Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Leave Jessica Simpson Alone!

I can't believe the outrage over Jessica Simpson dressing her sweet little 4 month-old baby in a yellow bikini.  It wasn't meant to be inappropriate.  Bikinis on babies and young children are cute and fun.  Nobody is trying to turn their baby into a little hoochie.  The funny thing about all of this controversy is that when I looked back, it turns out that my daughter was 4 months old when I dressed her in her first bikini.  It was a zebra print one from the GAP.  The GAP is not exactly known for its risque attire.  The bikini was cute, we took some adorable pictures in it that serve as a great memory of our first vacation, and I am saving the bikini for a future child.  There is nothing wrong with this.  Get a grip, people! 

This rant is coming from someone who does not agree with much of the little girl clothing that is sold in stores.  I prefer to dress my kid in clothing from Gymboree and similar stores so she still looks like a little girl, rather than buying some of the items I see in other stores that will make her look like a mini-adult.  Clothes that I would have worn to a nightclub in my early 20's don't belong on kids.  A bikini on a baby, though?  It's too cute to be inappropriate!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Are you spending more on daycare bills than housing?

This jaw-dropping article from CNN Money explains that families in the United States are spending more on child care than rent in many states.  The most expensive state is New York, but some of the other states near the top of the list may surprise you.  This is definitely a reason to factor in the cost of child care when trying to determine whether it makes better economic sense for you to work or stay home. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Yahoo!'s new CEO is a woman - and she's pregnant!

Every time I hear that a woman is appointed as a CEO, I am inspired.  After all - with so many men in these positions, each time a woman attains this rank, it is a small victory for women everywhere.  I was even more thrilled when I found out that Yahoo's new CEO is pregnant!  Congratulations to Marissa Meyer on a job well done - and based on the workload ahead of her, I also wish her an easy and healthy rest of the pregnancy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Raleigh startup raises $20M in search of 'female Viagra'

This makes me laugh!  Raleigh startup raises $20M in search of 'female Viagra' :: Editor's Blog at WRAL Tech Wire  Many of these investors are probably men who are desperate to cure the 43% of women who apparently have some kind of disorder.  Wouldn't it be cheaper for them to offer training programs for husbands on cooking, cleaning, helping with child-rearing, and trimming nose and back hair?  It would probably be even more effective than any drug.

I'm just sayin'....

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Warning about baby monitors from Fisher Price

I just receieved an email from Fisher Price that definitely should be shared. (In 3 languages, no less!) Here goes:

Dear Consumer,




The CPSC and JPMA and juvenile product manufacturers are working together to help remind parents and caregivers that cords on baby audio and video monitors present a strangulation hazard to infants and toddlers when placed within a child’s reach.



Since 2002, seven infants and toddlers were strangled in baby monitor cords, and three infants and toddlers nearly strangled. The victims involved were as young as 6 months old to 20 months old.



In an effort to prevent infants and young children from strangling in monitor cords, CPSC and JPMA and other juvenile product manufacturers urge parents to:



Immediately check the location of all monitors and other products with electrical cords—including those mounted on the wall—to make sure cords are out of your child’s reach.

Place cords at least three feet away from any part of the crib, bassinet, play yard, or other safe sleep environment.

Never position a monitor inside or on the edge of a crib.

Remember, at least three feet away is where your monitor should stay.

Please visit www.service.mattel.com to request free permanent electric cord warning labels about the strangulation risk to affix to the cords of your baby monitor.



Please note that you will receive 3 warning labels in your order. There will be a warning label for the electric cords to the transmitter and the electric cords of the receivers.



If you have any further questions or concerns, please call 1-800-432-5437 Monday through Friday between the hours of 9 AM and 6 PM Eastern Time.



Sincerely,



Fisher-Price, Inc.

David Kosnoff

Vice President, Product Quality & Regulatory Compliance









--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Estimado Consumidor/a:



La CPSC y JPMA, así como varios otros fabricantes de productos infantiles, están trabajando en conjunto para ayudar a recordar a todo padre de familia y cuidadores de niños que los cables de los monitores infantiles de audio y video presentan un peligro de estrangulación a bebés y niños pequeños si se dejan a su alcance.



Desde 2002, siete bebés y niños pequeños han quedado estrangulados con cables de monitores infantiles, y tres bebés y niños pequeños estuvieron cerca de quedar estrangulados. Las edades de las víctimas involucradas eran de 6 a 20 meses.



Como medida preventiva para que bebés y niños pequeños no se estrangulen con cables de monitores, la CPSC y JPMA, así como varios otros fabricantes de productos infantiles, recomiendan encarecidamente a todo padre de familia que:



Inmediatamente revisen la ubicación de todo monitor y demás productos con cables eléctricos, incluyendo aquellos montados en la pared, para asegurarse que los cables están fuera del alcance de los niños.

Coloquen cables eléctricos a por lo menos 90 cm de cualquier parte de la cuna, moisés, corralito u otro entorno seguro donde duerma el bebé.

No pongan un monitor dentro de una cuna o en el borde de esta.

Recuerde, el monitor debe estar a por lo menos 90 cm de distancia.

Visite www.service.mattel.com para solicitar una etiqueta de advertencia permanente gratis para cable eléctrico sobre el riesgo de estrangulación para pegarla en el cable de su monitor infantil.



Favor de notar que usted recibirá tres etiquetas de avisos en su orden. Habrá una etiqueta de aviso para los cordones eléctricos al transmisor y los cordones eléctricos de los receptores.



Si tiene alguna pregunta o preocupación, en los EE.UU., llámenos al 1-800-432-5437 de lunes a viernes de 9 a.m. a 6 p.m., huso horario de Nueva York. Fuera de los EE.UU., consulte la guía telefónica para un listado de Mattel.



Atentamente,



Fisher-Price, Inc.

David Kosnoff

Vicepresidente, Calidad de producto y Cumplimiento de normas









--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Cher client,



La CPSC, la JPMA ainsi que de nombreux autres fabricants de produits pour enfants travaillent de concert afin d’aider à rappeler aux parents et aux tuteurs que les cordons des appareils de surveillance audio ou vidéo pour bébés présentent un risque de strangulation pour les nourrissons et les tout-petits lorsqu’on les place à leur portée.



Depuis 2002, sept nourrissons et tout-petits ont été étranglés par le cordon d’un appareil de surveillance. Trois autres s’en sont sortis de justesse. Les victimes étaient toutes âgées de 6 à 20 mois.



Afin de prévenir que des nourrissons et des tout-petits s’étranglent avec les cordons des appareils de surveillance, la CPSC, la JPMA et de nombreux autres fabricants de produits pour enfants encouragent fortement les parents à :



Vérifier immédiatement l’emplacement de tous les appareils de surveillance ainsi que des autres produits munis d’un cordon électrique, dont les appareils fixés au mur, afin de s’assurer qu’aucun cordon ne se trouve à portée de l’enfant.

Placer tout cordon à au moins un mètre de distance de tout berceau, couffin, parc ou autre environnement de sommeil sécuritaire.

Ne jamais placer l’appareil dans le berceau ni sur le bord du berceau.

N’oubliez pas : l’appareil de surveillance doit rester à au moins 1 mètre de distance.

Veuillez visiter le site www.service.mattel.com pour demander une étiquette permanente gratuite de mise en garde sur le risque de strangulation à coller au cordon de votre appareil de surveillance pour bébés.



S’il vous plaît noter que vous recevrez 3 étiquettes d’avertissement lors de votre commande. Il y aura une étiquette d’avertissement pour le cordon électrique de l’émetteur et les cordons électriques des récepteurs.



Pour toute autre question ou préoccupation, composez le 1-800-432-5437, du lundi au vendredi, de 9 h à 18 h HE.



Cordialement,



Fisher-Price, Inc.

David Kosnoff

Vice-président, Qualité des produits et Conformité réglementaire

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Where to hide the veggies?

This question to a Registered Dietician really hit home for me.  (Healthy Dining Finder - Ask Our Dietitians)  In it, a parent asks how to convince a 3 year-old child to eat vegetables. I have been trying to convince my 2 year-old to eat vegetables to no avail.  I have even tried all of the strategies suggested in this article.  When I try to cook and hide the vegetables in other items, he finds them and gags.  The only luck I have had is with zucchini bread, and with all of the sugar, etc. that is in it, it probably is healther for him to not eat it.  Any other suggestions, moms?

Friday, June 22, 2012

I am finally paying attention to a Kardashian


No, I am not trying to keep up with a Kardashian.  I am, however, very excited to see the news that Kourtney Kardashian may be attempting a water birth with her second child.  The 32 year-old is still young enough to connect with the younger crowd of mothers and show them that nontraditional childbirth methods aren't just for granola-eating hippies.  Yes, it is tacky that it may be yet another thing Kris Jenner wants to film it for ratings.  However, I think it is wonderful that she wants to experience such a peaceful form of childbirth.  I am by no means earthy-crunchy or any other stereotype attributed to those who prefer nontraditional births.  With my first child, however, I had everything in place for a water birth attended by midwives at a freestanding birth center.  However, my high blood pressure and worries about my health necessitated an induction in a hospital setting.  By the time I got to the next baby, my husband put his foot down due to his own concerns and I had to give up my dream.  If what Kourtney posted on twitter is true, for once in my life I will say kudos to a Kardashian! 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Let‘s Panic About Babies!

Seeing the book "Let‘s Panic About Babies!" just made me laugh.  I haven't read this one, but it looks to be a funny take on life with a baby for new parents and parents-to-be.  Definitely putting it on the list for my next baby gift.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hormone-Colored Days: Parenting Gifted Children: Do Kindergarten Students That Start Ahead Fall Behind?

Hormone-Colored Days: Parenting Gifted Children: Do Kindergarten Students That Start Ahead Fall Behind?  This post is a little old, but as the parent of an advanced child, I find it quite interesting.  What is a parent to do?  Do you send your child to Kindergarten even though he/she can read, or do you move them to 1st grade and let them be the youngest in the class.  Either way, a gifted child is likely to feel out of place and "different".  The great debate continues...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kid's not perfect? Send her back!

I was disgusted to read this story of an international adoption gone wrong.  A pseudo-celebrity named Joyce Maynard traveled to Ethiopia to adopt 2 young girls who lost their mother to AIDS.  The had a father and brothers, but apparently the family was happy to hand them over to the nice white woman who would take them to America for a better(?) life.  Instead, a little over a year after uprooting the kids, taking them to a country they had never been to, and forcing them to learn to adapt to a new language and culture, this "mother" - and I use the term loosely - decided to send them to another home.  According to her, she found them a good home, with 2 parents and other siblings.  It really doesn't matter where she sent them.  The fact is, she made a commitment to these children and then, when she realized how much work it would be to take care of the girls, she decided to hand them off.  This is akin to bringing home a dog that is difficult to train and taking it back to the pound after it eats through your drywall.  Children from foreign countries are not accessories, despite what Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, and Meg Ryan might have you believe.  They deserve love and commitment, and if you are too self-centered to put a child's needs before our own, you should not be adopting anyone.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Deal of the week available from American store

If you are jumping on the "Buy American" trend, check out this store I just discovered.  The Keep America store offers a Deal Of The Week and provides a great clearinghouse of products such as toys and clothing, all made in the U.S.A.

Dumb ways we waste money on our kids

Today I came across a great article that shows 5 dumb ways that we all waste money on our children.  I completely agree on the impulse purchases, especially if my daughter makes a trip to the grocery store with me.  But it is hard to say no when my child is asking me to buy fresh fruit or broccoli!  Some impulse purchases are worth the higher price tag, I guess.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pacifiers may actually help with breast feeding

In a new study, researchers suggest that pacifiers may actually help infants with breastfeeding.  This is in direct contrast to the current advice given by doctors, who are concerned that using the pacifier will confuse the baby and lead to problems with latching onto the breast.  Take a look at the article and read it with an open mind, but please continue to consult your pediatrician for the latest advice.  If healthcare professionals changed their views every time a new research study was published, they would be providing different advice from one day to the next.  No more nipple confusion: Study says pacifiers may help breast-feeding

Monday, April 30, 2012

Avery's Bucket List: My Bucket List

Avery's Bucket List: My Bucket List: This is the most moving thing I have seen in a long time.  The blog is dedicated to a baby girl who is suffering from a rare genetic disease.  This is a great way to celebrate the life of little Avery, raise awareness of the disease, and hopefully raise money that will help researchers to find a cure. 

Friday, April 27, 2012

I can only hope to raise children who are this selfless and giving

Amazingly, Rashawn King turned down an opportunity to meet Lebron James and attend the NBA All-star game in order to have lunch with his classmates.  This inspiring cancer survivor chose a Chik-Fil-A luncheon for his school over meeting Lebron for his wish from the Make A Wish Foundation.  He wanted to give back to the 1,900 students who supported him through his cancer treatments.  What an amazing young man!  Read all about it here:  Athlete gets his wish: Thank-you lunch for 1,900 at Middle Creek - High school - NewsObserver.com

Friday, March 9, 2012

There is a reason I won't fly with my children

I had very little sympathy for the parents of a 2 year old and 3 year old when I read this article. Apparently a family was kicked off a JetBlue plane leaving Turks & Caicos after their 2 year old threw a tantrum when they boarded the plane and refused to sit down. Sorry, but if you bring young toddlers and preschoolers on an airplane to a predominantly adult-oriented vacation destination - what do you think is going to happen? Maybe these parents learned a good lesson. You are parents now- take the kids to Disney World next time!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Time to take away your child's Spinbrush

Today, the FDA warns of toothbrushes that mess up your face. If you or your child has been using a Spinbrush - the cute electric toothbrushes that kids can personalize with stickers - you should consider trashing it. The FDA warns that the toothbrushes can break apart, chipping teeth, cutting gums, and causing a choking hazard. While they have not gone so far as to recall the product, they have issued a warning to parents to thoroughly inspect the brushes before use. Considering our ties to the dental field, however, in my house we will be retiring the Spinbrush today. It is just not worth taking the chance. I am sure my daughter will be just as happy with a Disney Princess toothbrush anyway.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sometimes I wish pregnancy required a license




In this horrible case, 5 month-old Christopher was shaken so hard by his father that he suffered significant brain damage. The part that truly disgusts me is the mother saying that it was an abusive relationship, and the father abused her and the baby. She says "I should have got out sooner." Um, yeah...you think? If you don't have an ounce of self-preservation, you should at least have some understanding of the danger your baby is in when you stay in that type of situation. Apparently it was so bad that a neighbor had called child protective services on multiple occasions. Domestic violence advocates can flame me all you want, but the fact is that this baby would still be safe and healthy if the mother had some sense. I pray that her parental rights are taken away and he is cared for by a good, loving family who understands the responsibility of a parent to protect a child.

Friday, January 20, 2012

It only takes one...

This hearwarming article gives hope to the many couples who struggle with male infertility. (’Miracle’ baby born from single frozen sperm) Despite having a husband with a low sperm count, Jennifer Schiraldi was able to carry a healthy baby to term. The miracle lies in the fact that this baby was conceived not just through IVF - but with only 1 single viable sperm. Truly amazing!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Car Seat Expiration Dates

This article on Expiring Car Seats should help you to understand why that little date stamped on the bottom of your child's carseat is important. Pay attention - this is a safety issue!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Your baby products may be toxic!

I was shocked to read this article and the corresponding report: Report Finds Toxins In Popular Baby Products. Though a small sample of baby items were tested, many contained a toxic flame retardant. Where are the FDA and CDC on this? How can toxic chemicals possibly be allowed to touch babies' skin?

Great changes coming to McDonald's Happy Meals

My kids love McDonald's (OK, so I do too), but unlike most parents we don't usually get the traditional Happy Meal. We order the kids chicken nugget or hamburger Happy Meals, but we always request apples instead of french fries and milk for their drinks. (I have my kids convinced that soda is only for grown-ups.) I had read previous articles a while back stating that McDonalds is changing to make it's kids meals healthier, even gaining the praise of Michelle Obama. However, it wasn't until recently that I saw a sign at our local restaurant advertising that all Happy Meals will soon be served with apples. This might seem like a minor change, but it will have a significant impact on some kids. Rather than automatically associating McDonald's with nuggets and fries, they will instead associate it with apple slices. Now if they would only get rid of the caramel dipping sauce in the Happy Meals...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Stay at home moms are lazy? Or are working moms just angry?


I don't usually watch Anderson Cooper, but this debate caught my interest. There is nothing new here- much of the same stay-at-home vs. working mother debate that has been happening for decades. But it really has people fired up on both sides. One thing is certain- whether moms work or stay home, raising a child does not give you much of an option to be lazy. Infants and toddlers especially are little dictators, expecting mommy to drop everything and cater to them. Mothers on both sides of the debate should respect the fact that all moms have their work cut out for them as soon as their baby is born.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Really, Beyonce and Jay-Z?

I was ready to skewer Beyonce and Jay-Z over their awful choice of name for their baby girl (Blue? Why not Green or Yellow?). Then I read this article and was even more incensed. Apparently the fame has really gone to their heads. Who in their right mind thinks it is OK to seal off a hospital ward and prevent access to infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)? Aside from the obvious moral deficits shown by Beyonce's security team, one can also place blame on hospital administration. If the story is true, and Jay-Z really gave the hospital a $1.3 million donation in exchange for this complete intrusion into the lives of other new parents, someone should be fired. A hospital should not prevent access to fragile newborn babies by their parents just because some famous person spends a lot of money. I will be watching this story closely to see if heads roll at the hospital. Having a child in the NICU is one of the most difficult things emotionally and financially for a parent. In some cases, infants are transferred to hospitals far away from their homes to receive a higher level of care. These parents must travel long distances each day or live in hotels to be able to spend time with their critically ill children. I can't imagine them being denied access for any reason. This is awful.

Hopefully this public relations nightmare will result in a sincere apology from these 2. Surprise, Beyonce- you are not the only woman who gave birth that day! Instead of selling pictures of baby Blue Ivy to the magazines for a profit, perhaps you should sell the pictures as a benefit for an organization that supports the care of premature or sick infants. And at the very least, send these families that your staff inconvenienced a nice apology note and a gift for their children.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teen mom who shot intruder will not be arrested

I was happy to read No charges for teen widow who killed intruder. An Oklahoma teenage mother shot and killed an armed man who was trying to break into her home. She barricaded herself in a room with her 3 month old son and shot the man when he barged through the door. Good for her! Even at 18 years old, she is a mama bear protecting her little cub. The truly sad part of the story is that this young 18 year-old bride's husband died of cancer on Christmas day, so she is a recent widow. The creepy part is that she is 18 and he was 56. Does that count as a marriage or borderline abuse?

Repost for safety: Keeping your baby safe from older siblings

One of the most frightening parts of bringing a new baby home is the fear of the response of older siblings. How will they react? What if they hate the baby? What if they love the baby too much and smother her? How will I keep my baby safe from older siblings? These are all valid fears. After all, children - especially very young ones - have a limited understanding of danger and risks to newborn babies.

Depending on your other child(ren)'s age(s), you can take some precautions and safety measures to help ease the transition (and your mind). Here I will share some ideas that have worked for myself and friends who have been through the adjustment of adding to their broods. Some may be more appropriate for preschoolers and school-age children, who have a better cognitive understanding, while others may be useful for all ages. So, here goes:

The Spoiled Little Baby List of Suggestions to Keep Your Baby Safe From Older Siblings



  1. Teach your child this rule: "Only grown-ups pick up babies."





  2. Talk to your child about touching the baby, and explain that everyone has germs that can make little babies sick. This is why we need this rule: "Only touch the covered parts." This is easy for even a 2 year old to remember (worked for mine, with occasional reminders), and will help to keep their hands off of the baby's hands, face, etc.





  3. Consider installing a baby gate on your baby's door (once he or she is sleeping in a crib) or on your own door if baby will be sleeping in your room. This is appropriate if you are worried about your child sneaking in unsupervised and possibly picking up or harming baby.





  4. Keep all balls and other toys that your child typically throws or kicks in the garage. This will eliminate any potential for baby to accidentally be hit by an errant throw.





  5. Teach your child this rule: "Babies only drink milk. They have no teeth so they can't eat." This will help to discourage your child from trying to share food or drink with his or her sibling.



Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Bugaboo Bee Strollers Recalled by Bugaboo Americas Due to Fall Hazard

Do you have a Bugaboo Bee stroller? If so, you need to read this recent recall notice: Bugaboo Bee Strollers Recalled by Bugaboo Americas Due to Fall Hazard. It came out just before Christmas, so many moms may have missed it. Stop using your stroller immediately and follow the instructions given by the CPSC. Recalls happen for a reason - don't ignore this one and put your baby's safety at risk.

Enfamil determined to be safe - maybe?

In case the recent rash of bacterial infections in infants had you afraid of using Enfamil, this report may help to put you at ease. However, CDC and FDA scientists found bacterial contamination in one unopened can of Enfamil. They don't seem concerned about this, but I am! Even one can being contaminated with a potentially lethal bacteria is one too many. I know that breast milk is best for infants, but in some cases women can't breastfeed for various reasons. Why should they have to take a risk on harming their babies? I hope that the recent outbreak of infections has caused Enfamil management to review safety procedures during production.