Archive for the ‘ Your Child ’ Category

Should I Get My Baby Into Modeling? He’s Really Cute

Friday, November 21st, 2014

* By Liz Krieger for American Baby magazine

Once in a while I see a kid so deliciously cute, I almost want to tell the parents that it’s their civic duty to share that baby’s beauty with the world. But it’s no easy feat to get your little guy into the pages of, well, this magazine.

An old coworker of mine, Stacy, found this out a few years ago while jostling her infant daughter in her arms at a casting call for a commercial. The hallway was teeming with other moms and babies, the whole thing was running late, and as naptime came and went—let’s just say it wasn’t the quietest of hallways. Later, during some test shots, she was shocked when a makeup artist dabbed a bit of rouge on her 4-month-old’s face.

And that’s the thing, says American Baby’s photo editor, Amber Venerable: “You’ll definitely need an open mind and a relatively open schedule if you’re serious about helping your kiddo make it big. But most important, you have to really consider if your baby has the right temperament for all that action,” she cautions. For instance, some kids won’t let strangers hold them or won’t smile for anyone but their mama. For baby modeling to work, your child has to come alive in front of others, smiling for a room full of strangers.

All that said, if you’ve got the time, and your babe’s got the good cheer, dial a local modeling agency (none that charge an upfront fee, please!) and get those headshots sent in.

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Parents Goody Giveaway: Enter to Win a John Deere Wagon Full of Toys

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

Harvest season intersects with toy season, and if Santa is feeling a little pressured all around, this week’s giveaway of a wagon full of John Deere toys can help! 

The John Deere Steel Stake Wagon (worth approximately $200) is one we have here in our offices; it’s our secret weapon for moving props around our hallways. You’ll love pulling your kid around in it, or watching him use it himself…ideally to help you get leaves to the curb.

The winner of this giveaway will also receive the following toys: Gear Force Harvest Action Combine ($60), Monster Treads RC Gator ($50), Monster Treads Shake & Sounds Farm Armor ($35), Monster Treads Raging Bull Roundup ($30) and Kernel Shucks ($16). Most of the toys are for ages 3 years+; the wagon is for ages 2 years+, Kernal Shucks is for 18 months+, and the remote-control gater is for ages 6 years+.

The approximate retail value of the total prize is $391. That’s a nice start, Santa! For your chance to win, you can leave a comment below, up to once a day every day between now and 11:59 p.m. on Monday, November 17th. We’ll post the winner at the bottom of the thread, and please check your “other” message folder on Facebook to claim your prize. For more details, check in to our official rules. Goody luck!

We Pick the Best Toys of 2014
We Pick the Best Toys of 2014
We Pick the Best Toys of 2014

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Dear Mom: I Gave Your Brats Candy for Dinner

Friday, November 7th, 2014

By Brooke Schuldt

When I originally said I was free Saturday night, I figured it would be three hours of feeding and entertaining your kids—two boys who are very close in age—before they went to sleep and I continued my Mad Men Netflix binge.

I never imagined that I would be pinned to the ground against my will by one brother while the other taunted me by dangling my IPhone over the trash can filled with the dinner that they refused to eat.

“Give us candy for dinner instead,” the first brother yelled, “Or your phone swims with the fishes!”

Technically it would be swimming with macaroni and cheese, but I decided it was not the best time to be snarky with him. And yes, I could have just thrown the second brother off of me, but the risk of hurting him stopped me.

So, do you know what I did?

I gave them candy for dinner.

Not a lot, because I still respect your rules. But you have to understand that when one of your demon children is pinning me to the ground, and the other is looking to destroy my only connection to the outside world, desperate times call for desperate measures.

If it makes you feel any better, I put a vegetable on the table with the candy. You can probably guess where that vegetable ended up.

Babysitters work hard for our money, and only occasionally does the “I’m going to call your mom” threat actually work. Kids are resilient and barbaric.

I once had a kid trick me into thinking that he wanted to go outside, only to lock me out while he ran around the house threatening to call the police and say I was a burglar. This was all because I said, “Hey, we have played Just Dance for about an hour now. Why don’t we do something else?”

Parents, please be kind to your babysitters. Most of them follow the rules to the best of their abilities, but if your smartphone was dangling over three bowls’ worth of Kraft Easy Mac and a stranger’s son was sitting on your back, wouldn’t you just give in?

Child Care: How to Find Quality Child Care
Child Care: How to Find Quality Child Care
Child Care: How to Find Quality Child Care

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Snapchat Nanny Shows the Truth

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

** By Dana Baardsen

I’m sure when my best friend was hired as a nanny,Social Media Babies, Social Media Children, Funny Baby Stories, Funny Kid Stories
her employers had no clue that their little tykes would be so consistently featured on her Snapchat. But she isn’t shy about revealing what it’s really like to take care of kids. While my other mommy friends on social media tend to glamorize what parenthood is like, my friend, Snapchat Nanny, lets me see the moments that aren’t so picture-perfect. A few of her gems:

Hurricane Hysterics One day my friend was trying to bring the kids out of the back seat of her car, and they didn’t feel quite ready to get out. I received a little clip of the tantrums that followed. Sweeping in and out, like a hurricane, the hysterics got harsh, then a calm would suddenly roll over the kids, and then just as relief seemed to set in, the red faces, tears, and screams started all over again. It’s too bad Snapchat Nanny never even experienced a calm before the storm.

Beach-Bag Syndrome I’ve seen lots of cute baby-at-the-beach photos, but Snapchat Nanny sent me a photo of the trunk of her car packed with a stroller, cooler, and several other bags. The cooler was filled with snacks and lunches, all planned out, and the bags were each stuffed with different types of little-life necessities. This behind-the-scenes glimpse into her routine revealed the battle-like planning that goes into one simple outing.

Land of Loop My friend sends me snaps of a kid watching the same thing repeatedly, as if the show or movie is programmed to a loop setting. It doesn’t matter how many sources of entertainment there are, kids want to hear or watch the same thing over and over again. They really need to just Let It Go.

Snapchat Screenshot, Social Media and Babies, Social Media and Children

Messy-Clean Life This came in a series of three snaps. First was the mess, then was the clean after-photo, and then came the “mess again” picture. Now I know that no matter how many times you clean and organize, a mess inevitably appears when little ones run around, dispensing toys around the room like it’s their job.

End-of-the-Day Selfie I’ll never forget this one from last summertime. My friend had just left the family’s home after a grueling day of chasing tots around a hot park. She was lying down on her bed, with a red face, sweaty pores, and smeared mascara, when she snapped a selfie and captioned the photo #NannyLife.

Of course as scary as these snaps are to me (childless for now!), I know that these little moments are tiny parts of a more meaningful whole. Despite everything, I must admit some of the sweetest snaps to ever hit my inbox are also from my Snapchat Nanny.

Here, Johanna Stein of mothereffed.com shares her own harrowing real-life mothering tale.

Mother Eff'ed
Mother Eff'ed
Mother Eff'ed

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I Survived a Diaper Disaster

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

By Alice Laussade for American Baby magazine

When our first child, Penny, was 4 months old, my husband and I took her with us to shop for a new dishwasher. Half of the dirty dishes in our house were Penny’s bottles, so I figured she should come along for the decision.

Once we hit the aisles, she got fussy, so I picked her up from the stroller and took her for a walk, leaving my husband behind to sort out our options. As we walked the store, I noticed folks checking us out. Yeah, she’s super cute, I thought. You should totally be jealous.

Then, I felt it. Something was dripping off of my arm. My little angel had pooped all over me. And I mean All. Over. Me. Turns out, people were horrified by us, not enamored.

We were light-years from the stroller at that point, so I ran to the bathroom. But without my diaper bag full of everything I could ever need, I was a wreck: No wipes?! What do I do? My baby cooed. A woman in a nearby stall gagged.

And then it clicked. I’m not sure how it happened, really, but there were paper towels involved, and in the end, my baby was sparkling clean and wearing her shirt as a diaper. I was a freaking ninja. Best mom ever.

I hugged my sweet girl close to me, and she immediately barfed down the front of my shirt. Welp.

I may have left my dignity at Home Depot that day, but I did learn a lesson: No matter how well you pack your diaper bag, you can never be prepared for everything. But you’ll get through it. And one day, when your baby becomes a high schooler, you’ll use your stories to embarrass her in front of friends. And that’s what parenthood’s all about, right?
___

Assuming you’re home and not improvising on the run, here’s the ideal way to change a diaper!

How to Change a Diaper
How to Change a Diaper
How to Change a Diaper

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Tags: , | Categories: Babies, GoodyBlog

15 Things That Surprised Me About Parenthood

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

Each month in Parents, we print the 27 truest words about parenting from our favorite bloggers. Our December issue features a quote from Kelcey Kintner at Mama Bird Diaries. Read her full blog post below. 

girl sticking her tongue out1. That children will have a preference between veggie sticks with holes at the end and no holes at the end.  Whichever they like, I didn’t buy.

2. Wondering why someone just created the word’s fastest hot tub (like you can actually drive it) but no one has created a machine for children that applies sunscreen and removes lice at the same time.

3. That I will be forced to hold my pee for 3 hours (despite taking others to the bathroom) because it seems too overwhelming and exhausting to figure out how to put my baby down and pee too.

4. That I will deeply long for naps.

5. That I will be asked a lot of questions about how things are built. I finally had to explain to my kid that I am not an engineer. He now has a lot of questions about engineers.

6. That my child will ask if I am still pregnant. I’m not.

7. That my child will ask me why I am wearing pajamas at the grocery store. I will explain they are formal yoga pants. I will swear my kid just said, “If that’s what you want to tell yourself” under her breath but I can’t confirm this.

8. That my baby can cry all night long and in the morning I will rush him to the pediatrician’s office and the doctor will confirm that it is absolutely nothing. Probably a gas bubble. Maybe teething.

9. That I will pay for entire season of soccer and my daughter will not place one cleat on the field.

10. That I will pay for entire session of swimming and another daughter will not place one foot in the pool.

11. That siblings can argue about absolutely anything. Like who gets to go first, even though they can’t remember first for what.

12. That I will be willing to pay almost any amount of money for direct flights to avoid a layover with 5 children.

13. That Junie B. Jones would get herself into so much dang trouble.

14. That I will yell at my children to stop yelling.

15. That people will keep telling me that I will blink and my kids will be grown. I know this is true but I also have not yet developed my Stop Time Super Powers so I don’t know what they want me do about it.

Take our quiz to find out your parenting style.

Mom Confessions: Parenting Rules I Thought I'd Keep
Mom Confessions: Parenting Rules I Thought I'd Keep
Mom Confessions: Parenting Rules I Thought I'd Keep

Image via Shutterstock

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Shakira on Motherhood: “I’m Nailing at Least Part of the Job.”

Monday, October 27th, 2014

* Interview by Patty Adams Martinez

Today Shakira, superstar singer and mom to 21-month-old Milan (and with a baby on the way!), announced her partnership with Fisher-Price, driving the design of a new line of baby gear and toys sold on Amazon.com. Look for our exclusive interview with her in the December issue of Parents magazine, and in the meantime, here’s a bit of what she shared with us!

Q: You wanted to join forces with Fisher-Price after Milan loved the Kick & Play Piano Gym. Why do you think Milan was so captivated by it? How much of an influence was Milan in the new toys you are helping to launch?
I think the toy stimulated him on various levels—his kicking led to a concrete response from the toy, which really allowed him to understand cause and effect and how he himself could participate, while the toys overhead provided visual stimulation. Watching him play and learn was a huge eye-opener and of course, had a great influence when we were designing the new toys.

Q: Music is obviously a huge part of your life. What are Milan’s favorite songs?
I’ve played him a bit of everything, from nursery rhymes to Green Day to Frank Sinatra. If he’s anything like his mother, he will have very eclectic tastes in music.

Q: Which is Milan picking up faster: Spanish or English?
I think I would have to say, if pressed to choose, that Spanish is his first language since I am the person he most spends time with and it’s my first language. He has an equal understanding of English, Spanish, and Catalan [which Milan’s dad, Gerard Piqué, speaks]. It’s quite astounding, really. But his first words, “mama” and “papa,” could work in any of the languages, so I’m really curious to see how his language skills develop in all three as he begins to form sentences and more complex thoughts.

Q: What do you consider your biggest mommy win?
I’d say the fact that Milan trusts me more than anyone is a win. I always explain everything to him, give him reasons for everything we do or don’t do, and always tell him the truth. I can see how it makes him feel safe with me, which makes me feel that I’m nailing at least part of the job.

Q: And your biggest mommy fail?
Getting my son to eat! He no longer eats pumpkin and certain fruits he used to love as a baby, and I don’t understand why!

Q: You’ve long been a proponent of early childhood education. Why is it so important to you, and how has it become even more important to you now that you have Milan?
It’s so important to me because of its importance in changing a person’s course in life really cannot be understated. Lots of people are born into less than ideal situations on a socioeconomic level. But those who have access to education gain the tools that help them to overcome their circumstances and become the chief of their own destiny. The return on investment for early education is limitless, because children’s potential is limitless. And after becoming a mother, I now realize how important it is to instill that knowledge not only in the children themselves but in their parents, because even before our kids enter school, we are their primary educators, and the more we stimulate them and interact with them, the more prepared they will be when they go off to school, and the more likely their chance of success later on in life.

Here, teachers explain to Parents why music is so important to kids.

The Importance of Music
The Importance of Music
The Importance of Music

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Real Glam Moms: “I Do Better and Am More Motivated When I Look My Best.”

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Ashley Brickner and her family

Here’s the newest installment of a brand new series from the Parents beauty department about mommy bloggers. Each installment will feature what beauty means to real moms no matter what their beauty routine is like—and how they take time to themselves after having children. 

For one Real Glam Mom, her blog is like an online scrapbook for her child. Ashley Brickner, created Words About Waverly for her 2-year-old daughter Waverly Maye to look back on one day “to see what her childhood was like and the fun things [they] did.” With a fashion marketing teacher as a mom, Waverly has had quite a chicly dressed childhood. I even envy some of her outfits! This week, we caught up with Ashley to learn more about how she keeps Waverly busy when she’s doing her makeup and her favorite hair products.

What is your beauty routine like? 

I do the Proactiv three-step routine each morning and evening—either as soon as I wake up or right before I go to sleep. I find that I see a change in my skin immediately if I miss a couple days or if I forget to take off my makeup.  Makeup is the quickest part of my routine. I take about 10 minutes in the morning and use mostly MAC products. My hair is long and thick, so it definitely takes the longest. I dry my hair at night and curl it in the mornings using a wand to create textured waves.

How has your beauty routines changed since you had Waverly? 

Definitely the time. I have way less time to focus on getting myself ready these days.  I find that breaking up my routine—drying my hair at night, curling it in the morning—helps to get it done. Also, I try to distract my daughter BEFORE I begin by pulling out her books or giving her an assortment of her “own” makeup, which is really just all my old packages that I have already used.

The importance of taking time to yourself is… HUGE.  This is my biggest challenge as a mom—especially a working mom. I have a complete type-A personality and have always found it hard to relax. Yet ultimately, I am a better mother when I take the time for myself as I am rejuvenated to really focus on my daughter when I am with her.

The best beauty advice I’ve ever received is… to take care of my skin—especially as I get older.  I have fair skin, and when in the sun, I always wear sunscreen and stay away from tanning beds. I also aim to follow my skin care routine each day. It can be a pain, but I know how important it is!

Do you have any beauty advice for moms? 

Don’t lose your sense of style or feeling good about yourself. I still take pride in my appearance—most days!—because I feel I do better and am more motivated when I look my best.

Has your daughter ever commented on your makeup or beauty routine? 

YES!  She becomes more interested in it all the time, which makes me very happy! She loves to brush her hair, watch me put on makeup, and imitate what I do. I love buying her accessories and her own “makeup” tools to play with.

WORDS ABOUT WAVERLY’S FIVE FAVES

1.   Proactive+: It has always worked for me since high school, and I see a difference in my skin when I don’t use it.

2.    MAC Prep + Prime: I use this before I put on my foundation, and it is SUCH a difference maker, makes my skin soft, and the foundation go on more smoothly.

3.    Target Makeup Remover Wipes: Great for getting off all your makeup and making your skin feel clean and refreshed.

4.   Herbal Essences Hello Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner: Cheap and effective! I have never found it worthwhile to spend a lot of money of shampoo and conditioner.

5.     Essie nail polish in Chinchilly: Essie is my favorite brand of nail polish. As a mom, I don’t have the time for manicures anymore, so this is the next best thing!

For tips on beautifying on the fly, watch our video!

New-Mom Makeovers: How To Look Pulled-Together Fast
New-Mom Makeovers: How To Look Pulled-Together Fast
New-Mom Makeovers: How To Look Pulled-Together Fast

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