An Army Staff Sergeant Turned Businessman

Kyle Evans planned on a long career in the military, until a few sticks of dynamite put an end to that dream. The explosives, Evans remembered, “blew up directly under my feet” as he traveled by Humvee through Mosul, Iraq, in 2007.

The Army staff sergeant survived but sustained a traumatic brain injury that put an abrupt end to his deployment. He left Iraq and in 2010 retired from the military. Evans, a Virginia native, returned to civilian life with a purple heart medal—and grim career prospects. He took a low-paying job in Orlando working for the Department of Veterans Affairs, but he knew he wanted more. It was time for a new dream, one that meant going to college.

Read more at Yahoo.com.

Who’s Going Back to School?

Tara Berberich readily admits that she doesn’t handle technology as well as many of her college classmates. She gratefully accepts their help for assignments that, say, involve a PowerPoint presentation. But Berberich brings her own strengths to the table, too.

“With age comes wisdom, so I know a lot of things they didn’t know from way back,” she said. “I could draw on my experience from stories that I knew from before they were born.”

Berberich, 53, is part of a growing population—college students who are older, in some cases significantly older, than the 18-to-24-year-old cohort typically associated with campus life.

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Résumé Tips for Stay-at-Home Parents Returning to Work

For parents, especially mothers, it’s not uncommon to drop out of the labor force while caring for young children, only to return once the kids are older. Data released by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2014 shows that mothers with older children (age 6 and up) are more likely to be in the workforce than those with infants and preschoolers.

But securing a new job after a prolonged period at home can be challenging, especially if you haven’t updated your résumé in years. Fortunately, there are options for stay-at-home parents seeking to impress employers with skills honed both at old jobs and, more recently, outside the workplace.

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The Next Best Thing to a Mother’s Beating Heart?

It is one of the most iconic images of motherhood: A new mother, still recovering from labor but beaming as she holds a newborn in her arms. But the mothers of fragile preemies too often miss this amazing moment.

“All those dreams I had for bonding with my new baby are now nightmares because I couldn’t even hold my baby for the first few days,” wrote preemie mom Jennifer Sweetman on the site preemiebabies101.com.

The makers of a new device hope that parents like Sweetman will someday rest assured that even when pre-term infants are separated from their mothers for days or weeks at a time, they can still feel the sensation of being near their mothers and reap health benefits as a result.

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Thank You, “Parentese,” for Growing Baby’s Vocab

Do you speak “parentese” with your baby? If not, you might want to start. A new study has found that infants and young toddlers exposed to more “parentese” through one-on-one interactions with their caregivers had much larger vocabularies by age 2 than their peers.

The findings “are consistent with the idea that infants’ early speech and later word production may be related to the social context and the style of speech directed toward the child,” researchers from the University of Connecticut and the University of Washington wrote in an article to be published in the journal Developmental Science.

So what exactly is “parentese”? Think baby talk, but less “googoo, gaga” and more “shooooes” and “diiiaper.”

Read more at Yahoo.

High-Chair Injuries: Why Are Children Getting Hurt?

Lainie Gutterman is changing her ways. Sometimes, the New York mom of two admitted, she didn’t always fully strap her children into their high chairs.

Not anymore.

“I will no longer be lax,” said Gutterman, who blogs at Me, Myself and Baby I, noting that she was “glad we haven’t had a casualty yet in (the) past four years.”

Gutterman’s about-face comes in response to a new study reporting that more than 9,400 children are treated each year for high chair-related injuries.

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Why Do Dead Plants Make Babies Smile?

There’s a dead, leafless plant in the corner of my living room. I haven’t discarded it yet because its pot is heavy and hard to move. Besides, I have better things to do, like pose my baby next to said pot and snap photos, like the one you see here.

I never really gave much thought to the fact that my son is smiling in this photo. He’s generally a happy guy and, being a baby, I figured he probably didn’t realize that a dead house plant shouldn’t necessarily warrant a grin.

But the results of a recent study gave me pause–maybe, just maybe, he was smiling out of relief. Maybe he was actually happy that the plant has met its maker… because he KNOWS that plants can’t be trusted!

Yale University psychologists Annie Wertz and Karen Wynn have found that infants take an average of five seconds longer to touch plants than other objects put before them, according to a study published in the January 2014 issue of the journal Cognition.

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Will Getting Your Kids Outside Save Their Eyesight?

When her two elementary school-age boys were toddlers, New Jersey mom Ilana Friedman followed long-held conventional wisdom on children and outdoor time: the former should get lots of the latter.

“We always went for walks and went to the park–things like that,” she told BabyZone.

But with her youngest son, now 3, Friedman has even more reason to make sure he gets out of the house and into the sunlight.

“I don’t think many of us have been as aware as we have been in the last year or two about the increasing evidence showing that outdoor light is beneficial for children and visual development,” she said.

Friedman is a pediatric ophthalmologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York.

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Why Aren’t Baby Girls Given Their Mothers’ Names?

My mother-in-law’s name is Edith. Her mother’s name, not coincidentally, was also Edith.

“She liked her name,” Edith said of her late mother, a tall woman often called “Big Edith” in contrast to her daughter, “Little Edith.” (No relation to the Big and Little Edies of “Grey Gardens” fame.) “She wasn’t quite sure what to call me, so she named me after herself.”

A new study has confirmed what I’ve long suspected: When it comes to women being named after their mothers, my MIL doesn’t have much company.

Read more at Yahoo.