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White Castle wedding: Kettering couple wins contest, gets married

Published: Monday, April 16, 2018 @ 3:22 PM


            Nicole Xique and Brian Breezley tied the knot in an very unconventional way on Friday, April 13, as they exchanged their weddings vows at a White Castle in Cincinnati after winning a radio station’s wedding contest. CONTRIBUTED
Nicole Xique and Brian Breezley tied the knot in an very unconventional way on Friday, April 13, as they exchanged their weddings vows at a White Castle in Cincinnati after winning a radio station’s wedding contest. CONTRIBUTED

A Kettering couple tied the knot in an unconventional way on Friday, April 13, as they exchanged their weddings vows at a White Castle in Cincinnati after winning a radio station’s wedding contest.

Nicole Xique, 34, and Brian Breezley, 40, of Kettering were the winners of Cincinnati’s 96ROCK’s White Castle wedding radio contest.

“The station 96.5 (96Rock) had a promotion running shortly after Valentine’s Day this year talking about a White Castle Wedding,” Xique said Monday afternoon. “To enter, you had to submit an entry and bio on why they should choose you as the couple deserving of a White Caste Wedding. We submitted an entry with zero expectations of winning.”

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She added, “We are the most unconventional couple, and a conventional wedding would not suffice. I have younger children, he has older children, and our relationship began as a friendship. Having our wedding at White Castle on Friday the 13th was the perfect way to show the conventional folks that unconventional folks have more fun.”

Xique said that the couple had been dating for about a year and it was the second marriage for both, so what better way to go down the aisle then at the place where you can “buy them by the sack.”

“When we told our families, they all laughed, but they also know the we are not the typical, ordinary couple,” she explained. “The most-asked question was ‘Do we get to throw onion petals at you?’ ”

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The newly-minted couple both enjoyed White Castle before the wedding and that prompted a very unique proposal.

“We did eat White Castle prior to winning. I work just down the street from the restaurant we got married at,” Xique said. “I love the onion petals and the cheeseburger sliders. My kids love the chicken rings, and Brian actually proposed with a White Castle chicken ring.”

According to White Castle, more than 75 couples have been married across the nation over the past 10 years at the its restaurants.

Xique went to Stebbins and Wright State. She graduated from Chase Law School in December and took the February bar exam. She is working as a law clerk at Nava Law LLC in Sharonville. Breezley works at Mitsubishi Electric in Mason and grew up in Blanchester.

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What is autism? Things to know about the disorder

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 @ 10:00 AM

New Autism Research Could Determine Which Children Are At Risk

Autism is a disorder that has been around since the 1940s, but still has an air of mystery around it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 1 in 59 children in the United States has autism.

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But with a list of different symptoms and causes, it can be hard to know what you should look for and how to tell if your child might be showing early signs. To help you, here's an overview of everything you need to understand about this disorder.

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What is autism?

Autism is also called autism spectrum disorder. It's defined as a range of strengths and challenges related to communication skills, social skills and behavior patterns. In kids, the symptoms will usually show up by 12 to 18 months of age.

In children, the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder will usually appear by 12 to 18 months of age.(ajc.com)

What are the symptoms of autism?

Autism symptoms can be different for everyone, so there are lots of ways to diagnose it. If you think your child might be on the autism spectrum, here are some signs you can look for:

1. Repetitive behavior or use of language

2. Delay in spoken language

3. Lack of interest in relationships with peers

4. Avoidance of spontaneous or make-believe play

5. Little or no eye contact

6. Fixation on specific topics or objects

7. Difficulty understanding other people's feelings

If you believe your child might have autism, it might be a good idea to talk to their doctor. They can usually refer you to a specialist who should be able to give you a better idea of what might be going on. In some cases, a child who shows symptoms of autism could actually have a different disorder with similar symptoms.

What causes autism?

Autism spectrum disorder can be caused by factors like genetics, environmental influences or even a combination of both. According to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, certain genetic mutations (or combinations of mutations) can:

1. Cause symptoms of autism,

2. Control how severe those symptoms are, or

3. Increase the chances that someone might develop autism once faced with certain factors from their environment.

Unless a person carries the risk of developing autism within their genes, experts at AutismSpeaks.org said that environmental factors probably won't put that child at risk of developing autism.

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Is there a cure for autism?

There is no known cure for autism, but there are a small number of people who have been diagnosed and then later moved off the spectrum. Sometimes children will show autism symptoms when they're young and they will grow out of it later. Other times, long-term treatment has helped people make progress. Each case can be completely different.

Treatment options for living with autism can be different based on a person's age and symptoms. In most cases, steady treatment, like therapy, can be helpful.

There are tons of resources out there to learn more about autism spectrum disorder. Autism Speaks has information about events and initiatives for anyone affected by the disorder (including the Global Autism Public Health Initiative). The CDC also offers plenty of statistics and resources through their website.

Locally, you can visit the Marcus Autism Center for pediatric autism treatment and additional resources.

Click here to read about the steps the Atlanta Braves are taking to make baseball games more accessible for fans with autism. 

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Grandma was right: Why it's good for your health to be outdoors

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 4:37 PM

It will feel like 100 degrees at times, said Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs

Sure, there are treadmills at climate-controlled gyms and Nintendo's Wii is still going strong with indoor workouts like Zumba Fitness 2.

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And yet, old-fashioned advice to "go outside and play" is still the best for your health, according to researchers the world over. In one study published by the NCBI, researchers found a decrease in both heart rate and cortisol levels when participants spent time in the forest instead of the city.

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"Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy," the researchers concluded.

The encouragement to "get outdoors" for health holds even in the face of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America's assertion that pollen seasons have gotten stronger and longer over the years. The workaround: the AAFA recommended limiting outdoor activities, but only on days when pollen is high for the trees or grasses you are allergic to.

Being outside delivers other health rewards, too, from sharp mental health benefits to improved memory and decreased inflammation. 

Here are four of the most significant health benefits from spending time outdoors, according to Business Insider:

Walking in the woods can improve your short-term memory. "Nature walks have memory-promoting effects that other walks don't," BI noted, citing a study where participants who walked among trees did 20 percent better on a memory test than those who had taken in city sights.

Outdoor experiences can fight depression and anxiety. Time in nature may combat depression, anxiety and other mental health issues, especially when combined with exercise.

One study associated walks in the forest with decreased levels of anxiety and bad moods while another found outdoor walks could be "useful clinically as a supplement to existing treatments" for major depressive disorder, BI reported.

Being outdoors has a demonstrated de-stressing effect. One study published by NCBI found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of the stress marker cortisol than those who spent that time in a city.

Spending time outside reduces inflammation. Inflammation in overdrive is associated with ills that include autoimmune disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, depression and cancer. "Spending time in nature may be one way to help keep that in check," BI noted, referencing a study where students who spent time in the forest had lower levels of inflammation than those who spent time in the city. 

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It’s in a book: 5 best ways to help your early reader

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 8:03 AM

Kids Read To Shelter Dogs In Weekly Program

As your child's first reading teacher, you're helping them learn a skill that will help them throughout school as well as in the workplace. 

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You'll be helping increase their vocabulary, stretch their imagination and learn about the world around them. And what better way to spend time with your child than snuggled up, sharing his or her favorite book and laughing over the same parts every time?

The following are tips on the best way to help your beginning reader, according to BabyCenterScholastic and PBS:

(For the AJC)

Repetition is helpful – and fun.

You may think, "Again?!" when your child thrusts his or her favorite book at you for what seems like the thousandth time. And you might wonder what he or she can be learning from having the same book read to them repeatedly. Repetition and familiarity are helpful, however, so don't hesitate to read the same book over and over. 

And there's a reason why Dr. Seuss books are still so popular and helpful to beginning readers – they utilize repetition, rhymes and patterns to tell a compelling story. Look for books that stress rhyming and patterns like the Seuss titles or "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" for books that make it easy and fun for your beginning reader.

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Read more than just books.

Books are great, of course, but opportunities for reading are almost everywhere. Encourage your beginning reader to look for and read familiar signs while you're out walking or in the car. Point out familiar words at places that you take your child, like the grocery store. Even the comics or a cereal box present an opportunity for your child to practice reading or point out familiar words.

wrote Legend(People Magazine)

Provide a comfortable place to read.

Give your child a comfortable place to read, with plenty of pillows and his or her own bookshelf with a variety of age-appropriate reading material that's always readily available. Also use an organizer on the back of the car seat to stash kid-friendly books and magazines so your child can reach for them on a car trip, even if it's just to the store or to pass the time at the doctor's office.

Practice print referencing.

Print referencing is an easy but important way to enforce early reading skills by helping children learn the basics that apply to every book. You can do this by pointing out print elements in the books you're reading. 

For example, point to the title as you read it and do the same for the author's name. Run your finger under the words as you read them. This helps your child learn that each book has a title and author and that reading is done from left to right before proceeding down to the next line and to the next page.

Provide a good example.

Like many parts of parenting, providing a good example for your beginning reader is important. Show him or her that you like to spend time reading, since it shouldn't feel like a chore but should instead be seen as an enjoyable pastime. Your child should see you reading a variety of materials, looking forward to the next book by your favorite author and getting books from the library and bookstores. This makes your child much more likely to model the same behavior as he or she grows as a reader.

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When should your baby begin eating real food?

Published: Monday, July 16, 2018 @ 7:56 AM

Studies Show That Parents Are Giving Babies Solid Food Too Soon

Just when those on-demand and pumping debates about breastfeeding are starting to fade, conscientious new parents have a whole new set of baby food considerations. When is the best time to start introducing "real" food to a young child's diet? 

Should it be rice, oatmeal or barley? Could Grandma possibly be right about this, or should we listen to what the doula recommended?

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Thankfully, as with so many parenting issues, there is more than one way to introduce new foods and have a happy and healthy baby. But there are solid guidelines from experts, all of them focused on healthy nutrition and development along with considering each child's needs and even personality. 

These tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics are geared to help you decide when your baby can begin eating solid food with a minimum clash of wills:

Form a plan for your child and no one else. According to AAP pediatrician David Hill, it's important that each child's readiness depends on his own rate of development, so it's really not that helpful to compare your infant to the kid down the street or even her own brother.

Ask the right questions. The drill does not include figuring out if you the parent are ready for this or if the rest of the babies in his age bracket are already gulping down oatmeal. Instead, Hill recommended focusing on these questions:

  • Is he big enough? 

    As a rule of thumb, when infants double their birth weight, ordinarily at about 4 months old, weighing around 13 pounds or more, they could be ready for solid foods.

  • Can she hold her head up? 

    Before attempting solid foods, your baby should be able to sit in a high chair, a feeding seat, or an infant seat and maintain good head control.

  • Does he open his mouth when food comes his way?  

    If babies are eyeing you while you eat, reaching for your food or seeming eager to eat the foods they see older folks eating, they could be ready for you to introduce real food.

  • Can she move the food from the spoon into her throat? 

    When you offer that spoonful of rice cereal only to have her push it from her mouth where it dribbles to her chin, this does not mean she doesn't like it. It's more likely she doesn't yet have the ability to move it to the back of her mouth so she can swallow it. Not to worry! That's a common, normal thing. Instead of forcing the issue, wait a week or two to try again or try diluting the cereal and making it thicker gradually.

A recent study by Healthy Babies Bright Futures suggests rice cereal contains alarming levels of arsenic.

Unless your pediatrician specifically advises you to, don't give the baby cereal from a bottle. Your baby could choke if you try the old-fashioned method of giving him his first cereal from a bottle, according to the AAP. That method of starting your baby on real food could also increase the amount of food your baby eats − and he may gain too much weight.

There are exceptions, though, such as when your pediatrician specifically prescribes cereal in a bottle for an infant with acid reflux. Just make sure to check with your child's doctor before assuming cereal from a bottle is okay.

Don't banish breast milk. For a solid start to lifetime health, the AAP recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months. Even as you add solid food to your baby's diet, breastfeeding should continue until they are 12 months old.

Don't fret over which food to try first. If you've been around a lot of other new parents or have lots of older relatives weighing in, this may sound incredible. But according to the AAP, it really does not matter what your baby's first solid food is. It is a tradition that single-grain cereals are first up. "However, there is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order has an advantage for your baby," Hill noted. "Although many pediatricians will recommend starting vegetables before fruits, there is no evidence that your baby will develop a dislike for vegetables if fruit is given first. Babies are born with a preference for sweets, and the order of introducing foods does not change this."

Unless your pediatrician specifically advises you to, don't give the baby cereal from a bottle. Your baby could choke if you try the old-fashioned method of giving him his first cereal from a bottle, according to the AAP. That method of starting your baby on real food could also increase the amount of food your baby eats in a way that could cause him to gain too much weight. There are exceptions, though, such as when your pediatrician specifically prescribes cereal in a bottle for an infant with reflux. But to avoid choking, make sure to check with your child's doctor before assuming cereal from a bottle is okay because your baby has a tendency to spit up.

Don't banish breast milk. For a solid start to lifetime health, the AAP recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months. Even as you add solid food to your baby's diet, breastfeeding should continue until they are 12 months old. It's fine to continue breastfeeding after 12 months, too, if both you and the baby are still interested, according to the AAP. Just check with your child's doctor about the recommendations for vitamin D and iron supplements during the first year.

Don't fret over which food to try first. If you've been around a lot of other new parents or have lots of older relatives weighing in, this may sound incredible. But according to the AAP, it really does not matter what your baby's first solid food is. It is a a tradition that single-grain cereals are first up. "However, there is no medical evidence that introducing solid foods in any particular order has an advantage for your baby," Hill noted. "Although many pediatricians will recommend starting vegetables before fruits, there is no evidence that your baby will develop a dislike for vegetables if fruit is given first. Babies are born with a preference for sweets, and the order of introducing foods does not change this."

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