Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a bloomaholic—nothing makes me happier than filling my apartment with vases of fresh flowers. But without fail, a few days later (sooner if my cat gets her paws on them) I find them wilted and sad, and I know it’s time to toss them out.
So imagine my delight when one of my favorite bloggers posted a link to Flores del Sol, an Etsy shop that sells dried flower arrangements at prices just as reasonable as fresh flowers, if not more so. And because they’re preserved, you’ll be able to enjoy them longer. The perfect Mother’s Day gift, don’t you think? I want the little beauty on the right for my own place, and I’m considering Celeste for my mom and mother-in-law. What are you wishing for this Mother’s Day?
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Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
There are very few things I love more than the Pittsburgh Steelers. So it was no surprise when our news editor, Kourtney Eidam, traipsed over to my desk yesterday, waving a Steelers T-shirt, and said, “I want you to try this on!” Come to think of it though, she’s made me try on all sorts of product samples—from kids clothing to an Iron Man mask—so maybe she just likes to make me take embarrassing photos.
All jokes aside, I’m glad she did. The shirt is from the NFL’s new women’s apparel shop, and it fits like a glove. Gone are the days of wearing offensive lineman-sized clothing—or browsing the kids’ section, as I’ve done before—just to get in the team spirit. And though I’ve been known to dress my large Hines Ward jersey up with a pair of heels and a cocktail ring, maybe it’s time to trade it for one that’s my own size. (Family and friends: Are you reading this? My birthday’s in March.)
So, Steelers and Packers ladies alike, go forth and shop. This year, you’ll draw more attention than the commercials. And while you’re here, tell us: What are you most looking forward to about the Super Bowl? Personally, I can’t wait to see everyone’s predictions be proven wrong.
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Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011
Here at Parents, we’re always talking about baby name inspiration. But here’s something not often discussed: the monikers of our pets.
According to Veterinary Pet Insurance, pet names may predict the outcome of the Super Bowl. For the third consecutive year, the company analyzed its database of more than 485,000 insured animals to see which Super Bowl team has the most pets named in its honor. Green Bay Packers faithful sported names like Jennings, Favre and Lambeau, while Pittsburgh Steelers fans named their pets Steeler, Hines Ward and Bettis, among others.
It seems that the Packers have won this battle: They beat Steeler nation by just two names. And if VPI’s streak continues—pet names have accurately predicted the Super Bowl champ for the past two years—they may also win the war. (As a die-hard Pittsburgh fan, I hope not!)
Yelling, “Hines Ward, come!” across the dog park seems a bit extreme. But then again, inspiration can come from anywhere. I named my cat, Madison, after the avenue here in New York. And my best friend, Mandy (right), named her dog, Huggins, after West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins. (Huggy Bear, as he’s also known, is most noted for consoling injured star Da’Sean Butler during last year’s Final Four.)
So tell us: What did you name your furry friends? Any tips for soon-to-be pet owners?
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Thursday, January 13th, 2011
Last week I wrote about the expected arrival of my niece, Breanna, and how I hoped to be a big part of her life, even from miles away.
Well, I have some exciting news to share: Breanna was born on Monday, January 10, exactly one week past her due date. She was 6 lbs, 11 oz, 20 inches long. And if it really is possible to fall in love at first sight—or in this case, love at first photo—I’m head over heels for this little girl. (How could you not be? That’s her on the right, holding my brother Craig’s hand.)
Melody and Bre (as she’s already affectionately called by family) are set to leave the hospital today, and I’m putting the finishing touches on a care package I’ve been planning to send. So far I have diapers, wipes, a caterpillar rattle that was featured in Parents‘ Best Toys, onesies, pacifiers, pacifier wipes, and a soft book made for newborns.
But I’ve never been a new mom, so I’m turning to you: What do you wish someone would have sent you during the first two weeks of motherhood? Am I missing anything?
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Monday, January 3rd, 2011
I’m going to be an aunt.
Well, actually, I’m already an aunt to my husband’s niece and two nephews. But this time it’s different: My only sibling, Craig, and his wife, Melody, are expecting their first child. My big brother—the same one that proudly bragged that he was “going to get a sister” when my gender was still to-be-determined, that blackened a kid’s eye after he shoved me on the school bus, that kept my husband, Nathan, on the phone for an hour the night before our wedding (saying or threatening what, I’m not sure)—is going to have a little girl of his own.
That is, if she ever decides to make her grand entrance, which was scheduled for today. (Breanna, anytime now. Seriously. Let’s not be tardy.)
The problem is, they’re in West Virginia, and I’m in New York. And in spite of my crossed fingers and high hopes, Breanna wasn’t born over the holidays when I could be there to meet her. So I’m making the best of it—I have a care package full of goodies that’s ready to be mailed as soon as she arrives, and my mom and I have already discussed buying a webcam for Craig and Melody.
But I can’t help but worry: If my visits are as rare as Thanksgiving, Christmas and an occasional stop in between, will Breanna know who I am? Nathan’s nephews still call us by the wrong names at times—to be expected, I guess, since they see their other aunts and uncles more often.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, they say, and that’s certainly true of my feelings about family. But how do you preserve the same bond with children? Any tips about how to make yourself a tangible presence in a kid’s life, even from miles away?
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Tuesday, December 14th, 2010
I’ve always been pretty straightforward—I say how I feel, cry when I’m hurt, apologize when I’m wrong.
But growing up, the girls at school were different. They gave me the silent treatment instead of saying why they were angry. They talked about me behind my back instead of to my face. They stared at me, confused, when I said, “Can you just tell me what’s bothering you?”
What scares me most about the world we live in today: the same mean girls can now hide in cyberspace. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube and even anonymous websites have become platforms where kids can talk the talk without facing their victim, and seemingly, without consequences.
So imagine how thrilled I was to discover Say It 2 My Face. Created by college student (and former cyber-bullying victim) Taylor Audette, the campaign challenges bullies to step out from behind the screen, to think about what they type as much as they do about what they say.
Join the campaign on Facebook, and help spread the word. It’s time we hold ourselves accountable for our words and actions, both on and off line. Image via sayit2myface.org.
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Thursday, October 21st, 2010
The results are in! This summer, we did a special report about play and teamed up with KaBOOM and Foresters, a life insurance provider that champions the well-being of families, to invite communities across North America to rally around their local playspaces. Three winners will now receive an Imagination Playground in a Box—an interactive set that children can constantly reconfigure into their own course of play—worth $25,000.
This was no easy contest to win. More than 650 communities earned points online by posting photos, hosting meet-ups, and attracting fans. The top 50 playgrounds were then narrowed to 10 semifinalists, who had to get out the vote in order to win. These three very special communities earned thousands of votes by alerting the media and reaching out to their social networks. Please join us in congratulating:
Casita Elementary Playground (Vista, California)—Casita Center for Technology, Science, and Math is a magnet elementary school in Vista, California. It serves approximately 700 kids from grades K-5 as well as additional preschoolers. Casita is in a Federal Title I low-income neighborhood; 63% of the kids are socioeconomically disadvantaged. Overall, the school is a very energetic place. Teachers and administrators are continually coming up with the new ways of teaching and embracing new educational opportunities.
Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Preschool (El Cajon, California)—Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Preschool has been a part of the community since 1961 and serves approximately 100 students every week! The classrooms of the school open directly onto the playground and all the windows face toward it. The playground has not been remodeled in a long time and Imagination Playground will be its crown jewel centerpiece.
New Heights Learning Services (Calgary, Alberta)—The autistic children New Heights serves don’t automatically learn from the world around them as typical children would. They need to be taught and encouraged, but in order for this to work, the children need to be motivated to learn. With their Imagination Playground, New Heights hopes to encourage these kids to use and build their play skills and imaginative abilities.
A special thanks to all who participated! We hope that all will be inspired to continue mobilizing their communities to use, maintain, and improve their local playspaces.
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Tuesday, August 24th, 2010
What’s the right age to give your kid an allowance? To let her pierce her ears? We want to hear from you. Take our survey, and then see what other parents are thinking in an upcoming issue of Parents.
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