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Seven Tips To Get You Ready For A Happy Family Vacation

If you are getting ready for a family vacation here are seven tips to make certain that it will be a happy family experience, with as much joy and little stress as possible.
Travel Tip #1: Do your research ahead of time. Have you researched any towns or cities, parks, or points of interest that you may want to explore, either along the way or at your destination. A point of interest depends on your family’s interests. Areas of interest could be related to a sports venue, a natural feature such as waterfall, historical monuments, a facility related to the arts or music such as a museum or performing arts center, or could involve local cuisine or arts and crafts. This research should not fall to one family member, everyone can get involved.
Travel Tip #2: Know the directions for getting to your destination. If you are reaching your destination by plane and need to rent a car, have you packed a GPS or do you have a printout of the directions that will get you from your rental car pickup point to your first destination? If you are driving, have you selected your route and again have a GPS, maps, or a printout of directions.
Travel Tip #3: Prepare your kids ahead of time for the vacation. Let them know what to expect. Find a book from the library which is related to where you are going and read it together. Have your kids draw pictures about what they expect to see on the vacation. Let your kids pack a boredom bag that they can carry with them. It should include items that will keep them occupied and that they find comforting.
Travel Tip #4: Give your kids instructions for what to do if they get separated from you. It’s very important to discuss what you expect your children to do if they get lost. Each child should have a small card that they carry in his or her pocket which includes your destination’s address and phone number and your cell phone number.
Travel Tip #5: Make certain to pack essentials for the trip. These essentials include a first aid kit and water for the trip. Also, if you will be on a plane, pack items such as medications that you can’t be without in your carry-on bag in case your checked luggage takes longer to reach its destination than you do.
Travel Tip #6: Use your packing checklist to make certain that everything is packed. Now is a good time to create a packing checklist for this vacation and all future ones if you haven’t done so already. Such a list ensures that nothing critical gets left behind. Make certain to include sun protection items such as hats, sunglasses, and sun tan lotion.
Travel Tip #7: Pack items to chronicle your vacation. It’s fun to look back on your family vacation and reminisce about all the adventures planned and unexpected. Taking photos, sketching scenes, or writing journal entries will ensure that those memories are preserved.…

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Marriage and Family Tips: Financial Involvement on Both Sides

In wedlock, there is usually one person who is responsible for managing the finances of the family: paying bills, savings accounts, budgeting, etc. Often, the other spouse even does not know very much about the financial state of their family. As long as he or she can shop as usual, there would seem to be no problem. However, this approach can backfire especially if some problems arise in the family’s finances. Blaming the problems on one party would not be fair. For better money management and family bonding, involvement of both the husband and wife is important. Here are some tips you can do to get your spouse involved in your family’s money management.
1. Hold regular financial meetings – Discuss your spending and saving activities with your spouse regularly. Once a week is an ideal periodic schedule. During the meeting, you both will review the budget, consider new purchases, expenditures and income, and adjust them to suit the balance report.
2. Decide the budget together – Once a month, it is important to agree on the family’s budget together. Generally, a family will have a fixed budget that is more or less the same every month. However, you or your spouse may have certain unusual needs he or she would like to plan to do in the next month. Taking input from both sides in this case is central for making financial decisions for your family.
3. Take turns in paying bills – If previously your husband or wife is the only one who handles the bill paying, sharing the responsibility is very beneficial. You can do it by taking turns paying the bills once in a month (e.g. you pay the bills this month, your spouse does then the next month) or you can delegate your spouse to pay some of the bills while you do the others, thus splitting the task.
4. Let your spouse manage some area of the budget – Although working together, one spouse will still be a “leader” in the family’s management. This means that he or she will have a larger responsibility in managing the budget. Sharing the burden won’t hurt at all. Let your spouse entirely manage one or more of the budget categories.
5. Be transparent in using financial software – Often, a husband or a wife use specific software to record the family’s financial records such as savings, spending, and budgeting. Sharing the password will permit the other spouse to log into the account and the resulting transparency is significant. Not only can he or she learn about the family’s financials, he or she can also determine the budget for the family.…

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The Power of Barbie

It’s likely not surprising to anyone today that Barbie dolls are one of the most popular toys for young girls. Watching the tv commercials as they announce new styles of Barbie and it even appears in movies, Barbies are a worldwide phenomenon. But honestly, is anyone surprised? Barbie fits the classic mold of letting children play house, using their dolls to imitate real life.
To mimic real life, not only are there tons of Barbie dolls available, but the amount of ways to tweak your dolls is countless. From Barbie clothes to Barbie accessories, there are tons of things that kids can use to make their Barbies unique. With different clothes, kids can make their Barbies pretend to be a nurse, a teacher, or firefighter. There are over one hundred different jobs the Barbie can do, allowing the kids to go wild. When you factor in the accessories, from homes, to cars, to pets, the Barbie can truly become an extension of the child.
Parents love the Barbie dolls as well as it allows the children to become more knowledgeable about everyday life. Barbie allows kids to use their imagination in ways that videogames do not, giving children the opportunity to build their own imaginary world in which their dolls live. Further, the Barbies help the kids learn about the world around them, from the jobs they have Barbie take on, to the difficulties of raising a family.
This notion of raising a family is actually what created the idea of Pregnant Barbie, a part of the line of Barbie Happy Family dolls. Pregnant Midge comes with a baby and an attachable belly so you can pretend the doll is pregnant. It was a great idea, one that would allow children to pretend their dolls were pregnant and really feel like they were mimicking the entire process of making a family. However, some people reacted with criticisms and accused the dolls of giving children bad thoughts. As a result, the doll was forced to be recalled.
The Pregnant Barbie recall is actually part of what makes the Barbie dolls so collectible. Some of the more uncommon dolls are now worth a good amount of money, selling for hundreds of dollars. The most rare dolls include some of the annual Holiday Barbie dolls and the Silkstone Barbie. These dolls get released in limited numbers as collector’s items and cause a flurry of demand once they disappear. Because of this, the dolls have become significantly more coveted by even older people as they try and make investments out of them.
Overall, it’s hard to say where Barbie will go from here. However, what is clear is that the Barbies are here to stay. Kids love them, and the demand never seems to fade.…

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Eight Tips For Choosing Child Care

Selecting the best child care arrangement is one of the most important choices you’ll make. How do you know which is best and what should you look for when evaluating child care centers that appear to have similar offerings?

“Every child is unique, so it’s important to choose a place where your child feels at home and the philosophy and approach to learning agree with your own,” said Sharon Bergen, senior vice president of education and training for Knowledge Learning Corporation, the nation’s leading provider of early childhood care and education.

Bergen says once parents narrow the search to locations that are convenient and affordable, there are a number of questions they should ask.

1. Is the center licensed?

2. Is it safe? Is the facility clean? Does it have plenty of light and fresh air? Are there formal procedures for the arrival and departure of children?

3. Is there enough indoor and outdoor space for both quiet and active learning and play?

4. Is there a clean, properly equipped area specifically for infants and toddlers? Is there appropriate interaction and nurturing of infants and toddlers?

5. Is parent participation encouraged? Are parents welcome and encouraged to visit and observe at any time? Does the center schedule parent conferences and provide progress reports?

6. Does the center have strict procedures for hiring caregivers? Is the director a professional who inspires confidence? Do teachers have experience and skills in child care methods? Are applicants fingerprinted when required by state law and required to take a medical exam in compliance with state licensing regulations? Are background checks and written references mandatory?

7. Does the center have a written plan you can see in action? Are learning programs designed for each age group?

8. Are education programs focused on the whole child and designed to meet the social, emotional, physical and intellectual needs of children?

Bergen suggests carrying a checklist and taking notes while touring facilities. Answering these questions will help parents make an informed decision.…

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A Clean and Trendy Kitchen For Happy Family Dining

The family that eats together stays together. Do you agree? Studies show that this is so. What makes families eat together despite their busy days? It must be the kitchen.
A kitchen is not only a place for dining. It is a place where the family members talk about their fun or failure during the day. It is a place where laughter abodes and closeness develops. A kitchen properly maintained and serves mouth watering dishes is the best place for a hungry yet happy family.
Kitchen today has more fashionable styles and functional furniture. The following tips will help you do a make over of your kitchen to make your husband go home early eager to dine in your fine kitchen.
1. Keep your kitchen clean and it also must smell clean. Your kitchen floor gets the most dirt from food and water spills. Have a clean rug at the foot of the sink to keep the floor dry. Maintain the cleanliness of your kitchen by cleaning it before and after dining. You can buy an air freshener that is appropriate to your kitchen scent preference.
2. Reorganize the displays in your kitchen wall and have a spot for your kids’ achievements. Make a board and a display cabinet for the projects and awards of your children. When your family is happily chatting, your kids can immediately show you their latest accomplishments in school. You are developing their self confidence and this makes them want to do better.
3. Paint your kitchen wall light green or apple green. Green is the color of nature and it makes people relax when we gaze at it. It is cool to the eyes and it is believed to be good to our appetite.
4. Buy the latest furniture that has more than one function. The latest furniture trend includes chairs that can be folded or adjusted to fit whoever who sits in it. There are also cabinets that look like wall decoration and tables that can accommodate a number of additional guests.
5. Organize your cooking utensils, pans and casseroles in a cabinet or drawer that fits in an area near the stove. The eating utensils should be placed in a separate cabinet near the dining table. This way they are placed strategically to be utilized easily.
The kitchen plays an important role to your appetite as well as the delicious food that your family members happily prepared.…

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What To Know About Dealing With Pregnancy

There is a lot of information and support forums available regarding pregnancy. However, are you aware of some of the medical things that can occur once the birth has taken place? Here are a few things that you need to know about your body once your bundle of joy has arrived.

To get better sleep while you are pregnant, come up with a routine for bedtime. Keeping a regular routine in your evenings signals your body that bedtime is coming, which means you fall asleep with ease. Try doing some soothing things like reading a book, taking a warm shower, or having someone give you a massage.

Get prenatal vitamins from your doctor or over the counter and make sure you take them on a regular basis. A good prenatal vitamin will take care of the needs of both you and your new baby. Make sure that your vitamin contains 0.4 mgs of folic acid for optimum brain development.

Opt for full service at the gas station or ask a traveling companion to fill up the car for you. Gasoline fumes may harm your baby. It’s a better idea to ask for help rather than risk it.

Toss any harmful chemicals before or as soon as you get pregnant. Cleaning product are notorious for that, so try switching to natural products. Keeping them out of your home will make for a much safer environment for your baby.

When pregnant, make sure that your diet contains enough proteins. Your baby needs a lot of proteins to grow and your body will benefit from it too. Protein-rich foods include tofu, certain types of seeds, chicken, eggs, legumes and nuts.

Once you have determined if you are having a boy or girl it is a good time to start decorating a room and picking out clothes. The more time you have before the baby actually arrives to prepare the better because the room will turn out nicer and you’ll have more time to select better clothes.

Baby-Sitting

It is important to learn how to take care of a newborn. Baby-sitting other people’s toddlers and newborns is a great way to learn this experience. Caring for other people’s newborns not only helps make some money on the side, but also gives you the life skills you need to take care of your own child.

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Exercising in pregnancy is good for mom and baby. The benefits include decreased risk for gestational diabetes, less complaints of constipation and back pain and a quicker recovery from birth for mom. Stop exercising and see your doctor if you have signs, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fluid leaking, uterine contractions or vaginal bleeding.

Every woman will experience different body reactions after giving birth; however, after reading this article, you should now be aware of what may happen and thus not be completely frightened if or when these things occur. For peace of mind, rest as much as possible and seek medical advice if anything happens that is well out of the ordinary.…

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Parenting Advice That You Shouldn’t Pass Up

Children need clear direction. It is the parents job to establish that direction, to set goals for their children and to follow up to insure those goals are accomplished. Below you will find several tips that are provided to help you meet those obligations that you have as a parent.

Make sure your child has time to be a child! Don’t force them to grow up and deal with things too early. Kids are only young once, and it’s important that they get to make the most out of it. Give them time to play and explore and to just be a kid.

If you have multiple children, make sure you’re spending time with each of them separately, as well as in a group. Spending time with each child individually, helps you bond with them and gives them a sense of uniqueness. You want your children to know that you love them all equally and that they all deserve time with you.

When traveling with small children, consider booking two rooms with an adjoining door. This will allow you to have your child sleep in a separate room without being too far away from you. It also provides more space to unpack without baby going through the suitcases. Be sure to double-check when you make the reservation that the rooms are physically connected with a door, not just next to each other.

Spend time with your children. While there has been a movement in recent years for parents to focus on “quality time” with their children, most children simply want “quantity time”. Even if you’re not doing anything, your child enjoys being around you – savor it. In addition, spending time interacting with young children is vital to their intellectual development.

Close Family

As a parent one should make sure to set time aside specifically for the family. This is important for maintaining a happy and close family, because with our busy lives it is easy to let other outside activities such as sports and work get in the way.

Good Relationship

As unfortunate an event it may be, divorces happen all of the time. In order for you, a divorced parent, to hold a good relationship with your college aged and older children you must never get them in the middle of your divorce. This will push them away for you and your ex-spouse.

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Look into slings and baby carriers designed for twins. They do exist, and they are fabulous. There is a learning curve for getting two babies into a carrier, but the benefits to mom and baby are enormous. Wearing your babies will allow you to get things done with your hands free, and the twins get the emotional connection and intellectual stimulation from being right with you.

By constantly interacting with our children we are accomplishing two things. We are reassuring them that we love them and we are keeping track of where they are expending their energy and where they are not. The tips provided above streamline the job we face as parents and emphasize just how important that job is.…