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College Dorm Essentials and Quarantine ‘Go Bag’ Packing List

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, sending a child off to college and shopping for dorm essentials is a little different this year for parents of first time freshmen and upperclassen too.

Although a lot of universities have decided to be “online only” this fall semester, a lot of institutions are still having in-person and hybrid online and in person classes. My son’s school in upstate New York is one.  His college, along with others that have decided to welcome students to campus this year are telling parents and students to pack light and to bring just enough stuff to stay for 2-3 weeks in case there is an outbreak and they  have to shut it all down right after classes start.

As a recent New York Times article noted, “[p]arents are discovering that, regardless of what guidelines are posted, policies are changing with new data and little notice almost daily.”

Yikes!

It’s not just about packing lighter than normal, it’s also changing the landscape of the college experience.

Schools are converting triples and quads into double and single occupancy rooms to decrease the density and crowding of dormitories. The move in process is also changing. At my son’s school, they are only allowing one person to accompany a student at move in day. This decision means, the entire extended family that planned to accompany us to send him off to college will have to simply wait in the car.

He had to take a COVID-19 test and quarantine for 14 days in advance of arriving on campus, subject himself to New York state contact tracers and conduct daily health check ins with his school’s app! Oy vey!!

These big changes also mean we parents now have to update, edit and toss aside those 200+ item college dorm shopping checklists we all researched, pinned and downloaded.

Likewise, readers of this blog can go ahead and ignore my tips for creating a lavish dorm room. You won’t be needing all that this year. You can go to Dormify if  you insist on making it super cozy and on getting accent elements but don’t get carried away with the matching window treatments, room accents, plush pillows, throw rugs and string lights.

So as far as the packing list goes, it’s safe to keep the usual must-have items on there: casual clothes, a interview, job fair or class presentation outfit, workout gear, PJs, fall and winter outerwear wear along with an umbrella.

However, there is no need to purchase and schlep along school supplies like binders, printer paper, pens and clip boards when your  kid can get that stuff at the local Walmart or Target after she moves in. I’d say skip the bed risers to make room under the bed to store supplies needed for an entire school year. Just get plastic collapsible storage bags and be done with it.

Also, I think to save space and time, there is no need to purchase a mini vacuum cleaner, broom and a bunch of cleaning supplies, and I say this not because your kid won’t clean, but this year, you can expect the college will have extra cleaning supplies on hand and will have a housekeeping staff on hand to do a thorough sweep through more regularly than before.

A bottle of disinfectant and paper towels or a reusable rag for dusting will do…oh and snacks. You can never send too much snacks!

This year, you have other things to focus on like COVID-specific essentials like Vitamins,  disposable disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers and UV light air purifier. There is evidence that copper and silver reduces the life span of viruses and while most copper-infused gloves are not touch screen compatible, the GliderGloves Copper Infused Touch Screen Gloves are and are only $14.99 a pair! It can’t hurt and you never know!

Personally, to prepare to pack the car, I edited and adjusted the old college dorm checklists I’ve downloaded from Facebook parenting groups to just include the bare essentials and a Covid-19 quarantine essentials “Go” bag.

That’s the bag that has all a kid would need to be holed up in a hotel, a friend or family’s house for up to 14 days in case the college student tests positive for the coronavirus and needs to go to the hospital and later quarantine somewhere on campus or nearby, in case they are exposed to a roomate, suite mate, floormate or lab partner who contracts the disease and need to do a 14 day quarantine because of that exposure.

The other scenario is that the school decides to go shut down altogether and you cannot collect your child in time and need to arrange for him to stay at a hotel or some other transition housing until you can make arrangements to bring them home.

Here is an abbreviated list of what should be on  this year’s Covid era dorm packing list:

LAPTOP

In lieu of a full desktop that some kids haul to campus, consider investing in a laptop which is more portable solution like this renewed Apple Macbook  Air with 128 gigs of ram at Amazon. My son is a computer science major and insists on taking the two monitor system he built in the 11ths grade so we are traveling with that, but most people will not need to go that route.

 

ANTIMICROBIAL DESK PAD

Because we are in a season of trying to mininize germs and knowing that computer keyboards and mouse controllers are a common source for accumulating germs, an antimicrobial desk pad like this Artistic Rhinolin II Self-healing desk pad, available at Amazon may be a good thing to have.  I also found a less expensive one at Walmart.

 

PORTABLE AIR PURIFIER WITH UV LIGHT

There is some evidence that UVC light kills viruses, there is a thinking out there among some moms that it cannot hurt to invest in an air purifier that kills germs with UVC light  and  has that capability. I found a pluggable portable one that sanitizes, purifies and cleanses germs from the air for $39.99 made by Germ Guardian which has GREAT REVIEWS from asthmatics and others who’ve used this product! That’s a good size and price for a small room!

BLUETOOH SPEAKER

A mini pill sound box is not just good for listening to music but also for connecting a phone or mobile device to it while listening or watching a class. Your student can multitask and get dressed for the morning, do some light cleaning or fold laundry without having to be at the desk watching. The Beats mini portable speaker is $126 on Amazon.  A much less expensive bluetooth speaker is the DOSS for just $27.99 which produces top quality sound and gets decent reviews.

 COFFEE MAKER

My kid doesn’t drink coffee but I heard great things about the Keurig K mini coffee machine which can be enivronmentally friendly if you opt to used the reusable filter and purchase coffee grounds! It’s a good price at $78 and comes with great reviews. Alternatively, for a cheaper and definitely eco friendly option, you can get a mini Mr. Coffee for just a little over $25!

 

POWER STRIP

 

You can never have too many power outlets so a power strip which is also a surge protector is a must have. We got a double pack at a steal for just $4.99 at Ikea!  Also, because of COVID , he may spend more time in his room than the computer lab.

 

Although the students in my kid’s school say they did not use the printer they took to college in previous years, this year may be different with reduced hours or with students wanting to limit their time spent in buildings and spaces that are not their rooms. Therefore, it may be worth it to invest in a small printer to print out paper assignments, or project elements. I have a printer graveyard but the one that has been the best to us is the Canon PIXMA MG-2522. The ink cartridge replacement is significantly cheaper than for HP and other brands. It’s a little loud but you get tons of ink jobs before it runs out and I predict your child will not need to replace ink all semester but if she does, you can sign up for the cartridge replacement plan which itself is really reasonable.

CLIP ON FAN

 

If your college student will be rooming with another person, it is inevitable that there will be some disagreements on the room temperature. If ever your kid gets too hot, hagging his/her own portable mini fan like this one.

 

CLIP ON DESK LAMP

Similar to a small fan, a small light is needed for those nights when the roomate is napping or sleeping but your college kid still has an exam to study for. I got my son a clippable desk lamp that can be easily moved from his desk to a post on the bed. It was at Target for just $7!

FLOOR LAMP

Although I would think a floor lamp would be overkill, I like lots of light. Heavy illumination brightens my mood, gets me in the mindset to work and keeps me alert. And I believe there is research to back up the fact that plenty of light energizes in addition to makes it easier to see what’s on a computer screen or inside a text book when working on a desk with a desk lamp.

I plan to pick up this one above from Walmart.

UNDER BED STORAGE UNITS

In lieu of hard collapsible storage container that take up room, this year, opt instead for plastic underbed storage containers that are pliable and are maneuverable in a crowded mini van or SUV and takes up less space. Also, this year, skip the bed risers and stuff pliable plastic containers under the bed. The Onlyeasy foldable storage container comes in packs of 2.

SHEETS SET

Send two sets of sheets: one that can be used while the other is in the laundry bag. I went with recommendations from blogger Sophia Lee and purchased the Mellani Bed Sheets  on Amazon.com.

MATTRESS TOPPER
Mattress topper dorm essentials list

My son’s school needs a specific kind of protectors that meets a very high California consumer board anti-flammable standard. One brand that works is sold at Target but is always sold out there so we lucked out and got one from Walmart.

COMFORTER

A plush and cozy comforter is a must have for having a full rest before class. I lucked out and got a steal on a nice comfy reversible grey Brookside Downs comforer at Overstock.com.

BLANKET

Blanket College Dorm Essential Packing List

For studying in the student lounge at the desk on chilly evenings, a blanket or throw is in order. This is also a good cover option for warmer months when a comforter may be too much coverage. We got a very soft one at Ikea this past weekend. They have other styles and materials and this one in other colors like pink and other feminine colors.

PILLOWS
Back Pillow College Dorm Essentials Packing

Any standard pillow would do but in addition a back rest pillow is a must to lean up against those concrete dorm walls or while in the study lounge propped up against a wall or sofa. We picked up the Therapedic back rest at Bed Bath and Beyond which is a bit pricey  considering there are a lot of much much cheaper ones out there, but if you get it online after signing up for their newsletter, you can get it 20% off!

COMMAND STRIPS

For hanging up photos, white boards, mirrors and other heavy vanity items, the Command strips are a plus. A lot of dorms forbid hammering in nails so if you get a 7 pack of the command strips, you should be good to go! They’re about $5 at my local Target or if you don’t want to go into a store, order this pack of 7.

HANGERS

Hangers College Dorm Essentials Packing List

I got two sets of wooden hangers for  at  Ikea  in packs of 8 and plan to pick up a couple packs of plastic ones at the Dollar Tree or Target.

DORM ROOM SLIPPERS

My son has always wanted a more manly pair of slippers so it was wonderful to see these Dockers slippers on sale at our local Sears for only $20.99.  I saw Joe Boxer brand had some for young women at $19.99 too while I was in there! think I will get the Lavish Touch brand set of 4 towels at Sears for $21.99.



 

laundry detergent

This year, college kids may be in a position of having to be hospitalized, God forbid, and have a medical directive, also, some may need a passport or social security card for getting an on or off campus job to satisfy employer verification process. Further, even though a lot of us use digital form of currency, in an emergency, having actual cash may be necessary. A small safe like this one disguised as a book is the best.

TOWEL SET

BATHROOM TOWELS COLLEGE DORM ESSENTIALS PACKING LIST

We have not yet gotten our towels but I think I will get the set I saw at Sears when I was there picking up casual clothing for the kids. These are the softest around.

BATHROOM CADDY

My son has indicated that he would prefer not to use a shower caddy so, we got hin the Kusoofa Shower Caddy tote  at Amazon.com because it got great reviews from travelers, gym goers and others.

SHOWER SHOES/FLIP FLOPS

shower shoes college dorm essentials packinglist

shower slippers college dorm essentials packing list

 An old pair of rubber flip flops or beach slipper syour kid already has will probably be enough to use for shower shoes. These are shoes you wear when using a community shower as they have in dormatories. If your child will be in a suite or apartment with a dedicated bath for just the unit habitants, this may not be necessessary. Walmart sells a good lwo cost pair that gets great reviews for just $7.49! 

 

WATER PURIFIER

WATER PURIFIER COLLEGE DORM ESSENTIALS PACKING LIST

Save money on purchasing bottle water by getting a water purifier jug so your coed can just filler up out of the tap and put this in this in the fridge. A BPA-Free Brita Water filter goes for $34.99 on Amazon but you can find other brands for less at other big box retail stores.

PLASTIC DINNER SET

plastic plates cultery

A set of hard plastic bowls, plates, cups and cutlery is in order considering that your kid may be spending more time in his or her room consuming food than inside the dining halls especially if your child is immunodeficient and is being extra cautious about being inside enclosed places where it is easier to contract the novel coronavirus. These are pretty cheap and in fact, Target has each piece for $.78 cents right now. If you want to get an entire matching set, 12 piece Cambridge dinner set sells on Amazon and is a Prime recommended product!

PRESCRIPTIONS
PILL BOX COLLEGE ESSENTIALS PACKING LIST
PILL BOX college dorm essentials packing list

Whether your child has prescriptions or just takes over the counter allergy medicines, vitamins and other pills for common ailments, get these all pre-ordered in bulk and with insurance to save the hassle of transfering orders to a local pharmacy at your child’s college.  I make my kid fill up his in  Sunday-Saturday pill box us older folks use to keep track of all of our medicines. It’s not too embarrasing because it can stay in the dorm and they only get to be embarrassed by their roomate. This tool is great for travel and to be added to the quaranting Go bag!  I purchased the Apex twice a day pill box from Walmart! 

 

LAUNDRY BAG

laundry bag college dorm essentials packing list

Again, Ikea to the rescue! I considered getting a collapsible laundry bag or basket and then saw mention of a laundry backpack in a parenting book. I saw one promoted on Amazon for $15 but then at Ikea spotted a backpack that is 8 gallons and would work!

 

LAUNDRY SHEETS OR PODS
laundry detergent sheets college dorm essentials packing list
laundry detergent


Instead of heavy bottles, the wisdom from current college students is to go with the pods or detergent sheets. A popular brand is Breezeo and 48 sheets sell for under $9 on Amazon. They are light and easier to carry and store. Your kid just pops a sheet on top of a  load and can go!

DOWNLOAD A PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS PACKING LIST HERE!

It’s a different world out there and this year, a pre-packed bag is needed that can be picked up in a hurry in case a kid tests positive and cannot return to the dorm, he can simply tell his or her roomate to grab the grey Nike bag in the closet, for example. This bag is a headache saver.

Here is what needs to go in that bag:

DUFFEL BAG

Start with a large duffel bag or backpack that is big enough to hold a few bulky items like clothes, a towel and a toiletries kit. I purchased an extra IKEA backpack that I got for him to use as  laundry bag but in another color for the go bag.

FIRST AID KIT

A lot of parents say these kits are rarely if ever used but just like at home, they are a great thing to have and add a feeling of security knowing one is in the room. You don’t have to get a large one like this one at Amazon  because you can probably get a smaller kit at a brick and mortar store like Target or Walmart for less.

I would suggest taking out the excess first aid items and replacing small bottle of cold, cough and flu medicine, fever reducer, elderberry throat longezes and cough drops, Vick’s vapor rub,  a small thermometer.

PULSE OXIMETER

pulse ox

Sadly, if your case does get the novel coronavirus, she may need to take her blood oxygen level and so a portable pulse oximeter is a good purchase to put in the bag for safety and security sake. The Zacurate Pro has the most positive user reviews on Amazon compared to other brands on the market so I will be putting my trust in other consumers here and hope for the best.

IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

waterproof clasp envelope

Important documents (e.g., driver’s license or government ID, health insurance card or copy, social security card) – Keep these in a platic waterproof envelope or plastic envelope with a clasp like this one that you can get on Amazon for $8.70 for a pack of 3.

Face masks – 7-10 face masks, a mix of cloth and paper ones will do. We just ordered a set of  N95 replicas for $16.95 in a pack of 5 from Amazon and a pack of 50 masks we picked up from our local Target but which is also available on Amazon for $18.99.

Portable charger – Portable charge bank like this one at Amazon for $12.99

2 pill boxes -For prescriptions, pre-fill two weeks worth of medicine, vitamins and OTC drugs. See Above.

Hand sanitizers – A couple travel size containers and/or a large pump

Disinfectant Wipes – Inside a resealable package that is soft and pliable and can easily fit in a bag

Reusable Water Bottle – A water bottle with a filter would be plum. A Hydro Cell is $23.99

2 weeks worth of clothes – Think casual clothes, tee shirts, sweatshirt and shirt pants, maybe 3 outfits that can be recylce and don’t forget undergarments

Towels – A full set in case the one your kid has used in the morning is still hanging up to dry and they need a fresh one just for the go bag

TOILETRIES KIT

These travel kits can be purchased in drug stores, on Amazon pre-packaged or  you can create your own kit. This men’s bag is just $17.99 and includes everything in it. a A women’s version is a dollar less. 

Umbrella – a smaller portable umbrella is good to be put in the go bag.

Headphones – A separate less expensive back up pair of headphones should have at home or on hand as back up can go in the bag.

Non Eletronic Entertainment – Coloring book, Soduku, magazine, novel or some other non electronic thing to distract or pass time.

DOWNLOAD A PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS PACKING LIST HERE!

Don’t overpack.

What not to bring tips curated from Winds of Change:

• Decide about the “nice to haves” once you’ve lived there a while. Maybe you’ll realize it would good to have an area rug, a full-length mirror, or a closet organizer. But you don’t have to know everything ahead of time. Get settled in first.

• Avoid bringing hard-sided suitcases. They can be difficult to store and create clutter. Instead, opt for duffel bags or collapsible storage bags (and don’t forget under-the-bed storage).

• You don’t need a year’s worth of toiletries — they take up space too. Pack enough for a couple of weeks, then restock.

• Know how you’ll get stuff you don’t pack. Research nearby stores. Consider ordering items online and having them delivered. (Back-to-school merchandise often goes on sale after September). Budget to make a few purchases once you have your bearings.

• Have secure, clean, and cashless ways to pay for things. This means at least two options, whether credit or debit cards (which can be pre-paid), wallet apps, gift cards, or vouchers.

That’s it! Good luck and God speed to all of our children as we are indeed all in this together! Stay safe!

20+ Swimming Season Spirit Gear and Gifts

Photo by Etienne Girardet

I am a Swim mom but this year, because of COVID, my family decided to skip joining the Summer recreational league swim team.

I am certainly going to miss it. love it even though it’s a tough job. Being a swim mom (or dad) involves getting up at the crack of dawn to load the car, pick up your team snack bar contributions, and schlep the family to the pool in time for warm-ups, then spending upwards to 4-5 hours standing up volunteering as a timer, runner or scorekeeper.

To make up for losing a year, I decided to treat myself with a swim mom-related t-shirt or other souvenirs to wear, cherish, and show off. Here is what I have my eye on, mainly from Etsy.

[Note; If you swim parents out there decide to beat me to it to purchase any of these items, I earn a small commission as an Etsy affiliate.]

I love this “I can Fly” tee shirt which is a take off of the Butterfly stroke.  ($24)

 

In this COVID-19 era, people are wearing masks that reflect their personalities, likes and passions so this Swimming Face Mask is perfect. ($19.99)

This Tears of my Swimmers wine cup is great for a mom or a coach or a mom who is also a coach. ($25)

Add this Swim mom pendant to your toggle bracelet ($13.95)

Your swimmer will heartily appreciate this personalized swim print ($10.95)

Get this wooden display plaque to hang all your swimmers’ swimming medals ($36.99)



You can never go wrong with personal swim bag tags ($12.99)

Your swimmer will appreciate being able to send greetings and personal notes with these personalized swim note cars ($2)



For the mom who has a daughter or daughters on the swim team, get this personalized matching mom-daughter tumbler set ($33)

I’m a cap girl so I found this cap with a swimmer inside a heart so adorable! Swim cap- $19.89

Be chic  and rep your kid’s sport with these cute assorted “Swim Mom” graphic t-shirts (starting at $10)

Star Trek and The Walking Dead’s Soniqua Martin-Green welcomed Second Child, Daughter

Congrats to Star Trek: Discovery star Sonequa Martin-Green and her fellow actor husband Kenric Green on the birth of their second child, a daughter. last Sunday, July 19th.

“We welcomed our sweet baby girl last Sunday, July 19th at 8:32 in the morning,” The Walkind Dead, alum captioned a photo of herself in bed cradling her newborn with Green by her side. “It was a profoundly beautiful home birth, and now both of our children have been born in the water. We never felt that anything was missing, but now that she’s here, we feel a perfect sense of completeness.”

 

The caption continued, “Her name is Saraiyah Chaunté Green, she’s got Mommy’s initials and Mommy’s middle name. She’s utterly perfect, just like her brother. Thanks be to Yeshua, she’s the final piece to our Love-given puzzle.”

Alongside the caption, Martin-Green shared several photos of her with Saraiyah, as well as shots of dad Green and big brother Kenric Justin II, whom Green, 38, and Martin-Green welcomed in January 2015.

The couple announced Martin-Green’s pregnancy on Instagram back in March, with a sweet family photo.

In the adorable reveal, both Green and Kenric II had their hands placed on Martin-Green’s baby bump, visible underneath a red T-shirt. All three family members were beaming at the camera with wide smiles.

“Adding another passenger to the Green train!” the then-expectant-mama captioned her post, which was re-shared by her husband. “All aboard little lady, this train is fueled by Love and we’re already overflowing with it for you. ?”

 

Green stars in a recurring role as Scott on The Walking Dead, and has been in series like The Originals and Hawaii Five-0He also appeared as Mike Burnham in a season 2 episode of Star Trek: Discovery titled “Perpetual Infinity.”

The two tied the knot in 2010, and confirmed the birth of their son exclusively to PEOPLE in January 2015.

“We thank God for this incredible blessing,” the then-new parents told PEOPLE of Kenric II. “We are overjoyed. He’s the coolest little man ever.”

Recreate These Backyard Living Spaces on a Budget {Ideas}

lavish Dessert rose outdoor, side porch backyard space


Now that people are confined to entertaining themselves at home due to global stay home quarantine orders, those with backyards, patios and balconies are designing and decorating these spaces to expand their at home living, play and dining  rooms to the outdoors.

I was invited to a Facebook group with women who have been mulching, trimming, hedging, hauling and performing tiny miracles to transform their neglected or underutilized back porches and yard space into tiny oasis. I have been thoroughly impressed. Those with large acres of land have more to work with but even if you live in a small space or an apartment, there are options.

Redecorating your backyard can be as simple as putting up string lights  you can get at Target for $5, dusting off old pillows from the basement and situating them on ignored patio chairs, color coordinating the potted plants, and upgrading your table or investing in an umbrella and solar outdoor lighting. That’s what I did and am currently doing as I am inspired. (see my set up so far in the last photo of this post)

I sourced 7 backyard living spaces inspirations and found places on line where you can order the same or similar items in these spaces to achieve a similar look and aesthetic. Check them out:

southwest rustic themed backyard living space idea to recreate

What I like most about this backyard living set up is the rustic, Southwest Aztec detailing. From the ottomon to the throw rug, every piece of the design elements tie together. The outdoor lighting is a mix of rustic lanterns, candles and string lights.  Wooden benches offer ample room for entertaining family who may come by during a time in your life when you are entertaining intimate family as guests. The potted and planted greenery breath extra serenity into this space. I love it!

 RECREATE THIS SPACE

Christopher Knight Outdoor Acacia Wood and Rustic Metal Bench ($134)

nuLOOM Kellee Contemporary Wool Area Rug, 5′ x 8′, Black ($99)

Torched Star Waterproof Outdoor Patio Lights ($17.88)

JhY Designs Brushed Antique Hanging Lanterns Set ($49)

 

bird nest egg wicker chair outdoor

Photo by Subham Majumder from Pexels

Now the wicker bird next or egg chair is a common item you may see being shown off by the Instagram Martha Stewarts in  your life. This chair is the perfect pod to escape to read a book, for your little one to watch a YouTube video or instructioal video when school starts on her tablet. Working from home? Escape the noise and interruption of distance learners, spouses and your teen and take your call on this thing. Use pillows to tie it in with the color scheme of your outdoor living space.

 RECREATE THIS SPACE

Christopher Knight Home Indoor/Outdoor Tear Drop Hanging Chair ($219)

or Get Hampton Bay’s version with the stand at Home Depot for $499
large outdoor backyard patio living space idea to recreate

For those amongst us with a larger budget and space to work with, transform a patio or space in the back part of your backyard into a desert oasis. Hire a contractor to instal a brick or stone patio, or intall durable outdoor flooring for a lower cost alternative (though this option may not be sustainable). Purchase a gazebo, panels, and planters.  Frame the space with panel curtains, add patio furniture, pilows, and an outdoor rug and you’ve got your own mini paradise right at home.

RECREATE THIS SPACE

iKEA 4-seat conversation set ($785)

Snowcity Outdoor Waterproof ($19.99 per panel)

Bed Bath and Beyond Mayne Cape Cod Square Patio Planter ($57.99 each)

10×10 feet Gazebo ($399)



medium outdoor living backyard space idea to recreate

For those of us with less space and a more modest budget, we can use artificial turf, wooden coffee tables and wrought iron dining sets accented with pillows and colorful seasonal plants and have our own little comfortable backyard or patio space to escape to or enjoy a meal at on occassion.

RECREATE THIS SPACE

wicker and glass outdoor dining table

San Simeon Outdoor Wicker Rectangular Dining Table with Tempered Glass Top ($248)

Hampton Bay Wicker Coffee table ($229)

small outdoor living space idea

We cannot forget our townhouse, condo and apartment dwellers! They too have options when it comes to revitalizing underused outdoor spaces. It might be a tighter squeeze but a small dining table and two chair set, with a wicker love seat and just the right small area rug and potted florals are all that are needed to create a nice nook. If there is room, you can certainly invest in a small umbrella to add shading for hot days.

RECREATE THIS SPACE

small outdoor living space to recreate

Ikea’s SALTHOLMEN Table and 2 folding chairs ($79) 

Hanging Umbrella with base ($118)

And this is my set up which is a work in progress… teenager not included!

How to Do Self Accupressure to Induce Labor

accupuncture for pregnant women

accupuncture for pregnant women

Acupressure and labor

Imagine this: You’re standing in your kitchen, ankles swollen to the size of a grapefruit, sharp pains shooting through your back, and you’re staring at the wall calendar in front of you. Your pregnant belly touches the wall gently as you look at your circled due date. You’re officially over the 40-week mark, but it seems your baby wants to stay put.

Due dates are, of course, just estimates. It’s common for most moms-to-be to go into labor one to two weeks before or after their projected due date. Doctors consider it routine.

But an overdue, or post-term, pregnancy can leave exhausted moms-to-be even more stressed out. An overdue expectant mom might try any and all home remedies possible (think pineapples and romance) to coax the baby into the world naturally.

Many post-term pregnant women will turn to alternative medicine to help induce labor if they want to avoid medical induction. And one popular method among moms is acupressure.

What is acupressure?

Acupressure is the lesser-known companion to acupuncture. Acupuncture is the traditional Chinese medicinal practice of sticking thin needles into areas of your body that are believed to control a specific organ or body part. The idea is to relieve pain and prevent illness.

But instead of needles, acupressure requires physical pressure to be applied to points that run along your body’s meridian system — or life-energy path.

Many people who try acupressure — usually through a vigorous massage — do it along with modern medical practices. But it’s not uncommon for acupressure to be used as a standalone treatment.

While both acupressure and acupuncture are considered controversial, a number of studies have shown the ancient medicine’s effectiveness for reducing labor pain and anxiety.

Pregnant women should check with their doctors before trying any acupressure treatments. Women during the first 10 to 12 weeks and final 4 weeks of pregnancy, are more susceptible to acupuncture treatments. Acupressure might increase blood flow to the uterus, influence hormonal responses, and stimulate uterine contractions, so it should only be used with your doctor’s approval.

There are six major acupressure points on the body that are believed to induce labor

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Russell Wilson Doing Skin-to-Skin Care of His Newborn Is What the World Needs to See Right Now

Congratulations are in order for singer Ciara and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson who just welcomed the third child to their growing family, son Win Harrison!

A day after the couple announced that a new baby had joined their family,  Ciara shared a very cute family photo of the entire brood together at home.

In the image of the family in front of a blue balloon sculpture with a big white teddy bear,  Ciara cradles her newborn son standing next to Wilson, their 3-year-old daughter Sienna and the singer’s 6-year-old son Future Zahir, whom she shares with her ex-fiancé, rapper Future.

The previous day, Wilson let the world know of the new arrival by sharing a photo of the himself with his wife and infant son in the hospital.

“Happy Birthday WIN!!! Mommy & Daddy Love You! Win Harrison Wilson 7.23.2020 8lbs 1 oz.,” captioned the tender photo that was also shared on the star NFL players Instagram page as well

He also shared a subsequent photo of himself giving the newborn kangaroo skin-to-skin care.  So sweet and with all the chaos and uncertainty in the world, it’s what the world needs to see right now.

View this post on Instagram

We Winning.

A post shared by Russell Wilson (@dangerusswilson) on

Welcome baby Win!!

Mom Ciara gave birth to Win’s big sister Sienna in 2017 and he is also little brother to 5-year-old brother Future. Future’s dad is  Hip Hop artist Future with whom Ciara was previously engaged.

Congrats!

Facebook is Launching a Tik Tok competitor, Reels

By Dylan Byers

Facebook will launch Instagram Reels, its answer to TikTok, in the United States and more than 50 other countries in a matter of weeks, according to sources familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak publicly.

The global launch, which has been in the works for over a year, comes as TikTok is facing scrutiny from Washington over its handling of user data and amid larger tensions between the United States and China.

Like TikTok, Instagram Reels lets users make and share 15-second video clips set to a vast catalog of music. Like TikTok, users can also borrow and remix audio from other people’s videos. And, like TikTok, users can see their clips go viral in a “Featured Reels” section of the most popular videos.

Facebook first launched Reels in Brazil last November and expanded it to France and Germany last month. It launched in India last week — just days after India banned TikTok and more than 50 other Chinese apps citing privacy and security concerns.

Facebook will launch Reels in the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Mexico and roughly 50 other countries. Users will be able to access Reels through a new icon at the bottom of their screen in Instagram and post Reels to Instagram Stories.

The new service may give Facebook, which has nearly 3 billion users across its services, the chance to stem the rapid rise of a rival service. Facebook has sought to counter rivals by mimicking their services before, including with Instagram stories, which imitated a similar feature from Snapchat.

“We are in a place where we have to be willing to acknowledge when someone did something awesome and try to learn from it,” Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, said in an interview this year when asked about Snapchat.

At the same time, TikTok has become so wildly popular, especially among teenagers, that it may be too late to check its rise without government action. The service now has more than 30 million active users in the U.S., and has captured the cultural zeitgeist.

reprinted with permission from NBC News

How COVID will Change Parenting

family

I am reposting and updating a post I did in the past about how the new decade will change for parenting. I believe now that the COVID era will be additionally instrumental in the way people parent their children because by the time we get over this pandemic, more of us will become experts in home schooling.

Here is the post again. Enjoy!

Now that I’ve reviewed the parenting trends of the past, from a celebrity perspective, let’s take a look at the top parenting trends that we can expect in the coming decade.

From Helicopter to Free Range Parenting, child raising techniques and patterns change over time, with each generation and with scholarship and research.

There really is no right way to accomplish this fine craft and art of raising decent human beings from newborns to young adult.

However, each generation adopts varying habits and patterns that mark their eras in distinctive ways.

The Millennial Generation has already established itself as separate and almost the anti-Generation of its Gen X and Baby Boomer generations that precedes it.

One report indicates that 82% of babies born each year is to Millennial moms, so here is how this new generation of parents are creating new trends for the next decade.

1.More traveling with baby and small children

Parents will be less timid about taking their babies and small children with them while traveling the world.

The concept of traveling with children is not new but was limited to trips to Disney world or roadtrips in the Summer to the Grand Canyon.  Of course, we always had those bold wanderlust or Peace Corp types of parents who were never fearful about picking up their toddler and heading to the Andes but they were in the minority.

A new report by Resonance Consultancy points to the increasing importance of Millennials to the family travel market.

Travel Agents Report states that “44 percent of Millennial travelers take their vacations with the kids in tow,” according to the firm’s new Future of U.S. Millennial Travel report.

More than half (58%) of U.S. Millennials who traveled overnight last year have children under the age of 18 in the household, Resonance learned.

Once kids enter the picture, Millennial parents continue to travel.

Now and in the future, millennial parents will not even hesitate to do so. Many are open to the idea of home schooling their children while living and working as digital nomads abroad. They do not think a child necessarily needs in-school instructions. As a result, we will see more children grow up as students of the world.

The well traveled child is the future.

2. Making home made baby food

In the last decade alone, American spending on baby food has dropped dramatically, and there’s a growing emphasis on making baby food at home.

Millennial parents have grown up in the age of information, and generally speaking, it shows.

They’re not feeding their kids the super-processed, questionably-nutritious baby and kid food of yore, and they want to maintain their principles of eco-minded, earth- and animal-friendly living once they become parents.

And according to Forbes, newer baby food brands are catering to them by partnering up with nutritionists and food engineers to offer sustainable biodynamic food sourcing and processes.

Because Millennial parents of all economic classes want nutritious, organic, science-backed food for their babies , their babies Generation Alpha will be the best fed kids.

3. More Baby wearing, Less investment in multiple strollers

Not long ago, the stroller was a status symbol. Posh parents would have purchased more than two strollers by the time their child reached Kindergarten: a baby carriage or infant car system, a jogging stroller and a toddler stroller.

Nowadays, it’s all about baby-wearing. Also, newer parents have less income and are interested in sustainable living, less waste and extravagance. They do not rely on things like strollers to make a statement.

The term “babywearing” was coined by William Sears, a California-based pediatrician who in 1992 wrote “The Baby Book,” which popularized the concept of “attachment parenting.”

Along with co-sleeping and extended breast-feeding, baby carrying is a core tenet of that parenting approach, which is supposed to nurture a closer attachment between parent and baby and ultimately a healthier child.

The future of parenting is more engaged and connected parents and baby wearing is part of that.

4. Single by Choice/More cohabitation before marriage or without plans to ever marry

Beginning with Generation X, women have been willing to have babies on their own, or elect to just co-habitate with a partner and skip getting married altogether. However, most eventually bowed to societal pressure to find the one, exchange vows and have kids.

Future parents are not willing to be handcuffed by societal rules and tradition.

In 2009, the oldest millennials were in their 20s and as The Wall Street Journal reports, of those older millennials who did have kids, most were unmarried.

And generally, what is norm has changed.

A Pew report finds that just 46% of kids in 2016 were living in a household with two married parents in their first marriage, compared to 61% in 1980.

Generation Z is coming up behind the Millenial generation and are said to be more financially savvy,  the next era of parents will be even less constrained by standards of traditional practices.

Their family planning practices will reflect this prediction.

5. More demanding about Parental Leave

Dads in the Generation Y are also leading the charge in changing gender-based roles in the home, and likewise will change policies related to parental leave.

Millennial dads are more likely to take paternity leave after their spouses or partners have a child.  They are also more likely to be stay at home dads and to baby wear.

A Business Insider report states that “millennial dads are far more likely than their fathers were to take time off work after the birth of a baby” and quotes a 2016 Cornell University study  which asserts that dads who take longer paternal leave tend to be more engaged and involved with their kids in the long run.

That same report indicated that “in 1989, only 10% of these stay-at-home parents were dads, whereas today, stay-at-home fathers account for 17% of such caregivers” and noted that while “women still account for the vast majority of parents in this role, but the numbers are on a course toward more balance.”

Further,it states that in many dual-income millennial homes in which both parents work full time (that’s 46% of households, according to Pew), the mother is the primary earner.

They are making private companies and the government adjust to this new dynamic.

Millennial parents have influenced employers such as Microsoft and Netflix to announce significant expansions to their paid parental leave benefits.

As more private companies start to offer extended family leave and generous paternity leave, future parents from up and down the socioeconomic ladder will start expecting and even demanding adequate time off after welcoming a child to the family.

They will also be more likely to support laws or support candidates that propose new laws standardizing and expanding parental leave policies and laws.

6. More Social Media – Less Friends/Family as Advice Source

Parents will be more comfortable about sharing photos of their children in social media and some with actually brand their children from birth, similar to the way celebrities do now.

About 4 in 5 millennials admit to posting a picture of their kid online at least once, according to a poll conducted by TIME and Survey Monkey. Half of baby boomers, meanwhile, have never posted a photo of their kids online, as well as 30% of Gen X parents.

A Business Insider report about how Millennials use their children as status symbols state they are spending up to $100,000 on things like Instagram-worthy nurseries.

Month-by-Month posts for the first  year of a baby’s life and fabulous color coordinated themed first birthday parties are a thing that Instagram following are made of!

Being that the new generation of parents are more digital conscious and aware, they will continue to skip friends and family for advice and turn to Google.

A recent New York Times article states that millennial parents go to Google, chat rooms, and apps for parenting advice and as one expert told the paper, “Google is the new grandparent, the new neighbor, the new nanny.”

7. Creative Names and Less Formal Names with History and Meaning

“Finding a name that has authentic roots, but is completely undiscovered, is the ultimate baby name status symbol,” Pamela Redmond Satran, a founder of the site Nameberry and author of “The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names,” told Alex Williams of The New York Times.

The future of parenting will include names that are not necessarily connected to a family or tradition.

In fact, more Millennial parents are reportedly looking for a name that is not already attached to a domain.

Also, that New York Times article mentions that many millennial parents are giving their kids personal hashtags and YouTube channels.

8. Raising Gender Neutral Children

With more awareness of LGBTQ issues and variances of how members of that community identify, modern and Millennial parents are cognizant about how they label their children. In year’s past, we followed strict gender identity and roles. To put it bluntly, children were either male or female. However, in the coming years, more parents will be open with raising children without subjecting them to or assigning them gender identity.  Future parents may be more likely to let their kids determine for themselves how they want to identify.

A Euromonitor international report states that middle class parents in developed world, especially older Millennials who are becoming parents, are taking a more gender-neutral approach to child raising, using neutral colors and with names suitable for either gender proving popular.

9. Less Religious – More Spiritual or Non Religious

A lot of holidays in secular society have become so homogenized and commercial that it is very easy for a child raised in a non-religious household to not feel left out. Christmas, Easter even Halloween and Day of the Dead which have cultural and spiritual origins are practiced and recognized by people who do not go to Church or follow the initial practices of each holiday.

Four in ten millennials now say they are religiously unaffiliated, according to the Pew Research Center. In fact, millennials (those between the ages of 23 and 38) are now almost as likely to say they have no religion as they are to identify as Christian.

10. They will do what feels right to them 

If any of the aforementioned are clues, the next generation of parenting will go with their gut and not abide by what books, society, the media, the government or advertisers tell them.

In fact, they will be the one dictating what these ancient institutions do!

The next era of parents will be more empowered.

The future is here and it’s going to be quite different!

 

Tragic Week For Celebrity Moms: Naya Rivera, Kelly Preston, Lisa Marie Presley’s Son Ben

It has been a tragic week with deaths of celebrity women covered in the past or their relatives.

Yesterday, it was revealed that authorities recovered the body of Glee alum Naya Rivera who had apparently gotten swept in an undercurrent while swimming with her son Josey at Lake Pichu in California last week.  The 4-year old was found sleeping on the boat that his mom rented for their daytime excursion. When discovered, he told police that he and his mom went swimming but she didn’t come up.  Aftera a few days search, search and rescue crew knew where to look for Rivera after sharing that she 33-year old former child star had shared a photo of Josey posing in front of a particular cove in the lake.

Rivera was an experienced boater. The death may be ruled accidental drowning, despite earlier speculation that she might had committed suicide.

The day before this news, actress Kelly Preston was confirmed by her husband actor John Travolta. She succumbed to her two year battle with breast cancer. Preston was mom to three, incuding her son Jett who preceded her in death when he passed away at age 16, back in 2009. She later gave birth to son Benjamin at age 47, who now survives his mom along with his older sister Ella.

Photo by Copetti/Photofab/Shutterstock

Benjamin Keough, the grandson of Elvis Presley died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on July 12, TMZ reported. His mother, Lisa Marie Presley‘s, rep Roger Widynowski said the singer is “completely heartbroken, inconsolable and beyond devastated.”

“She adored that boy. He was the love of her life,” the statement continued.

 

Epidural 101

Photo by Jonathan Borba from Pexels

What is an epidural?

An epidural is a procedure that injects a local anaesthetic in to the space around the spinal nerves in your lower back.

This anaesthetic usually blocks the pain from labour contractions and during the birth very effectively. With an epidural you can usually move and can push your baby out when you need to.

An epidural is usually done by an anaesthetist.

The procedure

Before an epidural, you will usually have a drip for fluids put into your arm.

You can sit up and bend forward over a pillow, or lie on your side curled up into a ball. This makes it easier for the needle to be inserted into the right place. You will be asked to stay still.

Your lower back will be washed with cold antiseptic. A small amount of local anaesthetic will be injected into the skin of your lower back. A needle will be inserted between the bones of your spine into the space around your spinal nerves. Your anaesthetist will insert the epidural needle when your contraction stops, so it is important that you tell them when you have a contraction.

A small soft plastic tube will be inserted and the needle will be removed. That tube delivers the anaesthetic that will numb your pain.

It usually takes between 5 and 30 minutes for your pain to be relieved by the epidural.

You usually only have an epidural during the first stage of labour — but it can be given at any stage of labour.

Advantages and disadvantages of an epidural

Epidurals are available at most hospitals but not in birth centres or for home births.

The advantages of an epidural are:

  • it is usually very effective
  • it is generally very safe
  • you can often still move around and push when you need to
  • if you have a long labour, it allows you to sleep and recover your strength
  • if you’re having a caesarean, you can stay awake and your partner can be there

The disadvantages of an epidural are:

  • for medical reasons, not everyone can have an epidural
  • you might need to have fluids given to you through a tube in your arm, and will need to have your blood pressure monitored
  • you might lose feeling in your bladder and need a catheter (tube) in your bladder to help you pass urine
  • you might lose feeling in your legs for a few hours
  • it might slow down the second stage of labour
  • you might not be able to push and need help to give birth
  • your baby will need to be closely monitored during your labour

Whether you have an epidural or not makes no difference to the chance of you having a caesarean section.

Risks and side effects

An epidural is effective and fairly safe. But there are some risks.

Some women feel cold or itchy.

A small number of women get little or no pain relief.

Some women get weakness in the legs; it wears off after a few hours.

There is an increased risk of needing forceps or a vacuum to help with the birth.

Some women develop a bad headache 24 to 48 hours after an epidural.

There is a small chance of developing a skin infection.

Very rarely a few women get permanent nerve damage.

What to discuss with your doctor or midwife

You can check:

  • if you can have an epidural at your chosen hospital or birth centre
  • what their epidural procedures are
  • the type of pain relief that might suit you best

reprinted