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Archive for September, 2013

Getting Some Shut Eye: A Guide for New Parents

Friday, September 27th, 2013
By Anna

I didn’t believed my own mother when she told me that the day my first child was born, my sleep patterns would change forever. Like most of her worldly advice, I thought this statement was slightly dramatic and in my pre-parenthood naivety, I assumed that I would still be able to squeeze in my eight hours every night. How wrong I was.

People without children don’t understand that for parents, sleeping is a luxury indulgence that we grab when we can. As a mother of three, I understand the frustration of not being able to get a good night sleep and I can recall many a morning when I could have quite happily curled up on the washing line and snoozed away!
That’s why I’ve created this guide to helping parents get the essential shut eye they need.

Routine, routine, routine

It’s drummed into us by the midwife, the online parenting forums and the plethora of baby books on the bedside cabinet. Getting your baby into a routine of eating and sleeping – something you should begin no later than the three month mark – is of the utmost importance and something that will help you get some sleep at night. If your baby has a bedtime, you also have a bedtime!

Ditch the caffeine

For the first six months of my first child’s life, the coffee pot was my friend and confidant. I wasn’t breastfeeding, so would slurp my way through the day to stave off fatigue. Instant, whole bean, espresso – anything I could lay my hands on!

But come night time, I would spend hours lying awake as the caffeine pulsed through my body, even though I craved sleep. Limit your coffee drinking to the morning and early afternoon and switch to decaf or fruity teas the closer it gets to bedtime.

There are also alternations you can make to your diet to help you sleep at night, aside from cutting out the caffeine. Check out this handy guide, created by Woman’s Day, of the top ten foods to get you to sleep at night.

Make use of the spare bedroom

If you’re fortunate to have a spare room in your home, making this a dedicated sleeping zone for exhausted parents where one of you can retreat for a night of solid rest, while the other takes responsibility for the night time duties.

Create a space that’s designed for relaxation and rest. Decorate the room in calm, warm colours and invest in a single memory foam mattress, which are available to order online from Zleeps. Memory foam mattresses conform to the shape of your body for extreme comfort, so they’re perfect for those nights when you’re in desperate need of rest.

Make the most of your visitors

I know they mean well, but the flurry of visitors you receive when there’s a new baby in the house can be something of a nuisance – especially if you’re tired and irritable.
After you’ve made the cuppas and chatted with a visitor who also happens to have children, don’t worry about seeming rude by asking them to look after the baby while you catch forty winks. They’re a parent, so they’ll understand how tired you are and they’ll be delighted to spend half an hour cooing over the new arrival.

My mother was right. Once you have kids, your relationship with sleep will change forever. Even though the days of snoozing until lunch time are over, these tips should help you to get enough rest until your children go to university! Happy sleeping!

How to Do a Yard Sale Right

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
By Margaret

It’s a pretty big week for my neighborhood. We’ve been planning for our annual neighborhood Yard Sale Extravaganza, an event that, with more than forty household participating, requires all hands on deck in the preparation stage. Yard Sale

This year, I’m in charge of getting the custom yard signs printed up. We do things right in my neighborhood. We actually have a planning committee, and a promotion budget. Everyone kicks in $20 dollars for signs and advertising, and starting a couple weeks before the big day we bombard the county with news of our sale. We don’t go as far as some community yard sales I’ve heard of, with a mailing list featuring custom postcards and email blasts, but still, I was impressed when I moved in with how things are done around here.

All the advertising and planning really works. By 7am on the big day, our street is flooded with people in cars looking for that super bargain. By nine, traffic is insane, and parking becomes an issue. Many of us are sold out by then.

One side effect of the good advertising, and the high foot traffic, is that we always get better prices for our junk then we would if we were operating alone. The average garage sale draws a few dozen people, who pick over the tables looking for that 25¢ steal. We found out pretty quickly that if you have two thousand people tramp through your lawn on a Saturday morning, you’ll generally find someone willing to pay ten dollars for your used toaster.

So, that’s my advice, gang up with all your neighbors, do a little planning, and have a community yard sale all at once. You’ll draw more people, and get more money with a little extra work.

Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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