Fur Babies & Real Babies

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Are you expecting a real baby, but also have a well loved fur baby already at home? While you are preparing for yourself and your healthy baby, don’t forget about the wellness of your animal at home. There are a lot of changes happening in their life whether the baby has arrived or not! To prepare your pet for a new baby at home, here are a few things to check off your list:

  • Animal Wellness & Preventative Pet Care Check Ups – Are they up to date on all of their shots, and feeling well? If something is off with your dog or cat, why don’t you schedule a vet appointment.
  • Dental Care – Healthy gums and teeth are vital to your pet. While you are there for their wellness exam, have their teeth and gums checked out as well.

With these two steps under your belt, you know your pet is well taken care of and up to date so you can rest easy focusing on the new baby! Now, to prepare your animal and baby to meet is another process! Here are a few tips and tricks to help ease into their new best friend relationship.

  • Establish dominance. If you have not already, and work out any unwanted habits your animal may still be having issues with.
  • Claim your babies scent. Bring an item that contains your baby’s scent, such as a burp cloth, from the hospital before bringing home the baby.
  • Controlled introduction. Drain all of your pet’s energy out of them so they are the most calm. Parents must be holding the baby in a very calm state. Slowly let the animals get closer and closer to the baby when you both feel comfortable.
  • Teach your baby. When your child is old enough, supervise and teach respectful rules on how to handle your family dog or cat.
  • Don’t forget about your pet when the baby arrives. Remember to provide extra attention to them during nap time, walks, etc.

With keeping your animal healthy and trained, it should be a breeze to introduce your loved dog or cat to your new baby. Remember the baby’s safety is most important, and if professional training is required, please keep that in mind as a baby is very fragile. Your local vet should be able to assist with check ups and advice in other tips on introducing babies to your fur babies.

Swimming Lessons For A Baby?

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Yes, you read that title right. Swimming lessons for a baby is something every parent needs to highly consider. With the risk of being near water at any point in their life, it is important for your child to know how to swim. Many pool facilities offer swimming lessons for parents and children, and then just children as they grow older.

This specific one, by SwimRVA, offers Parent and Child classes for ages 6 months to 36 months. It provides the opportunity for babies and toddlers to get comfortable around the water. Learning safety and the basics of breath control, floating and kicking let’s your baby enjoy a new activity! If you aren’t quite ready for your newborn to be in a pool, they do offer more classes for ages 3 years to 5 years. Their preschool classes has different levels to ensure they can independently move throughout the water.

Like most swim schools, SwimRVA puts a lot of emphasis on pool safety, so they know what to do in any situation regarding water. Not only is it a healthy activity for children, but also knowledgeable for their growth. Not to mention, getting over any fears of water will be a big help for the summer pool time, or beach vacations in the future. Let your kid and you feel comfortable with their swimming skills to have a relaxing and safe time.

Lastly, this specific swim school provides lessons for ages 6-12 years. With the guidance of our swim coaches, your children will start to learn specific swimming stokes and get even more comfortable in the water. If they continue to have a passion for swimming, swim teams are usually the next step. For a wonderful cardio workout to keep your kids active, a swim team usually offers spots for all ages.

If you, as a parent, are slightly worried about the water or don’t have strong swimming skills yourself they provide adult classes too. Be prepared for pool safety and basic instructions to reassure you can swim with your baby, swim to save a child, or swim as exercise. Call your local swimming facility and get your whole family signed up today. It is never too early to start thinking about the danger AND fun of the water!

Replacement Window Trends For 2018

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It’s 2018! At the start of a new year, many people think of various home improvements they’d like to tackle over the next twelve months and make a list to see which ones are needs, which ones are wants, and which ones are realistic goals. You can then create a timeline for home improvement projects to set goals for budgeting and time commitment.

If you’re looking at replacing your home’s windows, now is a great time to start planning. Window replacement is a great way to make stylistic and functional improvements to your home. Here are the top trends for replacement windows in 2018!

Sustainability

Sustainable windows are the way of the future! People are purchasing windows with modern composite materials like Fibrex®, because they are made of PVC and reclaimed wood fiber. Not only is this better for the environment, but they’re stronger than traditional wood frames and are low-maintenance like vinyl frames. This means they’ll last much longer than frames made from wood or vinyl, and offer a much better return on investment.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency should be a priority for every home owner! Not only does this help out the environment by using less energy, it also cuts down on your monthly power bills. In fact, upgrading to energy efficient windows can save up to 12% on your energy costs every month. When looking for replacement windows, look for ones that are built with high performance glass to improve insulation in your home.

More Sunlight

Larger windows with smaller frames will be big in 2018. Large picture window, bay windows, and bow windows s look great inside and out, and offer a greater view of the outside area than traditional windows. They also let more natural light into your home, bathing the interior in warm sunlight, making the colors in your upholstery and furniture pop.

picture windows

Greater Detail

Want to make your home stand out from the crowd? Adding accoutrements and design details to your windows will put a unique spin on your home’s façade. Look for replacement window companies that offer a variety of customization options for their frames, like grill patterns, hardware choices, and different finishes and colors.

Finding The Best Windows

It’s easy to search for window replacement companies in your area. Just pull up Google in your favorite web browser and conduct a search for a service, followed by the nearest city. For instance, if you live in Virginia Beach, you’d type in “windows virginia beach” and you’ll get a list of companies in your area that install replacement windows. Make sure to do your due diligence and review each one’s website, customer reviews, and certifications to ensure they’re a good fit. Happy window hunting!

Unable To Get Pregnant?

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Unable To Get Pregnant?

Unforunately, getting pregnant is not always easy for everyone. If you have experienced/experiencing infertility, low sperm, or other issues with conceiving. A place like IVF Phoenix, may be the answer for you. They provide multiple procedures that will help bring that baby home your family has always wanted.

Unexplained Infertility

Imagine this scenario: A couple is having trouble conceiving. They have gone step by step through the raft of customary tests and the “mechanics”, as Dr. Couvaras from IVF Phoenix calls them, are all in working order; the ovaries are plentiful, the sperm is strong. In cases like these, the next phase would be IVF. If the ovarian reserve testing is abnormal, then there are recommendations to consider IVF with donor eggs. It is a long, emotionally and financially fraught process that, despite upwards of three and four tries, will not be successful. Says Dr. Couvaras; ‘The ovary behaves as if it is dead or dying, but it may only be deaf. The trick learning to talk differently to it.”

Low Sperm & Infertility

Male infertility is one of the reasons a couple can’t conceive. Male Infertility is a syndrome encompassing a wide variety of disorders. Recognition of a male factor influence in an infertile partnership is often delayed because women have traditionally been the primary focus of the infertility evaluation. Men are much more reluctant to seek advice. Men are also more apt to confuse fertility with sexual potency, ejaculation and ability to perform sexually, and they assume that if they produce seminal fluid at orgasm then they also produce sperm.

Options?

One of your options is IVF-ET. IVF-ET is probably the most well known of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Otherwise known as “test tube baby.” IVF-ET has helped many infertile couples conceive and bear children for more than a decade. Originally IVF-ET was developed to help couples overcome infertility due to a problem with a woman’s fallopian tubes. Now it has become a useful treatment option with other factors such as immunological problems or unexplained infertility.

For more information on what may be the problem for not getting pregnant, or what options you may have moving forward, give a fertility expert a call. They will be able to diagnose the problem and provide a solution to becoming a parent.

Replacing Old Windows for a More Comfortable Home

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Three years ago, my wife and I bought a home in Raleigh, NC – a bit of a fixer-upper, but one with good bones in a nice neighborhood in an up-and-coming city. Since then, we’ve made several improvements to the home – it’s a lot more welcoming and comfortable. And then a year ago, we learned that there would be a whole new kind of addition to our home – a bouncing baby girl.

Almost immediately after getting the news, we began re-envisioning our home with a baby – and later, a child – in mind. We imagined floors as soft places to land, yards as inviting places to play. And we began planning to make a wonderful room for our little girl. At first, we thought about themes and furniture and colors. And then we realized: Our baby’s room was the least comfortable space in the house. That would have to change.

Before our girl arrived, her room was used as a catch-all, functioning as a storage space more than anything. Neither my wife nor I spent much time in the room. As a result, we weren’t overly bothered by the excessive heat in the summer or the cold in the winter. The main problem was the windows. The room featured four of them – all single-pane and all pretty old. We started planning to replace our windows – all of them – before our girl arrived.

We did our research. After a short while, we limited our replacement window options to those which were certified by Energy Star and highly energy-efficient. We looked at double and triple-pane windows, and ultimately decided that the former was a better deal for us.

While triple-pane windows are more efficient than double-pane, they’re also more expensive; given the expected savings on our energy bills, it would take three or four more years to recoup an investment in triple-pane, as opposed to double. We want to stay in our home for years to come, but we still liked the idea of getting our money back sooner rather than later.

Rather than invest in triple-panes, we opted for a premium, Low-E window coating. This coating reduces the amount of heat-producing light that can penetrate the window. That meant our little girl’s room wouldn’t be uncomfortably warm in the summertime. Our windows, with their brand-new seals and precise installation, also promised to provide a cozier space in winter; drafts would be eliminated, and the glass coating would keep winter heat from escaping.

The installers at Renewal by Andersen of Central NC were fantastic. We had to wait a few weeks for our custom replacement windows to be built. But they fit the window spaces really well, which made for a fast installation process. The crew started early and worked late, but the old windows were replaced with the new in just one day. We were very pleased.

While we can’t yet say how much of a difference the windows will make this winter, we can say that our little girl’s room has been comfier throughout late summer and into early fall. We’ve had a couple of cold mornings, and I’m happy to say that the replacement windows have been draft-free. Even our backyard and the surrounding neighborhood looks a little nicer through these new windows. Someday, our little girl will enjoy that.

Interesting And Doable Renovation Projects For Your New Home

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Moving into your new home? If you have a fixer-upper in your hands, you may be pretty excited at the renovation possibilities waiting for you once you move in. There’s nothing like being able to put your own personal stamp on your home, especially if by doing so, you make these spaces look better and increase the value of your home at the same time. If you are planning on making some changes to your new home once you move in, whether big or small, here are some ideas to get you started.

Front Door Replacement

This project will barely make a dent in your renovation budget but can give you up to 90% return on costs. A new door painted in fresh, crisp white or any vibrant color is an instant boost to your curb appeal. Popular options for 2017 include doors with stone veneers and secure steel doors. If you have any DIY experience you can easily install one yourself or have a professional do the installation for you.

Hardwood Floors

hardwood floor

If you are moving into a house with drab and tacky wall-to-wall carpeting, you can switch to hardwood for a classier look and projected returns on renovation costs for up to 91%. Do not spring for laminate or engineered wood options since these are not as hardy as the real thing and therefore will not last long. Oak is a favorite among many home buyers, which can be a big advantage if you want to keep your resale options open. Hardwood floor replacements are not for every home, however. They are suitable for flooring that are cost-effective to replace, such as vinyl flooring or carpeting. Stone or tile flooring, for example, give character to any room and are costlier to replace so you may be better off doing renovations in other areas of the house.

Minor Kitchen Remodel

If you are already living in the house, you can still give your kitchen a decent makeover. A basic renovation with kitchen resurfacing, replacement of countertops and cabinet doors and installation of energy-efficient appliances can give your kitchen a total facelift in a matter of days. This is ideal if your kitchen has outdated appliances and you want to make exterior changes that will not require too much time.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Traditional windows are notoriously bad at temperature regulation and they may have lost their visual appeal years ago. If your new home stills sports drafty single-pane windows, it is time to make the switch to energy-efficient panels that are lighter, easier on the eyes, and designed to increase your home’s energy efficiency. Energy Star-rated windows can save up to $500 in heating costs annually. With the installation of energy efficient window panels, you can expect to recoup costs by up to 90%.

Bathroom Remodel or Addition

The number of bathrooms in a house figures significantly in its value. This is why a bathroom remodel or addition is a great idea if you want to increase your home value and recoup a large portion of the costs down the road. According to HGTV, homeowners can recoup up to 130% of costs with a single bathroom addition. Bathroom additions are perfect if you have extra rooms or extra spaces that are large enough for a simple bathroom or half-bath, which requires at least 18 square feet of space. Wary about costs ballooning out of control? You can opt for generic bathroom fixtures and accessories to avoid spending too much on this project.Bathroom Remodel

Deck Additions

Deck additions are a great option especially if your family is already living in the house. Since this is an outdoor project, there is minimal interference with daily activities done indoors. Deck additions make your yard more appealing and utilize otherwise unused and wasted space. And with more and more families opting for staycations, having a deck makes your home the perfect place to unwind, relax,and even entertain friends during the holidays. According to HGTV, homeowners who opt for a deck in the backyard can recoup their building costs by up to 90%. The good thing is that costs can vary widely depending on the size of the space, the type of deck you want and the kind of materials you need. Installing a deck, therefore, does not automatically mean that this project is going to burn a hole through your wallet. Homeowners with DIY experience can save on costs by building parts or the entire deck themselves. You can also pair up with a professional if you want to cut on the construction costs if you are not too confident about doing the entire work yourself.

Home renovations can be fun and exciting. They can also be financially practical, given that you can increase your house’s resale value with each project. Start with these ideas today and see how each of these can transform your home.

Hosting A Baby-Themed Home Party

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HomeParty2

Hosting a Home Party

Presentation Parties for Direct Sales Events

Whether you are hosting a Pampered Chef event, a Silpada jewelry showcase, a CAbi trunk show or an Arbonne anti-aging skin care class, there are many similarities that can help you host your own event with panache.

Follow the suggestions below and not only will your guests have a fun evening, but you could earn some fantastic hostess benefits too!

HomeParty1

Deciding to Host

In order to host an event at your home and invite your friends to shop, you must feel strongly about the company or the products that will be offered.

Take the time to sample enough products so that you can provide compelling testimony supporting the company’s benefits.

A good independent consultant will provide you with a wide cross-section of sample products. If the consultant is leery to do so, you may want to look at supporting a different company.

Select a day and time that will ensure the best attendance for your event. If you know lots of working women, a weekend or evening event is generally more successful.

However, don’t discount a shorter class at a restaurant over lunch or with appetizers and drinks immediately following work.

If you are inviting stay-at-home moms, schedule your event during the school day or take advantage of Dad’s babysitting by planning the class for a weekday evening.

Most at-home parties only require one or two rooms, so don’t feel you must have your entire home cleaned, sanitized and repainted. Take care of two rooms plus the bathroom, and call it a day!

If you need to, hire a carpet cleaning company to come through your home and take care of any potential stains or dirty floors.

Keep any food and beverage setups to a minimum. A direct selling consultant does not want the class to be overshadowed by your catered, Martha Stewart-esque delicacies.

Plus, you don’t want to make your friends scared to host their own events!

HomeParty2

Invitations

Although you may want to create your own hand-stamped or computer-generated invitation, follow the lead and advice of your independent consultant.

She has been trained in the protocol that is most successful with her specific organization, so defer to her guidelines.

However, you can help significantly by providing your guest list, (complete with names, email address, home address and phone number), to the consultant at least three weeks prior to the event.

Generally this will give her enough time to send out the invitations and follow up with a phone call to confirm attendance. You can help the process by telling your friends about the fun event you’re hosting, and to expect the invitation shortly.

Experts feel that it takes three invitations to the same event to garner the highest acceptance rate.

This statement does not mean your friends don’t like you or that they don’t want to attend your class. It just is an indication that everyone is busy and that your event is not yet on their radar.

Building Bonds Between Babies & Seniors

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When you’re expecting a new child into your household, it can be a huge milestone as a family, adding in a new member. If you happen to have elderly parents or family members who are involved in your household, it’s even more of a momentous occasion, as you’re able to have a large variety of family interactions that can help build meaningful, lasting relationships and bonds between family members, both new and old.

A new life can bring joy and happiness to all family members, not just immediate ones. When seniors are involved with the lives and upbringing of their grandchildren, they are more likely to be happier and live more fulfilling lives on their own. There have been numerous studies that show that seniors who are active in the lives and activities of their families are leading more enjoyable lives that are truly letting them be content. After a lifetime of looking after others, raising their own family, and being at the head of family-related matters, looking down at a new generation brings an immense sense of pride and accomplishment. Whether you are involved with your senior parents at your own house, or through a senior care agency, bringing them to be involved with your baby is important!

It’s absolutely vital when bringing a new child into this world that you involve the grandparents if possible. Creating relationships and allowing grandparents to interact with the child will bring peace and happiness to not only yourself, but the grandparents, and eventually, the young child as well. Building strong, lasting bonds with different generations is a great foundation for building a healthy, vibrant family. There are a variety of activities that you can pursue with seniors that involve children that can help them grow and flourish and lead to great bonds.

Our top choices for activities between babies and seniors include:

  1. Day Out At The Park – One of the easiest, most relaxing activities for both a senior and a child include heading out to the park to take advantage of a beautiful day. Regardless of any activities you may have planned at the park, simply walking around and being outdoors is a great bonding experience, regardless of the age. Grab a few friends, and their babies too, and make it a group outing!
  2. Relaxing At Home – An alternative to heading out to the park, if you aren’t up for going out into a potentially crowded area, you may want to just hang out at home and relax as a family. Depending on the age of the seniors, and mental and physical conditions, this may be the better choice than heading out to the park.

Newborns and seniors are the opposite ends of a generation. There are both beginnings and endings involved in the family, but it’s absolutely vital that both are together, in sync and cooperating. Building a valuable, lasting bond can be a huge factor in both the baby and the senior living wholesome, fulfilling lives.

Preparing Your Carpets for a New Baby

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When you’ve got a new baby on the way there is a ton of preparation that goes into getting your household ready for its newest member. One thing that often gets left off the list is making sure your carpets are clean and safe for a baby to be crawling around on. It may be sometime before your little one is crawling around the house, but it’ll be sooner than you think.

Why is it Important to Clean my Carpets?

Carpets can harbor all sorts of harmful bacteria, dust mites, and allergens that can cause health problems for adults, and even more so for a baby’s weaker immune system. Dirty carpets can cause rashes, allergy issues, and in serious cases asthma. Obviously, you want to make sure that your home is a clean, safe space for your baby, which is why a professional carpet cleaning should make it on your list for new baby preparation.

One of the best things about having your carpets professionally cleaned is the fact that you don’t really have to do anything other than schedule the appointment. Most carpet cleaning companies will take care of moving furniture and any other prep, and you can relax and let them take care of business.

A deep cleaning from a company like Curtice Chem-Dry, will eliminate allergens, dust mites, pet dander, ground in dirt, and stains from your carpets, making your home look and smell fabulous in addition to making it safer and healthier for you and your family. Make sure you choose a company that uses certified non-toxic cleaning solutions to ensure that your carpet is safe for your new baby. Chem-Dry is one of the leading brands that provides non-toxic, green certified carpet cleaning services that are completely safe for children and pets alike.

How Often Should I Get My Carpets Cleaned?

Of course carpet cleaning falls into a long list of other tasks that need to be completed in preparation for a new baby, but it remains one of the more important items on the list. The cost of a professional carpet cleaning is much less than the costs of pediatric bills to take care of rashes or asthma down the line, not to mention it will make your home significantly healthier for you as well. Since babies spend a lot of their first couple years in close contact with the floor, it’s a good idea to plan ahead and schedule cleaning appointments well in advance to make sure you’re up to date on your carpet cleaning.

Most companies recommend getting your carpets cleaned once every 6 months or so, but you could probably get away with every 10-12 months, it just depends on how many family members, pets, etc. you have in your home. If you host parties frequently, you might want to have them cleaned more often. If it’s just you and your significant other, and you are relatively clean, you could probably space them out a little more. It all just depends on your situation.

How Does it Work?

You may be asking yourself, “Why can’t I just vacuum regularly and get the same effects?” which is a reasonable question to have, especially after looking at the price of a professional carpet cleaning. The truth is, a standard consumer vacuum cleaner simply doesn’t have the suction necessary to really clean your floors. They pick up surface debris and larger crumbs and stuff, but when it comes to getting all of the ground in allergens, dirt, and dust, it just can’t compete with commercially rated cleaning equipment.

Most carpet cleaning companies use some sort of solution, in addition to stronger vacuum equipment, that breaks down any bacteria and allergens in your carpets and brings them to the surface where they can be whisked away by powerful suction. That means your carpets will take some time to dry, but many companies like Chem-Dry boast short dry times of a few hours.

Conclusion

In short, you want to make sure your house is as healthy as possible for your new baby. Babies are complicated enough to take care of without having the extra stress of infant allergies or a mysterious rash from crawling on the carpet. Do yourself a favor and schedule a carpet cleaning shortly before your due date to ensure that your carpets are safe from day 1. It’s as easy as picking up the phone and calling your local carpet cleaner to get a quote, and then they’ll take care of the rest! Now you just have the rest of your preparation to do list to worry about.

Keeping Your Home Comfortable

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When you are a new parent, every minute of peace and quiet counts, and any possible steps that you can take to increase those valuable minutes is extremely useful. With a new child that is experiencing the world for the firs time, it is easy for them to become uncomfortable because of the climate or environment within your home, whether it is too dry, too hot, too cold, or a mix of all of the above.

It is important that you take the proper steps to ensure that your home is a comfortable environment for your newborn, especially if you happen to have a house that may be a little older and more worn and susceptible to the outside conditions.

Attic & Crawl Space Ventilation/Insulation

There are a few steps you can take to help keep the climate inside your home at a comfortable level, such as:

  1. Weatherproofing your home by installing seals and strips around your door gaps, and ensuring that any holes or minor seams within window panes and door frames are filled or covered. This will help immensely, and will also help regulate your utility bills when the time comes, during both the winter and summer months.
  2. An often overlooked option for older homes is to have new insulation and ventilation systems put in. When homes age, the wood within the attic, and basement, tends to warp, crack, and become prone to mold and mildew build up because of humidity and moisture. To ensure that your home is healthy and the air inside is as pure as possible for your child, it can be a great idea to reach out to an attic insulation or crawl space ventilation company to have a consultation completed, and to verify that the climate inside of your home isn’t filled with potentially harmful toxins. Choosing a great, local attic and crawl space ventilation and insulation company such as House Rangers (http://www.houserangers.com/), can be the best choice for you.
  3. Consistently maintaining a clean area inside your home is a vital step! Taking the time to vacuum, mop, and wipe down your home’s interior will provide a huge boost in comfort immediately. It’s important to not let the dust and grime in your home get to uncontrollable levels, because then you may have to call in a company to take care of the issue.

No matter which option you may decide to pursue, keeping the interior atmosphere and environment of your home is extremely important to having a healthy, happy baby! The last thing you want to expose your newborn child to is a house full of mildew and mold-filled air. It can also be a good idea to potentially invest in an air purifier, depending on the area you live in, and your home’s air quality.