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Archive for February, 2008

GUMBY DVD Giveaway

Gumby Essentials DVDWe’re playing catch-up, after being out of town all weekend, and it’s high time we posted this week’s Monday giveaway… on, er, Tuesday. First, congrats go to last week’s winner Erin, who won the Nintendo DS “Cooking Mama 2” game. (Actually, we think we won. You guys provided some awesome lunchbox ideas. On behalf of my sick-of-PBJ children, thank you!) This week, we’re feeling particularly nostalgic … probably because we just spotted this “Gumby Essentials” DVD. Remember Gumby and Pokey, our little bendy friends from childhood? This DVD includes 15 beloved Gumby episodes from way back when, including such classics as “The Groobee,” “Gumby Crosses the Delaware” and “Goo’s Pies.” And it can be yours! Click “comments” – we’ll draw a winner Friday night – and tell us, what was your favorite childhood TV show?

Posted on Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
Under: Contest | No Comments »

Lounge poolside while rain pours down

Yes, it felt a little weird to pack up the beach tote with towels and suits while it was storming last weekend, but once I settled into a hot tub with my kids and their friends at the Silliman Family Aquatic Center in Newark, it was easy to think: “Cold gray rain be damned!”Silliman Aquatic Center

This spacious indoor complex on Mowry Avenue (exit off Interstate 880 and head west) is comprised of three pools, the aforementioned hot tub and two . It’s THE spot to let kids burn off some energy when it’s too yucky to go outside. And, even better, you don’t have to mess with sunblock.

There’s a gradual-entry shallow toddler pool with a great play structure in the middle, two small slides and tons of water shooters and goofy spouts.

The middle pool features an actual “lazy” river curving around the water slide splash down area. A gentle current propels swimmers in tubes (provided by the pool) around in circles. The third pool is a deeper regular lap-style pool for bigger kids.

Here are some tips: Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Monday, February 25th, 2008
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Politicians, Summer Camp & More

Homework Politicians, brain development, summer camps and more … here’s what’s up on the parent education scene…
“Are You Listening?”
Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. Las Lomas High Theater, Walnut Creek. Student-parent workshop led by parenting expert Annie Fox

“Advocacy Day in Sacramento”
All day Feb. 27. An education funding advocacy field trip to meet with Sacramento politicians, organized by local PTAs.

“Navigating Work-Family Balance With Young Children”
Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m., 2340 Jackson St., Fourth Floor, San Francisco. Speaker: Daphne de Marneffe, Ph.D.; Sponsored by the San Francisco Center for Psychanalysis (Free)
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Posted on Monday, February 25th, 2008
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »


Prom queen, Orlando Sentinel, KRT Remember prom? The glamour, the glitz, the fabulous dress? If there’s a fabulously stylish prom dress languishing in your daughter’s closet, the Princess Project wants it! This wonderful community service group has provided free prom dresses and accessories to more than 6,800 high school girls who couldn’t afford them. If you’ve got something wonderful hanging in your closet, purchased after 2002 and in excellent condition, go get it dry-cleaned, and bring it to one of the Bay Area collection sites. Many high schools – Acalanes, Campolindo, College Prep and Bentley, for example – are conducting their own prom dress drives, and boutiques and malls are serving as collection points too. Even Children’s Hospital is taking in frothy gowns for the cause.

Don’t have a gown, but you love the idea? VESTIA, the Volunteer Emergency Services Team in Action for Contra Costa County, rents tuxedos and buys prom dresses for teens in foster care who would like to attend those iconic high school events – prom and senior ball. It’s a rare foster parent who picks up the tab for expenses like that, so VESTIA tries to help, but they need donations to do it. E-mail Anne Struthers or call her at (925) 335-2193 for info.

Posted on Monday, February 25th, 2008
Under: Other | 1 Comment »

TOY DARTS Recalled – Seems They’re Dangerous

Recalled Dart Board It’s not often that you read “safe” and “darts” in the same sentence. That’s because they’re pointy projectiles with oh-so-many ways to hurt children: eyeball punctures, gory gaping wounds and now, apparently, intestine-perforating magnets. The Consumer Product Safety folks have recalled a quarter million of these “FUN ‘N SAFE Magnetic Dart Boards” because the tiny magnets fall off. And, say it with us now, if you swallow two or more, they migrate through your body to find each other, no matter what vital organs or important fleshy parts lie in the way. The resulting intestinal blockages and perforations can be fatal.

Also on the recall list: lead-laced, rhinestone-encrusted necklaces for kids. That one’s a small recall: just 2,900 of the $13 geegaws.

Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2008
Under: Toy Recalls | No Comments »

CELEBRI-BABIES Woo the Paparazzi

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, MCT Direct So, J Lo and Marc Antony had their twins early this morning, and now, there’s a big payday ahead. Apparently, People Magazine has offered up to $6 million to snap the first portraits of Max and Emme, or Moonbounce and Starstruck, or whatever their names are. That’s a highwater mark for what has become a bizarre celebrity pregnancy ritual.

We get why magazines do it. According to Advertising Age, Shiloh Jolie-Pitt’s pic went for $4 million and People saw that issue’s sales soar 45 percent.
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Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2008
Under: Other | No Comments »

SCHOOL HEADLINES: Tainted Lunch, Budgets & Bombs

College library
School headlines you may have missed… You remember the big beef recall last week? Turns out 20 million pounds of the tainted meat was served in school cafeterias, but they’re not quite sure where. Ahem. We guess the good news is that if your kid was going to get deathly ill, you’d already know. We are never eating cafeteria food again. Ever.

Good news: Stanford University will start offering middle class students free tuition. Bad news: you still need a 4.6 GPA and a Nobel Prize to get in.
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Posted on Friday, February 22nd, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

FAB FIVE for the Weekend

Here’s what’s up this weekend for Bay Area families:
1. Got a comic book fan at home? How about a film buff? This weekend San Francisco’s Moscone Center hosts WonderCon, Northern California’s biggest comics confab, and the San Francisco International Children’s Film Festival. Among the films, “Adina’s Deck,” a movie about cyberbullying tweens (pictured above). ($6-$12 for a one-day pass to both)
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Posted on Thursday, February 21st, 2008
Under: Fab Five, Family Outings | No Comments »


Lunar eclipse 2007 (MCT Direct)
If this gray drizzle clears, tonight’s skies should offer an intriguing peek at a lunar eclipse. Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science is breaking out the big telescopes and bringing in astronomers to help you make sense of what you see out on the big plaza from 6 to 9 p.m. (Free)
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Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

FITNESS CLASS? Caption Contest

By Joan Fairman Kanes, Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT Direct)
Last week, we asked you to supply a caption for a classic bringing-home-baby pic, and we’re *still* laughing over the hilarious results. (More on that in a sec!) But first, look at the photo above, click “comments” and supply a new caption for this shot of young Sabrina Kimmel, 5, Avery Stamps, 4, Hunter Kimmel, 2, and Andrew Wallace, 4, at a “Mini Movers” class in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. (Deadline: Sunday night. Cleverest caption-writer gets a stack of hot-off-the-press toddler books!) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008
Under: Contest | 4 Comments »