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Archive for April, 2010

THE New Dad, A to Z

The New Dad from A to Z Wednesday, already?? OK, folks, last week’s Backyardigans DVD is heading off to our winner, Marci, and we’re getting ready for this week’s giveaway … a tad late. This time, we’re showcasing “The New Dad from A to A: Real Tips for a Surreal Time,” by Dan Consiglio, who promises to answer such tough questions as “Will I get pooped on?” (Yes) “Will I ever sleep again?” (In about a decade) and “What the hell is a onesie?” It’s a very fun, very real little book for new and about-to-be dads, mixing plenty of humor with a good dash of reality. And it’s arranged, as you’d expect from the title, from A (is for anxiety) to Z. Great little gift for baby showers or Father’s Day.

And we’re giving away a copy to one lucky family. All you have to do to enter is click “comments” and share your best piece of advice for the new dads out there. We’ll draw a winner’s name on Monday, May 10!

Posted on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Under: Babies & Tots, Books, Dads | 5 Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

FLUTE SWEET (Photo by Bruce Shippee)
Flute Sweet: Catch Flute Sweet and Tickletoon in free performances at libraries all over the Bay Area this week, including a special show for kids ages 2-8 at Berkeley’s West Branch library at 6 p.m. April 29, and a songwriting workshop for teens at the Alameda library at 3 p.m. May 1.

OMCA Opening: Everyone’s buzzing about the grand opening of the newly renovated Oakland Museum of California and its 31-hour marathon party that starts with live music, an aerial dance and plenty of hoopla at 11 a.m. May 1 and runs all the way to dinner time May 2. But the really kid-friendly stuff is all on Sunday with face painting, family art projects and talks with the Koi Pond guy from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and gospel music, rap and drumming all afternoon. Free.
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Posted on Wednesday, April 28th, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »


Community Forum on Underage Drinking
April 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. JFK University, 100 Ellinwood Way, Pleasant Hill
An interactive panel discussion presented by the Center For Human Development. Space is limited, so register now.

Children & Mental Health Awareness
May 2 from 7 to 8 a.m. on 98.1 KISS-FM and streamed live on
Join Nurse Rona and Deborrah Bremond, PhD, MPH, director of Family Support and Services at Every Child Counts, First 5 Alameda County,
as they discuss children, parenting and mental health awareness.

East Bay College Connection Fair
May 8 from 1 to 4:30 p.m., St. Mary’s College, Moraga
Hundreds of college representatives are available at the fair as well as workshops on the application process, financial aid,and being a student-athlete. Free.
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Posted on Monday, April 26th, 2010
Under: Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

VIDEO: Single Ladies Devastation

Between Beyonce’s hit single and the Glee football team’s antics,  catchy “Single Ladies” videos seem to be everywhere. But this? Too cute… Happy Friday!

Posted on Friday, April 23rd, 2010
Under: Other | No Comments »

FABULOUS Birthday Cake #6

Farm Birthday Cake (Courtesy Yes, that’s a CAKE. And what better centerpiece for an Old MacDonald or farm-themed birthday party? You’ll need a 9-inch square cake, frosting, graham crackers, Golden Grahams cereal and some shredded wheat cereal for this creation – oh, and these instructions too!

Related posts:

Posted on Thursday, April 22nd, 2010
Under: Cuisine | No Comments »

FAB Five for the Weekend

Gary Paulsen  (Photo by Brian Adams, Getty Images) Paulsen Power: Beloved children’s book author Gary Paulsen (pictured), author of “Hatchet,” “Lawn Boy” and its sequel “Lawn Boy returns,” as well as the new Revolutionary War-era “Woods Runner,” is coming to town. Paulsen will be speaking at 7 p.m. April 23 at St. Isidore School in Danville. Calll Rakestraw Books, 925-837-7337, for ticket information.

Family Fair: First 5 Contra Costa and Pittsburg’s Small World Park hosts its ninth annual Children’s Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 24, complete with arts and crafts, kid-friendly entertainment, a bounce house, rides and more. Hop on the shuttle at Brentwood’s Centro-Mart or Oakland’s O’Hara Park. Free.
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Posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010
Under: Family Outings | No Comments »

Antioch Baby Dies in Car

car seat The heartbreaking tale of the 7-month-old Antioch baby who died after her parents forgot her in the car overnight is a tragic reminder that cases of this sort crop up with horrifying frequency. An average of 37 babies die each year in hot cars, vans or SUVs; 445 babies since 1998. Authorities in the Antioch case are still investigating cause of death – temperatures dropped to 52 degrees and rose as high as 78 between the time tiny Sofia Wisher was accidentally left in the car at 11:30 p.m. Saturday night and when she was found at 2 p.m. on Sunday.

The very idea of forgetting one’s baby in the car is unfathomable, but the truth is, it can happen to anyone, anytime. And that horrifying truth is explained incredibly well in a story that, coincidentally, just earned Washington Post writer Gene Weingarten a Pulitzer Prize. Weingarten’s story, “Fatal Distraction,” takes you into the lives and hearts of the people it’s happened to, and sounds a warning bell for every parent who’s ever been exhausted, distracted or had a change of routine. In other words, all of us. Read it. Read it now. With a box of tissues nearby.

Posted on Tuesday, April 20th, 2010
Under: Health & Safety | No Comments »


The Backyardigans: Escape from the Tower You guys had some of the best birthday party ideas last week! Pirates, tea parties, splash fests and that “Matty Gras” shindig — so clever! The “Party Animals” book is heading out to Misty and man, thank heavens for random drawings, because I could never have picked just one great idea. :-)

OK, we’re ready for this week’s giveaway and this time, we’re offering up a Nickelodeon DVD featuring  the irrepressible, irresistible Backyardigans and their “Escape from the Tower,” which features castle dungeons, mariachis and a sock factory. It looks like big fun for a lazy day – or a long and tedious car or plane ride, if you’ve got a portable DVD player.

So with that in mind, click “comments” and tell us, what’s the best book or DVD to keep the backseat crowd occupied on family trips? We’ll draw a winner’s name on Monday, April 26.

Posted on Monday, April 19th, 2010
Under: Contest | 4 Comments »

PARENT TALKS: College Transitions, Autistic Spectrum and More

Harvard Preparing Parents for the College Transition
April 19 at 7 p.m., Miramonte High Theater, Orinda
A talk for parents by Maisha Beasley, St. Mary’s College parent liaison, sponsored by Acalanes Adult Ed.

Free Parent Workshop on Autistic Spectrum Disorder & Kids
Four Wednesday evenings, April 21-May 12, 7-9 p.m. Marin City
“How to talk so kids with ASD will listen, and listen so you hear” workshop for parents of kids ages 2-5, by Julie King and Dr. Ilene Lee, autism specialist. Free, but space is limited. Register at 415-939-3553 or

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Posted on Monday, April 19th, 2010
Under: Parenting Issues | No Comments »

FABULOUS Birthday Cakes #5

Courtesy Family Fun I don’t know about you, but when my kids were in kindergarten, they always did a classroom butterfly parade. The kids celebrated the hatching of their chrysalises (chrysali?) into Monarch butterflies by dressing up in big construction paper wings for a playground parade, followed by butterfly cupcakes and treats. It was pretty darn cute. These cupcakes would have gone beautifully there. They’re a Family Fun creation that tops frosted, baked cupcakes with half a sour gummy worm (for the butterfly’s abdomen), fruit slice wings and shoestring licorice antennae. The added wing detail? Sliced gumdrops.

Need more cake ideas?

Posted on Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Under: Cuisine | No Comments »