Come Say Hi at Art in the Park

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 4:54pm  |  COMMENTS (2)

barista art booth.jpgI feel like Barista Kids is all grown up. We just got our own table at Art in the Park.
I just set up our display at the Montclair Art Museum for their huge weekend Art in the Park event. I’ll be there tomorrow for that free lunch. Did you know there was free lunch from Toast? It’s for the first 100 people who show up tomorrow, Friday, May 1. Eat, browse and take a peek at the museum. Oh, and I hear there’s a free gift from Jo Malone, too.
Woohoo! I’m just so excited to be there.
If it’s bad weather, I’ll be right inside the hallway entrance (the one by the parking lot) before you see the stage. If it’s nice weather, look for us right next to the man making sundaes. I hope we’re next to the man making sundaes.
So anyway, I’ll be there in the morning and around lunchtime on Friday. Events editor Georgette Gilmore is working 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. And I will stop by after church on Sunday.
Will you go to Art in the Park? Have you been in the past? What did you think?

Swine Flu Freaking Moms Out

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 11:00am  |  COMMENTS (2)

swine flu3.jpgMy best friend is a mom of a small baby boy and a 2-year-old girl living on 125th Street in Manhattan. She just wrote me that she wasn’t freaked out about swine flu until the New York Times reported a case at the teachers college at Columbia University yesterday. “It’s directly across the street from us,” she says.
Chandra Turner (that’s her) is mostly worried for her young baby who doesn’t yet have a strong immune system. Her mother, head of an infectious disease department at a hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, offered to send her surgical masks. Chandra’s not ready to put one on yet, but she does say she’s concerned when she rides the 7 train everyday.
Another Montclair mom is being proactive. Her kids aren’t attending school until she feels more comfortable about their safety….

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Free Flight for Kids on Sunday

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 7:45am  |  COMMENTS (2)

YE Rally.jpgUpdate: Due to yucky weather, there was no rally last Sunday. It’s rescheduled for May 17. Young Eagles leader Harry Parsons says, “We did have some Cub Scouts show up, so we finagled a tour of the control tower.”
A free flight? Like in a real airplane? Yes, if you’re a kid. (A real kid, not just a kid at heart.)
I wish I were a kid! My dad was a mechanic in the Navy’s Blue Angels, so we traveled the country to see air shows and military bases. I’m awed by aviation. I keep hoping for a Top Gun for our time.
When my kids are big enough, I would love to expose them to The Young Eagles. YE is hosting the free flight rally this Sunday, and they are a part of the Experimental Aircraft Association. The local chapter is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, according to leader Harry Parsons, father of two in Bloomfield.
Twice a year, kids ages 8 to 17 are invited out to Essex County Airport for a free flight. Harry explains that volunteer pilots provide the aircraft, fuel and their time. “We expect twin- and single-engine aircraft and a helicopter,” Parsons said. Pilots do the event so parents “can expose their children and themselves to new experiences and share the freedoms we uniquely enjoy as American citizens.”
“Kids love it,” he adds. “They learn how airplanes fly, how the cars and houses look small from the air, and that their own potential in life is unlimited.”
Here is more information on this exciting free flight. Food is free too. Hot dogs, hamburgers and BBQ will also be served on the house…

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Playground Drama: What Would You Do?

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 1:45pm  |  COMMENTS (7)

prek park.jpgI am not overly protective of my kids, especially at the playground. I let them get scraped up. I do not follow them closely saying, “Oh, you’ll get hurt if you climb up the slide backward.” I let them figure it out. When a 10-year-old comes barreling down the slide, believe me, my kids figure it out.

I let the children try the equipment–even the monkey bars–when they’re comfortable trying it. I don’t push them, and I don’t hold them back. One of my daughters, Estelle, is athletic, confident and fearless. She was playing with 5-year-old boys in the park when she was 2. Some kids are like that.

But this weekend, a parent at the playground crossed the safety line. My husband took the kids to the Montclair Community Pre-K park on Sunday after church. There is a wonderful climbing tree there. But should our 3-year-old Estelle be climbing it?

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Two Workshops for Foster & Adoptive Parents

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 9:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

alison adoptive family.jpgMontclair mom Alison Ganci, left, emailed me to let me know about a workshop Thursday night for adoptive parents, see info on the jump page. It’s specifically geared toward raising a multicultural kid in a multicultural family. The Spence-Chapin nonprofit adoption agency is sponsoring the event.
My very unscientific observation is that we have a lot of adoptive families in our area, and Alison agrees. She has two children ages 6 and 3.5. Their family incorporates the culture of their children’s origins into their everyday lives.
“This is a great place to be an adoptive family,” Alison adds. “It is a fairly common way to create a family here, so we get fewer inquisitive, confused looks. This is a very supportive town.”
My friend, Ellen Kahaner, is also an adoptive parent. She recently wrote about her experiences in the Maplewood/South Orange melting pot.
If you’re also part of the community and seeking parenting tips, catch Thursday’s workshop. There is another adoptive/foster parent meeting tonight for people interested in adopting and fostering. I have always wanted to be a foster parent, and I just may do it one day…

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Obama’s 100 Days: What Do Teens & Moms Think?

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 7:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Lisa Prince 4.jpgShortly after I turned 18, I was able to vote for our 42nd president, William Jefferson Bill Clinton. At the time, the nation was excited. We were out with George H. W. Bush and his Gulf War policies. We were in with a new Democratic future.
Obama’s first 100 days have a similar feel–only this time the issues seem more important and historic and intense.
Today’s high school kids feel connected to politics just like I did. See the Shorter kids who attended the inauguration in the photo. From left are Austin, 10, Julian, 5, and Jasper, 12. They went to the inauguration, and -their mom, Lisa Prince, blogged for us about the trip.
Keep reading for kids’ current thoughts on this historic presidency. And check out yesterday’s article where little kids give their advice on how Obama should celebrate.

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This Week’s Highlights: April 29 – May 5

Wednesday, Apr 29, 2009 7:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Where did April go? Friday will be May 1st and May in Montclair is a celebration. There will be great events in town all month, so check our Upcoming Events often. Here are this week’s highlights:   

Learn About Fostering or Adopting a Child
The Montclair Pre-K is holding a discussion and information workshop on the benefits of fostering or adopting a child.
Discussion on adopting transracial and transcultural children at The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Montclair.
Dance The May Pole
Celebrate May in Montclair at the opening ceremony.
Take in Some Art in The Park
Attend Montclair Co-op’s 40th annual arts & crafts fair.
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
Take a Spanish storytime and sing-along class at The Language Workshop.
Join the fiesta at The Montclair Public Library.

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Swine Flu Worries Hit Local Schools

Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 7:39pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

swine flu.jpg
Update: We are so sorry to hear about the swine flu death of a toddler in Texas this morning. There are 66 confirmed cases in 6 states. Here are more updates on swine flu from CNBC:

  • Cleaning supply sales are up at Target
  • 46 percent are not changing their behaviors
  • 38 are not changing their travel plans
  • We got our first swine flu advisory via email from our school nurse on Tuesday evening.
    This the first time I’ve felt like staying inside my house and avoiding the entire world to avoid getting sick as a pig. Something about getting the note from The Montclair Cooperative School just made the whole ordeal seem real. Before, it sounded like media hogwash. But I did think it was serious enough to advise my au pair to cancel her upcoming trip to Cancun. She agreed and had already started looking up flights to Florida instead.
    But seriously, as Baristanet reported on Monday, the US has reported this a public health emergency. says there are 5 cases of swine flu in New Jersey from travelers who visited Mexico and California. The good news is that these people were never hospitalized, and they are now doing better.
    Our school reports that a few families have recently traveled to Mexico–our Spring Break was last week. But according to the Montclair Board of Health, these children cannot be asked to stay home unless they show signs of illness. That makes sense to me.
    Just FYI, here are symptoms of swine flu, according to Nurse Beth Tengwell at the Coop…

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    Summer & Swimming in April

    Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 1:41pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

    soren backyard.jpgHow are you spending this beautiful afternoon? We’re actually swimming–swimming!–in our backyard.
    Christin, our wonderful German au pair went to Toys R Us, and she bought a kiddie pool. We rushed outside to help when we saw she was trying to blow the thing up the old fashioned way. (See the video on the next page.)
    It’s hot in our house. We haven’t even put in the air conditioners. I mean, it’s April!
    We’ll enjoy the heat today. Tomorrow, it’s back to April with rain and highs in the 60s for several days.
    Did you get to enjoy the early summer? Click over to Baristanet to see Debbie’s favorite walk.

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    Obama’s First 100 Days: Kids Think He Should Party

    Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009 7:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

    obama2.jpgLittle kids around Baristaville get crazy on their 100th day of school. Teachers plan parties in their kindergarten and preschool classrooms to mark the students’ big accomplishment.

    We think President Obama should get crazy, too. Tomorrow is his 100th day in the White House.

    Because little kids know, we asked them how President Obama should celebrate his 100th day at his new “school.”

    Here is what our insightful local kids had to say…

    [Portrait by Sydney Solenthaler, a Northeast 3rd grader as featured in Mini Masterpieces last month.]

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