Everything Your Child Needs For A Happy Start In Life

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As a parent, happiness is the one thing that you desire for your child at all times. Quite frankly, your influence on their upbringing will go a long way to whether they have a good enough reason to keep smiling.

 

All kids deserve to be surrounded by the fundamentals of a happy childhood. Here are four of the key factors that no parent should ever overlook. Get them in place, and you’ll be sure to see fantastic results for your child.

 

A Happy Home Environment

 

If a child can’t feel happy and content in their own home, where can they?

 

The home doesn’t have to be a mansion for it to satisfy the needs of your son or daughter. Building a playroom will provide a space for learning, entertainment, and using up their energy. If you are blessed with a garden, you should be eager to maximize the potential of this environment too.

 

Perhaps most importantly, though, your child needs a bedroom that is comfortable, practical and fun. As for other rooms in the home, just be sure that they are kept safe at all times.

 

Great Educational Facilities

 

After the home, school is where your child will spend most of his or her time. Moreover, it’s the place where they will develop the skill and the friendships that will guide them throughout their childhood.

 

Every parent should appreciate the importance of choosing a good school. According to TIME, there are seven simple tricks that will help you do just that. Of course, some of those ideas can be used when selecting a nursery too. However, the school environment is where it truly matters.

 

Depending on location, your child is likely to spend around 30 hours of each week at school. If they’re happy during this time, it will keep them smiling at home too. Just remember that spotting signs of bullying and other issues are just as crucial as the school itself, and you won’t go far wrong.

 

Healthy Habits & Routines

 

Surrounding your child with winning environments will clearly go a long way building a solid foundation of happiness. However, your work as a parent doesn’t end there.

 

This post at Mommy Makes Time suggests that routines are the most important thing. Establishing healthy habits will ensure that your child develops in the best way both mentally and physically. In turn, that will ensure that they grow up with a smile on their faces. Not least because interacting with other kids will be easier too.

 

There’s no excuse for ignoring the need for that stability, especially as all parents can provide it. Of course, individual situations may influence the finer details. Nonetheless, building those positive routines is key.

 

Magical Adventures

 

Nothing in this life beats spending time with loved ones, especially when you do something memorable.

 

Arranging regular family days out doesn’t only strengthen your bond, but it gives your child something to tell friends about. Likewise, holidays are a great source of happiness that will last for years. If they get to learn more about the world in the process, that’s simply a bonus.

 

Life is all about the moments that put a smile on your face. Seeing and experiencing new things is the perfect way to achieve this goal for all the family. Essentially, time is your most valuable asset. Use it in the most efficient manner, and life will look better than ever.

The Little Signs That Your Elderly Parent Needs Help

Having aging parents is both a blessing and a curse. Naturally, you want to have your parents around for as long as possible. But it can be difficult to watch them age, and unavoidably degrade and lose some of their abilities. Besides the emotional involvement of suddenly having to care for your parents – whether you need to be a full-time care or to manage their living arrangements – , there is a much more urging matter. Indeed, elderly people may fail to notice that their health is degrading. As people age, they rapidly lose focus of their health to concentrate on everyday routines, such as their favorite TV show, the morning tea or even a sweet sugary treat before going to bed. But without any reference to health, they can become weak in front of your eyes without even noticing. It’s exactly why you need to pay attention to all the little signs that your elderly parent might show.

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#1. The TV Is Too Loud

When was the last time you’ve had a phone call with your elderly parent? If you’ve found yourself having to repeat constantly the same thing because they couldn’t hear you, it might be a sign of hearing issues. Although, before you rush to read all the latest hearing aid faq, you may want to check if this could be simply due to an old device. Seniors are, after all, not renowned for changing their tech devices as regularly as younger generations. You may want to investigate a little more, especially by checking how loud the TV generally is at your parents’ place. Old people tend not to notice that their hearing is getting worse, especially as all it takes is to turn the volume up. Additionally, there are other signs that can help you to notice the issue before it gets too late. For instance, you may find conversations difficult with your elderly parent. They may not ask you to repeat, but their answers might indicate that they didn’t hear you properly.   

 

#2. They Are Losing Weight

Appetite loss is a common issue with aging people. After all, they do need fewer calories, and consequently, it’s natural that their appetite is not the same than yours. However, there is a thin line between natural reduction of appetite and unhealthy behavior. There are many factors that can lead to eating less in seniors. They could be experiencing denture troubles, and consequently, might find it more difficult to eat. They might feel lonely and be lacking appetite as a result of their mental mood. They may even become forgetful and not notice that they haven’t eaten all day. Whatever the reasoning, you need to be very attentive to the first signs of weight loss. It is a difficult topic to discuss, but it can be helpful to first discuss the issue with a doctor, who can help you to identify the cause of their weight loss.

 

#3. They Become Very Clumsy

Everyone can have moments when they tripped on the carpet and fall. Even you. Or sometimes you accidentally drop a glass, and it breaks. So don’t get too nervous if it happens to your elderly parent too. However, if they fall a little too often, or things break too regularly, it might be a sign of something more serious than just clumsiness. The inner ear is responsible for your balance. The labyrinth of the ear contains many nerves and hairs that work together to coordinate your movement in space and against the pull of gravity. However, researchers have shown that the body starts losing nerves in the ear. This might result in a loss of balance. Eye problems such as cataract or glaucoma, which are common in old age, can also cause issues in moving in a room or seizing objects.  

 

#4. They Don’t Remember Where They’ve Put The Keys

Okay, the big worry about old age is Alzheimer’s disease or another case of dementia. There’s no denying that these diseases exist and are strongly related to memory loss. However, forgetfulness is not always a case of Alzheimer’s. Lack of attention or mild age-related memory loss is natural, and it isn’t anything that you should worry about. Serious memory loss, such as not being able to stick to the same routine activities or to form reasonable arguments, can be an indication of a deep loss of mental ability. Do pay close attention to your parent’s behavior, if you begin to suspect that they may be suffering from memory loss. Dementia doesn’t need to show its worst side for you to notice it. It can be little signs, such as mentioning a talk with someone who is already dead, or a sudden change of routine. If it is identified early enough, memory loss related diseases can be managed easily and successfully for a very long time.

Guide to Broaching Difficult Subjects with Your Elderly Parent

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Raising difficult subjects with your elderly parent is never easy. You don’t want to upset them or make them feel incapable. However, if you have started to notice that your parent is not coping as well as they once used to, either mentally or physically, it is important to talk to them about it so that you can come up with a solution. Of course, you are worried that you will damage their self-esteem or wound their pride, but ensuring they are healthy is the most important thing. Plus, there are ways you can approach the subject in a gentler manner. With that in mind, read on to discover how to raise difficult issues with your elderly parent, as well as some of the topics you should be raising.  

What sort of issues should you discuss with your parent?

Before we reveal how to broach difficult topics with your parent, let’s first take a look at the different issues you should discuss with them.

  • Managing their affairs – You may want to consider a power of attorney if your parent has been ill or is finding it difficult to manage their own affairs. A lot of people assume that this is a step that is only taken when someone is not well enough to know their own mind. However, it can often be beneficial to discuss this before you reach that stage. There is two power of attorney options – finance and health. The former means managing financial affairs on their behalf, and health means making medical decisions on their behalf. If you have siblings, you should consider holding a joint power of attorney with them, as this can easily be a source of sibling conflict.
  • Your parent’s living arrangements – The time may have come to assess your parent’s living arrangements. Should they live with you? There is a lot to consider, including whether it is the right environment for them, if they want to live with you, if your home can be adapted if needed, if you have the time to assist them, and how it will impact your family life with your children and your relationship with your partner. You need to be honest with yourself – don’t make a decision out of guilt.
  • Whether they can live alone – If your parent cannot cope at home, it may be time to discuss either getting help at home or moving to an assisted living facility with experienced professionals that will give them the care they need to manage their health. This is important if your parent needs rehabilitative assistance, as well as if they are struggling to manage in their home, for example, if they find it difficult to move around, get showered, and get dressed, if they feel lonely and isolated, and if they are nervous about living alone.

How to raise difficult issues with your elderly parent

The issues mentioned above can be difficult to raise with your parent. You don’t want to risk offending them or making it feel like you are trying to take their independence away from them. However, it is important to broach these subjects for the sake of their health. So, how do you go about it? Here are some top tips to help you out:

  • Make sure the situation is a relaxing one – When you do bring up a difficult subject with your parent, you need to ensure that the situation is as relaxing as possible. It needs to be private enough for you to have a sensible conversation, so make sure your kids aren’t running in and out. Nonetheless, you don’t want your parents to feel pressured or worried; so don’t build it up into a big, serious event.
  • Be prepared to listen – You may think that you have it all planned in your head already, but it is important to listen to your parent and accept their point of view. It is their life after all.
  • Manage the process gradually – People do not like change, especially when they get older. This is why you need to manage this as a gradual process. Take things step-by-step.
  • Revisit conversations – As you need to handle things gradually, you need to be prepared to revisit conversations a number of times. Your parent must have time to think on their own about the suggestions you have made. Don’t expect an instant answer. People are less likely to respond positively when they feel like they are under pressure.
  • Think about your parent’s view before you have the conversation – Before you sit down to have a conversation with your parent, think about their likely viewpoint and possible objections. By planning this in advance, you will be able to answer them knowledgeable and calmly. You may even be shocked to learn that they have already thought about the issues you are raising, and they may have solutions that you had not thought about previously, so be prepared to listen to them.
  • Discuss the issues with your siblings and any other key family members – It is important to discuss the issues with your siblings and anyone else that is close to your parent. Don’t turn this into a huge family discussion. Your parent won’t want to feel like everyone has been discussing them behind their back. Only keep immediate family members involved. You need to ensure that you and your siblings are all on the same page before you discuss things with your parent. The last thing you want is a family dispute on top of everything else.

All in all, there is no denying that broaching subjects such as living arrangements and power of attorney can be extremely difficult. However, if you have reached the stage whereby your parent is struggling to cope, it is imperative to have such difficult chats with them. Instead of diving straight in, make sure you use the advice above. Plan for the talk carefully, make sure you are in agreement with your siblings and, most importantly, listen to what your parent has to say.

How To Plan The A Baby Shower For A Friend

Throwing a baby show for a friend is one of the greatest, heartfelt gifts you can give them. It’s a rite of passage for many women, who are pregnant for the first time, and what better way to celebrate an upcoming birth of a baby, than crossing the line into womanhood surrounded by friends. But this in itself, poses a huge challenge for friends and family, as the challenge is to differentiate your party from every other baby-related gathering or celebration. Luckily there are a few common codes of conduct that are flexible enough to give you creative control and allow you to make a truly bespoke baby shower.

 

The location

There is a whole range of differing locations that present contrasting vibes for baby showers. You could rent out a luxury apartment in the city, in a high-rise building so you can sip wine and enjoy the view while your pregnant friend opens presents. You may find renting of a 40×60 steel building cost is less than a hall venue in a grand hotel, yet provides bigger room and more options for facilities, such as a band, outdoor play area for visiting children of other moms, and a large main room for a large guest list. Parallel to the seating arrangement, you could have tables set up with a buffet food offered to the attendees. If you’d rather do it at your own home, that’s a great decision too, because it’s more personal and provides you with a chance to show the mark of a great hostess.

Image by – Lori

Setting the tone

It’s pivotal to the select a theme that your friend will relate to and enjoy. It’s got to be expressive of their nature, or perhaps from a childhood memory, and possibly even a theme that’s reflective of their baby’s gender. The easiest way to lose a grip on the overall look and interior design of the party is to move forward with just a vague hint, perpetuating a stride with no clear direction. Set out the day and what you want to achieve. For example, the catering, you could start out with a light brunch, reminiscing about the past with a close, tight-knit bunch of friends. Next onto an afternoon tea or lunch, where each person could swap stories about the first time they had a child and exchange tips and tricks on how to cope with a newborn.

Source – TerriC

The plentiful bounty of gifts

Make sure you brief your guests before they come to shower, and inform them well in advance that gifts should be baby proof and practical and something that will be detrimental to raising a baby. Apparatus like a breast pump, advanced guide to the stress calls and crying a baby makes life hacks that will save her time and money with the proper planning advice, clothing for the baby such as hats, mittens, and footwear, etc. These gifts should be given to make the life of the pregnant woman easier and less stressful, so try to steer away from food items and makeup.

 

 

 

 

5 Small Ways to do Your bit for the World

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Every day, the world gets a bit scarier, a little bit more unsafe and a little bit less protected from destruction. Our newsfeeds and TV screens are filled with bias and war, our political leaders are neglecting our planet, and there are so many scandals that they have almost become normal. With all of this going on, it can be easy to feel as though there is little we can do to make a difference in this big bad world. But, as parents of the next generation, we must be strong and bring our little people up as movers and shakers, carers and lovers.

 

Change begins at home, and here are some small things you can do to make the world a little bit happier and healthier.

 

Buy ethical

 

Changing your shopping habits isn’t always easy, but buying local and buying from ethical companies are a big step in changing the world. By purchasing from local suppliers, you will reduce your carbon footprint but not buying products which have been flown halfway around the world to your supermarket shelves, as well as putting money back into your local community rather than in the pockets of big business. There are also many clothing companies out there who use natural materials and stay away from exploitation. An example of this is Il Gufo Clothing, a great alternative for children’s clothing without feeling guilty about where you are shopping!

 

Take time out to volunteer

 

Volunteering doesn’t have to take too much of your time but can be a rewarding way to give back to your community and do your bit for a better world. Volunteering comes in many shapes and sizes and can involve one day a week spent in your local charity shop, planting trees, spending time playing cards with the elderly or helping out at your local food bank or soup kitchen.

 

Offset your carbon footprint

 

If you are a family that flies or drives a lot, there are many ways in which you can offset your carbon emissions. Websites such as carbonfootprint.com and cotap.org allow anyone and everyone, from large businesses to individuals, to calculate how much carbon they use and then options for offsetting it – from tree planting to contributing to sustainability projects.

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Give blood

 

Giving blood is one of the most rewarding ways in which you can give back to both your community and the world. By taking some time out to give blood, you can directly save someone’s life who has been in an accident, needs surgery or even a transfusion. How amazing is that? You also get given tea and biscuits at the end, which is always a win in my books too!

 

Leave the car at home

 

Not only will walking save you money on fuel, but it will result in less pollution and a boost in fitness for you and your family. As a general rule, if somewhere is less than a five-minute drive away, it’s usually within easy walking distance. Using public transport is also a great way to do your bit for the environment, and save you money too!

It’s a Family Thing #wowsummit #blogher17

I have blogged part-time, on and off, for the last 6 years. My first site was Reviewing For You. It crashed when e-rice closed. I was ready for a change anyway and decided to start my new site in November 2014.

My sister Terri @ http://shabbychicboho.com/ has blogged full-time for over 10 years, she was my inspiration. So when I sold my business last year, I decided to blog full-time and I haven’t looked back since!!

Recently, we have enlisted our mom to help be our VA and have since introduced Terri’s daughter Tiffany @ http://www.itstotallytiffany.com/ and my daughter Hannah @ http://beachylady.com to the blogging world.

I love it, I love meeting new people, promoting my page and still get excited when I receive emails about working with a new company. Of course, I didn’t really expect to make money doing it, I was mostly doing it because I have to stay active. The main perk was receiving cool stuff for my three amazing grandsons.

This last month, I decided I would start tracking my income and was surprised at the amount my site is making. I wanted to get a little more organized since we decided to go to two blogging conferences this year #blogher17 and #wowsummit.

Hopefully, I will learn even more at the conferences and plan to do a monthly budget and set goals. I know most people do this to make money, I just wanted something to do to stay busy and find some amazing products, the making money part is just a plus.

I love the flexibility blogging offers me. I can help my daughter to build her blog site and spend time with my grandsons. Mostly I love working by the pool. If you are wondering if you can make money blogging, the answer it yes. If you have patience, work a lot of hours and don’t expect to be rich over night. You have to have a passion for it and enjoy what you do to be successful in anything.

 

Easing The Stress Of Being A Mom Will Help Your Family

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Working comes with a whole host of stress. You’re basically dealing with stress from nine to five, with small glimmers of hope and sunshine dotted about. Working as a mum is 24/7, which kind of gives you some inkling as to the amount of stress that is involved. Thankfully, it i the best kind of stress imaginable. It is fun and unique and amazing, inspiring and worthwhile, totally worthwhile, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t stressful too.

Yes, every single mum situation comes with its very own unique set of circumstances. It comes with the territory. But so does the need for you to constantly place an emphasis on your own health and well-being, and don’t for one second think that is selfish. Your being healthy is the catalyst to your family being healthy too.

So, here are some top tips on how to stay healthy, stress-free and sane as around the clock mum. After all, you deserve it.

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Get A Granny-Nanny

We all have that moment when we search the internet for some help, someone who can assist with the kids for just a couple of mornings a week. That would be enough. Well, why not make that someone a granny-nanny. These are semi-retired women that typically don’t have family close by. Nurturing people that will cherish everything you do. They are people that love baking, gardening, reading, colouring-in, and they know how to ace homework, while also cherishing the wonders of children. They are people that want to be involved with children, that’s the key and, in return, you’ll be relieved of some of the stress. You can do those errands you needed to do or just grab a pinch of personal time.

Schedule Your Personal Time

Yeah, this may sound sad, at least to begin with, but if scheduling in some personal time in the same way you would schedule an appointment is the only way you’ll get it, then do it. Personal time is so important. Seeing friends, getting that soft tissue massage you promised your doctor you would get, seeing friends for a coffee, going for a run, having your nails done, or just sitting in a quiet park. Whatever floats your boat on that day. Don’t feel guilty about this either. We all need a bit of peace and quiet, and your family will thrive if you grant yourself that space. Just make sure your family knows that these are appointments, one’s that you can’t miss.

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Bring A PA Into The Family

This idea of having a personal assistant to help in your personal life can be so rewarding, for everyone, especially if you are a mum that balances working with being a mum. The more you accept them into your family the better it will be too, not least because they will have such an important part to play. The reason we are referring to them as a PA is because that will help you distinguish their role a bit more. In the same way, you would lay out a set of tasks for an assistant at work, do the same for them each morning. Then they will know exactly what you would like doing, what principles you cherish and what is important to you, like the operation #dontforget you are championing. All this can be achieved while they also ensure your kids laugh from the moment they get picked up from school to the moment you get back from work, and you won’t feel stressed about the tasks that haven’t been done because, well, they will have been done. A PA is a right-hand person, someone you can trust no end, so why not have someone like that to help with your children?

Operation #dontforget Don’t forget a child in the hot car!!

The summer months are sneaking up on us, it is already hot here in South Texas. I always stress this time of the year! As a Mimi of three grandsons, I can’t help but worry about making sure the kids are not left in a car.

I was coming home from the grocery store the other day and it dawned on me, I can’t forget my grandson in the back seat. This isn’t a usual thing for me to have him with me while grocery shopping so I began to think, how can I make sure to not forget when he or any of my grandbabies are with me….

So I came up with operation #dontforget, it is a simple concept. You add a clothespin to your AC vent I put my grandson’s names on them. When they are with you move it to your keys or even your door handle. This way before you get out of the car you are reminded to #dontforget.

This could even work with pets! I hate to see one left in a hot car.

I have come up with a printable list to place in your car until it becomes a habit.

 

 

I had to make my clothespins cute and of course get your kids or grandkids to help you. They will also remind you to move the pen! I made extra for my children to give out to anyone that may be picking up or keeping my grandchildren.

 

 

 

Please share how you #dontforget your loved one.

Email me at reviewsbykathy@gmail.com if you would like to place an order for one, with your child’s name and color. We will do them for $2.00 shipped anywhere in the US.

Check out this video, here is how I use mine!

 

I’m turning 50 and I like it…. A fishing trip.

“Did you hear that?”, I turned to look at what I was supposed to be hearing, but all I could see is water. At that point, I thought maybe my husband or myself were literally going crazy. It is 6:30 in the morning and the sun is just coming up and we are sitting in a boat on the water….

My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years now. I came into this marriage with three children, who we have raised together and are now adults. Every weekend, he loves to go fishing, I was sitting on the boat reflecting how this wasn’t my favorite past time, but Robby, my hubby, sure does love it.

So off we go this morning to fish the day away…As the day started I landed the first redfish and thought wow this isn’t so bad after all. I began teasing my husband who is ad avid fisherman and really great at it. I then land an even bigger redfish than before, of course, each time he put his pole down and netted for me as I continued to tease him about how he better be glad I came cause at least we get to eat supper!!

As the day started I landed the first redfish and thought wow this isn’t so bad after all. I began teasing my husband who is an avid fisherman and really great at it. I then landed an even bigger redfish than before. Of course, each time he had put his pole down and net for me. I continued to tease him about how he better be glad I came because at least we get to eat supper!!

 

This continued throughout the morning while I caught 4 big keepers to his one, then it dawned on me, he is doing this to make sure I have a great time. Each time he would stop fishing to net my fish, recheck my bait and make sure he put me in a position to catch the big one.

 

I realized right then, how happy I am. I am not just talking about catching the most fish but in life. I turn 50 this year and was determined to not be depressed about it but what I didn’t realize is how happy I could be about it.

I am married to my best friend, blessed with three successful children, have three amazing grandsons and I still have my parents and we love God.

Even after our morning fishing trip, he cleaned the boat, cleaned the fish and offered to fry me up some for supper. Now I know I am blessed.

Dear Mom, What a Mother really wants for Mother’s Day 2017 #mothersday

First and foremost, I love being a mom. I am a mom to three grown children who are finding their own way.Even more amazing is now I have three adorable grandsons. Knowing they are healthy and happy makes my heart happy. I like most moms would be perfectly happy just spending time with the family for Mother’s Day.  I have come up with a basic Mother’s Day gift list that would make me extremely happy as I am sure it would most mothers.

 

  1. Family time, with no gadgets or technology, maybe even a family game night!
  2. A picture of everyone, they grow and change every day, I would love an updated picture.
  3. A simple Thank You! (Maybe with why you are thanking them, mom’s work hard!)
  4. Okay, so this is my infatuation right now…  Crossbar Necklace  (25% off for mother’s day Kim Kardashian wears this).
  5. A dinner date with my Mr.
  6. Handmade items (my grands make the best)
  7. Bath Bombs
  8. https://www.etsy.com/featured/mothers-day-gifts
  9. Kim Kardashian long Medallion
  10. Lastly, an “I love you”!!

This year will be the first in 20 +years I get to spend with my own mother. I realize turning the big “50” this year, I need to enjoy life every chance I get, I am going to Georgia to spend this mother’s day with her.

So my hubby, children, and grandkids are spending mother’s day the Friday before because they realize the importance of family and spending time together!!

 

I have this elaborate plan for all of us sisters to take our mother out to eat for lunch and spend some quality time with our her. You see my sisters live throughout Georgia, and I live in Texas this will be the first time we all spend mother’s day with our mother in years.

So this mother’s day, keep it simple tell your mother you love her, tell her thank you and mostly just spend time with her.  The truth be told, if I receive only a hug and love you I would be happy!!

So here is mine!!

Dear Mom,

Thank you for always wiping my tears when I cried, thank you for always telling me like it is. Thank you for raising me to be a hard worker and great housekeeper. Thank you for teaching me to be a great mother and thank you for your unconditional love! Mostly thank you for dragging me to church every Sunday!!

For these and many many more reasons, I hope to never allow you to spend mother’s day alone again.

Love, Kathy