4 Ways to Keep Your Kids Entertained on Long Car Trips

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Travelling with kids can be a challenge if you aren’t properly prepared, but with a bit of prior planning you can make your car trip an enjoyable one for the whole family. One of the biggest potential problems you might run into is trying to keep the kids entertained for the whole trip, as they often find it hard to sit back and settle in for hours at a time. Here are some simple ideas on how to keep your kids entertained on long car trips.

Talk Before You Leave

Speaking openly with your kids before you leave on your road trip is a great way to make sure they know what is happening, and can start preparing themselves for it. Tell them about where you’re going, how long it is going to take, and tell them about any interesting landmarks or other points of interest that they can look out for along the way.

Plan Your Stops

Regular stops allow your kids to get out, stretch their legs and work off some off their pent up energy. Try and find a few parks along the way and take a ball or a Frisbee along so everyone can get active and enjoy a 20 minute break. Not only is this great for the kids, but whoever has been driving will benefit from some time away from the wheel as well.

In Car Games

Find some fun games to play that involve the whole family. It helps to have games which incorporate your surrounds, and encourage the kids to be involved in what is happening around them. A classic example of a great game that can keep kids entertained for hours is the old favourite of Eye Spy. Everyone can get involved and have some fun with this simple activity, and it’s a constructive way to pass the time while on a long road trip.

Technology Helps

Last but certainly not least, there’s the magic of technology. With the amazing range of interactive apps on smartphones and tablets, as well as handheld gaming devices such as the DS, there’s always something for the kids to do in the car that will keep them occupied for hours on end. The best option is to mix up the entertainment between social games with the whole family, a bit of physical activity then leaving the kids to their own devices for part of the time as well. With all of these bases covered, you’re bound to have a great family road trip.

Happy and content kids mean that you can all relax and enjoy your car trip together. There’s nothing like a good road trip with your family, and with these simple ideas you can make sure that everyone is enjoying themselves. When you’re hitting the road for a long time, comfort is also an important consideration.

New model cars such as the Suzuki Swift are perfect for long family trips, with top safety features, great handling and impressive passenger and driver comfort. If you have an older model car, make sure you invest in good seat covers and upgrade some of the interior features to ensure that you and the kids will be comfortable and entertained for the entire trip.

Image credit: askamum.co.uk

Top Mistakes to Avoid When Getting Married

Getting married is supposed to be one of the most special moments in a person’s life, however for many, it’s rarely plain sailing. A marriage can’t be left alone to look after itself, and both parties will have to work hard to make it last. There are some traps a number of couples fall into that can undermine the marriage, and a successful relationship will have a number of foundations that both parties respect and care for. If these foundations start to face neglect, then many aspects of the partnership will begin to suffer, resulting in tension, divorce and even hatred.

Communication and Trust

Undoubtedly, these are two of the most important factors to maintain in a marriage. If a couple are unable to communicate, they can’t overcome their problems, especially issues relating to trust. For a marriage to succeed, a couple must be able to trust one another implicitly. One of the main reasons cited in divorces is a breakdown in trust, and a relationship won’t be able to continue if both parties abuse the trust they have in one another.

Successful marriages are based on strong communication, and it’s the responsibility of both parties to make sure they reassure their partner across all aspects of the relationship. By bottling up emotions, you’ll find that honesty and communication take a back seat, ultimately causing family law issues such as divorce.

Respect

The only way to make sure the integrity of marriage as an institution remains intact is to respect your partner; if a couple don’t have respect for one another, then their marriage is sure to fail. In order to get through the conflicts and problems that can arise from being married, mutual respect for one another must remain the highest priority. A couple that finds common ground in their relationship will be able to solve their differences no matter what issues come to light.

Sexual Intimacy

When you first enter into a relationship, there are rarely any problems in the bedroom department. During the first few months and years, you’ll find that your relationship is the most exciting when you and your partner are having regular, intimate sex.

However as many couples discover during their marriage, whether it’s due to their careers, children or other responsibilities, sexual intimacy fails to take priority. A lack of sexual intimacy is a lot more common than people assume, and as expected, a couple’s needs change over time. Sex may not be the most important factor in a relationship, but it’s the best way of promoting your special bond with your partner.

If both parties in a marriage are deprived of sexual intimacy, cracks will begin to appear in your relationship. Marriage counsellors suggest that if couples are having problems with intimacy, it’s most likely down to unconscious fears rather than stubbornness or a conscious choice. In order to maintain a healthy marriage, couples shouldn’t hesitate to discuss their sexual woes. By getting their feelings out in the open, a couple will be able to work towards a solution instead of letting their marriage suffer.

A Dream Fulfilled

I’ve been seeing posts from friends and relatives on their Facebook walls lately sending their wishes and congratulating someone on his graduation. Then I realized, oh yeah it is graduation season once again in my homeland.

I suddenly remembered my own 15 years ago. Actually we just had a small celebration that day. I knew we could not afford a party that time so we had a family dinner in a simple restaurant. But to my surprise my parents gave me a personalized graduation gift. It was a wooden photo frame with my name engraved on it. They told me to put my photo taken when I was receiving my diploma at the stage. I was really happy for the gift because it will hold something that I know was my greatest gift to my parents. Finishing studies was of great importance to us, especially to them. Since we are not rich, I remember clearly how our dad tells me and big bro to finish our studies because education is the only thing they could pass on to us .

I am thankful for my parents for instilling in us the value of education. I have seen their hardships just for us to graduate and I know they are happy that we have fulfilled their dreams for us. And this I will also impart to my kids because knowledge is something that you could be proud of and no one can ever take it away from you.

Dealing With My Anger

I think I’ll be having a heart attack even if I don’t have a heart ailment. For the past few days I’m having problems in disciplining Ryz and I keep on suppressing my anger. I don’t want to physically hurt her but I fear that if this continues I might develop a heart ailment which runs in our blood, by the way. I told hubby about the stress I’m feeling and he told me it’s because I easily get angry. Unlike me, he manages to talk the kids out of something and finds a way for the kids to follow him. He’s got a lot of patience when it comes to our kids which is what I don’t have. Most of the time when I tell them to do something, I wanted them to follow immediately which is not always the case so that irritates me and leads to anger. (Who wouldn’t be angry if you have to convince a four-year old for almost an hour just to take  bath ?) So what can I do to conquer this situation? I have read some articles on anger management and I hope these can help me in this predicament I’m in.

Understanding Anger

Anger is a normal feeling. Every human being can feel such emotion. However, it can lead to various problems – at work, in one’s personal relationship and this could affect one’s quality of life. The feeling is not the problem but it’s how you handle it that makes the difference.

Expressing Anger

We have been used to expressing our anger by venting it out but this can not be always healthy. The healthiest way to express anger is expressing it in an assertive way. But to do this, one must know how to clearly say what his needs are and how to meet those needs without hurting other people. Being assertive is being respectful of oneself and others and not being pushy or demanding.

Relaxation

Relaxation tools can help calm down angry feelings. There are books and courses available that can teach one some relaxation techniques. Relaxing imagery and deep breathing can also aid in toning down such emotion.

Mental Restructuring

This simply means one has to change the way he thinks. One must take note of himself that getting angry isn’t going to fix anything and the situation could only get worse. Thinking logically can help one get over that anger. Think that what you’re experiencing is part of life  and you’re just having those tough times. Everyone wants fairness, appreciation and willingness in doing things their way and it’s but normal to be hurt when we don’t get them. Unfortunately, angry people tend to demand these things and if they don’t get them their disappointment becomes anger. As part of their mental restructuring, these people need to recognize their demanding attitude and transform their expectations to desires. Using “I would like” is better instead of “I must have or “I demand”.

There are still so many tips on how to overcome anger but I guess these are the ones which I can apply now. I hope to be better in handling my emotions towards my kids because I know our relationship will suffer in the future if I continuously do the wrong things towards dealing with them.

Double Strollers for Two Kids in Tow

One thing I noticed with the people here is they love strolling. Even in the coldest weather they would go to the city center or walk in the park. Since many mothers here only have a part-time job, afternoons are spent with their kids in strollers.

Strollers are the most convenient and practical way to bring our kids outdoors and expose them to  different kinds of environment. Letting them see the beauty around us and breathe fresh air. That’s why different features were incorporated on this product for the baby’s comfort. They can be adjusted for a desired elevation so they can be inclined where the baby can sit or rest on proper posture. Locks on its wheels and harnesses for the child’s safety. Functionality is also a feature wherein strollers were designed with compartments for ease of access for the baby’s needs. If you have two kids then you can have double strollers.

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Double strollers also function as the standard strollers. However few downsides are some models are difficult to steer and manipulate curbs and won’t fit in through doors particularly the side-by-side type. Nevertheless they still offer convenience especially when you have twins or two uncontrollable children in tow. When it comes to traveling double strollers save you space since you need not bring two for both of your kids. They also save you money and energy for they are convenient to use and easy to keep.

Strollers will always be a part of every child’s life so let’s make them enjoy what this product can offer.

 

 

 

My Future Equestrienne?

A horseback ride has always been present when there are festivities here in our city. Kids always love to ride on these horses. Lucky me Ryz is never scared of it, she just loves it. She would even stand in line on her own just to have that ride. Even when we’re driving and she sees someone who’s horseback riding, she would scream and feel happy seeing one. For her love of it, can she be an equestrienne someday? I wonder how would she look in her chaps. Hihi..

But before I think of how she would look like, I think I should know what she needs to become an equestrienne. There have been tips on how to be a professional equestrian, or in my case equestrienne. It isn’t just riding well. They say that aside from the talent, attitude is also important. How motivated are you to become a professional in this field of sport? And while being a student, you have to learn the styles of all, if not of the majority of the top riders. By observing their techniques you can learn eventually and apply those techniques to your own horse. You have to listen and have a grasp of what experienced people say. But still, attitude is the most important because these techniques can be acquired and it will depend on your desire to learn.

Now here are what you’ll need before you can ride. Riding is a risky sport so you have to be properly equipped and protected. Aside from the chaps or the boots, you’ll need also helmets. Not only an ordinary helmet but it should be approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). You’ll also need jodhpurs. Although these are not necessary, they allow for a fuller range of motion than most pants at the same time avoiding the saddle sores you might get from riding in jeans or thinner tights. There are caldene jodhpurs which fit to your planned use, either just for your yard work or for training or competition. You should look for strong, attractive fabric. If possible with fabrics technologically incorporated into the seat and thigh panels for breathability. Another apparel is the jacket. Material of a riding jacket varies depending on the weather. You may opt for a lightweight jackets or waistcoats for warmer weather or the quilted types for autumn or winter. Navy or tweed, caldene jackets have these styles and material and are of good quality.

For now, riding horses could just be a play time for Ryz. But I believe that with independence and strong will as her strengths, she can achieve her goals and be whatever she wants to be.

Im home…

I’m home… But not for the same reason I originally planned. I got nervous last Saturday when SIL sent me a message in Facebook to go online in Skype because she had to tell me something about my mom.  She then informed me that my dad called my brother crying and said that mom wasn’t waking up. Brother came to our home with an ambulance and sent her to the hospital. Good thing mom finally woke up but unresponsive. My mom had a stroke again. She can’t talk, can’t eat and with just a blank stare and expression on her face. Now she has to eat thru a tube passing thru her nose. Of all the many strokes that my mom had, I can say that this is the worst. Sunday I booked a flight to Manila. Everybody can understand why I had to go home. Eventually the inevitable will happen, we just don’t know when and I don’t want to come home with mom not seeing me anymore.

From the airport I came straight to the hospital. My dad was surprised, first when he saw my mother-in-law visiting at 12midnight. He then stared at me for a few seconds and cried when he finally recognized me. He didn’t know I’ll come home because only me, my brother and in-laws knew my plan. Mom saw me, and just stared. Then I introduced myself, asked her if she still recognize me. I told my name over and over and over, telling her “Andito na ‘ko, Ma. Di ba huling usap natin sabi nyo umuwi na ‘ko?” (I’m already here, Ma. Isn’t it the last time we talked you told me to come home?”) And then she cried. I can’t cry. I can’t show my weakness to someone who needs my strength.

If you ask me how’s my relationship with my mom, I’ll tell you it was not good. Like what they say, “Same poles repel”. We are the same. We have the same attitude. We are both sensitive but tactless. We both know how each others’ minds work maybe that’s why we always clash. I’d say maybe we just never appreciated what we did for each other or… we just didn’t know how to show it. I don’t know why… Maybe because of the manner of discipline she used on us. I feared her. That’s why we never had that mother-daughter relationship. I usually envy those I see on TV where moms and daughters are best friends. There were no communication. And as I grow up I would always say I’ll never be like her. Yes, it was that bad.

I remember what one of my older officemates told me when I opened up my problem with my mom, “When you become a mom, you’ll know.” When I became a full-time mom I realized how hard it is. You wanted everything right. You wanted everything that’s best for your children. You would not do anything that could hurt them. That’s what mom did. She cooked delicious food (which unfortunately I did not learn) for us and was the best! Washed our clothes meticulously, she doesn’t want us not to look good in public. Her strictness, although made us fear her gave our lives a direction. We finished studies and did not go astray.  This is what I am most thankful for. Although it may not be the way I would have wanted, still I’m thankful that my life went well while I’m with her. I think the most important thing that we missed to have in our relationship is communication and that’s what I’m trying to do with my kids. I’m doing my best to have a good relationship with them, as a mom and as a friend.

Appreciation, I think is one of the most important things we forget to do especially to our parents. We tend to take them for granted thinking that they will always be there for us. For me, now is the best time to show my appreciation to my mom. Her condition is now stabilized. I know this could be late what with wasted 34 years with her. I only have three weeks to stay here. But three weeks will never be too short to start again for a better relationship.

Safety first

Yesterday, I decided to go the supermarket nearby with my kids. Now that they have  their own scooters it’s easier for me to persuade them to go out unlike before because they’re lazy to walk. On our way to the grocery we had to pass a downhill street which is kind of steep. Ryz went so fast that she fell. Good thing nothing serious happened to her. Only her eyeglasses got broken. I thought, we should buy them both helmets for their safety. Something worse could happen, right? So they need helmets that could give them superb protection like the Gmax helmets I saw when I browsed online.

My kids on their scooters.

There could be many helmets available in store, pricey you might say but there’s nothing expensive when you talk about safety and lives.

3 Ways

Just to show you how quiet (boring) our street, named Franz-Schubert Strasse, is. This was taken in front of our house. Since it wasn’t too sunny that day (actually, it was cloudy and about to rain), I let my kids play outside. They didn’t want to go to the park so they settled in our garage.

go straight and you'll reach the kids' Kindergarten
5-min walk to the main thoroughfare
a less than 10min walk to the playground

Although I thought of our place as boring, its nearness to nature and away from the fast life of the big cities plus a very, very low criminality rate I still think it’s a good place to rear my kids.

For

Round eyes

It’s a sad day for me. We went to an Ophthalmologist today to have the kids’ eyes checked. Their Pediatrician suggested that Ryz’s eyes be seen by a specialist because when she underwent for physical check up last June, her eye exam didn’t do good. Since I noticed that Zyc has this mannerism of regular blinking I thought of having his eyes also checked. The result, thank God Zyc still has a good vision. But for Ryz, sadly we found out that her right eye has an Astigmatism. It has a 5.50 “grade”, too high as against her left eye’s 0.50. I almost cried when the doctor told me his findings. She really has adorable round eyes. They’re her most beautiful asset I would say. Now, she has to start wearing eyeglasses to correct her vision. She’s too young for that. But still I’m thankful that it was detected this early. I thought of blaming myself why this happened. I may not be entirely at fault but I know I also am part of it. I googled the causes of Astigmatism especially in kids and I found out that this refractive error may be hereditary as some experts suggest.

So how do we know if our kids have Astigmatism? These symptoms could help:

* Position their head by tilting or turning in order to see better
* Headache
* Discomfort in eye
* Trouble keep focused on words

(http://www.a3eye.com/astigmatism-in-children-the-causes-symptoms-and-treatment-options.html)

If you see one of these signs on your kid, better have his/her eyes checked. The earlier detected the better.