27 November 2006

A Few of My Favorite Things

Moms, it's time to start your holiday shopping (especially from the comfort of your computer). Since we are in the parenting pub biz, you can bet that we get the inside scoop on all sorts of great products (and, we simply don’t have the space in the magazine to run everything). So, here are three neat items on my own list:

Personalized pop art portraits (pictured above) created from your photos (great for playrooms): allPopart

Soothing lullabye Cds by Coldplay, Metallica and Radiohead (no kidding). Michael Armstrong takes popular bands’ chart-toppers and turns them into serene instrumentals: Rockabye Baby

Unique and hip shoes for kids: Vincent Shoes

I would love to hear about your finds! Drop me an email. --shelley

20 November 2006

My Hubby is “Pregnant,” Too

OK, so my hubby, Chris, is no medical marvel, a la Arnold Schwarzenegger in Junior, but I think he’s getting pretty close. Since the day I said the words “You’re going to be a daddy!,” Chris has been experiencing sympathetic pregnancy — and it’s cracking me up!

For those who don’t know, my hubby is a stocky, goatee-sporting bald man who passes more for a bouncer at the neighborhood bar, rather than a dutiful shopper at Babies “R” Us. And though I’d heard about this phenomenon where daddies-in-development start “feeling” preggars, I never in my wildest dreams thought Chris would be one of them.

But he is.

In fact, he just called (like he has nearly every day the past few weeks) and asked, “Hey, are you tired?” As usual, I said “Absolutely,” and he replied, “Me, too.” We’re on the same wavelength when it comes to all things related to this pregnancy: headaches, exhaustion (if you called either of us around 8:30 on any given night lately, there’s a good chance we’re both already sawing logs), mood swings and hunger pangs. The only thing he hasn’t developed is my strong aversion to seafood — yet.

I tease him mercilessly when he starts getting mopey and whiney (meaning, he sounds and acts just like me), but honestly, the fact that he is so in tune with me and the baby, just makes my heart swell (then makes me cry with laughter, what can I say — mood swings).

Here’s hoping my intuitive “prego” partner continues to share so fully in this experience — but hands off the stretchy panel pants, mister, those are all mine!

much love~

It's a ... Katie!

The Press Club of Dallas announced its coveted (and nationally recognized) Katie Award winners this weekend and guess what? We won in the category of Best Investigative News Story (beating out fellow nominee D Magazine and scores of other publications throughout the Southwest). The story that earned us the gold: Overhauling Child Protective Services - a two part series written by Lisa Poisso.
In related news, DallasChild also nabbed the American Cancer Society's Texas Media Award in the Best Magazine Feature category for Deborah Dove's riveting tale: Diagnosis Cancer: The Worst News Can Bring Out the Best in Parents.

15 November 2006

Dear Hannah … Love, Santa

The leaves are falling (well, more like being catapulted off the branches today due to the one-million-mile-per-hour winds), there’s a chill in the air and there are only eight days ’til Thanksgiving. So what does all this mean? Santa will be “sliding” down that chimney before you know it.

If your little one hasn’t already penned the first draft of her letter to Santa, it’s only a matter of time (minutes, probably). But for every letter she wishfully sends each year, how many does Santa send in return? Sure, he may scribble a quick note after scarfing down the milk and cookies on Christmas Eve, but as for a personalized, straight-from-the-North-Pole piece of snail mail addressed to Hannah herself? Umm, probably hasn’t happened. Afterall, he’s a busy man.

But … there is a company willing to give the ol’ guy a helping hand and bring a huge smile to your child’s face. Letter from Santa is an online e-tailer that allows fun-loving moms and dads, such as yourself, to customize a letter (from Kris Kringle) with your tot’s name, hometown, gender and good deeds. Within just a few days of placing your order (it’s $9.95 per letter) your little one will receive a customized letter from Santa on holiday-themed paper. Just imagine how thrilled she’s gonna’ be.

Hmm, wonder if Santa writes to adults, too? =)

much love~

13 November 2006

What’s In the (Cocktail) Sauce?

It’s been two weeks since I last blogged – I know, what a slacker. But my lack of online input has simply been because I didn’t know how to follow-up on my last entry, “Boy or Girl?” Here’s my quandary, do I spill the beans on baby’s gender (yes, the hubby, Chris, and I now know) or do I keep it secret a little while longer? I decided to go with the latter … for now. =)

But here’s what happened on Halloween.

The representatives from IntelliGender (Rebecca and Teresa couldn’t be sweeter, by the way) stopped by the office to pick up “my sample.” I’d told them I didn’t have any “official” collection cups and asked what I should use. Rebecca said she’d received samples in everything, even a Starbuck’s cup. So the night before I pillaged the kitchen, looking for something suitable. Behold the abandoned shrimp-cocktail jar in the back of the fridge — perfect! It had a tight, no-spill lid and wasn’t gynormous like the pickle jar I’d contemplated only moments before.

I scrubbed the label off the jar, rinsed out all remnants of seafoodiness and gave it a run in the dishwasher. The next morning, thinking I’d been smart by finding such a user (and tester) friendly collection “cup,” I presented Rebecca and Teresa with my sample. “Wow, this is certainly a first,” they laughed upon seeing the jar lid, which read Golden Dipt Cocktail Sauce. My face turned crimson, much like the cocktail condiment I’d rinsed away the night before. “Hey, at least it has a lid,” I joked, knowing it would be a long ride back to the testing area without one.

By 3:30 that afternoon, the “sauce” had spoken.

much love~

p.s. A big thanks to all of you who e-mailed and weighed in on “peanut’s” gender. I loved reading your responses.

I Scream, You Scream...

There’s an interesting new partnership between the North Texas Food Bank and Carvel Ice Cream.

In celebrating the spirit of Thanksgiving, Carvel is asking you to bring canned food donations to any Metroplex location. As a reward for your good deed, Carvel will give you a free cup or cone for every five items donated.

Need more of an incentive than just free ice cream? Probably not, but just in case, here’s the NTFB by the numbers:

$1 donated = 6 meals provided

57,000 North Texas families fed each month

37 million pounds of food distributed last year.

You could help prepare 57,000 Thanksgiving feasts with your donation…and not spend a minute in the kitchen.


10 November 2006

These Boot(ies) Are Made For...

In the spirit of holiday giving, Robeez Footwear, creators of those soft-soled shoes that are often seen on the tootsies of local babes, is matching the number of Robeez shoes bought on their North American, European and Australian websites during the months of November and December 2006, with the same number of shoes donated to K.I.D.S. (Kids in Distressed Situations).

Robeez Heart & Sole program is responsible for this charitable initiative, and has been quite successful in the endeavor. Since its formation three years ago, Robeez has donated over 95,000 pairs of shoes and booties to children in need.

It costs you nothing, so if you have a little tot or need a present for one, check out Robeez online. It's a contribution well-appreciated...


09 November 2006

Hit the Road

DallasChild is headed to Fort Worth this weekend. It’s kind of like a road trip, except no songs and no license plate games. We have places to go—families to see. We’ll be at Ridgmar Mall on Saturday for our FortWorthChild cover search, our last one of the year.

Because we’ll be in Cowtown, here are some happenings going on west of I-35 this weekend.

Today, the Fort Worth Public Library Foundation dedicates a new study area celebrating the arts at the Fort Worth Central Library. The Betty and Hardy Sanders Art Study Area will feature book displays, reading chairs and study tables, as well as the Foundation’s growing collection of art works. Among these works are five original works on paper by Andy Warhol.

On Saturday, after dropping by our cover search, of course, the brand new GSX Athletics facility is hosting the GSX Games. GSX is an innovative athletic facility for youth sports and adult training, and the games will offer “Olympic-style events” for kids (think soccer, gymnastics and martial arts) and an open-house look at the family-friendly gym and its classes.

Enjoy your weekend!

08 November 2006

What You're Not Supposed to See...

Yesterday we had our photo shoot for the covers of DallasChild and FortWorthChild’s December issues. For December, we decided to go with a rich holiday feel of black and gold for our last issue of the year. Once again, our wonderful photographer, Jennifer Weintraub, gave us great shots of little Lauren of Dallas (top picture), and tomboy Toni (you never would guess by looking at her) of Grapevine, in the comfort of her own dining room. Pushing all tables and chairs aside, this is the site where we shoot many of our covers. (PS – there are many behind-the-scenes tricks and secrets that you would be amazed about, but of course…we’re keeping some under wraps).

The two gorgeous girls were perfect little angels at the shoot, and will make your hearts melt in their “princess” dresses. Thanks to Lauren, Toni, their mothers and of course Jennifer for such a great end to our year!


03 November 2006

National Adoption Day

November 18th is the 7th Annual Tarrant County National Adoption Day sponsored by Child Advocates of Tarrant County.

The event is to celebrate the finalized adoptions of more than 80 children in Tarrant county, who will be permanently placed with families and leaving the foster care system for good.

Adoption ceremonies will take place all morning in several courtrooms at the Family Law Center in Fort Worth. Children and families will also receive gifts, be able to have family portraits taken, and enjoy various other festivities.

For more information, visit www.nationaladoptionday.org, and don’t miss our feature on transracial adoptions in the November issue of DallasChild, out now. Thanks to the Child Advocates for the info.


01 November 2006

Look Who It Is...

Guess who was at our New Arrivals Baby Fair and Cover Search for his debut as the Fall/Winter face of babyDallas? It was Ilan, the beautiful baby boy gracing our latest issue of babyDallas. Only about four months old at the time of the shoot, Ilan has grown into his good looks quite well and is as handsome as ever. Now this 10-month-old is preparing to become a big brother. They grow up so quickly these days….

babyDallas is out on stands now, so don't forget to pick up your copy if you're a new or expecting family!