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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
    In a month that's brought us the tragic deaths of young girls Jessica Ridgeway and Autumn Pasquale, we have another bit of sad news. Little Saanvi Venna, the 10-month-old who was abducted while her grandmother was babysitting in Pennsylvania this week, has been found. And like her murdered grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, the little girl is dead. But unlike Ridgeway or Pasquale, the person cops have arrested isn't some stranger. No, Raghunandan Yandamuri, the man police say murdered Saanvi's grandmother when he tried to abduct her, then later murdered the little girl, was someone the Venna family thought was their friend.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Getting kids to fess up when they've done something wrong can be like pulling teeth. But third grader Andrew Berry knew he screwed up when he opened his backpack at school and found the unloaded BB gun he'd stowed in there when he went to visit his grandparents over the weekend. Oops! So the 8-year-old told his teacher. Now the school has rewarded his honesty with 10 days of suspension. And we wonder why our kids are afraid to tell us the truth? They know adults aren't always that trustworthy themselves!

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    We've got less than one month until Breaking Dawn 2 hits theaters! Is it safe to be in official countdown mode yet? The talk show hosts certainly are. The late night hosts are already fighting over who gets to chat up Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner. We've already heard some juicy bits from members of the cast -- did you hear the ending made Kellan Lutz cry? So if you can't wait until November 16 to get your Twilight Saga fix, here's when should you be tuning in to catch your faves dishing on the final movie in the series.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    There's a little light of humanity in the middle of a dark election season today. People on both sides of the aisle are coming together today to wish Republican Senator Marco Rubio's daughter a swift recovery from a head injury sustained during a weekend accident. At the time 12-year-old Amanda was being rushed to the hospital, her dad was hours away campaigning with Mitt Romney. I'm not a big fan of the Senator, but the parent in me softened immediately upon hearing the news. I could see myself in his shoes, being the working parent away from home when tragedy struck.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    The Internet is abuzz today over an orangutan shot more than 100 times with a pellet gun in Borneo. The good news is the primate named Aan somehow survived the vicious attack, and the 15-year-old has been dubbed a "badass" beast. But it's hard to see the good news when it's clouded by the very obvious bad: someone wandered into this orangutan's natural habitat and, for no discernible reason, pumped this living creature full of pellets.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Poor Kelsey Grammer! The new dad finally got a night out, and now he's taking a hit from the likes of ex-wife Camille Grammer over rumors that he took 3-month-old baby Faith to a Halloween party. What's the big deal? OK, so this particular party was at the Playboy Mansion. Slightly bigger deal than most, but still? When it comes to bad parenting in Hollywood, this hardly seems to make the list.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It looks like Teen Mom Farrah Abraham has made a new friend! And when you consider her track record of fighting with other reality stars, the Teen Mom's new bestie is a tad on the surprising side. Her name? Chelsea Houska. As in Chelsea Houska of Teen Mom 2. The Midwestern girls got a night out without their daughters, and they seem to have really hit it off. Chelsea posted this photo (at right) to Twitter, giving Farrah a shout-out as "my giiiiirl." Now THIS is a friendship that needs to keep going. 

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    The web is full of faked Hurricane Sandy photos (ahem, that Statue of Liberty storm photo? It's a fake, y'all). Sadly for the East Coast, however, Frankenstorm is very real, and she's here! If you want to see what it's like for the folks living inside what's being called the "largest Atlantic tropical storm ever," we've got the real Sandy photos to prove it. From Virginia Beach, Virginia, which was hit over the weekend, to Boston, Massachusetts, where Sandy started rearing her ugly head this morning, there are downed trees, cars underwater, and hundreds of thousands of people out of power. And in the middle of all that are the people reporting on it all.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Raising kids in the public eye can't be easy. But the way Michelle Obama tells CafeMom readers, it has its perks ... especially when it comes time for your gorgeous teenage daughter to date. The First Lady is answering questions from moms all week, and when one asked how she and President Barack Obama will handle daughters Malia and Sasha dating, she joked that the Secret Service protection should take care of all the worries! But it's when Mrs. Obama turned serious about her girls that the real food for thought came out. What she had to say about her daughters is something more parents need to think about when that first date comes calling.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    The Breaking Dawn 2 premiere is almost two weeks away. You know what that means, y’all? We can get up close to a ginormous Robert Pattinson on the big screen! And now for the better news: it will soon be possible to get even closer to RPattz. I’m talking wearing everyone’s favorite vampire on their neck kind of close. Intrigued? Oh come on, you know you want to bite … Kristen Stewart’s boyfriend (at least for now) has signed on with Christian Dior to become the new face of their men’s fragrance line! He’ll be getting some $12 million for three years of telling everyone that he’s a-Dior-able when he slaps cologne on that neck.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Ladies, have you noticed the national obsession with birth stories? Or, I should say, with moms trying to top their friends’ birth stories? I think it’s time we put women of the nation on notice: ain’t no birth story like a Hurricane Sandy birth story y’all! Just because the biggest Atlantic tropical storm ever decided to make a mess of the Eastern seaboard didn’t mean babies were going to stay in their mommy’s tummies. That means a whole crew of hurricane babies, and a whole slew of moms with some pretty wild birth stories. Get ready! We’re talking glow sticks! Dads giving epidurals! And a whole lot more rockin’ mamas!

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    All right, raise of hands: who’s tired of the election? If your hand is up in the air, you’re in very good company. A 4-year-old named Abby in Colorado has had enough of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, thankyouverymuch. Or as the little girl whose video tirade against politics has gone viral says, “Bronco Bama” and Mitt Romney. The adorable little sweetie (seriously, kids who are crying are a lot cuter when it isn’t your kid who is having a meltdown, right?) was caught on camera by her confused mom who just could not figure out how turning on NPR in the car had turned on the tears. And I can’t decide if I’d rather reach through the computer screen and give her a hug or lie down and throw a fit with her. Take a look:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It’s official. Well, as close to official as you can get without being official anyway. The Teen Mom 3 cast has been revealed! And you can thank Mackenzie Douthit for spilling the beans. The 16 & Pregnant star was on the list of rumored castmembers already, and last night she tweeted a photo lifted from In Touch magazine of four different girls who have appeared on 16 & Pregnant, including herself. Paired with the comment “here we are:) … #teenmom3,” it’s almost as official as MTV actually announcing the cast. So who are these girls?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Crafting with elements of the outdoors is kind of a no-brainer this time of year when everything is just bursting with color, and with winter fast approaching it's a good way to squeeze every bit of outdoor time out of the fall that you can with the kids!. Trying to build our fall nature table keeps my daughter scurrying in and out of the house as she collects all the leaves, pinecones, and other goodies Mother Nature gives us this time of the year. The sky is the limit on what kids can come up with, but if you're stumped, here are some easy kid crafts that bring will bring nature inside to your table just in time for Thanksgiving.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Boy oh boy does the upcoming season of Teen Mom 2 look like it will be a doozy. We're supposed to get a look at at least one of Jenelle Evans' arrests (isn't it sad that we have to say "one of" about her arrests?) on camera, and possibly more. Talk about a bad past you can't escape! Love them or hate them, you have to feel at least a twinge of sympathy for the stars of Teen Mom and Teen Mom 2. Most of us go through hard times now and again, and we get past them. But Jenelle and her co-stars suffer through the rough stuff three times over.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    My daughter is only 7 years old, but by the time election night 2012 comes around, she'll already have voted dozens of times. She's helped us elect a president. She's cast ballots for school board members and selected town officials. And on November 6, my child will be right by my side again, helping me as I choose between President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. I'm not committing voting fraud here. Technically she's only helping cast votes on behalf of my husband or me. We're registered voters. She's not. But in my house, voting is something families do together, like baking cookies or taking a ride around the neighborhood to check out the Christmas lights in December. It's become something of a tradition for us.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Still haven't figured out how to talk to your kids about the Hurricane Sandy disaster? Some kids from New Orleans just made the conversation a whole lot easier. Fourth graders who lived through Hurricane Katrina have crafted letters for the Sandy survivors, and they're everything you'd expect out of a group of children. They're sweet. They're kind. They're simple and simply heart wrenching. And they are a perfect road map for parents trying to make sense of this whole mess. Take a look:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Don't think new motherhood is tough enough? Get ready. A group of uber-moms (or uber-idiots ... you decide) has thrown another log on the fire. They're taking what they call a "power maternity leave." So how does that differ from the regular old weeks of trying to bond with this little person who is constantly crying or pooping or sleeping? Well, honey, these ladies don't just use that time off from work to do a silly little thing like learning to be a mom. They learn a new language! They start a new business! They do something, anything, that will boost them up the corporate ladder.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It's hard to remember a time before we had cellphones, isn't it? Even your grandmother probably has one! And we all love our cellphones, me included. What I don't love are all the ways the cellphone has snuck into society and turned normal people into self-absorbed jerks. Sure, a good smartphone is an invaluable resources. You can check the sports score or do a quick Google search for the local polling place for the election from anywhere! But the cellphone is one gadget that has rendered a good portion of our country incapable of functioning without it. Is this you? Are you that jerk with the cellphone? You might be surprised what people really think of how you use your beloved phone.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    You know what I have always loved about Veterans Day? We are celebrating people who are still with us, people who we can actually walk right up to and thank. And what better way to say thanks than to give a veteran or an active duty member of the military a free meal. They say the way to someone's heart is through their belly, right? A host of restaurants certainly think so. There's a long list of restaurants offering up free food to our heroes on Veterans Day. Just check it out:

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