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Archive for February, 2009

Azelle Photography: Modern & Genuine

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Warning: If you haven’t had enough quality professional photos taken of your children, the on-location, editorial-style portraits on the azelle-photography-baby.bmpAzelle Photography Web site and included in this very post will make you reach for the phone.

You will feel immediately compelled to book a portrait session with the husband-and-wife team behind Azelle Photography.

Not Olin Mills-type portraits. But modern, genuine photos that illustrate a story or idea. That’s what Azelle Photography excels at – a documentary style of photography.

azelle-photography-sisters.bmpAzelle Photography photo sessions are seen as mini progressions of a movie set – a story is happening and it must be told in a fun way. By establishing a solid rapport with their clients, the photographers are able to see and capture the true side of your relationships, moods, personalities.

With Azelle Photography, you get two photographers, two sets of eyes. They work twice as hard to satisfy you.

Cost of a standard session is $150 and a minimum purchase of $275 is required.

Azelle Photography is currently offering $50 off the session fee for portraits booked before the end of March. As an Easter promo, customers will receive a free 8×10 print, in addition to the purchase they will satisfy with their $275 minimum.

The session fee and the minimum purchase amount of $275 must be paid in full. Session fees are non-refundable.

The name Azelle is a derivative of a Biblical Azel, which from the Hebrew origins means “noble or distinguished”. That is how Azelle Photography wants their clients to feel.

See more examples of Azelle Photography portraits by visiting their site

To book a session, call 912.704.1616 or visit their site and click on contact. Azelle Photography serves the Lowcountry area including Savannah, Brunswick, Hilton Head, and Statesboro.

Parent-tot group rich with Waldorf wisdom

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

waldorf-playroom.jpgWe’re often too busy to savor the beauty of being a mom and spending time with our kids. A Waldorf-inspired parent-tot program on Tybee Island helps moms slow down for a few hours each week and appreciate our role while our children enjoy creative play, meaningful imitation and oral learning.

The parent-tot program for toddlers, ages 1 to 4, is in the home of Bridget Lawson, who is Waldorf-schooled and trained. Tots and moms bake bread; watch puppet shows in Bridget’s sun-dappled playroom, equipped with Waldorf wooden toys (and pictured here); engage in crafts, morning circle time, story, outdoor play; and enjoy an organic morning snack.

Tots even grind the wheat to make the bread, as pictured below.

My son and I are relishing Bridget’s first session, which has two more classes, 9:30-11:30 Fri. March 6 & March 13. We drive away from each program feeling happy and renewed, with our bag of fresh wheat rolls we made together.  The next session starts Fri. March 27 and will run for eight weeks ending on Fri. May 15.

waldorf-grinding-wheat-for-bread.jpgBeginning the week of March 9 is a separate four-week Waldorf-inspired parent-infant program for infants ages 6 weeks to 10 months.  The Nurtured Newborns Class at Bridget’s home will include observation and discussion of infant behavior, simple circle games and lullabies, snack for the parents and a sharing of insights from recommended study books.

For registration and cost info. on either program, call 413.575.5338.

The aim of Waldorf is to produce lifelong learners and teach through movement and example.

In the past 20 years, Waldorf has become the largest private-school movement in the world, according to Mothering magazine. Waldorf methods are now being taken up by a growing number of homeschooling families and public charter and magnet schools nationally.

Read more about the Waldorf educational philosophy here.

Goodbye Starbucks

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

nostarbucks.jpgAre you cutting out perks like car washes, hair appointments and Starbucks during this economic crisis?

In my Savannah Morning News column this Sunday, I write about budget steps I and others are taking  – including giving up hoity-toity salons for cheaper, albeit riskier, cosmetology schools and going on a latte fast.  Read the column here.

Play with Obama’s Air Force One

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Attention Obama Mamas.
Your little ones love to yell “Obama!” whenever they see our 44th president on TV or magazine covers.
Now they can play with the President’s Air Force One for $18 from obamaplaneweb.jpgCraftsbury Kids.

This President Obama Air Force One Wood Plane is a limited edition Pennsylvanian hardwood toy made in the USA. The collectible is constructed to last a lifetime.

Protect your assets during this economic crisis

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

You said you’d have a will done before the baby arrived.

But now that baby is already in school and you and your man still don’t have a will, a trust or any estate plan at all.

Check out a free, educational seminar offered by local law firm of mompreneur1.gifSmith Barid, LLC on basic estate planning. It will be @ 10 am Thurs., March 12 @ the Law Offices of Smith Barid, LLC (315 Commercial Drive, Suite C-1, Savannah, GA 31406).
Learn more about protecting your families and your assets by calling 912.352.3999 (24/7) or by clicking here, then click on the “Estate Planning Seminars” link.

“Our firm is dedicated to helping people in Savannah and the surrounding areas do what’s necessary to protect and provide for themselves and their families,” said Richard Barid, a founding member of the firm.

For more info about the seminars, call 912.352.3999 or visit the Web site here

Planning to have a VBAC?

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Good luck.

Few local doctors will do VBACs (vaginal birth after a c-section). An article in this week’s ican1.gifTime magazine, “The Trouble With Repeat Cesareans,” shows how the choice to give birth vaginally isn’t even there for an increasingly number of women. C-section is the only apparent option. Read the article here.

From Time:

…the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), a grass-roots group, recently called 2,850 hospitals that have labor and delivery wards and found that 28% of them don’t allow VBACs, up from 10% in its previous survey, in 2004. ICAN’s latest findings note that another 21% of hospitals have what it calls “de facto bans,” i.e., the hospitals have no official policies against VBAC, but no obstetricians will perform them.

I recently wrote about repeat c-sections vs.  VBACs in my Savannah Morning News Column here.

If you’re looking for a VBAC-friendly obstetrician in the Savannah/Hilton Head Island-Bluffton area, check with The Midwife Group and Birth Center, 1692 Chatham Parkway, Savannah.

While the practice doesn’t do VBACs, because they must be done in a hospital, they can refer you to a doctor who does.

The goal @ the Birth Center is to prevent c-sections in the first place. The center has a very low c-section rate.

“The Birth Center” offers an open house every month for prospective families or just the curious. You can also visit “The Birth Center” on Facebook. Tracey Adams has developed a group called “The Friends of The Midwife Group and Birth Center”. It is fun and it is informative. Click here.

To register for an upcoming open house @ The Birth Center, call 912.629.6262. It is free and open to the public.

Kids’ tennis clinic with the pros

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Losing your cool trying to teach your child how to hit a killer serve?

Leave the tennis teaching to the pros.

An upcoming professional tennis tournament on Skidaway Island lets kids learn from world-ranked professional players.

tennis-tournament-logo.jpgThe Tail USTA $50,000 Savannah Challenger, which is May 2-10 @ the Franklin Creek Tennis Center at The Landings, will feature a Kids’ Day Clinic on May 2. The tournament is free and open to the public.

The Kids’ Day Clinic will give area children an opportunity to interact with the tournament’s tennis professionals. It’s open to the first 50 children between the ages of 7 and 18 to register and costs $10 per child.

To register for the Kid’s Day Clinic, click here or contact Jamie Strahm @ the Landings Club at 912-598-2570.

And pretty soon, your child will be the one telling your to keep your eye on the ball.

Summer Camp: Sing, Sing a Song

Friday, February 27th, 2009

Registration is under way for the annual childrens-choir.jpgSavannah Children’s Choir 2009 Summer Choral Camp.

Registration materials are available online here. The camp, which is July 20-31, is designed for musically-interested rising 2nd – 8th graders and is held on the campus of Savannah Country Day School

During the two-week camp, days are filled with classes, rehearsals, playtime and afternoon enrichment (recitals provided by professional musicians). The theme of this year’s camp is rhythm.

The two-week session culminates in a free end-of-camp concert on Fri. July 31 at 7 p.m. @ Savannah Country Day School’s Jelks Auditorium, where the children present what they’ve learned to the public.

The camp is staffed by local professional educators as well as music education interns from top music colleges such as the University of Georgia, Louisiana State and Florida State. The camp serves as the primary audition into the Savannah Children’s Choir.

The SCC also offers a Mini-Choral Camp experience for 4 to 7 year olds. Each one-week session offers daily morning instruction through fun and play, and mini-campers participate in the end-of-camp concert on July 31.

Discounted early-bird registration is available and space is limited. Click here or call 912.228.4758.

The winner of the $50 gift certificate for Coastal Kids Market is…

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Jackie Wetmore

Jackie wins a $50 gift certificate to coastal-kids-logo.jpgCoastal Kids Market, a children’s consignment sale specializing in high-end, gently-used boutique & trunk show clothing at a fraction of the cost. The sale is March 4-6 @ E-Z Parties in Pooler.

The first 150 shoppers at the sale will receive a “goodie bag” filled with coupons and discounts from many local businesses such as children’s boutiques, a dance studio, a children’s photographer, party venues, home-based businesses and more.

Thanks for entering this giveaway. You were all correct. Consignors are currently being recruited and will receive 70 percent of their items selling price. Click here for info on how to make money on your children’s clothes.

The winner of the Baby Bouquet from Swanky Blooms is…

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Tara Dry!

Tara wins a bouquet made of baby clothes from swanky-baby-cupcakes.jpgSwanky Blooms. Each baby bouquet is handmade to look like a bunch of baby flowers, but made of quality baby clothes, carefully rolled to look like blooms. The baby bouquets double as a baby shower centerpiece and are a creative alternative to fresh new baby flowers or diaper cakes.

Swanky Blooms currently offers a 10 percent discount on the Baby Cupcake Onesies, pictured here. Enter the code YUMMY10 and receive 10 percent on your purchase. Hurry.  Offer expires Sat. Feb. 28!! Click here to start shopping.

Personalized St. Patrick’s Day outfits

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

leprechaunboy.jpgAre your little leprechauns ready for the big Savannah holiday?

Our sponsor Kate Rees can help with personalized St. Patrick’s Day outfits for boys and girls. Click here. Once that’s done, you can start focusing on more important matters, such as staking out that perfect spot to view the parade.

Organic food co-op in Savannah

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Operation Red Meat is under way @ our house, now that my toddler has been diagnosed as slightly anemic thanks to my distaste and distrust of mainstream meat. So now my guilt-ridden grocery store shopping sprees involve lots of over-priced grass-fed, hormone-free beef.

Are you also wary of conventional meat, but tired of shelling out big bucks for organic beef @ grocery stores? Then check out the sav-food-co-op.jpgSavannah Food Co-op, which helps families obtain healthy and sustainably-produced food and dry goods at affordable prices.

The co-op, started by some innovative local moms, offers primarily regional organic produce, Georgia-produced natural milk and butter, Georgia-produced organic pasture-raised ground beef, Georgia-produced artisanal pastured cheese, Midwest small-farm-produced organic yogurt, local pastured organic eggs, locally-made natural baked goods, fair-trade organic locally-roasted coffee, and natural drugstore items.

Read a Savannah Morning News Article here by Mary Landers about this much-needed local service and check out the co-op here.

What to read to your kids

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

Our pick this week for our new, regular feature “What to read with your kids”:

zin-zin.jpgZin! Zin! Zin! a Violin by Lloyd Moss, 1995
This book simultaneously teaches instruments and personnel line-ups, from solo to nonette. This unique counting book is the perfect introduction to classical music. Readers of all ages are sure to shout “Encore!” when they reach the final page.

FLUTE, that sends our soul a-shiver;
FLUTE, that slender, silver sliver.
A place among the set it picks
To make a young SEXTET — that’s SIX. 

Click  here to search and see where  is available to check out @ Live Oak library branches and here to see where it’s available @ Beaufort County libraries.

Every now and then, we’ll turn the spotlight on a children’s book you should check out. And we’ll throw in a few links so you can find the book at your local library branch.

We’d love suggestions from readers about their favorite library finds for kids. Email

Giveaway: Baby Bouquet from Swanky Blooms

Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

Here’s a unique baby or shower gift idea: a bouquet made of adorable baby clothes from swanky-blooms-2.jpgSwanky Blooms.

And you can win one this week.

The winner will receive either an essentials bouquet in neutral tones  or she can decide the gender. Learn more about the bouquet swanky-blooms.gifhere.

Each baby bouquet is handmade to look like a bunch of baby flowers, but made of quality baby clothes selected with a layette list in mind, carefully rolled to look like blooms. The baby bouquets double as a baby shower centerpiece and are a creative alternative to fresh new baby flowers or diaper cakes.

Check out the rules below to enter to win:

  • To enter to win, find the answer to this question. Swanky Blooms also has yummy gift boxes that look like favorite desserts. Name one of the desserts. Hint: Click here. Email your answer and YOUR NAME to Entry period closes 9 pm Thurs. Feb. 26.
  • You have to be a SouthernMamas subscriber to participate. Subscribing is free. Click here to do so. We’ll pick a name at random and announce the winner Fri. Feb. 27.
  • Giveaway: $50 Coastal Kids Market gift certificate

    Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

    Win a $50 gift certificate to coastal-kids-dress.jpgCoastal Kids Market, a children’s consignment sale specializing in high-end, gently-used boutique & trunk show clothing (similar to this cute dress pictured here) at a fraction of the cost. The sale is March 4-6 @ E-Z Parties in Pooler.

    Check out the rules below to enter to win:

  • To enter to win, find the answer to this question. Consignors can turn hardly-worn outgrown children’s items into cash. What percentage of items’ selling price do consignors receive? Hint:  Click coastal-kids-logo.jpghere, then read under “recruiting consignors.”  Email your answer and YOUR NAME to Entry period closes 9 pm Thurs. Feb. 26.
  • You have to be a SouthernMamas subscriber to participate. Subscribing is free. Click here to do so. We’ll pick a name at random and announce the winner Fri. Feb. 27.
    The first 150 shoppers at the sale will receive a “goodie bag” filled with coupons and discounts from many local businesses such as children’s boutiques, a dance studio, a children’s photographer, party venues, home-based businesses and more.
    Mark you calendar and be sure to attend this sale. It’s expected to be the biggest and best yet.
  • Myths about stay-at-home moms

    Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

    stay-at-home-mom.jpgSouthern Mamas, I need your help. I am writing an article about quitting your job to stay at home with your kids. I’d love your input on how the real life stay-at-home experience differs from how we thought it would be.

    What do you think are some of the myths about stay-at-home moms? For example, is nap time really the new happy hour? Do you find yourself envying work-outside-the-home moms? Do you get really ticked off when people ask “So do you do all day long?” And do you have any good replies to that annoying question?

    What do you miss most about working outside the home? Do you feel as though your mind is turning mushy by not working outside the home? Do you think you made the correct decision to quit your job to stay home or do you believe there’s some truth to the argument of quality time over quantity of time?

    Please email your thoughts and comments to

    Mon. Feb. 23 is deadline to register for swim classes

    Sunday, February 22nd, 2009

    star_fish-2.jpgA new session of Starfish Swim School children’s classes starts in March at The Chatham County Aquatic Center. Registration deadline is this Mon. Feb. 23.

    A variety of classes are offered, including Starbabies for ages 6 months to 36 months. That class helps such very young children develop a high comfort level in the water while at the same time training parents in water safety. My son has taken several Starbabies sessions and loves it.

    The goal isn’t to get toddlers to do the butterfly stroke, but to get them comfortable putting their face in the water, kicking, blowing bubbles and sometimes even learning how to climb out of the pull and jump in.

    One parent must be in the water with each child. Be prepared for lots of singing (”Splashes. Splashes. We all blow bubbles….”) Starbabies sessions offered include Tuesdays/Thursdays or Saturdays. Click here for a schedule.

    aqua_tot4.jpgOther classes include:

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

    Classes cost $50 for non members and $38 for members. Call 912.652.6793. Learn more by clicking here. The Chatham County Aquatic Center is @ 7420 Sallie Mood

    “Spring is coming soon” gifts for kids

    Saturday, February 21st, 2009

    Easter (April 12) isn’t far away and the daffodils are already blooming.

    Check out these fun spring-is-here gifts for kids from

    Butterfly Garden Butterfly Garden Watch them grow then let them go! Raise 3 to 5 Painted Lady butterflies while learning all about metamorphosis with this Oppenheim Best Toy Award-winning butterfly raising kit! See each caterpillars transition as it matures, changes into a chrysalid, and finally emerges as a Painted Lady butterfly! After observing your butterflies, experience the joy of releasing them into your backyard! Absolutely safe to release into the environment. Includes colorful pop-up habitat suitable for hanging or free-standing on a countertop, pre-paid certificate for 3 to 5 butterfly larvae with special food, feeding kit and complete instructions.Notice! This kit doesn’t contain any live insects, but contains a mail-in certificate for the live critters. The kit with live insects is available elsewhere in the Insect Lore store.Three butterflies are guaranteed to be perfect specimens. Please allow approximately 3 weeks for your larvae to develop. During extremely hot or cold weather, delivery of live larvae may be delayed. Available only in the Continental U.S. and Alaska.

    Flower Pot Painting Kit Flower Pot Painting KitTurn the ordinary into extraordinary! Customize these two terra cotta pots with your own decorations. Kit includes two 3.5″ terra cotta pots, non-toxic paints and a brush.

    Butterfly Watering Can Butterfly Watering CanReady, set, water! These unique watering cans are the perfect mix of fun and mischief for your little gardener. Fun to use, the watering cans make a great gift for any child eager to help outdoors. The five different designs based on creatures found in the garden add to their appeal, making them perfect for anyone under 12. Galvanized for durability and a topside loop for hanging, your plants (and kids) will be in hydration heaven! Available in Manny Mantis, Webster Spider, Flutter Butterfly, Buzzby Bee or Dot Ladybug.

    Nyokki -  Chickee Nyokki – ChickeeNyokki means grow in Japanese, and that’s exactly what these Nyokki Pets do! These little pet plants are adorable and original and they are hand made in Japan from glazed ceramic. They are shaped like eggs with fabric legs. Filled with a growing media and rye grass seeds, these Nyokki pets are easy to grow – seeds germinate and grass grows to full height in less than two weeks. You can style your Nyokki’s “hair” or cut it and watch it grow again! Choose from Monkey, Chickee, Froggie, Panda, and Piglet.

    Dinosaur Plant Grow Kit Dinosaur Plant Grow KitThis one-of-a-kind marvel has lived on the Earth for over 290 million years and has had the ability to come back to life over and over again for hundreds of years! The Dinosaur Plant came to be just before the dinosaurs began to emerge, and it still lives on today! Place this seemingly dead ball of foliage in water and within hours it transforms into a vibrant green evergreen! Let it dry out and it will return to the dried state it ships in. This fantastic specimen can hibernate for up to fifty years and will spring to life every time it is given water. This complete kit contains everything needed for you to grow your very own scaly-leaved Dinosaur Plant: plant, display bowl, and real volcanic stones! Water not included.

    Baby giraffe @ Columbia zoo

    Friday, February 20th, 2009

    Take the kids to see the newborn male giraffe calf born at giraffe.JPGRiverbanks Zoo and Garden.

    The 12-day-old reticulated giraffe calf measures approximately 5 feet, 5 inches and weighs 126 pounds.
    Born to parents Sharon and Charlie on Feb. 9, the calf will nurse for about one year and will remain at Riverbanks for two to three years before being placed at another zoo.

    The name of the calf will be announced early next week.

    If you’re planning to take your family for a visit, remember the weather in February can be a bit unpredictable. Be sure to check the temperature before you plan to see the baby. The weather should be favorable and the temperature must be above 45 degrees before the giraffe can have access to the exhibit.

    For more info, call Riverbanks at 803.779.8717 or click here.

    The winner of the CoachWayne2GO giveaway is…

    Thursday, February 19th, 2009

    Susan Shami.

    Congratulations.  Susan wins FOUR weeks of gymnastics classes for free for one student (either preschool or schoolage,  her choice).

    coach-wayne-button-ad.jpgCoachWayne2GO‘s team of gymnasts bring their mobile gym and gymnastic and tumbling instruction to your neighborhood or child’s school.s

    Thanks to everyone who participated. You were all correct.  CoachWayne2GO offers gymnastic classes@:
    Savannah Christian Prep. School
    The Landings
    Hilton Head Island

    CoachWayne2GO’s mobile gym teaches budding gymnasts, as well as cheerleaders, martial artists, baton twirlers, dancers or anyone else who needs to improve their tumbling skills.

    Sign up by calling 1-888-548-4545 or 912.238.1747 or email:

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

    Time to sign up for toddler soccer

    Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

    celtic-soccer-logo.jpgMy 2-year-old son is excited to start playing soccer and points out the Chatham County Soccer Complex every time we ride by. Have you signed up yet? Savannah Celtic’s toddler soccer program will start the week of March 23 and run through April 27.

    The local youth soccer league, Savannah Celtic, already offers programs for older children.

    Now in it’s 5th season, the league is having a fun, action-packed Early Goals program which specifically caters to players ages 2-3 & 4. Coaches will work on simple motor skills and ball familiarity. Early Goal players will attend one practice session a week (Mondays or Fridays — parent’s choice), 5:15-6:00 p.m. @ the Chatham County Soccer Complex on the corner of Sallie Mood and Eisenhower drives or one on Fridays @ Brooks field on Wilmington Island.

    Fee for the six-week program is $50. This includes a practices t-shirt and end of the season awards.

    Days to chose from:

    Monday 5:15 @ Chatham County Soccer Complex (corner of Sallie Mood & Eisenhower)
    Friday 5:15 @ Brooks Field on Wilmington Island
    Friday 5:15 @ Chatham County Soccer Complex

    For more information, contact Michell Laing or 912.495.9996.

    Do kids need vitamins?

    Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

    gofishbrainy-lg.jpgThis week, I will ask our pediatrician whether my toddler son needs to start taking vitamins like these, Dr. Sears Brainy Kidz Go Fish Omega 3 soft chews and Little Champions Children’s Multivitamin soft chews.

    I am willing to do anything to beef up my kids’ immunity and brain development. But there’s plenty of pros who say vitamins aren’t necessary if your child eats a healthy diet.

    The question of Do Kids Need Vitamins? is a hot topic on blogs like Babble. Read the contrasting answers here.

    Do you think vitamins for kids improve their health? Or are they just a marketing ploy and waste of money?

    Children’s Place Sale @ Amazon

    Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

    childrens-place-sale.jpgAttention thrifty mamas.

    An amazing sale is going on Children’s Place stuff at

    Dresses like this one for $1.49. Shirts or pants for $1.50. Click here.
    Thanks to SouthernMamas reader Richard Barid (Yes! Daddies read us, too) for the tip on this sale!

    Raising kids to new heights

    Monday, February 16th, 2009

    kabooster-example.gifThis little stool of mine.
    I use it all the time.
    To reach the things I couldn’t.
    And lots of things I shouldn’t.

    When it comes to baby gifts, second and subsequent children are tough to buy for. Our newborn daughter had pretty much everything she needed thanks to hand-me-downs from relatives and second-hand baby gear our son used.
    Which is why the personalized Kabooster child step stool we received for Frances was such a treat. Something her very own. Something practical. Something she would have forever. Something so cute and well-made.

    Kabooster step stools are made of furniture grade birch hardwood plywood and coated with a long lasting protective finish.
    The finest joinery techniques are utilized for a lifetime of safe use. Colorful handles make it easy for kids to move them around and explore.

    The stools have a 10 year replacement warranty and come in three colors, green, blue and magenta. You can select from 16 different icons, baseballs to tulips. (Francie’s has a butterfly) Click here to check out the step stools and give the kid in your life a boost.

    Kabooster is a sponsor of SouthernMamas