Pajama Party Giggles, Parent-Tested Tips!

Pajama parties have been the highlight of many a school girl’s adolescence. While some people think those type of parties have gone out of style, that is far from the case. Both kids and adults can still have a great time if the right type of activities are planned.

No Cell Phones

The first thing to do if the party is going to be a success is collect all of the cell phones and keep them in the kitchen or on chargers in another room. They are available if needed but are not a distraction that will keep someone from truly enjoying themselves.

Make It a Slumber Party

Pajamas are the ideal attire for slumber parties. Have everyone bring a sleeping bag or blankets and take over the living room floor. The kids will have a lot more room, and the parents may actually get to participate in some of the fun and games. Either way, the kids are safe and in full view, so if something should arise, it can easily be taken care of with fewer feelings being hurt.

Movie Time

Talk to the host or hostess prior to the party and find out what kind of movies and snacks the guests would like. Make sure that you have everything on hand before people start arriving. This will allow for more fun and less worry when it comes to finding something to watch and snack on later. It is also a good idea to make sure all of the parents approve of the movie list. Some parents may have preferences as to what their kids watch, especially if they are under the age of ten.

Makeup Madness

No girl’s pajama party would be a success without having a makeup session. Break out the makeup kit and hair styling equipment, and let the girls make themselves up. This is another activity you may want to discuss with the other parents, but for most, this is a fun way for the girls to get to know one another as well as learn the basics of makeup. The best part is Mom gets to participate!

Pajama parties can be as fun as you make them. Grab some games! Look on Pinterest for some unique ideas for party decorations, and then let the kids have some fun. They will be close by and may even let you join in on some of the fun.

The Art of Staying Connected: Balancing Parenthood With Yourself as an Individual

Every person wears several hats. You may be a son/daughter, sister/brother, wife/husband, artist, teammate, athlete, teacher, friend, confidante and a parent. For many of us, being a parent becomes an all-consuming role and we tend to put ourselves aside, devoting much, if not all, of our time to raising and caring for our children. You tend to forget who you are as an individual and even begin to identify yourself as your child’s parent. It’s important to fine-tune the art of staying connected with yourself, bringing your parent side back into balance with who you are as an individual.

Preventing Burnout

Whether you have one child or five, you will eventually begin to experience some degree of burnout. The daily routine will become so second nature that, before you know it, you will be doing things without thinking. Don’t let it get to that point. While it’s great to have a set routine, give yourself a day off each week to do something that reminds you just how wonderful YOU are. Join a softball league or take up a hobby that you enjoy, anything that lets you get back to basics.

Bring Yourself to the Table

When you go out with family or friends, or just get to spend a day doing something for yourself, make sure YOU are the one doing it. Don’t introduce yourself as your child’s mom and dad. You have a name, a personality and a presence. Let them shine! Identify yourself by things that make you who you are, not the things that connect you to your children.
Join a Gym

One of the best ways to reconnect with yourself is to find ways to make solid improvements. Join a gym or take some exercise classes. Somewhere under the curlers, bathrobe and mega size cup of coffee, we forget there is a unique individual who used to look forward to going out to dinner or having a night on the town.

Continue to Explore Who You Really Are

When you have children, a whole new world opens up in the way of new people and new experiences. You will be introduced to different types of activities, cultures, artistic pleasures, music and ways of doing things. Every person is continually growing and changing. You are a work in progress, so it is important to continue to seek out new things to add to your list of experiences and favorite activities.

Being a parent may be the highlight of your life, but it is vital to remember that who you were before you had children is just as important. Embrace who you are, and work to keep the balance between parenthood and individuality. Who you are as a person should be the role model that your kids look up to and admire. They need to know that being a parent is only part of the dynamic of being an adult.

Romance for Parents: Tips to Keeping Your Marriage Strong

With today’s throwaway mentality, many marriages don’t stand a chance. People often lose sight of the essentials that are needed to keep a marriage strong and thriving. In addition to taking care of the kids, the parents must also remember to take care of one another. A marriage won’t survive unless the couple remembers the bond they have and how important it is to keep the romance in the relationship.

Communication

The most important aspect of any relationship is communication. Open lines of communication are a must if a marriage is going to have a chance past the first year. Talk to one another. Write notes, anything that conveys a message of love. Don’t go to bed with unspoken feelings between the two of you. If you are fighting, talk it out before you finally go to bed. If something is bothering you, speak your mind and clear the air before the situation gets out of hand. Communication keeps everything out in the open and makes it easier to resolve even the hardest of issues.

Weekly Date Night

In a marriage with children, the hardest thing a couple can do is find time for one another. Have a weekly date night. Even if it is nothing more than setting aside a night where you sit outside by a campfire and enjoy some quite time, the important thing is that you are together and alone. Being able to enjoy one another’s company outside of the family dynamic is the best way to keep the relationship new and exciting.

Please & Thank You

Always remember your manners. You teach your children to say “Please” and “Thank you” as signs of appreciation and respect. The same is true in your marriage. Your manners say a lot about how much you love and respect your partner. People who forget to use their manners sound bossy and overbearing. Using your manners also sets a good example to your children. It shows them that no matter how old you are, using proper etiquette and manners is a sign of dignity and respect.

It’s the Little Things

While all of the other things listed are important, it will always be the little things that seal the deal. A touch, a smile, a hug, a note in your spouse’s briefcase or lunch box are the things they will remember. The little things are those you do without a lot of planning. These random acts show them that no matter what may be going on in their day, you are thinking of them and how much you mean to them.

Keeping a marriage together in today’s society may be somewhat trying, but it can be done. Make sure your spouse knows how you feel about them. Share your time and show your love. It only takes a few minutes to show your partner how much they mean to you. Those few minutes may just end up being the highlight of their day.

Dads and Daughters, 15 Wonderful Ways to Spend Time Together

Daughters grow up fast and many times, dads tend to miss out on some of the best moments. It’s important to make time while they are young and their schedules aren’t so full. Dads and daughters can share many different experiences that will allow them to grow closer and create lifelong memories. The following are just a few ideas to help get things started:

• Go for long walks. Walking is great exercise and when you walk together you can explore your neighborhood and simply enjoy one another’s company.

• Eat breakfast together. Even if it is just cereal or toast, the half an hour you spend at the breakfast table may be just what you need to start the day.

• Attend a Daddy/Daughter dance. Most schools have Daddy/Daughter dances at least once a year. Go and enjoy yourself!

• Take her floating down the river. Taking her down the river in a canoe is a great way to teach her about nature.

• Teach her how cars work. Showing her how to check her own vehicle will give her valuable information if she ever breaks down along the highway. She will thank you in the long run.

• Show her the best ways to make a campfire. Camping can be fun and building a campfire is essential if you want to have a backyard gathering.

• Teach her how to use the family grill. Showing her how to grill adds to her kitchen experience.

• Make a family dinner together. Gather the family and make the main meal together.

• Explore a hiking trail. Take your daughter to the nearest National Park and show her what real nature is. Hiking can be fun. Turn it into a scavenger hunt!

• Go fishing. Whether it’s from a boat or a pier, it’s quality time that you won’t forget.

• Go to a movie. Movie nights can be fun when you take turns choosing what to see.

• Take her out on a date and let her choose the restaurant. No fast food! Go to a real restaurant.

• Attend a sporting event. Take her to see her favorite sporting team!

• Read a favorite book together. Reading builds the imagination. Choose one of your old favorites and read it out loud, complete with voices and sound effects.

• Play a game. Board games, card games, etc., will all get the competitive juices flowing.

The opportunities for quality Daddy/Daughter time are endless. Find things that you both like to do and set aside time each week to go and have fun together. Life is too short to let these special times go by. Make time to build lifelong family memories.

A Dog’s Life: How to Choose the Perfect Family Dog

Choosing to get a family dog is a big decision. Deciding on a breed is only the first of many things that must be considered. Dogs come in every shape, size and temperament. Some are cuddlers, while others want to be pampered and left to their own devices. There are a few things you need to take into consideration as you sit down with the family to decide what type of dog would be best for your situation.

Kid Friendly?

Whether you have infants or teens, when you are choosing a dog for the home, you need to find one that is kid friendly. Toddlers can be extremely hard on an animal because they don’t know the limitations of what is acceptable and what’s not. Teens can be forgetful and leave the pet with no food or water. When you have children, look around for a breed that is best suited to be around children. Labrador retrievers are a breed that is well known for its compatibility with kids.

Size Matters

The size of your home and your budget will play large roles in determining the size of pet you can afford. Large dogs can require up to 100 pounds of food a month, depending on their size, breed and activity level. It’s also important to remember that the large the dog, the more exercise it will need. If you don’t have a large yard for them to run free and get their exercise on their own, you will need to walk them everyday to ensure they get enough activity on a daily basis.

High Maintenance

Certain breeds of dogs are considered to be extremely high maintenance. Poodles, sharpeis and cocker spaniels are known to need higher levels of care than most breeds. Poodles and cockers must be shaved on a regular basis to keep their fur from getting out of hand. Sharpeis tend to have issues with their eyes and the wrinkles in their skin must be kept clean at all times. While most of the work with the sharpei breeds can be done at home. Having your dog shaved every few months can be rather costly.

Level of Energy

Different breeds of dogs have different levels of energy. If you have a laid back family that tends to want to stay close to home, a dog with a lot of energy may not be the best choice for you. Know how much time you want to spend playing with your pet before you make the decision on a certain breed.

If you want to find a dog that already has some training, you may want to consider going to your local animal shelter. They may not have a the most pedigreed dogs around, but many are well behaved and house trained. Before spending a large amount of cash on a puppy, look into adopting from the local shelter. It’s cheaper and you will be giving at least one dog a new leash on life.

Allergy/immunology

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Impact testing for concussions

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Pediatric/Adolescent primary care

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