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Navigating the thorny social scene of elementary and middle school can be a daunting task for any child – particularly one who feels unpopular.  As a parent, it’s hard to stand helplessly by and watch your child experience bullying or social alienation.
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Disclosure: Developed under the direction and sponsorship of Merck. With the start of school just around the corner, one ever-present item on Mom’s endless to-do list includes scheduling school and sports health physicals. For Moms of pre-teens and teens, this appointment can also become a real opportunity for their kids to learn more about important health-related issues that can affect them. With young children, we Moms knew previously that the responsibility of directing the flow of the annual appointment would fall on us – for example, we would arrive with a list of questions, give the health care professional a heads up that our youngest loathes getting ear exams, and take notes on the latest height and weight statistics. But as our kids grow up, we realize that this yearly appointment can be so much more. In particular, it is an opportunity for teens to become aware of the changing nature of health care issues as they mature. This can be challenging, as teens often feel invincible when it comes to their health and well-being.
Disclosure: Developed under the direction and sponsorship of Merck. As Moms, we spend more years than we care to remember traveling in a continuous loop from the doctor’s office to home and back again to the doctor’s office. Along the way, we find our kids combating illnesses ranging from strep throat to ear infections to multi-day fevers. In the midst of frequent visits to quell coughs or soothe sore throats, we also schedule yearly pediatric wellness checks. There, we touch base on emotional and behavioral issues, stay up-to-date on recommendations for keeping healthy, and ensure our kids’ growth and development stay on track. Then, gradually, it often winds down. Kids’ noses cease to run continuously and they don’t always pick up every virus running through the elementary school. When our kids do get sick, it’s not often the down-for-the-count illnesses that characterize young childhood.
Finding the perfect balance of sun protection, moisture, and a hint of color in a skin care product never proves easy. Revision Skincare’s new Intellishade SPF 45 anti-aging tinted moisturizer conceals, corrects, and protects while also leaving you with a healthy glow. This product’s Intellishade smart tint technology promises a perfect match for every skin tone, every time. In addition to matching and evening out your skin tone, clinical levels of several ingredients (Palmitoyl Tripeptide-5 and ACS-456) in the moisturizer help activate collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. This Intellishade moisturizer features an SPF 45 with UVA and UVB broad-spectrum coverage, which works with an immune protection factor to create the highest sun defense for your skin. One lucky Mom Central reader will win an Intellishade SPF 45 tinted moisturizer from Revision Skincare to add to her arsenal of skin care products.
If your family loves Dr. Seuss books, you don’t want to miss this event. Target stores will help celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss by hosting free in-store readings in partnership with the National Education Association’s (NEA’s) Read Across America program. The events will take place in all Target stores nationwide on Saturday February 25th from 9-11am.   These events give your family a chance to enjoy classic Dr. Seuss books together and kids will receive reading activities, crayons, and snacks in a reusable Target bag. There will also be readings by Target team members and a nook inspired by Dr. Seuss’ book The Lorax.  Read Across America and Target want to allow every child in every community to take part in reading and celebrating Dr. Seuss books. To find the store nearest you, visit Target’s store locator.
Typically, I stride into yoga class looking horribly under-dressed. Most participants get decked out in matching yoga pants and tops and look fantastic to participate in this popular class at the gym. I’m lucky if I show up wearing matching socks. I consider myself a runner who likes to do yoga, so I own a large supply of running tights and sports bras, but am sorely lacking in the yoga wear department. I usually wear running attire with a baggy t-shirt on top to yoga class. I am not the typical, taut yoga enthusiast like many who regularly attend these sessions.  
Once in a while, we learn of a great cause that we feel inspired to share with our Mom Central readers. Founded by a Mom in 1988, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation strives to prevent the spread of pediatric HIV infection and ultimately eliminate it through research, advocacy, and treatment programs. This organization has already accomplished a great deal for kids’ health and continues to move forward in their noble mission. They've just launched a new project called A Mother’s Fight, and are asking people to join the fight by signing up on the web site. Foundation Origin
Killington Mountain offers the perfect spot for every family to enjoy some fun and adventure in the outdoors. Read more about Killington resort and enter to win a family four-pack of lift tickets!
Every year, the kids bring valentines to school to trade with the class. When they get home, I love seeing all the different cards from other classmates. You can find some cute store-bought cards, but nothing beats a handmade valentine.  With so many crafty ideas for Valentine’s Day cards out there– it becomes almost impossible to choose. I like homemade ones that the kids can do most of the creative work so they have a personal feel. Most importantly, the cards must be made from items we have around the house- saving me time, money, and energy.  Instead of shopping around for the cards or supplies, I can spend time at home with the kids making homemade ones.  Of course I also only pick cards that the kids like and that will keep their attention long enough to make 20 of them! This year I have an adorable valentine in mind for the class swaps. I came across this great crafting idea from My Paper Crane – take a look at the steps below.  
Still searching for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift? ProFlowers features everything you could need on their website: flower arrangements, vases, teddy bears, chocolates, spa lotions, jewelry, and more. Guys- no need to shop anywhere else.  An order from ProFlowers will arrive jut in time for February 14th to provide the romantic gesture you desire. Choose from hundreds of elegant gift combinations featuring sweet treats and beautiful bouquets.  With prices as low as $20, you can shop for your loved one on any budget.  Additionally, ProFlowers currently offers 20% off your order when you visit their “Valentine’s Deals” page.
Get ready for Valentine’s Day with this cute heart-shaped waffle maker. The pink, lightweight device from Babycakes will be a welcome addition to your kitchen all year round.   Make breakfast fun and exciting for the whole family when you serve golden brown heart-shaped waffles in minutes.  The waffle maker also includes wooden sticks for easy serving, a plastic measuring cup, metal shaker for powdered sugar, and a collection of delicious recipes.  Gather the family for a Valentine’s Day breakfast and make any type of waffle in this unique maker. One lucky Mom Central reader will win a Heart-Shaped Waffle Maker from Babycakes. This giveaway is now closed. Congrats to our winner, Jackie G.! Disclosure: Mom Central received a BabyCakes Waffle Maker to facilitate this giveaway.
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the search heats up for a memorable gift for your special someone. Let the new Samsung Focus Flash Windows Phone put an end to your shopping woes by providing a last minute gift that anyone would love. Win an upgrade for you and your significant other with this prize of two free Windows phones, a data plan, and SkinIt covers. The Samsung Focus Flash includes a number of features that will help make your Valentine’s Day (and everyday) seamlessly smooth: