Archive for November, 2009

A Zhu Zhu Pet for you? What’s the toy hamster fascination?

The must-have toy of this holiday season is a mechanical hamster that scurries about your home.

My husband is baffled by its popularity. When the Wii was the “It” toy he understood.  Even the Tickle Me Elmo he got, but why the mechanical hamster?

I totally get why the Zhu Zhu hamster would be popular.  They’re cute, they run, they DON’T poop or chew things. But most importantly, according to many articles, they’re cheap – only $7.99.

The only problem is stores can’t seem to keep the Zhu Zhu in stock. Luckily, my kids haven’t mentioned them so I don’t have to worry about chasing (hehehe) them down this season.

Here are a bunch of stories about the Zhu Zhu Pet craze:

A Hamster is the Season’s Hottest toy

Indianapolis shopper scuffle over hot hamster toy

Economics 101: By Way of a Hamster

So what do you think: Do your kids want a Zhu Zhu Pet this Christmas? Will you buy one? Have you already bought one? Did you have to fight off another lady? Do you …

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Family Activities for Thanksgiving Break!

I know it’s hard to keep the little ones busy while you’re cooking so check out these lists of activities and events for help!

Crafts and Games


Comprehensive list of Holiday Movies that are out now and opening soon:

Disney’s The Christmas Carol – Opened a few weeks ago. The Washington Post says it’s not for under 10.

Nov. 20

“The Blind Side.” Sandra Bullock is an affluent suburbanite who takes …

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Are Black Friday deals worth you getting up early?

For the first time ever, Michael and I are actually planning to get up early on Friday morning and head to Wal-Mart to shop.  (I’m not planning to shower, so if you see me, don’t judge my hair!)

With the economy tight, we are working every coupon, every sale, every two-for-one deal  we can find.

We saw the scanned in Black Friday Wal-Mart circular online, and it seems like it’s worth our while to get up early and check things out — video games from $7 to $25, two board games for $9, and IPod Touch for $195, festive holiday pajamas for $3. (Check out Rana Cash’s Atlanta Bargain Hunter blog for more deals. Here are more Black Friday deals.)

I’m paranoid that these deals will be the best of the season. I want to buy what’s on our list there if it’s on sale and then after that I will feel comfortable buying other places for prices that seem good.

It’s tough for parents to head out super early with kids in the house – either mom goes alone (which is no fun) or you …

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Drunk Thanksgiving? What does it take to get through holidays?

With skeletons in the closet and elephants in the room, it is often a stressful time when families get together for the holidays.

Whether Mom doesn’t approve of your new girlfriend or daughter-in-law doesn’t get asked to help with the meal, little tensions can make enjoying the day tough.

I ran across a New York Daily News story that asked two life coaches to take families through some example conflicts and how to deal with them. Here are some of the conflicts they addressed:

“1. Your mother-in-law insists on helping with the cooking – but keeps getting in the way.

2. You accepted a Thanksgiving invitation, but now you’re having second thoughts, thinking you’d rather spend the day elsewhere – or even on your own.

3. The guys slump in front of the TV to watch sports after the meal and do nothing to help.

4. Your sulky “New Moon”-addict kids set up camp in their bedroom, obsessively watching “Twilight” on DVD. They refuse to come out into the light.

5. Your mom …

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Stork Craft cribs (some with Fisher-Price logo) being recalled

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the brand of cribs being recalled tonight. They are recalling more than 2.1 million drop-side cribs by Stork Craft Manufacturing, the biggest crib recall in U.S history, following reports of four infant suffocations. Nearly 150,000 of the cribs carry the Fisher-Price logo.

Here is the full story from The Associated Press:

By JENNIFER C. KERR, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – More than 2.1 million drop-side cribs by Stork Craft Manufacturing are being recalled, the biggest crib recall in U.S history, following reports of four infant suffocations.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said late Monday the recall involves 1.2 million cribs in the United States and almost 1 million in Canada, where Stork Craft is based. Sales of the cribs being recalled go back to 1993.

Nearly 150,000 of the cribs carry the Fisher-Price logo.

The CPSC said it is aware of four infants who suffocated in the drop-side cribs, which have a …

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Crib Recall: Is your crib safe?

ABC News is reporting that The Consumer Product Safety Commission is expected to announce one of the largest crib recalls in history. The concern is over unsafe dropdown sides on the cribs.

So far we do not know the specific brand or models that will be recalled. We will update the blog when we have that information.

ABC News says this will NOT be the first time cribs have been withdrawn because of dropdown side dangers.

From ABC

“Nearly 5 million cribs have been recalled over the past two years, and the CPSC has discussed banning dropdown sides all together.”

“The danger was that the crib’s drop side could come off its tracks and create a ‘hazardous gap which can lead to infant entrapment and suffocation.’ “

According to The Consumer Product Safety Commission the dropdown side is often installed incorrectly – often upside down — creating an odd gap that the child gets trapped in.

We did have dropdown side on the crib we used with all three babies. I …

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Is ‘New Moon’s’ message bad for our girls?


Ae you worried about "New Moon's" message to your daughter about how to get a man? (Kimberly French)

“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” opened to an unbelievable $140.7 million this weekend with 80 percent of its audience women and half under the age of 21.

Based on the second book in the popular series by Stephanie Meyer, “New Moon” is rated PG-13 for violence and action. But according to a recent CNN story many mothers are worried about something else in the film.

“It’s the all-consuming obsession that the main character Bella, played by Kristen Stewart, has for Pattinson’s vampire Edward Cullen. For parents who want to raise self-confident girls who first and foremost love themselves, it is hard for them to stomach 18-year-old Bella’s all-encompassing and self-destructive passion for Edward.”

“In the second installment of the series, Edward leaves Bella because he believes she is better off without him in her life. Bella is heartbroken, but discovers that the …

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Could you give away an adopted child?

I know Fridays are supposed to be fun but I just read the saddest story in The New York Times Magazine. It’s an essay from a mother who adopted a little boy from South America. The little boy had been found by the side of the road. They weren’t sure how old he was (under 1) and he had a lot of developmental problems.

The mother already had five biological daughters with her husband but she had always wanted to adopt. The husband was deployed overseas and the mother found it all to be just too much.

She started considering giving away her adopted son.

Read the whole story here. Read the story before discussing. It might change your opinion. It’s really well written and just heart breaking! Prepare to cry!

I wonder if the little boy had bonded more with her if she would have felt the same way – if she would have been able to overcome the tough times or would that only have made it harder to give him away?

Before I read the essay and just read the headline I was really …

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Jacksons call dad Joseph: Is first name OK for parents?

There’s been a lot of talk on Atlanta radio and on this AJC site about the Janet Jackson interview with Robin Roberts on Wednesday night.

I didn’t see the interview but apparently one of the big points for discussion is the fact that the Jackson family calls their dad by his first name Joseph. Basically, the patriarch of the family told them to. “It is what it is,” Jackson said.

A lot of the callers on Atlanta radio this morning felt it very disrespectful to call a parent by his first name. My boss wondered if it is a Southern thing that people got so riled up about it.

Kind of related, it makes me think about when I was little growing up in Georgia and we often called adults by first names BUT always had a Miss before it – so the preachers’ wife was Miss Jodi and the ladies at my mom’s office Miss Vera and Miss Gloria.

Today my kids call all my friends by first names but with the Miss attached – Miss Robin, Miss Margaret, etc… I definitely think that is a …

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Do you seek own ethnicity in caregivers/schools?

I recently heard of two moms choosing their schools and home caregivers based on matching their own ethnicity.  The schools and caregivers support the home language and offer an understanding of the parents’ traditions. Also at least in one of the cases, the ethnic caregiver is able to make meals from the home country for the family.

I think parents frequently select schools based on religion. Many preschools are associated with churches and are chose by parents accordingly. Also many private elementary and high schools are also specific to a religion, and many parents choose the school for that reason.  They want their religion and their beliefs supported in school.

So the question is: Is it any different to choose a school or caregiver based on ethnic or racial background as opposed to religion (or some other characteristic)?

Does the ethnicity or race of your child’s teacher or caregiver matter to you? Does it matter more when they are younger than when they are …

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