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Archive for March, 2009

HAPPY St. Patrick’s Day

The three tenors had nothing on these guys… Enjoy!

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Under: TV | No Comments »

DORA the (Tween) Explorer

Dora the (Tween) Explorer (Courtesy Nickelodeon) There’s been considerable concern in the parenting blogosphere over the new tween version of Dora the Explorer — particularly after Nickelodeon released an apparently mini-skirted silhouette of what the new Dora would look like a few weeks ago. Bloggers who attended the Toy Fair in NYC and got a sneak peek griped that Dora’s online world was shopping-centric, which didn’t fit with the adventurous, spunky preschooler we’ve come to know and love.

So we were vastly relieved to get this brand new image from Nickelodeon this morning — kinda adorable, don’t you think? And she’s wearing a tunic and leggings, not a Paris Hilton style mini skirt.

Here’s what Nick had to say: First, preschool Dora isn’t going away. “Dora has become an important role model to many. The Latina heroine has connected with a generation of young boys and girls all around the world through her courageousness and sense of adventure… None of that is changing.”

But she’ll be joined this fall
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Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Under: Kids & Tweens | No Comments »

SNEAK PEEK: Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince

MovieWeb – Movie Photos, Videos & More

Want a sneak peek at “Harry Potter & The Half-Blood Prince“? The movie, which follows Harry’s discovery of a mysterious potions book, his continued battle with Lord Voldemort, and all the usual thrilling, magical twists and turns, doesn’t open until July 17. But follow this link now for an entire gallery of HP photos from the new movie and the movie trailer.

Posted on Tuesday, March 17th, 2009
Under: Movies | No Comments »

BRISTOL Palin’s Ex Speaks Out

The spectacle of a pregnant Bristol Palin – the teenaged daughter of the vice presidential candidate – on the Republican National Convention stage last summer was one of those mindboggling “who’d have thought??” moments. But she looked happy, holding hands with the baby’s daddy, young Levi Johnston. Now, as everyone on the planet knows, their engagement has been called off and the paparazzi are circling. So there was Good Morning America’s Neal Karlinsky this morning, blithely saying, “We caught up with Levi Johnston …” “Caught” being the operative word. The GMA crew dashed up to the poor kid’s pickup as he was trying to leave for the gym, then started firing their incisive, deeply serious questions  – ok, who instigated the breakup? got any pictures of the baby? Sheesh.

But it’s noteworthy, at least for those of us who fret about teen pregnancy rates, that Johnston said the breakup was because “It’s just us… me not being mature enough or something.” Well, that would be the issue, yes? Now can you please go tell the same thing to all your peers?

Here, watch the clip, then click “comments” and tell us what you think.

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2009
Under: Teens | No Comments »

HOPE for Kids with Peanut Allergies

Peanut Butter (Darrell Wong/Fresno Bee/MCT) An absolutely fascinating story emerged from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology conference this weekend – a story that will give hope to millions of Americans with peanut allergies. Two new studies found that when kids with peanut allergies were given careful, slowly escalating daily doses of peanuts under medical supervision, their bodies built up immunities to the allergen. Do not, as they say, try this at home. Doctors cautioned that this is not something to try without medical supervision, but said that a peanut allergy treatment could become a reality within the next two or three years.

The pilot studies done at Duke University and Arkansas Children’s Hospital involved 33 kids, who received peanut doses, administered in powder form, starting at the miniscule level – 1/1000th of a peanut – and gradually rising to 15 peanuts a day over a period of two or more years. Four kids dropped out of the program because of adverse reactions, but the rest had no allergic reactions, and five were able to start eating peanut products as part of their regular meals. Now, doctors are expanding the study, hoping to enroll another 80 families for further testing.

What do you think? Would you enroll your child in a study like this?

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2009
Under: Health & Safety | No Comments »

BABY Shower Giveaway

"Ma! There's Nothing to Do in Here" by Barbara Park Heading to a baby shower anytime soon? We chatted about fabulous baby shower ideas last week, and dished on how to make your own diaper cake. Now we’re out to make life easier for one lucky shower attendee! We’ve got a gift pack of three books for new moms: Amanda Barden’s “Baby Names Made Easy;” Katina Jones’ “Bottles, Budgets and Birthplans: What You Really Need to Know to Get Ready for Baby;” and Barbara Park’s “Ma! There’s Nothing to Do in Here!” picture book. Park – yep, the same one who wrote the outrageously popular Junie B books, penned this one as a baby shower gift for her daughter-in-law.

Want to win the entire trio? Click “comments” and share your best piece of new mom advice! We’ll pick a winner Sunday night. (This contest is now closed. For the current contest, click here.)

Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2009
Under: Books, Contest | No Comments »

PARENT TALKS: Baby CPR, Layoffs & More

Young graduate (Photo by David Pulliam/MCT Direct)“College Admissions & Testing Requirements”
March 16 at 7 p.m. at the Lafayette Library
Speaker: Monte Vista High teacher Van Tsai, author of an SAT study guide, shares tips on college admissions, requirements, the SAT and ACT. Free.

“Physical and Emotional Impact of Sports on Middle School Kids”
March 18 at 7 p.m. at Stanley Middle School, Lafayette.
A physical therapist and a sports psychology consultant talk about middle school kids, sports and burnout. Free. Info? Contact Vera Babor.

“Childhood Matters: Economic Crisis and Fathers”
March 21 from 9 to 10 a.m. on Green 960 AM and streamed live on Rona Renner, RN and panelist Dr. Will Courtenay discuss the economic recession, layoffs and the impact on children.
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Posted on Monday, March 16th, 2009
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

LEPRECHAUNS, Barm Brack & More

Leprechaun Catcher (Courtesy Family Fun Magazine) Got a little leprechaun at home? Or just trying to catch one? Our buddies over at Family Fun Magazine were kind enough to share their St. Patty expertise with us and the best way, they say, to catch a leprechaun is with this hat trap: “Leprechauns have big egos, so a giant version of their own hat is irresistible to them. Once they step on the false top, you’ll have caught a 10-gallon prize.”

We’ll tell you how to make one, them give you suggestions for other adorable St. Patrick’s Day crafts, a minty punch and some real Irish food, including Barm Brack…

You’ll need:
An empty oatmeal container
Green, black and yellow felt
Double-sticky tape
A small piece of gold foil (or other lightweight bait)

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Posted on Friday, March 13th, 2009
Under: Crafts | No Comments »

SCHOOL HEADLINES: UC Berkeley cuts, Girl Scout vids & more

School search ILLUS Need to catch up on local school headlines? The Antioch School Board is meeting Monday to discuss whether to launch an independent investigation into how administrators handled the case of Carmen Dragon Elementary School teacher James Carlile, who was arrested last month for allegedly downloading child pornography. On his work computer. At school. A Times reporter will be liveblogging from the meeting on Monday morning.

Mad budget slashing and pink slipping everywhere. Click here for the seriously depressing news from Mt. Diablo, which is sending pink slips to 600 teachers and staffers; Knightsen; Liberty Union; and Dublin. And if you’ve got older kids bound for a UC, you’ll want to read this warning from UC Berkeley administrators who say layoffs and cuts appear inevitable, even though the Cal price tag is going up by 9.3 percent next year.
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Posted on Friday, March 13th, 2009
Under: Schools | No Comments »

DIY Diaper Cake

On Wednesday, we started cooing about babies — oh, who are we fooling? We’ve been cooing about babies for years, but Wednesday, we ran a Fab Five list of Fabulous Baby Shower Ideas, with help from Karen Sullen from Corner Stork. In it, she made a passing mention to diaper cakes, those towering, fabulous baby gifts we first encountered on “Sex in the City.” You can certainly buy them ready-made, but you can also make one yourself. Here’s how:

Pssst. Come back Monday for more baby shower ideas…

Posted on Friday, March 13th, 2009
Under: Babies & Tots | No Comments »