Archive for April, 2010

Apr 30 2010

Preparing Your Child for Kindergarten by Sara Shaw from the Houston Examiner

Kindergarten is a big step! The social circle is expanding rapidly beyond caregivers, and the child is becoming more aware of self and others. There has been much research on which skills children need to get ready for kindergarten. The Kindergarten Entry Skills project (McIntyre, 2007) surveyed kindergarten teachers and identified skills they look for in incoming kindergarten students. According to the Kindergarten Entry Skills survey, skills include the ability to:

  • separate from parents without excessive crying
  • manage own bathroom needs
  • verbalize needs and wants
  • sit through an age-appropriate story without interrupting
  • work independently for short periods of time
  • follow simple directions
  • respect limits and rules
  • care for belongings

Ways to Increase Children’s Social-Emotional Competency for Kindergarten:

Familiarize your child with the new school before it starts:

• play at the school playground during the summer
• find out who’s in the class and arrange play dates during the summer
• invite classmates and their parents over during the summer

Get your child excited during the weeks leading up to kindergarten:

  • Talk to your child about the positive changes that will occur when he/she goes to kindergarten. Share about all of the fun, new experiences and activities that “big kids” get to participate in while they are in school.
  • Let your child assist when purchasing school clothes and supplies. After bringing the items home, let your child talk about all of the wonderful things that he/she will be able to make with the new crayons, glue, scissors, etc.

Provide your pre-k child with reading experiences that discuss going to kindergarten

Reading books about a potentially stressful situation, with a parent, can take the stress out of the situation. Here are a few book suggestions parents can share with their child:

  • Ready for Kindergarten by Sharon Wilkins [Zondervan, 2000]
  • Let’s Get Ready for Kindergarten! by Stacey Kannenberg [Cedar Valley Publishing, 2006]
  • Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff

Read, read, read to your child every day! (Reasons to turn off the TV and read with children)

Talk to your children about their feelings: help them name feelings, understand and express them; this affects how children view themselves and others, and helps them cope with stress (Raising an emotionally intelligent child)

Give your child a chore to do during the summer to develop a sense of responsibility and self-esteem

Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep, and establish good routines for going to bed at night and getting up in the morning

Provide your child plenty of opportunities to get outdoor exercise and spend quality time with family and friends

Expect regressive behavior before kindergarten starts: children may rely on previously acquired self-comforting behaviors to help manage any fears

  • shyness
  • thumb sucking, needing a blanket
  • clingy behavior

As school and new classmates become more familiar, self-comforting behaviors will occur less frequently.

Visit SF K Files– a place for parents who are seeking a kindergarten in San Francisco. The site offers up reviews of public, private, and parochial schools, as well as lots of advice and opinions from the community of parents who frequent the blog.

Sara Shaw, M.S., MFT is a Consultant for the Family Service Agency of San Francisco and has a private practice in Pacific Heights (

149 responses so far

Apr 27 2010

Join us on 04/28/10 with GUEST HOST Amy Davis of Inspiring Moms who will be interviewing Author & Radio Host, Dana Hilmer

Dana Hilmer is the The LifeStyle Mom – lovin’ your family, lovin’ your life!


Dana Hilmer is the President of LifestyleMom, Inc., a media and marketing company dedicated to inspiring, entertaining and motivating women to create a family life and “me life” that they truly love. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of and the host of The LifestyleMom Radio Café airing LIVE on   Dana writes and speaks on the topics every mom wrestles with as they embark on their personal journey of becoming a LifestyleMom: a woman that is both “lovin’ her family and lovin’ her life.”  She is the author of Blindsided by a Diaper: Over 30 Men and Women Reveal How Parenthood Changes a Relationship (Random House, June 2007) and the co-creator of Blindsided by a Diaper – The Musical, currently in development.  Dana also serves as a marketing consultant and media spokesperson for companies targeting moms.

Dana is a media-savvy interviewee and her lively and engaging style makes her a sought-after spokesperson and expert in the media.  She has appeared numerous times on The Daily Buzz, Parents TV and Better CT and has been featured on over 100 television and radio shows across the country.  Dana has also served as a national media spokesperson for over 25 national brands; Fuji Film, iRobot, Disney Interactive Studios, SC Johnson, Playtex, Dulcolax Balance and Nestle being among them. You can sign up for her free LifestyleMom Minute monthly newsletter at  In her “pre-kids” life, Dana was a marketing executive in magazine publishing, serving in senior positions at Child, SmartMoney and Inc. Magazine.  She lives with her husband and three young boys in a beautiful shoreline town in Connecticut.

LifestyleMom is dedicated to inspiring, entertaining and motivating women to create a family life and “me life” that they truly love. is not a parenting site.  It is an online resource for women that provides tips, inspiration, thought-provoking insights and much-needed humor on the issues and choices modern moms wrestle with every day. A LifestyleMom knows that a wonderful life is hers to create.  She is not a martyr. She is busy creating her life, not making excuses or living vicariously through her children. She strives to be an inspiration and wants her kids to see the possibilities of life in all that she is. A LifestyleMom knows that it is indeed possible to love her family AND love her life.

The LifestyleMom Radio Café is an internet radio talk show for women who desire information, inspiration and lively girlfriend-to-girlfriend conversation about the topics that matter to them most.  Host Dana Hilmer serves up a delicious blend of entertaining and thought-provoking banter with some of today’s most inspiring women.  Pull up a chair, pour yourself a fresh cup and enjoy.  Better yet, call in and join the conversation!

Listen LIVE
Tuesdays 10:00 AM PST

Dana Hilmer:  Founder and Editor-in-Chief,
Host, LifestyleMom Radio Café
Author, Blindsided by a Diaper
Marketing Partner and Spokesperson, for brands targeting moms who are lovin’ their life

Phone: 203-645-9032

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

118 responses so far

Apr 20 2010

Stacey’s “Get Ready to Learn Mom” Guest for 4/21 is Debbie Kolz, “The Ginger Bread Lady”

“Ready To Learn Mom” with Stacey Kannenberg Radio Show at 10 CST/11 EST every Wednesday!  Join us on 04/21/10 with the heart-breaking story of Debbie Kolz, “The Ginger Bread Lady” who had her dream company gobbled up by the Big Bad BANK Wolf.   This is a lesson in corruption that you will not believe!  Debbie may have lost her health, her business, her house, her savings and her legal case against the bank responsible for it all – but she is still swinging!  AND if you think it can’t happen to you…THINK AGAIN!  Debbie needs national attention to continue her fight and she and her family need a place to live, so please join us to help spread her story!  YOU might just hold the key to help in her quest for justice against corruption from government agencies to fraud by banking institutions with no one willing to stand up for Debbie and what is right…until NOW~!

My show tomorrow will be a tribute to the lady that inspired me to start my own media channel – Debbie Kolz.  I wanted a media channel for her to go public with her story of her small business loan nightmare.  It’s a case of fraud and corruption that starts at a small bank and it has exposed lending fraud at the highest level!!  Debbie has lost everything except the clothes on her back and she is finally letting me go PUBLIC with the story…you will not believe this one…if you know of any attorney office who wants to tackle the federal government, please let me know!!! This one will make you cry!

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

144 responses so far

Apr 16 2010

The Ultimate Mom to Be Sweepstakes Honoring Moms to Be and New Moms Has Officially Launched, Win Amazing Prizes at!

Hot Moms Club, Playgroups USA and Trista Sutter have joined forces where pregnant and new moms can enter to win over $17,000 in products via the official campaign website at from March 30th – May 30th, 2010.The campaign is launched alongside Jessica Denay’s and Trista Sutter’s hot new release, The Hot Mom to Be Handbook (HarperCollins).

The Ultimate Mom to Be Sweepstakes is one exciting promotion. Jessica Denay, founder of Hot Moms Club and author says, “At Hot Moms Club, we get an opportunity to see today’s hottest products for the pregnant and new mom. When we decided to launch this campaign alongside the release of my new book, we knew that we could award some truly amazing prizes.”

And she was right. Jodi Van Lom, co-founder of Playgroups USA and partner in the Ultimate Mom to Be Sweepstakes agrees. “The campaign is truly amazing. In Jessica’s new book, she gets an opportunity to mention many great products that every mom needs or would love to have. With this promotion, some lucky winners will win some of these products.”

The Ultimate Mom to Be Sweepstakes features over $17,000 in prizes that include 18 years of collection and storage of cord and cord blood from Cord Blood Registry™, a nursery set from Bratt Decor™, the hot new FastFold Stroller from Micralite™, a new infant baby carrier from lillebaby™, a beautiful gift box from Trumpette™, shaper leggings from brand new ShaToBu™, a gift basket with must have mommy lotions and creams from Mustela™, a gorgeous crib bedding set and nursery paint from Serena & Lily™, a kids clothing package from My Vintage Baby™, the latest swaddles for baby from Swaddle Designs™, essential mommy vitamins from Bayer™ Women’s One a Day and the latest Soft Motion™ shoes from Stride Rite™ and fabulous weekly prizes!

Tell all the moms you know and enter at

223 responses so far

Apr 14 2010

Please Join Brenda Novak and the 2010 Auciton for Diabetes Research

Let’s Get Ready to Help Brenda Novak and her amazing goal to break the $1 Million mark for her 2010 Online Auction for Diabetes Research. 


If you are a book lover like I am, you will find some amazing autographed copies from some of your favorite authors!! 

Bid often for a great cause and bid on a set of our books for your favorite child heading off to school this year!

Brenda will be giving away some incredible prizes to keep things fun and light, drawing from those who place bids each day, so definitely register and shop because everyone is eligible! There are some fabulous items that would make great gifts up for grabs, and with your help, we should break the $1 million mark this year.



7 responses so far

Apr 08 2010

How I’m Surviving My Life by Guest Blogger Alison Rhodes, The Safety Mom

Up until now the majority of my blogs have been about child safety issues happening in the world, tips for baby proofing and product recalls.  Once in a while I’ve opened up a bit about my life but not much.  Some people are concerned about me doing this – that’s not my job as The Safety Mom  they tell me.  But I’ve been learning some incredible life lessons these past two years.  One of these realizations is that, as I’ve talked about on my radio show Keeping It Together With Alison Rhodes, The Safety Mom –, in order to keep our kids safe, happy and well, we need to first take care of ourselves.  Well, that’s easier said than done for moms.  And I realized that I wasn’t taking my own advice.  But how do we put ourselves above our kids?  I would literally lie down and die for each of my children every day.  How do I do something selfish and think of myself first?  Well, I’m beginning to realize that if I don’t, I quite possibly might die and that won’t help them at all.

You see there are some pretty tough things going on in my life, some I’ve blogged about but others I haven’t touched yet.  Now I’m going to and I’m doing it for several reasons.  Writing is therapy for me (and I suspect for many mom bloggers).  Once it’s down on paper, or computer, it’s out of my head and not causing me as much stress.  I also do it because I know that ,if I’m going through some of this stuff, there have to be millions of people going through very similar situations and probably feeling isolated and alone.  Maybe by reading this blog they will know that they’re not alone and maybe, if we all start posting, we can all help each other find the support, encouragement and love all of us need to get by.  The third reason is that because I’m a “do-er.”  I’ve entered into the confusing worlds of special needs, the educational system, emotional abuse, divorce, aging parents, and financial hardship.  There are some major problems in many of these areas and I’m determined to start screaming about it to try and change archaic and dysfunctional systems that don’t work.   The fourth is because this is the only way I’m going to heal myself.  For years I never discussed what was going on in my personal life.  I didn’t think that anyone, even family and friends, wanted to know my problems.  So I put on my “game face” and kept things to myself.  Oh sure, a few close friends so the little cracks in my armor but not many.  I’m really good at keeping a positive outlook and not showing my problems.  But that, in the end, was my un-doing.  Because when I finally realized that I had to start talking about what was going on, most people didn’t believe me.  “How could these things be happening in your life?” they would ask.  In the end I’ve had dear friends and members of my community turn away from me because it didn’t seem possible.  Quite possibly it also forced them to look at their own lives which they probably didn’t want to do.  Now I’m talking about everything.  It takes courage and it’s not easy but I have to in order to build a new and much happier life for myself.  My blog and my radio show is how I will do it.  I’m sure there will be readers out there who disagree with me and downright dislike me with some of the things I’m going to say but that’s my last and most important lesson – to be true to myself no matter what.

So a quick update from my last blog about Spencer my oldest son with special needs.  Last Thursday we ended up in the emergency room as he got upset with his sisters and put his hands around the back of his sister’s throat.  His psychologist was worried he was having a psychotic breakdown.  I was having a complete breakdown worried about my baby boy.

Yesterday he was diagnosed by the psychiatrist hired by the school as meeting the criteria for childhood schizophrenia.  The first question out of my hopefully soon-to-be ex-husband’s mouth when he heard was whether there was something else we could call it when talking to friends (yes, that’s been part of my problem – someone who is more worried about appearances than dealing with an issue).  I participated in the PPT at school and it looks as if by the end of this week or next week he will be in a temporary home-bound learning situation.  My next PPT is next Thursday to start searching for the appropriate out-placement for him. 

Yes, it’s been a long week and there are so many other things to blog about.  But this is it for now.  My early morning peace is about to end as I need to get the girls ready for school.  So, how am I surviving?  If you’ve never heard of Jerry and Ester Hicks, check out their website – .  Reading their books and messages has helped.  Writing is helping as well as walking in the woods and clearing my head.  I’m blessed to have a wonderful minister at my church who is always there to lend an ear.  I’ve surrounded myself with a very few close friends who now protect me and I’m fortunate to have unwavering optimism that I wake up with every morning no matter how bad it gets.  For anyone out there struggling, please know you’re not alone.  Write back and let’s support each other – it’s how we’ll all survive.

Alison Rhodes is the founder of Safety Mom Enterprises and Safety Mom Solutions, the premier baby proofing and child safety company in the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut area.  Alison is a family safety expert, TV personality and consultant.

One response so far

Apr 06 2010

Stacey’s “Get Ready to Learn Mom” Guest for 4/7 is Ellen McCaleb of and

Join us on 04/07/10 with Ellen McCaleb of and how she took her love for art and fishing and made it into a business.  She will be talking about her new business launch, too!

The History
In 1997, Ellen quit her corporate job to combine a few of my passions into a means of earning a living. In short, she became an artist and trophy fish carver. Over the years, her work has been featured in magazines like Country Living, Coastal Living and most recently in ForbesLife Magazine – November 2009.

The Inspiration
One day, Ellen’s children were tinkering around in her painting studio and admiring a very large (48”) Atlantic salmon.  Her daughter Evelyn, (then five years-old) exclaimed, “Nathan (just 22 months), you better eat your protein if you want to grow as tall as this fish!”  A light bulb went off.  They had just painted over the lead-based paint in their old New England home and painted over her daughter’s height marks.  Fortunately, she had copied them down just in case she found a growth chart that when with our décor.  Ellen scoured the internet and could not find a chart that was “adult friendly” – something she could look at for years to come.  So she made one!

Their family loves nature and loves to fish, so it was only natural that she made us a fish growth chart.  Ellen chose a muskie because it’s long and thin and its beautiful olive greens and reds go with their décor.  Her neighbors loved the idea, so she created more designs and shared them. They ordered charts for their children.  Now they order them as gifts for their friends and family.  

The Business and the Mission
Growth Chart Art TM is a woman-owned, family-friendly company.  It may sound cliché, but they want to do well by doing good.  Our definition of GOOD is:  offering “mothers’ hours” for our employees; making our products out of environmentally friendly materials, post consumer wood products, soy based inks and post consumer paper/packaging; and supporting children by donating 10% of their proceeds to groups that help children grow up great.

For more information, please CLICK HERE.

12 responses so far