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Alyssa Milano Shares Intimate Breastfeeding Photo

Posted on Oct 31, 2014 by No Comments

Alyssa Milano is one of those celebrities who seems to hang on to her down-to-earth persona amid success. She shares little insights into her private life with her fans, without branding herself and everything she touches like a Kim K.

On Monday, October 27, she posted an intimate photo on Instagram of herself breastfeeding her two-month-old daughter, Elizabella.

These days you never know what to expect when it comes to the topic of breastfeeding. Who would have ever thought something so natural would be controversial, but people do tend to hold strong views about where and when it should be done.

But Milano posted the black-and-white breastfeeding snapshot anyway, and the response from fans as been overwhelmingly positive with almost 24,000 likes.

One fan, ainalani_aloha, said, “Love the breast is best picture, way to represent! Breast milk is the best first perfect food!” And another fan, apadilla2824, echoed similar thoughts with, “Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. Nursing is a beautiful thing! 9 months in and love the bond. You are a great example for others out there.”

At 41, Milano has totally embraced motherhood and addresses issues related to being a mom on social media. She believes it’s a great way to raise support between moms rather than judgement.

Recently, she has tweeted about the difficulty of working out after you’ve given birth on Twitter saying, ““First time working out since having the baby (4 weeks ago). Dear lord. Everything hurts.” Hearing things like this from a celebrity reminds us that they are human just like us, and have to work to get back into shape, just like us.

Milano is totally committed to her role as mom and announced at the end of September that she will be leaving her starring role in the popular TV show, Mistresses, because the filming location has been changed from L.A. to Canada.

“It’s with a heavy heart that I have decided that I can’t relocate,” she said. “I have two babies under 4. Being a mother and wife comes first and I just cannot uproot my children and separate the family by moving away.” – Alyssa Milano website

Photo credits: Instagram

Halloween Version of Elf on the Shelf

Posted on Oct 29, 2014 by 1 Comment

My kids were grown before the Elf on a Shelf craze started, but when my niece visited with her three children on the way to Disney last year, I was introduced to the rules of having one of these elves.

The children weren’t allowed to touch it or it would lose its magic, and while the elf wasn’t allowed to move or speak while people were around, it moved to a different location each night. Just what a mom of three (5 and under) needed to deal with on vacation, but I kept my lips zipped on that.

The Elf on the Shelf started as a storybook, and now it seems a new Halloween tradition has come on the scene in the same way with a book titled Switchcrafted.

Switchcrafted is a 20 page hardcover book with beautiful illustrations, an 8.5-inch witch doll, and a trick or treat bag.

The story introduces Switch Witches Ruby, Wanda, and Piper along with their helpers Sugar and Chewy and a new Halloween tradition of getting rid of all the sugary Halloween treats your children collect.

It encourages them to exchange their sweets for a healthier options – thus the title “Switchcraft.” I just learned about this, but I guess it goes on all October with the witch doll moving around to different places watching pre-Halloween activities much like the elf does before Christmas.

The Switchcrafted website offers ideas for ways to donate candy and provides ideas for healthy snack alternatives, along with games, activities and more. The idea behind the book is to help equip parents with a way to deal with the massive amounts of candy brought into the house following trick or treating.

While the idea might be fun, the practical side of me kicks in. As a parent we spend money on costumes and candy, let the kids go out and trick-or-treat, and then want them to give up their candy to the witches who need it for fuel. I’m not sure how that’s going to work.

Maybe if we want to limit their candy take, we could limit how many houses they visit on Halloween. I’d love to hear from parents out there to hear how this goes over with the kids. The giving up of their candy stash that is.

Photo credits: Amazon

Superstitions About Babies

Posted on Oct 28, 2014 by 2 Comments

Back when my daughter was three months old, my husband and I made a visit to my great-grandparent’s farm to join in a brief vacation with extended family. Everyone was overjoyed to see my firstborn. It was an ideal way to show her off and catch up with everyone.

But there were little things I didn’t expect as a new mom, like superstitions my great-grandma believed.

For instance, according to her thinking, you didn’t cut your baby’s fingernails until after they were a year old. If I clipped them, my daughter would become a thief to Grandma’s way of thinking. Instead, I was supposed to bite her nails.

I admit I was a bit astounded that anyone could still think like that. She had others, like not showing your baby their reflection in the mirror or they’d grow up vain.

Believe it or not, people from different cultures still believe these kinds of things today. While my great-grandma had Irish roots, some cultures believe they need to protect babies from the evil eye.

This can be done by wearing a red or pink bracelet that can be worn around the wrist or neck, but you have to be careful that it isn’t a choking hazard. A red thread can work.

Another superstition I recently learned about has to do with someone complimenting your baby. The belief is that when someone says nice things about your child that they are actually jealous and sending bad thoughts your way. To thwart this just stick your thumb between your middle and fourth fingers and the power will be nullified.

Another way to chase away these bad vibes is to lick your baby’s face three times and then spit on the floor. Can you imagine doing that when someone tells you how cute your baby is? It sounds like something you might see on Saturday Night Live.

The evil eye superstition is also related to the belief that babies should not be taken out for the first 40 days.

There are many more superstitions regarding keeping babies safe and more, like washing their hair with wine if you want them to have curly hair. I’d love to hear what your family believed or believes.

Photo credits: Jess

Do Smart Toys Make Our Kids Smart?

Posted on Oct 27, 2014 by No Comments

Technology is providing us with more and more Smart gadgets. Our smart phones know who we called, how long we talked, keeps track of all the phone numbers we need to know, and let us stay connected to social media and the web.

But if you lose your phone, how smart are you then?

I ask this because as Smart technology enters the world of play for our kids, I wonder if the toy’s abilities curb the use of the child’s imagination.

For instance, the Smart Wheels Train Station Playset from VTech is a motorized train set that runs along tracks and plays what they call “imaginative phrases” or music at each of ten Smart Locations.

It is designed to teach time concepts, colors, and phrases in English and foreign languages. It does other things, too, but for a toy designed for 1-5 year olds I wonder about developing the use of imagination!

Imagination
The first three to five years are critical developmentally, and currently there are no studies to show that SmartToys (as well as other educational toys) give kids an intellectual edge.

However, researchers have discovered that babies who are deprived of certain stimuli during the early years of life never totally recover from that lack of stimulation. It leads me to wonder if we are creating a generation of passive observers who like to be entertained, rather that kids who figure out how things work and use their imagination to come up with new ideas.

A growing body of evidence shows several connections between cognitive competence and high-quality pretend play. According to one study, it may “facilitate a higher-level of cognition,” and that there are “clear links between pretend play and social and linguistic competence.”

I say let the toys leave the smarts to the kids. Let them play pretend and grow to be our next generation equipped to think for themselves and dream rather than passive observers waiting to be entertained or told what to do.

Photo credits: AmazonRenee

Preemie Born at 23 Weeks Celebrates 1st Birthday

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 by No Comments

First birthdays are special, but for 25-year-old Rachel Crockett, the celebration for her son Conner marked a milestone many said would never happen.

Back when her water broke at 23 weeks, doctors delivered the bad news. Her baby was going to die. But when she saw his heartbeat on the scan, she knew differently. She knew she could save him.

Studies show that babies born at 39 to 41 weeks of pregnancy do better than those born 37 or even 38 weeks. When Rachel’s water broke at 23 weeks, her doctors told her she would miscarry.

In the UK, abortion is limited to 25 weeks or less. Rachel and her partner Craig Walkow told the doctors they wanted to save the baby, but even though Conner’s heart still beat, they were told her “case” would be treated as a miscarriage.

Desperate, they knew they had to find a specialist hospital to save their baby. They found one 39 miles away, but doctors said she couldn’t be transferred unless the hemorrhaging stopped.

Time was running out. She did the only thing she could think. She lied and said the bleeding had stopped.

They made the transfer to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and a day later she gave birth to Conner. She was only 23 weeks and two days along and the baby came into the world weighing only 1 pound 2 ounces.

“We thought we would never get the baby we always wanted, but I pushed them.” Rachel Crockett via the Daily Mail

Conner celebrated his first birthday in October, 2014. It was a milestone many didn’t think would ever happen.

Conner was in the hospital for the first 7 months of his life. He suffered many setbacks including fungal meningitis, perforated bowels, and a brain bleed. He also had to undergo eye surgery to have his retinas reattached after they started to detach due to a condition brought about by the ventilators.

While Connor has already faced more challenges than many children face their entire childhood, with more undoubtedly in the future, Rachel doesn’t regret her decision. In fact, now she calls on maternity units to do more to save babies who are routinely considered “unviable.”

She is also pushing to have the abortion limit amended to 20 weeks. She says, “I think the abortion limit should be lowered to 20 weeks – especially considering what happened with Conner. By then, you can see their sex – they are a person.”

Photo credits: wikimedia

Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor Is Smart and User-friendly

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 by No Comments

Baby monitors offer peace of mind and a measure of freedom to get other things done while baby sleeps.

Levana’s new Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor does more than just keep an eye on your baby. It has the ability to pan/tilt/zoom and record and is even equipped with the ability to play lullabies.

When you hear about all this baby monitor can do, you might think it would be complicated to use, but the 3.5 inch touch panel features intuitive graphic icons that make it a user-friendly monitor option.

With such technology, I can’t help but think of how my mom used to talk about having eyes in the back of her head. Now we can have eyes all over the house! The Keera Baby Monitor features a camera that operates smoothly and silently from anywhere in the house.

It lets you adjust the camera view horizontally (300 degrees) and vertically (110 degrees), plus you can zoom in to get a closer look if you want. It’s a great way to see what your child is doing whether they are asleep or playing. It also lets you record video and take pictures with a 2GB micro SD card if you want to capture something adorable or funny!

The Keera PTZ Baby Video Monitor equips parents with super powers to see what’s going on anywhere in the house. It runs on a powerful battery designed to last up to 24 hours and the monitor and camera can be set to “sleep” when there is no noise in the nursery to extend battery life. When the baby wakes and makes any sound, the camera and monitor activate.

The Smart LED Indicator Ring changes with the sound of your baby’s voice so you can tell how loudly your baby is crying even if the monitor is on mute. Sensitivity controls can be adjusted to suit your needs.

This monitor also includes an interactive feature that let’s you talk to your baby through the two-way Talk to Baby intercom. Use it to sooth them and let them know you’re on your way.

Photo credits: Amazon

Royal Baby Number 2 Due in April

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 by No Comments

Prince William and his wife Kate have formally announced their second child is due in April.

That ends speculation as to when, and amid rumors of a baby girl on the way, they did not reveal whether they are expecting another son or a little girl. However, the formal announcement did rule out twins by using the singular word “baby.”

Kate has been out of the public eye with severe morning sickness since September 8 when the world found out she was expecting again. Since then, royal watchers have been waiting for any bit of news or a glimpse of the popular Duchess of Cambridge.

As for the due date, now, we can quit guessing and mark our calendars for April, the same month the royal couple will celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary on the 29th.

“Their Royal Highnesses The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are delighted to confirm they are expecting a baby in April 2015.” – official palace press release

As for Kate’s morning sickness, Kensington Palace has said that her condition is “steadily improving,” and if all goes according to plan she will return to her schedule of engagements on Tuesday, October 21, when she is to accompany her husband, the Duke of Cambridge, to welcome the president of Singapore and his wife.

The Duchess usually keeps quite a busy social schedule, so her absence has left a big hole. Along with greeting the President of Singapore and his wife, she is also planning to attend the Wildlife of the Year Awards Ceremony at the Natural History Museum on Tuesday evening. Only time will tell if she is really up to it.

Now that she will be back in the public eye, I’m sure we’ll be seeing every phase of royal baby bump number 2 and the Duchess’ maternity fashion choices highlighted at every occasion.

The baby will be a brother or sister to one-year-old Prince George and will be fourth in line to the British throne following Prince Charles (grandfather), Prince William (father), and Prince George (brother). While Prince George is a direct heir to the throne, the new baby is considered his alternate.

Photo credits: Paulo Carvalho

Timeless Baby Names

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 by 1 Comment

With my first child I decided to go with a name I thought was different…unique but pretty. I chose a name I’d never heard before that was easy to pronounce and meant flower.

By the time she was three the name had become so popular it seemed like one out of three little girls had the same unique name as my daughter.

With my son, I chose a more traditional name and while it was somewhat popular, it turned out to be less so than the new trendy name I had chosen for my daughter.

With that experience in mind, if you really want your child’s name to be special, you might just be safer going with a timeless baby name. What do I mean by that? It’s one of those names that’s been around but never grown old.

Like music, you can call these 10 baby boy names and 10 baby girl names classics. I’ve included their meanings to help you find that perfect name.

Classic Baby Boy Names

  1. Alexander – defender of the people
  2. Charles – free man
  3. George – farmer
  4. James – supplanter
  5. John – God is gracious
  6. Matthew – gift of God
  7. Max – greatest
  8. Ryan – descendant of the king
  9. Sam – shortened form of Samuel which means his name is God
  10. William – strong-willed warrior

Classic Baby Girl Names

  1. Anna – gracious, merciful
  2. Bridget – exalted, lofty
  3. Caroline – beautiful woman
  4. Emma – universal
  5. Helen – light
  6. Julia – youthful, downy
  7. Kate – pure
  8. Margaret – pearl
  9. Mary – of the sea, or bitter
  10. Sarah – princess

While some of these names seem old-fashioned, most of them sound relevant for today. In fact, I can’t help but think of the royal family with the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, and his new son Prince George, and even the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. I guess they are classics right down to their names.

Photo credits: sigckgc

Man Arrested After Calling Wife Fat 2 Days After Giving Birth

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 by 1 Comment

Back when I had my first baby, the doctor told me to keep my weight gain to 15-18 pounds for the entire pregnancy. Amazingly I did it.

Yet even with that, I’ll never forget lying on the hospital bed after giving birth, turning on my side and realizing that my flabby belly was resting on the bed beside me. As a first-time mom riding a hormonal roller coaster of happiness mingled with uncertainty that I was up to the job, it was a mental adjustment to say the least.

Would my body ever return to pre-baby fitness? What would I wear home from the hospital? Nothing would fit, so it was maternity clothes.

I can’t imagine what I would have done if had come home to a husband who called me “fat” or told me to quit being lazy so I’d burn calories. And all this when my daughter was two days old!!

No that didn’t happen to me, but that’s exactly what happened to one Georgia woman. She and her husband got into an argument after the dog pooped in the house and he told her to “quit being lazy and burn some calories” by cleaning it up. Remember we’re talking two days after giving birth.

During the exchange he told her he didn’t take off work to help her out after giving birth, but to have a “vacation.” He went on and threatened to leave her because she was fat!

She walked out the door and went to a neighbor’s house where she called the police for help in removing her personal belongings and the baby from the home. When the police arrived, the husband said his wife was only acting like that because of “female problems.”

These situations can be tricky for the police, but it turns out that when the husband told the wife to go f*** herself, he was taken away in handcuffs and charged with disorderly conduct. I have some good ideas for an “appropriate” sentence for this guy, how about you?

Photo credits: wikimedia