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Help your fave charity earn a $2K grant via Huggies #UltraHug initiative

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chelsea social huggies

Hurry Quick!

There is only one day left for you to set up your favorite charity to possibly receive a $2,000 grant from Huggies by participating in its #UltraHug selfie program!

All you have to do to support this movement to help a community projects that is near and dear to your heart is:

  1. Thru tomorrow June 25th at midnight, take a selfie with your little one and upload it  onto Instagram or Twitter with the #UltraHug hashtag and in the commentary section of the photo include the name of the charitable organization you would like to nominate.
  2. On July 6, Huggies will feature 20 of the nominated community projects on THIS SITE and give parents a chance to cast their vote for which project should receive a $2,000 grant from Huggies towards their community projects.
  3. The top 10 projects getting the most votes will win the grants!
chelsea social mom

Bellyitch’s Social Media manager Chelsea Social and her son Michael

Bellyitch Blogs‘ own Chelsea Social has uploaded her pics with our Blog Spokesbaby, Michael, onto Twitter.

I’d like to nominate Good Counsel Homes and Hope for Babies and Mothers. My husband and I have donated each month to this New Jersey charity which for the past 30 years has provided loving homes, comfort, support and shelter to mothers and their children in need. Over 6,000 women, including several teen mothers who were kicked out of their parents’ homes, have benefited from the nurturing care, encouragement and lifestyle training that Good Counsel provides!

We hope it wins!

Your Turn!

Quickly snap up your babes and enter your own fave charity TODAY!!!

photos: Chelsea Social, Becoming Julie Griffin, Lezo Musings





40 Educational iPad Apps to Download this Summer

kids ipad

Busy this summer and don’t have time to entertain your children? Grab the iPad and download one of these 40 educational iPad apps to keep them busy and their brain sharp during the break, curated for you compliments of our friends at Onlineclasses.

Language and Vocabulary

Here you’ll find apps for learning the alphabet, using the dictionary, reviewing grammar rules, and more.

  1. ABC Animals: Help young children learn the alphabet and phonics with this cute, illustrated app.
  2. Word Magic: Kids fill in the missing letter to form words, accompanied by bright pictures.
  3. Clifford’s BE BIG with Words: In this game, kids spell out words so that Clifford and his friends can think of things to paint.
  4. Dictionary.com – Dictionary and Thesaurus: This easy-to-use app features a search bar, thesaurus, search history and word of the day.
  5. Free Spanish Tutor: Introduce or help your kids review Spanish with this app that features native speaker audio, puzzles, written tests, flash cards, and a multiple choice quiz.
  6. Textropolis: Kids have to find and piece together words in order to build up their “textropolis” in this game.
  7. iWrite Words: Small children learn to write by tracing words with this game.
  8. Spell and Listen Cards: Kids rearrange letters to form basic words, improving their vocabulary and sight reading.
  9. TypeFast: If your kids don’t have time to take a typing class, they can use this app to learn how to type faster and more accurately.
  10. Grammar Up: Help kids learn adjectives, nouns, verbs, adverbs, infinitives, gerunds, conjunctions, and other grammar basics.



These American and world history apps involve your kids in making decisions that determine the success or decline of whole civilizations.

  1. Manual for the United States of America: Kids can learn about and read the Articles of Confederation, Declaration of Independence, Federalist Papers, biographies of Supreme Court justices, and a lot more.
  2. Oregon Trail: This classic game is now available on the iPad and helps children of various ages practice problem-solving and decision-making skills as they learn about history and try to survive the great trek West.
  3. Civilization Revolution: Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution teaches kids about world civilizations, including Japan, Germany, China, Spain, America, and others, as they lead their people to victory.
  4. On This Day: Help your students learn more about history with this trivia-like game that lists important events each day.

Math and Science


These apps use flash cards, games and interactive displays to teach your kids about math, astronomy and more.

  1. Math Cards: This grade-as-you-go game teaches subtraction, division, multiplication and addition in a touch-screen game.
  2. Kids Math Fun – Third Grade: This app is devoted to third grade math skills, including basic arithmetic. Games like Double Dare and Minute Math keep it fun, too.
  3. The Math Master: Practice math drills and learn math facts on this app, which features a numeric touchpad.
  4. KidsCalc 7-in-1 Math Fun: This app teaches young children number recognition, and older kids arithmetic. It features a birthday party theme, and includes flash cards, puzzle game, running timer, and more.
  5. PopMath Basic Math: This level-based math game is supposed to be non-stressful but still effective.
  6. Pocket Universe: Virtual Sky Astronomy: This app displays the night sky just as you’re seeing it, but with more detail and descriptions of constellations and stars.
  7. Mathematical Formulas: This app serves as a great reference and review tool that catalogs and explains math formulas for geometry and more.
  8. The Chemical Touch: View the periodic table and learn about chemical properties with this app.
  9. Brain Tuner Lite: This free app is a great tool for getting your kids to practice math skills each day.
  10. Mathemagics – Mental Math Tricks: More advanced students can practice multiplication, square numbers, and more.


Help your children learn to read and get excited about reading the classics with these apps.

  1. Learn Sight Words: Help your children learn the expected high-frequency words they need to know by the end of 1st grade with this cute app.
  2. Newspapers: Encourage your children to read about the rest of the world by linking them to newspapers from different cities.
  3. Free Books: This app costs $1.99, but you’ll get to read over 23,000 classic books like The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and plays by Shakespeare.
  4. iLibrary+audio: Download whole chapters and then listen to them read aloud with this app. Books include The Call of the Wild, Emma and Treasure Island.

Art and Music


Encourage your children to explore art and music with the help of these apps.

  1. Preschool Music: Kids can create their own songs and play a virtual piano as they play along with sheep and birds on this app.
  2. Ultimate Guitar Tabs: Kids can read guitar chords and tabs to learn about music.
  3. Art: Your kids — ages 12 and up — will learn about important artists like da Vinci, Georgia O’Keefe, Jackson Pollock and more with this searchable app that features quizzes, a slideshow, newsletter, and more.
  4. Instruments in Reach Basic: Learn the fingerings for instruments like the flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, bassoon, oboe and trombone.

General Education and Life Skills

These general education apps help to improve critical thinking skills through games, matching, puzzles, and more.

  1. Monster Mix & Match: Kids practice critical thinking and problem solving skills with this game that lets them create monster cartoon characters.
  2. Preschool Arcade: Preschoolers can learn numbers, the alphabet, and capital and lower case letters while developing critical thinking and matching skills.
  3. Highlights Hidden Pictures: Highlights Magazine designed this game that includes eight puzzles filled with hidden pictures your kids search for while using clues and hints.
  4. I SPY Spooky Mansion: This is a great app for helping kids think critically as they solve riddles and puzzles while collecting keys in a spooky old mansion.
  5. TeachMe: Kindergarten: Review or help younger children get a head start on kindergarten lessons in reading, math and spelling.
  6. 10,500+ Cool Facts: This app provides an easy way to add random tidbits of knowledge to your kids’ brains. Shake your iPad to get a new cool fact.
  7. 2010 World Factbook: With this app, your children can learn about different countries, their flags, languages, government, economy, and more.
  8. Flashcards Deluxe: Customize your own flashcards with this app, which integrates with Quizlet.com, features audio and text, and can hold over 5,000 flash cards.

5 Things to Consider BEFORE buying a Car Seat

car seat

If you are expecting a baby and need to purchase a car seat or thinking of moving up to a version for a bigger baby as your child grows, you’ll find these five things NannyPro asked us to share with you helpful before you make that final purchase

1. Budget: Because car seats can range from well under a hundred dollars to several hundred, many people automatically assume more expensive must mean a better seat. But this is not actually true. One seat that is frequently recommended by Child Passenger Safety Technicians as easy to use and install runs right around $40. All seats must pass the same basic set of testing standards and ultimately the best seat is the one that is installed and used properly, so take an honest look at your budget and then find a seat within that budget that fits your child’s needs (see below) and your vehicle well, have a CPST teach you how to install it and always use it properly. Visit www.car-seat.org to find a CPST near you.

2.Age/Size of Child: Even the best car seat is useless if it is the wrong seat for the age and size of your child. Many seats are labeled in ways that are misleading to parents. For example, many booster seats say on the package 30lbs-100lbs. We all have seen one year olds who are pushing 30 lbs. That does not in any way mean that a one year old is ready for a booster seat—many children are not ready for boosters until age seven or eight because size alone is not the determining factor. So do some research and figure out what seat (infant, convertible, forward facing, harnessed booster or unharnessed booster) is best for your child based on both their age AND their size. As of 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all children under age two stay in a weight appropriate rear-facing car seat or to the maximum weight and height limitations for their car seat for maximum safety and head/neck protection. For some children, this may mean rear-facing until age three or four. A good place to start is the NHTSA website. In addition, since many harnessed car seats (often called a harnessed booster) now offer weight limits up to 80-85 lbs, it is wise to consider extended harnessing for your child for ultimate protection. There is a reason that even race car drivers use this kind of harness—it helps keep the passenger in the safest position and protects them better. Don’t be in a rush to move “up” to the next style of seat. Each step “up” is actually a step “down” for safety.

3. Needs: What is the need of this seat? Do you need one that comes in and out easily (and therefore is super easy to install correctly) since your baby needs to be transported in other vehicles often because of who is the primary caregiver or because you travel a lot as a family? Or will this seat be installed and rarely ever moved? This can affect your decision making process as you review possible seats and is a major consideration for families that need to move seats because of particular needs. Whether it’s moved often or not, you still need to be able to install it correctly every time.

4. How long do you need this seat to last? For some families on a tight budget, the need for a seat to last as long as possible is a major consideration. These days, car seat manufacturers are starting to take this into consideration and a few are making seats designed to go from infancy all the way to the booster stage and have a 10 year expiration on them. Wait… expiration? Yes, car seats have expiration dates set by the manufacturer of the seat based on when it began to fail in testing, as seats are made primarily of plastic, which breaks down over time. It’s important to know those dates as you consider various seats for your needs. For other families, budget is not as much of a concern as convenience is, so they might not mind having an infant bucket seat with a base and then purchasing a new seat when baby outgrows the bucket. It matters more to them to have the ability to lift a bucket in and out of the vehicle with the baby still in it.

5. Will you actually use it properly? A seat, no matter the cost or reputation, if not used properly, is simply not a good seat for your needs. So make sure you select a seat that is easy for you to use properly from installation to daily use. If your seat is beautiful, but takes you 30 minutes to take in and out even though you need an easily moved seat, you are less likely to install it properly due to frustration with the process. Or if it is difficult to adjust when needed, the straps might be positioned improperly and not provide the protection that is needed. If you can, it is a great idea to go to a store that will actually let you try out the various seats in your car to ensure that that particular seat is easy for you to use with the vehicle you own. This ensures you are more likely to use it properly.

Good luck!


Happy Father’s Day: 6 Songs/Videos for Dads

Happy Fathers Day 2015
Happy Father’s Day!
Here are 6 songs to consider dedicating to your dad, depending on the situation: Dad who has passed, New Dad, Dad to a daughter,deadbeat dad etc…

First up, the late Luther Vandross‘ “Dance With my Father” for those who have lost a dad or whose dad is resting in peace or in heaven:

Another Fave is Creed‘s “Arm’s Wide Open” to dedicate to a brand new dad who is celebrating his first Father’s Day


Next, a favorite of mine, John Mayer‘s “Daughters” for dads to little girls

Next, a song for the dad who abandoned his kid from his kid: Everclear‘s “Father of Mine

For Dads to sons, a tender song by Elton JohnBetween a Father and Son

Another brilliant father to son song from Phil Collins, titled “Father to son“. How appropriate!

BONUS:  An all-time favorite Stevie Wonder‘s “Isn’t she Lovely”  which he wrote when his daughter Aisha was born. It’s another good one for a dad to a new born daughter.

Roughstock has an excellent list of country songs for Father’s Day as well. Check it out HERE!

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Study: US Birth Rate Up, While Teen Birth Rate Down

istock birth rate

Women in the U.S. are having more babies — exactly 3,985,924 last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Preliminary data show that birth rates in the U.S. were up by 1 percent last year from 2013. It’s the first increase in seven years.

But teenagers aren’t having as many babies. The birth rate in that group dropped by 9 percent in 2014 compared with 2013. For context, teen births have been on the decline since 1991.

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics published the data Wednesday. The findings are based on nearly all births in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Among the findings in the report:

  • The birth rate for Asians rose 6 percent, and 1 percent, respectively, for whites, blacks and Hispanics. The rate of Native American births dropped by 2 percent.
  • The rate of unmarried women who gave birth declined by 1 percent.
  • Women in their 30s and 40s continue to have more children, fueling the rise in the birth rate last year.

One of the authors of the report, Brady Hamilton of the National Center for Health Statistics, says the increase in the number of births overall was somewhat of a surprise.

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Father’s Day: These states are the Best and Worst for Working Dads

Father trying to work while holding baby

Father trying to work while holding baby

As we approach Father’s Day, it’s a good time to share this recent Wallet Hub report showcasing the best and worst states for Working Dads. Right now, nearly 93 percent of dads with kids younger than 18 were in the labor force in 2014.

WalletHub analyzed the work-life balance, health conditions, financial well-being and child-rearing environments for working dads in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. It used  20 key metrics, which range from the unemployment rate for dads with kids younger than 18 to male life expectancy to day care quality.

Here are the final results:

Best States for Working Dads Worst States for Working Dads
1 Minnesota 42 Arizona
2 New Hampshire 43 Idaho
3 Massachusetts 44 Alabama
4 Vermont 45 Alaska
5 New Jersey 46 New Mexico
6 Virginia 47 Louisiana
7 Wisconsin 48 West Virginia
8 Maryland 49 Arkansas
9 Utah 50 Nevada
10 Connecticut 51 Mississippi

Other Key Stats

  • The median income for families (dad present) with kids younger than 18 adjusted for cost of living is two times higher in the District of Columbia than in Hawaii.
  • The unemployment rate for dads with kids younger than 18 is seven times higher in Nevada than in North Dakota.
  • The percentage of dads with kids younger than 18 living in poverty is four times higher in New Mexico than in New Hampshire.
  • The rate of uninsured men is five times higher in Texas than in Massachusetts.
  • The mortality rate due to heart disease (per 100,000 men) is two times higher in Alabama than in Colorado.
  • The cost of child care adjusted for the median income for families (dad present) is two times higher in New York than in Louisiana.


For the full report and to see where your state ranks, please visit:


How to Avoid Brain Drain during Your Child’s Summer Break


Since school is out for many children across the nation, parents may be wondering how to combat the Summer brain drain. That is the effect of kids losing some of the information, skills and knowledge they acquired during the school year over the three months of vacation. These tips from our friends at PartTimeNanny are perfect to share again. Here are tips to boost your child’s information retention and reinforce the lessons she/he  learns every day.

Vocabulary Words – Make learning these words fun by inventing games or incorporating the words into existing word games. You can post the week’s vocabulary words in strategic places around the house and quiz your child on the spelling at different times. Use the words in sentences and spell them out instead of saying them.

Reading – Take an interest in the books assigned to your student. Ask him about the books he is reading in school and hold conversations relating to the topics they cover. Kids may not have time for additional reading during the school year, but on holidays and vacations consider making suggestions. If your child shows interest in a particular topic, explore it with him. Not only will your interest help reinforce what he is learning in school, it will also provide you with valuable bonding time. You may find that you both have similar interests, giving you a foundation upon which to build a more meaningful relationship with your child.

Math – There are plenty of math games that you can play with your child. If you are working with a very young child, you can reinforce simple concepts like addition and subtraction with items like pennies or popcorn. Older kids may enjoy helping you cook, and you can help them with measurements and show them how to work with fractions. Have your child figure out the math for doubling a recipe or cutting it in half. Experiential learning with real world situations has a tendency to stick.

History – The Internet has an infinite wealth of information. You can take your child on a virtual tour of the world, visiting different eras without ever leaving your living room. There are many videos available on the various historical figures and periods. Sometimes viewing the right movie can have a long-lasting, positive impact. Also, if you travel during vacation time, consider going to some historical sites in your travels. Some families travel to such sites to make the history lessons real. The Gettysburg Address is probably easier to remember if you’ve actually stood on the historic spot, rather than just looking at a picture or two.

Helping your child to problem solve, think critically and develop a good memory will also help in reinforcing school lessons. Many school systems these days are less focused on teaching some of these skills, as more and more classrooms teach for testing. The problem with this method is that kids learn the information that they will need to know for the test, but once the test is over that information is quickly lost. When a child is taught how to think, comprehend and memorize, the lessons go deeper and less information is lost. You can help your child develop these skills by playing card games, board and memory games.

Playing with your child will also help improve your memory as well, so you will both benefit by the practice. There are several types of memory games available on the market, or you can create some of your own. Teaching your child games like checkers and chess will help her develop critical thinking skills as she learns how to strategize and anticipate the other person’s moves. The abilities she develops through these games will assist her in her school work as she begins to learn how to see patterns and figure out the plan for solving the problems.

Reinforcing what your child learns at school doesn’t always need to be about the exact lessons that are being taught. Part of reinforcing the lessons is making them relevant to real life. Look for ways to make them interesting, sometimes showing how that lesson is a part of a bigger subject. Getting involved in your child’s education is an investment you can’t afford to neglect. Working with your child may help develop skills that will eventually create a lifelong learner, enriching both your lives and your relationship

Britney Spears inspired this couple’s Viral Pregnancy Announcement

britney spoof

Britney Spears inspired one couple’s very creative pregnancy announcement video.

Jerrad and Machel Green parodied four of Spears’ hits in their fun announcement to family and friends about their impending arrival: “Oops…I Did it Again”, “Toxic”,  “Nauseous”, “I’m a Slave For You”, “I’m Avoiding You.” and even her latest song with Iggy Azalea.

In response to the fact that their video has gone viral, the couple wrote on their Facebook Page: “Craziness I tell ya! We can’t wait to meet our little sweet pea in November! Xoxo”

The Greens own a vintage marquee sign company and have one son already. She is a gorgeous blonde and former Miss Dance of South Carolina. He won a Grammy once for drumming.

They obviously put a lot of work into this music video, and since it has gone viral, they have appeared on several national TV shows like Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition and local TV. The TODAY show and Live with Kelly and Michael were to feature clips from the video too.

Check out the fun video below:

Former Teen Mom creates Post-Pregnancy Friendly Swimsuit Line


former teenmom

A former Florida Teen Mom has released a brand of two piece swimsuits to cover moms’ stretchmarks and C-section scars.

Altrichia Cook says after having her son ten years ago, she struggled finding swimwear to accommodate her post-baby body, Buzzfeed reports.

“I was just looking for a high-waist suit for a vacation with friends to Puerto Rico,” Cook told Yahoo Parenting. “I couldn’t find one, so I took matters into my own hands and designed one.”


Altrichia Cook, center, and models                                   Cendino Teme Photography

When her friends saw the ones she made for herself and began inquiring on how they could get one just like it, Cook realized that she was not alone in her feelings about swimwear and launched  her line, Allusions by A.Lekay.

Her designs are a welcome addition to the market.

“As I have grown, I get so many thank-you emails of women thanking me,” says Cook, who has since reunited with her son Anthony’s father. “One instance, a customer told me that she hadn’t worn a two-piece swimsuit in over 20 years.”

teen mom swim nicki minaj

Her line got a recent boost when rapper Nicki Minaj was photographed in one of her designs from her Rockstar collection on the cover of the July issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.

Now that’s what’s up!

Recently, there has been a movement for mothers to embrace their post-baby bodies including all the marks that come with it.

While Cook agrees its important to “love the skin you’re in,” but still, says  “realistically, no woman wants to share her stretch marks or C-section scars.”

Kudos to her and that line! We’ll pick up a pair for the Bellyitch moms on staff!