Toddler

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    Given how often parents are glued to their cellphones, it makes sense that their toddlers would want one, too -- and that toy cellphones have exploded in popularity. Some models teach numbers, others sing songs.

    Yet some parents worry that this isn't just harmless play but could be setting their kids up for trouble down the road. After all, we're constantly being warned to monitor our kids' connection to the digital world and limit screen time. But don't throw out that plastic phone yet.

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    We all know military reunions are some of the most touching and emotional moments ever captured on video. And this one is no different. One military mom just spent the past nine months in Afghanistan. So when she returned home with her fellow soldiers, her toddler son wasted no time running into her arms, all while breaking some strict military guidelines.

    Soldiers were instructed to stand in formation, but 3-year-old Cooper Waldvogel spotted his mom, Kathryn Waldvogel, as soon as she entered the room and just couldn't wait for his hug. Check out the beautiful moment:

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    Have you seen the new video of Lupita Nyong'o and Elmo? An unlikely pair, yes, but the Star Wars: Episode VII actress and lovable red Muppet's collaboration is so powerful, it's ... transformative.

    People's Most Beautiful Woman, who has talked openly about how she once felt insecure about her dark skin color, teaches Elmo all about skin. Most importantly, to love the skin he's in.

    It's a message Sesame Street aficionados need to hear.

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    For kids, there's little not to love about country living. With trees to climb, bugs to catch, and plenty of dirt to dig in, even the simplest backyard outing can be an adventure. Yet what their parents might not realize is that the benefits to raising kids in a rural environment don't end there, not by far. From lower stress levels to greater creativity, country kids have the edge over city slickers in a variety of ways. Read on to feel even better about where you live (or for reasons to contemplate a move to greener pastures).

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    Here's the scenario: You're going at it. All of a sudden, mid-thrust or mid-moan (for extra embarrassment), you hear a little voice. "Mommy, what are you and daddy doing?"

    You have three choices: Run and hide, lie, or offer an explanation on the fly ("Daddy and I just wresting, honey!"). Then stress-out for months afterward about whether your child will be emotionally scarred for life.

    But, there's a better way to do it (not talking sex tips here ... focus ... this is about keeping your kid from telling his whole preschool daddy's penis hurt you last night). You can get caught having sex and survive. It is possible.

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    As a parent, I can't imagine anything worse than losing my child. Yet every year there are too many families that face this exact reality. Sudden Unexplained Death of a Child (SUDC) affects 1.5 out of every 100,000 children aged 1 to 5. Unfortunately, SUDC research has zero federal funding and has raised only $1 million in the last ten years

    Can you imagine waking up to find the little person ... who made your heart grow ten sizes, who took your heart out of your chest and put it on your sleeve, and for whom you would do anything to prevent even an ounce of pain ... dead for no apparent reason?

    It's hard to even contemplate, but the parents of these children live with that reality every single day. And they're looking for answers.

    That's where you can help.

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    A quick haircut or a beard trim may not sound like a big deal to the average adult. All you're doing is polishing up your mug, really. Totally normal. But to your child, the way you look is intrinsic to who you are, so as soon as you change that hair color or completely rework your facial hair, the Mom or Dad they've known since they were born is gone. So when one dad decided to surprise his daughter by shaving his beard during a peekaboo game (catching the whole thing on video), we're not at all surprised she freaked.

    And we mean seriously freaked. What started out as an innocent towel peekaboo game suddenly turned into a delirious screaming fit. You have to see it for yourselves:

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    Kids and bathtime. Depending on the day, it can be a joy or a chore to protect your kid from being that kid (the one with the dirty fingernails, paint on his leg from the day before, a ripe smell only a mom can tolerate without a face mask). If you're having one of those days where your kid fights bathtime on a bedtime level, change it up. 

    Bathtime is often overlooked. We've all just thrown some toys in the tub, taken a seat on the toilet, and let the kid play while we check our smartphones. Ah, mommy time to decompress with a "like" fest. That's okay ... but you will miss out on some real bathtime bonding that will enrich your child's life. Facebook seems less important when it's spun that way, huh? 

    Here are 7 tips for bathtime to build skills that last a lifetime:

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    Yes, I'm one of those horrible moms who takes her kid to bars. I can't say I'm proud of this, but I'm not exactly ashamed of myself either.

    Let me explain: It all started one evening when a friend called to see if I'd like to meet up for a drink. Only my husband was already out that evening, and I couldn't find a babysitter for my 2-year-old daughter on such short notice. And sitting in my apartment didn't appeal to my pal, who was single and childless.

    Given these limitations, if this drink were to happen -- and after a long day of entertaining my daughter, lord knows I was chomping at the bit for it -- my choice seemed clear: I'd meet my friend at a bar and take my toddler with me.

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    After the divorce tear gas stops stinging and the OMG-I-should-have-been-a-lawyer bills are paid, there's a period of awakening, of embracing your new reality as a divorced mom.

    At times, it's intoxicating. The freedom, the firsts, the time you have to devote to your precious child. Other days are wracked with guilt, with "what if"s, with longing for your baby. It's a bumpy road only those who have gone through it can possibly understand. Here are 17 things only a divorced mom knows.

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