MommyMandy l Texas Mom Blog

3 Things to Understand About Geothermal Energy

Would you like to reduce your heating and cooling bills and help the environment at the same time? If so, a geothermal heating and cooling system may be the right system for you. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Geothermal heat pumps simply use the heat trapped in the top 10 feet of the earth’s crust to help maintain a comfortable and consistent temperature in buildings. A geothermal HVAC system is a smart alternative to traditional systems that use outside air. Here are three things to understand about geothermal energy.

It’s Better for the Environment

Just about everywhere on our beautiful planet, the top 10 feet of the earth’s surface sustains a stable temperature, somewhere between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Geothermal heat pumps use this valuable resource through a closed loop system to help cool and heat buildings, and they ultimately reduce our carbon footprint by saving energy. In the wintertime, the geothermal heat pump eliminates heat from the heat exchanger and then pumps it into the indoor air venting system, comfortably warming the building. In the summertime, the method is reversed to help cool the building.

It’s Better for Your Health

Geothermal HVAC systems typically don’t use flames to heat the building, so the risk of hazardous carbon monoxide leaks are removed. Geothermal systems are also normally much quieter than traditional heat pumps and therefore help reduce noise pollution, making your home feel more peaceful. Also, the state-of-the-art systems normally use top-of-the-line air filtration systems that eliminate dust, pollution, pollen, and odors, enabling you and your family to breathe easier.

It’s Relatively Hassle Free

Geothermal HVAC systems don’t require a lot of land or even a lot of money. The initial investment required can generally be reduced through tax incentives. As a result of the 2009 Economic Stimulus act, most homeowners can qualify to get a substantial federal tax incentive of about 30 percent of the cost of a qualified geothermal heat pump system.

Typically it will take two to 10 years to see the payback, but a good HVAC company will help you with the calculations and qualification and show you what to expect in terms of the overall cost of installation, regular maintenance, and monthly payments. They will also recommend a maintenance program and educate you on the costs and timeline up front.

Geothermal systems are fairly easy to customize and can easily be integrated with existing HVAC systems, including forced air and radiant floor heating. They are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and feel good about helping the environment by saving energy. Geothermal HVAC systems have been utilized for almost 50 years worldwide, keeping people cozy in their homes, schools, and hospitals in a more natural way.

There are many benefits to a geothermal heating and cooling system. A more energy efficient home will not only decrease the cost of future utility bills, it will vastly improve the comfort of your home. It may also add resale value to your home. Why not look into a new geothermal system for your home today? The initial consultation is generally free of charge.

Buy Your Man a Coat or Jacket for the winter Season

As you know, I am a big coat fan. In fact, I love them so much that my husband swears I have a serious outerwear buying obsession.

Unfortunately, there are only so many coats you can get away with owning. So, the only reasonable way for me to indulge my coat addiction is to buy them as gifts. It is not quite as satisfying as buying for yourself. However, they do make wonderful presents. Especially, for the men in your life who are not keen on shopping. If your husband, boyfriend, dad or sons are walking around in a saggy old jacket or coat why not get out there and buy them a new one. This year, there are dozens of men’s coats for winter to choose from, so it is really easy to find something suitable.

The iconic parka

Top of the list has to be a parka. It is a style of coat that looks good on virtually any man. Fortunately, this year, there are dozens of them available in the shops.

Everything from retro snorkel parkas, which look like they have come straight out of the 80s, to radical heavily, patterned ones that are only for the brave man who wants to stand out from the crowd. Having so much choice means you are not going to struggle to find one that works for the man you are buying for.

Bombers

If you want a lightweight coat, a bomber jacket is a very good option. Again, there are plenty of them around. This year, they are mostly styled like they were in the 80s. So, if the man you are buying for likes that era, they make a particularly good gift. There are also quite a few baseball styled bomber jackets available, which are a good option for those men who like the 50s or who are sports fans.

For someone who has a more ´off the wall ‘sense of fashion a souvenir style bomber jacket is a possibility. This style of men´s jacket usually features a shiny body panel with a bright and bold pattern or logo.

Harringtons

Another 80s icon that has been re-invented, this year, is the Harrington jacket. Its simple styling makes it a great choice for those men who do not really want to stand out from the crowd too much. However, that said, this time around, many fashion designers have had a bit more fun with this stylish jacket.

They are still available in plain, dark, fabrics, but also in patterned materials. For example, check and leather Harringtons are starting to appear in many men´s fashion outlets.

Judging the fit

If you are buying a new coat for someone you live with, sneakily taking a look at the label of one they already own is an easy way of getting the sizing right. For men who you do not know well the easiest approach is to just ask their significant other what size they are. However, if you do not want to do that you could try one of the methods outlined in this article. Whichever approach you choose, remember to keep the receipt. That way you can always exchange it.

 

4 Gifts For Kids To Brighten Up Their School Life

School is hardly the best part of your child’s day. They can make a big fuss about not going, and they can’t wait to come home. But, there is one easy way you can make school life more fun and exciting for your children; get them gifts that brighten things up!

 

Below, I’ve listed a few ideas for gifts you can give your children that they can use in school and be excited about.

A Cool Backpack

Your child will automatically look forward to school when they know they have a cool backpack to wear. Even when they’re young, kids love showing new things off to their friends. Especially if their new thing is unique and no one else has it. You can see some really cute and unique backpack designs over on www.makaboo.com/organic-baby-gifts that your child might love. It’s all about adding a splash of color and fun to their everyday school life. Make them eager to put their backpack on and run into school with a smile on their face.

Funky Pencil Case

No doubt your child will need a pencil case to keep all their pencils and stationery safe. This becomes even more important as they get older and have more things to store. It’s also well-known that children care about the way their pencil case looks. Again, everyone wants a unique one with a cool design that’s never been seen before. Get your child a funky new pencil case, and they’ll be so keen to get to class and whip it out of their bag. Not only that, but you help keep them organized too, which will only benefit their education, as explained here https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/.

Multi-Colored Pen

This is a gift that’s more aimed at kids who are old enough to start writing with pens. Everyone grows up with that one pen they like to use all the time, and I’m sure your child is no different. My idea is to get them a multi-colored pen as it makes writing and note taking more enjoyable. You have pens where you can select different colors to write with, and you don’t have to pick up any other pens. At the very least, it’s a quirky little gift they can show off to their friends. You’ll be surprised at how much more your child will enjoy school when they have a cool pen to write with.

A Bike

Finally, we have a pretty big gift idea; a bike. If you get your child a new bike, it gives them an incentive to go to school every day. They’ll be up early and itching to ride their bike to and from school. It’s not something they can directly use in school, or that will benefit their education, but it does get them excited to go and brightens their day. There’s some handy advice here https://totalwomenscycling.com/lifestyle/buying-guide if you’re wondering how to buy your child their first bike.

All things considered, there are four great gifts here that will make your child look forward to going to school. If you’re interested in more parent themed articles and advice, then how about checking out this one here http://mommymandy.com/6-date-ideas-for-moms-and-kids/. Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a reply down below!

 

Thinking about the Little Ones during a Big Move

It’s hard to convey the importance and benefit of moving to your children.

All they’re seeing is moving away from friends and the dread going to a new school. One day they’ll get the big picture but there are plenty of things you can do to help them cope in the meantime.

At a glance, I’d like to share tips on:

·  Dealing with stress before the move

·  Helping them cope after the move

I should know, having moved about a dozen times during my childhood, some locations for just a few months at a time. It was tough at times but things worked out. Here’s what I know and what my parents said (and did) to make these transitions easier.

Dealing with the Stress of a Move

The shifting around and packing can lead to a twinge of chaos. Worse yet is the danger of trying to move heavy objects when the kids are romping and rolling. Once on the road, you must keep full attention which is a little difficult if the kids aren’t used to long-distance moving. Everyone gets stressed.

Here’s what made moves easier:

1.  Make a game out of cleaning, organizing, and packing a room

2.  Try to donate or throw out any items you don’t plan to bring

3.  Clear the walkways, empty the dressers, bag the clothes, and tape the cords to the units

4.  Use tools like a dolly to make moving heavy items easier

5.  Pack the heavy stuff closer to the cab

6.  Organize an emergency travel kit with all the immediate necessities

7.  Pace yourself, take frequent pit stops and stay vigilant when driving

Stress is further reduced if you plan and use a service like North American Van Lines for the heavy lifting and transportation of your stuff. This is also an optimal time to teach your children car safety so they’re less likely to bounce around, cause distractions, and fight with one another during the trip.

The biggest help with dealing with the stress is to make it an adventure – a game. Tell and commit to exploring new places, events, and social gatherings at the new location. Tell them stories about your move and the positive parts about it.

Coping with New Places and People

An adult can quickly adapt to a new city but it’s somewhat difficult for a child. Mainly because they are starting a fresh social circle and feel alienated at school. They’ll adapt in time; you can encourage this by encouraging social behaviors and activities.

When you’re in the new place:

·  Spend more time doing family activities such as game nights, crafting, or movie-watching.

·  Get out and explore the neighborhood and go one more block each day.

·  Make a wish-list of things to do and try to check off one each week.

Help them at school:

·  Encourage them to join school clubs and after-school activities.

·  Help them stay connected with old friends by taking the occasional trip back.

·  Host a party to invite neighbors and budding friends they’re making at school.

Adjustments will take time but they’re young and energetic. They’ll develop friends in no time – just if they’re not confining themselves to their room. Bring them along and show them the excitement and wonders that are to be had.

One Day They’ll Understand

It’ll be tough on them to wave goodbye to friends they may never see again. Social encouragement and serious talks about goals and family progress will help them adjust.

I must highly recommend giving them the resources for their creative outlets will ease the transition – this lets them find something they love which often becomes the magnet when attracting new friends.

Remember, you’re adjusting too so work together to make this new destination one that’s full of joy and memorable experiences!

6 date ideas for Moms and Kids

As a mom, spending time with your kid is the best feeling as you get time to know how they are doing and also get to bond even more. But sometimes it is hard to even to see your kids or tuck them in bed due to work at the office that makes you get home late and other reasons that may not allow you to have enough time to spend with your kids. Regardless of all these, you need to find the time and be with your kids like going for dates as it is good for their overall being and helps strengthen your relationship.

Six date ideas for moms and kids:

  1. Go to the park

The park is one of the favorite places kids love to go and play. It would be much fun if they see their mom join them to swing, slide or even go round on the merry-go-round. So take your kids to the park and do some activities that they like to do and they will forever remember that.

  1. Go for movies

Even if you have bought all the Disney movies at home, going out to the theater to watch a movie with your kids will make a significant impact on their lives and your relationship. Therefore,  let your kids choose a movie that they would love to watch and buy some tickets. Even if you don’t like their movie choice, don’t kill the fun of seeing themselves at the theaters with their mom.

  1. Go for the grocery shopping

Kids love to shop and if you are the one who does grocery shopping, you tag your kids along. Keep in mind the little things like asking your kids what to stock in your fridge, and the flavor of the ice cream to buy will help make them feel special. They will never forget about this experience and will talk about it for a long time.

  1. Eat out

I know you are the best cook when it comes to preparing your kid’s meal but I am certain your kids will love to taste some other food. You can take them for dinner in a newly opened restaurant in your town. If you don’t have enough time to go out, you can as well order from delivery restaurants such as The Time Table Café. Ask your kids what they would love to eat and have it delivered to your doorstep.

  1. Take them to the zoo

When was the last time you took your kids to the zoo? This is an excellent date idea especially this holiday. Kids love animals, and they will be enticed to feed some monkeys with their moms or watch the lion roar. After visiting the zoo, you can go for a lunch in a fancy restaurant.

  1. Ice cream dates

Ice cream is one of the desserts your kids can’t say no to so having some ice cream with your little ones will be so much fun. Take your kids out to have some ice cream moment before you head to the beach.

How to get your kids involved in the magic of Christmas

Christmas is the most magical time of the year, no matter how old you are. From wrapping up warm and enjoying time with family and friends, to decorating the tree and hearth with candy canes, Christmas is the perfect time of year to get the younger members of your family involved too. Even if you have older children, or kids who appear slightly more disinterested in sharing in the Christmas spirit, then worry not. Underneath that attitude is a child that is just as inspired by the wonder of Christmas as you are. So why not make a few changes in your household this year? From enjoying time decorating your home, to getting busy in the kitchen, read on to find out how to get your kids more involved this Christmas.

 

Enjoy the season

Even if your children are not sure whether Santa still exists, there’s no reason why they can’t enjoy the best of what the festive season has to offer. From taking a family road trip to enjoy the winter snowscapes to skating at your local ice rink or even making snow angels in your own backyard, if you are lucky enough to have snow, there a whole host of reasons as to why you should enjoy this season. Kids both big and small are sure to love having a long relaxing family walk in the park, while for the younger members of your family there’s nothing more magic than enjoying time in the snow. So don’t be a Scrooge, get out and about and enjoy the colder weather with your kids.

 

Dress the part

All those Christmas family dinners, parties, gatherings and school events can mean that your kids have a more hectic schedule than you. So, it’s important that your little darlings both look and dress the part. Even if you feel that your kids have more than enough clothes, why not treat them to a little bit more magic and sparkle this time of year? From unusual designs to abstract imagery, sites such as Nickis offer a range of unique styles and cuts in their Young Versace kids line. Plus, the magic of Christmas only happens once a year, so why not make sure that this year is extra special for your children?

 

Keep it in the family

From decorating your family room with paper chains to organizing the Christmas menus or getting creative in the kitchen, Christmas is a time of year that the whole family can get involved with. So, if you have relatives staying for the festive fun, then be sure to get them involved with entertaining your little darlings too. Your kids are sure to love spending time with Grandpa and Grandma, while it gives you a chance to prepare the next Christmas related activity. So be sure to share the magic of Christmas with your kids. Any traditions or annual activities that you start in your household could soon become an event that they go on to share with their own little ones!

The Modern Way Of Learning

Children of today learn differently from when we were children in our days. When we were children we learn from teachers in the classrooms and from hard copy books. In our time, we depended on people and we are taught to interact with people face to face.

Most of the children of today are so different because they tend to relate less with humans and more on the electronic gadget. I have a friend, whose grandchild was placed under the care of a maid. Both the parents go to work and the grandparents help to send and pick up the older grandchildren to and from their schools. And when the grandparents are around, they help to keep an eye on the youngest grandchild while the maid goes about doing the housework.

When the child is awake and to keep occupied, he will be given an iPad even before he is able to walk. The iPad has his full attention and he is an easy child to look after. From a very young age, he has been accustomed to watching all the children’s educational videos from the apple studying app downloaded from the App Store by his mother. He will keep watching the videos until he is bored and he will in his own way communicate with the maid or any of the adults to change to the next videos.

The grandchild is now in his teens and he has gained most of his educational knowledge from Google Play educational app. His interest is mainly centred on computers and any parts or gadgets that work with the computer. He is more educated in this field than most of those older than him. He can have intelligent conversation with those who are specialized in the field.

One of the best tutoring app available is designed for both iPhone and iPad. You can use the free The Great Courses Plus app to enjoy more than 8,000 educational videos for streaming online to your iPhone. You will be able to learn all kinds of subjects and new subjects are being added each month. You can either take up a college-level courses over a weekend, or you can also take a day or a course a week. There is no restriction because you can choose when and how you learn.

With this app students can learn about new things, or to brush up on your skills in a specific field. You will have access to streaming video courses by well-known professors sharing their knowledge of science, business, writing and many other subjects.

$22 Off Your First Month of Winc Wine

Winc is not your traditional wine club: Winc isa direct-distribution global wine company that personalizes the entire wine experience – They are perfecting how wine is made, distributed, perceived and purchased via the Palate Profile quiz that recommends wine based on your unique tastes and enjoyed on behalf of a new generation of wine drinkers. It takes the hassle and guesswork out of picking a bottle from your local liquor store and delivers the perfect bottle directly to your doorstep.

Winc does all this as part of a quest to improve the experience for consumers, create a platform for artisanal winemaking, and build a grape-to-glass supply chain that’s sustainable for the planet. No more intimidating language and steep price points, and more joy in the act of sharing a bottle.

$22 Off Your First Month of Winc Wine – Winc offers 4 personalized wines each month.

Bottles start at $13 each. www.trywinc.com/usfamilyguide

*A product was provided.

GOTRAX Celebrates Columbus Day with up to $110 off HOVERFLY Hoverboards

GOTRAX, the new Denver-based brand of premium hoverboards and electric rideables, today announced it is celebrating Columbus Day and the spirit of adventure and discovery with an unprecedented $81 off HOVERFLY and $110 off HOVERFLY PLUS hoverboards.

The special Columbus Day sale pricing on hoverboards will be available on all HOVERFLY and HOVERFLY PLUS purchased at GOTRAX.com, and will be applied automatically at checkout.

GOTRAX™ recently debuted its line of hoverboards—UL-certified self-balancing scooters allow users to accelerate, stop and steer with a simple shift in body weight—with a focus on science and space-themed branding to encourage a sense of learning and discovery in children.

“GOTRAX™ is more than just fun tech toys,” says Chief Marketing Officer Jason Wakefield. “We want to inspire. And to us, the holiday is more about the spirit that is embodied today by visionaries like Elon Musk and his mission to take us to new worlds.”

COLUMBUS DAY SALE DETAILS

  • HOVERFLY | Columbus Day Price: $169
  • HOVERFLY PLUS | Columbus Day Price: $189

Learn more and shop hoverboards at GOTRAX.com.

GET SOCIAL: @RideGOTRAX

*A product was provided.

Affordable Halloween Decorations from Oriental Trading Co.

Oriental Trading is your 2017 Halloween Superstore

With almost 10,000 Halloween products, prepare for this year’s Halloween party with decorations and Halloween party supplies from Oriental Trading Co. Whether your hosting your own party or going as a guest, you’ll find the best selection of Halloween costumes for kids and adults, trick or treat bags, Halloween candy and much more.

Get the best deals on Halloween party games like the Peanuts® Halloween Bean Bag Toss, Zombie Bowling Game, Ghost Dartboard and more! Bring your Halloween party ideas to life with indoor decorations such as skeleton chair covers, flaming torch light or a spooky candelabra. You’ll love the wholesale prices on tableware including zombie paper plates, pumpkin napkins, skeleton hand glasses and more.

Halloween yard decor is always fun and may even give you haunted house ideas! We’ve got lots of kids-friendly yard décor, including LED lighted bats and ghosts, and airblown monsters. But there are plenty of scary yard decorations too, like the Clawing Zombie Groundbreaker with LED Eyes or the creepy Upside Down Bat that’s over three feet long, with flapping wings and an evil laugh. Easy to hang, if you’ll pardon the pun, decorations include the Hanging Scarecrow, the Severed Hanging Torso and the Giant Spider Web. Oriental Trading Co. also carry a special effects fog machine, several strobe light sets, tealight candles and other Halloween props that are perfect for your Halloween haunted house.

*A product was provided.

Halloween Party Ideas with Oriental Trading Co

Are you looking for some super fun party ideas for your Halloween get together? We have some wonderful ideas that wont break the bank!

For younger kids, don’t do scary themes. Make it fun and friendly. We love the Peanuts theme for Great Pumpkin Hunt. There is a whole theme, banners, plates , napkins. You can literally make a whole party around this theme but we like to mix and match.

The Spider Web Baskets come as a set of three and are fun to hold candy, treat bags or other party goodies. We filled the Halloween bags full of candy for our party friends.

Other items featured:

Halloween Pattern Gift BagsHalloween Cellophane BagsBlack Cauldrons

 
*A product was provided.

5 tips on how to prevent hair loss

There are various causes associated with hair loss such as poor diet, heredity, diseases, stress and sometimes nursing mothers tend to shed off the hair too. Sometimes it can be due to the hair products that you are using or high exposure of the hair to extreme temperatures. This problem tends to affect women more than men especially if it is related to hair products or hormonal imbalance. Although some causes cannot be prevented, you can always adapt different methods to prevent the hair loss.

Five tips to prevent hair loss.

  1. Avoid heat devices.

Too much heat exposure causes the hair to become weak and brittle which results in hair breakage. Such heat comes from hair dryers, curling driers, and the hair straighteners. Let your hair dry naturally by using hair conditioners that prevent hair from tangling after washing your hair. Although sometimes it is good to use the devices especially when setting curls to get the right look and texture, do this procedure once in a while to avoid damaging your hair.

  1. Don’t pull your hair too much.

Pulling your hair too tight either when styling or plaiting can cause it to break. The high pulling causes the hair follicles to weaken hence resulting in hair loss. To prevent this, avoid plaiting your hair too often, you can do it maybe twice a month and ensure it is done loosely. Avoid tying your hair in a ponytail all the time or if you have to do so, do it loosely. Interchange your hairstyles is recommended to allow your hair relax.

  1. Use natural remedies.

Note that in men baldness is usually caused by a hormone referred to as DHT. Andrea’s article on DHT blockers is worth a read. So in her article, she has talked about the various ways that one can use to alter the functioning of the hormone DHT to prevent the hair loss. There are a variety of tips that one can use to block the hormone from functioning such as taking supplements, and there are various vitamins that one can use to help with the issue too. You can as well use natural remedies like consuming of pumpkin seeds which have shown tremendous improvement on the individuals affected by this hormone.

  1. Use the correct hair products.

Hair products like shampoo, moisturizer, and the conditioners affect your hair either negatively or positively. So gather enough information regarding the healthy hair products in the market and their effects so you can be able to make the right decision. If it is a shampoo use a mild shampoo that does not have a high concentration of chemicals. Also, you can use natural hair products that are made with organic ingredients like the olive oils and coconut oils.

  1. Use right hair brush.

Using an appropriate hairbrush also help to protect your hair from breaking. For example, if you have thick or kinky hair, avoid using a thin brush as it may be difficult to penetrate through the hair hence breaking it. Choose a hairbrush that is easy to comb through the hair and should be strong too.

Recognizing mental health issues in your children

Most parents find it fairly easy to tell when their children are unwell. If they have a fever, become very fatigued or lose their appetite, for instance, it’s reasonable to assume they might be heading for a bout of illness. Being aware of mental health issues is just as important as finding out about how physical illnesses, such as chickenpox or influenza will affect them. Fortunately, more attention is being paid to the mental health of young people than ever before, however it’s important that parents, teachers and those who care for children are aware of the symptoms and effects. Here are a few things to look out for if you’re concerned about your children’s mental wellbeing.

 

Being aware

 

It’s known that parents sometimes shy away from the notion that their child might be mentally and emotionally unwell. They may be concerned about the stigma associated with mental illness and the kind of medications that may be prescribed, as well as the challenges of dealing with it. If you feel this way it’s a good idea to learn more about some of the wonderful programs for young people in need of help – check out Newport Academy’s twitter feed, for example, to find out more.

 

Understanding the conditions

 

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can appear in very young children, usually before the age of three. This serious developmental condition has a number of different symptoms, which affect a child’s ability to interact and communicate with other people. The severity and range of these symptoms varies from person to person.

 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can include symptoms of three kinds – your child may have difficulty paying attention, be hyperactive and prone to impulsive behavior. Some children with ADHD may have only one of these symptoms, while others may have symptoms in all the categories.

 

Anxiety disorders that are a persistent problem include obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), social phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and a more generalized anxiety disorder. All of these can interfere with a child’s daily activities.

 

Although adults and children can have the same mental health issues they don’t always present with the same symptoms. For example, depression in an adult is usually manifested by sadness, whereas your child might exhibit extreme irritability.

 

Children and teenagers may also suffer one of the range of eating disorders. These include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and a disorder that results in binge eating. These are serious, sometimes life-threatening conditions, and you should get help immediately if you have evidence or strongly suspect that your child has become so preoccupied with food and weight that they are unable to focus on anything else.

 

Mood disorders include depression and also bipolar disorder. Your child may have persistent feelings of sadness or their mood may change very quickly, much more severely than the normal mood swings you may know are common in many people. The severe mental illness Schizophrenia causes psychosis, in which a child’s thought processes and emotions become so mixed up that they lose touch with reality. It most often appears in the late teenage years and during the 20s.

 

Spotting the symptoms

 

Sometimes when a child’s behavior changes it may be because they are going through a developmental stage however there are some signs to look out for if you become concerned.

You should be alert to the possibility of mental health issues if you realize your child is doing any of the following:

 

  • Avoiding friends and family
  • Attempting to self-harm or injure other children
  • Experiencing more frequent mood changes
  • Having more intense emotions, angry outbursts or exhibiting extreme fear
  • Beginning to neglect his or her appearance
  • Experiencing more difficulty concentrating as well as more problems at school
  • Lacking motivation or energy
  • Developing a lot of physical complaints
  • Having trouble sleeping, or having a lot of nightmares
  • Eating significantly more or less than usual
  • Becoming obsessed with his or her appearance, shape or weight.

 

Finally, even if you are aware of some of the symptoms of a mental illness remember that you won’t necessarily be able to identify it immediately. This is because some reactions are typical of normal childhood behavior and also because at first you may suspect a physical health issue. It’s also the case that some children may not be able to communicate their needs and concerns or explain their feelings. As a parent or carer you will need to be vigilant and responsive to your children’s needs, and perhaps to anticipate those needs if they have difficulty expressing them.

 

 

Impurities found in drinking water:

There are a number of impurities that may be present in your drinking water- its type and quantities will determine whether it is a risk to your health, or just an inconvenience.

 

The Australian Drinking Water Guidelines require that tap water “should contain no harmful concentrations of chemicals or pathogenic micro-organisms, and ideally it should be aesthetically pleasing in regard to appearance, taste and odour”.

 

However, contamination still does happen- from Oakley, whose water supply is contaminated by fire fighting foam to Sydney’s drinking water crisis where Giardia and Cryptosporidium contaminated the cities supply throughout 1998.

 

Furthermore, even if your water is safe when it leaves the reservoir, there are a number of ways it can be contaminated- including from your own piping!

 

Contaminants that are found in water include:

 

  • Copper:

Copper is safe in low levels and generally can’t be tasted. However, it is common for older households to have copper based plumbing systems- these can corrode and leach copper into your drinking water over time.

 

Copper contamination may be indicated if blue or green rings or staining are becoming apparent in your sinks or tap ware. Higher levels of copper (which pose a health concern) will cause discolouration of your water, a metallic smell, and an unpleasant taste. Filtration can remove copper.

 

  • Pesticides and Herbicides:

Pesticides can make their way into freshwater, and their cumulative effects are not fully understood. Whilst they are tested for, the Australian standards for acceptable pesticide quantities are much higher than those of the EU, which is certainly concerning! As such, filtration is a good option if your water originates from an area with intensive agriculture.

 

  • Nitrates:

Drinking water that is sourced from aquifers may have nitrate contamination. In low levels this is safe, however in higher levels can be a risk to babies less than three months old, causing ‘blue baby syndrome’. If nitrates are present in extremely high quantities it can also create health issues for pregnant women, and for those with a rare metabolic condition. Nitrates must be filtered out (i.e. via reverse osmosis), as boiling the water is not an effective treatment.

 

  • Microbes:

Microbes including Giardia, Legionella, Cryptosporidium, and Amoeba can pose a serious health risk should they contaminate the water supply. They are often present when faecal contamination of water occurs, and induce gastrointestinal illness in those infected. A recent outbreak in New Zealand left three dead and caused 5000 people to fall ill. Most common microbes (although not all) can be filtered out of drinking water.

 

  • Lead

A recent study found that 8% of Australian homes they tested had dangerously high lead levels of lead in their drinking water. This was largely due to their brass tap-ware. As lead is a dangerous neurotoxin, they recommended installing filters on their taps, or swapping them out entirely.

 

  • Arsenic:

Arsenic is tasteless, colourless, and odourless so can be difficult to detect in drinking water. Whilst small quantities are almost always present, in high quantities it is poisonous. Arsenic levels are tightly monitored for town supply, however can be an issue on private bores, due to either industrial contamination or naturally high levels in the soil. Testing can determine if arsenic is an issue in your water. If you know (or suspect) your water supply could be contaminated, filtration options are available.

 

Filtering contaminants from your drinking water is the smart choice for ensuring the health of you and your family. We recommend that you learn more about the range of filters available, and investigate which option best suits the issues faced in your area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Help: Ways Your Kids Can Help Decorate for Christmas

 

WIth less than 100 days until Christmas, the holiday season is looming on every mom’s mind. From gathering Christmas shopping lists and hunting for the best bargains to planning out the holiday decor, there’s a lot to do in a short amount of time. To keep focused on one of your favorite reasons for the season — family — here are a few age-appropriate ways that you can get your kids involved in your holiday projects.

Toddlers & Preschoolers

The littlest ones are often earnest in their desire to help, but their attempts to help can quickly go off the rails without a little planning and guidance. This is especially true if yours is very active and has a short attention span. To make sure your toddler or preschooler’s assistance is actually helpful, take some time to pre-plan all of your decorating activities and ways in which they can help. By having everything clearly fleshed out and written in a to-do list, you can help everyone to stay on task and avoid any overly ambitious projects that lead to both of you having meltdowns.

One easy way to involve your toddler is by having him help you shop for wreaths, ornaments, lights and other holiday decor. Let your child choose between two items at a time to maximize a short attention span and get decor that he can be excited about seeing around your house. By editing the options down to two items that you like, you can ensure that you’ll love his choice and avoid having a Paw Patrol Christmas wreath on your front door.

Another great way to involve your toddler in seasonal prep is by putting a creative spin on activities they already like doing. For instance, you could have your little one create a holiday-themed drawing that you scan into the computer and have made into holiday cards. Or engage your little artist in painting with some metallic silver and gold paint and then cut the paper into star shapes and string them into an abstract-painted garland to adorn your tree or mantle.

School-Age Kids

As kids reach elementary school, following directions begins to become second nature to many, making their involvement in holiday decorating much easier than with their younger siblings. Make the most of that small stature by having your school-age kids help you retrieve all of the holiday decor from your attic or crawl space. If you have multiple children, form an assembly line to make this process go even faster.

Help to inspire your school-aged child’s creativity by tasking her with planning an outdoor holiday display for your home. She’ll surely beam with pride every time she see your home’s outdoor lights glowing at night; you may even win as the most festive house in the neighborhood.

Encourage your kid to bring their holiday creativity indoors too by getting him or her a miniature Christmas tree to display in their room and decorate to their heart’s desire. Offer a small budget for decorations to help your little one learn the value of a dollar and how to make a little money go a long way.

Tweens & Teens

By the time your child has reached middle school and high school, the magic of Christmas isn’t quite the same as it was when they were small and believed in Santa Claus. It’s up to you to bring the youthful charm back to the holiday season in any way that you can.

One trend that’s gaining popularity and is sure to make your tween or teen do a double-take is an upside down Christmas tree. Add one of these to a room in your house where space is scarce and infuse the room with some seasonal sparkle in a flash. Have your teen help design the decor scheme and hang all of the lights and ornaments on the tree for a finished look that you’ll both love.

Ask your teen to hang all of the outdoor Christmas lights as well. This will be a useful practice of patience for both of you, but with extra help, you can finish this time-consuming task much faster than if you wearing hanging the lights outside alone.