Tuesday, November 23, 2021

How to Have a Stress-Free Vacation

When you're going on vacation, you want to leave all your worries behind and focus on having a good time. Unfortunately, some situations can cause you to need a vacation from your vacation. Here are some ways you can have a stress-free trip. 

Use a Shuttle Service
One of the biggest stressors at the beginning of a vacation is finding a ride to the airport. You could do long-term parking, but that can run as much as $60 a day, depending on where you live. Save time and money by hiring an airport shuttle service Wilkes-Barre to pick your family up. The cost for the ride can be as low as $20, and you won't have to struggle with finding a parking spot and rushing to the airport to get to your flight on time. 

Another way to use a shuttle service is to rent one to take you around the area you're vacationing at. Shuttles are typically cheaper than renting a car, and you won't have to worry about getting lost when you're going to your next destination. 

Create a Schedule
When you visit a new place, there are a lot of fun new areas you want to explore and things you want to do. Write a list of what you want to do, and break everything down into days you want to do them. If you estimate that you'll stay a long time in one area, then plan for other things that day where you know they won't take a long time. For example, if you want to go theme park, you likely don't want to schedule anything else for that day, so you can ensure you have time to explore everything. However, if you want to visit an aquarium, you'll likely also have time to do an escape room later in the day. 

Cancelled: Christmas Market

We were looking forward to celebrating Advent and Christmas this year, especially for the Christmas markets. We were all very excited, because maybe, it would be a different Christmas this year despite the pandemic. But authorities cancelled the Christmas Markets in Ludwigsburg, Stuttgart and Esslingen at the last minute. Today, the Baroque Christmas Market in Ludwigsburg was supposed to open, but they decided to cancel it yesterday evening. They knew that the situation is bad, and yet they didn't do anything for weeks. And just when the preparations were almost finished and the opening ist just a day away, BAM! Abgesagt! Cancelled! I understand that because of the very high number of positive cases and the critical situation in the ICUs in the hospitals, a drastic move has to be made. But they should have foreseen this situation, as this was also the case last year, that the numbers would rise especially in the autumn / winter season. But no, they didn't seem to have learned something from last year. And that is what makes me sad...

But still, without the Christmas market, we can still make the Christmas season a memorable one. We can still celebrate in our small and intimate family circle and warm up Kinderpunsch and Gl├╝hwein. We can bake Christmas cookies with our loved ones and consume them while watching family movies in the comfort and warmth of our homes. We can create wonderful memories and sing Christmas carols. Create wonderful handmade Christmas decorations and give them out to friends. Yes, we can still all do this despite the pandemic. And the money that we are supposed to have spent on rides and shops at the Christmas market, we can save them up donate to a charity that needs it the most.

The Christmas markets may have been cancelled but the true spirit of Christmas, of family, of thanksgiving, of gifting, of hope and of love will remain.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Crayons From Kindergarten to Professional Art

Crayons often bring back memories of innocent, carefree childhood days. The wide array of colors allows children to unleash their imaginations while filling in their coloring books. Even the fresh aroma of the wax adds to the experience. However, crayons are not just for kids. 

 An adult can choose to become a crayon artist. In the right hands, the crayon can be wielded like a paintbrush. Some crayon artists are so creative they are invited to exhibit their works in art galleries. In addition, these artists may give lectures at schools, often to the enchantmentnt of young people. Whether you aspire to be a renowned artist or you just want to try something new, there are several ways to delve into crayon art.

Arrange Them in a Pattern 
An artist may place the crayons in a pattern so that from a distance they form a recognizable image. This can require using hundreds or even thousands of pieces. They are carefully slotted in a base according to colors and shadings. This is often delicate and painstaking work.

Melt Them 
If you want to "wax poetic" on a canvas, you could melt the crayons. Initially, the melted wax will be very hot, so make sure you don’t touch it or let it splatter on your skin. A hot glue gun can be very handy for the purpose of distributing the wax onto the canvas.

Color With Them 
Crayons can be used to fill in drawings, preliminary sketches and finished works. This can allow you to revisit your childhood and use either wax or chalk crayons. It is important for artists to find the right types of surfaces for the rich textures and intense colors.

Many people never outgrow the love of crayons. The best artists take crayons to the level of sophisticated fine art.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Almost One!

My baby Lilly is almost a year old now. Just one more week and she will be a year old. I sigh because time indeed flies so fast. And she will be going to the Kindergarten soon too, in September to be exact, because this mommy needs to go back to work in October.

A lot has happened since my last blog entry, when Lilly turned 10 months old. Since then, she can already make gestures or point at something if she wants to have it. But of course, she doesn't always get what she wants to get her hands on, especially if it will pose a danger to her. She also can understand simple instructions now, like "Please give Mama the ball" or "Can you give me a kiss?". When it comes to mobility, she can crawl now at lightning speed, and has learned to stand with her sole flat on the floor. She still sometimes tiptoes though, especially if she want to reach something that is on the coffee table. 

She loves going out now, and is more sociable. She doesn't willingly go to every people she meets but there is now a handful of our friends who can hold her in their arms without her screaming of fear or crying her heart out. Hopefully, this will help her as she adjusts to the day at the kindergarten.

We are still undecided though on whether we will celebrate her birthday with friends by throwing out a party or just go out to eat at one of a local restaurant here. It is always uncertain especially that the pandemic is not yet over. But we also don't want to just let her birthday go by, we want to do something special about it. I hope that we will be able to come up with something soon.

This mommy's heart wishes that she will remain to be a healthy baby and will always have a happy disposition. I wish that we will be able to provide her a good, happy and secure childhood, just like what her big sister had.  I hope and pray that everything will be better soon, so we can also travel back home, and she can get to know her grand parents, aunts and uncles, and cousins.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Letter for Lilly at 10 Months

My dearest baby Lilly, time flies so fast. It felt like yesterday when I brought you out into this world. In less than two months you will turn a year old. Just like that, yes just like that. 

You are born in uncertain times, in the middle of a pandemic that has claimed millions of lives throughout the world. But things are slowly returning to normal, thanks to the quick development of vaccines. Hopefully we could celebrate with family and a small circle of good friends on your birthday. Until then, may you stay healthy and continue to develop as a normal baby would.

You have reached your milestones one step at a time. You can crawl very well now and even stand and take a few steps with me or the couch or table or chairs as your support. You love to eat what we eat during mealtime, and your favorite fruit is banana and pears. You now have 4 milk teeth and the 5th one is on its way. Your giggles, smiles and wet kisses always melt my heart so that no matter how tired or grumpy I am, you are able to refresh me and remind me that I should cherish these days with you because you are growing up so fast. Your babbles are so adorable and you gladly respond when we call out your name. You also have this mischievous side to you where you would crawl as fast as you can away from me when I ask you what you are doing. I also find it cute how you would get angry or impatient if you are hungry and I am still trying to cool down your food.

I am forever grateful for you and for coming to our lives. There are still lots of moments to be shared with you, memories to be made, with me and daddy and Nee-chan and Suki. So please stay healthy love. Explore your little world. Cry, eat, sleep, poop, be dirty, play, fall down, laugh. We are just here for you every step of the way. We love you, little Lilly, always and in all ways. 

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Ideas to Prepare your Child for Kindergarten

If your first child hasn't attended school yet, you may be wondering how to get them ready for this big step. Many parents have helped prepare their preschoolers for kindergarten through some of the tips shared below. 

Read to Them
Reading out loud is one of the top early learning strategies that will prepare your youngster for the classroom. Start the tradition when your son or daughter is still an infant. Bedtime stories are a wonderful way to cuddle each evening and get ready for sleep. 

Create Learning Opportunities
Visit nearby museums and attractions as often as possible. If there is a zoo or aquarium in your area, it is an ideal way for them to learn about animals. While you are driving in the car, talk to them about what buildings you are passing and what happens in each place. Help them start to identity different colors of cars and what various road signs mean. Go on family adventures to national parks and other areas where they can learn about nature. 

Help Them Develop Friendships
Organize a small playgroup with other young ones in your neighborhood. Change the location of where you meet to create some variety. You can rotate between your homes or meet at different parks. Playing with friends can help young ones learn to share toys and take turns. These are important social skills that often help preschoolers adapt to the classroom. Young children should be closely supervised by a trusted adult at all times. 

Keep Them Healthy
Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits can build your child's immune system. Getting adequate rest and exercise can also benefit their health. Look for opportunities to teach about healthy food and activity choices. 

Kindergarten can be such a positive step forward in your preschooler's life. Look ahead and include one or two of these ideas into your schedule this week. The school teachers will thank you!

Off to Kindergarten Soon

So my little Lilly is now 9 months, 1 week and 3 days old. She has achieved a number of milestones since my last post here

She can now pick her food so that we have started easting finger foods. She loves strawberries and (cooked) carrot sticks and butter cookies for babies. I also have tried integrating some boiled egg and beef into her lunch meals. She also gets porridge for breakfast and dinner, and for lunch she gets a mashed potato-vegetable combi. I always prepare her meals fresh for lunch. I know it is a bit tedious and time consuming but at least I know what she is getting. Besides, I am getting used making her lunch "mush".

And she now has three teeth! The fourth one is coming out soon too. In no time, it will be more and more painful to nurse her. We still need to work on her love for feeding bottles as she only will drink from it if the content is water.

She is also becoming more mobile. She has long been able to roll over. She still needs a little help from me when she tries to sit upright but I know that she is getting there. She can already keep her balance when sitting. She can almost crawl - she now goes on all fours or sometimes does the plank position. With a little bit more practice, I know that she will soon crawl on all fours. Time to baby-proof the house since I haven't started doing it yet. 

She is also still very shy with strangers, and doesn't want to be held by our friends when they come to visit. She would cry when they try to get her from me. But I know this is just a phase that babies go through and hopefully it will get better as the months go by.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

3 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed in School

Childrens' academic performance has to do with a lot more than what goes on in the classroom Monday through Friday. In order to set your son or daughter up for success in school, it is important to provide plenty of support at home. Read on for a few helpful ways to do so.

Be Available for Homework Help
After school, do your best to take an interest in whatever assignment your child is working on, whether it's reading a book or section of a textbook, completing a problem set or writing an essay. If it has been too long since you studied any particular topic in school yourself and you're rusty, there are plenty of free educational resources New York NY available online to lend a hand.

Encourage Reading
Being an avid reader comes with a host of benefits for children and adults alike. Make sure to have plenty of books available in the home that are appropriate for your child's age group. Since kids tend to imitate their parents' behavior, making a habit of reading will increase the likelihood of your son or daughter picking up a book on a regular basis. Instead of watching TV after dinner, why not read together as a family?

Cultivate a Relationship with Your Child's Teacher
Teachers and parents are partners in educating children. Make sure that you attend parent-teacher conferences, and don't hesitate to get in touch with your son or daughter's teacher if you have any concerns about how things are going in the classroom. It should be easy enough to get answers via email or set up a time to talk on the phone.

Kids tend to be happiest when they are engaged with the material they are learning in school. If you sense that your son or daughter may be struggling, don't hesitate to enlist help from his or her teacher, an outside tutor or another resource.

Sunday, March 21, 2021

3 Gifts Every Grandparent Will Love

Sometimes it's hard to think of gifts for a grandparent. Many are set in their ways, so buying them the newest gadget isn't the best idea. It is important to remember that grandparents have seen it all. They are not going to be impressed with big fancy gifts. They value your time and your love more than anything.

Say It With a Picture
Grandparents still love pictures. An updated family portrait Pittsford NY, in a new frame is the perfect gift for most grandparents. If that sounds a little boring to you, then consider getting a picture printed on something else. Pictures can be printed on just about anything from pillows and blankets to phone cases. Think outside the box when it comes to poses. Instead of a formal pose, have a family portrait taken around your busy kitchen island, craziness and all. This way, your grandparent will remember all the times spent sitting around the kitchen.

Keep It Warm and Cozy
When you get older it's harder to keep warm. You can never have enough blankets and slippers. For a twist on this idea, look for a blanket with your grandparent's favorite sports team. If you want to personalize this idea even further, have a quilt made using baby blankets or t-shirts from your family. The blanket will smell like you and remind your grandparent of happy memories. Instead of plain slippers, get them funny monster slippers. They can have a laugh wearing them and think of you.

Give a Little Helper
Get your grandparents a robot vacuum. This may seem like a strange gift but think about it. Vacuuming the floor is a difficult task when you get older and have trouble moving around. This little helper will keep the floors clean, and your grandparent will get a kick out of watching it bump around the house. Robot vacuums are very durable and easy to operate. This is the type of gift that keeps giving.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

How To Use Storage In The Home To Reflect Your Sense Of Self

Getting the most out of your space is a challenge many people are presented with as more items are being brought into the home, and people are living in smaller spaces. The storage problem is something that everyone deals with, but it’s not an entirely negative experience either. As your storage space is limited, you can find answers to whether or not your home is capable of containing what you need or if you have too many things. However, there are many different ways that you can optimize the storage capacity and organizational efforts inside of the home. This article is intended for people who want to feel more at peace in their homes, and make better decisions about the capacity and importance of their belongings. 

Find Better Storage Solutions
Living anywhere for most people is a design challenge. As you want to be at peace with your space, you also want to understand the necessity of curating a space that works for you and the items that form your identity. It’s important to look at your space as a place you can optimize for whatever variables you want including aesthetics, capability, and productivity. Look for storage options Cedar Grove NJ to find the right elements that fit within your space and your lifestyle. 

Deliberate On Your Needs vs. Wants 
When it comes to living in a home, you fill it up with the items that define you. Whether intentionally or not, our spaces are reflections of our deepest selves. It’s important that you understand the relationship that you have with the items in your home and how important it is to take the time to really understand the necessity of things. Society has turned into a buying culture through and through, so making time to think about the ways this has an effect on your home can help you improve your mood and relationship with buying, storage and containment. 

Sunday, January 31, 2021

DIY Project Plan: Kid's or Baby Room

A kid's or baby room should be designed and fitted in a way that is appropriate for the child's age. It is important to use materials that are proven free from harmful substances, suitable for children's use and appropriate for their age. Since moving into our house last October, I still wasn't able to renovate our Lilly's room. As she is currently co-bedding with us, I really do not have the urgency to renovate or decorate her room just yet. And with the lockdown, choosing and buying materials is also a challenge.

So here are just some of the ideas that I have been considering for her room:

1. This nursery at The Home That Made Me is very nice. The layout of the room is similar to my daughter's so I can choose to arrange the baby furniture is this manner.   I just love white furniture and the ones that we have are also white except for the closet which has a wooden optic to it. We still have to do something about the walls though since it currently has an outdated wallpaper. 

Gray and white is the color theme of this room.

2. A rose-colored room for a girl's room? It is every girl's dream. I love how the rose in this room is not so overwhelming. With the just the right hue of rose pink, it is very easy on the eyes.  And the layout is very practical and just very sweet. Just perfect for a girl's room!

A dream room in rose!
Photo from Hej Hem, found on Pinterest.

3. Lastly, this baby girl's bedroom I found at Project Nursery designed by Liz Eidelman. I love the use of an unsual color palette for a baby girl's room. It speaks a lot not only of sweetness and femininity, but of boldness, strength of character and wildness. Qualities also fitting for a girl.

A baby girl's room with a less traditional color palette.

So which one is your favorite? I love all three, so that it would make decorating harder. Let's see if I will be able to pull off decorating Lilly's room that will fit her personality.

Monday, January 25, 2021

3 Ways to Make Your Days More Meaningful

When your routine feels like a meaningless rut, step away from what you’re doing and make some adjustments. It isn’t necessary to reconfigure your whole life to add a sense of purpose to your days. By making gradual changes, you can live more in the present while also anticipating positive things in the future.

1. Be Mindful During Your Interactions
When someone talks to you, what are you doing? If you’re looking away, perhaps writing or texting, it’s almost as if you aren’t there. Your tasks can wait, and with your full attention on one thing at a time, both will benefit from greater focus. Listen to people who speak to you. By being kind to others by giving people your attention, you can develop relationships that become meaningful to both of you. Connection matters. When you’re physically alone, you can look back on the day’s interactions, feeling engaged rather than disconnected.

2. Have Balance
If you feel stuck in a rut, is it because you fill your days with a lot of one activity and not enough of another? Maybe you sit at your work desk with limited breaks, and as a result, you cram a fitness routine you’re not enthusiastic about at the end of the day. Maybe you like your job, and you used to enjoy working out, too. Figure out ways to incorporate exercise in your workday. Small adjustments, such as putting items you need farther away, can make large differences. 

3. Make a Plan
Regardless of which activities you want to balance, make a plan. What do you need to add? What do you need to take away or change? When you continue to say that you’ll make a change “eventually,” you’re permitting yourself to continue to postpone the change. Use a planner or calendar and then tell people what you will do. It’s easier to commit to something when others are aware of your plan.

Structure your days so they hold meaning for you. What matters to you? Now, start finding ways to add those things to your life.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Lilly is Five Months Old

How time flies. Our Lilly is now five months old. Time does go by so fast especially in these unconventional times in the pandemic where our daily routine consists of nursing and waking up, changing diapers and playing games, singing lullabies and sharing cuddles, warm hugs and good night kisses. 

Lilly is doing good progress and despite being locked up most of the time at home, unable to visit friends and going on short excursions in zoos, I can say that she is developing well. She can now support her head and recognize our voices. When we lay her down on her stomach, she would make mini push-ups as she heaves her head up. She is also practicing to roll over, although she isn't able to do it alone yet. Slowly but surely, she will. Her favorite activity: munching on her fists and sticking toys to her mouth. She still hates pacifiers though but enjoys sucking her thumb. I remember her big sister is also the same. She can recognize faces now, and with only three faces to see, it is not very difficult to recognize who her favorite is. Me of course!

She is an adorable little darling who would scream out loud when she is hungry. But her giggles and coos are more than enough reward for those sometimes sleepless nights. She still wakes up once or twice into the night to nurse so this mommy is still not getting enough sleep but that is okay. Because I now know that they grow up so fast and so, I have to enjoy these moments as much as I can because it too shall soon pass.

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