22 March 2017

Ways to Calm Your Newborn Baby

When you are really pregnant and close to the end, you don’t get much sleep. Sleep is one of those big issues that is always talked about in every parenting magazine, and this is because of the lack of it. When we lack something, we draw attention to it and sleeping is like gold when you’re a new parent: as in, it’s hard to find!

The third trimester sets you up for those early newborn days, because you don’t get much sleep at all. The aches in your bump and back along with the consistent need to pee and insomnia all make for very sparse rest and resets your body to wake up at the slightest interruption. This may well be natural but it often feels like nature’s way of laughing at you! To be able to get a decent rest when you bring that precious baby home, you need to know how to calm your newborn so you all get a few hours of sleep before the next feeding session. There are many methods out there, and these are some of those you can try:
No woman embarks on motherhood knowing how to swaddle a baby. If you’ve had a lot of experience with little babies, that’s different but it’s something you can learn on a doll during pregnancy. There are many different swaddles you can read about here but generally, swaddling is an effective way to calm your baby down. They feel snug, happy, and reminded of the womb when they are swaddled. Cuddling also has a positive effect on the central nervous system, which can calm the hormones that make babies cry.

A car is a precious commodity for most parents and when it comes to babies, it’s like catnip! The moment a baby is being driven in a warm, comfy car seat, the rocking motion can put them to sleep and calm them right down.

Babies generally have a need when they cry, and crying communicates that need. Always check for hunger, wet or dirty diapers, and basically any discomfort. Putting your baby to the breast, or curling up with a feeding pillow and bottle can really soothe a frantic baby. The closeness and full tummy are what’s needed!

White Noise--
Increasingly popular, the sound of white noise is reminiscent of the sounds of the amniotic fluid whooshing in the womb. There are a lot of companies that make white noise machines like this one to attach to the side of the crib and soothe your little one to sleep. By giving them the sounds they became accustomed to in the womb, they immediately feel safe and comforted.

Of course, all of these methods are based on your newborn being ‘standard’ and without reflux and colic, which can be harder to soothe. Getting sleep as a new mother is important, but expect to be a little sleep deprived for the first weeks while you and your new baby get used to each other!

08 March 2017

Get Well Soon: How to Deal with Your Chronic Conditions

Millions of people across the world are fighting battles that a lot of the rest of us don’t know anything about. Many people suffer from chronic illnesses that impact the way they live their lives every day, ranging from asthma to mental health conditions to arthritis. A chronic illness is one that lasts for a long time and that often can’t be cured. This means that people generally have to learn to live with it. If you’re in that position, here are some tips to help – and if you aren’t in that position, chances are that you know someone who is, so read on to understand a little more about their life…
Take Medical Advice--

Let’s face it: a lot of us don’t trust our doctors as much as we should. We diagnose our own illnesses on Web MD (even though the answer is usually, alarmingly, “It’s cancer!”) and we don’t trust the courses of treatment that we’re given. This is both a good and a bad thing – of course it’s a great thing to keep curious and to research your own health but at the same time, we need to trust medical professionals to know what’s going on with us and treat us well. Remember that you should take things that your doctor tells you with a pinch of salt, but at the same time, listen carefully to his or her advice. They’re trained, they know more about medicine than you do, and chances are they’ve treated plenty of other people with similar conditions. They might help you more than you think they could, and it’s important to be able to have conversations with the people who are providing your medical care. Make sure that you follow the courses of treatment carefully – make sure you have a Ventolin inhaler for asthma, follow an exercise routine if you have arthritis, and ensure that you take any medication when you need to. Your doctor can only do so much – the rest is up to you.
Be Your Own Advocate--

Although you should, of course, trust the medical professionals who are looking after you, you should also do your own research and be your own advocate. No one else will argue as vociferously on your behalf as you can, and if you truly believe that you aren’t receiving the correct care or that your symptoms aren’t being taken as seriously as they should be. Make sure that you do your research and find out any side effects of any courses of treatment that you may be given, and before every medical appointment you should write down all the questions that you want to ask your doctor to make sure that you know as much about your health as you possibly can. Remember that no one will be as invested in you getting healthy as you are.
Be Open With Your Employer--

Your chronic health conditions will affect multiple areas of your life so you may have to talk to your employer about amending certain areas of your job so that you can work more comfortably – for instance, you may no longer be able to lift heavy objects or sit at a desk for longer than a certain amount of time. Make sure that you work with your employer to find a solution that works for both of you. If your chronic condition means that you get tired easily, talk to your boss about that, too -you may be able to work part time or flexible hours. No matter what issues you may have at work, make sure that you communicate them carefully so that you can find solutions.
Be Careful With Your Mental Health--

If you have a chronic health condition, then it can affect your mental health negatively. Dealing with pain and discomfort every day is the kind of thing that can wear a lot of people down – it’s really important that if you find yourself in bad moods a lot of the time or not taking as much pleasure in the things that used to make you happy, that you talk to your doctor as soon as you can. Mental health problems can affect your whole life – they can make it hard for you to leave the house, they can make it almost impossible for you to keep yourself entertained if your health condition means you have to spend a lot of time at home, and they can generally make you a lot more unhappy than you should be. Make sure you take care of yourself and go to the doctor if you think you may be suffering from depression.

You're Not Cheap, You're Frugal!

Life can be expensive when you have kids. If you want the best example of this just think about Christmas. It’s easy for parent's spending to grow completely out of control at Christmas. You might start out thinking that you are only going to spend a couple hundred bucks, but it can easily grow to a thousand! In this aspect, thank goodness next Christmas is still nine months away! The good news is that there are plenty of ways to save all throughout your year on your home, on your shopping, and on your kids.

Use Vouchers--

The first tip is to make sure that you are using vouchers when you have the chance. You can find vouchers and coupons online that (little by little) will shave a fortune off your shopping bills. You can get vouchers for everything from dish soap to coffee and even toilet paper. It just depends on whether you know where to look for those coupons. There are even special sites online where you can get codes for online shopping. That’s not the only way to save on your shopping, though.

You might also want to think about looking for deals out on the store floor. Superstores always have deals on certain products. If you’re not picky and avoid having preferences you can always shave a lot of money off your weekly shopping by taking advantage of these. You might also want to think about price checking different stores to make sure that you’re getting the best deal.

Check Prices--

Of course you can check more prices than just your weekly shopping stops. For instance, you may want to look at your energy rates. If you have a look at energy rates online, you might find that you’re not getting the best deal on the market. As such, you may want to consider switching if you have the opportunity and the ability to do so. Once you find more information on this, you’ll see it’s easy to make the change to a cheaper company. In fact, your new company can sort it all out for you, so there’s no reason to worry. Within a few days, you could be paying less for your energy with a cheaper supplier.

It’s just one of the many costs you can compare online to make sure you are getting the cheapest deal. It really is a buyers market today and everything has a private, cheaper option. From car insurance to a gallon of milk-- you decide how much you want to pay.

Go Green--

You might also want to think about changing your lifestyle to be a little more green. By going green, you’ll easily be able to cut the costs out of the average week. For instance, think about how much you’re paying in gas. Petrol and fuel prices have risen substantially lately, but there’s an easy solution to this. Make sure you’re driving your car in a way that is more energy efficient. This means slightly lower speeds and less braking. If you keep an average speed of sixty and avoid hard braking you’ll be able to cut your driving costs down to size.

We hope you find this information useful and save more for your family this year.

05 March 2017

Make Your Yard More Fun for Your Kids!

Being able to play is part of every childhood; it really plays an important role. When we are teaching our kids at home, there is more than just the inside to keep them busy, though. There are several different things that we can do to help them learn as well as play, in the great outdoors. You might be worried that the outside space you have is quite small or wouldn’t work for play. But with a few simple ideas, it can be made into the perfect play place for your children.


Install a Sandbox--

I don’t know what kids don’t enjoy playing in the sand. Getting a sandbox installed is a great idea. When you nestle a sandbox in the flowerbeds, for instance, it makes the space integrated as part of the garden and the kids will be down and at the same level as the plants, shrubs, and mini-beasts that are in there. They can see the butterflies and birds and enjoy being in the yard that way.

Use Vertical Space--

If your yard is a little on the smaller side, then it is a good idea to use some of the vertical space that you have in your yard. You could use a wall and secure flower pots to them. You could paint a wall or side of a shed with chalkboard paint that the kids can use for drawing and doodles. You could also use buckets and attach them to fencing to keep toys off the ground. A child-friendly yard doesn’t have to be huge. It also doesn’t have to be cluttered or messy.

Make a Seating Area--

When there is somewhere to sit outside, then it makes it a great space for all to be. You can all enjoy meals out there, as well as have a place to sit and relax as the kids play in the yard. Some comfy chairs and a table are certainly a good idea. Think about using the space in all the different seasons, too. For example, you could get a patio umbrella or look into patio cover installation. Then the kids can enjoy being outside in the rain, and you can keep an eye on them without getting as wet!

Grow Flowers, Fruits, or Vegetables--

When children are involved in planting seeds, it is lots of fun for them. It is also great for them to have some kind of accountability over the garden. When they are set in charge of watering plants and taking care of them, it can really make a difference to how much they like being in the garden. When they see plants or veggies growing, then it is fun as well as it being a learning opportunity. This is a really good idea, especially if you want to get your children out in the sun and away from the TV or tablet!

Do you have any tips and tricks for being outside in the yard with your kids? There is so much to learn and explore outside.

03 March 2017

And the Graeter's Mystery Flavor is...

Remember when I posted about Graeter's Mystery Flavor a few days ago? (If not, you can click here and check out the post...) 

Did you try the Mystery Flavor?  If so, were you correct in your guess?


**Drum Roll**  ...The Mystery Flavor is... Strawberry Cheesecake!

"Graeter’s Ice Cream has revealed their latest annual Mystery Flavor. The new Strawberry Cheesecake has been crafted after one of America’s favorite bakery items. Graeter’s has taken its decadent cheesecake ice cream, added the finest strawberries and pieces of buttery graham cracker crust to delight true cheesecake lovers everywhere.

The ice cream company, known for its indulgent, handcrafted flavors, rich chocolate chips and Old World French Pot process, invites consumers to visit a scoop shop or freezer aisle near them to try it for themselves."

Where can I buy the new Strawberry Cheesecake flavor?

The Strawberry Cheesecake flavor is now available wherever Graeter’s Ice Cream scoop shops are located and in freezer aisles in most Giant Eagle, Kroger, and Jewel-Osco stores (as well as other favorite retailers-- check their website for a complete list!). 

When can I buy the new Strawberry Cheesecake flavor?

Graeter’s Strawberry Cheesecake will be available for purchase on March 1, 2017. 

To learn more about Graeter’s Ice Cream, visit https://www.graeters.com.