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Archive for August, 2009

Giveaway: 4-tickets to Disney On Ice

Sunday, August 30th, 2009

nemo-hi-resThis week a very lucky SouthernMamas reader will win a family four-pack of tickets to Disney On Ice presents Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, which will be playing at Savannah Civic Center November 5-8!

Check out the rules below to enter to win:

  • To enter to win, comment below on the answer to this question. Disney has long played a part in children’s bedtime rituals. Share your tip for making your child’s bedtime sweet and successful (A certain lullaby, bedtime book, sleepy snack, sweet prayer?) Just click on comments below to share your tip and enter the contest. Entry period closes 9 pm Thurs. Sept. 3. Please tell us your name. We’ll pick a name at random and announce the winner Fri. Sept. 4
  • You have to be a SouthernMamas subscriber to participate. Subscribing is free. Click here to subscribe. .
  • Join the ocean-sized adventure of the curious clownfish Nemo, his overprotective father Marlin and their absent-minded yet lovable pal Dory as Disney On Ice immerses you in a vibrant aquatic world in Disney On Ice presents Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo.

    Follow alongside Marlin and Dory on a daring search of the big blue. Ride the current with “super-dude” turtle Crush and make waves with Nemo’s new friends – the Tank Gang – as they plot an escape from the dentist’s aquarium in this whale of a tale full of laughter and fun!

    Tickets are on sale now. For those who can’t wait for the giveway, tickets are available @ OR 1-800-351-7469

    Petite Feet: Your new spot for children’s shoes

    Saturday, August 29th, 2009

    petite-feet-button-adPetite Feet, Savannah’s newest shoe store for children, is open and ready to “outfit Savannah’s little soles!”

    The next time you go to Publix or Fresh Market, stop by Petite Feet at 5521 Abercorn to see their collection of popular styles and popular brand name shoes for back-to-school and weekend fun!

    Visit their website at for more information

    Best Savannah playgrounds, indoor and outdoor

    Friday, August 28th, 2009

    whale-rockerHere are SouthernMamas’ readers picks for the best indoor and outdoor playgrounds in Savannah, Pooler, Richmond Hill and beyond.

    Outdoor Savannah-area playgrounds:

    • *Hull Park playround, Ardsley Park
      @ 55th Street and Atlantic Avenue
      SouthernMamas love this park in the residential area calling it “clean, safe” with sprinklers in the summer, lots of shade, multi-age playground, a covered picnic area,
      paved trails for bikes and skates and a huge field for running and throwing frisbees.
      Other comments include:
      “A big bonus is seeing/meeting lots of nice folks and their kids!”
      “Spray jets in the summer & the variety of play equipment.”
    • memorial-park-playground-tybee-is

      *Memorial Park Playground on Tybee Island, behind the library
      @ 405 Butler Ave.
      Features include fenced play area, bath rooms, covered picnic area, faux pirate ship, see-saw and more.

    • *Playground at Forsyth Park, downtown Savannah, bordered by Gaston, Drayton, Park and Whitaker streets.
    • *Two playgrounds at Daffin Park at Waters Ave and Victory Drive
      Readers comments include two separate outdoor playgrounds one for older children and one for younger; shaded benches; ability to walk around the pond, feed the ducks and catch the various sports teams at practice.”
    • *Lake Mayer
      entrances off Montgomery Crossroads and is bound by Harry Truman Parkway on the east, Sallie Mood on the west, and Montgomery Crossroads on the South.
      Features include playground, feeding the ducks, watching boats, bike riding, soccer and more.
    • *The new playground at the Whitmarsh YMCA (equipment for all ages).
    • *Tom Triplett Community Park
      off U.S. 80 West Pooler
      Comments from readers include “shady, toddler swings with shades, quiet, nice play area, bridges, fish ponds, ducks and geese to feed, walking paths.”

    Indoor Savannah playgrounds

    • Savannah Mall Soft Playtime Center
      14045 Abercorn Street (Savannah Mall, lower level)
      Monday-Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm Sunday: 12:00pm-6:00pm
      A favorite of SouthernMamas readers who call it “clean and fun and near Target.” Readers also like its proximity to the food court and mall carousel.

    • *The new Rainbow Jump N Fun play center at Rainbow Play Systems in Richmond Hill.
      82 A Longwood Drive (Exit 90)
      Described as an indoor jumpy place and an outdoor play center including a trampoline.
      Features include a special area for kids 2 and younger.

    • .

    • Bouncing Angels
      Victory Drive Shopping Center, 2123 E. Victory Drive Savannah, GA (former Jumping Bean’s)
      Cost: Child over 3 Weekday $8.00 Weekend$9.00
      Child under 2 Weekday$7.00 Weekend$8.00
      Monday -Thursday 10:00 am to 8:00 pm; Friday & Saturday 10:00 am to 9:00 pm; Sunday 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
      An indoor Party and Play center featuring inflatables, interactive games, toddler activities and more. Food, free internet.
    • .

    • The Island Playground, indoor playground featuring inflatable fun & creative play, near the HHI bridge on the Bluffton side.
      SouthernMamas readers’ comments include “easy to watch the kids while they play” Features include free WiFi, new climbling wall, sofas for parents.
    • *

    • Soft play inside Oglethorpe Mall
      Monday-Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm Sunday: 12:00pm-6:00pm
    • *Flying Frogs
      1100 Eisenhower Drive
      912 356-0075
      Cost: $3.00
      Hours of operation during the summer:
      Mon-Thurs: 10am-9pm; Fri-Sat: 10am-10pm; Sun: 11am-8pm
      Indoor play area for children under 12, with arcade games and tubes to climb
    • .
      14045 Abercorn Street (Savannah Mall, Upper level, next to Dillards)
      Monday-Saturday: 10:00am-9:00pm Sunday: 12:00pm-6:00pm
      Cost: $3.00 All children 12 & under and FREE admission for Adults and children 13 & up. Golf is $2.50 each person
      18 hole indoor mini golf course and 13,000 sq. ft. of jungle playground, tubes, mazes and ball pools sure to entertain children and adults as well. Full concession stand.

    More picks:

    • Cypress Sam Treehouse and Splash Park, near Ft. Stewart.
    • Leapin’ Lizards , jumping/inflatable play center,
      Rincon. Comments include “clean and affordable.”

    Just for Baby & More Certified as Savannah’s Baby Product Expert

    Friday, August 28th, 2009
    Jan Gaudry Welsh and Casey Welsh, Co-Owners

    Jan Gaudry Welsh and Casey Welsh, Co-Owners

    Savannah’s Just for Baby and More – a sponsor of – has been certified through a national program as a “Baby Product Expert”.

    For a store to be listed as a Certified Store on, the store must be mystery shopped and evaluated by an independent Retail Evaluation Service familiar with the juvenile industry. Only stores with a passing score have the opportunity to be listed on the site.

    Each store is graded on the following categories: Customer Service, Telephone Etiquette, Store Appearance, Associate Greeting and Product Knowledge. The evaluations are used not only to certify a store but also to improve the store’s future performance.

    Just for Baby and More is now certified as a Baby Product Experts (BPE) store.

    Congratulations Jan Gaudry Welsh and Casey Welsh, Co-Owners of Just for Baby & More, 7701 Waters Ave.

    Special sales, prizes and events will be going on all of September, the store’s anniversary month. For more info., contact 912.355.4455 or click here.

    The winner of the Petunia Pickle Bottom giveaway is…

    Friday, August 28th, 2009

    Heather Thornton!

    Congratulations. Heather wins  two Petunia Pickle Bottom  (PPB) organic gift sets– a 3-pack of onesies and a 3-pack socks each available in 3 different color schemes.

    The winner of the Coastal Kids Market $30 gift certificate is…

    Friday, August 28th, 2009

    C.J. Sorge!

    C.J. wins a $30 gift certificate to Coastal 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 Sept 16-18 @ The Shops at Godley Station (formerly Moonlight Mattress), Pooler Parkway Suite 202.

    Thanks to everyone who entered by telling us your favorite local playground. Check out the SouthernMamas readers picks for best indoor and outdoor playground in the comments section here. coastal-kids-logo.jpg

    Interested in turning your child’s hardly-worn outgrown items into cash? Consignors are still being registered and will receive
    70 percent of items’ selling price!
     A new computer system with barcoded tags makes organizing and tagging your items super easy. Sellers will be able to track their sales online each day of the sale. This sale is in a bigger space than last spring, so there’s more room for vendors.

    Anyone with a home-based business that targets kids or moms is welcome to apply. Also, anyone who would like to advertise in the market’s goody bags should contact Coastal Kids via their web site here. This season there are new incentives for sellers and volunteers.

    The first 150 shoppers at the sale will receive a “goody 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.

    A portion of the sale’s proceeds will go to local MOPS groups.

    Cabell Stewart Fundraiser Sept. 6

    Friday, August 28th, 2009


    Children’s activities in Savannah, Bluffton this weekend

    Thursday, August 27th, 2009

    fireworksFireworks, Lowcountry Boil & Kids’ Activities @ Old Fort Jackson
    Annual Old Fort Jackson Auction
    5 PM Sat. August 29.
    Bring the whole family to Georgia’s oldest brick fort on the beautiful Savannah River for a silent auction, low country boil, barbeque, and fun activities for the kids. Special musical entertainment provided by The Savannah Stompers Jazz Band. The evening will conclude with cannon firings and fireworks.
    Proceeds benefit the preservation and educational programs of Old Fort Jackson, National Historic Landmark Site.
    (912) 232-3945.

    Watch “Soccer in the Sand” on Tybee Island
    8 AM-6 PM Sat. Aug. 29 & Sun. Aug. 30
    Beach area between 12th & 14th St
    Soccer in the Sand provides safe and fun family oriented beach soccer tournaments.
    Contact: Chris Lemay, tel: 858-442-9082; email

    Saturday Explorations at The Aquarium (SEA) Program at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway Island
    This week’s theme: Mimic a hurricane on a small scale to see exactly what happens to Georgia’s coast as it approaches, then makes landfall, and finally moves away. Please call ahead.
    Time: 10 AM-noon • Cost: $10 per person
    Sat. Aug. 29
    30 Ocean Science Circle.
    To register, contact 912.598.3474 or e-mail

    Giant Yard Sale @ Calvary in Savannah
    4625 Waters Ave. (at 63rd Street – Across from Memorial Hospital – Same campus as Calvary Day School)
    7 AM-noon Sat. Aug. 29
    Tons of great stuff for sale. Boston Butts also will be for sale.
    Proceeds benefit the church’s missions in the country of Panama.

    Bluffton area

    Bluffton Branch Library Begins Saturday Do-Drop-In Story Time Program
    10:30 AM beginning Sat. Aug. 29
    This weekly program is designed as a family story time and will include reading, rocking, singing and shaking for about
    45 minutes of fun.
    Registration NOT required.
    Residents and visitors are welcome
    120 Palmetto Way

    Moms groups in Savannah-area

    Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

    We have some wonderful, active moms groups in the Savannah-Pooler area. Many start up their regular meetings in September. And almost all provide some type of childcare during meetings. For moms with children older than preschool, check out the new MomsNext group, also listed below!

    To have your group included in this list, email the info to

    New Moms Group in Guyton
    A new moms group is beginning on Sept. 3 at 10 AM @ Liberty Christian Fellowship in Guyton.
    The group will meet every Thursday morning with a fun educational field trip every 3rd Thursday of each month. For both mom and children. All moms and grandmothers are welcome.
    For more info. contact Lisa Cobb at 912.728.6844.
    No cost to be a part of this group.

    “Fall into Fun with the MOMS Club!”
    When: Tues. Sept. 15 @ 10 AM
    Where: Rincon First United Methodist Church, 107 Savannah Ave, Rincon
    Come learn about all the MOMS Club has to offer stay-at-home moms in the Effingham County area. Featuring a talk by a local Registered Dietician who will share tips on growing a healthy family. Door prizes and free child care available.
    For more info, contact Jennifer @ or 247-6655.

    mops-logo1Pooler MOPS (Mother of Preschoolers): First meeting is Wed. Sept 9 from 9:30-11:30 AM.
    The group meets the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month at First Presbyterian Church of Pooler, 305 HWY 80 SE, Pooler.
    For more info, click here.

    Islands MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)
    Meets at: First Baptist Church of the Islands, 6613 Johnny Mercer Blvd. Savannah
    Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday, beginning Sept. 9.
    All mothers of children ages 0-5 are welcome!
    Call Laura at 898-0869 or Frankie at 897-6167 for more information.

    MOMS Club of Savannah. The general membership meeting is Fri. Sept. 11 at Risen Savior church in Pooler. The group is not a church organization, but just uses the church meeting and playroom for monthly meetings. Contact: email

    MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) of Calvary in Savannah.
    Meets Sept thru May on the 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month.
    The 1st Friday is at Calvary in Savannah (63rd and Waters) at 9:30 AM.
    The 3rd Friday is a playdate at various places.
    Contact: email

    The Cabrini Moms will resume meetings on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 9:30 to 11:30 AM. The group meets at St Frances Cabrini Catholic Church on Middleground Rd in the parish hall. Meetings are held on the first and third Thursdays of the month. Childcare is available at most meetings. Women of all faiths are welcome to join. Contact 912.220.5329.

    MomsNext: A group for mothers of school-age kids. (A post-MOPS group)
    moms-next-moms-group1As mothers enter the school years, new challenges and issues arise, but the need for community and hope remains. For this reason, moms are launching a ministry to mothers of school-age kids. Starting in October, monthly meetings will be held at the Islands YMCA, from 10:am-11:30pm. Please call 898-4344 or 210-0491 for more info and to register.
    Where? Islands YMCA 6613 Johnny Mercer Blvd, Savannah
    When? 1st Monday of each month. 10-11:30 AM Starting in October
    For a registration fee of $23.95, MomsNext allows you membership with MOPS International. Membership includes the following:
    The book Raising Great Kids, eMagazine (on line magazine), and weekly encouraging Mom-E-Mails.
    Tips and ideas to raise great kids and local friendships with other moms.
    Confidential scholarships are available upon request
    Childcare is available to YMCA members at no cost. ($5 for non members.)
    To register, contact:
    Jen: 210-0491
    Connie: 898-4344

    Savannah Area Attachment Parenting Group
    Are you looking to meet other parents in Savannah and the surrounding area who believe in gentle discipline and natural parenting? Then please check out this group! Pregnant, new birth or adoptive parent, and extended attached parents are welcome.
    Parents in this group practice any of the following: Gentle discipline including no crying-it-out or spanking; Night time parenting (co-sleeping or sleeping near your baby); Feeding with love and respect (breastfeeding or bottle if necessary); Using nurturing touch including baby wearing, baby massage, hugging, snuggling…
    Other interests discussed and supported in the group include home learning, cloth diapering, elimination communication, selective vaccination, organic food consumption or vegetarianism, and living a natural lifestyle.
    The group includes parents from all walks of life who all have one thing in common: Wanting the most gentle parenting style possible for the betterment of children and their futures.
    For more info, click here.

    Giveaway: $30 Coastal Kids Market gift certificate

    Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

    coastal-kids-market-photocoastal-kids-market-math-dress Win a $30 gift certificate to Coastal 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 Sept 16-18 @ The Shops at Godley Station (formerly Moonlight Mattress), Pooler Parkway Suite 202
    Check out the rules below to enter to win:

  • To enter to win, comment below on the answer to this question. Tell us your favorite local playground (indoor or outdoor) and feel free to share some of its best features (shady, jungle gym, fenced-in, merry-go-round etc)coastal-kids-logo.jpgJust click on comments below. Entry period closes 9 pm Thurs. Aug. 27. We’ll pick a name at random and announce the winner Fri. Aug. 28
  • You have to be a SouthernMamas subscriber to participate. Subscribing is free. Click here to subscribe. .
  • .
    Interested in turning your child’s hardly-worn outgrown items into cash? Consignors are still being registered and will receive
    70 percent of items’ selling price!
     A new computer system with barcoded tags makes organizing and tagging your items super easy. Sellers will be able to track their sales online each day of the sale. This sale is in a bigger space than last spring, so there’s more room for vendors.

    Anyone with a home-based business that targets kids or moms is welcome to apply. Also, anyone who would like to advertise in the market’s goody bags should contact Coastal Kids via their web site here. This season there are new incentives for sellers and volunteers.

    The first 150 shoppers at the sale will receive a “goody 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.

    A portion of the sale’s proceeds will go to local MOPS groups.

    Posh Petals and Pearls for event planning, baby showers, children’s birthdays

    Saturday, August 22nd, 2009


    Planning a child’s birthday party or your BFF’s baby shower can be stressful. How is a mere mortal supposed to choose the perfect items to include in the gift bags or create one of those amazing diaper cake centerpieces?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to have your very own event planner to help you put it all together?  Posh Petals and Pearls to the rescue.

    Posh Petals and Pearls will make your child’s birthday, your BFF’s baby shower or even your wedding day a unique and unforgettable event for you and your guests.  You’ll learn how to incorporate your own personal style into all of the party details.

    posh-petals-and-pearls-diaper-cakeppp-black-logoPosh Petals and Pearls provides full-service wedding and event coordinating; specializing in classy, timeless and elegant designs serving the Savannah and Statesboro areas as well as the coastal Carolina area. 

    Posh Petals and Pearls provides packages ranging from day-of directing to full service wedding consulting. The PPP pros specialize in planning events such as bridal related showers and parties, children’s birthdays, baby showers and any other event you may desire. A few examples of their work are pictured here.

    Contact Tara Skinner and Ashley Greene via email or call 912.596.6064 or 912.659.9590.

    Are you a Bumpaholic?

    Friday, August 21st, 2009

    bumpaholic-2Bumpaholic is the new term for women who seemed addicted to pregnancy.

    The term was coined in a recent Women’s Health article, claiming that a large number of women want lots of kids for all  the wrong reasons.

    “Having babies isn’t addictive in the way that alcohol and narcotics can be,” reads the Women’s Health article. “But bumpaholics feel compelled to procreate for many of the same reasons that substance abusers turn to booze or drugs.”

    In this article, experts speculate about the reason women have more than a couple of babies. Attention. That hormone-induced high. Belly-rubs from strangers. (really, people like those?) To be waited on. To avoid returning to work or having to figure out what to do with our lives next.

    Read the article here.

    Women’s Health argues that “celebs photographed cuddling one adorable infant after the next, plus infamous moms who steal the spotlight when they give birth to higher order multiples, are stoking the flames of pregnancy lust in some women.”  Think Octomom. Michelle Duggar.

    But what about much more mainstream moms with multiple kids? Do we really need to question their motives?

    As Megan Francis, Michigan mother of 5, writes on Babble: Why do we question the motives surrounding the decision to have children (or not) with so much more cynicism than we do other decisions? If someone volunteers for a nonprofit or has a large circle of friends, no armchair psychologist would bother to question whether she was trying to “fill a void” with meaningful activity or companionship. It would instead be accepted that creating relationships with other human beings is a normal, natural and human desire.

    What about the idea that a large family can be intentionally and intelligently chosen? When did it become weird to like children, to want them . . . even more than two?”

    Would love to read what SouthernMamas readers think about Bumpaholics. Please comment below!

    Girls Night Out for Savannah Infertility Support Group

    Friday, August 21st, 2009

    A new infertility support group at Savannah Christian Church will have a Girls’ Night Out at 6:30 PM Thurs., Aug. 27. Meetings are held every month.

    The goal is to provide support and resources for women in the Savannah area struggling with infertility or pursuing/or have been through adoption.

    Kelly Wiggins of Savannah started the group. Read Kelly’s story by clicking here. Email her at to find out more.

    Savannah children’s birthday show: pirates, magic, music

    Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

    story-ship-button-adHere’s a fun idea for entertainment for a children’s birthday party: hire a pirate-parrot act.

    Captain Goodie Twoshoes and his parrot Pete will take your birthday child and party guests on an amazing undersea adventure. Here’s the jist of their birthday show: 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.

    With loads of ruckus magic, music and comedy, kids are swept away with belly laughs and songs.

    The children participate with Goodie by playing percussion instruments, helping with magic tricks and solving riddles. There is even crazy pirate rabbit trying to steal Goodie’s gold. The rabbit 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. Of course, there is a special treat for the birthday child.

    For ages 3-8.

    Treasure hunts are also available.

    For more info, click here. Call 1-877-444-8253 or email to book your child’s pirate-themed birthday party.

    Teach your kids about this recession with Sesame Street prime-time TV special

    Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

    elmoElmo is trying to help families navigate some tough times.

    Producers of “Sesame Street” are producing a prime-time special to help parents and young children deal with economic hardship. The special will be aimed at families with children aged 2 to 8. It will air on PBS stations on Sept. 9.

    Elmo is joined by Al Roker and Deborah Roberts on the special.

    It’s directed at both parents and kids in families where someone is dealing with a job loss or the income is much less than it was.

    Savannah private school tuitions

    Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

    schoolhouseWe’ve had a couple readers ask about local private school tuitions after this recent post about a new scholarship program for private schools. Here’s a tuition roundup (If you want your school to be included in this list, just email the info to

    Benedictine Military School (grades 9-12, all male)
    -$9,180, Catholic; $9,672, non-Catholic

    Bethesda School (grades 5-12)
    -$160-$500 monthly based on income ($5,000 max annual fee)

    Bible Baptist School (preK-12)
    -$4,375(preK-full day; $4,675 (grades 1-5); $4,775 (6-12)

    Blessed Sacrament (preK-8)
    -$4,325, Catholic ;$6,395, non-Catholic

    Calvary Day School (preK-12)
    -$5,790 (preK-K); $6,510 (1-5); $6,640 (6-12)

    Chatham Academy
    -$13,241 (grades 1-5); $13,416 (grades 6-8); $13,648 (grades 9-12)

    Emmanuel Christian School
    -preschool (ages 2-5) $88/week

    Hancock Day School (preK-7)
    -$4,150-$6,150 (plus registration)

    Maggie’s Morning School (toddlers, 2s, 3s, preK)
    -$2,250-$3,280 (2,3 & 5-day plans)

    Memorial Day School (preK-12, as well as daycare)

    Montessori Academy of Savannah (preschool, ages 2-5)
    -$230-$305/mo for 9 AM-1PM
    -$90-$120/week, full-day

    Notre Dame Academy (preK-8)
    -$3,900, Catholic; $4,200, non-Catholic

    Providence Christian School (preK-12)

    Rambam Day School (2yrs-8)

    St. Andrew’s School (preK-12)
    -$6,095 (preK, half-day); $7,275 (preK, K); $8,710 (grades 1-4); $9,785 (5-8); $10,220 (9-12)

    St. Frances Cabrini (preK-8)

    St. James Catholic School (preK-8)

    St. Michael’s Catholic School (preK-8)

    St. Paul’s Lutheran Preschool (6 wks-preK)
    -$109-$125/week, full-time

    St. Peter the Apostle Catholic School (preK-8)

    St. Vincent’s Academy (9-12, all-female)

    Savannah Christian Preparatory School (preK-12)

    Savannah Country Day School (preK-12)
    -$7,610 (pre-K); $11,080 (K); $13,560 (1-5); $15,840 (6-8); $16,160 (9-12)

    Urban Christian Academy (preK-12)
    -$2,225 (K-12)

    Veritas Academy (preK-12)
    -$1,930 (preK); $2,860 (K); $4,647 (1-6); $5,232 (7-12)

    Source: Savannah Magazine, July/August 2009 issue

    ADDITIONS (Thanks to our readers):

    • Growing in the Son pre-school at Savannah Christian Church
      (18months to Pre-K)
      -18 mos-2 yrs, $1,260/yr; 2 year olds: $1,935/yr; 3 year olds, $2,115/yr; and preK is $2,700/yr. (18 mos -3 years goes from 9-12pm on varying days (18 mos: W and Th, 2 yrs: Wed-Fri, 3 yrs: Tues-Fri, and Pre-K M-F) with the exception of preK which is from 9 AM-1 PM)
    • .

    • First Christian Academy, Richmond Hill
      (2 yrs. through 4th grade)
      Two’s – 3 days $225
      Two’s – 4 days $260
      Three’s – 3 days $240
      Three’s – 4 days $265
      Pre-K – 4 days $285
      Kindergarten $390
      First Grade – Fourth $405

    For parents considering open adoption

    Sunday, August 16th, 2009
    Shelby, 23, Cooper, 14, Hanna, 10

    Shelby, 23, Cooper, 14, Hanna, 10

    It’s among the most divisive questions in the realm of adoption: Should adoptees have access to their birth parents, and, as a result, be able to establish relationships with them and have questions answered about their backgrounds and medical histories?

    Meet a Richmond Hill family who’s an example of the benefits of open adoption.  The Suddaths – parents Matt and Mary – their biological child, Shelby, 23, and two adopted children Hanna, 10, and Cooper, 14, (pictured here) believe open adoption is the most child-friendly option.  Read their story in my newspaper column this week. Click here to read.  

    Hanna and Cooper, who are biracial, say being biracial children in a white family has challenges, but neither Hanna nor Cooper consider being racially different from their parents much of an issue.

    You can find out more about open adoption at a “De-mystifying adoption” seminar, 2-4 pm Sun. Aug. 23 @ St. Anne Church, 10550 Ford Ave., Richmond Hill.  “Exploring the World of Adoption” is sponsored by St. Anne Church and the Parish Council of Catholic Women.

    Free and open to the public. Featuring short talks by Birney Bull, adoption attorney; Mary Suddath, adoptive parent; a birth mother; and an adoption consultant as well as a Q&A session. Refreshments and a nursery are included. Participants can speak privately with speakers and adoptive parents representing various types of adoption. No reservations required.

    Information: 912.756.3343.

    Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program: Private school might be affordable after all…

    Friday, August 14th, 2009

    logo_goalDoes back-to-school season have you depressed about your kids’ public education options in our area? Not to mention reading those intimidating private school tuitions in the current issue of Savannah Magazine?

    Good news: there’s a new tuition scholarship program targeted towards low to moderate income families who are looking for an alternative to public education. st-andrews-logo.gifSt. Andrew’s School, an independent college prep school on Wilmington Island for Pre-K through 12th grade, and Benedictine Military School are two of the private schools in the Savannah-area that are participating in the scholarship program.

    The Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program provides qualified Georgian children from low-and moderate income families with the opportunity to attend the private K-12 schools. The scholarships are available to any child entering kindergarten and any student in grades 1-12 who is transferring from public school.

    GOAL Scholarships are awarded on a sliding scale based on the availability of funds, the annual household income of applicant families, and household size. In order for a child to receive a GOAL Scholarship in any amount, total household income cannot exceed $85,000.

    Click here to see a list of participating schools in the Savannah-area. St. Andrew’s and Benedictine aren’t listed yet, but recently partnered with The Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program to offer students the opportunity to attend the school. For more info on St. Andrew’s scholarship program, click here.

    Aug. 28 is deadline to register for Savannah children swim classes

    Friday, August 14th, 2009

    aqua_tot41You couldn’t keep your child out of the pool this summer. And you want to do everything you can to encourage that little fish status, even after your pool closes for the summer.

    A new session of Starfish Swim School children’s classes starts in September at  The Chatham County Aquatic Center. . Registration deadline is Aug. 28

    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.

    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….”) Click here for a schedule.

    star_fish-2Other 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

    Kids’ activities in Savannah-area this weekend

    Thursday, August 13th, 2009

    choo-chooThe READING EXPRESS @ Roundhouse Railroad Museum
    Get ready to return to school by sharpening your child’s reading and listening skills while having a lot of fun. Share books while riding the train at the Roundhouse.
    10 – 11:30 AM Sat. Aug. 15
    $10 per person
    10– 10:30: Activities, Crafts, and Games
    10:30 – 11 Train Ride and Storytime
    11:00 – 11:30: Train cookies and chocolate milk in the Baggage Car.
    Cards will be given out for the Reading Express Club. Each child who listens or reads enough books to fill up his/her card will be entered in a drawing to win a ride in the cab of the Reading Express Locomotive.
    To register, call 651-6823 or email

    “Butterfly Gardening and Bee Keeping” at the Savannah-Ogeechee Canal Museum and Nature Center
    10:30 AM Sat. August 15
    681 Ft. Argyle Rd. (Rt. 204) 2.3 miles past I-95.
    Learn about creating a butterfly garden and find out what’s involved in bee keeping. Chica Arndt and Linda Harms will give the program.
    Admission: $2 for adults, $1 for children 4-12.
    (912) 748-8068 or e-mail:

    Saturday Explorations at The Aquarium (SEA) Program at the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium on Skidaway IslandThis week’s theme: Hurricanes: What needs to be in my hurricane supply box? What do they mean when they say have a plan? How do you track a hurricane? What is the difference between a hurricane, tropical cyclone, and typhoon? These are just some of the many questions that will be answered this Saturday.
    Games will include who can pack their hurricane box fastest and who can complete the hurricane plan more quickly.
    Time: 10 AM-noon Sat. Aug. 15
    Cost: $10 per person
    30 Ocean Science Circle.
    To register, contact 912.598.3474 or e-mail

    Book signing by Doug Paul, author of middle-grade sci-fi/fantasy books including “One Wizard Place,” “Sentinel” and “Sidhe”.
    2-4 PM Sun. Aug. 16
    Barnes & Noble @ Oglethorpe Mall

    Sign up for fall Kindermusik classes

    Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

    kindermusik-button-ad1Kindermusik parent-and-me classes are a perfect way to spend time with your child and spark your little one’s  interest in music.

    Fall classes are available for children ages 0-7.

    To register online, visit the local Kindermusik Web site here. For more info, email or call 912.728-KEYS (5397)

    All classes are limited to a certain number of children. Many fill up quickly, so register today. Please email this post your friends, family, neighbors and Moms’ groups.

    All classes begin the week after Labor Day, with Monday classes beginning September 14. Classes will run for 15 weeks and go through late January.

    Classes will be offered Monday mornings in Savannah (Sandfly area), Tuesday mornings on Wilmington Island and Saturday mornings in Savannah (Southside). For those who have interest in Wednesday classes at the Landings, or Wednesday classes in Richmond Hill, please email email asap. A certain number of interested families are needed in order to hold classes there.

    Kindermusik will also be offering a preschool class (ages 3-5) 11:10am Mondays.

    Here are some brief descriptions of the fall curricula:

    Kindermusik Village (ages 0-20 months) “feathers” and “dosido”:

    • Feathers — The musical poems of Woody Guthrie, bird songs, and the naturally occurring sounds in nature help babies develop an early appreciation and accelerated aptitude for language, movement, and music in this class.  Home Materials: CD with over 25 specially-selected recordings from class, Kindermusik chimeball, a colorful picture book of birds. Feathers, and a set of Art Banners for the nursery wall that strengthens vision and promotes early literacy.
    • Do-Si-Do — Pick up your baby and dance. Dance the Charleston, the Tango, and the Cha-Cha and learn why dancing with your baby helps develop vital learning skills from head-to-toe. In this class, play a variety of baby appropriate instruments, a dance with fun props. Home Materials: CD with songs from class, an instrument Kindermusik eggshaker and scarf, a picture board book Do-Si-Do with lilting move-to-it rhyming text, and a set of Art Banners for the nursery wall that strengthens vision and promotes early literacy.

    Kindermusik Our Time (ages 18 months to 3.5 years)

    • Wiggles & Giggles — The more than 30 songs, 15 dances, and eight different instruments create these unique music activities, designed to reflect the importance of movement in the life of a toddler.  Home Materials: Double CD features 50 songs, sounds, and recordings of favorite activities from class; two story books:Watch Me! and Pete and P.J., to develop early literacy skills; Home Activity Book; and specially-made pair of zigzag blocks instrument to develop rhythm and hand-eye coordination-all conveniently stored in a Wiggles & Giggles carry bag.

    Kindermusik Imagine That! (ages 3-5 years)

    • See What I Saw — In this class, preschoolers use their real experience of playing in the park to create imaginative, storytelling scenarios with music?go on an imaginary trip to Grasshopper Park where they sail down the park slide and then recreate the sound of that experience with a loooong vocal glissando. Each week provides preschoolers one uninterrupted session of imaginative play that’s guided in a very specific, sequential way with a special sharing time with parents in the last 15 minutes of class. Home Materials: Two books: Can You Find Me? and The Ant Picnic Feast, Two Home CDs, See What I Saw Play Set, a Family Activity Book, a slide whistle instrument, a slide whistle and lumi sticks instruments, and a backpack.

     Kindermusik in Savannah is a sponsor SouthernMamas

    Dangers of co-sleeping with your baby?

    Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

    co-sleepingSavannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department recently held a news conference to discuss the dangers of co-sleeping and increasing incidents of infant overlay. Infant overlay – a preventable death – occurs when an infant child dies as a result of the suffocation resulting from co-sleeping with adults or older children.

    Child overlay is a national problem that has become more frequent in the Savannah-Chatham area. Metro Police is teaming up with local professionals to inform and educate the community in preventative measures to prevent these types of deaths.

    As early as 1999, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned parents and caregivers about the dangers of placing babies to sleep in adult beds.

    A CPSC study published in the October 2000 issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that placing babies to sleep in adult beds puts them at risk of suffocation or strangulation.

    This is a danger of which many parents and caregivers are unaware. The study revealed an average 64 deaths per year to babies under the age of 2 years placed to sleep in adult beds, including waterbeds and daybeds. A review of incident data from January 1990 to December 1997 linked adult beds to at least 515 baby deaths.

    Would appreciate hearing what SouthernMamas readers have to say about the issue of co-sleeping with infants. There are obviously benefits to co-sleeping not addressed here. Do the benefits outweigh the risks? Certainly, sleeping products are available to make co-sleeping safer. What’s your take?

    Volunteer to help build Savannah Children’s Museum

    Monday, August 10th, 2009

    savannah-childrens-museumSouthernMamas readers are always telling us how much they’d love to have a Savannah Children’s Museum.

    Here’s your chance to help make it happen. Work is under way to build a Savannah Children’s Museum, which will be in railroad buildings adjacent to Battlefield Park and the Roundhouse Railroad Museum downtown. Estimated completion date is late 2010.

    The museum will be owned by the city of Savannah and will be operated by the Coastal Heritage Society.

    The Coastal Heritage Society plans to hold monthly volunteer work days to complete the outdoor courtyard and carpentry shop play space. These spaces will provide unique and engaging outdoor gross motor activities for children of all ages as phase 1 of the museum.

    Work on the monthly volunteer days will include building benches, planters, a maze, laying sod, and preparing the outdoor space. Become a member of the museum’s Workers of Wonders (WOW) team to bring the Savannah Children’s Museum to life. People of all skill levels are needed.

    The first volunteer day will be 9 AM- 3 PM Sat. Sept 19

    For more information, to volunteer or donate supplies contact Beth Parr, 663-7466 or

    If you would like to be on a mailing list for updates about the museum, click here.

    Extreme Makeover Looking for Savannah Families

    Monday, August 10th, 2009

    extreme-makeoverABC’s EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION is searching for deserving families in Savannah.

    To be eligible, a family must own their own single family home and be able to show producers how a makeover will make a huge difference in their lives. Deadline for nominations is this Fri. Aug. 14.

    For more information on the application process click here. Good luck!

    Giveaway: Two Petunia Pickle Bottom Gift Sets

    Sunday, August 9th, 2009

    ppb-logo1petunia-picklebottom-socks-close-uppetunia-picklebottom-onesieYou’ve loved Petunia Pickle Bottom (PPB) products for years. Who can resist their distinct, unique and decidedly fashionable fabrics and cuts?

    Take for instance their new line of organic gift sets that SouthernMamas is giving away this week– a 3-pack of onesies and a 3-pack socks each available in 3 different color schemes that I won’t be able to do justice trying to describe. Instead, the giveaway goodies are pictured here.

  • To enter to win the two organic gift sets, click on the comments below and tell us your favorite lunch-packing suggestion (either a fun snack, food product, technique, lunch carrier either for school or, if your kids aren’t in school yet, for picnics and playdates. )Just share your tip. Also, please tell us your name. Entry period closes 9 pm Thurs. Aug. 13. We’ll pick a name at random and announce the winner here on Fri. Aug. 14.

  • You have to be a SouthernMamas subscriber to participate. Subscribing is free. Click here to do so.
  • Savannah children’s activities: The Honey House

    Sunday, August 9th, 2009

    honeycomb-playhousehoney-house-bee-keeper1honey-house-hiveMy 2-year-old’s new favorite spot is the Savannah Bee Co. Honey House, which has a kid-friendly play area in the back of the honey-and-bee themed Broughton Street boutique.

    There’s a large a bee hive – called the bee skep – filled with books and toys and bee-themed flicks. There’s also a theater section showing documentaries on bees and honey, as well as a honeycomb playhouse, complete with doors and windows. Mom and dad can sip honey-lattes while the kids play.

    The Honey House kids’ area is perfect when you need a break while shopping downtown with the kids. Or if you’re just looking for something different on a thunderstormy afternoon: the Savannah Bee Co. Honey House, 104 W. Broughton St.

    Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle

    Sunday, August 9th, 2009

    safe-kids-car-safety1Here are some safety tips from SafeKids when it comes to leaving kids in vehicles.

    As temperatures increase and family schedules change, parents and caregivers should avoid leaving children unsupervised in or near vehicles.

    Children in vehicles under extreme heat conditions are vulnerable. Heat stroke, a life-threatening emergency, can occur in temperatures as low as 80 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on humidity levels. Body temperatures higher than 105 degrees Fahrenheit can cause permanent brain damage or even death, especially among children.

    Other serious injuries occur when children get entrapped in trunks or when they set a vehicle in motion leading to crashes.  Recommendations include:

     Make your car safer. Always keep car doors and trunks locked, even in the garage or driveway, to keep kids out. Treat it as the multi-ton, fast-moving enclosure and piece of machinery that it is. Keep the rear fold-down seats closed to prevent kids from getting into the trunk from inside the car

     Supervision is key. Even if the windows are down, never leave your child unattended in a car. Never leave your car keys where children can get them. Teach children not to play in or around cars. If a child is missing at home, check the car first, including the trunk

     Adopt safety-focused behaviors. Consider placing your purse or briefcase in the back seat as a reminder that you have your child in the car. Be sure everyone leaves the vehicle when you reach your destination

     Notification plan. Consider having your child’s teacher or childcare provider call you if your child does not arrive when expected

     Get involved if you see a child alone in a vehicle. If they are hot or seem sick, get them out as quickly as possible and call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

    The winner of the LeeAnn Ritch photo session is…

    Sunday, August 9th, 2009

    Catherine Edmonds!

    Congratulations. Catherine wins a photo session from Savannah-based photographer LeeAnn Ritch (a $225 value) and online proofing . The CD and prints are not included.

    Examples of LeeAnn’s work are pictured in her blog and her Web site.  Click ritch-logo.jpghere to contact LeeAnn. Or call 912.308.9327 or email

    Thanks to everyone who entered last week’s giveaway. Check out the comments section below the initial giveaway announcement post for 40 ideas from SouthernMamas readers on how to savor the last days of summer.

    Monkey Joe’s party and play is coming to Savannah

    Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

    monkeyjoeslogoComing soon to Savannah: a new indoor playground and birthday spot.

    Monkey Joe’s - which offers bouncing, sliding, and jumping fun for kids 12 years-old and younger – will open a Savannah location at 309 Eisenhower Drive next to Dr. Ramon Ramos’ office.

    The exact opening date is not confirmed yet, but a spokesperson said the estimated opening time is the end of September/early October.

    Monkey Joe’s features an inflatable play center including inflatable slides, jumps, and obstacle courses where kids can bounce, jump, slide, and have fun. Kids 3 years-old and younger have their own play area.

    Read more here.

    Free preview of early childhood parent-and-me music class

    Monday, August 3rd, 2009

    makejoyfulnoiseYour idea of music (twirling to Tchaikovsky, moving to Mozart) isn’t quite the same as your little one’s (using the toy piano as a tap dance stage).

    Get everyone in perfect harmony with Make A Joyful Noise early childhood music classes. Think singing, dancing, and instrument playing, plus activities that improve motor skills and rhythm.

    Attend the Make A Joyful Noise open house Sat. Aug. 8 for a free preview of a class (babies to 6 years) at 10:30 AM as well as drawings for FREE CLASSES; and an 11:30 AM audition for the Sounds of Praise Children’s Choir

    Contact Vicki to pre-register for the preview class. 912-920-6542. Click here for more info.