Category Archives: Home and Family

Regular Caregivers Best For Senior Safety

Regular Caregivers Best For Senior Safety

Staircases can grace the inside of a house and even display craftsmanship. But for seniors who want to continue living in their own residence, staircases can rank as the place where most accidents occur in the home. One safety measure according to Tamara Kato of Comfort Keepers in Arcadia, California, includes using light sensitive night lights in unlit stairwells, hallways and placing light switches at doorways. Having the same caregiver consistently who interacts and consults with seniors on a variety of issues is beneficial not only for safety but also for the overall quality of life in and around a house.

“A safety checklist is helpful to follow. But having a quality relationship with someone who interacts as part of the daily routine gives a greater sense of satisfaction,” says Tamara, “Seniors may have children who are well-intentioned but who are too busy to regularly check in on their parents. Having a caregiver who prompts conversations and joins in everyday tasks is stimulating.”

A skilled caregiver will learn the daily habits and routine of the person they’re watching and then they’ll be able to spot and even take action on areas that could compromise safety.

Here are other tips both indoors and outdoors:


o Remove extension cords, throw rugs and other tripping hazards

o Use light sensitive night lights in unlit stairwells and hallways.

o Place light switches at doors to prevent walking in the dark.

o Install smoke alarms in every room and test the batteries regularly.


o Use heating elements that shut off such as electric burners on the stove.

o Keep fire extinguishers handy.

o Only use sturdy step stools with handles and use poles for reaching.

o Keep vents clean of grease.


o Modify baths with tub cutaways.

o Install grab bars.

o Install higher toilets to assist in standing and sitting.

o Apply non-slip strips to bathtubs.

o Use shower seats with back and portable shower heads.

o Paint with contrasting colors.


o Keep doors and windows locked. Use peep holes. Never open your door automatically.

o Notify neighbors and the police when going away on a trip.

o Never leave notes on your front door.

o Be suspicious of offers from unknown contractors to do home repairs. Only work with reputable businesses.

Underwriters Laboratories reports that up to one million people over age 65 were treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with using everyday, household items.

Tamara Kato emphasizes another area of senior safety – taking medications correctly. 33% of all hospitalizations of people age 65 and older are taking medications improperly. Don’t hesitate or feel embarrassed to ask for help in reading labels or being reminded on the correct dosages.

“A safety checklist is helpful to follow. But having a quality relationship with someone who interacts as part of the daily routine gives a greater sense of satisfaction,” says Tamara, “Seniors may have children who are well-intentioned but who are too busy to regularly check in on their parents. Having a caregiver who prompts conversations and joins in everyday tasks is stimulating.”

Quality caregivers can offer help in routinely inspecting the home environment for safety issues as one part of their care offering. A range of non-medical services can help a senior not only remain in their home, but stay active and satisfied.

Planting Shade Trees

Planting Shade Trees

Adding a shade tree to your landscape provides a multitude of benefits. Properly placed, a shade tree can channel summer breezes, significantly reduce heating and cooling costs, screen unwanted views, and attract wildlife. They will also add to the value of your property as they grow. However, several factors must be considered before planting to avoid problems down the road.

The first consideration is location. When considering where to place your tree, it is best to visualize the tree in that spot, fully grown. Is the tree going to interfere with overhead power lines? Will it crowd your home and damage the eaves with branches or the foundation with its root system? Will the root system interfere with septic or sewer lines? You also want to take care to situate the tree so it does not overwhelm other trees in the yard. A medium to large shade tree should be planted 20-30 feet away from other trees. Careful placement of the young tree will ensure it doesn’t outgrow its location.

Now that you’ve selected the tree’s location, you need to determine what type of tree to plant. You can narrow down your choices based on the size of the space you’re trying to fill. Further considerations such as soil and weather conditions should be taken into account. Do some online research or consult your local nursery to determine which species of trees are best suited to your environment. A tree will grow and establish itself faster in an environment that meets its needs. Buy your tree from a reputable supplier that offers money back guarantees.

Trees are purchased in one of three ways: container grown, bare root, or balled and burlapped (B&B). Plant bare root trees in the winter or early spring. Container grown and B&B trees can be planted in late fall, winter, or early spring. Make sure the roots are kept moist until ready to plant. Plant the tree at the proper depth, using the original soil line on the trunk as an indicator. Mix the backfill dirt with 25% organic materials such as compost or peat moss and fill the hole to the soil line, compacting by hand (not too firmly). Construct a moat around the outside perimeter of the hole to help hold the water in place. Water the tree in after planting, and add 2-3″ of mulch.

That’s it! The hard part is over. Simply water and fertilize the tree in accordance with the planting instructions. Now, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Shade trees add beauty and value to your property. Proper planning and planting will ensure a lifetime of benefits.

The Benefit of Having a Hydroponics Greenhouse Over Indoor Hydroponics Gardening

The Benefit of Having a Hydroponics Greenhouse Over Indoor Hydroponics Gardening

For years, I have heard about hydroponics gardening, but I always had the question on how the vegetables can be grown in the indoors without the requirement of soil and water? How can the nutrients be enough for the growth of the plants? Hydroponics seems a combination of Chemical solutions with the plants.

These factors had made more surprised & created a curiosity to learn more about this wonder technique of growing fruits or vegetables with the soil. The major advantage of hydroponics method is yielding increased crop gain, than that of the conventional farming.

For example,

  • Yield of Tomatoes grown in ground is only five to ten tonnes. In greenhouse, the harvest is 60 to 300 tons!
  • Yield of Cucumber, the figures are 7000 pounds whereas in greenhouse it is 28,000 pounds
  • Yield of lettuce is 9000 pounds in ground & 21,000 pounds in a hydroponic greenhouse.

If you have a hydroponic garden, then you can plan or read about the purchase or construction of a hydroponics greenhouse. Many people start with a kind of hydroponics with a small setup at home or in their spare basement room. But it is much easier to manage all the prerequisites for a thriving garden, if you are having a ready made hydroponic greenhouse. It is much easier to manage the requirements for lighting, ventilation and temperature in that.

Hydroponic garden courtyard Vs Hydroponic greenhouse

The growth of plants in your hydroponic gardens courtyard may not seem ideal like that in the use of Hydroponic greenhouse. A hydroponics greenhouse offers better lighting and irrigation on the configuration of the system. Not too many people will support the green house concept if they are used to the hydroponic gardens system.

You need plenty of space for the installation of irrigation systems and lighting systems that are necessary for the hydroponic gardens. Where is space available in this fast paced world cramped with houses & skyscrapers? But, if you have a hydroponic greenhouse, then you can position these systems much easier & in a smaller space too. Lighting & other arrangements come with the greenhouse, so one need not worry on those factors.

Most plants thriving under greenhouse hydroponics conditions are carefully examined. Gravel is usually seen as a means to support the root user, and a balanced mix of all nutrients regularly flow cultures in liquid form. This method is called a “subculture of irrigation.”

In a large perfect hydroponic greenhouse, once the plants were planted almost the entire work is supported by automation. Sensors in the gravel decide when the plants need more solution, based on that they control the pumps accordingly.

The biggest advantage of using greenhouse hydroponics for your garden is about light. To be successful, the plants grown in hydroponics need lots of light. But remember that too much light allows with algae to thrive, and that do not want.

In a hydroponics greenhouse, sunlight is filtered and dispersed as a matter of time. You can also specify or control the number and angle of the light through the use of colors and shutters. Another advantage is that you require less energy because you do not continue to grow light all the time.

You will also find that the procedures for the supply of nutrients to the plants are easier to install and maintain if one has a hydroponics greenhouse. Of course, this is very important for the health of the plants in hydro culture.

If the plants do not grow in the soil, the pH is rather different. You will see the large fluctuations in the acidity and alkalinity, as it is water based. A greenhouse hydroponics setup is simple; the implementation of an automatic pH control keeps checking the figures.

And you need not worry about how your plants will stay warm in winter. A good greenhouse has an acceptable temperature, even in the cold days without heat. This is especially advantageous if you live in a region with lower temperature, but lot of sunshine. Fans and also vents may also be installed to help regulate the temperature in your greenhouse. Remember, control of temperature for the plants in hydroponics gardening is important.

You can build your own greenhouse hydroponics, or buy ready. Yes! You can get it in different sizes and styles. There are lots of models that also take into account the expansion of the garden in the future. Maybe it’s time that you have a hydroponics greenhouse & have those favorite fruits or vegetable garden.

Indoor Hydroponics Gardening

Indoor Hydroponics Gardening

We all love to have a garden of our own with fruits & vegetables being grown. But it may not be possible for people who stay in areas where the climate receives less sunlight & other external factors that may slow down the plant growth.

Welcome to indoor hydroponics gardening, the best way to fulfill your dream to have your own indoor garden with blossoming flowers.

The indoor hydroponics gardening works round the year throughout without having worry on frequent climatic changes, no soil is required & that leads the plant to be pesticide free.So, one can grow herbs, fruits, vegetable and flowers as per their requirements.

Indoor hydroponics gardening has been so popular that it not just taken only as a hobby but also a profession. To have an indoor Hydroponics garden, one may come across lots of questions or queries related to it like

* Which Fertilizer to be used?

* Which Garden grow lights are suited to the house?

* Where to purchase the hydroponics growing systems?

* How is the set up and maintenance done?

Let us share few tips on these areas giving you a faint idea on where to begin or how to start an Indoor hydroponics garden.

A typical indoor hydroponics gardening will consists of mainly these components – a pump to control water, reservoir, a growing tray & a pump to supply the oxygen and nutrients.

We all know that hydroponics gardening does not require soil, but to anchor the plants or support the roots we can use a soil like medium such as fiber. Make sure that the hydroponics system is porous, and then it can manage the proper retention of water and air.

Next comes is the amount of fertilizers or those high quality nutrients that will required for the nourishment of the plants & accelerating its growth.

One may think which those nutrients are; well they are nothing but the minerals like magensium-calcium, iron, sulfur, zinc, copper, manganese and cobalt.

Then one should also take consideration about the pH balance of the plant which is important. There should not be any fluctuations in it or else it may affect the plant thus reducing its growth rate.

The nutrient solution can be either prepared at home by bring all the ingredients available in the market. Of course the mixing takes some time and so most of them prefer to buy the same from the market that is already mixed.

One get more information about the nutrients, pH level and other kits related to indoor hydroponics gardening by browsing in the Internet.

The next important thing that one has to pay attention in indoor hydroponics gardening is ensure proper light and air is available to the plants. One should also know the right spectrum of light that will required for the indoor gardening and based on that, the lights should be purchased from the market.

One should not worry about the amount of water that may be required; there are automatic controls available that will only spray to the roots of the plants at regular intervals. In this way water does not clog & this prevents the rotting of the roots.

A list of benefits by doing Indoor Hydroponics Gardening is mentioned here –

* Less maintenance

* Pesticide & disease free

* Maximum yield or produce

* High level of sustainability

* Taste better

* Less space requirement

* Environmentally-friendly

* Minor water requirement

* Low carbon emissions

* Balanced & steady plant growth

* High nutritional value produce

In fact the fruits and vegetables that is grown indoor hydroponics gardening taste better than those grown under the soil. One can also grow a variety of plants any time or any season of the year. That is why this procedure has attracted lots of garden growers who are interested to have their very own indoor hydroponics garden.

Herb gardens & vegetables like cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers are all fit for indoor gardening.

All these require very little space like even as smaller such as a windowsill.

Long term rewards are foreseen if the process of indoor hydroponics gardening is done properly by learning the secrets and gaining the experience over a period of time.

Easy Face Painting Designs

Easy Face Painting Designs

If you’re looking for easy face painting designs, then this article was written for you. In particular, we’re going to talk about which type of designs to avoid, which ones to look for, and we’ll finish with some simple suggestions to get you started. By the time you’ve finished reading this article you’ll be ready to start face painting – even if you’re a beginner.

Let’s start by looking at the designs you should avoid when you’re just starting out. The big one is to avoid any kind of “symmetrical” design, where both sides of the face need to look identical. This designs take a look time and practice to learn, and it may be above your skill level if you’re new to this art.

Next, it goes without saying that you want to avoid any kind of complex or intricate pattern.

Finally, designs which require painting around the eyes can also be difficult in some cases. If you’re not quick, it can become uncomfortable for the person whose face you’re painting.

Now let’s talk about what you should look for in a easy face painting design. Remember, even simple designs can look incredible, and be greatly desired and popular with children. Designs like cats, tigers, clowns, and super hero characters can be easy for a beginner to create.

Let’s finish with a few more suggestions which can be useful for a beginner. Firstly, animal designs are usually quite simple, as mentioned earlier. It can be useful to find a guide or book which contains beginner designs. Just because they are “easy” to do doesn’t mean they look bad! Some of the best designs are actually very simple to do.

Also, a beginner’s guide can show you all of the supplies and brushes you’ll need to get started. Having a good stock of materials is key to learning this art.

Childcare – Your Options

Childcare - Your Options

Childcare in the Big City

If you ever are in need of childcare then you know how hard it can be to find the right kind for the right price. Finding childcare really depends on the age and type of child you have. Here are a few options and how they compare:

Daycare Center:

Typical Care Hours: 7am – 6pm Monday through Friday

Cost: between $40-$70 per day

Daycare centers can be good for toddlers from ages 2-4. It teaches them how to play in a group and helps them learn valuable social skills such as sharing and communication. Most Daycare centers have a variety of activities for the kids to do throughout the day with a naptime somewhere in between. There is usually a good ratio of kids to supervisors and some centers have started including video feeds from their web site so you can see your tot while he is away from you. Daycare centers take kids as soon as they are potty trained and can keep them up until they reach pre k. Some even have public pre k classes funded by the state.

Some possible downsides of a daycare center are that your child may not get the personal attention that he was getting from Mom. This can sometimes be a rude awakening combined with temper tantrums at the daycare door or refusing to let go of your leg. Let me assure you, this shall pass and, if you can stand your ground, he will be having a good time by week’s end. With the good children there are always the bad, the biters, the yellers, and the downright mean. You may have to contend with these precious pumpkins if they have a stab at torturing your little one. The key to handling these situations is to do it diplomatically and without losing your temper. It is as important that the biter learn to be kind to others as it is for your baby to get his apology.

My daughter attended a local Kew Gardens daycare from ages 2-5. During those years she made some friends who she still has at age 10 and learned some early reading skills from some very qualified teachers. She was also bitten, fought with, and got sick from every child who picked their nose and wiped it on the walls. The choice is yours. Here in Queens, Daycare Centers are hard to find and sometimes not a good alternative due to the proximity of them. I was lucky to have one close to my home but that is sometimes not the case.

In Home Daycare:

Typical Care Hours: 7am – 6pm Monday through Friday. This can also be negotiated with the daycare

Cost: between $35-$50 per day and usually includes meals

An in home daycare is run out of a private residence, usually by a mom with her own kids. There are not as many children in this type of setting and can sometimes be catered more towards babies and little ones that are not potty trained. The caretakers are usually very loving and your child will become part of a more cozy care environment similar to a family. They will do activities with the kids but it is much less structured than a center. You should ask what activities and schedules they keep so that you have some idea of what your baby is doing during the day. I would recommend this type of care for a small baby or young toddler.

In Home daycares are often not regulated by the department of education or health. This means that you will have to be continually conscious of how clean and safe your child’s environment is. You should also be able to develop a quick trusting report with the caretaker since she/he will be the only eyes on your child every day. I am a big fan of the at home daycare. It usually has all of the good aspects of a larger center as well as a cozy setting. I am also a fan of craigslist which is where you can find many listings for in home daycare services.


Typical Care Hours: Negotiable

Cost: between $ 9 – $15 per hour

A quick note on pricing and budgeting for a sitter. If you use a babysitter while you are at work, make sure to calculate your travel time as well as actual work hours into your budget. Also try to add a few extra hours for date night or just plain running behind in traffic.

Babysitters can come from a wide variety of sources, babysitter services, craigslist, and word of mouth to name a few. The goal is to find a babysitter who lives close to you. The closer they live, the more flexibility you have with their schedule and higher likelihood that they will be on time. If a sitter who has to commute to your home is running late, you will be stuck waiting by the door, not fun. Having a babysitter is a good part time solution for evenings and weekends. Unlike nannies, babysitting is usually not their full time job. They can be students or waitresses trying to make some extra money. For this reason it is nice to have the names and numbers of a few babysitters in your phone just in case one is not available.

Trust is a big issue when picking the right sitter. Since they will be with your child one on one with little to no supervision, you must be able to trust them implicitly. That is a difficult thing to do with any virtual stranger but you must rely on your parental instinct to guide you through picking and trusting the right person. As a backup to parental instinct, getting their social security number, driver’s license number, and emergency contact info should go a little way in setting your mind at ease.

Live Out Nanny:

Typical Care Hours: Full Time 40 hours a week Part Time 20 hours per week. Usually Monday – Friday

Cost: between $600 – $1200 per week depending on factors that I will discuss.

A Live Out Nanny is probably the most expensive child care option for your home. A nanny has made a career out of taking care of children. Some of them have degrees in child education and are CPR certified. They can cook, clean, play games, and have good knowledge of child safety. They are good for children of all ages whether it be taking small babies on long walks or picking the older ones up from school. You can hire a nanny from nanny agencies, craigslist, placing a private add in the newspaper, and a variety of nanny finding websites. Their pay scale will vary per person and will depend on their experience level and hours that you are looking for. You and your nanny should discuss in advance how she would like to be paid, on the books (which require paperwork to be done by you) or on cash basis where she is responsible for declaring what she makes and has her own healthcare etc. Since a nanny is technically an employee of your family, you should sort this out first before beginning her employment. I find that a good starting point for a nanny is about $ 100 per day with possible pay increases the longer she remains under your employ. But then again I don’t live on the Upper East Side.

Things to pay attention to when looking for a nanny are her age and English skills. If she is older, you may want to consider her level of energy with taking care of a toddler. She may or may not have the ability to chase after your newly running tot while he is plowing toward a major intersection. If she is younger, she may or may not have the patience to handle a screaming inconsolable infant. The same thing goes for language skills; you may not want a nanny with limited English skills paired up with your toddler who is just learning how to speak. The call is yours but always go with the person who you trust the most to act in your babe’s best interest.

Live In Nanny:

Typical Care Hours: Full Time 40 hours a week Part Time 20 hours per week. Usually Monday – Friday

Cost: between $250 – $600 per week including living expenses like food, a room, possibly a cell phone, extra cable line etc.

A Live In Nanny can be one of the most cost effective ways of caring for your kids if you work full time or have irregular work hours. They live with your family in your home and take care of the kids during hours that you work or are away. The benefits of having a Live In Nanny are that you have all that a Nanny has to offer but without the crazy price tag. They really do become a part of your family and your children can become very attached to th
em. I have had a Live In for 4 years and have made it work for our family. She is available 24 hours a day and there is never a chance for lateness or not showing up.

There are some logistics to sort out before you make the choice to have a Live In Nanny, living arrangements being number one. You should have a room or basement area that is livable and clean. Our nanny lives in our third bedroom and shares a bathroom with my daughter. You will have to adjust yourself and your family to the notion that you now have a roommate who deserves her own privacy and respect. If you can accomplish that you can have a very long and successful relationship with a Live In.

Then there is the topic of pay and living expenses. You can work this out with your Nanny and come up with a scenario that you both feel comfortable with. We pay our Nanny $400 per week and that includes her room and food. You can negotiate a smaller weekly pay and give things like a cell phone, a metro card, and other incentives that are not that expensive beyond what you would normally be spending. This situation is not for most but it can offer you certain freedom within your home if that is desired.

Au Pair:

Typical Care Hours: Full Time 35 hours a week Part Time 20 hours per week.

Cost: between $160 -$350 per week including living expenses like food, a room, possibly a cell phone, extra cable line, schooling etc.

An Au Pair is another word for a mother’s helper. They live in your home and usually work on call if you have to go to the store would like some free time. They are usually young girls from abroad who would like to experience living in another country. They can also come from inside the United States but are usually from small towns. A good resource for looking at au pairs and hiring people who are U.S citizens is with Great Au Pair. They have a free search engine and you can pay to begin contacting people if you see anyone you would like to interview. If you would like to hire someone from abroad, you legally must go through an Au Pair agency. They charge a fee and assist you in doing the paperwork and preparing for an Au Pair. The agency fee and paying the Au Pair in cash usually works out to about $350 per week even though you will have to pay some of that in lump sums.

Some families, like mine at one point, hire Au Pairs instead of nannies to save on costs. But the reality is that Au Pairs are not nannies. They can be as young as 18 years old and have very little experience with childcare. They also will be experiencing a new local culture and language at the same time that they are trying to care for your children. All of this is not necessarily bad, but it does require some extra effort on your part. You will be taking on the responsibility of a person who may need some advice and help navigating your local system.

Your Family:

Typical Care Hours: Flexible

Cost: Free – you can’t beat that.

In the days of a recession, two working parents, and still not enough money to pay the bills sometimes one’s own family is the only option for childcare. I find that when soliciting help from your family, it is important to spread out the responsibilities if you can to avoid any one person from feeling over burdened. An example of this would be asking for 2 days a week each from your parents, siblings, cousins, and friends. This way one person may only have to commit 2 days over the course of 10 days depending on how many people you can ask. This ensures that the people who are watching your precious little muffins are rested and prepared to care for them in the best way possible. Do not assume that family will go the extra mile just because they are family.

The city is a wonderful place to raise kids with all of the options you have at your fingertips. Those options also apply to childcare. There are mothers groups, nanny sharing, and services of all kinds available to you as a parent. It is up to you to decide which one will be right for your family.

A Journey Through Infant Development – The Tenth Month

A Journey Through Infant Development - The Tenth Month

Curiosity is something that is developed very early in life and becomes very evident once a child starts to move. Although it can be very annoying to pull babies out of cupboards, dishwashers, refrigerators and toilets, curiosity is an extremely important foundation to a child’s neurotypical development. Curiosity allows discoveries – it offers children those “ah ha” moments in life. If a child doesn’t explore his/her environment–in safe circumstances only of course–the opportunity to make discoveries is lost!

  • I can’t seem to get anything done while you are awake! Anytime I try to work in the kitchen, you are immediately into what I’m doing. I open the refrigerator, and there you are pulling something out of the door. I try to prepare food, and you empty every cupboard. I empty the dishwasher, and YIKES – you’re going for a sharp knife!
  • You’re not only into my stuff all the time, but your sisters’ as well. If they are doing a puzzle, you sit on it. If they are playing in their room, it isn’t long before I hear, “Mom!!!!” We all love you, but your sisters have appropriately changed your name from little brother to little bother.
  • Balls are so intriguing! If there is a ball or anything that resembles a ball, you crawl quickly to it. Once you pass it to me, you’ll look right at me and throw your arms in the air and scream. It’s so fun! If there isn’t anybody available to play, you’ll accept that and play catch with yourself. You’ll throw it; go and get it; and then throw it again. It keeps you busy for a long time! That lasted for about a week, and now you’re onto new things. You get bored easily.
  • Brushing teeth is a very interesting event as well. Dad will hold you while he brushes his teeth, and gives you a toothbrush as well. You’ll look at him so intently while he brushes, and then put your toothbrush in your mouth. You think you are so cool brushing your teeth like dad. The look of accomplishment on your face is priceless.
  • You are really getting into playing games, and find it so funny when the game changes. I handed you the top to a jar, and you handed it right back. I handed it to you, and you handed it right back (much like how we play ball). I then put it on your knee. You thought that was so funny, you grabbed it and handed it back. I put it on my knee, and the game continued. When I put it on my head, you got up, grabbed it, and tried to put it on your head – all while cracking up.
  • I can no longer leave the room without you getting upset. It seems as though separation anxiety has kicked in. It’s very apparent that your awareness of your surroundings has gotten much better!
  • You are beginning to cruise around now. Your crawling has gotten faster, and you can pull yourself up to stand with ease. It allows you to feed your curiosity about what’s going on in the rest of the world, and you love it! Now that you can do that much, let’s just get to walking.

If your child is always fixated on one thing when entering an environment, s/he is being robbed of making daily discoveries: How does my mom greet people? Do I greet grandma the same way I greet a cashier? How am I supposed to act in a gym as opposed to church? These sorts of skills are often taught if a child lacks it; but when not discovered in a natural environment, these skills can look very awkward or be inappropriate in different settings! Even in a gym, the expectation of how we’d behave changes according to what is happening in the gym. We are constantly appraising our surroundings to determine the appropriate way to act. Through the use of RDIO strategies, these discoveries can be made for a child who wouldn’t otherwise make them on his/her own. Give us a call if you want to know how!

Breastfeeding Tops – Essential Items For a Nursing Mom

Breastfeeding Tops - Essential Items For a Nursing Mom

After I received antibiotic treatment for a breast infection, my son developed oral thrush and I developed a yeast infection on my nipples! After trialling the regular prescription drops for the thrush, the problem did not resolve. As a last resort, gentian violet was recommended. This is an anti-fungal medication applied topically to the baby’s tongue, and to the mom’s nipples. It is purple in color, and will stain anything it touches. I am happy to say that this did resolve the issue, but it left quite a lasting impression for days after! Can you imagine the looks you would get if you were breastfeeding with purple breasts? That is when I really began to appreciate my breastfeeding tops.

Breastfeeding in public does not need to be a difficult experience. I need to mention that if you are comfortable with some exposure, then definitely go for it. I have nothing against it; I just was not personally comfortable with others seeing my breasts while I was out and about. That is why I chose to wear tops meant for breastfeeding so that I could be as discreet as possible.

I used to watch other moms who would drape receiving blankets over their shoulders while latching on their babies, and I could never figure out how exactly they managed to do this. I tried it, and it just never worked. I could not see what I was doing, as the blanket would get in the way, and would not stay on. Plus if you have a baby who accidentally grabs the blanket at the inopportune time, that could be a problem! Especially if Uncle Harry is standing nearby when this happens!

That is why wearing breastfeeding tops made so much sense to me. I want to give you some tips on what I found to be most useful in a top:

* Look for tops that do not expose your post-pregnancy stomach. I do not know about you, but after I had my babies, my stomach felt like a bowl of jelly every time I laughed. Besides this, when your stomach is not exposed, it is much less obvious what you are doing when people pass by.

* Choose dark or patterned tops, because leaks will be less noticeable. Once again, I wish I had thought of this when I first started breastfeeding. I was out shopping one day for a short period of time just after my daughter was born. Suddenly, I heard someone else’s baby cry, and I experienced let-down! And there was so much milk that my pink shirt began to turn white from the milk. Luckily, I had my jacket with me and was able to make an exit without too many people noticing what had just happened.

* Look for some tank tops that double as breastfeeding bras. Many of these can be layered and worn under something else.

* Buy tops where your breasts are easily accessible through slits by using only one hand, when needed.

I hope that my experiences give you some ideas on what you can look for in breastfeeding tops, and why I feel they are such great clothing items to have. They really are essential, and can make a world of difference in your comfort level with nursing anywhere you may be.

Dealing With the Terrible Twos – How to Control Your Child

Dealing With the Terrible Twos - How to Control Your Child

Do you have a child who is hard to control? Are they constantly screaming and crying all day long? Have you lost control over the child that you once thought of as an angel? Any parent can vouch for this period of time. Welcome to the terrible twos.

The terrible twos are a period of time in which toddlers start to become aggressive and more independent. They start to think that they are the bosses and that whatever mommy or daddy says doesn’t matter. It’s hard to break them out of this state of mind because they are so engulfed with it. How are you supposed to deal with a child who won’t listen to you? And how can you discipline them so they listen but without resorting to spanking?

Children getting a sudden growth spurt and burst of energy cause the terrible twos. They need to channel this energy in a positive manner. Try getting your child to go outside and play for a few hours. The fresh air will be good for them and the activities in which they are taking part in will be definitely tire them out. They will be so busy that they won’t have an opportunity to start yelling at you.

Even though your child may still have tantrums, you need to remain a firm figure in their lives. They will start to test you but you have to keep them listening. No matter how many times they disagree with you, you have to show them who has the power.

Growing a Kitchen Garden With 3 Easy Steps

Growing a Kitchen Garden With 3 Easy Steps

Imagine finding a way to save money, get some fresh air and eat healthier- all at the same time. The easy way to slash your grocery bill this summer is to grow a kitchen garden. A simple garden, that’s easy to tend to and maintain will supply you with an abundance of healthy vegetables and herbs all summer. Even a small investment of $50 in some basic supplies and seeds can result over $1200 in produce! That’s a huge return- plus you know it will all taste better than anything that’s been shipped to your local grocery store.

There are three basic steps to get started. Plan, Prepare and Plant, it’s that simple.

1) Planning: It can be overwhelming to stand in front of a display of seeds and try to decide what to grab. First start with what you enjoy eating. There’s no sense in growing peppers if you won’t be enjoying them on your salad. You are in charge here and there is no obligation to grow certain things just because you think you should, or your neighbor is growing it. Sit down and really be honest about what you eat and enjoy. Start simple, maybe just go with two types of tomatoes, snap peas and green beans. Don’t go crazy and try to start with a dozen different vegetables, you’ll just get overwhelmed and not tend to the plants, or throw away excess.

2) Prepare: Head out into the yard and see what areas receive the most amount of sun during the day- Vegetable gardens need full sun! Now you’ll need to decide how much space you want to devote to your new garden. If you want to keep it simple, something as small as a 4 x 4 foot space would be enough. You could even get started with pots on a deck- the point it to just get growing! Next you need to dig up the soil and remove any sod (grass) from the area. Digging down about 6 inches to loosen up the dirt will suffice. Remove any roots, rocks and debris you unearth. To make sure you new plants are happy, you should amend the soil with some peat moss and compost. Compost is available for purchase, but starting your own compost pile is easy!

3) Plant: You know what you want to grow and you’ve got your seeds started, or purchased seedlings at your local greenhouse. Following directions for each to ensure proper spacing. Some plants will need some vertical support if they’re vining plants (i.e. green beans). You can string up trellis netting, or build a simple three-leg pyramid out of long branches. And keep up with the watering. Long hot stretches of dry weather will keep you plant too busy growing roots to find water, instead of growing up and producing! Put out some clean buckets and start catching free rainwater.