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Reid Scott Is Going to Be a Dad
Reid Scott & Elspeth Keller

Reid Scott & Elspeth Keller

The Scott household is about to get a little bit bigger! Veep actor Reid Scott and his wife Elspeth Keller recently announced that they are expecting their first. Scott shared details of their happy news with People, saying, “We’re having a little boy — I’m just psyched. I have the hottest wife on the carpet.” Scott and Keller, who are expecting their baby to arrive in April, were married last June.


Keep an eye on baby day or night

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 4.12.49 PM

Infant Optics’ Video Baby Monitor with night vision is a compact, wireless, durable system that let’s you keep an eye on your baby wherever you are at home.

To set up the system, just plug the adaptor into the camera and monitor, then turn them on.

The monitor has a range of up to 800 feet in open areas, and 150 feet through walls and ceilings. The night-vision V mode turns on automatically, and offers a clear digital black-and-white picture of baby. (Day vision is in color.)

A voice-activation standby mode saves power by shutting down if there’s no noise for three minutes. There’s also a white-noise mode that filters out extraneous sound. You can buy additional cameras for the system too; the monitor will work with up to four cameras at once.

The system can be purchased here.


Rachael Leigh Cook Is Expecting Again
Rachael Leigh Cook & Daniel Gillies

Rachael Leigh Cook & Daniel Gillies

It’s about to be double the fun in the Cook-Gillies household! Rachael Leigh Cook has announced that she and husband Daniel Gillies, of The Originals and Saving Hope, are expecting their second baby. A rep for the Perception actress released a statement in which the couple shared, “We’re as happy as we were surprised by this wonderful news! We haven’t slept since 2013 and welcome advice from all parents who survived Two Under Two.” The couple are also parents to 15-month-old daughter Charlotte Easton.

 


Killer Apps for Kids: Part 2

We asked educator and BabyNames partner Kate Glinsmann for her favorite apps for children. This is Part 2 of her report:

The following apps are ones that I use with my English Language Learners who are in grades pre-kindergarten through 2nd grade. I think all kids at this age would benefit from and enjoy these apps. I try to make sure they all are academic in nature, although some might not seem like it at first. The kids really love using the iPads and look forward to Fridays, which is when I bring them out.

Flow Free by Big Duck Games. FREE! I love this puzzle game where you have to connect the colors to each other. It starts out very basic, which is great for the younger kids, and the puzzles get progressively harder. There are different sized grids starting with a 5×5 block grid and up to a 9×9 block grid. A great app for everyone, whether a child or a senior. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/flow-free/id526641427?mt=8

Letter School by Sanoma Media, $4.99. This app is the best one I’ve found so far for teaching young children how to make letters. I love how versatile it is, allowing you to set the alphabet for Zaner-Bloser, D’Nealian or Handwriting Without Tears style. Kids can work on upper case, lower case or numerals 1-10. For each letter or numeral the child starts by tapping the button where each stroke originates, in order. The second part has the child trace the path of the strokes and the third part has the child produce the letter/numeral independently. If s/he has trouble then arrows or lines appear to help. I feel that this app is well worth the cost. http://www.letterschool.com

Kids Learning Photo Touch Concepts by Innovative Investments Limited, $.99. This is a great app for young children (2-4 years old) or English Language Learners. It emphasizes basic vocabulary and concepts like positions, colors, shapes, quantities, and other basic concepts. Adults are able to choose which concepts the child can work on so it is easily adapted to each child’s needs. There is even a setting for displaying hints. I like that this app uses photographs instead of drawings, and this makes it engaging to even the youngest child. Even though I set the age to start at 2 years old, a younger child could even benefit from this app with adult help. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/kids-learning-photo-touch/id423247346?mt=8


All about Nene

Hi,

Just wondering if you would know where the name Nene comes from. Pronounced like “knee knee.”

Jess N.

Hi Jess,TV Guide Magazine's 2012 Hot List Party - Arrivals

The name Nene can be traced back to many cultures: Aztec (Nahuatl), African and even Japanese. Most likely it is a variation of the male name John, meaning “God is Gracious.” It could also be a nickname for someone whose name begins or ends in ne or nee, like Renee.  In the case of celeb Nene Leakes, her real name is Linnethia.

Sincerely,
Jennifer


Pronouncing Maille

Hi Jennifer!

First off, let me just say I love looking at your website. I’ve been coming to your website since I was young just to look at names for fun and I love all the advice you give!

I’ve always wondered how to pronounce the name ‘Maille.’ I’ve looked up how to pronounce it and some sites it says it’s pronounced like ‘Molly’ or ‘Mehl-leh’ or ‘May-lee’ or ‘My-lee.’ Is there any certain way you would pronounce this name?

Thank you!
Georgie

mailleDear Georgie,

As you may know there are many ways to pronounce names, depending on your heritage and region. According to our International Names Expert (who has a specialty in Celtic names) traditionally Maille is pronounced MY-lyeh in Ireland. In the U.S. it’s probably more like MY-lee.

Hope that helps!

Sincerely,
Jennifer


Book Review: Telephone

telephoneTelephone

by Mac Barnett

One of my favorite games to play as a child was the “pass it on” game of Telephone.  You whisper a simple statement to the person sitting next to you, they whisper what they heard to the person sitting next to them, and so on.  The thing you whispered inevitably evolves into something more colorful, often on purpose.  By the time the person at the end of the line blurts out what they heard, which should be what you said, it’s some crazy, messed up version… and instant childhood hilarity.  I remember sitting with anticipation and giggling, just waiting to hear the difference between what I passed on and the end result.  So it was with great nostalgia that I picked up Mac Barnett’s Telephone.

The story is simple.  A bird asks another bird to pass along a message to her son.  As the birds pass the message on to other birds, it gets predictably mangled.  The amazing watercolor illustrations by Jen Corace are truly essential to the story.  There is a real cleverness here that is easy to miss if you aren’t paying attention.  The birds are all sitting on a telephone wire as they unintentionally play a game of Telephone.  Each bird’s very obvious personality and apparel tweak what they hear.  For instance, the initial mistake starts with Peter’s mama bird saying, “Tell Peter: Fly home for dinner,” to a little red cardinal holding a baseball bat, who hears and passes along, “Tell Peter: Hit pop flies and homers.”  There is a suspicious toucan, a nervous turkey, a tidy ostrich, and more.  When the message gets to a big, random, crazy yellow bird wearing a John McEnroe-style sweatband, it goes truly haywire and will have kids laughing.   Each page features one interaction, so each turn of the page brings anticipation and humor, and it mimics the real life Telephone experience.

There is a bit of a surprise ending, and the story goes full circle thanks to a wise, wise owl.  Maybe, just maybe, Peter will indeed get the message that he needs to fly home for dinner.

Telephone is a real charmer, and it offers grownups the chance to introduce an old-fashioned and simple game to kids.  My favorite thing about reading to my children is that it gives me an opportunity to relate to them and share my experiences and my loves, and this book is a prime example of just that.   Yes, it will take some explanation for kids who are unfamiliar with the game of Telephone, but it’s a sweet and silly way to make a fun connection with your kids and teach them something new.


Claire Coffee Is Expecting a Son
Claire Coffee

Claire Coffee

It’s certainly not Grimm tidings for Claire Coffee! The actress recently confirmed to People not only that she and her husband Chris Thile are expecting their first, but that baby-to-be (due in May) is a boy! Of course, baby news isn’t the only news coming out of the Coffee-Thile home these days. Thile’s group Punch Brothers is coming out with their latest album (The Phosphorescent Blues) later this month. Plenty to celebrate all the way around!


Terri Seymour Is Expecting a Girl
Terri Seymour

Terri Seymour

She may spend plenty of time on the red carpet through her work as an Extra correspondent, but Terri Seymour is thinking pink for home! Seymour and her boyfriend Clark Mallon are expecting a girl! Seymour confirmed the happy news to People, saying, “I have always said I would be happy with a boy or girl, as long as the baby is healthy. But deep down inside I think I’ve always wanted a baby girl.” Seymour doesn’t have long now to see her wish come true: baby girl is expected to arrive next month.


Ali Larter Has a Daughter
Ali Larter

Ali Larter

Ali Larter is cooking up all things pink! The Legends actress and her husband Hayes MacArthur have welcomed their second baby: daughter Vivienne Margaret arrived on January 15th. Larter announced the happy news via her website, sharing, “It’s a girl! We couldn’t be more excited to share news of the arrival of Vivienne Margaret MacArthur on Thursday January 15th 2015. She came bearing gifts for her big brother: Batman sheets and lots of Gummy Bears!!! 7.5 lbs of love.” Big brother Theodore (4) will no doubt appreciate his new sister’s thoughtfulness!

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