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Archive for August, 2008

Support group for young moms with breast cancer

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

pink_ribbon_image.jpgMore than 11,100 U.S. women younger than 40 will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. More than 1,100 will die.

Not trying to depress you, but trying to illustrate the need for young women to take the risk of breast cancer seriously. Don’t ignore a lump or other irregularity in your breast because you think you are too young for breast cancer.

My column in today’s Accent section of the Savannah Morning News is about the journey of a Wilmington Island woman diagnosed at 37, when her daughters were 7 and 4. Read the column here. She went on to form a local support group through the Young Survival Coalition for other young women facing breast cancer.

Learn more about the support group, which meets once a month on a Sunday (to accommodate working women), by attending the Pink Tea “Celebration of Life” , Sun., Sept. 7, 2-4 pm @ the Wilmington Island Club, 501 Wilmington Island Road. Tickets are $5 per person and must be purchased in advance. Purchase tickets by clicking here or call Susan Richardson at 912.897.3933 or

Ladies of all ages are encouraged to attend and there will even be activities for young girls if you would like to include your daughters.

Tickets can also be purchased at the following spots:

Wilmington Island Golf Shop: 501 Wilmington Island Road, 912.897.1615

Transformation Station, Nancy N and J.C. Lewis Cancer & Research Pavilion, 912.819.8386

The Misty Marsh Shoppe, 7906 US 80 E, 912.898.9399

Merle Norman Studio, 216 Johnny Mercer Blvd # A, 912.897.5705

Colonial Quilts, 11710-A Largo Drive, 912.925.0055

Mommy-and-me music classes start in September

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Time to register for fall kindermusik-logo.gifKindermusik sessions, which start after Labor Day in Savannah, Richmond Hill, Wilmington Island, The Landings and Rincon.

Attention work-outside-the-home SouthernMamas who have difficulty finding weekend mommy-and-me activities: Saturday Kindermusik sessions will be offered in Savannah, starting Sept. 20!

Kindermusik classes are available for children ages 0 to 7. Classes are divided by age including the “Zoom Buggy and Dream Pillow” class for ages 0-20 months; “Milk and Cookies” for ages 18 months to 3.5 years; “Hello Weather, Let’s Play Together” for ages 3 to 5; and Family Time classes for newborns to 7 year-olds and the whole family.

Kindermusik also has a baby sign language class, “Sign and Sing,” for hearing children ages 6 months to 36 months and their parents. You and your child will learn over 150 signs to help you communicate.

Browse the local Kindermusik Web site and register for the Fall’08 session. Be sure to tell them SouthernMamas sent you!

The winner of the Polkadot Patch giveaway is…

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Tracey Erwin!!

Congratulations, Tracey. She wins a $29 baby cow footed romper from pp-logo-larger.bmpThe Polkadot Patch Boutique, where they believe children’s clothing should be fun, unique, and let children express their individuality and their personality. The Polkadot Patch hand selects every item and each product must match their philosophy

Thanks to everyone who participated by picking out their wish item from the Polkadot Patch. Tracey’s pick was this funky unisex kids monster outfit – which was a popular item with many SouthernMamas!

Look for a different giveaway to be announced here Monday.

Get nose-to-nose with Oatland’s gray wolves

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Coming Sat. Aug 23: the opening of Oatland Island Wildlife Center’s wolf-wilderness.jpgnew Wolf Wilderness exhibit.

No more looking down on the six wolves from a viewing platform, behind a chain-link fence and several feet away.

The Wolf Wilderness observation cabin, pictured under construction here, will allow you to stand at four 6-foot-tall windows and watch the creatures at ground level, according to this article in the Savannah Morning News. The article points out the special safety glass in the windows is the same tough stuff used in zoos for gorillas.

Other creatures will also be displayed in the cabin – bats, snakes and a tarantula. Nearby will be enclosed displays featuring a peregine falcon and some armadillos.

Summer deals on Atlanta Braves tickets

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

So you want to trek to Atlanta to take in one last summer treat, but don’t want to pay rockstar prices.

Have we found a deal for you. braves-logo.gifThe Atlanta Braves slashed 50 percent off their ticket prices for upcoming games. Cheer them as they take on the San Francisco Giants and Florida Marlins at the lowest prices @ Turner Field this season. Prices include Field Level for $18 (reg. $36), Outfield Pavilion for $11 (reg. $22) or Upper Box for $6 (reg. $12).

Watch Atlanta vs. the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 17-18 or the Florida Marlins on Aug. 26 & 28. To buy tickets, click here and use the promo code TRZOO to get the offer.

Squats N’ Tots fitness class

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

mother-child.jpgPopular Thursday morning story and sing-along time @ Bull Street Library goes on summer holiday this week until after Labor Day.

So what’s a mom to do come Thursday morning? Check out Squats N’ Tots – a mommy-and-me fitness class held every Thursday, 11:30 am-12:15 pm @ the Heart & Lung Building, Suite 120, on the Candler Hospital campus, 5353 Reynolds St.

The class helps stretch and strengthen overused body parts, as well as focus on muscle endurance, low impact aerobics and abdominal work. Babies ages 6 weeks to 1 year can participate or watch sitting next to Mom. To pre-register, call 912.819.6463.

Free parent coaching session

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

motherchildreunion_a.jpgIf you often wonder whether your “mom rules” make sense and how to best implement them, then check out the Parenting with Dignity seminar, 7 pm Tues. Sept. 9 @ the Jewish Educational Alliance, 5111 Abercorn St.

The FREE two-hour parent coaching session is open to the public and sponsored by the Clinical Social Work Association of Savannah and Jewish Family Services.

It’s a chance to compare or discuss your parenting techniques and strategies with a clinically trained parenting professional and other parents. Presenter Helen D. Schandolph, LCSW has over 12 years experience in assisting families and their young, adolescent & adult children how to communicate, compromise and conciliate; and, as a result, function most optimally.

The learning objectives for the program are:

Learn to objectively assess your parenting style.
Explore the foundations of your thoughts and feelings about parenting.
Determine whether your parenting style is the most effective.
Learn skills to identify & cope with difficult emotions associated with parenting.
Learn to respect yourself as a parent and feel more comfortable in a parental role.

For more info, call 912.355.8111.

Paying it forward through Cruise Planners

Monday, August 11th, 2008

Jen Anastasopulos, a single mom who relocated to Richmond Hill about a year ago, has a rewarding job.

As owner and operator of cruise-planners-ship.jpgthe Cruise Planners franchise – our newest sponsor – she gives her clients the opportunity to enjoy life to the fullest with unforgettable memories, no matter what category they fall under: family vacations; family reunions; corporate incentives; weddings; honeymoons; high school graduations; and much more at the best prices.

Cruise lines included, but are not limited to are: Carnival, Disney, Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland, Voyages of Discovery, Celebrity, Cunard, Oceania.

If you are just looking to get away for a few days or travel the world, Cruise Planners will make it happen. Interested in a Bahamas cruise starting at $199 per person and other deals? Click here. Or check out Norwegian Cruise line travel specials by clicking here.

Ready to plan that special getaway? Contact Jen @ 912.704.1337/866.636.4995 or via email Tell her SouthernMamas sent you.

Swim Class Info @ Parents Open House

Monday, August 11th, 2008

The foreboding fall doesn’t have to signal a swimming hiatus for your kids.

The Chatham County Aquatic Centerstar_fish-2.jpg offers swim lessons, teams and camps during even the coldest months. Find out more about Starfish Swim School classes and the Savannah swim team @ a Parents Open House. It will be 6-8 pm Thurs. Aug. 21 at the indoor swim center @ 7420 Sallie Mood Drive.

Deadline for registration for swim classes is Aug. 29!! So don’t delay.

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. One parent must be in the water with each child. Be prepared for lots of singing (“Splashes. Splashes. We all blow bubbles….”) Sessions offered include Tuesdays/Thursdays or Saturdays. Click here for the fall class 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.
AngelFish program for special-needs children

Classes cost $50 for non members and $45 for non-member consecutive session/second child; $38 for members and $33 for member consecutive session/second child. Call 912.652.6793. Learn more by clicking here.

Polkadot Patch Boutique Giveaway

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

We’ve all visited many cute baby-kid product Web sites.

But y’all are really going to swoon over polkadot-patch-logo.jpgThe Polkadot Patch Boutique, where they believe children’s clothing should be fun, unique, and let children express their individuality and their personality. The Polkadot Patch hand selects every item and each product must match their philosophy

This week, the Polkadot Patch webshop is giving away this adorable cow-romper.jpgbaby cow footed romper pictured here to a SouthernMamas subscriber in the size of her choice. The $29 unisex cow romper from Empress Baby is made of super soft velour.

To win, answer this: If you could have any item from the Polkadot Patch, what would it be? Would it be these personalized lunchboxes. Or this funky unisex kids monster outfit? You gotta love this colorful surf’s up children’s wall clock, too. Or would you select one of these baby gifts?

Email your answer to by 9 pm this Thurs. Aug. 14. We’ll pick a name at random and announce it here Friday.

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

Polkadot Patch donates a percentage of their gross yearly sales to Prevent Child Abuse.

Is spanking an acceptable form of discipline?

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

Would love to know your thoughts on my column today in the Savannah Morning News Accent section. The subject: to spank or not to spank? You can read it stophitting.gifhere.

The column prompted several emails from anti-spanking advocates, including the folks @ the Center for Effective Discipline, which subscribes to the belief “Spare the child, lose the rod.” They pointed me to a Q&A for parents with experts answering parents’ questions about discipline. Read it by clicking here. Their Web site also offers a theory on the origin of Biblical quote “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” Read it here.

Check out an extremely detailed debate about spanking between parenting expert John Rosemond, pro-spanking, and the Center for Effective Discipline, anti-spanking. Click here to read it.

Did your day-care receive any state violations?

Sunday, August 10th, 2008

How’s your child’s day-care?

State inspectors have issued more than 800 citations for violations at 85 licensed day care learning centers in Chatham County since June 2007, according to daycare.jpgthis article in today’s Savannah Morning News.

The good news is there were also seven local day cares that received NO violations during the same period.

Here are the day cares with serious problems, according to the article:






Centers not cited include the following:

ABC Child Care Center #1, 1106 E. 48th St.

Kicklighter Academy, 7219 Seawright Drive

Sanctuary Child Learning And Development Center, 8912 Whitfield Ave.

The Lady Bamford Early Childhood Education Center, 1410 Richards St.

Wesley Community Centers CC, 1601 Drayton St.

Savannah Morning News also put together a database of state violations issued to Chatham County child care learning centers. To see if your child’s day-care received state violations, click here.

Classes and more @ The Sandbox children’s museum

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

sandbox.jpgThe Sandbox, an interactive children’s museum on Hilton Head Is., is more than just a fun place to visit with the kids.

The Sandbox also will offer a music enrichment class and dramatic arts class for kids September thru October.

The parent-accompanied classes are taught by Beth Green, a professional children’s music and drama educator, entertainer and children’s choir director known as the Music Lady. The 45-minute classes are from Sept. 2-Oct. 7.
The musical enrichment class, for children 1-3 years old, is 9:30-10:15 am Tuesdays. The dramatic arts class, for children 4-6 years old, is 10:30-11:15 am Tuesdays.

Each class is $25 per child for the six-week sessions. Family rates are available when registering three or more children. Registration is required and space is limited. 843.842.7645

SouthernMamas Q&A: Barbara McQueeney

Friday, August 8th, 2008


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

Your Family: Sean and Barbara McQueeney, Connor is our only child, and he is 2-years-old. We live in the Georgetown area.

Describe your parenting philosophy? Constantly evolving. I have discovered with a toddler that things are always changing…just because one thing worked one day, doesn’t mean it will work a week from now…I have really learned to adapt and be open to new ideas a lot more now that I’m a parent!

What are your son’s favorite books and toys? Connor has two bookshelves overflowing with books!! A few of his absolute favorites are Peas and Thank You (a Veggie Tales book), Cookie See Cookie Do….because he has it memorized and can “help” read it and does the actions along with the book…and lately the Foot Book by Dr. Seuss, he cracks up at the “slow feet, quick feet” part.

What are your son’s favorite TV shows or movies? My son likes a show that comes on the Learning Channel in the mornings; it’s called Hi-5. They don’t make new episodes anymore, so we bought the American Hi-5 DVDs….he adores them and knows all the songs!! Of course he loves Elmo and could sing all the words to the Veggie Tales Theme Song!

What are your son’s favorite foods? Well, I’m a vegetarian, and his Dad is not…so Connor has a unique palette….he is probably the only 2-year-old in the world that loves sushi and miso soup, and he would prefer soy chicken nuggets over real ones! But he also could eat his weight in “real” breakfast sausage and fresh grilled tuna steaks!

What one adjective would you choose to describe motherhood? Entertaining! My 2-year-old keeps me on my toes! I never know from one day to the next what weird habits or phrases are going to be his new “favorite”….he surprises me on a regular basis…and makes me smile!

Describe your most humbling parenting moment: My son had some issues with being bit at daycare, then turning into the biter…and one night after his bath we were playing and I nibbled on his clean little toes….he immediately told me “stop it mommy, no bite, time out, not nice”….it reminded me that everything I do, even in play, should set the example of how he should behave… could I tell him biting his friends at daycare was wrong, only to turn around and bite him in return, even it was just in play.

Describe your most beautiful parenting moment: The day our little monkey was born. It sounds so cliché, but leading up to his birth was so stressful, and to see this tiny little guy that we’d been waiting on so long….it was magical!! We had been in the hospital for a day already, trying to induce labor and he just wasn’t coming out…and his heart rate had been dropping….so we ended up doing an emergency C-section only to discover that the umbilical cord was around his neck 6 times!!! The doctor said she had never seen a baby with the cord around their neck so many times, and never seen such a long umbilical cord!! Despite that, he was fine….he didn’t have anything but a little red welt on his neck…which was gone by the time we checked out of the hospital!

Favorite local kid-friendly eatery? You’ve heard it a thousand times….but we LOVE Beef O’Brady’s in Richmond Hill….no matter how fussy and loud our son gets, their staff are always more than accommodating! They bring his food out as soon as its ready and he loves the crayon holders shaped like sports balls

Favorite local kid-friendly spot/event? We love taking Connor to new places that are fun for him….we hang out in the JF Gregory Park in Richmond Hill as much as we can, and really enjoy going to Telfair’s Jepson Center for Arts., and visiting Oatland Island. We recently took Connor to our favorite city, Charleston…it was a different kind of trip that we normally take (we always celebrate our anniversary there as a couple, but this time we decided to make it a family affair) and we went to the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry…Connor had such a great time and so did we…we love sharing a city that is so close to our hearts with our son…and seeing it from a different point of view this time!

What resource for children does our area lack, one that you would like to see here? I am a working mother, and I always want to take Connor to local story times and events, but they are typically only available during the week. While we love the festivals and activities our city has to offer for children, I wish more of them were aimed at working mothers. I would LOVE to see a children’s museum in Savannah. With resources like SCAD and Savannah’s rich history, I think a children’s museum that teaches about regional art and history in a fun way would be fantastic!!

What is your pick for the area’s best preschool? We use the Richmond Hill Montessori and just love it!! Within the first week of being there, Connor really opened up and started talking more and he learns so much everyday…it amazes me. As a parent, we are constantly teaching our child….but the Montessori goes above and beyond what we do. They are able to teach him things I would never have imagined…and in a way that is both fun and educational. We’ve been there less than a year and I am really happy with the progress he’s made.

Most valuable baby gift you received that you couldn’t live without? Maybe its not valuable, but it meant the world to me……I had decided to nurse our son, and was doing great while at home….but I wouldn’t leave the house because I was hesitant to nurse in public…I would schedule errands around his feeding time, making sure to be in the comfort of our home when he was hungry….one day he had a doctors appt right at his feeding time. There was no place for me to nurse in private, and the waiting room is entirely glass windows for the entire world to see into….and here I was, with a hungry baby!! I lifted up my shirt and covered myself with his blanket the best I could…hoping I wasn’t exposing too much….and fed my baby….Later I was talking to my mother-in-law and she was like “they DO make special nursing shirts you know”….what??? I was floored….who knew??? She went online and ordered me some nursing shirts in every color she could find and had them shipped to our house! It was the greatest gift ever…..I was able to have my freedom to run errands and go places for more than two hours at a time, and my son could eat wherever we were!!! It was fantastic and made me feel cute as well as functional!! They looked like regular t-shirts and were in the greatest spring-time colors!

If you had zillions of extra bucks to donate, what charity/cause would you select?: I would pick the American Brain Tumor Association. My mother recently passed away from a very aggressive form of brain cancer and I can’t help but wonder if more research and available treatments would have given her at least a few more months with us.

What’s the one phrase you hope your son will say to you when he’s all grown up? “I may not have agreed with you at the time, but I understand why you made the decisions you did. Thank you”

The winner of the Kuuru shoes giveaway is…

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Kate Kneisley.

You win a pair of kuuru-shoe-circle.jpgkuuru shoes, designed to support babies and toddlers in their early walking years. Kate will be able to select her favorite pair from the variety of shoes see here.

Thanks to everyone who offered tips and questions about meeting other moms. If you haven’t checked out all the suggestions of activities, places and Web sites, be sure to read the comments under this post for some great ideas.

Look for a different giveaway to be announced here Monday.

Attend the Pink Tea “Celebration of Life”

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Here’s a chance to wear your summer pinks one last time AND support breast cancer survivors.

pink_ribbon_image.jpgPink Tea “Celebration of Life” will be Sun., Sept. 7, 2-4 pm @ the Wilmington Island Club, 501 Wilmington Island Road.
Tickets are $5 per person and proceeds benefit Young Survival Coalition Volunteers, which is a group that supports young women living with breast cancer.

Ladies of all ages are encouraged to attend and there will even be activities for young girls if you would like to include your daughters.

Purchase tickets by clicking here or call Susan Richardson at 912.897.3933 or

The tea is a casual event. Dress in pink or just your casual attire. There will be informational displays, raffle/silent auction items and refreshments.

Town Hall meeting about “Baby Borrowers” controversy

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

baby-borrowers-logo.jpgRemember all the fuss about whether “The Baby Borrowers” was more about child neglect than birth control?

Now NBC News plans to host a one-hour televised town hall meeting at 9 pm this Wednesday (Aug. 6) about the series and the controversy raised.

The NBC reality show came under scrutiny from critics including the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry because the show temporarily separated babies and toddlers from their parents and placed them with young strangers as part of a “social experiment.” “A child’s sense of security should not be gambled with,” said Robert Hendren, the president of the academy.

The series, which ended in July, followed five teenage couples who experienced life in fast-forward, taking care of babies, toddlers, teenagers and elderly people over a three-week period.

Critics will be included in Wednesday’s town hall special along with experts in adolescent psychology and teenage pregnancy. The teenage couples and the actual parents of the children will also be in attendance. Hosts of the town hall meeting are Hoda Kotb and Dr. Drew Pinsky.

Rugby match benefits autism research

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

autism-puzzle.jpgWhether you buy the theory that hyperbaric therapy helps children with autism or not, you have to admit the following event is for a good cause.

Hyperbaric Therapy of the Lowcountry on Hilton Head Is. has joined forces with Michelin and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Department of Psychiatry to help sponsor South Carolina’s first international rugby match.

The match is this Sat. Aug. 9 @ Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston. The U.S. Eagles national team vs. the leading French rugby team will be televised live by ESPN Classic at 7 p.m.

Proceeds from the match will benefit MUSC’s autism research unit in the Department of Psychiatry.

Autism affects one in 150 children born today (and one in 94 boys).

Fantaisiekids sales on hand-smocked items & more

Monday, August 4th, 2008

I am not sure I can gush enough about the sales offered @, our newest sponsor.

Currently, nursery, baby gear, and gifts are 20 percent off. Clothing items from brands including Fantaisie Kids, Neige, Seafolly Girl, le top, Tommy & Fern, Flora and Henri, and Tea Collection are now 30-60% off.

The summer rewards program extends all summer long. Spend $125 @ and receive a $25 gift certificate. Spend $250, and receive $50. Spend $500, and receive $100. Applies toward full-priced items only. Offer ends when August ends.

There’s also the alluring refer-a-friend program. Refer five friends, and receive a $25 Fantaisiekids gift card.

Below are some other reasons to check out Now do you see why I am gushing?

See Tybee release of Squirty the sea turtle

Monday, August 4th, 2008

squirty2006-smaller.jpgYou’re invited to the release of the loggerhead sea turtle, Squirty 1:30-3:00pm Thurs. Aug. 7 @ the Tybee Island Pier.

Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island has raised Squirty since he was one week old and weighed only 20 grams. He arrived as a straggler hatchling so he could be an ambassador to children. Since then, 12,000 students have seen him and learned more about endangered sea turtles. Squirty is now almost two years old and weighs in at an impressive 19 lbs.

Squirty’s “bon voyage” party Thursday will include educational booths with info about sea turtles and other animals; food and T-shirts for sale to help raise money for 4-H’s next sea turtle; and a 2 pm demonstration nest and contest. Then, Squirty will make his way to the ocean.

Burton 4-H Center is accepting donations to help fund the release. Donations can be made by clicking here

A big thank you to SouthernMamas subscriber Deborah Evans for letting us know about this fun event.

This week’s giveaway: kuuru shoes

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

kuuru-shoes.jpgkuuru shoes – the shoes you would wear if you were in your child’s shoes – is giving away a pair to a SouthernMamas subscriber.

kuuru shoes are designed to support babies and toddlers in their early walking years. The styles combine modern designs, bold colors, and thoughtful details to provide comfort and functionality for developing feet. kuuru literally means “cool” in Japanese.

The giveaway winner will be able to chose her favorite pair from a wide variety of styles, such as mary janes, sandals, sneakers, loafers, and t-straps. Click kuuru-shoe-circle.jpghere to see the shoes.

Here’s how to win. One of the most frequent requests we receive @ is moms seeking playgroups or other ways to meet moms. To be eligible for the giveaway, make a comment on this post about the best way to meet other moms with kids of similar ages of yours – specific playgroups, Web sites, activities or just general tips etc. If you are among those LOOKING for a playgroup, then your comment can be about what you want in a playgroup (location, age range, interests etc) so perhaps SouthernMamas can play matchmaker.

Don’t forget to tell us at least your first name.kuuru-shoes-sophia.jpgkuuru-shoes-peyton.jpg

Just click on “comment” below this post to make yours by 9 pm Thurs. Aug. 7. We’ll pick a name at random from the comments and announce the winner here Friday.

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

Trade in old baby bottles for BPA-free ones

Sunday, August 3rd, 2008

bpa-glass-bottles.jpgTossing out all your baby bottles that contained BPA and replacing them with BPA-free bottles?

If those bad bottles came from Babies R Us, the chain store is making it easy to dump them. Babies R Us reportedly has a generous return policy when it comes to allowing concerned parents to exchange the hard, plastic bottles that contain bisphenol-A for ones that are BPA-free.

Bisphenol-A, which is added to polycarbonate plastic, has come under scrutiny in recent months after studies linked it to potential health problems in animals and humans. A draft report issued by the National Toxicology Program in April found BPA could cause “neural and behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children” and may be linked to breast cancer, prostate cancer and early puberty in girls.”

Babies R U saw sales of glass baby bottles and BPA-free bottles jump in 2007 and will phase out baby products containing BPA by the end of the year. Wal-Mart, the nation’s largest retailer, and Toys R Us, the largest toy seller, have said that by January their shelves will be free of children’s products containing BPA.

The bottle exchange reportedly various from store to store. So call ahead to find a store that honors the BPA-free return policy.

Read more about the BPA-free bottle exchange here. For a list of BPA-free bottles and sippy cups, click here.

Kick back-to-school blues. Sign the kids up for soccer

Saturday, August 2nd, 2008

soccer-ball.jpgLooking for a soccer league for the kids?

Fall registration is under way with Savannah Celtic, a league that started with over 250 kids its first year and jumped to more than 500 two seasons later.

Savannah Celtic strives to keep the cost of its programs as affordable as possible so that as many children as possible can enjoy soccer. Started by two men from the United Kingdom, the premise of the club is to promote soccer locally to everyone, no matter of age, gender, race, ability or social demographic.

For more info and to register online, click here

The league is also always seeking coaches who’d like to make a contribution to the community by supporting local children. Interested in coaching? Call 912.495.9996

SouthernMamas Q&A: Ginger Heidel

Friday, August 1st, 2008

ginger-qa.jpgWe here at SouthernMamas rely on our savvy readers to keep us informed. One such reader is Ginger Heidel, the subject of our latest savvy SouthernMama Q&A. Meet the woman behind a popular Savannah mommy blog, gummibunny. (If you know a SouthernMama you’d like to nominate for a profile, email Read past profiles by clicking here. )

Your family: I’m married to my high school sweetheart Lee Heidel, and we are the very proud parents of Camille, who just turned two. We live in Savannah’s Ardsley Park, and Lee and I together own Heideldesign, a web development and multimedia firm. I work there three days a week, and spend the rest of my time being mommy to the sweetest girl I’ve ever met.


How would you describe your parenting philosophy? Listen to all the advice you’re offered, and then go with your gut. Sometimes it’s hard to know what to do or how to parent in a particular situation, and I find the advice of trusted friends and family very helpful. But on occasion when we’ve disagreed, I’ve found going with our gut instinct has worked best for us.

What are your child’s favorite books and toys? Right now she is loving Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. But her favorite book is her First Baptist Church of Savannah pictorial directory – it’s hilarious! She enjoys flipping through and looking at all the pictures and asking everyone’s name, and we joke that she knows our fellow church members much better than we do. As for toys, she really into her tea set, her little toy farm and various farm animals – the goat is her favorite.

What are your child’s favorite TV shows or movies? She is a huge Elmo fan, and also likes the TV show Yo Gabba Gabba. But her favorite thing to watch is a Brainy Baby DVD about farm animals (noticing a farm animals theme? More to come).

What are your child’s favorite foods? Right now she’d like to eat a popsicle for every meal if I’d let her, which I don’t. She loves grits (my true Southern Belle!), fruit, and macaroni and cheese.

What one adjective would you choose to describe motherhood? Rewarding.

Describe your most humbling parenting moment: I think the whole parenting experience is humbling because the learning curve is so steep! I felt humbled when we left the hospital after her birth, knowing we were responsible for the care and upbringing of another human. It was an awesome, albeit humbling, moment.

Describe your most beautiful parenting moment: There are so many great moments, how to choose? I remember feeling blown away the first time Camille smiled at me and meant it. It was like the biggest payday to realize she was communicating her happiness to me.

Favorite local kid-friendly eatery? We enjoy going to Barbara Jean’s on Wilmington Island. The portions are large enough she can eat from our plates, and she likes many of the yummy veggie casseroles. And if she gets antsy, we go out on the deck and look for birds flying around the marsh.

Favorite local kid-friendly spot/event? Our favorite spot is definitely the Oatland Island Wildlife Center. We like their Toddler Tuesday program (which we learned about on!), and Camille LOVES visiting all the animals in the barn. She’ll talk about them for days after we visit – “Cow eat hay! Goat itch ear!” I am also infinitely grateful to the City of Savannah for maintaining so many nice parks and playgrounds – we frequent Daffin and Hull Parks.

What resource for children does our area lack, one that you would like to see here? We recently visited the public library in Estes Park, Colorado, and they had a fantastic kids area. There were lots of books and reading tables of course, but they also had a table with a great train set, a farm set with plastic animals, architectural building blocks, and several other wonderful toys that encourage creativity and imagination. They had wifi too, so I surfed the net a little while she busily put the plastic animals on the train tracks (didn’t have the heart to tell her it was a recipe for disaster). We visit the Bull Street library branch here in Savannah and enjoy the books, but I’d love to have a kid’s play area like the library in Estes Park. We’d be there all the time!

Who is your pick for the area’s best pediatrician? Do I have to tell? We love her so much, and I’m afraid if everyone knew about her she’d be swamped! Our pediatrician is Dr. Micah Riegner with SouthCoast Pediatrics. She has the know-how of a doctor with the loving compassion of a mother, and we’ve been very pleased.

What is your pick for the area’s best preschool? Camille goes to Bible Baptist, and we’ve been very happy with her care there. The staff seem very loving, and the owners are very attentive.

Most valuable baby gift you received that you couldn’t live without? Camille really liked her exersaucer when she was an infant, and sometimes putting her in there was the only way I’d have enough time to get dinner in the oven!

If you had zillions of extra bucks to donate, what charity/cause would you select?:That’s tough … I’d probably donate some to cancer research, some to Oxfam to help fund solutions to poverty, and some to my church.

What is the one phrase you hope your child will say to you when she’s all grown up? “I love you, Mama!” I’ll never get tired of hearing it.