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Friday, June 29, 2012

Fun Ways to Spend Time with your Kids

Guest Post written by JoEllen Krauss

BIO: JoEllen Krauss is a mother of two boys and a housewife to an army man. She balances her time between taking care of the house and having quality time with her family. In her spare time she writes freelance for 1800WheelChair.Com. In this guest post she shares with us fun ways to spend time with our kids.

Fun Ways to Spend Time with your Kids

Spending time with your kids is so important to family cohesion. Sometimes it can be difficult to find the time you think you need, but there are many simple ways to spend time with your kids, even if you work and free time is limited. From reading together, going on a nature hike, or even cleaning and organizing as a group, basic tasks can be turned into fun family activities.

Cleaning and Errands

Families who are very busy during the week usually end up spending the majority of their weekends doing chores and running errands. Instead of making this a difficult task to get through begrudgingly, you can involve your child in your errands and chores to turn them into fun family activities. Let your kids help organize how things are done. Make a list of all the errands you need to run and let your child cross them off as they are completed, or let them order the tasks that get done first. You can also make each child their own shopping list and let them put the groceries that are on their list into the cart. By involving your children in your errands you’ll have quality time together and be teaching your children great skills as well.

Make cleaning into a game. One idea is to set a timer for one minute and see who can put away the most toys or clothes before the timer goes off. You can also give your children safe cleaning products such as a mixture of vinegar, baking soda and water in a spray bottle and let them wipe the table and counters. It is best to start playing cleaning games early in your child's life, before they consider cleaning the house to be a chore that they’d rather avoid.

Nature Hikes

Enjoying the outdoors together is a wonderful way to relax after a busy morning of cleaning and running errands. No matter where you live, the great outdoors is all around you. Whether that be sidewalks through the city, developed parks, beaches or nature preserves there is always somewhere nearby that you can walk in. Hiking is great exercise and it gives you the opportunity to spend time with your child without the distractions of chores, televisions, or interruptions. Exploring your surroundings and observing what you see on your walk may spark some very interesting discussions and there is little to distract you from the conversation. It is best to hike with children who are at least six years old because they have more stamina than toddlers and will probably be able to hike for several miles without growing tired.


Your children will probably be tired after a hike, so reading is a great family activity when it's time to wind down. Reading together is one of the best things you can do for your kids. You can begin reading to them as soon as they are born and take turns reading with them when they are able to read on their own. You can choose books that you read as a kid, but it is also a good idea to let your kids choose the books. Going to the library together is a wonderful family activity that allows you to borrow almost any books you like for free.

Play Games

If it's raining outside or you are too tired for a hike, playing board games is another good way to interact with your children. Games teach children important skills such as taking turns and playing by the rules. They also learn how to win or lose graciously. Most board games cost around $10-$20 new, but you can buy games at thrift stores for less than half of the original prices. There are also many games you can teach them to play using a simple deck of cards. Children as young as two or three can play simple board games, and most older children love to play games against adults.

Spending fun time with your kids doesn’t require advanced planning, pre-purchased packages, or lots of money and time. Instead, find ways to incorporate fun times into your every day life.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Clone Blog II

Health issues necessitate me writing another one of my clone blogs. Those issues are numerous. Final diagnoses: Pneumonitis; multiple right lung nodules, likely benign, but with no comparison cannot exclude neoplasm; left kidney upper pole low-attenuation exophytic lesion, likely a hyperdense cyst. Must follow up with CT scan in 3 months to compare.

So here I am, at home. Completely exhausted. Everything I do tires me. But I still suffer from insomnia (some things never change), so the night before last while I was awake for several hours, I had a bowl of cereal and watched a movie. The following morning I awoke at 8 a.m. (very late for me), made myself a breakfast smoothie, then became so overwhelmingly tired, I had to rest on the couch where I fell into a coma for several minutes.

I have to admit, I'm a little overwhelmed by what has been happening lately. I think I handled the breast cancer problem quite well. I've always said that nothing scares me more than not breathing. But while still dealing with the lung problem and continuing to take all my asthma and cancer meds, I've had to assimilate what occurred at my oncologist's office the day before yesterday.

During a routine mammogram, something "suspicious" showed up on the breast where I didn't have breast cancer. Whoa! Really? I decided right there that if I have breast cancer again, I'm NOT going through chemo and radiation again. The surgeon who cut out my tumor left a gigantic scar that deformed my right breast. If I have to go through that again, I'm having a double mastectomy.

And the CAT scan I had on my lungs while I was hospitalized showed some sort of growth on my kidneys. My kidneys? Are you serious? And then I remembered this lump that had been on my lower back for the past couple of years. I had asked a doctor what she thought about it, and she thought nothing of it, so I let it go. But now I know that the lump is probably the growth that showed up on the CAT scan. 

So all of these new conditions were found quite by accident but they require me to get another mammogram next week and a CAT scan on my kidneys next week too. 

In addition to those visits, I'm supposed to return to my new GP (who started this whole thing rolling by admitting me – thank you, Dr. Gowda – I'm not being sarcastic – if not for his quick appraisal of my breathing problems, I don't know how quickly my condition would have deteriorated). As a result of all of those tests and doctor visits, I think I'll hold off on seeing the pulmonary doctor again until after I return from Virginia the beginning of July.

If you know me, you will know this is killing me. I can't write for long periods of time, I can't crochet for long periods of time, and I can't do anything that requires physical effort without becoming completely exhausted. I suffer from dizziness and lightheadedness, which, I've discovered may be a result of my persistent low potassium count. The infection still rages in my lungs and if I could just get rid of that one thing, I know I would feel so much better.

So yes, to save myself from even more exhaustion, I have cloned this blog, which appears in all of the following blogs:

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