There are two big misconceptions about foster parenting. One, it is believed that foster parenting is inferior somehow to adoption.  Another one is that foster care is only meaningful when it is done for the long term.

Adoption and foster parenting are two different functions. There are special considerations and qualities required for fostering. For those who are not good enough to adopt, it is not considered as an alternate option. Foster care is more challenging than adoption. Continue reading

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Do you have issues with your child’s bad behavior?  Family counseling may help.  Family counseling is a type of psychotherapy that may help promote better understanding of relationships within a family. Family counseling may be used because of a specific incident such as a bad divorce or the approaching death of a family member.  It may address the needs of the family when one family member suffers from a mental or physical illness that alters his or her behavior or habits in negative ways.
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As a mother, I have a habit of foreseeing events and working for them beforehand so that me and my kids do not have to face an emergency unprepared. Almost all the mothers I know do the same, it saves our families from a lot of post-disaster work and efforts. For instance, I can play and recall a hundred times in my mind what all could happen if I leave my kitchen unattended with the oven on and a cake baking inside it. Kids help us mothers into a lot of creative play and imagination backed with measures of precaution that ensures safety for everybody. So here are a few of my favorite smart ideas for moms who love to plan beforehand and avoid any minor and major accidents happening in their place.

Work on an Emergency Fund
Sickness, accidents, home repairs and a list of things keep happening where there are toddlers and children. To deal with the day to day challenges of keeping the children healthy and house well maintained, there should be an emergency fund that should be made only for the purpose of your kids. Many moms find it difficult to set aside a certain sum of money each month for the sake of an emergency fund, an idea that really worked for me was getting a credit card like Newcastle Permanent has to offer, it helps me in savings as well and I can manage emergencies without getting into a panic attack.

Prepare for a Burns and Bleeds
Children get burns and small cuts that bleed very easily. To plan for such unforeseen events, you should have a first aid box with a few natural remedies available easily too. No matter how much I keep my house foul proof from pointy and sharp things, my kids get cuts and small injuries from simply playing outdoors or through unexpected falls indoors. So I have a tube of toothpaste and eggs in my first aid box, if either one is applied immediately to a minor burnt area of skin it is instantly relieved. As for cuts, a band aid with anti bacterial cleaning wipes is the best solution.

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Being a hands on mother is probably one of the hardest roles in the world. Not only do you take care of the house, the chores, you also need to take care of your husband, children while looking after yourself. One of the most stressful tasks is to think of what food to prepare for your kids. Of course, you wanted to give them snacks that are nutritious as well.

A lot of mothers would prefer giving their kids some dehydrated foods as they are known to have a lot of nutritional value. Dehydration is a process that involves removing the water from food so they shrink, become weightless and can be preserved for a longer period of time. With that being said, dehydrated foods are easy to pack making them the perfect food item for their lunch-boxes.

You may think that dehydrated foods are difficult to prepare but the truth is that you do not even need to have any kind of expertise to do so. Also, it is not expensive and can save you a great deal of money. The only appliance you need to have in hand is a reliable food dehydrator and you are all set to prepare all kinds of snacks for your kids as mentioned below.  

Dried Peaches

Peaches are sweet and that is why a lot of kids love to eat them. If you have plenty of peaches and your family cannot consume all of them before they all rot, why not turn them into dried peaches? Simply cut the peaches in half and set the dehydrator under 1350C for 20 hours.

Fruit Rolls

Kids can easily mistake fruit rolls for candies. It is a good way to make them enjoy eating fruits without even knowing so. You can use all kinds of fruit for this. Next thing you need to do is to puree the fruit and add flavoring or natural sweetener such as cinnamon, honey, lemon or nutmeg. Pour the puree to the dehydrator tray and set it under 1400C. Set it aside for eight hours. When the mixture hardened, remove it from the tray, slice it and roll it according to your desired size.

Raisins  

Raisins are delicious treat for the kids. Simply put berries inside the food dehydrator and let the juice evaporate.  

Banana Chips

Bananas are easily ripen and hence, making banana chips are good way to prevent them from rotting. Slice the bananas at least ¼ inch thin. You will then need to soak them in lemon juice before dehydrating them at 1500C and set aside for 24 hours.

There are a bunch of healthy recipes you can prepare for your little kids and husband with the help of a good food dehydrator. If you want to buy a high quality food dehydrator, you should definitely check out food dehydrator reviews at http://www.dehydratorreviewsguide.com/. You may also want to read about Excalibur dehydrator review. Just visit this site

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Windows can be gorgeous house features that add character and flavor to an otherwise plain design. You can also design them with curtains or blinds to make them look more appealing. Unfortunately, windows also tend to be unsafe especially for toddlers. Most accidental falls that happen at home occur at windows. Kids play and run around the house all the time, and leaving the windows open for any small period may allow a terrible tragedy to happen. To keep your windows safe for kids, it is important to follow these tips:

  1. Install releasable window guards. Window guards like grills or grates are excellent for keeping your kids from falling off windows. However, if you are considering installing window guards, make sure they can be released in case of emergencies, like fire. You can ask for this specification in window installation companies like Doors Wide Open Windows and Doors in Brampton (more details: http://doorswideopen.ca/windows-and-doors-brampton/).
  2. Do not place furniture under or near windows. Remove or avoid placing any furniture near windows. Kids may use tables, desks, chairs, or shelves to climb on and open the window.
  3. Keep windows shut when kids are around. This is pretty obvious but often forgotten. If kids are actively playing, shut the windows firmly. If you would like to open windows for ventilation, open only those that are too high for children to reach. You can also install window stops that will only allow your windows to be opened by a few inches.
  4. Plant shrubs or grass under the windows. Strategic landscaping can save your kid’s life in case of a fall. Put soft edgings like a shrub or grass under your window to significantly decrease the extent of injury that can be sustained in case of a fall. There are already many cases wherein these buffers lessened the degree of injury of a fall.
  5. Cover windows with insect screens. Insect screens are in no way intended to prevent falls but they will certainly help in preventing such accidents from happening. Insect screens will also keep mosquitoes away, so it’s like hitting two birds in one stone.
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Today, it's hard to be a mom. Maybe even harder than ever… in some ways. Sure, I remember my grandmother telling me stories about her childhood and growing up in Italy. I remember her telling me about taking the long trip to America and eventually settling in a tiny neighborhood in Brooklyn. "Half the time we didn't even have enough food to eat more than one meal a day," she'd tell me while I argued with her about eating my vegetables! I don't even want to get into the numerous family myths that are swimming around within my family. Uncle Joe being born in the backyard… Aunt Emily being short because she "didn't eat enough fried chicken cutlets." Oh, I can go on and on. But the point is that despite how much my grandmother told me about the hardships of her childhood, it seemed to have been a "simpler" time. A time when a mother could have eleven children, put clothes on them all, feed them all, and do as she pleased with them…on her own terms…without input from anyone else! These were her kids… all eleven… and she was going to decide how they were raised. 

Times They Are a-Changin' 
Today, because of technology, connectivity and just an overall more "catalogued" society, raising a kid has become more a competition than ever before. It seems like a "right way versus a wrong way" has developed that didn't really exist in years gone by. Today, you are vilified for not having the right baby carriage for your infant. You are looked down on for not taking your prenatal vitamins. My grandmother never took a prenatal vitamin! You are judged for not attending the very best "Mommy and Me" classes. You are judged on your ability to take care of your own child. This is probably the biggest reason why being a mother today is "harder" emotionally than ever before. I'm not going to tell you that I could raise eleven kids on potatoes, bread and onions, but I will tell you that my great-grandmother never felt judged for doing so. That judgement weighs heavy on mothers today. 

Doing Everything!
Another idea that didn't exist in my great-grandmother's time was the idea of being "Supermom". What I mean is that, she wasn't expected to raise eleven kids, look like a Supermodel, go to Vinyasa yoga 3 times a week, work a full-time job in a competitive field and be a doting housewife! Today, women are expected to be everything and do everything. They are expected to look like the celebrity moms they read about in gossip magazines and be the moms they read about it parenting magazines. This is a bit of a stretch too thin! God forbid we should have stress wrinkles! God forbid our bodies aren't perfect. Thankfully there are treatments that can help us keep up with this unfair expectation of perfection or we might become too "mommy-looking." Even though it's an unfair standard, sometimes a bit of cosmetic work can make us feel a little better about ourselves. Maybe it can remind us we haven't totally foregone our sex-appeal and attractiveness. A little botox never hurt anybody. And it also wouldn't hurt to get rid of those nude stockings covering those unsightly veins for Summer… A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do! Check out some information on laser vein treatment in the California area! Click here for Torrance! Or, click here for a Vein Center in Santa Barbara! 

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Moms are simply amazing. They can do various roles for the sake of their family, including a cook, driver, nurse and a lot more. Most of the time, they put the needs and even the wants of their kids first before their own. There are times that they tend to forget about themselves due to their day to day responsibilities, both at work and at home. If you are a mom, you could definitely relate to this.

One of the changes that you may experience as a mother is the sagging of your breast. This could affect your confidence since they would not look as good as before. The good news is that there is something that you can do about it. With all the hard work and sacrifices that you do, it is just right that you feel good about yourself. Whether you live in a homey countryside like Austin or in the dazzling place of Beverly Hills, you will find fantastic surgeons that specialize in breast lift.

If you are thinking of having a breast lift in Austin or Beverly Hills, it is best to learn more about the procedure, including its benefits, risks and what to expect after surgery.  This is to make sure that you know what you are getting into, as well as determine if this is something that you really would like to do.

What is Breast Lift

Breast lift as the term suggests refers to the procedure of lifting your breast so they become firmer and in shape. It is different from breast augmentation since it does not enlarge the breast. However, the two procedures can be performed together. Say if you are having a breast lift in Beverly Hills or Austin, you may also have a breast enlargement done by the surgeon. That is if you wish to have larger breasts and also have them lifted.

The Benefits

Sagging, uneven breasts and drooped nipples are some of the reasons why women go for breast lift. These could be caused by aging, tremendous weight loss or gain, gravity, breastfeeding and pregnancy. The most obvious benefit of having a breast lift is that your breasts will have a better shape. Because of this, you will be more confident with your appearance. Moreover, this will improve your intimacy with your husband since you feel good about yourself.

The Risks

Breast lift surgery often does not impose serious complications. However, like any other medical procedures, it still comes with some risks. Discuss these possible risks with your doctor to prepare yourself, as well as to help you in making your final decision. Here are some of the risks involved in the process.

  • Scarring
  • Extreme reaction to anesthesia
  • Blood clotting
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Hematoma
  • Allergic reaction
  • Breast Lift Recovery

    Instructions on what to do after surgery will be given to you by your doctor. Make sure to follow them to make your recovery faster, as well as to avoid complications. This usually includes taking medications, sleeping upright, no lifting of heavy things within the first two weeks and wearing of surgical bra. Go to your scheduled follow up checkup so the doctor can check on the progress of your recovery. While the recovery time varies on different women, most of them can go back to work a week after the surgery, though they are still not permitted to do rigorous activities. Complete recovery often takes five weeks.

    If you decide to push through with having a breast lift, make sure that you hire a reputable and board certified surgeon to ensure the procedure is safe and successful.

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    My health is extremely important to me, as is the health of my children. I intend to do as much as I can over the next few years to learn all about how to keep myself healthy. So many of my friends, or their partners, are experiencing so many health issues now that it’s getting frightening.

    I spent quite a lot of time researching ways to keep myself healthier. For instance it really becoming clear to me that exercise is a huge part of staying healthy, and for that reason I have tried extremely hard to incorporate more exercise into my life. I am now taking up cycling seriously and spending lots of time cycling. I’ve joined the local cycling club and have been very surprised to find that it’s a lot of fun as well as being good exercise.

    And of course there’s plenty of other things that you can do to keep yourself healthy other than exercising. And you need to do them all in conjunction with each other, there is no one thing.

    Good nutrition is extremely important. I’ve been reading a lot about nutrition lately because I firmly believe that what you eat determines your health.

    I mentioned friends of mine who have been getting seriously unhealthy lately. When I look at their diet I can understand why. It’s full of junk food, chips, pizzas and worse. They all eat a terrible diet that is full of fat, salt and sugar and very low in nutrition.

    I avoid all junk food and takeaway food and always make a point of cooking fresh, healthy and nutritious meals for my children. From time to time they grizzle that their friends get lots of junk food and takeaways but I just tried to ignore the complaining.

    One thing I’ve been doing lately is to spend some time researching the health benefits of Omega 3 fish oil. Omega 3 is the fat found in oily fish and it seems from what I’ve found out from my research is that most of us used to eat lots of fish in the past but fish has gone out of our diet over the last few decades and the result of this has been very negative for our health.

    It seems that this reduction in the amount of Omega 3 fats in our diet has all sorts of health implications. Even a significant organisation like the American Heart Association recommends that we eat more fish for the sake of the Omega 3 in the fish.

    Sadly fish is seriously expensive and I can’t afford to buy a lot of fish so I’ve been taking a fish oil supplement. More research that I’ve done has indicated that not all fish oil supplements are as good as others, some are contaminated with things like mercury because many of the fish in the ocean are contaminated with mercury.

    So I spent plenty of time researching how to find the best fish oil supplement (here).

    But I’ve also discovered another problem. When I initially started taking Omega 3 supplements I discovered that they created some nasty and unpleasant “fishy burps”. It’s a bit embarrassing to admit to and it wasn’t very nice.

    So I’ve now been looking for some burpless fish oil supplements here.

    So I’m hoping that my good diet, fish oil supplements, lots of exercise and a whole lot more are going to keep me and my children healthy for a lot more years.

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    Most mothers who do not have a helping hand, like me, are usually in a rush and unable to catch up with many duties on a daily basis. One of the most prominent duty that a mommy ignores without guilt is- self grooming. Yes, it might sound quite a lot considering the amount of house chores, husband tasks and baby/children work that is always going on and seems endless as well, but the fact is if mothers do not take care of themselves there are high chances of burning out. Taking out a little time for personal grooming can enhance mood level, decrease stress, make yourself feel more in-charge and get on with the routine more happily. Here are a few tips on how to spruce up your looks with an easy daily personal grooming routine. 

    Keep Moisturining Hand and Feet Lotion Nearby
    There are a few activities where mommies station themselves and then work. Try multi-tasking and carry a personal grooming activity while you wait for the work to end. For example, if you're waiting for the baby bottle to sterilize, keep a lotion nearby and moisturize your hands and feet while the job is done. Or, place a moisturizer right where your babies nappy, wipes and changing mat are stored. This way, every time you change a nappy, moisturize your hands and feet. This habit would reduce the need of manicure and pedicure and lead to softer hands and feets.

    Invest in a BB Cream
    The hype of BB creams started off from 2011 when a German dermatologist devised a formula that would take care of the skin and protect against UV rays or be used by women who have gone laser treatments. BB creams are basically an all in one solution, they have anti aging properties, moisturizing elements, tones the skin up nicely and even provides coverage against harmful sun rays. Mothers hardly have the time to go through a proper skin care routine, applying one moisturizer on the face is also a challenge, let alone go for anti aging and other properties. Thus, invest in a good BB cream as it has almost all the things that a lady needs. It's fast, efficient and produces amazing results as well. Daily Makeover shows how to choose the best BB cream for your skin type.

    Style Your Hair
    Okay, so this one has to be the most challenging tip to follow from the rest that have been mentioned so far. For starters, keeping hair in shape demands time, and mommies hardly have any time. But the fact is, even if you don't have any makeup on or your clothes are mere pjs or tank tops, if your hair is done, you are bound to look a hundred times better and more groomed up. Thanks to the messy look that is quite popular these days and has made life easier for mothers, but I happened to come across the ultimate hair curling solution that does not take extra time at all and is very simple to follow. The best curling iron so far is offered by WooCurls.com. It's instant, excellent results and would leave others thinking if you're right out of the salon or had a recent makeover. The investment in the best curling wand from http://www.woocurls.com/curling-irons-versus-curling-wands/ would definitely be worth it. 

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    With the passage of time, I have realized that no matter how much effort is put into home office cleaning, things are bound to undo themselves and the clutter fills in rapidly. I kept losing my grip over the past few months, every time I'd invest a couple of weeks organizing my home office, it took only a few days for my kids to outrageously undo all my efforts. Moreover, I never got the kind of privacy that would enable uninterrupted and productive work output. This is when I realized that the following idea needs to be implemented for a peaceful space of Work from Home lifestyle- I invested in an affordable used cargo container and converted it into my home office, and it has been a success ever since. Check out used cargo container sales on Cargo Container Sales USA. Here's how to convert your container into a perfect home office-

    Create Access Points for Essential Wiring
    The first step to take care about is, create access points for a telephone, internet connection and other electronic items that need to operate in your container converted home office. These access points should be practical and easy to administer. The better wiring system would be, the more room one gets for arranging the stuff around the container. Pinterest is loaded with exciting ideas, do take a look at those. 

    Fix a Budget and Renovate
    Decide on a budget before investing in the interior of the container. This will save up any extraneous expenditures from occurring. Simply list down the expenses associated with re-doing the space, if the table, chair and computer is being shifted directly from the house, this should not be added. However, if you would need a bookshelf for holding important work related files and papers, a painting job, fans or air conditioner, water supply and other essentials, then make a list of it and stick to these costs instead of getting carried away. 

    Install an Intercom
    One of the extremely important things that a work from home office made in a container should have is an intercom. Not only would it act as an important source of communication between you and the home, but your kids will be at your access too. Although there is no guarantee how many times the little ones would be beeping the phone, but then it's better than the daily chaos of getting the office organized! Some of the new and used cargos have a system that can easily install intercom wirings and the cost reduces considerably.

    Bonus Points for Bathroom and Kitchen
    A dream come true kind of container converted home office would have two things, a bathroom and a kitchen. Brewing coffee or making tea with light snacks when working in the wee hours is truly a blessing. And not having to leave the container every time a trip to the loo is needed is another important factor. Thus, look out for spacious and well conditioned containers such as those available at CargoContainerSalesUSA.com which can be found here. It has the right kind of containers that can be converted to offices.

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    If you have just finished cleaning up your home and all of a sudden your kids messed everything up, it can be very frustrating. However, since they are your kids and you love them so much, you have no other choice but to let them be kids. Though you might have been able to live by this scenario over a certain period of time, it still feels great if there are certain days in which you can just sit down and see how clean your house is. Though it is seemingly impossible, the truth is you can make your kids stop messing up your home. Here are some of the secrets that you might want to use:

    • Make them involved in the household chores. Let them join you when washing dishes or cleaning the floor. You don’t necessarily have to force them, but you can make them think as if cleaning is just playing. When they realize just how difficult it can be, they might start behaving well. Also, when they realize just how wonderful the result is when the home is clean, then they won’t keep on messing things up.

    • Provide a playroom for them where they can do everything they want. Throw toys, coloring books, clays and whatever that they can manipulate. By then, they won’t have to go to your bedroom or living room and mess things up. However, if your kids are younger than 3, don’t let them play with toys on their own. They might try to eat them or they could get injured.

    • Don’t scold them no matter how irritated you are. This is the point where you have to instill certain values, but at the same time, you want to develop a positive relationship with them. Once you keep on scolding them, they will gradually move away from you. It could hurt your relationship.

    • Keep away all fragile home decors. Lock them in a cabinet or a drawer so that the kids won’t play with them. You can also keep breakable objects as high as possible so they will be out of the kids’ reach. Don’t let them play with objects that may stain your floor and furniture. If they want to play with crayons, give them a paper or a coloring book.

    • Kids love to eat anywhere in the house and end up with a huge mess. The best thing to do is to set a rule in which they are only allowed to eat in the dining room. If they have practiced doing this since they were young, they won’t dare eat anywhere else other than the dining room.

    Getting Help

    When you are a stay home mom, it might be easy for you to clean the house and at the same time, take care of your kids. However, if you have a full time job, you might have no time to clean the house. This is where the need for house cleaning services comes in. If you worry about house cleaning prices, you can check this so you will have an actual idea of how much the total expenses will be. Also, if you want the best cleaning services, you can check out House Cleaning 123 and what they offer through http://www.housecleaning123.com/.

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    As a working mom, I have a lot to deal with in the course of a single day. Single moms, in addition to making sure that they provide the best for their children, also have to deal with many other matters on their own. In my case, about two years ago, I was dealing with paying a high amount of mortgage for my house. It would have been manageable if I had a really high-paying job, but this wasn’t the case. I was at the brink of losing my home.

    The good news for single moms facing such a situation, though, is that they can get help from charitable organizations. In my case, I got help from Village Capital & Investment, LLC. Although a for-profit company, their FHA Streamline Refinance service (read more here) has actually helped so many disadvantaged people deal with their mortgage problems. By availing of such a service, my monthly mortgage payments became a lot more manageable. Also, despite paying my loan early, I did not incur penalty fees with Village Capital & Investment, LLC. That’s how charitable the company is. I am not the only single mom who has been able to benefit from their services. I checked many websites targeted at single moms, and many of the single moms who frequent these websites report having dealt with their mortgage problems through the FHA Streamline Refinance Service too.

    Hopefully, this post of mine will prove helpful to many of my readers. I know how it feels to be at the brink of losing your home. You want to cling to it because it’s the best environment for your kids to grow up in, so you’re really nerve-wracked because of your situation. Luckily, though, there are now many ways we can effectively deal with such a problem. It’s really just a matter of going out of one’s way in order to find the best help.

    If you have got more questions about how I was able to deal with my mortgage problem, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m more than willing to answer your questions through e-mail. If you want, we can also meet in person.

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