How to Plan a Family Reunion

Planning a family reunion requires inspiration and some original ideas. This can be done on a budget but also very expensive. Your expectations are important and probably you want to invite more people when you are going to marry or to celebrate your 50th anniversary of your wedding than in case you want to plan a birthday party.

Some kinds of family reunions are:
– New Year or
– Birthday parties
– A yearly happy together with the family
– A wedding
– A golden jubilee

Other important things you need to consider:
– Which is the budget that you can afford?
– Do you have a small or a large family?
– Do the most of your family members live in the same city and country or not?
– Do you want to pay all the expenses or can you distribute the expenses?

If you have an answer for all these questions you can start with the real planning of your family reunion.

THE PLANNING OF THE DATE

If the reunion is only with a few members of the family the invitations can be done by phone or email. If the group is larger it will take some time and you need to send the invitations surely a few months before the reunion. It is necessary that you do some research of the addresses of the family members and determinate a date for registration. It is necessary that you know who will come to order the food and other arrangements what concerns the transport, hotel and some other accommodation.

LOCATION

Search for a good location where you can bring the family together and choose for a good meal. Delicious food is important for an enjoyable family reunion.

PLANNING OF THE ACTIVITIES

A family reunion is a happy together with many members of the family and they look forward to this day. Of course it is important that you plan some activities. Knowing the interests of your family members is very important. Some suggestions are sport activities, dancing, a show with a singer or a theater act.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Are you going to pay all the expenses by yourself or does everyone to share in the expenses? In most cases you will pay the expenses by yourself and you make a list of ideas for some presents. If everyone will need to pay by subscription don’t make it too expensive.

EVALUATION

It is important that you evaluate the positive and negative aspects of the family reunion. It is the best manner to improve a family reunion in the future.

Enjoy your family reunion!

Infant Colic Means Screaming Baby: Some Colicky Babies Cry a Lot and Are Difficult to Comfort

Newborns typically cry for an hour or more per day. While it may be comforting to know that this is normal baby behavior, it can be quite disconcerting to deal with a screaming baby. It’s even more stressful if your baby cries more than the average baby.

Some babies cry more and are less easily soothed than other babies. Heavy criers are often termed "high need" babies by pediatricians. High need babies often exhibit other behaviors like wanting to be held constantly. Many parents may refer to their intense infants as colicky.

Colic Defined

In fact, the official definition of a baby with colic is an infant who cries for a minimum of three hours per day, at least three times per week, over a time period of three weeks or more as noted in the Journal of Clinical Nursing. Nurses and pediatricians refer to this as the "rule of threes."

Some infants may have extreme crying bouts seven days a week, and the colic stage may extend from around the age of two weeks up to four months. These episodes come on spontaneously and often fall during the late afternoon or evening hours.

Fortunately, babies do outgrow colic. Most colic issues resolve by four months. Six up to nine months seems to be the outside estimate.

Causes Are Undetermined

The medical community has not identified specific causes of colic. Studies done by Pregnancy Info suggest that infants are more likely to be colicky if labor was prolonged, if forceps were required during delivery or if the mother was or is a smoker. These are, however, general observations. Many babies are calm given the same circumstances.

Scope of the Problem

Between 15 and 20 percent of all babies are defined as suffering from colic. Some researchers estimate the numbers higher. It’s simply difficult to measure such behaviors consistently. What one parent might consider excessive crying may seem quite normal to another parent. Just as infants vary in temperament and patience, so too do parents.

Dealing with Colic

If your baby does cry excessively, you’ll likely develop a range of responses. Babies tend to train parents too.

Some babies may be calmed by riding in the car. Others seem to like to sit in an infant seat on top of the dryer (with an adult holding the chair and monitoring closely). Your baby may calm down if swaddled, or he or she may get more upset if bundled.

Something that may work one day may not work the next which is really discouraging.

Baby May Need Some Time to Cry

In some cases, it may be best to put your baby in a safe place and let him cry it out. Be certain first that you’ve met all his or her needs and that he or she isn’t sick. There are times when your baby may simply be overestimated and needs a little time to wind down.

Do check back frequently and offer physical and verbal support. You don’t want to desert your baby or send the message that you’re not there for him or her. You really can’t spoil an infant. But, there are rare times when your baby may need to cry and get it out of his or her system.

Ask for Help

Do enlist help if you are dealing with a colicky baby. You will almost certainly be stressed after listening to screams that seem never ending. Take a tag team approach with a trusted adult. Dad/Mom or a grandparent may take over while you take a walk or go to the store. Even a few minutes away can make a huge difference.

Do avoid the urge to pass your baby along to any willing helper. Babies with colic may not adapt well to new or multiple caregivers. Passing your baby from one person to the next and so on may compound the problem.

Talk to Your Pediatrician

Talking to your pediatrician about colic may be helpful, although medical help is limited when it comes to colic. Previously colic was thought to suggest a gastro-intestinal problem. Pediatricians often prescribed antispasmodics, sedatives and other medications. These treatments did not prove particularly effective, and the Children's Medical Office now indicates that colicky babies do not have any more gas in their intestines than those babies who are not colicky.

Colic Isn't Forever – It Just Seems Like It

While it may seem like the colic stage will never end, it does eventually. By the middle of his or her first year, your baby will likely outgrow extreme crying episodes. On the bright side, colicky infants are not more likely to be difficult toddlers than those who were calmer babies. Weather the rough months and look forward to more tranquil times as your baby gets a little older.

Focus on the Family with Family Time Management

In the not too distant past, the average family had 2 children and one parent who was the primary income earner, and another who looked after the children and the home.

However, times have changed. Families are under increasing time and money pressure and kids have greater levels of distractions than ever before.

In most circumstances, both parents work and also have to find time to do the daily chores and drop their kids at school of after school activities.

Not surprisingly do people report being under so much pressure.

So how do you balance work and family life. There are two key factors that will help you to do this. The first involves having a setting goals and the second is ensuring that your time is spent effectively on these goals.

  1.  Set family goals

Having a long-term perspective on where you want to go helps to inform on your decisions today.

With no goals is like setting off on a road trip without a map of where you want to go. What do you want from your career and your family life? What are your aspirations?

In this time on great uncertainty, having a clear vision that you feel in control of can greatly help to reduce your stress.

When setting family goals it is important to get the family involved in the goal setting process. However, it is important that the parents discuss before they set out involving the children.

Some of these questions may involve – Do you want to concentrate more on school or will the demands of school change? What about your job? Do you want you and your family to have plenty of free time or do you want to fill it up you time with many activities?

What are the needs of the different family members?

  1.  Set a timetable.

Having a clear vision of what you and your family members want and then spending your time on these things is effective. I find it useful to create a family timetable.

On this family timetable I put the different members of the family and break their time into half hourly increments.

Once I have done this, I can then identify pockets of time where I pursue my family goals – such as helping my children with homework or spending time with my partner.

I find that this also alert me to how I am actually spending my time.

For example, when I first did this I found that I was watching too much television. Then I got thinking that this is not really aligned with my family goals. As a result I am spending more quality time with my children and partner.

Conclusion

Time management for the family starts not just at the home but also at work. By effectively using your time at work you are able to spend more time with the people that matter most to you.

Time management can help you to improve the quality of the time that you spend with your family.

Plan a Family Reunion

Family reunions can be quite the ordeal when it comes to planning and reaching out to relatives you have not seen in ages. There are many challenges to putting such an event together. This is a tremendous task that will require enlisting the help of a few more individuals so do not hesitate to reach out to siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. With such planning comes the initial decision of the location of the family reunion. Do you want to host the event in the middle of the country or at the location of the family's eldest member? Other items to consider for such gatherings include time of year, accommodations, venues, games, and budget.

Time of year

Planning the family event can be complicated when trying to decide what time of the year to hold the family reunion. The season and climate play a large role in deciding the time of year to host the gathering. If you want to promote outdoor activities you may decide to host in spring, summer or fall, though you can accomplish this objective in the winter if the event location is in a southern state such as Florida. The other deciding factor is to avoid critical times of the year that hover around holidays such as Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. These times of the year usually accompany weeklong family vacations that you do not want to interrupt.

Accommodations.

When it is decided that you want to move forward with planning a family reunion, it is imperative to start contacting hotels at least a year before the event. Such advanced notice will provide the hotel staff enough time to reserve your request and be able to hopefully provide you with group rate. The hotel will also begin sending you brochures on area activities of which you can begin working on a family itinerary. Depending on your gathering size, try securing more than one hotel or inn to allow your long distant relatives some flexibility with hotel costs.

Where to Meet

The hotel that is housing your family members may have such amenities as conference facilities, but that is not the only option to your grand gathering. People may wish to meet in outdoor venues as forest preserves, outdoor pavilions, amusement parks, zoos, etc. Some may prefer to meet at national geographic wonders as the Grand Canyon National Park or notable historic landmarks located in the Washington D.C. area.

Games

There are a number of games to play with the extended family. Such games can be divided by age groups from little children up through the seniors. Children may benefit from a family soccer game to such field games as capture the flag or "steal the bacon". Adults and seniors may find fun games such as family trivia that pose such questions about different members of the clan. It is also ideal to enlist a couple of relatives to gather family pictures and put together a scrap book for everyone to peruse and sign as soon as the arrive at the event.

Costs

The cost of hosting such event varies. The cost can be relatively low if you are hosting the event with inexpensive accommodations and hosting the meeting at a lecture hall or outdoor pavilion. However the amount of money spent can be extremely high if everyone decides that they want to hold their meeting at Disney World or in Hawaii. It all depends on everyone's budget. Typically it is recommended to keep the costs down low as to avoid putting people on the spot for committing to such high prices.

Homemade Baby Food: A Better Choice Than Store-Bought

When baby is ready to eat, it's so convenient to pull a jar of baby food out of the cabinet, pop the top, and go. But is store-bought baby food best for you or your baby? Here are a few reasons why you might want to consider making your own baby food.

More Economical

Making your own baby food can save you a lot of money. Here is one example of its money-saving potential.

4 oz. jar of carrots: $0.50 (12.5 cents per ounce)

32 oz bag of carrots: $2.00 (6.25 cents per ounce)

It may not seem like much at first, but over time, that money saved will really add up.

You Choose the Ingredients

When you make it yourself, there are no added preservatives, salt, or sugar. You control what goes into the food, therefore controlling what goes into your baby.

Guaranteed Freshness

Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing how fresh the fruits and vegetables were that went into that jar of baby food. But if you make it yourself, you can pick the freshest produce to go into the food.

Easy to Do

Following these simple steps, you will have a good stock of baby food in your freezer in no time.

  • Choose the fruits and vegetables you are going to use.
  • Steam, boil, bake, or microwave the fruits and vegetables.
  • Use a food processor or blender to puree the produce.
  • Pour the pureed food into ice cube trays and freeze until ready to use!

What to Do with the Baby's Placenta: Using or Memorialising the Placenta After Birth

Once the midwife or HCP has examined the placenta to make sure it is complete, it is yours. However, some hospitals will automatically throw it and the umbilical cord away as medical waste, so it's wise to advise your HCP if you wish to keep it.

Cord Blood Banking

Banking the baby's cord and placental blood in order to save it for future medical emergencies is a decision that needs to be made ahead of time. Usually blood is taken from the placenta as well as the umbilical cord; after this, the placenta may still be kept and used in other ways.

Placentaphagy (Eating the Placenta)

While most women might find this a stomach-churning option, there is legitimate science behind consuming the placenta. Placentas are immensely rich in vitamins and hormones which ease the postpartum period. Oxytocin is a 'happy hormone' which encourages bonding in the mother, and helps stimulate uterine contractions and prevent post-partum haemmorhage (in fact, one old-time remedy for PPH is to quickly give the mother a bite of placenta). Placentas are also rich in zinc, the 'mothering vitamin', which helps women bond with their babies. Research has shown that nearly all herbivorous mammals consume their placentas. First-time animal mothers often neglect to do this, and it has been suggested that their lack of maternal instincts is related to the lack of mothering hormones and vitamins contained in the placenta.

Most placentaphages eat their placentas to avoid post-partum depression, with great anecdotal success. Recipes can be found online for consuming the placenta raw (smoothies are a popular option), cooked in stews or stir-fries, or for the less strong-stomached, dried, ground and capsulised. Capsulised placenta lasts indefinitely, and some women have found it so effective they save some capsules to treat bouts of regular (non-pregnancy-related) depression.

Placentas can also be made into a tincture.

Making Placenta Prints

Using ink, some women like to commemorate the placenta by making a print on paper. These prints often accompany ultrasound pictures and the baby's first hand- and foot-prints as a visual record of the pregnancy and birth.

Planting the Placenta

Rich in hormones, placentas make things bloom! One lovely ritual involves planting the placenta underneath a special tree which represents the child. Families who move house frequently sometimes plant a small tree in a large pot. This ritual can take place soon after the child's birth, or delayed (freezing the placenta meanwhile) until the child is old enough to participate. It is important to plant the placenta deeply enough that it does not touch the roots of the plant, otherwise the strength of the hormones may 'burn' and kill the tree. In Maori culture, returning the placenta to the land symbolises the relationship between the child and the land (in fact the same word, whenua, is used for both 'land' and 'placenta').

Placentas After Lotus Birth

A lotus birth, in which the placenta and umbilical cord remain attached to the baby until they fall off, means the placenta is unrefrigerated for up to two weeks. Lotus birthers traditionally pack salt around the placenta to prevent it decaying during this time: however, after it has fallen off the placenta should be treated as unsafe meat and not consumed.

My Parenting Resolution for 2020 is Academic Accountability

Each January, I announce to my children that we are having a meeting. All four of them file into the dining room and slink into a chair, some eyes are rolling, some are whimpering and whining on the way to their seats, in anticipation. The oldest with his extra years of wisdom has the mentality of "let's just listen and get it over with". It is the annual event of "what needs to change because it made me crazy last year" family meeting.

This year's theme is Academic Accountability. I would love to change my children's habits of leaving dishes where they don't belong or brushing the dog more. ( I could go on and on) But you don't want to overwhelm them with too many changes, because kids are pretty set in their ways and if you try to change everything you have been doing for years, it's all going to be ineffective and you will have even more chaos in your house than you did before.Changes need to be made slowly and only a few at a time. I have learned that I tend to be overambitious in my changes, hoping that I will go from a messy house, kids screaming at each other, dog barking to my children coming home to milk and cookies and elevator music on throughout our sparkling clean house. But after 15 years of parenting, I have given up on that idea and I will almost settle for just getting my youngest son to stop peeing on the toilet seat despite the fact that I have told him 4 million times how to avoid this. I would indeed be thrilled with that change!

This year's major parenting resolution for me is to better help my children achieve the best grades they can. When I say that, I am not holding them to getting straight A's, which I know each of them can do, but I am for the most part asking for A's and B's. This past fall, I had 3 of my children begin a very big school transition, one went into first grade, one went into middle school, and my oldest began his first year in high school. Each of them ending up with report cards that could have been a whole lot better, and were much worse than the year before, which I anticipated slightly with the big change of a new school and a new system. This is not to say that I have not already been checking their grades and monitoring their school and homework, but I need to do a better job at it and stop allowing them to skate by in some ways.

I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mother who can devote the time needed to this, because this is not as easy as some may think. Between my 4 kids, they have 16 teachers. Each teacher has their own website, or blog or something they want me to check, usually daily or weekly. I also have one child with ADHD so a structured plan is helpful for him. A great tool my school district provides is a website that my middle school and high school students are able to check on their assignments and grades. This enables me to monitor their weekly progress, test scores, missing assignments, due dates, upcoming tests etc. This is an invaluable tool that I need to utilize more for their best interest. I noticed that my children's major problem was missing assignments. My children are very smart, my two oldest are each taking one honors course this year, but they fail to understand the consequences of not turning in an assignment in and what it can do to their grades. They often say things like "it's just 10 points". Yet at the end of the grading period they have missed 7 assignments for 10 points, they are now down 70 points. One of my children does extremely well on tests, but fails to turn in notes or writing assignments. I explained to him that he got a 90 percent on a test that he worked hard on, but wasted it basically because he was missing a 100 point essay!

Therefore, I vow to be more effective in my parenting methods as far as being their academic supporter and advocate for the year. I will do a better job of making sure everyone sits down to do their homework after school and not putting it off until "later" or after dinner because in my house this is code for "it's never going to happen". I will implement a new system in my house that makes them understand that their education and schooling is our number one priority. Which means that if they show a missing assignment on the website, they have no privileges until it is turned in. No video or computer games, no cell phones or texting friends, no free time on weekends until it is completed and I have seen it. I will no longer fall for the line, "yeah I did it, I'll turn it in next week". My children already are not allowed to play video or computer games on school nights because they need to focus on their homework and cleaning up after themselves and taking care of their pet. When video games are allowed on school nights, there is always fighting and crying to share games in a short amount of time and they rush through homework I have found. So when the weekend comes they are starved for screen time, so weekend game time is pretty important to them. We are a family who loves our games so I think this will work as long as my husband and I keep it up. I will also be making sure that each and every one of my kids reads every school night before bed for at least 20 minutes up to 30 minutes for the older ones. Even though I model this behavior by reading several books a week and my kids are all exceptional readers, I don't think they read often enough anymore now that they are older.

Our Parenting Resolution for 2020 is " Academic Accountability".
1. No missing assignments or homework not turned in on time or no privileges until it is completed & turned in!
2. They must study for all upcoming tests. (Even if they know everything already, which is what they will say)
3. Everyone must read Monday-Thursday Nights for 20-30 minutes before they go to bed and keep track with a reading log. (Which are needed for school for almost all kids)
4. They are to do their very best work, no more sloppy writing to finish quickly.
5. They are to be responsible for their work, keeping track of their books, backpacks, library books, checking assignments, knowing when their homework is due and bringing home the required items needed to do their homework or projects. If not they will have one weekend day of privileges and screen time taken away.

It is my parenting resolution but also a resolution for each child as well. It is showing them that they need to be accountable for their education. It will teach them that missing assignments are unacceptable even one time. It is hard enough to get an A turning in all your assignments, because no one is perfect. I hope they learn that they need to be accountable for their stuff and their lives and responsibilities and that they can count on me to support them and guide them, but I won't be enabling them and doing things for them or making excuses for them why they didn't have time to get things done on time. I will make their education my number one priority in hopes that they follow my lead and make it their number one priority for the rest of their school years. When they go on to college, these habits will be beneficial to their academic success and survival. When they have careers they will understand that not completing all your work or slacking off is unacceptable and it negates any hard work you did on other tasks. You need to be consistent in your work or whatever you do in life because you are just making things harder on yourself by selling yourself short. I encourage my children to not only learn as much as they can in school, but to dream big and be something in this life that will help others or change the world. I hope that one day my hard work and sacrifices pay off for them which will be a reward beyond measure and that I will eventually have a clean toilet seat!

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