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Archive for October, 2008

The winners of the Eager Mind alphabet magnet giveaway are…

Thursday, October 30th, 2008

Sharie Graf!
Melissa Neil!
Tonya Dowell!

Congratulations, ladies. You each win a combo of uppercase and lowercase alphabet magnets from the mom-owned online store eager-mind-logo.gifEager Mind The magnets have letters and pictures that teach letter recognition, alphabet sounds and phonic reading. Check out the magnets here.

Thanks to everyone who participated! Y’all were all correct in answering the quiz question: Each set has 35 letters – the 26 letters of the alphabet, short and long vowel sounds and “an additional four of the most used consonants.”

Look for another giveaway to be announced here Monday.

What do you want to know about the Wiggles?

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

wiggles-pop-go.jpgAs we told you in this earlier post, The Wiggles tour “Pop Go The Wiggles Live” will be in Savannah, 6:30 pm Tues. Nov. 18 @ the Savannah Civic Center. Tickets range from $18-$38. Order tickets online by clicking here or call 912.651.6556 or 800.351.7469.

I need your help. In advance of their Savannah performance, I will be interviewing some members of the wildy popular children’s music group for an article for the Savannah Morning News. I’d love to know what you, as moms to Wiggles groupies, want to know about Jeff, Murray, Anthony and Sam.

Couple of potential angles for the article include:

  • Their latest CD & DVD “Pop Go The Wiggles” showcases a collection of nursery rhymes that each member of the group loved while growing up. The importance of preserving these tales is a subject that each of The Wiggles is passionate about.
  • The story of how it all began and what it is like for them now seventeen years later. They are currently one of the longest running entertainment acts in the history of children’s music.
  • The Wiggles were appointed International Goodwill Ambassadors for UNICEF. They will join more than 300 other well-known actors, musicians, athletes and artists who at the national and international level speak out for children.

Please let me know if any of those topics appeal to you or suggest another. What questions would you like to ask the group? Comment below or email me at anne@southernmamas.com. Thanks!

New report: FDA ignored evidence about risky chemical in baby bottles

Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

bpa-glass-bottles.jpgStill concerned about using plastics containing the risky chemical BPA, even though The Food and Drug Administration says the chemical is safe?

Perhaps you should be. After all, today an expert panel asked to review the FDA’s handling of the controversial substance found the FDA ignored evidence when concluding that a chemical in plastic baby bottles is safe. Read the article here.

BPA-laden baby products could pose harm to children at levels at least 10 times lower than the amount the FDA says is safe, according to the report written by outside scientists asked to review the agency’s handling of the controversial substance.

To learn how to tell if your baby’s bottle or sippy cup are safe from BPA, click here.

Election Day giveaway @ Chick-fil-A

Monday, October 27th, 2008

georgia-voter.bmpIf you vote early this week, be sure to save your “I Voted” sticker.

It will nab you a free chicken sandwich @ all Chick-fil-A restaurants in the Savannah on Election Day (Nov. 4).

Any voter who comes into a Chick-fil-A restaurant in the Savannah area wearing the “I Voted” sticker on Election Day receives a free sandwich. No purchase necessary.

Here’s where to vote early this week, to avoid what are predicted to be record long Election Day lines next Tuesday:

Chatham County

Voter Registration Office, 1117 Eisenhower Drive, Suite E: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday and Friday; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.

Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe Ave.: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. through Friday.

Wilmington Island Library, 125 Wilmington Island Road: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Friday.

Mosquito Control, 65 Billy Hair Drive (formerly Short Drive): 9 a.m.-4 p.m. through Friday.

More info: 912.790.1520.

Bryan County

Voter Registration Office, Bryan County Courthouse, 151 S. College St. in Pembroke: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through Friday.

Bryan County Courthouse Annex, 9930 Ford Ave. in Richmond Hill: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. through Friday.

More info: 912.653.3856.

Effingham County

Voter Registration Office, 306 N. Ash St. in Springfield: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. through Friday.

More info: 912.754.2115.

Giveaway: three sets of Eager Mind alphabet magnets

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

eager-mind-logo.gifTrying to teach your child how to read and those boring, plastic fridge letter magnets not doing the trick?

Eager Mind – the mom-owned online store known as the learning playground – can help. Eager Mind is giving away three sets their smart letter magnets – magnetic letter and picture combos that teach letter recognition, alphabet sounds and phonic reading.

This week, three SouthernMamas will each win a combo of uppercase and lowercase sets. Check out the magnets eager-mind-photo.jpghere.

To be eligible to win, email the correct answer to the following question to anne@southernmamas.com. Each set has 35 letters – the 26 letters of the alphabet, short and long vowel sounds and an additional four of what??. Hint: click eager-mind-package.jpghere and scroll down to the packaging section.

Deadline for entries is 9 pm Thurs. Oct. 30. Don’t forget to tell us your name, too. We’ll announce the three winners here Fri. Oct. 31. You have to be a SouthernMamas subscriber to participate. Subscribing is free. Click here to do so.

Mompreneur Sally Hanan started Eager Mind after she and her husband moved to Texas from Ireland with their young son and daughter. They had received a lottery visa and it was the fulfillment of one of my husband’s dreams to live in the States.

In 2004, a sister sent Sally some of her letter magnets which she made and was selling. Sally loved their educational aspect, including the fact that the letters had phonic value and that each vowel had it’s two sounds, fitting with the phonic method she used to teach both kids to read. After working to have the magnets made professionally, the results have been fantastic. Moms and teachers use the magnets to teach their children and students how to read. Now you can, too.

The winner of the Love & Blessings toddler gift basket giveaway is….

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

Rebekah (Becky) Wheeler!

Congratulations, Rebekah. You win a gift basket from love-and-blessings-logo.gifLove & Blessings.com.

Rebekah will receive her choice of either a Love & Blessing’s new Pear Play Purple basket (for a girl) or Pear Play Green (for a boy) from the online boutique. These baskets are valued at $70-plus each.

Yes, y’all were all correct, the classic children’s board book included in the toddler gift baskets is “Guess How Much I Love You.”

Thanks for participating. Look for a different giveaway from a different business to be announced here Monday.

Alert: Infant death prompts Delta crib recall

Thursday, October 23rd, 2008

delta-crib-recall.jpgHere at SouthernMamas.com, we don’t list every recall from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, even though we regularly receive the agency’s email alerts about various recalls. There are so many that listing them all would turn us into solely a recall Web site.

But this recall announced this week is too serious not to tell you about.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in cooperation with Delta Enterprise Corp., is announcing the voluntary recall today of about 600,000 drop side cribs because the drop side can detach when the spring peg is not engaged, causing risk of entrapment and suffocation to infants and toddlers.

Also, the company is offering replacement of missing safety pegs for over 985,000 drop side cribs.

An 8-month-old child suffocated when the drop side of his crib detached. CPSC is also aware of one child entrapment and one incident in which the drop side detached due to a disengaged spring peg.

The cribs, which were made in China, were sold at major retailers nationwide from January 2000 through January 2007 for between $33 and $200. Cribs currently sold at retail are not involved.

CPSC and Delta urge parents and caregivers to immediately stop using these cribs and contact Delta to receive a free, easy-to-install repair kit.

For more info, go to either the CPSC link here, or call Delta toll-free at 800.816.5304, or visit the manufacturer’s recall page here to order the free repair kit.

To receive notifications of similar recalls of baby gear, toys etc, join the CPSC email subscription list by clicking here.

Personalized, holiday outfits @ Kate Rees

Monday, October 20th, 2008

kate-rees-casual.jpgRemember when holiday celebrations included wearing a special holiday dress bought just for that day?

The folks @ kate-rees-boo-yall-set.jpgKate Rees, personalized clothing for children, do. Kate Rees, our newest sponsor, offers classic, traditional, personalized outfit for each and every holiday. The unique, online shop has a limited line of custom boutique, finely finished garments for that little girl or boy in your life.

Each outfit is made individually, not mass-produced, and is appliquéd or monogrammed to your specifications and is made especially for your little one. But don’t just take our word for it. Check out some of these sweet, personalized outfits from kate-rees-snowman.jpgKate Rees.

Just imagine capturing fond memories of each occasion in a photograph of your little one dressed in a Kate Rees classic, casual or special occasion outfit.

Give where you live (and get a discount in return)

Monday, October 20th, 2008

sweater.gif

Banana Republic and Goodwill Industries of the Coastal Empire, Inc. are giving customers a chance to ‘give where you live’ while shopping. Trade in your gently worn sweaters or coats at Banana Republic @ 121 W. Broughton St. in downtown Savannah in exchange for a 30 percent discount on a regular-priced sweater from today through Oct. 26.

Customers can drop off their sweaters at The Banana Republic store @ 121 West Broughton St. In exchange, they will receive one coupon per sweater donated – limit three coupons per customer – for a 30 percent discount off regular-priced sweaters. Some exclusions apply.

All donated sweaters will be sold in the 14 Goodwill retail stores across the 29 Georgia counties and the 4 South Carolina Low Country counties within the Goodwill Industries of the Coastal Empire, Inc service region. Proceeds will fund Goodwill job training programs that benefit hundreds of thousands of people each year. To locate your local Goodwill and for info on all Goodwill services, call 912.354.6611 or click here

Love & Blessings toddler gift basket giveaway

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

This week, a lucky Southern Mama is going to fall in love with love-and-blessings-logo.gifLove & Blessings.com.

That’s because the online boutique is giving away one of their popular gift baskets. This one is for toddlers. The winner will receive Love & Blessing’s new Pear Play Purple basket (for a girl) or Pear Play Green (for a boy). These baskets – valued at $70-plus – make great 1st birthday presents.

Inside you’ll find Sckoon’s organic cotton Pear Romper, 100% certified organic cotton with fun and positive statements such as “Shiny Happy Kids” and “Play, Laugh and Grow”; matching Sckoon pear summer hat or monkey pants; ImagiPlay’s Palm Tree Bead Maze, crafted from rubberwood and painted with non-toxic, lead-free paint. All items tucked lovingly, with butterflies and flowers, in a photo organizing box for Mom.

To be eligible to win, email your name and the correct answer to this question to anne@southernmamas.com. These sweet toddler gift baskets also include a classic children’s board book. What is it? Hint: Click here and feel free to browse around while you’re there. Deadline for entries is 9 pm Thurs. Oct. 23.

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

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.

Love & Blessings is also the site to hit when looking for fun gifts for new moms. Think Bebe Au Lait nursing covers to make breastfeeding a little less eye-catching; organic cotton baby clothes; organic baby lotions and body washes; books and CDs.

A love story you won’t forget

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

After writing for newspapers for a zillion years, you learn how to keep an emotional distance from the very painful stories – the ones that involvelyra-jason-statts.jpg heartache and struggles with adversity.

I thought I was getting good at it. Until I tried to write about Jason and Lyra Statts and their fight to come to grips with, and hopefully overcome, an achingly difficult situation. I can’t seem to stop thinking about Jason and Lyra, the subjects of my column today in the Accent section of the Savannah Morning News. Please read it here.

Their powerful story gives credence to the belief that we can’t control what life deals us. But we can control how we react to it. I pray I would react as positively and as courageously to the circumstances Jason and Lyra were given as they have.

Savvy SouthernMamas Q&A: Triplet-mom Amber McHargue

Friday, October 17th, 2008

savannah-triplets.JPGWelcome to a 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 Amber McHargue, very proud stay-at-home Mommy to 2-year-old identical TRIPLET boys.

Your family: ABC, Alexander (Lex), Brody and Collin. My wonderful, amazing husband is Dove; he is a Professor of Sequential Art at Savannah College of Art & Design and a freelance comic book artist. (One of his father-of-three comic strips is pictured below!)Our dachshund, Indiana, completes our family! We currently live on the Southside.

Your Website:
I am awful about updating it, but it is: www.totsites.com/tot/tripletboys. I also have a blog that I’m a little better at: http://tripletboys.blogspot.com/.

Triplets?!? What’s your secret for daily survival? I don’t know what the secret is. We don’t have any family here, so the two of us have taken care of them by ourselves since the day they came home from the hospital. We both agree that for us that was the best thing. If we had had help at the beginning, we would have been lost when they left. We both love our little family more than anything in the world. We try not to take a single moment for granted. We try to love every poopy diaper because one day we know we will give anything to get this time back. We are both really laid back and just have fun with them! We are incredibly blessed with very good Boys. We always say that God said He would give us three, but he would make them extra good!

What’s the most challenging part of your typical day? The most rewarding part?
Lately we have had an “issue” with fighting. They are best friends and worst enemies all in one. It’s tough when I am by myself and someone has been hurt by another one or two. You have to decide whether to comfort first or punish first. I really think they are just trying to decide their “pecking order”, it’s frustrating for me to see them treat each other so rough, but they are boys and this too shall pass.

With that said, I am silly I know, but I honestly think every moment is rewarding. Every time I look at them, I am awestruck. I still can’t believe that these three beautiful, healthy, perfect little men were given to me!

As an auntie to triplets, I know multiples tend to attract attention wherever you go. What’s the most common question you’re asked and/or the most common comment you hear?
The absolute most common is “You have your hands full!” We hear that every single time we go out at least once. I really don’t mind the attention as long as it’s positive. I am so amazed at the things people say. We have had many people tell us that they would shoot themselves if they were us, how sorry they feel for us, how horrible it must be and on and on. These boys are the greatest gift in the world. I don’t see how people can see a child as anything but. What really hurts is that they hear people say stuff like this and I do not, for one second, ever want them to think they are anything but a beautiful, wonderful, perfect miracle!

What were the reactions of you and your husband when you learned you were having triplets?
I already knew that we were having more than one baby. I kept telling Dove, but he said I was “just being dramatic“. HA! We had actually just suffered a miscarriage a few months before and I thought we were having another one when I found out there were three. He was out of town and I called him and had him rush back. I called him on his way and told him that “The babies are absolutely perfect and I say babies because there are 3!” He said he would have to call me back. He called back about 2 minutes later and asked if they were sure that there wasn’t just one really fast one or maybe one with 3 heads. He had to call me back again after I informed him that I had a picture of all three of them at once. He was shocked but excited when it finally hit him. I think his ego blew up a little when he realized he had fathered 3 kids at once. MEN!

If you remember much of their first few months of their lives, can you tell us in one sentence what those months were like?
I’m trying, but I’m not good at this! It was wonderful! Busy and exciting, scary and tiring, but perfect in some way.

The boys are now 2. Is it getting easier now?
They really are very good! It’s never really been hard. We have never known what it’s like to just have one baby, so this is totally normal for us. We are always super busy, but I like that. I do better when I have 50 things to do at once. We have always had a really good schedule and that helps a ton. They hate being off of a schedule. They get all out of whack. I was never a super organized person before, but I definitely am now with them. The only time we are ever sleep deprived is during a stomach bug and let me tell you that that is hard. I can usually laugh about it, but I never knew how much the human body could really hold until my little men came along.

Are there any specific resources that have helped you with the challenge of having multiples?
There is a book by Dr. Barbara Luke called ‘When You’re Expecting Twins, Triplets or Quads’, it is a must have for those expecting multiples. There is a “Multiple Blessings” class offered at Memorial for $40 for those pregnant with multiples led by Del DeMauro. It was a tremendous help. I would strongly urge anyone pregnant with multiples to take this class. Also the Coastal Parents of Multiples club is a great way to meet other parents of multiples and get advice. They meet the first Tuesday of the month at 7pm at the Hoskins Center at Memorial. There is a website forum called The Triplet Connection that I have used occasionally to get info.

I have to say though that the absolute best resource for me, not for multiples but just being a Mom in general has been another Mom. I met a girl at my OB’s office while I was pregnant and we became friends. She had a son exactly one week after my boys were born. A few weeks after they were born we started walking at the park and hanging out. I can’t tell you how much that support has meant to me. We have become such good friends and I couldn’t imagine doing this without that friendship. It’s so nice to be able to talk and share notes or get advice from someone going through the same things with the same parenting philosophies. It has been my lifeline, every Mom needs a friend like that!

Describe mealtime at your house? Is it assembly-line style?
It used to be, but they started self-feeding around 10 or 11 months. We still did some baby food until a year, but they learned really quickly. They got a lot of practice with Cheerios while they were waiting for their turn. Now we all sit at the table and eat together. Well they all eat together, I don’t know how but my food is always soooo much better than anyone else’s and usually disappears before I’ve taken two bites. It’s a great diet!

Any quick meals, food items etc that have really helped you out when it comes to making sure your kids have good diets?
This is going to sound ridiculous, but they had a pretty severe milk allergy and it was the biggest blessing in disguise. They would get so sick from even a graham cracker with a touch of milk in it. As a result they ate a ton of lightly seasoned fresh veggies, fruits and meat/fish. They will eat fruit and veggies over almost anything and don’t want most of the junky stuff. Luckily they outgrew it a couple of months ago. I had to read every label and it was so hard to tell them they couldn’t have something if I wasn’t sure what was in it. Now they can eat whatever, but still prefer fresh veggies and fruits. They do love cheese now though!

What’s the one book, toy, DVD or TV show etc that is a real saving grace in your house, one that you use when you really need to entertain or distract them?
I guess Baby Einstein for DVD’s, we use to call them baby crack, because they would stop whatever they were doing, it could be the biggest meltdown in the world and they would hear the music and instantly zombify. It still has that effect, but they love other stuff too, Word World, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Little Einstein’s are favorites. As far as toys, their best friend got them the Little Tikes Bounce N Slide for their birthday and that was the greatest gift ever! They LOVE to jump and that keeps them happily occupied for awhile. Plus it is great exercise and they can do it together!

It has to be financially-challenging to have three kids at once to say the least. Any money-saving tips you can share when it comes to raising kids?
A lot of places offer multiples discounts, I’ve found that it never hurts to ask. The thing about multiples is that you have to buy so many things at once. Every time I buy a shirt for $10, it automatically becomes $30. It gets very expensive very quickly when you are talking about cribs, excersaucers, and whatever else. You don’t even want to know about diapers and formula. We had figured out that by the time they were two months old we had changed over 1600 diapers. We should own Pampers at this point! One thing I realized early is that sometimes actually spending more on some things will save you in the long run. I always factor time into what I’m buying also. I don’t have a lot of extra time, so I need to know that what I’m getting will do what it should, like diapers. I would rather spend more than have to worry about leaks and the time it would take me to clean up and do extra laundry. I really shop around and stock up when things are on sale. I also have off and on planned out a menu for the week in advance. That saves a ton on groceries. I make my list, then make my shopping list and I’m done. It also saves time because I don’t have to stress about what to cook and I can balance foods to make sure they are getting a healthy variety in their diet throughout the week.

Describe your most humbling parenting moment:
The most humbling moment was the day I was discharged from the hospital. I was discharged five days after their birth, but they didn’t come home until two weeks later. That was the hardest moment of my life. I was a wreck the entire day. I only went home to get clothes and eat, but walking out of that hospital without my babies was something I wish no mother ever had to do. I can’t even begin to describe the agony that I felt. Luckily they let me room in for another 5 days, but every time I left them, I felt empty. I was in the NICU with them every second that I could be. I try not to take anything for granted. Not a single moment.

Describe your most beautiful parenting moment:
A few days after they were born I got to kangaroo hold all of them on my chest at once. It was the first time since they were born that I got to hold them together. It was the most incredible moment of my life. They laid all three of them on my chest, skin to skin and I started crying. I am so incredibly blessed to have three beautiful, healthy boys. I can be in that moment in an instant. When they are grown up with their own lives, that is how I will still see them. So tiny and fragile, but so strong. That is a moment that is just mine and I can’t even begin to do it justice in words.

Favorite local kid-friendly eatery?
We have a few! They love the buffet at the Lady and Sons. They have never eaten as much in one meal as they do there! We go to the food courts at the malls a lot. Sporty’s at Savannah Mall and Chick Fil A at Oglethorpe Mall are their favorites. We play at the soft play and then eat and then go back and play some more! They also love Clary’s on Habersham for breakfast. They each pick out a toy to play with while they wait for their food and then they get to play after they are done eating.

Favorite local kid-friendly spot/event?
We love The Little Jumping Bean, ; they pretend to call it on the phone all the time! A few favorites are Oatland Island, the Tybee Playground, and Daffin Park.

What resource for children does our area lack, one that you would like to see here?
I would love to see a Children’s Museum and a Gymboree type place!

Who is your pick for the area’s best pediatrician?
Dr. Michael DeMauro at Pediatric Associates of Savannah. He is incredible! He has been such a blessing to us. He and his wife have triplet boys and it is so nice to have someone actually understand what you are going through, offer firsthand advice and realistic suggestions. He is very patient with all of my questions and has never made us feel like he is in a hurry to get us out of the office. He knows how to balance multiple patients at one time and always makes the boys feel comfortable. They actually get excited to go see Dr. D!

What is your pick for the area’s best preschool?
We like the St. Francis Cabrini’s Parents Morning Out Program. Everyone is super friendly and accommodating and the boys love it there!

Most valuable baby gift you received that you couldn’t live without?
It was a boppy-style pillow for multiples. That thing has been through so much and still looks great!

If you had zillions of extra bucks to donate, what charity/cause would you select?:
I would donate to the March of Dimes and the Old Savannah City Mission.

What’s the biggest challenge when it comes to raising multiples?
Fear. I can get caught up in being afraid that they aren’t getting enough attention, that they don’t get to do a lot of things that single children do and on and on. What I have to look at is that they have something that very few others have. They have two extra people besides Mommy and Daddy to comfort them. They never have to go somewhere alone. They have two extra people to play with and hug and talk silly too and snuggle with. They have an incredible, unique bond that will be with them for their entire lives.

savannah-triplets-comic-strip.jpg

The winners of the Moms on Call online toddler seminars are…

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Louella Sapone and Sherrie Rippa!

Louella and Sherrie will be the go-to kid experts after taking the moms-on-call-logo.bmpMoms On Call online toddler classes for free.

The popular $29.95 online class teaches you to discipline with love and without losing your cool. It’s taught by Jennifer Walker, a pediatric nurse and mom of three. Jennifer and Laura Hunter, also a pediatric nurse and mom of five, started Moms on Call. Learn more about the class here.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this giveaway. You were all correct. llama-llama-red-pjs.jpg“Llama, Llama Red Pajama” is the children’s book Moms on Call suggests reading to your child at night.

Look for another giveaway to be announced here Monday.

The winner of the Baby Legs giveaway is…

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

babylegs-logo.jpgDeanna Lamadrid-Jensen!!

Congratulations, Deanna. You win your choice of a Jack, Jill, Sky or Tea Time BabyLegs gift set, each with three pairs. Or a Halloween three-pack of Punkin, Itsy Bitsy, and Witch.

What a popular giveaway this was – with lots of SouthernMamas emailing in their entries and a few making comments on the post. Thanks to everyone who participated! Don’t despair about not winning. Shop instead @ the BabyLegs Webshop.

Look for a different giveaway to be announced here Monday.

Meet the ultimate Southern Mama, Paula Deen

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

paula-deen-kids-cookbook.jpgPaula Deen’s cookbook for kids – “Paula Deen’s My First Cookbook” – was just released this month.

If you want to meet the ultimate Southern Mama – or if you have Deen-fan visitors from out-of-town who do – she’ll be doing a slew of book signings for the new children’s cookbook tomorrow, Thurs. Oct. 16:
9:30- 11:30 AM- Signing at Savannah Christian Preparatory School. For more info, click here.
1:30 – 3:30 PM – Signing at Massie Heritage Center. For more info, click here.

7 PM – Signing at Barnes & Noble, Oglethorpe Mall. For more info, click here. Free and open to the public. Paula will give a short talk on healthy living and nutrition.

For a list of other children’s cookbooks, read this previous post here.

Miss Rosa joins guest list for Savannah Children’s Book Festival

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

MissRosa.jpg

The new host of the PBS Kids Preschool Block, Miss Rosa, is just one of the many kid-friendly celebs coming to the 2008 Savannah Children’s Book Festival, Sat. Nov. 15 @ Forsyth Park.

Miss Rosa is a teacher who introduces Spanish-language words and phrases during the two-hour-preschool block, which airs weekday mornings for free on PBS TV stations.

As we told you in a previous post, two big names in children’s literature,
arthur.jpg“Arthur” creator Marc Brown and author/illustrator mo-willems.jpgMo Willems, will headlining the popular annual festival.

Marc Brown wrote and illustrated the bestselling Arthur books series, which started as bedtime stories Marc told his first son. One night the story was about an aardvark who disliked his nose. That aardvark was named Arthur. Some 30 books later, Marc also has a PBS Show based on his books and continues to win awards and entertain kids.

Mo Willems began as a writer on Sesame Street. He created Nickelodean’s “The Off-Beats,” Cartoon Network’s “Sheep in the Big City” and head-writes “Codename: Kids Next Door.”

But your kids probably know Mo Willems best for his Caldecott Honor winning picture books “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!“and “Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale”. He also wrote and illustrated “Leonardo the Terrible Monster” and too many more to name here.

Be sure to mark your calendars and stay in town Nov. 15!

The Savannah Children’s Book Festival is presented by Live Oak Public Libraries and the City of Savannah’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Major sponsors are the Live Oak Public Libraries Foundation and Gulfstream Aerospace.

For more festival info, call 912.652.3689 or click here.

Marc Brown and Mo Willems are among dozens of authors and illustrators in the festival lineup including:

Mike Thaler: “Letterman” from the “Electric Company” series and the “Black Lagoon” book series

Carmen Agra Deedy: “The Library Dragon” and “Growing up Cuban in Decatur Georgia

Donald Crews: “Freight Train” and “Truck”

Katie Davis: “Kindergarten Rocks!”, “Who Hops?” and “The Curse of Addy McMahon”

Nancy Yi Fan: 13-year-old author of the bestseller “Swordbird” and its prequel “Sword Quest”

Charles Ghigna aka children’s author and poet “Father Goose”

Dr. Farrah Gray: “Reallionaire” and “Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer the 7 Myths Blocking Your Success”

The festival also features local authors, entertainment, costumed characters, a coastal writers circle and more.

Personalized, reasonably-priced gifts @ Suzi Homemaker

Monday, October 13th, 2008

You gotta love Mompreneurs like the mom behind the Webshop, Suzi Homemaker, our newest sponsor.

suzi-messenger-bags.jpgSuzi Homemaker is a “Mom-owned” custom embroidery and sewing business specializing in personalized baby and children’s gifts, as well as linens, school uniforms, personalized aprons for kids and logo wear for work, family reunions and more.

Suzi quit her job as a PIO for a municipal government to move to the country with her husband and raise their kids. Similar to an increasing number of moms today, Suzi started her own cottage industry as a way to contribute her family’s finances while affording her the flexibility to be with her children. Fortunately, she has the sewing skills to make a commercial embroidery business like this work.

But don’t just take our word for it. Check out some of the products on Suzi Homemaker such as these adorable suzi-lunch-boxes.jpglunch boxes and messenger bags pictured here.

Personalized AND reasonably-priced? You can’t beat that.

Shop here. Find out more about starting a Web-based cottage industry by visiting Suzi’s blog.

Giveaway: a BabyLegs gift set!

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

“Goodnight Pumpkin Legs” is what my son now says to his babylegs-punkin.png“Punkin” Baby Legs – pictured here.

Punkin is just one of the fall-themed designs available online on BabyLegs now including Scarecrow, babylegs-itsy-bitsy.pngItsy Bitsy, Witch. My child’s Punkin legs are fun and festive and, like all BabyLegs, easy to throw in the diaper bag just in case our weather eventually turns chilly. The legs can be quickly slipped on with shorts or skirts.

BabyLegs is giving away a BabyLegs gift set to a SouthernMamas subscriber. The winner will have her choice of a Jack, Jill, Sky or Tea Time BabyLegs gift set, each with three pairs. Or the winner can choose to receive a Halloween three-pack of Itsy Bitsy, Punkin and Witch.

To be eligible for the giveaway, just check the BabyLegs Webshop here and tell us your favorite of all designs available. Email your answer to anne@southernmamas.com. Don’t forget to tell us your name, too.

Deadline for entries is 9 pm Thurs. Oct. 16. You have to be a SouthernMamas subscriber to participate. Subscribing is free. Click here to do so.

This month, BabyLegs is also releasing a limited-edition babylegs-pinkribbon-close-cup.jpgPink Ribbon design - pictured here. Fantastically pink, 10 percent of all proceeds of this design will be donated to the Susan G Komen for the Cure Foundation to support breast cancer research.

Giveaway: Free Online Toddler Classes

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Do toddler tantrums and mealtime meltdowns plague your days?

Help is here. moms-on-call.bmpmoms-on-call-logo.bmpMoms On Call, the much sought-after Atlanta infant and toddler consultants, are giving away two online toddler classes to two SouthernMamas subscribers.

Their popular online class teaches you to discipline with love and without losing your cool. Here’s what you’ll learn on your own schedule and in your own home.
Tackle toddler tantrums
Master potty training
Stop mealtime meltdowns
Get your toddlers to sleep

The online class is taught be Jennifer Walker, a pediatric nurse and mom of three, including a set of twin boys. Jennifer and Laura Hunter (both pictured here), also a pediatric nurse and mom of five, started Moms on Call.

The online class normally costs $29.95 to take, but two SouthernMamas will be able to take it for free. Learn more about the class here. The class can be taken from anywhere with Internet access.

To be eligible for this giveaway, email your name and the correct answer to the following question to anne@southernmamas.com. Moms on Call.com recommends several baby products. What children’s book do they suggest reading to your child at night. Hint. Click here and scroll to the very bottom.

Deadline for entries is 9 pm Thurs. Oct. 16.

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

Restaurants where kids eat free or at a discount

Friday, October 10th, 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.

FOR A LISTING OF VARIOUS KIDS EAT FREE NIGHTS IN SAVANNAH-AREA RESTAURANTS, CLICK HERE

The winner of the Bugaboo Shoe giveaway is

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Maura Bennett!

Congratulations, Maura. You win your pick of a pair of Bugaboo children’s shoes from bugaboo-shoes-paulie-ann.jpgGiggle Bug Boutique, a unique, fun, hip, funky and cool online children’s clothing and accessory boutique loaded with new and fun items.

Thanks to everyone who participated in this popular giveaway. Still smitten with Bugaboo shoes? Shop from Giggle Bug Boutique’s shoe selection by clicking here.

Look for TWO different giveaways to be announced here Monday.

Find out what kids think about other kids’ art

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

skin-we-are-in-2.jpgWonder if you could successfully use art created by children to spark your own child’s artistic interests?

Find out at the upcoming “The Skin We Are In” exhibit @ Indigo Sky Community Gallery in Savannah, which is showcasing works by students in Valerie Walker’s art class at Gadsden Elementary School along with works by artists Asa Chibas and Jerome Meadows.

The elementary school students, working with Chibas and Meadows, participated in a hands-on workshop dealing with issues of personal and collective identity. Through the use of photography, portrait painting, skin tone analysis and mixed media collages, the students were encouraged to investigate ways in which to artistically convey how they are perceived by others as well as themselves.

The exhibition at Indigo Sky, 915 Waters Ave., will be on view Oct. 16-26. Gallery hours are noon-5 pm Saturdays & Sundays, Oct. 18, 19, 25, 26. Or by appointment @ 912.233.7659. E-mail: galleryindigosky@aol.com.

Babycapes make buckling up easier, safer

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Remember last winter, those chilly mornings when you tried to strap your child and his or her big, bulky coat into a car seat?

babycapes-photo.jpgBabycapes – a new SouthernMamas sponsor – fits over the harness strap, allowing you to slip a child into and out of a stroller or car seat without unbundling and rebundling.

Babycapes are one-size-fits-all for infants to preschoolers and come into cuddle-worthy, machine-washable fabrics like Minky Sherpa Suede and Minky Cuddle

The mom-invented product is simple to put on or take off, even while holding a squirming child. From your arms to the car, there is no need to remove Babycapes. In the car, babies can move freely. When the car warms up, Babycapes can be removed or replaced without unstrapping the child.

For more information, call 304.582.8070 or click here.

Fans in nursery cut SIDS risk; no cough meds for tots

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Just in case y’all are immersed in campaign coverage, we didn’t want you to miss some helpful, kid-related health news.

First, don’t put those summer fans away in the attic just yet if you have a baby in your home (or are expecting one). A new study found that sleeping in a room with a fan lowers a baby’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome by 72 percent. Read more baby-sleeping.jpghere.

SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies under the age of 1.

Apparently, by circulating air, fans lowered the risk of “rebreathing” exhaled carbon dioxide. That risk could also be why the rate of SIDS is higher when children sleep on their stomach, in a soft bed or without a pacifier.

But putting a safe fan in the baby nursery should not replace other sleeping strategies for lowering SIDS, like removing soft bedding and putting babies on their back, according to this article.

No cough meds

Also, today, drug companies conceded to pediatricians that children under 4 should not be given over-the-counter cough and cold remedies. Read the article here.

Pediatricians have already voiced doubts that the drugs work in kids and concerns about the safety of the meds.The voluntary changes came less than a week after federal health officials said they also saw little evidence that the drugs work, but feared that parents would give kids adult medicines if the products were taken off store shelves.

Drug makers plan to add a warning to their products that parents should not give children allergy-relief antihistamines to make them sleepy. (Think the use of sleepy-time Benadryl on long plane trips.)

According to this article, pediatricians still support recalling the medicines for children under 6. But it could take a year or more for federal health officials to reach a final decision.

More sweetness from The Sweet Line

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Our popular sponsor, The Sweet Line online boutique, is back!

And the favorite Webshop has even more organic, 100-percent cotton hand-embroidered goodies to offer. Such as these oh so sugary sweet-line-diaper-cover-new.jpgdiaper covers pictured here, which you can have personalized with a name, message and shape (Think poppy, moon or heart). The ruffle covers come in Baby Sweet Pink and Milk White. Also new, these sweet-line-abc-tapestry.jpgABC tapestries pictured here that I’m coveting for the baby’s nursery.

The accessories and clothes are customized and hand embroidered to order. Such soft, comfortable outfits are certain to become your child’s favorites as well.

The Sweet Line also offers free shipping. I just ordered this dress for my niece’s 3rd birthday and had it embroidered with her name and a little tulip.

If you’re like me, you know about a dozen women who are pregnant right now and expecting girls. Those diaper covers would make cute ruffly gifts. Happy shopping.

Toddler yoga starts this Tuesday

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Don’t forget.

A parent-and-toddler yoga class starts tomorrow, 10 am Tues. Oct. 7 @ the Charles H. Morris Trustees Garden Center, 10 East Broad St. (downtown Savannah next to the Pirates House). The 45-minute class is for ages 2-5 and led by yoga instructor Cathy Baxter of twisted-warrior-logo.gifTwisted Warrior Yoga.

Children’s yoga mats are provided. Toddlers must be accompanied by an adult. 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.

Giveaway: Bugaboo Shoes from Giggle Bug Boutique

Sunday, October 5th, 2008

This week, the adorable webshop giggle-bug-boutique.jpgGiggle Bug Boutique is giving away a pair of equally adorable Bugaboo Shoes to a SouthernMamas subscriber.

To be eligible to win, visit bugaboo-shoes.gifGiggle Bug Boutique and tell us which pair of Bugaboo shoes you’d loooooove to win. The shoe selection can be seen by clicking here. So which is your fav? Is it the Lola Lu? The Paulie Ann? The Otto?

bugaboo-willow-close-up.gifEmail your answer and your name to anne@southernmamas.com by 9 pm Thurs. Oct. 9. We’ll pick a name at random and announce the winner Friday on SouthernMamas.com. The winner will be able to select her pick of a pair of shoes and size.

bugaboo-shoes-for-boys.jpgBugaboo Shoes – available for boys and girls – are made of the softest lambskin and calfskin leather shoes allowing tiny feet to breathe freely while supplying ultimate flexibility; both necessities for developing healthy feet. Bugaboo shoes also have a pliable rubber sole and a strong velcro strap.

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

When prayers work and miracles happen

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Have you heard the true story of Baby Zoe Simpson, better known as the miracle baby?

He was up against the worst odds after being born prematurely with severe, often deadly conditions. Read about how Zoe pulled through in simpson-family-photo-by-andrea-hillis.jpgmy column Sunday in the Accent section of the Savannah Morning News. Read the column here.

Zoe’s fiercely faithful parents contribute his recovery to prayer and God’s work. Based on the challenges Baby Zoe faced, even skeptics might agree some other, stronger force was at work, in addition to medicine. What do y’all think? Do you believe prayer and faith can result in a miracle and save a dying child? And if so, why doesn’t it work for every faithful family?

The engaging Simpson family photo posted here is by Savannah photographer and SouthernMamas sponsor Andrea Hillis, owner of Hillis Photography.

Andrea met the Simpsons and Zoe via her volunteer work with the non-profit, Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, which provides a healing gift for grieving families facing the risk of losing a newborn. Hillis is among the volunteer NILMDTS photographers nationwide who offer gentle and beautiful photography and videography services free of charge to families during this time of grief. Read more about the organization here.

The heirloom, keepsake photos often provide families with the only physical reminder they have of their babies.

But every now and then, these volunteer photographers encounter stories with joyful endings, when the at-risk newborns pull through and recover, as in the case of Baby Zoe, the miracle baby.

The winners of the Disney on Ice tickets are…

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Denise Perry & Ann Van Brimmer.

Congratulations, ladies. You each win FOUR FREE TICKETS 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.

Thanks for the great participation in this giveaway and all your wonderful entries about favorite Disney characters. Y’all obviously love ticket giveaways to performances. So be sure to visit SouthernMamas often to look for other, future ticket giveaways!

SouthernMamas.com will announce another giveaway from a different business Monday.

The winner of the Nicole Williams holiday photo package is…

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Emily Sontag!

Congratulations, Emily. You win a FREE holiday photo package from local photographer and SouthernMamas sponsor nicole-williams-ad.jpgNicole Williams.

What great participation we had in this giveaway. Thanks for all your entries. Yes, the answer is that the very meaningful three-word phrase atop Nicole’s blog is “Remembering every detail…”

To everyone who didn’t win, Nicole Williams 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.

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