• Reflections on My Two-Year Fertility JourneyReflections on My Two-Year Fertility JourneyToday is my 36th birthday. Two years and two weeks ago, I had my first ever appointment at a fertility center. Tomorrow will be two years exactly that I've been writing for Babble.

    When we first decided we were going to start trying to have a family, there wasn't much information out there for us. Sure, all the medical info was available, but there were so few stories of how families like ours are formed, so few real words from other lesbian mothers - so I decided to blog about it.

    I reached out to a dear ex-coworker of mine who had tons of blogging experience. I wanted to know which site she used: WordPress, Tumblr, what? I told her my plans to share my story, and - without it ever once crossing my mind - she asked if I would want to share it on Babble. Of course she'd have to speak to the editors there, and there were no guarantees, but sure! Why wouldn't I want to?

    Babble decided to take me on. To be a platform for me to tell my story. I signed up with their Pregnancy

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  • I have to admit that the quality and complexity of our household art project ambitions really took a nose-dive once there was a baby brother in the picture. My poor daughter. She loves nothing more than to sit down to the art table, supplies spread before her. But it's hard to craft a play-dough baby while holding an actual baby (though not, as I've learned, impossible). Still and yet, there are rainy days, and beautiful days when Mama cannot emotionally handle the stress of the playground, and thus: art projects. A clean one, for the very lightly-functional days, a messy one, for when baby's studiously drooling on the exersaucer, and a REALLY messy one, for when baby's solidly napping and daddy's home--just in case.
    By Amy Shearn, author of The Mermaid of Brooklyn and How Far is The Ocean from Here. This post originally appeared on her blog Household Words.

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    Read More »from Toddler Art Projects, from Clean to Messy to Messiest
  • Some years ago, a lovely encounter with parenting/sleep consultant Natalie Nevares, founder of Mommywise, in the ever-enchanting Brooklyn Botanic Gardens cherry tree esplanade helped me to put my stress about my kids' sleep into some much-needed perspective. I will never forget that moment when I realized how silly it was to stress myself about nap schedules and where the kids slept and when and how and all of these things I'd been losing just this sleep I was trying to preserve over.

    Nevares's non-dogmatic approach was so liberating! (She believes in something called "not feeling guilty or judging other mothers"...?) And this meeting couldn't have come at a better time for me. A few offhand comments from better sleep-trainers than I--and a bad sleep week to boot--had me feeling like a mess, as if I'd failed somehow by not getting my kids to sleep the way I wanted them to. Just the day before, I'd been beside myself because my son wouldn't nap (and I'd really, really been counting on

    Read More »from My Children Have Their Own Parenting Theories
  • Mad MenThis Sunday marks the kickoff of Mad Men's final season. Admittedly, our love for the show has waned a bit over the years. Despite its impeccable art direction, the superficial ways in which Mad Men has nodded at (address seems too strong a word) the social and racial conflicts that came to a climax during the 60s and 70s have left many of us a tad underwhelmed.
    So what keeps us coming back? We'd have to say it's our attachment to the characters. For one thing we're excited to see Don Draper finally eating his just desserts. Season six left off with his forced sabbatical, marking a new era in our erstwhile golden boy's existence. Not to mention we love the newly slim and self-aware Betty. Sure, she's still a piece of work, but we've grown a certain fondness for her over the years. No matter how blatantly she criticizes her daughter's body image or generally impedes her children's stable psychological development (by, say, dismissing their beloved lifelong nanny), Betty holds a

    Read More »from The 5 Most Hilarious Parenting Moments from 'Mad Men'
  • 7 of My Fears About Homeschooling

    Homeschooling FearsHomeschooling FearsMost of the time I'm fairly confident in our decision to homeschool our daughter. I loved to teach school, I love to read and learn, and I have a good idea of what it entails both now and as she gets older. We have a close knit relationship, and I can look down the road to seeing our relationship enhanced by this adventure.

    Maybe not at 16. But later.

    However, like any major decision we make for our children and families, I have nagging fears about homeschooling that surface with different parts of life.

    1. Is There Such a Thing as Too Much One-on-One Attention?

    I wonder if I'll be able to develop Bella into an independent learner as the years pass, since there will be nothing else to distract me from her. While a parent with a larger family might have to tell a child, "You'll have to figure it out, I'm with your sibling," that won't be the case for us. Although she does amazing while working and playing on her own now, I want to make sure it's a skill that continues.


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  • The Unbelievable Way One Woman Gave BirthThe Unbelievable Way One Woman Gave BirthAs a labor and delivery nurse for the past three years, I've seen a lot of women give birth.

    Epidural-aided and natural, vaginally and via C-section, side-lying, on all fours or by the ever-popular legs splayed to the side in bed route -- I thought I had seen it all.

    And I have to confess that I am one of those weird people that happens to think that birth is the single most wondrous thing on earth. It took me months after training before I was able to assist in a delivery without having to embarrassingly wipe my tears away with my latex-gloved hand.

    But there is one birth that sticks out in my mind as the one that I will never forget -- the birth that stills seem almost unbelievable to me, the birth that moved me to tears I didn't even try to hide.

    They were a couple approaching their 40s, a husband and wife team who had thought they were "done," with three children already well past the diapers and crying-every-two-hours stage.

    It's a situation that many of us dread --

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  • These probably don't have marijuana in them.(Newser) - Saira Munoz needed to make enough money to buy a prom dress. What to do? The then-18-year-old high school student chose quite possibly the worst course of action: She baked pot brownies, then hired another student to sell them at her high school in Yuba City, California.

    When one of the students who ate a brownie got sick, Munoz got caught, and on Monday she was sentenced to nine days in jail and four years' probation for employing a minor to sell marijuana.

    The good news: Due to time served, she didn't actually have to go back to jail, Fox 40 reports. The very, very bad news: The crime is a felony, and Munoz, who came to the US from Mexico with temporary permission in 2000, now faces deportation, CBS Sacramento reports. The probation department did reveal her conviction to the federal immigration authorities, but there's no word yet on her fate.

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    Read More »from Teen's Idea to Fund Prom Dress: Sell Pot Brownies
  • By: Ivy Jacobson for TheBump.com

    Photo: Shutterstock / The BumpAccording to a new study from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, 9 out of 11 of the most popular hospital urine pregnancy tests are more likely to produce a false-negative result after the fifth to seventh week of pregnancy, even though the tests perform well in the first month after conception.

    More from The Bump: 6 ways to tell you're fertile

    Led by Ann M. Gronowski, PhD, of the Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, the study shows that when a woman's egg is fertilized, it begins producing the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which is detected in urine or blood. However, during the fifth to seventh week of gestation, urine concentrations of an hCG variant known as the hCG beta core fragment increase rapidly, interfering with hCG detection. This is what causes false-negative test results.

    In a hospital, the failure to detect a false-negative can lead to serious consequences, like administration of

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  • From left, Riley, Rheann and Ainsley. Photo: Scantling PhotographyEach year in the U.S., about 13,400 children under the age of 19 are diagnosed with a form of cancer, according to the American Childhood Cancer Organization. And while those numbers are staggering enough on their own, sometimes one simple photo speaks even louder than statistics — like in the case of this particular image, by Oklahoma photographer Lora Scantling, that’s currently yanking on the heartstrings of thousands of Facebook users. In it are three little girls, ages 3, 4, and 6, mostly bald from chemo and embracing each other with their eyes closed, in a pose that emanates a warmth and depth beyond their collective years. A caption notes, “Sometimes strength comes in knowing you are not alone.”

    “I thought of this project just because I wanted to do something that would bring out emotion and touch peoples hearts,” Scantling tells Yahoo Shine through a message on Facebook — where her photo of the three girls has been liked nearly 4,000 times since being posted on April 5. “My

    Read More »from Portraits of Little Girls With Cancer Stir Emotions on Facebook
  • Photo: Amanda Edwards/WireImageFor a film about blocks, “The Lego Movie” was a surprising smash hit — so much so that Warner Bros. ordered a sequel before it was even released to the public. But one glaring issue was the lack of female characters. Shockingly, out of 35 voice actors in the film, including stars such as Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, and Will Arnett, only six were women. On Thursday, Chris McCay, the director of the film's sequal, adressed the issue and promised to make some changes for “The Lego Movie 2.”

    “For us we have a lot of producers that were female who had concerns and we were always constantly saying to ourselves: 'Are we just a bunch of white guys sitting here making this movie from our own myopic point of view?” McCay told the Daily Mail. He recognizes that “sexism is something that's part of our culture and something that we need to adjust” and filmmakers, in particular, have a responsibility to examine the prevalence of gender inequality.

    While the movie is certainly

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