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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)

Any little girl could be President

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

skirt-logo.jpgSkirt! Magazine wants to hear from all girls in grades 5 through 8 about why they should be President and how they would make a difference in the world if they were elected.

The contest is being held to celebrate the historic moment of a woman running for President. Skirt! encourages girls to be creative in their answers by designing your own bumper sticker, sharing your campaign platform and maybe even your campaign song. Deadline for entries is Dec. 31. Entries must include names, address, phone number, age, grade level and school. Top entries from each grade will win $250 each. Excerpts from selected entries will be published in the January 2008 issue of skirt!

Send entries by mail to Skirt! 1375 Chatham Parkway, Savannah, GA 31405 or email jessica.leigh@skirt.com

Call (912) 525-0741 for more info.

Free reflective trick-or-treat bags

Thursday, October 25th, 2007

trick-or-treat.jpgThere are plenty of opportunities this weekend to pick up free reflective Halloween gear to protect your child while on the streets. Don’t brush off these give-aways as being for hyper-cautious moms. After all, as the Chatham County Health Department reports, children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a car and killed on Halloween than the rest of the year.

From 4-7 pm Fri. Oct 26, Safe Kids Savannah will have an educational safety display and give away free reflective trick-or-treat bags, zipper pulls, stickers and bracelets at the Spirit Halloween Superstores’ Oglethorpe Mall location.

Safe Kids will also give out reflective gear at the Spirit Halloween Superstores’ Savannah Festival Factory Outlets location 11 am-5 pm Sat., Oct. 27

The Tybee Police Department will also hand out reflective trick-or-treat bags, zipper pulls, bracelets and Halloween safety literature at the Tybee Post Office, 10 am-noon, Sat. Oct. 27.

SMN Turkey Coloring Contest

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

turkey-2.gifBe sure to check the Savannah Morning News on Tues. Oct. 30 for a turkey to color in the newspaper’s fifth annual Thanksgiving coloring contest. Your color-inside-the-lines kid might just have his or her turkey published in the paper. Call (912) 652-0413 for more information.

And because you just can’t have enough kids contest news, here’s more: the deadline for the SMN baby calendar contest has been extended to Nov. 10. Click here for more information.

Happy 29th Birthday Brighter Day!

Wednesday, October 24th, 2007

brighter-day-third-try.bmpBrighter Day Natural Foods Market in Savannah will celebrate its birthday with a food tasting fair 1-3 pm Nov. 4.

The full-scale natural foods market and deli at 1102 Bull St. at the south end of Forsyth Park turns 29 this year. (Don’t we all?)

Bring the kids to join the party, which will include food tastings, product samples and a children’s activity area where kids can partake in a coloring activity designed to teach where food comes from. Other attractions include visits by live veggie and animal characters, break dancing and live music.
Brighter Day’s long been known as the place to find a variety of products: organic produce and groceries, bulk foods, herbs, body care and vitamin supplements. The store also offers often hard-to-find baby items such as Dr. Bronner’s organic baby castile soap, Rainwater baby shampoo and flusable baby diapers. The independently-owned store also has a much more diverse selection of Organic Baby baby food than the chains. No wonder the place has been around nearly three decades – with many more to come.

Food allergy alerts

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

mabels-labels.gifThe number of children with food allergies is on the rise, doubling between 1997 and 2002, according to the Department of Pediatrics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

One of the scariest is peanut allergies . There’s no cure and the only treatment is to avoid all products that contain the peanut allergen. All it takes is one mistaken bite for a child with severe peanut allergies go into anaphylaxis, a life-threatening emergency situation requiring immediate attention.

Peanut allergies account for 80 percent of fatal or near-fatal allergic reactions each year.

Labeling your child’s food gear and travel items is a good way to remind caretakers of your child’s allergy. mabels-labels-2.bmpMabel’s Labels provides such food allergy labels that you can design yourself. Click here for more information. The non-sticky labels are billed as being resistant to dishwashers, microwaves, UV-rays and kids. Of course, the company also makes labels in a fun font for less serious reasons, like clothing labels for summer camp, labels for sippy cups and baby bottles.

For more information on food allergies, click here. To find out about training schools and camps to be food allergy smart, click here.

SMA Angels Benefit Ball

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007

sma-angels.jpgFew stories are emotional as that of Richmond Hill twins, Cassie and Skylar Swanson, born ten years ago with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, an inherited neuromuscular disease that’s the No. 1 genetic killer of children younger than 2. Both girls lived much longer than expected and celebrated their ninth birthdays together. Cassie died last year of complications from the disease, leaving Skylar, now 10, and her family with a sadness that never ends.

The twins’ parents, David and Dana Swanson, Skylar and their loved ones haven’t given up on finding a treatment for SMA. Nov. 17 will be the 10th year of the So Many Angels Ball, a Savannah fund raiser for SMA started by family and friends of Skylar and Cassie. Proceeds benefit research for a cure or treatment for SMA.

The benefit has contributed more than $475,000 to SMA research projects. Read my article in Tuesday’s (today’s) Savannah Morning News to find out about progress in SMA research and why, out of more than 600 neurological disorders, SMA has been singled out by health experts as the disease closest to treatment.

The public’s invited to partake in the SMA Angels auction, dinner and dance at 6 pm Nov. 17. Here’s the info:

So Many Angels Ball
Savannah International Trade & Convention Center
Featuring: Swingin’ Medallions.
Last year’s event raised more than $112,000.
Tickets: $75 per person. Reserved table of 10: $750
Auctioneer: Matt Mattingly
Purchase tickets online here or call 912-727-4SMA

Welcome The Grocery Grabbers!

Monday, October 22nd, 2007

grocerygrabber-pix.jpgCan’t make it to Publix? We’ve got the solution.

We’re thrilled to announce the newest SouthernMamas sponsor: the locally-owned grocery delivery business The Grocery Grabbers.

You order groceries and have the goods delivered to your home. No checkout line. No loading and unloading groceries into the car. No trying to make it to the market between work and your kid’s game.

The Grocery Grabbers Website has everything on your grocery list. You just register and order. Then let Grocery Grabbers do the work. They deliver throughout Savannah, Pooler and Richmond Hill. Register to become a customer by calling (912) 412-7467, fax (912) 748-1715 or register online by clicking here.

Grocery Grabbers is offering a terrific deal to SouthernMamas subscribers. But you have to subscribe to find out. Click here and sign up. It’s free. We’ll send you a newsletter detailing The Grocery Grabbers special.

Grocery Grabbers gift certificates make perfect stress-relievers for the holidays for busy parents. The service is also ideal for senior citizens, people with disabilities and corporate accounts.

Three local women started the Pooler business at 807 U.S. 80: Libby Miller, an educator, Gay Fortson, a business owner and Robin Stewart, mother of five.

Free Art in the Park

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

free-art-in-park.gifTake the kids to Forsyth Park this month and they might think art grows on trees.

“The Orange Step,” an open-air collection of 128 10 foot high abstract paintings among the moss-draped trees in the fall light is a sight to behold. The outdoor art show is the U.S. debut of Bulgarian artist Kiril Jeliazkov. What a great way to introduce children to art, showing them that paintings aren’t always in stuffy museums. Sometimes you can look at art in your barefeet, as it hangs among the flowers and trees. Be sure to make a game of trying to find Jeliazkov’s signature, which is a simple footprint.

The exhibit was only supposed to be up until Wednesday Oct. 24 but has been extended until at least Oct. 30.

Solar-powered grasshopper robot

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

solar-toys.jpgHere’s a gift idea for the budding environmentalist in your life: a solar-powered grasshopper robot.

This Grasshopper Robot Kit is supposed to be easy to build, but even better: no batteries required. What a perfect way to teach children about solar-powered energy. The insect’s back doubles as solar panel. So you just let put him a sunny spot for a while, then he jumps and quivers. Sit back and watch your little one grow up to be an architect who only builds green buildings. Now that’s a toy that pays off. Click here for more information.

Help plan a new children’s museum

Sunday, October 21st, 2007

museum-abc.jpg

The Coastal Heritage Society is seeking community input on its plans for a new children’s museum planned to serve children ages 2-10. All parents, teachers, and concerned citizens are invited to meet at the following places and times to give us your input and help shape the vision for this exciting new project.
The first meeting is 5:15 pm Mon. Oct. 22 at St. Mary’s Community Center.
Other meetings are:

2 pm Oct. 30 at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education

10 am Nov. 17 at Armstrong Atlantic State University, University Halll Room 157

If you have any questions, please contact CHS Education Specialist Beth Parr at bparr@chsgeogia.org or (912) 663-7466.

Congrats Marvelous Mommies!

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

mm-funny-card.jpgSavannah College of Art and Design professor and game designer Brenda Brathwaite and business partner Kelly Minton are headed to the successful mompreneur ranks with Julie Aigner Clark and Liz Lange.

Brenda and Kelley’s greeting card company Marvelous Mommies announced this week that it had completed a licensing deal with UK-based card publisher and distributor Potato Academy. The deal provides exclusive sales and distribution rights to Potato Academy and covers all of the UK and Ireland. When their U.K. line starts next month, it will be called Marvellous Mummies.

If you’re not familiar with Marvelous Mommies, visit their site or their blog. The edgy, funny cards, including this one example pictured here, celebrate life with children in all its phases from birth to the terrible twos to the teens. The cards are based on the real-life experiences of Kelly and Brenda. Their overall message in the cards is “birth is just the beginning.”

The mothers launched the company in January 2007 with acclaimed comic book artist Sean Wang.

Looks like the birth of a business also is just the beginning.

Your kid’s weekend guide

Friday, October 19th, 2007

wag-o-ween.jpgWag-O-Ween
Noon-5 p.m. Saturday Oct. 20, downtown Savannah. A trick-or-treating event for dogs and their owners. More than 50 businesses in the historic district will have free dog treats to costumed dogs. Owners are encouraged to be in costume, too. The starting points are: Canine Palace, 618 Abercorn St., or Universe Trading Company, 27 Montgomery St. Cost: $5 donation per adult; children are admitted free. Call 631-1651 or 234-3336.

Harvest Celebration
10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday Oct. 20, Calhoun Square at Gordon and Abercorn streets. A Victorian Savannah celebration with period storytelling, carriage rides, parlor games and harvest-themed arts and crafts. Hosted by the Massie Heritage Center. Admission: $2 per person. Call 201-5070.

Ride Thomas the Train
Georgia Veterans State Park, 2459 Highway 280 West Cordele, Ga., off Interstate 75, about 100 miles north of Fla. state line. Oct. 19-21 and 26-28; $16 for ages 2 and older.
The train leaves on the hour from 9 am-4 pm. Children can take 25-minute rides on a train led by Thomas and have their pictures taken with Topham Hatt, the controller of Thomas’ Railway. Hosted by SAM Shoreline Excursion Train.

The Pirates’ House at 20 East Broad St., downtown Savannah, hosts a special Sunday breakfast buffet for kids and their families featuring five pirates as entertainment. The pirate breakfast will continue on Sundays throughout October. Families are encouraged to bring cameras and pose with the seafaring mates. Seating is from 9 am-10 am. Adults: $11.95/Children: $5.95. Tell staff you read about special breakfast on southernmamas.com and receive a free 8×10 of the pirates. For more family-friendly restaurants, click here.

Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival Oct 19-21Live music, fireworks, amusement rides, class car show, seafood. 5-11 pm Fri. Oct. 19, 10 am-11 pm Sat. Oct. 20; 11 am-5 pm Sun. Oct. 21 J.F. Gregory Park, Hwy. 144/Ford Avenue, Richmond Hill. (912) 756-3444

Tybee Island’s 120th Birthday Celebration, Sat. Oct. 20-Sun. Oct. 21two-festival of art, history, cuisine and entertainment. Outdoor evening concert at the lighthouse will feature the SCAD Jazz Ensemble. Free. Memorial Park, the beach, pier and lighthouse.

Annual Community Festival Oct 19 -20hosted by the Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, Hilton Head Island, 5:30-9:30 pm. A haunted trail and more. (843) 689-6767

Fall Festival at the Salty Dog Café in the South Beach Marina Village, Hilton Head Island. 12-4 pm (843) 671-2233

Weekly roundup of parenting news

Friday, October 19th, 2007

autism-speaks-2.gif Web site shares red-flags for autism” (ABC News) Visit the site by clicking here.

“Drug-resistant staph germ’s toll higher than expected” (Washington Post)

“Bitter pill: Board approves birth control for middle schooler” (ABC News)

“Parents use religion to avoid vaccines” (AP)

“Can a diet help autistic kids?” (ABC News)

Sesame St.’s Maria @ Children’s Bk Fest

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

book-festival.jpgSonia Manzano, best known as “Maria” on Sesame Street, will be at the Savannah Children’s Book Festival Saturday Nov. 17 at Forsyth Park. Sonia, also a children’s book author whose works include “A Box Full of Kittens,” will receive the first TIER Children’s Literature Award (Teach, Inspire, and Empower through Reading) from Live Oak Public Libraries at the festival. Celebrate the joy of storytelling at the 10 am-4 pm festival with children’s book authors and illustrators from across the nation.

In the weeks leading up to the festival, many authors showcased in this year’s festival will be featured in children’s programs at various Live Oak Public Libraries branches. The program, “Whooo Is It?”, for example, focuses on the books of festival guest Katie Davis, author and illustrator of “Who Hoots?” and “Who Hops?” This story time and craft session will be Oct. 29 through Nov. 15 at four libraries. Click here.

a-child-book-fest.jpgIf you want your children to read festival authors, including talented local writers and illustrators, before the event, visit our Amazon.com store to shop in a special section featuring books by authors who will be here for the festival. You’re still shopping through Amazon and you’ll see the same functionality if you already are an Amazon shopper, such as your Amazon wishlist.

Costume Contest @ Beef O’Brady’s

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

pumpkin.jpgAdd one more event to your SouthernMamas list of Halloween fun.

The Beef O’Brady’s on Ford Avenue in Richmond Hill will host costume contests and games Tues. Oct. 30. Every Tuesday is family night at the Richmond Hill family sports bar, owned by Georgia and Doug Goolsby. Kids eat free with every adult meal purchased. Entertainment rotates each week between a clown and face-painting.

On Tues. Oct. 30, costume contests will take place at 6, 7 and 8 pm, plus lots of games and prizes. All ages. Click here for contact info. For more Halloween events click here and here.

Baby Calendar Contest

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007

baby-calendar.gifNow you can follow the advice of all those people who say your baby’s adorable enough to be in pictures.

Newspapers in Education is sponsoring a baby calendar contest. The back of today’s Accent section in the Savannah Morning News has an entry form. If you missed it, keep watching the paper for more forms.

Each month of the calendar will feature a professional photo of the top 12 vote-winning babies. To enter, submit a current photo of your child to the Savannah Morning News, along with a $20 donation per picture and the completed entry form. Deadline has been extended to Nov.10! All photos will be published at a later date in the Savannah Morning News. Votes will be .20 cents per vote. Proceeds benefit the NIE program, providing newspapers and resources to local classrooms. Babies must be younger than 24 months.

All photos submitted in the contest will be published in the back of the calendar. Call Allyson Campbell for more information at (912) 652-0413.

Baby Loves Disco

Monday, October 15th, 2007

baby-loves-disco-logo-3.jpgIf your kid has better moves than John Travolta, plan to roadtrip to Atlanta this weekend for the national Best Little Dancer in America Contest sponsored by Baby Loves Disco, the popular dance party for kids. Proceeds from the contest benefit Alex’s Lemonade Stand, a nationwide fundraising movement to find a cure for childhood cancer

Baby Loves Disco is a perfect example of how hipster parents merge their likes with their children’s.

From noon-3 pm Saturday, Oct. 20, a nightclub in Atlanta called The Loft at 1374 W. Peachtree St. will be transformed into a child-proof disco for parents and their toddlers/preschoolers looking for a break from their routine. The post-nap, pre-dinner afternoon disco is free of Barney and The Wiggles. Instead, a DJ plays disco tunes from the 70s and 80s. Features include bubble machines, musical instruments, face-painting, free massages for Mom and the bar’s open for Mom and Dad. Cost: $12 for walking humans.

Click here to order tickets online and for location and contact info. Reservations suggested. Some tickets may be available at the door. Click here to see videos of past Best Little Dancer in America winners.

What’s chemo, Mommy?

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

hayes.jpgHow should a sick mom talk to a child about cancer? Some major hospitals have begun to offer programs designed for parents who have serious or incurable illnesses and need guidance explaining the disease, treatment and more to their kids

That’s the topic of a helpful article in Newsweek this week. Read it here and watch the video here.

Full disclosure: the incredibly articulate and funny mom interviewed, Janice Hayes-Cha, treated for both colon and breast cancer, is my cousin. As parents of a 7-year-old, a 5-year-old and 3-year-old twins, Janice and husband Jang-Ho heard all kinds of questions from their kids while Janice underwent chemo and surgeries. One of the toughest came from Joanie, 5: ‘Who’s going to be my mommy?’

Janice, always quick-minded, listed all the women who would be in her daughter’s life to take care of her – aunts and her grandmother and nanny. Now that Janice is in remission, she has a different answer to her daughter’s question: “I’ve told her that I think she’ll be all grown up when I die,” she says. “She might even be a mommy herself.”

One principle that most counselors agree on: don’t call the illness a boo-boo. If you do, the kids may assume their own boo-boos are just as serious. For more info on such hospital programs, click here. This children’s book “Butterfly Kisses and Wishes on Wings: When someone you love had cancer… a hopeful, helpful book for kids” helps educate and support any child who is facing the cancer of a loved one.

Integrative parenting sessions start

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

motherchildreunion_a.jpgThis upcoming week marks the start of parenting seminars presented by Liz Gunn, an emerging voice and though-leader in the shifting paradigm of parenting, consciousness and spirituality. Space is limited to 10 people per seminar. Pre-registration required.

Cost: $35. SouthernMamas subscribers receive a discount. Click here to subscribe. Sessions will be held at Moondance Healing Arts, Wilmington Island. Select from one of these sessions: 9:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 15, 18, 22; 7-9 pm Oct. 16, 23 and 25. Call 655-1267. Find more information by clicking here.

SouthernMamas theme song

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

singing-woman.jpgSupermom and comedian Anita Renfroe sums up motherhood – and has become a YouTube star in the process – in her “William Tell Momism” video. In the song, Anita says everything a mom would say in 24 hours, but she does it in 2 minutes and 55 seconds and set to The William Tell Overture. Watch it by clicking here.

The hit Mom Song is part of Anita’s “Total Momsense” DVD; other cuts include “The Women’s Bill of Rights” and “The Botox Song.” Anita’s the author of “If You Can’t Lose It, Decorate It” and “A Purse Driven Christmas” among other books. Songs, books, comedy and motherhood? She does it all. No wonder the woman’s DVD is sold out on Amazon!