from The Associated Press:
Return your Easy-Bake Ovens.
About 985,000 ovens sold since last May have been recalled by the manufacturer, Easy-Bake, a division of Hasbro Inc., because children can get their hands or fingers caught in the oven’s opening.
The company has received 29 reports of children getting their fingers or hands caught in the product, including five reports of burns.
THE DEFECTIVE OVEN The recalled plastic ovens are purple and pink. They resemble a kitchen stove with four burners on top and a front-loading oven. “Easy Bake” is printed on the front of the electric toy, while “Hasbro” and model number 65805 are stamped into the plastic on the back. Toys “R” Us, Wal-Mart, Target, KB Toys and other retailers nationwide sold the toy from May 2006 through February 2007.
For a free retrofit kit, call the company at 800-601-8418. For more information, visit easybake.com or cpsc.com.
TODAY contributor Dr. Judith Reichman explains how smoking can negatively impact a woman's fertility. Click here.
Click on these links for a couple of funny reads:
• How to do everything wrong
• One daughter is a genious. The other one, not so much.
There's a light at the end of the tunnel, and it's the bathroom light. And it's glorious.
Last night for the first time, Cameran not only said "potty" and pointed to the bathroom, but I was able to strip her down and sit her on the potty in time for her to do her thing.
Most of the time, she'll say "potty" either after the fact, or just for fun, to make Mommy sweat a little. (Because it's fun for her to watch me hustle, I suppose. I'm not one to hustle on a regular basis.)
Let the angels sing.
Seems baby names are going old-school again. More and more new parents are picking names that sound more like our great-grandparents' names, especially in girls' names. Think Olivia, Grace, Ava and Sophia.
Want to see the most popular names from 2005, the most recent year available? Click here.
Another cool feature is that you can enter the year you were born to see the most popular names from that year. While my name (Laura) barely makes the top 20 in the year I was born, I loved my name when I was a child -- and I still do -- because it was "normal" but not too common.
We're in the process of painting our guest bedroom upstairs so that it can be Cameran's playroom. This room will eventually be her bedroom once Little Wahler No. 2 happens (no, Mom, not now) so we want it to be special for her. A pic of where we're getting our inspiration is in the rail on the right... it's from one of the cards at Home Depot.
Warning: It's verrrrrrrry girly.
I will be stepping on Fisher Price Little People until the day I die. They're everywhere. They're under our couch. In between the couch cushions. I found one in my purse this morning.
We try to contain them. We try to keep them separated according to which people go with which playset. And we do a pretty good job of it -- until our little Texas Tornado wakes up. Then it starts all over again.
Adoption STAR, a New York state-authorized adoption agency, will hold an orientation session for those who are interested in adopting from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at 47 Plaza Drive, Williamsville.
The session is free and open to the community.
The agency's focus is to educate and prepare adoptive families and birth parents for their options within adoption.
Call 639-3900 or e-mail Adoption STAR to register for this session.
In Sunday's column, I shared a few tips from The Associated Press’ Caryn Rousseau about how to find a babysitter for New Year’s Eve.
Now, your time is up. If you haven’t found a sitter, or if you decided to stay in and avoid the party scene Sunday night, here are some more tips from Rousseau’s story on how to involve the whole family in your New Year’s celebration.
(And yes, New Year’s Eve can be family-friendly!)
• Celebrate with your children earlier in the evening and let them nod off at 10 or 11 p.m. Then ring in the “real” new year with your partner.
• Plan a kiddie party at home. Let your child invite friends for a playnight instead of a playdate.
• Instead of celebrating at night, celebrate on New Year’s Day with a special brunch or dinner. Then your child doesn’t feel bad for falling asleep early.
• Create a New Year’s Eve ritual. Have everyone in the family think about what they loved most about the last year and what they wish most for in the next year.
Have fun! You can always go out for dinner and drinks on New Year’s Day instead. It will be easier to find a sitter and it won’t be as busy and expensive as New Year’s Eve.
Here's hoping Santa Claus is good to you and yours. Have a good holiday, see you next week with more fun and exciting news, as always.
Thought this was interesting. It's from USA Today.
Flowers are always nice, but perhaps the best gift you can give a brand-new mom is some quiet time alone with her baby.
Now that hospital visiting hours — not to mention staffing — are 24/7, maternity units are taking steps to minimize interruptions and lower the volume. They recognize that lack of privacy can get breast-feeding off to a rocky start, while lack of sleep might play a role in postpartum depression.
A study in the latest Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing found that women typically experienced dozens of interruptions during their first day after delivering a baby.
Researchers recorded the number and duration of visits and phone calls from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. for 29 brand-new moms who intended to breast-feed. During that period, the mothers on average experienced 54 visits or phone calls, averaging 17 minutes in length. On the other hand, they were alone with their baby (or their baby and the baby’s father) only 24 times on average, and half of those episodes were nine minutes or less.
“I can remember when I first got into obstetrics, back in the late ’70s, early ’80s, fathers could stay on the floor all the time, and grandparents and siblings were the only ones who could come to visit,” says lead author Barbara Morrison, an assistant professor of nursing at the Case Western Reserve University Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing. “I think we’ve kind of gone overboard in the other direction.”
Concern about how the hospital environment affects breast-feeding spurred her to do the study, Morrison says. “They need to breast-feed immediately after delivery and then very, very frequently in the first three or four days. They can’t do that if they don’t have private time.”
Mommy ‘nap time’
New moms often feel uncomfortable turning away visitors or hospital personnel so they can focus on breast-feeding, Morrison says.
At Covenant health care, a Saginaw, Mich., hospital that delivers about 3,500 babies a year, nurses are “the bad guys” when it comes to keeping the peace in the maternity unit, says Susan Garpiel, a perinatal and pediatric clinical nurse specialist.
A few years ago, the unit instituted a daily “nap time” from 2 to 4 p.m. For those two hours, the unit dims the lights and discourages — but doesn’t ban — visits by friends, family and staff.
“We wanted to be advocates on behalf of our mothers and babies,” Garpiel says. “Women who are having their first babies don’t realize how much their sleep is impacted with a new baby.”
Covenant patient Pamela Williams, who delivered Maegan, her first child, at 3:19 a.m. last Monday, says visitors began arriving around 8:30 a.m. Williams, 36, an elementary-school principal from Saginaw Township, says she welcomed the chance to nap undisturbed that afternoon. “I needed that time just to relax and refresh. They put a sign on the door: ‘Mom and baby resting,’ which I love. It takes some of the pressure off you.”
Since the establishment of a formal nap time, Garpiel says, “we saw a huge turnaround in terms of breast-feeding problems and moms who were melting down at night.”
By napping with their babies in the afternoon, she says, moms are more likely to keep the newborns with them at night — facilitating frequent breast-feeding — instead of shipping them off to the nursery so they can get some sleep.
New use for the Yacker Tracker
Covenant is one of 46 institutions working with the Institute for health care Improvement, a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, Mass., to improve the care of mothers and newborns during the perinatal period, or around the time of birth. The institute is encouraging all members of its perinatal network to institute “peace and quiet time,” says nurse Sue Gullo, who directs the program.
Gullo came to the institute from Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H., where 1:30-2:30 p.m. is nap time in the maternity unit. “You wouldn’t believe what it took to implement it,” she says. “Notifying every department in the hospital that they can’t do their work as usual for one hour just throws people over the edge.” But, says Gullo, “when people understood the reason for doing it, they were totally open to the idea.”
Oklahoma City’s Mercy Health Center, which delivers 3,000 babies a year, has taken a novel approach to keep noise to a minimum in its maternity unit: the Yacker Tracker. The portable device, developed by a teacher to reduce classroom noise levels, looks like a stoplight. Users can set their preferred decibel limits.
“Green means it’s quiet, yellow means you’re starting to get noisy,” explains Cindy Jennings, nurse manager of the Mercy BirthPlace, which also has “privacy please” lights above each patient door.
Some doctors saw red when the Yacker Tracker was first mounted near the BirthPlace nurses’ station earlier this year, Jennings says. But it has worked. Nurses duck behind closed doors if they need to talk. Doctors and visitors have lowered their voices.
“Now we notice it’s a lot quieter than it used to be.”
Disney On Ice will again return to Buffalo for eight performances Jan. 24-28 at HSBC Arena. Tickets ($13 to $45) are now on sale at HSBC Arena and all tickets.com outlets, including Tops Friendly Markets.
"Mickey and Minnie's Magical Journey" will transport audiences into the magical worlds of best friends Lilo and Stitch as they hula in Hawaii, Ariel and Sebastian as they experience an aquatic adventure and through a playful adventure with the 101 dalmations.
Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 24-26, 11 a.m., 3 and 7 p.m. Jan. 27 and 1 and 5 p.m. Jan. 28.
For more information, visit Disneyonice.com.
We've all snapped a picture when our kids are crying. Because sometimes, it's just funny.
And because crying kids are even funnier when they're not yours. Click here.
Troll around on various mommy message boards (my favorite being the parenting board on thenest.com), and you're sure to find pictures of the moms' adorable babies playing with Christmas lights in the dark.
Very cute -- and very simple to recreate.
Here's how I did my pic of Cameran. (Act surprised when you get this picture in the mail as our Christmas card!)
1. Put your child in whatever cute outfit you want him to wear, but don't put too much energy into getting him all cute-sified since the outfit won't really show up anyway. An alternative to the cute outfit is what I like to call the Naked Baby Approach. This involves three things: a diaper, a Santa hat and, of course, a Naked Baby.
2. Turn the lights off in the room, leaving on only one lamp behind you.
3. Get your digital camera ready -- you won't have much time before your baby loses interest. Or in my case, before your baby tries to eat the lights. Turn the camera on and turn its flash off.
4. Sit Baby in a chair and put the string of lights in his lap. You'll want to wait to plug the lights in until the end because otherwise, they'll distract the baby before you're ready.
5. Turn the string of Christmas lights on and -- QUICK! -- take lots of pictures.
Got any free time this month? Yeah, me neither.
That’s exactly why our recent day trip to East Aurora was so satisfying. We spent the day together as a family, and we were able to get a little Christmas shopping done at the same time.
My husband and I recently took Cameran to the Fisher-Price toy store and the Toy Town Museum, both located at the company’s headquarters at 636 Girard Ave., East Aurora.
It’s a quick drive — less than an hour if you don’t pass the exit like we did — and it’s well worth the gas money you’ll spend to get there.
The toy store is packed with discounted Fisher-Price toys, books and baby gear, and a clearance section in the back offers even deeper discounts on these items. Besides just Christmas shopping, this is where to look if you need to buy any baby gifts for new parents.
It’s a small store, so if it’s crowded (which it most likely will be this time of year), it might be hard to maneuver through the aisles if you’re lucky enough to snag one of the few available shopping carts. Plan to take your time — you’ll enjoy it more, and besides, it’s fun to watch your child stare in amazement at all the toys.
When your child starts screaming and latching onto any toy she can reach (for us, that happened after about 45 minutes), it’s time to go next door to the Toy Town Museum.
The 8,000-square-foot museum is a fascinating archive of historical games and toys. Best of all, admission is free. It showcases a permanent collection of Fisher-Price toys, as well as changing exhibits throughout the year.
Exhibit areas also include collections of toys from a variety of manufacturers dating back to the 1800s — you know, the good old days before toys required batteries to make noise.
Of special interest to us was the collection of toys from the 1980s, prime toy time for my husband and me. I saw the old doctor’s kit I used to play with at my aunt Lynn’s house. My husband saw the old Little People bus that he had as a child.
We spent quite a bit of time randomly exclaiming, “Hey, I had that!” and even more time wishing we had saved some of our old toys — which probably are worth a little money now.
For children, the museum offers a variety of educational programs and family events. There’s a theater, a research library, a gift shop and a reading area. An art gallery displays original artwork of many Fisher-Price toys in their earliest stages.
At 14 months, Cameran’s favorite part by far is the Toy Works area, a play room set up with all the Fisher-Price toys you can imagine. It’s a good way to keep a small child entertained, a great way to get gift ideas and a brilliant way for Fisher-Price to sell Fisher-Price. Like something here? Go buy it next door.
While admission to the museum is free, donations are accepted. A family membership — a steal at $25 — gives you a 10 percent discount on educational programs and in the museum gift shop, as well as a discount on a Buffalo Zoo membership among other things.
The Toy Town Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 687-5151 or visit www.toytownusa.com for more information.
The Fisher-Price toy store is open for extended holiday hours through Dec. 23: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The store will be closed Dec. 24-25 and Dec. 31 through Jan. 2. Call 687-3300 for more information.
Maybe someone should tell the folks at Kool Toyz that playing with asbestos is also not recommended.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with Kool Toyz, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.
Name of Product: Various "Kool Toyz" Children's Products
Units: About 190,500
Importer/Distributor: Target Stores, of Minneapolis, Minn.
Hazard: Some of these toys contain lead paint, which is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects. Also, some of the toys have sharp points, posing laceration or puncture wound hazards.
Incidents/Injuries: Target has received four reports of toys breaking apart, exposing sharp points. No injuries have been reported.
Description: The recall involves "Kool Toyz" brand toys, including sets containing die-cast cars, playground set, doll house set, dinosaurs, trucks, boats and planes. The packaging is primary blue and has the "Kool Toyz" logo is on the upper left corner of the packaging. The following chart lists the toys involved in the recall, their item numbers written on the upper right corner of the packaging, and the specific hazards they pose:
Product Name / Item Number / Hazard
Truck Carry Case / 087/01/0050 / Lead Paint and Sharp Points
Tiny Playground Set / 086/10/0048 / Lead Paint and Sharp Points
Dream House Play Set / 086/10/0048 / Lead Paint and Sharp Points
Discovery Dinosaur Habitat / 087/01/0011 / Lead Paint
Command Center Action Figure Play Set / 087/01/0034 / Sharp Points
Aircraft Carrier Action Figure Play Set / 087/01/0034 / Sharp Points
Air, Land and Sea Defender Play Set / 087/01/0036 / Lead Paint
Tank Action Figure Play Set / 087/01/0040 / Lead Paint
Helicopter Action Figure Play Set / 087/01/0040 / Lead Paint
Remote Control Trucks / 087/01/0042 / Sharp Points
Sold by: Target Stores nationwide from July through September and on Target.com from August through September for between $10 and $20.
Remedy: Consumers should take the products away from children and return the item to the nearest Target Store for a full refund.
Consumer Contact: For additional information, please contact Target at (800) 440-0680 between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at target.com.
I almost forgot to mention my encounter with The Coolest Travel Gadget Ever .... I came across it at the Orlando airport as we were waiting for our return flight.
The Ride-On Carry-On by One Step Ahead is a chair for your child that straps on to your rolling carry-on suitcase. Invented by a flight-attendant mom, the chair was one of Business Week's best products of 2003 and features a five-point harness (think car seat straps) with a removable headrest that doubles as a snack tray table.
It's recommended for children ages 8 months to 5 years. The chair collapses flat to fit in an airplane's overhead bin. Cost is $39.95; visit onestepahead.com to order.
Real-life moms looking to try their comedic chops on someone besides your kids can win a shot at this year's "Funniest Mom in America" title. The contest, sponsored by Nick at Nite, Time Warner Cable and Comix Cafe, invites all moms to the local tryouts at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Nov. 14) at Comix Cafe, 3163 Eggert Road, Tonawanda.
"Funniest Mom 3" is a six-part series on Nick at Nite which follows these moms' journey to glory. (And by "glory," they mean $50,000 plus the chance to host a special night of programming on Nick at Nite.)
RSVP to Randy Reese at 835-4242.
For details, visit nickatnite.com.
The hardest part about vacation, I’ve decided, is the week after you return. That’s when I play a game I like to call This Time Last Week.
(I say “game,” which implies that it’s fun, when really it’s quite painful.)
Let’ s try: “This time last week, I was shopping in St. Thomas.”
“This time last week, I was having breakfast with Mickey Mouse.”
And now, here I am, sitting at my desk, making another newspaper.
I recently returned from a 10-day Disney vacation. We loaded up the baby and all the in-laws and spend three days at Walt Disney World before venturing out into the Caribbean for a seven-day Disney cruise aboard the Disney Magic.
What a trip!
Read Thursday’s travel page for the full story on the Disney cruise, including tips for future Disney cruisers.
For now, I have to get back into working mode.
BRAG BOOK UPDATE
I’ve gotten a lot of response to my recent request for photos of your children and grandchildren for our new Brag Book feature.
Our original plan was to launch the new women’s page sometime in November, but we aren’t able to get a column that we want for the page until January. It’s a personal finance advice column for women, something that our reader advisory board specifically requested for the page. We believe the column topic is important enough — and the one we want is good enough — to warrant holding the page’s launch until January.
So please be patient. All of the photos that I have received will be published.
Meanwhile, keep sending in the pictures of your beautiful children! Be sure to put “Brag Book” in the subject line if you e-mail them to me.
Or, if you’re interested in joining our reader advisory board, call me at 693-1000, Ext. 116, and I can set you up with the editor who arranges the meetings. It’s a group of community members who meet with us once a month to help us guage your opinion of the newspaper.
TOP 100 COMPANIES FOR WORKING MOMS
Nothing local -- that figures -- but here they are anyway.
The top 100 companies — in alphabetical order — for working mothers, as determined by Working Mother magazine:
Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Ill.
Accenture Ltd., New York, N.Y.
Aflac Inc., Columbus, Ga.
Allstate Corp., Northbrook, Ill.
American Express Co., New York, N.Y.
Arnold & Porter LLP, Washington, D.C.
AstraZeneca PLC, Wilmington, Del.
Avon Products Inc., New York, N.Y.
Bank of America Corp., Charlotte, N.C.
Baptist Health South Florida, Coral Gables, Fla.
Bayer AG, Pittsburgh, Pa.
RECALL: TOOL BENCHES ARE RECALLED
In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Playskool, of Pawtucket, R.I., is voluntarily recalling about 255,000 Team Talkin' Tool Bench toys following the deaths of two young children.
Playskool received reports that a 19-month-old boy from Martinsburg, W.V., and a 2-year-old boy from League City, Texas, suffocated when oversized, plastic toy nails sold with the tool bench toys became forcefully lodged in their throats. Though the toy nails are not considered a small-part, and the toys are intended for children age 3 and older,
Playskool is voluntarily conducting a recall as a precaution to prevent additional incidents.
RECALL: LEGO RECALLS TOY TRUCKS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with LEGO Systems Inc., of Enfield, Conn., today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.
Name of Product: LEGO EXPLORE Super Trucks
Units: About 358,000
Hazard: The plastic wheels on the truck can detach, exposing a metal axle. This poses a puncture hazard to young children.
Incidents/Injuries: LEGO Systems, Inc. has received 10 reports of a wheel detaching. Two children received serious puncture injuries resulting from the exposed metal axle once the wheel detached. Another
from The Associated Press:
US&J staff enjoys downtown treats, tourism
The First Annual Ice Cream Walk was intended to be a lark, celebrating my 46th year in the newspaper business which started on May 7, 1967.
Tuesday's tour turned out to be a lesson in Lockport, a pretty cool city. Main Street and East Avenue have a dozen places that beg questions and a view from the inside out, along Clinton's Ditch, begs a dozen more.
UPDATE: Lockport man charged with attempted murder of 7-year-old
A 28-year-old Lockport man has now been charged with the attempted murder of a 7-year-old girl.
A woman called 911 just after 2 p.m. New Year's Eve to report a man was attacking her child. Police say the woman said, "79 Monroe, he is killing my baby" before the line was disconnected, according to Channel 4 News.
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- BLOGGIN' IN THE PAINT: NU star focuses on hoops amid personal losses Niagara University's star senior enters the season as a top contender for Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference player of the year honors. Read his blog here.
- BLOGGIN' IN THE PAINT: NU's Charron Fisher talks pasta dinners, preparing for the week ahead After a loss, the ride back home is never fun. Stanley Hodge and I stayed awake and watched the film from the game and saw a lot of the mistakes that we made, and things that we need to improve on. Most of the rest of the team slept the whole way back because it’s sort of an unwritten rule that you can’t be up talking, joking around and having fun after a loss.
- UBEAT: Garcia gets digs record Contribute commentary to this weblog by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- NUWS: Clements gets first win Contribute your thoughts to this Niagara Purple Eagles blog by e-mailing email@example.com.
- NU BLOG: March 2007 Purple Eagles coach will be a guest on ESPN Radio at 2 p.m. Sunday.
- ERIE COUNTY BLOG: Control board OKs controversial borrowing Erie County’s Legislature was in a tizzy at its June 5 meeting, a response to a last second letter from Control Board Chairman Anthony Baynes.
- More Blogs Headlines
- US&J staff enjoys downtown treats, tourism