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  • Why the Mets Baseball Player's Paternity Leave Uproar is Great News

    Home Run! Why the Baseball Paternity Leave Uproar is Great NewsHome Run! Why the Baseball Paternity Leave Uproar is Great NewsAs a proponent of paternity leave, I'd like to take a moment to thank Boomer Esiason and Mike Francesa for all they have done in support of the cause.

    No, I'm not being sarcastic.

    If you haven't heard of the baseball paternity leave kerfuffle, here's my quick and dirty summary: Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy has the audacity (!) to take three days of paternity leave after his wife's water breaks and she gives birth to the couple's first child via cesarean section. The timing of his leave means he misses the Mets' first two games of the season, much to the dismay of talk radio hosts like Esiason and Francesa. Both men blast Murphy for his decision, with Francesa denouncing paternity leave as a "scam and a half" and Esiason arguing that Murphy's wife should have had a scheduled C-section before the season began so he wouldn't miss any games.

    I'm not going to bother delving into how obviously ludicrous Esiason and Francesa's respective statements are, other than to say that you

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  • Infant Circumcision is the Healthiest Choice, Says New Study

    A new study has raised a lot of eyebrows and tempers in the ongoing debate about infants and circumcision.

    According to an article over at the The Daily Beast, the recently released study, published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings medical journal claims that having your infant circumcised promotes health benefits that actually outshine any risks by a factor of 100 to 1.

    Of course, this viewpoint isn't exactly a fresh one. Over the past decade or so there have been a slew of advocates for and against circumcision, many of them fueled by perpetual argument about it all over the Internet.

    Still, whenever an opinion comes down from the world of medical professionals, it inevitably makes waves.

    This particular study, according to The Daily Beast, is largely the work of one of its authors, Professor Emeritus at The University of Sydney, Australia and Brian J. Morris, a well-known supporter of circumcision. Using a comparison to vaccines as an example, Morris has been advocating

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  • You Bet I’m Raising a Mama’s Boy (Otherwise Known as a Good Human)

    You Bet I'm Raising a Mama's BoyYou Bet I'm Raising a Mama's BoyI didn't think I was on a stalwart mission to raise a mama's boy. It's the sort of pursuit that evolved as my relationship with my son has developed and deepened over the years. We are tight, my son and I. He's the sort who initiates luxuriant rounds of sweet cuddles and kisses. He has, in fact, dubbed himself my "kissy-bear."

    "I'm your kissy-bear, right mama?" he asked me, glowing with pride and a huge smile, immediately after coming up with the phrase all on his own.

    It was inevitable, I suppose, since I'm a hands-on, affectionate person. I'm secretly relieved that it hasn't blown up in my face yet and that my son still savors all of the physical touch, doting, and love I shower upon him. When I think about our tender, close mother-son connection, I don't think about whether this means I'm raising a mama's boy.

    I just think (and hope), that perhaps I'm raising a good human. A sweet and sensitive one, an emotionally-developed and confident one who will one day shower endless

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  • The Truth About Young Marriage

    The Truth About Young MarriageThe Truth About Young MarriageCan I say something crazy?

    (Yes, sorry, but after watching the movie non-stop straight for the past week, it's kind of in my head, ok? #FrozenForever)

    At 27, my husband and I have been together for a shocking 11 years. In five years, we will have been together longer than we have lived apart. How strange is that?

    Yesterday, I wrote a piece about some of the most common mistakes couples make in a marriage that can lead to a divorce, and one of the factors that kept popping up over and over in my research was something that hit a little too close to home for me:

    Couples who get married too young.

    It's really not an uncommon idea - many studies cite getting married too young as a factor in divorce, like this one that says that young couples with low education are one of the most likely groups to get divorced. One divorced woman even advocates that no one should get married before age 25.

    And while I'm of course biased because we got married at the ripe old age of 21, I am

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  • 12 Things I’ve Learned (the Hard Way) About Running Injuries

    25 Things I've Leanred (the Hard Way) About Running Injuries25 Things I've Leanred (the Hard Way) About Running Injuries1. Even if you're the most careful person in the entire world, it can still happen to you.

    2. You are not invincible.

    3. Even if you have friends with superhuman running powers that do all the things you're not "supposed" to, it doesn't mean it won't happen to you.

    4. Doctors don't know everything.

    5. What's best for person x may not be best for you.

    6. It doesn't matter what any doctor says - only you know if you're getting better and when it's time to get back into action.

    Related: 10 surprising benefits of taking a walk

    7. Rest is evil.

    8. Rest is oh-so-necessary.

    9. You will not spontaneously combust if you do not exercise for a week. Or a month. Or FIVE.

    10. Not all doctors are created equal.

    11. When all else fails, keep finding something else to try.

    12. Don't give up. Don't ever give up.

    Got anything to add to the list?

    Photo source: Heather Neal

    -By Heather Neal

    For 13 more things I learned (the hard way) about running Read More »from 12 Things I’ve Learned (the Hard Way) About Running Injuries
  • 7 Unique Wedding Dresses and Tips to Find Them

    When I got married over 10 years ago, I had the hardest time finding a wedding dress to get excited about. There was a sea of sameness, and I wanted something unique. Even today, the majority of bridal gowns are strapless with full skirts. If that's the type of dress you are looking for, then you're all set. If you want something a little unexpected, this is the article for you. I have curated a collection of 7 unique wedding dresses and tips to help you find the one that's right for you. A decade ago there weren't as many online retailers, Etsy wasn't connecting people with creators, and brides weren't sharing their wedding details in such high numbers. Because of all the weddings you can see online, there are a larger variety of styles and choices out there in this big world. Don't let having more choices leave you feeling overwhelmed - instead take advantage of it. Figure out exactly what you want and what your style is, then go out and find it. The slideshow below will help you get

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  • Dear Son: I Hope You Fail

    Dear Son: I Hope You FailDear Son: I Hope You FailDear son,

    Looking at you - my 5-year-old boy, months away from stepping into your kindergarten class - I'm overwhelmed with wishes and hopes for your future. As any mother is. I hope you make friends in a leadership-type way, rather than being herded along against your better judgment. I hope you retain this incredible excitement toward learning new things. I hope you find something that sparks a passion inside of you, and I hope that you believe in yourself enough to pursue what makes you happy.

    I also hope you fail.

    I hope you experience moments of struggle.

    I hope you feel disappointment and live through difficult times.

    Now that might be jarring to read, as it's hard to write - to feel. I have this primal urge to throw my arms around you as a shield from anyone or anything that might knock you down. Anything that might hurt you. You're my baby.

    But I'm also your mother.

    My goal is to help you develop into a good, empathetic, productive person who brings more

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  • My Pregnant Body — from Loathing to Acceptance

    My Pregnant Body — From Loathing to AcceptanceMy Pregnant Body — From Loathing to AcceptanceI am not a tiny pregnant lady - it's just a fact.

    Those women who are only pregnant in their bellies … you know, the kind who, even with big bellies, perfectly round like a basketball, are still in possession of lovely, lithe limbs and a chin with a visible jawline? Yeah, that's so not me. When I am pregnant, I'm pregnant everywhere. My arms look pregnant, my thighs lose whatever semblance of a "gap" they ever had, my bum gets a bit squishy and my jawline slowly disappears over the course of nine months.

    During my last pregnancy, I had a really difficult time with this. I remember feeling like my body was hijacked and the weight gain felt totally random and uncontrollable. I gained nothing during the first 18 weeks of my pregnancy despite a lack of morning sickness - and then, suddenly, without changing my eating or workout habits, I gained 20 pounds in a two-week span. It was insane. After that, I pretty much just gave up. It felt out of my control, so I figured why bother? I

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  • Censoring Violence in Animation: Have We Taken One Step Forward or Two Steps Back?

    Censoring Violence in Animation: Have We Taken One Step Forward or Two Steps Back?Censoring Violence in Animation: Have We Taken One Step Forward or Two Steps Back?About a week ago, a good friend and I took our children to go see Frozen once again for the sing-along version of the movie. While both of us (and our children too, of course) absolutely love the film, I didn't give much thought to the Disney short Get a Horse!, which preceded it. While it's an eye-popping 3D-flick that has won critics over with rave reviews, my friend wasn't keen on it.

    "Don't you think it's very violent?" she asked me while we were sitting in the cinema with our popcorn and our children beside us, glued to the big screen. She explained that she didn't like the kidnapping of Minnie Mouse, the violent outbursts, and the cat-and-mouse nature of the film.

    I hadn't really given Get a Horse! much thought since first seeing it back in November, other than realizing that Mickey and Minnie's frenemy Pete seemed to have really mellowed down since his heyday in late 1920′s animation. In comparison, the Pete we see today in Disney Junior's Mickey Mouse Clubhouse seems very

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  • 8 People You Hate when You’re Trying to Get Pregnant

    10 People You Hate When You're Trying to Get Pregnant10 People You Hate When You're Trying to Get PregnantNext month marks two years since I started my journey to motherhood. It's not an anniversary I'm eager to celebrate. I thought, for sure, I'd be gearing up to celebrate a first birthday by this time, and not a "still no baby" post.

    If you've followed my story from the beginning, you know that I keep a positive attitude - about 99 percent of the time. I think one of the reasons I'm able to stay so upbeat through this all is because I allow myself to feel the crappy days, the defeated moods. But sometimes, the day just gets you.

    I write this today with a light heart, and I very loosely use the word hate. I actually don't hate anyone. But, more times than one, I've found myself rolling my eyes - or totally cringing - at these 8 types of people you learn to hate when you're trying to get pregnant. Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

    1. Women With Four or More Kids
    A single child is understandable. Two makes sense. Three is actually quite nice. But four? Or more? Today?

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