Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Stay Safe This Hallow’s Eve

Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, Founder of Daddyscrubs

As a daddy to seven, I know a thing or two about wanting to protect your children from all of the world’s evils. It seems certain seasons and holidays tend to bring out the crazies, Halloween being one of those crazy-induced holidays.

Here’s a bit of advice from a dad who wants to ensure you and your kids have a safe and fun Halloween.

Trick or Treat: I think most people would agree; getting free candy is amongst the more enjoyable things in life, and your child will probably want to try their hand at the fun. In order to stay safe this Halloween, trick or treat with your child during the earlier evening hours. Walk from door to door with them allowing them to partake in the trick or treating experience while knowing they are safe and out of harms way. If you have older children, you can drive them to different neighborhoods that you know are safe and hang out while they visit the homes in the neighborhood. Give them a meeting place, a time and a cell phone. Lay out the ground rules ahead of time so you and your child can stay safe while having fun.

Party-in: While scavenging through neighborhoods filling pillowcases with candy and more appealing Halloween tradition, it can be just as fun to have a party at home, which is what my wife, kids and I have done for the past several years. Everyone dresses up, you decorate your house to look like a haunted mansion, and you invite other close friends and family to come enjoy in the festivities. With your own bowls of candy dispersed throughout the house, you and your kids can indulge their Fall sweet tooth in a fun and safe environment.

Out and aBOOut: Generally, many towns and cities have festivals and activities for this season. You should check around your town to see if there is a pumpkin patch, a corn maze, a wagon ride or a haunted house that you and your child can attend for fun. It will give you all something festive to do without overindulging on too much sugar or making a haunted mess of your house.

Check the Bounty: If your children do go out to collect candy from strangers, make sure you inspect the goods when they get home. Throw away candies that are open or questionable. It’s probably also good not to let your child eat as much candy as he can stomach in one sitting. Teach them self control and responsibility by allowing them to pick out several pieces of candy a day. You can spread the candy out by sending some in his lunch pail and by eating a little yourself, of course!

Good Rules of Zombie-thumb: It’s always important to lay out a few good rules of thumb – or in this case, zombie-thumb – before letting loose. In the case of Halloween, make sure the neighborhoods you’re visiting are safe and well lit. If a house is dark, don’t go up to it, and make sure you select a time and place to meet if you aren’t walking around with your child. Your kids should carry a cell phone and walk with a group. Remind them not to get in anybody’s car or go in anybody’s house.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you stay safe and have fun.

Happy Halloween!

Daddy Nickell

Robert Nickell, aka Daddy Nickell, father of 7, offers his “5 cents” worth of advice to expectant and new parents. Daddy Nickell is the CEO and founder of Daddyscrubs, the “Perfect” Gift for Any Dad, and a contributor along with his daughter for the Daddyscrubs Blog where they cover topics about parenting, pregnancy, babies, and toddlers. As well as new and unique gifts, celebrities, and interviews.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tandem nursing twins -- You can do it!!!

from Kalle Gelman, The Pump Station & Nurtury™ Mommy of Twins

I really hoped I could nurse my twins after they were born, and so in preparation, I took Kelli’s class at The Pump Station. She was able to breastfeed her twins and gave me the confidence that it was possible...even though it seemed like that would be on par with winning a gold medal at the Olympics.

Then, my twins were born almost 6 weeks early and I had severe complications including massive hemorrhaging (all of which should have lessened my milk production). My babies were in the NICU for 2 weeks and were bottle fed every drop I pumped from day one. And I pumped around the clock, determined to get them the milk they needed! While I tried to nurse them in the NICU, they were so small and so tired that I was resigned it wouldn't work to breastfeed them. I thought I would just have to pump and bottle feed.

At the urging of a night nurse who was helping us once the twins came home from the hospital, I tried to breastfeed my son (who weighed more and had a bigger appetite). To my surprise he latched on right away and ate almost a full meal! But I had a lot of difficulty with my daughter because she was so small - still just 4 pounds. That’s when I called The Pump Station and scheduled a home consultation with Barbara. When she arrived, it was as if a fairy breastfeeding godmother had come into my home. I still remember her saying, "in no time you'll have them both on a breast at the same time and it will be like, latch one...latch the problem"!  While it sounded as easy as seeing a unicorn, it actually happened a few weeks later. I was so happy I cried! I stuck with it and called Barbara frequently with many questions and for advice. She was so supportive and helpful, and I know I never would have gotten here without her.

I really feel like if I can do it, anyone can! Thank you a million times over, Pump Station.

My experience being able to breastfeed them is one of the best things I've done in my life. I look forward to our nursing times because I feel so connected to them and it makes me so happy that I'm able to nourish them both. 

All the best,

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Pump Station Marketing Photos Project

A few weeks ago, I was asked to help with The Pump Station’s marketing photos…. I immediate said YES!  The Pump Station is such wonderful resource for my daughter and I (and even for my husband!) that I knew I had to be involved with this project!  They are all about babies, children and families… and so am I!
We took photographs at two different locations…. A park in Santa Monica and a beach in Malibu.  It was so much fun photographing such beautiful families and their precious babies!
Thank you to all the families that participated for giving up a part of your weekend for us!  Here are a few photos from the photos shoots!
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See more of Jenny's beautiful work at!
For bookings please email

Thursday, October 10, 2013

If You Are Pregnant and Planning to Breastfeed, Researchers Would Like to Study Your Breast Milk

We need pregnant women who are planning to breastfeed ANYWHERE in the United States who have NOT been diagnosed with breast cancer to provide breast milk samples for a research study exploring the relationship between pregnancy, breastfeeding, and breast cancer risk.

Studies have shown giving birth before age 26 reduces a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Studies also have found that giving birth after age 35 increases breast cancer risk. By studying women of different ages who have given birth, a research team at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler hopes to be able to identify biomarkers—biological markers that can indicate whether or not you have a disease or are likely to develop one—in breast milk that are associated with breast cancer risk. 

Please read on to learn more about what’s involved and who can participate. If this study isn’t right for you, please pass it on to a woman who you know who is pregnant and planning to breastfeed! Please help the Army of Women and the research team find the women they need.

The purpose of the study is to analyze biomarkers found in breast milk from women who are breastfeeding. The research team wants to learn more about biomarkers that may be linked to breast cancer risk and the effect that breastfeeding has on these biomarkers.

The researchers need 200 women to participate in this study.

If you sign up for the study “Breast Cancer Risk Assessment in Nursing Mothers,” the research team will contact you to confirm that you are eligible. If you decide to participate in the study, you will be asked to do the following: 

o Sign and initial the consent form.

o Fill out a health history questionnaire and a study diary to reflect medications you take throughout the study.

o Provide breast milk samples three times during the study:
   • Shortly after you begin to breastfeed (within 10 days of full milk coming)
   • 2 months later
   • And when weaning your child from breast milk (defined as pumping/feeding a maximum of 2 times per day). 

The research team will mail the breast milk collection kits to you. The kits will include instructions on how to collect and mail your breast milk to the investigators. You will mail the samples to the research team at no cost to you.

Edward Sauter, MD, PhD, M.H.A, University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT)

Anywhere in the United States; all necessary participation is handled through FedEx.

You can join the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment in Nursing Mothers study if you match ALL of these MAIN categories:

o You are a pregnant woman who is planning to breastfeed

o You are willing to provide breast milk samples three times (if possible, one sample from each breast): 
   •Within 10 days of starting to nurse
   •2 months later
   •When you are weaning your child from the breast 

o You are NOT under active treatment for cancer 

o You do not have an active infection of the breast

After you RSVP, the research team will ask you additional questions to be sure that 
this study is a right fit for you.