Archive for December, 2007

MommyMixer needs Lowcountry moms

Monday, December 31st, 2007

mm-mommy-mixer.gifTune in to “Good Morning America” today (Mon. Dec. 31) to find out about THE babysitting networking event that we’re missing out on here in the Lowcountry.

Good Morning America is set to air a story on MommyMixer, an organization which hosts parent-sitter parties in cities nationwide. At such mixers, parents get to meet carefully selected college students with childcare experience. Each parent takes home the Babysitter Book containing every babysitters’ contact info, references, experience and availability schedule.

We’ve heard from moms who have frequented this mixers in Atlanta. They say there are always more sitters than moms!

Neither Savannah nor Hilton Head/Bluffton has had MommyMixer come to town. (SouthernMamas has notified them – i.e. begged them – that we’d love to have a MommyMixer event here) The organization is on the lookout for motivated moms and college girls to serve as City Managers and Campus Reps. Interested in learning more? E-mail recruiting@mommymixer.com or click here.

Kid-friendly neighborhoods in historic Savannah

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

Looking to move to one of Savannah’s historic neighborhoods?

Thanks to Savannah Realtor Ron Melander of Cora Bett Thomas Realty for giving us his list of best kid-friendly historic neighborhoods. Read his picks by clicking here to go to his beautiful real estate blog.

I was jazzed to see Parkside among his selections. That’s my favorite, after living there during my single days. I’d love to return someday with the family. You can’t beat a sidewalk neighborhood that’s within walking distance to schools, Sand Gnats and soccer fields.

Thanks to Ron for his plan for the wee folks. We plan to feature even more Realtor’s picks for kid-friendly neighborhoods as an ongoing SouthernMamas series. So be sure to keep checking back in! For a past post on Best Kid-Friendly Neighborhoods in Bluffton by Realtor Stacey Macioszek, click here.

How effective is The Fertility Diet?

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

fertility-diet-cover.jpg

What if you could alter your diet to boost your fertility? Maybe start popping folic acid, drinking whole fat milk and banning trans fats from the house, all in order to get pregnant? The Harvard hot-shots behind the new book “The Fertility Diet” are hoping you will.

The book provides dietary suggestions to increase your fertility including:
• Avoiding trans fats
• Eating more beans, nuts, and other fertility-boosting plant protein
• Embracing whole grains such as oatmeal and barley
• Ordering that latte with whole milk or having another full-fat dairy product every day (Hello Ben & Jerry’s!))
• Staying away from sugared sodas

But critics say the Fertility Diet is risky because the book’s findings don’t apply to a vast majority of people with infertility problems. Instead, they are based on women with ovulatory infertility, a condition caused by irregular ovulation that affects fewer than a third of infertile women.

In other words, not every infertility problem can benefit from diet improvements.

So women might waste precious years focusing on the fertility diet and postpone seeing a doctor to find out the real infertility cause. Eating better – and weeding out all those sneaky trans fats – certainly can’t hurt. But be sure to see an infertility specialist before putting all your hope on a big bowl of Haagen Dazs.

Read more about the science behind fertility foods in this New York Times article and this Boston Globe article. Buy The Fertility Diet by clicking here.

Circus is coming to town

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

dr-seuss.jpg

Here’s a special Live Oak Public Libraries story time for those who don’t suffer from coulrophobia – an exaggerated fear of clowns:
Clowns Dave and Cherie from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus present a special storytime for kids of all ages. Meet Dave and Cherie and hear “If I Ran the Circus” by Dr. Seuss.
Mon., Jan. 7, 11 am — WW Law branch
Mon., Jan. 7, 1 pm — Oglethorpe Mall branch
Tues., Jan. 8, 11 am — Tybee Island branch
Tues., Jan. 8, 1:30 pm — South Effingham branch
Wed., Jan. 9, 10:30 am — West Chatham branch

For info on library branch locations, click here.

The clown story time is in anticipation of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus coming to the Savannah Civic Center Jan. 30-Feb. 3. Click here for info on the circus schedule and to order tickets.

Let’s just hope our kids aren’t like those in a recent British study that found children have a fear of paintings of clowns. Read the article here. Yet another reason not to go with a Ronald McDonald motif in the nursery.

Discounts from SouthernMamas sponsors

Friday, December 28th, 2007

supperstudio_button-post-ad.jpgOodles of new SouthernMamas subscribers have signed up in the last few weeks. (Thank you!) So we wanted to let the new SouthernMamas know about discounts offered by our wonderfully supportive sponsors, both local businesses and Internet-based ones.

Supper Studio. Mention SouthernMamas at this meal-assembly business and receive a free side to go with a purchase of six meals or more. Located @ Piccadily Square, 10010 Abercorn Ext. (912) 925-9550 or click here.

The Polkadot Platypus, an online store with top picks for maternity, babies and kids, gives SouthernMamas subscribers 15 percent off. Click on this link to see some of the stylish apparel, hip baby gear, designer crib bedding, fun accessories and unique baby gifts. Enter the code “polkadot” when you check out to obtain your 15 percent discount.

The Grocery Grabbers, locally-owned grocery delivery service waives the $10 delivery fee for customers who mention SouthernMamas.com. They deliver throughout Savannah, Pooler and Richmond Hill. (912) 412-7467 or click here.

Kitchens on the Square. Mention SouthernMamas.com while shopping at this kitchen gadgets store @ 38 Barnard St. and get 10 percent off purchases of $10 or more. (912) 236-0100 or click here.

Savannah author Bess Chappas offers a reduced delivery rate for SouthernMamas subscribers on her children’s book “Kiki and The Red Shoes.” She’ll also sign a copy personalized to your child. Visit here or email savteller@aol.com

Your kid’s New Year’s & weekend guide

Friday, December 28th, 2007

tybee-fireworks.jpgWe’ll serve up the New Year’s Eve festivities first:

Fireworks launched from the Tybee Pier on Tybee Island. Free. Midnight New Year’s Eve. (Mon. Dec. 31)

Fireworks @ New Year’s Eve City Market Celebration, 9 pm-1 am

Kid’s New Year’s Party
As part of the “Counting Down the New Year with The Sandbox” part @ the Westin Resort on Hilton Head Island, a kid’s New Year’s party is available for children 4-12 while the adult party goes on.
7:30 pm Dec. 31. The parents’ party will feature music, dancing, food, live and silent auctions. Proceeds benefit The Sandbox, An Interactive Children’s Museum on HHI. Tickets: $125. Call 843.842.7645 or email klikins@thesandbox.org

Polar Bear Plunges

  • New Year’s Day 5K & Polar Bear Plunge, 10 am, Tues. Jan. 1 @ Sea Turtle Cinemas (106 Buckwalter Parkway) and Baynard Park Amenities Center, Bluffton, S.C. To register for the race, call 843.757.8520 or click here. Pre-registration cost online thru Dec. 29 is $25. Race Day registration is $30.
  • Tybee Island Polar Bear Plunge, noon Tues. Jan. 1 @ South Beach. Free.
  • Polar Bear Jump, Harbour Town Pool, Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head Island, 10 am Sat. Dec. 29. Hot chocolate and refreshments. For details, call 843.842.1979.

Now for this weekend:

Cell Phone Saturday @ Oatland Island. Bring in a cell phone for recycling and get $1 off admission, 10 am-4 pm Sat. Dec. 29, Oatland Island Wildlife Center of Savannah. Regular admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 4-17 and seniors ages 65 and older. Free for children 3 and younger. Call 912.898.3980 or click here.

Skatefest: A public skating rink @ the Savannah Civic Center. Tickets are $7. Each session lasts for an hour and a half. A 5-session pass is $25. Open every day through Jan. 5. 800.351.7469.

“Christmas Castaways” program @ the Ships of the Sea Museum. Up to two children receive free admission with a paying adult through Dec. 30, 41 MLK Jr. Blvd. 912.232.1511

Holiday Evening Tours @ the Davenport House, 6-8:30 pm Dec. 26-31 @ the Davenport House, 324 E. State St., Columbia Square. Tours will emphasize the end-of-year celebrations of early 19th-century Savannahians. Call 912.236.8097.

Autism book for children

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

rules.jpgA SouthernMamas reader and old friend who has a child on the autism spectrum suggests a new book for children about autism: “Rules” by Cynthia Lord.

The book, for readers aged 9-12, is told from the perspective of a 12-year-old with an autistic younger brother. The narrator shares many rules with her brother including “No toys in the fish tank” and “It’s okay to hug Mom, but not the clerk at the video store.”

Check out the author’s blog here and learn more about the inspiration for her book on her Web site.

Also on the topic of autism, the band Five for Fighting donates 40 cents to Autism Speaks each time the video below is viewed. Proceeds benefit research studies. Click here to watch the video and help find a cure.

Recycle your Christmas tree

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

chipper-2.gifNot that we’re encouraging an early end to all the festivities (Hooray! We survived!) but for those of you who are headed out of town and plan to say timber to your tannenbaum now, here’s a list of where to recycle your tree(Recycling your tree helps reduce waste in landfills. The trees are turned to mulch for playgrounds etc)

The big Bring One for the Chipper Day for Chatham County is 9 am-4 pm Sat. Jan. 5 at area Home Depot stores or the Savannah/Chatham area landfill. On that day, in exchange for your dead, used tree, you’ll receive a free, new, live dogwood seedling (while supplies last). For more info, call 912.651.6520 or 912.652.6840. Organizer: Keep Savannah Beautiful.

If you want to ditch the tree earlier, here are your drop-off options from today (Dec. 26) until Jan.5

  • Oglethorpe Lake – Pond #29 Building 610, Hunter Army Airfield. Call for hours: 912-767-8880
  • Dean Forrest Road Landfill, 1327 Dean Forrest Road. Call for hours: 912-651-6948
  • Wilmington Island Drop-off Center, 7022 Concord Road. Call for hours: 912-651-6940
  • Wilmington Island Landfill, Shorty Cooper Road. Call for hours: 912-651-6948

In Beaufort County, the Grinding of the Greens is set for 8-11 am Sat. Jan. 12. Free mulch will be given to those who bring their own containers. Trees may also be dropped off earlier starting Dec. 24. Here are the “grinding” drop-offs:

  • Bluffton on Ulmer Road near the County tennis courts
  • Hilton Head Island @ the Coligny Beach parking lot
  • Hilton Head Island on US 278 @ the Gullah Flea Market

For more information call Keep Beaufort County Beautiful at 843.470.6416.

Savannah Children’s Choir Auditions

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

childrens-choir.jpgYou’ve enjoyed hearing them sing throughout the holiday season.
Now it’s time to see if your little vocalist has what it takes to join the Savannah Children’s Choir.
Mid-term auditions for boys and girls in second through eighth grades will be at 4 pm this Monday, Jan. 7 @ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church @ the corner of 34th and Abercorn streets.
Children should bring a copy of their most recent school progress report and be prepared to sing “My Country Tis of Thee.” After auditions, those selected will meet weekly on Mondays at 4:30 pm starting Jan. 14.

The Savannah Children’s Choir recently completed its first successful year. The local non-profit community choir is for children from all walks of life. The only requirement is children must maintain a B average or better. Volunteer tutors are available to help the children whose grades drop below the standard.

For more information, click here or call 912.228.4758. Email info@savannahchoir.org

Elf on a Shelf

Monday, December 24th, 2007

elf-on-shelf.jpgHere’s a treasure to put on your post-Christmas sale list: Elf on the Shelf.

This is one of those great marketing concepts that makes you hit yourself on the forehead and say “Why didn’t I think of that?” An elf who spies on kids as a way to coerce them to behave.

A cleverly rhymed children’s book explains that Santa sends a scout elf to every home. During the better-watch-out, better-not-pout holiday season, the elf spies on children by day and reports to Santa each night.

When children awake each morning, the elf has returned from the North Pole and can be found hiding in a different location in your house (as long as Mom and Dad don’t flake out). Kids also name their elves and can register the elf’s name online here.

We’re looking forward to adding Elf on the Shelf to our family traditions next Christmas (after hopefully buying it on sale post-Christmas). After all, how else is Santa going to know who’s been naughty and who’s been nice?

Better than shopping: the baby mosh pit

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

shopping-girl.jpgShopping doesn’t come naturally to kids. That’s why the soft play area in Oglethorpe Mall is such as welcome break.

Kids can climb, run and slide, as long as they’re are under 42 inches tall and under adult supervision. Sorry moms, you can’t just leave your kids there while you stroll Macy’s. While the playground is a bit of a baby mosh pit, with lots of collisions and cushioned knock-downs, we think still makes a good spot for toddlers and children who aren’t quite walking yet. Just don’t forget to pack the Purell.

The soft play area is next to JCPenney’s and has the same hours as the mall, which means its open longer during the holidays. Click here for hours.

Kids paint their own pottery

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

paint-own-pottery.jpgOrganized events. Tours. Concerts. Movies. Those are all terrific. But sometimes you need less structured activities that don’t have an official group start and finish. Here’s something to do on your own time with the kids: Paint your own pottery

Midnight Star Pottery in Savannah and Richmond Hill, the Art Cafe on Hilton Head Island and Pottery in Paradise in Bluffton are fun spots to make mugs, plates, animal figures, letters, even banks WITHOUT HAVING TO DO THE CLEAN-UP. You select the piece of pottery, paint it and the pottery studio fires it for you. Groups and parties are welcome.

Midnight Star’s locations are @ 1094 E Eisenhower Drive in Savannah (912.303.9599) and 8974 Ford Ave. in Richmond Hill (912.756.7446) Click here for prices.

The Art Cafe is @ Coligny Plaza, 1 N. Forest Beach Dr. Call 843.785.5525

Pottery in Paradise, in the Calhoun Promenade, 1297 May River Road, Suite 10F, Bluffton. Call 843.815.9924

Your kid’s holiday weekend guide

Friday, December 21st, 2007

gingerbread-house.jpgSavannah area

See the Gingerbread Village complete with train @ the Westin Golf Resort & Spa. Presented by the Savannah Harbor Foundation. The delectable display is open to the public now through Dec. 27. Read more here.

Lantern Tour @ Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Nature Center. 6-8 pm Fri-Sat, Dec. 21-22, 681 Argyle Road. $6 adult; $4 children. Reservations required.
Call 912.748.8068 or email info@savannahogeecheecanal.com

“Christmas Castaways” program @ the Ships of the Sea Museum. Up to two children receive free admission with a paying adult, 41 MLK Jr. Blvd. 912.232.1511

Holiday Evening Tours @ the Davenport House, 6-8:30 pm Dec. 26-31 @ the Davenport House, 324 E. State St., Columbia Square. Tours will emphasize the end-of-year celebrations of early 19th-century Savannahians. Call 912.236.8097.

Snakes Alive! @ Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Nature Center Thurs. Dec. 27 Read more here.

Hilton Head Island/Bluffton area

Christmas on Calhoun Street, TGI3rd Friday Celebration in Bluffton, noon-6:30 pm. Christmas carols, art, entertainment, soups and chowders and more. Hosted by the Old Town Bluffton Merchants Society. FREE! 843.815.9522.

Christmas Caroling Hayrides @ Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head Island, 5 & 6 pm., Dec. 22-24. Hot chocolate, caroling and a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” Reservations required. 843.842.1979.

Gregg Russell Christmas Concert, Harbour Town, Hilton Head Island., 7:30-9:30 pm Sat. Dec. 22. Read more here.

Polar Bear Jump in the Harbour Town Pool, 10 am Sat. Dec. 29. Read more here.

Tomorrow’s here: Annie in Savannah

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

annie.jpgRemember after you saw the musical Annie as a kid and you couldn’t get “It’s a Hard Knock Life” out of your head?

It’s time to pass “Tomorrow, tomorrow” and all the rest of Annie’s tunes onto your children. Everyone’s favorite bet-your-bottom-dollar orphan is coming to Savannah.

Annie the musical will play one night only, 7:30 pm Jan. 17 @ the Johnny Mercer Theatre in the Savannah Civic Center.

Click here for ticket information or call 912.651.6557. Ticket costs range from $25-$50. Children 14 and younger receive $5 off ticket price.

Psst, Santa…tickets would make a great holiday gift.

Snakes Alive!

Thursday, December 20th, 2007

snakes-alive-2.jpgHere’s a little relief from all the sugary, sentimental holiday events. A chance for the kids to meet some of the reptiles and amphibians that call this area home.

The Snakes Alive event

Thursday Dec. 27 at Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Museum and Nature Center allows children to see creatures they wouldn’t otherwise see and hear their life stories. Reservations required. 912.897.5108. Cost: $15. The nature center is @ 681 Fort Argyle Road.

Wanna give birth before Christmas?

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

toucansign.jpgOr maybe you’re hoping yours will be a New Year’s Baby?

Here’s an unofficial labor-inducing Savannah secret: a beloved local restaurant serves a special entree that’s rumored to induce labor. That’s right. The Thai shrimp(or chicken)and eggplant at The Toucan Cafe, a SouthernMamas favorite, is the special to order before going in for the pitocin.

In the 13 years the restaurant’s been open, several customers have said they went into the labor the day after eating the meal, says owner Steve Magulias. The magic meal isn’t on the regular lunch or dinner menu, so just call in advance to order it before coming into the restaurant @ 531 Stephenson Ave. on Savannah’s southside. 912.352.2233

Of course, if the magic Toucan meal doesn’t do the job, we’ve been told taking a ride on the cobblestones on River Street works pretty well, too.

Got any other tips for expectant moms who are tired of being pregnant and want the baby to come now? Please share.

Polar Bear Plunges

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

polarbearswimming.jpgFor those who want to start a fun, wacky, yet painful family tradition, plan to take part in a Polar Bear Plunge.

There are several to chose from in our area

  • New Year’s Day 5K & Polar Bear Plunge, 10 am, Tues. Jan. 1 @ Sea Turtle Cinemas (106 Buckwalter Parkway) and Baynard Park Amenities Center, Bluffton, S.C. To register for the race, call 843.757.8520 or click here. Pre-registration cost online thru Dec. 29 is $25. Race Day registration is $30.
  • Tybee Island Polar Bear Plunge, noon Tues. Jan. 1 @ South Beach. Free.
  • Polar Bear Jump, Harbour Town Pool, Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head Island, 10 am Sat. Dec. 29. Hot chocolate and refreshments. For details, call 843.842.1979.

Museum gift shop shopping

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

okra-angels.jpgIf you’re trying to avoid the malls, but still need to pick up a few gifts, try our local museum gift shops.
This Saturday article in the Savannah Morning News lists interesting suggestions from various downtown Savannah museum gift shops. We included a few below that would be good for kids and tossed in a few of our own SouthernMamas suggestions. No museum admission charged for just visiting the gift shops.

Okra angels (pictured here) for $7.50 each from the Owens-Thomas Gift Shop, 124 Abercorn St.

Ship in a bottle ornament for $8.50 each from the Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum (which offers free admission for up to two children with each paying adult starting today through Dec. 30), 41 MLK Jr. Blvd.

Train conductor’s cap for $6.62 from the Roundhouse Museum’s gift shop, 601 W. Harris St.

van-goghs-bed.jpgA variety of fun children’s art books from Telfair’s Jepson Center for the Arts, 207 W. York St. Our favorite: the Touch Art series of interactive $9.95 board books with such titles as “Brush Mona Lisa’s Hair” and “Make Van Gogh’s Bed” that allow kids to pull on the tutu of Degas’ ballerina, touch the flowers in Monet’s lily pond, stroke the eyelashes on Warhol’s pink Marilyn and feel the scales on Matisse’s fish.

Daisy’s Garden, the gift shop @ the Girl Scout First Headquarters. You’ve probably been to the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace Museum. But what about the often overlooked Girl Scout First Headquarters @ 330 Drayton St? It’s a treasure and so is the shop which sells Girl Scout goodies such as “Keep the promise” and “It all started with a Daisy” T-shirts; special Savannah patches; Girl Scout charms and books.

Just outside Savannah

Visit the Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum’s revamped gift shop at the Pooler museum and online by clicking here. You’ll find youth flight and bomber jackets, pilot-in-training kids T-shirts, children’s pilot suit, books about flying and model airplanes. The museum is @ 175 Bourne Ave. in Pooler, just minutes from Historic Savannah via I-95/exit 102

Toddler Third Thursday

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007

artzeum.jpgSpace is still available in Toddler Third Thursday this week @ Telfair’s Jepson Center of the Arts.

Designed for preschoolers ages 3-5 and their adult companions. Toddlers explore artwork @ the museum, followed by a fun-filled art project relating to the tour. Colors, shapes and material vocabulary will be encouraged. Each month involves a different tour and project. Kids also have time to explore the ArtZeum (pictured here), a two-level hands-on gallery especially for children.

Registration and adult supervision required. Register @ 912.790.8823. Cost: $4 per child with adult admission. Adult members are free.

More unleaded, wooden toys

Monday, December 17th, 2007

animal-walker.jpg The SouthernMamas.com search for the best unleaded toys continues.

My 13-month-old son received such a fun, simple unleaded toy today at an early Christmas family party: the wooden animal walker by Petra Toys. Place the penguin, or elephant or, in my son’s case, beloved cow on the slide and watch the critter walk down the ramp. My son was grooving to the beat of the cow’s steps and wanted to watch the cow walk over and over again.

Our walking cow came from Punch & Judy @ 4511 Habersham St. (Call first, 912.352.0906), courtesy of my in-laws. The walking animals are also available at Petra Toys by clicking here. Petra Toys imports wooden toys and hand puppets made in Europe and painted with non-toxic paints.

Now, if only I could figure out how to get that promenading cow to teach my son to walk …

Gregg Russell Christmas Concert

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

seapineslogo.gifAs far as children’s music entertainers go, Gregg Russell beats Raffi and The Wiggles, at least for those of who grew up listening to him play “Bubble Gum” and “Love Potion No. 9″ on his guitar under the Liberty Oak @ Harbour Town in Sea Pines Resort on Hilton Head Island. His Christmas Concert this Sat. Dec. 22 is free and worth the drive from Bluffton or even Savannah. Of course, if you’ve seen Russell perform before, then chances are you can recite his jokes verbatim, which is all part of the campy fun.
7:30-9:30 pm Sat. Dec. 22
843.842.1979

While in Sea Pines, you can take part in Christmas caroling hayrides. Hot chocolate, carols and a reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” 5 and 6 pm Sat. Dec. 22-Mon. Dec. 24. Festive and musical ride through Sea Pines. Reservations required.
843.842.1979
email recreation@seapines.com

View entire children’s books online

Sunday, December 16th, 2007

pigasso.jpgThe new Web site Lookybook.com allows you to view entire children’s books online, from cover to back. The goal isn’t to replace an actual book in your hands, but to let you peruse books before buying them, to see if the selections are something your children would enjoy.

Lookybook is still in beta form, but is sure to become increasingly popular as more books are added. The site already has an interesting collection of reads. Author Nina Laden (Peek a Who?) is a big hit in our house, so I’m looking forward to taking a peek at “When Pigasso Meet Mootise” on Lookybook before buying it from the SouthernMamas Amazon.com store.

Here’s just a taste of books you can check out on Lookybook:

latke.jpgThe Latke Who Couldn’t Stop Screaming (A Christmas Story) by Lemony Snicket. Then buy it on Amazon.com by clicking here.

Sparkle and Spin by Ann and Paul Rand. After checking it out on Lookybook, buy it on Amazon by clicking here.

The Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Buy it on Amazon here.

Starfish Swim School lessons begin

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

star_fish-2.jpgYour kids don’t have to wait until summer. The Chatham County Aquatic Center is reopening after being closed for renovations and Starfish Swim School classes begin in January. Registration deadline for all classes is Jan. 2.

A variety of classes are offered, including a Starbabies class for ages 6 months to 36 months. That class helps very young children develop a high comfort level in the water while at the same time training parents in water safety. Don’t expect your little one to start doing laps. The class is fun, loving experience that builds confidence. One parent or caregiver must be in the water with each child. Swim diapers required.

aqua_tot4.jpgOther classes include:

SeaSprites for ages 3-5: swim skills through creative water activities.
SeaStars for ages 6-8: core swimming skills and the opportunity to progress to advanced strokes;
SwimStars for ages 9 and older: swimming skills, water safety, water sports and adventure learning activities.
StrokeStars for any age that meets the skills requirement: refine freestyle and learn stroke technique for backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and more.

Classes cost $50 for non members and $45 for non-member consecutive session/second child; $38 for members and $33 for member consecutive session/second child. Call 912.652.6793. Learn more by clicking here. The Chatham County Aquatic Center is @ 7420 Sallie Mood Drive.

The cheapest organic milk in town

Saturday, December 15th, 2007

organic-cows.gifOrganic milk for $2.57 a half gallon sounded too good to be true at the new Target on East Victory Drive next to Home Depot.

I bought it anyway, so excited to find an affordable brand of organic milk after shelling out more than $3, sometimes more than $4, for a half gallon of Horizon or Organic Valley. Then along comes this Associated Press article about how some store brand organic milk, including my Target’s Archer Farms bargain basement buy, was not truly organic. Terrific.

Apparently, the organic milk Target is selling under its own label comes from Aurora Organic Dairy, which also supplies Wal Mart, Costco and Wild Oats with their store brands of organic milk. Earlier this year, there was some question whether Aurora was diluting the principles of organic agriculture in the interest of producing milk as cheaply as possible.

But the good news that, at least according to the article, Aurora has made improvements. Both Aurora and Target defend the product as organic, noting the company was allowed to keep its organic certification.

It’s difficult enough for families to afford organic milk, which comes from cows that have not been treated with hormones or antibiotics. When questions like these arise, it makes you wonder if paying the extra money is even worth it.

We’d love to know your SouthernMamas take. Do you buy organic? Why or why not?

Muppet Christmas Carol in Savannah

Friday, December 14th, 2007

muppet-christmas-carol.jpgOur poor, deprived kids, growing up without the Muppet Show.

You can make it up to them by taking them to see the Muppet Christmas Carol, starring Kermit and Miss Piggy of course, 7 pm Thurs. Dec. 20 @ the Lucas Theatre, downtown Savannah.

Admission is by donation of money, canned goods or unwrapped toy appropriate for boys ages 12-18. All collections will be given to Bethesda Home for Boys.

So make celebrating being green a holiday tradition. Then sit back and watch your kids become Jim Henson junkies, just like Mom.

Your kids’ weekend guide

Friday, December 14th, 2007

carriage-rides.jpgSavannah area

A Victorian Christmas Celebration, 10 am-2 pm Sat. Dec 15 @ the Massie Heritage Center, 207 E. Gordon St. downtown Savannah. Period storytelling, cookie decorating, holiday arts and crafts, carriage ride, cake walk and photos with St. Nick. Cost: $2. Sponsored by the Junior League of Savannah. Call 912.201.5070.

Southern Lights Family Stroll, Sat. Dec. 15. Children’s activities begin @ 3 pm in Johnson Square, downtown Savannah. The stroll begins @ 5:15 pm. Participants will walk through the holiday lights on Bull Street while community choir groups sing Christmas carols. A $20 donation per family is requested. Proceeds benefit LibLines Inc., a local breast cancer awareness organization. Call 912.644.6431 or click here.

Luminary Holiday Walk and Hayride, 5:30-7:30 pm Sat. Dec. 15 @ Skidaway Island State Park, 52 Diamond Causeway. Caroling, hayrides and more. Dogs are allowed if on a leash. Cost: $3 park pass per vehicle. Call 912.598.2300 or click here.

Santa Paws @ PetSmart, pet pictures with Santa, 10 am-2 pm Saturday and Sunday, PetSmart 11132 Abercorn Ext. 912.876.3647.

Savannah Choral Society Pops Concert, 8 pm Sat. Dec. 15 @ Savannah Civic Center’s Johnny Mercer Theater. Featuring special guests from the Savannah Danse Theatre and Savannah Children’s Choir. Cost: $11.75-$26.75 with a $5 discount for children 11 and younger. Call 912.651.6556.

Breakfast with Santa, 9-11:30 am Sat. Dec. 15 @ White Bluff United Methodist Church’s Horton Hall, 11911 White Bluff Road. Free and open to the public. Includes breakfast, crafts, story time and photos. For children from infancy through second grade. 912.925.5924.

Savannah Children’s Choir Concert featuring guest soloist Rachel Waiters, 3 pm Sun. Dec. 16 @ AASU Fine Arts Auditorium. Cost: $15.

Hilton Head Is./Bluffton area

Holiday Lights Trolley Tours take you on a tour of the best holiday lights on Hilton Head Island, Fri. Dec. 14 and Sat. Dec. 15 @ 6:15 pm or 7:15 pm. Cost is $15 per person. Children 3 and younger who sit on an adult’s lap are free. Space is limited on the trolley. Make reservations by calling SHARE Senior Center 843.785.6444. Trolley departs from SHARE Senior Center. Riders are asked to arrive 30 minutes prior to tour time.

Breakfast with Santa, 9:30-11 am Sat. Dec. 15 @ Senior SHARE Center, 6 Office Park Road, Hilton Head Island. Bring the whole family to enjoy a meal with Santa, music, holiday crafts and photos with Santa. Cost: $8 per child. 843.681.7273.

Live Nativity, 6:30-8 pm Sat. Dec. 15 @ Grace Community Church, 450 Spanish Wells Road. 843.681.6698

Moms in Motion

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

moms-in-motion.jpgHere’s help for your New Year’s resolution.

St. Joseph’s/Candler’s Center for WellBeing is offering Moms in Motion, a pre- and post-natal exercise program, on Wed. Jan. 2, and every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The class, which is led by an exercise specialist certified in maternity fitness, will highlight specific exercises that will improve a mother-to-be’s balance, functional strength and flexibility. Each one hour session will conclude with a stress-relieving cool down and relaxation component. For more information and to pre-register, call 819 -(MIND) (6463).

Worst baby names of 2007

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

baby-name-bible.jpgThe “Working Dad: An Unauthorized Guide to Parenting” blog with Seattle Post Intellgencer compiled this list of worst celebrity baby names, according to the authors of the Baby Name Bible.

Note there’s no Savannah, one of the top 20 most popular names, in the bunch

1. Zeppelin – Jonathan Davis, lead singer of Korn.

2. Ptolemy – Gretchen Mol.

3. King Justice – Jaceon (The Game) Taylor

4. Cash – Annabeth Gish

5. Shanti — Nick Nolte

Welcome new sponsor: Barefoot Books

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

motherbridge-love-2.jpgWe have unique book suggestions for the children on your list, thanks to our newest sponsor Barefoot Books.

We’re so happy to share Barefoot Books with you because Barefoot’s children’s books, gifts and art are inspired from stories from around the world. The books help to promote diversity, acceptance and multiculturalism.

For adopted children, give the heartfelt book Motherbridge of Love, which offers comfort and encouragement to adoptive parents and children. Just read this line about birth and adoptive mothers: “The first one gave you life; the second taught you to live it…. One found a home for you that she could not provide, the other prayed for a child; her hope was not denied.”

Barefoot Books also has oodles of books for those of you who want your children to learn Spanish as a second language. Check out the Spanish-language edition “How Big is Pig?” (Cerdota Grandota) which introduces pre-school children to all kinds of opposites around the farmyard. Other best bets for beginning Spanish readers are “De Paseo por La Selva,” (Walking Through The Jungle) a sing along that includes a CD, as well as any of the “Bear” series books: “oso-en-casa.jpgOso en Casa“, Oso bajo el Sol” and “Oso en Bicicleta.”

More fun children’s books include “My Daddy is a Pretzel”, ideal for those wanting to introduce yoga to young children, and “Miracle of the First Poinsettia,” the Mexican tale about how the poinsettia first came to be.

SouthernMamas readers can obtain Barefoot Books discounts by visiting the Web site. Barefoot also has a Stallholder program, which is a way to receive discounts on these award-winning books and to earn extra income as well. Anyone interested can e-mail barefootreading@mybarefootbooks.com. Joyous reading!

Clara never had so much fun

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

flappergirl.jpg Here’s a holiday show for the older kids who want a fun twist on the traditional Nutcracker.

“Swingin’ At Club Sweets”is inspired by Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic. But this one involves flappers, a speakeasy and jazz by Roger Moss and Ricardo Ochoa’s live jazz ensemble.

The show features dancers from The Studio, which offers dance classes ranging from ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary to hip hop. “Swingin at Club Sweets” is @ 7 pm Sat. Dec. 15 @ The Lucas Theatre for the Arts. Tickets: $20 – $30. For more info, call 912.525.5050 or click here.

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