May 31, 2004

Booster Seats Save Lives

Here are some disturbing statistics from an article in today's Globe and Mail:

One child between the ages of four and nine is hospitalized every day with serious injuries from a car crash....Another 35 die annually from their injuries.

According to the article, booster seats lower the risk of injury by 60%; indeed, regular seatbelts are designed for adult bodies, and not for the bodies of children. However, only 28% of Canadian families use them for kids between the ages of four and nine.

Safe Kids Canada is pushing for legislation that requires their use in all provinces and territories.

We have a Costco 3-in-1 that converts into a booster seat--a good option for those who don't have much space to store car seats that the kids have outgrown.

Posted by tomi at 06:18 PM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

May 03, 2004


Penny's last post made me think about Goodnight Moon, one of the bedtime books that go-Daddy-O never chooses to read to Ella.

"It just doesn't do anything for me," he says.

However, I've heard many parents say that this book is one of their all-time favourites...and, more importantly, I've heard that children love this book.

goodnight_gorillaOur child absolutely adores Good Night, Gorilla--she'll hunt through a pile of board books, flinging each one to the ground until she finds the one she's looking for, and then she'll shove it into our hands. "Oooo. Oooo." She points at the cheeky gorilla on the front cover, and then flips the pages, two at a time, until she gets to the page where the gorilla's eyes are popping out of the darkness.

Clapping ensues, and then shouts of glee are heard as soon as we turn the page. I always pretend to be the zoo keeper's wife: "There's a gorilla my the bed!" The narrative continues. The zoo keeper's wife takes the animals back to the zoo, and then crawls back into bed. Of course, the gorilla has managed to sneak into the bed as well, and in the final scene, a little mouse (who is also in the bed) wishes the gorilla good night, but the gorilla is already sound asleep. "Zzzzzzz."

"Brilliant," says go-Daddy-O. And I agree. This book never fails to get a response from Ella, who starts making "Zzzzzz" sounds three or four pages before the end. After reading it over and over again, I'm adding Peggy Rathman's Good Night, Gorilla to my children's book canon, along with Sandra Boynton's Barnyard Dance (another one of Ella's favourites) and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are (my favourite book from childhood).

Check out Reading to my Kid for a comprehensive list of classic children's books. I've read so few books on her list that I didn't follow up on her meme, but it's a great idea.

What's on your list of favourite children's books?

Posted by tomi at 11:19 PM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

April 08, 2004

Kids and Advertising

To follow Penny's lead...

from "What to tell your kids about advertising"

Cameron Diaz has pimples. Hamburgers only look juicy on TV because they're slathered in Vaseline. The cool kid isn't just hanging out playing a game on his cellphone -- he's a Sony guerrilla marketer, paid to make a product look desirable. These are the sorts of insider scoops media expert Shari Graydon offers in her new book, Made You Look (Annick Press) -- a snappy, kid-friendly tour through the world of advertising, covering everything from the industry's origins to its latest tactics and culture jamming.

The full title of Graydon's book is Made You Look: How Advertising Works and Why You Should Know. It is geared towards 8 to 13 year-olds--kids who are old enough to be media savvy. Adults may learn a few things from this book as well!

Posted by tomi at 10:57 PM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 07, 2004


As if I don't already feel guilty about how much TV we allow Oliver to watch, a new study was released on Monday, April 5th by Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center in Seattle, WA that says it should be cut out all together until after the age of two.

The study revealed that each hour of television watched per day at ages 1-3 increases the risk of attention problems, such as ADHD, by almost 10 percent at age 7.
“This study suggests that there is a significant and important association between early exposure to television and subsequent attentional problems,” said Christakis, who is also director of the Child Health Institute and an associate professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “We know from national estimates that children watch an average of 2-3 hours of television a day in the 1-3 year old age group and that as many as 30 percent of all children have a television in their bedroom. There is a tremendous and growing reliance on television for a variety of reasons. However, parents should be advised to limit their young child’s television viewing.”

Needless to say, today, Oliver didn't even get to play with the remote control...and, NO, he will not ever have a TV in his bedroom.

Posted by penny at 11:48 PM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

March 03, 2004

Say Cheese!

I wonder how many other people are like us? You know...they use digital cameras exclusively. Take picture, after picture, after picture of their children. Have slide shows running on their computer screens. Carefully store hundreds, if not thousands, of photos on computer hard drives and CD ROMs. But don't have one, single, photo framed.

It's becoming a little embarrassing. I've been at work almost two weeks and daily people ask to see photos of Oliver. My family asks for photos. Ken's family asks for photos. Our friends ask for photos. Heck, I WANT PHOTOS!

My goal this weekend is to hit a photofinishing website and get some photos printed. The Superstore photo site allows you to upload photos to their site and pick up 4 x 6 prints at the Superstore of your choice for $0.25 per print. Future Shop has a similiar service but they charge $0.39 per print. Even Walmart has a site matching Superstore's prices.

So, all I need is the time to do it......tick, tock...

Posted by penny at 10:43 PM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack

February 23, 2004

Nannies on Call

We attended not one, but two parties on the weekend. I think that's a record for this year! We brought Ella to a friend's birthday party on Sunday, but on Saturday, we brought in our regular babysitters: Grandma and Uncle Dave.

Ella adores both of her sitters, and their rates are hard to beat. However, those of you who don't have family in town may want to bookmark this: Nannies on Call. I know a couple of families who have used them, and so far, they've been happy with the service.

Posted by tomi at 05:53 PM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (9) | TrackBack

February 15, 2004

One Fish, Two Fish, Clown Fish, Blue Fish

Today we took my nephew to the Vancouver Aquarium. Wouldn't you know, at the first tank we hit, the hunt was on..."Mom, do you see Nemo?"..."Hey! Is that Dori?" Yikes! What a phenomenon! And of course, he wasn't the only one asking the same questions. The aquarium was fun for the boys...I think even Oliver enjoyed it from his backpack view.

Having grown up on the West Coast, I remember as a child, seeing seals and sea lions, whales and sharks, and jellyfish and sea urchins, all in their natural habitats. Today, as an adult, I enjoyed seeing these creatures again but couldn't help but feel that awkward twinge of seeing wildlife in captivity...I'm always torn between what is the natural way of life for these animals and what is really a great educational environment for children that would otherwise not have an opportunity to see these wonderful creatures.

TIP: If you're thinking about making a trip on a Sunday, be sure to go shortly after opening. We arrived at exactly the right time...a very short line at the door and a little bit crowded at the tanks. When we left, just past noon, the line-up to get in was out to the parking lot...and it was raining.

Posted by penny at 09:55 PM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 24, 2004

Don't Blink

Today I wandered into our local eyewear store, Blink Optometry, to enquire about getting an eye examination for myself. The person who greeted me at the door was extremely pleasant.

"Yes," he said, "we have two optmetrists who work here. They can examine your baby's eyes old is she?"

Apparently, now that she's almost a 1-year-old, Ella is more than ready for her first eye exam. Eye exams. Dental appointments. Cripes! The next thing you know, she'll be going for her annual Pap smear.

Posted by tomi at 10:05 PM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 17, 2004

All Dried Up

Even the littlest of rashes can raise the eyebrow of a loving parent. Is it Chicken Pox? Is it a food allergy? Is it Eczema? Luckily there are many resources available to get your answers quickly...and often without that dreaded wait at the doctor's office.

Oliver has had this funky rash that covered his entire back for a few days. Teeny, tiny little pin-point dots that got quite red splashing in the bath. There were some larger clusters that looked more like circles. A quick flash to the Community Health Nurse confirmed our original suspicions...dry skin. However, had I remembered to ask the doctor to look at it the day after we noticed it, I wouldn't have spent the entire weekend thinking...could it be this or could it be that. Boy oh boy can your mind play games with you when you're sleep deprived...and when your brain is all dried up!

So the thing for babies' dry skin these days...Glaxal Base moisturizing lotion. It's hypoallergenic, perfume free, lanolin free and non-greasy. Only $9.99 at your local Superstore!

Posted by penny at 09:46 AM in Parenting Tips | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

January 15, 2004

May I Have This Dance?

As do most young children, Oliver, now 9 1/2 months, LOVES music. Last night we caught an advertisment on Channel M. The "Little Note Choir", an adorable assembly of young Asian children, was singing wishes of Gung Hay Fat Choy. In the seconds preceeding the ad, Oliver was banging one of his maraca rattles on the floor. As soon as he heard the singing he was virtually paralized. Then...he did an "Ella move"...he started to bounce up and down - not really in time with the music, but he had the right idea!

So, Oliver and I started a new bedtime routine...we'll keep our fingers crossed! After bathtime, we pop in a mellow CD, grab Piccles (his cuddly, velvet blanket), dim the lights and sway to the music. He grabs Piccles with one arm and my neck with the there any better way to end your day?! Then it's a warm bottle, one last dance and off to dreamland he goes!

One of my favorite CDs these days, is a collection put together by Martha, yes, that Martha. I'm still on the "anti-Martha" train, but curiousity got the best of me and I couldn't resist checking this one out. It's titled "Sleepytime" (here's an review link) and is packaged in her usual fingerprint design. By the way, the CD is available at many branches of the Vancouver Public Library for those that don't want to make the purchase. I'm quite fond of most of the artists and have been enjoying their renditions of these sleepy tunes for a few months now.

Posted by penny at 04:27 PM in Parenting Tips, Reflections, The Sound of Music | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack