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Archive for May, 2009

My son got his Black Belt yesterday

May 31, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

Isaac has been in Tae Kwon do for 3.5 years and yesterday was his Black Belt test.   The test was rather grueling and lasted for a little over 2hrs. Isaac’s nerves seemed to calm down as he was warming up for the test when he arrived at the Dojang.

He ended up passing the test with an overall grade of A!

For the past 3 months he has been training very hard for this test and a few times he actually wanted to quit!  I kept the pep talks coming and kept encouraging him to keep at it, try his best and never give up on something you want.  Well it paid off. He stood up to the challenge and stuck to it.

During the test he had to perform 4 patterns, spar with 2 opponents, use 3 techniques to break boards AND he had to do his self defense moves. All in All he did a marvelous job!

His board breaks were challenging as they doubled the boards and had to break 2 boards (back to back) with each technique.

Here are a few short (1min or less) videos of the events:

Getting the actual belt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adiUoJ758go

Board Breaks http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FSTNTTi4z4 <–yes his 1st kick split the wood so that it FLEW to me and the camera…lol

Self Defense: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U8aSfdN-oI

Here are a few pictures that were taken during and after the test.
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GETTING READY TO SPAR
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GRINNING FROM EAR TO EAR!
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LEADING THE CLASS IN SOME WARM UPS

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HIS CERTIFICATE

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Fun Summer Break Activities

May 31, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children No Comments →

Summer break will soon be here and the children will be home for over two months. To save yourself from having to listen to them cry, “Mom, I’m bored,” here are five fun activities to do with your children over summer break.

1. Play Games

Children of all ages love to play games. Consider having a family fun night once a week where everyone in the family plays games together. Make an evening of it by planning a special meal, perhaps having pizza delivered. Then break out the games and have fun.

Each week, let one child select the games that you’ll play. They can be board games, card games, video games, or whatever the child chooses. If you have enough people in your family, you may want to break into teams and play against each other. Of course, there should be one parent per team.

2. Watch a Movie

Watching movies that everyone in the family can enjoy is another fun activity you can do with your children. This may take some forethought and planning ahead, however.

Go as a family to the video rental store and look to see what videos are available. Have one person make a list of all the videos you would like to watch as a family, and then work your way through the list. Make some popcorn or a movie-themed snack, sit back, and enjoy yourselves.

3. Go to a Museum

When children think of museums, they probably don’t think of fun. However, most science museums are fun because they have activities for the children to do for the various sections of the museum. You may even find, after a visit to the science museum, that you have one or more budding scientists on your hands.

4. Go to the Zoo

Children usually love zoos and being able to see all the different animals of the world. Check with a zoo near you to see if they have discount days during the summer. Take the children to the zoo on that day and be sure to allow each to purchase a souvenir. They’re sure to remember the day fondly.

5. Go Swimming

Find a pool nearby and go swimming. If your children don’t know how to swim, this year would be a great time for them to learn. Not only will knowing how to swim possibly save your child’s life, it really is a lot of fun.

You don’t have to dread the upcoming summer vacation. You won’t have to listen to them complain of being bored, especially if you use one or more of these five fun activities you can do with your children over the summer break. Remember that anything you do with them for fun will make the day, and the summer, go by a whole lot quicker.

Mom, You Know Family is Important, but Where Do You Find the Time? Click here for instant help.

Dealing With Panic Attacks

May 29, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living 1 Comment →

If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, panic attacks may be a part of your life. Even with proper medication, many patients suffer from panic attacks. Although predicting when a panic attack will happen may be a bit tricky, you can take steps to prepare for and begin dealing with panic attacks in order to take back control of your life.

The first step in dealing with panic attacks is to learn to breathe. When a person has a panic attack, often they feel so overwhelmed that they forget to simply breathe properly. Many doctors, therefore, advocating safe breathing practices in order to help calm anyone having a panic attack. In fact, if you’ve ever had a panic attack in public, someone may have tried to get you to breath into a paper bag. This may or may be a good method for you, but the fact is that you should know and practice your breathing exercise before you are panicking. Have a plan—learn calming breathing techniques and practice at least twice a day.

Another great way a to starting dealing with panic attacks is to simply know your triggers. Do you have a specific phobia? Is excess stress your downfall? Do certain situations seem impossible for you? When you know what triggers panic reactions, you can do your best to avoid or minimize these situations.

You should also be medically prepared for a panic attack. When you go outside of the home, take with you a list of emergency contacts, which should include your doctor’s number, your local crisis hotline, and members of your personal support systems. You can use these phone numbers yourself if you feel a panic attack starting, or another person will easily find this information in your purse or wallet if you are not capable of helping yourself.

Also take with you a bag to help you feel comfortable and calm down during a panic attack. A crucial part of the bag is any medications you may be taking, along with instructions on taking it. You can also include any items from home that will help you feel more comfortable. This can include herbal tea, a stuffed animal, religious items, photos, rubber bands to snap on your wrist, mints, hand cream, money, a puzzle book, and anything else that may help you relax, stimulated your brain, or distract yourself. Remember, comfort is key.

By following any of the suggestions above, dealing with panic attacks now can begin to be a tad easier

Healthy Eating Habits

May 27, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living No Comments →

Have you ever heard the saying you are what you eat? In some sense, this is true, because if you eat unhealthy foods you are prone to be an unhealthy person. The foods we ingest are extremely important to our ability to grow, maintain function, and prevent illness. Therefore, if you value your health, you should learn as much about developing a healthy eating habit.

 

Healthy eating is important from the day we are born. As a child, we grow quite rapidly and this is due in part to the foods we eat. Foods all contain nutrients that provide us not only with fuel to live our daily lives, but also with the very substances that build our bones, muscles, and organ tissues. Not getting enough of one nutrient or another can cause a variety of problems, including stunting our growth. For mothers who are nursing, nutrition is important because breast milk contains the nutrients a child needs to grow and develop properly. Upon growing older, these nutrients are then found in food, but don’t think that healthy eating isn’t important for growth after you’ve gone through puberty. Cells continuous break down and rebuild, so developing a healthy eating habit is important. 

 

Maintaining function is also not important without healthy eating. In out daily lives, we use energy to think, walk, talk, breathe, and perform any other action. The energy it takes our body to do these things comes from two places: fat reserves in the body or our daily food intake. If you don’t eat healthy foods, you will find that you are storing more fat that necessary or that you aren’t getting enough and you feel sluggish or weak. Along with energy-providing nutrients, like fats and carbohydrates, we also need the right nutrients to allow our organs to do their jobs. Hormones and other substances in the body make sure that everything is working properly. If you don’t eat the right nutrients, your body cannot produce these hormones and, as a result, cannot function properly.

 

Lastly, a healthy eating habit is important in order to prevent illness. When we do not get the right nutrients, or body’s natural defense system against diseases weakens, allowing viruses and bacteria to attack the body. It’s like a well-trained army—if the army doesn’t have enough to eat, it will not do well in battle. Without healthy foods and plenty of water, our bodies simply could not operate on a day-to-day basis. Learning how to eat healthy foods is therefore and important lesson, and one which we should begin learning as children.

 

Additional Help!

 

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School’s Out for the Summer

May 24, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Parenting No Comments →

Do You Know Where Your Teen Will Be?

All of the stress associated with the school year has begun to dissipate and now is the time for all good teens to break out and use their free time to engage in summertime fun. Do you know what your teen plans to do? Has your teen obtained a summer job, or will he or she spend the entire time at home unsupervised. Do you know where your teen will be?

These are questions most parents face during the summertime. Perhaps both you and your husband work full time, or work at home. Whatever the case may be, your teen has a great deal of free time, which can either be utilized to increase their emotional and educational growth, or to engage in activities which may be the catalyst for potential trouble.

Let’s face it, for some teens the first day of summer is looked upon as a license to run wild with no cares in the world except their own. While every teen needs a few weeks to unwind, if there has been no advanced planning on what your teen can be doing during summertime, the door is open for them to waste time watching TV or playing video games or hooking up with friends and just hanging out at the beach. This is a great concern for parents who want their teens to increase their physical activity and mental prowess during the summer months in a safe environment.

What can parents do to ensure they are not only aware of where their teen will be, but what they will be doing?
If you are concerned about your teen this summer, it’s time to have a serious conversation wherein you set up a series of rules.

Here are some tips which may help in this regard:

• Establish a curfew for your teen, both day and night.

• If you are a working parent, ask your teen what he or she will be doing during the day. Inform your teen that permission is required before they venture out.

• Remain in constant touch with your teen via a cell phone.

• Invited your teen’s friends over for a Saturday barbeque. This will allow you to get to know who your teen hangs out with.

• Set up a routine of chores your teen can help with at home, and for which he or she can earn extra money.

• Plan family outings to museums or places of interest on the weekends.

• Take your teen to the library and choose a number of books to read over the summer. Since this is a requirement of most public schools, encouraging your teen to expand his or knowledge will help them advance in school as well.

• Limit the amount of TV and computer time. Use parental controls, which are part of all Internet service providers.

• If you are a working parent, plan a week’s vacation for the entire family. You can either choose a destination that has a great deal of history, or a place in which the family can spend quality time together and reestablish the family unit.

Summertime for teens can either be a safe, fun-filled experience, or it can be a time where worry is your constant enemy. Open communication with your teen is not only important, but is paramount in continuing parental control over your teen in every facet of their growth. While your teen may not like it now, they will thank you later.

For more information on planning a great summer for your teen, visit School’s Out! Plan For the Perfect Teen Summer.

Monday Motivation

May 18, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

Gotta Love Mondays!!

The 1st step I take in organizing my week is to carve some time out to get cozy with my BlackBerry and reveiw my entire week to be sure that nothing will slip throught the cracks. I add things, move things around and at times, I will just pass them off to another person and delete them (smile).

I am preparing to do the Monday Breakthrough Chat sponsored by Mom Masterminds. Its a weekly chat that my awesome WAHM Buddy Kelly McCausey asked me to be a part of. This weeks topic is all about “Staying Motivated in Your Business”.

On my list of things to accomplish this week are:

  • Connect with Tishia Lee and be sure that everything in on track for my Real Life Affiliates.  Tishia is helping me give my affiliates the boost that they need and I am so excited about it. 
  • Secure my guest for the next Parenting My Teen show that will air next Monday.
  • Drop off Isaac papers for Summer Camp at the Y (can you believe how fast the school year went)?

So, what about you. What is your focus on this week?

Toddler Temper Tantrums

May 18, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Parenting No Comments →

Young parents get scared when they hear stories about the “terrible twos.” Take courage, though, you will survive the toddler stage.  It’s not easy to understand why your toddler has a tantrum but at such a young age, a child is consumed with thoughts of themselves.  Everything is about them and how they feel.  Until they are taught how to share, every toy or piece of food they see automatically belongs to them. 

Toddler temper tantrums can have a variety of effects.  Your first thought might be that everyone is focused on you and your screaming child, but getting embarrassed won’t diffuse the situation.  Besides, as a parent, you have many more years of embarrassing situations to look forward to courtesy of your children.  So worrying about what others think during this situation is simply going to stress you and make you feel worse.

Here are a few tips to help you cope during temper tantrums:

1. Ignore the temper tantrum.  This technique works best when at home.  In public places, you don’t want to ever leave your child unattended as a form of punishment.  Good behavior in public begins at home.  Ignoring a toddler is not harsh.  If your child is squirming on the floor screaming for a cookie, continue to talk to them as if you never noticed.  Eventually, they will get the hint and stop screaming. 

2. Avoid instant gratification.  In public, toddlers throw temper tantrums when they are denied something that they want.  Some parents give in to keep their child quiet but a child learns quickly.  Temper tantrums will continue if they know you will cave.  Simply tell them “no” and keep moving.

3. Don’t get angry.  When you scream and they scream the situation is wildly out of control.  You’ll end up crying and your toddler will still be screaming.  In any situation, raised voices mean civilized conversation has ended in favor of basic primal instincts.  Don’t revert back to the days of early man.  Keep using the same calm voice you use when they are behaving to get your child to calm down as well.

4. Praise your toddler when they behave well.  Positive reinforcement is better than negative.  In the absence of positive attention a child will behave badly just to get some attention at all.  Acting out and throwing tantrums may be a cry for attention.  Don’t let it get to this point.  Clap and celebrate when they go to the potty successfully and when they put away their toys.  Good manners such as saying “please” and “thank you” deserve a smile and a hand clap as well.

5. Run errands after nap time.  Kids get punchy when they get tired.  A toddler misbehaves more often if they are dragged around when they are tired. 

6. Carry snacks with you.  Low blood sugar can lead to tantrums.  If you are out longer than anticipated and lunch or dinner time is close at hand, let them eat a healthy snack to keep their hunger pains at bay and sugar levels stable.
 
7. Be consistent in your punishment.  At home, you might use “time out” to deal with a tantrum for bad behavior.  In public do the same.  Sit your child on a bench for five minutes or take them to the car.  Eventually they will learn that you are not a pushover and they will begin to behave.

Visit Dealing with the Terrible Twos and Beyond and learn exactly how to use words to prevent tantrums, and get your kids to do what you want.

Menu Planning Tips for Busy Moms

May 17, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

Dinner is the last meal of the day and a time when families can get together and discuss their day. It is also a hectic meal for busy moms who are just getting off of work or who have been busy with other activities all day. If you are a busy mom or you know a busy mom, here are some menu planning tips to help make dinner meals easy and even fun.

1. Schedule your meals a week in advance. This is one of the most important planning tips for meals. Knowing what you are going to eat throughout the week means less chance that you will stop off at the closest fast food joint for a convenient, but unhealthy meal. Decide on the last day of the previous week (let’s say Saturday for the sake of argument) what the menu will be for the following week. Create your shopping list from the list of ingredients to avoid buying what you don’t need at the grocery store.

2. Look for bargains. Clip coupons, read advertising circulars and the like to decide where the best grocery to shop is for your menu items. If one ingredient is a common denominator in many meals, consider buying in bulk to save money. Common staples like milk, eggs, bread and sugar can be bought in bulk as well. Some stores will have double or triple coupon days when you can save even more.

3. Search online. After a while your family will get tired of chicken and rice every Thursday. You can get into a menu rut sometimes. Use the Internet to search for new and exciting recipes. Learn to put a twist on old recipes for a new taste.

4. Have a leftover night. After preparing meals for five or six days, there is bound to be some food left over. Designate one night to be leftover night and let everyone mix and match for dinner. It saves mom from having to throw away any food.

5. Cook your meals in advance. After deciding on a menu plan for the week, go ahead and fix as many meals as you can. Choose a day when the entire family can help like Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon. Each person can take one meal and fix it for the following week. Once everything has cooled, store it in sealed containers or casserole dishes to be frozen until the night it is needed.

6. Do prep work in advance. All of the meals can’t be cooked at once. Some foods just taste better freshly prepared. For them, so as much prep work in advance as you can. Enlist your kids to help chop (give them the kitchen shears instead) vegetables, dice cooked meat and mix together dry ingredients. The night of the meal, all that is needed is to add the wet ingredients and bake.

Meal time doesn’t have to be all on mom. The entire family can help with dinner so it is a relaxing meal for everyone. Visit here for more free tips.

Relaxation Tips for Busy Moms

May 15, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Parenting No Comments →

It seems like there is no rest of the weary. And, the weary person is usually mom. Moms take care of hearth and home, but who takes care of her? If you are a busy mom, learn to value yourself as a person and schedule personal time.

Personal time is a right of being a person. Each of us has the capacity to nurture others but that type of care takes its toll.

A car is filled with gas to make it run. Eventually the gas runs out and your car won’t move unless the car is replenished with fuel. The same goes for you. Emotional issues can develop when you don’t take the time to take care of your emotional well-being, not to mention the physical results of emotional neglect.

Mom time refuels the tank so that you can give to your family as well as yourself in equal measure. Don’t be ashamed to sit for fifteen minutes doing nothing. In the springtime, relaxing in a hammock under a tree is the perfect getaway from the pressures of the day. Reading a book for 30 minutes can also seem like heaven to many moms.

Here are a few tips to help you fit in much needed “mom” time:

1. Get up early if you have to. When you have kids, the day begins at a hurried pace. Once you hit the ground running, there is no stopping you. Waking 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time means quiet solitude to drink your coffee, read a book, meditate or listen to music.

2. Turn ordinary experiences into major events. When you take a bath, add candles, bubble bath, quiet music and/or an inflatable bath pillow. Your regular bath has now become a spa level experience. If you watch a movie, turn out the lights, pop a bag of microwave popcorn and curl up on the couch.

3. Ask your significant other for help. Kids love their mothers but time spent with dad is important too. Let them bond with dad while you go shopping for a new outfit or root around in the garden. Since the time is yours, do whatever you like.

4. Use the Boy Scout motto. Always be prepared and you can spend more time in a relaxed mode. Fix lunches the night before. Iron clothes for the next day and place backpacks by the front door so kids can grab them on their way out. The fewer things you have to do throughout the day, the calmer you will be with your family and not experience burnout.

5. Take exercise breaks. When you get a few minutes the last thing you want to do is exercise but getting a little physical activity in your day has far-reaching implications. Exercise helps you to think clearly and stretches the muscles. Also, stress will drain away as powerful endorphins are released into your system. Do jumping jacks during a television commercial or jog to the bus stop to pick up the kids.

6. Laugh at regular intervals. Keep a funny calendar cube on your desk or subscribe to a daily joke site. Laughing releases stress and can lift your spirits significantly. It also keeps the abs tight.

Moms, take care of you. Your family would miss you if you were not around to love and care for them. You owe it to yourself and you deserve a break from the daily hustle and bustle.

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How to Build Communication Bridges with Your Teen

May 13, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children, Parenting No Comments →

Raising a child doesn’t come with a book of instructions. If it did, the task would be much easier. Facing the teenage years with your son or daughter is not something most parents look forward to. This article will help you take the experience one day at a time and learn how to bridge the communication gap.

As your child goes from toddler to youngster to tween to teenager, something in what you say gets lost in translation. They can give you that blank stare as if the words that are coming out of your mouth sound like the unseen teacher in the Charlie Brown cartoons.

It’s not easy to improve the communication bridges with a teen but it’s important to try to get through as these years and the choices they make now will have a vital impact on their future.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Watch your body language. How you move says a lot about you. When a person is tired, they tend to slump. When angered, your jaw muscles tighten and your eyes narrow into slits. Believe it or not, teenagers are good at interpreting body language. Yours will betray you when you are talking to them. Keep it open and honest. Avoid sitting with your arms crossed, eyes looking away from them or squirming in your seat.

2. Make eye contact. When you don’t look at the person you are talking to it says that you are either hiding something or you are not at all interested in what they have to say. Your teenager will shut down emotionally when they suspect that you are not “tuned in” to them. Sit comfortably and give your teen undivided attention with consistent eye contact. It lets them know that you care.

3. Keep your emotions in check. Remember back to when you were a teenager. Some of the things you said to your parents were aimed at freaking them out. Teenagers will push your buttons if they can. Don’t go overboard and get upset. Their target is the situations they know make you mad. Instead, take a deep breath and ignore the taunt. Do the opposite of what they expect because really, they want you to see through their ploy and find out the real problem.

4. Ask them about their day. This technique works with spouses also. Even if your teen only grunts or says the obligatory, “It was okay,” ask anyway. Your show of caring will go a long way to convince them that you are interested in the things that they do and how they feel.

5. Be honest with them. If you don’t understand the situation they are talking about then say so. Kids know when you are being insincere. Discuss the situation until you get an idea of where they are coming from. Your teen won’t mind explaining as long as they know you are listening.

6. Allow them their privacy. This one is tricky and since you know your child better than anyone else, you can draw the line. Teens value their time alone. While the policy in your home may be that there are no locks on the doors, always show respect by knocking before entering. If they don’t want to be pressed about a situation in school, wait until they are ready (if it’s not urgent) and then talk about it.

Parenting a teenager takes a tough skin, a willingness to be vulnerable and lots of love. You will make mistakes but whatever you do, don’t ever stop talking.

Yes, it is possible to understand your teen! Click to instantly learn how.