• Photo: Erin Zammett RuddyI’m not a fan of letting my kids watch a lot of television or play endless video games. We have an iPad and more TVs than I care to admit so I’m certainly not anti, but we’ve always tried to limit screen time. Then we had a third child. Add to that the winter that wouldn’t quit and more and more technology seeped into our routine. Before I knew it, my older kids (6 and 4) were like addicted little zombies constantly asking to play/watch/touch. They would put the TV on without asking. I’d find them hiding behind the couch with the iPad. They tried to snatch our iPhones from our hands and when they’d be Skyping with my in-laws on the iPad, my son would flip the screen to sneak in a little Minecraft.

    It wasn’t that they were glued to these things 24/7 (they weren’t), it’s that they came to expect the screen time rather than view it as a treat. I worried they had become so dependent that we couldn’t go back. Because I’d become dependent too — when you’re juggling three young kids and a

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  • What is your family looking for in a neighborhood?You've finally found the home of your dreams. It's got great light, huge closets, and it's in your price range. But before you sign on the dotted line, it's important to venture out and make sure the neighborhood meets your expectations. Safety, of course, is the major concern, but there are other points to ponder as well. Crime stats, school ratings, and neighborhood amenities are just a few considerations. Read on to smartly assess your new home's surroundings (and then go pick out curtains).

    1. Real Estate Reconnaissance. Count up the other homes for sale or rent on your block and visit a few areas nearby, too. If you find a large number on the market, it could be a negative: too many available spots might mean people are leaving the neighborhood. Empty apartments and homes can attract graffiti, trash, or worse.

    2. Service With a Smile. You may not need take-out or puppy grooming on every corner, but look around for some of the more common businesses you tend to patronize. Go

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  • By: Ivy Jacobson for TheBump.com


    Lily Allen hasn't recovered from her absolutely heartbreaking stillbirth in 2010, but now she's willing to speak out about her depression that came from losing her baby boy when she was six months pregnant.

    More from The Bump: What Are Signs Of A Miscarriage?

    "It was horrendous and something I would not wish on my worst enemy," Lily tells The Sun. "It's something that I still haven't dealt with. I never will get over it. I have dealt with it, you know, as being at one with it. But it's not something that you get over. I held my child and it was really horrific and painful - one of the hardest things that can happen to a person."

    Lily's husband, Sam Cooper, stood by her side after their loss and after her septicemia scare days later, which is a blood poisoning infection that can often be fatal. Lily had also suffered a miscarriage in 2008.

    "I was overwhelmed by what an incredibly unlucky thing it was to happen. But I had this man standing by my side,

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  • After a 30-year decline, more mothers are staying at home with their children.

    By Sally Holmes

    After a steady 30-year decline, the number of mothers staying at home to take care of their children is once again on the rise, a new study from Pew reports. Based on census bureau data, the study found that in 2012, 29% of mothers age 18 to 69 with children under 18 living with them, did not work outside the home-that's about 10.4 million more women than in 1999. Of that number, two-thirds are married, stay-at-home mothers with working husbands, but the other third is compromised of single mothers or married women with non-working or absent husbands.

    RELATED: Style Tips From the Chicest Celebrity Daughters (And Their Moms)

    But not all of these women are staying at home by choice. The study finds that six percent of women in 2012 reported that they were staying home because they were unable to find a job, compared to one percent in 2000. Other reasons for staying home were due to illness, disability, or being enrolled in school. The study also cites the

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  • ...minimal weight gain tied to increased obesity risk for child(Newser) - The amount of weight a mom-to-be gains during pregnancy may have a link to the weight of the child she bears, a new study finds. Gaining either too much or too little weight can both result in a greater chance that child will be obese, LiveScience reports. The research followed 4,145 women and their kids between ages 2 and 5. What they found:

    -Women with a normal body mass index before pregnancy are advised to gain 25 to 35 pounds; those who gained less were 63% more likely to have an overweight or obese kid.

    -Moms in that group who gained more than that recommended amount were 80% more likely to have an overweight or obese kid.

    -Of all women who gained less than the recommended amount of weight, some 19.5% had overweight or obese kids.

    -Of those who gained more, 20.4% had kids in that category; that's compared to 14.5% of kids whose moms gained the recommended amount of weight. Why?

    "Gaining either too little or too much weight in pregnancy may permanently

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  • Tips on Taking Beautiful Photos of Your Baby!Tips on Taking Beautiful Photos of Your Baby!

    Wouldn't it be nice to have a huge budget and be able to hire someone to take stellar photos of your family and new little one all the time, especially there to capture those beautiful, new moments? While getting family photos taken is wonderful, learning how to use what you have to beautifully capture special memories is a must. Now that most people have smartphones and, with that, access to a decent camera it's easier than ever to quickly grab your phone and snap a few (or hundred!) photos of the newest addition to your family. Ever since having Soren, Jon and I have nearly used up all of our storage space on our phones capturing images of the little guy. We might be just a little obsessed.

    You don't have to be a professional to get great images! Follow these tips to help improve your photos easily!

    1. LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING - If I could offer you just one tip, it would be make sure your lighting is great. Taking images in dimly lit spaces or places where the sun is shining

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  • When I first saw that my cousin, Jacquelyn of J&J Brusie Photography, had taken her three-year-old son and not-even-four-month daughter on a Disney vacation, my first thought was one of incredulity.

    What? I thought to myself. A baby to Disney? That would be torture!

    But as it turns out, Jacquelyn and her family had a wonderful three-day trip to Disney-instead of the squalling, whining, exhausting fest I would be prone to imagine (I'm a fearful kind of mom, I guess), their family got to experience the fun and magic that makes Disney the stuff of memories that last a lifetime.

    And although Jacquelyn is the adventurous, calm mom that would think of taking a baby to Disney in the first place, she also is passing along some tips for other moms for making a trip to Disney with baby picture-perfect. - By Chaunie Brusie

    Superwoman: My 10 Parenting Super Powers
    7 Travels Tips We Learned from Baby's First Plane Ride
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  • 12 Questions That Teach Kindness in Your Children12 Questions That Teach Kindness in Your ChildrenWe encourage kindness in our children, above all else. In our home, we value and teach kindness above intelligence, talent, and responsibility.

    As parents, we are raising children whose character is built on thoughtful kindness. And it's working: In a day of endless stories of bullying, we are raising children who stand up for the bullied by stepping in. In a day of debates over whether children should be allowed in restaurants, we are raising children whose considerate behavior draws strangers to our table to comment on what a pleasure it was to have us as table-mates.

    In a house of three kids under 10 years old, we are working every day to raise siblings who know how to fight fair, know how to love and be loved, and who will be friends as adults. It starts at home, and we work at it every day.

    Our approach isn't foolproof. My 7-year-old is far more empathetic than his older brother. It's like empathy is his superpower. He can read emotions near flawlessly when he slows down

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  • 8 Ways to Live a Happy Life, According to a 6-Year-Old8 Ways to Live a Happy Life, According to a 6-Year-OldMy 6-year-old is the happiest kid. From the moment he wakes up smiling to the moment he drifts off to sleep in full grin, you can find him singing, dancing, and engaged in general merriment.

    The kid can't help it. He was born chased-down-by-rainbows-and-sunbeams happy. Sure, he has moments of sadness, anger, and frustration like everyone else, but those moments are the rare exception to the rule that my son is, in fact, a real life Buddy the Elf.

    Spreading smiles and warming hearts is what this kid has always done best. If there was ever a calling placed on his life, it would have to involve the spreading of contagious joy.

    If you've ever wished for even an ounce of this kind of soul-consuming cheer, you're not alone.

    Take a look at BooBoo's very own 8-step guide to personal happiness because happy just feels good.

    1. Have fun
    It's fun to have fun and when you have fun, you're happy. Play with your brother and friends - all of them. Play games that you like to play,

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  • The Impact of an Only Child on MotherhoodThe Impact of an Only Child on MotherhoodThere are many days where I feel like I've missed out on full motherhood.

    The days when my friends have no down time, laundry galore, dirt and mud tracked on the kitchen floor, never-ending meals, nighttime wake-ups, and a desperation for naps -- those are the days I keenly feel an absence.

    My house is clean. The laundry is usually done in a day. Bella takes naps and sleeps through the night. We have no diapers, no bottles, no rooms filled with the baby's toys and hers mixed together.

    All of that sits in a little box in the garage. Once again unused and untouched.

    They're hauling carseats and laughing about their third cup of coffee in an hour because the baby was up all night -- and I'm knitting on the couch while Bella plays at my side.

    If this was by choice, it might be different. This scenario might even have sounded snarky or bragging to some. But when the cause is those other littles being taken away by death and loss -- then it's a very hard thing.

    After I lost

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