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Archive for March, 2010

RECALL: 1 Million Baby Slings

Recalled baby sling Well, we knew this was coming, but it’s still utterly depressing. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety folks and the Infantino company just recalled a million Infantino “SlingRider” and “Wendy Bellissimo” infant slings. If you have one of these, stop using it immediately. The sling poses a suffocation hazard to young children. Three suffocation deaths occurred in these slings in 2009, including a 7-week-old baby in Philadelphia; a 6-day-old in Salem, Oregon; and a 3-month-old in Cincinnati. Heartbreaking.

Infantino is offering free replacement products, including a Wrap & Tie infant carrier, a 2-in-1 Shopping Cart Cover, or a 3-in-1 Grow & Play Activity Gym. More details here.

Posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
Under: Babies & Tots, Health & Safety | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Egg Scramble at Crown Beach (Bay Area News Group Photo) Egg Scramble: It’s spring, which means egg hunts, egg scrambles and egg rolls galore. Among the possibilities, the Egg Scramble at Alameda’s Crab Cove and Crown Beach on March 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Spring Thing: Ashkenaz’ kids concert series in Berkeley continues March 28 at 3 p.m. when the Vaudevillians Stage Troupe presents its “Spring Thing,” a variety show tailor made for the 5- to 16-year-old crowd.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 24th, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

EASTER: Countdown

Easter Count-Down (Courtesy Family Fun) We had so much fun last year counting down to Easter with bunny crafts, recipes and such, we’re doing it again – and we’re starting with this 12-day countdown calendar from our buddies over at Family Fun Magazine. Don’t toss that empty egg carton, they say. Turn it into an interplanetary transport, a grassy caterpillar or this clever Easter countdown craft.

Cut off the empty egg carton’s top and sides, and trim the center dividers so they’re even with the outside edge. Dab glue around each cup rim and all around the edges, then lay a sheet of colorful tissue paper over it and press to affix. Cut 12 small circles of contrasting colored tissue paper and glue them over each cup. Each day, let your child tear open one cup’s cover to find a small surprise, Advent calendar-style.
Related posts:

Posted on Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

‘EMMALINE & The Bunny’ Giveaway

Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan OK, folks, this week we’re giving away a copy of “Emmaline and the Bunny,” just in time for Easter. This adorable, hardcover book, for the first through third grade crowd, tells the tale of irascible, impish Emmaline who wants a bunny. But Emmaline lives on Shipshape Street in Neatasapin, a town where tidiness is cherished and children are expected to be quiet and spotless. And pets are, you know, messy. The book’s sweet water color illustrations will make you think of “Peter Rabbit,” and the prose is fun, both for new readers and grown-ups reading this one aloud. And it can be yours!

Click the “comments” box and tell us, what are you putting in your child’s Easter basket that’s not sugary? We’ll draw a winner’s name on Monday, March 29. (Meanwhile, congrats are due to Cathy, the Pink Panther fan who won last week’s retro Bugs Bunny DVD!)

Posted on Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Under: Books, Contest | 13 Comments »

PARENT Talks: Challenging Kids, College & More

Tantrum (Illustration by Mike Inman, MCT) Behavior in Young Children
March 23 and 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Bananas, Oakland
Play therapist and child care expert Madeline Meyer Riley explores how to respond to challenging behavior among babies, toddlers and young kids who have been labeled “difficult” in this two-part workshop for child care providers and families.

Talking with Teens
March 28 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on
The final episode in the “Your Teen Matters” series features Nurse Rona and Beth Samuelson, MA, of Student Organizational Services, discussing practical and effective communication techniques for parents of teens.
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Posted on Monday, March 22nd, 2010
Under: College Apps & Angst, Parenting Issues | No Comments »

RECALL: 1.2 Million Graco Highchairs

Recalled Graco Highchair First came the lead painted toy recalls, millions of them. Then the crib recalls, millions of them. Now come the high chairs. You know what? It’s probably best if you just let your kid sit on the floor in a completely empty room, playing with his toes. Sigh.

OK, today’s message of doom comes from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety folks and Graco, who are recalling 1.2 million Harmony High Chairs (pictured). The inharmonious truth is they’re worried about the screws that hold the front chair legs together spontaneously exiting, which can cause the chair to tip. Graco has received 464 reports of screws loosening and/or plastic brackets cracking, which caused the high chair to tip over unexpectedly. 24 reports included bumps and bruises to the head, a hairline arm fracture, and gashes, scratches, bumps and bruises to various other body parts. If you bought one of these between November 2003 and December 2009, you’ve got a problem. Look under the foot rest for the label, then compare the model number with the recall list here. Stop using the high chair and go here for details on how to get a free repair kit.

Posted on Friday, March 19th, 2010
Under: Babies & Tots, Health & Safety | No Comments »

FABULOUS Birthday Cakes #1

Squid Birthday Cake (Courtesy How much do we love creative birthday cakes? Ohhh, so very, very much. Last year, as you may recall, we did a “10 Days of Birthday Cakes Countdown,” that showcased some of the most clever cakes ever, including sharks, snorkelers and seriously goofy cupcakes. The set of cake ideas was part of our contribution to an All About Parenting blog carnival on birthday celebrations, which I hosted on my other site. (We’re about to take the plunge into another All About Parenting carnival, by the way, this one on an Easter theme. You’ll hear more about that later, but if you’re a blogger and want to participate, follow that link for details.)

OK, back to the birthday cakes! We loved that birthday cake countdown so much, we’re doing it again, one per week, starting right … now. May we present, a purple squid cake? Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Thursday, March 18th, 2010
Under: Cuisine | 5 Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend (& Tonight)

Exploratorium Physics of Toys
Make Noise: Explore the physics of noisy toys at this hands-on workshop (pictured) at San Francisco’s Exploratorium from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 20. Make toys that squawk, boom, buzz, and roar, then take them home to torment, er, delight your family. Free with museum admission.

Persian New Year: Paint eggs, plant wheatgrass and listen to Persian fairytales as Berkeley’s Habitot Children’s Museum celebrates Norooz or Persian New Year on March 21 from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Tickets $8.50.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

TEENS & Digital Overload

Tele-what? (Illustration courtesy of Chris Ware, Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT) When it comes to teens and technology, how much is too much? Join Childhood Matters’ Rona Renner, Student Organizational Services director Beth Samuelson, Positive Technology Relationships founder Jason Brand, teachers and teens as they discuss multitasking, cell phones, Facebook and homework at “Helping Teens Learn in an Era of Digital Overload,” a panel discussion and Q&A this Saturday, March 20 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Orinda Academy.

Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
Under: Technology & Video Games, Teens | No Comments »


Do you haunt the virtual halls of Facebook? Post your every thought? Or just poke your friends occasionally? The Skinny Scoop, a blog by a pair of Stanford business school grads, surveys moms on all sorts of funny little things, from “What does the Tooth Fairy pay at your house?” to in-law relations. Not sure how scientific anything is, but the Facebook mom stats are particularly entertaining. Moms may fret endlessly about their kids online exposure, but 91% post pics of their little darlings on Facebook. Also, 75% have un-friended someone, and 64% have been unfriended – and 67% think Facebooking a birth announcement, instead of sending out cards, is just fine. And 88% have looked up an old crush.  Have you?

Posted on Monday, March 15th, 2010
Under: Technology & Video Games | 1 Comment »