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  • Painting Away the Tears: Boston Children Remember Martin Richard

    No Credit

    By Kimberly Horner for

    It's said that a picture says a thousand words, but last weekend, children of Boston painted a banner representing just one: Peace.

    In memory of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old killed in the Boston bombings, children gathered outside his home last weekend to paint a 100-foot-long banner, reports NBC.

    Plus: An Open Letter to Martin Richard

    The "Painting for Peace" banner was inspired by a viral photo of Richard holding an art project with the message: "No more hurting people. Peace." The banner now hangs above Interstate 93 in Boston thanks to the help of nearly 50 volunteers.

    Richard was the youngest of three fatalities and his younger sister Jane, 7, was among the 260 injured in the attack. Richard's sister lost a leg due to the attack and his mother was also seriously injured.

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  • Why My Toddler Had Plastic Surgery

    By Sasha Emmons for

    "What's that on her head?"

    It was my daughter Chloe's second day on Earth, and already the mom anxiety had kicked in over what looked like a bruise just above her forehead. "That's just a hemangioma birthmark. It might get a little bigger, but it will go away by the time she's 2," the pediatrician told me. Google gave me more details: A hemangioma, often called a strawberry, is a benign blood-vessel tumor. One in 10 babies (usually girls) will develop one.

    My husband, Justin, and I tried to laugh it off as we fell madly in love with our Baby Gorbachev. But as Chloe grew, the hemangioma showed no signs of shrinking. In fact, it had ballooned to the diameter of a golf ball, and was puffed ominously full of blood. People who knew Chloe saw a spunky, smiley, and beautiful kid; strangers just stared at that thing on her head. The pediatrician brushed off my concerns, saying it was just a cosmetic issue. But I couldn't help the nagging feeling

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  • Only Half of Parents Regularly Talk to Kids About Money

    © Brian HagiwaraBy Brian Braiker

    You would be hard pressed to find parents who didn't believe in the importance of giving their kids a financial education.

    We couldn't.

    A recent survey that Parenting conducted with Citi Community Development found that parents overwhelmingly believe in the importance of talking about household budgets, savings and financial goals-but not many are actually doing it on an ongoing basis.

    Ninety percent of the 1,026 parents surveyed agreed that teaching their kids the financial facts of life was an important parental task, and yet nearly half of them (48 percent) admit to not talking about money and finances with their kids on a regular basis.

    The reason? Parents report feeling that their children aren't quite old enough yet: 79 percent of those surveyed agreed with the statement that "my children are too young to understand money concepts."

    Plus: Money Saving Tips for Mom

    Still, 52 percent of parents in the Parenting/Citi survey reported

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  • Why I Told My Daughter She Sucks at Sports

    Courtesy of Parenting.comBy Janelle Hanchett

    A couple weeks ago, we were leaving one of those insane, horrible giant trampoline bouncy places and my 11-year-old daughter says to me "I don't think I'm very physical. You know, like Rocket [her brother]. He seems to be really good at sports and flipping and I'm not."

    What came out my mouth surprised me: "No, you're kind of not."

    The Parenting Truth I'm Not Willing to Accept

    Okay let me back up. As you may have surmised, this child has been with me for approximately 11.5 years, not counting the time she was in my belly, so I've had ample time to observe her engaging in physical acts: jumping, climbing, running, organized sports.

    And the kid is just like me: two left feet. If anybody was ever NOT a "natural" athlete, that person is me.

    But even knowing these facts, and relating perfectly to the sentiment my daughter was expressing, my first instinct was to snow her with some BS: "Oh, no, honey. You're good at sports! You just have to keep

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  • 4 Tips for Gardening with Your Toddler


    By Sandy M. Fernández

    To get your kids to eat more fruits and veggies, get them invested early in life -- the plant's life, that is. "I've never seen a child refuse to eat something she grew herself," says Amanda Grant, author of the brand-new Grow It, Cook It With Kids. She suggests that little ones:

    Till the soil

    Give them a little rake and a job clearing the rocks out of a small part of your garden. Toddlers love a task, especially if it involves sitting and rooting around in dirt.

    Water the strawberries

    These plants are kid faves because, says Grant, "they don't need much attention and you can clearly see the little strawberry growing day by day." A flowering plant from a garden center, sprinkled daily (but no more!) by your child, should have fruit in a few weeks.

    Plus: 5 Simple Ways Kids Can Help the Environment

    Bury the potatoes

    Who hasn't grown a plant out of a spud's sprouting eye? (Even if, um, unintentionally.) Bury the burgeoning eyes in a few

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  • Raise an Environmentally-Aware Child

    Courtesy of Parenting.comBy Melody Warnick

    1. Be artful. Stock your child's coloring table with used printer paper and empty cereal boxes. He can draw on the unprinted sides of the paper, and the insides of cereal boxes are great for finger painting. Bonus points for turning his artwork into wrapping paper.

    2. Collect runoff. Have your preschooler place watering cans or buckets under the downspouts of your house. After a storm, she'll be thrilled to see that her cans are full, and she can use the rainwater to give houseplants a drink.

    3. Jump on it. "I lay milk jugs, aluminum cans, and boxes on the floor and let my son stomp on them to make them flat for recycling," says Dalia Stein of Columbus, Ohio. "He fulfills his little-boy need to destroy things while doing something nice for the environment."

    4. Put your kids in charge of reminding you to switch off the lights when you leave a room. They can even pretend to issue you a ticket for infractions -- and they'll be less likely to waste energy themselves.

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  • Early Elective Birth Rates Drop

    By Laura Anastasia

    Cook on, mama! Keeping your little bun in the oven until at least 39 weeks gestation is healthier for you and baby- and new results from a yearlong five-state trial program show that more and more women are going that route.

    Twenty-five hospitals in California, New York, Florida, Illinois and Texas took part in the March of Dimes' Big 5 State Prematurity Initiative to reduce the amount of elective deliveries before 39 weeks in hospitals in the five most populous U.S. states.

    Plus: U.S. C-Section Rate Reaches All-Time High

    Using a specially devised toolkit, participating hospitals sought to bring down the rate of elective deliveries of babies before 39 weeks of gestation unless medically necessary. For years, medical groups have advised that expectant mothers wait for delivery to start on its own, and 38 percent of births in the United States occur in these five states.

    The program was a success: In one year, the number of early term

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  • Dear Daughter, Here’s Why I Work

    Sasha Emmons By Sasha Emmons

    Dear Chloe,

    Not long ago you asked me if I love work more than I love you and your brother.

    The question breaks my heart, and as you are almost 8, I'm pretty sure it was designed to. Don't worry; I don't hold it against you. Daughters are meant to know and agitate their mother's vulnerable spots-it's part of the special intimacy we share. I did the same thing to my mom, giving her the business for going back to work part-time when I was even older than you, after she'd spent years at home raising me, my brother and sister. I'll be sure bring our conversation up over and over again when you're an adult and facing the same kinds of comments from your own daughter, like my mom does to me. (P.S. Mom, really sorry-again!)

    Plus: Single Working Mom? Read This

    You've never really known a time when I stayed home. I went back to work when you were three months old, and save for eights months I was at home when your brother was born, it's always been

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  • New Moms Use IPads to Bond with Babies at Cedars-Sinai Hospital

    Cedars-SinaiBy Jeana Lee Tahnk

    Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles just recently announced a new program for its Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that will use iPads to help their new moms bond with recently delivered babies.

    Called 'BabyTime,' this program will allow non-ambulatory moms who have either had c-sections or complications from their labor and deliveries to see their babies on the iPad screen and talk to them over secure wireless connections within the hospital.

    Plus: The New Science of Mother-Baby Bonding

    According to the hospital's press release announcing the new initiative, Charles F. Simmons Jr., MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics calls it a communication bridge that will help moms bond even if they can't be physically present. He adds, "When doctors and nurses are treating a newborn in the NICU, mom can be right there asking questions and getting updates, even if she's on a different floor."

    After a baby is admitted to the NICU, they will set up an

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  • Nia Vardalos on "Instant" Motherhood

    © Jackie Tucker

    By Brian Braiker
    When Nia Vardalos, writer and star of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, left for New York to promote her new book this week, her daughter Ilaria looked up and told her, "Go get some kids adopted."

    Vardalos is in town to discuss the release of Instant Mom, a book about her ten-year journey to motherhood. Equal parts memoir and adoption how-to manual, Instant Mom is as light and charming as it is profoundly moving in parts. In it Vardalos chronicles the heartbreak and disappointment of infertility, through which she endured 13 in vitro treatments.

    "I had this sense of failure. I'm not one of those people who accepts facts," she says now. "I'm part of this generation of women who were raised by these amazing women who taught us we can expect to have it all."

    But biology and Mother Nature had other plans for Vardalos.

    With her husband of 20 years, actor Ian Gomez, she did some research into adoption and settled on foster-adoption rather than use a surrogate

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