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How many Arlowe’s do you know? I know one.  Luckily, the Arlowe I know is adorable and she happens to be my niece. I still remember when my brother started reading off the list of potential names for their little girl. There was not an “Ashley” or “Melissa” in sight. Instead, it was “Revkah” and “Harlow” which eventually evolved into Arlowe. I gasped and balked at the names, “Aren’t you afraid she will be teased?” I asked. My name is unique as well. I’ve heard plenty of “Bridget is a gidget” in my day. (What does that even mean?) However, my brother pressed on. “No, not really. I want my daughter to be proud of her name and if some punk kid wants to make fun of her, I want her to be able to stick up for herself.” Touché, big brother.

Well according this article, my brother is not alone. The article states that “parents are choosing less common names for kids, which could suggest an emphasis on uniqueness and individualism, according to new research. Essentially, today’s kids (and later adults) will stand out from classmates. For instance, in the 1950s, the average first-grade class of 30 children would have had at least one boy named James (top name in 1950), while in 2013, six classes will be necessary to find only one Jacob, even though that was the most common boys’ name in 2007.” It’s a pretty interesting read that also gives a little history of baby naming. So, let’s discuss. Would you want your child to have a unique name or would you wander down the more traditional path? How about your own name? I’ve learned to love mine and I’m actually proud of the fact I don’t know many Bridget’s. I couldn’t imagine myself with any other name.

Check out this new information just released today:

“Eating lots of vegetables and fruits during pregnancy may lower the chance of having a baby with certain allergies, hint study findings from Japan.

Greater intake of green and yellow vegetables, citrus fruit, and veggies and fruits high in beta carotene (generally those colored red and orange) may lessen the risk of having a baby with eczema (itchy, dry, red patched skin), Dr. Yoshihiro Miyake at Fukuoka University and colleagues found.

Foods high in vitamin E, found in some green vegetables, similarly may lessen the risk of having a wheezy infant, they report in the journal Allergy.”

Read more of the article here. We all know how important eating healthy is for your growing baby, but this new study raises some good points. What was your eating like when you were pregnant? If you are newly pregnant would you pay more attention to the study? Share your opinion!

One of our Hudson Valley Parent readers provided us with some more great Valentine craft ideas after reading our post this week. Jo Brielyn wrote to us via Facebook with this feedback:

“Instead of simply making a traditional Valentine’s Day card, why not switch things up and help them make a creative and unique project sure to please any lucky valentine? Check out two of our favorite Valentine’s Day craft ideas. http://bit.ly/djalF8.”

Thanks for the ideas Jo! If you have any other ideas for fun Valentine’s Day crafts leave a comment below.

Snow days can sometimes be busier than others. The kids may be off from school, you may have work to do at home and don’t forget the joys of constant shoveling! If you need an activity to keep your mind off of the snow we found an activity you can share with your family and friends.

With Valentine’s day fast approaching, teach your children to show their appreciation for their family and friends by making a gift from the heart. Try making homemade Valentine’s Day cards with them when the appeal of creating another snowman has worn off (We found this craft and more at Kaboose.com). I remember making cards for everyone in my family when I was younger and it was always a fun and easy activity I loved to do. The best part is the cards are simple to make and your children can show off their creativity. Enjoy the snow day with the ones you love!

My homemade cards never looked this good...

Instructions:

  • For ages 3 and up.

Materials:

  • 8.5 x 11 construction paper or card stock in various colors and/or patterns
  • Valentine and/or heart stickers
  • Scissors
  • Pinking shears (optional)
  • Glue stick or white craft or school glue
  • Glitter (pink, red, white)

How to make them:

  1. Begin by cutting a piece of construction paper or card stock into four equal pieces.
  2. Fold quartered paper in half to make a card.
  3. For the easiest version, appropriate for preschoolers, use stickers to decorate or cut out hearts from a different color of construction paper or card stock to glue on your cards. Experiment with different patterns, florals look great contrasted with stripes on a solid background.
  4. Try glitter! Use a bottle of glue to “draw” on a heart or phrase (such as “I Love You”). Sprinkle glue generously with pink, red or white glitter and let dry over night. Tap off excess glitter when completely dry.
  5. For the older set, let them use pinking sheers to cut out heart shapes and glue onto cards. Again, use contrasting patterns and colors to create a charming design.
  6. Once glue is dry, cards may curl up a little. Place cards between the pages of a heavy cookbook or phone book and leave over night.

How did your cards come out? Share with us if you tried the craft!

Tell me if this sounds familiar to you. It’s about 3pm and your child comes home crying about how they had been punished in school by a teacher. After you listen to the situation to see what happened, do you find that you often side with your child or do you feel that the teacher was justified in disciplining your child? And how do you handle the issue? Do you call the school or do you let it blow over? Of course, I’m sure there are a variety of situations where you level of action varies, but I discovered a recent article that raised these questions.

To make a long story short, the young student in the article felt as though she was being targeted unfairly by a PE coach and the Mother of the daughter wanted to know how she should step in. She called the principal and when she thought the problem was resolved, the PE teacher embarrassed her child again. This is what the expert had to say on the subject: “This teacher is clearly abusing his authority. It’s time to see the principal again. This time I would suggest you write out a formal complaint and discuss harassment charges with the principal, letting them know you will not tolerate one more incident. Students do not deserve to be abused by those in authority and your number one concern needs to be your daughter – their student. And yes, sometimes you have to go in twice.

If the principal suggests a meeting with the coach, your daughter and yourself, explain that you feel it has gotten past that point and your daughter has been put through enough trauma at the hands of this teacher. Then discuss how she will be able to be on the team, if she missed her chance because of this abuse.”

What do you think? Good advice? What would you do?

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