Archive for the ‘le•top Tech’ Category

The more I hang out with my friends who are “moms-to-be” or new moms, I feel like they are constantly using lingo and acronyms that are foreign to me. Or if I am searching through an online forum with message boards, I noticed how many acronyms are being used and there are so many LO’s, FTM’s, DD’s and FWIW’s, that I feel I need an interpreter! I am relatively young and feel like I am becoming outdated!

That’s when I found this amazing interpreter on BabyCenter.com called an online guide to motherhood-related acronyms.

Here are the acronyms and emoticons that I find to be most useful, IMHO, to help you navigate the vast sea of motherly message boards.

BF: breastfeed, or boyfriend
BM: breast milk, or bowel movement
CIO: cry it out
CS or C/S: cesarean section
 DD: dear daughter
DF: dear fiancée
DH: dear husband
DP: dear partner
DS: dear son
DW: dear wife
EBF: extended breastfeeding, exclusively breastfeeding
FF: formula feeding
FTM: first time mom
LO: little one
MC or M/C: miscarriage
ML: maternity leave
MM: mother’s milk
PG: pregnant, or pregnancy
PPD: postpartum depression
SAHD: stay-at-home dad
SAHM: stay-at-home mom
SAHP: stay-at-home parent
WAH: work at home
WOH: work out of the home

Okay – enjoy and TTYL (talk to you later!).


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I may have been the only kid in the world who was happy when the summer weather started to end.  Shorter days and longer nights meant that it was truly dark outside when I went to bed and got to feel like I’d stayed up late even though I hadn’t.  Most importantly though—the end of summer weather meant that the rainy season was coming, and, if I was lucky, that meant blackouts.

As an adult blackouts are kind of annoying because they keep me from getting work done (or worse, they interrupt my DVR recordings), but once the initial annoyance passes and I’m left trying to figure out how to entertain myself without any kind of technology, I think back to my childhood and can’t help but smile.  I loved blackouts as a kid.

I loved wandering around the house with candles and flashlights.  It was like my own adventure; the house was familiar and yet strangely foreign.  The best part about power outages though, was that I always learned really cool things when we had no power.

When I couldn’t watch movies, I learned that movies were just a series of still images shown one right after the other (at least they were when I was growing up, back in the days before digital movie projectors) and from that I learned how to make flip books (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flip_book).  When we couldn’t use the refrigerator, Mom told me about how people used to preserve foods before refrigerators existed and explained the canning and drying processes.  I learned that I was better at jigsaw puzzles than my brother and sister, but that my sister will always win Scrabble games, and my bother somehow has ridiculous luck with Yahtzee dice.  My dad taught me how to make the best couch forts and paper airplanes.  My mom taught me to sew things by hand and my grandmother taught me how to knit.  Grandma also taught me a lot of different card games (due to a blackout, I learned to play poker when I was 11).  

My family has always been big on finding teachable moments, and blackouts were prime time for learning about how the world was before electricity.  Blackouts were like my own personal time machine; I learned a lot about the way things used to be done because I was living the same way people used to.  (And when I started learning about the Oregon Trail in school, I felt a connection with the covered wagon travelers—I knew about how they had to preserve food, sew clothes by hand, and entertain themselves with cards and dice.) 

So the next time a blackout rolls through your neighborhood, instead of packing up the kids and going somewhere that still has power, use the blackout as an opportunity to teach your kids a little practical history.  Spend a few hours learning about the way things used to be done and creating your own entertainment; you’ll have a lot of fun spending time with your family (and when the power comes back on, I guarantee that you’ll have a renewed love for your light switches).

If you live in an area with a relatively stable power grid and don’t have blackouts very often, make your own!  (Bonus:  Blackouts created by hand equal electricity bill savings created by hand.)  Find the breakers for your house or apartment and just flip the main.  You’ll have to reset the clocks on your microwave and stove (and don’t forget your alarm clock!), but at least you probably won’t have to deal with the dreaded VCR clock my dad always complained about. 

Here’s some ideas for electricity free activities:

  • Hide batteries and flashlights around the house and go on a treasure hunt (complete with maps and clues) to find them before it gets dark.
  • Make your own beef jerky, just like people did before they could keep meat in refrigerators.  (Bonus:  Use the jerky as snacks for the following week.  Home made jerky is also a cool show and tell item—kids will love the ‘I made it myself’ factor.)
  • Knit scarves for cold weather.  (Learn to knit here:  http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-to-knit.htm or here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uw-nUvGrBY)
  • Create a flip book.
  • Have a paper airplane race.
  • Using sheets, turn your entire living room into a giant fort (and see how the sheets glow when you light them from inside with flashlights).
  • Lay out an area on your floor and get the whole family to put together a giant jigsaw puzzle.  (Make your own smaller puzzles by cutting magazine pictures or drawings into interesting shapes.)
  • Act out your favorite movies, or even better, write your own play!  (Or use puppets made from socks or paper bags to act them out.)
  • Cook outside.  Fire up the grill or cook hotdogs over an open fire in the backyard. (Be safe and use a fire pit or make sure to line your fire with stones to keep it in one place.)
  • Hand write letters to friends and family members telling them how much you love them.
  • Stargaze.  If the power is out in your neighborhood, there will be less ambient light and the stars should be more visible.

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Like clockwork, it’s “that” time of year again – allergy season.  Let’s see…chronic runny nose, hacking cough, itchy and watery eyes, and scratchy throat – check, check and CHECK.  I was endowed with the hand-me-down symptom from my parents – hay fever.  Seasonal allergies growing up were never fun, but fortunately I learned some useful tricks and tips to help ward off pollen, and keep my sneezing, itchy/watery eyes, and overall allergy misery to a minimum.

Many researchers don’t fully know why some people are highly allergic and others are symptom-free (a.k.a. scot-free!), or why some things set-off allergies while others don’t. I have learned over the years that common nasal type allergies can occur in spring and carry on through fall (when ragweed pollinates).

I am no doc, but for a kid growing up with seasonal allergies, experts (and I) offer these tips to breathe a sigh of relief: 

  1. Check the pollen count.  Let’s get real, pollen is everywhere and practically invisible; it comes from grasses, trees, weeds and flowers.  Usually your local TV and radio news stations will announce the amount of pollen in the air or just hop on the computer and go to www.pollen.com to find out pollen levels.
  2. Plan your outdoor time wisely.  It is unpractical to try and keep your child indoors, but try to have he or she avoid days outside when it is windy and a high pollen count.  In the springtime, pollen counts are usually the highest in the early morning.  If you walk your pet in the morning, please remember they are a pollen-carrier too and try to walk your pet later in the morning if possible.
  3. Change your babe into clean clothes.  If your kid does play outside, try to change his or her clothes when coming inside the house to avoid the pollen sticking to his or her clothes that can trigger allergy symptoms.  Also, if you are a fan of hang drying your child’s clothes, try to avoid it in the springtime and early fall and opt to use an electric dyer.
  4. Keep the windows closed.  It is best to try and keep the windows in both your home and car closed, especially on the days that the news forecasts medium to high pollen levels.
  5. Use the air conditioner.  Fans in my opinion blow and circulate pollen.  Using an air conditioner not only filters the air, but also cools down any temperature relieving hot/burning and itchy eyes. 
  6. Bath time!  Try to set your child’s bath time just before he or she goes to bed. This helps to wash pollen off that could make for a sneezy night! (A bath before bed especially helps with kiddies with long hair that might pick up pollen during the day).

The information on this blog site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding you or your child’s condition.

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Lucy_Kaleidoscope_3237We are very excited to introduce a ‘new look’ to our website – a look that is a delightful reflection of all the innocence, fun and whimsy that makes le•top innovative and nostalgic – upscale and hip!  This bright and happy site will showcase all the looks that we loved as children, mixed in with incredible new styles you won’t see anywhere else!  We are launching this new site to present our fabulous fall 2009 collections – appearing at discerning retailers across the United States.  Don’t miss Dog’s, Dinos and Varsity Blues! Check out the Kaleidoscope and Cute as a Button dresses and get a dose of Enchantment!

But this is just the beginning!  Become a part of the le•top community as we introduce new features – join the conversations on our blog for smiles and information – and follow our Twitter feed to be the first to hear about contests and give-a-ways.

Come and experience le•top: “Zero to Five – The Happy Years!”

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lucasI’m trying to figure out whether to get a tiny digital camera or an Apple® iPhone® (like most mobile phones, it has a built-in camera) because my Motorola® Razr® really isn’t cutting it for photos. Thinking about the iPhone reminded me of how I got completely shown up a by 12 year old a few months back. Sweetie has an iPhone, so I have quite a bit of exposure to it, but his nephew, who does not have an iPhone, knew it so much better than I. So, I’m either an old dinosaur or kids these days really are the tech whizzes…uh, or both…! Joking aside, it is pretty amazing how much kids know about the latest and greatest tech gadgets. I just really don’t remember if that was the case when I was growing up?!?

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