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Archive for June, 2008

Part of Forsyth Park playground closed

Monday, June 30th, 2008

forsyth-park-closed-playground.JPGOh how we miss you Forsyth Park tunnel and alligator.

If you’re heading to Forsyth Park this holiday weekend for the first time in weeks, you might be surprised to find the downtown Savannah park’s east playground – the one designed for 2 to 5 year-olds – closed.

It’s fenced off and covered up during the renovation of the neighboring fort. That half of the playground closed in early May and is expected to reopen in a year when the fort renovation is complete.

Don’t worry. The west playground – the one with the mini-rock climbing wall – is open. It also has a climbing tower, slides and swings. The only drawback is it’s designed for older kids, 5 to 12 year-olds. While toddlers do use it (including mine), some of the climbing areas are a little lofty.

The fort is being renovated to be an attractive building housing a visitor’s area, cafe, meeting rooms and restrooms. A bandshell will be added to the south side of the fort. So looks like missing one half of the playground will be worth it in the end.

Got questions about other Savannah parks, city property or services? Call 311 within Savannah or 912.651.6565. The 311 Call Center provides responses to non-emergency requests regarding city services. It’s available weekdays, 8 am-5 pm Mon-Fri. Hooray! A place for answers. You can also make requests online. Click here.

Does your child love ships & cannons?

Monday, June 30th, 2008

If so, then be @ ship.jpgOld Fort Jackson National Historic Landmark around 9-9:30 am Thurs. July 3 to see the destroyer USS Barry arrive in Savannah for the Fourth of July festivities.

The Virginia-based guided missile cruises will receive a cannon salute from Old Fort Jackson National Historic Landmark before tying up on River Street. Sorry, the ship will not be open for public visitation due to security restrictions at the port.

Old Fort Jackson is @ 1 Fort Jackson Road, three miles east of downtown Savannah off President Street. 912.232.3945.

Zoe & Sprout gift certificate giveaway

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

Welcome zoe-and-sprout-button-ad.jpgZoe & Sprout, an online boutique that is our newest, hip Southern sponsor.

Zoe & Sprout original baby and toddler onesies and tees are designed to make you smile, laugh, and even blush. Designed by southern mama and chief sprout Amanda Zylowski, who believes babies don’t always have to sport teddy bears, rubber ducks, and flowers on their threads.

southern-belle-onesie-zoe-sprout.gifZoe & Sprout is giving away $25 in merchandise to one lucky SouthernMamas subscriber. To be eligible, email your name and the correct answer to the question below to Deadline is early this holiday week, 9 pm Wednesday July 2. We’ll announce the winner here Thursday.

Quiz question: Zoe & Sprout has baby and toddler twinsets named after a song by a 1970s brother-and-sister singing duo with opposing tastes in music. Name that tune or the duo. Hint: Click here and then click on baby or toddler and scroll through the onesies and tees.

You have to be a SouthernMamas subscriber to participate. Subscribing is free. Click here to do so.

For 2008, Zoe & Sprout has added great twinsets to their line, funky retro items, and eco-friendly organics. Best sellers include, i-shot-jr-tee-zoe-sprout.gifI Shot J.R.”, the “Bo & Luke” twinset, “Southern Belle”, and “The Dog Hates Me”.

SouthernMamas readers receive a 20 percent discount @ Zoe & Sprout by using the code SMAMA2008. Start shopping by clicking here.

In praise of moms who take action

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

heide-paul-elliott.jpgHeide Elliott’s son doesn’t have cancer. But this Guyton mom took time off from work, drove to DC last week with her 7-year-old son and spent five days rallying for more funding for pediatric cancer research.

Heide is one of those moms willing to take action for a cause she believes in, even though her family is not personally affected by the problem she’s fighting. You can about read about Heide (pictured here with her son after they both shaved their heads for St. Baldrick’s cancer research fund raiser) and the need for more pediatric cancer research funding in my column today in the Savannah Morning News Accent section. Click here to read more.

Know of other involved moms like Heide? Please tell us about them. SouthernMamas plans to start spotlighting local moms who passionately take on a great cause. Email us at

Questions about FluMist and autism

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

flumist.gifMedical authorities and some parents of children with autism have long feuded about a link between vaccines and autism. The controversy has even extended to, as you can read in the comments section on this autism post and on this one.

Today, the New York Times broke a story about a 6-year-old’s death that is going to raise even more questions about whether mitochondrial disorders could be set off or worsened by vaccinations and whether those disorders might be linked to autism.

As the NYT reports: “On Jan. 11, a 6-year-old girl from Colorado received FluMist, a flu vaccine, and about a week later “became weak with multiple episodes of falling to ground” and “difficulty walking,” according to a case report filed with federal health officials and obtained by The New York Times.”

“The girl grew increasingly weak and feverish and “became more limp, appears sleepy, acts as if drunk,” the report said. She was hospitalized and underwent surgery and was finally withdrawn from life support. She died on April 5, according to the report.”

The little girl had mitochondrial disorder. Another child with mitochondrial disorder is 9-year-old Hannah Poling, the Athens-Ga. girl you probably read about. Hannah was 19 months old and developing normally in 2000 when she received five vaccine shots.

“Two days later, she developed a fever, cried inconsolably and refused to walk. In the next seven months, she spiraled downward, and in 2001 doctors diagnosed autism,” according to the NYT.

Read the full article NYT here. But be prepared. It’s going to make you want to find out everything you can about these very mysterious mitochondrial disorders.

See a live, local version of “American Idol”

Saturday, June 28th, 2008

Get ready for a hometown version of “American Idol” this Fourth of July weekend.

american-idol-logo.jpgRichmond Hill Recreation Association Old Time Family Festival and BBQ @ J.F. Gregory Park will include a “Richmond Hill Idol.” Stephanie Edwards from “American Idol” will kick off the contest at 5 pm Sat. July 5. Then 10 contestants will compete for the RH title.

The festival – which runs noon-dark – is free and open to the public. In addition to “RH Idol,” it will include vendor booths, water rides, games, food and rides for kids of all ages. The festival ends with a fireworks show.

For more Fourth of July weekend events including where to watch fireworks, sign up to subscribe to the SouthernMamas weekly email newsletter, which spotlights best kid-friendly events for the week ahead. Subscribing is free. Click here to do so.

Would you lend your child to NBC’s “Baby Borrowers”?

Friday, June 27th, 2008

baby-borrowers.jpgYou’ve probably heard of (or maybe even watched) the debut this past week of NBC’s new reality series “Baby Borrowers.’’

As a “social experiment” the British-concept puts five young, unmarried couples to the parenting test. The teens are given a succession of people to care for, infants, toddlers, tweens, teens and senior citizens. The show is sure to be a much needed “birth control” for young people. Think “Scared Abstinent.”

Sure, the motive to prevent teen and unplanned pregnancy is a good one. But what about the very real infants and toddlers being handed over by their very real parents for inept strangers to take care of? Isn’t this verging on parental neglect?

NBC defends the show by saying a professional nanny is waiting in the wings. Plus, the real parents can monitor “the experiment” on close-circuit TV and can even occasionally step in if things get messy.

Child protection advocates aren’t buying it. Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families cites research on the effect of prolonged separations on small children left in the care of strangers.

Here’s part of Zero to Three’s statement:
“Legitimate social experiments are not conducted on national television or on reality shows. “Baby Borrowers” may have a catchy theme, but it exploits young children with potential harmful consequences. This is no social experiment. It is an extremely misguided endeavor that puts at risk our most vulnerable citizens, young children who need our love and protection.”
Read the entire statement here.

Would love to know what y’all think about this “experiment.” Would you hand over your infant or toddler for such a reality show if, in the end, the show might help prevent teen-age and unplanned pregnancy?

Your Kid’s Weekend Guide

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

farmers-market-logo.jpgStarland’s Farmers Market, 9 am-noon Sat. June 28. Get Georgia-grown organic and traditional produce, artists, food vendors, craftspeople, musicians, street performers and storytellers. In Savannah’s Starland District @ Whitaker and Bull from 40th to 41st. 912. 443.5355.

Disney’s “101 Dalmations” @ Savannah Children’s Theatre, Fri. June 27-Sun. June 29, 2160 E. Victory Drive. Call for show time and ticket prices. 912.238.9015

Summer Concerts in the Square, 11:30 am Fri. June 27. Featuring Silver Lining in Wright Square. Presented by the City of Savannah’s Dept. of Cultural Affairs. Free and open to the public. 912. 651.6417.

“Pink Panther” 7 pm Sat. June 28 @ the Lucas Theatre. Rated G. Admission is $8. 32 Abercorn St. Presented by the Savannah Film Society. 912.525.5050.

Haunted Tour @ Oatland Island Wildlife Center. Investigate Oatland Island’s haunted history with tour guides from Sixth Sense Savannah. 9-11 pm Sat. June 28. For costs, call 912.898.3980

Hilton Head Is/Bluffton area

Bluff Fest, 5-9:30 p.m Sat. June 28 @ the Bluffton High School Stadium. An Independence Day Celebration and Wing Cook-off with inflatable jumpers, live entertainment, face painting, pie bake-off, fireworks and more. 843. 757.1503.

Bug Scavenger Hunt, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m Fri. June 27, Hilton Head Branch Library. For kids 9 – 12 in age. A super crawly evening planned as with a vareity of buggy things throughout the library in this after-hours program, 11 Beach City Road, HHI. 843.342.9200.

Hardeeville’s 2nd Annual Fireworks and Fun, 4-9 pm Sat. June 28 @ the Hardeeville Recreation Facilities behind City Hall. Music and shag dancing, waterslide, games, food, family fun and a fireworks extravaganza. Free admission. 205 E. Main St. 843.784.2231.

Daufuskie Day Celebration, Sat. June 28 @ Daufuskie Island. Celebrate the Native Gullah culture with food, live entertainment, children’s activities and more. Ferry reservations required. 843.384.9941

The winners of the Huggies gift baskets giveaways are…

Thursday, June 26th, 2008

childrens-museum-of-the-lowcountry.gifBrenda Marion and Amy Hoecht.

Congratulations! Y’all each win a “Summer Essentials Kit” gift basket from Huggies Little Swimmers with swim diapers and a sand bucket full of beach necessities.

Thanks to everyone for your tips on best summer destinations with kids.

Amy, whose family lives on Lady’s Island, said her family spends a lot of their summer days on Hunting Island. “They have great programs for children and the beach is beautiful. Just went to the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in Charleston yesterday and had a blast.”

Brenda said her family’s favorite summer spot is Tybee Island where her son “loves to play in the tidal pools and wade in the waves. We pack up his wagon with sunscreen, towels, beach blankets and our new radio cooler (great father’s day gift for the whole family!) and head to the beach at 6th Street. It’s tough to get Jack to snack without getting sand in all of the food/attacked by seagulls, so we usually head to Marlin Monroe’s for a bite to eat and some shade while still enjoying the great view. He is also at a great age for the Tybee Island Marine Science Center and loves picking up the hermit crabs and conch shells in the “touch tank.”

Be sure to look for another giveaway from a different sponsor to be announced Monday on SouthernMamas.

Cool off in Hull Park Fountain

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

hull-park-smaller.JPGLooking for a little diversion from the pool?

Kids can cool off for free in the popular splash fountains @ Hull Park , the diamond-shaped green spot smack in the center of Ardsley Park. The kid-friendly fountains are in the concrete amphitheater near the baseball diamond. The only drawback is hitting the park at the right time when the fountains are on. There doesn’t seem to be a set schedule. Best bet is 10:30ish to lunchtime.

The park bisects Atlantic Ave. @ 55th Street. There’s also a playground, complete with an unusual find these days, a merry-go round. But be prepared, there’s not much shade other than a picnic pavilion – which makes the splash fountain much more appealing this time of year.

SouthernMamas get 10 percent off Little Ones Baby Gifts

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008


Ohhh. Y’all are going to adore our newest sponsor, Little Ones Baby Gifts, an online baby store teeming with oodles of fun baby and mom products.

This is the mom-owned store to visit during your next naptime online shopping trip. Planning a baby shower? Little Ones has the hip invites, favors, games, thank yous and a wide range of personalized & unique shower gifts. Expecting? Click on Little Ones for maternity clothes and baby gear, such as these cute shoes.

Or this adorable onesie.

Little Ones Baby Gifts is offering all SouthernMamas readers 10 percent off with the coupon code: southernmamas

Happy Shopping.

Check out Little Ones giveaway this week: little-ones-personalized-wall-art.jpgpersonalized wall art, pictured below. Click here to find out to how to enter.

Where kids eat free, Savannah

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

This economic crisis has many of us cutting back financially. That includes not eating out as often. But there are restaurants you can go to where kids eat for free or at a discount on certain nights.


Please Take My Children To Work Day

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

mammasaid.jpgHere’s a campaign at-home-moms can support: “Please Take My Children To Work Day.”

Blogger Jen Singer of the blog Momma Said created “Please Take My Children to Work Day” six years ago. Her aim: to give stay-at-home moms a real day off. This year the holiday falls on Mon. June 30. So hire a sitter and start making big plans. Singer offers a few suggestions on how to spend your coveted time-off:

  • See a movie that’s not animated with talking animals.
  • Have lunch somewhere that doesn’t serve chicken fingers.
  • Sit down for long periods of time without interruption.

Singer, mother of two, is also the author of the new book “You’re a Good Mom (and Your Kids Aren’t So Bad Either).”

Her book provides tips to avoid being either the super mom or slacker mom. Instead, Singer’s focus is on how to become a mom in the middle – who, of course, petitions her state’s governor to make June 30 an official holiday for at-home moms. Several states already have. Click here for the list. Sorry, SouthernMamas. Neither Georgia or South Carolina is one of them, yet.

Huggies gift basket giveaway

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Happy First Week of Summer!

In celebration of this season when the living is easy, huggies.jpgHuggies Little Swimmers is giving away two “Summer Essentials Kit” gift baskets with a complete package of Huggies Little Swimmers swim pants and a sand bucket full of spray and lotion sun screens, UV-ray sensors and beach toys.

Two gift baskets means two SouthernMamas winners. To be eligible, email your name and your best summer vacation tips – short daytrip locations or marathon drives – to Which beach, city, museum, park, campground, amusement park or resort do you like visit most during summer? We’ll pick two names at random and announce the winners here on Friday. Deadline is 9 pm Thursday.

You have to be a SouthernMamas subscriber to participate. Subscribing is free. Click here to do so.

Huggies Little Swimmers offers water and sun safety tips for you and yours. Click here for more info. Remember, children especially should guard their sensitive skin. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB, with an SPF of at least 15. Apply as much sunscreen as you can using the size a golf ball. Reapply every 90 minutes you’re outside or after getting wet.

Forever young: How to live to a healthy 100

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

living-to-100-logo.jpg“100, huh? I’ll need to see some ID.”

That was my semi-serious response to meeting Savannah’s incredibly fit and sharp identical centenarian twins. They look and act too young to be 100, but will celebrate the milestone next week. I write about the twins in my column today in the Accent section of the Savannah Morning News. Read it here to learn the twins’ secret to longevity. They still live independently, drive and each have a terrific sense of humor.

We’d all love to live to see our grandchildren’s children. Heck, geriatric moms like myself would be thankful just to live to see our own grandchildren.

Wonder how likely it is that you’ll be a great-grandmother? You can take an online quiz that gives you an estimate of how long you’ve got left. Click here to use the “Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator.” Then get busy coming up with a cute nickname your future great-great grandkids can call you.

Free Sand Gnats tickets for SouthernMamas

Saturday, June 21st, 2008

gnate.jpgHere’s a fun, inexpensive way to kick start your Fourth of July weekend. Free baseball and fireworks.

Thanks to our sponsor Savannah Mall, SouthernMamas readers are invited to attend the Savannah Sand Gnats‘ Men’s League All-star game FOR FREE! Thurs. July 3 @ historic Grayson Stadium. Fireworks follow the game and regular Thirsty Thursday sales apply. Savannah Mall is a co-sponsor of the event.

SouthernMamas can receive up to four free tickets each. Offer expires July 3. Click on this link for your free Gnats tickets: free-sand-gnats-tickets-for-southernmamas.pdf

Your Kid’s Weekend Guide

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

fletcher1.jpegPink Lemonade Brigade, 10 am-until lemonade runs out, Sat. June 21 in Forsyth Park, Savannah. You gotta love a 4-year-old who already knows the meaning of “good works.” Fletcher Gaddy, the cutie pictured here and son of SouthernMamas subscriber Ashley Waldvogel Gaddy, will be part of a nationwide effort Saturday called the Pink Lemonade Brigade.

About 1,000 children across the country will set up lemonade stands sponsored by Crayons Natural Beverage Company and will donate the money raised to a charity of their choice. Fletcher’s charity is a new one in Chatham County, the Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy, which sends new books to the homes of registered children every month until their fifth birthday. Click here to find out more about the charity. Fletcher hopes to raise money for the organization and register children to receive books. So show up at Forsyth Park thirsty on Saturday and spread the word.

Other weekend events:

Drum Talk concert, 3-4 pm Fri. June 20, Madison Square (Bull and Charlton Streets) All are invited to take part in “It Takes a Village: Drumming on a Friday Afternoon.” The drum talk lets participants recharge, release stress, connect communally. Bring your own drum if you have it. No drumming experience is necessary. Free! Presented by Savannah College of Art & Design 912.525.6971

Puppet People “Hoorah for Summer!” show @ Centre Court, Savannah Mall. 11 am-2 pm Sat. June 21. FREE! Enjoy Summer Family Fun Days with a free puppet show @ 1 pm; face-painting @ 11 am-2 pm and puppet making noon-2 pm, 14045 Abercorn Ext

Summerfest @ State Farmers Market in Savannah, 10 am-2 pm Sat. June 21. Free watermelon slices, watermelon seed spitting contest, barbecue cookoff, dunking booth, pony rides, face-painting, kids rides, waterslide and local fruits and veggies, 701 West US 80, 912.966.780

Latina Festival @ River Street in Savannah, 2-8 pm Sat. June 21. Latin-American stage performances, traditional food, arts & crafts, mural painting, face-painting, storytelling and children activities. FREE. Presented by the Latin American Services Organization (LASO).912.238.2032

Family Yoga Workshop @ Savannah Yoga Center, 1-3 pm Sat. June 21, 1321 Bull St. Focuses on family bonding through breath work, poses and meditation techniques. Cost $5 per family. 912.441.6653

The winner of the “Photography by Nicole” giveaway is…

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Amy Parker!!!! Congratulations. You win a $25 gift certificate and free sitting with photographer nicole-photo-logo.jpgNicole Williams, a Guyton-based photographer who serves all Lowcountry areas.

Thanks to all who participated in this week’s giveaway. You were all correct. On her Web site, Nicole suggests the best outfit for newborns at photo sessions is their beautiful bare skin!

Don’t forget. “Photography by Nicole” is also offering SouthernMamas readers 10 percent off portraits. Contact her at 912.596.0832.

Look for a different giveaway to be announced here Monday.

Teaching social cues to kids with autism, ADHD

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

autism-puzzle.jpgChildren with Asperger’s, other forms of autism or ADHD are often teased and bullied.

A social skills group therapy class at The Mindspring Center in Pooler aims to help children and teens with Asperger’s and other communication, behavior or learning disorders learn how to fit in. The group is designed to teach everyday skills such as how to carry on a simple conversation.

Through specific skill building exercises and peer interactions, children in our group therapy will learn what to do and say in everyday social situations thereby decreasing the sense of social isolation and anxiety that many challenged children experience.

The 8-week course starts Sat. Sept. 6. Groups are 9-10:30 am or 11-noon. Group placement is determined by age/ability. It’s organized by The Mindspring Center, located in the Ranicki Chiropractic Wellness Center. The group is lead by Stephanie Warren, licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist.

Parents are encouraged to schedule your child’s evaluation as soon as possible as space is limited and requires evaluation to join in. To sign up your child, call 912.748.6463.

Buy BabyLegs and win

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

babylegs.jpgThe Polkadot Platypus , a sponsor of SouthernMamas, is an online boutique that caters to the fashion savvy baby, child and mom. Now through July 15, 2008, look for winning tickets inside specially marked packages of BabyLegs™ leg warmers purchased at The Polkadot Platypus.

Prizes include a trip to Seattle, as well as other prizes from See Kai Run™, Woobee™, SaraBear™, Moby Wrap™, BabyLegs, Four Peas™, Belle Baby Carriers™, Vintage Onesie™, Mally Bibs™ and BrainCandy™! Click here to start shopping today! Good luck, SouthernMamas.

Don’t forget, The Polkadot Platypus offers SouthernMamas 15 percent off purchases by entering the code “polkadot” at checkout.

Free tethered hot air balloon rides

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

balloon.gifHit Forsyth Park in downtown Savannah tomorrow (Wed. June 18) for free tethered hot air balloon rides and a dose of politics.

The balloon rides are part of Americans for Prosperity’s Hot Air Tour, which aims to discount the threat of global warming. OK, so the rides aren’t exactly free. You’ll have to put up with some amount of campaigning against environmentalism. But who knows, putting up with all that hot air could be worth the view from above.

The event starts at 9:30 am and also includes free food and T-shirts. If you plan to attend, you’re asked to register online here.

Can infants learn to swim?

Monday, June 16th, 2008

isr.pngAn unusual swimming program called Infant Swimming Resource aims to prevent drowning deaths by teaching babies as young as 6 months old how to rescue themselves in the water.

The ISR program is different than traditional swim lessons. Children who are able to crawl are taught how to handle themselves in an actual submersion situation. ISR instructors teach lessons in 10-minute increments, five days a week.

The motto of ISR is “The sooner. The safer.” Read more here.

Currently, no ISR program is available in our area. The closest class is Amelia Island. SouthernMamas reader and mother-of-two Kendall McCurry is among the moms who would love to see an ISR program available locally. She provided the following info:

If you, too, are interested in helping bring an ISR program to the Lowcountry, click here to sign a national waiting list. That way, ISR can see how many people in our area are interested.

Anyone interested in becoming certified to be an ISR instructor in our area, click here.

We’d love to hear comments about this swim-teaching technique from anyone whose child has experienced an IRS class.

Meanwhile, the Starfish Swim School @ The Chatham County Aquatic Center offers fun swim classes for children as young as 6 months with lots of singing, blowing bubbles and helping kids develop a high-comfort level in the water.

“Photography by Nicole” giveaway

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

crab-photo-nicole-williams.jpgHere’s your chance to win a $25 gift certificate and free sitting with photographer Nicole Williams who has a keen ability to shoot images that tell a story and depict true expressions.

frog-photo-nicole-williams.jpgNicole Williams, a Guyton-based photographer who serves all Lowcountry areas, has a knack for shooting outdoor settings, candid settings and, of course, portraits. Her goal is to capture the little things that we have a hard time remembering: details such as the tiniest toes, curious hands or those sweet expressions that we sometimes forget.

“When we look back 20 years from now, it’s not those “cheese” portraits that we’ll treasure. It’s the ones that not only show how beautiful our kids were, but WHO they were as children,” says Nicole.

As you can see in the photos included here, Nicole has a natural style that portrays true depictions of personality. You can also get to know Nicole’s work and her family through her blog.

To be eligible for the giveaway, email the correct answer to the following question to Nicole includes tips on her Web site about what to wear to photo sessions. Name the suggested “outfit” for newborns. Hint, visit her Web site by clicking here. Click on information, then what to wear.

Deadline for entries is 10 pm Thurs. (June 19) The winner of this giveaway from “Photography by Nicole,” a SouthernMamas sponsor, will be announced here Friday. You have to be a SouthernMamas subscriber to play. Subscribing is free. Click here to do so.

“Photography by Nicole” is also offering SouthernMamas readers 10 percent off portraits. Contact her at 912.596.0832.

Puppet People hit the Savannah Mall

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

savannah-mall-ad-redo.bmpSavannah’s beloved Puppet People will perform a FREE “Hooray for Summer” puppet show 1 pm Sat. June 21 – the first official day of summer – at the Savannah Mall.

The show is part of the mall’s Summer Family Fun Days which will also include be face-painting from 11 am-2pm and puppet making from noon to 2 pm. Savannah Mall is a sponsor of

Don’t forget to check out the mall’s new, free soft play area while you are there. Or take in a movie at Regal 10 Cinemas for free. Just click this link to get a free movie pass for SouthernMamas: free-savannah-mall-movie-pass-for-southernmamas.pdf

Even though the movie pass expires June 2, Savannah Mall folks say the coupons will still be honored!

7 Reasons Men Die First

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

why-men-die-first.jpgDon’t forget. Today is Father’s Day!

With the sad and scary news of 58-year-old Tim Russert’s death of a heart attack two days before Father’s Day, what better time than today to talk to your man about taking control of his health – eating right, losing weight, giving up smoking, lowering stress, watching his cholesterol, getting off the couch and getting a complete checkup. Especially since men die on average seven years earlier than women.

My column today in the Accent section of the Savannah Morning News (Read it by clicking here) is about challenging dads to stop being the weaker sex. Yes, that’s right. A new book, “Why Men Die First” by Marianne Legato, asserts that men are genetically and biologically more fragile than women to start with. Toss in societal norms that encourage risky behavior by men and a suck-it-up attitude and they are even more at risk than we are.

Legato told U.S. News seven reasons why males die prematurely—and seven actions they can take to prolong their lives. Read “7 Reasons Men Die First” by clicking here. And be sure to share it with your hubby this Father’s Day.

Help plan a new children’s museum

Friday, June 13th, 2008

childs-drawing.jpgThe Coastal Heritage Society wants YOUR input on what would make a great children’s museum in Savannah.

Plans are in the works to build a Savannah children’s museum to serve children ages 2-10.

Here’s your chance to tell the planners what you would like such a museum to embody.

A planning meeting will be 7 pm Tues. June 17 in the Coastal Georgia Center at 305 Fahm (just behind the Savannah Visitor’s Center). Planners and artists from Skolnik Architecture and Design firm will be on hand to hear what your suggestions and answer questions.

You can also share your thoughts on the future museum in an online survey by clicking here

If you have any questions, please contact CHS Education Specialist Beth Parr at or (912) 651-6823.

Your Kid’s Weekend Guide

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

puppet-gumbo.jpgPuppet Gumbo Festival @ Trustees Theater and in Johnson Square, Savannah. All weekend long. A FREE puppet street fair will be 9 am-1 pm Sat. June 14 in Johnson Square and will include free puppet-making, puppet shows and jugglers, street performers, jazz music and kids puppet parade. 912.355.3366. Family-friendly performances will take place Fri-Sun. @ Trustees Theater including “Panther & Crane” by Heather Henson, daughter of Jim Henson, 7 pm Fri. June 13. For ages 8 and up. To purchase tickets, go here or call 912.525.5050.

Peter Pan, the Musical @ Savannah Children’s Theatre, 8 pm Fri & Sat June 13 & 14, 3 pm Sun. June 15. 2160 E. Victory Drive. Tickets cost $15-20. 912.238.9015

The 1954 family-friendly film “Sabrina”, 7 p.m. Sat. June 14 @ the Lucas Theatre for the Arts. “Chauffer’s Daughter” Sabrina longs for a life of luxury. After she returns from schooling in Paris with a new sophistication, she must learn now navigate the world she has long wished to be a part of to find her own happiness. Cost: $8, $6 senior/military. 912.525.5050.

Free Day in the Parks. All Georgia state parks & historic sites will be free Sat. June 14 just in time for Father’s Day Weekend. No parking fees. No admission fees. Enjoy hiking, fishing, boating, picnicking. Events such as fishing rodeos and guided hikes are planned. 1.800.864.7275

Savannah Wheelie social group bike ride @ Historic Wormsloe Plantation, 11 am-noon Sat. June 14, the free day at Georgia state parks & historic sites. Free admission and parking to Wormsloe. Ride is a little over 6 miles but can be shortened to 3 for the kids.

Family Day @ Telfair’s Owen-Thomas House, Savannah, 10 am-1 pm Sat. June 14. FREE! For Juneteenth, the oldest celebration honoring the end of U.S. slavery. Live music, free tours, hands-on activities, Libation ceremony and more. 124 Abercorn St. 912.790.8800

Teddy Bear Clinic @ the Hoskins Center @ Memorial University Medical Center, 10 am-1 pm Sat. June 14. Children age 10 and younger can bring their favorite toy in for a complete checkup. Located @ Ranger Road & 66th street. Park in Parking Deck C.

The winner of the Just for Baby gift certificate is…

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

justforbaby-final-ad.jpgMelissa “Missy” McGrath!

Congratulations. You win a $50 gift certificate from our sponsor Just for Baby @ 7720 Waters Ave. And man, did we have a oodles of participants in this week’s contest. Thanks to all who participated and thanks to Just for Baby for such a popular giveaway.

You were all correct: music skirts sold at Just for Baby play the Chicken Dance, Macarena, Hokey Pokey or Suger Plum Fairy. Check out the skirts here.

Look for a different giveaway from a different sponsor to be announced here Monday.

How much trust to put in prenatal screenings?

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

pregnant-woman.jpgExpectant moms are often recommended prenatal screenings – such as blood tests and targeted ultrasounds – to determine whether their babies are at higher risk for certain chromosomal abnormalities, metabolic or hereditary disorders.

But what happens when those fetal screenings turn out to be inaccurate?

An expectant friend and SouthernMamas reader recently spent one and a half weeks believing her unborn baby had a one in 37 chance of Down Syndrome because that’s what the initial screening showed. Then she and her husband were told the baby wasn’t at risk for Down Syndrome, but the much more risky Edward’s Syndrome.

An ultrasound eventually showed that the quad screening was wrong and the baby has no signs of Edward’s.

I can’t begin to imagine the emotional rollercoaster this couple has been on.

Their story shows the importance of remembering that prenatal screenings are just that, screenings. They aren’t tests and they can’t accurately diagnose problems. Best to do as much research as you can and be aware of the high rate of false positives.

Prenatal testing – amniocentesis and chronic villus sampling – offer more definitive answers, but are more invasive than prenatal screenings and can carry some risk of miscarriage and complications.

Would love to know your take on prenatal screenings. How much trust do you put in them? Would you prefer to know something is wrong before the birth so you could prepare? Do you want the peace of mind? Or are such screenings not worth the risk of false positives?

Father’s Day weekend bike ride

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

savannah-wheelie.pngNo need to worry about how to spend Father’s Day weekend.

Start the celebration Saturday (June 14) by taking advantage of Free Day in the Parks and go on a social group bike ride.

This month’s Savannah Wheelie social group bike ride will be @ Historic Wormsloe Plantation, 11 am-noon Sat. It’s a family-friendly ride. All Georgia state parks & historic sites are free that day, including Wormsloe.

The Bicycle Campaign ride is a little over 6 miles but can be shortened to 3 for the kids. For more info, click here.