Alison's Journey Home: An Adoption Story - Part 1 Five years ago today, I was in Kazakhstan, in the middle of the most important event of my life. I was becoming a mother! I met my daughter just a couple of weeks earlier, though I had dreamed of her my entire life.As 5 years is a milestone, I took this opportunity to read the online journal that I kept during the experience. Perhaps it will help others in their journeys to parenthood.Part 1: How the Journey Began11-4-2000 Today is my 41st birthday. And Im finally about to become a mother! Its been a long, difficult "pregnancy". When my daughter arrives, shell be 18 months old, and will have a lot in her past to overcome. Shes currently living in an orphanage in Karakastek, Kazakhstan and I leave Los Angeles to bring her home on November 18! This is going to be a very long two weeks. I began this adoption journey almost 18 months ago. It was last June when I realized I was coming up on my 40th birthday, and decided that I was no longer going to wait for the right man to come along to help me have a child. Ive always known that Id be a mother, and always believed it would happen well before I turned 40! So, that night I got on the Internet and began researching international adoption. Something led me in that direction. The idea of a domestic adoption passed through my mind very quickly, as I didnt think a birth mother would choose a single, 40 year old woman as the new mother for her child when a "full family" was easily available. Plus the problems inherent in the US foster care system and adoption laws quickly made me realize this was not the route I was meant to take. My heritage is Russian, so I began researching the plight of orphans in the former Soviet Union, and found that there were over 600,000 children living in orphanages there post by haiyan902. Though obviously not an easy process, it was one I decided to embark upon. I began researching agencies and figuring out what paperwork I needed to assemble on the journey to find my daughter. I found two great resources on adopting a child from Eastern Europe the first night I got on the Internet to start reading. FRUA, Families for Russian and Ukrainian Adoption, at www.frua.org and The Eastern European Adoption Coalition at www.eeadopt.org >From reading these sites, I learned the first thing I needed to deal with was the INS, and submit the I600A (Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition) to get the all-important I-171H. (Ive learned the numbers for lots of official forms in the past year Louis Vuitton handbags!) This process can take 4-6 months, so its the logical first step. The second step is the homestudy. This must be done by a licensed social worker or adoption agency in your state. A homestudy is required for any adoptiondomestic or internationaland is also a time-consuming process. Mine consisted of four visits with a social worker, including a visit to my home, during which every aspect of my life was scrutinized. The outcome is a six-page report stating that Im approved for the adoption of a child. This homestudy report becomes part of the dossier that you must compile Louis Vuitton bags. So, I filed the I600A, got fingerprinted by the FBI (part of the INS process), and got started on the homestudy (which includes being fingerprinted by the local police departmentno, the FBI and police cant use the same fingerprints that would make too much sense!), and tried to decide which adoption agency to use. I must have sent away for 30 packages from various agencies, and joined a bunch of internet mailing lists consisting of people in various stages of international adoption to get as much information as I could compile. After about a month, I finally decided to use a small agency based in Cokeville, Wyoming, called Focus on Children. I chose them because they are small, its family-run (two sisters who both adopted children from Eastern Europe) by people who are in it for the kids. Their fees are low, and they give a lot of humanitarian aid to the regions that their children come from, something I cant say about a lot of the bigger agencies out there. I requested a baby girl less than 12 months old, and was told the wait would be 4-6 months for a referral after submitting my completed dossier. So, the paper chase began! <
#1 Mistake Most Blogs Do As much as this might surprise most bloggers, the #1 mistake most blogs are doing is not publishing their content via e-mail, as a supplement to their RSS feeds.Just think about it: while RSS is growing strong, it still only penetrates about 5-6% of the American online population. Furthermore, according to a recent BlogAds survey, "only 12 percent of the blog reading audience said it used RSS always or often". If you're delivering your blog content only via RSS, you're missing out on about 80% or more of potential regular readership/followship.THE KEY BLOG PROBLEMThere are millions of blogs already, but really few people have the time to watch more than a few daily post by haiyan902. But if they come back just once a week, they can be quickly overwhelmed with the amount of new content. That's why it's crucial to provide a "best of", a helping hand to guide your readers to the "must-read" content you publish and delivering this content either as a standalone blog-zine or as part of your regular e-mail newsletter.WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?Deliver your blog posts as they are written via RSS, but then also publish a regular (weekly or monthly) e-mail e-zine with your "top blog posts" for those that are still not in to RSS.Don't do just one channel, do both. E-mail is still the #1 end-user content delivery channel ... whether we like it or not. Using e-mail (as a supplement to RSS) to deliver our content is just good business practice, at least for now.THE CHRIS PIRILLO EXAMPLEChris Pirillo is the publisher of one of the most popular sites on the net, Lockergnome.com. He was actually the first to proclaim e-mail as being dead Louis Vuitton.But still, while he preferrs for his subscribers to use RSS instead of e-mail, that isnt stopping him from using or promoting either RSS or e-mail. COMPARING BLOGS, E-ZINES, E-MAIL AND RSSIf youre reading this article and thinking that blogs are actually beyond e-mail, just consider the following reality.RSS and e-mail are content delivery channels; the tools that enable us to deliver our content to end-users. Blogs and e-zines on the other hand are two different internet media content formats, differing in how/what content is provided and presented through them.RSS/e-mail and blogs/e-zines cannot be directly compared. Blog content and e-zine content can both be delivered via RSS and e-mail, and there is no direct business/logical relation between, for example, blogs and RSS.Blogs are "personal" conversations, opinions and news, delivered in a linear structure, usually written in a more personal style, and confined to a limited number of content types.E-zines on the other hand are more similar to magazines or newspapers, carrying content presented in a complex non-linear content structure, and having the ability to carry many different content types that do not mix well together if provided through a linear content structure.A typical e-zine might include:an editorial; a leading article, representing the prevailing topic of a specific e-zine issue; supporting articles, clearly structured to show they are secondary to the leading article; links to "best of" blog posts in the given timeframe; links to the most relevant forum topics and posts; a news section; a featured client case study; different advertisements (banner ads, textual ads, advertorials etc.); a featured consultant; a Q&A section; a featured whitepaper; etc.Providing all of this content demands a complex content structure and a strong and experienced editor. The blog format simply does not provide the level of structure needed to effectively present such a complex content mix.But that's not to say that blogs are in any way inferior to e-zines, they're just different. And businesses need both, and they need to deliver both via RSS and e-mail.Personal preferences towards content delivery channels and internet content media formats have no place in business. What matters is what our audiences want and how they want it.
Mommy & Baby: Parenting Tidbits There are many issues which new parents are bombarded with and many things they are expected to know immediately. None of this is fair, as most new parents are simply trying to care for their baby and get some rest. Here are some of the topics which you might be questioned on in the early days and weeks of your babys life.Bathing your baby: under your babys umbilical stump falls off (7-14 days after birth), you should only give him sponge baths post by haiyan902. Use a cotton ball damped with alcohol to dry up the stump and once it falls off, you may bathe your baby in a sink or shallow tub.Caesarian delivery: typically performed to safeguard the life of you or your baby. More c-sections are done these days due to many factors: we have better technology for aiding difficult births and saving babies, and there is an abundance of lawsuits against doctors, causing them to opt for a more conservative and cautious approach. If your labour has stalled past 24 hours and you are not progressing normally, your physician will likely recommend a c-section. Likewise if your labour becomes complicated for your baby. Whether you deliver vaginally or via c-section has no bearing on your ability as a mother, nor should it be a point of embarrassment or shame Louis Vuitton Canada.Circumcision: medical experts today agree that there are modest benefits to circumcision, although not all agree on the necessity of it. It may decrease the risk of urinary tract infection and virtually eliminates the possibility of cancer of the penis. Circumcision isnt distressing and will not leave your little boy with an emotional trauma afterwards.Crib death (SIDS): much has been written in recent years about reducing the number of babies who die from SIDS. While few medical organizations can agree on the cause of it, there are some correlational information that arises from the studies:More male babies die from SIDS than femaleMore premature babies succumb to it than full-termersMore minority children die from it than non-minorityMore children of young, single mothers die from itMore children in homes with one or more smokers die from SIDS than anyone elseSome will suggest that co-sleeping reduces the risk of SIDS; the American Academy of Pediatrics rejects this fully and says there is a greater risk of SIDS with those who co-sleep than those who do not.Most doctors today will recommend back-sleeping for infants to minimize the risk of SIDS; no one knows exactly what the issue is (if its trapped gasses in the mattress, an inability for the baby to lift his head, etc.), but this does seem to have made a difference in the risk and total numbers of babies who die from SIDS annually. Talk to your pediatrician if you have concerns. <
Internet Marketing Basics: What Worked Years Ago Still Works Today! Internet marketing can seem mystifying not only for beginners, but for moderately skilled internet marketers. With all the courses, forums, blogs, reports, seminars and teleconferences available to help people learn how to get traffic to their sites, it is one of the most overwhelmingly dense subjects on the internet.Unfortunately, and this is perfectly true, most of the advice or "expert" tips are outdated or completely false. Since anyone can publish on the internet, you have a mixed bag of good information followed with much more bad information.The mysticism of internet marketing is created largely by this glut of some good and mostly bad information. It makes the whole topic SEEM like rocket science when, in fact, much of what was true about internet marketing years ago is true today.Most people think that since search engine marketing changes every five minutes, that ALL internet marketing tactics must have changed as much in the same amount of time. Not true.The basics, like trading links, article syndication, testimonials, forum signatures, joint ventures, affiliate programs - most work as well today as they did years ago. That is, if you know how to value the work above for what it will truly do for your website traffic.Funny thing is, no one places much value on the above tactics anymore because there is always some "new" tactic around the corner that claims the death of everything that came before it. And most people blindly follow that advice as if it were true.Most of the time, this is to the detriment of their internet marketing efforts. The basics are what work all the time and what have always worked on the internet Louis Vuitton Canada.You can always experiment with new things, as long as you have not forgotten to do the basics. The basics proven to drive traffic, page rank, link popularity, and branding to your business.Conservative, relevant reciprocal linking
Participation in your field and among your market (forums)
Non-reciprocal linking tactics
...and many other proven methods.Everything else is just a big experiment until proven to work over time. "Over time" being the operative words. Lots of flash in the pan crack pot schemes work for awhile. But most never stand the test of time.Links from a widely syndicated article will never fade away, yet I see people chasing down fly-by-night linking pyramid schemes as if they truly believe something like that is a smart thing to base their internet business on!Tens of thousands have walked away from their dreams, gone back to their depressing, predictable, slave-labor jobs never knowing how close they were to actually succeeding.Good people have left this business proclaiming it an utter lie that any average person can make it with an internet business and an internet marketing plan.I guess there is truth in that statement Louis Vuitton handbags. Average people do in fact quit this business before they ever get started because average people fall for tricks and schemes that above average people avoid on their way to success.If you have read this far, you are probably in the above average category. Why? Because average people would have take one look at the list of things I mentioned that are the bread and butter of internet marketing and saw nothing but hard work. And they'd be right!Above average people don't shy away from work though. I don't know a single soul (and my rolodex has some of the biggest names in internet marketing in it) who got where they are today without a lot of hard work.You can succeed in internet marketing if you are not afraid to work, and not constantly tempted by those who say you can succeed without it!Focus on the basics of internet marketing and stay with them as you try new strategies. We all experiment. But successful internet marketers never leave their bread and butter tactics behind unless <
How To Find HOT Online Business Ideas Would you like to find the key that unlocks the door to a gold-mine of online response, sales and results for your business? It seems obvious that you would be able to see what the experts do differently when locating market opportunities, finding out what people want and quickly turning that into an online business generating truckloads of cash Louis Vuitton. The reality is YOU CAN'T! While the secret is massive in it's impact, it is so subtle - so subtle that you are sure to miss it if you don't know what to look for. Here's the secret and a formula for using it right this minute! What is DESIRE? Now stay with me for just a minute. Think about the last time you bought a magazine? Why did you buy it? Was it to look better, fee better, make money, save money, make your house look better, take a step toward achieving a dream in your life? How about the last time you purchased an ebook about marketing post by haiyan902? It wasn't the desire to learn more about marketing that led to open your wallet, it was the DESIRE to discover something unique, something new that would RESULT in more more money in your pocket resulting in you being able to finally quit you job. OK, that's more like it. It's all about the end result you want to get - not about the steps, processes, formula or information to get you there. Information is a tool - a method of achieving an end. It's up to you to determine what that END result is and continue to help your market achieve that end, without fail. Now, let's look at how this can help you achieve YOUR goals... A NEW Way Of Researching Your Market You will hear from many online marketing experts that the important part of researching your market is WHERE you look. Nice try - but that's NOT the whole story. The real secret is How you research your market. For instance, take a look at the headlines over at one of my sites: Now, I've tested over 20 headlines on this page before finding this one that coverts at least 3X better than earlier versions. The market for this product is aspiring online entrepreneurs, writers, consultants and speakers who are already considering writing infoproducts to achieve more freedom, control and security in their lives. So why does this page work? First, this market is time constrained. They are struggling as much with lack of time freedom as they are with lack of financial freedom. Many of them have lost control in their lives, are too dependent on one income stream and WANT to quickly solve this problem. Second, this market feels they have something to share and WANT to know how to do that - they WANT the prestige and "fame" that comes from releasing their own ebook or book. Try reading the headline (both main heading and sub-heading). Can you now see the main emotional "cues" that lead to the market triggers I outline above. Another Example Let's try another market entirely! Head over to: Sit, Stay, Fetch right here: hop.clickbank.net/?ideaguide/sitstay What do you think is the biggest reason dog owners end up paying for obedience training? The answer is in the headline. What dog owners WANT is a way to stop behaviour problems in their dogs. Why? Embarassment, fear of someone getting hurt, pain of having to consider giving up their beloved pet - all lead to a RABID desire for dog training. Bottom Line - Think DESIRE Will you do this for me? Spend the next week looking at everything in terms of underlying desire. When you read the newspaper, speak with a collegue, watch TV, go to a movie, speak with your spouse or your kids, read websites, review ads, etc... think about the underlying desire. Why does that communication exist as it does. Carry a journal and quickly write down each event with it's corresponding, underlying desire. IF you follow this exercise, you'll not only be amazed at what you come up with for "normal" daily communication, you will have started down the path of thinking like the highest achieving business people of all time. Not bad for a week's effort? <
Grrr! Why Aren't I Making SALES! Selling online can be very difficult, more difficult than in the 3D world because you do not get any personal contact with your customer. People cannot just browse like they do in a store, they cannot offer feedback, and it is hard to build and maintain trust throughout the entire online sales process. What compounds this difficulty is the fact that most online marketers have absolutely no experience in the field of advertising and sales.Evaluate Your Sales ProcessThere are many aspects that effect your sales process online and it is possible to track the effectiveness at each stage:Phase 1 is your advertising. The first step is just to get people to your site.To measure your traffic you must have some kind of statistics for either your web site or integrated with the ads you place, such as ad tracker URL's.If you can't get people to your site, you must alter your advertising methods or, more likely, your ad copy, there is no way around it. Whether you are using free or paid advertising, a good ad will get clicks (at least some) post by haiyan902. Remember that no matter how good an ad looks to you, if it doesn't do it's job, it is useless. Keep a log of the ads you place along with where and when; don't use ads that do not produce results once they have been given a fair chance.If your ads never seem to draw visitors, make improving your ad writing skills a priority right away. Today there are many resources available to help you learn to write a better ad, including live personal ad writing workshops and free ad writing seminars.To be sure that WHERE you are advertising is not the problem, it is best to get recommendations from other online marketers for advertising sites and tools that produce results. This will save you the time and frustration of trying them all out for yourself. It will also allow you to stay focused on your offer rather than spending your time searching for ways to promote it. Look for recommendations in marketing chat rooms and ask for their results or find a reputable marketing information site like ONE STOP Internet Business Services that will give you plenty of free information along with their proven recommendations.Affiliates without control over their web site need to pay special attention to getting traffic. Presumably the offer you are selling includes a web page that sells, after all it sold you.If you find that you are driving targeted traffic (not just click exchange hits) to your affiliate site, but not making any sales, you need to reconsider your offer: does it really have such a wide public appeal? Maybe new competition has arisen that has made your offer less of a value? Have you given people enough time to consider your offer and have you followed up? Be objective. Phase 2 is your web site copy and navigation. Are people coming to your site and looking around, or do they click away immediately? To find out, it is best to have web sites statistics that include the path visitors take once they get to your site, but you can get an idea about this by studying your web site statistics even if they do not provide this type of information. You know which page(s) you are promoting, are people looking at other pages as well Louis Vuitton bags?If not, you must alter your web site copy, design or navigation. There are several places now where you can have your web site reviewed for free by other internet marketers. This can be very valuable information; learn from it to build a site that makes visitors feel confident enough to buy from you.Also, be sure to send prospects directly to the page that contains the information you promise in your ad, it will make their visit quick, effective, and memorable. If you advertise a particluar product, send them to that page directly, rather than landing them on your home page and trusting that they will navigate to where you want them to be.Affiliates can experiment with sending prospects to pages other than the main page (if provided) to see if that makes any difference in their sales ratio. Phase 3 would be your order process. Are people looking around, going to the order page and then leaving? Here again, you need comprehensive web site statistics. If you do not have site paths statistics, pay close attention to the number of hits each of your pages receive. If you see that many people go to the order page, but do not buy, you will have to either rewrite your text to clear up misunderstanding, lower your price, display payment options more clearly, or implement some other change that makes the ordering process quicker and easier.Try to capture email addresses with a contest, free product, report or newsletter so that you can follow up with potential customers.Of course, affiliates would have no control over the ordering process with a replicated site. I think this is important, so I will say it again: If you find that you are driving targeted traffic (not just click exchange hits) to your affiliate site, but not making any sales, you need to reconsider your offer: does it really have such a wide public appeal? Maybe new competition has arisen that has made your product less of a value? Have you given people enough time to consider your offer and have you followed up? Be objective!Don't Guess!When you are having trouble generating sales, you need to track all of your activity (and the activities of your visitors) to pinpoint where the trouble lies. Only then will you know where you need to make changes. Without this kind of information, you are just guessing and that could be worse than leaving it alone. <
Effective Toy Wrangling by Alicia Rockmore & Sarah Welch
If the title of this article caught your attention, it's likely that you have stubbed a toe on a Lego or tripped over a wayward doll one too many times. It is the bane of any parent's existence. Once kids enter the equation, white couches, glass coffee tables, and soothing clutter-free rooms get swapped for the loud primary colors of Fisher-Price and the inevitable tsunami of toys. If only the kids would enjoy cleaning the toys up as much as they enjoy dumping out the contents of their toy bins, baskets, and buckets. But don't despair, even if your house looks like a Toys R'Us mosh pit, we're here with a cheat sheet for getting your kids to meet you halfway.
1. Don't Over-Categorize.
Yes, toys need a home. But they don't have to be put away in alphabetized, color-coded bins. Kids simply love to dump things out and that's just how they tend to want to put things away - dump everything back into a bin haphazardly. They really don't care if one bin is marked "trucks" and one is marked "cars." You're going to waste your precious energy if you stress about organizing the bins and bags just so. If you are a label nut, rather than making up a toy classification system on your own, ask your kids how they would like to see their toys categorized. You'll be surprised by the different way they view their objects and, even better, if they help you come up with the system, they are more much more likely to follow it.
2. Tote bags are your friend.
Earmark a specific, lightweight bag (preferably with handles) that can be carried around the house and used as a depository for wayward toys. That way, when you or your child finds a toy that belongs elsewhere, it can be popped it in the bag and given to your child to carry back to the proper spot later.
3. If it's broken, don't fix it.
Well, don't fix it unless it's a big deal toy that gets used constantly and someone will be truly heartbroken if it is tossed. Otherwise, if a toy is missing its parts and you know they're not under the sofa cushions, just get rid of it. Likewise, if something breaks, don't let it gather dust in the toy chest.
4. Rotate and Rediscover.
You know how kids will get lots of shiny new presents at Christmas and then play with the cardboard box? Simple is often better when it comes to toys because little ones can get overwhelmed by too much stuff. If you are lucky enough to have generous family and friends who buy many items for your children, divvy up the toy chest into two, three or four assorted piles. Then put the piles into rotation, swapping out sets a few times a year. Doing so gives kids the Christmas morning surprise more than once a year and saves you from having everything out at once.
5. It's ok to share the love.
In an ideal world you'd be able to keep the toys relegated to one particular room in the house, such as a playroom. But try cooking dinner and entertaining a preschooler and you'll quickly learn that the playroom-only approach is not practical. It's ok to have toys in the kitchen, dining room, living room, and bathroom. Whether you prefer canvas bins (easy to carry), plastic bins (easy to see the contents), or a good old-fashioned toy chest (hides everything), as long as each room has its own go-to storage space, it's perfectly fine to share the love throughout the house Louis Vuitton bags.
6. Make clean-up fun.
Sure, if you pick up the toys you can get it done three times faster than if your kids do it, but where's the lesson there? Teaching your kids to pick up their toys not only teaches respect for their things and for others, but it's something they'll be doing once they go to school. Make it a game by setting a timer and challenging the kids to a clean-up race.
7. Make quick clutter clean-up an nightly routine post by haiyan902.
Again with the life lesson, but it's true. Whether you make it a post-dinner routine or something the kids do before bed each night, setting routines are a great way to tackle clutter on a daily basis. You can feel good knowing that you're setting up your kids with a life skill (and the clean living room floor isn't bad either). <