Archives for January 2015

A Course In Stepmothering

When I became a stepmom eight years ago, there were few resources to guide me over the rough spots in my new life. I read the only thin book I could find on the subject of parenting step children, and its bottom line was: “It’s the hardest job you’ll ever have and no one will ever thank you for it.” Before step-motherhood, I thought I was a kind and thoughtful person. But based on my troubled relationships with my stepson, my in-laws and – as a result – my husband, I soon began to think there must be something inherently...

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Millennial Parents Explores Modern Parenting, One Click at a Time

When L.A.-based writer Jake Greene became a father in 2011, he was faced with the challenge of being a present parent while staying current in popular culture. His realization that previous generations had given no thought to this impossible task became the impetus for his web series Millennial Parents, co-created with writer Natalie Irby. The series, now in its second season, is steadily growing in viewership and exposure. The two-minute episodes follow the adventures of new parents Kurt and Annie, played by actors Lea Coco and Laura Eichhorn. The stories usually revolve around their flailing attempts to stay ahead of...

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Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Studying Tummy Troubles and Autism

Research has shown that children on the autism spectrum experience more, and more severe, stomach problems such as constipation and bloating than other children their age do. If your child is one of them, you might be interested in a study being conducted by the special needs researchers at the Boone Fetter Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Because the discomfort from these gastrointestinal issues can make school and social interactions more difficult for kids, experts at CHLA are interested in finding out whether treating those issues can help kids on the spectrum become more social. The research team is...

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Baking Tips From L.A. Cookie Con

If you weren’t among the thousands of people who surged through the Pasadena Convention Center Jan. 25 for the debut of the L.A. Cookie Con & Sweets Show, you haven’t entirely missed out. True, you won’t get to indulge in the hundreds of samples doled out by the dozens and dozens of exhibitors, but we did gather some baking tips to help you stir up something sweet at home. If you’re looking for fun ideas for kids, you can’t do better than baking! About Butter Unless you happen to be vegan, who could imagine baking without butter? How you treat...

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Choosing Musical Instruments For Children With Special Needs

Children experiencing special needs such as physical, emotional or intellectual challenges respond to music and can play music, but one important question remains. What instruments are best for these children and why? A few years ago, I read an article in Music Educators Journal discussing this very topic and giving suggestions. Here is a brief synopsis of that article and which instruments they suggest for children with specific physical and learning challenges, as well as which instruments might be more difficult for them to play. Physical Disabilities Strings: The violin, viola, cello, and bass are all good for children with...

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Local Museums Are Having a Free-For-All

Some New Year’s resolutions are challenging. How many people, for example, pledge to go to the gym more often (and how many succeed in their goal)? But if you’ve pledged to soak up more local culture in 2015, that resolution is easy thanks to great Los Angeles events. Just take part in Museum Free-For-All Jan. 31, when more than 20 museums across Southern California offer free admission. Participating museums range from the Annenberg (Space for Photography) to the Zimmer (Children’s Museum), with The Getty, LACMA, MOCA and the Hammer Museum tucked in between. Family favorites include the Skirball Cultural Center,...

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Parenting Essay: Grocery Shopping with Kids in Tow

I know what you're thinking. There's no such thing as grocery shopping with one baby, let alone three. But I have my parenting ways. That is because I ask for help. A few appointments ran long while the kids were at daycare, so there I was at Albertsons in Reseda after picking up my 6-month-old twins and my very active 3-year-old. I walked into the store, and before I could even get to the first aisle I realized there was no way I could do this on my own. The Ask So, I went to the front desk and asked...

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A Sweet Way To Spend a Day

Are you a chocoholic? Is baking one of your favorite fun ideas for kids? Ever wonder how to make a great ganache? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the L.A. Cookie Con and Sweets Show is for you. Even if you only dream about desserts, you’ll find things to enjoy at the West Coast’s biggest baking and pastry convention. There will be decorating and baking classes, demos and workshops for all skill levels, plus edible crafts including candy-apple making and edible nail polish mini-manicures. For those with dietary restrictions, there will be allergen-friendly exhibitors and vegan and...

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10 Quick Healthy Tips for Busy Moms

It may be difficult for moms to set aside time for themselves. They are often more focused on their children's health, and the thought of sticking to New Year’s Resolutions may add to stress rather than alleviate it. However, eating well and exercising benefits moms and everyone in the family. As a physician practicing at Kaiser Permanente in Panorama City and a working mom to active preschool twins, I know just how important it is for moms to take care of themselves. Here are quick tips anyone (especially moms) can follow to keep health top-of-mind. 10 Easy Tips Mom Can...

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George Lucas and William Shakespeare Create ‘Strange Magic’

As the filmmaker who dreamed up Star Wars, George Lucas knows a thing or two about magical movie worlds and fun ideas for kids. For his latest film, he used Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as inspiration for a story of fairies, goblins and elves who battle over a potent love potion. Strange Magic is an animated movie full of magic, mystery, misadventures and music. Music, in fact, serves as a key component of the film. The soundtrack features an eclectic selection of rock and pop tunes, including songs by Elvis Presley, Deep Purple and Kelly Clarkson. The score’s composer,...

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