Going Home for the Holidays

pic courtesy of blog.moveguiedes.com

pic courtesy of blog.moveguiedes.com

The holiday season is in full swing and it is time to reconnect with loved ones, friends and old acquaintances. During the hustle and bustle of shopping for the perfect gift and deciding which party to attend it is also time to reevaluate what is important.

If you live away from friends and family, this may be the time to go home for the holidays.

Going home for the holidays can be stressful but there are 3 points that can make the trip home more bearable. If you are rethinking the possibly of going home for the holidays consider the following reasons before totally deciding against the idea. Going home for the holidays is: a time to reconnect with friends and family, a time for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation, as well as a time to enjoy family traditions.

You might think why would I want the hassle of going home? Well, if you have a home to go to and it represents a place of harmony, then why not? The time to reconnect with family and friends you haven’t seen or had a chance to visit is priceless. The holidays are usually a time when certain business close for a day or two to allow time for family. Being home allows you to remember time gone pass. This is also a great opportunity to catch up with friends you have lost connection with and be allowed to have a short memorable time to rekindle the friendship of your youth.

When you take the time to go home you have the time to rest, relax and rejuvenate. You may think resting while home is something of impossibility. Well, not necessarily. Once your family has gotten use to the idea of being home for a couple of days,  the re-winding time begins. Now the 3r’s are not the same during the holidays as any other time. Why? This time is for the family activity of shopping, cooking and possibly exchanging gifts. It is your time to enjoy the company of your loved ones and friends. Being home during this time you are usually catered to and made to feel like a special guest, especially if you are unable to get home often. You may not feel totally rejuvenated until you are packed and ready to leave.

pic courtesy of delmartimes.net

Family traditions are one of the real reasons you will enjoy going home during the holidays.

The tradition of trimming the tree, holiday shopping with family, having a family dinner, attending a religious service with family members or just everyone getting together could all possibly be great family traditions to enjoy during your time home. You may think that you don’t have a family tradition to go home to; well it doesn’t have to be some big extravagant activity. It could be something as simple as having dinner together and talking and reminiscing about the “old days”.

The thought of going home for the holidays should not be laborious, it should be joyous and a time to cherish. If you only go home at certain times, allow this time to be the time for enjoyment.

However, if your home is not a place of peace of harmony, and you have an invitation to accompany someone else this could be a time to surround yourself with friends so you will not be alone.

pic courtesy of learningenglishwithmichelle.blog

pic courtesy of learningenglishwithmichelle.blog

Going home for the holidays does not have to be a trip of dread but a time to enjoy your family and friends during a time you are not required to work.

Anytime you can take off from work to unwind and slow your life down just a bit should be a time of enjoyment.

If you can go home, consider doing so, time is valuable and it is one commodity you can neither sale or save. It is simply there to enjoy for the moment while you can.

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What to Look for in the Perfect Gift

pic courtesy of cbcy.org

pic courtesy of cbcy.org

It is that time of year again. What to buy and for whom can be a challenge. But before you run yourself into a frantic shopping frenzy consider each person when deciding what to buy. You must decide what to look for when considering the perfect gift. If you are like me,

you always want to get the perfect gift for each individual person.

When looking for the perfect gift I always look for one or maybe all of these elements to be my guide.

The perfect gift could be: personal to the receiver, cause or bring inspiration, be needed, be desired or bring comfort to the receiver.

You may get lucky and find the one gift that what will do all of these things but if it only accomplishes one or more than you are on the right track.

pic courtesy of blog.personalization

pic courtesy of blog.personalization

The perfect gift could be personal to the receiver. Everyone loves to receive the gift that is given with thought and intention behind it. To achieve this, it would be great to know something about the person to whom the gift is for. Consider, what do they like; what are their hobbies? When you are able to narrow this down, you are assuredly on the right track to the perfect gift.

pic courtesy of hepcsupport.org

pic courtesy of hepcsupport.org

The perfect gift could cause or bring inspiration. This is one of my favorites and can be applied to anyone of any age. I don’t like to give merely a toy to a child but a toy that will spark the imagination, provide education or both. This not only works with children but adults as well. If the adult is aspiring to learning a new skill, you could purchase something along those lines. I always give my now young adult children journals. The journal is used to inspire them not to forget their dreams and always live their highest desires of life. The list is endless when you consider the many ways to inspire the receiver.

pic of shirtsThe perfect gift could be needed. Everyone has something that they are in need of and hasn’t purchased for themselves. This could be a great gift if it fits into your budget. This could be an item of clothing, furniture, tool or electronic of any kind. You make the determination and if it is possible, it would make a wonderful gift.

The perfect gift could be desired. For me this one idea is very important. I would hate to give a gift to someone that does not like what I have purchased. You know what I mean. Don’t pick up something for the sake of giving; make sure it is something that the receiver would like. As my guide in this area, I always give a gift I would like for myself. If I wouldn’t purchase it for myself then I wouldn’t consider purchasing the item for anyone else. If done properly, this will cut down on re-gifting…hehehehe. I know you have done this, so have I.

pic courtesy of gift basket reviewsThe perfect gift could bring comfort. Have you ever gotten a gift that made you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside? I have and it made my heart jump from the thoughtfulness of it. This gift could consist of various types of gift baskets, either personally put together or not as long as it has items that the receiver would enjoy. You can find gift baskets for coffee drinkers, tea drinkers, chocolate lovers, popcorn tins, snack lovers, wine drinkers and the like. The list could go on and on. Oh and don’t forget the spa baskets, perfume and cologne baskets. Let your imagination run wild and the response you will receive from the receiver is indescribable.

This is only my guide I use during this time of Holiday Shopping. But of course this can be applied to any gift at any time.

Giving a gift should be one of joy and excitement and not stress. I believe

when done properly, the act of giving the perfect gift should serve two purposes; it will not only bring joy to the person receiving the gift  but give joy to the giver as well.

Is this not the real reason for giving gifts?

Give out of joy and you will always give the perfect gift.

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Things a New Mother Should Know

pic courtesy of blog.johnstonhealth.org

pic courtesy of blog.johnstonhealth.org

You have just birthed your new addition to the family. You have read all the books and attended the classes.

But there are some things a new mother should know that are not found in books or classes.

These pointers are practical and should be considered.

There are some pointers a new mother should know that can only be realized from experience.

So if you are a new mother it is good to surround yourself with other mothers that you idolize or admire.

The practical experiences they can add are priceless and are not found in any book.

The things a new mother should know are as follows: you will learn day by day, the baby usually cries for 1 of 3 reasons, you should sleep when the baby sleep, your desire to have a baby will provide your motherly instincts, and organization is essential to your survival in the early years of your motherhood.

You will learn day by day. Each new mother wants to learn as much as she can so she can be the best mother possible. You will find that some advice is well deserved but others not so much so. Each child is different and responds to different stimuli. You cannot expect to raise a child by a book but by love and instincts. Yes the books and professionals will provide a wealth of information but remember every child is different and the information is generalized.

mum-settling-crying-baby-courtesy-of-purplecrying-info.pngcourtesy of purplecrying.info

mum-settling-crying-baby-courtesy-of-purplecrying-info.pngcourtesy of purplecrying.info

The baby usually cries for 1 of 3 reasons. As a new mother, the crying of a new baby is heart breaking when you yet don’t understand why. When your baby cries it is usually because of hunger, feeling wet or because of illness. As time passes, you will learn to distinguish between the three. The difference between hunger and needing a diaper change will be the most frequent. However, if you tend to cuddle the baby more than normal then the crying may also result when the baby is not receiving the additional attention he/she has grown accustomed too. Of course they maybe other reasons, when feeding or diaper change does not stop the crying, you should see your doctor.

sleeping-mum-baby-420x0-courtesy-of-besthdwallpapers-me.jpg

sleeping-mum-baby-420×0-courtesy-of-besthdwallpapers-me.jpg

You should sleep when the baby sleeps. This point is essential for new mothers that do not have the luxury of having family members assist in the early months of motherhood. It is natural to think that you would go about your daily activities while your newborn child is asleep. But on the contrary, while your baby sleeps it is the perfect time for you to also catch up on your much needed rest and relaxation. Caring for your newborn will require a lot of time and energy and you will also need to replenish your energy as well to prevent depression and postpartum symptoms. The responsibility of a new motherhood can prove to be overwhelming so it is important to make gradual adjustments in the beginning to ensure you and the newborn are receiving proper care.

Your desire to have a baby will provide your motherly instincts. Every new mother wonders if she has the necessary motherly instincts to care for her child. But it is that very love that will enable the new mother to nurture her new addition to her life. This love for another human being will not only bring forth your motherly instincts but so much more. The love a mother has for a child is not only of nurturing but for protection as well. The instincts of a mother are matched by none other as it relates to nurturing and protecting her child.

okkatots-baby-depot-diaper-bag-backpack-courtesy-of-topbestreviews-net.jpg

okkatots-baby-depot-diaper-bag-backpack-courtesy-of-topbestreviews-net.jpg

Organization is essential in the early years of motherhood. During the early years you must learn to move about with a small travel package for the baby. This travel package will consist of diapers, bottles of milk, additional clothing and possible toy or pacifier. In order for you to adequately travel with all of the additional “stuff” you must become organized. The prepacking of all that you will need to care for your newborn daily to have ready at a moment’s notice will make life easier. It is important to always have bottles on hand, clean under garments and clothing, and enough diapers for cleanliness during travel times. Becoming organized will smooth the frustration of constantly packing the diaper bag for travel.

The points given are not exhaustive or conclusive but just points to consider during your transition into motherhood.

Everyone’s experience is different but there are always some similarities along the way that other mothers can share that will assist you on your journey into motherhood. Take these points and make them yours, personal to your experience to make your life easier as a new mother.

Posted in family | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Woman over 40 wanting to have a baby

Did you wait to establish a career before you decided to have your first child? Or do you feel like time is running out and it is now or never? Or maybe you have children and they are growing up too fast and you want to have another baby because you are feeling the pull of motherhood yet again? It was then I realized I was a woman over 40 wanting to have a baby.

Yes, I did desire to have another baby at that time. My current children were in high school and I thought if I am going to have another child it should be now. I had friends that were still having babies so I would have had plenty of company. I knew my husband didn’t mind or did he? Well, at that time it really would not have mattered. I would have just surprised him and said, “Guess what, you are having a baby”. He would have loved it. I think…hehehe.

Well, for me the feeling past but for some other women over 40 wanting a baby it may not, especially if this would be the first child. There are some celebrity moms that waited until their 40’s to have their first child for various reasons. But, their case is different. They have nannies and all types of paid help. The question is would they still have had the child? Probably so, because when you have the desire to have a child you are willing to go the extra mile.

Is it extreme to have a child at 40? There are some points that must be considered. The three most important points for me were: health, stability and family support.

Health: it is important to take care of your health if you are going to get pregnant at this time in your life. Your pregnancy could potentially be at risk because you are over 30. The potential chance of contracting high blood pressure or gestational diabetes during this pregnancy is high. If you are menopausal, this could increase your chances for getting pregnant. You must understand that you may have to take maternity leave early because of the health risk to you and your baby at this age.

Stability: If you have waited this long to have your first baby, there is a good chance that you are stable financially. The choice to stay home longer may also be available to you at this time or the choice to switch careers or start a home business could be likely for you to spend more time with your new baby.

Family Support: At this point in your life you may have all types of family support from retirement individuals to assist in caring for the new baby. If it is your choice to return to work immediately after giving birth retired family members may be available for extended child care. Older children are also an asset when you are having a new baby to assist with feedings, diaper changes and the like. However on the other hand, you may not have the family support. If this is the case, be prepared for the demands of motherhood and reach out to friends when needed.

For me, the desire to have another baby slowly diminished because I began to enjoy my then high school children that were about to graduate and begin college. I realized at that time I was just having a mid-life crisis of losing my identity as a mom and it was time to move on to another chapter in my life. Well, and also because I had a family member that just had a baby and I could play with the new addition in the family to satisfy my baby need. To my surprise the baby pull slowly went away.

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Bullying is out of Control

bullying

It goes without saying that bullying has gotten out of control.

With the new technology that is now available to students of all ages, it has taken bullying to a whole new level. Students are not only picking on each other at school but it has not expanded to after school and it even follows them home.

Phone-Bully_1-640x960_c.jpg courtesy of universe.byu.edu

Cell phones and computers allow for students to be cyber-bullied if that is even a word.

Through Facebook, texting and other social media it allows the bully unlimited access to his/her victim. The ability to hide behind technology and social media allows the perpetrator the ability to dehumanize the victim. This is dangerous. At this time bullying takes on a different spirit of intimidation and could turn violent.

This unlimited access to all students gives the perpetrator an opportunity to gain a following for bullying. The bully usually has followers of other students that are aware of the acts of intimidation. Other students are usually around or are friends of the bully but they tend to treat the manner like an abusive game. A game that goes horribly wrong and usually spirals out of control.

Students are either afraid of speaking up because they do not want to become the object of the bully’s attention or they may have some sense of misguided loyalty. To be regarded as a snitch in the student community is like committing social suicide and all parents know how important it is for tweens and teens to be liked by their peers.

This desire to be liked is what keeps bullying alive. It is why students will not report bullying to the teachers, parents or any Administrator within the school. That person will be marked as a snitch and they would have broken the code of “do not tell”.

bullying courtesy of info.pacificquest.org

bullying courtesy of info.pacificquest.org

Bullying is a serious social misconduct among our students. Parents and educators should take the report of being bullied serious. It is no longer the day of “kids will be kids” but of intimidation and it will not be tolerated under any circumstances.

Bullying allows for misconduct to exist among tweens (pre-teens) and teens (teenagers) and the victims are expected to submit to the will of the bully. This behavior should not be tolerated, not even under the most innocent circumstances. The three following points can be viewed as a topic to help address student bullying:

  • Students should be encouraged to report bullying anonymously if necessary. A website should be maintained for students to report the act of bullying to school Administrators. The perpetrator should be monitored, investigated and approached with the accusation of bullying. Discipline should result immediately following the investigation. Parents should be notified as well as juvenile services if necessary. There should be a zero tolerance of bullying.
  • Students that observe the act of bullying should also be encouraged to report it on the website as well. Counseling forums should be established within the student body by the School Guidance Counselor to discuss bullying and how it affects the life of every student.
  • Bullying should be addressed within the PTA. Parents should be made aware of the signs of bullying and the discipline that will follow if the student is found guilty.

It is no longer “kids will be kids” but bullying and it can turn violent.

It should be addressed and dealt with as zero tolerance. It is beyond time for parents to get involved.

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Over 40 and preventive health care

As a woman over 40, remaining healthy becomes my priority. I am one that does not like to visit the doctor and if I must it is usually for preventive care. Well, let me tell, you my preventive care has gotten real serious.

I realize that once you turn 40 there are some preventive measures you can take when it comes to your health such as having the following checkups:

  • Having a mammogram
  • for high blood pressure
  • A doctor’s breast exam
  • Pap smear
  • For high Cholesterol

You see it happened like this…..

I went to the doctor for preventive measures. I knew it was a must because I wanted to stay on top of the potential health issues for women over 40. I can honestly say I got my surprise. It was nothing terribly serious, but more than I wanted to deal with because I hate taking pills.

I knew I had gained a couple of pounds but I was “adequately” working on shedding a few pounds. But after my visit to the doctor’s office, the shedding of a few pounds got more serious.

You know how it goes. When you first arrive at the doctor you are weighed in on a what use to be a weights and measure scale. Now the scale is a little more high-tech and more “accurate” as the doctor sees it…hehehe. I don’t know about that.

Let me continue, I step upon the new scale and it has a “new number”. But I act as if I am not fazed and follow the nurse into the examining room. Now the wait begins. I believe you are left there to contemplate, why am I in this doctor’s office, I feel fine, is all I hear going through my head.

Then I had to be more sensible and told myself, you are here to get a check-up so you can make sure your health is alright. As soon as my inner conversation begins to become more involved, in walks the Nurse and it is time to get this show on the road so I can go home.

preventive care with pillAfter a quick chat, a blood pressure check along with a temperature check, the Nurse is out the door. Before long, the Nurse Practitioner walks in and does the breast check and verifies that I have had a previous pap smear. I hate those…..ooooh my gosh. Anyway, now we begin to talk and here is where she lowers the boom, your blood pressure is too high and I am prescribing you some meds. She continues I need you to also try to lose a little weight because I see you have gained a few pounds. Are you still exercising?

High blood pressure! I thought to myself….nooooo. She continues to tell me the dosage is not that high. My thinking was it I don’t want to take meds. But I knew I needed to follow her orders until I could do better.

I walk out the of office with my mind racing….what can I do about this. I am getting off these pills. My mind goes back to the “weight number” and losing weight. Ah Ha! I will lose some weight so I can lower my blood pressure and possibly get off these pills I thought to myself.

I am feeling back in control and NOW I am on a mission. I am changing my diet and I will start an exercise program.

I have happily state that I am modifying my diet and have started back walking. Updates soon.

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Should Corporeal Punishment Be Allowed in Schools?

school bus  courtesy of www.busyblog.orgNow that school has started and the kids are back into the swing of things, with today’s youth and their behavior, how should the school address discipline? I remember back in the day if you got in trouble you were ordered to go to the Principal’s office. When you arrived at the Principal’s office, you knew what was about to happen. It usually involved a strap or a call to your mother. I really can’t speak on this issue because I for one was never called or sent to the office for discipline but I have heard stories. So, what is different today?

Should corporeal punishment be allowed in schools?

courtesy of graceelgin.org

courtesy of graceelgin.org

Should your child or teenager be disciplined at school by the teacher or Administrative staff? If not, what brand of discipline should be allowed or if any at all? Schools with only time-out or suspensions are only giving children the “get out of jail” free card. If discipline is not addressed who is running the school?

I understand that some teachers or Administrators have gone too far in this area but does that mean that discipline should be none existent?

To discipline or not to discipline and how, guidelines should be drawn and parents should be made aware of the policy as well as agreeing to what should be done in the necessary time of need. Don’t get me wrong I don’t believe in “beating”, “whipping” or any type of physical abuse. I am aware of the belief “spare the rod spoil the child” but I also believe that was during a limited understanding of discipline and it was purely on wanting to inflict pain as a deterrent. However I do believe that parents and the school should be on one accord for creative discipline.

fighting-courtesy of www.dailyedge.ieYes, creative discipline. The “time out” theory in my opinion does not work either but there should be guidelines for consequences to “bad behavior”. Of course, no discipline structure of any kind will work without the compliance of the parent. This point is very important because every family has their own way of disciplining the children however in the case where the child receives no discipline within the home the school must have a plan of action for the parent to follow and agree to within the school.

No plan or structure is perfect but children tend to follow the rules when proper guidelines are laid down as a foundation. The guidelines should address each infraction of breaking the rules. Each parent should be required to sign off on the rules of the school with the inclusion of attending a presentation provided by the school so there are no misunderstandings and the school receives full cooperation from each parent.

rulebook courtesy of library.osu.eduEach student should also be required to sign off on the rules along with the parent as well as attending the same presentation. The students should be aware of the consequences to their actions even to the point if law enforcement should be called. It is possible that the student will act differently if the consequences are made clear on the front end. The consequences should be progressive in nature so the students are well informed of what comes at each step.

Now is not the time for the schools to bury its head in the sand in wake of the student disciplinary problems.

It is the time for proactive decision making to ensure the safety of all students that attend public school. Consequently, nothing can happen if educators and parents cannot come together on one accord to help the children.

If you child attends a public school get involved; attend the parent teacher meetings; make suggestions to assist the educators in keeping the children safe. The key word is Get Involved. The children need you.

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