Category: articles

October 4, 2010

a mother battling breast cancer

thank you to Chelsea of Breezy Mama for sharing this…
One mother — of two young kids — who is currently battling Breast Cancer shares her story of finding the lump, what she did next and taking on chemo.

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September 24, 2010

3 interesting articles

what do you think about this? Parents give up their adopted daughter

some tips for all of you mom bloggers: Is It Always Appropriate to Reach Out to Fellow Mom Bloggers for Advice?

are you raising your child in a bi-lingual environment? are bilingual kids more efficient learners?

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September 17, 2010

first spanish class

tomorrow is harper’s first day of spanish. we signed up for fall semester and i cannot wait. i will attend with her for the 50 minute class.

does your mother tongue shape the way you experience the world? here is a fascinating article that i recommend to you all:
Does Your Language Shape How You Think?

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September 17, 2010

La Petite Mag

have you seen the new issue of La Petite Magazine? i just checked it out and it is so chic – i am totally inspired! there is a lot of beautiful fashion and photography, hair styling for your little ones, DIY and nursery tips, and some really cute articles.

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September 15, 2010

toilet training article

i thought this article was interesting. is anyone else working on potty training right now?

PottyPositive reinforcement is a good thing during toilet training, but try not to be overdramatic, said Dr. Harvey Karp, the pediatrician who urges parents to view their toddlers as tiny, stubborn cavemen who grunt, spit and bite when they’re upset.

Today’s children start potty training between the ages of 2 and 3, precisely when they begin screaming “No!” and engaging parents in power struggles, said Karp, a child development specialist and assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine and the author of the popular “Happiest Baby” parenting books.

“If the child thinks toileting is so important to Mom and Dad that they applaud and jump up and down and call Grandma, it puts too much pressure on them and they may regress,” said Karp. Or they use it against you. “They think, ‘I know what you love so I won’t give it to you,’” Karp said.

Instead, Karp suggested trying a technique called “gossiping.” It works like this: “You say, ‘Good job sweetheart!’ You’re happy, pleasant, not over the top. Five minutes later, you whisper to the Elmo doll, ‘Hey, Elmo, Bobby peed all by himself! Good job!’ And Bobby is thinking, ‘I’m hearing this a lot lately from people.’ The words don’t matter as much as the way you say them.”

Chicago Tribune by Julie Deardorff

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September 11, 2010

Mom’s hug revives baby that was pronounced dead

you must read this story! it brought tears to my eyes 🙂

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September 3, 2010

Takashi Murakami to join Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade

yes, it is a little early to be talking about Thanksgiving- but i just read this article on The New York Times Online

i am a huge fan of Takashi Murakami. here he is in front of a few of his pieces at the Brooklyn Museum

i will actually be tuning into the parade this year to see Kaikai and Kiki come to life as balloons in the parade! (my daughter will be almost 2 at Thanksgiving so i am sure she will really enjoy the parade as well.)
here are a few pics of the process of bringing them to life: AMAZING!

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August 30, 2010

Preschool Depression


an interesting article in the NY Times about preschool depression.

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August 25, 2010

Healthy Grocery Shopping Strategies for Families

Just when you thought you were making healthy food choices for your family, it turns out there’s a lot more to food labels than meets the eye. Here’s how to decode nutrition claims on your next trip to the grocery store.

by: Kerry McLeod

Healthy Shopping Strategies

  • The front label on foods is a manufacturer’s prime real estate where they entice shoppers to buy their products–much of the wording (especially things like “fortified” and “sugar-free”) is pure advertising jargon.
  • Labels with “zero trans fat” imply a product contains no trans fats, but labeling loopholes allow foods that contain less than 0.5 g of trans fat per serving to say they contain none at all.
  • When comparing foods, the ingredient list is a good place to start. Manufacturers list ingredients in order from most to least–so if the first ingredient listed is sugar, you know you’re off to a bad start.
  • “Light” or “reduced calorie” juices are usually watered down, contain less juice, and have artificial sweeteners and chemical additives. It’s better to give your kids 100% fruit juice and add a few ounces of water to reduce calories and sugar.
  • Labels that read “made with wheat, rye, or multi-grains” don’t actually tell you how much whole grain is really in the product. Look for the word “whole” before the grain to ensure you’re getting a 100% whole-grain.

When you’re trying to shop for healthy foods for your family, it’s easy to fall for products emblazoned with marketing buzzwords such as “fortified” and “sugar-free.” But many foods that appear to be good for you are actually the opposite. Here’s how to decode product labels to help you select the healthiest foods on store shelves.

Words to watch out for
  • Fortified, enriched, added, extra, plus – usually mean the food has been altered or processed in some way.

  • Zero trans fat – implies that a product has no trans fats, but labeling loopholes allow foods that contain less than 0.5 g per serving to declare they contain none at all. (Code words for trans fats also include hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.) Meanwhile, “low fat” means a product contains 3 g or less while “low in saturated fat” means it contains 2 g or less of saturated and trans fat combined.

  • Light, or reduced calorie – “light” refers to foods that are either reduced in fat or reduced in calories. If a product is labeled “reduced in calories,” it means it contains at least 25% fewer calories than the food to which it is compared.

    When it comes to “light” or “reduced calorie” juices, they’re usually watered down, contain far less juice, and have artificial sweeteners and chemical additives. Your best bet is to buy your kids 100% fruit juice and simply cut the serving in half or add a few ounces of water to reduce calories and sugar.

  • Sugar-free, sugarless, or no added sugar – tell you nothing about sugar derivatives or sugar substitutes, which can yield just as many calories as table sugar and may be more harmful for you than sugar itself. Check the ingredient list for sugar substitutes, such as aspartame, neotame, erythritol, acesulfame-potassium, sorbitol and lactitol.

  • Made with wheat, rye, or multi-grains – implies the food is a good source of whole grains, but doesn’t actually tell you how much whole grain is really in it. Look for the word “whole” before the grain to ensure you’re actually getting a 100% whole-grain product. (To be a source of fibre, a product must contain at least 2 grams of fibre.)

  • Natural, or made from “natural” ingredients – simply means the manufacturer started with a natural source. Once processed, the food may not resemble anything “natural.”

  • Organically grown, organic, pesticide-free and no artificial ingredients– say very little about the nutritional value or safety of the product. Trust only those labels that say “certified organically grown.”

Healthy shopping strategies

Follow these three easy steps to avoid being fooled by misleading label claims:

1. Speed read the front label Remember, manufacturers use this prime real estate to entice shoppers to buy their products. Translation: Much of the wording is pure advertising jargon.

2. Go to the ingredients list This is where you find out what’s actually in the food. Manufacturers list ingredients in order from most to least (so if “sugar” is the first ingredient, you’re off to a bad start). Look for words you can’t pronounce or terms that sound like something from your ninth-grade chemistry textbook, which is a clue that there are chemical additives that might be harmful to your health.

3. Quick-scan the Nutrition Facts label This is where you’ll find the amounts of nutrients you’re getting based on the ingredients list. If you’re not sure how to read the label, check out Health Canada’s Interactive Nutrition Label for a handy crash course in how to determine the true nutritional content of the food you’re buying.

Meet our expert:

Kerry McLeod is the author of the popular diet and nutrition book The Last Diet Book Standing and founder of, a bi-weekly e-newsletter that educates shoppers on how to find the healthiest and best-tasting foods at the local grocery store. McLeod has recently been featured on CBS 46 News, Martha Stewart Living Radio,,, and the Vancouver Sun.

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August 19, 2010

Good relationship with dad can help fight stress

Elizabeth Landau – Health Writer/Producer

Do you remember playing games with your dad or having heart-to-heart talks? For men, many years later, that turns out to be important. The relationship you had with your father, and the way that you treat your sons, may be more influential than you think.

A new study presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association reveals that men who had positive relationships with their fathers are better equipped to deal with the stress of everyday life than men who did not remember their dads fondly.

“A big take-home message is that if there is a father present in a child’s life, he needs to know how important it is to be involved,” said Melanie Mallers of California State University, Fullerton.

Researchers interviewed 912 men and women during an eight-day period about their psychological and emotional state that day. Participants also had to answer questions about their relationships with their mothers and fathers growing up, and how much attention their parents gave them.

The major finding of the study is that men who said they had bad relationships with their fathers in childhood were more likely to be distressed by the stressful incidents of daily life.

Study authors did not see this effect as commonly in women. Mallers thinks that’s because women are engaging in other kinds of coping skills, relying on a network of other people besides their parents for support. Men, on the other hand, learn instrumental coping skills from their fathers, she said.

“For dads who grew up without a dad, this is an opportunity to repair damage,” she said.

Overall, participants said that their relationship with their mother in childhood was better than with their father, Mallers said. More men reported a good mother-child relationship than women, study authors found.

Participants who had a good relationships with both parents in childhood tended to have fewer stressful incidents in their lives over the eight-day period than those who had poor parental relationships.

The study also emphasizes the importance of male figures in a boy’s life, even if a father isn’t available, she said. Positive mentors in a child’s life can make a real difference, she said.
CNN Health

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August 13, 2010

Jen Aniston, Bill O’Reilly and Motherhood

what do you think? here is the article from
By Julie Jordan

Jennifer Aniston has a few choice words for Bill O’Reilly, who criticized her recent comments about single motherhood.

“Of course, the ideal scenario for parenting is obviously two parents of a mature age. Parenting is one of the hardest jobs on earth,” Aniston tells PEOPLE exclusively. “And, of course, many women dream of finding Prince Charming (with fatherly instincts), but for those who’ve not yet found their Bill O’Reilly, I’m just glad science has provided a few other options.”

Aniston, who is currently starring in The Switch, a film about a woman who gets pregnant using a sperm donor, told reporters recently that women no longer have to wait for the perfect guy to start a family.

“Women are realizing it more and more, knowing that they don’t have to settle with a man just to have that child,” the actress told reporters. “Love is love and family is what is around you and who is in your immediate sphere.”

Last week, on his Fox News show, The O’Reilly Factor, the host called the actress’s comments “destructive to our society,” and accused her of “diminishing the role of the dad.”

“Dads bring a psychology to children that is in this society, I believe, under-emphasized,” he said. “I think men get hosed all day long in the parental arena.”

feel free to post your thoughts anonymously if you prefer!

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July 27, 2010

Blind Couple Reunited With Baby Taken Away by State

by Tom Henderson/

Erika Johnson and Blake Sinnett’s daughter, Mikaela Sinnett, was returned to them after 57 days in foster care. Credit: David Eulitt, Kansas City Star / MCT

Erika Johnson and Blake Sinnett of Missouri had a baby. For two days. Then they had a nightmare. State authorities took their baby away because both Johnson and Sinnett are blind.

Following a public outcry, little Mikaela was returned to her parents this week, and authorities were reminded of an ancient truism: None are so blind than those who will not see.

But Johnson tells the Kansas City Star she’s not bitter.

Blake Sinnett is guided to his mother’s van with Erika Johnson as the two parents left for their Kansas City, Missouri apartment with their 2-month-old daughter. Credit: David Eulitt, Kansas City Star / MCT

“I’m a forgiving person,” she says. Nonetheless, she adds, she resents the lingering prejudice people in power have against the handicapped.

“Disability does not equal inability,” she tells the newspaper.

Mikaela was born May 21 at Centerpoint Medical Center in Independence, Mo. The Star reports doctors let Sinnett “see” his daughter’s birth by feeling the crowning of her head.

According to the newspaper, Johnson’s first attempts at breast-feeding were clumsy. A nurse noticed Mikaela’s nostrils were covered by Johnson’s breast, and Johnson felt that something was wrong. She switched the baby to her other side, but not before Mikaela turned blue.

A nurse wrote on a chart: “The child is without proper custody, support or care due to both of (the) parents being blind, and they do not have specialized training to assist them.”

That notation kicked the system into auto-pilot and plunged the new parents, both 24, into a nightmare. It would be 57 days before they were reunited with their baby.

When Johnson held Mikaela again July 20, the Star reports, the new mother couldn’t stop crying.

“We never got the chance to be parents,” she tells the newspaper. “We had to prove that we could.”

Although they were able to return to their home in Independence that day, they still faced an adjudication hearing to determine whether or not they would have to basically share custody of their baby with the state.

However, the Star reports, they got a call from their attorney, Amy Coopman, saying the state had dropped the case.

“Every minute that has passed that this family wasn’t together is a tragedy — a legal tragedy and a moral one, too,” Coopman tells the Star. “How do you get 57 days back?”

Arleasha Mays, a spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Social Services, tells the newspaper she can’t comment on what happened because of privacy rules. Still, she insists, “the only time we recommend a child be removed is if it’s in imminent danger.”

Johnson tells the Star questions from a social worker started flying as soon as Mikaela was born.

How could they take the baby’s temperature? With a talking thermometer. How would they get her to a doctor? In an emergency, they’d call an ambulance. For a regular appointment, they’d call a cab or ride a bus.

Johnson tells the paper those solutions weren’t enough for the social worker. She and Sinnett were told they would need 24-hour care by a sighted person at their apartment. Johnson responded they couldn’t afford such help and didn’t need it.

“I needed help as a new parent, but not as a blind parent,” Johnson tells the Star.

Soon, Mikaela was gone. The Star reports her parents weren’t even allowed to hold her as she left the hospital. All they could do was touch her arm or leg.

Advocates for the blind were quickly on the case.

Gary Wunder, the president of the National Federation of the Blind of Missouri, tells the Star he found the story almost too incredible to believe.

“I needed to verify their whole story,” he tells the newspaper. “We had to do due diligence. I found the couple to be intelligent and responsible. We knew this was an outrage that had taken place.”

Wunder and other advocates rallied other associations for the blind nationwide. More than 100 people at a National Federation of the Blind national convention in Dallas volunteered to travel to Kansas City to protest and testify, both as blind parents and as the sighted children of blind parents.

They also hired Coopman, who tells the Star this is not the end of the story. Legal action will be taken.

“Whether a couple is visually impaired or deaf or in a wheelchair, the state should not keep them from their children,” she adds.

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November 3, 2009

52 Tips to Boost Your Baby’s Brain Development

i just finished reading this article someone sent me. there were some new ideas that i had never heard before so i thought i’d share:
Harvard Bound: 52 Tips to Boost Your Baby’s Brain Development

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