Category Archives: Family

Thinking About Baby Names? Think About These Tips!

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Thinking About Baby Names? Think About These Tips!

Names are important, but what do they mean? Choosing a name for your child may seem like one of the most challenging parts of being pregnant (aside from labor, of course). Choosing a name for your baby should be based on what is important to you. Are you looking for something unique, traditional, or somewhere in between? Although we can’t choose a baby’s name for you, you could choose to use a name generator, pull your favorites from a hat, or choose a family name. You may also want to follow some of these tips:

What Potential Does The Name Have For Growth?

Even though you’re naming a baby, it’s important that the name you choose can grow with him or her beyond infancy. You may think your baby name is really cute…but can you imagine it on an adult? Practice saying it aloud and if it feels any way other than perfect, you might want to reconsider.

What Is The Popularity Of The Name?

If you hear someone call out your name in a crowd, have you ever realized they aren’t actually speaking to you? Choose a name that is popular for your little one and you may experience this problem. There are numerous ways to find out what names are popular, so do not worry! One last thought, popular names are usually loved by their owners!

Would You Like A Unique Name?

Some parents may choose a completely unique name for their baby in order to avoid popularity altogether! When it comes to this approach, it might be best to try it out first. If you go to a coffee shop, tell the barista the name you want. Do they sound like they are calling it out when they do so? Were they wrong about the pronunciation? The spelling was correct? Finding out if your child might experience difficulties with a name that sounds “too different” in later life is easy to discover. You shouldn’t feel ashamed of being original, though!

Are You Interested In Honoring A Family Member?

Pass on the name of an influential family member as a wonderful way to honor them! As a child, did you have a favorite grandparent? Your baby could be named after her in honor of her legacy. You can also use a family name as inspiration.

Do You And Your Partner Agree?

Finding a name that you both like isn’t easy – much less one that your partner also loves! When it comes to naming, it’s important to be on the same page. You might consider this compromise if you are having trouble making up your mind: One parent names the first baby, then the other names the second. Or one names the first, and the other names the middle.

Think creatively and a bit logically too and you will figure out the perfect name for your little one!

Featured Image By: Tatiana Syrikova from Pexels

How To Support Musical Children

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How To Support Musical Children

Music can be beneficial to children in many different ways. Playing or listening to music can be an enjoyable thing to do together, a way for children to learn new skills, develop their creativity, and explore their emotions. If your child has shown an interest in becoming a musician, how can you best support them?

Encourage Listening Skills:

Getting children to begin to enjoy exploring music can be a fun thing for the two of you to do together. As you listen to music, ask your child to describe to you what they can hear so they can start to work on their listening skills. Choose a piece of music you think they will like and ask them questions as you listen. Ask them questions like:

  • What sounds can you hear?
  • How would you describe this piece of music?
  • How does this piece of music make you feel?

Having these conversations can also help your child to begin to build their communication skills as they find the right words to describe things to you.

Play Along To Music:

Children love making noise, and a musical instrument along with something like Moon River sheet music can be a good way to channel that interest in noise into something more creative. Encourage them to play along with a song they enjoy so they can think about the different parts of the music. Suggest they try to play as loudly and then as quietly as they can with different ways of making sound such as clapping or tapping a pan with a spoon.

Another fun game to help them to build an understanding of beat and volume is to ‘wake’ a sleeping toy. Using one of their stuffed animals, ask the child to wake it up by playing loudly and make the toy go to sleep by playing softly. You could also move the toy around in time with the beat.

Move To Music:

Children often really love to dance, and you can support this with an enjoyment of music. Tempo is the speed in music, and children can get a good grasp of what this means by exploring it with their movements. Put on music and encourage your child to move as they listen. Watch to see what they do, then join in with them by copying their ideas. By mimicking their ideas, they will see that you value and are interested in what they think.

For some children, physically responding to the music might feel more natural than playing instruments or talking about music. Offer them lots of different genres of music to listen to and see how they respond and move to different kinds of music. You might be surprised by what they actually enjoy the most. Music that has a range of tempos in it can be great fun.

Try listening to music from around the world too, from a range of cultures. This is a good way to explore music and encourage them to have a conversation with you about different cultures too.

Whether your child wants to be a rock star, a dancer, or just loves to listen to music, supporting this will be amazing fun for the both of you!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Educational Ideas To Amuse The Kids Over The Summer

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Educational Ideas To Amuse The Kids Over The Summer

The school summer holidays can be tricky for parents. How do you keep your kids amused for all that time without turning them into couch potatoes? Remember that learning shouldn’t stop during summer break, so try out the following activities:

Make screen time count:

Parents are always being told not to give their kids too much screen time. But it can be hard to stick to this sometimes, especially when you have work calls and the kids need to be entertained. Rather than feel bad about it, try and find ways to make screen time educational. Not necessarily by putting on a documentary but by using the screen time to develop other skills in your children.

For example, say you’ve let them watch a movie. Afterwards, depending on their age, get them to draw some characters from the movie or explain what happened in it to you. You could even have them write a story about what happens next when the movie is over. By doing this, you’re encouraging your children to think creatively and develop their language and drawing skills too. If they have toys that come from the programs they watch, like the Super Wings transforming vehicle toys, then they can act out the show with these afterwards.

Create busy bags:

Stop the “there’s nothing to do” complaints by creating busy bags for the kids. You simply put a selection of arts and crafts materials, print outs, and toys in a bag. Make a big deal out of it so that they are excited when they get their next busy bag to avoid the boredom blues.

Have them train for the mini-Olympics:

Even though the Olympics have been very different this year due to the pandemic, they still inspire people all over the world to get involved with sports and games. Why not try and get your kids excited about sports and have them train for their own mini Olympics in the backyard. Not only will it keep them occupied but it will keep them fit too. You can hold a competition and give out medals to help achieve more Olympic vibes.

Arrange virtual play dates:

Chances are, some of your children’s friends have parents working from home too. Arrange with them to have a virtual play date, where you can set up a Zoom call and just let them talk or do parallel play for a while. It will keep them occupied and give them much-needed social interaction too.

Let them amuse themselves:

Obviously, we’re not recommending you just leave your kids without supervision. But there is something to be said about letting kids use their own imaginations to play. We seem to be in a world where people are telling us that we have to keep children stimulated with planned activities every day. Free play is very important for children and helps them to develop a lot of important skills and their imaginations.

Summer break is not over yet. Use the ideas above to make the rest of summer vacation the best for your kids!

Featured Image By: Sigmund on Unsplash

Garden Tours

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Garden Tours

Hi! My dad is, hands down, the best gardener in the world and has a million green thumbs. Whenever I’m over at my parents, I always enjoy our “Garden Tours”. My dad and I will walk through the backyard together and check on the progress of his flowers and veggies. There is something new to see every time and it never gets old! Take a look at some pics from our backyard stroll and keep in mind that it was all done by a man who recently broke his dominant arm. Like I said, my dad is the best gardener in the world. ❤

My dad’s garden is home to many creatures both real and fake. There are bunnies, butterflies, bees, and bats as well as all of the decorative birds, lizards, frogs, and gnomes! My niece loves to play outside and my dad is always on the hunt for new lawn decorations to surprise her with as she is partial to the fake flamingo he has. It is also so much fun to look for bunnies and butterflies with her. 🙂

A few weeks ago, we had a family visit to the Kingwood Center Gardens in Mansfield. The botanical gardens were splendid, but I don’t think they have anything on my dad’s backyard and I live for our Garden Tours. What a guy!

What are you growing in your garden? What is your favorite flower? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Sweet Surprises: Best Mom Ever Edition

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Sweet Surprises: Best Mom Ever Edition

Hello! My mom is one of my most favorite people to ever exist and Johnny and I had a blast taking a road trip with her to Indiana this past weekend. I hope to be just like her when I grow up! JANE has this amazing way of making everyone around her feel special and I am so proud to be her daughter. ❤

While out and about or online shopping, my mom loves to pick up little surprises for her children, grandchildren, dogs, and grand dogs. No matter how old I get, I feel like a kid on Christmas when she tells me she has something for me! I was the recent recipient of a French inspired lotion from JANE as I speak the language and, as per ushe, she knocked it out of the park. Check it out:

Whenever my mom shops with TJMaxx, she is always on the lookout for new skin care or bath and body care for me. JANE knows how much I enjoy testing out new products and I can post about it on here so it is a huge win/win. This Wildflower scented lotion by A La Maison de Provence boasts original French formulas for a taste of Paris even in Akron, Ohio. I can’t wait to try it out! 😀

I am the luckiest girl in the world to have the best parents in the world and I treasure every minute I spend at chez parents. I LOVE YOU MOM AND DAD! ❤

Who is your role model? What are you thankful for? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Help & Support Your Parents As They Age

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How To Help & Support Your Parents As They Age

Watching your parents age can be a challenging situation and transition. The roles are reversing and you may now find yourself taking care of them instead of the other way around. It’s best to accept the inevitable and to figure out ways to ensure it’s a smooth and positive experience for everyone involved. Learn more about how you can best help and support your parents as they age and sleep well at night knowing you’re doing all that’s in your power to make sure they’re happy and well.

Figure Out the Right Living Situation:

You can help and support your parents as they age by stepping in and figuring out the right living situation for them. For instance, it may be that you want to have caregivers come into their home each day or you believe they’d be better off and more comfortable in a retirement and senior living community such as the Catholic Care Center. Think about how much constant care they need and where they may be the happiest and then help get them settled.

Be Available:

Another way to help your parents as they age is to be available. Check-in often with phone calls, emails, or texts and see how they’re doing. If you live close by, then you may want to pick a few days out of the week to stop in and visit with them in person. It’ll help you identify any potential problems and their needs. You should also think about being available to go to their doctor and medical appointments with them to advocate on their behalf and ensure they’re getting the best treatment possible.

Encourage Them to Stay Active & Engaged:

As your parents age, encourage them to be active so they can live their best life. It’s important for their mental health and well-being that they get out of the house to socialize, follow a daily schedule, and challenge themselves physically. Maybe you could go for a walk when you visit or let them know what activities and events are happening within the community so they can attend.

Empathize & Be Compassionate:

What’s most important is that you remain level-headed through all of these changes and don’t let your stress or emotions get the best of you. Instead, empathize with your parents and show compassion toward their situation and life. Sit down and have conversations with them to let them know you love and care for them and want to help them with what they need as they age. Consider how you’d feel under their circumstances and be patient as you all adjust to this new way of living and being.

You now have a better idea of some of the ways you can be of help to your parents as they get older. Also, be sure to maintain a daily self-care routine for yourself so you don’t let your health slide as you offer assistance and support to your aging parents.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Some Wedding Prezzies

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Some Wedding Prezzies

Hello!! Johnny and I have been simply blown away by the generosity of our friends and family for our nuptials and are so thankful to all of them! I do have a couple of ultimate presents that I just had to share on lifewithlilred from two of the people who know me best – my older sister, Kristen, and my BFF, Lea. Both Lea and Kristen gifted me with the most thoughtful prezzies I think I have ever received and will forever be cherished by me. Take a look at some wedding and present pics and let’s discuss:

It is no secret that one of my all time favorite TV shows is My 600 Lb. Life and Doctor Nowzaradan is my hero and best friend in my head. I have literally been obsessed with that show since the very beginning and enjoy seeing the success of the patients. My sister, Kristen, knows this better than anyone and I was in complete stitches when I opened the Dr. Now key chain from her. Not only is the sentiment touching but it’s absolutely hilarious too and I am thrilled to get to see it every day on my car keys when I go to work. 😀

Another gift that really moved me was from my bestie of thirteen plus years, Lea. For my wedding/birthday gift, Lea got me a customized hanger for my wedding dress and I almost cried when I opened it! I didn’t even know that something like what she got me existed and am tickled to have the perfect hanger that I didn’t know I needed for my perfect dress. She also knew that nothing is complete without a touch of red from the ribbon!

I am so thankful to have been able to spend my wedding day with both of my ride or dies and those memories as well as my presents will always be treasured. ❤

What is your favorite TV show? Have you ever received a customized gift? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Our Wedding Day

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Our Wedding Day

Hi! Johnny and I got married on Friday, June 4th and it was the most fantastic, wonderful day in the whole world. For our wedding, we had a very small late afternoon ceremony in our friend’s backyard with immediate family and one best friend each. Then, after having pictures taken our little wedding party went to mine and Johnny’s favorite bar, the Zephyr, for celebratory drinks.

It was a magical whirlwind of a day and both Johnny and I were going nonstop until it was time for our ceremony. Needless to say, we were exhausted for the rest of the weekend but that’s a small price to pay for the best day of your entire life! Take a look at a few sneak peeks of our wedding pics and let’s chat more:

Despite such a small wedding, there was still much to do for Johnny and I to prepare and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our family and friends. Johnny’s best man was gracious enough to allow us to host our wedding in his backyard and he helped my husband get everything ready before it was time for me to walk down the aisle. Another dear friend of Johnny’s officiated our marriage and he did a simply beautiful job and we were so touched by his heartfelt and thoughtful sentiments. And, of course, both of our families pitched in wherever they could too!

It was so special to us to have a majority of our families there and our ride or die besties. Lea and her husband came to celebrate with us and I am so lucky to have had her with me for every major milestone in our past thirteen years of best friendship. One of the biggest treats was having mine and Johnny’s little niece, Valerie, as our flower girl or should I say Taco Bell sauce packet girl. Lol, as I’ve mentioned since my engagement, our wedding was going to be nontraditional! Rather than flower petals, Val threw Taco Bell sauce packets which was a fine tip of the cap to one of my favorite places on planet Earth.

Our ceremony was short and sweet – it was over in about five minutes. However, everything that we wanted to say was said with our own vows and our ordained minister gave such a moving introduction and that truly said it all. Our mini after party was a totally different story, though, considering we were out for hours! We all had a blast at the bar after the ceremony and it was such fun for us to let our hair down together and clink our drinks in celebration.

It’s safe to say that I will be reliving mine and Johnny’s perfect day constantly and I am very excited to see more pictures! If you are too, keep tuning in for more on my wedding here on lifewithlilred! ❤

What was your wedding like? What would be included in your dream wedding? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Help Your Child Get Over A Fear Of The Dentist

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How To Help Your Child Get Over A Fear Of The Dentist

You know that going to the dentist is very important for your oral health, but children often feel scared of the dentist, and it can be hard to get them to go. It’s common to feel nervous before the dentist, however, a serious fear of the dentist could stop your children from looking after their teeth properly in later life. How can you help them to overcome their fear? Read on to find out more:

Find The Right Dentist:

There are dentists who specialize in treating fearful patients, so look for them, or see a family dentist like ÉLAN Dentistry who is used to nervous children. These dentists take extra care to make their office seem less scary. This might mean using soothing photography or music, instead of displaying dental care posters. Sometimes the dentist themselves will dress in more casual clothing instead of scrubs. The sights, sounds, and smells of a typical dentist’s office can be frightening, so removing those triggers can help a lot. Look for a dentist who understands and will work around your child’s fear.

Talk To Them:

Make sure your child understands what will happen while they’re at the dentist. Talk to them about their appointment and explain what will happen (in as non-scary a way as you can manage), so they know what to expect. If they know what will happen, this can make the appointment less scary for them. Ask the dentist to explain what they’re doing throughout the appointment too, so your child isn’t surprised by something they didn’t know would happen.

Distract Them:

Look for distractions while your child is in the dentist’s chair. Take some headphones for them and let them listen to music or an audiobook. Find a dentist who has a TV for patients to watch in the chair and put on one of their favorite shows.

Try relaxation techniques:

Controlled breathing can work well. Get your child to take a deep breath, hold it in, then let it out very slowly. This slows the heartbeat and relaxes the muscles. You could also get them to try progressive muscle relaxation, which is when you tense and relax different muscle groups in succession to ease tension.

See the dentist at a less busy time:

There will be fewer people there, so less chance of hearing the noise of dental tools from other rooms. Your dentist is also more likely to have more time to ease your child’s fears and let them take small breaks than they will at busier times when they might be running behind on their appointments. The later you go in the day, the more time your child has to let their fears build up too.

Get Help:

If your child’s fear is becoming a phobia, then it might be worth having them speak with a therapist. Treating a dentist phobia is much like other any other, and is often helped by direct therapeutic exposure. This means your child will be introduced to feared items, such as dental tools, in a controlled, gradual, non-threatening manner.

As mentioned above, being nervous to go to the dentist is completely normal. If your child is fearful of the dentist, try any of the above tips before their next cleaning!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

How To Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

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How To Keep Your Child’s Teeth Healthy

Children are vulnerable to most dental infections. Even though dentistry services have advanced recently due to technology, parents still have to play active roles to improve their dental health and that of their little ones. Oral health is essential because untreated dental conditions have been associated with diabetes, stroke, and heart diseases in adults. Also referred to as dental caries, tooth decay affects kids and adults. Thankfully, these are largely preventable with good practices. Here are a few tips to promote your child’s dental health:

Start caring for dental health as soon as possible:

By the age of 6 months, you may want to stop your baby from taking breast milk or formula at night. It has been thought that late night breastfeeding increases the risk of tooth decay in kids due to the lactose content (milk sugar). By 1-year-old, your child needs to have access to dental care services and be examined by dentists every three to six months. Dental services for families may differ and may include consulting pediatric dentists. Parents who live in the Lehi, Utah area may find Dry Creek Pediatric Dentistry services very helpful for their infants and children.

Stick to a healthy diet:

Being mindful of your child’s diet is one way to ensure that they don’t eat foods that increase their risks of getting cavities. The rule of thumb is that any food or drink with high sugar content is potentially unhealthy for their dental health. When your child eats more carbs, they will have a higher tendency to develop cavities.

Let your children taste the natural sweetness of fruits instead – that is way healthier than giving them too much candy. Discourage your little ones from eating a lot of snacks and soda pop. These not only could expose them to obesity; the mixture of sugar and acid could break down their teeth. The same is valid for juice – it’s another form of soda pop with no carbonation.

Give kids fluoride:

Routine application of fluoride hardens the enamel, making it difficult for acid to penetrate the teeth. While some town water supply systems are fluoridated, others are not. If that is the case in your community, you can ask your dentist to recommend fluoride supplements for you and your family. The majority of toothpaste on the market contains fluoride, but that alone is not enough to protect your child’s teeth.

Having said that too, excessive amounts of fluoride can lead to tooth discoloration. Always consult your dentists before giving supplements to your kids. During your children’s annual dental exam, dentists may apply fluoride varnish to their teeth. This topical fluoride helps prevent and heal early cavities.

When your child starts to develop permanent teeth, your dentist may apply a thin wash of resin (sealant) to the back of their teeth where chewing occurs. This coating prevents tooth decay by stopping bacteria from settling in the crevices of the molars. Finally, understand that regular flossing and brushing are essential to good dental hygiene.

A good understanding of dental care that is taught early on in your child’s life is so important and will help them to be proactive in better protecting their teeth.

Featured Image By: Pixabay