Posts Tagged ‘
Wednesday, June 11th, 2014
The sun is shining and families everywhere are kicking off summer—including Busy Philipps and her brood! Cougartown actress and mom of two young girls, Busy lives up to her name by packing the season with tons of fun activities. She’s teamed up with Banana Boat to make sure she and her gals stay protected from the sun, and Parents chatted with Busy about her daughters, Birdie, almost 5, and Cricket, almost 1, her penchant for arts and crafts, and the parenting problem she grapples with every day.
P: You’ve teamed up with Banana Boat for the Best Summer Ever campaign. Why did you want to get involved?
BP: The whole idea behind having the best summer ever is helping moms. Summers can be long. Look, let’s be honest: You need some help thinking of new activities to do with your kids. You want to be outdoors and encourage outdoor play and you want to limit the time watching television and playing video games and sometimes you need an idea or two to get you through.
P: A lot of families choose to sign their kids up for camp to keep them engaged. Cricket is a little young, but does Birdie go to camp?
BP: Cricket goes to sleep away camp. She’s 1 [Laughs]. No really, Birdie goes to day camp in the summer. We have a two-week Frozen dance camp.
P: Sign me up!
BP: Yeah! We’re all in that one together [Laughs]. She’s going to kindergarten next year, so she’s doing a little getting ready for kindergarten camp at her new school, which I feel like a lot of kids do during that transitional summer. She’s doing one of my favorite camps called Magic in the Forest that two women run in Los Angeles. It takes like 12-15 little girls, although there are occasionally some boys along for the ride too, and they explore for fairies in the park. Honest to God almost makes me tear up talking about it. Every year it’s a different story—what’s happened to the fairies and what they have to help the fairies do. It’s magical.
P: What—aside from fairy camp—is the key ingredient to the best summer ever?
BP: I think that what makes summer so special, even if you’re a working parent, if you’re able to take a week off to really spend that time with your kids and be focused on them. Let’s get out—and that’s where the sunscreen comes into play obviously because you need to remember to be protected. Coming up with fun activities even if you only have a Saturday with your kids that they’ll remember and cherish.
I read this book called No Regrets Parenting and there’s this statistic in it. It’s like you have only 900 Saturdays [P: 940 Saturdays] I’m gonna start crying—940!—from when they’re born to when they’re 18. When you consider that so many of those Saturdays are birthday parties and soccer games and Little League and all these other things, why aren’t we spending these Saturdays just loving every second of it? Especially in the summer. Put your phone in your back pocket and don’t check it for three hours. The world is not gonna end. I do this myself. Get outside and spend good quality time with your kids.
P: What are some fun outdoor activities you like to do?
BP: For Mother’s Day this year Birdie and I did a tie-dye project in the front yard. She made me a tank top I could wear to work out. I made her a sweatshirt. We both collaborated and made Cricket a onesie and little pants and my husband a T-shirt that he could work out in. It was so easy and it was the perfect 2.5 hour activity from start to finish.
P: Obviously you’re very crafty. What’s the craft of this summer?
BP: We haven’t come up with it yet. I feel like Birdie really loves sewing and she wants to learn how to crochet. That might be a good thing for us to kind of do at the beach. She and I just started doing a cross-stitch together and that’s hard for me even. We might do some good scavenger hunts when we go to the beach with her cousins in North Carolina. I haven’t been there since I was on Dawson’s Creek. It’s gonna be weird, but I’m excited to go back.
P: Summer is big for family events because of so many birthdays in your household. Cricket’s first birthday is coming up. Any big plans?
BP: So many birthdays. I feel kind of strongly that first birthday parties should be sweet and small and with family. We don’t have to Martha Stewart it up. They’re 1. Let’s be easy on ourselves. You’ve raised a baby and she’s made it to 1. That in and of itself is a triumph. We’re doing what we did with Bird: a small park party with a few friends and family obviously. And Cricket loves Elmo. She’s never seen Sesame Street. We just had some leftover Elmo dolls from Birdie and Cricket loves him so much. So I’m gonna make Cricket an Elmo cake. Her mouth will be red!
P: With two girls, are there any moments where Birdie or Cricket does something and you think wow, she is such a mini-me?
BP: [Birdie] asked me the other day if she could buy clothes online like I do. Like, if that was possible for little girls. “Can I buy clothes online like you do?” Not saying that I’m setting the best example, but that is so me. Also, the personality traits and [mannerisms]. She was shaking her head the other day and she goes “you know I got that from you.” She knows: The shaking her head she got from me.
P: Is there anything about parenthood that still continues to baffle you?
BP: I think the guilt and the worry that you’re not doing right by your children or that you’re not doing enough or you should be doing better or you should be calmer or you shouldn’t have been so upset. I think that’s the one thing that I have the hardest time with is going easy on myself. Giving yourself a break. But, if you’re not worried about messing it all up, then you’re probably messing it all up. Right? If you think you’re nailing it, you’re probably not nailing it. Like all moms who are trying to do a good job, feel like they’re not doing a good job or that they could be doing better.
Parenting questions baffling you? Sign up for our Parents Daily newsletter!
Add a Comment
Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
Picnics are a great way to enjoy warm summer days, but food poisoning can ruin the fun. The Partnership for Food Safety Education launched the free Perfect Picnic app, just in time for the summer grilling season. Perfect Picnic teaches kids ages 8-11 about the importance of food safety and how to reduce their risk of food poisoning.
I recently tested Perfect Picnic to see what I could learn, and I was so impressed. I was the master of my own park filled with trees, outdoor kitchens, and several of my park “friends.” In order to pay for all of my park amenities, I rented out barbeque spots and kept my visitors happy.
However, I quickly learned that if my park wasn’t clean, my “friends” would leave. I needed to act fast! Luckily, I made sure all visitors knew how to wash their hands to reduce the risk of contaminating food and use a food thermometer to avoid problems from undercooked meat. I also needed to keep coolers filled with ice, so all perishables stayed chilled to 40°F. In addition, all food preparation surfaces needed to be kept clean.
Perfect Picnic is a great way for kids to learn about safe food handling practices in a fun, engaging way. After a few rounds on the app, kids will be ready to help out at the next barbeque. Click here to download Perfect Picnic.
Add a Comment
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
This post was written by our friends at Celebrity Baby Scoop.
Singer and songwriter Jewel has been one busy mama! She recently performed during the Academy of Country Music Awards’ Lifting Lives Moment to benefit ConAgra Foods’ Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign. She is also set to play June Carter Cash in the Lifetime Original Movie Ring of Fire, coming out this May.
Jewel opens up to Celebrity Baby Scoop about her son, Kase, 20-months, who went on his first “road tour,” her involvement with ConAgra and the cause to end child hunger, finding a balance between being a mom and having a creative outlet, and her Mother’s Day plans.
Celebrity Baby Scoop: Tell us about your partnership with ACM Lifting Lives. How did you get involved with the organization?
Jewel: “I was the spokesperson for ConAgra Foods last year. ConAgra’s initiative is to bring awareness to end child hunger, and they did this by partnering with the ACM. They have songwriters and artists write songs in different formats, such as a country song or a pop song, which are then used in the commercials. Last year, I sang a song for the campaign and Little Big Town performed it for the ACM Lifting Lives moment. This year, another girl wrote the song and I performed at the ACM Awards.”
CBS: How did you prepare for your performance at the Academy of Country Music Awards?
J: “I performed a medley of my song Hands and this other song. I’ve prepared in all sorts of ways. I had to work on the medley, work out the keys, and practice on it to make sure I was ready to do it live.”
Add a Comment
Thursday, April 25th, 2013
Check out blog posts by multitalented mompreneur Rosie Pope every week at Parents.com!
Tis’ the season for celebrations! Be it bridal to baby showers, weddings or garden parties, they all have one thing in common: You will almost certainly need to wear a dress, unless you plan to be ultra chic in a pantsuit—which isn’t the easiest look to pull off while pregnant if you ask me.
So many of my pregnant clients have a love-hate relationship with these events. On the one hand, these social outings can be exciting and a great opportunity to show off your bump, but on the other, it’s a little more work to ditch the leggings, tunic and flats for something a little more sassy and a lot more dressed up.
The key to selecting the perfect dress for this summer’s occasions is to make sure it’s either fabulous enough, and versatile enough, to wear to multiple events. (That’s right: When you’re pregnant, you’re allowed to repeat.) Also, make sure it shows off your current favorite asset. I know it can be tough, but pick the one thing you still like: legs, arms, boobs, tush, neck, and, if all else fails, then love thy bump! Most importantly, remember the mantra “look good, feel good,” and invest in a dress that is going to make you feel great about yourself all season long.
These are my summer style tips intended to enhance your favorite feature:
Sexy shoulders and back Show them off in a summery cut. Go bare in a strapless gown, or opt for slightly more coverage in a halter or tank style.
Great-looking legs Select a dress that allows you to show a lot of leg, but still features elements that draw the attention up towards your face. A great option is a flowy mini with a jeweled neckline, the Stella Dress in Black.
Sublime neckline It’s okay if you are still learning to love your growing body, but you can always feature a stunning neckline. Choose a dress that is flowing and bohemian to cover any problem areas, but keep it feminine with a few lacy details or accents.
Flattering bustline Choose a dress that has some extra fabric around the bust so your blossoming bosom can fill it out, yet you won’t feel self-conscious about clingy fabric. One of my favorites is the Charlotte Dress in Emerald.
Superior posterior If you are loving your derriere, then highlight it in a tight style made in a thicker fabric that incorporates spandex. Be sure to pick a dress that generally covers up elsewhere to keep it tasteful.
Beautiful baby bump Show off your growing belly in an empire-waist dress or a look that belts just above the bump.
Add a Comment
Thursday, August 2nd, 2012
Editor’s Note: This guest post was written by Dr. Steve Pastyrnak, Division Chief, Pediatric Psychology at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI. He shares techniques for different age groups on how to keep a child’s temper in check during rising summer temperatures.
Toddler and Preschoolers
When the heat is high, frustration and anger tend to boil over for kids of any age. For toddlers and preschoolers, who are learning how to express themselves, tantrums and angry outbursts are very normal. Since parents will have a hard time reasoning with little ones, modeling and distraction techniques can help deal with grumpy behavior. But a little patience and a good sense of humor is always a parent’s best bet.
A modeling technique involves parents remaining calm and cool, no matter how frustrating the kids are in the moment. Tots will take cues from those around them and will calm down more quickly when being spoken to in a quiet and reassuring tone of voice. Distraction involves using an activity or toy to redirect the child’s attention and disconnect frustration from crying, yelling, and screaming. But it’s important to distract before the frustration gets out of control or when kids start calming down. Otherwise, toddlers may connect anger and tantrums with getting a toy. Parents should keep a handy tool box of really cool (and inexpensive) items such as playdough, bubbles, crayons, etc.
If your kids are in a full-blown tantrum, however, the only solution is to remove them from the situation. Move them to another place or keep them on your lap. Let anger run its course.
Help kids handle physical stress and negative thoughts by teaching simple breathing and muscle relaxation techniques. Breathe slowly in through the nose (like smelling a flower) and the slowly out through the mouth (like blowing out a candle). The slower the better. Then have kids squeeze specific muscle groups (arms, stomachs, or even their faces) and hold the tension for a few seconds before relaxing. This technique will release some physical energy while also teaching the bodies how to relax.
Parents can also consider saying positive reinforcements (“Good job,” “You are so strong, brave, awesome, etc.”) for any situation that the child handles on her own. While verbal praises address behaviors well, teach kids another way to banish negative thoughts by using, what I call, the “Jedi” mind trick. Have kids recite simple positive thoughts to themselves, such as “I can do this,” “I’m okay,” and “No big deal.” The more kids practice saying these positive phrases, the more likely that they will change negative thoughts into positive ones.
Add a Comment
anger, angry, angry kids, child development, heat wave, summer, summer heat, temper, temper tantrums, toddler development | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Health & Safety
Thursday, July 26th, 2012
Editor’s Note: In the first post for an ongoing series, Dr. Harley A. Rotbart, a Parents advisor, will be guest blogging once a month. He will be offering different advice, tips, and personal stories on how parents can “savor the moment” and maximize the time they spend with kids. Read more posts by Harley Rotbart from this series.
Children’s brains go to sleep as soon as school ends for summer vacation, and they can hibernate until after school starts again in the fall. While kids need rest and rejuvenation, structured and unstructured play, physically active and tranquil days, and homework-free evenings, the summer “brain freeze” (a.k.a. “summer meltdown” or “summer slide”) can last too long. When resting brains slip into vegetative states defined by TV, video games, Facebook, text messaging marathons, and MP3 hypnosis, it’s time for an intervention.
Fortunately, there is a cure: enrollment at Family Summer University (FSU)! At FSU, there is no tuition and no homework, but there are tests (more like friendly and funny family competitions) every night.
As Dean of FSU, it’s your job to set aside a little time each day to write the quiz questions. Tailor them to the ages and learning levels of your kids, but don’t be limited to school subjects. Instead, include a wide range of topics: celebrities, cartoon characters, favorite storybooks, sports teams, movies and TV shows, or any other topics that each family member will enjoy. Fun trivia about Justin Bieber and Jeremy Lin can help camouflage the educational lessons about hypotenuses, homonyms, and Hamlet. Mix and match questions every night from different subject areas or dedicate different nights of the week to certain subjects.
Look to brain teaser games, flash card sets, home versions of TV quiz shows, the library, the internet, and yes, your kids’ school books, to write your questions. But don’t overdo it — set a maximum of 20 questions per child per day, 10 questions if you have more than three kids! Remember, if you’re asking your 6 year old a tough question for his age, you should also be asking your 12 year old a tough one for her age.
Once your questions are written, gather the kids on the designated FSU campus (it can be the porch, patio, or another comfortable venue that’s preferably outdoors) and let the games begin! A great time for FSU to gather is after dinner because everyone is already together. Play every night or play a few days a week. Add bonus questions, musical prompts, and picture clues to make the game more interesting. Watch as scarce minutes with your kids turn into special moments.
After the answers are given, discuss them with your kids. Gently explain the questions they missed and have them explain ones they got right. Tally the correct number of answers for each contestant each dayk. At the end of each week, give a prize to the child with the highest score, and then start scoring from scratch the next week. This way, no one falls so far behind that they have no chance of catching up. Good “prizes” can be letting the winner choose the DVD on family movie night or the theme for a special dinner night. At the end of the summer, have an FSU “graduation” ceremony with cardboard caps, bed sheet gowns, and colorful paper diplomas. Then, make sure to go for ice cream!
Dr. Harley A. Rotbart is Professor and Vice Chairman of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. He is the author of three books for parents and families, including the recent No Regrets Parenting, a Parents advisor, and a contributor to The New York Times Motherlode blog. Visit his blog at noregretsparenting.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@NoRegretsParent).
Add a Comment
Family, family activities, family fun, family time, Harley Rotbart, harley rotbart series, No Regrets Parenting, parenting, parenting skills, parenting style, parents, summer, summer activities, summer brain drain, summer brain freeze, summer fun, summer slide | Categories:
GoodyBlog, Time for Fun, Your Child
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
Lemon juice? Check! Sugar? Check! Ice cubes? You bet! It’s that time of the year when kids across the country open lemonade stands on their block. But this summer, you can teach your child about entrepreneurship AND charity with the Toy Industry Foundation’s newest initiative, Make a Stand for Kids.
With the help of parents, children can volunteer to use profits from lemonade stands to help distribute toys and make playtime possible for disadvantaged kids. To get you started, TIF has created MakeStandForKids.org, a site packed with tips for fundraising, stand set-up, downloadable signs, and even recipes for other drinks (like orange and apricot punch). For more information on the program and how to take part, visit the site by clicking here.
Add a Comment
Wednesday, June 27th, 2012
My daughters started camp at our town pool on Monday, so we met their counselors at orientation over the weekend. When the counselors met Lila, my particularly fair 3-year-old, one of them said, “Please pack plenty of sunscreen!” I have, but I’m also doing one better: I’m putting her in a SwimZip suit (there she is at right). SwimZip items are rated UV50+, and cover more than a bathing suit will, so I can cut back on the amount of sunscreen we go through–which is typically more than a bottle a week! The top is really easy for her to put on and take off herself, since it zips up like a jacket. (That’s key when she’s soaking wet–it’s great to not have to bother with yanking a tight shirt over her head.) And the other big perk is that SwimZip’s styles are totally adorable, and the girls’ options are different from anything I’ve seen.
SwimZip, sizes 6-12 months to 4T, $29.99.
Add a Comment
bathing suit, rash guards, summer, sunscreen, swimsuit, swimwear, SwimZip | Categories:
Babies, GoodyBlog, Health & Safety, Solutions, Time for Fun, Your Child