Thursday, September 30, 2010

Homeopathic Solutions for Colic: Colic Calm


I am a big believer and follower of homeopathic medicine and other alternative medicine. For those that don't know, homeopathy involves treatment of ailments using remedies from plants, animal and mineral products. My mom is from Africa and my husband's parents from Trinidad so I've gotten lots of advice and tips for solving baby and children ailments that do not involve traditional medicine. They just didn't know there was a fancy word, homeopathy, for a lot of the treatment they've given their kids for ages.  For example, hot water in between milk feedings breaks up gas despite what doctors say about breast milk being enough water a baby needs to feeding a baby real mint leaves steeped in hot water and cooled to sooth a cold. Another relative swears by daily cod liver oil doses to treat eczema, make kids skin supple from the inside and ward off colds. Vicks on the bottom of the feet and socks over top would eliminate stuffy noses, my Caribbean auntie-in-law told me.



When my kids were teething, I opted for Hyland's homeopathic teething tablets over Orajel and topical solutions that could numb their mouths and cause them irritation.  

Many African moms have known about Gripe Water for years to ease baby's pain and discomfort from gas and tummy irritability.  The only thing is that, in years past, most gripe waters contained alcohol. So NOT good for a baby with infant organs.  So it was great to get tipped about Colic Calm, a homeopathic alternative to dealing with baby's gas.  It is free of alcohol, sugar, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), simethicone, herbal oils and extracts, soy, wheat, gluten, dairy, animal products, and artificial flavors and colors.

The serum has been featured in many parenting and children's sites and its Facebook Fan  page is full of testimonials from satisfied moms who say their babies' hiccups, upset stomach, crying and gas are cured within minutes of giving them Colic Calm. Sounds good to me.  

The product is now available at CVS/Pharmacy's nationwide.


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Follow CVS on Twitter. Raise Money for March of Dimes. Win $25



I love Twitter. I love it more when it can be used for good.

CVS/pharmacy has been donating $2 for every new follower it gets on its Twitter feed (www.Twitter.com/CVS_Extra) to the March of Dimes, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of babies and expectant moms by preventing birth defectspremature birthlow birth weightand infant mortality.

The contest started a few weeks ago but runs through October 7.

The company will donate up to $30,000 but needs a little boost because so far the campaign has raised about $4,000. EEK!!

To kick it up a notch, CVS/pharmacy will give away 20 gift cards worth $25 to randomly selected followers who re-tweet the messages posted by @CVS_Extra, that include the hashtag #CVSsupportsMOD.
SWEET!!  Help save babies and maybe get a reward for doing so simply by following CVS. It's a no-brainer!

I will be following and tweeting!



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Fun Activities to do with the Kids this Fall

Whether you are patiently waiting for the baby to arrive or waddling around with a newborn and your other toddlers in tow, you're going to need to find some fun things to do this fall to enjoy the colors and the crisp autumn air.
Check out these great tips about exploring fall sent to me from my friends at the National Children's Museum.

What does your family associate with fall? NCM offers these sensory based tips to explore the signs of fall:

SIGHT
Color Walk. Use colored pencils to draw a beautiful array fall colors or take photos of the fall leaves. Make a fall colors collage or a “leaf rainbow” by collecting as many leaves as you can find that match the colors of the rainbow. Cut a white paper plate in half and glue on your leaves in a rainbow shape.

Masking Tape Bracelets. Collect signs of fall by cutting a piece of masking tape and putting it on your wrist with the sticky side facing out. Use this to stick any natural items that you find on your walk, such as seeds or leaves.

SOUND
Listen Up. Go outside and listen for the sounds of fall, such as the crisp sound of crunching leaves, the honking of Canadian geese flying south, or a crackling fire in a fireplace. Compare summer noises to those in the fall.

SMELL
Apple Cinnamon Decorations. Mix equal parts of applesauce and cinnamon until it makes a dough. Roll out the dough and cut into fall shapes with cookie cutters. Make a hole in the top of each shape with a straw and let dry for 24 hours until hard.

Fall Smells Scavenger Hunt. Go on a family walk and try to recognize these fall smells: pumpkins singed from Halloween candles, the sweet smell of wet leaves on a warm fall day, and the smell of wood smoke from chimneys. 

TASTE
Apple Sampler. Pick apples, make an apple pie, try making homemade applesauce, sip warm apple cider, make a pumpkin pie, or try making dried apple slices for snacks. 

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds. With adult supervision, preheat the oven to 300°. Toss 1 ½ cup raw, whole pumpkin seeds in a bowl with 2 tsp. melted butter and a pinch of salt. Spread seeds in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

TOUCH
Play in Leaves. Jump over or into a pile of leaves. Make a leaf trail for others to follow. Make a leaf maze by piling leaves into paths and bike or walk the maze. Throw a bunch of leaves into the air and try to catch them as they float to the ground.

Pumpkin Roll. Use two large pumpkins and two sturdy sticks to roll the pumpkins on their sides in a race to the finish line. The first kid across the finis.

We're going Apple picking this Sunday so we're off to a good start incorporating some of these tips!
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Top 20 Whitest and Top 20 Blackest Kids' Names








So a movie based on  the 2005 book Freakonomics will be released soon (see trailer above). FREAKONOMICS is the highly anticipated film version of the phenomenally bestselling book about incentives-based thinking by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. Like the book, the film examines human behavior with provocative and sometimes hilarious case studies. The authors attempt to use economics to analyze everyday life via quirky experiments and studies.


The makers of the movie were on CNN's American Morning this morning talking about the project and an experiment where a man named DeShawn Williams and another Jake Williams' resumes were sent into employers bearing the exact same credentials in EVERY respect and the guy named DeShawn got 35% less call backs from employers.  Read: DeShawn couldn't even go into an interview because for some reason some screeners opted not to call him in - obviously it has to do with the name, right? I mean even when DeShawn's credentials were bolstered to be even MORE impressive than Jake's he STILL got less call backs.


They also talked about how names once common among people of influence like Ashley and Christine have been abandoned by folks with money when they started noticing poorer people use the name and now those names are only common with the "Wal-mart" type. Their words not mine. At one point, the narrator states that “today’s high rent Ashley becomes tomorrow’s low rent Trashley.”


Interesting, no?


I took on this topic on a post I wrote on the blog I author at WashingtonTimes.com, Politics of Raising Children, called Resume-Proofing the Baby's name and got in a battle with a commenter who called me racist for pointing out the concern. You can check out the WTC post here. Please excuse the grammar and spelling errors in my reply to that guy or woman.  I was just on fire!


In a past Bellyitch post, I talked about how many of my affluent African American friends and colleagues were giving their children these very cute names that stood out to me for being non "common" black names.  I didn't get much feedback about that post at all but then again, I rarely get comments to my posts so.... You can check out that Past Post About Names HERE!


The SLATE.com took on this topic in a 2005 article called "A Rashonda by Any Other Name" and also listed the top 20 Whitest names and Top 20 Blackest names on its site.  In pop culture, we joke about things like this, but could there be more to it than a joke? I don't know. Take a look at the list. What do you think? Think it's based on stereotypes? Don't get mad at me. Blame it on Slate.com. ha!






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Win a Diaper Genie Elite II or $50 Babies R Us Gift card w/ Playtex Baby



This Thursday, September 30, 2010 from 2:00 -3:00 p.m. ET, Playtex Baby is inviting all moms to join a live Twitter Q&A session with nationally renowned pediatrician Dr. Alanna Levine. Moms can RSVP to the Twitter party at http://twtvite.com//playtexbabynewmomtips and find them at @PlaytexBaby and #NewMomTips!

As a well-known pediatrician and busy mom of 2 - Dr. Levine knows that achieving work/life balance when caring for a newborn can be a labor of love. But, bonding with baby should be a wonderful, exciting journey for moms. No matter what moms’ obstacles/questions are, Dr. Levine is here to help help! During the tweet up, she will be answering live questions, concerns and sharing her own expert tips.

Tweet Up Giveaway
Anyone who asks a question prior to the event to @PlaytexBaby or #NewMomTips will be entered to win a Diaper Genie Elite II™ PLUS anyone who uses the hashtag #NewMomTips will be entered to win a $50 Babies R US gift card.  

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Bump Watch: Vera Farmiga's Red Carpet Style



Oscar nominated actress Vera Farmiga was seen in an Isabella Oliver Bracelet Portrait Top at a press event last week. Very cute!



Here  she is at the opening night of The Metropolitan Opera in New York Monday night in a stunning . She and husband Renn Hawkey were there for the opening production of Das Rheingold.


The actress, who gave birth to baby Finn just before starting work on Up in the Air in 2009, is due in October 10.


Stunning!

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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

GAP CASTING CALL STARTS TODAY - PICTURE TAKING TIPS HERE


GAP is putting a little twist on its annual Casting Call for babies and children to be featured in stores nationwide which starts TODAY!  The popular retailer is asking parents entering their children in the contest to dress their kids in their favorite pair of jeans for the submission photo! Very cute! Below, you'll find details on the contest, but first, check out these tips for taking the best photo entry from world-renown child photographer, Stefano Azario!

PHOTO TAKING TIPS

Get Close: Zoom in to get as close as possible to your subject’s face so it’s clearly visible. If your subject’s too far away, they’ll get lost against the background.

Show Personality: Truly memorable photos let your subject’s personality shine through. Avoid stiff smiles and forced poses as they can come across as artificial and generic. Instead, take your time and follow your subject as they relax in or move through an environment that’s comfortable to them. Also, avoid hats – they’re cute but we want to see faces and hair!

Watch the Background: Shoot the photo against a simple background so your subject really stands out. Don’t forget to move anything nearby that might be distracting.

Try Different Angles: Try angling the camera or shooting from different perspectives to make your photos more memorable. It’s also important to photograph kids at their eye level rather than standing over them.

Use Natural Lighting: Sunlight is much more flattering than indoor lighting. Use filtered, natural light to enhance colors and skin tones. Try not to shoot with the sun behind the camera as it will likely make the subject squint and will also cast strong shadows.




 CONTEST RULES




The contest starts today and ENDS on OCTOBER 24.  

TO ENTER: Parents can upload their photos at  ap.com/castingcall or via the new iPhone app.

THE FINALISTS: Judges will select 20 finalists -- 10 for babyGap and 10 for GapKids – who will participate in a Gap photo shoot in San Francisco and get a $500 Gap GiftCard.

VOTING PHASES: 
Twenty finalists will be revealed on Dec. 6 and it will be up to America to vote for the winners at gap.com/castingcall or via the iPhone app. Voters can cast their votes once a day everyday for a boy and girl for baby Gap and a boy and girl for GapKids.

THE WINNER: In February 2011, the four winners will be revealed in Gap store windows nationwide. They will also receive a $1,000 Gap GiftCard.

The Fan Favorite Award:
Due to the overwhelming popularity of last year’s America’s Fan Favorite award, Gap is once again offering one lucky child a $1,000 Gap GiftCard for receiving the most votes at gap.com/casting call. Fan Favorite voting runs from Sept. 27 through Nov. 14 and the winner will be announced on Dec. 6, along with the 20 finalists. To help get the word out, parents can leverage the power of Facebook, Twitter and e-mail to help get votes for their little one.


GOOD LUCK!!


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Kids Fashion Week Coverage: Custo Barcelona




Picking up from my earlier post featuring the stylings of Cavalli, Charabia, Simonella, & Rykiel Enfants; and another featuring Miss Grant & Monnalisa, here is the report from Bellyitch correspondent Onica Cupido of Mommy Factor. I'm loving Custo Barcelona for its quirky, unconventional and unique pieces. They are fun ecclectic mix of colors and shapes too. Very chic while still child-like. 

Enjoy!

Kids Fashion Weeks : Custo Barcelona


The Dalmau brothers, Custo and David, created Custo Barcelona in the early 80’s after traveling all around the world. Their journey allowed them to discover new landscapes and varied artistic, cultural and philosophical expressions. They were particulary drawn to the typically Californian surfers style and the psychedelic nature of their clothing.


Over time, their research on the use of color and prints has given rise to designs that are innovative, bold and sophisticated.  During the Custo Growing show segement, it was clear its children’s line follows the same bright, happy mixed up prints look as the adult line.









Bright colorful shirts, jackets and leggings were seen on both boys and girls. The style feel was comfortable but fashionable. 








Dresses for girls came in illustrated prints that were bold but not over powering. If you're looking for something bright, fun and different then the regular matching set seen in many children line of clothing then make sure to check out Custo Growing.

Onica Cupido founder and editor of The Mommy Factor, a blog keeping parents informed about the newest pr/media events, product reviews & giveaways.  Follow Onica on Twitter at@mommyfactor



Thanks, so much to Onica for doing such a superb job and dealing with the Fashion Week crowd and 'tude to secure us coverage and pics!! Much love! Muah! Muah!!!!
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