What’s the biggest gift your mother gave you? Is it your strong independent streak? Your insane sense of humor? Or was it post-soccer-practice Taco Tuesday that she somehow pulled together every week?
With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, we’re thinking a lot about the beautiful gifts that mothers give—and about how we can pass along similar gifts to the children in our lives. (It’s no surprise that 89 percent of moms say they’re happy to be turning into their own mother when it comes to parenting—our moms are incredible!)
Maria Shriver lost her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, more than three years ago—but that doesn’t mean the incredible gifts her mom gave her have faded in any way. In fact, Maria has made a short (and holy-wow, seriously emotional—get out the tissue box!) film celebrating the gifts her mother, founder of the Special Olympics, left her with.
Beyond being super moving—it WILL make you want to call your mom!—Maria’s film, “The Gift My Mother Gave Me,” is available to watch and share with other parents right on Facebook. And one of the most touching things about it is that, thanks to the people over at P & G, each time you share the film with a Facebook friend, they’ll donate a dollar to the Special Olympics—up to $50,000 that will help to promote the basic tenants of acceptance, encouragement, and community—three things I think almost any mom hopes to instill in their children.
Have you seen the video? Did you go through two tissues like I did? What’s the biggest gift your mother gave you? Tell us in the comments!
Brain Anatomy of Dyslexia Is Not The Same in Men and Women, Boys and Girls
Using MRI, neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center found significant differences in brain anatomy when comparing men and women with dyslexia to their non-dyslexic control groups, suggesting that the disorder may have a different brain-based manifestation based on sex. (via Science Daily)
Enhanced Motion Perception In Autism May Point To An Underlying Cause of the Disorder
Children with autism see simple movement twice as quickly as other children their age, and this hypersensitivity to motion may provide clues to a fundamental cause of the developmental disorder, according to a new study. (via Science Daily)
Could Vaginal Delivery Be Safer for Preemies?
Very premature babies have fewer breathing problems when they’re born through vaginal delivery compared to cesarean section, a new study of more than 20,000 newborns suggests. Based on those cases, researchers found that regardless of why a C-section was performed – whether because of pregnancy-related complications or the mother’s medical problems, for example – vaginal delivery tended to be safer. (via Reuters)
Flu During Pregnancy May Rise Bipolar Risk For Baby
If expectant mothers catch the flu during pregnancy, their babies could be four times as likely to develop bipolar disorder later in life, BBC News reported. Bipolar disorder, typically diagnosed in the late teens or twenties, causes intense mood swings ranging from depression to feelings of manic joy. The majority of bipolar cases have no relation to the flu. (via Fox News)
‘Pinterest Stress’ Afflicts Nearly Half Of Moms, Survey Says
For many moms, social media is both a blessing and a curse. We go to sites like Pinterest and Facebook for connection and inspiration – but all too often, the beautiful images of domestic harmony make us feel inadequate. In our exclusive TODAY Moms survey of 7,000 U.S. mothers, 42 percent said that they sometimes suffer from Pinterest stress – the worry that they’re not crafty or creative enough. (via TODAY)
Born Into Captivity, 6 Year Old Can Recover, Experts Say
Of the four captives rescued in this week’s hostage drama in Cleveland, the 6-year-old daughter of Amanda Berry may raise the most perplexing questions of all. The young girl who followed as Berry, 27, kicked her way out of a house where she’d been held in alleged bondage for a decade will face complicated challenges as the youngster learns to navigate an entirely new universe, say child therapists and specialists in long-term trauma. (via NBC News)
Check out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every week at Parents.com!
I am amidst a tour of baby expos, speaking, signing books, pop up stores and my favorite: getting to meet so many amazing moms, moms-to-be, mompreneurs, and Dads from around the country. When I go out on the road like this, I am fortunate to be able to bring one of my three lovely little ones with me. (Okay, that’s my favorite part if I’m being totally honest, but meeting all of you is a very close second!) As a mother of three, having that one-on-one time is invaluable and makes my work trips something for the kids to look forward to.
This time I took my youngest, Vivienne. Now that Vivi is almost one year old, she no longer instantly falls asleep once the sound of the plane engines starts roaring, and life is a little more complicated now that milk alone won’t suffice. Oh yes, how I wish the jubblies could somehow also produce a meal of mac n’ cheese with chopped strawberries on the side as easily as breast milk—wouldn’t that be amazing!
I have become quite adept at traveling with a child in tow after doing it so often and have accumulated a few tips and tricks to make traveling with a child, particularly by plane, easier for both you and your little one. Here’s my list of low-cost, quick fixes for traveling with youngsters:
1. While I recommend traveling in comfy clothes (hello flats, leggings, and a boyfriend sweater), wear as many clinky, costume jewelry pieces around your neck and wrists as possible. I can’t tell you the amount of time that can be passed looking at Mommy’s big jewelry!
2. Never be ashamed to make a shusshing noise near their ears as you try and get them to sleep amidst the hustle and bustle. Shusshing will ultimately sooth, calm, and drown out the noise around you as they try to sleep.
3. Try to book your flights for just after your child’s bedtime or during their regularly scheduled naps for the best chance of them being tired and ready for some zzzz’s once on board.
4. Take as many liquids and baby foods with you as you like. There’s no need to spend extra once you have gone through security to stock up on these must-haves. Just make sure to tell a TSA agent, and they will run the items through their own security check.
5. When the attendant announces early boarding for passengers with children, don’t do it (forgive me airlines of America). You want to minimize the amount of time you are sitting on the plane, and early boarding is a sure fire way to reach the end of your ability to entertain sooner than you’d like. Board at the last possible moment!
6. Always bring a change of clothes for you and your baby, plus something to cover those nasty changing tables they have in public places. I can only imagine what’s on them. Better still, use one of your breast feeding covers to cover your wee one on your lap while you change her diaper in a secluded corner of the airport.
7. Don’t be ashamed to think about the well deserved glass of vino with your name on it once you finally get there.
8. Use microwave steam sterilizing bags for bottles, pacifiers, and so on when traveling. Most places have microwaves, so use one to your advantage since you may encounter a lot of germs during your trip. (That’s right, I’m talking about when the baby’s bottle slips out of your bag and starts rolling around the airplane floor).
9. If your babe is less than 18 months, re-wrap some of their own toys and bring them on the trip for your kid to open. Believe me, they’ll love the element of surprise
So go forth, and travel with confidence. You will arrive…. eventually!
When Jane Seymour visited our offices, we totally bonded over all things motherhood. She’s raised four kids (including twins!), and so Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate with her now-big children (those twins are graduating high school!). She also lost her own mother not long ago, which means the holiday is somewhat bittersweet.
Jane’s jewelry helps her remember both her mom and her brood. In addition to being an actress, Jane paints, and her designs led her to create the Open Hearts jewelry collection with Kay Jewelers. The concept is simple; she likes to paint open-shaped hearts, which reminds her to stay unconditionally loving of the people in her life. We found this sweet video of her elaborating on her inspiration; watch it and feel like you’re having your own deskside meeting with Jane!
In celebration of Mother’s Day, Kay Jewelers will give one winner this diamond “Mom” necklace, made of sterling silver and worth $100. To be eligible to win, just leave a comment below, up to one comment a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, May 15. Here are the official rules. Goody luck!
When Hurricane Sandy blasted the Jersey Shore last fall, my thoughts immediately went to Cape May. I took a family vacation there the summer before and was completely charmed by the town. After seeing news footage and Facebook photos of the devastation of the New Jersey coast, I had assumed the worst had happened. Fast-forward three months: I’m researching a Parents magazine story on the 10 Best Beach Towns for Families. I’ve narrowed my picks to a “short list” of a hundred or so towns that have great water quality. Cape May is on the list. So I made a call to find out what shape the town is in now. And much to my delight, I learned that Sandy largely spared Cape May, taking a last-minute turn in the other direction.
Cape May stayed in the running to be included in the story, and when other factors—like inland family fun and nature activities—were considered, it ended up being number five on Parents best list. Here are a couple of highlights from my family’s long weekend in Cape May, and you’ll find many more family-friendly activities in my story on the town.
My daughter’s favorite memory from the trip was an inexpensive program we signed up for at the Nature Center of Cape May. Staff cast a net in the ocean to see what creatures they could find, and then told the kids about them. The kids got to touch the little critters before safely returning them to the water. By the looks of it, all the kids in the program that day had a blast and learned quite a bit from this hands-on experience.
We went to the beach that was across the street from Congress Hall, where we stayed. Even though we were there in mid-August (peak season!), it didn’t feel crowded. And it was very clean!
At night, we checked out the shops at Washington Street Mall, a three-block outdoor promenade filled with adorable, independent shops like Bath Time (where we bought custom-blend bubble bath). For a treat, we ended up enjoying egg creams (a combo of chocolate syrup and seltzer) from Dellas 5 & 10.
Cleveland Story Sparks Hope For Parents of Long-Lost Children
Elizabeth Smart. Jaycee Dugard. Shawn Hornbeck. Many parents of missing children repeat these names like a mantra — each one is evidence that their long-lost child is not a lost cause. Now Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michele Knight can be added to that list of found children. The discovery of the three Ohio women on Monday is exactly the kind of hope that keeps parents of missing children going, long after their search has stopped making sense to us outsiders. (via NBC News)
How Autism is Different In Girls vs. Boys
Why do boys get diagnosed with autism four times as often as girls? New research, including some of the latest data from the International Society for Autism Research annual conference last week, addresses this question, one of the biggest mysteries in this field. (via Fox News)
Kids’ Chemical Injuries Down, But May Rise in Summer
Injuries from gasoline, lamp oil and similar chemicals have dropped considerably among small children in the last decade, according to a new study. “It seems to decline right around 2000, 2001. That’s when the Consumer Products Safety Commission mandated products be placed in child-resistant packaging,” said Dr. Heath Jolliff, the study’s lead author and associate medical director of the Central Ohio Poison Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus. (via Reuters)
U.S. Has More ‘First Day’ Newborn Deaths Than Any Other Industrialized Nation, Report Says
In the United States, more babies die on the first day of life than in any other industrialized country, according to a new report. Each year, about 11,300 U.S. babies die the day they’re born, which is 50 percent more deaths than all other industrialized countries combined, according to the report from the charity organization Save the Children. (via Fox News)
Louisiana Court Rules That School Voucher Plan Violates State Constitution
Louisiana’s highest court ruled Tuesday that Gov. Bobby Jindal’s hallmark school voucher plan violates the state’s constitution because of how it is funded. The state Supreme Court found that the school voucher plan is illegal because it diverts tax dollars to private schools from Louisiana’s “minimum foundation program,” which was created under the state constitution to pay for public schools. (via The Washington Post)
One of my most vivid childhood memories is when a boy in my elementary school had to undergo chemotherapy treatments for cancer. When he finally returned to class cancer free but with a bald head, his best friend decided to buzz off his own hair as a show of support. Even at such a young age, the friend understood how difficult it is to be the only one without a full head of hair.
Flash-forward many years later, and I’m happy to report that haircare company TIGI, which also owns popular brands Bed Head and Catwalk, has partnered with a non-profit called Children with Hair Loss. CWHL provides annual customized hair replacements and styling services, at no cost, to anyone under the age of 21 with medically-related hair loss. The goal is to empower as many children as possible by increasing their self-confidence and restoring one aspect of normalcy during a time when things are anything but normal. So now when you purchase a TIGI product you can feel great knowing that not only are you taking care of your hair, you’re helping a child regain his.
The Australian music group, The Wiggles, has been entertaining millions of children around the world for over 20 years. This year, they’re announcing three new cast members, including the first female Wiggle. Emma Watkins joins as the Yellow Wiggle, Lachlan Gillespie as the Purple Wiggle, and Simon Pryce as the Red Wiggle. Anthony Field, the founder of the The Wiggles, remains as the Blue Wiggle.
To introduce the new Wiggles, the quartet is on an international tour called “Taking Off!” and they will visit 35 U.S. cities starting in August. In addition to the tour, the group has also released a new CD and DVD. (To find a concert in your local area, click after the jump for confirmed tour dates.)
Watch a video of the new Wiggles performing “Do the Propeller!”, a song from their CD: