Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crib Accessories

The most important purchase that will be made when it comes to a child's bedroom is the crib. The crib will be what the centerpiece of the room and for this reason the crib?s accessories of the are just as important. Depending on the type of crib that purchased it may be required to buy some of the accessories separately.

The mobile is the most important purchase that parents can make. The mobile is the key piece to bring the room and the crib together in relation to the d?cor. If the crib purchased is plain, but a theme is desired, a mobile that goes along with the d?cor can tie everything together seamlessly.

Many mobiles will have characters from popular children?s books or movies dangling down to entertain the child. The mobile can be turned on to calm down a child that tends to get fussy around bedtime. Most mobiles do not merely move around in a circle; most also play music. The most common music played by mobiles are lullabies, the rhythm of which children can find comforting. While it is possible to find a mobile that comes with its own crib and works by remote, most of the time it will be necessary to purchase a mobile separately to hang over the crib.

Some children do not respond to a mobile as quickly as others do, so it is advisable to purchase another accessory just in case. A good accessory to have is a light for the crib. Crib lights are not like a nightlight. Instead, they cling to the side of the crib and provide lights in various shapes and colors that move around. These accessories often also play music and usually help with comforting the child, amusing the child until they fall asleep.

Bedding is also a necessary accessory for the crib. The softness bedding can add softness to the room makes it the ultimate accessory. It is advisable to purchase bedding for the crib that features the theme of the room imprinted in the fabric or otherwise falls within the theme. As tempting as it may be, all new parents should know that a new baby should never have any stuffed animals where they lay down, nor should they have a pillow. Anything of this nature could constrict airways, preventing the baby from sleeping safely through the night.

About the Author:

Robert Williams is an author for several popular online magazines, on product tips and shopping and products topics.

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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Alleviating Pregnancy Back Pain

Pregnancy back pain is so common that most women just assume that it is a normal part of pregnancy and don?t seek ways to alleviate their pain. While it is true that pregnancy back pain is common, in fact it affects around 50 percent of pregnant women, it is not true that nothing can be done to prevent or relieve the pain.

Obviously if you are pregnant and suffering with back pain, you do not want to take drugs or supplements to treat your pain since they could have an effect on your baby. Instead, it is best to find natural methods of reducing pregnancy back pain. These techniques might also come in handy as time goes on and your back is under the strain of lifting a baby or carrying a squirming 20 pound toddler.

First let?s take a look at what might be causing your pregnancy back pain:

-Carrying extra weight. Putting on extra weight and it being concentrated in the abdominal area can put a strain on your back.

-Shift in weight. Your spine bears the weight of your body and evenly distributes it to hold you upright. With the additional weight over your abdomen, it can throw off the spinal alignment causing back aches.

-Hormonal changes. Your skeleton undergoes changes during pregnancy too. In fact your pelvic bones and joints loosen up and soften in preparation for the birth of your baby. Your pelvic region becomes more pliant and therefore might create discomfort upon walking.

Tips to Alleviate Pregnancy Back Pain

Maintaining proper posture throughout your pregnancy will go a long way towards preventing pregnancy back pain. Under normal conditions, in order to protect your back and promote back health, you would maintain a straight back with shoulders parallel to the ground and level. When you are pregnant however, your center of gravity shifts and pulls your spine out of alignment.

Therefore, for as long as you are able, maintain good posture during the early months of pregnancy to strengthen your back muscles and provide proper support for your spine.

When your belly starts to grow, be careful not to adopt a posture that throws your shoulders too far back in an effort to counterbalance the weight around your abdomen.

In addition to maintaining good posture, you should also avoid standing for extended periods of time. Don?t cross your legs. Change your position often. When sitting, keep your feet slightly elevated.

When sleeping, it is best to sleep on your side. Sleep with a body pillow if you have one. Otherwise sleep with one pillow under your abdomen, and another pillow between your bended knees.

About the Author:

Sarah Thomas is an established freelance writer. You can find more of her writing at and

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Essential Recordings: Something for Everyone on Your Christmas List

By far, one of the best gifts to give for Christmas is recorded music. It can be a tough thing to buy for someone else as music tastes are very subjective and you never know what the receiver already owns. For this reason I enjoy broadening the minds of the people on my Christmas list with new music I'm pretty darn sure they will enjoy.

The following list of music recommendations has been carefully compiled from my large and diverse personal collection. I know there is so much more fantastic music I left out, but this list is a darn good start.

For the hard rocker who thinks classical music is for wimps:

  • Dvorak ?Symphony #9?
  • Holst ?The Planets?
  • Beethoven Symphonies 3 ?Eroica,? 5, 7 and 9. Also the ?Moonlight? and ?Pathetique? Piano Sonatas
  • Rimsky-Korsakov ?Scheherazade?
  • Prokoviev ?Classical Symphony?
  • Schubert ?Unfinished Symphony, #8?

For the passionate listener who only has music by dead guys with wigs:

  • Queen ?A Night at the Opera?
  • Led Zeppelin ?Physical Grafitti?
  • Beatles ?Abby Road?
  • Yes ?Fragile?
  • Radiohead ?OK Computer?
  • Alanis Morissette ?Jagged Little Pill?

For the high-strung boss who can take a little mellowing:

  • Bach ?Brandenburg Concertos 1-6?
  • Simon & Garfunkle ?Greatest Hits?
  • Antonio Carlos Jobim ?The Man from Ipanema?
  • Portishead ?Portishead?
  • Debussy ?Le Mer?
  • Any piano works by Chopin

For the tough guy who needs to get in touch with his feminine side:

  • Heart ?Dreamboat Annie?
  • Madonna ?Immaculate Collection?
  • Sheryl Crow ?Sheryl Crow?
  • Sarah McLaughlin ?Surfacing?
  • Alanis Morissette ?Under Rug Swept?
  • Ani DiFranco ?Revelling/Reckoning?
  • kd lang Ingenue

For a lonely lady seeking male companionship:

  • Billy Joel ?The Stranger? and ?52nd Street?
  • Red Hot Chilli Peppers ?Blood Sugar Sex Magic?
  • The Beatles Revolver or Abby Road
  • Sting ?Ten Summoners Tales?
  • Leonard Cohen ?The Future?
  • Elvis ?Greatest Hits?
  • Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong Best of...

For the Baby Boomer who missed the bus to Woodstock, or can't even recollect if they were there??:

  • Jefferson Airplane ?Surrealistic Pillow?
  • Jimmie Hendryx ?The Ultimate Experience?
  • Janice Joplin ?Greatest Hits?
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival Greatet Hits
  • (Other Great 1960's albums include anything by the Beatles)

For the poor sod who works graveyard shift:

  • Propellerheads Decks and Drums and Rock-n-Roll
  • Soundtrack from ?The Matrix?
  • Rush ?Moving Pictures?
  • Bjork ?Post?
  • Led Zeppelin ?III? and ?Zoso?
  • Infected Mushroom Classical Mushroom

Safe bets for a ?Secret Santa Gift Exchange?:

  • Mozart Symphony 41 ?Jupiter?
  • Elton John ?Goodbye Yellow Brick Road?
  • Beatles ?Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band?
  • Supertramp ?Breakfast in America?
  • Vivaldi ?Four Seasons?
  • Michael Jackson ?Thriller?

For the violinist in the family (we all have one):

  • Mark O'Connor ?The New Nashville Cats?
  • Itzhak Perlman ?Sarsate: Carmen Fantasy?
  • Eileen Ivers ?Wild Blue?
  • Leahy ?Leahy? Ma, O'Connor & Meyer ?Appalacia Waltz?
  • Anything featuring Jascha Heifetz, Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman and/or Stephan Grappelli

For the music buff who has everything:

  • Corky Siegel ?Chamber Blues?
  • John Scofield ?Uberjam? or ?Handjive?
  • The Baronics Get Bach
  • Soundtrack from the Motion Picture Amelie
  • Afro Celt Sound System ?Volume 1: Sound Magic?
  • Poe Haunted
  • Soundtrack from That 70's Show Jammin' Album
  • Horace X Strategy or Sackbutt

And when all else fails...

Gift Certificates!

**Rhiannon Schmitt (nee Nachbaur) is an award-winning classical violinist/fiddler and music teacher who operates Fiddleheads Violin School & Shop. Fiddleheads has won several distinguished business awards and offers beginner to professional level instruments, accessories and supplies with exceptional personal service:

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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mom If You Suffer From Adrenal Fatigue Put Acupressure On Your Path To Recovery

One symptom of Adrenal Fatigue is feeling tired most of the day. Is this too general?

Adrenal Fatigue sufferers are particularly tired in the morning and late afternoon. They feel most energetic after 5:00 p.m. and by bedtime a dreaded ?second wind? kicks in ? There they lay - wired awake, too tired for sex, angry, anxious and alone, since their partner is, hopefully, asleep.

Next morning they dutifully struggle to get up and get the gang up and fed and off. Often they resort to pounding sweets and coffee to get something, any kind of buzz going. They start to feel better after 11:00 a.m. ? hit the wall of fatigue around 3:00 p.m, start perking up again after 5:00 p.m. and writhing in insomnia after 11:00 ?

If this is you, or someone you love, awareness is the first step to ending the agony. And, it is agony to feel tired, stressed, anxious and overwhelmed all the time.

What are the Adrenal Glands? They are two, small, triangular glands located on top of each kidney. They produce essential hormones which aid in dealing with stress including adrenaline, corticosteroids and androgens.

The adrenal glands provide our get up and go and are intended to provide intermittent ?fight or flight? response. When this reaction is demanded on a constant basis, because our bodies are not recharging naturally, they become exhausted and begin to deteriorate. And, so does the quality of our lives.

What causes Adrenal Fatigue? The on-set is often triggered by a major shock such as a death, divorce, serious burns (including sunburn), bankruptcy, job loss, marriage, promotion or relocation without support of friends or family. Yes, even ?happy? changes can throw us out of wack.

It is also associated with unresolved, long-term stress or anxieties including drug or alcohol abuse, newborn baby adjustments, financial stress, marriage difficulties etc. Finally, you will find it snuggled into the ?straw that broke the camel?s back? scenarios of lack of recovery from a series of emotional and physical events.

Who ?catches? Adrenal Fatigue: In the U.S. an estimated 80% of American women and men, will suffer from it at some point in their lives. Of the women, moms are the most vulnerable. Specifically ?

Type ?A? Perfectionist, Super Mom, Personalities; Back to School Moms burning the candle at both ends; Moms with 2 or more children and little support from family or friends; Single moms and married moms with extremely unhappy and stressful home and/or work conditions. Other factors include drug or alcohol abuse; alternating shift work that requires frequent adjustments to the sleep pattern and an obsessive ?all work, no play? lifestyle.

Solutions abound including anti-anxiety prescriptions, sleeping pills, dietary changes, hormone replacement therapy, counseling, vitamins, supplements, patches and more prescriptions. I tried many of these along my path to recovery. One of the healthiest choices I made was hands-on and medication-off.

Therapy Massage - Acupressure:Acupressure is a therapy massage technique in which fingers press key points on the surface of your skin to stimulate the body?s natural self-curative abilities. When these points are pressed, they release muscular tension and promote the circulation of blood and the body?s life force (called qi or chi) to aid healing and relaxation. (Acupuncture presses the same points as acupressure, but uses needles vs. touch.)

Acupressure works and can give you significant relief, immediately. My first appointment was for two hours! I wanted, hoped and prayed it could knock me back in my groove. It did. That night I slept like a baby. From then it has been a nurturing part of my ongoing rejuvenation process.

Recommendations: Begin with a weekly acupressure session or, minimally, every other week. Secondly, schedule a late afternoon appointment and take the rest of the day off from your ?busy-ness.? DO NOT JUMP FROM YOUR APPOINTMENT BACK INTO THE FRAY. No. Bad. That behavior is what?s dragging you down. Feeling tired and Adrenal Fatigue is a serious condition. You seriously need to change your ways and get well.

If your kids aren?t old enough to fend for themselves on Acupressure Eve hire a baby-sitter, beg your mother, your sister or a friend. Best bet for support is another tired mom. Don?t worry, once she sees how great you are doing it won?t be long before you ?earn? this favor by keeping her kids!

Post appointment is the time to relax, drink lots of water and eat a light nourishing meal. Refrain from drinking any alcohol (interferes with sleep) and go to bed early with your journal, a calm inspirational read and/or your loving partner. Thirdly, use acupressure as a springboard and form other lighter, livable routines.

Like ?

simplifying, prioritizing, and doing more of what matters most and less of the rest. Like eating more greens and brown rice and fresh fruits ? Like allowing the phone to go to voicemail after 8:00 p.m. and staying off all your electronic busybodies ? Like splashing lavender essence oil on your pillow and in your bathtub and breathing peace in, stress out.

Yeah ? this is the way to come back to yourself ? your strong, relaxed and whole mom self. Did you know that perfectionism is a form of self-abuse? Or that what you may consider normal ?mother guilt? is a symptom of anxiety? I didn?t. Learned a lot about myself over these past couple years and now I am feeling GREAT.

Your turn. Take it on and take it easy, Mom. You are worth it.

Viveca Stone-Berry's guide to fatigue recovery began 3 months before her wedding. At least that's when the reading, research, doctor's appointments & soul searching began. See, it's when everything was going so GREAT emotionally she finally noticed her physical get up and go was gone. Her journey from couch potato to get-up-and-go! is now an easy 8 Step Process to help other women. Visit &

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Friday, April 3, 2009

Buying Custom Baby Bedding and Premade Baby Nursery Bedding

When a new baby is on its way, the first thing a new parent thinks about is how to make the baby most comfortable when they arrive into their new world. A lot of effort goes into building the perfect ?nest;? i.e., nursery, and one of the most important items in a nursery is a baby?s bedding. Because babies are so susceptible to their surrounding environment, where and how a baby sleeps can make all the difference in how they rest.

It is important to invest wisely in proper baby bedding. This means materials that are soft, resilient, light, and warm on a baby?s skin, and sheets that fit as snugly as possible over a firm, snug mattress. This also means no quilts, comforters or pillows, as they are considered risk factors in sudden infant death syndrome. There are two options when buying baby bedding: pre-made baby bedding and custom baby bedding.

Pre-made baby bedding is a great, cost effective way to buy for your baby. If you do decide to use pre-made baby bedding, a good idea is to pick the bedding before anything else in the nursery or bedroom. This way you can design around the bedding, which often makes it easier to manage.

The problem many new parents face is that they may not be able to find exactly what they want, and will put it off, looking for the perfect match for a nursery or bedroom theme. Pretty soon the baby comes along, and the parents still haven?t chosen the bedding; they are now rushing to throw something together, and are unhappy with what they get. While this isn?t always the case, it is for many people. Others are happy and find what they need quickly, but for those that are having trouble, there is always custom-made baby bedding.

Custom baby bedding is great, especially if you can?t find a material you want, a pattern you like, or design element you require. Custom baby bedding can be manufactured to any and all specifications you have, and that is what makes it so great. You have full say in layout, looks and design, ensuring the uniqueness of your baby bedding and your happiness with finding exactly what you need.

This also creates less stress, because you will pick your design and layout, order it, and wait for it to arrive. This save saves you time and energy that can be better spent elsewhere. While you may fear that custom-made bedding is very expensive, many manufacturers are very reasonable, and are worth at least a call or an email.

Buying baby bedding is a very personal and individual experience for most people, and getting exactly what you want is important. Whether you decide on pre-made or custom baby bedding, the most important thing is that you are happy and satisfied with your choice. Make sure you do the research and find out what materials are out there (cotton jersey is a great one) and what?s available for new parents.

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Monday, March 30, 2009

Hey Baby Boomers Here is some Travel Advice Just for You

If you were born between the end of World War II and the beginning of the Vietnam War, you are a Baby Boomer. Some Boomers have taken early retirement already, and others are on the verge of this new chapter in their lives. 'Travel' is at the top of the list for many.

Planning Your Trip

Your travel itinerary should be part of a careful process. Plan a holiday with plenty of 'you' time. You should finish every vacation feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Baby Boomers are generally quite fit when compared to our ancestors. However, increasing numbers of obese or overweight adults are plagued with bad backs, high cholesterol levels, and fragile knee joints.

Don't just pick a cruise and pack your bags. Keep your interests and physical limitations in mind. If you are a swimming fanatic, you might want to try scuba diving. However, asthma would preclude a scuba vacation. You might have to settle for snorkeling instead. If you have a bad back, don't plan to go hiking in the Andes.

The older you are, the less likely you are to have a comfortable night's sleep. Try to find a hotel or bed and breakfast with memory foam mattresses and soundproof walls.

When booking your room, ask the reservations desk if they offer discounts for seniors. Some lodging establishments will provide a substantial discount as early as age 55. Don't consider yourself 'old' just because you are 55. Think of some fabulous Baby Boomers like Suzanne Somers, Donald Trump, Sylvester Stallone, and Dolly Parton. They all celebrated 60th birthdays in 2006.


Apply for a passport at least 6 months in advance if you don't already have one. Some countries will not allow you to cross their borders with a passport that is near its expiry date. Contact embassies or do some research online so that you are aware of current regulations.

Check with your physician to see if there are any activities you should avoid. Your doctor can also advise you regarding immunizations, give you prescription refills, and provide photocopies of crucial medical information. Many countries will only allow clearly labeled prescription medications where the name on the bottle matches the passport. If you require supplies like alcohol swabs and other support products, purchase them ahead of time. You may not be able to locate what you need in a foreign country.

Be aware of the coverage provided by your current medical insurance policies. It may be prudent to purchase extra insurance for unexpected (and uncovered) contingencies such as air evacuation.


Travel activities can cause swollen feet. Sensible, comfortable footwear that is one width wider and 1/2 size larger than usual is advisable. Never pack brand new shoes or boots.

Sleep disturbances become more frequent as we age. Pack some foam earplugs so you won't have to worry about your partner's snoring, creaking floorboards, or disturbances in the hallway outside your room.

Many of us find that foods we used to enjoy now cause symptoms like gas, cramps, or constipation. At home, we can compensate by watching what we eat. However, when dining in restaurants, we are often faced with unfamiliar and exotic fare that can wreak havoc with the gastrointestinal system. Pack a bottle of digestive enzymes. They are available in big department stores like Wal-Mart, as well as pharmacies and health food stores.

A small memory foam travel pillow can cradle your head while you nap onboard the plane - or it can provide relief from a sore back if you put it between your knees while you sleep at night.

Keep your hands free when you go on tours. A good backpack is the key. Shop around until you find a comfortable pack that is easy to put on and remove.


Each day before you leave the room, check the weather forecast and dress accordingly - in layers. If you get too warm later in the day, you can peel something off and put it in your backpack.

Your backpack can also be used for meds, your travel pillow, a bottle of water, and other essentials. Valuables and important papers should never go in the pack, however. Keep them in a next-to-skin money belt (zipper side in) with only small amounts of cash in another easily accessed wallet or pocket.

Fresh water is crucial. Proper hydration will keep your energy level at optimum and prevent that old travel bane - constipation.

Wherever you go, whatever you do, wear a smile and be polite. A cheerful attitude will be infectious and will transform your time away from home into a truly happy, memorable experience.

Kathy Steinemann writes for several websites, including 1st Rate Articles, 111 Travel Directory, and 1000 Tips 4 Trips - a site with over 1000 travel tips.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Types of Cribs to Buy

The crib is the crown jewel of the nursery. It is the centerpiece which will tie together the entire nursery. Cribs are an important element of the baby?s life because it is their first real home. They will spend most of their first couple of years sleeping or lying in the crib. In the past cribs were big and wooden with little room for comfort or style. Modern cribs feature trendy looks with tons of safety and comfort features for both mom and dad and baby. But, don?t mistake trendy for shoddy as most modern cribs are equally as durable as their predecessors.

Most baby cribs are made of wood, but some are made of metal or wrought iron. Medium density fiber boards are also being used in the making of cribs. There are several different types of cribs. Standard cribs offer a traditional look to the nursery and come in a variety of finishes. Convertible cribs grow with the child. They go from crib to bed and can often finish up as a full size adult bed. It is all done with the help of convertible crib rails. Sleigh cribs feature a different look and will work well in just about any nursery. Round cribs give a completely different look to the standard, rectangular shape of most other cribs. There are no nasty corners for the child to bump into with a round crib. Canopy cribs provide an elegant look which parents are often after.

Since the first few years of the child?s life will be spent in the crib it is essential to have safety elements in place. Parents need to check the rail height to ensure it is three quarters the height of the baby. An ideal distance between the lowest mattress slot and the top of the rail is 26 inches. Side slat width is also important. The pickets should be 2.38 inches and less. If the opening is wide between pickets it is likely the baby could get his head or body stuck. The sides and joints should be round and flat so no accidents occur.

While safety is at the forefront it is equally important to make life comfortable on the child. The crib mattress should be fireproof and offer a high quality fabric. The higher the spring count the more comfort for the child. Standard crib mattress can fit just about any crib. Adjustable mattress positions allow the crib to accommodate a growing child. It also improves the function of the crib. Drop down sides make life easier on the parent as it is easier to remove a sleeping child. Comfortable crib bedding should match the theme of the room and should include a quilt, crib sheet, dust ruffle, bumper and diaper stack. Blanket use and pillow use should be reserved for older children. Suffocation can occur with loose bedding and pillows.

About the Author

LynnMarie is On-Line Editor for which is one of the top online retailers of Cribs including a wide variety of Crib Bedding to match any nursery decor.

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