Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Why you should sterilize newborn's bottles & brand new clothes before use

Folks who are having their first baby are bombarded with advice and tips. They read and everyone tells them that they should wash the baby’s clothes before wearing it on him. Few may wonder if it is just a right of passage or if there is reason behind the advice. For several reasons it is a good idea, including (1) the fact that many hands touch children’s clothes in stores before they are bought and (2) there are many allergens, agents and other chemicals that are used at manufacturing, shipping and packaging plants that transport clothes. It is so easy and very common for a baby to develop a rash on account of having their sensitive skin exposed to un-pre-washed clothes.

Dreft and Ivory Snow make mild detergent that is great for washing clothes of babies, and especially those with allergies or prone to break outs, or with extra sensitive skin.

Similarly, it is so easy to want to cut corners and save time and skip sterilizing the baby’s bottles ever so often after a use or two. Little babies immune systems aren’t developed enough to fight off the friendly bacteria that grows inside moist bottles after time. Case in point, my nephew (again, my infant example for everything these days) caught an awful cold. Of course, her mom blames me and my kids who came to visit that weekend, but that I am defending the kiddies on this one and pointing the finger at lax bottle sterilizing.

The absolute best and my favorite tool for quick easy sterilizing is Phillips Avent Express Microwave Sterilizer. The product is marketed with the Avent bottles, but the contraption itself can be used with any brand bottles, but especially the shorter smaller bottles.It retails for about $50.00 and is a MUST ADD baby registry item, if you ask me. You load up the washed bottles, add water and pop it in the microwave for several minutes. Voila! instant sterilization. 

Now, if you are one of those folks concerned over the latent or unknown future effects of microwaves on plastics, you may want to stay away from this product made of sturdy plastics. I swear by it and used it for all three children.

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Carrie Underwood welcomes son, Isaiah Michael

Congratulations to country singer Carrie Underwood on the birth of her firs child, son Isaih Michael Fisher

The American Idol champion announced the news today on her Twitter account:

This is the first child for both Underwood and her husband, NHL hockey player Mike Fisher.

The actress and multi-platinum and multi-award-winning performer announced the pregnancy on September.

10 Tips for caring for your Middle Child

Atticus Shaffer, Eden Sher and Charlie McDermott  of ABC's The Middle"

Middle children tend to get lost in the sibling shuffle, so to get your attention, their behavior may range from one extreme (acting somewhat rebellious) to the other (being a people-pleaser). Here, how to use their birth order traits to your parenting advantage.

1. Reassure your child. To counteract the attention you lavish upon your overachiever firstborn and spotlight-hogging lastborn, the middle-born child needs to experience acceptance exactly for who he is -- mistakes included, write Cliff Isaacson and Kris Radish in The Birth Order Effect (Schwartz Books). If you child makes a mistake, you need to emphasize that his punishment is not related to his siblings, nor do they change the fact that you still care about him. Explaining the reason behind the punishment is especially crucial when dealing with a middle-born child, who's already feels lost in the mix.

2. "First the worst, second the best... third the one with the hairy chest" is how the children's playground taunt generally goes. And considering the fact that middle children can be somewhat rebellious (presumably to draw some of the attention away from their siblings), middle-children might be the ones likely to be reciting this taunt in the lunch room.

"Middle children often go to an extreme to get attention, which is why some dye their hair purple or become a fanatic about a particular singing group -- because they need an identity really bad," says Meri Wallace, a child and family therapist for over 20 years and author of Birth Order Blues (Owl Books). One way to avoid this type of behavior is to give your middle child enough attention in the first place so he doesn't feel the need to act out. By lavishing praise for his incredible easel paintings, your middle child will be less inclined to finger-paint Picassos all over the living room wall to get you to notice him.

4. Caught between a rock and a hard place. However, being the middle child may also make her more mild-mannered. Sandwiched between two siblings, the middle child may act as a peacemaker during feuds. The eldest declares herself the Queen of the Crayons and refuses to share? Middle child is there to smooth things over. "Because second-borns hate anger, they tend to use logic to solve conflict," Isaacson and Radish write. But while toting the peace-pipe may seem like a very noble thing to do, make sure your child doesn't get trampled: When fights get too heated over what to watch on TV -- "Dora the Explorer!" "No, SpongeBob!" --it's your job to play referee, not your middle child's.

5. Make special time. "Tune into the middle child," advises Wallace. "If you're having dinner, ask the middle child, 'How was your day?' Spend time alone with the middle child. Set up a date on the calendar so he knows it's coming.'" By focusing on the middle child, you are reassuring her that she is equally as important as her siblings, and keeping her from feeling lost in the shuffle.

6. Make his achievements a big deal. Chances are after going through the whole firstborn circus of achievements, it's not quite as exciting when you second-born (or third-, or fourth-, or fifth-born) gets a gold star for his book report on Babar. Reassure your child with phrases like "you are part of the family," Isaacson and Radish write, but also recognize his individual accomplishments as ones worth celebrating.

7. Encourage differences. Your eldest is the district-wide spelling bee champ? While it'd be nice for your middle-born child to follow in her footsteps, it's a breeding ground for potential feelings of animosity and inferiority. Instead, encourage your middle child to find his own niche, be it academic, athletic, or artistic endeavors. In fact, "Middle children often can become artistic because it'll give [them] a unique spot in the family, particularly if the oldest one is good in school," says Wallace.

8. Maintain open communication. In a perfect world, we'd all be mind-readers. However, it can be nearly impossible for a parent to tell an "I'm hungry" pout from an "I'm upset" pout (and if you can, please, do share!). Even if your middle child is feeling ignored, he may not say anything. To remedy this, "Talk to him about the experience of [being] the middle kid," suggests Wallace. "Say, 'It's hard because we have to take care of the baby and your older brother is looking for a high school. If you feel left out, talk to us. Tell us, 'I need attention.'"

9. No more hand-me-downs! Well, maybe just fewer. "An occasional hand-me-down is fine, but your middle child may be particularly appreciative of something new, especially a key item, like a coat or jacket," writes Dr. Kevin Leman, in The Birth Order Book: Why You Are the Way You Are (Revell). In the same vein, special privileges, like choosing and watching a movie without interruption from her siblings, can help your middle child feel special.

10. Capture the memories. "Above all, be sure the family photo album has its share of pictures of your middle child," Leman writes. "Don't let him or her fall victim to the stereotyped fate of seeing thousands of pictures of the older brother or sister and only a few of him or her! And be sure you take some of your middle-born alone, not always with big brother or little sister." 'Nuff said. 
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Monday, March 2, 2015

Sara Gilbert and Wife Linda Perry welcome son, Rhodes Emilio Gilbert Perry

Congratulations to The Talk's  Sara Gilbert  who welcomed her first child this Saturday, February 28. 

She and wife Linda Perry of the defunct 90s rock band the Four NonBlondes named their son Rhodes Emilio Gilbert Perry. 

Her co-stars announced the news today LIVE on the show and shared his first photo. 

So cute!

Gilbert announced the pregnancy this past September. She has two children, 10-year old Levi and 6-year old Sawyer, from a previous long term relationship with Allison Alder but this is her first natural born child.

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Kate Middleton continues public appearances as due date nears

Kate Middleton is due next month and this second pregnancy is showing to surely suit the petite royal.  Her hair is looking shinier and healthier and more fuller than usual. 

She is still active despite the pending due date and today was spotted going to a re-opening of the Goring hotel.

She's staying stylish too.  Recently Catherine Duchess of Cambridge wore a blue "Gerbera" Max Mara coat from the 2014 Sports Max collection, under a Serpahine "Floirrie" dress, accented with comfortable JImmy Choo Georgia pumps and a clutch "Frome" bag from one of her mainstay Brit designers, LK Bennet while visiting the Emma Bridgewater Pottery and Cape Hill Children Centre in Straffordshire, England. 

Beautiful, Kate!

Check out the photos from the February 18 event at WhatKateWore.


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50 Things Moms should Teach Their Sons

Bellyitch Rewind
Following up on our post today about things to teach your daughter, and in light of what I've seen in social media and on blogs with many moms to sons expressing concern about what to say to their boys to make sure they grow to see a nice long old age, here are 50 things I came up with that moms (and dads) should teach their sons from childhood, adolescence, college years and beyond.

1. Don't hit girls, even your sister. Even if she hits you first, your punch will more likely than not have a much stronger impact than hers.  Besides, the cops usually side with the girl and you will go to jail.
2. Play to win.
3. It's important you tried your best, but always aim to win.
4. Work hard. It really pays. We're not just making that up. Laziness gets you nowhere.
5. Study hard, even when your friends are goofing off. You'll be glad you did.
6. Don't take shortcuts.
7. Pay attention to math. You'll need it to learn to balance your checkbook and not get shortchanged on a bill or later in life.
8. Pay your bills on time and your balance every month. 
9. Don't put something on credit you can't afford to pay at the end of the month. With interest rates, you'll end up forking up $200 to pay off a $10 pizza over the course of 10 years.
10. Fix up your bed as soon as you wake up. It's a good habit to develop for when you get married or have roommates later.
11. Nothing comes easy. Even the overnight success stories you hear about took a long time to get there.
12. There are no shortcuts in life. In fact, trying to take them only makes the road longer. 
13.  Treat a girl like how you'd treat your mom, with respect.
14. Stand for something. Be principled.

15. Don't believe everything you read on the Internet. Anyone can update Wikepedia. Never rely on it. 
16. Always think about your future when you make decisions in the present.
17. Stick by your argument, but know when to concede a point.
18. Don't call people names, in person, or online. It's a coward move. Use your intellect instead when debating.
19. Be empathetic to others. You won't understand everyone's struggles but try not to devalue or second guess theirs.
20. Don't share a photo of a girl she sends you with your friends, and even your closest friends, and especially if it is nude or partially nude Sexting can land you in jail.
21. No means no.
22. The best looking girl in school isn't necessarily the best girl in school.
23. Treat your friends well. Be loyal.
24. Don't gossip. The only way two people can keep a secret is if one of them is dead.
25. Don't look up to athletes and singers as role models. They get paid to do what they do. Find role models in teachers, family members and men doing good by their family and community.
26. When you go off to college, drink in moderation. Sloppy drunk can get you arrested, killed or in jail. I want you around long after college and have no plans of outliving you.
27. What you choose to wear can and will matter. You may be judged by others, police, employers etc by your clothes. Dress appropriately for the situation. 
28. If you are ever pulled over, keep your hands on the wheel and don't make any sudden movements so you're not mistaken for going for a weapon. When you reach for your registration in the glove compartment box, ask the officer permission to do so first.
29. The kitchen is not just for girls. Learn your way around it.
30. Shower every day. And don't put back on dirty clothes from your hamper afterwards. It defeats the purpose. 
31. Never leave the house without combing or brushing your hair. You'll turn the girls off.
32. Brush your teeth daily. Plaque is not cute. 
33. Avoid congregating or loitering with your friends in too large groups at the malls or public places. You might get mistaken for being in a gang. 

34. When a fight breaks out, go the other way. You can watch the replay on YouTube or World Star Hip Hop later.
35. Trim you nails weekly. Long nails on a dude are not attractive.
36. Use deodorant daily.
37. Learn how to change a tire, check your oil pressure in the car, know the guages on the dashboard and how to handle a car emergency.
38. Figure out how to use basic tools like a wrench, screwdriver etc. 
39. Always use condoms. Ignore the girl who says she's on the pill. 
40. Don't do drugs. Here's a long list of folks who drugs have messed up who had perfectly good lives before.
41. If you do things the first time as you are told, you will waste a lot less time.
42. Everybody is insecure. Even the popular kids. They just hide it better.
43. Learn to enjoy reading. You'll be doing a lot of it at school and even after you graduated college.
44. Your first love won't be your last.
45. Friends change. People grow up and grow apart. It's part of life.
46. Don't feel pressured to stay in a car of someone driving recklessly. Teens die every year in car crashes. You don't want to be one of them. I don't want you to be one of them.
47. You should always get dropped off at the safest public area and call home for a ride.
48. Not everyone will like you. That is life. There are 7 billion people in the world. You'll find others who will.

49. It's okay to cry. You'll feel better after you do.
50. Eating healthy and daily exercise will keep you looking young when your friends start showing their age.

Unofficial #1 rule. Your mom is number one and make sure all the ladies in your life know that.  (wink)

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Slow Down! 4 Tips to get you there

Guest Post

Imagine it’s finally Friday night, the beginning of a weekend of freedom, which also happens to include your birthday. Your family, friends and spouse all have celebratory plans for you.

You have a rewarding career and a network of beautiful people who want to rejoice in your life. As you walk out to your car to officially kickoff the fun, a giddy thrill washes over you.

But as you click the seatbelt into place, rather than sitting in awe of how lucky you are, a list of concerns begin worming their way into your consciousness: “I need gas, but the conveniently located gas station charges more than others … I hope it’s not a surprise party … Maybe I should get the beverages I like before going home … I haven’t been to the gym all week … Did I pay the electric bill?” 

And so it goes.

“I think we’ve all had this experience, which often has us psychically living 30 minutes into the future – no matter how great the present circumstances might be,” says Steve Gilliland, a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame and author of the widely acclaimed “Enjoy The Ride,” for which he is set to publish a follow-up that will be released in May 2015. “Are we doomed to this torrent of noise which distracts us from enjoying our life? We don’t have to be.” 
1. Don’t live your life 30 minutes ahead of the present. If you won’t live your life now, in the present, then who will?
“An older man came up to me, grabbed my hand, and said he wished he’d heard me speak decades ago,” Gilliland says. “After I asked why, he said that when he was eating lunch on break or dinner with his family, he was always thinking about what he had to do after the meal, which represented his daily life. ‘At the age of 97,’ he said, ‘I’ve officially lived my life 30 minutes ahead’ – 30 minutes ahead of whatever he was doing at the moment.”  
2.  Laugh more! It’s better than crying before you’re hurt. Don’t put your umbrella up until it rains. Worry restricts your ability to think and act effectively, and it forces you to mortgage fear and anxiety about something that may never occur. Laughter is the opposite. When you laugh, you’re living almost completely in the moment, and it’s one of the best feelings you can have. 
3.  No one can ruin your day without your permission. As much as we cannot control in life – our genes, our past and what has led up to today – there is much control we may take upon ourselves. Today, for example, we can understand that life picks on everyone, so when the going gets tough, we don’t have to take it personally. When we do take misfortune personally, we tend to obsess, giving a legacy to something that may make you a day poorer in life.  
4. Cure your destination disease. Live more for today, less for tomorrow, and never about yesterday. How? You might have to repeatedly remind yourself that yesterday is gone forever, yet we perpetually have to deal with now, so why not live it? And what if tomorrow never occurs? There is a difference between working toward the future, which is inherently enjoyable in light of hope, and living in an unrealistic future that remains perpetually elusive. If tomorrow never comes, would you be satisfied with the way today ended?
“It is not how you start in life and it is not how you finish,” Gilliland says. “The true joy of life is in the trip, so enjoy the ride!”

About Steve Gilliland
A member of the National Speaker Association’s Speaker Hall of Fame, Steve Gilliland (www.stevegilliland.com) is one of the most in-demand and top-rated speakers in the world. Recognized by his peers as a master storyteller and brilliant comedian, he can be heard daily alongside Jeff Foxworthy and other celebrities on SiriusXM Radio’s Laugh USA and Blue Collar Radio. Also, he is a prolific writer who has achieved popular acclaim with his books “Enjoy The Ride,” “Making a Difference,” and “Hide Your Goat.” His new book “Detour, Developing the Mindset to Navigate Life’s Turns,” which will focus on change, will be released in early May 2015.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Ludacris and Wife Eudoxie are expecting their first child together

As many speculated and suspected, Ludacris and his new wife Eudoxie Agnan are expecting their first child together. 

"Beautiful day on the beach," is how the Gabon, West Africa native, medical student and philanthropist captioned the above Instagram photo of herself in a bikini with the rapper-actor kissing her bump.

Sources close to the couple confirmed to E! that the couple are indeed expecting though there is no source as to the date of the photo. 

Ludacris, [ real name Christopher Brian Bridges] is already a dad to two daughters  including a one-year old he won exclusive custody rights to recently. 

E! also reminded us that Robert Griffin III and Justin Timberlake also announced their respective wives' pregnancies in a similar fashion. Call it a "trend."

Not that this mode of a pregnancy announcement hasn't been overdone by thousands of men before them and was not pioneered by either of them but yeah. (smile) 

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Dolce & Gabanna Milan Fashion Week show featured models and babies

It was a treat to see photos from Dolce & Gabanna's Fall/Winter 2015 Milan Fashion Week fashion show featuring mom models and their babies. ''

The inspiration for the show was the extraordinary beauty and strength of mothers, model Karli Ross wrote

The couture brand tapped top models like Bianca Balti to walk the runway with their own babies, toddlers and young children. 

It also had some pregnant models walking.

Much of the colorful, well-designed, ready-to-wear fashion also included the kids wearing matching shift dresses with rose embellishments or a doodle-print. Some are saying it is a clear ode to Angelina Jolie's wedding dress which featured artwork from her and Brad Pitt's children. 

I loved it! Bravo! Being a mom doesn't mean you have sacrifice your interest and love of fashion.

A video posted by bat_gio (@bat_gio) on

@TabithaSimmons on Instagram

A video posted by bat_gio (@bat_gio) on

@netaporter on Instagram

A video posted by bat_gio (@bat_gio) on

photos: Instagram, Netaporter
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10 Winter outdoor play tips

With rising childhood obesity rates and the increasing illnesses that accompany a sedentary lifestyle, it’s no secret that kids should be encouraged to get outside and engage in active play. As the lower temperatures approach, so does cold and flu season, which can be greatly exacerbated when kids are held indoors where germs can easily be spread through respiratory droplets and exhalations. Keeping kids safe while they’re out in the cold, however, is an absolute necessity. The following guidelines can help you ensure that your kids’ activity levels don’t suffer at the onset of winter and that they stay safe until the spring thaw rolls around.
  1. Use Sunscreen – Protecting kids’ skin from the damaging rays of the sun is a major priority for most parents and caregivers during the summer months, but one that often falls to the wayside when temperatures cool down. In fact, the reflection of the sun off of snow and ice can be almost as damaging as direct exposure. Make sure that your youngsters are slathered with sunscreen before they hit the outdoors.
  3. Waterproof Clothing is Key – Keeping kids warm during the winter chill relies heavily upon your ability to keep them dry. Melting ice and snow can leave most fabrics wet, soggy and very cold. Make sure that you invest in some waterproof or water-resistant clothing and shoes, especially proper boots.
  5. Know the Signs of Frostbite – Frostbite occurs when your child’s skin or extremities are literally frozen. The nose, ears, fingers, cheeks and toes are most commonly affected, and it can be quite dangerous when these extremities suffer from frostbite. Signs of superficial frostbite include itching, numbness, tingling or burning sensations. The affected skin may become white, flushed, yellow or blue and appear frozen, and will be cold to the touch.
  7. Dress for Success – Just because your kids are bundled against the cold doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re wearing safe clothing. Hoods and hats don’t take the place of helmets for activities like biking or skating, while tight clothing that restricts movement can present a danger as it inhibits kids’ ability to move and balance properly. Be sure that your brood is dressed appropriately for outdoor play, not just for cold temperatures.
  9. Insist on Warm-Up Breaks – When kids are enjoying themselves and are particularly absorbed in an activity, it’s easy for them to lose track of time. That’s why it’s important for you to insist on periodic warm-up breaks to check for signs of hypothermia or frostbite and ensure that they don’t get too cold.
  11. Keep Ice Skating Safe – Ice skating is a beloved, time-honored cold-weather outdoor activity. It can also be quite dangerous, though. Public areas designated for ice skating are far safer than ponds or bodies of water on your own property, which may not be thoroughly frozen and could crack under kids’ weight. Be sure that any ice your children are going to skate on is frozen solid, and that they’re wearing the right protective gear.
  13. Smart Sledding – Racing down a snow-covered hill on a sled is one of life’s great thrills, even for adults. Kids love sledding, but it’s important that they understand the basic safety rules before setting out. Sledding down hills that terminate near a road, down paths that have obstacles like jumps, rocks or bumps, or down icy slopes are all sledding safety no-nos. Kids should also never be pulled on sleds behind moving vehicles of any kind.
  15. Don’t Forget About Dehydration – Dehydration isn’t a concern reserved solely for warm-weather months. While your children are enjoying a session of outdoor play, be sure that they’re taking in plenty of fluids.
  17. Scarf Safety – Scarves are useful tools for protecting against the cold, as they can be wrapped around almost any part of the body that feels cold. However, they can also become ensnared in moving parts of toys or overhanging branches, closed in doors, or otherwise tangled in a manner that presents a strangulation risk. It’s better to opt for cowl-style scarves until kids are a bit older and less rambunctious.
  19. Double-Check Equipment – Making sure that any equipment for outdoor play, whether new or old, is in good condition, fits properly and is otherwise suitable for use before sending kids outside with it. Damaged or broken equipment can very easily cause injuries, especially if kids are using them improperly to compensate for the damage.
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Harper Beckham beats Blue Ivy and North West as most coveted celebrity child model

So Blue Ivy and North West aren't the most sought after child models after all?

The UK Telegraph claims that Harper Beckham's parents Victoria and David Beckham have been offered up to $30 million worth of modeling contracts since she was spotted sitting in the front row at her mom's New York Fashion Week show last week.

"Companies see her as the greatest role model for a wholesome, modern family image,"an insider reportedly stated. "She's surrounded by a happily-married working couple and go-getting brothers. You cannot buy that kind of appeal."

The same insider said that mom and dad have rejected all offers. 

Must be nice to be able to afford to turn down all that dough. 
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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dad whose wife died after quadruplets delivery will raise babies alone

New dad to quadruplets Carlos Morales has the most heart-wrenching story of the week.

"I went from having the best day of my life," speaking about the January 15, 2015 birth of his four children, "to the next morning experiencing the worst day of my life."

His wife since 2007, Erica, died of excessive blood loss during the C-section delivery and never got a chance to even hold the babies she and Carlos wanted so badly to have. The couple had endured miscarriage and IVF to conceive the children.

Erica Morales pregnant with the quads.

Fortunately, the three girls and one boy, born at only 7 months gestation at between 2 to 3 pounds each, are all healthy.

Morales is left to raise them alone.  Before the birth, he and Erica hadn't decided on what to name one of the girls and fittingly, after Erica's death, Morales chose to give that child her mom's name.

The one she will never get to meet. How utterly sad. 

A GOFUNDME page has been created to help Morales cope with the cost of raising his babies. As of this posting, it has raised $228, 000 of its $500,000 goal.

Read the complete story at PEOPLE.

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