on a budget so why not share with you guys so I did a poll of which to do; stew/ soup under #500 or under #1000 and it was a close call so I’d just put you through how I do the two. Now let me mention that location matters. What I get in Ibadan for #100 might be #500 in Abuja but this should be under normal circumstances and also go for budget buying.

For #1000 stew:
Pepper: tomatoes, rodo (red pepper) onions #200. I don’t use tatase (bell peppers) or bawa (chilli peppers) and the likes that’s why I didn’t include it, I really do not know what their essence is.

Beef: #500 standard five hundred Naira meat will be cut into five moderate size pieces, over time I’ve come to realize that. If it’s not up to five, you’ve been cheated, I get up to six pieces sometimes.

Ponmo or Egg: I usually have this in my stew just for additional protein which is #100. I make the egg into egg cheese, it’s a recipe that has become a tradition since uni days, many people are familiar with it, if not, I’d drop the how to here.

Seasoning: salt, spices #100. I don’t even exhaust that for spice, two cubes will do except for extra one for cooking the beef.
So cook the beef and remember to save the stock (omi eran) mind you, wash the beef with salt.

For Egg cheese, break three eggs into a bowl, add salt, spice and onions if desired, whisk well, pour it in a nylon and boil (I’m still looking for other methods to boio without nylon, I don’t really like the nylon idea). When it’s boiled, cut into desired sizes.

Put the pepper on fire, add salt, seasoning and oil, leave to boil for about five minutes, add your meat and stock, let it cook for another two minutes then add the egg cheese and leave to cook for one minute.

Your stew is ready for some clean white rice and dodo.

Timeliness; One of the realities of life – Agbalumo Lessons of season.

I was driving through the market sometime last week and I saw mango on sale. And I thought WOW! Already when some people are still waiting for rain to fall on agbalumo so it will be sweet to consume and it made me think so many things;

Some people are still waiting for a heavy downpour to ripen agbalumo so it will be sweet and I’m already seeing mango gradually coming into market. Before you know it agbalumo will be off and these set of people will not have enjoyed it’s unpredictable sweet and sour goodness till next year.

This sounds like a foodie, season and fruit talk but really it’s more about LIFE, OPPORTUNITIES, TIMING, RISKS, ATTEMPT, DREAM, TRIAL and any other related issue.

Truth is there’s never ever enough time, resources, materials, money or what have you to start that business, that dream, that project, what you have always wanted to do but you should start.

Because just like the agbalumo, you never enjoy the goodness that comes with the hustle until you start. You never know if it will be sweet or sour until you open it up. We tend to look at how ripen it is to predict it taste but it does not always apply. The same thing with project, you never know how great it will be until you start and if you want to say what if it’s like the agbalumo that will end up being sour, then close your eyes and chew it till it turns to “agbalumo chewing gum”; The lessons you learn from your trial version is your reward now use it to try again and be successful.

Let me break this down a bit, you’re thinking what if I fail, what if I run at a loss, what if it doesn’t work out, what if people don’t embrace it? BUT, what if you succeed, what if you make a big profit, realise your capital and make some more, what if it works perfectly fine, what if people say wow it’s so nice, oh mine you’re so good, you did great?

Photo Credit: @meedah_

The thing is you will never know all these if you’re waiting for a perfect season, because no season is perfect so you’d eventually miss agbalumo and you’d watch others enjoy it’s sweetness because they tried and you will say things like; and I like agbalumo o, in my house they call me the queen of agbalumo and I almost tried to take it o. All those sounds like regret and it’s worst than failure because with failure you have a chance to look back, re-strategise, reinforce and win at it.

Make agbalumo chewing gum with it so when they’re saying “oh I took a lot of agbalumo last season” you can say “ah I did too, in fact i made chewing gum out of the sour ones”
That means you made use of your opportunity when you had it and even the hard times, you learnt from it and got better.

Don’t wait for a heavy downpour, make great use of the light showers. You’d never be this young and active with so much energy again, don’t waste your youth.

Agbalumo is almost gone; taste its sweetness before you have to wait another season. This is your season and mine. I’ve enjoyed agbalumo, ready to munch on some good ogbomoso mango (if you understand this post you’d know what i mean.

That person you see as good and doing it is just as normal as you, it just looks extraordinary and impossible because you’ve not met them. It is time to be the one they want to meet, it’s time to live your dream, it’s time to do what they say is impossible because the only thing impossible is what has not been thought of or said. You’re limitless, only you can do what you have in mind, nobody else so please give us a bit of you.

I’m about to be me, BE more. You’re not ready for me, I’m not the regular. I make use of every season and I enjoy the sweetness. You should too.

Thanks to those that supported this post; Sekinat Sanni and Meedah.

Agbalumo photo credit: @meedah_

Family Picnic at the Park: A Bonding Therapy. 

Wheww…what a day. It’s been a very busy day, it started on a high note with the overnight showers of rain and hubby surprised me (I was genuinely surprised) with nice breakfast in bed which BTW, is a story for another day. 
All through the week, I’ve been planning a weekend date because we haven’t gone on any since we became a family of three (not that we used to do it all datey datey if there’s anything like that but we just like to dedicate time for ourselves asides work and home things) I had movie in mind because Ofcos we have to get on the #blackpanther wagon and mind you, we’ve not been to the movies for over a year. So I picked the one showing for 4pm but we changed plans early this morning because we’re not really ready to take Malika to the movie and we’re also not ready to be away from her (we both decided that) so we agreed that we’d have to wait a bit for out #wakanda trip hence, the picnic/lunch outing.

For a regular picnic, you’d think fruits which isn’t bad considering watermelon, pineapple, agbalumo, mango and so on are in season, juice, toast, fresh flowers but we had missed lunch and picnic was an impromptu plan so I prepared some naija jollof with fried meat in sauce added toast, ice cold drink and off to lunch at the park (the three musketeers).

We got there, put out our things and went straight into the food, good thing we were starving but we didn’t forget the important thing *family picnic = family bonding*. We talk over “piclunch”, what we are thankful for in each other, what we appreciate, what we’re sorry about, what we want to work on and it was a good time, luckily Malika was enjoying the serenity so she didn’t disturb except ofcos for the food.Edit
  At the end, hubby thought we should make this act a family tradition and do it once in a while which I totally love. Tell me something better than going out to enjoy nature; eating with loved ones while doing it.

So, if you’ve been looking for that one thing to include in your family tradition, it should be a weekend evening picnic at the park. It’s relaxing and tranquil. Pack some fruits, drinks, food, sandwich, books and toys for the kids and YES! DROP YOUR PHONE, we didn’t do anything on our phones all through except take pictures. Don’t forget to talk while on it, nothing serious just things you’re thankful for, appreciations and acknowledgement.
Let me know your thoughts and comments. Thank you 

How to ease and win an argument with your spouse

Let me put it out straight now, the best way to ease the tension during an argument is to avoid the argument but it’s not possible you’d argue. 
Now, this post is for every married couple, family, parents and most importantly new couple.

Let’s face it argument will come up once in a while but it doesn’t make it a good thing but again it’s manageable.

Like I always say, we all have different approach to things including family affairs but these are practical methods that I’ve used and works for me.


Think before you talk:
argument is really tempting and it’s very easy to drops words and most easy to drop bad, provocative, aggressive, annoying words but take your time to think of what you want to say before saying it. Will I win this argument if I say this, if it becomes an issue can I say I said it? If not, don’t say it.


Drink water:
no, I’ve not forgotten what I’m writing about and yes water works for me. During an argument, I’m likely to be dehydrated especially when voices are going up so I tell myself I need water. This is it, you don’t want to be choking on your words, makes it sound like you’re sure of yourself, now get water, take it in three gulps and calm down. By now, you’d be more relaxed and your brain more settled to be reasonable.


Sit down
: if you were not standing during an argument then don’t stand, if you were, sit down. When you stand, it feels like you’re assuming a violent position and the other person might get angry and verbally defensive. You don’t want things escalating because of your position so sit.


Don’t shout
: it’s an argument not a fight so don’t make it one and don’t tell the other person to stop shouting, most people don’t like it. If you feel the other person is beginning to raise his/her voice then let them be.


Don’t talk
: this should be my number 1, let me tell you, when hubby and I disagree on an issue and it’s becoming an argument I just keep mute till everyone is OK then we can talk about it later calmly. It’s my best technique


Think love and count
: it works for real. Think of your favorite thing about the other person and count to 10 (you can shake/wave your leg while doing that, it’s allowed) then think of your next favorite thing count again continue till you stop shaking your leg, breathe out and let go till you’re ready to talk like adults and not argue.

The winner of the argument is the person that stays calm first so always aim to win, I always want to win because when I win he apologizes first.

Did you enjoy this post, then drop your comments and how you handle arguments with your spouse. I’d love to learn from you.

HOW TO GET KIDS TO DRINK MORE WATER 

We all know how important it’s to stay hydrated especially kids with all those “fat burning energy consuming, fast dehydration running around”. The truth is, most kids don’t like to drink except it’s soda, juice or sweetened water so here are practical ways I’ve gotten my niece and nephew to drink more water. 

Tell them the importance
: like I said we all know the importance of drinking water so it makes sense to let them know as well. Tell them if they play around so much they need water in order not to faint due to dehydration it’s scary but true.


Customised Cup/Bottle
: get each child a cute mobile cup or bottle that has their name or name alphabet on it and call it “Aisha’s water cup”. This tells them they’re special and trust me they’d want to carry it around, all you have to do is make sure it’s always filled. Check @thegiftsource on ig, they have a wide range of pretty and creative water bottles and I love them. Kids will definitely like it. 


Don’t over do it:
as much as you want to get them to drink water, don’t overwhelm them by getting a BIG cup or bottle and fill it all up, no. Get a moderate sized one and fill it with a reasonable litre that they’d most likely finish before the end of school day. You don’t want you kid coming back with almost filled cup saying “but mum it was too much”.


Add lemon
: some people just don’t drink water except they just finished eating and there are kids like that too. Add a bit of lemon to their water to give it taste. If your child likes lemon flavored water, tell him he’d get more lemon flavored water if he drinks a cup of ordinary water.

Let them play it out: let them play away without water and come back dehydrated and tell them they need to drink water more so the have enough in the water bank in his body, that way he won’t come dried out needing water so bad. 

Give it time: after telling him in a very creative manner why water is important, give him time to understand it. Don’t get angry that he doesn’t get it, some adult don’t till today, so Keep trying, keep telling him, keep giving water till he gets it.

Will you give this a trial? Let me know how it works out. And yeah, how have you gotten your little ones to cultivate the water habit, share with me please. Thank you.