Author Archive

Sale at Discount School Supply Ends at Midnight

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Discount School Supply (created for teachers, but great for parents) is one of my favorite sources for all sorts of kid stuff—including art supplies like fun markers and paints, paper, even dramatic play items. Some things may only come in bulk, but they are so cheap that it’s often worth buying more. And they seem to ship everything express mail for no extra charge. Sale ends tonight and the code is BUYMORE. Click here to head over.

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First Lady Says Let’s Move More Produce

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011


First Lady Michelle Obama joined leaders from major retailers today to announce commitments to open more than 1,500 new stores in underserved communities that don’t have access to fresh produce and other healthy foods. The stores will serve about 9.5 million Americans—including 6.5 million children—and may create tens of thousands of jobs. “We can give people all the information and advice in the world about healthy eating and exercise, but if parents can’t buy the food they need to prepare those meals because their only options for groceries are the gas station or the local minimart, then all that is just talk,” says First Lady Obama. “Let’s Move is about giving parents real choices about the food their kids are eating, and today’s announcement means that more parents will have a fresh food retailer right in their community.”

Supervalu will open 250 Save-A-Lot stores over the next five years.

Walgreens will expand its food offerings to include whole fruits and vegetables and other healthy options in at least 1,000 stores

Walmart will open or expand up to 300 stores by 2016.

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Tags: | Categories: Health & Safety, News

Could You Save This Baby’s Life?

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011


Ten-month-old Kate Boggan has congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia, a rare type of bone marrow failure in which her bone marrow doesn’t produce platelets, which are essential for blood-clotting. Her parents, Lindsey and Alex, had struggled with infertility for years, and they were finally blessed with this beautiful baby girl. Leukemia and other bone marrow failures like Kate’s are one of the leading causes of death in children, but they can be successfully treated with a bone-marrow transplant. The Boggans are working with DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor center, to find a match for Kate. Read Lindsey’s blog here. To become a potential donor, you first register online and then swab your cheek with a mail-in kit; your cheek cells will be tested for their DNA tissue type and added anonymously to the National Bone Marrow Registry. You will be contacted if you are a match for Kate or any other patient. Donation is not as difficult as people think; most donations are now done by a technique called peripheral blood stem cell donation (similar to donating blood), rather than a bone marrow donation (in which marrow is extracted from the pelvic bone under anesthesia).

Cord blood transplant from an anonymous donor is another option for many children with serious blood diseases. Read the article in our August issue, “The Gift of Life,” about a boy whose life was saved by a cord blood transplant through a public bank.

photo via

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Tags: | Categories: Health & Safety

A No-Complaints Car Trip!

Thursday, July 7th, 2011


Last weekend we drove 2 ½ hours to visit friends, and for the first time, my 6-year-old daughter, Jane, didn’t ask “How much longer?” every 10 minutes. Why? I finally bought us an audiobook.  As the mother of a 17-year-old too, you’d think  I would have tried this trick for car trips before, but somehow I never had. The assistant principal at Jane’s school had recently suggested it to a group of parents (she and her daughters had listened to Beverly Cleary’s entire Ramona series in the car) and I decided it was time to try it. The audiobook I bought was Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, which I thought be a good one because it’s comprised of individual stories. Jane loved it! After a couple of stories, my husband was ready to turn on the radio, but she insisted that we keep listening. Unfortunately, CD audiobooks aren’t cheap, so I’m going to investigate some of the rental and downloading services (Simply Audiobooks,, Audible) to see who has the best and most reasonably priced selection of children’s books. Have you had success with any of these? Favorite books to listen to?

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Tags: | Categories: Solutions, Travel, Your Child

I Love This Sunscreen

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Last month, I bemoaned the lifelong daily chore of applying sunscreen to my fair-skinned family and asked you to suggest your favorite brands. Now I have to rave about this fabulous product I’ve discovered, Shady Day Daily Sun Protection Wipes, SPF 30 (even though I am worried that they will sell out and I won’t be able to get them anymore). Each wipe is infused with water-resistant broad-spectrum sunscreen that has a lovely non-sunscreeny scent and doesn’t feel too greasy. Although I don’t know if the coverage they provide will be enough for a day at the beach or pool in direct sunlight, they are perfect for everyday use. One wipe is enough for my 6-year-old’s arms and legs and mine too (although I still use a sunscreen stick on her face). I haven’t found them in stores but I am willing to stock up online. In other news, the FDA has finally announced its plans to crack down on sunscreen labeling (the agency has been mulling it over for literally 30 years); next year, companies will no longer be able to use the terms waterproof, sweatproof, or sunblock. You’ve got no choice but to reapply, reapply, reapply.

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Tags: | Categories: Health & Safety, Shopping & Gear

Measles Outbreaks

Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is worried about the rising number of measles cases in the U.S. There have been 118 reported cases of this serious infectious disease in 23 states between January and May—more than in any year since 1996. Most of the people who got measles had traveled abroad; there have also been outbreaks in European (the highest number in France) and South-East Asian countries. But experts have little doubt that the resurgence of measles is related to parents’ unwarranted fears that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine causes autism, although many studies have no proven that there is no link—and the doctor who did the original research that started the controversy over vaccine safety has even lost his medical license. Most of us have no personal experience with measles, but pediatricians warn that the disease is potentially fatal, especially in babies who are too young to have been immunized yet. Vaccines save lives, so don’t skip them.

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Tags: | Categories: Health & Safety

Formula News

Friday, May 27th, 2011

Although breastfeeding is the best way to help reduce your baby’s risk of developing allergies, if you are not nursing exclusively and have a family history of allergies, Gerber’s Good Start Formulas may help reduce an infant’s risk of eczema, the FDA has concluded. Published studies like this one support this link. Good Start Protect and Good Start Gentle are made from 100% whey protein that has been partially hydrolyzed—which means that it has been broken down into smaller pieces that may be easier for an infant to digest. The formulas are made from milk, so any baby who has already been diagnosed with a milk allergy or has symptoms of a possible milk allergy should not drink it.

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Tags: , , , | Categories: GoodyBlog

Why You Should Have Sex Tonight

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

OK, I admit it: My husband has been encouraging me to blog about this. “If something else was ‘as good for your health as vitamin D and broccoli,’ wouldn’t you blog about that?” he asked me again last night. A recent Wall Street Journal article (you often can’t access WSJ articles if you’re not a subscriber, but this link should work) sums up a variety of research about how having sex benefits your physical and mental health. Studies suggest that the rush of neurotransmitters like dopamine and hormones like oxytocin and prolactin (breastfeeding anyone?) make us feel relaxed and sleepy afterwards and can even provide temporary relief from back pain, migraines or other aches, and improve your ability to handle stress. Men who have sex several times a week have been found to have a lower rate of heart attacks and prostate cancer, and one French study found that women who have sex frequently have a lower risk of breast cancer. After all, when you’re a busy parent, having sex can be a little like going to the gym; even if you think you’re too tired, you rarely regret it afterwards.

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Tags: | Categories: GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Must Read, Your Life