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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
    We finally got a look at the photo of Drew Barrymore's new baby girl, Olive, on the cover of People this week! Surprise, surprise: she is every bit the precious little bundle you'd expect out of the cutie with blond curls who stole our hearts 30 years ago in E.T. (yes, it's been 30 years ... I KNOW!). But she won't have a childhood anything like her mom's wild ride. Long before Lindsay or Miley, Drew was Hollywood's most famous troubled child star. But she's not Little Girl Lost anymore, and if she has anything to say about it, Olive never will be. So much for the old theory that you parent like your own parents, huh?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    What a difference a week makes! Last week police in New York City arrested 30-year-old Naeem Davis, naming him as the subway pusher in the death of 58-year-old Ki Suk Han. They let the world know that the alleged subway pusher showed no remorse. Fast forward to today, and Davis' lawyer says his client was justified in pushing Han in front of the oncoming Q train.  Could this be what happens when you lawyer up? The details suddenly change?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    They crop up every year: gift fairs filled with #1 Mom necklaces that will turn your neck an unsightly shade of green and World's Best Dad mugs mass-produced in China. Every year there's an attempt to make money by convincing our kids that the way to make Christmas sweet for Mom and Dad is to beg us for our hard-earned cash and blow it on worthless trinkets. And this year, this mom has put her foot down. My daughter brought home the "holiday fair" flyer, and I dropped it right in the recycling bin. Sorry, I don't want a crappy pre-packaged "Mom gift" from my kid for Christmas. That's right, I said it.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    If there's one thing moms love, it's their strollers. So you can imagine the stroller recall we've got on our hands will have moms stressing out this week. The City Versa stroller by Baby Jogger is being yanked off the shelves because a faulty frame can collapse while it's being used, dropping the kids inside all the way to the ground! Some 10,000 of the strollers have been recalled in the United States and Canada to protect babies from a nasty fall after reports of the collapse happening to several parents. So what do you need to know to keep your kids safe? We've got it all right here:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Of all the bad ideas teachers have come up with lately, making a class full of teenagers write suicide notes has to be in the top five ... at least. And yet, that's exactly what happened at Antoine-Delafont, a secondary school in France. Thirteen and 14-year-old kids were supposed to pretend they were prepared to end it all, and then explain themselves on paper. Parents and other teachers are -- not surprisingly -- upset. And I can't blame them. We need to talk about suicide with our kids, but this is not the way.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    As long as I live, there will never be an excuse "good enough" for raping a child. But the reason former megachurch janitor Chris Denman gave to a judge for the rape of a 13-year-old girl in a church stairwell and the abuse of two other young girls is especially chilling. Before being sentenced to 55 years in prison, Denman announced, "No one is perfect." I want to be shocked by Denman's hubris. Sadly, I'm not. Infuriated, but not shocked.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    What does the name Bad Barbies conjure up? A naked doll with a cigarette perched between her thumb and clump of plastic fingers, enjoying some cuddling time with Ken? How about nine murders and 24 attempted murders, some of which feds say were committed by members of the all-female section of the Bronx Trinitarios gang? Folks in New York City, where the Bad Barbies were busted this week, can't seem to decide whether to be wowed by these fierce females or shocked by the cruelty of their alleged crimes. I don't even need to ask whether they'd be having the same reaction if the "Barbies" were all male.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Sue Sylvester warned us at the beginning of the Glee Christmas episode that we were in for a bunch of disjointed stories that would come together at the end to suddenly make sense and leave us feeling all warm and gushy. Think Love, Actually, only it was called Glee, Actually, and what she could have told us from the get-go was that the Klaine bit was going to really bring on the waterworks. But then, the minute Burt Hummel poked his head out from behind a Christmas tree, you knew the tears would be flowing, didn't you? Kurt's dad has given Cliff Huxtable a run for his money as best father to ever grace a primetime TV show. A few years ago he was the folksy middle America mechanic who actually went to the free clinic to get gay-specific pamphlets when his son was considering having sex with a boy. Now he's the dad who shows up with bad news for his son AND the exact gift Kurt needs to handle it.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    If you're still one of those people who thinks MTV is glorifying teen pregnancy with shows like Teen Mom 2, how's this for decidedly non-glamorous? Leah Messer Calvert spent a portion of this week in the hospital with daughter Aliannah. Baby Ali, who has struggled with a non-specified disorder since birth, has been undergoing additional testing. Not surprisingly, having to face one of her twins all dressed up in a hospital gown has left Calvert, who is pregnant with her third child, a wreck. But Leah, and baby Ali, have had something -- or should I say someone -- special at their side.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It's one of those stories where you want to hate the accused, but you're having a hard time summoning the appropriate anger. A 13-year-old girl has been arrested outside Atlanta, Georgia on felony murder charges. Cops say the teen mother buried her newborn baby in the woods behind her house. There's no answer yet from medical examiners of how the baby died, but it's almost beside the point. A child is dead. And a slightly older child, but a child all the same, is behind bars ... after giving birth.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Here we go again. Another man has weighed in on what a woman's body "should" do when a rapist is attacking her. This time it was a judge, and get this: after insisting that a woman's body "will not permit that to happen" in reference to a rape, Judge Derek Johnson is being allowed to remain on the bench in southern California. Oh, Johnson was reprimanded for "outdated, biased, and insensitive views" by the California Commission on Judicial Performance. But like the "punishments" for outgoing Congressman Todd Akin and failed Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, who came perilously close to running pro-rapists campaigns this year, the sanction against Judge Johnson hardly sends the message it should.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I'm going to be honest. When I first read Eve Vawter's heartbreaking blog post, "I’m Pretty Much Waiting for My Daughter to Grow Up and Hate Me," I cried. And then, with tears streaming down my face, I shared it on Facebook so other mothers of daughters could do the same thing. That was two days ago, and I haven't stopped thinking about the anxious waiting game that begins about the time we learn that our new little bundle is female. And I've made a decision. I'm not going to play it anymore. I refuse to let my teenage daughter hate me.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It isn't often I say I'm wrong. But I've sat, like many parents in America today, with tears rolling down my face as I've updated, updated, updated the news sites, hoping that the news of the school shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut will somehow magically change. That suddenly we will learn that they made a mistake, there weren't 27 people killed (the latest report), some 18 innocent children. But magic doesn't exist. And so where a few months ago I railed against school shooting drills, I am sitting here sad, broken. I was wrong. We need school shooting drills in America, in our high schools, and even more so ... in our elementary schools.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Do you ever look at the toys your kid's friends play with and wonder "what kind of parent lets her kid play with that cheap piece of useless plastic?" Welcome to the club! We are toy (and sometimes book) snob parents, and we meet at the twee little Waldorf-doll carrying shop on the corner. As a card carrying member, I used to fear I was a party of one judgmental mom who was a little too caught up in keeping crappy toys out of my daughter's hands (I could admit I was a little overboard most of the time). That is until I read that there is a toy class divide going on in America.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    In the days since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Newtown, Connecticut, there's been a photo floating around Facebook. It shows a woman with a baby in one arm, a gun in the other, and it's paired with a headline proclaiming her "a wise American mom." I see her, and I see Adam Lanza's mom. After all, Nancy Lanza was said to have created an arsenal of guns for "self defense." But on Friday morning, it was her guns that police say her 20-year-old son used to shoot first Nancy Lanza in the face, then 26 innocent people at his elementary school, including 20 children no older than 7. Adam Lanza finally used one of those guns his mother kept in her home to "defend" herself to commit suicide. These are facts. Facts that the crowd defending their right to bear arms in order to defend their families needs to hear today.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It's been quite the year for Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham, hasn't it? Her show ended. She released that explosive memoir. And she had all that plastic surgery. And now the news is out that Abraham was the third most searched reality TV celebrity in 2012! Farrah beat out every single one of the Kardashians (although Kim clocked in at number four on Google's list and Kourtney at number nine), and came thisclose to Snooki whose baby bump gave her more Internet hits than the one in her hair to claim the number two slot in 2012. So much for putting Teen Mom behind her, huh?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Katie Holmes, the woman once called the Audrey Hepburn of her generation, has ... wait for it ... joined the PTA at daughter Suri's school! Sources say this is Katie's way of throwing herself completely into her daughter's life, and I say good for her. Every teacher I've ever met has said that the best way to improve your child's chance of success in school is to be an involved parent. But, ooh, to be a fly on the wall at that PTA meeting. Can you just imagine how those conversations are going down? I can.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    When news first came out of Newtown, Connecticut on Friday that a madman had shot 20 children and six school staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School, I know I wasn't the only American tempted to go back to bed and pull the covers up tight over my head. In the wake of Adam Lanza's massacre, it's tempting to believe that the Mayans are right: the world is ending. And yet, there have been some incredible acts of kindness in the days since the school shooting that have, if not restored our faith in humanity, at least allowed us to breathe again. Stories like that of love letters flown across the country by an airline to be buried with a young shooting victim remind us that although there is evil in this world, there is peace too, and love, and people with hearts so large that they're ready to burst from their chests. I am sharing some of those stories here because I think we all need them right now ... me included:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    As the reports come out of Newtown, Connecticut, some of the hardest to bear are those of parents walking hand-in-hand with their children into the funeral of a 6-year-old friend today. The goodbyes for Noah Pozner and Jack Pinto, two of the young victims of Friday's mass shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, have begun. They are places no parent wants to be. And I can't help but wonder what went through those parents' minds as they weighed out: do we take our kids to the funerals? Do we leave the kids home? Do we go at all?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It's never good news when a children's toy is the subject of a recall. But the recall of a marble-sized ball that inflates in water is especially troubling when you hear the story of why the Water Balz, Growing Skulls, H2O Orbs "Despicable Me," and Fabulous Flowers toys are being pulled from the shelves. A little baby nearly died and had to undergo surgery to repair the damage done by one of these! The 8-month-old girl from Humble, Texas apparently swallowed the ball, and because of its chemical makeup, the toy began to swell. It eventually caused an intestinal blockage, which could only be remedied by surgery. It's a scary reminder that sometimes the damage done by toys our babies swallow goes far beyond choking. So what do you need to do to keep your babies safe?

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