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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Whoa Momma blog is leaving the nest

flamingomom.jpgGrowth and change are a big part of parenting, and it turns out it’s part of being a parenting blogger, too. Our mother ship, tampabay.com, is about to undergo a complete redesign and “reimagining.” It’s going to be a gorgeous looking website, but one of the changes will be that the Whoa, Momma! blog will not move forward with it.

We’ll still do popular features like Free and Cheap things to do with your kids this week, and you can find parenting features and things to do with kids quite easily at tampabay.com/things-to-do.

But like all growth and change, you can’t end something like this without a little nostalgia. For five years we’ve had hot debates over the Octomom, buying kids cell phones and teaching toddlers store manners (vs. using a leash).

We’ve had tips on discipline, your kid’s first Facebook page , how I stopped by toddler from biting in one week, and the most popular of all tips, things to do with the kids.

Along the way, our bloggers have also confessed our sins. I admitted being haunted by the fear that I might have left my baby in a hot car if he hadn't made some noise one day, Amy Hollyfield let us know what it's like when your 3 year old drops the F-bomb, and Kelly Smith wondered how she would look the teacher in the eye after spilling a glass of red wine on the homework. We've all been there, haven't we Mommas?

This has been a fun way to interact with readers and other parents. I hope that doesn’t end, but merely moves to the comments section on our online stories. You know I’m always up for a good debate.

— Sharon Kennedy Wynne 
 

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Great gifts and charity for just $5

horton.jpgI have long been a fan of the Kohl's Cares program, were $5 plush toys and hardback books go toward children's health and educational programs. But I just about swooned when I found the latest batch of goodies and that make great baby shower or birthday presents. 

Now they are bringing Dr. Seuss to the spotlight with playful and affordable books and plush toys. You can get hardcover editions of classic The Cat in The Hat, Horton Hears a Who!, Sleep Book, ABC’s and Happy Birthday to You! for only $5 each and also get coordinating plush toys, also just $5 each. I just adore the plush blue Horton elephant, left. 

Since the program’s inception in 2000, the Kohl’s Cares philanthropic program has raised more than $208 million for children’s health and education programs in local communities across the country.

--Sharon Kennedy Wynne

Follow us on Twitter@WhoaMomma

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Whooping cough makes a comeback -- and I got it

whooping.jpgWhen I read this story in Saturday's paper about how whooping cough had had its biggest year since 1955 a light went on in my head. So THAT'S why me, my teenaged son and husband had been coughing and hacking for the last three weeks.

Whooping cough ebbs and flows in multiyear cycles, and experts say there were at least 41,880 cases in 2012. The final tally is expected to be higher but is unlikely to surpass the nearly 63,000 illnesses in 1955, said Dr. Tom Clark of the CDC. Despite the high number of illnesses, deaths didn't increase. Eighteen people died, including 15 infants younger than 1.

But why would my fully vaccinated 14 year old have come home with it? Turns out the vaccine given to infants was revised in the '90s and the side effects were improved but the vaccine doesn't last as long. "This may explain why there are more whooping cough cases in older children," a public health notice from Washington state's health departnment notes about that state's recent outbreak. "Teens who are 13-14 years old today are the first group of kids to get only the newer DTaP vaccine as babies; they didn’t get any doses of the old vaccine." …

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