Real Time Lightning Tracker Monitors Thunderstorms

Many people are scared of lightning and thunder. I have seen people shutting tight their eyes and plugging both their ears with their fingers when the lightning flashes. There are others who are fascinated with lightning and thunder. Some think that lightning is beautiful. Whichever group we belong to, we all know that lightning can be very dangerous and may cause serious damage to lives and properties.

Some places are more prone to lightning strikes and some forest fires were caused by lightning. It is reported that many lightning strike survivors claims that just before they were struck by lightning, they felt their hair standing on end. There is a possible risk of being struck by lightning when using a corded phone during a thunderstorm. You may find it difficult to believe but lightning can strike even when the sky is blue and not necessary dark and threatening.

If you like to watch lightning, do so from behind closed glass window, in the safety of your home or office. Try to get out of open space as fast as you can and stay indoors with windows closed. If you happened to be in your car, keep all the windows closed and stay away from any metal parts of the car.

Anyone can install a real time lightning tracker app on a mobile phone to find out if there is a possibility of a lightning near you or where it would be. With the app, you can monitor the movement and intensity of thunderstorms on a map and see how close they are to your area. The app will also send notifications whenever a strike is detected in your area to allow you time to get to safety or remain indoors. Most of these apps are highly reliable, providing accurate alerts if lightning is close to your area by using the latest data from global weather models combined with high-resolution lightning data.

Most of the lightning tracker apps share some common key features.

  • Display global thunderstorm and lightning strikes details on a real time lightning strike map
  • Display history of lightning strikes hotspots
  • Forecast thunderstorm movement and intensity
  • Send notifications to alert of nearby storm for live monitoring purposes.
  • Send alert messages before lightning is expected near your location.
  • Display accurate location of lightning using high quality weather data combine with high resolution lightning data.
  • Enable sharing with friends of approaching storms and lightning.

Be informed of possible thunderstorms and lightning strikes in your area with a lightning tracker on your mobile phone.

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5 Effective Ways to Deal with Annoying Puppy Sounds

Everybody loves a puppy—until it’s 1 am and you hear one whining or yelping nearby.

It could be yours. It could be your neighbour’s. Either way, it’s annoying!

But there’s a good reason for annoying puppy sounds. it’s nature’s way of helping mother and pup find each other in case they get separated.

So since annoying puppy sounds are part and parcel of getting a new dog, I’d like to walk you through seven effective ways of dealing with your puppy during this period of its young life.

 

Understand Why Your Puppy is Making Annoying Sounds

If you’re anything like me, understanding something takes most of the annoyance out of it.

To begin with, let’s try and understand why your puppy is making whining, yelping or excessive barking sounds.

A common reason is neglecting to spend enough time with your puppy. Remember it has just been taken away from its mother, so it needs all the reassurance it can get. Make time for your puppy and let it know that you’re always around.

Your puppy could be bored. If it’s explored your backyard, it may be time to allow for some extended exploration.

Health, exercise and a troubled past are also reasons for your puppy acting out of fear and making annoying puppy sounds. Let’s look at these and others.

 

Be as Understanding as Possible

Your puppy needs you during this time. Patience will go a long way to establish a strong bond between you and your new dog.

Your dog will slowly learn to trust you and see you as a safe place when they are anxious. Shouting at your dog or punishing them for making certain sounds will not solve the issue. You must understand why your puppy is making those sounds so that you can act accordingly.

So, let’s do some testing.

 

Do Some Tests to Establish Why Your Dog is Making Annoying Sounds

If you can’t pinpoint why your puppy is making annoying sounds, you may want to try a process of elimination.

Start off by listing all the possible ways you could healthily mitigate your puppy’s annoying outbursts. then try them one by one. We’ll be discussing some more below, so get some ideas that have worked for me and other professional dog trainers.

If one thing doesn’t work, try another. Sooner or later your puppy will either grow out of its anxiety, or you’ll pinpoint what the problem is and solve it.

Also look into your puppy’s history. Were they mistreated or starved before you adopted them? What kind of breeder did you buy your puppy from?

 

Take Your Puppy for Regular a Long Walk

Exercise is one of the most important factors for any dog. Your new puppy will love taking walks with you every day. it will strengthen your bond and burn all that excess energy & frustration that’s been building up in your puppy.

Try walking your puppy every day during the same time. Your puppy will have something to look forward to and their anxiety and/or boredom may decrease.

 

Check Your Puppy’s Health

Poor health can also be a common reason for constant yelping and whining.

 

Here’s how to do a quick home health check on your puppy:

  • Check your dog’s ears by selling them. If there’s a bad smell, your puppy may have a skin condition or some kind of parasitical worms.
  • Run your hands over your puppy and check for lumps or wounds.
  • You can also check your puppy’s excrement for blood or any irregularities.
  • Walk with your puppy and check if they are limping in or walking strangely in any way.
  • Eyes and gums should be void of any discoloration like blotchiness and yellow stains.

If you find any of these take your puppy to the vet.

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Family Staycation: Rimlay Park Resort
How Important Is A Child’s Formative Years?

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Unplanned Staycation: Rimlay Park Resort

Book your next staycation/vacation: Booking dot com

Rimlay Park Resort Review

If you would like to know our experience in this resort read on.

 

My husband and I work full time. Parents out there could surely empathize with us wanting to getaway and simply relax.  And in today’s busy and structured world, this does not come by easily.  Parents have busy schedules and kids’ have timetable full of classes from dusk to twilight, plus special classes here and there. With all these crazy sched in the family, finding the common time for a holiday is rare and difficult. Fortunately though, the previous week we had that rare time. And so we grabbed the opportunity and went on our unplanned staycation.

For us, a perfect staycation means staying in a new place with a nice accommodation, clean air conditioned room with wifi, fridge, and coffee maker, and most importantly a place with kids pool. So we hurriedly booked Rimlay Park Resort at Phattalung Thailand.

As soon as the booking was confirmed, we drove there the following day. Since it is unplanned, I forgot the kids’ life jackets. They love swimming but they do not know how to swim yet, thus the life jackets.  We ought to enroll them in a swimming class. And yes we will, it is important.

We got to the resort. It was good and we rated it 4/5. But it does not have a proper kids pool. It is actually an adult pool with a shallow area where adults could sit around and tête-à-tête while in the water.

Anyway, all’s well that ends well.  The kids had so much fun.  The accommodating lady owner lent them swimming aid noodles. Although short, but it had been a relaxing stay and an enjoyable one for the kids.

Rimlay Park Resort is a great staycation place for families or a getaway haven for group of friends. If you would like to know more about this resort, read our review.

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Free Milk in Schools

As children are the future citizens of the world their health should be of great concern.  And what could be a more fitting way to promote good health among children than providing them with free milk in schools. This is a health program by governments of countries the world over including the UK, the Philippines, British Columbia, Canada, and Thailand.  Despite its benefits and noble nature, there are different political issues of some sort surrounding this program – corruption, milk quality, milk suppliers, budget and allocation, and many others to name a few. However, as hundreds of thousands of children have availed and have improved health condition every year, this should be  given priority and attention.

Milk is very nutritious.  Many believe in its role in building strong bones, which is not far from the truth. The body uses several nutrients, not just one, in doing whatever metabolism it needs to accomplish for normal body functions.  And milk provides the necessary minerals needed in building and repairing bones. It is a very good source of protein, calcium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium, which all contribute to having healthy bones. It also is a great source of water, which is rich in vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin B complex.

In Thailand, School Milk Program (SMP) was implemented and got full support from central government in 1992.  Since then school children are given free milk for 230 days annually.  Since there are only 180-200 school days in a year, each child gets 1 box of milk to be brought home during the holidays. Foreign children who are born in Thailand and are studying here, get to enjoy this as well. Hoping that this continues, and that Thai government will always look after the good of the future of the nation, the children.

 

So mainly this program aims to promote healthy growth in children. However, it is part of the program to outsource milk from local farmers, and so as a consequence this has tremendously boosts the income of local farmers.

Free Milk in Schools

My kids love this. In fact they prefer this over formula milk. They’re lucky.  I don’t remember getting any free milk during my primary school days in the Philippines.  Have you?

 

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5 Features You Might Like to Have in a Family Car

Investing in a family car is a crucial decision to make for an average family like ours. My husband and I had a long discussion on what kind of car to get to replace our aging Nissan Sentra, even the make of the car was researched and compared. The time invested on research and review-comparisons did not go to waste as we are now currently enjoying the services of a reliable, fuel efficient, road worthy vehicle, the Toyota Vios/Yaris. It has been 5 years since.

The Toyota Vios (Asia) or Yaris (USA) is a B- Segment sedan. For a family of 4 it is more than enough to take the kids to school and drive it going to the office. On road trips this car just gives you that sense of confidence on the road knowing you are in a reliable car. This compact sedan is also easy to drive and easy to park. Fuel efficiency is also one of the reasons why my husband and I agreed to get it. We love road trips so the more fuel efficient the car is the better.

However as our kids grow our family activities are also getting diverse and we somehow feel that we are outgrowing the functionalities of our vehicle. Our kids love to ride their bicycles around the city park but we could barely fit one bicycle in the boot let alone two. So we ride in discomfort with one bicycle in the boot and one inside the car placed on the backseat. This is a dangerous set-up and we don’t want to be doing this for a long time.

 

So we are now in search for a vehicle that would cater to the demands of a growing family.  Cars.com is certainly a great help, as they have got wide selections to choose from. We are eyeing 3 time-tested car brands with their respective MPV offerings – the Toyota Avanza, the Honda Mobilio and the Suzuki Ertiga.

Below, we have delineated must haves in our family car.  Although based on our personal preferences, these nevertheless might be features that you would want to consider in your family car.

 

The reason why we are eyeing these three MPVs are as follows:

  1. Huge boot space – As I have mentioned our kids are into biking and we need that space for the bicycles. And not only that, we could use that boot space when we are on a road trip for our suitcases and a whole lot of other stuff that we like to bring with us on the road.
  2. Third row seats– Some may say third row seats are not that important but it is. We have experienced so many times driving with our kids on our laps because we have guests and we don’t have enough seats. And that is very dangerous.
  3. Cup holders– Now many may think of this as petty but it is definitely not if you have kids onboard all the time. Surely, most parents with young kids are with us on this. Anyway, this petty little feature is one of the things lacking in our reliable car and it is pretty annoying.
  4. Reclining middle row seats– This is a must for long distance trips. Your passengers will be more comfortable a bit reclined while on a long journey as to sitting upright the whole time.
  5. Price– For middle class families like us we are also very concerned with the price. SUVs can very well solve all our vehicle problems but would surely kill our finances. These three cars we are eyeing have some of the traits of an SUV for a lot less.

Now we are still on the process of choosing which of the three we would get. We would go through the same process of comparing specs and reviews of these MPVs before we decide to put our money down.

 

For parents out there with plans on buying a family car, what features do you consider important? Do we have similar preferences?

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Maternity Leave is Over: What Now?

Prior to having kids I had been adamant and vocal about the need for mothers to take care of their babies themselves.  It was my intention and it is an ideal thing to do.  Reality bites though,  I have to work, as the case with many moms and dads out there.

Our kids grew up with nannies.  They spent most hours of the day five days a week with a nanny.  Our first child had a Filipino nanny.  She was loving and motherly.  She took care of the kids very well.  Yes,  she had three toddlers under her care.  Our second child on the other hand had a Thai nanny.  She had two babies to take care of.  She was a grandmother and also motherly.  I say we got to experience the best and the worse of both worlds. Both are similar in some ways yet so different in many ways. I will talk about this in length in my next post.

Anyway,  would we have it in any other way?  Well,  I don’t  think so.  We did not have much choice.  As both of us have to work full time (for the visa) , so looking after our then toddlers was simply out of the question.  I think many expat parents share my view on this.  In as much as we want to be there especially during this stage, we can’t,  and all we can do is choose the best option there is.

For Thai expats there are several options to choose from.

  • One is to ask a relative especially your mom and/or dad to look after your kid (for other culture this might be preposterous but for Asians this is acceptable and practical). They could apply for Non-O visa to be able to stay.  Siblings however are not eligible. This is the kind of set up particularly preferred by those whose parents are retirees or are just not working.
  • Second is sending your child to a day care that accepts infants and very young toddlers.
  • Third is hiring a nanny.

If you would like to know more about our experience regarding this please click here.

For expats out there,  which of the following choices above would you prefer?

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Life Starts At 40

There’s some truth in “Life starts at 40”.

A relatively healthy person frequents clinics or hospitals during his 30’s.  Pains and sickness seem to appear out of nowhere during this time. If these symptoms are left unattended could complicate into something serious, as often told by doctors to patients.  Our body is like a car.  After the warranted years, bolts loosen up and parts wore off.  As we near our 40’s, people start thinking of lifestyle change such as quit smoking, limit alcohol in-take, engaging oneself in a regular exercise, and eating healthy.  Reasons vary.

For us, we want to live long enough to see our kids grow and attain stability in life, and if our bodies permit maybe meet our grandchildren.

Among the lifestyle changes mentioned above, the latter two are the most challenging for us.  But since we need to start afresh on our 40’s we have to take on the needed changes.

  • Exercise your way to a healthy you.  We are home buddies and a bit of couch potatoes, sadly.  Up until this time we haven’t settle on a regular exercise routine.  Aside from this, we also found our super structured schedule 24/7 a great hindrance. We hope to get our acts together on this ASAP.
  • You are what you eat, so eat healthy.  We LOVE to eat. The health issues we are facing at the moment is food related. So this is definitely the first thing in the MUST Change List.

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Jill Duggar and Derrick Dillard’s Baby No. 2 Gender Reveal

They say being pregnant is like having one foot in the grave.  Well for me, it really felt like it. I had problems conceiving my second child to start with, and so the entire pregnancy was a roller coaster ride. Nevertheless, expecting a new member of the family is truly an exciting one.

I bet everyone in the Duggar family is excited to know the gender of Jill’s baby no. 2. Jill and her husband Derrick just announced on Monday, January 30th, via a TLC video, that, their second child…

is…a…BOY!

The happy parents of Israel, now 2 years old, happily revealed together in a video clip that they’re having a another baby boy. Israel, who was too young to understand what was going on, was excited only because the people around him were excited too. That’s cute!

Jill said that she’s excited about the new boy on the way and she’s confident that Israel and his baby brother are going to be best friends.

The lovely couple tied the knot in June 2014 and were very eager to start a family as soon as possible. As reported back in December, Jill and Derick announced that they were expecting a second bun in the oven. And now, we’re happy that the son continues to develop well and is super healthy. Indeed another son is on its way.

This reality star couple, along with their two-year-old son, Israel, are expecting the new member of the family this coming July. 5 more months and another cute Duggar will be born!

Jill announced the news by doing a fun scavenger hunt, together with her younger siblings. Now that was fun! Congratulations to Jill and Derrick!

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Practices Which Could Put Child’s Play Time to a Minimum

“To a child playing is learning.” ∼ MitchRyan

Play is one of the most important factors for normal developmental growth in any child. It is a child’s world, as a matter of fact it could be the only world for them. In this world a child learns to solve problems, learn things around them like color, shapes, learn to do things like grasp, crawl, balance, and understand the concept of cooperation, negotiation, and give and take.  These in effect lead to the development of more sophisticated cognitive, affective, and psychomotor tasks along the way.
Modern times, however, has curtailed child’s play time to almost nothing. Our lifestyle is so structured towards getting things done that 24 hours is not enough. People are busy making a living leaving no moments for play and relaxation. Why is this? It’s because doing so is a waste of time. It seems like these days are all about competition, profit, and innovation. Although these are excellent goals, these on the other are all result oriented. Hence the process leading to the result is given the least priority which thwarts a child’s normal developmental growth. As parents if we want to see our children grow to become great individuals who have achieved their fullest potential then we must start looking into the process of making great individuals.

Now, here are practices which I think put child’s play time to a minimum.

  • Kids taking up too many after school classes and/or lessons on the weekends
  • Too much screen time
  • Obsession on having high scores (mostly parents)
  • Class ranking and competition especially during the early years
  • Early school years inappropriate curriculum. For example, some schools give emphasis on writing and listening, thus, the series of writing books, long hours of sitting. Kids are reprimanded for not holding pens properly and are branded having ADHD because they could not sit for long hours.
  • Too many homework

Reality bites! The degree may vary from one culture to the other but sadly these are true. These and many other practices run havoc on our child’s play time which, to reiterate, is one sure process for children to engage in a meaningful learning. Play should be treated as a form of lifestyle for children.

Playing is a child’s lifestyle.∼ MitchRyan

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How To Survive A Road Trip With Kids In Tow

family-road-trip

Road trips are one of the most common choices for family vacations. Of course, that involves spending more than a few hours in close quarters with your kids. Before you hit the road with your children, take a moment to plan out how to get to your destination without losing your mind along the way.

It might not be the way you first imagine a road trip with the kids – your thoughts probably turn to backseat shenanigans and endless questions along the lines of “are we there yet” – but it’s entirely possible to leave the stress behind when you take your children on a road trip. The secret to smooth sailing on a family road trip is to keep your expectations reasonable and do as much advanced planning as possible. Here are some tips to help you get started.

Confirm Your Vehicle’s Readiness

Suffering a breakdown on the road is always irritating, but it can turn into a real disaster when you have a pair of rambunctious toddlers in the backseat. Pay a visit to your favorite car mechanic before you hit the road. Have him check the air pressure and condition of all of your tires, including the spare, as well as check your mechanical systems (including the air conditioner and / or heater, and fluid levels) in advance, too.

Consider Signing Up For Roadside Assistance

AAA is still the gold standard when it comes to nationwide roadside assistance services, but there are other options in the same vein as well. If you aren’t already a member of a similar service, you should strongly consider signing up before your trip. It may be handy to download an app like EmergenSee, too. This turns your smartphone into a live recording device (capturing video, audio, and GPS data) and sends it to chosen contacts or law enforcement officials when you’re in trouble. Also, check with your car insurance to see if they offer roadside assistance.

Make Your Kids Safe

Familiarize yourself thoroughly with the car and/or booster seats your kids need before you set off. Confirm they’re installed properly. You can find a local authority for this service by visiting SeatCheck.org. Alternatively, just inquire with your nearest fire station – most of them handle this safety check for free.

Bear in mind that the latest advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics is to use rear-facing car seats for children under the age of two. Kids should always be strapped in when the car is moving. If your children need a break from their seats, plan these kind of stops into your travel plans to give everyone a break from the car.

Always Have A First Aid Kit

Bring along all the usual items you might need to deal with minor ailments: Band-Aids, antiseptic, fever reducers, medications used by your family members, and perhaps even a little extra toilet paper for unplanned bathroom breaks.

Schedule Your Departure Wisely

If your kids are experienced backseat sleepers, think about kicking your trip off at either bedtime or in the early morning. Feel free to leave them in their PJs and enjoy a restful, quiet start to your road trip. Also, consider travel plans of others. Are you traveling during a busy holiday time? You may want to avoid heavy traffic by leaving at a time when you’ll hit big cities at their least busy times. Sitting in a traffic jam while on a road trip with kids is NOT fun!

Comfort Is A Priority

Make sure your children are dressed in clothes they like for the trip. Wearing PJs or other comfy clothes is always recommended. Shoes that are easy for your child to get on and off by themselves is another good tip. This makes stops easier on mom and dad. You should also bring along any familiar items that will help the kids feel at home (stuffed animals, blankets, and even favorite pillows) to encourage sleeping in the car.

Assign Seating

If you’re hauling a large family in a large vehicle, keep your family dynamics in mind when placing people in their seats. Break up fractious siblings by putting them into separate rows. This will be appreciated by both the youngsters and the adults who are driving. You’ll also want to consider keeping smaller children who frequently need help close to the front or near someone capable of helping the younger passengers.

Pack Snacks

Bring along as many healthy snacks as you can comfortably manage. Stay away from sugary, high-energy foods; your kids don’t need any surplus pep for a long car trip. Perfect road trip foods include raisins, bananas, rice cakes, Cheerios, and crackers. Try to avoid snacks that are messy or crumbly and that don’t require utensils to eat. But be prepared for messes, pack wipes and a small car trash can.

Plan Some Welcome Surprises

Kids love a surprise, and a road trip gives you ample opportunities to cook up some unexpected delights. Look for fun stops your family can make on your way to your destination. If you can spring something like a trip to a candy store or a water park on your kids they’re less likely to get bored and grumpy afterward.

Visit the dollar store to buy up a supply of small toys and treats. To keep everybody amused on the trip, let each child pick out something new for each hour you spend on the road. This stash of goodies also makes a great incentive and encourages good behavior! If you’ve got enough time, try wrapping up the treats in advance to make each pick more exciting – and time-consuming – for your kids.

Bring As Much Entertainment As Possible

While too much screen time is a bad thing for your kids, that rule goes out the window when you’ve got a long road trip to get through. Feel free to bring along smartphones, tablets, and portable DVD players to keep the children amused. Make sure you load your devices up with apps, songs, and videos you know your kids will enjoy. And bring headphones for each person!

Don’t Challenge Your Kids’ Endurance

The grownups might be ready to handle six hours of uninterrupted drive time, but that’s not going to fly with youngsters. Plan on stopping at least every two hours, if not more frequently. A clean rest stop can be a life-saver – the first time you pull into one. After the first half-dozen, your family is going to get bored. Plan out stops at local parks (the sort with slides, swings, and other kid-friendly equipment) as a refreshing alternative.

Preserve Bedtime Rituals

Although you’ll probably be tempted to jump right into bed after a long day on the road, try to keep up as many of your standard bedtime routines as you can. Bathe, read, nurse, and do whatever else you normally do at home to get your kids ready for a good night’s sleep. Bring the pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals in from the car to make the kids’ vacation room feel as homelike as possible.

Follow these simple tips to get your family vacation off to the right start!

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