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Archive for November, 2007

Thanksgiving Cooking with Kids

Turkey chefAh Thanksgiving… the aroma of roasting turkey, the sweetness of pumpkin pie … the high-pressure panic of trying to get an elaborate feast cranked out Thursday morning with kids underfoot. But if you put those pint-sized helpers to work in the kitchen, they’ll learn new and delicious skills and have fun, while taking a little of the heat off you. Besides, you can always get the cranberry sauce off the ceiling later with a pressure washer.

Maple Cranberry Sauce Recipe (Serves 10-12)

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Posted on Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
Under: Cuisine | No Comments »

To Be or Not To Beowulf?

Holiday movie season is upon us, and suddenly the cineplex is full of alluring – and not-so-alluring – offerings, everything from uber-violent PG-13 rated flicks to much-anticipated fantasy fare. So what’s your family planning to do?

Posted on Tuesday, November 20th, 2007
Under: Movies | No Comments »

More bad news on lead…

ToysIn case you’re not upset yet about the recent flurry of toy recalls, check out this disturbing analysis from the Chicago Tribune.

The newspaper hired independent testers to gauge the lead levels of more than 800 playthings available at chain stores, toy shops and Web sites. Their findings: a dozen violated federal limits, and another nine violated stricter Illinois standards.

Worse yet, even a negative lead test doesn’t guarantee the toy is safe, the article noted…

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Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2007
Under: Health & Safety | 2 Comments »

Single parents, tots, stress & more

Powerpoint baby
Here’s what’s up on the parent ed scene:
“Single Parents”
Nov. 21 at 10:30 a.m. at Habitot, Berkeley
Habitot’s Parent-to-Parent Café meets every Wednesday morning. Coffee, tea, pastries and art activities for kids ($3 donation)

“More Fun with Madeline”
Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. Bananas, Oakland
A workshop with play expert Madeline Meyer Riley, who specializes in games and activities for babies and preschoolers. Sponsored by Bananas, free, but registration required.

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Posted on Monday, November 19th, 2007
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

FAMILY TRAVEL: Paris avec le bebe

ParisAh Paris, romance, candlelight, the Eiffel Tower … le bebe? Ooh la la, the Rivoli family says in today’s Times Travel section, and they’ve got travel tips to spare.

THE TREK IN A SEC: Longing to retrace their romantic steps from an earlier era — before parenthood — a new mom and dad set out to see if Paris, the City of Lights, was still all that.


THE TRAVELERS:
“Computer guy” Tim, writer Shelly (author of “Travels with Baby“) and their daughter Angelina, 14 months.

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Posted on Sunday, November 18th, 2007
Under: Family Travel | No Comments »

Travel prize winners!

Monopoly ExpressWe’re shipping out cool travel size versions of Monopoly Express, Scrabble and Sorry to the three winners in our “road trip survival tips” contest. Congrats, folks! Now let’s share their tips…

Ellen Seskin’s family plays word games in the car:
One of the best games we’ve played on the road is called “First and Last.” You pick a category – animals, states, countries, colors, whatever – and the first person says a word in that category. The next person has to say another word in the same category, that starts with the last letter. Example: Australia, Afghanistan, Norway, Yugoslavia, Azerbaijan, Netherlands, etc.

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Posted on Saturday, November 17th, 2007
Under: Family Travel | 4 Comments »

“Beowulf” is PG-13???

Beowulf
As holiday movie season swings into high gear, so do all those parental anxieties that go something like, “Well, it’s rated PG-13 so … it’s OK for 10-year-olds?” If the movie in question is “Beowulf,” then the answer is an emphatic “No, it’s not.”

While newspaper movie critics assess the movie’s cinematic merits, the family-minded reviewers at Plugged In Online and Common Sense Media are taking issue with that rating and the movie’s suitability for anyone under 15.

“Beowulf begins with Grendel literally ripping apart his victims and ends with Beowulf tearing the still-beating heart out of a dragon,” says the even-handed Plugged-In Online. “In between, enough virtual blood is spilled to fill a Second Life swimming pool…

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Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2007
Under: Movies | No Comments »

How to shop with your kids

Holiday shopperOK, so actually the headline for this blog entry is a little misleading because as the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear, parents must admit that it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to shop with children once they’re mobile.

Oh, how I enviously gaze at all the mommies with infants in strollers who hang out in Bay Area malls all day long. They have no idea what awaits them.

Isn’t it interesting that the average retail clothing hanger is at a height offering perfect verticle clearance for a toddler’s head? And that said toddler then gleefully runs underneath the racks while the parent searches frantically?

And what about those automatic sliding exit doors, just perfect for an escaping kid. (Yes, I speak from personal experience — and it was at Babies R Us, no less. You think they’d put padlocks on those things at that place.)

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Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2007
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

Bad Parenting 101: Drunk dad lets kid get the DUI

DUIRemember the DUI duo? No, not Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton – we mean the Michigan couple who landed in jail after driving their kids while drunk. Seems another Michigan dad figured he could top that. Too drunk to drive, he put his 13-year-old behind the wheel … only the kid was drunk too. Now the kid’s in juvenile court on a DUI and dad is facing misdemeanor charges. And all we can say is, MISDEMEANOR charges??? At least Lohan got 84 minutes in the hoosegow.
- Jackie Burrell

Posted on Friday, November 16th, 2007
Under: Just Bizarre | No Comments »

Fab Five for the Weekend

ship Looking for family fun this weekend?
1) Head over to the Antioch Marina Saturday for dockside tours ($5) of the Lady Washington, the tall ship that starred in “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

2) Looking for an artsy afternoon? Oakland’s MOCHA hosts a Mr. Potato Head Beauty Pageant and family art workshop ($7) Saturday…

3) And San Francisco’s MOMA has one Sunday, inspired by Joseph Cornell’s magical box constructions – think uber-creative dioramas. (Free with admission)

4) Play mini-farmer at Tilden Park’s Little Farm this Saturday. ($6-$8, register by calling 888-327-2757).

5) And marvel at San Francisco’s Hip Hop Dancefest tomorrow through Sunday. It’s pricey ($35) but the lineup includes Oakland’s own Neopolitan and Diamond/Sparkle Youth Dance Program, and award-winning groups from around the world.
- Jackie Burrell

Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2007
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »