In a former life, Suzanne Murray was a lawyer, a journalist, and a green lifestyle guru. She's launched several web sites, and has worked at the Washington Post Company, the Boston Review, and myriad women's magazines. In her current life, she's the Parenting & Political Editor at The Stir/Moms Matter 2012. She's also raising 9 chickens and one adventurous 4-year-old.
Katie Stockton, the 32-year-old woman from Illinois who left her healthy newborn daughter on a rural highway in the middle of winter to freeze to death, was just sentenced to 50 years in prison.
The frozen baby's remains were found in December 2004 and she became known as "Baby Crystal." Investigators questioned Stockton immediately after the body was discovered, and she reportedly lifted her shirt and asked them if she looked like she had just given birth. The murderer mom wasn't ultimately arrested until 2009 when the police finally had the DNA evidence they needed to nail her.
Stockton did not admit to killing her baby until February of this year.
This is one of the craziest flying with kids stories you will ever hear. A mom and dad were flying from Denver to Baltimore with their two sons -- ages 4 and 8. During the flight, a PG-13-rated movie(Alex Cross) was being shown on drop-down screens above the seats. After seeing the opening scenes (apparently the movie includes graphic violence and sex), the parents decided this was NOT a movie they wanted their sons to see and asked the flight attendants to fold up the monitor in the boys' line of vision. Even though the passengers sitting behind them lent their support, agreeing that the movie was definitely not appropriate for children, the family was told folding one screen was not an option. The parents nicely asked if the captain would be able to make this happen. The flight attendants very nicely told them no.
The next thing the family -- and the rest of the passengers knew -- the flight was being diverted to a Chicago airport because of "security concerns."
There's so much to learn when you're a new mom -- how to work the car seat, use the breast pump, function on no sleep. You'll also soon realize that motherhood has its own vocabulary. There are all kinds of new words and phrases that you'll learn and start to use on a daily basis, such as swaddle, rear-facing, and "I'm so tired." And some that you won't -- like elimination communication and "I really feel like having sex."
Don't worry, you'll know them all soon enough.
You'll also learn that other moms will try to size you up and label you by the things you do (bottle-feed ... gasp!) and don't do (make your own baby food ... what is wrong with you?!). Before you became a mom, you probably didin't realize that there's pretty much a name for everything a mom does with her baby and how she decides to raise him.
I'm here to tell you that these words and phrases are a load of crap.* Here are but 10 (and believe me there are many more) we should all agree to get rid of right now.
We are a nation in mourning. The tragedy at Newtown has affected the entire country, and as parents, maybe we feel it a little more acutely. We worry about sending our little ones to school, feel panic set in as that bus drives away every morning.
It's hard to know what to say to our kids when we can't even make sense of it all ourselves. But our kids do have questions, and they're looking for answers. First Lady Michelle Obama has written a very eloquent open letter to parents suggesting the things we can say to our kids to make them feel safe.
We hope her words help make you parents feel a little safer too and help us all get a little closer to healing.
Things seemed good in JulyLooks like Dennis Quaid is getting divorced -- again. Quaid filed for divorce from his real estate agent wife, Kimberly Buffington-Quaid, last week. The couple has been living apart for the past 6 months, and this is the third time the actor, now starring in the TV show Vegas, is giving up on marriage. He was previously married to actresses Meg Ryan (divorced in 2001) and P.J. Soles (divorced in 1983).
The couple, who has been married since 2004, has two children together, twins Zoe Grace and Thomas Boone, 4. Quaid supposedly wants joint physical and legal custody and has offered to pay spousal support.
But Quaid, 58, isn't the one who got this whole divorce ball rolling. It was Kimberly who wanted out of the marriage -- and we don't really blame her ... if what we hear is true.