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Elf Sighting: December 14th

Beartha was zip-lining along our office holiday decorations today! Happy Friday, indeed!

How can you be mad at that face?!

How to Ease Morning Sickness During Pregnancy

There is no greater gift than a child, but all moms-to-be could probably do without the symptoms that pregnancy brings. While not all pregnant women suffer from morning sickness, many women will find themselves dealing with bouts of nausea during the beginning of pregnancy. Normally, these symptoms subside within the first trimester but, whew, it can be painful and frustrating. Thankfully, there are several ways you can ease the symptoms of morning sickness during pregnancy, at least a little.

Peppermint  -  Peppermint has been touted as a great way to ease morning sickness, whether consumed or inhaled in aromatherapy form. Sip a cup of peppermint tea when nausea strikes, chew on a peppermint hard candy or inhale peppermint essential oil from a diffuser to help calm your stomach.

Crackers  -  Before you get out of bed in the morning, nibble on a couple of saltine crackers to help stop nausea before it begins. Having a little something in your stomach before starting your day can help offset the beginnings of morning sickness.

Stick to Appealing Food  -  While pregnant women should make an effort to eat a well-balanced diet, women who have suffered from morning sickness know that certain foods can trigger an attack. For now, stick to food that appeals to you and doesn’t set off a negative reaction. Even if you eat the same foods repeatedly, it’s better to have something in your stomach than no nutrients at all. Eventually, you’ll feel more comfortable to add more foods back into your diet.

Eat Frequently  -  Rather than eating three meals a day, make a point to eat between six and eight small meals each day during your pregnancy. This ensures there’s always something in your stomach, decreasing the chances of nausea. Additionally, small meals are easier to digest than large ones.

Ginger  -  If you can’t stand peppermint, food and drinks that contain ginger have also proven to be effective against morning sickness. Sip a cup of ginger tea, snack on a gingerbread cookie or drink a glass of ginger ale to curb nausea and help alleviate morning sickness.

While many pregnant women have to deal with morning sickness, there are ways to soothe the symptoms. Try one or all of the methods listed above to help curb nausea and vomiting until you find a method that works for you.

Elf Sighting: December 13th

I came into work this morning to discover our office had transformed into the Middle Ages! It’s not everyday you see an organic rhino and elephant participating in a joust with an elf and piggy. ;)

Teen to Meet Hasbro Execs about Easy-Bake Oven

Cooking and baking should not be gender-specific.
Cooking and baking should not be gender-specific.

When McKenna Pope’s 4 year old brother asked for an Easy-Bake Oven, her and her parents were surprised at what they had found. Even at the age of 13, McKenna was taken aback by the obvious gender stereotyping on the packaging of the Hasbro Easy-Bake Oven. The casing was completely tailored to girls, from the pink and purple colors to the lack of boys on the box.

Rightfully so, McKenna didn’t want her brother to feel awkward about wanting an Easy-Bake Oven that is so obviously targeted to young girls instead of boys. I mean, why can’t boys cook and bake too? There are plenty of famous male chefs these days! So she decided to take matters into her own hands. She created a petition on Change.org in hopes of downgrading the very obvious gender roles depicted on the product. She stated in her petition plea that she wants her “brother to know that it’s not “wrong” for him to want to be a chef, that it’s okay to go against what society believes to be appropriate.”

McKenna just may get her wish too. The petition has been picking up steam, with more than 40,000 signatures and a surplus of comments in support of her argument. One commenter wrote, “I loved my easy-bake oven when I was a boy and I love cooking today. all boys should have access to the kitchen. and it’s never too early to let them have that access.” Amen, my friend, amen.

Will you see gender-neutral Easy-Bake Ovens on the shelves soon for the little one in your life? Maybe. The landslide of signatures has not gone unnoticed at Hasbro, and she is now set to meet with executives on Monday. Go McKenna!

For more on the story, visit CNN.com or abcnews.com.

Elf Sighting: December 12th

Today on Wednesday, 12-12-12 (sorry, couldn’t resist putting that in writing!), I found Beartha in the Customer Service department! Apparently she was taking phone calls throughout the night. If you did happen to talk to Beartha, give us a call back, the message may not have been clearly received. ;)

Where has your elf been lately?!

Baby Jogger City Versa Strollers Recalled: A Fall Hazard

December 12, 2012.  The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in cooperation with Baby Jogger, has issued a recall of nearly 10,600 City Versa strollers.

According to the CPSC and Health Canada, the stroller frame can potentially fail to lock completely and therefore collapse, causing a fall hazard to the child in the stroller. In total, there has been six reported incidents, though no injuries to date. Purchased from July to October 2012 from stores nationwide in both the United States and Canada, the recall includes all Baby Jogger City Versa model strollers.

Consumers should immediately stop using this stroller and contact Baby jogger for a free replacement frame.

Call Baby Jogger toll-free at (877) 506-2213 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST Monday-Friday, email at [email protected], or go online at www.babyjogger.com. For more information, visit CPSC.

Defining Organic Food

Within the past decade or so, the emphasis on our health and the environment in which we live has increased tremendously. This shift in our world view is absolutely necessary and a welcome change to many – including myself-, yet it can be confusing. We are constantly exposed to terms like all-natural and organic, but do we really know what they mean?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has worked diligently to increase awareness of what “organic” is and how organic food can be upheld. The National Organic Program (NOP) specifically deals with this matter under the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service.

The NOP defines organic as “a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster recycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.”

Simple enough, right?

Okay, maybe not… In short, the term ‘organic’ loosely represents the avoidance of man-made alterations. It is simply natural and conducive to preserving the environment, just the way it has always been, and arguably the way it always should be. No radiation. No pesticides. No harmful chemicals. However, when we wind up in the grocery aisle with tons of marketing phrases leaping out at us, it can cause a lot of confusion. From organic to all-natural to 100% organic, it’s extremely overwhelming to figure out what means what.

Thankfully, in 2000, the USDA established their rulings on the use of the term “organic” on food labels. A company claiming their product classifies in one of the below categories is subject to approval by a certified third party accredited by the USDA.

“100% Organic” – Products deemed 100% organic must contain exactly that, only organic ingredients. This product is allowed to display the USDA Organic Seal.

“Organic” - Products labeled as organic must contain at least 95% organic materials. This title may also display the USDA Organic Seal.

“Made with Organic Ingredients” - This title is given to products that contain between 70-95% organic ingredients.

Anything less than 70% may not be called organic. If falsified, a producer could face a lawsuit as well as a large fine.

For more information on how to decipher what “organic” means, visit the USDA.

For even more on organic foods – from what foods to invest in and what organic foods you can skip – read Buying Organic 101.

 

Elf Sighting: December 11th

We found Beartha spinning on a display mobile in our store today! She obviously has good taste setting up camp in the CoCaLo Surie crib set display.

Don’t elves get dizzy?

Saying No to Gifts You Don’t Approve Of

So we’ve covered how to say no to your kids, but what about when your child is dying for a toy that you’d literally rather poke yourself in the eye with a pine needle than allow your child to have? It’s a tough situation, especially with the holidays in full swing, and gift givers everywhere are on the prowl for the latest and greatest in toys that you may very well not approve of.

Perhaps you’re an eco-concerned parent and every toy in the house better be BPA-free and lacking in phthalates. Or perhaps, the absurd beauty ideals subliminally attached to many dolls on the market today are not the values you want instilled on your sweet daughter, or son for that matter? Or perhaps you’re like me, and think Furby is the freakiest thing since Chucky and would honestly be uneasy housing one under your roof, let alone in the room of which your child sleeps!

So, how do you say no to your child when they want gifts you don’t approve of?

  Choose your battles. Is the Furby thing just you? Maybe your child truly will benefit by owning a Furby. The Gremlin-like creature’s behavior is shaped based on how your child treats it – maybe it will be a great learning tool and teach empathy. Maybe… But in all seriousness, what you may see as unethical or just plain weird is more than likely nothing that your child will ever see or absorb. Children are beautifully innocent; sometimes it’s best not to over think things.

  Ignore the wish-listed item. Sure, children go through great lengths to compose a wish-list fit for a king, but sometimes, everything on their list simply cannot be bought.  For a good five years of my youth, I always included a chimpanzee. I never got one. I got over it.

  Provide an alternative. If your child is dying for that Barbie with the skin tight outfit that you are just simply not comfortable with, opt for a different outfit. There are plenty of other options that may be more suited to your tastes. It’s all about compromise.

  Teach your child to appreciate the gifts they do receive. Discuss the importance of gratitude and how many people are less fortunate. As we all know, it’s tough for a child to put on a happy face if they are disappointed by what they received (e.g. clothes vs. video games), but it’s a life lesson that they’ll have to master eventually.

  Communicate. If you know of other friends and family members that will be shopping for your child this year, tell them what they should get him/her. It reduces the pressure on the shopper, and you’ll be sure you and your child are happy with the result.

Have you ever been in this situation before? What have you done to skirt the situation, or did you bite the bullet and give in?

 

Disclaimer: The views expressed towards an innocent stuffed animal in this post are solely my own and do not reflect BabyEarth’s core values or opinions.

Elf Sighting: December 10th

Beartha participated in some snowflake making over the weekend!

Unfortunately, she didn’t bother to clean up the mess…

Where did you find your elf today?