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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

    babywearing motherBabywearing has been around for centuries, and it's saved many a mom's sanity (as well as her hands for doing other things ... like holding onto a toddler in a busy parking lot, making dinner, need I go on?). But like most things about being a new mom, it can take some time to figure out how to do it ... and how to do it safely!

    The scary news: sometimes babywearing can go wrong, and when it does, kids have been known to die. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), at least 14 babies have died in the past 20 years because of issues with their mom's baby carrier. Three of those kids died as recently as 2009!

    The good news? You CAN babywear safely, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends it as a good way to promote bonding with your baby.

    Here are some good tips to make sure you're doing it right -- for you and for baby.

    1. Be wary of sling-type baby carriers. These are the type that have been linked to infant deaths by the CPSC because they present suffocation hazards to babies. If you are using a sling, the CPSC advises you make sure the infant’s face is not covered and is visible at all times to the sling’s wearer. If nursing the baby in a sling, change the baby’s position after feeding so the baby’s head is facing up and is clear of the sling and the mother’s body.

    2. Don't exercise with baby in the carrier. Jogging, jumping on a trampoline, and similar activities put baby at severe risk of "shaken baby syndrome."

    babywearing safety tips every mom should know3. Read height and weight requirements on carrier. A soft structured carrier, for example, shouldn't be used until a baby is at least 4 or 5 months and able to hold his or her head up. Front packs should only be used until a baby is about 20 pounds -- for their health and the caregiver's!

    4. Don't force a baby's legs together. To prevent hip displaysia, doctors recommend carriers support the thigh and allow the legs to spread to keep the hip in a stable position.

    5. Don't forward face a newborn. Because of neck instability issues, newborns should be worn on the front of your body, facing YOU, rather than the outside world.

    6. Be aware of what baby can reach. This is especially important if your baby is old enough to be worn on your back -- where you can't watch them. Babies are curious, and they will grab at things, and you won't be able to see if they snag a choking hazard and stuff it in their mouth.

    7. Inspect your carrier regular. Fabric can break down, especially if it's washed frequently (which, let's face it, you are going to do when you've got a drooly baby in there). The last thing you want is for your baby to tumble out because the fabric gave way.

    8. If it hurts, get help. Babywearing safety isn't just about the baby; if you're having severe back pain from wearing your baby, then it's a good idea to reach out to moms who are experienced babywearers for tips on re-positioning (there are babywearing moms groups out there -- check online to see if there is one near you!). If that doesn't help, talk to your doctor. Babies need healthy moms!

    What are your best tips for babywearing success?

     

    Images via KAT_bike/Flickr; Jeanne Sager


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Alex RodriguezAlex Rodriguez fans who were looking forward to taking their kids to see the embattled New York Yankees third baseman in a new kids' movie may never have the chance. The folks behind Henry & Me, a movie about a little boy with cancer and his magical adventure with baseball players, are debating the effect his steroids scandal could have on a flick for kids. There's talk Alex will get the axe.

    As a long-time Yankees fan who has never particularly taken to A-Rod, I'm not exactly crying. But as a mother of a little baseball fan, I wonder if they aren't overreacting a tad bit.

    A-Rod, of course, is currently in the midst of an appeal of Major League Baseball's 211-game suspension for alleged steroid use. He's damaged goods, and sponsors don't want to be associated with him.

    But we're not talking about advertising here. We're talking about a kids' movie. The movie's executive producer, Ray Negron, has said of the threat to cut Alex from the film, "I love Alex Rodriguez, but I love kids more."

    The question is, do kids even care?

    I don't know that they do.

    Sure, they know who Alex Rodriguez is. My daughter used to have an A-Rod jersey, and she could point him out in a lineup. Because we live in New York, most kids I know could probably do the same.

    But they know about Alex Rodriguez the New York Yankee. They don't know about Alex Rodriguez the person, Alex Rodriguez, the guy who may or may not have used illegal substances.

    That's the way it is with most sports stars. They know how they play. They admire how they play.

    But there's a distinguishable difference between idolizing a baseball player and idolizing a person.

    In general, kids know very little about players' personal lives, and they don't want to follow in their footsteps as human beings. Little New York Jets fans don't see Antonio Cromartie and think, "I want to have 12 kids, just like that guy." They see him and say, "I want to play cornerback."

    Kids don't look at Michael Vick and say, "I want to go fight dogs and go to jail." They see him and say, "I want to lead the Hokies to a national championship. I want to play quarterback for the Atlanta Falcons."

    So it is with Alex Rodriguez. There's been a lot of debate in recent weeks over what parents should tell their kids about A-Rod, whether they should take away their jerseys and rip down their posters, lest they follow in their "hero's" footsteps. But for kids, the steroid scandal hasn't changed things; it won't set them on a path to steroid use any more than wearing a Cromartie jersey will make them more fecund.

    Quite frankly, parents credit professional athletes, heck, all celebrities with way too much power over their kids' lives. Yes, celebrities screw up, and sometimes our kids find out, and we need to talk about it. But day-to-day, kids are much more focused on the flaws and foibles of the grownups around them. We are their real role models, the people in whose footsteps they will really follow -- wrongly or rightly.

    Cutting a guy like Alex Rodriguez out of a kids' movie might be good for the production company in terms of getting it out there, but let's be real -- this isn't about the kids themselves.

    They could care less.

    Would you let your kids watch this movie if Alex Rodriguez had a role? Do you worry about your kids idolizing athletes?

     

    Image via Rafael Amado Deras/Flickr


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Maci BookoutFor Teen Mom fans, it has officially been way too long since Maci Bookout was on their television screens. But this weekend marks her return to MTV! The mom from Tennessee will update fans on her life in a special dubbed Being Maci on Sunday night. Technically this is a spin-off of Teen Mom, which got us wondering: is MTV considering a whole show devoted to the now adult Maci Bookout? There have certainly been rumors!

    But are they true?

    Who better to ask than Maci herself? The reality star chatted with The Stir from her parents' house this week and filled us in on what she'd be willing to do on TV ... and what she wouldn't.

    On her decision to do Being Maci:

    After Teen Mom finished airing, we got a lot of feedback from the fans. Everyone was wanting to know what was going with me and Bentley and kind of what we'd been up to since we stopped filming for Teen Mom, so it's like a little update for everyone.

    On filming again:

    It was actually pretty strange. It had been let's say about a year since I'd filmed.

    It was weird getting back into the groove of filming a show. I'd kind of forgotten how much work it actually is. I was still kind of used to cameras being around -- that wasn't the weird thing -- but it's pretty exhausting. It was a rough week or so of filming.

    On Bentley dealing with the attention:

    At first -- up until he was about 3, 3 1/2 years old -- he thought that this was normal and that everyone had a camera crew all the time and everyone knew everyone and everyone had a TV show because they were filming the day that he was born, and up until he was 3 1/2 years old, they were filming him.

    More From The Stir: Sneak Peek at Maci Bookout’s Upcoming Special: Sparks Are Gonna Fly!

    Once he turned 4 the past year ... it really sunk into him that we aren't necessarily normal. Not everyone knows everybody. Because when we go out in public, everyone knows us and knows our name, and I think that now he understands. He's like, why do these people know us but we don't know them?

    On whether a spin-off is coming:

    There's no word about that right now. I honestly have no idea. It has to be up to the fans and what they want to see.

    On including Bentley in a spin-off:

    It would all depend on the direction of the show. I don't want to make this type of decision for him. He is in Pre-K, next year he'll be in kindergarten.

    I'm not sure if I'd be so willing to put him out there in the public eye at such a young age because I'm not sure if that's something that he would want. I wouldn't know the answer to that for a very, very long time.

    If any spin-off did happen, I'd say that probably the only things I would want him to be involved in would be the things that go on at home. I wouldn't necessarily want him at school being covered and stuff like that.

    I do want him to be as normal as he can be and I don't want to make any decisions to take away from his normalcy -- even though he'll always be Bentley.

    At this point, as much as I can slow it down, I will try to slow it down.

    ******

    I guess for now fans will have to make do with Being Maci. The show airs this Sunday, August 18, at 10 p.m. on MTV.

    Would you watch a Maci spin-off that didn't include Bentley?

     

    Image via Instagram


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Katie YeagerTeen Mom may be a show aimed at scaring teenagers away from parenthood, but the show has been attracting older moms to MTV pretty much from the beginning. And if you're a mom who ascribes to natural parenting methods, you're going to love Teen Mom 3, especially star Katie Yeager.

    Katie is a natural birthing, extendedbreastfeeding mama! And she sat down with The Stir this week to talk about breastfeeding on TV, donating her breast milk, and why sometimes breastfeeding would move her to tears!

    On breastfeeding her now almost 2-year-old daughter:

    I went 16 months breastfeeding Molli. Sometimes I wish I could still breastfeed her! It's one thing that I've always said: at least try. I sometimes would cry because I was so happy. That's one thing that I gave my daughter.

    It felt so good whenever anyone said congratulations on your breastfeeding success; I know a lot of moms have trouble with it.

    On donating milk:

    I donated milk for eight months, I think, to Primary Children's [Medical Center], which is out of Salt Lake City. I would pump and send it out because I was in Wyoming still. I was grateful to be able to do that, and once Molli weaned, up until I lost my supply, I donated there.

    I'm very proud that I was able to share that bond with my child.

    On why she chose to breastfeed:

    I was researching it when I was pregnant. I did the natural birth too, and I felt like this was the next step. I felt like I wanted to at least try it and I wanted to get that colostrum out, make sure she gets those benefits. And, definitely, I was hooked!

    After I got through the first month, which was like the worst ever, I would cry and cry and cry -- and once I got over that rough patch, I was like, I love this. I want to breastfeed forever!

    More From The Stir: 'Teen Mom 3' Stars Rock Matching Necklaces & Share How to Get Your Own!

    I tell everyone, if you're not happy, if your baby can tell that this is pain for you and you're crying and you're upset about it, then don't feel bad! It just was something that worked for me and that I loved, and if I were to have another baby, I'd definitely not get the epidural and definitely breastfeed because that's just what I know. 

    I don't know how to make a bottle. I don't know how to mix formula. I would be lost! I'd be crying because I don't know how to make formula!

    It's just something that I felt was the best for me, and anytime I meet another woman that is in the same situation, I geek out and bond with them, of course, just like any mother does.

    On being able to share her breastfeeding with the whole world on MTV:

    I'm proud of being able to do it at such a young age, and it's definitely something ... if somebody needs help, I'll be the first one to say it'll be okay, you can make it through it, this is what I did, this is how you can do it if you really want it.

    I'm definitely a big breastfeeding supporter.

    ***

    Katie isn't the only mom from the show to breastfeed -- Kailyn Lowry from Teen Mom 2 has spoken in the past about her own breastfeeding, and both Briana DeJesus and Alex Sekella told The Stir they did as well (albeit not for 16 months) -- but she is definitely the first to do so extensively on camera. The Stir got a sneak peek at the first episode of Teen Mom 3, and Katie is often seen with a blanket over her as little Molli eats.

    Are you excited to see a crunchy mama on Teen Mom?

     

    Image by Jeanne Sager


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    DMVFor a teenager, there's no day quite as exciting as the day you go to the DMV to get your learner's permit. It's second only to the day you get your actual license. So imagine you show up to the DMV, all smiles, only to get slapped in the face. That might as well be what happened to a 15-year-old girl who showed up at the Oregon DMV with her "adoptive" mom.

    Notice how I put adoptive in quotes? Normally I wouldn't even include the word. A mom is a mom is a mom. But not for the Oregon DMV. They required Abby Woolsey's mother to indicate that she was adopted.

    On an application for a learner's permit!

    Really? We're discriminating against kids because they're adopted? In 2013?

    Yes, this is a form of discrimination. It's treating a child who was adopted differently because of it, and for no good reason.

    Abby's mom, Beth, was presented with a form that required her to check a box citing whether she was her biological parent, legal guardian, or her adoptive parent. But that's not all. When they went to the window, the clerk told Beth she now had to present PROOF that she was her adoptive parent ... proof beyond all the legal documents that every other kid is required to bring (which the Woolseys had in hand).

    They were being treated differently, put through more work, because of adoption.

    That's where it becomes discrimination.

    At one point in time, I'll concede that there may have been a reason for the added work for parents who adopted. A woman I know was adopted in the late '60s, when the process was vastly different. When it was time for her to get her learner's permit, in the early '80s, there was one problem: she didn't have a birth certificate. In that case, her adoption mattered in terms of squaring her true identity with the one the state was about to put on an official document. 

    But we've come a long way since then. All i's are dotted and t's are crossed in an adoption these days. Kids have all their forms, if for no other reason than the IRS wants to track everything we do.

    Forcing kids who are adopted to cop to it these days is tantamount to rubbing it in their faces that they are different. But so what? They may have come to their families in a manner that isn't the norm, but once the judge puts his stamp of approval on things, they're just like everyone else.

    Trust me. I have several relatives who came into my family via adoption. They are no different than anyone else. They are my family. Period.

    As Abby's mom said on her blog, Five Is a Lot of Kids:

    Adoption means that I am her mother. Not that I am her legal guardian. I am her legal parent. This affords my daughter all of the same legal rights as if she was my biological daughter and me all of the same legal rights as if I was her biological mother.

    That says it all, doesn't it?

    Kids who are adopted don't need the world telling them they're different. Aside from perhaps a doctor's office, where medical histories of their biological parents would be different from those of their adoptive parents, their relationships with their families are their business and no one else's!

    Fortunately, Beth Woolsey's complaints have led to a change for the Oregon DMV -- this should be saving other kids who were adopted from problems down the road.

    It should be a lesson to anyone else who tries to treat kids who were adopted as if they're any different from any other kid. Because they're not! They're just like you and me.

    Have you encountered adoption discrimination?

     

    Image via Robert S. Donovan/Flickr


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    policeSometimes you read something in the news that is so horrible, you have to read it three times to convince yourself it could be true. Such is the case of a 36-year-old mother from Michigan accused of holding her 3-year-old daughter's hand while the child's father sexually assaulted the child. Essentially, cops say the mom helped the dad assault their daughter!

    The story is horrific. It's heinous. But it gets worse.

    According to police, the mother -- whose name is being withheld because it could identify her child, a rape victim -- was herself a victim of sexual assault as a child. The mom's abuse started at the tender age of 5. She was abused by a number of men as a child, and then further abused by her own husband as an adult.

    Does it excuse her alleged behavior? Certainly not.

    There is no excuse for standing by when a child is raped.

    And yet, it does explain it, at least a little.

    Psychologists have identified what's known as the cycle of sexual abuse, whereby someone abused as a child is at a markedly increased risk of being a perpetrator when they grow up. Although it's more common in male victims, it happens to women too.

    Sexual abuse is what they know.

    It's easy to look at this woman and think, what kind of mother would allow this to happen to her child? What kind of mother would stand idly by as her child was violated?

    But she didn't stand idly by, at least not according to the police reports. She reportedly held the girl's hand during the assaults so "it wouldn’t hurt that much." There was, it sounds, at least a seed of compassion, a sense that the child needed her. If she was a complete monster, would she have bothered to comfort her child?

    Was it enough to excuse her actions? Enough to make her sympathetic?

    I don't know. My stomach is still turning by the horror of what this little 3-year-old went through, seemingly at the hands of the two people who were supposed to care for her most. SHE is the one I feel for here.

    Mom's background and holding her daughter's hand are certainly not enough to keep her out of the courts. The mother is being charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct (her husband is facing stiffer penalties -- 12 counts of first degree criminal conduct).

    How do you feel about this mother? Do you have any compassion for what she's been through or only contempt for what police say she has done?

     

    Image via Jason Rojas/Flickr


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    american flagMilton Tepeyac spent eight years as a United States Marine, fighting for America. Now he's stuck in Mexico and can't come home because the United States deported him.

    Turns out years before Milton enlisted in the military to fight for his country, he was brought to America as a toddler ... illegally. His parents were Mexican immigrants. Illegal immigrants.

    Did you know the United States military allows illegal immigrants to enlist?

    Did you know that people who are considered good enough to fight for our nation aren't considered good enough for citizenship?

    Let me back up. Tepeyac's story has gone viral in the last few days thanks to the Washington Post, which documented the details leading up to his deportation. He's not completely innocent here. He was arrested after agreeing to act as in interpreter at a drug deal that turned out to be a police sting.

    He was charged with felony “possession of marijuana for sale” and was sentenced to four years in an Arizona prison. Tepeyac openly admits it was a stupid thing to do, and he served his time in prison.

    Four years behind bars.

    And then they deported him, a United States Marine, who spent eight years fighting for America.

    If it wasn't in a paper as reputable as the Post, I wouldn't believe it. Come on! This guy fought for our nation! He's shown pretty much the highest order of devotion to country that there is! How can he NOT be considered an American? How can he be deported?

    While I certainly think that Tepeyac should pay for his crimes (and as noted above, he did), I can't help but react in horror to the news that our country will allow someone to fight for us ... only to turn around and kick them out.

    What does it say about our nation that we'll allow someone to put their life on the line for us, but when push comes to shove, we don't have their back?

    Currently there is something in the works to protect people like Milton Tepeyac. The DREAM Act, should it ever pass, would protect children under age 15 who were brought to America by their parents -- kids who really had no ability to say, "Hey Mom, Dad, let's not do this" -- to obtain citizenship. Notably, one of the paths to citizenship is through military service.

    Unfortunately, the DREAM Act continues to die in Congress, leaving people who will don a military uniform and serve with honor for our country at risk of being kicked out, sent away from the only home they've ever known, the home they loved enough to fight for.

    Unfortunately, we are a country that turns its back on the very people who step forward for us.

    Do you believe military service should qualify someone for automatic citizenship? Is this right?

     


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Maci BookoutYou're already used to finding Maci Bookout on a TV screen, but are you ready for Maci Bookout, bestselling author? She wouldn't be the first Teen Mom star to chart with a book -- Farrah Abraham's My Teenage Dream Ended has been a major winner for MTV Press since its release in 2012. But what is a book about Maci going to tell us that we haven't already seen on television?

    The Stir sat down to chat with Maci herself about her upcoming TV special Being Maci, and we asked for all the details on her book. She spilled!

    On what she's been up to lately:

    I've just been going to school and I had a few different things going on. I've been doing some radio shows in my local town. I had a podcast for about four months, and then I've been working a lot on my book.

    I've been all over the place trying to figure out what direction I want to go in career-wise, trying different things out. 

    On what the book is about:

    It's kind of a memoir, pretty much everything that everyone saw on 16 & Pregnant and Teen Mom, but from my perspective and my full feelings and thoughts while everything was going on, rather than people seeing it from their TV screen and taking their own opinion and trying to figure out what I'm thinking. It kind of just tells the whole story so that they really understand what I was going through.

    More From The Stir: Maci Bookout's Fans Get Her a TV Special -- Can They Get Her a Spin-Off Too?

    On how she's distinguishing her book from Farrah's:

    It's a little bit different than hers. I'm a huge poetry freak, and I journal all the time, and I always have, so it's kind of taking all of my journal entries and poetry that I was writing while all of this was going on and turning it into a story.

    It's going to be pretty awesome but I'm so nervous.

    And now for the important question -- when are we going to get to read it:

    Hopefully it will be out by the end of this year.

    What are you hoping Maci will include in her book?

     

    Image via MTV


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    little girlThe first time my daughter dropped something and said "fudge ripple ice cream," I breathed a huge sigh of relief. She wasn't asking for a sweet treat. She was copying me, specifically copying my go-to "curse" word.

    Yes, occasionally I curse in front of my kid. But I try not to do it very often, and so I've got some "fake" curses up my sleeve, words I use in place of the really bad four-letter words that I want to say ... but shouldn't.

    Fudge ripple ice cream, in case you haven't guessed, is what comes out of my mouth when I want to drop an F-bomb. It gets the job done, but I'll admit it's pretty comical, even a tad bit ridiculous

    But if you think that's bad, just wait until you hear some of the crazy things parents say just to avoid using bad words in front of their kids!

    Parents 'fessed up to all of the following:

    1. Oh Buzzard Soups!

    2. Zip it, Happy Meal! (stolen from Despicable Me)

    3. Schmaltz (s**t),

    4. Fudge graham (f**k)

    5. Holy guacamole

    6. My brother likes to yell "son of a BEAVER!" when he needs to swear and his kids are around. I like it because it still sounds dirty.

    7. I curse in front of [my kids] but on the occasion I remember in front of other people's kids, I use "oh, sugar snaps!"

    8. [My daughter] came up with "jingledarnit" as an alternative to swearing when we talked about it.

    9. Shut the front door!

    10. Flipping (in place of the other F-bomb).

    Swear Words for Parents11. Razzle-frazzit! (Came from an old Looney Tunes)

    12. I say, "Oh coconuts," though I think I stole that from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.

    13. I am always yelling "GARBAGE!" It takes the place of many words I want to use...

    14. I used to say, "Oh crap" all the time. Not exactly the worst curse word, but one day as I was about to scream it I noticed my 4-year-old looking right at me, so, "Oh crumbcake" came out and it stuck!

    15. Sugar pie (in place of sh*t).

    16. Nuckin futs!

    17. Flip flop for f**k

    18. Oh mustard for oh sh*t

    19. Hockey Sticks (for Hell)

    20. Ish (for sh*t)

    21. Fanabala (f**k)

    22. My mom says "oh fart" instead of the f word.

    23. Friggers (for f**ers)

    24. Fudge ripple ice cream

    25. Frick (for f**k)

    What are your go-to fake curse words?

     

    Image by Jeanne Sager


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Katie Couric present for Kim Kardashian's babyNote to self: never cross Kim Kardashian! The new mama is ticked off with a capital "t" at newswoman Katie Couric at the moment, and she's not holding anything back! Notice the photo at right? It looks like a sweet present to a baby, right? It is -- it's a present to baby North West, a present sent by Katie Couric.

    But when Kim uploaded it to Instagram, she added some rather pointed hashtags to let the host of the Katie know she is NOT a happy camper.

    The caption for the photo doesn't explain the rather odd choppy message on the note from Barney's that accompanied the present to Kim and boyfriend Kanye West. Instead it reads:

    #IHateFakeMediaFriends #MayIHumblySuggestYouNotSendGiftsThenTalkShit

    So what happened? Apparently Katie was asked by In Touch to explain the Kardashian fame, and she said she didn't get it, noting:

    I don’t understand — why are they so famous? I think it’s mostly teenage girls that are interested.

    Truth or fighting words? To Kim it's apparently the latter! Hell may hath no fury like a woman scorned, but you can triple it for a mama grizzly scorned.

    What do you think of Kim's response to Katie? Is she making a mountain out of a molehill or was Katie out of line?

     

    Image via Instagram


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Lillyanna Ramires and Martin Angel Rosales

    We have another scary nationwide Amber Alert on our hands. Two children are missing from their home in Nevada, and police think Lillyanna Ramires, 9, and Martin Angel Rosales, 3, are in serious danger. The siblings alleged abductors? Their own parents!

    Martin Cisneras Rosales, also known as Martin Cisneros, and Amber Schenck, don't have custody of their kids, and there's a restraining order in place to specifically keep the father away from his son. Dad is alleged to have violent tendencies, and cops say he's a danger to his children -- and to police.

    The cops' warnings are a reminder that kids who are taken by parents can be in just as much danger as kids kidnapped by strangers. It makes the search for the two children -- who went missing from their home in Elko, Nevada on Wednesday -- especially desperate. The family is thought to be traveling in a dark blue late 1980s or early 1990s Ford Mustang “with possible Nebraska license plates or a temporary plate." They may be in California or headed to Mexico.

    Folks are being asked to spread the children's photos far and wide, because all it takes is one person to identify the kids and call the cops to get them home safely! Anyone with information should call Elko Police Department at 775-753-1111 immediately.

    Will you share the photos to get these children home?

     

    Images via police


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Chris BrownFed up with Chris Brown? Join the club! A Los Angeles district attorney and a judge are both members already. Together they just ensured the singer will spend at least 1,000 more hours working his tail off for the good of the world in some court-orderedcommunity service.

    Turns out Breezy has been up to no good ... again. The singer was supposed to be doing community service already -- part of his probation for beating up Rihanna in that famous domestic violence case.

    But according to TMZ, Brown was trying to pull a fast one on the court, fudging his paperwork to make it look like he'd completed the 180 days -- 1,440 hours -- of community work he was initially ordered to do in exchange for not going to jail in the Rihanna case.

    JERK!

    The good news is the lies didn't help him any. He's not getting any credit for what work he did do. Instead Chris Brown was handed down an order to do 1,000 MORE hours of work. He's also back on probation, which was revoked after that hit and run mess awhile ago.

    That'll teach ya to mess with your paperwork, buddy!

    Do you think Chris Brown will learn his lesson this time?

     

    Image via Joel Telling/Flickr


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Amanda BynesAmanda Bynes has been sprung! But don't worry, the troubled actress didn't get very far. She's still under a mental health conservatorship, giving her parents permission to keep her in treatment, and they're doing just that. Richard and Lynn Bynes have had their daughter moved to the very place where Britney Spears was treated for her breakdown back in 2008.

    Bynes has been holed up in the Hillmont Psychiatric Center since her unfortunate driveway fire incident, but photographers managed to catch a few photos of a ghostly image exiting the premises yesterday -- it was the once sweet-faced child star covered in a white sheet, decamping for a new home.

    Bynes is reportedly now ensconsed in a room at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, which may be cushier digs than the psychiatric center. Still, her parents' conservatorship gives them the ability to keep her in a locked facility and force her to take medication, and that's in place until the end of September.

    Hopefully they'll be able to make a difference for the troubled starlet there, and she can start over.

    Were you surprised to hear Amanda Bynes got to leave the pyschiatric center? What do you think should happen with her now?

     

    Image via Pacific Coast News


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    Post by Jeanne Sager

    Miss Teen USA Cassidy WolfParents, beware! A newly crowned Miss Teen USA has been caught in a nude photo scandal, and it could happen to your kids. It seems someone hacked into beauty queen Cassidy Wolf's webcam. They got into the teenager's bedroom!

    As if the baby monitor hacking story of this past week wasn't scary enough? Now we've got creepers looking into our kids' bedrooms?

    The FBI is involved, and they say the hacker is trying to blackmail the 19-year-old who recently won her crown in Southern California. The authorities have dubbed this "sextortion," a case involving sexual images being used as blackmail material, and they say Wolf is not the only one who has been hit.

    The hacker allegedly got into both Wolf's personal computer and her webcam, although it's not being made clear whether the nude photos are all ones that existed on her computer or are also images created by accessing her webcam. Either way, it's a warning to parents. Make sure your kids aren't changing their clothes in front of their webcams! And make sure everything is locked up tight.

    Have you checked your kids' webcams lately to be sure they're secured?

     

    Image via Splash News

     


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    Gia AllemandThe news that Gia Allemand had died by suicide continues to shock fans of the Bachelor who recall her as a sweet girl and former model who rose to fame during Jake Pavelka's season of the show. Now a look at the reality star's Twitter account shows had spoken of suicide in the past.

    TMZ pored over Allemand's Twitter account and uncovered several mentions of having been bullied, as well as mentions of bullying victims who have committed suicide. At the time, the reality star credited her mother for teaching her to be nice to people rather than to be a bully herself.

    Said Gia in October:

    As a victim of being bullied most of my life, I'm gonna say that people who can say mean things to other people and put them down are just insecure and depressed with their own life! Glad my momma always told me 'if you don't have something nice to say than don't say it.

    Days later she shared several tweets about Amanda Todd, a bullied teenager who committed suicide, including this particularly heartbreaking one:

    Words Hurt.  Pain Lasts.   And suicide last forever.

    Gia's mom,Donna Micheletti, has chosen not to speak out specifically about her daughter's death, but she did release a statement explaining when she will talk about the tragedy and advising people to steer clear of Twitter comments on her death.

    In part, the statement from Gia's family, released to People earlier in the week, read:

    The family and close friends of Gia Allemand have not spoken to the media to date, nor have they posted comments or insight on Twitter. There are numerous statements and theories in the media regarding Gia's death and her life that refer to sources close to Gia or friends of hers.

    As Micheletti points out, it would be unfair to speculate whether Gia's past mentions of suicide and bullying have any bearing on this tragedy, but they are certainly a reminder that we need to be aware of the tenor of friends' and family members' tweets.

    If the words someone is using -- even online -- indicate they may be considering suicide, or if you yourself have wrestled with the idea, please reach out to a suicide hotline. There is ALWAYS someone there who wants to listen and who will take you seriously. You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.

     

    Image via Splash News


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    Princess DianaIt's hard to believe it's been 16 years since Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris, but 16 years or not, there's a new theory out about the way Prince William and Prince Harry's mother died. Would you believe that the Princess of Wales; her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed; and their driver Henri Paul were actually murdered by a member of the British military this week 16 years ago? It's wild, but not so wild that Scotland Yard isn't taking it seriously.

    They're actually investigating the claims!

    The allegation of military involvement in Diana's death reportedly comes from the parents-in-law of a former soldier, but they're rather surprising considering just how much time the tragedy has spent under the microscope. It was investigated first in August 1997, when the crash occurred in a Parisian road tunnel, and has been touched on in years since. In 2008, a British jury blamed the driver and the paparazzi chasing the princess' car for recklessness in causing the crash.

    Whether the as-yet-unidentified people making these allegations are crackpots or not remains to be seen, but the information is solid enough that officers from the Specialist Crime and Operations Command of Scotland Yard are said to be reviewing it.

    As if Prince William and Kate Middleton didn't have enough on their hands with a newborn baby at home?

    What do you think of the new "news" about Diana's tragic death?

     

    Image via Paul Marotta/Getty Images

     

     


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    Jerry SanduskyHere's a name we haven't missed in the news. We haven't heard much from former Penn State Assistant Football Coach Jerry Sandusky since his conviction on 45 counts of sexual abuse last year, but his name is back in the news. Because while the pedophile is safely ensconced behind bars -- unable to ever hurt another child -- his victims are still looking for justice.

    At least one of them has gotten it -- a 25-year-old man identified as "Victim 5" is the first of the many boys Sandusky hurt while running Second Mile, a football program for at-risk youth on the college campus. He sued Penn State for the trauma he endured, and he won!

    Victim 5 reportedly met Sandusky via Second Mile and attended football games at Penn State with him. He said he was groped in the school's showers by the convicted pedophile and was one of the eight young men who bravely testified during Sandusky's trial. Now he will be getting several million dollars out of Penn State.

    He's the first victim to get money but surely won't be the last. A total of 26 settlements are expected to come out in the weeks and months ahead, all based on claims made by young men hurt by Sandusky. The claims could hurt the university but is not expected to bankrupt the school, which will go after Second Mile for remuneration.

    What do you think of the university paying out? Should the school have to pay up?

     

    Image via police


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    american idolDid you love Jennifer Lopez when she was on American Idol? Good news for you then -- the singer and mother of two will likely be a judge on the 13th season of the show. Well, so says boyfriend Casper Smart, anyway.

    Fox has confirmed American Idol XIII will begin airing in January 2104, and auditions were held at the Clinton Presidential Library in Arkansas this weekend. But at this moment, Keith Urban is the only judge the network has confirmed will return, along with host Ryan Seacrest. They've been mum on Lopez.

    Nice job, Casper! Looks like you spilled the beans, buddy!

    Lopez has been through two seasons of Idol so far, so she's more or less a veteran, especially with true veteran Randy Jackson departing from the show. And with twins Max and Emme starting kindergarten this fall, she'll certainly have more time on her hands for her career.

    Are you looking forward to J-Lo's return to American Idol? Who is your favorite judge?

     

    Image via Annette Brown / FOX


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    Fergie Duhamel Josh DuhamelIt's official. Stacy Ann Ferguson is now Fergie Duhamel. The pregnant Black Eyed Peas' singer's name change was completed late this week, and in the nick of time. Fergie and husband Josh Duhamel are expecting their first baby, reportedly a son, in September.

    Now Mom, Dad, and Baby Duhamel will all have the same last name!

    Stacy, er, Fergie, has said there were numerous reasons for her name change, not least among them the fact that no one actually calls her Stacy anymore. But switching to her husband's last name after all this time -- the couple has been married since 2009 -- takes on special meaning now that they're expecting a baby together.

    It's by no means a requirement that everyone in the family share the same last name, but more than a few mothers I know who opted to keep their maiden names or who weren't married at the time of their child's birth have said they've encountered hassles because of the difference in surnames.

    Do you share the same last name as your baby?

     

    Image via Splash News

     


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    Kanye WestKanye West and Kim Kardashian got a piece of news they've been waiting for since July. The rapper and new father will not be facing felony charges for one of his (many) scuffles with paparazzi -- this one last month at the Los Angeles airport when he was caught on video lunging at the cameras.

    Pheww!

    Turns out the DA's office took into account Kanye's clean record and the fact that no weapon was used before deciding not to prosecute.

    But all is not perfect in Kimye-land. The Los Angeles District Attorney's Office may not be interested in pursuing felony charges, but baby North West's daddy may still have to pay the piper for snapping at the paps.

    More From The Stir: Kim Kardashian Teaches Katie Couric Not to Cross Her (PHOTO)

    The case is now in the hands of the city attorney's office, which has the option to hit Kanye with misdemeanor charges in the case. 

    The irony of Kanye's legal trouble in the case is not lost on anyone who listened to the video of the incident. Kanye was heard saying to the photographer in question that he (the photographer) was just trying to get Kanye in trouble, baiting him so the rapper would have to pay big money for hurting him ... seconds later, the video shows Kanye moving in on the cameraman. Check out below:

     Unfortunately your browser does not support IFrames.

    Kanye West Goes Postal on Another Photog - Watch More Celebrity Videos or Subscribe

     

    Do you think Kanye should be charged?

     

    Image via TMZ


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