Friday, August 31, 2012

It's Not Right! Is There Really Justice When A Child is Hurt or Killed?

Lately, several news stories about children have caught my attention, and to be quite honest, these child news stories are not only traumatizing for families, they are also heartbreaking for the general public.

What is happening to our country? 

Here are the recent updates on stories that have caught my attention lately:

Killer Sentenced - In Brooklyn, the sicko, Levi Aron, who abducted the lost little 8 year old boy, Leiby Kletzky, and then dismembered the young child, just received his sentence Wednesday: 40 years to life. He didn't even have a final "sorry" immediately prior to his sentencing...

Niagara Falls Girl Killed - Just yesterday, I heard about poor little Isabella Tennant, a beautiful little 5 year old girl who was killed by a 16 year-old John R. Freeman Jr., a friend of the family and helper to dear Isabella's great grandmother, because "she wouldn't stop crying". The autopsy revealed that she had been beaten and then strangled...and she was later found in left in a trash can in an alley. Freeman is charged with second degree murder...

Possibly Child Abuse Unreported - Results in Death - 7 month-old Jayden Noel was examined at an Indiana emergency room, where suspicion of child abuse was present in July of 2011 - a bruised and discolored ear and another bruise on the side of his face. When the parents told the ER physician that the bruises occurred when the mother's boyfriend tossed a toy into the baby's crib, unaware that the child was in it, the ER physician reported, "Do not feel at this time that a state of abuse exists."

However,  six months later, little Jayden died from "multiple blunt-force traumatic injuries to the head", according to the autopsy report. Now, in question, is whether the ER physician should have erred on the side of caution by placing a report to Department of Child services...

Father Kills Daughter to "Spare" Her - A father in Washington is facing aggravated first degree murder charges...

Dean Holmes fatally shot both his wife and daughter, then headed to the Pierce County Jail to confess and turn himself in. He told the detectives at his confession that he shot his daughter to prevent her from the pain of losing her mother (to death) and her father (to jail). According to prosecutors, Holmes, if found guilty - as he should be! - he will face either the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

Shamefully, these news stories are nothing new to us...they happen almost on a daily basis, but is there ever justice when a child is purposely hurt or killed? How can loved ones find peace in the death of a murdered child?



Thursday, August 30, 2012

When Your Kindergartener Has Separation Anxiety - 11 Tips to Help You Both Through It



I was super-shocked to hear what happened when my 5-year-old Dylan was on the trial-run bus trip that merely drove them around the school parking lot on Kindergarten Orientation Day. Not normally a "Momma's Boy", Dylan apparently cried, "I want my Mommy" as the school bus started moving...

I was oblivious, assuming that he was excited and ready to start school, as we had talked about Dylan's readiness for school all summer, and even throughout the past year. How he couldn't wait to go to school with his big brothers and sister...the fun things he would be able to do! He seemed ready, and said he was ready hundreds of times, but, in reality, he wasn't completely ready, and that's okay.

While I hope that I don't have to anticipate peeling his little fingers from my legs on the first day of school as I drop him off to his new school, I know now, after the experience at Orientation Day, that I will have to deal with at  least a little bit of separation anxiety. Thankfully, we have already taken the first step in reducing the separation anxiety by attending the Orientation Day. 

Here are some tips to help you handle separation anxiety on that first, exciting day of Kindergarten:

1) Attend the Orientation. Sure, we're all busy, and Kindergarten Orientation may not occur at the best time for your family, with work schedules and other daily routines to work it in between. However, by attending the orientation, you get to introduce your child to their new teacher, and show them the environment that they will be playing and learning in for the next year, as well as answer any questions they may have. 

2) Don't Fuel the Fire. You can add fuel to the fire by extending the good-bye and lagging around to "make sure" your child will be okay. Instead, stay confident in the school, the teachers, and your child, and know that the teachers have everything under control. They are prepared to handle children who exhibit separation anxiety, as they deal with it all the time. The longer you hang around and prolong the good-bye, the more you will prolong the anxiety. 

3) Say Good-bye. If you skip out while your Kindergartener is busy, as soon as they realize you are gone, their anxiety could skyrocket, and their trust in you could diminish. Additionally, in the future, they will be watching for you to skip out and be more apprehensive about your departure. Be sure to say "good-bye", give hugs and kisses, and make your exit, with a cheerful good-bye. 

4) Leave the Bribery and Bargaining at Home. It's okay for your child to feel anxiety about their new school, but it's not okay for you to bring the bad habits of bribery and bargaining to the school. So, leave the, "If you...then I will...". Leave the rewarding and discipline to the teacher, as you're in their territory now. 

5) Don't Give In. Probably the worst thing that you can do is give in and take your Kindergartener home. As with anything else, if you give in and take them home, you will show them that if they cry and put up enough of a battle, they will pull on your heartstrings enough to win the battle. Let them know, by your actions, that you will not give in. After all, depending on their age, by law, they have to attend school, anyways.

6) Host a Party. Yes, this is optional, but it will help to create early friendships. If you host a small party, or play-date early in the year, your child will be able to get to know their school friends in the comfort of their own home, and therefore feel more comfortable when in school.

7) Control Your Emotions. It's an obvious thing, but something that most of us moms have trouble with. If you're anxious, believe that your child will feel it, so set your own emotions aside, or at least mask them tremendously, put on a smiling, confident, positive disposition, and let your child know that you know that they are in a safe place that you have confidence in. 

8) Ask For Help. While most moms simply do not have the choice, some of you can ask Daddy, another family member, or a friend, to drop off your Kindergartener at school. If you are lucky enough to have this option, separation anxiety could disappear in just one day. Of course, some children simply like to pull on those heartstrings, so expect to face some trials the next time you drop them off.

9) Communicate with the Teacher. Don't be afraid to discuss your own anxieties - and your child's - with the teacher at any time. They want to help to create a smooth transition, and will usually have some great ideas. Remember, they've been through this numerous times with a variety of different children and parents, and they understand what you and your child are going through. (Dylan's teacher actually held him on her lap during the bus ride during orientation and talked him through it, asking questions about his brothers and sisters and keeping his mind busy. And, he made it through the short bus ride..tears and all.)

10) Know that Your Child Will Adjust. The transition to Kindergarten is a big one for most children -  especially for the children who have been at home, rather than in day care or at a preschool. Know that while it might take some time, your child will adjust to the transition before you know it. Believe in your child, and show and tell them that you believe in them.

11) Believe in the School and the Teachers. Know that the school and the teachers are prepared to handle separation anxiety issues - more than you even think! Kindergarten teachers deal with these issues every year, at the beginning of the year, and most have tricks up their sleeves to ensure that things go as smoothly as possible the first few days...and weeks...and beyond. They want your child to enjoy school - and to be successful, as it reflects on their abilities as a teacher!

Remember: While you may think that you have overcome the separation anxiety problems, you may still run into a roadblock after holidays and vacations. Be prepared for a relapse, and remember the tips above to help your child through this time. If you anticipate issues, send the teacher a quick email or make a quick phone call to talk about possible problems before they arise.

Separation anxiety is not necessarily a bad thing...it just means that you've been a loving, supporting mom that has created a beautiful bond with her child. There's nothing at all wrong with that! Don't feel like you have to chop that bond off entirely; just feel like you need to encourage your child to grow and form the ability to grow and learn without you there, right next to them, all the time. 

You will both get through this, and you will both grow from it! Good luck! 




Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Five Real, Honest-to-Goodness Opportunities to Earn from Home

Young computer user gets help from mom.


If you’re a mom looking to bring in a little extra income -- and who isn’t these days -- it’s important that you can tell the difference between a legitimate work-at-home opportunity and a scam. There are dozens of work-at-home schemes that will do nothing but cause frustration and heartache. If you;re looking for ways to earn money from your home base, around your family’s schedule, there are dozens of real opportunities out there. Here are five of the best ways that moms can earn money from their home office, couch or dining room table:

1. Customer Service and Sales

If you have the gift of gab, you may enjoy working as a virtual sales or customer service agent. Companies like Arise, LiveOps, ACD Direct, West at Home and Working Solutions hire telecommuters to man phones for pledge drives, provide customer service and even sell products. These jobs are great for busy moms who can’t work eight hours a day. Most of these companies let WAHMs, or Work-At-Home-Moms, schedule themselves in 30 minute blocks. This can be fantastic if you can only work when the kids are in napping or while they’re in school, etc.

2. Freelance Writing

Whether you choose to write for a content mill or create your own blog, freelance writing can bring in as much or as little income as you desire. While content mill sites are frowned upon by some writers, they can be a reliable source of income as long as clients are ordering articles. Blogging, on the other hand, can take several months to start generating income. One bit of advice when it comes to freelance writing is this: Don’t put all of your eggs into one basket. The more avenues you use to sell your writing, the more likely you are to receive a steady stream of revenue.

3. Open an Etsy Shop

If crafting is a way for you to unwind and relax, why not take your love a step further and turn it into a money-making opportunity? Etsy.com is a virtual store that allows crafters to set up shop and sell their wares. You can find hand-made jewelry, knitted and crocheted items, candles and homemade soaps on the site. In fact, if someone made it by hand, you’re guaranteed to find it on Etsy. The best thing about opening an Etsy shop is that you won’t be taking any additional time away from your family. If you’re already crafting, it takes only minutes to open a shop and start earning money.

4. Fill a Need

There are many things that people need but don’t have time to do for themselves. You can write resumes for job-seekers, sit a neighbor’s dog, iron someone’s work shirts, handle their errands and grocery shopping, or even create a website for a local business owner. If you’ve got a special talent or interest, try to think of ways that you can use it to start earning money. When you’ve decided what type of service you would like to offer, create flyers, business cards or even brochures to pass around your local community. Additionally, you can create a website or a Facebook page to advertise your new business and bring in more customers. Check out MakeMoneyFast.org for more ideas on making money.

5. Sell Treasures

You’d be surprised at the income moms have been making simply by selling items on eBay and Craigslist. If you have a good eye for antiques and in-demand items, spend one week-end a month touring local garage and yard sales. You can easily spend less than $10 and turn it into $100 if you know what you’re doing. Remember that this is simply a case of someone’s trash being someone else’s treasure. Once you’ve gotten your feet wet selling on eBay, you may want to start attending estate sales and visiting flea markets. Both of these can be untapped sources of highly-sellable items. While some things will sell better on eBay, other items will sell more quickly on Craigslist. The key to turning this practice into a financial gold mine is practice.

While there are great ways to earn money at home, there are also dozens of scams out there. There are unscrupulous people who prey on the frustrated, uninformed and cash-strapped. Before you accept any type of work-at-home position, make sure that the offer is legitimate. You should never be asked to pay money up front for anything other than a background check; this is a sure sign that you are about to be scammed. If you are looking to make a bit of extra money, use your common sense, put your skills to use and start earning. You can have money in your pocket by the end of the month by using any of the ideas above.



Karen Boyarsky is a freelance blogger writing for MakeCrazyMoney.org. You can follow her on Twitter @Boyarsky_kareni.





Three Tips to Soothe Teething Babies



If you are looking for solutions to common baby teething problems, these tips are designed to take the stress out of teething issues. 
The moment that your baby’s first teeth appear is a wonderful moment but it can also be stressful for both mother and child. Teething affects everyone differently and in some cases, the teething process can last up to three years. As a mother, it is natural to want to keep the baby’s distress to a minimum and here are three effective teething solutions that aim to put teething problems in the past. 

Organic Cheek Rub

Your baby’s cheeks can become red and inflamed during the teething process and although you cannot do anything to prevent this, you can purchase a number of products to soothe him/her. Organic cheek rub is just one of the products you can find online. With calming ingredients including Chamomile, Lavender and Spearmint essential oils, this lotion can help to sooth the skin and relieve the symptoms of teething. 

Organic Bangles 

Giving your baby objects to chew on can help to relieve the discomfort caused by teething. Teething toys have been around for years and are a tried and tested method that many parents recommend. The latest teething solutions come in the form of jewellery that is both fashionable and functional. You can choose from a wide range of teething bangles in a cool range of colours to complement your wardrobe.  These teething bangles are very popular as you can take them with you on the go and they don’t take up any space as you can wear them on your wrist. 

Organic Comforter 

If you want to ensure that your baby is comfortable despite teething problems, investing in a comforter could provide a simple solution. These plush blankets are designed to provide comfort to your baby and have a calming effect. 

If you are a new mum or dad, looking after your new arrival can be daunting. If you want to learn tried and tested ways to soothe teething problems, go online to find out more information. You can find out a plethora of information on teething solutions, including the best products to purchase and the best online retailers. If you want to stock up on organic teething bangles, cheek rub and organic comforters, you can find all of this and more at Amber Pumpkin.




Tuesday, August 28, 2012

EdenFantasys - Fun Programs, Free Stuff and Awesome Products! What More Can You Ask For?

You've heard me talk about them before, and now, I'm spreading the word again. If you're not familiar with them, EdenFantasys happens to be one of my favorite online shops, and that's no exaggeration. There are so many different things going on at EdenFantasys that it's difficult to figure out which direction to head in, and I tend to get caught up in all of the programs that they offer, not to mention the awesome products!


Sex toys - EdenFantasys adult toys store


Earn Points!

As soon as you create an account, you can start earning points as you look for high quality massage products and other fun stuff. For example, when you type in products in the search bar, you will earn points. There is a maximum per day, but you would be surprised how fast the points can add up, especially if you "window shop" every day...

You can also earn points by posting reviews about products you have tried. You would be surprised at how many ways you can earn points...and how fast they rack up.

What are points good for? What I love about the points is that they are easily converted to spendable cash on their website. The add up fast, and you don't have to wait to convert them. For example, I have 472 points right now. If I decided to order something, I could convert the points right now to $4.72 and apply that credit to my order. 

Coupon Codes

What I also love are the constant coupon codes that EdenFantasys offers. I don't think I've ever been to the site and not seen a coupon code I could use for something I wanted. Here are some current coupon codes to get you started:

  • ROMANCE15 - save 15% on your order
  • ROMANCE20 - save 20% on orders of $50+
  • ROMANCE25 - save 25% on orders of $100+
  • ROMANCE30 - save 30% on orders of $150+

Free Stuff

Don't forget to check out the Free Products you can get when you place an order. I have received something free with every order I've made. Sometimes, you will have to order a certain amount of products before you qualify for a free product, but most of the time, I have found that you can get something free, no matter how small the order. (You have to add the free product to your shopping cart in order to get it...don't forget!)

Sales

Right now, there's a Labor Day Clearance Sale, with up to 70% off selected items, so be sure to check out those specials, too.

Reviews

Another thing that I love about EdenFantasys is their extensive site, which is full of product reviews that are well-thought-through, to help you make the right decision for what you're looking for. You can tell that reviewers have taken the time to really write reviews that talk about the aroma, feel, ingredients, and even taste of  some of the products! And, if you like video reviews, you will find them on EdenFantasys, too.

So, you're wondering what my favorite product in the store is so far? It would absolutely HAVE to be the Shunga Garden of Edo Organic Collection - Massage Kit. And, apparently, I'm not the only one who loves it, because at the moment, it's not even in stock, but you can purchase each item individually. Because, what mom of 7 doesn't love to get a pampering massage from her husband with some of the best products you can find? :)


EdenFantasys.com provided a gift card in exchange for this review.

Three Reasons to Purchase a Trike for your Child this Summer



If you are trying to find a fun gift for your child’s birthday or you simply want to invest in a toy that is guaranteed to keep your child entertained over the summer holidays, here are three reasons to choose a trike over the other kid’s toys on the market. 

Endless Entertainment 

As a parent, you will be all too familiar with the trendy toys that are discarded after only a few weeks. Choosing the most popular toys for your children can bring them a huge amount of happiness but these in demand purchases can be expensive and many do not stand the test of time. There are many questions that run through your mind when purchasing toys. You may ask yourself if this toy is worth the price or if it will simply end up under the bed with the rest of last year’s toys. 

A trike may not be the coolest toy but it can provide hours and hours of fun. If your child isn’t initially keen on the idea, try encouraging them with the offer of a companion to ride with them. You can check out a great range of Steiff Bears for sale here and creating a basket for the front of the bike can be an activity you can your child can enjoy together.
 
Develop Coordination Skills

Unlike some toys, you can create a number of varied activities that ensure your child will never get bored of the trike. You can play lots of fun games that will not only provide hours of fun but they will also help your child learn valuable skills. Once your child is comfortable on the trike, you can create obstacle courses with cones or other objects so that your child has to weave through them to get to the other end of the garden. Setting your child small challenges such as these can help them progress while making the learning process fun. 

Get Active 

Many of the most popular children’s toys include DVD’s, video games and books that don’t encourage physical activity. As a parent, you want your child to be healthy and purchasing active toys is the perfect way to keep them moving. A trike is one of the most popular active toys as it not only gets children moving, it also encourages them to use their brain.  

If you are looking for an affordable trike but are unsure where to start, go online to find a trike in your price range. There are hundreds of trikes to choose from and if you are buying your first trike, it can seem a little daunting. The internet can provide you with a plethora of information on the types of trikes available and the best brands and retailers to choose. You can browse hundreds of products from the comfort of your own home and compare the different models at speed. 

Always do your research prior to purchasing a trike to ensure that it will complement your specific needs. Do you want a trike that can be used both outdoors and indoors? Are you looking for a trike to suit a specific age range? Create a checklist of requirements before you begin your search. You can find a great range of Winther trikes from Edusentials.




Just When You Get Used To Something, It Changes!!

Think of stretch marks as pregnancy service stripes.  ~Joyce Armor
Pregnancy is not for the weak or faint of heart. Childbirth is a marathon. There is no word adequate to describe motherhood. It is at times the most joyful experience, the most painful experience, and a hundred things in between. You can do it.
Pregnancy gives you a run for your money. Your hormones are shifting your body is changing, you feel like you will never be yourself again. It’s a good thing you have a cute baby to look forward too.
Labor and childbirth take those feelings and add contractions, bleeding, and more intense hormones and emotions than you have previously ever thought possible. It is a good thing you have a cute baby to look forward too.
The postpartum period, again, can put you through the wringer. It is a good thing babies are cute! Pregnancy, labor, and birth are often not easy, but they can be and often are the most wonderful, empowering experiences. Think about it, people do it over and over and over, there has to be some good about it!

Adjusting to Motherhood

The first few weeks can kind of feel like and out of body experience. Lost between breastfeeding and diapers, diapers, and yes- more diapers, you may feel like some sort of sleep deprived crazy person. It is okay! It does get better.

It is a Pain in the Butt (or Boob)!

One of the things that I cried the most over was my sore and bloody nipples. For not having any teeth babies can really pack a punch in their latch- actually the most developed muscles in a newborn’s body is the mouth and jaw.
Some soreness is normal. You and your baby have to learn how to work together. Once you and your baby get it all figured it will not be painful. Literally, I saved my big pain killers for when I needed to nurse.
In time it got better, but there are some tricks and tips to get it make it better.
  • Nipple cream is a heaven sent blessing. There are several kinds of nipple cream available over the counter or by prescription to help ease the discomfort and chapped nipple issues. Coconut Oil is also a good thing to use.
  • I like All Purpose Nipple Ointment, Earth Mama Angel Baby, and EasyNurse nipple creams. These really can be a lifesaver.
  • Lactation Consultants are the guardian angels of nursing mothers. They can save the day with advice to help ease the discomfort. Lactation consultants can offer positioning as well as latching advice. 
  • Nipple shields can be used occasionally, but are often over used. Or used as a temporary fix without addressing the root problem. Nipple shields are fantastic for premature babies or sick babies. They often lack the fat pockets in their cheeks to get a good latch or grip on the nipple. Using the nipple shield to help them until their mouths have grown and strengthened is a great thing. 
  • However you have to be somewhat careful that your baby and you do not become dependent on it. It can be hard to wean a baby from the nipple shield if your baby or you have become dependent. This can lead to another issue down the road and no one really needs that.
  • Some lactation consultants will advise using a nipple shield to allow for a particularly injured nipple to heal. But most often once the problem is corrected things heal pretty quickly.
  • Doctors and most nurses do not get education on breastfeeding. You need to find a doctor who is educated in Breastfeeding Medicine or a Lactation Consultant (or similar) for problems with breastfeeding.
Babies are born to breastfeed. You can do this. Women have been nursing their babies for millennia- and almost every woman is able to breastfeed. One woman’s breast-feeding may look different from another though- the frequency and length of nursing sessions are just as individual as babies and mothers.

Christobel seeks to empower women to make the best choices possible for their babies. By providing them with non-judgmental support and advice on everything from diapers to breastfeeding, Christobel helps mothers decide what is best for them. She is a loving grandmother, based in London, England.



Sunday, August 26, 2012

BARRATTS UK Presents Their Back to School Shoes

Last minute school shoppers! Are you still looking for shoes and school bags for the kids? Don't fret...

Not only does BARRATS UK cover your children's school shoes needs for the back-to-school rush, they also cover the back-to-school school bags, all in the same place.

For Mom

Now that you have the kids covered, they're also offering 20% off heels and courts right now, so even mom can get a new pair for herself to wear after she rushes the kids off to school. (What mom doesn't need or deserve a new pair of cute shoes?)

Free Shipping

And, when you spend over £50, just enter the code MOV5B for free shipping. 

BARRATS UK is ready for your kid's back-to-school needs year round, so don't forget to check back in on their site to find out what deals they have posted and the new arrivals section, where you will find the latest fashions. Also, if you visit their store, they will accurately measure your child's foot to ensure the best fit in their new back to school shoes. 

This is a message about one of our sponsors. Thanks, BARRATS UK for supporting Mommy Rantings!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tips to Help You Travel with Young Children


When you take a vacation with the whole family, so much planning and organization is involved it almost seems like it’s too much work for what it’s worth! Especially if you have young children in the family; keeping them entertained and happy during the journey can tire you out before you get to your destination. But once you get on holiday, it not only recharges your batteries but it’s so beneficial for the children too – so don’t let the thought of a stressful journey put you off! 
 
Here are some tips to help you look after and entertain your children when you’re traveling:
 
Stay Calm
 
First thing to remember: try and keep your cool. I know it’s easier said than done, but if any hiccups occur in your journey, such as delayed flights or traffic jams and you become irritable your children will pick up on that tension and display their own negative behavior. Staying calm and positive will help your children to settle, even if you have to spend hours in the airport. If you do have a long delay, reiterate to them why they are there; tell them about the exciting adventure they are on! 
 
Delays and stress is where kids can come unstuck and start throwing tantrums, so make it as easy as possible for them. Dress them in comfortable clothing – maybe even get a top and use a t-shirt printing company to personalize the date of your trip so your kids feel even more excited! If you have more than one child you could dress them in the similar bright colors so it’s easier to keep an eye on them.
 
Keep Them Entertained
 
Entertainment is key when it comes to keeping the kids occupied as there is a lot of waiting around when you’re traveling– and you might have to be pretty tactical! Coloring books, paper and pens are great as you can use them for playing games or just for your kids to have some quiet time. Bringing a couple of books is probably a good idea, maybe one old favorite and one new one to keep them entertained when they’re on holiday as well as on the journey. It’s probably best to take an old favorite toy with you too, to help your child feel comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings. Once you’re on the plane and your child is getting a little bit antsy again, this is when you bring out your secret weapon – a new toy! It doesn’t have to be big or particularly expensive, but the novelty of something new will hopefully keep them entertained for a good while.
 
The change in routine can be disruptive to your child’s schedule, so if you can stick to their sleeping and feeding schedule as much as possible it will help them adapt once you get on holiday. How your children cope with traveling will obviously change from family to family, but as long as you don’t let this put you off taking a vacation. Once you get to your destination all the stress will be long forgotten! 
 
Danielle is writing on behalf of Banana Moon, an online retailer who specializes in personalized t-shirts, sports kits, workwear and hoodies for school leavers.




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