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Hello from Mumsnet HQ...
...Where we're all on tenterhooks for the next instalment of the Sarah Palin saga - see what happens when you name your kids Track and Trig? If only she'd run them past Mumsnetters first.
Now we know many of you would rather chew off your own arm than invite your MIL on MN, but for those with slightly less to hide why not get them to try out Gransnet? It's so much more than knitting and crosswords.
On Monday 8 September we're welcoming dentist Anthony Zybutz to the Mumsnet table for coffee and cake to talk all things dental hygiene. So if you'd like to know how to stop the rot in your own mouth or take the best care of your LO's pearly whites, then put it in your diary and pull up a chair. And if you know you can't make it, then post a question in advance.
Finally, on this week's competitions page we're giving the gift of education and, more prosaically, some Barbie and Diamond Castle goodies.
And now for this week's parenting news ...
New fever advice: Ibuprofen is better at alleviating childhood fever than paracetamol and should be the drug of first choice, according to new research from Bristol involving 156 children aged between six months and six years. The results found ibuprofen reduced temperature faster than paracetamol. The study, reported in the British Medical Journal, says alternating the two drugs could help and some GPs already recommend this. But many experts advise against it, due to fears that children could accidentally be given an overdose (BBC Online 03.09.08).
New fertility advice: Fertility clinics are being urged to transfer only single embryos to the womb during IVF procedures where there's a good chance of successful pregnancy, under new guidelines issued this week. The guidelines are an attempt to reduce the number of women who have multiple pregnancies after IVF - Britain has one of the highest rates of multiple pregnancy in Europe, and doctors warn these put women and their babies at greater risk (Guardian 03.09.08).
To celebrate becoming our newest discount partner, my-wardrobe.com is offering one Mumsnetter the chance to win a £1,000 luxury shopping spree. And all Mumsnet members get a 10% discount on luxury clothing, shoes and accessories from leading designers, such as Betty Jackson, Mulberry, French Sole and Anya Hindmarch.
Other stories in brief
Children starting secondary schools in England this week are the first legally required to stay in education until they're 17 (BBC Online 03.09.08); there's widespread confusion among mums-to-be about pregnancy health, largely compounded by conflicting information, a survey reveals (BBC Online 02.09.08); mothers who give birth naturally show a greater surge in brain activity when they hear their baby cry than women who have caesarean sections, scientists say (Guardian 04.09.08); children are becoming dependent on energy drinks that have dramatic effects on their concentration and behaviour at school, drug experts have warned (Guardian 03.09.08); the cost of putting a child through state school is now almost £16,000, according to a study, with transport, lunches and uniform the main costs (Daily Mail 01.09.08).
Quote of the week
Boco on her DP's inappropriate gift:
"DD's umbilical cord is preserved for all time. It was pickled by the person in charge of the elephant man's bones. DP did it for a, well, I say present but really, I would have been happier with some bath salts or a nice candle."
Looking for a weekend day out to stave off start-of-term blues? How about:
Eve magazine has 2,000 FREE sample copies to give away to Mumsnetters. To claim your free copy, simply call 0844 848 7375 now, quoting MUM08. Calls are charged at local rate. Please don't forget to read the terms and conditions before you call.
Blog of the week: A trip to the park
Abbieslife tiptoes gingerly through the minefield that is playground politics: "I have studied the law of motherhood, and I know that Thou Shalt Not Imply Criticism of Someone's Parenting Skills. A single word from me ('why?') and there could have been mayhem. And this woman was not alone...she was with her antenatal group. I could take down one, maybe two, but not a whole pack of them."
Want to record your own pre/post-baby musings? Start your own Mumsnet blog.
Carmenere's recipe of the week: Heymammy's cheese and sweetcorn pancakes
Sweetcorn generally gets a bad rap, mainly owing to its habit of lurking in soggy, petrol station sarnies. But the fresh stuff is quite a different matter and, of course, in season, which means it's cheap and tasty. Heymammy's recipe for cheese and sweetcorn pancakes is perfect after-school fodder.
That's your lot this week. We're off to start shopping for the perfect winter coat.