I do not know how to swim, and Doug, for the past two summers have wanted me to enroll the kids for swim lessons. We spent much of this summer in Malaysia but there was no swimming classes available at the time we were in Malaysia.

We bought a pair of water wings each for the kids, and Duncan took to the pool like a duck to a pond. The first time I took them to the pool, they frolicked in the kiddie pool. Duncan floated on his back and dog paddled.

As for Denice, it took her a while before she even dared to get into the pool. As her confidence grew, she walked the length and breadth of the kiddie pool. Then she started flapping her hands in the water, and after a while she bent her knees a little as she walked in the pool. Later on she bent her knees even further and allowed herself to be under the water up to her shoulders. It is a good start for a child who is fearful of most things.

It is just too bad that I did not bring them to the pool any more after that.

There was a pool at the hotel we stayed at while in Sibu. It drizzled a bit that afternoon so Daddy and the kids did not stay all that long at the pool. There was no kiddie pool, but that did not bother Duncan at all. It was Daddy who was concerned about Duncan paddling to the deep end of the pool.

As for Denice, she had a suit with built-in floats on, plus the water wings on her arms. Yet she was too afraid to get into the water! She did however get onto Daddy’s back, but she screamed when Daddy went under water and she was partially covered in the water. :-)

There’s still time for them to enroll in swim lessons, and there is a public pool right here in our little town. Naturally, I do not want for my kids not to be able to swim!

Seems funny that the day before we left for mt washington pip and i were wandering through the yard counting the flowers that have bloomed for the annual flower count in the city. we went from counting over 2500 blooms to counting how many feet of snow we could bury our selves in, all in less then 4 hours. it is pure magic, that we can have such a beautiful mountain on the island providing us snow deprived people in victoria with just a taste of winter. also slightly  magical that we can turn around, drive back down the mountain and be back in our warm, sunny spring weather. our family had a wonderful sunny, snowy, love filled weekend. we shared a cabin with grandparents and had so much fun just being together. there were snow ball fights, tours of the little village on sleds, races down the mountain and hikes through the trails. i have almost forgotten the “i am so tired” that echoed through the trails on repeat. it truly was special seeing the kids skiing and spending time in the mountains with their grandparents. we sure hope that this turns into an annual trip together. so often we take for granted the beauty that surrounds us  daily and these past few days have been a  great reminder of that. even the kids couldn’t help but stop, and just stare out into the mountains and remark at how incredible they looked. all told, it was a great way to spend time while the kids were out of school on the teachers strike. somehow we planned the timing of the trip just perfectly. also so much fun to run into so many classmates on the mountain. the kids just had a blast.

for photographers, these images were all edited with the amazing new Red Leaf Studios- Film Solution Actions that were released last week. I have only tried them on these personal family images and i am dying to try them on some portraits as i instantly fell in love with them. they truly are my favorite set by Red Leaf to date and when they came out i have to admit that i secretly thought… why do i need new ones, i love the old ones from Red Leaf, but after using them on just my snapshot family images, i know why… they are brilliant. i LOVE them. i am truly inspired to get out and shoot, just so i can edit my images with the new actions. they are just perfect for my editing style, i just couldn’t be happier with the set.

Home fitness equipment is a staple for those who do not wish to spend money on monthly gym fees and also those who wish to save the time walking to the gym. They’re convenient, allowing you to exercise from the comfort of your home, and thus they’ve been growing in popularity especially amongst those short on time.

Slowly, the device is gaining popularity among some fitness fanatics, but it is doubtful that Israel will have the same enthusiasm. Cross-boxing instructors use the device happily but in gyms it is still mostly empty. In an article published in “Pop Shogar”, we mentioned the advantages of this wonder device, after talking with several experts who were able to determine the strength of this device:

Of all the exercise equipment on the market, the Stamina X Air Rower is one of the best rowing machine out there. Stamina is a company well-known for regularly reviewing and updating their rowing models and constantly releasing newer products on a regular basis. And the Stamina X Air Rower is a simple rowing machine which uses air resistance to provide a challenging or relaxed all fitness levels, depending on your preferences. Don’t be fooled by its basic nature. No, you won’t be getting all the additional features that you tend to see on the more expensive machines like a heart rate monitor or workout planners. But, at the same time, the Stamina X Air Rower is aimed that the low to middle budget range, and hence provides all the essentials for a quality workout at a bargain priced. It has a comfortable seat, wide footrests offering better footing and also a decent display which has been reworked and improved over multiple versions.

Amongst the low-end rowing machines, the Stamina X Air Rower stands out because of the value offered compared to the online price. And that’s why it’s definitely recommended for those who want a simple home workout machine without having to pay over-the-top prices for features they don’t need. There’s one issue that you’re likely to encounter when purchasing this model, however. And that’s putting the whole thing together in the first place. It comes with quite a lot of parts, which can make it confusing for those with not much experience with working with machinery. And for the sound-conscious, the Stamina X Air Rower can get a little bit noisy whilst you’re working out, although many actually like the sound as it does act a sign of a good workout. The last issue is some well-known concerns about the mechanical chains provided. These sometimes have the tendency to jump out of the sprocket, or not engage on the return stroke while working out. This can force you to restart, disrupting the flow of the workout. But either way, the Stamina X AIR Rower is still a solid piece of home equipment and is recommended for any beginners or veterans to home fitness.

Obesity and Snoring Fat is the most important cause of snoring, and when overweight people also smoke or drink alcohol there is a very high risk of sleep disturbances and snoring.

Obesity is a risk factor for very serious problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, blood clots, respiratory disorders and other diseases, and therefore it is of utmost importance to fight the phenomenon that is gaining momentum in Israel and around the world.

Obesity causes snoring in a variety of mechanisms, and weight loss helps to overcome sleep disturbance and snoring very significantly.

How does obesity cause snoring?

Obesity is not an ideal condition for the body, and many systems are damaged as a result. The appearance of snoring in people who are overweight is influenced by several factors:
Airway obstruction by excess neck fat – The main reason for obesity causes snoring is narrowing of the airway by excess fat appearing in the neck. People who are overweight suffer from an increase in the volume of fatty tissue throughout the body, as well as in the neck. When the neck thickens, airway a product and during the night appear snoring. This gets worse when a person is lying, and excess fat presses the airway further and causes it to be blocked.

Increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea – obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition that causes severe sleep disturbance manifested by strong snoring and fatigue during the day. Obesity is one of the major risk factors for obstructive breathing apnea, which occurs after the throat muscles are slack during sleep and prevent the airway from remaining open properly. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that appears mainly in people who are overweight, and requires diagnosis and medical treatment.
Decreased physical fitness and muscle tone – overweight people often suffer from poor physical fitness and low muscular tone. Low physical fitness leads to poor pulmonary function and increased breathing effort. When overweight people struggle to breathe, their chance of snoring increases. In addition, low muscle tone also relaxes the muscles of the breath and causes the airway to be damaged.

Weight loss will contribute greatly to sleep disorders
Sleep disorders make life very difficult, and in cases of obesity, sleep disorders can be significantly alleviated by weight loss and exercise. The weight of the body depends on the amount of calories inserted against the amount of calories left, and in order to lose weight effectively it is important to maintain a negative caloric balance.

Weight loss is a very difficult process that takes a long time and requires great motivation and responsibility. In order to successfully lose weight and improve sleep quality, the following rules are important:

A balanced and balanced diet – It’s important to make a calorie count and keep regular, regular meals. Continue to eat healthy foods such as vegetables and fiber, and reduce as much as possible fat and sweets.

Exercise – Burning calories by exercise is essential in order to lose weight in a good way. It is important to exercise regularly and start gradually, so as not to get discouraged early or be injured.

Besides calorie burning, physical activity helps to improve physical fitness and cardio-vascular capacity, and to strengthen muscles and tone enhancement, which are also important for stabilizing the airway and preventing snoring.

In extreme cases – gastric bypass surgery

Bariatric surgeries, also called gastric surgeries, anti snoring devices, have become very popular in recent years and help many people lose weight. It is a proven way to achieve the most significant weight loss, which can, of course, help overcome sleep and snoring. Bariatric surgery can now be performed in a number of techniques, and this is a very effective analysis of weight loss and improving quality of life.

Hair loss can be a common problem for men and women when they get older, with men experiencing a balding shaped “M”. Women can experience a reduction in the thickness and volume of the hair but very rarely become bald. There are now many treatments that fight against this hair loss. Drugs are available, as well as surgery, but it can be expensive, and therefore many people choose to take supplements like Saw Palmetto to slow hair loss or even promote regrowth.

How does the hair loss happen? 

Hair loss in men as in women is called androgenic alopecia, and it is related to a hormone called “testosterone”. When testosterone in the body is mixed with an enzyme called alpha-reductase type II, they form a molecule called dihydrotestosterone (DHT), which has been linked to male and female pattern baldness. Saw Palmetto, a small native plant of America could block the formation of DHT and therefore reduce hair loss in the same way that drugs are used to treat hair loss problems.

What evidence exists to support the Saw Palmetto?

Saw palmetto is the extract of the fruit of Serenoa repens. Rich in fatty oils and phytosterols, it has been used in traditional medicine since ancient times by the American Indians, Mayans and the Seminoles. It is also used in alternative medicine to treat a variety of diseases and is a popular base of plants to cure for benign prostatic hyperplasia. It may be an effective treatment to reduce hair loss in men and women. Studies have shown that it could inhibit baldness related enzymes and a study of 10 men with moderate hair loss showed an improvement in their condition. Participants had to take the supplement 2 times daily for a few months and 60% saw an improvement. Besides being related to treatment of hair loss, Saw Palmetto may also relieve bladder infections, loss of libido, and improve prostate health.

How to take Saw Palmetto?

Before taking new supplements, it is important to consult your doctor to make sure there are no problems. Saw Palmetto is available in different forms such as tablets, powder capsules and liquid extracts. The tablet is the most available form and experts recommend taking 160mg of Saw Palmetto twice daily. It is generally considered safe but is not recommended for children.

In summary, Saw Palmetto may be effective as a herbal remedy for men and women who wish to reduce their hair loss and is a popular alternative to more expensive treatments and risky surgeries.

How is it better than other hair loss treatments?

Most hair loss treatments can be time consuming, can have side effects or all three. Common treatments for hair loss are allopathic medicines, herbal remedies like packs of hair or hair transplant. Most allopathic drugs for hair loss are expensive, must be taken for a long time to be effective and can have adverse side effects. Sometimes they might even not work. However, Saw Palmetto is not that expensive and is a herbal remedy that has little or no side effects.

 

Pimples are bad for our day. They make us self-conscious, and we keep having this urge to itch the affected area which could get it even more infected and cause us even more discomfort. Thankfully, there are a lot of quick natural remedies you can turn to in order to reduce the damage or even avoid a pimple outbreak altogether. Many of these remedies can be found right in your kitchen or your garden and make searching for natural ointments for pimples an easy task.

Ice:

Ice is a very useful anti-inflammatory material. We use ice to reduce swellings and a pimple is a swelling of the skin. Ice can do wonders in treating the inflammation and redness of the pimples while allowing the skin to tighten up so that it could expel trapped dirt, excess oil and bacteria. You can use both crushed or block ice, just apply it to your skin for 15 to 20 minutes and feel the relief it delivers to the infected area.

Steam:

Water in all its forms is great for the skin. Steam is one of the most effective way of cleansing your skin and allowing it to breathe. It can help remove excess impurities, oils and clean the pores. Regularly steaming your face will help you in avoiding any bacterial outbreak and give you a wonderful fresh skin. Whenever a pimple outbreak occurs, warm some water and allow the steam to pass over your face for a few minutes, you will feel fresher and the pimples will be cleaned out of excessive oil.

Aloe Vera:

Aloe Vera is a great soothing agent for your skin. It is a natural moisturizer and also has healing properties commonly used for the treatment of scars. It helps the skin heal more rapidly because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Just apply the Aloe Vera gel to the affected area for 15 minutes and then wash your face with warm water in order to diminish the irritation and redness of the pimples. Aloe Vera is one of the most effective treatments for hemorrhoids.

Epsom Salt:

Epsom salt is a natural antibiotic and a disinfectant that you can use on your skin to treat acne outbreaks as well as prevent them from emerging. It can be used in two ways. One way is you can use a cotton swab soaked in Epsom salt and apply it to affected areas. The other way is to make a mask of Epsom salt and cinnamon mixed together and applying it to your face. Cinnamon is an antimicrobial, which means it helps avoid bacteria from infecting your skin and honey is an antibiotic, which means that in case there is an outbreak, it will squash that outbreak out.

Lemon Juice: 

Lemon has a lot of properties that make it a wonderful ointment in case of acne and pimple outbreaks. It is rich in Vitamin C and also in citric acid which means it can act as a germicide on the skin in order to kill the infecting bacteria. It is also an astringent,which means it causes the skin tissues to contract and dry up, thus healing up the wound much faster than normal. Use fresh lemon juice and a cotton swab to apply it to your skin and let it dry.

Finding the best natural dry skin treatment for you will depend on many things, including your main skin problem, any allergies you may have, as well as your own personal preference. As soon as you have decided the level of severity for your dry skin problem, next its time to look at all the dry skin treatments out there on the market today.

How To Prevent Dry Skin Problems

There are several incredibly simple ideas in regards to natural dry skin treatment, which include things that you can add to your everyday routine. The golden rule is to wash your face morning and night each day to keep your skin as beautiful as it can be. If you have spots, it is essential that you don’t pick them as this can make them more infected with the potential risk of scarring further down the line, plus your skin will become very dry.

As well, you should avoid touching your face with your hands and fingers and try to avoid leaning your face on things that collect sebum and skin residue, such as the telephone receiver. If you do have to hold a telephone to your face, try and position it a little bit further away so its not touching your skin problems…this should help to improve your skin’s appearance.

As part of your dry skin prevention techniques, you should clean sunglasses etc to stop your pores getting clogged up. You should also always remember to remove your makeup before you go to sleep. Keep your hair nice in clean and protect your skin from being subjected to too much of the sun’s rays, as you may find that the sun makes your acne and dry skin much worse.

Now Find A Natural Dry Skin Treatment

To get the best natural dry skin treatment, you’re going to have to do some research and that means searching online to see what the buzz word is. It is useful to find people recommending certain products online and being able to see for yourself what their reactions are, as unbiased reviews are the best way to find great products. You can’t put a price on beauty and confidence, and dry skin can be soul-destroying for many people. The online world has all the information you could possibly need in order to clear up your dry skin problems and find the right treatment.

lean… well at least that is the plan, i never make new years resolutions, so please understand that this is not one of them! but i have decided to cut a few things out of my life. i know it sounds sad, but really it isn’t. i need to fixate on something anyway and this seems like the perfect thing. first off is spending. we have spent the past year spending way too much money. we have not too much to show for it either. no major purchases, nothing that people walk in the door and say “wow i love your…” not that i care about that stuff anyway, but seriously somehow my husband and i have managed to shop away some pretty good money. new socks, new shoes, new boots, new jackets, new kids clothes, new watches, new cutting boards… while i think it is important to have nice things, i do not think it is important if you have to purchase them on a credit card. so this year for us i would love to make only cash purchases.

so if you are still with me, then that is my number one lean plan.

my number two lean plan is eating. i spent pretty much all of last year cooking up a pretty yummy storm. i loved it. loved cooking, loved sharing it and loved photographing it. but it left me with about 7 extra pounds at christmas time. so i am almost a week into my plan of cutting out sugar and bread/wheat. now i won’t go crazy with my new regime, and i will still cook and feed my kids and family the usual but i will not be eating sugar, just for the sake of eating sugar. nor bread,  i am pretty sure that by cutting out just these two things i will be back to where i was before christmas and maybe even better. so there, i have said it, so if you see me walking down the street with a slurpee and a piece of licorice in hand, and a baguette in my back pocket  you are totally allowed to say something!  and for those of you who say i don’t need to lose the weight, thank you, you are very kind, but it goes with number one. my jeans don’t fit me very well anymore and i can’t afford to buy new ones!

Does your child cough at night?  Even when he is not suffering from a cold?

Duncan once had a cough that lasted more than a month.  He was not quite one year old at that time.  We tried giving him all kinds of cough mixtures but none helped his cough.  Finally, a pharmacist recommended an allergy medication.  It worked!  His coughing stopped

Now of course we know better.  Cough and cold medicines are not good for young children.  On his last visit to the doctor, also something to do with his cough, the doctor prescribed an inhaler called Qvar.  So far Qvar has worked really well for him.  His cold related coughs clear quite quickly with Qvar.

I also think that Duncan has some problem with allergies.  He is prone to night time coughing which sounds like dry coughs.  He doesn’t cough during the day so I am not in the habit of giving him his two puffs of Qvar before bed time.  But when his coughing persists, I will wake him up and give him the two puffs.

His dad has allergies and I won’t be surprised if Duncan inherits that gene that is prone to allergies!

I just read something about the relationship between eczema and asthma.  Denice has eczema and she coughs even more often than Duncan does.  The cough seems to be ongoing.  She doesn’t cough for a while and not long after that she will start coughing again.  Qvar has also been quite effective in reducing her coughing, for which I am glad!

This winter, the colds and sniffles in the family weren’t too bad.  Denice was the only one who had to stay home for a few days because of the cold she had.

Let’s hope the rest of the year will be a healthy one for every one in the family!

We do not have pets except for two gold fish and twelve geese. We can’t have a cat in the house because Doug is allergic to cats. We might keep a dog, a medium sized dog, maybe some time in the future.

For now, I don’t think we can have any pets of the four legged kind.

Denice has a big fear of animals. She has always been a fearful child and I do not think her fear of cats and dogs has anything to do with any bad experiences with the animals.

But the strange thing though, once we stopped to watch our neighbor’s horse, and she said she’d like to ride the horse. She does not seem to be afraid of horses or mules. She has taken a ride on her aunt’s donkey with daddy sitting with her on the donkey. She wasn’t afraid.

But she is very afraid of cats and dogs. She will jump on a chair or table if she sees a cat and cry in fear. If she sees a dog even if the dog is on a leash quite a distance away from her, she will cling to daddy’s legs and ask to be picked up. She refuses to enter a friend’s house because this friend has to two dogs, unless assurances are made that the dogs are outside in the back yard.

She’s afraid of the geese we have in our back yard too! We have a fenced area in the back yard so she can still play in that area without fear of the geese.

I don’t think her fear of dogs was helped when, during a visit to the grandparents, the cousin’s dog jumped on her! The poor girl was practically traumatized from that experience!

I don’t know how long it will be before she gets over that fear. Duncan has been asking for a cat, which I don’t think he’ll be likely to get any time soon. Maybe a rabbit?

Fear is a natural protective instinct in children, and as a child grows older certain fears will also lessen. We hope the same is true for Denice, and we are not pushing for her to get over her fears quickly. Let her get over her fears at her own pace.