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Your Child ’ Category
Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
This is a guest post by Vinnie Penn, whose show, The Vinnie Penn Project, airs on Connecticut radio station 960/WELI. He’s wondering why his daughter didn’t inherit her mom’s love of jeans. The pickings are slim for young girls, thanks to department stores bedazzling low cut designs meant for older women.
My wife seems to think that a strong love of blue jeans should be hereditary. Her constant back and forth with our daughter over wearing jeans — she is insistent, while our daughter is resistant — tops even remote control exchanges in our house. And that’s saying something: who holds the remote is quite the power struggle ’round here.
Last year a relative gave our daughter Stella a pair of jeans for Christmas. She found them incredibly uncomfortable, adding that her “butt crack was showing.” My wife promptly stated that they would return them to the store and pick something out she’d be more comfortable in. When that something wound up being a flowing dress, her mom got incredulous (for the umpteenth time). “How can you not like jeans?” she pressed. “I just don’t,” came the reply.
While I share my wife’s surprise, to a degree, I have to admit that I applaud Stella’s standing her ground, both developing her own style and fashion sense, and repeatedly stressing that she thinks her classmates should be embarrassed that their butt-cracks are showing every time they bend over. I, too, love a good pair of jeans, and at certain points in my life have had a pair in my dresser for over 10 years at a clip. Just last year, in fact, I laid to rest a pair that truly only got softer, more comfortable, more worn and ripped in all the right places, more perfect with each washing until they literally fell apart, that it was fairly close to a pet dying. That right there is the beauty of the blue jean.
What is truly interesting is what I learned during all this. Finding a pair of jeans for a 10-year-old that isn’t styled the exact same way that they are for a 16-year-old or even a 26-year-old is indeed trickier than it was years ago. To find that basic pair — the time-honored, no frills blue jean, clearly involves a retail outlet whose commercials aren’t accompanied by a pop star’s hit song, if there’s a commercial at all. The stores are out there, and the jeans, and there is where my daughter’s first pair no doubt is. And without her I’d have never known this was going on — jeans being cut the same way for a 10-year-old that they are for a grown woman. She bent over in them that January afternoon for “proof of butt-crack” and I stared in both disbelief and dismay. Why are designers “thinking thong” when putting out a line of jeans for pre-’tweens? It’s crazy.
The commercials my kids are being bombarded with after singing along with the theme song to their fave Disney sitcom, these low-cut, glitter-adorned, sometimes bejeweled “look at me” pants started getting my attention. And holding it. Then, in the window of a shop in the mall I spotted leisure-wear my daughter’s age/size with words like “angel” and “rock star” emblazoned on the backside. Who OK’d this? Were charges ever pressed? How and when did it become acceptable to produce pants and/or jeans with words drawing one’s attention to a 8-10-year-old’s backside? I bordered on livid, but my daughter’s lack of interest staved off my anger. In retrospect I can see that it’s probably not jeans that ultimately bother her, but the flash. Yes, comfort is her number one priority, and she has said so many times, which is why these “flash-first” jeans stand no chance (and standing is all a little girl can even do in them!). Good, old-fashioned, worn blue jeans, that’s the trick. In fact, this is where it all tied together. You see, my wife and I love jeans the way they were when we were our daughter’s age, and that we still actively seek out. They are as I mentioned: worn, comfortable, even frayed. The key word is the middle one: Comfortable. Why would a little girl find today’s jeans comfortable?We are of the generation when jeans were considered dressing down, “chilling” as it were. When my wife and I were 10 there was no such thing as “dress jeans.” But they exist today, as do rock star ones, ones with the holes manufactured, as opposed to earned, and so on. We’d have never lasted in today’s inflexible, self-destructing jeans, either. We — and perhaps you — need to actively seek your daughter’s comfy jeans out. My wife keeps asking how my daughter can’t love jeans and Stella can’t understand her not understanding that they are uncomfortable. How could she? They were the comfort option when we were kids!
Meanwhile, not long after all this started, my wife was delighted to discover this summer that Stella’s jeans ban doesn’t extended to denim shorts. “No butt-crack,” I heard her telling her mom. “And no wedgie, either.” That’s when I entered the room and saw that the very jeans we had returned some six months ago were still in the house. A few sizes bigger and on my wife.
Image of girl wearing jeans via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
This is a guest post by Vinnie Penn, whose show, The Vinnie Penn Project, airs on Connecticut radio station 960/WELI. He’s wondering why his son’s friends prefer villains instead of heroes. Times have changed since Vinnie was a kid, and it looks like not everyone wants to be the good guy anymore.
My 6-year-old son came home from school in a bad mood one day. This is not commonplace. It seems he and his friends were playing “The Avengers” during recess and he didn’t get to be Hawkeye, his favorite superhero in the group. (“The Avengers” was the game du jour for the majority of the Fall of 2012, thanks to the blockbuster summer film based on the much-loved Marvel Comic series.) He was relegated to Thor, which you’d think would be considered a score, what with this particular character having a franchise all his own, and even a sequel due this coming Fall. But, no, my son prefers the archer Hawkeye, a hero with zero super-powers, just a sharp eye and an arrow for every occasion. He kept getting bounced between Thor and Hulk, both dead last picks on this elementary school playground, Iron Man, Captain America and Hawkeye being the most-coveted. With – get this – villain Loki right up there with that trio.
By Spring 2013 life got better at school. My little guy came home beaming one day that he “got to be” Luke Skywalker during recess. (The whole thing begs the question of who was doling out the roles; what is the process – could it be the time-honored rock, paper, scissor? I never inquired.) I suggested maybe he landed the plum gig of Luke because that’s his name. He shook his head no, still waving an imaginary light-saber, off, ostensibly, to destroy the Death Star. As of a few weeks ago he was Batman almost every day for a stretch, opting for Robin one day just to mix things up. Life was good.
Then, one night at dinner, he brought up Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Recess again; he was curious as to why any of his classmates would want to be the bad guy at all, basically inferring that being the bad guy was the stuff of short straw-drawing. “Daddy,” he began, “how come they all fought over who got to be Darth Vader?” I suggested it could perhaps be the voice, the “I am your father,” and so on and so forth. But when he pressed, moving on to The Joker, Batman’s ultimate nemesis, and wondering why everyone wanted to be him – “Even Matthew!!” – I drew a real blank. The Joker of my youth bordered on buffoon and got very little screen time. Today’s Joker is, arguably, the star of the show. In the Tim Burton film version Jack Nicholson is billed before Michael Keaton, the former playing the villain and the latter the hero! When did the villain become the star?
“They all say The Joker’s cool,” my Luke added, incredulous. He went on: “I’m like, cool? He’s the bad guy!” Then, after a pause, a gulp of milk, a bit of thought, he said softly, “But whatever. I love being Batman.” He’s a rare breed nowadays, I thought to myself. Not necessarily my son – the hero.
Image: boy in superhero costume, via Shutterstock
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batman, Captain America, DADvice, Darth Vader, GoodyBlog, Hawkeye, heroes, Iron Man, Luke Skywalker, The Avengers, The Hulk, The Joker, Thor, villains, Vinnie Penn | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Your Child
Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
“We’re all different. And we think that’s beautiful.”
If you agree with that statement (and we’re guessing you do!), then you’ll appreciate the “Everybody Plays” campaign from Infantino and Step2, the companies whose baby and kid products you’re sure to have in your home. Everybody Plays promotes acceptance and inclusion for all children, everywhere, and is supported by the National Down Syndrome Society.
Today, as part of the campaign, the companies have kicked off a casting call for kids ages 3 months to 5 years of all backgrounds and abilities. Fifty lucky winners will be invited to take part in a two-day photo shoot with author/photojournalist—and friend of Parents—Kelle Hampton for an upcoming ad campaign. Infantino and Step2 will award an additional grand prize-winning family an all-expenses paid trip to San Diego to join the other winners for the photo shoot in September.
Infantino brand manager Colette Cosky and Kelle Hampton are both proud mothers of children with Down syndrome. Colette guest-blogged for us a few months back, describing her wishes for her son, Dexter. And Kelle, creator of the wildly popular blog “Enjoying The Small Things”, appeared in Parents back in 2010 when she shared the incredibly moving story of the birth of her daughter, Nella.
Think your child could be the next face of Infantino and Step2? Check out the official rules and fill out the entry form at the Everybody Plays Facebook Page. Good luck!
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Monday, July 8th, 2013
Even though kids have more free time in the summer, they often exercise less—especially if it’s sweltering outside. This is the perfect time to check out Adventure to Fitness, an educational fitness DVD program. The 30-minute animated episodes have been a hit with more than 75,000 teachers, who use them with their students. Now they are available for families—and are sold either as individual DVDs or streaming video. Each episode—such as Chinese Challenge, Colonial Chaos, and Serengeti Stampede—takes kids on a journey around to globe or back in time to learn cool facts about history, animals, the environment, and nutrition. Kids can keep both their minds and bodies active while school’s out!
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Friday, July 5th, 2013
Yesterday, my little one and I spent our 1st full day at the beach this summer, and after about 5 minutes under the umbrella, I heard the dreaded “This is boring.” So the rest of our beach day consisted of her collecting seashells (and an accidental crab!), while I chased behind her applying sunblock every hour.
Thankfully, Snapper Rock has created a line of UV50+ swimwear for babies and kids that blocks 98% of UV rays. And, because no one should spend a beach day the way I did, we’re giving away a Snapper Rock top and bottom along with a Snapper Rock bucket hat and swim bag.
Leave a comment below, up to one a day between now and the end of the day on Wednesday, July 10th, and you can win a Snapper Rock UV50+ Swimwear Package, worth $127. If you win, you’ll have a choice of choice of a UV50 Top and Ruffle Bikini in Stars and Stripes in size 2, 3, or 4, or a UV50 short sleeve swim shirt and board shorts in any size 0 to 12.
Here’s where you can read the official rules. Goody luck!
Congratulations to our winner Joni Roller!
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Friday, June 28th, 2013
“Where do babies come from?” is a question that most parents may not feel equipped to answer on the spot. Thankfully, “What Makes a Baby” by Cory Silverberg recently came across my desk, and the picture book immediately grabbed my attention (and the attention of several colleagues) with its bright colors.
The book starts with the basics of conception by introducing an egg and a sperm and explaining how both are needed to create a baby. In a smart move, the story avoids elaborating on the physical ways babies are made (i.e. through sex, IVF, and surrogates) and focuses instead on the behind-the-scenes biological process. Short and breezy sentences explain the fertilization of the egg and sperm (“When an egg and a sperm meet, they swirl together in a special kind of dance. As they dance, they talk to each other.”), the baby’s gestation period in the uterus, and the baby’s eventual birth. While it may feel odd to read and say words like egg, sperm, uterus, and vagina out loud to your kids, the book presents these natural terms in a matter-of-fact way to temper any squeamishness and embarrassment.
Silverberg, a sex educator, started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the book and to cover the cost of illustrations and the printing. Good thing he surpassed his goal since the drawings by Fiona Smyth really give the book an extra special zing. Even though there are drawings of a uterus and two birth scenes (vaginal and C-section) that may also seem jarring at first, the round cartoon shapes and the neon colors give the book a fun, happy, and modern feel. The book is appropriate for ages 4-8, and you can find it on Amazon.com and BN.com.
Now parents can have easy-going, straightforward, and (hopefully) painless discussions with kids about the miracle of birth!
More Related Features on Parents.com
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Babies, baby, birth, conception, Fertility, giving birth, sperm, what makes a baby | Categories:
Babies, Entertainment, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Pregnancy, Your Child
Thursday, June 27th, 2013
Last month, for every Boppy pillow purchased at Babies R Us, The Boppy Company pledged to donate one of their nursing pillows to Nurse-Family partnerships agencies, which can distribute them to women in need. The Get One, Give One program led to more than $250,000 in donated Boppy pillows, exciting new since our American Baby readers consistently rank the pillow as one of the most-necesary baby products!
Are you nursing or planning to start? Leave a comment below and you could win one of two nursing sets from Boppy. Each set includes a $40 Boppy pillow and one of their $25 nursing covers. Here’s where you can read all of our official rules. Goody luck!
PS This year’s updated list of the products our readers deem most necessary when you have a baby will be in our October issue, so if you’re not already an American Baby subscriber, sign up! We’re making our list and checking it twice!
Read the official rules here.
Congratulations to our winners Caron Boggs and Autumn Hall!
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Thursday, June 27th, 2013
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
Our America host Lisa Ling has sure been one busy first-time mom! Aside from taking care of her five-month-old daughter, Jett, the TV journalist serves as an Ambassador for The IKEA Life Improvement Project. This initiative donates to Save the Children‘s Early Steps For School program that supports early education.
Lisa opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her role as a Life Improvement Project Ambassador, why the Early Steps For School program is so important, and how her little girl Jett is doing. She also shares a funny story about how she once had to Fed-Ex her milk to Jett when she was on the road working on the fifth season of Our America!
CBS: Tell us about your role as an Ambassador for the IKEA Life Improvement Project.
LL: “IKEA approached me last year about becoming an Ambassador. I am such a huge fan of IKEA and always have been. In fact, when my husband and I built our home three years ago, we used a ton of IKEA products in our house. We built the first LEED-certified platinum home in Santa Monica, as we are both nerdy environmentalists. [laughs]
Many people don’t realize that IKEA is incredibly philanthropic. IKEA’S Life Improvement Project is a site where people can submit ideas, suggestions, and stories abut how they improved their lives and their homes, so others can get ideas from them. For every idea submitted, a dollar goes to Save the Children’s early education effort. This is something that really appealed to me. At the conclusion of the project, IKEA will present fifty thousand dollars to Save the Children. I was really excited about that.”
CBS: You will help IKEA present the very generous donation to Save the Children’s Early Steps for School Success program. What is the program all about?
LL: “I’ve always been an advocate for early childhood education. My mother-in-law actually helped start the program in Newark, New Jersey. Save the Children works in low-income communities to help young children get access to early education. It’s something I wish more communities would try to do, because it’s been proven that when children get exposed to early education, their cognitive abilities develop and it helps them become more successful in the end.”
CBS: How’s your baby girl, Jett, doing? Is she an easy baby? Have you been able to get a lot of sleep?
LL: “She’s great! Fortunately for all of us, she’s napping right now. [laughs] She’s enriched our lives in such a profound way. We feel so lucky, albeit I am a little sleep deprived.” [laughs]
CBS: What is your favorite part about being a mom so far? Do you have any special motherhood moments to share?
LL: “To be honest, my favorite part about being a mom is going into her room at night and just staring at her. I can stare at her forever… feeling that connection to this little person is so amazing. As strange as it sounds, my biggest fear about having a child was being responsible for another life. However, one thing I derive pleasure from is knowing that I have this person to take care of who needs me. She is such a beautiful little life.
My favorite motherhood moments are every time she smiles. She recently just started smiling and laughing, and there’s this little sounds she makes when she laughs that warms my heart.”
CBS: You waited so long to become a mom, is motherhood everything you thought it would be? Has it transformed you or changed you?
LL: “It’s funny you ask that, because I was never that woman who had this desire to have a baby; it wasn’t my long-awaited wish. Now that we have her, I can’t imagine life without her because she’s brought so much joy to my life. I was terrified of motherhood before having her; I even spent the day before she was born crying and thinking to myself, ‘What have we done? We can’t go back now!’ [laughs] Now we are at a place where we can’t imagine life without her.
Motherhood has transformed me, because the world looks so different now. I’ve always wanted to do things that help me expand my horizons and my mind, and I’ve always wanted to do work that I could be proud of. Now I want my work to be something that my daughter is proud of.”
CBS: Do you believe “women having it all” is unrealistic or is it attainable?
LL: “I don’t think it is realistic at all. I think women make so many sacrifices, much more than men do. It’s okay to not have it all, it’s okay to ask for help, and it’s okay to say, ‘I need to talk to someone and I need to confide in other people about things.’ I think the idea of women having it all is nice to imagine, but I don’t think it is really possible. I think we can have a whole lot of things and we can be good at a lot of things, but we also should feel like it’s okay to ask for help when we need it.”
CBS: What upcoming projects do you have?
LL: “I am now working on the fifth season of my show, Our America. It isn’t airing until next year, but I’m already on the road a bit here and there, which is definitely challenging. The last trip I took was a week long and I ended up Fed-Exing my milk for Jett, which is funny because it really worked! [laughs] I Fed-Exed it overnight and when it arrived, a lot of it was still totally frozen. Technology and all of the things we are able to do to expedite things are amazing.”
CBS: What are you and your family doing this summer? Any fun family trips?
LL: “We are probably going to stay home a lot, because I am doing tons of work. My husband and I are also going to Mongolia. We were supposed to go last year, but I got pregnant and we had to postpone the trip to the end of this summer. Mongolia is the place I’ve always wanted to visit the most. I’ve always been fascinated with the Mongol Empire and I’ve been to so many other countries surrounding Mongolia. I’m super excited to go! Both grandmas have been kind enough to watch Jett for a week.”
More Celebrity Parenting News:
Brooke Burke-Charvet: “It’s Hardly Ever Boring In Our House”
Pregnant & Dating’s Rachel Klein: My Babies Had Their Own Birth Plan
Mayim Bialik: “I Am Not Excited” About Dating Again
Hilaria Baldwin Hosts Baby Shower For Military Moms
Celebrity Baby Scoop is one of the most popular blogs on the topic and the foremost provider of everything celebrity-baby, featuring baby fashion, baby names, baby trends and up-to-the-minute celebrity baby gossip and pics. Get all the latest news, updates, and photos about Hollywood’s most beloved celebrity moms, dads and their babies. Who’s the latest Tinseltown baby? Who’s due next and who just announced a pregnancy? It’s all on Celebrity Baby Scoop.
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