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Friday, October 4th, 2013
Math just got a little more fun with PEG + CAT, the new animated series from PBS KIDS. The show premieres this Monday, October 7, and promises to make problem-solving skills a breeze for your preschooler.
In each 30-minute episode, Peg and her lovable sidekick Cat encounter dilemmas that require some big thinking. Whether they’re trying a hand at adding and subtracting or learning broader concepts like size and geometry, the pair never back down from a number challenge (or a catchy learning tune). With backdrops like a pirate island or futuristic planet, the program proves math can be exciting and happen in the most unexpected places.
PEG + CAT comes at a vital time when children’s math skills are in dire need. National assessments have shown that 60 percent of students are performing below proficient levels in math by the fourth grade, according to the 2011 National Assessment of Education Progress Report.
Another inspiring element of the show: The main character is a young girl. While women make up 48 percent of the workforce, only 23 percent are in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Let’s hope a character as spirited and outspoken as Peg will be inspiration for boys AND girls everywhere to get their brains calculating.
Beyond math, PEG + CAT shows young ones the process of trial and error, such as figuring out multiple ways to move 100 chickens back to their coop. She may not get it right the first time, but Peg eventually learns from her mistakes and seeks help from friends along the way, both awesome life skills for the real world as well.
Want to get a sneak peek this weekend? Visit the show’s interactive website pbskids.org/peg, where you can also find local listings for the show, or download the PET + CAT Big Gig app for games and learning resources now.
Check out the video below to see how PEG + CAT was created!
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child education, early education, education, kids shows, learning, math, math skills, pbs kids, PEG + CAT, preschool, preschooler, preschoolers, problem solving, public television, stem, Television, television shows | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Time for Fun, Your Child
Friday, October 4th, 2013
Flu season is approaching, but that won’t stop Tia Mowry. Parents chatted with her upon the launch of a new flu vaccine and she shared tips for dealing with a sick baby, having a different parenting style than her twin, Tamera, and she let us help her cement her upcoming Halloween plans!
P: What makes you so passionate about this health issue in particular?
TM: I’m a busy mom. I’m always on the go. I’m an entrepreneuer, I’m a wife, I’m a sister, I’m a working mom, but my family’s health is my number one priority and my health is my number one priority. To be honest with you I never realized the importance of the flu vaccination, but after really understanding how the flu can take a huge toll on the entire family—because we all know once a mom is down or sick it’s instant chaos—I realized that it was really important to make sure that flu vaccinations were a part of my family’s annual routine.
P: What would you say to the mom who is nervous about vaccinating her child?
TM: When we think about vaccinations, we think about needles. Needles aren’t, I don’t think, anyone’s best friend. That creates a sense of fear when it comes to vaccinations. One thing I love about FluMist Quadrivalent: it’s needle-free. You know you’re not going to have a crying child leave the pediatrician’s office, which is a plus. (Editor’s note: The flu mist is for children ages 2 and up.) The other thing is, it’s FDA-approved, and when I know things have been FDA-approved I feel ok about that. I want to protect my child in the best way that I possibly can.
P: When Cree does get sick, what are your non-medicine ways to help him feel better?
TM: The first thing that I do when my son gets sick is give him extra extra extra love and extra attention. Kids get scared. They don’t know what’s going on with their bodies and things are happening that doesn’t normally happen, they’re sneezing, they’re coughing and they get scared. Just to support them in a way that they feel comfortable, whether that’s letting them sleep with you, taking a nap with them, doing soft gentle things with them, I think is beneficial.
The other thing is: Vick’s has always been huge in my family. It just helps. I actually put Vicks on the bottom of his feet, it helps with coughs and it really really works. Instead of just applying it on the chest or the back, I apply it on his feet and put little socks over. Then I get a humidifier going and he’s fine.
P: Speaking of mom advice, you came out with your book of pregnancy tales and advice last year. What is the single most valuable piece of advice you want pregnant moms to know?
TM: The most difficult thing for me was worrying that everything would be okay. The best thing that I could say is “just relax.” I know it’s easier said than done and I’ve been through it already, but the more relaxed you are the better it will be for you and the baby. Don’t get on the internet and try to look at every wrong possible scenario that could happen. And sleep while you can. Everybody would tell me this, but I would not listen. Make sure you get as much sleep as you possibly can because when you become a mom—sleep, what? There is no such thing as sleep.
For moms in general, follow your instincts. I believe we have been born to do this, to be moms. We’re natural nurturers, so trust your instincts. Go at your own pace. I never realized how much judgment comes with certain parenting styles. Do what’s best for you and your family and that’s ok. If you are an attachment parent and you have the type of style, that’s fine. If you’re not, that’s fine. Don’t judge other moms. I think that’s the worst thing you can do to any mom and any child. Whether it’s breastfeeding, not breastfeeding, attachment parenting, co-sleeping. Every parent has their own journey.
P: Your sister, Tamera, is also a new mom. Are your parenting styles similar or different?
TM: My sister and I have very different parenting styles. I’m definitely more of the attachment parent. I sleep with my son. I pay close attention to his emotional needs. If I could have breasfed until he was 2, I would have. I loved breastfeeding. That’s why we came out with Need Milky, because I was devastated that my milk dried up after three months. I’m not going to spank my child. I don’t believe in spanking. I was spanked as a child, so I have an interesting perspective about that. I do believe in setting boundaries. I think a child definitely has to understand their boundaries because when they go out in the real world not everything is going to go their way, but I don’t think that spanking is a form of discipline that works for everybody.
P: As twins and as co-stars you are so close, how do you deal with a clash about parenting styles?
TM: I’m going to be honest, that’s why I say “don’t be judgmental.” Sometimes I would think “Oh my gosh, are you judging me? Are you judging my parenting style? Do you think I’m not a good mom or a good parent because I’m co-sleeping with my child and you’re deciding not to?” We’ve realized that we have different lifestyles. There’s a reason why I do what I do. I work a lot. When I’m gone from my child, to then be able to sleep with him and to be able to feel his hand on my face and to hear him go “Muhmuh” in the middle of the night it melts my heart. Whereas, Tamera, she’s more at home so maybe she wants to have a little break. What helped us with that clash is not judging one another. We do what we do because it’s what’s best for our families, not that we believe one is the right way or the wrong way of parenting.
P: It’s interesting because obviously you came from the same family, but have very different interpretations of the events that you both experienced and how that translates to your sons.
TM: It shows how your children are watching. My sister’s way of parenting is very close to my mom’s way of parenting, whereas I’m like the free one. I’m the free bird. I like to try different approaches and have a mind of my own in a way. So I say, “Ok that worked for you, but I see it differently.” It’s interesting when you have your mom saying, “Honey, why does your 2-year-old still have a bottle.” And I say, “If he wants to have a bottle—this is what I mean by listening to him emotionally—he can have a bottle.” I know he’s not going to be 9 years old with a bottle, so if he wants to suck a bottle right now and that’s bringing him comfort, that’s fine. I trust my child in his development.
P: Speaking of age and developmental milestones, I know that Cree is 2. What is your favorite thing about this age?
TM: My favorite thing about this age is that I can now communicate with my child. I can kind of understand what he’s saying. There’s a lot of babbling. I love the way when I’m driving and we’ve been in the car for about an hour and he wants Mommy’s attention he says “hand, hand, hand” and I can reach back and give him my hand. I like the way I’m able to understand him more, he’s able to understand me more. I like the way he’s able to have his own point of view now or his own interests. He likes Curious George. He likes Thomas the Train. He was not too fond about the Chica show. That’s fine. I like that. Little bits of his personality are coming out.
P: Now that he’s vaccinated and there is no fear of going out and catching the flu, what is your favorite autumn and winter activities that you’re looking forward to sharing with Cree?
TM: My son loves being outside. He’s living up to his name, Cree, after a tribe of Native Americans who were warriors who would travel around the world. He always wants to go out and about. We love going to The Grove in L.A. For winter there is Santa Claus and there’s this big huge tree and he gets to meet Santa Claus, so that’s what I’m looking forward to. I also just got him a new wardrobe at Zara. I love ZaraKids. He’s looking like a little Jay-Z, he has on these puffy bubble jackets with these cool corduroy pants and boots. I can’t wait to dress him in fun fall clothes.
P: Speaking of dressing up, Halloween is upon us. Do you have a costume planned for him?
TM: I have to tell this story. I was working last year for Halloween, I was doing Baggage Claim. My husband took my son around the block for Halloween. My husband dressed as Mario and my son was dressed as a frog. It was so cute. For the other one he was a boxer—I had to get him more than one because it was his first Halloween. This year I think I want to be a Geisha with the whole makeup, but I don’t know what Cree could be.
P: Maybe a little sushi roll?
TM: Oh that’s such a good idea! That is so cute. And then what should my husband be? A samurai!
P: Will he go trick-or-treating with his cousin or is Tamera’s Aden too young?
TM: He will be dressed up and I think that will be great. I’m thinking about having a huge Halloween party at my house and having all cool punches and desserts and food that’s very Halloween-themed. That’s what I want to do.
P: I know that Instant Mom is coming up. Is your character’s mothering anything like what it is with Cree, or maybe when Cree gets older?
TM: I think where Stephanie Phillips’ parenting skills are right now is kind of like how I was when I first had Cree. When you’re a new mom, you’re a fish out of water. You don’t really know what you’re doing. It’s trial and error basically. You can read all these books and get advice, but you kind of have to go through the experience yourself. So it reminds me of that, when I was a new mom. People would say that I’m a fun mom and I’m a hot mama and Stephanie is that. She is a hot, fun mom. She definitely has not lost who she is and her essence as a woman now that she’s become a mom and that’s how I am. But I add a lot of my own personality to my character, that she is just a lot of fun but when it comes down to discipline she’s serious with the kids. She feels “I know I’m your mom and you want me to be your friend, but at the same time I’m the mom.” But for me, my goal is to be the best mom I can possibly be.
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Friday, October 4th, 2013
Interview by Ilyssa Panitz
Hilaria Baldwin would have to agree with the old saying that good things happen in threes. She just released her new Fit Mommy-to-Be prenatal DVD; her husband, Emmy-winner Alec Baldwin, is set to become the host for a new talk show on MSNBC; and — last but not least in the trio of bliss — the couple’s baby girl, Carmen Gabriela, made her big New York debut on August 23. Parents.com caught up with the new working mom a second time to find out what motherhood is like in the fast lane. (Read a previous interview with Hilaria about pregnancy and fitness secrets.) Follow her on Twitter @hilariabaldwin.
If you had to sum up the birth of your child in one word, which one would you pick?
WOW. There isn’t one word that is strong enough to describe the feeling. Birth was absolutely incredible. My husband said it was a miracle, and I agree that it was pretty miraculous. I didn’t realize I could love something so deeply.
Some new moms write down when they feed the baby and change her, and how long she sleeps, so they can learn their child’s pattern. Have you done the same? What is Carmen’s schedule?
I was writing everything down at the beginning, especially before she gained back her birth weight. Now I am at the point where Carmen and I are in sync with each other, so I no longer have to write everything down. Carmen wakes up around 11 P.M. and then again around 2 A.M. and 5:30 A.M.
I read that baby Carmen has her days and nights confused. How are you coping with the situation?
We had some nights that were rough. She is up every two to three hours because she needs to eat, but she also likes to hang out and spend time with us.
What has been the biggest adjustment you had to make?
I am definitely sleeping differently, but I think my last trimester prepared me for the lack of sleep, because I was waking up all the time needing the bathroom! (Laughs) Aside from the sleep issue, I’ve also had to adjust to having another person in the house. My little person has needs, and because we love her so much, we want to cater to her every single need and make her as happy as possible. Another thing I have adjusted: priorities. I used to run to this meeting and that meeting, and now my life revolves around home, where we build everything around Carmen’s schedule.
What books or websites have you found useful?
When I was pregnant I read, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel. If I have any other questions, I go right to the Internet or I ask my baby nurse or my mom.
What books do you like to read to Carmen?
Are You My Mother?, by P.D. Eastman. I even read it to her in Spanish because I want her to speak Spanish. When I read this book, Carmen just coos, shifts her head from side to side, and smiles.
Your husband has been down the baby road before, so has he given you any advice?
It was so long ago — it’s really apples and oranges. He feels that this is a brand-new experience. But you can tell he has done this before. He’s so at ease when he holds the baby. I honestly feel like we are both new parents who are taking this journey together.
Photo credit: Acacia/Arthur Cohen
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Alec Baldwin, baby, birth, celebrities, celebrity interview, celebrity parent, celebrity parents, childbirth, hilaria baldwin, motherhood | Categories:
Babies, celebrities, Entertainment, GoodyBlog
Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
Whether it’s poor manners, slacking on chores, or forgetting to feed the dog, most kids dodge responsibility from time to time. If you can catch your kid in the act on camera, we can help! Share short videos—2 minutes or less in length—of your child’s biggest behavior challenges with Parents, and selected submissions will received personalized expert advice. Send your video to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your child’s name and age and your daytime phone number, to enter.
Here are some best video practices to get you started:
- It’s fine to film on your phone—in fact, it’s encouraged!
- Set up your shot as if you were taking a photo.
- Make sure there is plenty of light. Turn on several lights, if you are inside.
- If you shoot handheld, use two hands to steady the phone. Or, use a table or a book to prop your phone up, to have a completely steady shot.
- Audio is key. Make sure the phone is close enough to your kid so that you can hear him. And don’t be afraid to have your child repeat something he’s said.
Submission of your material constitutes permission for Meredith Corporation to allow its use in all media.
Image: Mom video taping child via Shutterstock.
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Tuesday, September 24th, 2013
You probably know that infants should snooze about 14 to 15 hours total (nighttime rest plus naps) every 24 hours. So why does it feel like your sweetie is always awake? Or the minute her sleepy head hits the crib, she pops her eyes wide open? Because making sure your infant gets good zzz’s takes a lot of hard work, time and practice!
We’d love for you to share your thoughts and opinions with us about all things sleep-related for babies from birth to age one.
Please take a moment to complete our short survey. You can also enter to win a Babies “R” Us gift card. And who couldn’t use a little cash for baby gear?! But hurry! This survey and sweepstakes ends October 4.
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Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Yesterday we had the pleasure of hanging out with Elmo and Murray, who dropped by to help spread the word about Sesame Street‘s 44th season, which kicked off Monday. (That’s me and Michael Kress, executive editor of Parents.com, proudly posing with the muppets.) The theme of the season is self-regulation, otherwise known as that thing most of our kids haven’t quite mastered. The shows will focus on helping children master skills like managing emotions, making transitions, being flexible, screening out distractions, and remembering rules–all of which will help them in school, or help them get ready for school.
We asked Elmo and Murray all kinds of questions: Do you ever get so frustrated that you want to push or hit someone? What happens when your mom and dad serve you a meal that you really don’t like? Do you fight with your siblings? (They don’t have any, but they still had a good answer about getting along with others.) You’ll see what they had to say in a fun video series we’ll show you soon–and you can show your own children as a way to get them on board with good behaviors. (I know I’ll be showing my girls what Murray had to say about trying foods he doesn’t think he’s going to like.) In the meantime, have your children check out the new season of “Sesame Street”–though I’ll bet they are already–which includes a new segment called “Cookie’s Crumby Pictures,” movie spoofs that show Cookie encountering all kinds of opportunities to show off his self-regulation skills.
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Thursday, September 12th, 2013
By Patty Adams Martinez
In honor of National Diaper Need Awareness Week, which is this week, Giuliana Rancic has teamed up with Huggies Every Little Bottom and Baby2Baby to bring awareness to the incredible need Americans have for diapers. The facts are heartbreaking: One in 20 American moms struggling with diaper need, cleans out and reuses a soiled disposable diaper; others aren’t able to put their children in daycare—even if it’s free—because they require a full day’s supply of disposable diapers per child. Huggies launched the National Diaper Bank Network to help provide diapers to those in need.
Giuliana, an E! correspondent, Fashion Police co-host and mom to adorable son, Duke, took time out of her busy schedule to tell Parents why she got involved with this cause, as well as some fun facts about her as a mom, what she and hubby Bill get most competitive over, and her best time-savers for new moms.
Why was it important to you to get involved with Huggies Every Little Bottom and Baby2Baby to help fight diaper need?
A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics was consistent with a 2010 Huggies study that found more than 1 in 3 U.S. moms experience diaper need. The statistic shocked me and I had no idea so many moms struggled to provide clean and dry diapers for their babies. I joined Huggies Every Little Bottom and Baby2Baby last month to help raise awareness of the issue and hopefully increase the rate of diaper donation to our food and diaper banks. I hope readers will help spread the word and donate too by playing fun games at Huggies.com/Tester.
It was no secret that you really wanted to be a mom. You were very public about your struggle with infertility, and the fact that Duke was born via surrogate. So has motherhood met your expectations?
Motherhood has definitely exceeded my expectations. Before Duke was born, I researched how to be a good parent, asked for advice from my mother and read every parenting book that exists to prepare myself. All that preparation went out the window when Duke was born. I am a mother now and he is everything to me in a way I never knew I could love someone – that’s something you just cannot be prepared for. I want to do whatever it takes to provide for Duke and give him what’s best now and later.
How has motherhood changed you?
When you become a mom, your priorities shift and I think that’s the biggest factor that has changed for me. My husband and work have always been my top priorities, but now that we have Duke, my priorities have definitely shifted. I of course still make Bill a priority and my work is important but I have definitely experienced “mom guilt.” So, I just try to be 100 percent focused on what I’m doing—when at work, I focus on that so that when I am off work I can completely be focused on my family. Some days it works and some days it’s hard!
What is your biggest strength as a mom so far?
I think my biggest strength as a mom, and Bill as a father, is keeping our marriage at the front and center and showing Duke that the most important thing for him is to have a loving, healthy family. We really want to instill this in him and know that we will always be there for him.
And your biggest weakness?
I guess it’s that I am still learning! Duke is a year old now, but I of course still question some of the decisions we make. We’re living and learning all together every day and I think that’s all we can really ask for!
What’s your best mom skill?
Oh my gosh! Bill is a pro at bath time, but I think I take the cake at silencing a crying baby. I don’t know if it’s a mother’s intuition but I can usually figure out what Duke needs pretty quickly to make him a happy boy.
You and Bill are always playfully competitive. What part of parenting are you better at than Bill? Where does he have an edge over you?
I think I’m better at sharing Duke! I always say this, but Bill is such a baby hog, he is always stealing him from me! Every morning we have a race to get Duke out of bed first because he is just so cute and sweet when he wakes up, and Bill is always trying to beat me to it. Bill, I have to say, can make Duke smile like nobody else when they are playing. What can I say, Duke is going to be a man’s man just like Bill.
What’s the biggest time-saver you’ve learned so far as a mom?
I think the biggest time-saver is simple – planning. You’re going to a have spills, a crying baby, dirty diapers and a lunch time mess that will need a quick and easy fix. My advice is to keep it simple and plan on those things happening. I used to pack everything in Duke’s diaper bag, but now I know what I need—two bibs, a change of clothes, an extra teething toy and plenty of diapers and wipes!
For more celebrity pregnancy news check out Patty’s Everything Pregnancy blog.
Image of Giuliana Rancic Courtesy of Huggies
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Friday, August 30th, 2013
No longer just a mystical being, the tooth fairy has become a serious expense for families. A new survey from Visa shows that children are raking in an average of $3.70 per tooth, a 23 percent increase from $3 in 2012. That means a full set of 20 baby teeth goes for $74 these days.
Luckily, Visa’s free Tooth Fairy Calculator can help you determine just how much to leave your little trooper. Available for iPhones and iPads as well as on Facebook, the app allows you to enter several demographic factors, including gender, age and income, to see what the famed pixie is leaving at other similar households.
Though you don’t have to follow the app’s projections, it could be a great opportunity to teach your child the value of money.
When I was a kid, a visit from the tooth fairy always made the pain of shedding a molar worthwhile. Her offerings were greater than allowance because they appeared as if by magic. It made me want to hoard the cash even more to save for an extra special purchase.
Looking back, the tooth fairy sparked the saving bug that would later become so important in my transition to adulthood. A frugal fairy isn’t any less caring about the turmoil of losing baby teeth. She’s just more focused on making sure your guy or girl learns good spending habits for the future.
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