Big Kid

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    With the exception of career drag queens, men have no business in bra departments. Sometimes, though, we're required to venture into these forbidden zones, no matter how suicidal the mission. Due to my repeated failure, even when armed with a detailed text listing the exact size my 12-year-old daughter has instructed me to purchase, I seem incapable of returning home with a bra that "feels right." Which is why I privately refer to this sad vortex of breast retaining walls as The Island of Misfit Cups.

    The open hostility with which I'm routinely greeted doesn't help. I thought we'd evolved as a culture, but the raw disdain my very presence seems to elicit in female bra shoppers has taught me otherwise.

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    Some people raise kids in the city. Some people raise kids in the country. And then there are the moms and dads who are raising kids in the military.

    Don't see the difference? Then you're obviously not a military mom! Military kids are like other American kids in many ways -- but they tend to move a lot more, have siblings born in far-flung places, and the language they speak is one that's all their own.

    Just ask a mom raising her kid in the service, and you'll hear a long list of signs her kids are "different." But don't take our word for it -- The Stir asked military moms for the telltale signs that they're raising military kids ...

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    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Kid Reporter gaggle in the White House Library during the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) 

    More than 30,000 people showed up at the White House yesterday for the 2014 "Hop Into Healthy, Swing Into Shape" Easter Egg Roll, but 7 kid reporters (including my daughter) were lucky enough to have a more intimate meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama on the floor of the White House Library.

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    First Lady Michelle Obama participates in a Kid Reporter gaggle in the White House Library during the annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House, April 21, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)  

    Yesterday I was part of a group of 7 Kid Reporters who met with First Lady Michelle Obama during the 2014 White House Easter Egg Roll (that's me in the light blue dress on the left). We met in the White House library to talk about the program she started four years ago called Let's Move and how kids can stay healthy. As a kid, there are a lot of reasons I like this program.

    Here they are:

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    Edward Hart is currently facing two felony counts after he allegedly got into an altercation with police and damaged the inside of their vehicle. Why is this news-worthy? Because Edward is 8. And he has special needs. So, yes, you read that correctly: Police charged an 8-year-old special needs boy.

    Edward ran away from the Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in Allegan, Michigan (something he's done before), and when police caught up with him, a disagreement occurred. After reportedly cursing at officers and breaking the rear police camera, Edward was charged with malicious destruction of police property and resisting and obstructing. His parents, despite doling out a punishment to their son, think the situation is ridiculous. "If they had him under control, why didn’t they ride with him in the back of this cop car," Edward's stepfather told reporters. "So this incident would have never took place?"

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    At any given moment, at any given place, when you look around, people are staring down at their phones. It's as if their glowing screens hold the key to life. And sadly, many of these entranced people are parents -- with kids who are right nearby. It's no secret that the widespread use of smartphones and technology is, for lack of a better phrase, turning us into much crappier, awkward people. But think about the poor kids! How do you think our obsession with tiny devices is affecting them? (Hint: Not good.)

    A new study has found that when parents who are out to eat with their children spend the majority of the meal looking at their phone, bad things happen. As in their kids start acting out (more than kids normally do at restaurants) and ruin the meal for everyone else around them.

    That's not enough to make you put down your phone? Check out these other negative effects of using your phone around your kids.

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    When it comes to wanting an honest opinion about whether or not your ass looks fat in the skinny jeans you just spent 10 minutes trying to zip up -- don't ask your husband. And don't ask your mom or your best girlfriend either. (They'll all lie to your face.)

    If you want the truth -- seek out a kid. Actually, you probably won't even have to ask the question if you find said kid. He/she will take one look at you and say, "Your butt looks HUGE, Mom." Or, "Those jeans don't fit, Mom."

    You catch my drift. Kids have a wonderful knack for pointing out the negative aspects of our appearance without so much as a second's thought -- even though 99 percent of the time, they aren't trying to insult us at all.

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    On Monday, April 21, 2014, the day of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, I went to the White House to interview Michelle Obama. I was nervous and excited.

    Here's how my day went.

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    The other day I was having one of those self-pitying IS THIS ALL THERE IS sort of days -- you know, when you feel caught in a bleak Sisyphean loop of wiping up crumbs and making meals, which create more crumbs then wiping up those crumbs? -- and the next morning I randomly took a photo of my 6-year-old when he was still in bed and I thought, Actually, this is EVERYTHING. The messes, the cyclical tasks, the grind and the glory.

    For the rest of that day, I took photos with my cellphone. One after another, nothing framed, nothing well-lit, just random images documenting my day. When I look back on them now, I see a lot of mundane, totally unexciting activities ... that add up to a comforting wave of pure joy. Look how good it all is.

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    Trips to the emergency room are nightmarish, to say the least. Between the stresses of a sick or injured child and the overwhelming environment of a constantly bustling ER, parents have enough to worry about when they arrive. But it turns out that parents have a whole slew of other things to keep in mind during these trips. A recent study, published in the medical journal Pediatrics, found that ER doctors continue to prescribe codeine to children, despite the potentially harmful effects.

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