Category: Family

06 Dec 2020

Kid Sewing  0

Sewing machines aren’t just great for adults. They can also be used creatively by kids. You can start teaching your kid sewing techniques at an early age, but you have to monitor them closely as they sew to prevent accidents. The older the child gets, the less supervision they’ll need. However, you still need to choose the best sewing machine for them. The most important factors you will have to consider include:

Weight

Your goal should be for the child to use the machine independently once they get the hang. As such, your sewing & sewing machine for kids should be lightweight enough for the child to lift it on their own. They should feel free to transport the machine to any room they prefer with or without your help. The more they grow, the more they’ll want to be independent, and the portability of the machine will play a major role in that.

The pedal or push button

Sewing machines are either manual or electric. This means they come with a pedal or a push button. Ask your kid what they prefer then check the functionality to ensure it is smooth and very efficient. Even with the pedal sewing machines, you need to ensure that it doesn’t require a lot of energy. The harder it is to operate, the more it will weigh down the child.

It’s important to note that pedal sewing machines are more sensitive than their button counterparts. They are harder to control and may not be ideal for beginners. The push-button sewing machine can be turned on and off easily, but it also requires good coordination skills to work effectively.

Stitch options

As a beginner, the child will need basic stitch options that allow them to learn easily. If you buy a sewing machine with multiple stitching options, you will confuse the child, and they won’t focus on a systematic learning process. The most important options are zigzag, reverse, and straight. You can always upgrade the machine when the child outgrows it.

Feet

Sewing machines have varying sewing needle feet. You need to choose one that doesn’t fall easily. Otherwise, you will spend more time readjusting the foot instead of sewing. The machines have screws securing the needle foot in place. They are easier to use, as they tend to be more secure.

Setup process

Kids tend to get frustrated easily when they don’t achieve something they want. Buying a sewing machine that is difficult to set up can easily backfire as the child may lose interest easily when you’re still assembling the machine. Check all the other features that affect function as well, and make sure they operate effectively. For instance, the bobbin slot and the threading system should be small enough for their little hands to load and operate while still being functional for effective use. Don’t let the child lose interest in the hobby before they even begin learning.

Some of the best sewing machines in the market include Brother XM1010, Singer Start 1234, Singer Simple 3232, Janome 2212, and Spiegel SP3201. You can involve the kid in the selection process to make it more fun for them. Involving them will also make it easier for you to find a machine they like. I found helpful reviews and information at shelikestosew.com if you’re looking too.

07 Oct 2020

Being a Grown-Up  0

Kids are funny little rascals. They can either be too sincere to handle and crush you with their sweetness, or they can be hilarious liars when they’re trying to get out of trouble, but you have to keep a poker face and never let your enemy know what you’re thinking. You have to be tough. Sometimes I feel like I’m dealing with wise little geniuses, and other times they are kids. Just kids who need guidance and support. And this is when you have to ace it.

You’re the grown-up and you have to keep being the grown-up, even when you want to give up and throw a tantrum yourself. Parenting is not easy, but it’s very eventful and very rewarding. It’s going to teach you that you don’t know everything, but also show you how much you do know, especially when you have to show up for your kids and comfort them when they’re distressed, or put them in their place when they’re being naughty.

They had a playdate last week with our neighbors’ kids, they were all over the house, playing videogames in the living room, building forts in their bedroom, and then having sword fights in the backyard. The house was full and loud and I was making bread for the first time in years. I got this new bread machine and hand mixer from my sister for Christmas, but I hadn’t tried it until last week. I never would’ve made bread otherwise, but this machine turned out to be pretty handy, and the bread was delicious, the kids loved it.

But back to my point. So, the kids were playing around, having fun, and then I overheard them fighting. I didn’t get upset, of course, these things happen with kids. The fight ended soon and they carried on as before, but later that evening my youngest told me that he was very offended because Malcolm, who was on his team, had told him he hated Batman, his favorite superhero, and now he didn’t know if he wanted to be friends with him anymore.

I found this trivial and funny. If a friend of mine had told me something like this I probably would have brushed it off. But you can’t do that with kids. You have to respect their preferences and take them seriously, no matter what. So we talked for a while and I managed to gently convince him that he should still be friends with Malcolm, but, boy was it a tough conversation!

Has anything similar happened to you?

25 Aug 2020

Remodeling our Life  0

Many of my fellow readers have surely been asking themselves: where have I been and why have I stopped writing? Well, I’m back with lots of things to share with you. I must apologize for my absence, but living a fast-paced life and raising 3 kids is not an easy-peasy job, it requires full dedication. As they are growing older, their daily routines become more and more complex, and I have to be just right around the corner to provide my help whenever they need it.

A lot of parents will agree that when the kids are young they take so little space, but as they grow older they need to be provided, of course, if possible, with separate rooms where they can have privacy, spend time in their own “bubble”, express their thoughts, or if they are in the mood for a quiet place to read a book, they can always wander back in their room. Having in mind this concern, these past few years we’ve been dedicated to searching the market for a bigger home that could accommodate our family.

While searching for the most suitable house, we had precise requirements that the new house had to “live up to”. When searching for a new home, you have to think outside the box, you have to take into consideration your everyday routines, in the morning, in the night time, your work, hobbies, everything that you and your family do to fulfill your spare time.

Besides our requirements for a spacious living environment, we had one, rather odd requirement and that was a tankless hot water heater, and believe me when I tell you – no dream house for a family of 5 can be that “dreamy” if it doesn’t include one.

The perk of having hot water at all times has transformed my day-to-day so much, that I can’t envision my life without it anymore. When you have 3 kids, and a tight schedule (for kids and grown-ups), it feels like every day becomes a constant wait for the water to heat – there’s always someone that needs a shower. With a tankless water heater, for us that became a thing of the past – if you follow the maintenance guidelines from TanklessCenter, you won’t come across any problems with the heater, and you can enjoy hot water at all times – kids can jump in the shower immediately after practice, and grown-ups can end every occasional stressful day with a wait-free hot shower.

The perfect house does not exist, but any house can be transformed into a loving and caring home. And, of course, if there are a few little luxuries you can think of – go for it, as I did! The way I see it, I would do anything to enrich our family time and make our everyday life as hassle-free and as comfy as possible. And while this little update doesn’t seem that important, I thought I’d restart this blog with a post about something that makes me happy! Who knows, it might get me back in the habit of writing.

14 Nov 2016

Playdate Confessions  0

What do kinds talk about on a playdate anyway? Toy and food stuff. So what do the mom’s discuss other than their kids. Playdates, if secretly observed and heart, would surprise many as to the topics that are approached. Kids give away family information and mom’s share parallel concerns with like-minded other parents. A great book of humor would be “Playdate Confessions.” You can just imagine what the pages would reveal. The parents would probably be mortified at what is often divulged. There should be rules about playdate conversations. While many subjects are taboo, trying to have another baby is not. After all, so many women go through this phase and need moral support from others. The minute the subject comes up, everyone joins in.

One of the rather private matters that is discussed in regard to having babies is a basal thermometer to track ovulation. Can you think of anything more private? No! However, it is on your mind and it gets spoken of. If you have used one, you might want to recommend it to someone else as the best way to proceed. I like the one with memory recall. There is the digital basal thermometer that allows a woman to determine her body temperature for basal body temperature (BBT) charting purposes. Designed specifically for fertility charting, this handy thermometer combines pinpoint accuracy with safety and ease of use.

good digital basal thermometer provides temperature readings to 1/100th of a degree Fahrenheit – perfect for fertility charting and predicting ovulation. Because consistency and accuracy are critical, the thermometer also offers helpful charting functions, such as digital memory recall and a peak temperature indicator. During the playdate I also mentioned the peak-temperature indicator sound, the digital memory recall function for the most recent reading, and large, easy-to-read digital display. You get a replaceable battery, a storage case, and ovulation charts. Charting is now automated. These thermometers are just phenomenal. Just imagine, a revolutionary, connected, digital basal thermometer that automates fertility charting! The device automatically syncs your temperature readings with the proven fertility app, OvaGraph, the official fertility charting app of Taking Charge of Your Fertility. You can easily take your basal temperature upon waking, and your data will be saved, charted, and interpreted automatically according to the Fertility Awareness Method. It’s the most complete BBT charting solution available – from taking your readings through to helping you interpret your chart. BBT charting with a basal thermometer it is so easy, it’s almost fun!

Since we were talking babies, I also started in on fertility supplements, ovulation prediction, and ovulation tests. We then got off onto ideal family size, how to decorate a nursery when you don’t know what you are having, and what to put on your baby shower wish list. There is no end to what you can cover with this vast and delightful subject. Men call it “women talk” and stay away from playdates in droves.

25 Oct 2016

Weapons in My Summer Arsenal  0

Summer comes and along with the change of weather come many obligations to protect the family from the damaging rays of the sun. As much as we love the hot weather, we don’t want to pay the price. I remember a time when you didn’t even use sun screen so you could get a nice amber tan. It was a sign of health and everyone wanted a deep glow. Tanned skin is also a preventative in itself from burning. It was like having a coating on the skin. It just took so long to acquire. Things have certainly changed. You don’t even want the kids in the sun at all. Their pasty little bodies can’t handle a modicum of exposure.

This is hard to do when they are playing in the yard, swimming in the community pool, or bathing in the ocean at the beach. It spoils the fun to have to keep the kids under complete wraps. You have to make compromises all the time. But there are things you can do so they can enjoy the sunshine and stay protected. Sunscreen with a strong SPF is tops on the list. The rule of thumb, the higher the SPF number, the better, especially if there is going to be direct exposure. Remember always that water causes a reflection that aggravates burning. You can always use zinc oxide on their vulnerable little noses. Products that are waterproof are great as they don’t have to be constantly reapplied. Teach your kids to keep the sunscreen handy and to learn how to use it wisely. It should be a normal part of summer life. It only takes one or two really bad sunburns to damage skin permanently.

There are other items in my summer arsenal not the least of which is a big striped beach umbrella. We can put it up and take it down in seconds. It isn’t heavy and fits right in the van. There is no other way to get absolute shade at the park or the beach. You just have to reposition it from time to time as the sun moves in the sky. You see more and more of them these days as everyone gets the picture about skin health. Kids like to enjoy their lunch without too much reflection from the sun and they play games and use their cell phones beneath them for better visibility. The sun has an intense glare requiring sun glasses for kids, which they often loathe wearing. They are okay with hats and protective clothing as they can still go in the water. Certain fabrics now act as sun screens for the body. Normal clothing does not such as tee shirts and bathing suit coverups. Moms have to be vigilant nowadays in any way they can. Sun damage is dangerous and permanent and it spoiled the whole idea of beach outings when we found out. The consequences of too much sun are carried for years into one’s life. Beware.

21 Jul 2016

Croup Strikes Again  0

Anything for the kids! When they are happy, I am overjoyed; but when they are ailing, my heart breaks. I hate it when they are sick as I feel so helpless. You can call the doctor, sure, but after that you are on your own. You just have to watch and wait.

Recently, my youngest came down with a barking cough of croup and I was pretty scared. Even common problems make you think twice. You don’t want to envision the worst so you take whatever action you can. My home remedy, apart from loads of TLC, was a room humidifier.

Kids get croup. It is a fact of life. It strikes once, and then it can strike again—sometimes in a different child. If you are new to the subject of kid health, croup causes upper airways inflammation: the voice box and the trachea, or windpipe. The child afflicted has a barking cough and hoarseness, which is aggravated if he or she cries. Apparently the condition is caused by a virus such as parainfluenza or respiratory syncytial virus. But enough of science, it is a common childhood ailment of the very young.

Humidifiers can sooth an upper respiratory infection and make the child more comfortable. You will notice that the barking cough usually starts at night and it can be spasmodic. So you will want to run the machine during sleep hours as well as the daytime. If you have an adjustable mist model, so much the better. The more control you have, the greater the results.

Your child may show cold symptoms at first such as a runny nose, or even a fever. But croup is worse. The lining of the windpipe and voice box become inflamed and swollen. The cough that ensues is rather loud so you can’t miss it. Some people describe it as akin to the barking of a seal. Yikes. My child’s case was just short of animal-like intensity. His breathing was a bit labored, so watch for a high-pitched or squeaking sound as your child inhales.

I found that the humidifier intensely helped this problem. I am glad I bought a top-of-the-line model as a result. You can’t spend enough when it comes to children’s health. My kid stopped breathing quite loudly so fast and seemed to be getting more oxygen. As mentioned, the condition worsens at night and it can also become exacerbated and reach the bronchi of the lungs.

Even if you have not encountered croup in the family, having a humidifier in the closet is comforting. It can be pulled out on a moment’s notice. You can buy them in hardware and appliance stores or easily online. The Internet will no doubt yield more choices and discount prices. Read the descriptions carefully as well as the reviews. You can’t spend too much time.

The best treatment for mild croup is to have the child breathe in moist air and take ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Rest and fluids are required. A cool mist humidifier is the best model for the condition.

You can put it in the room or a bathroom for a steam-filled environment when coughing becomes severe. Some people take the child outdoors if the weather is cool and mild. Be mindful of airway blockage and keep in touch with the pediatrician.

21 Jan 2016

Last Splash Day of the Season  0

It got freakishly warm here a couple days ago, and the kids were really bouncing off the walls. I know I am in for it when I’m being asked, “Mama, what can we doooooo?” over and over again. I don’t want to park them in front of the TV on a nice day, so I figured I’d get them outside. Of course the littlest one decided that it would be a good day for a “splash day,” where we fill up the inflatable pool (our HOA doesn’t allow a permanent one in the yard, and the community pool has closed for the season), some beach toys, and just let the kids have at it. Of course once the idea was out in the open, the bigger two jumped on it as well.

Everything was hanging very sadly and limp in the garage – usually, my husband fills them once and we keep them in the shed until it gets cooler. I told the kids that they were going to have to help me get everything out into the yard. They did it at record speed, which was pretty shocking to me. Some days those kids move slower than molasses, especially when there is manual labor involved. Once they got everything out in the yard, I went in search of Daddy’s little portable air compressor that he keeps in the shed for these jobs, because I am not about to spend half my day blowing that stuff up with just my lungs. Or kid powered lungs either, for that matter, because that would mostly entail them spitting all over the valves and then whining, “Mama! I cain’t do it, come help me.”

So, yeah, air compressor it is. I am not afraid of loud or large tools. He’s got the best home air compressor – it is actually pretty quiet, has a nice adaptor for these dang inflatable beach things, and has wheels so I can just pull it into the backyard. I got everything—and we’re talking a pool that all three of them can fit in, two giant beach balls, an inflatable alligator, and two inflatable pugil sticks—in less than a half hour. Translation=the kids were still debating which bathing suits to wear, fighting over the “good towel” and loading up on sunblock when I got back in the house.

I call that winning.

I made them do their schoolwork while the pool filled from the hose. We made some headway in math and science, my oldest wrote me an essay on a book we read last week, and that was about it—they couldn’t sit any longer. I sent them outside and settled in to fold some laundry. Of course they were back in the house around an hour later, complaining that the water was way too cold and the littlest was whining about some grave injustice because the biggins were ganging up. I made them all go back out and dismantle their splash day and deflate everything. They all trotted right back outside, heads down. Fifteen minutes later, I hear them all laughing. I look out the back window and they’re rolling the youngest around on all the toys to push the air out! Too funny.

We got everything safely stored back in the garage to dry out one last time. The next time any of them gets this idea before April, I’m going to chase them around the yard with that daggone alligator.

14 Jan 2016

Mommy’s Time Out  0

Mommy gets a time out now and then. She probably needs more than she gets! Nonetheless, when she merits and takes one, it better be good. Moms have been known to take ten while seating in a comfy lounge chair, sipping wine, and reading a well-written romance novel. Sure, they can get away by watering the plants in the yard or washing the car, but this doesn’t cut it. When she goes back to the kids, she is exhausted. When you have a real time out, gals, you get to treat yourself to something, and for many it is a much-needed glass of wine.

She gets up from the sofa or chair, as mentioned, and approaches the wine fridge. She can’t wait to select from the wonderful varieties inside. Since the fridge has a dual temperature control, she knows there are reds and whites. This is a real grown up time out to be sure! Mommy becomes her adult self, indulging in all the palate-pleasing treasures the fridge holds. She can see through the front of her wine cooler where there is a revealing pane of glass. It gives her a hint of what is to come. She relaxes just thinking about it. She opens the stainless steel door and peers in. Now what should I try today?

The noises from the kids screaming in the yard don’t phase her. She knows the little ones are preoccupied. She hears the dog barking as well. They are all drowned out by the hum of the fridge busily working away to keep everything at the perfect temperature: reds are never too cold and whites don’t need additional chilling. Who bought this wonder, she muses. Did I buy it? She is off into dreamland as she grabs the bottle and a nice crystal glass.

Mom’s time out is over way to soon. She never hurries, however, to finish a glass. No gulping; it is not part of the wine experience. When did she become such an aficionado? Who cares? She craves another pour. Maybe the kids will want to stay outside just a bit longer….she calls to them gently, and they agree. She adds a second phase to her time out. It is a real treasure to get two in one afternoon. Being a mother is everything she could ever hope for, and then some. But there are moments that have to be savored alone.

Alas, the afternoon is drawing to a close and it is time to start making dinner if it is to be on the table by six. She returns the half-filled wine bottle to the cooler and shuts the door with a pinch of regret. It will rest there until tomorrow. Never fear. She remembers to make some notes about getting more wine on the grocery list. The local supermarket has great deals on pretty fine wines, and if she uses the aerator she got for her birthday, well, it will taste and smell even better. Wine, after all, is mom’s salvation. No alcoholic, she just enjoys a glass here and there to unwind.

19 Oct 2015

3P(ro)’s of Bamboo Sheets  0

If I were selling bamboo sheets, I would have a lot to say. I just bought some and am pretty happy with my decision. When I find something I like, I have to tell others about it. I love to share information and tips for around the home. I know I appreciate it when it is done for me. We can all improve our lives with a little help from our friends.

First of all, I went this route due to environmental concerns. There is no shortage of bamboo and no fear of running of a depleted natural resource. Thus, they are highly sustainable in essence. I hear tell that bamboo plants can grow several feet per day! What is really important to me is that they don’t require pesticides like cotton and they are also easy to irrigate.

Second of all, they are as soft as silk or cashmere even if they carry the rayon or viscose name. They are so luxurious they could be found in a royalty home with their superior thread count. You will never want cotton once you try them. They are much more absorbent, if that is an issue, and also anti-bacterial in nature. They have deodorizing properties which makes them great for kids’ beds. They will keep babies dry and comfortable.

I checked all the facts and figures and am here to say that the best bamboo sheets are good in all climates and temperatures. They offer a benefit to people with allergies and chemical sensitivity. For insomniacs, they hug the body and lull you to sleep. When soiled, just toss them in the machine on delicate cycle with a gentle detergent and they are ready in a flash. After drying on low heat, you are ready for another good night’s sleep. For energy conservation, they don’t need hot water.

Are you convinced? Testimonials should take you over the edge. I read that the fabric doesn’t pill, that they come in vibrant and true colors, and they do the trick for anyone with night sweats. Need I say more? You can get pretty good deals and discounts if you search carefully and have them delivered promptly to your door. If you don’t believe they are special, think again.

The price is right for high-quality bedding, maybe a touch above average. Let’s face it, sheets are not cheap, and if they are, buyer beware. They can be pretty pricey when you get to the queen and king size. But let me tell you from experience that they are worth it. If you buy sets, you will save a bit in the process. My family is gaga over them and won’t have anything else. Once your skin gets a load of that softness, you are hooked for life. Learning about bamboo was one of the best tips I ever got and I am willing to pass on my knowledge.

Let me end by saying you don’t have to be super rich to live in the lap of luxury, at least when it comes to bedding. It is nice to pamper yourself at something you do almost one half of the time. You will know what it feels like to stay in a top-tier hotel: isn’t the bed the most important aspect?