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Archive for February, 2011

Gucci

Emme Maribel and Max David Anthony are having their 3rd birthday today. These darling fraternal twins recently modeled with their Idol mom, Jennifer Lopez, for a new Gucci children’s clothing advertisement. It seems they also have that star quality. Whether they are in Miami or Los Angeles we think outfits from our “School of Fun” brother/sister collections would be a perfect fit. Emme could run around town in the Le Top “School of Fun” stripe racerback top and fish print capri pants while Max would be a hit in the matching stripe shirt and hungry fish print short. Enjoy your birthday Max and Emme!

Le Top "School of Fun" boy/girl collection

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Moms spend so much time with their newborns, babies and children that it can be really hard to separate yourself or vice-versa for the children to let go of you not being with them. I know certain moms who have never even used a baby sitter! Crazy! Parents, especially stay at home moms, need to get out of the house and have time for yourself too in order to have a balanced and healthy life. Often times a mom can think, “How could anyone else know to take care of him and fix things like I do?”

Separation anxiety is a natural part of development for babies and kids, but as many parents know, they aren’t the only ones who feel uncomfortable when mom or dad leaves! It can be especially intense in the first year – parents worry about safety, sleeping and so-on.

If you find yourself struggling with separation, here are some tips you might want to consider:

1.    Allow yourself to feel anxious.
Separation anxiety is the other side of the attachment coin. A healthy bond with your child means a certain degree of discomfort.

2.    Know that other caregivers do things differently.
After being so close to your baby and children, you have fine-tuned your approach on how to handle your child. One of the tough parts about leaving your child is the fear that no one else knows the ‘secrets.’ That is true – but kids are surprisingly adaptive. Grandparents, dad or a babysitter, those people will find their own way and might surprise you with the tricks they invent to watch your child.

3.    Separation is an important part of attachment.
It is healthy fory our baby to be taken care of by multiple caregivers. Allowing kids to trust and be cared for by other people only boosts their feeling of community and sense that the world is a safer place. 

4.    Taking time for yourself isn’t just for fun, it’s for your health.
In the early months, if leaving your wee baby makes you miserable, don’t’ force it. But as he or she grows, it’s natural and healthy to start putting pieces of your own life back into its old schedule. This means, take time to go work out, meet with a friend for coffee or lunch, have a date night with your hubby, etc. Taking care of yourself is important to you and your child too.

5.    Look beyond the guilt!
Guilt is a common go-to emotion for parents, but it’s not a very useful one! Feeling guilty over being away from your child can be a way of not dealing with things. Acknowledge your guilt, but don’t let it become your emotional crutch, excuse or hideout.

Overall – just know that attachment doesn’t just mean physically being there, and that separation anxiety will eventually diffuse over time. 🙂

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Photo source: Flynet

 

Twin daughters of Marcia Cross and Tom Mahoney are celebrating their 4th birthday on Sunday. These cuties are regularly seen out and about enjoying the beautiful weather in Santa Monica. Since we know Savannah loves the color blue, we think she would look adorable in our blue drop waist bubble skirt dress (and matching capri leggings) from the Le Top “Simply Darling” collection.

 
 
 
 
 



Eden could round out the look with the red handkerchief cross-back sundress (with matching leggings) from the same collection.

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I’m off to Vail tomorrow to attempt to learn to ski. It made me think about kids who don’t get to see the snow who live in warmer areas. Whether you be in sunny California or snowy Boston – you can grant your children’s wishes for a snowy day by making home made paper snowflakes that hover in the air in their bedroom or in your kitchen. Kids can happily occupy themselves cutting out dozens of paper snowflakes. All you need to do is thread and tape the snowflakes together and see a sweet ‘blizzard’ materialize in your home.

 

This post has been moved to our website:

http://blog.letop-usa.com/?p=16207

 

VISIT OUT HOME AT WWW.LETOP-USA.COM

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This week we had the true pleasure of sitting down with Southern Children boutique owner, Susan Broom, to ask her about the cutest boutique in Columbia, South Carolina and discover her secrets to 22 years of business. She gives us memorable moments, funny children’s comments and the low-down on her 22 year anniversary event this Sunday, February 20th – go visit the store! Read more to find out about this very special children’s store.

Southern Children
9003-7 Two Notch Road
Columbia, SC 29223
803.736.2753
http://www.southernchildren.com/
Monday-Saturday: 10:00-5:30 EST 

Join Southern Children’s Facebook page and click HERE.

1.      What was the inspiration behind the name Southern Children?
Susan: In selecting a name for my store, I considered the type of clothing I wanted to carry, and sought a name that would represent my interest in that preferred style and niche. I wanted the name to evoke the feeling of traditional, classical, timeless and conservative styling for children. I sat down one evening with a notebook and pen, and I brainstormed twenty possible names for my store. Southern Children was my seventh name on my list. I made this name up myself, and I was so proud of it. I liked its sound and the warm feeling of traditional style it evoked. 

2.      Describe the neighborhood where your store is located. Tell us about Columbia, South Carolina. What made you pick this location?
Susan: Southern Children is located in the northeast section of Columbia, South Carolina. At one time, Columbia Northeast was ranked as one of the top 10 fastest growing communities in the United States. Columbia is the capital city of South Carolina and is centrally located within the state. I have lived in Columbia Northeast throughout my married life of nearly 32 years. I selected the site for my store because it was a new shopping center that had opened in the area, and it was a very attractive strip center with its building, grounds and landscaping.  There was very little new retail development in our area at the time, 22 years ago. The closest children’s boutique in the area at that time was 15 to 20 minutes away from our strip center. I can make the drive to my store from my home in typically seven minutes, unless there is heavy traffic, which is so convenient for me.

3.      It’s about that time to start packing up some of the old winter items and cleaning out the closet for spring clothes for your little one. What are 3 spring must-have items that are in your store?
S
usan: Three spring must-have items that are in my store are something from Le Top’s “Sunny Ducky” collection, a cute pair of sandals, and a matching hairbow from either Wee Ones or Bibbity Bobbity Bows. For boys, something from Le Top’s “Sunny Ducky” collection, a pair of blue and white seersucker (or solid white) pants or shorts from either Bailey Boys or E-Land American Classic, and a pair of white shoes or two-tone saddle oxford shoes would be spring must-have items from our store.

4.      There are plenty of blooper funny moments being around children and mom’s all day in your store – tell us something funny a child has said that made you giggle.
Susan: One episode in particular stands out in my memory that was funny to me.  I had a very young and articulate little girl in the store. She was quite expressive and interactive. I was enjoying listening to her talk and found that she was exceptionally intelligent for her young age. I said to her, after being quite amazed at her vocabulary and statements, “You are SO SMART!”  With that being said, she balled up her little fists by her side, stomped her foot, and said to me in a very furious and argumentative tone, “I am NOT SMART!” I thought I would die laughing! She did not understand that I had paid her a compliment and thought I had, instead, insulted her. I just laughed, shrugged my shoulders, and said, “Okay!”  The little girl’s mother giggled!

5.      What would people be surprised to learn about your store?
Susan:  I had wanted for years to own a retail specialty store, and I decided to open a children’s clothing boutique seeing the need for one in our community. I opened the store when Amy (my daughter) was six-years-old. From a very young age, Amy took great pleasure in attending the market shows with me. She was always a hit with the sales representatives, particularly when she would “like” their merchandise or wear their clothing to the market shows. On the rare occasions that Amy could not attend a market show, the sales representatives would all want to know why she wasn’t with me and ask half a dozen questions about her. Amy joined my staff in 2004 as an employee and has been my right hand and rock. We really enjoy working together. It was never intended that Amy would work at my store. In 2004, while Amy was still in college, I was short of employees and Amy stepped up to fill in. She’s never left! So, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a minor in Psychology from the University of South Carolina, Amy manages Southern Children and is the web designer and webmaster for our store’s website. Amy is definitely the best thing that has ever happened to Southern Children!

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Photo by: Michael Buckner/Getty

Baby numero dos for Jessica Alba? The actress announced on her Facebook page yesterday that she and her husband, Cash Warren, are expecting baby #2! “I thought I’d drop by to let you all in on some exciting news — Honor is going to be a Big Sister!” Alba, 29, wrote. “Cash and I are thrilled and wanted to share the news directly with you so you didn’t hear about it somewhere else. I appreciated all of the love and support you all gave me during my first pregnancy and will definitely appreciate it again this time around. Have a great day!” she finishes, signing off, “Jess.” Alba’s first daughter delivered Honor Marie is 2 1/2-years-old. It would be so cute if both sisters dressed up in our new Le Top “Heart’s Delight” Collection (well, if the new baby is a girl!). The new baby could wear the Heart’s Delight sunsuit. Honor would look adorable in this matching sundress from the Heart’s Delight Collection.

Le Top Heart's Delight sunsuit and dress

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I recently read that women who are terrified of labor and its pains can conquer those fears using self-hypnosis to achieve maximum relations, comfort and above all, relief during child birth!

Super mum: Model Gisele claimed giving birth in her bathtub at home in Boston with no pain relief didn't hurt after having prepared with yoga and meditation.

There was a recent 18-month NHS trial study with over 800 “first-time” mommies who learned the technique of “hypnobirthing” which is being led by Professor Soo Downe, a specialist in midwifery at Central Lancashire University, at hospitals in Blackburn and Burnley. Women will be taught deep relaxation techniques which are said to induce an almost trance-like state, making women calmer and more able to block out pain. Hypnobirthing is based on the work of Dr Grantly Dick-Read, an English physician whose principles provided the foundations of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT).

What is “hypnobirthing”? I asked the same thing! It is a new method of natural childbirth that teaches women to use their ‘natural instincts’ to control pain and bring an easier birthing period. I am semi-unsold on this technique because it sounds to me like natural labor where you just try to convince yourself it doesn’t hurt as much! Ha!

The more I read I found that nearly 60% of women in labor are injected with epidurals into their spine or had administered shots of diamorphine or even  laughing gas to control contraction pains. Drugs can be very expensive and hazardous to your baby. What would you choose and would you try to learn this new “hypnobirthing” techqnue? It is believed that epidurals tend to increase the duration of childbirth, triggering the need for a woman to undergo a caesarean.

How is Hypnobirthing Effective?
According to experts, at the onset of contractions, fear kicks in as a reflex, causing the uterus to cramp, resulting in pain. If women could only relax, they would have less pain, more effective contractions and shorter labor. The hypnobirthing course which costs around £800 (over $1,200) on a one-to-one basis trains women to find complete relaxation using the power of the mind, but still be in control. Words such as ‘pain’ and ‘contraction’ which evoke fear are replicated with terms such as ‘pressure’ and ‘tightening’ in the training manuals.

According to the Daily Mail in the UK, ‘A lot of women afterwards say that “pain” is not the word to describe their sensations during labour, calling it “pressure” and “a force of nature”. And yes, there are women who do end up with a Caesarean, but they in turn say hypnobirthing techniques kept them calm throughout, making the experience positive and enjoyable.’

Overall, I guess this is about the “power of the mind” or perhaps it goes back to the age old saying of “Mind Over Matter.”

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Photo By: Michael Kovac/Getty

Former Bachelor contestant, Melissa Rycroft Strickland, gave birth to a baby girl in Dallas yesterday afternoon.  Her name is Ava Grace Strickland, and weighs 6lbs., 13 oz. and is their first child for Melissa and husband Tye Strickland. This adorable Le Top Baby “Baby Darling” Collection crochet booties with pink tie ribbons would be the perfect give for the new happy parents. 

Le Top Baby booties from the 'Baby Darling' collection

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This handsome sprout, Vaughn (now 6-months-old), is the picture of holiday cheer in his Le Top Deck the Halls footed coverall – just check out those cute reindeer feet. Congratulations to Vaughn for earning the title Le Top Darling of the Day!!!

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Marcy and a Le Top model

The Le Top brand is known for working with vendors for years – one person we adore working with is our fashion photographer extraordinaire, Marcy Maloy. She photographs our seasonal campaigns but is also now part of the “Le Top family.” Marcy was on her way to Paris and we were able to squeeze out some of her time to interview her and give you and inside look from a photographer’s eyes on her passion for her career and photographing children. Read below for Part #1 of the interview. Tomorrow will be Part 2!

What advice can you offer parents for the top 3-5 tips on how to photograph a child? Portrait and snapshot.
Marcy:

  1. Always be ready!!! i.e. parents should keep their camera very accessible at all times. Most digital cameras are small so no excuses…Keep it in your purse or in the kitchen or just always nearby…and make sure the batteries are charged.  Special moments come and go quickly.
  2. Don’t direct your child. They will probably start hamming it up anyway, ruining a perfectly great moment…but if you just ignore them, they will usually go back to doing what they were doing. 
  3. Never ask your child’s permission to take his or photo.  Just start snapping without making a big deal of it and if they complain ignore them.  The idea is to try to get them to forget you and go back into their world so you can get something special. If you take enough photos it will be like a reality show and they will eventually forget that you are documenting their lives…and remember, some of the most priceless moments are when they are crying or have a dirty face or are mad at you. I used to shoot my daughters when they were mad at me or at something, and that would make them Really Mad!!  I got some priceless moments.

What do you find challenging at a children’s photo shoot?
Marcy:
The thing I find most challenging at a photo shoot is taking the energy of the room and the parents down so that I can get the child calm enough to capture a magical moment. Many times the parents are so nervous that their child won’t do “good” that they have ironically created a “no win” situation. Sometimes I will catch a parent off camera hissing at their kid to do “what the lady says.”


Tell us your most funny “stage mom” moment (a.k.a. crazy mom or parent trying to get their child to pose or do something funny).
Marcy:
The most hysterical funny moment I remember is when I looked just behind me and a determined Dad was actually doing a somersault on the concrete floor to get his daughter to laugh! It was incredible! I asked him to please stop, the child is terrified, and has no idea why or what’s going on or why their parents are acting so weird. I can’t ban a parent from the set especially if a child is young. Because the presence of their mom or dad is a calming factor, even though the parent is actually the nervous one.

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