Baby monitors are one of the most vital pieces of parenting equipment that any parent can possibly own. Indeed, the security, convenience, intensive mode and peace of mind that these devices provide is truly unparalleled by any other tool of recent times. Audio baby monitors are useful, but the advanced functionality and detailed information that video monitors give are of great help to parents. Anyone shopping for baby monitors should keep in mind the following top five benefits of these devices.
1. Time-to-time detection of baby’s movements
While every parent has their own tried-and-tested methods of baby care, a major signal for some parents to decide whether or not to comfort the awakened child in the crib, is to first note whether the infant has stood up or is still lying in the crib. Sleep training in general requires that the child still gets opportunities to self-soothe itself before the father or mother intervenes to comfort him. The timely visual information provided by the baby video monitor is crucial to the decision made by parents of entering the nursery to comfort the child. When parents view in the monitor, that their awakened child is lying down in the crib, they can hold on for few minutes before intervening, this itself is of great value to the sleep training process.
2. Saves time, energy & Increases convenience
Video monitors keep parents updated with instant visual information of the baby’s movements and behavior, even when they are meters away from the nursery. By knowing that their infant is sleeping peacefully and has not awakened yet, parents need not rush into the nursery every hour to check on their baby and can thus give themselves the much needed rest for the night. This is of special concern since parents usually have a tough time juggling their roles of an all-time caregiver and a part-time professional. Thus for them, the night’s sleep is of great value and every minute counts.
3. Accurate tracking of sleep
Small babies while crying usually toss and turn. Audio monitors may not be able to pick their whimpers or sounds of turning in the crib, as it may be difficult for them to differentiate between low frequency baby sounds and other background noise. A video monitor on the other hand, shows parents exactly what is happening even when the infant seems to be asleep.
4. Cloud services & sharing
High-end video monitors can connect to the internet network of home in order to transmit video clips through WiFi. The presence of a WiFi camera allows parents to login easily and view these captured feeds through internet connection, from any part of the world. Such a convenient technology allows them to check on their tiny tots from their workplace, or when out of town.
5. Extra level of security
Video monitors provide similar level of security as that of security cameras. They alert the parents whenever the child has stood up, bumped its head or fallen accidentally. They also enable them to view whether their children are getting the required level of care by their nannies or not.
Thus, to summarize these aforementioned benefits, it may be rightful to say, that a kid video monitor should top the list of your baby care items. It offers effective vigilance of your baby’s motions and activities and alerts you on the same to prevent untoward accidents.
The start of the school year is always a busy and stressful day for the kids and for all parents as well. Everyone will still be wanting for summer to not end since nobody wants to go back to school for one reason or another. Of course, there’s also always a lot more things to do and spend money on once the kids go back to school again.
Being fully prepared for the school year and official start of classes though will reduce a lot of the stress and hard work that comes with this time of the year. Below are some helpful tips both parents and children can follow to avoid all the hassle and bustle that comes with going back to school:
Invest in the right school products. Bags, pencil cases, writing materials, notebooks, lunch bags or packs and water bottles – these are just some of the essential items your kids will have to bring with them to school for five days a week. Make sure that they are of good quality, durable and will last them for at least the whole school year. However, be particular with the items you buy: to ensure your kids are eating healthy lunches and snacks and drinking safe water or other beverages from home, buy lunch packs and water bottles that are BPA-free and does not have any toxins.
Consider buying personalized items for your kids to use in school. Your kids will certainly need new pens, rubbers and other stationery. Consider getting them personalized pens, pencils, coloring pencils and pencil cases. These customized items will make it more fun for the children and it lessens the risk of them losing these writing materials and their other stuff significantly.
Get some name labels. In a school class with a lot of children, it’s predictable that stuff will get lost. Minimize the risk by investing in some name labels that you can securely place on your child’s school uniform, sports equipment, bag, water bottle, lunch boxes, and their other possessions.
Create a general check list of what needs to be done every morning and what needs to go in the school bag. By coming up with this list, you make sure your child doesn’t forget anything important and this helps everyone avoid a stressful morning. To make it more fun for both you and your child, make this check list together using colors and crafts.
Finally, on the first day of class, your kids may be a bit nervous, even if they’ve been to school the year before. Make them feel a bit more positive and ready for school by making them their favorite breakfast.
My husband and I have a favorite vacation spot in Tennessee. On the first weekend after Labor Day there is a huge, and I do mean huge, classic car show with 20,000 plus classic cars spreading out between the three towns of Sevierville, Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. During a visit to Gatlinburg, we took time out to do some shopping. One of the many shops sold beautiful wind chimes. Big beautiful ones, the likes that I had never seen before. I couldn’t help myself and we bought one of those chimes. The different lengths of tubes that the chimes had made the most beautiful sounds I’d ever heard before and thus began my new love.
That was several years ago that we bought those big beautiful sound makers and now they hang on the east side of our front porch. Thank goodness I am a country girl because sounds tend to really travel far at night in the country and a city slicker may not appreciate their sounds the same way that my country neighbors or I do. One of our neighbors has told me that she can hear the sounds of those chimes at night and she’s not even upset about it! In fact she really enjoys hearing them and often falls asleep to the soft sounds of their chiming. But then again, even I like doing that because there’s nothing quite like the sound of these wind chimes lightly chiming in the night breezes. There is just something soothing and serene about it. So there they hang on one side of the porch like a giant while teeny little ones from the dollar store on one corner of the porch tinkle in their own pathetic little way while some cow wind chimes that were a gift from my daughter tinkle on the other corner. Oh I must mention the special ones given to me by my husband, a set with carousel horses hanging right over the steps going up to the porch chiming a warm welcome to everyone who visits our home.
I guess it’s just a matter of time before I have wind chimes hanging from every tree in the yard. I think that there’s no turning back now. Something has taken a hold on me and I don’t think I can let go. There’s just so many beautiful different kinds that provide so many different sounds. I may eventually drive my neighbors bonkers thinking I’m some kind of crazy wind chime lady but I could be called a lot worse I guess.
As part of my niece/aunt celebration year I met my niece and her son in Disneyland today. Although I do not believe that Walt (Disney) would be pleased with the horrendous prices of his theme parks or the strange hours that pop up and force people out of the park early unless you pay more for the special event taking place, I do know he would love the laughter and giggles of kids and adults as they enjoy the wonders and fun packed into a few acres. Disneyland is marvelous, engaging, and amusing, a tremendous break from work and stress (other than the long lines) making an easy entry into entertainment. It really is a family adventure.
My typical trip to Disneyland is with older kids and adults and as a standard we hop on the wild rides and stand in long lines to enjoy a few minutes of thrill. Roller coasters, gravity drops, and spook houses fill the imagination as the heart beats faster and louder. Today with my great-nephew who is four, we eschewed the whirls and jerks of craziness and waded in with Pinocchio and Dumbo. While the latter were much calmer they were just as fun based on the chuckles and twitters of Connor and all of the other children around us. He found joy in every ride and his laughter caught on with raging contagion as his mom and I joined in. Every moment of the day excited him and so it excited us as well. Long lines seem shorter with a child filled with anticipation. Every animal tune and animation lights up even brighter when a child points out the funny characters and joins in with a tune that roughly follows the melody of the particular ride.
After an exhausting day of walking, waiting, and curiosity, the hotel room is welcoming as we plan out the next day. Which park? What rides? In what order? are questions of equal importance. Fast-track here and regular lines there enable us to hit many rides in a limited amount of time. Eagerness and expectation draw us together as we design the outline of the next day’s escapades. Will tomorrow possibly hold the delight of today?
Some people (my husband included) might sigh and say that no line is worth the price or the wait. While I like neither of these I realize that they are a necessary consequence to a fulfilling day. While the delay slows the progress of hitting every ride it does allow time for conversation and visiting about any number of topics. In the busy whirlwind of everyday life it is easy to forget to pause and talk and while I would prefer to zip from one ride to the next with no standing and waiting involved, I accept the value of time spent with those I love, engaged in enriching chatter as we patiently move slowly from the end of the line to the front.
Disneyland creates instantaneous memories based on the many attractions, the good food, and the numerous mementoes including blisters on the feet and sunburn on the forehead. It is a place to enjoy on the first visit and then when it is time to return home, it is a predicted vacation plan for the future. This future includes the kids of the present as they grow and it also encompasses the generations of the future. It is a terrific place to share.
In 2012 the government introduced the Pensions Act, which requires all employers to join the scheme by 2017, in order to provide staff earning over £10,000 with a workplace pension. The regulations have been rolling out over a six-year period, depending on the size of the company and the pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) reference scheme.
This has already been successfully introduced by many large companies, who have been using the scheme since 2012, in order to provide a pension fund for employees’ retirement. While initially it wasn’t easy to convince people to remain part of the scheme, a lifetime’s worth of savings can give an average earner a pension pot of £300,000, which would enable them to live comfortably in old age.
Do household staff need to be provided with a pension?
Those working in the household sector, such as cleaners, nannies and housekeepers, are included and will be automatically enrolled into the scheme, although those who don’t pay staff through a PAYE scheme are not required to start until 1 April 2017.
For employers who this applies to, it is advised that the process of putting a pension into place is started sooner rather than later, as those who fail to comply in time will face a financial penalty. As a forewarning, this can be expected to be up to £500 per day. Using a company to undertake PAYE and pensions enrolment responsibilities is highly recommended, as it ensures that all the paperwork and legal side of matters is taken care of.
The pension pot will be contributed to by the employee and employer, as well as tax credits from the government. There is a set minimum contribution, although the amount that can be contributed will gradually increase until October 2018 for those who wish to make the most of the scheme.
It is estimated that as much as £353 million of pension contributions has been lost due to employees opting out of auto-enrolment, which is why it is so important that employers provide staff with engaging information regarding the scheme.
For many part-time and hourly paid household workers, it is unlikely that their annual wage will exceed the £10,000 threshold, meaning that they will not benefit from the new scheme. However, it is possible for those earning more than £486 gross per month to opt into a pension scheme, and it becomes the responsibility of the employer to enrol them and make regular contributions.
When my daughter in-law returned to work after our first grandchild was born, I offered to watch little Abby a couple of days a week to help with the cost of daycare. Several months later it was warm weather and we were able to get outside more to enjoy the nice weather. When ever there was a breeze blowing it would have my big beautiful wind chime just a singing.
Little Abby loved it when I would take her over to that big wind chime that was hanging from the end of our front porch. She would take her little hand and hit that big round thing hanging between the long tubes and she would have it making sounds just as though the wind itself was ringing its chimes. There wasn’t a time when we would go out on to the porch that Abby wouldn’t want to play with the chime and make it sing. That was five years and three granddaughters ago. Now there is little Natalie, Abby’s sister. She also has taken a liking to those wind chimes and loves to make them sing just like her sister did. Somehow though, those chimes escaped the interest of Carly, our middle granddaughter. But I guess two out of three ain’t bad!
On our porch we have that wonderful big chime on the east end with two little ones on either front corner. On either side of the front of the porch hang red glass hummingbird feeders. I often sit out on the porch on a beautiful warm day waiting for our dainty little hummingbirds to fly in for their feeding of sweet nectar and I have wondered more than once why that chiming never seems to scare them away or keep them from coming in to feed. They fly right past that chiming giant and hover at the feeders while those built-in straws of theirs sip up the nectar from the glass hummingbird feeders they visit every day. Did you know that hummingbirds will fight over the chance to sip that sweet nectar? It is indeed quite a sight. Two tiny little feathered creatures with wings flapping fifty times a second darting at one another and cursing in hummingbird language that I’m sure would have us blushing if we only understood. Those little critters doing their thing at the feeders totally oblivious to all the chiming around them never ceases to amaze me.
Summer has gone now and those tiny marvels of nature have migrated to where it is warmer, but my wind chimes continue to sound out their ever familiar song with the slightest breezes not caring at all what the temperature is. I love that about them, the ones I am listening to right now. It doesn’t matter if it is raining, snowing, freezing cold or balmy and warm outside, as long as Mother Nature sends a breeze their way, they will sing their beautiful tunes.
Whether you are looking for a wind chime that is a little out of the ordinary like butterflies or hummingbirds or just want something with a classic look, at [http://www.windchimesplus.com] we may have just the right one for you. Heck, we even have some that light up and change colors! Maybe you will be like me and even have a grand baby that takes a shine to them too!
Daddy, I find it very hard to accept that you’ve been translated to another realm. You were indeed a great father, a reliable friend and faithful protector to me. You gave me your best from the day I was born. I was the envy of my peers while growing up. You inspired me. You taught me hard work, frankness, honesty, courage, service, charity and loyalty. You always encouraged me to do my best to help anybody in need, not just by word, but by your actions. Look at the flow of tributes and genuine praise trailing your departure. The people you gave jobs, lift, hope, protection and saved from victimization or going to jail, etc. Like a lion would effectively protect his pride of cubs and lionesses, you never allowed anybody or interest from this part of the state to be treated badly.
I was emotional moved when a son to one of those you put at the local government service in the 70′ and 80’s visited and was telling us how you made their father become a government worker from a peasant farmer. Another, narrated how you stood your ground, refused to be bribed, and made sure their father’s land was given back to them. And that is where they live now at Top Land. There are so many of these testimonies everywhere. I mean they are becoming endless. Another that killed a man on Enugu-Onitsha highway and as the dead man’s family was threatening fire and revenge, you courageously went there, retrieved the driver, settled the case and ensured the peaceful burial of the deceased. You virtually lived for others. In fact, even the aged are saying that you never passed them on the way without picking them. This was your way of life. You always found a way to help. Daddy, I wish you are here to hear all these. I am indeed very proud of you!
You fought like a brave lion that you were through this life. Most times like a ‘one man squad’. You never bowed to challenges or to oppositions. You always believed that there will eventually be a way out. You would always tell me that you trust in the ability of God to help out. You would always tell me to learn patience and be hopeful. I went back to read those powerful letters, with great handwriting, you wrote to me in the 90’s. They would always come with, “Gab, my son, be patient” “Gab, remember God’s time is the best” “Gab, work hard” “Gab, I will do my best for you,” etc. I remember as a teenager you would tell me not to waste my energy in brooding over difficult situations but to be hopeful and have faith in God. You have never been materialistic. You will also tell me that service is greater than any material gain. You kept promises and trust. And yours also was a mixture of love and discipline. You took me to the best of departmental stores in town, best schools. You personally drove me to and from school. And your discipline was also ever-ready to help me remain focused in life. You did not spare the rod. True. Thank you for the love and also the discipline. Your ‘rod’ and your ‘staff’ built me. And you were proud of that product.
When I gave my life to Christ you immediately started encouraging me. You were proud of me. You were proud of my faith, my ministry and my writing. You showed everybody my works. When I gave you my first two books, you prayed and prophesied to me that I will write more books than one of the most celebrated Nigerian authors. I laughed but I also knew that your words were always powerful and ‘prophetic’. Now, daddy, why did you choose to go when your words were about coming to pass? Who will I now celebrate with when that vision eventually comes to pass? Who?? You were my confidant and a dependable one for that matter.
How about your planned biography? Who will now tell the world those your fascinating adventurous growing up stories, your London experience at the height of racism (what you did when that little white kid asked his mother to come see a black monkey), your civil war experiences, the conspiracy and your miraculous survival of lynching to death and the detentions during the war and during Babangida’s regime? What of your role in the selection of the governorship candidate and the victory of Nigerian People’s Party (NPP) in the second republic? Those victories, betrayals and oppositions? I remember everybody (including the opposition in the state) courted your support. I was there when you took delivery of the first ever set of campaign buses for the NPP in 1979 for the old Amambra state. Our house was like a political Mecca then. You were very helpful and generous to a fault. You were loyal and faithful. You refused to support a very close friend against a ‘brother’, even after you were betrayed terribly. You resisted all pressures to do otherwise; rejecting the offers, gifts and the great wealth and positions that would have come with it. You are indeed a highly principled man! One of a kind!
I remember the day you shot the Fulani’s cow and disarmed the aggressive nomads when they tried to attack with their sticks. I truly had a brave father to be proud of. In 1985, I watched you teach a naval officer how to shoot on target. When things got tough both your friends and foes courted you. You were bold and fearless. I always loved listening to you. You had a great sense of history and you knew virtually everybody and every family around. You visited every bereaved family. You identified with everybody in need. I always watched you begging your visitors to eat and drink, even to take more drinks for the road. True. I watched you giving your neighbors light and installing street lights. You fought for the less-privilege throughout your life. Even from your sick bed you were still eager to fight injustice. You fought for our community. You fought for Amechi. You fought for humanity. I celebrate you daddy!
Today, as I reluctantly, very reluctantly, bid you farewell, I promise to uphold those virtues that distinguished you from others. I mean those qualities that made the oppressed and the deprived and the community to trust you. We will run with them. Your legacy will sure not die. Amechi, Awkunanaw, Nkanu Land, humanity is already celebrating you. And definitely generations yet unborn will join them. We are already putting together Prince Patrick Ifeanyi Agbo foundation that will articulate and further these virtues and legacy. You have become greater in death. Daddy, the lion, Onowu Amechi, the people’s PRINCE farewell! I will indeed miss you greatly. But we will definitely meet very very soon when our great Savior Jesus Christ appears. Therefore, I am not yet saying goodbye, but goodnight!
If you’re in search of meaningful gifts this holiday season, consider giving a gift that has a lasting impact. Here are some ideas for thoughtful presents that never need to be exchanged or returned and are rewarding to give.
Make a charitable donation. Family and friends who are passionate about social causes will appreciate your donation on their behalf. Many charitable organizations are savvy about holiday giving and publish “holiday catalogs” that describe gift levels in terms of how they further the charity’s work. Most charities have an online presence, making it easy to do your holiday shopping from the convenience of home. Keep in mind that a gift of this kind may be tax deductible as well.
Give tickets to a charitable event. Buying and gifting tickets to charitable events are another way to make your holiday shopping do double duty for the causes you and your loved ones care about the most. A gift of this sort provides a night on the town that may include entertainment, a silent auction, dinner, and drinks.
Give socially conscious stocks. Select socially responsible companies that could positively impact the community or make a difference in an initiative that’s important to your family member or friend. You’ll be investing in a good cause while giving a gift with the potential to pay dividends and grow.
Fund an education savings plan. The cost of attendance at a four-year college has skyrocketed. Students (and their parents) will appreciate any amount that can be applied toward tuition, room and board and textbooks. Education expenses paid directly to an institution may be tax deductible. For grandchildren who are still years away from attending college, consider contributing to a 529 savings plan in the student’s name. Contributions to a 529 savings plan are made with after-tax dollars.
Buy gift savings bonds. A savings bond is a great way to help someone establish a financial safety net or start saving toward a larger goal. The U.S. Treasury sells bonds online and requires buyers to set up an account and link it to the recipient to make a gift purchase. You’ll have the option to print a gift certificate or simply have your gift delivered electronically.
Don’t underestimate the value of a cash gift. The gift of cash is universally appreciated and gives recipients the freedom to save or spend according to their needs. The 2015 and 2016 gift tax exclusion allows individuals to give up to $14,000 per person annually without the recipient having to treat your gift as income on their tax returns.
Explore all of your options for charitable giving. Talk to a financial advisor to learn more about making financial gifts to the people, organizations and causes you care about.
Over the years, off and on, dedicated and then less so, I have worked to simplify my life. In a world of consumerism it is easy to be snagged by great buys, new gadgets, the latest clothing, home accouterments, and on and on. While I try to turn a blind eye to the junk that I pass in stores or that I view in ads in my email or when browsing the Internet, it is tough to just say, “No!” to all of the goodies that I spy and think that perhaps I need.
Twice a year, or more often when I really get the urge, I purge closets, shelves, drawers, and cupboards. While I have tried and failed with garage sales for these remnants, there are a couple of thrift stores who accept some of my stuff and the landfill receives the rest. I say I fail at garage sales because I just do not seem to have the knack to set things up in a saleable fashion or I select the wrong day or maybe, and this is sad to ponder, my junk is just not very desirable. It is lovely, it is mine, but I guess my taste wanders far from the shopper’s who swing by on Saturday mornings.
Because I volunteer at one of the thrift stores I am quite careful with what I drop off as the store is already loaded with more stacks in the storage areas. I have made many trips to the dump with items the store couldn’t sell like old, soiled mattresses, broken strollers, filthy clothing, and disgusting couches. I cannot understand why someone leaves things that they don’t want at the store’s back door in abominable condition and think that someone else would want this nastiness. Since items are already loaded onto a truck to drag them this far, why not drive on to the landfill?
The dump also receives many of my items, too. As a county resident there is no charge and there are certain recycling areas such as for metal and aluminum cans. While I hate to throw other things away because so many are a long time in the biodegradable process, I am left with no alternative when I move into de-cluttering mode. Simplifying my life entails cluttering someone else’s or adding to a burgeoning garbage pile. Cleaning out and not refilling is the best choice I can make but it seems like even when I have rid myself of access junk, it sneaks back in when I am not looking.
Part of the problem is the size of my home. If I lived in a tiny house, I’d have less room for stockpiling miscellaneous items. In my town, however, home prices are outrageously high and to downsize would mean to return to mortgage payments. Now isn’t that silly? Instead I must analyze the contents of every nook and cranny and then just start hauling. A friend suggested buying several storage bins (you recognize immediately the struggle here with buying rubber tubs to get rid of stuff I don’t need, right?), placing questionable items that I might want in the future in them, and then sealing and stacking them in the storage room or the garage for one year. If I have not missed them after that time, I am to haul them away without peeking because a peek might lead to a removal of items that would then return to my muddle. I decided that while this is an excellent plan, I want to avoid buying junk to store junk to fill my house and garage.
Next week I plan to start my fall/winter reorganization simplification attack. I will unload every closet item, every stick of furniture, every cupboard ingredient, every bit of riffraff, and transport it to the hallway or kitchen counter. Then one by one I will sort and shift until the giveaway pile far exceeds the keep pile. I realize that this project may mean a week or two of absolute disaster in my home and will necessitate several runs to the thrift stores and dump, however I believe this will be the real solution to my own personal simplification project. It makes me antsy and excited with anticipation.
Lack of effective communication within the family is one of the major factors, which results in disharmony. When there is no communication gap among grown-up children, parents and grandparents, it will vindicate the supremacy of human being species. It is not easy to reach the objective, but it is a desirable goal for humanity. The spouses need to win over the ego clashes. These days old parents are practical and more realistic in their expectations from children.
Generation-gap or communication gap
1. We talk of generation gap between parents and children. It originates from variations in preference over: music, movies, socializing habits, spending style, and other priorities in life. Generation gap implies that the parents and grown-up children don’t share life effectively. It leads to communication gap between them. More often than not, there is a communication gap between spouses, which if left unattended, may lead to misunderstandings, resulting in disharmony in relationship.
Grand-parents, Parents, and children
2. There are generation gaps, among grandparents, parents and children. We may attribute the generation gap, to inflation. The grandparents could have a lavish outing or a get-together, in his younger days, at cheaper rates. They avoid outings with grandchildren, for two reasons: first, they think these are,” hell of a costly affair… We can do better with that sort of money at home,” and second, they feel uncomfortable and suffocated in crowded places.
Communication gap with the spouse
3. Whenever there is an ego clash, between spouses, first casualty is spontaneity in communication. There is a second reason too – economic disparity between spouses.
* A financially stronger spouse is often secretive with the other spouse – more so if greedy. This results in communication gap between spouses.
* There is inequality between the spending styles of spouses, which may embarrass the financially weaker partner, while socializing, over minor issues: purchasing gifts, giving tips, and planning outings.
Expectations and communication gap
4. An old person remembers his/her parents and siblings, gratefully, but all alone, because the spouse had limited association with them, and grown up children are busy in their careers and families. We marry, to win over loneliness. Invariably, loneliness is back in old age, as a self-inflicted state of mind. We refuse to: first, give up expectations from children, and second, to forgive the spouse to let bygones be bygones – because we are incapable of forgiving and forgetting.
* In old age, parents – even if financially self-reliant – want to share their life, their old memories, the grand parents, with the grown up children. The thought process is noble, but impractical as the grown up children are busy in their careers and families..
* We had intimacy, with some relations earlier, but now there is zero communication. Realize that the path of your destiny is different. Move on with life.
* Let’s learn from animals. They groom the cubs and once the cubs are self-sufficient, they are on their own, with no invisible chains of expectations attached as bondage.,