Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Worry Free Stroll in the Yard

Wherever I go, there goes my little tot too. Now that the weather is getting warmer, I'm sure we will be spending a lot of times in the yard again. He just loves playing in the backyard while I do my gardening chores. But I worry about deer ticks that might be lingering around as we get few visits from deer looking for food in the woods.

I have a friend who has Lyme disease and her children got them too while she was pregnant with them. It is a horrible disease that makes them really sick. So I am just worried about my little tot getting this dreadful disease from the ticks brought by the deer while enjoying himself in the woods. To get my mind off worrying, I searched for information online to learn about deer control. I need to have some kind of deer repellent to make my backyard safe for my family especially my little tot.

I found this Havahart Deer Off II Battery Powered Sprayer that not only repel deer but rabbits and squirrels as well. So it means that I can also see my plants and vegetables bloom to the fullest and not be feasted on by these animals before I can even harvest them. The sprayer is very convenient to use and can be carried around without a problem. I love it that the deer off formula is safe to use in organic gardening as it is made from natural and food based ingredients. This also means that it will not harm the environment and I can use it directly on bulbs, plants, shrubs, and flowers. This is certainly a great buy to keep my plants alive, but mostly for my peace of mind.



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Listening Tips for Parents & Caregivers

My little tot is always busy as a bee. He is very energetic and is always up to something. I'm sure moms out there can relate to me that it's hard sometimes (or most times) to settle down busy little tots to listen up. Listening takes practice - so does getting young children to listen. I found these tips on listening at the back of a book by Elizabeth Verdick, the author of Listening Time.

(Photo: I opened my little tot's bedroom and found him reading a book to his stuffed toys. Now he's talking to little puppy, as if saying "Listen.")

Use the following tips to help just one child or a group of toddlers settle down and listen up:
  • Be a listening role model - Try quiet, soothing tones when you speak to your child. Avoid shouting across the room - instead, use proximity (stand or kneel by your child) to get attention. You may wish to play soft music to create a relaxing atmosphere.

  • Use hand signals - Show how you can say "Quiet" without speaking a word - by placing a finger to your lips or tuggling your earlobes. You may also teach how hands can "talk" so mouths don't have to. For example, a child can tap a finger on your shoulder or raise a hand in the air to signal that she or he needs help.

  • Talk about how eyes "listen" - We may hear through our ears, but our eyes help us "see what to do." During listening time, remind children, "Look at my eyes, please," or "Eyes on me." This makes it easier for each child to hear your directions and follow them.

  • Model an "indoor voice." - Demonstrate how an indoor voice sounds compared to an outdoor one. Make the phrase "Use your indoor voice" a part of your daily reminders.

  • Teach steps for settling down - Getting toddlers to quiet their busy little bodies needs to happen in stages. Try to do this sequence: First, get them to sit cross-legged on the floor and place their hands on their laps. Next, ask them to make their bodies calm and still. Finally, have the children pretend to zip and lock their lips with an invisible key and put the key away. Or try the "if you can hear me" option: "If you can hear me, touch your nose. If you can hear me, sit down. If you can hear me, don't speak. If you can hear me, sit and listen quietly."

  • Practice circle manners - Circle time can lead to wiggles, giggles, "I want to sit by her," and " He bumped me!" Show children how to keep their hands and feet to themselves and respect their neighbors. Create lots of opportunities for practice.

  • Give light-hearted reminders and praise. - You might say, "Let's use our listening ears," while you tug on your earlobes. Or pretend to zip and lock your lips and hide the key. To reinforce that it's time to listen, use this chant: "I'm quiet as a mouse. I'm still as can be. Who's ready to listen? Me!"


Thursday, April 02, 2009

EC Top Dropper Day - March

Another month is over and it's time to acknowledge my top EC droppers once again. I really appreciate the time and effort that everybody is putting in, for consistently dropping their EC's here. But the following top ten droppers will get a special spot in my sidebar for a month with their links.


A Bug-Free Lawn

Spring is my favorite season of all. I refer to this season as the 'coming back to life' season. After a long cold winter, the trees and plants are sort of awaken from deep sleep and then will show-off their vibrant colors for every gardener's sight-seeing pleasure. I just love to get my fingers dirty digging up and freshening up my garden. It is always something to look forward to. But pests and bugs are also coming out of their hideout to feast on the plants. They are indeed every gardener's nemeses and even the professional ones are not exempted.

I love flowering trees and shrubs of any kind and every year we try to add a plant or two in the yard. But there are pesky insects that feed on these plants that more often prevent them from living longer. So it is frustrating to see that beautiful and expensive flowering trees and shrubs just die in no time. Anyway, I recently learned about a safer way to protect not only the trees and shrubs but also lawn, ornamentals and flowers from killer insects using an organic pest control called Safer Brand Bug Patrol. This organic bug patrol kills over 40 insects on contact. While it can kill different damaging insects, it is however safe and will protect the environment because it is organic. This product is very economical and convenient to use. You just attach the solution to the hose and you're ready to spray and kill both hard and soft bodied insects. Wow I can now imagine having a bug-free lawn.