Parents giving out goodie bags on a plane

Did you hear this story? Parents to 14 week old twins gave candy filled bags with a note apologizing if they cry. All day I have heard how people haven’t completely given up on humanity because of this generous act by these parents.

In my opinion this is ridiculous!! It doesn’t matter if you have kids or not or even like kids, they are going to cry, act up, be loud — because they are children. Yes they may “know better” but they do not understand their crying over something effects everyone else. And guess what — you were a kid once and on probably more than one occasion did something out of line.

So in all, I don’t think these parents shouldn’t have felt the need to pass out notes and candy(as generous of an act as it is) – as a population people should realize they are children and sometimes they cry, and yell and they have every right to be in public! Stepping off my rant now! Hope you are having a great day!

What is your opinion about the story?


School Bus Safety

Now that school is definitely back in full swing, there isn’t a morning that you do not see a big yellow school bus. I have decided to give a little refresher on the rules of sharing a road with the school buses, because lets face it, its been a while since that driving test when you first learned about the school bus laws.  Lets make sure to share this to make it a safer road for all the students riding the bus everyday.

The CDC states “Riding the big yellow school bus is a safer mode of transportation for children than driving or walking to school, but the real risk for injury is from motorists who do not follow the proper laws and procedures when driving near a bus.” -1

According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports there is an average of 139 fatalities per year involving school transportation-related crashes. Most of these fatalities aren’t to the children on the buses, but rather to occupants of other vehicles involved in the crashes (72 percent) or to other non-occupants of the buses, such as those who are walking and biking to school (20 percent). -1

So here are the rules(According the SC Drivers Manual) –

  • You must stop for a stopped school bus with flashing lights that is loading or unloading passengers.  This is required by law whether you are meeting the bus or traveling behind it under the following conditions -2
    1. On any two-lane highway.
    2. One any four-lane or multi-lane highway only when traveling behind the school bus.
    3. When passing a school bus that has red or amber signals flashing. -2

  • When you do not have to stop-
    1. When the bus is in a passenger loading zone completely off the main travel lanes and when pedestrians are not allowed to cross the roadway.
    2. A driver of a vehicle need not stop upon meeting a stopped school bus when traveling in the opposite direction on a multi-lane highway or multi-lane private road.  These are defined as a road that consists of four lanes, have at least 2 traffic lanes in each direction. -2

You must always stop on any highway when you are behind the bus.  When you have stopped, you must not processed until the bus moves or the driver signals to you that the way is clear, or red lights are no longer flashing. -2

Now that you know the rules of the road, you can be as safe as possible around our school buses.  Remember if you do not live in South Carolina, your state’s rules may be different.  To find your state’s laws go here.

Are the laws different than what you remember?

Barth, Liza. “School Bus Tips for Motorists.” School Bus Tips for Motorists., 27 Aug. 2012. Web. 30 Aug. 2012. <;.

2- South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Drivers Manual.  Found at Web. 30.Aug. 2012

Food Allergies – What you need to know!

With school back in swing and knowing a few children with very severe allergies, I thought I would share information provided by the CDC about food allergies and schools.

According to the CDC an allergy is an abnormal immune response to a certain food that the body reacts to as harmful.

Common food allergens account for 90% of all food-allergy reactions – cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, pistachios, and macadamia nuts), fish, shellfish, soybeans, and wheat.

Symptoms of a food allergy can range on a scale from mild to severe.  Any food allergy reaction should be taken seriously and you should consult your physician if your child has a reaction to any type of food.  Some of the common symptoms are –

  • Hives
  • Swelling in the mouth
  • Swelling in the tongue and throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Eczema or rash
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Dizziness

The most severe reaction is anaphylaxis, and “is a sudden severe allergic reaction that involves various areas of the body simultaneously or causes difficulty breathing and swelling of the throat and tongue. Anaphylaxis can result in death.”-According to the CDC

If your child has a food allergy you should talk with your physician about next steps to learn about the allergy and precautions to take to prevent an reaction. You also need to teach your child about their allergy, make them aware of what types of food they can and cannot have, also to tell an adult when they begin to have an allergy to alert and adult.  Your child’s teacher and caregiver should also know how to be aware of these symptoms and use an Epi-Pen.

With  4-6% of children under 18 having a food allergy, there is a chance your child will be in class with a child with an allergy.  What should you do? Most parents who have a child with an allergy will talk to parents about it at the begining of school, or send information home for the parents to read.  I can not stress this enough, if parents are concerned enough to let other parents know about their child’s allergy, it is probably pretty severe, and could be deadly for their child.  It is very important to inform your child about their classmate’s allergy and do what you can to prevent taking food that can cause a reaction. Parents of children with allergies are not trying to inconvenience parents, they just want to keep their children safe, and with potential to result in death, your child could go with out certain items for lunch.

Finally, I heard recently that a new form of ‘bullying’ was to throw food at a child who is allergic to it.  This is sick to me, but it is going to happen, we have to inform our children that allergies are not something to be taken lightly, and if you find out your child is doing this, check out my post about what to do if your is the bully.

Read the full article from the CDC here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.(2012,February 17). Food Allergies in Schools Retreived August 28, 2012, from

Picture – Vegan-Vegetarian Recipe Book. Ingredients: Descriptions and Photos Peanuts, dry roasted. Retreived August 28, 2012 from

Does your child have an allergy? What about a classmate with an allergy?

AAP Revises Information on Circumcision

Today the American Academy of Pediatrics released information “after a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence,the AAP found the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risk, but the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn circumcision.”

The AAP believes that the final decisions should still be made by the parents in the context of their religious, ethical, and cultural beliefs.

The AAP’s research has found that the scientific benefits of circumcision include – prevention of urinary tract infections, penile cancers, and transmission of some sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

View the full information from the here

Knowing that the benefits are greater (by a small amount) to circumcise your newborn does this change your opinion one way or another?


Apps For Moms

It seems like every time turn around there is a new smart phone or new technological advance coming out, not to mention all the apps that are out there.  Here is a list of awesome mom apps that will have you saying, “There’s an app for that?”

Parents Magazine this month came out with the 10 Best Apps for Moms when its time for back to school! I have a couple on this list, that I love — looking forward to trying out some more! Here are my favorites from their list —

Evernote-This is one of those apps that you HAVE to have! I use mine for everything! It is so great because you can have different folders for different things, kids, fun, etc. You can even make a note where you parked and it will save the geographic location of that note to get you back to your car! Plus you can make to-do lists for your kids and they can see it on their devices!
iPhone UsersAndroid Users

OverDrive Media Console – This is a really great for your iPad! You can “borrow” books from different online libraries and schools! Definitely can make story time more fun!
iPhone UsersAndroid Users

inClass-If you have older kids at home, this can help you(and them) stay on track for assignments. It keeps track of assignments, class schedules, there is also an easy way to take notes, either by typing, video, audio or photo!
iPhone Users – Android Users(Not Available)

School A to Z – Need a refresher with that math homework, or question about adverbs and adjectives? This app helps you freshen up on those homework problems.
iPhone UsersAndroid Apps

RedLaser – This one is simple, you just scan the bar-code of an item and it will tell you if you can find the item cheaper somewhere else!
iPhone UsersAndroid Users

Cozi Family Organizer – This is one organizer you can share with your whole family! You can add important dates, events, shopping lists and check-lists you can share with your whole family via the computer or smart phone! Keep everyone on the same page with your family’s schedule!
iPhone UsersAndroid Users

Some of my top mom picks –

Bank of Mom($1.99) – With the use of debit and credit cards these days, it is harder for children to understand money, with this app they can see their “virtual” bank accounts, how much time they are spending watching TV, playing video games, etc.
iPhone Users – Android Users(Not Available)

My Mini Wallet – Keeps track of all your gift cards, store rewards cards, coupons and receipts. The app even has a geo-locator of the stores where you have reward cards!
iPhone Users – Android Users(Not Available)

Pandora – It doesn’t matter if your kids are in the mood for Disney or you’re in the mood for the Beatles, you can find the perfect music for your mood!
iPhone UsersAndroid Users

Intuition The Mom’s Planner – This is another app to keep your life organized, make call lists(even pulls numbers from your phone), errand list, grocery list(has tons of grocery items already programmed), and even has tips on planning a party, rainy day activities for kids and more!
iPhone Users – Android Users(Not Available)

Sit or Squat
Need to go quickly? This app will be your life saver! It tells you where the closest restrooms are and even has an option where you and other people can rate it “Sit” or “Squat” so you can know the cleanliness before you even go!
iPhone Users – Android Users

How Stuff Works
You know that during that “Why” Stage you’re stumped more often than not! This will be your life saver, and answer all those “Why” questions!
iPhone – Android(Not Available)

Out To Eat with Kids
If you want to know where your kids eat free, and even healthy options in your area this is your app!
iPhone Users – Android Apps(Not Available)

Do you have a favorite app? What about one your family couldn’t live with out?

Important Information about Infant Brain Injuries

As you become a parent, you realize that it is a very stressful time, especially when it comes to figuring out why your baby is crying.  Parents, grandparents, caregivers, or anyone who watches children need to learn how to manage the stress of the baby.  When you lose control of your stress, it can result in injury or death, it is very important to realized when your stress level is too high and ask for help.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends –

When Your Baby Cries, Take a Break! There are sometimes when you are trying to calm your crying baby and nothing seems to work, it is very important to keep in control of your temper. No matter how stressed or angry you are it is NEVER okay to throw, shake, hit, slam, or jerk any child.  If you feel like you are  getting overwhelmed, angry or feel like you are about to lose control try —

  • Take a deep breath and count to 10
  • Place your baby in a safe place and leave the room, let baby cry alone for 10-15 minutes
  • Call someone close to you for emotional support
  • Call your child’s doctor, there could be a medical reason why your baby is crying

Be patient, colicky and fussy babies eventually grow out of the crying phase.  Keeping your baby safe is the most important thing you can do, even if you feel frustrated(which is normal) keep in control and handle your baby with care.

Important Information for Caregivers

Anyone who you let care for your baby should know the dangers of shaking or striking a baby’s head.  This includes anyone–boyfriends, girlfriends, older siblings, grandparents, and neighbors.  If your child is being cared for by someone else, take time to watch the caregiver-child interaction.  Do they enjoy talking or playing with your children? How would they calm a crying baby? Remember to keep in mind the caregivers personality and habits, for example people who are patient, responsible, and trustworthy are ideal caregivers, where people who are easily angered or heavily drink alcohol, or use other drugs are not ideal.

What to do when a baby cries

You may have already, or will learn that it isn’t always easy to figure out why your baby is crying.  It could be something like a wet diaper, or they are hungry, but babies communicate through crying and it could be that they are over-tired, or cold.  Just because your baby cries doesn’t mean they dislike their parents, it is simply their way to express themselves and they may cry for no reason.  Try these tips to soothe a crying baby —

  • Check to see if their diaper needs changing
  • Swaddle your baby in a large thin blanket (Ask your nurse or child’s doctor how to do it correctly)
  • Feed your baby slowly, stopping to burp often
  • Offer a pacifier to your baby
  • Hold your baby on your bare skin (Chest, cheek to cheek, etc)
  • Sing to your baby or use soft soothing music
  • Take your baby for a walk in a stroller
  • Go for a ride in the car with your baby(Always use a car seat)

If you have tried all of these, and your baby is still crying, try them again. Babies usually become so exhausted and fall asleep from crying for extended periods of time, if all else fails talk to your child’s doctor and share your concerns and stress.

Abusive Head Trauma

Abusive head trauma, including shaken baby syndrome, is a serious type of head injury that is caused by shaking, throwing, hitting, slamming or jerking you baby.  This, too often, results in death of a baby, it can also lead to —

  • Bleeding around the brain
  • Blindness
  • Hearing Loss
  • Speech or learning disabilities
  • Seizures
  • Brain damage
  • Mental retardation
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Intellectual disability

Babies are not able to fully support their heavy heads, as a result, violent and forceful shaking or impact can cause a baby’s brain to be injured.  Victims of abusive head trauma may show one or all of the signs and symptoms — irritability, lethargy(trouble staying awake), trouble breathing, vomiting, and coma(unable to be awakened)

Abusive head trauma often occurs when a parent or other caregiver reacts impulsively in anger or frustration, often because the baby will not stop crying.  Abusive head trauma is a form of child abuse.

This information contained in this article should not be used as a substitute for medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.

Information provided by the American Academy of Pediatrics

Banning of Formula

First off, I would like to state I am very much for breastfeeding, if you can do it. I always tell expecting mothers who are dead-set on breastfeeding, to take a deep breath, and prepare, just in case, you can not breastfeed. I do not want mothers to feel like they have failed, or stressed that they are not able to breastfeed. It is not as easy as most think.

A few days ago Massachusetts became the second sate to ‘ban the bags’ and not provide formula to everyone. This does not include mother’s who request it or mothers who can not breastfeed. It is just that hospitals do not market the formula. Honestly I do not think they are giving mother’s enough credit. If a mother is able to and desires to breastfeed, a sample pack of formula is not going to make her change her mind, if anything having the sample on hand can come in handy in emergencies.

Hospitals in New York are planning on taking up the ‘bag ban’ too. Some people are outraged, due to the fact they think the government is too closely regulating our personal decisions. While breastfeed advocates are praising the decisions.

Instead of banning the samples, which could really come in handy, we should provide more education for breastfeeding mothers, and for businesses who have or potentially will have mothers who are breastfeeding at work. We should make it more acceptable to breastfeed in public, make it easier to breastfeed at work, etc. In my previous post about the State of the World’s Mothers Report, many other countries, 24 in fact, are rated better places to be a mother. The report takes in the factors from breastfeeding, maternity leave, malnutrition in children under 2 and more. In many other countries, working mothers are able to take breastfeeding breaks during work indefinitely, where here in the United States, working mothers are only allowed breaks for 1 year. Also we rank low on the maternity leave scale, Canada has 50 weeks of maternity leave! Yes 50! And it can be shared with the father! A couple states in the US have started paying for 6-8 weeks, at a percentage of what the mother was making, as a country we offer 0 weeks of paid, and up to 12 of unpaid. Lets correct that problem, instead of worrying about parents getting free formula.

As far as many people who think having promotional items for formula promotes the use of formula, but unfortunately, breast-milk doesn’t have a big advertising budget. I love to get free things, it doesn’t matter who it comes from.

We need to promote breastfeeding, provide education about breastfeeding, let mothers know it is okay if they are not able to breastfeed and teach society to accept it in public and behind walls, then we won’t have to be so concerned about giving away free samples of formula.

What is your opinion on the ‘banning of the bags’ and what did you think when you received the formula sample in the hospital?