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Teachers spending billions on school supplies out of pocket

by leeroseemery on September 12, 2012

Remember the feeling of sharpening a brand new pencil or opening a new notebook for the first few weeks of school? I do. What’s sad is that many kids in America don’t have that feeling as they can’t afford school supplies, and, their schools have lost the funding to provide them. Consequently, American teachers are shelling out their own money to purchase supplies for their classrooms. Most parents appreciate how hard teachers  work and how little they are paid for their  dedication to our kids. It feels extremely unfair that they find themselves using their own wages to provide classroom necessities.

Take Part even estimates that American teachers collectively are spending a grand total of 3 BILLION dollars out of pocket in a year. Naturally, Take Part is starting a campaign to help change that. You can help too, by clicking here and donating. Every donation counts. If your kids do some charitable giving of their own this would be a cause that may resonate with them too.

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Have your kids asked about the Aurora Shootings?

by leeroseemery on July 25, 2012

I am always torn about how much to try to protect my children from the evil, madness and tragedy that exists in the world. Yet I also don’t want to shelter them so much that they won’t have the tools to handle life’s tragedies when they do eventually have to face one head on. When is the right time to bring horrific events  up?  And how do we level with them in a way that they can digest? Can we tell them the truth but not fill them with fear about the unknown unimaginables that could actually happen, and do sometimes happen? The senseless movie theatre shooting in Colorado is one such moment that has made me wonder.

My kids have not heard about the shooting. They are enjoying a blissful summer of sunshine and bike riding and days at the beach. I have not volunteered the information. Yet, I noticed, at a local church last Sunday, the minister brought up the event up at the children’s service. (I was there, but my kids were not, instead they were eating pancakes with cousins.) I saw many mothers’ cringe that the minister spoke about the tragedy in front of so many kids. Yet, in a way church is a good place to try to address such horrors. But, secretly I was happy that my kids weren’t there, pleased that that they could be ignorant and innocent a little longer.

Betsy Brown Braun, my favorite parenting expert, has a great article here on what to say should your kids bring up the shootings in Colorado.  She has also written several great parenting books, filled with practical advice which are incredibly insightful specifically in terms of what age appropriate language to use when talking to your children during difficult times. Here’s an excerpt from her article and a link to her piece in The Huffington Post.

“The horrific tragedy in Colorado has left us all speechless, shaking our heads in disbelief. How could this have happened? Could anything really have been done to stop this mad man? And what can we possibly tell our children…if they ask?”

Click here to read Betsy’s full Huffington Post piece.

Click here to buy Betsy’s Book.

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Healthy Child Healthy World 2011 Awards

by leeroseemery on October 14, 2011

Last week I had the honor of attending Healthy Child Healthy World’s annual awards ceremony at the SLS Hotel hosted by Jennna Elfman. Healthy Child Healthy World is a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading awareness about protecting children from environmental toxins. The organization was founded in 1991 by James and Nancy Chuda, after their four year old daughter died of cancer. After their daughter’s tragic death The Chudas searched for answers. Four years later a study was released that revealed the likely connection between maternal exposure to pesticides and Wilms’ Tumor Cancer, the disease that their daughter suffered from. Since then the Chudas have dedicated their lives to spreading the word about the hazards of environmental toxins. Healthy Child Healthy World is a wonderful on line resource for parents full of informative information to help us all to make informed choices for our families.

Here are five basic steps that they recommend all families strive for:

1) AVOID PESTICIDES

2) USE NON TOXIC PRODUCTS

3) CLEAN UP INDOOR AIR

4) EAT HEALTHY

5) BE WISE WITH PLASTICS

One of the award winners honored that evening was pediatrician and author Dr. Allen Greene. His book, Feeding Baby Green, focuses on childhood nutrition. Dr Greene also started a movement called, “White Out,” which encourages parents not to feed their children rice cereal as a first solid food. (This was the first food my I gave my kids. Eeek!) He believes feeding your baby rice cereal is like feeding them a spoonful of sugar, as it is processed white rice which metabolizes to sugar. This book is full of great advice for feeding your young child and I wish that I had been privy to this information when my kids were younger.

Also honored that night was tenacious mom Tamara Rubin, of Oregon, whose children suffered lead poisoning during a routine home renovation. Tamar won the Healthy Child Award for 2011’s Mom on a Mission, as she founded Lead Safe America to promote protective policies regarding lead exposure.

It is inspiring to know that there are so many thoughtful parents taking action to help inform us all. We need to be vigilant about assessing the products that our kids are exposed to. Healthy Child Healthy World makes that daunting task so much easier with their on-line resources. They are always looking for volunteers to become involved, and also for donations. For more information about Healthy Child Healthy World check out their website.

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Mom Energy by Ashley Koff & Kathy Kaehler

September 18, 2011 Read

What mom doesn’t need more energy? Do you know any? Can’t say that I do. I recently attended a luncheon with dietitian and author, Ashley Koff, who introduced me to her new book, Mom Energy ; A Simple Plan to a Fully Charged Life. Mom Energy focuses on the nutritional needs of women, but in […]

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When kids bring up same sex marriage…

August 23, 2011 Read

Here’s my latest piece from CNN.com. (CNN) — Deep conversations with my kids seem to always arise in the car. “The most important thing about marriage,” I told my kids when the subject came up, “is that you pick someone who is kind, and who really loves you.” My son (then 6) replied, “Then I […]

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Great Back to School themed Picture Books

August 21, 2011 Read

Separating after a summer together with little ones can be a big transition. Here are some of my favorite back-to-school picture books for young children. Even if your kids are in grade school, these books can be a comforting and cozy pre-back to school read. THE KISSING HAND by Audrey Penn is a classic. The […]

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CHORES- who does more Moms or Dads? dare you ask?

August 8, 2011 Read

I just read Ruth Davis Konigesberg’s Time magazine’s article on CHORES -who does more, Men or Women?  Or really Moms or Dads? Thoroughly researched and based on different studies and census reports, Konigesberg concludes that we all do a lot; that we should stop fighting with our spouses and just RELAX! (That is if only […]

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Please Vote for LACityMom!

July 25, 2011 Read

LACityMom has been nominated by Circle of Moms as one of the top 25 blogs in SOCAL. Please click here to vote (or on the nifty pink circle in the left side bar) so I can move up the ranks. Blogging awards do help drive traffic and site stats, so every vote really does give […]

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Posting images of our kids online: What are the rules?

May 9, 2011 Read

The following is an article I wrote for CNN.com. The ability to share images and thoughts instantly is one of the marvels of the Information Age. Most of us, thanks to Facebook, have a relationship to a social network that involves a stream of conversation (albeit often banal: “I’m making chicken. …” Really?) But more […]

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Maya Soetoro-Ng’s Ladder to the Moon picture book & events in LA

April 14, 2011 Read

I just read a lovely, whimsical children’s picture book, called, Ladder to the Moon, by Maya Soetoro-ng, who happens to be President Obama’s sister. The book is a spiritual tale of a young girl who asks her mother what her grandmother was like. “She was like the moon,” her mother replied. “Full, soft and curious. […]

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