Two of the Historic Thompson Sextuplets Head to College

thompson sextuplets

Two of the historic Thompson sextuplets graduated from High School Friday and are headed to Howard University in the Fall.

About 18 years ago,  Linden and Jacqueline Thompson made world history when they delivered the first set of sextuplets on May 8. Sadly, one died but still they became the first set of Black sextuplets born in the United States: Emily, Richard, Octavia, Stella and Ann-Marie.


It was also historic because then, they were the first natural (born without fertility treatment or in vitro fertilization) sextuplet pregnancy and the longest sextuplet pregnancy in the United States — more than seven months.

The amazing birth barely made national headlines until 6 months later an Iowan family welcomed the first surviving set of septuplets:  Kelsey, Alexis, Brandon, Natalie, Kenny Jr., Joel and Nathan.  Bobbi and Kenny McCaughey and their miracle babies  got tons of national attention, were showered with gifts and appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The media continued to cover them through each milestone and they appeared on the Oprah Winfrey network last year when they all turned 17.

The McCaughey septuplets on the set with Oprah. The show, celebrating the babies' first birthday, will aire on Thursday Nov. 19, 1998. (Photo supplied by the show)

The McCaughey septuplets on the set with Oprah. The show, celebrating the babies’ first birthday, will aire on Thursday Nov. 19, 1998. (Photo supplied by the show)

If it wasn’t for all the attention The McCaugheys got, there wouldn’t have been the protests and rallying of activists to also give support and gifts to the Thompson Sextuplets. In the DC area, Jessica Avor, then 16-years old, saw a newspaper article on the disparity in treatment and organized a massive drive which helped secure strollers, diapers and even a van for the family. Only then was the Thompson given mainstream media attention.

That attention led to Howard University giving the sextuplets a full scholarship when they graduated from High School. Now that Stella Thomson and Ann-Marie have graduated from DC’s Hospitality High School, they are heading to Howard in the Fall.  The remaining three will graduate next year.

Stella told the local news channel that she wants to be a veterinarian.

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The two local stories we found are among very few news coverage about them and even those two were told from the perspective of the Bethlehem, Pennsylvania young woman who organized the first drive.

Check them out:

DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

 

Summer: ‘Camp Mom’ tips for Work-at-Home Moms

 

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If you are like me and other work at home moms out there, you kind of dread Summer a bit because it means you will be responsible for keeping your children busy, entertained and intellectually stimulated so they don’t have too much Summer brain drain. You will have to do all that while managing your work obligations. Oy vey!


Many send their children to summer camps but a lot of camps only operate on a week or two-week increments and they can get very costly. To ease the challenge, it is a good idea to establish a strict schedule that includes work time, play time, and other activities in between. Without a routine, your work or project obligations can suffer and you risk having your kids play video games and watch TV all day.

Here are some suggestions of activities I came up with:

  • Use the morning to institute some reading or math drills time.
  • If you live near a library, use its facilities and take advantage of their summer reading challenges.
  • Go to the craft or dollar store and pick up supplies and incorporate an hour on some days for crafts.
  • Use card or board games for non-electronics hours.
  • Do outdoor activities close to home like make visits to the local park. My middle kid, who is a nature and animal lover, enjoys heading down to our town creek and exploring the dragonflies and frogs. My eldest likes riding his bike around the block and my youngest enjoys playing make-believe with her My Little Pony toys in the front yard.
  • Tack on active play time as well. Take a trip to a local tennis or basketball court. Toss the softball in the backyard. We go on a half mile loop in our town and stop periodically to do jumping jacks, burpees, situps and pushups in the evening. It’s a great way to stave off the summer excess weight gain as well.
  • Plan trips to the beach at least once during the summer.
  • Incorporate treks to the pool on a twice a week basis if you can.
  • If the budget allows, family visits to the roller rink, go cart track or cultural museums are other things you can do.

Here is the schedule I created for myself and hope to follow stringently. I’ve tried to allocate enough time in between for transitioning from activity to activity and made sure I put in ample time to work. You are free to use it to specialize your own schedule. Good luck and have fun!

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Bellyitch Blog named among Top 20 Pregnancy Blogs of 2015

best blog

We don’t like to brag too often, but…we are very happy to share the news that Bellyitch Blog has been named among Healthline’s Top 20 BEST Pregnancy Blogs of 2015!

It was selected by the editors of Healthline, a physician-run and venture capital-backed website that reaches 30 million readers monthly.


The editors selected each winner based on quality, frequency of updates and contribution to the community. We are honored to be chosen among such quality blogs, many of which are already on our daily read list!

You can see the full list here: www.healthline.com/healthslideshow/best-pregnancy-blogs

…and since we’re boasting, we’d like you to check out our recently updated Media Kit for 2015 HERE!

It can also be found on our Advertise page. *hint hint* Join the legions of awesome brands that we partner with to deliver you updated campaigns and news about their products!

And if you are interested in starting a blog or if you already have one with a sizeable audience and are thinking of turning it into a more professional endeavor, our editor JJ has released on Kindle and iTunes her latest ebook: How to Set Up Your Blog as a Business in 6 Steps (Basics of Blogging as a Business Book). It’s the first book in a 6-book series for professional bloggers to help them navigate all they need to know to operate their blogs as profitable businesses.

Okay Okay. Enough chest-pounding for one day!

Yay! Kudos to the team!

The Ultimate Infant Travel Packing Checklist

infant travel checklist

If you are going to be traveling in a plane with your brand new baby this summer, here is a popular past posts with a complete infant travel list to check out and consider printing out.

Enjoy and Be safe!

  • Diapers- One for each hour you’ll be in transit, plus extras in case of delays
  • Portable Changing Pad to put under your baby during diaper changes.You can buy disposable changing pads at supermarkets or reusable ones at baby stores.
  • Blankets-Bring a few — you’ll use them to lay your baby on, cover your baby, cover yourself if you’re nursing, protect your clothes from messy burps,
    shade your baby, and more
  • Plastic bags- Carry a variety of sizes for storing soiled diapers, clothes, and blankets.
  • Diaper rash cream
  • Wipes
  • Small bottles of disinfecting hand gel, baby wash, and baby lotion
  • Tissues
  • Extra pacifiers (if your baby uses one)
  • A few of your baby’s favorite toys
  • Clothes, socks, and booties or shoes
  • One to two outfits per day is a good guideline.
  • Washable bibs
  • Sun hat
  • Lightweight plastic feeding set with utensils, and baby food, if your baby’s eating solid foods
  • Formula, water, and juice if appropriate
  • Extra bottles, nipples, and sippy cups if appropriate
  • Energy-boosting snacks for you to munch on
  • Breast pump (if you use one)
  • Nightlight
  • So you can keep the room lighting soothingly low during middle-of-the-night diaper changes
  • First-aid kit
  • Baby pain reliever and supplies for treating minor injuries
  • Sling or front carrier – Get a lightweight, hands-free way to keep your baby close in crowded places like airports
  • Portable crib or play yard
  • A safe place for your baby to sleep or play
  • Inflatable baby bathtub -Can make bath time easier at your destination.
  • Car seat for safer travel by car or plane
  • Collapsible stroller -Can be gate-checked or stored in the overhead bin of an airplane.

Tips

  • Start preparing to pack a few days before you travel. Keep a running list of things to take, or put items out on a table or dresser as you think of
    them.
  • Use a diaper bag with a waterproof lining and a shoulder strap.
  • Be prepared for leaky diapers and baby spit-up on the airplane: Tuck an extra outfit or two for your baby – and an extra
    shirt for you – into your carry-on bag.
  • Prevent leaks by packing medicines and toiletries in resealable plastic bags.
  • Pack each of your baby’s outfits in its own zipped -plastic bag so you don’t have to hunt around for tiny socks, shirts, and so on.
  • Take your camera, battery charger, and an extra memory card.
  • Take a clip-on reading light so you can read without disturbing your baby.
  • Take the phone number for your baby’s healthcare provider in case you have questions while you’re on the road.

source: As seen on and reprinted with permission from BabyCenter.com,

MetroDad’s 25 Life Lessons from a Dad to his Daughter

metro dad

‘MetroDad’ Blogger Pierre Kim and his daughter

In honor of Father’s Day which is coming up, I dug up this fab post from dad blogger Pierre Kim, a husband and dad to tjhree  NY City fashion exec who used to write the hilariously funny and snarky, “MetroDad” blog.

His post “The Rules: 25 Life Lessons for my Daughter” is a must read.

Here are my fave rules among the list:

  1. When posing for any photos, assume that the only people who will see them are me, your mother, your boss, and the dean of admissions.
  2. Never date a man who is rude to waiters, doesn’t say “bless you” when you sneeze, or won’t offer you his jacket when you’re cold.
  3. Don’t worry about being popular. The “weird” kids are much more fun and will end up being your most interesting friends. Also, when it comes to friends you can’t trump quality with quantity. Choose wisely. Who would you call to drive your white Bronco?
  4. Give charitably, generously, and anonymously.
  5. Keep your eye on the ball and follow through, both in sports and in life.
  6. Never regret staying home alone with a good book.
  7. Learn from the bad as well as the good. Fall down, make a mess, break something occasionally. And always remember that the story is never over.

Read all 25 in Metrodad!

Father’s Day: 10 Apps for Stay-at-Home Dads

Apple’s powerful iPhone is one of the most popular mobile devices on the market and is widely celebrated for its ability to help busy professionals streamline their lives and boost their productivity. Working as a stay at home dad is definitely a full-time job and the iPhone can help you manage all of the different responsibilities that come with it. These 10 apps are effective tools for dads who stay home with their children and act as a primary caregiver, offering plenty of advice, tips and assistance along the way.
  1. Parenting Ages & Stages – Parenting Magazine is a beloved and trusted resource for parents. Now, their advice, tips and useful parenting information is available through this free app, which is fully customizable and will provide you with age-appropriate developmental advice and information about various milestones.
  2. Library Locator – If you can surmount the obstacle of helping a little one to understand the importance of being quiet in the library, a world of wonder and imagination opens up for her. With this free app, you’ll be able to find all of the libraries in your area, hitting every Story Hour along the way!
  3. ICE (In Case of Emergency) – When an emergency or crisis strikes, information that you know like the back of your hand can escape you. That’s where this powerful free app comes in handy, allowing you to store all of your emergency contacts and other relevant information. When you need to access your child’s blood type, allergy information or a list of medications he’s on, it’s all at the tips of your fingers with ICE.
  4. CBS Sports – Keeping up with the score isn’t always easy when there are little ones to attend to. Thankfully, this free app will allow you to follow all of your favorite teams, accessing scores, stats, news and highlights while managing your parenting duties.
  5. Habit Changer® Feeding Your Kids – Making sure that your children eat well and learn to make good dietary choices as they get older is a very important part of successful parenting. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most complicated. This free app will help you instill good eating habits and reverse less healthy ones though a series of small changes.
  6. Chore Bank – When kids are expected to complete a list of regular chores, it can help them learn a sense of responsibility that will follow them well into adulthood. This $1.99 app not only helps stay at home dads keep up with which chores have been assigned and which are completed, but also any allowances or spending money earned.
  7. WebMD – Knowing when to treat at home and when to consult a professional can be both confusing and a bit frightening. When your child’s health is in question, you’ll want a respected and trusted resource. That’s where the free WebMD app comes into play, loaded with features like Symptom Checkers, Drug Information and First Aid Essentials.
  8. Find My iPhone – Even if you try to keep your iPhone away from little fingers, there will inevitably come a time when a child is so entranced with your expensive device that she can’t resist. Unfortunately, that’s usually also when she’ll misplace it somehow. This free app helps you locate one missing iOS device by using another.
  9. The Weather Channel® – Planning a big, exciting outing only to be foiled by rain because you forgot to check the weather forecast can make for very unhappy children, which is why this free app should have a place on your iPhone. Get not only up-to-the-minute forecast information, but also push alerts for severe weather and high pollen levels.
  10. SimplyNoise – Dads who have discovered the magic of a car ride or washing machine know the power of white noise to soothe a restless sleeper. This $0.99 app features high-fidelity white, brown and pink noise that can lull your little ones to sleep in no time.
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What’s up with our new obsession with Upper Eastside Manhattan Moms?

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It seems we are all obsessed with the posh and uber competitive lives of mothers of the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York.

They’re the buzz these days.


Recently, everyone went gaga after reading that New York Post interview with author Wednesday Martin about her much anticipated expose “Primates of Park Avenue” based on her life living among these women. All over comment pages, readers, mainly women, proclaimed their eagerness to see the bizarre world of wealthy Manhattan parents Martin described in her book eventually come to life on the small or silver screen.

It was as good as fiction! It very well could have been because it’s been revealed there were many holes in Martin’s claims about people, places and even the length of which she lived in Manhattan. 

In any event,  eager audiences wouldn’t have to wait for Martin’s account to be adapted into a movie or series. BravoTV got ya covered!

Tonight, at 10pm ET, the cable network will debut Odd Mom Out, a scripted series that chronicles Momzilla life on Manhattan’s Upper East Side but from the perspective of a mom who doesn’t fit in.

Jill Kargman, a mom of three, created and stars in the series and chats about the series in the July issue of Parents magazine.

Here is an excerpt, reprinted with permission from Parents:

What is a Momzilla? A Momzilla is someone who channels all of her type-A ambition and energy into her child. I do believe there’s a Newtonian law of energy where all of your drive for your career abruptly gets funneled into the fetus.

Your character, Jill Weber, also has three children. Is she based on your own experience? When I had Sadie, I had no friends in New York who were parents and I felt really lonely. The challenges of that period of my life have been retooled for this show. A lot of moms I speak to say, “Enjoy this time while it lasts because it flies by.” And I want to smash them in the head because it was really hard.

Have you ever felt like the odd mom out? At a ballet class when my oldest was 2, I told her to sit down “Indian style.” These four perfect moms gasped and glared at me. One said, “You can’t say that. It’s ‘crisscross applesauce’ now.” I ran into the bathroom and burst into tears because I felt like I was doing it all wrong.

What’s your advice to other parents who feel this way? Fly your freak flag and know there are others like you. Even people you perceive to be the perfect mothers, who have it all together, sometimes feel like the odd mom out too.

Good stuff! Read the rest of the interview in the July issue of Parents on magazine racks now.

 

Check out the series teaser:

 

 

Single or Divorced Moms Guide to Coping through Father’s Day

 

Father’s Day for children of an absentee dad or who are products of divorce can be hard. Whether by reason of divorce, death or abandonment, the day can be challenging also for single moms. Women who are solo parents by choice also must deal with the stresses of filling both Mom and Dad’s shoes and that includes surviving Father’s Day.


HuffPost Divorce single parent expert Kerri Zane offered some salient advice in a 2013 post.  An excerpt:

1. Realize the day may be difficult for your kids. For single moms dealing with a divorce situation, a day honoring the one you least like in your life, at the moment, can seem unfathomable. This is the time to step into your children’s shoes. As tough as that pill is to swallow, you have to embrace the fact that they love you and they love him, too. It is an important day for you to allow them to celebrate their father without feeling any remorse or fear that they might be hurting your feelings.

2. Don’t pass judgment. Keep an upbeat attitude about your former husband. Your kids still respect him and want to please him. It is in your best interest to always be level-headed around your children and keep your unfiltered ex thoughts to yourself. On Father’s Day in particular you might even want to step up and share one of the reasons you fell in love with their dad in the first place. Extra brownie points for that!

3. Relax into the day. For divorced mommies an extra Sunday all to yourself can be a blessing. Try not to dwell on what the day used to be when you were one big “happy” family. Instead shift your focus and make it a day of cherished me-time. Do something for yourself that you wouldn’t normally do. Spend the day at the spa, get a massage, take an extra long walk, go to the beach and take a cheeky novel or lounge by a pool. Hang out with your other single mom girlfriends, drink mimosas and have a TGIEF=Thank God It’s Ex-Father’s Day.

4. Honor the dad that once was. If Dad’s no longer around because he’s passed on, allow your children to choose how they want to honor him. They can spend the day creating a card, writing a poem, reminiscing with scrapbooks or doing an activity they always used to do with him. It can be particularly challenging because it opens wounds for the passing of your loved one too, so go easy on yourself. If you feel like being sad, it’s okay. It’s real and heartfelt. Share your fondest memories and tell the stories in great detail, they’ll love hearing about him from your loving perspective.

Sage advice indeed. Read more form the original post in HuffPost Divorce HERE

20 Frugal Summer activities for kids 

 School is out! 

Week one of summer vacation has just closed. (For the lucky few of you whose kids are still in school, you’re in our prayers). 

Now as you wait for summer camp to start or the grandparents to come and get the kids for their annual family bonding time with your brood, what is there to do? 


As any frugal parent knows – LOTS! 

Canada’s Slice Magazine has come up with the twenty activities, crafted from dollar store finds, that will make your home the kiddie hang out spot for the summer.

So let the glow-in-the-dark ring toss and noodle obstacle course games begin!

Read more at Slice

– Chelsea Social
 

Hosting a Baby Shower this Spring? Check out these tips, recipes, links and more!

fun baby shower

If you plan to host a baby shower this Spring or Summer, you are fortunate to have more options and flexibility than in the Fall or Winter.  Backyards, rooftops and patios become options for a venue. You can save money too by hosting it at a park or making your own favors with outdoorsy themes versus buying them like the super cute tutu nail polishes and the “Ready to Pop” favors above.

Shower hosts can serve cool and refreshing mocktails too like the “Summer Is Coming Mocktail” created by Zico brand ambassador and celebrity nutritionist, Tanya Zuckerbrot, of the renowned F-Factor Diet.

It’s made with Zico‘s newest flavor: watermelon raspberry coconut water. I mixed up a batch using a sampling of complimentary stock Zico provided me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and because there is no alcohol in it, I shared some with the kids and they loved it too. The lime and mint garnishes give it the perfect kick at the end. Yummy. Here is the recipe for the Summer Is Coming Mocktail recipe:

 

mocktails

 


Serves 8

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups ZICO watermelon raspberry coconut water
1 small seedless watermelon, flesh removed and diced (about 4 cups total)
2 limes
2 cans zero-calorie lemon-lime soda
mint, for garnish

  1. In a blender, puree the coconut water, diced watermelon and juice from the limes.
  2. Pour the mixture into a pitcher over ice.
  3. Serve by pouring 2 oz. of the pureed mixture into a glass. Fill to the top with lemon-lime soda and mix lightly to combine.
  4. Garnish with mint.

And before you start planning for a Spring or Summer shower,  you must head over to Pinterest and there you will discover links to many websites and blogs choc full of fab ideas. Here is a select few to start you off:

 

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Pretty Providence

 

baby shower

Mommy Mania

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Crafty Morning

Pistachio Macaroons

Crystal and Comp