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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
    Need a reason to stop being the stressed out mom who can't stop running around like a neurotic nelly? How about to honor a baby who is dying? Born with Down syndrome and a heart defect, 21-month-old Ryan Roberts isn't expected to reach his toddler years. And all his mom wants the other moms (and dads) of the world to do for her today is skip dinner tonight and throw a banana split ice cream party with their own kids. Just reading her simple request filled me with mommy guilt. I am always saying I want to do "Mommy and Me" time with my daughter. But saying it and doing it are two different things.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Cops in New Jersey say they've arrested a guy who had been blowing up the line to 911 demanding he be connected to New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. And why, you may ask (of COURSE you would), would someone expect the folks working the 911 lines to take the time to track down a football player's phone number? Because the alleged football fan told them he was President Barack Obama. Ah yes, the old hail to the chief method of getting what you want out of 911. It's a good one. Although I have to say, in the grand scheme of absolutely bananas 911 calls, trying to get Tim Tebow's number from emergency dispatch by pretending to be the president is pretty middle of the road. Let's see how it stacks up to some other, um, interesting demands made to 911.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    If there is one thing The Glee Project is really driving home about its sister show Glee, it's that the show is trying to remind kids across America that they're not struggling through high school alone. So when Cory Monteith dropped in on the Oxygen reality series, there was no way he was going to get off without talking about the pain behind his success story. The Canadian who has embodied Finn Hudson since the first season Glee was on set -- appropriately enough -- for the vulnerability episode of The Glee Project. The assignment meant the competitors needed to dig deep for a music video that doubled as an anti-bullying PSA. But there's a reason Monteith is the guy Casting Director Robert Ulrich calls the "most accessible" actor on Glee.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It's official. The Texas dad who killed the man he found molesting his daughter will not face charges. But this is not a simple case of "bad pedophile needed to die," folks. The death of Jesus Mora Flores was treated appropriately by law enforcement in Texas. It prompted an official homicide investigation. And chilling new details released on the case show the real reason the 23-year-old father (whose name is still being withheld to protect his poor daughter's identity as a sexual abuse victim) is getting off has more to do with how he acted than how much Flores' life is worth.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    In case you've missed all the ads and giant campaign tour buses, this election season is going to be a biggie. So you might want to check around the doghouse in your backyard to make sure your pet hasn't gotten a voter registration form in the mail. Hey: stranger things have happened. Virginia resident Tim Morris' DEAD dog got an invite to help pick the next president. Mozart "Mo" Morris would technically be of voting age this year, but he went to the eternal puppy playland in the sky two years ago at 17. Oh yeah, and he doesn't have opposable thumbs. Or you know, citizenship (not technically!).

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    There's an unspoken rule among parents: if you like someone, you don't buy their kid a noisy toy. But it may be time to change all that. Start to appreciate that racket, and your baby could be the next hip hop star! Don't laugh! A set of parents who actually took the time to notice their little boy's musical, um, abilities now have a verified hit with "Milk in My Sippy Cup"! Their video reminds me a lot of that "beatboxing baby" we saw awhile back. It's another set of savvy parents who have figured out how to take the noises of childhood and splice them together to turn what most of us would consider ear-piercing into something rather catchy and fun. Here, you be the judge:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Does your kid's taste in music drive you nuts? You might want to reconsider. British singer Adele's song "Rolling in the Deep" is getting credit today for waking 7-year-old Charlotte Neve out of a coma! Charlotte had a rare brain hemorrhage, and doctors were telling her mom that she should prepare for the worst when the sassy British singer's song came on the radio. It was a favorite for the duo, and it proved enough to pull Charlotte back from unconsciousness! Now, most of us are fortunate enough not to face a major medical emergency like the Neves. But this is the kind of medical miracle that's got me thinking a lot about how we parents use music on our own kids.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I am a sucker for "kid does something amazing" stories. Any time a teenager manages to set a world record in sports, it's worth shouting about. But when you factor in the fact that Victoria Arlen was close to death five years ago, the paralyzed teenager's new world records in swimming take on special meaning. Can I repeat those words "close to death"? I don't like to hear them bandied about when we're talking about a child.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Listen, people. There is something I think we can all agree on. You aren't reading Fifty Shades of Grey for the fine writing. You are reading it for the s-e-x. Simmer down now. I'm not hating on Christian and Anastasia and their steamy romance. But even author E.L. James calls the best-selling trilogy more mid-life crisis than masterpiece. And with the Fifty Shades of Grey movie deal in the works, I think it's high time we put together a list of the cheesiest lines we do NOT want to see in this flick!

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Sometimes it feels like being a mom means fighting a battle you just can't win. Take the Pennsylvania mom whose baby was sitting inside her vehicle in their own driveway when she got carjacked! Living smack dab in the middle of the region that got hit with a heat wave, leaving your 1-year-old in the comfort of the air-conditioning should have been the safe bet. These are the darned if you do, darned if you don't moments that make parenting so hard. The good news here is the jerk who took off with Jennifer Ramirez' car must have realized baby Nariya was in the backseat and gotten scared.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    Talk about a lesson in going with your gut. From the get-go, former Penn State Coach Jerry Sandusky's lawyer has rubbed me the wrong way. And now Joe Amendola's creep factor has gone through the roof. Before the official announcement came that Sandusky would not take the stand in his own defense, news media report that they asked Amendola what their client would do. His response? Jokes about soap operas. Ahem. Ladies and gentleman of the public. Doesn't this lawyer realize he's representing a man on charges of sexually abusing children?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    How about a good Teen Mom rumor for a change, folks? The scuttlebutt is that MTV is likely to sign Briana DeJesus as the fourth and final choice for its cast of its new upcoming show Teen Mom 3. So why is that worth celebrating? Easy. This could be a casting decision that really drives home to teen viewers why they need to wait to procreate ... perhaps more so than all the other girls who have come before. The reality series traditionally features not just the teen moms but their entire families. And avid watchers of 16 and Pregnant couldn't help but be moved by the DeJesus' family last season. After all: Briana wasn't the only pregnant teenager in her house.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    A little boy was taken off life support by his grieving family last night in a Texas hospital. Jaydin Thompson’s death is the third his family has to come to grips with after cops say his mom's boyfriend shot the 6-year-old and his 1-year-old half-brother in a hotel. Demond Bluntson has also been charged with murder in the death of the boys' mother, Brandy Cerny. I didn't think the story could get much more sad. That is until I heard what Brandy Cerny's family had to say about the 28-year-old mom and her relationship with Bluntson. It sounds eerily like the writing was on the wall here.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    There are wonderful things I could say about having a daughter with a fair complexion. The fact that her skin comes in two shades -- casper and lobster -- is not one of them. Which isn't a problem at home where I slather the sunscreen on before she steps outside. The problem, oh fellow parents, is when she goes to school. And if you happened to catch a glimpse of the photos one Washington State mom snapped of her sunburned elementary schoolers the other day, you'll be scared for your kids too. Jesse Michener's daughters baked to a crisp during their school field day. Why?

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    It's hard to watch the video of middle school bus monitor Karen Klein being bullied by a crew of nasty kids and not get angry. Like many Americans, the imagery of a 68-year-old Klein brought to tears by their disgusting taunts sent me hurtling back in time to my own days in the torture chamber that is a bus ride when you're the bullies' favorite target. But folks, angry isn't going to fix this. Death threats aren't going to fix this. Let me repeat that. Death threats are being hurled at a bunch of 11- and 12-year-old children. Because as cruel and vile as these kids were acting, every bully on that Athena Middle School bus is just that. A child. And the bullies who have taken over the conversation about what happened to Karen Klein do more to explain how this horrific incident happened in the first place than they do to fix it.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    So, you're ready for summer, huh? You've got your big slab of meat to throw on the grill? Better hope the lone star tick doesn't come out and bite you! He could turn you vegetarian with just one chomp. I know, I know, it sounds like a horror movie. But folks, this one is for real ... even if it sounds horrific to all you carnivores out there. Scientists are warning there is an honest-to-goodness arachnid who is making you his dinner ... and putting you off yours! And even as I close in on my 15-year anniversary of going vegetarian, I'm still scared!

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I keep hearing about the day my kid will start witholding affection from friends, and it fills me with dread. I'd like to say "not my kid," but I'm already seeing the signs. Her grandmother calls, and she won't get on the phone. We visit my grandfather, and she doesn't want to go anywhere near him. So I have opted to do the only thing I know will work. I bribe my kid to show affection.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    I used to think the only way you could improve on a batch of brownies was to add more chocolate. Ladies and gentleman, I sit here today to confess I was wrong. Behold the miracle that is marshmallow brownies! Mmm. Hmm. Ooey. Gooey. Marshmallow. It sticks to your fingers and melts on your tongue, and it is a perfect match for the chocolate-y fudge that makes a brownie so sinful. And I've got a little extra bit of yum for you in this recipe for Marshmallow Brownies -- the surprise bit of sweet in here? Butterscotch chips! Now, to the kitchen! Oh, but don't forget to take this recipe with you:

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    If the guilty verdict in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse trial seemed like the right ending to the whole disturbing scandal at Penn State, just wait. The reports out of Centre County Correctional Facility paint a picture of just what the former football coach is in for during his expected tenure in prison. And folks, it doesn't sound pretty.  The last time he was brought into jail -- directly after his arrest -- the Daily says the prisoners greeted him with a rendition of Pink Floyd's Another Brick in the Wall, specifically the line "Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone!" It turns out the inmates on the inside know all about what's been going on outside with Sandusky. And you know what this means.

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    Post by Jeanne Sager
    We finally seem to be reaching a point in society where the bulk of parents believe in smearing their kids with sunblock to protect them from skin cancer. So it's time to move on to the next sunny stumbling block for moms and dads. Babies and sunscreen.  It seems the debate over skin cancer and kids has gotten so loud that the FDA is concerned parents are missing some crucial information. Namely, they're not sure exactly when the whole "sunscreen" thing is supposed to start with their kiddos. Pop quiz: would you put sunscreen on an infant?

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