• 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

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  • 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.

    More From Newser.com:

    Mother of Brain Dead Girl: Jahi Is 'Blossoming Into a Teen'
    Video: Bridge Collapses as

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  • 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

    Read More »from Why You Probably Want to Buy an At-Home Pregnancy Test Instead of Getting One at the Hospital
  • 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

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  • 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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  • The inspiration for baby girls named Khaleesi, from Game of Thrones. Photo: HBOOnce upon a time, baby names were a simple affair — Jane, Elizabeth, Susan. Then, for a time, with Sunshine and Autumn and Moon Unit, they got hippiefied. Now, with news spreading over Social Security Administration data showing that in 2012 alone, nearly 150 American girls were named Khaleesi — after a character’s royal title on “Game of Thrones” — the whole name game has become downright surreal.

    More on Shine: Amazing Wedding Ideas Inspired by 'Game of Thrones'

    On Wednesday, the website Vox reported on its discovery of the "Game of Thrones" baby-naming trend. After crunching the numbers, it found that the name Khaleesi had become more popular than Betsy, according to SSA data.

    “There are certain qualities about a character that makes the name really catch on,” Laura Wattenberg, author of “The Baby Name Wizard,” tells Yahoo Shine. “And in general, it’s shows featuring attractive young people with supernatural powers.”

    To wit: Katniss, from the "Hunger Games” trilogy, which was among the

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  • Phyllis and Michael SommerPhyllis and Michael SommerIt struck me shortly after I was diagnosed with breast cancer on Jan. 6 of this year how grateful I was to be the one in my family with cancer. I was nauseated with fright and dizzy with all of the details of what lay ahead of me, not to mention nearly paralyzed about the possibility that it had spread -- but I knew that I had more control over myself, my emotions, and how to attack it all than I could possibly have if it were happening to my husband or kids. To see those closest to me in pain and fearing for their own lives? It was a thought that literally took my breath away as it raced through my head during bouts of insomnia at night.

    Thankfully my story is one of the good ones. While 2014 will go down as the longest year in history for me as I plod through the painful and painfully long reconstruction process, the cancer was caught early, which means that while I'll still die one day, it won't be because of my breasts (especially since I don't have them anymore).

    I wish

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