Do your Carpets need a Holiday Refresh?

It wasn’t until I started making plans for the holidays that it dawned on me that I’d soon have a regular stream of visitors and house guests. While it’s always nice to have family and friends come for a visit, I was starting to become a little apprehensive. You see, I have a fairly active family. With a husband, 3 boys, a baby girl, and our energetic puppy, my upholstery and carpets have definitely taken a beating over the past several months. While I hadn’t given it much consideration over the past year, when I started to think about those visitors arriving, I was not too thrilled with what had become of my home.

Of course, I would have loved to be able to replace my carpets and furniture, but, since that was out of the question, I really needed to come up with a realistic solution. I thought about renting one of those portable cleaners, but I’ve never actually had much luck with them. Not only do they not do a very good job removing the dirt, but it seems like soap and residue gets left in the carpet and it looks worse than ever in a matter of days. Besides, if you’ve ever tried to clean your carpets on your own, it can be a huge job! And, if you don’t have a machine that is capable of thoroughly extracting all of the water and cleaning solution, you might be left with damp carpets for a couple of days. This is definitely not what I need to be doing, especially given the fact that my schedule is already packed to the brim.

I was discussing my dilemma with a friend and she suggested that I hire someone to come in and take care of my carpet cleaning and upholstery cleaning at the same time. While it sounded like a great idea, especially given the fact that I wouldn’t have to actually be the one doing the work, I was a little concerned about whether they’d put the extra effort into making sure my furniture and floors looked their best.

I finally made up my mind that I’d find someone to do the carpet and upholstery cleaning, but I had no idea who to call. I did some research, asked a few friends, and eventually decided on our local Chem-Dry. Wow! I wish I had called them a long time ago. I couldn’t believe how easy it was, and my carpets now looked absolutely amazing. Best of all, the entire process was about as convenient and pain-free as possible. I didn’t have to move any heavy furniture, lug heavy tubs of water, or endure the backbreaking hours of cleaning the carpet.


Chem-Dry arrived right when they said they would. They had everything they needed to get the job done quickly and professionally. Even my furniture looked amazing when they were finished. While I don’t have new carpet or furniture, I feel like I do. They were even able to remove spots that I never thought would come out. I was so impressed with the outcome that I immediately called my girlfriend and thanked her for the recommendation.

Best of all, when my husband came home, the first thing he noticed was how clean and fresh the house smelled. I guess we had grown accustomed to that slight “puppy smell” that comes with a new dog in the house. The occasional spills on the carpet, the built-up soil, even the stains all made me feel bad about my home as well as my housekeeping. Now, I look around, take a deep breath and feel so happy that I have my home back to looking and smelling its best.

Of course, I never expected my kids to even notice that the carpet was cleaned, so you can imagine my surprise when they were jumping around the living room cheering about our new carpet. In fact, as they usually do in the evening, they were lying on the floor watching one of their favorite TV programs and they kept telling me how nice the carpet felt. At first I figured it was just their way of saying that it looked great, but I finally got down on the floor with them and it actually did feel wonderful! I can now feel comfortable sitting on the floor with the kids and enjoying some quality family time.


Additionally, I am now totally excited about having company coming for an extended visit. I don’t have to be embarrassed about my dirty carpet or furniture. I can’t wait to see my family and I’m now proud to let them into my home. My husband and I were just admiring what a great job that Chem-Dry has done and we made a promise to ourselves that we would never wait so long between carpet cleaning sessions. There’s no reason to put it off when you have a professional company that does such an exceptional job.

Skip the Stress this Year – Have your Child’s Birthday Hosted

If you are a parent, you have probably experienced the stress of throwing your child a birthday party. However, with a few creative options such as having your child’s party hosted by a business, you can have fun and enjoy your child’s special day. There are countless businesses, like Romp n’ Roll, that host birthday parties, which means they tackle all the stress, planning and executing on your behalf. There are several benefits of foregoing the typical party thrown at home in favor of allowing a business to host the party instead.

transformers-cupcakesHaving a party at home is much more than just inviting a few people over for cake and ice cream these days. It only takes a couple minutes online to see just how much birthday parties for kids has evolved. Once upon a time, pinning the tail on the donkey amongst brightly colored balloons and a boxed cake mix was all it took to satisfy. Now, not only do you need top-notch food and a specially designed cake featuring your child’s favorite character, but chances are, if your little one is following current trends, he or she will also want a themed party. You can spend an extraordinary amount of time planning a menu, shopping for all the necessary ingredients and then cooking or baking your menu into fruition. You also will need to provide for the needs of your party guests such as food allergies or other special diets. Whether it is allergies or gluten-free, planning a menu is getting harder to do. Having a place of business that will host your birthday party as well as provide the food means much less stress for you as they have the means and ability to cater to your guests. This takes all the guesswork and research needed to formalize your menu out of your hands and allows you to sit back, eat and be merry along with the rests of your guests.

Not only will you save time and energy on planning and making the food, but every parent who has thrown a birthday party in or at their home knows the feeling of having to clean every inch of the house from the top of the fridge down to that far corner in the hallway. Most homes are clean enough for the family, but once you invite guests into your home, every cobweb and tiny speck of dust on your shelf becomes a glaringly obvious example that it’s not quite clean enough for a party. Instead of getting on your hand and knees and making sure you have gotten every dust bunny from underneath every piece of furniture, including the ones your guests will never see, have a business host your party and you will significantly cut down your party to-do list. You don’t want to throw a party that you are too exhausted to enjoy. There is no fun in that for you, and it takes away from the pleasure you could be having with your child as you watch them enjoy their special day. Why trim every hedge to the exact inch, rake all those leaves, or ensuring you have every weed pulled from your flower beds when you could just put on your party clothes, hop in your car, and go have fun at your child’s birthday party instead.

Not only has the size and scope of birthday parties for kids increased, but so has the price tag as well. Hosting birthday parties has evolved into a big business in recent years, making it more affordable as they compete to win your favor. Most businesses that offer child birthday celebrations have different packages to fit nearly any budget. This allows you to set a budget and have a way of sticking to that budget, all while giving your child a party to remember. You may be surprised at how affordable it can be to have your party hosted rather than throwing it yourself.

Another advantage of having your child’s birthday hosted by a business is the ability to choose a venue suitable for your child. Instead of spending crazy amounts of money on those Minecraft or princess decoration that will just get thrown away after the party, you can choose a place that will make your child’s eyes light up with pleasure. Whether it is a bowling alley, local pizza and arcade joint, their favorite restaurant, theme park or even a zoo, there are a variety of places that host birthday parties.

Among the other benefits of having a business host your party is not having to worry about the size of your guest list and if they will all fit comfortably in your home, adequate parking for all your guests, or the noise level bothering your cranky neighbors.birthday-balloons

This year, skip all the stress, time and energy planning a birthday party at home, and spend it all on your child as you enjoy the day together by having it hosted instead.

Preparing Your Child for Their First Family Dentist Visit

baby teeth

It is very important to start teaching your children good oral health habits early on. It is also important to teach them the importance of brushing and flossing, and you should take the to their first dentist appointment around the age of three. If you need to find a facility who specializes family dentistry in Richmond VA or surrounding areas, there are a few places that you can look.

Internet Search: The internet is one of the most efficient ways to find a good dentist for your child. There are several sites where you can enter your zip code and how far you are willing to travel, and several results will show up. Many of these sites will also give you references for each of the listings that they provide.

Friend or Family Member Referral: If you have a friend or family member with children, you should ask them who they take their child to. If they are happy with the dentist, chances are that you will be as well.

Insurance Company: You can contact your insurance company for a list of dental providers who accept your insurance. After you have a few names, you can do some research on their credentials.

 If your child is like most, they will be apprehensive about seeing the dentist for the first time. To make the visit easier on your child and yourself, there are a few things that you can do to prepare.


Take Your Child to a Pediatric Dentist

It is a good idea to take your child to a dentist who specializes in children. The waiting room in a typical pediatric dentist’s office is very child friendly, and the exam rooms are as well. Also, pediatric dentists have techniques that they use to calm your children down.

kids readingRead Books

There are a variety of children’s books that you can read to your child to prepare them for their first visit to the dentist. Most of these books are about the main character’s first visit to the dentist. When you read the book to your child, they will have a better understanding of what is going to happen during the visit. You can find these books in your local library, your local bookstore, or online.


Schedule the Appointment at the Right Time

The time that you schedule your child’s first appointment has a great deal to do with how their first visit goes. It is best to schedule the appointment after your child has had lunch and a nap. If you go in for the appointment and your child is tired, they will be very cranky for their appointment.


Avoid Saying the Word “Hurt”

When you are explaining your child’s first visit to the dentist, you should avoid using the word “hurt.” Even if you say that the appointment won’t hurt, you child will only hear the word “hurt.” If your child asks if the appointment will hurt, you can tell them no, just don’t mention the word.


Take a Tour

If possible, you should set up a tour of the dentist’s office. You can let your child see the waiting room and the exam room. If there is a hygienist available, they can show your child the various tools that the dentist will use, and explain what each one does. If your child knows what to expect, it will help them feel less scared and anxious.


Give Them Some Control

If you are having trouble getting your child in the car for their appointment, you should give them some control. Let them choose the toy that they are going to bring to the appointment or the outfit that they are going to wear. When they feel that they have some sort of control, they may feel better about their first visit.


Watch What Older Siblings Say

It is common knowledge that older siblings enjoy teasing younger siblings. If your older children have been to the dentist, it is important that they don’t tease your younger child by trying to scare them about the visit. Explain to your older children that they were scared before their first visit to the dentist also, and they should be there to make them feel better.

Your child’s first appointment should be a simple one. Often times, the dentist will count your child’s teeth, and use a dental pick to check for cavities. In order to get the most out of your child’s first appointment, you should properly prepare them. Being prepared will make the visit much easier on you and your child.

Finding a Safe Day Care Center for Your Child

kids and safetyMany working parents today entrust the care of their young children to day care facilities. The quality of care a child receives in a child care center depends a great deal on the particular center parents choose. Knowing what to look for in a day care center can help parents make wise choices that will benefit their kids. A facility with the following features is more likely to be a safe and reliable environment.

State License

A reputable facility will be licensed by the state for the services it provides. Before a center can obtain state licensing, it must meet government standards for health and safety. NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accreditation is a plus as it signifies the center’s standards are even higher for quality child care.

Experienced personnel, a safe learning environment, and a philosophy that promotes a child’s growth and development are common attributes that quality, accredited day cares share. Such attributes give them an edge over their competitors in providing quality care. Accreditation alone cannot guarantee the safety and welfare of children receiving day care services. It does, however, provide parents with greater confidence in the facility the choose to care for their children.

Safe Environment

Before selecting a child care center, parent should tour the facility personally to check out the environment for cleanliness, child safety, and security. At the same time, parents can observe caregivers in action to see how they interact with the children in their care.

Parents should note if the facility’s resources (including books, toys, tricycles, playground equipment, etc.) are age-appropriate and well-maintained. Small toys in the hands of young children can be dangerous if swallowed. Similarly, old or worn playground equipment increases the risk of accidents. For example, Creative World School Three Oaks in Estero, FL stocks each classroom with only safe, age-appropriate furniture, tools, and toys.

Child safety should be a priority when selecting a day care. A facility with gated stairways, window guards on upper floor windows, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, covers on electrical plugs, and an emergency exit plan offers greater security for caregivers and children. The center should follow strict security measures for coming and going so children cannot wander off on their own. There should also be a system for monitoring adult visitors to protect children from abduction or harm.

Stimulating Atmosphere

Children will be happier in a day care that provides opportunities for learning. A stimulating environment will keep children busy and challenged as they develop new talents and skills. Parents should inquire if the center offers such activities as reading, singing, dancing, arts and crafts, and group games, as these activities contribute to a child’s development. An environment filled with positive interaction between teachers and children is more conducive to learning.

Close Supervision

A day care with ample staff and experienced caregivers is more capable of providing children with the supervision they need. Ideally, the child-staff ratio of a facility offering infant care should be at least 3:1, or in other words, three infants per caregiver. Centers caring for 2-year olds should have a child-staff ratio of 4:1, while the child-staff ratio for the care of 3-year olds can be as high as 7:1.

Qualified Personnel

Day care staff and caregivers should be well trained for their profession. Caregivers with child development skills or a degree in early learning education will be better qualified to provide quality child care services.

High Cleanliness Standard

A well-run child care facility will uphold a high standard of cleanliness to promote good health among children and staff. Caregivers and children should wash their hands after outdoor play or using the restroom and before meals. The kitchen should be kept clean and tidy at all times to prevent bugs. Bathrooms and common play areas should also be cleaned periodically to avoid the spread of germs. Children who are sick with fever, infections, or diarrhea should not be allowed to attend the day care until they are well and immunizations should be kept up to date.

Although no day care center can guarantee the health and safety of their children, a good one will maintain a high health standard to reduce the risk of sickness and injury. Choosing a facility with strict health rules gives parents greater assurance in the quality of their children’s care.

By taking the time to research their options and visit day cares in their area, parents are more likely to find a facility where their children will be happy, healthy, and well cared-for for the duration of their stay.