Quick! Get the Camera!

Every Mom and Pop with a camera takes more pictures of their kids than of anything else. Why?

The reason in that they love to look at their cute little faces and record for all time how great they are. The only trouble is that when that moment comes, the children won’t cooperate. It’s not that children don’t like having their picture taken, it’s just that no child can sit still for more than a few minutes.

Let’s assume you’ve place the children in a perfect setting: one sitting on the floor, one on the stool and another kneeling, sitting on his heels. A favorite tool of mine is a replica of a TV character the children are all familiar with. Elmo, Tinky Winky, or Big Bird will do. This TV friend will hold their attention long enough for you to get a good shot with all eyes toward the toy. Anticipation is the key to keeping their attention and their expressions lively. Let’s say Big bird has a terrible urge to jump off the camera where you placed him. You act annoyed an threaten him with the loss of his dessert, or ordering him to bed. At other times he may smell bad so you have to send him to take a bath. The kids of course identify with their friend and delight in the trouble he is causing his elders.

In order to get babies to smile, they have to see your face close up. Small mouth noises in conjunction with peek-a-boo games and seeing you smile will work most of the time. If all efforts fail, a milk break will often put them in a good mood.

Two-year-olds are in a class by themselves. NO amount of ordering, threatening,, or pleading will make them do anything they don’t want to do. If a toddler catches on to what you want them to do, that is the very thing he or she WON’T do. The secret is to play a game with them in which the child is the one with the power. If the child stamps his feet, you suddenly act out a scene where your finger got stamped on. The very thought of his ‘enemy’ being hurt fills his little heart with joy. Forgotten are the tantrums in hopes of it happening again. Repetition plays an important part in anticipation.

Children of three and four are shy. They love to laugh but they never want to be the first one. They respond well to questions about their activities, allowing them to receive some welcome praise. Situations that seem humorous to the four year old involve other people being embarrassed, slapstick humor, and odd mouth noises. They also love it when an adult gets hurt: smashed fingers (make believe), knocked heads, or things that go wrong. With all this cutting up, a wise photographer will slow down the pace. A little adult conversation (one sentence or two) will throw a mental bucket of ice on their shenanigans.

Older children won’t fall for the slapstick comedy. Real respect for their intelligence is a good way to break the ice and get them to let down their defenses. The only thing that they think is worth laughing at is when their siblings are in trouble. An older child hate so be the center of attention, so use their natural rivalry to create a comedic situation. If thy balk at touching their sibling’s shoulder in the picture, a little flattery of how much they take care of their younger sister or brother will do the trick. Remember that the expression is ninety per cent of a good picture.

Hot Demand For Free Kids Swimming Classes, Instructors and Lessons in Charlotte NC

Charlotte NC features many facilities both indoors and outdoors that offer  swimming  classes for kids. Demand has also been steady for  swimming  lessons and instructors that offer warm water  swimming  pools where kids can practice regardless of the weather. Teaching kids how to  swim  has become something that most parents are now including in their agenda. Usually for many, they do not have the time to devote themselves to instructing their kids and hence need professional help. Also, many people do not have personal pools and rely on either the neighborhood pools or community pools which are strictly controlled. If you are looking for a place that offers lessons for kids in  swimming , diving, surfing etc, here are some places to look:

  • Downtown Charlotte
  • South Charlotte (The Arboretum)
  • West Charlotte
  • North Charlotte
  • Center City
  • University City

Teaching your kids to  swim  or surf can be fun. This is because other than the fact that kids learn  swimming  extra fast, they also thoroughly enjoy it. It is expedient to ensure that if you have kids, they have been properly instructed on how to be comfortable inside and around water. Not only does this lead to a healthier, fuller life, it is also the right thing to do as far as their safety is concerned. Here is why you should enroll your kids in  swimming  lessons:

Children, just like adults, need to keep fit. Many of the exercises that  adults  engage in do not attract kids but  swimming  does. So this is a great way to ensure that your kids stay fit. This is because  swimming  as an exercise is one of the best ways to work out since it is able to tone most of the major muscles simultaneously.

Then off course there is the all-important issue of safety. Each year we are bombarded by shocking stories of kids being injured and killed in water-related freak accidents. You can give your child the much-needed advantage by making sure they can  swim .

Looking for a  swimming  facility that offers instructions to kids can be done using the Internet. This is the best way to search because then you can be able to interact with the instructors and staff before making a decision. You can also compare prices and facilities for different instructors.

4 Ways to Deal With Party Disasters at Your Twilight Party

This November Fans are looking forwards to the release of New Moon in theaters. Twi-Hards everywhere are finding different ways to celebrate. One that has become an established tradition for many fans is a Twilight party. Many fans are having parties based on their favorite series incorporating images and motifs from the series to make their own unique events. However a true fan takes these elements and makes a completely original event all their own. But what if something goes wrong? How can you turn a potential disaster into a stroke of pure genius? Here are some potential party disasters and how you can turn it around.

You get a whole lot of uninvited people who come to crash your party. This can be a major problem because you will likely plan your party for a set amount of guests. All these other people will not only strain the resources you committed to your party they might cause you to break some housing and fire code! First, see if you can find some volunteer bouncers. If you know someone people on your high school football team or some adults you can trust call them over to help you do some crowd control. Second, have your guest list handy and quickly make some badges or VIP passes. Give these to the guests you invited to separate them from the rest of the crowd. Charge a cover. Tell them if they want to have fun at your party they have to abide by your rules and help pay for the party otherwise you are calling the police. These measures will help control the extra crowd and will likely give you extra money at the end of the night. Also have your neighbors apprised ahead of time that you are having a party.

The DJ doesn’t show. Well no worries. In this day and age when everyone has a laptop and an MP3 with a shuffle function a DJ is superficial quickly hook up your iPod to a docking station and connect it to some speakers. If you don’t have some you can get a cheap set at Wal-Mart for just around $30 to $40 dollars. If you need some fresh tunes poll your guests for favorites and download them online from Amazon. You can also get some songs from Stephenie Meyer’s playlists. These are some of the songs she listened to as she wrote the Twilight series.

Another potential problem is that you don’t have enough food. This is something that can be taken care of two ways. You should have some extra drinks or food that you made on the off chance guest were more hungry than usual. This is will help tide people over until you can think of something else to make. Second, the convenience store and grocery store are your friends. If any of your friends has a car, have them go on a shopping trip to get items like chips and more soda. You can also have everyone pitch in to make more Twilight themed treats such as blood punch.

Of course there is the danger of your party hitting a slow point. The one thing that every party organizer dreads is a party that loses its energy and excitement. A way to deal with this is come up with some party games that can be quickly set up. If you have the party at your home and you have a game system use it. Play some of your favorite party video games. Have a game of Twilight trivia or Flashlight tag. The goal is to use your imagination to come up with ideas.

The Hidden Benefit of a Red Ranger Costume for Halloween

Take just a nostalgic moment to wander through your childhood memories and think about the Halloween costumes that you dressed up in when you were a child. Do you remember anything about the reason that you selected those costumes? You probably chose your favorite childhood hero, cartoon or movie character, or your favorite animal.

Some children who are a little bit more brave might have chosen a “scary” Halloween costume such as a monster, zombie, witch, or ghost. Household budget and the expense of the costume can severely limit a child’s choices. They may have to settle for a hand-me-down or gently used costume from a sibling or cousin who has worn it on a previous occasion.

It is ultimately a parent’s decision what a child will be for their trick-or-treating experience on Halloween, but most children get some say about who they will pretend to be. That is, after all part of the Halloween tradition! What is it that draws us to certain Halloween costumes? Of course part of the influence is going to come from popular movies and television shows of the time. Halloween costumes such as Superman, Spiderman, and Batman will always be popular as long as those heroic figures are popular in comic books and movies.

One of the reasons that children love to be these epic superheroes is because they look up to these individuals as people who do good in the world. (It certainly doesn’t hurt that they also have superpowers like laser beam eyes and sticky villain-catching webs.) A Power Ranger costume can also be chosen for this reason. The red Power Ranger and his friends in multicolored outfits, such as blue, pink, green, yellow, etc, fight crime and are intelligent and popular young men and women when they are not in their superhero garb. It’s no wonder that children feel more confident and proud of themselves when they are able to wear a power ranger costume.

Dressing up is a part of every normal childhood since it allows children to expand their imagination and play pretend. It also teaches social cues such as turn taking, polite manners, and collaboration with others. The world that is created by children who are dressing up is an imaginary place that two or more people work together to make up. Listening and implementing the ideas of their friends is just one skill kids learn during this dress-up game.

The Four Types Of A Modern-Day Hippie

The popular hippie counterculture that started back in the 1960’s were indeed so popular that up until now, the concept and the culture still manages to live on. However, the years have changed the counterculture a lot as well. Despite the attempts of true-blue hippies to carry out and retain the genuine hippie spirit as they make the transition from vintage hippies to modern-day hippies, the modern times still caused various changes. Now, the modern-day hippie has four sides.

The first type of what is called “modern-day hippie” is the true-blue hippie, a true child of the 1960’s counterculture. They are the true picture of a full-blown hippie, who lives the original hippie values from inside and out. They are now called New Hippies or Neo-Hippies. Similar to the hippies in the past, they are still politically informed and educated. They also advocate the same causes in the spirit of peace, love, and freedom. They keep up with current political and environmental trends. They protested against issues that contradict with their hippie values in the same manner that the hippies of the past protested. As true-blue hippies, they still also live with the good and the bad sides of being a hippie. They protest against way and violence as they promote peace. On the other hand, they also like to engage in unusual activities, use odd clothes and accessories, and experiment with drugs in their advocacy for liberal rights. They really are hippies to the core.

The second type of a modern-day hippie is a somewhat downplayed version. Their hippie side is reflected more by their environment-friendly, tree-hugging advocacies, rather than through their political and societal idealisms. They are mostly vegetarians, and tends to live through life in a breeze and simply focuses on their love for the environment and clean, healthy things. They are lighter and brighter hippies. They are sometimes called granola children. A “granola child”, according to the urban dictionary, is one who “enjoys tie-dye, granola, and peace”.

The third type of a modern-day hippie, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of a granola child. They are the angry hippies. They are more futuristic, and like to show off their hippie values in enhanced, exaggerated ways. They are called the “techno hippies”. They are more modern and more forward than the Neo-Hippies. They take the hippie character to the next level. They sport tattoos, body piercings, and strange hairstyles such as the famous dreadlocks. They also exhibit their opinions though rave parties where they mostly consume large amounts of drugs and alcohol. They also take their advocacies to the Internet and are in tune with the latest gaming technologies. They are, in a way, rebellious hippies.

Finally, the fourth type of modern-day hippie is not really composed of hippies anymore, as a lot of people claim. They are hippies without a cause. Cynics like to call them “rippies”, because they are simply ripping off the hippie lifestyle, for lack of an original generational style and culture to live by. There are a lot of terms closely associated with them. One of these terms is “yunkers”, which refers to a modern-day hippie who smokes and takes drugs a lot. Somehow, they give off the idea that they are merely using the hippie culture as an excuse to liberally take drugs. Accused of wearing the trendy, designer versions of distinct hippie clothes such as tie-dyes, vests, and sandals, they are also often referred to as the hippies who have lost their political activism.

These four types of a modern-day hippie may be completely different. But one thing remains the same: the clothing style. Any breed of hippie is still wearing sandals and tie-dyes. Now, that is a fashion culture that doesn’t just die.

LED Dance Floor to Illuminate Your Wedding

Illuminated tracks are always a success at every wedding, whatever the style of it. The game of lights and colors will make your guests sit in a disco and create a fun atmosphere that will surely make your guests do not stop dancing throughout the party.

There is a great variety of types of LED dance floors, and each one offers different advantages and characteristics. That is why it is important that you think which one fits your wedding style, place and your budget at best. To know what your chances are we will share all the information about the main types of illuminated tracks.

The size and shape. The size and shape of the LED dance floors can be any; you can choose between square, rectangular and sometimes even circular, it all depends on the taste of the bride and groom.

The cost. Most often it is covered by each panel that forms the track, depending on the style of panels and lighting you want for your wedding party.

· Acrylic head. It is the cheapest option in the market since it does not use LEDs, that’s why saving becomes the biggest advantage of this type of track. On the other hand, you have to be aware that having no lights you will not be able to play with colors and music as you would with a lighted track with LEDs. The Wedding DJs track is made of a base also made of wood with unique acrylics in white color that will be illuminated by the common focus of different colors that can be turned off and on during the dance.

· Wooden path. It is one of the best and most recommended options for Bollywood DJs with carpet or garden weddings, as this will not damage the grass or the carpet at the time of the dance. These tracks were the first ones that came on the market, and it is a wooden platform with illuminated panels.

· Glass track with LEDs. It is the most attractive option; it is a track that has individual glass panels and LEDs that will illuminate each panel. The LED lights turn on automatically or with a particular lighting control that will achieve a special effects game between the track and the music, turning on and off to the beat of the music, or doing magnificent scenes, for example, for your first dance. Surely your guests will never forget the light show that these types of Bollywood DJs can offer.

· Track of panels with LEDs. These are the most expensive tracks on the market due to the sophistication of their panels. Thanks to each panel are independent you can create figures, patterns and with a little imagination until you can write their names on the dance floor.

Installation. The Wedding DJs can be installed almost on any flat surface, and even on   swimming  pools, if your wedding will be in a garden with  swimming  pool you can gain space installing the dance floor over the  swimming  pool, sure to look fabulous.

Reef Lexi Sandals

Do you want a feminine looking pair of sandals – most likely something that has never been seen before. Although the Reef Lexi Sandals are rare, they are becoming very popular because of their unique design. If you are looking for a sandal that is sophisticated and also has a playful look, these are definitely the sandals for you. Not only will they feel snug on your feet, but you will also have no problem walking in them. Most people identify these shoes by detailing of the reef logo or the peculiar looking strap just above the toe area.

The Reef Lexi sandals are indeed, one of a kind. They are very flat, with an incredibly sturdy foot-bed. These sandals also have the synthetic Nubuck deck. The strap is unlike no other because of its design. For example, the strap is very small and entails 3 straps intertwined with one other, usually with two crossing over each other and one beneath. This creates an intricate look and your feet will look dainty! In case this is your first time wearing these sandals, we don’t recommend taking part in too many strenuous activities, although these shoes can still be played in various sports activities. These sandals are usually just for “looking pretty” and lounging around, but you can still go for a good run on the beach. Many surfer girls love these because of their function and overall style.

Even though they come in one style and color, you can still find a few great outfits to pair with your Reef Lexi sandals. Obviously, you can match the light amber hue with a beige dress or even white with coffee colored accessories such as jewelry. These sandals are great if you want to make fashion statement and still be able to participate in your daily softball game down at the beach. Everyone will know you are wearing the Lexi sandals because of the signature Reef logo etched on the foot-bed of the shoe. If you are one for setting a trend, you can definitely do so with these shoes.

Keys to Picking the Right Sportsbook

If you have been to Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or even Reno, you know that these adult playgrounds the size of small cities have one goal: get your money! Everything from the floor layout to where the pool is built in a casino have been thought out in great detail to keep you happy and gambling away. A Sportsbook is the same way, you may get a girly calendar in the mail, or a football magazine published by the company with sports tips. But overall, whether you’re drinking and placing bets in a casino or sitting on your couch in your bathrobe you’re still being targeted.

Of course I have a Sportsbook, and have used it for many years now, but I won’t mention which site to stay neutral and not seem like a commercial. My advice before making a deposit into an online account is to “do your research”. You don’t want to just blindly dump money into a Sportsbook without taking a look into withdrawal fees, deposit bonuses (and fees), or comparing odds with other sites. The biggest lure most Sportsbooks offer is bonuses. This is not all it’s cracked up to be. Most of the time, the site will give you 5 to 6 times your deposit in cash just for making a deposit, but the catch is that they won’t let you withdraw that money until you turn that bonus money into 10 times what they gave you.

Top 4 Tips when dealing with Sportsbooks:

1. Do your Research

Compare all factors before picking a site; some sites recommend having more than one Sportsbook to get the best odds, although that means more deposits and more gimmicks.

2. Don’t buy into the bonuses and deals, if it’s too good to be true it probably is

If you can, try to avoid the 1-800 deposit number; these power sellers are geared to get you to dump even more than you had planned on depositing.

3. Keep a weekly allowance

Everyone tells you the bets they won, and leaves out the 5 or 6 they lost that week. Keep it simple. It costs a small amount to place a bet (11/10) so why make 10 bets per week. Quality over Quantity! Keep it to1-4 strong bets per week. Don’t bet it all in week 1, and avoid pre-season games.

4. Never bet on a game just because you can

If you don’t like any match ups that week, don’t make any bets! Addiction starts when you can’t watch football without having money on it. Unless you want to blow your cash, play smart. You can make a lot of money if you have patience (trust me!)

Benefits of Outdoor Team Building

While it is true that most team-building exercises take place in or around the workplace, the truth is that it’s always good to think outside of the box once in a while. This can mean organizing and participating in an outdoor team building exercise, where you will be able to put the skills of you and your fellow workers to the test. It is a new and exciting way to build interpersonal skills through exercises that you may have not considered before. There are certain companies which you will be able to turn to when it comes to building teamwork skills to create a more efficient work environment all around. Many of these outdoor retreats are great for building stronger relationships and personal ties with co-workers. If you have been looking for a way to keep your team motivated, then this is certainly a method that is worth considering.

These types of outdoor challenges focus on both physical and mental obstacles which each participant must overcome. Finishing an outdoor challenge like this will be sure to build confidence and cooperation among your workers, so it is ultimately an invaluable motivational tool. There are an increasing number of executives and business heads who are becoming interested in using these challenges as a way to step things up in the workplace. With a sometimes tedious and monotonous schedule, it is sometimes difficult to find the energy to do your best work, which is why these retreats exist.

You will be able to find a company who can help set one up for you and your workers, so you will be able to raise the level of skills each person in your group has by the end of the day. Some of the companies which hold these events actually film the entire thing, so you can look back on it at your next meeting to see just how everyone did. You will be able to use the video to examine both the strengths and weaknesses of those who were involved. This can be an excellent way to keep in shape mentally and physically, and see just what everyone is made of. By having all of your workers take part in such an event, you will notice just how much of difference it will make when everything is said and done.

Most people who come back from these kinds of outdoor challenges are better for it and in many ways. You will be surprised just how much more motivated and confident your workers will be along with yourself. Spending the money to organize an event like this is well worth it, because you will see the benefits socially and financially for years to come. Every business should consider doing one of these events as soon as possible.

Daddy Ball – The Painful Reality of Youth Sports

What do I mean by “daddy ball”? I refer to a situation in a youth sports such as baseball, football, soccer, hockey, basketball or any other competitive youth sport where a parent coaches the team and plays his son above where he falls athletically. In short, daddy ball refers to the coach’s child playing either preferred positions or increased playing time, in exclusion to other more athletically gifted competitors.

Having raised two sons I can say that there is not much as painful as watching a coach play the game to advance the talents of his own child. When a game is played and it clearly revolves around the coach’s son, unless he’s the best athlete on the team, it’s daddy ball.

In baseball, you may see the daddy ball coach’s son batting ahead of players with higher batting averages, playing shortstop or pitching frequently and not getting the job done. In football, it usually involves increased playtime and the position of quarterback or running back or you may see in most short and goal situations mainly one boy getting the chances to be the hero and score the touchdown — of course, the coach’s son.

Regardless of the sport, the concept is the same – when a child gets playtime or position that he does not earn through his own hard work and athletic ability or if others who can get the job done are not given the opportunity-so the coaches son can play more- it is daddy ball.

I regard coaches who play their son above where he falls athletically as cheating his son, the other boys, the team and himself. What do I mean by that bold statement?

A coach who does not make his son earn his position has in effect trained the boy to expect something for nothing. Continued over time the boy expects things to be handed to him and has little incentive to put in the hard work necessary to beat out other young athletes and truly earn what he gets.

Would that be the type of employee you would like to hire out of college? So I say, the coach who did not make his son truly earn his position on the team has cheated his own boy.

It is easy to say that the other teammates who may have higher batting averages, or otherwise were better able to play a spot were cheated because the coach’s son got to play it.

Young boys hold few; in as high regard as their coach, if they put in the work, have a good attitude and can beat out another kid- they deserve to play the spot.

A coach, who will not play the best boy for the job to work another agenda, improving his own child’s ability, should not be coaching the team.

Daddy ball also serves to cheat the team, as a team, because when boys are not played where the fall athletically, the team will be less competitive and the boys will be less motivated. Resulting in a team that is not all it could have been.

Well how does the coach who plays daddy ball cheat himself?

A coach who plays his son above his athletic ability to the detriment of more qualified boys has failed in its primary mission as a father, that is to adequately prepare his son to leave the nest and stand on his own 2 feet. When children do not experience earning by their own efforts and truly competing, they suffer.

How do you avoid daddy ball?

The main way to avoid daddy ball is to coach the team your self. But if you do, take careful objective measure of each child’s athletic ability and play it accordingly, lest you fall into the daddy ball role as a coach.

A way to lessen the impact of daddy ball is to get your son on a team coached by a father whose son clearly is the best athlete on the team. In that situation, it will be hard for the coach to play the son over more athletically inclined children.

Or if you can afford it, the best way to avoid daddy ball is to play your children with a coach who does not have children on the team. This will either be a paid professional coach or someone who truly loves the game. If you choose the paid coach route, ask hard questions of the paid coach before joining the team as some paid coaches seem to feel obligated to the dad who helps coach or put the team together and you may well find your son back in the same situation you were trying so hard to avoid.

It has been my observation that coaches that play daddy ball are usually in denial about the situation. Typically, they have eyes for one boy on the team, their own.

Some coaches feel that by coaching the team they have earned the right to play their son where ever and however they want and for the reasons set forth above, I say, find another team.

Speaking with the daddy ball coach has little chance of success because it involves his own son. If you do speak to the coach, be very careful to keep the conversation about facts and not opinions.

In baseball, that may mean keeping batting statistics your self or other objective measure depending on the sport and situation. You can hand the coach the batting averages for all players on the team and he will get the message with out a word spoken.

With the daddy ball coach, the best option for your child may be to finish out the season and more carefully select another team next year.