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Archive for October, 2007

Momspit and crystal-bedecked pacifiers

Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

momspit.jpg When Savannah blogger and elementary school principal Charles Wooten alerted SouthernMamas to a product called Momspit, my first thought was the no-rinse, waterless, face-and-hands cleanser was a joke.

Sort of a way to make fun of the plethora of ridiculous, unnecessary products marketed to moms.

Which was the same reaction I had when I read about aristabrat.jpgAristabrat’s crystal-encrusted pacifiers, embellished with up to 1,000 Swaroviski crystals. Prices range from a $120-$250. Matching pacifier clips, rattles and nail clippers are also available – of course.

But it looks like both of the products are real. Momspit is billed as being inspired by the original. It costs $9 for two ounces. Of course, the original is free. But, unlike old-fashioned saliva, the product is supposed to “mousse brillantly” and be the perfect solution to milk moustaches, which, as we all know, clash terribly with baby’s binkie princess-cut stones.

Doctors miss the signs of autism

Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

autism-speaks-2.gifJust in case you missed the latest news about autism: The American Academy of Pediatrics is making a push to have every child screened for autism twice by age 2. The academy’s new report gives explicit instructions for the warning signs of autism at various ages.

Experts say too often pediatricians dismiss the signs and parents’ concerns by saying: ‘Don’t worry,’ or ‘You’re imagining things’ or ‘Let’s wait.’ ” If you suspect a problem, watch for signs, including not making eye contact, not recognizing a parent’s voice, not babbling by age 9 months and not using pre-speech gestures such as waving, pointing and showing.

Curb your eye-rolling at food allergies

Monday, October 29th, 2007

food-allergy-2.jpgThere’s so much news about children’s health issues, we’re scrambling to keep up.

Here’s one we have to let you know about now, just in time for trick-or-treating. If you’re tempted to roll your eyes at the next mom who starts a neighborhood-wide Snickers ban by asking parents to not give her child candy with peanuts, you might want to curb your cynicism. (That would be our first reaction here at SouthernMamas, too) But this interesting column in USA Today explains why that isn’t a good idea.

Full disclosure: the grandmother and mom quoted are good friends with my mom and sister. While their taste in friends is debatable, their point is a good one: some food allergies can kill, hence the hyper-vigilance on part of parents.

The cover story of the current issue of Newsweek also focuses on the rise of food allergies. One of the more curious theories for the increase that the article cites: the “hygiene hypothesis.” We’re too clean. Medical progress – antibiotics and vaccines – have eliminated some of the foreign invaders our immune system was designed to battle. There’s even distributing research suggesting that kids born by C-section, which have risen 40 percent in the last decade, could be at higher risk for allergies. Their bodies are never exposed to the healthy bacteria in their mothers’ birth canals.

My first instinct is to ditch the Clorox and go on a house-cleaning fast. If only it were that simple.

Welcome new sponsor: Brighter Day

Monday, October 29th, 2007

organic-baby.jpgWe here at SouthernMamas.com are honored to announce our newest advertiser: Brighter Day Natural Foods Market.

For nearly three decades, Brighter Day has been the place to go for parents who want to feed their children nutritious, organic food. The store, deli and juice bar at 1102 Bull, St. just south of Forsyth Park stocks everything from Organic Baby food to flushable, earth-friendly brighter-day-third-try.bmpgDiapers.

This Sunday, Nov. 4, the full-scale natural foods market will celebrate its 29th birthday with a tasting fair from 1-3 pm. Bring the kids so they can meet live veggie and animal characters and sample healthy foods. There will also be a children’s activity area. Visit the Brighter Day Website by clicking here.

Get your child’s car seat checked

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

hand_ink_sl.jpgIf you think it’s silly to have an expert check to see if you’ve installed your child’s car seat correctly, just read my column in today’s Savannah Morning News about one mother’s sad loss.

Take advantage of free car-seat safety checks available locally.

  • SafeKids Savannah will have a free child-safety seat check-up from 2 to 5 p.m. Nov. 9 at Savannah Mall parking lot behind Burlington Coat Factory. No appointment necessary. Experts will also do free lead checks of your children’s toys.
  • SafeKids Savannah also provides free child-safety seat checks from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fridays at the Oglethorpe Office Park, Mall Boulevard, Building 420, Environmental Health. Call 353-3148 for an appointment.
  • Hilton Head/Bluffton SafeKids and Hilton Head Fire & Safety Rescue have free car-seat safety checks from 1 to 3 p.m. Fridays at 40 Summit Drive. Call 843-682-5145 for an appointment.

Grooving with Father Goose

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

father-goose.jpgIf your knowledge of kids music is limited to The Wiggles and Raffi, you might want to start periodically checking Zooglobble, an entire blog dedicated to reviews, interviews and news about music made for kids and their families.

Before finding Zooglobble, I thought I was hip playing Kindermusik CDs for our son. Now I see there are so many children’s musicians, ones I never heard of as a first-time mom. Such as a new album reviewed on Zooglobble: “It’s A Bam Bam Diddly!, the first CD by Rankin’ Don, also known as Father Goose on Dan Zanes’ Festival Five Records. Dan Zanes is another beloved children’s musician this a-whole-lot-to-learn SouthernMamas has to catch up on.

Bam Bam Diddly is billed as spunky mix of Caribbean and dancehall flavors and best for kids 4-9. According to Zooglobble: “Father Goose adds humorous counterpoint to the Dan Zanes / Sheryl Crow duet on “Flying Machine” and has spoken-word interludes on Zanes’ rendition of Harry Belafonte’s moving “Island in the Sun.”

Belafonte and Crow, finally some musicians I know.

S is for Saturday Night Live

Saturday, October 27th, 2007

steve-martin.jpgWild & Crazy Steve Martin has joined the ranks of celeb-children’s book authors. His new book The Alphabet From A to Y, With Bonus Letter Z is a collaboration with New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast. An example of The Jerk’s rhymes: H: “Henrietta the hare wore a habit in heaven/Her hairdo hid hunchbacks: one hundred and seven.”

Julianne Moore is also out with a new children’s book that sounds semi-autobiographical: julianne-moore-book.jpgFreckleface Strawberry is about a little girl who’s like everyone else except for her red hair and freckles.

You could devote an entire shelf to celeb-children book authors. Here are some others. Click on the names to read more about their books.

Madonna, Billy Crystal, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jerry Seinfeld, John Lithgow, Katie Couric and Joni Mitchell.

Your kid’s weekend guide

Friday, October 26th, 2007

peter-rabbit.jpgSo much to do, so little time.

Friday, Saturday

Oatland Island Wildlife Center hosts a Halloween Hike for children. Treat bags will be provided. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 4-9 pm Oct 26-27. Adults: $3; Children: $5. Children are encouraged to wear costumes. (912) 898-3980

Peter Rabbit visits storytime at Barnes & Noble, Oglethorpe Mall, 11 am Sat. Oct. 27. Call ahead to confirm (912) 353-7757. Free

bluffton-seafood.jpgArts and Seafood Festival, Historic Bluffton. Events Sat. Oct. 27 include 5K run, fishing tournament, street fest, live music, fireworks. Events Sun. Oct. 28 include a boat parade on the May River, blessing of the fleet, gospel music and picnic on the bluff.

Georgia Southern Planetarium with free shows 7 and 8 pm Fri. Oct. 26. Star shows and telescopic observing outdoors follow each presentation. Free star and moon maps will be given to all visitors. Planetarium is in the math/physics building across Herty Drive from Hanner Fieldhouse on Georgia Southern University. Call (912) 681-5292

Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island has special Haunting Hayrides planned for 7-9 p.m. Oct. 26-27 through the forest preserve. The early ride is 7-7:45 p.m. and the later ride from 8-8:45 p.m. Reservations are required. It’s open to the public: $16 per adult and $13 per child 12 and younger. All children 2 and younger are admitted free. Call 843-842-1979.

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Center for Wildlife Education at Georgia Southern, Statesboro, 3-11 p.m. Sat. Oct. 27 after the Georgia Southern vs. Citadel homecoming game. Family-style fun including exotic wildlife presentations, trick-or-treating, magic shows and fireworks. Free. 912-681-0831.

Bamboo Farm & Coastal Gardens, Annual Fall Festival 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat. Oct. 27, 2 Canebrake Road and U.S. 17 South,
Educational presentations, live native reptiles, puppets, hayrides, petting zoo, pumpkin painting, sea animal touch tank, roast pork lunch and cane grinding. Call 921-5460.

Sunday

Elijah, an oratorio by Felix Mendelssohn, by the Savannah Choral Society, Sun. 4:30 Oct. 28, Cathedral of St. John the Baptist $30 adults, $15 students and children.

Shalom Y’all-Jewish Food Festival, 11 am Sun. Oct. 28 Congregation of Mickve Israel’s 19th annual food festival. Forsyth Park. Delicious food from around the world. Your child’s chance to try latkes, cholent, brisket and more.

Getaway

Boo at the Zoo at the Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia S.C. Oct 26-30, 6-9 pm (ages 3 and older). So far this month, this event has attracted such record crowds, the zoo had to order 200,000 additional pieces of candy for the remaining five days. Costumed children 12 and younger are invited to the spook-fest. Print at-home eTickets by clicking here. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate. $7 for general public; $5 for Riverbanks members.

Battle of Sneaky, Deceptive Cooks

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

dd-2.jpg
sneaky-chef.jpg
Two cookbooks came out this year telling parents how to slip nutritional veggie and fruit purees into their kids’ beloved starches and desserts without the picky eaters’ knowledge. Now the author of the first one, Sneaky Chef, is accusing the other author, who happens to Jessica Seinfeld, wife of Jerry, of pilfering some of her puree secrets. That’s right, a food fight about who first had the recipe for secretly slipping spinach into brownies. Read all about it here.

But another article “Lie to your children, it’s good for them” on Slate says both cookbooks are wrong for condoning culinary cheating and basically conning kids.

While we’re unfamiliar with the concept of picky eaters in our house, I know plenty of SouthernMamas who struggle at every meal to encourage their kids to eat veggies. If slipping pureed cauliflower into macaroni-and-cheese works, why not go for it?

Just don’t forget to put the real cauliflower on the plate, too, to emphasize the importance of veggies. Maybe you’ll get so good at spinach subterfuge, you won’t even need a cookbook, plagiarized or otherwise

Weekly roundup of parenting news

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

bumbo-seats.jpgBumbo baby seats recalled because of head injuries” (Reuters)

“Five Ways To Cope With Your Child’s Food Allergies” (MSNBC)

“Freezing Eggs: A Delicate Way to Turn Back the Clock” (Star Tribune)

“Umbilical Cord Donation Helps Stem Cell Research” (Atlanta Journal & Constitution)

“Jacket Lets Parents Keep Track of Kids” (Associated Press)

“‘Choice’ explores reproductive decisions and their ramifications” (San Francisco Chronicle)