Blog Posts by Michelle Zanatta

  • A Simple Field Guide to Paint: A Closer Look at Latex, Alkyd, and Sheen

    Now that you have decided you are going to makeover your room, it would be a good idea to review what the paint department has to offer. Here are some useful tips to make sure your home project doesn't only achieve the best look, but also the best effect on your walls.

    Though there is an array of paint choices to choose from such as; alkyd, latex primer, stain-blocker, satin, eggshell, flat paint, enamel, gloss, and semi-gloss - there are really two main types, which are: latex and alkyd. Every other type of pain is just a variation.

    Here is a list of facts concerning latex paint:

    • 1. Latex is accountable for about 67 percent of paint sold in the United States according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
    • 2. Latex paint used to contain rubber, but now most manufactures use resins and acrylic.
    • 3. Latex paint is water base - which makes it easy to clean up!
    • 4. Latex fumes are a lot less than alkyd fumes, but it still does contain toxic chemicals.

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  • You and Your Baby: Safety Tips During Pregnancy, Labor, and Delivery

    As your little baby lies in your arms, contented and healthy, you stare down at him or her and thank all the stars in the universe the birth procedure went well. You look over at your hubby and he is just aglow with pride and happiness. Like you, and many others, this type of scene happens millions of times every year. Nonetheless, there is another scene that is full of trauma and tears.

    As a previous daycare owner, and curriculum coordinator for the state of Delaware, I constantly learned new and eye-opening information to share with licensed daycare providers, and their parents concerning the welfare of mothers and their babies. It is scary to know that according the United Nations Population Fund, "one woman dies nearly every minute, which is 536,000 a year, because of problems associated with pregnancy." If you have had one child, or dozen, or just pregnant with your first, you can learn about the causes of childbirth issues, and prevent them by seeking quality care to

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  • Going Out with the Girls

    My daughter gets a kick out of the fact that I like to go out for a breakfast or lunch with my friends. Spending time with "the girls" demonstrates the importance you place on friendship and models every mom's need for time to herself.

    As moms, we are not immune to the good, the bad, and the ugliness of relationships. When friendship troubles occur, remember we have a friend above that is there to always' help.

    Are you a loner, a social butterfly, or somewhere in the middle? Consider how your socialization comfort level differs from that of your child and what signals that it may be sending to him or her.

    Here are additional articles written by this contributor:

    First Person: A Relocation to Georgia from Delaware Means Thrifty Grocery Shopping
    A Move from Delaware to Atlanta's Heat Means Lifestyle Changes
    Don Tello's Tex Mex Grill - Great Place and Great Environment!

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  • Family Summer Vacations

    I love the south! I love Tennessee! Visiting Tennessee brought back some beautiful memories. The Smokey Mountains are beautiful, and the peace that surrounds your family is incomparable. Here is a poem dedicated to Dollywood. I hope you enjoy!

    Dollywood Vacations - A Country Vacation

  • Miracles Can Happen - Just Ask My Son!

    I woke up at 5am and got dressed to get ready to go to the hospital to give birth to my son. After two other C-sections, I reminded myself that my two other children were fine, and everything will go smoothly.

    Arriving at 6am, the nurse took my information and prepped me for surgery. Frightened out of my mind, I snuggled against my husband. My whole body shook as I was sat in the wheel chair and rolled down to the surgery room.

    As soon as I received my spinal, I was laid down and surgery began as normal. I still remember looking up at the nurse as she gently pushed my hair aside.

    "What is going to be your baby's name?" She asked in her thick accent. "Antonio Gianni" I answered slowly as I closed my eyes.

    "That is such a strong name for a little boy!" She replied looking down at me.

    After Antonio was delivered I had one small glimpse at him - this little man meant the world to me.

    As they took my new baby boy away, and brought me into the recovery room, I was

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  • A Set Homework Schedule Will Teach Children to Be More Responsible!

    How much homework is too much? Today educators recommend not more than twenty minutes of homework for the first couple of years in elementary school, and forty years through the later years of elementary school. Whether your child goes to public school, or is homeschooled, here are some homework strategies to help your day go a little bit easier.

    1. Set a regular time.

    I know this sounds cliché, but it is super necessary! As a mom of four (yes, I homeschool all of them!) A good schedule means everything -including keeping my sanity!

    2. The best spot.

    Location isn't really important, however the comfortableness of your child is! Make sure there is good lighting, access to supplies, and quiet time.

    3. Lose the distractions.

    I mean think about it - can you concentrate on bills when your two year old is climbing on the table, and your 4 year old is singing "over the rainbow" as loud as he can? A small desk in their room or at the dining room table (when you take

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  • School Daze: My Child was Forced into Special Education Because of Her Speech!

    You are looking down at your little bundle of joy and thinking...

    "Of course they are going to be perfect in every way! They are going to develop physically, grow spiritually, and advance educationally!"

    Sometimes though - there are little bumps in the road.

    My first daughter had a speech impediment - and literally didn't talk till she was close to four years old. As a parents, my husband and I did all we could to help her both educationally and emotionally. We took the following steps:

    Age Two - We had her in speech therapy for a year at a local rehabiliation center (Yes - it was out of pocket expenses, but well worth it!

    Ages Three - Five - Sent her to a Christian preschool. My hopes were that being around other children would help her progress in her speech, and encourage her to have friendships.

    Ages Six - Ten - She attended a regular school, where she was pulled out of class for speech. Her grades dropped as the public speech pathologist pulled her from math, science, social

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