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Michele Zipp has an adorable 4 year old son named Hunter, with curly long blond hair past his shoulders. According to her, he has always liked it that way, until one day when he came home from school and stated he wanted his hair cut, like his friend (a boy who had short hair).

This surprised Michele because he had never enjoyed getting his hair cut in the past.

Hunter then proceeded to tell her that girls on the playground were teasing him, saying he looked like a girl. It crushed his little 4 year old heart.

Michele shared with thestir.cafemom.com, “adults, too, mistake him for a girl sometimes. We were apple picking recently and the woman at the farm said something along the lines of “The girls can also pick from these bins.” Hunter’s feelings were clearly hurt so I politely corrected her. Then I thought that made me sound like a jerk. But in my son’s eyes, I stood up for him and that was what was important.

At school, some boys called Hunter a girl. He said they were mean to him and didn’t listen when he told them he was a boy. Again, I’m not certain of the details, but what I do know is that suddenly, the boy who never liked getting his hair cut, wanted very short hair.”

Instead of giving in to his wishes, Michele encouraged Hunter to keep it by reminding him that lots of men have long hair. She showed him pictures of Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Jared Leto and the like…she reminded him that some women have short as well, and that it doesn’t matter.

She let the subject rest. Later, on another night as she was brushing his long locks after a bath he said how much he really did like his long hair and that he didn’t want to cut it anymore.

What are your thoughts on little boys with long hair? Is it unfair to expect them and their peers to overcome gender stereotypes at such a young age?

image via Michele Zipp

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A school district in Lincoln, Nebraska is now instructing its teachers to do away with gender assigning completely and instead calling children “Purple Penguins” instead of “boys” and “girls”.

According to NationalReview.com the document given to teachers states, “Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention.”

“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.

Furthermore, the document asks teachers to intervene whenever they hear a child use the term boy or girl and to explain to the child that this is wrong. “Point out and inquire when you hear others referencing gender in a binary manner,” it states. “Ask things like . . . ‘What makes you say that? I think of it a little differently.’ Provide counter-narratives that challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender.”

Teachers can not ask children to line up as boys/girl but can ask them to line up based on whether they like bikes/skateboards, juice/milk, dogs/cats, etc.

Each class is encouraged to hang signs stating that “all genders are welcome”, and if a teacher has to mention gender at all it must include “boy, girl, both or neither.”

The instructions were part of a list called “12 steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” developed by Gender Spectrum, an organization that “provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages.”

What are your thoughts? Has gender equality and support of transgender children gone so far that our children should now be considered “genderless” at school?

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A school district in Lincoln, Nebraska is now instructing its teachers to do away with gender assigning completely and instead calling children “Purple Penguins” instead of “boys” and “girls”.

According to NationalReview.com the document given to teachers states, “Don’t use phrases such as ‘boys and girls,’ ‘you guys,’ ‘ladies and gentlemen,’ and similarly gendered expressions to get kids’ attention.”

“Create classroom names and then ask all of the ‘purple penguins’ to meet on the rug,” it advises.

Furthermore, the document asks teachers to intervene whenever they hear a child use the term boy or girl and to explain to the child that this is wrong. “Point out and inquire when you hear others referencing gender in a binary manner,” it states. “Ask things like . . . ‘What makes you say that? I think of it a little differently.’ Provide counter-narratives that challenge students to think more expansively about their notions of gender.”

Teachers can not ask children to line up as boys/girl but can ask them to line up based on whether they like bikes/skateboards, juice/milk, dogs/cats, etc.

Each class is encouraged to hang signs stating that “all genders are welcome”, and if a teacher has to mention gender at all it must include “boy, girl, both or neither.”

The instructions were part of a list called “12 steps on the way to gender inclusiveness” developed by Gender Spectrum, an organization that “provides education, training and support to help create a gender sensitive and inclusive environment for children of all ages.”

What are your thoughts? Has gender equality and support of transgender children gone so far that our children should now be considered “genderless” at school?

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For those of us who are a little nervous when it comes to dental procedures, nitrous oxide (AKA laughing gas) has always been an option to take the edge off and help us relax. Now it also being used in many hospitals to help women through child birth.

Nitrous oxide was common place in the U.S. during the 1930’s to help women with labor pain. It fell from popularity as other options like general anesthesia, IV narcotics and epidurals took its place. Now we are seeing a resurgence of it in our country, while in other countries like Australia, New Zealand the UK it is commonplace with up to 80% of women using it for child birth.

Is it safe?

Research suggests that Nitrous Oxide has no effect on the fetus during the last trimester and poses minimal toxicity to the mother when given in small doses. Babies born from mother’s who used Nitrous Oxide have similar Apgar scores to babies that were not exposed to it.

What are the benefits compared to other options?

Nitrous Oxide does not require monitoring during labor, and the mother can use it when needed during contractions and then take the mask off, unlike epidurals or narcotics where the effects are lasting and once given the mother has little control.

Nitrous Oxide can also be given at any point during labor, whereas epidurals can’t be used if a mother in the late stages of labor.

“Approximately 35 to 40 percent of women who use nitrous oxide also get an epidural. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the gas didn’t work. Rather, it can help women delay getting the epidural as their labor progresses and allow the baby to move down further” says Dr. Michelle Collins, a certified nurse-midwife and director of the nurse-midwifery program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tenn.

Nitrous Oxide is also a viable option for women who are anxious about getting an epidual or about after birth procedures such as manual extraction of the placenta or repairing a torn perineum.

Are there side effects?

Some women experience nausea, dizziness and drowsiness with nitrous oxide. Since it is a drug, different people have different reactions to it, and for some it doesn’t work at all for pain management.

The bottom line is it seems to be a fairy safe option and alternative for mothers who wish to ease the pain of labor. As with any drug, it is recommended that women do their research and make an informed decision.

Nitrous oxide is gaining popularity again and most likely will be coming to a hospital near you.

What are your thoughts? Would you try it for labor pain?

source: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/06/15/laughing-gas-for-childbirth-new-way-to-have-pain-free-labor/

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For those of us who are a little nervous when it comes to dental procedures, nitrous oxide (AKA laughing gas) has always been an option to take the edge off and help us relax. Now it also being used in many hospitals to help women through child birth.

Nitrous oxide was common place in the U.S. during the 1930’s to help women with labor pain. It fell from popularity as other options like general anesthesia, IV narcotics and epidurals took its place. Now we are seeing a resurgence of it in our country, while in other countries like Australia, New Zealand the UK it is commonplace with up to 80% of women using it for child birth.

Is it safe?

Research suggests that Nitrous Oxide has no effect on the fetus during the last trimester and poses minimal toxicity to the mother when given in small doses. Babies born from mother’s who used Nitrous Oxide have similar Apgar scores to babies that were not exposed to it.

What are the benefits compared to other options?

Nitrous Oxide does not require monitoring during labor, and the mother can use it when needed during contractions and then take the mask off, unlike epidurals or narcotics where the effects are lasting and once given the mother has little control.

Nitrous Oxide can also be given at any point during labor, whereas epidurals can’t be used if a mother in the late stages of labor.

“Approximately 35 to 40 percent of women who use nitrous oxide also get an epidural. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean the gas didn’t work. Rather, it can help women delay getting the epidural as their labor progresses and allow the baby to move down further” says Dr. Michelle Collins, a certified nurse-midwife and director of the nurse-midwifery program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in Nashville, Tenn.

Nitrous Oxide is also a viable option for women who are anxious about getting an epidual or about after birth procedures such as manual extraction of the placenta or repairing a torn perineum.

Are there side effects?

Some women experience nausea, dizziness and drowsiness with nitrous oxide. Since it is a drug, different people have different reactions to it, and for some it doesn’t work at all for pain management.

The bottom line is it seems to be a fairy safe option and alternative for mothers who wish to ease the pain of labor. As with any drug, it is recommended that women do their research and make an informed decision.

Nitrous oxide is gaining popularity again and most likely will be coming to a hospital near you.

What are your thoughts? Would you try it for labor pain?

source: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/06/15/laughing-gas-for-childbirth-new-way-to-have-pain-free-labor/

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Last week I was going through my pantry trying to make space for some bulk items I bought. There were bags of flour, unopened cereal boxes, and at least 8 cans of diced tomatoes. I realized that I had way too many canned goods and wondered if the flour and cereal were still good. Here are five things I learned about what can stay and what needs to go when cleaning out your pantry.

1. Flour needs to be in an airtight container and can last for up to a year. If it has been in your pantry that long make sure to check it for bugs or worms before using it.

2. Nuts don’t last long. On average nuts last no longer than six months. If they smell funky, throw them out.

3. Canned goods do have an expiration date. Sure, there are some that last way beyond the date, but you should definitely err on the side of caution and just chunk it if it is expired.

4. Cereal lasts for about 4- 6 months when it has been opened. If it is unopened it can be good for up to 8 months past the “best by” date.

5. Potato Chips don’t last long, even if they are unopened. Opened chips are good for about 5-7 days. Unopened chips can be good for at least 2 weeks and some can last for as long as 4 weeks.

Want to find out how long food lasts, check out EatByDate.com.

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Last week I was going through my pantry trying to make space for some bulk items I bought. There were bags of flour, unopened cereal boxes, and at least 8 cans of diced tomatoes. I realized that I had way too many canned goods and wondered if the flour and cereal were still good. Here are five things I learned about what can stay and what needs to go when cleaning out your pantry.

1. Flour needs to be in an airtight container and can last for up to a year. If it has been in your pantry that long make sure to check it for bugs or worms before using it.

2. Nuts don’t last long. On average nuts last no longer than six months. If they smell funky, throw them out.

3. Canned goods do have an expiration date. Sure, there are some that last way beyond the date, but you should definitely err on the side of caution and just chunk it if it is expired.

4. Cereal lasts for about 4- 6 months when it has been opened. If it is unopened it can be good for up to 8 months past the “best by” date.

5. Potato Chips don’t last long, even if they are unopened. Opened chips are good for about 5-7 days. Unopened chips can be good for at least 2 weeks and some can last for as long as 4 weeks.

Want to find out how long food lasts, check out EatByDate.com.

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A major toy retailer is marketing Breaking Bad Action figures to children. Tonight I was browsing through Transformers and right next to Optimus Prime wasHeisenberg and Jesse Pinkman. The two stars of Breaking Bad. The TV show about making and selling meth. This alone was shocking to me, as a mother of two boys.

However, my youngest son asked, “What do these guys do?” I immediately thought, “They make meth,” but I can’t say that to a little kid. I wasn’t sure how to answer that. They aren’t super heroes or cars that turn into robots. They are law breakers.

I don’t think these action figures should be sold next to kids’ toys. These aren’t toys any parent I know would buy for their children. This toy retailer does a good job monitoring who buys video games and they are sold in their own area. These toys should be taken off the shelves and put in a grown up section or sold only on the website. Moms have enough to deal with without explaining who Jesse and Heisenberg are or what meth is. This toy store should keep their toy aisles kid-friendly and keep the lawbreaking, antiheroes out.

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A major toy retailer is marketing Breaking Bad Action figures to children. Tonight I was browsing through Transformers and right next to Optimus Prime wasHeisenberg and Jesse Pinkman. The two stars of Breaking Bad. The TV show about making and selling meth. This alone was shocking to me, as a mother of two boys.

However, my youngest son asked, “What do these guys do?” I immediately thought, “They make meth,” but I can’t say that to a little kid. I wasn’t sure how to answer that. They aren’t super heroes or cars that turn into robots. They are law breakers.

I don’t think these action figures should be sold next to kids’ toys. These aren’t toys any parent I know would buy for their children. This toy retailer does a good job monitoring who buys video games and they are sold in their own area. These toys should be taken off the shelves and put in a grown up section or sold only on the website. Moms have enough to deal with without explaining who Jesse and Heisenberg are or what meth is. This toy store should keep their toy aisles kid-friendly and keep the lawbreaking, antiheroes out.

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Here are the top 5 things to do this weekend with your family! Get out and have some fun!

1. Kids Only WildNight at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (Oct. 11th) Cheyenne Mountain Zoo offers a whole new night time experience just for Kids! Drop your kids off at the zoo and they will get to have a pizza party, make s’mores, feed the giraffe, visit animals at night, meet some animals up close- and sleep next to some animals in the newly renovated Loft! The zoo will feed them breakfast and even throw in a morning tour to see the zoo as it wakes up. Kids must be 5 years or older to participate. For more info visit: http://www.cmzoo.org/exploreLearn/groupPrograms/wildNights.asp

2. Cool Science Carnival Day at UCSS (Oct. 11th) This nine day science festival is a collaboration of national and local science organizations, working together to facilitate and enhance science literacy in our region through informal learning experiences. It kicks off with the ever popular hands-on Cool Science Carnival Day at UCCS, which includes nearly 100 fun activities, exciting shows and informative open labs. The Colorado Springs Science Festival will allow you to engage the scientific part of your brain, experience how much fun science can be, and interact with your community on a new level! For more info visit: http://events.uccs.edu/event/cool_science_carnival_day_at_uccs#.VDTU7fldUrk

3. Downtown Sunday Market (Oct. 12th) Downtown Colorado Springs hosts the Downtown Sunday Market in Acacia Park. Market goers will be able to take advantage of fresh, locally sourced farm products, enjoy live entertainment, visit numerous shops and restaurants within easy walking distance, and take advantage of free on-street parking throughout downtown.
The market will run through October 26 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

4. Tarantulas and other Creepy Crawlies at Penrose Library (Oct.11th) Meet amazing arachnids, hissing cockroaches, scorpions, and who knows what! Tarantula wrangler Rowen Monks is back with an assortment of wild insects for you to see up close ? or not!
Plus, make a spooky spider craft to take home. For more info visit: http://ppld.org/programs-and-events-kids-penrose-library

5. Women’s Living Expo (Oct. 11-12th) For more info visit: http://www.womenslivingexpo.com/ColoSprings2014/