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by Yahalooo on April 16, 2016

Mama has flat feet and Banoota does have tendency to fall around all over the place all the time so when we heard about Altenburg having their own store in Kuwait we were thrilled and took her their to get her feet check.

The store is located in Marina Mall, outside next to Kabab-Ji and Viva telecoms. Inside, there are 2 exam rooms and a room for what they call a medical foot treatments such as specialized pedicures and more soon to come.

If you were in Europe you wouldn’t find this store in a mall, usually in hospitals because it is a specialist store. As our lifestyle in the middle east is different, they have decided to open the store in a Mall. You can’t simply walk in and buy a shoe, it’s not how it works. They have specialists, shoe making masters who have studied the profession and are officially licensed to diagnose people who have difficulty walking properly or those with back pain.

We had an appointment set up with Christian, one of the German shoe masters. He was very helpful and informative. In all honesty we were surprised of how bad the consequences of not wearing the correct footwear are. He also taught us how to choose the correct shoes for our littles ones regardless of the brand name or how expensive a shoe could be. We highly recommend him as he is very generous with sharing information.

Anyhow, we walked around the shop, they showed us the two different exam rooms, the specialized spine x-ray for adults, the specialized foot treatment room and finally we settled in the family examination room to have Banoota checked. It starts of with a picture of the foot, with this the specialist can see the structure of the foot, how the child is standing and the pressure points were most of the weight is. Then he let Banoota walk around barefoot, if the person is above 10 years old they will walk on a specialized treadmill that will measure the pressure points on each part of the foot. After that, he examined Banoota’s feet checking the mobility and as Christian says the most important this is to smile because when we do our body is most relaxing offering accurate results.

We found out that hamdillah Banoota’s feet are not flat and all she needs is to wear good shoes. What is a good shoe? Something with strong support at the ankle, wide in the front to accommodate children’s growing feet and they need to have a gap of 15 mm in front. We remember when our Banoota was young she always wore Ecco boots and they fit the criteria so hamdillah choosing the right footwear for her at a young age helped her develop healthy feet structure.

So, when should you do get your children’s feet checked out? When they start walking so as soon as 15 months. Many issues can be resolved by simply having the right shoe, no more flat feet or high arched feet for life. We love the concept of the store, especially that they did not try and sell us their products and were honest with us by saying that our girl could continue with wearing good shoes. They also gave us the green light to left her wear fancy shoes from time to time as long as she’s in good shoes majority of the time.

They also have specialized soles for sports shoes so any mothers who have their children in sports clubs, you can customize soles to protect their feet depending on the sports they do. If your child weights 50 kilos and plays football, they add 6 to 7 times of their bodyweight on their feet so that’s 300 to 350 Kilos, so keeping the base, their feet safe is very important.

They also have shoes designed for diabetics, those with clawed feet, swellings, post-surgeries, those with back pain and so much more. You have to visit the store and have a tour to actually see their collection of shoes and the different audiences they cater too.

Their shoe sizes start at 20 and go all the way to 50 and of course they can customize shoes according to the clients requirement. Like for example there are two clients who have growth problems and are smaller than they actually are so they had custom made shoes in the size 18 and 19 for them.

Also, they had a set of twins with flat feet, one of them outgrew his flat feet and the other they’re still working on them, 2 year later. It really shows you that their are no two feet that are alike.

Their shoes are what I think similar to physiotherapy, you start by wearing them for an hour, 2 hours the next day and so on until you wear then for a whole day and can take some rest every now and then. After 2 weeks of receiving you shoes and soles that generally take about 3 days, you go for a follow up appointment to see how you’re getting along with the new footwear and if alls okay, your next appointment would be in 3 to 6 months to follow up.

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Picking the Perfect Pushchair.

by Yahalooo on March 12, 2016

A pushchair is the most important baby gear item that you’ll be buying simply because you cannot go anywhere without it. Whether it’s to a family gathering, shopping trip, the park, a restaurant and any other place you’d like to take your little one. Having the perfect one that meets all of your needs makes caring and managing for your baby so much easier while on the go.

The marketing people behind children’s brands have made choosing one seem more difficult with all the fancy names that they have come up with such as pram, stroller, jogger and the most posh of them is a ‘travel system’ which simply means a pushchair along with a car seat. For the sake of keeping it easy, we’ll just refer to them as pushchairs only.

A universal perfect pushchair doesn’t exist simply because parents have different needs and lifestyles that call for different features in a pushchair. If you manage to get it right, than managing your baby while going out will become so much easier. In theory babies are easy to deal with, as long as you meet their requirements than you should have an enjoyable time with your little bundle of joy. Naturally, things don’t always go according to plan so we all have to deal with our fair share of crying, whining, sleepless nights and all the other things that come with being a parent.

Our biggest mistake was that we bought our pushchair when Mama was still 5 months pregnant and we made an even bigger mistake when we bought a car seat at the same time. We later discovered it’s best to wait until your little one has safely arrived on planet earth and take them along with you to see which pushchair they are most comfortable in. Even though the pushchair we picked, the Urbo from Mama & Papas was a home run, we failed miserably with the Prima Pappa car seat which has a high degree of safety but isn’t suitable for our super hot climate. It would have worked very nicely as a winter car seat which you could use for 3 months. Anyhow, that’s another story.

Back to pushchairs, Banoota loved her Urbo and was an excellent choice as it met all our needs. There is one problem, with the heat in Kuwait; the Urbo pushchair generated a lot of static which isn’t pleasant at all for the person in command. We took our pushchair back to Mamas & Papas and asked them to try it out. After the employees each got a lovely shock of their own, they spoke to the manager and literally seemed like they were arguing with him over the phone and to our surprise they actually exchanged it for a brand new one! We just paid the difference because we opted for the Urbo Elite which had additional features that made it suitable for winter as well. 

What did we learn? There are a couple of basic questions that you need to ask yourself before picking one out.
1). What is the nature of your lifestyle? You have to take into consideration, how often you go out, what the places you visit are (indoors or outdoors) and for how much time you spend during your outings. Pushchairs with bigger wheels are perfect for outdoor activities on uneven surfaces whereas if you’re more of an indoor person small wheels will do the trick.
2). How tall are you? Some of the pushchairs have lower handles making pushing them uncomfortable whereas others have adjustable handles that will satisfy people of all height
3). What kind of car do you drive? If you have an SUV with a big trunk space than leaving your pushchair in it wouldn’t be a problem whereas if you have a smaller car and have to get some necessities from IKEA than your pushchair will be taking up some valuable storage space. 
4). Will you be leaving it in your car’s trunk, or are you going to be carrying it around? An important thing to take into consideration is that with the heat in Kuwait, some pushchairs develop a static current when used so its best if you keep a static spray with you to ensure you don’t receive an unpleasant shock. 
5). Is this the same pushchair you’ll be travelling around with or do you plan on having a special one just for travelling? Some pushchairs are designed for countries with cold weather as the backrest and padding can generate extra heat which is unwanted during our summer seasons. Others are made of light-weight durable fabric that is nice and cool in summer.
6). How much storage space would you like on your pushchair? Some more compact pushchairs like the BabyZen Yoyo can only handle luggage not exceed 2 to 3 kilograms whereas with others you can use them to carry all of your groceries without have trouble.
7). What are the accessories that you will be requiring? Do you need extra handles to hang your shopping addiction or perhaps a rain cover for those unexpected days? Lately there are so many additional features that you can purchase to add on pushchairs including a storage system for your phone, wallet, key and other necessities. There are also additional seats and boards for older children that can be attached which are great for when they get tired and want to rest. You will find many cool gizmos and gadgets in many independent children stores in Kuwait such as Twins & Siblings, Jelly Beanz and many more.
8). Who will be handling the pushchair? If you will be having your nanny with you all the time you’d want something that is easy to fold and adjust so it isn’t broken by extreme forces due to its complicated.
9). It’s also very important that the pushchair you choose can face both directions because babies can be afraid of the vast open space they see so when facing their parents will feel more secure.
10). How long you plan on keeping your pushchair? If you get a classic umbrella pushchair by Silvercross or Mothercare and have another child, you could easily get another one and connect them together with pushchair connectors. Twin pushchairs are more challenging as there are fewer options available in the market. Also, colors and material matter, if you plan on getting a hot pink pushchair for your little princess, it won’t be very useful in the future for prince charming when he arrives on planet earth.

Some of our favorite pushchairs other than our Urbo Elite by Mamas & Papas that we adore.

Baby Zen Yoyo, this is our trusted and loved travel pushchair because it’s the only one which when folded is small enough to be taken onboard of an aircraft and stored in the overhead luggage compartment. When we transited in Frankfort it was a lifesaver as we didn’t have to carry around 11 months old Banoota. It weighs just under 5 kilograms so carrying it around is a piece of cake. Now comes with a version designed for children from birth. Available in Mothercare, Twins & Siblings.
Price for 0+ 185 KD
Price for 6m+ 154 KD

Stokke Xplory as it’s very easy to steer and can be adjusted to many different positions having your baby up close to you. It also comes with a special diaper bag that makes organizing you little one’s necessities easy. Available in Mothercare and Mamas & Papas.
Price: 395 KD

Bugaboo Donkey is a great option as it grows with your family coming with many different parts so it can be converted into a double pushchair and if used for one child, the other side can be converted into a large shopping basket. Although it’s a little heavier, all the features it comes with are defiantly worth it. Available at Mothercare.
Depending on which parts you decide to buy, it can reach around 500 KD.

Urbo from Mamas & Papas, we had to add it because we’ve have it and it’s amazing, comfortable and heavy duty for those who like to haul around lots of shopping.
Ours is the elite version, price 240 KD

Here are some of our previous articles reviewing various pushchairs:
Maclaren BMW buggy

Urbo pushchair from Mamas & Papas

Baby zen yoyo and how to pack for it here.

Astin Martin & Silver Cross

The five toys every toddler should have

by Yahalooo on March 4, 2016

Since Mama has been working as a teacher in a nursery now handling the Kindergarden age level, she has been amazed with what parents think of their children. The typical question that we all ask our children when they get back home, “What did you learn today?” and usual answer given by children is nothing new, even though they have learnt so many new things. What we parents sometimes fail to realise is that children learn through playing hence they don’t feel like they’re learning something new when they actually are. So what she does is ask the parents to watch their children as they play and then they will be able to see some of the many skills that they’ve been learning.

It’s not just about playing, it’s what they are playing with that helps aid to children’s development. We need to guide our children in choosing the right toys that will help benefit them in one way or another as opposed to having a room full of barbie dolls or racing cars. It’s not that children should be banned from these “mindless” toys, just limited on them and we as parents need to create a balance for them.

Here are the top toy types that we believe each child should have at any given stage of their growth.

1). The Soft Book. Read the rest of this entry »

Home made art material

by Yahalooo on February 26, 2016

Making your own paint and play-doh at home is very easy. You can make something that’s super good quality that takes longer to make or you can make it very fast and easy but it won’t last you as long.

Processed with Moldiv Read the rest of this entry »

The Bilibo…Banoota’s all time favourite toy

by Yahalooo on February 4, 2016

Possibly this could be Banoota’s all time favorite toy as crazy as it sounds. We’re pretty open minded when it comes to trying new things with Banoota but when we first saw it, we were a little skeptical until the owner, Basma started explaining the different way to play with it which sounded very interesting.

We learnt that is was developed by a Swiss Designer Alex Hochstasser with the cooperation from the University Children’s Hospital. The Bilibo was developed simply because children sometimes enjoying playing with the toy box more than the toy so the whole idea behind it is giving children something that is unique which will encourage them to use their imagination.

When we gave the toy to Banoota, she loved it. She started playing by stacking them and making sure the circles were all on the same side, if they weren’t she would re-stack them again. Then she would make a straight line using them, and then a circling making sure each detail was perfect.
Read the rest of this entry »

Qatar Airways

by Yahalooo on January 21, 2016

This trip was not planned for at all, bookings happened all of a sudden to the point where they even cost more than they usually do. So we didn’t get a chance to go out a shop for the trip. When I say shop, I would have liked to have another good sturdy winter coat for Banoota and another pair of UGG boots nevertheless we went on.

Our flight was on Qatar airlines, from Kuwait to Doha and after a 2 hour layover Doha to Istanbul. It actually took us longer to get to Istanbul as Doha is more further away so we do not recommend taking this route at all. Direct flights on either Pegasus or Turkish airlines are so much easier and hassle free.
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To routine or not to routine…is that a question?

by Yahalooo on January 9, 2016

When Banoota was born and just a tiny little bundle of crying joy, we used to take her everywhere with us. By everywhere we literally mean everywhere! She’s been to Baba’s work, to gatherings, to engagement parties, to weddings, to salons, to doctors, to the spa. You name the place, she’s been there. At that time it was a lot easier because surprisingly it’s a LOT easier to manage a under 1 year old compared to a toddler which we learnt with time. So there is no such thing as the older they get the better it is, on the contrary, the older they get, the harder it is so that prehistoric saying should be seriously updated.


Anyhow, having no routine at the time was okay because Mama wasn’t working so she and Banoota could wake up and go to sleep whenever we wanted to. As we look back at it now, we realise it was completely wrong and when children are accustomed to following a routine, everything else becomes easier. For example, since lunch wasn’t at a specific time, we’d play a guessing game of is she hungry or not. Also, if she would be sleepy we’d play a guessing game of is she ready to sleep or just chill-axing. Had we had a routine at the time, we would have known exactly when she would have her lunch time and it wouldn’t be out on the table from 1 PM to 4 PM as we tried to get her to eat something. Read the rest of this entry »

Opps…I’m in the OR again.

by Yahalooo on October 23, 2015

Followed by one of our last instagram posts, which was mainly like a mini-rant why people won’t mind their own business we got lots of questions about my recent visit to the hospital. I’m usually a very private person, people don’t know what much about my life and its not because I don’t like to talk about it, it’s simple because there is no need to offer them all the details they don’t need to know.

With these posts, I only hope that people learn from my experience and it will help them in the near future when and if god forbid they’re put in a similar situation that I have been in.

A couple of facts to start off with, from the title, you’ll assume this is my second surgery when it was actually my fourth. The first was D&C at Muwasat hospital, second was stitches at Royale Hayat hospital, third was my ruptured ectopic pregnancy at Maternity hospital and this time, the fourth was another D&C done at the maternity hospital. In addition to all this, I gave birth to Banoota at Royale Hayat hospital.

If you want to read about my birth story and experience in Royale Hayat click here. And if you’d like to read the story for my ectopic pregnancy that ruptured click here.
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Leap TV Review

by Yahalooo on October 11, 2015

I still remember the day a few months ago before we travelled to Istanbul and we were in the Fantasy World store in the avenues looking for something to keep her busy since she had zero toys in our new apartment there. I also remember rolling my eyes at the concept of Leap TV since it was marketed for children from the age of 3 years old! How on earth would a 3 year old know how to use an electronic game but nevertheless since Baba is obsessed with any types of technology and has all the latest useless gizmos and gadgets I caved in this time. After all, you can’t win all the fights! You need to let go of some of them.
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Turkish Airlines

by Yahalooo on August 17, 2015

When we first booked our flight, it was at 4:40 PM which was a great time, especially to travel with the family. Although, a month after our booking they decided to change the flight plan and timing of our flight and even when we tried to change the date it wasn’t possible because for the whole month all flights were scheduled to leave at 6:50 AM.
Nevertheless, we stayed with Turkish Airlines simply because it’s either that or Kuwait Airways so we stuck to the Turkish Airlines.
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