Top 5 Awesome Gifts For Babies And Toddlers

December 23, 2018

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Whether it is finding a perfect gift for your best friend’s baby shower ceremony or the first birthday, the options are numerous. While some are expensive, there are also some pocket-friendly gift items. So, have a look at five such gifts for babies and toddlers that will surely steal your heart.

Baby Care Gift Set

Such a gift set has most of the items that parents or caregivers will need to take care of their little bundle of joy such as diaper rash cream, baby massage oil, baby shampoo, baby powder, and more.

Merry Go Round

Babies love to gaze at moving objects while laying in their cribs. Merry Go Round is an inexpensive toy that one can purchase from any local kids store. Available in exciting colors, it is best to choose a merry go round that plays a soothing music.

Baby Walker

It is delightful to watch a baby taking small steps. A baby walker has always remained a favorite gift item as it helps a baby or a toddler to have a sense of direction in a hassle-free manner. Although in the past, wooden walkers were quite popular, now multi-activity baby walkers are the preferred ones.

Pull and Push Toys

Such toys are ideal to keep a toddler active. Today, pull and push toys are available in several materials like plastic, wood, aluminum, and more. Toddlers are often amazed to find that they can move their toy at a terrific speed by just pushing or pulling a string.

Rocking Horse

Long before when there were no cars or bikes, there were horses to enjoy a ride. A rocking horse is a classic toy that offers a bounty of fun for toddlers. Some rocking horses also feature four wheels and a galloping sound!

There can be even more gift items for babies and toddlers like plush play mat, baby gown, silver anklets, and more. However, all the toys or gift items demand a safe place in a nursery, and nothing can beat a toy box sourced from skilled woodworkers. As many manufacturers offer an optional cedar base for the wooden toy box, it is perfect for storing baby quilts too.

Whether to Give Your Baby Vitamins


Parents know that the growing years of a baby has its own challenges. Everyone wants the child to grow healthy, strong and fit. And when it comes to the food and vitamins intake of your baby, you’ll probably get to hear varying views from everyone you encounter. Whether it’s your new mom buddies in the neighbourhood, your relatives, the lactation expert or even an online health news report – the versions concerning babies and vitamins will differ. When you are trying to figure out what vitamins to add to your baby’s diet, all these views can be overwhelming to decipher. However, a good place to start is by asking a crucial question – “Does your baby need any vitamin or supplement”? And that would depend to a great extent if you are breastfeeding.

The truth about breastfeeding

Mothers’ breastfeeding their babies assume that it’s the apt food for their babies and is replete with all the vitamins needed. Whilst it’s true that breastmilk itself carries the necessary vitamin component, it doesn’t have two core nutrients in sufficient proportion – Iron and Vitamin D. The latter is a must have for a kid for stronger bones. And iron is crucial for the development of a healthy brain and blood cells. Babies also require this mineral to avert any kind of iron deficiency and anaemia.

Babies who consume a wide mix of foods as they grow, doesn’t need any vitamins other than breastmilk. However, there can be exception to this rule. For instance, if a baby was prematurely born, small for the gestational age, low birth weight and consumes less breast milk as compared to other babies then they would need vitamins and supplements. Also, if the baby has chronic health issues that result in poor eating habits, then it is necessary to chalk out a proper vitamin intake chart for the little one.

The health of the mother

In fact, when deciding on the list of vitamins that a baby needs, moms need to look into their health scenario as well! For instance, women having medical conditions like gastric bypass surgery or has been on medication on a regular basis, will absorb less nutrients from their food intake. This results in nutrient quality of the breastmilk to be low as well. Also, if you happen to following a vegan diet, inform the healthcare provider. Iron, calcium, vitamin B12, zinc and the omega-3 fatty acids are few of the nutrients that vegan moms and their babies should be working on. Alternatively, a multi-vitamin mineral supplement could be the fix.

Vitamin B12 and Fluoride

Vitamin B12 is essential for the proper development of the nervous system and reduces the occurrence of anaemia. Moms can find this vitamin in milk, milk products, eggs, poultry, meat and fish. If you don’t eat adequate animal proteins and you are breastfeeding, then it’s essential for your healthcare provider to suggest you an ongoing and proper source of Vitamin B12. This way you can ensure that your baby too is getting this supplement through you.

In the recent times there has been very less medical proof whether fluoride supplements at the time of infancy enhance baby’s dental health. The American Academy of Paediatrics suggests that all kinds of fluoride supplements should be given to the baby after 6 months. Also, it should be given to only those children who integral water source is weak in fluoride.

Summing it up

Majority of babies get their minerals and vitamin intake from the breastmilk and post that the other supplementary edibles that go along with it, with just an exception of Vitamin D. If a baby isn’t taken to sunlight on a daily basis then the chances of Vitamin D absorption are low. Also, iron supplements are essential for preterm babies. And Vitamin B12 is a must for babies born out of vegan mothers or who experienced bariatric surgery. With this knowledge at hand you and your healthcare provider can work out the rest.

Locate Your Biological Parents

December 23, 2018

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One request I get every now and again is to assist someone in locating his or her biological parents. Some people may be just interest for their own knowledge to see what kind of lifestyle their biological parents lived, and others want to see about pursuing a possible relationship with them. Whatever the case the client typically has conducted an extensive search online and perhaps interviewed family members but is unable to determine whom, or where their parents are. Sometime the best way to start you search is from the bottom-up. This can be time consuming so prepare for the long haul.

First Things First

The first thing you need to do, if you haven’t done so, is determine the names of your parents. If you are unable to interview your current family or they are not willing to provide you with the real name of your biological parents, you can still get this information. The most accurate means of doing this is by getting a copy of your birth certificate. Most states allow you to file an online request with providing sufficient identification. To do this, search for the state you were born in and include in the search keywords either “birth certificate,” or “vital records.” I have seen this cost anywhere from $12.00 to about $30.00 depending on the state and it usually takes about 3-4 weeks for you to get the record back.

Once you have your birth certificate, you should be able to find your mother’s name at the time of your birth on the record. You may even have your father’s name but that is not always the case. Some birth certificates will also provide you with the place employment of your parents at the time of your birth.

Check Employment

If you have the place of employment you can try and start your search there. You may be able to check with the company and see if they are still employed. Some business will not provide this information out over the phone for security reasons.

Beware of Name Changes

The good news is you at least have a name to go by for your searches. Keep in mind that while doing your searches, especially with your mother’s name, that her name could have changed if she got married or divorced. You can try and do free online white pages searches for your parents based on their name and presumed location and if they are listed publicly you may get a number and address. You can also try and search them through social media account, but if you don’t know what they look like, chances are, you will get many common name results during your search.

Health Records

Another thing you can do is to request your health records. Depending on how old you were when you were adopted, if your biological parents took you for random health related checkups as a child, you may be able to obtain copies of this information. First you would want to look in the area around where you were born and grew up. I would contact the Department of Health and Human Resources in that area and request your health records. You will need to provide identification again and fill out a request form. When you get your records you should look for all identification sheets. The identification sheet should have information regarding your name, address, telephone number, insurance, etc. Chances are the telephone number provided would be for your guardian or person that brought you in at the time of the appointment. Feel free to given it a try but chances are, after the length of time, this number has changed. A good piece of information on these records is the address. You will have the listed address of where you lived at the time.

Apartment Checks

If the address is an apartment, chances are your parents have moved since your birth. The apartment will not have many details listed online so you can call the apartment complex but chances are they will not give you any information over the phone. You best bet is to go to the apartment complex in person and explain to them what you are trying to do. The complex may still refuse any further information about the unit due to policies but you may get lucky and find someone eager to help. If they are willing to help you, ask them if they have any information about the tenants of the apartment during the timeframe you were living there. See if they included a forwarding address in their paperwork for mail, deposits, etc. If you get an address or telephone number repeat this step over again.

House Checks

If the address you have is a house, you have some other options. Most counties have all their property deed information listed online now. Some smaller counties may not. Search online for the county and real estate deed search. You can put in the address and the deed to property will show you the current name on the deed. If you are lucky, this will be one of the same names on your birth certificate. If not, you are not done hunting. Some online searches provide deed histories and you can see how long ago it was that your parent(s) lived there and owned the house, as well as when they sold it and the deed changed names. While you are still on this particular counties website, try searching for properties by owner name. If your parent(s) are still living in the same county, and own a home, you will be able to get the address to the current property they own.

Deceased?

If no results came back, chances are they could have either moved counties, renting, or possibly deceased. There are some sites that offer free death master file searches so you may want to check this out first before proceeding and wasting anymore time.

Property Taxes

Assuming they are still living lets check personal property taxes. Most counties will also post online a free search engine to check property tax information. You can search these records by name and it will give you all real estate properties and vehicles they own and owe taxes on or have previously owned and paid taxes on. The real estate taxes will provide an address but the vehicles will not. It may be a good idea to know what kind of car that your parent(s) may currently own while on your search so make a note of it.

Voter Registration Search

If you still can’t find an address another free online search with good results is the Voter Registration Search site for the state they reside in. Some state sites are easier to navigate than others. Voter registration search can provide you with the name and address where a person is registered to vote. If they are an active voter the address listed should be their current address, unless they have moved and have not updated this information yet.

County Real Property Index

Another website to check is the county real property index. Some counties offer this service online, while others you have to go to the county courthouse and search through the records in person. These are public records and you can search for judgments, assumed names, quitclaim deeds, and many other documents. Some of these documents include alternative names that your mother may have used (maiden name) as well as addresses and business addresses.

Interviews

If you are still unable to locate any further address for your parent(s) you may want to put on your best detective hat and begin interviewing those that may have any information to your parent(s) whereabouts. You can not only interview your current family, but also consider interviewing those that are currently residing at the houses your parent(s) have lived at. The new residence may be able to provide you with a forwarding address if it was given to them in the event mail came. They may also be able to provide a telephone number. Interview landlords as well for this same information.

Return Service Request

Another method of obtaining a current address for your parent(s) is by using the United States Postal Service. The USPS uses ancillary services such as Return Service Requested. If you mail a letter to the last known address of your parent(s) and inscribe the words “Return Service Requested” on the letter, the USPS will return the letter to you with the newest forwarding address. Be sure to check with the USPS for proper placement of request.

Additional Free Searches

Some additional sites you may want to try just to knock off your search list to assure you are covering all your bases include the following:

– Federal Bureau of Prisons – Search incarcerated federal inmates.
– County Jails – Most Counties have online inmate searches.
– Vinelink – A Service that provides the public with free information about incarcerated offenders as well as release dates.
– Sex Offender Registry – Free search providing photo’s, conviction information, as well as current address.
– White Pages – Free online search of publicly listed names, addresses, and telephone numbers.
– Social Media Accounts – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

How Children Can Easily Draw a Family Tree

December 23, 2018

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In order to retrace the history of a family, the family tree has a historical but equally pedagogical function. While children can come up with a very simple tree, it is necessary to adopt a good method to deepen their research skills.

Since the various family ties are not always easy to understand for children, the creation of a family tree is an opportunity to explain, figuratively, the place of each one in the family vis-a-vis the other members. In this case, it is explaining the place of the grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, as well as children and cousins. This can be done during a creative workshop.

Drawing a family tree is a fantastic way to illustrate your family history. Begin by searching for your ancestors to find out which of them to include, and then draw a diagram for each generation to create your family tree. You can embellish your drawing by transforming it into a work of art or simply saving it to always have it on hand.

On the other hand, a more rigorous methodology and in-depth research is necessary when one wishes to go back further into one’s genealogy. It often becomes mandatory to delve into family records and to browse through public and private archives. The bullet points that follow give tracks and useful ways to make a family tree.

– On a leaf, draw the shape of a tree without forgetting the trunk, the roots and the flower garden.

– Draw the necessary circles with a plastic plug.

– Decorate the contours of the circles and then connect them together, as well as to the branches.

– Have an adult cut out the inside of the circles and frame.

– Paint the sky in bright blue.

– Color in light green the grass and part of the leaves of the tree, and in dark green the rest of the leaves.

– Paint the trunk and branches in brown.

– Add shadows and some flowers.

– Trace the contours of the objects and the veins of the wood, with a felt.

– Choose the photos and fix them behind the holes, with adhesive.

– Put glue around the drawing and place the frame on top.

It is fun and interesting to dedicate oneself to searching for one’s origins: who were our ancestors? Thus, it is possible to make a family tree and to go back over as many generations as you wish. Know that the more you go back into the tree, the more thorough research will be needed.

Advice

· You can create your family tree on the computer, using graphic programs.

· If you so choose you can follow the same process for as many generations as you want.

A Daughter’s Love

December 23, 2018

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I have spent half my life mad at my daddy. My first memory is of him and my mother telling my siblings and I they were getting a divorce. I think I was three. My next memory is of him telling me he would be suing my mother for custody of the older two but not me because I was the youngest and a girl, so he wouldn’t win if he fought for me too. (As it turned out, he didn’t win custody of any of us.)

In the beginning we would visit him often: every weekend… holidays… summer vacation. As the years progressed, however, my visits became less and less frequent. I don’t remember any phone calls. What I do remember is my mother struggling to make ends meet and complaining that daddy would not pay his court ordered child support. When I was seventeen, mommy was finally able to garnish his paycheck and get some of the child support she was fighting for all those years. At that point, I pretty much stopped hearing from daddy altogether.

Let’s be clear. Daddy was around. We all lived with him for about six months when I was 9. My sister and brother would live with him again after that but I stayed with mommy until college. By my teenage years I almost never saw him. My brother had started living with him (whole other story). My sister had her own apartment. Daddy would visit my sister often. My sister lived two blocks away from me.

Daddy did not visit me.

Daddy was not at my high school graduation… or my college graduation… or my law school graduation. And he missed pretty much every event in between. I don’t remember any phone calls just to say I love you and every attempt at relationship ended in him either throwing me out of his house or with me feeling rejected and abandoned again.

My daddy is not an inarticulate man. He has been highly educated my entire life having obtained a master’s degree in the seventies. He obtained a PhD from the University of Michigan when I was sixteen. He has been a community activist my whole life. As a college professor and later a college dean – he has a long list of students and colleagues who call him mentor or counselor and who attribute the success in their lives to his attention and encouragement. By all accounts he is a successful black man.

I am his youngest daughter. He was not successful to me.

I am his youngest daughter… but I am no longer young. Life – and a season married to a man with similar traits – has taught me that daddy’s behavior wasn’t because he didn’t care about me or didn’t love me. In fact, they weren’t about me at all. It was because he just did not know how to show up as “daddy.” He knew how to be a community leader. He knew how to be an educator. He even knew how to be a provider. But a daddy? Not so much.

As a black man coming up in the civil rights era, being degraded was an everyday occurrence for Daddy. And because he was a dark-skinned man born to a dark-skinned man life was not giving him many breaks. Add to that the death of his mother and separation from his beloved stepfather at the age of ten (and if I’m really being honest… add to that me: a strong-willed daughter who refused to just do it his way) and the not-so-young me can see why it was easier for daddy to just not show up at all.

But daddy needed me as much as I needed him. He just didn’t know how to show up. I believe he wanted to. I believe he knew that-as the daddy-it was his job to provide for me; that it was his job to protect me. I also believe daddy knew how important he was to my realization of my own power… to my own identity and validation. I believe he knew he would be my barometer for how I would require other men to show up for me in the future. That I would look to him for my value and self-worth. We all do. We all need “daddies” to show up for us. And I believe all daddies want to show up for every relationship they value: their wives, their careers, their communities…

If daddies-whether biological or not – knew how to show up authentically for those closest to them, they would see the positive impact of the power they inherently hold and realize they are perfect just the way they were created to be. They would stop sabotaging relationships-both personal and business- and instead take back the power they hold to positively impact the world around them-including the one inside their own homes.

So, this letter is not to tell you that I’ve spent half my life mad at my daddy, but to tell you that I see the “daddy” in every man out there trying to show up for their family. This letter is to tell you that I know you love your children, your family, and your community. That I know you know that when you do show up, your family will be transformed… your communities will be transformed… and more importantly, YOU will be transformed… into the version of yourself we all need… and the one you always knew existed.

Facts About Your Family History

December 23, 2018

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My pal Patty used to talk about the romance of her parents’ life. They were a young couple from different cultures in their small town but in the 1940s, they were so in love with each other that they eloped one warm summer evening. They had eleven months of romance bliss before Patty was born in June.

The household was not a happy one but Patty explained this lack of happiness was due to financial pressure. Her maternal grandparents had raised her mother with lots of money but when she ran off a married a guy from the poor part of town, they cut off their bounty.

Patty saw the power of money and how the lack of it could eat away at the love of even the most adoring couples. The firm believe in the early powerful romance of her parents shaped Patty’s own life and belief in romance. She also secretly felt that her birth got in the way of her parents’ enjoyment of their life together.

Her father died first. He was in his sixties when he succumbed to a heart attack. A few years later, a stroke took her mother. Patty was going through the papers stashed in her mother’s writing desk. She found her birth certificate. Then she found her parents’ marriage certificate.

She said the room actually spun when she looked at it. In spite of almost fifty years of wedding anniversaries celebrated in July, the evidence was in Patty’s hand. Her parents had gotten married in wintery January. They were married a bare six months before she was born. It rocked Patty’s world because everything she believed about her parents was called into doubt.

Facts are Facts, or Are They?

When you start gathering your family history, use that old tenet of journalism. Double check your facts. People have many reasons for changing facts to suit their personal histories. In the case of Patty’s mother, she did not want her daughter to know that she was pregnant when she married.

Another “fact” that was recorded in an obituary of one of my ancestors was that she was descended from Brigadier-General George Townshend who fought with General Wolfe at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham in the Seven Years’ War (also known as the French and Indian War).

When I began doing the family history, I accept this as fact and in creating the family tree, this was a good solid branch for years. Until the day I discovered that the Brigadier-General was at best a distant cousin.

Summary

When you are building your family history, check all the facts against the official records and make notes of the “facts” that have only been received by word of mouth.

Tracing your family history is an amazing way to learn about yourself. It also is a great way to learn how to research facts and separate them from fiction. I am narrowing my writing down to fiction and am thinking of using family history as a source of plots.

5 Reasons to Love Motherhood

December 20, 2018

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Motherhood is a gift and no one could ever take that gift away from you. Before the time of conception, you are being prepared to become the perfect mother to your beloved. Your entire being has been designed to become fit as a mom.

As soon as the baby is born, you would realize that you possess certain characteristics, talents, and abilities that you didn’t know exist hadn’t you become a mother. That is why there is no such thing as incompetent mom, there is however, someone who is just not willing to take on the responsibility.

Whether you have been a mom for a long time already or still about to embark the journey, know for a fact that there’s so many things to love about motherhood. Here are some of the reasons why:

Unending support

Motherhood is not a walk in the park. There will be lots of challenges and roller coaster rides along the way – and this is normal. You would experience occasional bouts of intense emotions or perhaps experience tremendous stress during the first years due to lack of sleep and physical tiredness.

Despite of all the difficulties experience by a mother, it is actually the perfect time to see and know how much support you have around you. Your spouse would be the first one to be there for your needs (especially in the emotional aspect) & your immediate relatives like your own mother will be there to guide you every step of the way, teaching you what and what’s not in raising a child.

This support you’ll receive won’t be at par with the support you experienced in the past, because the support shown to you will have a significant impact to your entire motherhood experience.

Sense of accomplishment

No one said that raising up a child is easy. In fact, there are no shortcuts to it. The complexities of motherhood will what makes it very challenging and exciting for every single mother out there. Once you break through from all the challenges you face, that will be the time you would begin to feel a deep sense of accomplishment for yourself.

A connection with your own child

An opportunity like this does not always come. Being a mother gives you opportunities to see and discover the world of your own flesh and blood and also lets you have a deeper sense of connection with them.

You get to embrace them with your own arms, play with them, talk with them anytime of the day, and even sleep beside them all through the night. Being able to get connected to your own child is a priceless gift that does not happen all the time.

Opportunities to watch them grow

Children don’t stay where they are. They grow to become mature and independent. The opportunity to be able to watch them grow from being an infant down to becoming an adult is truly rewarding. It is even more amazing to think that you will be there in their most promising time to be their number 1 supporter.

As they grow, you begin to see what their interests are and see how those interests evolve to be their strengths and capabilities.

Bundle of Joy

Even in the most trying times, your child can be your ultimate joy and satisfaction. Children are a heritage, a reward, and a blessing to families. Most parents would agree that children can be your source of strength when times are tough, and joy when things go rough.

They will serve as your inspiration in everything you do. In the past all you did was for yourself, but now you get a sense of purpose in everything you do- and all of them for your children. As a parent, you would always want their best interest in mind. And while you busy yourself raising up your child, you will also feel the joy of being their mother.

Motherhood is both hard work and joy. They go hand in hand and that makes it very rewarding. Motherhood may not be for everyone, but to those who have been honed by it, they would be more than willing to share to everyone their experience of motherhood bit by bit.

I am George Patt, passionate writer, photographer, traveler and technology addicted. Proud dad of three awesome boys.

Positive Parenting!

December 20, 2018

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Positive parenting! I like the ring to that, don’t you? In a world that is so tumultuous sometimes it really helps when our children can look to their parents as their positive role models. Parents, we can do this! It won’t be easy, but we can do this. We can practice positive parenting and make a big difference in our children’s lives. And someday they will then take forward our positive practices and make a positive difference in the lives of their children

As positive parents who practice positive parenting, we all innately know that it is our parental duty to make sure that our kids feel protected and loved. We all have our own ways of doing this, so I’m not going to go into how to do it, okay? So, let’s just make sure that all of our kids know they are protected and loved. The knowing is the tricky part. So, let’s make sure that they know.

Next, as parents, it’s imperative that mom and dad don’t fight in front of the kids. I know this is easier said than done. But we must be vigilant about not looking combative in front of our children. Arguing in front of the kids scares our kids and makes them feel unsafe and torn between mom and dad. Let’s air our marital disagreements in private, away from the eyes and ears of our children.

Also, let’s set expectations and rules for our kids like bedtime, chores, and how they are supposed to treat others. When our kids don’t live up to our expectations and rules, then let’s discipline them out of love, rather than anger and resentment. Let’s speak to them softly and help them understand the right and productive way to conduct themselves. We can have high expectations and be both firm and loving.

Now, as my Granddaddy always said, “Go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us.” Being a positive parent who practices positive parenting will absolutely have a positive impact on our children. And once again parents, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…

Why Should We Use Fidget Toys?

December 20, 2018

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Playing with a stress ball, geometric puzzle, tangles or similar toys may seem a lot like idle distraction. In fact, these toys are useful objects to help calm and focus a person, while helping to promote the more creative and clearer thinking. Also, the fidget toys are a practical option for tactile input and movement that is necessary for some people’s ability to learn. They come in a wide range of textures, sizes and shapes for ease of use and comfort.

What are they?

Fidget toys are practical for both adults and children. They are mostly used as therapeutic toys and relatively small in size. Most of the toys can easily sit comfortably in the palm of the hand. This small size means they are easy to carry in a lunch box, pocket, purse, or backpack. The toys are used in all types of environments, such as the office, in school and at home. They are built in a variety of materials from metal to washable nylon material, but no matter the type, it is still intended to increase a person’s attention and focus. The toys are often recommended by counselors and teacher’s doctors for those that lack focus in a learning environment.

Use for children

Children today can be more distracted and less inclined to learn and pay attention to their teacher. Their behavior, diets and entertainment options are completely different to previous generations of children. For the children that are quite restless and often fidget, it is worth trying these toys to see if it can help increase their focus and attention span. The fidget toys are practical to use in the home or school and help in a wide range of situations. Plus, the children are likely to have a lot of fun with these toys and they are very affordable.

Benefits

The benefits of the fidget toys are wide-ranging for both adults and children. They are a useful choice to help improve focus and self-regulation. For those that use them in a school or work environment, there is the potential to see an improvement in academic development or an increase in productivity. The toys held in the hands are very effective at giving a calming influence and can keep a person more alert. A further benefit is the ability to improve the tactile awareness of the hands and fingers. The regular user of this type of toy can see an improvement in strength of the hands and fingers overtime.