The Perfect Birthday Party for Your Princess

birthdaygirlIn the age of Pinterest and blogging, it seems like there are so many party planning resources that they can become overwhelming. You want your daughter’s birthday party to be a fun and memorable experience for her and for her guests. Here are a few great and easy ideas for the perfect little girl’s birthday party.

Tea Party

Encourage your daughter’s guests to dress up in girly dresses. Set your table with a simple table cloth. A tea set can be purchased at an antique shop or a flea market for just such an occasion. Pick a fruity tea so that picky girls will still enjoy the tea. As a backup you can also make cocoa or lemonade. For food, you can make finger sandwiches and cookies.

Teddy Bear’s Picnic

Perfect for a younger group of girls, have them bring their favorite stuffed animal to a picnic. Set out blankets in the yard with place settings for the girls and their bears (or other animals). Have a table with simple foods like PB&J, chips, crackers, veggies and even fruit kabobs. If you want to go the extra mile, you can find several small baskets and pack picnics for each girl.

Dress Up

There are few things as universal as a little girl’s desire to play dress up. So pull out your old clothes from storage or hit the local Goodwill to get plenty of options for the girls.You can even order some feather boas online to add the extra touch of drama.

It is important to consider what you daughter and her friends would have fun doing. Whether it’s an afternoon of board games or a more elaborate party, it’s really about celebrating your princess and giving her a fun time.

Understanding Preterm Birth

pregnantApproximately 1 in 8 pregnancies results in preterm birth. Preterm refers to any baby delivered before week 37, with full-term pregnancies going to 40 weeks.

The last few weeks of a pregnancy are very significant to a baby’s development. Because many of the baby’s systems have not had time to completely develop, the earlier a baby is delivered the more severe the health problems could be. For instance, babies born extremely preterm might experience problems with eating and digesting, auditory impairment, visual problems, respiratory issues, cerebral palsy, and neurological problems. For those born exceptionally early, these are health issues that may linger for life. Babies delivered closer to their anticipated due date, yet still considered preterm, may have jaundice, respiratory issues and require a more extensive stay in the hospital than a child delivered at full term.

Preterm labor most often begins without warning and with no known reason. Some indications that a woman could be experiencing premature labor would include contractions, cramps similar to those experienced during a period, cramps not accompanied by loose stools, pressure in the pelvis, a backache felt low in the back, and any change in a woman’s discharge. If any of these signs are noticed a woman should see her ob-gyn for care immediately.

Some things an expectant mother can do to have the healthiest pregnancy possible include not smoking, tobacco cessation if she does smoke, having good medical care prior to getting pregnant, and of course seeing her ob-gyn faithfully during her pregnancy. Other ways to have a healthy, full-term pregnancy include eating a healthy diet, and controlling high blood pressure and diabetes. Even when a woman does all of the above a preterm birth can occur.

There are some risk factors to be aware of concerning preterm births. On average, African-American women are 50% more apt to deliver prematurely than their Caucasian counterparts. Women carrying multiple babies are also at higher risk than women carrying one baby. Women who have cervix or uterus problems are at greater risk, as are those with long-term health problems. Tobacco use also raises the risk of preterm delivery.

While most pregnancies go full term and result in a healthy baby, it is important for women to be knowledgeable about preterm birth, be aware of the signs and know what to do should preterm labor occur. Seeking appropriate medical care from an ob-gyn throughout pregnancy is an important step in delivering a healthy, full-term baby.

Keeping Your Kids Active

active_kidsWell, many families have now officially made it through just a few weeks of school being out and are already looking for a new activity for their little ones to try this summer. It is the second most wonderful time of the year, and kids across the country are loving time at the pool, enjoying staying up late, and having lots of picnics in the park. What are some other ideas for keeping your little ones active this summer?

1. Check out gymnastics classes in charlotte to teach your children balance, flexibility, and strength. There are classes suitable for all ages, and everyone seems to have a good time.

2. Are there any summer camps, day camps, or vacation bible schools that your kids might be interested in attending? Camp does not have to be a far-away sleep away camp to fit the bill. You can even host a sleepover and let your child and a few friends pitch a tent in the backyard and cookout. Roast marshmallows, tell ghost stories, the whole bit.

3. Go roller skating at the matinee at your local rink.

4. Check out buy one get one days at your local amusement or water park.

5. Go play miniature golf and go for an ice cream treat afterwards.

6. Come up with a scavenger hunt for the neighborhood kids to take part in! This is something that everyone will be talking about for years to come since it is so much fun! Speaking of neighborhood games, how about that old favorite – hide and go seek?

7. Get a little bit out of town for the day and enjoy a great hike at your state park. Pack a picnic lunch.

8. If possible, get out on the lake or out on the ocean. This is the perfect time to find the opportunity to teach your child how to waterski or how to swim.

9. Speaking of getting out of town, pick a place on the map that is close to you but that you have never been before. Spend the day exploring the town on foot and creating a new memory.

10. The pool makes it back on the list. So many calories are burned playing in the pool. You do not even have to swim laps. Dive for rings, play Marco Polo, or play Sharks and Minnows. All of these pool games will keep kids active the entire afternoon.

All of these activities are so great for family bonding, for building memories, and for maintaining personal fitness goals. Summer is the best time of the year to play outside longer, eat fresher food, and enjoy a better quality of life!

How to Fix a Dental Crown

A loose or removed dental crown is not only embarrassing, but it can become difficult to eat or drink because the site is sensitive and irritated. Depending on when your crown became loose and fell off it might not always be possible to visit your local dentist to have it refitted and cemented back into your mouth. There are emergency dentists in Detroit that can take walk in patients and provide you with the necessary care and treatment to have your crowns replaced properly. If your dental crown does fall out and you are left without many options, make sure you do the following.

If you have a dental crown that is simply loose but has not yet fallen out, it is only a matter of time before the cement gives entirely and the crown lets go. It is best to try and schedule a visit to your dentist or get to an emergency dentist in Detroit before it actually falls out to prevent any further damage to the crown, post or yourself. Until then it is important that you avoid chewing with that part of your mouth, which can cause the crown to fall out faster and in a way that breaks off more of your existing tooth.

Once a crown has fallen out entirely, it is imperative that it is fixed and seen by a dental professional. All care should be taken to not swallow or ruin your other teeth by accidentally biting down on the crown when it falls out. Remove the crown from your mouth and thoroughly rinse to make sure that any debris from the cement is washed away. Use a toothbrush to gently clean out the interior of the cap which might contain old cement and bits of your decayed tooth. Place the crown in a safe spot so that when you do get into a dentist or other dental specialist they will easily and quickly be able to replace the dental crown.

Once you have secured an appointment to see a dentist and have your crown repaired, you can relax as it is replaced and secured to your mouth. Generally your dentist will clean out the crown, disinfect your mouth and the post to ensure that no bacteria remains behind and then apply a bonding cement to the crown and set it. You will need to refrain from eating or drinking for a couple hours in order to allow the crown to bond properly and remain in place, but as soon as this step is completed you are able to chem and eat once again. Anytime you feel that your crown is loose or in danger of falling out, seek dental care immediately. 

Common Dental Services

dental_habitsKeeping your teeth clean and white is not only healthy but also less expensive. Tooth decay buildup, gum infection, and other oral-related complications will cause anyone to panic and run to the nearest Saginaw dentist. Unfortunately, dental services are notoriously expensive and therefore should be avoided as much as possible. Minimizing your trips to the dentist can be accomplished through these simple tips and tricks below.

Brush regularly. Brush at least thrice a day or after every meal. Brushing alone does not entirely eliminate bacteria thriving inside your mouth. Flossing and gargling mild mouthwash are also essential mouth care techniques. It removes food particles lodged in between teeth and bacteria attached at the sides of the mouth and the tongue’s surface. Brush with a good and dependable toothpaste brand. Avoid gargling with mouthwash that’s too strong as the acid can damage the tooth’s surface.

Allot some time for occasionally visiting your dentistry Saginaw clinic. Twice or thrice a year is enough to ensure your mouth is healthy and free from any health condition or symptom. A local dentist can perform a thorough checkup, which can identify underlying problems or potential complications that have not yet come to being. Most dental checkups cost only a few dollars, but return a great deal of information necessary for maintaining oral health.

Detrimental lifestyle habits should be avoided. This includes smoking and drinking alcohol. These habits do not offer any nutritional value while causing mouth problems like tooth decay, halitosis, gingivitis, and mouth ulcers. Completing stopping these habits early on can greatly lower your risk for developing the aforementioned conditions.

Avoid mouth grinding. This habit causes abrasion, which damages the teeth. Mouth grinding is also common during sleep. To help prevent unconscious grinding, consider buying and wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth while asleep. Also, maintain the proper lying position and avoid awkwardly postures during sleep.

If you discover any mouth problems, report it immediately to your dentist in Saginaw. He/she will recommend the most appropriate step towards correcting the problem. This could range from products you can apply directly to the affected area to invasive surgical procedures that cost money and require time for prior contemplation.

Actively monitor your mouth’s current condition. Check for mouth sores, inflammation, bleeding, or any other problem that, if left, could progress to severer degrees. Dentistry Saginaw may be expensive. Make sure to allot an ample sum of money for dental services otherwise your retirement savings could sustain a huge blow. If you have Medicaid or any medical assistance plan, check if you have a designated dentist in the area that can provide the services you need. Most dental services are not included on health insurance plans though.

Kids And Allergies

kid_with_allergiesIt’s official: kids born in the US are much more likely to develop allergies than kids from other countries, according to a recent study performed by the National Survey of Children’s Health. Interestingly, the researchers in the study are not quite sure why US-born children are more likely to develop allergies, but there are a couple viable theories.

The researchers did their homework and made sure to account for factors such as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and race, etc. The results of the study made it abundantly clear that there are environmental (and maybe some cultural) factors that causes US-born citizens to develop allergies.

Theory 1: The Hygiene Hypothesis

The hygiene hypothesis is simply that kids living in a more hygienic situation (such as the one experienced by kids living in the highly industrialized United States) have less exposure to infection and germs early on. Ironically, some researchers theorize that this does not allow for the development of a healthy immune system.

This does not mean that the new order of the day should be to cover our kids in dirt. By all means keep your home as germ free as you wish. However, other research in support of the hygiene hypothesis has found that allowing children ample time to play outside is a good thing.

Theory 2: Allergy-Preventing Cultural Practices

Let’s face it; people from countries outside of the US are more likely to eat a healthier diet. There’s a definite reason obesity is a rising problem in America. The cultural theory of allergy development is simply that Americans (generally speaking) have unhealthier lifestyles and eat unhealthier foods.

Some foreigners also eat diets rich in certain spices and nutrients that western cultures tend to avoid entirely. For example curcumin (a spice somewhat related to ginger and used in Indian cooking) has anti-allergenic properties, but is not usually a spice one would include in American cooking.

Whatever the underlying environmental or cultural causes of child allergies happen to be, there are still measures you can take to alleviate your child’s symptoms. The first step is to determine the immediate causes of your child’s allergies.

The following are some common triggers of allergies:

  • Pet dander
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Mildew
  • Mold
  • Scented chemicals (fumes from paint or aerosols, perfumes, etc.)
  • Bug droppings (cockroaches, dust mites, etc.)

Fortunately, many of these allergens can be eliminated from your child’s immediate environment by taking a few simple measures. One of the easiest measures is to have your AC systems checked to make sure pollen isn’t getting into your home.

You may also want to eliminate or reduce the amount of rugs, draperies, curtains, and even stuffed animals your child comes in contact with. Vacuum and dust frequently. Be sure your vacuum uses HEPA filters. Wash your child’s bedding frequently. Taking a few simple actions can really help to decrease your child’s allergy symptoms.

Common Plumbing Problems

toilet-plunger-bathroom-clog-There is no doubt that a wide variety of plumbing problems can occur in the average American home. While some are more common than others, they all need immediate attention in order to prevent extensive damage. If plumbing problems are not attended to in an expedited fashion, you may incur thousands of dollars of damage to not only your plumbing structures but your home, as well.

Some of the most common plumbing problems that are seen by Rotorooter include:

  • A reduced amount of water pressure. This is typically noticed while taking a shower or washing dishes. If this occurs you should take note of factors such as if both the hot and cold water is affected or if there are “spurts” of air as the water runs. These can all help you determine the root cause of the problem. Some of the most common culprits include calcium deposits or the aerator. Both are typically easy fixes.
  • Slow moving drains. This can occur in sinks or bathtubs and is one of the most common plumbing problems that average household’s experience. The main cause for this slow drainage is a collection of hair and debris in the drain. This is easily cleaned with proper maintenance. However if the clog becomes too large a professionals help may be required.
  • A continually running toilet. A running toilet is not only annoying; it can be costly, as well. There are several causes for a running toilet, which can range from the bulb, handle or stopper in the bowl. Determining the cause is essential for remedying the problem.
  • A jammed or stopped up garbage disposal. Garbage disposals are a key feature of modern convenience. However, when they become jammed it can be frustrating, and a little gross. Fixing the problem may be as simple as inserting an Alan wrench in the bottom of the device and freeing the motor. However, if this does not work you should enlist the help of a professional.
  • Leaks in your pipes or hot water heater. Any of these leaks can cause big problems in your home. It is important to turn off the source of the water if a leak does occur to prevent further damage to your home. While some pipe problems or hot water leaks may be able to be fixed by the homeowner, if the problem resides in the floor or wall it can present a difficult challenge that requires the help of a professional plumber.

There is no doubt that a seemingly small plumbing problem can easily turn into a full-fledged disaster if it is left unattended. Being prepared for problems and knowing the steps to take to reduce the damage can save you time, effort and a lot of money in the long run.

Baby Milestones: Shouldn’t My Baby Be _______ On Her Own by Now?


Let me just start off by saying that every baby is different in their developmental stages and at hitting baby milestones and there are no right or wrong age for anything, within reason of course. I know it’s sometimes scary as a parent to feel like your child should be doing something by now just because little Johnny down the street was doing it at that age. It’s even worse to have someone you trust such as a professional suggest something may be wrong with your child simply because your child has slightly missed the mark on the milestone chart. That’s what happened to me.

I can remember when my son was oh, I guess around a year and a half maybe and really wasn’t using many words at all, if any. As far as I had been concerned he communicated just fine… by pointing and grunting. I remember I would reply to his grunts with “use your words please, tell mommy what you want” and of course, he still didn’t but I never worried about it. Honestly, I had never even given it much thought at all. I guess I was just really enjoying him the way he was and being his mom, I had never once thought he was anything but perfect. That is until while at a regular well visit check-up at his pediatrician’s office, the nurse practitioner informed me that my son should be talking at his age (milestone mark is around 13 months) and that he should even know a certain number of words (I don’t remember how many, like around a 100 or so is what she told me and I remember feeling like, oh my, that’s a lot) and I should consider taking him to see a speech therapist. What? I was now frantic, my gosh, there’s something wrong with my child! He hardly uses any words much less a hundred or more… Panic!

I went home and fretted and stressed all afternoon and of course, I frantically informed my husband the minute he walked in the door “there’s something wrong with our son!!” “He should be talking by now!” My husband didn’t seem too worried by my news but I quickly assumed he was overloaded from work and the severity of what I had just informed him of would sink in soon enough and he would surely become as worried as I was now that this “imperfection” had been pointed out to me, and by a professional none the less!

“Is there something wrong with my child that he’s not talking yet” ran through my mind over and over and I actually considered setting up an appointment. Then I decided to call my support person, my mother, as well as several other friends and family members to ask their advice.

Every single one of them responded with something like this… “oh, that’s just hogwash” or “that’s a bunch of bologna” or “who told you that sh**”? Everyone advised me to not worry about it and not waste my money or time going to a speech therapist… not at this point anyway. If down the road he was still not talking then they might be concerned but everyone pretty much agreed that “he would talk when he was darn good and ready” and you know what, he did!

And the funny thing is that once he started talking, I guess around age two or two and a half, his vocabulary was amazing!! It was like over-night that the words began to flow out of his little mouth like honey and there was actually no turning him off sometimes! It actually blew me out of the water at how articulate he was and his vocabulary, well they were the words of a much older child (I do take credit for that part as I always tried to consciously use a variety of words and never used a lot of baby talk with him) but he had actually absorbed all of it and when ready, in his own good time and on his own, chose to “use his words”.

Even complete strangers we had never met and didn’t know his history of muteness were amazed by his new found skill. I literally had this same situation happen twice with him while shopping at two different stores, other customers in the stores commented on how well he talked and said that by looking at him, he did not look old enough to talk as well as he did. One lady told me, “I heard someone talking and I thought it was five or six year old but when I looked down, it’s a toddler, he looks too small to talk so well!” Then I actually had the same thing happen again at another time and the stranger’s response was almost exactly ditto.

So the moral of my story is, don’t fret and stress over milestones too much! Let your baby be himself and try hard not to compare to other children or take too seriously one person’s advice. Your child will reach his milestones when he’s darn good and ready!

Do always seek the advice of your child’s doctor if you think something is way off or really wrong as I am in no way advocating not listening to your child’s doctor but get a second opinion, take some time to think every thing through before totally freaking out, seek the advice of trusted friends and family, listen to your own instincts and stop worrying about it if it’s nothing too serious! Life is short and they grow up way too fast to spend too much time sweatin’ the small stuff that in the end and years later really won’t mean much at all!

Milestone charts are meant as a guide. Remember developmental milestones are things most children can do by a certain age with the key word being most, not all. Use the charts to track your baby’s development but don’t freak if your child doesn’t fall directly within the guidelines.


Communication in Early Childhood – What to Watch For


Among the many milestones in a parent’s life, hearing a child’s first spoken word is one of the most exciting. It can also be a cause of anxiety for parents who wonder if their child is developing normally. Is their child waiting too long to speak? How many words should they know? When will they begin speaking in full sentences?

The truth is that there is no perfect mathematical answer for when a child should begin speaking. Each child is unique and will develop according to his or her own individual schedule, but there are some ‘pre-linguistic’ behaviors that nearly all children share that can indicate that the time for speech is drawing close.

Eye Contact Is the First Sign of Speech Development

Very quickly after birth, children are able to focus their eyes at a short distance, usually eight to ten inches. This ability to focus develops rapidly, and as it does, you will notice your child focusing more and more on human faces. This intense focus and the eye contact that comes with it indicate that the child recognizes other people and is open to engaging with them.

Joint Attention Is the Next Sign of Impending Speech

“Look at the doggie! Look at the duckie!” These are things you hear parents saying often to their small children. And whether they realize it or not, they are encouraging their child to participate in what’s called joint attention – a shared focus on a third person or object. An important developmental step occurs when a child is able to initiate this joint attention on his or her own with an intense stare or by pointing.

Gestures Are The First Instances of “Speech” In Children

It’s said the body language makes up over 90% of human communication. And body language also is one form of communication that can be understood across cultures and languages. So it makes sense that non-verbal communication, in other words “gestures,” would occur before the first word is ever spoken. When a child signals “all gone” with an empty hand or points to his favorite toy to indicate something he wants, he’s demonstrating that he understands that his inner thoughts can be communicated to other people. This basic recognition is a cornerstone for language.

If you are seeing these developmental milestones in your child, then you know that spoken words are on the way. Just exactly when your child starts speaking them – whether at nine months or sixteen months – is not so important.