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I have strung words together for The New York Times, Vice, and more. I write and shoot people (with a camera, you guys) from my home in upst...

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I don't know what's wrong with singer Leona Lewis these days. Maybe her new romance with One Direction's Liam Payne has her twitterpated. Maybe she just said "laters baby" to sanity. Either way, Lewis had to be seriously off her rocker when she suggested Chris Brown for the lead role in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. We get it. It's starting to feel like the new favorite game in Hollywood is to throw someone else's name into the running for the Christian Grey role. But Leona, honey, was Chris 'I Beat Up Rihanna' Brown the best you could come up with?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    In many ways the case of missing Colorado 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway has been looking like any missing child case. She was walking to school and then, blam, she was gone. But we're on day six of the search for Jessica, and already this case is shaping up to be very different from the rash of child disappearances that have kept us glued to our computers and TV screens, fingers crossed that the child would be found. The difference? Jessica Ridgeway's parents. By this point in a typical missing child case -- at least the ones we've seen in the past year or so -- the parents are already at odds with one another, tearing one another apart in the media. But not Sarah Ridgeway. Not Jeremy Bryant.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Texas dad Tom Logan has had a pretty awful year. In January his son, USMC Cpl. Joseph D. Logan, was killed in a helicopter crash while serving our country. Then came the letter from President Barack Obama. A form letter. That's right, a proud military dad was treated to nothing more than a pre-printed letter with his son's vital statistics filled in as a "condolence" for losing his own child. Ooph. Talk about kicking a man when he's down.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    OK, so picketing your kid's school after they get themselves suspended isn't what most parents would do. But Randy Duke doesn't sound like most parents. He's a Navy veteran who came home from Afghanistan to find out his 14-year-old was being bullied big time at school. And when the eighth grader finally had enough and fought back against his long-time bully, the school came down hard ... on Duke's son. Suddenly a dad standing outside his son's school with a giant sign starts to sound less like crap parenting and more like the kind of chutzpah we all need to show for our kids, doesn't it?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I'm starting to feel like mine is the only American family not under the thrall of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. My 7-year-old said, "Holla for a dolla" the other day, and from the sour look that came over my husband's face, you'd have thought she said, "There is no more bacon left in America." OK, maybe we aren't the only ones, but we are one of those families that's turned off TLC to save our child from the sad Southern stereotypes that June Shannon and her family buy into. We've turned it off for one simple reason: we are trying to raise a child who is proud of her Southern heritage.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Before you read the story of 11-year-old Ben Baltz, I have a bit of advice for you. Grab a few Kleenex. Heck, just grab the whole box. Ready? Baltz was 6 years old when he lost his leg to bone cancer, but on Sunday he was out on the beach in Florida anyway, trying to complete a kids' triathlon with his prosthetic leg.  Crying yet? I'm a bit verklempt myself. Here this kid's being raised by parents who have managed to strike that oh-so-delicate balance between trying to protect their kid from being hurt and not letting anything hold him back. But it gets better. The Marines showed up.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    For Kara Passante, everything seemed to be going just right at 29. She was married to the love of her life. She'd just given birth to the second of two beautiful little girls. And then came the diagnosis. Stage three breast cancer. At 29. Suddenly the mother of two had a lot of decisions to make. Among them? What would she tell her kids about her illness? Would she tell them at all? Little Isabelle, at just 7 months, wouldn't understand anyway. But at 2 1/2, Roz was already smart and highly aware of the world around her. And that's why Kara decided not to tell her kids she had breast cancer. This strong mama is now in remission, and she explained her decision to The Stir to help other moms in her boat figure out how to navigate this treacherous path:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    The news in the case of missing 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway is confusing this morning. Police in Westminster, Colorado say they've found a body, but they won't say whose body they've found. It's led some to pump their fists in celebration, surely that means the remains don't belong to the fourth grader who disappeared Friday morning. But let's just hold off on the celebrating, OK? The cops who called the news conference were quick to say, "We are unable to make a connection to the disappearance of Jessica Ridgeway." So it's probably not Jessica. But do I really need to spell this out? OK, I will.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    America, Jerry Sandusky may have just done the impossible. I honestly didn't think he could look any worse than he already does, did you? The former Penn State coach stands convicted of 45 counts of child abuse. That's 50 shades of disgusting piece of slime right there. But now that letters Jerry and wife Dottie wrote to the judge responsible for sentencing him are out, I sit corrected. The things the Sanduskys said about the victims, the poor boys he violated, are downright despicable. Yup, Jerry Sandusky, world's most hated pedophile, comes off even scummier now than he did just a day or so ago.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    What comes to mind when you think of a "real man"? Some macho lumberjack type? Christian Grey? The guy from those Old Spice commercials? Or how about a bunch of dads singing "Part of Your World" from The Little Mermaid? Sorry Fifty Shades fans and Isaiah Mustafa lovers, but the last one is going to get me every time. I saw the viral video of military men, scientists, firemen, cops, and a handful of other dads on the job letting their princess flag fly, and I am crushing hard! Check these real dudes out:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    You've got to hand it to Kailyn Lowry. The Teen Mom 2 star hasn't had the easiest life, but she's quickly emerging as one of the most level-headed young women to grace the reality TV stage. And her latest move is certainly one that should wake her co-stars up. Little Isaac's mom, who recently got engaged to boyfriend Javi Marroquin, has gotten herself a J-O-B. And I'm not talking about the one that lands her on tabloid covers. It seems Kailyn has figured out that the MTV money train is eventually going to leave the Lowry station.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    As if the parents of children with autism needed another reason to be uneasy about sending their kids to school, a kindergarten teacher in Florida has just dished up a particularly horrifying tale. Cops say Esraa Mohamed Soliman dragged an autistic boy by his backpack, then rubbed a shoe in the 5-year-old's face. And this woman works in a school? With kids?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention, please? I have a confession to make. My name is Jeanne Sager, and I am a baby clothes hoarder. Upstairs in the half-attic of my house are tubs, giant plastic tubs, filled to the brim with clothes. Sure, half of them have the "yet to be grown into" hand-me-downs and outfits I've snatched up on sale. But I'm not talking about those tubs. I'm talking about the other half. The half-filled with duds sized infant to 12 months.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Oh, my heart hurts. Police seem to have pulled back on the search for missing Colorado 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway. Instead this morning they're calling for people to pay attention to an FBI profile (yes, Criminal Minds is real y'all) of the suspect they think snatched the fourth grader on her walk to school a week ago. It certainly puts the whole "we found a body while searching for Jessica Ridgeway" story in perspective, doesn't it? Westminster police have told us that they can't confirm that body found is related to Jessica's disappearance, but it's more than a little chilling that the plea to help find the kidnapper wasn't accompanied by yet another plea to get Jessica's face out there, isn't it?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    We've all heard about the mom wardrobe. She carries a giant bag. She wears high-waisted jeans! But ladies, there's another fashion faux pas in the same vein that no one seems to want to talk about. I'm referring, of course, to the mom who dresses a little too much like her kids. And by kids I mean people who are still in short pants and have an affinity for sucking down massive amounts of ketchup. Ladies, I hate to break it to you, but it's just not working for you.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It's 2012. We are slam bang in the middle of a bullying epidemic. And still I see parents (yes, even parents right here on The Stir) acting like it's all some big myth being perpetrated by a bunch of wussies who won't put on their big girl pants. Attention, non-believers, I'd like to introduce you to the sad story of 15-year-old Amanda Todd. Five weeks ago, Amanda posted a video on YouTube detailing the excruciating lengths bullies have gone to to make her life a living hell. But Amanda seemed to be one of those strong girls who wasn't going to take it. Because she also posted a slideshow of ways to combat these vile creatures who torture other kids. She had, as they say, her big girl pants on. And then came Wednesday. Amanda was found in her house, dead. She'd committed suicide.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Wisconsin Republican Roger Rivard was recently quoted in a newspaper talking about the rape of a young girl at a local high school with the words "some girls rape easy." If your mouth just dropped open, you'll understand why the state representative is trying to back away from that one as fast as his little legs will carry him. But in typical politician form, he may have come up with an excuse for bad behavior that's potentially worse than his original gaffe. The way Rivard tells it, he wasn't trying to excuse the 17-year-old charged with the violation of an underage girl at all. Nope, not de-legitimazing the rape of a child. He was just trying to relate an old tale from his dad. Warning: Pops sounds like a mysoginist. Apple apparently didn't fall far ...

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Dog loving parents, it's time to get your party blowers out and start celebrating! A 6-year-old rescue dog in Connecticut just became a hero in every sense of the world for saving a 9-week-old baby's life. Take that all you "well, dogs could be dangerous" folks. Some dogs are dangerous. But most are incredible creatures who will do anything to keep our kids safe. Like Jenna Brousseau's dog Duke.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Here we go again. Another teenager who is mad as hell and not going to take it, so she's gone to the media with her sob story. This time it's a teen mom who -- wait for it -- wants to know why her high school is full of all these meany pants who are keeping the photo of her out of the yearbook. Oh, did I mention that photo isn't just of Stephanie Myer? The girl who gave birth in the middle of her senior year posed for her photo with her newborn in her arms. Now you're starting to understand the school, aren't you?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It's happened. The thing we most feared when we heard that 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway had disappeared on her walk to school more than a week ago. Police in Westminster, Colorado have confirmed that Jessica's parents will never see their little girl's beautiful smile again. Jessica Ridgeway is dead.  That body police found earlier this week that they couldn't confirm was Jessica's because it wasn't intact? It does indeed belong to the missing fourth grader. But Sarah Ridgeway and Jeremy Bryant can't rest easy yet. Now the search for a little girl has been turned upside down. Those cops? They're out for blood now.

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