Local Kid Meets Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

nelson mandela.jpgNelson Mandela Day is July 18, and includes and all-star concert at Radio City Music Hall, a special stand at Grand Central and a dinner at Cipriani’s.
One local boy was part of the pre-celebration when 11 New York City area kids went to Johannesburg, South Africa. They were selected from a pool of 1,000 students who submitted essays about Mandela’s legacy. They all had individual meetings with Nelson Mandela. See Aron Augustitus, a 13-year-old from West Essex Middle School who lives in North Caldwell with Mandela at left.
Aron wrote new lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s Working on a Dream for Mandela, read it on the next page.

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Duct Tape Prom Dresses & Our 4th of July Float

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

duct tape.jpgI’m frantically trying to come up with an idea for Barista Kids’ 4th of July Parade float this Saturday. We have a red pickup truck, but that’s about it. Have any ideas for us? Please help me before I am driven to drink vodka (even though I hear vodka makes me old). I promise not to drink while driving the float.
Maybe I should ask these nifty kids, see left: They’re creating duct tape prom dresses. Around the country, couples made thrifty outfits from the tape that can solve the world’s problems. Then they entered their photos in the Stuck at Prom online contest, which is down to 10 finalists. The winning couple and school will get $3,000 scholarships. Vote for the best duct tape prom dress by Thursday, July 2.
Okay, now about that parade float…

Mom Confession: I Don’t Believe in Boredom

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 10:21am  |  COMMENTS (1)

boredom.jpgAt a meeting around my dining room table last night, a few parents mentioned that their daughters were bored in Girl Scouts, and the implication was that this might lead to them dropping out of the troop.
Bored is one of those trigger words for me–I get up on my mental soapbox, and start delivering a lecture on the many meanings of the word and how we should and shouldn’t respond when we hear it. Not only does it come from my nostalgia about childhood, and how back in the day, we were never bored–because I know that can’t be true. There were times when my club meetings didn’t provide enough entertainment. They often took place in the crawl spaces under the garden apartments in Whitestone, Queens, with suds coming in from the leaking washing machine above, and lights flickering from a Sabbath candle on an orange crate.
In my years as an elementary school teacher, bored kids were accustomed to having grown-ups fix the things in their lives that weren’t easy.

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This Is What 17 Looks Like

Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009 9:39am  |  COMMENTS (3)

For mothers of little kids, a child’s birthday is all about bouncy houses and goody bags. But when your kid turns 17, it’s all about the driver’s license — especially for boys. I can’t say I was ready for this milestone, but when the time came (and it came early, because we had an 8 a.m. appointment in Wayne), I was rooting for him. Here’s what it looked like.

Teens Pay Tribute to Troops Tonight

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 2:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Glenfield Middle School students are raising money for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan tonight. Head to Montclair Public Library to hear their songs and get some dessert.
A Coming Home: Teens Tribute for our Troops
Who: All ages
What: A fundraiser for troops returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan
Where: Montclair Public Library
50 S. Fullerton Ave.
Montclair, NJ 07042
When: Monday, June 29, 7 p.m.
Cost: $7 per person, all proceeds to benefit Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

What Will Happen to Michael Jackson’s Kids?

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 1:00pm  |  COMMENTS (3)

Update: Joe Jackson & Al Sharpton held a press conference at 2:40 p.m. Katherine Jackson, Michael Jackson’s mother, has been granted temporary guardianship of Michael’s three kids.
In Panera Bread this morning, a 4-year-old boy was singing Beat It–and doing a moonwalk. This weekend at Mountain Creek Water Park in Vernon, NJ, teenagers were trying to belt out the song, but they didn’t know the words.
Imagine that? They did not know the words to Beat It. They didn’t even know the part, “So you wanna be bad?” I felt bad, for sure–like I was 2,000 years old.
I just read an article on NJ.com about Michael Jackson’s kids that got me thinking about what’s next for them. He had three: Prince Michael, 12; Paris, 11 and Prince Michael II, 7, also known as Blanket. Surely, he had chosen their legal guardians in case he died. (My husband and I still haven’t done that, and we need to.)
Will we ever see those kids’ faces? I hope we don’t. MJ wouldn’t want that.
See Janet Jackson speak at last night’s BET Awards–an impromptu Michael Jackson tribute–below.

Do You Forget Your Kid’s Sunscreen?

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

sunscreen.jpgThis morning when I dropped the twins off at MMO summer camp, I forgot their sunscreen. We’ve had so little sun this summer that I had taken it out of their backpacks. Luckily, I had some $27-a-tube Anthelios facial sunscreen in my purse. I slathered them with it.
I’m afraid I’ll get locked up if I let them burn. Do you ever forget your kid’s sunscreen?

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Photo by Graham and Sheila

Duck Lessons for Third Graders (& Their Parents)

Monday, Jun 29, 2009 10:10am  |  COMMENTS (2)

HNI_0097.JPGMy Third Grader at Hillside worked his charm on me last week, begging to be allowed to bring home a pair of chicks or ducklings for the weekend that his class had been watching grow from pre-hatching days, courtesy of a local farm. Once the little birds get to what he aptly calls the ‘leggy’ stage, they’re sent back to the farm, where I’m sure they are allowed to feed and run freely and live a long far from the slightest whiff of tarragon or plum sauce.
“They’re really easy to look after,” my 9-year-old assured me, “and there will be many lessons learned.” He was right, here are the lessons I picked up. I dearly hope he learned as much as I did.
Lesson 1: What goes in must come out. The minute we walked through our door with the adorable, fuzzy 3-day-old house guests, my son announced, “Oh, by the way, all they do is poo and pee the whole time.” No kidding.

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Montclair’s Kindergarten Assignments Have Arrived

BY  |  Monday, Jun 29, 2009 7:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

schoolbusgirl.jpgWe got the letter. The letter that Montclair parents of 5-year-olds nervously await–the kindergarten assignment letter. After touring and reviewing the six magnet schools Montclair offers, parents list their choices 1-6 and keep their fingers crossed that they get the school of their dreams.

We got our first choice–Nishuane. It’s the largest school so getting in probably wasn’t that hard. Still, I let out a loud, “Woohoo!” when I opened up the letter. I felt like a winner.

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Free Family Fun: Sidewalk Sale and Food Tasting

Saturday, Jun 27, 2009 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

dandy dan.jpgToday is day two of the Bloomfield Center Sidewalk Sale. If you missed it yesterday, don’t fret, there will be more great deals, food tastings and family entertainment today. Dandy Dan, a stiltwalker, balloonist and juggler will entertain the kids from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. That’s him in the photo on the left.
We also hear that Williams-Sonoma, in Montclair, will have an all-day free food tasting of summer favorites: baked beans, coleslaw, ice cream and more.
Here are the details..

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