Archive for April, 2009

We have a couple of fun stories/questions for you this week. Don’t you just love your little adventuresome toddlers? They certainly know how to keep parents busy with their impossible curiosity!

Q: I rounded the corner of my kitchen today to find my toddler had muscled her way past my poor dog during his breakfast and she was proceeding to devour the entire bowl! How bad is dog food for tots?

A: Well, first of all I have to congratulate you on owning a dog that would be that willing to share his mealtime with someone else! But more importantly, you should know that most pet food isn’t harmful to toddlers. The main ingredients are meat products, grains and veggies. The only negative side effect if they consumed a large amount would be possibly a tummyache or vomiting back up the food. Not a fun mess to clean up but at least you can rest assured that you don’t need to rush off to the emergency room just because your toddler got the munchies and followed the example of her pets. Contact for more pet-related Q and A’s.

Q: My toddler wants to hear the same story every night and sometimes all throughout the day. It’s getting very tiresome and really annoying at times! Is this normal development?

A: My four kids have all been a little different this way. My first daughter liked reading certain stories so much that I had at least 5 or 6 memorized at any given time. In fact, it was rather helpful in calming her out of a tantrum…I would just start reciting the story and she would immediately stop crying and sit quietly and listen! I found this same experience with almost all of my children. Consistency is important to kids. It offers them security and gives them some predictability to their experience. It is also important for language development. They listen to the rhythm of the language, hear the different sounds and intonation, and begin to learn about predicting events and logical sequences. All are extremely important to their development. So for now, get comfy in that rocking chair! You can make your experience a little different each time by asking questions while you read, like “What sound does that animal make?” or “How does the puppy feel in this picture?”. Your child will be ecstatic that you are taking such an interest in something they obviously value.

Q: My toddler likes to play in my cupboards while I get dressed in the morning and I am usually very good about keeping any harmful products out of them. But one morning, I raced out of the shower as I saw my toddler attempting to guzzle a bottle of nail polish I had missed!

A: Ok, I admit it…I found the answer to this one the hard way…experience. After flushing out my 16 month olds mouth with water and a quick call to poison control, I discovered that as long as it is non-acetone based nail polish remover, the worst that can happen is she might vomit it back up. They also recommend having your toddler drink plenty of milk. Luckily for me, we didn’t even have the vomiting.

For more info: In January 2002, the government unveiled a new toll-free poison control number that serves all states, cities and townships…1-800-222-1222. Another great resource is

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Technology and your kids

April 8th, 2009 1:23pm

Do you know where your kids are? Do you know who they’re with? Do you know what they’re doing? These questions were hard enough to answer 10 years ago but now with the age of technology thrust upon us, they are harder than ever to answer and even more complicated to ask. In this age of facebook, twitter, sexting, blogging, and online gaming, our generation of supposedly tech savy individuals is quickly becoming clueless in the wave of new technology.

There are many sites out there to help families deal with this onslaught of technology but there is one I would like to bring to your attention today. It is called and it will surely be a very frequently visited site by many a clueless parent. You might think from it’s title that it is just another gaming site. But this site is so much more.

It offers tools for parents to talk to their kids about these difficult issues revolving around online experiences. It offers suggestions for opening up a dialog with your kids about these difficult issues. There is even a section for kids to help give them and their families ways to talk about being kids in a digital world. Topics such as online bullying, sexting, guides to safely game online and understanding what you can do as a parent to help keep your child safely navigating online. There are even guidelines to parental control options to customize your families entertainment experience.

For more info: Phoenix Family & Parenting Examiner

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Culture Pass

April 7th, 2009 10:58am

To those few lucky individuals who are still living the extravagant life of decadence and self-indulgence in today’s economy, we salute you and hope to join you soon! With the new ‘cultural pass’ available at our local libraries, that day may be coming sooner than we anticipated. If you are struggling for entertainment options that fit the trimmed budget of today’s family, this is an amazing opportunity…and all you need is a library card!

Thanks to sponsors like Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Macy’s, Arizona Republic, Clear Channel Radio, CBS Outdoor, and Macy’s, we have been gifted with a unique opportunity to bring affordable culture to our families.

What is “the pass”;? Library card holders can check out their “cultural pass”; and be able to gain free admission for up to 4 people at participating organizations. Yes, I did say FREE!…no strings attached. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end…the pass is only good for up to 7 days and each library cardholder can only check out one pass at a time twice a month. The venue will collect your pass when you use it so it can only be used once during the 7 day period.
The library imposes these restrictions in what may I perceive as an attempt at encouraging us as a community to share. I say “attempt”; because they will simultaneously reward us for our competitiveness since passes are only available on a first-come first-served basis and cannot be reserved. Mark your calendars: the pass becomes available on April 1, 2009 and the program will only run through March 31, 2010. Each library location will have five passes from each participating institution so competition will be tough.

If you want to learn more about the Culture Pass, click here.
Here is a list of participating cultural centers:
Arizona Museum for Youth
Arizona Museum of Natural Histor
Arizona Science Center
The Bead Museum
Cave Creek Museum
Children’s Museum of Phoenix
Desert Botanical Garden (won’t participate until June)
Heard Museum
Mesa Contemporary Arts
Phoenix Art Museum
Phoenix Zoo
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art
Taliesin West

And if you need some help with participating libraries, here’s a list of those as well:
City of Chandler
City of Glendale
City of Mesa
City of Phoenix
City of Scottsdale
City of Tempe

So on your marks, get set, go! May the fastest and most diligent library card holder win! Join the ranks of the self-indulgent as we try to leave our economic woes behind us for an afternoon of decadent, guilt-free cultural family entertainment!

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