Crib notes

Crib notes: One mom tries to love her 'cushy tushy,' for her daughters' sake

April 10, 2012 at 8:26 PM ET

We can whine and complain about how the media and celebrities determine what the ideal female body should look like. We can whine even more about the fact that the ideal body seems to get slimmer every year. But, as moms, we also know that our relationships with our own bodies tell our kids a whole lot more than those glossy magazines ever could. Chances are, when we bemoan our flabby tummies or our cottage cheese thighs, little ears are listening and taking it all in. If we refuse a piece of cake at a party or look critically at ourselves in the mirror, we're sending our kids a message about weight and body image. Writing over at the New York Times, one mom talks about her attempts to set a good example for her daughters when it comes to loving her body. She believes that keeping our traps shut and not criticizing ourselves isn't enough -- we need to try and praise our imperfect bodies for all of the perfectly wonderful things those bodies can do. Whether we're happy that our legs are strong, or even praise our "cushy tushies," we need to start telling ourselves, and our kids, that these mom bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. Let's start -- what do you love about your body?

Picture imperfect for one school photographer

School picture day: getting your hair just right, picking out the perfect outfit and remembering to bring in that darn consent form. Except, there's always some kid who forgets the consent form. So, what's a photographer to do when a kid isn't authorized to be in the class photo? As Miami news station Local 10 reports, one just drew a smiley face cartoon over the kid's actual face. A second-grade class photo has been called everything from offensive to funny to an unusual attempt at problem-solving, after the photographer drew in a cartoonish, African-American smiley face to cover an actual child's face in the photo. The boy in the picture is African-American himself, but some find the cartoon cover-up to be degrading. There were actually two kids in the picture without consent forms. The photographer was able to Photoshop one kid out, but the other child was sitting front and center and couldn't just be airbrushed away. When initially told of the problem, the photographer says he volunteered to come back to the school to reshoot the photo. Then, there had then been talk of covering the face with a star, before the P.T.A. suggested he just draw a smiley face, which he did. However, the P.T.A. now says it's unhappy with how it was handled and has arranged for the photo to be retaken. Do you think this is offensive or are people being overly sensitive?

Lactation leads to lower income.

Formula costs money, but breastfeeding may cost you as well. The Houston Chronicle reports that women who breast-feed for six months or longer earn significantly less than their bottle-feeding counterparts. The hit on your paycheck may continue until that baby's in kindergarten, as a study shows the wage disparity can last for up to five years. The researchers found that women who breastfeed for a long period of time are less likely to work. Now, the question is, do these long-lactaters leave of their own accord, or does the workplace make it so hard on them that they feel forced to leave? The study also found that women who breastfeed for longer periods are more likely to be managers or professionals, who are married to college-educated men, which is leading many to call this a new form of class divide.

Vote for Barbie, 2012.

Speaking of female body image -- Barbie's back in the news... Long gone are the days when Barbie whined about how hard math is. These days, Barbie's as glam as ever, but with bigger messages. Not only is she going bald to support cancer patients, she's also running for President. Sporting a pink power suit and perfectly coifed campaign hair, she's running on a platform of "B." "B inspired," "B informed," and "B involved." (Eds. note: Was there a shortage of e's at her campaign headquarters?) As The San Francisco Chronicle reports, the hope is that Barbie will help inspire girls as a role model. You've got to admire her stick-to-it-iveness, this is the fifth time this determined gal has run for the highest office in the land. Who knows, maybe one day she'll get to trade in her Malibu dream house for the Oval Office.

Hey preschoolers, Dora the Explorer's outside running around and you should be, too.

Your preschooler may not need to go to the gooey geyser to save Tico the squirrel, but they do need to go outside to save their health. We know our kids need to be outside playing, but, as the Chicago Tribune reports, more than half of us aren't taking our preschool-age kids outside on a daily basis. To be fair to parents, the study cited didn't count time kids are outside running around while at daycare or preschool, only the times they were with mom or dad. The study noted though, that three-to-five year old kids rarely get the recommended hour of moderate to vigorous activity. Interestingly, the study found that parents were 15 percent less likely to take their daughters out for a romp than they were their sons. The study also noted that the amount of screen time a kid gets in a day didn't seem to affect whether or not they were spending time in the great outdoors.

Bartender: PB&J, shaken, not stirred.

As a mom, you eat more than your fair share of PB&J's. Even if you never make one for yourself, chances are, you eat bits and pieces of everyone else's. But would you want a PB&J-flavored vodka? According to the Globe & Mail, you can now order yourself a PB&J straight up, or, on the rocks, if you prefer, thanks to the good folks at Van Gogh Vodka. Hmm, mac & cheese-flavored rum can't be far behind....

Dana Macario is a TODAY Moms contributor and Seattle mom to two sleep-depriving toddlers. Once properly caffeinated, she also blogs at www.18years2life.com.

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