Archive for September, 2008

Help for children with Dyslexia, ADD, and ADHD

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

readingquest-index-embos-03-target.jpgDyslexia is one of the most misunderstood learning difficulties.

But help is available. The Reading Quest Learning Center in Pooler – a new sponsor of SouthernMamas – specializes in dyslexia and non-medication programs for ADD/ADHD. Recently, Reading Quest also added a program for autism.

Lesa Hall, who holds a B.S. in Education and has 15 years of teaching experience, founded Reading Quest Learning Center in May 2006. She uses the Davis Dyslexia Correction Program that addresses the learning styles of children and adults with dyslexia and ADD/ADHD.

The center’s philosophy is that dyslexia is not a disease, defect, or malformation of the brain, but a highly creative thought process and a special way of reacting to confusion.

The goal of Reading Quest’s 5-day intensive/one-on-one dyslexia program – which is also open to adults – is for the student to acquire the basic tools of literacy including:
-The ability to recognize and correct disorientations at will
-The ability to focus attention
-The knowledge of how to eliminate confusions in words and symbols
-Increased self-confidence and ability in reading writing math or physical skills

Reading Quest is offering a free consultation and assessment with a 10 percent discount off the program fee.

Read more about Reading Quest’ s dyslexia sessions by clicking here; by calling 912.330.8577 or emailing lesa@readingquestga.com.

reading-quest-autism-logo.jpeg

The center’s new autism program is for children 8 and older as well as adults. Non-verbal students are accepted. For more info on the one-on-one, 4 to 5 week autism sessions, click here. Call 912.330.8577 to schedule a free presentation of the program.

Giveaway: Free admission to Junior League Thrift Sale

Monday, September 29th, 2008

The junior-league-thrift-sale.jpgJunior League of Savannah is giving away two pairs of tickets to two SouthernMamas subscribers for this Friday’s thrift sale @ the Savannah Civic Center.

You can find appliances, electronics, children’s clothing and toys, home and holiday decor, books, accessories, house wares,
linens, furniture and more. Recently, two new sections have been added to the sale: New Boutique, featuring new-in-the-box merchandise; and Gift Shop, featuring high quality items such as crystal, china, jewelry, and designer goods.

To be eligible to win, email your name to anne@southernmamas.com by 9 pm Wednesday. We’ll pick two names at random and announce the two winners here Thursday. Winners will be able to pick up their free tickets Friday at the Savannah Civic Center box office.

The Junior League of Savannah Thrift Sale is 10 am-2 pm Fri. Oct. 3 to Sat. Oct. 4 @ the Savannah Civic Center. Entry is $5 on Fri. and $3 on Sat. Tickets at the Civic Center Box Office or 912.651.6556.

All proceeds benefit the Junior League of Savannah’s community projects.

Children under 2 are admitted free. No strollers or carts are permitted. Items sold on Saturday are half-price. All sales are cash only. Parking is free.

This year, you can enjoy first picks from the floor, hors d’oeuvres, auction items and cash bar @ the Thrift Sale Preview Cocktail Party and Auction Thurs. Oct. 2 from 5:30 – 10 p.m. Cost is $35 limited availability. (This giveaway doesn’t apply to the preview party tickets). Live and silent auctions includes such items as art, jewelry, designer clothing and gift certificates to top spas, golf courses and restaurants. Tickets for the Preview Cocktail Party and Auction are available by clicking here.

Giveaway: Free Christmas photo package by Nicole Williams

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

nicole-williams-c-mas-cards.jpgHere’s a giveaway you can really use this time of year.

Local photographer and SouthernMamas sponsor Nicole Williams is giving away a FREE Christmas photo package, one 8×10 and two 5×7′s.

Yes, it really is time to start thinking about that time of the year again. Christmas is right around the corner and what better way to stay ahead on things than to get your Christmas portraits done early.

To be eligible to win, email the correct answer to the following question to anne@southernmamas.com. What is the very meaningful three-word phrase at the top of Nicole’s blog? Hint: click here.

Be sure to email the answer by the 9 pm Thurs. Oct. 2. Don’t forget to tell us your name. We’ll pick a name at random and announce the winner Friday on SouthernMamas.com.
Nicole Williams is a new local photographer and to kick off her first Christmas in business she also is offering SouthernMamas subscribers 30 percent off of package or a la carte pricing now through Dec. 1 2008. Her slots will fill quickly, so make sure you book your session early.

The first SouthernMamas fan who books a holiday session will receive a FREE set of 25 (5×7 size) custom Christmas cards for friends and family.

Nicole specializes in studio or on location portraiture. By booking a session with her, you’ll be certain to have priceless gifts for friends and family this year. One example of her work is included here. View more by clicking nicole-williams-portrait-example.jpghere

Get to know a little bit about Nicole’s work and family by staying up to date on her blog, which includes fun contests and portrait giveaways.

Giveaway: Tickets to Disney on Ice

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

You are going to love this giveaway. Two SouthernMamas subscribers will win FOUR FREE TICKETS each to
disney-on-ice-logo.jpgDisney On Ice presents Mickey & Minnie’s Magical Journey.

The show is playing @ the Savannah Civic Center Nov. 5-9. Ticket sales are already under way here. The two winners will each receive four free vouchers, which can be used for one of any of the shows.

The show invites children to join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a journey into the magical worlds of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Peter Pan, and Lilo & Stitch. From Ariel’s enchanting undersea kingdom to Never Land with Peter Pan and his sassy fairy friend Tinker Bell, you child is sure to be captivated by the music, beauty and laughter in a journey so magical. You, too, may never want to go home.

To be eligible to win this giveaway, comment below on your all-time favorite Disney character or movie. Just click on comments and start writing. Be sure to comment by the 9 pm Thurs. Oct. 2. Don’t forget to tell us your name. We’ll pick a name at random and announce the winner Friday on SouthernMamas.com.

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

Supporting, not snickering at, people who are obese

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

ruby-g.jpgWe gripe a little on SouthernMamas about how tough it can be for some to lose that baby weight.

But just imagine if you had roughly 350 pounds to drop or risk serious health consequences, i.e. death. And you decided to try to lose the weight on national TV.

Meet longtime Savannah resident and 500-pound Ruby Gettinger who is doing just that. Ruby is the subject of my column today in the Accent section of the Savannah Morning News. Read the column here.

Ruby will be the star of an upcoming reality series on the Style Network that documents her struggle to become a fit, healthy person. Ruby’s been overweight since she was 8 years old.

As a society, we tend to have little sympathy for people who are obese. But I predict viewers – thin and fat – will fall in love with Ruby and her quirky sense of humor after the reality show “Ruby” premieres Nov. 9. And we’ll all be rooting for Ruby.

String instrument “petting” zoo for kids

Friday, September 26th, 2008

OK. Here’s our chance to spark our kids’ interest in playing a string instrument.

Savannah’s “child-playing-cello.jpgMusicAlive!” string quintet will have classical music programs for children next month @ branches of the Live Oak Public Libraries. Children will learn about the musical genius of Amadeus Mozart and his music.

There will also be a string instrument “petting zoo” after the program when children will be allowed to touch the instruments.

The FREE performances are recommended for children of all ages. Here’s the schedule for the MusicAlive! events:

Tues., Oct. 14, 10 a.m. @ West Chatham Branch Library
Tues., Oct. 14, 4 p.m. @ Islands Branch Library
Wed., Oct. 15, 10 a.m. @ WW Law Branch Library
Wed., Oct. 15, 4 p.m. @ Oglethorpe Mall Branch Library

Call your local branch for more info. Click here for branch phone numbers and addresses. Sponsored by Live Oak Public Libraries Foundation and the Savannah Friends of Music.

The winner of the Bellybar giveaway is….

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Elizabeth VonWaldner!

Congratulations, Elizabeth. She wins a gift package of nutritious treats teeming with bellybar-image.jpgBellybar’s delicious, all-natural snacks for women before, during and after pregnancy – bars, chews, shakes and more.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Look for another giveaway from a different business to be announced here Monday.

How’s your child’s backhandspring?

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

cartwheel.jpgSo many kid-friendly events are going on next weekend, the first in October, that we better start telling you about a few now.

Tumbling Camp will be 4-6 pm Oct. 3-5 @ Marylin Youmans School-Dance, 822 E. DeRenne Ave.

The camp consists of tumbling and physical fitness for boys and girls 3 years old and up.
Children will work on flexibility, strength, jumps, cartwheels, backbends, handstands, walkovers, aerials, backhandsprings and other acrobatic and tumbling tricks. Cost is $60/camper or $25/day.

Questions? Email Tricia Lee @ triciatmd@yahoo.com or call 912.596.1983.

Baby music programs start @ HHI library

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

beaufort-county-library.GIFRegistration begins Wednesday (Sept. 24) for for the Baby Programs @ the Hilton Head Branch Library.

Beth Green, dubbed the “Music Lady,” will present the programs for babies ages newborn to 6 months @ 11 am on Sat. Oct. 11, 25 and Nov. 1. The fourth program will be @ 12:30 pm Sat., Nov 8.

Please bring a blanket for your little one. Each class explores parental-musical bonding, baby sign, certified infant massage techniques choreographed to music, and musical stimulus and response activities. Each class will be different.

Register for each session in person, by phone @ 843.342.9200 or by emailing jmorgan@bcgov.net.

Hilton Head Branch Library also offers a regular Do-Drop-In storytime @ 10 am every Saturday in the library’s indoor amphitheater. For children of all ages.

Stories, songs, silliness, take-home ideas and more. Residents and visitors are welcome.

Pirate Birthday Party Adventures

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

story-ship-button-ad.jpgEvery time your child’s birthday rolls around, your goal is always the same: a creative, fun, memorable yet EASY birthday theme. But the arduous task of trying to find that perfect fit has you sounding like your little pirate-wannabe: “Aaaarghhhh!”

Finally, “Captain Goodie’s Birthday Adventure” to the rescue. Captain Goodie Twoshoes and his parrot Pete will take your birthday child and party guests on an amazing adventure.

Two versions of the birthday show are available- complete with ruckus magic, music and comedy. Kids participate by singing along, playing percussion instruments, helping with magic tricks and solving riddles.

The plot of the birthday shows: Goodie can’t remember how to open his magic chest full of treasure. So he calls upon the kids and his animated friends to help. The performance includes a pirate rabbit who tries to steal Goodie’s gold and appears through out the show in a hilarious series of magic tricks. In the end, kids figure out how to open the chest and Goodie shares his treasure which includes a special treat for the birthday child!

Click here to see details of the two pirate birthday party shows available. Each is best for ages 3-8. Click here to watch a video clip of “Captain Goodie And The Magic Chest.”

For booking info, call 1-877-444-8253/912.353.8381. Or email sean@storymaker.com. Please support SouthernMamas sponsors like Captain Goodie. They help make this site possible!

The creative mind behind the pirate birthday shows is Sean Driscoll, founder of The Story Ship, a Savannah children’s educational performance and workshop company. Driscoll’s worked in the children’s entertainment industry for more than 30 years. The Story Ship’s workshops unite new digital audio recording technology with music and storytelling. Kid’s create their own audio CDs of music and stories and share them @ The Story Ship website.

The Wiggles are coming! So are Winnie & Mickey

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

wiggles.jpgPrepare to experience your first Wiggles mosh pit.

Join The Wiggles, Captain Feathersword, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Henry the Octopus, Wags the Dog as part of the new all-live concert tour sponsored by Toys R Us.

“Pop Go The Wiggles Live” takes place at 6:30 pm Nov. 18 @ the Savannah Civic Center. Tickets for the show go on sale to the general public starting at 10 am Oct. 10. Cost ranges from $18-$38. Order tickets online by clicking here or call 912.651.6556 or 800.351.7469.

Other kid-friendly shows coming to the Savannah Civic Center include:

  • Disney Live! Winnie the Pooh, Live On Stage, 2 pm & 5 pm Oct. 5
  • Disney on Ice: Mickey& Minnie’s Magical Journey, 7 shows Nov. 5-9

Click here for showtimes and more info.

Stroller Fitness Group in Savannah

Monday, September 22nd, 2008

moms-in-motion.jpgYou’ve done everything to lose that baby weight, but you still can’t fit into your skinny jeans.

A new Savannah group provides fitness you can do with your child in tote. Stroller Fitness meets @ 9 am Tues/Thurs @ Daffin Park playground @ the corner of Washington and Waters avenues.

The class will consist of walking, running, and strength training for moms in need of exercise. Kristen Pate, former Fleet Feet store manager and new mom, is going to be joining the workouts and helping out.

The first workout is tomorrow, 9 am Tues., Sept. 23. Cost: free for Sept 23 and then $10 a session.

Contact: Melissa Safrit Bowen at melissasafrit@aol.com

Bring: Stroller with child, weights(3-5lbs-can buy at Target), towel, 2 bottles of water and optional (sports drink & snack).

Thank you to Jordan Chase for telling us about this new group!

Bellybar goody bag giveaway

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Bellybar is giving away a gift package of nutritious treats to a lucky SouthernMamas subscriber.

The package is teeming with Bellybar’s delicious, all-natural snacks for women before, during and after pregnancy – bars, chews, shakes and more. DHA never tasted so good! Even if you aren’t pregnant or a recent new mom, these make fun shower and baby gifts.

bellybar-goodies.jpgThe winner goody bag includes:

1-5 count box of our improved Berry Nutty Cravings flavor – now with yogurt coating

1-pouch of Citrus On Board Bellybar Chews

1-bar of each additional flavor: Baby Needs Chocolate, Mellow Oat, and Burstin’ Chocolate

1-of each flavor Bellybar Shake, Vanilla Dreams and Due for Chocolate

To be eligible to win, email us the correct answer to this question. This week, a free puppet show is being performed @ two Live Oak public library branches. What classic book is the puppet show based on? Hint: read the post below “Online Newsletter: Best Bets for the Week Ahead.”

Email the answer and your name to anne@southernmamas.com. Deadline is 9 pm Thurs. Sept. 25. Send email to anne@southernmamas.com. We’ll pick a name at random and announce the winner here Friday.

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

Bellybar has the tastes you crave, the nutrition you need. For more nutrition info, click here or or call 800-95-BELLY. Enter to win great prizes each month through the Bellybytes Newsletter! Sign up here.

Online Newsletter: Best Bets for the Week Ahead

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

childs-drawing.jpgWe are putting our popular weekly newsletter online this week because several subscribers are having trouble receiving it via email. A shorter version of our weekly e-newsletter – announcing this week’s giveaway, newsletter sponsor and teasing to these events below – is being emailed to subscribers as well. Please let us know if you didn’t receive yours by emailing anne@southernmamas.com

Savannah area
Storytime, songs and animal visitors @ Toddler Tuesdays @ Oatland Island Wildlife Center
This week’s program on Tues. Sept. 23 focuses on deer and is best for ages 6 month-2 year olds
Free with regular Oatland Island Admission.
10:30-11:15 am Tuesdays
912.898.3980

Ellis Afternoon Musicales @ Charles Ellis Montessori Academy
3:30 pm Tues. Sept. 23
Featuring harpsichordist Anne Acker. Part of series of afternoon concerts designed to raise musical knowledge in children’s education.
Free and open to the public.
220 E. 49th St.

Island MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers) @ First Baptist Church of the Islands
The mom group meets the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, 9:15-11:30 am Wed. Sept. 24. Join other moms for inspiration, support, guest speakers, friendship, food and creative activities. Free childcare for your children ages birth-5 yrs.
6613 Johnny Mercer Blvd.
912.898.6456 or 912.898.4344

Aesop’s Fables family puppet show @ two Live Oak library branches
4 pm Thurs. Sept. 25 @ Islands branch, 125 Wilmington Island Rd.
10:30 am Thurs. Sept. 25 @ Effingham library branch, 810 Hwy 119 South Springfield
FREE! shows by The Red Herring Puppeteers
Best for ages 5 to 12.

“If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” performance @ Savannah Children’s Theatre
The live show based on the beloved book is best for ages pre-K to elementary ages.
3 pm Sat. & Sun, Sept. 27 & 28. Cost: $10
2160 E. Victory Drive.

Free car seat safety checks @ Week Day Ministries in the parking lot of First Baptist Church, Rincon
11 am-2 pm Fri. Sept. 26. Offered as part of National Child Passenger Safety Week by Safe Kids Savannah along with State Farm Insurance Company
118 East 6th St., Rincon.

Medieval Festival @ Oatland Island Wildlife Center
Travel back in time to the days of Lords and Ladies at the spectacular Medival Festival. See knights doing battle, try out a trebuchet and take part in the music and merriment. Special entertainment and food highlight this incredible event.
10 am-4 pm Sat. Sept. 27. Cost: $7 for adults ages 18-63; $5 for children ages 4-17, seniors ages 65 and over and military (must show ID); FREE! for children 3 and younger.
912.898.3980

Grand Reopening Sale @ Just for Baby & More
One day sale with a variety of giveaways – cribs, twin bed, bedding more. Sat. Sept. 27
Just for Baby & More’s new store is located directly across from their former 7720 Waters Ave. address.
Look for the polka dots.
912.355.4455

“Authors on Autism” Workshop @ Armstrong Center for Continuing Education & Community Engagement, 11935 Abercorn Ext. For parents and professionals working with children with autism.
8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sat. Sept. 27.
Pre-registration is required. Call 912.355.9098 or email jennifermcgee4@comcast.net.
Sponsored by The Matthew Reardon Center and the Georgia Department of Human Resources

Youth Jazz Festival @ Forsyth Park, downtown Savannah
4 pm Sun. Sept. 28
Bring your lawn chairs. Part of the nine-day Savannah Jazz Festival, Sept 20-28.
The Savannah Jazz Festival, celebrates jazz offers all types of jazz, from Dixieland, traditional swing, straight-ahead and bop to melodic standards and funky down-home “gutbucket” blues.

Hilton Head Is./Bluffton area

ArtStart Visual Art Classes for ages 2-5 @ the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina
3:30-4:30 pm Wed Sept 24 & 10-11 am Thurs. Sept 25. Pre-registration required.
14 Shelter Cove Lane
843.686.3945 ext 233

2nd Annual Morgan Keegan Pedal 4 Kids
Benefit for the Boys and Girls Club of Hilton Head High School. A non-competitiv, multi-distance biking event for riders of all abilities with a 5, 10 or 25-mile route. Pre-registration required.
8:30 am Sat. Sept. 27
843.689.5565

Family Fun: Puppet Playshow with Yostie Ashley @ the Art Academy of Hilton Head
10 am-noon Sat. Sept. 27. For ages 6 and older. Pre-registration required. 106 Cordillo Pkwy
843.842.5738

Beer & Brats Festival on Calhoun Street, Bluffton
1-8 pm Sat. Sept. 27. More than 20 beers to sample, food from local eateries, kids’ activities, live music
Admission is $10, includes drink tickets and a souvenir cup. Hosted by the Old Town Bluffton Merchants Society
843.757-6300.

Be savvy about BPA-free bottles, sippy cups

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

bpa-glass-bottles.jpgAnyone else relieved to see that Target is finally carrying BPA-free BornFree bottles?

So are other retailers, which is good news to moms concerned about using plastics containing the risky chemical BPA. The FDA says BPA is safe, but other agencies – and tests – say differently. Prompting some to question whether the FDA is biased toward the industry that profits from BPA-laden baby products.

Read my column in today’s Accent section of the Savannah Morning News to find out more. Click here to read it.

You can find more products that are BPA, PVC and phthalates free @ The Soft Landing, a site started by an RN and mother of three. In addition to sippy cups etc., the site also has toothbrushes, teething rings, and bibs — all without risky chemicals.

Babble.com also put together a guide of BPA-free bottles – with photos of the products – so you don’t have to settle for risky bottles. Click here.

UPDATE: Just for Baby & More dropped all of feeding products that were not BPA free. The Savannah store @ 7701 Waters Ave. also carries Born Free bottles; Dr Browns new BPA-free bottles; the Medela bottles, which also is BPA free. Just for Baby & More also has the full line of BPA-free feeding accessories- sippy cup, bowl, snack ball, silverware – from Boone and toddler sippy cup/bottles from iplay.

2008 Holiday photo sessions with Lori Grice

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

We know you Southern Mamas love to plan ahead. So who is already thinking about scheduling family photos for holiday cards?

lori-grice-logo.jpgPhotographer Lori Grice, a SouthernMamas sponsor, knows you are. So she’s already scheduled a family (or just the kids) express session day outdoors, Tues. Oct. 14.

The $299 express sessions will include the session fee, 25 Holiday cards and two 8×10’s (includes two poses–additional poses $25/pose). Lori will take more than two poses and won’t rush you through. You will have your own scheduled time – so no lines.

Lori also has Santa photo sessions set for Tues., Nov. 11. The 30 minute session will include a VIP Santa experience. Only you and your family will be in the studio with Santa. Again, no lines.

Just arrive at your scheduled time and enjoy your session with Santa and Mrs. Claus while Lori photographs the experience. The package is $349 and includes the session and your choice of 4 8×10’s OR 25 Christmas cards plus two 8×10’s. You need to schedule your session and place order when you call to insure you will get everything back for Christmas.

This annual VIP Santa experience does sell out.

To reserve a spot for either of the October or November holiday sessions, call 912.764.7274/1-800-704-LORI (5674). Read more about these special sessions and see examples of Lori’s work on Lori’s blog by clicking here.

Savvy Southern Mama Q&A: Beth Howells

Friday, September 19th, 2008

elsie-and-beth.jpg

Welcome to another SouthernMamas Q&A with one of our savvy readers about parenting tips, troubles and triumphs. (If you know a SouthernMama you’d like to nominate for a profile, email anne@southernmamas.com. Read past profiles by clicking here. )

Meet Beth Howells, English professor and Armstrong administrator.

Your family: husband, David Thompson, Nurse Anesthetist; daughter, Elsie (Elizabeth Locksley Thompson), 2 years old; pug, Oscar, 7 and aging quickly with Elsie around; cat, Baby, who has better things to do. We live in midtown Savannah.

How would you describe your parenting philosophy?

Wow! We don’t really have a philosophy since this is our first. We are kind of making it up as we go. I guess we try to encourage Elsie’s independence, we try to let her explore and experience the world, and we try to stay positive. Most of this is not premeditated, though, we just end up trying to react appropriately in the moment and later reflect on whether or not our reaction was correct.

What are your child’s favorite books and toys?

It seems there are new toys every day: new instruments, animals, puzzles, balls… She finds them, loses them, refinds them, and loves them. And of course, the toys she likes best aren’t toys at all: toothbrushes, hair products, shoes… Actually, her current favorite is the Dora umbrella her babysitter Elaine gave her for her birthday.

Elsie loves books, every book, really. She loves the Boynton books; Each, Peach, Pear, Plum; Knufflebunny; the Carl books, the Peggy Rathman books; and Good Night Moon, of course. We’ve moved from the touchy-feely books to those with words and stories and find she even likes longer ones like Amelia Bedelia or Sylvester and the Magic Pebble–though we might summarize a bit. Ultimately, at this point, it is more about her parents’ favorites, books we aren’t tired of or too tired to read!

What are your child’s favorite TV shows or movies?

Elsie likes the Wiggles, Hi Five, and the Doodlebops–oh and Thomas, she has a thing for Thomas the train. She adores the bonus DVD that came with catch-the-moon.jpgthe Lisa Loeb/Elizabeth Mitchell CD–it has two songs that she dances to over and over: “Catch the Moon” and “Stop Go.” As for movies, she likes parts of Charlotte’s Web best but watches bits of Nemo from time to time. Of course, we try not to do too much TV, and then again, we just broke down and got the car DVD player for long roadtrips.

What are your child’s favorite foods?

Guacamole and chips. Edamame. Cheese. And ice cream for special treats.

What one adjective would you choose to describe motherhood?

Wondrous.

Describe your most humbling parenting moment:

The most humbling moments are probably yet to come with #2 on the way in January. When we find our hands full with one two year old and see those handling much more than that with such grace, we are incredibly humbled. And we’ll have two girls–I imagine the teenage years with two will be a daily lesson in humility.

Describe your most beautiful parenting moment:

Coming home from work every day and seeing her face lit up and having her run to me saying “Mommy… Mommy…. Hug.” If she is anything like I was, unfortunately, she won’t always have that reaction to her mother, so it is especially beautiful to me.

Favorite local kid-friendly eatery?

Jalapenos.

Favorite local kid-friendly spot/event?

We love all of the little parks and playgrounds in Ardsley. We walk and bike to them daily.

What resource for children does our area lack, one that you would like to see here?

I hear the Charleston Children’s museum has a kid’s size little grocery story. I think Elsie would love something like that.

Who is your pick for the area’s best pediatrician?

Dr. Dudley Stone

What is your pick for the area’s best preschool?

Montessori Academy of Savannah.

Most valuable baby gift you received that you couldn’t live without?

Our Mountain Buggy stroller.

If you had zillions of extra bucks to donate, what charity/cause would you select?:

Fighting Cancer.

What is the one phrase you hope your child will say to you when she’s all grown up?

Nothing’s better than “I love you,” though, I will miss the childish little lisp–”I lub you.”

Island Child owners create clothing line

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

The owners of think-tink-tank-smaller.jpgIsland Child on Hilton Head Island are more than just the duo behind the upscale boutique that’s been dressing children for generations.

Steve and Senny Powell – who have seven adopted children and have fostered seven children – also have designed their own line of children’s items produced solely for their store in the Village at Wexford on Hilton Head Island.

Check out their very own THINK TINK collection on their online store here. The collection features Tinkerbell, a cute little teacup Yorkie. Picture this THINK TINK tank pictured here paired with island-child-pink-tights.jpgthese ruffled leggings or island-child-pink-boots.jpgpink cowboy boots, both available @ the Island Child, for a fun fall look.

The Powells actually started in the retail business by creating children’s items and selling them to upscale boutiques in the Chicago area. Their dream was to produce their own line and sell it in their own store.

See, dreams do come true.

We’re thrilled to have Island Child as a sponsor of SouthernMamas.com. Watch for announcements on SouthernMamas.com about an upcoming Tink Tea Party to be hosted by Island Child.

Click here for more info or call 1.888.705.5437 or 843.686.5437.

The winner of the Belly Bandit giveaway is…

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

Jen Williams!

Congratulations, Jen.

She wins belly-bandit.bmpa $50 Belly Bandit Couture , an abdominal compression binder to help flatten the belly and redefine the waistline post-baby. The wrap also helps decrease bloating caused by water retention, give support to legs and back, improve posture and reduce back and shoulder pain associated with breastfeeding.

Thanks for all your entries and for sharing your plans and tips on losing baby weight. Jen is due Oct 2 with her first baby. She writes her to plan to shrink her post-preg belly includes water aerobics class @ the Chatham County Aquatic Center, breastfeeding and eating right.

Even if you aren’t pregnant or a recent new mom, these tummy wraps make fun shower and baby gifts. Check out the wraps here.

Thomas the Tank Engine visits southwest Georgia

Thursday, September 18th, 2008

thomas-train-cordele.jpgThomas the Tank Engine fans get ready. The beloved storybook character is chugging into to Cordele, Ga. for two weekends in October.

Children of all ages can take the “Day Out With Thomas Great Discovery Tour 2008″ @ SAM Shortline Excursion Train depot in Georgia Veterans State Park on Oct. 17, 18, 19 and 24, 25, 26.

Take a 25-minute ride on real train that looks like Thomas the Tank Engine; meet and snap photos with Sir Topham Hatt and Fifi Forget-Me-Not; join in on storytelling and crafts; and enjoy live music, mini-golf, bouncy inflatables, food vendors, wildlife displays and more.

The train departs every hour on the hour, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Rain or shine. The park is @ 2459 U.S. Hwy. 280 West in Cordele, 9 miles west of I-75 via Exit 101. Tickets cost $18 for ages 2 and older.

For tickets, call 1 (866) 468-7630 or click here. For more information and directions, click here or call 1 (877) GA-RAILS.

Free Baby Bonding book from Love & Blessings

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

lb-book-button-ad.gif
Our wonderful sponsor
Love & Blessings is giving away a FREE copy of The Baby Bonding Book to anyone who visits LoveBlessings.com and signs up to receive their monthly newsletter for savvy mamas absolutely FREE.

The Baby Bonding Book makes a terrific baby shower gift. While visiting the Love & Blessings Web site, check out the beautiful, organic gift baskets for baby and mama.

The folks @ Love & Blessings.com are pros at putting special gift baskets together, for moms, new moms, expectant moms. You can create your own gift basket or select one that Love & Blessings already has set up and filled with all their goodies.

“He’s my favorite honkey … Buried in his jamies, King Tut”

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

king-tut.jpgSteve Martin also sang of King Tut: “Now if I’d known, they’d line up just to see him, I’d have taken all my money, and bought me a museum.”

Get ready to stand in line to see the exhibit “Tutankhamun: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs” opening Nov. 15 in Atlanta.

The exhibit @ the Atlanta Civic Center features more than 130 treasures from the tomb of celebrated pharaoh King Tutankhamun and other ancient Egyptian sites at the Atlanta Civic Center. It runs through May 25.

Due to the popularity of this exhibit and the 30-minute timed entrances, tickets are on sale now. Advanced tickets ensure you can see King Tut and provide you with the “Tutlanta” affiinity card, which will get you deals at more than 75 area businesses. To see full listing of offers is available, click here.

To get your tickets or for more information, click here. Adult admission is $32.50 and children are $16.50.

Mommy-and-toddler yoga starts Oct. 7

Monday, September 15th, 2008

twisted-warrior-logo.gifSoon your toddler may substitute ‘bye-bye’ with namaste.

Yoga instructor Cathy Baxter of Twisted Warrior Yoga will start a parent-and-toddler yoga class Tues. Oct. 7. The 45-minute class for ages 2-5 will be 10 am Tuesdays @ the Charles H. Morris Trustees Garden Center, 10 East Broad St. (downtown Savannah next to the Pirates House).

Children’s yoga mats are provided. Toddlers must be accompanied by an adult. No need to worry about donning hip yoga wear, just dress in any comfortable clothing.

I definitely want my son to be a little yoga warrior in this class when he’s old enough. All that peaceful, hand-clasping and deep-breathing has got to have a cleansing effect on toddler tantrums, right? Plus, it will be a kick to see him do downward-facing dog.

Cost is $10/ class or $29/ month. For more info, call 912.704.5111 or email Cathy@TwistedWarrior.com. Or visit the Web site here for toddler yoga info as well as adult yoga classes.

SouthernMamas Newsletter woes

Monday, September 15th, 2008

southernmamas-logo-small.jpgAre you receiving your weekly SouthernMamas newsletter?

We’ve heard from several readers who didn’t receive theirs this week. Please let us know if you didn’t and we will try to individually email you one.

The newsletter is emailed regularly every Sunday and packed with quality information about local kid-friendly events, so we really want you to read it. If you are not receiving yours, we want to hear about it and fix the problem. Email anne@southernmamas.com.

Belly Bandit Giveaway

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

belly-bandit.bmpBaby weight.

How do you lose it? Why is there so much of it? And why do other moms seem to banish their baby bellies immediately after giving birth?

Maybe their secret is Belly Bandits, an abdominal compression binder to help flatten the belly and redefine the waistline post-baby. The wrap also helps decrease bloating caused by water retention, give support to legs and back, improve posture and reduce back and shoulder pain associated with breastfeeding. Check out the wraps here.

Belly Bandit is giving away a $50 Belly Bandit Couture to a lucky SouthernMamas subscriber. See the giveaway wrap here. Even if you aren’t pregnant or a recent new mom, these tummy wraps make fun shower and baby gifts.

To be eligible to win, email us your name and your secret to losing baby weight (or your gameplan on how you will lose it.) Deadline is 9 pm Thurs. Sept. 18. Send email to anne@southernmamas.com. We’ll pick a name at random and announce the winner here Friday. The winner can select her size of Belly Bandit.

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

How your newborn can save lives

Sunday, September 14th, 2008

mother-child.jpgIf you are pregnant or know someone who is, please check out my column today in the Accent section of the Savannah Morning News to find out how that newborn can help save lives.

Read it by clicking here.

To find out more about Cryobanks International Inc.’s free donation program, click here.

Public vs. private schools

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Babble.com has an interesting and quick Q&A today with Sanda Tsing Loh, author of the new book mother-on-fire.jpgMother on Fire: A True Motherf%#$@ Story About Parenting.”

Loh , a writer, performer and NPR essayist, is now a staunch defender of “those scary, scary” public schools. She points an accusatory finger at moms like me who are leaning toward choosing private schools (if we can save enough money by the time my son’s ready and if we don’t make the lottery for the public school Charles Ellis Montessori Academy).

Should we feel “judged” or “disrespected” or “guilty” for choosing private schools over public?

That depends, according to Loh. If you are disgusted with the state of public education, the best solution is getting involved and making improvements as a public school parent. Loh says she has a big problem with “The very elite, wealthy blue, blue Democrat, Manhattan or L.A. people railing against the educational system” while sending their kids to exclusive private schools.

“They could make it (the public school system) better. All the money they’re dumping into the private schools, all the favors they’re doing for private schools — speaking at commencements, the fund raising, teaching the little Latin class, dumping all their resources into the private schools — then looking critically at all of us people out there in the not-so pretty schools. Those are people I would judge most harshly,” Loh says.

She also defends the stereotypical PTA mom who makes school fund raising her life’s mission, leaving other parents feeling inferior.

“It’s the moms at public schools who are doing all of it: cutting out cute heart-shaped figures, bringing snacks for field trips, figuring out the system, selling the wrapping paper, writing grants for the violins, getting money together for a music program,” Loh says. “So the PTA mom is glaring at you. . . leave her alone, she’s getting a new gym built!”

Read the Q&A here.

Below is a blurb from Amazon about her book. It sounds like an interesting, albeit guilt-provoking, read.

“Prompted by her own midlife crisis, Loh throws her frantic energy not into illicit affairs, shopping binges, or exotic trips, but into the harrowing heart of contemporary, dysfunctional L.A. life when she realizes that she can’t afford private school for her daughter, and her only alternative is her neighborhood’s public school, Guavatorina, where most of the kids speak Spanish and qualify for free lunches. “

SouthernMamas receive 10 percent off @ LeeAnn Ritch Photography

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

I want to live in a ritch-photo.jpgleeann ritch portrait. Check out her photos ritch-baby.jpghere and you will, too.

The Savannah photographer and new mom – her 3-month old treasure Easton is pictured here – has a love for life, children and, now, motherhood that is evident in her photography (and in her blog). We’re thrilled to have her as our newest sponsor.

LeeAnn shoots portraits (like this mother-daughter shot pictured here), weddings, even pets.

She has a knack for natural lighting and candid shots. A native Floridian, LeeAnn also has lived in California, and, now, Georgia. She’s obviously not one to be landlocked. LeeAnn has had a passion for photography since she was a little girl and has been shooting all her life.

Mention SouthernMamas when booking your session with LeeAnn, and you will receive 10 percent off the sitting fee. Click ritch-logo.jpghere to contact LeeAnn. Or call 912.308.9327 or email leeann@leeannritchphotography.com

The winner of the Just for Baby & More giveaway is….

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Ginger D. Thompson!

Congratulations, Ginger.
She wins a $50 gift card to use @ just-for-baby-cropped-better.jpgJust for Baby & More, which is in a new location @ 7701 Waters Ave. – right across from their former spot. Look for the polka dots.

Thanks to everyone who participated. Look for a different giveaway from a different business to be announced here Monday.

Puppet shows illustrate Aesop’s Fables

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Make plans to attend the aesop-puppets.jpgAesop’s Fables family puppet show presented by The Red Herring Puppeteers visiting from North Carolina.

The FREE! puppet shows will be various branches of Live Oak Libraries including:
4:30 pm Thurs. Sept. 18 @ Oglethorpe Mall Branch, 7 Mall Annex, Savannah.
10:30 am Thurs., Sept. 25 @ Effingham (Springfield) Branch, 810 Hwy. 119, Springfield
4 pm Thurs. Sept. 25 @ Islands Branch, 125 Wilmington Island Road, Wilmington Island

Best for ages 5 to 12.

Sponsored by The Savannah Coastal Puppetry Guild and the Live Oak Public Libraries Foundation.

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