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Archive for April, 2008

WANT A BOY, then eat your cereal

New baby ILLUS.jpgMoms-to-be who consume more calories and have a better nutritional intake, specifically those who eat breakfast, are more likely to have a boy. At least that’s what a new British study would have us believe. Critics call it rubbish. Science has told us that a baby’s gender is determined by the father’s sperm. Yet researches from universities in Exeter and Oxford discovered in a study that moms who scored high on the nutrition scale before conceiving were almost 24 percent more likely to conceive a boy than moms who skimped on breakfast. (For more on the story, read here.)

Don’t you just love how studies can make almost any premise true? More than two years ago, I wrote an article about tricks some women use to select or predict their baby’s gender. (You can find that full story here.) No offense to the British researchers, but I think I’ll add this little morsel to the baby gender game list.

Posted on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
Under: Babies & Tots | 1 Comment »

CAMO Caption Contest

Camo kid (Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/MCT)
Time for another photo caption contest! Click “comments” to add yours, and we’ll send the cleverest caption-writer a couple of hot-off-the-press children’s books.

And now for last week’s winner
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Posted on Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
Under: Contest | No Comments »

POSTAL WORKER catches falling baby

posttruckA postal worker delivering mail in Albany, N.Y., caught a 1-year-old girl as she fell from a second-story window. Lisa Harrell looked up to see a baby hanging out of an open bedroom window. The next thing she knew, the child had fallen into her arms. (For more on the story, read here.)

So, how did this happen? Apparently, the girl’s mother had moved a bed close to an open window. She placed the baby on the bed and turned away for just a moment. As any parent knows, that’s all it takes. Fortunately, the child sustained no injuries. Talk about a special delivery.

Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
Under: Just Bizarre | No Comments »

DO YOU Or Don’t You?

OK, truth time… It’s TV Turn-Off Week, so you’re probably inundated with little notes from school, urging you to turn off the boob tube and read. Hey, don’t they know “Grey’s Anatomy” is back at last?

Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
Under: Other | 1 Comment »

FAB FIVE for TV Turn-Off Week

Family Fun This is TV Turn-Off Week, but wooing kids – and yourself – away from the TV can be challenging. So here’s a fab five round-up of alternative pastimes.

1. Make flower fairies. These Family Fun magazine creations play off one of our all-time favorite craft projects, the Beadle dolls from the Family Fun Craft book, by teaming up the basic body – a wooden bead for the head, pipe cleaners for limbs and torso, and embroidery floss for hair – with faux flowers and wings. Adorable. (If you’ve got non-fairy-loving kids, make mad scientists instead, using neon green embroidery floss for the hair and white felt for “lab coats.”)

2. How about a game of golf… on the driveway? Use sidewalk chalk to plan a course. Tape cups to the asphalt as “holes” and break out the plastic golf clubs, Swiffer or whatever impromptu clubs you’d like to use.
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Posted on Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008
Under: Crafts, Fab Five | No Comments »

CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE in a Seattle Classroom

sat Public education came to a screeching halt in millions of classrooms this month as children spent day after day bubbling in answers to state standardized exams. But Seattle sixth grade teacher Carl Chew had had enough. Last week, he refused to administer the WASL, the Washington Assessment of Student Learning exam used to satisfy requirements under No Child Left Behind. Chew’s explanation? “I have done this because of the personal moral and ethical conviction that the WASL is harmful to students, teachers, schools, and families.” And he cited 24 reasons why the exam was bad for kids, families and schools.

But school administrators regarded it as an act of civil disobedience and escorted him off campus. Now, his superintendent says Chew will be suspended without pay for two weeks for insubordination, and he’ll be expected to administer the exam next year.
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Posted on Monday, April 21st, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

MT. D Parent Meetings This Week

School question by Earl Lam, MCT Concerned about what’s happening in the Mt. Diablo school district? Two more parent and community meetings have been added this week – meet with trustees Gary Eberhart and Paul Strange tonight at 7 p.m. at First Christian Church in Pleasant Hill, to discuss the district’s recent fiscal missteps, budget cuts and bid for change. Meet Saturday, April 26 with trustees April Treece and Dick Allen at 9:30 a.m. at Rocco’s in Walnut Creek.

Other school-related meetings? Click “comments” and add them here.

Posted on Monday, April 21st, 2008
Under: Schools | No Comments »

FISH CLACKERS: Book Giveaway

It’s TV turn-off week, so we’re giving away a pair of perfectly adorable books, perfect for tots. They’re “Fish” and “Bee” clackers and we’ve been driving our co-workers nuts with them! They’re wonderful little board books, but when you hold them by the tail (fish) or wing (bee) and wave them, they also go “clack-clack-clack.” Some toddler’s going to go nuts with these. Heck, we loved playing with them and we’re wayyyy past the terrible twos.

So, here’s how to win the pair. Click “comments” and tell us, what’s your kid’s favorite way to make noise/torture you? We’ll draw a winner’s name this weekend. (This contest is now closed. Click here for the current giveaway!)

Posted on Monday, April 21st, 2008
Under: Contest | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Athletics, Nutrition & ADHD

“Food for Thought: Optimizing Academic and Athletic Performance through Nutrition”
April 24 at 7 p.m. at Acalanes High, Lafayette
Panel discussion on teen and sports nutrition, weight control, eating disorders, and energy drinks. Speakers include Dr. Pamela Carlton, Dr. William Workman of WC Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, and Charles Vollmar of the Tempus Clinic. Free.

“Sugar, Sweeteners, Hyperactivity, Obesity, Diabetes & Substance Abuse”
April 24 at 3:30 and 7 p.m. at Las Lomas High, Walnut Creek
Speaker: Robert Lustig, UCSF Medical Center. Free but rsvp.
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Posted on Monday, April 21st, 2008
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

FAMILY TRAVEL: The Big Island & Volcanoes

The Garcias on a lava flow on the Big Island
If you’re looking for a tropical vacation with a side of volcanic activity, the Garcia family has just the place for you. Read on for their family travel tips…
THE TRAVELERS: Writer Nancy Garcia and her daughter Melissa, age 14.

THE TREK IN A SEC: This Pleasant Hill duo spent 12 days on the Big Island of Hawaii, seeing the active volcano and visiting friends.
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Posted on Sunday, April 20th, 2008
Under: Family Travel | No Comments »